Thursday, August 28, 2014

full hands

I received "Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full" by Gloria Furman from  Much like the title this e-book hits the nail on the head with a lot of words.  The book relates motherhood and faith into one package.  Furman mixes two different writing styles. She bounces back and for between a modern, forward voice that tends to relate to moms and then goes into a scholar, seminary voice as if she were writing for a doctorate paper.  Both are good stuff, but I didn't like the swing back and forth.  Adding the parental voice tended to make the scholar voice seem too wordy.  Its a good book, but the flow could be a lot better. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

South Dakota 2014

Convinced my husband that we should take a vacation this year, since we enjoyed last year so much.  This year we went to South Dakota.  LOTS of driving, but still enjoyable.  First stop was De Smet, South Dakota, the land of Laura Ingalls.  Little girls as far as the eye can see.  We took our 9 year old so she fit right in.  We left on a Thursday and drove 9 hours counting eating and bathroom stops.  We arrived and checked into the Prairie Manor B&B, which I highly recommend.  Our room had an in-room Jacuzzi and it was wonderful!  We spent Friday doing the Laura Ingalls thing.  Toured the original homes, then went to the Homestead.  The Homestead is all replica, which has kinda better because then the girls could touch and play with the stuff.  They had hand clothes washing, rug making, etc.  Then we killed the afternoon doing nothing.  If you ever go, plan to leave after the Ingalls tours, cuz De Smet has very little to offer after that.  Saturday morning we traveled 5 hours to Deadwood with a stop in Wall.  Ya gotta stop in Wall Drug.  No real reason, you just do.  Did a little shopping then on to Deadwood.  Deadwood is kinda weird, but very cool.  It's like a tiny little Vegas, but with better stories.  The town has a lot of gambling, some saloons, shopping, re-enactments, shoot-outs, ghosts, tours, ghost tours, bikers everywhere; it's pretty dang cool.  That night we headed to our cabin in Keystone.  Spent Sunday seeing Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Iron Mountain, and the Mammoth Site.  Monday we spent 13 hours traveling home, stopping only in 1880 Town. Which you need to do if ever you get the chance.  It's as if in 1880 all the people were evaporated and left everything right where it was and then in 2014 you come along and find it.  If I could do it all again, I would leave De Smet after Ingalls and spend more time in Deadwood.  Then I would break up that nightmare drive home into two days and go through the Badlands. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

annie's stories review

"Annie's Stories" by Cindy Thomson is the second in the Ellis Island series.  These are historical novels that do not necessarily need to be read in order.  The novel centers around Annie, an Irish immigrant in 1901.  Her father died before she left for the US and her uncle, who was then her guardian, placed her in a Magdalene Laundry. If you don't know what that is do a quick google search.  There is also a movie I would recommend.  It will appall you. She then immigrates to the US and stays with Mrs. Hawkings in her boarding house working as a house servant.  Her cousin (whom she does not like) soon follows her.  Annie also has what is probably PTSD from her time in the Laundry.  The story follows her as she deals with her past, her cousin, her mail delivering friend, and the women in the boarding house.  The women in the house live in a constant fear of being bullied by men.  And bully they do; whenever it benefits them.  I have never read a book about women either in the past or in another country that did not make me grateful to be an American born during my own time.  This book does the same.  The book is well written and researched, but because of the anger I felt when I read it, it was a hard book to read and found myself not really wanting to read it because of that.  I am not sure how to rate this book.  It is good, but not pleasing to read.  You will have to see for yourself. This book appeared on A Christian Writer's World blog.  I receive this book in exchange for my review from Tyndale House Publishers.

Monday, August 11, 2014

murder with class

If anyone can write about murder with class it is Julianna Deering.  "Murder at the Mikado" is the third in the Drew Fathering Mystery series.  In this installment, Drew has a visit from his past.  It seems while in college, Drew got tangled with a dangerous woman, Fleur, a gorgeous actress, who has been accused of murder.  The victim being her ex-boyfriend and fellow actor.  Drew is called on to solve the crime and brings his best friend, Nick, and his fiancé, Madeline, to help him out.  Not surprisingly, Fleur showing up does not sit well with Madeline.  Not only does the body count keep going up, but things are crumbling in Drew's engagement as well.
These books are all set in the 1930s England; Drew being an extremely rich 24 year old and an amateur sleuth.  The language in the books is well-to-do and could be annoying to the new reader.  But stick with it, because once you get used to it it becomes quiet catchy and you start to love the flow of the speech.  I like the time period and the class that is portrayed in the books.  I give it four stars.  I received this book in exchange for a review from Bethany House Publishers.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

ms meyer CD

I received "Living in Excellence and Integrity" a 4 CD teaching by Joyce Meyer from Jody's Book Review blog in a giveaway.  I like to watch Joyce Meyer in the mornings when everybody is gone and the house is quiet.  She is an extremely gifted talker.  This CD package is the audio of the television and personal appearances.  The teaching in this pack is about doing the small things, doing what is right, whether people are watching or not.  She teaches about your responsibility to God and yourself to live a life according to what is right rather than what is "normal". 
I have read some of Meyer's books and she is a good writer.  But she is an amazing speaker.  She demands your attention and whether you believe in God or not, you have to admit, her advice can't be beat. The woman is wise and should be listened to.  I am Christian and I think she opens an ear to what God wants me to hear.  5 Stars.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

chimes review

Laura, Cassie, and Sean are three life long friends living in the south.  Laura's father is a Vietnam Vet that has been battling PTSD for 30 years.  Sean's father is a violent alcoholic who abuses his children.  Cassie's mother has a screw loose, but no one can figure out what is going on.  The three together make the perfect friends.  "Stillness of Chimes" by Meg Mosely is a mystery novel surrounding the three friends and their families.  Laura's father, Elliot, is declared dead after going missing on a lake 12 years before.  After her mother dies, there are suddenly Elliot sightings.  And the rumors start to fly to the point where he becomes the towns own version of Big Foot.  Laura starts to question and the investigation is on.
Mosely is great at keeping the reader on the line.  She drops little tid bits that leave the reader saying, "Wait!  What happened?"  Then you must keep reading to find out.  Hard to put down.  I didn't especially like the end though.  I thought the climax should have been broken down into two events.  Making it a little more probable.  But other than the last 10 pages, I loved the book.  I recommend reading it; ya never know, maybe you'll love the end.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from