Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

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Synopsis

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

My Thoughts

One of my favorite settings in books is an amusement park, so the setting of Coney Island in this story is perfect! This story takes place in the early 1900s and follows a young wealthy lady who vacations in Coney Island with her family and struggles to fit in with the “high class expectations” of her family. The storyline had some similar themes as the movie, Titanic, with the “wealthy girl mingles with the lower class and falls for an unsuitable gentleman”.

This story was a lot of fun…it was full of great descriptions of Manhattan Beach and Coney Island, the sights and sounds were described so well, I truly felt like I was there. There was also an air of mystery to the story, with some murders taking place.

I really found the peek into the wealthy family’s dirty laundry interesting. The romance was decent, but not my favorite (I never really enjoy romance though).

Overall, this was a very fun, atmospheric, summery story that a lot of people should enjoy. Recommended!

My Rating

4 stars

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones Review

Release Date: January 14, 2020

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Plot:

When a woman conceals her sister’s death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.

“Like most of the dead, I want to be remembered.”

Robin Voigt is dead. If her sister Leslie had arrived at her cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father, even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: she and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together–or not at all. Now her half of the money may be beyond her grasp. And unbeknownst to anyone, even her husband, Leslie needs it desperately.

When she meets a charismatic young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin–and has every reason to leave her past behind–the two make a reckless bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin’s half of the cash. But neither realizes how high the stakes will be when Mary takes a dead woman’s name. Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house, babysitting her newborn son, and charming her husband has secrets of her own, Robin’s wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both.

An electric, twisted portrait of sisterhood and the ties that bind, The Better Liar is a stunning debut with a heart-stopping, twist-after-twist finale that will beg the question: How far would you go to get what’s yours?

My Thoughts:

Books about family dynamics always interest me so I was eager to pick this one up. The story deals with sisters, creating false identities, and the entertaining trope of the elusive inheritance.

I found the characters in the story to be well developed, albeit fairly unlikable. Leslie was always irritated, which started to irritate me. Mary was very unpredictable and mysterious. I enjoyed the dynamic between these 2 ladies as they worked together to achieve a common goal.

I found the twist to be slightly predictable but I still really enjoyed the ride. I would highly recommend this one!

I received this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating:

4 stars

Epic Devotions Review

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Description

Epic Devotions: 52 Weeks in the Story that Changed the World is a graphic-novel inspired weekly devotional based on Epic: The Story that Changed the World. Each insightful devotion circles back to the one big story of Jesus and makes biblical events more relevant for today’s youth. The book features familiar yet reimagined art from the One Big Story brand that is perfect for engaging older kids and preteen readers.

My Thoughts

This epic devotion geared towards older children and pre-teens spans the entire length of the Bible, starting with the Creation story and ending in Revelation. There are 52 stories that can be read at once or over the period of a week (each story is 4 pages). The stories are told chronologically and have wonderful illustrations that really bring the stories to life.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it begins by sharing the story but then teaches a lesson about it and provides questions to think about and a verse to memorize for the week. Many children’s Bible story books that I’ve seen tend to lack the application and explanation part, which is very important. Another thing that I noted and really love is that there are places where the Old and New testament are woven together (with Abraham and Isaac, showing a foreshadowing to Christ).

This story is well done and very appealing to the younger crowd. I highly recommend it!

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

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Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls Review and Giveaway

About the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls

Created especially for girls ages 8 to 12, this beautiful Bible provides ample space for young artists to express themselves through coloring and journaling.

Girls can get creative with the detailed, ready-to-color line art surrounding the hundreds of inspiring verses in the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible for Girls. This Bible is a perfect gift for a special young girl in your life and will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.
Features include:

  • Hundreds of verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
  • Thicker white paper for enduring note-taking
  • Lined, wide margins for notes, reflections and art
  • Complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Easy-to-read black letter text in single-column format
  • Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
  • Ribbon marker
  • Beautifully designed Leathersoft-over-board cover featuring screen-printing and other cover embellishments
  • 8-point type size

Using the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV) text makes the Bible accessible and easy-to-read for kids. The NIV is the result of over 50 years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, who oversee the efforts of many contributing scholars. Representing the spectrum of evangelicalism, the translators come from a wide range of denominations and various countries and continually review new research to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance, and authority. Every NIV Bible that is purchased helps Biblica translate and give Bibles to people in need around the world.

My Thoughts

This Bible is marketed “for girls”ages 8 and up but I am a 39 year old girl that absolutely loves it! The cover is hot pink with silver polka dots and the end papers are silver. The color combination is very pretty and girly (I love it!) There is also silver stitching around the cover of the Bible. The material is leathersoft and it seems like it will be very durable and hold up well to daily use.

The size is very nice…it’s easy to hold and not too large but also not too small (the text is easy to read and the coloring pages and margins are ample in size).

The Bible is full of beautiful illustrations of verses and pictures. The illustrations range from simple to more intricate. There are also many lined margins for notes and journaling by the owner of the Bible.

The pages are a decent thickness and would work well with colored pencils, watercolors, or gel-pens.

I am thoroughly impressed with this adorable Bible and look forward to spending many hours coloring the beautiful illustrations.

I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.

Giveaway!

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Download some of the Coloring pages here!

 

 

She Prays by Debbie Lindell Review

Synopsis:

she praysOne of the most wonderful things about walking with God is that we can have an intimate and real relationship with him. He wants us to know him so well that we are comfortable talking to him about anything and everything. Yet, there are times when we feel disconnected and insecure. We desire to grow in prayer, but we don’t know where to begin, what to say, or how to listen for his voice.

In She Prays, Debbie Lindell invites you on a 31-day journey to experience a confident and conversational relationship with your heavenly Father. She shows you how to replace the pressure to perform in prayer with a faith-filled expectation–trusting that God is delighted with every conversation and every word we whisper to him. Her desire is that your soul will be transformed as your confidence in prayer grows, and that your faith will be strengthened as you see God work through your prayers in ways you never imagined possible.

My Thoughts

Prayer is something that I would guess most Christians would like to improve upon. I have always felt that my prayer life could use improvement so I was looking forward to this book.

The format is very convenient for busy women…broken down into 31 days, each entry only takes about 5-10 minutes to read. There is space at the end of each entry (with lines for writing) to write notes and the author includes a prompt of reflection for each day. Each day begins with a verse from the Bible, which is extremely important to me.

The lessons learned in this book are very helpful and impactful, yet very accessible. I highly recommend this to all ladies who are looking to improve their discussions with the Lord.

My Rating

4.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts Blog Tour

The Bright Unknown JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE
BOOK

HkRdUnQATitle: The Bright Unknown
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Literary Fiction
Release Date: October 22, 2019

This poignant and heartbreaking novel explores the power of resilience, the gift of friendship,
and the divine beauty to be found in the big, bright world—if only we’re willing to look.
Pennsylvania, 1940s.
The only life Brighton Friedrich has ever known is the one she has
endured within the dreary walls of Riverside Home—the rural asylum where she was born. A nurse, Joann, has educated and raised Brighton, whose mother is a patient at the hospital. But Joann has also kept vital information from Brighton—secrets that if ever revealed would illuminate Brighton’s troubling
past and the circumstances that confine her to Riverside. Brighton’s best friend is a boy she calls Angel, and as they grow up together and face the bleak future that awaits them, they determine to make a daring escape.
Nothing can prepare Brighton and Angel for life beyond Riverside’s walls. They have no legal identities, very little money, and only a few leads toward a safe place to land. As they struggle to survive in a world they’ve never seen before, they must rely on each other and the kindness of strangers—some of whom may prove more dangerous than the asylum they’ve fled.

Narrated in Elizabeth Byler Younts’s gorgeous style, The Bright Unknown is a sparkling search for answers, family, and a place to call home.

Read an excerpt to The Bright Unknown HERE

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |
Book Depository |Christianbook


ABOUT THE
AUTHOR

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Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl.
She is also the author of the critically
acclaimed novel, The Solace of Water
and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.
CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE:
This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

Lies Girls Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Dannah Gresh Review

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Description

You can’t change the world, but you can prepare her for it.

Today’s girls face a number of challenges we never dealt with at their age. From skyrocketing anxiety rates to bullying on social media, the Enemy’s lies are everywhere. How do you help the girl you love walk in freedom?

Equip her with Truth. Dannah Gresh, author of Secret Keeper Girl and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth) brings you Lies Girls Believe. This fun, easy-to-read book engages your daughter in the twenty most important truths she needs. She’ll help solve problems using fun sidebars and it’s packed with wisdom, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help her absorb the message. Prepare your daughter for the difficult challenges she’ll face in the world today with sections addressing:

Lies about God
Lies about Friendship
Lies about the Future
Lies about Myself
Lies about Boys

And more! 

Lies Girls Believe is designed to help your daughter fully understand the Truth so she can live the way God meant for her to live—free!

For the best results, use the accompanying Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe which invites you to critically examine the lies girls believe and discover how to set your daughter free. It also helps facilitate discussion between you and your daughter.

My Thoughts

Being a pre-teen/young teenage girl is tough at any time but in this age of social media it’s probably the hardest time in history to deal with changing hormones, emotions, and bodies.

This book discusses 20 lies that the world tells these young ladies and counteracts them with truths from the one thing that never changes, The Word of God. Lies like, “Pretty girls are worth more” and, “Boys and girls really aren’t that different”. Timely and very “tween/young teen friendly”, this book is definitely a great tool to help young ladies as they navigate through these extremely difficult years.

The book is very visually pleasing…full of colorful illustrations and text, it is very fun to look through. The book does not require a lot of writing but it does have some questions in each chapter where the young lady writes her answers. (This book would make a wonderful group study for young ladies).

My 13 year old daughter perused the book and said that she loved the format and cannot wait to read it. She was especially excited to see that Sadie Robertson had contributed a quote on one of the pages (she loves Sadie).

Overall, this is a great resource for young ladies that tackles many difficult topics that they will encounter. I highly recommend it!

My Rating

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I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.