Showing posts with label #BookReview

 Have you been enjoying the crisp fall air this week? I sure have, even though that meant covering my plants and bringing in my herbs a little sooner than I normally do. It’s all part of the growing cycle here on our little homeplace. Notice, I call it “homeplace” not “homestead”, so why am I reviewing a book all about starting a homestead? Because I felt it was time for me to understand what it takes to set up a homestead and if it’s right for us. Do you have questions about homesteading? Read on to see if this book can help. 


Homesteading Guide:




The first time homesteader book

Happy Friday and happy Spring friends! Are you excited to welcome in the season of growth, hope and renewal? I always look forward to spring and have been dreaming of all the flowers and herbs I’d plant this year, but at the end of the growing season last year, I knew I needed to find a better and easier way to keep the weeds from taking over and turning my gardening time into such a chore. Like a beacon of hope, I received a book called The Regenerative Garden, which has 80 DIY permaculture projects for the home garden and the biggie for me is a way to reduce weeding! Read on to learn more and to enter the giveaway to win a copy of the book!


Home Garden Help!


80 DIY permaculture projects for the home garden



February with it’s cold, dreary winter days always makes me yearn for spring. I know I’m not alone in this need for warmer temperatures to arrive and wipe away the last bit of winter, but we have a few more weeks to wait until spring shows up. Now is the perfect time to start your gardening plans if you haven’t already. I’ve got three books to share with you in the next few weeks that will help with that. Today’s book review and giveaway is all about Spices and how you can grow them no matter where you live.


Grow Your Own Spices at Home!


Grow your own spices book


By Tera Kinsman


Hi, everyone! It’s YA book review time again. I’m reviewing Dark Before Dawn, the third and final book in Monica McGurk’s Archangel Prophecies series. (To read my reviews of the first two books in the series, Dark Hope and Dark Rising, click here and here.) As a thank-you, I received compensation and a free copy of the book, but all opinions are my own. And, cue book-lover squeal, there’s a giveaway for a copy of the book, thanks to the lovely author, Monica McGurk.




Dark Before Dawn book by Monica McGurk




Summary from Publisher:

It’s darkest before the dawn…and that can be very dark indeed.

Twelve years have passed since Hope Carmichael helped fulfill the ancient prophecy that permitted the Fallen Angels to return, forgiven, to Heaven. Now a lawyer at twenty-eight, Hope ‒ along with a resurrected Michael, the archangel who loves her ‒ has been presented with a choice: one that could either result in Hope never seeing her family again, or the world losing its greatest angelic protector. At the same time, Hope’s young sister Aurora struggles to help a school friend resolve her dark personal issues while being observed by a sinister adversary from Hope’s past, working on a plan for revenge that may soon plunge the entire Carmichael family into tragedy.

The culmination of the saga, which began in Dark Hope and continued in Dark Rising, Dark Before Dawn returns to the world of the Archangel Prophecies, telling one final story of adventure, moral urgency, and the ultimate choice Hope and Michael must make between the human and the divine.


My thoughts:


Reading outside



Dark Before Dawn takes the reader twelve years ahead of the loss and sacrifice of Dark Rising, from Hope’s teenage years to her adulthood.  Years of healing and progress have left the Carmichael family safe and happy. Mona, Hope’s mother, her younger sister Aurora, and their family friend and protector, Arthur, live a content life in a quiet Atlanta community. Hope is a successful lawyer and has a long, loving relationship with Michael. But there is a tension lingering in their every interaction ‒ Heaven has offered Hope a life-altering choice ‒ one she’s running out of time to make. And something is waiting in the shadows for the Carmichaels and those they care about, waiting to strike.  Hope and Michael may have won important battles, but they soon learn that the war is far from over.

As I was reading Dark Before Dawn, I was struck by the complexity woven into the story. Every character, even angels, and each relationship, is shown as complex and flawed, while still being appreciated. For me, it was fascinating to see just how human the divine can be. The series also asks important questions about redemption ‒ can there be true forgiveness for those who don’t want it, don’t deserve it? And, very importantly, this final installment of The Archangel Prophecies goes deeper than ever into the world of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), showing the disturbing reality of what victims of this “industry” go through every day.

While this book dealt with some very serious issues and had moments of tragedy that were difficult to read, its slightly bittersweet ending was a satisfying close to the series, and hopefully opened eyes to the reality of modern-day slavery in the United States and around the world.


To learn more about human trafficking and what we can do, go to www.monicamcgurk.com.


Ready for a new addition to your bookshelf? Enter to win a copy of Dark Before Dawn below!


Dark Before Dawn book giveaway





a Rafflecopter giveaway



Comments! In nearly every book or series I read, there’s at least one character that stands out from the rest. For me, my TAP favorite is Tabby, Hope’s loyal, loving, and hilarious best friend. What is a recently-read character that you love…or love to hate? Fangirl with me in the comments below! And, follow me on Instagram for more books and an abundance of pictures of the sky. 


By Tera Kinsman

Hey, everybody! It’s time for another YA book review! So far, I’ve reviewed the first three books in The Selection series by Kiera Cass. (If you want to read these reviews, click here for The Selection, here for The Elite, and here for The One.)

The Heir by Kiera Cass
Image courtesy of HarperCollins


Book Summary from Publisher:

“Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon – and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection – no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her … and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.”

My Summary and Thoughts:

Eadlyn Schreave is not an average eighteen-year old girl. As the daughter of King Maxon and Queen America, she has been trained her whole life to become the next ruler of Illéa. This means, among her many other duties, she is expected to marry and produce an heir. And she isn’t happy about it.

Twenty years ago, her father’s first act as king was to dissolve the caste system that had been the backbone of Illéa’s society from the beginning. At first, people rejoiced in the new era of equality. Without the old, unfair labels, people were free to be whoever they wanted to be. But now, people are rioting, and the country’s leaders don’t know why. They’d phased the castes out gradually to give people time to adjust, and it had seemed that the country had done so happily. But, prejudice can still be found, and old caste labels still limit people.

Eadlyn’s parents finally come up with a solution – one that they see as ingenious and she sees as insane – for Eadlyn to have her own Selection. They see it as an opportunity to give the people something to celebrate and give them time to think of a way to defuse the tensions, as well as a way to do something wonderful for Eadlyn, to give her the chance to fall in love. Eadlyn sees it as little better than marrying her off for an alliance (something her parents promised they would never do) and rather pointless in the end. She’s not the type of girl to fall in love, and her parents can’t force people to be fair and let prejudices fade.
So, she negotiates. She agrees to go through with the Selection on one condition: If she hasn’t found a suitable prince in three months, she doesn’t have to get married. This leaves her a perfect loophole, or so she thinks. She’ll just scare her suitors off, intimidate them into leaving, and then get on with her life. But some of the suitors begin to find their way past the walls she’s put up and into her heart. Will she fall in love after all?

I’m so glad that Kiera Cass chose to continue the Selection series, because I love this series more with every book. This time, we get to see the Selection not from the viewpoint of the Selected, but from the Selector herself. Eadlyn is a strong and sassy girl, and quite often a hilarious narrator. She can be frustrating at times, but you care for her anyway. And the romance is this book is perfect and exasperating all at once. In the first three books, I knew exactly who I wanted to end up together. But The Heir leaves no clues as to who Eadlyn will choose, and I can’t decide any more than she can. There are so many new characters to love, and the suitors are part of that. And the stakes are just as high for Eadlyn as they were for America. Eadlyn’s world is changing more everyday. Some changes are good, and she may gain the love of her life. Some changes are terrifying, and she may lose the people she’s always loved.

Happily Ever After, a collection of all four Selection novellas and bonus materials, is coming out in October of this year, so hopefully, we’ll have a review of that soon!

Comments! If you were the prince or princess of Illéa, would you want a Selection to be hosted, or would you want to try to fall in love on your own? Let me know in the comments!

I’d love to connect with you guys.  Join me on Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Pinterest!



By Tera Kinsman


Hi, guys!  Today, I’m reviewing The One by Kiera Cass, the sequel to The Selection and The Elite. If you’d like to read the other reviews for the books in The Selection Series, click here for The Selection and here for The Elite. 

The One by Kiera Cass
Courtesy of Harper Collins 

Book Summary From Publisher:

35 girls entered the Selection. Only 1 can win.

The time has come for one winner to be crowned. When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

My Summary and Thoughts:

America Singer is one of the five girls left in the Selection. The Selection is nearing its end. And to America, it should have been over ages ago. She is in love with Prince Maxon, and he has made it clear that he loved her from the beginning.

But not everyone is ready for America and Maxon to choose each other. Maxon’s father, King Clarkson, detests America. Manipulative and cruel, he does all he can to force America out of the competition. Nor are her fellow Elite ready to concede defeat. And there’s still Aspen. America has recognized that she no longer loves him, but she hasn’t found the words to tell him. While she doesn’t want to marry him, like they had planned back in Carolina, she can’t imagine a life without him in it, and she’s terrified of losing him.

America and Maxon both make unlikely alliances, and find friends in people they never would have thought they could trust. But will it be enough to protect them from the threat of the rebels and those who refuse to see them together? Can America hold on to the beautiful future she sees ahead of her? Or will she lose it all?

YOU GUYS, THIS BOOK. My mom, sister, and I all read it like our lives depended on it. Which, as our fellow fangirls or boys understand, it kinda did.

The One had the perfect balance of happiness and sadness. There were scenes with Maxon and America that were so cute, I could die.

But it had its fair share of heartbreaking scenes as well. America, as well as Maxon, Aspen, and her family lose and gain so much. Everyone in Illéa is touched by the war. (I can’t say much more, because of spoilers, of course.)

The ending was perfect, and I just want to hug Kiera Cass for making me so happy. But I want to know more! I wish the epilogue had been fifty pages longer, because the stories of these characters are clearly not done. That’s why I’m so, so, so, so excited to read The Heir, the fourth book in the series. A collection of all the novellas that are also part of the Selection series is going to be released in October 2016. (If you want, though, you can read them all separately now.) And, sometime in the winter of 2016, we get the fifth book! So, there will definitely be more Selection fangirling in our future.  Will we ever really stop?

Comments! There’s actually one more reason to freak out that I didn’t mention - there’s going to be a movie adaptation of The Selection! So, do you have any ideas for who should be cast in the upcoming movie? Let me know in the comments below!

I’d love to connect with you guys! Join me on Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

North of Hope Book Review

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, April 18, 2013
I am an avid reader, usually having more than one book started at any given time, so I was pleased to partner with Handelbar Publishing via  Zondervan.com to review books.
This is my first ARC (advanced reading copy) book, which was sent to me free of charge to facilitate this review. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are 100% my own.

About the book:
Synopsis: courtesy: Zondervan.com
When Shannon Huffman Polson’s parents are killed by a wild grizzly bear in Alaska’s Arctic, her quest for healing is recounted with heartbreaking candor in North of Hope, as she retraces her parents’ final days along an Arctic river searching for her own sense of peace and meaning in the journey.

book
Courtesy:Zondervan.com

About the Author
courtesy: Zondervan.com
Shannon Polson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. She was a contributing writer to More Than 85Broads, and her work has appeared in Seattle and Alaska Magazines, Cirque Journal, Adventure Magazine, and Trachodon, among others. Polson graduated with a B.A. from Duke University in English Literature, an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and an M.F.A. from Seattle Pacific University. She served eight years as an attack helicopter pilot in the Army and worked five years in corporate marketing and management roles before turning to writing full time. Please visit Shannon’s website http://www.aborderlife.com/ to learn more.



My Review:
I am a fan of an eclectic blend of book genres, usually picking stories from the synopsis, rather than genre alone. When first approached to review North of Hope, I read the synopsis for it and thought “I will love this book”. But I didn’t.  I only liked it and only some parts. 
While Shannon Polson had a very moving and  cathartic journey to share in North of Hope, I found it dragged in several places.

To me, it seemed the author would get lost in the sharing of information about bears, or indigenous Alaskan people. So much so, that I would have to go back and re-read previous paragraphs to pick up the context of her first thought.
This particular writing style made it slow going, and I found myself growing tired of reading North of Hope after a chapter or two. I just couldn’t sync up to this author’s writing style and felt I slogged through this book.
I did finish it, but will confess to skimming over passages that felt more like “teachable moments”.
 One of my favorite passages, which spoke right to my heart, was: “How can we ever begin to appreciate the full depth of each moment? Is there any way not to look back on those last conversations, last meetings, wishing we had let them seep into us completely”?
While North of Hope was not my ideal read, there were enough bright spots and eloquent writing that I do favorably recommend it to those who may be experiencing the untimely death of a loved one. I also recommend watching the video , which may help you decide if this book is right for you. 

As always, I hope you found this book review helpful. I strive to offer my true and honest opinion on everything I review here. Stay tuned for more book reviews soon! 


 

 
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