Thursday, April 28, 2016

a how-to guide for more elegant writing!

"Simply  Calligraphy: a beginner's guide to elegant lettering" is just that a step by step guide to writing beautifully.  I have always been envious of those whom have beautiful handwriting.  I remember over the years receiving letters, invitations, and notes that were addressed so elegantly and thinking I wish I could do that or there is no way I could ever write like that!  Well I was wrong.  This book is just the thing for me to get me on the path to writing more elegantly.  This book begins with explaining the proper "tools" that are needed - paper and pens, and which types to use and why.  Then it gets into the various strokes and lengths of stokes needed to create letters.  There are illustrations and step by step instructions for creating the various letters.  And this book does not end there, there is a section on flourishes as well, which I love!  I am so excited to be practicing this and cannot wait to address an envelope and write a note with elegant writing, if this is something you would like to do as well then this book is a must-have!

For more information about this book, go here!

To learn about the author, go here!

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

Cynthia Ruchti’s ‘Song of Silence’ Music-Themed Giveaway

Song of Silence Cynthia Ruchti
As 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!

song of silence - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A $150 Visa cash card
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by Cynthia
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 9th. The winners will be announced May 10th on Cynthia's blog.


Book info
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:
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.

My Review:
Cynthia's latest novel is a masterpiece that will tug at your heart and soul and remain with you long after you finish reading.  "Song of Silence" shares the story of Lucy and the loss of her job, her career, her passion, her heartbeat in life.  This is a realistic part of life, sometimes things like this happen and cannot be avoided and each person handles situations and grief in different ways.  Lucy struggles with this change in her life and believes that her husband just doesn't understand, how could he as he has retired and is content with how life is.  Cynthia addresses moments and situations that can be difficult to cope with and different to handle with grace.  What I love about this book and really all of Cynthia's books that I have read is that the stories are filled with hope, and characters whom struggle with things that the readers do, and that is an encouragement.  I highly recommend this book to 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,*

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Join Becky Wade for a Facebook Party May 5

wade event promo - fb 

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.

wade 400 - fallen heroes

About the Book

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.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Everything Pizza

This cookbook is a must-read for anyone whom loves pizza, whether ordering in or making it in your own kitchen!  "The Elements of Pizza" is truly that, everything that is pizza and everything that you need to know for making a pizza.  This book begins with a section focusing on the origin of pizza and then it takes off from there with various kinds and styles of pizza.  I love pizza and there is just something about the smell when you walk into a pizzeria and when you bite into a slice of hot, cheesy goodness.  However, I am been unable to ever get close to duplicating that kind of wonderfulness in my very own kitchen.  Now I believe I have just the book to help me do that or at the very least close to it!  I love the variety of recipes included in this book as there is truly a recipe for every taste and preference of pizza.  Also, the details that are included are very thorough as far as what type of ingredients to use and how to mix and create your own pizza in your own kitchen.  I am thrilled to add this to my kitchen and my cookbook collection. 

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


Book Description from the publisher:

STUFF. 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 aent.
• 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.

My Review:
I really needed to read "Unstuffed" and this will be a book that I will refer back to many, many times.  "Unstuffed" deals with clutter that is in our lives, including our home, mind and soul.  I know that I have an issue with clutter in my home, just too much stuff I feel like at times and I am constantly organizing and constantly trying to maintain a clean, organized home (which seems impossible at times!).  Ruth has numerous ideas that I am excited to try out to help me with keeping organized by decluttering.  I loved that this book also focused on our minds and souls being cluttered.  This can come from having a hectic, busy schedule and not being able to say "no" and feeling guilty.  This is an area I need to work on as well I know.  I found this whole book to be a worthwhile and much-needed read and also an inspiration to really work on decluttering my life. 

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

You might find that #Amish motherhood isn't that different from your own experience as a #mom.

Book info
About the book:
Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother (MennoMedia, March 2016)

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family's life on the snowy plains of Ontario.

The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God. 

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Marianne Jantzi is an Amish writer and homemaker in Ontario, Canada. Formerly a teacher in an Amish school, Jantzi now educates and inspires through her "Northern Reflections" column for The Connection, a magazine directed mainly to Amish and plain communities across the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband have four young children and run a shoe store among the Milverton Amish settlement of Ontario.

My Review:
I have enjoyed reading Amish fiction since I was a teenager and have always been fascinated by the Amish lifestyle.  Marianne Jantzi's book, "Simple Pleasures: stories from my life as an Amish mother," shares the straight, honest truth of what life is actually like for an Amish mother day in and day out.  This book is a cross between a diary, a journal and a collection of short stories all collected together.  I loved reading this book as it offered an honest perspective, but also "normalized" the Amish lifestyle, meaning that Amish mothers are facing many of the same struggles that "English" mothers face.  How many days (almost every) that I am struggling to get out of the house on time, and gathering the kids' things that they need, and rushing around to get where we all need to be.  This is a refreshing read that will have you feeling connected in the everyday tasks and moments of motherhood and running a home. 

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.*

Monday, April 18, 2016


"Brazen: the courage to find the you that's been hiding," Leeana Tankersley, is a book that I lost myself in this past weekend.  I picked it up to just read a few pages before going to sleep and could not put it down!  I love Leeana's style and format of this book, so easy to read and so personal.  The book is divided into three main sections: receive - your identity, reclaim - your voice and recover - your soul.  Each of the chapters in these sections build upon each other and each chapter end with two interactive sections, which are reflection & expression and for your brazen board.  I love it when exercises, journaling prompts and/or activities are included at the end of chapters as I feel like this really helps me to become engaged in the book and really make it my own.  When I first received this book I wasn't really sure what to think about it and really what it was going to be about as "brazen" is a word that I hear or use frequently.  I found myself completely validated early on in the book as Leeana discussed this fact, stating that she was shocked when she used that word one day as it is not a word that is a common part of her vocabulary, but it should be.  Leenana explains that the definition for brazen is without shame and she stresses throughout her book that brazen is a word worth living and a word worth using in our own lives as we should strive to live our lives without shame and bring out those parts that have been hidden under the surface.  I highly recommend this book, you will not be sorry you read it!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest reivew.*