An August Bride

Clopton, Debra. An August Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
augustKelsey Wilcox, left at the altar, wants nothing to do with weddings. Reluctantly though, she agrees to take part in her cousin’s wedding which is when most of the trouble begins. Due to her past, Kelsey wants nothing to do with men…especially gorgeous cowboys! Enter Brent Corbin, a hunk of a cowboy who just happens to be available…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A mermaid in gold, three members of the Matchmakin’ Posse of Mule Hollow and an irresistible cowboy…just the ingredients for a quick, humor-filled, adorable novella! Read in one sitting, I giggled as I read through the pages, truly enjoying the quick-wit with which it was written. I absolutely loved her 5 dating rules: no cowboys, no cowboys, no cowboys, no cowboys, no cowboys…whoa! Definitely deserving a place in A Year of Weddings Novellas, I must admit this was my favorite one so far! Having never read a novel by this author, I only hope her other ones are just as well written as I plan on reading all of them.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of An August Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan Publishing for my honest review*

Seeing Things

Hill, Patti. Seeing Things. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group. 2009.

SUMMARY:
seeingthingsLiving with macular degeneration doesn’t stop Birdie Wainwright from living. At age seventy-something, she loves to hike, dance, bake pies and talk to Huck Finn (really). After a nasty tumble resulting in an ankle break, Birdie moves in with her son, daughter-in-law and grandson. While getting to know her grandson better and helping him through English class, Birdie finds herself causing trouble, learning forgiveness, staying active, and “seeing things” in life…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Just the kind of lady I hope to be some day (following in my mother’s footsteps), I enjoyed Seeing Things quite a bit. Full of humor, faith, struggles, relationships, forgiveness, and living life to the fullest, this book was definitely a treat. Though not always one to judge a book by the cover, I am certainly glad I did with this one. Adorable!! Perhaps a bit hard to start, a few pages in and I was hooked…very creatively written! Hard to believe I have never read a book by Patti Hill yet… but I sure will again now. Although maybe not an intention within the novel, I did learn a few things about macular degeneration which caused me to investigate the disease even a bit further.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Seeing Things from B&H Publishing for my honest review*

A Bouquet of Love

Thompson, Janice. A Bouquet of Love (Vol 4): Weddings by Design. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
bouquetLanding a new job at Galveston Island floral shop, Cassia Pappas doesn’t have time to help her Greek family with the new restaurant they’ve just opened on the Strand. Torn between options, Cassia doesn’t expect to fall in love at the most inopportune time either. To make matters worse, her father has decided to steal customers from Parma John’s which is run by the town’s favorite family. Will Cassia succeed in her career? Will she follow her heart or her head? Can pizza, flowers and Greek food ever co-exist peacefully?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Full of total nuttiness, a bit of insanity, faith and even romance, A Bouquet of Love is fun, well written, delicious and sheer zaniness. Being the fourth book in the Weddings by Design series, as a new reader to this author as well as this series, I did not have any trouble enjoying it. Though I may have missed some references to previous characters, I was oblivious to it and it did not detract from my understanding though I do plan on reading the entire series (perhaps backwards at this point to stick with the wacky theme)! Writing this story during a particularly hard time in her life, Janice Thompson did an excellent job…God must have given her just the words she needed for this romantic comedy!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Bouquet of Love from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Evergreen

Warren, Susan May. Evergreen. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2014.

SUMMARY:
evergreenEmpty-nesters John and Ingrid Christiansen are excited to start the next chapter in their life; however, they didn’t plan on some unforeseen family circumstances. Mixed with a difference in priorities, John and Ingrid must come to terms with their history before continuing on with their future in chilly northern Minnesota…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Sparkling snow, chilly weather, swirling icicles…the perfect setting for a story at Evergreen Resort in Minnesota. With true perspective, Susan May Warren threads a story of a married couple later in life who have very contrastive thoughts of moving forward. Though only a novella, the storyline was truly developed and read as if a full-length novel. Following several other books in the series, Evergreen was included as a story on the parents (as I assume the previous books were about the children). Emotional, heart-warming and rewarding all the same, I appreciated the novella as a story within itself even though I was a bit confused as to the many characters mentioned in the beginning. A circle-story of sorts, the family Christmas letter at the start of the book soon turns into a much longer, more in-depth letter when rewritten at the end of the book. Another new author for me, I am sure this will not be the last from this author I will read.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Evergreen from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

Super Husband, Super Dad

Shoemaker, Tim. Super Husband, Super Dad. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
superdadDubbed “The Hero Handbook”, Super Husband, Super Dad demonstrates how to be a hero in marriage, in fatherhood, and in daily life. Straight forward with lots of sound advice backed by biblical references, this book strives to help each man become the hero their family needs.  Respect, servitude, honesty and leadership are only the beginning of what a hero requires…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though definitely written for men, there were points to help women understand men better (yes, possible). Following the “hero” theme including covers, chapters, pictures and icons, I liked the lay-out of this book which helped with the cohesiveness of the topic. The strong encouragement and recommendations coupled with Bible stories and examples make the information hard to refute and ignore. Absolutely a book to be shared with men of all ages and stages, it will challenge them to be even better men or even give them a chance to redeem themselves and live in God-inspired and blessed ways. Certainly a “hero” I would want in my life!!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Super Husband, Super Dad from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Under the Heavens

Nye, Thomas. Under the Heavens: Amish Horses Series, Book 1. USA: CrossLink Publishing. 2013.

SUMMARY:
horsesCity-boy Lenny struggles with his identity as most teenage boys do; however, spending a summer on the Amish family farm throws a whole new twist into discovering who he truly is and will become. A simpler life chock-full of adventure and  new skills, Lenny soon realizes there may be more to life than the big city…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Vividly worded to share life on an Amish farm, Thomas Nye does a splendid job of descriptive writing. Draft horses, thunderstorms, pastures and family barns all become real as the story progresses. Having vast knowledge with Amish draft horses as well as Amish neighbors, the author weaves a beautiful tale involving both aspects. Throw in a bit of romance, faith, picturesque wording and an enjoyable story unravels even though I don’t find myself having much familiarity with horses. Though not necessarily a fast-paced novel, the softer, simpler side of reading comes through which I appreciated. Book 1 in the Amish Horses series, I will consider continuing with further books in the series.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Under the Heavens from BookCrash for my honest review*

A Short Walk To The Edge Of Life

Hubbartt, Scott. A Short Walk To The Edge Of Life. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press. 2014.

SUMMARY:
walkScott Hubbartt, a military veteran with years of survival training, becomes lost during a day-hike through the Peruvian Andes. Heat, dehydration, starvation, isolation and rugged desert terrain all make for an almost perilous journey. After realizing his many mistakes, Scott Hubbartt reaches out to God in desperation. Is it enough? Is it too late? Does God listen? Will he make it out alive…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Actually this memoir would never have needed to be written if the author had smartly relied on his highly skilled survival training and basic adventure guidelines. However, it was written due to his lack of preparedness and fortunately ended well with lessons learned, determination strengthened, and faith/ trust in God developed. Overall, a rather slow story but with a good message shared. The included maps which chronicled his intended trek against his actual course of travel were appreciated and contributed to the understanding of his story.

RATING:
3 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Short Walk To The Edge Of Life from WaterBrook Press for my honest review*

In Perfect Time

Sundin, Sarah. In Perfect Time. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
timeArmy Air Force WWII flight nurse, Lt. Kay Johnson, is charming, attractive and bright; however, due to her past, it is difficult for her to overcome her fears and uncertainty. Straddled with his own past burdens, pilot Lt. Roger Cooper finds himself just as scared of a relationship. Will helping the injured bring them together? Will finding God and faith have an impact? Is there even a chance for the relationship due to their pasts? Perhaps…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A new author, a new series, a new time-frame and a new topic all played out in this one book for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was more than I expected. With an exciting storyline, vivid descriptions of aircraft and the period in history, intense scenes and of course, a bit of sweet romance all mingled with finding grace from God, In Perfect Time was truly a treat. Part of the Wings of the Nightingale series, this is the third installment. Although it could be read as a stand-alone as I did, it piqued my interest enough (and I enjoyed Sarah Sundin’s writing enough), to return to the two previous novels in the series to peruse.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of In Perfect Time from Revell Publishers for my honest review*

Surviving Henry

Young, Erin Taylor. Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
henryWanting to have her children experience having a dog in their childhood, Erin Taylor Young adopts a Boxer puppy. Cute, adorable, cuddly but then WHAM…barking, stubbornness, and calamities abound!! Through sharing of stories, thoughts of insanity and remarkable writing, the canine catastrophes of Henry are told yet within all the craziness is a lesson to be learned…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having recently been in the same boat with our own pup (a rescued Great Pyrenees/ German Shepard mix affectionately named: Crazy Blazy Baer), I was excited to read Surviving Henry. With humor and grace, the author tells story after story of living with and actually surviving life with her dog, Henry. I found myself nodding in agreement, chuckling outloud and commiserating along with her as she bestows the facts of raising Henry. Though not going to the extreme measures she did, I could appreciate the peanut-butter-filled Kongs, long exhausting walks, territorial car rides and hugs (I give our pup lots of them). I also welcomed the lessons learned from Henry which concurred he was truly a gift from God. Erin, thank-you for not giving up on Henry, providing him a good home and sharing your story!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Surviving Henry from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

A Lady in France

Goutet, Jennie. A Lady in France. Printed in the USA. 2013.

SUMMARY:
franceWritten as a memoir, A Lady in France takes you on a life-journey laced with hope, loss, love, addiction, determination, faith and spirit. What starts out as a dream soon escalates into so much more, much of what was unseen as well as unpredictable. A beautiful book filled with life lessons and learning to accept yourself…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Not my usual genre of a book to read but I am actually glad I did! Beautifully written, author Jennie Goutet has a strong command of the English written language and it shines through in her memoir. Through achievements, loss, travel and experiencing faith, she shares her story which will make you consider your own course of life. Uniquely individual, I appreciated the honesty with which she conveys her story which is her own. The only problem I had with the novel occurred with the hard copy as the font was too small but it was easily fixable on my eReader version. I am not sure if the author has future writing plans, but if she does, I would definitely consider reading more of her work as I admire her manner of prose.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Lady In France from the author, Jennie Goutet, for my honest review*