Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wendy Reviews Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen

Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen
Genre: YF Romance
Content:  Very clean, some violence
Publisher:  Hidden Falls Publishing
Release date: May 15, 2014
# of pages:  259

jacket blurb:

Lylin is not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Penni's Review of Goddess Born by Kari Edgren

goddess born coverGenre: YA, Romance
Content: Clean Read
Publisher: Carina Press

Book Summary/jacket blurb:
Pennsylvania, 1730
Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal.

A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it's Selah's sacred duty to help those in need.  But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden.  The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there's no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.

When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope-that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned.  Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.

But when news of Samuel's death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own.  Terrified, she faces an impossible choice-forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan?  Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?

What I liked about this book:
I enjoyed how humble Selah was with her power to heal.  She is always loving and caring to the people that she helps.  She comes from a very well to do family but that doesn't stop her from getting out into the community and helping out.  Everyone she comes in contact with just loves her.   I also learned a lot about the Quaker community.  The author does a wonderful job telling about the history behind their beliefs.  This book has many twists and turns along the way and you never know what secrets everyone is keeping.

Rating: 4****

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mary Ann Reviews the movie The Book Thief

A lot of times I read the book before I see the movie, but not this time. I heard it was dark and depressing and wasn't sure if I could deal with the emotions. My husband rented the DVD and I watched with reservation.

Surprisingly, it was lighter than I thought. It still dealt with horrible war-time realities, but I felt hope from the main character.

I'd heard that the book was a little confusing in the beginning because it takes a while to figure out who the Narrator is. The movie helps clear that up faster.

Death narrates in the background as an observer. I'd never really considered Death to be an entity. It's just a fact of life--you're born, you live, you die, and move onto another realm or form of being.

Death is fascinated by one Liesel Meminger, a young girl who is forfeited by her single mother, a communist, to foster parents Hans and Rosa, an older, childless couple. Communists were widely persecuted and giving up children to foster parents was the safest thing her mother could've done for her.

It's not clear why Liesel hadn't learned to read up to that point, but Hans, the kindly foster father, teaches her when he learns about her behavior at school and what was at the root of her trouble.

She becomes obsessed with reading everything she can find and adds to her vocabulary list on the basement walls. She finds a friend in the Mayor's wife and they share their love of books.

In spite of all of the death and dying around her, Liesel becomes the one person to make Death wonder what it would be like to live.

All of the actors and actresses deliver amazing performances.

I found this a very uplifting movie and would be great for families with older children. I give it 4.5 stars.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Blast for Marriage Isn't For You by Seth Adam Smith

  Marriage isn't for you Marriage Isn't For You: It's for the One You Love What is the best wedding advice you ever received? For author Seth Adam Smith, it was the advice from his father who said, Marriage is not for you. It is about the person you marry. These few words completely changed the way Seth looked at his relationship with his wife-to-be. Because at that moment he realized that an expression of love is not about the person expressing it. Rather, it is about the person they choose to be with. It is about making the person you marry feel loved. Seth's blog post on the subject was viewed by more than twenty-seven million people, and he has been featured on several national TV programs including The Today Show. Now released as a hardcover book, these sage words make the perfect gift for newly married couples, those who have been around the block a few times, or anyone who wants to learn how to make their relationships stronger. Praise for Marriage Isn't for You This is raw, this is reflects what a lot of couples experience... it pulls you in. ~ --TODAY Show ...a tender, honest story. ~ ...overwhelmingly heartfelt and touching admission. ~ ABC NEWS This story has become a viral sensation! ~ --The NY Daily News The Internet is loaded with marriage advice, but rarely does one single tidbit resonate strongly with so many people. ~ --Yahoo Lifestyle

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mary Ann's Movie Review of Austenland

Austenland Rated PG-13

Screenplay by Shannon Hale and Jerusha Hess
Directed by Jerusha Hess
Produced by Stephanie Meyer

A sweet story of a 30 year old Jane Hayes who adores Colin Firth's version of Mr. Darcy. Her life is consumed by it, as evidenced by her bedroom.

None of the men she has met to this point can live up to her Mr. Darcy expectations.

She spends her life savings on a trip to Austenland (The Copper Package). This is one of the changes from the book, which is ok.

When she arrives, she becomes more like one of Austen's heroines than she planned--due to the "Copper Package" versus the "Platinum Package." She gets the uninspiring last name, cast-off clothes, the hired hand, and the lectures--a great modern-day view of the class system.

After living the dream for a while Jane becomes confused between reality and make believe. Of course she would, so I would I. I think Jane has always been confused on this point, and it brings her, finally, to the point of questioning.

There were so many humorous subtleties, I may have to watch this over and over again. My favorite part is when Miss Charming (played by Jennifer Coolidge) embroiders her lacey glove into her sampler. I busted up. Comedic genius!

This is a fun, clean movie for all Austen fans. I even caught my husband laughing. I give it ****1/2 stars.