Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Someone like you by Victoria Bylin

Someone Like You (517x800)


Someone Like You (Bethany House, May 2016)
Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.
A brand new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father’s less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort’s general manager and her college sweetheart.
With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can’t ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?
My opinion: This book was an outstanding read! I am not usually into books along these lines, but this one was outstanding and it really drew me in. I loved the main characters who were flawed and yet very likable.  Julia was a very new, struggling Christian and I really enjoyed watching her grow and develop throughout the book. I loved the character of Zeke as well, he was. I love this book about second love and love how she faced hard issues with grace and tact. I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Her One and Only
Her One and Only (Bethany House, May 2016)
After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans.
But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?
Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.
Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives—and their hearts—to one another.
My opinion: I always appreciate Becky Wade's books as they are fun, easy to read with an enjoyable cast of characters and this book was no exception. I have to say that this one was not my favorite of her works, it was still good but at times the book dragged a bit and the characters were a bit too amazing, but they were still good.  I like the fact that you don't have to read the previous books in the series to make sense of everything, it certainly helps but it is not necessary which is nice. I did love how Dru's brothers interacted with Gray, that was very amusing! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples

Hunting Hope
Hunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light (April 2016, Worthy Inspired)
Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.
Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.
Nika Maples became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and-if she lived at all-she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.
Whether you or someone you know is going through a situation that feels hopeless, you will find encouragement in Hunting Hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical trauma, a financial hardship, or a relational crisis, you will find empowerment in Hunting Hope. As you read, you will cling to 20 truths about God’s character and practice 5 daily disciplines that will develop your own character in crisis.
You will become a hope hunter.
Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives. Maybe we were all meant to be hope hunters.
My opinion: This book is such a encouraging and insightful, coming from a women who has struggled with hope and not losing it amidst the struggles of life. I really liked reading the authors account of her struggles and how God triumphed, what a testimony she has!  I also loved how she shared other peoples struggles and triumphs. This book was so encouraging and I felt so uplifted and refreshed. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Pediatrician's guide to feeding Babies and Toddlers

This book is such a wonderful resource for those of us with small kids to give great insight on what to give them.This book is such a handy book to have on hand as it is a quick and easy reference of great foods to feed, things to avoid and everything in between. I was delighted with the convenience of this book and was pleased with how much I actually used it. I think this book would be great to give to new and even experienced parents. My only regret is that I did not have this book sooner as it would have been great to have,
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Saving my Assassin by Virginia Prodan

I was intrigued by this book and was eager to read it and while it was a sad read it was also a wonderful reminder about the power of God and His protection as the things this women went through is amazing and that she lived to tell her tale is a miracle. The author was truly brave and was searching for the truth under a brutal regime that wasn't interested in people finding the truth. Honestly, I didn't know much about the Romanian regime during that time so it was very eye opening and a good history lesson.
Written by a brave, fearless women who has gone through so much in her life, this book was a great read and I highly recommend it .
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mars...with Venus rising by Hope Doughtery



Mars . . . with Venus Rising(Pelican Book Group, August 2015)
A meddling horse, paper bag floors and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all—including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.
Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she’s worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.
When John Townsend—full of life and the joy of living—moves to town, he rattles Penn’s view of herself, her life, and her dreams…which isn’t such a bad thing until she falls for him and discovers he’s a pilot.
My opinion: This was a fun, light read with quirky, unique characters that are just plain interesting and like the people one would meet in any little town.I love how this book deals with overcoming ones fears . The recipes were a nice added bonus and I want to try some of them out! I received a copy of it in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Basque book

What a gorgeous book with absolutely delicious recipes from the Basque country in Spain. This book is filled with some more simple recipes that don't seem as daunting but there are many that are very complex and are not ones I would feel comfortable doing on my own.
I love how this book has fascinating narrative that makes it all the more interesting. This is a large book filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photography.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Sister Dear
Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.
My opinion: I have such mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it was well written with well developed characters that are raw and real. On the other hand though this book was utterly depressing and sad, the premise that a sister could betray her own sister is utterly heartbreaking, having such a close relationship with my own sister I just really couldn't relate. This book is a sad reminder of so much waste, a life spent in prison for a crime you didn't commit, treachery and so much hate. This book was rather depressing, but if you like that sort of thing then go for it. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

The Inheritance
The Inheritance (Bethany House, April 2016)
The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale’s Reef into turmoil.
Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island—and its traditional way of life—hangs in the balance.
Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .
Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.
My opinion: I was very eager to read the latest by one of my favorite authors and the fact that it was set in Scotland made it all the better. This book certainly wasn't a quick or easy read and at times it was quite dry, but the characters were well developed and engaging enough to keep you plodding through. I enjoyed the premise and the fact that it was set in culture rich Scotland. Another great read from an excellent author that I have not had the pleasure of reading in awhile. I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Song of Silence PK


Song of Silence (Abingdon, April 2016)
Music taught Lucy love and beauty. Could silence teach her hope?
Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. Charlie retired early, but Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.
Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her form the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.
When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.
My opinion: This was a beautiful book with so much heart, depth and reality in it. I loved how it dealt with being committed to a relationship even when life doesn't turn out like you planned, which for all of us is something that has happened in one form or another in our lives. I love how Lucy and Charlie grown and develop throughout the book and are so raw and real, I can totally see them being someone I would know. I have always appreciated Ms. Ruchti books but this book really exceeded my expectations and was her best work yet.   I received a copy of this book in exchange of my honest opinion.

Understanding exposure by Bryan Peterson

I have recently started to getting into photography recently and upgraded my camera , I was utterly delighted to get my hands on the newest edition of Bryan Peterson's book about exposure and I am so glad I did!
This book is a fabulous book for amateur photographers to get the basics on exposure and help avoid amateur mistakes, many of which I was very guilty of. I really feel that this book breaks down different aspects so well and illustrates them so beautifully with photographs. I noticed a marked improvement in my photography skills after going through this book and look forward to getting my hands on some of his other books.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinio

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

King's Folly by Jill Williamson

What an intense book! Despite being long book (almost 500 pages!) this book was so easy to get sucked into and was quite the page turner. Which is a good thing because if you put it down for too long it would be easy to remember what is going on because there is so many different story lines going on and several different narrators which I loved.
This book is so engaging and I love how it is told from multiple perspectives, in my opinion that adds so much more depth to the story.
The style of writings is so engaging and rich, I absolutely loved it.
The characters themselves were enjoyable, such a wide array from wonderful to very unlikable,
Some aspects of the book were pretty dark, especially some aspects of the religion that is practiced. I felt better reading the authors note about she was trying to capture some aspects of the Old Testament which is certainly what it reminds me of at times.
It had a bit more sensuality then I usually read. One of the main characters who I overall like Prince Wilek has a concubine that is not very nice and they allude to a lot more than I am comfortable with. it also deals with noble women with loose morals, sleeping around,etc. I wish she had scaled back a bit in that department.
All in all I loved the book, I feel because of some of its more mature content that I would not recommend it young adults, but for adults it is a great read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange of my honest opinion.

Flirtation walk by Siri Mitchell

I was intrigued by the concept of this book being about West Point as I had not really read much about historical West Point and this book was an interesting and informative read. There certainly wasn't much of a mystery to the book, it was pretty predictable, but it was an interesting enough read. I appreciated the rich historical detail, what I didn't care for as much was the main character, Lucinda, she was vain, manipulative and I got tired of how beautiful she was, Sure, she developed and got better near the end but having a unlikable heroine made the story not near as enjoyable,
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid

A Dream of Miracles
A Dream of Miracles (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)
Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.
Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.
Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.
When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?
My opinion: Usually I find Amish fiction to be somewhat enjoyable if not pretty predictable.I wasn't so sure I would enjoy this book as the premise of a Amish widow falling in love with a man who comes from a high society background. Overall the book was a lot better than I expected, I still have a hard time with how they make Bo's job seem a lot more glamorous than working in Social Service really is, trust me, I did  it for awhile and it was the hardest, poorest paying job. I did enjoy how the author developed the characters and I loved the honest, raw emotions. One cannot help but feel for the characters, especially Mattie.I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Malibu Farm Cookbook

What a fun, fresh and gorgeous cookbook! This book can almost make one feel like you are on the California coast with the wind whipping through your hair and the ocean breeze blowing in.
I love the concept of Malibu Farm which is locally sourced, fresh foods that make so delicious food! Some of the recipes are alas harder for myself to make as I sadly don't live in California so some things just aren't easy to get, but that certainly doesn't affect most of the recipes. The grilled chocolate  cake with caramel sauce looks amazing and is something that is unique and yet so deliciously easy at the same time.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.