Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Thorn by Beverly Lewis Review

Beverly Lewis is one of my favourite authors. Her intensive knowledge of the Amish people and lifestyle make her stories come alive. Every time I finish one of her books, I reconsider the lifestyle I have chosen for my family. And although I don't want to be Amish, there is a big part of me that yearns for even a bit of their simple, homespun lifestyle.

Needless to say, when I picked up one of her newer works, The Thorn, I was a goner. This book is definitely one of her best and I can't wait to read the rest in the series.

The Story

The Thorn is a story of Rose Ann Kauffman and her sister, Hen (or Hannah). Two different women with two vastly different lives. One married an Englischer and turned her back on the old ways. The other is a dutiful young amish woman who follows all the rules and tries her best to please her parents. Hen, after having a baby 4 years ago, has started to long for the ways of her past. She realizes the mistake she made by turning her back on her roots and longs to draw her daughter in to the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle. Her husband, however, has no time or thought for religion, faith, or her roots. Rose is confused and unsure of her own heart. She is devoted to her best friend and yet courted by another. This is a story of family, tradition, faith, love, and the great battle between following your heart and doing what is right.

My Thoughts

I LOVED the storyline. Interesting, enlightening, a beautiful story that kept me guessing and wondering and hoping and dreaming. This book is a keeper, a library builder, a rainy day reader, a great gift for any woman, young or old. This is a book to remember, and I can't wait to read the next one!

For more information on the book, The Thorn, check out

**I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishers

Monday, September 20, 2010

Maid to Match Review

Maid to Match is a historical romance novel written by Deeane Gist. Set in the late 1800's, Maid to Match is a story about Tillie Reese, a maid at the Biltmore mansion. Coming from a lower-class family, Tillie has been working her way up the ladder of success since childhood. She is on the verge of getting everything she ever dreamed of, a position of lady's maid to the lady of the house. A life of adventure, prestige, wearing fancy clothes, traveling, reading, a life that is everything she has ever wanted. Or so she thought. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman, she finds that her heart has opened up to new dreams. Torn between the world she has always wanted and the world she has never known, Tillie must choose which path she will follow.

As with all historical romance novels, competition is fierce and originality nearly impossible. Love is the universal language, and therefore will always carry a semblance of cliche. It has happened a million times before :) This book is no exception. However, despite it's general failings as a genre, I enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting, moving, and even inspiring. I liked the reality of Tillie's mother. Her human failings, her hopes and dreams she has placed in her daughter, and her attitude towards Tillie's end choice. They gave the book a ring of authenticity. Based on historical facts, Maid to Match was a great book for a rainy day.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoy's this genre, or as a gift for any woman aged 14 and up. A message of following your heart, it promises to uplift you and leave you smiling at the end.

For more information on the book Maid to Match, check out

**I received a free copy of this book through Graf-Martin Publishers

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Hand, Two Hands Review

One Hand, Two Hands is a children's book written by Max Lucado. It is one of my favorite children's book I have read. With quaint rhymes, adorable pictures, and a message of helping and love, my kids fell in love! They ask for it every night.

One hand, two hands,
Five fingers, ten.
God, thanks, for my hands.
Please, use them again.
From silly to serious, this book covers all the bases. My three year old is endeared and at the end it gives a list of ways our hands can be helping hands. From helping mom with chores to giving someone a hug or writing them a card. All I can say is, this is my kind of book! 
If you are looking for a gift for a young niece, nephew, son, daughter, grandchild.... this book is the PERFECT addition to any family's library. Like all Max Lucado's children's stories, there is a message of love and faith to encourage your little readers budding relationship with God. 
I highly recommend this book and will be reading it for quite some time I am sure!
For more information on the book One Hand, Two Hands or to purchase your favorite Christian fiction, check out

**I received a complimentary review copy of this book through Thomas Nelson

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Butterfly Effect Review

Book: The Butterfly Effect
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4041-8780-1
Genre: Self-help, motivational

I recently received the new book, The Butterfly Effect, by Andy Andrews. My First Impression was pleasant surprise. The book is a quick read, under 10 minutes in fact. It is written in large letterhead type with easy to understand terminology. It is the story of a number of people who changed the world, and how their lives were impacted by others. It is a story of the effect our every decision and action has on everyone around us. It is a call to rise to action...

"Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world." (pp.105)

Who this book is good for: This book is fantastic if you want an inspiration. It is a great gift book to anyone, especially a young adult.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. Sit down and read the inspiration that others left for us. And take a moment to consider that the person you are will touch others, even if it doesn't feel like it.

For more information on the Butterfly Effect or to purchase your favorite Christian fiction, check out

**I received this complimentary review copy from Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Boy Who Changed the World Review

Book: The Boy Who Changed the World
Author: Andy Andrews
Illustrated by: Philip Hurst
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Genre: Children's nonfiction
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1605-2

I recently received The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews in the mail. After enjoying his book Heart Mender so much, I had high hopes for his children's book and he didn't disappoint. Before purchasing this book, be aware that it is not fiction. This means it is not as captivating as the stories you will often find in children's books. However, it is an interesting story, especially for your older children and is a great springboard for discussion.

The storyline: This is the story of Moses Carver, George Washington Carver, Henry Wallace, and Norman Borlaug. The book covers each of their stories and how they began a ripple effect that in essence, changed the world. The moral of the story is that everything you do matters, it has an effect.

What I liked about this book: I LOVED the illustrations. It reminded me of the books my great aunt used to write. They are colorful, kind of old fashioned, LOVE LOVE LOVE them! The storyline is great. I like the fact that it is true, that it inspires kids to do what they can with what resources they have available to them. To dream big.

What I didn't like about this book: There isn't much to say here. I thought it could have been a little bit simpler. It is definitely not a book my kids would understand. I would say this is more a story for the older children in your life.

Who this book is good for: This book is fantastic for children aged 7-9! It recommends ages 4-8 however, I have doubts that a 4 year old would understand where the story was headed and what it meant. At the same time, there is no harm in starting it early and explaining things to them as you go. It is a great springboard to talk about the effects of their actions. To discuss their dreams and aspirations, what they are good at and how they can use that to help other people.

For more information on the book The Boy Who Changed the World or to purchase your favorite Christian fiction, check out

**I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers