Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review: Sonrise Stable #2 ~ Carrie and Bandit

From the book jacket: Carrie can’t believe it—she has a horse of her own and is only weeks away from being adopted by the most loving family she’s ever known. But Bandit is harder to manage than she first imagined—and the adoption might not go as smoothly as she thought either. When a bad decision jeopardizes everything, Carrie learns what it means to be forgiven and truly loved.
Carrie and Bandit is the second book in the Sonrise Stable series, heartwarming stories of an extended homeschooling family as they live, learn, and love together. Mixing adventure, life lessons, and realistic horse experiences, the series is a must for readers who enjoy family values, Christian faith, and, of course, horses!

My Review:   I received this book (Carrie and Bandit, #2) to review and had not read #1, so I quickly read up on the first book in the series, Rosie and Scamper.  Carrie and Bandit is a continuation of book #1 and picks up where the book 1 leaves off.  

This book is pure delight!  It's such a charming children's book, refreshing in it's wholesome quality and beautiful depiction of children's love for their animals. I loved the relationship that Carrie has with her horse and how God places such empathy and caring in the lives of our small children.  There is a clear message of trust and dependence and a shining message of building relationships on trust and integrity, two of God's humbling tributes for us in this secular world.  

It's nice to have refreshing reads for home-schooled children without having to worry about content and inappropriate wording.  This book is a great read for young, pre-teen age girls (ages 7-10 is most perfect!) and would even make a great book collection set to keep through-out the years.  Move over, Dr. Suess ~ make room on the shelves for this absolutely darling little girl and horse book series!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The Christian Women's Review Crew.

About the author: It all began when a neighbor offered me my first ride on the back of her palomino Quarter Horse. That was the only time she ever took me for a ride and I'm sure she never knew the impact that it had on me.

I was eight years old and from that moment on I became obsessed with horses. I read every book about horses at our school and in our small town's library. I dreamed about horses and drew pictures of them. I wanted one so badly it felt like a physical ache.
I still remember my surprise when my dad came home one day with a beautiful dappled pony named Cricket. He had bought her at an auction and she came with a black saddle with a red, stitched seat. The only problem was that Cricket was not trained. I never was able to ride her. Every time I tried, I got bucked off and Cricket would take off down the road. It didn't diminish my love of horses in the least.
Shortly after that, we moved and to my delight, one of our new neighbors had several horses and ponies. He offered to teach me to ride and eventually took Cricket and one of my dad's pigs as a trade for one of his well-trained ponies, Dolly.
That was when the fun really began with 4-H, horse shows, fairs, parades, and trail rides over the years as I was growing up. When I had three daughters of my own, we also enjoyed riding together.
vicki watson nikki sonrise stable horse books
Through the influence of Christian horse trainers, John Lyons and Lew Sterrett, I began seeing that the relationship we have with our horses is, in many ways, similar to our relationship with God. God kept after me to do something using our horses to teach young girls about Him.
In 2002, my daughters and I started a group that we called the Christian Cowgirl Club. During the summers we invited a group of girls over once a week. We taught them about horses and riding, and included lessons about God, illustrated through experiences we had with our horses. Those experiences and lessons eventually evolved into the Christian Cowgirl website which has Christian horse devotionals, a member forum and various horse activities and articles.
The books in the Sonrise Stable series are fictional, but they draw heavily on the experiences I have had with horses over the years. My goal in writing the books was to help children learn about horses and draw closer to God!
You can read more about author Vicki Watson here:

Book Review: Growing Great Kids

Growing Great Kids by Kate Battistelli is a christian book based on cultivating God’s purpose in your child’s life.  I’d like to start that I am a fan of Francesca’s music and after reading this book, it’s evident that Kate is one proud mama!   However,  as a mom of 4 kids myself, I had high aspirations for reading a book that would be a christ-based,  parenting book.  Right out of the gate, it was evident that this book was not it as it has an overwhelming theme of the author talking continually about her daughter, Franny.  I do feel that this book read more like an autobiography and would recommend this book to anyone who want to read up on the life of Francesca Battistelli, her childhood and launching into her music career and not so much on christian parenting.

This book is broken down into 15 chapters, each with topics relevant to child-rearing.  Again, you will hear in each chapter how it was relevant to raising Franny and how each step in her childhood becomes an example of that topic.  Each topic is put to the test with bible verses and questions to think about, which was an enjoyable part of the book.   I was most impressed with Chapter 13, Timing is Everything.  As stated in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”  From growth to preparation to maturity and beyond, we as parents must learn how to cultivate that growth and know that during that time, good or bad, it’s all what is destined for our children.  

Prayer and faith are two crucial steps in the foundation of raising up children who put God first in their lives, each step of the way.   Whether you are new to raising a child or a seasoned parent/grandparent, this book does a wonderful job on making reference to pertinent topics.  Armed with the knowledge, prayer and some thoughtful insight, what great tools to have for the journey!  

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Book Review: Secrets

This charming romantic read by Robin Jones Gunn kept me turning pages just to get to the end! Jessica is a delightful character that makes this story one to remember. From the opening scenes of the crash to the "was it is?!" secret she carries, she captivates you and draws you in. I was rooting for Kyle all along and love his contribution to this book as a loving, Christian man. Even though Jessica hides her former life and hides as a small town teacher, this book deliver big town entertainment!

The book's setting of a small town, the foundation of faith that the novel "Secrets" is based on, and the twists and turns will have you up all night to finish is one.

Its important to know that the pull of coming back to God after losing your way is a strong theme in this novel. It's not over-bearing and this author's writing style is a smooth and easy pace.

It's my first read by Robin Gunn but I can't wait to,read more! This was 5 stars for pure well written work - a love story , a coming to terms, and handling antagonism all wrapped into one. Brilliance!

I recieved a copy of this book to review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review. I was not compensated to,write a positive review and write this positive review freely on my own.