Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Daniel Fast

"The Daniel Fast for Weight Loss" is a different approach to take for losing weight as it focuses primarily on a spiritual component. 
One's relationship with God is the main focus of this diet and program for weight loss as there is fasting and really focusing on focusing on God and seeking His help and guidance.  Susan really goes into details on this plan and stresses following the plan exactly in order for the optimal results.  Before beginning this diet/fast plan, it is important to read through the first couple of chapters thoroughly before starting the 21 day plan.  An excellent feature of this book is the inclusion of many, many recipes that fit into this plan.  This is a very intense plan for 21 days and a great starting point for those who want to maintain a healthy weight and good eating habits for years and years. 

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

Regina Jennings’ ‘At Love’s Bidding’ Cozy Winter Night Giveaway

At Love's Bidding Regina Jennings
After a cross-country trip to track down a sold painting that could ruin her family's business forever, Miranda Wimplegate forms an unlikely but charged partnership with livestock auctioneer Wyatt Ballentine in Regina Jennings' At Love's Bidding. Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count–but no mysterious painting–Miranda and Wyatt must try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

Join Regina in celebrating the release of At Love's Bidding by entering to win her Cozy Winter Night giveaway and RSVPing to her January 5th author chat party!

at love's bidding - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive everything you need for a cozy winter night:
at love's bidding - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 1/5. The winner will be announced at the At Love's Bidding Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Regina and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

at love's bidding-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 5th!

Book info
About the book:

At Love's Bidding (Bethany House, December 2015)

She sells priceless antiques. He sells livestock by the pound. Is he really the man to make a bid for her heart?

After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.

Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count---but no mysterious painting---Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Connect with Regina: website, Twitter, Facebook

My Review:
Regina has once again written a novel that will keep you completely engrossed from the beginning to the end as she creates such lovable characters and storylines with humor and heart.  Regina dives right into the story and into Miranda's world on the very first page with detailed descriptions that set the scene and begin taking the reader on a journey into the world of family businesses, auction houses and a trek across country.  Miranda's world becomes intertwined with Wyatt's in the midst of misunderstandings, panic and despair.  Thus begins a series of interactions and partnering to find a missing painting.  I highly recommend this book and this series AND any book written by Regina for fans of historical romantic fiction. 

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.*

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rachel Hauck’s ‘The Wedding Chapel’ and $100 Cash Card Giveaway

The Wedding Chapel Rachel Hauck
Is sixty years too long to wait for love? Two stories of romance, one in 1949 and one in the modern day, meet in Rachel Hauck's The Wedding Chapel. When Taylor Branson takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time. When Taylor’s journey intersects with Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook's, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

Join Rachel in celebrating the release of The Wedding Chapel by entering to win a copy and a $100 cash card—perfect for finishing up your Christmas gift shopping!

wedding chapel - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Wedding Chapel
  • A $100 cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 31st. The winner will be announced January 4th on Rachel's blog.

wedding chapel - enter banner

Book info
About the book:

The Wedding Chapel (Zondervan, November 2015)

For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy "Coach" Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love---the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in '49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be---a place for love---and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart's Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family's abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart's Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.

When Taylor's journey intersects with Coach's, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

Purchase a copy:

About the author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Connect with Rachel: website, Twitter, Facebook

My Review:
This latest novel from Rachel Hauck is in my top ten favorite books that I have read this year.  Seriously, it is very well-written and with two stories woven together I was completely wrapped up in all of the characters' lives and their stories spanning across generations and years.  The chapel that Jimmy lovingly built with his hands has set empty and has been a secret for so many years and this amazing piece of architecture brings Taylor back home.  This story just immediately tugged at my heart and really pulled me in beginning with a photograph in 1948 and the devastation of war and then in the next chapter jumping ahead to present day.  I loved how the chapters flowed seamlessly back and forth among decades; I never felt confused or lost.  I cannot even say enough about this book, just that it is not to miss.  It is such a sweet story filled with emotions and the characters all dealing with individual things in their lives and also relationship issues as well creating such a great 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.*

Friday, December 18, 2015

New Food Network Cookbook!

This is a great collection of recipes for those whom are trying to make better food choices and really for anyone who wants to eat well, meaning recipes that are good for you and also taste good.
What I love about the Food Network cookbooks is the variety.  There is such a huge variety of recipes in this book.  There are recipes for every course, including snacks.  Also, there are recipes that use common, everyday ingredients and then also recipes that include less common ingredients, but sound just as tasty and would be a nice change from the usual food that one is used to making and eating. I also love that there is a picture of each and every recipe in this book.  With 150 recipes in this book, there is something for everyone and don't let the title lead you to think that the recipes are boring or tasteless, that is far from the truth!

To read more about this book go here!
*"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

New Bible

Book Description from the publisher:

A much-needed devotional Bible designed for a new generation of young adult men.
Combining the current writings of key young authors and pastors with a clean, accessible design, the NIV Devotional Bible for Men fills a critical gap in the Bible marketplace: a highly approachable yet spiritualty challenging Bible targeted specifically at young adult men.
This compelling new Bible speaks to the topics, challenges, and expectations that will instantly connect with men ages 18-34. It covers such critical issues as career, sexuality, leadership, pornography, relationships, financial stability, spiritual growth, substance addiction, culture, character, education, self-image and more. Each of the 260 devotions is carefully designed to ensure extensive, sustainable immersion into God's Word, leading to meaningful life impact.
Sensitive to the technologically connected, time-starved lifestyles of today, the NIV Devotional Bible for Men offers the quick impact and deep spiritual engagement that young men can't get with any other Bible.
NIV Devotional Bible for Men features include:
  • 260 devotions of 600-800 words apiece
  • 2 methods to engage: reading through the Bible canonically from Genesis to Revelation or topically, using the topical index
  • "Leveled" Scripture engagement that allows readers to choose between 1-minute, quick topic summaries or deeper, 10-minute devotional experiences
  • Devotions from young pastors and leaders such as Matt Chandler, Shane Claiborne, Craig Gross, Gabe Lyons and Jud Wilhite
  • 52 "Myth Articles" state commonly accepted myths in our culture today, then refute those myths with answers from God's Word.
My Review:
This is a great Bible that would make a great gift for young adult men or men whom work in a leadership position with adolescent and young men.  This is a wonderful hardcover edition that is the NIV edition with "extras" interspersed throughout it.  There are devotions shared by influential speakers in today's society and also "myth busters" as well.  Some of the topics include buying with credit, marriage, pornography and careers.  Each reading is a page or two and has it's own separate space so that it is easy to read, and just fits in nicely in the Bible. 

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

They're the unlikeliest of friends-but can Lydia REALLY trust Sebastian?

Book info
About the book:

Whispers in the Reading Room (Zondervan, November 2015)

Lydia's job at the library is her world---until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World's Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn't merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks-the man so many people fear-is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.

Connect with Shelley: website, Twitter, Facebook
My Review:
"Whispers in the Reading Room" is my favorite of the Chicago World's Fair Mystery Series; I love the storyline, the characters and the suspense.  Of course, the love the whole library setting and the occupation as being a librarian and Lydia is such an intriguing main character.  She loves the world of books, but also loves to people watch and she is completely intrigued by the ones whom she comes into contact with, especially a certain handsome, quiet man.  Sebastian Marks is such a wonderful main character as well and I love how the various facets of him are revealed throughout the story and throughout the development of his relationship and his interactions with Lydia.  I love the twists in the story and the suspense as it kept the story moving and had me engrossed in the story from start to finish. 
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.*

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Review - "The Forgotten Recipe"

Book Description from the publisher:

After losing her fiancĂ© in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies.
Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.
When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.
Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancĂ©e to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.
Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?
About the Author
Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston

My Review:
"The Forgotten Recipe" is book #1 in Amy Clipston's Amish Heirloom series, and it is an excellent start to the series that will tug at your heart and take you back into your own memories of family recipes.  I loved how the storyline revolved around a newly found heirloom recipe.  A recipe that has not been made in years and is an instant hit with people who stop by the bake stand.  This pie forms a connection with Jason and Veronica; although Jason knows they have another connection as well and is hesitant to share it.  Veronica and Jason are both such great main characters, I found myself empathizing with both of them and becoming completely immersed in their world.  I am looking forward to book #2, "The Courtship Basket," as I loved book #1 and the concept of this series. 

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

Monday, December 7, 2015

Amish Christmas

I love Christmas stories and this collection of four Christmas novellas are excellent!  Each of the four novellas focuses on a young woman; however each of them are connected as their mothers all went to the same home and same midwife to prepare for the delivery of their babies. This four babies, now years later, have grown up into adults and are living different lives. 
I really enjoyed each of these stories, and each of the authors really brought to life the characters in their stories and was able to meld their piece with the other stories so well that they just flowed together seamlessly.  There is sadness, hope, giving back and love woven throughout this book making this such a beautiful Christmas collection and the gorgeous cover makes this the perfect Christmas book to share this season. 

For more information about this book, go here!

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

Grateful Kids

I loved, I mean really loved, the latest non-fiction book on to read pile and it was one I read over the period of two days.  "Raising Kids in an Entitled World," so aptly described the society in which we are raising our children and how our habits are resulting in entitled children instead of grateful children.  I have enjoyed scrolling through and reading various posts on Kristen's blog and was so excited when I saw this book by her.  Kristen shares her heart in this book and her stories that make up her own family's journey of raising their children in today's society.  I love how this is Kristen's story, but also research tied in with it.  Kristen and her husband's boot story near the beginning of the book is such a great illustration and one that I know will pop into my head throughout various moments of raising my children.  This book flows so nicely and I love the quotes and tips that are interspersed and included at the end of the chapters.  I know this will be a book that I will refer back to over and over again as my children grow.  Kristen is such an encouragement and this book is exactly what I needed to read at this time.  I highly recommend this book for parents of children of all ages.  

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? Find out in the reimagined fairytale

Book info
About the book:
The Golden Braid
(Thomas Nelson, November 2015)

The one who needs rescuing isn't always the one in the tower...

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel's hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again---this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight---Sir Gerek---Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

Purchase a copy:

About the author:

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

Connect with Melanie: website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

My Review:
I loved Melanie's retelling of the Rapunzel story.  "The Golden Braid" is a well-written story that will transport you back to your childhood with her flair for story telling and the fairytale feel.  The characters become so real and the story is filled with adventure and humor.  Rapunzel is sheltered by her mother and wonders if she will ever fulfill the desires of her heart and control her destiny.  I love how Melanie creates believable characters whom come to life and ones that are easy to empathize with.  Also, the faith element is woven into the story adding so much to it, but not overpowering it and detracting from the storyline.  If you are a fan of fairytales, and historical romance this is for you, young or old.

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.*

"Keeping Christmas"

Dan Walsh's new novel is one that you will reread every year at this time.  "Keeping Christmas" is a sweet, touch story that will stay with you long after you finish reading.
Dan has done another incredible job with writing this novel.  The characters come to life and work their way into your heart as you empathize with their current life situations and as you struggle right along side them to come to terms with changes that have taken place forcing them to adjust to losses in traditions and family times. 
Stan had no idea this year would be so difficult for Judith, and he had no idea how to help her at first.  This couple has just celebrated Thanksgiving alone, to Stan it was seemingly not a big deal, but when he arrives home the following day to a house completely void of Christmas decorations and his wife struggling with the holidays and lack of family surrounding her, he realizes just how difficult it is.  Judith is struggling with the fact that she does not have a purpose in life anymore as she is seemingly not needed, not an important piece in her children and grandchildren's lives as they live so far away, living their own lives. 
I highly recommend "Keeping Christmas" as a must-read this Christmas season as you will not be able to read this without your heart becoming fully involved in the story and intertwined in the characters' lives. 

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

"Proverbs Prayers"

Experience the wisdom of God in your life as never before
The book of Proverbs is a wellspring of wisdom, offering practical guidance for life and the tools to make good choices, withstand pressure, prioritize relationships, and avoid unnecessary trouble.

Now bestselling author John Mason helps you make that wisdom a part of your inner life. For thirty-one days, he takes you through each chapter of Proverbs, unpacking the wisdom within and providing a heartfelt prayer based on the insights from that chapter. As you read and pray, you'll discover the principles found in this wisdom-packed book coming alive in your life in ways you may never have imagined.

John Mason is a minister, a popular speaker, and the bestselling author of many books, includingAn Enemy Called Average and You Can Do It--Even if Others Say You Can't. His books have sold nearly two million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is the founder and president of Insight International and Insight Publishing Group, organizations dedicated to helping people reach their God-given dreams. He lives in Oklahoma.

My Review:
This book is a wonderful collection of prayers that take the reader through the book of Proverbs.  The layout of this book is so simple and straightforward as it includes every verse in the given chapter followed by a prayer that focuses on that specific chapter.  I love that the verses are included so that they are right there and easy to read and connect with the prayer.  There is also a section included at the back of the book that states various principles throughout Proverbs and what each principle actually is along with a verse that highlights it.  This would make a wonderful gift for anyone who needs a little bit of encouragement in his or her life. 

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