Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender (Review)

This review is for the book "The Beautiful Pretender" by Melanie Dickerson. This is the second book by Melanie Dickerson I have read. The first one I read was "The Golden Braid" which was her take on the Rapunzel story. I remember being amazed and entranced by that story. I couldn't wait to read this book by her, and again, I was amazed and entranced! I read the entire book in one night, yawning and rubbing my eyes and forcing myself to stay awake to get to the end. I LOVE Dickerson's writing style! Her novels are like none other I have read. I didn't realize at all that both of these novels are actually in series - The Golden Braid in her Hagenheim series, and this one in her Thornbeck series. I am definitely going to grab up every other book in both of these series so I can devour them.

In this book, Avelina is sent to Thornbeck to stand in for her Lady Dorothea in a line of of ladies who might become the Margrave of Thornbeck's wife. Avelina is just a servant, so if she is found out, she could face extreme consequences. She just has to last two weeks in the castle without being found out, and without the margrave choosing her for his wife. She thinks that last part will be easy. Unfortunately, it seems that the margrave is a bit taken with her unconventional opinions, and she is attracted to him as well. Also, there is something suspicious going on in the kingdom...

I'm not kidding - this is a book that will wrap you up and suck you in! In a good way, of course! I highly recommend this book as well as her others.

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

The Beautiful Pretender Melanie 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Her One and Only (Review)

This review is for the book "Her One and Only" by Becky Wade. I absolutely love Becky Wade as an author. I have read three or four of her books now and I always know I am going to enjoy them. She has such a great, down-to-earth writing style. In this book readers meet Gray Fowler, a tight end in the NFL, and Dru Porter, Gray's assigned bodyguard. Dru isn't your typical bodyguard. She's gorgeous, half his size, and... a woman! Gray is suspicious of how this woman is supposed to protect him.

Dru is ferocious, though! She is independent, fierce, determined, and knowledgeable in all kinds of defensive and offensive tactics that she can use to protect Gray. She is REALLY determined not to fall in love with him, though, even though he continues to flirt with her.

After a while they both realize they are falling for each other, but Gray is still in danger. They have to work with each other which complicates things. I loved this story because the characters are fun, they aren't cheesy, and they are just all around likeable. If you have read some of Wade's other novels you will run into some of those familiar characters, which is nice to be able to catch up with them.

I loved this novel and definitely recommend it.

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

Her One and Only Becky Wade

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Moment of Weakness (Review)

This review is for the book "A Moment of Weakness" by Karen Kingsbury. This is the second book in her Forever Faithful series. I did not realize that this was a series or I would have started at the beginning. Fortunately, you do not need to read the first book in the series to love and enjoy this book.

Jade Conner and Tanner Eastman were best friends until a family tragedy tore them apart. They found each other almost 10 years later and spent a summer falling in love. In a moment of weakness, they lose track of their faith. When Jade is feeling the consequences of their actions, she goes to Tanner's mother for advice since Tanner is on a missionary journey. She takes his mother's advice, although it stems from lies, and immediately goes and marries a guy who has been chasing her for years. When Tanner comes home, he is diverted from finding her based on lies his mother gives him.

Later in life, Jade's son is taken from her because her husband doesn't share her Christian beliefs. Her custody battle needs the best law firm possible, and it just so happens that she has to turn to Tanner.
This book is intriguing, and although it didn't seem realistic to me, it sadly probably IS realistic in these modern times. I enjoyed this book and the characters. If you have liked other Kingsbury books you will definitely like this one as well.

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Anchor in the Storm (Review)

This review is for the book "Anchor in the Storm" by Sarah Sundin. This is book two in the Waves of Freedom series. I remember reading the first book in the series and really enjoying it. I enjoyed this one just as much. These books are mystery novels and this one is set in 1941. Lillian Avery is a woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life - the main one being that she only has one leg. She perseveres to become a woman pharmacist, which is practically unheard of. As she begins her job, she discovers a possible drug ring. Not wanting to lose her job or get in trouble, she confides in her brother's best friend Arch, who is in the Navy. Between the two of them they try to uncover the truth, and they also find that they are falling in love at the same time. Unfortunately, both of them are carrying some heavy burdens involving trust issues, so their journey together is pretty bumpy.

I loved this book. The characters are great, there is action and mystery, and romance. It is such a great series. I can't wait to read the next one!

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

Anchor in the Storm Sarah Sundin

Monday, May 23, 2016

Africa Study Bible (Kickstarter Campaign)

I am so thrilled to be a part of the Kickstarter campaign for the new Africa Study Bible. The theory behind creating such a Bible is that most Bible resources come from a Western perspective, which is completely different culturally from the reality of life in Africa. Thus was born the idea for the Africa Study Bible.

I have actually seen a sample of this Bible. You can tell how much time, effort and study went into this Bible. The Bible itself is New Living Translation, and there are footnotes throughout the Bible which relate to African culture and phrases. This Bible could do so much good in African countries. I am so excited about this idea, and so thankful for the ones who are committed to this project!

Here is the link to the actual Kickstarter campaign. The goal is to get enough money raised to get the Bibles printed this fall.

When you give $5 or more to this amazing project you will receive a thank you shoutout on their Twitter and Facebook pages AND a special preview of the Africa Study Bible (ASB) book of Genesis!

When you give $15 or more you will get all that and a 5x8 reproduction of a Tim Botts artwork.

When you give $25 or more you will get all of the above plus a complete ASB in digital form.

When you give $40 or more you will receive all of the above except you will get a hardcover version instead of the digital version.

When you give $100 or more you will get the shoutout, the preview, the artwork, the full ASB app and a limited edition leather ASB.

When you give $500 or more you will receive all of the above except you will receive a limited edition goatskin leather Bible instead of the bonded leather.

When you give $1000 or more you will receive all of the above plus two limited edition prints of Tim Botts artwork.

When you give $3500 or more you will receive all of the above plus an all expenses paid trip to the USA dedication of the ASB hosted by Moody Broadcasting in Chicago!

When you give $10000 or more you will receive all those goodies PLUS you will actually go to Kenya for a launch of the ASB and a safari!

Here is a link to a YouTube video detailing the ASB: https://youtu.be/n19KGrEgMso

The campaign runs through June 16, so check it out, share it on social media, and spread the word to everyone you know!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Owlegories Volume 2 (Review)

This review is for the DVD "Owlegories Volume 2" from Fishflix. Fishlix has a ton of great Christian DVDs, books, and apparel. Check them out here.

This particular video is for kids. I had never heard of the Owlegories series, but I am so excited about this new find! I would venture to say that most kids watch some TV every week, and most of those kids enjoy cartoons and talking animals. Why not find something educational and with good morals to fill in that TV time? This DVD has three different episodes focusing on nature - one about ants, one about fruits and one about butterflies. In each episode, the owl kids are investigating these specific things to find how they line up with scripture. For example, the ants are hard workers, and the fruits bring up a discussion about the fruits of the spirit. There is a bad guy who is always trying to trip them up, but he is not scary, and he often gets into silly situations while he is trying to trick the kids. Throughout the adventure the kids discuss scripture and attributes of God. At the end of each episode a real adult comes onto the show and discusses what was talked about throughout the show.

The episodes are short and just right for the short attention span that most kids have. My kids are five and seven years old and they absolutely loved this entire DVD. I loved it because it was cute, funny, educational, and most importantly - NOT ANNOYING! I definitely recommend these to parents of young children.

Purchase the DVD here! If you join the Fishflix email list you can get a $5 coupon! Join by visiting http://www.fishflix.com/5gift or by texting 5-GIFT to 44222.

Thanks to FishFlix.com for providing a sample DVD in exchange for an honest review.  At FishFlix.com you can find Owlegories Volume 2 - DVD and hundreds of other Christian Movies at great prices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Heavenly Help (Review)

This review is for the book "Heavenly Help" by Sarah Bowling. This book is a great perspective on the Holy Spirit and how we should utilize our relationship with the Holy Spirit in our every day lives. Bowling grew up in the ministry, as her parents are Wallace and Marilyn Hickey. But what she found as she grew up is that there were plenty of churches that truly had the Holy Spirit and were legitimate, and then there were plenty of churches that were not truly in the Spirit. So then comes the task of discernment. And then comes the task of making the Holy Spirit real in your own life - even throughout the mundane.

I really enjoyed this book. In between chapters, Bowling added a fictional story of two friends named Ruth and Naomi, so readers get to follow along on their journey of friendship. I really enjoyed that as well. I would be very interested to read more by Bowling. She speaks candidly and is easy to read.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Someone Like You (Review)

This review is for the book "Someone Like You" by Victoria Bylin. In this book, we meet Julia Dare, a single mom who has recently separated herself from her son's father. Julia has moved back in with her widowed mother and is trying to run a company while dealing with the emotional abuse from her son's father. She is excited to find a big account is interested in her event planning business, and she travels to solidify that relationship, but is surprised to find her college sweetheart Zeke is the general manager of the place to which she has been sent. This is an awkward relationship because of how they left things, and the fact that Julia's son's dad is a guy who tormented Zeke in college. They obviously still have some feelings for each other and are trying to work out those feelings while deal with the business side of things.

I loved this book. While I cringed at the treatment that both Julia and her son Max received from the dad, Hunter, it was unfortunately pretty realistic of how manipulative abusers can be. I loved the side story of Julia's mom finding love again after losing her husband. And I enjoyed the journey that Zeke was on to rekindle his faith. This book had a subtle push toward faith but nothing cheesy or overly dramatic. I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more by Bylin in the future.

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Daughter's Dream (Review)

This review is for the book "A Daughter's Dream" by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is the second book in the Charmed Amish Life series, which takes place in Charm, Ohio. I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I am happy that I got to read the second book. Also, Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite authors, so I fully expected to enjoy this book.

In this book, Rebecca Kinsinger has a dream of becoming a teacher. The problem is, she really isn't very good at teaching or handling children! She soon meets Jacob and Lilly Yoder, a little girl who was recently orphaned and taken in by her uncle Jacob. Jacob is supposed to be working as a farmer, but like Rebecca, he has bigger dreams. As they work on realizing those dreams, they also grow close to one another.

I love the characters in this book. Gray makes her books so easy to read and enjoy. I look forward to the next book in the series!

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hunting Hope (Review)

This review is for the book "Hunting Hope" by Nika Maples. Nika Maples is a survivor, not only of lupus, but also of a massive stroke that left her quadriplegic. The thing I like the most about this book is that Nika speaks as a person on the same level as the reader. She struggles, and she overcomes, and she falters, and she is strong. She had stories of faltering faith, and she had stories of others failing her, and she had stories of hard times and stories of when she powered through. She has awesome examples of people who are "hope hunters" and scripture that will hopefully help us all become stronger hope hunters! I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot from it. I would love to read more from Nika in the future.

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

Hunting Hope Nika Maples

Mars with Venus Rising (Review)

This review is for the book "Mars... With Venus Rising" by Hope Toler Dougherty. This is a book about Penn Davenport, a young lady in her mid-20's who lets fear rule her life. She has lived in fear after her parents died in a plane crash, leaving her an orphan in the care of her two aunts. She meets a young man named John who is a pretty typical young guy, but he throws Penn for a loop. She can't believe he wears black, drives a motorcycle, and wants to fix up a house without having a background in carpentry.

Honestly, Penn irritates me. I can't say that I empathize with her, because I have never had a loss like her fictional loss. But she quivers with fear about every little thing, and her incredibly low self-esteem made me pity her and want to walk away from her, rather than befriend her character. Fortunately, John is a better man than I, because he sees something in Penn and sticks around.

The aunts are the best part of the book, in my opinion. They are quirky and fun-spirited and AWESOME cooks. The story ends up with a happy ending, with Penn breaking out of her shell a bit, so that's good at least.

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

Mars with Venus Rising Hope Toler 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Inheritance (Review)

This review is for the book "The Inheritance" by Michael Phillips. Every so often a book comes along that I, sadly, just cannot get into. I thought this book would be really cool. It is the first book in a series, so I was hoping to finish this book and look forward to the next book in the series. In this book, the past and present come together to tell a story about Scottish heritage and roots. The book begins in the 1920s, then moves forward to the 2000s, and then to the 1950s, and then back to the 2000s.

Within the first chapter of the book, I was overwhelmed by the amount of details and I was, frankly, bored. I wanted to give it my best shot, though, so I could honestly review it, so I continued reading. I read through a good portion of the first part of the book - twenty chapters or so - before I just closed the book. It is extremely rare that I do that, but I could not focus on this book and I could not relate to it.

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

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (Review)

This review is for the book "The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder" by Rachel McMillan. This is a book unlike any other book I have read. It is part of the Herringford and Watts Mysteries series by McMillan. This book is set in the early 1900's in Toronto, Canada. Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts are best friends who are single and unattached, and therefore somewhat looked down upon by society. They are also in love with solving mysteries which makes them even more of an outcast socially. They do things which ladies are certainly not supposed to do, such as wear disguises, frequent clubs, and snoop around at murder scenes. As young Irish women begin to be murdered, Merinda and Jem go on a quest to find out who the murderer is, risking their own lives at the same time. Fortunately they are helped by a constable, Jasper, and a reporter, Ray.

I loved the writing style of this book. The characters were fun and quirky, and there were these witty footnotes throughout the whole book that made it even more unique. I really enjoyed this story - it wasn't bloody or gory, but still suspenseful and interesting. I can't wait to read more adventures of these ladies!

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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Song of Silence (Review)

Song of Silence Cynthia Ruchti

This review is for the book "Song of Silence" by Cynthia Ruchti. I have read several other books by Ruchti and always enjoyed them very much. I loved the premise of this book, and it was completely unlike any book I have ever read in my life - and I've read a lot!

In this book, we met Lucy and Charlie Tuttle. Lucy and Charlie have been married for a few decades at this point, and when Charlie retired early, Lucy realized how... "at home" he was! Then when she is forced into retirement, they are around each other even more than usual. Lucy struggles with loving her husband but being utterly annoyed by him. She also struggles with losing her passion (her job as a music teacher) and dealing with the choices her adult children are making. She soon finds, through an accident, that losing her voice may be the thing that helps her communicate the best.

I love the personalities of the characters in this book and can't wait to read another by Ruchti!

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