Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review- Heiress of Winterwood

Amelia, the beautiful young,  heiress to an estate has to get married before turning twenty-four or forfeit her inheritance. Marrying Edward Littleton seems to solve her problem, but when he prohibits baby Lucy, her deceased friends baby, from staying with them; she is ready to do all she can to keep the baby she's raised. 

I enjoyed the English flair of the book. I could easily picture the settings and even characters with some of the BBC productions. The many unorthodox methods  the characters took and occurrences that happened were both eyebrow raising and unique.

The first half of the book seemed to drag on, and the second half felt rather rushed. The characters main 'issues' were resolved rather quickly. The romance was questionable as well. Not only was Graham a recent widow he was an absent husband. It seemed that he got over his late wife rather quickly. Towards the end of the story the story felt quite similar and redundant with Lisa Norato's Prize of My Heart.

I did enjoy the other unique aspects that the author wove in. Overall Heiress of Winterwood was an enjoyable read. I received this complimentary copy from Litfuse in exchange for this review. 

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review- When Morning Glory Blooms

This week, the

is introducing

Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)



Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”

For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.


Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE.


When Morning Glory Blooms is a story of three women, three different eras, and three different situations.

I found it hard to get into Becky's story because the author kept on switching from things the woman said, did, and things she thought. I had to reread some passages a couple of times to understand what was going on. The huge amount of similes throughout the book, and especially her part, was quite distracting. To the end of the story I never fully comprehended what was the purpose to her story. So many issues and the lack of any type of conclusion made for my least story of the three. 

Ivy, the pregnant young woman whose boyfriend was overseas fighting in Korea was my favorite story. From the first pages of her part your heart went out to her. She is a lonely young woman who is afraid of the future, afraid of being rejected, and who desperately needs love and friendship in her life. I enjoyed seeing what love and God can do to transform a humans hurting heart through her. My favorite story had the least amount of parts and the most acceptable ending of the three. 

I enjoyed the many lessons taught through Anna's portion in the book. The lessons varied from hope, redemption, the consequences of deceit, and depending on Jesus. I enjoyed my time reading this story and would give it a 4 out of 5. 

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paper Bow Tutorial

Recently I bought two little girls some bubbles and wasn't sure how to wrap it. I finally decided on a simple bow, since most children care about what's inside of the present than the packaging itself. Here's a simple tutorial if you would want to make it!

Here is the link for the paper template!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review- Sweet Sanctuary

Kim Vogel Sawyer's Sweet Sanctuary is a story of how God works all things out for our good. We see that repeatedly in the lives of both Lydia and Micah as they each face numerous difficulties. For the past four years Lydia has been 'Mama' to her deceased best friend's son. She'll do anything to keep it that way, but when morphine addicted father wants the child back to sell for his evil vice, she doesn't know what to do. Micah on the other hand has secrets of his own. He is part of an secret organization that helps smuggle Jewish children into America. Through many series of hardships, questions, and misunderstandings these two learn that no matter what God has everything in control.

Both Micah and Lydia were credible characters. They were christians with a deep desire to do God's will, and were willing to wait for his voice before going ahead with anything. The characters experienced hurts and were not exempt to bad things happening to them. Their strong Christian faith was both genuine and refreshing to the reader. 

The author presented plausible problems throughout the book. Many times the author threw a curb ball ,but the situations never felt unrealistic or far fetched.  I enjoyed the touch of World War || History included throughout. The author presented the American view of the war quite accurately, many did not know the horrors the Jews faced, and ridiculed them here in America. 

I commend Kim for her well written story. She included credible characters, the Gospel, plausible problems and solutions, woven throughout this story. With the touch of a sweet and realistic romance she merged all the qualities of a well written story into one first-rate book.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Josiah's Treasure

This week, the

is introducing

Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)



Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She has been writing for longer than she would like to admit. Her work has been a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests and she won the 2006 RWA Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense. In 2009, she was an ACFW Genesis finalist. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When she is not writing, or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is either watching history shows on cable TV or singing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.


In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah's son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah's life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man's heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Josiah's Treasure, go HERE.

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Book Review- A Noble Groom

Annalisa's life has been everything short of a fairy tale. When she was younger she longed for a fairy tale romance, but when reality struck she realized 'love' does not exist. She fills her daughters head with fairy tales to escape the realities of her loveless marriage, and hoping that her daughter will do better. When a 'prince charming' enters their lives, he has about just enough charm to sweep these lonely and love forsaken girls off their feet. 

I was instantly drawn into this intricate plot of love, sacrifice, and history. In Jody's latest work we are transported to the 1800's where we preview the life of the German immigrants in America. The author paints a vivid picture of the many harsh realities the immigrants face- language, lack of money /resources, sickness, and poverty were just a few. A common pattern I've seen after reading Jody's last two works, is how she writes about the many struggles women faced throughout different periods in History. This book opened my eyes to see the harsh realities of what it meant to be born a girl back in the 1800's. The books overall message was how God is in control even when we can not see it.

The romance was so 'breath takingly' fairy tale like and real life at the same time. We go from ohhing Carl's chivalrous deeds, to tearing up at their sacrifices for each other, to finally sighing at the end of a true happily ever after. Some of the characters thoughts were eyebrow raising, but overall the romance was well defined. 

I felt the author had a great opportunity to use Annalisa's lack of self worth and love and make it into a wonderful spiritual revelation for her. The author did not really make that part as sentimentally and spiritual as I had hoped for. This factor not big enough to take a point off, I give A Noble Groom a 5 out of 5. 

I received a free copy from Litfuse in exchange for this independent and unbiased review. 
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Review- When Jesus Wept

The Thoene's have delivered yet another master piece with their latest title When Jesus Wept. Set in the time when Jesus walked the earth, we witness a tale of political and religious turmoil, in Lazarus' point of view.

I loved the fact that the main events in Jesus ministry are surrounded by Lazarus' life, from the wedding in Cana, feeding of the multitudes, and the triumphal entry. The amount of historical accuracy and rich Biblical detail in this account was amazing. The many historical facts were not boring but enriching.  The authors stayed very Biblically accurate and as many as complete paragraphs were taken straight from the Bible.

The many secondary characters were an added richness to the tale. Each of their lives were some how intertwined with Lazarus and Jesus' ministry. The depiction of Jesus' Jewishness was a refreshing aspect. He was shown as a normal Jewish man (partaking in their many customs) and like the wonderful King of the universe at the same time. The authors also included some very profound revelations to the Jewish culture that allowed the reader to connect further with the bible.

As a history lover my obvious favorite thing was the rich historical aspects to this story. If you do not appreciate history as much, this may not be the book for you. I on the other hand very much enjoyed it and would give it a 5 out of 5. 

I received this free copy from Litfuse, in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Book Review: Mountain Homecoming

Returning back to Cades Cove after a 20 year long gap we are reunited with characters we fell in love with in the first book. We find many changes in the life of Anna and Simon Martin. They have two children Stephen who is off in college and Rani their passionate daughter who is in love with "her" mountains. Granny, well advanced in years, is now living with the Martins. After leaving the Cove under hard circumstances and living a life of hardship, Matthew finds his way back home. 

I enjoyed my return visit to the Cove. The place is described as a fairy tale with its majestic blue mountains, quaint little houses, and the mountain laurel in full bloom. The rich detail allowed the place to come alive in my imagination. Though the Cove seemed like heaven on earth we were able to glimpse the many hardships these people went through. 

I loved Rani and Matthew, both had internal struggles and shortcomings, but their love for the Lord helped them overcome and mature. I loved how their romance was not perfect. There were arguments, heartaches, but in the end God's will prevailed.

Mountain Homecoming is a rich tale of forgiveness, redemption, the importance of family, and love. All of these factors included served to encourage and enrich the reader. I give Mountain Homecoming a 4 out of 5. 

I received this book from First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Resurrection Sunday Fashion Post

It feels like spring is trying to make its appearance over here. Some days we'd have some really nice days and then boom back to the cold. Thankfully this Sunday was spring-like weather. Ever since I could remember my Grandma has gotten me a Resurrection Sunday outfit. As I've gotten older it has become harder and harder to find modest styles and lengths. Each year it's a surprise to see what my grandma comes up with. This year was no exception, however, my grandma told me to pick something online since she couldn't find anything. Having heard throughout the blog world that eShakti sold cute dresses we choose that route.
Since we ordered it somewhat late it wasn't going to arrive on time:( Praise the Lord I had a back up plan. Some time ago we went thrifting and found the cutest vintage-looking skirt. The one problem was I didn't have a matching shirt. After making a last minute thrift store stop that proved to be a fail I was running out of options.

My hairstyle was very uncreative that day. 

I am so grateful to have a mom that shares similar size in clothes. I found the perfect lace shirt to add to the vintage look. This skirt was a #scorethrifty item for me. The fabric is very thick and coarse but the pattern and ruffle hem softens it up. I was happy with the way the outfit turned out. 

Shirt: Mom's closet
Skirt: Thrift store $2.50
Shoes: Mom gave them to me

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Monday, April 01, 2013

Book Review- Unrivaled

Lucy has come back from her grand tour in Europe. She has the latest fashions and newest candies in her trunk that will give her the motivation to help her father's dying business. What she doesn't realize is the situation is a lot more drastic than she presumed. When she accidently falls in love with the son of her family's rival her life becomes complicated and situations become sticky. Lucy will do anything to help the failing company, and Charles will do anything to have his fathers approval. Can these two set aside their bitter competition to have the sweet love story they both deserve. 

Unrivaled is told in both Lucy and Charlie's perspective giving it a more intimate feel. The reader was able to see what motivated each character to do some of the very drastic things. We were able to sympathize on a more one on one level. Lucy was a well developed character. She certainly had her faults judgmental, stubborn, mean, and heartless were one of the many characteristics that made her original and relatable. It was beautiful to see her transformation throughout the book. The times the two characters interacted were very humorous, each held a scheme on how to outdo the other. Their plans did not always go as desired but they created some funny catastrophes.

This is the first novel that I have read by Siri Mitchell and I was impressed. The rich detail that went into making this book was clearly evident. The colorful and detailed descriptions of the making of various candies was very informative. I loved the various 'candy quotes' the author sprinkled in. She added some twists like woman in business and rich people marrying for love instead of money to top the book off. I enjoyed the light and entertaining feel the book had. I would recommend it to readers who love reading about history and sweet romances. I give Unrivaled a 4 out of 5.

I received this book, for free, from Litfuse in exchange for this independent and unbiased review. 

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