Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Perfect Arrangement

The Perfect Arrangement
The October Wedding
Katie Ganshert
Amelia is a florist who now owns her mother's flower shop. Trying to escape an awkward situation she accidentally bumps her car into another car. Eager to escape, she quickly exchanges business cards with a man named Nate and rushes off. She emails him and they settle the car issue. But when she sees her brother's fiance in an unusual setting she emails her best friend for advice. But the email goes to Nate and an email friendship begins. Amelia is cautious and a scared of letting anyone get too close to her heart. Can she trust Nate to keep her heart safe?

I loved this novella. It was my favorite of all of the wedding series. The characters were delightful and refreshingly real. The story had some humorous moments, but also some heartfelt ones. The romance was clean and sweet. It focused on friendship, instead of physical attraction, which is a wonderful change from most romances. I loved the element of emails that made me think of the book "Daddy Long Legs" and other similar books. The book is full of delightful little details about old movies, long ago romances, and the meaning of certain flowers. I really hope that there is another story about this couple. I really loved them.
Definitely a book I would recommend.

I received this book free of charge from BookLook Blogger in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Girl Meets Change

Girl Meets Change
Truths to Carry You Through Life's Transitions
Kristen Strong
 Change happens to all of us. Sometimes it's anticipated and celebrated, such as having a baby or getting married. Other times, it isn't something we planned for or wanted, such as a car accident or death. But our attitude when the change happens is what dictates how we will feel during and after that change. The author knows all about change and has written a heart felt book about how to deal gracefully with change as it comes. She talks about how to draw from your faith to handle the things that might not have turned out how you had planned.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was well written and interesting. The flow of the book felt like I was having a chat with the author. She incorporated personal stories to bring out her points. Plenty of scripture and biblical references made this a strong, faith-filled book. Since the author struggles with change, her writing gives the feel of comradery and encouragement. While the book is geared towards women, I think men might enjoy reading it as well.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Free Books

Here is a chance for free books that is unlike anything I've ever done on here before. But free is free, right?!
I've read all of these books before, but three of them were favorites. I've written my thoughts on those. But don't let my influence sway you. =)
This is an offer from a non-profit organization that is offering Bible studies and Christian books based on the Bible to people who are interested in learning more about Christ or enjoy reading Christian books. Since the majority of what I review is Christian, I thought some of my readers might be interested.

Truth Seekers
"An you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
 A free hard-back book is yours for the asking. Choose one from the following list:

Patriarchs and Prophets
Prophets and Kings
The Desire of Ages
The Acts of the Apostles
The Great Controversy
Steps to Christ

Please contact us at:
Truth Seekers
P.O. Box 545
McEwen, TN 37101
Steps to Christ is a wonderful book that uses lots of scripture to show you the beautiful message of salvation.
The Desire of Ages is the story of Christ's life here on earth. Probably one of my all time favorite books. I'll never look at the life of Christ the same.
The Great Controversy is an incredibly well written and enthralling books about the history of religion and end time events. If you like history or reading about future events then you'll love this book. It is one of those books that will stick with you for a very long time.

*This is just a picture that I grabbed off of the internet. The free book might not look like this one.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Night Over Water

Night Over Water
Ken Follett
England has just declared war with Germany. A luxurious airliner nicknamed the Clipper is preparing for take-off. They will be flying across the Atlantic to land in the United States. On board are a surprising mix of characters. Each of them has paid a high price for a seat on the plane. Each of them is escaping Europe for some reason. All of them will become intimately acquainted before the 30 hour trip is over. Some will lose their lives, some will find a completely different life than the one they intended, none of them expect the violence or turbulence that will be waiting.

The story started out with separate story lines as the author brought each character to the day when they boarded the plane. There were plot twists, drama, and intrigue. The story covered a very small time period, but filled over 500 pages with grip your seat suspense and drama. If descriptive sex makes you uncomfortable, there will be a few paragraphs that you will want to skip. While I felt it unnecessary to the plot, it didn't really detract from the story for me. Overall, this was a great introduction to a new author and I will definitely be reading more of his books.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Mistress of Tall Acre

The Mistress of Tall Acre
Laura Frantz
Seamus returns home to Tall Acre after the war with a young daughter. He's in desperate need of a mother for his little Lily Cate. Sophie agrees to marry him, knowing there isn't any love involved. But when trouble comes back to haunt them, they find love in unexpected places and must learn to trust not only each other, but their heavenly Father as well.

I really enjoyed this book. The scene was set dramatically and the drama continued through the entire book. The word pictures made the book come alive. The author created characters to love (or love to hate). The book was very plot driven and while the outcome was assumed, I enjoyed the whole thing. The story brought to mind the book Jane Eyre. I would definitely read more by this author based on this book.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Taming the To-Do List

Taming the To-Do List
How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day
Glynnis Whitwer
As women we are always chasing the to-do list. And at the end of the day some of us still feel overwhelmed and a tad guilty because everything hasn't been accomplished. The author has taken these struggles, that are personal to her as well, and written a Biblical and factual approach to getting to the root of the problem. Once the procrastinator can get behind the reasoning for their procrastination they can tame the to-do list and the things that they accomplish will be done well. At the end of each chapter is a small exercise that pertains to the topic.

I picked this book up because the write-up described me. And for the first three chapters I felt like I'd picked up a book written specifically for me. Then it began to get tedious and I really had to force myself to finish. It felt ironic to be reading a book on how to prioritize my life and leave the things that didn't matter behind and to be spending time reading a book that didn't feel like it was really addressing my problem. While the content was good and I appreciated the spiritual aspect, the delivery was a bit dry for me. I would have liked a more light touch to the writing and more practical tips and suggestions that I could have put into practice. Overall, it was a nice book and will probably resonate with some readers. It just wasn't for me.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Chase

The Chase
Trusting God with Your Happily Ever After
Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky
Kyle, a Christian recording artist, and Kelsey, a Christian actress and the daughter of a well know author began preparing for their future spouse when they were thirteen. The book begins and ends with their love story. But in between the story is a beautiful outline on how to start trusting in God to help you find the one you are meant to be with. The authors use personal illustrations and stories about friends to illustrate their points. Scripture and well thought out advice give the reader a clear path to follow.

I've been married for 19 years. So technically this book doesn't apply to me. But I was still able to glean some useful information from it and I enjoyed reading the book. And I can honestly say, that while this couple has not been married long, they have a wonderful and correct concept of the process to finding the person that God wants you to have and preparing for a marriage that blesses Him. I would recommend this book to anyone who is still looking for that special someone and will be keeping it for my children to read when they get older. The authors used relevant and culturally current information that will appeal to the teen and young adult that this book targets.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Let's Learn about the Lord's Prayer

Let's Learn about the Lord's Prayer
Catherine DeVries
Little children can join Emma on a play date as she introduces them to her room, her toys, her best friend, and a new prayer she is learning to say. Each line is given of the prayer with a little commentary from Emma. The book ends with the whole prayer together. There is also a website that will take the reader to a song that will accompany the prayer. The book is a large board book that is easy to hold and the pages will be easy for small fingers to turn.

Bright, colorful illustrations, easy to comprehend vocabulary, and a fun setting will make this book enjoyable for kids and provide a great learning environment. This book is the first book in a series of books designed to teach children about God and make Him personal to their lives.

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

God Made All Of Me

God Made All Of Me
A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies
Justin S. Holcomb & Lindsey A. Holcomb
There are so many mixed messages about our bodies going around in the world today. So the authors have delivered an excellent, faith based book for young children that will explain God's idea for about the body he made for them. Each page is designed to visually and verbally capture a child's attention while getting an important message across. Children will learn that God made them special, what is appropriate and inappropriate touch, the differences between secrets and surprises, and so much more. At the back of the book is a few pages for the parents on sexual abuse and how to protect your children.

Every page is full of color, various fonts, and delightful illustrations. My daughter (6 yrs old) really enjoyed the book and asked lots of questions. I liked all of the Bible verses spread through out the book and the concise and easy-to-understand delivery of the message. This is a book that all parents should read to their children. It's an excellent conversation starter for a topic that is a must in families today. Highly recommended book for anyone working with children, as well.

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hot Mama

Hot Mama
12 Secrets to a Sizzling Hot Marriage
Kathi Lipp and Erin MacPherson
As moms we often fall into the pattern of yoga pants and pony tails. With everything on our plate we often fall into bed exhausted with little interest in keeping our marriage hot. But our marriage should be our first priority. Our husbands should come first on our list. So the two authors polled friends and used their own experiences to co-author a book about how to keep the romance sizzling hot in your marriage.

This book was entertaining. But it also had some useful and practical information. My husband enjoyed my reading it as well. =) The authors shared stories, advice, and Biblical knowledge to show woman that they are important and their marriage is important. I appreciated how they talked about each person being unique and special. This would be a great book to give as a shower gift or to the mom who is in the midst of raising her children.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Last Chance Hero

Last Chance Hero
A Place to Call Home Book 4
Cathleen Armstrong
Jessica grew up hearing stories about her grandfather, a doctor for a small town. Her dream was to follow in his footsteps. So when she moves to Last Chance as their only doctor, she thinks her dreams have come true. But coming from the city to be part of a small town is not exactly as she dreamed. The newcomers are welcoming, but don't want to use her services as a doctor until they know her better. And then there is the issue of football. Jessica is perfectly content having nothing to do with football. But that isn't going to fly in a small town that worships it's football players. 

This is the 3rd book of this series that I've read. While they can be read as a stand-alone, the characters bleed over from each book, so the reader would probably enjoy the book and understand the characters better if they start at the beginning. I enjoyed this story. It was sweet, simple, and uncomplicated. There wasn't a lot of drama. The book would fit well in the small town genre since it involves a lot of characters besides to main two. Clean romance that young teens or adult readers would enjoy.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Love Takes the Cake

Love Takes the Cake
A September Wedding
Betsy St. Amant
Charlotte is known all over the state for her exception baking skills. But she's not as skilled at dealing with relationships, particularly men relationships. So she's at a bit of a loss when a handsome stranger, named Will, begins buying cookies from her. Enter a distraught bridezilla and a helpless groom and Charlotte finds herself working with Will to help plan a wedding cake. But each of them has their secrets from the past. The two must figure out if they can learn to trust and let go long enough to have a relationship.

I enjoyed this story. The sweet elements of the bakery and romance mixed well together. The plot had the typical drama that the couple must work through, but ended perfectly with a happy ending. I liked the character development, but especially enjoyed the best friend and little girl. I have been enjoying this series and look forward to the next one.

I received this book free of charge from BookLook Blogger in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me
What My Favorite Book Taught Me about Grace, Belonging & the Orphan in Us All
Lorilee Crake
The author wrote a beautiful memoir paralleling Anne of Green Gables with the author Lucy Montgomery, herself, and her daughter. She draws lessons from the book and links them with her own stories of adoption, being an orphan, and adopting her own daughter years later. It all began when her daughter asked her what an orphan was. The simple question was the beginning of a mental journey of healing through literacy.

I'm not a huge fan of memoirs, but I loved Anne of Green Gables. So with a little trepidation I began reading. I'm so glad I took the chance.  The writing style is whimsical and graceful. The author is refreshingly honest about herself and the journey she took towards belonging.  The story was entertaining, but also had some points to ponder. I felt richer for having read her story.

I received this book free of charge from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Post Card

The Post Card
The Amish of Jamesport Book 2
Laura V. Hilton
Rachel writes letters to the people she reads about in the Amish paper. Rarely do they respond, but it gives her something to do. But an accident victim writes back and the two form a friendship. David was in a buggy accident that almost killed him. So when he's healed he makes the decision to move to Rachel's community where closed buggies are used. The bonus is that he gets to finally meet his best friend in person. He believes himself in love with Rachel. But Rachel is engaged to another man. The two need to work through their feelings about each other and about the other issues that surround them.

The book started out slow for me. The plot is emotionally driven rather than character or plot driven. This means the main drama or conflict in the story is all about the character's feelings. This is book two in the series and I didn't realize this when I grabbed the book. While there are references to the first book, I do believe it can be read as a stand-alone. The chemistry and touching between the two main characters seemed completely out of character for the Amish way of life, but then I only know what I've read, so perhaps I'm wrong. Overall, it was a nice story that dealt with forgiveness and healing.

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Potter's Lady

The Potter's Lady
Refined by Love Book 2
Judith Miller
Rose has finished her schooling at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. Now she wants to put her skills to the test working for her brother at his pottery business. Rylan was the right hand man for the previous owner. But the new owners are making changes and Rylan has never been a fan of change. But as he works closely with Rose and her brother, Ewan, he realizes they might be trusting the wrong person. Can a contest be the clue to saving their business or will it ruin everything they've worked so hard to accomplish?

The author is really good at creating mental pictures. I was able to "see" the story with all of the descriptions. There was quite a bit of explanation about the pottery and how it was run. While this was interesting to me, it did seem to detract from the main plot of the story. The plot moved very slowly for me and it took me over half of the book before it picked up. I enjoyed the intrigue surrounding the competition and the contest. This is book two in the series and while I think the book would work okay as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading book one first. Overall, it was a nice, descriptive story with a good message that had a slow start and weak romance.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Surrender to Love

Surrender to Love
Maryann Diorio
Dr. Teresa lost her husband years ago and is still reeling from the loss. When her husband passed away, she moved in with her mom to help her cope with the changes. As a life coach, she should be taking her own advice and moving on. But for some reason she's stuck in the past and can't seem to get over it. So when the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico comes up, Teresa's mom urges her to go. Teresa will be counseling a young girl who lost her mother and is dealing with her own grief.

The story was short, more of a novella length. The plot was emotional and dealt with the subject of grief and some of the effects it can have on an individual. There was a bit of romance thrown into the story, but it was more about the thoughts and emotions of the characters than a plot driven story. The story felt very surface and light despite the subject matter.

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my review.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Nickerbacher The Funniest Dragon
Terry John Barto
Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon
Nickerbacher is a young dragon guarding a castle. His father gave him the assignment, but he really wants to be a comedian. He confides his wishes to the young princess that he is currently guarding. She encourages him to follow his heart and talk to his father.

Bright, colorful artwork fills each page and help tell the story. The message of taking chances, being true to oneself, and acceptance is prominent throughout the story. Children will enjoy the humorous illustrations. Parents will appreciate the opening provided by the story for further discussion.
My children, especially my daughter, really enjoyed the story and wanted me to read it to them again. So it was a hit with our family.

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Adventurers of Bubba Jones

The Adventurers of Bubba Jones
Time Traveling Through the great Smoky Mountains
Jeff Alt
Bubba Jones and his sister Hug-a-Bug are on a backpacking trip with their grandpa, Papa Lewis. He wants to show them the Smokey Mountains and pass on a family secret. It's a very closely guarded secret that the children are delighted to inherit. This secret lets them literally step into history and experience it for themselves.

The story is a fiction setting with facts about the Smokey Mountains and it's history thrown in with the time travel element. The story is set up for the next book in the series by not ending one of the mysteries. At the end of the book is a curriculum guide and discussion questions for further review and study. Elementary school children will enjoy the story type approach to learning about history. My son (4th grade) liked it, but didn't love it. He said it was a bit boring in places.

I received this book free of charge from Direct Contact in exchange for this honest review.

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's Good to Be Queen

It's Good to Be Queen
Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba
Liz Curtis Higgs
There isn't a whole lot written about the queen of Sheba. We know that she was wise, but sought out Solomon because of his reports of wisdom. The author has taken these few scriptures and other verses throughout the Bible to pull together a women's Bible study on how to be a woman of wisdom like the queen of Sheba. The author takes a personal approach and adds her story telling talents to make those few verses about the queen come alive. The book ends with study guides for each chapter so the book can be used in a small group setting or for personal study.

The writing style lent a more fictional feel to the book, while capturing the reader's attention. I liked her frequent use of scripture and enjoyed the thoughts she brought out about the strengths of the queen. The study guide in the back was a plus that makes it helpful for further reflection. This isn't a typical topic for a women's study and I think readers will appreciate that.

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

House on Fire

House on Fire
Revival Begins in the Home
Antonio and Christelle Baldovinos
If you want to see change in the world, you must begin at home with your own family. Only by changing the family can the world be changed. The authors have a lot of experience in the ministry, but also in their family. They have a healthy marriage and five children, so drew from their personal experiences to write a book about reviving the heart at home. They touch on quite a few aspects of the home life - such as parenting, marriage, dating, and the different aspects of the mother and father.

The writing is simplistic in style, without flowery words or verbose chapters. The authors use practical, useful illustrations and ideas to bring across their message. It's a refreshing and on-point look at how we can make a difference for God in our own home. I enjoyed the more personal approach and the suggestions were helpful. I appreciated the frequent use of scripture to back up their points. I think this would be a great book for a young family starting out, but it will be just as useful to those of us with more "experience" in life.

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

God's Smuggler

God's Smuggler
Brother Andrew
 Andrew grew up in a poor, but loving family in Holland. Years later found Brother Andrew sneaking behind the Iron Curtain to secretly deliver Bibles to the believers trapped there. Smuggling Bibles isn't without peril and hardships. But Brother Andrew was granted miracles and beautiful friendships with people all over the world that enabled him to spread the message of love to people who were starving for the message.

I read this book years ago and couldn't put it down. So I was delighted with a chance to read the newest addition with the extras that were added to it. It's still a captivating story that inspires and convicts the reader. The writers have written the story to thrill the reader, but also to show the depths of love and great lengths that God will go to, to read His children. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but also those who have a burden for spreading the word of God.

I received this book free of charge from Chosen in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pass It On

Pass It On
Building a Legacy of Faith for Your Children through Practical and Memorable Experiences
Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee
One of the greatest things that we as parents can pass on to our children is our spiritual legacy. It is the only thing of importance that we will leave behind and the only thing that will benefit them in the long term. The authors have joined together to and written a book using the concept of rites of passage that the Hebrews used with their children. The traditions and ceremonies were specifically designed to bring to remembrance God and what he meant to them. These rites of passage that are outlined in this book are to help the parents make faith real and lasting into the next generation. They are broken up by grades and each chapter is a separate grade beginning with Kindergarten and ending with twelfth grade.

I was really impressed with this book. The layout is user friendly. The writing is simple in the approach, but the concepts have depth. Lots of Bible verses are used to back up the ideas and thoughts. Each chapter describes what a child of that age period will be experiencing, discussion questions, suggestions for instilling faith based rituals, prayers, etc. Each chapter a wealth of information, but doesn't come across as overwhelming. I really enjoyed the book and intend to implement things into our family. I would highly recommend this to Christian parents.

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

Counting on a Cowboy

Counting on a Cowboy
Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Book 2
Debra Clopton
Abby was inspired by Maggie's column where she talked about Wishing Springs. Maggie had given her great advice and Abby was in desperate need of a change in her life. So she picks up stakes and moves to Wishing Springs. But from the very beginning things do not go as planned. Abby meets Bo and despite her desire to keep her distance she keeps meeting him to help. She hopes to keep her heart intact and her secrets safe. But sometimes God has other plans.

This book was the second in the series, but could definitely work as a stand-alone. I enjoyed this book and it was fun to reconnect with the characters from the first book. It's part romance and part small-town novel. The story was a little on the heavy side as far as emotions and some of the deep topics brought up. But the author kept the romance front and center and lightened up the heavy topics with the zaniness of the towns characters. My only complaint was that it didn't really feel like a Christian book. There wasn't a lot of talk about faith or any of the aspects of it. But overall, it was a story that I really enjoyed and I would definitely recommend this author.

I received this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.