Monday, April 27, 2015

Thick as Thieves - A Book Review

Thick as Thieves by Susan K Marlow is the first book in the Circle C Milestones series.  It is a great book geared for preteens and young teenagers.   My recommendation would be for 8-15 years old.   It is a historical fiction story and is a filled with adventure, family values and horses.  Oh how I loved to read books about horses when I was a young girl and this book brought me right back.  It is just the kind of book that I would of loved.  Even though I am older now and my interests have changed I still found it to be an interesting read.

If you have a daughter or granddaughter that loves to read, loves horses and loves adventure stories this would be a great addition to your home library.  As a homeschool mom this is just the kind of book I like to recommend!


Andrea Carter is fourteen years old and all she wants to do is ride her horse Taffy.  When Taffy gives birth to twin foals she would rather stay home and take care of the horses.  She thinks she knows all she needs to know and doesn't need any more schooling.  To add to her dislike for school, Andrea has been assigned to befriend new student Macy Walker.  Macy walker is wild and and mean.  On top of everything cattle rustlers are now threatening the Circle C.  When the cattle rustlers turn to stealing horses the thing that Andrea loves most is now threatened.  It looks like the only one who can help her is Macy Walker, but Can Andrea trust this girl?


Susan K. Marlow is always on the lookout for a new story, whether she's writing books, teaching writing workshops, or sharing what she's learned as a homschooling mom.  The author of the Circle C Adventures and the Circle C Beginnings, Susan enjoys relaxing on her fourteen-acre homestead in the great state of Washington.  Connect with Susan at


You can purchase Thick As Thieves on Amazon by clicking HERE.

***This book was provided to me through Kregel Publications as a part of their blogger review program in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What Color is your Parachute? for teens - A Book Review

What Color is your Parachute is an updated career guide for teens.  It is designed to help high school and college age students discover their skills and find the perfect career that is suited for them.

As a homeschool mom I thought this would be a great addition to our home library and I was right!

 It is difficult for teenagers to know what direction to take when it comes to career choices.  This book focuses on helping the young person zero in on their passions and skills which will help point them in the right direction to attain the job that is best suited for them.

The book includes lots of pointers and one of my favorite parts was the "reality checks".  It includes advice on everything from job interviews to internships.  It is written in a way that is appealing to the age group that it is intended for and it takes you through a step by step process to help you discover more about yourself.

I think this is a great book that will help guide the young person down the write path for a successful career.   When you identify your interests and passions early you can make informed decisions on what makes sense for your chosen field.  

***This book was provided to me through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Everyday Grace - A Book Review

Everyday Grace:  Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus is different than most self help relationship books.  Instead of offering advice and step by step solutions it helps you look at the heart and find where the problem lies within yourself.  

We all face challenges in life.  Sometimes it is hard to let things go.  We can say we forgive, but we hold on to things.  We remember the wrongs that have been done to us.  No matter how we tip-toe through life it is inevitable that we will get hurt and we will hurt others.

The question do we extend grace?  How do we offer the same love that Christ has extended to us?  As Christians we should be striving daily to be more like Jesus.  As the author points out we are a people that what we give depends on what we are given.  You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.  There is so much wrong with this way of thinking and we need to reprogram ourselves to a better way.  I did not deserve the Grace that God extended to me, but He gave it abundantly to me.  Your co-worker or family member may not treat you right, but you need to offer them the same grace that was offered you through your loving Savior.

Through stories and biblical insights Everyday Grace is an encouraging read that helps us to quite trying to "fix" people and just extend love and grace.  You will feel refreshed and uplifted after reading this great book!

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

Saturday, April 18, 2015

On Shifting Sand - A Book Review

On Shifting Sand by Allison Pittman is a complex book, but one that is sure to pull at your heartstrings.  The story is set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and with no rain and constant dust storms plaguing the town, Nola feels like her life is just as dried up as the land.

Nola married Russ, a young preacher, in attempt to get away from her heartless father.  She did not find the happiness she desired and now twelve years have passed and she has two children and is unhappier than ever.  She is good at masking her discontentment, at least until Jim, a friend from her husband's college years, comes and stays in their home.  Nola fights her attraction to him, but his continued affections leads Nola to do the unthinkable and cheat on her husband.  Nola battles her shame for a long time and is afraid that her husband will never be able to forgive her for what she has done.  She asks God forgiveness but knows she must confess to her husband and seek his forgiveness as well.

You might be thinking "how can this be considered a christian book?" or "I am not going to read a book about infidelity".   Believe me when I say that I completely understand that way of thinking.  I am very strict on the type of books I read and I don't feel like this book is written in a distasteful way at all.  It is about a woman who is lost.  A woman who struggles with guilt and shame.  It's about grace and redemption, about love and forgiveness.  It's about restoration and hope.   This is a different kind of love story.  It's not what I expected from this book, but it was really good.

***Thank you to Tyndale for providing this book to me in exchange for my honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Award-winning author Allison Pittman has penned more than twelve novels, including her series set in the Roaring Twenties—All for a Song, All for a Story, and All for a Sister. Allison resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella. Visit her at


1. What inspired you to write On Shifting Sand?
This is always the hardest question to answer. I loved writing about the dynamics of marriage with my Sister Wife series. But then, a story of a marriage needs conflict, and I’ve yet to see a CBA novel really tackle the idea of adultery in a way that showed it to be a conscientious, willful sin, disassociated from the circumstances of the marriage, or the relationship between the husband and wife. Too often, it was a backstory to justify a divorced character. Or it was a series of close calls, but never fully realized. I wanted to portray it as sin. Pure and simple, but unique in the fact that it reaches beyond the sinner, and carries with it a risk in confession. And then, I wanted to write a story that follows through a journey of restoration—not simply coming back to Christ, but coming back to life. It took a bit for all the pieces to come together, and so many of them weren’t discovered until I was buried in the story.
More than any of my books, inspiration for this story came bit by bit.

2. The story is written from the perspective of Nola Merrill, who finds herself in an adulterous relationship. Why did you decide to write the story from the perspective of an unreliable narrator?
I think we are all unreliable narrators in our own lives, especially when it comes to facing our sin. We justify our sin, proclaim ourselves victims, assign blame and downplay responsibility. We can bury ourselves so deeply in guilt, we’re blind to the idea of redemption, so we ignore what God tells us about confession and grace and mercy. We lie to ourselves the same way Nola lies to herself—and, thereby, to the readers. I have no doubt this character will make readers uncomfortable. She made me uncomfortable. They are going to be
frustrated with her choices, disappointed by her actions, but I’m OK with that. I think Nola is the realest character I’ve ever created.

3. What truths do you hope readers will take away from On Shifting Sand?
First, that you cannot run from your sin. You cannot hide from God’s ever watchful eye. You cannot commit any sin too grievous for His grace. You cannot thrive under the burden of guilt.
Second, that you can learn from a character without necessarily loving her. Or liking her. You might not even believe that she deserves forgiveness—from God, or from her husband. But that is why I am so thankful to live as a child wrapped in God’s sovereign mercy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Heart's Obsession - A Book Review

A Heart's Obsession by Colleen Cobble is the second book in the Journey of the Heart series.  There are 6 books in the series and they are short books which make for a quick read.  A Heart's Obsession is 98 pages long and I have to say that my only complaint about this series is the shortness of the books.  I would much rather have the whole series compiled into one or two books instead of 6 short ones.  Other than that, I am loving this series.  The first book A Heart's Disguise hooked me and this one was very enjoyable as well.

The story continues where the first book leaves off.  It continues with the story of Sarah and Rand.  Now that Sarah's father has died she decides that she can at last be with Rand and she heads to Fort Laramie in search of him.  When she arrives she is shocked to find out that he is engaged to another.  Sarah decides to stay and fight for her man, but things get even more complicated when Ben, Sarah's obsessed ex-fiance shows up.

I can't wait to see where this story leads.  There are lots of twists and turns in this series and what I think is a predictable story line has surprised me more than once.

This series is a part of the first books Colleen Cobble ever wrote.  After not being available for 10 years, the story is now updated and is being release one book a month which started in March.  I am a big fan of this author and love how her stories have a great balance of love, suspense and faith.

***This book was provided to me through in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Creole Princess - A Book Review

The Creole Princess is the first book I have read by Author Beth White.  It is the second book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles.  I really liked White's writing style, she has and elegant way, but I really struggled with getting into the story.  The plot seemed slow at times and I didn't care for the parts that focused on the Revolutionary war.  I did enjoy the romance part of it, but overall I would have to give the book a 3 out of 5 stars.  I love historical fiction books, but I really am not a fan of stories written in this time period.  That may be why I struggled so much and I would definitely give the author another shot if the book was set in a different time in history.

The Creole Princess is a historical story of the Revolutionary war, espionage and the differences between those born as slaves and those born free.

Lyse works at various jobs to help bring food to her family.  Her mother died years ago and her father remarried.  Her father has developed a drinking problem and her stepmother is pregnant with another child.  Lyse's best friend is Daisy, the daughter of the local fort commander and has helped her to learn to read and write.  The colonies are revolting against the British crown and Lyse's future is unclear.

Don Rafael appears as a Spanish merchant but is actually gathering information for the Spanish governor.  When he meets Lyse he quickly falls for her and now he seems to spend more time thinking of ways to win the heart of Lyse than gathering information.

Beth White is the award-winning author of The Pelican Bride. A native Mississippian, she teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Learn more at

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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

When Grace Sings - A Book Review

Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite authors.  I am always sure that when I open one of her books that I will love it.  "When Grace Sings" is her newest novel and it starts where "When Mercy Rains" ended.  This is one series that it is definitely beneficial to read in order.  There is a lot of family history and details that enhance the story and if you skip the first book I think it would be much harder to fully grasp the family dynamics.  I loved the first book and I had been waiting patiently for "When Grace Sings".  It was everything I hoped it would be and more.  I loved this one more than the first and that was a lot!

The story focuses on the characters of Alexa and Anna-Grace.  Alexa is now living with and taking care of her grandmother while running a bed and breakfast in her grandmother's home.  Anna is Alexa's cousin.  They were both adopted and Anna-Grace does not feel like she fits in with her family and is afraid that she never will.  There is also Briley Forrester, a reporter from Chicago who has come to stay in the bed and breakfast that Alexa runs while he does a story on the "dark" side of Plain life.   What he doesn't expect is for the town of Arborville to pull at his heartstrings.  I can't forget Steven, Anna-Grace's fiance who is having his own set of problems.  He is trying to be the perfects son and is battling his calling and all of this is causing problems with him and Anna-Grace.

There always seems to be a message to Kim Vogel Sawyers books and I love the deep faith that she roots them in.  Even though there is conflict in the books she always shows how a faith in God can overcome any difficulty that you face.  I always feel uplifted and encouraged after reading one of Sawyers books!

With this being book two of The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy, I can tell you that I can hardly wait for book three.  With the way things are going I think it's going to be an amazing end to and amazing series and I can't wait to read the conclusion!


Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print and have garnered awards including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas, with husband Don and their four feline companions. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and ten grandchildren.

***This book was provided to me through the Blogging for Books blog review program in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pilgrim's Progress - A Book Review

Pilgrim's Progress is a classic that is just as powerful today as it was when it was first written in 1678.   If you are like me though, you have struggled with the reading of this beloved book.  The way we speak has changed a lot through the years and sometimes picking up a book from a different time period can be challenging to read.

I am excited to tell you about the new publication of Pilgrim's Progress.  It is updated, in Modern English, but still has the original illustrations.  This made such a huge difference for me.  What an enjoyable read it was!  I did find myself, especially at the beginning, comparing it to the original text.  I wanted to see for myself how much it was changed and amazingly, very little.  It's tweaked just enough to make it easy to read for today's readers.

Another very unique feature about this new publication is the Bible verses that are added to the text.  I'm not talking about just a Bible reference either.  Entire verses including where they are found in the Bible are throughout the whole book.  For example:

In my dream, I saw a man clothed with rags standing in a certain place, with his face turned from his own house.  In his hand he held a book, and he bore a great burden upon his back.  (For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. -Psalm 38:4) 

This was such an amazing aspect for me.  It enriched the reading in such a spiritual way.  I applaud whoever came up with the idea to do this.  I'm sure it took a lot of work and study, but it was well worth it.

Pilgrim's Progress is not a quick read.  It is something to be savored.  To be meditated upon.  I found myself reading some of the lines/paragraphs more than once.  Then I would sit and close my eyes and think on it.  If you allow it, it can speak volumes to your heart.  What an encouragement for the Child of God!  I would highly recommend reading this account of Pilgrim's Progress and feel your life will be enriched deeply in doing so.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this publication for yourself you can do so by clicking HERE.

***This book was provided to me by Aneko Press in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Inn at Ocean's Edge - A Book Review

Claire Dellamare decides to meet her millionaire father at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine for a business meeting.  She thinks it is her first time being at this Hotel, but she soon finds out that her family has been keeping a secret from her.  When Claire was a little girl, she disappeared from her own fourth birthday party that was being held at the Hotel Tourmaline.  She was missing for an entire year and then she showed up at the hotel with a note pinned to her with no explanation of where she was.  Nobody knows who took care of her or where she was and up until this point Claire
didn't even know she had ever gone missing.

Luke Rocco's mother went missing the same day that Clair disappeared.  After all these years his family still has no answers, but when Claire shows up on the island  they have hopes that she can shed some light on what happened.  Claire's memories are locked in her subconsciousness and now someone is trying to kill her.  She is determined to remember what happened and see what it is everyone is trying to hide from her.

I have read several of Colleen Coble's books and the more I read the bigger fan I become.   This was my absolute favorite yet.  I could not put the book down.  There were so many twists and turns and I couldn't wait to find out what happened to Clair during the missing year of her life.  A lot of books of this genre are predictable, but not this one.  It kept me guessing!  Coble is a unique writer that knows how to keep her readers captivated from start to finish with compelling stories of suspense, romance and inspiration.  I can't wait to read more of her books!

If you would like to purchase The Inn at Ocean's Edge you can do so by clicking HERE.

If you would like to learn more about Colleen Coble and the books she has to offer you can get to her website by clicking HERE.

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