Friday, February 27, 2015

Steadfast Heart

"Steadfast Heart" takes place in a time period where manners and being a lady are very important.  A lot of the story takes place in a Bridal School, which I feel is a very interesting background.  The first couple chapters really grabbed my attention and I read though them pretty fast.  We are introduced to two friends, Lenore and Abrianna. They seem to me to be complete opposites and this is very intriguing to me.  As I keep reading we begin to see more of Abrianna and less of Lenore.  Lenore actually goes away and isn't in the story very much at all.  This really throws me off, because as you know the back of the book list Lenore and Kolbein and love interests. I felt like the author focused too much on Abrianna and her story and I was so confused who the main characters were.  I understand having other story-lines to compliment, but it just got to where I was no longer interested in Lenore.  Abrianna was the stronger character and I was just dying to find out what she was doing.  I don't want to give a lot of the story away, but there were a lot of things that happened that were just too unbelievable.

Overall, I had to give it 2 stars.  After the first 100 pages it no longer held my attention and I lost interest in the main characters.  I like a romance that is realistic and has characters I can relate to. This just didn't do it for me.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Julie Klassen's The Secret of Pembrooke Park

I have read all of Julie Klassen's books, but The Secret of Pembrooke Park tops the list as my favorite. It has it all, twists and turns, romance, wonderfully written characters.

From the Back Cover
Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play...

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?
The number one thing I liked about this book is the pace.  I feel like every detail is thought through and it builds up to a perfect ending.  When you are first introduced to Abigail, you can feel all of her emotions and relate to them.  She goes through so many things as a young women and I remember and relate to all of them, for example first love and the need to please your parents.  
Klassen builds the setting up for the deserted mansion in such a way that you are completely there with her.  There were several times I had to put the book down at night and wait till morning.  
Klassen did a great job of keeping you interested and guessing throughout the whole book.  I have always been a romance reader, but the way Klassen writes I am almost more interested in the mystery of it then the romance part.  Now that's a good writer! 
If you like a good mystery then "The Secret of Pembrooke Park" is the right book for you! I can't wait for more Klassen books!
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"The River" by Beverly Lewis

From the back of the book:

"Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau."

This is the first book by Beverly Lewis that I have read. I am not really in to Amish stories, but I thought I would give this a try.   The thing that caught my attention first was the fact that the girls left the Plain life.  I was very curious why they would leave, what had caused it.  

We begin in the Autumn of 1977.  The books pace is pretty good and it starts out by giving some background to where Tilly and Ruth are now.  From the beginning there is so much mystery and I was really curious, but the book slows down and I just lost interest.  I kept putting the book down and coming back to it days later.  It just seems to take to long to get the answers you want.  I really liked Ruth's storyline and was really curious about what would happen.  I just couldn't connect with Tilly. 

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for review by Bethany House 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: "Miracle in a Dry Season"

I first read Sarah Loudin Thomas in “Appalachian Serenade” a novella.  I absolutely loved that story and thought to myself, “I have a new author to read”.  I loved that “Miracle in a Dry Season” was a continuation from “Appalachian Serenade”.  I loved revisiting those characters again. 

The author has a wonderful way of writing the characters personalities.  I felt like I really knew these people and could easily relate to them throughout the story.  I love a book that literally makes you feel like you are there.  Thomas has a way of describing things that makes it easy to escape, for example from page 88, “The beans, simple beans, melted in his mouth.  Perla must have used ham hock to give them their slightly smoky, savory flavor.  He could sense the shape of each individual bean in his mouth just before they dissolved into deliciously creamy mass.”  Doesn't that bring back memories of eating ham and beans?  I can almost taste them now.

“Miracle in a Dry Season” touches on several things that happen every day.  Judgment of someone’s character is so easy to do, yet we don’t think of the repercussions.   I think the author does a great job touching on this subject without it feeling too preachy.  I love getting a feel for how Casewell feels versus how Perla feels.  Honestly, I could relate to Perla, and the fact that she really didn’t feel like she deserved a good man.  Throughout the story Perla believes she has gone too far from God for him to hear her.  I really like how Thomas addresses this at the end, through Casewell. 

Overall, “Miracle in a Dry Season” has a great flow to it and really gets to the heart of the matter.  When you believe in the power of God’s forgiveness it can really change how you look at people.  I can’t wait to read what is next from Sarah Loudin Thomas. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Characters with Spunk

Agatha and Zayne have a history that goes far back and when they run into each other again, they both decide the other one needs saving.  Agatha is in hiding and Zayne doesn't want to be found.  When the two collide again it makes for an interesting story.

First, I must start out by saying that I had no clue this was a book in a series and feel that it could stand alone.  There were characters that came in and out, but I didn't feel like any back story was really needed.
There are many reasons I really enjoyed this story.   One reason being that it had characters with spunk.  There was always playfulness and silliness going on.  I laughed aloud a few times.  Another reason was it was a quick read, I had this book done in just a couple of nights of reading.

Overall, "A Match of Wits" had playful banter, great descriptions, and great characters who were developed well.  I would recommend this book to anyone who would like a fun, light read.  Jen Turano is an author I will be reading again for sure.

Thank You for joining me for another book review,


This book was given by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review

Friday, June 6, 2014


I recently got my hands on a Silhouette Portrait.  I was so excited to get to work with it, but when it finally came I was a little out of my element.  I am use to stamps and ink and I felt like an idiot trying to figure it all out.  After a week or so I finally got the hang of it and I'm in LOVE!  The possibilities are endless and you better believe I am going to make that machine work. :)  Anyway off to my first successful project.

I used the 3-D bow from Silhouette.

I kept the card pretty simple, so the bow would shine.  The stamp set is from the Camelot Card kit over at Studio Calico. I just love that banner and the font.  

Thanks for stopping by, 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review "Until I Found You"

Today I am sharing something a little different!  My very first book review! 

"Until I Found You" by Victoria Bylin

Kate Darby is taking a leave of absence to help take care of her Grandmother Leona.  After an accident she meets Nick, a new Christian, who has made a promise to God he intends on keeping. Leona, Kate's Grandmother is praying Kate will see God in every part of her life and all that he has planned for Kate.
Overall, "Until I Found You" is a very genuine story.  Throughout the whole story I found myself saying this is very realistic.  My favorite character from the very beginning was Leona.  From the start any part she had in the book felt real.  Her parts were so heartfelt and it almost felt like a different person wrote those parts.  Even though Leona was suffering, she still looked towards God for help and answers.  Leona wrote letters to Kate about her life to encourage and hopefully lead Kate to God.  The letters were truly my favorite part of the book.  She described hardships and how she came through them and was still able to have a relationship with God.

It was a little harder to relate to Kate, she was all business.  Kate has had a lot of hardships like Leona, but she doesn't have God to rely on.  This causes her to have trust issues and she seems a little dark at times.  In a weird way I liked this because, it seemed real to me. 

Nick was a guy you would want around.  He is real and honest throughout about his feelings.  He is an all-around good guy who knows that Kate needs a relationship with God before they can be more.

“Until I Found You” had some slow spots and it was hard for me to relate to the Condor parts of the book.  Overall, I really enjoyed it.  I felt like the characters came full circle and they were very realistic.

I was given a review copy of "Until I Found You" from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks so much for stopping by,