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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Review~Fraying at the Edge

Fraying at the Edge, by author Cindy Woodsmall, is the second book in The Amish of Summer Grove series. At the end of the first book in the series,  Ties that Bind, two young women from very different worlds discover they were accidentally switched at birth. Ariana Brenneman has been raised in an Old Order Amish Family, while Skylar Nash was raised in the Englisch world. In Fraying at the Edge,  Ariana and Skylar are forced to go live with their birth parents for a year, to experience what life they should have lived. Nicholas, Ariana's birth father, threatened to sue the midwife, so the Brennemans feel they must abide by his wishes. Skylar's life had spiraled out of control, and living life on an Amish farm seemed a better option than rehab. Ariana, on the other hand, has everything going for her-a man she plans to marry, a loving family, and a cafe she just purchased. Both girls are thrust into lives that are new and scary, and they struggle to get through each day. Will any good come out of this, or will relationships be damaged?

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors, and I have read all of her books. Her style of writing draws me in, and in Fraying at the Edge, as with all of her other books, I feel like I know the characters personally. This book was so hard to put down! I do think that you would be confused if you did not read the first book in the series, Ties that Bind, before this one. At the back of the book is a Glossary of Amish words. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

You can purchase your own copy of Fraying at the Edge at Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.

*I received a copy of this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review~365 Pocket Morning Prayers

365 Pocket Morning Prayers: Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day was written by David R. Veerman and published by Tyndale Momentum, part of Tyndale House Publishers. It is 4x6, with a leather-like finish, embossed with a palm tree and birds on the cover. It is 316 pages long, with a topical index at the end of the book.

Each day/prayer is a different topic, with scripture included using New Living Translation. The prayers are in sets of seven for a week, with the 6th and 7th days (representing the weekend) shorter than the others. You can read one each day for an entire year, or go to the index at the back and choose your topic for the day. The author states in his introduction, "The prayer itself may involve praise, confession, or challenge, all with the purpose of drawing you closer to God."

I have been enjoying 365 Pocket Morning Prayers. It is compact enough to keep in my bag and pull out while waiting in line to pick my son up from school. I have not been reading the prayers chronologically, but have been picking a topic from the index each day. Each prayer is short enough to read quickly, but deep enough to make an impact on my day. I found them interesting and relevant to today's world.

You can purchase your own copy of 365 Morning Prayers at Tyndale.

*I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review..

Review~Gratitude-A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal is a gorgeous 6x8 hardcover book to color and journal in.  It is 110 pages long, with 40 needs-based prayers covering a variety of topics. There are over 100 designs to color, with lots of room to write and/or sketch. There are prompts, or you can do your own thing.

Here is an example of a page ready to color and journal:

There are also some pages already with color that have space to journal or doodle on:

Here is a page that I colored with colored pencils:

I am not an artistic person, but I love pretty things! Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal is beautiful!!! I love it, and think it would make a wonderful gift. The size is smaller (6x8), so it fits great in a purse or bag. It is very sturdy, and the pages are nice and thick. I have really enjoyed the positivity of all the topics, and the plentiful scripture throughout.

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal is part of Tyndale's Living Expressions Collection. Click on the link to see the beautiful collection and purchase your own! You will be glad you did.

*I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 3, 2016

If You Were Me and Lived In..Ancient Greece

If You Were Me and Lived in..Ancient Greece is part of author Carole P. Roman's series An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time. This book was illustrated by Mateya Arkova, and is 54 pages long. It is recommended for ages 8-12, but I think it could be extended in both directions to younger and older readers alike. My almost 14-year-old son has been reading this series and enjoying it.

So much about Ancient Greece is covered in this book! Just to touch on some of the topics included-landscape, clothing, food, school, sports, and family life. The illustrations in If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient Greece are beautiful! I love the soft, pastel colors and watercolor look. This book is great for kids to really get an idea of what life would have been like in Ancient Greece. Younger readers might need some help with some of the longer pages of text. Very helpful, in the back of the book, is a list of Gods and Goddesses, as well as a Glossary to look up unfamiliar words.

My family and I love all of author Carole P. Roman's books, and they are treasured parts of our home library. If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient Greece would also make a great gift. I used to homeschool, and this series would have been perfect when we were studying history!

To learn more about this book and author Carole P. Roman's other books, including purchasing links, visit her website at www.caroleproman.com . She also has resource pages that go along with this book and others at her blog http://caroleproman.blogspot.com  .

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review~The Courtship Basket

About the Book:

Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.
Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Determined to keep her mind off the pain, she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.
Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.
With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.
The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

What I Thought: 
The Courtship Basket is the second book in author Amy Clipston's Amish Heirloom series.  I did not read the first book in the series, The Forgotten Recipe-I'm not quite sure how that one slipped by me, as the author is one of my top ten amish fiction writers.  So, I will definitely have to go back and read that one!  The good news is that I discovered you do not need to read The Forgotten Recipe to understand The Courtship Basket-it stands alone just fine. 

The Courtship Basket caught my attention quickly and held it until the last page. I felt compassion for the main characters of Rachel and Mike. Rachel had her heart broken after a four-year relationship with the man she planned to marry, and Mike is caring for his very ill father and young brother. They both need someone in their lives, but neither thinks the timing is right. God has His own plans, however, and they must learn to open their hearts to each other. There are Discussion questions at the back of the book, making it a great Book Club choice. I highly recommend The Courtship Basket!

*I received a copy of this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

If You Were Me and Lived In..Colonial America

If you've read my blog, you may have noticed that I have written several reviews of books written by author Carole P. Roman. She is a favorite author of mine, and my family loves her fun and educational books for children. Even the adults usually learn a thing or two (or ten!) with each book we read!

Today I'm reviewing If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America, part of the An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time series, written by Carole P. Roman and illustrated by Sarah Wright, with accompanying illustrations by Kelsea Wierenga. The paperback (ISBN 9781523234073) is 53 pages, with a glossary and a list of influential people from the time period at the back of the book. The suggested age range is 5-13, which seemed just right to me. There is a lot of text on some pages, so younger readers may need some help.

In If You Were Me and Lived in..Colonial America, the religious differences of the time are discussed to explain the reason for people to leave their country for a new land. The long, difficult trip on the ships and the harsh conditions of their new home are explained in detail. Clothing, chores, food, schooling, and play are some of the topics described.

Author Carole P. Roman did a fantastic job explaining and describing life in Colonial America. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and my 13-year-old son liked it as well. The adorable illustrations make it fun and draw kids' attention. The glossary was very helpful for the words my son was not familiar with. 

If You Were Me and Lived in..Colonial America would be a great book for home and schools. I think the entire set would make a great gift. You can learn more about author Carole P. Roman and her books, including links to purchase, at her website, www.caroleproman.com . She also has a blog with additional resources, at http://caroleproman.blogspot.com/ .

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.