The Drawing Lesson

the drawing lesson


For the first time ever, drawing instructor and graphic novelist Mark Crilley brings his easy-to-follow artistic instruction to aspiring artists in the form of a comic book, providing you with a one-of-a-kind how-to experience. In The Drawing Lesson, you’ll meet David—a young boy who wants nothing more than to learn how to draw. Luckily for David, he’s just met Becky—his helpful drawing mentor. Page by page, Becky teaches David (and you!) about the essential fundamentals that artists need in order to master drawing, all in a unique visual format. In panel after panel, Crilley provides lessons on shading, negative space, creating compositions, and more, with accompanying exercises that you can try for yourself. Are you ready to start your drawing lesson today?

I was so excited to see that some one came out with a graphic novel on how to draw. The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley came at just the right time for Seth. He is really into both art and graphic novels.

I really liked how this book is geared toward kids and inexperienced artists. The instructions are simple to understand yet it actually challenges the reader how to see their world differently. The artwork itself in the book was simple and not overdrawn as well. One of the best parts was in wasn’t about drawing comics. Not that comics are bad, but this is an actual art book.

There was only one thing I didn’t like and maybe I am being picky. I just thought the story line itself was a little weird. As a parent I just wondered where the kid’s parents were. Did they meet Becky?? I know that may sound weird, but the kid was showing up at her house at 8 in the morning.

That being said overall I think this was a great book to get kids started in drawing. The subject matter was good. I even learned a few things about art myself. If your kids are looking for a book to learn and like graphic novels this may be for them.

  • Age Range: 10 – 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 – 8
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (July 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385346336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385346337

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

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No Way Up

no way up


When Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately.

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don’t live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike.

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath’s desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds.

Wow what a crazy month it has been since my last review. I have so many reviews to catch you up on and articles that I hope you will love. But this mamma needed a vacation. So let’s start with Mary Connealy’s newest book No Way Up. It’s the first book in the Cimarron Ranch Series and what a solid start it was for her.


Connealy brings in a Heath Kincaid which is from one of her other series but you do not have to read the other series in order to understand Heath at all. (But I was a little excited to hear updates on the characters from that series) I really like Heath’s growth through this book. He was quirky and funny as well.

This story’s main focus was Sadie and Heath’s relationship but that doesn’t mean Connealy can’t weave others into it. I really liked Sadie’s siblings Justin and Cole and can’t wait to see where the next books take them.

I liked how the “conflict” of this book didn’t end at the end of the book. It looks like the same conflict will be weaved through the rest of the series. I really liked the layers to this story it was good but yet still a light enough read I could just relax with and bring on vacation with me.

Overall this book had Connealy’s style written all over it. It was a light and fun read. A good dose of romance with a mix of danger. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.


Number of Pages: 336


Vendor: Bethany House


ISBN: 0764211811


ISBN-13: 9780764211812

I received this book in exchange from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Eden Hill

eden hill


Nothing seems to change in Eden Hill, Kentucky, and that’s just fine with Virgil T. Osgood. He’s been content to raise his family and run the only service station in town. But when a new station is set to open right across the road from Virgil’s pumps, he suddenly faces obstacles in his career, his marriage, and his self-worth that he’s never even dreamed of.

Cornelius Alexander wants his new Zipco station to succeed and help establish a strong foundation for his growing family. As long as he follows the Zipco guide, he’s sure to be a success—and prove his father wrong.

Reverend Caudill wants to be a conduit for grace in his town, but that grace is challenged by the changes sweeping through in the early 1960s. For the sake of this small town, Virgil and Cornelius must learn to get along, but how do you love your neighbor when his very presence threatens to upend everything you hold dear?

I have a hard time believing this is a debut novel. Bill Higgs wrote an amazing novel in Eden Hill. There is something so wonderfully refreshing and yet rare about Eden Hill.

Despite taking place in the 1960’s there was still so much of it that I could relate to today. Yet there were still things that I long for. You know neighbors knowing neighbors, small town business, just a simple life.

The characters in the story and their development were astounding. Virgil, Cornelius, Mavine, JoAnn, Glady’s, and even crazy Madeline Crutcher. I loved the simplicity of the story, yet it has twist and turns. People’ s secrets, their loves, their goals, and their struggles.

This story is a real story of faith. The what would you do if this happened, if your faith was tested? How to love your neighbor. I loved how these questions and more were wrestled with. This was an amazing debut novel and I hope Bill Higgs writes more. We need more stories like this in Christian Fiction.

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496410831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496410832



I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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A Flight of Arrows

flight of arrows



Hearts are Divided
Loyalties Will Be Tested
The Fates of Two Families Hang in the Balance
Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own.
No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love.
Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

Book 2 in the Pathfinder Series

If you haven’t discovered Lori Benton yet STOP right now. Go to your library or Amazon or wherever you get your books and get the Path Finders Series. Oh and if you haven’t gotten Burning Sky, which is her first book, get that one too!

A Flight of Arrows is the second book in Benton’s Pathfinder Series and it is a must read. After you read the first in the series of course. This book was such a wonderful read.

Benton is an amazing author. She has such a depth and richness to her writing that is so rare in books written today. Her books are so well researched. She can change character perspectives and intertwine her stories so well its amazing.

I loved Two Hawks, Anna, Aubrey, William, Stone Thrower, and Good Voice. The whole cast of characters is amazing and they will all hold a special place in your heart. You could feel there pain and joy through the whole series.

I loved the struggles with God as well. Both the white man and the Native American struggles. They were honest and curious and felt so very real. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. If you love historical fiction, you will love this book.

Number of Pages: 400

Vendor: WaterBrook

ISBN: 1601427344

ISBN-13: 9781601427342

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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No Other Will Do

no other will do


Men are optional. That’s the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight–and she knows just the one.

Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s plea arrives, he bolts to Harper’s Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.


Ok so after taking some much needed time from reviewing books (really its only been 3 weeks 😉 ) I am back!! Hey a mom has to finish out a school year or as I put it crawling slowly and dramatically over the finish line of our fourth year of homeschooling. But enough about that for now.

Let us get to Karen Witemeyer‘s newest book No Other Will Do. I am so glad she wrote this book. I have read every book she has written and this book was just so very good.

Emma and Malachi were awesome. Aunt Henry and Aunt Bertie were funny and Tori brought balance to the book. Witemeyer’s characters always have such a way of mingling together so well, I just never want to put the book down.

I enjoyed the plot about a women’s colony. Witemeyer walked a fine line with this story and I was happy to see that there was no “man bashing” in this book. That isn’t easy especially when your writing a book about women who have been abused.

But out of all the Christian romance books that I have read, the thing that I LOVED about this book was that Emma and Malachi kept in contact while they were apart. They were friends. I can’t tell you how it can annoy me, even in Christian fiction, how the main characters love each other and barely know each other.These two had a friendship that made me feel like it “would last.” I know that sounds silly and stupid but I can’t tell you the number of times I have closed a book and thought “yeah I give them two years tops.” So I am grateful to Witemeyer for that part of the story.

This may be Witemeyer’s best book. I also noticed it looks to be the start of a series so I look forward to going back to Harper’s Station to see what happens to the ladies.


  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764212818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212819


I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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The more than 125 inventive, repertoire-building recipes in Plated will help you cook and eat food you love without having to think so hard about it. Every dish here will work no matter how much (or little) time you have to cook, whether it’s quick dinner on a Monday for two or a backyard barbecue for a crowd.  The recipes are all rooted in a core technique—think One-Pan Roasted Chicken, Slow-Simmered Turkey Chili, or Cheesy Baked Penne—but can also be customized according to peak produce and just what you’re in the mood for. Step-by-step prep instructions and menu ideas take the stress out of cooking, so you know exactly what to do and when. Here, too, are ways for you to stretch these recipes, like basic marinades and spice rubs that can be used on almost anything, reinventions for leftovers, big-batch make-aheads, company-worthy feasts, and perfect sides. Plated is sure to become a well-loved, sauce-splattered staple in your kitchen

Yeah I know that I have been reviewing a lot of cookbooks lately. I have had to make some changes in my food due to health issues and BAM I’m obsessed with finding new recipes. Hence, my new obsession with cookbooks.

Let me say how much I loved PlatedThis cookbook was soooooo amazing. It had me right off with the first few pages being rubs, marinades, and salad dressings. I love that homemade dressings and spice rub. The brown sugar barbecue rub in fact is on my beef brisket for dinner tonight. It tastes so good but has that heat that I love creep up on you.

One of my favorite things about this book was in the weeknight dinner section there are seasonal vegetable options with every recipe.  I love recipes that can be flexible like that.  Like the pizza for every season page. Oh my goodness…..

One of main things with any cookbook is the pictures. I know that is silly but I just like seeing my dinner “should” look like. Because honestly its never that pretty. 😉 The pictures in this book are amazing. Directions are very easy to follow as well.

This  cookbook has so many delicious and yummy recipes it is not to be missed. Especially the season fruit crumble. (Oh how I love crumbles!!) Just try this cookbook. It may go down as one of my favorites.


  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (May 17, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101903937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101903933

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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The Alliance

the alliance


When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. When the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.


Have you read a Jolina Petersheim  novel yet? Well if you haven’t then you need to start. Like now. So Petersheim’s newest book The Alliance is her gripping new novel and it may be her best novel yet.

I will admit I was a bit nervous about reading this. This type of book isn’t in my comfort zone. I read Jolina’s other books, so I gave it a try, because I liked her other books.  In the end I was so glad I read it.

The Alliance had me thinking “What would I do?” or “What if?” this  happened to me. Leora and Moses were great main characters. I loved how easy this book is to read and yet it was deep. It touched on raw human emotions and you watched as Leora just wrestled with what to do and how to live.

This book has twist and turns. Surprises and an ending that may leave you going “What just happened!!?” Yeah I wont talk about that ending. This was definitely an excellent example of what can happen when contemporary Christian fiction is written well.

I really did like this book. So much so I am hoping Petersheim writes another book and continues this story. I am hoping it is the start of an amazing series.


  • Series: The Alliance
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Author Signed edition (June 1, 2016)
  • Language: English


I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Live Fearless

live fearless


Embrace God’s Comforting Presence While You De-stress, Meditate, and Create!

Life can be overwhelming as we go from one urgent demand on our time to another; it’s important to slow down and remind ourselves who we are and who God is. Coloring is a wonderful way to relax and focus our minds, giving us the refreshment and freedom to be all we were meant to be. But this book gives you more than a chance to color–it also focuses your attention on the peace that God brings through his presence in your life.

This beautiful, intricately designed coloring book highlights verses from the Bible that focus on the courage that comes with knowing God is by your side. He wants us to live bold lives, free of fear, and his Word gives us the peace and reassurance to do so. Presenting this uplifting message in a fun and creative format, Live Fearless encourages you to drink deeply from Scripture as you color and create. Space is included for reflections, prayers, or even doodles.

You can even share your art–and God’s comforting presence–with others by posting photos on social media or by cutting out the pages to keep for yourself. Gather your favorite coloring supplies and start creating!


Ok, so yeah I am reviewing a coloring book. Is that weird?? I mean I’m an adult, I have kids, and I am busy.  So how in the world will I have time for this?

But my Grandma has been sending Ash these “adult coloring books” and she likes them so I thought I would give it a try. First thing I learned….Ash is much better at coloring than I am.

The first thing I liked about this coloring book was the verses. It had some of my favorite verses in it. The pictures range from easy to color to very intricate.

The only downside to this book is the verses on the pictures are in a weird font so sometimes (in my opinion) they were hard to read. The second thing was the pages were not perforated. I know this seems petty but if you are trying to share this book and color with your daughter you just want the pages to rip out nicely.

But that being said, what I really loved was the one on one time with my daughter I got with this book. Just an excuse to slow down and do something she likes to do.


  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Clr Csm edition (March 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764218646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764218644

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

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Food With Friends

food with friends



So, Food With Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd. Wow there was not much that was simple about this cookbook. I’m not talking about the recipes per se, more just the layout of the book.

Most of the recipes were simple, clean, and feel slightly exotic. Most ingredients used I recognized, while I did have to look up a few of them. One of the recipes that caught my eye right away was the Kale Slaw with Breadcrumbs, Lemon & Ricotta Salata.  It just sounded so yummy.

While I think this cookbook would be good for a small scale get together (ideally no more than 10) I don’t think it would be good on a larger scale. Any party over 10. I would have a hard time with this cookbook because most recipes in here are serve immediately. So just make sure you are balancing out your meals accordingly.

One thing I did like about this cookbook were the gorgeous pictures. So much so that I was sad there were not more. That being said I wasn’t crazy about the layout of the recipes themselves. I can’t put my finger on it, but they just seemed cluttered.

Overall though the recipes can go 50/50. I mean did you really need a recipe for oatmeal toppings? But the Avocado Tartlett sounded really good. So this cookbook will either be a hit or miss with you. But hey I always tell my kids “You have to try it….but you don’t have to like it.”

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Unabridged Edition edition (March 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804187096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804187091

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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Her One and Only

her one and only


Romance Fans Eagerly Anticipate Every New Release from Becky Wade

Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he’s indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?

But Dru’s a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She’s also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray’s stalker. And she’s just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts–and their lives–to one another?

Her One and Only is the newest book by Becky Wade. Gosh there were so many components to this book. I almost don’t know where to start. So we start with the basics.

Since, Her One and Only is the final book in The Porter Family Series. Having read most of the series I wanted so badly to like this book. I did for the most part but there were some things that just, well, left me wanting about this book.

First I liked Dru and Gray. This was an unconventional love story. They both had pasts that they had to reconcile with Jesus (or as Dru said “have their come to Jesus moments”). But it wasn’t an instantaneous change, it was a slow progress. There is a decent amount of sexual tension in the book as well as Dru “admiring” Gray body often. Even Dru wondered what they had in common. So I will say part of me was wondering …. will it last?

I liked catching up with Bo and Meg. That was really nice  seeing how all the other Porters were doing. But the insert of Bo and Meg’s story did make the book seem long at times. The two stories didn’t really flow well together.

Overall it was suspenseful. It was interesting to see how the darker plot unfolded. Becky Wade is a good writer, but as I have said before contemporary Christian fiction has to be one of the hardest things to write. If you like the contemporary romance then you should read this book, just know it doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff. But it also isn’t very deep in the faith department either.



  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 3, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764211102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211102


I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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