Thursday, June 23

Mine is the Night: A Page Turning Tale That May Steal Your Nights!

"Mine is the Night was everything I hoped it would be... I loved the historical setting, the details, the love stories, the characters who change and grow.  The pace and story lines kept me turning pages; I couldn't put it down." -Francine Rivers, Christian historical fiction author

When I saw that Francine Rivers (my favorite modern historical fiction author) recommended Mine is the Night, I was more than eager to read it.  Miss Rivers is well-known for her historical accuracy, compelling stories, and thought-provoking works of literary art.  So, it seems, is Liz Curtis Higgs.

Mine is the Night is a book that won't disappoint.  It may certainly keep you up late at night reading its pages. It's the 2nd in a series but it stands alone.  I didn't read the first book (yet) and still thoroughly enjoyed this one.  It's nice and long (a good 450 pages), flows quickly, has plots that twist and turn with a dash of mystery and wonderment, and it's essentially the story of Ruth and Boaz set in 18th century Scotland.  You won't only read a love story of redemption and forgiveness, you'll also learn a great deal about the Jacobite Revolts, King George, Scottish brogue, and other Scottish history.

I've found another author who can hold a candle to Francine Rivers.... and that isn't something easily done, my bonny leddies!

Read the first chapter here... but I'm warning you, if you do, you might just have to click "Add to Cart".  Oh, and if you're a cat lover this book will be even more endearing to you!  The wonderful cat in this book had me reminiscing about and longing for my Bobcat, who I had to give up some years ago.  Miss Higgs weaves a story that seems real and is very touching.  Soon enough, I'll have my hands on Here Burns My Candle and you can be sure you'll be seeing it here!

This book was provided for me by Waterbrook Press in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Tuesday, June 21

A Vision of Lucy: Laugh-out-Loud Fun Historical Fiction!

A Vision of Lucy was a very fun read.  Honestly, I could barely put it down and it often had me laughing out loud so that my hubby had to ask what was so funny and I had to oblige him by reading passages from its pages.  Lucy, an aspiring photographer, aspires to become the artist her mother was.  She dreams that everyone, especially her father, will recognize her gift for what it is.  In an attempt to capture a hard-to-get glimpse of the white stallion, a local legend, Lucy ends up coming face to face with a more recent legend: the Rocky Creek wild man.  The wild man, as you can imagine, turns out not to be wild at all... at least, he's certainly not as wild as the fiery red-head, Lucy!  In the middle of everything, Lucy gets into one silly mess after another and the Rocky Creek "wild man" is always showing up when she needs him.

A Vision of Lucy is probably not a book that will change your life, though it could.  It's good, fun entertainment with likeable characters.  There's not a whole lot of gospel in it but the characters do grow closer to God as a result of their trials and tribulations, and the relationship between Lucy and her earthly father is.... well, you'll have to read the book to find out!  I don't want to give it all away.

Besides being a nice story, the history about photography I learned was incredibly interesting and oftentimes very funny!  The author used wonderful quotes from an old 1870s book by photographer Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink.  They were so great that I found myself reading them out loud to my hubby.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Miss Hasslebrink's book The Trials and Travails of a Woman Photographer:

Never say "shoot" when you mean "photograph," especially when talking to a trigger-happy gunslinger.

 Allow yourself to be photographed with politicians, lawyers, or other scoundrels only under threat of death or other dire emergencies.

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  For this reason a woman wishing to look appropriately domesticated for her Mail-Order Bride photograph should wear an apron and wield a kitchen utensil (preferably not a rolling pin.

You can read more at Amazon's website with their "look inside feature."  Check it out at A Vision of Lucy!

Thursday, June 9

The Most Wonderful Book Drawing Series for Every Child!

I recently discovered Miss Freddie Levin's 1-2-3 Draw Series and  my daughters absolutely love it.  We received the book 1-2-3 Draw Princesses to review and after seeing how easy the step-by-step directions were to follow and how whimsical the little princesses were, we wanted to try more from the series.  We were excited to find the book 1-2-3 Draw Horses at our local bookstore and my little artist Milena couldn't 
wait to get home and start drawing!

These books are not just about drawing, either.  I found myself reading through 1-2-3 Draw Princesses and getting more interested by the page.  You see, many of the princesses in this book are real princesses who lived in ancient History including Nes Amu, Princess of Ancient Egypt; Eleanor of Aquitane, Princess of France; Jahanara, Princess of India; and Nzinga, Princess of Africa.  Miss Levin gives a short description of each of these princesses along with her step by step instructions for drawing them.  Art combined with History is such a plus for me! 

While I love all of those historical princesses, my favorite just might be the Reading Princess, complete with a Book List of great princess stories--what a perfect touch for the end of this book!

Speaking of pluses, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Freddie Levin has also written the funnest Math book ever!  My children had so much fun learning with Draw Plus Math.  This book is perfect for children in Kinder and 1st Grade and teaches everything from shapes to addition to subtraction to fractions... the list goes on!

If your kiddos love to draw or would like to learn how, please do check out Freddie Levin's wide selection of 1-2-3 Draw titles on Amazon.  There are so many wonderful titles there's sure to be something to peak your little ones interest!  

Wednesday, June 8

God Gave Us Two! An Adorable Picture Book

My children, especially my 5 year old daughter Olivia, are in love with the "God Gave Us..." series of books ever since reading "God Gave Us You" so I was excited to be able to review the next book in the series.

"God Gave Us Two" is a story with a theme of God's goodness in Creation, beautiful pictures, and a story that children of all ages can adore.

The jist of it is that Little Cub will soon have a baby brother or sister and he has lots of questions about that.  He finds out that he will always be special to his Mama and Daddy, and most of all God, no matter what.  Little Cub and the baby cub are "special gifts from God."  "God Gave Us Two" would make a great gift for a little boy or girl who is expecting a new baby in the house.

I highly recommend any of Lisa Tawn Bergren's books.  But at you can use the "look inside" feature to read some of the book and see just how delightful it is for yourself!

This book was provided by the wonderful people at Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Sunday, June 5

Amazing Historical Fiction from Francine Rivers!

Francine Rivers is my favorite modern author.  Since I discovered her books about 2 years ago, I have become spoiled with amazingly well-written, life-changing, inspirational fiction.  All of her historical books are so well researched that you feel like you're truly there.  This is no fiction that was written quickly... it was well thought out and will change your life. 

Even though all of that is so true, I was wary to read "Sons of Encouragement."  That's because I love reading about women... I can relate to them so much more than men, naturally!  But I wound up at the library hungry for something new from Francine Rivers or George MacDonald (my favorite non-modern author).  All they had to choose from was "Sons of Encouragement" or... "Sons of Encouragement."  So, I chose.

And my low expectations were so off!  The fact that the main characters of these books are men didn't do anything to diminish my enjoyment of these stories.  They drew me back to the beginning of God's word and to the Stories of these 5 men who really were just regular men but who were chosen by God for something great.  I love Miss River's books because they show you so clearly God's plan, His goodness, His sovereignty... all in a new way that will make God and the people whose lives we see in the pages of the bible so much more real to you.  "Sons of Encouragement" includes 5 novellas that were originally published as separate books.  Here, you have them all together which is much more convenient.  All of their stories come together to make one marvelous story.

The book includes the stories of Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos, and Silas.  None of these men are as well-known as the ones they encouraged (Moses, Joshua, David, Israel, and Paul) and we don't hear as much about them as others.  Each of these stories remain as true to the bible as possible, and the author combines accurate history and culture with her own imagination to bring their stories alive and touch your heart.