Friday, September 5, 2014

Making Marion by Beth Moran

  • ISBN-10: 1782640991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782640998

Making Marion by Beth Moran is a heartwarming and delightful read. I fell in love with this book as I read the first page and I laughed, cried and thoroughly enjoyed each page after.  You know you've read a good book when you are sad to reach the ending! 

Here's a bit from the publisher:

She had been looking for somewhere to stay, but instead Marion Miller finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campground and, despite her horrible shyness, promptly lands herself a job.
Marion came to Nottinghamshire--home of Sherwood Forest--to discover her father's mysterious past, but all she has to go on is a picture of her father dressed up, it would seem, as Robin Hood.
Life on a busy campground challenges Marion's formerly controlled life--the pigs roam free, the resident chickens seem determined to thwart her, and an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben.
Yet, Marion's would-be boyfriend Jake, and Reuben's stunning fiancée Erica, conspire to leave little room for Marion to daydream about the twinkling eyes of her rescuer . . . Will Marion ever find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?

More of my thoughts ...
Wrapped up in all the fun and humor was some very deep issues being addressed by the main characters in this story. The characters within this story were very realistic and well developed.  
Marion Miller, the main character tugged my heart strings the moment I met her. I laughed with her, cried with her and cheered her on throughout the story. I also loved Scartlett's southern take on life  and as owner of the camping grounds and Marion's mentor, the advise she doled out as her "lessons" contained advise that I (and maybe all of us) could benefit from in one way or another.   
Faith in God and lessons on loving and forgiveness were  weaved into this story so well that it never came across as preachy.  The message within Making Marion is one that will stay with me for a long while as I needed to be reminded that love wins and letting go and forgiving can change your life!

Many thanks to Kregel Publications for the opportunity to review this book. My review is an honest expression of how I felt about this book. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane by Shiela Roberts

  • ISBN-10: 0778316181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778316183

I settled down last week for an afternoon of reading of The Tea Shop on Lavender LaneIt's a story involving a woman (Bailey Sterling) who loves to bake, a catering business fiasco and finding an unexpected romance.  Along the way, she explores her relationship to her family and finds a life that she never even dreamed of!

I found the story to have characters with depth, an engaging story line and it was definitely a relaxing read. I also enjoyed the after story chapter ~ A Little About Tea. It was interesting to read about some of the history of tea and my eyes lit up when I saw some recipes attached as well. Which recipes caught my fancy?  The recipes for Lavender White Chocolate Scones and Lavender Cake. I can't wait to bake them!

On the flip side, while I appreciated the author's choice to reference romantic interludes without being overtly explicit, I did not appreciate the foul language scattered through out the story line. In my opinion, the story was good enough to stand  on it's own; the author didn't need to go there. 

Many thanks to Nancy Berland Public Relations for the opportunity to review this book. My review is an honest reflection of my feelings and thoughts in regard to this book. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Of Feathers and Friends by Darlene Hoggard Davis

ISBN-10: 1622451112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622451111

For Ages  9-12 years and Up

From the publisher:

“Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I'm gonna go eat worms.” 

While Tyler knew he wouldn't really eat worms, he did not feel loved. His parents sent him to live with his grandmother when they separated. Was he angry? You bet. Was he confused? Absolutely. Where did he fit in? He didn't know any more. 

After an argument with his grandmother, Tyler decided to run away. “I'll show them I can take care of myself.” Tyler Andrews doesn't need anyone! 

Tyler grabbed his piggy bank and his Dad's Navy ring and ran out the back door. He ran until he couldn't run any further. Too stubborn to turn back, he walked further and further into the woods behind grandma's house, scolding himself because he hadn't thought this plan all the way through. And it would be dark soon. Tyler looked up and saw a flash of red. What was it? What luck! It was a flag waving from a window of a tree house. A tree house! 

Climbing up the ladder nailed into the tree, Tyler's resolve to take care of himself returned. Nothing would change his mind now. Really? What would happen when Cody and Jenna find him? What would happen when he meets Melody? Will these neighbor kids turn him in? What will he do with the wounded sparrow he finds beneath the tree house? 

Follow Tyler on his adventure to find his place in this world. Laugh or cry with him, whatever you need to do. You might just find you've grown up a little, too. 

Of Feathers and Friends is a captivating tale full of adventure, friendship, faith, love and family. Within this story Ms. Davis has created a fun and safe way for children to learn along with Tyler about issues that children and families may face in today's world.   

This well written tale explores the lesson of consequences regarding decisions one may make and it explores how family can find faith and love to help weather the tough times. 

It also affirms that no matter what our decisions are (good or bad), God is with us and loves us every step of the way. These life lessons are shared in a gentle, loving way and woven into a an action adventure that the whole family can enjoy.   

I highly recommend this book! 

Many thanks to Life Sentence Publishing and Aneko Press for the opportunity to review this book.  The above review is an honest reflection of my experience reading this book. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rope of Sand by C. F. Dunn

Two years ago through Kregel Publications, I was introduced to The Secret of the Journal series by C.F. DunnI eagerly dove into the first book, Mortal Fire  and last year I was excited to read the second book, Death Be Not Proud.  

It's been a LONG year waiting for Rope of Sand  
by C. F. Dunn but it's finally here!   

ISBN-10: 1782640878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782640875

  • Genre: Romance/ Mystery/ Thriller

Rope of Sand by C. F. Dunn finds Emma D'Ersby, a British historian and Matthew Lines, a gifted American surgeon on their way to Maine to meet Matthew's family.  Emma, now knowing Matthew's secret of seeming immortality believes she is ready for this next step. Everything they have been through together has lead to this moment. (Please note: this is NOT a vampire series).

As Emma is introduced to Matthew's family, she faces varying degrees of acceptance and finds out even more of the family's secrets. Her eyes are open to the reality of what it is like to live a life in hiding and the comprehension of what that may entail is overwhelming. 

In addition, some of Matthew's family make it very clear that she is not welcome. To what extent will they go to get rid of her?   

Will it all be too much for Emma?  

Rope of Sand was so worth waiting for!  I eagerly started reading and was instantly immersed in Emma and Matthew's world.  I don't normally read mystery/thrillers but since it involved romance and as Ms. Dunn weaves such an intoxicating mix of all three, I found that I couldn't put this book (or this series) down till I finished it. This book has a thoroughly engaging story that leaves you wanting more when it ends!

What did I like the most? 

I appreciated following the progression of Emma and Matthew's relationship as it developed throughout this story.

I enjoyed learning more about Matthew and his past as well as meeting his family.  In the prior books, his personal life and family were referred to but largely remained hidden in the shadows.

Another thing I enjoyed was the suspense that escalated throughout this book - it made for exciting reading! 

Some thoughts to share ... 

I came away with some ethical issues to ponder which I am sure the author wished her readers to have.  

Emma and Matthew's relationship is based on their love and strong faith but how ethical and moral is it to live with lies, hidden secrets and agendas?  How strong can a relationship be built upon that type of foundation?  

What are the moral implications of falling in love with someone while you are committed to another regardless of the reasons? 

Wrapping it up ...

Rope of Sand  is book three of The Secrets of the Journal series but can be enjoyed as a stand a lone read. The beginning of the book shares a brief overview of the prior two books and really helps to bring the reader up to speed with the story line.  

Be warned though - once you've read one of the books, you may not be able to stop yourself from reading them  all! 

Many thanks to Kregel Publications for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for a review that reflects my honest opinions and reflections in my experience of reading this book.