Monday, June 2, 2014

Gathering Shadows {Review}

I recently had the opportunity to read Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl for review.  Although not my usual favorite historical romance, I thought the description sounded interesting and decided to try it.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.

From the back cover:
Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

I really enjoyed the mystery of this story.  Nancy Mehl did a great job of coming up with a suspenseful plot, interesting characters, and an overall well-written story.  Most mysteries I've read have been fairly easy to guess what the outcome would be, but not this one.  I was still trying to guess almost all the way through!  Nancy also did a nice job of developing Wynter's spiritual life in a natural, believable way.  One area of the story I found unbelievable though was the romance between Wynter and Rueben.  It was very rushed and lacked depth.  If you like mysteries, I would recommend Gathering Shadows, but if you are looking for a good romance story, you might want to find a different book.

I received this book for free for review from Bethany House Publishers.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered {Review}

Did you ever watch the show Touched By An Angel?  It was one of our family's favorite shows when I was young.  We didn't watch a whole lot of TV and my parents were pretty particular about what we did watch, so having a wholesome show we could watch together as a family was great!

Recently the creator of Touched By An Angel, Martha Williamson, has come out with a new series, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I had heard about it a few weeks ago and thought that maybe this could be a another good family show. I didn't get a chance to check it out until today, though.  It airs on Sundays at 8/7c on the Hallmark channel, but I got to preview this coming week's show just to be able to tell you all about it!

I thought this show was delightful!  It is definitely one that could be watched with my family without fear of them being exposed to all the negative things that fill most TV shows these days.  I don't know that our 5 and under crowd would sit and watch for too long, but our older kiddos would enjoy most of it.  The main characters, a team of postal workers named Oliver, Shane, Rita, and Norman, are quite likable as they work to deliver undeliverable mail. In the process they are drawn into the lives of the recipients. In this episode they meet a couple with down syndrome who are trying to be allowed to live their own lives.  There is also another storyline about Rita entering an office competition against the supervisor's daughter.  Both Rita and the couple with down syndrome learn to not let other people squash you or your dreams like a bug!

I love that scripture is incorporated into this series, something that is so rare in any TV show these days!  The American Bible Society has even created a 7 day study to go with each episode!  So after you've finished watching each week, you can still dig deeper into the scripture with this helpful study all week long! To sign up for this you need to head HERE, but hurry because it is currently only available for one week.  You can also watch previously aired episodes that you missed or want to watch again through that link.  I know that I will be finding some time to go back and watch the ones that I missed!

About the Series - Signed, Sealed, Delivered
From Martha Williamson, the creative force behind "Touched By An Angel"

The new original series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office and into an unpredictable world where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), a genius postal detective and the group’s leader; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.

Be sure to check out the Hallmark channel on Sundays at 8/7c to watch this delightful new series! If you want to find out more about Signed, Sealed, Delivered, please feel free to check out the Hallmark Channel or the Facebook page

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions I was given the opportunity to preview the upcoming episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.  All opinions are mine.  As a participant in this preview I will be entered in a drawing for a prize pack.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn {Review}

I haven't done much reading since having our baby boy, but really enjoyed getting back into it with The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton.  One of my favorite kinds, Christian historical romance, this one is full of adventure, suspense, and romance. The settings, events, and characters are all described so well. The main characters, Jesse and Tamsen, are very likable. Often times, I can figure out how most stories will typically end, but I really couldn't figure this one out and was pleasantly surprised how it all came together in the end. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Lori Benton!

From the back cover:
Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love

In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance. 

Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?

I received this book for free for review from Waterbrook Multnomah.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Growing Up Too Fast!

This baby boy is growing up way too fast!  I can't believe he is over 3 months already!  His first 2 months were pretty rough and included many hours of crying (both by him and his mama!).  Now he is the sweetest cuddliest baby ever!  He is beginning to put some weight on his legs when held up and has started to try and roll over. The other kids are having so much fun with him and they still fight over whose turn it is to hold him.  He is one very loved little boy!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rhyme to Read {Review}

I recently had the chance to review a great new app called Rhyme to Read.  Since Lovebug is so excited to start Kindergarten since he turned 5 a few months ago, I thought this would be a fun app to try out and see if it is something he could use soon.  This app has 20 books that focus on word families.  Here is a screen shot of book 1 using the -at family.
This is near the end of the book and all the -at words that have already been used in the book are on the left.  This makes it easy to review the words before trying to read the sentence on the right.  Some site words are also introduced throughout the story and there is always a list of those in the upper right corner.  Kids can touch any of the words to hear it read to them if they are having trouble with it.

Each book also has some great suggestions for use at the beginning to give me ideas of how to best use this with Lovebug!
 Here is a little more about the app from the Rhyme to Read site:

The program emphasizes word families (e.g., cat, rat, sat) which are color-coded to assist children in discriminating the different patterns. The only prerequisites are the recognition of letters and knowledge of consonant letter-sound connections. Rhyme to Read enables children to feel confident as they enter the world of reading.

I think this will be a great app to use in helping my kiddos learn to read and I recommend it to any of you that would like to help your own kids!  Just head over to the Rhyme to Read site and you will be able to try one book for free or purchase all the books for only $9.99.

I received this app for free for review and all opinions are mine.

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