Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review of The Patmos Deception

The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn is a great book. I have always enjoyed titles by this author, because he always includes the historical aspects of the areas where his books are set.  I enjoyed seeing how the lives in Greece were affected by the problems they have had in their government.  It was interesting to see how everyday life was affected, and how people who had high levels of education were suddenly either out of work or began working in service jobs. 
When the story moved to the Isle of Patmos it was really interesting to hear all the history of the island.  How the apostle John had been imprisoned on the island, how the caves and monasteries were built into the hills on the island, were all interesting aspects of the current island, and its colorful history. 
This is a "romantic suspense" story.  There is a mystery to figure out, and a little romance along the way.  I didn't think the romance story was really explored, because we spent so much time trying to figure out the mystery, but isn't that how life is sometimes.  Sometimes life just takes over and you don't have a lot of time to figure out how you feel about other things. 
Bottom line, if you have enjoyed Davis Bunn before, you probably will again.  If you enjoy a good mystery that includes a hunt for a historical artifact (and all the historical background that comes with it) you will probably enjoy it as well.  I could use a little bit more "fleshing out" of the story before the cliffhanger at the end, but I enjoyed the read.  Thanks again, Mr.Bunn. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Review

 Are you ready for a new stack of books?  Turns out that I had a few more in my stack that I had not gotten to yet, so I had some reading to do this week.  I actually have a few more to go through before the next update. 
 When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall, was given to me by the publisher, my opinions are my own.  If you enjoy Amish fiction then this is more of what you will love.  This is the third in a series following the life of Hannah Lapp.  Hannah has been through the ringer in life (read When the Heart Cries, and When the Morning Comes for more).  She is living in the English world finishing nursing school and helping to raise her boyfriend's niece and nephews when she hears from her sister that her friend Matthew and his brother David have been in a fire and are at the local hospital.  Her world is about to collide back into the Amish world again.  Being home again is painful, and healing all at once.  Now she has to make decisions about how she wants to live the rest of her life.  You can't go home again, or can you?
Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas, was given to me by the publisher, my opinions are my own. This is a novel set after the Great Depression in a small town.  Where most of the townspeople go to the same small church.  I think that it will make you think about both sin and forgiveness in new ways.  Both a "pillar in the church" and a woman scarred by her own sin, have to decided how to let things affect their lives and the way they treat other people.  In the end, it's a story of love and forgiveness and I really enjoyed it.  I haven't read any other books by Ms. Thomas, but I will be looking to read more of her work. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What I've Read Recently.

I had a chance to read a lot of different kinds of books this month. 
In the fiction category I got to read:

Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould - I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  My opinions are my own.
This is an Amish fiction romance.  If you like this genre, you'll like this book.  I have to admit, when I want a light read, books in this genre tend to fit the bill.  This was an interesting book, I had to guess which young man the story was going to follow (although it wasn't hard to figure out as I read on) and I did like that I couldn't immediately tell the ending of the story.  It is the story of a young woman who is naturally an introvert, living with a sister who can be overwhelming and take the reigns of life.  It was great to see Bea come into her own.  To see her continue to be herself, but to find the value in herself, and the ability to speak to her sister, instead of just allowing her sister to control her life.  Pick it up, enjoy!

Aging with Gracie by Heather Hunt
This is one of the books I "bought" when it was free on amazon.  When I looked it up to write the review it is only $.99.  It is totally worth the purchase.  I loved Grace's personality, and I loved how hard she worked to make life better for all of the people around her.  She took her job seriously, and took people personally.  If you want to read a story of a strong woman, with real spirit, this is a good read.  Doesn't hurt to have a little romance thrown in too. 

Non - Fiction :
Restaurant Success, by The Numbers  - I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  My opinions are my own. 
This book was an interesting read, and I think a good resource to look at if you are opening any kind of brick and mortar business.  Each chapter was well thought out and had good information for you to think through before you open your doors.  I read the book, not because I'm opening a business, but because these kinds of things interest me, and I wanted to know what went into planning to open a restaurant.  It sounds like Mr. Fields has put a lot of thought into this, and would have a good idea of how to get anyone started in this business.

Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  My opinions are my own. 
I loved this book.  Sarah Jakes makes her own life very transparent as she tells stories to emphasize points.  She brings the story of Ruth (from the Bible) to life and does a great job of relating things that Ruth is going through to things that are probably occurring in your life.  This is an uplifting devotional, that I found to be well written, and well thought out. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Whole Lotta Books!

I read a whole lot of books, and totally forgot to write anything about any of them!

Dirty Faith by David Z. Nowell (I received a copy of this book from the publisher, my opinions are my own) - This book is life changing!  If you want to talk about "putting feet to the ground" when caring for widows and orphans, this is the book.  It was a hard read, but a good one.  It made me think about how I want to help people, ways that I wanted to love on people, and how love makes you want to help them change their situations.  The author has a connection to kids in Brazil, and he tells their story very clearly.  It isn't pretty or safe, but its life for a lot of street kids.  It'll make you cry, but you'll leave with a "fire in your belly."

Answering Your Kids Toughest Questions by Fitzpatrick and Thompson - ( I received a copy of theis book from the publisher, my opinions are my own.)  Do your kids ask questions that make you want to curl up in a ball and pretend like you never heard it?  You want to answer the question and help mold their lives, but you just aren't ready to answer yet?!?  This book can help, you may not agree with everything the authors say, but this gives you time to think through the answer before they ask.  The authors give really well thought out answers, and they separate the answers into age appropriate sections.  They give you an idea of what a 4 year old can understand, a 7 year old can understand, or a teenager can understand.

The Year of Learning Dangerously by Cummings (This I checked out of the library.)  This is one woman's story of the year she and decided to homeschool her daughter.  This was a great read, Quinn Cummings and I definitely don't see eye to eye on everything, but I think we would be friends. :)  She tells her story of going into the grocery store and worrying she would be stopped for her daughter's truancy, checking out all the local homeschool groups, dropping in on a homeschool prom, and even "infiltrating" homeschool conventions.  She really wanted to see all that there is to this homeschool thing.  Seems to me, she mostly found out, that there are no two families that do it the same way.  Good funny read, even if you aren't a part of the homeschool movement.

Tried and True by Mary Connealy (I received a copy from the publisher, my opinions are my own)  This is book is fiction.  If you like stories based in the old west, this is one for you.  This is a twist I hadn't read before.  It has all of the things you are used to seeing in an old west story, beautiful woman, hard circumstances, hard work, and a whole lot of cows and horses.  There is a twist to this though, but you'll have to read it to find out.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

A mystery....

*I received a copy of Murder at the Mikado from Bethany House.  My opinions are my own."
I wanted to love this book, I do love mystery novels, but I just didn't.  It was just slow moving for me.  I had a very hard time getting into the novel. I have read either of the previous Drew Farthering mysteries, if I had, it may not have taken me as long to get into the novel.  I had to play catch up on each of the characters and the back story.
Once I got about half way through the story, I started to get into it a little bit more.  I enjoyed the second half of the book, it seemed to move much more quickly. I may try to read the first two to see if I would enjoy it.

A new review - Snack Girl to the Rescue!

*I received a copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program. My opinions are my own.*
I had another chance to read a book through the Blogging for Books program.  This time I took advantage of the extension of the program and got a cookbook from their list.  I got Snack Girl to the Rescue from the program. I loved the writing style, but have to say that I was disappointed in the foul language.  Since I have only gotten books from Waterbrooks Multanomah (their Christian publishing division), I didn't even think about that potential of language, so I was taken by surprise.

If you need some new ideas to get you headed in the right direction. There were some great snacks and ideas in the book to help with some new ideas in the kitchen.  If you can handle the few curse words, you may find a great resource for your new "skinny lifestyle."

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

I received my copy of the book from the publisher to review. My opinions are my own.
I enjoy historical fiction, and thought this book would be good fit because of that love.  There were parts of this book that I loved.  I loved that it was set in the state of Franklin, which I had never heard of before.  It made me look into the existence of the state and the relation between the new state, North Carolina and Tennessee.  I also liked all the western adventure that was included in the story.  The beginning of the book was great, but I will confess, during the second half of the book, I felt like the story was a little bit harder to follow.
The story was an interesting one, and made me think about things in a different light. It wasn't my favorite book ever, but in reading reviews I seem to be in the minority. I felt like the second half was slow, and in parts too graphic for my sensibilities. :). In the words of Lavar Burton, "you don't have to take my word for it."
You can find the book on amazon or your local library. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Like Giving Book Review

I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher.  My opinions are my own. 
I like giving is a book that gathers the stories of "givers" in one place. It is inspiring to hear  the results of how each of these individual stories turned out, to hear  how the world has already been changed by those that are already giving.  This is a book that is easy to read a few pages at a time, while you have a spare minute, but it is not a book I would sit down and read from cover to cover.  A great bathroom reader, doctor's office time killer, or even a coffee table book, but not a book that kept me up all night so I could finish.  If you want a shot in the arm to get you thinking in a generous way, or you want to change how you already approach giving this is the book for you.  I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn't fight my way to the front of the line to pick it up.  Check it out for yourself!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Silenced ~ A book review.

I was provided a review copy by Bethany House, my opinions are my own.  My opinion is that I loved this book.  I have loved every one of Dani Pettrey's novels.  Her books are a combination of adventure, mystery and romance.  This book is based in Alaska (along with all of her others) and follows the McKenna family. This book starts with Kayden McKenna, we've met her in all of the other books, but this gives a lot more depth to her character and gives a lot more about what makes her tick.
Kayden is a rock climber, and as she climbs with her sister she finds a body.  Was it an accident?  Kayden thinks something looks wrong, was this murder?  Jake is called back into service as a Sheriff's Deputy when things are stretched thin in the department.  Can he solve this case, and can he protect Kayden as they pursue it? 

Check this book out!  You won't regret it.  Pick up your own copy!

Spoken For ~ Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke

I love to read, and I love to read good books.  Being a part of Blogging for Books has been great for me and my local library.  I have enjoyed reading the books and then passing them on to my church library or my local library.  I received my copy of the book from the publisher, my opinions are my own.
This month I read Spoken For by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke.  I loved it.  It was written for young adults, but I think applicable for everyone.  It reminds us that we are wanted, loved, pursued, and yes, even Spoken For.  Robin and Alyssa use the marriage relationship to describe our relationship with Christ.  To remind us of how we are loved.  It was a good, inspirational and uplifting.  Alyssa and Robin both relay their personal stories of loss and love and remind us that Christ is faithful, always, even when our earthly relationships are not. 
You can purchase your own copy from amazon and I recommend you do so.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Table by the Window ~A Book Review

I received a review copy from the publisher, but my opinions are my own. 

I loved this book!  It was the best of food and romance.  I loved Etta's spunk! She is a food writer, chef and maybe even a restaurateur.  Her life has been completely defined by food.  Her French mother and Italian father run a thriving restaurant, and most of her family is in the industry in one form or another.  In this season of life she is just trying to learn who she is, what she wants, and who she wants to do it with.  Meanwhile, she is trying to find out who the picture of the handsome man is hidden in her grandmother's things, especially since he looks like an older version of her brother! 
Read the book, cook the recipes, have fun!  This is a fun read and the given recipes help bring the book to life.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement ~ a book review

Tracie Peterson is a prolific writer.  She has written so many books, that I can barely keep up with reading them all.  Even with all the books to chose from I have yet to have chosen one of hers that I don't like.  This book was no different.  If you are a Peterson fan you may recognize some of the characters in this book, particularly the main character Marty.  Even if you've never read Peterson before you will immediately fall in love and be ready to go.
Marty is a widow and is still dealing with the death of her husband when the book opens.  She decides to answer an ad for a "lonestar" bride that will have her moving from her ranch out to Colorado.  Can she and Jake make this "sensible arrangement" work?  Can she take her place in society and make Jake look good for the community?  You will have to read to find out!  Do it, now!  You won't regret it.  You can find it here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

Miss Brenda's changed life and the lives who changed around her will amaze and humble you.  Brenda Spahn was living life and doing well. She was married with 3 grown children, a teenager and a preschooler when her whole world turned upside down.  She ran a tax prep business (with several well performing offices) with many of her family members when she was accused of tax evasion.  You'll have to read her story to find out exactly what happened, but I will tell you it changed the direction of her life.

After her brush with the law she felt called to prison ministry, and she jumped right in.  She started working with prisoners from a work release center.  She visited, preached, and got to know the women there.  They, in turn, inspired her to start a "whole way" house to help newly released prisoners return to life.  Her work and the way she wrote about humanized these ex-convicts, and made me think long and hard about judgements I may have made in the past.  Pick up the book, it's a groom read, and inspiring.

You can check out Mrs. Brenda and the Loveladies by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell on amazon.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Take Flight!

A book review!  Bet you thought I was never going write again, and I'm not sure what took me so long, because I loved the last book.
Take Flight! Was a devotional by Robin Jones Gunn. I love all things Robin Jones Gunn. I love her writing, her stories,and from what I know of her, I love her heart. She is a phenomenal writer that has a way of bringing things home. For this project she has a friend that helps with the biblical outline and discussion, and she does a great job!  This was a devotional I would use again and again.  It would make a great gift for a friend or yourself. Check it out!  Do it, now!