Monthly Archives: February 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Shattered
By Dani Pettrey

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Book Description:
When her prodigal brother Reef’s return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon’s career in jeopardy.

When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself–and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

My Review:
When your brother shows up covered in blood, your mind would go automatically to the worse, or at least mine would. However Piper seemed to have a lot of faith in her brother, in spite of his poor track record. Piper finds herself spending a lot of time with Landon, which she finds confusing. She doesn’t understand how he has changed, and you the reader, read his struggles as well.
There is a great mystery here, with each page keeping you reading. This will be a series that I will be hoping comes out on audio so that my teenage son that loves mysteries will enjoy.
I also really liked how it tied in the issues with giving into temptation when it comes to drinking, and immoral behavior.

Litfuse gave this book to me in eBook format. The opinions are my own.

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Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

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Every Perfect Gift
By Dorothy Love

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Book Description
Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.
Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.
Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued with him but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life, but also their budding romance.

My Review:

This is the third and final book in this series. I didn’t have access to the second book in the series, but I am going to be looking for it! Sophie is all grown up from the child she was in the first book, and she is going back to her roots. She faced a lot of prejudice in the town before, so she knew she had a battle to fight.

I struggled to understand a couple of things after reading the book though. I couldn’t understand why she was never formally adopted, and I didn’t understand her mother appearing and disappearing. I was angry with her mother and some at Wade and Ada, for them not making the adoption formal.

Ethan faced his own demons and until he was ready to stare them down, forgive and move on, he was not even free to move on with the romance that was blossoming in spite of themselves. This was a sweet story that had some historical background, but mostly was just a nice story. -Martha

This book was given to me without charge from BookSneeze. The opinions are my own.

I review for BookSneeze®

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I have been behind on blogging..

I am missing it!

Let’s see, weeks #20-25 have been great of school…well, as great as this time of year can be! It has been tough, but we are plowing through and enjoying what we can!

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This was a receipt I found in an old cookbook for a hospital bill! Times have changed!

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So have basic cookbooks!!!

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We don’t get a lot of sunshine in the winter, and when we do, we take advantage of it! Tea in the sunshine!

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We are working our way through our books!!

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L. needs a haircut!

We had a wonderful homeschool mom support group meeting. It was really encouraging for all who attended! The children did really well as well!

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Some of the little girls!

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Playing games

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It was so nice how well they played while the mothers talked!

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More sledding while we have snow!

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L. and his cheesy grin

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Schoolwork takes brain food as my oldest son says….one of his creations for a snack!

I was also working on some organizing…
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My very messy junk drawer!

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Afterwards!!

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Messy linen closet

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Afterwards…it has been much easier to use!

One morning we got company unexpectedly as my sister had a little visitor of the mouse variety in the middle of the night. She came and enjoyed the rest of the night on our couch and we got someone to help us with our schoolwork, which we had to do on the bed instead of where we usually do it!

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No one was complaining!

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More school times!!

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T. working away!

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Cherry Almond Coffee cake for breakfast!

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School in the sun!

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More brain food!!

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The recipient of many sandwiches!

We had been learning about Africa earlier this year and did some field trips about it. We decided to have a couple of the fathers that had traveled to Africa, share about their travels and make food that would be eaten there.

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They brought lots of examples of things from Africa. Everyone enjoyed looking at them and hearing the pictures explained!

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It was really interesting to see animal skins, hear the stories behind them!

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An rice krispie cake of Africa!

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A table of some of the food….

It was really good!! We had a wide variety of food, but it was so yummy!

This week, we have learned a bunch of things in school, but I am also learning perseverance and patience as well! We are participating in a homeschool play and that means a bit of driving for me, which has been hard, but it is a lot of work and good for them!

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Menu for the week

Wednesday:
Roast and potatoes, carrots

Thursday:
Enchiladas, salad

Friday:
Baked potatoes, ham and broccoli toppings with cheese, salad

Saturday:
Pumpkin bread, Sloppy joes, buns, carrots

Sunday:
Leftovers, pumpkin bread, popcorn.

Monday:
Crock pot taco soup, cornbread

Tuesday:
Pasta, salad

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Right where I belong by Krista McGee

Right Where I belong
By Krista McGee

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

Natalia’s about to discover her place in the world . . . and it’s not following in her father’s footsteps.

After watching her father jump from one marriage to the next, Natalia has completely written off love. And when her father divorces his third wife—the only one who has been a mother to her—Natalia is ready to write him off too.

Needing a change of scenery, Natalia leaves her home in Spain and relocates with her stepmother to sun-soaked Florida. But she didn’t realize just how far a new school, a new culture, and a new lifestyle would push her out of her comfort zone.

One of her biggest surprises comes from Brian, a pastor’s son with an adorable smile, who loves God with a sincerity that astounds Natalia. She doesn’t want to fall for him, but she can’t seem to avoid him long enough to get him out of her mind.

Love is the last thing Natalia wants. Even so, God has her right where she belongs

My Review:

Natalia has seen the pain in love, first hand. She witnesses the several women that her father has used, and tossed aside without a second thought. She truly does not want that for herself. When she decides to go to the United States to be with her stepmother, she never dreams all she will experience there.

This was a YA novel, but written in a way that adults would find interesting. The format is simplistic, yet has some deeper messages. Natalia is alone in her faith, grown by the encouragement of her stepmother, yet the tables are turned and Natalia has to encourage her when the end of the marriage happens.

Brian, the pastor’s son was hard for me to figure out. He seemed like a great guy, but was hard to read. Was he shallow? Was he real? Did he just joke around because of insecurity?

The new friends that Natalia makes in Florida, are more interested in the same things that she is, and they work on encouraging her in her faith. She even has a hand in bringing Spencer, Brian’s nemesis to faith in Jesus on a mission trip to Costa Rica.

I was uncertain as to the fact that the church sent people on a mission trip that were not committed to the Lord. That sort of made me wonder if that is true often!

Overall, this book could have had a little more depth to it for me, but I understand that it was more a YA novel and I think it would speak to that age group well for that purpose. There is not really a romantic slant to the book, even though the couple is drawn to each other, the story is more focused on Natalia’s journey to believing God can give true love and that He had a plan for her, even if her parents did not understand.

This book was given to me for review by Book Sneeze, but the thoughts and review is my own.

– Martha

I review for BookSneeze®

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Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

Claiming Mariah
by Pam Hillman

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:
In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

My Review:
When we begin this story, we cannot help, but be drawn to the lovely, hardworking Mariah. She is trying to do what is right, but when Slade comes charging into her life, demanding his rights to her ranch, she does the honorable thing and hands it over in confusion. I imagine you would feel helpless in that situation, she had to earn money for train tickets, support her grandmother and worry about her blind sister away at school.

The characters in this story are real. They each have pain they are dealing with. The romance is light, not too detailed, but the pain is more raw. Slade- guilt and pain from blaming himself for his brother’s injuries as well as dealing with the anger from the things his father, the townfolk and others put him through. Mariah- blaming herself for her sister’s blindness and wondering why she did not know about her father’s issues.
The other characters that are secondary, like Buck, I would love to see a story about him. You could not help but like him. Injured by a wild mustang, he loves animals and had just a gentle heart.

Ms. Hillman makes you finish the book, and want more from her. She makes the story just real enough that you relate to the story in a personal way, without making the story so real that you don’t want to read it.

I look forward to reading more of her books as she writes them! -Martha

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