Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Girl From the Train Review


About the Book

Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.

As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They mean to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.

Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her home. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.

Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Sometimes I think I am on overload from books on World War II. It's a popular setting when it comes to fiction and honestly this book was difficult to get into because it was so similar to others. The historical aspects are great and interesting but the overall storyline didn't click with me. I know this book has been really popular, it just is not my favorite.
If you are specifically looking for a World War II book you will probably enjoy.

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

Defying Normal Review


About the Book

How many of us lead lives of quiet desperation–and don’t even know it? Caught between the shifting moral landscape of our culture and a burning desire to make our lives count, too often we settle for less. God has so much more for us than conformity to the status quo–if we will only take the necessary leap of faith.


My Thoughts

I really don't have too many thoughts. I didn't really like the book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Change Is In The Air..

I struggle with change. I love short new adventures, traveling, and doing something new for one day. Moving and starting a completely different life in ranching is slightly terrifying for me. It's new, I can't plan every little thing anymore, and beginning something new is always out of my comfort zone. I know that God has a plan and reading Ecclesiastes 3 is a huge comfort to me!  
 Living in Kansas our lives have been fairly simple, essentially the same thing every day. We are both excited because that is soon to change. Our days will have unexpected events and more work involved. We feel as though we finally have a goal to reach together. Those who have read my previous blog post about us moving have asked me more detailed questions, such as, when are you actually moving?
I am staying in Kansas until the end of November as our house is on the market and I have a few things I need to do before I leave. Chance is leaving November 15th to start his new job working for this ranch. After that I am completely unsure about most everything else. I don't have a job lined out for me yet, though it is obviously on my mind. I plan on figuring that out once we are moved.
Something I have looked at is lift ticket prices at the many different ski areas. : ) It's been so long since I swished down a mountain and even if I can afford to only go once this year it will be worth it.
So needless to say that is pretty much all I know! I will tell you guys that the place we are living is the most beautiful place on earth and many pictures are to follow. I'll be posting updates on here since I am able to let everyone know what is going in one place.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

We Are....Moving

We are in the process of moving! The last three weeks have been simply crazy and anyone who has moved completely understands. My man was offered a job opportunity in the mountains right near where I grew up (this was the last thing I thought would happen)! Even when we went to discuss the job details I was completely amazed about the location and details.  
So we have been filling boxes, organizing stuff, re-organizing stuff, downsizing, and planning. There really is something to be said for having less "stuff". Obviously with moving you realize how much stuff you do actually have, but now that the rooms are starting to empty out we have been enjoying our space more. The rooms seem brighter, more open, and I think about how people used to pack all of their belongings in one bag. (Anne of Green Gables anyone?) 
We always seem to be in the want of more or better when really our focus should be on more important things- non-material things. Yes, that even includes books I regret to say. After "downsizing" my book collection we still managed to fill a good front 1/4 of our moving trailer with books. I think a Kindle might be in order but I'm still on the fence about that idea. 
I have about one month to go before being completely moved, thankfully I do have a bit of time. 
I'm sure I will have many adventures to report on the move and afterward. Moving to the mountains in November is an adventure in itself. (It happened to snow over five inches there this past week.) 

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Refuge at Highland Hall Review


About the Book

In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series, you’ll be swept away to England and France in 1915 as the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through. Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war. But most of all I hope you’ll be inspired by the characters’ examples of trusting God through the trials they face.

Fans of “Downton Abbey” will find many of the same elements in this series: A wealthy, aristocratic family living on a large English country estate with romance, conflicts, and family drama; and loyal servants with troubles and heartaches of their own. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have read all the books in this series and I have to say the first remains my favorite. While you could read each of them as stand alone novels, it always helps to read them in order. This book was difficult for me to get into. Reading other reviews I know so many people loved this book, but for me it was slow and so predictable. People like these books because they are very "Downton Abbeyish" only without the affairs, lying, murder, and scandal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the show but it certainly is not a Christian show and I think a lot of people might get the wrong idea since it seems to be the tagline in a lot of these new Christian fiction books. That being said, this book is full of Christian themes and prayer so that was a good thing. I love the setting but the characters in this book just didn't grab me. The historical aspect is great and what I think to be the strong point in this entire series.

Anywho, that is just my opinion and I rate three stars.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

God's Good News Bible Storybook Review


About the Book

Christianity is Good News. . . . When we open up the Bible it is Good News from cover to cover. It s the Good News that God loves us. Billy Graham

No one has brought the Good News to more people than the Reverend Billy Graham, and the people who admire him span all generations. This Bible storybook will be a timeless classic for parents and grandparents to give a new generation of children the Good News; to show them the way to the cross; and to help them begin a lifetime of following Christ.

God s Good News Bible Storybookis a collection of over 60 favorite Bible stories including Noah, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, and the disciples and each is equipped with a takeaway devotion from Rev. Graham.The takeaways will help children focus on God s Word, apply it to their lives, and begin walking with God and sharing the Good News from an early age. The striking artwork from Scott Wakefield will help children connect with the timeless Bible stories and messages from Rev. Graham.


My Thoughts

This book is huge, which is a good thing since it is supposed to cover the entire Bible! It covers the typical Bible stories in the Old Testament, Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, etc. It pretty much keeps to those selected verses with little clips from Billy Graham about the particular story. So no this doesn't copy the Bible word for word by any means. The New Testament is pretty much Jesus' birth, life, and resurrection. Then in a short few last pages it hops around from Acts, and few things in between to one page on Revelation the end. It does talk about Jesus' plan for the church but I feel like so many of these books tell the story and it all just ends with Jesus' death and resurrection. Which is so important but that doesn't show kids what to do now. So I think it would be the parents job to explain what the rest of the New Testament is about and what to do now.
So I do think this is a great book for younger kids just learning about different events in the Bible, as long as an adult can help further their learning and explain the parts that are left out.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

An Endless Christmas Review


About the Book

An award-winning novelist’s heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas.

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrateevery Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is such a fun book with a pretty good message. Christmas stories are simply fun to read as you think about family and snow and the craziness that goes on within all that. This book is the Binder family Christmas and there is a flowing sense of humor that continues throughout the book. I like Katie but really the entire family is what does it for me in this book. Katie ends up at the Binder's for Christmas, and having never met any of them Katie is a bit overwhelmed. I can't imagine! But things get humorous when Micah proposes in front of all of his family. What is a girl to do? Say yes simply because you don't want to ruin the holiday? Say no thinking it could be the better option? Things only get better from there and a couple twists leave you wanting to read more about the Binders.
For being a short book it really packs a lot of great family values in the pages.
I recommend if you are looking for a good Christmas book.

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Amish Christmas At North Star Review


 About the Book

One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife, just outside North Star, Pennsylvania.
Rebekah’s Babies, as they are called, are now grown adults and in four heartwarming novellas each young person experiences a journey of discovery, a possibility of love, and the wonder of Christmas.

Guiding Star
by Katie Ganshert

Curiosity gets the best of Englischer Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby. When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa will his discoveries upend her world?

Mourning Star
by Amanda Flower

Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents’ fudge shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac.  Who is guilty? Isaac’s handsome great nephew Jesse, an angry Englischer, or someone else?

In the Stars
by Cindy Woodsmall

Heartbroken Kore Detweiler avoids North Star after Savilla Beiler rejects his love.  But when he is unexpectedly called to return home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.

Star of Grace
by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark

Andy Danner left North Star to join a new Amish settlement in Mississippi. His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in a reclusive widower’s life.

 My Thoughts

Amish is not what I always love to read, but since Katie Ganshert wrote one of the stories I had to read it! I also like Cindy Woodsmall as well and ends up their two stories are my favorite in this book. The first story is so very good and it leads into the rest of the stories as well. Each story, while different, all tie in together which makes this book one of the better collections I have read. The setting is a cozy Christmas scene and makes you want it to start snowing! All of the characters are well written by each author and if you like reading Amish fiction you will enjoy this book!

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

Just Because..

Knit Purl Pray Review


52 knitting-themed reflections for the over 53 million knitters who want to blend their passion and their faith.

My Thoughts

This is a great idea for a book and knit lovers! The cover is darling and while this book is small, each little devotional/story is pretty good. In the back are a couple of patterns for a hat and coffee cup cozies. I think this book would make a great gift for those that like to knit. The stories aren't too deep and the reading is easy and short. There is a Bible verse included and then the typical prayer at the end, which I personally don't like. But overall this is the perfect gift book. 

Five stars.

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

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fire & Ice Review


About the Book

Bailey Wilde is one of the best new ranchers in the West. She's been living disguised as a man for a while, but when Gage Coulter comes to drive her off her homestead, he quickly realizes he's dealing with a woman--a very tough, very intriguing woman at that.

Gage is an honest man, but he didn't make his fortune being weak. He won't break the law, but he'll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of his best range land is lost to him because Bailey's homestead is located right across the only suitable entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to his land--and he's got to go through Bailey to do it.

Spending a winter alone has a way of making a person crave some human contact. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan Gage concocts. Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders loosen up enough to earn each other's respect--and maybe find love in
the process? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Once again Mary writes a witty comedy set in the old west. This one has a unique twist in the fact that Bailey is thought to be a man and is indeed a woman. There is silly banter between characters and of course and end goal that they both want. While being humorous, it's so very predictable and thus didn't intrigue me as much. I enjoy Mary's writing but at times the plots seem all the same and predictable. I wish I could say better but I did love the setting and that previous characters were included from the other books.
For a very light read you will enjoy.

Four stars.

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Raelyn Newborn Pictures

Oh my goodness talk about a cutie!!!! I took these pictures for a friend and this is Miss Raelyn at one week old!

This one might have to go on my wall....

The face! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Firefly Summer


RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Firefly Summer
Redbud Press (June 23, 2015)
Kathleen Y'Barbo


A new cowboy romance from award-winning author Kathleen Y'Barbo.

Trey’s biggest challenge isn’t performing surgery…it’s restoring Sessa’s heart!

Artist Sessa Chambers may never recover from losing her prodigal son. Even as she grieves the tragic decisions that led to his death, and left her with a toddler to raise, she’s asked to work on her dream project—restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. But she can’t do it on her own…

Dr. Trey Brown can’t pick up a scalpel again. Yes, he acted in self-defense, but the events of that awful night haunt him. He was trained to save lives, not take them. When he goes to the young man’s widowed mother to apologize, she’s not at all what he expected. For one thing, she’s not as alone as he thought—not with the fearsome ladies of the Pies, Books, and Jesus Book Club in her corner. For another, she’s beautiful, and being in her presence is more jolting than any eight-second bronco ride from his former rodeo days. Before he knows it, she’s captured his heart as easily as they capture the fireflies gracing Sessa’s Texas ranch.

How can they overcome their past to embrace a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Firefly Summer, go HERE.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Time Garden Coloring Book For Grownups


About the Book

The Time Garden will sweep you away into an enchanted world, created in intricate pen and ink by Korean artist Daria Song.

Journey through the doors of the cuckoo clock and into its inky innerworkings to discover a magical land ready and waiting for you to customise with whatever colours you can dream up.

The Time Garden is an international best-selling colouring book and this edition finally makes it available in English. Full of beautifully detailed illustrations, this is the perfect gift for colouring fans of all ages. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Who wouldn't want a coloring book?! This book is way better than I expected and you will love the pictures! It's detailed pictures and will help get your creativeness onto the page. I am not very good at art or drawing, but give me something already drawn and I can appreciate it more. This would make a great gift as well.

Love this book highly recommend!

Five stars.

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