Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Review: Country Brides

Country Brides: A Little Bit Country\Country Bride Country Brides: A Little Bit Country\Country Bride by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Let me start by saying that I didn't realize this was two books in one. It's a good thing it was, as I never would've given Country Bride a chance after having read A Little Bit Country. The latter was, I felt, awful. I found myself wishing I could get back the time I spent reading it! But, I read Country Bride thinking it was just Part 2 of a two-part book. While I did not like A Little Bit Country - and would have given it one star if I'd read it as a stand-alone title - I actually liked Country Bride, and would have given that one three stars on its own. So, I just merged the two ratings and gave the merging of the two books two stars.

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Notice, no affiliate link this time. I wouldn't wish this book on anyone, so won't encourage you to purchase it. If you wanna read it, get it from the library - you won't want to reread it!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review: The Sound of Sleigh Bells

The Sound of Sleigh Bells The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a pleasant surprise. I signed up to read it on Goodreads' Firstreads giveaway because the plot sounded interesting. It is.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells is about an Amish woman and Amish man, both of which have suffered loss. They both have scars that need healing, and each is the key to the other's healing. There are dark - by Amish standards, I must add - secrets and sad stories. But, the story as a whole is about grace, redemption, and love.

As a Christian, I really loved the parts about God's grace. The reminder that Christ's death covers everything. My favorite quote, "But if you continue to carry the guilt, it's like what He did is not sufficient. As if you're telling God that His gift of mercy is not powerful enough to help you forgive you." Amazing, powerful truth in those words!

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Click here to get your own copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells - and, yes, this is another affiliate link. I appreciate your support!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Amazing Grace by Danielle Steel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first Danielle Steel novel I have ever read. I wasn't sure what to expect, and am embarrassed to admit I thought it was some romance-type novel. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that wasn't the case.

This book was given to me by a friend after she had finished with it. I love to read so much that I decided to go ahead and take it - along with a slew of other books. I'm glad I did. This was a compelling story with many very interesting characters.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more about Sarah throughout the book. It started and ended with her, but I would have liked to see more of what she was doing as the events with the others were playing out.

Despite that, it was a very good book that I found to be finished in a satisfying manner. While I won't rush to get another book by Danielle Steel, I won't hesitate to read more should the opportunity come my way.

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Click here to get your own copy of Amazing Grace – and, yes, I do get a small commission should you choose to purchase through this link. Thanks for your support!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this book free from the author. It wasn't a promotional thing, rather I won it via a Twitter contest. I recently discovered Karen Kingsbury, and wasn't sure what to expect. I enjoyed her 9/11 series, and figured I'd enjoy this one, too. I had little idea what was coming when I began. But, pretty early on I was kinda able to guess what was coming. And, oh, the pain. Karen Kingsbury handles a very difficult subject very well. I am impressed. This is a heart-wrenching story - in a MUCH different way than her 9/11 series stories. Where that's about a horrible tragedy no one brought on themselves, this is about the repercussions to the choices we make. I am sorry to leave this so vague, but I don't wanna spoil this for anyone. I couldn't put this book down - couldn't wait to see how everything played out. My heart breaks thinking that there are people out there who struggle with this very thing, and I can only imagine how those without Christ can make it through.

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Click here for your own copy of Shades of Blue - and yes, if you purchase it by following this link, I do get commission from Amazon. Full disclosure! ;-)


Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's Official

I have officially lost 10 pounds since starting to watch what I eat! I am thrilled beyond measure - but also discouraged as it can be tough to maintain complete self control (especially right after Halloween). But, 10 pounds - to me - is a HUGE milestone. I have been begging God for weeks to just let me get to that one milestone so I can feel like I'm accomplishing something. So I can know that my efforts are paying off! I have FINALLY hit it! And really, it's not so bad - it took me about two months to do it. That's really not bad. (Too bad I know that maintaining this rate of loss isn't something I'm likely going to do, but so long as I keep losing I won't complain!)

Looking at this particular first milestone made me realize that I need to reassess my goals. For those who missed my first post on this subject, go here to read the whole story. For the rest of you, here is what I posted as my goals, with updated info in purple.
  • I want to wear my wedding and engagement rings again.  Mission accomplished! I have been wearing them for about a month now! I can't get them off easily, but that's OK. I don't want them off! ;-)
  • I want to look good again. Unfortunately, I feel like I've a long way to go to accomplish this one. But, that's to be expected.
  • I want to feel good about myself. I wouldn't say I feel good about myself yet, but I do feel better about myself. It helps that my current pants are starting to feel loose. (I'll feel better when I can COMFORTABLY wear the next size down!)
  • I never want to be embarrassed by my size again. Not there yet, but hope to be soon.
  • I want to wear normal clothes - no more plus sizes. I am getting there. The loose pants are VERY encouraging!
  • I want to be healthy. I think once I figure out a consistent exercise routine, I'll see this come to pass.
  • I want to be a good example for my children - especially my girls. Abby told me the other day that when she's grown up she's going to eat healthy foods and exercise a lot so she can stay skinny. I hope that one day – preferably in the not-too-distant future – she'll be able to see the difference in me.
  • I want to please my husband - and make him proud of me. He has said that losing 10 pounds is impressive. Hopefully he'll soon be telling me he can see a difference and feel a difference (like when he hugs me).
I feel like I'm making decent progress. The impatient side of me, though, wants to see more visible results SOONER! Patience is a virtue, right? Someone says that. And I know they're right. I just don't wanna wait to look better – and to feel better about myself!

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