The Lady of Bolton Hill, by Elizabeth Camden {Book Review}

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Great storytelling by Elizabeth Camden of the 1870′s {not that I know it is accurate, but it was fun}.  From the first pages you are hooked on the romance between the main characters, Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain.  Even as tragedy strikes Daniel’s family.

The story is steeped in the progressiveness that characterized the turn-of-the-century.  Steel Mills and the Railroads are a main part.  Clara and Daniel have to deal with being from two different worlds and their feeling for each other.

My favorite character was definitely Clara.  Her love of music and of writing really struck a chord with me.  It was interesting to see her take a stand for what she believed in, and again for her faith later in the story.  The author, Elizabeth Camden shows how our actions can be viewed by others, and how far reaching they can be.

It amazed me how many different elements were tackled in this book; suicide and it’s affect on family, being unequally yoked with an unbeliever, the opium trade, the thirst for revenge, social and economic revolution.  However, even with the diverse nature of these topics I did not feel torn back and forth between them.  They all fit perfectly to weave one heck of a story.

This was the first book by Elizabeth that I have had the pleasure to read, but I can’t wait to read another.

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

Book Description; Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London’s poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel’s success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara’s deeply-held beliefs about God’s grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara’s very life is endangered by one of Daniel’s adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

DISCLOSURE: I recived a copy of this book from Bethany House Pulishers to review.  The opinions contained in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

Thank You God, For Blessing Me; by Max Lucado {Book Review}

Thank You God, for Blessing Me
a Little Hermie picture book by Max Lucado
with illustrations by Frank Endersby.


I downloaded the eBook for Kindle from the Booksneeze site onto my home desktop to share with Ms. E.  This is the first eBook I have read to her, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over.  I had wanted to download it onto my iPhone directly, but… I couldn’t figure out how to. I thought I could work some techno magic on the iPhone, but I am certainly not the most adept apparently, LOL!


As with most anything for toddlers, Ms. E finds everything on my cell phone much more interesting than her own toys.  Ms. E decided that reading ‘her’ book on the computer was just as fascinating as if it was on the iPhone.  Yay! This Little Hermie book is fantastic for a young toddler.  It has beautiful illustrations with a fun prayer that only a buggy friend could pray.


Ms. E loves pointing to the different bugs in these beautiful illustrations, and is enchanted by each new picture as we ‘turn’ the pages.  She understands it is a prayer {not that she truly understands prayers at this time}. I have to admit that I thought Little Hermie was a girl bug since I had never read a Little Hermie book.  Little Hermie is definitely a boy from the first sentence, LOL!  {PS ~ it took me a couple episodes of Blue’s Clues to figure out Blue was a girl dog.  Shush… don’t tell anyone.}


After reading this lovely book as an eBook I am going to purchased the hardcover book to share with Ms. E and Ms. V.  I think this book would be a delightful addition to any child’s library, and look forward personally to adding more Little Hermie books to our library.


Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!
DISCLOSURE:  I received a copy of this book to review by digital download from Booksneeze.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.



Book Description:


Meet Little Hermie—the cutest baby caterpillar in the garden! Little Hermie’s thankful heart shows toddlers how to be thankful for God’s blessings.


Little Hermie is thankful for everything God has given him. He goes through his day thanking God for his many blessings in this adorable board book with flocking on the cover!


With over 5.5 million brands units sold, the new Little Hermie books open the wonderful world of the Hermie & Friends garden to an entirely new audience.


Thunder Dog, by Michael Hingson{Book Review}

Where were you 9/11/2011?

I was outside feeding the horses when the first plane hit the Towers. I was watching the television when the second jet struck. The rest of the day was a blur of watching the news, praying for the rescue of the survivors, prayers for the families that lost loved ones, and wondering how this could happen in America.

I remember being thankful that as a family we didn’t have any one in New York or the Pentagon. No one at church had anyone missing either. That didn’t stop us from having a nightly prayer meeting the week following the attacks.

Being a little bit of a documentary junkie I have watched several shows on 9/11. This was the first book about that day I have read. It is a simple telling of a complicated day. Michael and Susy weave the happenings of that day (9/11) with times from Michael’s past that show you what it means to Michael to be blind. Relaying antics of his youth, learning to use the white cane, driving a car, and getting his first guide dog, you get an inside look into his inspiring life.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be well written and full of details. The stories were about so much more than Sept 11th. I highly recommend this book to you.  It would also make a fantastic gift this coming Holiday Season.

What book have you been reading lately?

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

DISCLOSURE NOTICE:  I received a copy of this book to read from Mr. SD’s mom.  Though I do reviews for Thomas Nelson Publishers, this was not a book I received from them to review.  As always, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

From the Publisher:

In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.

But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.

Disaster Status by Candace Culvert {Book Review}


Disaster Status is the first book by Candace Culvert I have read and I found it to be a fast moving story with relatable characters. I liked that it had a very contemporary feel, and was not a stuffy or pretentious ‘Christian’ fiction novel even though it was definitely a story with Christian characters.

In this story, my favorite character was a secondary character, because she had a horse of course, LOL. Though some of the horse details aren’t the most realistic, it was still neat to have a horse person in there. I am looking forward to reading more of Dr. Stathos’ story.

One of the interesting threads through the book was what we remember or what we ‘know’ of something is not always the most accurate. It was funny to read this, because the longer my kiddos are around the more I realize that my mom knew way more about what was going on than I gave her credit, LOL. Proof that grandchildren are truly the best revenge.

Another interesting facet of this book is how it takes a look behind the scenes of emergency response groups. A lot of people take first responders for granted. Not realizing how disasters can affect those that deal with tragedy every day. I liked how Candace pointed these affects as part of her story without over dramatizing that aspect of the characters’ lives.

I also enjoyed the two main characters journey towards each other through the book.  It was a fun, nice romance with the standard ups and downs without seeming {in my opinion} to corny.

While I did snag this book from Amazon when it was a free eBook, I will definitely be buying the next in her Mercy Hospital triology; Book 3 Code Triage.

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

About the Author:

Candace Calvert is an ER nurse who landed on the “other side of the stethoscope” after the equestrian accident that broke her neck and convinced her that love, laughter—and faith—are the very best medicines of all. The inspirational account of her accident and recovery appears in Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul and launched her writing career.  

The author of a madcap cruise mystery series in the secular market, Candace now eagerly follows her heart to write Christian fiction for Tyndale House. Her new medical drama series offers readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine, along with charismatic characters, pulse-pounding action, tender romance, humor, suspense—and a soul-soothing prescription for hope. 

Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, Candace makes her home in northern California.

Please visit her Web site at

From the Back Cover:

Charge nurse Erin Quinn escaped personal turmoil to work on the peaceful California coast. But when a hazardous material spill places Pacific Mercy Hospital on disaster status and stresses staff, she’s put to the test. And thrown into conflict with the fire department’s handsome incident commander, who thinks her strategy is out of line.
Fire Captain Scott McKenna has felt the toxic effects of tragedy; he’s learned to go strictly by the book to advance his career, heal his family, and protect his wounded heart. When he’s forced to team with the passionately determined ER charge nurse, sparks fly. As they work to save lives, can they handle the attraction kindled between them . . . without getting burned?

Max on Life, by Max Lucado {Book Review}

In Max On Life, one of the most trusted pastors and authors of our time takes on life’s most important questions. {from the book cover}

Here is another book by Max Lucado that is a must have for your library. With his customary frankness, Max gives bible based answers to some of those pesky questions people have asked you, or you have asked yourself.

Do angels really walk among us?

How should I discipline my kids?

Why do I worry so much?

How do I know what God’s will for me really is?

While reading this book, I added several sticky notes on questions/answers I want to look at again and reference in the future.  An answer that I found really helpful was to the ‘question’: I don’t like the narrow-mindedness of Christians. It is absurd to say that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.

I have never really known how to answer that question. I know that God created one way. The bible says Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. But how to say that to someone without sounding the a judgmental prick has always been a struggle for me. After reading Max’s opinion I am now prepared for the next time I need to speak intelligently on this topic.

 Since he does answer so many questions {171} in only 230 pages, some of the answers barely scratch the surface of what could be a topic for an entire book. But they do definitelygive you a direction to go if you are looking for more meat on a particular issue/question.   In the book there is a topical index and a list of scriptures referenced in the book with the page they of the book they are referenced on.  I found this to be very interesting to flip through while checking this book out.

We have questions. Child-like inquiries. And deep, heavy ones.

In more than twenty-five years of writing and ministry, Max Lucado has been the receiving line for thousands of such questions. The questions come in letters, e-mails, even on Dunkin Donuts napkins. In Max on Life he offers thoughtful answers to more than 150 of the most pressing questions on topics ranging from hope to hurt, from home to the hereafter.

Max writes about the role of prayer, the purpose of pain, and the reason for our ultimate hope. He responds to the day-to-day questions—parenting quandaries, financial challenges, difficult relationships—as well as to the profound: Is God really listening?

A special addendum includes Max’s advice on writing and publishing.

Including topical and scriptural indexes and filled with classic Lucado encouragement and insight, Max on Life will quickly become a favorite resource for pastors and ministry leaders as well as new and mature believers.  ~ From the Publisher ~

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

DISCLOSURE:  I received a copy of this book from Book Sneeze to review. The opinions I have expressed are 100% my own opinionated opinions.

Shattered, by Melody Carlson {Book Review}

Shattered is Melody Carlson’s second book in her series; Secrets.

The ‘secret’ in this book will rock you.

As with the first book, Forgotten, we are looking at life through a teenage girl’s eyes.  In this book Cleo has an overprotective mother and a father that is never around.  What will Cleo do when her world is ‘shattered’?  What would you do if your world ‘shattered’, and you were to to blame for it happening?

Medody’s fast-paced writing takes you from start to finish without pausing for breath.  I loved this book from start to finish.  Though I have to admit that I did cry in parts.  It definitely touched me deeply, and I am amazed at the detail that is in the story.  Cleo has to deal with both grief and guilt, and how easy it is to fall into drug abuse.  The ending was just as full as the beginning and middle sections.  Filled with relateable characters, and daily struggles that could be an issue in anyone’s life.

I don’t want to write more and ‘spoil’ the book.  Just know that I think it is a great read, and am very glad to have my own copy of this book.  However, there is a very traumatic event in the book, and you may want to read for yourself before handing this book to your young adult to read.

Back Cover;

Everybody does it—sneaks out of the house now and then. It’s harmless enough, right? Not this time. Cleo Neilson faces the chilling consequences of her actions. Now she has a secret and can’t tell anyone, and it’s breaking her heart. As Cleo fights through her grief and guilt, she learns about faith in God and forgiveness through him. As teenage girls read Cleo’s journey, they too will learn the value of having faith and receiving forgiveness as well as just how dangerous it really is to keep a secret.

About Melody Carson;

Melody Carlson has written around 200 books for teens, women and children.  That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her books range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including the Rita and Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!

DISCLAIMER:  I received a FREE copy of this book from NavPress Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Don’t Make Me Come Up There, by Kristen Welch {Book Review}

I got this book because I love Kristen’s blog, We are THAT Family.  She always has something funny to say, and lives a life through Godly eyes.  A very refreshing veiwpoint to hear from on a regular basis.  This book is a fantastic collection of short stories about the joys and tribulations of motherhood. She pairs a verse and short prayer with each story. Every story shares a refreshing look at being an imperfect mother. It is nice to know that we are all learning how to be moms as we go.


Some of her viewpoints on life made me pause and think for a couple minutes, as she shares situations from her family’s expierences. I don’t think I would be as open about my inadequacies as she has been in this book. Partly because I don’t want to believe I have ‘issues’ and partly because I don’t want others to know the struggles I am/have had with my girls in our first two years together.


I definitly think this book is a must have for every mother. And would be a great gift to any mother at any point of her journey in motherhood, from the newbies like me, to the mothers that may even have an empty-nest. I put this book on my iPhone, and love reading one of the short chapters during a ‘me’ moment. It helps me to remember that He is the one in charge, and that mothering is a journey through my imperfections. The most important thing is to be there for the kiddos in love and with a living faith in my life.


Stop by Kristen’s blog, and check out her posts from her trip to Africa and about the Mercy House.  You can purchase copies of her book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and DaySpring. 
Kimberlee, Thank you for visiting!
DISCLOSURE:   I obtained a copy of this book on my own, and am sharing my thoughts and opinions in this post.  I was not compensated in any way by the author or publisher of this book to write this review.

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~ About Me ~

I'm Kimberlee, the owner/creater of 'The Spunky Diva'. Here is a little about me... In addition to my love of blogging I adore all crafts, sewing, quilting, improving my non-existent cooking skills, and playing with my two girls. We have a 'collection' of animals around the place to keep us busy; two 'huge' dogs, a cat, kittens, several horses, and assorted wildlife. We live east of Austin, Texas, in the middle of farm country. Here at 'The Spunky Diva' blog I get to share daily life moments, fun crafts, sewing and quilting progress/finishes, and brag about my 'Babies'. Thank you for visiting and sharing some of your day with me!


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