Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm No Angel

About the Book:

Genre: Biography/Memoir

In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model.

In I’m No Angel, Kylie shares her story—from her early years as she struggled to make it big in the cutthroat world of modeling, to her “big break” winning the Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel competition, to the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed. After finally realizing that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, she surrendered her life to God and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty.

Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ.

My Review:

4.5 Stars

Wow, what a fascinating and eye opening story. Kylie just wants to pursue her dream of modeling and follow Jesus but as you would guess those two goals can be rather conflicting. Throughout her career she faces many challenges, deceit and situations that would make most of comfortable. Through her journey she learned that the industry is ruthless and will say whatever they want to keep their image, even at the expense of the models. I found it interesting hearing what it take to be a VS angel and the role they must place. To be honest it has made me never want to support the company in any way. I hope many will read this book and have their eyes opened wide to this industry and more. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

About the Book:

Genre: Historical

Increasingly wary of her father’s genetic research, Rachel Kramer has determined that this trip with him to Germany—in the summer of 1939—will be her last. But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.

Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that hang like ebony spiders from every government building in Berlin. She fears her father’s files may hold answers about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems “unworthy of life.” She risks searching his classified documents only to uncover shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.

Now hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young—a driven, disarming American journalist and unlikely ally—who connects her to the resistance and to controversial theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Forced into hiding, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife’s edge, risking their lives—and asking others to do the same—for those they barely know but come to love.

My Review:

5 Stars

I have read all Cathy Gohlke's books and each one is fantastic and better than the last. When I first heard she was releasing a new book I knew I had to read it. Almost as soon as I got it in the mail I started to devour this powerful and emotional story. Like all of Cathy's books a few tears will be shed and your heart twisted but by the end you are so invested in it that it is worth the good ending.

Saving Amelie is set in WWII era Germany and speaks about Hitlers goal to make a perfect Aryan race. We all know how much he hated the Jews but what gets forgotten is that He also hated anyone that He didn't deem perfect: handicap, deaf, blind, you get the picture. This is such a powerful read that will really make you think and feel for the people and what happened back then. 

This is so not a easy beach read book but one that challenges your brain and twists your emotions. I highly recommend this book to all of Cathy's fans, those who love reading books set in that time frame or someone that is up for an emotional book filled with accurate history and fantastic characters that show the strength they need to survive and fight. Great job Cathy on another fantastic book.

* I received this book through the Tyndale Blog Network for the purpose of this review.

Born of Persusasion by Jessica Dotta

About the Book:

Genre: Historical

Book 1 in Price of Privilege Series

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

My Review:

3 Stars

Born of Persuasion is Jessica Dotta's debut novel and it is detail and lengthy. This book is definitely geared towards older adults who enjoy the great detail and style of older classical literature. After reading the description of the book I was excited to read this book but found myself having a hard time getting into this book and keeping all the details straight. In the end I enjoyed the book and will read more in the series but overall not my favorite style. I know for sure some will love this book but just be warned that it is not a light easy read at all.

All for a Story by Allison Pittman

About the Book:

Genre: Historical Romance

Monica Bisbaine loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column allows her access to all the local speakeasys in Washington, D.C., where she can dance the night away—and find fodder for her next article. But when the owner of the Capitol Chatter newspaper passes away, Monica wonders what will happen to her job, and the lifestyle she loves.

Max Moore may hold the title of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s paper, The Bridal Call, but Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max learns that his great-uncle has passed away, leaving him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and heads to D.C. Determined to take over the Capitol Chatter, infuse it with his values, and turn it into a respectable paper, Max is soon bumping up against the equally determined Monica Bisbane.

Under Max’s direction, Monica embarks on her most challenging assignment yet: infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Though reluctant at first, as Monica meets and mingles with the young women of the club, she begins to question the innocence of her flirtatious lifestyle. And when romance begins to blossom between Max and Monica, she must choose where her loyalties lie: with the young women of the society or the alluring pull of the speakeasy and its inhabitants.

My Review:

4.5 Stars

I just love Allison Pittman's books and always look forward to the next. This book is in the same era as All for A Song, but reads fairly well as a stand alone book. I will say that I loved the first book but this one was slower for me to get into but I did enjoy the story and looked forward to the next book in the series, All for A Sister.

I will say I found Monica hard to relate to. A girl determined to do as she wants and go against what she is told to do. She is very resistant at first to anything that affects her lifestyle but over time will she come around? She has a lot to learn and very stubborn just hard to relate to for some.

*I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Thank You.

Still Lolo

Still Lolo by Lauren Scruggs

About the Book:

In December 2011, Lauren (“LoLo”) Scruggs, a 23-year-old fashion journalist, suffered a sudden injury that made headlines around the world. She had been on a short flight to look at Christmas lights and, upon exiting the small plane, was hit by the still-moving propeller blade. A frantic 911 call, several major surgeries, and thousands of prayers later: Lauren lived. But she lost her left hand and left eye. And she had to face some incredibly difficult questions: What kind of future will I have? Where is God in all this pain? Will anyone ever be able to love me now? In Still LoLo, Lauren speaks out for the first time since her accident. She and her family reveal what really happened that night, what Lauren’s life is like today, what got them through their journey toward healing, and how they conquered all odds to persevere as a family. It’s a compelling and fiercely beautiful story of faith, determination, and staying true to who you are—no matter what.

My Review:

4 Stars

What an inspiring story that is written from the heart. I found this to be a fast read that was uplifting and encouraging without being preachy. I absolutely loved how it is written from not only the view point of Lauren but also from her family and it doesn't just deal with the accident and how she handled it, it also told the story of her and her twin growing up and how it shaped her to be who she is today. Without her past, the way she handled the accident may have been totally different. I loved how the message is that Lauren is still the same person even if physically she has some scars and challenges to overcome. At the end of the day what makes Lauren Lauren is still the same.

This is a short, a little over 200 pages read that so many people could love and be inspired by. This book will make you want to meet her and hear her story right from her own mouth. I highly recommend this book to everyone who like a good memoir/biography type book and wants to be encouraged that God uses you just as you are and He uses your trials to help others. 

*I received this book from Tyndale for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox

About the Book:

Genre: Contemporary

After the tragic death of Butch Browning’s wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious—and fleeting—their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch is facing single parenthood. The O’Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty nest, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they’ve forgotten what they truly need. With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way?

As summer flies by, each of these parents must learn about guilt and grace . . . and when to hold on to their kids and when to let go.

My Review:

3.5 Stars

Just 18 Summers is based on a screenplay and will be a movie in the future. This novel deal with the fact that we only have so long with our children and to make the time count. This is something that all parents deal with and its easy to miss what counts. Each of the four families in this novel are in different stages of parenting but in the end they all need to learn the same things. What we think is best for them may not be, and sometimes the hardest things in life is what teaches them the most.

This novel has a great message and while I enjoyed reading it I think it will make a much better movie. There were so many narratives going on that at times it was confusing to figure out what was going on. I do look forward to seeing it play out it front of me and I do believe it will deliver a strong message. I would have like the book to be easy to follow and maybe have been more a series of four books with each book focusing on each family and how they intersect with the others.

This is a great book for anyone with kids or planning to have them and will leave you thinking. Its a drama that is clean and in ways could make a great book club book. Great job authors! Now to wait for the movie.

* I received this book through the Tyndale Blog Network for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti

About the Book:

Genre: Contemporary Romance

A new life and a new identity can’t protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.

After spending years running from the shame her father put on her family, Jayne is determined not to let him steal her future in the same way he stole her childhood. Changing her name to Becca Morrow, she moves to California and settles into a new life and new job caring for ailing mother of handsome young businessman, Isaac Hughes.

But just as she’s wondering if she and Isaac are headed for a relationship, Becca’s patient passes away under unusual circumstances. Suddenly, her past catches up with her and the unnerving details of her heritage threaten to destroy all sense of home and all hope for love.

Even if she could clear her name, a phone call wraps a suffocating shroud around her heart. Her estranged father needs her help. But can Becca open her new life to the man who ruined her past?

My Review:

4 Stars

This is the first book I have read from Cynthia Ruchti and I am look forward to reading more of her books in the future. I enjoyed every page of this book and was really drawn to Becca. Wow the situation she had to deal with. I thought the author did a wonderful job at dealing with a tough subject but keeping it fun (and even funny at times). She didn't make the read just feel depressed about the book. She threw in so much in this book (adoption, identity, and more) with a few twists too. By the end I really felt like I knew the main characters and was sad for it to end. Would love to read more about them.

Fans of Cynthia I am sure will love this book as well as anyone that loves a good contemporary romance. Great job!

* I received this book through Litfuse Publicity for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Cynthia Ruchti asks what it takes to overcome your past and become who you were meant to be in her latest novel, All My Belongings. Cynthia has woven a heart-wrenching tale of forgiveness, grace, and learning what it means to truly belong.

Cynthia is celebrating the release of her latest novel with a fun giveaway and a live webcast event!
One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card
  • All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 11th. Winner will be announced at the All My Belongings LIVE webcast event on June 11th. Connect with Cynthia for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Cynthia will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.
So grab your copy of All My Belongings and join Cynthia and friends on the evening of June 11th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Noah and the Mighty Ark Children's Picture Book

About the Book:

Genre: Children's Picture Book

The beloved Bible story of Noah and his ark is brought to life with lyrical rhyming text by bestselling author Rhonda Gowler Greene and whimsical illustrations by award-winning artist Margaret Spengler. Children will love hearing how Noah comforts all the animals on their journey, whether they fly, hop, crawl, stomp, or s-s-slither. Full of fun sound effects and helpful word pictures, Noah and the Mighty Ark is great for toddlers, preschoolers, and early readers, as well as parents who want an engaging way to teach their children the stories of God.

My Review:

4 Stars

This book by Rhonda Green follows after her last book, One Lost Sheep, and is just as beautiful with a great story. Each beautifully illustrated page by Margeret Spangler brings the story of Noah's Ark to life and is sure to delight both parents and children. I love how the pictures are whimsical and attractive to kids. I was also pleased to find that the story was accurately told and even gives the verses at the beginning. While the suggested age is 4-8 I think it would work for a much larger audience.

Needing a gift for a child in your life, church library needing some fresh books or just because its a great book, whatever the reason be sure to gran a copy of this book. I hope this team keeps producing these great books.

*I received this book from Book Look Bloggers for the purpose of this review. Thank You!

Friday, June 6, 2014

While Love Stirs by Lorna Seilstad

About the Book:

Genre: Historical Romance

Book 2 in The Gregory Sisters Series

Take one lovely young woman.
Add two ambitious young men.
Stir . . . and stand back.

As a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery, Charlotte Gregory is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove. And she certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the kindhearted Lewis Mathis to entertain at her lectures.

Lewis encourages Charlotte's work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Follow the second Gregory sister as she looks for true love and makes her way in a rapidly changing world in this breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep you guessing.

My Review:

4.5 Stars

Everytime I pick up Lorna Seilstad's newest book I remember how much I love her books. She packs so much fun in her books that it is hard to not like them. Romance, humor, friendship, faith, history and more are packed in her books. While Love Stirs is the second book in The Gregory Sisters series but it can be read on its own. Each book in the seires deals with a different series so there is overlap but not so much that you would be lost. Though I do recommend to read them in order since they are so good.

I highly recommend this book and series, as well as her previous series to all historical romance fans and those looking for a new author to read. Grab this book and find a comfy spot and enjoy this fun story.

*I received this book from Revell Reads for the purpose of this review. Thank You!