Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review: Carry Me Home

Have you heard about Dorothy Adamek? She's a new author!

Her first book is Carry Me Home about a daughter who sets sail for Australia with her father to make a new life for themselves. Her father seeks the new climate for his health, while Finella is set to marry a preacher in a foreign land. Moving from England to Australia is a shock, but Finella weathers the storms of tragedy. The trials of life bring her closer to the Lord and closer to the people in the "new" land of Australia.

I want to start off with something flippant like "it's a fun book, you should read it!", but it's more than just a "fun" read. It's a great story full of depth. I enjoyed Dorothy's turn a phrase and picture images to describe scenes and people. For example, she wrote "Her heart ruffled like a wind torn sail, held, yet ripped." to describe a moment in Finella's life. How beautiful and relevant when she's sailed across the world!

The story weaves together very well. The main characters are Finella and Shadrach. Other family members influence their lives and help to change their lives together. This is the first book in a new series and I cannot wait to hear more from Dorothy Adamek! Her next book is called Carry Me Away.

Time Period: 1875
Location: Phillip Island, Australia

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, RelzReviewz and Dorothy Adamek!

Title: Carry Me Home
Series: Book 1, Blue Wren Shallows
Author: Dorothy Adamek
Release Day: December 1, 2015
ISBN: 9780994457202

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: Bride of Distant Isle

Miss Annabel Ashton shares her story. It's Gothic and captivating. It brought to mind Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, but instead of poking fun at a Gothic tale, it's a true haunting mystery. Yes, there is a touch of romance and faith in the tale, but I think it's mostly a mystery told in the first person.

Bride of a Distant Isle (Daughters of Hampshire, #2)Annabel needs to uncover the mystery of her mother (if she was truly married or not) and if she is going insane (just like her mother). Beyond Annabel's personal mysteries, her cousin Edward is working on business dealings and asking Annabel help the conversation go well between him and new (possible) business partners. Edward and Annabel grew up together, but their views of each other are vastly different. Annabel desires the sibling friendship they had when they were younger while Edward wants to use Annabel for his own gain, a pawn for his debts and business dealings. Her faith in the Lord gives her strength when she is hurt by Edward and his wife's dealings.

Byrd weaves an interesting historical faith facts in this book. Annabel is Catholic which is a minority in England. She meets other devote Catholics around her family's estate, Highcliffe, but again they are in the minority. After Annabel's tale, Byrd shares an Author's Note about Christianity in England. It's a a very brief overview, but very interesting.

Bride of a Distant Isle is book two in the Daughters of Hampshire series. I previously read Mist of Midnight, book one. I think each story is a standalone piece with the location of Hampshire and the Gothic genre tying them together. GoodReads says that there will be a book three in the series called A Lady in Disguise coming in 2017. I am looking forward to reading it!

Time Period: 1851-1854
Location: Near Milford on Sea, Hampshire, England (and Malta)

Reviewed from an Edelweiss copy. Thank you, Howard Books!

Title: Bride of a Distant Isle
Author: Sandra Byrd
Series: Book 02, Daughters of Hampshire
Publisher: Howard Books
Release Date: March 22, 2016
ISBN: 9781476717890

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Storytime: Fall 2015

During our Fall session of storytime at the library, I share eight weeks of storytimes. I try to think of new and exciting themes to share. This fall my co-worker and I decided to share a nursery rhyme with each storytime. We sometimes overlapped, but over all we had different rhymes with different themes. It was a lot of fun and I would encourage you to give it a try! Here's a brief glimpse of some of the storytime materials I shared this Fall:

Fall Storytime Themes from Miss Pippi Reads

Nursery Rhyme: There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
Theme: Home

Nursery Rhyme: Mary Had a Little Lamb
Theme: School

Nursery Rhyme: Little Boy Blue
Theme: Naps

Nursery Rhyme: None
Theme: New Favorite Books

Nursery Rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock
Theme: Clocks

Nursery Rhymes: Pat-a-Cat & Rub-a-Dub-Dub
Theme: Bakers

Nursery Rhyme: Sing a Song of Sixpence
Theme: Black Birds / Crows / Ravens

Themes I have used before were houses, school, baking, and crows. Even with repeated themes, the audience is new and for the most part the books are new as well! My favorite storytime this season was the black birds storytime.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Things I've Said to My Children

Father and graphic designer, Nathan Ripperger, shares Things I've Said to My Children. He selected a few choice phrases he's told his children and illustrated them! Such a clever, short book to read and share with parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, or anyone who relates to having children around them. Children are curious, imaginative, and frustrating, but they are learning. They are learning how things work as well as learning their limits. As a librarian, one of my favorite phrases in the book was "We do not poop in books." Indeed! We do not poop in books.

Miss Pippi Reads Things I've Said to My Children
I know of many parents who capture funny phrases their children say in little notebooks, but this is a fun reverse book of funny phrases parents say to their children. Most family notebooks are not illustrated, but they are shared with others, usually family and friends. This book could be a launch pad for so many ideas for art, gifts, or humor to share with family, friends, and strangers!

I think this book pairs well with another humorous parenting book, Reasons My Kid Is Crying or Dad is Fat. All three titles offer great chuckles! They could also be shared as silly new parents gifts.

Looking for more information about Nathan Ripperger? He's sharing his artwork on Etsy. He's also on Flickr and Twitter.

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

Title: Things I've Said to My Children
Author: Nathan Ripperger
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 9781607748304

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre

Happy release day, Laura Frantz! The Mistress of Tall Acre from Revell is now available and it is a fantastic historical fiction book!

Miss Pippi Reads The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz
The Mistress of Tall Acre takes place after the American Revolutionary War. General Seamus Ogilvy returns to his house Tall Acre with his young daughter. His neighbor, Sophie Menzies from Three Chimneys, is still his neighbor, but rather destitute and a bit of an outcast because of her father's political leanings. The Ogilvys need help as well as Miss Menzies. There different difficulties could be repaired by joining forces, but will a sensible arrangement bring them closer together or farther apart?

Key words that were used to describe this book include triumph, tragedy, loyalty, and betrayal. I would agree! I greatly enjoyed reading Frantz's story. The characters are trying to put their lives together after a war that torn their country a part. Sophie and Seamus are seeking security, hope, truth, and family. It seems obvious at times that of course Sophie and Seamus will work everything out and they will get their "happy ever after" but others in the story add twists and surprises to their lives. No all the surprises are good and not all the surprises are bad. I think it was a great mix of both. I also appreciated how faith was woven into the story. It wasn't heavy handed or too light. They needed the Lord and prayed to Him. Sophie knew she needed to keep the Lord's promises in front of her.

I had many favorite passages while reading this story. I'm looking forward to sharing them on GoodReads. I also want to read the whole story over again! I better add The Mistress of Tall Acre to my to-read book pile again and come back to it after reading a few other books on that pile.

Time Period: 1783, Post Revolutionary War
Location: Roan & Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Laura Frantz and Revell!

Title: The Mistress of Tall Acre
Author: Laura Frantz
Release Day: September 8, 2015
ISBN: 9780800720445

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Rooted in Design

When I first paged through Rooted in Design, I was not drawn to it. The photographs seemed stylized and too urban; the ratio of project how-to's versus plain text was uneven to my eyes. I'm from a suburban area and the authors are from Chicago and New York. The plants might be the same, but the housing and room decor depicted didn't feel familiar. For two months, I left Rooted in Design on my to-read shelf at home. I needed to give this book an honest chance. I'm glad I did!

Miss Pippi Reads reviews Rooted In Design
After actually reading the text, not just relying on the photographs or the eight Make If Your Own how-to's, this is a very well put together book. The authors offer different design ideas for every living space. It doesn't matter if you have an apartment or a house. It doesn't matter if you have floor space, wall space, table space, or ledge space. They share plenty of ideas for plant lovers. They offer ideas from the floor to the ceiling, from attaching to the wall to movable walls of plants. Beyond just room design, they share their plant knowledge from plant design to plant care. If you enjoy live plants or preserved plants, they have projects for every type of indoor gardener.

I currently have numerous houseplants. They are happily residing on kitchen counters right now, but they will be moving soon! I feel inspired to redesign my plants to fit together better and enhance my living spaces. Rooted in Design was described as a having DIY projects, tips, and guidance. I agree! Before winter sets in, I'm going to put on some garden gloves and get dirty!

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

Title: Rooted in Design: Sprout Home's Guide to Creative Indoor Planting
Author: Tara Heibel & Tassy de Give
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 9781607746973

Friday, August 07, 2015

Lighthouse Day 2015

Perusing my Facebook feed, I found Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction's post about National Lighthouse Day. They shared, "Happy ‪#‎NationalLighthouseDay‬! No lighthouses nearby? No problem. Just celebrate with one of these Lightkeeper novels from Colleen Coble!"

 Beacons of Hope series written by Jody Hedlund  Barbour Publishing produced The Lighthouse Bride Collection

Today is a great day to celebrate lighthouses! In my neck of the woods, it is cloudy and rainy which would be fine weather to light the lighthouse beam. I'm also near the Great Lakes, so lighthouses are just a short drive away if I wanted to go visiting.

Colleen Coble isn't the only author to write about lighthouses. Jody Hedlund is writing the Beacons of Hope series about lighthouses. Barbour Publishing also came out with a novella collection called The Lighthouse Brides Collection. Those are only a few fiction books that mention lighthouses. What lighthouse books (or lighthouses) are you familiar with?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Review: Irish Meadows

Have you met Susan? Susan Anne Mason to be exact. Bethany House published a new series (and her first historical novel) called Courage to Dream. Book one is Irish Meadows.
Miss Pippi reviews Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Irish Meadows is a horse farm located on Long Island in New York. The O'Learys are raising horses, but times are hurting for their livelihood. The year is 1911 and an anti-gambling legislature is putting a damper on Mr. O'Leary's profits in horse racing and gambling that came from horse owners working with Irish Meadows. Mr. O'Leary is looking to remain solvent and keep his place in society. He's not above pressuring his daughters, Brianna and Colleen, as well as his "adopted" son, Gilbert Whelan to marry well. Brianna, Colleen, and Gilbert are not keen on the plans made for their lives, but how can they turn from the man who gave them everything?


Once I began reading Irish Meadows, it was difficult to set it down! It was as gripping as one of my other favorite series, The Daughters of Boston by Julie Lessman. Similar themes include sibling relationships, love stories, Irish heritage, and faith. Lessman writes about Boston (and Ireland) and Mason writes about Long Island. If you enjoyed Julie's series, you'll enjoy Susan's Irish Meadows and visa verse.

If I could say one thing about Irish Meadows, it would be MORE! I could have read two or three more stories about all the characters in this book, but the story was nice and tight. For talking about four main characters, a "short" novel is quite impressive. Mason wrapped up many difficult story lines well. She does leave room for more stories from the O'Leary clan which I am eager to read. I've never been too much of a horse enthusiast and the balance between no horse information and too much horse information was just right.

Book two, A Worthy Heart, is set to come out in January 2016. I am looking forward to the next installment in the series Courage to Dream. I hope to read more about the entire O'Leary family, not just the rouge brother, Adam.

Time Period: Turn of the Century, 1911
Location: Long Island, New York, USA

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

Title: Irish Meadows
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Series: Book 01, Courage to Dream
ISBN: 9780764217241

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Infuse

Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water is a fantastic recipe book to capture the tastes of summer and freshness. Prum and Williams created a book that can be used as a great summer activity, but also a way to keep fresh foods enjoyable all year long. They share recipes that infuse oil, alcohol, and water. Some recipes are to be enjoyed immediately, while others beg you to take your time.

Miss Pippi Reads reviews Infuse by Eric Prum & Josh WilliamsThe infuse recipes are divided into three sections: oil, spirit, and water. The delicious liquids are accompanied by other recipes as well. The food recipes range from apps to drinks to main courses. The focus is on the infusions, so most of the recipes are liquid, but the additional recipes are an added bonus.

The design of the book is beautiful. The colors are muted and natural. The photographs give a wonderful feel and look to the book. The ingredients are minimal and precisely laid out on a wooden surface. It feels natural and homey with the use of canning jars, wood, metal, glass, and fresh ingredients. They created a book that makes a newbie (like myself) want to jump and in and muddle, infuse, taste, and savor.

Infuse: Oil, Spirit, WaterI cannot wait to capture the tastes of summer this year. I look forward to sharing this book with others or bringing a new concoction to gathering. Thank you, gentlemen!

For more information about Eric Prum & Josh Willams, visit their website: The Mason Shaker. You can purchase their books as well as their mason jar products and find recipes.

Thank you, Blogging for Books for this review copy! I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Title: Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water
Author: Eric Prum & Josh Williams
ISBN: 9780804186766

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Author: Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole is book two in the series Beacons of Hope by Jody Hedlund. Hearts Made Whole was released on June 2, 2015. Today, Jody shared the cover of book three in the series Beacons of Hope: Undaunted Hope. Stop by her Facebook book page to check it out! Undaunted Hope is set to release in January 2016!

Facebook Party with Jody Hedlund about her book Hearts Made WholeIn celebration of book three's reveal, here's a little Q & A with Jody about book two, Hearts Made Whole. Enjoy!

1. How did you come up with the idea for Hearts Made Whole? 

Historical textbooks are full of stories about men like George Washington, Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, and so many more. And while such men are truly remarkable, all too often their stories overshadow equally courageous and remarkable women. One of my goals as an author is to help bring forgotten women of the past to life.

In the Beacons of Hope series, I'm focusing on historical women light keepers who have often been kept in the dark by the more prominent stories of their male counterparts.

As I researched for writing a lighthouse series, I came across a fantastic book called, Ladies of the Lights: Michigan Women in the U.S. Lighthouse Service. The book is a tribute to the approximately 50 or so women who served either as primary or assistant keepers in Michigan Lighthouses.

I based the heroine in Hearts Made Whole on one of those women light keepers. It's my hope to bring her and the other women keepers out of the historical shadows and into the spotlight.

2. Each of your lighthouse books is set at a real lighthouse that once existed in Michigan or still does exist. Tell us a little about the lighthouse in this second book.

In my first lighthouse book (Love Unexpected), the lighthouse was set at Presque Isle which is on Lake Huron on the north eastern side of the state. For the second book, I picked a lighthouse in a completely new location with the intention of giving readers a different flavor of climate, geography, and the population.

Windmill Point Lighthouse once existed on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, a much more urban and highly trafficked area than the remote wilderness of Presque Isle. Windmill Point Lighthouse was a strategic beacon that helped ships cross from Lake Huron over into Lake Erie as those ships transported raw goods from the Northwest states to eastern cities and seaports.

The lighthouse is named after the old ruins of a windmill where early frontiersmen brought their grain for grinding. Also, legends attribute the area to being an old battle field of a savage encounter between the early French settlers and Indians. As many as 1000 Fox Indians were slaughtered on the banks of Lake St. Clair. Later settlers to the area uncovered bones, arrowheads, tomahawks, and other gruesome mementos of the battle.

Today, all traces of the original windmill, lighthouse, and burial grounds are long gone. If you visit Grosse Pointe in the Detroit area, all that remains is a small conical structure with a white flashing light.

3. Many of the heroines in your books are inspired by real women. Is that true of the heroine in Hearts Made Whole? If so, what women provided inspiration?

The woman light keeper in Hearts Made Whole is inspired by Caroline Antaya. Caroline lived at the
Mamajuda Lighthouse on the Detroit River a short distance away from Windmill Point Lighthouse.

Caroline's husband served with honor in the Union army during the Civil War, losing several fingers on his hand at Gettysburg. Eventually after returning from the war, her husband was named as keeper of the Mamajuda Lighthouse, but he passed away of tuberculosis.

Part of what really impressed me about Caroline Antaya's situation was that she had been doing a
fantastic job as a light keeper. But the district lighthouse inspector trumped up charges against her
saying that she was in ill-health and incompetent. He took away her position simply because she was a woman and gave it to a man instead. Fortunately, her community rose to her defense and enlisted the help of a Michigan Senator to help her get her position back and she went on to serve as a light keeper for another three years.

In those days, when women were regularly discriminated against because of gender, Caroline's story is inspirational and an encouragement to persevere in the face of injustice. I admired Caroline's will to stand up for herself and to pave the way for women coming after her to use their God-given talents and abilities in roles and jobs that had previously been closed to women.

4. Why lighthouses? What fascinates you about these shining beacons? 

I'm fascinated with lighthouses for a number of reasons. First, my state of Michigan is home to the greatest concentration of lights in the United States. In fact, Michigan is noted as the state where the most lighthouses were erected. And now today, more than 120 remain compared to 500 total for the rest of the nation.

Not only are lighthouse beautiful and picturesque, but they bring back a sense of nostalgia, poignancy, and romance that few other historical markers do. They're rich in historical details and stories. They're wrought with danger and death. And they're just plain fun to explore. Climbing the winding staircase, reaching the top, and peering out the tower windows (or in some cases going out onto the gallery) is breathtaking.


Thank you, Jody! It was great to hear about lighthouses as well as more insight about your story Hearts Made Whole. I'm looking forward to reading your next installment in Beacons of Hope: Undaunted Hope.

If you'd like to connect with Jody Hedlund, here's a few places you can connect with her:

Facebook : Author Jody Hedlund
Twitter : @JodyHedlund
Website :
Pinterest :

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Review: The Wood's Edge

Welcome to the American frontier - New York in the middle of the 1700's!

Previous to The Wood's Edge, Lori Benton shared the stories of Burning Sky and Tamsen Littlejohn. Her earlier books took place place in the 1780's. The Wood's Edge opens the world of Early America in the 1750's to the 1770's. The setting was well within Benton's wheelhouse of history, but this new series was very different from her previous novels.

The Wood's Edge (The Pathfinders, #1)The Wood's Edge shares multiple view points within a wide stretch of time. At times, this novel felt like the opening chapter to the rest of the story. The story wraps up some ends, but another book is needed. (Which is coming out next year - 2016!)

It took me some time to become invested in the story and the characters. The book is divided into three major sections and it wasn't until the second section that I wanted to finish the book. I appreciated Benton's additional notes at the end of the story that explains how she came upon the history of the Haudenosaunee (the Six Nations of the Iroquios Confederacy). She also included acknowledgements, her research books, a readers guide, a glossary, and the Oneida 13 Moon Calendar.

Book extras, as well as a preview, are available on Lori Benton's blog!

Time Period: 1750's-1770's
Location: British Colonies (Early America)

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Title: The Wood's Edge
Author: Lori Benton
Series: Book 01, The Pathfinders
ISBN: 9781601427328

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Review: Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole is the second book in the series Beacons of Hope by Jody Hedlund. The first book, Love Unexpected, was published in December of 2014. Five months later, the next installment arrives! Huzzah!

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope, #2)Hearts Made Whole (as well as Love Unexpected) are standalone novels. They are tied together with the themes of lighthouses, love, and Michigan. I will admit it took me halfway through the book to realize that the characters were also connected too. (That's what you get for reading too many books between book one and book two in a series.) Book one features Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan. Emma is the main character in Love Unexpected while Ryan is a main character in Hearts Made Whole.

The Civil War happened between book one and book two, so the Ryan readers knew before has changed. War has changed him. With little to no lighthouse knowledge, he gets a job as a lighthouse keeper only to discover that his new job will remove Caroline Taylor and her siblings from their only home. Ryan longs to be a better man, so he asks the family to stay. Caroline needs the lighthouse job and a home for her siblings. She is grateful for being allowed to stay, but is still uncertain of her future. Ryan and Caroline need a firm rock to stand. The future can be frightful, people can fail, and jobs can change, but the Lord remains. You can turn to Him in your hour of need and He will be there for you.

I greatly enjoy a story that can standalone. Hedlund's Beacons of Hope series is so much fun! She highlights a job (lighthouse keeper) that is quickly being handed over to machines. She also shares a setting close to my heart - the Great Lakes. Being from the Midwest, I am near Michigan and the beloved lakes that offer so much to our Midwestern lives.

Hedlund builds a minor character from her first book to a major character in her second Beacons book. It was good to hear more about Ryan. I wonder if she will do the same in her future books? I also enjoyed theme of lifted burdens. Family building you up, friends helping, and the Lord taking the stress of life and turning it into peace. It was a story I wanted to finish in one sitting. It was difficult to put it aside when other duties arose. I'm looking forward to Jody Hedlund's next book!

Time Period: Post Civil War, 1865
Location: Lake St. Clair, Michigan, USA

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

Title: Hearts Made Whole
Author: Jody Hedlund
ISBN: 9780764212383

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Review: A Home for My Heart

A Home for My Heart by Anne Mateer

Sadie Sillsby and Blaine Wellsmith are engaged. They are close to being married when they surprise each other with amazing opportunities. Sadie could be the matron of Raystown Home for Orphans and Friendless Children. Blaine could purchase land to start a farm for his future family. With the new surprises in their lives, they rush forward with good news without talking it through with their significant other.

A Home for My HeartRelationships work better with open communication. Surprises are great, but if they could be life-changing, it is best to talk with others close to you. Sadie and Blaine have a very topsy-turvy journey in this book. At the same time, Sadie is working through her career ambitions. Sadie's heart struggles offered a good read. Even in first person, I enjoyed her story. (I prefer third-person perspective.) There is also the aspect of the Raystown Home, but it wasn't at the forefront for me. I know it will draw in other readers.

For this reader, the most intriguing storyline was Sadie's career realizations. A career can be a fine line between passion and abilities. Careers can also change depending on the people around you and the situations that arise. I think Mateer addressed it well and wrapped it up the story well.

Time Period: Turn of the Century, 1910
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Reviewed from a library copy.

Title: A Home for My Heart
Author: Anne Mateer
ISBN: 9780764210648

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Review: Tiffany Girl

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

Tiffany Girl is the third book by Deeanne Gist that is written around the Chicago World's Fair. Her previous titles include It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play. I was intrigued by her first books, because I've greatly enjoyed Gist's writing in the past, but I never go around to reading them. I picked up Tiffany Girl, because the picture was interesting, the title was straightforward, and I enjoy art.

Tiffany GirlI'm so happy I read this book! It captured me. I felt a very close connection to Flossie. She loved art, she wanted a career, and she wanted independence. At the same time as being this "New Woman," she wanted a close knit family and relationships. I've felt the same way at times. Yes, I want to be independent and do what I wish, but I also want my close friends and family with me. It's a balancing act. Sometimes it tips one way, sometimes the other, sometimes it balances, and other times it completely falls over. Not everyone is happy all the time. Out of all the choices in life, it's important to keep your eyes on the Lord. He will guide your path. The path might not be easy. The path might be different then your original plan, but He'll not lead you astray. God will give you the desires of your heart.

Beyond the story, I appreciated the unique backdrop of the Chicago World's Fair and Tiffany's glass. Gist also shared the "new" horror of the "New Woman." It was very amusing given today's women living independently of their families and holding jobs. I felt she put a lot of research into her story. She shares a an opening note to the reader as well as author's note at the end of the novel. In addition to the notes, personal thoughts, and credits, Gist shares photographs and images to give the reader a glimpse into her character's world. Some of the images are historical while others were created to give readers a feeling of Flossie's art. I think those were a lovely touch to the story.

If you would like to read an excerpt of Tiffany Girl, visit Deeanne Gist's website!

Time Period: Victorian, 1890's
Location: New York City, New York, USA

Reviewed from an Edelweiss copy. Thank you, Howard Books!

Title: Tiffany Girl
Author: Deeanne Gist
Publisher: Howard Books
ISBN:  9781451692440

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Claiming Mariah

Claiming MariahMariah Malone seeks to mend the damage her father did to his former partner. Donovan's son, Slade, comes to the ranch and claims ownership of the Malone's land. Mariah needs to care for her family, but she also wants to repair the past. Slade also wants to care for his family and the land would bring his family a home and a living they need.

Mariah Malone and Slade Donovan come head to head with their love of their families and their stubbornness to care for their loved ones. It's a also a tale of half-truths. Everyone has a story that goes unshared until it is nearly too late to repair or build a stronger relationship.

It's such a blessing that the Lord is there to watch over His children! As Hillman shared through Mariah, "God doesn't keep us from trouble; He keeps us through it." Every character is fighting a battle - either with feelings, money, physical changes, the past, and even the future. Love needs to triumph because love gives hope and hope builds faith and faith brings peace.

Claiming Mariah focused on Mariah and Slade, but other characters were also brought into play - Buck and Amanda. I definitely believe there is a story to follow! If it's a book about them or separate books featuring each character, I don't care. I would love to hear their stories.

Time Period: Western, 1800's
Location: Wisdom, Texas, USA

Reviewed from a library copy.

Title: Claiming Mariah
Author: Pam Hillman
Publisher: Tyndale
ISBN:  9781414389752

Monday, April 20, 2015

Update: Q&A a Day

I began using Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal by Potter Style at the beginning of March (about a month and a half ago). I wanted to share an update as I stated in the original review,

"I'm looking forward to restarting a journal. The pages are sturdy with gold trim. Fun and fancy while being practical. I hope to share an update as I journal along with this 5-Year Journal. I might even see what the other journals offer. Potter Style has a journal for kiddos, creatives, and more! Excellent idea, Potter Style. I think you have a winner!"

It's still a winner! And part of my evening route, that I've only missed a couple times since it's arrival in the mail. The days I skipped were days when I've been sick or too exhausted to write. I've been amused by the daily questions and how perfect some of them fit into the day's events. Some prompts didn't always fit, but being a personal journal, you can write what you wish or take a tangent. It's fun. I'm looking forward to continuing the Q&A a Day. I also want to invest in a couple other journals for friends and family members.

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

Title: Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal
Publisher: Potter Style
ISBN:  9780307719775

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Release Day: An Uncertain Choice

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund is being released today! In celebration, I'm sharing some of my favorite quotes along with some Q & A with Jody Hedlund.

1.  What's the story about and who are the main characters? 

The heroine is a beautiful and wealthy young woman named Lady Rosemarie. She's on the cusp of her eighteenth birthday and knows her destiny is to fulfill a vow made by her parents. In light of their infertility, her parents had promised to give their firstborn back to God for a life of service and celibacy when she turned eighteen. Now with only one month before her birthday, Lady Rosemarie receives the news that there is an exception to the Ancient Vow–if she finds true love and is married by her birthday, then she's exempt from having to become a nun.

Faced with a growing loneliness and the possibility of losing control over the people she rules with compassion, Lady Rosemarie questions whether life in a cloister is really the best choice for her life. She agrees to allow the three handsomest and noblest knights in the land the chance to win her heart in one month.

Enter on stage, the three heart throbs! Sir Collin, Sir Bennet, and Sir Derrick. Each one is completely honorable and noble in his own way. Lady Rosemarie will have a tough choice ahead of her. Now you'll have to read the book to find out who she chooses and why!

2. How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?

Young people today really enjoy reality TV shows, especially ones that involve contests. My teens love watching Survivor, The Amazing Race, and even American Idol. There's just something about real competition that attracts us.

An Uncertain Choice is a little bit like reality TV, especially a show like Bachlorette (although a much sweeter and cleaner version!) where a young woman is presented with three really fantastic men. In some ways, she can't go wrong if she chooses any of the men. But readers get to join the adventure as she must narrow down her choices even as the clock ticks away to the day of her eighteenth birthday.

Aside from the many issues related to dating and marriage, the book also tackles issues like chafing under too much supervision, learning to become a strong leader, and how to display courage in different ways.
3. How do you hope parents will use this book with their kids?

While the book is an exciting and entertaining story that young women will enjoy reading, it's also a book that I hope facilitates discussion about dating, love, and marriage.

I've developed a free downloadable discussion guide to correspond with the book chapter by chapter that will is available on my website. It's my desire that mothers (or grandmothers) will read the book as a discipling tool with their daughters and then use the story and study guide as a way to talk about relationship issues that often get overlooked.

An Uncertain Choice would also be perfect for mentors, small groups, youth groups, or Bible studies, where girls to come together to read and discuss the book as a way to spur thoughts about God's plans for dating.

4. If you could tell readers one thing about An Uncertain Choice, what would it be?4

It's never too early to begin thinking about and praying for our future spouses. Next to making the decision about where to spend eternity, the choice of whom we marry is second in importance. It's a decision for good or bad that can impact the rest of our lives, especially since God intends for us to live with our marriage partner for as long as we have breath. So we definitely want to be wise with the crucial choice of a mate.

It's my prayer that An Uncertain Choice will be more than just another entertaining love story, but will also be a catalyst to help young women begin to think wisely about one of the most important decisions they'll ever make.

5. Are you working on the next book in the series?

Yes! I'm excited about the second book in the series. It's already written and I'm in the process of getting ready to turn it in to my editor in order to get her expertise feedback. As I mentioned it will involve another one of the three knights. But of course, I won't give away which of the knights until closer to the release of the book! (How's that for a tease!)

Looking for more info? Here's a short bio from Jody as well as her contact info:

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy- tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five children. When she's not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website:
For lots of fun pictures, follow me on Pinterest:
I get personal on Instagram:
Or you're welcome to email me at:

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