Thursday, September 14, 2017

Draw 50 Sea Creatures - Book Review

I've always wanted to be able to sit down and draw whatever I want without it looking like a two year old did it. Truth is though,  I am not artistic when it comes to drawing. Lucky for me there are plenty of books out there that help.

Draw 50 Sea Creatures is a great book to help anyone who can hold a pencil to draw fish, sharks, dolphins and more. The book takes you step by step until you have a complete drawing. It starts with simple shapes and slowly adds detail.

Now, I'll be honest. I've already admitted that I'm not an artist, but my penguin definitely looked like a penguin and my fish and turtle were recognizable as well. Now they weren't as good as the examples in the book, but definitely better than anything I could accomplish on my own.

This is a great book for all ages, however, I do think younger kids would enjoy it the most.

***Thanks to bloggingforbooks.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

An Amish Christmas Love - Book Review

Do you know that there are only 103 day left before Christmas! How can that be! It seems like we were just celebrating the new year! 

Summer is always my favorite season, but as the weather starts turning cooler I always find I have more time to read. 

An Amish Christmas Love is a book composed of four novellas by some of the best Amish fiction authors. 

The four stories included are:  Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman, The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston, Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin and Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid. 

They are quick reads and sweet little stories that will quickly put you in the Christmas spirit. This book would make a lovely gift for anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction. 

Herr is a short description of each story:


Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.
The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.
Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?
Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home - A Book Review

Kim Vogel Sawyer has been one of my favorite Authors for quite sometime.  Bringing Maggie Home is her newest novel and it was a little different than what I'm used to from her, but it was still an enjoyable read.

When Hazel was 10 years old she was picking blackberries with her little sister.  Hazel turned her back for just a few minutes and just like that her sister was gone.  The little girl was never found and no one really knew what happened to her.  The tragedy shaped Hazel's life and she never got over being responsible for the loss of her little sister.

Almost 70 years later, Hazel faces her past when her granddaughter finds pictures of Maggie.  The sister that no one knew Hazel even had.  Meghan is an investigator and decides to call on her partner for help in solving the case of what happened to Maggie.

Hazel's daughter and Meghan's mom, Diane, has a lot of bitterness towards her mother.  As she learns more about her mother's past she begins to realize why her mom was so overprotective and why she did some of the things she did.

In their search for Maggie, relationships begin to heal and lives are changed, but will they get to the bottom of what happened all those years ago?

The book jumps around from past to present and from the different character's point of view.  I liked this set up and it made the book much more interesting.  The mystery of what happened to Maggie kept me enthralled and I couldn't wait to find out what really happened.

I would definitely recommend this book!

Thanks to bloggingforbooks.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

I really enjoy Bible journaling. If you haven't tried it yet, you should. It really enhances my Bible study time.

There are so many different journaling Bibles to choose from. So many, that if you are a beginner it can be overwhelming. So let me help you!  The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is a good one to start with. NIV is not my version of choice, I prefer Kjv, but regardless this is a great Bible for Journaling.

There are quite a few pages throughout the Bible that have printed images that are waiting for you to add your own personal touch through coloring. There are also a lot of blank areas for you to add your own special touch and add your own designs.

The pages are thick enough that I did not experience any bleeding. I used Micron non bleed pens, gelatos and cored pencils for the majority and was very pleased with the outcome.

The Bible is listed as large print, but I would not label it as that. It's not teeny tiny print, but definitely not large. The Bible itself though is a very nice size and it has a beautiful cloth cover. The Bible lays flat while you are reading and working on your pages.

I am very happy to have this Bible to work through and I would recommend it to others!

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Promise of Dawn - Book Review

I cannot adequately put into words how much I love Lauraine Snelling's new book, The Promise of Dawn. It is the first book in  her new series, Under Northern Skies.

I am just so excited about this series. I absolutely loved the books about the Bjorkland family set in Blessing, North Dakota. In the very first chapter of this book you'll learn there is a connection to the featured family and Ingeborg! I was so excited about this. Dare I hope that somewhere in this series we will revisit the beloved matriarch?

Either way, this series is one I'm looking forward to. I loved the character of Signe and her patience with Aunt Gerd...my, oh my, I don't know how she out up with her or uncle Einar. But, as the book progressed I have to say I even came to love these difficult family members.

One thing I really like about Lauraine Snelling's writing is that she describes the daily activities in such detail. This picks me up and transports me to a place in history and I can experience through words what life was like for these immigrants.

I can't recommend this book enough! Such an enjoyable read! I can't wait for book two!

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beloved Hope - A Book Review

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson is the second book in the Heart of the Frontier series.  I would definitely recommend reading the books in order as they are tied together.  I did not do this and I did struggle some.  After I got through the first few chapters it began to come together better for me and the story began to flow.  I am so intrigued with this story that I want to go back and get the first book and read it as well.  I'll also be following up with book three when it is released!

The series is about the Flanagan sisters:  Faith, Hope and Mercy and how they make a new home in Indian Territory.  The sisters parents were killed in a terrible massacre and this is their stories.  The first book featured faith and this book was centered on Hope.

Hope is now safe in Oregon city and enjoys caring for the family's flock of sheep.  her mind and soul is starting to heal from the horrible massacre, but everything is put to the test when she is asked to testify against the Cayuse responsible for the massacre.

Hope is not sure she can bear to relive the horrific events, but neither can she risk her attackers being released.  As Hope struggles to make her choice an Army lieutenant named Lance Kenner becomes and unexpected ray of light in her life.  Perhaps she is still capable of love after all.  But will Lance still want her if he learns the whole truth of what happened to her at the mission?  Or are the secrets that lie in his own past more troubling?

I would note that there is some mature content in this book dealing with murder and rape during the massacres so it may not be appropriate for all readers.

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Return - A Book Review

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an amazing author and her book, The Return, is a a perfect example of why I love her books.  I have to say though, that it was the beautiful cover that first drew me to this one!

I have always been a huge fan of historical fiction and this book is inspired by true events.  There is a section in the back of the book that includes what's true about the story.  I always love when and Author includes these details! Not only is this an enjoyable fiction read you will learn a lot while reading it.  

The story is set in Pennsylvania in the 1700's, pre-revolution.  Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations nor those of devoted Hans-but then she never had to.  Not until the night she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid.  Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feeling she's developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort.  She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Han's hunger for revenge.  But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Even though this is book three of this series it makes a great stand alone book.  You will not want to put it down.  It will grab you from the first page and keep you enthralled all the way to the end.  There is lots of adventure and a little suspense.  The romance is sweet and pure.  Such a fulfilling book!

***Thanks to Revell Reads for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Gathering The Threads - A Book Review

When it comes to Amish fiction Cindy Woodsmall is my favorite author.  I have read all of her books and she never disappoints!  Her newest series,The Amish of Summer Grove, is my favorite yet. I have been patiently waiting for Gathering The Threads ever since I finished Fraying at the Edge.  I was so happy to finally get it and I was not disappointed.  This is the third and final book in the series and I was happy with the way the Author concluded the series.

First off, if you have not read the first two books I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning.  This is a series that needs to be read in order and Gathering The Threads is not meant to be a "stand alone" book.

The series starts out in an Amish birthing center where one women has just given birth and another is about to when a fire breaks out.  It's complete chaos.  The story then jumps forward 20 years.  The series is about Ariana and Skylar.

In the third book, Gathering The Threads, Ariana is back in the Old Order Amish world that she loves.  She had new perspectives and you'll have to read to see if they will draw her family closer or completely rip them apart.

Skylar has finally found her place among the Brenneman family, but when Ariana arrives, Sklyar feels that her new identity is being threatened as well as her sobriety.  Both girls must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight to the One who holds their identities close to His heart.

If you love Amish fiction I cannot recommend this series enough!  Actually all of Cindy Woodsmall's novels.  They are all great!

***Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

With You Always - A Book Review

With You Always by Jody Hedlund is the first book in the Orphan Train series.  I'm really excited about this series! I've always been interested in the Orphan Trains and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.  Not to mention I love Jody Hedlund.  So really, I was destined to love this book.

It is the early 1850's and Elise Neumann is working hard to care for her younger sisters.  They have been living at the 7th Street Mission.  The mission helps prostitutes reform, but the Miss Pendleton wants to help out Elise.  This makes the other ladies very jealous.  

The city is a very dangerous place and one day while on an errand Elise finds herself in the midst of danger as the gangs of the city start rioting.  Thornton Quincy comes to her rescue and helps her back to the safety of the mission.  There is an instant connection between the two, but Thornton must stay focused.  He has the chance to inherit his family's wealth, but he must first prove himself more worthy than his brother.

Elise and Thornton are two people for completely different worlds but they cannot deny the spark between them.  If they let it continue to grow they will lose everything they've been working for.

I always enjoy the Author's note at the end of the book.  Not all Author's include this, but Jody Hedlund did not disappoint here either.  I enjoy getting a glimpse into the thought process behind a book and a little more facts to go along with the fiction.

I would definitely recommend this great book.  I can wait for the second book in the series to come out!

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Abiding Mercy - A Book Review

I can't believe we are already well into the month of July.  This year is flying by!  As the temperatures are heating up this week, I have found myself wanting to sit inside where it's cool with a good book. If you find yourself wanting a good summer read, then I have a recommendation for you!

Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid is one of the best Amish fiction books that I have read in a long time.  It is a story that grips at your heart.  As the story begins you read about a little baby being snatched away.  Fast forward several years and we get to know 16 year old Faith.  She is a young Amish girl who loves her life and is looking forward to joining the church and marrying Gideon.

Faith's world comes crashing down around her when she finds out she is not who she thought she was.  Not Faith, but Adriana who was kidnapped 15 years earlier.  She has so many questions.  Can she really trust anyone?  Will she ever feel like she belongs anywhere again?

What I love about this book is that you get to see both sides of the story.  There is so much emotion involved and there was more suspense then what I thought there would be.  You think you pretty much have it figured out with the general story line, but let me tell you, this book goes a lot deeper then what I expected.

An excellent read and a great way to spend a hot summer day!  You won't want to put this book down until you are finished!

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.