Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain



EgmontUSA (November 23, 2010) 400 pages

Description:(from swap.com)
This paranormal teen romance centers around a strange and terrible event in the Divine family history. Grace's brother, Jude, was discovered passed out in a pool of blood the very same night that his best friend, Daniel, went away. Three years later, and Daniel has come back, leaving Grace both confused and curious. When she discovers the horrifying truth, Grace has to make a decision that will risk everything. Filled with religious overtones and page-turning events, there's much to fascinate readers here.

My Review:
This was an awesome book!! I highly suggest that you DO NOT read reviews of this until you read it for yourself.
I’m saying that before you read my review, but I will be very vague. ;) You really have no clue what in the world is going on until close to the end, so it’s great getting to guess. I also suggest you make sure you start this book on a day you have no plans, because it’s extremely hard to put down!! Sorry for the vague review, but the less you know about this book going into it, the more fun you’ll have reading it and I really think you’ll like it better. Of course, I very much recommend this book. The story is pretty well centered around a Christian school and family, so that kept things pretty clean. It’s almost like an edgy Christian paranormal. But, if you don’t like Christian books, you’ll still like this one.

Parental Concerns:
This book was relatively clean. I’m putting it on my clean list, but PLEASE use that label with CAUTION! This is one that really depends on how strict you are with the clean factor. There are a few conversations with the “h” word and the “d” word, but for the most part the cussing is covered up with either being cut off by someone or simply saying someone cursed. There is minor violence. There’s an attempted rape, but it is in no way descriptive. There’s also the mention of child abuse, which is never minor, but as far as detail, there’s really none. I’ve seen worse in some of the “Christian” books I’ve read. So, overall, in completely my opinion, I’d say it’s 90% clean.

*****Update: I changed this to "on the fence." Even though I felt it was mostly clean, I couldn't in good conscience recommend it as clean. I like the books with that label to not have any worries going on. I tried to find a review of this book at some of the other "clean read" sites I know of, but couldn't find it anywhere. I still think it would very much be rated PG, but please use your own judgement. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Double Shot by Erynn Mangum



NavPress; 1 edition (October 29, 2010) 288 pages

Description: (back cover)
Now that Maya Davis is engaged to her longtime friend and sweetheart, Jack, there should be no more worrying about the future, no more questioning God. Everything should be perfect, right? Actually, it’s just the opposite: Things are complicated. Where are they going to live? What kind of wedding do they want?

And when Jack is offered a once-in-a-lifetime job in Seattle, things begin to unravel even more. Can Maya trust that God is in control even when things seem to be a disastrous mess?

My Review:
Cons
-I completely didn’t expect there to be a NICU baby in this book! Needless to say, when the sister in law in the book has to have an emergency c-section @ 28 weeks because the baby is distressed, I was quickly brought back to the day my son was born. I can’t think about that day without crying! That’s pretty much where the similarities ended, though. And from a momma with 3 ½ months NICU “experience“, several things were very questionable to me. My husband reminded me that the NICU we used may have been much stricter than others. Also, I know that no two NICU experiences are the same. And by no means do I think I’m a professional just because of my “experience.” ;) Even so, it was all very distracting from the story for me. Thankfully, most of you won’t have that issue reading this book!

-I was never convinced of any kind of love(chemistry) between Jack and Maya. Their relationship seemed a bit awkward to me. And I would never allow the love of my life to “knucklehead” me!! But we’re all different, and that’s exactly why this same point will show up on my pros list.

Pros
-The characters are real. They are just normal people struggling with finances, insecurities, and decisions. They are imperfect just like the rest of us. Jack works at a zoo, and Maya works at a coffee shop, even though she has an English degree. Real life!

-As I mentioned earlier about Jack and Maya’s relationship, I wasn’t convinced. On the other hand, I love that their relationship shows us all that true couples aren’t all lovey-dovey, knight in shining armor romances. Actually, none are, at least not for very long. It takes hard work to stay in love. For that reason, this makes a great book for especially younger readers, because way too often we read romance books and then have unfair and unrealistic expectations from our mate.

-There are good lessons in this story. Compromise is a major lesson. And the characters are good role models. They are saving themselves for marriage and premarital sex is not even a choice for them. There’s kissing, but the scenes are not detailed in the least bit!! And I’ll point out quickly that in the 2nd book, they never kiss until they are engaged. They pray before EVERY meal. They do Bible studies. I don’t necessarily agree with the method of worshipping in this book, but without more details, I can’t say for sure, so I won’t go into details on that. Again, I especially think this is a great book for younger readers!!

All that said, I did greatly enjoy this book. It was wonderful to jump back into the world of Maya (Nutkin) and Jack. And I surprised myself at how quick I read it. I hate to see it end, especially since the ending does leave you hanging! Erynn Mangum is yet another author that I will keep an eye on. I love her style of writing. I’ve only read two of her books so far, and even though this one contained a very serious subject for me, her books are still lots of fun to read. I definitely recommend them!!

*I received this book for review from Navpress. This is my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Movie Review: Anne of Avonlea

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

As part of the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge, my second review of the Anne of Avonlea, the movie.




My Review:
It’s amazing to me how much the characters, especially Anne and Gilbert looks SOOOOO much more grown up in the two years between the 1st and 2nd movies. I definitely prefer Anne’s character a bit more mature. So, I like the movie Anne of Avonlea the best. From what I could tell when the movie came on(from the credits), this movie is based on books 2, 3, and 4 of the Anne series. From the reviews that I’ve read, I remember that Anne: The Continuing Story does NOT follow the books at all, so I really hate to hear that!! For that reason, I’m not going to rush out to watch it any time soon. I would like to read the books first and then I’ll probably watch it, just out of curiosity.

Like I mentioned in my review of Anne of Green Gables, I can’t get over the nature in the movie. I still enjoyed the crickets, or bullfrogs in the background. It seems like movies today cut out all that kind of noise. I may just not be paying attention. And I still loved the scenery! I greatly enjoyed watching the Anne movies for the first time, and they have definitely won a place in my heart!

I thought this was interesting, by the way. When I was looking for the dates of the movies on internet movie database, I saw this: Jonathan Crombie‘s (plays Gilbert Blythe in the Anne movies) mother’s name was Shirley Ann. I just thought that was neat, considering Anne Shirley was Anne‘s name. :)

My review of the book Anne of Green Gables just won’t make it in time for the challenge, so I’m going to go ahead and knock out my last two review books. Time just didn’t cooperate like I thought it would, so I just can’t get it read in time. Time rarely cooperates like we think it might, I guess, though. :) I’m still going to read Anne of Green Gables, and I’m really looking forward to it!! Who knows. I might even decide to read them all the way through, and then start the Emily series for next year’s challenge. We’ll see what time permits.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher




Revell (January 1, 2011) 298 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.
Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past.

My Review:
I really liked Suzanne’s The Waiting, but I liked The Search 10 times better!! This book was so fun to read. I absolutely loved reading about Bertha’s character. She was just hilarious, and I laughed many times at some of her comments. I still haven’t read The Choice yet, but I know some of the characters from the 2nd book were in the 3rd. I don’t know about the characters in the 1st book.

This book made me want to cook! So as I write this review, there’s a chocolate cobbler fresh out of the oven. :) (By the way, there’s no cobblers in this book, but I’m not the best pie maker). Roses are one of my all-time favorite flowers, but unfortunately I don’t really know how to grow them that well. I have 3 bushes in my yard, but this book has also encouraged me to do some more research on how to take care of roses, so I can fulfill my dream of a yard full of roses. And I so wish I could taste some of Bertha’s Rose Jam!! I could just imagine the smell of the rose water as she cooked it, too. The Search was just an all-around lovely book to get lost in!

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that surprised me so much. Most books are very predictable and I don’t mind that one bit, but The Search contained a few twists and turns I NEVER would have expected. At one point I was just absolutely shocked at something that happens.

I definitely recommend The Search, and I will remain on the lookout for more from Suzanne. I’m really hoping for at least one more book in this series!

*I received this book as part of the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour. This is my honest opinion.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul




WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010) 384 pages

Description:
War threatens the peaceful land of Chiril… can one painter-turned-reluctant-swordsman really help?

With an invasion of her country imminent, Tipper Schope is drawn into a mission to keep three important statues from falling into the enemy’s clutches. Her friend, the artist Bealomondore, helps her execute the plan, and along the way he learns to brandish a sword rather than a paintbrush.

As odd disappearances and a rash of volatile behavior sweep Chiril, no one is safe. A terrible danger has made his vicious presence known: The Grawl, a hunter unlike any creature encountered before.

To restore their country, Tipper, Bealomondore, and their party must hide the statues in the Valley of the Dragons and find a way to defeat the invading army. When it falls to the artistic Bealomondore to wield his sword as powerfully and naturally as a paintbrush, will he answer Wulder’s call for a champion?

My Review:

I’ll be honest. I was extremely confused the first few chapters. Then I studied a bit in the glossary at the back of the book. That helped tremendously, and anytime I hit a new word, I simply looked it up. This is the first book I’ve read in Donita’s Dragon series, and this is the 2nd book in this particular series, but I do feel I that I kept up pretty well. I do recommend reading them in order, though. I think I would have gotten a lot more out of this book if I had read them in order. And that’s not to say I didn’t get a little lost through parts of the story after that, but overall, I think I kept up.

I am completely intrigued by dragons. I haven’t read many, if any books about them, though. I greatly enjoyed reading about them, although for the most part, they didn’t show up until close to the end. Rayn is all the way through the story and I just fell in love with him!! Oh, I wish I had a little pet Rayn! :)

Lady Peg was hilarious. I just loved her character!! It was so funny how she seemed so out there. And Fenworth was probably my favorite character. He was just so quirky and I found myself laughing at some of his antics. Wizards are almost always one of my favorite characters, though. The Grawl was a mean creature, and yet I found myself feeling sorry for him at times. I was surprised at that! :)

I think Donita has done an excellent job of creating a series for both male and female book lovers! There’s war and battles, but not overly gruesome, and then there’s a slight romance. The story doesn’t overly go in either the male or female direction. She’s created some wonderful, humorous, and interesting characters.

*In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.


Book link

Author’s web site -

Author’s blog

Make sure you check out all the other reviews of Dragons of the Valley!!

Gillian Adams
Noah Arsenault
Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Keanan Brand
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Amy Cruson
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Dave Wilson

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Movie Review: Anne of Green Gables

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

As part of the L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge, my first post will be for Anne of Green Gables, the movie.



My Review:
I decided to go ahead and write my review for the first movie before I’ve read the book, but I will come back and add any extra thoughts at the end of this review when I’ve finished the book. I was unfortunate enough to fail my 1st sugar test, so Monday I get to endure the 3 hour test. On the bright side, that’s 3 hours of almost uninterrupted reading time. My hubby is going to stay home with the munchkin, so I will just stay at the office for the the test. I’m hoping to read at least a big chunk of Anne of Green Gables then. Lord willing, I’ll definitely finish it before the end of the challenge. (And for the record, I decided to read the book as opposed to listen to it on audio).

I checked this movie out from the library, so there’s no telling how many people had watched it before me. Needless to say, the quality was horrible on the first one. I greatly wish I had I better version. It came with 2 VHS per movie, and thankfully the 2nd part was much better and I did like it much better. And I know that has nothing to do with the movie.

When I first started watching Anne of Green Gables, I really wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I found Anne to be extremely over-dramatic and a bit weird. I found the movie to be more hilarious than anything else. But the longer the movie went on, the more I liked Anne. I ended up really liking the whole movie. I’m extremely glad that Anne matured. A LOT!! :) And I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her throughout most of the movie.

The scenery was beautiful. There was one scene where all you could hear in the background was crickets chirping. I loved it!! It was so simple and refreshing and clean. It was a great movie for the whole family. It was a little funny, like all the older movies, to see how fashion and hair has changed through the years.

I do want to point out I didn’t care for the ghost scene. I had read a few reviews, so I was warned ahead of time that L.M. Montgomery wrote of ghosts. I love to read of paranormal type things and I don’t believe it a bit. It normally doesn’t bother me, but I can’t read of ghosts. It terrifies the daylights out of me to hear talk of ghosts. I know if I continue to read L.M. Montgomery, I’ll see more of the ghost subject, though.

After watching Anne of Green Gables, I can’t wait to see more of Anne and Gilbert in Anne of Avonlea, which I hope to watch tomorrow. And I absolutely can’t wait to read the book. I’m excited to read about all the details that a movie has to leave out and compare how well I think the actors were picked to portray the characters.

If I don’t get a review up tomorrow, it will be Thursday before I get it up. I already have book reviews lined up for Monday through Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones




Thomas Nelson (February 1, 2011)320 pages

Description:
When Alex and Lucy pick out wedding invitations, they wonder if they can be printed in vanishing ink.

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancée in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?

My Review:
Save the Date was a fun, light romance. I think with some of my other reviews, I’ve said that many times those types of books are the ones that ends up on my favorites list. I enjoyed every moment of reading this book! I loved how quirky Lucy is. She’s very clumsy and loves any and all science fiction. She even has a group of friends called “The Hobbits.”
I think my favorite characters ended up being Clare and Julian. I found myself laughing out loud at many of their scenes. And of course, with the pregnancy hormones, it’s official. I can’t read a book without crying! This story was just so incredibly sweet at times, I couldn’t help it.
I was very happy with the ending. Books that I’ve read lately all seem to have the same trend going with a “surprise” ending. I actually expected that from this book, but I liked the way the author takes this story.
And I know the cover has nothing to do with how good a story is, but I LOVE the cover of this book and Just Between You and Me. The girls are just so cute and real. It’s refreshing, for me, anyway.
I had fun reading Save the Date, and I can’t wait to read more from Jenny B. Jones.

*I recieved this book from the publisher for review. This is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant (A Miller's Creek Novel)




WordVessel Press (October 18, 2010) 312 pages

Description:
Trish James is tired of being rescued. When a spooked horse claims her husband's life, she's determined to blaze a path for herself and her traumatized son without outside help. But will that mean leaving the place etched on her heart? Andy Tyler has had to struggle for everything, and starting a new law practice in Miller's Creek, Texas is no different. Though prepared for business challenges, he's not prepared for falling in love--especially with yet another woman who will probably abandon him for her career. Will Andy and Trish be able to see past their limited human understanding to take a path less traveled?

My Review:
This book is just what I needed right now. After a few “not so great” books, I needed a really awesome one. I definitely got that with A Path Less Traveled. I absolutely LOVED it!! This is the first book I’ve read by Cathy Bryant, but Lord willing, it won’t be the last. Cathy has officially made it on my “author list. ” I have full intentions of reading Texas Roads, the first book in the Miller Creek series, and The Way of Grace, the third book.

The scene with Little Bo walking in with his Veggie Tales pajamas on and a book tucked under his arm brought tears to my eyes. It was so sweet!! For awhile after that scene, there’s a lot of emotional issues dealt with, so I had to keep a tissue next to me. The character’s emotions were brought to life through the author’s words. The fact that I could actually feel the character’s hurt shows Cathy’s talent as a writer!

It was wonderful to read about just everyday life and struggles for “regular” people. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that contained a garage sale. I love yard sales! LOVE them! So it warmed my heart to see something so common in a book. It also deals with some tough issues like a mom and child losing their husband/dad, and many of the problems that come afterward, including financial problems. There’s lots of Christian lessons to be found throughout the pages, too. It amazes me how so many different aspects were brought into this story. In addition to everything else, it’s also got the fun, “chick-lit” type of thing going on. And Andy is the perfect leading man! :)

I thrilled that I can, with my whole heart, recommend this book! I’m so glad I got the chance to read it!

*I was provided a review copy by the author. This is my honest opinion!! I was not required to give a positive review.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

I have decided to officially join in the L.M. Montgomery reading challenge. I have NEVER read a single book of hers or even watched the movies that I recall, so I think it's about time I do!! :) I'm hoping to read more classics, so I figure this is a great place to start.

My plan is to listen to Anne of Green Gables on audio. I hope to possibly listen to the first two books, but definitely the first. I'm also hoping to watch the first two movies, but I'll have to wait to see if my library has them.

I'll update as I go along. This challenge is for the month of January, so it ends on the 28th.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Speech Flash Cards

My son’s speech therapist felt that most of his books were too busy the first time she came to test him. I plan on finding him some simpler ones whenever I get the chance to go to a thrift store, but in the meantime I decided to make him some flash cards. (I did the first set after her first visit). I got one of those cheap 4x6 photo albums. Mine only cost a dollar. Then I searched around until I found some cards I liked, and printed those off. I got mine HERE.

I just put them in the photo album, and my little boy now has a very simple photo book.

A few days ago, the ST came back for her second visit, and I got the results of his testing. He is now 27 months old, but his speech comprehension is only a 10 month old level, and his actual speech is a 13 month old level. That worries me, but we’ll catch up!!! My speech projects will be extremely simple since we’re at such a low level.
She suggested I separate out the flash cards I did a bit, so that the colors varied more on each two page set. For example, don’t put two red pictures in the same set.
She also showed me some clothing flash cards she had that had some texture to them. I decided to try to make these.










All I did was cut four pieces of cardstock in half. (one per card) Then I drew an outline of a shirt, pair of pants, a sock, and a shoe, and cut it out with my scrap booking knife. Then I glued a piece of cloth on the back of the cutout, and finally glued the whole card behind the cloth.
(As you can see I only put one of the sock and shoe, but I added an “s” to the words. I wasn’t thinking).

I’m hoping to try these with animals, too, and use different types of textures. I’ll post that if it ends up looking decent.
She also wants me to show him the actual item or toy that matches the pictures to help him start making a connection.

The good news is he’s added a few words or sounds to his vocabulary. He’s saying “momma” again, but he’s not saying “daddy” as much. It’s still there, though. I’m really proud that he’s saying “cracker“!! I feel like that one is his biggest accomplishment yet. Today, for the first time, he said it by himself when he wanted another cracker as opposed to imitating me. Yah!! We’ve also got “meow” a few times.

Live, Learn, Love has great speech ideas!! Definitely check out her blog! Annette has been working with speech related projects a lot longer than me. And I just love her crafts anyway. :) Her blog is where I got the idea for Mr. Potato Head to help my little boy learn body parts. Awesome idea!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Wolf of Tebron by C.S. Lakin (The Gates of Heaven Series)



AMG Publishers (August 13, 2010)272 pages

Description:
A young blacksmith must undertake a perilous journey to the four ends of the world to rescue his wife, who is held captive by the Moon. Along the way, he befriends a powerful wolf who encourages, protects, and ultimately sacrifices his life to save his human friend. A stirring allegory of Gods love in classic fairy tale tradition.

My Review:
It took me a little while to get into the story. I really think this is one you have to fully commit to reading or you won’t like it. I went back and forth between really liking parts of it and hating it. I found a lot of it confusing and weird, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The more you read, the more details are given. The ending clears up all other loose ends.
This story is suppose to be a representation of God’s love and devotion. I’m not going to review on that aspect of the story, because that makes it even more confusing and I’m not totally sure I like it as a representation of God.
I didn’t like that Joran seemed so immature throughout most of the story, but he did grow throughout, so I’m sure that was the point. I also really wished he seemed to love his wife more through most of the story. He only goes to save her to get relief from his nightmares.
Again, if you read to the end, you’ll like this story more, but it’s not one for everybody. I had a difficult time through most of it. And this is a Christian book, but you can totally read it as simply a fairy tale. I think there’s only one or two quotes from the Bible. If you didn’t know it was a Christian book, you’d never know.

*In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Book link -
Author’s web site
Author’s blog

Make sure you check out all the other reviews of The Wolf of Tebron.

Noah Arsenault
Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Nikole Hahn
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
John W. Otte
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler

Saturday, January 1, 2011

An Amish Christmas, Expanded Edition




Thomas Nelson; Expanded edition (August 31, 2010) 528 pages

Book Description:
Enjoy this Amish Christmas bestseller with an additional new novella from romance author Kelly Long.

"Christmas Cradles" by Kelly Long -- When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local Amish midwife in Paradise, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers' quilts, and the help from resourceful and strong Asa Lapp, whose job it is to get Anna through a dangerous blizzard to complete her midwifery rounds.

“A Miracle for Miriam” by Kathleen Fuller: This Christmas, Miriam must decide whether to guard herself or accept the love of a man who once broke her heart.

“A Choice to Forgive” by Beth Wiseman: Lydia, a widow who has given up on love, is shocked when Daniel-- a past love-- returns to the Order, and her life.

“One Child” by Barbara Cameron: This snowy Lancaster Christmas Eve will see two couples’ lives changed by the birth of one child.

Contributer Barbara Cameron is the author of fifteen novels and three nationally televised movies (HBO), as well as a recipient of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart.

My Review:
I like that all of the stories conected with each other. Some of the same characters showed up in each of them.
The all contained sadness, or moments from the past that had caused pain through the years. There was happy moments, but I do prefer my Christmas stories to be on the happier side. :) I really did enjoy the stories, though, and I think fans of Amsih stories will really enjoy it, too.
I really connected with the story of Miriam. I totally understood her feelings throughout the story!!
I have to share one line from "Christmas Cradles" because it just really touched me!!

"She was breech, Ezekiel," Sarah sniffed. "We could have lost her...but Der Herr...he was with us."
"He is always with us, Sarah," Ezekiel Raber whispered as he stared down at his new daughter. "He gives and takes away, but praise him for giving this night."

That line made me cry! I'm so grateful to be blessed with my little boy!!

Overall, being novellas, there's just not the extra information that sometimes makes a story. They are definitely worth the time to read, though.

*Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review copy. This is my honest opinion.

My Favorite Reads of 2010 and New Goals for 2011




My Goals for 2011


For Bluerose’s Heart

When I originally started this blog, it was to throw out some clean reads for those like me. I LOVE reading young adult books, but I don’t care for the bad content in many of them. Lately, though, I’ve committed to so many Christian book reviews, I just haven’t had the time to read some of the books I really want to read. I’m the type of person that craves certain types of books at different times. Sometimes I want to read a good young adult paranormal, sometimes I crave a story about prairie life. I’m hoping to get back to my original plan with my blog and alternate to some degree between my different genres.
Along that same line, most of you who read my blog know that I am surrounded by boys! :) I have a son and another on the way, and 5 nephews with another on the way. (and only one niece). So, I’m hoping to throw out more clean reads in the boy direction.
My plan is to really blow through my review books in the next couple of weeks, so I can start with more books in the “clean reads” category.

I also plan on really getting hardcore with my thriftiness! So, I will post about some of my projects that I attempt. I’m researching thrifty ways to create curtain rods at the moment, so hopefully I’ll post about that project soon.
And most of you know about my son’s speech therapy, so I plan on posting some of the projects and crafts we are working on , and how we’re doing it thrifty. :)

I’ll still mostly be a “book blog” but I will include more posts dealing with family-life from now on.

Other Goals

In life outside my blog, I mostly have the same goals.
-Cut back on review books and read what I really want to read. Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely been loving the books I’ve been reviewing, and I’ve discovered lots of wonderful authors, but I’ll just be cutting back . I have no intentions whatsoever of stopping my reviews for Christian books.
-Start getting WAY more serious with being thrifty. Although I’ve always been on the thrifty side, I could use a lot of improvement.
-Get on a better schedule with my family, which means set meal times, play time, nap time, cleaning schedule, etc. The only SET in stone type of routine we have right now is night-night time. (I don't want our whole day set in stone, just a little more structure).
-Get organized!!
-Exercise and take care of myself. I want to be a good example to my children and have the energy to run around and play with them.
-And most importantly, read my Bible more. I want to start giving God the time He deserves. I want to do better at devotionals and talking with God.

I’ve really slacked lately, and I hope 2011 will just in general be more more organized!



My Favorite Reads of 2010

These are in NO order at all. I’ve read lots of great books this year, but I think these are the top ones I want to re-read. I hope I didn't forget one! :)Oh, and my list is books I've read in 2010, and several of them were NOT published in 2010.




Masquerade by Nancy Moser



Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer(If I had got to read Head in the Clouds, I’m guessing it would be on here, too).




Latte Daze by Erynn Mangum
This book was just fun to read, and I can't wait to read Double Shot




The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers



A Passion Most Pure, Redeemed, and Denied by Julie Lessman. A Hope Undaunted is still at the top of my non-review pile, or I know it would be on here, too! I just lumped all these together, though.





Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
LOVED this book!!!!!!!



The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones



A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist



Somplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint
Due to profanity, this is not one of my clean reads, but this is a book that has really “stuck” with me. I’m looking forward to reading one of his young adult book in hopes the language is better. It has been awhile since I read it, but I don’t recall the language being THAT bad, and there was no other issues.




House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
Those of you who read my review may remember that this book really creeped me out, but I just can't wait to finish reading this series.