Posted in books, crafts

Who doesn’t want more color in their lives?

 

The publisher’s blurb:

A contemporary paint-every-day watercolor guide that explores foundational strokes and patterns and then builds new skills upon the foundations over the course of 30 days to create finished pieces.

This beautifully illustrated and inspiring guided watercolor-a-day book is perfect for beginning watercolor artists, artists who want to improve their watercolor skills, and visual creatives. From strokes to shapes, this book covers the basics and helps painters gain confidence in themselves along with inspiration to develop their own style over the course of 30 days. Featuring colorful contemporary art from Mon Voir design agency founder and Instagram trendsetter Jenna Rainey, this book’s fresh perspective paints watercolor in a whole new light.

I absolutely love this book. You start out slow, which drove me and my “we gotta get all this perfected NOW” personality nuts! But how else are you going to really learn something like this and hope to master it – at least at a beginner level? Color blending, different types of brush strokes, different materials… so many things are covered in this book. Even my significant other, who is much more talented with paints than I am, said he would like to try this out and learn how to use watercolors.

Make some time every day to work the lessons in this book, and keep practicing. And create!

 

**I was sent this copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

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Posted in books

Vanishing Point: A Nikki Boyd Novel

I had no idea who Nikki Boyd was when I began reading this and was a bit surprised when she showed up about halfway through the story. Then I learned this is more of a back-story to the previous Nikki Boyd novels. Not a bad place to start!

The publisher’s blurb:

During Garrett Addison’s first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She’s the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common–a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies–number six–Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn’t have what it takes to be an agent. What he’ll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him–or Jordan.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris unveils an unforgettable story of a case that has haunted the public and law enforcement for more than a decade. Fans of the Nikki Boyd Files will thrill to finally discover what actually happened to Nikki’s sister, Sarah. New readers will become instant fans after devouring this chilling tale.

Yes, this is one of those books that you do devour. An absolute thriller that doesn’t force you to wade through ghastly descriptions of crime scenes or unneeded paragraphs of violence. The killer is meticulous and leaves the scenes (and victims) clean, and Lisa Harris seems to understand that her readers’ minds are more than capable of summoning the terror the victims felt without constantly describing it in the book’s pages.

This book delves into the lives of the detectives and how this string of murders – the Angel Abductor murders – affects them and their lives. It takes place over many years, bringing the reader on a roller-coaster ride of hope, frustration, anxiety, and defeat before it’s done. Very well written, and a book I recommend.

 

 

 

**I was sent this copy from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

Posted in books

Jefferson’s America

The publisher’s blurb:

The surprising story of how Thomas Jefferson commanded an unrivaled age of American exploration—and in presiding over that era of discovery, forged a great nation.
 
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, as Britain, France, Spain, and the United States all jockeyed for control of the vast expanses west of the Mississippi River, the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain still coveted that land and was prepared to employ any means to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous investigation.

Responsible for orchestrating the American push into the continent was President Thomas Jefferson. He most famously recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific, but at the same time there were other teams who did the same work, in places where it was even more crucial. William Dunbar, George Hunter, Thomas Freeman, Peter Custis, and the dauntless Zebulon Pike—all were dispatched on urgent missions to map the frontier and keep up a steady correspondence with Washington about their findings.

But they weren’t always well-matched—with each other and certainly not with a Spanish army of a thousand soldiers or more. These tensions threatened to undermine Jefferson’s goals for the nascent country, leaving the United States in danger of losing its foothold in the West. Deeply researched and inspiringly told, Jefferson’s America rediscovers the robust and often harrowing action from these seminal expeditions and illuminates the president’s vision for a continental America.

 

What I thought of the book:

A great story about the real beginnings of the United States. The jockeying for political Continue reading “Jefferson’s America”

Posted in books

Ever Wonder About Appalachia?

Another great book from an author I’ve quickly come to love.

The publisher’s blurb:

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII’s end writes to tell her he’s in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

What I thought of the book:

Sometimes authors can take the “quaint” and the “back hills” of Continue reading “Ever Wonder About Appalachia?”

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A Name Unknown

Another great trip back in time to the era of Downton Abbey.

The publisher’s blurb:

Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

What I thought of the book:    Continue reading “A Name Unknown”

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The Proving…

This is a great “what if” story.

 

The publisher’s blurb:

Amish Fiction’s #1 Author Presents a Touching Story of Perseverance and Second Chances

Amanda Dienner hasn’t seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What’s more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.

Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she’s determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess!

The inn isn’t Mandy’s sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn’t ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.

Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

What I thought of the book:  Continue reading “The Proving…”

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The Return

Yikes! I’m behind in my reviews. Catching up now!

The publisher’s blurb:

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.

Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

What I thought of the book: Continue reading “The Return”