Friday, July 31, 2015

Direct Hit by Mike Hollow (Book Review!)

Direct Hit (The Blitz Detective)

By Katharine Swartz

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Direct Hit Mike Hollow

Genre- Fiction

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 318

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-127-8

We are taken back to the beginning of the London Blitz during WW II in Direct Hit, by Mike Hollow.

Detective Inspector John Jago and his associate know who the victim is, but the body is obliterated by a bomb.  Now they have to build their case without it.  It will be even more difficult, because the victim, Charles Villiers, was disliked by many people and had many secrets.

About the Author-

Mike Hollow currently lives in Basingstoke with his wife.  He has worked for the BBC and Tearfund.  He is a freelance writer and editor.

My thoughts-

One of my favorite genres to read is mysteries, so I was excited when I was given the chance to read this book.

I enjoy reading historical fiction.  I thought it was great how this book included the thoughts and feelings about the people who were in the direct paths of the bombings.  It also included the differences between the upper class and working class.

At some points in this book I kept getting the different characters confused.  Sometimes they were called by their last name and sometimes their first.  They were also so similar that I wasn’t sure what part they played.  A list of characters at the beginning of the book would have been helpful.

I liked the map in the front.  I was able to know what side of London was being hit.  I do wish the acknowledgements were in the front of the book.  It would have tied the information together.

I enjoyed meeting Detective Inspector John Jago and the other people in this book.  I look forward to reading more books by Mike Hollow.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Direct Hit, by Mike Hollow, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz (Book Review!)

The Lost Garden (Book 2, Tales from Goswell)

By Katharine Swartz

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 The Lost Garden

Genre- Fiction

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 350

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-137-7

A walled garden.  Three young women.  Two different time periods.

Marin is now the guardian of her half sister, Rebecca.  They decide to move Goswell, where they find a walled garden near their house.  It captures their interest and with the help of a local gardener they are able to get in and begin to discover its secrets.

Eleanor lives in 1919 and is the vicar's daughter in Goswell.  Her brother was killed in the war and the whole family is grieving.  She decides she would like to work on the walled garden, the old vicarage garden.  She becomes friends with the gardener and begins to heal.

About the Author-

Katharine Swartz currently lives in the Lake District with her husband and children.  She writes contemporary romance as Kate Hewitt.

My thoughts-

I enjoyed this book in the series as much as I did the first one, The Vicar's Wife.  I learned more about England, especially about what it was like after the end of World War I.  I had never learned a lot about what life was like for the servicemen after the war or about the great numbers of lives that were lost in some of the battles in my world history classes.  This book has peaked my interest about learning more about what happened in England after the war.

As with the first book, I enjoyed reading both story lines.  I was eager to read all the chapters about everyone.  It was fun reading about some of the characters who were in the first book.  It reminded me how much I enjoyed it.

It was interesting learning about about how it was such a big deal about the class difference between Eleanor and the gardener, Jack.  I did not know there was a such a difference by World War I.  I thought that gardeners and vicars would have been closer classes.  When the story was about Marin and Rebecca, the class difference was not a big deal.  Their story reminded me about The Secret Garden, with the special garden that healed several people.  God was able to heal Eleanor, Marin, and Rebecca through nature and the garden.  Many people find nature and gardening healing, I know I do.

All of the characters grew on me.  I enjoyed meeting them and learning more about them.  I am looking forward to the next book.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Lost Garden, by Katharine Swartz, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day of Atonement by David A. deSilva (Book Review)

Day of Atonement: A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt

by David A. deSilva

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Day of Atonement David A. deSilva

Genre- Fiction / Historical

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 320

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-2471-7

Jason wants to help his city of Jerusalem become more modern with the help of the Greeks.  His brother, Honiah III, the high priest, wants the city to stay the same.  Who will win?  What lengths will the Greeks and the Jews go to keep the city the way they want it to be?

There is an author’s note and character list also in the book.

About the Author-

David A. deSilva has written over twenty books.  He currently lives in Florida with his family.  He serves as Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland.

My thoughts-

I thought this book was not very interesting when I first began it, but the more I read it, the more I liked it and became invested in the characters.  I have not studied this time in history, so I learned a lot.  I appreciated that this book was historical fiction.  Often it is much easier for me to learn about history with a book that is fiction rather than nonfiction. 

There were a lot of characters.  David deSilva did a good job of describing them, so compared to many other books with a lot of characters, I did not get them confused as often.  I was pleased to see the list of characters in the back.  It helped me when I had questions about whether a person know from ancient sources or made for this story.  I would have like the list of characters to be in the front of the book.  Many people might miss the list, because it was in the back.

I did not like how the book ended.  I wanted to know how the revolt ended.  I learned that the Jews were becoming the victors, but there was no concrete ending say that the Jews were able to take back Jerusalem. 

I would recommend Day of Atonement to anyone who wishes to learn about the Maccabean Revolt and read a good novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Day of Atonement: A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt, by David A. deSilva, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Marriage on the Mend by Clint and Penny A. Bragg (Book Review!)

Marriage on the Mend

by Clint and Penny A. Bragg

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Marriage on the Mend 2

Genre- Christian Life / Love & Marriage

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 248

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4234-6

 Does your marriage need saving?

Clint and Penny A. Bragg, who have gotten back together after a divorce, have written Marriage on the Mend, to help both of you.

This book is full of helpful information, links to videos, and questions, to help your marriage.  They have also filled this book with their experiences.

About the Authors-

Clint and Penny A. Bragg work as marriage missionaries through their nonprofit organization, Inverse Ministries.  The website is www.inverseministries.org.  

My thoughts-

I thought this book was well written and one of the best books I have read about mending marriages.

I liked having the QR codes in the book, but I do not have a reader.  I tried finding the videos on the internet, but it was a hassle to get to them.  I finally found them on YouTube, but every time I wanted to watch them I had to look through all of the videos.  They were not in the same order as they were in the book.  I did not want to download them on my computer from the internet either, from Inverse Ministries.  Though there was a lot of hassle with trying to get to the videos, I really enjoyed watching the videos I did watch.  All of that being said, if you can watch the videos, great, if not everything is covered in the book.

I really liked how this book was written for both men and women, many of the marriage books I have seen are either for the man or the woman. 

I liked the questions at the end of the chapters and all of the helpful bits of information for healing the relationship.  I think it was great that the Braggs wrote this book.  They have gone through all of these experiences and once they began to lean on God, their relationship grew stronger.

This is a book I can recommend to all married couples who need to heal after a crisis, separation, or divorce.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Marriage on the Mend, by Clint and Penny A. Bragg, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bible Dominoes (Review)

Bible Dominoes

By Karen Williamson

Illustrated by Louisa Enright

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Christian / Children / Bible Stories / Games

Published by- Candle Books

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of cards- 28

Age Group- Young Children (ages 3 and up)

Description of book- 28 large hard cards, ISBN 978-1-78128-155-0, $9.99

 

Bible Dominoes

My thoughts-

Bible Dominoes is a fun game for 2-4 players, ages three and up.  My children and I have played it multiple times and had a lot of fun each time, even though they are nine and eleven.

When we played we found a couple of things.  We needed lots of space, because the dominoes are so large.  We played the game by placing the dominoes in straight lines per the instructions and that was fun.  We also had fun placing the dominoes where they would match and we did not have to match in a straight line.  When we did it that way the first person to go first always won, so I would not recommend doing it that way.   

I thought the story booklet was cute and was a great help to figure out what stories the dominoes told.  The booklet would be a great help for younger children who were just learning the different stories.

I liked how different things matched up like, colors, number of items, and the numbers themselves.  Children will learn a lot from the fun illustrations.

I think young children will really enjoy this game.  I high recommend these Bible Dominoes.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Bible Dominoes, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Hawk and the Dove Series by Penelope Wilcock (Book Review!)

The Hawk and the Dove and The Wounds of God and The Long Fall

By Penelope Wilcock

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- These editions are 2015

Number of pages- 174 to 224

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $13.99/book



About the Author-
Penelope Wilcock currently lives in England with her family.  She is a writer and is a former Methodist minister.  Her blog is Kindred of the Quiet Way.

My thoughts-
I really enjoyed reading these three books from the Hawk and the Dove series, by Penelope Wilcock.

I liked the list of the members of the abbey, glossary, schedule of the monastic day, and the liturgical calendar.  I never needed to refer to the list of members, but I found the other extras very helpful.  

I had fun reading the first two books, because they were written in the style of Canterbury Tales, which was written by Chaucer.  I liked reading the story from the narrator’s point-of-view, then her mother’s story about Father Peregrine and his monks.
Wilcock made these monks so much like us, not perfect.  I was glad of that.  I like reading books about people who are like the rest of us.

I think all adults will enjoy reading this series.  I highly recommend it.  I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.




Disclosure of Material Connection- I received the Hawk and the Dove series, by Penelope Wilcock, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.





Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Single Dad Detour by Tez Brooks (Book Review!)

The Single Dad Detour: Directions for Fathering After Divorce

by Tez Brooks

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Single Dad Detour Tez Brooks

Genre- Christian Life / Men’s Issues

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 190

Age Group- Adult (men)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4360-2

Are you a divorced father? 

The Single Dad Detour, by Tez Brooks, written for the divorced father who needs help fathering after the divorce. 

This book includes humor, real-life stories from Brooks and other fathers, along with spiritual guidance to help guide divorced fathers into the next step of their lives.

Each chapter is based on driving and includes prayers, tips, Bible verses and more.

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Tez Brooks has four children.  He is a filmmaker for The Jesus Film Project.  He has been writing articles and books for over thirty years.

My thoughts-

Disclosure: I am a married woman.

I thought The Single Dad Detour was well written and the use of the car theme was perfect for men.

Since the book has the car theme, the table of contents is designed with the car and driver in mind.  Some of the chapter names were very catchy:

  • “Who’s Driving? (Giving God Control).”
  • “Model Cars (Avoiding Image Traps).”
  • and “Fuzzy Dice (Rethinking Tradition).”

The rest of the chapter names were just as catchy.

While it was great that I enjoyed the names of the chapters, I found that the information in each chapter was humorous, serious, and very helpful for a man who has been recently divorced.  These chapters have the author, Tez Brooks’, story, other men’s stories, and how it all relates to God.  At the end of each chapter there were study questions, Bible verses, ideas to use, and a prayer.

I recommend this book to any single dad no matter how long he has been divorced. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Skin in the Game, by Rick Lawrence, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.