Posted in Book Reviews

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

My rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Amanda Cox crafts an elegant story with compelling characters and weaves sometimes difficult topics through the story with grace and heart. There are moments that tug at the heart, characters and situations that are relatable, and the thread of love and family throughout. There are also moments that seem a little too coincidental and the story steps are on the predictable side. Even so, this is an enjoyable light read with Christian elements that are not over-the-top or spread too thick. This makes it available and enjoyable for a broader audience, which I appreciate. I really enjoyed the connections between characters as their stories evolved. Overall, this is a well written and crafted story that belongs in the hands of readers, regardless of their preferred genre.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion. In no way was I otherwise compensated nor was a positive review required. These are my opinions which may or may not mirror your own and belong solely to me.

Posted in Book Reviews

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well researched portrayal of life in 1853 with authentic family dynamics. I found Abigail, Ben, and the people they interacted with to be solidly researched and well fleshed out characters. Abigail’s struggles are relatable and easy to identify with even though we live in a very different world and the culture has changed a lot since then. Ben comes across how I would imagine a husband would be back then and I feel the situation they found themselves in to be believable and true to the time period. Kirkpatrick does a solid job painting the scenery and conveying the emotions of the characters, especially Abigail. I like that she includes discussion questions so the book can be used in a literature study. Overall, this is an enjoyable, enlightening, and even educational read that I can easily recommend.

I received a review copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. No other means of compensation beyond the book were offered or received. These are my personal opinions, which may or may not mirror your own, and belong solely to me.

Posted in Book Reviews

Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland

Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This missing person, drama, suspense, psychological thriller type story paints a bit more focus on the controlling, manipulative, and sometimes abusive husband. The overall plot is believable and is told through the eyes of multiple characters. Hannah is the most believable and someone easy to feel empathy towards. Even so, there are areas that did not click for me. As a huge fan of criminal stories, from CSI based to crime based police dramas, I just did not feel the police side of things was believable or provided much substance. I found myself confused about Julia and her motivations but at least she forged forward until she realized the truth. Several chapters felt like filler material as they had no bearing or relevance to the overall plot. Instead of these, additional time spent on certain areas would have worked out better. Even so, this story brings attention to an area that needs it. I did like the dialogue and that Rose decided not to smooth over or keep certain details watered down. Overall, it was not a terrible or boring read and would suit a wide range of readers. These are my opinions and may not match your own. I received an evaluation copy through Smith Publicity in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Posted in Book Reviews

We are back!

It has been a trying, stressful, and eventful time but it seems we have survived and continue to take each day as it comes. Thank you to all of our followers and supporters. Take each day as a blessing, do your best and leave the rest, it’ll all come right some day or night.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham

The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond DeathThe Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Durham writes an excellently researched memoir concerning her husband’s death and circumstances surrounding her since. I like how she looks at it from a logical point and investigates every aspect while never making something hard to swallow up or delving into the crazy sounding stuff. The book is moving and heartfelt while not being a sappy reach-for-the-tissue type. I received an ARC through The Reading Room in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

On a personal note: I’ve had experiences that are supernatural. The definition of supernatural is:

  1. (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

Paranormal is a synonym and one I use more often than supernatural.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Plasm by William Meikle

The PlasmThe Plasm by William Meikle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very enjoyable book, especially since I did not feel lost with a host of jargon often found in SF genre reads. I loved the horror element which felt akin to the type found in Lovecraft stories. My son (13) picked it up and read it through in one afternoon then asked for more. It has bits of other elements worked in that just work well and add to the overall read. The only shortcoming is that it feels a bit like it is missing a complete start-middle-end with frantic page-turning, almost as though it were a rough draft. That said, it was still enjoyable and worth checking out, if only to dabble in a new genre. This was a personal acquisition and not a donation in request for a review.

Posted in Book Reviews

A Christmas Kindness by C.C. Gevry

A Christmas Kindness A Christmas Kindness
by C.C. Gevry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very short story for younger (under 10) children to listen to. Older readers may also enjoy the quick story, however, my son (13) thought it was too short and simple and that the words would be too complicated for younger children. Reading it out loud is a good idea and since it is short it should keep their attention for all 15 pages (some of which have illustrations). The story is a good one, the type that warms the heart. I would love to see this in a larger format with more illustrations to help keep the attention of younger or non-readers while it is being read. This would work great in a story-time setting such as what our local library has if it were larger. We received an ARC in exchange for an honest review which in no way influenced our opinion.



This is also listed on Goodreads as:

A Christmas Kindness
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Posted in Book Reviews

Guest Post- Dawn Vogel

Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders Edited by Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman

Dawn: I’m both an author and an editor, but some of the things that I write and edit really aren’t geared toward children. I’m also an aunt to two nieces and two nephews by blood, three nieces and three nephews by marriage, and a handful of other unofficial nieces and nephews through friendships. When we planned out our fifth anthology, Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders, we wanted to edit a book that we could share with our nieces, nephews, and other kids looking for female role models.

And we’ve got a wide array of role models in this anthology. We’ve got women travelling the stars, the cities, and other dimensions. We’ve got women of different races, both human and alien. We’ve got those who were born into leadership, as well as those who had to fight to reach their position of power. We’ve got young girls and old women. We’ve got leaders with disabilities, whether they be physical or mental. While we don’t have a story that represents every potential demographic, we’ve got a few stories featuring protagonists who are nebulous enough to be adopted by any girl or woman looking for a role model who is like them.

We’ve made sure to keep the swearing to a minimum, the violence non-graphic, and the sexual situations off camera, making this an anthology that you can share with kids. I’m always a strong proponent of parents reading things they want to share with their kids first if they’re not entirely certain of the appropriateness of those books or stories, and I encourage parents and other adult friends to children to read the stories themselves first, to determine if they’re too violent or too scary for the kids in question. Because it’s one thing for me to say “sure, this is basically PG with one or two PG-13 bits,” but another thing entirely for a parent to decide if it’s the right kind of PG or PG-13 for their kids.

Battling in All Her Finery is meant to be a book to be shared amongst generations, and we hope that it will be enjoyed by all of them!