Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty


The Duke of Riverton has chosen his future wife with the same logic he uses to make every decision. However, his perfect bride eludes his suit, while the beautiful Isabella Breckenridge seems to be everywhere. When the time comes, will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and initial notions to embrace their very own happily-ever-after?

My thoughts: I didn't want to like this book, after I started it, since I found Isabella to be too perfect of a heroine. But, then I realized that I was a bit like the Duke of Riverton with being a bit prejudice against a "Diamond" of the season. This wound up being the perfect conclusion to one of my favorite series! This series has had a lot of depth to the characters and managed to be outside the box when it comes to regency fiction. I highly recommend this book and the whole series!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Do One thing that every day that makes you happy


Each day presents an opportunity to find delight, whether in your surroundings, your work, your relationships, your insights, or your actions. This journal will guide you to look inside and outside yourself to discover and appreciate what makes you happiest.

With prompts and exercises, the wise words of writers, musicians, philosophers, and leaders will help you reflect on what fills you with joy. You’ll measure your happiness at the outset and along the way; after a year’s worth of delight, your smile will be bigger than ever.

My thoughts: With this book, I would say that a good subtitle would be to choose happy, since focusing on doing something that makes you happy every day, or focusing on what makes you happy is such a great way to becoming a more upbeat person. I love the quotes and fun thoughts that are filled on the pages. This is a wonderful little journal!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tope ten books on my fall TBR list


1. An Inconvenient Beauty

I've loved this series, so I look forward to finishing the final book in the series! I will admit to cheating with this one, I've already started on it.;)

2. Lady Jayne Disappears

I'm hoping this one will arrive in my mail box soon.;)

3. A Dangerous Legacy

It's been a while since I last picked up one of Elizabeth's books, so I am hoping to make time for this one.

4. What Hope Remembers

I know this one has been out for a while, but I'm only just now hoping to read it.;)The first two books were excellent!

5. The Thing With Feathers

Another book that has been out for a while, but one I hope to read soon!

6. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

I hope this one will be in the mail soon as well!

7. The House on Foster Hill

This one looks like a delightful mystery!

8. Vanishing Point

This series is awesome and I look forward to finally getting some answers to the on going mystery!

9. Then There Was You


10. The Dishonorable Miss Delancey


What's on your Fall TBR list?

Gathering the Threads


After three months ofdraus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana s cafe while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Skylar's time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up. Both women will have to make decisions about their paths and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
Gathering the Threadsis the third and final novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series."

My thoughts: This book finishes an interesting series about two girls who were switched at birth, one growing up Amish and one growing up English. It is interesting to see the story from the stand point of the Amish mother, who finds out that the daughter she has raised is not really her birth daughter. I thought that this series showed how interesting it would be to join the Amish after being raised in the English world. It is an excellent series for those who are interested in Amish Fiction!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Love You Always Review and Giveaway


A child is a treasured leaf on a family tree, surrounded by love from mom, dad, doting grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends too. This sweet, reassuring picture book from Eileen Spinelli acknowledges the whole “tree”—the many who are invested in a child’s life—with expressions of unconditional love from each. Heartwarming verse and charming artwork will make this book a must-buy for baby showers, birthdays, and other occasions.

My thoughts: This is a beautiful picture book that goes over all the people that love a child, from parents, to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends. My children and I have enjoyed reading through this gorgeous little book! I love the darling illustrations and the lyrical way the text read. It is a wonderful reminder to the child in your life that they are so loved.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Are you interested in a copy of Love You Always for the little ones in your life? Worthy has graciously offered to giveaway a copy to one of my readers. All you have to do is comment and leave a way for me to contact you if you win!

A woman overwhelmed


A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life (Abingdon Press, August 2017)

“A Woman Overwhelmed” is a phrase with which many women can relate.

But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?

There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.

In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.

Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.

Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.

My thoughts: This is a wonderful little book for any woman who is feeling overwhelmed! I love the stories that Hayley shares, since they are full of humor and heartfelt. Reading this book takes no time at all, and is so enjoyable, since you feel like you are sitting down with a good friend and talking about life. I enjoyed this book tremendously!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 15, 2017

All of You review and giveaway!





Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Book



Book title: All of You

Author: Sarah Monzon

Release date: May 15, 2017

Genre:Dual-timeline/Contemporary Romance

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

My Review:
I haven't read Sarah's previous books, but that needs to change after finishing "All of You"! This is a wonderful, refreshing story about two wonderful couples. I love stories that have a modern and a historical story! This one is fun to figure out how they go together.
I highly recommend adding this one to your fall TBR list.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author



Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.


Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.

In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.

I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.

So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.

God Bless.

Blog Stops

For a complete list of blog stops for this tour, please visit this link

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Shine


Allison Allen made a career of being someone else. Formerly a professional actor and now a highly sought-after Bible teacher, she knows a thing or two about playing a role. But, she says, all of us play roles nearly all of the time, and it's exhausting. We walk into a room, figure out who we're supposed to be in this context, slip into character, and say the lines we know we should say. We become someone else. Maybe we tell ourselves it's some version of us, but deep down we know this inauthentic role is not what God wants for our lives--and it's not what we want either.

With fascinating personal stories and sharp insight into human nature, Allison Allen calls each woman to drop the brave act and step into the role of a lifetime--being her real self, no matter what the critics might say. She gives women permission to talk about, rather than around, the things they feel, freeing them to step out of the shadows and into the light of God's true calling.

My thoughts: This is a wonderful book that encourages the reader to rise above disappointments, hurts, and fear by putting your trust in God and living up to your full potential. I really appreciate how Allison shares her personal stories. I feel like it put me as ease! This is a wonderful, encouraging book that I highly recommend.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Take Ten: Top childrens books I forgot I loved



1. Amelia Bedelia


2. Little House picture books


3. Encyclopedia Brown


4. Cam Jansen


5. Boxcar Children


6. In Grandma's Attic


7. Beezus and Ramona


8. The Secret of the Ruby Ring


9. The Witch of Blackbird Pond


10. All of a Kind Family


Granted, it has been a while since I have read any of these titles, but I look forward to introducing them to my children! I wonder if they will hold the same magic now that I am an adult?;)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Education A la Carte


Every parent wants the best possible education for their child--one that fits their child's unique needs, challenges them to grow, and equips them to succeed. But there are so many options--public, private, and charter schools, plus homeschooling and online schooling--that it's easy for parents to feel overwhelmed and, well, undereducated about the choices. What's more, while one schooling option may be right for one child, it may be challenging for another. And sometimes the same child will thrive in one environment in elementary school but falter in that same environment in middle school.

What's a parent to do?

Parenting expert and longtime educator Dr. Kevin Leman can help. In this practical book, he clearly explains the pros and cons of various schooling options so that parents can make an informed choice about the kind of education that will help their child thrive. He shows parents how to stay involved and engaged with their child's education every step of the way, knowing that the choices they make about school now will reverberate long into that child's future.

My thoughts: I always enjoy the books I pick up by Dr. Leman, since they get me to think about other options, even if I don't always agree with what he has to say. With this book, I found it interesting to read how birth order can affect the type of student (though, it isn't limited to birth order) your child can be. I also like how he presented the different types of education for parents to review, just to know that one isn't limited to one specific type. I thought this book was informative and interesting! A great resource for parents wanting to explore different options.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

The Day the Angels Fell


It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened.
After his mother's death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life--the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift?
Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L'Engle and Lois Lowry.

My thoughts: This is the first book I have picked up by Shawn, so I wasn't sure what to expect. And, a fictional book that deals with death? Well, I gave it a go, and it was hard to put down. We all struggle with the question of death at some point in our lives, and this book does a wonderful job of addressing some questions. It's wonderful and hard to put down! I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Becoming Resilient


Everyone suffers disappointment, rejection, injustices, and losses, perhaps even traumatic ones. The spiritual pain born of such suffering can paralyze us, leaving us broken inside and barely getting by with the motions of life. Whether we remain stuck or move forward is determined in large part by our resilience.

Concise and compassionate, Becoming Resilient takes our most common question when tragedy strikes--Why?--and replaces it with the healthier, more productive question, What next? A professional Christian counselor for 20 years, author Donna Gibbs draws on her experience helping clients get unstuck, sharing secrets for building resilience that will change readers' experience of suffering. She offers practical tools and effective coping strategies to deal with whatever life throws their way so they can move through suffering--and come out stronger on the other side.

My thoughts: I feel like this is an excellent book on how to move through your grief and use your suffering to help you become a stronger person. With Donna having been a counselor for so long, I feel like she is really using her experience with helping people through grief to help readers do the same. I found the chapters to be wonderfully insightful, especially the advise on self care and putting off making big decisions until you work through your grief. This is not a book that will cure all, but it is a wonderful book to read through if you or someone you love is grieving.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Holiday Cookies



From Icebox Pinwheel Cookies to Red-and-White Meringue Kisses to Apple Cider Caramels, find new inspiration for the best of seasonal baking with Holiday Cookies.

This instant holiday classic is packed with 50 recipes, each gorgeously photographed and meticulously tested, along with dozens of decorating and packaging ideas. Filled with reimagined favorites like Giant Molasses Spice Cookies and Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies; confections like Peppermint Bark, Smoked Almond and Cacao Nib Brittle, and Dark Chocolate–Hazelnut Fudge; and detailed instructions for gorgeous gingerbread houses, cookie place cards, and edible ornaments, this is a cookie book like no other. Because the recipes are easy to scale up or down, Holiday Cookies is perfect for cookie exchanges, gift-giving, and just enjoying throughout the season. From a veteran baker and recipe developer, each cookie in this collection is guaranteed to be a stand-out, and destined to become your new Christmas classic.

My thoughts: Every year we do a cookies swap at church, so I just had to pick this book up in anticipation for it! I love the variety of old favorites and new recipes that are bound to become favorites. I also like that there is a section for around the world cookies, which is a fun twist. Whether you want to figure out how your grandma's era enjoyed their cookies or you are looking for a modern spin on an old classic, this cookbook is a fun one to pick up!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Mercy Triumphs


Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God. Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God's mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don't deserve it. Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors

My thoughts: This book was an excellent conclusion to the series! I enjoyed how the characters continued to grow as they put their trust in the Lord, even when it was hard. I especially appreciated how they had to learn to have faith even when it looked like they were taking the harder option. I also really appreciate the battle that Mia goes through in the end, since there is an excellent message there for every reader. This is a wonderful series that I highly recommend!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Take Ten: Top ten books I struggled through, or didn't finish



1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

This is proof that one's taste in books can change. Or, that sometimes one can be too young to enjoy a classic.;) My aunt and uncle started giving me the Chronicles of Narnia over a series of birthdays starting when I was 9 or 10. I didn't appreciate the books for a good 5 years.;)

2. The Lord of the Rings

I'm a tiny bit embarrassed that it took the movies coming out to encourage me to give this series another go. I think I was just too young to appreciate the epic story. (another gift from my aunt and uncle;))

3. Mere Christianity

While this one is incredibly, it is hard to get through! It took me years (and a book club) to finally finish it.

4. The Book Thief

I want to get back to this one, it's just that it didn't grab me right away and I have a huge stack of TBR books by my bed...

5. Code Name Verity

Another one I need to get back to. I picked it up, then returned it to the library, and now have no excuse but to finish it, since my aunt gave me her copy... (and, I really should just read it and give it back)

6. A Court of Thorns and Roses

This is one I will probably never return to, since it just wasn't my type.

7. To All the Boys I've Loved Before

I keep thinking I might pick this one up again, since it looks adorable!

8. The Queen's Thief

I read the first two and enjoyed them, but the writing is a bit dry, so I have to gear up for the books and haven't had the energy to finish the series.;)

9. Geekerella

Another one that looks like it could be cute, if it would just grab my attention from the get go.

10. Another Day, Another Dali

I've read the other books in the series, and just need to go back to this one. It never helps me to read books out of order that should be in order...

What books are on your list?

A Journey to Victorious Praying: Finding Discipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life


Why is it so hard to pray?

It’s something many Christians can relate to: the desire to pray but the failure to execute. A Journey to Victorious Praying will tell readers why this is—and how to move past it.

Addressing common misconceptions about prayer, then offering biblical truths and practices instead, Bill Thrasher teaches readers how to:


Honestly share their desires with God
Turn temptations into victorious prayers
Experience the Spirit’s motivation in prayer
Get help when they don’t know how to pray
Implement fasting into their prayer life
Move from anxiety to peace
And more

Filled with practical insight and pastoral warmth, this book will give readers renewed enthusiasm for embarking on the essential journey of prayer. And its brief chapters, organized around various themes, make it perfect for quick reference, as does the appendix with tips for stimulating prayer.

My thoughts: I picked this book up, since I figured I could use some help in being more consistent with my prayer life. I was delightfully surprised at how helpful this book wound up being! It is a wonderful manual that points back to the all time best manual on praying and life and general, the Bible. I enjoyed the blend of scriptures and testimonies in this book, which made it hard for me to put down. I highly recommend this thought provoking book.
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

Deadly Proof


Riveting New Series Offers Legal Suspense with a Romantic Twist

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.

My thoughts: This is the first of Rachel's books I have read, though I have eyed some of her previous series! This one lost me a bit at times, with all the legalities of the story, though she does a good job of not letting the story get too carried away with details. It is an interesting mystery that involves big pharma and several different view points. I love that the reader gets to see both legal sides of the case! I look forward to reading more by this talented author!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.