Monday, September 1, 2014

Making Marion Book Review


She had been looking for somewhere to stay, but instead Marion Miller finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campground and, despite her horrible shyness, promptly lands herself a job.

Marion came to Nottinghamshire--home of Sherwood Forest--to discover her father's mysterious past, but all she has to go on is a picture of her father dressed up, it would seem, as Robin Hood.

Life on a busy campground challenges Marion's formerly controlled life--the pigs roam free, the resident chickens seem determined to thwart her, and an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben.

Yet, Marion's would-be boyfriend Jake, and Reuben's stunning fiancee Erica, conspire to leave little room for Marion to daydream about the twinkling eyes of her rescuer . . . Will Marion ever find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?

Including a large cast of memorable, colorful characters, Making Marion is an outstanding debut romantic comedy that touches on issues of identity and family with a natural ease.

My Review

First of all I love the cover on this book, it sucked me in and then I started reading about Marion. She is such a unique character that I could very easily relate with. The book goes between her past and present. There are some funny parts but I found it to be more serious than I was expecting. It takes you into life at Nottinghamshire and creates a Robin Hood fun that really makes the book have a great story line. All of the characters that Marion is around at her new appointed job are fun but all have depth and unique personalities. Marion is on a journey of self discovery and what better place to do that than by Sherwood Forest? There is a bit of romance but the book mainly focuses on Marion and her newly discovered life.

I really enjoyed this book though the last little bit seemed to drag out a tad.
Four stars.

"I received this book from Kregel for free in exchange for an honest review."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Simple Thai Food Book Review



 About the Book

Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics--from the rising star behind the blog  She Simmers .

Who can say no to a delicious plate of Pad Thai with Shrimp; a fresh, tangy Green Papaya Salad; golden Fried Spring Rolls; or a rich, savory Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish? Thai food is not only one of the most vibrant, wonderfully varied cuisines in the world, it also happens to be one of the tastiest, and a favorite among American eaters.

The good news is, with the right ingredients and a few basic tools and techniques, authentic Thai food is easily within reach of home cooks. Take it from Leela Punyaratabandhu, a Bangkok native and author of the popular Thai cooking blog She Simmers. In her much-anticipated debut cookbook, Leela shares her favorite recipes for classic Thai fare, including beloved family recipes, popular street food specialties, and iconic dishes from Thai restaurant menus around the world.

All of Leela’s recipes have been tested and tweaked to ensure that even the busiest cook can prepare them at home. With chapters on key ingredients and tools, base recipes, one-plate meals, classic rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets, Simple Thai Food is a complete primer for anyone who wants to give Thai cooking a try. By the end of the book, you’ll be whipping up tom yam soup and duck red curry that will put your local takeout joint to shame. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover an exciting new world of Thai flavors and dishes—including Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce—that will open your eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that real Thai cooking has to offer. (Goodreads)

My Review

I love Thai food! I was excited to get this book because I love being able to create food without going out to eat. This book is full of so many dishes that I had ever heard about, which is a good thing! There are soups, snacks, meals, fish, and even ice cream! Coconut ice cream with Jackfruit-yum!! There is also a curry powder recipe that I found helpful because I love curry! In the back of the book is a great glossary on the different ingredients for those of use who have no idea what some things are. 
The only downside is there is an extreme lack of pictures. I love cookbooks but I am a visual person and pictures really add a lot. Also, it's a mixture of recipes so some are easier to make and others require effort but I don't mind in order to get the finishing product!
This is a good cookbook but they could have done better with the pictures. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers Book Review


About the Book

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”
Matthew 5:9
In this new Berenstain Bears 8x8 book, Blessed are the Peacemakers, Brother and Sister have a wide circle of friends at Bear Country School and they get along with pretty much everyone. But not all their friends get along with each other. Too Tall and his bullying gang, for instance, are often in conflict with Cousin Fred, Ferdy Factual, and their friends. So what happens when the cubs all need to work together on the annual school play? Brother and Sister have to decide whether they should “mind their own business” or get involved as peacemakers and try to calm the troubled waters.

My Review

I have always loved the Berenstain Bears. I didn't realize that Mike is the son of the original writers and he continues on writing his parents legacy. After reading this book, I can tell the difference in the writing, though it's still similar. The only thing I didn't really like is how the children in school are described as being in "gangs". This book is for very young children and while there is obviously different groups that spend time together I didn't think it portrayed things accurately for a four year old. Also, Brother and Sister are the peacemakers and jump right into the middle of a fight to stop it. I think this sometimes is ok but for young children they really do need to find an adult when people are physically in a fight. The idea behind this book is great but I think it could have been written better. Peacemakers are important and I love that Brother and Sister stayed away from joining the cliques and were friends or at least civil with everyone. I also think it's important that children are taught to stand up for things that are right and good.
I got this book to share with my nephew but I'm not sure that I will, I'm not sure what he will take away from it. It's still a cute book but I think it could be read by children in a way that won't be helpful. I suggest talking to your child about what the book is teaching after reading it.

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review." 

Home to Chicory Lane Book Review


About the Book

Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are
grown, she and her husband Grant are turning their beloved family home
into a cozy bed and breakfast, just a mile outside of Langhorne,

Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming
from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s
daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s
not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What
happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s
husband, Cory? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing
was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey
still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home
her daughter so desperately needs? (Goodreads)

My Review

This book has a pretty cover and it drew me in. The story line reminded me a lot of Susan May Warren's Christensen family novels. This book is about Audrey and Grant doing something big now that all of their kids are out of the house. They turn their home in to an inn, which is great fun to read about! Landyn shows up and no one is really sure what is going on with her and her husband. This is the main part of the story and we travel with Landyn and Cory in marriage troubles and God questions. The overall theme is good, I can see it as a movie. I just felt a lack of depth at some points and the family aspect didn't really connect with me. I feel like this book could have been better but I am curious to read the other books to follow. The message is obvious but I like the overall theme of family and honoring God and trusting Him.

"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."

The first book in Deborah Raney's new Chicory Inn series, Home to Chicory Lane, introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.

Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

  One winner will receive:

  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)

  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Your Core Children's Board Book Giveaway!


Enter through the Rafflecopter below. One winner will receive one board book of Your Core. 
US and Canada only. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Book

New book explains the soul to a very young child
Graham Blanchard continues to provide parents resources to help teach kids about God

AUSTIN, Texas – It is well known the first five years of a child’s life are fundamental for their intellectual development. But while parents are focusing on language, shapes and colors, what about their child’s spiritual development? It can be difficult to find ways to teach kids about God right from the start, but these early, formative years are vital in laying a foundation of faith and understanding of who God is.

Graham Blanchard Inc., a Christian publishing company based in Austin, Texas, is on a mission to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God, even at a very young age. They are the only company specializing in board books that help parents share faith with their children from infancy.

In their latest release, Graham Blanchard tackles a topic that is often difficult for kids – and even adults – to understand: the soul. Your Core (Sept. 1, 2014), was authored by Callie Grant and illustrated by Missi Jay, who has been nationally recognized by Print Magazine and The ADDY Awards. Your Core features a diverse range of characters to represent the uniqueness of all God’s children and uses everyday objects like baseballs, apples and the Earth to explain the soul and how it relates to God. Your Core is an Absorb book in Graham Blanchard’s unique Learn, Absorb and Praise™ collection. Absorb books connect information about God with a child’s inner life.

Your Core follows the warm reception of Graham Blanchard’s first seven releases, which were well received by outlets like CBA Retailers and Resources, Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews,and more than 50 websites and blogs written by Christian parents.

Just in time for its one-year anniversary, Graham Blanchard is releasing The Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Classic Collection on Oct. 1, 2014. The gift set includes the popular titles Jesus Shows Me in the Knowing My God Series, All of Me That You Can’t See, and Mud Puddle Hunting Day. Included in the set is a bonus gift, The Art of Gratitude, with tips and templates for young children to practice giving thanks.

Graham Blanchard was founded by Callie Grant, who has a strong calling to help children know God’s love and nurture their families’ faith through reading together. Graham Blanchard is a culmination of Grant’s experience in the publishing industry, working for companies like Scholastic and Dorling Kindersely.
Graham Blanchard Inc. is based in Austin, Texas, with a growing team of writers, editors, illustrators, parents and pastors. The company is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents. Graham Blanchard also provides online resources for parents, including a prayer wall, discussion forum and a Mom Mentor panel composed of popular authors and bloggers. Their books are distributed by STL, Spring Arbor and Anchor Distributors and represented by McLemore/Hollern & Associates. For more information please visit    
My Review

I love board books and am always excited to share them with my nephews! This book is simple but states a huge point that I think little kids will understand. This book at least gets the idea that God is in your soul and that you have a "core". The pictures are great and I love that this book tells kids that they have a purpose. I think often times they don't hear that so this book hold a lot! I was curious how someone would approach this topic with children but this book isn't complicated and it also has Ephesians 3:16-17 listed in the back, which I love!

I highly recommend for your children Ages 0-5.

"Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."

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