The Girl’s Guide to Conquering Life -Book Review

Amazon Affiliate Links Used.

Synopsis:

 

There’s a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to

– introduce yourself
– change a flat tire
– respectfully break up with a guy
– leave a tip
– apply for a job
– ask for a promotion
– behave during a police stop
– create a personal budget
– calculate square footage
– wash your face
– clear a clogged drain
– iron a shirt
– wear a scarf
– shoot a basketball
– sharpen kitchen knives
– and much more

In fact, if it’s in here, it’s an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.

About the Authors:

Erica Catherman has spent more than twenty years mentoring young women as a coach to middle school, high school, and college students. Committed to raising up the next generation to be kind, confident, and capable, Erica has served as a youth group leader, community volunteer, and advocate for gender equality in sports. She is a certified Yoga Alliance and Group Fitness instructor.

Jonathan Catherman is the author of the bestselling The Manual to Manhood and The Manual to Middle School. An award-winning cultural strategist and a leading education trainer specializing in the character and leadership development of youth, Jonathan speaks worldwide about the principles and strengths that empower greatness in children, teens, and young adults.

The Cathermans live in North Carolina, where they work together to raise their family, which includes teenagers and a couple of big dogs. Learn more at http://www.jonathancatherman.com.

My Thoughts:

When I got married, (VERY young, oh my gosh I was just a baby) I didn’t know how to do ANYTHING. I’m for real. Fold towels? No. Boil water? Um, no. Cook? Hold my coffee while I laugh, please.

My poor, poor husband.

Growing up, I never had any responsibilities, which probably lead to me being so ill-equipped and my husband being shockingly skinny those first couple years. Again, bless his pea-pickin heart.

My mom was wonderful with telling me that “You can do anything!”, and “Reach for the stars!”. I am the product of the 90’s generation, of business woman Barbie and all that. Yet, with all the encouragement of all the things I could be and do in my life, I never really got any true life skills.

Man, oh man, I wish I would have had this book back then.

When I had a daughter, I resolved that she would know how to do all those things that I didn’t have a clue about. Whether she decides to be an hematologist or a homemaker, my girl is going to know how to make a bed.

I jumped all over this book. I read it with my daughter in mind (she’s still a little young to need to know how to talk to a guy or change a flat) but I found myself learning so much, and realizing I’m doing a few things wrong.

I’m so grateful to have a handbook to be able to learn from, and then turn around and give to my daughter when she flies the coop one of these days.

I think that if you were the product of the 90’s (the GREATEST era, mind you) or if you have a daughter, you need this book.

You can pick up your copy here.

Don’t forget your sons! The Catherman’s deliver a great Manual to Manhood as well! Get it here.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Revell. All opinions stated above are my own.

Advertisements

The Road Home -Book Review

Amazon Affiliate links used.

Synopsis:

Sent from Michigan to Pennsylvania following the tragic death of her Amish parents, Lena Rose Schwartz grieves her loss and the separation from her nine siblings. Beside the fact that Lena has never been so far from home, she hasn’t met the family she will now be living with. But worse than that is having to live apart from her close-knit brothers and sisters. How will they manage without her to care for them–especially six-year-old Chris? And will her new beau, Hans Bontrager, continue to court her despite the many miles between them?

Yet even as Lena Rose holds on to hope for a reunion with those she loves most, she discovers that Lancaster holds charms of its own. Is she willing to open her heart to new possibilities?

About the Author:

Beverly Lewis

I’ve had my nose in a book, for as long as I remember. When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own stories. By sixth grade, I’d hand-written a 66-page semi-autobiographical book titled, “She Shall Have Music.”

After I was married and our three children were in middle school, I began submitting articles and short fiction to various magazines.

My first book (Holly’s First Love) was published in May 1993, the start of a 14-book series for pre-teen girls. Soon after, my first chapter book was published for 7-10-year-old readers (“Big Bad Beans”) which later became part of my 24-book series, The Cul-de-Sac Kids. I wrote another long-running series for girls, titled “SummerHill Secrets,” which was set very close to Neffsville, PA, where I grew up–near the heart of Amish country.

But it was the story of my grandmother Ada Buchwalter’s shunning by her ultra-strict father and subsequently her old order Mennonite community that nudged me toward writing adult fiction. THE SHUNNING was published in 1997 by Bethany House Publishers, and along with its sequels, has touched a nerve in millions of readers intrigued by the Plain tradition of Lancaster County, PA. Many readers have enjoyed the Hallmark Channel’s adaptation of this book and the other books in the Heritage of Lancaster County series.

My passion for Amish-related stories continues to keep me up at night, and I’ve written over three dozen novels for adults set in Lancaster County.

When I’m between writing deadlines, I enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my husband. Cooking from scratch, playing Mozart at the piano, and making family memory albums, as well as traveling to meet my devoted readers during book tours, are some of my very favorite things. I also adore reading biographies and memoirs, as well as classic literature.

Editorial Reviews:

From the Back Cover

As the sun began to rise, Lena Rose leaned against the cool pane of the bus window and gazed out at the familiar landscape of her life. I’m leaving my family and everything I know behind. She sighed, trying to keep her composure.

Grieving the death of her Amish parents and the separation from her nine close-knit siblings, Lena Rose Schwartz consoles herself that her new life in Lancaster County won’t be forever. Surely someday soon she will return to her beloved Michigan settlement, including her beau. But even as she holds on to hope for a reunion with those she loves most, she discovers that Lancaster holds charms of its own. Will she find the courage to open her heart to other possibilities?

“Lewis’s new book is a stand-alone Amish novel filled with charming characters and surroundings amid a heartwarming storyline of love, overcoming grief, and trusting God with our future.”–Christian Market

My Thoughts:

I LOVE HAVING AN AUTHOR I CAN ALWAYS DEPEND ON TO HAND ME A WONDERFUL STORY.

Should I say that again?

Seriously. How wonderful is it that there are a handful of authors that, no matter what they write, I know that it will be a great read. Off hand, I can think of about four. Four, out of the thousands of authors, that I can honestly say I love everything they write.

Beverly Lewis is one of those four.

Yes, I love those gritty, true to life books. I love those books that keep me on the edge of my seat, that make my stomach roll or my heart race, that bring tears to my eyes, or even the ones that keep me up at night.

But sometimes, I just need a book that is soft. A book that I can fall into and know there are no sharp edges to get caught on. A book that delivers a sweet story of hurt and redemption. And when I need a story like that, I always turn to Lewis.

The Road Home is just what I thought it would be. A comforting story that came just at the right time in my reading life.

The Road Home gives us a feel-good family story. Although the mourning and grief is there, Lewis still delivers a book about the love between siblings and the strong ties to the community in which they live. A true, Beverly Lewis story.

You can get your copy of The Road Home here.

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Bethany House Publishing. All opinions stated above are my own.

A Refuge Assured -Book Review

Amazon Affiliate Links Used.

synopsis:

 

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

About the Author:

Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at http://www.jocelyngreen.com.

Editorial Reviews:

From the Back Cover

“A stunning story. . . . Green leaves no stone unturned in depth and detail and crafts a tale as passionate as the time period itself. A Refuge Assured and its enduring characters will leave you both speechless and satisfied by novel’s end.”
Laura Frantz, author of The Lacemaker

Fleeing One Revolution to the Aftermath of Another, She Seeks and Dreams of Peace

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia, but danger lurks in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers begin to suspect a young boy left in her care might be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement Asylum offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate his hard-won farm near Asylum, but he soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they are drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

“The storyline is fast paced and has numerous unexpected twists and turns. . . . Jocelyn Green weaves her fiction with impeccable research and brings to life long-ago events that have been mostly forgotten.”–RT Book Reviews Top Pick

“Green outdoes herself in this grand novel that instantly ranks as a must-read work of historical inspirational fiction. . . . Her characters and their predicaments are captivating, especially Vivienne, a female protagonist with both moral and political resolve. Green’s writing is almost overwhelming in its sensory detail and very special power, and readers will remain breathless to the very end.”–Booklist starred review

“Historical fiction readers will appreciate the writing detail, strong characterization, and fast-paced suspense.”Christian Market

“Green has written a complex, compelling historical romance that brings a less-familiar part of American history to life. Its themes of faith and perseverance will appeal to many readers of the genre.”–Library Journal

 

My Thoughts:

Sometimes I feel like book blurbs give books a little too much credit. Sometimes I feel like they are over-sensational and very promising, yet when I pick up the book it does nothing but let me down. Well, not so with A Refuge Assured ! That’s why I included the blurbs and editorial reviews on my blog post, because they are all entirely accurate.

This is truly an amazing read. I’ve never really understood the history of France around the American Revolution time period, the persecution of lace makers to be exact. I know that this is historical FICTION, but it really gave great, truthful, insight into what it was really like in France during those dark times.

I thought the characters were real and genuine to the time period, plus the different cultures they were from. I did feel as though I could predict the book, but that didn’t take away from enjoying my reading experience in the least. Green’s writing is SUPERB, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every page.

Hopefully by now all my readers know that I can be a pretty critical judge of the Christian Historical Romance/Christian Romance genre of books, so I hope that by me saying this is a great read will hold some water.

As to the spiritual side of A Refuge Assured , I felt like it was just enough without being overly cheesy. I really loved the following quote:

“God is the Creator, is He not?” she had said with a smile. “So when we create, even if it is a mere length of lace and not the stars of the heavens, we honor Him. We bear His likeness when we work.” 

As an artist, that rang true in my heart.

You can get your copy of A Refuge Assured here.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions stated above are my own.

Return to Bella Terra -Book Review

Return to Bella Terra: Book 3 of The Italian  Chronicles Trilogy (The Italian Chronicles) by [Diorio, MaryAnn]

Amazon Affiliate links used.

Synopsis:

A mother, her son , and the man who threatens to come between them . . .

When Maria Landro Tonetta receives word that Mama is terminally ill, Maria travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm.
When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream.

But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?

About the Author:

MaryAnn L. Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a follower of Jesus Christ who is passionate about writing compelling and entertaining fiction that transforms lives. Her fiction has won several awards, including the Silver Medal for eBook Fiction in the Illumination Book Awards Program sponsored by the Jenkins Group; First Place in Inspirational Fiction in the 2011 Colorado RWA Heart of the Rockies Contest; and First Place in Inspirational Fiction in the 2011 Space Coast Authors of Romance (STAR) Launching a Star Contest.

Her latest work of fiction is A SICILIAN FAREWELL, Book 2 in The Italian Chronicles Trilogy. The first book is THE MADONNA OF PISANO.

MaryAnn also writes for children. Her latest children’s book is titled THE DANDELION PATCH and deals with the unusual topic of Eminent Domain. MaryAnn has also written CANDLE LOVE, a picture book to help children deal with sibling rivalry. TOBY TOO SMALL is a story about a little boy who learns that it’s not how big you are on the outside that matters; it’s how big you are on the inside.

MaryAnn holds the PhD and the MPhil in French and Comparative Literature from the University of Kansas and the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes a popular blog titled “Matters of the Heart” (www.maryanndiorio.com/blog) that, like her fiction writing, deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. In her spare time, she loves to read, paint, and make up silly songs for her grandchildren.

Dr. MaryAnn resides in New Jersey with her husband Dom, a retired ER physician. They are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters, a fantastic son-in-law, and five rambunctious grandchildren.

You may contact Dr. MaryAnn at the following social media venues:
Website: http://www.maryanndiorio.com
Blog (Matters of the Heart): http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/maryanndiorioblog
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/maryanndiorio
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/DrMaryAnnDiorio
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/@DrMaryAnnDiorio
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592603
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=45380421
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/drmaryanndiorio/
Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/+DrMaryAnnDiorio
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/drmaryanndiorio/

My Thoughts:

Return to Bella Terra is the third book in this series. Readers have loved following Maria Landro Tonetta’s story throughout the series. In this particular book, Maria returns to Sicily with her husband at her dying mother’s wish.While there, she encounters her son’s biological father and a whole new set of problems ensue.

I loved Maria’s relationship with her son Nico, and the way that her heart is torn between wanting Nico to know the truth, but worrying over what the truth will do to him and their relationship. I also appreciated Nico’s perspective as he learns the truth about his own identity.

I also appreciated the spiritual aspect in this story. It was a wonderful read, and I really enjoyed the Italian setting. Sign me up for a trip to Italy!

You can get your copy of Return to Bella Terra here.

You can also get book one here ,

and book two here.

Return to Bella Terra: Book 3 of The Italian  Chronicles Trilogy (The Italian Chronicles) by [Diorio, MaryAnn]

I was given this book in exchange for my honest review from Book Crash. All opinions stated above are my own.