Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid (Review)


If you enjoy historical romance/drama that is set in Biblical times, this is the book for you. I just finished reading "The Queen's Handmaid" by Tracy Higley. I will admit that when I started the book, I wasn't too sure about it. I didn't understand the politics and I kept getting people confused. But about halfway through the book, it started clicking for me. There is so much mystery and drama and intrigue in this book, I just couldn't put it down at the end.

Higley has obviously done her research for this book. The book is set in 39 BC and most of the conflict is between the countries and governments of Egypt and Judea. Lydia, a handmaid in the story, knows she has an important role to play in her life, but she doesn't realize for such a long time how important she really is. The book is a great story of how God has everything planned out for our lives.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


Win a Kindle HDX!
The Queen's Handmaid
 

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The Queen's Handmaid
 


 

Friday, April 4, 2014

The 500 Hats (Review)



Well, I am one of those people - I love to read books written by other women with tons of scripture and wisdom packed in. I have read "The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman" by Joyce Ellis and I can't say enough great stuff about it. This lady definitely understands what it means to be a wife, a mother, a cook, a maid, a chauffeur, a launderer, a nurse, a counselor... and many other roles, all rolled up into one person! Being a woman is a tough job, although it is very rewarding.

I just loved reading this book. It was down-to-earth and kept my attention. I found myself nodding my head with so many things throughout the book. I like how Ellis did speak about the Proverbs 31 woman but she brought so many other characteristics from scripture into the book. I loved the quotes from real women at the beginning of chapters. I enjoyed the reflection questions and scripture at the end of chapters. It made the chapter really tie together and made me do some searching on my own. And she gives you tons of other resources throughout the book as well.

I highly recommend this book if you are of the female gender. I think everyone should read it. If only just to realize you are not alone in this journey that can sometimes feel so lonely.

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

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500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman: Strength for Today's Demanding Roles
 


 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Quilted Heart (Review)



I just finished reading "The Quilted Heart" by Mona Hodgson. This book is actually three novellas in one. If I'm not mistaken, some of the characters are going to be intertwined into the next series, to continue the story.

I liked these books. They are historical fiction, so if you like that genre you will enjoy these. Each story focuses on one woman and her love story, but you get to know all the characters easily, so they are very familiar in each story. The stories are set in the 1800s so there are a lot of issues surrounding war, finances, and even deciding whether or not to head west in wagons. The stories all kept my interest and were enjoyable to read. The only problem I had with the last story is I felt it ended quite abruptly. You are given a glimpse of what Caroline's future is going to hold, but the story isn't completed in the end of the book. That's fine, but it did make me curious about the next series coming up, if it will answer the question about what happens to Caroline in the future.

All in all I would recommend this book. Hodgson is a great writer and will keep your interest throughout each novella.

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

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The Quilted Heart Omnibus: Three Novellas in One: Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore




Maybelle in Stitches (Review)



This is the third Quilts of Love book I have read. This is called "Maybelle in Stitches" by Joyce Magnin. One thing I like about the Quilts of Love series is the books are all so different. Each book is written by a different author and there is such a wide variety of topics in the books.

In this book, Maybelle is the wife of Holden, a soldier in World War II who suddenly is found to be missing in action. Maybelle has no experience quilting, but she finds an unfinished quilt in her recently deceased mother's closet. Her best friend urges her to finish it, with scraps from Holden's clothes as well as other meaningful pieces of fabric. With no experience sewing, they find a couple of other army wives to join in on the fun. They are determined to quilt until Holden returns home.

This book is awesome because it really shows the social aspect of quilting. These ladies are fully supporting one another as they receive one piece of bad news after another. They are all in it together, even though they are strangers at the beginning.

I highly recommend this book and thought it was a great read. Although there are ups and downs throughout the book, it does have a happy ending.

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


4/1-4/19!
Quilts of Love Joyce Magnin Maybelle in
 Stitches
 

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Maybelle in Stitches: Quilts of Love Series


Friday, March 21, 2014

Build, Dogs, Build (Review)


This was a book that my kids were adamant about bringing home from the library. Anything having to do with construction is big right now. This is "Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tale" by James Horvath.

I liked this book because it isn't your usual construction book. I like books that are a little challenging and teach kids something new about something they already have discovered. The illustrations in this book are great for keeping kids' attention. They're very well done.

The book goes through each process of construction, starting with demolition. You learn that the crane has to be at the right angle to knock the building down. Then you go through the bulldozer and dump truck before starting the actual construction. Duke is the foreman in this book, but you find that there are tons of jobs to be done on the construction site. This includes digging trenches to run pipes, pouring concrete, putting girders together to make the frame, and even the jobs of electricians and plumbers.

I think this book is great. It easily kept the interest of my kids (3 and 4) and brought up a lot of new vocabulary and careers that we could talk about. It's a very cool book. I'll be looking for more by this author.

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Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail

Dream Animals (Review)


My 4-year old daughter, who is a huge girly-girl, picked out this book after seeing pictures of fairies and elves on the inside pictures. This is "Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey" by Emily Winfield Martin.

I have to admit I didn't enjoy this book as much as my daughter, but she loved it. I didn't feel there was a whole lot of substance to the story. But when you bring in a girl in a dress flying on a goose, fairies dancing, and mermaids having a tea party - my daughter is full in!!

The illustrations are beautiful and captivating. And although I personally wasn't a huge fan of this book, it seemed to have a really calming effect on both my kids (3 and 4).

You can buy a copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey

Library Mouse (Review)


I think it's safe to say that my son picked this book out due to the cool mouse on the front cover with an acorn helmet and sword!

"Library Mouse" by Daniel Kirk was a very cute book to read. Sam is a mouse who happens to live in a library. He spends all day reading and eating crumbs. His imagination was running wild, so he decided to write a book. He wrote an autobiography and put it in the autobiography section of the library. When it was discovered, no one knew who this mystery author was. His next novel, "The Lonely Cheese" was another hit. When the librarian posts a letter pleading for the author to make himself known, Sam has an idea. He creates a way for all the children in the library to create their own stories and become authors. Eventually the library is filled with novels of all topics written by all kinds of people. I loved the line in the book that said, "Soon there was a whole shelf full of books written and illustrated by people who had never written a book before, telling stories that had never been told."

I think this is a great lesson for our kids. We all have stories that should be told. We all have the ability to create stories. It would be so much fun to have kids write a book after reading this one. It doesn't have to be lengthy, but I guarantee they will have a blast. I did this with my husband's cousins several years ago when they were younger and made them copies of the book. We all still have our copies. They are so fun to look back on! It's a great way to stretch the imagination.

My kids (3 and 4) loved this book. I will say it is a little long. It was no problem for my kids, but it took 10-15 minutes to read the whole story. Mine are used to sitting for long periods and reading but if yours aren't you could break up the story. I think it's interesting enough to keep most children's attention anyway.

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Library Mouse

Lost Cat (Review)


My 3-year old son had me read this twice at the library and then begged to bring it home. I guess he couldn't pass up those eyes on the front cover! This book is "Lost Cat" by C. Roger Mader.

The story is a little far-fetched, but it sure made my kids (3 and 4) very happy with the ending! Poor Slipper the cat gets left behind on moving day. She sets out on an adventure to find a new person to adopt. There is something wrong with everyone she finds though. You just know she won't be satisfied with anyone other than her previous owner, Mrs. Fluffy Slippers.

I think this story is cute. It's fun to read and I like the attitude the cat has. For instance, one person she comes across is really nice, but she is a dog owner. Slipper thinks to herself that she could have adopted the woman, but that dog? Never!

This is one that has been read over and over in our house and my kids really enjoy it. As an adult you may see the ending coming (actually, even my 4-year old guessed it) but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable for the kids.

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Lost Cat

Thunder Bunny (Review)


We are always on the lookout for new books from the library. One of our latest is "Thunder Bunny" by Rodney Alan Greenblat.

In this book, there are three children featured. Chops, who talked "endlessly", Specks, a reader/writer, and Artemis, an artist. These children are friends who frequently get together and create stories. One day they find a huge egg which hatches, and over the course of a few months, this bunny that hatched becomes as large as a house. Off they embark on a quest to find his mother. They travel through lands such as "Chatterland", "Scribblearia", and "Volcanoland". They do eventually find his mother.

This book is really cute. It is different from any other book we've read. I like all the different lands the children travel through in their adventure. Even though some lands are not talked about as much as others, it can bring up some really fun activities you can do with your kids. For instance, when traveling through Silly Sea-Monster Ocean, you could have your kids describe or draw some monsters that would be in that ocean. This would also be a great opportunity to make up some silly lands with your kids and see how creative they are!

My kids (3 and 4) really enjoyed this book, and I did too.

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Thunder Bunny

Big Bad Wolf is Good (Review)



My kids absolutely love anything having to do with the "Big Bad Wolf" character. So this was an easy pick from the library for them. It's called "Big Bad Wolf is Good" and is written by Simon Puttock.

In this book, Big Bad Wolf is trying to change his ways. He decides that in order to be labeled as "good" he just has to act good. Unfortunately, he already has a reputation, and people think his good manners are just an act. So he decides he needs to be good and useful. Unfortunately, no one will let him help out with anything due to his reputation again! So he finally decides he must be good and useful and do a noble deed.

I won't spoil the ending in case you want to read it. But my kids (3 and 4) really enjoyed the book as a whole. The pictures (illustrated by Lynne Chapman) are really awesome. The story is fun to read, too. Actually, my daughter (4) was pretty upset that the other characters kept being mean to Big Bad Wolf, but it brought up a couple of great topics, such as second chances and not judging people by how they look.

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Big Bad Wolf is Good