icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: September 2016

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.

Children's Book Review~Ellie's Fun Day at the Farm

Ellie's Fun Day at the Farm is the fifth book in the series The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant. These books were written by Marci Fair and her daughter, twelve-year-old Elle Fair.  Marci's other daughter, Courtney, took the photographs for this book!

In Ellie's Fun Day at the Farm, Ellie the Elephant and Pudgy the Penguin are eating lunch and wonder where their yummy food comes from. So, they visit a farm to learn more.  At the farm, they see a tractor, lots of animals, the garden, and flowers. They make new friends, get to bottle feed a baby goat, and sit on eggs to keep them warm. At the end of their day, they ate a snack fresh from the farm and relaxed in a hammock. They sure learned a lot! At the end of the book are some dot-to-dots, a crossword puzzle, and some pictures to find differences in. 

 We have all of the books in the series, and they are my grandson Daniel's favorites. He just turned five and this series is perfect to help instill a love of reading. When he arrived at my house on the day Ellie's Fun Day at the Farm arrived in the mail, he was so excited! I think he feels like Ellie and Pudgy are his personal friends. We had to read the book right away, and then again before bedtime. The authors should note this is quite an honor because this little boy has a lot of books, and he only gets to pick one for his bedtime story.  His 'Ellie books' get chosen quite often. Daniel really enjoyed the puzzles too!

Daniel and I highly recommend Ellie's Fun Day at the Farm and the entire series. The mix of real pictures and illustrations captures my grandson's attention, and of course the story is awesome! In this book, there are lots of funny puns as well! These books would make a great gift for a young child.

You can learn more about The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant at www.EllieAdventures.com and on Facebook. 

*I received this book free from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Book Review & Giveaway~Sister Eve and the Blue Nun

About the Book:
Sister Eve, a motorcycle-riding nun with a natural (or is it supernatural?) gift for solving murders returns to the enclave she once called home and quickly finds herself confronting yet another mysterious death. Someone has poisoned Dr. Kelly Middlesworth-a researcher on the life and ministry of 17th-century's revered "Blue Nun"-and a set of irreplaceable historic documents have disappeared before they could ever be examined. When all evidence seems to point to the victim's brother, Sister Eve sets out to expose the killer and learn the explosive truth those missing manuscripts might contain. Chasing a killer is dangerous work, and as her two worlds collide, Sister Eve may need some heavenly help simply to survive. 

What I Thought:
Sister Eve and the Blue Nun is the third book in the Divine Private Detective Agency Mystery series written by Lynne Hinton. This is the first book I have read by the author. The paperback is 324 pages and includes discussion questions.

I enjoyed the characters of Sister Eve (how often do you hear of a crime-fighting nun?) and her father. The topic of the Blue Nun was something I had never heard of and it was fascinating to learn more about her, as well as the New Mexico area.

I lost interest in the book a few times and was confused a few times, but hung in there to find out who the killer was. Maybe everything would have moved along better for me if I had read the first two books, I don't know. The story line itself was good, but there was something about the way it was written that didn't work for me.

I have an extra copy of Sister Eve and the Blue Nun to give away to a US resident. I will email the winner after the giveaway, and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.  Enter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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