This book is well-researched and full of incredible facts from the time of the first World War. The storyline is indicative of Lund's talents as he crThis book is well-researched and full of incredible facts from the time of the first World War. The storyline is indicative of Lund's talents as he creates characters that we are compelled to care for. That said, I need to warn you that this book is the epitome of historical fiction. There is a lot of historical facts woven into the story and sometimes it felt a little bit text bookish. Sometimes the characters would spout off essays about historical facts, figures, and landmarks that although Lund worked to interweave, it still felt like an information dump at times. That said, I'm really grateful that I have the opportunity to read and review so many books, in some cases it stretches me and encourages me to give books more of a chance than I would have otherwise. That's how I feel about Fire & Steel: A Generation Rising. I'm glad that I kept reading because it gave me a great appreciation for that time of history and what real people went through who lived at the time. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion....more
This is a fun new book for kids reminiscent of the old Where's Waldo type books that I used to like as a kid. My kids snapped this up as soon as I pulThis is a fun new book for kids reminiscent of the old Where's Waldo type books that I used to like as a kid. My kids snapped this up as soon as I pulled it out of the package and I caught them over the next couple days searching and looking at all the details in the pictures. I love the format of this book and how it's such a great opener to discussing Book of Mormon scripture stories that we've been studying as a family. It's fun for the kids to see the illustrations that further bring the characters to life and remind them of the principles they've read about. Each page is filled with about 10 specific things to find along with a scripture reference--what a cool idea! There's so much more to notice in each page as well.
Pruett is an excellent illustrator with a terrific eye for children's art and what attracts their attention. If you're looking for a great picture book to expand your children's understanding and interest in The Book of Mormon, check out this one. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion....more
The story of seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is intriguing because she's human but she's slowly changing, turning into a mermaid. Nichole does an excelThe story of seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is intriguing because she's human but she's slowly changing, turning into a mermaid. Nichole does an excellent job of helping the reader feel the intensity of this change and Emma's need for water.
I love the secondary characters in this book. Emma has a close relationship with her brother, Keith, who is disabled. She cares for him and it's great to see a strong sibling tie in a story with young adults.
Emma's friend, or more-than-friend, James adds another layer to the story as it notches up the romantic tension and challenges Emma's closed off trust skills. James interacts kindly with Keith and is a anchor in Emma's world. But the real question is whether a mermaid can ever handle an anchor. There's more to this story than you might think!
Nichole is an excellent writer with terrific skills at writing from a teenage perspective. This book has great clean romance, adventure, and a bit of mystery that will keep you turning the pages, gasping for breath along with Emma as you race to the finish!
This is a young adult novel with mild swearing and some innuendo. ...more
I loved reading Finding Sheba so I was looking forward to more of one of the main characters, Omar Zagouri. This is a short, short story that providesI loved reading Finding Sheba so I was looking forward to more of one of the main characters, Omar Zagouri. This is a short, short story that provides a teaser for what is to come--a prequel to the series. I felt like this was just a few chapters of a different story so I'm looking forward to fitting all the pieces together with the full series. Moore does an excellent job of drawing suspense with plenty of action and excellent attention to detail and the surrounding foreign countries.
I have found a new love recently in the world of books--Amish Fiction. I discovered Cindy Woodsmall's books at my local library and decided to pick onI have found a new love recently in the world of books--Amish Fiction. I discovered Cindy Woodsmall's books at my local library and decided to pick one up for a taste of something different. I'm so glad I tried something new! I absolutely love Cindy's writing style. She has created authentic Amish Characters with stories filled with heart, tragedy, triumph, spiritual strength, and romance.
I love a good clean read that isn't sickly sweet. Cindy has written stories that are true to life and given an intimate look into the lifestyle of living the Plain Amish way that so many people live in communities across Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Hope Crossing is definitely a treat because it is three books in one! I read these books quickly, one right after the other because I was eager to find out how everything turned out in the continuing stories and old and new characters.
In The Hope of Refuge: Cara's story is fascinating because it pulls a woman living in the modern world into the culture of the Amish. To Cara it is akin to an alien world and she struggles to find her place. I love her realistic struggle to find faith all while a romance is blossoming.
My thoughts on The Bridge of Peace: This is my favorite novel in the trilogy because I love Lena's story. She has such a strong character. At the same time, Grey is intriguing with his gentle ways and unselfish character. The threatening backdrop of this story was intense and the romance was unforgettable! My thoughts on The Harvest of Grace: This novel wraps up all of the character stories and introduces a new character in Sylvia Fisher. This novel was a little slow-moving for me and even though I didn't enjoy it as much as the other two, I did enjoy seeing everything come full circle. Cara is a resilient character and it was neat to watch her struggle to forgive and fully accept the Amish ways. The romance between different characters in this novel was sweet and satisfying. This book was provided to me by bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for my honest review....more
JoLyn Brown captures the angst of teenagers well in this book. Morgan is a sixteen-year-old girl who has just discovered a love of running. She has aJoLyn Brown captures the angst of teenagers well in this book. Morgan is a sixteen-year-old girl who has just discovered a love of running. She has a lot of issues with her over-bearing mother and absentee father. When Morgan is left with her six boy cousins for the summer, it seems like it couldn't be worse, but it ends up changing her life.
The story weaves in an element of mystery and lots of questions which keeps the reader turning pages to find out how Morgan will deal with the answers to her questions. I found that Morgan cries a lot over everything which is semi-typical of emotional teenage girls but got a bit tiresome for my personal preference. Brown does a great job of setting up realistic scenes of various ages of kids interacting together. Terrific job on making the reader feel Morgan's need to run in an emotional and physical sense.
This novel's main character is religious and I appreciated the references to her working out her own faith through prayer and thought. For her debut novel, Brown has made an excellent first run....more
There are tons of clever tips for planning in here and I love checklists so I'm a fan of all the lists they included. Even if I don't do everything meThere are tons of clever tips for planning in here and I love checklists so I'm a fan of all the lists they included. Even if I don't do everything mentioned for my particular party, I can check off what I am planning on doing.
There are great instructions included for things like carving a turkey and recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. I like that there are blank recipe cards printed inside where I can put my favorites. Each of the three holidays also has a section where you can record information about the decorations you have and those you need. This is an excellent feature because we store all of our holiday stuff in a garage loft and often forget what is inside all of those totes!
Another helpful inclusion is a list for the gifts I've purchased and checkmarks for if they are wrapped and ready. I've already started writing down my Christmas To-Do list in this book that fits easily in my purse. If you're looking for a holiday helper, you'll find it in this organizer. ...more
I'm happy I took a chance on this book because it was an excellent reminder of so many wonderful concepts I studied in my own college experience to grI'm happy I took a chance on this book because it was an excellent reminder of so many wonderful concepts I studied in my own college experience to graduate in psychology.
The book is written from the perspective of psychology professor Dr. Wong writing emails to a woman named Vickay. She asks what happiness really is and why people who have so much still can't find happiness.
Dr. Wong responds in seven emails to Vickay breaking down the mis-beliefs of society and explaining what brings authentic happiness to our life.
The first part of the book dragged and I worried how the format would flow. Much of the studies the author noted were those that I had studied in college and so it resonated with me, but I wondered how the average reader would relate to the book without a background in psychology. I felt that midway through the book, the author hit his stride and was able to convey the concepts in a more relatable fashion with excellent anecdotes on life and the search for happiness.
While reading, I found myself trying out the tips suggested, smiling at the gift of taking a warm shower, having diapers to change my baby with, and food staples to make a dinner from scratch. Galindo shows in his book that those same tasks could be viewed in a negative light and I could be feeling sorry for myself for doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, wiping spit-up off my shirt. The magical gift of authentic happiness is found in a shift in perception.
I loved Dr. Wong's metaphors for living life Easy, Light, Smooth, and Meaningful taken from a running expert's wisdom. I found myself jogging one morning while reading the book and thinking about how my day could be Easy, Light, Smooth, and (Fast) Meaningful.
I'd recommend this book because I think that you could definitely glean several nuggets of life-changing wisdom from the positive psychology expertise of Dr. Wong. I was given an e-copy of this book in return for my honest review. ...more
I loved reading these letters. It gave such a neat look through decades of Marjorie Hinckley's life. What a cheerful lady! Love her disposition and grI loved reading these letters. It gave such a neat look through decades of Marjorie Hinckley's life. What a cheerful lady! Love her disposition and great attitude about life. It made me want to be better for reading it and at the same time not be so hard on myself....more
For me, if I want a baked good it has to be made with natural yeast or it's a No-no. I have gluten sensitivity so I've been learning and caring for myFor me, if I want a baked good it has to be made with natural yeast or it's a No-no. I have gluten sensitivity so I've been learning and caring for my natural yeast start for over a year now. I got started with Melissa's first book, The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast. I gave a start to my mom and she gave one back to me when mine went kaput while I was pregnant. We were thrilled about Melissa Richardson's new book Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast. I baked all of the bread for my family for a year using my natural yeast start and it was wonderful! I couldn't wait to try her new recipes. I love the pictures, tips, detailed instructions and the freedom to adjust the recipes to my personal tastes.
I also absolutely love the low-sugar recipes and that Melissa recommends using things like coconut oil and applesauce instead of vegetable oil and white sugar.
The starter summary on p.3-7 was an excellent reminder with a lot of extra tips on getting your starter in a healthy, bubbly state.
I made a double-batch of the Dad's Sourdough Pancakes (p. 62) and they were an absolute hit! I cooked them all up and froze the rest for a super quick breakfast. I worried my kids might find the flavor too strong, but my start was healthy and fresh-smelling and worked perfect in this recipe. I thought they tasted mild compared to some sourdough pancakes I've tried.
I made the Quick and Easy Waffles on p.57 and the Carrot Cake Waffles on p.60. My kids liked them and I even garnished the waffles with grated carrot and they ate it up!
The Orange Blueberry Pancakes on p.64 were also delicious and easy to make up because I remembered to create the sponge mixture the night before.
I made the Lemon Poppyseed Muffins on p.70 and was so excited that I could eat a muffin! On this recipe, I actually cut the sugar in half and used 1/2 whole wheat in the recipe 1/2 white flour. I filled my cups all the way full because the first batch were wimpy when I filled them only 3/4 of the way as the recipe directed. They turned out great and I skipped the optional glaze because I didn't want the extra sugar. My kids loved them and over the next couple days ate them for breakfast, lunch, and an after-school snack.
I know that I'll probably end up baking every recipe in this book. I am a natural yeast fan and if you want a healthy, whole-grain option for your family, learn this lost art and get baking!...more
This book falls outside of my normal reading list because I tend to shy away from straight romances mostly because I don't like the content. So when IThis book falls outside of my normal reading list because I tend to shy away from straight romances mostly because I don't like the content. So when I met Kimberly and she told me about her books, I really wanted to give it a try. I'm very pleased with this story! It's romance with a bit of mystery, danger, and lots of fun. There were quite a few quotable lines in this novel as well. Krey did an excellent job creating the setting--makes me want to go live on a ranch in Montana. The line-up of characters were fun and interaction added to the depth of the story. The romance is sweet with some great kissing and scenes with plenty of fireworks going on while keeping it clean. I give this novel four stars because Kimberly got me to read a romance novel with a cowboy on the front!
I love the tagline that Kimberly uses to describe her novels: Writing Romance That's Clean Without Losing the Steam! I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. ...more
This book was an incredible read! I loved the format that Noelle wrote in. She includes personal stories, experiences, motivational poems, scriptures,This book was an incredible read! I loved the format that Noelle wrote in. She includes personal stories, experiences, motivational poems, scriptures, and anecdotes about life and how we can stay the course and achieve our goals. This is a book that I will pass on to other family members and my children. Noelle is a courageous example of a person who exemplifies faith, courage, and perseverance--those are all qualities I strive for and that I want my children to reach for as well. I received a copy of this book to review. My opinions are always my own. ...more
I love Mary Stewart. This is definitely a different style of writing from her. I liked how she crafted the story of Merlin but be prepared that this bI love Mary Stewart. This is definitely a different style of writing from her. I liked how she crafted the story of Merlin but be prepared that this book is lengthy! Stewart goes into great detail over the landscape and wars and I found myself skimming at the end of the book to see what was supposed to happen. I'm mildly interested to see what happens in the rest of the series but not sure if I'm patient enough to slog through all of them. If you've read the rest of the series, I'd love to know what you thought?...more
I'm a big fan of Karey White's books and I'm pretty sure that I've read all of them so far. She writes sweet contemporary romance with a dash of humorI'm a big fan of Karey White's books and I'm pretty sure that I've read all of them so far. She writes sweet contemporary romance with a dash of humor. I love her heroines because they're down to earth, realistic characters who have problems thrown at them, but deal with those problems in smart ways. In The Husband Maker, Charlotte seems doomed to always date and never marry. Then when she meets the Senator's son, Kyle Aldsworth, things seem to be changing. This was a unique situation because Charlotte comes face to face with the gritty side of politics and media and she must decide what she really wants from her life.
This story has a great romantic plot line with challenges that really made me think and wonder what I might do in a similar situation. Of course, Karey leaves us hanging and wanting more so I'll be first in line to check out the sequel to this book. ...more