Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Daughter of Highland Hall

What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough?Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, myforcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

My thoughts: I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I wad thrilled to start this story! Carrie Turansky didn't disappoint! I love how thos novel was one of contrast: Kate has grown up quite priveledged, and is on the brink of her season when the story begins. Then, there is Jon, with his life as a medical student in Edwardian England, volunteering in an Eaat End clinic for the poor and working class. I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first one! (though, they are both excellent)
Other than the excellent story line, I liked that the story involves some historical figures.I also love all the different stories that are going on, and how some things are continued from the first book. Two thumbs up!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cajun bean soup

16 ounces Great Northern beans. I use dry, so I put them in a crock pot over night. Canned works well too.

Half a red onion, chopped

1 cup swiss chard or kale, chopped

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning*

16 ounces oven roasted tomatoes

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

12 ounces kielbasa sausage, cooked and chopped

Once your beans are cooked, add the rest of your ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours. This is a delicious Autumn soup!
*I like making my own
Cajun seasoning, using this recipe:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quilted by Christmas

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?
My thoughts: I enjoyed this sweet Christmas story of one young woman's journey to forgiveness and true love. The book is a lovely story that moves along at just the right pace, giving one plenty of time to fall in love with characters without stalling. This is the perfect book to enjoy on a cold evening with a cup of tea or coffee! I thought that this was a lovely story with surprising depth.
I received this book from Lit fuse in exchange for my honest opinion.

Bread Revolution

Renowned baking author and instructor Peter Reinhart has always been on the forefront of the bread movement—from his seminal work, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, to today. In Bread Revolution, he explores the cutting-edge developments in bread baking, with fifty recipes and formulas that use sprouted flours, whole and ancient grains, nut and seed flours, alternative flours (such as teff and grape skin), and allergy-friendly and gluten-free approach
A new generation of bakers and millers are developing innovative flours and baking techniques that are designed to extract the grain’s full flavor potential—what Reinhart calls “the baker’s mission.” In this lushly photographed primer, Reinhart draws inspiration from these groundbreaking methods to create master recipes and formulas any home baker can follow, including Sprouted Sandwich Rye Bread, Gluten-Free Many-Seed Toasting Bread, and Sprouted Wheat Croissants.

In many instances, such as with sprouted flours, preferments aren’t necessary because so much of the flavor development occurs during the sprouting phase. For grains that benefit from soakers, bigas, and sourdough starters, Reinhart provides the precise guidance that has made him such a trusted expert in the field.

Advanced bakers will relish Reinhart’s inventive techniques and exacting scientific explanations, while beginning bakers will rejoice in his demystification of ingredients and methods—and all will come away thrilled by bread’s new frontier.
My thoughts: I love to bake, and bread is no exception. So, I was thrilled to see this book come up to revirw! It was different yhen I expected, a lot og the recipes have to do with starters or sprouted grains. That said, different isn't bad! I haven't worked with sprouting my own grains, so I am thrilled to try a lot of these recipes! I know that sprouting your grains is so good for you, I just have been a bit intimidated. This book makes it seem so doable! I look forward to playing with the recipes!
I received this book from in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Top Ten Characters I would love to dress up as for a costume party

Top ten
1. Emma Woodhouse
Because really, Regency gowns are just gorgeous!

2. Bixby from One Realm Beyond
Out of all the characters, this one dresses the most fun!

3. Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
I like the mental picture that I have of how a gypsy would dress.;) I think it would make a fun costume!

4. Jo March from Little Women
Because Jo has always been my favorite, with her great imagination and big heart.

5. Eowyn from LOTR
I love her clothes, and she is my favorite between her and Arwyn.:)

6. Laura Ingalls Wilder
Again, my childhood fetish for Pioneer things comes up.

7.Nymphadora Tonks from Harry Potter
She is just a fun character and would probably be one of the most fun to dress up like!

8. Katherine Ramsey in The Daughter of Highland Hall

9. Lucy Pevensie

10. Sophie Hatter

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Drone Games

While millions of Americans go about their daily lives, halfway around the world an al-Qaeda cell hatches a deadly new terror plot. It's unthinkable in its devastation. It's brilliantly easy in its execution. And it's capable of bypassing all the security measures the United States implemented in the decade since 9/11.

First, a Delta flight crashes into Lake Michigan. Eight hours later, a United aircraft comes down over western Iowa. For the second time since flying was invented in 1903, the US airline industry is forced to a standstill.

The message is clear. Stop flying--ruin the economy. Keep flying--more people will die.

Now Homeland Security Director of Counter-Intelligence Jack Riley must lead an FBI task force in a frantic search to discover and eliminate the plot before more people are killed or the economy crashes permanently. The clock is ticking…..

My thoughts: I feel like the author did a wonderful job moving this story along and bringing it to a terrifying climax! I did think that the story could of used a list of characters at the beginning, since the reader is introduced to a lot of different players within the first few chapters. That said, I think the fact that he had so many different people in the story made it all the more believable! The story is sound and interesting, bringing the reader through a scenario of what could happen. It is an interesting tale and one that will get the reader thinking!
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Expectant Parents

Many books focus on prenatal development and the health of a mom-to-be. While Expectant Parents does touch on important issues of pregnancy, its core purpose is help expectant parents understand key issues related to the arrival of a new child in the home, offering practical assistance as they prepare themselves for long-term family success.

It’s often said that babies don’t come with an instruction manual. This book actually provides parents with information and practical steps for writing their own—as they work to create the kind of home and family they choose to build. This includes strengthening their own marriage relationship, setting plans and expectations for parenthood, increasing communication, and preparing for the new stage of their family life that is just ahead. Ideal for first-time parents, this book would also be helpful for couples wanting to explore and prepare for the emotional, physical, and spiritual life changes that come with the arrival of any new child into the family.
Find out more
My thoughts: Where was this book, about a year and a half ago? It would of been lovely to have something like this one hand, as we were awaiting the arrive of our first child! None the less, I still enjoyed this book immensely, and I was able to glean quite a bit from it. One of the subjects I would of liked to have thought about before having kids was just how lonely one can feel after making the transition of working full time to just being around my little one most of the time. It was hard! This book would of helped that transition go a lot smoother.
I like that this book has several different perspectives and is about finding the right way for you and your spouse (or, as a single parent) to to parent the wee treasures that the Lord gives us to shepherd and love. I look forward to sharing this book with my friends who are expecting!
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday Favorite's

1. Twice clothing
One of my friends inroduced me to this site. It's way fun site. I just received my first order; an adorable Fossil purse, since my current purse was falling apart, and a cute new skirt.
2. Tyndale members club
I stumbled upon this site quite by accident! If you love to read and enjoy free books, then you need to join this site! I have already earned two free books, just from a few surveys on the site!
3. Yerdle
This is just slightly addictive! It's a site where people are able to get rid of unwanted items as well as find some fun stuff.. The only thing againsy it is that it is more of an app for Apple products, though they are working on the Android app and their website. Click

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Churchless people are all around us: among our closest loved ones, at our workplaces, in our neighborhoods. And more and more, they are becoming the norm: The number of churchless adults in the US has grown by nearly one-third in the past decade. Yet the startling truth is that many of these people claim they are "looking" for a genuine, powerful encounter with God--but they just don't find it "in church." What are they (or we) missing? How can we better reach out to them? What can we say or do that would inspire them to want to join a community of faith? Containing groundbreaking new research from the Barna Group, and edited by bestselling authors George Barna ("Revolution") and David Kinnaman ("You Lost Me"), "Churchless" reveals the results of a five-year study based on interviews with thousands of churchless men and women. Looking past the surface of church attendance to deeper spiritual realities, "Churchless" will help us understand those who choose not to be part of a church, build trust-based relationships with them, and be empowered to successfully invite them to engage.
My thoughts: This book came into being at a good time, with a lot countries becoming post-Christian, and then with more and more Americans opting to no longer attend church. It has long been a top priority at congregations to figure out just how to reverse these statistics and help people to find what they are seeking at church and in a personal relationship with the Lord. This book is just the resource needed to accomplish that! Filled with data and ways to apply the information to helping those around you find a church home, this book is excellent!
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

The Miracle of the Kurds

The Remarkable Story of Hope Reborn in Northern Iraq
They are the largest people group in the world without a homeland of their own. Despised and persecuted the world over, they even call themselves “the people without a friend.” Sadaam Hussein tried to wipe them from the face of the earth, killing several hundred thousand of them in the attempt. Their sufferings have become legend.
They are the Kurds, descendants of the ancient Medes best known today from the pages of the Bible — inhabitants of what the world now calls Northern Iraq.
Yet today the Kurds are rebuilding so brilliantly from war and oppression that even their enemies call it a “miracle.” Six star hotels stand where bombs once fell, shopping malls and gleaming schools rise where massacres once occur. National Geographic and Conde Nast have listed modern “Kurdistan" as a “must-see” tourist destination.
My thoughts: I thought this book was interesting, since it gives a history of the Kurds, from the Bible times on down to the current time. One learns to appreciate these people who have been the brunt of some ugly episodes in history. I hadn't heard a whole lot about the Kurds before, so I felt like this book does a wonderful job of explaining who they are and how their history has made them the people they are today. Their story is incredible and is one that readers shouldn't miss!
I received this book from Worthy publishing in exchange for my honest review.
About the author: Stephen Mansfield is a writer and speaker best known for his groundbreaking books on the role of religion in history, leadership, and modern culture. He first came to international attention with The Faith of George W. Bush, the New York Times bestseller that influenced Oliver Stone’s film, W. His book The Faith of Barack Obama was another international bestseller. He has written celebrated biographies of Booker T. Washington, George Whitefield, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln, among others. Stephen speaks around the world on topics of faith, leadership, and culture. He is also the founder of two firms: The Mansfield Group ( and Chartwell Literary Group ( He lives in Nashville and in Washington, DC, with his wife, Beverly, who is an award-winning songwriter and producer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Star for Jesus

This adorable board book by Crystal Bowman is such a fun addition to a child's library! My daughter enjoyed me reading this book to her, with it's colorful illustrations and rhyming text. I think we have a new favorite in the household! The story does a wonderful job of tying the birth of Jesus and the star that herald His birth into modern day, so that children will remember the lesson long after the book is finished or outgrown.
I received this book from Book Look in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Keepers of the Covenant

Keepers of the Covenant, Book Two in the Restoration Chronicles

The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.

When the battles come to an end, Ezra’s brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude’s widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple–but the fight to keep God’s Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges…this one for the survival of God’s covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.

My thoughts: This book is amazing! I love how the series really breathes life into the Old Testament stories, making one really stop and look at the people in the Bible and realize the similarities between them and ourselves. I think it helps to make the Bible stories more applicable in our lives when we see them in a new life, since (obviously) they are there for a reason, to help us to grow closer to the Lord.
Keepers of the Covenant is a hard book to put down! With amazing characters that come to life and rich historical detail, this book will keep you up late.
Lynn Austin is one of my favorite authors, since she truly knows how to weave an engrossing story!
I received this book from Lit fuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flour + Water

This beautiful cookbook is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach! Filled with amazing pasta recipes from the popular restaurant that shares the same name, this book has so many amazing recipes to help one conquer pasta making. I love all the variety! There is something for everyone in these pages. Whether you are a pro at pasta or just learning, this cookbook will be a great addition to your kitchen.

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall

Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness.

His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady's companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she's desperately hidden for years.
Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own --- one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father's position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he'll never be free to find his own way in the world. He'll never be free to fall in love.
When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?
My thoughts: I wasn't sure how I was going to like this book, since I am usually a skeptic when it comes to fiction set in the Regency era. I want to like these new stories, but they can't seem to come anywhere near to comparing with my favorites. And yet, I still persist in trying them out.;) Well, with this book, I am glad that I did! It is both a sweet story and an interesting one. The characters are lovely, I quite fell in love with them! This book is the perfect story for a cool Autumn day. Two thumbs up!

Too Loved to be Lost

In Too Loved to Be Lost (Barbour Books, October 2014), you'll find simple, practical steps for healing, refreshment, and revitalization of spirit, body, and faith. Whether you're struggling with issues related to trust, depression, patience, relationships, hurts, or hopes. . .this humor-filled volume will deliver a much-needed smile and equip you with simple-to-implement tips for attaining the kind of guidance and belonging you crave---the kind that can only be found in the unconditional love of Papa God.
My thoughts: I wasn't quite sure what I would think of this book, since it didn't look like one that I would be able to relate to. Boy, was I wrong! I think there is something in this book for everyone (though, it is mostly geared towards woman;)). Debora Coty does a fabulous job of weaving stories, Scripture verses, and humor together into one seamless read that is most enjoyable! I appreciated her honesty and humor.
Two thumbs up!
I received this book from Lit fuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride

In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.
Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.
Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?

My thoughts: I enjoy Judith Miller's books, since she does a wonderful job at bringing her characters to life and filling her novels with historical details. This book wound up being no exception! The story moved along at just the right speed. I enjoyed getting to know Ewan and Laura as they worked their hardest to get her father's brick making business back up and running. It was interesting to read about a way that some women back then could be involved in a family business, and how that probably wound up being somewhat of a necessity in the time period that this book falls into (post Civil War), when there was a shortage of young men.
I also thought it was interesting how Ms. Miller portrayed Ewan and his family and the struggles they faced with immigrating from Ireland, especially the prejudices against the Irish.
Two thumbs up!
I received a copy of this book from litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

This week's book meme from The Broke and Bookish has to do with top ten places that books have made me want to visit.

1. England
Is it to broad to say that I want to see England? After reading Austen, Dickens, and the Bronte sisters (to name a few), I decided that England is at the top of my list for places I want to visit someday. I was kind of hoping to have visited there by now, but such is life.;) Someday, right?

2. Prince Edward Island
Between Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon (both by L.M. Montgomery), this is another place high on my list!

3. The American Frontier/Prairie
I can attribute this to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Granted, I have seen a lot of land between the Midwest and the West coast, due to road trips to visit family. I think more than just seeing it, that it would be fun to take part in a (small) re-enactment of what it would be like to go West on one of the pioneer trails.

4. Canadian frontier
This would be due to reading Janette Oke's series involving Mounties and school teachers.:) Her novels were some of the first ones I read as a young teenager, so they will always hold a special place in my heart.;)

5. Scotland
So, for some reason, I always associated James Herriot with Scotland (until just now, when I went to look him up....). Oops. I guess than I shall say that it is due to Sir. Walter Scott and Robert Burns.

6. France
Particularly Paris. Especially the Opera House. Guess what books might of influenced me here? (cue organ music) Les Miserables and the works of Dumas may have influenced me here too.:)

7. Sounis, Eddis and Attoli
The Mediterranean style islands from The Queen's Thief

8. Hogwarts
It is a sad thing when you would love to visit a place, but there is no way you could ever hope to actually go, since the place doesn't exist.;) At least, not in the truest form that is in a book.

9. The Shire
Really, just about all of the places mentioned in LOTR's. With, perhaps, the exception of Mordor.;)

10. Narnia
For obvious reasons.:)

What would your list of top ten places look like?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The New American Herbal

From modern garden master Stephen Orr comes a new, definitive book on herbs to finally replace the dusty and outdated classics. Here are entries on hundreds of plants that are extraordinarily useful in cooking, homeopathy, and more; dozens of recipes and DIY projects; and beautifully styled photographs so you know just what you're growing.

With more than 900 entries, each accompanied by brand new photography and helpful growing advice, The New American Herbal takes the study of herbs to an exciting new level. Orr covers the entire spectrum of herbaceous plants, from culinary to ornamental to aromatic and medicinal, presenting them in an easy to use A to Z format packed with recipes, DIY projects, and stunning examples of garden design highlighting herbal plantings. Learn about the herbs you've always wanted to grow (chervil, chamomile, and lovage), exotic herbs (such as Artemisia, the bitter herb used in Absinthe, or the anti-inflammatory Meadowsweet), and ornamental varieties (Monkshood and Perilla). For cooks there is indispensable guidance on planting and maintaining a bountiful kitchen garden and crafters will delight in dozens of exciting new uses for fresh, dried, and distilled herbs. Here, too, are 40 delicious recipes such as Ragu Bolognese with Fennel and Lemon Semolina Cake with Lavender, as well easy steps for projects such as a hanging herb garden and instructions on how to plant, dry, and preserve your garden’s bounty.

Meticulously researched and exhaustive in its scope, The New American Herbal is an irresistible invitation to explore the versatility of herbs in all their beauty and variety.

My thoughts: I have always been interesting in using herbs more, for both cooking delicious dishes and to use medicinally. This book is perfect! I think it would work well for the experienced herbalist as well, but is especially perfect for those of us who don't know a whole lot about the wide world of herbs. I love that each of the herbs has a picture, which helps one identify them. I also especially like that the author has told us how to grow each plant and the safety of each one. This will be a book that my husband and I will use for years to come! It came at a wonderful time, since we are wanting to expand our herb garden. Right now, we are growing sage and..... sage.;)
So, if you are a gardener, this is a book you should have in your library!
I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.

Pumpkin muffins

Fall is in the air! This time of year makes me want to don an apron and whip up some pumpkin goodies, so I recently did just that and made these delicious pumpkin muffins. The nice thing about this recipe is that I have also used it to make a pumpkin cake (really just bread in a cake like pan), since it turns out so tasty! The texture is amazing, and they are loaded with a lovely pumpkin/spice taste. I think we have a new favorite at our house!

Pumpkin muffins
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/8 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/8 cup flour (I used unbleached, but I can imagine that using half wheat and half white would be good too!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Put your melted butter in a bowl and cream with the sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, milk, and pumpkin to creamed ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients, scrapping the sides with a spatula as you go, so everything is mixed nicely.
Grease your muffin tins (this makes 14-16 large muffins or 24 small) or loaf pan. Add the mixture, smoothing it out if you are making a loaf.
Bake for 8-12 minutes for the small muffins, 12-15 for large, and 30 minutes for your loaf. If you are making a loaf, be sure to insert a toothpick into your bread to make sure it is done, since it will depend on your pan. If the dough it pretty deep, then it might take longer to bake.
Enjoy with a glass of milk!

Chicken tomatillo soup

This year, we decided to grow some different things in our garden, like tomatillos. It was a fun experiment, especially since they did well. Though, the only problem with the fact that they gave us a nice harvest meant that we now had to find some recipes to use them up.;)
I came across a couple of different ideas on and wound up coming up with a chicken soup recipe that we all enjoy.

Chicken tomatillo soup
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
2 cups tomatillo puree
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 T Italian seasoning
4 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin

Put the chicken broth and water in a saucepan. Once it it hot, add your onion, garlic, carrots, and potatoes. Cook until soft, then add the chicken, tomatillo puree, and seasoning. Cook on medium heat for approximately ten minutes.
When we make it, the recipe makes enough for four adults.
Bon appetit!

Ten books for people who like character driven novels

Top Ten Tuesday
1. Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with the characters! Samantha Moore is such a fun, bookish character who writes about her life to a mysterious benefactor. I'm in the midst of Ms. Reay's second book, and hope it will be just as good as this one.;)

2. Emma by Jane Austen
One of my favorites by Austen! I love how Emma grows in character as the story progresses.

3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I had a hard time getting started with this book, but it was hard to put down once I did! The characters are incredible and it is so easy to get caught up in the story.

4. The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate
I know I have talked about this one a lot, since I just finished it recently. It is another one that I dare you not to get caught up in.;)

5. Sophia by Paula Kremser
This one is a sweet story, with fun characters who are rather surprising.;)

6. The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
This one is another incredible story by Lisa Wingate. I like how she combines a story of days long past with that of a recent one.

7. With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden
The characters are fascinating and the story sweeps one in!

8. Hidden in the Stars by Robin Carrol
I read this one in record time! The characters and mystery surrounding them just sweeps one away!

9. A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
I have a thing with novels set in foodie environments. Especially if they have recipes included.;) The characters are lovely, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

10. The Color of Justice by Ace Collins
Wow, this story doesn't go where you think it will!
So, what is one your list? Leave me the link, and I will be happy to check it out! I love finding out about new books I need to read.;)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sophia by Paula Kremser

Small-town Sophia Spencer can t believe her luck when an unexpected inheritance allows her to experience London s social scene. But her happiness disappears when she is caught napping in a grumpy gentleman's room and forced into an engagement to protect her reputation! Personalities collide and love blooms in this stunning debut novel.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this novel! It is a sweet story of a likeable young woman coming into her own when she is thrown into some unlikely situations! I very much appreciated the characters and the sweetness of the romance in the story. I think this author did a wonderful job introducing her characters and executing the story. I look forward to reading more by her in the future!

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Hardest Peace

The Hardest Peace

A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.

Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.

In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.
Kara's site
My thoughts: In many ways, this book arrived in a fitting time, since my mother in law was just diagnosed with cancer. I actually started this book just before we received the news. So, I can imagine that I was more emotional as I read this book! It is such a beautiful account of one woman's battle with cancer, and how it has taught her to see the beauty of everyday moments with her family. Some of her writing mirrored some things that have been swirling around in my head recently: we aren't all guaranteed a long life on this earth. But, it isn't so much about the amount of time that we spend on this earth, but rather, how we spend the time we are given. I have known people who have done more in their 20 years here than most do in 80!
Another thing, why don't we see old age as a gift? In our youth geared society, we think that it's a burden to grow old. To slowly become dependent on others. No matter what amount of time we are given on this earth, it's a gift, and should be treated as such.
I appreciated the message of hope this book had.
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.


For Rob Peabody, the young pastor at a mega-church in southern USA, the realization that his faith had little real connection with the world around him meant that something had to change. He redirected his church towards the poor on their doorstep and then took the larger step of moving to the UK to establish the missional fellowship 'Awaken'.

In Citizen he outlines the Kingdom-centered identity that is given to followers of Jesus. It's a wake-up call to the church in the West. Jesus' death and resurrection initiates and invites people into a life of so much more than the status quo. God is re-building, re-newing, and re-creating that which is broken and marred by sin, and he is doing this --- setting things right in the world --- through Jesus. As citizens of the Kingdom, we have been saved and set apart for this work. We have a new allegiance, a changed identity, and a new mission as we seek to establish the rule of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

I appreciated this book, with it's honesty and call to action. The book is easy to pick up and get through, which is a plus to this mama.:) The author weaves Scripture, personal stories, and bits of history together to encourage one to remember where our citizenship, as Christians, truly lies.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tell Me About Prayer

In this adorable, colorful book, parents and teachers alike are given a wonderful tool to help teach little ones about prayer. Filled with scripture references, songs, and easy to understand language, this book is a great addition to your library! My daughter and I very much enjoyed this book, with the CD and stickers that accompanied .I look forward to enjoying it over the years with her!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Sea House

Scotland, 1860.

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together – a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home – but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.

My thoughts: This book intrigued me, with it's historical basis. I have to say, it was a bit different then I thought it would be, but it was still an interesting story. I thought that the author does a wonderful job handling some difficult situations. There is a lot going on in the story, and it is one that needed to be told. I thought that the story of Reverend Ferguson is an interesting and unique tale, one of fables and faith and how those two work together.
My only caution with this tale is that there is some language and sensitive situations. This book is geared towards an adult audience. That said, I did like the story and look forward to reading more of the author's books.
I received a copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.