Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Heart Most Worthy, by Siri Mitchell

{This review was originally published May 2011 via The Spunky Diva blog}

A Heart Most Worthy, by Siri Mitchell {published by Bethany House}, promises to cover a lot of ground, and it fulfills that promise. Covering the lives of three young ladies and their families around the turn of the century.

While I am normally not a fan of multiple main character novels such as this one, I found myself loving this novel. Each character is developed beautifully, and I did not have any troubles following along with the author on their individual and joint journeys. Another point that I found entertaining, was that I loathe books that have a list of characters either at the front or the end. This always seems to be a crutch used by the author to shortcut character development. Not in this case. Each character was well developed as I stated before, and I did not have to refer to the character list even once while reading.

My favorite character in this book was Luciana, the daughter of the assassinated Count of Roma hiding with the Countess her grandmother. Who doesn't want to be a 'princess' to be rescued by her knight in shining armor?

This book was set at an interesting time in America's development. With over four million Italians immigrating in a thirty year time period it is interesting to learn how these new citizens of America brought their culture and social groups with them. Having grown up in a melting pot of people where social groups are not predominate (outside of Seattle) I found this book a great education on what it is like to be part of a family in a strict ethnic setting. Can you imagine in this age of cultural diversity and interracial relationships, being told by your family to not speak with someone of a different 'group'? I can't imagine living in a setting like that. Which is another reason why I greatly enjoyed this book. It took me as a reader and immersed me in a different way of life. One of the great joys of reading.

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review and keep.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

Author Information from Bethany House Publishers:
Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area. Visit
Book Synopsis from Bethany House Publishers:
The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?

My break is over...

Hey there...

After a break from blogging {not the internet... can we say Pinterest?} I will be coming back with my book reviews.

Hey, what can I say? I love my books, and being able to get review copies before they are out is an awesome perk of blogging. 

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About Me:

I love reading.

I read digital copies mostly. Love that there are no pages to rip or bookmarks to lose.

My favorite books are Christian Romance.  Mostly historical, and I love a romantic regency novel.

I am a SAHM {stay at home mom} with two lovely 'angels', an assortment of pets, a neglected veggie garden, and flourishing flower beds.

Can we also craft fanatic?  Sewing {I just discovered needlepoint embroidery}, Knitting, etc.

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So, here we go... again! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Shadowed Onyx, by Nicole O'Dell

The Shadowed Onyx is a YA {Young Adult} fiction novel... which if you have followed my book reviews you know is not my standard. I was curious when I read the back and it mentioned; Friend's Suicide, Witchcraft, and Depression. All things that seem to be more of an issue with today's teens. With my girls so young it is easy to forget sometimes that they will be teenagers before I know it, but I feel that staying on top how things may influence them later is an important part of a parents job. You don't have to be 'hip' or 'cool', but knowing what the hot topics are with youth is very critical. Now onto the book...
This is the third book in Nicole O'Dell's Diamond Estates series from Barbour Publishing. And is set during the Sevententh year of Joy Christianson's life. While doing fine in high school, succeeding in sports, and being active in her church; her world and faith are rocked when Joy finds her best friend after she committed suicide. Suddenly Joy has faded, and starts trying to find answers.
Enter some very helpful, not on the right track, teens that tell her they have answers and introduce her 'innocently' enough to a Ouija board. After feeling the power there, and knowing in her heart it is wrong. Joy continues to explore witchcraft all in the name of finding 'real' answers. In the end she finds that it wasn't worth it, and she wants her faith in Jesus back. But now she is stuck, and can't get out.
Reading this book was amazing. I will definitely encourage my girls to read this series as they grow older. The Shadowed Onyx shows how things that seem innocent enough (that you don't understand why in the world you parents are against them) can take on a life of their own and entrap you. How you deal with each instance of your life has a lasting impact on you and those around you. The discussion questions in the back of the book are on-point and great conversation starters. I agree totally with Nicole O'Dell's point that “fiction is a way to open teens eyes to temptations, choices, and consequences”. Taking away the mystery of something is half the battle in resisting those temptations. With spiritual battles reminiscent of Frank Peretti's novels this book was a great reminder of the conflict between good and evil for the souls of both the innocent and not so innocent.

Thanks for visiting!
From the Publisher:
Uhrichsville, OH – From Nicole O’Dell, author of the popular Scenarios series comes the third and final installment of her Diamond Estates series. Scheduled to release in December 2012 from Barbour Publishing, Shadowed Onyx tells the story of Joy Christianson as she struggles to overcome the darkness and depression that has laid claim on her soul—and restore her faith—at Diamond Estates.
At age seventeen, Joy Christianson is the life of the party. That is, until her best friend commits suicide. Joy’s already wavering faith slips completely out of her reach; darkness sets in, and her smile fades. Her “friends” lead her to the Onyx, meant to help her let go of the past and bring her into harmony with reality. Joy embarks on a dark journey of witchcraft.Eventually, afraid of letting the depression and evil take root,Joy decides to seek help in the haven of Diamond Estates - and tries to reclaim the Joy she once knew.
DISCLOSURE: I received an eCopy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher to review. The opinions contained in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bible in a Year

One goal I have for 2011 is to read through the Bible.  I did this a couple years ago, and know that I need to do this again.  I love the feeling of being familiar with God's word you get by reading each and every word.  I have been doing most of my reading on my iPhone {gotta love the portability of this option} and use the Olive Tree Bible Program from the app store.  To track what I have read I use ReadingPlan by James Price that I also got from the app store.

Update: 3/8/2011 - over 12% complete

1 & 2 Samuel
1 & 2 Kings
1 & 2 Chronicles
Song of Solomon


{New Testament Book List}
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John


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