Friday, December 29, 2017

Book Review: Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings
Holding the Fort was the first book I've read by Jennings. She is funny, witty, and creative in her writing. She used some historical facts to create her story and weaves in a creative tale of a preserved dance hall singer who tries to make it on talent alone. When singing alone isn't enough to hold her position she heads to a prairie fort where her brother is troublesome serving his country. She quickly gets mistaken for a requested governess and sees it as an opportunity for employment. When that employment turns into a marriage proposal she sees her deception as a bondage and seeks to find the right way out but dreads revealing the truth.
With humorous conversations and laughable encounters Lousia Bell steals your heart as you follow her on the prairie through powerful mishaps and revealing truths.
This book was provided for my review.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Book Review: Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

Imperfect Justice was my first book to read by Cara Putman and I hope it will not be my last! She has you hanging on every word.  She takes a scenario that we all have heard on the news and puts heart behind it as you watch the lawyer walk through trying to solve the mystery of what appears to be an open and shut case.
Putman draws you in with her gifted ability to write and you will fly through this book as you are captivated page by page.
This book was received so I could write this review. My opinions are my own.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: Deadly Proof

My first read of Rachel Dylan. It is quite the entertaining book. Fast paced, sometimes you can get lost in the conversing. She doesn't waste time on overly describing details and I like that.
With a modest love story that doesn't become too much, you can tell this author submersed herself in the world of law to write this creative tale of a lawyer who fights for what is right even when her own life is at stake and she realizes those she thought were friends are actually against her.
This book is easy to pick up and not want to put down. It's a refreshing read for someone who needs something deeper than just an everyday, run of the mill book. Anyone with legal knowledge would be impressed at the depth of this book and anyone curious about legal info would learn from this book. It really takes you into the cutthroat world and I could totally see a movie made out of this. Curious about book 2!!!
This book was provided for my review.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: "I'd Like You More if You were More Like Me."

This book by John Ortberg has incredible wisdom. I wasn't sure what the title would hold but as I opened the first few pages I was impressed with his open honesty (even where it made him out to be the heel of the story!) and the lessons he learned from his mistakes.From talking about marriage to Jesus' relationship with his disciples he covers virtually every relationship one could be in and points out things that make the reader cringe because we've all kinda done it!
From the depth of opening yourself for marriage to having true friendships, Ortberg dives into it all. In the day of modern communication, this book of true relationships is much needed. And it isn't just another book telling us that texting isn't real communication. It is a book that describes the best and worse of relationships. It makes you long for something that, our day in age has forgotten about. He doesn't put down the way people do relationship, which makes it nice to read but creates a longing for true relationship.
He shares what shame is and how to get over it. He talks about ruptured relationships and how to lightheartedly repair them.
I think the main thing about this book that I can see is that the title seems almost cheaper than all the information inside!

This book was given to me for my review

Book Review: The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible

I actually asked my 10-year-old to review this book! His insight was better than a mom's perspective!
He was impressed that the book had a story he didn't know. (Jeremiah being thrown into a well for years) and he spent about 15 minutes just reading the stories. He said he liked it and would recommend it.
The pictures are not the blingy, or distracting. All the characters have their eyes closed like those on the front. There is about a paragraph on each page and occasionally the characters have speech bubbles in addition to the text.
Everything is simply put. And I like that it is a Bible not just for kids but for beginners...of any age. It gives a good foundation and understanding of the stories of the Bible. It doesn't quote the Word but summarizes it. It does include texts on some pages that show where the story is found in the Bible.
This book would be great for using it in Sunday school to having it on your coffee table to reading it with your kids. Very versatile. My one thought is it doesn't catch a child's eye. If there is a book about dinosaurs next to it they will probably be drawn it that. But the foundation truths in this book are sound.
This book was given to me for my review.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Book Review: A Forest, a Flood and an Unlikely Star by J.A. Myhre

A Forest, a Flood and an Unlikely Star by J.A. Myhre

This book is an easy read. Small and simple to understand it is illustrated by what looks like native charcoal paintings=). It's pretty intriguing to read about the African culture as well as the danger the young Kusiima faces as he tries to live up to his mother's standard of integrity after she has passed on.
The story is filled with adventure and twists. It ends slightly abruptly like it could be another few chapters to wrap up the end but still leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and closer.

This book was given to me for my review.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Review: Good Night Tales: A Family Treasury of Read-Aloud Stories by C. S. Fritz

What a book! The pictures aren't just illustrations they are pure artwork! And the stories are C.S. Lewis-like versions of different Biblical morals. I'd say it is a win all around.
The stories are broken up into different chapters which would take from 3-10 min to read each one out loud. The pictures are a must for the stories because it adds so much!
The book even includes discussion prompts. I'm pretty sure there is no age limit on this book!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: God's Crime Scene for Kids

This book intrigued my kids ages 7-13yrs. Every day we'd read another chapter and they'd get closer to solving the mystery! They looked forward to it and loved finding out more of the adventure. It is a bit of a slow read, for example, rather than solve the mystery of the shoe box, they spend time trying to figure out if the shoe box was placed in the attic or if it just appeared in the attic. This seemed silly until they applied the same idea to how the universe came into being.
I think this would be an awesome read for anyone interested in theories, in schools who don't teach creation or someone who likes to come to conclusions for themselves.
It is set for reading individually but can be read out loud.

Monday, August 28, 2017

For our Whits End friends, 
Our kids have started reading Focus on the Family Imagination Station Adventures. They seem to like these more than the adventures in odyssey books. We request them at the library: 

We discovered that they have a nifty feature in the back pages where you can plug in some answers from stories in the book and get a free episode. (one for each book you figure out the code!)

We realized you can use the Http code on these episodes to email them to ourselves, then have access to them while in the car on road trips, or just at a later date.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Book Review: The promise of Breeze Hill by Pam HIllman

Pam Hillman writes a highly imaginative tale that draws you in and makes you forget there is a world outside the book you are reading. The Promise of Breeze Hill is a stirringly passionate story that starts out with a man willing to become an indentured servant in order to bring his 3 brothers from Ireland to America. Much to his chagrin, a woman purchases his indenture and he begins his years of service by repairing their burnt out wing. The plot thickens and he discovers a full out attack on the estate is in progress to kill off the current and future heirs of Breeze Hill estates.
The romance is more than the underlining story in this book with great attraction at every turn. I would not recommend it to the younger generation because of this.
With lots of twists and turns this book, this author shows just how much entertainment can be found between the pages of a book.
Book provided for my review.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

This book was a very good read. I enjoyed the twists and turns. The parts you didn't see coming, the ways the characters change and mature, but slip back into old habits and thought patterns making them real enough to relate!
The main character, Elise has worked hard to keep her sisters and the orphans they care for off the streets. When a break seems to open up for them where they get housing and work she isn't sure if she should be grateful to the God she has blamed all her troubles on or not. A chance encounter with a nice, however probably wealthy business man, lets her see that she was possibly wrong thinking all the upper class was total snobs.
Twists and turns ensue as she loses her job and their home is threatened. She finds a way to get work in the west which leads her to the most back breaking work in the kind businessman's new town he is building for a competition to own his families business. As she shines light on the man's care of his employee's, something he had never thought about, he is faced with making the winning choice to ignore it or raise wages and treat them better, ultimately knowing it could cost him the family business.
All this with a woven and faulty love story threaded throughout the books makes a timeless tale that deserves a good read.
I would caution it for younger readers. This book does hold some mature content. Elise is continuously warned that the gentleman's intention for her is something more than one of simple interest, a woman gets attacked and raped, the mutual attraction between the two lead characters becomes strong at the end leading up to their wedding with lots of suggestions.

This book was given to me for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna White with a giveaway!

This book was an amazing read. Written by Roseanna White, whom I've never had the pleasure of reading before, and who I pray I never have the end of reading! She pulls you into the story and continues to tug you along with no indication of how the story is going to end. Even planning for a happy-ever-after, I was still struggling as I neared the end that everything would be wrapped up by the last page!
This story about a thief. One who has accepted her lifestyle as who she was and a talent she is gifted with, no need for God in her life because she can take care of herself.
This thief is so good she gets commissioned to find out where the loyalties of a certain gentleman lie...With England or as a traitor. Thinking that she only would get paid if he is a traitor she gets herself hired on as a librarian giving her plenty of access to all his records. What she didn't plan on was access to his God and his faith.
The book is such a gentle blend of truth and fiction and is about an author.  I don't know about you but when an author writes about a fiction author it brings out something of their personalities and certain qualities one would never think about as a reader.
The plot takes twists and turns and even if you know what ending you hope for, rarely can you see a way for it to work out! The book has a life of its own and, though it isn't so riveting that I couldn't stand to put it down, it is one of those books that shouts to you as you walk by it to pick it up and finish it!

Book provided by litefuse publishing group. My opinions are very much my own.


Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. She passes said boring life with her husband and kids in the beautiful mountains of eastern West Virginia.


She’s out to steal his name . . . but will he steal her heart instead? Find out in A Name Unknown, Roseanna M. White’s new book.Rosemary, a former pickpocket who grew up on the mean streets of London, has the challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. When Rosemary arrives on Peter’s doorstop pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter (who wants to prove his loyalty to the crown despite his German last name) believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past. Anger and danger continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
Enter to win a copy of A Name Unknown. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced August 21st on the Litfuse blog!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Book Review: "Wow! The Good News in Four Words"

This book would be ideal for reading to a group of kids! It has colorful pictures that catch the eye and poems with a powerful message. It is set up for kids to say the 4 words with (or after) you read it. The words: Wow! Uh-oh! Yes! Ahh! are in their own font and will be easy for kids to recognize.  They are eye catching and I can just picture a room full of kids waiting for their turn to holler "YES!"
I tested this on my 3 and 6 year olds and they loved it. Again, a powerful book and a great read!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

There are some books you can't put down because they are intensely exciting. The action is so thick if you put it down you feel like you will ruin it.
Then there are some books that wrap you in a warm blanket and stick you in front of a fireplace even if you are sitting on a cold bench in the dead of winter. Those also are hard to put down and that is exactly what this book is like.
Two contrasting characters. One that has it all and has thrown it away, and one who has nothing and has excepting the life she threw away. It is powerful, it reaches out and pulls you in and lets people from all walks relate to rejection, poor choices, bad memories and holding onto the past. There is something in this book for everyone and within 5 minutes of picking it up you will realize that!

(Book provided by Tyndale Blog Network. My high option of this book is my own)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race Book Review

This book is a fabulous mix of facts and a heart-tugging story of a limping woman who's childhood accident turned her from a buoyant child into a timid pushover and how she struggled into adulthood to become a poster child for women's rights.
Knowing her stand may cost her just as much as some of the greats before her, she lays it all down and pushes her timidness aside to stand up for what she thinks is right - despite the cost to her reputation or the opposition that constantly opposes her.
A story of courage and bravery that a young woman never thought she had this book will inspire and tug at those who read it.

(This book was donated to me litfuse publicity group for my personal review)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bible Sleuth: New Testament book review

Bible Sleuth: New Testament: Jose Perez Montero, Scandinavia Publishing House:

This is a great find-it book. Very much like "Where's Waldo" but it also has bits of Bible stories and facts. For example, you spend time finding Mary in the crazies of Bethlehem as well as searching for guards and Roman soldiers.
My kids really enjoyed this book and even several adults sat down with it. It seems to lose it's entertainment once everything is found but then it is ready to be passed on to another family to enjoy!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book review: Lost & Found by Kendra Fletcher

This book packs a powerful punch for such a small book. Written about a thriving family's unsung tragedies it opens the door to the reader that God is in control despite what circumstances one finds themselves facing.
Through all the trial God begins turning the parents focus on religion and their own pious attitude that everyone needs to act like them or be wrong: to an attitude of Christ.
These stories will melt your heart, as they teach you powerful truths about living for Jesus according to His way. Not the way we make up. But truly the way of our Shephard.
It is a simple read and can be finished in an afternoon.

This book was donated for review by litfuse.

Her Secret book review

Her Secret
written by Shelley Gray
I've read many books about the Amish. Most of them involve teenage Amish during their "wild years" and Amish doing very non-Amish things. This book, Her Secret, is a nice switch from that. I wouldn't say it portrays a typical Amish family but it does a good job of helping the reader relate to the family that struggles to handle things in their own way. The parents try to protect their kids by hiding from them and running away from problems and the oldest girl deals with guilt and blame over everything that is happening.
The contrast between the main character's family and a neighboring family creates a longing that is satisfied as the book progresses and everyone learns to work through their problems.
There is a gentle love story in this book that is painted against the agitation of an infatuation that turns into stalking and a family being completely uprooted. It takes the love and help of friends (and those who turn into more than just friends) to pull main-character Hannah out of the depression and fear she has closed around herself.

Though this book deals with many things between a stalker, men and women, and even talk of marriage, the book stays very modest and would be a permissible read for even the more protected of teens. There is some violence and kidnapping but all done tactfully and without any comment to the what-could-have-been's that we hear on the news in real life.

It was a pleasant read and I was able to finish it in about a 24-hour span. Much faster than I had planned on reading, but once I started I didn't want to stop. It is a page turner, comfortably predictable with delight as it ends happily. A book you close with a happy sigh.

This book was sent to me from litfuse publicity group in exchange for my writing this unbiased opinion.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Book Review: Long Days of Small Things by Catherine McNiel

Image result for long days of small things

I was excited about this book because the author seemed so easy to relate to as she shares about herself in the first pages.. She admitted she wasn't the world's greatest mom, not in the "now-everyone-can-relate-to-me" kind of way but in the, "no-really,-I-don't-have-it-together" kinda way. She proceeds with a book full of examples on how to use motherhood as a spiritual discipline.

This is a singular idea and one that should be exposed as much as possible. Think about it. As mom's we are more disciplined then we probably ever have been! We may not get up to run at 5am but we certainly wake up to any little cry in the middle of the night? We budget our time (even if it is just to survive) and we make it through each marathon day. We keep more people than just ourselves alive every day. You don't get much more disciplined than that!

To realize that some of these disciplines can blur over into the spiritual since is wonderful to me!  Each chapter ends with a topic point and an idea to go with it.  This I didn't find helpful for me and wish she would have included more stories but maybe if I used this in a group setting it would be more ideal!

I would totally read more books by this author, Catherine McNiel. She is funny and lighthearted but deep at the same time!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: Ant Dens by Mary Coley

This book was written by an author in my local area and I thought I'd give it a try. I was able to get the 2nd book this week so I started with that one.

This author is not just talented in her writing but she possesses a complicated ability to create a winding story that twists and turns and gives no hint to the ending.
I believe I would like to start with book one if I had it to do over, but book two did a fine job standing alone. The character struggles with the recent loss of her husband, the moving on with her life and the guilt over seeming to successfully do so.  There would be a lot of ability to relate for anyone who has suffered a loss, even though the book is a suspense novel.  It is also riddled with historical fact and strongly references human sex trafficking in the US.
Even though the plot is good I would give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars due to the language and references in it. Tactfully written considering the topic it refers to sex trafficking throughout the book language would prevent me from recommending it further.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Murder on the Moor

Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering
A Drew Farthering Mystery
This is the 5th in the Drew Farthering Mystery series but is a stand alone book that I really enjoyed without needing to read the other books.  There is an enchantingly haunting, but not scary, feel to this book as the hero and his wife wanders the moors and ruins to find the reason behind murders that seem unlinked but must have the same source in the remote village in England.
The book presents a loving husband and wife of two years who dote on each other with their rather piquerist version of marriage, as contrasted by everyone else in the book who seems to have made a rather poor match...making everyone seem guilty and worthy of having some sort of motive, if not a poor one, in the murder on the moor.
The foggy moor and dog footprints make this book seem to have more than one mirror image to Sherlock Holmes as well as the Bronte sister's writings. This is not lost in the book as the characters comment and even quote from these books as well as other classics.
The author does a tactful job using similar cases from other novels to build up suspicion but also adding surprising twists and turns to the book.
It is a pleasant book that brings God into mysteries but doesn't preach at the reader. Characters struggle with worldly issues but nothing too vulgar and Drew always remains upright even when he may suspect some characters because of his past. He confronts the real reason for his harsh judgment, his pride, and deals with it even as he questions the motives behind a person's willingness to commit murder.
The plot thickens as more people become murder suspects and even people thought to be innocent are found to have motives. But who did it and what was the real reason to kill? Is it money or perhaps poor marriage choices?

This book was provided by Bethany House for this review. The opinions are my own.

Book Review: The story Travelers Bible

This review is about The Story Travelers Bible. A book for young kids. It could be a first Bible for a 3rd grade reader or a read to your child. My 5 year old loves it. He looks at the pictures and reads the words he knows.
The text isn't large and you can break it up into stories or pages, rather than chapters.
It is easy and fun to read and I daresay adults will learn from this book.
The stories are put in kid form but don't lose any of the accuracies, something that is hard to do and rare to find in Bibles.

We enjoyed the text, the graphics are entertaining and it is easy to find certain stories if you are looking for something specific.
I would recommend this for a text that is in addition to a Bible. It has entertaining characters that one gets to follow as they read.

This book was provided for my by Tyndale House Publishing for this review. My opinions are my own.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review: befriend


A good read, this book touches on the tough subject of friendship.  

It redefines the common friendships of our day, not only true friendships but the more modern Digital Friendships (Screen Friendships), Transactional Friendships (Friendship that treats other people as means to an end), and One-Dimensional Friendship (Same interests). 

The first chapter introduces these friendship ideas & defines them but the rest of the book never really touches on these ideas.Chapters 2-21 share how to befriend specific people, a sort of source book for difficult friendships. 

And it is all there:
Befriend Prodigals and Pharisees, the Wrecked & Restless, Shamed and Ashamed, Ones You Can't Control, True Friends and Significant Others, Sexual Minorities, Dysfunctional Family Members. It seems almost set up so you can find the chapter that effects you and read in detail information that will aid you on your friendships!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Reviewing: The scoop.

Y'all may have noticed I've started posting book reviews. I'm finally out of the stage of babies and have a *little* more time to read!
So the library and these book reviews have been a great source for me. From the library I get the books I'm interested and from the book reviews there is a smaller section of books that I chose from that I'm interested in.
I've read book that I would have passed by on shelves that have changed my life. For instance:
I had never heard of Kevin Butcher but that is a preacher who not only loves but can write about how well he loves!
That's pretty awesome.

I wanted to open up this free blogging opportunity to others. The requirements are that you have a blog to post the review on, it has to be an active blog with readers, and you need to be able to post on Amazon or some such place so they get a public store review as well.

This is the publishing house I use and they have been very good to me.

I hope this inspires others to read more! Free books can do that! 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Book Review: Where does Love Hide

 Where does love Hide is a lift the flap book Written by Mary Simon and illustrated by Hannah Wood
It is a delightful story showing that love hides all over.
Each page has a lift the flap on it showing where love hides.
My 3 year old enjoyed the book! It was sturdy and has stood up well to a house of 6 kids!

 I'd recomend opening the flaps before giving it to a child for the first time or the newness of the book with make it hard to open.
This is a great kid book. In a world where love is misconstrued this title and the whole book is eye opening to the kids of our time.
A simple book, larger than most cardboard books, it is very durable. I have 6 kids and in a month of this book being out it still looks like new.
The flaps are thin but it hasn't been a problem. My one recommendation would be to open the flaps before giving it to a child. They are a little tough the first time, as makes sense due to them never having been opened before!
Book provided by Tyndale house publishing. Opinions are my own. Children's approval is their own=)