Midnight in Austenland

Midnight in Austenland is a book written by Shannon Hale.  I received this book from Net Galley on my Kindle.  Since I had read Princess Academy (which was a children’s book that won the Newberry Award and was also written by Shannon Hale) and loved it, I thought that I was going to enjoy reading this one.  It was not until after I agreed to review it and downloaded it onto my Kindle that I realized it was an adult book that I did not feel up to reading.  Since I downloaded it, however, I am required to write a 200+ review on it, so I will attempt to do so.

Charlotte is a lady who once married, but I personally did not get the idea that she ever fell in love. She just married.  But then her husband died.  She does not know what to do, and crumbles away inside herself.  She starts to get wrinkles.  She is unhappy.  Charlotte does not know what to do with her life.  Some of her friends think that she should go and find the perfect man and fall in love and get married, etc, etc.  Charlotte really does not know what to do.  Like Princess Academy, this book took a while to pick up in the beginning, or I was just impatient.

Do not let my bad review keep you from reading Miss Hale’s works, though, as she is a great children’s author.  I believe one of the reasons that I did not understand this novel was because I think there is another “Austenland” novel that I missed that came before this one.  Whether or not it is required to read that one first, I am sorry to say that I do not know.

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The Forgiven Duke

This book is pretty good. It is written by Jamie Carie and published by B&H publishing company. This is the sequel to The Guardian Duke, and the second book in the Forgotten Castle series. In this book, Alexandria is in Iceland, continuing her search for her parents. Her fiancé, John Lemon, is at her side and overly protective. Alexandria is starting to get frustrated with him and his eagerness toward their relationship, and Alex wonders if she did the right thing or an impulse thing when she agreed to marry Lord John Lemon. She feels in her heart that she is in love with the duke, but she does know how to handle it because whenever she voices her doubt to John, he gets very mad. Meanwhile, the Duke of St. Easton has been taken back to London, where the regent’s soldiers are sent to retrieve Alexandria. One day, the mysterious Spanish people who have been following and harming Alex, catch up with and capture the duke!! He is tortured, very weak, seasick, and sent to the King of Spain who wants the mysterious manuscript that the elder Featherstones, Alex’s parents, have been sent to find. The way he goes about trying to get that is by trying to get Alexandria, who they think has more information. In reality, Alex knows nothing of it, and just wants to find her parents. Anyway, the duke convinces the king that he is the only one who can find Alexandria, and the king lets him go look for her to bring her back with an army of Spanish soldiers. I cannot really sum up the end part of the story, because then you would know whether or not the regent’s soldiers or the Duke got to Alexandria first, or if either of them did! You’ll have to read the book, which comes out in the next couple of months. You should be able to buy it online through Barnes & Noble or amazon.com.

 

Thank you so much to Net Galley and B&H publishers for letting me review this book! I really enjoyed it and cannot wait to read the third one, The Duke’s Promise.

Pirate of My Heart

Pirate of My Heart by Jamie Carie is one of my personal favorite books.  I have already read it twice and will most likely read it again!

Kendra Townsend is an English lady.  (Like, her name is Lady Kendra Townsend, not just that she’s a girl-which she is) Her mother died birthing her and all she has is her dad.  They are both very close.  One day, out of the blue, Kendra’s uncle, her dad’s long lost brother appears and asks for help in paying off his bills.  Kendra’s father agrees, and then sees the amount and gets mad.  Kendra’s uncle kills her dad, and then tries to marry Kendra off so that he can collect her dowry.  Kendra does not like that plan, so she tries to be as unattractive as possible.  Her plan works, but her uncle Andrew sends her off to America to some relatives that she has never met.  Along the way, she falls in love with the ship’s captain.  There is a lot of drama as her aunt and uncle in America don’t want her, until they also come up with the plan to marry her off and get her dowry.  (Kendra is unaware to all of this.) The sea captain’s name is Dorian, and he is from a rich family that falls in love with Kendra immediantly.  Kendra’s uncle, however, sees that if she marries him he would not get her dowry, and things get dangerous.  Kendra is captured and forced to marry a man that is supposed to spilt her dowry with her uncle in Amerca.  Or at least, all that was attempted.  You’ll have to read it to see what actually happened.  You can buy this book on amazon.com or even your kindle or nook.  Please enjoy!

 

Thank you to Net Galley and B&H publishers for letting me review this book.  I really enjoyed it.

I Am Second

I Am Second is a very encouraging book-I loved it!! It includes some well-known and maybe not so well-known people that went through hard times and hit bottom but did not stay there! They realized that God should be First in their lives and place themselves Second.  They found out that when you take your eyes off of yourselves and put it on Jesus Christ, you do not feel so bad because you are taking care of others.

 

These stories are so encouraging and perfect for everybody because you can see that these people are not perfect yet they can live happily in God.  This book has several short stories from people including Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who had her arm bitten off by a shark and used the opportunity with all the media to share God’s love, and many others.  You can read it all in one day or a story a day.  This is part of a campaign of people everywhere. You can visit their website at iamsecond.com.  You can join groups and buy merchandise, too.

 

Thank you to BookSneeze and Thomas Nelson publishers for letting me review this book.  I have really enjoyed it and am becoming a Second.

God, Girls, and Getting Connected

God, Girls, and Getting connected is a devotional written by Robin Marsh and Lauren Nelson.  This book is aimed towards teenagers.  The setup of the devotionals is really cool–in the beginning of that day’s devotion, a girl has written God a text message, asking Him a question or telling about a problem.  Then, you have God’s response, which includes a great lesson, possibly story, and Scripture.  These are short yet powerful devotions that teenagers and preteens will love.

 

At the start of the book, there are several pages about the authors, set up to look like Face book pages.  You can learn about these godly girls who are here to help you grow further into your personal walk with God.  You will learn that Lauren Nelson was Miss America in 2007, and Robin Marsh is a news reporter.

 

I really liked this book because it deals with common problems that teenagers face and gives a solution on their level and “in their language”, using Face book and texting formats, plus helping girls to grow and live more closely to God.  This book would make a great gift.

 

Thank you to Net Galley and Harvest House publishers for letting me review this book.

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie is an excellent book published by B&H publishers that releases in June of 2012.  Alexandria Featherstone’s parents are treasure hunters that have been missing for almost a year.  Everyone, even the king, thinks them dead, except for Alexandria.  Alexandria (Alex) lives on Holy Island in a falling apart castle  with a few servants/housekeepers who are so old that Alex actually does most of the work!

 

In England, there is a duke, Gabriel St. Easton, who out of the blue receives a letter saying that he is now the guardian of a lady named Alexandria Featherstone because her parents are believed dead.  The duke of St. Easton sends his secretary to Holy Island to see who it is exactly he is in charge of.  The secretary, Mr. Meade, comes back tongue-tied and with a bullet hole in his shoulder.  He and Alex begin writing letters back and forth.  A little while later, the duke is told that Alexandria could be in danger and he must fetch her and bring her to England.  Gabriel St. Easton makes his way to Holy Island.

 

Meanwhile, Alexandria had found a clue that she thinks will lead her to her parents, so she sets off to find them.  The duke does not make it in time to reach Alexandria, so he follows in her footsteps, trying to catch up with her.  Alexandria soon finds out that he is following her, and, fearing that he will make her stay in London with him, she makes it as hard as possible for him to follow her.  The duke, on the other hand, had recently gone deaf, so he and his secretary were having an even harder time trying to ask people where she went.  The duke plans on, if he could ever catch up with her, help her in her search for her parents.  At least, that was what he was planning before he realized all the danger she was in because of other treasure hunters chasing after Alexandria and her parents.

 

Thank you to Net Galley and B&H publishers for letting me review this book! I really enjoyed it and look forward to reviewing books for you in the future.

The Mandie Collection Volume 11

The Mandie Collection Volume 11 by Lois Gladys Leppard is a republished form of four beloved Mandie novels: Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm (Mandie Mystery #39), Mandie and the Graduation Mystery (Mandie Mystery #40), Mandie and Joe’s Christmas Surprise, and Mandie and Mollie and the Angel’s Visit.  Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm is set when Mandie is returning from her Christmas vacation to her Grandmother Taft’s house before returning to Miss Heathwood’s School for Girls.  Mandie had received a telegram from her grandmother saying that Miss Hope, one of Mandie’s teachers, has gone missing! Miss Hope was not the type to just run off without telling where she is going, so her sister Miss Prudence is very worried.  Miss Hope has left her clothes and other belongings at the school, and when Mandie and her friends ask around town if anyone has seen Miss Hope, everyone is strangely quiet, acting like they are hiding something.  Mandie and her friends are very confused and worried.

 

For Mandie and the Graduation Mystery, Mandie’s housekeeper Aunt Lou has made Mandie a beautiful white graduation dress with little flowers sewn into it.  Mandie loves it and brings it to her grandmother’s house for safekeeping until it’s near time to wear it to graduate.  About a week away from her graduation, she and Celia bring their dresses from Mandie’s grandmother’s house to the school and hide them in the back of their closets so that no one will mess with them.  A few days before the graduation, Mandie and Celia notice things being moved around on their dresser, and later, they notice that someone has messed with their dresses.  They ask Miss Prudence for a key to lock their closet, and she grants the request.  Still, someone is messing with their clothes! The girls are baffled as their closet was locked.  How did the person get in?

 

For Mandie and Joe’s Christmas Surprise and Mandie and Mollie and the Angel’s Visit, these were short stories about Mandie when she was thirteen.  After three chapters of the book, there is an original play by Lois Gladys Leppard on the same text of the book, except for in play form.  All the dialogue and characters were the same in the short story and the play.

 

Thank you very much to Bethany House publishers for providing me with a review copy of this book! I really enjoyed it and look forward to continuing to work with you.  Thanks again!

Daily Gifts of Grace

I received this book, Daily Gifts of Grace, from Book sneeze.  This book has a page-long devotion for each day of the New Year, 2012.  The devotions are written by all different respected Christian authors, such as Kay Arthur, Lisa Whelchel, and many others.  The topics of the devotions range from all different topics.  Some are humorous stories, others tales of mistakes that you can avoid, yet all encouraging to our daily walk with God.  This book is a Women of Faith devotional, a book to go along with or separately to their conferences.  Many well-known speakers, musicians, and comedians participate in the conferences, and some of the speakers write devotions in this book.  Some include Natalie Grant, Joni Eareckson Tada, Lisa Harper, and Jenna Lucado.  This book is sure to encourage and inspire you.  It makes a wonderful Christmas gift, New year’s present, birthday, or any day gift.  It has a beautiful cover design including a magnetic close, unless, of course, you buy this book as an e-book.  This is a practical book that women of all ages should enjoy.  The devotionals are very encouraging.  One, for example, is a devotional Natalie Grant wrote talking about a time that she fell off of the stage while singing! She said that she wanted to go and hide, and never be spoken to again, but instead she got back on the stage and continued to sing.  Mrs. Grant related that to how God sees us make mistakes, fall down, be ashamed of ourselves, and He will always pick us back up and give us the strength to go on.

Heaven is for Real For Kids book review

Heaven is for Real for Kids is a book that I received for free from Book sneeze in return for my honest review, so here it is.  This is a small, picture-book type of book that is very kid-friendly.  The pictures are simply beautiful, and really make you excited about going to heaven.  The words explain heaven in a very kid-friendly way, and at the end, presents the gift of salvation in an easy-to-understand format.  I really enjoyed this book, and think that it would be great for a church library, or as a gift for anyone ages three to ten.  This book made me want to read the adult version of it.  This book is told as Colton Burpo told his parents about his trip to heaven.  From what I have gathered, Colton was a four-year-old boy would was in the hospital room when he died and went to heaven.  He says there are animals, lots of people including Colton’s sister and King David from the Bible.  Colton says, in the book, that Jesus and Colton’s older sister showed him around-to all the rooms and meadows.  The lovely pictures in this book really help me get an understanding of what Colton saw, and makes me excited about the place God has prepared for all those who believe in Him!