September 27, 2014

Facebook Time


Well I have took the plunge and have put my blog on Facebook. I would love it if you start following me there as well as by email. Thank you. 


September 26, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin
ISBN: 9781601426488
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime
Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas
Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater 
In Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future
My review: I have to say that I enjoy reading Christmas stories as it just puts you in the mood for the season. Each of these stories on their own were very good but put them all together and you have a great hit. I think it is cute how each of the story has a Christmas song as their title. It was also nice how the stories were all told about one family it kind of made them all come together for me. The character development by each of these authors was done very well. I would love to "meet" this family. This will be one Christmas book I will share with family and friends. 

September 25, 2014

Joyful by Shelley Shephard Gray - Review and Book Giveaway by Litfuse


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray
Return to Sugarcreek #3
ISBN: 9780062204505
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.
When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.
Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.

My review: I enjoyed reading a book about yet another character from Sugarcreek. This is the third book in this series and I recommend that you read all three books as they don't stand alone. Elizabeth was such a good character that you want to be friends with her, there were times that I felt bad for her. It was fun watching Elizabeth and Randal become close once again. Shelley always does a great job of writing so that the story flows, the setting if written so well you can where the story takes place, and the characters are very well developed. I was sorry to see this series end but am looking forward to whatever Shelley has in store for us next. 

About the author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Timesbestseller, a two-time USA Todaybestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.


Find Shelley online: website,Facebook

Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/BeIYd 

Don't forget to stop by Litfuse (click here) to see all the other stops on the book tour. 


Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's newest book in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Joyful. USA Today raved: "A sweet, straightforward story about how love can be tested by family, faith, and personal insecurity. Enjoyable and heartwarming."

Click the banner for a chance to win books 1-3 in Shelley's Return to Sugarcreek series! 
Winner announced on Shelley's blog on 9/30.

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The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski - Book Review and Free Book Offer from Litfuse


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski
ISBN: 978084992202
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: One searcher's honest and fascinating journey to encounter God, love others, and discover his true self through a year of spiritual practices.

Frustrated and disillusioned with his life as a Christian, motivational speaker Michael Yankoski was determined to stop merely talking about living a life of faith and start experiencing it. The result was a year dedicated to engaging in spiritual practices, both ancient and modern, in a life-altering process that continues to this day. Whether contemplating an apple for an hour before tasting it (attentiveness), eating on $2.00 a day (simplicity) or writing simple letters of thanks (gratitude), Michael discovered a whole new depth through the intentional life.
Stirred on by the guiding voice of Father Solomon, a local monk, Yankoski's life is slowly transformed. Both entertaining and heart-wrenching, Yankoski's story will resonate with those who wish to deepen their own committed faith as well as those who are searching --- perhaps for the first time --- for their own authentic encounter with the Divine.

My review: This is not the typical type of book that I would pick up but I have been trying read more "self help" type of books and that is what I consider this to be. The way Michael wrote this book he is not only a story teller but a narrator of this story, which I think makes it a little easier to read. Reading my way through Michael's journeys was fascinating. It makes stop and take a look at your life as well. I don't know that I could take the journey that he did but it was interesting to read about his. I recommend this book for people looking for a spirtual uplifting. 

About the author: Michael Yankoski is a writer and speaker who compels audiences around the world toward a Christ centered response to our world's needs. He holds a Masters Degree from Regent College, and is the author of several books including Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America and Zealous Love: A Practical Guide to Social Justice. Michael has served on the Board of Directors of World Vision U.S. and the advisory board of Kilns College.

Find Michael online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/BFhp6

Don't forget to stop by Litfuse (click here) to see all the stops on the book tour. 
God is at work everywhere. And every-when. We only need to open our eyes and take the time to notice.

Michael Yankoski became jaded and disillusioned with his life as a Christian motivational speaker, feeling as though he was another act in the “Christian Carnival.” Religion started to become a fa├žade instead of a deep, nourished, lived experience of faith. He knew he needed to stop talking about his faith and begin living and practicing it. In a sort of desperation, Michael dedicated the next year to engaging various spiritual practices, and The Sacred Year is a firsthand account of the downs and ups, the failures and successes of an honest search for answers to the human yearning for life, love, and God. It’s time to stop talking about your faith and begin living and experiencing it.

Join Michael and #EmbraceTheSacred—seek out God at work in the mundane and attend to what God is doing in your life. Share those moments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and make sure to use the tag #EmbraceTheSacred.
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 As a thank-you for ordering The Sacred Year, Michael is giving away a free ebook! Email your proof of purchase of The Sacred Year to TheSacredYear@gmail.com, and you will receive A Straightforward Guide to Three Essential Spiritual Practices ebook for FREE! Learn more here.
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September 24, 2014

The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet by Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet by Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead
ISBN: 9780804136976
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Everyone wants a super-quick fix to lose weight, but here’s the secret: The only way to get the results you want is to love yourself and your life. Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, founders of the uber-popular website Fit Bottomed Girls, have spent years helping hundreds of thousands of readers fall in love with a healthy lifestyle. Now, they are sharing their 10 principles that will help you lose weight, love your body, enjoy your workouts, and face every day with a positive attitude—all at the same time!  

Being a Fit Bottomed Girl is about more than just the size of your rear: It’s about feeling physically and mentally energized every day, no matter what is going on in your life. In this definitive guide to becoming an FBG, you will learn how to:
*Ditch the diet drama and learn to follow your true hunger cues
*Create your own workout schedule that feels more like more fun than "work"
*Develop the inner confidence and self-love you need to go after your best life  

From the best way to enjoy a piece of chocolate (yes, eating chocolate is encouraged!) to designing a workout around your favorite guilty pleasure songs to easy ways to break free from the scale and build confidence, The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet is packed with the tools you need to design a healthy life you love. Come see for yourself what thousands of women have already discovered: being an FBG rocks!

My Review: I am not a believer in diets so I thought ok let's pick this book up and see what they have to say. From the first page I enjoyed reading this book, I like that it is not a diet book but a way to live book. It was nice how in each chapter you get some ten minute ideas on how to use their strategies. This is a very upbeat book to read so you don't feel as if you are being bogged down with a lot of information. I look forward to learning how to live better through this book. 

September 15, 2014

East India by Colin Falconer


East India by Colin Falconer
ISBN: 9781621251798
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: In any other circumstance but shipwreck, rape and murder, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such as Cornelia Noorstrandt.

He was just a soldier, a sergeant in the Dutch East India company’s army, on his way from Amsterdam to the Indies to fight the Mataram. Such a woman was far above the likes of him.
But both their destinies intertwine far away from Holland, on some god-forsaken islands near the Great Southland. When their great ship, the Utrecht, founders far from home, surviving the Houtman Rocks is the least of their worries.
As they battle to survive and the bravest and the best reveal themselves for what they are, Cornelia’s only hope is a mercenary in a torn coat who shows her that a man is more than just manners and money.
He makes her one promise: ‘Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.’
But can he keep it?
My review: As with other books I have read by Colin this book kept me intrigued from page one all the way through the end. I liked that it was about a part of the world that we don't get to read much about in historical fiction. The author did a great job in his character development and making them come to life. The setting of the book was also incredible the attention to detail was very good in the fact that you get a sense of being sent back in time. This book is weaved with adventure and excitement which helps the story move along quickly. You will find yourself reading long into the night as I did with this book. I am not sure still if I liked Cornelia or not, there were times I felt for her but then time I got frustrated. The story of the whole shipwreck and how the had to survive was very interesting to me. If you have not had a chance to try Colin's books yet I suggest you get started, he writes about strong women in history and makes each of them come alive on the pages for us. 
Be sure to check out Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (click here) to see all the stops on the tour. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Born in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.
He currently lives in Barcelona.
For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s website. You can also find him on Facebook or follow onTwitter.

September 13, 2014

Dancing on the Head of a Pen by Robert Benson


I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
Dancing on the Head of a Pen by Robert Benson
ISBN: 9781400074358
Hardcover

Synopsis: In this masterful blend of the practical and the spiritual, Robert Benson invites you into the work and rewards of a writer’s life. More than a primer on effective writing, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a winsome guide to the place in the heart where the life of the spirit meets the life of art.
 
Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a pure delight to read. Encouraging, honest, practical, and important. I needed this book.”
—Melody Carlson, author of more 200 books including Finding Alice 
 
“With deceptive simplicity and an almost seductive easiness in his voice, Benson lays open before us the filigreed mystique of the writing life in all its beauty, its unmitigated angst, and its inescapable vocation.”
—Phyllis Tickle, author of numerous books including The Divine Hours
 
“Robert Benson’s Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a gem. It is wise, witty, and inspiring—a trifecta seldom achieved by a book on the writing life.”
—James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Plot & Structure
 

After some forty years and nearly twenty books, I have learned I do not know about a lot of things, but I do know how to write a book. Some of these things are habits stolen from other writers, writers far better than I am. Some are disciplines I stumbled upon to feed both the caliber of the writing and the work of being a writer. Some of them are practices I discovered on my own after years of dancing on the head of a pen.
Robert Benson
 
The Life of the Spirit Meets the Life of Art
 
A compelling combination of advice and inspiration, Dancing on the Head of a Pen will challenge and encourage writers, artists, musicians, painters—anyone drawn to a life of artistic expression. 
 
Digging deeply into his own writing habits, failures, and successes, Robert Benson helps you choose the ideal audience for your work, commit to it, and overcome the hurdles that inevitably confront both aspiring artists and accomplished professionals. 
Extending beyond the craft of writing, this gentle book moves into a rich discussion on the relationship between spirituality and art. Including wisdom from revered writers past and present, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a beautiful mosaic of inspiration, practical help, and a glimpse into the disciplines that shape one writer’s life.

My Review: I have been dreaming and thinking about writing a book, in fact this has been a dream of mine since I was little, so when I saw this book I thought it might be some inspiration for me. This worked out to be very true. I like how he gives us advice on writing without being dry reading. It was also nice that Robert shared some of his own personal tips about writing. Another interesting part of this book is when the author talks about the three hats, of course you will have to read the book to see what I am talking about. This will be a book that I will use over and over again. 

Robert Benson is the author of numerous books, including The Echo Within, Digging In, and Home by Another Way. A retreat leader, Benson writes and speaks often on the life of prayer and contemplation, the practice of faith and spirituality, and the art and craft of writing. He is a graduate of and an adjunct faculty member for the Academy for Spiritual Formation, a program of The Upper Room. He is married to the literary agent Sara Fortenberry. Benson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and he dances on the head of a pen every day no matter where he happens to be.

Tried and True by Mary Connealy - Review and a Kindle Fire Giveaway by Litefuse


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
Tried and True by Mary Connealy
Wilde at Heart Series #1
ISBN: 9780764211782

Synopsis: Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!
Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister–and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk–they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”–but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.
Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?
My review: Mary has a great start to another series that I am going to enjoy. I think it is cool that Kylie and her sisters served in the Civil War posing as men. How frustrating for them though that their exemption was going to be taken away from them because they are women. Mary did a good job of telling the story of the many women who served in the war under disguise through Kylie's story. I felt really bad for Aaron going home to find his family all gone, I can't imagine how that must have felt. It was fun watching the romance blossom between Aaron and Kylie. The characters were very well developed and strong which for me helps the story. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. 
Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/AS8Js
About the author: Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Find Mary online: websiteFacebook,Twitter

Check out Litefuse (click here) to see the rest of the stops on the blog tour


Don't miss the first book in Mary Connealy's Wild at Heart series. In Tried & True, Mary is back with her signature humor and heartfelt story-telling.

Mary's celebrating by connecting with readers during a live webcast event and giving away a Kindle HDX.
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Tried & True by Mary Connealy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 23rd. Winner will be announced at the Tried & True LIVE webcast event on September 23rd. Connect with Mary for an evening of swoon-worthy book chat, fun trivia, laughter, a sneak peek at the next book in the Wild at Heart series, and more! Mary will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Tried & True and join Mary and friends on the evening of September 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

September 9, 2014

Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Tower of Tears by Rhoda D. Ettore
The McClusky Series #1
ISBN: 9781497361273
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Betrayal. Despair. Murder. Mystery. Romance. Blackmail. “If God be good, Mr. Landon will burn in the eternal flames of hell. If God be bad, he will suffer much worse.” In 1820, a young woman and her son leave Ireland for a better life in America. She soon suffers heartache and tragedy, while residing with family whom she has never met. Unbeknownst to her, the family had already set her up with employment in a factory–a factory run by a lecherous man. This is the first book in a series that will follow the McClusky family while they become Americanized while face with the Potato Famine, the US Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution.

My Review: I was happy to read this book as it has a lot of things that interest me, Ireland immigrant, 1800s time period, mystery, romance it has it all. Rhoda did a very good job developing the characters as well as the settings as I felt as if I knew the characters forever and could picture myself everywhere they were. Jane was such a strong woman to leave her husband and move to a new country with her son to live with relatives she did not know to start a new life, I don't think I could have done that. This was a book I could not put down as I wanted to see what was going to happen next with Jane and her new adventure in life. I look forward to the rest of this series. 

Buy the Book

National Military Family Association

$1 per sale will be donated, regardless of what format is purchased—ebook, print, audiobook & regardless of site purchased—will be donated to the National Military FamilyAssociation. This organization helps families reconnect when the parents return from deployments, as well as helping families with other transitions and keeping the children active while the parents are deployed.

About the Author

Rhoda D’Ettore was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, into a family of 5 siblings–which has provided her with plenty of comical material. She began working at the United States Postal Service at 25 years old, and over the past 15 years has accumulated many humorous stories about situations that the public never gets to know about. Her first ebook, “Goin’ Postal: True Stories of a U.S. Postal Worker” was so popular that readers requested it in paperback. Recently, she published the humorous “Goin’ Postal” in paperback along with another story entitled, “The Creek: Where Stories of the Past Come Alive”. Combining these two into one book may seem strange, as one is humorous and the other is a heart wrenching historical fiction, however, doing so proves to the reader Rhoda D’Ettore’s versatility.
Rhoda D’Ettore received her degree in Human & Social Services while working at USPS, has travelled extensively, and loves history. Over the years she has volunteered for several community service organizations, including fostering abused and neglected dogs for a Dalmatian rescue.
For more information please visit Rhoda’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Be sure to stop by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (click here) to see the rest of the stops on the tour. 


September 5, 2014

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant - Review - Facebook Party and Giveaway (from Litfuse)


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
ISBN: 9780310338451
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself---her---is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

My Review:  This was a fun book to read. I liked how the Cupcake Combat was the back drop fopr friends finding out they love each other. Books like this just make me feel good. I enjoyed how the author developed the characters and let us hear their thoughts through out the entire book. It was fun reading about the competition in the background as I enjoy foodie competitions and then add the element of Lucas and Kate into the mix. I will say these two drive me crazy in a fun way as you just want to tell them to wake up, but that is part of what kept me reading to see if they would eventually find each other as more than friends. I recommend this book as a fun summer read. 

About the author: 

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find Betsy online: websiteFacebook

Be sure to check out Litfuse Group (click here) to see all the other great reviews of this book. 

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/AZIVZ



Don't miss Betsy St. Amant's latest fiction release, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. A "sweet" tale of two best friends and the choices they make between dreams and a possible "sure thing," St. Amant's novel is sure to satisfy your romantic-fiction craving.
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Betsy is celebrating with a fun Kindle giveaway and a Love & Cupcakes Facebook party! One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle
  • All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Love & Cupcakes" Author Chat Party on 9/18. Betsy will be hosting a "sweet" book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at her next book project!

So grab your copy of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes and join Betsy on the evening of September 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!