Thursday, January 31, 2013

American heart month

Guess what!  February is American Heart Month.  It is also Avocado Month.  Why anyone thought avocados needed their own month, I have no idea, buuuuut, avocados are good for your heart!  So eat avocados (also known as guacamole), eat dark chocolate and almonds (preferably together) and drink Diet Coke all month.  And don't forget to wear red on Friday the 1st, because that is Wear Red for Women heart health day.  Don't forget!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the air we breathe review

"The Air We Breathe" by Christa Parrish is a well written, sad novel.  The characters are wonderfully developed, the plot is perfect, it is an excellent book.  It is also very depressing.  Hannah is a 11 year old girl who while with her father at a bank  it is robbed.  The robbers kill her father and take Hannah with them.  They then keep her for 2 weeks in a cage, doing what ever pleases them.  Claire is a childless mother of three.  Her children were killed in a car accident; her husband left her shortly afterwards for another women.  The two characters are drawn to each other.  Both are also either discovering or reconnecting with God to help them through their ordeals.  Hannah goes into hiding with her mother for 6 years.  She becomes terrified of all outdoors eventually never leaving her home for any reason.  On a happenstance/miracle she reconnects with Claire.  The two then lean back on each other to begin healing.  Good book, but definitely a downer.  I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Christmas time!..... not really

"Christmas in Apple Ridge" by Cindy Woodsmall in a collection of three Christmas novellas from the Apple Ridge series.  None of the books in the series need to be read in any particular order.  It might be preferable, but not necessary.  The three books included are:  "Sound of Sleigh Bells", "Christmas Singing", and "Dawn of Christmas".  My favorite of the three is Dawn.  I received this e-book from

Since I have already written a review on "Christmas Singing" ( see Christmas Singing Review) I will only tell about the other two.  Sound of Sleigh Bells tells of a young Amish business woman who has been both burned and mourned by lost love.  She is a little gun-shy and is just living her life through her business.  He busybody aunt puts her together with a slightly handicapped Jonah as pen pals and love transpires.  In "Dawn of Christmas" another young Amish woman has been cheated on by her fiance and is also gun-shy.  She meets Levi, and together they fake a romance to keep the marriage happy Amish off their backs.  Of course, you can figure out what happened next.  Though the stories are predictable, they are incredibly romantic and wonderful to read.  They will put you in the mood for love.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

third bullet review

"The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger)" by Stephen Hunter is the newest in the Swagger series by Hunter.  I have never read any of the Swagger novels and I might add one doesn't have to in order to read this book.  Swagger becomes involved in the Kennedy assassination through a woman whose husband is murdered while looking into one of the theories for a novel he is writing.  Swagger is a former (current?) agent for the government and he recognizes one of the clues connecting to his past.  He follows the trail and attempts to solve the murder of President Kennedy. 
This book is VERY fiction.  This follows just one many of the theories, but it does not solve any murder.  It is simply a "what if".  It is a good what if.  There is a lot of research in this novel and some of it is true. It's one of those books that gets into your head and you keep trying to solve the murder yourself instead of sleeping at night.    The only fault I found with it is that it is a little too long.  After the first third of the book, it starts to become a back and forth between Swagger's point of view and the killer's.  The killer's side of it should have been shortened up to make the story flow faster.  Conspiracy galore!  Good book.  I received this book for free from

Friday, January 11, 2013

santa turns green

I won "When Santa Turned Green" by Victoria Perla on Tommy Nelson's Facebook page in the Countdown to Christmas giveaway.  This hardback is an environmentally friendly children's picture book that gives the lowdown on global warming and what children can do about it.  It tells the story of Santa becoming aware that the North Pole is changing and he sounds the alarms for the children of the world to make a difference and become active in their world. 
I read this book to my 8 year old.  She said it was a good book.  However, she didn't have any notions to change habits to save the environment.  It pretty much struck her as entertainment.  We are a fairly active family as far as environmental concerns:  compost old food, plant garden and can/freeze our own fruit and vegetables, use rabbit manure to fertilize the garden, do not use pop cans or paper plates, tend to reuse all household containers etc.  I do plan to use this book as an example on how she should shut off lights, though.  She could use some work there.  The only fault I had with the book was that the pictures seemed dark or dim.  I would recommend brighter colors. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

come to the table review

"Come to the Table" by Neta Jackson is the second book in the Souled Out Sisters series.  It is the third series in relation to the Yada Yada series.  The first series is the Yada Yada Series, then the House of Hope series, now this one.  There is also a Yada Yada Brothers series.  Kat, a new Christian, is still bouncing around Chicago with a ton of ideas and absolutely no idea what she is doing.  She is still dumpster diving and trying to save the world without any idea of what the world needs.  In Come to the Table, Kat is living with Nick and Bree, friends from college, and Rochelle and Conny, Avis' daughter and grandson.  Rochelle is desperate to get out of her situation, she is previously homeless with a child and is HIV positive.  She needs a father for her child and a job.  Oh, and come September she is gonna need a home. 
Kat is called to start a food pantry and is taking a little closer look at the preacher to be, Nick. Personally, I don't know how anyone likes Kat.  For most of the book, she is a self-centered dingbat.  However, about half way through the book, she starts to come around in maturity and intelligence.  She grows in her faith and understands that saving the world is not only not possible, but not a way for herself to be worshiped rather than God.  I like this story line.  I wish the white girl wasn't always so dumb in Jackson's books, but, the white supporting characters thankfully are a little more smart and less naive.  I am a fan of Jackson; I read all her books, I am not disappointed here.  I like the young aspect and hope Rochelle becomes the main character in another one of her series. B+

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I gotta craving

"If you have a Craving, I Have a Cure" is the new paperback released by Sheri Rose Shepherd.  This is the perfect book for New Year's.  Each chapter has an opening story of her own life experience, followed by 'Soul Food' which is a bible verse and story to follow the verse.  Then she adds 'New Life Recipes' which are not recipes for food, but steps to take to improve whatever area of life she is talking about in that particular chapter.  She then has prayer and actual recipes to end each chapter.  The recipes are healthy, but she doesn't get nutty about it. This book is a good one for someone looking to make suttle changes and to get a healthier lifestyle that is also obtainable for a long period of time. She talks about relaxation, sleep, salt intake, sugar intake, excercising, prayer, romance, adventure, etc.  There are many aspects of life that relate to health besides the diet one.  Shepherd trys to not only improve health, but also make it enjoyable as well as doable.  I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing Blog Network.