Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Mommy Needs A Raise":

I was immediately drawn to this book because of the title, honestly can any mother say that they have never had a moment (or many moments) of feeling unappreciated and wishing for bedtime to be here, but at the same time dreading the days flying by?  "Mommy Needs A Raise (because quitting's not an option)" is such a funny, honest and totally relatable book by Sarah Parshall Perry.  I found myself laughing out loud while reading this and remembering when the exact thing or similar thing happened in my own life so many times throughout this book.  Sarah gave up her corporate job to stay at home with her children; and while I have not given up my job outside of the home I am completely involved with my children and raising them and while it is challenging and overwhelming it is also the most rewarding thing ever.  This is a must-read for all mothers and one that I know I will read over and over as it is refreshing and a great reminder that I am not alone in moments of despair!

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

"What Matters Most"

"What Matters Most" is Kellie Coates Gilbert's latest Texas Gold novel and it is another heart-filled read that will stay with the reader long after you finish reading it.  Leta is struggling to find a job as she does not have her degree yet, as she had to withdraw from school with only 3 years completed.  When a job does open up, Leta is thrilled; however things become complicated as things are not adding up.  To make matters worse, Leta has fallen for Nathan; however, Leta's information can make things bad for him and his career. 

I love Kellie's books as they are so real with such realistic characters.  Life is not easy; although we all have the smooth sailing days, there are the bumpy ones as well.  Kellie's characters are faced with challenges and dilemmas, including moral ones that must be handled and with a little suspense sprinkled in, the reader is hooked.  Leta must decide what is important to her and what really matters in life, and this book will leave you asking this of yourself as well. 

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

"Honor Redeemed"

Honor Redeemed

by Christine Johnson
Keys of Promise

Her future--and her heart--hang in the balance.
Two years ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West. Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future: make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life.

But when Prosperity arrives penniless in the South, she is dismayed to find David has not been eagerly awaiting their reunion. In fact, he is married to someone else. Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, Prosperity gains the friendship--and the affection--of a kind doctor. Could he be the answer to her loneliness? Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?

With a deft hand, Christine Johnson fills the senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Key West in this heartwarming story of honor lost, honor redeemed, and a love forged in adversity.

My Review:
Prosperity has been "set adrift on a vast ocean" and is unsure of how to answer the question of what she is going to do with her life now.  This is how Christine begins her latest book "Honor Redeemed" and effectively hooks the reader as Prosperity sets out to move on with her life.  Prosperity was a great main character as she is facing trials, yet she handles them with grace and dignity and draws upon her inner strength and her faith.  I love the details that Christine writes with as it brings the setting and the time period to life for the reader and allows the reader to picture such vivid images.  I highly recommend this book for historical fiction fans. 

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

Saturday, July 30, 2016


"Missing" is the 2nd Nikki Boyd Files book written by Lisa Harris and it is one not to missed by suspense fans!  Nikki is used to working on missing persons cases, not homicide.  However, Nikki becomes involved in a case when it involved two missing people.  Then it becomes closer and more personal when a close friend becomes involved. 
This book is fast-paced, full of twists and turns as Nikki attempts to uncover the truth, the real persons involved and the full story behind this whole situation.  Nikki finds herself caught up in the murders, counterfeit drugs, money and schemes that tie so many people together.  However, Nikki also finds her heart involved and she is trying to protect her heart, and the ones whom she cares so deeply about. 
I highly recommend starting with book #1 if you have not read it and then diving right into "Missing."  I am looking forward to book #3!

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

Is it your husband's job to make you happy?

Book info
About the book:

If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House, August 2015)

Like most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together.

But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it's tempting to think, "If only my husband would change, I'd be happy."

That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics as

-understanding your husband's need for your unconditional respect
-rekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first place
-refusing to believe the lie that you'd be happier married to someone else
-learning to be content in the midst of financial struggles
-thinking about sex from a biblical worldview
If you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.
Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. She is an author and speaker dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. With more than 20 years' experience as a mom, mentor, and pastor's wife, Rhonda's wisdom and experience helps women discover significance in God and His specific purpose for their lives, connect biblical principles to everyday decisions, develop a loving marriage that others dream about, and influence the next generation by raising children with integrity.

My Review:
Rhonda Stoppe has written an open and honest book for all women out there, ones who have been married for many years or just a short while or for those who are engaged and planning to be married.  Rhonda addresses thoughts that many women may (and probably will) think at some point about her husband and her marriage in this book, each chapter focusing on a specific thing.  Biblical characters and their stories are shared as well as personal friends and acquaintances and her own personal experience.  A male's perspective is shared as well and discussion and reflection questions for each chapter.  I found this book to have many things to think on and consider in my own life.  This is a quick read and one that would be good to pick up and read certain chapters in times of feeling frustrated or down as this is an encouraging read and a great reminder that we are not alone on this journey of life. 

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

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

"When Calls the Heart" Season 3 DVD release PLUS receive Season 1 FREE!

When Calls the Heart Season 3 DVD Set will be released on October 11th!  Fans of this show have the opportunity to receive a free copy of the DVD set of season 1 when they preorder season 3!  Both of these DVD set would be excellent additions to your DVD collection or if you already own season 1 (as many fans do I'm sure!), get a head start on Christmas shopping and give it to a friend or family member for Christmas!

Here's a little bit about the upcoming release of Season 3 on DVD from FishFlix!:

About the Season 3 Boxed Set

We’re really excited about the When Calls the Heart Season 3 boxed set because it provides some truly unique bonuses for committed fans of the show (#Hearties.)

As with the When Calls the Heart Season 1 and Season 2 Collector’s editions, this 10 DVD set contains both the film versions and the TV episode versions of When Calls the Heart Season 3.  You can watch the series as 10 hour-long episodes or 5 feature films.  As in previous years, fans will enjoy finding small differences between the film versions and the individual episodes. 

The really exciting elements of the Season 3 collectors’ edition are the three bonus Discs.  Disc 8 features the typical bonus material one would expect from a project like this – behind the scenes footage, interviews, etc.  Disc 9 is a special product devoted to the fans that have made When Calls the Heart such a grassroots success - featuring footage from the #Hearties gathering in Vancouver in January of 2016. The 10th disc is a When Calls the Heart trivia game that devoted fans are sure to love. 

Don't hesitate - Go reserve your copy of  When Calls the Heart Season 3 today through FishFlix, a wonderful website that has appropriate, wholesome movies for children and adults.  Go here to reserve your copy and also the added bonus of season 1: Christian Movies

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

beauty refined - enterbanner

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

Book info
About the book:

A Beauty Refined (Bethany House, July 2016)

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

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

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

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

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Beloved Mess"

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

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

must-read for parents

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

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

a new addition to your game night!

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

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

Berenstain Bears collection

Book Description from the publisher:

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

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

Saturday, July 9, 2016

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

Book info
About the book:

Murder Mezzo Forte (Lamplighter Mysteries, June 2016)

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

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

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

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

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 8, 2016

secrets and friendships from the past

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Girl Defined"

"Girl Defined: God's radical design for beauty, femininity, and identity" by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird is a must-read for each and every woman, no matter her age.  This book is written by two sisters with whom after reading this book you will feel like you are a third sister.  It is open, honest and just a nice breath of fresh air into the moments and days when we get so caught up in our thoughts of feeling like we are not pretty enough, we are not good enough, we are not fitting that "girly" mold.  The book begins with the girls sharing their stories of their first modeling interviews, each one very different from the other.  I loved that this was the beginning as it painted to very opposite types of experiences, opinions and values.  Each of the following chapters focuses on helping the reader to appreciate and love herself and her femininity in God's design for each of us.  Each chapter ends with a study guide, questions to answer and reflect upon on and one point to really put into action today.  I believe this would be a wonderful book for mothers and teenage daughters to read together, or of course a book to work through together with some girlfriends in a small group setting. 

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

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

Like a River from Its Course Kelli Stuart
Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
like a river - prize collage (1) 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.

like a river - enterbanner

Book info
About the book:

Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the F├╝hrer's plans for domination
are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. 
Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Kelli Stuart
is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break. She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. In addition to her writing, Kelli has spent twenty years studying Ukranian culture. Kelli lives in Florida.

My Review:
Kelli Stuart writes a novel that will completely captive the reader and bring to life a truly horrific event in history.  Kelli's story is told by four individuals, each of these people living in the Ukraine during World War II.  The Ukraine is filled with chaos and turmoil and each of these people are affected as is the entire country plus so many others during this War that impacted so many.  I enjoy reading historical fiction set during this time period as I enjoy history.  However, the Ukraine has not  been a country that I have read too much about and how this country was affected really is brought to life in "Like a River From Its Course."  I thought that Kelli did a great job with sharing the stories and the lives of the four main individuals along with sharing about the Ukrainian culture as a whole and how this entire country was pulled into the midst of war and impacted.  I highly recommend this book for those whom like to read historical fiction as this is filled with details and emotion that it will be hard to put down once you start.

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.*

"Between us Girls"

Book info
About the book:

Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters (New Growth Press, June 2016)

You feel more than mommy guilt.

You feel a deep and growing conviction that you must do something to disciple your daughter. But what? How can a busy mom make sure that her daughter learns about the most important things in life: what Jesus did for her on the cross and how to be faithful to him in this broken world?

Author Trish Donohue has been there, and that's why she wrote Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don't know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God's Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

Between Us Girls is more than a devotional; it's a conversation guide, and the twenty-six "chats" are just the beginning. Ultimately, Donohue's book teaches mothers and daughters a new way to communicate and starts them on a wonderful, lifelong journey of getting to know one another better and learning to love their Savior more.

Between Us Girls was written by a busy mom for busy moms, so no prep time is needed! Just schedule some time with your daughter, grab this book, head to your destination of choice, and cherish every moment you share with your girl.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Tricia Donohue is a wife and mom who writes from her kitchen table in West Chester, PA. A desire to disciple her girls paired with a love for writing inspired this book. She and her husband, Jim, have two sons and two daughters. They attend Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA, where Jim serves as a pastor.

My Review:
My daughter is turning 8 (8!) next seems like I was holding her in the hospital, I cannot believe how fast these years have flown by! Reading Trish's book made me think about how much time I have had with my daughter and yet how many conversations and talks and moments I want to and need to share with her still before she is out on her own and not as dependent on me.  I love the layout of this book as it is divided into 26 chapters that included Bible passages to read together, questions to ask each other and talk about and the groundwork for Bible truths and principles to be instilled in my daughter's life.  My favorite part about this book is that there is a variety of conversation and it really encourages conversations and leads to further discussions on topics that may be glossed over initially.  I think this is a great resource for those whom want to deepen discussions with their daughters or for those whom may be struggling to communicate and need a little extra boost. 

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.*