Monday, May 4, 2015

A Flag for the Flying Dragon, by Carole P. Roman


Title: A Flag for the Flying Dragon

Series: A Captain No Beard Story

Author: Carole P. Roman

Illustrator: Bonnie Lemaire

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date: April 9, 2015

Paperback: 46 pages




About the Book
It's business as usual on the Flying Dragon. Their mission is to find a flag for the ship. Captain No Beard sighs, "Being a captain is hard work," as he watches the busy crew preparing the vessel for their next adventure. Polly is giving out pretzels; Linus is polishing a lamp. Matie is cracking coconuts, Cayla is stuffing holes, and Hallie is swabbing the deck. High overhead, trouble is brewing, and it is not the weather. Mongo does not want any help from the newest crew member, and it is creating a hurricane of a mess on board. The team must come together and find a task that will fit Zachary without interfering with their own fun. On the way, they acquire a flag that will unite them as both friends and crew. Join the problem-solving crew of the Flying Dragon as they find a flag for their ship and a job for Zach.


My Take
I really love these books. Every time I get one, my daughter immediately picks it up and starts reading them. It is nice to see a book that is written for children that have learning lessons in them. It is simplistic enough for them to actually understand the lesson themselves.

This time around, the "crew" go out on the seas again. This time, the captain is looking for a flag to be flown from the ship. In the mix of all of this, a new crew member is trying to find his place amongst the crew. Everything that he is told to do doesn't go well. Then finally, the captain finds something for him to do. It is one of the most important jobs.

In this story, the crew learns how to get along. Every place that Zach (the new crew member) tries to help, he makes a mess and doesn't wind up helping. Most of the time, the other crew members don't want him to help. One thing they have to learn is how to all get along and find something for everyone to do. This is what makes a great crew.


About the Author






Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard-An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Each book has won numerous awards, namely the NABE Pinnacle Award, ERIK Award for 2013, ForeWord Review Five Star, Rebecca Reads, and Reader's Views Children's Book of the Year 2013. Recently it was awarded the Marble Book Award for Best Illustration in a series for Bonnie Lemaire's stunning illustrations.

This complimentary book was given to me by Red Feather Productions for my honest review.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness, by Suzanne Woods Fisher



Title: The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the    Power of Forgiveness

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publisher: Revell

Date: May 5, 2015

Paperback: 192 pages






About the Book
We have all been hurt and we all have someone we need to forgive. But sometimes it's hard to let go of our hurt and anger in order to truly forgive and move on.

For the Amish, forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. From daily annoyances to heartbreaking tragedy, they exhibit an incredible capacity for forgiveness that often baffles us. How do they do it? And how can we have the same attitude and ability to forgive?

Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows you how the Amish are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. You'll learn how to invite God into your story, apply lessons from the Amish to your own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness.


My Take
I love Amish proverbs. I pretty much love everything about the Amish (after having my daughter, I wanted to move to one of their communities to raise her), but one thing I have to say is that they have really great proverbs and life learning lessons. In this book Suzanne Woods Fisher, takes you on a journey through the lives of different people and shows you how you can forgive and be at peace with yourself. Not all of the stories happen to Amish people, but they are linked to them in some sort of way. At the beginning of each story, is an Amish proverb. After that, the author goes into the story that tells of one and their means of forgiveness. At the end of each story is a reflection where she asks questions of the reader. I really enjoyed this part. I felt like it helped me get more involved with the stories and helped me think about my life and certain situations that I have been in. At the end of each reflection is a "plain truth". This section gives us some background on the Amish, Mennonites, or Hutterites.

The book is a really great one to read and ponder over. I even read them to my daughter and asked her some of the questions. It was interesting to see her think about some of the situations she and her friends have been in and also whether it would be easy for her to forgive if she was put in some of these situations.

I think that everyone should get a copy of this book and read it. I know I found it very beneficial. And like I stated before, I love Amish proverbs and the book is filled with them. My daughter even found some that she liked. So yes, this book is for both the young and the old.

About the Author








Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs, as well as many novels about the Amish, including the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

This complimentary book was given to me from Revell for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography, by John Shaw




Title: John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography

Author: John Shaw

Publisher: Amphoto Books

Date: March 17, 2015

Paperback: 240 pages






About the Book
For over four decades, John Shaw’s authentic voice and trusted advice has helped photographers achieve impressive shots in the great outdoors. In his first-ever book on digital photography, Shaw provides in-depth advice on everything from equipment and lenses to thorough coverage of digital topics including how to use the histogram. In addition, he offers inspirational and frank insight that goes far beyond the nuts and bolts of photography, explaining that successful photos come from having a vision, practicing, and then acquiring the equipment needed to accomplish the intention. Easily digestible and useful for every type of photographer, and complete with more than 250 jaw-dropping images, John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography is the one book you’ll need to beautifully capture the world around you.


My Take
If you love photography, then you're going to enjoy this book. I don't know anyone who doesn't like taking pictures, especially if they had the right camera on the right setting for the right situation. That is pretty much what it boils down to if you want a great photo to frame or even sell. Plenty of times I have taken photos that I thought were going to be amazing, just to develop it later and then go, "that doesn't look like what I thought it would". But with the right equipment and advice, all of your pictures (or at least most of them) can look like a professional took them.


John Shaw will teach you a lot if you invest in his book. Not only do you get to see some amazing photos that have been taken by him, he also tells you what kind of camera he used, the type of lens, and the settings that he had it on. You will also learn about the right equipment that you would need in order to take nice nature photographs, using the lens, different compositions, close ups and finally the photographer at work. I have to say my favourites were the discussion on High ISO (I have always wanted to know how to work with that) and close ups (my favourite kind of nature pictures).


So, if you (or someone you may know) are anxious about getting out there and taking amazing photos for your blank wall or to give someone on their birthday, John Shaw's Guide to Digital Photography will help you with that and so much more.


About the Author















John Shaw is one of the world’s leading nature photographers and the author of many enduring bestselling books. His photographs are frequently featured in National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Natural History, Sierra, and Audubon magazines, as well as in calendars, books, and advertisements. He lives in Colorado Springs.

This complimentary book was given to me by Blogging for Books for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Esther: Royal Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel), by Angela Hunt



Title: Esther: Royal Beauty

Series: A Dangerous Beauty Novel

Author: Angela Hunt

Publisher: Bethany House Publishing

Date: January 6, 2015

Paperback: 352 pages






About the Book
When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews - young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violation ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

My Take
I really like the story of Esther. So when I saw I had the chance to review this book, I was ecstatic. But for some reason, this book didn't wow me. I don't know if it was the fact that I know the story and in this particular book it was done in the "not so traditional" way. It could have been the elaboration to make this story more interesting that I didn't like. I do understand that one would have to stretch it a little to create a more enjoyable story for most people reading, but for me, sticking the facts is what I like better. I guess I should have paid more attention to the part where it stated that it was a novel.

I must admit I fell in love with the cover and the back of the book. They were both beautifully done. The jewels, make-up and colors of head dress I felt really made the book stand out. I also love books that focus on different people per chapter and that is what this one does. It would have been nice if we could have had a point of view from Mordecai. But I guess the story being about Esther made more since with it being from her point of view and one of her palace helpers.

All in all, it was an okay story of Esther. Like I stated before, more to the point of the Bible would have been better for me, but I guess it wouldn't have been considered Biblical Fiction if that were the case.

About the Author












Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

 With nearly four million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tale of Three Trees, The Note, and The Nativity Story. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards.

This complimentary book was given to me by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Trouble With Peer Pressure: A Simple "My ADHD Story" for Young Teens, by Darlene R. Wood


Title: The Trouble With Peer Pressure: A Simple "My ADHD Story" for Young Teens

Author: Darlene R. Wood

Illustrator: Victor Guiza

Publisher: Outskirt Press

Date: October 29, 2014

Paperback: 31 pages

Genre: Family & Relationships/ Peer Pressure



About the Book
If you have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you already know that sometimes, everyday life seems like it’s too much to handle. And probably you’ve already experienced the fact that when you’re already overwhelmed, peer pressure seems to compound any situation. The Trouble With Peer Pressure is a friendly, practical guide to help you navigate the challenges of peer pressure. Author Darlene R. Wood provides information you can use, including ways to think about the consequences of your actions, and strategies to feel less isolated by the label of ADHD. You may feel that figuring out how to deal with peer pressure is hard—but guess what? It doesn’t have to be. Like any other issue, it just requires that everyone step back, evaluate, and design a thoughtful and respectful solution. The Trouble With Peer Pressure is a valuable resource for you and your family that will make life easier for you, both in school and at home.


My Take
I was really excited to read this book because my daughter was diagnosed with having ADD/ADHD. I thought it would be nice to have a book that she can refer to when feeling like things weren't feeling okay in her life. Unfortunately, this book wasn't it. The story was nice. A boy who was struggling to get through life because of something he had to deal with that most people didn't understand. It showed how he had to go through life having one downfall after another, but later coming out on top, which is good. I liked that aspect of the story. Show children no matter how hard things get, they can still come out on the top.

The one major issue I have with the book, and believe me I hate writing negative things, is the part where the authour constantly repeats "peer pressure". It would have been nice if she could have explained a little more what different peer pressures he was going through and how he came out of it. Like one part of the story speaks about peer pressure, but talks about the boy going to the principals office with his family. I don't see what that has to do with peer pressure. Granted, I know fitting in is hard, I can see what my child has gone through, but to me there is more to ADHD then suffering with peer pressure. Now I know, that is part of the title of the book, but I feel like she could have gone deeper into it and gave us a better understanding of what he went through.

I still think it is a good book to read with your children who suffer from ADHD. It might make them realize that they are not alone in how they feel and what they go through.


About the Author












Darlene R. Wood is a full-time mom who loves to create art in a variety of media, from designing wedding cakes to sewing cloth “How-To” books for children, painting, and now writing. The Trouble With Peer Pressure is her first book.

This complimentary book was given to me by Bostick Communications and the authour for my honest review.

Lighten Up, Ya'll, by Virginia Willis




Title: Lighten Up, Ya'll

Author: Virginia Willis

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Date: March 3, 2015

Hardcover: 232 pages







About the Book
Lighten Up, Y’all, is a soul-satisfying and deeply personal collection of Virginia’s new favorite recipes. All the classics are covered—from a comforting Southern Style Shepherd’s Pie with Grits to warm, melting Broccoli Mac and Cheese to Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie. Each dish is packed with real Southern flavor, but made with healthier, more wholesome ingredients and techniques. Wherever you are on your health and wellness journey, Lighten Up, Y’all has the recipes, tools, and inspiration you need to make the nourishing, down-home Southern food you love.

My Take
I love recipe books. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have a single clue what to make sometimes. But the most important, is finding a recipe book that has great tasting food, but not overly unhealthy. When I first saw this book, I was thinking if it is southern food, it probably is super fattening, but thought to give it a chance anyway.

What I like most about this book is how the author breaks down the different types of oils and fats. She lets you know who each of them stack up against each other. Not many books do that and it is helpful in deciding on which ones to have in your home. She then goes on to talk about 10 tips for lightening things up. For instance, drinking water (which we all know and do ~ hopefully), using spices in your food for flavour, choosing lean proteins, and measuring out your food vs eating straight out of the bag.

On to the recipes. There are 10 different chapters: Starters, salads, from the garden, grains, seafood, poultry, beef, soups, breads, and sweets. This was nice to see because most recipe books contain major meat recipes and I always have to figure out how to make it work for me ~ I'm a vegetarian. There are about 10 +/- recipes in each section. I don't think there isn't anything someone couldn't find. The pictures that went along with some of the recipes were amazing. So, if you are finding yourself wanting a new cookbook with tons of options, this would be the one.

About the Author









 
VIRGINIA WILLIS is the author of the acclaimed cookbooks Bon App├ętit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Grits; and Okra. Willis is a columnist for FoodNetwork.com, a contributing editor to Southern Living, and was named one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know” by the Chicago Tribune. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

This complimentary book was given to me by Blogging For Books for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Legacy, by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley



Title: The Legacy

Series: The Restoration Series (Book 4)

Authors: Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley

Publisher: Revell

Date: April 7, 2015

Paperback: 336 pages








About the Book
For years, Doug Anderson has been drifting slowly but steadily away from both his family and his faith. His parents have been trying to reach him before he falls too far. His friend Christina hopes what she is seeing online isn't true. But sometimes you have to hit bottom before you're ready to grow up.

Just as things begin to settle down a bit, Doug's life takes a turn that requires every bit of faith and patience for both his family and Christina--whose growing feelings for Doug, a man who writes her off as not worth his time, keep her off balance. Will Doug's crisis finally clear his vision and help him focus on what he has right in front of him?



My Take

The Legacy is the 4th book in The Restoration Series. I didn't have the chance to read books one and two, but I did read book number three and found it to be a very good story. There is a connection between all of them and if you read them from beginning to end, it will make a lot more sense. When reading book #4, I had forgotten about the connection between #3. But after I realized what the connection was, it made it even more enjoyable to read. 

At the beginning of the book, you will find a text from Luke 15:20 about a father seeing his son and still having a ton of love for him as they approach each other. It kind of gives you an idea about what the story is going to be about. 

Doug is the youngest child in the Anderson family who is away at college but periodically comes home to visit. He does not have as strong of a relationship with the Lord as he once had or as his parents would want him to have. During some people's college years is when they are trying to find out who they really are and what they want to do with their life, and that is exactly what Doug was doing. There are things he is engaging in that he is trying to keep from his family, knowing that they would not approve of it, until he gets caught and has to truly examine the two lives he is trying to live. But sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom for people to realize what is truly going on in their lives and that is what happens to Doug. 

This was an amazing story. Like I stated before, if you read all four in a row, it will be even better, even though this one can hold its own. You will not want to put it down until you find out how it is going to end. I know that is how I felt. So, grab a blanket and a cup of tea and enjoy a great read.

About the Authors


Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year for 2011 and 2012. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit www.danwalshbooks.com for more.














Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of 16 books, along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling, speaking to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Extra, The Today Show, and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 50 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren.


This complimentary book was given to me by Revell in exchange for my honest review.