Friday, December 14, 2018

Ellie Claire 365-Devotional Journals

Each of these journals are exquisite. All are of the highest quality, and would make a beautiful gift for  family, friend or yourself. I love the daily habit of writing my thoughts, and the daily devotion in these pages are a lovely addition. All three include an elastic closure band.

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This journal has a lovely watercolor look to its fold flat cover with foil gold lettering. The non-bleed paper inside is highlighted with colorful designs, and has a daily devotional to reflect upon. Not only can you enter your own thoughts onto the lined pages,  there is enough space for responses to the devotion of the  day.

The title alone is inspirational, but each page within begins with a song or hymn. In addition, there are short stories, a bit of scripture, and a verse suggestion from the Bible. The interior non-bleed pages matches the flowered cover. 

I adore, absolutely adore, the cover on this high quality, artistic, and inspiring journal. Can you tell it's my favorite of the three in this series? Ellie Claire most certainly outdid herself with this one. The inside its filled with lined pages, each headed with a devotional story that touches upon the gifts of nature that God blessed us and the earth with. Throughout these stories are Bible verses to look up if you so choose.  There's plenty of room to pen thoughts, or reflect upon the daily devotion.

I received review copies of these journals from Ellie Claire Gifts.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Lost Girls of Paris

The Lost Girls of Paris is a fictional story about strong women, filled with conflict, yet tied together with a cause so important, they overcome many obstacles. This well-researched historical novel is set in a dual timeline fashion. 

It begins in 1946, with Grace, a woman working with European refugees, and trying to deal with the grief of losing her husband to the war. While going through an abandoned suitcase, her curiosity draws her, and me as a reader, into wanting to figure out what the strange contents mean and who is the mysterious owner of the luggage. 

The contents inside is full of mysterious photographs, a pair of baby shoes, and other seemingly unrelated things. Grace digs deeper, and learns about the life of a female secret agent and how she headed a group of women like herself in clandestine operations during WWII. Though it’s a fictional story, these types of brave female agents existed, though sadly, were left out of most history books.

 The story constantly drew me in, with no lags in the storyline. Both timelines are stitched together seamlessly.  I admire the strength and bravery of all the women, including Grace and Trig, my two favorites.  For any fan of historical fiction, this is a must read! 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

The Christmas Company

I love everything about the holiday season, and Christmas stories that warm my heart are near the top of the list.

The Christmas Company is such a story. Just like the Hallmark holiday movies, this stirring story gave me all kinds of winter chills. I'm so glad to be introduced to Alys Murray's writing. I enjoy her writer's voice and the delightful characters she's created for Miller’s Point, Texas.

Kate and Clark are not a likely pair, which makes their journey all the more enjoyable. And the Christmassy Texas town is an integral part of their relationship as their chemistry is. If you enjoy the classic Charles Dickens Christmas Carol, you’ll love this one too! 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets

This story is filled with angst, love, trauma, and newly found secrets. Ultimately, redeemed love, and redemption of a broken family is the main focus.It’s told through the views of Meredith, the mother, and three sisters, two grown with lives of their own, and one a teenager.

The sisters are estranged at the beginning, and harbor a lot of hurt and anger. The family resentment is palpable when they are all brought together due to the need to care of their ill mother. Though this family is imperfect, as most families are, the effort of forgiveness and eventual open communication, brings hope for this broken family. This book is not an easy read at times, however, there are some sweet and light moments. But, there’s also some very disturbing parts of this story that may be a trigger for some readers, such as rape, and dementia issues. 

All in all, The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets is a well written, and fulfilling read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is unlike any story I’ve read before. Although it’s a long read, (416 pages) I plunged into the highly researched world of Joy Davidman, and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes I found it hard to sympathize fully with Joy, but I loved how her trials were portrayed realistically, and how they each may have strayed from their Christian beliefs without abandoning them.

Previous to this book I had little knowledge of C.S. Lewis’s life or his writing, but the author did a wonderful job of presenting the ups and downs of their unconventional relationship. Not only was I entertained, but I learned a lot about the literary and personal world of Mrs. Lewis. 

This is the first book I've read by Pattie Callahan, and her writing style is amazing. 
Her novel is enchanting, as well as providing an in-depth view into the life between a couple of authors embracing life through prose, and self-discovery.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Ellie Claire Journals

Faith & Lettering Journal
The Illustrated Word ~ An Illuminated Bible Journal
Illuminate Your Story Journal

Faith & Lettering Journal folds flat for writing ease and has 160 pages filled with ways to incorporate devotional time while writing your thoughts. The added perk of basic hand-lettering instructions, and bible journaling prompts, are a beautiful addition to this journal. The cover is embossed and colorful. There is a thick elastic band on the binding to hold a pen. I love the quality of this beautiful journal, and the pages within are inspiring. I highly recommend this creation by Ellie Claire.

The Illustrated Word~ An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal has an embossed, detailed cover. the thick pages won't bleed through when coloring the beautiful historical drawings. Though there is a plethora of coloring pages throughout the journal, there's still plenty of lined pages for your thoughts. The scripture quotations are from many versions of The Bible, such as New International, New King James, English Standard, New Revised Standard, so no matter what version you like, it's included here. Ellie Claire created a fun way to reflect and relax with this journal.

Illuminate Your Story Journal has an embossed cover, an elastic band to hold your pen on the binding, and an elastic band to hold the journal closed. The 160 pages are a combination of lined pages and those which have graphed, step by step instructions to create your artistic lettering. The first few pages introduce the history of illuminated manuscripts from hundreds of years ago. Detailed explanations of each type of illuminated letters, Insular, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, Gothic, and  Renaissance. The list of supplies needed to try your hand at this type of lettering is a nice addition. The lined pages are headed with quotes, an attached bookmark ribbon, and a paper pocket on the inside back cover to hold keepsakes are nice additions to this journal. I believe this is my favorite journal by Ellie Claire.

All three journals are awarded 5 lamps!

I received these complimentary copies from Elle Claire Gift and Paper Expressions