Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The King's War by Katherine Wilson Book Review


The King's War, by Katherine Wilson, is the third and final book in the Maidens of Malidone series. This one is finishing up Amira's story.  And this story is my favorite of the series.  I previously reviewed Book 1:  The Stolen Princess and Book 2:  Amira's Secret.

The first book, The Stolen Princess, is about Princess Rose, who gets stolen from her family at a young age by an evil tyrant.  She becomes a slave in the tyrant's country.  Book 2 is about Rose's Daughter, Princess Amira, who gets sent away from her family to try to protect her from an invading villain.  She ends up shipwrecked and trying to find her way home.

Book 3 picks up shortly after the end of book 2.  The evil villain of the story has taken over, as we already know from book 2.  Amira and her brothers are reunited, but they must find the missing members of the royal family.  Once the family is found, they must disappear to protect themselves from the evil villain.

Princess Amira and her brother, Prince Charles, end up going around the country to rally soldiers and non-soldiers alike to fight for their family to reclaim the Kingdom.  Their cousins are also a small part of this book.   I like that we get to see Elly, again, and I love the new female character we meet.  Amira's family, and all the characters I care to remember from Book 1 are back in Book 3.

This book is very exciting and action-packed.  This would be classified as a Non-Magical Fantasy.  As I have said before, this is the best writing and storytelling of the series.  As the first two books in this series talked about, this book also talks about trust in God.

CONTENT:

Language/profundity:
Amira is called a wench by some evil guys.

Romance:
Two different couples get engaged.  There is a kiss on the forehead for our main girl.  The main girl also thinks briefly about kissing on her wedding day.

Violence:
There is a war, so this is going to be long.  There's a coliseum that the evil guy has and he has killed people in it * no more details mentioned*, sword fighting, good versus evil, and people die.  And some of our main characters have to kill.  In no way is killing glorified.  There is also bleeding and blood, but not described in depth.  There are injuries.

Drugs/Alcohol:
NA

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tips for going gulten free. A guide for the newly gluten free, by a fellow gluten free.

Tips for first timers going G-free.

1. Learn all the sneaky names for gluten and read labels more than meticulously.

2. Don't jump into your favorite gultenous food in a gluten-free replacement, it WILL taste different and there are many brands to choose from.  One brand will probably taste closer... but not good enough when you're first going gluten-free.

3. Focus on what you can have over what you can't.  Try to eat 100% naturally gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, some whole grains and whatever else you can have, if you don't have other food allergies.

4. Drink tons of water.

5. If you know that a glutinous food is your main source of something, let's say fiber, know that you will need to find a new thing that supplies that such as nuts or fruits.

6. Gluten detox is a real thing and it can make you feel crummy, for quite a while, so keep it up even if at first you don't feel that great.  Some people feel amazing right away, some people feel crummy for weeks, or even months.

7. Gluten is addictive.  So, know that you may kind of have withdrawals, and you will most likely have cravings.

8. After a while without gluten-free replacements, you need to figure out what it is you like about the gluten products without eating them, such as flavor versus texture.  There are so many different brands nowadays that offer so many different things, whether they get the flavor exactly right or the texture is perfect.  Then you can read reviews and start trying things like rice flour pasta, or corn flour pasta, or lentil pasta.

9. Don't care about what other people think, go on and offend people, because you are taking care of your health and that is more important than someone's feelings.  Obviously, explain to them if you can, but don't stress over it.  And if they don't understand, it's their loss, keep yourself healthy.

I hope this helps.  I wish I had someone to tell me all of this when I was going gluten free.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Katie In Waiting by Erynn Mangum Book Review



Katie In Waiting, by Erynn Mangum, is the first book in the Carrington Springs series.  The series is three books long, and they are all available in paperback and e-book.  This is a companion series, each book follows a different girl in the friend group.

This one is about Katie, a book editor who's just moved to Missouri, Carrington Springs, Missouri.  Her Grandmother lives there, and Katie was sick and tired of New York.  Katie has always wanted to get married and have a family, but is not sure it will ever happen.  Her Grandma loves to set her up with guys!  Katie becomes friends with a girl her age that moves in across the street.  Fun things ensue.

I enjoyed the spiritual Christianity content a lot, because I think it is very true to life.  I really like this series!  I have read, and re-read, all three books!

Nitpicking things:

On page 9 it is said that Katie's siblings are age 11, then on page 188, she says her brother is 6 years old.
On page 7, it is said that Katie is in her still-dark apartment, but in all the rest of the book, Katie lives in a house.

CONTENT:

Language/profanity:
Heck is thought.  Katie's Grandma says "I swear-".

Romance/you know:
Having a spark or chemistry is talked about.  Katie thinks about getting married a lot.

Violence:
Katie meets a guy and wonders if he is a murderer, turns out he's just a nice guy.

Drugs/Alcohol:
I don't remember anything, but there may have been a mention of wine.

Spoiler chatting:




I really like her Grandmother, she was so fun to read about.
I thought it was hilarious when Katie went to the wrong wedding.
I like how we can kind of see who Ashton's going to end up with, even in this one; if you have read the last book, you know who.
Another funny moment was when Katie's Grandmother invites over the boy she's already going out with, to set them up.
I don't have very many notes, because this was a pretty short book and I read it a lot at night.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Resistance By Jaye L. Knight Book Review



Resistance, by Jaye L. Knight, is a Christian fantasy book.  This book follows lots of different characters, their encounters and how they join the resistance.  The emporer is forcing people to bow down to false gods and the followers of the true God are ending up dead, because of this.

We read from the point of view of a girl working in the emperor's palace and trying to hide her faith.  We also get the point of view of the girl's twin brother and his life at the Academy.  He and his sister were trained at the Academy, because they have special skills.  There is also a half-blood boy whose perspective we get to read from  (he is half of a made up species that is generally regarded as monsters), who is having a really rough life.  There is an assortment of other characters whose point of view we also receive from time to time.

Things I liked:
Atmosphere at the resistance camp.
The world building and the writing.
The characters, even the smallest character is well-rounded.
The faith content of "would you be able to stand up for your faith like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego?".
All the work that was obviously put in to make this book a believable story in a very different land.

Fun fact: the author is a homeschool graduate!

This is a novel written for older teens, so it does have a bit of content, not in a bad way, it just tackles mature topics.  I have only read the first two books, and only the first four books are released.  I am planning on taking a little break on reading this series.  I re-read the first book and then went straight into the second one.



CONTENT:


Language/Profanity:
Not really a thing in this.

Romance/You Know:
A couple is semi-serious and one has asked the other to marry them, but the other said it was not the right time.  Afore mentioned couple has a quick kiss.
There are two characters I could see being romantically involved in future books, but they're not in this one.
A guy is really into a girl, and it is said that he likes the shape of her body.
One of our characters wears a dress that she thinks is too low cut and is uncomfortable in, no details.
When a girl is working at the palace, she is told that marriage and children are forbidden and should she at anytime find herself with child, she is required to see the palace physician to have it dealt with promptly and it will be at her own expense.  Our character is appalled, not by her having to pay for it, but that they even do that.
Note: There is nothing YOU know in this, but I feel the need to mention it.  When one of our female characters is arrested she is forced to strip down to her under-dress, nothing about her body is mentioned. Also, same girl is almost killed/taken prisoner and the guys trying to do that give the impression that they're going to take advantage of her.

Violence:
There is a lot of violence, fighting, Good vs Evil, being captured and imprisoned for your faith.  People you love being tortured and killed.  One of my favorite characters was forced to be a gladiator at one point in his life.  Some people have to kill, or be killed, or see people they love killed.  All that to say, very much violence, but not too bloody as some books are and not sick to your stomach description.

Drugs/Alcohol:
Not a thing really, unless it is used to clean wounds, but even then, not really talked about.  Someone might drink alcohol at the emperor's palace, but I don't remember it happening.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bake Me A Match by Erynn Mangum Book Review


Bake Me a Match, by Erynn Mangum, is book five, and last book, in the Lauren Holbrook series.  I have reviewed all the other books previously.  This is the second book following Annie McKay.  In this, we get to see her coming into who she really is and working at our favorite fictional cafe, baking many, many, many yummy things!  Annie gets to take over the cafe for about a week when Hallie and Shawn have their new baby.  Lauren also works at the shop during that week.

This book continues Annie's romance with Zack, and adds a bit of interest from Andrew, a man she worked with at her old job.  Annie is unsure about having a more serious romantic relationship, and has to confront her past and family issues.  I feel like this book has a good deal of learning about spiritual gifts and "being the body," that everyone not being the same is a good thing!  We need different skills to make everything work; you don't have to do everything on your own.

My favorite things:
All the baking! I love reading about a character who loves to bake.
Slow-burn romance.
The author's witty writing! I love laughing!
I cried when Lexi got what she always wanted!  Trying to be vague, but if you read the book you probably know what I'm talking about.
The sweet ending!
THIS IS EVEN BETTER THAN BOOK FOUR!!!!!!!!

Nitpicking things:
Annie says she doesn't have a Facebook at the beginning of the book and then later says she's possibly friends with her mom on Facebook.  Was she joking about not having Facebook? If so, it should have been more clear.  That is the only answer I can think of, except that it just wasn't caught in editing.

As for content, this is one of the more mature books by this author. So, we have a bit more content, some mild, middle of the road spoilers:

Content:

Language/profundity:
Holy Co* is said many times and holy smoke* is said once.
It is said that Annie's dad cursed, but whatever he said is an unwritten curse word.

Romance:
A cheek kiss and one kiss on the mouth, both non-descriptive.

Violence:
Annie's remembers when she was growing up and her dad hit her and her mom, he also threw things and broke things many times.
Note: Annie remembers when Child Protective Services came to her house, but they didn't take her away.

Drugs/Alcohol:
Annie's dad was very into the alcohols, but we only see this when Annie is thinking about her past and family.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Match Made by Erynn Mangum Book Review


Match Made, by Erynn Mangum, is book four (I have already reviewed Books One, Two and Three) in the Lauren Holbrook series.  This is the first book not told in Lauren's point of view.  In this book, we met Anne, who is given the nickname Annie (by Lauren) very early in the book, and we call her that for the rest of the book.

Annie was a military kid.  Her father was in the military and they moved a lot because of that.  Now she has a job, not in the military, but it is a job she moves all over for.  We meet her when she has just moved to a little town in Colorado.  It's her first day in town and she goes to a little cafe that we all know and love.  And that's where Annie meets our beloved friends from the first three books.

Things I loved:
Getting to see favorite characters from an outside point of view.
And seeing them older and most of them with little kids!
The faith lesson was insanely well woven with the story.
Erynn Mangum's light romance and writing style.

Quick notes:
Explosive diapers and breastfeeding are talked about a LOT.  It's not content, but I feel like I should mention it.  We have lots of mothers with babies in the story.  It is not a bad thing, just different from other books by the author.


Content:

Language:
Holy C*w is said several times.
Our main character says "Shoot" and someone thinks she said a curse word.  She says, "No, shoot, like in basketball."
Annie lies, as part of a few jokes, it always discovered that she lies and she owns up to it.

Romance/You Know:
A cheek kiss.

Violence:
Two characters go on a walk and they joke about getting murdered.
There is a mention of Halloween, characters don't like it.

Drugs/Alcohol:
Our main character thinks her boss's wife is too young to drink.
Another character, jokes about getting a hit off hand sanitizer and says it has alcohol in it.
Tea and coffee are had many times, but no one is as addicted as Lauren, who has switched to decaf.

Fun notes!
Possible SUPER mild spoilers:

I laughed at the joke nondenominational Ninja.
Zach is basically me, but I do like lemonade and because of the nasty ingredients in Lucky Charms and my allergy to food coloring, I don't eat that every second, or at all.
Basically when I'm not Zach, I'm Annie, with her love for baking and ease at making up recipes!  So, me!  Except, I specialize in allergy free baking.
Hallie has the most adorable baby names picked out!
Pages 262-263 have the most hilarious tea puns!
I enjoyed that we have super casual mentions of "that time of the month", because, hey, it's a thing!
This is not one of Erynn Mangum's most laugh out loud books; I don't have as many notes of the funniest parts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Amira's Secret by Katherine Wilson Book Review


Amira's Secret, by Katherine Wilson, is book two in the Maidens of Malidone.  I have a review of book one, from earlier this year.

We meet Amira when she is a little girl, and we find out (if we forgot from the end of book one) that she is is the daughter of our female protagonist from book one.  Amira gets books two and three to tell her story.  After establishing her as a character when she's little, we move on to her as a teen and her family is being threatened by a evil villain.  Her parents decide to send their two youngest children away to different places for their safety.  They have a her older son, Amari and her younger brother.

Amira reluctantly goes on a ship to go to a foreign school.  Something happens to the ship and she ends up in a very exciting, not where she was planning on going, place.  I really don't want to say too much more about plot.  I went into this book without even reading the back cover.  I actually prefer not to even read the back cover.  If I'm about to read a book by an author who I know I will like the book of, I don't read the back cover if I can help it, surprises just makes the book SO much more interesting.  If I read a back cover, I TRY to promptly forget what I read.

Things I liked:
The Sword Play!
The Faith!
That our main girl had friends that were close to her age, who were boys that she was not in "love" with.
The Plot.
The characters feel like they are the right ages.
The tiny hint of romance, because teens don't need to be making out all the time in books.
The writing is SO much better in this one, and since I have also read the 3rd, I know the writing continues to just get better.
I cried the first time I read this, but I was prepared this time and didn't, but then at something different I almost cried!

Content:

Language/Profanity:
NA

Romance:
Just a hint of more to come when the characters are older.  No kissing for our main characters in this one. ;)

Violence:
Some people get killed, and our main girl must fight for her life.  It's not descriptive or bloody, but there is some violence.  There is sword fighting and learning to sword fight, and other fighting evil villains. Our main girl also gets injured, but not because of violence, also not bloody.  Other injures are mentioned.  Someone gets taken prisoner and must be rescued by using violence.

Drugs/Alcohol:
Not really a thing, if there was any, it was for treating injuries, but it is not in my notes.  But if that did happen, and I was reading really late at night, I may have forgotten to put it my notes.  No alcoholism or anything.

Note: There is a shipwreck and slavers and people close to the Princess die.  These things could be scary for younger readers.