Friday, September 15, 2017

Suffarage and the dead

"Whispers of Warning" the second in the A Change of Fortune series by Jessica Estevao is the novel centering on Ruby Proulx as she solves the murder of a guest in her aunt's hotel.  Ruby is not only audiovoiant, but she is also what would be considered a modern day mentalist.  She was raised by a con-artist father and taken in by her aunt who runs a Spiritualist themed hotel.  Ruby works as a medium.  The novel takes place following WWI during the suffragist movement.  A leader of the movement checks into the hotel and winds up drowned in a neighboring pool.  Ruby teams up with Det. Yancey to try and solve the murder.
Though this is a second novel in a series, reading the first is not necessary.  I thought the book was very entertaining and well written.  Reading on the suffragist as well as the spiritualist fad was a lot of fun.  I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series.  I received this book from www.firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Devotions towards Grace

"Journey into Grace: 150 Encouraging Devotions for Women" by Darlene Sala, Bonnie Sala, and Luisa Reyes-Ampil is a collection of devotions that includes a daily scripture, story, refection, and conversation with God.  Each devotion is written with women in mind, but could be understood by anyone.  I enjoyed using the devotion in my daily time with God.  It was indeed encouraging and inspirational to use.  "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Sunday, August 27, 2017

the Bet

"How to Change a Life...." by Stacey Ballis is a novel that centers on Eloise and her decision to change her life based on a bet with her two best friends from high school that have reunited after a favorite teacher dies.  Eloise, Lynne, and Theresa make a bet, a "By 40 bucket list" where each woman has a list of things to better her life that must be completed by the age of 40 ( in 8 months) or pay $5000 to a scholarship fund.  Eloise, an unsocial, personal chef, must broaden her social world, further her career and renew her former athletic life.  This includes her love life- or lack of it.

This book gets more interesting as it goes.  I had a hard time caring in the beginning.  As time went on it become more emotional and less about cooking.  Though the cooking was interesting, it did dominate the book and was very detailed.  It became more balanced the further the book moved along.  I received this book from www.firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tebow Homeschools

"Know Who You Are: Live Like it Matters" by Tim Tebow is an interactive guide for homeschoolers.  This book mostly pertains to writing curriculum as well as reading and self expression.  Designed to be read one lesson a week for 36 weeks; each lesson contains a key verse, a reading material, an in your own words, and something to think about.  The In Your Own Words section in the writing lesson is either journaling, poetry, lists, etc.  There is usually a focus as well, such as being descriptive, using dialogue, or acrostic poetry. 
Having never been homeschooled I am not sure how well this would go over in that environment, however, I am a certified teacher and I can see where the varied writing assignments would be stimulating.  He also kept the writings in a middle schooler's interest level.  I would recommend it to homeschooling parents.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Friday, August 18, 2017

Laura

"The Lauras" by Sara Taylor is the novel about a child's journey across America as Alex learns his mother's past and present.  Alex, a non-gender pre-teen, is the child of a mother who is constantly needing to be on the move. She had lived a life of constant movement in both foster homes, her parents series of moving, and group homes.  She leaves his father and their home abruptly in the middle of the night without much plan other than to make good on promises made 20 years before.   Alex gets to know his mother in a way that most people don't think about.  Do you really know your mother?  Do you know her past?  Really?
The writing in this book is amazing.  The characters are enthralling.  I originally was just reading it when another book I was reading grew tiring, but couldn't put this one down.  I highly recommend this book.  I can't figure out why the star average isn't much higher.  It does have some sexual content, including an assault, so it might be for the adult crowd.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Surprisingly good

"A New Model" by Ashley Graham is an autobiography about a supermodel and her journey for acceptance for her size.  Ashley Graham is a plus-size model that has reached the supreme level in the modeling/fashion industry.  Which is not a group of words that are  usually put together.  Though she is so gorgeous she will make the most straight woman question her sexuality, she still has a constant uphill battle to not only represent her size, but to also be a trailblazer at acceptability. 
I love this woman; she is soo great.  Her writing, however, I wasn't expecting much.  I was thinking supermodel quality.  She is actually a very good writer.  She writes in a speaking voice, so it more like you are talking to a friend rather than reading a traditional autobiography.  She does state that she is dyslexic, so that would explain the nontraditional style, which makes it all the more enjoyable of a read.  She is only 29, so the read is a short one, but I still highly recommend this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.edelweiss.plus

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Teen self esteem

"Let's Be Real" by Natasha Bure, social media star and The Voice contestant, has written a book to help teens with their self esteem and goal setting in their lives.  Now, I am no teen, but I do have two daughters: 12 and 21; and a 19 year old son, so I live in the world of teens every day.  Bure gives advice in every aspect including how to post on social media and how to deal with the backlash of what you post.  She writes tips on goal setting, on confidence, and at the other end of the spectrum, make up tips and clothing choices.  The whole while she wears her Christian faith with confidence, drawing from it to share her advice honestly. 
Though she is incredibly young to be handing out life advice, she is also mature and perfect for the eyes and ears of the upcoming generation.  Her writing is arranged in a format that keeps the younger reader's attention.  There is a running dialogue as well as boxes of short information; a sort of magazine style.  My 12 year old has started to read this book and has taken an interest.  I recommend it to anyone (probably a girl) who has started the trek of finding herself.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Serial Killers

"Dark Deception" by Nancy Mehl is the second book in the Defenders of Justice series.  In this one Kate is the survivor of a serial killer who goes by the name Blue-eyed Killer.  The Blue-eyed Killer targets women with long hair and blue eyes across the states of Kansas and Missouri.  After testifying Kate enters the witness protection system, living under the name Emma and running a café in Arkansas.  Following the accused killers release for tampered evidence, Tony, a US Marshall, goes to Arkansas to retrieve Kate to testify once again.  That is when the killer goes missing and the mystery is on. 
I love these books by Mehl.  The mystery, the writing, the whole serial killer story line; they are great!  Now in this particular novel, I know if I were Kate I wouldn't want Tony to be anything more than a love interest, cuz for a Marshall, he's got a big mouth!  The story also didn't seem to want to end when it should.  That being said, the love story was sweet, the serial killer investigation was good and I liked the characters.  I give it 4 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publications. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Poor Little Kitties

In the last month we have lost two of our Beauty Queens, FR CO Fair Grand Champion Cat 2010 and FR CO Fair Alt Champion 2016.  They have both succumbed to the dreaded Bobcat Disease.  Both of them suddenly stopped eating, drinking and moving.  The first went to the vet and after blood work discovered what the cause was.  The second was gone before there was a chance.  The disease is passed from bobcats to house cats through ticks.  Though both had been mostly indoor cats and flea and tick treated, they stick were gone within three days.  There really isn't anything one can do, but please, make sure they are treated.  It's really all there is to do.  Poor Summer and Sawgwa. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A little witchcraft

"Akata Witch" by Nnedi Okorafor is a fascinating book.  The book stars Sunny, an albino girl who was born in America and raised there until she was nine, then moved to her parents home of Nigeria to live.  Sunny discovers shortly after moving to Africa that she is a "leopard person".  That is what people of the Western African nations call someone with a gift for powers.  A person of another culture might call themselves a Shaman, witch, or Sorcerer.  She starts her training to be a leopard person and becomes friends with three other people in her class.  The four of them begin the take down of the Black Hat Killer, a serial killer in there area. 
Though this is a Young Adult book, I would recommend it to anyone of any age.  It is truly a wonderful book and I was enthralled the whole time reading it.  Five stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Yep. That's exactly what it's like.

"A Beautiful, Terrible Thing" by Jen Waite is "A Memoire of Marriage and Betrayal" and it is about as close to being cheated on by a deranged psycho as you can get without being there.  Jen's story is a true story about her discovery that her husband, Marco, was cheating on her just three short weeks after the birth of their daughter.  It follows the discovery, investigation, recovery and survival of her experiences.  There wasn't a moment I couldn't identify with.  If you want a good book, well written, diving into the psychological issues dealing with cheaters this is definitely the book for you.  She is right on the money with every word.  If you suspect being cheated or have recently become aware and would like to read about someone who has been there and can verify that you are not crazy, that things really are as they seem, then get this book!  However, if this is in the distant past and the last thing you want to relive, you should rethink getting involved with this one.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Saturday, June 24, 2017

You must read this

"The Lost Letter" by Jillian Cantor is an amazing book that you must read!  The book follows the love story of Kristoff and Elena.  Kristoff is Fredrick Faber's apprentice in his stamp making business.  Elena is Fredrick's daughter.  The story takes pace in World War II Austria with the Faber's being Jews under the German oppression. 
Though this book's main character would probably be the stamp, it is incredibly interesting.  The story switches back and forth between 1939 Austria and 1989 California.  Kristoff and Elena battling the Germans using their stamps and forgery as weapons and 1989 Katie and Benjamin, philatelists, chasing the mystery of the "gem" of a stamp found in Katie's father's collection.  This book's characters are amazing, the story line fantastic, and it leaves you with a book hangover like you wouldn't believe.  Who knew stamps were so fascinating?!  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Love Letters

"The One True Love of Alice-Ann" by Eva Marie Everson is the new fictional novel.  Alice-Ann is a farm girl about to celebrate her sweet 16 when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor.  Though she has been pining over Mack, her brother's friend, with the war in on she now has a time limit to make her feelings known.  Alice-Ann and Mack decide to become pen-pals while he is stationed overseas.  Before he can return, her brother's other friend, Carlton, returns from serving.  Alice-Ann then forms a bond with Carlton that leaves her struggling when Mack finally returns. 
This book is written through the eyes of a teen girl; so it is written as it the author is a teen girl.  It is naive and sweet in the beginning.  It is a good book to pass the time, not real deep, but a sweet romance.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale Publishing. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spies

"MacArthur's Spies" by Peter Eisner is the true story of a soldier, a singer, and spymaster working the underground resistance during WWII in the Philippines.  The story follows Boone, Chick, and Claire as they work to both help American POWs that are dying by the thousands from starvation and neglect and acquiring intelligence from the Japanese officers partying at the clubs. 
This is a very good book.  Though it is not light reading, it is still intriguing and full of information. It also keeps the reader's attention.  However, it is intense and takes  awhile to read. I highly recommend it to the history buff.  This book doesn't stray from other books I have read about the Philippines during WWII.   I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Amish Adventure

"The Ebb Tide" by Beverly Lewis follows Sallie, and adventurous Amish girl, who dreams of traveling and seeing the world.  Since she has yet to join the church she takes a job being a nanny to a young family at Cape May, where she can at last see the ocean.  The only stipulation is that she must start baptism classes when she returns.  While at Cape May, she meets Kevin.  Kevin is a student studying the marine life and also a Mennonite with Amish relatives.  Therefore, they have a connection as well as a lot in common.  Sallie begins an inward struggle of where her heart lies, not only with her romance, but also her lifestyle and her spiritual relationship with God.
I thought this book was wonderful.  It is a quick read and well written.  It isn't steeped into Amish stereotypes, but treats Sallie like a modern woman who is on the edge of making a life-altering decision. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Love letters

"Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl's Heart" by Glenys Nellist is a children's book aimed at connecting girls with God and Bible stories.  Each page has a girl from the bible and her story.  It also includes a short bible verse, a prayer, and a "love letter from God".  It also includes illustrations from Rachel Clowes. 
Though this book was too young for my 12 year old girl, it wasn't long ago that I was reading to her things of this nature.  It reads like a devotional and I think it would make great night time reading for a girl of early grade school years.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Handlebar Publishing. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kitchen devotion

"Devotions From the Kitchen Table" from Thomas Nelson is a daily devotional with each day including a scripture, prayer, and essay devoted to connecting with God using food, nourishment,  and coming together to dine.  The book is easy to understand, the pictures are great.  This book is not only a good book for yourself, but I would recommend it as a gift, for a wedding shower for example.  I will probably read it again.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

American Lit

"The Barrowfields" by Phillip Lewis is a reader's delight.  The novel is basically a book about reading and creating.  Henry Aster is a product of North Carolina.  His father is an obsessive reader and a wanna-be-writer.  He spends all of his life, both in time and effort, writing his life story; though his life is nothing but the writing of his story.  Henry leaves for college and law school only to come back and find his father's memory right where he left it. 
This is a fabulously written novel.  It bounces back and forth between the different styles of literary giants, interweaving it into Lewis' own masterpiece.  Though it is a long book, it is well worth the time.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Faith and Baseball

"Baseball Faith" by Rob Maaddi is a compilation of the testimonies of 52 MLB stars.  Each player has four pages consisting of a photo page, a testimony page, a stat page and a details page.  Some of the players are Hall of Famers and MVPs and some are professionals eager to share their faith.  I would imagine that only a baseball fan would read this, since I know if it were football, I wouldn't have read it.  But don't toss it aside just because you aren't a fan.  Some of the guys are storytellers and write very well.  Some of them are just good at baseball.  I really liked it.  I am a die-hard fan and enjoyed reading about each man's faith.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sniper

"G-Man" by Stephen Hunter is the 15th book in the Bob Lee Swagger series.  In this installment, Swagger is doing some genealogy.  His grandfather, Charles Swagger, a WWI vet and sheriff has been asked to join what will be soon called the FBI.  First on the agenda is take down, Dellinger, Pretty boy Floyd and Baby Face.  The crime fighting novel takes place in both 1934 and in present day as Bob tries to put together a box of clues as to what his mysterious grandfather had been doing in 1934 and why. 
I hadn't realized this was a series of books when I watched "Shooter" this fall, but the book does not disappoint.  It's a very manly and macho book full of history, gun smithing, fighting, and mystery.  I will be adding this series to my BTR list for sure!  I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Monday, April 10, 2017

More Farthering Mystery

"Murder on the Moor" by Julianna Deering is the 5th in the Farthering Mystery series.  The series follows amateur detectives, Drew and Madeline Farthering in their English mystery solving quest.  In the newest addition to the series, "Murder on the Moor", Drew's old school friend, Beaky, another master of riches and lands, asks Drew and Madeline to help him solve a mired of mysteries in the Moor.  The Vicar has been murdered as well as someone has been "haunting" the north wing of his home.  Shortly after the Fartherings' arrival another murder is committed and the strange occurrences keep piling up.
The Farthering mysteries are a well written, intriguing, and engaging group of books to read.  I have read them all and they are all great.  This one might be my favorite.  They have that high class, gentry thing going on in them and yet the characters remain loveable and steer clear from the usual obnoxiousness that can befall stories of this era.  I highly recommend this book as well as the series.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Friday, April 7, 2017

Quinn fan reviews comic

"Harley Quinn" was reviewed by my 12 year old daughter.  "Sarah" is a Quinn fan and a comic lover.  However, she wasn't fond of this book due to there being no words.  The illustrations were great and a story could be seen, but she would prefer there to be words.  I received this comic in exchange for an honest review from www.edelweiss.plus.com.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Symone Biles autobiography

"Courage to Soar" is the autobiography of Simone Biles, multi gold medal winner at the 2016 Olympics in gymnastics.  Symone starts at a baby and goes through to present day.  She covers memories, her life as a foster child and then adopted.  She also tells of her love for gymnastics and her adventures, struggles, and achievements.  Of course since, she is so young the book is rather short and a quick read.  You could probably read it in a day if you wanted to.  It is very enjoyable.  She is a good writer and keeps the reader interested.  Keep in mind, she is a gymnast and gymnastics is in this book a lot.  She loooooves gymnastics!  Which is great for the typical reader of this book, who probably does too.  If you grabbed it randomly and don't care for sports, you should probably pick another.  I, myself thought it was great.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Amazing Grace

"Newton & Polly:  A Novel of Amazing Grace" by Jody Hedlund is one of the sweetest love stories you will ever read.  The novel follows the romance of John Newton and Polly Catlett from the start of their relationship.  John is the heroic bad-boy, full of adventure and nerve.  Polly is the calm that gives him peace; grounded in her faith and music.  You may of heard of John.  He's the author of the most famous hymn, Amazing Grace.  Though there is little physical content in the book, it never comes across as corny or unrealistic.  There is adventure and quite a bit of danger is this novel so don't take it as G rated.  I loved these two and their love story.  I highly recommend it.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Waterbrook Publishing. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Heavy World

"The Weight of This World" by David Joy Follows a couple of boys in Little Canada.  Thad and Aiden are what society might call "white trash."  Aiden's father killed his mother when Aiden was young in a murder-suicide.  Thad is the product of rape leaving his mother to raise him, yet never love or care for him.  Both boys grow up motherless in a trailer on a mountain taking more drugs than one might consider humanly possible. 
This novel brings to light what is probably happening in all those downtrodden homes you pass and think little of.  One might believe there is a stretch in the likely hood of this tale being possible, but other than the large amount of dying in the end, yeah, it is.  This book is well written and an eye opener for the sheltered.  It is a blending combination of action and contemplation.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Amish Cooking Class

Wanda E Brunstetter, well-known Amish Fiction writer has come out with a new novel, "The Seekers", the first in the Amish Cooking class series.  In this book, Heidi Troyer had decided to fill some of her spare time with a cooking class.  What starts as a simple idea turns into a dramatic turn of events.  Heidi and her husband have allowed a drifter, Ron, to live in his RV on their property.  Though he is taking her class, he has alterior motives.  The other members of her class bring their own excitement to the mix as well. I'm usually not a big fan of Amish fiction and this one was ok.  Brunstetter is quiet famous and has a hug following, so I am sure her fans will like this one as well.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mark of the King review

"The Mark of the King" is the newest novel by Jocelyn Green.  The novel follows Julianne, a midwife, through an accidental death in the delivery chamber, her incarceration for that death in France, her forced marriage and an exile to Louisiana. Shortly after arriving she is widowed and takes back up the practice of midwifery.  She endures not only the primitive life in Louisiana in the 1700s, but all of the backward politics and sexist injustice that went with it. 
This is the first Green novel I have read and I must say I love it.  She writes Julianne so clearly it is as if she is a real person.  I am not sure how historically accurate this novel is, but judging from the acknowledgment section, it is probably pretty close.  It is a true eye opener for the way of life for the times.  Warning:  There is a miscarriage in the middle of the book.  It is pretty honest.  It's pretty hard to read actually.  I saw my daughter miscarry about three months ago and after crying during this scene in the book, I have elected to stop for now.  I will return to reading at a later date.  That aside, I would recommend this book to not only history buffs, but to all women.  It is truly a brilliant book.  I received this novel in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishing. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Infamy

"The Other Side of Infamy" written by Jim Downing is the autobiography of a sailor's experiences during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Downing uses the Pearl Harbor experience as a base board for his life story focusing a lot of the book on his journey to Christianity. 
This is a really good book.  It's full of detail and is well written.  I would recommend it to not only a history buff, but anyone.  I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Conspiracy

"Conspiracy of Silence" is the first in the new series by Ronie Kendig, 'Tox Files'.  Though this is the first novel in the series, there is a prequel novella, "The Warrior's Seal" and it is available for free on www.amazon.com.  Though not required to follow Conspiracy, I would recommend the reader read that first.  In "Conspiracy of Silence" Tox, a Special Forces Operative, has been asked by his brother, the POTUS, to find a killer that is considered a threat to the US.  As Tox and his men, along with Kasey, the president's sister-in-law and FBI agent, search for the assassin, one thing leads to another, revealing a world wide conspiracy involving the Aleppo Codex and an old world plague. 
I liked this book a lot.  It is really long though, over 400 pages, so be prepared to commit.  The characters are great, I like how Tox and Ram (a member of Special Forces team) maintain their beliefs and yet are soldiers.  Kendig's whole family is full of veterans, so she knows her stuff.  Heck, even her dog is a vet!  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pat Crowe

"World, Chase Me Down" by Andrew Hilleman is the fiction telling of a true story.  Pat Crowe is a scoundrel from the turn of the century (not this one, the last one).  During a down on his luck time, Crowe kidnapped a Omaha millionaire's son for ransom.  The novel follows Crowe through three time periods intermittently.  The author switches by the chapter so it is easy to follow.  I am unsure on how historically accurate the author is as I hadn't heard of Crowe before reading this book.  But Hilleman does weave a pretty interesting tale.  Crowe's character is fun to read.  He is always wallering in misery and yet he never gets down and keeps his chin up.  Just keeps on going through one failure after another.  I recommend this book to history buffs who aren't scared off by a little grit.  I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com