Saturday, August 19

Many Sparrows

Whew! Wow. This was quite a page-turner. As a mom, I experienced the gambit of emotions Clare Inglesby went through. And Jeremiah Ring is an unforgettable character. From the beginning, I was captured, and my interest never waned.

Without reiterating the blurb, I’ll tell you that this story is well-written, highly researched, fast paced, and will teach you a thing or two about history. It has a lovely thread of faith throughout that feeds the spirit, and a steady stream of plot that quenches the thirst.

I’m definitely checking out more of Lori Benton’s work. She is skilled at storytelling and doesn’t leave loose ends. Great story that will drag you through the difficult times of the past and leave you better when you turn the last page.

I received a complimentary copy from Blogging for Books.

Friday, July 28

31 Proverbs to Light Your Path

Something the author wrote on the introduction page really resonated with me:

"We'll be taking a word-by-word-by-word approach to Bible study. My theory? Better to chew slowly and savor each phrase than to swallow a passage whole and not remember what we ate."

That pretty much sums up why I enjoy this book. It gives me a deeper look and understanding of Proverbs.

Each chapter contains a title, a verse from Proverbs, a devotion/study, a prayer, and a section titled: One Minute, One Step. The final section shows us how to apply what we've learned, or how to see the message more clearly. It encourages the reader to apply what they've learned in the next sixty seconds--not set aside the information for another time.) In the back of the book is a study guide that shares questions to further your understanding of the Proverbs, with corresponding verses to look back on.

Whether experiencing tough times, or just wanting to spend time with the Lord and His Word, this is a practical and meaningful resource for life builders.

Thank you to BloggingForBooks for my complimentary copy.

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Friday, July 14

Conversations With Friends

I’m so confused by this book. I didn’t connect with the characters, at all. They are difficult to like or sympathize with, and for some reason, I feel the author created them this way intentionally. I struggled with rating this—but ultimately decided on three stars, due to the time, effort, and vision of the author.

The writing is unique and enough to pique my curiosity, yet it feels robotic and stilted. (Is this an intentional aspect, too?) I just can’t help feeling that, perhaps, I missed something. An integral point that makes me say, “Ooh…I get it!”

I realize characters should have flaws, but I’d hope they’d have virtues too. These characters puzzled me. The ‘friends’ aren’t what I define as friends. They are narcissistic and don’t really know who they are or reveal what they want.

I expected an emotional read, but it’s a fairly bleak book. Overall, I read fiction because I want to FEEL something. This book accomplished that, even though it made me feel little more than glum and frustrated.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Thursday, June 29

The Little French Bistro

I love that this story centers on a middle-aged woman, rather than a young, finding love, character. Marianne is stuck. Her marriage is dull, her life is dull, and she decides to make a change. This is where my interest began to wane. The story felt too dark and dreary, and rather than sympathize with Marianne, I found myself getting annoyed at her. She was too dramatic and took things to the extreme. I didn’t finish the book because it was bringing me down, rather than enlightening me, inspiring me, or pulling at my heart or head strings

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, June 2

Jane of Austin

Jane of Austin is a cute take on one of Jane Austen’s delightful tales. The contemporary take on it is refreshing and fun.

Three sisters find a new life in the shadow of their father’s scandal, by moving to Austin Texas. (Rather than moving to Devonshire, as in Sense and Sensibility.)

There are business issues, sister struggles, housing difficulties, and of course love interests. This book delivers lots of twists and bundles of charm. If you love Jane Austen, I think you’ll get a kick out of this satisfying story.

Rating: 4 stars

Thank you to the publisher and BloggingForBooks for my complimentary copy.

Wednesday, May 17

The Story Cure

I’ll tell you what…even if you only read the introduction to this book, it’s enough to motivate and inspire you to improve your novel or memoir. But don’t stop there. The rest of the book does a great job of addressing common concerns and pitfalls we, as writers, face. The Book Doctor helps you strengthen your work and guide you through revisions.

I love the organization of this book and the author’s straightforward approach. The language used is easy to understand, and the concepts are simple to follow.

The Story Cure is divided into two parts, Cures and Checkups. The first section (the first 140 pages) helps you find the foundations of your story—characters, dialogue, setting, point of view, plot, and other details. It also directs you on how to diagnose problem areas and how to ‘cure’ them.

The second section can be the more painful part—unless you are like me and strangely enjoy the painstaking process of editing and revising. It contains healthy habit tips, and inspires a strong approach to basically re-writing your entire book. (teehee)

If you struggle with motivation, inspiration, or progressing your manuscript along, this book is a great helper. Just follow the doctor’s advice and you’re sure to be on your way to a bestseller—or at least a finished book. ;)

Rating: 5 stars

Thank you to the publisher and BloggingForBooks for my complimentary copy.
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