Tuesday, October 9, 2018

"When Your Kid is Hurting" by Kevin Leman -- Book Review

About the Book 

Children today live in an unpredictable, disruptive, and often violent world. Many of them live in two different homes with different sets of expectations. They face bullying at school and online. They hear news of school shootings, and racially or religiously motivated violence. They may have lost a friend or a loved one. 

As parents, the impulse to protect our children is strong, but that very protection can end up handicapping them for life. Rather than seek to save them from the hard things, parents must teach their kids how to cope with and rise above their problems. In one of his most important books to date, internationally known psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman shows parents how to

- be good listeners 
- tell the truth, even when it's difficult
- find balance between being protective and being overprotective
- approach hurt and injustice as a learning experience rather than fostering a victim mentality
- and much more

Whether your child is dealing with a difficult family situation, bullies, the loss of friends, the death of a loved one, discrimination, abuse, a teen pregnancy, or even just trying to make sense of what they see in the news, this compassionate and practical book will help parents equip them to process, learn from, and rise above their situation.


My Thoughts

As my kids get older, different situations come up that aren't as easy to deal with as when they were little. Reading the information about this book, I thought it sounded like it would be helpful. While there was things I did find that were helpful, I was assuming it would be a Christian book since it was from a Christian publisher. I was disappointed that it was written for the general public. There is even an "Especially for Parents of Faith" section that upholds the fact that it isn't a Christian book. I didn't agree with some of the things Dr. Leman talked about. For instance, he talks about kids having "gender identity issues" and acts like it is perfectly normal for them to be LGBTQ. At another point, he says that a family who has a "no dating until you are 16" rule as being "strict". I think it would be more helpful for Christian parents to have advice that is actually Christian-oriented advice.



"When Your Kid is Hurting" is available in hardcover:
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 4, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800723066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723064
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.4 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 9193 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 4, 2018)
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07D6XMCJP

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was given for my review.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

"A Tale of Two Hearts" by Michelle Griep - Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

A Tale of Two Hearts cover
Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: September 1, 2018
Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.
William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.
William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
Can two hearts survive such a deception?
My Thoughts

"A Tale of Two Hearts" is the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series, but it is able to be read alone and still make sense. I enjoyed this book. I could picture the settings and could envision myself there. I found the book engaging and kept me wanting to read. I liked Mina and Will and rooted for them to find their happily ever after. The quotes at the beginnings of the chapters were fun. The setting was interesting and made me want to look more into life in that time period. I look forward to reading more books from Michelle Griep.

About the Author

Headshot Michelle GRIEPMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

Guest Post from Michelle

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS FOODS

So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?
In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.
Victorian Oyster Stew
Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.
Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.
Drinking Chocolate
What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.
And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruit cake.
Christmas Pudding
Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.
If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.

Blog Stops

Creating RomanceOctober 2
The Avid ReaderOctober 2
Genesis 5020October 3
The Power of WordsOctober 3
Just CommonlyOctober 3
Baker KellaOctober 3
Among the ReadsOctober 4
Fiction AficionadoOctober 4
Godly Book ReviewsOctober 4
Inklings and Notions , October 4
MultifariousOctober 6
Texas Book-aholicOctober 6
RemembrancyOctober 7
Splashes of Joy , October 7
Back Porch ReadsOctober 8
A Reader’s BrainOctober 8
Simple Harvest ReadsOctober 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, October 9
Carpe DiemOctober 9
Britt Reads FictionOctober 10
Luv’N Lambert LifeOctober 10
By The BookOctober 11
Book by BookOctober 11
BigreadersiteOctober 11
More Of HimOctober 12
Pause for TalesOctober 12
With a Joyful NoiseOctober 12
Have A Wonderful Day , October 12
Bibliophile ReviewsOctober 13
Vicky SluiterOctober 14
Daysong Reflections , October 14
Henry HappensOctober 15
All-of-a-kind MomOctober 15

Giveaway

cd62edc0-0105-4e08-a6e7-50bcf86b86ca
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ef/a-tale-of-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

"A Tale of Two Hearts" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683222598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683222590
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 1049 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 15, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07D46MW97

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Month in Review - September





  • Wrote 0 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 4 crosses
  • Sewed 1 sock monkeys  
  • Knit 0 hats
  • Exercised 23 days
  • Read in the Bible 30 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Saturday, September 29, 2018

    "The Girl on the Tombstone" by Betty Ruth Weatherby -- Book Review


    About the Book

    Wilhelmina Sukovich is curious and determined to have her own By Line in the Sacramento Bee. Aged out at the Children’s Home Society orphanage, she attends night school and works herself up in the newspaper hierarchy. Her first big break comes as an assignment takes her to the small mountain town of San Andreas in the Gold Country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She searches out her father’s gravesite only to mysteriously be drawn to the artistry of an ancient tombstone nearby, Eliza Osbourne, 1868. Formidable ranchers and a widow befriend her in her quest to fulfill her assignment for school children and search for Eliza’s roots. World War II veteran, Charles, rescues Will from her misadventures. Who is he and why is he such a recluse? Why has he taken it upon himself to see she is safe?

    My Thoughts
    The write up about this book sounded intriguing, but I had a hard time reading it. It didn't flow or feel smooth to me. I did not jive with the author's style of writing. This is not to say that all people will feel the same way. It was just how it was for me. Not everyone likes the same things as me. I had to put the book down for awhile and come back to it. I think that helped. The majority of the book is told in first person point of view of the main character, Will Sukovich, but it occasionally slipped into third person in the same paragraph. (There were sections that were supposed to be in third person, also). I wanted to find out the story behind who the "girl on the tombstone" was and for Will to make a connection to her past.

    About the Author 
    Miss Weatherby holds a BA from California State University, Stanislaus. She earned her teacher’s credentials from Chapman University, as well as a cross-cultural language and academic development certificate from Sacramento State University.

    She is an active member of Sierra Baptist Church, in Pioneer, California and travels extensively.

    Betty Ruth Weatherby currently lives with her dog, Buttons, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Visit on facebook.


    "The Girl on the Tombstone" is available in paperback:

    • Paperback: 274 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (December 17, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1981831738
    • ISBN-13: 978-1981831739
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:

    • File Size: 3068 KB
    • Print Length: 249 pages
    • Publication Date: April 19, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07CJDVB79


    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was given for my review.

    Sunday, September 23, 2018

    "Shadows from the Past" by Ashley Dawn - Book Review


    About the Book
    “…It is the price you pay for choosing to be a cop. Your brother’s life…”

    Those words haunt her dreams, and her waking moments. LAPD officer, Aurora Kavvan cannot rest until she finds her brothers killer. Digging into the past always brings back unpleasant things: memories, guilt…the hit man. Now she is in a race against time to find the murderer before he finds her.

    “Kill her. I don’t care how, and I don’t care where, but I want her dead now!”

    Someone was trying to kill his dead partner’s sister. FBI agent, Jordan Reiley will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves. Even if it means going against her wishes; putting himself between her and the man who murdered her brother.

    Will God keep them alive long enough for them to find the truth?

    My Thoughts

    I had never heard of Ashley Dawn before, but the book blurb sounded intriguing. I found the book to be action packed and didn't figure out the mystery ahead of time. There were some things that bugged me about the book, however. It would jump from one person's point of view to another from one paragraph to another. It was difficult at times to know who we were following at the moment. There were also grammar issues that wouldn't have gotten caught by a spell checker since they were correctly spelled, just not the right word for the circumstance, such as: innocents for innocence, barley for barely, they're for their, boarder for border, isle for aisle. It was distracting. I do look forward to reading the other books in the series. 

    About the Author  Ashley Dawn Author Pic.jpg

    Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent's office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant.
    Ashley has been writing professionally for the past twelve years and has three published books. Her Shadows Series include Shadows From The Past, Shadows of Suspicion, Shadows of Pain, and Shadows of Deception. She is currently working on multiple projects including the fifth in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled “Shadows in Black and White” and also a standalone suspense titled ‘One of Their Own’. She and her family make their home in Texas.


    "Shadows from the Past" is available in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 697 KB
    • Print Length: 284 pages
    • Publication Date: November 27, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01MZYUOFP

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

    Thursday, September 20, 2018

    "The Christmas Prayer" by Wanda E. Brunstetter --Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Cover_ChristmasPrayer
    Book Title: The Christmas Prayer
    Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
    Genre: Historical Christmas Romance
    Release date: September, 2018
    Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
    Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
    Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
    My Thoughts
    "The Christmas Prayer" is a short book, but it was still enjoyable and well written. I was able to read it in one afternoon. The book is told primarily from the points of view of Cynthia Cooper, Cole Edwards, and Jack Simpson, but there are short parts from the points of view of Ginny Edwards and Mabel Cooper also. Their life on the trail is not spelled out in great detail, but we do get glimpses of the trials they face, mostly from Cynthia's diary entries. One thing I was a little disappointed in was that we don't see the characters fall in love, they just suddenly are. I know it would take away the surprise of what happens in the end and who Cynthia ends up marrying, but I like getting to see the budding love grow. 

    About the Author

    AuthorPhoto_Wanda BrunstetterNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
    Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
    When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
    To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
    Guest Post from Wanda
    A cross-country journey in 1850 leads to high mountain danger—and romance.
    Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
    Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
    Find out in The Christmas Prayer from NY Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
    Try this Exclusive Bonus Recipe Found Inside the Book!
    Cynthia’s Fried Apples
    Instructions:
    Without peeling, quarter as many tart apples as you would like. Lay apples close together, skin side down, in frying pan with salt pork fat or butter. Cover until well steamed then uncover and brown both sides, turning and watching closely to prevent burning.

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, September 18
    The Avid Reader, September 18
    The Power of Words, September 18
    Lighthouse Academy, September 18
    Just Commonly, September 19
    Carpe Diem, September 19
    Blossoms and Blessings, September 20
    Britt Reads Fiction, September 20
    Luv’N Lambert Life, September 21
    D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 22
    Lis Loves Reading, September 22
    Babs Book Bistro, September 23
    Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 23
    Janices book reviews, September 23
    Mary Hake, September 24
    Two Points of Interest, September 24
    Inklings and notions, September 25
    Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25
    Girls in White Dresses, September 26
    Book by Book, September 26
    Splashes of Joy, September 27
    The Morning Chapter, September 27
    The Mimosa Blossom, September 28
    Pause for Tales, September 28
    Have A Wonderful Day, September 28
    To Everything A Season, September 29
    Cafinated Reads, September 29
    Bibliophile Reviews, September 29
    Quiet Quilter, September 30
    Texas Book-aholic, October 1
    Bigreadersite, October 1

    Giveaway

    e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af
    To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of The Christmas Prayer with an autographed book plate inside!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d297/the-christmas-prayer-celebration-tour-giveaway

    "The Christmas Prayer" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 176 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1683226577
    • ISBN-13: 978-1683226574
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches


    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1016 KB
    • Print Length: 176 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
    • Publication Date: August 15, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07D46TL8W


    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.