9/21/17

Ghosts of Bliss Bayou By Jack Massa


5 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
True Magic is never an easy road.

For sixteen-year old Abigail Renshaw, the terrifying nightmares are not the worst part. When apparitions start leaking out of the nightmares into her waking life—Well, that's a problem.

But Abby's dealt with hallucinations before, and she's nothing if not resilient. Following clues from the nightmares, she convinces her mother to let her visit Harmony Springs, the small town in Florida where Abby was born, and where her grandmother still lives.

There, Abby finds unexpected help from new friends: a compulsive teenage blogger named Molly Quick, and Molly's older brother Ray-Ray (a guy Abby really starts to like).

The not-so-good news? Abby's apparitions might be real after all. And one of them wants to kill her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Jack Massa has studied writing and other forms of magic for many years. He lives in Florida but wanders in many places. 

Visit him at his website - HERE 






MY THOUGHTS - 
I liked this book right from the start. I love a good ghost story and this one was great! I read the first half in 3 days and the last half in one sitting, I just couldn't stop!

Very good character development. I loved Abby. She was a very brave and tough young lady. If  I kept having nightmares, having hallucinations, and seeing ghosts - I think I would be freaking out. But she held it together. Not only that but she did some research as to why this was happening to her. What she finds is even more incredible.  Abby is thrown into a world of ghosts, magic, curses, and secrets involving her own family.

This is a well crafted story with a lot of action to keep your interest (a lot of ghost and magic action) and enough heartfelt moments to keep it real. Abby is a young heroine with heart and spunk. You are guaranteed to fall in love with her.

Great book for teens and adults. I am wondering what this author has in store for us next. I'm sold!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from the author Thank You!

Order your copy from Amazon -HERE

9/19/17

Rewordable: The Uniquely Fragmented Word Game


5 Stars!

ABOUT THE GAME - 
The Kickstarter-funded, uniquely fragmented word game
·    Carefully crafted to make it easy to form longer, more common words
·    Intuitive and fun for 2-8 players of all skill levels (ages 8 and up)
·    Includes 120 cards, 16 tokens, and nifty fold-out rules and poster
·    Variable deck with a fresh linguistic experience every game

Every letter counts in a game of Rewordable. Each of the 120 cards has been selected for optimal word crafting. Build a new word and be rewarded. Or add to other players’ words to steal their points. Create the largest lexicon of words by the end of the game to become the Rewordable champion.

 Includes:
·    120 cards with one-, two-, and three-letter sequences, selected through linguistic research, computational analysis, and extensive playtesting
·    16 tokens add different goals, strategies, and rewards to every game
·    Nifty fold-out rules with easy to follow how-to-play diagrams

MY THOUGHTS -
A winner! I loved this game. I love word games anyway. This kind of reminded me of a cross between Scrabble and Rummy.

I took this game to my daughter's for the weekend so we could try it out. I told her and her hubby it was for review, so we were excited to try it. We all gave it two thumbs up!


We actually liked it so much we played it twice. Then after I went home (I left the game with them) my daughter texted me and said they were going to play it again!

It was lots of fun. It took some thought and some planning. I always tried to plan my words out ahead but was sometimes foiled if someone used the card I wanted so I learned to have a 2nd and even 3rd option. I think we all found it to be quite challenging and we are all intelligent people! I hated playing a small word but had to if that's all I could come up with. When one of us played a long word we were all ecstatic! I think this will be on our list of games we play when I go visit.

 Sorry, I had to black one out - they made a bad word!!! Hahaha!


I voluntarily posted this review after receiving this game from Blogging for Books Thank You!

Order yours from Amazon - HERE
 

9/18/17

God Made The World: A cuddly crinkly cloth book - Debbie Rivers-Moore & Emma Haines


5+ Stars!!!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Charming illustrations help infants and toddlers discover God's natural world, from dolphins to foxes to kittens! This squishy fabric book features crinkle cloth for sensory development and hours of baby fun. God Made the World also includes a child-safety mirror so baby can see herself and know she's a part of God's design.

For parents, a Velcro closure keeps the book shut, and a hanging tab can attach the book to a stroller, purse, or toy so it can go wherever they do. It comes packaged in a bag to keep it clean and includes a header card for easy hanging display.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR -
Debbie Rivers-Moore is the author of several children's picture books, including Tractor Ted and Lamb Loves Springtime.
Emma Haines is an illustrator and designer based in Nottingham, England.

MY THOUGHTS -
OH MY GOSH! This book is freakin adorable! It's so soft and squishy. I just want to hug it! It is very very simple, only 4 pages, but super cute. I think it is the perfect size for a baby. The first page is crinkly and makes a crunchy sound. The rest of the pages are really soft. The last page has one of those flexible/nonbreakable mirrors.

The pictures are so cute and brightly colored. I think a baby would love this - I love it!
And - I will soon be able to try it out on my very first grandbaby who will be born Sept. 25th (or around then)! I just know she will love it :-)




I highly recommend this for young babies. Get it for your own child, a grandchild (like me) or it would make a great shower gift!!


I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Kregel Publications Thank You!

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE
or from Kregel - HERE

9/13/17

Sweet Dreams (The Bakery Romance Series Book 3) - Cecelia Dowdy

4.5 Stars!


ABOUT THE BOOK -
Misty Stewart found Christ shortly after the birth of her baby, causing her to make drastic changes in her life. Short-tempered and street-smart, she realizes being around her un-saved, dysfunctional family is draining her, so she feels the Lord wants her to distance herself from her relatives. She hopes this distance from her family will allow her to deepen her faith, making it possible for her to raise her two-year-old daughter, Jennifer, in a better environment. Struggling to raise her daughter alone, she bonds with her new neighbor, Sterling Richards. She’s drawn to kind-hearted Sterling, but wonders about the deep sadness that he harbors. Sterling has familial problems that run deep, and romance is the last thing on his mind.

Sterling Richards, a professional baker, is grieving over the recent death of his father/business partner. Since his father left him as the sole beneficiary of his life insurance policy, his relationship with his identical twin brothers is strained. Why would his father fail to include his twin sons as part of the inheritance? He now struggles to mend the relationship with his brothers, struggling to run his father’s bakery alone.

Can Sterling and Misty find the courage to love one another?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
I spent the first ten years of my life on a military base in Aberdeen Maryland since my dad was in the Army. We moved to North East Maryland when I was about ten. I always remember the joy of opening a book, and reading mesmerizing stories that entertained me for hours! I went to the University of Maryland in College Park, earning my degree in Finance! My freshman English teacher claimed I was a great writer, and recommended that I change my major from Finance to English, but I didn’t heed his wise advice!

Instead of pursuing a literary career, I worked as an accountant for a travel agency for ten years. During that time, I traveled all over the world, including the following places: Germany, France, England, Tahiti, New Zealand, Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Santo Domingo.

In 1994, I began writing for fun, and I kept doing it until I sold my first inspirational romance novel. Before I sold my novel, I wrote sweet romantic short stories regularly for national women’s magazines. I’ve published thirty-seven of these stories. I’m now working on other novels, and you can check the books section of this website to see a list of past and future releases!

I love both secular and Christian fiction. I also love young adult fiction, and I hope to have my own young adult inspirational series someday!

I’ve been happily married to my husband for eight years. We currently reside in Maryland with our son.

Visit Cecelia at her website - HERE

MY THOUGHTS -
Right away I liked this book. After only the first couple of paragraphs I fell right into it. I really liked the authors writing style. There were some ups and downs, some suspenseful moments and even a gasp or two.

Very good character development (even thought I wasn't in love with everybody, but that's life).
First there's Misty - A young single mom - she was very stubborn, and almost too guarded and it made her seem stand-off-ish and not very warm even though she was a sweet person. It was just hard to get close to her because she held her heart so close.
Then the leading man - Sterling - I had very mixed feelings about him. At times I really liked him but then other times I thought his personality seemed too strong, he was overbearing and controlling even though he had good intentions . He was always trying to look out for Misty but I think it was too much at times and that's why she was pulling away. I did end up really liking him though, but it was a slow process.
Nate - The bad boy ex, he was trying to turn his life around to win Misty back and be a father to their daughter. I wasn't sure if I believed his conviction or not. But part of me really did want to like him.
Latisha- She was a very strong personality, flirtatious, loud and even rude at times. But she's the type that once she started dropping the brick wall and I got to know her I really started to like her.

And then just as I'm really getting to know all of these people... a tragedy happens (no, I'm not going to tell you what!). Good ending.

I love when an epilogue tells what happens to all the characters in the story.

A "Sweet" romance that is definitely worth the read! This was my first from this author and won't be the last! I would love to continue the series (which appears that you do not have to read them in order).

PS & BTW - I love the covers!  :-)

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from the author, Cecelia Dowdy  ~ Thank You!

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE


9/12/17

Anything but Simple: My Life as a Mennonite - Lucinda J. Miller


4 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK -
If you live in a conservative Mennonite community, edges are sewn shut and questions have answers. So if you’ve got a saucy tongue and a roving curiosity about the world, you’ve got a story to tell.

As a schoolteacher in a small Mennonite school in rural Wisconsin, Lucinda J. Miller wears long dresses and a prayer covering, like her grandmother, and she knows a lot about cooking and making do with what you’ve got. But she uses a cellphone and posts status updates on Facebook.

So why would a young woman with access to all these technologies remain within a sheltered community like the plain Mennonites? How can someone with an eye for beauty and a sometimes sardonic wit stay within a tradition that values discipline and submission and uniformity?

Anything but Simple is the stirring memoir of a young woman’s rich church tradition, lively family life, and longings for a meaningful future within her Mennonite faith.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Lucinda J. Miller is a writer, teacher, blogger, and member of a conservative Mennonite community in Wisconsin. She teaches elementary school at the Sheldon Mennonite Church, and her writing has appeared in Daughters of Promise and Red Cedar Literary Journal. Her children's book, The Arrowhead, is forthcoming from Christian Light Publications. 

Connect with her at lucindajmiller.com.


MY THOUGHTS
I have read lots of books about Amish life, the Shakers and even the Hutterites, but surprising this is the first book I have read about the Mennonite life. I lived a good part of my life in upstate NY and we had a large community of Mennonites (and Amish) A lot of people don't know that about NY state. I even shopped at a wonderful Mennonite grocery store. I was surprised how little I really knew about them. 

I liked how this book was not only about some of the Mennonite traditions and way of life but mostly about the author's own personal life within her family, a bit of her family's history, and her start as a writer. This was definitely a very interesting read.

Parts of this book were very sweet and heartwarming but what really hooked me in was the author herself. She was so real! She seemed like such a fun-loving person, honest, upfront and even a bit quirky. There were a few moments where her sarcasm showed through - and I loved it!  I really liked her personality, I think if she lived near me, we would be friends.  :-)

A very quick short read, but you are in for a real treat with this one! 


I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from MennoMedia of Herald Press ~ Thank You!

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE

9/11/17

Water My Soul: Ninety Meditations from an Old Order Mennonite - Darla Weaver


5 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK -
How does your spiritual garden grow? What do you do to keep your Christian life flourishing? Darla Weaver explores these ideas as she connects gardening to spiritual growth in a new devotional, Water My Soul: 90 Meditations from an Old Order Mennonite (Herald Press, September 2017).

Touching on themes such as humility, contentment, right living and forgiveness, each meditation includes a daily Scripture reading, poignant prayer, and journal prompt or response idea designed to motivate and strengthen readers.

“As I worked in my ever-expanding gardens, I was amazed how often God used the natural world to open my eyes to new spiritual truths,” Weaver writes.

As an Old Order Mennonite living in southern Ohio, Weaver spends her time gardening, cooking, caring for her family, and living as much as possible off the land. Weaver bares her heart in these 90 devotionals, all drawn from her home-centered life, and encourages readers to root themselves deeply in love of Christ and service to others.

Women especially will relate to these meditations sprinkled with stories from Weaver’s children, marriage, Old Order Mennonite community and wider friends and family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Darla Weaver’s first book, Many Lighted Windows, was published in 2016, and she has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. Her hobbies are gardening and writing.

MY THOUGHTS -
I did the first few days of this book and I like it very much. The whole first section is about gardening and since I garden I could really relate to these. Now, this is not a Bible study, so don't be mistaken. Its just like a "day in the life" reading and how God speaks to us through everyday things. and how we can use this to make our lives better and grow in Christ.

I really like the lay out of the book. There are no dates on the passages so you can do them whenever. It goes by weeks, so week one is Lessons from nature. There is a Bible reading that you should read first. Then the devotion/meditation then a short prayer and last, a reflection (something she asks you to think about or do).
For example - "What are the clouds in my life today, and how might God be using them to help me?"

Some of the names of the weeks are -
Powerful pruning
Still my restless longing
Hearing God
The Path of Pain 

This is very easy reading and easy to understand. I think everyone, at almost any age can get something out of doing this book. I have to admit, I love the title and cover! I want my soul to be watered by God. Doesn't that sound wonderful?  I myself am looking forward to finishing the book!


I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from Herald Press ~ Thank You!
Order your copy from Amazon - HERE

9/9/17

Sun at Mignight - Rosie Thomas


4 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Alice, who as a scientist relies on method, precision, and tangible proof, is forced to critically evaluate her own life for the first time when her relationship with her artist boyfriend collapses spectacularly. Heartbroken, childless, and tied down by her work, it is time to break away. Accepting an invitation to join an expedition to the southernmost point of the earth, Antarctica, Alice ventures beyond all that she’s known.

Upon arrival, she meets James Rooker, a man who, like her, has nowhere further to run in Antarctica's beautiful but unforgiving environment. Living on a tiny research base with only a small group of people, the isolation wipes out everyone's past, but there is a jolt of recognition between Alice and Rooker that cannot be denied. Geographically and emotionally o
n the brink of sublime, new terrain, Alice discovers something that will change her life forever . . . if she survives. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Rosie Thomas is the author of numerous critically acclaimed, bestselling novels. She has won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice, for her novels Iris & Ruby and Sunrise. Born in a small village in northern Wales, Thomas discovered a love of traveling and mountaineering when her children were grown. In the years since, she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, competed in the Peking to Paris car rally, trekked in the footsteps of Shackleton on South Georgia Island, and spent time on a tiny Bulgarian research station in Antarctica. To research The Kashmir Shawl, she traveled to Ladakh and Kashmir.

Learn more about Rosie at www.rosiethomasauthor.com


MY THOUGHTS -
I ended up really enjoying this book even though it took me a bit to get into it. With a diverse, interesting cast of characters - it was fun to see them all thrown together. It was kind of like survivor, Ha! People from all over, from different backgrounds having to live together. And then, throw in the frigid cold weather and blizzards not to even mention all their personal issues and baggage.

The descriptions were great! I could really picture being there (and I would love to be there!). There were also a few heart stopping moments.
"They attempted to work, although it was clear from the  onset that there was almost no point. The wind was so strong that it tore the pages of their notebooks and threatened to snatch instruments out of their hands. It was impossible to talk, only to shriek above the gusts, and it was too cold to take off mittens or goggles for even a few seconds at a time."

"Then he dropped the compass.
In an eye-blink the instrument hit the ground beside his boot, hung for a second in the ruff of soft snow mounded around his tracks, then toppled again and began to slide. It gathered speed, skidding faster, out of sight down the small slope to the glacier. They were so cold that the hardly moved. There was no point in plunging after it. It was gone for good."
Well all this makes for an interesting read. My only negative really was that is was long! Almost 500 pages and it was a bit slow in spots, but definitely worth the read!

This was a new to me author and I would love to try more.

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from The Overlook Press ~ Thank You!
 
Order your copy from Amazon - HERE