Book Review! Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

Title: Merry and Bright
Author: 
Debbie Macomber
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
November 16, 2017

Description from Goodreads: Merry Smith is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her—minus her photo—and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects—or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.”

Review: I have always loved Debbie Macomber’s Christmas novels but this one is probably my favorite so far. Merry and Bright was a super sweet romance and I was drawn in instantly.

This book made me want a mug of hot chocolate and to go wandering around looking at Christmas lights. I was reminded of all the wonders of Christmas time and to take time out of my busy schedule to do something wonderful for someone in need. There are many people out there who don’t have the advantages we do, Christmas is the perfect time to help out someone and make their day special too.  Debbie Macomber put me right there in the middle of this beautiful Seattle Christmas and I didn’t want to leave. The ending came way too soon and I reluctantly turned that last page.

This was such a fast read and filled with so much holiday cheer and wonderful romance. I couldn’t think of a better Christmas book to curl up with on a lazy Sunday. I loved this book and will definitely reread during that magical Christmas season!

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

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Book Review! A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther

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Title: A Well-Crafted Home
Author: 
Janet Crowther
Rating: 
4/5

 

Description from Goodreads: A beautiful, practical book for both aspiring makers and seasoned crafters. Here are 60 projects for high-quality furniture, textiles, and accessories to enjoy all through the house–plus all the techniques you need for dyeing or sewing fabric, cutting leather, antiquing mirrors, working with wood, and much more.

A Well-Crafted Home includes simple, creative details that will tailor a space to your taste. More than just -DIY- crafts, these carefully designed projects call for good materials–like linen, leather, and wood–so the finished product will last you a lifetime. Ranging from beginner to more advanced, each item elevates a room in a way you’d never expect: a large-scale painting with an effortless -dot- design looks like a modern piece of art, flax linen bedding sewn with a few easy seams is gorgeous way to set off the bed (and is more affordable than you would think), and a copper pipe rack for hanging clothes is so pretty, you’ll want to keep it on display.
There’s something for every room in this book:

The Entryway: 
Dowel Wall Hooks, Reclaimed Wood Bench, Woven Leather Basket, Soft Planter Cover, Block-Print Pillow, Looped-Tassel Wall Hanging
The Living Room: Dyed Fabric Ottoman, Tassel Wall Banner, Bleach-Dot Lumbar Pillow, Flange-Edge Throw Pillow, Tied Shibori Throw Pillow, Gemstone Box, Air-Dry Clay Bowl, Rolling Trunk Storage, Glass-Cover Pendant Lamp
The Kitchen: Wooden Herb Planter, Rustic Footed Cutting Board, Quilted Cushions, Leather-Loop Tea Towels, Ombre Ceramic Vase

The Dining Room: 
Heirloom Linen Tablecloth, Indigo-Stripe Napkins, Leather Napkin Rings, Clay Candlesticks, Boro Stitched Trivet, Beaded Light Fixture,

The Bedroom: 
Framed Cane Headboard; Linen Bedding with Duvet, Shams, and Pillowcases; Simple Stitch Throw Pillow; Sewn Leather Pillow; Trimmed Waffle-Weave Blanket; Modern Latch-Hook Stool; Dyed Fabric Art in Round Mat; Natural Jute Rug; Painted Ceramic Tray; Acrylic Side Table; Refurbished Table Lamp; Boro Stitched Memory Quilt
The Closet: Copper Garment Rack, Leaning Floor Mirror, Wall Shoe Display, Thread-Wrapped Pendant Light, Liberty Print Hamper, Antiqued Mirror Table

The Bathroom: 
Natural Wood Stump, Oak Tub Tray, Knotted Rope Ladder, Terry-cloth Towels, Leather Wastebasket
The Outdoor Oasis: Simple Sewn Hammock, Painted Wood Stump, Restored-Frame Tray, Ice-Dyed Blanket, Colorwash Sheepskin
With beautiful photographs of rooms styled with all of the projects, A Well-Crafted Home proves that even the smallest touch of handmade can make a house a home.”

Review: I loved this book a lot. I love to do crafts and make wonderful things for my home rather than spend a bunch of money for something of far less quality at the store. This book had so many wonderful ideas for things that I hadn’t even though of, and really great directions for things that I wouldn’t have been able to figure out on my own.

 

I love to make things and give away as gifts and with Christmas coming up, this book will be a wonderful way to change up my gifts.
I love that this isn’t just ideas for one type of crafts. I sew and do woodworking, but with this book, I might be able to get into a few other types of crafts as well! I am really excited to see what I can do!

 

Recommendation: I would recommend this book for any person who enjoys doing crafts and making unique things for their home! This would also make a great gift for that crafty person on your Christmas list as well.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! The Truth About Angels by Tony Evans

Title: The Truth About Angels
Author: 
Tony Evans
Rating:
4/5

Description from Goodreads: How much do you know about angels? Few supernatural beings are of more speculation than angels. In art we see them depicted as chubby babies and fierce, radiant warriors. Sometimes they wield swords; other times a bow and arrow surrounded by floating hearts. Some have halos; some do not. Clearly we re confused.In “The Truth About Angels,” Tony Evans goes to the Scriptures to set the record straight. He clearly and simply explains who angels are, what they do, and it what it all means for the everyday lives of believers.A short, practical, and engaging book, “The Truth About Angels “is a one-stop guide to the role of angels in the world and eternity. It will help you fight the good fight of faith, knowing that the heavenly hosts are waging war on your behalf. “

Review: I have always been curious about Angels and I have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one before. I didn’t get to see what it actually looked like, but I saw the fleeting white out of the corner of my eye after that Angel saved my life. When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. It’s difficult to discern all the different descriptions in the Bible so it is wonderful that somebody else went through and did all the difficult work for me.

This book was really short and was a quick read; I was able to read it in an hour. It is not what I expected but it was really informative.

The main focus of this book is to learn how to defeat the most powerful angel, Satan. The role the other angels play in the spiritual warfare was really interesting and something really important to understand, especially in today’s world.

It seems that our world is filled with evil and that is exactly why we need the guidance given in the Bible, and books like this one. We need to understand how Satan works, and how to defeat him in our lives.

I am glad I read this book and will pass it on to those who need it.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Holding God’s Hand by The Editors of Guideposts

Title: Holding God’s Hand Two-Minute Meditations for Everyday Challenges 
Author:
 The Editors of Guideposts
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
September 12, 2017

Description from Goodreads: HOLDING GOD’S HAND, first published in Guideposts, is a collection of soul-soothing meditations and power-filled prayers that will comfort your spirit when life challenges your patience, courage, resolve and faith.

We all have days when nothing seems to be going right and the stresses and strains of life are trying our patience and frazzling our spirits. It’s in those moments that we need to pause and take a moment to rejuvenate and refresh our souls in the presence of God.

HOLDING GOD’S HAND is designed to do just that-to give your spirit a quick pick-me-up. It’s organized into point-of-need chapters, including:

When You Feel Anxious
When You Need Healing
When You Feel Discouraged
When You Need Guidance

Each is filled with powerful two-minute meditations, plus spiritual quotes, Bible verses, blessings, and scriptural prayers, that direct your thoughts toward a serene and tranquil place of rest-a place full of God’s peaceful presence.

Think of it as your one-stop spiritual first-aid kit that you will be relieved to have on hand for those moments when life challenges your patience, courage, resolve, and faith. From facing the loss of a loved one, going through financial struggles, or living with chronic illness to everyday challenges of caregiving, loneliness, or grief, these powerful personal stories of perseverance, coupled with practical suggestions for moving on, will quiet your mind, refresh your soul, and place you back in the light and care of God. It’s the perfect companion to keep within reach for any time of day or night.”

Review: This devotional is absolutely stunning. I was incredibly impressed with the look of this. This is a hardcover book and seems really durable.

I love that the pages are in color and have intricate designs on them to bring some beauty and elegance to the page. I feel at peace as soon as I open the cover of this.

The devotions are really nice and short. They are 1 page each and they are organized by need. There are devotions for healing, facing a trial, if you are afraid, anxious, discouraged, grieving, lonely, angry, or if you need guidance.

The devotions are just really short guidepost stories. They are meant to inspire and encourage you. I love the way these stories make me feel like I’m not alone, but also that there is a way out of whatever I am having difficulty with. This is a great way to start your day, or a wonderful way to wind down at night.

 

  *I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

Precious Moments Little Book of Bible Stories by Jean Fisher

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Title: Precious Moments Little Book of Bible Stories
Author:
 Jean Fisher
Rating: 
4/5

 Description from the publisher: “Share beloved Bible stories with your little one!

Snuggle up close and imagine the animals entering Noah’s boat two by two, David standing before Goliath with just a slingshot, or Jesus blessing the children. These Bible stories will capture young hearts as they learn about God’s great love.

With classic Precious Moments® illustrations, simple Bible verses, favorite Bible stories, and fun rhymes, Little Book of Bible Stories will help introduce the power of God’s Word to your precious children.”

 

Review: I love this Precious Moments Little Book of Bible Stories by Jean Fisher. The words are large enough to allow your child to read along with the story and the illustrations are marvelous. The fact that this is a board book means this will be very durable for those young toddlers who want to “read” alone or get a better look at these adorable pictures. The well loved Precious Moments characters are perfect for this message and are just right for little eyes. Who doesn’t love those adorably sweet characters?

I love getting children to read and understand the important Bible stories when they are young. I still remember the ones that I read when I was young and it really helped me when I got older and started to read the real Bible. Bringing these stories to life in this way makes the Bible seem more fun and interesting for young children. It shows them that there is a lot of fun stuff in the Bible, and the pictures help them to understand the story far better than just the words. As a child, the Bible seems like it would be boring and very intimidating, but by showing these fun parts early, it helps them overcome that intimidation.

Recommendation: This is a really well done and I am really impressed. I would recommend this for any toddler! I am glad I have this and would definitely order it again.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

Book Review! Vengeance by Newt Gingrich

Title: Vengeance
Author: 
Newt Gingrich 
Rating: 
4/5
Release Date: 
October 24, 2017

Description from Goodreads.com: Leading politician and bestselling author Newt Gingrich and novelist Pete Earley are back with another gripping international thriller.

A terrorist drives an explosive-packed rental truck into Major Brooke Grant’s Washington, D.C., wedding, intending to detonate a deadly bomb.

Saved by a last-minute fluke, Brooke seeks revenge against the master terrorist responsible, an international radical Islamist known only as the Falcon, who is determined to murder her, bring America to its knees, and create a modern-day caliphate.

An unorthodox, newly sworn-in president recruits Brooke to join a clandestine CIA team in pursuit of the Falcon. With help from an odd coupling-a Saudi intelligence officer and an Israeli Mossad agent-Brooke goes after her elusive zealot nemesis. But before the trio can close in on their target, they discover that America’s worst nightmare has come true.

Intertwined with backroom Washington political intrigue, Vengeance is a fast-paced, realistic thriller that entertains while raising serious questions about our national security, the power of religious faith to inspire good and evil, the consequences of revenge, and the validity of our constitutional safeguards.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Washington Post reporter turned novelist Pete Earley are at their best in this third installment of their bestselling Brooke Grant series.”

Review: This book was really intense. The beginning had me worried about how it would turn out but it was really good and I am glad I continued on. The characters were exciting and this book full of action and suspense.

The characters were hard to figure out and that made them really fascinating. They all played their cards close to their vest so you couldn’t ever see what anyone’s motives were. I was always waiting for someone to do something very unexpected.

I was hooked on this book pretty quick. Like I said earlier, the beginning had me worried, but then you had to keep reading to see how it would all play out. After that, the action got really intense. By the time I got a quarter of the way in it was so action packed that I didn’t really feel as though there was ever a good time to put it down.

This is a scary world we live in right now and this book showed exactly what could happen. With all the talk from North Korea about launching nuclear bombs at the US, this book is terrifyingly relevant to today’s world.

 

 *I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery cover

Title: Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery
Author: Jenny Colgan
Rating: 4/5

About Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery:

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 10, 2017)

 It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and the perfect moment to escape to a charming English village! From the beloved author whose novels are “sheer indulgence from start to finish” (SOPHIE KINSELLA) comes a delightful holiday story — funny, heartfelt, romantic and packed with recipes — perfect for the winter months.

In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.

Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve.

But holiday bliss soon gives way to panic when a storm cuts the village off from the mainland. Now it will take all of the villagers to work together in order to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.

Full of heart and humor, Jenny Colgan’s latest novel is an instant Christmastime classic.

 Review: Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is such a wonderful Christmas book. I loved this book far more than I expected to. I haven’t read the previous books in this series so I didn’t know if I would feel lost or disappointed. I didn’t! I probably would have enjoyed this story more if I had read the back story of these characters but I felt that this worked very well as a stand alone.

This book made me laugh out loud many times, earning me a few weird looks from my husband. I also teared up a few times and got goose bumps at the end. I love when a book can affect me so much.

I loved Polly and Huckle so much and Neil was so absolutely adorable. I loved Polly and Huckle’s relationship and how well they complimented each other. They remind me of my husband and I in some respects.

I always thought it would be really neat to live in a lighthouse. I have had a fascination with them since I was young so I was really excited to get to live there for a little while, even if it was only in a book. I did realize it wasn’t a perfect place to live, however, so I might just stick with my regular house…maybe.

I enjoyed this book so much and I was really sad when I had to turn the last page. Now I need to go get the previous books and get to reading them.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

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