Thursday, September 21, 2017

REVIEW: Taking Aim by Eva Shockey











About the Book

An acclaimed bow hunter who defies the stereotype that hunting is a man’s game, Eva Shockey is a TV and social media phenomenon at the forefront of a new wave of women and girls who are passionate about outdoor sports. 

Eva Shockey grew up expecting to be a dancer like her glamorous mother. But something about spending family vacations RV-ing across North America and going on hunts with her dad sparked in her an enduring passion for a different way of life.
     In Taking Aim, Eva tells a very personal story of choosing the less-traveled path to a rewarding life in outdoor pursuits like hunting and fishing. For her, as her millions of fans can attest, that has meant hunting as a way of harvesting food, caring deeply about conservation, sustainability and healthy eating, and getting closer to God in nature. 
     In this riveting memoir for the adventurer in all of us, Eva takes readers along as she hunts caribou on the rugged Aleutian Islands, tracks a 1,500-pound bull moose across the unforgiving Yukon, and meets many other challenges of a life in the wild.
     Along the way we learn that hunting is about so much more than pulling a trigger. "My story is about discovering your dream," writes Eva. "It's about following your passion, mastering your skills, taking aim no matter who thinks you’re crazy…and then letting the arrow fly. If you’ve done all you can, I can tell you that you’re almost certain to hit your mark."
     Whether you’re a lifelong hunter or a city dweller who has never set foot in the wilderness, Eva’s story delivers an empowering message about rejecting stereotypes and expectations, believing in yourself, and finding the courage to pursue what you care about most.
 





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My Review

Like so many out there I am quite familiar with the Shockey family. My dad has watched Eva's father's show on the Outdoor Channel for years. Her and her father's adventures in outdoors hunting in places like Canada and exotic places around world like Africa. Eva Shockey seems to be finding her own in the world of outdoor sports including creating her own brand. Taking Aim is all about being a woman in a normally male dominated area and holding your own. It's about encouraging young women to join. It's about being different and being yourself. It's about living a healthier and fulfilling life. It's about growing your faith in God while being in nature. This is a book I very much enjoyed and will be keeping in my personal library. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

REVIEW: To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander








About the Book



With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first.

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancee—and what has broken her heart.

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it.

Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.
 







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My Review


To Wager Her Heart is Tamera Alexander's third installment in her Belle Meade Plantation series. Which I did not know when I requested this book. An OOPS on my part. But it really read like a standalone novel so I think it would be fine to read To Wager Her Heart if you haven't read the previous two installments. And it's a Southern Romance...you really can't go wrong with this.


To Wager Her Heart was a sweet tale of a Southern Belle wanting to break free of societies expectations and a a reformed gambler. Alexandra, a teacher at Fisk University, the first Freedman's school in the United States. Sy, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad. Both struggle for justice. Alexandra also to let go and move on. Sy, to win the heart of the woman he loves. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

REVIEW: Many Sparrows by Lori Benton



















About the Book


When settler Clare Inglesby is widowed on a mountain crossing and her young son, Jacob, captured by Shawnees, she'll do everything in her power to get him back, including cross the Ohio River and march straight into the presence of her enemies deep in Indian country. Frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, Jeremiah Ring, promises to guide Clare through the wilderness and help her recover Jacob.
Once they reach the Shawnees and discover Jeremiah's own Shawnee sister, Rain Crow, has taken
custody of Jacob--renaming him Many Sparrows--keeping his promise becomes far more complicated, the consequences more wrenching, than Jeremiah could have foreseen.









My Review

 Set in the West in the 1800's, Many Sparrows tells the story of Clare Inglesby, a widow and a mother. Her son however has been captured by the Shawnee tribe and Clare will do whatever she must to retrieve her son Jacob. She sets on her journey with Jeremiah, a frontiersman and adoptive Shawnee. They finally find themselves on Shawnee land, but unfortunately discover Jacob has been adopted...by Jeremiah's own Shawnee sister Rain Crow. Jacob has also been renamed Many Sparrows. Both Jeremiah and Clare discover getting Jacob back will harder than they thought, but especially Jeremiah. 

Many Sparrows exhibited a heart wrenching and heart filled story that only could be concocted by Queen Lori Benton herself. Be sure to treat yourself and not only grab Many Sparrows but every book Lori has released.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

REVIEW: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

























About the Book

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…











My Review

I wanted to love Ink and Bone. I wanted to...seriously. But I just didn't end up liking this book. I didn't like the writing style, I didn't like anny of the characters nor did I care anything about them or what happened to them. There was also some content I didn't like either. Again, I wanted to love and enjoy this. But that just didn't happen.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

13 Reasons Why Doesn't Have What You're Looking For









I'm sure every person on the planet at this point knows about the Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why". The show's main character Hannah Baker commits suicide and sends 13 tapes to the 13 people she blames for her taking her own life. The Netflix series was a smashing success and Netflix already has plans to bring it back for a second season. 


Recently, JAMA Internal Medicine released a medical study on how the series is actually causing a rise in suicidal thoughts and tendencies. It shows that internet searches using the phrases, "how to commit suicide, "commit suicide", and "how to kill yourself" have risen an overall 19% in the 19 days following the shows release. Now call me crazy but isn't shows like these suppose to help kids dealing with suicidal thoughts and tendencies? In this article, HERE, examples are given by psychologists about their own young patients mentioning the program in their sessions. One doctor told about his 12 year old patient.


“She said to me, ‘I saw that show and it really convinced me that suicide was a normal thing to do,’” he said. “I’ve never heard that. In 30 years, I’ve never heard a child say this thing made me think suicide is normal. That really got my attention.”


The reason why this show is causing more psychological and emotional pain is because 13 Reasons Why doesn't give the audience a lasting and eternal answer for your problems. The only lasting and eternal answer is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you want to watch a program laying out this answer for you please think about going to https://www.theexitmovie.com to watch EXIT: The Appeal of Suicide.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

REVIEW: The Promise of Breeze Hill


























About the Book



Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O'Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he's sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he'll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella's shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor's help, Isabella fears she'll lose her family's plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor's proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe? 












My Review


I absolutely LOVED The Promise of Breeze Hill. Set in what is now known as Mississippi which at this time was controlled by the Spanish and filled with utter chaos and lawlessness. Isabella is left to run her family's plantation after her father is injured and her brother is suspiciously found dead along the Natchez Trace. And she fears they may lose everything they have. Enter Connor who is an Irish carpenter has been sold to Isabella's family. As Isabella and Connor begin falling for on another Isabella does consider accepting her wealthy neighbor's proposal just to save her family's livlihood. Isabella and Connor must also figure out who has it out for Isabella's family. The Promise of Breeze Hill is not just another historical novel, but a romance and mystery wrapped up into a satisfying adventure.

REVIEW: Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli























About the Book



Boston, 2015
Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated―plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.
















My Review


Freedom's Ring was a refreshing historical read. A multi-generational story of two women living in different periods of American history and their journeys toward the freedom they desire greatly. Both women must face fears and overcome obstacles to achieve their liberty. Freedom's Ring was wonderfully engaging, well researched and fleshed out novel that makes an impact.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

REVIEW: Unraveling by Sara Ella



















About the Book


What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn't believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what's right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she's trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about--like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua's finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something--or someone--is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections--and keep herself from falling for him in the process?










My Review


Unraveling is the sequel to Sar Ella's debut YA Fantasy, Unblemished, about a girl who's very power is in her insecurities. Unblemished was an almost perfect yet still a five star read. Unraveling continues the story and doesn't disappoint. It isn't very often when a sequel is almost just as good as it's predecessor, but Unraveling hits the mark.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REVIEW: An Outlaw and a Lady by Jessi Coulter









About the Book



Renowned songwriter, singer, and wife of Waylon Jennings writes an intimate, enormously entertaining memoir of American music, of life with Waylon and the Outlaws, and of faith lost and found.


The daughter of a Pentecostal evangelist and a race-car driver, Jessi Colter played piano and sang in church before leaving Arizona to tour with rock-n-roll pioneer Duane Eddy, whom she married. Colter became a successful recording artist, appearing on American Bandstand and befriending stars such as the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins, while her songs were recorded by Nancy Sinatra, Dottie West, and others. Her marriage to Eddy didn’t last, however, and in 1969 she married the electrifying Waylon Jennings. Together, they made their home in Nashville which in the 1970s, was ground zero for roots music, drawing Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Shel Silverstein, and others to the Nashville Sound. And Jessi was at the center of it all, the only woman on the landmark Wanted: The Outlaws album, the record that launched the Outlaw Country genre and was the first country album to go platinum. She also tasted personal commercial success with the #1-single “I’m Not Lisa.”


But offstage, life was a challenge, as Waylon pursued his addictions and battled his demons. Having drifted from the church as a young woman, Jessi returned to her faith and found in it a source of strength in the turmoil of living with Waylon. In the 1980s, Waylon helped launch the super group The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, and the hits kept rolling, as did Waylon’s reckless living. Amid it all, Jessi faithfully prayed for her husband until finally, at Thanksgiving 2001, Waylon found Jesus, just months before he died. 


An Outlaw and a Lady is a powerful story of American music, of love in the midst of heartache, and of faith that sustains.















My Review


An Outlaw and a Lady is the memoir of a country girl who fell in love with one of the most famous stars of Country music, Waylon Jennings. An Outlaw and a Lady tells the story of Jessi's early life at home and her early years in church. Jessi describes her own mother as an amazing servant of God. Yet some how when Jessi got older she found herself walking away from the faith. The book goes on to tell how she met Waylon and them falling in love and marrying. Their life together and family they built is also talked about. 


Jessi also goes on to talk about her husband's struggles. To be specific, his drug and alcohol struggles. But in all the craziness she stayed with Waylon, through thick and thin. And many years into their marriage Jessi found herself running back to God. And thankfully, describing how Waylon returned to faith in God not long before he passed away.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

REVIEW: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

















About the Book


Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.












My Review


*Sigh* What to say. I definitely like the Storm Siren trilogy better so far. While I love that Sofi Snow is Science Fiction, human trafficking is dealt with within the story, and Sofi is a Native American character there are things I did not like about this novel. Firstly, the language caught me off guard. While it was mostly mild it is sprinkled throughout the story and there was a use of a pretty vulgar and crass word. Sex is implied and we learn that Sofi, a 17 year old has slept around. It's becoming quite clear that Thomas Nelson has different standards than they did with the previous owners. I'm stuck in the middle here. There was a lot I loved and yet things I did not love. This is not a book I definitively recommend to young YA readers. I think this would have worked better being an Adult novel.

Monday, June 12, 2017

REVIEW: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge



















About the Book


Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.














My Review


Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge is a riveting and sensational retelling of Sense and Sensibility. Now to be perfectly honest, Sense and Sensibility is one of my least favorite Austen tales. With Emma being my absolute least favorite. However, with that being said that didn't deter me from enjoying this novel. I loved the Southern inspiration Jane of Austin had. I enjoyed the characters very much and they didn't get on my nerves. (YAY!) I am not usually into Womens Fiction, but I have to say Hillary did a great job and I hope she writes another Austen-inspired novel. I'll be on the look out.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

REVIEW: Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal









About the Book



Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal invites you to mix creative journaling and coloring into your personal time with God. Prayers that focus on topics such as being thankful, dealing with stress and heartache, caring for yourself and others, listening for God’s leading, and waiting patiently on Him will guide your thoughts and calm your spirit. Filled with more than 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling, and 40 needs-based prayers, Tranquility will help you express your devotion to God with your whole heart.













My Review


While I haven't gone through the entire book yet ( I color really slow lol) I have found that I very much am enjoying this adult coloring book. Filled with prayers, scripture, space for journaling and full coloring pages this book will be perfect for that friend or relative who loves inspirational coloring books. 

REVIEW: The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson










About the Book



Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother's friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she'll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves. Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear--having lost her fiance in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack's letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself. Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend's war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she'll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?




















My Review


Eva Marie Everson's One True Love of Alice-Ann is a story about 16 year old Alice Ann and the love of her life Mack. Set during the second World War, Mack decides to enlist after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Alice decides it's time to declare her love for Mack despite their 5 year age difference. He promises to write her and leaves without telling her whether he loves her too. Alice and Mack write to each other for three years and they grow closer, but then Mack's letters stop coming. Fearing what happened to her aunt is happening to her Alice throws herself into work and caring for her best friend's war torn brother. But soon enough their friendship begins to blossom into something more. Can Alice-Ann let go of her first love and begin anew with a new love?


Eva Marie Everson's new novel is absolutely beautiful, heart wrenching, romantic, and thrilling. The One True Love of Alice-Ann very much felt like in the vein of Francine Rivers. Francine could have wrote this book, but Eva did making her a new favourite author. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

REVIEW: Be Light by Samuel Rodriguez









About the Book




The Blueprint for Overcoming Darkness and Living in God’s Light.

Our world unravels more each day. It feels as if we’re drowning in a sea churning with greed, violence, and lust. As darkness advances, hope dims.
 
Yet within that reality, God gives us a profound mandate...
 
             Be Light.
 
Light has always defined God and his followers. At creation, God spoke light into existence. Jesus is the light of the world. And we are born to absorb and then reflect God’s light. 
 
In Be Light
 Samuel Rodriguez--described by Fox News and CNN as “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader”--provides a blueprint for confronting darkness in every realm of our lives. He issues a clarion call for individual believers and the church to rise up and once again be that bright city on a hill, which doesn’t simply expose the invading darkness, but overcomes it with God’s blazing light.




















My Review

Be Light was a refreshing read, but yet nothing new to me. I recently discovered Pastor Rodriguez on youtube and when I saw Be Light return to blogging for books I had to review it. The book is what he calls the "blueprint for overcoming darkness and being the light". Again, while nothing in this book was new to me it was a good refresher and would be a great book for any new believers. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

REVIEW: A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd









About the Book



Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley? 

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question. 

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love. 

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.














My Review


Through out reading this series I've had mixed feelings about it. The first book was fantastic, the second book was good but not as great as the first. And this book was a great conclusion to this beautiful regency series. Filled to the brim with mystery, romance, and beautiful descriptions. Although I was not suprised at how good this series was. Sarah's previous regency series is even better than this one so I highly recommend that series as well as this one.