Monday, April 07, 2014

Review of A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

The nutshell: Juliette is the youngest in her Italian/French crazy family and is in love with food. She is a food critic, which she loves, but she feels like there is more out there for her to conquer. Her life begins to turn upside down when her close-knit family enters a tumultuous time, she is offered a position at her brother's new restaurant and is also trying to keep up a long-distant relationship that is going much faster than she expected. Journey along with Juliette as she navigates through life's ups and downs.

Pro's: The center of this book is around family. I love this. It all comes back to family, no matter how quirky, dysfunctional, stress-laden and messy. This family is always there for each other, and in the Italian way, honest and very open with each other. It was a light read laced with a rich love woven through the storyline. You felt a part of the family, sitting at their table, conversing and eating with them. And the recipes! I'm a sucker for them! A bonus at the end of most chapters was a recipe that correlated with the chapter. A cookbook AND great novel in one? It's a win - win!

Con's: The ending. It came up so fast and ended so abruptly that it left me a bit perplexed as to what to think. Seeing that there is a 2nd book coming helped, but if this was a stand alone novel, I would leave feeling disappointed.

Suggestion: If you enjoy recipes and good light read, this a book worth picking up!

Would you like to learn more about Hillary Manton Lodge? Check out her website here.
Interested in reading the first chapter in this book? Click here.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review of The One Year: Did You Know Devotional 2

The Nutshell: A devotional with lots of trivia and stories to make each day's devotional come a bit more to life.

Pro's: Easy for kids to read and understand. Geared more for elementary age kids.

Con's: There didn't seem to be much guided discussion for each day. Also, I think more delving into scripture would be beneficial, like offering more verses to look up after each devotional. Of course, parents can guide this and take it much further than what is on the page.

Tyndale House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions are my own.

Review of A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley

Meg Moseley is a new author to me and she did not disappoint.

The Nutshell: Laura Gantt heads back to her hometown to settle the household of her recently deceased mother. Memories swirl around her as well as rumors that her father, who drowned years before, has been seen around town. With the help of her high school sweetheart, Sean and her best friend Cassie, her heart and life intertwine her past and present in the town she just can't shake. Filled with heartache, compassion and a melodic lilt, Meg Moseley weaves a sweet story of friendship, forgiveness and moving forward in life.

Pro's: When I think of the South, I think of warm, cricket sounding, hazy days. Swinging slowly on a porch swing with a cold glass of ice tea that has condensation dripping down it. And I think, now, of this book. While reading it, it was the South. Just the right amount of pace, not too fast, not too slow. It had a lilt to it of crickets that keep you going. Page after page after page. Meg Moseley not only wrote a sweet filled story of friendship and forgiveness, but a story that came to life and took you along side the characters. Their heart aches. Their deeply rooted history in a little town that was dredged in tradition.

Con's: None.

Suggestion: If you like light hearted, but yet full of sweetness and southern charm books, this one is for you!

Want to learn more about Meg Mosesly? Visit her website.
Want to get a little taste of A Stillness of Chimes? Go here to read the first chapter.

WaterBrook Multnomah sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Review of Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley

This is a new author that I took the chance of reading and was not disappointed. Shadows of the Past is a criminal suspense book, the first in the series by Patricia Bradley.

The Nutshell: The main character, Taylor, a professor and criminal profiler, is fighting to find the person who is trying to kill her, while also working on solving her fathers disappearance and ends up with the help from a famous writer whom she falls for along the way.

Pro's: Good story line and development of characters. The pace kicked in to high gear towards the end and I just had to see how it concluded. It provided an interesting look into profiling and the minds of criminals.

Con's: I pegged the killer half way through the book, but I was still interested in how he was caught. It was slow in parts, but the interest was still there to find how everything connected. A bit mushy, which I could do without. A bit gory and graphic in spots.

If you like suspense books, you may be interested in picking this one up. I look forward to reading book 2 in Patricia Bradley's series!

Revell Books sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review of Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman

This book was different than ones I usually read. Going in with an open mind, it turned out that I liked this style of writing. It was a slower, more reflective story based around the subject of running. One runner who had to quit her dream, and one who didn't have any dreams, but could run. The story revolved around these two characters who were put together and how each grew because of the other person. I liked the flavor of the story, the underlying plot of forgiveness of one self and learning about the forgiveness of God.

Bethany House sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of No One to Trust by Lynette Eason

This is book one in a new series by Lynette Eason called Hidden Identity. This first book had a different flavor than her past books. The romance element was taken out and it was purely suspense. I loved it! It was super fast paced, character twists that you didn't see coming and full of redemption. Ms. Eason did a great job keeping the reader captivated, kept the plot plugging along at a fast clip and did it all without a love-blossoming sub-plot.

If you enjoy clean suspenseful books, you will enjoy this one. The one part I don't like is that the next book in the series doesn't come out until the fall of 2014!

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I remember reading this book years ago and being impacted by it. In a 20th Edition re-release, the book still grips my heart. Francine Rivers transforms the Old Testament book of Hosea into a story set in the 1800's. You can read the story for what it is: Hosea never giving up on the bride God chose for him, Angel - a prostitute. Or you can take it a lever deeper and parallel the story to God's unconditional love for us. No matter how many times we leave, turn our back, or run, God is always there when we come back. He doesn't give up on us. Francine does an amazing job telling the story of God's deep love of his people.

WaterBrook Multnomah sent me a complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review of Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. As they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities--and their hearts.
This is my first time reading a book by Lisa Harris. I was not disappointed. Of course, I like the mystery suspense type books and this one was right up there. This is the first book in the Southern Crimes Series. It seemed to have slowed down in the middle some, but the story line still kept me hooked, up until the end.

I did feel like I was jumping into the middle of a book series in how the characters were developed, but I think it's just the way she writes. The characters' back stories do come out and the pieces start to make more sense the further along one reads.

I'm looking forward to reading the 2nd book in this series!

Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

To learn more about Lisa Harris and her books, head over to her website.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review of A Surprise for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

Change is in the air!
Eleven-year-old Lily Lapp wants her life to stay just the way it is. Instead, it's constantly changing. New jobs, new schoolmates, and new challenges sure keep life interesting. It seems like the only thing Lily really wants to change--Effie Kauffman's mischief making--is the one thing that never does. Effie is up to her old tricks, and Lily is her favorite target.

This is the fourth book in The Adventures of Lily Lapp. This is one of the best books I have read. I like it because Lily has lots of surprises in life like her cousin moving far away. I feel bad for Lily when Effie and Aaron get her in trouble and tease her. I like reading about how different the Amish live and how school is different in a school house.

I would recommend this book because it's very interesting because there are always surprises.

Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This post is brought to you by Alina who read and reviewed this complimentary book for Revell Books. Her opinion is hers alone.