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Preview: Morning Glories and Moonflowers

Morning Glories and Moonflowers





Updated: 2018-02-19T08:32:33.666-08:00

 



The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron

2017-03-20T16:25:03.090-07:00

About the book:My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . .This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil’s criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear—and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist’s daughter?Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.My Thoughts:The Poygamist's Daughter is the incredible true story of one little girl thrown into a terrifying and extremely confusing life. Hunger, fear, and change were her constant companions and she often questioned if anyone really loved her. Beauty from ashes comes to mind when I think of Anna LeBaron. Her journey from being part of a polygamist family controlled by fear to eventually discovering God as her personal savior is one that needs to be read. Anna and her siblings were taught at a young age that everything was down to further their faith and sacrifice was never to be questioned. They were also drilled in how to behave when questioned by authorities- even the FBI. Say nothing at all or "I don't know." and that's exactly what they did. Passed from "family" member to "family" member in order to keep her father's identity safe had to have been horrible. Can you imagine? Ervil LeBaron was a narcissistic individual with a very persuasive personality. He was arrested for allegedly having polygamist members killed who left the faith. Yes, Anna had this affect her directly when she lost loved ones who were murdered. Such an amazing story, that it's difficult to understand how this precious lady is able to live a happy and full life. Anything and everything is possible with God! Such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing, Anna LeBaron. You're an inspiration and a joy!Author Bio:Anna LeBaronOne of more than fifty children of infamous, polygamist cult leader, Ervil LeBaron, Anna LeBaron endured abandonment, horrific living conditions, child labor, and sexual grooming. At age thirteen, she escaped the violent cult, gave her life to Christ, and sought healing. A gifted communicator and personal growth activist, she's passionate about helping others walk in freedom. Anna lives in the DFW Metroplex and loves being Mom to five grown children.*I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion*[...]



Control Girl- An Enlightening Wake Up Call for Ladies Desperate to Let Go (even when they don't realize it)

2017-02-19T16:59:45.862-08:00

My Thoughts:Wow. This book has been a life changer, a wake up call, and at the same time a calming reassurance to me. If you're like most women, it will be for you, too. Do you crave control for yourself, your husband, your children, or your future? Do you search for ways of "helping" God? I had no idea but my whole life has been revolved around CONTROL. In fact, I could be the poster child for CONTROL GIRL. I'm not saying this with pride, I'm saying it with a heavy heart. It turns out that many women in the Bible were Control Girls, too. Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and then "guided" Adam to do the same (control), Rachel had her servant sleep with Abraham to "help God" with His promise of children (control), and on and on. This book isn't guilt inducing, though, it's more like a friend advising you to release your burden of control and trust that God is the one in control- always. He doesn't need our assistance or input, ladies. He just needs our obedience and trust. My goodness, I struggle with this! But so has Shannon Popkin and she knows exactly what Control Girls struggle with every day. I absolutely devoured this book! Each lesson left an impression on my heart. I relaxed and leaned into the Lord instead of frantically thinking of ways to "help" Him. The burden of control is immense and stressful and I was beyond ready to let it go. I just didn't know it. Reading Control Girl was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Take time and read it yourself and you'll see what I mean. :)Are you trying to stay in control of your quest for peace, joy, and security . . . and you're exhausted? Shannon Popkin's debut book, Control Girl, is a must-read for anyone with a heart that craves control. Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve’s desire to know instead of trust, Sarah’s inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah’s controlling hand on her family’s future, each of these women’s stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.Learn how to give up control to God and become a Jesus girl! Enter to win a prize pack that will help you give up your Control Girl tendencies. One grand prize winner will receive:A copy of Control GirlA Vera Bradley toteA rose gold arrow braceletA set of Moleskine journals Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on February 21. The winner will be announced February 22 on Shannon's blog.{MORE ABOUT CONTROL GIRL}Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible (January 2017, Kregel)Tension, anger, fear, anxiety—it all begins with a heart that craves control.Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don’t match your version of perfect. When your perspective of how life should go replaces God’s, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts.Thankfully, there is a better way.Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles andabout God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve’s desire to know instead of trust, Sarah’s inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah’s controlling hand on her family’s future, each of these women’s stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.{MORE ABOUT SHANNON POPKIN}Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a speaker and teacher, and a leader of small group studies. She’s been published by “Family Fun,” “MOMsense,” “Focus on the Family Magazine,” and other outlets. She is a contributing blogger for True Woman.com and has blogged for several years at shannonpopkin.com. “Control Girl” is her first book.Find out more about Shannon at http://www.shann[...]



When We last Spoke by Marci Henna- Heartfelt, Funny & absolutely Delightful!

2017-02-10T16:38:45.125-08:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pCrtCJro1Zs" width="480">My Thoughts:When we Last Spoke is a delightful visit to the days of Elvis, drive-in movies, Necco Wafers, and dressing up and dancing to the Supremes. This step back in time revolves around Juliet and Evangeline Cranbourne, aka Squirrel and Rabbit, whose mother drops them off at their grandparent's house when she decides to pursue a Hollywood career. Ruby and Walt (Popo) generously raise the girls as their own and hilarity, heartbreak and lots of memory making ensues. I truly loved this book for many reasons. The writing was beautiful,:"Time seemed slower back then. One hour felt like five. A week equaled a year. Christmas was always an eternity away. We marked days by rainfall, by the mysterious births of white-faced calves, and by how many buckets of maize we'd hauled to the chicken yard where we gathered eggs. Mealtimes were spent around Ruby's oval table, picking the tender white meat off of friend chicken wings and eating spoonfuls of sweet butternut squash, sliced red tomatoes and green peas, all vegetables from her blue-ribbon garden." (The words just make you want to jump into the story.) the stories were heartfelt and the characters were incredibly memorable. Small town antics involving eccentric old ladies, jealous church busy bodies and a mysterious single "floozy" with teased hair, frosted lip stick and go go boots keep the story rolling at a cleverly quick pace. I was charmed by the way the author delighted her audience with the point of view of a 9 year old girl. The only negative point is the cover if the book. It's boring, in my opinion, and this story deserves so, so much better. It's a charmer that will make you laugh- a lot- and will also deeply touch your heart.****Marci will be giving away a FREE Kindle version from Feb. 20-24 on Amazon.*****About When We Last Spoke (back cover):             "Humor, heartbreak, and triumph are served with whipped cream and lots of local nuts in this heartwarming tale of family, friendship, and forgiveness in Fireside, Texas.Meet Juliet Cranbourne, local radio personality and owner of a whimsical kitchen gadget store, and her sister Evangeline, a fruit tree geneticist who works for Oregon State University.When a rift due to their orphaned past affects their sisterhood, Juliet convinces Evangeline to come home for Christmas and choose headstones to honor grandparents Walt(a tenderhearted, good looking rancher) and Ruby (a blue-ribbon fiddler, fabulous cook, and expert in the art of making family feel loved).  As they cruise through Fireside in Ruby'sThunderbird, Juliet hopes that healing memories will somehow smooth rough roads ahead.Does the tremendous love that marked Walt and Ruby's lives still have the power to renew their sisterhood and help them find their place in the world?"About the author:            Marci Henna was born in Austin, Texas and lived as a child in Kenya, East Africa with the Wakamba tribe where her parents managed a medical research station. She later moved to the Hill Country ranch which has been in the family since the 1800's and currently lives in Austin.*I was given a copy of this wonderful book by FlyBy Promotions. The words and thoughts expressed on my blog are my own.*[...]



Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst- Beautiful comfort when life leaves you hurting

2017-01-19T18:50:34.074-08:00

My Thoughts:I discovered that a hug can honestly be conveyed through words as I felt comforted and understood while reading the pages of Uninvited. Lysa TerKeurst engages with personal stories of isolation, rejection, and doors being closed in her life. Ya'll, we've all been there. Feeling less than, left out and lonely? Ouch. It's a  feeling of isolation with a sting that lasts for a long time. Emotions such as anger and frustration come to mind along with the desire to withdraw and mourn the loss of something you desired- a friendship, love, opportunity, etc. This book came into my life at exactly the right time as doors are closing left and right in my life. I was desperate to gain some control until I began to see things in a new way while reading Uninvited. God is always, always in control and He knows exactly what doors need to be opened and shut in my life. His plan is perfect and God knows the end of the chapter you're experiencing, too, while we only see what is currently happening. God knows what is BEST for you right now. He knows what you truly need. Beautiful.I wanted to highlight SO much in this book! "Yes, I've been there!" "Yes, it's going to be ok!"  The devil is vicious, but he's not victorious. Lies flee in the presence of truth. Today's disappointment is making room for tomorrow's appointment. Amen!View your situation as being set apart, not set aside. "To be set aside is to be rejected. To be set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation." There is a reason for this season and it's not to harm you. And these words are precious, indeed. "No person's rejection can ever exempt me from God's for me. Period. No question mark. Thank you, Lord.Every person should read this book. Uninvited is a healing balm for the brokenhearted. God's love for us is so real and rich but the world can pull us away from Him. Thank you, Lysa TerKeurst for sharing your stories and guiding us back to the One who loves us more than we can ever understand. Thank you, God, for always being there.Book DescriptionThe enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers: • Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt. • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence. • Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. • Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside." • End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.*I was given an ebook copy of this book by BookLook bloggers. All my posts are honest and my own.*[...]



All The Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth- Beauty from Ashes

2016-12-26T17:25:46.825-08:00


My Thoughts:

When you first see Edie Wadsworth, words like polished, educated, fashionable and beautiful come to mind. Her smile radiates joy, her blog reads part best friend/part mother/part I want to be her, and her home (featured in Better Homes and Gardens) is all sorts of extra special spectacular. I had no idea her story wasn't always so picture perfect. But truthfully, is anyone's? Life is filled with ups, downs and roller coaster rides through hard times. All the Pretty Things is Edie's emotionally powerful story and she's brave and generous enough to share it with the world. In the pages of this book you'll encounter addiction, hunger, loss and heartache as well as forgiveness, grace and love. Difficult times that may have hardened her heart actually served to strengthen Edie and created a drive to improve her life while also fully loving those around her. I was touched by the stories she shared about her alcoholic father and as well as the lean years of her childhood. My heart ached for the love of a 6 year old little girl who couldn't fully understand what was going on around her. Rescuing her father from a bar side stool, wanting to save her little sister from being punished, and the empathetic feelings for the desperate adults who shared the stage with her. There was never enough hope, or food, to go around. And yet, God always provided a light to encourage Edie, even if it was only found inside herself. I highly recommend this book! The chapters are short and an easy read and the story itself is a beautifully broken testimony that encourages and doesn't blame. It's filled with hope and truth and beauty. Thank you for sharing, Edie. You're lovelier than ever- one of the pretty things both inside and out.

*Read an excerpt here.*

*I was given this precious book by Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion. It's wonderful!*





When There is No Miracle by Robert L. Wise- Finding Hope in Pain and Suffering

2016-12-08T10:39:49.523-08:00

My Thoughts:Christmas time is often a time of joy and family, gifts and memory making, but it can also be a time of sadness and loneliness. So many are dealing with grief, illness and (seemingly) unanswered prayers. I found great comfort in this thoughtful and godly book by Robert L. Wise. It does indeed help one "find hope in pain and suffering". First and foremost, rest in the fact that God is ALWAYS in control. "Sooner or later every one of us will find the fabric of our lives torn and violently ripped. As the frayed edges stand exposed, our whole being may feel naked and annihilated. Nevertheless we can rest with a newfound confidence. The Master Weaver will not only mend the tear but reweave the fabric into an even more meaningful design. What He does not will, He still uses." (When There is No Miracle p. 78)"While our hardest moments are not necessarily sent by God, He still picks them up and uses them in new and constructive patterns." Cancer, birth defects, human suffering and even death  are not wasted. The evil one does exist and is "constantly attempting to win the spiritual warfare raging in the world." But we never need to fear. The final battle at Calvary was fought and won by God!The author uses examples from his life- dark times where he had to lean heavily on the Lord. Robert L. Wise understands suffering. Cancer, depression, divorce, brokenness, loss of faith, tragedy and more are all spoken here. Stories of people he has counseled and prayed for. And there are also accounts of healing, miracles and divine intervention. This is a beautiful book of hope and comfort, one that would provide peace to those in times of darkness.When There Is No Miracle (Revised and Expanded) Finding Hope in Pain and Suffering Robert L. Wise Times of profound darkness don't always require miracles to find the light.Sooner or later, dark days obscure everyone's lives. Heartbreak is impartial. Tragedies, global or personal, strike every day, and people discover they have been swept out to sea by waves of destruction, anxiety, and catastrophe. How can Christians who believe in divine intervention understand the times when the lights go out and no miracle of deliverance appears? Robert Wise has more than a passing relationship with tragedy. He has not only lost loved ones; he has been on the front lines of the mayhem that seems to increase every year. Wise was the first clergyman on the scene following the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City. He ministered to frightened people after 9/11. He has encountered countless people experiencing tragedy, all of them asking the same question: Why do the innocent suffer? When There Is No Miracle imparts the lessons Wise has learned in the midst of his own questioning. Each chapter encourages those who struggle, and demonstrates unexpected positive benefits of pain and suffering. Wise shares the experiences of those he has met in his ministry who faced times that seemed to be devoid of God's involvement. Yet, as Wise shows here, God is always behind the scenes, working for the ultimate good, even when we can't understand how. In this succinct volume, Christians can find new hope, learn to reconcile their faith with times of emptiness, and discover a new depth of meaning in the crucifixion of Christ. *I was given a copy of this encouraging and enlightening book by Kregel. This is my honest opinion.*[...]



Amy Grant "Tennessee Christmas" CD review and Giveaway!

2016-12-02T19:33:06.555-08:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PUpIwK5Bxn8" width="480">

My Thoughts:

My younger sister was the first to discover the sweetly mellow voice of Amy Grant and I'm extremely glad that she did. Many years later I have a wonderful collection of Amy's music- Christian, secular and, of course, Christmas. She always makes me feel joyful, cozy and contented- like coming home. If you're already an Amy Grant fan or have yet to experience her music, you're in luck! "Tennessee Christmas" has just been released and it offers a delightful montage of Christmas tunes, both old and new. It's perfect for playing while you host family and friends, snuggle by the fire or even while you're busily baking cookies. Her voice just makes you feel... good. I've been listening to "Tennessee Christmas" as I do my Christmas shopping and I do believe it's keeping me in good spirits! Favorites on the CD are "To Be Together" (the audio is above), "Tennessee Christmas" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". It's Amy Grant's first holiday album released in 20 years so be sure and grab a copy. You'll be glad you did.

*FlyBy is generously offering a copy of "Tennessee Christmas" to one of my readers! Comment on this post to be entered! Winner selected on Sunday, the 4th, so hurry and enter!*

*I was given a copy of "Tennessee Christmas" from FlyBy promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*



Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire (Worthy Publishing)- Review and Giveaway!

2016-12-02T12:18:50.494-08:00

My Thoughts:Years ago I never would have dreamed of writing or (gasp!) drawing in my Bible. Goodness, no. But, thankfully, times have changed and I now know that time spent reading and delighting in the Lord's word is precious and can be done in many ways. My daughter has been dreaming of receiving a journaling Bible, so I was thrilled to receive the opportunity to review this Bible Journaling kit by Ellie Claire! It has everything needed to begin Bible journaling (minus a Bible)- a pen, colored pencils, alphabet and word stickers, a page protector mat with tracing lines, tab stickers and a pouch with adjustable straps to fit your Bible. The box could be improved upon as far as aesthetics go, but it's what on the inside that counts, right? This would definitely be a great gift to put under the tree, for both adults and teens.**Interested in winning your own BIBLE JOURNALING KIT? Leave a comment on this post and I'll randomly choose a winner next Friday, December 2nd!** *And the randomly selected winner is #3..... Christy White! Congratulations, Christy! Message me your new address and I'll get your Bible Journaling Kit in the mail to you!*About the ProductCreate a work of art on the pages of your favorite Bible. Draw, color, or journal your thoughts, dreams, and prayers. Highlight your favorite verses or the encouragements that speak to your heart with pencils, stickers, and tabs. Kit includes:·         4 sheets of word stickers·         4 sheets of alphabet stickers·         24 tab stickers·         8 colored pencil twists·         1 journaling pen·         1 pouch with adjustable strap to fit Bibles of all sizes ·         1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines *Worth Publishing is also hosting their own giveaway! Enter here: http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingKitGiveaway *            Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournalingAmazon: http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingBooks-A-Million: http://bit.ly/BAMBibleJournaling Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling*I received this Bible Journaling Kit from FlyBy Publishing.*[...]



The Cautious Maiden- Christian period romance filled with intrigue & passion!

2016-11-07T11:53:54.018-08:00

My Thoughts:"Jesus paid it all, all to whom I owe..." is still on my mind and in my heart after swooning through this wonderful period romance. The Cautious Maiden, by Dawn Crandall, is the 4th book in the Everstone Chronicles series. It's involves dashingly handsome and wealthy Vance Everstone (I guarantee he'll make your heart pound!) and beautifully innocent Violet Hawthorne. The book begins with an attack on Violet where Vance comes to her aid. With his questionable past and rumors that seem to endlessly follow in his wake, Violet questions Vance's motivations and finds herself feeling quite alone. Her parents have passed away and her brother has turned their home into a brothel! Going from bad to worse, Violet awakens one morning to find that she and Vance are in bed together! Through no fault of her own, she is compelled to remedy her reputation through an arranged marriage soon after. What is to become of our heroine?I absolutely loved this book. The relationship between Violet and Vance is sizzling and mysterious (clean romance with plenty of passion) as there are many unanswered questions that come to light throughout the story. The setting is enchantingly romantic, the dialogue is perfection (I had to force myself to slow down and savor), the storyline is delightfully composed of bible verses, hymns and themes of redemption, true love and forgiveness. But don't be lulled into thinking this is all sweetness and light- there is also intrigue and danger! Violet's brother, Ezra, is a gambler, among other unsavory things, and shares his company with scoundrels. In fact, he "gambled" his own sister- and lost her to the retched Rowen Steele! Now Violet is at the mercy of Vance- but can she trust him? It's the first book I've read by Dawn Crandall and I truly look forward to reading more.More about the Book:Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks—but when Violet's own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintanceAnd—Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trustAnd—and who to leave behind.Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which consists of four books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter and The Cautious Maiden which released October 4th, 2016.Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.A graduate o…f Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, and this is my honest review.[...]



40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey- Devotional Coloring Book

2016-10-29T14:20:48.680-07:00

My Thoughts:40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood is a lovely combination of a devotional and coloring book. Each of the 40 days includes a bible verse, short devotion, a prayer as well as a coloring page. I brought mine on a plane trip to Maine along with a pack of crayons! It's light enough to pack in your purse for times you're waiting in the doctors office, for your kids to get out of class, etc. I really enjoyed Sarah Humphrey's encouraging words to moms. They are real and refreshing and get right to the point- can be read in about 10 minutes. Mothers don't have a lot of free time! Topics covered include self-acceptance, self-care, reconciling with grief, hope, and expectations, generosity, presence and forgiveness. I also loved the fact that I could break out the crayons! The time I spent enjoying this book was all mine.😀 The words and bible verse blessed my heart and the coloring page was a sweet stress reliever. It would make a great gift for the mom who has everything!{MORE ABOUT 40 DAYS TO A JOYFUL MOTHERHOOD}40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom (Abingdon Press, August 2016)Nourishment for a mother’s soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling! Wouldn’t it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:—Self-acceptance—Self-care—Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations—Generosity—Presence—ForgivenessIn addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!Learn more and purchase a copy.{MORE ABOUT SARAH HUMPHREY}Often considered a dreamer and silly heart, Sarah Humphrey uses inspiration from her most beloved career, motherhood, to fuel her passion for writing, creative movement and teaching. She has and is authoring several books and children’s books. Sarah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three beautiful, bouncy kids.Find out more about Sarah at http://sarahhumphrey.com.*I received this wonderful book from Litfuse.[...]



Unstuffed by Ruth Soukup- The Perfect Read for Lightening your Home, Mind & Soul!

2016-10-23T15:00:39.580-07:00

My Thoughts:Unstuffed, written by Ruth Soukup, made an appearance into my life at just the right time. We're in the middle of moving and, not only that, there are many transitions occurring in my family- only one of which involves material items. I warmed to the author immediately as she speaks to her readers like a good friend- encouraging and very real. She provides helpful advice on how to declutter your home but that's just the beginning! (Her weekend intense purging schedule is awesome!) "Unstuffing" entails getting rid of excess that causes stress- too many "things", too busy of a schedule, toxic people, etc. and not enough quality friends, family, and alone time. Ruth Soukup bares her soul and shares her life's trials with us. She's been through very difficult times involving depression and several attempts at suicide and the bottom line is that we all need Christ and to rid ourselves of things that separate us from Him. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to others. It absolutely put me on the right track to unstuff my life.Book DescriptionSTUFF. It's everywhere. Lurking in corners and closets, spilling onto counters and coffee tables, creating havoc everywhere we look. And it's not just the physical clutter that weighs us down. Oh no, it is the stress of overbooked schedules, and the weight of life that sometimes feels oppressive and totally out of whack.New York Times bestselling author Ruth Soukup feels your pain--she has been there too. Through personal stories, Biblical truth, and practical action plans, she will inspire and empower each of us to finally declutter not just our home, but our mind and soul as well. Unstuffed is real, honest, and gets right down to the question we are all facing--how can we take back our lives from the stuff that is weighing us down?In this book, together we will:• Create a comprehensive vision for our homes, and make instant changes to improve its overall function.• Discover that more closet space is not the solution, and instead learn how to set strict limits for the stuff we bring in• Overcome the frustration of dealing with our kids' influx of stuff and implement practical solutions for keeping the chaos at bay.• Recognize the pitfalls of an overstuffed schedule BEFORE it gets out of hand, and instead learn to combat the culture of busy that keeps us running from one thing to the next.• Finally conquer that mountain of paperwork that threatens to tumble down around us at any moment.• Let go of the guilt that gets attached to gifts and instead learn to separate our loved ones from their stuff.• Begin to cultivate our real friendships while eliminating the toxic relationships that weigh us down.*I was given an electronic copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers and happily provided an honest review.*[...]



The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim

2016-09-24T12:41:50.062-07:00

My Thoughts:The Alliance, written by Jolina Petersheim, is a thought provoking story of what could happen in an earth shattering, unseen future. The beginning of the book immediately grabs hold of readers when Moses Hughes' plane dramatically crashes into an Old Order Mennonite community after the instruments are destroyed, His accident was mysteriously caused by an electromagnetic pulse which wiped out technology- cars stop running, electricity fails, and telephones ceasing to work are only the beginning. Leora Ebersole, a young independent Mennonite, volunteers to care for Moses' wounds, although she's already responsible for her younger siblings and grandmother. When Moses reveals his concerns to the Mennonite community members it includes plans of guns and protection from the outside world. Chaos will be coming soon, he tells them, and they need to be prepared. What follows is something no one could have ever foreseen.I enjoyed this unique glimpse into the future with Mennonite and "Englisch" people working together for survival. There is tension, drama and emotion and the feeling of peril is pervasive. The story does tend to drag a bit in portions of the book but overall a good read. The sequel, The Divide, will be released in spring 2017.About the Book:When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. When the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.***Read a sample of The Alliance here!****I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*[...]



God Bless Us Everyone by Eva Marie Everson

2016-09-10T12:01:52.922-07:00

My Thoughts:God Bless Us Everyone is a contemporary story with parallels to the classic book, A Christmas Carol. Charlene Dixon was raised by her grandmother, "Sis", while keeping the whereabouts of her parents a secret. Life is good until she loses her position at an exclusive all-girls school. Charlene returns to her home town as the holidays approach and discovers that her old crush, Dusty Kennedy, is now the school drama teacher. Memories from the past assault her as she also runs into her father- whom she hasn't seen in many years. Has he changed? Can she forgive him? Charlene's grandmother and Dustin guide Charlene toward an introspective look into A Christmas Carol. Faith, grace and forgiveness play a large part in yesterday as well as today.God Bless Us Everyone is an interesting contemporary twist on an old story. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with many of the characters, as they all seemed a bit shallow to me. I wanted to like Charlene and Sis but their relationship appeared awkward, at best. I'd categorize this book as more of a novella and that's perhaps why the characters lacked the depth that I typically prefer in a story. I wanted to hear more about Dusty's wife and son, Charlene's mom and dad, as well as Charlene's grandmother. I was left with more questions than answers after finishing this book.God Bless Us Every One(Abingdon Press, September 2016)Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.{MORE ABOUT EVA MARIE EVERSON}Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of “The Road to Testament,” “Things Left Unspoken,” “This Fine Life,” “Chasing Sunsets,” “Waiting for Sunrise,” “Slow Moon Rising,” and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.Find out more about Eva Marie at http://www.evamarieeversonauthor.com.*I was given a copy of this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*[...]



The Things We Knew by Catherine West

2016-08-27T14:27:57.095-07:00

My Thoughts:The Things We Knew, by Catherine West, is a compelling family drama/mystery with intriguing flashbacks from the past scattered throughout. The Carlisle siblings- Lynette, Gray, Liz, David and Ryan grew up on the island of Nantucket in rambling Wyldewood Manor. Summers were filled with sailing, beach time and family until the night that their mother died. Questions remain unanswered as to the events of that evening. The tragedy spurred the scattering of the siblings and all but Lynette and her father, Drake, leave Nantucket in search of a new path. As the book beings we discover that Lynette is desperately trying to keep Wyldewood and is financially struggling while at the same time her father is losing his health. She demands a family gathering of all her siblings and upon there reunion finds that she's not the only one with problems. I really enjoyed the setting of this book- charming Nantucket and the glorious old Wyldewood mansion. It's badly in need of repair, but I'd love to be able to have a look inside this fictional home! The characters were richly described and I particularly liked the relationship between Lynette and the handsome next door neighbor, Nick. The mystery added the perfect amount of suspense while the flashbacks drew me deeper into the story. Very enjoyable!About the book: The Things We Knew (Thomas Nelson, July 2016)A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.After her mother's death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother's death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can't remember a bit of it.But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother's best friend and Lynette's first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can't.But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn't want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.As their father's failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface---secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/29vkFGhAbout the author:Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*[...]



If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy (& Other Myths Wives Believe)

2016-08-01T09:44:28.852-07:00

My Thoughts:This book is a life changer. The author, Rhonda Stoppe, addresses topics that every married, engaged, and yes, single woman should ponder. It's an easy to read, heartfelt, and entertaining "instruction book" for how to treat your husband, deal with hard times, think about sex, and basically how to be happy when marriage gets difficult- aka "when the honeymoon is over." ;) As I read her words I could feel God changing my heart and it was a beautiful, long overdue transition! (Her husband also writes his viewpoint at the end of each chapter which added an eye opening perspective.) Perhaps your marriage could use some fine tuning, too? :) I really enjoyed how the author told her personally humbling and "aha" moments. She's been there as a wife/mother/lover and understands how women think. I believe most of us are wired to think that our husbands are here to bring us happiness but truly we must find our joy in the Lord. "The key to...experiencing fulfillment in your marriage does not lie in how well your husband measures up to your expectations, but in how well you love God." Wow.  If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy is just what you need to fall in love with your husband all over again. About the book: If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House, August 2015)Like most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together.But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it's tempting to think, "If only my husband would change, I'd be happy."That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics as-understanding your husband's need for your unconditional respect-rekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first place-refusing to believe the lie that you'd be happier married to someone else-learning to be content in the midst of financial struggles-thinking about sex from a biblical worldviewIf you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2a9Izc6About the author:Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. She is an author and speaker dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. With more than 20 years' experience as a mom, mentor, and pastor's wife, Rhonda's wisdom and experience helps women discover significance in God and His specific purpose for their lives, connect biblical principles to everyday decisions, develop a loving marriage that others dream about, and influence the next generation by raising children with integrity.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram*I was given this  amazing book by Lituse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*[...]



Don't Go to Bed Angry Stay Up and Fight- How to Fight (Together) for your Marriage!

2016-07-06T09:45:43.656-07:00

Conflict in marriage is not the problem. It’s how we deal with it that makes it a problem. Learn how to deal with the conflict in Deb and Ron DeArmond’s new book, Don’t Go to Bed Angry. This is a book of tools, concepts, and worksheets designed to help each couple achieve the vision that God had when He placed Adam and Eve in the garden. Unity. Agreement. Power—found in marriage only when we authentically become one flesh. Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can safeguard—and even strengthen—your relationship.My Thoughts:Marriage. Honeymoon. It all seems so easy in the beginning. Love will get us through, right? Yep, we've all been there. Until that first disagreement, the first squabble. Wait a second. Should you cry, yell, use the silent treatment?? Pick your poison, but none of these will help you win. You know why? The enemy is not your spouse.The devil wants you to argue.He wants you to hate.He wants to rip apart your marriage.I was never taught how to verbally fight- let alone fight for my marriage. Were you? It's a skill that most of us thought we'd never need. Whether you're single, dating or married, there's a pretty good chance that you will. Don't go to Bed Angry- Stay Up and Fight, by Deb & Rob DeArmond is a wonderful tool for dealing with conflict and coming to a resolution. The authors skillfully guide you through their techniques by using marriage stories. It's almost like sitting in couples therapy- very insightful!This book has rules. Simple, but very helpful rules that guide you along. As couples we need a PLAN. Having a plan in life is better than just "winging it", don't you agree? I've been winging it for so long you'd think that I had sprouted wings! This book will help you to prepare for your next argument, cause you know it's out there!BEFORE an issue arises, keep these guidelines in mind...-The word of God is the blueprint for life as believers-Not in front of the kids-Don't use the "D" word-Exclude violenceAs you ENTER the discussion:-Pray-Timing is everything (When you're tired, hungry, etc. it's best to wait)-You must both actively work toward peace.-If it's not a big deal, don't make it a big deal.-TouchDon't go to Bed Angry- Stay Up and Fight offers more helpful guidelines in the book. They make sense and are simple to utilize. I felt relieved and hopeful reading this book as I now view my husband as my teammate and not the opposite team! I also felt guilty as I realize that my silent treatment is quite childish and destructive. Yes, that's my go to method of fighting. I don't know how to verbalize my needs/wants so I sulk. That is going to change now that I'm more knowledgeable and empowered. I don't desire to fight with my husband but now I view conflict as a means to potential (and welcome) change and healthy discussion. A must read!{MORE ABOUT DON’T GO TO BED ANGRY}Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight (Abingdon Press, June 2016)A practical handbook on how to fight better—together—for your marriage.In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can safeguard—and even strengthen—your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets and discussion questions make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start f[...]



The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale- 2016 summer favorite!

2016-06-21T07:29:35.637-07:00



It all begins with a mystery man, a secret and a friendship shared by three Southern women in a small town in Louisiana. The Secret to Hummingbird Cake is absolutely delicious and meant to be savored, like a frozen margarita on a hot summer night. Sweet and salty but every sip is delightful. You never want it to end! I was laughing out loud one second and crying the next. After the first chapter I was already looking to see what other books Celeste Fletcher McHale had written (The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories comes out next year!). The friendship shared by Carrigan, Ella Rae and Laine is outrageous and rich and all together beautiful. They met in grade school, cruising through the years with crushes and adventures all the while growing as sisters. The journey you share with them as you learn their story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. The most memorable character is Carrigan. Oh, how I wish I were more like her! Brave, outspoken and all heart, she is the driving force in the sisterhood. The way she meets her future husband is sizzling! And the way he comes to her rescue is swoon worthy!! My favorite character is Laine, though. She lives her life in such an unassuming manner. Looking out for those who are forgotten and often overlooked. She is the champion of the underdog. Brave and strong in her own quiet way. Celeste Fletcher McHale's writing style is an engaging combination of familiarly warm and cleverly humorous. I adored the main characters, flaws and all. They aren't even close to perfect and THAT is where the magic lies. They are friends I wish I knew and I was charmed by the way the author wove their pasts into the present. I'd love to read more about this trio! Perhaps a prequel? I highly recommend this book to ladies who are looking for a magnificent story of friendship, love and gracefully letting go. Prepare to laugh until you cry one minute and then bawl your eyes the next. You'll love every second. Will you learn the secret to hummingbird cake? I guess there's only one way to find out...

*I was given this incredible book by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*



Dawn at Emberwilde- Secrets, Smugglers and an Intriguing Love Triangle

2016-06-10T09:39:07.104-07:00

My Thoughts:Dawn at Emberwilde, written by Sarah Ladd, is a compelling combination of mystery, myth and romance. I adore Sarah Ladd's writing and I believe this is my favorite book of hers to date! Isabel Creston is a fledgling teacher, on the brink of beginning her career, when an invitation to come live with family arrives. Isabel's parents have passed away and she believes her younger sister, Lizzie, to be her only living family so the letter is quite a surprise. She and Lizzie embark on a journey to live at Emberwilde, an elegant estate that also contains a mysterious forest. Rumors of this dark wood come to light along with talk of the past, which includes conflicting information about Isabel's mother and father. Isabel begins to question what she believes to be true. To add to the confusion, there are two handsome men who are vying for her affections. I really enjoyed the love triangle in this story and the forest of Emberwilde is chillingly intriguing! Beauty, mystery and romance keep the story rolling at a delightfully rapid pace. There truly isn't a dull moment! Highly recommend for those who enjoy period mysteries and romance. Wonderful book! {MORE ABOUT DAWN AT EMBERWILDE}Dawn at Emberwilde(Thomas Nelson, May 2016)Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.Learn more and purchase a copy.{MORE ABOUT SARAH LADD}Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for “The Heiress of Winterwood.” She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.*I was given a copy of this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*[...]



"The Eleventh" on Feeln Review- Good, wholesome entertainment for the entire family!

2016-05-31T20:03:41.988-07:00

Feeln is the leading streaming service that brings you heartfelt stories of love and togetherness - anytime, anywhere. This May, Feeln launched its original series “The Eleventh” which stars a trifecta of TV legends including Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch, Dancing With The Stars), Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roots, Up), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Malcolm In The Middle), and newcomer Ren Harris. I was given the opportunity to review the first episode and share my thoughts with you. “The Eleventh” focuses on a young girl’s journey to getting to know her estranged grandmother in order to bring closure to the past and unite her family. Cloris Leachman plays the grandmother and does a wonderful job. There are many unanswered questions and mixed emotions when her granddaughter, Janey, appears at her door (seeing her grandmother for what she believes is the first time). Through letters written by her deceased mother, a key to an old chest is uncovered and pictures in an album come to light. A grieving, angry father (played convincingly by Christopher Atkins) demands that the grandmother stay out of their lives. The backstory is a mystery and the end of the episode is quite a cliffhanger!I enjoyed the fact that "The Eleventh" had an intriguing storyline and familiar faces such as Cloris Leachman, Christopher Atkins and Tracy Nelson (more to come). There was no foul language or nudity and that was refreshing! I would love to watch the next episode as the cliffhanger ending left me wanting to find out more of the story. I'd recommend this show to anyone who enjoys good, wholesome entertainment for the entire family!I didn't particularly enjoy the main character,  Janey, as she appears quite shallow and emotionless, bordering on boring, in my opinion. I imagine she'll (hopefully) evolve into a deeper personality as the show develops.  *To watch full episodes of ‘The Eleventh’ on Feeln go HERE!  About Feeln: Feeln is the leading streaming service that brings you heartfelt stories of love and togetherness, anytime, anywhere. All movies are handpicked so you spend less time searching and more time with the stories you love. Feeln brings home the exclusive library of Hallmark Hall of Fame features, Hollywood movies and TV series, and award-winning originals you won’t find anywhere else.[...]



Her One and Only by Becky Wade- Exciting ending to the Porter Family series!

2016-05-28T20:05:21.621-07:00

My Thoughts:I've been anxiously awaiting this book. The Porter siblings, Bo, Ty, and Jake have become like family to me (Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, A Love Like Ours) and I was thrilled to read their little sister, Dru's story. Don't be misled by the term"little sister", friends.  Dru is feisty, independent and drop dead gorgeous! She's an ex-Marine, expert markswoman and a black belt (with a taste for Doritos and Pop Tarts). ;)  Her current occupation is as as executive protection agent, aka bodyguard, for pro football player, Gray Fowler (awesome name, don't you agree?). Gray's life has been threatened and Dru is committed to discovering who wants to harm him. He's tough as nails, makes ladies of all ages swoon, and he absolutely doesn't want his friends to know that he's being protected by a girl. Would Becky Wade be able to deliver another exciting, romantic, and compelling book? The other 3 books in this series were crazy fabulous (my daughters and I still talk about Ty!) and I was a little concerned that the last book may not be able to live up to the others. Boy, was I wrong. Her One and Only completes the series with a BANG- literally! I loved the mystery that the author wove into the story and the relationship between Dru and Gray absolutely sizzled. Sparks were flying from the moment they met! There is humor and delightful characters as well. Augustine, Dru's elderly motorcycle riding, Precious Moments collecting neighbor, is adorable and Ashley, Gray's super sweet, housekeeping Doris Day, is endearing. As always, I eagerly caught up on the happenings of the family. Meg & Bo, Ty & Celia and Jake & Lindie all play a delightful part in this story. I'd be thrilled if someone would create a TV series of the Porter family! Lifetime? Feeln?? Please??!!Click HERE to read the first chapter!About the book: Her One and Only (Bethany House, May 2016)After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans.But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt---none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she's determined to find Gray's stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they'll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives---and their hearts---to one another. Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NrA4cOAbout the author:Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | InstagramMeet Dru Porter, former Marine, expert markswoman, and black belt—who also happens to be assigned as a bodyguard to star NFL tight end Gray Fowler[...]



Phil Wickham - Children of God review

2016-05-25T09:40:21.140-07:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EQyXsJMkUPg" width="480">My Thoughts:When I first heard the song, Your Love Awakens Me, I immediately became a Phil Wickham fan. It was the first I had heard of him, but my 13 year old recognized the name immediately. "They played his music at my ballet summer intensive last summer, Mom." (Great job, Ballet Mag!) I'm just a little late to the game but that's alright! ;) Phil Wickham's new CD "Children of God" is excellent! Praise music with a great beat and fabulous message. It's Phil Wickham's first release since having a polyp removed from his vocal cords. After surgery he was unable to talk for a month and it was unsure if he would ever sing the again. This chapter of his life has become part of Phil's testimony and the lyrics in his music echo the experience and his praise to the Lord. Phil definitely delivers an amazing album with God by His side! I'd describe Phil Wickham as a combination of Chris Tomlin (sincere and melodious) and Bono (he can belt it out!) but with his own unique sound."Children of God" contains powerfully passionate rock tunes as well as gloriously intimate, slower melodies. If you enjoy contemporary praise music, I believe you'll love this CD and Phil Wickham!iTunes: http://smarturl.it/PW-COGiTunes
 Amazon: http://smarturl.it/PW-COG-AmazonSpotify: http://smarturl.it/PW-COG-Spotify  YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQyXsJMkUPg*I was given this awesome CD from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. NO other compensation was received.*[...]



Sister Dear by Laura McNeill- A Delightfully Thrilling Ride!

2016-05-15T21:13:51.812-07:00

My Thoughts:Sister Dear, by Laura McNeill, hooked me from the first page. The book begins with Allie Marshall being released from prison after 10 years. She was convicted of murder but things aren't always as they appear... Returning to Brunswick, GA, Allie anxiously anticipates reconnecting with her daughter, Caroline, and beginning a new life. I soon discovered that parts of Allie's past have yet to be uncovered and the townspeople are not anxious to have her return. Ever. To make matters worse, Allie's only sister, Emma, who's been raising Caroline in her absence, has secrets of her own and a plan to keep things just the way they are. There are so many reasons that Sister Dear is a great read. The characters are interesting and well developed. Their stories unfold in varying voices alternating between chapters making it difficult to put down! The drama is a compelling puzzle that twists and turns. I wanted to fit all the pieces together in one sitting! The tone is delightfully chilling and keeps the reader guessing as to what will happen next. Perfect for a day in the sun or a night by the fire. I can't wait to read more from this author!About the book: Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish --- time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret---one that holds the key to Allie's freedom.Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/24TOGXKAbout the author:Laura McNeill is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she's not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram*This exciting book was given to my by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*[...]



The League and the Lantern by Brian Wells- Preteen/Teen Summer Sensation GIVEAWAY!

2016-05-12T00:10:57.425-07:00

My Thoughts:The League and the Lantern is a must summer read for your preteen, teen or yourself (I loved the adventure and I'm 47!) Jake Herndon and his classmates (Lucy and TJ) reminded me a bit of Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron as they're thrown together into a dangerous quest at the beginning of this engagingly exciting (and cleverly humorous) book. History, trivia and moral values all play an important part in this non-stop thrilling ride where villains are lurking at every turn and you never know exactly who you can trust. When Jake, Lucy and TJ aren't on the run they keep their readers in stitches with hilarious Avengers, Princess Bride, and quest for food (no health food, thank you) banter. Explosions, hand sanitizer emergencies, round house kicks, and Secret Service agents will engage readers of all ages. My 13 year old daughter can't wait to read it and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!*Would you like to read The League and the Lantern? FlyBy Promotions is giving away a copy to one of my readers! Enter by leaving a comment on this post!*Author: Brian Wells•                A concerned dad who couldn’t find quality entertainment for his kids. He has worked and produced 15 TV movies for the major networks, and this is his book debut. Synopsis:The League and the Lantern is the first book in a new adventure series for middle-school readers. It all starts when a dangerous organization invades Jake Herndon’s seventh-grade sleepover. He escapes along with two new classmates, Lucy and TJ, only to face a 48-hour fight for survival on the streets of Chicago. The kids unravel a mystery dating back to the Civil War, and an incredible secret about Jake’s family. Along the way they learn unexpected lessons about courage, family and friendship."Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” [...]



Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

2016-05-08T18:16:11.893-07:00

My Thoughts:Cynthia Ruchti's writing is full of honesty, humor, faith and hope. Her characters are beautifully flawed and a joy to discover. They are just like you and me. Song of Silence deals with loss- of a job, a loved one, a passion and rediscovery- of faith, joy, new dreams. Lucy Tuttle's life revolves around music. It's her passion, who she is as well as what she does. She can't imagine life without it. At the beginning of the book she loses her job as a music teacher and Lucy tumbles into utter devastation. Her family tries in vain to uplift her and encourage but, as many of us know, the path to recovery can be a long one and God has His own timing. There is no way to predict the future and Lucy's in for quite a few surprises- good and bad. Her relationship with her long suffering husband is adorable. He's retired and wants to spend every second together. Lucy needs more "me" time. (Add to that that his newly discovered passion of harvesting worms. What??!) Cynthia Ruchti weaves humor (laugh out loud!) into her stories. Yes, there are tears but just as many giggles and this is one of the many reasons I treasure her books. I've loved every one I've read so far and plan on reading and re-reading them. Highest recommendations!!About the book: Song of Silence (Abingdon, April 2016)Music taught Lucy love and beauty. Could silence teach her hope?Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they're committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. Charlie retired early, but Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her form the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith's song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees---and hears---everything.Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1RAajD2 About the author:Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She's the award-winning author of 17 books and a frequent speaker for women's ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestAs the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, will Lucy's faith song go silent, too? Find out in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, Song of Silence. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes. When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.Celebrate the release of Song of Silence with a blog tour and giveaway. Two winners will be chosen! One grand prize winner will receive:A copy of Song of SilenceA $150 Visa cash cardOne second place winner will receive:A copy of Song of SilenceA music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by CynthiaEnter today by clicking the icon below. But[...]



Her One and Only Facebook Party!

2016-04-24T14:25:03.747-07:00

 A female bodyguard plus her star NFL client plus danger equals a great recipe for romance! Her One and Only, book four in Becky Wade's Porter Family novels, releases May 3. To celebrate, Becky is hosting an author chat party on her Facebook page on May 5 at 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT. Join Becky for an evening of book chat with other bookworms and prizes.Plus a portion of all pre-sales and sales the release week of Her One and Only will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more details on how to purchase a copy, click here.About the BookAfter ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.Learn more and purchase a copy.[...]