An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Hunter

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko




My Review:

It is not often that you read a book where you feel the author really made it a point to bring the point home on how hard it was to be a beauty.

I felt this story really showed the drastic measures that men took in the time period to use and abuse their power over women and their families, while playing with their heart.

The story was totally enjoyable, while not too deep, it was enjoyable and I would love to read more by this author. If you enjoy regency fiction, you will want to check this one out. It is likely my favorite by this author so far.

I received this book through NetGalley. The opinions contained herein are my own.

This book is available for purchase from Amazon.

An Inconvenient Beauty


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Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko



My Review: 
I love Lynn Austin’s books. This one is not a race to the story kind of novel, but a slow build up to the fever pitch that dies down and then revs up again.

The story is written in a different style than some of her books, giving it to you in pieces, leaving you wanting in some areas as you travel through the pages and travel the globe with the two sisters. It is not a romance, even though there is mention of romantic attachments in the novel, but it is more the story of discovery. It would be excellent to go along with a homeschool study of Ancient history and world history.

The book is available for preorder on Amazon!
I obtained this book through NetGalley. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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Starting Your Homeschooling Journey

Starting your Homeschooling Journey

By Martha Artyomenko

Welcome to the road that is wrought with decisions and emotions! You are now your child’s teacher full time. This means, if you bring in outside teachers, you are responsible for that decision as well.  I wrote this post for our state, but much of this applies for any state.


Find the why for your family/child:

Why do you think you should homeschool?

Are you homeschooling because that is what best for your child or are you doing it because it is what you think you should do?

When you find the reason for you, it gives you something to come back to on the hard days. It can help you when you are evaluating and seeing if this is the place you should be for your child’s education.


  1. File a notice of intent to homeschool. 
  2. Keep attendance and immunization records. 
  3. Provide the required hours of instruction. 
  4. Teach the required subjects. 
  5. Follow health and safety regulations.


Graduation Requirements





Choosing curriculum is a very personal decision. Be sure to not choose it because someone else did. There is a lot out there and it can be overwhelming. One thing to do when you are first starting out, is to keep it simple.



Language Arts (English, spelling, vocabulary, reading)







Don’t get multiple things for the same subject. Trust that one will do the job. There are some that will cover more than one as well.

Work to discover things about your children. How do they learn? What makes their brain get excited? Remember, it is only as boring as you think it is. If you are excited, they can be.





I love this planner as you can buy once and then print as you need. It is cheap and easy to use.

Life as a Mom Planners


Checking out resources like Pinterest and googling your curriculum to see how others organize it.


Think outside the box beyond desks. Some children learn better with movement and need an exercise ball, wobble seats or even working on the floor to learn the best.




What does a normal day look like?

Everyone’s days will look different. This blog has a lot of “Day in the Life of” posts, which are really helpful when determining what you want your school days to look like.



Getting involved and finding support:


(Local Resources)

Support groups at Cornerstone

Local Facebook and Yahoo Groups

Curriculum based FB/yahoo groups

Field trips


Monthly Activities




Common Mistakes

What are some of the common mistakes you have seen?

Believing that you have to use a complete boxed curriculum


Doing way too much

Doing too little

Comparing yourself to blog posts, FB posts, other families etc. Comparison will always bring you up short. Remember the “Grass is always greener” saying.


Not taking advantage of your children’s learning style and gifts

Trying to recreate school at home straight across the board. If that is how they learn, that is great. Otherwise, you can miss out on the advantages of homeschooling.

Forgetting why you are homeschooling

Isolating yourself and not reaching out for help in the community

Remind yourself that what works for you may not be what works for someone else. You need to do what is best for you and your child, not someone else.  But in that, remember the caveat that this is about educating your child. Evaluate if you are doing that well and keep yourself accountable. If you are not able to do that, it might be time to look for an alternate way of educating.


Hard Days


There will be hard days. That does not mean you are a failure. It might mean you need to make it important to come to the support meetings. Get out there and share what you are struggling with. Someone else may have something that will help you or at least commiserate with you.


On hard days, realize you are not alone.


-Park Days

-Educational movies

-Field Trips

-Library Day

-Hands on activities

-Fresh Air


What are some ways you continue to educate through the hard days?

Read some good books

Here are some good titles of books that have helped me throughout the years. Everyone will have different ones they enjoy.

This is a new one that is excellent.

“Homeschool Basics” By Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover 

“Easy Homeschooling Techniques” By Lorraine Curry (I did not like everything in this book, but some parts of it were very helpful).


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Soul’s Cry by Cara Luecht


About the book:

Ione has everything she’d wanted with her busy shop filled to the brim with sumptuous fabrics, gossiping debutants, and a neatly increasing profit margin. Not to mention the unexpected attention of a man who doesn’t know her past.
And then the letter dropped from the mail slot onto to lush carpet. He was back. And the abuse, the shame, rushes in, reminding her of how unworthy she really is.
Miriam also has everything she’d wanted—and with a baby on the way, for the first time in her life, she has everything to lose. When she’d been alone, the future had held promise, but now with her life full, it also holds fear.
Unwilling to risk a vision of loss, Miriam stops painting what will be…right before Ione needs it most.

My Review:

I entered this series late. It did not ruin the series for me, but instead made me want to experience the rest of this author’s novels. I added all of them to my wish list.

I would have to say this book reminded of Pepper Basham’s novels in a way. The seamstress with past issues that she was dealing with, for some reason brought that to mind. But I loved the mystery as well that encompassed the story. White Fire Publishing has not disappointed me yet in one of their books that I have purchased. I am destined to purchase many more, based on my enjoyment of this novel and others. If you are looking for realistic fiction, pick this one up.


This book is available for purchase from Amazon and White Fire publishing.

“Soul’s Cry” 

This book was provided for review by the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.


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These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart



My Review:
Well, anything to do with birth or midwifery always fascinates me. This book is no exception. This book reminded me of Christy by Catherine Marshall of sorts, with instead of a teacher, we have a nurse midwife in training. Her pain from being abandoned  by the supposed love of her life in the beginning of the book sets the stage for us to learn some valuable lessons.
I loved the history that is woven throughout on the training, the hard births, the tough calls that they had to make as well as balancing the old wives tales while still utilizing some of the natural remedies that were good.
Ms. Gabhart did an amazing job telling us this story, while causing us to experience life there in the hills.
This book is available for purchase from Amazon and where books are sold for pre-order.

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Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason



My Review:
As always, Lynette Eason delivers a fast moving suspense novel that will keep you holding your breath.
What is not to love, women that are bodyguards? Then a grandfather than owns a castle?  Death stalking you on every corner, gunshots, knife wounds? This book is full of them.
While probably not the most realistic, I loved how this story brought out about children that end up in bad situations because of how life has been for them. Haley and the street children story that was told in small bits and pieces throughout it really brought it home.
Book #4? I hope there are more to come in this series!
This book is available for purchase on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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A Dangerous Engagement by Melanie Dickerson



About the book:

Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home. Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage. Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall.

Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley. Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity. Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebels’ secrets—by asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be.

Philip is duty bound. Felicity is game. Together they’re risking their lives—and gambling their hearts—to undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.

My Review:

You ever want a light and happy regency mystery? Look no further. Here you have one. Following the theme of spies and regency romance, this light and happy tale leads you down paths of intrigue. And it might have you questioning why on earth parents of that time period thought that sending your child off to stay with a unknown relative was a good idea.

I loved the whole big family idea/them that was in this one as being one of 11, I totally related to it!
Melanie Dickerson triumphs again with a great read!

You can pre-order it now on Amazon!

A Dangerous Engagement 

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Healing the Scars of childhood Abuse by Gregory Jantz



My Review:

I felt this was a fascinating book. It had some very good info in it, detailing what abuse was. It talked about how sometimes things we don’t even recognize as abuse can be that way, whether we mean them to be or not in our culture today. Lack of child restraints in a car for example, not getting medical care or help for children with learning disabilities, things that even 20-30 years ago was more commonplace, but now realizing that this is not an okay thing and is legally on a neglect scale.

The one key thing that I felt should been concentrated on a bit more, was delving into that even though you have been abused, you do not have to be an abuser. I felt that it instead highlighted some of the greatest fears that childhood abuse victims have of becoming their abuser. It was good to lay it out, but I felt this could have been a bit more key and clearly detailed.

The book was an easier read, despite it topic at hand, but clear and to the point.

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When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko


About the book:

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy’s newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?


My Review:

From the name change to hating her looks, Tess seemed like she had something to prove. Dan Avery has his own insecurities, yet for both of them they try to cover it up well.

This is one thing that I love about Sarah Sundin’s books. Her characters are strong, smart, often beautiful/handsome and the like, but they are flawed. They are like normal people, but we get to see what they fear the most. Then top it off with a good spy ring, this book has it all.

I really enjoyed learning more about the WAVES and what the USA did on this end against the German U Boats. I always think there is nothing new to learn about WW2 history and then I am surprised! If you like WW2 history, pick this one up!


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A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko




My Review: 

I was not sure what to expect from this book and I found it started off a bit slow for me. But it did not stay that way for long. I found myself absorbed in the story of a thief attempting to basically infiltrate a life and lifestyle she did not know anything about.

Each twist and turn of the story, especially with a hero that stutters made this absolutely unique for me. I loved all the tidbits of history throughout, but the hero and heroine who had no focus on romance whatsoever, but you almost felt like it was a natural part of the story, but not the focus.

I would highly recommend this book, especially if you are stocking up on fall reads at the moment. Check this one out and put it on the “Must read” pile.

You can find this book for purchase from Amazon and other book sellers. “A Name Unknown” 

(This book was provided by NetGalley and Bethany House. The opinions are my own)

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