Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano review

There are a handful of authors that I enjoy their stories strictly because they add humor to them. Although they are generally put under historical fiction or historical romance they seem to add some comedy in the mix and I definitely would consider it more historical romance comedy.  Not that category even exists but maybe it should.

Anyway, as I mentioned above there are a handful that do this and Jen Turano is one such author. She writes in a way that makes reading her stories a joy and you leave the book feeling good.  This particular book is one such story. Let me tell you a bit about it:

9780764217951Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

Bethany House Publishing

“With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

Jen Turano is the USA Today bestselling author of nine books and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

I really did enjoy this story. Even though it is part of a series you really can read it as a stand alone story. However, I totally recommend that you go and pick out all the other books in the series because they are all just as good.

The story is fun and the situations that Gertrude seems to get into, whether by her own mishaps, or due to her eccentric companion or even her best friend, Permilia, who happens to have her own story, they are so funny. You will laugh out loud as you hear the descriptions of the trouble she gets into with her creatively designed bustle. But even better is the description of Permilia and her betrothed dancing. Oh my, I was almost in tears.

The chemistry between our dear Gertrude and her ruggedly handsome, albeit a bit unfashionable, highly sought after, Harrison, is unmistakable.

If they ever decide to make a movie based on one of Jen’s books I highly recommend this one. I seriously want to see how this would play out on the big screen.

This is a book that can be read in a weekend so if you are looking for a story to read over your holiday break I would definitely suggest this one. You will laugh with the interesting situations and cheer on Gertrude and Harrison as they work to find their happily ever afters.

You can click here  or the book image above to purchase a copy of this book.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson review

9780764213298Cherished Mercy (Heart of the Frontier Book 3)

As Oregon Territory teeters on the brink of armed conflict, one woman strives for peace.

Mercy Flanagan survived the Whitman Massacre as a child, and now her heart’s cry is for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers inhabiting Oregon Territory. Unfortunately, most of the settlers want the tribes removed from the land completely, one way or another.

At the request of family friend Eletta Browning, who is experiencing a difficult pregnancy, Mercy travels south to the Rogue River Valley to help. At the Browning Mission, she meets Eletta’s brother-in-law, Adam. Despite her attempts to befriend him, Adam seems determined to focus on ministering to the local tribes and keeps her at arm’s length. Why is he so intent on pushing her away?

When tragedy strikes and tensions in the territory reach the combustion point, Mercy is pushed to the limit of her strength. She and Adam will have to rely on their faith in God and on each other in order to make it out alive.

My review:

I loved this book. Of course Tracie Peterson is a favorite author and as you all know I read the previous two books in this series. So I was really looking forward to the release of this book.

Mercy story happens about 6 years after Hope’s ended. So we see that she has grown up quite a bit. She is trying to find her place in this life and an opportunity arises but it will be just as challenging as when she was held hostage at the Whitman Mission. Through it all she stands strong and finds a man for herself that only God could have found for her. We see how strong Mercy is and how she has continued to grow in compassion.

I won’t spoil it for you but I believe if you have read the other two you will be very happy with this story as well. I feel like the story has ended well and even though there is much turmoil it was tied up in a great way. Of course there could always be a room for a sequel as you will soon see but if there is not the story ends on a very nice note.

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.

You can purchase this book by clicking here or the title of the book above.

*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

**This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

Of Mess & Moxie by Jen Hatmaker review

Of Mess & Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker, with playful hilarity, shameless _225_350_Book.2334.coverhonesty, and refreshing insight, assures readers they have all the pluck they need for vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.

Jen Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. She laughs at the days to come is how the ancient wisdom writings put it.

But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing “right.” Struggle doesn’t mean they’re weak; it means they’re alive.

Jen Hatmaker, beloved author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF, offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing the grapple with change (“Everyone, be into this thing I’m into! Except when I’m not. Then everyone be cool.”) or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”), Jen parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out, to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold.

My review:

Jen Hatmaker has a refreshing way of being blunt and brutally honest. Although I don’t necessarily agree with everything she says but for the overall message of the book it is very good and very encouraging to see we are not alone. We don’t have to do life alone and the importance of friendships, love, forgiveness and the grace of God.

I found the book to be a refreshing read and I do recommend that you do not just take my word for it, read it for yourself. I like her honesty and the way she writes and I enjoyed the fact that she is real and not hiding behind a facade. Life is messy and as women we need to be full of moxie to get through. Lets lean on our tribe and do life together.

To purchase this book you can click here or on the image or title above.

*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

**This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

Unraveling by Sara Ella

Unraveling _240_360_Book.2307.cover

What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about—like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something—or someone—is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections—and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

This is a great series. This is book 2 in the Unblemished Trilogy. You can read my review of the first book “Unblemished” by clicking here.

This second book takes you on another amazing adventure and I’m going to tell you that you are immediately thrown in to the adventure following El, Joshua and Ky as they have to figure out what they are supposed to do in order to help restore the Callings and the Reflections.

The twists and turns that this book takes surprised and intrigued me. It’s a great story. I really had a hard time putting this book down as I was intrigued by all the twists that I just had to see what happened next. I’m telling you that you will be pleasantly surprised by all that transpires.

I am excited about the next book in the trilogy as this one leaves you on a cliffhanger. Oh my and what a cliffhanger it is. I won’t spoil it for you but this is a must read series.

You can check out how to order this book by clicking on the title of the book in the quote or the image above.

*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

**This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

 

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

9780764213281Beloved Hope

Shackled by Her Past, One Woman Searches for Healing, Forgiveness, and Love

Hope Flanagan survived the massacre at the Whitman Mission, but at terrible personal cost. Safe now in Oregon City, the gentle rhythm of tending her family’s flock of sheep is slowly healing her mind and soul, but her precarious new peace is shattered when Hope is asked to testify against the Cayuse responsible for the massacre. She’s not sure she can bear to relive the events of those horrific days, but neither can she risk her attackers being released if she doesn’t tell her story.

As Hope struggles to make her choice, an Army lieutenant named Lance Kenner becomes an unexpected ray of light in her life. Perhaps she is still capable of love after all. But will Lance still want her if he learns the whole truth of what happened to her at the mission? Or are the secrets that lie in his own past more troubling?

The second book in the “Heart of the Frontier” series follows, Hope, the middle Flanagan sister. In the first book we saw how the attack on the mission she was in by a group of Indians affected her older sister, Grace. You can click here to read my review on the first book “Treasured Grace”.

Hope must heal in order to move forward in her life but she has to learn how. Enter, Lance, someone who also must learn to heal after having learn to hate for so long. How the stories and lives of the characters intertwine is remarkable. The power of forgiveness goes a long way not only in this fictional story based on some true events but also in reality.

I love how Ms. Peterson shows us the importance of forgiveness and how it really doesn’t hurt the one you hold a grudge against but it actually hurts you. I really enjoy reading books by Tracie Peterson. And I really enjoy reading fictional books that also have a back drop of real historical events.

Tracie has a way of intertwining the real with fiction in a way you don’t really know where one stops and the other begins. It flows well with each other. I am anxiously awaiting the third book in the series which will follow, Mercy, the youngest of the Flanagan sisters.

To find out how to get your own copy click on the image or book title above.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Zondervan for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their 9780764218040Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children’s Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society’s orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother’s shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn’t be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they’ve been working toward?

The book about this particular subject is very interesting. I found Jody Hedlund’s story about Elise and the struggles and immigrant families during this time in our country’s history as an intriguing back drop to the book. I am also enjoying that this is the first book in a new series that I am very likely to finish reading once the other books come out.

The characters are realistic and I can see this type of story play out during this time period. I feel that this could very have been a true story and yet it was not. Ms. Hedlund has done a fantastic job of making Elise and Thornton along with the other many characters as real as possible. There are still things that have been left undone in the story which lets you know that there is more yet to come.

If you enjoy good historical fiction stories then I recommend you pick this one up. It’s great fun and an easy read. You get caught up immediately into the worlds of Elise and Thornton.

You can purchase this book by clicking the book title or image above.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

 

Zondervan’s NIV True Images Bible review

For 15 years, the best-selling NIV True images Bible for Teen Girls has been a trusted resource guiding teen girls ages 13-18 towards a closer relationship with God. Updated for this generation, this new edition is packed with tools and insight to help teens navigate today’s contemporary cultural issues with confidence, love, and grace.

Facing today’s contemporary issues can be difficult, but the NIV True Images Bible gives teen girls a fresh perspective on faith-related issues and provides tools to navigate a complex world. They will ask the big questions, take valuable lessons to heart, and help others do the same.

Beautifully designed from the inside out, this Bible is filled with challenging insights, honest advice, and personal notes helping teen girls build a closer relationship with God as they set out on a personal journey of their world. Following Jesus isn’t unfashionable or illusive. It’s an authentic way of life!

This newly updated edition uses the accurate, readable, and clear NIV translation and includes features strategically designed to empower teen girls in their quest for truth.

Features:

Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version

  • 12 Magazine-Style Quizzes that help girls learn more about themselves

  • In-depth introductions establish the context of each book in the Old and New Testaments.

  •  “In Focus” notes explain the Bible’s perspective on contemporary cultural topics such as perfectionism, spiritual growth, eating disorders, pornography, prayer, self-harm, relationships, sex, bullying and popularity on social media

  • Over 300 “Genuine” notes focus on the value of authenticity and true inner beauty.

  • Over 100 “Love Notes” give opportunities to reflect on God’s love.

  • 500 “Dare to Believe” challenges help you discover God’s truth about life and faith.

  • 52 “Mirror Images” share the stories of Biblical women.

  • “Christianity 101” introduces you to the basics of Christianity

  • “Beliefs 101” helps you dig deep into the underlying principles that shape your worldview

Here is another video review for this Bible. If you can’t see the video below you can check it out here.

My review re-cap:

I absolutely love that there are multiple cover options so you can find the right cover for your girl. My favorite feature is the devotional content that is relevant to today’s teen girls. It’s full of fun helps for any teen girl whether you are 13 or 18. I also love the love notes that are hidden throughout the Bible. It’s a nice feature that is encouraging and uplifting.

Available in the following Cover Options:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Zondervan for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

ZonderKidz NIV Kid’s Visual Study Bible review

I did this as a video review as I wanted you to see all the features in this Bible. If you can not see the video below you can head over here to check it out on Youtube.

How to purchase:

ZonderKidz NIV Kids Visual Study Bible:
http://www.zondervan.com/niv-kids-vis…

Also available in teal imitation leather: http://www.zondervan.com/niv-kids-vis…

and bronze imitation leather: http://www.zondervan.com/niv-kids-vis…

To see more review videos check out my other video’s. To see other book reviews head over to my blog: https://diannaauton.wordpress.com

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to ZonderKidz for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan review

Trusting Grace9780800722661

With a farm to run, can a widow possibly hope for new love?

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband’s farm until she places an ad for a hired hand.

Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart.

Get swept away into Montana’s lush Gallatin Valley, nestled among towering mountains and proud pines, in this emotional story.

My review:

In some ways this book felt a little bit like many other historical romance books that we find so fun and charming. Grace and Robert the two main characters go through hardships previously and both have to work through those feelings and learn to trust again in order to open their hearts to one another.

I enjoyed this book but I felt like it was very similar to many other books of this genre. Man and Woman are thrown together by the circumstances in life and learn to put their past hurts behind in order to have a future together. The woman finds herself in trouble and the man comes to her rescue. At that time they declare their love and go on to live happily ever after.

I never get tired of stories like this but I’m ready for some more meat. I want something deeper. That said, its a great weekend or beach read. It won’t take long and you will enjoy it.

You can find out how to purchase the book and more information about the author by clicking the image or book title above.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

Mary a Drawn In Bible Study review

Sorry everyone I have been so behind on posting reviews so there will be several posted over the next week to make up for it. The reason why is I am still getting my oldest daughter packed for her missions trip and my youngest daughter ready for her time at church camp and I just finished getting our women’s magazine ready to go out. Which went live last week. You can check it out here.

Anyway, that said… on to the review.

978-1-63146-785-1Mary

Seeing God through the Eyes of a Mother

Published by NavPress
Color with Friends. Be Drawn In to Scripture.
Fear. Anticipation. Heartache. Joy. Mary knew the struggle of bringing new life into a harsh world. Still she willingly opened herself to be vulnerable to God’s purposes. From her simple faithfulness as a young woman to her soul-piercing anguish at the foot of the cross, journey with Mary through the sorrows and the joys of saying yes to God.
Deepen your friendships as you gather around Scripture for coloring and conversation. Drawn In offers simple four-week Bible studies—perfect for groups or personal devotions. Coloring quiets your heart and mind so you can enter fully into Scripture’s stories. The Bible’s passion and personality come through in The Message, surprising new and long-time Bible readers alike. Discover the delight of being Drawn In.

Review:

I think this is a really fun and creative way to dig into the scripture. I like that it goes along side of the Message Bible. It gives it a unique way to study. Since it is a coloring study guide the pages are thicker so you can use most mediums that are available. Depending on how heavy the paint or marker is will depend on whether or not it will bleed through but for colored pencils its perfect.

I like how not only does it give the scripture but some notes from Eugene Peterson who created the Message version. It is designed to be used as either a personal study or for groups so its pretty versatile.

There are 3 in the Drawn In series right now: Mary, Ruth, and Esther. I hope he does more of these types of studies on other Bible figures. Maybe even other Bible women. It’s definitely different and I really enjoyed going through it.

 

It is currently available where Christian books are sold. Or you can purchase it directly through Tyndale by clicking on the book title or image above.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.