The Turquoise Table by Kristen Schell

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

A simple way to connect your neighborhood, your community and build friendships.

Are you consumed with a busy life but unsure how to slow down? Do you desire connection within your community and think, “Absolutely, but I don’t have time for that” or “I can’t create that”? What if there was another way through it all, a way to find those moments of peace and to create a time for honest, comfortable connection? What if meeting neighbors and connecting with friends was as simple as showing up and being available?

Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:

Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table Simple recipes to take outside and share with others Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting New ways to view hospitality

Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live.

Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.

My Review:

This simply written book gives plenty of great ideas on connecting with family and making new friends with your neighbors. For me, as someone that deathly afraid of getting too close to anyone who lives in the near vicinity, it had some very scary ideas, but it is good to stretch my mind.

I liked the simple ideas filled with connection that pull people. I thought of that cheesy commercial, where everyone brought tables into the hallway and their dinners out to share with one another.

We do truly live in a society where connection is lacking in person, but I also think for the severe introverts these ideas can be horrifying as well. So, I read this book and thought of ways that I can incorporate them without chilling me to my bones. =)

Overall, amazing concept, great book and one I will want to buy as gifts for a few people.

This book is available on Amazon for purchase. “The Turquoise Table” 

This book was given to me for review by BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

 

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Twenty Two by Alison Trowbridge

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

Allison Trowbridge harnesses the power of story in a series of letters to an imagined young woman wrestling with the questions that arise as she stands on the precipice of adulthood.

The 21st century is a wonderful and complicated time to be a young woman. From access to higher education and advances in gender equality to the innovations of social networks and limitless travel destinations, no twenty-two-year-old woman has ever had more options before her than the college graduate of today. And yet, even with the world at her feet, she often has more questions than answers, more pressures than prospects, and more disenchantment than direction.

Stepping into this glaring disconnect, Allison Trowbridge offers Twenty-Two, a series of personal letters that marries true life experiences and advice with the fictional life of the recipient, Ashley, a young woman looking for mentorship from someone one step ahead in life. Trowbridge subtly weaves in today’s most pressing social issues—from poverty in our neighborhoods to human trafficking across the globe—inspiring a greater sense of mission in both Ash and the reader.

Twenty-Two is a book that speaks to millennial women, a generation hungry for a bigger life story yet uncertain about how to get there. But it is not a how-to book for girls coming of age, because a field guide could never capture the complexities of this season. Rather, Twenty-Two is a deeply personal narrative about friendship, heartbreak, and hope that will inspire young women from a wide variety of backgrounds to live fully into their own remarkable journeys today.

My Review:

This is a unique book of letters from a mentor to another, full of life issues that might face a young woman of today’s society. I think that it would speak to many young women of today, but I found myself lost amid the pages a few times and realized my age.

It would be a lovely gift for a graduating senior, heading out to college to read, if they take the time to read. The short letter like chapters, leave this book easy to follow and read for those that relate to the issues addressed.

This book was given to me for review by BookLook Bloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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Finally Focused by James Greenblatt M.D.

 

 

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

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About the book:

Dr. James Greenblatt has seen thousands of children and adults struggling with the symptoms of ADHD – hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and often irritability and combativeness. Rather than simply prescribing medication for their ADHD symptoms, he tailors remedies to his patients’ individual needs, detecting and treating the underlying causes of the disorder.

Finally Focused provides proven natural and medical methods to easily treat problems such as nutritional deficiencies or excesses, dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance inside the body), sleeping difficulties, and food allergies, all of which surprisingly can cause or worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s effective Plus-Minus Healing Plan, parents will first understand the reasons behind their child’s symptoms, and then be able to eliminate them by addressing the child’s unique pattern of biological weakness. Adults with ADHD can do the same for themselves. And if conventional medication is still necessary, this integrative approach will minimize or even eliminate troublesome side effects. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s expert advice, millions of children and adults with ADHD finally will get the help they need to achieve true wellness.

My Review:

I was very skeptical to read this book as I have read many, “Cure ADHD” books. This one was different. In each chapter it laid out specific and scientific reasons why certain vitamins, diets and medication help ADD and ADHD. I found a couple of things in opposition to advice given in other chapters, like the one chapter on going gluten free and then the other chapter focusing on making sure they had enough carbs and grains. The gluten free chapter seemed more faddish than science, but since it was just one chapter, I could overlook it.
I did order a box load of vitamins and have not been able to tell if it is helping or not, but I liked how he gave instructions for a time table, even when talking about cutting out foods, that if it has not changed at this point, it is not that causing the issue.

I would recommend this book to any parent with a child or an adult with ADD/ADHD.

This book is available for purchase wherever books are sold and Amazon. “Finally Focused” It also comes on audio.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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If I am Found by Terri Blackstock

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko 

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The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

 

My Review:

Time seemed to bind these two writers in one story, both in the wrong love matches and in their writing. I really did enjoy this book, written in a similar fashion to “The Wedding Chapel”, I still wanted a bit more at times. It was a deeper read, but woven in a way that you read to discover the secrets.

I love a book about a writer and this one has several writers as characters in the story. You will want to pick it up and figure out the mystery of the desk, the author that sat there before and how are the two writers from different time periods connected.

It is also a story about relationships between mothers and daughters. That is more subtle, but very present throughout the story. As we see in the stories, a mother controlling for good or for wrong can change the pathway of our life, and how we react to it will impact us.

This book is released July 11th and is available for order from Amazon or wherever books are sold. “The Writing Desk”.

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To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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My Review:
When I picked up this book by one of my favorite authors, I found myself checking to see that it was by her. The style seemed different. It was not in a bad way at all, but you know how you start to feel like all the characters are similar?  I did not feel that way about this one. Ryan seemed so different than my other favorites by her, and I was intrigued by Jenny as well.
The time period and history, which Ms. Camden is always a gifted story teller with, seemed to find those twists and turns that I have come to expect and enjoy. This is not one you will want to miss if you enjoy historical fiction. It is one that I will want to re-read again or suggest for  a book club. I throughly savored this one.
It is available to purchase wherever books are sold.
“To the Farthest Shores” on Amazon. It is also available on audio.

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Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

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Sweetbriar Cottage on Amazon http://amzn.to/2sHu8FV

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The Hideaway by Laura Denton

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

My Review:

I feel like it is more are that I really can’t put books down, but this was one of them. I kept falling back into the story. I loved her grandmother’s story. It really was something I could relate to, especially her marriage situation.

This is not a typical “Christian fiction” story. There is a very minute romantic thread of a sort, but that is totally not the focus of the book.  Instead, “happily ever after” does not happen for some of the characters. It is more real life and reality based. However, this does not take away from this story.  It kind of reminded me of “Cedar Cove” TV series as I read, with more depth to it.

I found myself wishing for more as I read, and trying to drag out the story, but in the end, I was satisfied and happy. I would recommend this book to those that want to see inside how a woman might have dealt with abuse in her marriage in a very non-descriptive way, in that time period. It does have the insinuation of sex, outside of marriage, but without detail.

You will be transported to the beach, want to own a B&B or take in older couples when you read this.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town’s red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn’t limited to orphans.
David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father’s companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he’s shown interest in Evelyn’s work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.
They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

My Review:

I throughly enjoyed book one of this series and dug into this second book with gusto. It is often that many people might judge this book by it’s title or even the cover and deem it a “romance novel” with disparaging tones, but I would be the first to argue with them.

While there is a story of love between a man and woman, the  main love focus that I saw was the love for the least of these. Orphans, prostitutes, and others that were not deemed acceptable always in this times period that the book is set in, were the focus of the heroine of our story. She is honorable, driven and a strong personality.

This story brings to the forefront, much of the underbelly of polite society, without being graphic or unseemly, but truly will give the readers much to think about and ponder. Who are the ones in our society that we put in this category?

The author is skilled in her writing, interweaving a tale that will pull you in until you are finished. I would encourage you to pick up a copy. I found this book not only interesting, but another learning experience about the moral society of that time.

I received this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are my own.

This book is available for purchase. “A Love So True” 

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