Thursday, March 31, 2016

Miriam by Mesu Andrews



  • ISBN-10: 1601426011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601426017
  • Book 2 of the Treasures of the Nile series
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (March 15, 2016)


Synopsis:


The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.

But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel 

and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.



At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.


Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.





Miriam by Mesu Andrews book brings to life the biblical story of the Israelite's exodus out of Egypt. It is told from a very unique perspective, that of Miriam - Moses' sister who in her own right was blessed by God to be prophetess for her people.  

The story in itself is mesmerizing and with the well developed, realistic characters Ms. Andrews has created, this story just jumps off the  pages!  

What I enjoyed and appreciated most from this story was how realistically human Ms. Andrews characters were - humanly flawed yet trying so hard to understand and do God's will. Faith that may have wavered but in the end grew stronger as they put their trust in God. 

5 Stars!

Thank you to Waterbrook Publishing and Blogging for Books for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 18, 2016

So Worth the Reading ~ Review of The Made from Scratch Life by Melissa K. Norris!



  • ISBN-10: 0736965343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736965347
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2016)



Synopsis


  • Do you long for simpler days? Do you wish you had the time to offer your family home-grown meals? Does your heart cry for a quiet place in this fast-paced world?
    Blogger and homesteader Melissa K. Norris inspires with practical and easy methods to help you cook from scratch, garden, preserve your own food, and see God's fingerprints in your everyday busy life. You'll learn how to
  • plan, plant, and harvest for eating and preserving
  • troubleshoot common gardening problems with natural solutions
  • improve your family's health with natural cooking and cleaning methods
  • Whether you live in the middle of the asphalt jungle or on the side of a mountain, you can experience the pioneer lifestyle and start your own homesteading journey. Because when you surround yourself with things made from the hand of God, you can't help but see Him.



The Made from Scratch Life  is a heartwarming book that is informative, comforting and a wealth of knowledge on back to scratch homemaking and living. It's as if a good friend is sitting at your kitchen table sharing a wealth of experience and wisdom over a good cup of coffee! 

This book is full of warm life stories, great recipes, tips on gardening and cleaning the natural way. A really good go to book on how to get back to the basics and become self-sufficient. 

All in all... a wonderful go to book ~ I highly recommend it!

5 Stars!


Thank you to Harvest House Publishers and Netgalley for a gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie



  • ISBN-10: 1410490157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410490155
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press (March 1, 2016)




Synopsis: 

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.




I love to read historical fiction and America's First Daughter was engaging, captivating and a really good book that is well worth the reading! 

While I knew the basics that most of us know about Thomas Jefferson and his family, I was introduced to so much more information through the historical facts that were the basis for this historical fictional novel.  

The authors truly brought history to life with the America's First Daughter and I highly recommend it! 




4.5 Stars!


Thank you to William Morrison Publishing and Edelweiss for a gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Leave Me by Gayle Forman


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

This week's pick ...




  • ISBN-10: 1616206179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616206178
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books


Release Date ~ September 6, 2016



Synopsis:


For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention--meet Maribeth Klein, a harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.


Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once she gets to where she’s going, she sees her life from a different perspective. 


Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves, and from herself.





Why this book?


I've loved reading Ms. Forman's books for years and this one sounds just too good to pass up! 




What Books are You Waiting On?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spring Reading 2016 ~ TTT


Hosted by the Broke and Bookish


This week's topic ~ Top 10 Books  In My Spring TBR List 





























What's on Your Spring reading list? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wonderful New Book/Series ~ Ties that Bind by Cindy Woodsmall!


ISBN-10: 1601426992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601426994
  • Series: The Amish of Summer Grove (Book 1)



Synopsis:


Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?


Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach. 

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.      






Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful beginning to her new series, The Amish of Summer Grove! 

This book is engaging; it captured my attention and didn't let me put it down till I had finished the book.
The characters are wonderfully complex and the story/plot very well written. At times I basked in the warmth of the story and a other times I found it to be heart-breakingly sad. 

I enjoyed this book so much it has left me wondering how I am going to be able to hold on and wait till this series' book 2 is released! 



5 Stars!



Thank you to Waterbrook Press and Blogging for Books for the gift of this book in exchange of an honest review.





The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen ~ Waiting on Wednesday

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

This week's pick ...


  • Series: Queen of the Tearling (Book 3)
  • Publisher: Harper 
  • ISBN-10: 0062290428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062290427


Release Date ~ November 29, 2016!



Synopsis:

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear. 

To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy, and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place. 

But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne. Now the endgame begins and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will finally be revealed...





What books are you waiting for? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson and Laura Ingalls Wilder




  • ISBN-10: 0062419684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062419682
  • Publisher: Harper (March 8, 2016)
(Publisher's Book synopsis can be found after my book review)



{My Thoughts}


The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a must read for all who love the Little House on the Prairie books!


It was such a pleasure to get to know Laura by her own words and I found the adult Laura to be just as charming, intelligent and witty as she described herself as she was portrayed as the little girl in the LHP books. 

The book is divided into six different periods of Laura's life ~ The Farmer's Wife, The Emerging Writer, A New Enterprise, Star of the Children's Department, The Last Golden Years and The Author of Classics. The end result? A wonderful view into the person Laura Ingalls Wilder was as an adult and written by her own hand! I also gained a much better understanding of all that went into the process of Laura (and Rose's) creation of the LHP books. 

William Anderson has done a fantastic job of compiling the letters for this book and the necessary notes needed to help the reader understand a specific letter are short and to the point. I found they really help to enhance the reading experience and it in no way hinders it.


I highly recommend this book and I give it a 5 STAR rating!





Publisher's Synopsis:


The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a vibrant, deeply personal portrait of this revered American author, illuminating her thoughts, travels, philosophies, writing career, and dealings with family, friends, and fans as never before.
This is a fresh look at the adult life of the author in her own words. Gathered from museums and archives and personal collections, the letters span over sixty years of Wilder’s life, from 1894–1956 and shed new light on Wilder’s day-to-day life. Here we see her as a businesswoman and author—including her beloved Little House books, her legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, and her readers—as a wife, and as a friend. In her letters, Wilder shares her philosophies, political opinions, and reminiscences of life as a frontier child. Also included are letters to her daughter, writer Rose Wilder Lane, who filled a silent role as editor and collaborator while the famous Little House books were being written.
Wilder biographer William Anderson collected and researched references throughout these letters and the result is an invaluable historical collection, tracing Wilder’s life through the final days of covered wagon travel, her life as a farm woman, a country journalist, Depression-era author, and years of fame as the writer of the Little House books. This collection is a sequel to her beloved books, and a snapshot into twentieth-century living.




Thank  You to Harper Publishing and Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest  review.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Delightful Tale ~ Charmed (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Colinita



  • ISBN-10: 1492604046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492604044
  • Series: Fairy Tale Reform School (Book 2)
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (March 1, 2016)
  • Recommended ages: 9-13 


Synopsis: 


Sometimes it's good to be bad...
It takes a (mostly) reformed thief to catch a spy. Which is why Gilly Cobbler, Enchantasia's most notorious pickpocket, volunteers to stay locked up at Fairy Tale Reform School...indefinitely. Gilly and her friends may have defeated the Evil Queen and become reluctant heroes, but the battle for Enchantasia has just begun.
Alva, aka The Wicked One who cursed Sleeping Beauty, has declared war on the Princesses, and she wants the students of Fairy Tale Reform School to join her. As her criminal classmates give in to temptation, Gilly goes undercover as a Royal Lady in Waiting (don't laugh) to unmask a spy...before the mole can hand Alva the keys to the kingdom.
Her parents think Gilly the Hero is completely reformed, but sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. Sometimes it's good to be bad...


I've been enjoying reading some of the current releases in the newer genre of fairy tale re-tellings/ adaptations for both children and young adults. The most recent book I've read is Charmed ~ the second book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series.  

I found Charmed to be a delightful tale that was  well ... really quite charming.  (I know, bad pun ... I heard those groans out there!)  The story flowed well but at times was a bit predictable. Even so, I found the plot to be creative, the characters delightful and the story was filled with action, adventure and a bit of suspenseful drama. I also appreciated the underlying messages of team work, honor and friendship as well. 

The author's play on well known fairy tale characters and their subsequent roles in this story as well as some of their re-naming, I found to be quite humorous. The bantering between the characters was worthy of bringing a smile to my face as well. 

All in all, a delightful tale for children of all ages! I am looking forward to reading the first book in this series, Flunked


3.5 Stars! 


Thank you to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Netgalley for the gift of a this book in exchange for an honest review.



Friday, March 4, 2016

The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan



  • ISBN-10: 0062351370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062351371
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (March 1, 2016)


Synopsis:

Middie Daniels calls it the leaving season: the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.
This year Middie's boyfriend, Nate, is the one leaving, heading to Central America for a year of volunteering after graduation. And once he returns, it'll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him. But when tragedy strikes, Middie's whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is . . . except for Nate's slacker best friend, Lee. Middie and Lee have never gotten along. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more.
Cat Jordan's heartbreaking story proves that no matter the season, no matter the obstacles, love can help you find yourself in the most unexpected of places.







The Leaving Season is definitely a deeply moving and heart-touching story that really moved me. It was endearing and heartbreaking all rolled into one very well written story! My hat goes off to the author, Cat Jordan and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

What impressed me most?  How Middie grew into her own while grieving for her lost love. How she found herself, defined herself and after a bit of time, stood up for what she knew was right for her. 


This book is well worth reading and I highly recommend it!   


4.5 Stars! 


Thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.