Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Have you discovered trinksy?

300 X 250 

I'm excited...I a bit of a craft junkie, and when I discovered trinksy yesterday...well, I was thrilled to say the least.  Another place to buy and sell handcrafted goodies!

I'm all about hand made items, there's no better way to find something original and I like original!   You can browse by collection, by category and by shop..they are still fairly small, but what's more fun than watching something grow..and finding great items while it does?

You can click on the link above to join!  What are you waiting for?  Go on over and take a look, I just may list a thing or two myself....I have these cute pantaloons and headbands, and have started making doll clothing...more on that later (and a giveaway too!)


Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Duchess

Duchess: Book Three in the Daughters of Fortune series.

When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?
The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she's wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she's finally silenced the voices-and grief-of the past. Her future shines bright...until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies-plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life. Find out more about the series by clicking on these links. Heiress. Baroness.

Meet Susan: Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors. Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com

Duchess is the third book in the daughter's of fortune series and this is Rosie's story.  I have read each of the 3 books in the series, and while it's fun to follow the characters, each book is definitely a stand-alone read.

Rosie's story is full of a lot of pain, she has given up quite a bit in life and has to deal with the ghosts of her past, which of course cause her quite a bit of pain, and have helped mold the course of her life.

Rosie does not want to love, but yet cannot help herself.

This story speaks of endurance as Rosie continually picks herself up, keeps a smile on her face, and does as she sets out to do.  But don't be fooled, her heart is not as closed as she may like, and there is a twist to this story that will bring back the horrors of Nazi Germany.

A very good read, and I cannot wait for the next in this series.

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

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of Duchess with a Kindle Fire HD Giveaway.

One "glam" winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HD
  • Signed copies of Duchess, Baroness and Heiress
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 4th. Winner will be announced on 5/7/13 at Susan's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


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The Heiress of Winterwood

Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?

Darbury, England, 1814
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend's infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word-even to the point of proposing to the child's father, Lucas, a sea captain she's never met.
Tragedy strikes when the child vanishes with little more than a sketchy ransom note hinting to her whereabouts. Fear for the child's safety drives Amelia and Lucas to test the boundaries of their love for this infant.
Amelia's detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she examines her soul and must face her one weakness: pride.
Lucas' strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline.
Both must learn to accept God's sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.

Meet Sarah: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.
Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.

MY THOUGHTSGreat book.  I love how Amelia did not care what anyone thought, she didn't even seem to care about being an heiress, but what she DID care about was the infant left in her care.  Reading about a character that didn't mind what her guardians thought, who didn't care what her fiance thought really was quite refreshing.

Of course, you also can't help falling for the dashing Lucas...father of the infant.  Is he for real?!  Amelia seems to give up quite a bit for the infant, but as you progress through the story, you come to realize, that maybe she hasn't given up all that much after all.

There are some twists and turns that will keep you on edge.  Quite an entertaining read!

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

Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!
 One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


Friday, April 26, 2013

CFBA: When the Morning Glory Blooms

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When The Morning Glory Blooms
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
Cynthia Ruchti


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.

I enjoyed this book, it was a bit different, and took me a couple of chapters to get into, but I'm glad I kept with it.  Once I became used to the writing style, I was swept away.

Anna is an interesting old lady with a wonderful tale, Ivy, has a bit of a problem and as the two connect their stories seem to weave together.  The symbolism of the Morning Glory was perfect in my eyes...but then I LOVE morning glories so I may be a bit prejudiced! 

This is a story with heart, with love and with quite a bit of thought put into it.  This is a story about the pain of young women that has been felt for centuries, and will most likely be felt by women for centuries to come.

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


Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Nobel Groom

Michigan, 1880
Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on.
So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.
Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher---or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.
With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming---unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.
Meet Jody: Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find out more about Jody at http://jodyhedlund.com/.

I liked that this book had German immigrants in it, I guess I have not read a lot of books with German 'personalities' and it was a nice, refreshing change.

First off, I sympathized with Annalisa, to have a husband gamble away all the money is bad enough, but then to find him dead.....

This book made me once again grateful that I do not live in a time of arranged marriages, with only a dream of finding love.  I enjoyed the twists, turns and the unexpected in this book.  Such a nobility fleeing certain death, learning to cope as a mere commoner.

Once again we're reminded that anything can happen, especially when we least except it!

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


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CFBA: A Healing Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Healing Heart
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
Angela Breidenbach


Angela Breidenbach is a speaker/coach in mental and physical health, author of A Healing Heart April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life, Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance, and Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital.


Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. While Mara recuperates, she revisits the choices she's made that led to this physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Healing Heart, go HERE

LOVED this story.  In this book a memory quilt is being made for Cadence, who will be graduating soon, I am actually making such a quilt for my daughter, for the very same reason!  My memories are not full of grief though, not like this family. 

Mara is one lady who has buried herself in work since her husband passed away, buried alive...and has driven herself so hard that she has forgotten to take care of herself, until she is struck down, even then, it's hard for her to accept help.

Sometimes you need a good kick to learn a lesson, and that's just what happens to Mara, while you read this story, you will see how much this family grows, and the true art of the quilt comes to life in vivid color, just as much as the life of this family.  They grow, the quilt ties them together, and connects the old with the new.

A very good read, one that kept me turning pages well after I should have been asleep!

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


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prep Your Yard with Scotts Florida Select Mulch and Scotts Nature Scrapes Mulch

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 photo 6d50af2c-aba7-44e2-b0ed-d3510804d726_zps3aae88a5.jpg

Usually at this time of the year I have cleaned the 'crud' out of my garden, picked up the mess in my yard and am enjoying the tulips and the sprouts of green in my yard.

This year, I'm still looking at snow, and expecting 6 inches in the next few days.  So I'm only dreaming about prepping my yard.

I recently learned about Scotts  photo 6d50af2c-aba7-44e2-b0ed-d3510804d726_zps3aae88a5.jpg, it helps maintain moisture, comes in a variety of textures and Scotts Nature Scapes mulch comes in 3 colors!

Scotts Nature Scapes Advanced Classic Black photo ScreenShot2013-04-04at13618PM_zps99d72d69.png photo ScreenShot2013-04-04at13630PM_zps587e6b17.pngDeep Forest Brown photo ScreenShot2013-04-04at13636PM_zpsf0e45903.png


I've been starting to gaze longingly at gardening supplies in area stores, it all looks appealing, everything from boring old shovels to the cute gardening gloves, and then there are all those packets of seeds......

I really like Scotts Florida Select Natural Eucalyptus Mulch, it comes from 100% Florida grown Eucalyptus trees which grow 4x's faster than Cypress.  Scotts is on the right track with their mulch, sustainable gardening is the wave of the future, the mulch is natural, sustainable, and fairly local, not so much local here in MN, but more local than coming from another country!

To prep your yard begin with the essentials:

 photo 6d50af2c-aba7-44e2-b0ed-d3510804d726_zps3aae88a5.jpg

-Scotts Florida Select Mulch

-Garden Gloves

-Clean, well working garden tools

-Plants in a variety of colors, sizes and blooms

Wouldn't it be spectacular to see a bloom like this in your garden:


Some of my perennials...a work in progress photo 255257_3416291328869_247205018_n.jpg


After moving my clematis I was worried, but with tender care and good mulching here's a photo of a bloom

I moved my clematis this year, I have ONE flower...I have high hopes for this plant next year! photo 598391_3471795996451_260858414_n.jpg

And then we have a little more inspiration, my garden is a work in progress and with a bit more, ok...a lot more mulching, I think it will be looking good!



 photo garden.jpg

Nothing inspires me like flowers and a beautiful garden, how about you?  Are you ready to plant?  Have you been inspired? 

Here's a bit  more info. on Scotts  photo 6d50af2c-aba7-44e2-b0ed-d3510804d726_zps3aae88a5.jpg

Florida Select Mulch is made from 100% Florida-grown Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus Mulch is a sustainable Cypress alternative, grown in Florida, for Florida!

Eucalyptus Mulch is the best option for your landscape because it is:

1. SUSTAINABLE: Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.*

2. NATURAL: Made from 100% plantation-grown Eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus Mulch is guaranteed free from any construction, demolition, pallet, or other waste materials.

3. EFFECTIVE: Prevents weeds naturally** while helping to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature.

4. LOCAL: 100% Florida-grown - helps support your local economy.
*Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.
**A three-inch layer of Eucalyptus Mulch naturally helps prevent weeds by blocking growth and access to sunlight.

How to Use: Spread 3 inches deep. Keep mulch several inches from tree trunks and house foundations or other wood structures.

When to Apply: Apply around trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables after seeds have germinated and plants have developed.

Where to Use: Apply around trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables after seeds have germinated and plants have developed.

Where Not to Use: Avoid use: Before seeds have germinated, around underdeveloped plants, and within several inches of house foundations or other wood surfaces.

Coverage Area: A 2 cu. ft. bag will cover the following: At a depth of 2 inches, 12 sq. ft of bedding area. At a depth of 3 inches, 8 sq. ft. of bedding area. At a depth of 4 inches, 6 sq. ft. of bedding.


Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: Josiah's Treasure

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Josiah's Treasure
Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)
Nancy Herriman


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.

This story takes you to San Francisco, the street cars will come to life and mingle with the scents of the ocean as you read this story.  I fell in love with San Francisco the first time I visited, so it was great fun to go back in time and experience it in the 1800's!

Great characters and whit combine quite well in this romantic story, twits and turns will keep you turning pages and happenings will make you chuckle while struggles and hardships make this book 'real'.

I enjoyed this book not too predictable, but yet not one that I had to think to hard about, just a nice relaxing, fun read!

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