Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Hello, Bicycle

I've been pondering digging in the garage for my old bicycle. Hello, Bicycle arrived to give me insight on becoming a cyclists again. Author Anna Brones writes in a very conversational tone which I appreciated. It was a book that I didn't want to set down. The style of the book is also eye-catching. The book could fit comfortably in a bag or in a bicycle basket. Rather than black print inside, the text, as well as the illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock, are in tones of green. Love how easy on the eyes it is to read green and white pages over black and white pages. I am excited to venture into the garage and clean up my bike this year. I want to ride. Thanks for the inspiration and helpful information for a newbie, Anna Brones!

Miss Pippi Reads Hello, Bicycle

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for an honest review.

Title: Hello, Bicycle: An Inspired Guide to the Two-Wheeled Life
Author: Anna Brones
ISBN: 9781607748830

Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: For Love and Honor

For Love and Honor is Jody Hedlund's third title in her medieval series, An Uncertain Choice. As with the previous titles, it is action packed from beginning to end. The series is linked together with the previous two titles, An Uncertain Choice and A Daring Sacrifice, but it can be read as a standalone story.

For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice, #3)
This story focuses on the handsome (and rejected) Sir Bennet. He returns home to take over his brother's land because he cannot manage the family property. Bennet's brother, Aldric, has sunk the family into debt and the neighbors are not pleased. Bennet is taking charge and needs to save the his family's land, priceless antiques, and their lives. Enter Sabine who wants to purchase some priceless treasures, but her Grandmother has matchmaking on her mind.

Hedlund crafts such a great medieval story. This time period in history isn't my top genre, but her writing is so enjoyable! I savored Sabine's independence and uniqueness. I loved Bennet's caring and determination (until it moved to stubbornness). Even though the characters lived years in the past, similar questions and feelings can be felt by readers today. Sabine's uncertainties were very understandable. The struggle for acceptance is one so many of us face.

The story is, again, shared between two voices - Bennet and Sabine. The fonts change so the reader can distinguish who is sharing their story. The story wraps up in this novel, but I would like to hear more about Aldric. He began his recovery journey, but I would like to hear more... When you read an enjoyable story, one book is never enough!

Time Period: Medieval, 1391
Location: Maidstone Castle, Hampton

Reviewed from a review copy. Thank you, Zondervan and Jody Hedlund!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales from Ivy Hill, #1)The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is Julie Klassen's newest historical fiction book. It's also the start of a series! The book description from Klassen's website shares,

"The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business. But with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn."

At the end of the book, there was an author's note from Julie Klassen. She talked about her desire to write a novel in the style of a British television show. Think "Larkrise to Candleford" or "Cranford" from the BBC. After reading (and enjoying), The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, that is where my mind went when I finished the book. Well-written, Author Klassen! I think you succeeded in your writing goal. I felt like I was a part of the community and I wanted to know more about everyone in Ivy Hill. I am looking forward to the next installment of Tales from Ivy Hill. I also feel that this is a book I would read again.

For additional information about the series, Tales from Ivy Hill, visit the website.

Time Period: 18oo's
Location: Ivy Hill, England

Reviewed from a library copy.

Title: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill
Series: Book 1, Tales from Ivy Hill
Author: Julie Klassen
Release Date: December 6, 2016
ISBN: 9780764218132

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Review: Never Forget

Never Forget is the fifth and final book in Jody Hedlund's series Beacons of Hope. The entire series goes as follows: Love Unexpected, Hearts Made Whole, Undaunted Hope, Forever Safe, and Never Forget. 

Miss Pippi Reads reviews Never Forget by Jody Hedlund
Victoria's fiance, Nathaniel Winthrop III, from Forever Safe is dissatisfied with his life. While sailing with a friend, he gets knocked over board and is lost at sea. He washes ashore on Rose Island and found by light keeper Abbie Watson. Now Abbie needs to manage three men - her ill grandfather, the stranger from the beach, and a man from the Lighthouse Board.

Beacons of Hope series is tied together by lighthouses and faith. The previous titles were located in Michigan and Massachusettes. Hedlund travels to a new state to share a new (and final) tale in the series - Rhode Island.

Reaching the conclusion of a series is exciting, satisfying, and saddening. I love a complete series, but sometimes it's hard to say goodbye. I know Jody Hedlund will keep writing. Her books will be new and exciting and she'll finish her other series. Beacons of Hope was so much fun to read! Thank you for a fun adventure! I look forward to your new books that will be coming in the future.

Miss Pippi Reads quote from Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

Time Period: 1880
Location: Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island, USA

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Jody Hedlund!

Title: Never Forget
Series: Book 5, Beacons of Hope
Author: Jody Hedlund
Release Date: January 4, 2017
ISBN: 9780692770879

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund book quote on the blog Miss Pippi Reads

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Review: Waves of Mercy

Waves of Mercy is one of the the newest novels by Lynn Austin. Every time I look at the cover the song "Every Move I Make (Waves Of Mercy)" comes to mind. It's a good song and I would recommend looking it up. I will also share that it is not related to Austin's book. Austin's story is based in Holland, Michigan which is on the shores of Lake Macatawa (off of Lake Michigan). Austin also weaves in an ocean voyage across the Atlantic. The characters live near water or stay in a hotel near the lake. On Austin's blog, she shares a behind-the-scenes peek at Waves of Mercy.

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin reviewed by Miss Pippi Reads
I was taken aback when I opened the book. (I didn't read the description thoroughly because I loved the cover and the author.) I didn't realize the story was in two voices and when between different time periods. I grumbled a bit for the first couple chapters, but soon lost myself in Anna and Geesje stories. They share their troubles, fears, struggles, and faith journeys. It was so beautifully written and felt so honest about their thoughts and feelings. I would not consider this a fluffy romantic story, but one of contemplation. I think if I read it again, it would be like reading it for the first time because the story's depth. It ended unexpectedly for me. I think there could be a sequel but I honestly do not know. I'm hoping so. I want to hear more about Anna's journey and the friends she met while staying at Hotel Ottawa in Holland.

Time Period: 1897 / 1840's
Location: Holland, Michigan and Netherlands

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Lynn Austin and Bethany House!

Title: Waves of Mercy
Author: Lynn Austin
ISBN: 9780764217616

Book Quote from Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Ways to Connect with Author Lynn Austin:
Lynn Austin on Pinterest
Lynn Austin on Twitter
Lynn Austin on Facebook
Lynn Austin on GoodReads

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Love's Faithful Promise

Love's Faithful Promise is the third and final book in Susan Ann Mason's series, Courage to Dream. I greatly enjoyed book one, Irish Meadows and book two, A Worthy Heart. Before reading book three, I reread A Worthy Heart to reacquaint  myself with the O'Learys. I fell in the love with this family in the first novel and looked forward to hearing about them again and again.

Miss Pippi Reads Love's Faithful Promise by Susan Ann Mason
The two youngest O'Leary children, Deirdre and Connor, have grown up. Deirdre wants to become a doctor and Connor desires to work at Irish Meadows. Deirdre ends her educational dreams to care for her mother after a stroke and opens her heart to a cantankerous doctor from Toronto with a young daughter. Connor is working his way up in the ranks by starting at the bottom, per his father's instructions. He's in charge of a young new hand that is quiet and mysterious.

Deirdre's story is the most prominent of the two siblings, but Connor's tale is shared. Most of the book is set at Irish Meadows which is the home of the O'Leary's. It was good to return to Irish Meadows (most of book two is set in New York City). When tragedy strikes, the calm and beautiful surroundings of Irish Meadows brings an added layer of healing to more than just the O'Learys.

Besides the setting, I liked the time period of Love's Faithful Promise. WWI occurred between book two and three. The unrest was mentioned in book two and medical after effects were mentioned in book three. Dr. Matthew Clayborne is treating soldiers who were injured in the war. He is part of a new medical movement working in physical therapy.

It's been a captivating read. I cannot believe I need to say goodbye to the O'Learys. Thank you for an excellent series, Susan Anne Mason! Courage to Dream is a series I want to continue savoring. I look forward to see what historical fiction story you'll be writing next!

Time Period: Post WWI, 1922
Location: Toronto, Long Island, and New York City

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Susan Ann Mason and Bethany House!

Title: Love's Faithful Promise
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Series: Book 03, Courage to Dream
ISBN: 9780764217265

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: Long May She Wave

Long May She Wave is a collection of 100 collectible postcards that feature stars and stripes of America.

MissPippiReads reviews Long May She Wave (Amazon Link)
The 100 cards are actually two sets of 50 postcards. The description on the box says, "50 flag cards; 2 of each; 1 to share; 1 to keep." Potter Style is the publisher and they have shared a range of over two hundred years. Each postcard shares a brief description that includes the date or circa date. I appreciate the quality of cardstock that was used for the postcards. The cards can be displayed or mailed with confidence that they would last over time. The cardboard storage box (that looks like a book) is also sturdily made. It's a fun collection to keep or to share. Perhaps a good fit for a PostCrossing account?

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Title: Long May She Wave: 100 Stars and Stripes Collectible Postcards
Author: Kit Hinrichs and Delphine Hirasuna
ISBN: 9780553459289

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Review: Forever Safe

Forever Safe is the fourth book in the series Beacons of Hope by Jody Hedlund. The first book, Love Unexpected, was published in December of 2014.  A few months later (June 2015), book two became available, Hearts Made Whole. I am so impressed with the quickness of author Jody Hedlund! Book three, Undaunted Hope came out in January 2016 and Forever Safe's book birthday is today!

Miss Pippi Reads Forever Safe by Jody Hedlund
Beacons of Hope series is tied together by lighthouses and faith. The previous titles were located in Michigan, but this book takes the reader on a trip to Massachusetts! The wooden cross that was passed from Emma Chambers to Ryan Chambers to Tessa Taylor returns to the Cole family, specifically the daughter, Victoria.

Victoria is on the verge of marriage, but someone is looking to harm her. Her father hires a bodyguard who is hurt when someone tries to harm Victoria. A young replacement comes and whisks Victoria off to Cape Cod’s Race Point Lighthouse. To keep Victoria's reputation safe for her future wedding, bodyguard Tom Cushman marries her in name only. Close living quarters and close family drive Victoria and Tom closer together yet farther apart. Their futures are not what they expected, but it could be better than they ever imagined.

I think Forever Safe was the most adventurous Beacons of Hope story yet! I quickly thumbed my Kindle screen to get to the next page and the next page and the next. I loved the relationship of Tom's parents and how it influences him as well as Victoria. I also am intrigued by the passing off of the cross. Will there be another Beacons of Hope novel? I hope so!

Time Period: 1876
Location: New York City, New York and Race Point, Massachusetts, USA

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Jody Hedlund!

Title: Forever Safe
Series: Book 4, Beacons of Hope
Author: Jody Hedlund
Release Date: June 1, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Review: Wonderland

Coloring is a hot topic, but it's also a long time pastime. People have been coloring, drawing, painting, and creating art for hundreds of years. It's truly amazing to see how many different coloring books are currently on the market. Let me introduce you to one of them ...

Wonderland: A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures by Amily Shen

Miss Pippi Reads Wonderland a Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures

Amily Shen is a Taiwanese artist with three drawing books. Wonderland is her first coloring book. She is also a full-time illustrator and art instructor.

Wonderland is a coloring book that's more than just a book full of black and white pages. Readers can follow Alice's adventures with a personal twist from Amily. She helps put the book owner in the story. There are complex coloring pages, beautiful simple pages, drawing pages, and even a seek-n-find game. Now, that's just the inside of the book. The dust jacket can be removed and on the reverse side there is an extra long poster to color! The book cover and back also have coloring designs on them. The cover is tinted pink and made of thicker, glossier paper, so a different color medium might be needed for coloring the cover vs. coloring the the dust jacket or pages. This is a fun book to give to a friend or purchase for yourself!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Title: Wonderland a Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures
Author: Amily Shen
ISBN: 9780399578465

Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Room for Hope

Room for Hope shares the journey of Neva Shilling.

Neva cares for her children, oversees the family mercantile, and offers food to homeless travelers all while struggling in the Great Depression. Her husband is gone. In his place, a deputy delivers three unknown children who call her Aunt Neva. Mr. Schilling had two families and now he and his second wife are gone. The burden is great. Is there room for hope in Neva's life?

Miss Pippi Reads Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Author Kim Vogel Sawyers crafts wonderful stories. I always forget how much I like her novels until I pick the next one up. She writes with true emotion - heartache, love, greed, admiration, and faith. Neva is the main character, but she is not alone. Other characters are in her life and take the main narration at times too. The voices in this book include:

Jesse Caudel from Beliot, now Sheriff in Buffalo Creek
Bud Schilling, Neva's son
Arthur Randall, Neva's neighbor

Each character is around Neva and her generous spirit. They also have their own personal battles. I was surprised by the ending of the book and how the loose ends tied together. I thought it would go one way when it went another. It was a beautiful surprise and a fulfilling story. It is a standalone novel, so you can pick it up without knowing previous characters or worrying about the next installment.

The end of the book shares a readers guide, acknowledgements, and a page on Sawyer's next book. (Which I can't wait to read!) If you visit WaterBrook Multnomah, you can read a preview of Room for Hope.

Time Period: The Great Depression, 1936
Location: Buffalo Creek, Kansas, USA

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Title: Room for Hope
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
ISBN: 9780307731371

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