Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

  • ISBN-10: 0062327186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062327185

From the Publisher:

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.  
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Dumplin' is written in a style that is bold, sassy style that will keep you laughing, crying and cheering for Willowdean throughout the whole story. 

In this story, the author addresses issues of body image, self love, self doubt, bullying, and grief, just to name a few. Ultimately though, it's about learning to live in your own skin, to love yourself and most importantly to not let the labels others place on you hold you back from living life to the fullest. That's a pretty empowering message!

I loved this book and I highly recommend it to y'all. I'm giving Dumplin' ... 5 Stars!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

99 Prayers for Children by Juliet David

  • ISBN-10: 1781281912
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781281918

  • Compiled by Juliet David
  • Illustrator: Elina Ellis
  • Ages: 5 - 7 years

From the Publisher:

A companion prayer book to 99 Stories from the Bible with delightful illustrations in a strong vibrant style and prayers for all occasions. The prayers are a combination of traditional and modern and provide an introduction to family prayer time with young children, bringing talking to God to life in the heart of every child.

99 Prayers for Children is a wonderful compilation of prayers for children.  It is beautifully illustrated with bright colors and scenes. The prayers are short, direct and simple yet eloquent and engaging. This book will provide a wonderful resource for parents and children as they learn to pray and develop a relationship with God.  

99 Prayers for Children would make a fabulous gift this holiday season!

5 Stars

Thank you to Kregel Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an  honest review. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

  • ISBN-10: 0800719670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719678

From the Publisher:

Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!

Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors and I make it a point to read her Christmas novels each year. It's a tradition of mine and between Ms. Carlson and Debbie Macomber, there is no better way  start off my holiday season!

I truly enjoyed reading The Christmas Joy Ride! I fell in love with Christmas Joy and Miranda as they rode across Route 66 granting holiday wishes.  

This story is funny, heart warming and so worth reading. It will definitely get you in the holiday spirit!

Thanks to  Revell and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Space Between Heartbeats by Melissa Pearl


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nicole Tepper has it all—beauty, popularity, and the perfect boyfriend. But after a party she can’t remember, she wakes up in a ghostly state, trapped between life and death. Nicole’s injured body is lying in a wooded area, but she has no idea where—or how long she has left to live. 

Only one person can hear her now: Dale Finnegan, a loner classmate that Nicole has relentlessly bullied. Dale’s the last person in school who would want to help her, but he sets their tangled history aside to try to save her life. As they dig into what happened at the party, they discover her boyfriend isn’t as perfect as he seems—and neither are her friends. 

With the clock ticking down and her life slipping away, Nicole must face a hard truth: Was what happened to her a terrible accident? Or does someone want her dead?

The Space Between Heartbeats by Melissa Pearl is a uniquely engaging novel that I really enjoyed reading. 

This book is an emotionally gripping, heart stopping novel of love, life and how the choices we make, both good and bad, come with consequences that can be far reaching. 


I really liked the plot ~ girl missing, now a ghostly-like presence seeking help from the most unlikely source.  I also liked how the story unfolded in layers with each new piece of information building a deeper picture, showing more of Nicole's history as well as Dale's. It made for suspenseful reading! 

In addition, I was impressed with the underlying themes the author wove into the story ~ choices/ consequences/ dealing with grief/ forgiveness to name a few. 

This one will be hard to explain as I don't want to give too much away but there was one part of the ending that didn't sit too well with me, though overall I really  liked the ending. 

5 Stars!

Thank you to Alloy Entertainment and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mystery, Magic and Romance ~ Doon by Lorie Langdon and Cary Corp

  • ISBN-10: 0310742307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310742302

From the Publisher: 

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?
When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.
Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

Doon by Lorie Langdon and Cary Corp swept me away to a mystical Scottish island. This fantasy tale kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read them. What an excellent story!   

I can't imagine a better way of spending a rainy afternoon then listening to the rain outside, reading Doon and sipping my favorite cup of tea. Pure relaxation!

4.5 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Second Life by Faye Bird ~ Waiting on Wednesday

A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books 
hosted by Breaking the Spine.

  • ISBN-10: 0374348863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374348861

Release Date ~ January 19, 2016

From the Publisher:

'The first time I was born, I was born Emma Trees. I had everything to live for. But I died. I was twenty-two.' Ana struggles to live a normal life, bombarded by memories of her previous life as Emma. The worst memories are of a little girl who drowned: was Emma responsible? Consumed by guilt, Ana will do anything to uncover the past.

What books are you waiting for? 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fantastical Tale! Wendy Darling: Stars by Colleen Oakes

  • ISBN-10: 1940716950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940716954

From Goodreads:

Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.

As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

Wendy Darling: A Novel by Colleen Oakes is the first volume in the new series. It is a unique and interesting re-telling of the classic Peter Pan story! 

It is a fantastical tale that is full of magic, plenty of action and suspense, a bit of romance along with some mystery as well. The story takes some rather unexpected events that will most definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.  

Please note though, there are some  dark aspects of this re-telling so it is not for children. I would rate it for ages teens and up.

4 Stars

Thanks to Spark Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tis the Season for Christmas Romance Reading ... Twice Blessed by Barbara Cameron

  • ISBN-10: 1630881112
  • ISBN-13: 978-163088111

Publisher's Synopsis:

Book 1: About Her Sister’s Shadow ~  Identical twins Katie and Rosie Stoltzfus couldn’t be more different: Katie is outgoing and gregarious—so much so that Rosie feels unattractive in comparison and retreats to the background. The girls split their time between working in an Amish store and their own business, Two Peas in a Pod, where they raise and can their own vegetables and fruits. Then an unexpected business opportunity…and one very special man, allows Rosie to see the unique and striking woman God meant for her to be. 

Book 2: About His Brother’s Keeper ~  Ben Fisher can’t remember a time when he hasn’t envied Mark, his more adventurous brother. Now that Mark is engaged to Ruth, Ben is more jealous than ever. A terrible accident on Christmas Eve results in mistaken identity with everyone believing Ben is in a coma, when in actuality, it’s Mark. Ben can use this twist of fate to finally have the life he’s always wanted—and with Ruth by his side. But can Ben find real happiness if it means deceiving his brother…and trying to ignore God?

One of my absolutely favorite times of the year is  in October when the new Christmas Romance novels are released. Yep, it's that time of year so grab your favorite beverage, some cookies and settle down for some great reading!

Twice Blessed by Barbara Cameron contains two Amish holiday romances that allow for a relaxing and enjoyable read. It's the perfect way to enjoy an early start for the upcoming holiday season! 

If you love Christmas and Amish romance ... this book is for  you!

     I give Twice Blessed ... 5 stars! 

Thank you to Abingdon Press and Netgalley for a free book in exchange for an honest review. 

Underwater: A Novel by Marisa Reichardt ~ Waiting on Wednesday

A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books 
hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My choice this week is ...

  • ISBN-10: 0374368864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374368869

Release Date ~ January 12, 2015

From the Publisher:

Morgan didn't mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive-first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself. But Morgan can't move on. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she's underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. When it seems Morgan can't hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside. Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

What books are you waiting for? 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Wonderful Book ~ Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions For the Creative Soul by Lisa Bogart

  • ISBN-10: 1617955760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617955761

Release Date ~ October 13, 2015

From the Publisher

Knit, Purl, Pray is for the knitter who recognizes that when she is creating something beautiful with yarn, it is also a way to be quiet and reflect. The devotions make connections between knitting and all manner of things from joy and service to boredom and confession. 

These reflections help the reader think about the craft they love in a new way and perhaps see their problems as something that can be unraveled and reworked into something beautiful. 

Each new day is an opportunity to create something new!

Knit, Purl, Pray by Lisa Bogart is a wonderful devotional book that is full of passion for the Lord, knitting and a unique way of combining them both!  

This book holds 52 inspiring devotions that I found easy to read and are thought provoking. They can be read in any order and add such a new joyful level to my crafting time!  

While this book is targeted for those of us who love knitting, in a broader sense, it can be used for any form of creativity/ crafting that you love to do. Knitting, crocheting, baking, scrap booking, jogging, etc. The possibilities are endless! 

A big thanks to Worthy Inspired Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

  • ISBN-10: 0825443873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443879

From the Publisher:

In World War II, German scientists began many experiments. One never ended. 

Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed―until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.

When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success―but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America―just a lousy existence only made passable by a new found faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015―and the world has become an unrecognizable place.

Katherine Mueller―crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle―offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?

Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

I didn't know quite what to expect when I started reading The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry but it soon had me riveted to my seat.  

This book is full of action, suspense, faith and a story that will stay with you well after finishing it!

The Methuselah Project  ~  4 Stars

Thank you to Kregel Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

  • ISBN-10: 0764213504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764213502

From the Publisher:

Sweeping Romance and Mystery in the Edwardian EraBrook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. When her friend Justin uncovers the fact that she is possibly a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but will their loyalty come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother?

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that their friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession--and those who can save her still aren't sure who to trust.

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White is historical fiction with a mystery/ suspense twist. It is well written, intriguing and I am giving it 3 stars.  

The only reason I give it 3 stars instead of 4 is that while this book is good, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I have found that while I love reading historical fiction, I am not a big fan of mystery novels.

If you like suspense and mystery combined with historical fiction ~ then The Lost Heiress  may be your cup of tea!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Photograph by Beverly Lewis

  • ISBN-10: 0764212478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212475

From the Publisher:

Eva Esch and her sisters are in a predicament. With the passing of their widowed mother, Eva's older brother Menno plans to move his growing family into the Eden Valley farmhouse where they all grew up, leaving little room for his three single sisters. Surely, Menno reasons, at least one of them will marry this coming wedding season. Eva does hope to marry, but she isn't sure she wants to give up her sweet shop for the life of a farmer's wife, and she has no other prospects. 

When younger sister, Lily, disappears in the night, leaving only a brief note, Eva fears she has been wooed away from the People by an outsider. And when Jed Stutzman, a young Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Lancaster with a photo of a Plain young woman, Eva's world begins to tilt. She feels powerfully drawn to the quietly charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .

The Photograph  by Beverly Lewis  is a story full of love, intrigue, Amish life and faith.  With Ms. Lewis' definitive writing style, she weaves a tale that is engaging, captivating and truly enjoyable! 

I give The Photograph ... 4.5 stars

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Cinderella's Shoes by Shonna Slayton

  • ISBN-10: 1633751236
  • ISBN-13: 978-1633751231

From the Publisher:

The war may be over, but Kate Allen's life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she's been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella's mystical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters' modern descendants.
But Cinderella's dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father-missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.
Because when you harness Cinderella's magic, danger and evil are sure to follow...

Cinderella's Shoes by Shonna Slayton is a a very unique  and creative story (and series) based off the classic Cinderella fairy tale. It is the second book in this Cinderella series and definitely can be read as a stand alone book.  

Cinderella's Shoes is full of romance, mystery, magic, suspense, and action. The characters are well developed and the plot is stimulating and engaging. If you love fairy tales and fairy tales re-told, this book is for you!

I give Cinderella's Shoes .... 4 stars!

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an  honest review. 

Speak, Lord by Vic Black

  • ISBN-10: 1631463705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631463709

From the Publisher:

“I am your shepherd. You have no need of anything, because I am all you need.”

Do you ever wish God would speak directly to you? The Psalms are filled with the heart cry of a man for his God. But they are also overflowing with the depths of God’s heart for you.

In Speak, Lord, you will learn how to engage with the Psalms in a fresh, dynamic way―hearing them as though God were speaking directly to you. Vic Black, the National Prayer Director for The Navigators, shares his passion to ignite your personal relationship with God by teaching you to interpret the Psalms from God’s perspective. Each chapter provides a psalm rewritten in the first person, words of reflection, and writing prompts and devotional thoughts to encourage you on your own journey in engaging in the Psalms. As you enter into this collection of meditative devotions, you can be sure to hear words of rescue, encouragement, and hope deep in your soul.

If you are hungry for more of God, he is ready to satisfy with new spiritual practices found in Speak, Lord.

The messages relayed in Speak, Lord are strong, vibrant, powerful and motivating! This book, at least for me is not something that I want to speed-read through. I am reading it in small portions to soak in the full impact of all that it shares. 

I am still reading this but wanted to get the word out about this book. Speak, Lord is a book that I know I will be drawn to time and again. 

I give this book four stars!