Monday, November 30, 2015

Take Ten

Top ten debut authors of 2016 that I am most looking forward to.
1. These Vicious Masks
Jane Austen meets X-men? Yes, please!:)

2. Bookishly Ever After
I love the title!

3. Even if the Sky Falls

This one looks fun.

4. Close to you

I actually have an ARC of this on my Kindle, which thrills me!

5. The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder

6. Arrows

7. The Loose Ends List

8. Annabel Lee

9. Counted With the Stars

10. Stone Field

11. (bonus!) The Tethered World

I couldn't just limit myself to 10.;) What are your top debut novels in the coming year?

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

"But everyone else has it." "If you loved me, you'd get it for me!" When you hear these comments from your kids, it can be tough not to cave. You love your children--don't you want them to be happy and to fit in?Kristen Welch knows firsthand it's not that easy. In fact, she's found out that when you say yes too often, it's not only hard on your peace of mind and your wallet--it actually "puts your kids at long-term risk." In "Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World," Kristen shares the ups and downs in her own family's journey of discovering why it's healthiest "not" to give their kids everything. Teaching them the difference between "want" and "need" is the first step in the right direction. With many practical tips and anecdotes, she shares how to help kids become hardworking, fulfilled, and successful adults.It's never too late to raise grateful kids. Get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine appreciation in your family and create a home in which your kids don't just say--but "mean"!--"thank you" for everything they have.

My thoughts: This time of year is especially bad when it comes to trying to raise grateful kids in a consumer, entitled world, since commercials, store displays, and even well meaning people push the thought that we should go over the top and spoil our kids with everything they could ever want. Wait, didn't we just finish celebrating a holiday centered around being thankful?
But, I digress.;) This book is an excellent resource for parents who want more for their kids. With her wit and like able writing style, Kristen does a fabulous job of drawing readers in and giving one resources and tips to raise grateful children. Reading through her book made me realize how blessed I am to have the parents I had, who had us learn the value of working hard and working together. I think this is a book that every parent should have on their shelf!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian Recipes

Beholden to bold flavors and not strict authenticity, the editors of Lucky Peach present a compendium of recipes that hit the sweet spot between craveworthy and stupid simple and are destined to become favorites.
Your friends and lovers will marvel as you show off your culinary worldliness, whipping up meals with fish-sauce-splattered panache and all the soy-soaked, ginger-scalliony goodness you could ever want—all for dinner tonight.

My thoughts: This is a fun cookbook for anyone who wants to broaden the variety of recipes they like to cook. The cookbook does a wonderful job of going over different ingredients needed for Asian cooking. I love that the recipes are easy to cook and that there is such a variety! I love that there are recipes for sauces and pickled foods included.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

The Bali Mystery

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her sometime partner, her business is flourishing.

When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this sweet, cozy mystery! It has a nice pace and I enjoyed getting to know the characters and Bali. The author does a wonderful job at describing the island and experiences that Amelia and Rick go through to find their missing person. The romance was sweet, but not my favorite part of the book, since the attraction felt a bit redundant. I still thought the story was wonderful and look forward to reading the rest of the mysteries in the series!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Black Friday Deal!


Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my "things I'm thankful for" list every year. It's hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for.
    Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot. This book is an amazing story about the miracle of Dunkirk. I highly recommend it! Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh. Such a sad, sweet story. How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes. This was a surprisingly deep novella that I enjoyed immensely. The Sea Keeper's Daughter by Lisa Wingate. I appreciate how she makes the reader think about social issues. Side by Side by Jana Kelley. I can't recommend this one enough! I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There's literally something for everyone.

    Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

    Don't know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Take Ten

With it being Thanksgiving this week, I am going to veer from my normal bookish top ten lists and just write down the top ten things that I am most thankful for this year.

1. Jesus Christ
Honestly, teaching my toddler about Him has made me realize all over again just how incredible He is.

2. My family
Despite rough days (today being one of them, after recovering partially from a super busy week), I adore my little family and am so thankful to be blessed with them. I also am incredible for my family and my wonderful in laws.

3. Cold frames!
Okay, so totally random, but my husband built one this summer and it has been so nice to have lettuce greens still!

4. A job I love
Due to changes in our family, I will be quitting my job at a bakery after having it for over 12 years. It has been such an incredible fit for me, I didn't realize just how much I loved baking until I started working there, but the time has come to focus on my growing family. I need time at home to finish tackling things like potty training.;)

5. Farmers markets
I've had a booth at numerous markets over the years. We did two holiday markets this past weekend, and it was so much fun! I love the interesting people that come by and the chance to meet other vendors And, when we bring a bit to many baked goods, it is fun to go around and trade for fun things like seasoned salt, sauerkraut, lip balm, and fresh salsa.;)

6. Good friends
I've made several new(ish) friends this year, though perhaps a better way to put it is that acquaintances have turned into friends. I am incredibly thankful for the chance to get to know several people a lot better over the past year!

7. Blogging friends
It always makes my day to find a comment left by one of my blogging friends. It makes my day and I am thankful that you have taken the time to send a ray of sunshine my way!

8. Authors
I can only imagine the work that had gone into my favorite stories, and I am thankful that you didn't quit when it was hard or writers block happened. (I guess I can't do one of these without talking about books in some form!)

9. Chocolate!
Another little thing that I am thankful for! We went to a local chocolatier on a recent girls trip and it was amazing! My mouth is still happy, just thinking about it. lol.

10. A warm roof over my head
We are still working on remodeling our home, but I am still thankful for it and how much it has changed since we bought it 5 years ago. I look forward to seeing the changes that happen in the next year!

What are you thankful for?



What’s on your children’s Christmas wish list? As excited as they might be about that new toy, as every parent knows, the thrill of the gift will eventually wear off. Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have created the perfect gift for those who want to give their children or grandchildren a present that will provide year-round fun with eternal impact.

The Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) offers families 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episodes in a safe online environment where children can explore and learn. Christmas really is the perfect time to tap into your children’s imagination while infusing faith and fun into their day . . . and every day of the year.

To celebrate the holidays this year, the OAC is offering free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
In keeping with AIO’s rich heritage of teaching children about biblical principles — such as the importance of giving — a portion of each OAC membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations. Here are a couple of examples of what has been accomplished through Odyssey Adventure Club members:

The Odyssey Adventure Club wants to reach beyond fleeting entertainment this Christmas, partnering with parents in helping their kids grow deep in faith and find their place in God’s story.


Speaking of the holidays, you can prepare for Christmas with Thriving Family's 2015 Advent Activity Calendar — Tales of Christmas Past: 25 Inspiring true stories of the season. Assemble a beautifully designed Advent poster to help your kids focus on Christ this Christmas. Then read Scripture passages and stories that relate to individual flaps on the poster. You can also create easy-to-fold booklets for each story. Get more information about this year's free Advent calendar at, or sign up to download it.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Golden Braid

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower…

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

My thoughts: It's no secret that I enjoy a good re-telling of fairy tales, so I was thrilled to have the chance to read The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson. Taking the old story of Rapunzel and making it her own, Melanie does a wonderful job of bringing to life the Medieval ages, when knights and fair maidens, minstrels and kings were at their height. I like how she brings the characters to life, weaving together an unforgettable story of faith and bravery. An excellent tale to pick up as the weather turns colder!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How a Star Falls cover reveal!

About the book: How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he’ll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it’s far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won’t stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she’s crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can’t just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

About the author: Amber Stokes works as a content writer for Harvest House Publishers and writes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, the next step in her career lies in the Pacific Northwest - a part of the world she has always considered home.

My thoughts: I loved this novella! It is a fun story about two young people trying to find their places in the world. I thought the characters came alive and liked that the story has some surprising depth to it, despite being a short novella. I was thrilled to have the chance to read it.:)
I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the author.

On to the giveaway!
Amber is offering this fun giveaway to celebrate the anniversary of How a Star Falls and the new cover reveal! The giveaway is made up of three prizes from different Etsy shops,
• Sparkle Green and Red Christmas Earrings from Baubles, Beads and Stuff
• Silver Compass Crystal Charm Necklace from Jaye L. Knight
• Santa Bunyan Note Cards (Set of 3) from Cindy Lindgren

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Called to Pray

Most of us have felt it: that unexplained prompting in our hearts to stop and pray for a friend, a loved one, or even a stranger. Sometimes we dismiss the feeling as a stray thought about friends, families, or situations. Sometimes we are even awakened from a deep sleep with an even deeper need to go to God in prayer. Where do those urges come from? Are they truly from God? And do those prayers have any effect on the one we're praying for?

In Called to Pray, Linda Evans Shepherd shares dozens of inspiring true stories of people who have felt God's call to pray--and the astonishing results of those impromptu prayers. For those who wonder if prayer has any effect or doubt that God communicates with us personally, this heart-stirring book will amaze, inspire, and equip them to respond to those holy promptings.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book on what happens when people pray for people who God has put on their hearts. I was so encouraged by the stories included in this book, since they reminded me to head that still small voice when it whispers to pray for someone or to go visit a friend or acquaintance. I highly recommend picking up this book if you are in need of encouragement!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Proverbs Prayers

One of the most popular books of the Bible, Proverbs offers practical guidance for life and the tools to make good choices, withstand pressure, prioritize relationships, and avoid unnecessary trouble. In these pages, John Mason helps readers make God's wisdom a part of their inner lives, offering each chapter from Proverbs followed by a heartfelt prayer that covers the insights from that chapter. In thirty-one days, readers can pray all of the wisdom of Proverbs for their lives, experiencing God's wisdom as never before and finding encouragement, peace, answers, and a better life

My thoughts: What a neat little book! I love that each chapter is a prayer that goes along with each chapter of Proverbs. It is a neat idea to use in personal study or to do with a Bible study (perhaps to accompany a study of Proverbs). I like that Proverbs 31 has two prayers with it, one for women and one for men.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Keeping Christmas

For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure they were strange-looking--some could be called downright ugly--but they were tradition. A tradition she's heartbroken to miss this year.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan knows something must be done. And his only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments.

Fan-favorite Dan Walsh invites readers to enjoy this nostalgic Christmas story that celebrates all of our most cherished seasonal traditions, especially the importance of family. Readers will join in remembering the things that make their own Christmas season so special.

My thoughts: I've been getting geared up for Christmas, with the small stack of Christmas stories that I have in my TBR pile.;) This one is a heartwarming story of a couple faced with dealing with an empty nest Christmas. It is a beautiful story of love and sacrifice. Reading it is a fun way to get geared up for Christmas and to remind the reader what is truly important!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

She's Almost a Teenager

A Guide to Meaningful Parent-Daughter Conversations

Your daughter is growing up. There are so many issues she'll face, such as body image, confusion about relationships, and taking ownership of her spiritual life. How do you connect with her on the things that are important to both of you? This structured approach to conversations and activities with your girl will make it easier to have those memorable times together. You'll find practical ways to encourage her in her faith, talk about the challenges she faces in school and with friends, and remind her that you love her dearly.

My thoughts: So, I had to laugh that I requested this one, since I have a two year old, but I know that the years are going to go by fast! Might as well be prepared, right? Not to mention, there are days when it feels like she is almost a teenager as her spunk comes out.;)
I love that this book is all about communicating with your preteen daughter about important subjects, from faith to tech, money to boys and friends. The book is also written by two sets of parents, one that has adult children and the other that is in the midst of raising adolescents. This book is easy to read and a great resource for parents, since they have so many great points! I also love the bonus activities.;)
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

The Shock of Night

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded on the streets of Bunard, Willet Dura is called to investigate. Yet the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers. As Willet begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to the city, no closer to answers than before, but his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, a twist seen at the edge of his vision, and it's as though he can see their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he's been passed the rarest gift of all: a gift that's not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he's pulled into a much more dangerous and epic conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world--a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his own tortured past if he wants to survive.

My thoughts: Even though I enjoyed Patrick's first series, I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. I was pleasantly surprised! While I think it was a bit darker then his first books, it had a lot going on and I found the mystery of the story to be fascinating. Which was good, since the reader doesn't get all the answers to questions that arise at the beginning right away.;) Some of them you have to wait for, which is hard!
I love the depth of the story and characters, and look forward to reading the next book in the Darkwater Saga.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Take Ten

Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So
1. Dear heart, the purpose of life is not longevity. Kara Tippetts

2. Do you think it all meant nothing, all this longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like coming back. Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

3. Such fullness depends on Christ, the Living Water, to grow us in the likeness of God, to expand our hearts, to water our deserts. Our days may not be easy, but they are always full when lived on Christ. Margaret Feinberg

4. I'm not guaranteed a happy ending just because I make it to the last page-every choice along the way matters and has real consequences. The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

5. The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. Milton

6. God towards thee hath done his part-do thine". Milton

7. What in me is dark, illumine. What is low, raise and support. Milton

8. Men were put into the world to teach women the law of compromise. Austen

9. Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives. Austen

10. I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives. Austen

The Healthy Mind

A collection of more than 120 recipes formulated to optimize brain health, boost memory, improve mood, sharpen the central nervous system, and more.

Between digital overload, sleep deprivation, and the stress of modern life, most people's brains are constantly in flight-or-fight mode, with levels of cortisol and other hormones and neurotransmitters out of whack. Brain conditions ranging from childhood ADHD and adult depression to memory impairment are on the rise, and medications for brain conditions, if available, do only a mediocre job while generating a host of debilitating side effects. Fortunately, Rebecca Katz has harnessed the latest research on brain functioning to identify how the foods we consume can improve the brain's ability to control cognition, emotion, and physical function--all of which dictate memory, mood, and motion. These 120 recipes translate the very best of this science into the kitchen, incorporating nutrient-dense foods that best promote brain health and development from childhood through the golden years

My thoughts: This is an excellent cookbook that promotes not only brain health, but ones over all health. I think it has a great selection of recipes that will help people and families use some different ingredients to make tasty dishes. I especially like the soup recipes in it, but that could just be partially due to the cold front coming in and soups sounding incredible right now.;) A lot of the recipes come with pictures and easy to follow instructions that even the novice chef will enjoy making.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Five Times I met Myself

What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?

Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.

So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.

Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.

My thoughts: I will be honest, there were times when I didn't like the females in this story, since it felt like they were the ones being pretty selfish (like, bailing when the money threatened to no longer be there), but I wound up being happy with where the story ended up. I thought the story was an interesting "what if?" style, being able to change the course of our life through our dreams. The book is well written and hard to put down, as well as contains a great message!
I received this book from Lit Fuse in exchange for my honest review

Monday, November 9, 2015

A thousand Shall Fall

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

My thoughts: I didn't know what I would find when I started this book, since I had not had the privilege of reading any of Andrea's other novels. What I found was a wonderful story, filled with likable main characters, some fun secondary characters (I especially liked Aunt Ruth and her spunk!), and a lot of rich historical details. I think it is neat that this series focuses on the battles fought in the Shenandoah Valley in late 1864.
If you are looking for a neat historical series, then I highly recommend the first book of this one! I eagerly await the second story in the series.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Take ten

This week, the subject is top ten books to movie adaptions that I am looking forward to or need to watch.;)

1. The Book Thief
I am horrible to have not watched this one yet! I need to remedy that soon.

2. Mockingjay
Though, it is with trepidation, since this was my least favorite of the trilogy.

3. Far from the Madding Crowd
Once upon a time, I read a lot of Hardy (which maybe wasn't the thing to do) and this one was my favorite.

4. Jungle Book

5. Allegiant

6. Paper Towns

7. The Fault in our Stars
Yes, I have yet to see this one.;)

8.Beauty and the Beast

9. Matched

10. The Selection

Lay it Down

There’s Good News for the Weary
Call it burnout, a spiritual breakdown, or a personal crisis, the toll of Bill Tell’s decades of successful ministry finally caught up with him. Incapacitated and depressed, he found that the road to recovery began at the cross. To his delight, healing opened new freedoms as he embraced the gospel in new ways.

Lay It Down: Living in the Freedom of the Gospel is a bold declaration of the overwhelming grace of God. More than merely saving us in our sin, by grace God delivers us from it, making us new creations and treating us accordingly—no matter what. For a generation of Christians who have learned a gospel of performance and striving, Lay It Down offers the good news of the grace that is already ours in Christ.

My thoughts: I very much appreciated Bill Tell's honesty about how he wore himself out with going so much with his ministry and having a break down of sorts. I also appreciate all of the realizations that he came to about the gospel and truly living a
life that has been changed by the grace of God. I like what he had to say about Christ dying on the cross so that we could live a life of freedom now. I also had to agree with him about how hurts from childhood can carry over into adulthood if not addressed, something I realized in my own life recently. This is a wonderful book that encourages readers to set their priorities straight.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fire and Ice

Bailey Wilde is one of the best new ranchers in the West. She's been living disguised as a man for a while, but when Gage Coulter comes to drive her off her homestead, he quickly realizes he's dealing with a woman--a very tough, very intriguing woman at that.

Gage is an honest man, but he didn't make his fortune being weak. He won't break the law, but he'll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of his best range land is lost to him because Bailey's homestead is located right across the only suitable entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to his land--and he's got to go through Bailey to do it.

Spending a winter alone has a way of making a person crave some human contact. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan Gage concocts. Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders loosen up enough to earn each other's respect--and maybe find love in
the process?

My thoughts: I enjoyed getting to know Bailey and Gage in this fun story filled with spunk and adventure! Their relationship is an interesting one as they form an uneasy friendship to band together against trouble in the wild west. While I didn't read the first and second book in the series, I felt like it didn't hinder me too much, since this book was about Bailey. I will have to go back and read her sisters stories though, since I think they will be every bit as enjoyable.;)
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Time Garden

My thoughts: I've been hearing a lot about asult coloring books, which intrigued me, since I loved coloring when I was a kid. Okay, I'll admit, I still like coloring with my daughter in her Curious George and Hello Kitty books.;) But, when the chance to review this whimsical coloring book, I just couldn't resist! The book is a story of a young girl who gets swept into a cuckoo clock style world when her father brings hime an antique clock. The pages are so much fun! I know I will enjoy using this book for some time to come.;)
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Ology

A page-turning storybook of theology for kids

In the cellar of the old stone cathedral, Carla and Timothy uncover a life-changing treasure, a carefully wrapped ancient book known as The Ology. What adults might describe as a beautifully illustrated storybook of systematic theology, the kids discover to be a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.

Truth is for kids, not just for adults! So The Ology gives kids of all ages a beginner’s theology book to help them understand who God is and how we, as his children, relate to him. Arranged within a traditional systematic theological framework, each truth in The Ology is also connected to the larger redemptive story of Scripture. The doctrine of God, for example, is presented in the larger framework of creation, where the attributes of God are more clearly on display. The Ology takes abstract theological concepts and makes them easier to understand with the use of creative examples, illustrations, and analogies. The goal is not to say everything that could be said about a theological topic, but rather to share the key thoughts behind a theological concept. The Ology is a starting point to learning theology and aims to create a hunger and desire in children to learn more as they grow older.

Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, this flexible resource includes built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together. Read The Ology to preschoolers, read it with grade-school kids, and let older kids discover the “hidden” truths by reading the corresponding Scripture passages for each section. However you read it, The Ology will give your children a gift that will last a lifetime—a solid foundation of life-changing biblical truth that will point them to the God who loves them and gave himself for them.

My thoughts: What an incredible story book! I love that it takes the truths of the Scriptures and writes them in a easy to read and understand manner for children. I wish there was a book like this around when I was a kid! Each thought is backed up with Bible verses and colorful illustrations. A lot of the principles include examples to help young people wrap their minds around an idea. The author did a fabulous job with this one!
The book is geared towards school age children, but I am sure that my daughter will still enjoy having me read this aloud, even if it takes her a few years to truly grasp a lot of it.;)
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Living a Beautiful Life on Less

When her husband was deployed to Iraq, Danielle’s income dropped dramatically. Something had to change.

Discover how her family of four survived happily on a $14,000 annual income with no debt—not even a mortgage. Their beautiful life on less could be yours!

Learn to

· Lay a financial foundation
· Cut your grocery bill in half
· Become a strategic shopper
· Plan meals your family will love
· Celebrate on a budget

With practical tips and real-life examples, this book makes living on a budget fun! You don’t have to sacrifice to enjoy the life you want. You just need to make your money work for you!

My thoughts: I love how this book is set up! Danielle writes to the reader like she is sitting down and having a chat with a good friend, something that I thought made the book all the more easy to read and relate to. She does a great job at offering practical information that will help one stretch their paycheck.
I know I have read on another review that they didn't like her advise to share a meal at a restaurant, which I can kind of agree with, since you can take the left overs home for a second meal. My husband and I rarely go out to eat though, since I like to cook and we save eating out for special occasions, so I think the best advise to saving money when it comes to eating out is to opt for cooking at home as often as possible, since it is a lot less expensive. Otherwise though, this book has a lot of great information and is a wonderful asset to any home.
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Brave Enough

Find the courage to be who you are―not who you wish you were. 
Is fear holding you back from becoming your best self? Does it add stress to your day and keep you up at night? What could be different if you let go and started living brave today? 

Bravery doesn’t have to mean cliff diving out of your comfort zone. Life is about being braveenough―for yourself, for God, for your tasks, and for your calling―right where He’s placed you. A brave-enough life is one lived fully and confidently, with your shoulders relaxed and free from the weight of responsibility and the burden of trying too hard. 

Nicole Unice, author of She’s Got Issues, wants that life to become a reality for you. She challenges you to get real about where you are right now―the places where you feel too scared to change, too tired to endure, or too worried to let go. Through personal stories and practical application, Nicole will lead you on a journey to harness all of your misspent doubts, concerns, and fears―and discover what God is saying about who you can be.

My thoughts: I love the open and honest way that Nicole writes in this book! It's a call for women to stop dreaming and get up and be brave. I am motivated by her writing and how she pulls in personal stories from her own life and the lives of those around her. I really appreciated her writing about fake grace and how we handle failures by not relying on God and His grace, which makes us fake.
(She does a much better job describing that!)
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

A Respectable Actress

When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

My thoughts: I found the historical aspect of this story to be interesting, since India has her work cut out for herself when she tries to go against public opinion of actresses and establish herself as respectable and innocent in the eyes of the judge and jury. While I liked the historical side, I was sad that there weren't many like able secondary characters. The story is interesting though, and I like that there are a couple of mysteries going on!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Take Ten

Top ten debut authors that have me looking forward to their Sophomore novel
1. Charity Bishop

Okay, I know that Charity has written quite a few stories now, but I have only read one thus far and NEED to make time for more.

2. Johnnie Alexander

3. Stephanie Burgis

4. Mary Jane Hathaway

Her book was just a fun, modern re-telling of Jane Austen.

5. Amber Stokes

I have this one on my Kindle now, so I need to read it and add a second story by her to my list of read items.;)

6. Patricia Bradley

I was blown away by the start of this series! She is a fantastic mystery author.

7. Roseanna M. White

She has a second book coming out soon!

8. Lori Benton

9. Kristi Ann Hunter

I was pleasantly surprised by this one and can't wait for the second book in the series to come out!

10. Camille Elliot