Friday, July 31, 2015

Desination Wedding time!

Book info
About the book:
Crazy Little Thing Called Love: A Destination Wedding Novel
(Howard, June 2015)

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple's journey down the aisle to "I do."

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father's military career. She's overcome what her mother called "the biggest mistake of her life" and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Beth K. Vogt believes God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher's Weekly's Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can't Buy Me Love, (May) and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June).

Visit Beth online:  websiteFacebookTwitter
My Review:
I love Beth's books and I am so excited about this new series from her!  I love weddings, everything about them, and the whole destination wedding concept gives it an extra alluring element.  Vanessa is such a fascinating main character as she is in a high-stress, constant job and she is engaged to a man with a similar occupation, yet he also provides her with the stability that she lacked growing up, even though he does not seem to have that romantic side to him.  Then Logan is entered back into the picture by chance when Vanessa goes along with her fiancée's plan for their wedding.  I really loved this book!  Vanessa's childhood has played such a huge role into how she is today with her relationships and overall style of life.  Ted and Logan are such different individuals and I loved seeing Vanessa interact with both of them and how she was with them.  This is a whirlwind story that you are not going to want to stop reading once you begin!
To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!
*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Warrior Chicks"

Cover ArtThere is a lot in life we cannot control--a cancer diagnosis, the choices our children make, a spouse who leaves, disappointments in our career, a broken heart. But in those tragedies, big and small, we still have a choice:

Lie down and give in or stand up and fight.

In this inspiring call to arms against victimhood, Holly Wagner challenges women to enlist as Warrior Chicks. She shows women that they are beautiful just the way they are, they are destined to be overcomers in this life, and that the battle is already won for us. She shares the secrets of being equipped to fight the good fight and do more than just survive. As one who has battled many things in her life, including breast cancer, Holly shows how you can be either a casualty of the pain or a warrior who overcomes.

So what's it going to be?

"Warrior Chicks is a call to both practical and powerful action. It is a charge to live your life deliberately engaged with passion and purpose. Read and be empowered!"--Lisa Bevere, speaker, author of Fight Like a Girl

"This one will make you laugh and cry, yet it will inspire you to greatness as you discover that you are not a victim or a survivor but an overcomer!"--Nancy Alcorn, founder of Mercy Ministries

"Fresh, insightful, and inspiring. I know you will be blessed and encouraged to rise up and make your stand among an ever-increasing company of women."--Bobbie Houston, Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia

Holly Wagner is copastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles, California, and reaches thousands of women each year through conferences, books, and other resources. She is a popular conference speaker known for her challenging, humorous style and honest approach to real-life issues. Holly has written four books, including GodChicks and Daily Steps for GodChicks. She and her husband, Philip, have two children.
My Review:
I have read some of Holly Wagner's other books before, but I have to say that her latest, "Warrior Chicks" is my favorite!  I absolutely loved this book and the message inside of it.  I would pick this up and read a chapter and be left feeling energized and ready to take on the world (or at least my to-do list and schedule for the day!).  Holly's writing style is so easy to read and I love that she ties in her own personal thoughts and stories as well as tying in historical events, social media, everything to help get the point across.  This is a great book for each and every woman to read and is a true "girl power" book that will inspire and motivate you to take charge and be the best you can be instead of sitting back and just dealing with things in your life. 
*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bible Storybook

Book Description from the publisher:

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Toddlers is perfect for young children. Now toddlers have a padded board book edition designed just for them, with simple text, bright art, and a padded cover. This cute and durable edition provides an overview of the Bible with eight stories from the Old and New Testaments that follow the Bear family as they explore Scripture. The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Toddlers is fun and enlightening for kids and a great resource for parents and educators.

My Review:
I grew up loving the Bears family and I love sharing them with my children now.  I love all of the new books that have been coming out recently that have Biblical principles tied in with the story along with the moral lesson.  Therefore, I was so excited about this Bible storybook as I love to be able to teach my kids Biblical principles and stories and this book is an excellent way to help them to learn truths and remember the stories. 

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

Take it to the Beach with Colleen Coble’s ‘A Heart’s Promise’ and Tote Giveaway

Heart's Promise Colleen Coble
Will the promise Emmie makes to her friend mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac? Find out in book five, A Heart's Promise, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie’s heart and hand. Can she live happily without Isaac?

Take a day off and head to the beach with a new giveaway from Colleen: five books (books one–five in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and a beach bag to tote your new books in!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Promise
  • A Lands' End beach tote
  • A copy of A Heart's Betrayal
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced August 3rd on Colleen's website.


Book info
About the book:
A Heart's Promise (Thomas Nelson, July 2015)

Emmie makes a promise to her friend that, if fulfilled, could mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac.

Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie's heart and hand. Though Emmie resolves to keep her heart in check, it hurts when she sees that another woman has set
her bonnet for Isaac.

Then Emmie's dear friend extracts a costly promise: if anything happens to her in childbirth, Emmie will marry her widower and raise the baby herself. And it seems Emmie may have to fulfill that promise. But can she live happily without Isaac?

Purchase a copy:

About the author:

Colleen Coble
has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Facebook, Twitter

My Review:
"A Heart's Promise" continues the saga of Sarah and Rand, and the others whom play such a large role in their lives and story as well.  Emmie is still trying to come to terms with her past and her secret and cannot bear to think about what will happen once others find out.  However, Jessica arrives back on the scene and has her hat set on Isaac and threatens to share Emmie's secret as she recognizes there is something between Emmie and Isaac.  I have been enjoying this series so much as there is so much tied into these story - love and betrayal among families and loved ones, and hope and redemption.  However, this installment to the story really seemed to be filled with action and a lot of things were happening in everyone's lives, but there are also unanswered questions that left me hanging and eager to read the next installment. 

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

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour.*

Monday, July 27, 2015

Melissa Jagears’ ‘A Bride at Last’ and a $100 Memory-Making Giveaway

Bride at Last Melissa Jagears
Can Silas and Kate overcome their rocky start and experience healing—and possibly love? Discover the answer in Melissa Jagears' new book, A Bride at LastNeither Kate nor Silas is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light as they attempt to prove nine-year-old Anthony's paternity to the court. Can their wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

Celebrate the release of A Bride at Last by entering to win a $100 Memory-Making giveaway and RSVPing to Melissa's August 4th author chat party!

bride at last-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $100 gift card to Netflix (for a family movie night), Shutterfly (to create a family memory book), or TablePlayGames (for a family game night)
  • One copy of A Bride at Last
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/4. The winner will be announced at Melissa's 8/4 A Bride at Last Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Melissa and fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

bride at last-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 4th!

Book info
About the book:
A Bride at Last
(Bethany House, July 2015)

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she'd been deceived about her intended groom, she's now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she'll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony-until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy's father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony's wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.

Find Melissa online: website, Facebook
My Review:
I absolutely loved this book!  I am a fan of Melissa's books anyways and once I read the description for "A Bride At Last," I knew I must read this one as well!  Kate was intended to be a mail-order bride, but things did not work out, and Silas was abandoned by his mail-order bride and both have tried to move on from these incidents.  As these two individuals find themselves fighting for a common cause (child) the past hurts and secrets intertwine as well.  I have always loved reading stories that have mail-order brides as I find the concept exciting and scary at the same time and of course things do not always work out as intended as was the case with these two characters. This is such a sweet story though of love, family and overcoming past hurts.  I highly recommend this story as well for a sweet and inspiring read. 
To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!
*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on the blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "Mind of Her Own"

 "Mind of Her Own" is an entertaining yet also thought-provoking book that will hold your attention from beginning to end.  Louisa is living the perfect life; however she is not perfectly content with how her life is.  Suddenly her life is changed when she awakes from getting bumped on the head and is suffering from amnesia.  As Louisa struggles to find out who she really is and what her life is really like, the whole family is in for some surprises and changes.  I found this book to be well-written and enjoyable, but it also had thought tender and at times sad moments.  It can be so easy to compare ourselves and our lives with others either people we interact with face to face or via social media and think that others' lives are perfect and it's easy to not be content with ourselves and we play the "what if" game.  This being said, Louisa struggled with some of the same things and this made her such a relatable character and a character whom became real throughout the book.  Now I am eager to find some more of Diana's books to read as I enjoyed her writing style. 

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

Friday, July 24, 2015

the love of Twinkies

"The Twinkies Cookbook: Twinkies 85th Anniversary Edition
is such a fun and nostalgic cookbook!  This book shares the history and also the close demise of Twinkies just a few years back.  Then it dives right into the recipes which all sound and look amazing.  The recipes are sorted and shared by type, such as ones that are Twinkies and fruit, Twinkies and chocolate and pies that are made with Twinkies.  I love the pictures that are interspersed throughout the cookbook as well.  This is a must-have for anyone and everyone whom loves Twinkies or has a love for unique cookbooks and conversation starters.

For more information about this book, go here!

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

"The Curiosity Keeper"

Book info
About the book:
The Curiosity Keeper
(Thomas Nelson, July 2015)

"It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail's egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whoever possesses it."

Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She's done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid.

Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the village apothecary. But when his brother's death made him heir just as his father's foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession---a ruby called the Bevoy---can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop---and the beautiful shop girl who may be the answer to his many questions.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, these two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, they will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Visit Sarah online:  websiteFacebookTwitter

My Review:
"The Curiosity Keeper" is book #1 in Sarah's new series and I found it to be an excellent start to the series!  Camille's mother left and never returned and has had very limited contact, Camille is trying to keep her father's shop going and now she must rely on a stranger's help.  Camille was a great main character whom I really liked and loved watching the friendship develop between her and Jonathan.   I have been really enjoying reading about this time period and the London setting as well.  Sarah does an amazing job with creating the scene and bringing the time period to life giving the story and characters a very realistic feel.  I am looking forward to book #2!

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

*Thanks to 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 22, 2015

Book Review - "To Capture Her Heart"

In an uncertain time, she faces a choice that will change her life forever
It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die--until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice--stay true to her friend or follow her heart.

Exploring a unique slice of history, Rebecca DeMarino transports you to the wild land that would eventually become Long Island, New York.

"A masterful weaver of history and heritage, Rebecca DeMarino laces tender love stories with vibrant threads of history and hope, wooing the heart and waking the soul in this rich New World saga."--Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and The Heart of San Francisco series

Rebecca DeMarino is the author of A Place in His Heart, book one of The Southold Chronicles, a series inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad; and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Rebecca lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom. Learn more at

My Review:
I really enjoyed Rebecca's latest book and the historical details and setting throughout the entire story.  Heather is forced to deal with such a horrific event that unfortunately was probably all too common during this time period, and yet she allows her heart to love again as she finds herself torn in her feelings and devotion.  I love how the setting and characters were so vividly written about so that they came alive and I felt as if I were a part of the story.  I enjoy reading about places that I am familiar with and imagining how they must have been so many years ago.  If you are a fan of historical romance, then Rebecca DeMarino is an author not to be missed!

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

Experience Healing and Mending with Cynthia Ruchti’s New Book and Reclaimed Treasures Giveaway

Tattered Mended Cynthia Ruchti
How can the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live be mended and healed? In Tattered and Mended, Cynthia Ruchti walks readers through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Celebrate the release of Tattered and Mended with Cynthia by entering to win her Reclaimed Treasures giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 27th. The winner will be announced July 28th on Cynthia's blog.


Plus, now through mid-July, sign up for Cynthia's mailing list for a five-day virtual tour around Madeline Island for the chance to win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack. Each day begins with an email from Cynthia that introduces where you'll be “visiting” that day (all key places from As Waters Gone By) with various interactive elements, including“I wish you were here” postcards, trivia quizzes, and an ongoing Island scavenger hunt. The person who interacts the most will win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack (valued at more than $200).


That includes:
  • The letterpress block Hope sign from DaySpring
  • A set of 6 Hemmed in Hope notecards showing a hope-themed Bible verse
  • A leather “I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope” journal
  • Signed copies of each of Cynthia’s books, fiction and non-fiction
Book info
About the book:
Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul (Abingdon, July 2015)

A crumbling statue. A torn tapestry. A discolored painting.

Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopefully shattered---perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live?

In Tattered and Mended, readers walk through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia Ruchti shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories "hemmed in hope." She's the award-winning author of sixteen 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.

Find Cynthia online: website, Twitter, Facebook
My Review:
This is a great read that will touch your heart and stay with you long after you read it.  Each of us are broken, pieces of us, parts of us, but this does not mean we are beyond repair, beyond hope.  Cynthia shares how various items are repaired and the time and work that goes into this; much the same way that God  heals each of us if we allow Him to.  It is so easy to accept how things are and not try to work on things or make them better; Cynthia does an  incredible job with sharing her heart and thoughts and sharing how our wounded souls and spirits can be healed if we want. 

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

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor"

Book info
About the book:
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Howard, June 2015)

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents' cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver's death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family's cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She's mourning her father's passing but can't let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family's belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family's history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

Find Melanie online: website, Twitter, Facebook

My Review:
Melanie has written an incredible story, "Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor," as it is layered with deception, secrets, love and truth that has been hidden throughout generations.  I was immediately drawn into the story and Maggie's world.  Melanie does a great job with writing as she easily brings the reader into various time periods and various characters' lives without losing disrupting the flow of the story.  This story and the characters (all of them) became so real to me as their pasts were revealed and I found myself empathizing with them as difficult decisions were made and at times poor decisions as I wondered how lives would have turned out differently.  This is a mind and heart consuming tale as it is impossible to not become completed involved in the story and in the lives of these characters as their stories intertwine and are shared piece by piece. 

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.*

Book Review - "Gone Without A Trace"

"Gone Without A Trace" is a thrilling conclusion to the Logan Point trilogy.  This is a fast-paced, high intense book that you will not want to put down once you start reading!  I highly recommend you read the first two books in the trilogy first as this book will finally ease your minds as far as some of the happenings.  Livy and Alex are both great main characters whom must work together as they race against time to solve a mysterious disappearance that is similar to one that is unsolved from a few years prior.   I loved how this story unfolded and all of the pieces come together.  I highly recommend this book and trilogy if you are a fan of romantic suspense. 

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

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Straight Up Tasty!"

"Straight Up Tasty" is such a fun cookbook from Adam Richman!  This is more than a collection of recipes; this is favorite foods from across the country allowing the reader to experience how foods are prepared in various regions and experience local fare.  There are recipes in here for any and every meal including snacks and sauces.  There is such variety among the recipes as well including spaghetti pie, spicy tuna bake, easy sushi and then desserts that include chocolate mint blizzard shake, tart fruit pops and challah bread pudding.' I love the layout and appearance of this book as well with the graph paper and notebook paper used throughout as the backdrop to some pages and the photographs are very well-done.  This is a book you will not only want to cook from, but also to look through often!

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."

"Beyond the Ashes"

Book info
About the book:
Beyond the Ashes (Abingdon Press, June 2015)

Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?

Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald's fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they're striving to cure. Together they must ask---is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Karen Barnett is the author of Beyond the Ashes, Out of the Ruins, and Mistaken. Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she's not writing novels, she loves speaking at women's events, libraries, and book clubs.

Find Karen online: website, Twitter, Facebook

My Review:
I really enjoyed "Beyond the Ashes" which is book 2 in The Golden Gate Chronicles series by Karen Barnett.  This is excellent historical fiction that takes place in a gorgeous and well-described setting that comes to life.  Ruby is a young widow and is tired of being the object of everyone's pity and makes a sudden life changing decision.  Ruby is a loveable character as she is a determined, strong individual and so real that she was easy to empathize with throughout the book.  This story also has a medical component to it which adds another element to the book and the historical details of the medical field along with the details of the traditions, clothing and the ways of society of this time period create a lovely 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 8, 2015

Book Review - "Give Yourself a Break"

It's time to start treating yourself the way you treat others As children we're taught to treat others the way we would like to be treated. But as adults, we often need to turn that old maxim around. We're good at showing compassion to other people--but many of us have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves. We say things to ourselves we would never say to a friend. And all this negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives and relationships.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson wants you to stop beating yourself up. Grounding her advice in Scripture, she offers practical steps, specific exercises, and compassionate words to say in order to build a loving relationship with yourself. Through inspiring stories of transformation, she'll help you learn to show yourself the kind of grace and understanding you offer to others--and to change your relationships, your outlook on life, and your view of yourself in the process.

"Kim Fredrickson guides us back to healthy self-care as the foundation for impacting others. It's an excellent guide for the journey."--Dr. Mike Bechtle, speaker, consultant, and author of People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them the Keys

"Filled with practical tools and stories of everyday people who successfully learned to treat themselves with care and compassion."--Georgia Shaffer, PA, licensed psychologist and author of Avoiding the 12 Relationship Mistakes Women Make

"Give Yourself a Break addresses self-hatred and shame in a fresh way and challenges us with a grace-filled approach to seeing our inadequacies and sins."--Leslie Vernick, licensed counselor, coach, speaker, and author of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

Kim Fredrickson has been a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified Christian life coach for more than thirty years. An adjunct professor, speaker, and author, she loves helping people become equipped spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually with practical skills to live more effective and fulfilling lives. She has been married to her husband, Dave, for thirty-seven years and they have two grown children. Learn more and read her blog at

My Review:
"Give Yourself a Break" is a great read and one that I realized I needed to read more than I would have thought.  It is so easy to be so critical on ourselves and this is so harmful when really we should be treating ourselves how we treat others.  This is full of thought-provoking points and lists to help the reader reflect on the points shared.  I really enjoyed the section on self-soothing techniques especially during times of stress as in a moment we can go from our heart racing and becoming escalated to taking a moment and taking a deep breath and getting back to baseline. 

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

Book Review - "The Innocent"

Cover Art"The Innocent" takes the reader back to Harmony Hill for a bit of mystery and sweet romance.  Carlyn's husband has not returned from fighting in the war and although others refer to her as a widow, she has not accepted that fact.  Carlyn has been struggling to get by and has been living in a home she has been unable to pay for until the owner shows up with the Sherriff.  This begins a new chapter in her life as Carlyn seeks a home in Harmony Hill.  However, this village is not as peaceful as she believes it to be and Carlyn finds herself in the midst of the trouble. 

This is another great story from Ann H Gabhart that fans of her work will not want to miss out on!  This is an excellent historical romance book to enjoy this summer. 

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

Devotional Bible for Dads

Book Description from the publisher:

A trusted source of wisdom to help men learn how to be the type of fathers God wants them to be, this Bible provides a full year of weekday devotions along with other helpful study features.
Filled with challenging and helpful information, the NIV Dad's Devotional Bible helps dads become fathers who honor God, live faithfully, and love their families-men whose lives will build priceless family legacies for generations to come.
With 260 down-to-earth devotions, one for every day of the work week, as well as quick book introductions and seven insightful "Building Your Children" articles, author Robert Wolgemuth will lead readers through the blueprint of godly fatherhood. And with a helpful "Questions Kids Ask" index in the back, the hardcover NIV Dad's Devotional Bible will equip dads with the tools they need to be great fathers.
About the Author
Robert Wolgemuth graduated from Taylor University (Biblical Literature) and received an honorary doctorate (LhD) from the same university in 2005. He is the author or coauthor of over twenty books, including Men of the Bible, The Most Important Year in a Man’s/Woman’s Life, and the notes to the Dad’s Bible. See website:

My Review:
This is an excellent devotional Bible for Dads, both young and old, as older dads may very well be grandfathers as well.  The articles interspersed throughout the Bible along with the devotional readings are very encouraging and inspiring.  The layout of the Bible is great as well as it is has ample apace for taking notes and it is easy to find what you are looking for and the "extras" are not just placed wherever or crowded.  This would make an excellent gift for all of the dads in your life.

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

fun books for your kids!

Rob Elliott's Laugh-Out-Loud joke books have brought laughter to more than half a million households. His last book invited kids into the action as he teamed up with cartoonist Jonny Hawkins to create Laugh-Out-Loud Doodles for Kids. Now the dynamic duo is back with two brand-new books for boys and girls who love to draw and love to laugh! Packed with jokes that will keep boys and girls giggling for hours, and unfinished doodles for them to complete any way they want, these books keep little hands and minds busy. Perfect for road trips, lazy summer days, or anytime the kids say, "I'm bored!"

I have a daughter (age 6) and a son (age 4) and they are fans of these books!  Each page has a joke  and a partial picture that needs to be completed.  This results in giggles, not only for the joke but also whole drawing to complete the picture  and sharing it with others once it's complete.  This is a great book for older children to work through on their own or with friends or siblings and for younger children something fun to take a few moments to do with an adult; this will result in memorable moments for sure!
In my daughter's words, "This joke book is so fun because I love drawing and it's funny!"
In my son's words, " These are funny!  I like doing these with you."

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for including me on this blog tour. *

"The Wonder of You"

I absolutely loved the latest book in Susan May Warren's Christiansen Family series!  This book focused on  Amelia, the youngest of the Christiansen siblings.  Amelia has also been watched over by her siblings whom all feel like they need to protect her and make decisions for her.  Amelia returns home feeling like a failure, yet also confused as her heart is being pulled in two different directions and by two different men.  While "The Wonder of You" is Amelia's story, it also continues on with what is going on in all of the other siblings' lives.  I am so looking forward to the next book in the series, yet also I am sad as it will be the last one in this series about this family whom I have enjoyed spending so much time with. 

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Love Arrives in Pieces"

Book info
 About the book:
Love Arrives in Pieces (Zondervan, June 2015)

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn't trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn't get another job soon, she'll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he'll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town's old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness---and their unresolved feelings for each other-until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice---to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.
Purchase a copy:

 About the author:

Betsy St. Amant
lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find Betsy online: website, Facebook

My Review:
I really enjoyed this latest book from Betsy St. Amant.  Betsy has done an incredible job with sharing a powerful message through this story, the message that God can make broken things beautiful.  There are so many moments that we may feel defeated, broken, discouraged, things are not going right, but then other moments that show us that God is in control and things are good.  This was a sweet love story as Stella's fairytale did not turn out to be a happily ever after and she does not believe she will ever end up with that, but then things change.  However, secrets get in the way and trust is broken.  This is a powerful story with relatable characters. 

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.*