Saturday, March 25, 2017

Strings

When I think back on STRINGS by G. Miki Hayden, the first word that comes to mind is “bizarre.”  It is all about different dimensions.  I know there are other books like that out there, but this was my first reading one and I found it delightful.  It was all over the place in a great way!  Some parts were confusing, but they all led up to clarity, and the best part was that Robert, the main character, was confused too.  I find him very real.  Instead of being “perfect,” he was flawed like any teenage boy.  Instead of grasping the new concepts quickly, he struggled with them, and eventually understood.  I could relate to that. 

Something that really stood out to me was when his mother taught him to hold photographs by the edges.  My grandmother always stressed that to me!

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison


I received a copy of THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON by Carolyn Miller from Kregel in exchange for an honest review. It is the first installment in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

 

This book is delightful!  I have been sick since February (a cold that just will not go!), so I settled down on the couch thinking to read through this over the space of a few days.  Imagine my surprise when it sucked up my entire day and left me wanting more!

 

The Regency world comes alive for Carolyn Miller.  I’ve read Regency romances before, and they have never transported me the way THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON did.  It is strongly reminiscent of Jane Austen’s works. When compared to those other Regencies I’ve read, I found these characters had more depth and dimension.  The personalities are vibrant. They weren’t just focused on the romance.  This book is also free of smut.  (It can be considered Christian fiction)  Granted, I knew what I was getting with some of those other Regency Romances.  The covers involved a shirtless man in most cases.  Without the smut, I found this book to offer much more adventure and heart.

 

I have a friend with the last name of Ellison, so I pictured her as Lavinia Ellison while I read.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Stolen Heart


I received a copy of A STOLEN HEART by Amanda Cabot from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  It is book one of the Cimarron Creek trilogy.  This was my first dive into the series, and I found it delightful.  It was also my first Amanda Cabot book.

 

She has a beautiful storytelling flair.  Some historical fiction novels feel too modern, as if they are taking place in some backwoods community where people still have access to modern television (hence the modern talk) but rely on horses for transportation.  A STOLEN HEART immerses the reader directly into the past, in this case Texas in 1880.  I would love to see this as a Hallmark mini-series. 

 

I felt bad for everything Lydia endured with her horrible fiancĂ© and the local hatred for Northerners.  Some parts broke my heart for her.  However, there were many more endearing moments, and I finished the novel with a smile on my face. 

 

I recommend this to fans of Christian fiction, historical fiction, and tender romance.  My only complaint is a petty one.  I didn’t really care for the title.  It is too similar to other books I’ve seen, that involve “Stolen Hearts.”

 

By the way, I loved the inclusion of the map and family tree!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Quick Tips for Busy Families


I received a copy of QUICK TIPS FOR BUSY FAMILIES: SNEAKY STRATEGIES FOR RAISING GREAT KIDS by Jay Payleitner from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  Now that I actually have a kid, albeit a baby who focuses mainly on eating and sleeping, books like this hit home more.  Maybe it is better that I’m starting off fresh with a baby.  I can better incorporate his tips into our daily lives.

 

The 144 tips in this book are easy to read and sometimes amusing.  I found myself engulfed in Jay’s writing style.  All of the tips made me feel as if I was sitting next to Jay having a cup of tea and a friendly conversation.  I didn’t expect to read as much as I did in one sitting.  Be warned: this is an addictive book!

 

The one I liked best was to laminate stuff, like newspaper articles, so that they will always be treasured.  This made me think of my maternal grandmother.  She kept all newspaper articles about herself, my grandfather, my mom, and my uncle.  After she passed away, we enjoyed reading them, and tucked most of them into a keepsake box (we gave my uncle his).  I hope to do something similar with my son.

 

I HIGHLY recommend this book!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Courageous Love


I received a copy of COURAGOEUS LOVE by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  It is part of the Circle C Milestones series.  This is a young adult series depicting the further adventures of Andrea Carter.


I am a huge fan of every Andrea Carter book that I’ve read so far.  The books take place in the 1800s, and I am a sucker for historical fiction, especially when it is geared toward a youthful audience.  Andrea is a bit of a tomboy.  She lives on a ranch and would rather help out her brothers than be a lady like her mother and sisters.  However, Andrea is full of heart.  She loves her family and her animals.  Andrea has her faults, which makes her relatable and an awesome heroine to root for.


In this adventure, horrible things begin to happen on the ranch and leads point to criminals from her brother’s past.  Andrea handles everything realistically, and I loved seeing Riley play a role in this story.  This might actually be my favorite of the Circle C Milestones books, apart from the first in the series.


Like all the books, I recommend this to anyone who enjoys religious historical fiction.  Susan K. Marlow is a strong writer, so you know you won’t be disappointed. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Would you like to know? Collection


I received a copy of the WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW COLLECTION in exchange for an honest review from Lion Hudson via Kregel.  This is a set of six small books for children that teach the reader about different religious topics.  The books in this collection are: WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT GOD, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE BIBLE, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW JESUS, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO PRAY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS, and WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE STORY OF EASTER.  The books are beautifully illustrated and the sentences are simple enough for children to understand, and to spark their imaginations so that they turn to parents and guardians for more information.  I read them to my son, who is four months old, and he enjoyed them, even though they are too advanced for him.  It will be fun reading these with him again when he’s older.


Overall, I do like the collection.  I think it is a great teaching tool for children, and would be perfect in a Sunday school classroom or a bedroom library.  However, there was something that bothered me.  It talked about how even if we are bad, God will forgive us.  It didn’t say to be a good person, though.  This is probably just something that perturbed me.