Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: "An April Bride" by Lenora Worth

I was once again able to  review a story in the "Year of Weddings Novella" series through BookLook Bloggers.  This month was "An April Bride" by Lenora Worth.

Stella Carson has known Marshall Henderson since they were very young.  She knows that he is the only man she will ever love, but when he suffers a head injury in an IED explosion leaving him with PTSD, she isn't sure the man she loves is the man who returns only 4 weeks before their wedding. 

Marshall struggles to fit into the life he had before he left to serve in the Army.  He doesn't want to hurt Stella, but his head injuries have left him as a shell of himself.  Can he find the missing pieces in time for their wedding to go forward?

I enjoyed reading "An April Bride".  It is nice to have stories that are clean and inspirational.  Stella
and Marshall never stopped trusting God to lead them and help them.  Being a novella, the story moves quickly, but since they are already engaged, it doesn't have to pack as much in as it would if they had just met.  I enjoy being able to sit down with a story and in less than 2 hours be done.  There were times that I wondered if Stella and Marshall were going to be able to make it through the difficulties. But knowing that the tagline of the Year of Weddings Novella series is "A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed." and it is called "An April Bride" I also knew that they were going to have a happily ever after, also! 

You can buy "An April Bride" on for $3.79.

  • File Size: 1467 KB
  • Print Length: 102 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DL10IHA

  • I received a free eBook copy of "An April Bride" in order for me to read it and give my honest review from BookLookbloggers.

    Monday, April 28, 2014

    Book Review: Lucy's Mansion by Deanne Durrett

    I was given a free eBook copy of "Lucy's Mansion" by the author in order for me to write a review.  "Lucy's Mansion" is the 2nd book in the "Ordinary Days in Myrtle Hill" series and starts where "The Rogue Trust" leaves off.

    I did not read "The Rogue Trust" prior to reading "Lucy's Mansion", but I feel that Deanne Durrett did a good job of recapping the events that took place in the first book of the series so you didn't feel totally lost while reading "Lucy's Mansion".  It probably would be better to read the 1st book first, but it wasn't that bad not having read it first, either!

    Becca McGee is just an ordinary woman, a high school history teacher, raising her 12 year old daughter alone after the death of her husband.  That is until she becomes the benefactor of a trust (in the book "The Rogue Trust") The attraction with lawyer J.T. Harrison that started during "The Rogue Trust" continues to build and Becca wants to act on her feelings but is held back by her daughter.  Amy K keeps saying that second marriages are bad for kids.

    J.T. Harrison wants to move forward with Becca, but is afraid of another broken heart. He needs to win Amy K over, but another man is also wooing Becca.  Is he too late to win her heart?

    While dealing with their feelings for each other, they also face the difficulties that face the woman's shelter which is being housed in Lucy's Mansion.  Will they be able to get around the zoning restrictions and keep the women in their new home?

    "Lucy's Mansion" is a good Christian novel without profanity or any physical "liaisons" other than holding hands, hugging, and kissing.  Other than Amy K, I don't recall ever being told what Becca or J.T. looked like, which made it hard for me to imagine them.  The story was written well (other than the typos I found, which are fairly easy to fix in an eBook format) but it wasn't "gelling" with me as much as some books do.  I'm not really sure why, but I didn't feel compelled to sit and read the book in one sitting as I do with some books.  It wasn't like I didn't want to *not* finish the book, though, as it was a nice story with believable characters. One thing that made me wonder was: what was up with the daughter's name?  Amy K ?  Is K her middle initial?  Why was it there? This may have been covered in the 1st book, but I did find is sort of odd.

    "Lucy's Mansion" is available on for $2.99.

    • File Size: 1716 KB
    • Print Length: 208 pages
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00H4FLIBE

    UPDATE:  The author contacted me and told me this:  "You are right, Amy K's name is explained in Rogue Trust and Becca and J.T. are described there, too. It's hard to know how much to include from the first book when writing the second."

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    Easter 2014

    Easter baskets

     Easter Egg Hunt:  This is the first we ever had it outside!

    Dyeing Eggs:

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Book Review: "Whatever You Grow Up to Be" by Karen Kingsbury

    I received a free copy of "Whatever You Grow Up to Be" by Karen Kingsbury from Zondervan in order for me to do a review as part of the Z Blog Squad.

    "Whatever You Grow Up to Be" follows a boy from birth through having a child of his own and how no matter what he may choose to do, his mother will love him and support him.  

    The illustrations fill the pages and are bright and cheerful cartoon type characters.  They coordinate really well with the wording of the story.  I really liked how each "stage" in the book is accompanied by a Bible verse.  

    This book is written to show the bond between a mother and her son (there is a similar book for girls and their dads), but I read it to all 4 of my kids (equally boys and girls) and they all enjoyed it.  They could extrapolate the love for a mother to her daughters as well.  I actually got choked up a couple times while reading the book thinking of the stages my kids hadn't reached yet!  

    I think "Whatever You Grow Up to Be" is a beautiful book worth being on bookshelves wherever there are small children!

    "Whatever You Grow Up to Be" is available from Amazon for $11.51 in hardcover form.

    • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
    • Hardcover: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Zonderkidz; New edition edition (February 25, 2014)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0310716462
    • ISBN-13: 978-0310716464
    • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches

    Book Review: "101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation"

    I received a free copy of "101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation" illustrated by Dan Andreasen from Zondervan in order for me to review it as part of the  ZonderKidz Z Blog Squad. 

    The book has a nice sturdy cover with glossy pages.  It takes stories from the Bible and tells them in a child friendly and easy to understand way.  Each is no longer than a page in length and each is accompanied by an illustration.  Dan Andreasen's pictures look like watercolor paintings and enhance the stories.

    This book would be wonderful to read to younger kids or for elementary students to read for themselves.  There is a presentation page for it to be used as a gift and I think that would be a wonderful thing to give to a child.

    As soon as the book came in the mail, my 8 year old daughter grabbed it and read it straight through!  She wanted to write her own review, which is as follows:

    I  read  101  bible  stories  from  creation  to  revelation.  Here  are  some  stories  from  the  book.  I  will  tell my  favorite  story  first.  My  favorite  stories  are  Daniel  and  the  lions, Queen  Esther, Mary  visits  Elizabeth, An  angel's  visits, Joseph's  dream, Wise  men  from  the  east, Jesus  visits  his  father's  house, Tempted  in  the  wilderness, Come  follow  me, The  story  of  seeds, A  frightening  storm, He  walks  on  water, The  good  Samaritan, Mary   and  Martha, A  lost  lamb, A  widow's  gift, The  good  shepherd, Mary's  gift, The  Lord's  supper, Pilate  and  Herod, A  big  catch  of  fish, Paul's  shipwreck  Adventure,  The  Holy  City, Jesus  is  coming  back! (You  should  really  read  it  sometime,  it's  a  really,  great  book!) The  very  first  book  is  called, Let  there  be  light!  The  last  is  called, Jesus  is  coming  back! The  first  in  the  new  testament  is, An  angel's  visit! The  last  in  the  old  testament  is, Jonah  and  the  big  fish. Mary  visits  Elizabeth  is  in  the  middle  book.

    "101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation" is available on Amazon for $9.35

    Publish DateFeb 4, 2014
    Physical Length8.25
    Physical Width6.25

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Gemini Brothers Concert 2014

    Emily got to be a part of the Gemini Brothers concert again now that she's actually in 2nd grade.  This year, we decided to bring all the kids.  Grandpa and Grandma decided to come, too.


    Saturday a thunderstorm came through with high winds and hail.  Normally we just get pea sized hail that doesn't last very long.  This time, however, the hail was about marble sized and lasted quite awhile.  Our patio tables were blowing around so I ran out to pull them in.

    That's hail!  And we actually got more than this!
    Video of the hail:

    This is some of the damage:

    Smashed tulips

    Patio table didn't fair too well

    Our Elm tree lost another branch

    Neighbor's tree that pulled down his power line and our Charter Cable line, which left us without internet, phone or TV for 69 hours.

    Neighbor's house

    Down the street from us