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Yvette - Bookworlder

Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.


Review: Love & Care for the One and Only You, 52 Inspirations by Michelle Medlock Adams

Love and Care for the One and Only You: 52 Inspirations - Michelle Medlock Adams

This is a health and fitness devotional with 52 chapters or “Inspirations.” Each chapter begins with a bible verse related to the topic.  The meat of the chapter is the author's exploration of the topic that comes across as a message of encouragement, followed by a Power Prayer, a text box titled "Work Your Words" and a Healthy Hint.

What I have read of this devotional so far gives me hope that I can stay with it and that it will, at the very least, challenge me to rethink some of my attitudes and help me focus on positive steps I can take for my health.

While not all of the topics will be new and interesting to every reader, and there are perhaps a few too many exclamation points (the introduction alone has 11 in 2.5 pages!), the writing is friendly, personal and encouraging.

This is a well thought out book, full of encouragement and organized in a very usable way.  I'll be adding a reminder to my calendar to follow up on this review towards the end of the year.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Worthy Publishing <http://worthypublishing.com>, through the First Look blog tour program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” My complete review can be read at https://t.co/juWzsH9vc8

Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back - Todd Burpo, Oasis Audio, Dean Gallagher, Lynn Vincent

Listening to this at work might not have been the best idea.  Hoping no one looks over & asks why I'm tearing up over images of car rims...

Review: Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies #3) by Margaret Brownley

Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies Book 3) - Margaret Brownley

I thought the last story I read by her might be my favorite Margaret Brownley so far, but now I'm pretty sure this is it! Calico Spy has such a great premise, includes wonderful historical elements (Pinkerton agents and Harvey Girls), a heartwarming (or heart wrenching, depending on how you look at it) custody issue, an interesting murder mystery involving two Harvey Girls, and 19th century style sleuthing. On top of all that, a good dose of humor, action, and a hero and heroine to root for along with a fantastic and colorful cast of secondary characters.

This review refers to a review ebook read courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My full review can be read at: http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-mQ

Review: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

The Golden Braid - Melanie Dickerson
What is not to love about a retelling where the heroine takes matters into her own hands and does most of the saving?

A Young Adult version of Rapunzel set in and around 15th century Hagenheim, this begins as a village tale, quickly becomes a travel adventure, and then a coming of age/country girl in the city tale. It features a thinking Rapunzel who wants to learn to read and calls out to God for guidance, her complicated midwife mother, evil villains, a brave but grumpy knight, the aristocracy in the castle and their servants.
Definitely a book that I will recommend to readers of YA (or not), historical and inspirational fiction. Just a lovely read.

This review refers to a review ebook I read courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My full review can be read at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-me


Way behind on writing up reviews so, of course, I decided to have a go at my first bookish DIY blogpost - a couple ideas on altering/disguising/personalizing a gift card.  


DIY/Lifestyle type posts do take a long time, and a better camera would really help, but I think I might do more - maybe in conjunction with reviewing crafting and cookbooks.


I'd love some constructive feedback :D 

Free on Kindle today, 12/19

Dreamspinner - Merita King

Just found this through Twitter - Merita King is a self-published sci-fi author & the description on Amazon US sounds interesting:


"What is your worst nightmare?

Tearan Lindo, serving soldier with the Inter-Galactic Elite Command, found himself living his (nightmare?) when he woke up apparently alone on an empty and abandoned space ship with no memory other than his own name, age, and rank.

He soon finds that he is not alone aboard the Novosentia, but where are the other three? The friendly engineer, the haunted doctor, and the mysterious hired gun. Who are they and why can he never find them? What is causing the shadows, the noises, and the time discrepancies? Then there is the woman from the nightmares who feels so familiar. Desperate for answers, Tearan and his companions struggle to make sense of their situation.

When he stumbles upon evidence of a scientific involvement, Tearan realises he got it all wrong. They’re not survivors after all, they’re lab rats.
Angry and frightened for his future, he fights to uncover the truth.
What he discovers is more profoundly shocking than he could ever have imagined."


I do enjoy a good memory loss story... hope this one is good (recently watched Dark Matter season 1 on NetFlix and enjoyed it - except the "evil twin" type bit where you know the actor is playing another character because of the dark eyeliner).

Review: The American Dream Romance Collection

The American Dream Romance Collection: Nine Historical Romances Grow Alongside a New Country - Laurie Alice Eakes, Lisa Karon Richardson, Carla Olson Gade, Ann E. Schrock, Amber Stockton, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, DiAnn Mills, Jane Kirkpatrick, Kristy Dykes

I read this collection in early November and then neglected to post a review because, from the first story, it had me so in the mood for more stories set in Colonial America.


The first four of these "Nine Historical Romances [that] Grow Alongside a New Country"include two of my favorites from the collection.  Set in 1750's and 1760's, introduce us to the four Ingersoll brothers of Connecticut and the women who capture their hearts. Each of these stories is followed by a related recipe.


Another favorite is the fifth story, When the Shadow Falls, set near a British garrison in 1763.  A French trapper's daughter and a private from the English fort challenge each others faith as well as their prejudices.


The two New Garden stories (more favorites) reminded me of the 1950's film "Friendly Persuasion" and how interesting a Quaker story can be.


Free Indeed tells the story of a former slave, Winkie, and the man her former owner's daughter arranges for her to meet.  This was the least successful of the stories for me.


The final story is the reason I originally requested this collection through NetGalley.  Having read Jane Kirkpatrick's The Memory Weaver (review here), I was eager to experience more of her writing.  I was happy to find this was a story with a mature hero and heroine, a banker/lawyer who dreams of starting over in the Oregon Territory and a widowed midwife trying to raise a 16 year old and keep her farm going.


Recommended for those who enjoy shorter stories of romance, adversity and faith - particularly with early American settings.  Definitely an enjoyable collection.  An expanded review can be read on my blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-dX


This review refers to a review ebook copy read courtesy of the publisher, Barbour Books, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Instant Frontier Family by Regina Scott

Instant Frontier Family (Frontier Bachelors) - Regina Scott

I only recently started reading books from Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line, and this might just be my favorite so far. It was a quick read, the storyline was interesting and the characters were engaging. The setting was believable (I'm a native of the Seattle area) and this was, overall, a nice, well balanced and enjoyable story.


Just ignore the title choice and that the cover looks like it is set off in the woods, instead of on an early Seattle street. If you are looking for a shorter inspirational historical fiction romance novel, a light read with a relationship that grows first as a friendship and blossoms into more against the wills of two not too stubborn Irish Americans, then I would recommend you give this novel a go. Still not sure? Two words: chicken races.


This review refers to a review ebook read courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My full review can be read at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-6k

Review: Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin

Clockwork Samurai (Gunpowder Chronicles) - Jeannie Lin

It is 1852, a year after the events in Gunpowder Alchemy, the first novel in the Gunpowder Chronicles series set during China's Qing Dynasty.  Jin Soling is now a physician to the Emperor's concubines and her former intended, Chen Chang-wei, is once again among the Engineers in the Ministry of Science.  This time out, Soling and Chang-wei are on a secret mission to secure an alliance with Japan, despite the Shogunate's edicts against it.


I enjoyed the first book, but was left feeling rather ambivalent towards reading more.  It turns out that it was one of those books whose story grows on you with time and with this second book, the characters have matured and the narrator has become more engaging.



Happily, the karakuri automatons introduced in the fairtytale retelling The Warlord and the Nightingale (.5 in the series) make a reappearance here.  Even more happily, a certain scientist turned pirate introduced in the first book makes a brief reappearance as well.


I am greatly enjoying Jeannie Lin's take on Asian Steampunk.  An expanded version of this review can be read on my WordPress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-bm  


Oh, and definitely read the series in order, as this is not a stand alone novel.


This review refers to an ebook copy that I read, at no charge, courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.  On the release date I purchased my own ebook copy, and an ebook copy of the first book as well.  I just wish I could purchase printed editions.

Review: Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh

Keeping Christmas: A Novel - Dan Walsh

This is one heart-warmer of a book.  If you are a mature single adult or empty nester, or have them in your life, be prepared to empathize with Judith’s questioning of putting out Christmas décor that “no-one” will see and the efforts of others to cheer her up. While the writing is a bit simplistic at times, and bass fishing references abound, the pay-off is worth the time spent to reach it.


If you are looking for a quick and heart-warming seasonal read, this is definitely one to consider.


An expanded version of this review can be read on my blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-9c




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program <http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/revell/revell-reads>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Goodnight Manger by Laura Sassi, Jane Chapman (illus.)

Goodnight, Manger - Laura Sassi, Jane Chapman

Take the story of the birth of Jesus and skip to the evening when Mary is attempting to lull her (in this version) fussy baby to sleep while animals and visitors are causing various levels of chaos, and you have the premise of this hardback picture book.  Written in verse and illustrated in earthy tones, heavy on the orange, this is the most visually active bedtime storybook I have ever seen.  The only real criticism I have (well, other than the fact that Mary is having a pretty bad hair day) is the depiction of the angels.  


I think this would be a great bedtime choice for the holiday season, and a fun supplement to the traditional telling of the Nativity story.  If, however, you prefer your Nativity story to always be completely serene and reverent, this is perhaps not the best choice.  


3/5 stars for well done rhyming text and dynamic illustrations.  Had the angels been depicted in a less "Godspell" way, I would have rated this as 3.5 or 4 stars.


An expanded version of this review can be found on my Wordpress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-7X


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray, A Critical Appreciation of the World's Finest Actor

The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World's Finest Actor - Robert Schnakenberg

Basically a thorough wiki of an uber-fan in print, with high production values (hello, french flaps!), encyclopedic and alphabetically organized with quotes and anecdotes (though Bill Murray himself was not personally involved).


In a nutshell, if you are a huge fan of Bill Murray, this belongs on your shelf or coffee table. If you are not a huge fan of Bill Murray, just give it a quick perusal for a bit of fun before wrapping it up as a gift for the huge Bill Murray fan in your life.


This book was won in a booklikes giveaway, courtesy of the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  Expanded review on the Bookworlder blog: http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-7a

Clockwork Samurai (Gunpowder Chronicles) - Jeannie Lin

Tickled pink that the author asked if I wanted to be on the list of early readers & again today when the publicist sent me the NetGalley widget.  Now to rearrange my reading schedule again :)  



Red Kayak - Priscilla Cummings

My 12 year old niece and I went out shopping last night, and on the way home she was so enthusiastic about this book (she is about 40 pages in), telling me everything she knew and going on about how vivid it is (the descriptions made her feel so cold that she cuddled up in a blanket, even though her house was warm).  She is insisting that I read the book, so I'll be stopping by the library after work today and starting it soon.  


I love that she has become such a reader.

Review: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Dept. of Speculation - Jenny Offill

I just spent the last hour and thirty four minutes reading the entirety of a novel that left me unsettled, sad, and impressed.


The text is primarily made up of short paragraphs, thoughts really, that include references and quotes and are somewhat a stream of consciousness but taking a form that is unexpected.  



Highly recommended with the caveat that it does include infidelity and a few crude word choices.   


So glad I read this, but now I need to read something light and fluffy to relax my brain...


My full review/incoherent rambling is posted on my WordPress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-65

Review: Mail-Order Marriage, various authors

Mail-Order Marriage (Stick-With-Me Notes) - Mary Davis, Judith McCoy Miller, DiAnn Mills, Denise Hunter, Tracie Peterson

Cinda, Emily, Maura, Gabe and Daughtry find marriage partners through letters, but will they find happiness with Lucas, Cade, Luther, Lena and Nicholas?


I usually choose to read these collections from Barbour Books based on the theme and at least one author being already known to me.  In this case, the theme is one I enjoy and there were three authors whose writing I had been wanting to try more of/for the first time - Denise Hunter, DiAnn Mills and Tracie Peterson.  After reading the story by Tracie Peterson, I went back to the beginning of the ebook to check on publication dates.  I was a bit relieved to see that hers from 2002, so it having read like an early work made perfect sense and mitigated my disappointment with the storyline, writing, and especially the immaturity of a heroine who reacts to problems by continually running away.  I enjoyed the entry by Denise Miller, and was charmed and delighted by DiAnn Mills' mail-order husband Gabe.


Overall, an enjoyable collection of stories which were originally copyrighted between 1996 and 2002.  If you enjoy historical inspirational romance and/or mail order bride stories, this is worth picking up for Mary Davis' Cinda's Surprise and DiAnn Mills' Mail-Order Husband in particular.