Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Lemon's are a Girl's Best Friend

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Lemons Are a Girl's Best Friend is a handy, pocket-sized guide to thirty superfoods, each with two simple recipes--one to eat and one to use as a beauty treatment, complete with notes about each food's benefits and best uses.

With 60 recipes for healthy dishes and all-natural beauty treatments, Lemons Are a Girl's Best Friend lets you have your Pomegranate Facial and eat your Halloumi, Orange, and Pomegranate Salad, too. Each of the recipes uses just a handful of all-natural, common ingredients to make deliciously clean dishes and easy treatments for healthier skin, hair, and nails. Each superfood is introduced with a list of its active compounds, which are then translated into tangible benefits--for example, the Vitamin C in the Tomato and Basil Bruschetta gives your immune system a boost, while the lycopene in the Tomato Face Mask protects your skin from free radicals and UV rays. With recipes for grocery store staples (oats, sweet potatoes, cucumbers) and buzzy superfoods (seaweed, chia seeds, cider vinegar) alike, there is something in Lemons for everyone!

My thoughts: I love making natural beauty treatments, so I thought that this book was perfect! I love that there are recipes for things you can eat and then different beauty treatments you can make a home. The variety of foods you can use with this book makes it so much fun. I think this would be a fun book to pull out for a girls night, make the foods ahead and then each pick a couple of the beauty recipes to make. So many fun combinations!
I received this book from Blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Books I could re-read forever

This week the topic is books that I could re-read forever. While I love my books, this one is a bit hard for me, since I don't usually re-read my books unless they are exceptional.

1. The Bible

Yeap, plenty here to keep me busy.;)

2. The Chronicles of Narnia

I bet you didn't see that one coming.;) If you have followed my blog for any period of time, you know that this one makes my list as often as I can find an excuse to put it there! (and yes, it totally counts as 1 for the whole series!) I love that it was written for children, so it is simple and yet complex.

3. Persuasion

4. Eight Cousins

5. Rose In Bloom

6. Mere Christianity
7. The Screwtape Letters

8. Harry Potter

9. Emma

10. P.S. I Like You

This one is just too cute! I love the banter and how the story progresses.;)

What books are on your list?

A Refuge Assured

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Vivienne Rivard fled revolutionary France and seeks a new life for herself and a boy in her care, who some say is the Dauphin. But America is far from safe, as militiaman Liam Delaney knows. He proudly served in the American Revolution but is less sure of his role in the Whiskey Rebellion. Drawn together, will Liam and Vivienne find the peace they long for?

My thoughts: This book is packed full of historical facts! I enjoyed that it contrasted Vivienne fleeing from one revolt to a country that had recently revolted. The story is multi layered, with mysteries surrounding the young boy in Vivienne's care and the secret of Vivienne's own parentage. There is a lot going on between the history and fiction, that the book flows smoothly. I didn't know a lot about the Whiskey Rebellion, nor the Pennsylvanian town Assylum, so it was interesting to discover the history behind that side of the story.
This is an intense, rich historical tale.
I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

I recently reviewed The Lacemaker by Laura Franz and found it neat that the two authors wove their stories together a bit.;)

Just because I have been sick with a sore throat. These are amazing!

Saturday, February 24, 2018


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In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father's plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

My thoughts: This book was quite the unique look at history and the hardships that went with living in the Caribbean in the late 1700's. Lisa does a wonderful job of bringing both the characters and the time period to life, I could only imagine how terrifying it would of been to move across the world and live on a sugar plantation! The only thing I was a little skeptical about was what Keturah was caught up in when she broke her leg.
Really though, this is a great, historical story. I look forward to reading the other books!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

The Saturday Night Supper Club

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

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My thoughts: I loved the look at life as a professional chef that this book affords! I know working in food service is hard work, since I was a waitress and then a baker, but I didn't realize just how grueling the hours are when you work in a high class restaurant.
I enjoyed the characters in this book and look forward to the following books in the series. I like that this book was not only about Rachel and Alex, but also had a lot going on with Rachel's two friends and Alex's sister. I look froward to continuing the ongoing story of where Rachel will go from here.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post From Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.

It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.

It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.

Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.

All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.

Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.

And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.

It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.

In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

For a full list of the blog stops, go here

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
Just go here to enter

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tasty Latest and Greatest

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Tasty, Buzzfeed's popular cooking brand, delivers both comforting and healthy weeknight dinners for meat-lovers, vegetarians, and vegans alike, plus treats like ice cream, chocolate desserts, and rainbow recipes galore. You’ve been mesmerized by their top down recipe videos, but there’s still something about having a tangible album of edible deliciousness at your fingertips. Enter: TASTY LATEST & GREATEST. This cookbook is just that: 80+ winning recipes, anointed by fans like you, that have risen to the top of the heap, powered by likes and comments and shares and smiles and full bellies. They represent how you’re cooking today. Whether it’s a trend-driven dish like a pastel glitter-bombed unicorn cake or a classic like lasagna, every recipe has staying power. Now you can deliver on the promise of a great dish whenever the urge strikes. Get ready—your cooking is about to go viral.

My thoughts: My brother is forever showing me the Tasty videos and cooking from them. I think they are a great way to get visual learners to cook! I much prefer a good old cookbook though, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of this one! The recipes are phenomenal, since they are easy to do and taste delicious. I love the variety! So, if you are like me and prefer to have a recipe to look at in a book, then I highly recommend this cookbook!
I received a copy of this from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Beneath a Prairie Moon

Readers rabid for the sweet historical romances of Tracie Peterson and Tamara Alexander will flock to best-selling author Kim Vogel Sawyer's prairie-set heartwarmer of high society cast-off and the western town that welcomes her.

Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can "marry up" with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he's put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the "little city gal" in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won't bring happiness?

My thoughts: I love that this story is told from 4 different points of view, which gives a fun look at life on the prairie and what it might of been like to order a mail order bride. I love that this book adds a twist, with Abigail heading West to help teach the men some manners.
This is a sweet, delightful story! I only wish that there had been a bit more to the ending/conclusion.
This book is an excellent one to pick up if you enjoy sweet historical stories.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Always Fall Forward

“Make your mistakes full speed.” “Always fall forward.” “There are worse things than dying.”

Todd Gerelds, author of the bestselling book and hit movie Woodlawn, believes the most meaningful life lessons he has learned have been on the playing field. The voice of his coach rings in his head when life gets tough or when his day becomes off-kilter. It just happens that his coach’s voice is also his father’s. His dad was Tandy “The Coach” Gerelds, the subject of Woodlawn and the man who led his team to victory in the racially charged atmosphere of 1970s Alabama. The Coach led his team both on and off the field, always speaking wisdom wherever he went. For him, leading his team wasn’t a responsibility he took lightly. After all, the Coach wasn’t just training these boys to be good football players―he was helping them build the foundation to becoming good men.

In Always Fall Forward, join the Coach’s son, Todd Gerelds, as he reflects on fifty-two of his dad’s most formative “coachisms.” From “Your stance is critical” to “One play at a time,” you, too, will start hearing the strong and encouraging voice of the Coach when life hits you hard. Packed with life application, Always Fall Forward challenges men each week to live the way the Coach lived―grounded in faith and willing to stand up for what he believed―no matter the cost.

You won’t want to forget these lessons―both on and off the field

My thoughts: When I first ordered this book, I had no idea who Tandy Gerelds was. Then, just before starting this book, my dad turned on Woodlawn when I was over there. I highly recommend watching the movie or reading the book with this one! The story is excellent. As is this book! I enjoyed reading this book, even though I am not an avid fan of football, since so many of the lessons apply well to life. I loved how the thoughts, quotes, memories, and scripture tie together. Whether you are a football fan or not, this book applies well to everyday life.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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Real Life Romance

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Do you believe in true love?

In a world of broken relationships and hurting people, it can seem like all we ever see is heartache—that marriages are doomed from the start and romance isn’t worth the risk.

But heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us…we just have to look for it!

This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Page after page, you will find inspiration to

—rekindle the romance in your love story
—trust in God’s providence and timing
—faithfully hope for your own happily-ever-after
—celebrate true romance
—believe in life-long love

Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people—knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

My thoughts: I love hearing the stories of how couples got together, so this book was right up my alley! I love how, not only does this book share how the couples get together, but also some thoughts and scripture verses to go with each story, so it is almost like a devotional. The variety of stories in this book is quite the assortment, showing how God works in relationships, even when we don't see the evidence right away.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Top ten books I've decided I am no longer interested in reading

1. When A Devil Drives

I enjoyed the Liberty Lane mysteries that I read, but I don't remember much about the series, so I don't know that I will be picking the rest of it up any time soon.

2. The Franchise Affair

I read Daughter of Time ages ago, and bought a few other Josephine Tey books to read. I just don't have enough time on my hands, so they may never be read.

3. Winds of Change series

I like Julie's writing, but if I fall behind on an author's books, I generally don't take the time to go back and read the ones I missed.

4. The Emperor's Conspiracy

This one looks gorgeous.

5. The Fairest Beauty

I've read a couple of the books in this series, but they haven't really grabbed my attention, despite being re-tellings of fairy tales, something I adore.

6. Revolutionary

I feel like I should go back and finish this series, since I read the first and second books.

7. The Selection

I think I read through the first and second, but was kind of mad at the whole situation when her friend falls in love with a guard.:P

8. The Sentinels of Andersonville

I love Tracy's books, but I have to be in the mood for them. So, I don't know that I will ever get back to this one.

9. Maggie Hope mysteries

I keep looking at these, but haven't invested in them, so I kind of doubt that I will.

10. The Loose Ends List

I don't know that I can handle this story.
Are there books on this list I should re-consider? What books are on your list?

Sunrise, Easter Suprise review and giveaway!

A lively Easter board book depicting the joy that spread with the news of Jesus' Resurrection

All of creation is alive with the news: Jesus lives! From chirping birds to chattering rabbits to buzzing bees, the pages of this Easter board book spill over with joy. With cheerful verse and lighthearted-yet-reverent illustrations, Sunrise, Easter Surprise! imagines Jesus' Resurrection from the perspectives of those who might have seen and heard of it first: the sun as it rose, a flower as it bloomed, and the first people at the empty tomb. This exuberant Easter book offers even the littlest listener a better understanding of what the Resurrection means to all creation: new life through Jesus. Ages 2-5.

My thoughts: We are enjoying this little board book! My son loves the colorful pictures of different animals. I love how it shows nature as anticipating what is coming after Jesus was in the tomb for three days. This is a fun little book to give a young child for Easter! It's an easy, short read that my child are enjoying time and again.
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaway! Worthy is offering a copy of this book to one of my lucky followers! Just leave me a comment with your child (or your!) favorite animal and a way for me to contact you if you should win. The giveaway will last one week!
Can't wait for the giveaway to close? Click the link below to purchase a copy of the book.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

If Only He Knew review and Giveaway!

It’s 1968, and love is in the air in the small coastal town of Cambridge, California.
Donna Peterson, the preacher’s daughter, has her entire life ahead of her and the future looks promising. But things aren’t as they seem in Cambridge. A tangled web of secrets threaten to destroy the lives of each person involved – Donna, her boyfriend Bobby, and Rick, Bobby’s best friend. Will the truth make them free, or will they lose their friendship forever?

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My review
This book is an interesting one, since it deals with a time period that a lot of Christian authors shy away from, the late 1960's. I felt like, for the most part, it did a great job of bringing to life the time.
This one does deal with some tough issues, so I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. I feel like the characters could of had a bit more feeling to the difficult situations they were put in (like apprehensive about being sent off to war?). I do look forward to reading more by the authors though!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author
Author Michelynn Christy resides in the Midwest and enjoys creating romantic stories that point to Jesus. Her faith in God shines through the pages of her writing. Michelynn’s debut novelette A Christmas to Remember launched in late 2015. While this pen name and genre are somewhat new to her, she has penned over twenty titles under another pseudonym, has won awards for her works, and has earned best-selling title status. With that said, all glory goes to God!
Brandi Gabriel is co-author of twelve Christian fiction books, including this one. Her first solo novel, The Orphan Bride, released in 2016 and she has since added a sequel in the same series. Her goal in writing is to touch readers’ hearts in some special way and to glorify Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior.

Guest post from Michelynn and Brandi
Take a step back in time…

If He Only Knew is a novel set in the late 1960s. The book deals with family relationships, loyalty, friendship, love, and loss. The main topic is somewhat controversial in nature, but we won’t mention what it is lest we spoil the story for readers. A similar book was written in a different genre under another name and the story really resonated with readers. We felt compelled to share this story with others who perhaps wouldn’t pick up that particular genre, and that is how this book came about. It may be set in the sixties, but the message is as relevant today as ever. Our prayer is that God will touch readers’ hearts and draw them closer to Him.

Blog Stops

Enter the Giveaway! (Be sure to comment here for an entry, which you much verify on the giveaway page!)
Grand Prize: ONE themed book box, (this will contain small items that relate to the story
1st Place Prize: ONE $25 Amazon gift card,
2nd Place Prize: ONE signed paperback copy of If He Only Knew
3rd Place Prize: ONE signed paperback copy of If He Only Knew

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Greatest Showman | This Is Me Lyric Video | 2018

My husband stayed home with the kids so I could have the chance to go see The Greatest Showman with my sister and mom (and a few other family members. It was suppose to be a girls night, but kind of grew. lol). What a fun musical!  While I realize they took quite a few liberties with the story (That's Hollywood, right? Some of the history behind P.T. Barnum's circus can be found here) and could of done without Barnum's infatuation, I did think it was well done and an enjoyable story about acceptance and dreaming big. For me, it represented the glitz and wonder side of the circus.

Some of my favorite stories that are about the circus:

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why I hate Green Beans

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If there is one thing Lincee Ray has learned over the years, it's that the majority of women on the planet struggle with insecurities. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our just-trying-to-help mothers are just driving us crazy. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else's picture-perfect lives. It's enough to send you on a gummy-bear bender while binge-watching Friends reruns and not showering for a week. Lincee knows. She's been there. Right there, in fact. Gummy bears and all.

For every woman who's ever wondered if she's unlovable, uninteresting, or unattractive, Lincee offers her particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection. Like a true friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection, trust that God knew what he was doing when he made us, and maybe go buy a new tube of mascara. Walk alongside Lincee as she discovers that her identity is not found in her job, her relationship status, her bank account, or her social circle. It's found in Christ.

My thoughts: This book is excellent! It's like sitting down with a good friend and discussing the things that are on your heart. I love her open way of sharing, and her sense of humor! This book will resonate with women in all walks of life, since we all struggle with insecurities and remembering to find our worth in Christ.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

I Will Not Fear

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In 1957, Melba Beals was one of the nine African American students chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But her story of overcoming didn't start--or end--there. While her white schoolmates were planning their senior prom, Melba was facing the business end of a double-barreled shotgun, being threatened with lynching by rope-carrying tormentors, and learning how to outrun white supremacists who were ready to kill her rather than sit beside her in a classroom. Only her faith in God sustained her during her darkest days and helped her become a civil rights warrior, an NBC television news reporter, a magazine writer, a professor, a wife, and a mother.

In I Will Not Fear, Beals takes readers on an unforgettable journey through terror, oppression, and persecution, highlighting the kind of faith needed to survive in a world full of heartbreak and anger. She shows how the deep faith we develop during our most difficult moments is the kind of faith that can change our families, our communities, and even the world. Encouraging and inspiring, Beals's story offers readers hope that faith is the solution to the pervasive hopelessness of our current culture.

My thoughts: This is an incredible memoir about the civil rights movement and what it was like to grow up in the 1950's and 60's. I thought the stories that Melba shares are interesting, and loved the testimonies! It was sad to read some of the experiences that she had to go through, even in more recent years. This book is an inspiring account of one woman who wouldn't give up, even when faced with difficult choices.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

A Passionate Hope

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Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

My thoughts: This book does a fantastic job of bringing to life the story of Hannah and what the details of her story might of looked like. I thought that Jill did a wonderful job of breathing life into the story! It would of been hard to give up the little boy who was an answer to your prayers, but also the faith that she had to of had. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, then I recommend picking up a copy of A Passionate Hope!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Helping children deal with grief

We lost several loved ones over the holidays and have had some tough discussions at our home lately. I recently stumbled upon this podcast by Focus on the Family where they had Kathleen Fucci come and talk about her experience with marrying a widower and the struggles and victories that they had as a family. She has some wonderful advise on how to handle those tough discussions with children. I loved her message, and highly recommend both it and her book! I know they have been a tremendous blessing to my family.

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In All Things

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This accessible and practical Bible study of the book of Philippians invites you to discover a joy and contentment that will carry you through every circumstance of life.

With warm teaching and perspective-shifting insights, Bible teacher Melissa Kruger walks you through the power-packed words of the apostle Paul to believers in the early church to discover what he knew about the secret to unshakeable peace--and how his insights can help any woman discover a secure and satisfying contentment no matter what life may bring. With the Scripture passages printed right in the book for handy reference, this is an ideal resource for busy women of any life stage who want to deepen their spiritual life and increase their daily joy.

My thoughts: This study came at the perfect time for me! I love that it is so firmly rooted in scripture and shows that we can have joy even when things are incredibly difficult. I love the scriptures that reminded me that it wasn't easy in the early church, but we have a hope that is beyond this world, and that alone should give us joy.
I received this book from Blogging for books.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Your Money Map

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"The practical principles in Your Money Map are powerful and life-changing because are they based on the Bible. My only regret is that I did not read it twenty years ago. Don’t make the same mistake!"

—Joe Gibbs, former NFL head coach and founder of NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing
This book will transform your finances . . . and your life.

When you learn what the God of the universe says about handling money—and apply it—everything changes. Your Money Map shows you how.

This biblical and practical guide is for everyone—single or married, young or old, whether you earn a little or a lot. It helps you:

Frame your finances within God’s big picture
Determine and change the trajectory of your financial situation
Establish and follow 7 steps for wise stewardship.

Follow the principles in Your Money Map toward financial freedom and you will know a joy, peace, and confidence about your finances that few ever do.

Includes discussion questions, tools, and resources to help you put the book into practice.

My thoughts: This book is excellent! While we have done some of the Dav Ramsey practices, I always enjoy reading different philosophies on managing money. I like that this book has thoughts on saving for college (including how your children can help) and what to do when starting a business. If you are looking to be a better steward over your finances, then I highly recommend this book!
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

This I know

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How to live like God's in control

Do you worry often about what the future holds? Do you long for peace but don’t know how to have it? Do you know factually that God is trustworthy, but not practically how to live that out?

This I Know is a Bible study for those who want to walk upon the water. It guides women into biblical truths about the character of God so they can step faithfully into the unknown, confident in the God they do know. Corrie Ten Boom said it best, “Never be afraid to trust your unknown future to a known God.”

Join Laura Dingman as she journeys through Acts 17, James 1, Habakkuk 3, Psalm 46, 2 Chronicles 20, and Joshua 3, diving into subjects like abundance in Jesus, the goodness of God in trial, and the value of remembering God’s past faithfulness. Each week offers opportunity for prayer, interaction with the biblical text, journaling, and group discussion. Using Scripture, insights from her own life, and prompts for reflection, Laura points readers continuously to the unchanging character of God, helping them surrender their lives to Him and give Him all their trust.

My thoughts: I needed this Bible study group, due to recent events. I love that this Bible study is all about trusting God with the unknown, since none of us know what tomorrow holds. I love the journaling prompts that are in the book. And, I love the scripture verses is presents each day, and how they weave together with the thoughts. This is an excellent study to do, whether with a group or on your own!
I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Enter the Ring

Enter the Ring takes a fresh, powerful, vulnerable approach to marriage by framing it as the fight that it is. The world uses different assaults and tactics to distract us, tempting us to walk away, in order to destroy our marriages. But there is hope: The constant forgiveness, grace, and intervention of God can preserve and protect us from not only the world but also ourselves.

D. A. and Elicia Horton explore the tension of two people becoming one and how spouses often fight over which “one of us” they become. They unpack topics such as

Seasons of suffering
Sexual and physical intimacy
The spiritual life of the home

This book approaches the traditional topics of a marriage book with the brutal and life-giving honesty of two millennials who have fought together for their marriage. All topics are addressed through the vulnerable lens of the authors’ own struggles and mistakes.

This is a no-holds-barred, real-world . . . marriage book.

My thoughts: What I love about this book is the transparency that the Hortons give the reader, since they have been in a lot of difficult places through the years, but offer hope to those who have or are struggling. A side note, I thought it was cute that they grew up together, and enjoyed their story!
This book addresses a lot of the common problems in marriage and is a wonderful message of hope, as well as a reminder of our calling in our lives and marriages. I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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Take ten: Books I am in love with

This week, the topic is something Valentines/love related, so I am going to go with books/covers that I am in love with!

1. The Secret Garden

This one is just gorgeous! I love how Mary is disappearing into the garden!

2. A Little Princess

Isn't this one just darling?

3. Pride and Prejudice

These little Baby Lit books are just so cute! And, I love that they introduce little ones to the classics. Even if they are very modified. lol.

4. The Hunger Games Trilogy

5. The Lord of the Rings

I recently discovered Juniper books. I wish I were independently wealthy....;)

6. Harry Potter

Either would do.;)

7. Listen to your Heart

This one is going on since Kasie's books are the perfect stories for Valentines day.;)

8. The Secret Garden

I obviously need to re-read the Secret Garden, since I am so drawn to different versions of it!

9. Love Is

This one looks darling!

10. This is not a Valentine

Another cute one for the littles!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cousin shirts

My family is hoping to take family pictures this spring, so my SIL brought up the idea of doing cousin shirts for the kids. I love the idea! I think the saying "Cousins make the best friends" is my favorite, that I have seen, but it might be fun to do a couple of rompers for the two new babies in the family that say "New to the Tribe". Thoughts? Opinions?

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Across the Blue Giveaway

About the Book:
Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

I love Carrie's book, since they are lovely stories that bring history alive. Fans of Downton Abbey should love these books, since they are set in the same time period, that of pre-WWI England, as the world was changing at a rapid rate.
The publishers have graciously offered to give away one copy of Across the Blue to one of my readers! If you would like to be entered into the giveaway, please leave a way to for me to contact you, should you win, along your favorite time period in history and why it's your favorite. Good luck!

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No Small Storm Review and Giveaway!

About the Book
September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island

Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.

Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.

With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves.

But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen—or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.

My thoughts: This is an excellent, historical read! I thought the historical premise of the story was interesting, a hurricane hitting a Rhode Island and a town that was unprepared for the storm. I thought the characters were well written! Mem is a strong heroine, with being forced to run an orchard in a mans world. The historical detail and characters are wonderful in this book! I highly recommend it.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Go here to purchase a copy (this is an affiliate link)

About the Author:
Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.

Guest Post from Anne Mateer:

I’m always up for a good historical story. It’s what I enjoy reading. It’s what I enjoy writing. But I find that my pleasure in any historical fiction increases exponentially when the story at hand is based on at least a kernel of historical fact. All four of my full-length novels share this trait. So it stood to reason that when turning my mind to a historical novella I would seek the same grounding in truth I’ve sought before.

So what historical fact inspired No Small Storm? It was a combination of them, actually. Which I think always makes for the best tales!

I like an overarching historical event to help frame a story. Things like war or economic crisis or natural disaster. Situations in the historical record which required courage or resilience or sacrifice from the people who lived through them. When I stumbled upon the Great Gale of 1815, which hit Providence, Rhode Island particularly hard, I knew it could provide obstacles for my characters to overcome.

As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms were commonly called hurricanes—I happened upon some first hand accounts of that day. Fascinating remembrances about a storm arriving without much preamble, then departing and leaving bright sunny skies with which to view the destruction.

And destruction there was! Not only from wind and water, but also the fact that both of those things unleashed the ships moored in the harbor and sent them sailing down the main street of town! Can you imagine looking out of the second or third story window of a building which was likely flooded on the ground floor and seeing a ship coming at you?

That, in itself, was dramatic enough. Especially when coupled with the fact that those ships often broke apart, whether from wind and waves or from contact with the buildings and bridges they encountered on land. Then I considered the in those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.

It was just such a circumstance that brought one man to the window of a young woman. She helped him inside. They were later married. And if finding such a story that isn’t a romance writer’s delight, I don’t know what is!

Finally, as I continued to read about the destruction in the area, I discovered a few lines about area orchards. The hanging fruit was found covered with a dusting of white. When tasted, it was discovered to be salt. Salt from storm surge and sea spray. Salt that saturated, even miles inland. Water and wind—and they salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?

And so No Small Storm was born, with Remembrance and Simon each trying to make a good life for themselves, each trying to trust God as they work hard. Each keeping careful watch over their heart. But sometimes circumstances take things we don’t want to give. And give things we never imagined possible.

Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires. It’s the kind of story I love to read. And the kind of story I’m proud to write.

Blog Stops:
Go here for a list of the blog stops!

To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away a grand prize of a reader bag of goodies—including a Pride and Prejudice fleece throw, a “reading” charm necklace from Storied Jewelry, a Secret Garden litograph tote bag, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!! Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 entries!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Sea Before Us

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a "Wren" in the Women's Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France--including those of her own family's summer home--in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin's practiced pen with this powerful new series.

My thoughts: I was so thrilled to receive this book in the mail last week, since I have become a huge fan of Sarah's WWII stories and how they show how the women helped the war effort. I thought that this one was an excellent start to her new series, Sunrise at Normandy, which will showcase three different brothers working in the different branches of the military.
I loved the characters in this one! I adored getting to know them as they developed over the course of the story. The only thing that disappoints is that I have to wait until next year for the next story to come out!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

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Power Plates

Focused on the art of crafting complete, balanced meals that deliver sustained energy and nourishment, this book features 100 compelling and delicious recipes that just happen to be vegan.

These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal--things like Smoky Red Lentil Stew with Chard, and Falafel Bowls with Freekah and Cauliflower. Photographs accompany each recipe, showing how Gena's simple techniques and fresh ingredients yield delicious meals. Additional tips and tricks for taking food on the go, and for cooking ahead on the weekend for quick weekday lunches and dinners, round out the collection.

My thoughts: I like that this recipe book has a variety of dishes in it, packed full of vitamins, nutrients, and flavor! I don't eat Vegan exclusively, but I do enjoy trying out Vegan recipes, so this cookbook adds a fun variety of foods to my menu. The roasted zucchini tacos and deli bowls are amazing! I love the soup recipes too. This book will be a fun one to have on hand once farmers markets start back up!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

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When God made Light

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From the author and illustrator of the best-selling When God Made You comes a new illuminating message about God's design affirming young readers.

'Let there be light!' that's what God said. And light began shining and then started to spread." Wild and creative illustrations from top children's illustrator David Catrow pair with Matthew Paul Turner's lyrical verse in this message of a God-made light that cuts through darkness to bring vision and hope to all young readers. This light radiates, chasing away the shadows, providing the wonder and fun of stargazing or firefly chasing. Most important, this light appears in each child--an inner God-given spark that grows and will be used to change the world.

My thoughts: This is such a darling book! We have the first one, When God Made You, which is darling as well. I love the illustrations in this book and how it focuses on light. Not only does it talk about God creating light and the different ways we see that light, but it also talks about the light that is within each of us. I like how it also addresses not being afraid of the dark (something we have been working on). This book is just darling!
I received this book from Waterbrook in exchange for my honest review.

Cold Water

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Having forfeited his youth to the state prison system, Michael moved back to the only home he'd ever known. An empty shell of a man who now lived--if it could be called living--in the still vacant house of his parents in a town with one stoplight. A town that hated him. Had always hated him. And was ready to pick up where the prison system had let off.

Now he's on the run from men who've tried to kill him once; but Michael is more than an ex-con. A powerful, sinister force creeps inside him, threatening and destructive. Who--and what--it will destroy next is the only real question. From the bold voice that brought readers down Purgatory Road comes a new pulse-pounding, spine-rattling tale of vengeance and justice that will have them up all night.

My thoughts: Oh my. This one is hard to put down! I didn't know what to expect, since I didn't read Purgatory Road, but it wound up being an suspenseful read that brought to life the supernatural. If you enjoy Frank Peretti style books, then I think you will love this one!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Phoebe's Light

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Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she's doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a "minder" on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary's journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe's shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way--just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

My thoughts: I love that this book is about two different women in two separate time periods. I loved learning more about Puritans and Quakers in early American history, and look forward to reading more of Mary Coffin's story in the next book in the series.
Suzanne has written another wonderful historical novel with Phoebe's Light! I love her attention to historical detail and how the characters come alive!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Melody of the Soul review and giveaway

Anna has one chance for survival—and it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.

It’s 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she’ll do anything to keep her safe—a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.

Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.

Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.

My thoughts: This book was an interesting new look on WWII, with it being set in Prague and being about a Jewish musician. I thought that the story was unique and easy to get into, and I loved that some of it was based on a true story! If you enjoy WWII stories, then this one is an enjoyable read to pick up.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

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