Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Deal or Duel: An Alexander Hamilton Card Game Review

Deal or Duel by Potter


In the face of the political instability and financial turmoil of the American Revolution, only one individual always came out on top: Alexander Hamilton. Pit your survival instincts and spending savvy against all the founding fathers (and mothers) in this historic action card game whose simple objective is as old as Ameritocracy itself: get all the money or die trying.

Inside You’ll Find:
-54 Historical Face Cards
-120 Action Cards
-40 Hamilton Cards
-$3,500 Colonial Cash
-Face Card Roster Scroll
-Playing Mat

2-6 players
Ages 10 +

My Thoughts

I am not sure that this game is totally worth the high cost of buying it but for history lovers it would make a good gift. The age requirement is pretty accurate, I think it would be difficult even for a ten year old to totally understand the game. I think we need to play it a few times so we can get the concept down but I think it makes a nice addition to our game pile.

Four stars.

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Loving Luther Book Review


About the Book

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows--a choice more practical than pious--but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther's friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

The start of this book was pretty slow moving for me but still held my interest. Things got a lot more interesting further along and as the characters changed settings. I think Allison Pittman did a good job on portraying this story though I would like to do more research on the history. I thought the difference in a trust/relationship with God vs. following orders and rituals was important. Just by following traditions doesn't mean you have a relationship with Christ.
There were some great thought provoking conversations and overall this book held my interest.

Thanks to Tyndale for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home Review: Sawyer's Best Yet!


About the Book

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery,
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I decided to read this book because of the mystery surrounding a sister losing her sister. This is most definitely Sawyer's best book to date. Her writing in this novel was fresh and unique from her other books. This book will hook you in from page one as we flip back and forth past and present time. Sawyer also did a splendid job in writing from three perspectives AND adding the past and present chapters. The thing I loved about this book, aside from the mystery is the relationship between grandmother, mother, and daughter. This book portrays so much about real life relationships between a family and their past and how so many hurts have shaped who they are today, good and bad. The only thing that I felt perhaps could have been a little stronger was the reveal at the end on the mystery part of the story. I felt it was perhaps a little too easy but otherwise well written! This is a wonderful book and one I encourage grandmothers, mothers, and daughters to read!

Five stars.

Releases September 5th!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

CFRR 2017

Dressed Up Like Their Characters

My mind is still in a whirl from this past weekend at CFRR (Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat). This year it was located right near Cincinnati, OH which is a new place for me to visit. This was the second year for this event so it seemed to have a lot more people. Of course I got to see people I had met last year and talk to some amazing authors! It was a full day starting with receiving a swag bag totally full of goodies!! I got about 8 books plus bookmarks, candy, a candle, coloring book, etc. It was awesome! Then we were provided breakfast and this became a great time to talk to everyone, including authors. The only time I really freaked out, to where I had to tell myself to breathe, was when Susan May Warren came over by us. Yeah. And then she started talking about how she picks the guys for the covers of her new series and I just couldn't believe she was standing right next to me!  Susan has written over sixty books, she is super talented and I just love her!!! That was just the start to a wonderful day.

Susan May Warren
There were some very fun author panels about faith and bookish boyfriends of course, which was entertaining. Becky Wade and Dani Pettrey had put together a super fun "workshop" showing us what it takes to write a novel. Dani couldn't make it but she facetimed us!
 Cynthia Ruchti and Shelley Shepard Gray also gave some good speeches. There were games and prizes and fun in abundance. We also had a wonderful worship time with Nicole Coley singing to the Lord. We had a great lunch and more time to visit with authors/friends. There was a lovely book store set up for those who NEEDED to buy more books. So of course I took advantage of that....
At the end of the day was book signing time which is really when you can chat with the authors more and get your picture with them and tell them how wonderful they are. This is such a special time and I feel so blessed to have been able to go to CFRR this year! Thanks to everyone who put all of this together! 

Pepper Basham
Dawn Crandall

Karen Barnett

Becky Wade

Kristi Ann Hunter

Meghan Gorecki

Nicole Coley

Susan May Warren, Courtney Walsh, and Melissa Tagg

Katie Ganshert

Becky Wade

Laura Frantz

Cynthia Ruchti

Jocelyn Green

Dawn Crandall

Melissa Tagg

Meghan Gorecki

The haul

Debby Giusti

Gabrielle Meyer

Susan May Warren

Shelley Shepard Gray
 Oh my goodness it was so fun! Some of the pictures didn't turn out great but I made some good memories!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition Review

Standing apart from all other KJV study Bibles on the market, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition is the only Bible featuring extensive commentary, doctrinal notes, archaeological insights, and time-tested study aids developed exclusively for the King James Version. Now available with stunning full-color designs, Holy Land images, classic works of art, charts, and maps, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition guides you through the vivid beauty and authority of God’s Word as you grow in your biblical knowledge.
For over a quarter of a century, Thomas Nelson has earned the trust of millions with the best-selling King James Study Bible, offering the standard of conservative KJV scholarship. Our tradition and commitment to KJV study continues with the release of the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is a beautiful Bible! I LOVE that it is large print, that is so nice when I am in deep study. I also love that at the beginning of a new book it explains the historical aspect, the author, and then gives a full outline. There are pictures, but not overwhelming to where it is overboard. There are some great maps in the back that I also enjoy. This is a heavy thick beautiful bonded leather Bible. If you like the King James Version and are looking for a new Bible, this would be an excellent choice!!
"Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for offering me a copy for free. All opinions are my own."

The Return Book Review


About the Book

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.
Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I picked up this book because of all the great reviews this entire series was getting. Before reading this one I went back and read book one, which I thought was helpful but not necessary. Amish can be very hit or miss for me so I will say if you want a unique Amish story line, look no further. This series is all about wonderful history including a great story line with Native Americans. I love any book that has this type of thread in it and it was my favorite part of the book. Now I will say that there was a lot going on, multiple stories happening from different points of view. Honestly at times I just wanted to read about Betsy and her life with the Indians. Also, the end of the book took me by surprise just a tad and I have mixed feelings on how it ended. I think for Amish readers, you will enjoy this book. History lovers will find it interesting. I thought it was okay. Not my favorite but still a great idea/setting.

"I received this book from Revell for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bless Our Gramps and Gran Berenstain Bear Kid's Book Review

 About the Book

In The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran, the newest title in The Berenstain Bears Living Lights series, Mama, Papa, and the cubs decide it’s high time they honor Grizzly Gramps and Gran.
It’s almost Grandparents Day and the Bear family has never celebrated this special day before. So working as a team, the cubs, with a little help from Mama and Papa, come up with a fun and creative way to show Gramps and Gran just how much they are loved and appreciated. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love this book because I have always enjoyed spending time with my grandparents. This is a great story for children to recognize and appreciate their grandparents on Grandparents Day or any day really. In the back of the book it gives ideas on how to show your appreciation, which I think is a good addition. I also really enjoy the humor added with the story about Noah and how him and his wife had a LOT of grand kids. 
This is a fun story and a wonderful addition to your Berenstain Bears Library.

"I received this book from Booklook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Promise of Dawn Book Review


 About the Book

Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant Series

When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I LOVE the setting in this book. I also am in love with this cover. I haven't read too many books by Lauraine Snelling but this one I enjoyed more than the others I have read. I liked the characters in this book but at times it just got plain depressing because of how they were treated. I won't go into a lot of detail but this entire book is full of hardship. I think Lauraine did a good job in portraying real life and how God can change a life even when we don't understand why at the time. This is a new series so I am curious to see where the story goes in the next books. 

"Thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review."

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Portrait of Vengeance Book Review


 About the Book

An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out...

Gwen Marcey has done a good job of keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, her ex-husband back home is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future. (Goodreads)

 My Thoughts

This is the first Gwen Marcey novel I have read. I felt like this book could be read alone though I am sure I would have gotten a better back story if I started at book one. I liked the overall thrill of reading this murder mystery. I think there was a good plot and at times pretty creepy. I'll be honest in saying Gwen's personality was difficult for me to love. I was into her past history and the tag along story line but at times it was difficult for me to be totally into this book. So, was this the best mystery I have read? No. BUT if you are looking for a unique mystery, this could be the book for you! I do plan on reading more by this author in the future. 

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, August 3, 2017

31 Proverbs To Light Your Path Review


About the Book
With her signature ability to blend ancient truth with real-life takeaway, best-selling author and Bible teacher Liz Curtis Higgs examines thirty-one verses from the book of Proverbs, and then offers a unique “One Minute, One Step” challenge at the end of each chapter, suggesting a do-it-now task that requires one minute or less. Readers will quickly discover how practical and applicable the book of Proverbs is, and how the Lord can use even the smallest steps to lead us in the right direction. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love Liz Curtis Higgs and I was so excited to read this! This book is wonderful as expected. It would be a great study for a group or as I am doing, a personal study. She takes the verses in Proverbs and literally breaks it down a few words at a time. This I like because it makes me slow down and actually read and consider. So grab your Bible and pick up this book. It holds your attention and makes you think.

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