Book Review: Portrait Revolution by Julia L. Kay

Book Review: Portrait Revolution by Julia L. Kay


This book is about portraits, and it isn’t a how to book on how to do a portrait. Despite it being a book with over 450 pictures of someone else, it is fascinating.

The premise of the book is explained in the first pages. The author had challenged herself to do a portrait of for three years. After the three years, it gets rather tiring to do a portrait in various methods of yourself. But what is, you challenged other people to do your portrait, and in turn you did theirs? What happens is this book.

For me the book is a creative outlet, encouragement that you can draw any method that you desire to develop a portrait. It doesn’t have to be a realistic photo that you created out of oils. There are so many different techniques, different methods, that you just want to try a method out on your own and explore. At least that is what my inspiration from this book promoted.

In the very back of the book, after you’ve become motivated to draw, there is a section on how to do a portrait and how to see to draw. Working from photographs to tracing, to how to structure it on a page. Then at the very end, is how to go about hold a portrait party. Let’s just say, that sounds cool, but I’m no where near that status yet!

I found this to be a fascinating book and well worth getting.

I received this book from the publisher, via Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.

Book Review: You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford

Book Review: You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford


First off, I forgot I had selected this book, so when it came in the mail my immediate thoughts were that it was a thin Christian fiction book. By completely ignoring the small writing in yellow in the top left corner, I flipped it over to realize it was a self-help style book. It’s a cool cover with a hand lettering style. Kudo’s on the designer of this cover.

But to the book itself, I opened the book the next day during a slow period at work thinking I would get a feel for the book in the first few chapters and then set it aside. I was wrong. I didn’t set it aside. Instead, I continued to flip page after page, chapter after chapter delving into the writing and thoughts shared by Tricia.

The book is essentially guided us as women to find our confidence again. Consider it delightful self-help book to keep close and handy for those days that turn into weeks where you wonder where your self-confidence went. We all have those days and right now I’m having one of those months. So for me the book was timely.

The back cover has a mantra that I believe every woman should chant to themselves and believe of themselves, “You are smart. You are kind. You are beautiful. You are confident.” But within the pages of the book, Tricia, as she describes the book, is writing for herself to turn to when her confidence falters and in turn is sharing with us her guide to restoring confidence.

I found her writing style to be one that spoke to me. I got her. I understood what she was saying and loved the majority of the book. Anything I didn’t like was so nit-picky that it doesn’t affect my overall rating of the book.

This will be a book I will definitely share with others. There is nothing new inside that all of us don’t already know, but it’s delightfully written that you just want to ooze with confidence.

I received this book from the publisher, Tyndale Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.

Book Review: The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere

Book Review: The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere


The cover of this book is what drew me into selecting it to read. I have never read Jennifer Delamere before and was intrigued with what type of story she would provide for me.

The setting of this book is in London in 1879, and it starts off with Rosalyn Bernay leaving the orphanage where she lived with her two sisters. She is headed off into the world to make her own way. Of course, being of age to leave the orphanage is also a nudge for her to leave. So in this first chapter, we learn of her two sisters and their personalities. From there, we move six years beyond, with Rosalyn trying to escape a home that has accused her of stealing.

Then into the picture is Nate Moran. He is hoping to prove to his regiment that he is fit for duty, and to continue his duties in India. In the meantime, he is staying with his family, and taking over a job for his brother at the theater as a stage hand. There, he comes into contact with Rosalyn.

To be honest, I had such high hopes for this book. The cover intrigued me, the back cover intrigued me, but it failed to live on it’s hype. To me, the prologue to where Rosalyn was leaving the orphanage was unnecessary. The only reason it was there, was to introduce us to her two sisters and their personalities, but because they weren’t a part of her story, especially the first part of the book, this could have been weaved in much later. I think the prologue should have been perhaps a reason for why Rosalyn was leaving her employer. I didn’t feel like that was really and truly explained. My pity in Rosalyn leaving her previous employer was not there. Yes, I was told why, but my empathy for her just was not there.

But beyond that, my interest in this book just dabbled at the surface. I really and truly did want to like it, to find myself diving into it and loving it. But I didn’t. This very well could be a personal choice, but sometimes it’s a bit off-putting when all other reviews you read give the book high ratings.

As for if I will read another book by Delamere, there is a possibility. I don’t think the book was terrible, it just bored me a bit and I couldn’t really connect with the characters. The main characters. I wanted to love them.

I will acknowledge, that the title Captain’s Daughter led me into thinking it was about a sea captain, especially with her standing before a river. It isn’t, but that’s my fault for making an assumption. I even told my mom about this book before I received it, that it was about a sea captain. I was wrong.

I received this book complimentary from Bethany House Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Book Review: Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin

Book Review: Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin


When I initially selected this book, I thought the premise on the back was interesting. A young widowed woman with a young child, while a friend of hers must overcome the growing feelings he has for this young Amish mother.

In addition, I did like the cover on the book. Very cheery and colorful. But that’s about all I really liked about the book.

For me, I found the characters within not very interesting and it didn’t have a lot of depth. However, I could blame that on my recent completion of reading the trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall. You want depth, try her books out. In comparison, this story paled. Instead I found myself reading through the first chapters, and then just thumbing my way through. For me, I didn’t find any joy in reading the story. If anything, I just wanted to get it over with.

There are a few people out there who have commented on the negativity of the characters within the book, and in hindsight, I believe they are spot on. Amish are not always going to be cheery and happy-go-lucky, but in the first chapter the mom, Mattie, just was not like-able.

I received this book from the publisher. In turn, this review is my own opinions with no pressure from the publisher to provide a positive review.

Book Review: Foundations of Drawing by Al Gury

Book Review: Foundations of Drawing by Al Gury


Being a graphic designer, I’ve taken several drawing classes and art classes in the past. However, thanks to some less than stellar teachers, I have a certain phobia when it comes to drawing. My brain wants me to draw, but when I place a pencil in my hand I seem to freeze up. I think, I don’t understand what I need to do? Do I have the right pencil? Paper? Where do I start with a drawing?

That said, I have several drawing books, one of my more favorite ones is “The Drawing Lesson” by Mark Grilley. However, this particular book, hit a note and left me loving it.

This is not your typical drawing book, because it will not tell you step by step instructions on how to draw. In fact, if your purpose in buying this book is to physically draw on paper, don’t expect that. This instead, is a perfect book for learning about the drawing process. Learning the basic history of drawing. It’s just that, a foundation of drawing.

What I appreciated is the basic explanation of art over the years. They kept the sections contained, and didn’t go overboard into explaining the various artists and methods of each century, and believe me, there are a lot!

But what I really liked, and made me wonder why drawing/art teachers don’t focus on this more, is the section on explanations of the types of medium to draw with an on. How to hold the pencil, the types of paper, what graphite is and it’s different mediums. I could go on and on. Essentially, this is an awesome book to supplement your actual drawing book instructions. A classroom should have this, before or in addition, to the drawing class. It makes so much sense. I love it and will keep it on my bookshelf for future reading and reference.

Just one word of note, there are alot of photos of nude men and women, so this isn’t necessarily destined for a pre-teen or adolescent child, unless you want them looking primarily at the photos, rather than the content. 🙂

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

Book Review: Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh


Courtney Walsh is a new author for me, having never read any of her books, I was looking forward to diving into this one. I’m glad to say, she didn’t disappoint. Instead, she soared in expectations and I’ve found a new author to seek out.

Just Look Up is about Lane Kelley who is an interior designer for a design firm in Chicago. Leaving behind her home in a small town, she has been determined to have nothing to do with her family and the memories left behind. But tragedy strikes, and she must return home. While home, she comes across an old friend, who is determined to bring out the Lane he knows must reside within her rigid walls. If only he can get her to relinquish hold of the phone and laptop.

This story kept me intrigued and curious as to how it would all play out. When a turning point came in the book, I was nowhere near the end, so I knew that there was even more to the story. I was glad. I wasn’t quite ready for the book to end where it did.

Once, again, new author to me whom I relish reading more from in the future. There are little things that were brought up, such as Ryan and his duty overseas, but I admit, that I didn’t focus much on it, knowing that I was focusing on the Lane story. However, that part of his life also explained his plans for the grand opening.

Now that you’ve read the review, check out the trailer for the book here on YouTube.


I did receive this book complimentary from the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions are my own within this review.


Book Review: My Daughter’s Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark; Leslie Gould

Book Review: My Daughter’s Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark; Leslie Gould


When I selected this book to read, I thought the premise of it sounded interesting. The story starts off with Nicole, who is returning home from college. Previously she had been in treatment for an addiction and injury, but having not read the previous books (didn’t realize this was the third in a series) I was a bit confused as to what was going on. Fortunately, the story didn’t lose me as much as some other three part books.

The one thing I did like about the book, was how it was written. Initially that is. I liked the way how the author played with the words, because I wanted to read more and understand what was going on. But then I hit Therese, and hit a wall. I wanted to know about Nicole, not Therese. So I found myself fast forwarding through the book to get to the bits about Nicole and the drama going on within the family.

But then, the story just seemed to go on forever. And I wanted to just get to the meat of what was going on and how they were going to solve the issue. This is one time that I wished I had a hard copy book, because then it would have been so much easier to flip ahead, and then flip back a few pages. A kindle, isn’t so kind in that aspect.

Essentially, there are two stories intermingled here. Nicole of present day and Therese of the civil war days. And they both are learning about themselves and learning how to love. I just couldn’t figure out the purpose of the two stories, over than Therese’s arrival while Nicole was looking at old photos. Great idea, but for me, I just didn’t like it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.