Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Review: For Every Season....

 
 Struggling relationships, secrets and restlessness of the heart continue to plague all of the characters in Cindy Woodsmall's third book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.   Because I had read the first and second book, I went into this one with high hopes of having some questions about the characters answered! Cindy does an incredible job of describing the Amish day to day life and I find myself wanting to read more and more.  That's a good indication of an excellent writer in my opinion!

To be completely honest, I really had a hard time getting into For Every Season.  But once I forced myself to pick it up, I was pleasantly surprised at how the story unfolded.  Rhoda, Samuel and Jacob continue to struggle until the inevitable happens and Cindy was able to stay true to the kind of people she created them to be from the beginning.

If you are an Amish Fiction fan, I think you'd really enjoy this series!  And stay tuned because book number four is due to come out in April of 2014!

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing this book to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

PS: Book number three also includes a couple of apple recipes! :)



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Review: Traces of Mercy....

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Traces of Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2013)
by
Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson. 
****
Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the house.


ABOUT THE BOOK
From Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley, authors of The Silent Gift and creators of the hit television film Love Comes Softly, comes an exciting historical romance set in post-Civil War, and filled with suspense and faith-building values.

At the war’s end, a young woman suffers an accident that leaves her unconscious and alone. Waking with amnesia, she takes the name Mercy and wants more than anything to find out the truth of her past. But then a handsome stranger arrives, who may hold the key to everything she has forgotten. What he knows could devastate her future, and even end her life.

Written by two proven storytellers, Traces of Mercy is perfect for anyone who loves historical fiction, prairie-based tales, or just a good romance.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Traces of Mercy, go HERE


Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Review: A Bride for Keeps....


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Bride for Keeps
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2013)
by
Melissa Jagears
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word From The Author:

I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.

My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. My husband shares my fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. I have my own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that my husband made for me. And I’m pretty sure my daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in my yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers!

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride for Keeps, go HERE.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Book Reviews: Pretty is as Pretty Does, Bless Her Heart and Tickled Pink....

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1)
Bless Her Heart (bk 2)
Tickled Pink (bk 3)
Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)
by
Debby Mayne
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.

 ABOUT THE BOOKS
Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.
As Priscilla Slater’s 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity… and to flaunt her latest achievement—taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn’t enough, Priscilla’s hometown visit is further complicated by her parents’ separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there’s only one thing Priscilla’s parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she’s not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla’s best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn’t always result in popularity—or love?
Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1), go HERE
JOIN THE PARTY! Now that all three books have released, let’s party! (Yes, really!) Join our online class reunion the week of October 7, 2013 on Debby Mayne’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/136447929891169/ Stop by to answer questions about the books, respond to fun polls, join in fun activities to help you reminisce your high school days, and win great prizes. Tell your friends and meet us there!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Made to Last....

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Made to Last
Bethany House Publishers (September 15, 2013)
by
Melissa Tagg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A Word From The Author:

I’m a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to my nonprofit day job, I’m also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists.

It all started when my dad, at the ripe old age of sixteen, picked up my mom up for their first date. She was thirteen. Thirteen!* Dad drove a cherry red car up the lane to my grandparents big ol’ green house and honked his horn…whereupon Mom jumped out of the apple tree she’d been waiting in and off they went…fishing. True story. (I’d give more details, but I’m saving it for a novella I plan to entitle Two Leaves. Mom, I really hope you read this.)

Four years of college, a few trips abroad and a stint as a reporter later, that dream is soon to be a reality. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, is now out from Bethany House. Book two, Here to Stay, comes out on May 1, 2014.

In between writing and staring out the window brainstorming, I also work as a grant-writer at one of Iowa’s largest private nonprofits and serve as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists founded by Susan May Warren.

And I love, love, love talking about finding our purpose and identity in Christ. (And well, okay, food, old movies, boots and scarves, my awesome nephew Ollie, and, fine, Tim Tebow, too.)

ABOUT THE BOOK
Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Made to Last, go HERE

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: Threads of Change....

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Threads of Change
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
by
Jodi Barrows

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Over the past twenty years, Jodi has remarkably touched thousands of quilters throughout the world with her unique method called Square in a Square®. Her point of view provides the quilter with the freedom to create most any quilt design with speed and accuracy.

Jodi has spoken to quilting audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy and S. Africa. She has appeared as a guest on several quilting shows, including TNN’s Aleene’s Creative Living, TNN’s Your Home Studio, Perfecting Patchwork on Family Net TV and a pbs series with Kaye Wood.

Jodi was raised in southwest Kansas, has two grown sons, and is married to Steve, her high school sweetheart.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Conflict develops in the South,

Four granddaughters travel into uncertainty,

And Grandfather sells their precious home.

In the first book of A Quilting Story series, the four cousins-with social graces, charm, and a love for quilting-will face the anguish of life on the frontier in 1856 with every turn along the wagon trail. Raging storms and adversities hit the small band of travelers. Relieved to finally arrive at the abandoned military post at Fort Worth, Texas, they begin the hard work of establishing a new home. When trials follow them, they must decide to become true warriors of their hearts, minds, and souls or fall to the sufferings of prairie life.

Join the four women on a passage of friendship, love, and self-discovery as lives are mended around the quilting frame.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Threads of Change, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An Updated Studio....

 



It's been a while since I've updated any changes we've made on our little house.  For now, I'll leave you with a few photos from my studio....

You can see what the room looked like when we bought the house by clicking on the Before and After tab at the top of the blog!

Book Review: The Winnowing Season....

 

Book two in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series begins with Rhoda, Samuel and Jacob getting ready to start a new Old Order Amish Community in Unity, Maine.  Complications arise almost immediately when Rhoda's past comes face to face with her future and threatens to prevent the King's and Byler's from making the actual move.

Triumphant after a grueling meeting with church leaders, the small group arrives at the new orchard and begins the back breaking work of reestablishing the thriving business.  Cindy Woodsmall reveals a little more about Jacob's past and how his decisions then continue to impact his future.

Emotions run high as Rhoda, Samuel and Jacob all try and figure out how to remain in God's will while balancing their own desires.  It's a fascinating story line that leaves you wanting more!  If Amish fiction is something you enjoy reading, then I whole-heartedly recommend this series!

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing this book free of charge in return for my honest review.





Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: In Golden Splendor....

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In Golden Splendor
• B&H Books (July 15, 2013)
by
Michael Reynolds
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Irish immigrant Seamus Hanley is a lost soul, haunted by his past as a U.S. Army deserter and living alone in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in 1849. But after witnessing a deadly stage coach crash, he finds purpose in the scattered wreckage -- a letter with a picture of a beautiful and captivating woman named Ashlyn living in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. Moved by her written plea for help, he abandons all and sets out on an epic journey across the wild and picturesque American frontier. While being pursued by those who want to hang him, Seamus encounters fascinating characters including a young Pauite Indian who makes the ultimate sacrifice in helping Seamus to cross the snowy Yosemite Valley. Battered but changed for the better, Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve as the city burns in the tragic fire of 1849. But there is little time for rest, as an even greater, more harrowing adventure involving Ashlyn is about to begin.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In Golden Splendor, go HERE.

It's a story of tragedy and triumph...check it out today!




Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: Widow of Gettysburg....

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Widow of Gettysburg
River North; New Edition edition (April 12, 2013)
by
Jocelyn Green


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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


ABOUT THE BOOK

When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it? Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Widow of Gettysburg, go HERE.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: When the Morning Glory Blooms....


Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE


Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”

For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

I highly recommend this book!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review: A Season for Tending....

Good evening everyone!  I hope your April is off to a good start...mine has been busy but good so far so what more could I ask for? :)

Tonight I'm sharing a review on a book I received from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know I enjoy reading Amish Fiction almost as much as historical fiction!  I've actually reviewed a couple of Cindy Woodsmall's books before so I was all for getting this one.  And I wasn't disappointed!

A Season for Tending is the first book in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series from Cindy Woodsmall.  It starts out by introducing Rhoda Byler, an Old Order Amish woman who has a knack for gardening and how the strict community she lives in views it.  Preferring to spend time alone allows Rhoda to tend to her garden and process a tragedy that haunts her daily.

Samuel King is a kind, responsible and hard working Amish man who lives in the neighboring town of  Harvest Mills.  He runs his family's apple orchard business and tries to hold everything together when he too endures a tragedy. 

God brings these two families together in a way that only He can.  Many choices have to be made and relationships are tested as business and love start to merge. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on the next one in the series!

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing this book free of charge in return for my honest review.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: Your Beautiful Purpose...


Good afternoon guys!  I'm here today to share a review from a book I just finished.  I hope you get a chance to take a look at my thoughts and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at anytime at princess1211(at)hotmail(dot)com!

Anyone who has been a follower of Jesus Christ for any length of time can probably relate to the thought of "What's my Purpose?".  Susie Larson's Your Beautiful Purpose leads you slowly through the process of discovering what God has to say about Himself, you and how a real relationship is based on His unwavering truths. While there are no specific answers in this book, Susie asks the tough questions so you can discover the answers for yourself.  I particularly liked the following statements:

"If we really want to know true beauty, if we really want to live full and free lives, we have to give God access to those places we work so hard to cover up."

"We need times of refining so we will know in the depths of our being that our hope is in the Living God who daily establishes His purposes for us."

"Trust more in God's supply than in your lack!"

"Never try to serve God by pleasing man!"

"Seek Him until you find Him."

I found Your Beautiful Purpose to be meaningful and straight forward from the beginning.  If you are looking for a book that will challenge and encourage you, this is it!

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book to me free of charge in return for my honest review.

Stay tuned for another review coming soon!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Catching Up....

It's been a busy time around here and I've severely neglected this blog!  I appreciate those of you who are still stopping by more than I can say and hope that you will continue to do so occasionally!

Here's what I've been up to lately.....
 
A few cards.....
 


A little scrapbooking.....
 
 (Cased from Jen Gallacher as seen here)
A little Copic practicing...

 
A whole lot of reading.....
 
 
I decorated for Valentine's Day but didn't take any pictures.  I also have a few things up for St. Patrick's Day but it isn't much different from year to year so I probably won't post any photos here.  And with Easter being at the end of March this year, I'll swiftly move right into that mode after March 17th.  I'm looking forward to that because Easter is such a blessed time in our home.  I hope you feel the joy of the season as well!

Be on the lookout for several book reviews of things I've recently read and also a special post about participating in sending cards for some WWII Veterans making an Honor Flight in April.

Have a great week!



My photo
Wife, sister, daughter and friend....God is good! Welcome!



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