Review/ Amish Christmas Blessings

Review/ Amish Christmas BlessingsAmish Christmas Blessings: The Midwife's Christmas Surprise\A Christmas to Remember by Marta Perry, Jo Ann Brown
Published by Love Inspired on October 18th 2016
Pages: 224
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

Holiday Greetings From Amish Country 

The Midwife's Christmas Surprise
by Marta Perry 
Three years ago, the man Anna Zook hoped to marry left her and their Amish community for the English world. Now devoted to proving her abilities as a midwife, Anna has given up on marriage and children for herself. But when Benjamin Miller returns, now a changed man, can delivering a Christmas baby reunite these two hurting hearts? 

A Christmas to Remember
by Jo Ann Brown 
When a little girl leads shop owner Amos Stoltzfus to an Amish woman in distress, he rushes them to his family's farm. "Linda" has no memory and doesn't know if the sweet child is her daughter or even her kin. As Christmas arrives and Linda's identity is revealed, will Amos be able to claim his holiday guests as his own?

I love that we are now into December because that lets me dip into a whole new genre of reading for the next few weeks. I love reading Christmas books. Do you? What are some of your favorites?

This is two books in one. The first one is The Midwife’s Christmas Surprise by Marta Perry. In this book we meet a young woman by the name of Anna. She is learning to become a midwife and currently lives with her mentor, Elizabeth and her family. Due to her young age she is finding it hard to have the community trust her but she is working hard to prove them wrong, she just needs a boost of confidence to make it work.

No story would be complete without a little something to stir it up and this is the case when Elizabeth’s son, Benjamin returns home after being away for three years living in the English world. I think he realized that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. His family welcomes him home with open arms but will his once love, Anna do the same?

I loved reading this and wonder if  Benjamin could slowly win Anna’s heart back and he was patient and it was nice to watch this blossom.

The second story is A Christmas to Remember by Jo Ann Brown. This is actually part of the Amish Hearts series but I have to say that this can be read as a stand alone and you won’t be missing anything. I love how authors can do this with their books.

The story begins with a little girl stealing food from Amos’s grocery store. He notices this and quickly follows the girl to see where she is going and he quickly discovers she is with Linda. Linda is an Amish lady but has no memory of who she is, where she is or what has happened to her. So Amos takes it upon himself to bring these girls back to his family’s farm so that perhaps Linda can recover.

He sends out word with the Bishop to find out who these two are so that they can be reunited with their family because he knows someone out there is missing them this Christmas. Will the answers come before Christmas?

I really loved this because you could see that Amos and Linda were beginning to get close but neither wanted it to go any further until Linda regained her memory and I loved that about Amos. He was thinking of her before himself.

I really love reading these kinds of books and I hope I can dip into some more Amish books this holiday season.

 

Review/ All The Bright Places

Review/ All The Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Penguin on January 8th 2015
Pages: 388
Goodreads

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have been dying to read this book ever since it came out and I have to send a huge thank you to SocialBookCo (if you click on the bold text it will take you to the page so that you can buy the book at the lowest price along with many other books they have available) for sending the book to me to review.

When I got the book I knew this was going to be one book that I didn’t want to devour quickly so I paced myself. Wow what an incredible read. I am still sitting here days after finishing it thinking about the book and Violet and Finch. I have to be careful in what I write because I don’t want to give out too much of the story which I honestly have a problem with sometimes. I tend to write more then I should.

This was Jennifer Niven’s debut novel. Honestly what a debut it was. I knew going into the book that it was going to be an emotional roller coaster ride and it was. Its been awhile since a book has made me tear up.

The book is told in the perspectives of Violet and Finch. Both are seventeen year old kids going to high school. Violet is still grieving the lose of her sister who was killed in a tragic accident who is basically having a hard time going on with life and she is a popular girl and Finch is what the kids at school consider a freak a social outcast. But what others don’t realize is that Finch is truly a funny, smart, a little kooky and creative. I think if people actually got to know him they wouldn’t think he was a freak.

No secret the book begins with Violet attempting to  kill herself from the bell tower at her high school but Finch kind of gets in her way because he is doing the exact same thing. From this moment a bond forms between the two. I actually was enjoying this bond because I think they were both there at the right time for each other. Could this friendship turn into something more?

Finch basically has become engrossed with Violet and I don’t know if that’s because she was there when he was about to jump and he took that as a sign not to? So when they are in science class the teacher announces there will be a class project and he basically demands for Violet to be his partner. The project is forcing the kids in the class to wander around Indiana and find unique things about the state that they would consider hidden gems. Which I think is a great idea and more teachers should do this type of project with their students.

So through the course of discovering Indiana Violet begins to have feeling for Finch. This book is definitely a great book to read if you want to discover some hidden gems in Indiana. I have to admit I thought this was cute and special although I do have to say that these two have issues and really I even though they were good for each other they weren’t if that makes sense.

I just have to say that Jennifer Niven did a fantastic job on this debut novel. Finch and Violet have turned into my favorite characters and its been awhile since I have had favorite characters that I am still thinking about. She managed to tackle a very serious issue and she handled it with sensitivity that this book needed. I would not have a problem reading future books of Jennifer’s if they are anything like this.

 

Blog Tour & Review/ The Littlest Bigfoot

littlest-bigfoot-blogtour

Title: The Littlest Bigfoot
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Series: Book #1
Pub Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 304

Source: I was provided with an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada for my review and participation in the tour. Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada.

About the Book:

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.

But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.

Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.

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I am honored to be a part of the book tour for The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner. I am a huge fan of Jennifer’s books and I have read them all so it was nice to see something new and completely different from her. I can’t wait for the second book to come out in this series.

Be sure to check out the other blog stops this week to read everyone’s thoughts on the book.

This was a fun and quick read. I think this is the perfect read for everyone to read. There is so much you can take away from the book.

Alice is a 12 year old girl. Alice is taller then most girls her age, awkward like I think most girls are at this age and has a hard time making friends. When you have one thing that is different about you its always hard to find someone who can share something with you.

Alice’s parents have in all reality checked out of their daughters life and in my opinion think of themselves as the couple who do what they want when they want because its clear when for them instead of being a parent they are shipping their daughter off from one school to another when things don’t go right instead of trying to find the perfect solution for her.

The other main character of the book is Milie. Millie is just like Alice she doesn’t fit in but for Millie her case is completely different from Alice because Millie is a Yare, and in english terms it means a bigfoot. Millie also doesn’t fit in with her tribe because she is smaller then the normal Yares, her fur is a different color and texture then the other yares and Millie is curious about everything and everyone around her especially people in the outside world.

Alice’s new school is in upper New York State right beside a beautiful lake in a quiet little town. This school is a little better then what Alice has been to but Alice is still encountering the same problem and issues of making friends. She is thrilled when it suddenly happens but realizes fairly quickly that its not all it seems and before long she is being picked on by a bully. She soon realizes that not everyone has good intentions. Being embarrassed she seeks refudge by the lake when she suddenly hears someone drowning so Alice rushes out to help the person. This person is Millie and they quickly become friends just what both girls wanted. Although at first Alice has no idea who or what Millie is and I honestly don’t think this would be a problem for Alice because all she wants is a honest and a good friend.

When a 12 year old boy threatens to expose who Millie is and where she is from the girls bang together to put a stop him. Will Alice and Millie be able to stop him before all the secrets are exposed on Millie?

I love this story and I think all young girls need to read this because we need to learn to accept ourselves for who and what we are and that we are unique for a reason. We need to be open and accepting and become friends with others who are different because that  is what makes us all unique.

When I got to the end I was like what the heck just happened. Jennifer threw that little twist in there that came out of no where and left me hanging…I am left hanging with so many questions..I need book two asap…

Review/ The Widow by Fiona Barton

Source: Book Bought

The Widow by Fiona Barton is a debut novel that I have been hearing all the buzz about lately and every time I have been in Chapters the girls are always pitching me this book because they know that I enjoyed Gone Girl and Girl on the Train so when I noticed that chapters was offering 2x the points when you purchased the book and it happened to be on sale so I figured it was time to pick it up.

What can I say for this book except for the fact that I think there was more twist and turns then any book I have recently read. I really enjoy books like that because you are lead to think one thing and then question everything else. I hate when you know what happens half way through and this has you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I should say that we know what has happened and they are basically trying to find a way to proof that it was done. That is the thing that I thought was interesting about the book. Its easy to point the finger at someone but you have to have the proof to put them away.

One thing I have to say is that even though the storyline is disturbing the author kept all the graphic material out. Which I have to say I appreciate as a mother. We all know from the premise of the book that a little girl is taken from her yard but we know really know how she died and I am okay with not knowing that just as long as she is found so that a family can be put to rest.

I really tried to hold myself back from trying to read it in one sitting and honestly it was hard because so much was happening that you wanted to stay and read to find out what was going to happen. It was a page turner.

The story is told in various view points such as the widow, reporter, detective, and there is alot of flipping back from 2006 to 2010 so you really have to keep on eye on who is talking in that chapter and what year it is. At first I found it to be a little distracting and trying to keep the story straight but once I kept track of the speaker and dates it was a little easier. I think it would have made it a little easier to read had it begun in 2006 and worked its way to 2010. That is just my personal thought.

Over all it was an interesting read but I have to say that its not really a Gone Girl or Girl on the Train kind of book that it was hyped to be like. So if you are expecting that you might be disappointed.

Review/ Monument 14: Sky On Fire

Review/ Monument 14: Sky On FireSky on Fire (Monument 14, #2) by Emmy Laybourne
Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 28th 2013
Pages: 215
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.
Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .
Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .

I am so happy that I had book two on stand by because I am loving this series and I am trying hard not to zip right through this one but its really hard because you are sucked in right away. It was hard to put this book down at times.

This is just like the first one, it will take you on a roller coaster ride and have you flipping the pages and sitting on the edge of your seat.

Sky On Fire picks right up where Monument 14 (book 1) left off. Most of the kids have left the Greenway and Dean, Astrid,Chloe and the twins have remained behind. Alot has gone down in the first book that carries over into this book. The kids quickly realize that the Greenway is no longer a safe haven so the kids who have left in the bus are determined to make it to Denver and get help back to the kids still at the Greenway.

Alex and Dean are the narrators this time around and each tells their story in alternating chapters so you got a feel of what was going on in the outside world and what is happening in Greenway. Each tell quite the story of what is happening in both places.

I am trying really hard not to say to much about the book and spoil it for those that want to read it. So I will tell you is that you will not expect that things that happen in this book to happen. There is so happy endings and there is some sadness but I think that is to be expected.

I am excited to start the third and final book in the series and my review should be posted the day after this one goes up.

Does this sound like something you would read?

 

Book Spotlight, Review & Giveaway/ Hop Into Easter! Personalized Books For Every Basket

Source: Book From Publisher

put me in the story

Today I am very happy to share with my readers an awesome give away. Put Me In The Story is an amazing company that offers beautiful personalized books that are reasonably priced at $29.99 US

This Easter, Put Me In The Story wants to help you put a personalized book in your child’s Easter Basket.

Today I am going to be spotlighting three books from the Easter Collection.

AnEasterSurprise_CMKY_Sample

This Easter, take your little one on an “eggs-traordinary” egg-hiding adventure around the world!

As fun and festive as an egg hunt, An Easter Surprise gives your child the chance to plan his or her very own Easter mission! Soaring as high as the moon in a hot air balloon, delivering eggs all over town, and stashing tasty treats all down the streets, your little one will be thrilled at the surprise twist in this Easter adventure!

Make Easter morning extra magical! Personalize this exciting Easter storybook with your child’s name and hometown, along with a special message and photo on the dedication page. A sweet Easter surprise your little one will cherish long after the holiday is over!

DontPushTheButton_CMYK_Sample

There’s only one rule in Larry’s book–don’t push the button. (Seriously, don’t even think about it!)

Even if it does look kinda nice, you must never press the button. Who knows what would happen?

Okay, quick. No one is looking… press the button.

Uh, oh.

Larry is a lovable monster, if a bit too curious for his own good. And now, you can join in on his fun adventure!

In the personalized version of this interactive story, your child will discover all the surprises around that big red button. Read, play, and laugh along while your little one investigates just how BIG one little push can be!

MichaelEasterBook

The perfect Easter treat to add to your little “honey bunny’s” basket! I Love You Honey Bunny by Sandra Magsamen is a fun and heartfelt story to remind your little one just how much you love and cherish them. Cuddle up close and enjoy something sweet together!

Celebrate your child by letting them know how they fill the world with love! Personalize this book with your honey bunny’s name, photo, and sweet message on the dedication page. You will also have the option to customize the pronoun in this book to become “I” or “We” Love You, Honey Bunny. A darling tale with a loving message that will stay with your little one forever!

We Love You Honey Bunny is the one I will be reviewing for you today. I was graciously provided with a code to obtain the book.  They retail for $29.99 US each. As you can see they are personalized and its so easy to do all you have to do is  just follow the easy instructions on the page and that is is within 5 minutes I had the in my cart and ready to go. Shipping was super fast and I had the book within a week of ordering it.

The book is  beautifully bound like a regular hard cover picture book and it arrived in perfect condition.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to pick out the right book and I have to say that I think this is the perfect book. I loved reading it just as did Michael. I think this is perfect for kids no matter what age they are as the message is beautiful as is the story.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and I think this could attract readers of all ages. The story line is easy and simple and its just great words kids should hear from their parents.

You are our bright and shining star. We know your dreams will take you far. You are a gift in so many ways.

Those are just a few of the phrases from the book. I wish this was around 12 years ago because I am sure I would have order each and everyone of their books. I just love the books that I have gotten from them so far.

Its nice that you can personalize the books with your child’s name and you can even add a photo of them inside the book as well. I think it makes the book even more special in my opinion. I know Michael loves the books because he knows I pick them out especially for him. He still loves to read a good picture book here and there.

Put Me In The Story, the #1 personalized books site in the U.S., has hundreds of personalized books and gifts for newborns, kids, and even grown-ups! With a diverse selection of personalized story books, activity books, adult coloring books, adorable plush and more, Put Me In The Story is a fantastic spot to find personalized gifts that become beloved keepsakes.

For Easter Delivery from Put Me In The Story…

·         Order USPS/Media Mail by March 9, 2016

·         Order UPS ground by March 14, 2016

·         Order 2nd Day Air by March 17, 2016

·         Order Overnight Shipping by March 21, 2016

Find more personalized gifts for Easter here: http://www.putmeinthestory.com/personalized-gift-occasions/easter

Enter the giveaway!

Enter Put Me In The Story’s giveaway for a chance to win a personalized Easter Book Bundle!

Giveaway ends 3/10/2016 at 11:59pm CST

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Review/ Monument 14

Review/ Monument 14Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1) by Emmy Laybourne
Published by Square Fish on May 28th 2013
Pages: 352
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don't stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don't thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it's the last time you'll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you'd stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne's action-packed debut novel Monument 14, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

I can’t believe that I haven’t read this book sooner. Its been sitting on my shelf for a little while now and I finally  took it down and read it.

This is the first book in a three book series and a debut novel.  I have the following reviews coming up next week so be sure to check back for those.

When I first picked up the book to read I didn’t realize that I was going to be sucked in right away. I pretty much tried to read this in a few sittings  but it was hard to do that. I really love reading books like that. Books that will suck you in right away and give you the ride of your life. This was one of those books.

This seems to be one of those series that was flown under the radar because I don’t recall alot of reviews on it or hearing much about it when it came out.

Emmy Laybourne did a fantastic job with the writing. As I was reading it could actually envision this happening in the future with the wonky weather, the chemical warfare and everyone going bonkers due to all the chemicals in the air.

Alex and Dean wake up one morning thinking this was just going to be a ordinary day with going to school and then coming home like normal but they soon realize that things are about to change. On the way to school the weather turns with huge hail falling from the sky. The bus that Dean is on flips over due to the damage of the hail and the size of the hail. The bus that Alex is on manages to follow and rescue the kids. The driver drives her bus into a Greenway, which is a huge grocery store. I should warn you that there is alot of blood and death in the book.

The bus driver leaves the kids (6 high school, 2 eight graders and 6 little kids) secure in the Greenway to go for help and before long the high school kids have taken over to bring some order to the place once the security gates close them off from the outside world. At first its all fun and games but when the teenagers realize that they are on their own with the little kids and its not pleasant outside they all go into survival mode. They seal the gates up properly so that the chemicals won’t enter their air supply. The make the Greenway their home until they get rescued and they realized that someone had to step up to lead the way and I think that worked for them.

It was nice to see how the kids seemed to mature as the book progressed. At times I felt there was too many characters but I think it worked just perfectly with the book granted I had to keep a little note inside the book just so I could remember who was who.

This book was non stop action and sitting on the edge of the seat the whole way through. I had a hard time to put the book down at night. Thankfully the book ended with a cliff hanger so I didn’t have to wait long for the next book because it was sitting on my shelf.

Momument 14 is told from Dean’s writing that he has started inside the store. Its documented daily. Which I have to say I really enjoyed this aspect of the story telling.

Can you image being stuck in a huge grocery store? What would you do first?