Thursday, July 20, 2017

Grounded Hearts book review

Grounded HeartsGrounded Hearts
Although this is not a terribly sinful romance, it still is cheap. When one reads a book, one doesn't want to know that the heroine had every possible thought and temptation about the wounded soldier in her home. We want to admire the woman in the story. We want powerful characters who overcome sin and temptation and eventually discover they love each other. Not two humans attracted to each other simply....because. This is probably a confusing review. On a spiritual aspect, Nan is Catholic and there is a strong emphasis on how her sins (even of thoughts) have to be confessed to the Priest (who is not the best character, by the way). There is a good picture of how Catholicism is not true redemption and salvation from sin. Note how I am not expecting the main characters to be perfect, Catholic or Christian. I want to emphasize this. But either way, I would expect stronger characters in a book of this sort. For instance, this story would make a terrible movie. Every scene would be either of sexual temptation (thoughts or actions) or kissing scenes. Thankfully nothing worse, but still. Seriously. Who wants to watch such a story? There is some action, but it is useless when paired with such romance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?
Grounded Hearts Jeanne M. Dickson

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hiding From The Kids in My Prayer Closet by Jessica Kastner

Hiding from the Kids in My Prayer Closet: Finding Grace and Laughter When Motherhood Gets Real
 This is one of the most humorous and real books on motherhood I have ever read! Throughout the whole book, I laughed aloud. Yet I also was impressed that each chapter finishes with deeper thoughts and applications. The author seems to have a balanced perspective on life and motherhood! She knows (for the most part- none of us are perfect!) when to laugh and when to ponder what God is teaching her.
Personally, I could never relate to Jessica's personality motherhood-wise. Sound confusing? Simply: Jessica never dreamed of getting married and having babies and wasn't really attracted by infants or children. I am quite the opposite. My 7th birthday party was a cute ''baby shower'' theme, with things for my baby doll. Somehow, I've always felt the need to marry and have children. Nevertheless, I was able to chuckle over Jessica's unusual character. I loved how she allowed God to change her and make her a fun and loving mom. In this book, she is honest and humble and gives mothers a new perspective on what parenting is all about.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


Finding grace and laughter when motherhood gets real
Soon after Jessica Kastner became a mother, she wondered if she was the only mom who found pretend play more boring than watching playdough harden and who dreaded yet another friend's Instagram post of homemade deliciousness.
In Hiding from My Kids in the Prayer Closet, Kastner shares her experience as an "unmom"-a mom who loves her kids more than she loves the daily experience of mothering. She helps readers laugh at the ridiculous, delight in the unpredictable, and enjoy being the mothers God made them to be.


Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist and a contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network's CBN.com, Beliefnet.com, and the Huffington Post's Christianity blog. As Connecticut's coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, she shares God's message of hope by leading Bible studies in juvenile detention centers. When she's not on the trampoline with her three boys in Connecticut, Jessica shares her unapologetically "real" commentary on the Christian life at www.JessicaKastner.com.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair by Patrick Gray/Justin Skeesuck

I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One WheelchairI'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair
Two best friends, 500 miles, one wheelchair, and the challenge of a lifetime.
Friendship takes on new meaning in this true story of Justin and Patrick, born less than two days apart in the same hospital. Best friends their whole lives, they grew up together, went to school together, and were best man in each other's weddings. When Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease that robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, Patrick was there, helping to feed and care for him in ways he'd never imagined. Determined to live life to the fullest, the friends refused to give into despair or let physical limitations control what was possible for Justin.

So when Justin heard about the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek through Spain, he wondered aloud to Patrick whether the two of them could ever do it. Patrick's immediate response was: "I'll push you."

I'll Push You is the real-life story of this incredible journey. A travel adventure full of love, humor, and spiritual truth, it exemplifies what every friendship is meant to be and shows what it means to never find yourself alone. You'll discover how love and faith can push past all limits--and make us the best versions of ourselves.

Colored Pencil Painting Portraits: by Alyona Nickelsen

Colored Pencil Painting Portraits: Master a Revolutionary Method for Rendering Depth and Imitating Life
Colored Pencil Painting Portraits: Master a Revolutionary Method for Rendering Depth and Imitating Life
Colored pencil painter Alyona Nickelsen reveals how to use the medium to push the limits of realistic portraiture.

   I am always amazed by how some artists are able to render a realistic portrait. As an amateur artist with many more talented artist family members, I know how hard it is to portray accurate skin tones and details. This book helps amateur as well as artists of more experience master using colored pencils to complete portraits. A very helpful book full of illustrations of the techniques as well as step-by-step guides to portraits already mastered by the author.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Colored Pencil Painting Portraits provides straightforward solutions to the problems that artists face in creating lifelike images, and will prime readers on the intricacies of color, texture, shadow, and light as they interplay with the human form. In this truly comprehensive guide packed with step-by-step demonstrations, Nickelsen considers working from photo references versus live models; provides guidance on posing and lighting, as well as planning and composing a work; discusses tools, materials, and revolutionary layering techniques; and offers lessons on capturing gesture and expression and on rendering facial and body features of people of all age groups and skin tones.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The ICB Blessed Garden Bible by Thomas Nelson

The ICB Blessed Garden Bible
The ICB Blessed Garden Bible
The International Children’s Bible® translation, the Bible kids can read and understand, has been a favorite of kids, parents, and teachers. With its easy-to-read text, the ICB has a third-grade reading level, making it the ideal translation for children beginning to read and learn Bible.


The ICB Blessed Garden Bible is a full-text ICB Bible with swirling, floral details, foil, glitter, and winsome illustrations. This will appeal to both moms and daughters, as it capitalizes on an organic garden trend. Inside features 24 colorful pages of study help inserts, including a presentation page for personalizing. Young girls will enjoy this softer more sophisticated look as she reads God’s message of love just for her!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An Outlaw and a Lady by Jessi Colter David Ritz

An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home
An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home
Renowned songwriter, singer, and wife of Waylon Jennings writes an intimate, enormously entertaining memoir of American music, of life with Waylon and the Outlaws, and of faith lost and found.


The daughter of a Pentecostal evangelist and a race-car driver, Jessi Colter played piano and sang in church before leaving Arizona to tour with rock-n-roll pioneer Duane Eddy, whom she married. Colter became a successful recording artist, appearing on American Bandstand and befriending stars such as the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins, while her songs were recorded by Nancy Sinatra, Dottie West, and others. Her marriage to Eddy didn’t last, however, and in 1969 she married the electrifying Waylon Jennings. Together, they made their home in Nashville which in the 1970s, was ground zero for roots music, drawing Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Shel Silverstein, and others to the Nashville Sound. And Jessi was at the center of it all, the only woman on the landmark Wanted: The Outlaws album, the record that launched the Outlaw Country genre and was the first country album to go platinum. She also tasted personal commercial success with the #1-single “I’m Not Lisa.”


But offstage, life was a challenge, as Waylon pursued his addictions and battled his demons. Having drifted from the church as a young woman, Jessi returned to her faith and found in it a source of strength in the turmoil of living with Waylon. In the 1980s, Waylon helped launch the super group The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, and the hits kept rolling, as did Waylon’s reckless living. Amid it all, Jessi faithfully prayed for her husband until finally, at Thanksgiving 2001, Waylon found Jesus, just months before he died.


An Outlaw and a Lady is a powerful story of American music, of love in the midst of heartache, and of faith that sustains.
 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Jesus Loves Me by Gynux /Thomas Nelson

Jesus Loves Me
by

Read or sing along with your little one’s favorite song! Jesus Loves Me pairs sweet, snuggly illustrations with the text of the familiar children’s song. This newest board book in the beloved Sing-Along series also features a padded cover perfect for little hands, and is sure to delight children and parents alike.