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

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Review: Priceless Weddings for Under 5K (Revised Edition)

Kathleen Kennedy has refreshed her book, Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000. She included more content, updated information, and a stylish new cover which features hand lettering by Alane Gianetti. Just looking at the page count, it's over 100 pages more than her first edition which came out in 2000.

Priceless Weddings for Under 5K reviewed by Miss Pippi Reads
My review is based off the revised edition which was published in 2015. I have not read the original, so I cannot compare the two versions side by side. The book is written in a traditional format of paragraphs and whatnot, but Kennedy also includes checklists, bullet points, tips, questionnaires, real-life wedding examples, and places for notes. I think it is a helpful text when thinking about putting a wedding together. If one of your priorities is budget, this is a book to find. The real-life examples were helpful. The couples shared their wedding priorities, location, budget, and more.

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

Title: Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000 (Revised Edition)
Author: Kathleen Kennedy
ISBN: 9780804185769

Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: A Daring Sacrifice

What an outstanding opening line, "Time to chop off your thumbs."! It definitely caught my attention and pulled me into the medieval world. Jody Hedlund's second medieval teen novel, A Daring Sacrifice, was action packed from beginning to end.

A Daring Sacrifice reviewed on Miss Pippi Reads

A Daring Sacrifice follows An Uncertain Choice which came out in 2015. The books are linked together by the knights who grew up in the household of the Duke of Rivenshire, the Noblest Knight. Eack book can be read on its own which I really enjoyed. It was nice to have a little background from the previous title, but feel free to leap in and read!

Juliana is on the run from her uncle who is hunting her and wants to put an end to her just like he disposed of her father. She wants to live and protect the people who saved her and continue to guard her life. She's become a bandit to help support her people who live secretly in the forest. When she steals from Collin Goodrich, she is unmasked! Collin is curious about this female bandit that goes around wearing tattered male garments. Since leaving the last challenge from the Noblest Knight and his friends, he is up to the test of keeping track of Juliana and coming to her rescue.

Jody Hedlund has crafted together some very heartfelt ideas. It is questions of changing yourself, who you are, who you pretend to be, and what is a sacrifice. Anyone who is growing up asks these questions and since we all continue to grow, sometimes these questions are before us time and time again. The book focuses on sacrifices and some of them were stunning to read and reflect on. (I'm not giving any away, so there are no spoilers!) Every one sacrifices something, and Collin shared a revelation well, "My chest swelled with strange satisfaction." It's about putting others before you and caring for someone's needs before your own. It's beautiful to witness love and caring in action.

The story is shared between two voices - Juliana and Collin. The fonts change so it is easy to distinguish who is leading the story. The story wraps up in this novel, but Hedlund does share an epilogue that shares a new storyline. Come soon, book three! I cannot wait to read it!

Time Period: Medieval, 1390
Location: Forests of Wessex and Goodrich Castle

Reviewed from an advanced reader copy. Thank you, Zondervan and Jody Hedlund!

Title: A Daring Sacrifice
Author: Jody Hedlund
Series: Book 02, An Uncertain Choice
ISBN: 9780310749370

Monday, February 08, 2016

Review: A Worthy Heart

A Worthy Heart is the second book in Susan Ann Mason's series, Courage to Dream. I greatly enjoyed book one, Irish Meadows. When A Worthy Heart arrived in the mail, I went in search of my copy of Irish Meadows. A re-read of the first book was needed.

I'm so glad I could jump into Mason's Courage to Dream world again. Irish Meadows was great and Mason does not disappoint in A Worthy Heart. It's worth a read, friends! Not only does the story delve into the life of mystery brother, Adam O'Leary, but two Montgomery siblings arrive from Ireland. Don't worry about missing out on the characters you read about in Irish Meadows, they are present and very much a part of this book. Every one grows through faith, conflicts, illness, and love. For under 400 pages, Mason writes a wonderfully complex storyline. I liked Maggie Montgomery's story, but Adam's life was beautifully heart-wrenching. He'd fallen to the bottom of his pit and was picking himself up. It's amazing how faith and friends can help raise someone up who is struggling. I especially loved Mason's honesty about Adam O'Leary in her Author's Note: she didn't like him in book one, but the more she got to know him, the more she loved him.

I hope more Courage to Dream books are coming! I feel connected to the O'Leary/Montgomery family and I want more. Thanks for an excellent series, Ms. Mason!

Time Period: Turn of the Century, 1914
Location: Long Island and New York City, New York, USA

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

Title: A Worthy Heart
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Series: Book 02, Courage to Dream
ISBN: 9780764217258

Friday, February 05, 2016

Review: The 4x4 Diet Book

When The 4 x 4 Diet book arrived in the mail, I paged through it quickly then sat down to read a couple pages. I ended up reading the entire book in one evening!

Erin Oprea wrote in a friendly and down-to-earth style. It read more like a friend talking with you than just an informational text or a lecture. She was encouraging and wanted her readers to see the diet as making a healthy lifestyle choice rather than a quick diet. She wants everyone to live a better and longer life. Her 4 x 4 diet takes 4 weeks to implement. It's not a jump into the deep end decision, which I appreciate. Each week you start to do something a little different with your food decisions. It feels like a plan everyone can follow with easy to know numbers and baby steps to better living.

The workout portion reminded me of burst training that my chiropractor talked about last year. Erin Opera talks about the tabata method which you push hard for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds in 8 rounds. She shares an array of movements through photographs in the book. (She also shares some short videos on her Twitter, too!) She encourages readers to find tabatas that they enjoy and find their own routine of 8 movements. Readers can follow her routines in the book or get into your groove with her suggestions.

The 4 x 4 makes me feel confident to try some new exercises. I've been pondering burst training (or tabata) and I feel I have some great information to get me started. Thanks, Erin!

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: 12 Brides of Summer Collection

12 Brides of Summer Collection #2 is a three novella collection in one book. Each story has a summer setting. All the stories can stand on their own and they are quick reads.

A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy has ties to previous book families - Belle and Silas from The Husband Tree. The bride is not Belle, it is her daughter Betsy. I love Connealy stories! They humorous and heartwarming. I always feel they are too short. This story was way too short for my liking! It also made me want to re-read all her previous stories, too!

Time Period: Montana
Location: 1894

The Fourth of July Bride by Amanda Cabot writes a story about a fictitious proposal that turns into a real proposal of marriage. I think that theme is fun to read about and enjoy for a quick read.

Time Period: 1886
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, USA

The Summer Harvest Bride by Maureen Lang features a gal who needs to decide between two very different men. One is a traveler who comes to town and captures her attention, while the other is one that has grown up and plans to stay in their town. This novella also weaves in a mystery as well as a town building project of a mill.

Time Period: 1851
Location: Finchville, Illinois, USA

Reviewed from a NetGalley copy. Thank you, Shiloh Run Studios and Barbour Publishing!

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