Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FIrst Words of Jesus

If we didn't need a cross, we wouldn't need a manger. This fresh, engaging look at the beginning of Jesus' life and ministry will change the way you comprehend Christ's early years. With unique, thought-provoking insights and commentaries from many of Christianity's leading theologians interspersed throughout, Epperson unwraps, layer by layer, a new understanding of the young boy who was the Son of Man.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book to read this season! I love how it is so much more than just another book to read about Christmas, since the author points our how we had the manger because we needed the cross. He was born to die for our sins. While people like or tolerate the image of Christ in the manger, they don't like to think about His dying for the sins of the world. I thought the parallels that he drew between the two were excellent and enjoyed this different twist. It is a great book for the holiday season without losing the focus of why Christ came. The first recorded words we have of His are that He was to be about His father's work, which is what this book is all about.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Primary Decision

Forces Conspire to Take the Worthington Family Down

Sarah Worthington never expected to become the US attorney general--at least not this early in her career. Plunged into the vicious vetting process, with all sides digging for secrets in her family closet, she steels herself for the path forward. Nothing will deter her from making her mark on the world in the biggest way possible--even if that means prosecuting the current president of the United States. Yet powerful forces conspire behind the scenes to take the Worthington family down, and the president orders her to close the investigation. Will she comply? Or turn the tables to pursue her ultimate dream--the US presidency?
This exciting conclusion to The Worthington Destiny series will have readers on the edge of their seats--just in time for the 2016 presidential race.

My thoughts: This was such a fun and interesting series that meshed fiction with Kevin Leman's studies on birth order. I loved reading this series, since it was filled with suspense and political intrigue. This one was the perfect one to read this past month, with the presidential election we just had.;)
If you enjoy reading suspenseful series that have a lot going on, then I highly recommend this one!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide freebie

Top ten books to give someone who likes chick lit.

1. A Portrait of Emily Price

2. The Christiansen family series

3. A Broken Kind of Beautiful

4. Dear Mr. Knightley

5. Meant to Be Mine

6. The Bronte Plot

7. The Art of Losing Yourself

8. A Table by the Window

9. Until I Found You

10. The Wedding Dress

Effortless Healing


Do you have to tell your leg to heal from a scrape? Your lungs to take in air? Your body that it’s hungry? No. Your body does these things automatically, effortlessly. Vibrant health is your birthright and within your grasp; you just have to step out of the way. In Effortless Healing, online health pioneer, natural medicine advocate, and bestselling author Dr. Joseph Mercola reveals the nine simple secrets to a healthier, thinner you. The results are amazing and the steps can be as easy to implement as:

· Throwing ice cubes in your water to make it more “structured”
· Skipping breakfast, as it could be making you fat
· Eating up to 75 percent of your calories each day in fat for optimal health, reduction of heart disease, and cancer prevention
· Avoiding certain meat and fish, but enjoying butter
· Eating sauerkraut (and other fermented foods) to improve your immune system and your mood
· Walking barefoot outside to decrease system-wide inflammation (and because it just feels great)
· Enjoying a laugh: it’s as good for your blood vessels as fifteen minutes of exercise

Effortless Healing is the distillation of decades of Dr. Mercola’s experience and cutting-edge medical knowledge. With his wisdom and that of your body, you can optimize your health, your weight, and your life…effortlessly.

My thoughts: I have read some of Dr. Mercola's articles and the like online, so I was thrilled to have a chance to read this book to review! It is interesting to read his thoughts on healing your body. I thought that this book was informative and well researched. I love walking barefoot, so doing it more outside is no problem for me.;)
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

A Minute of Vision for Men

Do you have a vision for your life?
All of us need a compelling vision to live for. Scripture says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Today, so many of us are living on autopilot instead of engaging the battle of living up to our God-given potential. We lack a vision for life. Too often, we settle for less than what is best for us, our families, and our careers. We struggle with pinpointing our purpose in life.

A Minute of Vision for Men is an investment in a different sort of life―one with vision, purpose, and integrity. This book will help you connect with your purpose. It’s written so that you can start your day on the right foot, focused on what matters the most.

Start each day with a potent, daily dose of vision for your life.

My thoughts: I generally get a little bit bored with devotionals, since I have a hard time just reading one a day and sticking with that. I suppose it is like book clubs for me. I like to devour my books, so it's difficult to just read a page or chapter a day.
This devotional is different. I like that they are all engaging and precise, giving men a thought or subject that is brought home by a story and finished with a scripture verse. I enjoyed the personal stories, as well as those he drew from history and pop culture. This would make an excellent gift for one's dad, brother, husband, or son!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

The Remnant

In the year 2069 the Apocalypse came and went, but Jesus didn’t show up, as some expected.

Instead, a cataclysmic war, natural disasters and pandemics eradicated 90 percent of earth’s population. Now, in 2131, a totalitarian government rules the world from the majestic, opulent capitol of Carthage, Tunisia. Blamed for igniting the war, religion and religious books are banned. Citizens who will not renounce their religion are sent to work camps.

Grant Cochrin, imprisoned in a bleak petroleum camp in what was once North Dakota, leads his family and friends to escape and embark on a long, dangerous quest for a Christian community. Their resource in this journey? A cherished page torn from the now banished Bible—a remnant of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount handed down from Grant’s grandparents.

What if there were an Apocalypse and Jesus didn’t return? What if the survivors found themselves living in a world ruled by a totalitarian government, where religion is forbidden and all religious texts have been destroyed?

In The Remnant, award-winning author Monte Wolverton tells the tale of a band of concentration camp escapees who trek through the lawless American wilderness on a quest for authentic Christianity, only to come face to face with an unthinkable dilemma. The Remnant is a fast-paced story punctuated with dry satire, memorable characters and hard questions about religious institutions.

My thoughts: In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about this one. The story line and characters are interesting, and I loved the twists in the story, but it isn't Biblicaly accurate. It is an interesting dystopian style story about a world in the future where the one world government has tried to make all religions extinct. I think the sequel, if there is one (which, it left at a cliff hanger, so I am sure readers will want another one!) could be interesting if it still explores the one world government, but perhaps with that world forcing one religion. Time will tell.
If you love dystopian stories, then you will enjoy this one!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Healing of the Heart review and giveaway



Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

When Ruby McCoy and her mother arrive in Fairplay and promptly move into the biggest mansion around, they are the talk of the town. But while Mrs. McCoy worries about ribbons, trunks, and wallpaper, Ruby rolls up her sleeves. Since the hanging of her notorious gangster father five years ago, Ruby, hiding under an assumed name, is on a mission to right her father’s wrongs. She is determined to spend every penny of her inherited “blood money” helping those who paid the price for her father’s crimes. But she didn’t plan on falling in love.

Sheriff Rex Truett doesn’t trust Ruby and doesn’t care who knows it. The keeper of Fairplay’s law and order makes it his business to find out why a stranger—especially a beautiful, rich, female stranger—would set up businesses, donate to schools, hire workmen to rebuild houses, and provide access to the best medical care. But when a cholera epidemic sweeps through the city, he is forced to reconsider.

Will Ruby have the courage to tell Rex her family secret? And will love or justice win in Rex’s heart?

My review: This is such a great story! I fell in love with Ruby, a lovely young woman trying to make amends for her father's misdeeds! I also enjoyed Rex and the cast of characters in Fairplay. Ruby's mother is quite the character too. I would of loved to have more of these characters.;) As it is, I look forward to going back and reading the other books in the series, since I enjoyed the trip to Sterling Street with this story.
I received this book from the author through Celebrate Lit.

About the Author

A prolific writer, Loree Lough has 108 books, 68 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Her novels have earned dozens of industry and Reader’s Choice awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, and college and high school writing programs, Loree and her husband, Larry, divide their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains.

Her books have over 3700 ratings on Goodreads with the first two books in The Secrets of Sterling Street series, Currency of the Heartand Guardians of the Heart receiving multiple four and five star reviews on book review and retail sites.

Blog Stops

November 23: Neverending Stories
November 23: Lane Hill House
November 27: Splashes of Joy
November 28: Daysong Reflections
November 30: Bigreadersite
December 1: Pause for Tales
December 2: A Greater Yes
December 2: Genesis 5020
December 4: Karen Sue Hadley
December 5: Rhonda’s Doings


In honor of her tour, Loree is giving away her books: Secrets on Sterling Street series, Prevailing Love (3 in 1), Pricilla Hires a Husband, Lone Wolf, and Emma’s Orphans, a KJVER Study Bible, and an Abba pillar candle in a wicker basket! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!
Buy here

Friday, November 25, 2016

Finding Margo


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?

Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.

Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?

My review: This is a fun story that explores the idea of three Amish children who went missing over twenty years ago who have grown up in the "English" world, with no memory of where they came from. When Margo winds up in a small Amish/Mennonite community, she starts to feel like she is caught in the Twilight Zone. With the help of a handsome deputy and a zany cast of characters, Margo gets to the bottom of the mystery.
The humor of this story is light hearted and reminds me of Jeeves and Wooster. This story is a fun mashup of humor and mystery, a simple life in contrast to that of a pop star.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author


USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at

Guest Post from Jen Turano

The Making of “Finding Margo”

By Jen Turano

To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement. My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time. After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end. Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines. That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing. After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts. As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books.

Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story.

Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre. I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.

Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.

That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting. I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town. To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.

By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story. However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.

Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time. There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.

Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago. I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book. I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years. I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you. You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.

God bless!

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

November 17: Book by Book
November 17: cherylbbookblog
November 18: A Reader’s Brain
November 18: I Hope You Dance
November 18: Blogging with Carol
November 19: ASC Book Reviews
November 19: Books,Dreams,Life
November 20: Lighthouse Academy
November 20: Karen Sue Hadley
November 20: Back Porch Reads
November 21: Genesis 5020
November 21: 100 Pages per Hour
November 22: Pause for Tales
November 22: Quiet Quilter
November 22: Bigreadersite
November 23: Just Commonly
November 23: A Greater Yes
November 26: Daysong Reflections
November 26: The Scribbler
November 28: The Power of Words
November 29: Faithfully Bookish
November 30: A Northern Belle


[Insert Giveaway Picture]

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Love and Fat Free Cheese

Fat-free cheese is okay—unless you’ve tasted real cheese. Juliet Easton learns this about love too as she uncovers who truly loves her, and who is using her to get to the secret she knows about the disappearance of her sister’s fiance and the pharmaceutical conspiracy he plans to reveal. Can she protect her loved ones’ lives and her heart? You’ll be hooked from Asiago to Zamorano cheese in this suspenseful and hilarious romantic thriller.

My thoughts: I felt like I didn't have a real good feel for the story on this one before starting it, but found that I enjoyed this story of Juliet landing a dream job and navigating the path to true love. I didn't much like the hero at first, and almost gave up on him, but it was worth sticking with the story, since things come to a satisfying conclusion.
I felt like there could of been more to the story at times, but over all loved this cute story filled with suspense and unexpected twists. It's a fun read!
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Crissy Sharp graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University – Idaho, with a major in advertising and a minor in marketing. She is currently a member of the RWA and lives in Collierville, Tennessee.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Take ten: Things I am thankful for

1. My family. We added a little one to our family this year, which has made for a wild ride as I navigate being outnumbered when my husband is at work.;) I love seeing my children together, since (so far) they get along well!

2. Good health. It's been a year of colds and the flu, not to mention extended family scaring us and winding up in the hospital. Including my sister in law, who had brain surgery this last week to remove a mass, while being pregnant. She was incredibly blessed at each step of the way, and I feel overwhelmingly thankful that she is on the road to recovery.

3. A warm home. We bought a fixer upper almost six years ago, and it took me a while to decide I liked the house (which may or may not of had to do with the bat invasion and the fact that the upstairs needed to be gutted...). It's grown on me, and I am thankful that it is warm as the weather turns colder.

4. Our garden. I have mostly my husband to thank for this, since I wasn't much help between pregnancy and caring for a newborn and a toddler. I did do my part with harvesting strawberries and trying to beat down the squash bugs though!

5. Music. This plays a huge part in our lives, with my husband being a musician.;)

6. Plenty of students for my husband. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I stopped working at the bakery. While it was something that I have loved, it was getting harder to do with a toddler. We have been blessed that it hasn't been too much of a hit financially!

7. Our pets. We branched out and started raising rabbits, since the beta is still alive after over a year.;)

8. God and His love for all of us.

9. Friends. I can be such a terrible friend, but I appreciate that my good friends love me anyway. ;)

10. My church family.

The Radical Book for Kids

The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and life for boys and girls age 8 and up. Along with examining some of the most exciting realities in the universe, the handbook is vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas. Deep truths are communicated to elementary and middle-school aged kids while stimulating their curiosity and sense of adventure within a gospel-centered framework.

This power-packed book is “radical” in more ways than you might think! It is “radical” in the sense of the original meaning of the word, “going to the root or origin.” The Radical Book for Kids will take children on a fascinating journey into the ancient roots of the Christian faith. But it’s also “radical” in the more modern sense of being revolutionary. Kids read about men and women who learned to trust Jesus and stand for him—displaying radical faith—even when everything seemed against them.

But The Radical Book for Kids is also “radical”—meaning fun or cool—in the eyes of a child. Kids read about ancient weapons (and how to make one), learn about jewels, create pottery, discover ancient languages, use secret codes, locate stars, tell time using the sun, play a board game that’s 3,000 years old—and more.

Check out the table of contents, skip around, or read straight through. However a child chooses to explore it, The Radical Book for Kids will open new vistas for their imagination and help to make straight paths for their feet.

My thoughts: This is such a neat book! I love that it has a variety of topics to interest kids, from what they Bible laws said about foods in ancient times to the major Hebrew holidays, from "how to profit from the prophets" to evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. I am thrilled to have this book on my bookcase for my children! The text is easy to read through, and there are tons of fun illustrations. I love that this book is a balance of modern and scriptural.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Far Afield

An extraordinarily photographed culinary travel book featuring profiles of the stewards of the world's traditional foodways—farming, fishing, and herding methods—along with 40 recipes.

Journalist Shane Mitchell and photographer James Fisher have traveled the world on assignment for food and travel publications such as Travel + Leisure and Saveur. Along the way, they have encountered the fascinating people who are keeping some of the world's oldest food traditions alive, such as taro farmers in Hawaii who have never left the islands, Maasai warriors in Kenya, and Icelandic shepherds who still use the techniques of their Viking ancestors. Full of compelling photography from far-flung locations, Far Afield profiles these people, sharing their unique and captivating stories along with forty recipes.

My thoughts: This book would make the perfect gift for a foodie, since it is such a great combination of recipes and stories. I love that a lot of the places featured in the book are not ones that you commonly see in cookbooks, like Iceland and Peru. The photography is a delight to the eyes and the recipes are a treat for one's taste buds. This one takes the best from cookbooks and travel magazines and meshes them together into a delightful book!
I received this book from Blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

To Suit a Suitor

Much to her mother’s annoyance, Julia North can’t catch a husband. Nearing the end of her third London season, Julia is jilted. Again! Constantly wondering what it is about her that drives the gentlemen away, Julia leaves London to visit a distant cousin for a couple of months. She is hoping to forget about husband hunting for a time, but she inadvertently finds herself in competition for Henry Chamberlain, the most desirable gentleman in Somersetshire. Marriage wouldn’t seem so detestable if she could marry him. But every young lady has the same dream of capturing his attention, so Julia knows she doesn’t have a chance. What she doesn’t know is that her desire to avoid Henry’s attention is the very thing that has caught it, but it’ll take some effort on Henry’s part to convince Julia of that.

My thoughts: I enjoyed Paula's first book, so I was wondering if thrilled to have the chance to review this book! I loved getting to know Julia, who is such a fun, spunky character. This book is a fun trip to Regency England. It's the perfect story to pick up on a cold day!
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel, “Sophia.”

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year review and giveaway

Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.
For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.
From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.
With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season

My thoughts : This is such a fun book to have on hand during the holiday season! I love the variety of stories that give the reader a glimpse of the history behind songs and traditions that go with the Christmas season. I love that there are recipes for sweets and ideas for presents to pamper those you love. This is a great book to get and use as a devotional for the month of December.
I received this book from litfuse in exchange for my honest review.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Ace Collins

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trust My Heart review and giveaway

Grant McAllister is a big-city lawyer and has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing. After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant’s fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs. The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home…

My thoughts: I wasn't sure how I would like this story, but I was quickly swept away by the fun characters and all that goes on in the story. Carol captures the small community feel with Jami and Grant's story. I love that she developes her side characters too! This is a delightful read.
I received this book from litfuse in exchange for my honest review.
Be sure to check out the giveaway!

Trust My Heart Carol J. Post

Love Found in Sherwood Forest Review and Giveaway!

Award-winning Broadway actress Leighanne Webster has it all until an on-stage panic attack brings her career crashing to the ground. Returning to England to help produce the annual Robin Hood Festival play could be the diversion Leighanne needs. But with ex-fiancé, Jamison Blake, as the play’s director focusing on her new job won’t be easy. Breaking his engagement with Leighanne so she could pursue her dream of being a Broadway star was the hardest thing Jamison Blake ever did. When she returns to Nottingham, his heart insists he made a mistake. Can he convince her to give their relationships another try, or will he have to let her go again? This time, forever.

My Review: I thought that this book was delightful! I enjoyed getting to know the main characters as they face their fears and solve a mystery of who is trying to sabotage their production. I love that the story is set in Sherwood Forest and that the book gives some history of the place. It is also fun that the main character is suppose to be a star on Broadway!
The themes of this story are wonderful and make one think.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda Shenton Matchett has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey (named for the famed inventor of the lightbulb) and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (reputed to be the oldest summer resort in America). A freelance writer for over ten years, her articles and devotionals have appeared in numerous print and online publications. A varied career has included stints as a crisis counselor, human resources professional, bed and breakfast owner, and youth center director. She is currently the Front of House, Snackbar, and Catering Manager for Brewster Academy, a boarding high school. In her off hours, she can be found volunteering as a docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. She is active in her church where she serves as treasurer, usher, choir member, and Bible study leader.

Guest Post from the Author
Do you ever wonder where an author gets her inspiration? I certainly do. Let me tell you how Love Found in Sherwood Forest came about. I love history, so when the opportunity to write a contemporary story that embedded historical elements, I jumped at the chance. It was the first romance story I wrote, and it was in response to a challenge laid down by my critique group. (All my manuscripts to this point were mysteries.)
One of the major publishers was looking for submissions and provided a list of writing prompts with locations and items to be included in each story. When I saw the prompt that included Nottingham, England I decided a contemporary story wrapped around the Robin Hood legend would be fun to write. I’ve been enamoured with the story ever since I saw the 1938 Errol Flynn movie The Adventures of Robin Hood.
I love doing research because I unearth so many interesting pieces of information. This research junket was no different. I learned lots of intriguing facts about Robin, Maid Marian, and Robin’s “Merry Men.” I also discovered Major Oak, a tree in Sherwood Forest thought to be nearly 1,000 years old and shelter for Robin and his men.
Here’s a bit about me in case we’ve never “met.” I’ve been writing since I was young. My folks recognized my imagination and gave me a notepad and package of pens when I was in third grade. I wrote stories through high school, but writing went on the back burner during my college and career years. When we left the Washington, DC area to move to New Hampshire to purchase a B&B, I started journaling the experience. Putting pen to paper reminded me how much I loved to write, and I began to create stories. It’s been a long journey to publication-over ten years-but through all that time I learned so much about writing, but more importantly I learned about myself and my faith in God. I discovered you can’t write Christian fiction without examining your own Christianity.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Love Found in Sherwood Forest.

Blog Stops

November 11: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
November 12: Karen Sue Hadley
November 13: Daysong Reflections
November 14: A Greater Yes
November 14: Mary Hake
November 15: Bibliophile Reviews
November 17: Lighthouse Academy
November 19: Sue Stinnett
November 21: Carpe Diem


[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

In honor of her tour, Linda is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of each of Linda Matchett’s books! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Missing Matisse

Nazi planes were bombing Paris the day a lifelong, more personal war began for Pierre. It was the day he lost his identity.

Born into a famous family, Pierre Matisse grew up immersed in the art world of Paris and the French Riviera, spending time with some of the most famous artists of the twentieth century. The man he knew as his grandfather, legendary artist Henri Matisse, encouraged Pierre from a young age, creating a strong desire in him to become a great artist in his own right.

Being a Matisse was an important part of young Pierre's identity. So he was crushed and bewildered when, at the outbreak of WWII, that identity was suddenly snatched from him with no explanation.

So began Pierre's lifelong search to solve the mystery of who he really was, a quest that forms the intriguing backdrop to this memoir of a fascinating and adventurous life on three continents. Spanning the insider art world of 1930s Paris, the battles of WWII, the occupation of France by the Nazis, Pierre's involvement with the French resistance, his post-war work restoring art and historical monuments, and his eventual decision to create a new life in North America, The Missing Matisse is a story of intrigue, faith, and drama as Pierre journeys to discover the truth before it's too late.

Pierre Henri Matisse was born in Paris in 1928. Brought up as the grandson of Henri Matisse, Pierre spent his childhood among some of the most famous artists of the twentieth century, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

During WWII, Pierre and his father, Jean Matisse, were heavily involved in French underground activities, wanted by the Nazis for their efforts in aiding the British spies and saboteurs. When the war ended, Pierre worked in the restoration of the art and historical monuments in France that were damaged by the war.

Now a citizen of the United States, Pierre is best known as "The American Matisse, the Artist of Freedom and Love." He is devoted to children's causes and has given or created pieces to help organizations such as Project Hope, The American Red Cross, numerous children's hospitals, missions organizations, and rescue programs around the world.

Pierre and his wife, Jeanne, live in Florida."

My thoughts: This is an excellent memoir by the grandson of Henri Matisse! I love how he brings to life the dark days of Germany invading France during WWII and how it personally affected him and his family. This book is a rare glimpse into that time. It is also a wonderful look at what it was like to grow up in a family that was so talented when it came to art. I love the lessons that his grandpa and parents passed on to Pierre that influenced the artist he is today. This book is an interesting and enjoyable read. The subjects span a wide variety, so most everyone should enjoy this book!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Q & A with
Pierre Henri Matisse
Author of
The Missing Matisse
Pierre Henri Matisse
Was born in Paris in 1928. Brought up as the grandson of
Henri Matisse, Pierre spent his childhood among some of the most famous artists of
the century, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. During WWII, Pierre and his
father, Jean Matisse, were heav
ily involved in French underground activities, wanted
by the Nazis for their efforts in aiding the British spies and saboteurs. When the war
ended, Pierre worked in the restoration of the art and historical monuments damaged
by the war in France. Now a cit
izen of the United States, he is an artist who has
given or created commissioned pieces to help organizations such as Project Hope,
The American Red Cross, numerous children’s hospitals, and many others.
What prompted you to write this book at this time
in your life?
My parents did not tell me much about their lives. I want my children to know about mine
What is your hope for this book?
I love books, and
I have loved to read all my life. Books are where I learned what I know
other people’s life experiences. In hard times
books have been my best friends, my source of
inspiration. I want my book to be an inspiration,
a story
about survival no matter what,
how I relied on
courage, faith, hope and love.
and where were you born?
I was born in Paris,
on the first of February,
Tell us about
spending with your grandfather, Henri Matisse. Did you know then that he
was a famous artist?
I did not spend much time with him, because he was immersed in his art and living in Nice on the
French Riviera, while
I was living in Paris.
As a child,
I had no idea my grandfather was famous
until the day
he came to visit us in Paris and
me to a jazz concert starring
I love music, especially jazz. After the concert Grandfather Matisse
told me that Django was one
of his friends, and asked
me if I wanted to meet
I answered with
an enthusiastic 'yes'
that day on,
I knew that my grandfather Henri had to be very famous if he could access famous
people and call them his friend.
You are an artis
t in your own right, can you tell us
about the color lesson you received
from your grandfather
Henri Matisse
when you were
My mother who
graduated from the
Beaux Arts art school in Paris
had tried to teach
me everything about colors to no avail. I could not figure out
her complicated color
when we visited
Nice during the summer of 1939
she arranged a color lesson for me with
Matisse. My idea about colors was that
the more color
tubes an artist owns
the more
a painter
he is.
So I came to my grandfather with a big box full of color tubes I had
purchased with my own money that I had saved
. Obviously I was going to impress him with my
color arsenal.
I had even memorized the fancy names so I could speak color jargon like a pro.
Grandfather welcomed me into
his studio with a charcoal in his hand and asked me to put my big
box on a table.
foraged through
the box taking out tubes of vermillion, ultramarine blue,
yellow, and white. As he handed me these four colors
, he said
“From now on, paint with these
four colors
rouge, bleu, jaune,
et blanc. I
am confiscating
this box
and forbid you
to buy any
other colors than these four. Now go and
. Convey my love to your mother and father.” End
of the color lesson. On my way back,
I thought that Grandfather
was losing it. How could
talented artist like me possibly turn out masterpieces with these ridiculous four
I decided to give
it a try to prove to him that I could
paint good stuff no matter what.
my painting skills improved drastically. Grandfather Matisse used to say,
“I paint with simple
To this day
I follow his advice.
Can you talk about your memories of WWII and the time you spent with your father, Jean
Matisse, in the French Underground?
My father was involved with British intelligence,
assisting British spies. On more than one
set out in a small boat and
rendezvoused with a British submarine off
Cap d'
on the French Riviera. We brought British spies ashore and hid
them in our home.
the winter of 1943
was an apprentice illustrator at
a print shop. On the side,
helped a
printing business and made
false papers, passes,
fake IDs. On D
, I was living
and when the Nazis began to be pushed back to the Allies, I had encounters with
that should have gotten me killed.
It is a miracle
that we all survived the war.
you were twelve
old, your mother said you needed to stop answering to the
name Matisse and to go by the name Leroy instead. Then she sent you away to
school. Can you discuss the impact that had on you? Did you feel abandoned?
I did not blame my m
other or anybody else. It was
war time, and
being fought in
. My parents had a delicate problem t
o navigate and t
hey did the
best they could
under the cir
As for me
was devastated when it happened. Because I had always
been an adventurous boy who was often getting into trouble, I thought that I had been kicked
of the family for bad conduct.
, I cried. Then I pulled myself together
and asked God for
courage. From that day on
, I felt I was a real man, on my own.
I knew I would have to figure out
life by myself.
When and why did you legally change your name back to Matisse?
I did not change my name
I reclaimed the name I had been known by until
I was twelve years
old. In 1966, with my wife, Jeanne’s encouragement, I began pursuing the documents
I needed
to reclaim my name. Official French school documents
from1939 verified that my name is Renee
Pierre Louis Henri Matisse. The paperwork was presented to legal authorities in France, Canada,
and the United States, and accepted.
Why are you questioning who your father is? Who do you believe is your real father?
My mother told me when I was twelve years old that my last name is Leroy. Later, my
grandmother Leroy tells me that I am not her grandson; I am a Matisse. At the end of the war,
the man who is supposedly my father

Camille Leroy

confirms what his
mother had told me.
“You are not my son” he tells me. What would you do? So who is my father? I want to
know...and DNA will reveal the answer.
Why do you think your mother
was abandoned by the Matisse family at the time of her
The facts were that
my mother, after twenty years of marriage to Jean Matisse, had left him
months before she died.
The Matisse family was rich and when
any of them were
they were
treated at
the American Hospital, the best hospital in Paris at the time.
My mother
was not sent
there. She
died in
a common room with no privacy, in
the most abject conditions.
She was
screaming in agony from unbearable pain.
I loved my mother dearly and am thankful I was able to
be with her in her dying moments. As for the Matisse family’s decision to abandon her, how do
you think I feel about that?
You were recently baptized in a bathtub by Willie Robertson of
Duck Dynasty
fame. How
did you meet him, and what prompted you to
become baptized later in life?
wife, Jeanne, and I became friends with the Robertson’s after Jeanne became seriously ill.
television show made us laugh and we watched it during her recuperation. Eventually, our
families connected and I was invited to give an art lesson on a Duck
Dynasty episode. While
Jeanne and I were in Louisiana, we had dinner at Willie and Korie’s home, and out of the blue,
Willie asked me if I had been baptized. I told him I was not sure. Willie offered to baptize me for
real -right then and there –in his bath tub
I agreed and had a redneck baptism. It has made a
significant difference in my relationship with God and my life in general.
What has your faith taught you about forgiveness and star
ting over?
Resentment, holding grudges, hate, are negative
and guilt for past mistakes that you
can do nothing about will destroy and poison your soul. I am a positive person who is a problem
I believe in finding the good in everything and focusing on it.
Many times, I was forced to
think of alternative solutions to stay alive in the situation I was in. In those difficult circumstances,
it was time to pray for courage.
Tell us about your other interests as a pilot, a photographer, music lover
, art history buff
Sailing a boat, flying a small plane, photography, music,
actually, all of life is about
creating and the word
describes both the process and the end product.
History and art history
are linked together,
they are a blueprint to our precious heritage as they define who we are as
descendants of the true Creator.
I belong to
the same kind of spirited men
who painted
masterpieces on
cave walls
thousands of years ago

Answering the Toughest Questions about God and the Bible

Bestselling Authors Tackle Difficult Issues for Believers and Doubters
When it comes to the big questions about God--Is he real? Why are Christians so unlike Jesus? Does he really care about me?--Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz don't pretend to have all the answers. But they do know how to wrestle with doubt. They welcome questions, and in these pages they ask some of the most important ones you have about God and the Bible. With candor, insight, and a disarming touch of humor, they provide some answers to these critical questions, yet they leave enough space--and grace--for you to keep wrestling, asking, and seeking Truth.
There is no shame in asking--after all, even some of the greatest men and women in the Bible had doubts. Don't let your questions go unanswered. What you find might just change your life.

My thoughts: This book is wonderful! It tackles some of the hard questions that we have about God and the Bible, giving sound, scriptural information to help answer the questions presented. I like the format that the book is set up in and that there are questions set up for reflection and discussion to help the reader dive deeper into the questions then a book can provide. I appreciate how this book leans heavily on scripture to answer questions about God. It makes it a great book for all ages! I think it would be an excellent gift for a high school or college student.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Men Who Love Fierce Women

“Five years into ‘wedded bliss,’ I confessed to Kim that I no longer loved her. We were stuck in a destructive relationship pattern we now refer to as the ‘fierce woman/fearful man’ cycle, and I had lost all hope for a peaceful marriage…” — LeRoy Wagner

What if I’m laid-back and my wife is… not?
How can I lead when I feel emasculated?
I’m not sure I love my wife anymore. What happened?

If you find yourself asking questions like these, LeRoy can relate. In Men Who Love Fierce Women, he is gut-honest about his failures and frustrations as a husband, the realizations that saved his marriage,* and the requirements God places on every husband, laid-back or not. With their insights combined, Kim and LeRoy equip men to rise up, handle conflict, love their wife, and lead their marriage, regardless of who has the stronger personality.

Includes reflection questions at the end of every chapter, plus an appendix for addressing conflict.

*Kim and LeRoy’s interview on Focus on the Family, in which they discuss their marriage and Kim’s book Fierce Women, aired twice and was voted the #1 segment of 2015, prompting the publication of this book.

My thoughts: I thought that this book was excellent! I have read some of the book "Fierce Women", which is a wonderful companion to this one. Some women just have strong personalities. This book is an excellent resource for those women and their husbands, since it shows how God can use the warrior heart and how strong women work together with their husbands to magnify the good qualities in both. I can think of several women who would love this book! It wound up not being quite what I thought for myself to relate to, but I still enjoyed it and think that it is a fabulous set of books!
I received this book from Moody publishers in exchange for my honest review.


Selah has survived the forces of both man and nature to reunite her family. But her happiness is short-lived as they are forced into a barren world of volcanic ash that conceals the storm boiling beneath. The clock is ticking and Selah's abilities are growing--along with the list of those out for her blood.

Selah feels unworthy of her status as a novarium and is tortured by the knowledge of lives lost to protect her. Her physical and mental abilities will tempt her to be reckless, but she must learn to wield such power responsibly. Time is running out as more lives are tragically cut short and the search for the Third Protocol takes Selah into lands that have fallen into legend. Can Selah follow the trail of ancient artifacts and finish the quest? Or have she and her companions pinned their hopes on nothing more than a fanciful story?

Calhoun's characters race headlong into an explosive combination of futuristic technology, age-old greed, and the sacrifices for love that drive them to impossible choices.

My thoughts: This is a wonderful conclusion to the series! I would of loved to have a few more answers, but I feel like the story feels complete. I loved the characters and thought that Bonnie did a wonderful job of bringing them and their quest to life. This is an excellent Young adult series that should delight readers of all ages (I know I enjoy reading fantasy like this!). I look forward to reading the next series or novel by this talented author.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

When Jesus was a Green Eyed Brunette

When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette weaves heartwarming and miraculous stories of Jesus showing up in ordinary people, revealing that He knows us and is fully present in our everyday circumstances, especially in our difficulties. As best-selling author Max Davis puts it, "When we are born again, Jesus lives inside each of us. He is very much alive today and still does incredible things -- sometimes supernatural things -- through us!"
Davis's own life was dramatically altered when he first came face-to-face with Jesus living inside a green-eyed brunette. That encounter started a forty-plus-year journey where Jesus became his best friend. When we see others as God sees us we will love them as God loves us.
Those hurting and weary from worn-out religion are longing for a fresh touch from the living Jesus. By letting Jesus live through us we become a conduit of His love. Authentic Christianity is not about religion but a relationship with Jesus. Davis challenges us to do more than simply receive His grace -- we need to allow grace to soften, change, and shape us. As you read this book, you will laugh, cry, and come face-to-face with the living Jesus.

My thoughts: Max does a wonderful job of weaving his story of meeting Jesus through a green eyed brunette with the stories of others and scripture verses. I love that there are stories of some heroes of faith one will recognize, like Corrie ten Boom, and then there are the stories of every day heroes who have heard the call to follow God and are doing the best to live out that call in their every day life. This book is engaging and fun to read. Not to mention, it challenges the reader to take a look at how to show others God's love.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids

Finally, a practical book for busy parents!

Whether you find parenting intuitive or impossible, we could all use a hand here and there. And we could use it quick! In 8 Simple Tools, child psychologist and father Todd Cartmell walks you through the nuts and bolts of healthy, effective parenting.

Using examples from his home and 20 years of professional practice, Todd gives eight essential and practical tools to help you:

Listen well and respond wisely
Use affirmation to influence your child
Develop a nurturing home culture
Correct behavior in lasting ways
Maintain a healthy relationship with your child
Designed with busy parents in mind, 8 Simple Tools breaks each tool into five short chapters, perfect for when you only have a second. Plus, each chapter ends with a practical “Tip” section that summarizes the main point and helps you apply it right away.

Use even half of the tools in your parenting, and your family dynamics will thrive. Your relationship will be built on love and trust, providing you with fertile ground for planting God’s wisdom in your child's heart and, ultimately, seeing your child flourish.

My thoughts: I really appreciated this book and the practical application of the tools that Dr. Cartmell points out for parents to use to help shape great kids. This book is easy to read, and I like that it takes broad things like being good at listening to your children and shows how you can apply it as a parent. I found the tips in each chapter to be incredible helpful! They really got me thinking about my own actions as a parent.
This is a great book for busy parents! I highly recommend it.
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 14, 2016

French Country Cookbook

A captivating journey to off-the-beaten-path French wine country with 100 simple yet exquisite recipes, 150 sumptuous photographs, and stories inspired by life in a small village

“Francophiles and armchair travelers who loved Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table and David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen will gladly add this classic title to their collections.”
—Library Journal, starred review

Readers everywhere fell in love with Mimi Thorisson, her family, and their band of smooth fox terriers through her blog, Manger, and debut cookbook, A Kitchen in France. In French Country Cooking, the family moves to an abandoned old château in Médoc. While shopping for local ingredients, cooking, and renovating the house, Mimi meets the farmers and artisans who populate the village and learns about the former owner of the house, an accomplished local cook. Here are recipes inspired by this eccentric cast of characters, including White Asparagus Soufflé, Wine Harvest Pot au Feu, Endives with Ham, and Salted Butter Chocolate Cake. Featuring evocative photographs taken by Mimi’s husband, Oddur Thorisson, this cookbook is a charming jaunt to an untouched corner of France that has thus far eluded the spotlight.
About the Author
MIMI THORISSON is the author of A Kitchen in France and Manger, a blog devoted to French cooking and her life in the French countryside. She is the host of the French cooking shows La Table de Mimi and Les Desserts de Mimi. She lives with her husband, their children, and their smooth fox terriers in an old château in St Yzans, in the Médoc region of France.

My thoughts : This cookbook is gorgeous! I love the variety of dishes and how they are different and impressive while using, for the most part, simple ingredients. I love the sweet crust recipe, and look forward to trying chestnut bread. I also look forward to trying my hand at making beignets, something I've wanted to make for a while now.
This is a delightful cookbook!
I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.

Take ten: favorite movies

This week, the subject over at the Broke and Bookish is top ten movies.

1. Emma

This is probably my all time favorite movie! It's been a while since I have watched it (I would blame it on marriage and children, but my hubby has actually watched it with me and doesn't mind rewatching movies. I may need to see what my toddler thinks of it...:)), so I need to pull it out!

2. North and South

Love this movie, love this scene!

3. Lord of the Rings

4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

5. Harry Potter

6. Matilda

I have a disclaimer with this one, it has been ages since I saw it, but I loved it as a kid!

7.Emma Mini series

Pray A to Z

Pray A-Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father. Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A-Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.

My thoughts: I loved this fresh perspective on praying for your community! It's easy to tell people that they should be praying more, but this book is a great resource that will give you ideas on what to pray for. I love that it is set up so that it can be used as a devotional, giving you a subject for each day. Or, you can take more than one per day! I never thought to pray for some of the things in this book, like for the homeless or those who are grieving. This book also served as a good reminder for me to be praying for things like the marriages of those around me or law enforcement.
All around, this is an excellent book for one to do alone, but would also be great to do as a group.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Raining Fools review and giveaway


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Bekka Winters hung up the phone. Ethan, her brother, needed her help with his new music production studio. She stared at her already packed bags. Why not? She’d just graduated from college and didn’t exactly have a job to go to. Besides, a music video might look good on her resume when she looked for real work.

Stephen Gaines couldn’t believe Ethan had called him after their last blow up. They’d been music partners once. Stephen had ruined that. It was his expertise to wreck relationships especially those he had with women. Fortunately, Ethan didn’t know about him and Bekka. She was the one woman that had broken through to the deep parts of his heart. If only… how many times had he said that in the past? A fresh start is just what he needed.

Bekka’s mind bubbled with ideas for Ethan’s studio. Not to mention she couldn’t wait to see Ethan and Haley, the woman who’d captured her brother’s heart. But when she pulled into the drive and saw the familiar fancy car that Stephen drove, her heart dropped. There was no way she’d let him back into her life.

My thoughts: This is such a fun story of two people trying to discover God's will for their lives. I loved the themes of love, grace, and second chances. I haven't read the first book in the series, but I am wanting to go back and read it now, since I feel like I was missing out on the first part of Ethan and Haley's story! That said, I think this book can stand alone, since the author does a fabulous job of focusing on the main characters and not making the book be so much of a continuation of the first one, though in ways, it does tell more of Ethan and Haley's story. If that makes sense.
This is a wonderful story that will delight readers of all ages!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Jackie Castle looks for the extraordinary in every ordinary day that she experiences. She is the author of The White Road Chronicles a fantasy series, The Sentinel Archives for school-age readers, and newly released Madison Creek Bed & Breakfast romance series. She has also published articles and short stories in numerous magazines. She’s enjoyed many crazy adventures from working as a hairstylist, to her bravest quest: teaching children in daycare and elementary schools. Eventually, she settled down to a somewhat safer pursuit of being a Story-weaver.

Now she lives in her comfortable Texas home where she spins entertaining tales and enjoys relaxing in the evenings with her husband Bob, their children and grandchild.

Her favorite pastime, besides reading, is traipsing through her imaginary worlds in search of another story.

Find out more about her shenanigans over at Jackie Castle’s Story World: There you can also sign up for her monthly newsletter.

Guest Post from Jackie Castle

I’m best known for my fantasy series, The White Road Chronicles, and I love the make-believe world of Alburnium. But as these stories have traveled towards the ending, I’ve decided to venture into a more modern world. I enjoy a good, clean romance as much as anyone else, and I love writing stories about communities where people band together for the greater good.

So, I came up with Madison Creek, a small town on the verge of dying out. But the people there aren’t ready to give up. They decide that if they band together, maybe they can revive their little lakeside town and make it thrive.

My husband is from Michigan. I’m from California. We met in the middle: Texas. He’s adapted quite well to the south, loving the hot summers, hot food, and well, he simply likes being warm. Though I miss my moderate California, I’ve also grown to love Texas. Whenever we travel up north to visit his family, we lament over to lack of flavorful food and the ability to stay warm. (Even in the summer we’ve had to wear winter coats!!)

We are often teased by his family for how we put two syllables into words such as fire, dead and y’all. (Yes, he’s been in Texas long enough now to have developed a bit of a twang). I don’t know how many times we’ve talked about moving up north to open a BBQ joint so there’d be somewhere good to eat. Except, we both hate the cold and I’m sure I’d never survive a Michigan winter. I spent two weeks up there once in December, and swore I’d never do that again. I mean, 4 feet of snow in one night? Good Lord have mercy!

Basically, that’s how I came up with Haley Madison, the blond Texas gal who inherited her grandpop’s farmland in Madison Creek, Michigan. Her life has been one big mess after another and she’s determined to take this opportunity to set things right. She’s lived on ranches for over half her life and loves to cook a lot of food for folks. (My family was always big on cooking lots of food at holiday gatherings, so it just seems natural.)

Haley ends up meeting Ethan Winters, who she calls the handsome Yankee that plays a violin. The first book, Snow Belle is about how they meet. The second book, Raining Fools, continues Ethan and 

Haley’s story in the background. But in Raining Fools, you’ll meet Ethan’s sister Bekka and his best friend, Stephen Gaines who have a history with each other that neither cares to remember, except those old feelings they had for each other refuse to go away. Bekka, though strong in her faith, is uncertain about what God wants her to do with her life. Stephen, a playboy with a troubled past, appreciates his friend’s strong faith, but believes God doesn’t care about the ‘little people.’ At least, not until a series of mishaps has him taking a second look at the Winters’ beliefs.

What I hope people take away from my story beside an entertaining tale, is that God loves them. That they belong to a kingdom that’s bigger than themselves. That we are stronger together than apart. These are themes that readers can find in my stories.

 I have several more ideas for novels and novellas that will continue Haley and Ethan’s story while we meet various people who visit the B&B when they come to Madison Creek hoping to start a new life. My hope is that readers will come to enjoy visiting this quirky little town as much as I do when I write the stories. Texas might have its spicy food and natural ruggedness, but I do love Michigan’s wild beauty and kindhearted folks. I just love it more in the summertime.

Blog Stops

November 3: Quiet Quilter
November 8: Janet Pecorella
November 8: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
November 10: A Greater Yes
November 11: Blogging With Carol
November 13: Carpe Diem
November 14: Mom Is Forever


In honor of her tour, Jackie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!