Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Magnolia Duchess - A Book Review

I have to admit that the thing that first drew me to The Magnolia Duchess was the cover.  It is absolutely stunning!  The book itself is the third book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles, but it works great as a stand alone book.  I have not read the previous books and had no problem.  The story itself was a little slow paced and at times I struggled to stay focused, but overall it was a good read.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I love when an author includes real historical events within a fictional story.  The author did a great job of helping me understand more on the War of 1812.  This is not a time period that I usually read about so it was a nice change and I felt more knowledgeable after reading about it.  Fiona and Charlie's love story was sweet and I enjoyed reading about their struggles of trust and acceptance.

From the back of the book:

As the War of 1812 rages across the newly formed U.S., another war rages in Fiona Lanier's heart - one that threatens to tear her family apart.

Fiona can scarcely take in the news of her brother's capture and imprisonment by the British Navy.  It is almost as unbelievable as the half drowned British sailor who is washed ashore on the beach of Navy Cove.

Charlie Kincaid claims to have no memory of his life before being discovered by Fiona, but in a world that seems saturated with treachery, she cannot be sure he is telling the truth.

As Charlie's memory returns in agonizing jags and crashes, he and Fiona discover that falling in love may be as inevitable as the tide.  but when political allegiances collide, they'll have to decide where their true loyalties lie.

***Thank you to Revell publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sister Dear

After spending 10 years in prison Allie Marshall is finally getting out of prison on parole.  Convicted for a crime she did not commit, she has lost a part of her life that she will never get back.  Before being convicted of murdering a local highschool football coach, Allie had a promising future.  Pursuing a medical career and a beautiful five year old Allie seemed to have it all.  Who set her up and why?

Now that Allie is back in her hometown things still aren't going well.  Nobody in town is accepting her, the sheriff doesn't trust her and her family doesn't know how to act around her, but the hardest part for Allie is that her daughter no longer knows her and wants nothing to do with her.  She wants to continue to live with her aunt Emma.  Allie is determined to prove her innocence in order to get her life back and prove to everyone that she is innocent.

This was a pretty good book.  It was fairly predictable on the "who done it", but the why and how was a mystery and learning that was quite interesting.  It was also very relatable.  You have two sisters that grew up in the same home, raised by the same parents, one struggles through life and the other seems to have the perfect life.  This seems very common in families.

The author jumps from character to character, but you know who's perspective you are reading from.  This was interesting because you could know exactly what was going on in the head of each character.

This was the first novel I have read by auther Laura McNeill and I would definitely be interested in reading more of her work!

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

Miriam: A Treasures of the Nile Novel

Miriam: A Treasures of the Nile Novel is the first book I have read by Mesu Andrews and WOW!  What an amazing novel!

There are countless stories about Moses and the Exodus, but this is the first time I have read a fictional novel based on Miriam.  This gave me a different perspective of a well known story. For me, this was not a quick read.  I took my time and let it soak in enjoying every page.  It is very evident that the author knows the Bible well and although this is a fictional story, it is rich in biblical truths.  As I read I felt as if I was in a different time period, a time of long ago, experiencing the life of an Israelite for myself.

Sometimes I am leary of novels based on Bible characters.  I don't want to be misled or read a distorted story of a beloved character, but this book does quite the opposite. This book enriched my understanding of a story I thought I knew well.  It had me thinking about God's goodness well after I put the book down.  I encourage you to read this book if you enjoy novels based on biblical stories.  I do think you will be blessed!

From the Back of the Book:

At eighty-six, Miriam has devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger.  Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message.  God has a new name - Yaweh - and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.

Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost.  even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locust, can they weather the resulting fury of Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where thousands of pagan deities are worshiped.  Pharaohs rule, and the Israelite's cry out to a God they only think they understand.

***Thank you to blogging for books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Restore My Soul - A Coloring Book Devotional Journey

Restore My Soul is a refreshing devotional coloring book that will help you  rest, breathe, create and connect!  Sometimes in this hurried, fast paced world, it can feel impossible to slow down and find a calm and peaceful space to deepen your relationship with God.  This book offers forty devotions along with beautiful designs to inspire your heart and soul.  You will find your spirit refreshed and renewed with each new coloring creation.

I absolutely love this book!  It is so much more than just an adult coloring book. Each coloring page is accompanied by a full devotional with encouraging thoughts and scriptures. The author includes at the end of each devotion a suggestion on what to focus on while coloring.  It may be as simple as thinking of things to thank God for or maybe praying while coloring and asking God to show you the special purpose He has created you for.  This was probably my favorite thing about the book.

The pictures are beautiful and are so fun to color.  In the back of the book there are even a few pages to create your own coloring page.

The title of the book really is perfect.  Your soul will feel restored and refreshed as you meditate on God's greatness.  I cannot praise the author of this book enough for this brilliant and fresh idea of turning an adult coloring book into a devotional.  After all isn't it all about Him!

Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to purchase Restore My Soul you can do so by clicking HERE.

Hairstyled by Anne Thoumieux

I have long hair and so does my daughter so I am always, ALWAYS, looking for new hairstyles.  Hairstyled by Anne Thoumieux is a great book with 75 ideas on how to braid, pin and accessorize your hair.

It has styles for every hair type including short, straight and curly.  It has clear pictures of each step and detailed, clear instructions which is a big bonus for me.  I need to be able to see exactly what I need to be doing and this book hit the mark perfectly.

There are a couple of ideas that are so simple and so cute.  These are the type of hairstyles that I am interested in.  I don't want to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror on a daily basis, I want something quick and easy, but cute is always a plus!

I would of liked for the book to be spiral bound.  It is hard to use it as a reference while fixing your hair when the pages won't stay opened.  I found this very annoying.

I received this book free from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review and although I am happy to have had the opportunity to review the book I have to say with this type of book, I am not sure it is something I would ever buy.  Yes, I enjoyed the book, yes, I will refer back to it, but with youtube so easily at my fingertips I would be more apt to look up hairstyles with video tutorials rather than buy a book full of them.