Monday, December 5, 2016

Best Christmas Gift Ever - A Review

Published - October 2016, Worthy Books
Author - Melinda Rumbaugh
Title - Best Christmas Gift Ever
Format - board book
Find on Amazon

About the book (from Amazon):
In this festive VeggieTales book, the Veggies are celebrating Christmas -- decorating the tree, singing carols, and exchanging gifts. But even though it's so much fun to give and receive presents, the Veggies all know that the greatest gift of all was God's gift of Jesus, his Son. Children will love the colorful art featuring their favorite Veggie friends. Parents can use this book to introduce little ones to the reason we rejoice at Christmastime -- Jesus' birth. Ages 2-5.

My thoughts:
This book was super cute. I've always loved Veggie Tales, and reading one of the books was a joy for me. In fact, as I was reading it to with my friend's daughter, she kept telling me that she liked this book. This little one is 2 and a half. She is the perfect age for this book. It's very bright and engaging. Plus, it's simple. 

I received this book for free as part of the First Look Blog program in order to give my honest opinion of it. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of VeggieTales, parents of young children

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Where Two Hearts Meet - A Review

Published - October 2016, Revell Books
Series - Prince Edward Island Dreams Book 2
Author - Liz Johnson
Title - Where Two Hearts Meet
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (from Amazon):
In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen--and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful. Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He's also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he's falling in love with the island's red shores and Caden's sweets. When Caden discovers Adam isn't who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he's writing could do more than ruin the inn's chances for survival--it might also break her heart.

My Thoughts:
When I met Caden in the first book, I wanted to know more about her. So when I saw that her story was going to the be the next book, I was thrilled. 

I have to admit that this one was hard for me to get into. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it, just that I had a hard time getting into the book. Still as the book went along, I was swept away into the beauty of both the story and the setting of Prince Edward Island.

I enjoyed getting to know both Caden and Adam. I loved seeing what came out of Caden's kitchen and watching Adam fall in love with her.

I'm looking forward to the third book in the series. 

I received a complimentary copy of the book as a part of the Revell Reads blogger program. I was not required to like the book, only give my honest opinion. 

Recommended to fans of women's fiction, Susan May Warren, Julie Klassen, Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Storm - A Review

Published - November 2016, Revell Books
Series - Stone Braide Chronicles Book 3
Author - Bonnie S. Calhoun
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (from Amazon):
Now that Glade, Selah's protecting force, is gone, the hunt is on to capture her. Selah has survived the forces of both man and nature to reunite her family. But her happiness is short-lived as they are forced into a barren world of volcanic ash that conceals the storm boiling beneath. The clock is ticking and Selah's abilities are growing--along with the list of those out for her blood. Selah feels unworthy of her status as a novarium and is tortured by the knowledge of lives lost to protect her. Her physical and mental abilities will tempt her to be reckless, but she must learn to wield such power responsibly. Time is running out as more lives are tragically cut short and the search for the Third Protocol takes Selah into lands that have fallen into legend. Can Selah follow the trail of ancient artifacts and finish the quest? Or have she and her companions pinned their hopes on nothing more than a fanciful story?

My Thoughts:
I read book 1 when it came out. Then somehow forgot about book 2. So when book 3 showed up as a title I could select to review, I jumped at it. Though I knew I needed to read book 2 first.

After renting the second book from the library and finishing it, I dived into this one. This one picked right up where the second one left off. I liked Selah from the beginning of the series. One of the best things was watching her grow and develop in this one. She's learned to control her powers. I also loved how she learned to trust others. Her journey isn't easy, and she needs all of the assistance that she can get.

I still don't have a clear understanding of Landers and what makes them so unique. That could be because I read this one so quickly that I may have missed something.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as part of the Revell Reads blogging program. I was asked only to share my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of dystopian fiction, young adult

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, November 21, 2016

Berenstain Bears Love One Another - A Review

Published - October 2016, Worthy Publishing
Author - Mike Berenstain
Title - Berenstain Bears Love One Another
Format -  board book
Find on Amazon

Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear help Mama bake berry muffins for a neighbor. When the cubs ask for some, Mama tells them that they are for the neighbor. The cubs then learn about ways to show they love each other.

This was cute. I love these little lessons that the cubs learn in these books. I loved the way the the cubs figured out ways to show they love each other. This book was very brightly illustrated and engaging. I read this book to my best friend's little girls, and it's simple enough that both of her early readers are able to read a few words of it.

I received a copy of this book for free from Worthy in order to share my honest opinion. I was not required to like the book, only give an honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.

Recommended to fans of the Berenstain Bears, parents of young children

Rating - 4 stars

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends- A Review

Published - October 2016, Tyndale House
Author - Rachel Anne Ridge
Title - Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends
Format - hardcover
Find on Amazon

A stray donkey enjoys collecting random things. When he is injured, he is taken in by a chicken, a goat, and a pig. Once there, he fixes their pancake machine and soon finds not only a home but a name as well.

This book is super cute. I loved the way that the animals took Flash and adopted him. I also love the lessons that this book teaches about compassion and being kind to others. I read this book to my best friend's little girls and they loved it. Since I gave it to them, I've seen that it is a frequent one that they pull out to read.

I received this book from the publisher to share my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to parents of young children, teachers, anyone who enjoys picture books

Rating - 4 stars


Fatal Frost - A Review

Published - November 2016, Bethany House
Series - Defenders of Justice Book 1
Author - Nancy Mehl
Title - Fatal Frost
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

About the book (from Amazon):
Mercy Brennan followed in her father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she's assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang.
When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent--a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety. Initially unaware of the danger she's in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy's frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn't until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?

My Thoughts:
I've kept seeing the books by Nancy Mehl appear in my book recommendations on Goodreads, but until this book, I'd never read anything of hers. I knew going in to expect a romantic suspense book, but beyond that, I didn't know what to expect. 

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. This book started off fast and kept going. The action alone kept me interested. 

I did find that the characters didn't seem to be quite as well developed as I'm used to, but that could be that this is the first in a series. I don't know if these characters will make appearances in the rest of the series or not.

Overall, this was a fast and enjoyable read.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher as Bethany House's blogging program. I was asked only to give my honest opinion about the book. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Lisa Harris, Irene Hannon, Lynette Eason, romantic suspense

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Newton & Polly - A Review

Published - September 2016, Waterbrook
Author - Jody Hedlund
Title - Newton & Polly
Format - ebook, paper, audio
Find on Amazon

Before John Newton wrote the words to one of the world's most famous hymns, he was a young man trying to find his way. He's on his way to report to working on a ship when he hears the enchanting voice of Polly Catlett while she is caroling. He is instantly smitten and vows to win her heart. Polly is also attracted to John, but his disregard for the Christian life is a huge barrier to their romance. That and the fact that John can't hold a job. Will Polly be able to hold firm to her convictions even if it means giving up the man she loves?

I've heard a lot about John Newton's life growing up. In fact, the hymn Amazing Grace is one that is probably on my list of favorites. But I didn't know much about his early life.

This book pulled me in from the beginning. At the time that I received this book, I was in a bit of a reading slump, and nothing was holding my interest. Then this book arrived in my mailbox. It's been on my list for a long time as the author is one of my favorites. So I started reading it. Over the course of a weekend, I was in engrossed in John and Polly's story.

I never realized how exciting of a time that these two lived in. I also never knew exactly what sort of obstacles that God put in Newton's path to get his attention.

To say that I loved this book, would be an understatement. I loved it. But I think what I loved the most about it is the picture of grace that is portrayed throughout.

I received a complimentary copy of the book as part of the Blogging for Books program in order to share my honest opinion about the book. I was not required to like the book, only share my honest opinion of it. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Jody Hedlund, Lynn Austin, historical fiction, Amazing Grace

Rating - 5 stars