Friday, January 12, 2018

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner (Book Review!)

A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era

by Susie Finkbeiner

(received in exchange for an honest review)

A Song of Home

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 312

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4482-1

It’s late 1935 and early 1936, Pearl Spence and her family have settle into life in Bliss, Michigan without her mother.  She has the support of the rest of the family to keep her going.  She has continued her interest in reading and has a new interest, music.  She especially likes swing dance music and learns to enjoy swing dancing.  Her mother returns to the family and nobody is happy.  She treat’s Pearl’s dad terribly.  Pearl wants her to leave.  Will she leave?  Whose baby is she carrying?  Will Pearl be able to continue to enjoy swing dancing?

About the Author-

Susie Finkbeiner is currently from Michigan.  She is a blogger, stay-at-home mom, author, and speaker.  Her other books include My Mother’s Chronicle, A Cup of Dust, and A Song of Home.  Her website is www.susiefinkbeiner.com.

My thoughts-

I liked how this cover had a rainbow like A Cup of Dust and A Trail of Crumbs.  It helps ties them together.  It shows the reader that the books belong together and are part of a series.

After all the tragedies in the first two books, I hoped Pearl and her family would finally have some peace and stability.  Pearl was enjoying more time with Aunt Carrie, Ray, and Opal.  In that way she was able to have the stability that she needed after her sister died, they moved, and her mama left.  It was all turned around when her mama came back.  Pearl was very upset when she came back.  I don’t blame Pearl, because her mama wasn’t very kind to her family or others in town.  It even got worse before it got better.  The surprise is at the end, but I’m not going to spoil it for you. 

The main thing I noticed in this book was the lack of God and the church compared to the other two books.  While the mention of God wasn’t there, He was still noticeable in the way that everyone was treated.  Aunt Carrie and Pearl’s father were two people that I noticed treated all people in God’s way.

I appreciated the discussion questions at the end of the book.  Discussion questions always help tie the book together and help the reader remember the book for a longer period of time.  The “Afterword” about the Swing Era was also helpful to give me more information about the time period.

I recommend A Song of Home to all adult readers.  It would be a good idea to read the other two books first, so you’ll learn more about Pearl and her family.  If you’re unable to, you’ll still enjoy this one. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Song of Home, by Susie Finkbeiner, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue by Susan K. Marlow (2 Book Reviews!)

Andi Lassos Trouble

(Circle C Stepping Stones #3)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Juvenile

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 112

Age Group- Juvenile (ages 7-10)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $7.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4432-6

Andi’s family ranch, the Circle C, is going to host a rodeo with two other local ranches.  The cowboys are excited and so is Andi.  She wants wants to compete just like the cowboys.  Will her brother, Chad,  and their mother let her?  Will the rodeo be safe for everyone?  What happens when Andi’s guests arrive?

Andi to the Rescue

(Circle C Stepping Stones #4)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)


Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Young Adult

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 112

Age Group- Juvenile (ages 7-10)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $7.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4431-9

Mother is going to be the substitute teacher at Andi’s school until Miss Hall is well.  Andi’s embarrassed, but soon that will be the least of her problems.  Outlaws think that Andi and her mother are someone else and kidnap them.  Mother is supposed to teach the outlaw how to read.  Andi’s scared, but her mother tries keep her safe.  Will the outlaws hurt them?  Will Andi be able to escape?  Does anyone know where they went?
About the Author-
Susan K. Marlow currently lives in Washington.  She writes books, teaches writing workshops, and shares information about being a homeschooling parent.  Her website is CircleCMilestones.com.
My thoughts-
I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books.  I know that these books are for younger girls, but I really get a kick out of reading about Andi.  She reminds me a little bit of Mandie, from the book series by Lois Gladys Leppard.  They both have spirit and are girls that every girl should strive to be.

I really liked the definitions at the beginning of the book.  I was glad that they were at the beginning of the book, so that the readers will know the words before they read them.  They were also words that some children may not know.  I also like the table of contents.  It’s so helpful when books have them, because if you want to go back to check something it’s easy to do.  Other than the story, the other good part in these books is the small section containing historical information at the end of the books.  I liked the information about rodeo history and that about Black Bart, a gentleman outlaw. I wish she had included a little bit of information about the troubles between the ranchers and sheepherders, since it was a subject in Andi Lassos Trouble.
These books are excellent for young girls.  I’m sure that they will become classics for this generation and those to come. 
Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue, by Susan K. Marlow, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Your Marriage God’s Mission by Clint and Penny A. Bragg (Book Review!)

Marriage on the Mend

by Clint and Penny A. Bragg

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Your Marriage God's Mission

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Love & Marriage

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 256

Age Group- Adult (Married Couples)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4427-2

 Are you and your spouse looking for a way to serve God together?

The Braggs have written Your Marriage God’s Mission with step-by-step lessons to learn what your mission is and how to protect it.

This book is full of helpful information, links to videos, prayers and questions, to help discover the mission for your marriage.  They have also filled this book with their experiences and that of others.

About the Authors-

Clint and Penny A. Bragg work as marriage missionaries through their nonprofit organization, Inverse Ministries.  The website is www.inverseministries.org.  

My thoughts-

I thought this book was well written and the only one I’ve ever read about having a mission for your marriage.

I liked having the QR codes in the book, but I do not have a reader.  I really liked how the website was easy to find in the book.  The videos were labeled by chapter and easy to view.  I really liked that.  They were also well done.  If you aren’t able to watch the videos, they were just the icing on the the cake, everything important is covered in the book.

I really liked how this book was written for both men and women, many of the marriage books I have seen are either for the man or the woman.  I also have never read a book that focused on building a specific mission for a marriage. 

All parts of this book were important from the introduction that said how the book was set up to the questions at the end of each chapter.  I liked this book and what it can do to help marriages.

This is a book I recommend to all married couples who want to strengthen their marriage and have a goal with God in mind.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Your Marriage God’s Mission, by Clint and Penny A. Bragg, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Spiritual Heritage by Glen and Ellen Schuknecht (Book Review!)

A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family

by Glen and Ellen Schuknecht

(received in exchange for an honest review)

A Spiritual Heritage

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Family

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 180

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $13.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4483-8

Do you desire to build a spiritual heritage for your children and family for years to come?  Do you know what spiritual heritage is? 

In A Spiritual Heritage you’ll learn what spiritual heritage from God is, how to become connected, and courage to stand for what you believe as a family.

About the Authors-

Ellen Schuknecht is the director of Family Wings, head of family ministries at Veritas Academy, and a national speaker.  Glen Schuknecht speaks and consults for Family Wings and ws the head of student discipleship and discipline and Veritas Academy.  They currently live in Texas.

My thoughts-

I appreciated this book.  I know how important it is to have a spiritual heritage to have a strong family that’s always there for one another and others outside of the family.  The Schuknechts did a good job of dividing the book into three parts to cover all parts of becoming a family with a strong spiritual heritage.  The parts talked about creating the atmosphere, choosing and implementing the characteristics, and even more tools to put into place to make a family stronger.

I learned it’s important to stick what you know and to never waver.  When you want to have a powerful family you need prayer, faith, and to follow God no matter.

I think this book would have been great if there had been a summary at the end of each chapter and questions or action steps.

This book is good for families who want to be more connected with each other and God.  Please pick up a copy today!     

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Spiritual Heritage, by Glen and Ellen Schuknecht, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller (Book Review!)

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace, Book 3
by Carolyn Miller
(received in exchange for an honest review)
The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
Genre- Fiction / Christian / Romance / Historical
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 296
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4452-4

Miss Clara DeLancey and her family have had leave London, because of a scandal.  She isn’t sure of herself anymore and is full of dispair.  She becomes friends with two young ladies and their brother in Brighton.  Clara’s mother, a viscountess, is upset that she is spending time with them.  Clara does what she can to help them into society, despite her mother.  They help her become happier. 

They all go for the Season to London, where Clara gets closer to Captain Benjamin Kemsley, the brother.  They aren’t of the same class, so they really shouldn’t be together.  It is made worse when they all go back to Brighton and are all invited to the Prince Regent’s Pavilion.

Will they be able to to be together?  Will Clara’s mother and society keep them apart forever?

About the Author-

Carolyn Miller currently lives in Australia with her husband and children and has long enjoyed Regency Romance.  She is a member of the Australian Christian Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers.  Her website is www.carolynmillerauthor.com

My thoughts-

Once I saw this book was available to review, I was pleased.  I had read the rest of the books in the series and enjoyed them, so I was sure I would enjoy this one.  I did. 

I would have appreciated a synopsis of the other books in the series.  It has been a while since I read them, so I need to be reminded about what happend in them, since they are linked.  There was a family tree, but it wasn’t enough for me.  I needed a list of the characters and how they related to each other.

I really liked the Kemsley’s.  Tessa, Matilda, and Benjamin were the perfect people to help Clara after the trouble she had left behind in London.  I was proud of the woman that Clara became.  She left London as a young lady who did everything her parents said to having a mind and determination of her own.  It also helped her parents realize who she was and how they also needed to change.

This was a great book in the series.  I always enjoy reading a romance novel that also draws on the strength of God.  I’m looking forward to reading Carolyn Miller’s next book, Winning Miss Winthrop, the first book in the Regency Brides: A Promis of Hope series.

I recommend it!    

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, by Carolyn Miller, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree by Roger Campbell

Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree

by Roger Campbell

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Roger Campbell

Genre- Religion / Christian / Essays

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 176

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4458-6

Timothy Campbell has selected over 100 of his father’s newspaper columns for us to enjoy and learn from.  Roger Campbell wrote these columns about family, friends, life, and faith.  These columns end with pertinant Bible verse.

About the Authors-

Roger Campbell lived for twenty-two years in Michigan and worked as an author, columnist, and broadcaster.  He wrote Spurgeon’s Daily Treasures in the Psalms and Staying Positive in a Negative World.

Timothy Campbell (editor) is Roger’s son and lives in Michigan.  He is an ordained chaplain and is the owner of Life Resource Christian Counseling Center.

My thoughts-

This book was a lot of fun to read and glean information from.  I liked that they were short.  They would work perfectly as daily devotions, as they have Bible verses at the end.  The index was a helpful addition, because I could highlight the ones I especially liked and want to read again.  I noticed that it said that some of those columns are complete while others aren’t.  It would be nice if they were all complete.  I would be interested in seeing what was missing.

I plan on reading these columns to my children.  They’ll work well for reading at dinner, because I can read it then discuss it.  We’d be able to have something to talk about, instead of watching television.  These columns would work to build our family bond.

I enjoyed reading these columns and I’m sure you will too.  I highly recommend it.     

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree, by Roger Campbell, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson (Book Review!)

If We Make it Home: A Novel of Faith and Survival in the Oregon Wilderness

by Christina Suzann Nelson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

If We Make it Home

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 272

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4495-1

Ireland, Vicky, and Jenna have been separated since they graduated from college.  Now those twenty-five years will melt away as they meet each other at the Emery House at the University of Northwest Oregon.  Their fourth friend, Hope, has recently passed away.  They decide to take a trip into the wilderness to honor Hope and themselves.  Ireland wants to escape the charges that are facing her at the college where she teaches.  Jenna wants to embrace being an empty-nester.  Vicky wants change her ministry and her life.

Will they work together to solve their problems?  What will happen when their guide is killed by a tree?

About the Author-

Christina Suzann Nelson currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children.  She has had essays published in the Cup of Comfort series.  She is a member of ACFW and Oregon Christian Writers, and this is her first novel.

My thoughts-

When I first learned and read the description for this book, I thought it was nonfiction.  I thought this, because I thought I had heard of this really happening.  It seemed like something that would really happen.

I liked how this was novel was written from the perspectives of Jenna, Vicky, and Ireland.  If the reader would have only had the view of one of the characters, the story would haven’t been as rich.  I also wouldn’t have had the chance to relate to the three women.  I was able to learn more about them and see myself in them.

The questions at the end were some of the most thought-provoking that I have read in a fiction book.  They didn’t just involve the characters, they involved me and what I would do in the situations.  I appreciated that, because I was able to think about myself in ways that I haven’t before.

I thought this book had a lot of action and ideas that I hadn’t thought of before.  It made me wonder if I could survive lost in the wilderness.  It would be nice to know if it was based partially on a true story.

I recommend.   

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received If We Make It Home, by Cindy K. Sproles, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.