Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Honest Love

By Kathleen Fuller
Thomas Nelson Publishing

Just finished reading this one last night.  

I very good read.  I enjoy reading books about the Amish.  Even though they are fictional, I get to enter their world, which is so different from my own, and spend a few hours.  It makes me appreciate my family relationships more, because the Amish are all about their families.

There are two stories going on in An Honest Love.  This first is about Anna.  She has moved to Ohio to break free from her past relationship where she was jilted.  She has come to open a gift shop with her mother.  She has some medical issues which are pretty serious, but she tends to pretend are not that bad.  She falls in love with Lukas.  However when Lukas finds out the secret she has kept from him, he is not sure he can get past the betrayal.

Lukas' sister Elizabeth is a young Amish girl who finds her self befriending an Amish man who has recently got out of jail for selling drugs.  Aaron has turned his life around and has accepted the Amish faith.  But, he keeps to himself because he believes everyone around his is judging him.  Will Elizabeth be able to help Aaron see he is wrong?

I have to say that I am hoping there is a sequel because I have a few unanswered questions.  I felt the last chapter of the book contained lots of things that I really needed to know more about, but sometimes that is what the author wants is for us to think about those things and answer them ourselves. 

I have read many fiction books about the Amish, some have been better then this one, but I think this is a pretty good one.  It just felt to me that the author was throwing in an Amish word (Pennsylvania Dutch) to make is more Amish.

Just found out this is book 2 in the Middlefield series.  My questions may have been answered in the first book or in a book that is yet to come.  I wish it would have said somewhere on the book that this was book 2.

*I was sent a Free copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I am not compensated for my review and am not required to post a positive review. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Rewards of Simplicity: A Practical and Spiritual Approach

by Pam & Chuck Pierce
Bethany House Publishing

"In today's fast-paced and technology-driven times, Christians feel stressed out and overly busy. Many are left longing for simpler days, unaware that these  days are within their grasp, made possible by getting rid of spiritual and material  clutter.

Respected prophetic leader Chuck D. Pierce and his wife, Pam, remind Christians of the rewards of living simply. Together they weave biblical teaching
with practical tips that will help readers answer questions like these:
How can I...

• clear out unnecessary clutter in my home?
• overcome anxiety?
• rely on God for my sustenance?
• get free from too much technology and/or entertainment?
• preserve a Sabbath rest?
• free myself from the stronghold of materialism?

Sharing their insights to help readers break free of anything that enslaves them, Pam and Chuck empower Christians, both materially and spiritually, to live a clutter-free life." 
Sadly this was another book I did not like.  Not sure why, just my personal preference.

Price: $13.99 purchase here.

*I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher to read and review.  I am not compensated for my honest opinion.

One Day Way GIVEAWAY!!

by Chantel Hobbs
Random House Publishing

"Lose All the Weight You Want, One Meal, One Pound, One Day At a Time!
I've got great news for you: You are about to feel better and look better beginning today! Today is truly a new opportunity for you to reach your weight loss goals. No, you won't fit into your "skinny jeans" today, but I'm going to show you how each day will get you closer to that goal.
Yesterday's mistakes are gone so let them go. You can't control tomorrow, so stop worrying about it. Today is your opportunity to lose weight, get strong, and look great. It won't happen overnight, but you can build a new life by changing your actions immediately and I'm here to show you how to make the changes that will create the new lifestyle you dream of: body, mind, and spirit. Best of all, you will start celebrating right away!
Come on, my friend. Let's get started! By opening this book, I'll show you how to unlock every tool you need to lose weight and get fit —and stay that way for the rest of your life. Success can be yours, what are you waiting for?

Okay, this review was due months ago and has been nagging me for a long time.  I over looked it.  So, I am just quoting from the author above.  

To enter to win a free copy of this book (including postage) please do the following:

For each thing you do you will get entered:
1.  Become a follower of my blog
2.  Invite a friend to become a follower of my blog (and when they do let me know and you will get another entry)
3.  Tell my why you want this book

Thank you!!

I will randomly select the winner on July 3rd!!!

Don't forget to let me know your email address!

Price:  $ 19.99

*I was sent a free copy of this book from the publisher to read and review.  I am not required to write a positive review and am not compensated for my review.


by Jim & Cathy Burns
Bethany House Publishing

"The Love Dare challenged individuals to love their spouse more. Quiet Conversations for Couples shows wives and husbands how to grow that love together. Introduced with Scripture verses and engaging stories, these 52 devotionals will inspire couples to draw closer through faith conversations--those quiet talks so vital for emotional and spiritual intimacy in a marriage. Guided, practical action steps round out each reading."

It is so nice to have a devotional book for couples.  Couples can pick up the book once a week for a whole year have  a devotional to share with each other.

Price: $19.99 to purchase go here.

*I was sent a free copy of this book to review from the publisher.  I am not compensated in any way for my review.

Homeschool in the Woods

Homeschool in the Woods is mostly known for their History Through the Ages Time Line Figures and Time Travelers History Study Series. But they have taken the Olde World Style maps from their Record Of Time timeline notebook and expanded them into two different sets of maps.

I will never have to go searching online or buy a book of maps again!  I love that I can just print them off from my computer when ever I need them!

These maps are hand-illustrated and very beautiful.

The World Maps includes over 130 black & white Old World Style and Modern Maps.  Also comes with a bonus of 40 notebooking pages.

The United States set has over 180 black & white  Old World Style and Modern Style Historical maps with bonus notebooking pages.
Suggested grade level for these maps are : All Grades

Individual sets download for $18.95 each.
Order them together in a Combo-Pak download for $28.95.
On CD $19.95 each set.
On CD $29.95 combo set.
And they are now available CD! Each set on CD is $19.95 or you can get both sets on one CD as a combo for $29.95

*I received a free download combo pak of maps for free to review.  I am not compensated and this review is my own opinion.

Children's Bible Hour Ministries

We received four books with CD's from Christian Bible Ministries.

   "The Seasons of Faith illustrated books encourage children to learn about their faith in God. Based on CBH Ministries’ treasure trove of radio scripts, these stories teach core truths of the Bible so that kids can easily apply them to their lives. Each book focuses on a season of faith-developing topics."

You Can't Come In ~ Adam meets a new friend, Zack, and they decide to build a tree house.  After falling into the mud Zack asks Adam about going to church.  Will Adam be able to explain his faith to Zack?


Race with Midnight ~Becky is so excited to spend her spring break at her cousin Sarah's house.  She is planning on riding horses everyday. Sarah tries to explain her faith to Becky as they ride through the meadows.  Will Becky listen?

Seventy Times Seven ~ When Brad breaks the window at the ice cream shop the oner forgives him.  But when Brad's friend ruins his favorite hat will Brad forgive him or hold a grudge?

Braving the Storm~ Thomas and his family has to move from his neighborhood and friends to his grandparents farm because his dad lost his job.  he has no one to play with, his brother is ill and his sister only wants to play with her dolls.  Can Thomas rely on God to help him through this difficult time?


        There were two books we really liked and will listen to over and over.  But there were two we did not like.  Our two favorites were, Seventy Times Seven & Braving the Storm.  They all had good messages, but what bothered me about You Can't Come In & Race With Midnight was that it was portrayed that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your Savior and you will be saved.  We believe that you have to do good things and be obedient and repent when you need to in order to be able to go back to Heaven again.  So depending on your beliefs these may be a good fit for your family.  The last page of each book and at the end of the CD has a page which essentially says the same thing.  We just turned the CD off before that and I did not read that last page.

       We really like Uncle Charlie's reading of the books.  We used them on Sundays and we used them for our lesson time on our Family Home Evening. 

Price:  $10 for each softcover book & CD
**When you use the code FREESHIPAPR15 between March 17 and April 15, 2010, you can receive free standard shipping with the purchase of the 4 book set.**
Check out what other TOS crew members had to say in their reviews here.

*I received these books w/ CD's for free from the publisher because of my participation in the TOS blog review program to read and review.  I am not compensated for my review.

Watch Over Me

By Christa Parrish
Bethany House Publishing

Abbi and her husband, Benjamin, live in a small town. Ben has recently come home from war in Afghanistan where is best friend was killed. Their marriage is on the brink and Benjamin just can not get over the horror of losing his friend and the blame he places on himself for it.

However, when Deputy Benjamin Patil finds an abandoned infant in a field and then Abbi and him become the baby's foster parents will it help him get out of the pain he is living in? Or will it push him over the edge?

There are a couple of different characters in the book, whose stories are laid out~ however they do cross and mingle.

This story does not necessarily have a happy ending~ which is refreshing. I have been reading many books over the last 6 months or so and 99% of them have fictional happy endings.

However I was disappointed that the author did not dive deeper in to her characters. I got bits and pieces of information about Abbi and Ben, but did not know why Abbi was a vegan, had bulimia, and had an emotionless childhood with her parents. I needed to know more.

My favorite character was Matthew, I would have loved to find out his ending and where is life went past the end of this book.

 Price $13.99
To purchase go to Bethany House Publishing.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to read and review.  I am not compensated nor am I required to post a positive review.  This review expresses my own opinions.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Leaving Yesterday

by Kathryn Cushman
Bethany House Publishing

It all starts when Alisa Stewart looked up and saw a police officer pull up to her house.  She just knows that her remaining son Kurt,  is dead, just like his brother.  But when the officer starts questioning her about her son Kurt she realizes his life of drug addiction has not claimed his life~yet.  Kurt is wanted for for questioning in a murder of a local drug dealer.  A few weeks later her son calls her from a rehab center where he has decided to change his life for good.

However for Alisa that is the only bright thing in her life.  Alisa and her husband are separated and then she makes a decision that may change not only her life forever but also Kurt, her husband, and their 10 year old daughter.

This book is different from any other book I have ever read.  I am still trying to decide if I like it or not.  I do not agree with what Alisa did and was appalled she did what she did.  As a mother I would have taken a different road and made different choices.  The writing is good and I wanted to keep reading it until I found out what happened to Alisa and her family.

 *I was sent a FREE copy of this book to read and review from the publisher.  I am not compensated and am not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

White Picket Fences

by Susan Meissner
Random House Publishing

White Picket Fences carries us through a family that to everyone looks perfect.  As we all know there is no perfect family.  This perfect family has many secrets.   
 This well written book entwines the reality of the holocaust perfectly with modern day life.  The stories the older men tell are wonderful an thought provoking.  The characters are well rounded as well.

*I was sent a free copy of this book to read and review from the publisher.  I am not required to post a positive review.

The Noticer

by Andy Andrews
Thomas Nelson Publishing

My friend Janet (Simply Schooling Mom) read and reviewed this book several months ago (to read her review go here).  I kept looking to see if Thomas Nelson had the book available to review for a long time.  They finally had it up again to review and I requested to review it.

I am so glad I did.  Janet was right when she said it was a must read. The Noticer is a life changing book.  The story follows a man, Jones, who seems to show up when people are in need.  A whole town is eventually affected by this man.  He is able to help people gain perspective of their life when their life is in turmoil.
  I certainly do not want to give away the purpose of the book, but I do want you to have a desire to read it, so not much more about the plot.

I would like my teen to read this, I think it might even help him gain a little perspective too!

*I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of their Book Sneeze program.  I am not compensated and am not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Do I Love Thee

by Nancy Moser
Bethany House Publishing

        How Do I Love Thee is a historical fiction work bout Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning and the love they shared. I have read many poems by both poets over the years, but I never knew the isolated life Elizabeth led.  Her tyrannical father, whom she loved, allowed none of his children to marry.  Elizabeth stayed in her room for most of her adult life because of an undiagnosed illness.  I did find this book a tad boring and lifeless.  In my opinion, Elizabeth suffered from weakness because she did not get out.  Once she started getting outside and eating healthy food her condition improved.  This was one book I started to read several months ago and could not get into.  This time I read it because I needed to write my review.  It took me several days to read (very unlike me~I usually devour books in a day or so).  

*I received this book for free from the publisher in order to read and write a review.