Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Slaying the Debt Dragon by Cherie Lowe

I am big into saving money, but I have my weaknesses and know there are many areas I can improve on (ahem, especially in the food category). The latest book by Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free is a great inspirer and encourager. I love how honest Cherie is in her own struggles, as you read of their battle to get out from under a multitude of debts it encourages you that your own situation is not quite so hopeless.
She breaks it down into different chapters that really focus on ways to save money. I really appreciated this book and think it would be a great gift for anyone.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Love without end by Robin Lee Hatcher

Love without end

Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again?
Chet Leonard’s life was forever changed when his 17-year-old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.
Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious 15-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King’s Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of becoming involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.
When octogenarian Anna McKenna returns to King’s Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet may discover that true love has no end.

My opinion: This book was an interesting read and was a great reminder that God allows us to have second chances even when we stumble and fall. This was not a book that I could largely relate to given it was about a middle age couple struggling with teenage children, but that doesn't mean it was not a good book.
I loved how the author tackled some difficult subjects with such grace and style, that is part of what makes her such a great writer.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

Swept Away cover

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.
Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

My opinion: Although I am not huge into quilting myself I have found the "Quilts of Love" series to be very delightful and enjoyable reads, with the latest in the series to be no exception.
I enjoyed the intrigue around Andrew's past and how the characters interacted with each other, it was a cute little story without too many surprises or frills, but it was very enjoyable.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton

What a gorgeous cookbook! It has me hooked at the front cover and just got better from there. For any lover of pasta this book is simply a must. Thomas McNaughton is quite the chef giving us some amazing pasta recipes.
I really liked how the recipe was arranged into different seasons.
This book is amazing and has recipes for cooks of all different skills.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Knot little book of big wedding ideas

I wish I had this resource when I was planning my wedding! I have always appreciated the publications that The Knot has put out and this one was no exception.
Filled with helpful hints and some awesome ideas this book was pure enjoyment. I think it would make a wonderful engagement gift and would make planning ones perfect day all the easier and better.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend--has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.
Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

My opinion: I was so eager to read Julie Klassen's latest book and it did not disappoint! As with all of her previous works it was a delightful read and I appreciated how it had a good mystery and particularly liked how Julie developed some really good secondary characters.
Abigail was a likable heroine, I did find it ironic how she wasn't the pretty one and yet she had at least 3 guys after her...so slightly unrealistic. 
Another thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that Abigail and one of her love interest spent a decent bit of time in her bedroom, it was perfectly clean but I doubt in those days a male going into a young unmarried women's room would of been anything less than scandalous and simply wasn't done.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book regardless and was satisfied with the ending.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Destiny Defied by J.A. Marx

Desitiny Defied

A dramatic shipwreck emancipates Riki Hammad, but the island where she finds refuge is compromised. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to defeat her dark past, she will choose death over returning to captivity. Lord VĂ©tis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim their chosen one. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her four self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life…something she has never known.

My opinion: This book was unique, very different from most Christian fantasy out there and for that reason alone I thoroughly enjoyed it. Full of wonderful characters and twists and turns that are unexpected this book was an utter delight.
This book would be a great read for young adults and adults alike as it really captures ones attention and is a page turner.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Uncommon marriage adventure by Tony and Lauren Dungy

"Marriage is an adventure unlike any other. At times, you and your spouse may feel so close, connected, and in love that you're ready to take on the world together. But other times, things grow distant, and you wonder where all the joy and excitement has gone. What is the secret to a happy, healthy, God-honoring marriage--one that will last through anything that comes your way?Join Tony and Lauren Dungy in "The Uncommon Marriage Adventure," a series of daily reflections for couples. With transparency, wisdom, and humor, the Dungys share what they've learned over 30 years of marriage about faith, teamwork, conflict, communication, and more. Through each day's reading, you and your spouse will go deeper in loving, understanding, and learning to serve each other. Dare to embark on your own marriage adventure--and discover how to make your relationship truly uncommon.

My opinion: I am always in the market for a good marriage book so I was delighted to read this book by a previously unknown couple and I was delightfully surprised. It was insightful and easy to read, drawn from over 30 years of marriage and how to handle things that will come up in marriage. I enjoyed their frank honesty and came away from reading the book with some new insights, very encouraged to make my marriage uncommonly good.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Skinny Gut Diet by Brenda Watson

I was skeptical getting this book, any book that talks about permanent weight loss is probably too good to be true. After reading the book I am still not totally sure. It had some interesting parts and had some good advice but I am not sure that it will truly lead to a skinny gut or not. I am thinking of giving some of the recipes a try to see how it goes but until then I am still a bit of a skeptic.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I have seen God by Klaus-Dieter John

I Have Seen God

The miraculous founding of a top class hospital for some of the world’s poorest people
Klaus-Dieter and Martina John–both brilliant, talented, and highly qualified doctors–turned their backs on lucrative careers to follow their dream to open a first-rate medical facility for the Indians of the Peruvian Andes, some of the world’s poorest people. The Peruvian Andes natives suffer appallingly from the diseases of poverty and, although they make up approximately 40 percent of Peru’s population, are ignored by the authorities.
Having studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon, Dr. Klaus-Dieter John together with his wife, Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, developed a concept for a modern hospital in the Peruvian Highlands.
Turning down other offers, including a professorship, they set themselves the task of raising the millions of dollars needed. God opened the hearts and consciences of individuals and companies to create not just a health center, but a fully equipped hospital. Their story and vision has captured attention around the world and today they have the backing of 180 corporations and 50,000 private supporters.
The hospital’s name, Diospi Suyana, means “we trust in God” in Quechua, the native language of the people it serves. It is a testament to their experience that with God the impossible can happen. The incredible conviction and profound faith of the Johns will refresh your heart and stir your spirit.
My opinion: I loved this book! Talk about an extraordinary couple. It was so neat to witness how this couple gave up an easy life for that which is so much more satisfying. They truly helped the least of these and reading their accounts is wonderful! I came away from this book very inspired and praising God. 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Brothers' Keeper by NLB Horton

Adobe Photoshop PDF

A friend’s deception. A family’s dilemma.
While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, archaeologist Grace Madison learns that her daughter has disappeared in France, and daughter-in-law has been attacked in Switzerland. But before the Madisons can save themselves, they must rescue an old friend—if he’ll let them. Navigating a deadly, four-thousand-year-old artifact trail that crosses three continents, they jeopardize hearts and lives against a foe as old as time—as time runs out.
Because choosing what’s right is all that’s left.
My opinion: I did feel at a slight disadvantage as I had not read the prior book in this series, but that certainly did not mean I did not thoroughly enjoy this book. It had all the key elements to a good book, excellent characters, beautiful writing and an intriguing story line. I really enjoyed following the Madison family around the world was an exquisite adventure! 

Look and Live by Matt Papa

"Popular worship leader and speaker shows that our lives follow what our hearts focus on, whether the glory of God or ourselves and our desires"

My opinion: This was a great book. I really enjoyed the authors unique and inspiring approach to really focus ones heart on God and putting His desires ahead of our own. I know too often in my life I forget how glorious the glory of Christ really is, too often I limit him in my own mind and forget all He has done to break the bands of sin and how he longs for us to come back into his presence. 
I highly recommend this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Your Life still counts by Tracie Miles

God still has a plan for you--not in spite of your past, but because of it! 
Do regret and shame over your failures, sins, and shortcomings make you wonder how you could ever be loved, much less used, by a holy God? Tracie Miles felt the same way until she discovered the path to healing, peace, and significance. 
She helps you recognize that God not only has a purpose for you, but He has prepared you for your divine purpose based specifically on the experiences of your past. 
Through her own story and stories from other women who have discovered God's purpose for their lives because of adverse experiences, Tracie helps you see how God can turn pain into purpose. You will find forgiveness and healing from the troubles of your past, discover the courage to step out of your comfort zone to help others find hope and strength, and be inspired to step into the beautiful future God divinely designed for you. 

My opinion: This book was a well, written deeply insightful book. I loved how Tracie was so honest and open about her past and lovingly encouraging to remind one that God can turn ones pain into something He can use.
I know sometimes in my own life I struggle with things I have done or not done and wonder how God can love such an unlovable creature such as myself. This book is a great reminder of God's love and forgiveness.

I highly recommend this book for all, as we all have a past and God want's our future to be so much more.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Becoming beauty by Sarah Boucher

"They’re the first thing Bella sees after what’s been the worst day of her life. If Bella were the quintessential Beauty—gorgeous, kindhearted, and self-sacrificing—she might have a chance at transforming this monster into a man, but she’s never been the toad-kissing kind. Obsessed with landing a wealthy nobleman and escaping her humdrum life, Bella will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Which is precisely what landed her here, at the mercy of the Beast.

In this imaginative retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Bella's sense of entitlement strains both her family's finances and patience. As punishment for her selfishness, she's sent into the Beast's service where she must choose whether to follow the path she's always dreamed of—or risk it all for something even greater"

My opinion: I found this book to be utterly charming and refreshingly original. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading about a heroine that was not absolutely gorgeous and incredibly perfect. Finally. a heroine that one can actually relate to! I loved how the author  made the book unpredictable so that you did not know exactly where it was going from the first chapter but it kept you guessing until the end. Yes, at times Bella wasn't horrible likable but that is part of being human and part of the charm of this book. I loved the character development. I really cannot recommend this book enough and know I will be keeping an eye out for more books by this splendidly original author.

Pound Foolosh by Dave and Neta Jackson

Pound Foolish

Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis-macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. “Greener pastures?” When the recession hits Greg’s industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being “pound foolish”?
The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolish explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting withPenny Wise (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels.” Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters’ lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street-a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.
My opinion: I have always enjoyed Dave and Neta Jackson's books and this one was no exception. This book dealt with some harder issues but did it in such a way that was uplifting and encouraging.  In a world that places such value on material possessions this book really focused on what is truly important. 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gramma Nancy's Animal Hats

What a delightful book full of creative, wonderful ideas! I have seen so many different animal hats in here that would be so adorable for a little one so it is hard to know where to start!
The wonderful thing about many of these hats is that they come with some bootie patterns that are adorable as well.
This book would be a wonderful gift for anyone who enjoys making things, it has great photography and wonderful patterns, love it!!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey

quilted by christmas, Jodie Bailey, Quilts of Love

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.
Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle‑schoolers she teaches.
When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?
My opinion: This was a cute, quick read. It dealt with some challenging issues and it did not make everything perfect, instead it dealt with real, flawed characters who one could sympathize with. It was a cute story and put one in mood for Christmas. I like the authors style of writing and found this book to be very enjoyable.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould



Becoming Bea | The Courtships of Lancaster County series
Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance?
Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.
One person she’ll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They’ve known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?
My opinion: Even though Amish fiction is not my favorite genre of books, I found this novel to be utterly charming. The characters were cute and endearing and I enjoyed how the romance progressed. All in all this was a delightful read and I highly recommend it,
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The skinnytaste cookbook

I was so thrilled to get this book ans it did not disappoint. This book is filled with exceptional recipes that I am eager to try, not only because they look delicious, but because I won't feel guilty about eating them!
I love how these recipes are waistline friendly but they certainly do not look like they skimp on flavor.
This cookbook is a keeper for sure and would make a great additions to anyone's library.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Brickmaker's bride by Judith Miller

The Brickmaker’s Bride
The Brickmaker’s Bride
Bestselling Author Judith Miller Debuts Historical Series Set in West Virginia
Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it’s Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner’s daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she’s being courted by another man–a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he’ll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan’s hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura’s heart.
My opinion: I liked the premise of the book and found the information given on brick making to be interesting but I did not find this book to be that enthralling, it was a sweet little frothy read but I did not feel that there was a lot going on and you pretty much know what is going to happen from the get go. That being said if you are looking for an easy read then you might like this book.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Promise by Beth Wiseman

The Promise
The Promise
Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal—and danger.
Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal—to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.
Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart’s desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.
Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?
My opinion: I have liked many of Beth's works in the past but this one did not speak to me as much as some of her previous works. The book felt like a train wreck,  the whole time you are watching Mallory make decisions that are going to turn out badly for her and you just want to stop her! I did not find the characters as engaging. Some people might really enjoy this book but I did not find it as engaging as I had hoped.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Moosewood Cookbook

I had never heard of Moosewood but was eager to get the cookbook to see what it had to offer and it is filled delicious looking recipes.This is an updated edition of a very popular cookbook and I really enjoyed looking through the recipes and am hoping to attempt some of them very soon!

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Too loved to be lost by Debora Coty

Too Loved to be Lost pk

In Too Loved to Be Lost (Barbour Books, October 2014), you’ll find simple, practical steps for healing, refreshment, and revitalization of spirit, body, and faith. Whether you’re struggling with issues related to trust, depression, patience, relationships, hurts, or hopes. . .this humor-filled volume will deliver a much-needed smile and equip you with simple-to-implement tips for attaining the kind of guidance and belonging you crave—the kind that can only be found in the unconditional love of Papa God.

My thoughts: This was an easy read that really deals with anxiety and depression, it is a good reminder about God's love and is very uplifting.
This little gem is full of encouragement and is a great uplifting read.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson

What a beautiful cookbook! I was utterly delighted to get this book because I am in love with French cooking and the gorgeous cover was enough to make you anticipate what the rest of the book held and I certainly wasn't disappointed!
This book has gorgeous photography and the recipes look so delicious, I cannot wait to try them. It is wonderful having a great addition to my cookbook collection.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lady of Willogrove Hall by Sarah Ladd

A Lady at Willowgrove, Sarah Ladd

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall || Whispers on the Moors series
Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness.
His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.
Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.
Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own – one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.
When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

My opinion: There wasn't much of a mystery in this book being that you know what is going on pretty early on, that being said the author did a wonderful job at writing a sweet Regency love story.I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and thought it was well written and enjoyable.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Daughter-Highland-Hall Carrie Turansky

The Daughter of Highland Hall || Book 2, Edwardian Brides (Waterbrook Multnomah, October 2014)
What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough?
Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.
When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

My opinion: I was excited to read this book as I enjoyed Mrs. Turansky's previous book and I was utterly delighted that she used characters that we were introduced to in her previous book.  Starting off I was not crazy about the main character, Katherine, but she had a lot of character development throughout the book and I grew to like her. I thought the romance was sweet and the overall book was a good read with well developed characters.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Expectant Parents by Suzanne Gosselin

Expectant Parents cover PK
Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood || (Focus on the Family, October 2014)
Many books focus on prenatal development and the health of a mom-to-be. While Expectant Parents does touch on important issues of pregnancy, its core purpose is help expectant parents understand key issues related to the arrival of a new child in the home, offering practical assistance as they prepare themselves for long-term family success.
It’s often said that babies don’t come with an instruction manual. This book actually provides parents with information and practical steps for writing their own—as they work to create the kind of home and family they choose to build. This includes strengthening their own marriage relationship, setting plans and expectations for parenthood, increasing communication, and preparing for the new stage of their family life that is just ahead. Ideal for first-time parents, this book would also be helpful for couples wanting to explore and prepare for the emotional, physical, and spiritual life changes that come with the arrival of any new child into the family.

My opinion: Even though I do not have children of my own yet I found this book to be really insightful and enjoyable. I really enjoyed how Mrs. Gosselin had a different approach to preparing for a baby by talking about the emotional and even spiritual side of preparing for a little one.  I really appreciated the authors honesty and humor.
I think this book would make an exceptional gift to anyone who finds themselves preparing for a little bundle of joy.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Natural Pregnancy Book

This is a great resource book! I was delighted to receive this book and was even more delighted when I got the book as it was everything I was hoping for and more! This book would make a great gift for anyone who is expecting or is a great book to hold onto if you are planning on having a child in the future.
This book is packed full of exceptional advice and is a great guide for how to have a natural pregnancy.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for  my honest opinion.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What color is your Parachute? 2015

My Dad has always swore by Richard Bolles famous book "What color is your parachute?" so I was utterly delighted to received the most recent edition of this classic book and it did not disappoint!
This job is great for any job hunter, whether it is someone starting out early in ones career like myself or someone who has been in the work force for a long time. Filled with up to date information that is wonderfully relevant in this day and age, to information on what jobs would best suit you best this book is very insightful and I can see why it is such a best seller.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Citizen by Rob Peabody

For Rob Peabody, the young pastor at a mega-church in southern USA, the realization that his faith had little real connection with the world around him meant that something had to change. He redirected his church towards the poor on their doorstep and then took the larger step of moving to the UK to establish the missional fellowship ‘Awaken’.
In Citizen he outlines the Kingdom-centered identity that is given to followers of Jesus. It’s a wake-up call to the church in the West. Jesus’ death and resurrection initiates and invites people into a life of so much more than the status quo. God is re-building, re-newing, and re-creating that which is broken and marred by sin, and he is doing this – setting things right in the world – through Jesus. As citizens of the Kingdom, we have been saved and set apart for this work. We have a new allegiance, a changed identity, and a new mission as we seek to establish the rule of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

My opinion: This book was an interesting read. It really explored what it means to truly be a citizen of God's kingdom, to step out of ones comfort zone and have a meaningful connection with the world around you. I found this book to be inspiring and thought provoking, one of those books that causes you to take a step back and really evaluate what you are doing and what you need to be doing. I highly recommend this book and found it to be an excellent, well written read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The hardest peace by Kara Tippetts

The Hardest Peace PK

The Hardest Peace
A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.
Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.
In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.

My opinion: Wow, this book was amazing. I loved how brutally honest Kara was about her struggles with cancer, she did not try to sugar coat anything or try to make herself sound amazing, she was real and for that I really appreciated this book.  This book gives great insight to what a cancer does to ones life and yet how even in the darkest of times God is there and is taking care of you.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Keeper of the Covenant by Lynn Austin


Keepers of the Covenant, Book Two in the Restoration Chronicles
The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.
When the battles come to an end, Ezra’s brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude’s widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple–but the fight to keep God’s Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges…this one for the survival of God’s covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.

My opinion: I have always been a huge fan of Lynn Austin so I was excited to read her newest book in the Restoration Chronicles series. Overall it was just as well written as her other books, but I did not find the characters as engaging as some of her previous works. The storyline was strong and it had a lot going on which was good, but I wouldn't say this was one of my favorite works by Ms. Austin.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Buried beneath the words by Betel Arnold

Buried Beneath the Words

Buried Beneath the Words
Words! Words! Words!
Words all over the place. Accusing, blaming, and degrading words are the worst of all. After hearing those words over and over again, we begin to feel the weight of them threatening to crush the very life out of us.
Buried Beneath the Words cleverly shares a true life story about the different ways someone can end up buried beneath the weight of negative words. Then it shares a Christian course for how God’s word can revive us. By putting the advice given within these pages into practice, you will experience an awakening of the real you—the you that has been buried way too long.

My opinion: This book was very encouraging and really struck a chord with me. It really talks about the significance of words which is something that one doesn't think of often enough. I really enjoyed this book and found it to really hit home several times. This world is full of so much negativity and too often it does weigh us down and we let ourselves be defined by it. This book is a great reminder about focusing on the Lord and not letting words get us down.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Mason Jar by James Lingerfelt

The Mason Jar cover
The Mason Jar 
What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she’s ever read? “But,” she said, “it’s about you.” The author is your college ex.
In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather’s desk—letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.
Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.
My opinion: I was a little skeptical of this book at first and it started off a little slow, but once I got into it I found it very engaging and I really enjoyed the story. The style of writing was unique and intriguing and I really enjoyed the characters and the story.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Kitchn Cookbook

This cookbook is awesome! Even though I have had my own kitchen for over 4 years this book was filled with so many great ideas and tips that I delighted to have at my fingertips! This book had a ton of pictures and very practical advice for all cooks at any variety of skill.

This is a superb book that I highly recommend. I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tell me about prayer by Stephen Elkins

What a delightful little book! I was utterly charmed by this book and think it is a wonderful book to add to ones personal collection or to have at church. With lovely drawings, stickers and a cd this book is sure to be a hit with small children. I am so glad that books like this are out there and I was particularly pleased to see that there is a whole series of these types of books so you can have a whole collection!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Playing by heart by Anne Mateer

I have been a huge fan of Anne Mateer's books since reading the first one she published, so I was very excited to read her latest work. Overall it wasn't quite as good as her previous works but it was still enjoyable. I was not quite as engaged with the main character as I would of liked,she just wasn't as likable but I did like the character of Chet and found that he made up for Lula being stiffer and not as personable.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Setting your marriage free by Neil Anderson

I am big into marriage books.I truly feel like reading marriage books before you are married is vital and it is important to keep up on reading them both individually and together, after you are married. I know for myself personally it is a lot harder to read them after you are married, but when I do take the time to read a marriage book it is well worth the effort and it reminds me of things I need to work on in my own marriage.
I truly enjoyed this marriage book and found the advice that the author gave to be very solid and grounded in Biblical principals. It was an engaging and thought provoking read and I highly recommend it.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski

The Sacred Year, Michael Yankoski

The Sacred Year: Mapping the Soulscape of Spiritual Practice How Contemplating Apples, Living in a Cave and Befriending a Dying Woman Revived My Life
One searcher’s honest and fascinating journey to encounter God, love others, and discover his true self through a year of spiritual practices.
Frustrated and disillusioned with his life as a Christian, motivational speaker Michael Yankoski was determined to stop merely talking about living a life of faith and startexperiencing it. The result was a year dedicated to engaging in spiritual practices, both ancient and modern, in a life-altering process that continues to this day. Whether contemplating an apple for an hour before tasting it (attentiveness), eating on $2.00 a day (simplicity) or writing simple letters of thanks (gratitude), Michael discovered a whole new depth through the intentional life.
Stirred on by the guiding voice of Father Solomon, a local monk, Yankoski’s life is slowly transformed. Both entertaining and heart-wrenching, Yankoski’s story will resonate with those who wish to deepen their own committed faith as well as those who are searching – perhaps for the first time – for their own authentic encounter with the Divine.
My opinion: I fell in love with Michael Yankoski's thought provoking writing when I read his book "Under the Overpass" so I was utterly delighted to read his latest book and was even more delighted that he has not lost his raw, totally open and honest writing style. Once again his book has managed to engage me and get me to think in ways I haven't thought of before or in a very long time. This book is like a breath of fresh air and I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
I receive this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Sea Horse by Elisabeth Gifford

The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Scotland, 1860.
Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together – a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home – but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.
Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea Houseis an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.
My opinion: I enjoyed how there was more going on in this book,I really enjoy it when books switch from the past to modern day. This book had engaging and interesting characters, some I liked and some I really didn't. Overall it was a pretty good read, a bit darker at times then I generally like, but it handled some heavier things quite well and made you think.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The New American Herbal by Stephen Orr

I was absolutely delighted to get this book and when it came in the mail I was not at all disappointed, in fact, if anything this book exceeded my expectations. This book is everything one would want in an herbal book and more. It is filled with lush photographs that clearly show what the herb looks like and it intermittently  has recipes that include some of the various herbs that look not only delicious but incredibly fun to make.
I just love the amount of detail that Mr. Orr includes on each and every herb he has selected to put in the book. He goes to great lengths on each of them, including such things as origins, safety (very important!!), season, how to grow and other names and types. The little blurb he writes on each herb is interesting and informative.
I cannot recommend this book enough and think it makes a great additions to any one who is interested in herbs.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Fisher

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm

Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn’t who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It’s time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy’s cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos’s wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can’t forget Billy.
When a “lost” rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That’s his plan. The only catch is that he’s having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can’t get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.
As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy–and Amos, too–that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.
My opinion: This story is just what one needs to gear up for the holiday season.I know reading it made me all the more excited for Christmas to get here!! This was a quick read, not too much going on but it was a quick read that helps put one in the Christmas spirit.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

One pot

What a wonderful recipe book! Overall I do not find most of Martha Stewart's cookbooks to be my cup of tea, don't get me wrong,I think she has excellent recipes and fabulous photography, but they tend to be too involved for my liking and more often than not they include ingredients I do not have on hand. This book was much more to my liking and had some really good and simple recipes that I really want to try.Another great thing about this book is that they are one pot meals so you won't have as much clean up, which is a huge plus with me.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Treasury of Bible stories

Treasury of Bible Stories, Kelly Pulley

Magnificent Tales: Treasury of Bible Stories || Magnificent Tale Collection (David C. Cook, September 2014)
Children ages 4-8 will be delighted by these rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations.
Featuring lyrical stories full of lighthearted moments, this colorful collection of Magnificent Tales is perfect for reading out loud. As families read these stories night after night, they will make memories together while learning about the Bible.
My opinion: What an utterly delightful book! This is sure to appeal to young children with its clever rhyming and brightly illustrated pages. This is a unique approach to making the scriptures come alive for little ones and I think this is such a neat way to do it! This book would make an excellent addition to any child's personal library and would be fabulous for Sunday school teachers to have on hand as well.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Before Amen by Max Lucado

Before Amen Hi Res cover

We all pray . . . some.
We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.
But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?
Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.
We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.
And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same?
In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.
My opinion: Like all of Max Lucado's other books this book was wonderful, well written and thought provoking. I know too often in my own life I do not pray as often as I should and I really enjoyed this book that made me once again realize the power in prayer and also how really important prayer really is.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Hidden in the stars by Robin Caroll

Hidden in the Stars, Robin Carroll

New from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series | Hidden in the Stars 
A quilt holds the secret to a killer still at large—and who his next victim will be.
Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21‑year‑old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.
Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?
My opinion: I really enjoyed the mystery and intrigue of this book. The main characters were interesting and well rounded. I really liked how the main characters relationship blossomed in a sweet and not over the top way. The mystery kept me guessing and drew me in. At first I wasn't sure how the quilt aspect would be woven in, but it became apparent pretty quickly.  I highly recommend this book.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.