Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

Alls Fair in Love and Cupcakes







Alls Fair in Love and Cupcakes
By Betsy St Amant
About the book:
Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

My thoughts:
I loved the premise in "Alls Fair in Love and Cupcakes". Kat feels stuck in her life of baking only strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate cupcakes at her aunts bakery yet she's afraid to step out on her own in ever career, her family, and with her best friend, Lucas, whom she wishes to be so much more.
In hopes of being both encouraging to Kat and to win her over, Lucas signs her up for a cupcake competition reality tv show and tags-a - long as her assistant. Sounds perfect, right? But what if Kat wins and is whisked off to New York C to work at a large, successful bakery?
The book was very descriptive and really got into both Kat and Lucas's head. It's pretty clear to us how each of them feel, so much so that I wished they would have just blurted it out instead of trying to make everything perfect for each other.
Overall, I really like the book, it as fun, lighthearted, and relate able.


* I received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through netgalley.com*

Rating:5 carats




Monday, August 18, 2014

A Bouquet of Love







A Bouquet of Love
By Janice Thompson

About the book:
Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her huge Greek family--especially her father--has other ideas. They've all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant location on the Strand--directly across the street from the Rossis' popular pizza place--and they want Cassia's full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston's premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family's faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into Bella's good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .

Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers one more romp with Bella, Galveston, and the bustling wedding biz in the final installment of her popular series. Anyone who loves quirky families, loads of laughter, and tender romance will find themselves hooked.

My thoughts:
Bouquet of Love reminded me of My Big Fat Greek wedding, which was a fun movie so this book was very fun too.

The Pappas family has moved from California to Texas to open a Greek resteraunt that also happens to be across the a street from an Italian family's resteraunt. This makes them become instant enemies is Cassia's fathers eyes and he basically refuses them to interact with each other. But what happens when Cassia befriends members in the Italian family?

My favorite part of Janice Thompson's stories is that they have a lighthearted, easy going feel but aren't boring. She makes the characters funny without being weird and in this particular book she weakens in a lot of emotion to top it all off.

*i received this book free for review from Baker Publishing Group*

Rating: 5 carats



Monday, August 11, 2014

The Butterfly and The Violin










The Butterfly and the Violin
By Kristy Cambron

About the book:
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

My thoughts:
Sera James feels trapped in her current life and haunted by her past.
She decides the only thing to do is to throw herself into her work as an art dealer. She behind searching out the owner of painting she saw as a child that never left her. It was a painting of a violinist during the Holucost.

Adele, is the violinist in the painting intertwined and carries a haunting take with her. The stories intertwine as Sera's search begins to impact her personal life.

Almost every chapter flips between Sera's story and the story of Adele. Even with the switching I never felt lost. Both stories were written in their own distinct voice and clarity.

"The Butterfly and the violin" is both haunting and moving. Sera realizes want is really important in her life and sees that light can come from the darkest nights when we put lives in Gods hands.



* I received this book free for review from BookLook Bloggers*

Rating: 5 carats



Monday, August 4, 2014

Debt-Proof Living







Debt-Proof Living
By Mary Hunt
About the book:
Mortgages, credit card balances, student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans have become a way of life for the majority of us. And debt is putting not only our present at risk as we live paycheck to paycheck, but our futures in jeopardy as shockingly few of us have enough put away for retirement. Personal financial expert Mary Hunt wants readers to embrace the radical but simple truth that they don't need more credit or more stuff--that they can live their lives debt-free.

In her classic book Debt-Proof Living, Mary reveals the secrets to getting out of debt and staying out of debt for the rest of your life. At no time in history has this liberating approach to a no-debt lifestyle been more desperately needed. Those who have been struggling to pay the bills or feel like they just can't make their finances work without taking on debt need this book. It can change their lives.

My thoughts:
Debt-Proof Living by Mary Hunt is filled with the basic consistent principles commonly used by most financial advisers counseling people on ways to get out of debt and better manage money. This is because those core principles of money management are the foundation for debt free living. People have to spend less money then they make, always save something and have a solid plan for paying off existing debt and preventing future debt.

Where I find Mary Hunt's approach different is in her first principle for debt proof living "Principle 1: Never keep it all. The first things you must do when money flows into your life is give some of it away." The voice of greed whispers entitlement into our lives. How can we combat the greed enemy? With giving, giving brings balance to our lives connecting us to something greater than ourselves.

Debt-Proof Living is a simple to understand, easy to apply, road map anyone can use to live a life free if debt if they choose.


*I received this book free for review from Baker Publishing Group*

Rating: 5 carats




Friday, August 1, 2014

"One Small Step..." can Create One Giant LEAP!




"One Small Step..." can Create One Giant LEAP!


That's what popular young adult authors Shannon Delany, Judith Graves, and Jen Murgia hope. The bold trio recently took on management (and in Delany's case ownership) of established small publisher Leap Books LLC.

The three women come from diverse backgrounds in publishing but have pooled their skills and resources to breathe new life into Leap.

Established in 2009 by Laurie Edwards, Leap has earned a respected place in the young adult and middle grade markets, gaining recognition from the Green Earth Books Award program, the Young Adult Library Services Association Popular Paperbacks program, and receiving recommended reading status from authoritative review sources, such as Kirkus Reviews, the Midwest Book Review, and CM Magazine.

What should readers look forward to with the relaunch of Leap? "We already have a backlist of strong stories thanks to the foundation Laurie Edwards built for Leap Books, but it seems like people have overlooked many of them while swimming in the sea of current YA and MG novels. We're going to change that and build on the existing list with our upcoming SHINE list of edgy YA and NA e-novellas and a re-branding and re-launching of both our YA novel line SURGE and our middle grade novel line."

What should authors look forward to with Leap Books? "Although Leap's SURGE line usually only accepts agented submissions, in mid-October we'll be opening our doors wide for unagented works, too. If you have a well-polished YA or MG novel that grabs us and holds us, we may have a spot in our lineup for you. Watch the Leap Books blog--no, stalk the blog--to find out when to submit. And watch for special anthologies to submit to--we have some great ones coming up!"

For now Delany suggests readers and writers alike leap into the contest running until August 8th at http://leapbks.blogspot.ca/ and if you're serious about writing for a publisher, first give a few of their books a read.

You can find Leap Books at:

http://leapbks.net/
http://www.Twitter.com/Leapbks
http://www.FaceBook.com/people/LeapBooks-Owner/

Enter the Rafflecopter contest to win three Leap e-books of YOUR choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's All Be Brave





Let's All Be Brave
By Annie F. Downs

About the book:
Annie Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same. As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire. How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person---it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward---even when it’s scary. This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage---nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance. Let’s All Be Brave features: * Funny/interesting stories that draw readers into each chapter * God’s surprising answers to finding courage and boldness * Challenging questions and advice to help readers make real-life changes to live fully and glorify God more every day. The companion Web site (www.letsallbebrave.com) offers more resources and an opportunity for readers to share personal stories of courage with other

My thoughts:


I've followed Annie F. Downs blog for years, I love her, and have loved each of her books.

Let's All Be Brave is Annie's first adult book and a challenge for all of us to look to The Lord and be brave in out loves where He plants us and leads us.

What I like most about "Let's All Be Brave" is how relatable it is. So often we think in order to be brave we have to do something big. Annie says differently, being brave comes from following Jesus where He leads you and sometimes that's doing everyday things.

Others may not realize it but for some of being brave is calling up an old friend of verbalizing our dream to someone we're close to.

Annoe draws from stories in her own life big and little. For those of us who have followed her blog we see a deeper look into what she went through at different times as well as what she learned from them.

She so uses a lot of stories from her real life friends.

I loved "Let's All Be Brave" as much as I have loved everyone of Annie's books. I hope that you'll be brave and grab a copy for yourself, too.

*I received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through netgalley.com*




Rating: 5 carats

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Addicting







Its Addicting
By Laura L. Smith

About the book:
This third installment of the Status Updates series finds four college sophomore roommates finally getting comfy with the routines of dorm life. But Kat, Claire, Palmer, and Hannah soon begin to feel the nagging ache of innocent addictions pulling them away from their true selves. Still, obsessing over perfection, exercise, or a super-cute boyfriend could never be a bad thing—could it? Hang out with these four roomies to see if they can—or even want to—ditch these sneaky little hang-ups before they take over their lives.




* I received this book free for review from Playlist Fiction*

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vegan Ice Cream






Vegan Ice Cream
By Jeff Rogers

About the book:
Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or following a dairy-free diet, you don’t have to miss out on one of the world’s favorite desserts. Although ice cream substitutes are available, none of them achieves the richness of the real thing or offers the breadth of delicious flavors—until now. Vegan Ice Cream offers decadent frozen alternatives that don’t rely on milk, cream, or refined white sugar. Instead, these luscious recipes use nut milks, fresh fruit, and natural sweeteners to create simple and inventive ice cream flavors, from old favorites like Chocolate Chip and Strawberry to exotic creations such as Pecan Pie, Pomegranate, Kiwi Mandarin, Piña Colada, Chai, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Gingersnap, and many more.

This fully revised edition now features more than 90 recipes, including raw vegan ice creams and sauces, and full-color photography throughout. From the very first taste, you’ll be astonished at just how tasty and rich vegan ice cream can be. So make room in your freezer, and never miss out on the joys of ice cream again.

My thoughts:

I was really excited to read "Vegan Ice Cream". Since I am dairy free, I don't get to eat ice cream and I miss it. The book begins by listing and explaining the ingredients he uses. Most of the recipes contain nuts, usually cashews. In them he basically makes a "milk" from the nuts. I think you can use a non-dairy milk from your grocery store instead of making your own. Then he goes into the chapters of recipes complete with pictures that look just like ice cream.There's traditional ice cream flavors, non traditional ones, raw flavors, and sauces to top it all off.


I like this little book, it's exciting to think without dairy i can have ice cream. Good ice cream and also to see flavors I never even though of. Jalapeño Heaven, anyone?

*i received this book free for review from Blogging For Books*

Rating: 4 carats




Monday, June 16, 2014

Nashville Sweetheart







Nashville Sweetheart
By Rachel Hauck

About the book:


What do you do when the past you’ve been dodging shows up at your door with cameras rolling?

Aubrey James ruled the charts as the queen of country for over a decade. She’d rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parents’ death—both of them pioneers in gospel music. But while her public life—high-profile romances and fights with Music Row execs—made for juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey has remained a media mystery.

When a former band member betrays Aubrey’s trust and sells an “exclusive” to a tabloid, the star knows she must go public with her story. But Aubrey’s private world is rocked when the Inside NashVegas interviewer is someone from her past—someone she’d hoped to forget.

All the moxie in the world won’t let this diva run any longer.

My thoughts:

"Nashville Sweetheart" follows Aubrey James a country music star that appears to have it all but longs for the simple thing she has lost, her family.

A former band member sells the story if parts of her life she tried to keep the most private and Aubrey must face the truth. Will she reconcile with the brother she loves of will he cut her out of his life forever?

Rachel Hauck always has such well developed characters but this one felt a little lacking. Maybe because its an older book or hers or maybe because the story was simply hard to follow. All and all, Nashville sweetheart is a good book.


*i received this book free for review from BookLook Bloggers*

Rating: 4 carats

50 Things You Need To Know About Heaven



50 Things You Need To Know About Heaven
By Dr John Hart

About the book:

We all want to know what happens after we die. Will we go to heaven? What will we do there? Will we see our loved ones?

It turns out the Bible is filled with answers to your most important questions, explaining what heaven looks like, who will be there, and how to get there in the first place. In this book you will find clear explanations of these passages, giving you an honest and beautiful picture of our eternal home.

Find comfort and peace in the truth about heaven.

My thoughts:

"50 Things You Need To Know About Heaven" answer 50 different questions about what heaven will be like. The questions are simple and ones we all have wondered with some we haven't but upon reading would like to know.

Will there be animals in heaven?
Will we get bored?

The answers are very straight forward, easy to understand and all have multiple Biblical references throughout the chapter and at the end of the chapter for further reading.

I think this is a great little reference book to pick up and read through.

Rating: 5 carats



*i received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers*

Monday, June 9, 2014

A June Bride







A June Bride
By Marybeth Whalen

About the book:
It takes a reality TV show for Wynne to realize love isn't just a game.
Wynne Hardy never thought she'd get engaged on a reality TV show, but when she met Andy on The Rejection Connection, the two of them hit it off. Now he's asked her to marry him, much to the public's delight and fascination. They're all set to wed on live TV in a seaside ceremony at the height of the wedding season.
But just as Wynne thinks all her dreams are coming true, her ex-boyfriend walks back into her life at the worst possible time. Steve broke her heart years ago, and she's still sorting through her feelings for him. Her heart isn't as clear as her head that it's past time to move on---even though she's engaged to Andy.
At a local TV talk show appearance, Wynne meets Meredith, who won another reality TV show---Marathon Mom---proving herself nothing short of a superhero. As Wynne's beach wedding plans spin out of control, Meredith offers to help, unknowingly stepping on Wynne's secret feelings . . . and exposing some secrets Meredith has been keeping to herself. Can these two reality stars get real about their feelings? Will Wynne go through with her televised wedding and be the perfect June bride the network is looking for?

My thoughts:
A June bride is sort of a take off of "the Bachelor" tv show.I wanted to like the story but most of the time I felt confused. There were pieces left out and the story bounced around. I didn't really know who Wynne was or why she chose Andy. Yet isn't that how "The Bachelor" tv show is?

Wynn:




*i received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through netgalley.com*

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Stone a Collective- May








The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regular practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective on FB, Twitter, and Instagram.





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Urban Watercolor Sketching










Urban Watercolor Sketching
By Felix Scheinberger

About the book:
A guide that shows painters, drawers, doodlers, and urban sketchers how to bring their drawings to life with colorful, bold, yet accessible painting methods.

COLOR YOUR LIFE

Bring new energy to your sketches of urban scenes with this fresh and simple approach to watercolor painting. Whether you’re an amateur artist, drawer, doodler, or sketcher, watercolor is a versatile sketching medium that’s perfect for people on the go—much like pen or pencil. Accomplished designer and illustrator Felix Scheinberger offers a solid foundation in color theory and countless lessons on all aspects of watercolor sketching, including:

Fundamentals like wet-on-wet, glazes, and washes
Materials and supplies to bring on your travels
Little-known tips and tricks, like painting when water
isn’t handy and seeking out inspiration

Vibrant watercolor paintings grace each page, and light-hearted anecdotes (why do fish make great subjects to paint, you may be wondering...) make this a lively guide to the medium. With an open mind and sketchbook, you will be ready to capture the moments around you in luminous color with confidence, creativity, and ease—no matter what your skill level may be.

My thoughts:
I've been watercolor painting for about a year and I love it. It's so relaxing and fun. Each chance to learn a new technique excited me.

"Urban Watercolor Sketches" is all about being you in your art while cover all the watercolor basics from color theory to different types of glazes.

The entire book is filled with bright and sketchy pictures to spur you into to trying out watercolor for yourself.

This is a great book for someone wanting to start out in watercolor or anyone wanting to re-inspire there hobby!

*i received this book free for review from Blogging For Books*

Rating: 4 carats




Monday, May 19, 2014

Spoken For







Spoken For
By Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke

About the book:
A great romance was set in motion before you were born. A relentless Lover is pursuing you, and He has made His intentions clear. He wants you to be His forever. How will you respond to the One who longs for you to be His with your whole heart?
In Spoken For, Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke speak to your heart about what it means for you to belong to Christ, who you are because of His love, and how that affects the way you live. Drawing on biblical promises and their personal experiences, these two friends share what it’s like to live out God’s unfolding love story.
You are not up for grabs. You are spoken for.

My thoughts:
I couldn't wait for this book because I love all of Robin Jones Gunn's books, both fiction and non-fiction. They are filled with warmth and whimsy. Robin enlists the help of her good friend, Alyssa Joy Bethke, blogger and wife of author Jeff Bethke. In the first chapter we learn how Alyssa and Robin became friends. Alyssa was doing an internship at a church in Mauai, Hawaii when she met Robin and told her how much Robin's Christy Miller series meant to her. Does anyone remember that fun story from Robin's book "Victim of Grace". It was exciting to see that the Alyssa from the book is Alyssa Bethke.

The premise of the book is that we all, as children of God, are spoken for. The book lives up to its title. Every chapter showed a way Alyssa and Robin learned to see who they were in Jesus Christ and how they began to live there life differently.

" Spoken For" is full of encouragement and reminders that we are precious to Christ.

* I received the book free for review from Multnomah Publishers *

Rating: 5 carats




Monday, May 12, 2014

I've Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has







I've Never Been to Vegas But My Luggae Has
By Mandy Hale

About the book:
Wrong turns, humiliating flops, painful heartbreaks—and happiness? Yes, believe it or not, they can go hand in hand.
Blogger and author Mandy Hale, affectionately known as “The Single Woman” to her half-million social-media followers, is living an adventurous life that proves even our lowest lows and messiest mess-ups can point us toward our joy-filled destiny as single women.
In I’ve Never Been To Vegas, But My Luggage Has, Mandy delivers heart-to-heart, often hilarious stories from a life filled with love and loss, glamour and goose bumps, faith and friendship, big dreams and battle scars. She shares the bittersweet euphoria of her high-school romance, the panic-stricken cluelessness of her first day on a stressful job, and the foot-in-mouth horror of her red-carpet interview with a music legend.
Along the way, Mandy dollops personal anecdotes with encouraging insights. From thrilling first kisses to crushing break-ups, from soaring career milestones to promising flights that never quite got off the ground, she unfolds in often uproarious detail the zigzags along the path toward a pinnacle moment: sharing a table and a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming conversation with her lifelong hero.
In the end, Mandy turns Sin City’s infamous marketing slogan on its head: What happens in her life doesn’t stay in her life. She shares even her darkest moments in witty, winsome ways that make us not only feel her pain, but also laugh with her and apply her hard-won nuggets of inspiration to our own lives.

My thoughts:

"I've never been to Vegas, but my Luggage has" took me a while to get into but when I did it was good. This is Mandy Hale's biography and how she came to creat her brand "The Single Woman".

At first, I didn't really relate to her, it seemed like she was taking us through her job day to day telling is how great it us or when she did silly things. After a while, I started to see a bigger story and deeper struggles than just making a fool of yourself at work unfold. Through it all we see where she got the advice she now gives on her blog and how she learn to live the strong and independent of what other people think.

Mandy is really candid and open about her experiences, sometime surprisingly so. It's refreshing to see be honest about times the struggled with their faith or made a bad decision.

"I've never been to Vegas...." Is ultimately of story of hope and faith that people truly can change and when you allow God to guide you, He will take you places you never imagined.

*i received this book free for review from BookLook Bloggers*

Rating: 4 carats




Monday, May 5, 2014

A May Bride







A May Bride
By Meg Mosley

About the book:
She’s prepared for her wedding all her life … but she forgot a few things.
Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, often de-stresses from city life by tending the flower beds of a church near her apartment. She has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life, a wedding like the one her younger sister is planning back in their hometown. Their single mom will pay for Alexa’s wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom.
She bumps into a man who’s a guest at a wedding on the church grounds. She’s noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn’t trust freewheeling men like him. Standing up to Mom leads Ellie to stick up for Alexa too. When Ellie risks her own plans for her sister’s sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle?
Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they’ve begun come crashing down?

My thoughts:
Ellie thinks she established a life all for herself but when Gray Whitby comes into her world he challenges how independent she really is. Does she want the life her mom has planned for her or does Ellie wants to make her own path.

Ellie's mother is very controlling and bitter. Her views and opinions took over the story and there are time a I wish there was more Ellie, even if she reflected on her moms bitter ways I wish it was contrasted with what Ellie really thought. Ellie struggled with how to stand up to her mom but Gray didn't always support the struggle and I don't understand why they wanted to jump into marriage so quickly, like I said there wasn't enough of them to really know it was simply Ellie's mom doesn't want a quick marriage of a marriage to someone she (Ellie's mom) hadn't known for a long time.

They did seem happy at the end and Ellie made some big strides in "cutting the apron strings" as Gray so often put it.

*I received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through netgalley.com*

Ellie:




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Stone Collective- April









The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regular practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective

**Also, feel free to use #TheStoneCollective for IG,FB, Twitter, Etc.




Luke 12:35-36
"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. "Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. "

Monday, April 14, 2014

An April Bride







An April Bride
By Lenora Worth

About the book:
Bride-to-be Stella Carson cannot wait another day to marry her longtime sweetheart, Marshall Henderson. But her plans fall to pieces when she receives the terrible news that Marshall has suffered a near-fatal head wound while serving overseas. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he asks to recover privately in a D.C. hospital, and Stella gives him space to heal. But when Marshall returns home to Louisiana, it becomes clear to them both that he is not the man he used to be.
Marshall's memories of home have disappeared, and he suffers from violent, vivid nightmares night after night. Struggling to regain their life together, Stella reintroduces him to their town, reminding him of his history and their love story and watching glimpses of recognition dance in his eyes. But there is one dark corner in his memory, one important part he can’t remember: his life with Stella.
With only weeks until the wedding, Stella and Marshall must choose between a marriage built on the past and faith in long-ago love or a very different future than the one Stella imagined.

My thoughts:
An April Bride reminded me of hallmark movie. Simple, sweet and somewhat predictable. . It's well written and an easy read but I don't feel like it was to gripping or transported me to a different world. If you like basic Christian romance than you'll like this book.

How I see Stella:




Monday, April 7, 2014

Growing Up Duggar






Growing Up Duggar
By Jana, Jessa, Jill, and Jinger Duggar

About the book:

With a backdrop of the key relationships in their lives—relationship with self, parents, siblings, friends, boys, and God—the four Duggar girls open up about their own personal faith and convictions, boys, dating, manners, living in a large family, politics, and much more. You’ll learn how the family navigates the difficult years between twelve and sixteen and what the girls look for in a man, all in a frank and fun book that will inspire teens and adults alike. Including lighthearted stories about the younger kids’ antics, Growing Up Duggar is a wise and entertaining trip into a family like no other.

My thoughts:
I don't know exactly what to say about "Growing Up Duggar" except that it's very Duggar. If you watch the show you know exactly what you are getting in reading this book.

The Duggar's show great strength in their ability to hold to their convictions and not let others opinions take them. The four oldest Duggar girls Jana, Jessa, Jill, and Jinger explain in depth how they view and navigate relationships in their daily lives and give advice and answers to questions they are asked frequently in emails or speaking at events.

*I received this book free for review from Howard Books through netgalley.com*

Rating: 4 carats




Monday, March 31, 2014

The Stone Collective- March








The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regular practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. Link to instagram and twitter. #TheStoneCollective


....let go....



Proverbs 3:5-6 " Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Twirl





Twirl
By Patsy Clairmont

About the book:
Is life making you so dizzy that you’re forgetting what’s most important?

Patsy Clairmont loves a good twirl. The kind that will make a child fall to the ground, squeal with laughter, and then want to get up and spin in circles some more! However, there is a twirl where busy schedules and urgency create a different and unwanted variety of dizzy into our lives.

Though hurry-up is part of the human dilemma and certain seasons bring more of it than others, if it becomes a lifestyle you might find yourself on the slippery slopes of bitterness, sadness, and depression. Patsy’s hope is to help her readers maintain a dynamic view on life—with activities and choices that lead to renewal and peace. So take a little stroll with Patsy Clairmont through Twirl, and allow her unique perspective and deep well of biblical wisdom to realign your spin on life.

My thoughts:
Twirl, I love the title. It so fun and inviting and I'm happy to say the book lives up to its name. Twirl is a breath of fresh air where Patsy Clairmont asks us to take twirl and find a fresh spin in life on peace and relaxation throughout all that's swirling around us.

Twirl grabbed me from the beginning. Patsy writes with genuineness and a lighthearted take on life as she points out what is really important in life.

Each chapter is short and stands on its own with great questions at the end. Its a little longer than a devotional but it would be great to use as devotional because of its both deep and heartwarming tone.

* I received this book free for review from Thomas Nelson Publishers*

Rating:




Monday, March 17, 2014

A March Bride







A March Bride
By Rachel Hauck

About the book:
A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.

Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God's plan for her.

Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

My Thoughts:

This modern-day fairytale has a theme that runs deep. Suzanna is on her way to marrying Prince Nathanial but the country expects one thing of her, that she gives up her American citizenship. Feeling as if they are tearing away a part of her she has to decide if holding into all she knows is more important than a step of faith.

How I envision Susanna:



*i received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through netgalley.com*

Rating: 4 carats





Monday, March 10, 2014

Unstoppable







Unstoppable
By Nick Vujicic

About the book:

Millions around the world recognize the smiling face and inspirational messages of Nick Vujicic. Born without arms or legs, Nick has not allowed his physical challenges to keep him from enjoying great adventures, a fulfilling and meaningful career, and loving relationships. Nick has overcome trials and hardships by focusing on the promises that he was created for a unique and specific purpose, that his life has value and is a gift to others, and that even though he may endure hardships, God is always present and in control. Nick credits his success to the power that is unleashed when we put our faith into

My thoughts:
How could anyone with no arms or legs be unstoppable? Most would think Nick Vujicic wouldn't even have the ability to begin let alone a worry about being stopped. Yet Nick does not measure his abilities or inabilities by the physical body he was born with but measures his life opportunities by what God has provided for him. Unstoppable is an example of the power God offers to everyone when we choose to overlook the boundaries life sets at our feet. No one is exempt from adversity, every person will be faced with difficult life situations and challenges at some point. We can choose to stop when life gets difficult or we too can become unstoppable when we rely on the power of faith in Christ and put that faith into action.

Nick shares many personal triumphs and struggles with readers, opening himself up to offer hope for readers to see the key for life isn't to be overcome by adversity but to allow God to walk us through the good times and the bad. Nick blends his stories right along with those of others he has met along his journey, each is unique and offers a true life dimension to understanding him.

Yes the stories are inspiring, feelings are true and heartfelt, but at times it does become a long read. In spite of that, the book is worth reading and sharing with anyone dealing with doubt or life struggles.

Favorite Quote:

"You may have many friends and advisors. Maybe you base your decision on the alignment of the stars or a gut feeling. Everyone has a process. Mine is surrender. God understands us to the core because He created us. "

Rating: 4 carats




* I received this book free for review rom Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers*

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Seeing Through Stones







Seeing Through Stones
By Rajdeep Paulus

About the book:
"I live in the in between. Between yesterday and forever. The way forward haunts me. The gap I must cover daunts me. And hope beckons, ‘Run to me,’ but I just learned to walk." After a lifetime of abuse, the Vanderbilt siblings flee their home, finally free to pursue new dreams while running from yesterday’s nightmares. Once bed-ridden Jesse navigates the Chicago streets, concealing his identity and planning revenge. A chance encounter in the rain introduces a girl who offers Jesse a glimpse of a sunnier future, but how will he weather the growing storm inside himself? Separated from her Post-it note prince, Talia hides at a safe house for survivors of domestic violence while her father turns the city upside-down to find her. Surrounded by women fighting their own demons, Talia faces her past at every turn.



My thoughts:
It's not easy to write a sequel picking up where you left off but Rajdeep Paulus pulled it off in "Seeing through Stones". She seamlessly wove the continuing story lines into another emotional and sometimes chilling story. This time told from two perspectives, Jess and Talia.

I really liked seeing more of a glimpse into Jesse and his feelings towards things. Talia continues to blossom through the book and take a few more courageous steps.

If you liked "Swimming through Clouds" you'll love "Seeing through Stones" just as much.

Talia dreaming in a blue dress inspired by Cristian siriano




Friday, February 28, 2014

The Stone Collective






The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regularly practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective


Sometimes, only music will do.
Waiting Room by Jinny Diaz





See all of The Stone Collective
Here

feel free to use #TheStoneCollective for IG,FB, Twitter, Etc.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A February Bride





A February Bride
By Betsy St Amant

About the book:
A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
Allie left the love of her life at the altar---to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine's Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family's destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress?
History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day---in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family---women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she's destined to repeat her family's mistakes. She can't bear to hurt Marcus worse.
Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar---him. When the two are thrown together for his sister's Valentine's Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

My thoughts:
In a February Bride, Allie forgoes her chance at happiness because she believes her family is cursed. She leaves her fiancé at the alter and a few months later is thrown back into his circle bringing all her conflicted feelings back. Will Allie be able to move past her past heartbreak and take a chance at a lasting future?

How I imagine Allie's dress



* I received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through netgalley.com*

Rating: 5 carats