Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: MaryLu Tyndall's Elusive Hope (Book 2 of the Escape to Paradise Series)


I know I wrote a review for MaryLu Tyndall’s Elusive Hope, the second book in her Escape to Paradise Series.  Since I can’t seem to find it (though I found part of it), I’m going write another review.

From the back of the book:

In a colony named New Hope, while their friends are seeking a Southern utopia. . . .

Hayden is seeking revenge. Relentlessly.

After years of all but selling his soul to track down his scoundrel of a father, Hayden Gale discovers his search must continue in South America, where his father is reported to be helping colonize Brazil. Hayden has nothing more to lose, certainly not a good reputation, and vows to keep pursuing--at any cost--the vile man who he believes killed his mother.

 Magnolia is seeking a way out. Desperately.

She’s in the jungles of Brazil against her will, but what choice does Magnolia Scott have? Her father insisted on uprooting their family to escape the uncertainty of Southern life after the Civil War. But how will she survive without all she holds dear—wealthy suitors, beautiful clothes, summer balls, and slaves waiting on her every whim? She vows to find a way to get back home—and attaches herself to handsome Hayden Gale.

 As they journey toward Rio de Janeiro, they both seek to use the other for their own purposes. Deceptively. Falling in love was never part of their plans. . . .


Even though this is the second book in the series, it can be read without reading the first book. Yes, the characters are introduced in the first book, but there is enough information that Elusive Hope can be read as a stand-alone book (though I don’t think this will be true for book 3). I do recommend that you read the first book, Forsaken Dreams, to get the whole story.

As the colony of New Hope is being established in the jungles of Brazil, things are not what they seem. There is a darkness present that will test everyone’s faith.  Some of the colonists are having haunting visions. This subplot of Elusive Hope will probably be concluded in book 3 – Abandoned Memories – due out in June 2014.

The main plot of Elusive Hope centers around Hayden Gale, a scoundrel of his own making, who is seeking revenge on the father that left him and his mother penniless. The other main character is spoiled rich girl Magnolia Scott, who not only has a drinking problem, but a fiancé back in the states that she desperately wants to return to and marry. As Hayden and Magnolia make their way through the jungle, I just had to laugh. The adventures and situations the two of them find themselves in cracked me up. Hayden lets go of his hate as Magnolia realizes that inner beauty is much better than outer beauty….and the two of them get close. I won’t spoil it.

I don’t want to give away too many details, but MaryLu does a great job describing the jungle and the hardships Hayden and Magnolia go through. It left me wanting them to stay in the jungle and never arrive at their destinations. Magnolia changed the most, going from a spoiled, rich brat that I wanted to slap, to a woman that is no longer under her daddy’s thumb and can stand soundly on her own two feet.

Bravo MaryLu for creating a world in 1866 that I wish I could visit! I also wouldn’t mind challenging Magnolia for the handsome Hayden (yes, I realize I’m married…it’s called a book fantasy). I anxiously await the next installment of the Escape to Paradise Series.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dance Season is Beginning...

Last night was pseudo-dress rehearsal for our 2014 dance competition season. Not all the costumes are in yet, so the kids danced in all black. I really wish at least 1 person in every dance was wearing a costume, so we'd get a better idea what the dances actually looked like from on stage. I predict that Angela's hip hop costume will have a couple changes.....and I certainly hope her jazz costume changes..




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I still want to know how Angela can look so good after dancing all evening....and she had her hair up in a bun most of the time too.



Saturday, February 1, 2014

One Sock, Two Sock

I am attempting to match socks, as I washed most of the dirty socks Angela finally put in the laundry room. You would NOT believe how many different socks we have at our house....and odd socks at that. I have no clue why anyone would pay good money to buy a bundle of odd socks (and I've seen them sold at a few different stores now).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dance Season Begins....

We have less than 7 weeks until the first dance competition. Our kids are working and and getting ready....and costumes are slowly coming in. I can't post costumes or anything until after the first competition is over.

Ang is ready.....I guess.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Book Review: Tender Mercies by Vicki Watson

Tender Mercies is the fourth book in Vicki Watson's Sonrise Stable series.This is a wonderful Christian series of books about the lives of Rosie and Carrie and their love of horses. These chapter books are great for both boys and girls ages 6-8, and one thing that makes them a little different from other books is the girls are homeschooled. I can't think of another series of books that have homeschooled children as their main characters.  These are not 'girl' books either, and they will appeal to any child that likes (or loves) horses.

From the book: When Rosie, Carrie, and Grandma are asked to help out at Last Chance Corral, a horse and foal rescue, Rosie is shocked when she experiences firsthand how cruel some people can be to animals. During the week at Last Chance, the girls learn that the God who knows when a sparrow falls to the ground works through the kindness of others to provide for the animals He created. For the foals, and the girls, Last Chance Corral is a life-changing experience.

This is the best book in the series so far! Rosie and Carrie get a glimpse at how cruel people can be and also a snippet of the behind the scenes of the horse racing world. Animal cruelty is a difficult subject for both children and adults, but Vicki Watson tackles it well. Tender Mercies is a good one to bridge the communication between parent and child on this subject. It's nice that Carrie and Rosie get to see the baby horses rescued and help acclimate them to a new life. I wanted to be right there bottle feeding a foal too.

The Last Chance Corral (http://lastchancecorral.org/foal-rescue/available-foals) is a true horse rescue in South Athens, Ohio. It is well worth checking out the website as you read the book.


http://www.sonrisestable.com/ is Vicki Watson's website. Take a look around to find more information on her Sonrise Stable Series and also for more information about horses. Her love of horses really shows through this series.



I was given a free copy of Tender Mercies to review as part of the review crew of Christian Women's Affliliate (CWA). The views and opinions are all my own, and  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a very happy 2014. We've been plagued with sickness at my house, so not much has been happening the last week or so. I am starting to feel like a pharmacy though. I have book reviews I need to finish and post....

Also, Angela turned 17 a couple days ago. Where did the time go? She was such a tiny little thing in this photo.

Now, she's a junior in high school.....
 
Happy Birthday Baby~

Saturday, December 21, 2013

3 Days Until Christmas....

I can't believe we only have 3 days until Christmas. It just doesn't seem like Christmas here this year, as the weather is too warm and rainy. The kids are out of school for the next few weeks, which is actually sorta' nice. We have A LOT to do here at my house....