Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Once Upon a Flock by Lauren Scheuer

Once Upon a Flock, by Lauren Scheuer
When longtime illustrator and lover of power tools Lauren Scheuer was looking for a project, she got the idea to raise backyard chickens. Her husband and teenage daughter looked on incredulously as coop sketches and chicken-raising books filled their New England home. But when the chicks arrived, the whole family fell in love with the bundles of fluff and the wild adventures began.
Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens stars Scheuer’s backyard chickens—with their big personalities, friendships, rivalries, and secrets—and the flock’s guardian, Marky the terrier. The flock includes Hatsy, the little dynamo; Lil’White, the deranged and twisted Buff Orpington; Pigeon, the fixer-upper chicken; and Lucy, the special-needs hen who bonds with Lauren and becomes a fast friend.

This charming story of Lauren’s life with her quirky flock is filled with moments of humor and heartbreak: When Lucy is afflicted with a neurological disease, Lauren builds Lucy a special-needs coop. When Lucy’s nesting instinct leads

Lauren to act as a chicken midwife of sorts, Lauren hatches a chick in her home. And when Lucy’s best friend Hatsy falls ill, Lauren finds an unlikely friend for Lucy in a chicken named Pigeon, who requires an emergency bath and blow-dry. Enthusiastically immersing herself in the world of her flock, Lauren discovers that love, loss, passion, and resilience are not only parts of the human experience, but of the chicken experience as well. Throughout it all, Lauren documents the laughter and drama of her flock’s adventures with her own whimsical photos and illustrations. At once humorous, poignant, and informative,
Once Upon a Flock is a feathered tale like no other.

I have always wanted to keep chickens, so thought this book would give me some information about the subject.  I have to admit, I did get involved in the book right away, as the way Lauren writes, she makes you feel as though those chickens are real human beings, not just chickens.

Loved how each one had a personality, and how they become part of the family.  I was surprised that a book about three plus chickens could be so interesting but it really was.

Stars out of 5 : 5 If you have any interest in chickens this book is for you.  It really is quite addictive and you do need to know what is going to happen next.

"The Queen and I," by Sue Townsend

"The Queen and I," by Sue Townsend
The Queen and I is the brilliantly funny novel by Sue Townsend, author of the Adrian Mole series. THE MONARCHY HAS BEEN DISMANTLED When a Republican party wins the General Election, their first act in power is to strip the royal family of their assets and titles and send them to live on a housing estate in the Midlands. Exchanging Buckingham Palace for a two-bedroomed semi in Hell Close (as the locals dub it), caviar for boiled eggs, servants for a social worker named Trish, the Queen and her family learn what it means to be poor among the great unwashed. But is their breeding sufficient to allow them to rise above their changed circumstance or deep down are they really just like everyone else?

I loved this book and found it so very funny.  Sue got each member of the Royal Family's character down pat.  Diana as the clothes horse, the Queen getting on with everything, Charles loving every minute of it and Anne mucking in with everyone else.  The neighbours were great and you could just imagine what they were thinking of their new Royal neighbours. 

This book was well thought out and made for a great read.  It also helps I am a huge fan of Sue Townsend.

Stars out of 5 : 5 If you love British humour, you'll love this book.  Well worth the read.

"Beyond The Silence," by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

"Beyond The Silence," by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse
Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother's dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn't match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family's past. Lillian's seven-year-old charge hasn't spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he'll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love--or will it endanger her even more?

This was an okay book, a pleasant read and an easy story line to get involved with.  I did enjoy the historical details in the book and they seemed to be well researched and incorporated into the story.    I also liked how they handled Harry's disability, that was well thought out to my mind.

Loved Lillian's character and how feisty she was.  You can guess what will happen in the end, no mystery there.

Stars out of 5 : 4  I read this a few days before I got around to writing the review and honestly I had to refresh my memory by reading the back of the book to remember what I had read.  It's a great book to wile away a couple of afternoons.  Will I remember it next month.....no.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Live, Loved," by Margaret Feinberg

"Live, Loved," by Margaret Feinberg
 How would your attitude, actions, and responses change if you lived in the unconditional, immeasurable love of God? What would it look like for you to live loved?
Live Loved provides an opportunity for you to pull away from the hustle and bustle of life to pray, journal, and unleash your creative gifts as you marinate in the truth of God's fierce love for you.

• Spend time in prayer, reflecting and growing in your relationship with God
• Commit Bible passages to memory and deepen your faith
• Share your fun artistry with others through what you create

Color and doodle and learn to live loved as you craft God's Word into your heart.

As you all know the latest craze are the adult colouring books.  This does double duty in that you are relaxing by colouring and reflecting on God's Word at the same time. 
 I liked that this made me think about God's Word while doing something I enjoy.  It's also handy to have the blank page's as well to write down your thoughts.
This is not something I would have thought of combining colouring and God's Word, but it is a winning combination to my mind.

Stars out of 5 : 5  I thoroughly enjoyed this and think it's a great idea.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

"The Midwife's Choice," by Delia Parr

"The Midwife's Choice," by Delia Parr

In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life's calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she'll risk reopening the heart she'd long closed off to love.

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines...As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all--that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

This is the second book in the "At Home in Trinity," series.  I have not read the first one.  Despite that I followed along with the story and got quite involved very easily with the story.  The book brought up a couple of subjects that I thought were quite interesting and it showed how things were looked upon back in the 1800's and how they would not even be tolerated at all today.  I especially liked how the new mothers were treat back then.  Nowadays they are in and out of hospital all within 24 hours most of the time.

The book painted the town of Trinity with a prefect appearance on the outside, but underneath it all there were problems like in any small town.  Martha being the midwife and having access to many of these homes, saw all the good and bad in these homes.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5  It was an okay book.  An easy read, but probably not a book I will remember in the coming months.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

"Where She Belongs," by Johnnie Alexander

"Where She Belongs," by Johnnie Alexander

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.
AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin. AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman. But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

I enjoyed this book.  It was a little different from your usual love stories.  There was enough twists and turns in it to keep you interested.  I don't remember reading anything by this author before and as this book is the first in the Misty Willow series, I am looking forward to reading more by her. 

I like how she explored the "what you remember when growing up, is not always what happened in real life," scenario, as I think most people can relate to that.  Where this book left off, makes you want to read more and you know there are plenty of stories to tell about the other characters.  There is an excerpt in the back of this book, about book two which is being published in the Fall of 2016.

Stars out of 5 : 4  An easy read with enough going on in the story to keep you interested.  Well worth purchasing or borrowing from your local library.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis With her parents' twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller find...