Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas From Heaven

Christmas from Heaven



I recently received an invitation to review a book of a true story. Not only a true story but one that offered hope and encouragement in a time of desperate need. The story of the "Candy Bomber" and "Uncle Wiggly Wings" is truly heart warming.





Tom Brokaw


Robert T. Barrett
When in school, I didn't care for history, but as I get older, the ways of old and tails of the past capture my attention. It is the unique things that draw me in. So when I first recieved this book, I was impressed with the stature of it and the beautiful illustrations from Robert T. Barrett. I dove right into reading. (By the way, it comes with a DVD withTom Brokaw retelling of the story music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I have not had the opportunity to view the DVD.)

 
 



Time to meet Lt. Gail Halvorsen. He was a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet blockaded Berlin. Lt. Halvorsen noticed German children would gather by the fences of the Air Base to watch the planes come and go. He got to talking to the kids one day answering their questiones. He knew their circumstances of having little to nothing. He had two sticks of gum. He tore those two stick in half and gave the four halves to some four of the kids. To his astonishment, those for kids, ripped their pieces down to tidbits and all 30 or so kids got a tiny piece of gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He told the kids of his idea. When they asked how they would know it was his plane, he said he would wiggle his wings.

He began making small parachutes and tying them to candy that he rounded up from any of the crew that would participate. He and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their plane as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.

Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as "Uncle Wiggly Wings" or "The Candy Bomber." Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans.

I graciously received this treasure compliments of Deseret Books and Shadow Mountain for my honest review of this book.

I will read this to my kids, their friends, and family for generations. Thank you!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fable

I am telling you, Chanda Hahn is a fantastic writer. Her latest in the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series does not disappoint. Even with Mina taking on her ever moody roll, the secondary characters and their scenes with her make a very entertaining tale.

Mina has tried her best to completely ignore the curse. The story continues to throw things her way but she wants no part of it. But that decision has a horrific ending. she has to deal with a gut-wrenching loss, losing almost everything she owns.

There are so many twist in this book. I flew through the book. (Really must go back and reread.) She discovers so much more about the curse, the Grimms, the Fae and their plane.

Like the previous two books, this is a great read. It has humor (Mina and Jared's scenes are hilarious), action, and a great story line with shocking twists! Mina is such a great heroine, and there isn't a moment where I'm not rooting for her to break the curse. Her situation is so crazy, and I love how she deals with it because she loves her family.

If you have not read any of these books, I would definitely recommend reading them!

Expectantly waiting for more!

The Inventions of Sarah Cummings

Sarah is a young parlor maid that was orphaned as a child. After she was too old to stay at the orphange, she was sent into service. She worked her way up to the parlor maid position, but has no plans to remain in service. She dreams to find a role in upper class society.

Sarah has become an accomplished seamstress but longs for a life other than her own. When caught off guard in a boutique she invents for herself a new name - Serena Cuthbert. Along with this new name and in her finer "duds" that she herself has made, she spins a tale far removed from her everyday life to sneak her way into society and the hopes of a wealthy marriage. However, she still has to lead a double life. Her new life and her duties as a maid. Now she has a role of teaching a sewing classes for the girls at the orphanage where she grew up.

My opinion of Sarah is not the best. Granted, she had her good moments. At times in our life, we are all as driven as Sarah was, but due to her choices and the motives behind them, it is also hard to actually like her. Her deception was purely for her own personal gain. For those that come to know her, she sets a bad example. She comes to realize this and much more. Finally, she sees the light of day.

Even though I struggled to like the main character, and eventually did in the end, this was still a good book and I will look for others by this author.

The Christmas Quilt

I thought the story of the Amish nurse Annie in "A Simple Amish Christmas" was good. Little did I know there was a sequel to it by the name of "The Christmas Quilt". Truly a touching story.

Annie are her sister-in-law are both expecting. Leah is pregnant with twins and due to deliver in less than two months. Annie and Leah are as close as sisters. Annie has been planning to make a quilt for Leah's twins, but is slow in starting it. Just as she finally has all of the fabrics and is ready to begin when Leah goes into early labor. With the stressful situation and the twins still young, Leah is taken to a hospital quite a ways from her husband. It just so happens to be the hospital that Annie trained and worked at to be a nurse.

Leah's husband, Adam has daily farm necessities to tend to, and with Annie's nursing experience he agrees for his sister to stay with Leah at the hospital. With much time on their hands Leah and Annie work on the quilt while they share their deepest feelings, and pray for God's presence in their lives. Each square has a special significance. They tell a story to coincide with the fruits of the spirit.

Wonderful book!

A Simple Amish Christmas


Annie Weaver has been away from home, learning to be a nurse. After learning that her father was in an accident, she returns home to care for her father. Her family and friends do not know that she has trained and is certified to be a nurse. At least her father gets the best care she's capable of providing.

Now that she is home she decides this is where she is meant to be. She's where she belongs, and has no plans to leave again. As she settles back into the lifestyle she was born to, she prays that God will find a way for her to use her medical training in the community.

Samuel lost his wife and baby years ago. He seems older than he really is and seems to be a grump. After meeting Annie, he starts to feel things that he hasn't in a long while. It takes no time at all for him to recognize her obvious talent in the medical field, and not much longer to realize she's stolen his heart.

This story is well written. The story flows well and is enjoyable to read. A really good book.

The Christmas Visitor

Ruth was recently widowed. Now, alone with six kids, she struggles to make ends meet. Life is a constant worry for her. Even when she knows that she shouldn't worry, she does.

Everyone is helpful, but raising the kids on her own is taxing. Each child deals with the death of their father in different ways.

There is a handsome newcomer to her community.  But Ruth doesn't have time to think on such things. Besides, how could she, replace Ben? Does one ever replace a husband? How would another man take own her whole family?

As Christmas approaches, Ruth knows that she can’t afford gifts for her children this year. It’s hard enough to find money for groceries each week. But then banana boxes full of food, treats for the children, and even money begin to appear on her front porch. Who is leaving her these generous gifts? Is it a neighbor or a friend?

The story could be a great one. The writing of it though, needs some help. I don't like to put down books, I really don't, but there was much spice to the story. It was mediocre. Some descriptions were great, others lacking.

Has potential.

The Healers Apprentice

Rose is an apprentice to the local healer. Though she seems squimish with the sight of blood, she is determined to stick it out.

The Duke's son s, Wilhelm and his younger brother, have been away at school. Wilhelm has been searching for the man that has threatened his betrothed and has yet to find the man. Nor has he laid eyes on his betrothed for the fact that her family has hidden her away for fear of this threat.

Rose meets Wilhelm after he is gored by wild boars and is brought to the healer to be stitched up. There is a connection there, but he far out ranks her. Wilhelm's brother doesn't seem to care though; he has eyes for Rose, but how honorable are they.

Meanwhile, after spending time with Wilhelm, Rose finds herself falling in love with him, just as he falls for her. Both know that it can never be since he is betrothed.

Soon, though, the one he is to marry is to come out of hiding and be brought for marriage. Just who is the betrothed, where has she been, and will he eventually love her as much as he loves Rose?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Merchants Daughter

10742462Annabel had been the daughter of a wealthy merchant. The father died, the ships, destroyed, and the family, except Annabel are lazy and won't work as they should. Her brother tried to arrange for Annabel to marry the horrid bailiff Tom. He used to be her fathers friend, but he terrifies her. So, Annabel takes the "punishment" for the family" and becomes a servant to Lord le Wyse, who everyone seems to think is terrifying, but will not mistreat his servants.

Lord le Wyse is frightening to look at; with a patch on one eye and numerous scars covering his body, along with a arm that he doesn't seem to have use of. His mannerism leaves Annabel uneasy in his presence. She has heard terrible rumors about him. She thinks he is tormented from what ever disfigured him.

Annabel wishes to become a nun so that she can read the Word of God. God answers her prayers in a different way when she is given an opportunity to read the Bible to Lord le Wyse every evening. She begins to see a different side of him, and he sees the difference in her.

Loosely tied to Beauty and the Beast, but a blessing in disguise.

Edenbrooke

12820360Marianne Deventry has been seperated from her father and sister after the death of her mother. She is staying with her grandmother in and is bored with life at the moment. She misses her family. Just when she feels like giving up hope, a letter and invitation arrives from her sister to come stay with Cecily and her new found friend Louisa at her family estate of Edenbrooke. Marianne is thrilled because she'll see Cecily again and meet Louisa's older brother who Cecily plans on marrying.

On the way, a highway man tries to rob her carriage. He gets away with her necklace, the last thing to remind her of her mother, and the driver is shot. Marianne has to drive the team and finally comes to an Inn.

Here she meets Philip. After a strange introduction to him and even stranger day and evening, she finally makes her way to Edenbrooke the next day. She does not expect to meet mysterious Philip again, but, there he is. Philip loves to torment and tease her.

Marrianne spends a great deal of time with Phillip before her sister arrives. She enjoys his company and he seems to enjoy hers. What Marrianne does not know it that he is Louise's older brother. The same older brother Cecily is in love with and wants to marry.

I enjoyed Edenbrooke more than Blackmoore.

A Talent for Trouble


I tell you, if you have yet to read Jen Turano's books, you are missing out. I have actually laughed out loud in public reading these books and this one is no exception!

I can honestly say that it was absolutely a delightful read. You could read any of these books them as stand alone read, but you would miss out on so much. These seemingly "ladies" are so quirky and can't stay out of trouble no matter what.

The leading lady in this particular read would be Miss Felicia Murdock who world has crumbled. She had her heart set of a minister that she thought God was telling her was the man for her. He married someone else. She spent four years of her life dressing in horrendous dresses, yet acting demure, polite, and "civilized" trying to obtain his affections. After the ministers marriage, her mother tells her it is time put away the outlandish dresses and go back to acting for normal self. Oh Boy!! Does she ever! Suddenly she has blossomed and every man has their eyes on her.

Grayson Sumner, who always suspected there was more to Felicia than she let on, notices her now in a big way. He tries not to, but it is beyond his ability not to. She keeps getting into trouble and he seems to always be there to rescue her. He has a past that is about to catch up to him, and he doesn't want to bring her into it.

I am ready to re-read all of her books. They are simply that good. For clean, laugh out loud where ever you are fun, try the books from Jen Turano.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Heaven my home

My heart is heavy today. My grandmother seems to have had a really rough time of things lately. Just last night, she fell and now besides being banged up really bad, she has a broken neck. She is older in years, and I have been blessed to have her still living this long. But what really makes me sad is that she feels useless and that she is in the way. She made that statement that she just wants to go home to see Jesus, her husband and her long gone family members.

 I guess I just want her to stay here as long as I do. But, I know that the Lord has made an appointment for her to meet someday, just as he has made for all of us. It will be one that cannot be cancelled, it cannot be delayed, and it cannot be skipped out on. With the Lord, you will not be able to gloss over things to make everything look fine. He sees all, He knows all, and He knows what you are trying to hide.

I am blessed to know where she will be going when the time of her appointment comes. Just as I know where I will go.

Do you know where you will go? You have an appointment someday. One that cannot be overlooked. Be sure you know the directions and the location.

Helping kids learn to save money

This book really showed to excitement and trouble that it takes to save money. We can't always have what we want. There is the give and take of life in order to achieve a goal. Shanti wanted something in particular and had to save her money for that. It meant not buying her favorite candy, helping her brother with his spelling words, etc. She had to save her allowance and not spend it until she reached her goal of saving money.

Great, colorful illustrations.

Would recommend to parents trying to teach their kids to save money. I like the turning of the the savings jar into the monster jar. That way she was reminded of what she was saving for.

Allowed to read by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Against the Tide

If you have not read anything by Elizabeth Camden, you really should. There is talent here that we need to spread the word about.

"Against the Tide" is a spin off of "The Lady of Bolton Hill" in which you will have met "Bane" and know a little of his background. In this story, we meet Lydia as a young girl who life was lived on a boat. She loses her family at age nine and must go into an orphange. After turning 18, she has to leave the orphange and make a life for herself. While living the first person of her life on a boat in various regions throughout the world, she picked up several languages. This skills helps her land a prestiges job at the naval yard. Lydia strives for details and organization. Everything just so. She has her quirks, strengths and weaknesses. A particular weakness that she is not even aware of until you read half way through the book. Lydia's life has been a challange in everyway, and there seems to be no end in sight.

We once again meet Alexander Banebridge is this exciting tail. His love an passion for the Lord makes him strive to stamp out the corruption that he had a hand in distributing. He bring Lydia into the fray by having her use her translation skills to search for those that are allowing Opium to be imported into the country. He has finally found someone that he loves, but yet, he cannot bring himself to go any further with that love.

Crisis after crisis, full of suspence and love, heartache and jubulation. If you enjoy a well-written historical romance that is full of suspence, drama, love, and faith, then Against the Tide is a book for you to read. I could not wait until there was a moment that I could pick it back up and read again.

A Rebellious Heart

Every book that I have read by Jody Hedlund, I have enjoyed. Rebellious Heart is no exception. I enjoyed reading this and had a hard time putting it down.

We rediscover a time period. Smuggling in items that the King over prices, a king that treats his people across the ocean horrendously. These people came to America looking for freedom, but seem to be repressed even more.

The story starts off with Benjamin Ross representing the town's hermit for a brutal murder. Susanna Smith remembers him from her childhood; she feels shame for their last parting words. After encountering one another at her grandmothers, their thoughts return to each other.

Susanna comes across an unusual sight in the orchard while collecting apples. A haggard young lady with no shoes. Looks like she is homeless or on the run but it is clearly evident that she is terrified of being found. Later on the girl turns up at her home. After realizing Dotty is a runaway indentured servant, Susanna turns to Ben for advice.

Hedlund knows how to weave a great story into the Historical facts of this nation.

Thank you to Bethany House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Change of Fortune

I have found another author that I truly like!!

Jen Turano

Her writing is exciting, hilarious, romantic, adventurous...

I started her books (unknowingly) out of order. I started with the second one, realized it was part of a series, went back and read the pre-novel, grabbed "A Change of Fortune" (nabbed it while on sale!) read through it rather quickly. So hard to put down.

Miss Eliza Sumner starts out in the book portraying a governess. She is on a mission to find the man that defamed her family, stole her inheritance, and is posing with a made up title. The man she was engaged to left when her fortune did.

She has the misfortune of being put into a hideous dress while trying to remain in disguise and made to attend a dinner that would put her in the path of Mr. Hamiliton Beckett. She is continually tripping, her dress tearing and falling apart, but she has caught his attention and learns in the process where the man is that she has been hunting for.

Eliza and Hamiliton soon discover after she lands in jail and he bails her out that they share a common trouble maker. She is bent on reclaiming her fortune; he wants to discover the man sabotaging his business.

An absolute, delightful read.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fired Up

 I was hopeful when it came to Mary Connealy's newest book, "Fired Up"

To be honest, I had to make myself keep going back to finish this read. I got frustrated with the fact that Dare continually thinks of himself as a fruad by calling himself a Doctor. He's giving up to be a rancher. Truth be told, he is the closet thing to a doctor in that area. If not for him,  some would be in foul shape.

I thought the interaction between Vince and Tina was funny. He took her sign, she is mad and chasing him, she has to make another sign...

A crazy woman tries to kill the doctor. Just biding her time playing with knives.

Good book, not great, but good over all.

Allowed to read by the publisher for an honest opinion.

Blackmoore

I recently read a book by the title of Blackmoore. When I have access to my computer files again, I can do the post better justice. You know, pictures, etc.

Any who... I had never read anything by this author and pleasantly surprised. Julianne Donaldson. She has another book out by the title Edenbrooke, which just so happens to be on sale right now.

I believe this might be of the Regency period. The ladies were properly dressed, there were balls to attend, servants...

A very clean write. The main female character had some growing up to do, but don't we all. Her mother, on the other hand, seemed to be more of a rouge than the men were. Conniving and manipulative.

Nice to see that Kate stood up for herself and took control of her life.

Sad to know that you deeply care for someone only to find out that if the one that you love marries you that he will lose everything. I would sacrifice as well...


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Longing for Home



My first ever Blog Tour, how exciting!!!

Ok, enough of that now, on to the review.

I was pleased to with the chance to read this book by Sarah M. Eden. This is the first time of reading anything by Sarah Eden, and I can honestly say, I will look for more of her, especially if there is a follow-up to this book. There are some many things left unanswered and inquiring minds (Mine) want to know.

Katie Macauley, a spit-fire of a young woman, has been in servitude since she was the wee age of eight. Due to circumstance best left to the book, she has been working and saving all that she can with the hope of someday returning to her home land of Ireland to make amends with her family. So with an answer to an ad, she places her hope in Hope Springs, Wyoming. With her arrival to this small town, she unknowingly stirs up trouble. Well, actually, trouble stays there and she reignites it all. The moment that she meets her employer, he fires her. The moment she opens her mouth to speak, pink slip, out the door. She does all she can to keep the job, reluctantly Joseph Archers lets her stay. By nightfall though she is out again. Her saving grace for the time being was leaving the fiddle behind. When she goes back to collect it, inspiration, he convinces Mr. Archer to keep in employment.

What was the problem, you ask?  She is Irish. Plain and simple. The town is divided between the Irish and the “Red’s” which are the other settlers to the area. Joseph Archer has managed to stay neutral amongst all the fighting, but when he lets Katie remain in employment, the feud rises again. Katie is spunking and doesn’t back down, she lets you know what she thinks.

In the midst of all this Katie’s heart begins to soften in the fact that she is drawn to two men. She promised herself that is would not happen, but in Hope Springs, things are changing for Katie. Even though she has worked all these years with the intent to go home to Ireland, she can see herself making a home in Wyoming. With two men, two children, and all those in the Irish settlement that love her and in turn for her to love, will the hope in her heart be restored, or will she keep to her plans and return to Ireland?

I liked this one. It was a clean read and overall good. There are many times that I laughed out loud; I love that about a book. I am still torn at the love-triangle theme. This book with all that it entails is  a good set up of another book with the back story details and the semi "cliffhanger" ending. I still want to know what she decides and how it all works out.

Thank you for allowing me permission to read and review this book!!



If you would like to learn more about the author, check out her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SarahMEden



 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Children's Devotional Review



Little Visits at Bedtime
by dD. Mary Manz Simon

What I can say positive about this devotional for kids is that the illustrations are enticing. They bring the eye in as well as the color scheme on the pages.

I myself prefer KJV scripture verses when I read bible verses with my kids. King James children books can be so hard to find. A lot of times, especially when teaching Sunday School, I will write down the KJV bible verse to read along with the story or just read the verse straight from the bible itself.

If anyone knows of KJV story bibles for kids, please let me know!

It may just be me, but some of the tie ins from story to discussing the bible just didn't go hand in hand.

If I had to rate this by 5 stars, I would most likely give it a 3, mainly for the illustrations getting the kids attention. As far as reading to the kids from the book and keeping their attention, not so much.

I was provided this book from the publisher for an honest opinion.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Heart of Stone

6625621Heart of Stone: A Novel
by Jill Marie Landis

Description: We meet Laura Foster, a woman with the darkest of pasts, and Reverend Brand McCormick, a man with everything to lose by loving her. Having escaped a life she never chose, Laura Foster is finally living her dream. But even after four years of posing as a respectable widow in Glory, Texas, she is always afraid someone from her past might reveal her true identity.
Believing no man could love her if he knew the truth, Laura tries to resist Brand's courtship. His reputation would be shattered if Laura's former life is discovered. But it's not only Laura's past that threatens to bring him down---it's also his own. As they open their hearts to love and faith, will Laura and Brand find the depth and power of forgiveness from their community?


Who is Laura Foster, she is actually Lovie Lane, an Irish immigrant who live in New Orleans. When her parents died of an illness she and her 3 younger sisters are sent to live with their uncle and his wife. Not have much of their own, they cannot provide for the girls so her uncle sends the 2 younger girls to an orphanage and sells the two older girls, Lovie and her sister Megan to a brothel.

She has to learn to harden her heart against all that is around her. This is no life for someone so young that has lost her whole family. As she gets older, the realization that money will help her in obtaining her dream of moving away and finding her sisters, she continues to do what it takes to make and save enough money to move to a small town in Texas. There, she reinvents herself as Laura Foster, a wealthy widow.

As Laura Foster, she is the most upstanding citizen you will find.Her kindness attracts the attention of the preacher who is a widower. She knows that if everyone knew the minister was courting a former whore he'd be shunned and she can't do that to him or his children despite how much she grows fond of him and his children and they of her.

Will her past be revealed? In turn, will the town's ministers secrets come to light? How will this affect their budding relationship? What will is do to them, each other and the people of the town?

I liked the book. Would read it again and persue in acquiring the other books in the series.

Mystery with Amish Twist

1962291Hide in Plain Sight
by Marta Perry


Book Description:
She couldn't turn her back on her family in their time of need. So when her sister was injured, financial expert Andrea Hampton traded the big city for Amish country to help turn her grandmother's house into an inn.

But life with the Plain People took a treacherous turn when a string of accidents and pranks threatened her family. Someone didn't want the secrets the old house harbored to come to light. Trusting anyone—even the handsome carpenter who seemed so genuine—was a battle for Andrea, but her life depended on her ability to find the truth.



After Andrea's sister was in a horrible accident, she leave her safety and security of her big city job to return to her sisters side. While there, she tries to convince her Gandmother and sister to sell rather than go through with the idea to setup and open up a bed and breakfast. The longer she lingers in this Amish setting the more she puts her job in jepordy.

Andrea's life is in turmoil. With her job hanging in the balance, possibly a little love on the line, and mysterious happenings on the property that seem to point to someone not wanting the B&B to be in operation.

I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book. It kept me guessing until the end. Made you realize you can't trust everybody. The characters in the book could use a little fleshing out, they were fun to read about but not quiet fully developed. A light and entertaining read. Not quiet what I would consider a five star book, so I would give it four stars.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Longing For Home - Blog Tour




Please look for the upcoming Book Review on August 17th. I will be reveiwing Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden.

"Twenty-six-year-old Katie Macauley needs to convince the influential Joseph Archer to hold true to his word and keep her on his payroll as his housekeeper—despite her Irish roots. When Joseph agrees to keep Katie as his housekeeper, the feud between the Irish immigrants and frontiersmen in the 1870 Wyoming Territory erupts anew, and Katie becomes the reluctant figurehead of hope for the Irish townsfolk. As the violence escalates throughout the town, Katie must choose between the two men who have been vying for her love—though only one might be able to restore hope to her own heart."

I look forward to you joining me in the reading of this wonderful book. It is available for sale on August 6th, 2013. Get your copy and read along with me.




Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kincaid Bride Series


Mary Connealy writes about three brothers, all damaged by an experience they share at a young age.

Out of Control
I have to admit though that I struggled with whether to really like this book or just so so like it. I couldn't connect with the characters as I do in others books.

Main female character, Julia, is obsessed with a cave and the fossils it holds. Rafe drew me in with his story and the horific event that plagues his memory as a child.

I guess in all I just liked the book. To rate it...about 4 stars. I  enjoyed all the other characters enough to move on to the nex book to see if it involved Julia's step-mother and Rafe's brother Ethan.




In Too Deep
This book picks right up with book one. I liked it better than the first one.

Audra does not want to be a burden now that Julia is married. With two small children it would be hard to live on her own though. Rafe suggest that Ethan should marry her so she can be the house keeper at the Kincaid ranch and she will have someone to take care of her. Before either of them have a chance to think they are wed.

I love how the characters interact in this book. I laughed throughout this book and that can make the world of difference when reading. I loved how Ethan and Audra start to care for each other and realize how much they need each other.

They still have to deal with Julia's and Seth's crazy obsession with the cave though. I liked Seth, he makes things interesting and hints of a lady in his life. You get an insight on what might come in the last book of the series.

Over the Edge

Title is fitting for a crazy brother.

When Seth Kincaid found his way home to his brothers, he forgot all about the wife he left behind. Granted, he had been hurt, was medicated but in love. Somewhere along the way he forgot he was married. His wife, Callie, didn't forget though and doesn't take the news too kindly.

Callie tracks Seth down going by the tidbits of information he has told her before he disappeared. Boy, does she have a suprise for him! Seth, being a bit off in the head after all he has encountered in his life has limited or fuzzy memories of what has occurred since he left the Kincaid Ranch. Horrific nightmares occur frequently at the disturbance of all around him. He desperately tries to regain his memories and shake off the dreams that plague him at night.

I just loved his character, how could you not! He wants to win Callie's heart back and her trust.

The trouble that began in book one with Julia's father wraps up in this last book.

As a series, the books got better as they went. Julia is still weirdly obessed with the caves though. Makes you want to say, "Girl, give it a rest!!! Find another hobby."

The Hero's Lot



If you haven't read the first book, Cast of Stones, word of advice, you need to start there. The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr picks up right where the last book trails off. Errol, is wrongly accused and convicted of a minor crime and then is placed under a compulsion to find the, crazy now on the bad side former church leader, Sarin Valon, into the land of Merakh, and kill him.

The journey ahead will not be a easy one. In order for him to even survive, they bring into the picture the man who taught him to use the staff (you really need to read the first book, I promise, it is worth it!) and the very man that will try to kill him. Good thing that last one is under a compulsion of his own to protect and not harm.

Luis and Martin are own a journey of their own, seperate of Errol.

That being said, the chapters focused on the two seperate groups. A chapter would hook you into one story, and the nect thing you know, you are in the story of the other group. A little unsettling to be ripped out of one enthralling story to be thrust into another, but...worth it!

To have the imagination to dream up the different lands and explain the happenings in such detail is truly amazing. I do get a bit confused when starting to read the story. There is all these different officials, weapons, names, countries/regions. You just have to keep reading and learn as you go.
If I were reading this series books back to back, it wouldn't be so bad, but throw in several other books between readings and my poor brain needs a jump start into the world of Errol.

I am ready for the next book...Mr. Carr...can you hear me? Patiently (not so much) waiting....

I received a copy from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. Thank you Bethany House!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

 I have read this quirkly little book, but to give it a better review, I feel that I need to read the books in front of this one. I didn't realize when I started it that it was a series. So to be fair, I am going back to the first and reading the series through again. The pre-novella is free. The first book in the series just happens to be on sale at this moment and the third book in the series is scheduled to release soon.

So be on the look out for this gripping review soon.:)

Whoa, whoa is me

I have been in a major slump.


 
My desire and my time to read has majorly dwindled. I don't know if I haven't found the right book to dive into or what, but I have got to get my mojo back.
 
 
 
I love disappearing into a world of words.
(I don't remember were I found think pic, but I love it)
 
 
 
 I can travel in a book. To different lands and different times. Get away from the troubles of life for a while. Just me and a story.
 
 

Could have been me as a small child...always been enthused with books!










 
I have been without the internet. Talk about withdrawl... So, I have some posting to do now that I seem to be up and running again.
 
 I have the Kincaid Bride series to post on from Mary Connealy and a few others.
When I have a moment to sit down and concentrate, I will get those up.





A Snow White story with a new twist

This is the first time that I have read any of Melanie Dickerson's work.

The Fairest Beauty  was a re-telling of the fairy tale, Snow White. Melanie puts a twist on the story though. She has cleverly figured out how to separate her tale from the original and go out on her own. Her spin on the seven dwarfs were great. Seemed to be a hodpodge of social outcast.

Melanie Dickerson has talent, and I look forward to reading her other books, to see how she pulls in the scriptures will be interesting. Not to mention a talented cover artist.

Love that cover!!

To be honest, I kept thinking, I know what happens next, why keep reading. But in the end, I am glad I did. I did not know the ending in this book. Nothing played out as I thought it would and the book was enjoyable.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Books of Encouragement and Inspiration



 
I have a fellow co-worker that sent us an email one day to show us pictures of his grandson. Little did he know that the site that his link took me to would be such a blessing. His daughter-in-law could write a daily devotional with her poetic writing.

What I found in these two books from Barbour Publishing, Inc., reminds me of her word styling.

Whispers of Encouragement is a Journaling book. it gives you a tidbit to think on and an area to write and reflect.

You are Blessed is a more traditional style of a devotional.

For an indepth look into the scriptures, or different insight than you are interperut of the verses, or you just need a pick me up, one of these two books might help. Granted, I would rather have these as actually books. There is something to be said about having an actually devotional in hand. One that I can dog ear, bookmark, make notes, or highlight.

I love the covers of both books, and the pages inside are beautiful. A subtle color that allows the eyes to read easily. Colors and fonts that are meant to encourage and inspire.

Wonderful job.

I would purchase these and give them as gift to a lady in need of an uplift, as a birthday present, or Christmas gift.

Allowed to review by the publisher for an honest evaluation.

Calico Brides

Calico Brides by Darlene Franklin.

This Romancing America book contains four stories in one. We meet the Calico sewing circle, women that take on projects from the Lord to work as missions in the community around them. It doesn't hurt that along the way with them working for the Lord, he blesses them with a love of their life.

These reads are short and sweet. They could be stand alone books, but best kept together.

Book 1 - A Birthday Wish
Gladys feels led to help Mr. Keller. He hardly leaves his house since his wife died and no one seems to visit or take care of the older man. To hear tale of it though, he has enough money to see to his needs, but he has become grouchy over time. Her first venture toward helping him is to decorate his house with baskets of greenery. So much for stealth, all her hammering and banging brings out the inhabitants. This includes a young gentleman and the older, Mr. Keller. The young gentlemen is Haydn, who has come to visit his grandfather. Over time, and an illness that could have easily taken his life, Mr. Keller with the help of Gladys and Hayden, comes out of the grouchy cocoon that he has formed.

Book 2 - Miss Bliss and the Bear
Annie's brother is a soldier and talks about missing the comforts of home. This gives Annie the idea to knit mittens, scarfs and socks for all the soldiers at the nearby fort. The Fort Chaplain, Jeremiah, has become known as the bear. He seems to have issues with women, book doesn't go into a lot of detail. We do know that he doesn't seem to want Annie or the other ladies coming to the fort. He finds that in order to help Annie with her project, he has to go to her house to discuss the specifics and pick up the items.

Book 3 - Buttons for Birdie (Has to be my favorite of them all)
Birdie Landry was a saloon girl. She made the right decision in life and is now a Christian and trying to become more independent. Her life has been hard. Even though she is a new creature in Christ, others still see her for who she was, but she is determined to overcome it all with the Lord's help. She makes her living now from sewing and from eggs her chickens lay. Birdie also wants to help the other girls who are stuck in a life of working at the saloon, just as she did before she was able to break free. She is intent on sewing better, more civilized, dresses for these ladies. They have to have better clothes before they can leave.

Ned owns the merchantile and he buys eggs from Birdie as well as dresses to sell in his store. He tries to figure out any way to help her without making it look as though he is. Ned is the closest thing she has to a "male" friend. My opinion is that he fancies her a bit.

Book 4 - A Blessing for Beau
Beau is a stubborn cowboy who just acquired two nephews and a niece to raise when his sister and her husband died. The community steps in to help build a soddy house for them to live in since the fire destroyed everything. Plus, they bring some food for them to get through the winter with. Problem is, Beau has a lot of pride, but not much money.  He especially does not want "charity" from others and he doesn't want advice in raising his new family. But he is a little out of his league here.

Ruth feels the Lord wants her to help the three orphan Pratt children. Since they stayed with Ruth and her family after the fire, she tends to want to mother them and take care of and provide for their needs.

Good, quick, light read. As with most "all books in one", a lot of in depth details are left out. This is more like four novellas in one book.

Book provided for an honest review.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Harvest of Gold


I can honestly say that Tessa Afshar does her research. She is meticulous. Reading her books always make me dive into my bible and hunt out the stories that she writes about.

The covers of her books are gorgeous!!

Ok, into the book.

Harvest of Rubies was the first book in the tale of Sarah and Darius, if you have not read it yet, I highly suggest you do so before reading Harvest of Gold, because it puts you in place to begin this book.

Sarah and Darius really struggle to find their footing in this book and only through the grace of God, are they able to do so. Nehemiah, Sarah's cousin, plays a huge role in this book.

He leaves his life of opalescence behind to follow God's lead. Being the Kings cupbarer, I guess you could say he led a large life, so long as you didn't drind a poisoned cup. :) It was amazing to see him keep his calm while rebuilding the walls and to bring enthusiams to the people to keep them encourage. Sometimes it took drastic measures but, they got the job done.

Can't wait to read more of her books!

Needs anticipated and met

What do you do when you inherit millions, a mansion, large ranch, an oil company, and a family legacy?

You have a panic attack!!!

Meg inherited a her father had and because she is the oldest and the only, in the Cole family, she is the lead person of the Cole Oil company. She. Doesn't. Want. It.

Along with everything else there is also a thoroughbred racehorse farm, that employees a team of people and is managed by a good looking cowboy named Bo.

When stepping in the office that first day Bo had an idea that Meg would cut lose the ranch, but he wasn't prepared for Meg. He feels the burning need to protect this woman. What from, he doesn't know. When he finds himself falling in love with her, he is determined to love and protect her for the rest of his life. He just has to be carful to keep his feelings hidden, even from her, as long as possible. How is it going to look for him to try to date his boss?

Meg is stressed to the max, she has given Bo six months to close the horse ranch down, but is her heart really in it now that she has met him, his team, the horses and the peace that she feels when she is there.

They have to over come so many things, but when God is in control, there is a way.

Great book. Great read. Undeniably Yours, by Becky Wade.

Someone else had reviewed this book and made a wonderful comment and I feel the same.
"I love the way he anticipates Meg's needs before she tells him, the way he patiently waits for her, and the way that he doesn't stop loving her when things get hard. So Bo has my vote! I found Meg to be a real person. She had flaws and issues and yet she turned to God with each of them and you could see her grow and develop throughout the course of the book."

Graciously allowed permission to reiew this book for an honest opinion, so there you have it.

Truly, what does our future hold?

Light up this world Jesus
I have recently read a book at the request of an associated group of people. Have you heard of it? Trinity Eight - The Calling. I can honestly say that I had not.

I must say though, that it makes you wonder what is a head of us. This book written by Rashun David is compelling. Especially when a God given gift is used as it was meant to be and not for ones own gain. She can turn rocks into gold, a shirt into stone, the concrete sidewalk...a lake.

She is searching for others like her, but only when told who to search for and where.

I will say that even though the concept has been thought out, he still needs an editor. The first person point of view flips around to ofter. If the point of view is to be shared by characters, then describe what the other person is doing, saying, etc. Toward the end of the book, the writing took a different view. The author did a section like a narative look back. "If you will remember..." type of thing. A little strange. Felt like I had stepped out of the book and was watching a script being narrated rather that reading the action first hand.

I did like how stories from the bible were brought in. Especially when helping the blind man. That gave me chills. They helped the man and gave God the glory rather than taking it for themselves. Loved it.

Worth the read, only recommendation would be to get an editor or someone to really review the book to provide suggestions before publishing.

Happy reading!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hats off to Julie Lessman

Just had to mentions hats since the book cover has one fabulous hat. (I can just imagine trying to hold that one on on a windy day. :)

As I have mentioned before, Julie Lessman is one of my all time favorite authors. Her newest book, "Love At Any Cost" is no exception. Julie in my opinion is an exceptional author!

Cassidy heads to her aunt and cousins in San Fransisco after a suitor breaks her heart in Texas. Upon arriving in San Fran, a hunk of a man sweeps her off her feet, literally!

Unknowingly, the "feet sweeper" meets up with Cassidy again. He vows to win her heart along with the family money and prestige. She is adament that all they will have is friendship.

Along the way, they win each others hearts. Cassidy has stood strong and kept her faith, love and passion for God first and foremost. Jamie is almost there. Problem is, Jamie has not turned his heart to the Lord. He is still living life his way and has faith only in himself and his abilities. When the world comes crashing down around both of them, how will the story end?

Only when Jamie's sister puts her foot down, figuritively, and stands up to her big brother and makes him see the "the Light" does the story turn around and the reader see that a better outcome in the story might just be possible.

Julie Lessman is outstanding. To be able to write Christian Fiction with good, clean Passion for the Lord, family, and the people in their is a God Given talent.

I honestly think her books will be great reads for young women. Just to show them what God has in store.

When a door closes...He opens another

What kind of "Trouble in Store" has Carol Cox come up with in her new novel?

Let's find out.

When Melanie has her hands full with her young charges, the high spirit male of the group steals away to get into mischief knowing fully that he has been told what to do and not to do. When the gig is up and he is in trouble, he point the finger to his Governess and blames her, Melanie.

Melanie Ross losses her job and has no where to go, no one to turn to. While packing her meager belongings, she pulls out a letter to reread, only to discover that her beloved cousin has offered her all that he owns, which happens to include part ownership in a mercantile store.

What she does not realize that her deceased cousins partner has also passed, leaving all he owns to his widowed nephew.

Melanie arrives on scene to become the fodder for much gossip. Being young, single, and a bonus to that, not bad looking, she immediately receives marriage proposals from the start.

Caleb, the nephew, has been running this store since his uncle passed four months earlier. He resents Melanie showing up trying to rearrange the store and how things run. He decides to either run her off or marry her off as soon as he can.

When odd things start happening and threatening letters continue to appear, they have to figure out what is going on in town before someone else gets hurt. Through it all, their feelings toward one another change.

Carol Cox
 adds the element of mystery to see if you can figure out the culprit to the happenings in the story, then adds a twist. Mrs. Cox also shows how gossip and busy bodies can do much harm and damage in a short amount of time. There were some characters that could have used more description to give you a better feel; over all, well written. I look forward to reading more of Carol Cox's books.

Given permission to read this book in exchange for an honest review and opinion via netgalley.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Into the Whirlwind

Seems to be a fitting description today. Not only for the book by Elizabeth Camden, but for the force of nature that has been taking place lately. Tornadoes in Oklahoma and fires in California. A bit unnerving when I think of that timely book title.

Mollie is known for her fastidious and meticulousness. She is a timely person with a head for books. She inherited her dads company that designs and crafts exquisite watches. But times are getting tight and a miracle, so it would seem, just landed in her lap. The offer to buy her whole, entire, company. Every last morsel, to be sold. The catch, only six days to decide whether to sell, or lose the only buyer they have.

Zack the buyer of those precious watches. He is the lawyer for the retailer that Mollie has done business with for years. She has come into the offices and dealt with Zack for three years, and for three years, Zack has hidden a helpless crush that is has for Mollie.

Only the event of a horrendous fire brings about his feelings for Mollie to the surface and he tells her how he feels. But not before she figures out why they wanted her to sell her company and in such a short time span.

Camden is splendid with the details and descriptions that she puts forth in this book. From explaining the watches and their intricate design to the way the twisted metal of the melted lamppost looked after the fire, she nailed it.

The story itself had a good pacing to it, not too fast, not too slow, and didn't really have holes of time in them like some books do.

For my honest opinion, I was granted permission by the publisher a preview copy of this book from NetGalley.

Blasting off to 2nd grade

Second grade here we come!!
 
I got my son up to tell him it was the last day of school. With his eyes still closed, he held up his hand and said, "No mom, it is not the last day of school. It is the last day of 1st grade. I still have", while counting off with his fingers, "second grade, third grade, fourth grade..." I just left the room with a smile of my face.
 
Smart aleck!!  Gets if from his dad.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rags to Riches

I think a lot of our preconceptions of the Titanic have been formed by the movie that became wildly popular. However, Janice has take the facts and spun a different tale.

Queen of Waves by Janice Thompson was well written. She spins a story about a spoiled rich "girl", for all intensive purposes, Jacquie, who is madly in love with the family gardener, Peter. Her father has plans to arrange a marriage for her to wed a wealthy man that will combine the families and further his plans for the future. Mommy dearest has other plans thinking that she will help her daughter by shipping her off to grandma's in American. Just so happens that the maiden voyage of the Titanic is about to embark for America. Jacquie makes plans of her own to runaway and to marry Peter. He talks Jacquie into giving her ticket to his sister. There in turn giving her a better life and getting his sister, Tessa, away from their abusive father. Tessa must then learn to take on an identity that is very foreign to her, going from poor to rich. Jacquie's ladies maid, Iris, has to go along for the ride, but has her own purposes for the trip.

Father thinking Jacquie to going to marry the arranged suitor.
Mother shipping Jacquie off to America.
Jacquie to marry Peter.
Peter ships his sister, Tessa, off in Jacquie's place.
WHEW!!

To keep up with all that and bring in the historic details of the Titanic and all the backgrounds stories to weave in is a work of art. Not only is that scenario like a twisted maze, Janice brings in Nathan and his story and so many others. Then there were the the little nuggets to read about. Like the photographer, the different port stops, the vendors selling their wares on board the Titanic, and the scheduled but postponed evacuation drill.

Well worth the read.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Does The Shoe Fit?

I know that most girls growing up read all the fairy tales and dream of their prince charming. However, time moves on and the girl grows into a lady and reality sets in. Not all men are prince charming. Some, but not all.

Julianne seems to stuck on a perpetual journey to find her Prince Charming. Everything is a sign. Even a boot and toolbox left in the middle of the road after a dog has been hit and a hunk of a man wisk the said dog to safety. Must be her knight in shining toolbox with boot armor.

Julianne is a lawyer and just opened an agency with her life time best friend Will. Will has secretly loved Julianne since they were kids and lived next door to one another. They even went to law school together.

Julianne, with her obsession of the right man, has a thing for shoes and animals, but not horses. Kind of her to have the "Knight" ride up on a trusty stead when the princess is terrified of the animal.

Will's outlet to get away from stress and life in general is to go riding, on a beloved horse.

I loved the book and the quirky characters. From the swine killer, embezzlement, and a vicious southern bell, this book had a variety of everything.

I did grow frustrated with the fact that they couldn't see something as simple and plain as the nose on their faces. Although, I do like a book that makes me laugh and this one did.

Review via NetGalley for my honest opinion, so there you go.

It Happened at the Fair

The newest book by DeeAnne Gist, in a way, reminds me of the movie, While You Were Sleeping. I don't know why it just does.

Anyhoo...

The title, It Happened at the Fair gives the location, but, what exactly happened?

Cullen has tinkered for years building and fixing things. His most prized accomplishment is the automatic fire sprinkler. Cullen is soon told that his dad entered him into the World's Fair in Chicago and his invention is accepted. Cullen is horrifyingly allergic to cotton, the very thing that his family farms and harvest. Dad is just trying to give his son a better life. He has begun to have hearing problems and thinks this will impede any progress he could make in selling his invention. Cullen is sullen and doesn't want to go, but he goes anyway.

Della has traveled to the fair with the school for the deaf that she teaches. The children and their style of teach is seemingly on exhibit. I hate to think that children would be used in such a way. They are instructing the kids to read lips as their main way of communicating with the outside world.

These two have a chance meeting the first day of the fair. Della's dad has drove all grades of fear into about men. Cullen has a girl back home waiting for his return.

Cullen discovers that young lady from the first day is the teacher that he is hoping to talk into giving him lip reading lessons.

There is a whole gamut of issues that this book deals with but Mrs Gist does so in a way to make the reader feel the emotions that she means to evoke.

The description of the fair grounds, exhibits and foods were thrilling. Made me want to go back to this era to discover it all myself.

The ending of the book moved a bit to rapidly for me. She needed to slow down a bit and put more detail in certain areas. Why didn't his parents come, how/when did he come to have his grandmother's ring, etc. After all the description of the sights, sounds, people, everything, the ending was rushed.

Still a good book by DeeAnna Gist, just felt like dropping off a ledge in the end.

Received a copy to review by NetGalley for my fair opinion.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Will you be Swept Away?

Will you be Swept Away by the new book from Mary Connealy? This is the first book I have read by Mary Connealy, and I must say, I have found another author to look forward to. Mrs. Connealy kept me hopping in this book just to keep pace with her.

We start out with Miss Ruthy, who is a little spitfire. She has a had a hard life and planning to leave this so called "family" behind the very minute that she can. She also has enough brains to know not the cross the river but no one listens to her. Now she finds everything including herself swept away, down the river.

Luke just wants to get home and reclaim what is rightfully his. His ranch that has been stollen from the family and his father killed. The very person that wronged Luke is trying to slow him down, better yet, kill him.

While running from a posse, Luke happens on Ruthy who is unresponsive by the river. By the looks of it, she has been there a while. Untelling just how far she floated down the river.
Their two stories collide when Luke realizes that Ruthy has no where to go, but with him. Can he really drag her into his troubles?

I truly enjoyed reading Swept Away by Mary Connealy and will for more of her books in the future. This looks to be a series and I will look for the next in line. Especially to see how things turn out for the new widow and her children. Will the doctor find a wife in this broken town? Will the town of Broken Wheel ever flourish especially since the worst in town is now gone.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Last installment of the series??

Last installment of the series?? I hope not. I have fell in love with these characters and would love to read about them more.

I finished the last book. Sad, I know!

If you haven't read this entire series, you ought to!
  1. Always the Baker, Never the Bride
  2. Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride
  3. Always the Designer, Never the Bride
  4. Always the Baker, Finally the Bride
It is definitely worth reading. To keep up with the character progress, this series needs to be read in order.

Emma Rae Travis begins in the first book as a fabulous baker, in a little shop. Her world opens up when she has the chance to be in on the start up of a Wedding Hotel Destination. She takes the idea of one Jackson Drake's deceased wife up a notch. Add in the quirky sisters of owner Drake who are true southern belles, he nicknames the "Hens", and Emma's assistant that raises some eyebrow and you have the beginnings of an interesting story.

The second book, Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, brings in Emma's friend that is a wedding planner. Sherilynn is the best in the biz!! Very detailed driven, she sees to everything.

She is in the midst of planning her own wedding. Problem is her "dresses", yes that was plural, keep disappearing. Poor thing has to keep starting over to find the perfect one.

She also starts having serious allergic reactions to something and they must find out what.

Emma and Jackson continue their courtship throughout the hustle and bustle of running a business.





In the third installment, Always the Designer, Never the Bride, we meet several new people.

Carly, the bride, is marrying her military guy. Her best friend, Audrey, designs stunning wedding dresses and is trying to make it big, but out of money.

So many things go nuts in this book. Some one crashes through courtyard tables from the balcony above. Dress designers steal someone elses designs. Someone get horribly sick at the most inopportune time. People fall in love with unexpected characters. Two people have dreams come true, and finally makes it big.





Last but not least, Always the Baker, Finally the Bride. Emma Rae Trivis, the fantastic baker just so happens to be diabetic. But she creates the best sweets and she decorates the best wedding cakes ever. This story is not the conclusion of a romance but a continuation of one between Emma Rae and Jackson Drake, who is the owner of The Tanglewood Inn.

After all this time and all that The Tanglewood Family has been through, it looks like things might finally be settling down. Not so. Emma is planning a wedding as you can guess from the title of the book. However, offers have been made to buy the wedding business and hotel. Decisions have to be made. Plans and dreams come true or put on hold? When all is said and done, everthing works out for the greater good.

Will we hear from this tight knit "family" again? Who knows, I sure hope so. The dialog between characters brings a spontaneous grin to my face. So does the quirkiness of the characters!

Sandra Bricker, you write a delightful story, with witty  characters and the humor keeps coming.

This is a Christian fiction, but that viewpoint is not overpowering, just very subtle. If you enjoy laughing, crying, and being totally captivated by characters in a story, then you'll love this series.

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