Monday, February 29, 2016

Collage This Journal Review

About this Book

This irrisistibly iteractive journal is filled with dozens of clever ideas for recording your life, such as “Make balloons out of photos from special and happy occasions” or  ”Fill the genie’s lamp with wishes.” The author/illustrator’s wonderfully layered photo-illustration montages invite readers to mix media, too, and make this keepsake truly their own.

My Thoughts

 This is such a fun book!! These types of "fill in the blank and get creative" books are really popular. I have looked at a few others like this but I think I like this one the most. It's big enough that you have room to write draw and get creative. The questions are good and after being filled this makes a good memory book. Some questions included: collage key events from your life to show your journey, collage your favorite looks (space to draw this), how did you see the world as a child, and how do you see it now? The list goes on. If you are looking for a fun creative book this one is for you!!

Five stars!

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

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Red Door Inn Review


 About the Book

Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she's hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.

Seth Sloane didn't move three thousand miles to work on his uncle's B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian--and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.
The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just three months will take everything they've got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?

Step into the Red Door Inn, a lovely home away from home tucked along the north shore of fabled Prince Edward Island. It's a place where the wounded come to heal, the broken find forgiveness, and the lonely find a family. Won't you stay for the season? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

What a delightful read!! I have wanted to go to Prince Edward Island since I was little and this book captured the beautiful place. The characters are well written and the overall story line kept me flipping pages and enjoying this sweet story. There is a lot more depth in this book than a love story set on PEI. There is forgiveness and love and fear including panic attacks, which is not something I have read much. I think this made the book all the better because of the reality of it all. Marie really clicked with me and the restoration of the B&B made my imagination run wild. I loved it. The good news is this is just the first book in a series!!  I anxiously await the next novel and highly recommend this read!!
Five stars!

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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mornings With Tozer Review


 About the Book

Grab your coffee, find your favorite chair, and begin your day with guidance from A. W. Tozer.

Many of these 365 devotional readings come from sermons Tozer preached close to his death in 1963, marking them with a deep concern for spiritual intimacy and true worship. He urges you to pursue God, confess sin, pray fervently, and seek the Spirit. Let this book be a garnish in your feast of God’s Word.

As you welcome the morning light and all the sights and sounds of the new day, let Mornings with Tozer awaken your heart.( Goodreads)

 My Thoughts
I had no idea that this book would be so well organized by date or so good for me to read. I haven’t read much Tozer though many people have talked about his writing. This book is a compacted daily devotional that lists each date, a verse, a short story, and a printed prayer. Many times I don’t always like the little prayers at the end, they seem too scripted in a conversation with the Lord. But it does give you a good idea on what you could be praying about.
Otherwise I love this book and was giddy to start reading it!! I like have a devotional book to go along with my regular Bible reading. This gives you applicable stories and a good Biblical background.

Highly recommend.

“I received this book from Moody Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.”

The Better Life Review


 About the Book

From the can-do entrepreneur Claire Diaz-Ortiz comes The Better Life, a motivational memoir about how little changes make all the difference.

In winsome style, Claire coaches readers with vignettes from her uncommon life. A top-level Twitter employee, world traveler, author, non-profit founder, and mom, Claire tries to make the most of every moment. In The Better Life, she shares action steps and reflections on balance, productivity, self-care, and other essentials for rocking it at life every day.

Take some advice from Claire: Say yes. Say no. Quit something. Take your mornings seriously. Make your weekends count. Write more. Worry less. Travel. Pray. Pause. Rest. Know your limits. Do Hatchi Patchi. Don’t beat yourself up. Be still. Be thankful. Be you, but your best.

Read this book, and start living the better life you’ve been meaning to. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is a small book that Claire Diaz-Ortiz has put together on her opinions of a better life. I am always up to read encouraging tips or advice on ways to enjoy life more or new things to do. Most everything in this book is stuff I have read before, my favorite chapter was on how to say no. I think she wrote that chapter especially well. But the rest of the book was a bit of a let down and I felt like it was almost selfishly written or perhaps more of a brag book. I think it is so great that she has seen and done so much, and I usually don’t mind reading books where people talk about their travels. But this book just made it sound like she was bragging at times and that bugged me a bit. That is just my perspective. She does have good things to say and I agree with most of her ideas but I find there are better books written on the subject.

Three Stars.
“I received this book from Moody Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Legend of the Easter Robin Kids Review


About the Book
This newly illustrated edition of The Legend of the Easter Robin renews the wonder and charm of the original and timeless tale written by Dandi Daley Mackall. With new vibrant artwork from New York Times bestselling illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, this holiday classic is brought to life for a new generation. The Legend of the Easter Robin tells the story of Tressa, whose grandmother reveals to her the story of a small robin who saw Jesus struggling and soared to help him. This Easter tale reminds Christians everywhere how much Jesus sacrificed for us and how much he loves us. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

 Oh the illustrations in this kids book are beautiful!! While reading this book, I liked the story, but I wasn't so sure that I liked how it told kids a robin got it's red breast by pulling a thorn out of Jesus' crown of thorns. So I kept reading and I enjoyed the fun story about the eggs. I was still confused until I got to the last page and found out that the entire story is an old Pennsylvania Dutch tale and that they were the first to introduce coloring Easter eggs. 

So while this is a cute tale, it certainly doesn't follow the Bible so I think it is up to the adult or parent on what they want to read to their kids.

Four stars. 

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


God Bless Our Country Kids Review


About the Book

Get ready for picnics and parades! Hannah C. Hall writes sweet and silly rhymes to show children American values and observe patriotism. Enjoy the Fourth of July and other holidays with fireworks, parades, picnics, and all the fun things families do together to honor America. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is such a nice board book! It starts with summer and all the fun things you can do during that time of year. The illustrations are all animals and very colorful and fun. I like this book because it helps children be thankful and appreciate their country. Perfect for a gift or for your own little ones during the 4th of July! 
Highly recommend!

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Flower Workshop Review


 About the Book

Whether hosting a party, helping out with a friend's wedding, or wishing to incorporate the beauty of flowers into everyday life, The Flower Workshop allows you to create dazzling arrangements that go beyond merely pretty and into realms of the dramatic, the unexpected, and sometimes even the magical. Written by a celebrated floral designer and lavishly illustrated with full-color photography, this book not only provides step-by-step instructions for more than forty-five stunning floral projects from simple to spectacular, but also equips you with the skills to customize arrangements at home.
Known for her hands-on flower workshops at FlowerSchool New York, Ariella Chezar walks you through the nuts and bolts of creating a variety of small flourishes, tonal arrangements, branch arrangements, handheld bouquets, wreathes, garlands, grand gestures, and more—all accompanied by detailed photography. Chezar offers advice and philosophy on everything from texture and color to foliage and containers, providing an overall approach to living and working with flowers, with an eye toward fresh, local, wild, seasonally influenced floral design. For every occasion, from relaxed and simple to lavish and monumental, The Flower Workshop celebrates the special moments in your life with glorious, fragrant floral arrangements and enhances your surroundings with abundant beauty. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

What a lovely book! The pictures are so pretty of all the different flowers. Granted I am limited in going to the flower shop where I live but this book has good ideas. There are explanations on how to create a good bouquet and is organized by colors. There are also good examples of using foliage and flowers as decor. How to buy flowers and when to buy flowers is also helpful! 
I only wish I could grow a huge flower garden like the pictures, but I also have good thoughts on what to do with my wildflowers. 
Great book for those who enjoy flowers and decorating with them. 

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

Room for Hope Review


About the Book

 Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”

Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book! The setting is simple and a realistic small town. The drama is evident in the first chapter as Neva discovers her entire relationship with her husband has been a lie. Not only does he have a secret family, but the kids he fathered with another woman are to be in Neva’s care. This would be really difficult for any woman to discover. I think Sawyer did a great job depicting the difficulty of this situation. The children weren’t instant friends, there were problems with the family business, new relationships, and small town drama. There is a good amount of mercy and forgiveness and the ending took me by surprise.
For a small town fictional tale set in 1936 this is a delightful read. 
Five stars.
"I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Life Update Winter Edition

To everything a season, a time to plow snow and a time to get stuck in a snowdrift. A time to chop ice, and a time to shovel..
    This sums up the past few weeks in our lives. We got a lot of snow as expected and it has made for many adventures. I think one day I shoveled two cars out, a deck, a driveway, and another deck. And I’m talking four feet of snow folks.  But I am thankful for all of these things because they make days memorable. Days when you can’t feel your face and there is no way you will ever get the car out and you just start laughing because this is life and what else can you do but laugh?
    Being back in the mountains has truly been wonderful, even when I have to shovel. I love the snow and I don’t mind the wind unless I’m driving and can’t see the road. The last snow storm was beautiful and I took many pictures trying to capture it all.    
    People keep asking me how I like it up here and I keep saying, well, I grew up here (yes, I actually do know what the weather is like, I lived in it for years), and there really is no where else I’d rather be living. I like that I can spend many of my days outside, snow or shine. I like that I can breathe fresh air and see wildlife on a daily basis. I like that I can zip down the road a few miles and be near family or friends. I like that things take physical effort, I don’t need a treadmill or gym membership here! I like that I get to explore where we live and learn about the history and Indians and miners that lived here before us. And for a final thought, I like that I can work along side my husband more often and learn more about this lifestyle called ranching. We are truly blessed.
   Who knows what will happen tomorrow!? : )

Monday, February 8, 2016

Paris Street Style Coloring Book Review


 About the Book

The coloring book is reinvented in a brand new journal format.
Wherever you’re off to, take this cheeky and charming coloring journal with you. Embellish whimsical, full-page patterns, cityscapes and street scenes, feminine silhouettes, and stylish essentials with your own style. Like a high-end journal, this sleek package has an elastic closure and a satin ribbon marker so you can dip in and dip out. With nothing more than some colored pencils, you'll be on your way to a stress-free, Parisian-chic day. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love this coloring book! Since these are all the rage these days, I have looked at quite a few different ones. This one I think is my favorite because it's smaller, it looks nicer, and the pictures inside are wonderful! One page is entirely hats!!! I get overwhelmed by huge coloring pages because they are so detailed. This book has many pages with little items like bags, hats, etc. 
For a fun look into Parisian style this is a great adult coloring book!!!

Five stars. 

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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Keeper of the Stars Review


 About the Book

She blames him for her brother's death. Can she let go of resentment and open her heart to love?

Penny Cartwright found it difficult to understand why her younger brother would choose to join a country singer’s band rather than return to Kings Meadow after college . . . and the separation strained their relationship. Then a car accident made certain her brother could never return.

Trevor Reynolds has chased stardom in Nashville for more than a dozen years, but it remains out of his reach. After an accident kills his young drummer, Trevor goes to Kings Meadow to keep a promise—and perhaps to discover what truly matters in this life.

Thrown together by circumstances, Penny and Trevor must learn to give and receive forgiveness. And if they do, perhaps something beautiful can rise from the ashes of heartbreak. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

 Robin Lee Hatcher is one of my favorite authors for contemporary fiction. She has such a way with words and characters you can't help but fall in love with the story. This book takes you back to Kings Meadow, which is a place I wish I could visit! Penny's brother has just passed away, a tragedy she can't understand or want to forgive. Trevor doesn't know why he is in Kings Meadow but feels like it is where he needs to be. Despite Penny's reluctance to have anything to do with him, the story takes you into their daily lives and we find out more to the story. 
Excellent writing and I love the setting. It's a fairly short and simple story but captivated my attention. 

Highly recommend. 

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

Purchase a copy:

Read a sample chapter:
About the author:

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

Connect with Robin: website, Twitter, Facebook

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake Review


 About the Book

 In the South you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food—especially dessert— is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family— even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you’ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way. (Goodreads)

 My Thoughts

So I’ll be honest, I wanted to read this book because of the cover and because of the setting in the south. A few chapters in and I knew where this book was going and was slightly disappointed. Three friends going through life’s ups and downs. One has cheated on her husband (and I’ll be honest I didn’t really see where this had a redeeming ending aside from “oh it happened. oh well moving on.”) Also, this is discussed within the first chapter so it’s not really a spoiler. That part bugged me a bit because it was too easy, when something like that happens it doesn’t just go away.
I loved the friendship theme and there were some humorous stories. There was some language, nothing terrible, but not necessary either.
The best part of the book happened near the end and I found it to be very much like many movies I’ve seen. I think it wrapped things up after much sadness and real life situations.
It was an okay book in my opinion. Not my favorite but I didn’t hate it either. I guess I just didn’t get much from it and it didn’t leave a resounding feeling of a great book.
Three stars.

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

The Newsmakers Review


 About the Book

Television reporter Erica Sparks has just landed her dream job at Global News Network. Beautiful, talented, and ambitious, Erica grew up dirt poor, worked her way through Yale, and is carrying a terrible secret. She moves to Manhattan to join GNN, leaving Jenny, her adored 7-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband. Erica’s producer at the network, Greg Underwood, is handsome and compelling. Scarred by her divorce, Erica is wary of romance, but there’s no denying the mutual attraction.

On one of her first assignments, Erica witnesses a horrific Staten Island ferry crash. Then she lands a coveted interview with presumptive presidential nominee Kay Barrish. During the interview Barrish collapses. Erica valiantly tries to save her with CPR. The footage rivets the world—GNN’s ratings soar and Erica is now a household name.

But she’s troubled. What a strange coincidence that both events should happen on her watch. It’s almost as if they were engineered. Is that possible?

Erica’s relentless pursuit of the truth puts her life and that of her daughter in danger. Her investigation leads her into the heart of darkness—where the future of our democracy is at stake. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Lis Wiehl writes good suspense and I have really enjoyed her previous novels. This book, while good, was not as suspenseful as her previous stories. I did find the story line intriguing though because of the behind the scenes look at a “news maker” and TV. Some of the themes went a little far in my opinion (a man’s fantasy about his coworker) and some of the references I didn’t think were necessary. Aside from that I found the character of Erica to be interesting and I think she really grew throughout the book.
This book was enjoyable and had some mystery but not what I would call suspense.
Four stars.

“I received this book from Booklook Bloggers for free in exchange for an honest review.”

Monday, February 1, 2016

If I Run Book Review


 About the Book 

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet. (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

Wow, what a great suspense read!! I love Terri Blackstocks' writing, she is truly gifted in creating suspense stories that are realistic and intense. The characters in this particular book I really liked and they had such depth but as a reader you weren't given all the info right away. I like it when authors make it so you don't have it all figured out. Casey is on the run and we find her right after someone has been murdered. Dylan comes in later in the story and I found him to be smart, but I want to know more about him. It is very fast paced and I'm not sure I set it down once. This book is not tied to any other books she has written so if you are new to this author this is a great book to start on! I will warn you there is a major cliff hanger at the end!!
Excellent book five stars for sure!!

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

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer . . . but her DNA is all over the crime scene, and she's now a fugitive. Don't miss Terri Blackstock's next page-turner, If I Run. Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than Dylan has, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. But as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Join Terri in celebrating her new book with a Fitbit giveaway and a special $4.99 digital pre-order deal!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 16th. The winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Plus don't miss out on the special $4.99 digital pre-order pricing, now through February 15. Pre-order the book through your favorite e-book retailer; details here.