Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review - "A Christmas Homecoming"

Enter Today - 12/8-12/22! A Christmas Homecoming by MaryAnn Diorio Grab a copy of MaryAnn Diorio's "A Christmas Homecoming" for JUST .99! MaryAnn is celebrating by giving away a Paperwhite Kindle! Details below!

One "merry" winner will receive:
  • A Paperwhite Kindle
  • A Christmas Homecoming by MaryAnn Diorio
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 22nd. Winner will be announced on 12/23/12 at MaryAnn's Blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Book Info
About A Christmas Homecoming:
Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody's departure, Sonia's world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister's destructive actions, has become rebellious.
Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?
Jody Pettit O'Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her departure, her world has been turned upside down. She's been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.
Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God?
Link to buy the book:
Meet MaryAnn:
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio loves God, people, children, and dogs, in that order. She also is passionate about story and its power to transform the human heart. Dr. MaryAnn, as she is affectionately called, writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of life. She is Adjunct Online Professor of Fiction Writing for Regent University and coaches writers on their journey to publication. MaryAnn and her husband Dominic are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters and a fantastic son-in-law.
Find out more about MaryAnn at
My Review:
This is such a wonderful Christmas story that will put you right into the Christmas spirit!  Curl up with a mug of hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and join a family that is experiencing heartbreak, but finds hope, and forgiveness.  Jody thought she was missing out on life and left home, actually to another country, with no word to her family.  During seven years, so much as taken place in Jody's life as well as the life of her family, including the death of her father.  Jody decides to return home with her twins and they arrive on Christmas Eve, not knowing if they will be welcomed or not. Jody must face her fears as well as her guilt for having left so many years earlier when she decides she is going to return home.  Jody is not expecting her father to have passed away or the anger and bitterness that her younger brother has toward her.  Not only Jody, but her mother and brother as well, learn the importance of forgiveness, hope and love this Christmas. This is a touching story that will remain with you long after you finish reading it. 
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review - "Secrets"

Robin Jones Gunn's Glenbrooke Series begins with book 1 "Secrets."  This is a book that I enjoyed and read through very quickly!
Jessica wishes to forget her past and move on by starting a new life.  However, Jessica's move starts out with an accident right outside of town resulting in a rescue from a very handsome man, Kyle.  Jessica finds herself teaching in the local school, becoming best friends with Teri and fighting her feelings for her rescuer Kyle. Adding additional drama is the principal whom wants Kyle for herself and decides to make Jessica's life miserable and other roadblocks that are through in Jessica's way.  Jessica finds herself as a part of a missions trip and this is life changing for her in several ways including the most important, finding her way to Christ. 
Each and everyone of us has secrets of some kind and Jessica is trying to hold onto her secrets and start a new life.  I found Jessica to be a great main character as she was so "real," meaning she could be a friend or the girl next door and she was easy to relate to and empathize with.  Kyle is also a main character who was great and a man whom I'm sure many would love to have rescue them and fall in love with!  However, Teri was my favorite character.  There is something about her as she is by no means perfect as no one is, but she is such a loyal friend to Jessica and has an infectious personality.  I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Christian romance and wants to escape for a few hours to Glenbrooke!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Company in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "An Amish Kitchen"

"An Amish Kitchen" is a collection of three Amish novellas written by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston and Kelly Long,  three women whom write wonderful Amish stories! 

Book Description from the publisher:

The Amish Kitchen is the Heart of the Home – and the Ideal Setting for Stories of Love and Hope.

Fall in Paradise, Pennsylvania, always brings a brisk change in the weather. This season also ushers in unexpected visitors, new love, and renewed hope for three women.

Fern has a green thumb for growing healing herbs, but longs for love to bloom in her life. Then the next-door neighbor’s oldest son, Abram, comes running into Fern’s kitchen seeking help for his little sister. The crisis soon leads to a promise of romance—until mistrust threatens to end the growing attraction.

Nearby, Hannah runs her parents’ bed and breakfast, Paradise Inn—but her life feels nothing like Paradise. She longs for a man of integrity to enter her life, but never expected him to knock on the front door looking for a room. Will she be able trust Stephen with her future once she discovers his mysterious past?

When a storm blows a tree onto Eve’s farmhouse, she has little choice but to temporarily move her family into her parents’ home. Outside of cooking together in the kitchen, Eve and her mother can’t agree on anything. But this may be just the recipe for hope in healing old wounds.

Three Amish stories—each celebrating love, family, and faith—all taking place in a tight-knit community where the kitchen truly is the heart of the home.

Also Includes Reading Group Guide and 45 Old Order Amish Recipes

My Review -

This book really is a quick read as it is split  into three novellas.  I was immediately drawn into each of the three stories as well into the lives of the characters.  Fern, Hannah and Eve are all strong main characters and although I loved their stories, I would love to read more about these women as well!  Each woman is faced with choices, decisions and the prospect of love and each much learn to look to God, rely upon Him and follow their hearts. 

*I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a honest review.*

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review & Party with giveaways! - "No Safe Harbor"

Enter Today - 11/15-12/5! No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig Elizabeth Ludwig is celebrating her new book with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and connecting with readers at a Facebook Author Chat party on 12/6.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 5th. Winner will be announced at the "No Safe Harbor" Author Chat Facebook Party on 12/6. Connect with Elizabeth, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Edge of Freedom series, try your hand at the trivia contest, and win some great prizes—gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of No Safe Harbor and join Elizabeth on the evening of the December 6th for a chance to connect with her and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Book Info
About No Safe Harbor:
She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she's found is a web of danger.
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend-Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.
She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother-but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.
With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?
Link to buy the book:
Meet Elizabeth:
Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author and an accomplished speaker and teacher. Her historical novel Love Finds You in Calico, California earned four stars from Romantic Times. She is the owner and editor of the popular literary blog The Borrowed Book. Along with her husband and two children, Elizabeth makes her home in Orange, Texas.
My Review:

This is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be my last!  I am looking forward to the release of book 2 in Ludwig's Edge of Freedom series.  As soon as I opened this book and began to read I was transported back in time in the year of 1897 in New York City.  The writing is so descriptive and vivid that I felt that I was a part of the story and Cara's search.  Cara and Rourke are both such great main characters.  They became real to me throughout the story and I empathized with them as they are both searching for Cara's brother, truth and freedom, as well as battling their feelings for each other at the same time. I do not want to share too much about the story except to tell you to be prepared to want to keep on reading until you have finished the story as there are twists and turns and unsavory characters and situations that will have you cringing, and hoping for truth and discoveries for Cara and Rourke. 

To read other reviews click here:

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*


Saturday, December 1, 2012

.Welcoming Christmas.

While I will "officially" start listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving and that is traditionally my day to begin decorating for Christmas, December 1st is really the start to the Christmas season!  Being December it seems that Christmas is just that much closer to coming, it is the beginning of the countdown to Christmas (I made Advent calendars for the kids, more on that in another post!), and now it is really time to think about Christmas shopping and deciding what treats will be made this year!  I cannot believe it is already this time of the year, but we are ready for the season and welcoming Christmas!

Book Review - "Nowhere but Up"

Pattie Mallette shares her story with A.J. Gregory in her book, "Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom," to reach people and give hope.
Pattie's son is well-known and this fame is giving her the opportunity to share her story and life with others.  Pattie shares her life from a rough childhood filled with abuse and low self-esteem to becoming a teenage mother to living out her faith and raising her son.  This book is very well-written and one that will encourage each and every reader.   I highly recommend this for every girl who has struggled with self-esteem, or teenage pregnancy especially. 

Shared by the publishers:

Pattie is using her platform as Justin’s mom to reach people who are suffering and wants her story to give them hope, that when you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. For more info check out the book’s website:
Here’s a link to Pattie sharing her story with Anderson Cooper on his show Anderson LIVE (scroll down for videos):

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CD Review - "Simply Christmas"

I love Christmas, and Christmas music!  I was thrilled to have a chance to review a new Christmas CD.  "Simply Christmas" is a collection of 11 Christmas songs sung by Robin Harper with piano accompaniment by Marvin Goldstein.  This collection is beautiful and a nice variety of songs as it has "The Christmas Song," "Santa Baby," "Mary, Did You Know," and "White Christmas" to name a few.  Robin has a strong voice that is beautiful and along with the piano accompaniment, the songs are soothing and perfect for an evening at home decorating, making cookies, sitting in front of the fireplace and just enjoying this Christmas season.  I have many Christmas cds, but this one will be enjoyed over and over again!
To get a copy for yourself go to Amazon: or to iTunes: https://itunes/SimplyChristmas

Book Review - "Resurrect"

To celebrate David has teamed up with his publisher, Kregel Publications, for a Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Author Chat Party {12/4}.
One “thrilling” winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Resurrect by David E. Stevens
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the “Resurrect” Author Chat Facebook Party on 12/4. Connect with David, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Resurrect Trilogy, try your hand at the trivia contest, and win some great prizes – gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!
So grab your copy of Resurrect and join David on the evening of the December 4th for a chance to connect with David and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Resurrect Stevens

{More about Resurrect}

Book 1 in the Resurrect Trilogy.
Preventing his burning fighter from crashing into a neighborhood, Navy Commander Josh Logan ejects … too late.
Critically injured, he’s offered a new life and mission exploit highly classified military technology to stop a global cataclysm. The price? He’ll be dead to everyone he knows.
He wakes in a city hospital with a genetically enhanced body and no identity. With the help of his brilliant, Neuro ICU nurse, and guided by nothing but a voice, he must infiltrate the military-industrial complex to develop the world’s most powerful weapon … to protect humanity?
Purchase a copy here.
Read an excerpt.
David E. Stevens

{More About David E. Stevens}

A Navy fighter pilot with hundreds of aircraft carrier landings, Commander David E Stevens holds degrees from Cornell and the University of Michigan with graduate work in astrophysics. He test piloted new fighters and received an aviation patent. With a Top Secret clearance, Dave served as Strike Operations Officer for the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and led classified defense programs. He’s traveled to over two dozen countries.
Find out more about David E. at

My Review:

I was immediately drawn into this story and it was more than I expected!  I initially thought it would be a story just about war and being in the Navy, but it deals with relationships, and everyday life as well. Josh is a great main character, but I think Elizabeth has to be my favorite character throughout the story.  The interactions between the characters and the choices they are faced with kept me turning the pages and eagerly waiting to see what would happen next.  This novel will really make you think about life and where we are headed with advancements in today's society.  I am looking forward to not only the movie coming out, but the next books in this trilogy as well!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review - "Debt-Proof Your Christmas"

Mary Hunt, the Founder of Debt-Proof Living, is now sharing her tips in order to have a debt-free Christmas in her latest book, "Debt-Proof Your Christmas: celebrating the holidays without breaking the bank."  This is not a really long book, but it is filled with a lot of useful tips, information and ideas that will really make each reader think about Christmas, the real meaning behind Christmas, and if really all that money must be spent.  The book is split into well-defined chapters making this a very easy and useful resource that can be used again and again.  There is a chapter for making a plan for Christmas, gifts from the kitchen, family fun, decorating the home, and traditions. 

I learned something from each and every chapter when I read this book!  This is an excellent book as not only does it encourage you to save money but it actually helps you do it.  The "Developing a Plan" chapter is one that is a must-read before beginning Christmas shopping and preperations. Once you make the decision to do things differently for Christmas then there are chapters devoted to various types of gifts and ideas for specific groups of people.  The recipes that are included sound delicious and easy to make and will be appreciated by the ones receiving the goodies. I highly recommend this book for everyone as Christmas can be stressful, yet it is a time that so many memories and traditions can be made that will last must longer than an item bought in a store. 

Mary Hunt was featured on the Today Show this week!  If you missed this, watch here:

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review - "A Home in Drayton Valley"

Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest novel, "A Home in Drayton Valley," is full of heartache, loss, pain, joy, peace and second chances.
Tarsie has no family and lives with other girls whom all sew in order to survive in New York City.  Tarsie spends as much time as she can with her close friend Mary and her two children as Mary feels poorly often and Tarsie does not care much for Mary's husband Joss as he frequently drinks liquor and is not that involved in the lives of his children.  When the opportunity arises to go to Kansas, they are all thrilled with the chance, for various reasons.  Joss wants to escape those whom he owes money too, Mary wants the children to be raised in a cleaner place than New York and wants Joss to be away from temptations and Tarsie is thrilled to have a chance to live in a place that is so beautiful in the booklet she found.  However, on the trail Mary passes away and her dying wish is that Tarsie cares for the children and Joss.  Tarsie agrees, but does not see how she could ever care for Joss in that way.  As time passes, Tarsie learns more about Joss and sees him changing, especially with his attitudes and opinions about spending time with Ruth and Simon.  But, is it too late for Tarsie and Joss to have a real relationship with each other?

I really enjoyed this book; however it was far from a light-hearted, romantic read.  The characters all faced hardships and difficulties and had much to work through.  Joss and Tarsie both grew and changed and I enjoyed seeing those changes in the characters.  Simon and Ruth were great characters in the story and they would be a couple that I would want to spend time with and learn from.  This book is filled with so many issues: historical issues such as prohibition and racial issues, physical hardships, love, finding peace through seeking God, and changing as a parent.  I highly recommend this book to those whom enjoy historical fiction. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a honest review.*

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review - "Every Perfect Gift"

Dorothy Love's latest Hickory Ridge Romance "Every Perfect Gift" is a story that is well-written and filled with secrets and romance. 

Book Description from the publisher:

Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.

Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.

Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.

When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She's equally intrigued with him but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.

My Review:

I have enjoyed Love's Hickory Ridge series and this book is a great addition to it!  I was excited to return to Hickory Ridge and spend time with the characters once again!  Ethan and Sophie are both harboring secrets and trying to make something of themselves.  Their relationship develops and grows and hits rough patches and uncertainity just as relationships do in real life; this makes it easy to relate to the characters and empathize with them throughout the book.  This book cover is also absolutely beautiful, I love the snow and the church in the background, it is such a beautiful scene.

*I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for a honest review.

Book Review - "At Every Turn"

Anne Mateer's "At Every Turn" will keep you turning the pages as it is filled with excitement, suspense and romance!
Alyce loves to drive fast and has a heart for God, both of which are frowned upon by her parents, especially her mother, as it is the year of 1916 and her main goal in life should be to secure a suitable husband.  Alyce meets a missionary couple at church one Sunday and pledges $3,000 in front of the entire church; however her parents will not give her the money, so Alyce has to get the money on her own.  Not having many talents and a big heart when she sees others' in need, Alyce has difficulty raising money and holding onto the money she does get.  The only option seems to be to race a car that her father's mechanic Webster has built, but no one can know that she is driving the car as that would be a huge scandal if discovered. 

Although this author is new to me, I love historical fiction and the blurb on the back cover was intriquing as it is such a unique story line and I was not disappointed!  This story had everything to keep me hooked in the story - romance, mystery, excitement, relationships and lovable characters!  Alyce's bond with her grandmother and their conversations and interactions added much to the story and helped me understand not only these two characters, but other ones as well.  Alyce is torn between Webster and Lawrence, not only which one she should trust, both or neither, but her feelings for each one as well.  Lucinda is a great minor character and Anne and Lucinda both discover a true friend in each other.  Anne has a great style of writing, as she writes with emotion and descriptives that bring the characters to life and I found myself laughing out loud at various moments throughout the book and at other times empathizing with the characters as well. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a honest review.*

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review - "Christmas Roses"

I am a fan of Amanda Cabot's novels and her latest, "Christmas Roses," is a beautiful story that I loved just as much as her other works!

Celia is widowed with a baby daughter and runs a boarding house and cares for a toddler while his father is at work during the day.  Celia is not looking for a husband and is content until Mark arrives in town and becomes a part of her life.  Celia's first marriage was not filled with romance and everything she dreams about and she has doubts that it exists outside of books.  Mark is searching for his father whom abandoned him and his mother years earlier.  Mark believes he has nothing to offer to a woman and could not be a father as he grew up without one.  Mark finds himself helping out Celia and wanting to spend time with her, but he knows that he will be moving on soon and he does believe he could be a good husband or a good father to baby Emma.  Celia is proposed to, but she does not feel the way about her suitor as she does about Mark; however this marriage would make sense for everyone involved.  Will Celia hold out for her Christmas roses?

Amanda's style of writing is so easy to read and really get involved in the story.  I love reading historical fiction and although the story is set in the past it is still easy to feel a connection with the characters.  This story is just a well-written and beautiful Christmas story that will leave you feeling happy and in a Christmasy mood!

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review - "The Christmas Pony"

The Christmas season is just not complete without a Melody Carlson novel!  Therefore, I was so excited to receive my copy of "The Christmas Pony," this year's Carlson novel!

Lucy is growing up in the midst of hardtimes and as the Christmas of 1937 is approaching, she has two wishes and two prayers - that she will get a pony that she visits for her very own and that her mama will smile again.  Lucy lives with her mama and grandma in a big farmhouse and they rent out rooms to boarders.  Lucy meets Veronica and George one day in town and is thrilled that they need a place to stay while George's car is being fixed as they will bring in extra, needed money and Lucy believes Veronica to be the most fascinating and beautiful woman she has ever met.  However, the more time Lucy spends with these two people, she realizes that Veronica is not as great as she thought and George has the ability to make her Mama smile.  As she spends more and more time with George, Lucy wishes for more than just a pony, but for something that could forever change their family.

I loved this book!  It is such a sweet Christmas story and I love reading about this time period.  The characters are all wonderful, and I could picture them as well as hear them.  This is quick read and at the end I was happy, but also sad as the book was over.  Carlson writes with such vivid descriptions and emotions that the characters come to life as well as the situations they are involved in.  A great way to start off the Christmas season!

“Available Sept 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review - "Placebo"

Steven James' new series The Jevin Banks Experience starts with book 1, "Placebo," and is one that his fans will not want to miss out on!
This is a suspense novel that is filled with mystery, science, seeking answers to the past, and trying to move on.  Jevin and his assistant Charlene are teaming up and pretending to be a couple while also trying to find out more about a mind to mind communication program.  However, Jevin is also trying to seek answers for the hurt and loss in his own life.  He is seeking to understand why his wife would drown herself and their twin sons. 
I was drawn right into the plot of the story and into the characters' lives.  The characters are all so unique and have their own little quirks.  This is a fascinating read and I am looking forward to the next book in this series!

“Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys"

Mike Bechtle's book, "People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys," is a must-read for everyone as it will give each of us a new perspective on how we let people and situations affect us. The book contains 23 chapters that are split into 5 sections; therefore each chapter is pretty short and to the point.  You can pick up the book and read one chapter when you have a few minutes or several if you have the time to.  The author points out that each dramatic situation and each person brings different elements and yet each person is affected in different ways as it depends on how a person responds and feels toward the drama and the person. 
I really enjoyed reading this book as I found myself agreeing with most of it and even laughing at times.  The style of writing is very easy to read and follow.  The author shares great information and backs up and rationalizes the different points that he makes throughout the book.  I highly recommend this for everyone if you feel like people don't drive you crazy as admit it, we all feel this way at various times throughout each and every day!

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review - "The Breath of Dawn"

 Win a Kindle Paperwhite and connect with Kristen Heitzmann at “The Breath of Dawn” Facebook Party {11/27}!

Enter Today - 11/7-26!
< /b> The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

Book Info
About The Breath of Dawn:
"Heitzmann weaves a many-layered tale keep[ing] readers entertained and wondering when the next bit of drama will occur." -Publishers Weekly
Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the "success guru," has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he's living for-until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.
Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.
Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counterproposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past, will they survive to build a future?
Link to buy the book:
Meet Kristen:
Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including "Freefall", "Halos", "A Rush of Wings", and the Christy Award winner "Secrets". She and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church.

Find out more about Kristen at
To read what others are saying about this book go to:
My Review:
Kristen does such a great job creating stories that will be read over and over again by her fans!  She ties together romance and mystery in such a way that I just want to keep reading the book until I reach the end and then I do not want it to end as I have become so immersed in the characters' lives!  The characters in "The Breath of Dawn" are so real, they could be your neighbor and they are easy to relate to as well as empathize with and cheer for in the midst of their struggles
and trying to figure out life.  Morgan and Quinn are both excellent main characters who come to live in the pages of the book and will be in your mind long after you finish reading. 
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review - "A Flight of Fancy"

"A Flight of Fancy," book two in Laurie Alice Eakes' The Daughters of Bainbridge House series, is one that is filled with historical detail, romance and mystery!

Cassandra and Geoffrey are engaged to be married; however Geoffrey is against Cassandra's obsession of ballooning, but she is willing to let her love for him win out.  However, Cassandra is forced to end the engagement and is not only trying to recover from physical injuries but a broken heart instead.  During this time, Cassandra is able to pursue her dream and yet also learn about her heart.

This book is a must-read and enjoyed if you read book one in the series, "A Necessary Deception," as the storyline picks right up and you will once again be immersed in the lives of the Bainbridge sisters.  Eakes starts right out with political turmoil and unrest in the story and touches on the characters' emotions and struggles of knowing what they really want.  The historical details included in the story allows the reader to be transported to this time period and the characters' lives.

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review - "Christmas in Apple Ridge"

Cindy Woodsmall has a collection of Amish Christmas novellas just in time to get us all in the spirit of Christmas!  "Christmas in Apple Ridge" contains three novellas, two of which have been previously released in past years, "The Sound of Sleigh Bells" and "The Christmas Singing," and the third novella, "The Dawn of Christmas," is brand-new!  I reread the first two novellas, enjoyed them and fell in love with the characters all over again and loved the new story just as much!

Each of the three main characters in the novellas, Beth, Mattie and Sadie, have all experienced heartache and are hesitant to fall in love, yet love seems to find them during the magical Christmas season.  Each story is centered in Apple Ridge, a community that sounds so lovely and a place you would want to visit or even be a part of!  These three women are all very independant and strong women, yet are so tightly knit with their families and yet at times find their families to be involved and meddling too much.  This is where the stories get so interesting as plans backfire and really lead to surprises for the characters. 

Even if you have read the first two stories, this is a collection you do not want to pass on!  As soon as you start reading the first page, you will drawn back into the characters' lives and want to keep reading until the very last page and even then you will not want to leave Apple Ridge!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press in exchange for a honest review.*

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review - "A Farmer's Daughter: Recipes from a Mennonite Kitchen"

Dawn Stoltzfus shares her heritage through stories, and recipes in her book, "A Farmer's Daughter: Recipes from a Mennonite Kitchen." 
The recipes are divided into 9 chapters including a chapter devoted to breakfast and breads recipes, one for desserts and one for summer sandwiches and winter soups.  Along with the recipes are stories Dawn shares from growing up, cooking in the kitchen and what she has learned throughout the years.  Dawn's love for cooking and for her family is evident throughout this collection! There is an excellent variety of recipes shared in this book, I cannot wait to try to many of them!  One recipe that is seasonal and came out delicious is "Quick Pumpkin Ice Cream," anyone who loves ice cream and pumpkin will love this recipe (the recipes is shared at the end of this post!)
I love the wide variety of recipes included in this book!  A great variety of types of dishes, various ingredients and cooking style, including some slow cooker recipes. I love the history and stories behind recipes and recipes being passed among generations, I think that is what is so appealing about this book to me!  This is a great cookbook filled with good, wholesome recipes and stories! 
"Quick Pumpkin Ice Cream" - found on page 180
1.5 qts. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 coup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
gingersnap cookies
whipped cream
Place the first four ingredients in a bowl and beat well.  Pour into an 8x8 pan.  Cover; freeze for 3-4 hours.  Let soften slightly before scooping.  Serve in small bowls; garnish with gingersnaps, whipped cream, and cinnamon, if desired. Serves 6-8.

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "A Promise to Love"

I enjoyed Serena B. Miller's novel, "The Measure of Katie Calloway," and I was excited to hear she had a new novel out; I was not diappointed at all!  "A Promise to Love," is written in the same style and I was immediately drawn into the story and the characters' lives.  I love that some of the characters from Miller's first novel played minor roles in this one as well! 

Ingrid has come to America with the hopes of finding her brother Hans who is working in a lumber camp.  However, she has not had any luck yet and instead finds herself proposing to a man she has only met once as a means to keep his children with him.  Ingrid throws herself into the role of being a mother and finds herself caring deeply for and even loving her new husband Joshua.  However, Joshua is still in love with his first wife whom has  passed away.  Just when it seems as if their marriage may becoming something more than a marriage of convenience, something or someone interferes.  In the midst of a drought, Joshua goes to work in a lumber camp and finds out where his wife's brother is; however while they are both away, fire consumes the town and the entire family is faced with difficult choices to make.

I loved this story!  It is a story of heartbreak, love, and survival.  Diantha's mental health struggles are so real and yet not addressed often; however it is handled well in this book as her death was such a mystery to everyone as well as her behaviors and day to day living.  The minor characters all played such important roles and I am hoping that the next book will involve some of the characters again, not only Robert, Katie and Delia, but also Hans, Hazel, Susan and Lyman. This is a wonderful historical romance that should be on the top of your must-read list!

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review - "Twice Promised"

"Twice Promised," Maggie Brendan's second book in The Blue Widow Brides series, is a the story of the middle Olsen girl and it is every bit as good as the first book in the series if not better!  Greta had falled in love with Bryan, however he is killed in battle before he is able to return home and marry her.  Greta responds to a mail-order bride ad and sets off to meet her groom.  However, Greta is in for a surprise when she meets another young lady who has also been writing to this man and she is prepared to marry him as well.  This is not all of the surprise though, Jess has no idea that both girls are there to marry him as his brother Zach placed the ad and has been corresponding with both Greta and Cora.  The brothers each choose a "bride" based upon an idea that Granny comes up with; however have they chosen the right girl for themselves and with Cora and Greta stick this out or return to their homes?

This is such a great book!  I read this in two sittings, I did not want to put it down!  It is entertaining, heart breaking, and filled with romance!  The characters are great and the minor characters add so much to the story as well.  Granny, Caleb, Martha, Agnes and Cole all play important roles in the story, but also help the reader to learn so much more about the main characters and who they really are and their values.  Greta's sisters are mentioned and play very minor roles as well, but I was glad they were mentioned as I wanted to know how their lives were going as well.  I am looking forward to the third book, Anna's story, and am hoping to hear more about Caleb as well.  This is a book that you do not want to miss if you enjoy historical fiction!

"Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "The Marriage of Your Dreams"

"The Marriage of Your Dreams: A woman's guide to understanding her man," written by Rick Johnson, is filled with scripture, stories, questions and answers to help couples improve their marriage relationship.  Each chapter addresses a specific area of a man, for example, his emotions, his relationship with his mother, his work, his need for respect and his sexuality.  Each chapter is written with the goal of explaining this area more fully and helping a man's wife understand this part of him better.

This is a great book for someone to read if she has been married for months or years or is engaged to be married.  While reading this you will gain a new perspective and think about your husband in a different light.  Johnson's style of writing is very easy to read and follow and this is a relatively quick read. Also, if there is something specific in your relationship that you believe needs working on, the book is split into well-defined chapters and you can easily find the section you would like to read about.

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review - "Strength Renewed"

Shirley Corder shares meditations, devotionals and her thoughts in her book "Strength Renewed: meditations for your journey through breast cancer."  Corder is a breast cancer survivor and her own personal journey is shared to help others cope through this difficult time along with Biblical passages meant to give hope.
The book contains 90 meditations, each one being only about two pages. These are short tidbits that are meant to be uplighting and offer encouragement and hope yet also to help one not feel like she is not alone with this battle.  This book is an excellent one to share with someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and it can be a way to offer your support and show your care at a time when it is difficult to know what to say and do.  Thank you Shirley for taking the time to write this book and help others.

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "A Love Surrendered"

Julie Lessman's Winds of Change series continues with book 3, "A Love Surrendered." 
Annie has moved to Boston and is living with her Aunt as she is an orphan; however she is trying to prove that she is not a little girl anymore and is a woman. This leads to her becoming involved with a fast crowd, including Steven O'Connor, her sister's former boyfriend.  Steven is trying to stay on track and he is known for being straight-laced, and his friends question how he was ever with Maggie.  Annie is determined to fit in with this crowd of people who were her sister's friends while she lived in Boston, however Annie is guarding the secret of who she really is and who her sister is. 

This is an excellent story that continues on with the O'Connor family.  The O'Conner family has come alive in Lessman's books and they all deal with issues in their lives and relationships that readers can relate to and empathize with.  This is a book filled with twists and turns, romance, and emotional scenes that will have you turning the pages and engrossed in the family and the drama throughout the book. 

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book Review - "You Don't Know Me"

Welcome to the campaign launch for Susan May Warren’s latest offering in her beloved Deep Haven series, You Don’t Know Me. Susan is celebrating with a $200 Weekend Getaway Giveaway and hosting a fun video Author Chat Party!

One fortunate winners will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one and “Get to Know” your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whoever!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 22nd. Winner will be announced at the “You Don’t Know Me” Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/23. Connect with Susan for an evening of book chat, Deep Haven trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!
So grab your copy of You Don’t Know Me and join Susan on the evening of the October 23rd 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. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

You Don't Know Me Cover

{More about You Don’t Know Me}

A Deep Haven Novel
Sometimes the secrets we keep to protect ourselves can be our undoing.
To all who know her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses a sporting event, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.
No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the quaint harbor town of Deep Haven, Deidre received a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker.
Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on parole and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the courage to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?
Find out more here.
Purchase a copy here.
Susan May Warren

{More About Susan May Warren}

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning novelist of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.
A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.
Find out more about Susan May at

My Review:
I have read all of Susan May Warren's Deep Haven novels and have liked them all; however her latest, "You Don't Know Me," is the best one in my opinion!  Annalise is the model wife and mother, her husband is running for town mayor, she takes care of the home, attends all of the events that her children participate in and has a great relationship with her mother-in-law whom lives across the street. However, Annalise that a huge secret that no one knows about and she tries not to think about too much, that is until Frank arrives in town.  Years earlier, Frank became Annalise's agent when she was forced to take on a new identity and recolate through the Witness Security Program.  Now that Annalise's life as well as each of her family member's lives may be in danger, Annalise has difficult decisions to make while maintaining the facade that she has been living behind as well for so many years.
This book is one that kept me turning the pages and I did not want to stop reading until I reached the end.  The characters are so real and their struggles and every day life and their relationships are what readers can reate to and empathize with.  Annalise and Nathan are raising three children and living across the street from Nathan's mother.  They are an "All-American Family;" yet they each have their own struggles as well.  Nathan and Helen have had to live and deal with the broken marriage and death of Nathan's father.  Helen may have the chance for love again; however the cancer may have returned as well.  Each of the children have struggles in their own lives; either finding out who they really are, relationship and first love struggles, and pressure of fitting in with peers. This is a story that should not be missed out on, it is a portrayal of small town life, a "perfect" family and the support that is needed and provided for neighbors. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Review - "Return to Sunday Dinner"

Sunday Dinner has always been an important part of my life, from when I was a young child and having Sunday Dinner at my grandmother's house to now having dinner at my parents' house still almost every Sunday.  Therefore, I was excited to get a chance to review Russell Cronkhite's "Return To Sunday Dinner."  Sunday Dinner is so much more than just sitting down and eating, it is a time to spend with loved ones, enjoy talking and time spent together and enjoying a meal; all this together is what creates this weekly event of Sunday Dinner. Cronkhite has created 24 meals that he shares the recipes for in this book, some are more "fancier" than others, but all have the potential to be that Sunday Dinner that family will gather around a table eating together, making memories. Also, Cronkhite shared thoughts and comments about each menu, thus helping to guide you toward the meal you want to serve for a certain type of Sunday Dinner setting.  There are also tips shared for prep work and time savers to help the cooking and serving go more smoothly and will not wasting precious time.  There is a wide variety of recipes included in this cookbook and the pictures are very nice as well.  This is a book that you will not to miss out on as it will have you thinking back to Sunday Dinners and have you thinking ahead to Sunday Dinners yet to come!

Book Review - "When A Heart Stops"

Lynette Eason's Deadly Reunions series continues with book 2, "When A Heart Stops," and once you start reading this book you are not going to be able to put it down!
Serena works as a Medical Examiner and she  is used to dead bodies and having to study them; however suddenly the bodies she is working with and the individuals deaths are becoming way too personal for her as they are people she graduated from high school with.  While the deaths are similar to a serial killer's actions years ago, the killer is still locked up; will they make connections soon enough?  Also, Serena has someone following her and breaking into her home and only she knows why.  Serena, Alexia and Jillian were best friends in high school and there ten year high school reunion is quickly approaching and Jillian is planning to return for this after suddenly disappearing on graduation night. However, prior to her arrival she has sent a package to Serena with instructions not to open it until she hears she has been killed.  For some reason, someone wants this package and Serena is not willing to give in to her fears, even when her life is on the line. 

This book is so well-written, it moves at a fast pace and the characters are so real.  Serena and Alexia have no idea why Jillian vanished ten years ago, but they know that she was afraid, and they would both like to know the cause of her disapperance and also to see her again.  Alexia and Dominic have been patching up their relationship and are searching for their father as well as trying to come to terms with their mother having a serious boyfriend.  Serena is living her own life and immersed in her work and is determined to not have a relationship with a man whom has characteristics of her father's, such as controlling and so involved in his work that that comes first. Serena had a crusch on Dominic while growing up, and while there are similarities to her father, he may just be the one for Serena.  I cannot wait for the next book to come out as it is time for Jillian's arrival back in town, the secrets of the package and her disapperance to be revealed and the connection of all of this with the upcoming election.  A high suspense romance that you do not want to miss out on!

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”