Tag Archives: kristen heitzmann

Nov 2017 Book Reviews

8 Dec

Hello again! I read varying types of books this month – and am sad to say there are a few that I didn’t care much for. I do love how much I was able to read this past month though! I have already more than met my Goodreads goal of reading 52 books this year.

bookreviewnov2017

Just the Essentials by Adina Grigore 

~This was a fun book that tells about the history, composition and encouragement to enter the world of essential oils. To make it even better, there were several do it yourself recipes for the home, personal care and cooking.

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

~ As an introductory book about Messianic Judaism, this book (originally printed in 1995 I believe) did a nice job of answering a lot of questions. It was easy to read. I recommend this as a good starting place if you’re curious about how it got started, where it was at at the point of printing and the basic beliefs and traditions. It would go well with God-Fearers as well.

Beside Still Waters by Annalee Conti  When Violet Channing’s aunt, her sole relative, dies, she isn’t sure what she’ll do. She certainly doesn’t want to continue working in the Boston garment factory, so she takes a job in the Yukon Territory as a live-in teacher for a sick child. As she’s traveling, she falls in love with a Yukon riverboat captain. But, tragedy strikes again and Violet has to decide if she’ll become bitter or learn to love again.

~I received this book free from Ambassador International for my personal review. I was excited for this book as it’s set in the early 1900s and in Alaska, no less! After receiving it, I realized that it’s the third book in the Alaskan Waters Series. Perhaps this is why I didn’t get into the book until I was three-quarters of the way into it. I couldn’t connect with Violet well. It was interesting and fun to find out the history of Alaska that is sprinkled throughout the book. Some of the side characters I really liked and would have liked them to have an even bigger part! (like Cally).

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann – When Trevor MacDaniel rescues a toddler from a cougar, he inevitably meets sculpter Natalie Reeve.  But trouble comes at them from all sides, including a twisted mind seeing him as an adversary. Can the hero save himself?

~I tried to like this one so much! My mom recommended it and let me borrow it but… I got a quarter of the way through (barely) and haven’t picked it up in weeks. I normally like Heitzmann’s books so I really want(ed) to like it but it just hasn’t hit the right note for me I guess.  I felt like I couldn’t get connected to one character before being introduced to another one; it almost felt like I was expected to already know a few of the characters; the main character felt like they should be more of a minor character (and then with talking to mom, apparently someone else is the main character so now I’m really confused). Anyway, since I have it for a few more months I’ll keep trying it but it might be a lost cause. Which makes me sad.

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia #2) and Voyage of the Dawn Treader (#3) by C.S. Lewis

~I will be doing a separate post on the Chronicle series (how have I not done it yet?!) but for now –  I love the completely different people they meet and  ‘worlds’ and they enter as they travel! And Reepicheep. Always Reepicheep.

IMG_20171113_202835_884

The Mermaid in the Basement (Lady Trent Mystery #1) by Gilbert Morris – In London, 1857, Lady Serafina Trent has one goal – prove that her brother is not a murderer. In order to do this, she must ally herself with people outside of her social class. But nothing will stand in her way.

~This book is probably in my top ten historical fiction list now. It’s also a mystery which, let’s be honest, makes it even better. I haven’t read much of Morris’ novels ( mostly just The Price of Liberty series, which I reviewed a little of here and here) so I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I quickly got pulled in and found it hard to put down! I highly recommend this novel. (fun fact: this is one of almost a dozen books my mom and I got for $1!!)

IMG_20171118_075837_949

For Women Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

~I read this right after we got married and did a short review on it . I’m planning on reading the accompanying book For Men Only next and want to do a separate review for both – so here’s hoping! Suffice it to say that this book is well worth the read!

 

Currently Reading:

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

The Horse and His Boy  by C.S. Lewis

For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

 

To Read:

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson

Samantha Among the Brethren by Josiah Allen’s Wife (printed 1892)

Next Narnia book

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

 

I hope you found something to add to your to-read list! Happy December!

~Laura

 

Oct. 2017 Book Review

1 Nov

I jumped around from book to book so much the past month – and then I started some more Brandon Sanderson books and I have a hard time putting them down…So every other book slooowed way down.

oct2017bkrvw

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – After a tragic childhood, orphan Jane Eyre emerges with her spirit intact. She takes a governess job at Thornfield, where she meets the enigmatic Mr. Rochester. They fall in love and plan to marry – but then she learns of an obstacle to her happiness. Heartbroken, Jane stays true to herself and seeks a life that offers peace and self-respect, if not love.

~It took me so long to get through this! I had only read this once before and I ended up enjoying it just as much the second time as the first. Her tenacity in staying true to what she knows is right is inspiring.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis – When Lucy Pevensie stumbles into the magical land of Narnia, she meets Mr. Tumnus, who ignores the command of the White Witch and leads her back home again. When she tells her siblings, Peter, Susan and Edmund, they don’t believe her but as luck would have it, they all discover Narnia and meet Aslan, the Great Lion. And that begins an adventure that Lucy and her siblings will never forget.

~I will do a full review of this series once I’ve finished it, but for now, know that I’m thoroughly enjoying this series again – it’s only my second time reading it. I love how Lewis talks to the reader in places. Not every author can pull this off but he does. 

Collected Poems of Henry David Thoreau –  I read a few throughout the book but with all the books I’m currently reading, and nanowrimo starting tomorrow (!) I decided to return this one to the library. I do, however, want to get it again and give it a more thorough going-over.

Mistborn series (books 4-6) by Brandon Sanderson – Separate review coming soon!

Series Review – English Garden by Lori Wick

Book Review – Stepping Heavenward

Currently Reading :

Just the Essentials by Adina Grigore

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

Beside Still Waters by Annalee Conti

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia #2) by C.S. Lewis

 

To-Read List:

More Narnia books

Samantha Among the Brethren by Josiah Allen’s Wife (printed 1892)

 

I’m really not figuring I’ll read much this coming month. I do want to finish everything that I’m in though, so that will be more than enough. I’m hoping to spend a lot of time and focus on editing my novel during nanowrimo! Because of that – and Thanksgiving in three weeks! –  posting might be a bit spotty. Happy November!

~Laura

What are your currently reading? 

 

Book Review – April 2016

3 May

This post has been sitting in ‘drafts’ for about 3 weeks now… leave it to me to wait until past the last minute to get it finished and published!

I didn’t read near as much this past month, having finally hit a writing streak, I was here at my desk scribbling as fast as I could instead of reading. But, because of that, I’m feeling a little more confident that I’ll actually finish the first draft by my deadline! woohoo! bkrvwapril2016

Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi – As rumblings of a Revolution spread, the same is taking place in the Emerson house. Jemima can’t stand that her tutor is a known Tory, a man who opposes American freedom. She doesn’t understand her parents friendship with him, and does all she can to defy him. But when the revolution starts in earnest and her whole family does whatever they can, she finds out that there is more to her tutor than she ever thought possible.

~As is often the case with a favorite book of mine, this came from a friend, let’s call her V 😉 . It’s always SO exciting when she sends me books. I enjoy this one for several reasons, I’ve read very few American Revolution stories ; while Jem is growing up it encourages you to think about your own behavior/motives; it’s a story full of adventure, faith, romance and standing up for what you think is right. It is a young adult novel so it can be fully enjoyed from young teens on up.

Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann – Rese Barrett had one last renovation job planned – turning the old villa into a bed and breakfast. Lance Michelli was on a mission for his grandmother, finding the secrets of the old place that calls to him. Before long though, love  intervenes and makes their plans a whole lot more complicated.

~I completely forgot that this is the first of a trilogy. It ends pretty satisfactorily to read it on its own, which is always nice. I get frustrated when the author leaves it hanging so open ended that you lose some of the enjoyment of it. You probably know by now that I’m a sucker for books that include food and old houses (Chateau of Echoes, anyone?)  and Heitzmann does it splendidly. The frittatas, crepes and lasagna that Lance creates, makes me want to forget about my food allergies…. 

 

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (book 2 of Lord of the Rings) – Danger has followed the Company ever since they set out.  Gandalf and Boromir have been lost. Frodo and Sam are on their own as they keep on their journey to Mount Doom. Sauron’s power grows stronger as the days pass, spreading evil across Middle Earth.

~You will receive a series review when I’m done with this trilogy but i’m moving through it slowly for one reason : It’s such a gorgeous book I won’t read it while I’m eating. And let’s face it, that’s when I do most of my reading. Sigh. It’s a fantastic story and right now they are under attack in Helm’s Deep. Aaauuugghhhhh

I am even crazier about The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800’s than I was when I got it. I am pulling it out frequently while working on my novel.

I am still, oh so slowly, getting through To be a Jew. It is well worth the read though!

On my to-read-next list:

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

You Can’t go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe (I started it end of March but it’s been abandoned ever since)

 

And now, I do believe it’s time for a nap. And after that, I’ve gotta get to writing my novel! I’d planned on it this morning but puppy was feeling the need for attention.

Oh! Check in for a children’s book review  coming soon!

~Laura

What have you been reading lately??

 

Blissful Scribbles

Musings through the journey of writing my first novel

AlwaysShawna

CHRONICALLY BLESSED

Me Set Free

If Christ has set us free, why do we keep on picking up those chains

Wordsmith Weekly

Your Inspiration Station

beautyfullmess.com

a life journal