Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When Death Draws Near (Review)






This review is for the book "When Death Draws Near" by Carrie Stuart Parks. This is one of her books involving the character Gwen Marcey. I had not read any other books by Parks before reading this one and I had no trouble following along or learning the characters. She did a great job with that.

In this novel, Gwen, a forensic artist, is asked to come to a small town in Kentucky to help solve a job of finding a serial rapist. While she is there she gains a second employment opportunity, going undercover in a local serpent-handling church. What follows is a spiderweb of figuring out the local politics, not knowing who to trust, and being threatened every way that Gwen turns.

By the last third of this book, I had a white-knuckle grip on the book and I couldn't have put it down if I tried. I was cringing. I was sweating. I was anxious. It was crazy! I haven't had a similar response to a mystery novel in so long I can't remember! I have GOT to read more by Parks in the future, especially her Gwen Marcey novels. I definitely recommend this book if you like a lot of suspense and details that will make you squirm.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart 
Parks

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fetching Sweetness (Review)



This review is for the book "Fetching Sweetness" by Dana Mentink. In this novel, we meet Stephanie Pink who is on a very simple mission - meet up with author Agnes Wharton, get her new manuscript, and earn a promotion.

Not happening. When Stephanie does meet Agnes, it is not under idea circumstances. Agnes's dog, Sweetness, makes a break for it right when Stephanie is coming to get the manuscript from Agnes. Agnes is a bit eccentric, so she tells Stephanie she can't have the manuscript until Stephanie captures Sweetness and brings her home to Agnes. What follows is a silly, topsy turvy tale of Stephanie (not a dog lover, by the way) and the man she runs into along the way, Rhett Hastings. The novel is the adventure of Stephanie, Rhett, and Sweetness on their way back to the home of Agnes, and the self-realizing journey that Stephanie and Rhett both take along the way.

I enjoyed this book. It is fun and a light-hearted read. I liked the characters and it was different from other books I have read.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Fetching Sweetness Dana Mentink

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Loyal Heart (Review)



This review is for the book "The Loyal Heart" by Shelley Shepard Gray. She is one of my favorite authors so I was looking forward to reading this book. This is the first book in her new series Lone Star Hero. This one is labeled "A Lone Star Hero's Love Story". In this book, Robert Truax promises his Confederate comrade that if anything happens to him, Robert will look after his wife. Unfortunately, Robert has to cash in on his promise.

He arrives in town to check on Phillip's widow, Miranda, and finds that she is in a lot of trouble. She is being shunned by the town and receiving threatening letters due to an untrue rumor going around about her late husband. Robert is determined to protect Miranda and make things right. In fact, he gets several officers involved that also knew Phillip to come to town to assist Miranda!

I loved this story. It has a lot of action and suspicion throughout the book - readers will wonder who exactly can be trusted - but there is romance and gentleness throughout the book as well. I loved the characters. I loved the men throwing around their weight in order to protect this woman who was extremely frail due to her loss of husband and loss of reputation.

I enjoyed this story a lot. I look forward to reading more in the series.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

The Things We Knew (Review)



This review is for the book "The Things We Knew" by Catherine West. In this novel, readers meet Lynette Carlisle. Lynette's family completely fell apart after her mother's death twelve years ago. She has three brothers and a sister who all went their separate ways, and she was left to take care of her ailing father, ailing house, and ailing finances. She's been carrying a burden for a long time, and it's time to call the siblings home to discuss the future of their childhood home, and the nightmares that have been plaguing Lynette and coming out through her artwork.

Then enters Nicholas Cooper, Lynette's former crush. He still has feelings for Lynette, but they didn't separate on good terms in the past, and he has a few secrets he has kept from her as well. They are going to have to get past all that in order to move onto a future together.

I really liked this novel. I loved the variety of characters, and I enjoyed the storyline. There was mystery and tension and suspense throughout the novel, but at the same time you will root for the romance that Nicholas is attempting to start with Lynette. I highly recommend this novel.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

(Un)Natural Mom (Review)



This review is for the book "(un)Natural Mom" by Hettie Brittz. This book is all about why you are the perfect mom for your kids. I loved it! First of all, before you read the book, you can take a test at a website in order to find out your mothering style and "mom personality". This is pretty cool. This way you can know which sections of the book you really need to focus on and which moms you will really relate to.

The book begins with confessions by the author. I loved this. We all have those moments as a new mom that we look back on and cringe, or we just know we were listening to too many people and pulled in too many different directions. Now I can laugh about those things, but it still feels good to read someone else's woes and commiserate!

After Hettie goes over the myths of being a "natural" or "perfect" mom, she also talks about how each mom is their own person and has their own personality and temperament. Of course that plays into their parenting style. The next few chapters are great examples of that. Hettie talks about each type of mothering (boxwood, Palm Beach, rose bush, and pine tree) by using fictional stories that are SO easy to see yourself in. Or you can at least see bits of yourself in the ones you are most like. This helped the mothering styles make way more sense to me and more realistic.

Of course there are some mixtures of types - you might be a boxwood/rose bush mom. She goes over that as well. She also points out that you can probably pinpoint not only your style but your own mom's, or your mother-in-law, or even your daughter if she has children. She gives ways to relate to those moms who don't have the same personality as you. For example, a pine tree/palm beach mom needs to be ambitious rather than competitive, and she likes to figure things out as she goes. When you can remember why type of mom your closest friends and family are, you can help situations run more smoothly.

I loved this book. I think it is an awesome resource that all moms can really use. I would love to read more by Hettie Brittz in the future, too.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Vinegar Girl (Review)







This review is for the book "Vinegar Girl" by Anne Tyler. I have heard so much about Anne Tyler but I have never taken the opportunity to read one of her books. In this book, Tyler takes on Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" and twists it into a modern story that you won't be able to put down.

Kate Battista is stuck in a rut. She is in her mid-twenties and feels that she has no life plan. She never finished college, she still lives at home taking care of her absent-minded scientist father and bothersome little sister, and she works in a job at a daycare that she really isn't very good at, or enjoys very much. Then her father concocts this crazy plan to have her marry his assistant, Pyotr, just so Pyotr can stay in the country and continue working with her father. Kate scoffs at the plan at first, but Pyotr seems to actually like her, and he's very different from any other man she's been close to.

The story is fun, sweet, witty, and fast-paced. I loved it. I read the whole book over two days. I really enjoyed the characters and storyline. Although I'll be honest - I don't remember anything about Shakespeare's story, so that was meaningless to me. Anyway, I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Beauty Refined (Review)







This review is for the book "A Beauty Refined" by Tracie Peterson. I love Tracie Peterson and this book did not disappoint me. This is the second book in her Sapphire Brides series but it is easily read as a standalone. In this book, Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to visit America for the first time. Unfortunately, her father is involved in some suspicious activities. Not only that but she discovers a secret about her mother that completely turns her world upside down. While she is dealing with that, she encounters a man named Ian Harper, who is a local lapidary and also very distrusting of her father. Because of Ian's past, he really doesn't know who to trust and who is lying to him. The journey of Phoebe and Ian curves around in this book, finally coming together in the end. I enjoyed the characters and the writing style of the story itself.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Little does Phoebe know that her father's plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don't miss Tracie Peterson's A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.




Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!






beauty refined - 400 



One grand prize winner will receive:




Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!





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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!


Monday, August 1, 2016

BatDad (Review)







This is a review for the book "Bat Dad" by Blake Wilson. I got this book for my husband, who follows Bat Dad on Facebook. He used to show me the videos all the time and he thought they were so funny. So I got him this book thinking it would be some extra jokes or pictures or something. It was okay, but it didn't seem like there was any new material in the book. I really think that the Facebook page is much funnier because you get to see the reactions of everyone in the videos and you hear the tone of voice and everything. The videos make everything so much funnier. In my opinion, he should stick to videos and not try the book avenue again.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

If My Husband (Review)







This review is for the book "If My Husband Would Change, I'd be Happy" by Rhonda Stoppe. Obviously the title of this book is very eye-catching! I knew I was going to like this book because I think we have all been sucked into the mindset that if our spouse would change, we would be happier. This is a great book which mainly focuses on Rhonda's viewpoint, but every chapter includes a bit from her husband Steve, and his outlook on the different topics throughout the book.

Each chapter talks about a different aspect of marriage, such as respecting one another, feeling like you would be happier being married to someone else, or finances. Rhonda uses scripture and real-life experiences to guide us on a path that is godly and God-honoring. At the end of each chapter is a section called "Thinking It Through" which has scripture references and questions about those scriptures that make you think deeper about the theme of the chapter. There is also a section called "Living it Out" which can help you put things into practice that you need to change. Rhonda also has a website that she encourages readers to go to for extra video or audio links.

This book is an easy read and it will really help you self-reflect. Rhonda asks simple questions throughout the chapters that made me really think as I answered them on my own. I chuckled as I read some portions of the book and recognized myself in horror in other portions! I think this is a great book for wives to read and I highly recommend it.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dwelling Places (Review)




This review is for the book "Dwelling Places" by Lucinda Secrest McDowell. In this book, McDowell searches out ways for us to settle down and dwell in a place of calmness and serenity, rather than busyness and noise. The devotions are short and refreshing. The book is split into the four seasons, and each devotion has a theme, such as "called", "fear", or "listens". There is a scripture, and then a short devotion, and each one ends in a short paragraph from God's perspective. The devotions are real-life situations and stories or they go more in depth on scripture. They are down to earth and easy to relate to. I really enjoyed these devotions and highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.