Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: The Women of Christmas

God Reached Down from Heaven with the Best Gift of All
A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God.
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.
My Review:
I love Christmas and I love Christmas books.  I really love when Christmas books bring you back to the real reason for the season-Christ.  This book is like none I've ever read as it talks not only about Mary, but also the major roles that Elizabeth and Anna played in the birth of Christ.  This is a great book to read to get in the true Christmas spirit and reflect on the real meaning behind the season.  We always get so busy with things and it is nice to have a book like this to help us reflect.  There was so much that I learned about these women, especially about Elizabeth and Anna.  I never, ever realized the crucial roles they played.  It is amazing how God worked everything out for the good of all.  There are so many pieces to every puzzle and He knows exactly how they need to be put together.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Ragamuffin Bible

Book Description

Do you believe that God not only loves you, but that he also likes you?

It's just one of the soul-searching questions posed by bestselling author Brennan Manning who confesses he has been 'John the beloved, Peter the coward, and Thomas the doubter all before the waitress brought the check.'

The NIV Ragamuffin Bible offers a collection of Manning’s raw, painfully honest, yet grace-filled devotions, meditations, and reflections of his journey limping back to---like the prodigal son---his overjoyed father. When you journey through this Bible, you will likewise find yourself returning to your Heavenly Father, basking in the knowledge that God not only loves you, he delights in you.


  • Complete text of the world’s most popular modern-English Bible, the NIV
  • 104 Devotions guide you into a deeper connection to God and his Word
  • 250 Reflections help you understand what it means to be a child of God
  • 150 Quotes offer short but thoughtful insights into God’s kingdom

My Review:
Everyone needs a Bible and everyone loves a Bible.  This Bible was a joy to get and I am so excited to be able to pass it on to someone who needs it!  I really enjoyed the extras in this Bible, but they were not as awesome as I was hoping they would be.  They definitely make a great addition to an already amazing book, but I was hoping for a little bit more.  The quotes, reflections and devotions do help enforce what is written and they do help you delve deeper into your relationship with the Lord.  I highly recommend this Bible if you are looking for one with a little something special in it. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review and Giveaway: Aloha Rose

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

About the book: 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.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense and Christian 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:
My Review:
As a family, we are extremely drawn to adoption, which means that I have often thought about how I would feel if my adopted child wanted to find their birth parents.  Because of this, I was drawn to read this book.  This book goes deep into how the main character, Laney, longs to find her birth parents.  It follows her on her journey.  I really enjoyed reading this side of that story.  This book is well written and easy to read.  It is one of those books that you can pick up and finish where you left off. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review and Giveaway: Stones for Bread

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.

About the book: 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.

Purchase your copy:

Meet the author: 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:
My Review:
First of all, this book made me want to eat bread... lots of bread.  Second, this book made me want to make lots of bread (probably to eat).  The story behind this book was well written and enjoyable.  I really longed to hear more about several of the characters in the story as they were so interesting.  There recipes in the book are a fun addition to the wonderful story.  Parrish is a great story teller and the way she describes everything in the book is almost terrific.  Like I've said, this book is much more than a book about a bread maker, but I promise you will want to eat lots of bread while reading it!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: Just One More Thing Before You Leave Home

About the book: This is the book we wish our parents gave us.
Just One More Thing: Before You Leave Home is a packed guide to help young adults enter life on their own. In the book, the Gudgels use stories, perspectives, and dialogues to discuss 30 indispensable topics to help teens survive, including: worldview, financial challenges, use of time, career moves, moral dilemmas, sex, painful experiences, and spiritual life, among others. Written from a Biblical perspective, the book is more of a guide to making good decisions than a lecture on how to live., It's perfect for a parent and teen to go over together or to give as a thoughtful gift. This is a book they'll reference for years to come.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the authors: Dave & Bernice Gudgel are committed to walking intentionally with God and helping others do the same. Bernice has a degree in Psychology and has focused her adult life on raising three kids and leading various ministries in the church where people can connect with God and each other. Dave is a pastor and teaches for Walk Thru the Bible.

Learn more at:

My Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book.  There are 30 topics that we, as parents, need to go over many times with our children, especially before they leave the nest.  I love books that are reference-types, like this one.  My children are far from the age of leaving home, but having this book now will help me talk about these issues for years before they leave.  I really appreciate being able to go to this book for tips, ideas and reminders on what to talk about and how to talk about those issues.  This is a great book for all parents to keep on the book shelf!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Review: Adventure Bible Handbook

Book Description

A fun and exciting journey through the Bible told in comic book style for kids ages 9-12. Companion to the bestselling Adventure Bible.

Kids (ages 9-12) and parents who love the bestselling Adventure Bible and want a fun and engaging supplement to their biblical study need look no further. The Adventure Bible Handbook leads tween boys and girls across the Holy Land and back in time on an entertaining, educational, and inspirational quest to find their missing father.

Four siblings travel with their archaeologist father to the Holy Land, where he is conducting an expedition in search of scientific truth. When he disappears, the children try to find him by joining an offbeat tour group organized by two zany guides whose mission, they eventually discover, is to lead kids on a fun, exciting, and life-changing quest for ultimate truth. Soon the group is visiting ancient cities, important geographical sites, and experiencing biblical times firsthand—traveling back in time with the help of some RSPs (Really Smart Phones) and all sorts of wacky modes of transportation.

It’s a fast, fun, eyewitness adventure around the world and through some of the greatest Bible stories to learn what life is really all about.

Book Review:
Oh My Goodness!  This is such a wonderful book!  When I saw that this book was available for review, I was so interested because I was hoping I could use it as a supplement for our Bible curriculum.  We do not have the Adventure Bible that this goes along with, but I am not interested in looking into that as well.  When this book came, my husband opened it (he never cares about the books I review) and he immediately was drawn into it and started reading it.  As soon as my daughter saw it she spent at least an hour reading it.  I cannot normally get her to read anything for more than 5 or 10 minutes without a huge fight.  This book is so colorful and written like a comic book.  I could not recommend a book like this any higher!  We love it!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: The Total Money Makeover


Book Description

If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.
Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.
Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition.
By now, you’ve heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you’re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this—it’s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition, you’ll be able to:
  • Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt—meaning cars, houses, everything
  • Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)
  • Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!
My Review:
Our goal is to become debt free.  We want to live debt free, worry (about money) free, wonderful lives and unfortunately when you haven't lived with that thought process from the beginning it takes some work to get there.  In this book there are so many helpful tips, tricks, hints and plain obvious words of wisdom.  I think that Dave Ramsey is a leader in this area and his advice is golden.  He is serious about his leadership and he is very wise.  He speaks so matter of fact and I love that.
If you are looking for financial advice, I definitely recommend this book!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: A Christmas Gift for Rose

Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her first Christmas novella, A Christmas Gift for Rosewith a Christmas Gift giveaway! 

Enter to win a NEW Kindle Fire HDX for you AND one for a friend!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX and one to give away to a friend!
  • A Christmas Gift for Rose, by Tricia Goyer for you and your friend!
Four second place winners will receive:
  • A Christmas Gift for Rose Christmas pack (includes a recipe card, bookmark, a signed book plate, discussion questions, and a Gathering & Giving handout!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. All winners will be announced October 21st at Tricia's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Tricia's blog on the 21st to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

About the book: Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War
II---only to discover she's an Englischer herself. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own
kind---Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.

Purchase a copy:

About Tricia: USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and "Lead Your Family Like Jesus," (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children.

You can find out more about Tricia at
My Review:
First of all, I love Christmas books.  It is my absolute most favorite time of year and reading books set during that time of year just bring me even more joy.  Secondly, I love Tricia Goyer's books.  They are always so well written and enjoyable.  This one was great.  It is shorter than most books, which can be nice when you want a great story but don't always have the time to sit and read forever.  This story was set around WWII, which was different from what I had read in any Amish story before.  There were other twists in the story that I enjoyed very much.  This was a wonderful story and I highly recommend it!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 19, 2013

She's Here!!

There's so much to say and soon I will but for now:

Rylee Nicole came wed night the 7th a little after 11pm VBAC!!! She was teeny tiny weighing 7lbs 3oz and was 19 inches long. She is totally perfect and I'm overwhelmed with love and gratitude to God. Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pregnancy Update.... Long Overdue and Total Randomness!!

I have neglected my blog sooo much and I am disappointed that I have had no real desire to blog more, especially about this pregnancy. 

But, it is what it is. 

I am about 38 weeks pregnant and ready to go!  I keep trying to remind myself that at the most I have 3 weeks left.  3 weeks because my dr (and I) really do not want to go that far past my due date before just scheduling a repeat c-sec. 

My ultimate goal is to have a VBAC.  And, yes, I am pretty scared!  Hahaha!  Some days, I want her out so badly just to hold and see in person that I am half tempted to just schedule a repeat for any time now.  Of course then I think about how I want more children and how continuous c-secs are not safe.  My dr only recommends 3 btw, which would leave me with only 1 more child.  Biologically, of course.

Recovering from a c-sec is miserable, too.  At least it was for me.  I've heard that scheduled ones are not nearly as bad as unplanned/emergency ones, but still. 

I would actually take one if they offered a tummy tuck to go with it... don't you think that should be standard with c-secs?  I mean you are already having major surgery and are already cut in exactly the right places.... I vote yes!

So what am I doing to try to go into labor naturally? 

What am I not doing?

I'm taking 2500 mg of evening primrose oil and 1000 mg of red raspberry leaf (which I know does not help induce labor but only helps to strengthen your uterine muscles).  We have been doing the closed door method also... isn't that such a polite term?  I read it the other day.  I've also been doing lots of ni*ple stimulation.  And I started walking last night... yes.... how awful I am just now starting to really go out and walk, but the hot, sticky weather isn't so appealing to me.  The walk definitely did something... I am pretty sore down there.  And I actually don't know where down there is- my bladder?  my uterine muscles?  I don't know.  I just know it hurts a lot more "down there" when I walk.  So definitely more walking is in store for me.  I am not at all lacking in the Braxton Hicks contraction area as I have them about every 10 minutes and have been for several weeks.  For months I have been having them farther apart.  Luckily, most of them don't hurt. 

I seem to ovulate late because each of my 3 babies have been exactly 10 days smaller than their due date according to my last menstrual period.  Now I can't imagine that I ovulate that late in the month, but somehow they are all off.  When the dr measures my stomach though I am always 1-3 weeks bigger and with K being 9 lbs 5 oz and 20.5 inches I know she was not lacking in size.  With Kassidy, they changed my date.  With Paisley, I think they changed the date and with Rylee I was thrilled when he didn't change the date.  Who wants to go to their first ultrasound at 8 weeks and be told they are only about 6?  Not I! 

My point being that with Kassidy I had her exactly in between the 2 dates.  I also took evening primrose oil and did lots of ni*ple stimulation the night before I went into labor.  I've always thought that I had a serious hand in putting myself into labor, but now I am not quite sure since I seem to be doing even more this time around and am getting nowhere.

My dr was supposed to start sweeping my membranes last week, but I was not dilated at all.  :(  Total bummer, but I go again this Thursday and hopefully we will get that done then!

I definitely need to write down more here as a place to keep these memories since I can't seem to remember anything! 

Book Review and Giveaway: Anomaly

Krista McGee is celebrating the release of Anomaly, the first book in her new YA dystopian series, with an iPad Mini Giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card (download Anomaly to the iPad!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced at Krista's website on August 2nd.

Spread the word about Krista and her giveaway HERE!

About Anomaly: Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.
Decades before Thalli's birth, the world ended in a nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won't threaten their lives again.
But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli's secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.
She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists' Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.
As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer---someone even more powerful than The Ten. What's more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she's been looking for all along.
Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out . . .
Purchase a copy:
Meet Krista: When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of "Anomaly", "First Date", "Starring Me", and "Right Where I Belong".

Connect with Krista

My Review:
I was so excited when this book came in the mail.  I started reading it right away and had trouble putting it down.  There are so many twists and turns including one at the very end that left me questioning the whole story.... the kind that makes you want to go back and read it all over again!  This book is labeled as Juvenile, but I definitely enjoyed it and think other adults would as well.  I love that for teens this book does have a little bit of romance but it is completely clean and appropriate.  Great book!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review and Giveaway: Rosemary Cottage


Water can be calming and healing, but it can also be dangerous, as Amy Lange and Curtis Ireland both found out. Both lost their siblings to the sea, and they hope to find healing on Hope Island. But will they find it, or will their quest to find answers set them at odds with each other and with those who have secrets that need to stay hidden?

Find out in Colleen Coble’s latest book, Rosemary Cottage, which released July 9. To celebrate, Colleen is hosting a 12-day Nautical Summer Giveaway. From July 16-27, Colleen will be giving away a new nautical prize every day. She’ll announce the winners on July 29 on her website, so mark your calendars for that date to see if you were picked as a lucky winner!

Not on Facebook? Enter here.
About Rosemary Cottage: Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there's a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island . . .

The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lange respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She's even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It's always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben's disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.

Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine's father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can't help being drawn to Hope Beach's new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina.

Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other . . . and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?

Purchase a copy:

Meet Colleen: Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

Learn more about Colleen:

My Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book.  It is filled with everything I love- romance, mystery, and also some very appropriate babies and midwifery.  The story definitely draws you in and makes you want to keep reading.  This makes such a wonderful summer read and I recommend it to other women who enjoy this kind of book as well.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review: A Bride for All Seasons

Four novellas, four brides, and four stories to fall in love with. 
Enter the world of mail-order brides with four of your favorite authors: Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, and Margaret Brownley. In A Bride for All Seasons (Thomas Nelson) each of the prospective brides is hopeful for a second chance at love—and that second chance always seems to come in an unexpected package.
The authors are celebrating with a fun 12 Days of Unexpected Packages Giveaway! Between July 12-23 visit the authors’ Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on July 23rd! Such fun!

More about A Bride For All Seasons:
It All Started with an Ad in a Mail Order Bride Catalogue . . .
Melvin Hitchcock of the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalog isn't dishonest---not exactly. If he tweaks his clients' applications a bit, it's because he's looking out for their best interests.
This charming bouquet of novellas introduces four Hitching Post prospects in the year 1870, each one eager for second chances . . . and hungry for happiness. Year in, year out, they'll learn that love often comes in unexpected packages.
And Then Came Spring by Margaret Brownley
Mary-Jo has been unlucky all her life. But who would guess she'd travel halfway across the country to meet her match . . . only to find him dead!
An Ever-After Summer by Debra Clopton
Ellie had no idea she's not what Matthew ordered. And what's wrong with being a "Bible thumper" anyway? She's determined to show him she's tougher than she looks---and just the girl he needs.
Autumn's Angel by Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena would be perfect for Clay if she didn't come with kids. But kids are a deal breaker, especially in a rough-and-trouble mining town. The trouble is, there's no money to send them back. . .
Winter Wedding Bells by Mary Connealy
David's convinced he's not long for the world. He needs someone to mother his boys when he's gone---nothing more. Can plucky Irish Megan convince him to work at living instead of dying?
Purchase a copy:
Meet the Authors:
Margaret Brownley is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. @margaretbrownley 
Robin Lee Hatcher is a Christy and RITA award-winning author. Her books often appear on bestseller lists. @robinleehatcher 
Mary Connealy is a Carol Award winner, an a RITA, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. @MaryConnealy 
Debra Clopton is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra has her first book coming as a movie starring LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton
My Review:
I absolutely loved these stories!  Of course, I have my favorite seasons and I really love reading stories set in those times.  I loved each of the "seasons" and I love that each one brings on a different setting and details.  This book makes a great, easy read and I loved reading it. 
I recommend this book to all women who love easy, enjoyable, romance stories.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: Undaunted

Book Description

Christine Caine offers life-transforming insights about how not only to overcome the challenges, wrong turns, and often painful circumstances we all experience, but also to actually grow from those experiences and be equipped and empowered to help others. Using her own dramatic life story, Caine shows how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. Her personal stories inspire readers to hear their name called, just as Christine heard her own---“You are beloved. You are the hope. You are chosen”---to go into a dark and troubled world, knowing each of us possess all it takes to bring hope, create change, and live completely for Christ. Part inspirational tale, part manifesto to stir readers to lives of adventure, Undaunted shows the way with spiritual wisdom and insight.

My Review:
I was so excited to read a book by this amazing woman of God.  I heard her speak at a church we used to attend and she blew me away!  The book did not disappoint and I recommend it to every woman.  She is amazing because she fully lives out her purpose and calling in life.  This book encourages you, in whatever area you are in, to live out your life fully for God, which is what, I believe, we all want to do as Christians.  I highly recommend the book and I highly recommend going to see her speak if you ever get the chance!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Afloat

Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway.
One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin's blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin's blog on the 17th!

About Afloat:

Who will you trust when dark waters rise?

Eagle's Talon is an architectural marvel-shining residential units afloat in a protected cove of the gorgeous Rondeau River. The project is nearly complete, partially occupied, and ready to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Then torrential rains and a flood leave a ragged collection of builders, investors, and residents stranded in one floating building, cut off from the rest of the world.
They're bitterly divided over what to do next.
Architect Vance Nolan insists they should sit tight and wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single mom Danielle Clement, desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, struggles to hold their motley band together.
Power failure, a pall of unnatural daytime darkness, explosions in the distance, then a murder ratchet tensions to a boiling point. But Danielle's young son, Simeon, has spotted something strange underwater-beautiful, shifting lights in the dark water below.
In this watery world where everyone's secrets will eventually come to light, salvation may mean more than just getting out alive.
Another stunning exploration of the human spirit and supernatural possibilities from best-selling author Erin Healy.

Purchase a copy:

Meet Erin:

Erin Healy is the best-selling co-author of "Burn" and "Kiss" (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels "Never Let You Go", "The Baker's Wife", "House of Mercy", and "Afloat". She and her family live in Colorado. Erin can be contacted through her website or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.
Find out more about Erin at

My Review:
This book definitely starts out with a bang and makes you want to keep reading.  It is not my normal choice for genres, but I was not at all disappointed and will look into more of Erin Healy's books.  There is drama, action, excitement and some romance all while touching on interesting topics like angels, life and death. 
I recommend this book to anyone who already likes this kind of book, but I also recommend it to people who have never read this genre before.  You will not be disappointed.  This is not an easy book to put down as there continues to be twists and turns.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Husband Doesn't Want Me To Work

I've finally come to that conclusion. 
He doesn't want me to work.
Oh, he likes to mention job opportunities to me... usually ones that I am not qualified for, but he really wants me home. 
I've nannied before and that seems to work out the best for me, but now being pregnant and having Kassidy also I don't seem to be a super attractive potential nanny, which I understand.
Anddd.... really Mike has been ok with me nannying because 1) the money is pretty good 2) the hours have worked out well 3) we were either at my house and/or their house was close-by and 4) we have been blessed with some pretty good "employers" (and then there were the craaazzy ones).
I just recently quit my awful job about 2 months ago and while I miss the money tremendously, I am so happy to be back home when I should be as that job was in the evenings.
I don't really know if Mike would completely admit that he wants me home, but I know it.
He likes me home during the day since we homeschool and are adding a baby to the family that will not be going to any childcare places.

He likes me home during the day also because it makes our evenings (usually) less chaotic.
He likes me home at night because he likes me home.  Hahaha.  He loves to watch tv together, eat together and just be together.  Plus, we have activities in the evening like sports, etc. 
So although we would absolutely love and really do need the income, my being home is more important. 

I've looked for jobs and been offered jobs in the past year or so and it does nothing but create fights between us.  Either it's too far, it's not enough money to be worth it, it's a "strange" job, it's hours he doesn't like, etc. etc. etc. 
Being home is where I feel I should be and if something comes up to make some money in a way that we both agree on that would be a huge blessing, but I really feel like being home is the biggest blessing ever.  :)
What about you?  Do you work outside the home?  How does your husband feel about it?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: When God Makes Lemonade

Book Description:
Do you know someone who needs some encouragement? Perhaps that someone is you.

In When God Makes Lemonade, author Don Jacobson has collected real-life stories from around the world that show everyday folks discovering unexpected sweetness in the midst of sour circumstances. Some are funny, others are sobering, and more than a few will bring tears of amazement. But these true stories all have one thing in common: hope.

There's no question that life gives us "lemons," like issues with health, employment, and relationships. But when those lemons become lemonade, it's as refreshing as a cold drink on a hot summer day.

It's true that in life "stuff" happens, but as you'll see in these stories, Lemonade Happens too!
My Review:
This book is filled with stories about how God changes the situations we sometimes find ourselves in that seem hopeless to mold and impact our lives for the better.  There are some stories about a man shooting himself and almost dying, about a handicapped baby living a short life, and about a plane crash.  Those situations sound hopeless... like we were only given lemons.  But, God can make lemonade out of anything!  He works hard to make lemonade for all of us, every single day.  So often, we do not realize the beauty that has come from our pain and we miss an opportunity to see God's amazing work.  This book helps you see the lemonade in people's lives and hopefully will help you see the delicious, amazing, wonderful lemonade God has made and will continue to make in your life!
The stories are short and sweet at only a few pages each so you can always pick up and stop quickly.  I recommend this book to everyone. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review and Giveaways: Darkness Before Dawn

In his latest novel, Darkness Before Dawn (Abingdon Press), Ace Collins leads readers on an emotionally charged ride from revenge to forgiveness.

fb-rafflecopter iconAce is celebrating the release of Darkness Before Dawn with a Retribution v. Redemption 12-Day Giveaway!

Go {HERE} or click the button for all the details. Follow along for a new giveaway each day. (Moleskin journal, books, Starbucks gift cards and so much more!)

 About Darkness Before Dawn: Will grief push Meg over the edge?

On the same night she discovers she is pregnant, twenty-eight-year-old nurse Meg Richards's husband is killed in an auto accident caused by a drunken teen. James Thomas comes from one of the most influential families in the community. He's a star athlete and glamour boy at the local high school. But the accident he caused will change his life---and Meg's future---forever.
Angered by her senseless loss and facing life as a single mother, Meg blames God for what has happened and considers a decision that could change her life even further. Enraged by the brutal trial and the court's decision, Meg starts down a frightening path of retribution. When the opportunity for revenge comes unexpectedly, will Meg follow through? Or will the remnants of her faith lead her in a different direction?

Purchase a copy:

Meet Ace: Bestselling author Ace Collins has written more than 60 books including novels "Swope's Ridge" and "Words of the Father," as well as the nonfiction "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas"; and "Lassie: A Dog's Life". His books have become movies and network television specials. Ace Collins has sold more than 1.5 million books during his career and makes his home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Learn more about Ace at:
My Review:
This story makes us all consider what we would do if we were in the main character's position.  Meg is faced with an enormous trial in life and in the beginning she doesn't really do what we are called to do as Christians, but would we be able to act any differently?  This book is a good read and is not so easy to put down.  It challenges you to think about how you would react to losing a loved one and if revenge would follow.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a great "beachy" read.  It isn't an easy book to read in that it's not all rainbows and smiles, but it is a capturing book with real issues.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sharing the Kicks

Our little frog, aka Rylee, aka the baby in my tummy, is quite a mover and kicker.  I am not at all surprised as Kassidy was also.
I pretty much have this girl's schedule down.  I'm thinking she might, unfortunately, not be the amazing morning child that Kassidy is. 
She might be more like me... anything but a morning person.  :/
We will see. 
I first felt Rylee move around 14 weeks.
At our 22 week appointment, Mike barely felt her move in my belly.
The past 3 weeks have consisted of me constantly grabbing Mike's hand to try and feel her, with no success and to the point of Mike thinking I was crazy for thinking he could feel her kicks.... they could only be felt from inside.
Untilllll.... two nights ago, at 25 weeks.  He felt her kick a couple times and tonight he felt her give a few really great ones!!
She is a crazy mover!!
One minute she is bouncing on my bladder.  The next she is kicking my ribs.  After that she kicks some right in the middle of my belly.  And of course, there are those that can be felt on complete opposite ends.  I have no idea what she is doing in there!
Wouldn't it be cool if we had clear bellies?  Ok, maybe only during pregnancy.  And maybe only the ability to see our growing babies.  Not everything else.  :) 
When did your husband first feel your baby?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review & Video: Lead Your Family Like Jesus

More about Lead Your Family Like Jesus:

Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families

(Focus on the Family/Tyndale) - Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus, points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light-as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book's practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference.
Link to buy the book:
Meet the Authors:
 Bestselling author of more than 30 novels, nine nonfiction books, and more than three hundred articles for national publications; 2003 "Writer of the Year" at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference; popular blog writer, speaker, and radio host
Learn more about Tricia at
Leadership expert and author of over 50 books, including the New York Times bestseller, The One-Minute Manager; cofounder of Lead Like Jesus; and coauthor of Lead Like Jesus; Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time
Learn more about Ken at

A human resource and industrial relations manager in corporate America for 36 years with Xerox Corporation and U.S. Steel, co- founder of Lead Like Jesus; co-author of five books, including The Servant Leader and Leadership by the Book with Bill Hybels.
Learn more about Phil at

My Review:
Who doesn't want to lead their family like Jesus would?  I know that we do, as parents.  I loved this book!  And look at the authors!!  They are definitely leaders and people who I can learn alot from.  Of course, there were bigger issues that the book dealt with, but I think my favorite parts were when they discussed the little issues, that turn into big issues.  I really learned alot from this book and plan to read it over several more times.  It is definitely a great book for every single parent to read, whether you are Christian or not.  Every idea is great for every parent and does not all have to be taken from a religious point of view.  Excellent book for every parent!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Favorite Maternity and Newborn Pics

Absolutely love these photos!

beach maternity Jane Gilbey Photography
Photo by Jane Gilbey Photography
Photos by Jane Gilbey Photography

This one literally brought tears to my eyes, maybe because K will be about this age when little Rylee comes.

I hope that I have given credit where credit is due have completely forgotten how to do it!!  Since only a week or so ago.  Yes, that is my brain especially my pregnant brain.