December 30, 2013

Driven by Donald Driver

Driven by Donald Driver
ISBN: 9780385349147

Synopsis: The Green Bay Packers legendary NFL receiver, all-time receptions and yards leader for the Green Bay Packers, and Dancing with the Stars champion looks back on his life and career.

When he was picked in the seventh-round of 1999 NFL draft, Donald Driver couldn’t find Green Bay on a map. He was given little chance of making the Packers roster, much less of amassing over 10,000 yards in his career and becoming a Super Bowl champion. But in an unlikely journey, Driver has overcome obstacle after obstacle to become one of the most successful players in the NFL.
Now, for the first time, Driver recalls his time growing up in Houston, spending nights living in a U-Haul trailer with his mother and stealing cars and selling drugs with his brother to get by.  He recalls what it was like to walk into the locker room as a little-regarded prospect out of Alcorn State, an athlete who one year earlier thought his future was in high jump rather than football, and why he would have never made the team without the support of General Manager Ron Wolf. 
With the help of his winning speed, skill, not to mention, smile, Driver became one of Brett Favre's most-trusted targets and a fan favorite at Lambeau. (Though it took some time for him to perfect his Lambeau leap.)  Driven takes you inside the locker room with Favre, shares his experiences with Reggie White, and recalls his more recent role as a veteran leader for like Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings during their Super Bowl run in 2010. Over 14 years Driver has been through it all—game winning touchdowns, crushing playoff defeats, frightening injuries, and the glory of the Super Bowl. 
Traveling off the field, Driver discuss his relationship with his wife and three children: how uncertain they were when he undertook  the relentless training necessary to become a champion on the 2012 season of Dancing With the Stars, and how supportive they are of his charity work and service to God. 
Driver retired on his terms after 14 years in the NFL: as a Packer for life. Driven is the definitive story of Donald Driver’s extraordinary journey.

My review: I am a big Green Bay Packer fan and that is why I chose to read this book. Donald Driver was a great player for the team so I thought it would be nice to know more about him. This book tells the story of how he overcame the obstacles of growing up in a not so great lifestyle to become one of NFL's greatest players. I will say the book started a little slow for me but it quickly picked up and I read this book in just a few days. I learned a lot about Donald and a few more things about the Packer organization that I did not know. It also talked about a couple of things that are sore subjects with me - like Brett Favre's leaving and it happened just like I had read other places and not the way the media wants you to believe. Even though I found out a few things about the organization that I do not like I will still be a fan as the person responsible for the issues I have will be gone from the team one day. Donald is a very strong person, devoted family man, devoted team mate and a good person. I recommend this book if you want to read a good biography or a football fan.

December 25, 2013

Mistletoe Memories by various authors

Mistletoe Memories by Jennifer Allee, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson and Gina Welborn
ISBN: 9781624161278
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: In 1820, Stephan Yost is the resident carpenter of Schooley's Mountain, New Jersey's fashionable resort. When he finds himself enamored by spirited Annaliese Braun, he vows to build her a home by Christmas.
Heartbroken Civil War  widow Marianne Plum thanks the Lord very day that she never had children, especially a Christmas draws near. Then the charming and joyful Ezekiel Norcross begs her to give an orphaned girl a place to say.
Olympia Paris never had a family outside the orphanage she grew up in and now manages. On the brink of another lean Christmas in 1910, Theodore Carstairs arrives with plans to revitalize the town by rebuilding the resort. Too bad he'll have to tear down the orphanage to do it.
When funding dries up a month before Christmas, Joy Bennucci declares she'll do everything in her power to keep a transitional home for foster kids operating. Even if she has to turn to modern-day Scrooge Evan Lancaster to do it.
Will Christmas be the season of miracles in their lives?

My review: I enjoyed reading these stories and following the house through the years and to see how it touched people's lives. Another thing I liked was the orphan theme and how there was a person and/or people who cared so much about them that they would do anything for them. I can't pick a favorite story because they were all so good. A very enjoyable Christmas story from four authors that are new to me.

December 21, 2013

Christmas on Nutcracker Court by Judy Duarte

Christmas on Nutcracker Court by Judy Duarte
ISBN: 9780758275066
Mass Market Paperback

Synopsis: Fairbrook is a town tailor-made for the holidays with beautiful old houses dotting quaintly named streets like Sugar Plum Lane and Nutcracker Court. But cash-strapped single mom Carly Westbrook worries about providing a merry Christmas for her boys.
Their run-ins with cranky neighbor Max Tolliver, an aspiring novelist stricken with writer's block, don't help. Between losing his muse and the Westbrook boys wreaking havoc in his once orderly life, Max could use a Christmas miracle. Fortunately, the Diamond Lils, a ladies group who meet weekly to play poker and socialize are looking to do some good deeds -- and they think a little matchmaking for Carly is a perfect place to start...

My review: I really enjoyed this book. It was not what I thought it was going to be. The Diamond Lils are a group of friends who find the real meaning of Christmas and you will to as you read this story. Carly was one of my favorite characters in this book and I really felt for her at times. I would like to read more about the people in this town and to find out what happens next with them I think you should give this story a shot as it is a great story of what Christmas really means.

December 16, 2013

Secret Santa hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I am very glad that I decided to join this swap this year. I had fun shopping for my Secret Santa and today I came home to a nice surprise from my Secret Santa. She was nice enough to send me two different kinds of dark chocolate w/nuts and two books from my wish list. Here are the two books I received. 


I invite you to stop over at Bev's blog which is My Reader's Block - she has a very nice blog and I am proud to be a new follower of her blog. Thank you Bev for being a nice Secret Santa. 

A Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage

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

A Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage
The Graham Saga #4
ISBN: 9781781321355
Trade Paperback
Published: November 1, 2013

Synopsis: It’s 1672, and Matthew Graham and his family have left Scotland. Having taken the drastic decision to leave their homeland due to religious conflicts, Alexandra and Matthew hope for a simpler, if harsher, life in the wilds of the Colony of Maryland.
Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and the past has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inappropriate moments. Both Matthew and Alex are forced to cope with the unexpected reappearance of people they had never thought to meet again, and the screw is turned that much tighter when the four rogue Burley brothers enter their lives.
Matters are further complicated by the strained relations between colonists and the Susquehannock Indians. When Matthew intercedes to stop the Burleys from abducting Indian women into slavery he makes lifelong – and deadly – enemies of them all.
Once again Alex is plunged into an existence where death seems to threaten her man wherever he goes.
Will Matthew see himself – and his family – safe in these new circumstances? And will the past finally be laid to rest?
A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

My review: I have not read any of the other books in this series but I still enjoyed this book. You can absolutely read this book as a stand alone, but I know after reading this you will want to pick up the first three in the series, I know I do. Anna does a good job in developing her characters and making you feel a part of the story. One of my favorite times to read about is when this country was new so this book really grabbed my attention. Another fun this was the time slip aspect of the story, I love reading books where the character goes from the present back in time. It was nice the way the story was told as things really were back then and not watered down at all, it makes the story seem more real as there was a lot of historical detail in the story. To me this makes the story read faster. I would recommend this book to fans of Diana Gabaldon. I know I enjoyed it. 

About the Author

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.
I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.
I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.
For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website.  You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour. 

Monday, December 2
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Tuesday, December 3
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, December 4
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Thursday, December 5
Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader
Friday, December 6
Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, December 9
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, December 10
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, December 11
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, December 12
Review at bookramblings
Friday, December 13
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Guest Post at The Little Reader Library
Monday, December 16
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 17
Review at Anglers Rest
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, December 18
Review & Interview at Kincavel Korner
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

December 8, 2013

A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley, Sylvia Barnes, Rhonda Gibson and Jerri O'Dell

A Biltmore Christmas - A Four-in-One Collection by Diane T. Ashley, Sylvia Barnes, Rhonda Gibson and Jerri O'Dell

Synopsis: The four orphaned Bradford sisters find employment and romance at the Biltmore estate at Christmastime.

Charity's adventure-less life takes a surprising and welcomed turn when she meets handsome Malachi Claybrook. Charity dreams of Clay, but will his true identity make a dream come true romance impossible?

A first day blunder has chambermaid Selma falling for a wealthy guest ... and Jacob Sinclair enamored by the lovely servant. Can God help them remove the strict boundaries of their stations to bond them as one?

Peggy loves being an assistant cook at the Biltmore estate. But when a trip to the garden for honey brings beekeeper Mark Ludman into her life, will unexpected romance lead to a new lie for an old maid?

Melissa is thrilled be following in her sisters' footsteps by working at the Biltmore estate. That is, until it becomes clear that her own talents reside in the stables, not the kitchen. Then she meets Ned Robinson and her tomboy ways begin to soften...but will Ned's proposal end up breaking her heart?

Will Christmas be the season of love in each young woman's life?

My review: I enjoyed this collection of Christmas stories set at the Biltmore. The stories were not too long so the book read very fast and I finished it in two days. The only complaint I have is I wish each story could have been just a bit longer but that is not really a complaint is it. I enjoyed each sister's story about how they found love. Peggy was a favorite when reading about how much she was respected in her job and I enjoyed reading about Mark, Charity's story was my favorite one to read as I loved Clay, Selma was another favorite story of mine as I also liked Jacob, I even felt bad for him at one point, in Melissa I totally understood her as a tomboy and not thinking she has any talents, I wanted to be her friend. I have always wanted to go to the Biltmore and reading this book makes me want to go even more. I recommend this book for a nice quick holiday read.

December 6, 2013

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish

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

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish
ISBN: 9781401689018
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.
Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.
But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour --- a single father with strange culinary habits --- seems determined to win Liesl's affection.
When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

My review: This was a new author for me and I was very pleased with this book and look forward to reading more books by her. I think Liesl is a very strong woman and her passion for baking really shines through in her story. Because of this I found myself not wanting to put the book down. You will find yourself wanting to read more about Liesl's life and how she gets through all of the things going on. Another thing that was enjoyable to me was the use of bread and baking throughout the book was a neat thing. I like how it was infused throughout. It was nice that there were bread recipes included as well. I will have to try the out as they sound really good.  I highly recommend this book. 

To check out the rest of the stops on the tour click here

Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at:

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.

December 5, 2013

Merry Ex-mas by Sheila Roberts

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

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts
Life in Icicle Falls #2
ISBN: 9780778314707
Mass Market Paperback

Synopsis: Cass Wilkes has been looking forward to her daughter Danielle's Christmas wedding - until Dani announces that she wants her father, Cass's ex, to walk her down the aisle. Seriously? Even worse, it seems that he, his trophy wife and their yappy little dog will be staying with Cass...
Her friend Charlene Albach arrives at their weekly chick flick night in shock. She's just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!
And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren't easy for Ella O'Brien either. Ella, newly divorced is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Or is it?

My review: I have not read the first Icicle Falls book yet but it is not stop me from reading this one nor did I feel lost. As with the other two books I have read of Sheila's so far I enjoyed this one as well. There were times I did not want to put it down, times I got mad at a character because they would not wake-up so to speak, and even found myself smiling at something that happened in the story. Sheila has a way a writing that you feel at home in the town and with the characters she is writing about. I like how she takes the real problems her characters are having and turns it around in the end for a nice ending. Things may not always turn out the way you want them to but Sheila has a way of showing you how to make the best of it. This was a fun holiday read and I am happy I got the chance to read it. I look forward to reading the rest of Sheila's books I have on my shelf. I highly recommend this and all of Sheila's books to you for you to read and enjoy.

December 4, 2013

The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review

The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall
ISBN: 9780307732132

Synopsis: This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances. 
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

My review: Cindy has another great hit with this Christmas book.  I thought it was very interesting that Sadie traveled to Peru for a mission trip. I thought she was a very strong person. Another thing I enjoyed was reading about her and Levi and how their relationship developed throughout the book. I felt bad for Levi and Sadie and felt bad for both of them and understood why they felt the way they did. This was such a good book that you can read it in one weekend. I highly recommend this book as you will not be disappointed. Cindy has a way of writing books so you feel like you really know the characters and feel all of their emotions. 

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family. - See more at: her website by clicking here

December 2, 2013

Awakened Love by Laura V. Hilton

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

Awakened Love by Laura V. Hilton
The Amish of Webster County - Book 3
ISBN: 9781603745086
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: A Bashful Baker
Twenty–one–year–old Katie Detweiler loves to bake. When she's hired at a local bed–and–breakfast to do just that, she's excited, especially because the owner promises the shy young woman that she won't have to leave the kitchen. But when her boss's husband requires round–the–clock care, Katie is forced to overcome her shyness and wait on customers, as well. Before long, a "customer" reveals himself to be a private investigator who informs Katie that she was adopted, and that her biological sister needs a bone marrow transplant.
A Man on the Run
Twenty–two–year–old Abram Hilty has fled the drama of Shipshewana, Indiana, for Seymour, Missouri, where he's staying with his cousin Micah Graber. His plan is to hide, from a girl he no longer cares about—and also from a cold–blooded killer. Uncomfortable sharing his past and afraid of the consequences, he buries his troubles deep inside. When he meets Katie Detweiler, he is immediately attracted, but his pursuit of her is complicated by the problems of his past.
An Adventure Unfolds
As Katie wrestles with questions of identity, she also struggles to navigate her blossoming romance with Abram, in the face of opposition from a jealous friend. As their relationship becomes more serious, Abram can no longer conceal the truth about his past. But parts of that past rear their heads, barring the way for a marriage between them—at least for now. Through dangers and near–death experiences, Katie and Abram must find their way back to each other. But only the power of forgiveness can bring them together for good.

My review: I have not read the other two books in this series but I was able to read and enjoy this book anyway. Although now I will be going back to read the other two. One this that I liked about this book is that it was a page turner and I did not want to put it down as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and thought Laura did a great job in developing each of them. If you are looking for a book with some twists and turns then this is for you. 

November 25, 2013

Quilts of Love Blog Tour - Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter and The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

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

Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
ISBN: 9781426752735
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: When Laney Carrigan's adoptive parents encourage her as an adult to seek out her birth family, her only clue is the Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island, she battles fears of rejection from a family that abandoned her once before while her faith struggles to embrace God's love.

Along the path to her true heritage, she meets Hawaiian cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes. Kai is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family against a woman he suspects of being nothing more than a gold-digger, but he finds himself drawn to Laney in spite of his reservations. He's spent his entire life seeking forgiveness from past mistakes and longs for a second chance at happiness. 

Laney's painstaking journey to find restoration and a place to belong among the breathtaking allure of the Big Island will lead her closer to her past and maybe even something more.

My Review:  This was my first book by this author and it was an enjoyable read for me. I have not read many books set in Hawaii so this was nice for me. I could almost see the places the author described as I was reading. Even though this book had many emotional issues involved with it, adoption, PTSD, and alzheimer's the author did a good job touching on those issues and telling how the characters dealt with each of them. This book sucks you in so that you can read it in a weekend. If you like modern books with some romance, emotional issues and a few twists and turns then this is the book for you. 

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense andChristian Parenting Today. Lisa is currently teaching music at a preschool and enjoying the enthusiasm and joy for life for which preschoolers are famous. She and David have two beautiful daughters.

Find out more at:

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

The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
ISBN: 9781426752773
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie's sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

My review: Another hit from Vannetta, I can't think of a time when I have read a book by her that I have not enjoyed. I thought it was neat how the Fruits of the Spirit were tied into the quilt story. This was such a nice story to read for the holidays. I am going to give you a warning with this book because it really pulls at your heart strings. It would be nice to see another book with these same characters as they were such nice people that I fell in love with. If you are looking for a nice holiday reads that pulls at your heart strings than this is for you. 

Meet the author: Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Anvil of God by J. Boyce Gleason

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

Anvil of God by J. Boyce Gleason
The Carolingian Chronicles - Book 1
ISBN: 9781475990195
Published: July 26, 2013

Synopsis: It is 741. After subduing the pagan religions in the east, halting the march of Islam in the west, and conquering the continent for the Merovingian kings, mayor of the palace Charles the Hammer has one final ambition-the throne. Only one thing stands in his way-he is dying.

Charles cobbles together a plan to divide the kingdom among his three sons, betroth his daughter to a Lombard prince to secure his southern border, and keep the Church unified behind them through his friend Bishop Boniface. Despite his best efforts, the only thing to reign after Charles's death is chaos. His daughter has no intention of marrying anyone, let alone a Lombard prince. His two eldest sons question the rights of their younger pagan stepbrother, and the Church demands a steep price for their support. Son battles son, Christianity battles paganism, and Charles's daughter flees his court for an enemy's love.

Based on a true story, Anvil of God is a whirlwind of love, honor, sacrifice, and betrayal that follows a bereaved family's relentless quest for power and destiny.

My review: I have not read anything about this time period before and was a little leary about it - in fact I read what this book was about more than once before I decided to read the book and I was not in the least bit disappointed with it. This is my first book by this author and I have to say that I am impressed. The book itself was very interesting to me. I thought the author did a good job with developing the characters so you could get a real sense of who they are/were. Also for me I really enjoyed the historical detail that was used which to me helped me understand the time period and such. If you like books with religion, action, drama, history, a little romance and so much more than this book is for you. I look forward to the next book in this series. 

About the Author
After a 25-year career in crisis management and public affairs, J. Boyce Gleason began writing historical fiction and is publishing his first novel ANVIL OF GOD, Book One of the Carolingian Chronicles.  With an AB in history from Dartmouth College, Gleason brings a strong understanding of the past to his historical fiction.  He is married, has three sons and lives in Virginia.
For more information please visit

November 24, 2013

Soy L Scent - Candle Gem Giveaway - US Only

Want to win a Candle Gem candle to light up your home for the holidays? Check out the contest below. 

I would like to introduce you to a great company that I have found and enjoy their products. The company is My SoyL Scents. This company has a variety of products that you can use in your home to enjoy throughout the year. All products are made from soy bean wax which means they burn cleaner and to me last longer. Not only that they are American grown soybeans and natural botanical oils are used to create the scents. In my own home I have switched to using their products to refresh my home. In fact I have used the melter pot, melter nightlight, candle, gems, tarts, room spray and soaps. It would be hard for me to say which scent is my favorite but right now I love the fall harvest. 

The candle gems and melter gems each come with a ring in them that can be worth any where from $10 - $1000. My daughter and mother in law have both received a ring in their gems and love them. Here is a picture of just some of the rings found. These would make a great Christmas gift for someone.  

Please check out their website My SoyL Scents to see all of their products and scents. Just click on the shop now button at top to view the catalog. If you have any questions you can contact Sandy through her Facebook page (click here) or by emailing her at mnvikings84 at gmail dot com. Her contact information is also on both her Facebook and website. Sandy is always running specials so if you like the Facebook page that will keep you up to date also you can contact her and let her know you would like to be added to her email list for specials. In fact why not just host a party and tell all of your friends. 

Now for the giveaway. Unfortunately at this time we can only offer this giveaway in the US. My SoyL Scent consultant is giving away a cranberry kettle corn candle for you to enjoy during the holidays. Just check out the rafflecopter form below to enter. I do ask for only one mandatory option and that is you visit the website and tell me what scent you would like to try. If you do not leave the comment here you will not be entered into the contest. Sorry. This contest will run from today through Monday, December 9th that way you have time to tell all of your friends about it. 

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to enter the contest. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2013 Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

This is a challenge that is being hosted by The True Book Addict at The Christmas Spirit Blog I thought this would be a fun challenge to join in on as this time of year I like to read Christmas books. I am going for Mistletoe which means I will read 2-4 books. Hopefully I will get more in but just in case I will stick with my goal. Be sure to check out the link above and join in on the fun. 

Here is my list that I hope to get through (now my list may change and hopefully there were be a few more added as I have a ton of Christmas themed books I would like to read):

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts 
A Biltmore Christmas by Multiple Authors
Christmas on Nutcracker Court by Jody Duarte
Mistletoe Memories by Multiple Authors

Along with this challenge I have done the Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon. 

I did not get as much read yesterday as I wanted but I was able to finish my book which is always good and even though it was not a true Christmas book it did mention Christmas in the book as they were going to be doing a Holiday tour of houses. Today I am starting the first book in my challenge and hope to get quite a bit read on it. If you want to check out the read-a-thon here is the link

I hope you join in and have a little fun. 

Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs (Scrapbooking Mystery # 9)

Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
Scrapbooking Mystery #9
ISBN: 9780425243893

Synopsis: Is nothing sacred? The last thing Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava expected to bear witness to in St. Tristan's Church was a crime. But now a beloved member of their scrapbooking circle lies lifeless next to a smashed statue of St. Sebastien-and a mysterious hooded figure has absconded with an antique crucifix. 

As Carmela and Ava are drawn deeper into New Orleans' French Quarter in search of the missing crucifix, they may need the help of more than a few patron saints. Because this is one killer they don't want to cross...

My review: I am a big fan of Laura Childs' books especially the scrapbooking ones. This was a fun book to read. If you have not read the rest of this series you can read it as a stand alone book. As always Carmela and Ava find themselves right smack in the middle of a murder scene. Carmela lets her curiosity get the best of her the best of her as she tries to find out who murdered their friend. Along the way you learn some fun scrapbooking ideas and tips that she helps her friends and customers with as she runs her business while trying to solve the murder.  If you want a fun quick read that will make you smile and has a little mystery then this is the book for you. I am looking forward to the next one in the series. 

November 18, 2013

A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift

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

A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift
Published: October 24, 2013
ISBN: 9780330543446

Synposis: A family divided by fortune. A country divided by faith.

London 1609...
Elspet Leviston’s greatest ambition is to continue the success of her father Nathaniel’s lace business. But her dreams are thrown into turmoil with the arrival of her mysterious cousin Zachary Deane – who has his own designs on Leviston’s Lace.
Zachary is a dedicated swordsman with a secret past that seems to invite trouble. So Nathaniel sends him on a Grand Tour, away from the distractions of Jacobean London. Elspet believes herself to be free of her hot-headed relative but when Nathaniel dies her fortunes change dramatically. She is forced to leave her beloved home and go in search of Zachary - determined to claim back from him the inheritance that is rightfully hers.
Under the searing Spanish sun, Elspet and Zachary become locked in a battle of wills. But these are dangerous times and they are soon embroiled in the roar and sweep of something far more threatening, sending them both on an unexpected journey of discovery which finally unlocks the true meaning of family . . 
A Divided Inheritance is a breathtaking adventure set in London just after the Gunpowder Plot and in the bustling courtyards of Golden Age Seville.

My Review: I enjoyed how the author made me feel a part of this book as if I was in London in 1609. I could almost hear all the noise on the city streets as well as being a part of a religious war in Spain. This book gave me another look in London at this time not the kings and queens I am used to reading about, it was nice to read about "everyday" people and how they lived. I felt bad for Elspet after Zachary showed up and I did not like him at all. Can you imagine some stranger showing up "claiming" he is your father's long lost son and your father believing him and then leaving everything to him after you worked so hard to help your father keep the business going. I think the author did a great job in developing the characters so you could really "see" who they are. The descriptions in this book are very good as well as the historical detail, which to me helps me envision the whole story even more. I also liked the action and mystery in the story, it kept the book moving along. If you are a fan of historical fiction then this book is for you. An absolute keeper in my book. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops here

About the Author

Deborah Swift used to work in the theatre and at the BBC as a set and costume designer, before studying for an MA in Creative Writing in 2007. She lives in a beautiful area of Lancashire near the Lake District National Park.  She is the author of The Lady’s Slipper and is a member of the Historical Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, and the Romantic Novelists Association.

For more information, please visit Deborah's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

November 13, 2013

Dance for a Dead Princess by Deborah Hawkins

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

Dance for a Dead Princess by Deborah Hawkins
ISBN: 9780988934726
Trade Paperback
Published September 2, 1013

Synopsis: In January 1997, Princess Diana received a phone call telling her she would be assassinated. She recorded the information on a secret video tape, naming her killer and gave it to a trusted friend in America for safekeeping. It has never been found.
Diana's close friend, Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham and second richest man in England, has vowed to find the tape and expose her killer. After years of searching, he discovers Diana gave the tape to British socialite Mari Cuniff, who died in New York under mysterious circumstances. He believes Wall Street attorney Taylor Collins, the executor of Mari's estate, has possession of it. He lures Taylor to England by promising to sell his ancestral home in Kent, Burnham Abbey, to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls. Nicholas has dated actresses and models since the death of his wife, ten years earlier, and has no interest in falling in love again. But he is immediately and unexpectedly overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.
Taylor, unaware that Diana's tape is in her long-time friend and client's estate and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish. She is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York. But while working in the Abbey's library, Taylor uncovers the diary of Thomas Carey, a knight at the court of Henry VIII and the first Duke of Burnham. As she reads Thomas' agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child from being forced to become Henry's mistress, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine. But just as Taylor's feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana's voice from the grave, she learns that Nicholas may be Lucy's father and responsible for his wife's death at the Abbey at the time of Lucy's birth. When Nicholas is arrested for Lucy's murder and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth about Nicholas, his late wife, and the death of the Princess of Wales. 
Dance for A Dead Princess is a the story of two great loves that created and preserved a family that has lasted for five hundred years

My review: I chose to read this book as I have always been intrigued by Princess Diana, so I wanted to give this book a try.  I thought it was very interesting the way the author used the Princess in a mystery book. Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that it has both mystery and romance. This book is not just about Diana's death it is so much more as the story of Taylor and Nicholas are the bones of this story. I almost forgot to say that I enjoyed how the author tied historical events into the story and it made sense. This was the first book by this author and I look forward to more by her. I highly recommend this book to fans of history and mystery as well as romance. 

November 7, 2013

A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

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

A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer
ISBN: 9780345545350
Published: October 28, 2013

Synopsis: Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, and the season's wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scent of pine, baking spices and homemade pie.
But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole's chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arm's length -- or, better yet, out of the picture altogether -- Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nichole's holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.

My review: I loved this book so much that it is hard to put it into words. It is a heartwarming story that pulls you in from page one and does not let you go even after you are done. This is the fist Christmas book I have read this year and the first by Nancy and I have to say it puts you in a good mood and makes me want to find more books by her. The only part of the book that I did not like was the story line with Snix/Pooh, but I totally understand why it had to be told in the way it was, it just really pulled at my heart strings but I will not say anything else about it as I don't want to give anything away. Nicole and little Maddox were my two favorite characters in the entire book. Nicole was such a nice person you can't help but like her and little Maddox was just the cutest thing. Kennedy on the other had was a character I could not stand but the story would not have been right without her. I encourage you to pick this book up and read it this holiday season.

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour for this great book. 

November 1st    My Home of Books

November 2nd  A Book Addict's Musings

November 3rd  Melina's Book Blog

November 6th  My Recent Favorite Books

November 7th   Griperangs Bookmarks

November 8th  The Book Bag

Nancy Thayers website

Nancy Thayer on Facebook