Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"A Sparkle of Silver"

9780800729622I have been eager for Liz Johnson to start writing a new series as I loved her Prince Edward Island Dreams series!  "A Sparkle of Silver" is the first book in her new Georgia Coast Romance series and it starts the series off with mystery, romance, revisiting the past and family relationships.  Millie plays the role of a 1920's era guest at the Chateau; however she has a motive for playing this role besides the fact of it being a job for her.  Millie's Grandma Joy requires much care and she has shared about a journal and her mother being a guest at the Chateau along with a hidden treasure.  Millie is determined to uncover the secrets and treasure to help answer the questions as to who really is a part of her lineage, but also that her family receives what is rightfully theirs.  However, Millie's searching is discovered by Ben whom is a security guard on the grounds, which he does for his own reasons.  As these two team up to search for the treasure and discover what really happened during this summer from so many decades ago, there is much they learn about themselves, their pasts and their future.  

This is a great story!  It is a nice mix of mystery and romance and I absolutely loved the characters.  I love the whole dressing up and playing the roles to set the scene at this place as a part of recreating history.  Liz's writing is so descriptive, it was easy to picture the various scenes and become a part of the story!  I am looking forward to book #2!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Review Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Monday, October 29, 2018

"Lethal Target"

Book Description from the publisher:

Police Chief Tess O’Rourke thought she’d taken care of her small town’s drug problem last year. But now Rogue’s Hollow residents are up in arms over a contentious vote on legalizing the sale of marijuana within city limits. And when an eighteen-year-old is found dead of a possible overdose, Tess wonders if the local pot farms might be involved and begins to fear that a new, deadlier drug supply chain has cropped up. As tempers flare and emotions boil over, Tess faces the possibility of losing the town’s support.

With her relationship to Sergeant Steve Logan on shaky ground, Tess could really use a friend, and she feels drawn to Pastor Oliver Macpherson’s quiet presence. But the anger she holds over her father’s death prevents her from embracing his faith and finding peace.

Battling storms within and without, Tess is shocked when a familiar face from her past shows up in town to stir up more trouble. And his threats against Tess may prove lethal.

My Review:
I have been waiting for "Lethal Target" to come out since I finished reading the first book in this series, "Crisis Shot!"  The wait was worth it for sure, but now I am left wanting more!  Tess addressed the issue of the drug issue in their small town last year.  However, she realizes that this issue may not be completely over and she may be facing a bigger problem.  Even though Rogue Hollow is a small town, there is so much going on here, things that affect and impact the community as a whole and personal issues that spill over into others around the individuals as well.  However, this is just like it is in real life and it makes the book and characters that much more relatable for the reader.  
Janice Cantore has a knack for telling stories that are timely for today's society and creating characters are easy to like and easy to empathize with and relate to.  I immediately liked Tess in the first book and now after getting to spend more time in her story, I like her even more and feel as if I know the town and the minor characters better as well.  This is a great suspense novel that is filled with twists and turns and has a sprinkling of romance mixed in as well!

*Thanks to the Tyndale Blog Network for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Seek and Explore Bible

Book Description from the publisher:

The NIrV Seek and Explore Holy Bible is about engaging the child’s whole being—heart, soul, and mind. This Bible helps children understand God’s Word by utilizing the nine common ways that children learn: Logical reasoning; Visualizing; Discussing and debating; Learning with others and using interpersonal skills; Reflection or intrapersonal skills; Emotional engagement; Experimenting and doing; Kinesthetics; and Nature.

Children are joined on their journey through the Bible by nine different animal friends who are each designed to help kids use one of the nine different ways of learning. Endearing art of an antelope, monkey, African elephant, meerkat, hippo, tiger, jaguar, panda bear, and zebra guide children from “Base Camp” to the different sites throughout the Bible that lead them through the story of God’s people.

Features of the NIrV Seek and Explore Holy Bible include:

Full color throughout

Single-column text

4 child-friendly Bible maps
8.75 point font

Presentation page

Full text of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) of the Bible, written at a third grade reading level for developing readers

Vibrant and engaging cover

My Review:
This is such a cute Bible for children!  The nine animal friends are depicted throughout to help guide the children to finding certain things in the text are such a great idea; it puts off a vibe of a treasure hunt or game.  Each creature has a certain role to play and that is introduced by their name, such as Arty, or Thinky.  Another feature that I love is the introduction to each book that is given.  This really explains the basis of each book in the Bible, who wrote it, the message that is being presented, all of the background information that will help a child (or any reader for that matter!) better understand what is being shared.  Also there are little memo pad images included with further explanations included on them for a verse or passage.  Overall, this is very child-friendly and makes reading an adventure and a journey, which will have children excited to open the Bible and reads to find out what can be discovered and treasures that can be found along the way.

*Thanks to the BookLook Blogger Review Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Sunday, October 28, 2018

"Hidden Peril"

Image result for hidden peril 

"Hidden Peril," book #2 in Irene Hannon's Men of Valor series is another fast-paced, intense read!  First of all, be sure to read book #1 in this series, "Dangerous Illusions," first as you are introduced to the main character Kristin and her childhood friends in that and they all play roles in this one.  Kristin loves her shop and the role that she plays with helping the world, this is part of the pact that she and friends made years back.  However, when Kristin's employee is shot and killed in the shop and then a customer is killed, Kristin begins to believe that there is something sinister going on.  Detective Luke Carter is new to the area's force, but not new to the job as he has experience in the field and recognizes signs that there is much more to the initial picture that is presented and he feels that Kristin may be in danger herself.  This causes him even more concern as he realizes that he is losing his heart to this woman.
Kristin and Luke met at Trish and Colin's wedding, right at this start of this book and I loved how this interaction set the stage for what was to come, as well as building upon the bond between the three characters, and how the new people in their lives are being worked into these friendships as well.  I cannot wait for book #3 to see even more of this!  There are so many pieces to this story, so many layers, as Kristin is dealing with unresolved issues from her childhood involving her family, and although it takes a terrifying incident to see changes in these relationships, it was very well-written and I love that even after so many years, there can be a change as evidenced with Kristin and her parents.  Luke had suffered so much heartache and he has been living his life, not feeling ready to love again or capable, but yet there comes a time, a time that is God's timing and His will that he is ready for a relationship and he was able to meet Kristin and then have much more contact with her due to the case.  It is scary how real life this book is, as there are terrorist attacks and plans that we hear so much about and that is the world that we currently live in.  However, this should not cause our faith to be shattered or to live in fear, and not follow our hearts; these characters are all such inspiring examples of this and this is a wonderful romantic suspense book that should not be missed!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

waking up to God's goodness around you

Book Description from the publisher:

“In a world where hope seems dim and solutions feel complicated and partisan, Shannan Martin offers us a starting point that is as radical as it is domestic: widen your circle, hush your mouth, and pay close attention. This book is the right book for this moment in time and I simply cannot get over it. I either laughed or cried on almost every page. We need these lyrical, prophetic words now more than ever before.” —Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Simply Tuesday

“This is a message the world needs. So often we overcomplicate ‘service’ or this elusive call to ministry when all the while ministry is right in front of us. Shannan reminds us of the simple, yet beautiful call to love our neighbor and what that could really look like today. We are reminded that extravagant love in ordinary moments does indeed lead to an extraordinary life.” --Katie Davis Majors, New York Times bestselling author of Kisses from Katie

Popular blogger Shannan Martin offers Christians who are longing for a more meaningful life a simple starting point: learn what it is to love and be loved right where God has placed you.

For Christ-followers living in an increasingly complicated world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to live a life of intention and meaning. Where do we even begin?

Shannan Martin offers a surprisingly simple answer: uncover the hidden corners of our cities and neighborhoods and invest deeply in the lives of people around us. She walks us through her own discoveries about the vital importance of paying attention, as well as the hard but rewarding truth about showing up and committing for the long haul, despite the inevitable encounters with brokenness and uncertainty. With transparency, humor, heart-tugging storytelling, and more than a little personal confession, Martin shows us that no matter where we live or how much we have, as we learn what it is to be with people as Jesus was, we'll find our very lives. The details will look quiet and ordinary, and the call will both exhaust and exhilarate us. But it will be the most worth-it adventure we will ever take.
My Review:
Oh my goodness, this book from Shannan Martin is a wonderful book, one that I needed to read, one that I had to stay up late last night reading just because it was that good!  Early on while reading I was completely hooked, "It's all too easy to lose our purpose in life: the leftovers, the empty gas tank, the meetings that run too long.  We know we're called to love our neighbor, but we're leery of risk.  We come from a long line of social awkwardness."  Right where we are, each of us in this very moment, has a purpose, we may feel uncomfortable at times, we may have to take risks, but we have a purpose to be among the people like Jesus was.  Shannan shares her personal experiences, her stories, her uncomfortableness, her times of being a neighbor and reaching out to those around her to fulfill this purpose.  Ministry is not just going overseas, halfway around the world, leaving the life you have grown up in, no it is in the every day life we live as well.  I love how Shannan stresses relationships with others, building real, genuine relationships with people, the people we interact with each and every day at school drop offs, in the grocery store, out for a walk in the neighborhood.  Shannan states, "Offering ourselves as a kind-hearted presence in a world that has forgotten the meaning of community is a courageous act of peace."  By showing up, by being there, interacting with others and building those relationships in the ordinary situations and interactions we can make such a difference and show God's love and be His presence in this world.  I highly recommend this book as it really does live up to its' title: "The Ministry of Ordinary Places: waking up to God's goodness around you."
*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"Gathering of Sisters"

About the book
Image result for gathering of sistersSpend a day with sisters.

Once a week Darla Weaver bundles her children into the buggy, hitches up her spirited mare, and drives six miles to the farm where she grew up. There she gathers with her four sisters and their children for a day with their mother. In Gathering of Sisters, Weaver writes about her horse-and-buggy Mennonite family and the weekly women’s gatherings that keep them connected. On warm days, the children play and fish and build houses of hay in the barn. In the winter, everyone stays close to the woodstove, with puzzles and games and crocheting. No matter the weather, the Tuesday get-togethers of this Old Order Mennonite family keep them grounded and centered in their love for God and for each other, even when raising an occasional loving but knowing eyebrow at each other.

The rest of the week is full of laundry, and errands, and work that never ends. But Tuesday is about being sisters, daughters, and mothers.

Hear straight from Amish and Mennonite people themselves as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author” and the author’s answers to FAQs about the Amish and Mennonites.
About the author
About the Author:
Darla Weaver is a homemaker, gardener, writer and Old Order Mennonite living in the hills of southern Ohio. She is the author of Water My Soul, Many Lighted Windowsand Gathering of Sisters. Weaver has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. Her hobbies are gardening and writing.
My Review:
If you ever wanted to know more about the Mennonite and Amish way of life, this is the book for you!  Darla shares her life, a year of it, with accounts from Tuesdays that she spends with her mother, her sisters and their children.  These are days that are filled with family time, a time of connecting, sharing and learning from and through each other.  Each chapter spans one month and it is an account of the visits for the month, including activities, recipes, things learned through conversation and merely being together and working through things together. 
This book has such a personal feel to it as it is a personal account shared by Darla herself and it makes me wish for a day like this each week, of a time of connecting and just being a family.  It is a nice break from the every day routine for these women; not that it is an actual break from work, but from the normal routine a time of reconnecting and recharging from being in each other's company.  I love how their faith shines through as well through their conversations, through their interactions.  This is a nice, inspiring book that will encourage you to make the most of time with your own family and carve out time specific for family such as days like this. 
To read an excerpt from the book, go here!
*Thanks to the publishers for a complimentary copy of this book.*

"Lady of a Thousand Treasures" Blog Hop Stop!


Welcome to  Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd Scavenger Blog Hunt with an awesome giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!  On each stop, there will be:
  • special content by the blogger, plus
  • a clue
  • then head back to the launch post on JustRead or straight to the main crossword puzzle to fill in the words and get the special phrase to enter the  giveaway!
Before we begin, there's a bit about Lady of a Thousand Treasures. 


Title: Lady of a Thousand Treasures
Series: Victorian Ladies, Book 1
Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical/Gothic Romance
Links: Goodreads

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the di fference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father ’ s passing and her uncle ’ s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot ru n Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected compl ication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron ’ s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron ’ s only living son, Harry — the man who broke Eleanor ’ s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron ’ s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry ’ s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his my sterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor ’ s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron ’ s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can t rust — who in her life is false or true, brass or gold — and what is meant to be treasured.


Goodreads | Amazon | iTunes | Christian Book | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author San dra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra's delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale H ouse Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies seri es follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestsellin g Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor's Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The thi rd in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fic tion debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devo tionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God's Love Dev otional.

Please visit to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

CONTACT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Instructions: Head to every stop on the tour to collect a word to finish the crossword puzzle. Hint: You might want to print out the crossword puzzle (link below) and enter it everyday to make it easier.

Crossword Board: of -a-thousand-treasures- scavenger-hunt

Not a crossword puzzle fan? Just compile the clue words from each stop and enter it on the Rafflecopter entry.

This stop's CLUE is:  you.

My Review:
This is an excellent book set in the Victorian era!  Sandra has done an incredible job with setting the scene, really bringing that time period to life as I felt as if I was transported back in time to England.  In the very first chapter the reader is introduced to the main character Eleanor and we find out that she is paying respects to a man, whom she really is not sure how to feel about, but he was a close friend of her father's and was at one point thought to be her future father-in-law.  Eleanor is a fascinating character as she is very talented and trained in the  art of knowing what antiques are real and what are frauds and she is tasked with keeping the family business afloat; however it is a struggle. Another struggle for Eleanor is knowing who is real and who is fake in regards to her friends, acquaintances and those whom she has business relationships with, including Harry, whom says he is still in love with her.  Eleanor has so much at stake and  not much time to sort things out and discover the truth. 
I was completely lost in this story as soon as I started to read.  The descriptions are so vivid that the story and setting came to life for me and I found myself wanting to help Eleanor and was hoping she was making the right choices.  This is the perfect book to read all cozy under a blanket and a hot mug of tea or coffee and get lost in.  I highly recommend this for fans of historical fiction!


(1) winner will receive:
  • a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures (print to US addresses OR eboo k to international)
  • Cork coaster set of the British Isles (US Only)
  • "To The Lighthouse" diffuser made by Seawitch Candles in Cornwall, En gland. (US Only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card (open international)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entry form will be live on the 19th once all clues are revealed. Clues for giveaway will begin at midnight October 15, 2018. Entries are opened at midnight on October 19, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 22, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 

Be sure to stop on every stop on the Tour Schedule for all the clues to enter!


For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.
(All stops expected to post by 12:00 NOON EST)

Launch Page at JustRead

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, October 15, 2018

for the book lover!

Image result for i'd rather be reading anne bogel

Anne Bogel's latest book, "I'd Rather Be Reading: the delights and dilemmas of the reading life," is a MUST HAVE for those whom love to read!  I was so excited to see this book was coming and then when it actually arrived I was even more excited as it is an adorable book with a great cover!  This is a nice sized hardcover edition, not tiny, but small enough to hold comfortably and to fit inside a purse to take with you wherever you go to read and a perfect size to display it after you are done reading!
I fell in love with books at a young age and it shocks me still when I hear people saying they don't read or they don't like to read or they are not currently reading a book or when I go into a home that is empty of books.  I am in agreement with Anne that books are part of life, books are a part of life, there are so many books that really spoke to me and helped me through a time, I can remember thinking so many times that the book I was reading at a certain time was exactly what I needed right then.  Each chapter is wonderful in this book!  So many times I was nodding and smiling in agreement with what Anne wrote.  I also wrote down a few books that I have missed reading, that I want to go add to my pile to read based on something that Anne said about it.  I love to discuss books, recommend books to others, and hear what others are reading and this book was such a treat, so full of book love!  This would make THE perfect gift for any book lover in your life! 

*Thanks to the Baker Books Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*


Thursday, October 11, 2018

"Silencing Insecurity"

Image result for silencing insecurity

"Silencing Insecurity: believing God's truth about you," is a new personal growth book from counselor Donna Gibbs and this is one that every woman should read!  This is a daily struggle, sometimes more intense than other times, and a stronger impact for some than others, however it is continual for so many people; what I'm talking about is the comparison game.  Yes, we are constantly comparing ourselves, our bodies, our jobs, how we do as a mother, the neatness of our homes, everything, constantly in comparison to those around us, or pictures we see on social media.  Donna shares that she has seen and heard so much of this and this is not how God intended for us to be like.  In this book various things that we tell ourselves is presented and discussed and backed up with examples and then followed up with questions to ask ourselves and truths to reflect upon, all with one purpose to fight against the insecurity that has built and the lies that we have been telling ourselves and believing.  My favorite chapter in the book is near the end as it wraps up so much that has already been addressed, but it takes about the formula for wholeness, how thoughts are tied to behavior and actions.  Our mindset plays such a big role in our self-worth and how we see and think about ourselves.  I highly recommend this book, read it and take the time to savor it and process it!

*Thanks to the Revell Blogger Review Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Hope Your Heart Needs"

Image result for hope your heart needs holley gerth

Holley Gerth is one of my favorite authors of women's living books and her latest, "Hope Your Heart Needs," is another winner.  This is such a cute little book that will easily fit in your purse to pull out when you have a few minutes of down time to read and receive a little bit of extra encouragement.  Although, it is little, there is so much in this book, so many reminders, 52 readings to be exact.  Each reading will remind and encourage the reader that she is not alone, not traveling through this journey of life all alone, as God is right there and He cares for us and gives us strength to tackle life.  These readings are a nice mixture of Holley's own personal experiences and insights, Biblical verses and accounts and quotes and readings from other books on similar subjects.  I always say sitting down with one of Holley's books is like sitting down with a friend chatting over mugs of coffee, as reading is like having conversation instead of just merely sitting there reading the book.  This is a great book and one that will encourage each and everyone who reads it. 

*Thanks to the Revell Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

when do things ever really go exactly according to our plan?!

About the book
About the book:Image result for summer plans and other disasters
Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track.
Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right?
Trying to figure out God’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best laid plans were truly God-inspired. 
Now available from Elk Lake Publishing!
About the Author:
Image result for summer plans and other disastersKarin wrote her first novel in 2007 to cope with her husband’s cancer diagnosis (no worries – he’s cancer free now!). With the support and encouragement of her family, she submitted that manuscript. That particular manuscript has not been published yet, but Summer Plans and Other Disasters, her first published book, releases in September 2018.

Karin writes contemporary and speculative fiction stories with a healthy dose of romance, but she’s also expanded her repertoire: she writes feature stories for the local paper, copy material for businesses, and blog posts for herself and others. She even edits (offering copy editing, fiction editing, and critiques through Write Now Editing Services) and teaches (she’s the Substantive Fiction Editing instructor for the PEN Institute and can be found around the country teaching writing and editing courses at conferences and at her local college).

When Karin’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys cooking and baking. She plays the piano and sings (the key of E, please). She kayaks with her husband in the summer, watches football in the fall (Go Blue!), and enjoys Christmas lights all winter long. Shy but extroverted, Karin adores her nieces and nephew and loves spending time with her family.  Learn more about Karin at:
Chapter 1! Here's a link where you can read the 1st chapter of this novel!
My Review:
This was a super cute and fun book to read!  Callie has her whole summer, really her whole planned out, or so she thinks.  However, as we all know, things do not always go according to plan, our plan that is, but they do go according to God's plan in our lives.  Callie is moving in with her brother to help him for the summer, in more ways than one she thinks.  However, Callie's brother and others, including Callie's ex-boyfriend have varying views on the situation from Callie.  As Callie's plans go awry and more people get added to the mix, things become more interesting and Callie is learning that things are not going to go as she has laid out. 
I am hoping there are more books to follow this one, as I absolutely loved it!  The characters are all so easy to love and relate to and I want to know what happens next for all of them!  Karin writes in a style that is so easy to read and the story is told from multiple points of view which I love.  This allows the reader to really get to know more of the characters and I love reading the various perspectives.  I highly recommend this book and this is a new author for me to look for more books from!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book.*


Living Happy!

Book Description from the publisher:

How would your life be different if you were just a bit happier every day for a year? What would you do to enjoy life just a little more day by day? Take your first step toward increased happiness with The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World by Alli Worthington.
You do your best to live life well—you work hard to be present in the moment, take care of the people in your life, knock it out of the park at work and home. And yet somehow, you still have days (perhaps more than you'd like to admit) where you're simultaneously stressed and bored, and you wonder if you even know how to be happy. Is happiness a worthy goal? Does happiness matter to God, or does He only care about holier things?
Alli Worthington gets it. As a wife, mother of five boys, author, speaker, and entrepreneur, she knows a thing or two about being busy, stressed, and happy in the midst of a crazy world! Over the years, she's seen how happiness gets a bad rap in Christian circles, and now she is standing up to shout the good news from the roof (or the internet, as the case may be): You are allowed to be happy! Yes, you! You can be happy right now!
Get rid of the common Christian misconception that happiness is somehow not holy, and grasp God’s intention for His children—that happiness and holiness can coexist for a beautiful life.
Join Alli for The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World and find the roots of your happiest life yet! With 100 inspirational devotions, beautiful art, and journaling pages throughout, this gorgeous devotional offers practical ways to make your life happier day by day.
Don’t miss the great big beautiful adventure God has for you right in your own life. Let this be The Year of Living Happy!

My Review:
I do not think the UPS truck was even out of my driveway when I was already flipping through this book!  The cover alone is gorgeous and so enticing that I could not wait and this book is even nicer in person than it looks in the picture!  "The Year of Living Happy" is a beautiful, hardcover edition with a ribbon to mark your place, and the pages have a border of the same yellow on the cover which makes the pages look so nice as well.  I am thoroughly impressed with the look and feel of the book, and that is before I even started reading it! 
Alli Worthington has created such a wonderful collection of devotional readings in this book!  There are 100 different readings, and they are divided into 12 chapters by category; for example there is a chapter focusing on friends, another focusing on happiness in your mind (all about gratitude and mindset!), another section focusing on being happy when it is hard to be.   When you open the book to a reading, you see the entire devotional as it spans the two page layout.  The reading typically is about a page and quarter, then there is a box with a few statements or questions for the reader to reflect on, followed by blank lines for the reader to write down the reflections.  This layout is another great feature to this book. 
I am going to go through this book one reading a day and work through the reflection and journaling part as well.  However, there were just so many things that were jumping out at me I just had to keep turning the pages and reading.  One in particular was titled Life is not a Pinterest Board; I am a huge fan of Pinterest, however it is easy for me to get caught in the mindset of not being good enough or not being able to do these amazing looking projects.  Alli encourages that you take a break for 7 days from activities that make you feel less than and journal about that to see how you feel, how those days are overall, what a great challenge!  Life can be crazy and overwhelming and it is so easy to get caught up in comparisons and living just trying to make it through each day and not really living life how you want; this book is a great one to challenge you on things like that and really seek to live happier each day.  This would make a such a nice thinking of you gift or be a great encouragement to someone you know!

*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Thursday, October 4, 2018

"The Sound of Distant Thunder"

"The Sound of Distant Thunder" is book #1 in Jan Drexler's new The Amish of Weaver's Creek series.  Katie and Jonas have been in love with each other and wish to marry; however they have been told to wait until they are a bit older.   Although war and fighting are not acceptable in the Amish culture and they are to remain free from it and politics in general, it becomes impossible when a name is brought up in a draft.  Jonas is wishing to begin his life with Katie, but he is willing to make a sacrifice and go off to war in his brother's place when his brother's name is drawn, his married and with children brother.  This will turn into a test for everyone involved and a time of anxiety and hope.  

This is an excellent start to a new series!  I have always enjoyed reading books set in the Civil War time period and this being an Amish novel adds an extra element to the story as well as war does not align with the Amish  beliefs.  However, war is still just as devastating to the Amish as it is to the Englishers and no matter one's background, those involved in the battles have to deal with the same worries and trials.  Jan does a great job with bringing the story to life as the characters are so real and the time period and setting.  It is a great mix of historical details along with fictional characters.  The minor characters add so much to the story as well as the extended families are so important and their interactions and relationships with the  main characters.  I am looking forward to book #2!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*