Thursday, August 27, 2015

Capture the Moment photographic book review

Capturing the Moment: Inspiration and Techniques for the Modern Photographer

   Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover!  When I saw the exquisitely beautiful photograph on the front of this book, I knew I had to get my hands on the volume! And I was not disappointed. This quality-bound hardcover book is absolutely filled with beautiful photographs capturing the joys and wonder of childhood as well as other small yet important details of life. Can coffee table books get any better? This book will be sure to delight every person, whether a photographer or not! I am an amateur photographer and I am looking forward to being inspired by the pictures contained within this work of art. All the photographs contained within the pages are all contributed by members of the online community called Clickin Moms. To understand more about the group as well as this new book, read the following; 
The premier online community for female photographers, Clickin Moms presents a photography guide featuring big, bold images coupled with short, focused, prescriptive tips for translating everyday life into stunning works of art.

Clickin Moms is the photography industry's largest social network of female photographers, boasting a booming members-only community of more than 16,000 professional photographers, aspiring professionals, and women passionate about capturing their families' everyday lives. This guide captures the spirit of the community by featuring a compilation of stunning member-contributed images paired with photography tips progressing from elementary to advanced, leaving no skill level unserved. By letting the images dominate and keeping the teaching points short and direct, the book builds on the highly visual appeal that has made the online community so popular. Covering all the bases, including equipment, composition, posing, low light, natural light, black and white, still life, and lifestyle photography, the example shots feature plenty of inspiration for photographing children as well as other beautiful everyday moments. Assignments for experimenting with lighting and shooting locations round out the chapters, providing every photographer with both the inspiration and skills she needs to capture life's beautiful moments as frame-worthy photographic art.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book review: How to tie a tie: a gentleman's guide to getting dressed from Potter publishing

How to Tie a Tie: A Gentleman's Guide to Getting Dressed
    And now you are thinking "Well, this certainly is a change in pace from the usual genre of books you review!'' 
  Well, indeed you are right. But I couldn't pass up this little book when I saw it on the site. Inside the ingenious cover are a host of delightful explanations and pictures; enough to satisfy every gent's fashion needs! I don't know about you, but I don't like to see guys on their smartphones all the time- what they need is a little book such as this one and I really really appreciate the publisher's insight in creating this! I can imagine How To Tie a Tie would make a perfect father's day or birthday....or Christmas gift! The pages are stocked with every kind of tie-tying imaginable or necessary and are sure to satisfy the fashion needs of the man in your life. In fact, he will most certainly be tickled by this book!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

Oswald: Return of the King By Edoardo Albert book review

By Edoardo Albert

Oswald: Return of the King is Edoardo Albert's second book and follows his previous work Edwin: High King of Britain. Both are historical fiction works which are packed with historical details which the learned author discovered in the writings of the historian Bede. 

   At first, since it had been over a year that I had read the prequel to this book, I was a little confused by the characters and settings. However once I discovered the historic notes at the end of the book and the list of characters at the beginning (two crucial and wise aspects to include in such a deep and historic-fiction work!), everything fell into place, I remembered much of Edwin: High King of Britain and was set to enjoy and profit from the remainder of Oswald: Return of the King. As the author's first work, this novel is fascinating and hard to put down once begun! Rarely have I seen historical accounts so well fancied and wrought out! The author is superb; his works worth the read! I will point out that I am not a skilled historian although the topic is one of my favorite subjects. Specifically, I am not a master of knowledge concerning the kings of Northumbria or any region in 7th century England. However, judging by the author's honest afterword and historical notes I feel I can trust his extrapolation of the scarce historical accounts given by the ancient Bede. 
Critically, I find that although Edoardo Albert's books are excellent for adults there are some points which I personally wouldn't recommend for younger readers. Ever true to the time period, the author includes jokes/riddles the people make concerning the wedding night, brief mentioning of the age of prospective brides (concerning whether or not she was old enough to have chidren) judge whether your child can or cannot read such things. Like I said, it is an excellent book for adults! 

 Especially worthy of note are the tense, exciting, complex moments in this historical novel. The author does wonders in describing everything from arguments, threats and cunning plans to actual violent battles which culminate in death or victory. I am amazed by how real the action portions of the book are!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Moment By Moment: a devotional journal for girls by Jennifer Flanders

Moment By Moment: a devotional journal for girls by Jennifer Flanders

This book is a large, lovely devotional journal for girls of all ages. With a variety of uses it is sure to please the young lady in your life. The interior can be used to record Bible verses, devotions,  memories, aspirations, sketches and drawings, scrapbooking- you name it! To help the creative juices flow, there are beautiful Victorian pictures and quotes on each page of the book. As the author says, her goal in creating this book was to help girls and/or women think deeply about a variety of basic yet important questions: ''Who are you?'' ''Why are you here?'' ''How can you live with meaning and purpose?'' 
Every page has a question, quote or Bible verse which one can answer in writing or photographs or drawings. I especially recommend this book for girls between the ages 9-18. I know I used to (and still do!) love to fill out papers and answer questions. 
Lastly, I love how this book uses old-fashioned charm instead of the modern colorful and flashy media. It is a reminder that we can indeed put pen to paper and make a lasting impact for future generations. This book is a wonderful memory book. Your daughter will love looking through it when she is older. The cover of this book is matte and the 208-page interior is regular smooth white paper with black and white illustrations and questions.

Book Review: Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

Through Waters Deep
   Since I love anything vintage and am interested in world war 2 biographies, movies, and more I was delighted when I discovered author Sarah Sundin's books a little while ago. Since, I have quickly ''devoured'' every single book she has published and eagerly look forward to reading more of her works!
Through Waters Deep is the first book in a new series by the author! Exciting, isn't it? Plus, this series features the Navy- a new and fascinating venture for the author I'm sure! 
On a side note: I read this book this July 2015 and it was a perfect book for that month and season. :) 

First, I just want to say that Sarah Sundin does an absolutely amazing job in researching her settings. One would think that she knew every detail of what she wrote about it. Of course I am not a world war 2 veteran, yet I have read enough historical accounts to be alert to any mistakes an author of fiction might make. A fascinating touch in Through Waters Deep is that the author delved into a new realm for her...mystery! Throughout the book, the main character Mary along with the reader struggles to discover who the local saboteur could be! I found this an interesting twist. 
As always, Sarah Sundin writes with heart and vigour, making the reader both enjoy and benefit from reading each chapter. 
This book is set right before world war 2 actually! The end of the book features the bombing of pearl harbour which makes for an unusual and not as well-known setting. 

On a critical note....
1. I do not appreciate how descriptive this author is of the romantic attraction the couples have for each other. To be sure there are no sexual scenes in her books and the feelings of attraction are often true enough. But I prefer  when authors only hint at the physical attraction one might have for another. And I wish she would mostly concentrate on the heart of the individuals rather than the looks (this she did accomplish in one of her first novels).  
2. One thing that must go: the kisses. Why do Christian novels concentrate so very much on the passionate kisses experienced between the main couple? I beg the author to consider taking these descriptive kisses out future books! They are not good for young unmarried girls to ponder! We have strong enough imaginations already. And in books there are kisses and extremely descriptive kisses.... 
(the reader doesn't need to know all the passionate feelings and thoughts each kisser experiences!)
3. This is a minor note since the author doesn't claim to be a mystery author. Yet, I will mention that the reader cannot expect a Sherlock Holmes-quality mystery from this book. ;) Although the mystery itself wasn't too telltale, it likewise was too broad in that the reader couldn't do any sleuthing for herself and really was left not caring who was the culprit! Sort of. 
4. I did not like the beautiful blond friend who shows up. I know what kind of fun, loving girl she was supposed to be but somehow they way she threw herself on poor Jim was too much. Oh well. She wasn't far off from many 1940's actresses I suppose.

I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

About the author:
Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every LetterOn Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014, On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Find Sarah online: 

Book review; Heartbreak Trail by Susan K Marlow

Heartbreak Trail    
An Andrea Carter Book
By Susan K. Marlow

   It was through book reviewing for Kregel publications that I first discovered author Susan Marlow. Ever since reading my first book of hers I have been pleased by her wholesome books, not to mention her above-the-average writing skill. To me, Susan has an honorable view of literary and holds to a standard which most authors (yes I am including Christian novelists) don't keep in mind at all anymore. The books I have thus read by Susan Marlow remind me of the historical fiction books I practically devoured as a child and teen! It is good to see new books coming out that I can feel right about giving to my younger siblings to read! 

   Heartbreak Trail is yet another book in the Andrea Carter series and it features a now growing up Andrea! At fifteen, the lively and tomboyish girl experiences many more adventures and learns from her own mistakes. Having just turned the age which made her close friend begin thinking of getting married and settling down, Andrea is determined to continue her adventurous ways and begs to be allowed to join her brothers and their workers on a special herding trip. While on the trip, Andrea stays true to her usual liveliness and outdoor skill but suddenly becomes attracted to a young hired worker. The reader can't help but wonder what will come of that! 
As always, the author of these books skillfully weaves an exciting tale while keeping good morals and a Christian foundation. 
Your children and teens are bound to love this book!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

Review of War Room novelization of the movie

War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon

    Although the idea behind the screenplay is incredibly important, I had a hard time judging from the novelizationhow impactful it would be in the movie. However, I have high hopes because of the powerful films the Kendricks's have previously produced.

   Having read a couple other books by Chris Fabry, including the novelization of the film The Song, I really am surprised that he is considered a good author. His writing style is basic and predicable. Considering his novelization of screenplays, it sounds as if a young writer was simply relating the film, conversation by conversation, scene by scene. I really felt that I needed to watch War Room to understand the book! 

   Nevertheless, the power of prayer was emphasized strongly in the book; that I was able to take to heart. Also, there was a scene of repentance which brought tears to my eyes; always a wonderful thing in a book. 

   Lastly, in criticism of both the screenplay and the book; I wish it was more obvious whether or not the main characters, specifically Tony were saved at the start of the book or whether they were saved later? I have the idea that the wife Elizabeth was a Christian lacking in prayer.... but Tony...? He had no fruit of the spirit at the start of the book for sure.

  I didn't feel like the author was good at describing the characters either; I strongly believe he expects you, the reader to have the film as your guideline, your accompaniment to the book! Just so you know where I am coming from, I felt the same way about the novelization for Courageous. The book was such a waste of time while the movie is wonderful! 

   To conclude, concerning the screenplay of War Room which I obviously have not yet viewed (review to come when I do!), I am a little concerned about the content. I understand, judging by the novelization of Courageous that novelizations aren't precisely what is shown in a film. The Courageous novel had several scenes which were not in the movie itself. If the War Room film includes everything contained in the novelization than it won't be appropriate for younger viewers. At the same time, it will be excellent for adults and especially couples! I guess I will just have to be patient and wait for the film to be released!


according to regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must mention that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.