Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mars...With Venus Rising by Hope Toler Dougherty

 Try as I might I just couldn't finish this book. I made it through the first few chapters and then gave up. The story didn't pull me in, the characters were not real, the dialogue was bland, there was too much internal dialogue, and the book was wordy (and with some of those words spelled wrong "break" for "brake" - referring to driving). I'm a Pittsburgh native and all of the Martian talk was a little overdone. I don't like leaving bad reviews because I know how much work goes into writing a book, this had a good idea but was not edited enough to make it tight and easy to read.
Book provided for review by LitFuse

Monday, April 25, 2016

Brazen by Leeana Tankersley

 Brazen by Leeana Tankersley took a little while for me to get into. The first three chapters moved a little slow as it seemed the author needed to find her voice and comfort. Once chapter four hit it turned into the book I wanted to read instead of the book I had to read in order to write a review. While the author offers some ideas on how to create a "Brazen board" of your own it isn't necessary. I love her shared stories and the insights to life she has from experience. The Letters to My Daughters was also a touching chapter. If you're looking for a book to move you and make you think then I suggest this one.
This book was provided for review by Revell

The Mother Letters by Amber C Haines and Seth Haines

 This beautiful gift book is perfect for your favorite mother. I found it to be geared more towards younger moms versus older ones. The book is a compilation of letters written mom-to-mom by many different writers. Each one is unique and heartfelt. Meant as an encouraging word for those days when you feel the mom-job is too difficult, this would make a great gift for Mother's Day or for a new mom.
The Mother Letters was compiled by Seth Haines for his wife, as a way to encourage her. What a sweet thing for a husband to do. It turned into a larger vision and is now this lovely little book.

This book provided for review by Revell

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan

 The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan has all the makings of a perfect mystery novel: set in historical Toronto, Victorian era surroundings, and daring female lead characters. Unfortunately it fell flat for me and I was unable to get past the first fifty pages. The dialogue didn't read well and the book was littered with these odd footnotes that disrupted the flow of the book. I lost interest after not connecting to the characters, put the book down, and now just hours later couldn't even tell you what the main characters names were. The footnotes were a major distraction and didn't add anything to the story. 

Book provided for review by LitFuse

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mother, Can You Not? By Kate Siegel

 It's a sad time to be alive when funny is synonymous with vile. I thought this book looked hysterical but was so full of trashy talk and obscenities, along with obscene stories that I put it down and quit reading it. While I appreciate any good mother-daughter relationship humor, this was just so not funny. It's going in the trash.
This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Face to Face by Misty Wallace and Keith Blackburn with Kirk Blackard

Face to Face by Misty Wallace & Keith Blackburn with Kirk Blackard is the story of two lives interrupted by a vicious crime, what happens afterwards, God's intervention, and forgiveness. This book gripped me the entire time I read it and proved once again what happens when someone allows their life to be directed by the Lord. His word tells us that all things work together for good to those who love Him, that means the things that happen yesterday, today, and that will happen in the future are woven together to create a story, a testimony, unlike any other. Such is the story of Misty and Keith. Thrown together by a series of events in a downward spiral, they had no idea that they would eventually need each other and how they would work together.
My favorite part of the book was page 180 where Keith talks about (ironically) doing a 180 in his life. 
This was mostly a clean read, very inspiring, only one word that I could have done without reading.
If you're looking for a true story of forgiveness against all odds or if you do prison ministry then I recommend this book.

Book provided for review by PR By the Book

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Midwife's Dilemma by Delia Parr

 The Midwife's Dilemma by Delia Parr is the third in the At Home in Trinity series. I haven't read the first two in the series but that didn't take anything away from this story at all. I was able to connect to the characters as easily as if this had been a stand-alone novel. I enjoyed the simplicity of the era this was written in. Life seemed to move a little slower in Trinity, even when people were busy. A cranky horse added some humor to the story which also held a few surprises. Very nice and interesting read. Sweet and clean. 
This book provided for review by Bethany House

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson and A.J. Gregory

I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson and A.J. Gregory is the true life story of a girl looking for true love. Emily had it in her hands until it was taken away from her by a tragic accident when she was just eighteen. Her search led her to a stint on The Bachelor and on The Bachelorette but it wasn't until she gave herself fully to God that she found what she was looking for. This was a joy to read and it was interesting to learn about what goes on behind the scenes on one of America's favorite reality shows. Emily is now married with two children and has her own jewelry company. I recommend this book to fans of the show, not only will they learn about the show, but they will learn about the only True Love. 

Provided for review by Booklook

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pocket Prayers collection by Max Lucado

 The Pocket Prayers collection by Max Lucado is a set of six books perfect for gift giving. They are the right size to wrap and attach a card to. The one for teachers is a great end-of-school year gift and our favorite teacher is getting one for herself. I hope she will be able to read it and relax with it over summer vacation. Mother's Day and Father's Day are coming up and these will make great gifts for my parents. I imagine them reading these while watching the hummingbirds on their back porch later this spring. The Pocket Prayers for Military Life is going to be gifted to a young military couple who will be wed in late May. The Pocket Prayers for Graduates is going to my favorite 2016 college grad. There are forty prayer devotionals in each volume and they all have an accompanying scripture verse. Nice and compact, a good size to leave in the bathroom book rack, in the car, or even tucked into a purse or laptop case. 
Books provided for review by LitFuse

Restore My Soul by Ann-Margret Hovsepian

 Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. This Restore My Soul coloring book by Ann-Margret Hovsepian is not only a coloring book but is also a devotional. Each coloring page has a scripture to meditate on and a devotional to go along with it. There are forty devotions and pages to color. Designs range from just pictures to inspirational statements. There are also some empty pages to color towards the end. 
The only thing upsetting about this book is that it smells. I think it's the ink. It is almost overwhelming. I will need to leave this open on the porch for a few days to hopefully get rid of the odor. 

Book provided for review by Tyndale

Friday, April 1, 2016

Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Jen Turano is back with another delightful book. Playing the Part is Lucetta Plum's story and she owns it. 
From the back cover:
Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but must abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucetta's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, seizes the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to safety at her eligible grandson's estate. 
At first glance, Bram Haverstein appears to be a gentleman of means -- albeit an eccentric one -- but a mysterious career  and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows.
While Lucetta has to interest in Abigail's matchmaking machinations, she can't ignore the strange things going on in Bram's house and the secrets he hides. As the hijinks and hilarity that Bram, Lucietta, and they friends are swept away into take a more dangerous turn, can they accept who they are behind the parts they play in time to save the day?

My thoughts:
This book was a delight to read. I laughed out loud several times and was fully drawn into the story. This author writes historical fiction like few others do, always adding humor to the story. Clean and fun to read. 

Jen Turano is the author of seven books, including the Ladies of Distinction and A Class of Their Own series. Her novel, After a Fashion, is a Booklist Top 10 Romance of 2015 and a nominee in the 2015 RT Book Reviews Reviewer's Choice Awards. She makes her home in Denver, CO, with her husband and son. Visit her website at

This book provided for review by Bethany House and LitFuse