Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Messy Beautiful Love

Messy Beautiful Love
Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages
Darlene Schacht
Love isn’t always pretty. It can be messy, stressful, and heartbreaking. But God can clean up the messes you’ve made and turn your marriage into the beautiful thing He designed it to be.

The author, well known for her blog Time-Warp Wife, has written from the heart to bring wives a message of hope. She shares candidly of her own experiences and failures, but also of her triumphs and faith. The style of writing is like sitting down with a friend or mentor. It’s honest, funny, convicting, and inspiring. I loved the stories she shared about her own family. It made the points more real for me. Each chapter focuses on a common issue that marriages have. The scripture and personal aspects make the topics easier to grasp and relate to. Even though I don’t struggle with some of the points she made, I was able to take a lot from the book and would highly recommend this book. 

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Treasured Bride Collection

The Treasured Bride Collection:
Three Timeless Romances from a Beloved Author
Grace Livingston Hill
1st story - Miss Marilla is a bit embarrassed. She's told everyone she knows that her war hero nephew is coming to visit. She's even enlisted the help of her next door neighbor to help her cook. But then he rudely sends a note saying he won't come. Marilla looks up from reading the note to see a young man in uniform walking down the lane. No one has seen her nephew since he was a young boy. Can she convince this young man to pretend to be her nephew for just one meal?

This was a sweet story. The story definitely had a vintage feel to it, but it was a refreshing change from the contemporary stories I've been reading. It was romantic and heartwarming.

 2nd story - Effie hasn't ever thought about being girly. She knows that she enjoys riding her bike at top speed and playing baseball. But when she overhears some girls cruelly discussing her behind the hedge she is devastated. What happens as a result sets event in motion that will change the very course of her life.

This was a nice story with a message of salvation woven throughout. But the slight romance that was added felt off and the story ended rather abruptly with no build up. This was my least favorite.

3rd story - Chris is living the life most young men dream of. His father is a wealthy, respected banker. He is the proud owner of a expensive new car. He'll be taking that new car back to college with him in a few days. But someone steals from the bank and in the process, his family looses everything. When Chris is at his lowest point, he learns who his true friends really are.

I enjoyed this story. It was a bit unrealistic at times, but in a sweet way. This story was also very vintage and reminded me a lot of a George MacDonald book.

I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Kids Guide to the 50 States

Kids Guide to the 50 States
 Barbour Publishing
Fun, informative, fascinating and amazing are all words that come to mind when describing this book. Beginning with the first state to join the United States the reader is taken on an informative journey through our country from a Christian perspective. Each page is packed with facts that you might not know about each state. It lists the usual suspects of the state flower, bird, a bits of history. But it also mentions a Christian connection and a weird fact about the state. These are the fun things that give this book a fun edge to the other books out there.

I'm not normally one to gush about a book. It's not my style. But this book is so well laid out and fun to read. Both of my kids (ages 5 and 8) loved looking at the pictures and discussing what everything they'd read. It's a wonderful resource for every family, but especially a family like ours that loves to travel. This would make an excellent addition to any classroom. I'm going to be giving a copy to the Christian school that my children attend.
I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Best Party Book Ever!

Best Party Book Ever!
From Invites to Overnights and Everything in Between
Do you want your friends to beg to come to your parties? Want to have the very best birthday party? Check out this fun and information packed book about 15 different parties for girls. Girls dream of having the party everyone talks about for months. This book can make it happen. Filled with tips, ideas, recipes, and social niceties, it's the perfect way to get started on that perfect party.

I loved the presentation and focus on faith. The book really covers all of the basics. Every day should be special and this book shows how the little things can be celebrated along with the extra special ones. I'm sure that all of this can be found on Pinterest. But it's really nice to have everything right here at your finger tips. Young girls will love pouring over the pages to get ideas. Parents will love the frugal tips and party manners that are mentioned. It's a cute little book that I'll be keeping for my daughter when she's a bit older.

I received this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Coloring Animal Mandalas

Coloring Animal Mandalas
Wendy Piersall

Beautiful, intricate circles called mandalas fill each page.Mandalas have been used for meditation and relaxation for thousands of years. The act of coloring them is intended to help the individual relax and focus. Each page has a detailed animal or animals such as the one shown on the cover.

I had no idea what a mandalas was previous to picking up this book. I was in awe as soon as
I opened the first page. The detail is outstanding. My kids were begging to let them color a page. But I think I'm going to be selfish and keep the book for myself. I'm really looking forward to coloring in the pages. I can definitely see why it's used as a relaxation technique. This would make a perfect gift for any of your friends or family.

I received this book free of charge from Ulysses Press in exchange for my honest review.

The Desire

The Desire
The Restoration Series #3
Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley
 Michelle and her husband Allan have been trying to get pregnant for over a year. Michelle feels the pain of this more than her husband. It has become almost an obsession. But Allan seems wrapped up in his mission work and just isn't seeing Michelle's grief. The main part of the story is about their journey towards parenthood. But it also includes members of their family as well, as it ties up parts from a previous book and sets up the next book in the series.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The emotions of the characters felt real. The decisions and feeling of family ties was very authentic. One of my favorite parts was the description of the main character's marriage. I could definitely see influences of Smalley. The overall story was heartwarming, but also convicting in its subtle message. While it was definitely not the first book in the series, I didn't feel lost. But I would recommend starting from the beginning. The series sounds interesting and thought provoking. The authors touch on real-life issues that families today seem to be facing.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Surviving Henry

Surviving Henry
Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe
Erin Taylor Young
Fond memories of a childhood boxer prompted the author to get a boxer for her young boys. What happened next is worthy of a book. Henry wasn't a typical boxer. He wasn't even a typical dog. Through all of the experiences and catastrophes that happen with Henry she learns the true meaning of unconditional love.

The author took what could have been just another dog story and injected humor and lessons on unconditional love. It was well written, funny, and endearing. I found myself laughing quite a few times and grimacing in sympathy as well. This is a fun little book that adults and children will both enjoy.

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.