Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Year without a Purchase

I received a copy of The Year without a Purchase by Scott Dannemiller from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Year without a Purchase is the story of one family's quest to stop shopping and start connecting. Scott Dannemiller and his wife, Gabby, are former missionaries who served in Guatemala. Ten years removed from their vow of simple living, they found themselves on a never-ending treadmill of consumption where each purchase created a desire for more and never led to true satisfaction. The difference between needs and wants had grown very fuzzy, and making that distinction clear again would require drastic action: no nonessential purchases for a whole year. No clothes, no books, no new toys for the kids. If they couldn't eat it or use it up within a year (toilet paper and shampoo, for example), they wouldn't buy it.
Filled with humorous wit, curious statistics, and poignant conclusions, the book examines modern America's spending habits and chronicles the highs and lows of dropping out of our consumer culture. As the family bypasses the checkout line to wrestle with the challenges of gift giving, child rearing, and keeping up with the Joneses, they discover important truths about human nature and the secret to finding true joy. The Year without a Purchase offers valuable food for thought for anyone who has ever wanted to reduce stress by shopping less and living more.
I really admire the Dannemiller family.  Scott and Gabby have a great relationship with each other and have an undying faith.  When they were first married they spent a year serving in Guatemala.  After coming back to the states they began to realize they were falling back into the American way of life of getting things because they wanted them more than needed them.  While trying to find a way to get back to their family motto they decide to not buy anything for a year.  They do set a few rules that become challenging as the year goes on.  Scott is funny and is great at laughing at himself.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Valley of The Dry Bones

I received a copy of The Valley of The Dry Bones by Jery B. Jenkins from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jerry B. Jenkins’ books have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal Left Behind series, minting him as one of the best-selling novelists of all time. In his latest release, The Valley of the Dry Bones, Jenkins tells a thrilling tale of intrigue.
His futuristic portrayal of a dystopian California is set 17 years into the present drought, earthquakes and wildfires having left the state desolate. The President of the United States declares the state uninhabitable and orders California’s 39 million citizens to relocate. While from the air the state appears abandoned, fewer than 1% of the population refuse to leave – staying at their own risk.
In this inventive page-turner, a clash of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and politics triggers violence, pitting friend against friend with the future of the country at stake. Steeped in bravado, bloodshed, and deep devotion, this can’t-put-it-down thriller leaves readers wanting more.
A good book that really makes you think about our country's future.  In The Valley of The Dry Bones  California is now considered uninhabitable by the President of the United States.  Zeke and his group of hold outs do their best to stay alive, help others and keep their faith.  They've build an underground compound that gives each family a space, a common place to gather and a way to help others. So far they've been able to help other tribes in the state and stay under the radar.  Will they be able to continue when they have a member who's fighting for her life and a member who's betrayed them all?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Framed to Death

I received a copy of Framed to Death by Christina Freeburn from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Eden has turned into a hotspot of crime, and Faith finds herself smack dab in the middle of the flare-up. When a favor for a friend links Faith to the synthetic marijuana problem invading her town, no good deed goes unpunished becomes the title of her life. The town accuses the police of favoritism toward her, putting a strain between Faith and Ted, and a new officer is determined to prove Faith’s guilt.
When the criminal is outed, Faith’s relief is short-lived. A fire takes out the store—along with the suspected dealer—and she’s now number one on an officer’s suspect list. Faith sets out to prove her own innocence, and her digging sparks the truth to life. Instead of the truth setting the town free, Faith finds out it might destroy Eden, the friends she holds dear, and smother out her own life.
A good read.  Faith has become a magnet for trouble.  In Eden there seems to be a synthetic marijuana problem and Faith finds herself right in the middle of it all.  Can she keep herself out of trouble long enough to figure out who's setting all the businesses on fire before her Grandmother's business is next?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Genesis: A Harte's Peak Prequel

I received a copy of Genesis: A Harte's Peak Prequel by Maria Michaels from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What happens when you move three thousand miles away but still can’t outrun the nightmare?
Fleeing from haunting memories, former U.S. Marshal Jack Butler winds up next door to his biggest nightmare: an attractive widow and her troubled daughter—a teen who reminds him of a past he’s yet to make peace with.
Maggie Bradshaw is struggling to raise a rebellious teen and to forgive in-laws who betrayed her in her time of greatest need…but her new neighbor is a godsend. Her daughter Lexi needs a positive influence in her life, and a law enforcement officer is the perfect choice.
Unfortunately, Jack isn’t interested in helping...until a stray dog walks into all their lives.
Can God use a grieving daughter and a stray dog with an ulterior motive to bring healing to all?

A great book!  Jack Butler has moved next to Maggie to get over his past.  Maggie and her teenage daughter are on their own after her husband is killed in an accident.  Maggie has put her love life on hold to focus on raising her troubled daughter.  Will Maggie and Jack be what her daughter needs to get over her dad's death?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

More Than a Promise

I received a copy of More Than a Promise by Ruth Logan Herne from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Widower Matt Wilmot is an excavator by trade, but with his three rambunctious young sons making trouble all over town, he may not have what it takes to dig them out on his own.
 The boys' antics have earned them a riotous reputation in their small town of Cedar Mills. When Matt's former mother-in-law, a powerful lawyer and judge, threatens to sue for custody, Matt's sure she means it.
 Enter Matt's new neighbor, Elle Drake. She's made a successful career for herself as an artist and potter, but after a disastrously public break-up with her NFL-player ex-husband, she's back in Cedar Mills to lick her wounds and set her roughed-up self-image to rights.
 After Matt's oldest son causes damage in Elle's yard, her common-sense approach forces the boy to take responsibility for his actions—and gives Matt the wake-up call he desperately needs.
 Initially adversarial, attraction grows between Matt and Elle as they get to know one another. Matt appreciates Elle's effect on his sons, and when he gets cornered into having a Sunday breakfast with Elle and the boys, he has fun for the first time in...well, he can't remember when.
 Everything changes when Elle hears the boys' grandmother berating Matt in public and threatening to take the boys. She defuses the situation by pretending to be Matt's fiancée and the boys' future stepmother. When Matt decides it's a brilliant plan and kisses her to seal the deal, Elle knows he's crazy. But he's also sweet, funny, engaging, sexy and strong, which isn't exactly a bad thing!

I really enjoyed this book.  Matt has his hands full with 3 young boys he's now raising on his own.  He's also trying to keep his family business afloat while his Dad is recovering from a heart attach.  As his boys get into more and more trouble around town and in school he has a harder and harder time finding someone to babysit.  To top it all off his in laws are always watching and bringing up how bad a father he is.  When Matt's mother in law threatens to file for custody of his boys Elle, Matt's new neighbor, steps up and puts her in her place.  Elle isn't sure if stepping in is the best thing for everyone, but only time will tell.