Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CFBA Book Review: A Sweethaven Summer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Sweethaven Summer
Guidepost Books (February 7, 2012)
Courtney Walsh


Courtney Walsh is a published author, scrapbooker, theater director, and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, will be followed by two additional novels in the series. She’s also written two papercrafting books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper. Courtney has been a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine and Children’s Ministry Magazine and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum. She works as the PR Manager for Webster’s Pages from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her husband and three kids, who range in age from 4 to 10. Courtney drinks entirely too much coffee.


Suzanne's daughter, Campbell, journeys there in search of answers to her questions about her mother's history.Suzanne's three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-were torn apart by long-buried secrets and heartbreak. Though they haven't spoken in years, each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together in Sweethaven. Suzanne's letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. As the scrapbook reveals secrets one by one, old wounds are mended, lives are changed,
and friendships are restored-just as Suzanne intended.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sweethaven Summer, go HERE.

My Thoughts
I fell in love with the characters in this book at the first page and continued to love them until the end.  You will become fast friends with the people in this book and even possibly will be reminded of past summers and well as rekindled friendships!  This is an excellent book and I love how the scrap booking aspect was woven into the storyline.

This book isn't all sweet and happiness, there is forgiveness to be had, hurts to be healed and a bit of sadness! I think you'll love this read.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA


Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Review: A Darkly Hidden Truth

About the Book
Felicity can't possibly help Father Antony find the valuable missing icon. She's off to become a nun. Then her impossible mother turns up unexpectedly. And a good friend turns up murdered.....

Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote waterlogged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights Hospitaller keep the pages turning. Will Felicity choose the veil - or Antony?

My Thoughts
There's a lot going on in this book to keep you well entertained!  This is the 2nd book in the Monastery Murders Series, I didn't read the 1st book and it really didn't seem to matter.  This is a beautifully written story, taking you inside the walls of a monastery, through a mysterious web of murder, a look back in history and a little bit of love....and very good combination that will leave you reading well into the night.  I recommend reading this book, and I will be looking for a copy of the first book as well....a very good read!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Kregel Publications.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Niece's Poem

My 9 yr old niece wrote this poem about her younger brother, I thought it was pretty cute!

The Taylen machine,
oh the Taylen machine
the most perfect machine you’ve ever seen
just drop in your brother
as light as a feather
with the push of a button
a bing and a bong
my brother pops out
with not even a shout ….
ten minutes later I hear an “eeeee”
too bad it didn’t work for my brother and me!


Way to go Mom!

 Not my mom, but friend Julie who is my upline....she's amazing!

My mom just called me with some great news and I'm excited so like it or not, I'm going to share it with you guys, or I guess I should say gals!

She has been struggling with extremely high blood pressure and cholesterol and has been on A LOT of medications which of course have been causing other side effects. she went to her Dr. and called me the minute she was done. Her levels are NORMAL and she's cutting her meds in half, and hopefully will be completely off of them soon! The Dr. was amazed.

How? Well, you can thank my new business for that! She's been on Bios Life since last May and things have been getting better ever since, but today....that was BIG. Even her Dr. is interested in the product. I'm not sure how many inches or lbs. she's lost along the way but she has gone from a 10 to a 2 and she never was big to start with...she is kind of short (sorry mom) though!!!

Anyway, had to share the good news with you, and of course, here's my pitch: go HERE if you're interested in helping yourself or someone you love!


Apothica discount code

Enjoy 20% off with code PRESDAY20, this code is good at Apothica, SkinCareRX and Skinbotanica! I love the fact that you can shop all three stores and use one cart!

Shop away, have fun with your discount code!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Sweeter than Birdsong

In this second in the award-winning Saddler's Legacy series, Rosslyn Elliott has written a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events. With Ben Hanby, a genius composer, Kate Winter, one of the first female college graduates in America, and John Parker, an ex-slave who risked his life time and again to help fugitive slaves, Sweeter than Birdsong is full of real heroes to inspire us. "I hope readers will find a renewed sense of strength in their own lives," says Elliott, "knowing that change is possible, and our efforts matter. I want them to remember these unique, brave people in history who left us a shining example of what it means to live out one's beliefs with passion and commitment."

This is a Historical Novel, and while it's a good book, it does take a bit of reading to get into it, I felt as though it started a little slow.  Based on a true story, makes you slip into the reality of the story quite easily, and the suspense makes it a little juicy!  If you enjoy Historical settings, I think you'll enjoy this book.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse

So to celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this "sweet giveaway".

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner's choice of color!)
  • Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
  • Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 28th. Winner will be announced at Sweeter than Birdsong Author Chat Facebook Party on 2/28. Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, sharing a sneak peek of the next book in the series, hosting a trivia contest, and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, season 1 of DowntownAbbey, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Rosslyn.)

So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Time To Knit

It's been awhile since I've done a knitting post, I've been so busy this winter that I've hardly knitted a thing.....not even on my long plane trip to Puerto Rico, now that is SAD! A friend asked me to find her a summer weight sweater pattern, so that got me in the mood, she wants easy, short-sleeved and a pull-over. In this search I'm finding a lot I like for myself, such as:
Found on Ravelry

I am really liking this one from Berroco

I found all of these on Ravelry and they are all free patterns, I have to stop looking or I'll have too big of a wish list!

For my friend, I found a nice simple sweater!


CFBA Book Review: Into the Free

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Into the Free
David C. Cook (February 1, 2012)
Julie Cantrell


A speech-language pathologist and literacy advocate, Julie Cantrell was the editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and currently teaches English as a second language to elementary students. She has been a freelance writer for ten years and has published two children’s books. Julie and her family live in Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm.

Julie served as contributing editor to MOMSense magazine and wrote content for Mothers of Preschoolers, Intl. for nearly a decade. Additionally, she has contributed to more than a dozen books. Into Th Free is her first book.


Just a girl. The only one strong enough to break the cycle.

In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.

For answers, Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key which unlocks generations of shocking family secrets. When tragedy strikes, the mysterious contents of the box give Millie the tools she needs to break her family’s longstanding cycle of madness and abuse.

Through it all, Millie experiences the thrill of first love while fighting to trust the God she believes has abandoned her. With the power of forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free?

Watch the book video:

If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Free, go HERE.

This is a powerful book about love and forgiveness and will take you through a lifetime of emotions.  This book is a must read, extremely well written, the characters very well developed.  Characters that will make you feel as though you're walking in their very steps as you read their stories.  This book is also full of faith, and did I say that it's a must read?!!!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Review: Enjoy Every Sandwich

About the book:
Be grateful for something every day, and remember to live fully, love well, and enjoy every moment.

Dr. Lee Lipsenthal worked with Dr. Dean Ornish at the famed Preventive Medicine Research Institute. As medical director of the Institute, he helped thousands of patients to overcome their fear of pain and death and to embrace living life with joy every day. In his own life, happily married and the proud father of two remarkable children, Lee was similarly committed to living life fully and gratefully each day.

The power of these beliefs was tested in July 2009, when Lee was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. As Lee and his wife, Kathy, navigated his illness and treatment over the past two years, Lee discovered that he did not fear death. Instead of fearing the future, he took the time to practice gratitude, connect with his loved ones, and make every attempt to live a full life with each breath. Enjoy Every Sandwich is Lee’s lasting gift to his family, his friends, his colleagues and to readers.

Lee died on Tuesday, September 20. It is now our honor to spread Lee's message with this special book

Visit the Website:

This is a wonderful book, sad, yet thought provoking.  What would you do if you found out you were going to die within a year or two?  Would you be depressed, give-up, live it up, or just continue to be yourself?  Would you be afraid?

I'm not sure how I would react, but in reading this book I can say the Lee was an extremely strong person and that it was an honor to read his book....even though sad, I enjoy every single page.  This is a book that I will enjoy reading over and over, as well as sharing with those I love.

Want to win your own copy???

2 Lucky readers will win a copy of Enjoy Every Sandwich!

Go on over to and comment on something your read, saw, enjoyed, etc.

Extras: (Separate comment for each please)
+2  Follow this blog via GFC
+5  Follow my new blog via GFC and tell me something you learned!
+3  Tweet about the giveaway with a link and leave me your tweet 

Don't forget to leave me your email!

This giveaway will run for one week and will end at midnight on Sunday 2/26.  Two winners will be chosen via, will be contacted via email, and will have 24 hours to respond or new winner(s) will be chosen!



Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: When the Smoke Clears

After a brush with death due to equipment failure, smokejumper Alexia Allen is ordered to take time off while the incident is under investigation.  She makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother's home and attend her high school reunion.  Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she is confronted with murder, arson-and a handsome detective.

But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past.  As she struggles to accept and forgive her family's past, she must also decide if the secret she's been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension you've come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

This book had me in it's grip at the very first page and the more I read, the tighter the grip.  This is a great suspense and if you've read Lynette's previous books you'll find this one to be just as entertaining.  The only thing bad about this being a series is that now I cannot wait for the next book to be in print!

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


Friends.....I have joined a Franchise!

Really truly, I can't believe I did this, it's not my norm....but I just HAD to join the Unicity Franchise.

See...I just got home from Puerto mom earned a trip through Unicity and couldn't go. My dad went and lucky me got to fill the extra spot! I was treated like royalty by a bunch of truly wonderful people.

I got home and signed up as a manager, I still can't believe I did this, but I've become passionate about it and thought I'd share.

I started a NEW BLOG and would love for you to come over check it out and follow if you would like, but before you do that, I'd like you to meet T(Terrence)Gray, my Mentor, who has gone from living in the projects to being a multi-millionaire...and he is a wonderful, humble man!

....I am so excited to introduce you to my Mentor, Terrence Gray. Terrence has a wonderful story, and his story can be YOURS!

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for watching!

These are T Gray's before and after photos!

.....and if anyone is interest and lives in respectable driving distance to Wausau WI, I have tickets worth $100 that I can give to you and you can come as my guest to the most impactful event in Central WI put on by T Gray.  Topic of the evening is "Success Formula: Transform Your Health and Finances in 90 Days"  Tickets are yours if you can commit to being there with me on March 6th from 7-9 pm.  Seating and Tickets are limited, a portion of each ticket will be donated to the Diabetes foundation and each ticket will cover a husband/wife team.  AND TICKETS ARE ON ME!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CFBA Book Review: Sixty Acres and a Bride

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sixty Acres and a Bride
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
Regina Jennings


A Word from Regina:

See me laughing. That’s what I do when someone calls me an author. Yes, it’s always been my dream, but I still can’t keep from giggling over it.

Other things I am – a Christ-follower, a wife, a homeschooling mother of four, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, and a voracious reader.

Getting reading time isn’t easy. Seems like my family does more than our share of traveling. My husband is an insurance adjuster (I know, save the hate mail) and travels with the catastrophe team often. That’s allowed us to see a lot of the United States. True many times it’s in the middle of a hurricane or blizzard, but after spending three weeks in a hotel room with six people, you’ll brave anything to get out and see the sights – no matter how damaged they might be.

We also serve on the Missions Team at an amazing church, so we break out the passports frequently. Highlights include singing at a leper colony in India, holding church inside a Mexican prison and showing the Jesus film to a tribe in Senegal who’d never heard the gospel.

But I don’t have to go far away for unusual. My family provides plenty of colorful material with their love for practical jokes, pithy observations and strong agricultural roots. Because of the family business, a significant chunk of my life has been spent at sale barns and auctions – often behind the scales where I weigh pigs. I like to think of myself as a “redneck bluestocking” but I brought an entire marketing team’s discussion to a screeching halt when I said those words, so you didn’t hear it from me.

When I have spare time I love to talk books and quirky characters (real and fictional).


With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa can't keep herself from falling in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. Learning the American customs is not easy, however, and this beautiful young widow can't help but catch wandering eyes. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, to what lengths will Rosa go to save her future?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sixty Acres and a Bride, go HERE.

This book may be set years ago, but it is a stark reminder of our current state of affairs.  Owing money, struggling to keep your home, prejudice and of course, love...some things never change.  Rosa is a character who is willing to fight, she has a strong heart and faith, and're going to love him as well!

This was an excellent book, one that will leave you anxiously waiting for the next.


Friday, February 10, 2012

CFBA Book Review: Blue Moon Bay

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blue Moon Bay
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
Lisa Wingate


Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author of sixteen books. Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its eighteenth printing from Penguin Putnam. Tending Roses is a staple on the shelves of national bookstore chains as well as in many independent bookstores.

Recently, Lisa’s Blue Sky Hill Series, set in Dallas, received national attention with back-to-back nominations for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award for A Month of Summer (2009) and The Summer Kitchen (2010). Pithy, emotional, and inspirational, her stories bring to life characters so real that readers often write to ask what is happening to them after the book ends.

Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for both Bethany House, a Christian publisher, and NAL Penguin Putnam, a general market publisher. Her bestselling books have become a hallmark of inspirational fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, Crossings Book Club, American Profiles and have been chosen for numerous awards.

When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.


Heather Hampton returns to Moses Lake, Texas, to help facilitate the sale of a family farm as part of a planned industrial plant that will provide the area with much-needed jobs. Heather's future fiance has brokered the deal, and Heather is in line to do her first large-scale architectural design--if the deal goes through.

But the currents of Moses Lake have a way of taking visitors on unexpected journeys. What was intended to be a quick trip suddenly morphs into Valentine's week--with Blaine Underhill, the handsome banker who just happens to be opposing Heather's project. Spending the holiday in an ex-funeral parlor seems like a nightmare, but Heather slowly finds herself being drawn into the area's history, hope, and heart.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Blue Moon Bay, go HERE.

This is an intriguing story, insecurity, and plans that don't go as expected are just a few of the bumps in the road at Moses Lake.  This is a great book with wonderful characters that will make you feel right at home.  Lisa Wingate is an excellent writer, and she'll leave you wanting more!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Beyond Molasses Creek

About the book:

Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek.

Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship—he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she’s stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn’t through with her yet.

As Ally’s wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there’s more to her story than she’s ever been told, and she’s determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.

A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.

About the Author:
Nicole Seitz is the author of several critically acclaimed novels - The Inheritance of Beauty, Saving Cicadas, A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, and also has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Her paintings are featured on the covers of her books. Visit her at @NicoleSeitz, Facebook and for more information.

Link to buy the book:

My Thoughts:
I loved how the 3 characters in the book all came together, each had their own story, yet they all fit together so well, but I did get distracted by the fact that each chapter was about a different person, it disrupted the flow for me even though I did enjoy the story line.

All in all a good book, the characters were well developed and the plot was interesting.  I had fun learning about each of the 3 characters, their personalities, their past, their thoughts and feelings....I think this is a book I'll read again, because I think that the second time will flow a little better for me, and it was really quite enjoyable despite the disrupted feeling.

About the party:

Nicole is celebrating the release of Beyond Molasses Creek with a fabulous "Friendship" Facebook party! She'll be giving away a ton of great stuff (KINDLE TOUCH, some of her own beautiful artwork, a Book Club Prize Pack (10 copies of the book for your small group/book club and a Live Skype Chat with Nicole), and more!

CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then join us on February 16th for a book chat, story sharing and prizes! Hope to see you there!

* I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse.


Monday, February 6, 2012

CFBA Book Review: Song of My Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Song of My Heart
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and numerous grandchildren.


Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Song of My Heart, go HERE.

I always enjoy reading a Kim Vogel Sawyer books, and once again, I was not disappointed.  You have to give Sadie a lot of credit, she leaves her home to earn money for her family, she loves her injured step-father dearly, they have a wonderful relationship.  She is full of spunk and drives her step-cousin crazy on a regular day, but even crazier when preacher wanna-be Sheriff Thad is around.  Then you add to the mix a couple of hysterical twins who own the store where Sadie works and their Opera House owning brother and you get a story that will keep you on your toes!  Not everything is as it looks though.

A very good read.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Knitting with old t-shirts

It's always fun to try something new when mix it up a bit!  I took a bunch of old t-shirts and cut them into strips and then knotted the strips together, once the strips were all knotted together I rolled them up into a ball and made a nice little rug! I love this rug, it fits perfectly under my laundry basket to keep my wood floor from getting scratched. A larger rug would be perfect for in the bathroom. It is very plush. I taught a 4H'er how to do this and she used bright colored t-shirts, her rug is adorable and won a ribbon at the county fair!

It really doesn't matter how wide you cut the strips, as long as you keep them consistent, I think I used a size 13 needles. Next I would like to try something with all of the twine we have from hay bales!  Any ideas?