Waking Up Slowly

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Burchett, Dave. Waking Up Slowly: Spiritual Lesson From My Dog, My Kids, Critters, And Other Unexpected Places. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum/ Tyndale House Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Finding spiritual lessons in such unexpected places as the zoo, the beach, and a coffee shop while spending time with family, friends and grandchildren through prayer, thoughts and love, Waking Up Slowly reminds us to wake up slowly and enjoy life. Full of revelations, scripture verses, Bible references, personal stories and beautiful photographs, author Dave Burchett offers unique perspectives on moments usually missed. Based in a hard-covered book with an inviting cover, each short chapter finishes with a thought from God and a dose of grace…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Captivated by the adorable cover, loving the hard-covered book with beautifully smooth pages, admiring the fun pictures and appreciating the organized layout, I truly enjoyed Waking Up Slowly. Perfect for personal use, in a church library, as a Bible study, or a Life Group idea, I would also be proud to give this book as a gift to family and friends. Based on a dog theme while branching out to other areas, this is one book I will reread as well as keep on my bookshelf. Wondrous!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Waking Up Slowly from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

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The Captain Takes A Wife

Durbin, Doris. The Captain Takes A Wife- The Captain Chronicles. USA: Crossbooks. 2013.

thecaptaintakesawife

SUMMARY:
On his way to Georgia via train, Captain Harry Richardson is most surprised when a young lady, Sarah Franklin, literally throws herself into his arms begging for his help. Harry soon realizes Sarah may need protection from more than the arranged marriage her Uncle prepared for her. With a new plan in mind, Harry and Sarah soon realize their plan may involve more than expected…outlaws, suspense, mystery, surprises and perhaps even a change of heart.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a new author, Doris Durbin certainly is familiar with writing since she retired from her career as a librarian recently and uses her husband as her consult, a history teacher for many years. Intrigued by the cover, title, and book summary, I took the chance to give an emerging author a try. Though it took me just a bit to become comfortable with her style, her writing did eventually flow for me, providing an interesting storyline, strong characters, and well researched items. As her debut novel, The Captain Takes A Wife, I look forward to more of her writing since a continuing series is certainly plausible and encouraged. An added bonus was definitely the discussion questions, recipes and pattern.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Captain Takes A Wife from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Fetching Sweetness

Mentink, Dana. Fetching Sweetness: Love Unleashed- Book 2. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2016.

Fetchingsweetness

SUMMARY:
When Stephanie Pink plans to quickly deliver her manuscript to a literary agent, Agnes Wharton, she soon discovers it may be more involved than she planned. Tracking down Agnes, who is trying to track down Sweetness, leads to Rhett Hastings, who may lead to heart-throbbing trouble. With a gallop through a campground, a hurtful past, a bit of new faith, funny moments, and lots of dog-nonsense, Fetching Sweetness is an adorable, amusing, tender, and faith-filled novel with the sweetest Sweetness as the main attraction.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I loved the picture of Sweetness on the cover of Dana Mentink’s newest book with the spirited expression, tip of the head and floppy ears!!  Pancakes, spatulas, wet kisses and trouble all define Sweetness, a hundred pound slobbery mess of a dog, who steals hearts. Combine Sweetness with Rhett, some fun romance and some giggling situations, and a light-hearted read with lots of character emerges. I love this series, especially since the books are written close enough together (sometimes it is SO hard to wait for the next book)- thank-you, Dana! Look for the next book, Paws for Love, in February of 2017.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Fetching Sweetness from Harvest House Publishing for my honest review*

Sit, Stay, Love

Mentink, Dana. Sit, Stay, Love. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2016.

sitstaylove

SUMMARY:
Thirteen-year-old Tippy, an elderly dog needing a good home after his owner passed, now lives with his past owner’s son, Cal. As a rising baseball star, Cal has no interest what-so-ever in dogs, especially an older, misbehaving dog like Tippy. Needing a pet-sitter, Cal hires Gina to take care of Tippy yet ends up with so much more than just a dog-sitter. Humor, romance, second-chances, forgiveness and an adorable dog all complement Sit, Stay, Love

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Light-hearted with a good message, Sit, Stay, Love is a delightfully charming novel with a cute and lovable mutt as the hero. Chuckling (and even nodding) at certain moments, I thoroughly enjoyed this story -due not only to the writing style but my own love of neurotic dogs. Fun, easy, amusing and entertaining, author Dana Mentink certainly hit a funny-bone with this endearing tale (tail, too).

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Sit, Stay, Love from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Would a Worm Go on a Walk?

Hall, Hannah C.(author). Bolton, Bill (illustrator). Would a Worm Go on a Walk? Nashville, TN: Worthy Kids/ Ideals Publishing. 2016.

wouldawormgoonawalk

SUMMARY:
Celebrating God’s planned uniqueness for each individual and species in this adorable children’s book, author Hannah Hall and illustrator Bill Bolton team up to teach the Bible verse from Genesis 1:31 (God saw all that He had made, and it was very good). Through silly animal renditions, rhyming verses, brilliant colors and engaging pictures, Would a Worm Go on a Walk shares God’s intentional purpose for each. Worms don’t walk, possums don’t dance, penguins don’t fly and lions don’t like water…BUT normal or odd, the wise Creator planned each detail, loves them all, and finished with the best masterpiece of all…you!

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With a strong basis, sing-a-long rhyming lines, recognizable animals, charming pictures and page-to-page color, Would a Worm Go on a Walk is sure to be a favorite. Whether a Sunday school library, school library or personal library, what a wonderful reminder of God’s love and plan for everyone. Loving the silliness yet message behind each verse, uniqueness and purpose is celebrated loudly and boldly. Excellent!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Would a Worm Go on a Walk from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

Breaking Busy

Worthington, Alli. Breaking Busy: How To Find Peace And Purpose In A World Of Crazy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016.

breakingbusy

SUMMARY:
Almost a badge of honor for women to wear, being crazy busy is the norm for many. Between scheduled activities, careers, children, home-life, volunteering and responsibilities, life just seems to become unmanageable and out of control. With humor, compassion, strength, humbleness and faith, author (and speaker, mom, wife, business woman and blogger) Alli Worthington shares her personal stories, weaknesses, triumphs, thoughts and ideas on breaking busy from life. Complete with self-reflection questions for adapting change as necessary, Breaking Busy addresses choices, worry, value, options, expectations and purpose in an empathetic and encouraging way…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Seriously, who is not crazy busy these days at any age, any stage of life and in any situation…often without the word “no” even in our vocabulary!  Loving the wit, honesty and style in which the book was written, I just knew I was going to be able to relate, enjoy and appreciate Breaking Busy. With sound Biblical advice, compassionate coaching and knee-slapping humor, several times (unfortunately) I found myself nodding in agreement. Honestly one of the best books I have read on the subject of busyness, this is one book I read entirely through and plan to reread as needed. Take the “me” moment and learn how to have more with less. Excellent!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Breaking Busy from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Undaunted Hope

Hedlund, Jody. Undaunted Hope: Beacons of Hope- Book 3. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

undauntedhope

SUMMARY:
Hoping to leave her past behind, Tessa Taylor travels to Eagle Harbor, Michigan, to accept a teaching position. As a mining town, Tessa learns the hardships lived by both adults and children alike. Expecting a male teacher, chief mine clerk and self-appointed town supervisor, Percival Updegraff, is hesitant yet interested in the new young teacher much to Tessa’s dismay. However, much to her unexpected surprise, brothers Alex and Michael Bjorklund, keepers of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, begin a brotherly contest to win her affection. Lurking in the corner though may be danger she just might not be able to escape…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read and enjoyed the previous two books in the Beacons of Hope series, I knew Undaunted Hope would definitely be on my to-be-read list. An amazing author, a historically romantic novel, and an engaging storyline make for an excellent book. Being very familiar with the area in Eagle Harbor makes this novel even more perfect for me. Humor, suspense, romance, history and faith all mingle together in one of my now favorite books. Beautiful cover, too!

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Undaunted Hope from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Rainbow in the Cloud (Maya Angelou)

Angelou, Maya. Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou. New York, NY: Random House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
rainbowinthecloudFull of smart guidance, wise direction, humorous pleasantry, and timeless knowledge, this beautiful collection of quotes is gathered from several previous literary works of Maya Angelou. Charming, emotional, witty, clever, strong, and compassionate, Rainbow in the Cloud charters such topics as family, culture, community, race, morals, spirituality, parenting, art and grace.   “Be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.”  Elegant works from a lovely lady.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A stunning woman leaving pearls of herself for generations to come. As an admirer of Maya Angelou, I found this book to be delightful yet full of common sense and practical wisdom. With snippets of her previous works in one slimlined book, some of the included bits are priceless. Such a truly remarkable lady with such sound, just ideas, now contained within reach for many to enjoy. One of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou…”If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”…so true, just perfect!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade

Smith, Virginia. The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade: Tales From The Goose Creek B&B. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2015.

SUMMARY:
GooseCreekParadeReady to relax and retire quietly into his golden years, Al Richardson is content in his longtime comfortable home in Goose Creek, Kentucky. On the other hand, Al’s wife, Millie Richardson, is set to launch a new business which entails opening a B&B in an old run-down Victorian house. Meanwhile the new veterinarian in town is boycotted  and the water tower needs painting, both adding to the town’s turmoil.  Full of quirky banter, adorable characters, and interesting relationships, the town of Goose Creek may be anything but boring…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though it took me a bit to become caught up in the small town of Goose Creek, once there, I found it quite inviting. Between the neighbors in the community, the pleasant interactions, the bit of romance, the cuteness of the animals and the lightness of the read, it combined for a perfect mix. As a wonderful vacation book, ideal for a busy schedule, or in-between heavier stories, The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade is darling, especially as it will be part of a series. Even the title is fun!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Cute Emergency

Heally, Tony. Cute Emergency: Bad Day? The Doctor Is In. USA: Three Rivers Press. 2015.

SUMMARY:
cuteemergencyDealing with an emergency…coffee shop out of your favorite flavor? Pizza turned upside down in the box? No hot water for your shower? Need a root canal? No worries…in his new book, Cute Emergency, author Tony Heally reveals how even the worst of days can be uplifted by this seriously adorable book of animal photos. Monkeys, puppies, guinea pigs, rabbits, elephants and kitties all vie for attention when accompanied by really funny, sweet captions. No matter the emergency, the cuteness factor of this book will cause most anyone to smile and calm a bit…even if you did just drop your phone in the toilet.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
So cute! I chuckled, grinned, laughed and giggled as I read the captions accompanying some of the cutest animal pictures I have ever seen. Cats, puppies, turtles, hedgehogs, piglets and even bears all guarantee to turn bad days around. Set up in degrees of emergencies (low-extreme), the full-color pictures just keep getting cuter! Definitely a great book to share with people needing a smile, of course, animal lovers would also appreciate a copy.   Stat…it’s a cute emergency!!

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

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