Saturday, October 8, 2016

From This Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling

I was so excited to read this book, the fourth in the series "Song of Blessing" by Lauraine Snelling. This book (#4) is entitled From This Day Forward. I have read and reviewed the previous books in this series, To Everything a Season (here), A Harvest of Hope (here) and Streams of Mercy (here) and have enjoyed them all! The stories are nice, engaging, and tell of a place you might want to live in a bygone era in Blessing, North Dakota.

SO -- did the book live up to the anticipation? I'm so sorry to say no, it did not. :/ Sorry Mrs Snelling, I really loved your earlier books in this series :/ but this one just... a little blah.

This book follows one of the nurses from the hospital, Deborah, and her longing to marry her childhood sweetheart, Toby (who doesn't seem to mirror her interest). She is frustrated, the women give advice, Toby ignores, another man comes, she is interested, and I'm going to leave it there :) I want to leave something for you to find out about without me telling you!

Since this is the fourth book in the series, it heavily depends on the stories and characters from the earlier books. SO much so that I would recommend reading the first three before this one if you want to understand what's going on.

I really didn't love this book. It was a nice story, but not really interesting enough to make me want to read it...I did like it, but I wasn't trying to find times to read it, I just had it with me at different times that I was waiting for the kids or something. The story was really bland, almost not a story at all. The ending was good, but I just didn't feel this book was up to par for this author or this series.

I would recommend this book maybe if you have read the other three...but I didn't love it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson

Looking for a light, entertaining read? You might want to pick up a copy of A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson. This book is a romance in a historic setting. The main character, Clara, has recently lost her husband to a shooting. She is confronted with her brother-in-law's telling her that she is not wealthy, as she thought, but that her husband has squandered all their wealth away. In the face of uncertainty at home and the unpleasant presence of her overbearing, pushy mother, Clara flees with her two children to the place where she felt safe and loved as a child, her aunt and uncle's ranch out west.

The story unfolds and the reader learns of the circumstances of Clara's marriage, to a man she did not ever love and was not loved by. We learn of her childhood sweetheart to whom she was engaged before her mother swept her away. Hmmmm... wonder what is coming? :)

Yes, the story does not disappoint. She meets up with her now-jaded ex-fiancee who has lived a ... rough... life and now feels soiled and unworthy. Their love is... (not going to tell you any more!!)

Okay, yes, it's a predictable story, kind of fluffy (do you know what I mean by that? basically just kind of disengage your mind as you read and just read for enjoyment). It's entertaining. A nice clean romance. Not compelling...I didn't stay up to midnight reading :) but a nice easy story.

I would recommend this book. It's not a favorite or anything, but a good clean easy read!

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Taste and See by John Piper

Taste and See by John Piper is a series of "125 Daily Meditations" and is subtitled "Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life." I am very excited about this book. I have read bits and pieces throughout it and am planning to read it daily (as intended). Each of the daily writings is 2-3 pages long and on a certain topic. The little chapter devotions/meditations are Scripturally based and easy to read and understand. I will say don't get put off by the first one :) For some reason that one sounds very academic, filled with words you have to think about to understand the least for me. I felt that the first daily reding did not "flow" in the reading sense. (entitled "The Exuberant Omnipotence of God). However, the following days' writings felt more readable and easier to understand to me.

Examples of daily reading titles include: "Can Joy Increase Forever?" "They Gave It Their Best Shot In Vain" "Take Heed How You Hear" "Ten Reasons to Love the Truth" and so on.

I would recommend this book. I am planning to add it to my daily devotional time and I believe my husband might be planning to also. Superficially it is a nice-looking book as well :) I think it would be a very appropriate gift for folks of many different "religios" interests.

For more info about the author John Piper, click here and for further info about the book, click here.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Midwife's Dilemma by Delia Parr

Book three in the "At Home in Trinity" series by Delia Parr delivers the same level of interesting historical story as the previous two in the series did. The Midwife's Dilemma again follows midwife Martha Cade and the cast of characters enjoyed in the previous two installments (The Midwife's Tale, see review here and The Midwife's Choice, see review here.)

This book three in the series follows right in place after book two. Martha Cade, the midwife, continues in her duties and ministries in the town of Trinity. Friends and acquaintances value her, but she is unable to decide whether to accept the offer of marriage from a long loved friend. The mayor of the town, Thomas, has been waiting for a long time for Martha to commit to marrying him and joining him in life. Martha cannot prioritize which is more important, marrying Thomas or continuing in midwifery. She prays for someone to fill this position in the area, but to no avail.

Martha's life is filled with characters who play parts in this book, from her daughter and her clandestine love story to a blind sailor and his foster son to the sisters she lives with in the confectionary to a mother-daughter duo who have just entered her life.

It's a good story, a lot of it is Martha's back and forth on whether to marry Thomas. There are adventures and little mysteries and a lot of prayer. The characters are interesting and realistic.

I enjoyed this book, as the third in the series. It is a nice read, not so compelling as to keep me up till midnight reading it, but not a chore either. If you are looking for a book with a historical setting (1830's) and a bit of romance, this might be a great series for you to check out! I would recommend it.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

A little romance, a lot of mystery---a good read!

Colleen Coble's book Mermaid Moon is a story of Mallory, a mom and a widow, returning to her childhood home to try to understand the mystery of her father's death (murder?) She encounters a past love, a widower with a child, and together they set about unraveling this mystery (as well as keeping Mallory safe/alive as best they can). Someone is threatening her and attempting to harm her. . .who? What mysteries surround her own mother's death? Should she hold the guilt of disappointing her mother?

Her last words from her father were to find her mother. Could he mean her birth mother? Mallory enters a search for her birth parents that take her places unimaginable.

Throughout this all she is hesitantly entering a new relationship with her old love. His parents seem to hate her and she deals with this dynamic as well.

Everything comes to a head and mysteries are revealed and new ones opened up -- lives are threatened and .... (you didn't really think I would tell you more, did you?!) :)

This is a good book! I would definitely recommend it. :) I would call it a mystery with a romance, not too romancey (I know, not a word...) and action filled. I enjoyed it and perhaps you would too!

I received this e-book from the publisher in order to write this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Word of Promise New Testament (Audiobook)

We LOVE audiobooks, especially in the car. We love to check out audiobooks from the library, all kinds of stories from mysteries to classics and they sound great in the car! Now, having this new audiobook of the New Testament we have LOTS of audio for the car!

This audio Bible is a dramatized reading of the New Testament, the NKJV (New King James Version), on CDs. It's a great way to listen to the Scriptures and fill your mind and heart with God's Word. If you are interested in listening to the Bible, you might want to give it a try.

We have been listening to CDs from several different books of the Bible and have enjoyed them for the most part. I have not listened to every single disc and I have not followed along in my Bible to compare the wording with what's in the printed Bible, so I cannot address that part. What I have listened to has been good for getting Scripture on my mind.

It's dramatized. Okay, so for the most part I like this, especially for listening in the car. If you're into different actors you might recognize some of the names of different speakers. The speaking/reading is at a nice pace, easy to listen to.

A few of the things that bugged me were some of the different background sounds that were, I suppose, to help set the scene. As we were listening in the car there were several times that I heard a noise like a problem with my car's engine and had to turn off the CD to hear it better, and lo and behold, it was on the CD . . . one was maybe like a cricket chirping in the background and others were random squeak-ish noises. That might just be a personal thing, listening for engine noises as I drive, but it was a bit annoyong to someone with that habit. Another thing that I wished was on there were chapter headings (for example, "Chapter 3") I understand that those chapter divisions are not a necessity, but I think that I tend to like them, for some unknown reason :)

SO would I recommend it? Yes, I would, especially for use in the car. Remember, these are cds, so if you don't have a cd player in the car or elsewhere, you won't get the same use from them!

I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Green Smoothies by Fern Green

Oohhh! Do you have a juicer or blender or one of those fruit ninjas or such? Are you looking for some ideas/inspiration? This book is full of great recipes/ideas for healthy juicing and smoothie making! The book is called Green Smoothies, by author Fern Green [real name? Hmmmmm :) ]

The photo on front is a pattern for the illustrations throughout the book. There are full-page photo recipes of the ingredients for each delicacy and then a picture of (I assume) the completed juice or smoothie in a cute little bottle with a colored top!

Some of the recipes call for items you probably already have in your fridge, some are a little more seasonal -- or you could purchase them out of season (pricey, but. . .) I guess if you live in an area with a long growing season you're more in luck :)

The book is broken into several sections: smoothies, juices, shots and milks. There's a section about equipment (juicers, etc) and about the different "super greens" as well as one about a juice detox. Each of the recipes also has a few body improvements that the juice or smoothie or such promises, such as *skin enhancing *immunizing *cleansing *body stimulating and more. I can't speak to the actual efficacy of each of these, but they sure look promising!

It's a pretty book, inspiring, full of good ideas. I'd definitely recommend it!

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

(here are a couple of pictures from the book just to show you how appealing they look!)