Monday, February 27, 2017

Murder is No Accident

Murder is No Accident
Hidden Springs Mysteries #3
A.H. Gabhart
Maggie wasn't supposed to be in the old vacant house. But she desperately needed somewhere quiet to write. Since no one was living here, it seemed like the perfect place. At least until she heard what sounded like a murder and rushed downstairs to find a woman - dead. 
Sheriff Keane is called to the scene and rules the death an accident. But he begins to doubt himself when a second person is murdered in the house and Maggie appears to be in danger.  Lots of gossip, drama, and murder are making this small town very, very busy.

I've really enjoyed reading the books in this series. The author really brings an authentic small town feel to the story. The characters are realistic, have depth, and are engaging. The mystery isn't revealed too soon and the suspense is perfect. I love how the author sprinkles little elements of faith throughout without being preachy or overbearing. I also like the little romance that is going on between the main character and another character who has slipped into each story just a little bit. It is just the right element for a mystery and pulls me into the next book. Overall, this was a great story and I definitely hope the author plans to write another one in this series.

I received a copy of this book from The Suspense Zone. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Other Side of Him

The Other Side of Him
Alice Rene
In the 1950s girls didn't have a lot of options, especially a young girl in the tenants of Chicago, being raised by a single immigrant mother. But with her brother's support and her mother's reluctant agreement, she studies hard and earns a scholarship to college. She's still in college when her older brother begs her to go on a blind date with one of his customers. On paper Greg seems like a dream come true. He's a wealthy, handsome heart surgeon who clearly adores Claire. There are a few things that worry her, but they are quickly pushed to the back of her mind. Her friends think she's landed in heaven. But as the relationship progresses, Claire decides to end it. Greg has a much darker side and Claire isn't interested. And thus begins some of the worst months of her life as Greg proceeds to stalk her, threaten her, and ruin her career.

This is a darker subject and plot than I would normally read. But I think it's good to step out of my comfort zone occasionally. The writing style has a YA feel to it and feels like the subject is geared towards college age people. The author handled the delicate topic and ensuing emotions well and left the reader with a more positive reading experience when finished. I'm hoping that people who read this book will gain a better understanding of the darker side of relationships.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

If I Had a Parenting Do Over

 If I Had a Parenting Do Over
7 Vital Changes I'd Make
Jonathan McKee
If you've ever done something and later thought of ways you could have done better or found a solution that worked perfectly, then you'll love the approach this author took when writing his parenting book. Coming from years of experience and pulling from other parent's thoughts he wrote a book on parenting. Each chapter deals with typical parenting issues and ends with approximately 8-10 questions that parents can ask themselves that help them to put the concepts into practice.

This was one of my favorite parenting books, ever. The author has a great writing style that made me feel as if I was reading a story, but was learning some real and practical advice. The combination of honesty, humor, and authenticity made me feel I was learning from an expert without feeling preached at. I ended the book knowing that I could truly put these concepts into practice and I have already tried a few of the ideas with success. Definitely a book I would recommend to any of my parenting friends.

I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Control Girl

Control Girl
Lesson on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible
Shannon Popkin
Does a lack of control make you break out in hives? Are you often frustrated, angry, or stressed because things aren't going according to plan. Does the chaos of life throw you into a tailspin? Than I have a book for you. The author has shared from her experiences and personal Bible studies on the subject so that we can learn from her mistakes and from the wisdom of the Bible to get a handle on our control issues. Each chapter begins with a personal story from the author. This is followed by a passage of scripture to look up and read that will go with the lesson. The author then expounds on the verses and ends with some questions and thoughts to ponder. At the end of each chapter is a few verses for meditation.

I loved this book. And it came at a time when I really needed it. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased a copy for a friend. The author does a great job of making the topics personal and relatable. I felt like she was speaking directly to me while reading. The book would work well as a personal study book, but would also be perfect for a small group or women's Bible study. Definitely a 5 star book, in my opinion.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Paris Fashions

Forever Inspired Coloring Book
Paris Fashions
It looks like an adult coloring book, but has been designed for a younger demographic. Each has a black and white design pulled from French fashion. The artist can then fill in the colors to create a beautiful fashion plate. The pages are perforated so they can be torn out and used for decor or inspiration.

My daughter is always begging me to get her a "grown-up" coloring book. These fit her request perfectly. My little fashionista fell in love with the variety of clothing and the setting that the designer put behind each model. The spaces were perfect for her skill level and she loved being able to tear the pages out for better access or for hanging on her wall. There are several books featuring different places in the world and I will be getting more when she finishes with this one.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shannon Popkin's 'Control Girl' Blog Tour and Prize Pack Giveaway

Are you trying to stay in control of your quest for peace, joy, and security . . . and you're exhausted? Shannon Popkin's debut book, Control Girl, is a must-read for anyone with a heart that craves control. Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future, each of these women's stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how to give up control to God and become a Jesus girl! Enter to win a prize pack that will help you give up your Control Girl tendencies.

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on February 21. The winner will be announced February 22 on Shannon's blog.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The American Heiress

The American Heiress Brides Collection
Lisa Cox Carter, Mary Davis, Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Lisa Karon Richardson, Lynette Sowell, Kimberley Woodhouse
Nine authors have come together to write novellas about about wealthy heiresses in a sweet historical collection. Each story is tied into the book by the theme, but otherwise stands alone. Each author has brought her sense of writing style and strong Christian faith to play in the books. 

I enjoyed each of these stories. Each one was different and yet fit together. The characters were well developed and the surroundings and circumstances were well described. Each story was sweet, romantic, and had elements of faith. I also found quite a bit of humor in several of the stories, which I really enjoyed. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction. It would also work if you are limited on time as each little novella stands alone.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts expressed are my own.