Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen (Book 2, Tales From Ivy Hill series)

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is Julie Klassen's newest release in the  Tales From Ivy Hill series. Julie continues the wonderful story of Ivy Hill and this time shares the story of Miss Rachel Ashford and Mercy Grove.

From the Back Cover:
A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood...somehow. her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she's inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.
Rachel's hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or whom--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

My Thoughts:
I thought this follow up book was just as good as the first in the series, The Innkeeper at Ivy Hill. You can read my review of the first book here. The author has done a great job with the story line. It was hard to put down this book especially with the added mysterious older lady that many have spread rumors about being a witch. The ladies also have romantic interests and the author does a great job at keeping you guess as to whether the ladies will follow their hearts or marry out of duty to their families. This was another well written book that I would highly recommend.

My Rating: ★★★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome by Nancy C. Anderson

With so many marriages having problems and ending in divorce, it is not that uncommon to have been touched by this subject personally or through family, friends and acquaintances. Nancy C. Anderson has walked this road even to the point of having an affair. Nancy repented of her sin and received a second chance to mend the broken relationship with her husband. He was gracious enough to forgive her and choose to work at restoring what was lost between them.  In her book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair-Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage, Nancy shares with readers all that she has learn by experience, and gives valuable advice on how her affair could of been prevented if only some hedges would of been firmly established around her marriage.

Whether you are weathering through this very trial or are counseling others going through a devastating betrayal in their marriage, this is a book that is a great resource to help couples strengthen their marriage by avoiding the pitfalls that can easily snare someone's affections.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this free book from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Troubled Waters (Montana Rescue series book 4) by Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren's next book in the Montana Rescue series has released! And this time, she is focusing on Billionaire Ian Shaw and Sierra's story. These two have created quite the tension between themselves, but can they overcome that to acknowledge how they feel about each other? Find out below why you should pick up this great new series from Susan May Warren.

From the Back Cover:
Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants--except a happy ending. Or at least that's what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. Sierra has solved it, but a promise to the girl to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.
When Sierra needs funds to repair the damaged PEAK chopper, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the leisurely excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and Ian and Sierra find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.
It will take guts for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra's relationship.

My Thoughts:
This book starts off with a bang and continues it's fast paced story line all the way to the end. I love when books are connected through exploring a group of friends or siblings' stories. The Montana Rescue series explores the relationships between a group of friends working on the PEAK rescue team. Each person is invested in their teammates as they risk their lives together rescuing people in Glacier National Park.  This time, Ian Shaw and Sierra take center stage, and their story is another high-riding adventure. These two characters go through quite a change as they finally come to recognize some areas in their lives that need to change. But only God can produce that change in their lives as they surrender to Him. I thought this book was a great read and would definitely recommend this series.

***I received this complimentary book from Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

Do you enjoy reading funny stories with characters who have quirky personalities? Then Jen Turano is the author for you! Her characters are quick-witted and their stories are fun to follow. Her newest novel, Out of the Ordinary, is the second book in the series called, Apart From the Crowd. In the first novel in the series, Behind the Scenes, the author introduces us to a group of women who are called wallflowers. Society has overlooked these ladies, and has completely underestimated their valuable potential. The first book is the story of Miss Permilia Griswold. In this next book, we find the story of Miss Gertrude Cadwalader.

From the Back Cover:
Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader's eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She find herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.
Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can't help coming to his friend's defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

My Thoughts:
I thought Jen wrote another fabulous book. She is a funny and talented writer, and her characters make me smile. I enjoy it when an author develops a group of friends and then writes each of their stories. There is something comforting about reading a book with familiar characters. This particular story surprised me with it's twists and turns in the plot. Gertrude's companion is quite the character and she continually keeps the story interesting. She is a great addition to the story line. I would definitely recommend this series. It's fun, light reading that you are sure to enjoy.

Make sure to head over to Jen's website to see more about her book. And make sure to also check out Jen's novella, At Your Request, she wrote for this series that precedes these first two books. I'm looking forward to reading her next book, Caught By Surprise, when it's released in July 2018. This novel will be the story of Miss Temperance Flowerdew.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this free book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

CSB Notetaking Bible by Holman Bible Publishers

The new CBS (Christian Standard Bible) Notetaking Bible is now available through B&H Publishing. I've been excited about seeing all the new journaling Bibles available now. In years past, I've written in my Bible margin but find the space cannot hold very much information. Now, with these extra columns on the sides of the Scriptures, I'll be able to write much more.

If you're not familiar with the CSB translation, the publishing company describes this translation as a "...highly readable, highly reliable text... The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others."

This Bible has a beautiful sage cloth overboard cover that has smyth-sewn binding. The binding definitely makes the Bible feel sturdy and durable. The text is single-column and the margins are 1.75 inches for taking notes. The paper is not super-thin making it better for taking notes. Also included is a One-year Bible plan, concordance and full-color maps located in the back of the Bible. If you're looking for a new Bible, consider picking up the new Notetaking Bible to use in your study of the Scriptures this year.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this Bible for free from B&H Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Imperfect Justice (Book 2, Hidden Justice series) by Cara Putman

Are you into the thriller, romantic suspense genre? Cara Putman has recently released her latest novel in the Hidden Justice series called Imperfect Justice. This novel is one you'll definitely want to check out. Read below to find out why!

From the Back Cover:
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emile's belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister--right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene's letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene's surviving daughter, Emilie and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl--and find a future for themselves in the process?

My Thoughts:
I thought this novel was well written and definitely lives up to its genre of suspenseful thriller. It was a story I couldn't put down, but one that had me tense with anticipation as to what would happen next. I liked how Cara's characters are a group of friends, and how they each play a part in the other's lives. It's fun to read about characters in the beginning of a series and see them show up in the subsequent novels. It makes you feel a little familiar with the story even though you are reading a new book. I will say that even though I have not read the first book in this series, it did not hinder me from beginning with the second book. You can tell there is a story with Andrew and Hayden, but not knowing that story didn't interfere with me enjoying this novel. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves mystery and suspense. So make sure to pick this one up the next time you're looking for a new book to read!

My Rating: ★★★★
Make sure to take a look at Cara's Website here and also check out her Pinterest page about Imperfect Justice, including pictures of Emilie and Reid.

***I received this complimentary book from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Little Iffy Learns to Fly by Aaron Zenz

Are you looking for a fun, new book for a young child in your life?  I am so excited to be a part of a blog tour for Little Iffy Learns to Fly by Aaron Zenz. This book was just released in October and is great for kids ages 1-5 years old.

Little Iffy is a fun, sweet character who happens to be a griffin who is afraid to fly. His friends are concerned, but Little Iffy is content to stay down on the ground. Iffy's friend, Eggs Pegasus, is determined to help Iffy and has devised a plan. But will Eggs' plan work?

I thought the book was great, and enjoyed looking at all of the beautiful art that Aaron has drawn. The illustrations will definitely keep a little one's attention.  My two boys, ages 3 and 5, thoroughly enjoyed reading this story with me. In fact, my three year old even thought that he would try flying like Little Iffy and Eggs. This was definitely worth videoing.

I loved how the story naturally leads into some great questions you can have with your children.  Little Iffy struggles with being scared of trying something new, and I think that all kids can relate to that in some way. It's a great story to show that it's normal to be afraid of trying new things, but we shouldn't let that keep us from trying. I also loved how Little Iffy's friends are all around him encouraging him to try something new. It's a good example of how friends can stick together and support one another.

If you're looking for a great, new book to add to your home library, make sure to pick up Little Iffy Learns to Fly to enjoy with your kids.

My Rating: ★★★★★

Now, make sure to hop over to these other blogs to find out what they are saying about Little Iffy too!

Mile High Reading:
Seven Impossible Things:
100 Scope Notes:
Librarian's Quest:
Kids Talk Kid Lit  :
Nerdy Book Club  :
Picturebooking Podcast  :

***I received this complimentary book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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