Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Book Review: The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White

Fiona receives news her brother has been captured by the British Navy. Around the time she receives that news a British soldier with no memory washes ashore and Fiona is the one who finds him.

It's definitely an interesting plot, but hard as I tried I could not stay involved with the story. I can't quite put my finger on why, but there you have it. The story did seem to lag and it was a bit too wordy at times, so that I found my thoughts drifting. I also could not sympathize with any of the characters. I did not feel like I knew Fiona - she fell a bit flat. 

I love historical fiction - it is my #1 reading choice. It was disappointing that although it was set at such an interesting time in history the story could not hold up. 

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

What's more exciting than a book set in the WWII era? For those of us who love historical fiction it always makes for a great read. The book being written by a talented author who has certainly done her research makes it all the better!

I did not know this was the second book a series - you obviously don't have to have read the first to understand what was going on in this one. I definitely will seek out the first book, however, as I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Sarah definitely walked me into the WWII era. It was written so well I felt as if I were there, in the story, experiencing it all with Lillian. It was a very interesting plot line - both Lillian trying to prove herself as a working woman and the prejudices soldiers had to go through with PTSD. It was something I'd never read about before and I enjoy having more knowledge on the subject now.
I enjoyed all of the characters in the book. They were complex and endearing. Lillian and Arch's romance was made better by the fact there was more depth in their relationship than the average romance story.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

I received a complimentary copy of this book by for my honest review.

When God Made You is a beautiful written and illustrated, lyrical, moving message to young children about how individualistic and special they are to God. 

The second line alone shows you what a treat you're in for: An incredible you, a you all your own, a you unlike anyone else ever known.

That is just a sample of how sweet the book is - it barely touches how moving the words are. The book would be incomplete without the illustrations. Gorgeous, sweeping colors amidst a theme of beautiful fantasy.

This is just the kind of message I want my children to grow up with. Not only are they precious to God, but they're unique, and have a special purpose in life. 

Both the writing and illustrations are five stars and I'd definitely recommend this book for your own children's library. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Book Review: For the Record by Regina Jennings

I received a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

The town and townspeople in the book were all very quirky and it made for a fun read. If you're an avid reader then you most likely love writing and journalism as well, which is the main characters passion, and that definitely increases enjoyment for the reader.

While the book was fun to pick and read I did not find myself dying to get back to it. Regina Jennings chooses very interesting scenarios for her plots and sometimes it can take me a while to even get into them. That is the reason for the three stars instead of four.

Otherwise, the pace of the story was good, the two main characters were definitely enjoyable and their romance fun to follow, of course.

I liked the "lesson" of the story, which was Joel's story line. Standing up for yourself in the face of unfair accusations is so important for anyone to learn to do and I promote that in everything. I would give a recommendation for this book because of that alone.

Book Review: A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones

I received a complimentary copy of this book by for my honest review.

This book was delicious!

No, not the book itself.

I mean the recipes in the book are delicious! I've tried about 2-3 recipes from each section so far and they were all superb! I'm excited to try more.

The book itself is beautiful - the hard cover makes it durable for kitchen cooking, the recipes are easy to read and follow along, and the pictures are beautiful and give me the right sense as to what the finished product should look like.

Healthful eating is made simple here. The recipes do not require a bunch of weird or hard to pronounce ingredients (which is great for "health conscience" beginners!), they do not take too long of a time to make, and it's yummy enough that my kids have enjoyed the meals!

I have to say my favorite part of the book was her tables! She had tables that gave ideas to her readers for meals. Some of these were: 10 favorite omelet fillings, at-your-desk-salads, and goodness bowls - so great!

This book definitely is worth having in your dinner arsenal!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Review: No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

I received a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.

Emma Chandler was raised by suffragette aunts who gave her a wonderful sense of self, empathy for humanity in need, particularly women, and a deep faith in God.

The thread of feminism was not overwhelming, but constant and appreciated. I enjoyed the fact that it showed christian feminism exists and works (as some people believe it cannot).

When Emma was a child she stumbled upon an orphan, Malachi Shaw, trying to find warmth and sleep in her family's barn and they "adopted" him. He remained a part of their family, although eventually he found a career that kept brought him far from them until she entreated him to help her with some trouble she was having at her woman's colony.

Emma and Malachi have a sweet friendship that I found led nicely into a romance. I adored the fact that, although both of them had different versions of broken families, they had long, warm memories of their childhood together.

The common theme I found in the book was just that.

Most of the characters had been broken in one way or another. They had a broken life, broken emotions, broken bones. God, however, through His people, fixes the brokenness. Heals it.

I had trouble in the beginning as I was completely lost as to what this "woman's colony" was, but eventually the fun, adventure, and of course romance brought me into the book and I finally figured things out and ended up really enjoying the book.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Review: Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

This is gonna be a longer one than what I usually do.

There are two stories in the Bible that never fail in making me cry.

The first is when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times.

The second is the one about the bleeding woman. For whatever reason it has always felt personal to me.

In the author's note at the end of the book she mentions two particular points about the bleeding woman, for which I am eternally grateful, as it gave me more food for thought.

1) The first is this is the only time that Jesus addresses a woman as daughter. She brings a good point in that Jesus selected "each term with profound intention". Does that give you shivers? It gives me shivers. This means He used the word with discerning purpose - it must have been something she desperately needed to hear from our loving Savior.

2) The second is that 3 of the 4 gospels tell this story. It is an important one. It was important enough for Jesus to delay saving the life of a very sick little girl. He stopped everyone. He paused an urgent errand. He turned around to seek out the woman who thought she was not significant enough to approach Him personally and ask for healing, but quietly and unassumingly touched the fringe of His robe for His healing power.

I think that is what I always got from the story. He personally sought her out. He asked for her. He went to her. He claimed her. There is nothing more beautiful about God than that, for me. Being claimed by someone gives you the ultimate feeling of love.

As I earlier noted there are zero things known about the woman other than "the issue of blood", so this is a fictionalized account of her story. This does not make it less worthy of a read. The author did her research, she took an educated guess, and wove with words a beautiful, moving narrative that hones in on hurt, forgiveness, and the love of God.

The characters become your good friends by the end of the novel as you have been with them since childhood. The descriptions of Biblical times and places, being able to "view" living with Roman control of their lands, all brings together an atmosphere that pulls you in making you feel as if you are there seeing everything play out.

I plan on revisiting this book. I also plan on looking at the authors other works as this was my first read by her.

Tyndale House Publishers has given me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.