©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Liver Aerobics

It is said that laughter is the only aerobic exercise your liver gets. My liver got a work-out today. Katie Schuermann has written a Mitford-esque laugh-out-loud novel that kept me in stitches. She doesn't just set out to write a funny book, other emotions enter into the plot as well: surprise, pain, friendship, and a tiny bit of romance. House of Living Stones had several deep biblical truths woven into the story as well.

Protagonists Pastor Michael Fletcher and Dr. Emily Duke have quite a year ahead of them from the very first moment you open the book. When Emily wants to use Latin anthems in the service, the accompanist up and quits. When Arlene Scheinberg makes one too many typos in the bulletin, Geraldine wants to take over. When Candice Bradbury gets it into her mind that Emily is living a lie, she stops at nothing to reveal Emily's duplicity. When that backfires and Candice ends up with egg on her face, she decides Emily needs a suitor. Blind dates, forged love letters, and a myriad of underhanded tricks are just a few of the items in Candice's repertoire; and those tricks blaze a trail for Emily that just may lead her out of town.

This is more than a small town tome, like Mitford... This is a family with all kinds of warts and blemishes that makes the readers feel good about their own families. Some of the more hysterical parts are the bulletin bloopers, definitely, but what had me holding my side, laughing out loud, was when Lois's husband, Don, came to choir practice and passed a bit of flatulence. The choir is immediately dismissed, but the choir members who stay behind start quipping with puns that leave the members howling with laughter: "Who sounded his pipes?" "His number 2 stop is stuck." And those are only two that come off the top of my head.

I wish I could give this more than five stars, but that is all they allow. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a bulletin blooper to make you chuckle out loud.

This book was provided for my reading pleasure by Concordia Publishing. No compensation was offered or received in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Advent Bride

Mary Connealy writes with humor at the center of her books, but with The Advent Bride, Mary has kept the story light, but not as much humor. But that's okay. There isn't much space for humor in a story this short. The Advent Bride is readable in less than an hour and quite sweet. This story revolves around a teacher, Melanie Douglas, and a small boy, Simon O'Keeffe. Obviously since Melanie becomes a bride at the end of the story, Simon's father figures into the story too. Simon is very bright, but he's a hurting boy who misses his mother. Because of his hurt, he acts out--taking his desk apart, taking other desks apart, tormenting the other children in the classroom, and generally disrupting class as much as he could. Melanie finds a box in her room at the boarding house that her landlady gave her. The box has secret compartments and many ways to get into it. Since Simon likes working with his hands, she plans for him to open one compartment at a time each day until Christmas after his school work is done. Simon's father gets involved in helping him open the box and at the same time falling in love with Melanie.

This short book/story is a delightful read, and I especially loved how Melanie sought to figure out a way to get Simon to cooperate and to solve his behavior with something positive. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a Secret Compartment to find.

Shiloh Run Studios has allowed me to read this book in exchange for my honest opinionated review.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

An Amish Christmas Quilt

Three short novels in one collection made for a fun afternoon of reading for this reviewer. To be honest I started them last night, but finished them off today. A couple of the novellas were like spending time with an old friend as I had met some of the characters in earlier books.

First off: A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant by Charlotte Hubbard. Mary Kauffman is on her way to Willow Ridge with her two step-children after their father died in a saw-mill fire. Her timing was unfortunate as she arrives in labor and the pain knocks her out. As she stops the buggy on the side of the road, their dog jumps out and runs to the nearest homestead to find Seth Brenneman and brings him back to the buggy to find Mary and the children in their dilemma. He gets Mary to the clinic, the children to his aunt's cafe, and then things get real interesting. After Mary recovers from the birth of her son, Emmanuel, she works with the ladies in the sewing circle. While there, the topic of conversation turns to the Christmas pageant and how few students there are to fill the roles.

Second: A Christmas on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long: Luke and John were friends all their childhoods. John had been saving his money to buy a specific shot gun, but Luke bought it out from under him and they haven't spoken since. Laurel is Luke's daughter and Matthew is John's son, and, of course, they are in love with each other. They have been courting on the sly with only their younger siblings knowing about it. The sewing circle makes a quilt for Granny May, and they decide that the next person to walk in the door is the one to deliver it. Laurel had quietly left the sewing circle to meet with the bishop and Matthew about getting married, so when she returns to the sewing circle, she is the one who is chosen to deliver the quilt. Matthew shows up at Granny May's as a blizzard comes up and he's underdressed for the storm. Grandma May keeps him in her cabin to get him warmed up and to wait out the storm. Granny takes down her bundling board for Laurel and Matthew, knowing she's stirring up trouble.

Third: A Perfect Amish Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand: This is a second visit to Huckleberry Hills for me and Anna is still up to her old tricks to play match-maker, this time with her grandson, Gideon, and her granddaughter Ada's cousin, Dottie. Dottie has been making a quilt for her mother at Anna's house--as a special surprise. Dottie's mother was sick last Christmas and Dottie wanted to make this one perfect. But, Dottie gets lost in a snowstorm on her way home.

Three short novels, three short visits with friends, and three beautiful quilts. Doesn't get much better than this, unless you have your own beautiful quilt to snuggle under while you read. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a beautiful quilt to keep you warm at night.

Kensington Books provided this collection for me to read in exchange for my honest opinion. No compensation was offered or received for this review.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Beyond I Do

I've not encountered Jennifer Slattery's writings before, but she writes with a realism that is sometimes scary. She knows her subjects and writes them well. Beyond I Do is a book that takes a young woman, Ainsley Meadows, and puts her into many situations that are common to her real life contemporaries. It is also a book that takes a young man, Chris Langley, and does the same things with him as with Ainsley.

Ainsley has been dating Richard for five years, and engaged to him for several months when she begins to have doubts about herself, about Richard's controling nature, and whether Richard is even a Christian or not. Eventually, through her Bible Study and her own convictions, she broke up with Richard. He refused to let go and lets it take control of his life while he is trying to promote a book he'd written.

Chris Langley has moved back to town after buying a coffee shop/cafe so that he could take care of his aging mother. He doesn't like the nursing home she's in, nor does he like the care (or lack thereof) that she's receiving. The staff seems harsh with the residents, and unduly rough--almost abusive.

Chris and Ainsley on the same cul-de-sac and become friends, then volunteers at a women's shelter, then boss and employee, and then finally, . . .

As I read the book and got involved in the plot, I admired Jennifer's writing, but toward the end, all the loose ends needed to be tied up. It seemed to me that Jennifer ran out of enough words to make a satisfying ending. It felt abrupt. This book is worth reading since Jennifer does teach us all some very important lessons through it. Four Stars.

The publisher allowed me to read this book in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was offered or received.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love's Fortune

Love's Fortune continues the story of the Ballentynes in Pittsburg, by picking up with Ansel Ballentyne and his daughter, Wren, twenty-five years later. Ansel has become a luthier and has taught Wren not only to build violins but to play them too. After living in Cane Run, Kentucky, for a good long time, Ansel gets a letter that calls him back to Pittsburg. Wren feels like this is going to be just a visit until her father is sent away on the family business and she finds out he sold their home in Kentucky.

Laura Frantz has filled this book with a plethora of characters and characters they are! I loved the way she had Ellie describe Andra as having a vinegary personality. Bennett is such an underhanded dealer and abusive hack with nothing but power and money on his mind. James Stackley is the Ballentyne patriarch's right hand man, Malachi Cameron is the owner of the Pennsylvania Railroad and James' friend. Between James and Malachi, Wren is constantly confused and feels herself spinning out of control. One good part of moving to Pittsburg for Wren is Izannah Turlock, her cousin, and now her best friend.

In the decade before the Civil War, tensions are riding high for the Ballentynes because of their participation in helping people escape slavery. James' participation has painted a target on his back, and as Wren's escort for the "Season" of balls and soirees, James' life is even in more danger.

With a grain of humor, a bit of mystery, a touch of elegance, incredible music, and more than just a couple of overpowering women, Love's Fortune is one of those books that brings the reader in from the very first page and keeps the reader captivated all the way through to the Notes from the Author. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a beautiful reel on the violin.

Revell provided this book for me to read and give my honest opinion. No compensation was offered or received.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Love's Awakening

I love when I look up a book on Amazon and the website tells me when I bought it. Okay, so I've had this book for a year, I've been busy! We've been taking out the carpeting and replacing it with hardwood flooring; we totally gutted the kitchen and replaced the cabinets, flooring, and appliances; and my husband has had one major accident, two surgeries, and another on the schedule. In my spare time, I've been sewing curtains and reading.

When I sign up to review books, I read them in the order they have been approved. When I saw the third book in the Ballentyne series was next up on my list, I had to read the second book. Had to. I was compelled. Love's Awakening has been on my TBR pile for a year. That's right, a full year (and a month, but we'll let that part slide).

Laura Frantz has been one of my favorite authors since I read her first book, The Frontiersman's Daughter. Her historical detail is one of the most engaging parts of her books. Her characters fit seamlessly into the settings she provides for them, and their stories are sweet without being cloying. In fact, her characters have a such a realness that they are completely believable while being sympathetic--at least most of them are sympathetic. She weaves redemption and spiritual strength into the warp and woof of her books in such a way that the story does not preach, but instead offers a depth to the story.

Ellie (or Elinor, if you want her birth certificate name), the youngest Ballentyne, has returned home from finishing school, tired of being in the Marriage Market and desiring to be with her family and to do something useful. With that in mind, she starts a day school for girls.

Andra is the elder sister, who would like to send Ellie back.

Peyton is the oldest brother, a bit of a wastrel.

Ansel is the younger brother, involved in most of the family's enterprises: boat building and hiding runaway slaves.

Silas is the patriarch of this family and a more loving father cannot be found.

Eden is the mother of this group, and well-loved by all of her family.

Jack is the younger son of Henry Turlock, of the Turlock Whiskey Distillers

Wade is the older Turlock son, a lover of the family product.

Chloe is the youngest child of Henry and Isabelle Turlock and loves Jack best of all. She plots and plans to get Ellie and Jack together, using the ruse of Ellie's day school as one of her tools.

I give this book Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a boat named after you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Love Undone

Once in a while you pick up a book, and find you are in the company of friends from the very first word. It's comfortable, it's familiar, it just fits--like your favorite pair of jeans. I'm going to start with my ending first: Five Stars, Two Thumbs UP, and a favorite bakery pastry.

Jolene Keim was a week away from getting married when her parents drown in a freak accident. In the midst of her grief, she decides to keep her brothers and sisters together and to become their guardian. Her fiance cannot fathom taking care of that many children already and they break up.

Now most of her siblings are grown, she has managed to hold the family together and only has her brother, Ray, and her sister, Hope, still at home. Her landlord, Lester, has helped her pay her rent by allowing her to cook and clean for him occasionally. When Lester's nephew takes on thirty plus feral horses to tame and train for the Humane Society, Lester allows him to bring the horses to his place, which was once a functioning horse farm. Andy, the nephew, and his son Tobias hire a driver to help him bring the horses to Lester's place and Jolene is hired to feed the people who are coming to help Andy.

Andy and Jolene both have their secrets: Andy is a grass-widower and Jolene likes to paint pictures. Cindy Woodsmall does an excellent job explaining what a grass-widower is, but this is not the first time I had encountered the term. Years ago, my dad was talking about my mom's oldest sister who had been abandoned by her husband when her son was two years old. He said, "She was a grass-widow," and whomever he was talking to asked what he meant. Daddy explained it this way, to lose your spouse to death makes you a sod-widow(er), and to put your spouse "out to pasture" makes you a grass-widow(er). Cindy was a bit more diplomatic than my dad in explaining the concept. Andy and Tobias had been abandoned by Andy's wife Eva, who was mentally ill. Andy was not free to marry, and Jolene was just feeling ready to engage in a relationship again.

Like I said, this book is like sitting down with a favorite friend and having a heart to heart conversation. Cindy's character development is so full and complete without detracting from the storyline that sitting down with this book is like sitting down at your favorite kaffee klatsch.

WaterBrook Press supplied this book for my reading pleasure in exchange for my honest review. These opinions are mine alone and no compensation was offered or received.

Monday, October 13, 2014

To Everything a Season

Lauraine Snelling was one of my favorite authors, but this book has changed my mind. There was once a tv show with a Christian feel to it, called Seventh Heaven. It was basically a soap opera, revolving around one family and the daily dramas. Lauraine has written a number of series of books that all revolve around the Bjorkland family. The Red River of the North Series, Red River Valley Series, and Home to Blessing series. I've read a number of Lauraine's books and thoroughly enjoyed them, and that's not to say I didn't like this one, but I feel mislead.

Here is the back cover blurb:

Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.

When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

"Snelling writes with her trademark richness, and her upright characters, intriguing stories, and vivid settings create a blissfully immersive reading experience. . . . This symphony of
immigrant farm-town life in upper Midwest is so masterfully directed by Snelling, readers will be eager for the next novel about the good people of Blessing." -Booklist

While Trygve figures into the story fairly early on, Miriam doesn't make an appearance until more than halfway through and doesn't come to Blessing until three-quarters through, and her "growing attachment" doesn't play a part until over 80% of the way through. Her family calling her home appears almost at the end of the book. I wanted to read more about Miriam and Trygve, but this blurb really belongs on the next book in the series.

Because of my disillusionment, I can only give To Everything a Season three stars.

Bethany House provided this book for me to read and give my honest review. The opinions stated in my blog are my own and there was no remuneration for them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride

I have loved Judith Miller's writings ever since I read her book The Carousel Painter. Her books just work for me. I've read many of them and jumped at the chance to read The Brickmaker's Bride, simply because Judith wrote it. I was not disappointed, except for one thing--Laura's secret--while at first it is mentioned in passing, it becomes a bigger deal than it should have been, however this is not a deal-breaker for the book.

The personalities in the book are strong people: Laura -- a young woman who lives with her mother
Mrs. Woodfield -- Laura's mother and owner of the brickyard
Winston -- the attorney who is officially courting Laura
Ewan -- the nephew of the man who wishes to buy the brickyard, and a bit more level headed than his uncle
Hugh -- the buyer of the brickyard and consummate gambler. He's very impulsive in his business dealings.
Maggie -- sharp-tongued wife of Hugh, a social climber
Kathleen -- Maggie's sister and Maggie's choice for Ewan's wife

Some of the lesser characters are Ewan's sisters, the children of the orphanage, Mr Lofton, the banker, and the workers at the brickyard.

For most of the book, Maggie sounds more like a fishwife than the genteel woman she wants people to believe she is. She spews venom at anyone who dares to thwart her desires or stands in her way. When Kathleen becomes pregnant, she casts her sister out of her house and refuses to speak to her. When Ewan and Hugh are invited to the Woodfields' home for dinner and she's not included in the invitation, she throws a temper tantrum worthy of a two-year-old. Her desires to be accepted in genteel society reminds me too much of Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Boo Kay") from Keeping Up Appearances.

Laura's gentle nature, her love for children and family, and her ability to see the best in people are two of the traits that draw the reader in and that draw Ewan to her. Even though she'd be a beautiful trinket on Winston's arm for his political ambitions, she knows she doesn't love Winston and she quickly comes to the conclusion that Winston's ideas and ideals are not what she stands for and to marry him would be the biggest mistake of her life.

Winston and Hugh are very much alike in that they are willing to take advantage of others, especially if it will line their own pockets in the process. The dealings that both men engage in are just barely legal and quite shady, but neither man cares.

Judith Miller knows how to engage the reader early and not let go until the book is done. She's done this many times and each time she writes a book, her craft is perfected even more. This should be a ten star book, but I can only give it Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and the best-made brick you've ever seen.

Bethany House provided the book through NetGalley for me to read and give my honest review. These opinions are my own and no compensation was offered or accepted in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Becoming Bea

When I reviewed Minding Molly at the first of this year, I didn't like Molly all that much. Molly reappears in Becoming Bea and still has not become an enjoyable character until significantly later in the book, but for Bea's sake, the book isn't about Molly. Bea is twenty-one years old and still trying to figure out what she really wants in life. Molly has plans to go to Montana to meet her husband's family, and her plans include taking Bea with her. Bea is so tired of Molly's machinations that she goes out to find a job and have a reason not to go. The job was easy enough to find. Bob and Nan Miller have just had premature triplets and need a couple of mother's helpers to allow Nan to have the rest she needs to be able to take care of the babies. Also working for Bob Miller in his cabinet shop is Ben, the bane of Bea's existence. But Don Eichler shows up and desires to court Bea as well. For Bea, it's a matter of the dark and mysterious Don versus the known aggravation of Ben.

Bea is a much more likable character but very competitive, and before the end of the book, Molly becomes someone who is approachable and a softer side comes out. Bea finds out she is a capable care-giver and that she is also very organized. Her best traits come out as she takes on more responsibilities in caring for Nan and the babies, and those traits draw Ben to her like moths are drawn to a flame.

Leslie Gould has written a humdinger of a book with a bit of mystery, underhanded dealings, competitiveness, and not just a small amount of competition for Bea's attentions.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a clean baby diaper.

Bethany House provided this book for me in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was offered or received.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hidden Blessings

Kim Cash Tate has written a book that kept me in tears most of the afternoon. As I read Kendra's story--finding her disease, going through treatments, watching her upcoming wedding break off, and then seeing her past come back for resolution--I couldn't help compare Kendra's struggles with my own. Kendra found that she had Inflammatory Breast Cancer a week before she was supposed to marry Derek. Derek, being the man that he is, chooses to dump her and "move on with his life," so she can move on with hers. Kendra has a talk with her supervisor who sends her home from Washington, DC, to St Louis, MO. When she arrives home, she finds that her brother has turned her parents' home into a frat-party house, some strange man has moved in downstairs, her father is living in Africa, and she can't bring herself to tell her family she's ill.

The title of the book, Hidden Blessings, is one that hints at the blessings that are hidden within the pages of this book. There are many spiritual nuggets to be gleaned in stories of the characters in the book. Lance's day to day faithfulness to the God who loves him is inspirational. Trey's coming to terms with who he is and how he will live is one that creates a great example for many who struggle with their own sexuality. Molly's learning about God's love in a wholesome and completely freeing way is a lesson we all need to learn. Timmy's overcoming his drugs gives hope to many addicts. Those are just a few of the blessings that Kim has hidden in her book. Ellen, Marlon, Brooklyn, Kendra, and Pamela all have lessons to teach us.

Lance teaches Kendra photography and through the outlet of photography Kendra takes a daily picture of God's goodness in her life. Some days it's harder than others because of the side effects of her chemo, but it's something she truly enjoys learning and it truly brings joy to her life. I love photography myself and found some things that encouraged me. One of the most encouraging lines for me in the book is something Lance's mother Pamela said to Kendra when they first met:
"I can focus on my [situation] and stay depressed, or I can focus on God's goodness and know that I'll have an eternity to enjoy with Him."

One of the funniest moments is after Kendra and Lance get married and Derek calls her complaining that he was put in such a poor light because of his treatment of her. Lance asks Kendra if he can go "old Lance" on Derek for a couple of minutes. (I've really been trying awfully hard to work in my favorite Sophia Petrillo (The Golden Girls) quote and I guess here is as good a place as any:
“Why do blessings wear disguises? If I were a blessing, I’d run around naked.”

I love, love, love this book, and I appreciated Kim's research into Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and into a number of social maladies and conundrums to bring an honest portrayal of God's love in such a moving way.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a naked blessing.

Thomas Nelson provided this book for me to read and give my honest review. The opinions are mine alone and I was not in any way compensated for them.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Miracle at Higher Grounds Cafe

At first glance, this book is about Chelsea Chambers, a soon-to-be single mother of two who has just inherited her mother's cafe and the $86,000 IRS bill. At second glance, this book is about Manny, a clumsy, fashion-challenged man and Chelsea's newest employee to help her with the cafe. But the more you read, the more clear it is that this book is about God. While Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is a novel, there is so much truth here it cannot be ignored.

Manny is an angel on assignment and his assignment is Chelsea. The Bible tells us that we should not be lax about giving hospitality, because we could be entertaining angels without knowing about it (Hebrews 13:2). Manny is directed by God through the Arch-Angel Gabriel and he is protected by the Arch-Angel Michael. Max Lucado has used Manny's perspective to show us how truly well we are protected by God. Looking through Manny's eyes, we can see the battles that are waged about us that we have no knowledge of.

In the Higher Grounds Cafe, Manny finds a room that whispers to him--years and years of whispers--the prayers of the two women who used that room, prayers for Chelsea, prayers for customers, prayers for Chelsea's children--Manny is hearing what God has heard. (Personal aside, now) My mother was crippled by arthritis in her later years, and it was hard for her to move around. She couldn't do much but read and pray, so she kept a prayer list by everywhere she sat. There was one by her bed, one by her chair in the living, and one by the chair where she cooked. Every time she sat, she prayed, and after she passed away, we found out how much her prayers had covered us. Many things happened because no one had picked up her legacy of prayer. Now that I have begun to pray (by no means as well or as deeply as my mother did), I am beginning to see how very important it is. To be able to hear her whispers for me, as Manny heard the whispers of Chelsea's mother and grandmother, would be a blessing beyond anything I could ask or imagine. (Now back to the regularly scheduled review)

One of the significant elements of the book is the "God Blog" where customers could come and ask questions and God would answer them. Not only would God answer the questions, but He would reach deep into their souls and meet a need the questioner had no idea was there. There is one episode of the God Blog that will remind readers of the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well. Another episode will remind of the four friends who broke a hole in the roof to have Jesus heal their friend. While this book may not be based on fact, it is based on truth, especially the truth that God loves us so much, He wants to meet our every need.

Chelsea has to sort through all kinds of emotions--from her father's desertion of the family to her husband's infidelity to her son's need for his dad in his life to her cafe burning down--all these things roil through her and if she were to ask a question, it would be, "Do I have to walk this life alone?" Manny shows her through his eyes, she has never been alone in the first place. In seeing things through Manny's eyes, she can see enough of the background to be able to forgive her father and her husband, and allow them a place in her life.

I have chosen to use primarily Manny's perspective for this review, because stepping outside the earthly bounds of our lives to see the depth of God's love for us is one of the most important aspects of the book, in my opinion. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a cup of coffee with your guardian angel.

Thomas Nelson provided this book for me to read and review. All I have done is provide my own honest opinions and I have not been compensated for them.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Light in the Wilderness

Jane Kirkpatrick writes novels based on historical fact, and A Light in the Wilderness is her latest offering in this genre. Jane does her research and writes a truthful, yet imaginative account in this biographical novel.

Letiticia is a pre-war freed slave and midwife. When the family she works for gets to the point they want a slave rather than a paid worker, she joins up with Davey Carson as partner. A couple of years later, they take off on the Oregon trail with her cow, Charity, and an agreement that Davey will pay her as an employee because they could not be married.

Jane has accurately described the hardships of the Oregon Trail, settling in a new place and carving out a home for themselves, and Letiticia's struggles after Davey dies. I have not liked this book as much as others of Jane's that I have read, and this is why: in some places she does a fine job with moving the story along, and in others, she glides past great amounts of time and it makes the story seem a bit disjointed. There are some relationships that I would have liked to have seen developed a bit more. It is a good, entertaining novel, worth four stars.

This novel was provided to me by Revell in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was given and my opinions are my own. l