Category Archives: Book Review

SoulKoo Resistance Hip Band

USE FOR PILATES

~ What ~
Made out of a stretchy pink double layer cotton with elastic latex inner bands, this 25-inch long band that is a little over 3-inches wide is for strengthening the legs and back muscles to make them firm and trim. It comes with an instruction manual and a one-year warranty.

~ Why ~
Now that I do pilates a couple times a week, I need a stretchy band to work on my core. I like that this one can be worn on my ankles, lower legs, upper thighs, shoulders, and forearms as resistance to strengthen the muscles. The band is lightweight and well-made so does not curl or tear easily. I like the included exercise guide as it has kicks, clamshell, bridge, squats, lunge, and lift directions.

~ Why Not ~
Some may think these are hard to stretch but that is their purpose as they work the muscles. Others may not like the concept of exercising or stretching with bands. I felt it did not stretch as far as my other rubber bands, but that may be a personal preference.

~ Wish ~
I wish it stated online what the band’s measurements and that it was available in longer lengths. It would be nice if it came in other colors besides pink.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a quality exercise resistance band in pretty pink, this is a nice addition to your workout regimen.

Thanks to soulkoo for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to review.

#RankBoosterReview #Sponsoredbyjqdz #soulkoo #BootyButtBand

This product can be found at https://amzn.to/2FcAKSE

 

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The Reluctant Belle

A Reluctant Belle (Daughtry House Book #2) by [White, Beth]Title: Reluctant Belle
Author: Beth White
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2690-4

“What do you want from me? We can’t be confidants any ore. We can’t even be—argument mates anymore,” Joelle is told in Beth White’s novel, Reluctant Belle.

~ What ~
The second in the Daughtry House series, this three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in a historical romance set in the South during the middle of the Reconstruction Era. With no profanity, topics of abuse, torture, and murder may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note to the reader, an excerpt of another novel, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography with advertisements.

In this tale set in 1870 in Mississippi, twenty-two-year-old Joelle Daughtry has her hands full being betrothed to the local pastor while she helps run a resort hotel and writes under a male pseudonym newspaper articles that promote helping former slaves. However, knowing she rushed into accepting her marriage proposal due to the ongoing frustration with Schuyler Beaumont, a hotel investor she has known since childhood, their love/hate relationship has to be put on the back burner to uncover who murdered his father.

~ Why ~
I enjoy novels where I learn about America’s history, especially when slavery was abolished. I appreciated the details of the Southern culture. The story focuses on how freedom started spread among slaves and lines were drawn between the Lincolnites, Union League, and Ku Klux Klan. The bantering between the two protagonists was charming and engaging at times.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of the persecution of freed slaves may pass on this book. Others may wish some of the characters were not stereotypical and the romance predictable. I found Joelle to be a bit too flawless as a teacher, journalist, and hotel manager who seemed wishy-washy when it came to love.

~ Wish ~
Since this is a part of a series and I did not read the first book, I wish there were a list of characters since there is a plethora of people mentioned. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like a historical novel of the South’s conflict over race and politics, this is a quick and cozy read of romance that includes solving a murder.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2KfLy6D

 

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

363 Days in Vietnam

Title: 363 Days in Vietnam
Author: Michael Stuart Baskin
Publisher: Primedia eLaunch LLC
ISBN: 978-1-64570919-0

“It may sound weird to say this, but I think lots of guys like to witness and/or trigger explosions, and I’m one of them,” Michael Stuart Baskin admits in his book, 363 Days in Vietnam: A Memoir of Howitzers, Hook-Ups & Screw-Ups from My Tour of Duty 1968 to 1969.

What ~
At two-hundred-and-fifteen pages, this paperback targets those who are intrigued reading about the personal experiences and memories of a United States serviceman who served during the war in Vietnam. With some profanity, the topics of drugs, prostitution, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. After a dedication page, map, and briefing, the short-chaptered book ends with a debriefing, taps, and the author’s biography. Black and white photographs grace the pages in chronological order.

This is a quick read that shows the multi-faceted sides of a young man who was drafted in the U.S. Army and went to Vietnam for almost a year in the 1960s. With detailed memories, the writer explains the good, bad, and ugly of how he survived a war ten-thousand miles away from home. From the mundane of KP,  R&R, and comic books to humorous tales of unauthorized tent awnings, a snake consuming a black rat, and doorless five-minute showers visited by Donut Dollie, it also includes the blatant depression, awkward loneliness, and ever-growing fear of Charlie when there was a sapper invasion.

~ Why ~
War is not pretty, and this short book focuses on how U.S. Army Specialist 4 Baskin had the wherewithal to get through what were probably the worst days of his life. Written as somewhat of a diary by listed numbered days in the service, the stories are not all gloom and doom but have added irony, sarcasm, and wit trying to survive another day at a job the writer felt, at times, was unnoticed and unappreciated. The short inserts are funny, sad, somber, and cathartic as awkward M14s are shot, heavy howitzers are explained, an Aussie mercenary squad is saved, and the VC enemy attacks. I was impressed by the many photographs and details since it has been over fifty years since the author’s service that I thank and greatly appreciate.

~Why Not ~
Those who do not like discussions and viewpoints about war, Vietnam, methedrine depression, and the frustration of the United States’ involvement in the overseas military engagement may not like this book. Others may wonder if there was any “God moment” Baskin had when facing a tragic situation or the possibility of his demise.

~ Wish ~
While I enjoyed reading this personal story of one man’s wartime experiences, I wish more of the actual dates were included so I could correlate them to what I was doing at the same time when I was eleven years old in America. The book would be perfected if it was professionally edited and some of the photographs were lightened.

~ Want ~
If you do not know much about how our U.S. boys arduously served in the Vietnam War, this would be an excellent reminder that portrays one’s personal fortitude, rampant loneliness, and continual attempts at normalcy while trying to survive the bloodshed, depression, and loss during the fog of war.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2WwuZdk

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Biography, Book Review

Tips for Aging at Home

Title: Tips for Aging at Home
Authors: Laura N. Gitlin, Sarah L. Szanton, Jill Roth, & Allyson Evelyn-Gustave
Publisher: Camino Books
ISBN: 978-1-68098-043-5

“The tips in this book can help you:
Do everyday activities safely.
Do everyday tasks in small parts to make each part easier and less tiring.
Decrease risk for falling,” Laura Gitlin, Sarah Szanton, Jill Roth, and Allyson Evelyn-Gustave write in their book, Tips for Aging at Home: Doing What Matters to You.

~ What ~
At sixty-four pages, this small paperback targets those who are getting older and want to remain safely in their homes as they age. After a table of contents and introduction, it contains twelve short chapters, ending with a list of where to get more information, a record of tips used, and advertisement.

As we age, we tend to forget we have physical limitations and restrictions. With inserted full-color photographs spread among the pages, the tips provided offer easier ways to dress, groom, prepare meals, bath, use the toilet, save energy, move around safely, prevent falls, improve moods, control urine and pain, and take medicine.

~ Why ~
Most of us will grow old and have to confront the issues of aging. This short read is a gentle reminder of how to protect our bodies, mind, and selves while we are still capable of living at home. It mentions tips about long-handled combs, extended toothbrushes, sitting to do grooming tasks, peg boards in kitchens, grab bars in bathtubs, wide thirty-six-inch doorways, and using the restroom every two hours. I like that it does not take too much time to review its safety tips.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not aging or do not deal with the elderly may not see the value of this book. Others may find most of the tips are common sense, but they may be ignored or forgotten when considering living alone. 

~ Wish ~
Included a glossary at the end of the book may help some who want to look up a topic quickly. I found some tips repeated in the chapters, and that most were everyday knowledge.

~ Want ~
This would make a good insert book for a pro-active elderly group to give seniors who live at home alone or have moved into a retirement or assisted living facility. It may also help those who have physical disabilities as it covers a wide range of ideas.

Thanks to Camino Books and the authors for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2MtuYlL

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Wooing Cadie McCaffrey

Title: Wooing Cadie McCaffrey
Author: Bethany Turner
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3522-7

“Well then, Cadie McCaffrey,  I think that’s just about the most romantic thing I have ever heard in my entire life,” the confused protagonist is told in Bethany Turner’s novel, Wooing Cadie McCaffrey.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-thirty-seven-page paperback targets those interested in contemporary Christian romance. With no profanity but the use of slang words such as heck and crap, topics of premarital sex may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes an excerpt of the author’s prior book, acknowledgments and the writer’s biography with advertisements.

In this quirky romantic tale, millennials Cadie and Will have been dating for four years without the promise of marriage to Cadie’s chagrin. Thinking that he is her one and only, she starts to question their relationship as she considers he no longer is in love with her as he climbs the corporate ladder where they both work. One who expects a happily-ever-after based on romantic movies, she misunderstands his intentions after they break the rules and she rejects him. With the help of his work cohorts, it is up to Will to win and woo her back, even if he is forced to look like a love-craved fool.

~ Why ~
I enjoy stories that are written in first person, and this one is partially from Cadie’s perspective. I like the author’s breezy writing style and references to movies, books, and songs of her generation (and some of mine). The book deals with love, sex, marriage, and relationships in a carefree platform that sometimes mention Christ and His forgiveness.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of how unmarried Christians deal with disagreements, romance, and premarital sex may not like this read. Others may feel it does not focus enough on relying on God or going to Him for answers and help as there are no references to Scripture, just quick prayers to resolve ones’ problems. I found Cadie to be somewhat of a spoiled brat who was self-absorbed, never realizing many of the misunderstandings were her fault.

~ Wish ~
Although I enjoyed the author’s easy-breezy writing style, I found the main’s characterization often grating, where she is considered too perfect and wonderful by others. I prefer that all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like a romance between two young people in love who must mature by stepping back and reevaluating their relationship through mistakes and promises, this may be an innocuous read that is predictable.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WooingCadieMcCaffrey #WooCaM

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Q6gB4O

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Homestead Friends: Trapper Loves His Daddy!

Title: Trapper Loves His Daddy
Author: Sheli Levi
Illustrator: Ros Webb
Publisher: Living Tree Press
ISBN: 978-1-7320355-8-4

“Although Trapper loves his momma, he spends all his time with his daddy. Sometimes it is like Big Bo has a shadow in the daytime because Trapper is always by his side,” Sheli Levi writes in her children’s book, Homestead Friends: Trapper Loves His Daddy!

~ What ~
This over-sized thirty-page paperback is book three in a series of five and targets four to ten-year-old children who like stories about dogs and family relationships. With no extremely scary scenes, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short tale, a pup named Trapper is a mix of charm, personality, and looks, taking after both his parents. Looking up to his father, Big Bo, the canine follows him everywhere on the homestead, mimicking everything his daddy does. Whether the parent is drinking water at the pond, eating sweet peas from the garden, taking a nap on the porch, smelling the meadow’s flowers, watching the pastures, or curling up in a ball to sleep, the little guy is dutifully right next to him.

~ Why ~
This is a nice story about a child’s love for his parent and how he idolizes him, wanting to be just like his daddy when he grows up. I like that the Big Bo does not seem to mind that Trapper is there, by his side, throughout the day.

~ Why Not ~
Children who do not have pets or dogs may not appreciate the content of this book that promotes the love a child has for his parent. Others may not care for the illustrations as they seem rudimentary with some scenes having little detail. Beginner readers may struggle with the two and three syllable words or incomplete sentences that may teach them incorrectly.

~ Wish ~
The focus is mainly on the child loving his father, but there is no response or recourse from the dad that shows he loves his son. I wish the story included that God, our eternal Father, loves us too.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that shows a son’s love for one of his parents, this may be a  nice series about dogs living on a homestead, but I felt there could have been more to it.

Thanks to BookCrash and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2MvOXzY

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens

Living Lies

Title: Living Lies
Author: Natalie Walters
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3532-7

“But believing she deserved someone like Charlie–that he could love someone like her–was just another lie she wasn’t willing to live,” Lane tells herself in Natalie Walters’s novel, Living Lies.

~ What ~
The first in the Harbored Secretes series, this three-hundred-and-thirty-four-page paperback targets those interested in the struggles of dealing with depression while trying to move ahead with life. Using slang words such as heck and crap, topics of bullying, PTSD, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and an advertisement.

In this story, Lane Kent has been fighting her demons of depression for years, trying to keep them at bay by pretending she is fine. When she moves back to her hometown with her young son, she hides her biggest secret until she meets Charlie, the new deputy who lives next door. After Lane accidentally discovers the body of a young teenager, she must find her purpose of life while Charlie races to find the killer.

~ Why ~
As a debut novel, the author writes with detail and excitement as she keeps the reader wanting to turn the pages to find out if Lane will be able to accept the past and move on in her relationships, especially with Charlie. The murder of a young girl, confusion of a Vietnam veteran, and regret of the protagonist show how people learn to deal with tragedy while accepting God’s love and purpose.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like romantic suspense with a touch of Christianity and praying to God may not appreciate this read. Others may not like a book that shows how depression and anxiety can overtake and debilitate a life or lives.

~ Wish ~
Adding discussion questions at the end would be thoughtful for book clubs to discuss its important topics. I wish more references of trusting in God were included and all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like a book that shows the problems and issues of depression and how it should not be ignored or made fun of, this is a good read that adds the redemption of romance and suspense.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#LivingLies #HarboredSecrets

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Yx2Hvu

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Devotions from the Beach

Title: Devotions from the Beach
Authors: Miriam Drennan & Betsy Painter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4002-1190-6

“As you rock in your hammock or have a quiet morning moment with coffee and your Bible, think about the times God has delivered you. Consider the blessings He has showered upon you,” Miriam Drennan and Betsy Painter end one of their short devotions in their book, Devotions from the Beach.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-twenty-four pages, this hardbound book targets those who love spending time at a beach or waterfront as it relates to God. Using mainly the New Living Translation of The Holy Bible, also referenced are the NKJV, ESV, NIV, and MSG. A cream ribbon marker is attached.

After an ownership page and table of contents, this book contains one hundred devotions, each one being one page long with beautiful full-color photographs of beaches, waves, sand, sea animals, seafood, and serene scenery. Beginning with a title and written Bible verse underneath it, several paragraphs relate to the topic regarding enjoying or being at a beach. A short prayer ends each devotion.

Some of the titled devotions are The Strength of Sea Oats, Feeding Birds, Follow Those Footprints, Reflections, Escape the Ebb Tide, Better Boat Shoes, Rescue Required, Pebble Beaches, Something’s Missing, A Seahorse’s Tail, The Parrot-Fish Specialty, Poolside Retreat, Jumping Waves, and Boardwalk Choices.

~Why ~
I appreciate devotionals that have little information about the author but focus on God, and this book does that. The stories are brief and to the point, correlating to God and His grace, love, beauty, and creativity. Old and New Testament verses are included.

A favorite was Lighthouses with Micah 7:8 NIV written out about the Lord is our light. While lighthouses are mysterious, solitary, and majestic, they serve a purpose in protecting us. The Lord wants to be the beacon in our lives, just as Micah realized when he felt alone at times. God has a different perspective that is the Light that guides us through life. The prayer asks for the Lord’s strength and light as we trust in Him.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that focuses on getting closer to the Almighty. Others may wish there were enough devotions that covered a full year. I found the topics are not in depth.

~ Wish ~
With the stunning photographs throughout the book, it would be thoughtful to give credit at the end of the book from the photographers. I do not care for The Message version of Scriptures so have to look up the King James Version translation for accuracy.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals with beautiful photographs and short reading, this is an excellent choice for someone who loves the sounds, sights, and scenery of the beach. It would make a beautiful addition to a beach cottage or an oceanview bed-and-breakfast bookcase or bedside table.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2YI3RnY

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Christian

Settle My Soul

Title: Settle My Soul
Authors: Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-09540-8

“As busy women juggling lots of responsibilities just like you, we know how hard it can be to press pause and refresh your spirit,” Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk write in the introduction of their book, Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus.

~ What ~
A Pressing Pause Devotional, this two-hundred-and-fifty-six-pages canvas hardbound book targets those who are seeking a three-plus monthly devotional about being more remindful of Christ and what He has done for us. Using mainly the New International Version of The Holy Bible, also referenced are the AMP, ESV, CSB, KJV, and NLT. A green ribbon marker is attached.

After an ownership page, praises for the book, table of contents, and introduction, this contains one hundred devotions, ending with the authors’ biographies. Each chapter is two to three pages long with the number and title at the top of the page with a Bible verse or two written out. Several paragraphs in green print follow related to the topic. An applicable prayer is in pink at the end with one or two questions in green ink and several pink dotted lines to write down answers.

~Why ~
This is a lovely-looking devotional for a young Christian woman who wants and needs to spend a few minutes daily with the Lord after reading Scriptures. I like its prettiness, layout, and format of its contents. Some interesting topics discussed include Rethinking Solitude, Know the While Story, The Security of Self Control, Do Not Be Anxious, Find and Replace, Answer Envy, A Dime in My Pocket, Would You Follow You?, A House Full of Treasures, What Anger Reveals, and Pursue Joy.

One that stuck out in reading this book was #45, Everybody’s Got Something with Proverbs 19:11 ESV written out. The writer explains several things that irked her about her husband and how everyone has personalities, behaviors, or quirks that may irritate us, but by reading the Word of God, we can use good sense to slow down our anger. The prayer asks us to learn to let go of our loved ones’ missteps and ask Christ for forgiveness. The question is “Who sometimes bothers you with their behavior, and how can you overlook their offenses?”

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that focuses on spending more time with Him. While some may not mind the many references to the authors’ experiences, others like me do not relate to them. Some may not like the color font or small writing of the prayers.

~ Wish ~
If the book is to promote spending time with Jesus for a few minutes a day, this one has too many inferences to the authors’ lives. Since I am an older woman, I would prefer searching Scripture than reading about others. I wish there were more Bible verses and characters of the Word mentioned instead.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals that often contain the authors’ experiences while reminding to spend quiet moments with God, this would be a nice gift for someone special, but please do not read it instead of the Bible, even if you are pressed for time.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2EfBaab

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian

Home Before Dark

Title: Home Before Dark
Author: Mary Danielsen
Publisher: Mary Danielsen
ISBN: 9781095412282

Home Before Dark: Observations from the Road is a collection of observations and encouragements from the journey, written to illuminate the path and help the believer to keep their priorities straight in light of the rapidly falling darkness, indicating the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the back jacket states in Mary Danielsen’s book.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-sixty pages, this paperback targets those who like to be reminded of God’s truths, Biblical prophecies, and the imminent return of Christ. Using mainly the King James Version of The Holy Bible, acknowledgments and a prologue begin the book, while an epilogue and the author’s biography complete it.

Containing almost seventy short chapters, this book concentrates on how we, as Christians, metaphorically need to be sure we are home by dark as we anticipate the Rapture, making sure our priorities are looking upward while not being distracted by things of this world. Being less than two pages long, each vignette begins with a title, followed by several paragraphs about the topic, ending with an applicable written-out Bible verse. Some topics included are Knowledge Shall Increase, I Think Therefore, The Wonderful Counselor, Turning to Fables, Descent into Dissent, I Will Watch, Exponentially Speaking, Charm is Deceitful, and It’s Not Rocket Surgery.

~Why ~
I appreciate non-fiction reads that have little information about the author ‘s experiences but focus on God. The stories are brief and to the point, correlating to God, Jesus, the Rapture, and both positive and negative future events. Old and New Testament verses are included. I enjoyed the baby-boomer writer’s brief discussions on Jesus’s Pre-tribulation Rapture stance as well as the warnings of the Gap Theory, New Apostolic Reformation, prosperity movement, Dominion Theology, yoga’s Hindu background, Bitcoin Blockchain, and The Message.

A favorite of mine was People Get Ready regarding the expectation of the upcoming Rapture with its signs of a global government and economy, one-world spirituality, changes in nature, the rebirth of Israel, spiritual signs, and technological advances. The Bible verse from Luke 12:40 is written out about being ready for the Son of Man.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that focuses on the Lord’s return. Others may wish the chapters were deeper in thought and length as they usually are only one and a half pages each.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if the book included a table of contents and topical/verse indexes so one could look up subjects such as King Solomon, China’s Life Score, Biblical communion, or verses.

~ Want ~
If you like a book that reminds us that Jesus could be returning in the next second while being aware of Biblical prophecies coming to fruition and warnings of the world’s darkness, this would be a quick, reliable read.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Home-Before-Dark-Observations-Road-ebook/dp/B07QXF13SD/

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Non-Fiction