Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review: Merchant of Alyss

Merchant of Alyss is a fantasy book set in Falmouth. Hyam and Joelle are happy to be together, even though Hyam has lost his magical abilities. This is a time of turmoil for him as he grieves for his skills yet he wonders if he would have been better off if he never had them. Finding the Milantian scroll gives him power at his touch, however the text foretells war. While trying to find answers to his dilemma he does not know that he is being sought by the merchant of Alyss.

I had not read the first book of the series, however it did not take me long to become lost in this book. The characters in the book feel so real. The main character keeps driving the story. I am now going to move backwards and read the first book, Embassy, as I want to find the complete story of what brought these characters to this point.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Review: Becoming a Woman Who Knows God By Name

There are many names by which God is known throughout the Bible. Included Jehova Jireh, Jehovah Shalom and so many more. This book helps the reader to take a deeper look into each of these names and why they are used.

I found this book to be well-written and researched. It is amazing how many names there are for God and what each of them mean. I recommend this for Christians and Churches. I believe this should find a place on shelves in these places.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Harvest House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: My Not So Perfect Life

My daughter introduced me to Sophie Kinsella over 10 years ago. Since then, I believe I have read every book written by her. Each one is different but very enjoyable. My (not so) Perfect Life follows in that path.

This book is centered around Katie Brenner. When she looks around she see other people who have lives like she would want. This includes Demeter Farlowe, Katie's boss. Where Katie sees her own life as an uphill battle, including her home and flatmates, Demeter's life seems perfect. She has the perfect home, family and clothing.

Finally, Katie sees the light at the end of the tunnel and she is Demeter. She moves to her family home and tries to begin a new business setting the farm up as a vacation home. After doing this, who shows up but Demeter.

I love the way Kinsella writes. Her characters are so lovable, and so real. Each has flaws just like real people, which helps to make them relate-able. I am so glad to have the opportunity to read this latest book and look forward to more in the future.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: The Animators

There are not a lot of women in the animation field, however, in The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker, Mel and Sharon have broke through and they are succeeding. Along the road they look into this art as a way to escape or a way to explore their, not always happy, past. This friendship gets tested when their first feature comes together. This success causes strain in their friendship and their partnership.

Whitaker made characters which I care about and created a book that I know I want to read again. The two friends lives are dealt with with humor and heartbreak. In one section you may be laughing while in tears in another. I loved this book and I feel others will love it also.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Random House in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: 52 Weeks through the Bible

James Merritt is a minister who has decided to share his love of the Bible in 52 Weeks Through The Bible.

Through this guide he is able to show how the Bible works together through events, people and the narrative throughout biblical history. He also takes time to share the importance of the events of some of the days that Christians have heard about over the years. some of these include the story of Ruth, Jerusalem's fall, and the restoration which is to come. As he looks at each of these I felt like I was hearing about them from a new point of view which I felt to be enlightening.

I feel like this devotion is perfect for all Christians or even those that are thinking of joining the Christian walk. I look forward to reading it again in a more leisurely fashion in order to absorb some more of his thoughts.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Harvest House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Book Review: The Palace Library

The Palace Library is set in an old house. This special place is visited by three children who happened on it expectantly. Along with an deerhound and some magical books they discover a doorway which takes them to the past. They find a kingdom which is missing their Great Sword of State. This article is not only gone but it was totally destroyed. The queen tell the children they must find a replacement for the sword so they go on beyond world's end to find one. 
This book takes the reader on a spectacular journey with the children. Along the way the author, Steven Loveridge, leaves the reader wanting to continue on with them. I believe children will be captivated by the story while they find it fun. The author has a creative writing style which I loved.
I was given this book by NetGalley and Cameron Publicity and marketing Ltd. in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: Names for the Messiah

This is a look at the names for Jesus as found in Isaiah9:6. These are Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. There is a look at how people have seen and understood each of these. Then whether Jesus fit the title, and finally what was the interpretation of the way Jesus was a representative of each of these names. 
Names for the Messiah, Written by Walter Brueggemann, is actually a book to be read for Advent. It would be good to use as an individual or as a small group, over this time. Brueggemann always has such insight in his writings. I found this book to be inspirational and I will keep it in mind in December to re-read as it was meant. 
I was given this book by NetGalley and Westminster John Knox Press in exchange for my honest review. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Book Review: A Portrait of Emily Price

In A Portrait of Emily Price, the main character is an artist who would love to own a gallery and this is what her main focus is. That is until a chef by the name of Benito Vassallo decides to court her. He is here from Italy to help his aunt and uncle's restaurant, but when he sees Emily he decides to multi-task and try to win her also.

I found this a book to lose myself in. The characters were fun and developed and portrayed people who are dedicated, stretched, self-discovering, imperfect and human. I loved them.

I think any ready will discover themselves entranced with this book from the time they pick it up.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Knitting in the sun

This book is a great one to have for anyone that lives where there is a warm season. It is filled with fun patterns with a wide range of sizes. Each pattern has a paragraph to introduce it and to tell a little about the design. Then they have pattern notes which gives particular hints for each item along with a link to a website to go download and print a chart of the pattern.

The back of the book includes special knitting techniques, abbreviations, designers and yarn sources. All together there are 32 items to make which range from wraps to a beach chair.

I enjoyed looking at this book and now I am going to begin to plan my first project from it.

I purchased this book from and a review was not required.

Book Review: Drop-Dead Easy Knits

It is hard to imagine a knitting book with new ideas, but this is one. All the title, Drop-Dead Easy Knits, suggests, none of these patterns are very difficult. yet they are each beautiful. Included in this book by Gale Zucker, mary Lou Egan and Kirsten Kapur are cowls, scarves, hats, sweaters, wraps, mitts, socks and the list goes on. There are 29 patterns in all. Each has difficulty ratins of mindless, relaxed or attentive. There is also a list of abbreviations and instructions for each in the back plus sources for suggested yarns and a list of alternate yarns.

If there is one thing that I believe could make it better it would be to tell the weight of each yarn in the pattern. Otherwise, the directions are clear, the pictures are bright and the details can be seen clearly.

Overall, I give this book a high rating.

I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review: Policed by Alana Terry

Alana Terry has written another suspense-filled book centered around Kennedy Stern. In this book, Policed, Kennedy and her friend Reuben decide to take a night and go to the opera. On the way they are pulled over by a officer who seems to have hatred issues. Soon he is beating on the two friends, and due to Reuben's dark skin, it is reported as a hate crime. As they become the investigated, all truths are uncovered.

I chose this book because of Alana Terry's reputation with books that I have read of hers in the past. I have discovered that the Kennedy Stern series pulls me in within the first few pages and then does not let me go until the end. Policed took the story line from some of today's headlines and made them personal, as I was able to relate to the characters deeply.

I highly recommend this book and all others to anyone that enjoys suspense books with a Christian undertone.

I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The sisters of Sugarcreek - Cathy Liggett

I first chose this book to review because it had knitting on the cover. I am mad for all things yarn related. Then I noticed that it mentioned Sugarcreek in the title. This was the name of the church camp I attended when I was growing up. So it had two things going for it in the first place.

Then I began to read the story and the Sisters of Sugarcreek is set in a town which I visited when I was in our youth group. Oh my, I knew I had to love this book. And I did.

There are three women that the story centers around. Lydia Gruber, a young Amish woman, who just lost her husband and is unsure of what she will need to do in order to survive.

Then there is Jessica Holtz. Along with her son Charlie, her life has been turned upside down when her favorite aunt died and left her Rose's Knit One Quilt Too Cottage. She and her son move upstairs to the apartment and she runs the store, even through she doesn't know anything about knitting or quilting.

Finally there is Liz. Jessica's Aunt Rose was Liz's best friend. They also gave hope in the form of anonymous gifts as the Secret Stitches Society. Jessica and Liz want to keep the society going. Their first mission is to help Lydia. These three become friends and together learn how to place one foot in front of the other as they deal with grief and love.

Cathy Liggett developed characters that I could relate with and I could not wait to read each page to see what would happen with these ladies. I definitely enjoyed this book tremendously.

I was given this book by Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Children's book review: A Patch on the Peak of Ararat

I love this book. A Patch on the Peak of Ararat, is a children's book which looks at the story of Noah and the Ark. Written in the style of "The House that Jack Built" the story builds on the previous page until close to the end where the entire story appears in a fun, creative rhyme.

This book is a part of A Faith that God Built series, written by Gary Bower. The story includes the covenant that God created to never flood the earth again. Then at the very end it tells where you can find the story in the Bible and the promise.

Taking my favorite story and making it into the style of another story that I have always loved was ingenious. I cannot wait to share this story with my grandchildren.

Thank you to Tyndale. I was given this book by Tyndale Kids in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Children's Book Review: Legs

Legs is about a baby meerkat named Miki. He and his mother live in a zoo where he is happy. Eventually, though, Miki begins wondering about the world outside of his home. One day he gets lost when he goes a little farther out than normal. Then he sees legs all around him and he begins to wonder who all these legs go with. Animal legs turn to people legs and then he see his friendly keeper's feet. When the keeper picks him up he sees how all the scary legs belong with happy, friendly faces.

Such a cute book, with fun illustrations. I loved this book and I can see it becoming a favorite in a family's story time.

I highly recommend it for all families.
I was given this book my NetGalley and Lion Hudson Plc, in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book Review: Secrets of the Ancient Manual: Revealed!

This is a new way to look at Bible stories for children. With the rise of fantasy books and games, children are always on the lookout for books with this kind of twist, Secrets of the Ancient Manual: Revealed will catch their attention. The narrator throughout the book is a dragon slayer and looks at Bible stories from this point of view. I enjoyed this book and I can see my grandchildren enjoying it also.

Even through it is meant for middle readers, I found myself enthralled with this version.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Paraclete Press in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Benjamin Franklin: Huge pain in my

This is an all right book. However I did have some issues with the way the author had the seventh grade student behave. The premise was cute. Ike had a homework assignment that went wrong. He wrote a letter to Ben Franklin, to get a girl's attention, however, then he receives one back.

I felt like a little more attention needed to be paid to the expectations for a middle-school student, seeing as how this is the audience that the book is aimed at.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Disney Book Group in exchange for my honest review.