Saturday, April 30, 2016

They Say We are Infidels

"Everywhere militants were blowing up Christians, their churches, their shops. They threatened them with kidnapping. They promised to take their children. The message to these 'infidels' You have no place in Iraq. Pay a penalty to stay, leave, or be killed."Sweeping from Syria into Iraq, Islamic State fighters (ISIS) have been brutalizing and annihilating Christians. How? Why? Where did the terrorists come from, and what can be done to stop them? For more than a decade, journalist Mindy Belz has reported on the ground from the Middle East, giving her unparalleled access to the story no one wants to believe. In "They Say We Are Infidels," she brings the stark reality of this escalating genocide to light, tracking the stories of real-life Christians who refuse to abandon their faith--even in the face of losing everything, including their lives.As "Reading Lolita in Tehran" did for Iran and "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families" did for Rwanda, "They Say We Are Infidels" shines light into the Middle East through the stories of everyday heroes and heroines who will not be silenced. A must-read for anyone seeking a firmer grasp on the complex dynamics at play in war-torn Iraq and Syria, "They Say We Are Infidels" is the eye-opening and revelatory testimony of a journalist who heads into a war zone--and is forever changed by the people she encounters there.

My thoughts: This book is an excellent resource that shows the recent history of Christians in the Middle East and how ISIS has targeted them with the Arabic N (for Nazarene or to show they are a believer in Jesus Christ) to attack. While at times, it was a lot of information, I really appreciated Belz writing about her personal experiences to open the eyes of Christians around the world to the problem of ISIS and how it has evolved over the years. This is an important book to help us focus our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Whether you are into politics or not, this is an excellent resource to read.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Together at the Table

Three months ago, Juliette D’Alisa’s world changed.

In a bittersweet series of events, her mother’s health took a turn for the worse. Juliette and her brother opened their restaurant together to rave reviews, but her romance with Memphis immunologist Neil McLaren ended in anger and tears.

As autumn sweeps into the Pacific Northwest, Juliette feels that she’s finally on the cusp of equilibrium. The restaurant continues to thrive, and her family is closer than ever. She and sous-chef Adrien are seeing each other, both in and out of the kitchen. Just when she thinks her world might stop spinning, a trip to the waterfront lands a familiar face into her path.

Rather than dwell on her personal life, Juliette throws herself into work and research. After reading her grandmother’s letters from war-torn Paris, she still wants to know the full story – and she’ll travel across countries and oceans to find it.

But even Juliette can’t outrun the man who stole her heart. As she finally uncovers the truth about her family history, what will it mean for her own chances at lasting love?

My thoughts: I was thrilled to receive this book in the mail, since I fell in love with the previous two! I can relate to Juliette and her family, with working in the food industry together. I love that the series has so much going on, bringing to life not only the heroine, but the rest of her family as well.;)
This book was bittersweet, since it marks the conclusion of the series. That said, it did a wonderful job of drawing the series to a close! I love all the recipes included in the book, and wish I could just be adopted into the family.;)
I look forward to reading Hillary's next novel!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Inheritance

The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale's Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch's heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David's grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island's land. And while Hardy doesn't enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate's assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island--and its traditional way of life--hangs in the balance.

Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips's dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.

My thoughts: Over all, I liked the rich details and scenery in this story. I loved the feeling of visiting Scotland and getting to know more of the history and how the times have affected the Shetlands. While I enjoyed the characters, the story does seem to drag a bit at times, so I had a hard time getting into the story. I still found it a lovely read, just one you have to be prepared to savor and take at a slower pace.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

At Home in the Father's House

If you believe that you will never be good enough to receive the love of God, He has a message for you, "You are Loved". If you are doing everything right and still struggling to feel closer to God, He has a message for you, "You are Loved".
Just like the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son, often we feel like our best is not good enough for the Father's love. John Sheasby struggled for years with that feeling... until he dug deep into the truth of the story. The new understanding of the gift of the father's inheritance changed his life as this book will change yours.

My thoughts: I appreciated this book and how it melds the story of the prodigal son and the authors personal experiences, along with those of others, to show how God loves us and longs to have a relationship with us as a Father, not a master. While the message is a fairly simple one, it is also one that we have a hard time grasping, since we can look at God as a Father figure through the glasses of how our earthly father is.While I have been blessed with wonderful parents, they weren't perfect. I thought it was interesting that he showed how generations of defining God through our experiences can change how we view him.
This is a wonderful book about being a child of God!
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

The Mother Letters

After his wife Amber had given birth to three boys in three years, Seth Haines saw that she needed encouragement in the day-to-day drama and details of motherhood. Secretly collecting nearly six hundred wise, honest, and sometimes hilarious letters from other mothers across the world, Seth compiled these "mother letters" as a gift for her. Amber and Seth have chosen the best of those letters--including letters from some of the most influential writers and bloggers online today--to include in a beautiful book perfect for the mother in your life.
Each mother-to-mother letter offers encouragement, advice, and vulnerable honesty about the struggles and joys of motherhood. These letters show that no matter how many times mothers feel like they've failed, they are still doing their greatest work. So for the mom who thinks she's the only one out there who just can't find time for a shower, "Mother Letters" shows her that she's part of a grand and diverse group of strong women who are saying to her, "Me too. But we can do this."

My thoughts: Mothering. One of the hardest, most rewarding jobs there is! Each child is so different, and just when I think I have something figured out, we hit a new stage or a new issue comes up. It's so easy to focus on the faults in oneself, so I found this book to be incredibly encouraging! It is just so nice to read some of the letters and realize that I am not alone! I think the one that touched me the most was about having grace with myself, though all the letters are amazing and wonderful reminders to slow down and remember that God made me the mother of my children for a reason.
With mother's day around the corner, I highly recommend giving this book as a gift to the mothers (especially mothers who still have children at home)in your life.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Take Ten: bookworm delights

While I know that this topic is suppose to be more about the experiences that delight a bookworm, I may wind up veering into some of the book related merchandise that I just find delightful.;) I'm not trying to sell anything, I guess that is just where my mind went when I read the topic for this week.;)

1. Jewelry with a favorite bookish quote on it. I've been eyeing this one for a while now.;) One of my very favoritest necklaces is one that has part of The Road Not Taken poem on it that I found in a shop that carried handmade items.

2. Really, just beautiful, artistic favorite quotes in general. I have a library in my home and have had such fun framing quotes (both those I have bought and those found as free printables)to put on the walls.
Here is a favorite quote. The one I have is a bit different though.

3. A good cup of tea and a book on a rainy day. My husband laughs at me for my tea addiction, but I can't seem to give it up! ;)

4. The smell of books. They can be old books, new books, I just like the smell of them!

5. Discovering a new bookstore. Granted, I prefer to buy my books used, since I read way to much to buy all new. But, I still love to discover new (to me) bookstores!

6. Places like this. Honestly, I want to live in a house that looks like a book shelf!:)

7. Window seats and book nooks. I could get stuck on Pinterest for hours just drooling over the options and ideas! Part of the reason I wanted to buy our old house was because of a window seat in the music room. Now, it still is a sad looking window seat, but I have plans for it.;)

8. Places like The Rabbit Hole

9. Having a friend who reads a lot of the same books as you, whose opinion you can trust. Really, just a friend who you can be a total book nerd with and not scare them off!

10. A nifty, book themed journal. I believe I have established the fact that I love quotes and can't resist something useful with a favorite quote on it.;)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Buckskin Trail

A miracle saved Kelzi’s life when she was younger. Now it’s her turn to save others. Discovering the truth about her parents’ deaths places Kelzi on a dangerous path, one where she must avenge those who have died and protect the land of her Cherokee people—at all costs. Old traditions battle against modern values in this thrilling mystery!

My thoughts: I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this book up, since I hadn't read any of Joann's other titles. I found the story to be intriguing from the get go! When Kelzi loses her parents at a young age, barely surviving herself, the event triggers a chain of miraculous events. As the mystery behind her parents death and an old piece of buckskin unravel, Kelzi is taken on a unique adventure.
I found this story interesting, since it has a lot of different things going for it and a lot going on. The mystery is more of a legal one, which kind of surprised me, but it was still interesting.
I look forward to reading more books by Joann!
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Secret in Belfast

The city of Belfast in 1911 bustles with activity. The RMS Olympic is about to set out on her first sea voyage, and the RMS Titanic is sliding off her dry dock into the channel for the first time.

However, Lord Pirrie and Thomas Andrews have other things on their mind… a robbery without anything missing, a mysterious child with a sadistic gift, and a secret hidden for decades threatens to overshadow the success of the shipyard. And when a dockside accident amid the roar of the watching crowd reveals a greater threat among the workers of Harland & Wolff, they have no choice but to rely on an old friend for assistance.

Richard Pierce falls into an unimaginable world of spiritual intrigue and ghosts from the past that may force him to bring his own secrets to light, as he haunts the shipyard in search of answers, confronts the demons of his past, and faces an eventual journey across the icy North Atlantic.

My thoughts: Speculative fiction and the RMS Titanic? Yes please! I've been interested in the Titanic since high school, so I just had to read this book (especially since Charity is quickly becoming a favorite author!) to see how the two would mesh. I very much enjoyed it! The characters are a combination of historical figures famous for being on board the Titanic and fictional creations. I love the spiritual themes in the story, the conversations about religion and gifts were thought provoking. I think that is one of the things that I appreciate the most about Charity's books, she doesn't shy away from difficult conversations on Christianity. A lot of "Christian fiction" sticks with the artificial, so I appreciate when an author dives deeper.
I highly recommend this story!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Join us for a Facebook party on May 5th!

wade event promo - fb 

A female bodyguard plus her star NFL client plus danger equals a great recipe for romance! Her One and Only, book four in Becky Wade's Porter Family novels, releases May 3. To celebrate, Becky is hosting an author chat party on her Facebook page on May 5 at 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT. Join Becky for an evening of book chat with other bookworms and prizes.

Plus a portion of all pre-sales and sales the release week of Her One and Only will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more details on how to purchase a copy, click here.

wade 400 - fallen heroes

About the Book

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hunting Hope

At twenty, Nika Maples learned that when hope was all she had, she claimed it boldly while defying all odds to recover from a devastating stroke. The lessons from that struggle are powerful and universal, and she shares those lessons in her new book, Hunting Hope. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and—if she lived at all—she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.
Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.

Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.

Nika Maples became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and-if she lived at all-she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.

Whether you or someone you know is going through a situation that feels hopeless, you will find encouragement in Hunting Hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical trauma, a financial hardship, or a relational crisis, you will find empowerment in Hunting Hope. As you read, you will cling to 20 truths about God’s character and practice 5 daily disciplines that will develop your own character in crisis.

You will become a hope hunter.

Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives. Maybe we were all meant to be hope hunters.

My thoughts: I loved this book! Nika has an incredible story of heartache and pain, and how hunting for hope helped her overcome. I really appreciated how open and honest she is in her book, and I love that she writes about her struggles in a real way, since I think some books on pain and finding hope amidst it can be hard to catch the message. I think the fact that Nika went through her situation makes her one to really listen to.
This book is excellent!
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

A Flight of Arrows

October 1776--August 1777

It is said that what a man sows he will reap--and for such a harvest there is no set season. No one connected to Reginald Aubrey is untouched by the crime he committed twenty years ago.

Not William, the Oneida child Reginald stole and raised as his own. Identity shattered, enlisted in the British army, William trains with Loyalist refugees eager to annihilate the rebels who forced them into exile. Coming to terms with who and what he is proves impossible, but if he breaks his Loyalist oath, he'll be no better than the man who constructed his life of lies.

Not Anna, Reginald's adopted daughter, nor Two Hawks, William's twin, both who long for Reginald to accept their love despite the challenges they will face, building a marriage that bridges two cultures.

Not Good Voice and Stone Thrower, freed of bitterness by a courageous act of forgiveness, but still yearning for their firstborn son and fearful for the future of their Oneida people.

As the British prepare to attack frontier New York and Patriot regiments rally to defend it, two families separated by culture, united by love, will do all in their power to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

My thoughts: Lori has done it again! Her stories are masterpieces, as she blends history, suspense, and fantastic characters! I love that she writes about early American history and the relationship that the colonist/early American settlers had with the Native Americans. She doesn't shy away from difficult subjects, but handles them in an excellent way. This is one of those stories that will stick with you long after you finish the final page! It was well worth the wait.:)
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Take Ten: books that will make you chuckle

I must not read a whole lot of books that are out and out funny, since this topic has been harder for me to come up with titles for. I think I need to remedy that, since I need a good laugh once in a while! So, if you have the chance to leave a comment, be sure to let me know what hilarious books I need to add to my TBR list.;)

1. With This Ring?

By default, I am not generally a fan of novella collections, since I like more character development than most offer. This one was a hilarious collection though!

2. At Love's Bidding

The characters in this book were a lot of fun, and I loved the glimpse into different auction houses of the 1800's.;)

3. One Plus One Equals Trouble

These two and their uncanny predicament! I loved their sparing.

4. My Fair Godmother

Granted, it has been a while since I read this one, but I remember loving it!

5. My Unfair Godmother

The sequel was adorable and funny too.

6. So Not Happening

Again, it has been a while since I read this series, but it made me chuckle!

7. I'm So Sure

8. So Over My Head

9. You Had Me at Goodbye

This one had me in stitches!

10. That's -Not Exactly- Amore

Another great, funny read.

So, there is my list for the week. I had to go back and ways to fill it.;) What books should be on my list?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Simple Pleasures

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family’s life on the snowy plains of Ontario.

The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.

My thoughts: What a fun glimpse into the life of a young Amish family! Marianna Jantzi does a fun job of writing about the every day goings on with her young family and helping to run a shoe store. I like that she offers history and background to some of her stories, not shying away from telling on herself at times.;) I especially appreciated her thoughts on being thankful and how she tries to remember to be thankful for her front door at one point, since it replaced an old one that was tricky and didn't keep the cold out very well.
If you would like an honest look at the life of an Amish family, this is a wonderful book to read!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Dream of Miracles

Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.
Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.
Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.
When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

My thoughts: It's been a while since I have been truly excited about a book in the Amish fiction section, but this story has broken that stretch of time! A lot of Amish fiction is sweet or filled with drama, but this one was an excellent blend of well developed characters and an interesting plot. I thought it was interesting to explore the idea of an Amish family being under inspection by social workers, since I can imagine that a lot of their way of life would be strange and totally different from what they are used to dealing with. I also enjoyed some of the twists to the story!
If you are looking for an excellent story outside of the norm, then I highly recommend this one!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Annabel Lee

Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. That secret's name is Annabel Lee Truckson, and even she doesn't know why her mysterious uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He's left her with a few German words, a barely-controlled guard dog, and a single command: "Don't open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me."

Above ground, a former Army sniper called The Mute and an enigmatic "Dr. Smith" know about the girl. As the race begins to find her, the tension builds. Who wants to set her free? Why does the other want to keep her captive forever? Who will reach her first?

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill need to piece together the clues and stay alive long enough to retrieve the girl--before it's too late.

My thoughts: I find it intriguing that the titles for the titles in this series are taken from things that Edgar Allan Poe wrote, while not being a mirror of those stories. This one was interesting. While I liked the suspense and a lot of the story, I wasn't a huge fan of the PI Coffey, and I'm not sure why. I am glad that I read to the end though, since it is an interesting mystery!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Spruce up any outfit with your best accessory—your hair!

You don’t need to be a professional to get show-stopping hair. Hairstyled presents 75 deceptively simple techniques for creating your favorite high-fashion hairstyles. Dress up your everyday look with a ballerina bun or accessorize with a scarf bow. Turn heads at special occasions with the woven crown braid or a regal bouffant.

Each style has how-to photographs that are easy to follow, and chapters dedicated to a variety of hair lengths and textures help you update your look whether you have a pixie cut or long, curly tresses. With product tips and countless ideas for accessorizing your ’do and inventive variations on classic styles, Hairstyled is your guide to getting gorgeous hair every day.

My thoughts: While I like the hair styles in this book, I do think that the pictures accompanying the hairstyles could done a better job of showing how the style looks from different angles. Especially how the style is suppose to look from the front, since I wanted the book to try some new hairdo's on myself and would of likes to see the front view of them, or at least the ideal for the front.;)
That said, I do like the hairstyles. The book has a wide variety for different hair types and for different occasions. I love the ideas on how to get a retro look! I also appreciate the tips on how to make hair look even fuller/thicker.
While this isn't my go to hairstyle book, like I was hoping it would be, it does have a lot of great ideas in it.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

The Reluctant Duchess

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she ’fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

My thoughts: This story is excellent! I wasn't so sure how I would like the direction it was heading in from the get go, but I love how the author wrote about beauty springing from tragedy and helping the reader to see some of the characters in a deeper way. I love the theme of religion and how folklore and curses fit in Christianity. Roseanna does a wonderful job of meshing Rowena's highland world to Brice's high society one. I appreciate the depth to this story and look forward to reading the next book in the series!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Back in the Saddle

It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.

He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.

Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

My thoughts: This is the first time I have read one of Ruth's books, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I fell in love with the characters and ranch! Her characters are well developed and I like that there is a lot going on with all of the characters, setting it up to be an interesting series. I enjoyed the peak at ranch life that this story provides. My favorite part about the book is the message behind the story, that it is never to late to make amends and live the life you should of been living all along.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Take five: books you should read by 30

Granted, there are a lot of books I could put on this list, but here are the first five that come to mind. What are some other titles that should be included?

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Why? It's a powerful book about a horrible time in American history.

2. Mere Christianity

Why? Lewis does a fabulous job of breaking down everyday phrases and ideas in Christianity and explaining them.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia

Why? It's children's lit at its best.

4. Persuasion

Why? It's a beautiful story of second chances.

5. North and South

Why? Gaskell writes similar to Dickens, though I think her books are more to the point. This one does an excellent job of showing why unions were necessary, and is also a great love story of two people learning to see how to view things from another's point of view.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city's underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever--if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

My thoughts: I loved this refreshing historical mystery! It was so nice to pick up a book that wasn't totally predictable with the romance and mystery. The characters are fun and quirky, going against what is expected of them as young, unmarried women in the early 1900's by opening a detective agency instead of pursuing marriage alone. I would of liked a bit more explanation of the mystery at the end, but otherwise, enjoyed the story immensely! The historical aspect was quite interesting.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Busy, Busy

What a fun book to pull out for Spring! All the animals are busy and even Mommy is busy working in the garden. But, never to busy for some time with her little one. My daughter and I love the colorful illustrations and all the animals that this book goes through. It is such a fun book to pull out after the slowness of Winter has passed! The text is sweet and I love the adorable pictures. I like that the book has some different animals in it, like a mole and peacock.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sit, Stay, Love

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

My thoughts: This is such a sweet story! I fell in love with the heroine and how she views life. The story has some great characters and themes through it. It was also fun to catch a glimpse of what it would be like to be a professional baseball player, something I haven't thought a lot about before, but can imagine it would be crazy. This is a great story for dog and baseball lovers alike!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she ’fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

This gorgeous book was released today! The first book in the series was a lovely historical read, so I am eagerly anticipating reading Rowena's story.
If you are interested in the book, not only do most booksellers carry the title, but Goodreads has a giveaway running!

Pocket of Prayers

Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.

Short, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:

—Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
—Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)

My thoughts: I love how these books spark ideas on how to pray more focused prayers! I would say that I gleaned the most from the one for moms, with the current stage I am in of raising littles, but I also enjoyed the other books and reading through the prayers. These books are great to place by one's bed or with your Bible. I love that they are so cute and make the perfect gift! I can think of quite a few people I will have to give copies too.;) I also think that they would be a great addition to a study group when talking about prayer.
I received these books from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

When we were sent these books, the publisher requested that we give them away and feature one of those recipients on our blog post. While it was fun to give them all away, I think I had the easiest time finding a home for the one for Moms. I wound up giving it to a friend who is a fairly new mother, since I thought that the prayers were so encouraging!

Would a Worm Go on a Walk?

This adorable picture book goes through several different animals, asking fun and silly questions about things they can't do, like with the worm going on a walk or penguins needing parachutes when they fly. With each question, the author explain why the animal doesn't do that particular thing and how God made them each special and unique. My daughter loves looking at the colorful illustrations and learning about the different animals, like possums who play dead or lions not liking water. This is a fun book to read with little ones about how God made both animals and people special, just the way they are.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Catch a Star

When all she wanted was to fit in, Tamika Catchings stood out and felt left out, never knowing one day she'd stand out--as a basketball superstar and an inspiration. She faced being set apart by her hearing loss, separated from family, living up to high expectations, and the pain and discouragement of debilitating physical injury. Yet she reached for the stars with hard work, perseverance, and her faith in God. Through the silence, she found the way to shine.
"Catch a Star" tells Tamika's story of overcoming: of leading the Indiana Fever to its first championship, being named one of the WNBA's top fifteen players in history, earning three Olympic gold medals, and founding the Catch the Stars Foundation to help young people achieve their dreams. Her story will inspire readers to face their doubts and fears, encouraging them to reach for their own stars, no matter what challenges come their way.

My thoughts: What an inspiring story! I love that Tamika opens up with readers on the struggles she has faced and how they have lead to blessings. Her loss of hearing has prompted her to use her other senses to pick up on body language of other players, which has made her a unique basketball player.
I also appreciated how this book is not just a book about her life on the court, but about who she is as a person and how knowing God has encouraged her to become a mentor to young people.
This book is an excellent, inspiring read!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Take five

This week, the topic is to come up with favorite book themed media accounts that are a must for other book lovers to follow. Since I am not very good at following blogs, and I don't have many bookish themed friends through my other social media accounts, I'm shooting for five this week.;) Ten might be too much of a challenge!

1. Silver Petticoat review
Particularly the post about "ten literary men that make me swoon". All but one of them (perhaps only because I haven't seen the movie/read the book) would totally be on my list!;)

2.Reading is My Superpower
We read a lot of the same books, so it is fun to see what she reviews!

3. Becky Thompson
I adored her book on motherhood and appreciate that she shares from the heart on her blog.

4. Rissi Writes
Another of the bloggers I have become acquainted with through participating in Top Ten Tuesday. I enjoy the blend of books, movies, and shows she showcases on her blog!

5. @halfdesertedstreets
A friend and one of the rare instagram book accounts I follow.;)

Friday, April 1, 2016

The 4x4 Diet

Discover the 4 key foods and the 4-minute workouts that will change the way readers look and feel in just 4 weeks. Celebrity trainer and former marine Erin Oprea's motto is "lean and clean." Her unique 4 x 4 diet shows readers how to get clean by reducing the 4 major hitches in most diets: sugar, starch, sodium, and alcohol. She also tells readers how to get lean, using her 4-minute tabata workouts: 8 repititions of 20 seconds of high-intensity moves, then 10 seconds of rest. Within 4 weeks, the average person will be able to reduce bloating and belly fat; gain increased muscle definition in the arms, legs, and stomach; improve cardiovascular endurance; and break sugar and sodium addictions. Complete with meal plans and recipes, the 4 x 4 diet is perfect for anyone looking to streamline their body and lifestyle.

My thoughts: I am so excited about this book! While I can't exactly diet at the moment, I plan to use this book this summer.;) I like that the foods it talks about being careful around are ones that you can still eat, you just have to watch that you are eating good carbs and watching your sugar intake, two things that I know I need to work on. I love the recipes and workouts in this book! It looks like an excellent plan to get one into great shape!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.