Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review: After a Fashion

After a Fashion
By Jen Turano
Bethany House, 2015
English, 352 pgs

Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

 I greatly enjoy Jen Turano's books. I have read many of them over the past few years and have enjoyed them all. Like most romance-y novels out there, there isn't anything surprising with the main characters. I like the reveals that occur regarding their pasts and their insecurities. I like the supporting characters and am looking forward to the next novels in the series which I'm certain will be as entertaining as this one.

 Harriet has a very interesting past and it has helped shape her into a strong woman who knows what she wants and what she believes. It was hard to read that a Christian character would lie and concoct a story to the magnitude that she does with Oliver, but I can also see that she did it with a pure heart and a real desire to make things better for her future. Doesn't make lying right, but it doesn't make the character evil, either.

I received a copy of the book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Berenstain Bears Country Cookbook

The Berenstain Bears Country Cookbook
By Mike Berenstain
Zonderkidz, 2015
English, 96 pgs

It’s The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook! Bear lovers everywhere are sure to find favorite recipes for fun food in this new kid-friendly, cookbook—ranging from Bear favorites that use honey and berries to delicious main meals and breakfasts, and even Berenstain favorites like Jan Berenstain’s famous Green Lasagna.

Featuring breakfast, lunch, main meal, and dessert recipes as well as kid-friendly cooking tips such as food and measurement conversions, this is sure to become a go-to cookbook for delicious and fun recipes kids can cook with an adult.

About the Author
Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents, Stan and Jan, working together to write and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too.

I love the bears and Bear Country and all the cute stories that the Berenstain family has produced over the years. I really love this cookbook too. My kids are at the age where they're wanting not only more say in what we eat, but more responsibility in the kitchen. From the moment we started looking at this book when it came in, they've been excited about the recipes in it!

Each section starts with a cute little story and the recipes are really kid-friendly and adaptable for those with dietary concerns. The recipes are easy to follow and most don't have a huge ingredient list. They're not extremely complex and there isn't really anything new and ground breaking, but presenting them as something the Bears eat has my kids interested in at least trying something different.

I received a copy of the book from Book Look Bloggers for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: Motivate Your Child

Motivate Your Child
By Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN
Thomas Nelson, 2015
English, 288 pgs

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, teach parents how to help children form the internal strength they'll need every day as they grow older.

Parents have the greatest influence on their children's character. Mom or Dad's words, choices, actions, and reactions mold a child's view of almost everything. It can be a terrifying thought. But there is hope.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanna Miller have spent years helping parents cultivate a healthy conscience and a vibrant faith in their kids. Motivate Your Child is a straightforward guide to doing this at home.

Every chapter includes practical examples of families applying the Bible to their current issues, such as backtalking or being mean to siblings. From the "Integrity Package" to the "The Family Challenge," they offer words to say, plans to implement, and ideas for working it out day by day.
With God's help, it is possible to train and direct a child's internal motivation-motivation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

About the Authors:
Scott Turansky has been a pastor and missionary for more than 33 years and is an author of several books. In addition to pastoring full time, Scott also conducts parenting seminars on Saturdays around the United States ( He is the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting ( and has co-authored four books.

Joanne Miller is a pediatric nurse with 26 years of experience and the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She is the coauthor of seven parenting books.

The concept of this book is amazing. I spent a long time working through the book, looking for ways to help our family end our craziness. Some things worked immediately and some are still in process. Some fell completely flat and seemed to make the craziness worse.

I wish there was more in the book about how to implement tactics and theories. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and while that can give clues about how to make these practices work, there isn't really a lot about day to day choices and actions.

I find no fault with anything they're saying in the book. It emphasizes that it's necessary to cultivate a conscience in your children to get them internally motivated to do the things they need to do every day. Through moral and spiritual development, your child can be a productive member of society. It's just hard to figure out how to do this. My husband and I are re-reading it to see if I missed something in the practical application and to have a united front for the strategies.

 I received a free copy of the book in exchange for a review on this blog and a commercial bookselling site. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.