Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If stress burned calories...

This made me lol.

I'm guessing there would be a lot more skinny people, me included, if this were true... :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Revell Blog Tour: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport

Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work--and the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

 I always enjoy reading debut novels and discovering new authors, so was happy to read The Pursuit of Lucy Banning; along with the fact I really enjoy historical fiction.

First off, the book cover is quite eye catching and I commend the art department who designed it. I was instantly intrigued to learn what the story was about after just a glimpse of the outside. 

The premise was an interesting one, and I found the characters of Lucy, Charlotte, and Will to be likeable/easy to sympathize with. I also appreciated that they didn't come across as overly stuffy or snobbish in how they spoke to or interacted with others. I felt I could connect with their feelings and understand where they were coming from. 

The story, while focused more on Lucy, also features the household maid, Charlotte, in a fairly prominent role as well. While some of her past is talked about, there is a lot more that I found myself curious about, so I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. 

While I found myself enjoying this book, I was a bit disappointed with the romance between Will and Lucy. As I said, I was fond of the characters, but didn't feel there was enough tension or interactions between the two of them to sufficiently convey their growing attraction/love for one another. They seemed overall content to be friends, then rather suddenly without much shift in intention, were quickly pledging a love connection without much prior buildup. I was happy to see them together, but thought their relationship happened too quickly to be entirely believable.

That said, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning was a sweet, thoughtful, light, read that I could recommend to anyone who enjoys historical novels.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

“Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren

As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable.

In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because…

“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”

God Gave US Love is a really sweet, endearing, story which explains how important various kinds of love are in each persons life.

Grampa bear and Little Cub are out fishing and their conversation turns into the ways we can show God's love by sharing with others, just as Grampa wants Little Cub to share his fishing spot with some lively otters who unknowingly keep scaring away the fish.

Family and parental love are also touched on and talked about in easy to understand language, that any child can appreciate. And at the end of it all, Grampa brings the focus back on  God's ultimate love for us as the most important of all.

With lots of useful lessons, and a concise yet tender way of explaining things, the author once again delivers another classic children's book that should delight the heart of any little one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest opionion.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Winner of As One Devil to Another by Richard Platt

The giveaway for As One Devil to Another is over ...


Congrats! I hope you really enjoy your copy of this book as much as I enjoyed reading it. I'll send out an email to you soon with the details! :)

(Winner was chosen by

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Harvest Hamburger Casserole

This was always a favorite casserole of mine when I was a kid and it's one I still make today. It's nice and hearty with meat and lots of veggies, with a unique blending of flavors all together in one pot.

And it's from Taste of Home so you know it's good. :)

Harvest Hamburger Casserole
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