Friday, August 30, 2013

Sparkly Green Earring Books Review

Cover: Sparkly Green Earrings
Sparkly Green Earrings is a wonderful memoir by Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog and a regular contributor to She is fun and witty as she recounts her experiences with getting pregnant and having her first child. She talks about the infant years, preschool, expectations of other parents, and how becoming a mom changed her. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is candid and honest about her journey as a mom.
Chapter titles include "I Wanted My Epidural in the First Trimester", "That Time I Didn't Sleep for Four Years" and "Potty Training:Bringing People to Their Knees Since Forever". She recalls incidents where she went crazy and to great expense creating a shoebox float for a yearly celebration for her daughter's preschool and it ended up being paled in comparison to other parents crazy creations. This is a great, fun, easy read that will have you laughing right along with her. I really enjoyed how honest she was and how much I could relate to her stories. As a mom, I really liked this book.
Buy this book at Christianbook and Amazon.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grace's Pictures Book Review

Cover: Grace's Pictures
Grace McCaffery is an Irish immigrant in 1900 New York City. She was unexpectedly sent to America from the Irish workhouse by her mother's new policeman husband. She mistrusts policeman and worries about if she can make it on her own. She finds lots of friendly, Christian people who genuinely want to help her succeed in her new life in America and she isn't sure how to deal with that.
Grace McCaffery is a wonderful, complete character that I immediately fell in love with. She has an interesting and sometimes dramatic journey in her faith and new life in America in this book. I really enjoyed this story. Cindy Thomson did a wonderful job setting the scene of immigrants in 1900 New York in Lower Manhattan. The details were wonderful and helped me feel as if I was there. I enjoyed reading this book and was able to sit and read it mostly in one day as I found myself desperately wanting to know what would happen next. This is the first book in a new Ellis Island series by Cindy Thomson and I eagerly await the next book in the series!
You can buy at Amazon and Christianbook.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Courageous Grace Book Review.

Cover: Courageous Grace
Courageous Grace by Gayle Haggard is a book about grace and forgiveness. From the publisher's website:"As a Bible teacher, Gayle had taught for decades about the amazing power of grace in a person’s life. Yet it took a crisis in her husband’s life and the crumbling of her own life around her for her to have an epiphany about the true nature of grace. In Courageous Grace, Gayle chronicles and explains her new found insights."
This book came at a really wonderful time for me. I often struggle with grace and forgiveness. I know that God is a God who forgives but sometimes I have a really hard time forgiving myself. I can forgive others but sometimes I have a hard time forgiving my family. These are not good things or good aspects of my personality. Mrs Haggard's book deals with all of these topics and more.
She talks about God's forgiveness, about accepting forgiveness, about being forgiving and extending grace on our enemies. This book is wonderfully written and easy to read. Even though it is easy to read, it is not a light book by any means. She digs into each section with lots of scripture and personal insight to help the reader learn the message of grace. Grace is something all of us really need to learn and use in our every day lives. I'm better for reading this book and I hope you will be too.
Buy Courageous Grace at Amazon and Christianbook.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

confessions of a raging perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins

Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist

confessions of a raging perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins is Amanda's own struggles with her need to be perfect. She talks about it in every facet of her life both physical and spiritual. She discusses what she has felt God has convicted her on and supplies Bible verses to help her realize that no one apart from God is perfect.

I felt this book was written for me. Well about me really. I can so completely relate to just about every single issue Amanda has. She talks about money, parenthood, pride, happiness and even Diet Coke. She talks about issues that she feels make her feel the need to be perfect and what scripture says about those issues. She shares many stories about her own lessons as well as those of others. With complete honesty, truthfulness, and wit, she confessions her failings and how God has used them to help her grow. I think I could read this book again and again and again. This books is for all of us Type A control freaks who feel defeated and stressed when the days don't go the way we think they should.

Buy confessions of a raging perfectionist at Christianbook and Amazon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Deployed by Mel Odom


Deployed by Mel Odom is a work of fiction about Bekah Shaw, a Marine and single mom, who is deployed to Mogadishu to aid in finding a terrorist and Rageh Daud ,a native to Mogadishu, who is seeking revenge against that same terrorist. When I began reading this book, I immediately liked Bekah. Overall, I enjoyed this story. I felt the book was well written and a good story. At first, I was getting a little bored with the switching between the different characters so much. It felt almost confusing at times. Having read the entire book, I'm glad to have the extensive background on all of the major characters. It is very nice to know where the people come from and I assume since this is the first book in a new series that these characters will return. I'm excited to read the next book in the series. This book started with explaining the backstories as well as a "current event" update for each character. It moved a little slow in my opinion while setting up these 4 characters. After getting to the actual deployment scene and so on, the book moved at a wonderful and compelling pace. There are war scenes and death and descriptions of injuries and so on in this book. It does show good examples of God's plan for you life and that you will be put exactly where you should be. I liked this book a lot and recommend it for an nice read.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Still Lolo Review

Cover: Still LoLo

Still Lolo is a book by Lauren Scruggs and family about her propeller accident. Lauren was at a family friend's home when they suggested they take their plane for a little flight over the property. The flight went well however when exiting the plane it was very dark and Lauren was hit by the propeller's blade. She was struck on her left side, injuring her brain, eye, shoulder, clavicle bone, and severing her left hand. This book gives background on her life growing up and her recovery following the accident and how she leaned on God to help her throughout her difficult recovery.

It is a very good book. I especially liked the perspectives of her family during her recovery. I like how they formatted this book. Her story is so encouraging. She didn't have an easy time dealing with her injury and she didn't shy away from her shortcomings. The inclusion of
Her mom dad and twin sisters stories really helps to see the whole picture of their lives up to during and after the accident. When I finished reading this book, I was greatly encourage and felt uplifted by God's plan for Lauren. It was a wonderful feeling to have after reading such a compelling story.

You can buy Still Lolo at Amazon or ChristianBook

Read this book now! Frame 232

Cover: Frame 232

President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Zapruders famous film shows the assassination as well as another woman filming across the street. This woman nor her film have ever been found. Several theories believe that Lee Harvey Oswald didn't act alone and that the mysterious "babushka lady's" film could prove it. Well what would happen if the film was found? Wil Mara's book takes that idea and runs with it. This book begins a new series featuring Jason Hammond a wealthy humanitarian who seeks to solve history's mysteries.

I couldn't put this book down. I absolutely loved it. I was riveted from the first few pages. Mr Mara takes such care with using historic details as well as interweaving fictional details. The characters are wonderfully developed, scenes are described in detail as if you were actually there and the ending has an unexpected twist. Mr Mara takes you on a wonderful and exciting journey, you don't want to miss it. I have no complaints with this book at all. I enjoyed his writing style and the story at large. I'm very excited to read his next book , I can't wait!!

You can purchase Frame 232 at ChristanBook and Amazon.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking

Do these blueberry muffins look good or what? They sure were!! I baked them with a recipe from a new cookbook that I was given to review.

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking is a cookbook with wonderful Amish/Mennonite recipes and anecdotes as well as stories of the Pinecraft Amish/Mennonite Community in Pinecraft, Florida. This book has lots of wonderful recipes with little to no processed ingredients. And most of the recipes have a small amount of ingredients too, hence the title. This is a wonderful ebook that I highly recommend. I enjoyed reading about the start of their community in Pinecraft and learning about different aspects of their lives as well. So many recipes to try, they all sound so yummy! I can't wait to cook another!

You can purchase Simply Delicious Amish Cooking at or

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Long time gone....

I realize that I haven't posted anything but book reviews for quite some time. I've been super busy. I just had our fifth baby 15 months after having our 4th. They were both somewhat difficult pregnancies and I've been trying to heal and get back into shape. It is such a struggle to break bad habits. After basically being on bed rest for 4 months at the end of the pregnancy, I have to work really hard on not staying in that habit of sitting down all the time. I do still have some pain which I'm going to physical therapy to help fix, but things definitely need to change!

The Tyndale Reading program is finishing up soon so there will be fewer book reviews and hopefully more posts of a different varieties. We are going to be starting our 3rd year homeschooling and this year I've chosen a few different curriculums. That will be a new adventure for us all. I'm excited about it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Misery Loves Company

Cover: Misery Loves Company
From the publisher's website: "Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.

But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.

And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith."
I stayed up late last night finishing this book. It was really good. It started out interestingly and then slowed down so I wasn't sure what to expect from it. It surprised me in lots of ways. I really became involved with the characters and the mystery wrapped up completely differently than I expected. I also liked the header at the beginning of each chapter that mirrored the cover of the book. I thought that it was a nice creative touch. This is a novel that is kind of about writing. It is really interesting to see the thoughts on writing that this author conveys during the course of the book. I never thought about it in that way before, how involved and committed to their stories writers can be. Very good book, I highly recommend it.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Buy Misery Loves Company here.

If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure

If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure

Cover: If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure
From the publisher's website: "Life can be hard . . . but food, faith, and fun are three amazing gifts from God to satisfy and refresh us every day. Yet all too often, we focus primarily on what we can not do, and what we should not eat—which leaves us feeling deprived and depressed. Instead of being energized by following Christ, we waste our days feeling bored and burnt-out on our faith, while battling the guilt that comes from craving the food that we love. In If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure, best-selling author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd encourages you to embark on a new adventure with faith and food. She reveals the food coaching tips that enabled her to lose over 50 pounds and keep it off, and shares fun recipes in celebration of the healthy, delicious food our God created for us to enjoy. It’s time to let go of guilt, grab hold of grace, and recapture the life God craves for us to live! “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)"

I really enjoyed this book. I have met Mrs Shepherd in person at a women's retreat and she is just a lovely woman with her heart focused on helping others. At the end of each chapter is a QR code that you can scan with your mobile device and it will take you to a video that summarizes the chapter. I liked that. I thought it was a fun way to incorporate the book with social media. Also, each chapter has life recipes to go along with the food recipes to help your spiritual life. She recommends passages in the Bible as well as tips such as "have a date night, go out with girlfriends" and the like. I highly recommend this book. I unfortunately haven't been able to try any of the recipes, but I will be posting about those when I get a chance. You can't go wrong with this book, get it now!!

Buy If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure here.

Congo Dawn Book Review

Cover: Congo Dawn
From the publisher's website: "While former Marine lieutenant Robin Duncan is no stranger to corruption or conspiracy, she has always been able to tell the good guys from the bad, and the Congo jungle at first seems no different. But as her security team tries to track down an insurgent killer, Robin has to face a man who broke her trust years ago, and she discovers the gray areas extend farther in this jungle wilderness than she anticipated.

A ruthless global conspiracy begins to surface, run by powerful men who can’t afford to leave any witnesses. Her life at stake, Robin doesn’t know who to trust and wonders how she can help protect innocent people. Why is God silent amid all the pain and injustice? And how do these people of faith continue to rejoice in their suffering?"
I thought that this book was alright. I think that my only real criticism is that the subject matter didn't appeal to me. I felt that it was well written and the character were relatable and well developed. I like the details and I felt like the author set the scenes very well, I just didn't really get that "into" the book because of the subject matter. It just doesn't interest me. I do recommend reading it though. I am glad I did.
Purchase Congo Dawn here.