August 25, 2012

Well. My apologies. And News.

Well. I don't think I have a non-book-related post since April. Sheesh. Sorry about that. I am definitely going to work on that. In other news, my life has been go-go-go non-stop since graduation. Now, I'll clue everyone in on what was going on during my blogging siesta (And what is going to happen in the next couple of months)

  • Graduation/Graduation Party. Graduation went well, no mishaps, my dress worked perfectly!

(Photos courtesy of Carrie Pitzl)

    • I have had such a great time living in the country; we have lived here for almost a year now! How time does fly!
    • I have been taking pictures like, nonstop. I'm serious. A few of my favorites from the summer are:
{Our new neighbors}
  • I. Am. Going. To. Alaska!
    I am leaving in mid September for 10 days! Yay!
  • I did two photoshoots! I did one set of family pictures, and one set of engagement pictures, which brings me to the next part of my news...
  • I get to  be a maid of honor! I am so excited.

    And now, for news that involves YOU.
  • I want to start doing a weekly fashion post. So that's what I am going to do on Sundays. Given, I am not the most consistent person, but I am going to try really hard! ;)
  • Enter in my giveaway!

Well, this has definitely been a picture and word laden post! I am going to do this more often so that there are less words! :)

Libbi H.

August 24, 2012

Book Review and GIVEAWAY! The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson

Vivian Sinclair hates being the baby of the family. No one thinks of her as an adult, and she is tired of not being able to make her own way in this world. Unable to forgive herself for past transgressions, and finding herself unlovable, she sets out to find a job where she can provide for herself. After numerous times failing at her job, she finally agree to take a job as a "hostess" at the local brothel. While she agreed only to serve food and drinks, she fears telling her sisters will earn her a sharp rebuke. When she is asked to do more than her job specified, she has to decide whether she should tell all to her sisters, or be scarred as a "working woman" for life.
I liked:
  • The plot. Absolutely fantastic. I don't think that I could've thought of a better plot for the third book in this series.
  • The history. This is the third book of Mona's that I have read, and I love how many historical facts she includes in her books.
  • The characters. You can really get into the lives of the characters, especially because each book has had mentions of all of them.
I disliked:
  • Nada, it really was a great book!
Content inappropriate for ages 13 and under:
  • There is a lot of talk about prostitutes, and she does work in a brothel. I will put it this way; if you are comfortable watching Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman then you will more than love this book. It was never graphic at all, just implied.
This was a fantastic read. I LOVED it. I wouldn't have changed anything, and I can't wait to read the next book!
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Surprise! The publisher graciously gave me an extra copy to give away!
To Enter:
You can enter by answering this question: 
What would your dream job be if you lived in an old-west town?

You can have one extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog, share this via twitter, pinterest, facebook, tumblr, etc.

I will draw a winner on September 1st, and it is open worldwide. Make sure to leave a way to contact you in at least one comment! :)

Happy Entering!

Libbi H.

P.S. Check out this awesome book trailer! 

August 17, 2012

Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman

Julie hates her life. She finally admits it. All the other mothers have it together, and they are not half as stressed out as she is. She is just trying to be the best wife and mother she can, but when her best is not good enough, she hopes and prays for a simpler life.
Susan is perfect. Unlike her unkempt sister-in-law Julie, Susan has her life together. Despite the fact that her husband left her for a younger woman and her daughter is pulling farther and farther away.
When the opportunity arises for Julie and Susan to become “almost Amish” for a tv show, they both say yes, and pack their families up to live a simpler life. As time goes on, however, they realize that a simple life is not as simple as it was thought to be.
I liked:
The way the book was written. It jumped from Susan to Julie perfectly, without a hint of a rift.
The prologue/epilogue. They fit together SO well. I absolutely adored it.
The dialogue. It was realistic, and the way the author wrote is was seamless.
I disliked:
I really liked the entire book, although it was not too much of a cliffhanger.  
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought it might be fun to live like the Amish for a period of time. It is definitely worth your time to read this book!
Thanks to the publisher for letting me review this book for free in exchange for this honest review.

Book Review: Call of a Coward by Marcia Moston

When you say that you will do anything for God’s glory, do you really mean it? That is the question Marcia Moston had to answer when her husband came and told her they were moving to Guatemala for a year. She has to endure a new way of life; nothing is the same. A different way of traveling, eating, and even laundering clothes. She meets many new people, and begins to fall in love with her small village. In this heartwarming story, Marcia shares how she responded to her call, the Call of a Coward.
I liked:
  • Her writing style. It was very endearing. She wrote very clearly, but did not seem stuffy. She made me want to keep reading. It felt like she was speaking at my church about missions work.
  • Her humorous tales. There were a few sections where I laughed really hard. She definitely had some funny stories.
  • Her memories. I loved how she wrote very reminiscently, and yet seemed in the present.
I disliked:
  • I did think the book seemed to end quickly, but there wasn’t much more she could’ve added, so I won’t fault her for it ;)
Overall, I enjoyed the story thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone interested in travel, biographies, missions work, or just a good story. It is perfect for all ages (given they can read :) because it is so pure. I liked this book very well!
This book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace by Jonathan Friesen.

Chloe hates the name-calling. She is sick of being taunted. It isn’t her fault she has scars on her face. Instead of facing her insecurity head on, she hides away in her great grandfather’s movie theater, Aldo’s  Movie Palace. When a strange boy comes in, she is immediately curious about his background. In a series of freak accidents, she is accidentally taken into his screenplay, “Retinya.” Once there, she is forced to save the entire underworld from the evil Vapor,  and help the kingdom of Retinya remember.
I liked:
  • The character development.  It was definitely among some of the better character development skills I have seen, and the characters background stories were very well rounded.
  • The vivid descriptions. Obviously, until you read the book, you won’t understand the importance of the descriptions. They are pretty fantastic. It painted an excellent picture  for the reader.
I disliked:
  • The lack of God. I have always known Zondervan to be a Christian company, but you wouldn’t know from reading this book. Although there are veiled references to analogies of God and the devil, there weren’t enough for me to consider this a “Christian” book. That said, if this was , meant to be a secular book, it did a good job of introducing the idea of good and evil to a secular society.
  • The sadness. It was really sad. If it were a book for adults, I would understand (kind of) but this is a book for ages 10+. I hate it when people die in books. Especially when they are sick.
Overall, I did not love the book, but I didn't abhor it. Although it had its pros, it also had some cons. I would not recommend this book to anyone under age 13, solely because of the death. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good fantasy read.
This book was given to me free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are completely my own.

August 07, 2012

Book Review: Inescapable by Nancy Mehl

Lizzy Engle is scared. For the past few weeks, she has been followed. A stalker in a red cap sits outside of her apartment every night.  She has to protect her beloved daughter charity, and with the stalker, threatening notes, and pending charges, she is forced to return to her hometown of Kingdom, Kansas. When she left five years ago, embittered towards her abusive father and the rules of the Mennonite culture, she planned to never return.  In this prodigal-son-like story, you will find yourself entrenched in the suspense, the mystery, and the lighthearted romance.
I liked:
  • The story. Oh my goodness, it was fantastic. I absolutely adored it. It was such a unique plot, the likes of which I have never seen before. I liked how suspenseful and mysterious the plot was.
  • The romance. It was a very sweet, pure romance, and wasn’t inappropriate at all.
  • The character development. I felt like I really knew the characters, and I was surprised by how vivid the descriptions were.
I disliked:
  • I actually loved the entire book, and I did not dislike anything.  That said, there was a lot of focus on Lizzy’s illegitimate child, but there was NOTHING graphic, and it really made for an interesting plot line. I would recommend this book to ages 16+, and maybe younger, depending on the person. I absolutely adored this book, and if you need a book to read, pick this one!

This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this honest review.

August 02, 2012

Book Review: Greater by Steven Furtick

Do you want a great life? Do you want a great sense of purpose? Anyone could be perfectly happy with a great life. However, why have a GREAT life when you can have a GREATER life? In this lighthearted, truthful and convicting book, Steven Furtick shows what it means to live God’s greater life. By using The prophet Elisha’s story as an example, he digs deeply, searching for God’s vision for your life. He uses his own life stories, as well as those of many Biblical beings, and shows how we can fulfill God’s perfect plan for our greater life.
    I liked:
  • His stories. I superbly enjoyed his own tales of how God made his life richer, and more blessed.
  • His down to earth-ness. He was so non-judgmental, that was wonderful. I loved how he said that he had lived a lesser loser life too, and not to feel bad if you are stuck in a spiritual rut.
  • His biblical examples. Honestly, I have always known who Elisha was, and about the widow’s oil, etc. I never knew what a big deal his story was.
   I disliked:
  • I really could not think of anything I hated off the top of my head. I disagreed a little bit with some of the theology in the middle, but it really wasn’t enough to make me dislike the book, the chapter, or even the sentence.
Overall, I think this book is a great read for anyone who wants a life so full of God’s vision, that you are overflowing. I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially those finishing high-school or college.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.