Friday, September 15, 2017

First Line Friday

The Christmas Blessing
Melody Carlson
34020268
"Amelia Richards blinked back tears of hopelessness as she pressed the lid of her over-packed suitcase closed."

My review is here.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line and then head over to see what First Lines these friends are sharing today:

 

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact
Carrie at Reading is my SuperPower,
Rachel @ BookwormMama, Beth @ FaithfullyBookish, or Sydney @SingingLibrarianBooks. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Writing Desk

The Writing Desk
Rachel Hauck
33098667
Tenley wrote an amazing best seller. Her father and grandfather were also best selling authors. So with the deadline for her next book looming, Tenley must make up her mind, go to Florida to help her estranged mother or go to Paris with her boyfriend. She needs inspiration to remove her roadblock. What she finds is nothing like she expected. An old desk with a stuck drawer, a local carpenter who wants the desk, and renewed relationships help change Tenley in ways she never imagined.

I loved this book. The cover is beautiful and the story captivating. The writer was able to convey the feelings of the main characters and write descriptive scenery that made me feel as if I was living the story with Tenley. The emotions were authentic and sometimes raw, but added depth to the plot. The characters were flawed, but the reader comes away from the book with a sense of understanding, conviction, and thoughtfulness. I felt some elements of faith woven throughout the book, but they were subtle. The author did a great job of weaving two stories, set in different times together. It flowed well and felt seamless. I think anyone who enjoys thought provoking, real stories will enjoy the story of this young author as she deals with family, writer's block, and conviction. Overall, a book that captivated me and I couldn't put down. Can't wait for her next book.

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made Into Pie
Mary-Frances Heck
33516860
Sweet potatoes are a versatile food. They can be cooked as a savory dish or made into a dessert. The author has created a colorful and tasteful cookbook that will delight any cook, even those who aren't fond of sweet potatoes. The book begins with an introduction to sweet potatoes. It talks about how to store and prepare them, the different sizes and varieties and the seasonings that work best. The next section is all about ways to cook them "in the rough". This section goes over the instructions on how to roast, fry, bake, and puree a sweet potato. The rest of the book is divided into the different sections of recipes. The end is my favorite - the desserts. Filled with easy to follow recipes and lots of colorful pictures, this book would make an excellent gift and will delight any cook.

I loved this book. My family isn't a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but they've loved all of the recipes I've tried so far. Our favorites were the sweet potato fries, gnocchi, and waffles. Although the cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls were amazing too. Can't wait to try more of the recipes.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

An Amish Christmas Love

An Amish Christmas Love
Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin
33027813
Four authors came together to write sweet, romantic stories that were set during the Christmas holidays and featured Amish characters. Each story is separate and is tied with the others by the theme. The novellas will give new readers a taste of the author's writing style and a glimpse into what Amish fiction is like. Readers who have already enjoyed these authors will love the short, but good stories that are written by authors they love.

There were three stories that I really enjoyed and one that was just okay. I'll admit, I'm not a fan of full length bonnet fiction. But I can take it in small doses and I LOVE novellas, which is why I wanted to try this book out. Three of the stories felt well done for the short amount of space a novella gives. The other one needed a bit more fleshing out. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and am glad that I chose to read it. These stories are clean, sweet, romantic, and heartwarming. The authors did a great job of including the various aspects of faith and the Amish traditions.

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

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Wedded for the Baby

Wedded for the Baby
Stand-In Brides #2
Dorothy Clark
33916006
Katherine is on the way to visit her sister when she helps a sick mother on the train. The mother makes Katherine promise to take care of her son before she passes away. Now Katherine is stuck, on her way to meet the mother's fiance. When Trace, an ex-doctor, asks her to marry him to secure his home and help with the baby, she agrees. But both agree that it's only a marriage of convenience that will only last until Trace can find another wife. Neither of them are willing to share the secrets that are keeping them from their full potential. But maybe the little boy will mend their hearts.

The premise of this book was definitely a twist on the mail-order bride type. I enjoyed the descriptions of the town and the characters. Some of the characters stood out a little more than others for me. While I didn't really connect with either of the two main characters or really feel any of their chemistry, I did enjoy reading the story. The book is listed as Christian fiction, but while there were some references to faith, it wasn't the main focus of the book. The romance of the plot, while not strong, is clean. The book is the second in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone.

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

Friday, September 8, 2017

First Line Friday

Beyond A Doubt
A Rock Harbour Mystery #2
Colleen Coble
15869690
"Bitterness tore at Quentin Siller with the same ferocity as the cold wind that ripped at his jacket."
 
My review is here.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line and then head over to see what First Lines these friends are sharing today:

 

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact
Carrie at Reading is my SuperPower,
Rachel @ BookwormMama, Beth @ FaithfullyBookish, or Sydney @SingingLibrarianBooks. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Daring to Hope

Daring to Hope: 
Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful
Katie Davis Major
33916342
Katie Davis moved to Uganda, decided to stay, adopted a house full of girls, and learned more about herself and her faith than she ever dreamed possible. Despite tragedy, loss, messes, and inconvenience, she learned the beauty of opening ones heart to what God has in store. Life doesn't always go as we'd planned or hoped. But there is beauty in the broken, life in the dying.

I'd read Katie's previous book and absolutely loved it. So I was really excited to get my hands on this one. It didn't disappoint. Her writing style alone would have me devouring every book she writes. She fills her book with honesty about her fails and short comings, truth about how God leads, and beauty when she describes the wonderful chaos that is her family. I couldn't put the book down. While there is definitely strong faith elements, this book is perfect for anyone who wants to open their heart to adoption or the love of those around us. This book inspired, convicted, and warmed me. Her voice reminds me of Ann Voskamp, another favorite author. It's a book that I'll keep reading over and over to glean more from her insights. It definitely goes into the top 100 books list for me.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Monday, September 4, 2017

If You Were Me

If You Were Me and Lived in Cuba
Carole P. Roman
35709418
Two young Cuban children take the young reader on a tour of their beautiful country. Children will learn about games, food, and family. Bright, colorful illustrations help tell the story and bring life to the page. Each book in the series follows the same pattern and helps children learn more about the country while enjoying the information in story form. At the back of the book is a glossary for any words that might be unfamiliar.

The author has done a great job of presenting the facts in a fun and enjoyable format. My children love these books and look forward to reading each one as they come out. The book would make the perfect edition to a school library or as an addition to a home school curriculum. I would definitely recommend this book or any other in the series.

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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Beyond a Doubt

Beyond a Doubt
A Rock Harbor Mystery #2
Colleen Coble
15869690
 Bree is known for being able to find missing people. Her search-and-rescue dog, Samson, is just as famous. When she decides to remodel the basement in the lighthouse she owns, a body is discovered. This starts a train of events that will change the lives of everyone who lives in Rock Harbor and shed light on some lies people have believed for years. 

I'm a fan of Ms. Coble so it was no surprise that I enjoyed this story. She mixes mystery, suspense, romance, faith, and family so that they are seamless. The characters stand out and are distinguishable. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and raced through it. There were a few sticking points for me though, that made it not quite up to the five star quality. The romance was weak for me. Just didn't get the chemistry between the two main characters. The book is definitely NOT a stand alone and ends, for the most part, on a cliff hanger for most of the characters. I felt very lost for portions of the book because I could tell I was missing something. There is another Rock Harbor series that is more geared towards children and I wondered how many of those characters were in the book since it felt like I was missing way more elements than just the previous book. But I still enjoyed it and think that if I'd read everything previous to this book, it wouldn't have been an issue.

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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories
Celeste Fletcher McHale
30649391
Jacey and Colin are caught in a storm with epic flooding. They spend several days stuck on a roof together, along with a mother of four little boys. As they are rescued, Jacey and Colin become separated. Now Jacey is missing pieces of her memory due to a horrible accident. But she's never stopped remembering Colin and those intense moments they shared while on that roof a year ago. She just doesn't expect to find him standing in for the minister at her friend's wedding. 

This was an unusual plot. It had some twists that I wasn't expecting and yet ended a lot like what I expected. As the title implies, this is a sweet, romantic southern story that meanders through like a hot and humid afternoon spend under the trees sipping lemonade. The author did a good job of creating drama and tension, while still supplying romance between the couple. The best friend was hilarious and the other secondary characters were well fleshed out and added depth to the story. I definitely wouldn't classify this as Christian or even Inspirational fiction based on content. I've read "non-Christian" books with more emphasis on God and faith. But it was, for the most part, clean with only a few references or things implied. I prefer a little more depth to my romance and am not a fan of so much angst. But readers who enjoy slow, southern style reads with lots of drama and angst will really enjoy this book. While not my typical genre, I did enjoy reading it and am willing to try another book by this author.

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

First Line Friday

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories
Celeste Fletcher McHale

30649391

He kissed her again. "Don't lose that number, Jacey," he said, the rain beating down on both of them, stinging and biting their bodies. He quickly shoved the card into her pocket.

Review to come this week!

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line and then head over to see what First Lines these friends are sharing today:

 

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact
Carrie at Reading is my SuperPower,
Rachel @ BookwormMama, Beth @ FaithfullyBookish, or Sydney @SingingLibrarianBooks.