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.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Nourished by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph

Nourished - A search for health, happiness, and a full night's sleep. By Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph.

From the back cover:
Order-loving, thirty-something Rachel, and her laid-back, messy mother, Becky, are opposites in many ways. But they both believe that women long for a life that nourishes them inside and out.
In this book, the mother-daughter duo will help  you make that dream a reality by tackling the "Top 10 Stressors" that mess with a woman's mind, such as:
Cluttered Surroundings
Crowded Schedules
Negative Body Image
Exhaustion of Parenting
Time-starved Marriages
Feeling Like a Spiritual Slacker
Following a series of trial-and-error experiments, Becky and Rachel share laugh-out-loud stories, fascinating research, and practical tips to design a nourished life that fits your personality. By learning how to embrace "nourishing compromises," you'll never put happiness on hold again.
If you are feeling drained, discontent, or discouraged, join a couple of understanding, entertaining companions on the journey from overwhelmed to nourished.

Becky Johnson is the author, coauthor, or collaborator of more than forty books. She's a natural storyteller who has inspired and entertained audiences for years. Most recently she co-authored We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook along with a blog by the same name with her daughter, Rachel Randolph. She and her husband, Greg, live in Denver, Colorado. 

Rachel Randolph writes and speaks with humor and honesty about parenting a toddler, young married life, and her mostly plant-based cooking adventures. Rachel is married to Jared, a high school football and baseball coach. They live near Dallas, Texas, with their son, Jackson.

Book provided by FlyBy Promotions.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Team Us by Ashleigh Slater

Team Us - Marriage Together by Ashleigh Slater is a look at marriage in the twenty-first century with a lot of pop-culture references. Not my favorite marriage book, but a cute one for younger married couples. 
My twenty-three year marriage doesn't have much to glean from this book that's aimed at a younger crowd. The advice is sound and the stories are fun. Each chapter has a discussion guide at the end for couples to get to know each other better. 
I might even suggest this for engaged couples over married couples. 

From the back cover:

When a couple promises, "I do," they agree to more than just a shared last name, a joint bank account, and no more dateless nights This husband and wife duo forms a new team. "Life together" becomes their mantra. Nothing can come between them. At least, that's the plan.
But then real life sets in. With it come disappointments and frustrations. If the couple isn't intentional in their day-to-day interactions, that one enthusiastic "we" can slowly revert to "you" and "me." Before long, the couple's left wondering what happened to their team spirit.
Team Us: Marriage Together offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. Ashleigh Slater shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.

This book was provided for review by FlyBy Promotions.