Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Peace In The Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

  In spite of their differences, Trey Walker Stafford knows he owes his life to cowboy and legendary rancher Sam Stafford—the uncle who rescued him after his parents’ death. Trey had left the Double S Ranch to pursue music against Sam’s wishes, but returns to central Washington when he learns he’s the best match for a procedure that could save Sam’s life. Although Trey’s found country music fame and success, he’s also endured the tragic loss of his wife. He croons about love, but struggles with a yawning emptiness he can’t explain.

Overwhelmed by a growing list of challenges, but mistrustful of Stafford men, single mother Lucy Carlton reluctantly accepts Trey’s help to revive her crumbling farm when Sam instructs him to repay the overdue debt to her family.

As the two grow closer, Trey slowly begins to open his heart to this beautiful woman and strives to let go of the grief he’s held for years. Lucy has a complicated history of her own. Can Trey accept her as she is, learn to forgive the past, and find the elusive peace he's sought for so long?

The third book in the Double S Ranch series, Peace in the Valley, brings life in the Kittaras Valley to a heart-warming and satisfying conclusion. It is another example of Ruth Logan Herne's outstanding writing. Trey and Lucy are both interesting characters, and Lucy's children are all charming. They both have past secrets, and many hurts, but they are meant for love and happiness, and watching them struggle find it is both gut wrenching but also heart-warming, in the fact that it feels just so real. They struggle like many do, and it makes them more relocatable. I also like the incorporation of scripture.  


I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

We the People by Juan Williams

 What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Over 200 years ago the Founders broke away from the tyranny of the British Empire to build a nation based on the principles of freedom, equal rights, and opportunity for all men. But life in the United States today is vastly different from anything the original Founders could have imagined in the late 1700s. The notion of an African-American president of the United States, or a woman such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, would have been unimaginable to the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, or who ratified the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

In a fascinating work of history told through a series of in depth profiles, prize-winning journalist, bestselling author, and Fox political analyst Juan Williams takes readers into the life and work of a new generation of American Founders, who honor the original Founders’ vision, even as they have quietly led revolutions in American politics, immigration, economics, sexual behavior, and reshaped the landscape of the nation.

Among the modern-day pioneers Williams writes about in this compelling new book are the passionate conservative President Reagan; the determined fighters for equal rights, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the profound imprint of Rev. Billy Graham’s evangelism on national politics; the focus on global human rights advocated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the leaders of the gay community who refused to back down during the Stonewall Riots and brought gay life into America’s public square; the re-imagined role of women in contemporary life as shaped by Betty Friedan.

Williams reveals how each of these modern-day founders has extended the Founding Fathers original vision and changed fundamental aspects of our country, from immigration, to the role of American labor in the economy, from modern police strategies, to the importance of religion in our political discourse.

America in the 21st Century remains rooted in the Great American experiment in democracy that began in 1776. For all the changes our economy and our cultural and demographic make-up, there remains a straight line from the first Founders’ original vision, to the principles and ideals of today’s courageous modern day pioneers.

In We the People, Juan Williams has written a kind of bi-partisan historical travelogue that is in search of America in the 21st century. He begins by discussing the changes that have taken place in the recent past that are, for many Americans, disorienting. In responding that the disorientation, including his own, he asks a fundamental question about both our national and personal identities: what defines America and Americans? His inquiries, which include government reports and public opinion polls, and the answers he finds are extremely thoughtful. This is a book is a “must read” for anyone interested in the state of affairs in American political life today, including teachers of American history and policy.

This is an excellent book. It is well written, readable and factually accurate. It might be accurately subtitled as "a 60 years current events reprise" since it covers the people Williams has selected as having great influence in shaping American policies and events since WW II..He is objective, and has selected a wide range of influential people from Thurgood Marshall to Barry Goldwater with frequently opposing ideas, but also were important to shaping America in some way. I absolutley recommend this book. Each chapter is a stand-alone depiction of the person being discussed so the book can be read in any order you choose without losing continuity. Definitely worth reading.


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Crazy is my superpower by AJ Mendez Brooks

 Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Mendez Brooks is a powerhouse—strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn’t always the case. With humor and tremendous heart, she opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life.
   

I wasn't a WWE fan for long, but in the time that I was I both loved and hated AJ Lee's character. I adored her that we had a female character to watch who was short and spunky and seemed real, and then later I detested the way they had her character become the crazy girl, the butt of every joke. I expected this book would cover more of her time as a wrestler. I was pleasantly surprised to find out this wasn't the case. The book is an in depth look into her childhood and past. You get to see her use her mother's struggles to help her grow. You get a glimpse into how dark her life could have turned out. She does talk a bit about wrestling, but she treats it like you would treat any job, so it doesn't become the focus of the story. I liked her honesty and bravery when talking about her bipolar disorder, and how she doesn't act like it's something she should be ashamed of. So often mental illnesses are stigmatized, and those who suffer aren't able to be so open and honest about them. AJ's writing is engaging, she speaks passionately, and her book is a good read. I would recommend it to anyone, WWE fan or not. 


I recived this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 


Friday, March 31, 2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

 YOU, you… God thinks about you.
God was thinking of you long before your debut.

From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. Knowing that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly.

Written in playful, charming rhyme and brought to life with vivid, fantastical illustrations, young readers will be encouraged and excited to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin create for themselves.

Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew
That the world needed someone exactly like you!


This book reads like a beautiful song, explaining to children the love that went into their creation and how God has a unique purpose for them. Complimented with some stunning illustrations. I bought it for my niece, who was thrilled that the girl in the story kind of looks like her. I cannot recommend it enough for your children, grandchildren, etc.


I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Blogging For Books. All opinions are 100% my own.   


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Misfit Faith by Jason Stellman


  Jason Stellman has always felt like a misfit. A Protestant pastor with a sharp wit, a restlessly inquisitive mind, and a love of pop culture and rock and roll, he has long sensed that something was missing when it came to his relationship with God. In time, he felt drawn to the Catholic Church, so he stepped down from his ministry and embraced Catholicism, only to still feel misplaced and homeless. 

His feelings, thoughts, and troubles echo the disillusionment and confusion of many people who struggle relating to ancient faiths in a postmodern world. 


This book is primarily the story of ex pastor Jason Stellman, and it's a little rough around the edges. He deals with the issues of faith, like feeling like you aren't “christian” enough, or not being sure which faith is for you. The story is full of pop culture references and wit, which keep it engaging. He has the theological background to be able to question and explain things in a way that the normal lay person can't. If Christians today practiced Christianity they way Stellman explains Christianity, the world would be a much better place. Stellman has written a book that I would say is a must read for anyone who has ever struggled with their faith.

I recived this book in exchange for my honest review from Blogging For Books. All opinions are 100% my own.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

 When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed "The Goddess Murders," in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly  happened, will evil rise again?

I absolutely love stories that weave in history, and have also always been fascinated by the Salem witch trials and stories about Salem. The 5th Petal incorporates the history well. I found the book a little hard to read though, as the author likes to jump between time periods, and takes a while to walk the story to it's conclusion. Most books I can sit and read for hours, this one I found myself having to put down and come back to a few times. The story evokes rich imagery for me, and includes some nice love(lust) elements. The ending led to the who of the crime, and it wasn't who you expect when you start the book. I liked that a lot, the lack of predictability. All in all, a good read.



I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for books . All opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, February 13, 2017

That's so 90s Pop!

 Join Britney Spears in a maze searching for the necklace she once thought the old lady dropped into the ocean. Join Mandy Moore for a Candy-fuelled adventure in her green VW bug. Color in the scorching tattoos on Nick Lachey's rippling biceps. All this and so much more to be discovered within the pages of That's so '90s Pop, a fill-in activity book featuring a bevy of beloved musical pop stars from the late '90s/ early '00s.

I absolutely love the adult coloring book craze. I find coloring to be so therapeutic and relaxing. So i love buying adult coloring books, and as someone who was a teenager in the very late 90s/early 2000s i knew i would love this one. The activities in it remind me of the activity books we used to get as kids, very simple but good for killing some time. There are lots of neat 90s trivia facts, and a lot of color pages. The color pages are where i was disappointed. Most of them look very little like who they are supposed to be. If not for the names on each page i might not have figured out who a few were supposed to be. But for the most part it was a fun book and one i'm glad i got to review. 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for books. All opinions are 100% my own. 

  

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