Thursday, March 5, 2015

After a Fashion by Jen Turano

I can't tell you how much I adored this book. After a Fashion is the first I've read of author Jen Turano, and I can assure you will not be the last. I don't know the last time that I enjoyed a book this much. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it truly made me shocked when an unexpected plot twist erupted towards the end. This, right here, is what other books aspire to be. The characters came alive and I even visualized Buford the dog. Truly wonderful reading and I recommend this book so highly that if you can only buy one book this year, I say make it this one. 

From the back cover:
Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself without an income.
Mr Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiancee causing the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.
Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit in Oliver's world, with its fancy dinners and elegant balls, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock

Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock is the third installment in her Moonlighter series. This book has the stunning conclusion that we've been waiting for since we met Holly and her family. I had a hard time putting this one down and read it in just a few hours while on vacation. Once again Terri Blackstock keeps the reader on the edge of her seat while she creates a heart-pounding drama with twists and turns and a little romance along the way.
You really should read the first two in this series before beginning this one, you will need to know the back story in order to understand everything that's going on.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Q&A A Day - 5-Year Journal

Look how adorable this is! Q&A A Day 5-Year Journal is such a fun and interesting idea. Perfect for graduates, newlyweds, or even your aging parents. This is broken down into 366 days (including leap year!) and each day has a question and five places for answers. The idea is to start anywhere in the book, whatever day you want to and answer the question. Do this for the next five years and you have an interesting journal of a timeline in your life. 
Some of the questions are: 
When was the last time you went swimming?
Where do you go for good ideas?
How could today have been better?
What is your mission?
What was the last fruit you ate?

And there are a couple hundred more. You could not only use this as a personal journal/diary, but you could use it as a family project or a conversation starter. Need something new to talk about around the dinner table? Find the date and ask the question. Have a meeting where you need to break the ice? You could ask the questions anywhere. A lot of fun in an adorable package!

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pure Food by Veronica Bosgraaf

 Pure Food by Veronica Bosgraaf is my latest healthy food cookbook find. This one focuses on eating clean with seasonal plant-based ingredients. I like that it is separated into monthly sections, for something different. Each month there is a menu that uses ingredients that are seasonal for that time of year. 
While I generally prefer a cookbook that has pictures of each dish, this one only has a few color pages in the middle of the book. The book is printed on matte paper, it feels cheaper than most cookbooks. 
This book not only has recipes and menus, but it is loaded with helpful hints and tips. It even has a recipe for making your own laundry detergent. 
This is much more than a cookbook, it is more of a guide to living well and using what is around you.

This book was provided for review by Blogging For Books

Bella's Gift by Rick & Karen Santorum

Growing up in Pennsylvania I've been familiar with the Santorum name but not really ever paying too much attention to the news I was unaware of everything that their name embodied. I knew that Rick Santorum was a good man with a good family, but after reading this book I know so much more. 
This is not only a good family, but a Godly family. Bella's Gift is the beautifully written story of the Santorum's eighth child. Born with Trisomy 18 (T-18) and given no hope at all from the doctors, Bella was put into this family who God knew would fight for her and with her. 
At times it had me angered, other times laughing, but most of all in tears. The story is inspiring and this book isn't just a story of a little girl who is beating the odds, it's also the story of a marriage that is thriving in the midst of it all.
I highly recommend this book. 

About the book:
On May 13, 2008, the Santorum family welcomed their seventh child into the world. Isabella Maria was born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome. Only 10 percent of children with Trisomy 18 are born alive, and 90 percent of those children do not make it to their first birthday. Faced with these bleak statistics, doctors told the family to prepare for Bella’s death. Instead, they chose to celebrate her life.

Over the next five miraculous years, the Santorum family adjusted to life with a special needs girl—and watched her transform the lives of everyone around her. In many days of sickness and joy, she became an inspiration to her community and, ultimately, to the nation. Bella’s Gift details the peaks and valleys, the joys and sufferings, and the incredible value of life with a special needs child. In a world that often measures worth according to usefulness, Bella’s story is a reminder that our real value lies in our capacity to love.
This book was provided for review by BookLook

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Good Food Day by Marco Canora with Tammy Walker

Flipping through A Good Food Day by Marco Canora with Tammy Walker is like having time with your healthy friend. You know the one, they eat and live like they want to do what's best for their body, shunning the Dorito's and Oreo's. It's everything I aspire to be. 
Marco shares his story with the reader and you quickly learn that this man was once like the rest of us, overweight and out of shape, and heading down a slippery slope to bad health. He realized that he needed to change his habits, particularly his eating habits, and has been on a quest for good food and good health ever since.
This book is a delight to the eyes. Lots of good recipes in here, but also many tips on what to eat to be your best.
The recipes are not hard, though some are time-consuming, they are for every level of cook whether you're a beginner or an expert. 
He even makes Brussels sprouts look good with his garlicky Brussels sprouts recipe.
There are several sections, each devoted to different foods (seen below). 
I'm particularly anxious to try the roasted carrots with millet and mint-pistachio pesto and the Japanese chicken and rice soup.

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

From the back cover:
After Raine's dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long--a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter's youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future...a future that's compromised when Raine reveals she's pregnant.
Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words, "The baby is mine."
Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.
As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.

The Dandelion Field, by Kathryn Springer, is new and is published by Zondervan.

Here are my thoughts:
I didn't really enjoy this book like I thought I would. It was too much like something Karen Kingsbury would write, that being said, I think there are a lot of people who would love it. The style and storyline are what's currently popular (aside from Amish fiction) and the author does a good job of weaving God throughout the story. For me there was too much flip-flopping back to memories that the characters were having. I found it distracting and by the last fifty pages I was just flipping through to see how it ended. If you've read the back cover it pretty much tells the whole story.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse.