Sunday, November 29, 2015

Good things come in threes

"An Amish Christmas Gift" is a group of three novellas by three different authors, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin.  All three books are about romance brewing in Lancaster County at Christmas time.  Nothing deep or complex here; just sweet romance.  Reid's "An Unexpected Joy" was my favorite so I will review that one.  Abigail is a talking whirlwind that at the ripe old age of 24 has given up on marriage and has plans to buy her own horse to ease her growing need for independence.  She takes a job with Micah, helping his grandmother around the house, in order to pay for the horse.  Along the way she does what she can to help her cousins who are on the brink of shunning.  Their son, who has jumped the fence, has returned from the army with a case of PTSD. 

Some of these novellas are better than others, all are good.  I received this e-book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bigfoot needs friends too (spoiler)

"Elwood Bigfoot:  Wanted:  Birdie Friends" by Jill Esbaum is a children's picture book about Elwood, a bigfoot, who is lonely in the wilderness.  He does love birds, though.  So in order to make bird friends,  he jumps through all these figurative hoops in order to bring them in; and finally changes his behavior around them to win the birds over.  Though the pictures are wonderful, the book is kind of depressing.  I felt sorry for him most of the time and even though it ends (spoiler alert!) with him winning over the birds for friends, he has to change who he is first.  It's a sad book.  I won this book in a giveaway from Grandma's Cookie Jar. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

sadie speaks

Sadie Robertson, co-star of Duck Dynasty on A&E, has written "Live Original" a book on bettering oneself and keeping it real for the teen reader.  Though is it written for a teen by a teen, it is still an awesome book for any age.  In my opinion, Sadie is the next Joyce Meyer. Though both leave areas of improvement in their writing, both have a message that they can communicate on an across the universe level.  They can deliver the message to both sexes and all age groups without confusion.  They tell it like it is.  Robertson delivers a message of improving oneself, forgiveness, confidence, and Godly love.  Sharing that love.  Standing your ground with kindness.  I really like this girl.  Because she isn't a main star on the show, I didn't know too much about her personality.  This book left me kind of glad I didn't, because I rather enjoyed getting to know her through her own writing rather than A&E's version.  I give it 4.5 stars.  I received this e-book through

Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps It Real and Stays True To Her Values  -     By: Sadie Robertson, Beth Clark

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Restoration #3

"On This Foundation" is book number 3 in The Restoration Chronicles written by Lynn Austin.  Austin has been following the migration of the Jews back into Jerusalem after the exile had come to a close.  In "Foundation", Ezra has retired from being a governor and Nehemiah has taken over.  Nehemiah's primary concern is the rebuilding of the wall and safety of the citizens in Jerusalem.  There are two side stories as well.  Chana, a young woman whose fiancée has been murdered, has become interested in courting Malkijah, a rich land owner with many servants.  And Nava, one of the servants that works for Malkijah, is desperately trying to be free to marry her fiancée and not the son of her master.  (or whatever he has in mind) 
I find that each installment to the Restoration novels is written better than the last.  They hold my interest longer and the writing is better.  The characters tend to be more in depth as well as the story lines more involved.  However, these are some really long books.  Close to 500 pages.  I find them easier to read the first couple of hundred pages, and then slow things down, take a break and read a different book a little while.  I think that helps keep the story fresh.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Master Passion review

Alexander Hamilton is one of our founding fathers and yet we seem to know so little about him.  First Secretary of Treasury, twenty dollar bill, and something about a dual.  In " A Master Passion:  The story of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton" by Juliet Waldron our curiosities are peeked and our eyes are opened.  Hamilton is not your traditional forefather.  He was the illegitimate son on a brilliant yet unfortunate prostitute in the West Indies.  After being abandoned by his father, orphaned, set to work at the age of 10 and sexually abused by his employer, Hamilton became the original American Dream story.  He came to the colonies for an education and a chance for a better life.  In the search for that life he married Elizabeth, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner.  Waldron's novel, though I don't know how much is true, follows the Hamiltons in their quest to begin a new country.  The story not only lets you look at how the country was built from a working man's point of view, but lets you look into the Hamilton's marriage.  So close a look, that the reader may feel a little guilty for eavesdropping, the author is so good at giving a realistic image.  Though this book is long, it is also very good.  I received this book from Passages to the Past: HFVBT for a tour. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

In 1492 Columbus sailed.......

"The Columbus Code" by Mike Evans is a conspiracy novel that follows the myths and truths of Christopher Columbus.  John Winters is a Secret Service agent on leave with PTSD.  His mother has recently died and when going through her estate he discovers that he is most likely a descendant of Columbus and his mother's dying wish was to prove the link.  During his research he meets Sophia, a scholar, that leads him to the legend of the diary of Columbus and the global rule of one man.  Coincidently, Maria, John's daughter, is working for a law firm that has taken her to Spain into the lion's den of the very man plotting to take over the world.  The antichrist. 
Going into this book I quickly realized that I knew little about Columbus.  Other that he "discovered America" and supposedly had a venereal disease, I knew nothing.  This book dives into the rest of it.  I am not sure how much is true.  I know that he kept diaries, but since I was informed about this in a documentary about alien chasers; I am pretty sure they aren't secret.  As far as writing goes, Evans has a journalist background and is a Middle East analyst, so it takes on political angle.  Evans is able to go back and forth with telling the story between male and female characters well.  The ending reads like a part two will be coming.  I will definitely be reading that.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Catch Review

"The Catch" by Taylor Stevens is the newest novel in the Vanessa Munroe series.  Munroe is a hired mercenary that is to assist in the guarding of a gunrunning boat from Djibouti to Kenya.  However, the hired guns don't know that the boat is running guns; they think they are just there for protection.  When the pirates aboard the ship, Munroe escapes taking the unconscious captain with her.  She arrives in Kenya to investigate why the boat was running guns without Amber, the wife of the leader of Munroe's outfit's, knowing anything about it and who is behind it.  While searching for information, she discovers that the Captain is the one they want and things are not what they seem.
The Munroe books are not necessary to read in order.  I hadn't read any before and though I would have followed a little better, it was not necessary.  Munroe is a multi-language speaking, highly intelligent, vastly experienced, fighting machine.  She passes as a man while in Africa which does kind of throw off my mental image.  Too much Hollywood in my brain, I suppose.  She is characteristically comparable to many of the men that is written about for example:  Reacher and Bourne.  Which is nice to see that she doesn't need a man to hold her hand while they run from bad guys.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from