Monthly Archives: December 2014

FREEBIE ALERT!

I have not read this one, but I have enjoyed other books by this author!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QO9GBU/

I loved this book! I can’t wait for the 5th book to come out in January! 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Submerged-Alaskan-Courage-Book-1-ebook/dp/B0073UPPC8/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419811655&sr=1-6&keywords=dani+pettrey

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Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

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What it’s about:
From the publisher:
“In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king’s palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.

Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future–of family and love–seem impossible.”

My thoughts:
There were several main characters in this, but the way they were organized (into chapters) made it easier to follow than I thought when I first started the book. I immediately loved Devorah and identified with her and admired her strength, independence and courage. I also bonded with Amina and my heart just ached for her. Ms. Austin is a talented writer and easily transports her readers to another time and place. I did struggle a little with some details and the length of this novel. It is long! But Lynn Austin took a distant time and place that many of us struggle to relate to as we read the Bible and made it into a much easier to follow and comprehend story.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Slave Again by Alana Terry

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What it’s about:
(From the back cover:)
“She traded in her prison uniform for shackles of a different kind.

After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?”

My thoughts:
The suspense in this book made me keep guessing at every page turn, but I did have to take it slow and put the book down to digest and think. Sex trafficking is not an easy topic, especially when you know the author did her homework and portrayed this as real as fiction can get. I’ve some reviews where people questioned the character development, but I disagree with that. I think some the characters were kept a bit secretive on purpose for the suspense and others had to protect themselves with how they had been treated their whole lives and were trying to figure out who they could trust and wouldn’t/couldn’t open up. This to me made the characters seem more real. Christian fiction usually does portray characters as very translucent and they are not in this book, which made it more interesting to me. The message behind this book is the most important part and I think that comes across loud and clear. I hope it prompts many of us to at least pray for these women in real life and maybe get involved in getting women out of sex trafficking. I know it has been laid heavy on my heart.

I give Slave Again 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this book for those looking to read a book that makes you think about some real world issues.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: Alana Terry has won awards for her books and is raising funds for the North Korean Underground Railroad. You can visit alana.terry.com/link to find out more!

Reckless Devotion by Heidi and Rolland Baker

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What it’s about:
From the back cover/publisher:
“Are you ready for a revolutionary year with Heidi & Rolland?

Whether stopping for the one in a dusty village in Mozambique or reaching out to the world, Heidi and Rolland model–and invite everyone into–the radical love that thrills God’s heart.

Energized by their work on the frontlines of ministry, the Bakers weave together miraculous stories, Scriptures, encouraging devotional thoughts and prayer to take you through the year.

Every day is a fresh invitation to live fully devoted to God. When you surrender to Him and allow His presence to grow in you, you will find, like the Bakers, that you don’t become less of yourself; you actually become more fully the person He has always intended you to be. Join Heidi and Rolland for an unforgettable year of sold-out, passionate, reckless devotion to the One who loves you more than you can imagine.

“All God wants is my laid-down love, my reckless devotion. He is asking the same from you.”–Heidi Baker”

My thoughts:

I like the way this devotional book is organized with a “Come Closer” page after 6 devotional pages that recapped some of the main messages from the previous 6 devotions. I found the last paragraph in each section to usually be the most meaningful to me and most relevant. I struggled reading them as I found no depth to them to actually implement any of the topical advice. I also struggled with understanding how some of the devotions were organized. They seemed to jump around where I didn’t know what point was trying to be made until the last paragraph, with a lot of personal experience thrown in where they talked of success in their lives in an area where they were struggling, yet still no practical advice on how they got to that point or how we can. The points they make are good ones and if you relate well to this writing style, you will enjoy this devotional. If you can’t relate, like me, you might find it frustrating.

I received this book for my honest review.

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. It’s okay, and some will love it, but I need more in-depth explaining, which is what I was looking forward to and expect in a devontional book.

Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd

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What it’s about:
From the back cover/publisher:
“Her secret cloaks herin isolation and loneliness. His secret traps him in a life that is not hisown.

Darbury, England, 1819

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip ofthe tongue could expose her disgrace. But soon after becoming a lady’scompanion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a manwell-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own—one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall. To protect his family,Nathaniel dares not breathe a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’llnever be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long kept?”

My thoughts:
I love reading books that take place in this time period (1819), no matter where it takes place, of course it is a magical setting when it takes place in England during this time period! I found A Lady at Willowgrove Hall to be both beautifully written and well written. It was easy to picture the settings and the characters as I was reading. I did find it little slow at times and a bit hard to get into emotionally for me personally . There was a good message/theme, well actually a couple, that were conveyed throughout this book.

This is the 3rd book in this series.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

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What it’s about:

From the publisher: “The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?”

My thoughts:
I identified with the main character at times in this book, but little else. The family seemed like snobs to me. A disclaimer here though is that I am a rural, northwoods woman who would much rather go ice fishing than eat in a fancy restaurant. I found the storyline didn’t really pick up for me until about 20% in to the book. I loved the idea of a food lovers book…. I am into organic food, gluten-free food, fermentation, raw food, sprouting food and wine, but not really the atmosphere and stuff that this was more about. I felt it ended abruptly. I also really struggled with Juliette’s romantic feelings after such a short time. It felt to me like it went from 0-110% in the blink of an eye and I was left a little disjointed over that. While this was not one of my favorite books, I know many who have enjoyed it and it was was well-written. I would recommend it to people who do enjoy classy food preparation and restaurant atmospheres.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to food-lovers and city women.

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The First Christmas by Janice D Green

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What it’s about:
From the publisher: “The First Christmas, by Janice Green and illustrated by Violet Vandor, tells the account of the birth of Jesus Christ. Adults and children alike will enjoy snuggling up to share these thirteen colorful scenes and the engaging discussion questions as this timeless story unfolds. Even older readers may be surprised to learn something new as they read again of the Messiah’s birth.”

My thoughts:
This is a neat Christmas book that has questions included to ask your child(ren) as you read each page. I do think it is geared for 4+ age children as there are quite a few words on each page that might be too many and a bit too advanced with the wording and questions for some younger children. My 4 year old was able to listen to the whole book without getting distracted, but she did not quite understand the questions as they seem to be geared for older children than the text. It is a great book to help teach children the real/true meaning of Christmas. It would be a great book to do in a Sunday School classroom I think. The drawings look like crayon or colored pencils and are simple, well-done and pretty. I recommend this book to those looking for a teaching style book on Christmas.

Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book 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.”

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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