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February 26 2014 4 26 /02 /February /2014 10:00

 

     "Princess Ever After"

     "Princess Ever After" is written by Rachel Hauck and is the second book in the "Royal Weddings" series, the first being "Once Upon a Prince      ".  "Princess Ever After" was published by Zondervan on February 4, 2014. 

 

     Regina Beswick is a simple, southern sweetheart.  She loves fixing up old, classic cars and is content doing just that.  Her great-grandmother Alice always used to play princess with Reggie, but that's just a sweet memory in the past to her.  But can you blame her? Her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother are all dead.  Her dad wants her to return to her old business job, as does her flirtatious friend Mark, but all she wants to do is fix up cars.

 

     Tanner Burkhardt knows his job is not the least pressure-filled, and that this assignment will be particularly awkward.  It's not like it's everyday you have to fly across an ocean, find a small-town girl, and tell her that she must come with you, a complete stranger, and run this kingdom of Hessenburg.  She probably hadn't even ever been out of the country! But a duty is a duty, especially when dispatched by King Nathaniel, so he goes to find Regina Beswick and inform her that's she's royalty.

 

     This book is obviously not going to be realistic.  If you want a sweet, contemporary princess/romance story to pass the time on an idle day, this is for you.  It's not much better than the first, but it wasn't bad.  Both books just seemed to have a similar storyline: small town, southern, American girl becomes royalty.  Poof.  It's basically "The Princess Diaries" all over again, except now in the Christian market.  The characters do have their quirks, though, and the description of the setting sounds lovely.  Overall, it's a nice read, yet not one I would pick up over and over again.

 

     Thanks to Zondervan and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy to read and review.  All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review.

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February 19 2014 4 19 /02 /February /2014 01:54

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     "Riley Mae and the Ready Eddy Rapids"

 

     "Riley Mae and the Ready Eddy Rapids"  is written by Jill Osborne and is the second book in "The Good News Shoes" series, the first being "Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek      ".  This book is published by Zonderkids.

     After a traumatic experience at Half Dome in Yosemite, Riley and her family are sent to Montana for safety reasons.  After a rough landing caused by the plane taking Riley there, all Riley wants is to go back home to her friends, school, and church.  Then she meets Sunday, an optimistic ten-year-old boy battling leukemia. After several scrapes and bruises from practicing wrestling the rapids, Riley feels ready for the challenge.   Everything seems as bright as Riley's gold painted toenails, but things are more different than they seem.  Riley very soon learns that life is as unpredictable as the churning waters of the rapids, and mysterious surprises come around every corner.

     I liked this book because Riley is always trusting God in whatever she does and is trying to help her friend, Rusty, grow stronger in her walk with the Lord.  I also liked this book because the plot was well thought out, unique, and very exciting.  The characters were original and were relatable in the way that they had problems similar to everyday life.

     Thank you to the Book Sneeze/Book Look program, and Zonderkidz publishing.  I would recommend this book to girls ages 10-12.

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February 12 2014 4 12 /02 /February /2014 01:26

   

 

     "Dancing with Fireflies" is written by Denise Hunter and is the sequel to "Barefoot Summer" in the "Chapel Springs Romance" series.  Both books are published by HarperCollins publishing; "Dancing with Fireflies" is set to release on March 11, 2014.

     This book picks up right where "Barefoot Summer" left off.  Madison and Beckett are happy and in love, and Jade, Madison's younger sister, is out away from the family, working.  Unfortunately, the book begins with her being possibly slightly drugged (the scene is unclear, as it is told from her point of view) and certainly raped.  Thankfully, this is told without much detail, but it surely retains the emotional impact, all throughout the rest of the book.

     Because Jade gets pregnant from this, she decides to return home to her family, and stays with Madison before the wedding.  Jade comes back into contact with Daniel, her childhood friend and honorary member of the McKinley family for years.   She hides her pregnancy so she does not have to tell the painful story or take attention away from Madison's upcoming wedding.

     Meanwhile, Daniel is running for a political position, and nursing his wounds over Jade leaving.  He had always loved her, and left her little notes, but she never figured out that they were for her or from him.  Daniel helps Jade keep her head up during the speculation of the town when they hear Jade is pregnant and see the amount of time the two spend together.

     Overall, this book captivated me and my emotions, and kept my hanging on.  It is a sweet story, but I think that it could be a little more put together in Jade's emotional health.  Once she grows to where she cannot hide her pregnancy, and eventually has to tell her family, she just brushes it off as a "what happened, happened".  I admire her choice to keep and love her child, but I would imagine that how she became pregnant would be a lot more emotionally and mentally hard than it was written to be.  In other words, "Dancing with Fireflies" could have been a lot more powerful, but overall, it was superb.

     Thank you so much to HarperCollins publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a copy to read and review.  All opinions are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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February 5 2014 4 05 /02 /February /2014 02:05

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     "Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess"

     "Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess" is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd, illustrated by Shelley Dieterichs, and published by Tyndale House publishers.  This is a sweet devotional for girls in their toddler years through first or second grade.  The pictures are charming, and the writing breaks down thirty-seven popular Bible stories into a summary of the biblical account, a prayer, and a little gem of truth or "moral of the story", if you will, to sum it up.  These are about two to three pages each, so you do not have to try and hold your child's attention for awhile :).  I have read another book by this author before: a women's devotional with the same general "you are God's princess" message and found it refreshing, so I was excited to see this young girls' edition.  Overall, the layout is cute and friendly, the passages relevant, and the book sturdy, as it is hardback.  I think that this would make for a great Easter or Valentine's Day present for any young girl in your life!

     Thank you to Tyndale for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.  All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review.

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January 29 2014 4 29 /01 /January /2014 20:33

 

"Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek"

     "Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek" is written by Jill Osborne and published by ZonderKidz.  It is the first in the Good News Shoes Series, and the sequel is "Riley Mae and the Ready Eddy Rapids".  Both of these books will be released on January 28th, 2014. 

       Riley Mae is in the seventh grade and her best friend's name is Taylor Joy.  When Riley is offered a contract to be a spokesgirl for Swiftriver Shoe Company, she jumps at the chance, and soon she is doing photo shoots all over the U.S.  Taylor Joy (also known as TJ) gets angry when Riley is not able to practice and play softball.  A new girl, Rusty, joins the softball team, which makes TJ even more mad, because they continue to lose games because Rusty lack of ability.  Meanwhile, Riley learns that she is going to be climbing the treacherous Half-Dome in Yosemite one day before a big softball tournament for a commercial.  So she laces up her "Rock Shocker" hiking boots for a climb up to the top.  Will they be the right boots for getting her feet back on solid ground?

      I liked this book because Riley always went to God when she was in distress and even when she wasn't.  However, it was unrealistic to gain a contract after only trying on a few pairs of shoes.  I think the author could have made it a little more gradual and still have the excitement.  Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

     Thank you to Book Sneeze and ZonderKidz for letting me read and review this book.  I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

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January 22 2014 4 22 /01 /January /2014 02:56

   

"A Match Made in Texas"

     Like "A Bride for all Seasons ", four authors have gathered together and each written a novella.  These have been combined into this book, "A Match Made in Texas", and published by Bethany House publishers.  The novellas and authors who wrote them are in this order: "A Cowboy Unmatched" by Karen Witemeyer, "An Unforeseen Match" by Mary Connealy, "No Match for Love" by Regina Jennings, and "Meeting Her Match" by Carol Cox.  I mainly requested to review this book because I had read “Short-Straw Bride" and "Stealing the Preacher" by Karen Witemeyer, thoroughly enjoyed them, and gotten attached to the Archer brothers.  In "A Cowboy Unmatched", I was excited for Neill's story, even if I wished he could have had his own book.  Getting a novella by Mary Connealy was definitely a bonus, as I enjoy her humorous and western writing.  I had not yet read anything by Regina Jennings or Carol Cox, so this allowed me to get a sample of their stories while simultaneously enjoying the authors I like.  These short and sweet novellas were perfect for when I wanted to be swept away to Texas but did not have time for the plane ride :).  The authors work together well and the four stories make for ease in putting down and picking back up.

     Thank you to Bethany House publishers and Net Galley for providing me with an eBook copy of this book to read and review.  I was not required to post anything but my honest review in exchange for this book.

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January 17 2014 6 17 /01 /January /2014 02:17

 

     Today I am going to share a list on discounted books I have found here and there.  Please note that these deals are collected from both americangirl.com and amazon.com, and may be eBook or paperback formats.  I will try to specify, but please pay attention! Also, please note that I am not factoring in the shipping costs from either website.

 

Marie-Grace and Cecile Boxed Set

Reg. $39.95

The Entire Boxed Paperback Collection with a game, is only $14 plus shipping.  Each individual book costs $6.95 on the website, so this is much cheaper than buying them seperately.  This same set is currently priced $31.65 on amazon, but with free shipping with a prime membership.  Shipping on American Girl's website is $5.95 extra.

 

Meet Marie-Grace on Kindle

Reg. $6.95

Currently this book, along with "Meet Felicity", "Meet Samantha", "Meet Kaya", "Meet Caroline", "Meet Julie", Meet Kirsten", "Meet Rebecca", "Meet Addy", "Meet Molly", are all $1.99 on Kindle!

 

Cecile and Marie-Grace Paperdolls and Play Scenes

Reg. $12.95

Only $5 on American Girl's website, plus shipping! Also, Samantha, Felicity, Rebecca, and Josefina have $5 paperdolls on americangirl.com.

 

American Girl of the Year Isabelle

Reg. $7.99

Product Details

"Isabelle", the first book in the new girl of the year trilogy, is only $5.05 in paperback on amazon, participating in free shipping with a prime membership.  In addition, the third book in the trilogy, "To the Stars, Isabelle", is also only $5.05 in paperback.

 

Also, the Girl of the Year Mini Dolls, Saige of 2013, and Isabelle, of 2014, are discounted on amazon:

Product Details

Isabelle is only $19.48, regularly $23.99.

 

Product Details

And Saige is only $17.32, regularly $23.99 also.

 

     I hope that this provides some nice reading and playing! Enjoy!

 

 

 

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January 9 2014 5 09 /01 /January /2014 00:41

 

"Born of Persuasion"

     "Born of Persuasion" is written by Jessica Dotta and published by Tyndale House publishers on August 16, 2013.  I was provided with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review.  "Born of Persuasion" is the first book in the "Price of Privilege" trilogy, the following two entitled "Mark of Distinction" and "Price of Privilege".  "Born of Persuasion" is Jessica Dotta's debut novel, and an entangling one at that!

     This book is set in 1838, in England, where Julia Elliston is orphaned, unmarried, only seventeen, and the legal property of an unknown guardian who wants to send her off to be a servant in Scotland.  Julia has a mere two months to escape her fate, so she resorts a promise made with her childhood sweetheart, Edward, to marry.  This hope is denied, as Edward has spiritual beliefs opposed to Julia's family.  Thus, a matchmaker hooks Julia up with Mr. Macy, an influential man in society.  Soon, Julia is swept up in society's rules and lack of rights for women, as well as her mother's mysterious past.

     Written similar to Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte, this novel is somewhat difficult to get into, but is a book that is hard to get out of.  Thank you to Tyndale House publishers for providing me with a copy to read and review.  The setting, plot, and characters were fascinating. 

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January 1 2014 4 01 /01 /January /2014 19:42

 

     "Doon"

     "Doon" is written by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon, and published by Blink, a young adult division of Zondervan.

     This story is about two modern-day teenagers who are swept into the fantasy land of Doon in Scotland.  They have a mystic journal that could destroy the kingdom of Doon if they are not careful.  Inside the kingdom, the girls meet two boys, and must find a way to save the kingdom.

     This book is supposedly written for the teen audience.  I received this book and was going to give it to my tween sister.  Thankfully, I flipped through it to see if it was appropriate after reading some other reviews, before allowing her to read it.  In a short amount of time, I found upwards of three swear words, printed out in the text's dialogue of the teenage characters, plus your general "so-and-so swore under his breath".  There was also an almost "love scene" (as in beyond the constant kissing) that I found very inappropriate for the age group.  Grouped with the whole mystic, dark magic, and witches in the setting, this did not at all make for an enjoyable read.

 

     Thank you to Book Sneeze and Blink (Zondervan) for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.  All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review.

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January 1 2014 4 01 /01 /January /2014 19:05

My Top Five Books I am looking forward to in 2013

 

1. Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade 

 

 

2. With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden Product Details

 

3. Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

 

4. Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

 

5. Abandoned Memories by MaryLu Tyndall  

 

 

 

(What is it with the cover models wearing green and purple dresses?) ;)

Happy New Year!

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