Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween,  Halloween was originally called Samhain and marked the end of the harvest season for Celtic farmers.

This is the first year that my children are not trick-or-treating, so it feels a little sad for me, have fun, and don't eat too much candy!!!

Today is the last day to enter to win a $25 gift card to reading glasses shopper, enter here and good luck!!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Coming Soon....a week of Giveaway FUN!

Finally a reason to be excited for a Monday!!!

Friday is finally here, BUT I'm more excited about Monday! I know that is just plain crazy, but Monday is the start of my stocking stuffer gift week, and I have some great gifts in store for you! One giveaway will be posted each day of the week and you can enter them all! Keep the gifts for yourself, or use them to stuff your family's stockings!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Review: The Miracle of Mercy Land

The Miracle of Mercy Land: A Novel

Author Bio:
RIVER JORDAN began her writing career as a playwright with the Loblolly Theatre group. She teaches and speaks nationwide on ‘The Power of Story’, is a monthly contributor to the southern authors’ collective A Good Blog is Hard To Find, and produces and hosts the weekly radio program CLEARSTORY with River Jordan, in Nashville, where she and her husband live. She is the author of Saints in Limbo and this is her fourth novel.

The Miracle of Mercy Land, by River Jordan

The Miracle of Mercy Land is a very strange book.  Mercy Land grew up and moved to town, working for the town's small newspaper.  Everything seems to be fairly normal, her boss, Doc is an old man always talking about retiring, then one day their world is turned upside down.  Doc feels a breeze, his windows are closed, his door is closed...but what is even more strange is the book that is now sitting on his desk.  Mercy is called to the office and together they are thrown into the mysterious book.

You see, this is not an ordinary book, but a book that seems to move, to draw you in and shows you the lives of people around you.  A bit disturbed by the turn of events Doc begins to feel as though he's being followed, and this is just the beginning!

I took me a while to 'get' this book, but once I did I realized that this novel is about your life, what would happen if you were able to turn back the pages in your life and make a change?  How would one change alter the lives of those around you, how would that change alter your life?

All in all this was an interesting read, this is definitely not a love story, but a story that will in the end, make you think!

If you would like your own copy, visit the link below!


** I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing, Group I was not compensated in any other way for my honest opinion.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Review: Emily's Chance

Emily's Chance: A Novel (The Callahans of Texas)

Emily's Chance, by Sharon Gillenwater

Emily Rose is a rich girl with a big education and parents who expect nothing short of great success from her.  Having parents in high society leaves Emily feeling a bit lacking, her father is a big shot plastic surgeon and her mom is in the fashion industry, not only that, but she's beautiful as well.

Emily Rose hopes to some day be a curator at a museum, History is the love of her life, when working to start a Historical Museum in Callahan's Crossing Emily's path crosses that of Chance Callahan, the town's sexy bachelor, one who tends to go out on one or two dates and drop his women like flies, until he meets Emily.

As the town struggles to overcome their losses from a big fire, Emily struggles coming to terms with her past, can she ever forgive her father for what he has done to her, can she once again become close to her mom?  Emily learns quite a bit and becomes closer to God while staying as a guest at the Callahan's ranch.  When she interviews for a position at a new museum in Dallas she wants nothing more than to be offered the position.  Will Emily finally have her chance, or will Chance finally have Emily?

Loved this book, I have visited Texas several times and never grow tired of reading about it!  The characters, twang, and story fit right in with the Texas I know, and the characters were every day people with hurts, struggles and compassion.


**Thanks to Revell I received a complimentary copy of this book to review.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review: Within My Heart

Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections, Book 3)

Within My Heart, by Tamera Alexander
Imagine living in the Colorado Rockies, not in this day and age, but in the 1860's.  Now imagine that you're a young widow, with 2 young boys and trying to run a ranch....and you're a woman!  You have just met Rachel Boyd, a very determined woman, desperate to fulfill her late husband's dream, determined to keep her love for him alive, and determined to keep her young boys in line.

Dr. Rand is determined as well, he hopes to spread the word about modern medicine and have a clinic in the small town of Timber Ridge.  When a family friend nearly dies of a heart attack Rachel's medical knowledge is put to the test and Dr. Rand's attitude doesn't help, not one bit.

When a tuberculosis outbreak hits the town, people slowly begin to trust Dr. Rand, but does that include Rachel?  You will go through some turbulent times while reading about Rachel, her boys tend to cause a bit of trouble, sometimes life-threatening.  This is a story filled with some pretty stubborn characters and it's a joy to watch their lives unfold as they become intertwined.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, visit the link below:


*I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: The Vigilante's Bride

Vigilante's Bride, The

The Vigilante's Bride, by Yvonne Harris

At the age of 18, living and working in an orphanage Emily is told there is no longer room for her and that she is highly suggested to marry a wealthy man she has never met.  Bartholomew Axel of Montana.  Told that Mr. Axel is wealthy and respected and left with no other option, Emily agrees. 

Never in Emily's wildest dreams did she expect that her stagecoach would be robbed and she abducted.  An abduction that her abductor considered a rescue!  Luke Sullivan did not give Emily much choice in the matter of her abduction, and he deposited her at his childhood home, New Hope, another home for orphans!  Soon Emily is thrown into a web, Mr. Axel of course is not very happy that his bride has been abducted, especially when he learns his long-time enemy has done it.  Emily soon learns of the evil surrounding Mr. Axel, and learns some truths about Luke as well.
Emily enjoys her new home at Molly's and helping with the children, what she doesn't overly enjoy is the ever present Luke even though he does tend to show up when she most needs him!

This was an enjoyable read, vigilante's, abductor's, full of wild west action and a lot of soul searching!  I can't imagine being a mail-order bride, and it is a bit disturbing to think of being in a situation where one would feel as though such a thing is her only option.  Emily is the perfect character for this book, her spunk comes through and adds a bit of humor and shows you how she is able to get through the worst of times!

Want to see for yourself?  Click the link below to purchase your own copy!


*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, this did not in any way alter my opinion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CSN Review...A little bit of fun for the pooch!

Some of you know, I LOVE CSN Stores! When they asked me to do a review a couple of weeks ago, I decided to check out the pet store, I didn't realize this, but they sell agility equipment! I was so excited, my daughter does agility with our golden retriever as a 4H project, and he is very good at it. Buddy is a bit obsessed with tunnels, he loves them...which caused his downfall at competition! We decided to buy him a tunnel, thinking maybe he'd get over wanting to be in it all the time!

See How Happy He Is?
The box came....I opened it, it came neatly's one of those great items that fold up into a circle for easy storage! Well, Buddy knew right away what it was and he went CRAZY. As soon as it was opened he ran into the tunnel out the other end and then laid himself down right inside of it and wouldn't come out! Needless to say, it was a hit!

The tunnel seems really well built and made to last, it has ties so it won't roll across the ground and a special carrying case for when it's not in use.  I think that the tunnel is well worth what it costs.

**I received this product for review purposes, and the compensation did not in any way alter my opinion.  Thanks CSN Stores!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review: Masquerade, by Nancy Moser


Masquerade, by Nancy Moser

It is 1886 and Charlotte Gleason is about to get herself into a bit of trouble!  As you begin to read this story you learn quickly that Charlotte is one girl that is full of spunk with a desire for 'real life'.

About to be sent to America to meet the man she is expected to marry, Charlotte cannot imagine leaving her long-time friend and maid behind, as events unfold, it is the two of them that leave on the ship for America and Charlotte becomes a bit dismayed when she see's how easily her friend Dora slips into the roll of a society lady.

Would you want to marry a man you have never met?  Even if he is very wealthy?  Charlotte sure doesn't, so she switches rolls with Dora and the fun begins, or does it?  Charlotte is thrown into a world she doesn't know how to live in, struggling to survive she begins to wonder if she made a mistake.  In the meantime, Dora is living a life of luxury, but at the cost of missing out on true love.

After many twists and turns the girls meet again, but I'm not going to tell you what happens!  This was a fun book...I loved the spunk and personality of the characters and I recommend this book.


**Thanks to Bethany House for provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stocking Stuffer week is coming soon!

Do you participate in Secret Santa gift exchanges, or need stuffer stuffer or small gift ideas?  During the first week of November I will be hosting a different gift idea and a GIVEAWAY each day of the week!  I have some great gifts lined up, so be sure to put the date on your calendar, it's going to be fun!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Book Review: Love's First Bloom, by Delia Parr

Love's First Bloom

Love's First Bloom, a novel by Delia Parr the author of Hearts Awakening a Romantic Times top pick!

Ruth Livingston has grown up without a mom, and one day finds a baby put into her arms and her father sends her away under an assumed name.  If that's not bad enough, her father is accused of murder, he is a Reverand, it is unthinkable that he could commit such a crime.

Ruth finds herself taken in by a loving couple, the problem is, they believe she is a former prostitute hiding away with her child!  Ruth quietly tends to her daily duties and keeps informed of her father's trial with the newspaper, and all is fine until an ornery man moves in next door.

As Ruth continues to hide she begins to fall in love with the young child, secrets emerge and things heat up when newspaper writers begin searching for her.  Finding peace in her garden, Ruth comes to love again while keeping her secrets hidden, what will happen when her secret is revealed, how strong really is love and can Ruth's love of God help her through?

This was a very good book with a bit of a different plot than the norm, which made it a fun read!  I recommend this book, it was a very good historical romance!  If you would like to purchase your own copy of this book you can click the link below!


**I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House publishers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Review: Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back (Women of Justice Series #2)
Don't Look Back, by Lynette Eason is the 2nd book in the Women of Justice series.

Wow...this was a great book, it's not one if you're not into mysteries or killer thrillers though.  I was reading this book at night and I truly became afraid of every creak and moan in the house, I felt as though someone was stalking me and had to read a bit of a romance novel to clear my head!

Jamie has survived a horrible abduction, left for dead, she escapes and starts a life with a haunting past.  Even more haunting are the recent killings she has been investigating.  The recent findings have a familiar tough to them and the feeling of being watched puts Jamie on edge.  After years of therapy she has hoped to move on with her life, but can she?

Lurking in the shadows is her attacker and he will stop at nothing, as the investigative team tries to solve the mystery of who he is, the attacker becomes more taunting and Jamie begins to fear not only for herself but for those she loves as well.

I loved this book and am anxiously awaiting more from Lynette!

“Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


**I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Knitting/Crochet Book Reviews

I recently received two great knitting books for review: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi!

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting, by Becca Smith is a wonderful book that includes a full color insert as well as wonderful pictures to help you get started knitting.  I teach knitting classes and showed this to some of my students, they loved it!  This book takes you from the basic stitches, to making patterns and changing sizes, a very helpful tool for the new and old knitter wanting to learn new tricks!

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi, by June Gilbank is a fun little book that helps you learn the ins and outs of amigurumi....what is amigurumi?  For starters it is pronounced: ah-mee-goo-roo-mee, and amigurumi is the art of knitting, or crocheting cute little toys!  Now, I can't think of a more fun way to use up all of those little balls of left over yarn than by knitting tiny little stuffed animals and this book shows you how.  It gives you tips on adding different types of eyes, making joints that can move and it has some of the cutest little patterns!

Both of these books would make great gifts for a new knitter as well as a knitter wanting to brush up or learn new skills!  The amigurimi book is mainly crochet, but does have a lot of tips that a knitter can use as well!


**I received these two complimentary books from Penguin Publishers for review

Friday, October 15, 2010

Birhtday Cakes Galore!

Last weekend we celebrated my two nephew's and my niece's birthdays, they live 4 hours away so it was a weekend ordeal and guess who made the cakes....that's right, ME. I must say, they turned out awesome, and the pictures don't do them justice.

My 10 yr old nephew's cake was white with raspberry filling
My 5 yr old nephew's cake was chocolate with cherry filling

My 2 year old niece....couldn't wait to get a taste of the lemon filled lemon cake!
There's always a bit of stress while transporting cakes out of state, and of course, this time did not go off without a hitch. Somewhere along the way, I'm not certain, but I'm thinking it's when my dear husband did a U-Turn at the end of our road, the octopus' head fell backward and slammed into the back of the cake box. That would be the reason I ALWAYS take extra icing with me on these trips!!!