Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Wonder of You Review


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About the Book
 
Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind? (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

I have loved this series from the start. This family is wonderful and I love how it takes me into their life. This book is my least favorite I am sad to say. It's still a good book and I like knowing what all the family is up to but the main storyline with Amelia just didn't draw me in. I do recommend reading this series in order because the storyline continues on in each book so it would be helpful. Amelia is young and has no idea what she wants do with her life. After leaving Europe she returns home more confused but maybe in love with a friend from high school. Then Roark shows up willing to risk it all for love. The whole love triangle was very dramatic and seemed to be long and drawn out to me. I thought the romance seemed forced and rushed and the ending just happens. I am curious to see if this storyline continues in the next book. I think what would have made it better is if there was a book written in between where Amelia and Roark are in Europe. I think it would have given me a better perspective of their relationship. Anyway, it's always great to catch up with the Christiansen  family and all of their adventures. I can't wait until the next book!
Four stars. 

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










Monday, June 29, 2015

Center of Gravity Review





 About the Book

What if everything you think is true and real about your life is a lie?
Ava's life in the coastal South appears nearly perfect after her recent marriage to the powerful and handsome Mitchell Carson. She loves her husband and the family they have created. Even Mitchell's young son from a previous marriage, Jack, with his superhero ambitions, can't imagine life without Ava. Outwardly, Mitchell appears to be a caring husband and doting father, but as Ava soon discovers, there is a dark side to Mitchell Carson that she never imagined.
When Graham Thomas, a lawyer with a secret past, stumbles into Ava's life, everything changes. Mitchell's jealous streak emerges after an innocent encounter between Graham and Ava, and Mitchell soon convinces himself that Ava is unfaithful. When Mitchell starts divorce proceedings and a custody war, Jack is caught in the middle, which soon makes him question Ava's pure intentions. As Ava searches for a way to save her family she begins to uncover her husband's secret past and capacity for unhinged jealousy and rage.

About the Author
Laura McNeil is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she’s not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family. (Goodreads)


My Review

The first couple of chapters in and I had to re-think where I got this book. A Christian publishing company right? Though the book doesn't say "Christian Fiction" one would automatically assume this book would keep the values of Christian fiction since all of the other books by this publisher are. Well much to my surprise there is a lot of cussing and a very descriptive sex scene. Okay? I read all types of books and publishers and if a book has some cussing I still read it for it's story value BUT by a Christian publisher? I don't think so. Honestly, I'm pretty bummed about this.  
Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years.(TN)

If this is what you are advertising people will not expect cussing and sex scenes.

As for the story value it's a good thriller. Good writing but a lot of people switching back and forth point of views. The writing reminded me a bit of Jodi Picoult.
Please don't get me wrong in that the book itself was not good, it really was an intriguing story line. 
Just be aware that this is not a book one expects from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Four stars. 

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







Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Worthy Pursuit Review



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About the Book

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the little girl entrusted to her care after her mother’s death. Charlotte promised Lily’s mother she’d keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When the teacher he’s after produces documentation that shows she’s the little girl’s legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he’s been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her. Should Stone break his perfect record?

Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he’s ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte’s heart. (Goodreads)




My Review


Karen Witemeyer once again captures the adventures of the past with this fun yet meaningful story. Charlotte's character is really fun to read because she says what she thinks and stands her ground. This is a very light fluffy read with a bit of romance and wild west adventure. I really liked the kids on the book as they are the point of the story. I think the talks between the kids and Stone are great and really added to this book. Some of the funny scenes got a bit cheesy for me but it depends on your mood. This wasn't my favorite book by Karen but still enjoyable.
If you want light romantic western comedy this is the book for you! And if you have read her other books and are a fan you will be sure to love this one.

Four stars.

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
















Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Art of American Whiskey Review




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 About the Book

A visual history of American whiskey, as told through hundreds of whiskey bottle labels, from early, pre-Prohibition-era days to the present.

Just as wine is to the French or beer is to the Germans, whiskey--especially bourbon and rye--is  an integral part of the history and culture of the United States. The Art of American Whiskey traces the arc of this beloved, renowned spirit--from its earliest days in the Colonial era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, Great Depression, and up to the current craft-distilling boom. Illustrated with 100 full-color modern and historic labels from the most iconic bottles ever made, The Art of American Whiskey is an instant collectible and a fantastic gift for any whiskey enthusiast or design lover. Captions, sidebars, profiles and short histories tell the story of the pioneers and places behind the labels, and each chapter features era-appropriate recipes from all-star bartenders and cocktail experts that will tickle any tippler's fancy. (Goodreads)

My Review

 This is actually a really neat book! I wasn't sure what to expect but you have to be interested in history for you to enjoy this book. I love to read about the past and how things have changed, but if you don't, I wouldn't read this book. The chapters are split up such as the late 1800s-early 1900s, prohibition, all the way to present times. I LOVE the pictures and labels from the older brands of whiskey and how history changes things. Wars, and prohibition changed many things on how it was made and what people wanted. I had no idea what kind of history there has been just with whiskey! 
Loved this book, would make a great gift. 

Five stars!

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










 





Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Old Fashioned" HUGE Giveaway! DVD, Novelization, AND Devotional Prize Package

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About the novelization:  
Softcover; 303 pages 
Turning his back on his reckless lifestyle, former frat boy Clay Walsh has settled down to turn an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town....and to purse lofty and outdated theories on love and romance.  But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can't help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life.  Amber also finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay, but his ideas about relationships are unusual to say the least, and they bring to light her own deep wounds and fears about love.  They say opposites attract, but can Clay and Amber move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an "old fashioned" courtship?



About the movie:
DVD Releases on June 16, 2015
115 minutes // Genre: Drama // Rating PG-13 
        
 A romantic-drama, OLD FASHIONED centers on Clay Walsh, a former frat boy who gives up his reckless carousing and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. There, he has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance as well as for his devout belief in God. When Amber Hewson, a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, drifts into the area and rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his strong faith and noble ideas, which are new and intriguing to her. And Clay, though he tries to fight and deny it, simply cannot resist being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Ultimately, Clay must step out from behind his relational theories and Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds as the two of them, together, attempt the impossible: an "old-fashioned" and God-honoring courtship in contemporary America.


About the devotional:
Softcover; 222 pages 
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Contrary to popular opinion, being "old fashioned" doesn't mean you're dull or unromantic.  In fact, a true old fashioned relationship can be more exciting and romantic than anything you've ever experienced!  So what does it mean to do things the old fashioned way?  Sure, it means opening doors, holding out chairs, and taking things slow.  But a true old fashioned romance goes much, much deeper than that.  Inspired by the motion picture Old Fashioned, this book will show you how to reclaim the lost art of romance by introducing you to romantic love as God intended it.  Regardless of your past mistakes, where you've been, what you've done, or where you are now, you can find and create a love that will last a lifetime!  As you work your way through this forty-day journey of inspiring readings and questions for reflection, you'll discover all the unique and amazing benefits of doing things the old fashioned way.  And before you know it, you'll be well on your way to creating a love story for the ages.   


"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Giveaway!!

The winner will receive the DVD Movie, the book, and the devotional! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Old Fashioned" Book and Devotional Review



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About the novelization:  
Softcover; 303 pages 
Turning his back on his reckless lifestyle, former frat boy Clay Walsh has settled down to turn an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town....and to purse lofty and outdated theories on love and romance.  But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can't help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life.  Amber also finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay, but his ideas about relationships are unusual to say the least, and they bring to light her own deep wounds and fears about love.  They say opposites attract, but can Clay and Amber move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an "old fashioned" courtship?



My Thoughts

After watching the movie Old Fashioned I was curious to read the book that is written based off of the movie. It's always interesting because it's so similar to the movie compared to movies made off of books. The main difference is that there are many more details in the book, such as what Clay is thinking and how things look. I love books but I think I like the movie more so than the book because when I read the book I just picture the movie anyway. Also, it might be better to read the book before the movie maybe? In any case if you don't watch the movie you should at least read the book-it's a great storyline!


Four stars.





About the devotional:
Softcover; 222 pages 

24243126

Contrary to popular opinion, being "old fashioned" doesn't mean you're dull or unromantic.  In fact, a true old fashioned relationship can be more exciting and romantic than anything you've ever experienced!  So what does it mean to do things the old fashioned way?  Sure, it means opening doors, holding out chairs, and taking things slow.  But a true old fashioned romance goes much, much deeper than that.  Inspired by the motion picture Old Fashioned, this book will show you how to reclaim the lost art of romance by introducing you to romantic love as God intended it.  Regardless of your past mistakes, where you've been, what you've done, or where you are now, you can find and create a love that will last a lifetime!  As you work your way through this forty-day journey of inspiring readings and questions for reflection, you'll discover all the unique and amazing benefits of doing things the old fashioned way.  And before you know it, you'll be well on your way to creating a love story for the ages.   


My Thoughts


I really like this devotional. I've gotten through a few days worth and it is always good if it makes you think. Since getting into this "Old Fashioned" movie and book it has made me think about my past experiences, what I can do in my marriage, and what to teach my future children. I think this is a good devotional and I recommend to anyone!

Five stars!

"Thanks to Flyby Promotions for the free copy of the novelization and devotional in exchange for an honest review."







Princess Grace Sticker and Activity Book Review

Book Description

Sticker books girls will love! The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 reusable stickers—perfect for girls 4-8.
The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 colorful and reusable stickers in the friendly and fun Princess Grace’s Sticker and Activity Book featuring Grace, her four princess sisters, and their friends.
Join Grace and her sisters in some creative and interactive fun with 16 pages of stickers and activities that are sure to please, featuring her father the king and her special animal friend Poppy the kitten.
About the Illustrator
Omar Aranda studied Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was born. Many top publishers and companies worldwide have commissioned him for projects including story artwork, comics, and character design. He started his career as an artistic painter but now devotes all of his time to illustrations for children's products.


My Thoughts



What a fun book! I love these sticker books, they are perfect for little girls. Each page is beautiful and colorful (except the coloring pages of course) and the stickers are fun to use. There are other activities on each page such as connect the dots, etc. For a girl who loves princesses-this really is a great idea!

Five stars.

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










Monday, June 15, 2015

The Midwife's Tale Book Review


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 About the Book







Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she's hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha's world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can't remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it's trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Midwife’s Tale, go HERE.







My Review

This is a new author to me so I was excited to read something new! I really enjoyed the first part of the book because it seems like a lot was going on. Martha Cade is an interesting character and I liked that she is an older woman making a living. The midwife information is actually interesting on how things went back in the day. The rest of the characters and the point of the storyline really got slow for me after the first few chapters. I really wanted to enjoy this book but it was a challenge for me to finish. It's not that the story isn't good, it's just slow and I felt like not a lot happened. This is a start to a new series and I'm guessing the next book will probably be more about Martha's daughter. I felt like this storyline was wrapped up and didn't leave me hanging. 

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






This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Midwife’s Tale
Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015)
by
Delia Parr


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including Hearts Awakening, Love's First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a long-time high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Old Fashioned Movie Review



About the movie:
DVD Releases on June 16, 2015
115 minutes // Genre: Drama // Rating PG-13 

        
 A romantic-drama, OLD FASHIONED centers on Clay Walsh, a former frat boy who gives up his reckless carousing and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. There, he has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance as well as for his devout belief in God. When Amber Hewson, a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, drifts into the area and rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his strong faith and noble ideas, which are new and intriguing to her. And Clay, though he tries to fight and deny it, simply cannot resist being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Ultimately, Clay must step out from behind his relational theories and Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds as the two of them, together, attempt the impossible: an "old-fashioned" and God-honoring courtship in contemporary America. 

My Thoughts
I really had no idea what to expect from this movie. It has a lot of good reviews but I thought it was just a movie for people who are dating. I was wrong. I've been thinking about this film since the last scene played. I think this storyline is one to make the watcher think not shove certain views into your face. The acting is very good and I thought it was really well made. Clay and Amber both have a lot of dirty laundry in their past and I liked seeing how Clay had become a changed man but was friends with people who obviously hadn't changed. A lot of tough topics are brought up and the movie leaves it to the viewer to really decide your own opinion. The movie is rated PG-13 and I would say that is valid and teens and older should watch. This is a good movie for people in a relationship or single-either way I think it's worth a watch. 
"Thanks to Flyby Promotions for a free DVD copy in exchange for an honest review."


The Little Paris Bookshop Review




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 About the Book

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives. (Goodreads)



My Review

The idea of this book drew me in, along with the beautiful cover! As I started reading I realized that this was much more of a romance than I had expected. The storyline continued and I kept hoping I would fall in love with the characters but I just couldn't. The chapters kept jumping around and it made it hard to follow. The romance from the past and then the current romance was all smashed together and I found the main character to be slightly pathetic. I hate to say it but this book could have been so much better! I really can't recommend it and I am sad to say I only rate it at two stars. 
"I received this book from  Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review."










Wednesday, June 10, 2015

London Tides Review



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ABOUT THE BOOK


Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace ... only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together ... or tear them apart for good this time?

If you would like to read the first chapter of London Tides, go HERE.


My Review

I love London and was really excited to read a book in that setting. I haven't read the book previous to this one but it didn't seem to matter. I really wanted to love this book but after the first few chapters it was really difficult to get into the rest of the storyline. Not a lot happens and there wasn't really anything that kept my interest. The romance is the main thread line throughout the book and I really did like the setting. The way they talk is also fun because it's England!
So I really can't recommend this book and I really wish I could.

Three stars.

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






This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
London Tides
David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
by
Carla Laureano





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I studied literature and criticism at Pepperdine University and earned a degree in English in 1997. Since then, I’ve worked in a number of different industries as a salesperson, marketing manager, copywriter, and small business consultant. In addition to my work for corporate clients, I wrote for publications produced by the World Health Organization.

I love the history, culture, and mythology of Ireland and Scotland, which form the settings for most of my work. I also enjoy incorporating my background in martial arts and fencing into the action elements of my stories.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). I was selected as a finalist in ACFW’s 2012 Genesis contest in the speculative fiction category. My debut novel, a contemporary romance entitled Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013 and went on to win RWA’s 2014 RITA Award for Inspirational Romance. My three book young adult fantasy series, SONG OF SEARE, is being released from NavPress in 2014 and 2015.

I live with my husband and two sons in Denver, Colorado.

.


A Heart's Betrayal Review

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About the Book

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered a terrible truth. A woman she's never met reveals that she and Emmie shared the same husband and that the bigamist had never divorced his first wife. The home and farm are not Emmie's property after all.

Suddenly displaced and powerless, Emmie realizes she can't stay in Wabash, Indiana, any longer. She makes for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning await her. But when she arrives, she discovers she's carrying a child, conceived before her husband's death. Was the new start she'd hoped for only a mirage?

At Fort Laramie, a soldier named Isaac Liddle begins to court Emmie, prompting her to wonder whether she could ever really be his--and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.   (Goodreads)



My Review

This is the fourth book in this set of small books and I guess it is starting a new storyline. Having read the first three books this one introduces us to new characters while including the others. I'm not too excited about this new storyline to be honest. Emmie finds out she is married to a married man who has a child. But now they are both widowed and things get complicated. I have to finish this series but I'm not really sure where things are going. I love the cover of these new little books but they are too short for my liking. Anyway, if you have started this series I recommend you keep reading.

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





Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, but will her big secret drive them apart? Find out in book four, A Heart's Betrayal, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.

Melt into summer with a new giveaway from Colleen: four books (books one–four in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and a box of chocolates to pair with your new books!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Betrayal
  • A box of Colleen's favorite chocolate truffles from DeBrand Fine Chocolates
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced July 1st on Colleen's website.

heartsbetrayal-enterbanner

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Heart's Made Whole Review



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About the Book

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s been given the post as lighthouse keeper, and the isolation where he can drown in drink and hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s none-too-pleased to be giving up her position. They both quickly realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but Ryan’s unwilling to let anyone close, ravaged by memories and guilt. Caroline’s drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love? (Goodreads)




My Review

This is the second book in the series and it really doesn't relate much to the first, so I would say you could read them separately. I have read all of Hedlund's books and she is a favorite author of mine. This one wasn't quite as good as the first in the series. I still really did enjoy it and couldn't put it down too often. There is a bit of a "mystery" that threads throughout the book and I didn't find it to be too mysterious. The first part of the book I just couldn't decide how I felt about all of the characters. Tessa and Caroline's relationship is a unique portrayal of sisters though it was not fun to read. There are a lot of darker heavy issues in this book that surprised me but I applaud the author for writing about it. The last part of the book was not what I was expecting and I really loved how the book ended.
While I did enjoy this book, the first remains my favorite and I give this book four stars.

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







Don't miss Jody Hedlund's new book, Hearts Made Whole, a story of loss, forgiveness, hope, and true love set in 1865 Michigan. When Ryan's failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Can Caroline forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?

Celebrate the release of Hearts Made Whole by entering to win an Afternoon at the Beach prize pack and RSVPing to Jody's June 23rd author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

One second-place winner will receive:

One third-place winner will receive:
hearts made whole - prize colalge 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 23rd.Winner will be announced June 23rd at Jody's Facebook partyRSVP here!

hearts made whole - enter banner

Hutterite Diaries Review



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About the Book
 
What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community? In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bring in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society. Because few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites, this book offer a rare-glimpse into Hutterite life. (Goodreads)


My Review

It's difficult to "rate/review" someone's life as it is the story of their life. I was curious to read about the Hutterite family, I'd never heard of them before. They do things similar to Amish but not the same and really I found it to be a mix of different ideas. The main idea is that they all "live together" not in the same house but community. They share money, food, kitchens, etc. This book didn't have as much info as I thought as it's more of a diary about Linda's life. Many things didn't seem that much different than our modern day life but it was still interesting to learn that groups of people live differently. 
I wish the book would have been organized a little differently but I still consider this a good book.

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








Monday, June 8, 2015

To the Sea Children's Book Review




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About the Book
 
As children imagine the sights, sounds, feelings, and tastes evoked in To The Sea, they can take part in one boy’s adventurous day there, with its surprises and rewards. In Graham Blanchard’s Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Collection, To The Sea is a Praise book, which wonders at the amazing miracles found in everyday life and praises the God who made them. (Goodreads)


My Review

This is a very cute board book for kids. I love the illustrations and it takes you right to the beach. A child plays and builds a castle on the sand, it fails and washes away. It's then built on the rock and withstands. It's a good illustration for kids ages 0-5. 


"Thanks to Shelton Interactive for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review."  













Sunday, June 7, 2015

Justified Review





ABOUT THE BOOK

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.

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




My Review

 I loved this book! I really couldn't put it down and I will say I think it really helps to read the first book in the series before starting this one. I thought the characters were well developed, but I had also met them in the previous book as well. I loved the dialogue and the real life happenings for a woman who is alone and pregnant. I liked the romance and the setting and I feel like God becomes more to the people in this book. Fawn drove me nuts a few times but in the end I was hopeful and I eagerly look forward to the next book!

For a raw storyline and real experiences I think this is a great book!

Five stars!

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









This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Justified
David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
by
Varina Denman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on the three-book Mended Heart Series. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tiffany Girl Throughts


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About the Book


As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen.

But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the New York Art Institute. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”

Tiffany Girls is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world.

As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door? (Goodreads)



My Review

This book was a lot bigger than I was anticipating but oh was it worth it! Deeanne included many pictures from the era to go along with the chapter. I really liked how the book was set up and it was very interesting to read about Mr. Tiffany and how they made the glass and designs. I never even thought about it! I also had no idea how it correlated with the World's Fair and all of that was so very interesting to me. I liked Flossie though at times she got on my nerves. I'll be honest, there were a couple times in the book that I thought were a bit drawn out. Not a whole lot really happens in the course of this 544 page book time wise. The romance is sweet and I was expecting a lot more romance based off of other's reviews. There really isn't anything except some kissing until the last few chapters and even then things are kept pretty clean. I wish the relationship developed more throughout the book but I still enjoyed this part of the storyline. I also really liked the perspective for an unmarried woman at this time. They were treated horribly outside of the home and it amazes me that women still pursued their own lives and careers.

Such a great book and probably my favorite out of Deeanne's World Fair books.
I hope to read more from this author, (hopefully in a new setting), but I love her writing!











Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Franklin Barbecue Review



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About the Book


A complete meat- and brisket-cooking education from the country's most celebrated pitmaster and owner of the wildly popular Austin restaurant Franklin Barbecue--winner of Texas Monthly's coveted Best Barbecue Joint in Texas award.

When Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, opened up a small barbecue trailer on the side of an Austin, Texas, interstate in 2009, they had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into. Today, Franklin Barbecue has grown into the most popular, critically lauded, and obsessed-over barbecue joint in the country (if not the world)—and Franklin is the winner of every major barbecue award there is.

In this much-anticipated debut, Franklin and coauthor Jordan Mackay unlock the secrets behind truly great barbecue, and share years’ worth of hard-won knowledge. Franklin Barbecue is a definitive resource for the backyard pitmaster, with chapters dedicated to building or customizing your own smoker; finding and curing the right wood; creating and tending perfect fires; sourcing top-quality meat; and of course, cooking mind-blowing, ridiculously delicious barbecue, better than you ever thought possible. (Goodreads)



My Review

 Yum! This book is not what I was expecting at all but turned out to be really interesting. If you are looking for recipes, go somewhere else! This book is all about smoking and how to build a smoker and what wood to use. The story on Aaron Franklin and how he started his business was my favorite part, and how his days go at work. It really is quite a process to make the food he does. There are a few recipes in the back of the book on sauces and a couple side dishes. My husband enjoyed this book as well and I think we can take a lot away from it. 

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









Married 'til Monday Review



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About the Book

With a big anniversary party in the works for her parents, Ryan will pretend to be Abby's husband for just one last weekend.

Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive 2-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.

Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.

Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Seabrook, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college—her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It’s just a one-week road-trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong? (Goodreads)




My Review

I haven't read all of the books in this series but I read that this was the author's favorite so that peaked my interest. I actually really like the idea of this book because it's about a divorced couple, and that is not something you read in Christian fiction. So, I like that Denise went in that direction and where she took her storyline. In our world divorce is pretty normal and I think a story like this is possible. The characters are well developed and I really liked Ryan. Abby drives me crazy but by the end of the book I liked her a bit more. Out of all of Denise's books', this one I think is one of her best. Good solid plot line and a really good message.

Four stars.


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