10.28.2011

What I'm Reading ~ Weekend

A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer: Book Cover

Hello there, I've got a busy weekend ahead of me, so with that in mind, I have only one weekend pick.
So without further ado, my weekend pick is A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer.

After reading Courting Miss Amsel, by the same author, I became on the lookout for more books by Ms. Sawyer, so I'm excited to read this one :) Also a good friend highly recommended it too me, so I'm sure it'll be good.

(Back Blurb): Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother's dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separates her from her tribe.

Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay arrives in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athabascans. He is totally focused on his goal...until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he's ever seen.

But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe. And befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?

So what are you reading? I'd love to hear from you :)
Have a wonderful weekend, ya'll!

10.27.2011

Fit to Be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ Review

Fit to Be Tied (Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series #2) by Robin Lee Hatcher: Book Cover 

My Review: Opposites attract, and sparks fly in Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, between cowgirl Cleo and English aristocrat, Lord Sherwood Statham.

 When Sherwood "Woody" Statham, the wastrel 4th son of a duke, displeases his father with this latest string of bad choices, his father decides that enough is a enough. So he puts Sherwood on a boat to America to work on a ranch.

What Sherwood isn't expecting is to meet a girl like Cleopatra Arlington. Tough as nails, a girl who can rope and ride with the best of them, Cleo is as different from her twin sister, Gwen as she can be. Will Cleo realize that who she is, is enough?

Another lovely read from Robin Lee Hatcher. Cleo was my favorite character in A Vote of Confidence, so I was really excited to read a book all about her--and Sherwood Statham. I enjoyed the ranch setting, charming characters, and this is my favorite of the series so far :)

Fit to be Tied is a really fun book, I think that the book balanced out and the characters were just the right depth, for the plot. The sparks fly, and so much of Cleo and "Woody's" exchanges happen with meaningful looks, and expressions. The chemistry flowed well, and "Woody" was a nice rounded character, and even though he was the rogue, he was amazingly likable.

The pages turned steadily, and it was a very enjoyable, and fun read.

Overall, I loved how the story unfolded and I came to like "Woody" more and more. He is  a character who grows on you. And by the mid-way point, or somewhere before then you find yourself cheering him on. A lovely book by Ms. Hatcher, that I would recommend to someone who likes a good western romance, where sparks fly and characters grow. Thanks :)

Final Rating: 4.25 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-310-25806-3

Buy it here

Thanks to Zondervan Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

10.24.2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall ~ Review

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall: Book Cover

My Review: An Amish romance from Cindy Woodsmall, just in time for Christmas!

Short and sweet, yet not sappily so, The Christmas Singing is sure to please. I read this sweet story in less than a day and enjoyed every minute of it. The pages turned steadily as I found myself fascinated and entertained with Mattie Eash's world.

Mattie Eash is a young Amish woman with a gift for decorating cakes. But after her bakery burns to the ground and she goes home for the holidays, she comes face to face with her childhood sweetheart, Gideon Beiler. Gideon broke her heart years before when she found him with another woman--an English woman. But Gideon has his secrets. Meanwhile Mattie plans her life with her current flame, Sol, a solid young man, who is an avid hunter. Lovers of Amish romance will eat up Ms. Woosmall's charming tale of love in Amish country.

I really enjoyed reading about Mattie's beautiful cakes, I could almost taste them they sounded so good! Not to mention the fact that there are recipes in the back of the book!

Cindy Woodsmall is a gifted writer, who brings all of the Amish charm, while also including the real feelings and struggles. I like to say that when I read Ms. Woodsmall's books, I relax but never fall alseep!

Overall a very well done Amish romance that I highly recommend. The pages turned steadily for me and I completed it in less than a day :) A very well written book indeed.

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5




ISBN: 978-0-307-44654-1
Buy it here

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing for providing this review copy to me free of charge.

10.21.2011

What I'm Reading ~ Weekend

To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd: Book Cover

Another week has come and gone. It's so hard to believe! But that means that it's time for the weekend and that means Fall Fun and relaxation. Not to mention reading!

This weekend my picks are:

To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd.

I've always been fascinated with the Elizabethan era and this particular time, because one of my all time favorite Christian heroes is William Tyndale. So naturally I enjoy reading the time period in general, not to mention my fascination with the Tudor family. Though a problem I've often found in books and novels about the Tudor's are that the representation of certain characters is not always in line with the historical facts. But I have very high hopes for Sandra Byrd's To Die For. I've noticed that many Christian books paint Henry VIII, his wives and his children in a much better light than secular novels, so I can't wait to dig into this one! Often in secular book's Anne Boleyn is depicted as something of a man-eater, while in Christian books she is described as being a quietly devote Protestant woman. So I'm very interested to get started on this one :)

(Back Blurb): Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend ever since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty- five-year-old Anne's star begins to rise, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.
Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling...at first. Meg is made mistress of Anne's wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.
But favor is a fickle thing and envy is often laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life's unwelcome surprises rub against the court's sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and bona fide gold of those who are true. Both Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well.
A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live in our hearts forever.

So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones: Book CoverAnd So not Happening by Jenny B. Jones.

Okay, I couldn't resist. Even if it means a night of not getting to sleep on time, anything by Jenny B. Jones is so worth it!

(Back Blurb): Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.
When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman,Oklahoma. On a farm no less!
Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.
At least some of the people in her high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.
But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.
How can a good girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be gving her the total smackdown?

So that's what I'm planning on reading this weekend. What are you reading? I'd love to hear from you ;)

10.20.2011

A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

 Necessary Deception, A: A Novel by Laurie Alice Eakes: Book Cover
My Review: A Necessary Deception is so much more than the cover would imply. It is a Regency novel full of lush characters and suspense. A read that I thoroughly enjoyed, down to the very last page. I will admit that I was a bit lost in the first chapter, but after I got my bearings all was well. Laurie Alice Eakes brings the world and society of centuries past, to life in a beautifully entertaining and page turning manner. Having read other books by the same author I expected no less :)

The whole time I was reading this book, I could see the characters and the scenes in my head clearly as if on a television screen. I was swept into the plot and the characters, very easily, I really didn't want to put this one down :)

Regency is one of my favorite genres due to my love for Jane Austen books and the general enchantment of the era, probably because I watch so many BBC classics... And yet, another reason why I enjoyed this book.

The historical details were woven into the story, in a way that assumed you knew what the author was talking about, yet at the same the historical facts were not being flung at you.

Laurie Alice Eakes is a gifted writer and I eagerly await her next novel, whatever it may be about. Overall, A Necessary Deception was all around, my type of book. Rich in romance, mystery, the Regency era, spies, etc.  A very engaging novel, that I would not hesitate to highly recommend!

Final Rating: 5 out of 5


 ISBN: 978-0-8007-3466-4


“Available October 2011 at your favoritebookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Buy it Here

Thanks so much to Donna Hausler and Revell Publishing for giving me a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. Thank you :)

10.19.2011

Hey there ya'lll :)

Since I don't have a book review today, (it's tomorrow), I decided to stop on in today and tell you what I've been doing this rather cold fall season. First as I mentioned before it's rather cold! One week it we were sweating and the next we were grabbing our winter jackets!
To be completely honest I have not had much time for writing, but I manage a measly 300 words a week. But life has been good. I'm still volunteering at my church by helping with the AWANA program, in SPARKS. And I'm still in TBQ, this year we're memorizing the book(s) of Hebrews and 1st & 2nd Peter. Thankfully I have teammates to split the memorizing duties with :) Added to my already busy schedule are monthly TBQ meets, which are small, but still great.
I'm in choir again this year, which is always a blast. This year the theme is Disney/Sound of Music, not to mention a bit of Latin and folk music!
Contrary to popular belief, being homeschooled does not mean I have scads of time laying about. So I keep myself VERY busy :)
Well, it was nice dropping by and saying "hi." Thanks!

10.17.2011

Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman ~ Review

Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman: Book Cover

My Review: A riveting novel that was hard to read, yet hard to put down.

Forsaking All Others is the heart-rending tale of Camilla Fox, a strong woman who leaves the Mormon faith and finds truth through the Lord Jesus Christ. But  in the process, she is forced to leave her children behind. Determined to rescue her children from the false teachings of the Mormons, she relies on her new found faith in Jesus Christ, to see her through. When faced with the option of going back, will her faith stay strong? And will she ever see her beautiful daughters again? And what about the honorable Colonel Brandon?

Well written and emotionally engaging, Forsaking All Others is a book that I enjoyed immensely and I think others will too. The first person narrative made Camilla's struggles really come to life, in an understandable and heart touching way. The characters were so well done. Ms. Pittman showed how many Mormon really just wanted to please God, but were tragically mislead by a fallible human. And how terribly lost they were, yet they didn't realize it. The side characters are what really made this book feel real, and how they all reacted differently to the situations.

It was so heartbreaking to read the chapters where staunch Mormons were defending their religion, and how the characters geniunely believed the lies that they had been told countless times. And that's why it was so hard to read. But in the other hand as things went from bad to worse, and back again, I keep the pages turning steadily because I simply HAD to find out what happened to Camilla next. Because I couldn't possible leave her where she was!

Overall this book was emotionally strong, and so well-written. The characters came alive in my head, and the story gripped me to the end.Though I think that Forsaking All Others would be more meaningful if its prequel was read first, I had no problem just jumping into the second book :)

Final Rating: 5 out of 5


ISBN: 978-1-4143-3597-1
Buy it Here

I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for free in return for and honest reivew. The opinions expressed here are my own. Thanks :)

10.14.2011

Books that I'm Looking Forward to Reading ~ Weekend

Necessary Deception, A: A Novel by Laurie Alice Eakes: Book Cover

Hey there :) Since I don't have any review today, the result of reading five amazing books at once. I thought I'd highlight some books I'm looking forward to!

First up, Laurie Alice Eakes' A Necessary Deception. After reading Ms. Eakes' Lady in the Mist everything else by her immediately became a must read. And let me tell you that I am so excited to dig into this one! If you haven't read anything by Ms. Eakes before, let me tell you that you are missing out big time! I just started it today and it's hard to put down :)

(Back Blurb): When young widow Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner escape obtain parole, she never dreams she will see him again. But just as the London Season gets underway, the man presents himself in her parlor. While she should be focused on getting her headstrong younger sister prepared for her entree in Society, Lady Gale finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting herself and her family in danger?

Discover a world of elegance and intrigue, balls and masquerades as Laurie Alice Eakes whisks you into the drawing rooms of London Society on this exciting quest to let the past stay in the past-and let love guide the future.
The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall: Book Cover
Another book I'm excited to read is Cindy Woodsmall's The Christmas Singing. I am a new fan of Ms. Woodsmall, and I love reading Christmas books in fall, so this should really hit the spot for me :)

(Back Blurb): Gideon Beiler has loved Mattie Eash since they were Children. But when face with unexpected circumstances, he breaks off the engagement. He doesn't want to lie to her, but he believes that telling Mattie the truth would be more hurtful.

Brokenhearted, Mattie moves to from Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, to Ohio, where she pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator. She finds a new beau-a man offering the secure relationship Gideon has denied her.

When Mattie is forced to return to Apple Ridge, she and Gideon must confront the suffering created by dishonesty-and address the powerful emotions that continue to bind the childhood friends.

Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy: Book CoverLast and certainly not least, a book that I cannot put down, Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy. I'm currently reading it, and I really like it...alot! And I should probably go finish it, right now :) But before I go here's the back blurb, in case you haven't read this one yet (I can't believe that I haven't for so long!) Plus it's in Wyoming...I love Wyoming it's my favorite state!

(Back Blurb): Singer Annette Talbot used her voice to spread the gospel with a traveling missionary troupe. When the Latrells take over and want Annie to dress provocatively and give up singing her beloved hymns, Annie flees to Ranger Bluff, Wyoming, dreaming of reuniting with her father for Christmas. But trouble chases her-right off the edge of a cliff!

Elijah Walker's heart turned as cold and as barren as the high plains in December after his ex-fiancee betrayed him and caused his father's death. But when he rescues Annie out of a freezing river, Walker's instincts tell him he must help a stranger in need.

With her hermit father retreating to the high country and the Latrells intent on kidnapping her to make money off her singing, and Annie may have no way out.

Has Annie hidden the truth about wanted posters bearing her face too long for anyone to believe her now?

Can Elijah overcome the painful past and learn to love again?

Will there ever be peace in their hearts in time for Christmas?


So what are you reading this weekend? I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend!

10.12.2011

A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson ~ review

A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson: Book Cover

My Review: I really wanted to like this book. But every once an awhile there's a book and you really want to like it, you want to be swept into the story, but it just doesn't happen. And I guess this was just one of those times.

The writing was strong the whole way through, and I loved how the Biblical truths were expressed. That was all done very well.

But I must say that I had a hard time with the main characters and the plot. They just didn't engage me. Sometimes I was more interested in the side characters who made brief showings than the main characters. But keep in mind that this is only my personal opinion, and I know some other people who loved this book.

The progression of the romance throughout this book baffled me. At one end of the spectrum I didn't know why they were put together, and on the other end I didn't know what made them so 'unsuitable' to begin with.

Overall I found this book perplexing, though well-written, and Biblically sound. I've read many other books by this author, which I thoroughly adored. But I just couldn't get into this one, I tried really hard, but I just couldn't. So I guess my final thought is that I have lukewarm feelings about this book. I think some people might like it, but I just didn't. Thanks for reading :)

Final Rating: 3 out of 5

Buy it Here

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing this review copy to me free of charge in return for an honest review.

10.10.2011

The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

Measure of Katie Calloway, The: A Novel by Serena Miller: Book Cover
Hello there! Just thought I'd randomly tell you that today's my birthday and now I'm 17 :) Ok, now onward to the review!

My Review: From the very first page I was hooked. And it just kept getting better and better as I read on. I couldn't ask for more, this book had me utterly charmed. And I will most certainly be reading more books from Ms. Miller as soon as I possibly can!

Katie Calloway and her younger brother Ned, run from her husband's Georgia Plantation, up North to the lumber camps of Michigan. Will Katie's faith and determination keep them safe from their past? And what about the honorable owner of the lumber camp whose kind words give Katie reason to hope again?

The characters were charming and believable, each having their own special charm about them. The lumber men were each distinct and wonderful, I think my favorites were Skypilot (the ex-preacher), and Jigger (the cook). There were so many memorable characters, and non of them particularly stood out to me as better, even with the secondary characters lined up next to the main characters. And I mean that as a good thing. The story and the characters were well-rounded.

I could tell that this book was also well researched, and I enjoyed learning little facts about lumber camps as I read. This is now one of my favorites that I've read this year :)

Ms. Miller is a wonderful writer and she has a huge future in writing. I will most definitely be reading her next book!

Overall, this is a historical love story that will charm your heart away. I have already highly recommended this book many times, just by word of mouth. In my opinion, this is exactly how Christian Historical Fiction is done. The Measure of Katie Calloway was a pleasure to read; an absolute delight, that will be enjoyed by many :) Thank you.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5

“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Buy it Here

I received this book from Revell for free in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you :)

10.06.2011

Have a Great Weekend

Okay, I just thought that I should tell you I'm going to be gone starting tomorrow through the weekend. So I'll be back again posting on Monday if not sooner :) Thanks!

P.S. Remember how I said that I am a Bible Quizzer? Well I'm off to a meet :)

In the Aerie of the Wolf by Leonora Pruner ~ A Gothic Re-telling of Beauty and the Beast



My Review: What I have to say about In the Aerie of the Wolf is so vast and widespread that I'm not sure where to start! But I suppose I shall start at the beginning.

When I first picked this book up and started reading it I was not sure what kind of book this even was! And so for the first few chapters I tried in vain to peg it down as a historical, or fantasy, mystery, or romance, but in the end I decided it really wasn't any of these, yet all of of them! Are you confused? Hang in there :)

But when I finally decided that it was a Christian Gothic Historical Romantic Fairy-tale, and isn't that a mouthful? Oh, but well worth the time. By around chapter 4 or 5 I was completely, irrevocably hooked.

Anne Crofton finds herself betrothed to a mysterious man that she does not know. So leaving behind her girlhood love she travels to the Aerie of the Wolf. But upon her arrival strange an mysterious things begins to happen, among them the murder of the vicar who was to preform her marriage ceremony to the mysterious Master of the Aerie. And yet she has still not seen the face of her betrothed.

To add to her struggles, the love of her youth, Michael Pennywaithe, comes to the Aerie as the new vicar. Anne has a choice to make, what and who will she choose? Can love bloom in the most unlikely of circumstances?

This book completely surprised me, and once I stopped trying to nail it down as one or two things I found myself absorbed into the story. The main characters are so deep. And their struggles really hit home. Andrew was my favorite, I mean, he was the perfect hero in that he wasn't perfect, a great Gothic, Fairy-tale prince. I don't think anyone could read this book and not totally love him!

Another thing I wanted to highlight was the way that the spiritual struggles were ones that, if we're honest, I think we can all relate to. For instance, how sometimes we do things that are wrong and we know they're wrong, but we try to justify ourselves, and deny our true sin, instead of humbling ourselves (and it's hard) and asking for forgiveness.

I enjoyed reading this mash of genres I love, all put together. I think that this is the kind of book that will be much more satisfying each time you re-read it. Each time it will grow on you. After I finished it I went back and re-read the beginning which I hadn't really appreciated as much when I reading it and it was so much better the second go round. I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to read another book by Ms. Pruner :) Thanks!

Final Rating: 5 out of 5
ISBN: 978-0-9827074-8-7

Buy it Here 

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


10.03.2011

The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman ~ review

The Wonder of Your Love (Land of Canaan Series #2) by Beth Wiseman: Book Cover 

My Review: The Wonder of Your Love is now officially my favorite Amish book ever, bar none.

I've been a fan of Beth Wiseman ever since my dear friend from church introduced me to her books, and now I am seriously addicted. If you asked me if I could name one thing about this book that made it great, I don't think that I could answer. Because it wasn't one thing, but so many things that added together and made this book amazing.
The depth of the characters and their stories, is incredible. This is a book where you melt right into the book and feel as if you are at the characters' sides, it feels that real!

Not to mention the little things a that you learn about the Amish without having the information thrown at you, Ms. Wiseman knows what she's talking about and it shows in her writing. Another thing that I LOVED about this book was how deep emotionally it was, yet there was humor and life at the same time, making it a well balanced satisfying read. The struggles of the characters really touched my heart, with how they wrestled with their faith and deep questions, even though my life was nothing like theirs, at all.

I realize that this is the second book in a series, so it might not be as easy for others to get into as it was for me, as I have read every book in the series and in the series that this one spun off of. So I would suggest reading the other books first, because it will make this book that much better :)

Overall, The Wonder of Your Love hit every note flawlessly, and I stayed up ssooo late at night reading it, because Ms. Wiseman kept me in suspense with every page. I haven't read a book so well-rounded in a long time. A very enjoyable read, completely delightful. It was so hard to start another book after finishing this one because I just wanted to sit back and soak in the ending. I HIGHLY recommend this book. A thoroughly satisfying book that will grip you in a handful of ways.

Final Rating 5.2 out of 5 - Out of this world!


ISBN: 978-1-59554-886-3
Buy it Here

I received this book from Booksneeze (Thomas Nelson Publishers) for free in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you :)