Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Once Was Lost - A Book Review

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a heartwarming historical romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Christina Willems has been running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor ever since her father died a year ago.  When tragedy strikes and a fire leaves the house uninhabitable, Christina has to find shelter for all the people in her care.  They are all like family to her and having them all scattered about town soon becomes the least of her worries.

When Christina approaches the towns people she has no problem fining places for those in her care to stay, all that is except for poor little Tommy, the eleven year old blind boy.  Christina only has one other option and she knows she must approach Levi, the reclusive mill owner.  Levi has lived as a hermit and has no desire to let anyone into his life.  He reluctantly agrees to take Tommy in on a temporary basis and soon forms a strong bond with the boy.

As the weeks go by it seems like one catastrophe after another takes place that hinder the rebuilding of the mission home.  Christina begins to wonder if she will ever be able to fulfill her desire to rebuild the mission and to resume the job that she has dedicated her whole life to.

There are so many things I love about this book.  I love the character of Christina.  She has a servants heart and she wants so much to help others and is trying to do things like her father would do.  Tommy's character pulled on my heart strings and it was at times heart wrenching to read how he deals with the rejection he has experienced due to his blindness.  Then there is Cora, a young lady that has made many mistakes and fears rejection herself if anyone finds out the secret she is hiding.  I can't forget Levi, he is so good with Tommy and gives him the independence that the boy has needed.  Although most of the book is about rebuilding the mission home there are glimpses of romance that melted my heart.  I love reading a book that I can feel uplifted from and this book did exactly that for me.  I was interested from the first page to the last.  I would definitely recommend the book to anyone who enjoys historical romance novels.  

***This book was provided to my by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Country Pumpkin

I want to share this super cute pumpkin my mom made.  She got the idea off pinterest and the original project was done with a real pumpkin. Mom used a fake pumpkin which I think was a great idea.  This way she can get lots of years of use out of it. 

All you need is a pumpkin, a doily, modge podge and ribbon.  Super easy and super cute.

Monday, October 21, 2013

An Untamed Heart - A Book Review

When I found out that Lauraine Snelling had written another book about Ingeborg Bjorkland (her last name isStrand in An Untamed Heart) I was super excited.   I have read all of the books about Blessing, North Dakota and have come to love the Bjorkland family.  An Untamed Heart is actually a prequel to the Red River of the North Series and tells how Ingeborg's journey to America begins and how her and Roald get together.

I was a little disappointed with the book.  It was rather slow and verging on boring at times.  After reading 16 (yes, 16,  that's not a typo) books about the Bjorkland family I have come to feel like I know the character of Ingeborg pretty well and in this book I felt as if I was reading about a stranger.  She did not seem true to character.  I also had a hard time with some of the names.  Many of the names were familiar from the previous books, but at times I was not sure if they were the same characters from earlier books or just common Norwegian names.

Had I read this book first I may have felt differently, but since that is not the case and probably isn't for a lot of the readers that are fans of Lauraine Snelling I cannot give a real good review.  I would however recommend The Red River of the North Series and all the series following about this family.  I would even recommend reading An Untamed Heart first.  If you are just starting out you won't already have an opinion of how the character of Ingeborg should be and you can read and watch her transform into the character that I love.

Here is a list of the books in the order they should be read:

An Untamed Heart

An Untamed Land  (Red River of the North series)
A New Day Rising  (Red River of the North series)
A Land to Call Home  (Red River of the North series)
The Reaper's Song  (Red River of the North series)
Tender Mercies  (Red River of the North series)
Blessing in Disguise  (Red River of the North series)

A Dream To Follow  (Return to Red River series)
Believing The Dream  (Return to Red River series)
More Than A Dream  (Return to Red River series)

A Promise for Ellie  (Daughters of Blessings series)
Sophies' Dilemma  (Daughters of Blessing series)
A Touch of Grace  (Daughter of Blessing series)
Rebecca's Reward  (Daughter of Blessing series)

A Measure of Mercy  (Home to Blessing series)
No Distance Too Far  (Home to Blessing series)
A Heart for Home  (Home to Blessing series)

***An Untamed Heart was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose - A Book Review

A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer is a charming little story that takes place at the end of World War II.  Rose is a young Amish girl who was engaged to Jonathan.  Jonathan shocked the Amish community when he enlisted.  He never fought in the war, but instead was a medic.  While Jonathan was gone Rose was left with the judgement of her Amish community where everyone urged her to forget about him.  Now that he's back it is time for her to face her true feelings.

Things from Rose's past start coming to light and she is shocked to find out she is not who she thought she was.  In light of everything she must come to terms with the way she passed judgement on Jonathan.  She is trying to discover who she really is and Jonathan is determined to regain her trust and love.

This story is faith filled, and focuses strongly on family bonds, belonging and love.  Even though the title makes you think it is going to be a holiday based story, it is not.  I would not even consider it a Christmas story
besides the fact that the time of year is during the holiday season.  It is a short story and a quick read that you are sure to love.  Perfect for a winter's day cuddled up on the couch!

***This book was provided to me by booksneeze in exchange for my review.

Fired Up - A Book Review

About the Book:

Glynna came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation.  Now her husband, Flint is dead and she's determined to make a go of it on her own.  In a town full of men, Glynna decides she can support her two children by opening a diner, even though cooking is not one of her greatest talents.

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his.  It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident  with Flint Greer and the Ranch.  Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment - which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Though his doctoring business is booming due to Glynna's questionable cooking, Dare seems to encounter unexpected dangers wherever he goes.  There's the avalanche, and the fire, and then the shadowy figure with the knife. Can Dare survive it all long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance at love?

My Thoughts:

I first became acquainted with Mary Connealy's writing when I read the series "The Kincaid Brides" and I became an instant fan.  Now whenever a new book comes out I get really excited and can't wait to read it.  Fired Up is the second book in the Trouble in Texas series.  I admit that I struggled a little bit with Swept Away, the first book in this series, but Fired Up has redeemed the Author's spot on my favorite's list.

True to her writing style, Mary Connealy had me laughing out loud in several parts of the book.  I love both Dare and Glynna and thought there story is really good.  One thing I like about this book is that it is light-hearted and an easy read.    I'm really excited about Vince and am pretty sure that is who the next story is going to be about and I can't wait!!!

***This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my review.