Do you enjoy coloring? Since I was a child, I have always loved to color. When I was young, that was one of my favorite things to do. I can remember sDo you enjoy coloring? Since I was a child, I have always loved to color. When I was young, that was one of my favorite things to do. I can remember staying up all night with my best friend, and we would spend hours coloring. Back then, I used crayons, but now I like to color with colored pencils. And I'm very happy to say that my 9-year-old daughter likes to color with me!
Several weeks ago, I won a copy of a new coloring book called Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit with original art by Lorrie Bennett. The book is filled with inspirational quotes from scripture paired with beautiful pictures to color.
The book is set up as two-page spreads, but my daughter and I picked individual pictures that we liked, rather than coloring the two pages together. I will admit that we are not a very religious family, but I plan to have her color some of these as gifts for family and friends who are. They really are beautiful ~ both the sayings and the pictures.
It was so nice to spend some time with my little girl coloring. I'm hopeful that "adult" coloring books like this will allow us to continue this tradition for many years....more
Grace Bradshaw's execution date has been set. Her last appeal has been denied. Her 17 years on death row will finally come to an end as she is put toGrace Bradshaw's execution date has been set. Her last appeal has been denied. Her 17 years on death row will finally come to an end as she is put to death for the murder of her infant son due to Munchausen by proxy syndrome. She was essentially convicted of making her son sick in order to get attention. But before she dies, Grace wants to reunite with her daughter who stopped visiting the prison 11 years ago when she decided to put her past behind her and live a new life.
With Love from the Inside by Angela Pisel is a novel about two women trying to understand how they ended up where they are. One, Grace, is a mother who suffered the greatest loss ~ the death of her child ~ and then essentially lost another child who turned away from her during her imprisonment. The other woman, her daughter Sophie, is a woman who has made a life for herself completely based on a lie. Her husband, his family, her friends and coworkers all believe her mother is dead, not imprisoned. But when Grace's lawyer is finally able to find Sophie and tell her that her mother's execution date has been set, she realizes that she needs to know the truth about what happened.
The story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Grace and Sophie. Through Grace, we are able to see the inside of death row, and a glimpse at some of the women who make up Grace's community. Her chapters often include journal entries addressed to Sophie. Through Sophie, we get to see the truth unfold as she digs into the past to understand more about her little brother's death.
I really enjoyed this novel. It's well written, the characters are realistic and likeable, and the storyline holds together from beginning to end. Pisel has done extensive research on women on death row and it's evident in this novel. Emotional, suspenseful and full of love, With Love from the Inside will pull you inside the world of these two women....more
When big game hunter Roy Hollister and his beautiful wife are killed, it's not much of a surprise since so many people hated him for organizing huntinWhen big game hunter Roy Hollister and his beautiful wife are killed, it's not much of a surprise since so many people hated him for organizing hunting parties to kill innocent animals. But when Dino Birch, an animal rights activist is arrested for the murders, Cordell Logan finds himself in the middle of the investigation. Birch is related to Logan's ex-father-in-law, who convinces Logan to look into whether he really is guilty. Things get much more complicated when a popular congressman and a call girl ring work their way into the story. By then, it's too late for Logan to disengage.
Hot Start is the fifth novel in David Freed's Cordell Logan series about ex-government assassin, aspiring Buddhist and flight instructor Logan. I read the first book, Flat Spin, a few years ago and enjoyed it. This latest novel is even better than the first. The storyline itself was complex enough to keep me guessing as to who actually killed the Hollisters, but light enough to make for an easy summer read.
Logan is a likeable character who comes off as a realistic guy who cares about the people in his life, particularly his spunky landlord Mrs. Schmulowitz, who I remembered from the first book in the series. Freed's aviation knowledge shines through Logan and it's obvious he knows what he's talking about. And Logan's voice is smooth and natural in this novel, resolving one of my criticisms of the first novel in the series.
Overall, the characters are easy to connect to, the mystery is engaging, and the storyline addresses some heavy topics in a more lighthearted way. You do not need to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one....more
Maggie Griffin's comfortable life in Boston, with a challenging teaching job, a lifelong friend as roommate and a handsome boyfriend is starting to unMaggie Griffin's comfortable life in Boston, with a challenging teaching job, a lifelong friend as roommate and a handsome boyfriend is starting to unravel. A potential layoff, her friend's upcoming wedding and the boyfriend's new coworker all come together to throw things a bit off-kilter. Then a trip home to Mystic, Connecticut, to help her friend with wedding plans brings her ex-boyfriend, Cameron, into the picture. It certainly makes for an interesting summer.
Mystic Summer by Hannah McKinnon is a wonderful summer read. It made me feel like summer was already here. I enjoyed following Maggie as she makes her way through many changes on a path to a more fulfilling life. While there is a bit of a romantic storyline, it's more about Maggie's relationships with friends and family, and her quest to figure out what she wants out of her future.
This was an easy, light read but definitely engaging and it even dealt with some serious topics along the way. I found the dichotomy of Maggie's life view and her sister's to be engrossing, as her sister is married with some very challenging kids, and Maggie is just in the dating phase of life. Each seems to be envious of the other, yet they also recognize the challenges that each face in their phase of life as well.
If you're looking for a great summer read, I highly recommend Mystic Summer....more
Laurel Nicholson has a secret. When she was 16 years old, she witnessed a shocking crime, but she never told a soul about it. Now, 50 years later, sheLaurel Nicholson has a secret. When she was 16 years old, she witnessed a shocking crime, but she never told a soul about it. Now, 50 years later, she is drawn to uncover the truth behind the crime before her mother, Dorothy, the one person who knows the truth, dies. Dorothy is remembering her past as a young woman in London during the Blitz, before she met Laurel's father and became a loving wife and mother. Her past is what Laurel needs to uncover if she is to understand the motive behind the crime.
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton is an epic drama full of mystery and family secrets. Laurel's story was a bit more relatable as she is in more modern times, dealing with an aging, dying mother and her family all around her. Dorothy, on the other hand, lives in 1940s London and longs to be more than she was born into. She latches onto a woman who epitomizes what she wants her life to be, while struggling to hold onto the hometown boy who is content with what he already has.
I loved the way the story was built up and the truth was drawn out. The relationships that Morton creates are so real and the characters true. It was hard to reconcile the mother that Laurel knew and the woman she had been in London, who was a bit more difficult to like. But everyone changes to some extent as they age, especially when tragedy strikes. And it all made sense in the end.
I loved Morton's The Forgotten Garden, but I found The Secret Keeper to be a bit less complicated than that since it's only two different time periods to keep track of. The story was intriguing and mysterious but easy to follow. And the characters were easy to care for.
If you're looking for an engrossing story that will pull you in and offer up plenty of surprises, I highly recommend The Secret Keeper....more