Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Planner Review - Sue Hooley/2015 Daily Planner

This easy-to-use Daily Planner is designed especially for homemakers. 

As a mother of six, Sue has learned that her day can seldom be scheduled the same as the previous day.  She can't fit every task of her day into the time slots offered in other planners. Her 2015 Daily Planner is versatile and it helps a homemaker to organize her days and duties effectively.

Features include: 

  • Two-page Weekly layout with menu planning and to-do list
  • Two-page Month layout
  • Year Calendars with place for notations
  • Perforated Shopping Lists
  • Tasks Lists and Projects & Events Sections
  • Information Section
 My Review:  From the lush floral, rustic portrait on the front cover of the daily planners, I was hooked immediately. Opening the cover to reveal the beauty inside just confirmed what I already knew - this planner is magnificent.  The inclusion of a scripture right way gives strength, solace and comfort in knowing that each day we are presented with is a gift.

I'm a busy mom!  I have a husband, 4 kids, and some super hectic schedules to juggle.  This planner is just the tool I need to keep me organized and efficient!

There are lots of planners.  But this one?  It's unique and bold and really pretty to look at ♥   In this day and age, people use electronic gadgets and phones.  But I'm old school - I like the tactile feel of an object, writing it down, recording it for memory and always being able to look back on something tangible that will be around long after the 'electronic gadgets' have broken and been replaced.  I like to write things down and record them to have for years from now, especially if inherited by my children.
The top three things among the many that stood out for me with this planner:

~ The flip tabs on the side for easy opening to the correct place each time.
The pages have small 'dog-earred' corners for you to remember the places that might be a most visited pages.

~It's truly beautiful.  Flip to any page at random and you'll find an inspiring scripture or an insightful quote.

~ The boxes to right in are big enough for several things in the busy schedule, including the menu for the day!

This will be one of my treasured items to carry within the new upcoming year!

You can find this planner and information about the author on her website.
Please check it out here! 

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product 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.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: Miracle in a Dry Season

From the book jacket:   It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.
Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor . . . until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.
My review:  Debut novel? This book left me breathless!  Sarah Loudin Thomas' writing style is charming and refreshing.  Her writing style magnifies the beauty, and simplicity, of an era gone by.  I was nostalgic for such simple times of square dances, basket dinners and dances complete with banjos and men playing the spoons!  
Perla arrives in Wise, West Virginia in the 1950's after leaving behind a gossipy, wistful past and starts out to begin life anew with her daughter, Sadie, born out of wedlock.  It's not long before the new town starts to condemn and gossip, forcing Perla once again to reevaluate her life.  She's caught the eye of Casewell, one of the town's few batchelors,  but he's weary, worried and torn between feelings growing for Perla and that of what God would expect others to do - forgive.  Perla remains a a constant through-out this book in being a quiet, faithful woman of Christ and a wonderful mother to her daughter.  The small inscripts like Casewell making little doll furniture for Sadie's doll, Amy, was absolutely enchanting. 
Speckled with the harsh realities that often overcame the times, like cancers that can't be cured,  this book gives you a great insight into the times.  Sarah Thomas has done her homework - this book resonates well with the times, area and overall feel of the people in society.   If you'd love a Christian read without and overbearing message of preaching,
and a comforting, heart warming to the soul read, then I highly recommend Miracle!

*Disclaimer:  I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House,
a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review.  
Any reflection of such is my own and this review is an honest reflection of such.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Hit

Book Jacket:  After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah's future is all laid out before her that is until she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with a poem in her back pocket one that will declare her feelings once and for all.

Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah's attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning.

But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her."

My Review:    After seeing the book jacket for this book, and seeing it was inspired by a real life story,  I was literally salivating when my ARC book arrived in the mail!  I jumped right in and finished the book in a few hours as this is a rather quick read.  There are 52 chapters, based over the course of just 3 days from start to finish, packed into all of it's 215 pages.  However, some of the chapters are just a few sentences long ~ don't let the length scare you away.
The author, Lorie Ann Grover, has a new fan with me as her writing style not only clinches this book together like a present with a bow on the top, but is creative enough to make you feel like you are there on each page.   This book will definitely leave you breathless, shaking your head and cheering for setting things right after they go so terribly wrong.
Sarah, or Sares, as she is lovingly called by her family, has her future planned out after meeting her teacher Mr. Haddings.  Suddenly, life turns on a dime and becomes more poetic.  She's drawn to him and his ability to put words to paper and make them flow, something she dabbles with and keeps journals of her poetry.  She feels a connection, and sets out to tell him so when she is hit by a car on a wet rainy morning ~ an accident, but one by sheer fate, lands two people with paths already crossing on shaky ground at school crossing yet again, this time with tragic consequences.  Fate brings Sares to that crosswalk that stormy morning, and in the second Mr. Haddings looks away just for a second, his car meets here there.  And not in a good way.
While this book plays on the emotions and tugs at the heartstrings, it's not that creepy teacher-student romance that so often we read about in the news.  Is Sarah infatuated with her teacher? Yes.  She writes him a poem to tell him so, which turns out to be a catalyst in the book.  That poem, found at the scene after he tries to help Sarah while waiting on 911,  drives Mr. Haddings to do the right thing.
Hit's message is very clear to me.  Life turns on a dime, and sometimes the unexpected turns out to be the path less chosen.  The life you plan, the journey you intend to take, and the road to becoming the person you are meant to be - teenagers and adults alike - can change in an instant.   It's up to you  regardless of those circumstances to come back stronger and bolder and ready to challenge the one person who can make a difference - yourself.
It behooves me to say that fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will enjoy this book immensely.

*Disclosure: A copy of this book was  received for review purposes from Book Look. The opinions expressed in this review are purely my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.