Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review of Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Nutshell: Book 2 in the Men of Valor Series: Christy Reed has no family left. Losing her parents in a freak car accident nine months ago, and now her sister in a deadly house fire months ago. She's on the path of healing, until one day her world flips upside down. A letter and picture from her dead sister. Someone is playing with her in a very sinister way. Enter FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor. He has demons of his own that he is wrestling with while he takes on his very first case as an FBI agent. And his first case of Christy Reed pushes him to his limits with frustration, with unknown answers and with his heart. Will they hunt down the so called "kidnapper" before his sinister hunting catches Christy first?

Pro's: Great book! This can be read as a stand-alone in the series even though it is the 2nd book. Good plot, gets you sucked in from the beginning.

Con's: One scene did not quite add up based on the immobilization of the character. It didn't make sense how the grandma was able to do what she did after she wrote the letter (may seem cryptic, but I don't want to spoil the plot!) with hardly being able to walk. Other than that, a bit heart-gooey, but not over the top.

Recommendation: If you like mystery suspense, this is the book for you!

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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Holding on to the sliver

Reviews galore, but nothing more.

I've been rattling around thoughts in my brain and thinking I need to get things recorded.

You know how a new year brings new hope? New goals? Dreams that may come true this year?

Here we are, 23 days in to the new year and it is not going how I thought.

Hopes feel dashed, dreams feel squashed, goals are out the window. All need to be rewritten. They need to include issues like

breast cancer.

possible colon cancer.



blood clots.



unexplained seizures.


All of the above are happening in my family. My immediate family. Not cousins. Not aunts. Not extended family. Those I hold close.

Many of the above diagnoses we found out in the past 23 days.

How does one hold these? How does one hold on to hope through all of these? How do I encourage my brothers? My sister-in-laws? My mother-in-law? My parents? My husband? My kids?

This is where I find myself. Needing to re-examine everything.

It can be extremely overwhelming if I let all thoughts run loosey-goosey. If I let emotions overtake all common sense.

I find the sliver of hope in Jesus and I have to cling to Him. He keeps me breathing through every diagnosis. Every doctor appointment. Every time I think, "how can things possibly get worse?" and they end up getting worse.

I continue to cling. It's the only choice.

Review of A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Nutshell: Little Pearl Spence makes the best of the life she has. She watches over her older sister, enjoys stories from her grandma and loves her family and the town she lives in. Despite living in a time where dust storms come and go, where food is rationed and seeing her best friend struggle, she lives life as best she can with what is thrown at her. Strangers come and go through the town, but she knows she is safe with her daddy being the sheriff. But one such stranger doesn't make her feel right. Follow Pearl as life as she knows it will change because of the dust, because of grief, because of this strange man.

Pro's: Another great book by Susie! You could feel the grit of dust in your mouth, on your hands, rubbing on your feet. Susie does a spectacular job reliving the Dust Bowl years that hit our country hard. She used fiction to give raw imagery to what life may have been like for those living through this horrific time. Her artwork of words sculpts this book in to one you will not want to put down.

Con's: None!

Recommendation: If you enjoy historical fiction, pick up this book to read today! Even if you just like a good book to read, this is it!!

Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of You're the One That I Want by Susan May Warren

Nutshell: A former NHL hockey player, Owen Christiansen, finds himself in Alaska, working on a crabbing boat as far from home as possible. His boss and second in command, Scotty McFlynn, keeps to herself with a locked up heart that no one can penetrate. Circumstances thrust the two in to a life threatening situation where raw emotions are exposed and revelations come to light. But the past crashes in when Owen's brother comes looking for him. Owen and Scotty find themselves back in Minnesota as the prodigal son returns after being "missing" for months. Walk with Owen and Scotty as they learn what it means to be a children of God and what faith looks like when life is throwing rocks at you.

Pro's: This is the last book in the Christiansen Series and the first one that I have read. It was actually easy to jump in to and understand despite not reading any of the previous books. I enjoyed the plot and the ease of how the book read.

Con's: Lots of romance for my taste. Could have toned it down some.

Recommendation: If you like romantic faith fiction, you will enjoy this book.

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

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Review of Step by Step by Candace Calvert

Nutshell: Taylor Cabot is an ER nurse who is ready to move on from her past. With her survival list in hand, she's out to cross every single item off the list to feel like she is ready to walk forward with her life. With a new job, in a new city, she jumps in to the career she loves. She is starting to slowly pull away from the volunteer crisis team she volunteers on as she wants to put herself at a distance from Seth Donovan, the chaplain of the team and a good friend of her late husband. Journey with her as she learns of God's love and what it means and looks like to move on. This is the 2nd book in the Crisis Team Series.

Pro's: Action from the beginning that helps you jump right in. Good story line. Stand-alone book even though it is the 2nd in the series.

Con's: One thing I noticed right away is that there are a lot of thoughts/conversations by the characters where the sentences don't finish. At first it didn't bother me, but as the book continued, it was something that happened throughout the book and personally, it was hard to stay captivated and interested in the story when sentences/thought processes are not complete.

Recommendation: If you enjoy medical stories with some action thrown in, you will enjoy this book.

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

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Review of Whatever Is Lovely by Waterbrook Press

Nutshell: Kids love to color, and I think adults (deep down) love it too! Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Intricate detailed pictures that take fine motor skills to a new level. You will find all different types of adult coloring books out there, and this one takes coloring beyond just the colored pencils. In this book you will find not only beautiful art to color, but verses to meditate on. The idea behind it is that while you are creating beauty, you are thinking on the One who created beauty. You are meditating on the One who breathed life, who breathed scripture. You are listening to God. What better way to find quiet than to color and listen to Jesus?

Pro's: I love this idea. I love that God's word is woven in to picture format to create beauty from beauty. The introduction was very helpful and including a spotify playlist to listen to while coloring? Genius! I took it one step further and found other scripture surrounding the verse and wrote it on the page to think on as well.

 Con's: I found I can only do one thing at a time! I couldn't listen to music and focus on the verse at the same time. My brain could only manage one or the other. Not a negative to the book at all, just my own personal findings. :)

Recommendation: You don't have to be an artist to do this. No one is ever to old to color! My 11 year old daughter saw this and ended up with one for Christmas! What a great gift to give, or to give yourself!

Would you like to buy this book? Click here to be directed to the site.

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