Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Review: When the Squirrel Sings by Shana Hollowell

Once again, I've been given the privilege of reviewing one of Shana's wonderful storybooks. When the Squirrel Sings is a beautiful picture book that tells little ones all about what squirrels are thinking of when they play outside. With sweet rhymes and a delightful story, little ones are sure to be excited about hearing the squirrel's song and learning about not only squirrel habits, but those of the other animals in the sweet symphony too. (Of course, I do have a soft spot for "squails" and always try and strike up a conversation with them when I pass them at school!) But one of the most striking things about this book is the wonderful illustrations! Children will love the realistic, yet magical, renditions of our furry grey friends gracing each page. AND they'll enjoy looking for the heart hidden on each page. (I know I did! Can you spot the heart on the cover?) Treat your toddlers and yourself to a lovely bedtime story that will probably become one of their favorites and yours!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream by Pepper Basham

Official Amazon blurb: "Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?"

This book... I did not have time to read this book when I got it. But could I leave well enough alone? No. NO I could not. And do you wanna know why? Because a large piece of MY heart resides in the Blue Ridge, and every fall that part aches to go visit Mabry Mill and drive along the parkway. And so, I put the book on my shelf and promised I'd get to it later. Well, later finally came, and from the moment I picked it up, I knew there was no way I would put it down! The story stole me away, and placed me in the mountains. The few times I stopped for a meal or to do something that couldn't wait, I would have to take a minute and reorient. Where am I? What year is it? What time of day? Surely, this isn't only a book? And as soon as I picked it back up, I'd be falling through time and space, right back to 1918 in the mountains. The setting was incredible. The characters, more so. Each and every character made the story more real, and I can only hope there will be sequels. The real, simple, honest faith and the well-written characters drive this book to the top of my 2019 reads. In fact, I sincerely hope someone gives this book a Christy award, since I can't think of a book more LIKE Christy than this! Have I convinced you yet to pick up this book and read it? Let's hope so!

My first ever book by Pepper Basham has me ready to devour everything she's ever written.

I received this book from the publisher, but I was not obligated to leave a review.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Review: The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

Goodreads Blurb--- "Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the rush for gold. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope. "

I'm giving this book 5 stars. From chapter three, I was hooked. San Francisco in 1850 was one of the most corrupt places to be, and this story follows three upstanding citizens trying to influence as much of their city as they can. The premise isn't that different, but as soon as you get into it, this book shows you things you rarely see. Joseph and Olivia both have secrets and feelings that get in the way of the romance you want to happen, (male lead with a gold mine that DOESN'T consume him! Insert shocked emoji) but together they work towards a better city (I misspelled the name of this city like 500 times so I'm just not doing it anymore ;) ) One of the coolest things was the journals from previous "brides" in the series. That was a really neat way to connect to the past. The little boy that Olivia helps is another great part of this book. Obviously, there are bad guys to hate, and waiting for their comeuppance is really hard. And of course, the epilogue got me being a mess. (I swear, a good epilogue is essential to have me raving about a book!) I only wish there were a book about Daniel and his romance, too! Pick up this installment of the Daughters of the Mayflower! You won't be disappointed. Great writing leads to great reading! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review

Friday, June 14, 2019

Review: The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

Amazon Blur---"A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy—until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him and her love for her country."

I'm giving this book 4 stars. It was an excellent story, but it wasn't until I got over halfway through that I "couldn't put it down." The first half was just as good, but something about it just didn't keep my attention. That being said, you should definitely read this book. It is thrilling. I have always felt like there wasn't enough material set around the War of 1812, and that's why I was so extra excited to get my hands on The Liberty Bride. The characters were amazing! Even the supporting characters had depth and meaning to them. I feel like the author did a crazy good job of getting emotion to leap from the pages. And if you love a war story with a strong female lead to help save the day... well, just look no further! Fans of the Daughters of the Mayflower series will enjoy reading this installment and travelling with Emeline through the thick of battle. Danger, love, and dangerous love will thrill you to your toes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review: The Refuge by Ann H. Gabhart

Goodreads blurb--- "When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It's meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique--and lonely--position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?"

This book deserves its five stars. I didn't even know that the Shakers existed until I read about them in one of Tracie Peterson's books. Since then I've been very curious. The Refuge was a wealth of information hidden inside a stunning story. This story is full of children and babies and that was the first thing to endear it to my heart. The story has an incredible plot, with a couple curveballs that will keep you reading right through supper ;) The narrative is half third-person and half first-person, so if that is gonna mess with your head... well, you just got your warning. The story is a journey, and you don't want to miss it. From fun-loving little Leatrice, to the grouchy Eldress Maria, each person in this story is going to evoke a response. (Maybe not a positive one...) The characters all come to life, and the backstories are so well developed. It was a joy to read. 

I received this book free from the publisher.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Review: The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

Goodreads blurb-- "Four women captured King Solomon's heart in different ways, and he indulges his desires despite warnings. For all his wisdom, did Solomon or the women he loved ever find what they were searching for?"

I'm giving this book 4 stars. I was a little hesitant to grab this one, considering... well, it is Solomon. And yes, it was a little much at times, but let's be honest, Solomon was a bit much at times. That being said, this book kept my attention while I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of family for a much wanted visit, and I can't remember the last book that was able to distract me from my impatience. The book starts out sweet...and ends sad. Jill definitely has a way of bringing the Bible to life through her vivid characters. Her books are always sooooo researched. Of course, there is a little guesswork, but you can tell it's educated guesses. If you are looking for a story that will take you back to Bible times then Jill is an excellent option. I can't wait to share this book with my cousin, since she's my Jill buddy! This book is longer than the others, but it's definitely not painful to read more! ;) The only thing I wish were a little different is that I wish that as we moved on through the book that we still got to hear from the characters we got to know at the beginning of the book.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.