Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Review- Shenandoah Dreams

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shenandoah Dreams
OakTara Publishers (July 1, 2014)
by
Lisa Belcastro


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.

She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.

In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.

ABOUT THE BOOK

What if she met the man of her dreams...in another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They re sailing the waters around the island of Martha s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770. What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way home...to the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.

If you liked to read the first chapter of Shenandoah Dreams, go HERE.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book.  With the fantasy twist of going back in time it was not like the Christian fiction books I normally read. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to find giveaways and linkys


Lately I have been looking for new giveaways to enter as well as linkys to add my blog posts to.  The other night I was searching using swagbucks to try and find some lists of blogs with giveaway linkys on them. (That is my swagbucks referral link if you are not already earning those gift cards it is time to get on the band wagon!!)   I found this Linky Tools Directory. This has been very helpful to me in finding different type of linkys that are current.  Anyways happy linky hunting!  Does anyone else have some good tips on where to find blog linkys and giveaways?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2 Ingredient Play Dough

I found a great play dough recipe at Simply Moms and Friends
The original recipeI found calls for 1 cup corn starch to 1/2 cup cheap hair conditioner with a few drops of food coloring.  



I used a pomegranate and grapeseed VO5 conditioner.  It smelled so good.  Since my conditioner was pink it gave my dough a pink hint of color, so I skipped the food coloring to make the whole project a little simpler. 
As we measured out our corn starch and conditioners I took the opportunity to discuss a whole and a half.  When I first started mixed I got scared I had a gooey mess.  So added some extra corn starch till I got a consistency we liked.  I think if I had just kept mixing it at first I would have eventually gotten a nice fluffy consistency.  I kept it a little on the dry crumbly side, DD was using the dough with some cars to drive through.  I think our measurements were closer to 1 cup corn starch to 1/4 cup conditioner.  DD had a ball playing with her cars in it.  She loved making tire tracks through it and squeeze it in her hands.  She got  some great fine motor time in with it.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summertime garden foods

     One of my favorite things about summer is the summer foods!  I love watermelon, corn on the cob, and tomatoes out of the garden.  My big tomatoes have not turned red yet in my garden.  I have gotten several cherry tomatoes.  I stopped at a little vegetable stand on the way home from the grocery store in search of some good eating tomatoes.  I was not disappointed I got several large tomatoes.  Yum!
 Anyone have some good summer veggie recipes?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review- Rival Hearts

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rival Hearts
Abingdon Press (June 17, 2014)
by
Tara Randel


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. After finding Romantic Times magazine in a bookstore many years ago, she found information about writing organizations. Soon after, she joined Romance Writers of America. She located the local RWA chapter and immediately attended her first meeting. There was no stopping her after that!

Through Tampa Area Romance Authors, Tara learned all about the business of publishing, starting with the craft of writing to behind the scenes of publishing. She served as contest coordinator for four years and served as President for one year, enjoying the organization and the lasting friendships made there.

When not writing, Tara owns a business with her husband and stays busy with her two daughters. She lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery. Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.

Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rival Hearts, go HERE.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review- Yankee in Atlanta

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Yankee in Atlanta
River North(June 1, 2014)
by
Jocelyn Green


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When soldier Caitlin McKae woke up in Atlanta after being wounded in battle, the Georgian doctor who treated her believed Caitlin's only secret was that she had been fighting for the Confederacy disguised as a man. In order to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta. Trained as a teacher, she accepts a job as a governess to the daughter of Noah Becker, a German immigrant lawyer, who is about to enlist with the Rebel army. Then in the spring of 1864, Sherman's troops edge closer to Atlanta. Caitlin tries to escape north with the girl, but is arrested on charges of being a spy. Will honor dictate that Caitlin follow the rules, or love demand that she break them?

Id you would like to read the first chapter of Yankee in Atlanta, go HERE.

My Thoughts: This is a great book.  I will admit I have not finished it yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying it and cannot wait to see how it ends. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Book Review: The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart
Love Inspired (June 3, 2014)
by
Allie Pleiter


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.


ABOUT THE BOOK


When Katrine Brinkerhoff's cabin is attacked, only sheriff Clint Thornton's heroism saves her. She owes Clint her life—and her help catching the men responsible. All she has to do is trust in Clint's plan to protect her family. But she can't let herself care too deeply, not when her past carries secrets that would drive him away.

Infiltrating the murderous gang is a dirty job, yet Clint is determined to see it through. The brigands will face justice—and they will never harm Katrine again. Clint would give his life to keep the beautiful settler safe…but will he be willing to risk his heart?

Bridegroom Brothers: True love awaits three siblings in the Oklahoma Land Rush

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart, go HERE.

My Thoughts: I liked this story.  It was a simple read with sweet characters, but it also had a lot of adventure.   It is one book in the Bridegroom Brothers Series.  Even though it is a part of a series it does well as a stand alone book although I am defiantly wanting to check out the other books in the series to read the stories of the other brothers. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Review: A Place in His Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Place in His Heart
Revell (June 3, 2014)
by
Rebecca DeMarino


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rebecca DeMarino was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of a Navy pilot. Her mother made a home for the family of six all over the map, including Virginia, Nevada, California, Washington, and Guam, before her parents put down anchor on a ranch in Oregon.

As the wife of a young Air Force officer, married life brought more travel. She relied on her mother’s example of how to make a home anywhere. Her three beautiful daughters were born in Florida, Alaska and Nebraska.

Retired after sixteen years with a major airline, she manages to fulfill her love of wanderlust with frequent family or research trips.

Rebecca grew up listening to her mother’s family lore of a great-grandfather from generations ago. Barnabas Horton sailed from England in the 1600’s, to Long Island, N.Y., on a ship called The Swallow. In 1999, after she found Horton Point, L.I., on a map, Rebecca and her mother made the journey to see the lighthouse named after their ancestor.

The legend goes that Barnabas brought a slab of blue slate with him from England, and had the epitaph he wrote himself engraved on it. The blue slate still exists in the Old Cemetery in Southold, L.I., with the Bible verse, “He being dead, still speaketh.” Much information was found about Barnabas, but none of his wife, save a mention in his will.

Her mother passed away in 2005, but Rebecca returned to Southold many times, drawn by her Puritan roots and English heritage. Each time she wondered about her ninth great-grandmother, a young woman who married a widower with two young boys and then followed them for the wilds of Long Island, leaving behind her home and family. What were her dreams? Her motivations? Her fears?

Rebecca’s historical romance novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART, debuts with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing House, in June of 2014.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino's own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life--and a legacy--in the New World.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Place in His Heart, go HERE.

Rebecca is hosting a Giveaway worth over $300.00 in prizes. There will be 8 winners! Scroll to the bottom of the post HERE to enter!!!!! 

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book.  I quickly felt a connection to Mary.  The author did a good job of making the characters come to life.  I enjoyed the adventure and events in this story!  It was worth the read for sure.  
 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review- Paige Turned

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paige Turned
TH1NK (April 1, 2014)
by
Erynn Mangum


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Despite her valiant efforts, Paige Alder seems stuck in chaos. Her new job as youth intern keeps her hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop all summer long, but at least she’s loving the one-on-one time she gets to spend with the girls. The unfortunate side-effect is that now, four weeks of laundry fills her apartment. Plus, she barely has time to help her sister and best friend with their weddings! And even worse? Something is definitely wrong between her and Tyler. She apologized for what he thought he saw happen with Luke. Can’t they move past it? Or could there be something he’s not telling her—something that could change everything?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Paige Turned, go HERE.

My Thoughts:  I have loved this series.  I have had a chance to review each of these books here on the blog and must say they have been a favorite!!  They are different then any other set of books I have written.  Paige is so down to earth and I feel like I can really relate to her and her thought process.  I was sad to see the series come to a close.  Each of the first two books in this series were kind of cliff hangers so it was nice to see how it all went down in this last book, but as I neared the end I really did not want this book series to be over.  I really recommend it is an easy read with great characters!   

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review: The Amish Groom

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Amish Groom
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2014)
by
Mindy Starns Clark
and
Susan Meissner


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Mindy Starns Clark Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her novels include A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, The Buck Stops Here, The Trouble with Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon, plus other books!

Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals. A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she's not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: www.susanmeissner.com, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at www.facebook.com/susan.meissner.

ABOUT THE BOOK

New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.

Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him. When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?

A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Amish Groom, go HERE.

My Thoughts: Torn between two worlds.  This was a good book, it was really well written.  If you enjoy Amish fiction this is a good book for you to pick up!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Review- A Promise in Pieces

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Promise in Pieces
Abingdon Press (April 15, 2014)
by
Emily T. Wierenga


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the Author:

I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend. We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.

I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.

We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.

I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.

My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.

I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.

I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.

My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.

I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer.

I hope you’ll connect with me on FB: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.

Peace to you friends,

e.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Promise in Pieces, go HERE.

My Thoughts: What a great book.  I fell in love with Clara and could relate to her in so many ways.  This is a great read!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review- Lip Reading

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lip Reading
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
by
Harry Kraus


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.

ABOUT THE BOOK

She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.

My Thoughts: Good suspense book.  I like the medical side of things.  This book is not my usual book type and I enjoyed stepping out my normal easy going simple romance.   

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