Sunday, July 16, 2017

Seize The Day

Vera Bradley Seize The Day
Coloring Book Pattern Portfolio
Vera Bradley
I reviewed two of these Vera Bradley coloring books before this one and I'm still standing by my statement that they are some of the best quality coloring books out there. Well worth every penny. 

This is a very high quality adult coloring book. It's one of my favorites so far. The attention to detail and quality of the book are exceptional. The book begins with some informational pages about coloring techniques, various coloring devises, and more. My favorite was a sample of all of the patterns used in this book. It also included the name of the pattern and what year it came out. The pages are thick and didn't bleed through or even ghost. The back of the book included some note cards and gift tags that were super fun to use. My favorite were the sample pages throughout the book. These look like high quality scrapbook paper. Quite a few of the pages had motivational quotes within the coloring page. My only complaint might be that the pages weren't perforated. Overall this was a beautiful book that I've really enjoyed using. While this would make an excellent gift, I recommend getting two. You won't want to part with it.

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Art of Manliness

The Illustrated Art of Manliness
Brett McKay
When life throws challenges, every man needs to have the knowledge to handle those challenges. The author has taken tons of scenarios that a man might encounter such as how to survive a bear attach or run a great meeting and paired them with illustrations to make learning fun and easy.

My husband and son loved reading this book. My pre-teen son especially enjoyed it and kept sharing things with me as he read it. The list of things that are included are varied, the illustrations really help tie everything together. I was really impressed with some of the things covered and how well they were explained. While surviving a bear attack is something that might not every happen to the normal man, learning to swaddle a baby or be a gentleman is definitely a requirement. Enjoyed the book and loved watching my son enjoy it as well. Would definitely recommend this as a gift for the gentleman in your life.

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Chocolate for Your Soul

Chocolate for Your Soul
Sheri Rose Shepherd
Do you find yourself craving chocolate? Then when you finally get your craving you feel a sense of completeness and fulfillment.  But those feelings don't last. Craving the faith and presence of God can fill us with an eternal peace that earthly cravings can't satisfy. Follow the author as she shows you that God is good with scripture, spiritual thoughts, stories, and recipes. Each chapter focuses on a different craving that we might experience, such as love, laughter, energy, or a new beginning. The author begins with a scripture and then breaks her thoughts down like recipes, listing ingredients that will help the reader achieve the craving they desire. At the end of each chapter are several recipes that tie in with the chapter.

This was a nice book. The thoughts were well explained and I liked the format of the book. It was unique and caught my attention. There are over 100 recipes so even if some of them don't appeal, there is sure to be several that look great. My only complaint was that I thought this would feature chocolate throughout the book. And while the first chapter had several chocolate recipes and talked about richness, the rest of the book was not about chocolate at all. Disappointing for this chocolate lover, but overall, nice book that I'm sure will appeal to many.

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

Sunday, July 2, 2017

An Extraordinary Union

An Extraordinary Union
The Loyal League #1
Alyssa Cole
The Civil War is in full swing and Elle is helping the north by posing as a slave. She's free, but has gotten herself a position with a prominent family who thinks she is a mute. But when she gets a message to meet someone to exchange vital information, she never expects to see Malcolm, an Irishman who she'd met that night. Sparks fly as the two fight. But despite their disagreements, they are both willing to die for their country.

This book was nothing like I expected. I'm not sure if the plot would have even been feasible during that time period. But it was such a refreshingly different story that I didn't mind. The author was able to make the story come alive with her descriptions and the tension was well defined between the characters. There was several "bedroom" scenes that were graphic. I didn't really get the chemistry between the two main characters, but loved the history from a different perspective than normally told. Overall, I thought it was a nice story and I look forward to reading more by this author.

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cat Tales

Cat Tales
True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kittens
Aline Alexander Newman
 Kittens are absolutely adorable. And what better way to spend some time than reading about cats and how they've blessed us with their presence. Cats have personalities as unique as humans. Some of the stories include a little cat that rock climbs with it's owner, a seeing-eye cat, a cat who is an official train station master, and a very large cat that isn't your typical size. The book is small, making it the perfect book to tuck into a purse or bookbag for those occasions when you only have a few moments to read. The book is filled with colorful photography, helpful tips from experts, and information about each cat in the stories, including their breed and location.

My children and I really loved this book. The stories have heart and the pictures make it a great book to read with children. But as an adult, I also enjoyed it very much. This is definitely a book we'll be keeping. But it would also make an excellent gift for the cat lover, or child in your life.

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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Butterfly Mandalas

Colorful Creations Butterfly Mandalas
Jess Volinski
If you follow my reviews, you will know I'm a huge fan of adult coloring books. So I'm getting a bit picky about what I like to color since I've had the privilege of reviewing so many different types. I thought this book was incredibly well put together and enjoyed coloring it. This particular book begins with some insights from the author on art and how to creatively express yourself. She shows shows examples of different ways to use color and links the various color palates to emotions. There are several pages devoted to the color wheel and how to use it to get the look you want. Then the first few coloring pages have the color wheel, palette examples and a small space to test out your own palette choices. On the left is a quote surrounded by a butterfly design to color and has a place for notes. The right side is the full color sheet with each design featuring flowers and butterflies. The book ends with some examples that the author has given where she colored the pages herself. The color pages are adult coloring style, but aren't so intricate that a mature child couldn't also enjoy them. My pre-teen daughter loves butterflies and enjoyed this book as well. Overall, if you love adult coloring books, this would be an excellent choice.

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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Heart on the Line

Heart on the Line
Ladies of Harper Station #2
Karen Witemeyer
Grace witnessed her father's death and is now hiding from the man or men responsible. Harper Station is the perfect place to hide and try to figure out why her father was murdered. Her job as a telegraph agent allows her the anonymity that she desires while giving her the opportunity to create a friendship with another agent towns away. When her agent friend, Amos, hears of potential danger he runs to Grace's aid. Now the two must join with the residents of Harper Station to stay one step ahead of the killer before he can eliminate Grace and those dearest to her.

This was such a fun book. But then all the books by Ms. Witemeyer are fun. She is able to infuse humor into her stories while keeping them suspenseful and dramatic. The plot takes some unexpected turns and is full of trust, faith, romance, and the importance of friends. While being thoroughly entertained, I was also blessed by the message woven throughout the book. I recommend this book if you enjoy Christian fiction with a message of faith. Can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.

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