Gypsy Grace by Joan Bannan


Gypsy Grace is an emotional story by Joan Bannan. Grace’s family are members of the Irish Travelers, who are often wrongly called Gypsies. They had strict traditions and family rules and harsh punishments. Grace’s father and his friend had arranged for their children Grace and Collen to marry. After Collen’s death, Grace spent a lot of time with his brother Zane. But is was Collen’s father that she was promised to instead of Zane. When she finds this out, she gets help from her mother for her and her sister to mysteriously leave and go to their cousin Shelta’s in California. On their way there, they fall asleep and all of their belongings are stolen.

When they finally get to Shelta’s, they are given jobs to help at her hotel. They quickly find out Shelta’s life is not what they expected, she lives with an abusive husband with a dark secret.

I enjoyed reading this book. It is a story of love and loyalty between Grace, her mother, sister and Zane. As well as murder and betrayal. Some parts of the story are harder to read, such as Grace’s sister being raped and finding out Collen’s death was not an accident. I enjoyed reading how Zane figured out a way to connect with Grace from a distance and how far her mother would go to save her daughters.

I really like the recipes the author included at the end of the story. I also appreciate how the author is able to write inspirational stories, with hard stories likes and does not use profanity.

I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review.

Story pages: 211

ISBN: 9781733348317

You can learn more about the author and other books she has written at

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Gracie Lou Wants a Zoo, written by Shelly Roark, illustrated by Simone Kruger


Be patient if you can. Wait on God’s plan. He’ll take care of you…even if you want a zoo!”

Gracie Lou Wants a Zoo is a cute story for young children and early readers. The story, written by Shelly Roark, is about a young girl who lives in a big city apartment with her parents. She has a pet turtle but she wants more pets, larger pets. Her parents have valid reasons for not getting the pets she wants and explains them to her. One night she has a dream that she has the pets and she realizes what life would be like with them.

This book has beautiful pictures, illustrated by Simone Kruger. The pictures are bright and colorful. They take the listeners and readers through Gracie’s struggles with patience waiting to have the pets she desires. They are perfect for helping the young listener pick out the pets and learn about them.

This is a really nice short story for the young children to help teach them about patience. The story also points out that some of our wants are not practical and we have to find ways to get what we want when the time is right. This would make a great gift for children who love animals. The last page is for children to write in things about their favorite animals.

I received a copy of this book from the author through the Book Crash blogging program. This is my honest review.

Story length: 30 pages

ISBN: 9781733282826
Shelly Roark is the senior copywriter for Focus on the Family. She has written in various capacities for almost 30 years. She received numerous awards for her first children’s picture book, The Bubble Who Would Not POP!

Simone Kruger is a German based illustrator who use to be a graphic deisgner.

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The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear


The Rebel Bride, by Shannon McNear, is book ten in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. This is my favorite book in the series to date. The author’s writing is very clear and the story is based on actual events. The story gives a look into what it might have been during the Civil War, the death of so many men and boys. The injuries they suffered and the adjustments they had to make because of their injuries. We see how the armies took supplies from the civilians and then brought the injured soldier to the very same homes expecting care for the men.

Some of the things I enjoyed about the book are; the care Pearl gave to the men even while she was still grieving her mother and brothers a caring for a quickly failing father. When she admits to her father she wouldn’t mind heaping a little fire on the Yankee’s heads, her father tells her to care for them, as she would care for her brothers. He tells her to also care for their hearts and souls. Pearl and her brother gave up their beds, lost sleep caring for the men, shared the little food they had, prayed for their healing. Her brother even buried the men who did not survive. Even in his last confused days, her father took pleasure reading the Bible to the men.

I loved this story is a great story of giving even when you have little to give. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Shannon McNear is a new author to me. She is a military wife homeschooling mother, grandmother, worship and youth leader and a history geek.

Some places this book can be purchased are: