If you are into books and cats, this is the book for you! Just look at the cute cat on the cover! (There’s also a pic of a cat for each chapter heading!)

In this novel, Jenny Kalahar did a phenomenal job describing different behaviors of cats. There were times I had to laugh because I know all too well just what cats act like. Each cat has their own personality, and it was neat to see some of the different ones in this book.

I also think that the events that took place in Shelve Under C were believable. There was one instance that I had to question (the price of used books), but overall, the story was written in a way I could picture what was going on and it all made sense.

This is a light, easy-to-read book. There is not a lot of depth to it. Basically, you will read the day ins and day outs of the life of bookstore owners and the cats they have roaming in their store. There is a side story of a foster child woven in that I think was cute. How everything ended melted my heart.

Shelve Under C is a book I would recommend to anyone. It’s clean! I think people of all ages would find enjoyment out of it. Just don’t expect anything deep. Overall, I rated this four out of five stars.

Here is the blurb of Shelve Under C by Jenny Kalahar:

A novel for everyone, Shelve Under C is a big, leaning stack of humor, heart, stray cat hairs, old book dust, mystery, family drama, longing and hope.

Used bookshops often have a cat or two roaming the aisles, sleeping on the shelves, or sleeping on the customers. Here is a novel all about one bookshop and its resident cats, Stomper and Buglit; and about Kris, a 12-year-old boy who apprentices in the shop. Kris is a little bit like the cats: he’s a foster child getting used to a new family, and the cats are being fostered in the bookshop for the local shelter. Stomper and Buglit are a little bit like Kris: they get into trouble, have some wild adventures, and find out just what being part of a family really means.

Unlike some novels that have a bookstore setting, Shelve Under C has the real spirit of the store, its owners, its apprentice, its customers, and, especially, its cats as the beating heart of this fuzzy beast. It’s full of wonderful characters, a wild storm, a doggy bucking bronco, catnip capers, an almost-deadly chicken salad sandwich, and . . . books! No need to knock — the door is open. So come on in, grab something to read, and get comfy on the big, red sofa.

Sound good to you? I thought it would! Here is the buy link so you can get your own copy! It’s only $0.99, too!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089S7M3S

 

I have to laugh a little. Out of all the book reviews I have done, this one is really tough. Not because of the material or anything. Well, in a way it’s because of the material. But really I just can’t figure out what I even want to say.

Let me just break it down between the positives and negatives:

Positives:

  • The author used amazingly descriptive imagery
  • It was easy to read
  • The struggle between the main character and her mind was interesting

Negatives:

  • The ending was just ‘eh’
  • Some scenes were difficult to follow
  • There wasn’t any real depth
  • Personally, I didn’t think there was much to the story, period

Now, having said this, maybe you can see my point. When there isn’t much to a story, there isn’t much to say. Yes, it flowed nice. It’s not like it was boring or difficult to understand. The problem is there was really no story! The main character dares to enter a tower that everyone says to stay away from. She meets the man that lives there. Has a couple of mental issues. Decides it’s best to let it all go and leaves. That is really the basis of the whole book! That’s it! No climax…no huge struggle (just one with self)…no nothing. Because of this I rated it 3 stars.

The Orchid is a clean book for the most part. There are a few questionable words, and one steamy part (but no graphic details).  And it is beautifully written. So the author has real talent, no denying that. Let me give you a pic of the cover and the blurb in case you’d like to check it out. Perhaps you’ll get more out of it than I did!


The Orchid

Sahar Ayachi

“You will bring light to my darkness, you will bring hope to my despair. You will be my knight though you will first be a slave, but I know which spots to hit to make you brave.”

Dreamy, impulsive, but mostly confused—this is Lola.


On a journey where she just tries to live, love, and be loved, Lola is being followed by the one thing she thought she escaped from—a presence that will find her wherever she goes . . . a presence that isn’t happy with her decisions—not happy at all.


Follow Lola through a story where the lines between dreams and reality are blurred, where she will be faced with struggle—emotionally and physically—and where she is trying her best to make sense of the confusing situation she got herself into.


What is this scary unknown that Lola is running away from, and will she eventually be able to face it?

See? It did sound good on paper! The innards just weren’t quite living up to the premise.

As a side note, I think this book is only available in paperback at the moment. But here is the link in case you would like to view more:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1482899884

 

 

 

My boys love Star Wars. Wait, is there a stronger word for love? If there is, that’s what they feel about Star Wars! It’s almost an obsession, especially for my six-year-old. It’s what he likes to wear, watch, collect, play, et cetera. He almost lives and breathes it. And his younger brother may not feel as strongly about it as he does, but that younger brother of his does like it because he likes it.

Anyway…the local library was doing a special event called “Jedi Academy”. I just had to bring my boys!

 

We had no idea what to expect, but are glad we went. Upon arriving, we had to get a checklist of tasks each boy had to complete. When completed, a signature would go in the respective spot on the checklist, confirming they did, in fact, pass that part of their training.

There were three training areas. One was an obstacle course where they had to practice shooting, tossing, throwing, jumping, and kicking.

Another area was training the ability to use ‘the force’. Using teamwork, each young Jedi had to raise and lower a ball without the ball falling off its platform.

The last training area was creating a light saber. Here is what each of my boys came up with (and, yes, we helped):

 

 

When all things on the checklist were crossed off, they had to return it to the front desk at the library where they received this:

 

 

That wasn’t it, though! They had one last mission to go on now that they were Jedi Knights. They were given 10 stickers. Their job was to find 10 bad guys throughout the library that were evil, and then shoot them with the stickers. Some of the evil characters they had to find were Kylo Ren, Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, and my personal favorite, Darth Vader. Take a look at these stickers:

 

 

As you can see, many kids enjoyed taking a shot at Darth Vader! All in all, a great event. I appreciate the library doing things like this, getting kids involved in healthy activities, and hopefully, getting excited about the library itself. I know my boys walked out of there with some books to read! And, yes, I need to get them there more often!

And though this was fun, one day I hope to take my kids to the Star Wars-themed land down in Disney World that is set to open in 2019 or so. That would be super enjoyable for us all!

If you’re into young adult fiction, you have to check this event out! By signing up at the link I have listed below, you will have 30+ young adult books for you to download. The best part is it is for FREE!

You’ll even be entered to win one of five $10 gift cards! How neat is that?

And maybe best yet, you’ll be in contact with the best young adult authors out there today! This is one great event you won’t want to miss out on!

My book, Growing Up Neighbors, is a part of this event so please come check it out. You have until June 20! You can find all details, including the books you’ll receive, at this link:

https://mybookcave.com/g/23db98a2/

If you’re into music and books, I may have something you’d be interested in reading. It’s called 2000 Tunes by Karl Drinkwater, and, well, it features a main male character who lives for music. Though it speaks of music of the late 80s through the 90s, I actually knew some of the references! That was kind of neat.

Let me tell you more about this book by, first, giving you the book’s blurb; and then second, my review:

 

2000 TUNES

 

“He started to sketch a face. A random face. With dark eyes and hair. Just any old face. He made the chin too small and drew over it, but then it looked like a double chin. That wasn’t appropriate for… Ah. He had been drawing Sam.”

Mark Hopton’s an outsider obsessed with Manchester music. He knows the dates, facts, band members, lyrics, histories and places. He can join them in complicated webs of association because he knows the secret: everything’s connected. Music’s his escape into a better world.

Oh man, he needs that escape. His dad’s in prison, his psycho brother’s only one step away, and they’re twisting his melons trying to make him risk his freedom by smuggling drugs. It ain’t easy saying no when family and their shady contacts can be bone-breakingly persuasive. Heaven knows he’s miserable now.

The summer sun does bring one ray of light: he secretly admires Samantha, a beautiful Welsh girl at work. Watching her is like listening to music, it strengthens him, she’s his wonderwall of true faith. He’s happy with that. Love is fool’s gold.

Meanwhile, Samantha’s been caught up in a hedonistic lifestyle of cigarettes and alcohol with the 24 hour party people but now she’s had it up to here with Mancunians. Cheaters, weirdos and two-faced scummers, the lot of ’em. When the drugs don’t work it’s time to grow up but no-one’s going to take her for granted again. Don’t look back in anger? Screw that. She’s never been one to walk away.

2000 Tunes is a meditation on life, family, friends, growing up, and following your dreams.

 

My Review

 

Like I briefly mentioned already, there are a lot of Continue reading “2000 Tunes”

All The Way My Savior Leads

About the Book

Caroline and I walked out the back door and went into the barn.
“What are we going to do?” Caroline asked.
“Head out on our own. Saddle Whitey, please.”
Caroline’s mouth gaped open. “They’ll find us.”
“I know.”
Caroline sighed. “What can we do then?”
I shook my head. “We can stick together. Always.”

AlltheWay_KINDLErevisedTragedy stole everything from him … except her …

Three years ago, an illness orphaned Henry and Caroline Salisbury. The harsh years at the orphanage have forged a strong bond between the pair.

But Henry’s about to age out.

He must choose whether to leave his only family behind in relative safety, or take her with him as he pursues dreams of owning a farm. Henry trusts that God has a plan for him, but little does he know that others have plans for him and his younger sister as well. He will need all his faith to find the right path.

Although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Note: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans Organization.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071DL3Z9T

http://books2read.com/alltheway

About the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 croppedFaith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family. She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and have 2 dogs and a varying number of cats.

Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ. If you enjoyed this book, go to her website to sign up for her Monthly Newsletter so you can get an email with fun facts, giveaways, and so much more every month. You will also find links to her other Social Media sites on her website. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her.

Double Sale

Double Sale

For May 26-31 only, get both books in the Orphans of the West series for just $0.99 each! They are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more.

http://books2read.com/saviorlikeashepherd

http://books2read.com/alltheway

Giveaway

Giveaway

Three prizes, three winners! The grand prize is a Savior, Like a Shepherd notebook and paperback. Sorry, but the lantern isn’t mine to giveaway. In second and third prize, the winners will receive a free eBook of All the Way My Savior Leads.

Note: The grand prize is open only to those in the continental US, but the other two are open to all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

May 26
Bookish Orchestrations-Intro Post
Annie Louise Twitchell-Review

May 27
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima-Book Spotlight
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Review

May 28
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Guest Post: Why Henry?
The Book Corner-Review

May 29
Sarah Allerding-Review
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Q&A with Henry

May 30
Frances Hoelsema-Book Spotlight
Purposeful Learning– Review

May 31
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Guest Post: How I Pick Hymns
Written Rest-Review

June 1
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

My father-in-law turned 60 two years ago already. My mother-in-law just turned 60 back in April. For each of their birthdays, my husband and I wanted to do something different and fun. Both of us have seen those types of poster boards with silly phrases and candy taking the place of some of the words being used for birthdays so we created our own. Some of what was used is typical on this type of thing, but others I made up. Here’s a picture of the front and back:

 

 

As you can see, tons and tons of candy – 22 different kinds to be exact! It takes both sides of this poster board. Of course you could condense it a little bit by getting smaller versions of most of this stuff, but I thought the regular or super size sizes were more fun.

In case you’d like to use something like this for someone you know, here is what is written (candy used in bold):

     Dear X (make it whoever you want it to be),
     Happy birthday! Now that you’re 60, do your bones crunch or snap, krackel and pop? Just kidding! Seeing as it’s your birthday, we wanted to do something amazing (used M&Ms and crossed out ‘&Ms’) to show how special you are to us. We wish we could give you a whopping (crossed off ‘ers’  from whoppers and wrote in ‘ing’) 100 grand, but all our money slipped through our butterfingers and it’s nowhere near payday. A pet kit kat, vacation to New York, or trip throughout the Milky Way didn’t seem appropriate either.
     However, we want to wish you mounds of joy (crossed off almond). You deserve to take 5 and rest a moment (crossed off ‘o’ from mentos) on this special day. We hope enjoying all this candy doesn’t make you rolover and get sick. If you get the Hershey squirts, we promise not to snicker (crossed off ‘s’).
     In all seriousness, though, we love you to pieces (crossed off Reese’s’). And pray for God to sheath you with His love and grant you many more years!
     Hugs & kisses!
     Love, Your 4 musketeers (crossed off ‘3’ and made it 4 – you can do what you want)
     P.S. Betwixt you and us, we wouldn’t trade you for the world!

COOL & FUN, right!??! You can do this for any age birthday or for some other occasion, I suppose. You can change some wording around, and personalize it the way you see fit.

Have you ever done anything like this? What would have been some other really good ideas?

 

 

Sacred Marriage happens to be one of the titles of a book by Gary Thomas. For those who do not know who Gary Thomas is, he is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry focuses on bringing people closer to Christ and closer to one another. In this book, Sacred Marriage, the general idea is to get closer to your spouse by becoming more like Christ.

I have to admit that I would not have read something like this on my own. I am not a huge fan of self-help or non-fiction in general. Yes, this coming from someone who is working on her first non-fiction piece, lol. It’s not like I don’t get much out of them or don’t like them, it’s just that I’d rather be reading a fictional piece that transports me to someone else’s world.

Anyway, back to why I said all of that. Though I wouldn’t have chosen to read something like this on my own, I did end up reading it because of a men’s group my husband is a part of. One of the homework assignments was for him to read Sacred Marriage, as well as for me, too. Then a little while ago we had a meeting where all of us, husbands and wives, discussed it.

The first thing I want to say is Continue reading “Sacred Marriage”

Every May we have a festival that takes place called Tulip Time. It’s a week-long event filled with a carnival, junk food vendors, parades, shows, fireworks, Dutch dancing, and you guessed it, tulips!

There is a lot to do, and tourists flock to every single bit of it.

Now it’s true that, being a citizen of my city, I don’t always see what the big deal is around this celebration of Dutch history. I think that can be true for anyone who lives somewhere that hosts big events. It’s nothing special. However, having said that, this doesn’t mean I hide myself in the house as everything is happening. Far from it actually!

This year, my family and I kicked off Tulip Time by running in Tread! My boys ran a 1k race, raising over $700 to help support children in various countries. This was their first race, but they did well, and finished. They were also excited to learn they raised as much as they did to help others.

We also went Continue reading “Tulip Time!”

 

Check out this event that Yours Truly is participating in! Not only will you get some awesome reading material, but you’ll get connected with some of the best sweet romance authors on the market, AND you’ll get a chance to win a $50 gift card! Sound good? Let me give you some details!

This Sweep Me Away with Sweet Contemporary Romance event is taking place NOW until May 30. There are 18 books you can download for free (some are just samples, but if you enjoy them, the author will send a free copy). All of them are sweet romances! Aww!

One winner will also win a $50 gift card!

To check out the books involved and to enter into this great event, please go to this link:

https://mybookcave.com/g/4d0ccb91/