Cruel Crown... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

Cruel Crown

Victoria Aveyard

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard  a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"Because the war is not a war at all. It is an extermination.  Red soldiers conscript, fight and die in the thousands, year after year. "  p 64 - Steel Scars

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops:

Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #129

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Forever Joyful - Final Friday Family Faves. I love seeing what others are reading, and to see the whole families favorites of the month is wonderful.
Final Friday Family Faves a Feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Tiffiney at Welcome Home Ministries - A Homeschool Update, The Pain of Bedtime Read Aloud's and My Summer Garden.  She shares a real glimpse into her homeschooling routine. 
A Homeschool update and the pain of bedtime read alouds a feature on the Cozy Reading Spot

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page.
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes a link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with Pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

See where I link up!

Book review

The Painter's Daughter: A Book Review

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Painter's Daughter

Julie Klassen

It is easy to convince ourselves that the issues of the world today are new and that life used to be different, better.  The joy of historical fiction allows us to see that this is not actually the case.  Most of the issues of society have been there for decades, maybe even centuries, and yet people found ways to deal and move forward.

The topic of premarital relations comes up, again and again, it seems in our society.  Women who, in an effort to please the man they love, agree to move faster only to find themselves alone, heartbroken and months away from more responsibility than they bargained for.

To be honest, I have shied away from these historical fiction books for a while now, but after a recent novella collection, and numerous good reviews, I decided to go ahead and pick up this new book by Klassen.  I was quickly pulled in and stayed up way too late to finish it!

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen  a Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

In The Painter's Daughter**, Sophie Dupont, a daughter of an artist, spent her life assisting her father and perfecting her art abilities.  When Wesley Overtree swept into her life she was sure he was just another artist.  Yet somehow he saw her differently and she was swept into the romantic world of Wesley.  She agreed to more than she should have and when he leaves for London for his art, she is heartbroken and desperate. 

Captain Stephan Overtree, while the second son of the family, is the hard working, responsible son who comes to bring Wesley home before he must return to the British Army to fight Napoleon.  When he discovered Sophie left behind in need of a man to step up, he does just that, even though they do not know each other, and she is in love with his brother. 

After a quick elopement, a quick stop at her family's home, the newly married couple make their way to Overtree Hall - Sophie's new home.  While Stephan and Sophie have agreed to a marriage in name, they also agree to play the role of husband and wife with the family. 

While it is trying, they make it through and Stephan returns to his regiment, but when Wesley comes home early, Sophie has to decide where her heart lies.

Personal Likes

This is a beautiful story - the setting is whimsical.  The characters, however, will pull you in.  Klassen tells the story through Sophie, Stephan and Wesley's eyes - while each chapter is spoken in the first person, the three different angels gives so much to the reader.

I also enjoyed the topic - a pregnant unmarried woman in this time, was extremely desperate, so I could see how she would quickly agree to Captian Overtree's offer of marriage.  Stephan is a very intriguing character - he has his personal insecurities while still being a strong military man.  Even Wesley is more complex than I originally thought.  Even the secondary characters kept me interested - Winnie (the old nanny), Kate and Keith each have very important roles in the story which add depth.

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen  a Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

While there were a couple of surprises in this story, I was very sure where it was going from about the fifth page. I wish there would have been something more to it.  Although the final "action" scene felt forced, almost like an editor's attempt to add some drama to the story. This is a period Christian fiction, and it reads as one.  The characters make it worth reading.

Reasons to Read

This is a fun fiction piece that allows the reader a chance to escape and enjoy.  If you are looking for a story that will capture your imagination and give you a glimpse into history at the same time, this could be a great pick for you.   If you are into well developed and complex characters, this could be a great choice too. 

Reading List Rating

Four heart rating on Reading List

I'm giving this book a four heart rating because I really enjoyed it.  The characters make the story completely.  While I would recommend this one to a friend, I probably won't be reading it again. There is just not enough time and too many books- a one-time read-through book. 

My Suggested Audience

I would give this book to any woman who enjoys Christian historical romance.  It is a fun read, and very clean, so it could easily be a young adult book.  While I wouldn't say teens shouldn't read it, I am not sure the topic would interest them.  

This is real life... Happily ever after takes work. #ThePaintersDaughter @Reading_List1

What makes you truly interested in a character?  Do the characters even matter if the plot is well crafted?  What was last book you read that surprised you? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

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Preparing Our Hearts

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Preparing Our Hearts

Forty Days of Focused Discipline

Our world is all for the build-up to Christmas.  Stores put out decorations months in advance - craft stores give everyone a chance to put together a personalized gift before the leaves begin to change colors - kids start learning carols for school programs weeks into the school year.  

And yet, the same world almost mocks the forty days of preparation for Easter - Lent. 

While there are many who have scars from the human side of the church, please take a moment to prayerfully consider spending these forty days focusing on one part of your spiritual health in preparation for Easter - the single most important event of Christianity. 

There is no judgment in this - just a chance for reflection with your Lord and Savior. 

I am giving you a free sheet to help you stay motivated - check out each day as you walk through the Lenten season.  Use it with your kids - let them put a sticker in each square as you get closer to the day of our Lord's resurrection.

Free Lent Printable

There is also a place for you to write your own memory verse or inspiration.  

Make it your own.  Grow in your faith.  Experience Easter this year with a rejuvenated faith.

For more food for thought on focusing your spiritual disciplines, I'm leaving a few links you are welcome to check out.

  1. Practical steps towards spiritual discipline -  check out some common forms of spiritual discipline and how to take steps to being more disciplined. 
  2. What's so spiritual about my gifts? - a book by Henry Blackaby to help you understand the gift of the Holy Spirit
  3. Hope to pull you through - a wonderful song by Colton Dixon to help build up your hope.
  4. Easter books for your kids - a couple of suggestions to use with your kiddos from Mandy at Worshipful Living

How do you prepare for Easter?  

Marissa @ Reading List

Linking up with these great blogs:


Children's Corner

A Guaranteed Technique to Brighten the Rough Parenting Days

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Children's Corner

Guaranteed Technique to Brighten the Rough Parenting Days

The internet, especially social media, has given us parents a chance to let off the steam of the day whenever we need a quick break.  Crazy videos to make us laugh -  a quick chat with an old friend - another mom's rant about the work of being at  home, going to work, etc...

While all of these little moments give a reprieve and can be good for our sanity, it can often take us away from the joy that our kids can give us.  We get sucked into the screen world to escape the hard and miss the wonderful in the process.

The ability of kids to change their mood is a huge lesson us adults can learn from. When the hard comes take a moment to start over and change your mood.  Our favorite change is switching to silly.

Luckily my kids are great at this.

When I am tempted to search out something online to distract me from the hard, the difficult, the less glamorous side of parenting, I force myself to pull out the silly - usually in the form of a book.  Of course, my kiddos are more than glad that mommy is going to read with them and silly books?  Well, who doesn't love a silly book?

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble a feature on Children's Corner on Reading List

Now that the oldest is in grade school, and the next one is preparing for school next year, we have pulled out The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash** - an extraordinarily goofy story about one girl's field trip to the farm.

About the Book

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash follows one girl's recap of her school field trip to the farm after her mom asks about her day.  This little girl is clearly a wonderful story teller as she begins with telling her mom the trip was boring.  The mom wants details, and the little girl launches into a colorful description of what happened at the farm.  Clearly she is concocting a whooper of a story, and the mom knows - yet the book is just plain silly.  It is sure to capture the silly in your kids and keep them laughing throughout the book.

Why We Like It

My boys just love the idea of a bunch of kids at a farm throwing eggs and pigs on the school bus eating the students' lunches.  The illustrations throughout the book are full of silliness and details which capture kid's attention no matter what.

Another bonus is this is a great book to help encourage your young reader to build their confidence.  Most of the words are basic sight words, a few words directly related to farms that could stretch their vocabulary slightly and only a handful that will challenge them.  Also, the illustrations take up the bulk of the pages so there are not many words on each one, another great indicator of an emerging reader book.

As a bonus, this book allows a great change to show your kids the concept of cause and effect, as each step into this amazing story results in a new chain reaction.  Each new effect needs an, even more, outrageous fib to complete the whole story.

While the book does portray a young girl who is clearly willing to tell a crazy lie to her mom, it also shows that parents are not as easily fooled by their kids' stories as a child might think.  The mom is clearly allowing her daughter to tell her about her day, yet she is not convinced.  The book is a great way to discuss how when we tell lies it results in a lack of trust.

But mostly this is just a silly story that is sure to light the mood no matter the downward spiral you might have gotten caught up in the day. 

Title: The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
Author: Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Publisher: Puffin Books
Publication Date: October 1992
For ages: 4+ - younger if you want to focus on making up stories based on illustrations
Type: Children's, animals, school life, social skills

Silly stories are the perfect way to lighten your kiddos moods on rough days. #KidsBooks @Reading_List1

Call to Pinterest page and ideas  

  1. Mudpies and Makeup put together a great set of printables for the book - as well a fun way to tie the book into your farm focus for teachers and homeschoolers. The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash Free Book Pack
  2. Teaching with a Mountain View shares a great activity to work on cause and effect with your kiddos through this post with printable and instructions - she also has a few more books for further practice. Teaching Cause and Effect for Elementary
  3. Early Activities and Projects shows a quick and easy way to create your own snakes to go along with the story while working on your kids fine motor skills - drawing & cutting. Cutting Paper Snakes
  4. Housing a Forest has a great tutorial on how to make your own rainbow bubble snakes to take this super fun book outside for some amazing play time!  Rainbow Bubble Snakes

Have you read a silly book in order to brighten up a rough day?  Do your kids enjoy silly books?  If so, what is their favorite?

Marissa on Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process.

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

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