Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cleaning Out My Shelves-Two Paperback Books by Elizabeth Ludwig Giveaway

 I have been going through my book shelves and I figured a fun way to clean them out was to have a little giveaway. 
While I enjoyed the first book the third was not as thrilling. You can read my review here.
The good thing is that most everyone else loved them dearly.


The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.


Two years ago, her fiance perished
during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder...

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.

Giveaway Info

Enter through the rafflecopter below. U.S. entries only please.
 Ends November 7th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lost In Translation Book Review


About the Book

Did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there’s a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest?

Lost in Translation brings to life more than fifty words that don’t have direct English translations with charming illustrations of their tender, poignant, and humorous definitions. Often these words provide insight into the cultures they come from, such as the Brazilian Portuguese word for running your fingers through a lover’s hair, the Italian word for being moved to tears by a story, or the Swedish word for a third cup of coffee.

In this clever and beautifully rendered exploration of the subtleties of communication, you’ll find new ways to express yourself while getting lost in the artistry of imperfect translation. (Goodreads)

My Review

This is such a fun book! I wasn't sure what to expect but each page is a new word and it's meaning but this is way more fun than a dictionary. The author has discovered all of these words in other cultures and languages for different meanings.
Example: Spanish Verb: Vacilando - Traveling when the experience itself is more important than the destination.
Swedish Noun: Resfeber- The restless beat of a traveler's heart before the journey begins, a mixture of anxiety and anticipation. (Lost in Translation)

I loved many of the words but these were two of my favorite. I always enjoy hearing new words and I think this book could come in handy with a Scrabble game perhaps? Depending on the family rules of course.

This is a fun book and I highly recommend!

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Family Picture Time

So I love having pictures every year, it's important to me. We might do some more but we did these last weekend in our backyard. I set my camera on timer and had it propped up it worked out! Not having a camera man was actually a good thing because Remi wouldn't have sat so still otherwise. 

Yes I know there is a donkey in the last picture...Chance liked it so it stayed.....

I think they turned out alright for being pretty last second and more fun. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quilted by Christmas Book Review

About the Book

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

My Review

This book took me by surprise and I ended up really enjoying it. I've read a few of these quilt books and some are great some are just ok. This book is obviously set during the holiday season which adds a certain charm to the story line. Taryn's life has been flipped upside-down and she has kept a secret for awhile. When her high school sweet heart returns home she is forced to think about the past and realize her own mistakes and forgive not only others but herself. The aspect I liked about this book is that the main character, Taryn, acknowledges that she made choices and understood her part in the pain from the past. She didn't push all the blame on someone else, nor did she wallow in self pity. I think she was written well and the author created a really good story line.

Highly recommend!

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

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

About the Author: 

Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to a devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does.

Connect with Jodie: website, Facebook, Twitter

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Princess Spy Book Review


 About the Book

Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha---one of the few who speaks his language---understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself 'Lord Colin' is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy---not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot. (Goodreads)

My Review

 This is the first book in this series that I have read. I enjoy young adult books so I was really looking forward to this one. 
I really liked the characters and the overall story line of the "princess spying" and discovering her suitor might not be all he seems. The book has some great twists and there is a definite love story interwoven. The book moved really fast, almost too fast for me. I think some more details could have been through in but it is young adult and still a good read.
I think Melanie does a good job coming up with unique ways on fairy tales and not making them over the top. 
If you enjoy fairy tales, young adult, and a little history you are in for a treat.

Four stars.

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


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Bachelor Promo

Don't miss Stephanie Reed's newest book in the Plain City Peace series, The Bachelor. This compelling second book deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.

Join Stephanie in celebrating the book's release by entering her Kindle giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook launch party on October 28th!
The Bachelor, Stephanie Reed
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Bachelor by Stephanie Reed
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/9. RSVP for the Facebook launch party today for a chance to connect with Stephanie and Amish fiction fans and a chance to win some great prizes! Winner will be announced November 10th here.

A Promise to Protect Book Review


About the Book

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. When Tony dies just days later, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh and her nine-year-old son, TJ, from the killers. But how can Ben keep an eye on Leigh if she's doing everything in her power to avoid him? And could the secret that Leigh is keeping change Ben's life forever?

Suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance make A Promise to Protect perfect for readers who like their stories with a hearty dose of mystery. (Goodreads)

My Review

I read the first book in this series I while it wasn't my favorite I had hopes for this book. Sadly, the more I read the more I was disappointed. I like Ben but he is the only character I really enjoy reading about. Leigh drove me insane and I didn't think her character was very realistic. At one point her house gets broken into, set on fire, and she gets shot at. At all of these moments she shrugs it off. She isn't worried, she doesn't find protection or shelter. And she has a son! If a person is getting shot at, especially a mom, she is going to be worried! The mystery and suspense were somewhat interesting I just didn't enjoy reading Leigh's character.

I don't want to be too harsh, I just think the book could be better. There are still good suspense theories and ideas.

Three stars.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Manic Drive VIP CD Review and Giveaway!

Manic Drive has been widely known as a Canadian band who always delivers a great show, but over the past few years and project releases, they have added to their extensive touring of Canadian and US markets multiple Billboard Top 10 & 20 singles on CHR & Christian Rock Radio. Manic Drive is clearly very intentional about reaching their generation and inspiring them to pursue a deeper walk with Christ and to get involved in changing the world they are inheriting. And they are uniquely equipped to do so. The band members, all in their early-mid twenties, have made sacrifices to pursue God’s call on their lives. Their life experience, spiritual maturity and ministry have opened doors to speak into the lives of their own generation and that is perhaps the most defining characteristic of this group of guys.
Official Website-

My Review
I'll be honest, this is the first time I've heard of the group Manic Drive. I am always excited to try new music and this album is great! I have listened to them to and from work for the past couple of weeks and have talked to a few of my friends about them. How have I not listened to them before?! They have a great sound and the lyrics are good as well. There is a nice mix between more rock and calmer music. They are from Canada but I discovered that one of their songs is in the movie God's Not Dead and the soundtrack.
If you haven't heard them before (or you have and just need new music) and are looking for some great Christian tunes I suggest you enter the giveaway below! Flyby Promotions is offering one of my readers a copy of Manic Drive's VIP for free!
I love this CD and I highly recommend!

Enter through the rafflecopter below! U.S. and Canada only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall Book Review


About the Book

Willowgrove Hall is full of secrets, but soon everything hidden is brought to light.
Cecily Faire has a secret—and she intends to keep it. But when she arrives at Willowgrove Hall to serve as a lady’s companion, she comes face-to-face with the only person who knows the truth about her past.

As the steward of Willowgrove Hall, Nathaniel Stanton is dedicated to serving those around him. Nothing escapes his notice—including the beautiful new lady’s companion. He is certain the lovely Miss Faire is hiding something, and he determines to uncover it. But Nathaniel has a secret of his own: he is the illegitimate son of Willowgrove’s former master. Falling in love was not part of his plans . . . until he meets Cecily Faire.

When Willowgrove’s mistress dies, everything changes. Fear of exposure forces Cecily to leave under the cover of darkness, embarking on a journey to finally find her long-lost sister. When the will is read, Nathaniel’s inheritance makes him question his future plans. Cecily and Nathaniel are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Is their love strong enough to survive? (Goodreads)

My Review

I really enjoyed this book. The first book in the series is still my favorite but this book made for an enjoyable light read. I really like the setting and time period. Cecily is a well developed character and I empathized with her throughout the book. Nathaniel's character could have been better developed in my opinion but I liked him all the same.
While the back of the book makes this story sound mysterious, it's really not at all. The reader is aware of all the secrets going on and waits in anticipation for the characters to figure it out. Yes, this book is predictable but in an enjoyable way. I have really enjoyed Sarah's writing and descriptions of the settings. For her third novel I think she has done quite well and I am anxious to read more from her.
Highly recommend.

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

Award-winning author Sarah E. Ladd examines how to escape the clutches of a tainted past in the final installment of her Whispers on the Moor series. A Regency-era novel, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall cleverly shows that even though our pasts may be shameful or painful, God can take the darkest personal histories and turn them into the brightest futures.

Celebrate with Sarah by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 2nd. Winner will be announced November 3rd here.

Finding Mercy Book Review


When Mercy abandons Captain Elijah Hale to search for her true identity, he goes after her. With the threat that bounty hunters might be hot on her trail, Mercy does all she can to stay ahead of the danger, frustrating both the bad men who are after her—and Captain Hale who wants to find her and escort her safely home. But when she stumbles upon clues that help her learn who she is and where she's from, the danger escalates and she has to learn to keep her friends close and her enemies even closer—if she can determine which is which!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Finding Mercy, go HERE.

My Review

For those who haven't read the first book in this series, it's necessary to read first in order to continue with this one.
I have been anxiously waiting for this sequel to come out! The first book leaves the reader hanging and I couldn't wait to continue in the story. This book did not disappoint and I loved every page. The characters continue to be strong and the mystery of Mercy's past continues. She is able to find where she came from but all is not as it seems. Will she ever regain her memories? Lost in amnesia she has no idea what happened in her past and maybe that's for the best, at least that's what everyone keeps telling her.

I loved this book and the series!

Highly recommend!!

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

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Finding Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)
Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley


Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson.
Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the house.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fun Fall Times At the Pumpkin Patch

We met up with a friend of mine and got to play with her kids for the day at the pumpkin patch. It was so much fun!

Good times and fun memories.

The Brickmaker's Bride Book Review


About the Book
Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart. (Goodreads)

 My Review

This book was really hard for me to get into reading. The characters didn't stand out to me while the storyline was intriguing. I liked Ewan's side of the story more so than Laura's. The brick making aspect was the only thing that kept my attention and I had to push myself through this book. I really am not sure why but this book just did not suck me in. I wish I could say more but really I was just disappointed. 

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

Don't miss Judith Miller's latest novel, The Brickmaker's Bride. CBA Retailers + Resources raves, ". . . a wonderful story about faith and love throughout life’s trials."

Judith is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and  a "Refined by Love" Facebook author event on November 4th.
 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 4th. Winner will be announced at the Refined by Love Facebook Author Event. Connect with Judith for a fascinating evening centered around her new Civil War-era series. She'll be hosting a book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in the Refined by Love series, and much more!

So grab your copy of The Brickmaker's Bride and join Judith and friends on the evening of November 4th 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 today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flour + Water Pasta Cookbook Review


 About the Book

An elevated guide to the craft of pasta-making by rising star chef Thomas McNaughton of San Francisco's hottest Italian restaurant, flour + water.
San Francisco's flour + water has a devoted local following, a strong national reputation, and is well known for its specialty regional pasta varieties, all-Italian wine program, and star chef Thomas McNaughton. McNaughton is an artisan truly passionate about pasta whose inventive recipes and fresh flavor combinations--such as Corn and Crescenza Cappelletti with Bitter Honey; Spaghetti with Confit Albacore, Pole beans and Chili Flakes; and Asparagus Caramelle with Brown Butter--set "Flour + Water"apart from other pasta books. The 75 recipes are organized seasonally, and appeal to all pasta-lovers, from those who've never made it themselves to weekend warriors looking for their next challenge. Steeped in Italian tradition with a chef's flair, "Flour + Water "is a must-have for all home pasta-makers. (Goodreads)

My Review

I love pasta! I make homemade noodles for soup sometimes but never to the extent that a pasta book describes. This book was really interesting because it has a lot of history on pasta and a story of sorts on how the book came to be written. The second part of the book is recipes which are so yummy! I had no idea there were so many different kinds of pasta. The only downside is many of the recipes call for a Pasta Machine which is not something everyone will have. I don't think you have to have one but I'm sure it helps the process. The pictures are wonderful and give many step by step examples.
If you are a pasta lover this book is great, even just for new ideas!

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

The Legend of St. Nicholas Book Review





Book Description

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.
About the Author
Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 400 books and still can’t believe she gets to write for a living, helping children of all ages grow spiritually. She and her husband, Joe, both write from rural Ohio, where they’re blessed with three children and a variety of horses, dogs, and cats.
About the Illustrator
Richard Cowdrey’s favorite things to draw and paint are the things that reflect the awesomeness of God and His creation. From vast landscapes to the littlest bug on a leaf, Richard marvels at the beauty in the details. Richard's bestselling children's books include Bad Dog, Marley and A Very Marley Christmas. (BookLook)

My Review

This is a fun Christmas book that tells the story of St. Nicholas, a young man who wanted to give. The book is mainly about a little boy who goes shopping with his dad (his dad just left him at the store to wander on his own which I didn't really appreciate) and discovers Santa telling the story of St. Nicholas. It's a great example on how great it is to give to others in need and a good lesson for kids. 
The illustrations are beautifully done and I can't wait to share this book with the little ones in my life! I love giving and I hope they grow up to understand the importance of giving to others. 

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yuletide Ice Cube Fair Children's Book Review


 About the Book

It's that wonderful time of year again---the Yuletide Ice Cube Fair! It's a time of festivity and fun as veggies gather to munch on snow cones, slurp down slushies, and ice skate on the frozen pond. But the greatest part of all is the Ice Cube Carving Contest! The veggies have been busy! They've carved Christmas feasts, trees, angels, and more. Each one is trying to outdo the other in an effort to win the grand prize! But the smallest of all these ice entries is a carving done by Junior Asparagus---a tiny stable with a shepherd on one knee. Kids will discover that it's not what's grand, or bigger, or best that's most important on Christmas---it's Jesus!

My Review

This is the first Veggie Tales book I have read, but I have seen many of the movies. This book is fun for children who already love Veggie Tales or need a fun Christmas book. The pictures are colorful and this book is easy for them to understand. All the veggies compete in an ice carving contest. Everyone does something different on what they think is important during Christmas. This book is relevant because all we hear about during the holidays is gifts and food and pretty selfish things. This book reminds kids to remember Jesus is why we celebrate. 
Great read, five stars!

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Surprise at Yorktown Book Review


About the Book

Travel two centuries back in time to the final battle of the American Revolution at Yorktown, Virginia. Cousins Patrick and Beth sneak through trenches and race across battlefields to warn General George Washington about a dangerous spy. The spy is stealing his secret plans and giving them to the British. Cannons roar and the ground shakes as the struggle reaches a climax. Washington's ragtag soldiers are up against the most powerful army in the world. Will Patrick and Beth witness the American Revolution come to an end? Or will they be caught in a dangerous trap they can't escape? (Goodreads)

My Review

I love this series! I was so excited to be able to review this book, not only is it in this great series, but it's focusing on one of my favorite times in history! The Revolutionary War has always interested me and I love reading stories like this. This book takes the cousins back through the Imagination Station and once again they are in the middle of a battle, Yorktown. Unsure about where they are they discover they are on the British side. They really just want to meet George Washington, but they can't seem to get where they want to be. They aren't sure who to trust, and while running they run into some animals that add a twist in their adventure.
This book is great because it really shows how God was faithful and answered prayer.

This is a wonderful book for readers age 7 and up.

Highly recommend!

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Covered Deep Book Review



About the Book
Bianca Marshal is holding out for the perfect husband. Finding a man that meets the requirements of her must-have list in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains has proven impossible. Bianca s mama insists that there s no such thing as a perfect true love, and that Bianca s ideal man is pure fiction. On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Bianca discovers a devastating statistic: her chance of marrying is now only eighteen percent. Unwilling to accept spinsterhood, Bianca enters an essay contest that propels her into a whirlwind search for her soulmate. Via the opulence of London and the mysteries of the Holy Land, Bianca's true love will be revealed, but not without a heavy price. (Goodreads)

My Review

This is Brandy Vallance's first novel which is something I took in account while reading. I think this author could do better, as her knowledge is great and her passion is obvious. This book had way too much detail on little things. It was also a bit confusing at the start, I had a difficult time following the story line as it seemed to jump from one thing to the next. I love the story concept and Bianca's character is refreshing. The men in the book didn't stick out to me much but I liked the traveling aspect. There is a bit of a love triangle but I was more focused on other things that happened. 
I enjoyed the book and I am anxious to read Brandy's next novel. 

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

To Everything A Season Book Review


About the Book

Lauraine Snelling Launches New Red River Valley Series

Trygve Knutson has been promoted from well drilling to heading a construction crew for the fast growing town of Blessing, North Dakota. Though devoted to the land and his family, he sometimes dreams of other horizons. But is he willing to leave Blessing permanently?
Miriam Francini hopes to become an accredited nurse in a large city hospital. She is simply tolerating her assignment at the hospital in rural Blessing because it will give her the experience she needs to accomplish her goal. She can't wait to finish her training and head to New York to begin a nursing career.
Then Miriam meets Trygve Knutson and all her plans are suddenly in a jumble. She quickly realizes she doesn't want to live without him, yet she's a smart, independent woman--she's even a suffragette. She can't let anything get in the way of her own plans, even if she's in love. Or can she?(Goodreads)

My Review

I think is the second book I have read by Lauraine so I really wasn't sure what to expect. I was excited because this is the first book in a new series so I figured it would be a good place to start. Sadly, I was very disappointed. This book reads like the middle of a series, I knew none of the characters and there was a ton of backstory that seemed important that I didn't know.
Also, the entire plot on the back of the book says this story is about Miriam, this is not the case. She doesn't even enter the picture until half way through the book. The first part of the book jumps from previous series characters until the middle when Miriam makes an entrance. At that point I was really not into the story. It's very slow and I really couldn't connect with the characters. I think this book could have been way better organized and should be part of another series, not promoted as the start of a new one.
If you are a fan of Lauraine already, I'm sure you will enjoy this book.

I wish I could give a better review but I was disappointed and I'm being honest.
Two and a half stars.

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Daughter of Highland Hall Book Review


About the Book

Fans of Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Pride & Prejudice will enjoy this pure and inspiring romance taking place in Edwardian England amid a clash of cultures and changing times.

Eighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End. When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow. (Goodreads)

My Review

I know that this time period is really popular right now because of Downton Abbey, of which I am a fan. I also know that I need to limit my reading of this time period because eventually they all start sounding the same. I enjoyed the first book in this series and it remains my favorite. The Daughter of Highland Hall was colorful and fun with Katherine's debut and the London season. The history is intriguing and I would have loved to travel with Carrie to explore this area and history.
The story line moved a bit slow for me and I couldn't really get into the characters. I do like this time period but this book just isn't my favorite. I felt like there was more depth of character in the first book and this one more lacking.
Anyway if you are loving this time period and can't get enough this is a good series to read.

Four stars.

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

Learn more, purchase a copy, and read an excerpt:

About the author: 

Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has written contemporary and historical romances, women's fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Scott, and they have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Find Carrie online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Choosing Gratitude Book Review


About the Book

Gratitude is a choice. If we fail to chose it, by default we choose ingratitude. And once allowed into the heart, ingratitude does not come by itself, but with other seedy companions that only succeed in stealing joy. To not choose gratitude is more costly than we usually realize. When we do choose a lifestyle of heartfelt, humble gratitude, we are mindful of the benefits received from our gracious Savior and those He has placed around us.

By intentionally thanking God and others, bitterness and entitlement are replaced with joy and the humble realization of just how undeserving we really are. Derived from a popular Revive Our Hearts radio series,  Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy challenges and equips the reader to live a life of intention. A life based on thankfulness for the freedom Christ has provided and for the blessings of others.

As a bonus, a 30-day plan of journaling, prayer and activities to help the reader on her path to joy is included. (Goodreads)

My Review

Having just finished One Thousand Gifts book and Bible study, I probably should have waited to read this book. They are very similar and Nancy encourages being grateful and showing others gratitude. I think what I enjoyed about this book is that while being grateful to God she also explains how much others appreciate being thanked or shown gratefulness. It's a part of being polite but it's also deeper than that. Do you just write thank you cards because you have to or because you really want to?
I thought the book to be a bit much all at once and read a bit each day. Some parts were nothing new and a few times I got a bit bored. I really love this concept and I think it's wonderful if we really do strive to be grateful.

I recommend if you need a new perspective and this would be a good morning devotional.

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

The Woman Who Would Be King Book Review


About the Book

An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world.

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt's throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt's second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power. (Goodreads)

My Review

I was really excited about this book because I know nothing about this time period or history. Hatshepsut is a name I have heard and read a little about but this book goes into a lot of detail on her upbringing, and how she ruled Egypt. I understand that we really don't know a lot from this time and history. I get that the author has to assume a few things, normal cultural traditions and such. I felt like a lot of this book repeatedly said, "she probably did this"  or we can assume that perhaps life might have been this way. So really we don't know a lot and I feel like it's a guessing game. It was very interesting reading about the cultural traditions and how they viewed many things. There is a lot of details about gods and what they believed in as well, which helped with understanding.  With her actual life I wish we knew more.

For this time period this book is a great resource and gives a glimpse into history.

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