Always Watching

Eason, Lynette. Always Watching: Elite Guardians-Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

*alwayswatching

SUMMARY:
Popular radio host, psychiatrist, and dad, Wade Savage has a stalker. As a man, Wade feels he doesn’t need a protector yet his father feels differently. Hiring Olivia, a member of the Elite Guardians who just happens to be a woman, a very strong woman, doesn’t sit well with Wade until things heat up even more intensely. Needing to keep his daughter safe, Wade and Olivia work together while struggling to stay out of harm, finding the stalker, and discovering an interest of the heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Another fast-paced suspense novel by author Lynette Eason but this time with a twist- a group of Elite Guardians charged with protecting their clients who are strong, independent women! Yeah!  Well written and full of unexpected suspense, I enjoyed staying on my toes through the story to come to a conclusion of who was guilty, although, sometimes it wasn’t easy to do, especially in Always Watching. I look forward to following this new series from a favorite suspense writer. Go girls!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Always Watching from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Every Bride Has Her Day

Thompson, Janice. Every Bride Has Her Day: Brides With Style Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.
*everybridehasherday

SUMMARY:
Katie Fisher and Brady James are finally engaged and ready to plan their dream wedding…but…it appears it may never happen. With a full schedule, a wedding to plan, family, and friends, Katie may not be able to have her fairy-tale wedding as dreamed. With strong suggestions and even stronger opinions swirling around town about what Katie’s wedding should include, Katie soon finds herself in trouble. Laughter, romance, faith and drama complete the Brides With Style series, concluding with Every Bride Has Her Day

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Perfect for the upcoming wedding season, a beach read, or a lazy summer afternoon, Every Bride Has Her Day is perfect. Having read the previous books in this series, author Janice Thompson has become a writer I look forward to reading. Light yet full, this story shares some important messages while offering fun, faith and clean romance. I love the cover to all the books in this series as well as the cute stories found within.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Every Bride Has Her Day from Revell Publishing for my honest review

The Movement of Kings

Keels, Nadine C. The Movement of Kings: Movement of Crowns Series- Book 3. Smashwords. 2013.

*movementofkings

SUMMARY:
Losing both of his parents to an early death, King Alexander must assume the kingdom at a young adult age. With the joining of Munda and Diachona under his father, King Alexander must wade the turbulent waters of possible rebellion while battling an epidemic attacking the country. Though young, King Alexander effectively tackles these difficult issues while mourning the loss of his mother and pursuing an interest in a young woman. Through strength, growth, faith and ultimately confidence, King Alexander becomes the ruler he was meant to be…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With openings that grab, author Nadine Keels packs so much story into a novella, I can only marvel how she does it. Having read the previous two books in the Movement of Crowns series, this was a wonderful conclusion despite being a bit disappointing (that the series is ending). With full characters, an impressive storyline and well chosen words, The Movement of Kings was my favorite yet (and I really liked book 2)!  Might I suggest a continuation in a possible book 4?

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Movement of Kings from the author for my honest review*

The Pug List

Hodgson, Alison. The Pug List: A Ridiculous little Dog, a Family Who Lost Everything, and How They All Found Their Way Home. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2016.

thepuglist

SUMMARY:
Having their house burned down by an arsonist, the Hodgson family experienced grief, loss, new reality and turmoil to make it through a difficult situation not only intact, but perhaps stronger with a better perspective at the other end. Through faith, sharing, family, friends, hope and perseverance, they struggled yet realize they could survive. In The Pug List, author and mother Alison Hodgson chronicles the major event in the life of her family that changed everything…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With an adorable Pug on the cover, I couldn’t help but assume this book would be about dogs. Shortly into it; however, I realized it was about a tragic situation in a family’s life with the Pug being only a small portion of it. Perhaps as a way to cope and finally heal, the author shares her thoughts, emotions, trials and journey as they all bounce back from devastation. Written with humor in a situation-appropriate manner, this was a well written book albeit not about Pugs directly.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Pug List from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Plated

Karp, Elana. Dumaine, Suzanne. Plated: Weeknight Dinners, Weekend Feasts, and Everything in Between. USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2016.

plated

SUMMARY:
Starting with kitchen basics and progressing through flavorings to recipes, Plated shares more than just the ingredients necessary to make each delicious dinner. With seasonal ideas, flavorful rubs, special touches and straight forward directions, recipes range from meals for a crowd, easy week night suppers, more ambitious feasts for the weekends, inspiring uses for leftovers and scrumptious desserts.  Suzanne Dumaine and Elana Karp create a beautiful cookbook to use with ease while using the premise that food should be fun to help organize, invent, and manage the kitchen, time and meals…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Full of pleasing photography, simple everyday meal ideas, extra kitchen necessities and easily followed directions, the only item I found missing was the nutritional information for each included recipe. As chefs at Plated, the premium cook-at-home delivery service, the authors definitely make meals interesting, interchangeable and healthy. I love the diversity in the cookbook-rubs, soups, desserts and main meals. Especially helpful were the suggestions for leftovers and possible seasonality for peak eating. I would be proud to  give this book as a gift for beginner cooks as well as the more experienced.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Plated from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Dawn at Emberwilde

Ladd, Sarah E. Dawn at Emberwilde: A Treasures of Surrey Novel. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2016.

dawnatemberwilde

SUMMARY:
Isabel and Lizzie Creston have been students at Fellsworth School for many years until recently. Plucked from the only life they have known for the past years, the girls soon find themselves living with their unknown relatives. As her tidy, controlled, repressed world expands into an unpredictable and unfamiliar way of life, Isabel soon learns the truth of her past which may hold the key to her uncertain future. Mysterious woods, interesting suitors, a predominant relative and matters of the heart all combine and clash in Dawn at Emberwilde

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a favorite author, Sarah E. Ladd is definitely on my must-read-list. Having read the first book in the series, The Curiosity Keeper, I grabbed the chance to read her newest novel, Dawn at Emberwilde, without hesitation. Though not a continuation of the previous novel, the similarity of the school joined the stories together, as well as the style of writing. Taking but a few pages to embrace the current characters, the pages soon turned quickly as the mystery and suspense built. My only regret? Waiting until spring of next year for the third book of the series, A Stranger at Fellsworth

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Dawn at Emberwilde from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

The Naked Cookbook

Ward, Tess. The Naked Cookbook. New York, USA: Ten Speed Press. 2016.

thenakedcookbook

SUMMARY:
Living with a parasite for five years due to a trip out of the country, author, blogger and Le Cordon Bleu chef Tess Ward, shares her creativity found in her healthy recipes. In her book, The Naked Cookbook, she celebrates food at its rawest form, nothing processed or refined, and no fad diet regimes. Touting a sustained method of eating which naturally supports overall health and happiness, simple, delicious and stripped back recipes include smoothies, rhubarb sauce, coconut yogurt, salmon tartare, and many others. With information on detox, pantry items and superfoods, even the covers are in a pure and natural state…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Natural in all respects, The Naked Cookbook is simple yet healthful. With many recipes from which to chose, the Chive Crepes with Avocado and Smoked Salmon as well as the Flax and Pumpkin Bread sound delicious! Gaining even more ideas from her pantry listing, broths and stocks, sauces and dressings, this book would definitely be an asset in the kitchen of someone invested in the clean and natural eating lifestyle. Only thing missing were a few more of the beautiful photographs.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Naked Cookbook from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Someone Like You

Bylin, Victoria. Someone Like You. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

someonelikeyou

SUMMARY:
Trying to keep Caliente Springs resort afloat financially while attending to the many other business matters associated with it, Zeke Monroe is both surprised and hopeful when his former college girlfriend waltzes back into his life. Caught in a tough spot as a single mom raising her young son, Julia Dare cannot believe her luck (or lack of it) when she quite literally finds herself bumping into and eventually working with Zeke. Putting personal history to rest, at least in theory, working on a project together may prove more than either heart can handle…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a new author for me, I must admit I was impressed with author Victoria Bylin’s newest book, Someone Like You. Though not sure if the characters were related in any way to previous novels, this story worked quite well as a stand-alone; however, could easily be continued with the many various, well developed characters and storylines. As a contemporary Christian romance, it was heartwarming, tender, strong and encouraging. Full of forgiveness, emotion, faith and compassion, Someone Like You is the perfect summer read.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Someone Like You from the author and Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Long May She Wave

Hinrichs, Kit. Hirasuna, Delphine. USA: Potter Style. 2016.

*longmayshewave

SUMMARY:
In a cute, stylish little box containing 100 postcards around the American flag theme, Long May She Wave celebrates memorabilia from the Stars and Stripes collection of Kit and Linda Hinrichs. With astounding photographs of the American flag depicted on several one of a kind objects created by citizens of the United States, the pictures include a folding fan, WWI sailor, a Pearl Harbor remembrance, and a cigar wrapper flag among many others. With a 50 piece set to keep and one to share, history buffs and art collectors are sure to embrace this postcard collection of the American flag based on a previously published book by the same authors…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though not a huge history fan, I did enjoy the beautiful postcards on quality paper, perfect for sharing with friends and family who would like them. With a brief description of the item included on each card, the photographs are well done, showing great detail along with bright color. Packed into a storage box representing a thick book, the classic pieces are both interesting and patriotic. Such a neat way to bring their previous book alive.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Long May She Wave from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Wonders of Creation

Wilde, Cindy. Phuapradit, Pimlada. Wonders of Creation: Illustrations to Color and Inspire. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016.

*wondersofcreation

SUMMARY:
Full of animals found in the savannah, the forest, and the sea, each finely detailed, well illustrated page beckons to be colored in gorgeous hues. Elephants, rabbits, porpoises, monkeys and moon jellies are only a few of the many creatures which fill the sturdy, white, smooth pages found within Wonders of Creation. Giving all the credit to God for his world of unique creations, the different patterns, line thickness, intricacy and detail allow for inspiration, design and spirit to prevail…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Amazing! Owning quite a few coloring books, especially many with an animal theme, I must admit this is one of my absolute favorites. Loving the facial expressions, the beautiful patterns and the various included animals, the penguin, walrus, sloth and raccoon were my favorite pictures to color (due to their cuteness, smiles and decorations). As an animal coloring book delighting in the wonders of God’s creations, this book is sure to please both young and old. Astounding!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Wonders of Creation from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review