Tuesday, July 26, 2016

‘A Beauty Refined’ Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Facebook Party

A Beauty Refined Tracie Peterson
Little does Phoebe know that her father's plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don't miss Tracie Peterson's A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

beauty refined - enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Book info
About the book:

A Beauty Refined (Bethany House, July 2016)

What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father's intentions---both for her and the gemstones---are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie---a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family's deception begins to unravel.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/29Sh70o
About the author:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

My Review:
"A Beauty Refined" is the second Sapphire Brides novel from Tracie Peterson and it is an intriguing novel with a beautiful cover.  Tracie does an incredible job with bringing the setting and time period to life with the historical details and vivid descriptions.  It makes me want to go back in time and take a trip out west.  Phoebe is a great main character as she is one whom I immediately could empathize with and I loved the strength she possesses and her interactions with the other characters.  This book is filled with hope, secrets, the intricacy of families and having faith.  I highly recommend reading book 1 in the series first even though this is a stand-alone novel.  If you enjoy historical fiction, I recommend this book - it is a perfect summer read!

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to the Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a  honest review.*

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Beloved Mess"

"Beloved Mess: God's perfect love for your imperfect life" by Kimm Crandall is a heartfelt, honest read that left me feeling hopeful, at peace and desiring to do my best, but not punishing myself for not being perfect.  Kimm begins by sharing how her life is a mess in an open, raw approach that feels like you are sitting around chatting with a close girlfriend.  Then she moves onto other areas such as grace.  Each chapter concludes with a "for the journey" section that is questions meant to help the reader apply the chapter and reflect on what was shared in order to make it personal and lead to change.  This a quick read, but one that is full of depth and heart.  I highly recommend this book, even if you think you may not have time to read, make time -  stick it in your purse and read when you have a few minutes waiting here and there.  

*Thanks to the Baker Books Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.* 

must-read for parents

"5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Their Kids & Sex," written by Anne Marie Miller is a must-read for each and every parent.  This book is filled with all sorts of information, tips, guidelines, advice from expects, all geared toward making this subject one that is not so awkward  between parents and children.  Kids today are being inundated with sexual references, sexual acts and just references to sex in general in movies, tv shows, music and social media.  Having a healthy and honest real understanding on this subject is so important.  I love how this book is set up as it is divided into sections making this a great reference tool to go pick up and read the needed/wanted section at the time.  It is also very straightforward but shares different approaches toward discussing delicate subjects and really having talks and communicating in a way that is going to be helpful and not cause barriers or make things even more awkward and  uncomfortable.  I highly recommend this for parents and even for those working professionally with  children and/or parents.  

*Thanks to the Baker Books Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

a new addition to your game night!

So I was given the chance to review a card game, what?!  Of course I would jump on that chance!  I love card games, I love board games and I was born into a board game and card game loving family.  I opened this right away when I received it and read through the directions and then had to wait to play it once with a group.  This game will never be the same, no matter how many times you play it.  You get 2 cards and you have a make a pun out of them in 90 seconds.  Some were extremely difficult, others were easier, but all of them were fun!  So gather together a group of your family and/or friends for a night of laughs and fun!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Berenstain Bears collection

Book Description from the publisher:

Time after time the Living Lights, Berenstain Bears series has attracted young readers through creative and engaging stories that not only entertain but teach values and life lessons. Now, five of the series’ most loved books are available in a comprehensive bind-up. This Living Lights collection Back to School is sure to be a popular choice for Berenstain Bears readers who have enjoyed the series in the past.
This collection includes:
  • Jobs Around Town
  • Get Involved
  • Love Their Neighbors
  • The Biggest Brag
  • Gossip Gang
My Review:
This is a great collection of Berenstain Bears' stories, one that were old and ones that were new to me.  What I most love about these stories is that I enjoyed the Berenstain Bears so much growing up and now I can still share them with my kids and we can talk about the lessons that are shared in these stories.  Each of the 5 stories included in this collection have a great lesson to be learned included helping out in the community and loving one's neighbors.  Then the issue of gossip and talking behind others' backs is discussed in "Gossip Gang;" this was a new one to me and I thought the lesson was shared well as it was right on level for children.  The stories are well-written, the pictures are adorable and the characters are much loved. 

*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Saturday, July 9, 2016

An illicit love triangle and a murder. Can these two professors solve the mystery before it's too late?

Book info
About the book:

Murder Mezzo Forte (Lamplighter Mysteries, June 2016)

He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations. . . .

She a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they're probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs.

Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair's stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college's incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/295oYHO
About the author:

Donn Taylor
led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His publications include three suspense novels, one historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

My Review:
"Murder Mezzo Forte" is my first read by Donn Taylor and it will not be my last!  Donn's writing is filled with mystery, humor and fun, crazy characters.  Preston and Mara, two college professors, get drawn into an incident when they receive a text from another professor stating they need to come to her office. However, she is unable to tell them the reason why when they arrive.  Then they find themselves in danger of losing their jobs and also their lives are in danger as they attempt to find out what truly happened.   This is such a fun read, as the characters are so sweet and so eccentric, and the mystery kept me turning the pages.  I really enjoyed Donn's writing and his descriptions, several times I found myself laughing out loud; this is a treat for all mystery fans!

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go  here!

*Thanks to the Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Friday, July 8, 2016

secrets and friendships from the past

I was so intrigued by the description and the cover of Chris Fabry's newest novel that I knew I just had to read it! "The Promise of Jesse Woods" is a fantastic read and one that you will devour and be left thinking about it long after you read the last page.  Matt moves with his family to West Virginia as a young teen when his father becomes a pastor of a church there.  Matt forms a tight friendship with a boy Dickie and a girl Jesse.  As they spend time together, feelings deepen and they all learn about each other's lives, even parts that are part and they wish they had not learned. 

Chris begins this book years later thought when Matt receives a phone call from Dickie with news of Jesse and Matt is compelled to return to West Virginia to see her while he still has the chance to.  Chris writes the story alternating from the past (in the 70's) to the present day of the story which is October of 1984.  I loved this style as it really built up the mystery of the story and promises and events that occurred years earlier.  The characters and their experiences and stories reminded me of some of Lisa Wingate's books and some of her characters.  I have a soft spot for people living in difficult situations and overcoming that and just having the hope of arising above the past as I work as a social worker with at-risk children and this story really tugged at my heart.  I highly recommend this book, it is a thoughtful read that you will not be able to put down.

*Thanks to the Tyndale Blog Network for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*