31 May 2014

Raising A Princess by John Croyle, Book review

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books (May 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433680731


The Bible’s frequently referenced chapter of Proverbs 31 defines godly womanhood. In Raising a Princess, greatly respected child advocate John Croyle asks, "How do you equip a daughter to become the kind of woman who is described in Proverbs 31?" 

After all, a woman like that doesn't appear out of nowhere. Somebody taught her to rise before dawn to provide for her household. Somebody gave her the moral compass to reach out her hand to the needy. Somebody taught her the business principles that made it possible for her to consider a field and buy it. Perhaps most importantly, somebody gave her a sufficiently strong sense of self that made it possible for her to go out and make a huge impact on the world around her. 

Raising a Princess begins with the end in mind. The end is the Proverbs 31 woman; Croyle keeps her squarely in view as he looks at what parenting techniques help the reader to raise a princess who will someday be a queen. 

My Thoughts:

A fascinating book I only wish had been written when we were raising our own daughter!

John Croyle, founder of Big Oak Ranch refers to chapter 31 of Proverbs as to best explain his personal philosophy for raising a Christian daughter.
With years of experience in dealing with abused and neglected children, John explains the acronym P.R.I.N.C.E.S.S exemplifies the 8 virtues which he personally feels are essential in teaching a daughter of Christ.

Praiseworthiness – A princess understands she is worthy of praise simply because she is made in the image of God.

– She lives according to God’s normal, not the world’s normal.

Initiative – A princess makes good things happen.

Nurture – God built into girls and women an instinct for nurture that boys and men simply don’t have in the same way.

Character – A girl of character knows what her deepest desires are and chooses accordingly.

Empowerment – Your princess needs to understand life isn’t just something that happens to her. She has the power to choose.

Servant-Heartedness – A princess finds purpose not in being served, but serving others.

Stability – As stability is provided for daughters, they will grow into the kind of people who help create stability for others.

Like most parents we want to shelter our daughters from cultural dangers (and there are many of those these days!) which seems determined to turn our precious girls into Barbie dolls! 
We cannot keep them from making mistakes but we can help them to learn from these and be the supportive parents Christ wants us to be.

Through examples and Scripture references, John reminds us that our children need to see us also stretch ourselves, try things that we are not necessarily good at and that we are not God!
It is important for them to see failure happens, the lesson learned is what matters and that God has a purpose for them. 
Best of all, we should not focus on our own agenda for them. Instead we should be in touch with their interests and understand what drives them. 
I loved to read the author's advice to other parents: "As parents we are in a unique position of being our daughter's dream maker or dream taker!"

An excellent book to read for anyone blessed with a little girl and an ideal gift for any new parent!

5 Stars!

Note: John Croyle has books on boys as well!

The Two-minute Drill to Manhood a Proven Game Plan for Raising Sons 
Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child: The Building Blocks of Successful Parenting

About the Author:

John Croyle rose to recognition as an All-American defensive end at the University of Alabama during head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's legendary tenure. Faced with the decision to play professional football or to start a home for abused and neglected children, John established Big Oak Boys' Ranch in 1974. 

Today the outreach has grown to three branches with the addition of a girls ranch and a Christian school. John, his wife Tee, and the Big Oak organization have raised more than 1,800 kids to date.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from  B&H Publishing Group as part of the book's promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

30 May 2014

Guess Who Won A Copy Of Cathy Bryant's A Bridge Unbroken?

 Hey Cathy , love you interview . I would love to win a copy of your A Bridge Unbroken . Thank you fie  the chance . 

Congratulations Elizabeth! 

I will confirm your winning by email and let Cathy Bryant know how to contact you (She will be happy to send you the Ebook and hear how you like it!)

Many thanks to all those who entered and be sure to sure to follow Cathy's latest news on her website (HERE).

Didn't have an opportunity yet to read the review? Find the link (HERE)

A heartfelt thank you to Christian author Cathy Bryant for this generous giveaway and all the best to each of you!

29 May 2014

Our Yanks by Margaret Mayhew, Book review

  • Hardcover: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne - St. Martin's Pub.; 1st edition (February 20, 2002)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312287405
  • Also available in KINDLE format


The first of British novelist Mayhew's works to be published in the U.S. is aptly subtitled "a love story": not only does romance figure prominently in the plot but a figurative "love" involving two diverse communities suddenly forced into close proximity is the novel's overarching theme. 

In August 1943, the rural English village of King's Thorpe, whose weary but stalwart residents have suffered years of wartime deprivation, suddenly is overrun by allies from overseas an American army air force fighter group that outnumbers the villagers by more than two to one. The newcomers' tendency toward exuberance and braggadocio dismays many inhabitants, but individuals of goodwill on both sides seek to meld the disparate entities. The process is often hilarious, despite the domestic dramas being played out against the grisly backdrop of war. 

The author handles the bittersweet romances deftly Lieutenant Mochetti is smitten with the rector's daughter, who teaches kindergarten and is already engaged; Colonel Schrader and the lonely young widow Lady Beauchamp fall in love against their will; and Sergeant Somers finds the baker's saucy teenage daughter, Sally, irresistible. 

Warm relationships develop between old and young especially moving are the friendships engendered by Tom Hazlet, an enterprising boy who delivers bread, mail and purloined fresh eggs to the Americans. 
Poignant details of life in beleaguered wartime England enhance this charming story with a beguiling premise tolerance and diversity can be made to work and enrich the lives of those they touch.
(Publishers Weekly)

My thoughts:

Our Yanks is a bittersweet love story as happens often in wartime yet it portrays so much more! 
With an eye for details,  Margaret Mayhew brings a witty and colourful window on 1943 British rural life when the 8th Army Air Force arrives in a small village. 
Their task is to expand an old R.A.F. base and use it for their fighter group. But first they must settle down and learn the intricacies of British life which brings at times some hilarious results!
Not all goes as planned though and tempers are running high particularly when their Commander tells the villagers not to worry, the Yanks are there now to win the war for them!
Tut, tut, tut!

The villagers are wary of this noisy intrusion in their tranquil life even if necessary as the new arrivals means the war will finally come to an end. 

Somewhat begrudgingly, the welcome mat is set for the Yanks from the rector's house to the manor and life is soon forever changed. These intrepid young men bring their own energetic doses of enthusiasm and find a diplomatic way to smooth ruffles when needed. It helps of course that they have never ending supplies of many things four years of rationing have kept off shelves!

In OUR YANKS Margaret Mayhew brings readers her considerable writing talent and paints an unforgettable picture of the gallant men who joined their European Allies in the fight for an end to WW 2  after Pearl Harbor! 

Faraway from home, these brave young pilots often gave the ultimate sacrifice as they flew dangerous missions escorting their fellow bombers on their way to Germany. They lived their lives often as fast as their flying machines!
Along with the many ground crews who helped make their missions a success, they came roaring into British life, leaving sometime a few broken hearts behind but also many memories.
They were never forgotten however by the men, women and children who came to call them Our Yanks!

A delightful story of love and deep friendship in time of war and a must read for any Anglophile!

5 Stars!

Note: A heartfelt thank you to Josie-Mary for bringing this author to my attention! I am looking forward to read more of Margaret Mayhew's novels!

The children they befriended never forgot their Yanks!
One of those even joined the RAF!

About the Author:

Margaret Mayhew was born in London; her earliest memories were of the London Blitz. She is married to an American aviation author, Philip Kaplan, and lives on the border of Wales.

Note: This was a library loan and all opinions are mine only!

28 May 2014

 photo 008-1.jpg


 photo 001-1.jpg


 photo aa619f64-729a-4a2c-850d-70af673969ae.jpg

(Pardon the relaxed pose: I need the rest after 9 hours of driving!)

23 May 2014

Just A Word From Mac

 photo 003-22.jpg

With those eyes locked on her, Mum wasn't about to leave me home when going to the cabin!

 photo 005-16.jpg

So long Island, until next week!

 photo 002-5.jpg

To the mountains, we go!
Did I mention there are bears, elks, mountain lions, coyotes, even wolves there?

Not to mention the golden eagles who think I might just be a choice morsel!
Then there is that little squirrel who thinks nothing of teasing me (my leash goes only so far!)

Let's see: Leash, Collar, Frisbee, Ball, Chow (very important!), Treats, Bedding (hey, I like to take my favourite blanket with me, thank you very much!)

Okay, I think that's all Folks, got the important stuff with me!

Bye for now,

21 May 2014

A Bridge Unbroken by Cathy Bryant, Book review and GIVEAWAY


  • Series: A Miller's Creek Novel
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: WordVessel Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984431182


Letting go to build a bridge…

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with Chance Johnson, the man responsible for the scars on her heart. 
But Chance isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. 
Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?

My thoughts:

When Cathy Bryant first contacted me for a book review and a giveaway for my readers I checked her website and spotted the words Home, Faith, Grace, Promise and Forgiveness. In her introduction to the spiritual themes of her series, Cathy describes these simple words as overflowing with God's goodness. I liked that!
A Bridge Unbroken, a Miller's Creek novel is my first by Cathy Bryant and well worth reading for its wholesome goodness. This lady knows how to reach your heart as she reminds you not all scars are visible!

When she comes back to Miller's Creek Dakota is looking for a fresh start whilst also looking over her shoulder for troubles sure to come. The inheritance of a farm is God sent but there are stipulations to be met and questions sure to arise starting with why she changed her name since she left town. 
Chance Johnson has had his share of hard breaks and finds it difficult to forgive her for running away from him years ago, something she seems very good at. 
Just when they reluctantly team up to remodel the farm, Dakota's past catches up with her, this time endangering Chance as well. 
Be ready for a few twists in this story, Cathy's tale will keep you on edge till the end!

Written with a sound Christian heart, Cathy's latest novel offers not just an interesting story but an emotional connection with rich characters, great setting and a lot of soul searching. God remains a forgiving God and His love never leaves us.

Note to Readers: A Bridge Unbroken is # 5 in the series but is easily read as a stand alone!

4 Stars!

Meet the Author:

Image of Cathy Bryant

From Amazon:
A native Texan, Cathy Bryant currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. Cathy's desire is to write heart-stirring stories about God's life-changing grace. 

Her first novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then she's added four more titles to the Miller's Creek novels, including PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE (a 2013 Grace Award nominee) and her latest, A BRIDGE UNBROKEN. 

She also recently released a mini Bible study on forgiveness, entitled THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS: FORGIVING THE INEXCUSABLE.
Cathy has written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books, and for online sites. In addition to her writing, she enjoys romping in the great outdoors and thrift store shopping. 

Visit her website (HERE)


Thanks to the author's generosity, a reader of Live and Dream a little dream will receive the EBook 
version of A Bridge Unbroken.
Just place a comment on this post no later than Midnight 28 May 2014 and using Random.org, the winner's name will be chosen!
Open to everyone Folks!
Note: Be sure to include a (safe) way to contact you (i.e. 123at yahoo period com)
All the best,

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author as part of the book's promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.