Monday, December 9, 2013

Carolina Gold - A Book Review

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love takes place right after the Civil War, but for Charlotte Fraser the battles are just beginning.  After her dad dies Charlotte returns to Fairhaven and is determined to save her families rice plantation.  She meets many obstacles along the way.  Lack of money, finding workers and supplies, not to mention, most people do not think that a woman should be doing the kind of work that she is doing, but Charlotte stays focused and determined to do whatever it takes to persevere.

To earn a little extra money Charlotte agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her neighbor, Nicholas Betancourt.  Nicholas is a widow and has his own problems of trying to save his plantation.  When Charlotte learns that Nicholas may have a claim on her land she becomes very distraught.  Being the time in history that it is, the correct paperwork has been misplaced so the proof she needs is no where to be found.  Once again, Charlotte becomes determined to uncover the facts that she needs to stay on her beloved plantation.

I love the determination of Charlotte and how she perseveres no matter what obstacles
come her way.  I did find the book a little slow and hard to muddle through at times, but it was worth it towards the end when everything started to come together.

I also really loved the fact that the author was inspired to write this novel by a real live historical figure Elizabeth Waties Allston Pringle who lived from 1845-1921.  I love when a historical fiction romance novel intertwines real life historical events within its pages and the author did a lovely job of this!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher through the booksneeze blog review program in exchange for my review.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas Party Games

Every year my family and my sister's family comes together to decorate my mom's Christmas tree.  This has been a tradition of ours since the first year I moved away from home.  When our kids were little they loved it, but as they have gotten older their enthusiasm in it is not as great as it once was.  Last year we started a new tradition and turned the whole "Christmas Tree Trimming" night into a fun Christmas party and everyone loves it!!! We still have our usual party foods and decorate mam maw's tree, but now we have added fun Christmas games and end the night with Dirty Santa.  If you are not familiar with what Dirty Santa is, don't worry, it is nothing dirty.  Just a fun way to exchange Christmas gifts.  This does not take the place of the regular gifts we give to each other for Christmas, it's just an early fun gift giving game! 

Here are the games (and their descriptions) we played this year.


I love this game!  If you have ever played Cranium you know how much fun and laughter this game can bring.  A person hums and everyone else has to guess the song.  Of course for a Christmas party you need Christmas songs.  Here are the one's we used.  You can use your favorite holiday songs and make your own list!

Angels We Have Heard on High
Frosty the Snowman
Joy to the World
Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer
Baby It's Cold Outside
Deck the Halls
Go Tell It on the Mountain
I'll be Home for Christmas
Silent Night
Carol of the Bells
Jingle Bell Rock
Winter Wonderland
The First Noel
O Come all ye Faithful
We Wish you a Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Hark the Harold Angels Sing
Away in the Manger
The 12 Days of Christmas
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Here Comes Santa Claus
Mary Did You Know
Do You Hear What I Hear


If you are familiar with Heads Up, the super fun tablet app, then you will know how to play this game.  A person has a phrase and has to try to get the players to guess the phrase by either acting it out or giving clues.  For example, if your phrase is Three Wise Men your clue could be:  "more than two really smart dudes".  Here is the list of phrases that we used.

Three Wise Men
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
The Grinch
Wrapping Presents
Snow Angels
Mary and Joseph
Christmas Lights
Jingle Bells
Christmas Shopping
Little Drummer Boy
It's a Wonderful Life
Christmas with the Kranks
Frosty the Snowman
Partridge in a Pear Tree
Silver Bells
White Christmas
Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense
String Popcorn


See who is the most artistic in your family by giving them this fun drawing challenge.  I gave each person a sturdy piece of cardboard and a pen.  Each person then put the cardboard on top of their head and followed my directions.  

1.   Draw a line for the floor
2.  Draw a Christmas tree
3.  Add decorations
4.  Draw a star on top of the tree
5.  Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree
6.  Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel
7.  Draw a present below the tree

Then we graded them

2 points if tree touches the floor
2 points if stocking is touching the mantel
1 point if star touches the tree
1 point if the star is above the tree
1 point for every ornament on the tree
1 point if your fireplace does not touch the tree because that would be a fire hazard. ;)
2 points if present is under the tree

There are several variations of this game as well and last year we played it a little differently.  We closed our eyes and did not do it on top of our head and we drew snowmen instead.  Just use your imagination!


We got a lot of laughs out of this game.  We split up into two groups and each group was given a roll of green crepe paper, a package of red garland, candy canes, various colors of constructions paper, scissors and tape.  Each team had to choose one team member to be "the tree" and the other team members trimmed the tree!  Check out the pictures below to see how this turned out!


All you need for this one is a stocking and stocking stuffers.  After I put the objects in the stocking I pinned it closed and each person had to feel and try to guess what was in the stocking.  Here are the items I used, but you can use anything you have around the house.

candy cane
jingle bell
pencil sharpener
spool of thread
Christmas bow
snowman figurine
bag of marbles


There are several variations of this game, but for our family we set a $5.00 price limit.  We all purchase and wrap our gift, but we do not include a name tag.  Then we put the gifts in the middle of the room and each person draws a number.  The first person picks a gift from the pile, the person with the second number can either pick a gift from the pile or take person #1's gift, and that goes on until every number has gone and we keep stealing until the last gift is finally chosen.   After that we go back to the person with number 1 and they open their gift and the person who purchased it lets them know it is from forth and so on.  The only rules we have is that you cannot choose your own gift and you cannot have a tug of war with a gift. example - same two people taking back and forth from each other, you can however get the same gift back, but you can't take it back immediately.   I know some people choose to open the gifts and then steal them, but for our family we decided to wait until the end to open.  I have played it both ways and it is equally as fun!  

Here are a few pictures from our night of Christmas fun!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall - A Book Review

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky takes place in London, England in the early 1900's and is about Missionary Julia Foster.  Julia has worked along side her parents as a missionary in India for years, but when her father gets sick they are forced to return to England.  Julia gets a job as a governess at Highland Hall to help her family financially.  Julia has been hurt deeply in the past by a former fiance and has no intention of falling for someone again.

William is the Baronet of Highland Hall and is a widow left with two young children.  His wife, though now has passed on, was not faithful to him and he is very leery of women.  He is now consumed with saving his deceased cousin's home (Highland Hall) and raising his own children and the two ill-behaved teenage girls of his deceased cousin's.

Even though both of them are guarding their hearts they both are determined to help their families and join forces and become fast friends and confidants.  William is very strict on following the rules of society and will not allow anyone in his home to court below their station, so what will he do when he has to make a choice between Julia and Highland Hall.

I love Julia's character and as her strong faith and gentle spirit begins to rub off on those around her was an encouragement to me as a reader.  I did have a little bit of a hard time getting into the book at the beginning, but after I the first couple chapters I could hardly put it down.   If you love Regency type stories then you will be sure to love this book.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.


Plain Peace - A Book Review

Plain Peace by Beth Wiseman is the sixth book in The Daughters of the Promise Series.  I did not realize it was a series when I got the book and you certainly don't need to read the whole series to enjoy this book, however I do think it would make it more interesting.  There were several times that I was a little lost with the characters and wished I had a little more background.  About half way through the book I realized that I had read one other book in this series and I started refreshing my memory and now I would really like to read the whole series from start to finish.  Sometimes I do feel that Beth Wiseman's portrayal of the Amish is a little far fetched and unbelievable, but overall her books are enjoyable.

More about the book:

Anna has been raised by her grandparents.  Her grandfather is the Bishop and is very strict.  Due to his rules and sternness all the available suitors are afraid to court Anna.  Then Jacob Hostetler moves to town and decides that Anna is worth the challenge.  His family has suffered a great loss and are all still morning the loss of Jacob's sister.

When Anna's grandfather finds out that Jacob and Anna did not go to a singing as they said they would, he forbids them to see each other and refuses to hear the reason behind the change of plans.  Anna chooses deception and continues to see Jacob.  Will she continue to lie so she can have her dream of a family or will she realize that honesty is always best and that her faith is most important.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Jesus Story - A Book Review

The story of Jesus Christ is the most remarkable story ever told.  Whether you are a new Christian or a seasoned Christian, reading the 4 gospels in the New Testament is something that never grows old.  There is so much to glean from God's Word.

In The Jesus Story - Everything that Happens in the New Testament in Plain English, Dr. William H. Marty tells the story of Jesus in an easy to read chronological account.  It is very easy to understand and would be great for someone who is just learning about the Lord.  However, I do feel that for older Christians it may not capture their attention as well.  I found it a little "hum-drum" at times and I would much rather read the accounts straight from the Bible.  I do think that new Christians and those who are not familiar with The Word of God might benefit from this book, but I would still encourage those same people to pick up The Bible and read the stories straight from the source.

I did like how the stories are biblically accurate and did not sway from the truth.  The author truly has just taken the accounts, put them in order and wrote it in plain English.  I think it would be a great gift idea along with a Bible for a new Christian or for someone that you are trying to win to Christ.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Seeking Christmas - A Book Review

As the holiday season is fast approaching I find my self once again looking for a good devotional book that will help our family focus on the True Meaning of Christmas.

Seeking Christmas - Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions by Renee Robinson is a great book that will fulfill this purpose for me.  I was given the chance to review it through the Book Crash blog review program and I am so pleased with what I found within the pages.

The book is arranged to be used over a 7 day period.  You can arrange this to fit your schedule.  Whether that be every day the week before Christmas, maybe even 2 weeks before Christmas or maybe you would prefer to spread the 7 sections out through the weeks leading up to Christmas.  The great thing about it is that you can adjust it to what works best for you.

Each day is separated into sections.  The first sections is REMEMBER.  This is for adults, I found this section to a great way to "set the mood" and to help the parent get their juices flowing and ready to share and make new "things to remember" as a family.

The second section is READ.  Each day includes a Bible scripture to be read as a family.  If you have older children there are extra scriptures for further study.

The third section is REFLECT.   This is a time to talk about the scriptures you just read.  There are also questions divided up by age group.  That is another great thing about this book!  It is great for kids of all ages!

The fourth section is RESEARCH.  In this section you learn some neat historical facts about Christmas.  For instance, you can read about the history of holly, the poinsettia and the candy cane to name a few.  I really loved this section and thought it added a little spice to the book.

The last section is REJOICE.  Here the evenings activity is summarized.  The author recommend keeping a Christmas Journal and during the section of REJOICE there are journal prompts as to what to write in the journal.  I love to keep a journal and a Christmas journal incorporated into the family devotion is a great idea.  I can't wait to get our started this year and how great it will be to look back each year and see what God has and is doing in our lives!

One more great thing about this book is that when you purchase this book you are helping orphans.   The author donates 10% to organizations that reach out to change an orphan's life.

For more information on this book and the author you can visit

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Dawn of Christmas - A Book Review

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my most favorite Amish author's and I always love her short Christmas novellas.  Once again she has won me over with The Dawn of Christmas.  If you have read  any of her previous Christmas stories you are sure to recognize a few of the characters in this book as well since all the Christmas stories take place in Apple Ridge.

The story begins the day before Sadie is to be married and she finds her soon-to-be husband in the barn with her cousin Aquilla.  Sadie is devastated and to make matters worse no one seems to believe what she saw and Daniel and Aquilla are denying everything.  Sadie knows that she cannot marry a man that she can never trust and her father is the only one who stands by her side in her decision.

Levi lives with his brother Andy and is helping him raise his son.  Andy's wife ran out on him and it seems that Levi was left with a poor impression of woman.  He has no intention of ever marrying and is content with his life of training horses.  If only his family would stop pestering him to find a wife.

Levi gets thrown from his horse and Sadie finds him and stays with him until help arrives.  A friendship blossoms and soon they decide to "pretend" to court so their families will stop pressuring them.  Soon their feelings grow deeper even though they both are fighting it, but then everything comes crashing down and it seems that both of them feel that their feelings about the opposite gender were correct all along.

This is a great story for a cold day.  Grab a cup of tea or coffee, a warm cozy blanket and curl up and read!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Once Was Lost - A Book Review

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a heartwarming historical romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Christina Willems has been running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor ever since her father died a year ago.  When tragedy strikes and a fire leaves the house uninhabitable, Christina has to find shelter for all the people in her care.  They are all like family to her and having them all scattered about town soon becomes the least of her worries.

When Christina approaches the towns people she has no problem fining places for those in her care to stay, all that is except for poor little Tommy, the eleven year old blind boy.  Christina only has one other option and she knows she must approach Levi, the reclusive mill owner.  Levi has lived as a hermit and has no desire to let anyone into his life.  He reluctantly agrees to take Tommy in on a temporary basis and soon forms a strong bond with the boy.

As the weeks go by it seems like one catastrophe after another takes place that hinder the rebuilding of the mission home.  Christina begins to wonder if she will ever be able to fulfill her desire to rebuild the mission and to resume the job that she has dedicated her whole life to.

There are so many things I love about this book.  I love the character of Christina.  She has a servants heart and she wants so much to help others and is trying to do things like her father would do.  Tommy's character pulled on my heart strings and it was at times heart wrenching to read how he deals with the rejection he has experienced due to his blindness.  Then there is Cora, a young lady that has made many mistakes and fears rejection herself if anyone finds out the secret she is hiding.  I can't forget Levi, he is so good with Tommy and gives him the independence that the boy has needed.  Although most of the book is about rebuilding the mission home there are glimpses of romance that melted my heart.  I love reading a book that I can feel uplifted from and this book did exactly that for me.  I was interested from the first page to the last.  I would definitely recommend the book to anyone who enjoys historical romance novels.  

***This book was provided to my by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Country Pumpkin

I want to share this super cute pumpkin my mom made.  She got the idea off pinterest and the original project was done with a real pumpkin. Mom used a fake pumpkin which I think was a great idea.  This way she can get lots of years of use out of it. 

All you need is a pumpkin, a doily, modge podge and ribbon.  Super easy and super cute.

Monday, October 21, 2013

An Untamed Heart - A Book Review

When I found out that Lauraine Snelling had written another book about Ingeborg Bjorkland (her last name isStrand in An Untamed Heart) I was super excited.   I have read all of the books about Blessing, North Dakota and have come to love the Bjorkland family.  An Untamed Heart is actually a prequel to the Red River of the North Series and tells how Ingeborg's journey to America begins and how her and Roald get together.

I was a little disappointed with the book.  It was rather slow and verging on boring at times.  After reading 16 (yes, 16,  that's not a typo) books about the Bjorkland family I have come to feel like I know the character of Ingeborg pretty well and in this book I felt as if I was reading about a stranger.  She did not seem true to character.  I also had a hard time with some of the names.  Many of the names were familiar from the previous books, but at times I was not sure if they were the same characters from earlier books or just common Norwegian names.

Had I read this book first I may have felt differently, but since that is not the case and probably isn't for a lot of the readers that are fans of Lauraine Snelling I cannot give a real good review.  I would however recommend The Red River of the North Series and all the series following about this family.  I would even recommend reading An Untamed Heart first.  If you are just starting out you won't already have an opinion of how the character of Ingeborg should be and you can read and watch her transform into the character that I love.

Here is a list of the books in the order they should be read:

An Untamed Heart

An Untamed Land  (Red River of the North series)
A New Day Rising  (Red River of the North series)
A Land to Call Home  (Red River of the North series)
The Reaper's Song  (Red River of the North series)
Tender Mercies  (Red River of the North series)
Blessing in Disguise  (Red River of the North series)

A Dream To Follow  (Return to Red River series)
Believing The Dream  (Return to Red River series)
More Than A Dream  (Return to Red River series)

A Promise for Ellie  (Daughters of Blessings series)
Sophies' Dilemma  (Daughters of Blessing series)
A Touch of Grace  (Daughter of Blessing series)
Rebecca's Reward  (Daughter of Blessing series)

A Measure of Mercy  (Home to Blessing series)
No Distance Too Far  (Home to Blessing series)
A Heart for Home  (Home to Blessing series)

***An Untamed Heart was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose - A Book Review

A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer is a charming little story that takes place at the end of World War II.  Rose is a young Amish girl who was engaged to Jonathan.  Jonathan shocked the Amish community when he enlisted.  He never fought in the war, but instead was a medic.  While Jonathan was gone Rose was left with the judgement of her Amish community where everyone urged her to forget about him.  Now that he's back it is time for her to face her true feelings.

Things from Rose's past start coming to light and she is shocked to find out she is not who she thought she was.  In light of everything she must come to terms with the way she passed judgement on Jonathan.  She is trying to discover who she really is and Jonathan is determined to regain her trust and love.

This story is faith filled, and focuses strongly on family bonds, belonging and love.  Even though the title makes you think it is going to be a holiday based story, it is not.  I would not even consider it a Christmas story
besides the fact that the time of year is during the holiday season.  It is a short story and a quick read that you are sure to love.  Perfect for a winter's day cuddled up on the couch!

***This book was provided to me by booksneeze in exchange for my review.

Fired Up - A Book Review

About the Book:

Glynna came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation.  Now her husband, Flint is dead and she's determined to make a go of it on her own.  In a town full of men, Glynna decides she can support her two children by opening a diner, even though cooking is not one of her greatest talents.

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his.  It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident  with Flint Greer and the Ranch.  Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment - which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Though his doctoring business is booming due to Glynna's questionable cooking, Dare seems to encounter unexpected dangers wherever he goes.  There's the avalanche, and the fire, and then the shadowy figure with the knife. Can Dare survive it all long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance at love?

My Thoughts:

I first became acquainted with Mary Connealy's writing when I read the series "The Kincaid Brides" and I became an instant fan.  Now whenever a new book comes out I get really excited and can't wait to read it.  Fired Up is the second book in the Trouble in Texas series.  I admit that I struggled a little bit with Swept Away, the first book in this series, but Fired Up has redeemed the Author's spot on my favorite's list.

True to her writing style, Mary Connealy had me laughing out loud in several parts of the book.  I love both Dare and Glynna and thought there story is really good.  One thing I like about this book is that it is light-hearted and an easy read.    I'm really excited about Vince and am pretty sure that is who the next story is going to be about and I can't wait!!!

***This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my review.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher - A Book Review

Diana Brennan  was adopted by a loving couple when she was a little girl.  When she turned 17 she fell head over heals in love for Tyson Applegate who is the son of a wealthy and hard to please mine owner.  Diana and Tyson quickly get married before she even meets his family.  Not long after their marriage she begins to find out that Tyson had ulterior motives for marrying her.  He needed to get married in order to get his hands on his inheritance before he turned 30.  He is very defiant towards his father and soon abandons Dianna and takes off to explore the world.  He ends up fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba.  Years pass and Tyson is presumed dead.  Diana is ready to move past her broken heart and marry again, she just needs Tyson to be declared legally dead.  Just when she least expects it Tyson shows up and turns Diana's world upside down.

While Tyson was away, he became a changed man.  He gave his heart to the Lord and is ready to make restitution.  He is also running for the senate and asks Diana to live with him as his wife for 6 months during the election period and let him prove to her that he has changed.  If at the end of the six months she wants to leave he will provide her with a home for her and her mother and allowance for the rest of her life, but he will not divorce her.  Diana suspects the only reason he is doing this is for appearance sake, but agrees anyway.  She guards her heart, determined not to let him break it.

I absolutely loved this book.  Robin Lee Hatcher did a great job writing this novel and I was sorry for it to end.  I loved the whole restitution part as that seems to be a very important part of salvation that tends to get overlooked.  Diana is a character with a back bone and a streak of stubbornness that at a few times made me want to thump her in the head, but with her brokenness of the past years she has become very guarded and does not trust easily.  It is hard for her to understand that the people that hurt her so deeply in the past have now changed.  Tyson is determined to show his love and prove to her that he is a changed man and I love the romantic way that the author portrayed his character.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historic fiction!

***This book was provided to me by booksneeze in exchange for my review.

Apple Picking Time

 A few weeks ago we went to Eckert's to pick apples.  We had a lot of fun and can't wait to do it again!  Here are a few of the pics I captured that day!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Hope Is Found - A Book Review

My Hope Is Found by Joanne Bischof is the 3'rd book in The Cadence of Grace series.

I have loved each of the books in this series and could hardly wait for each book to be released.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get an advance reading copy for review for the last book in the series.

Lonnie and Gideon's relationship has been rocky to say the least.  When it finally seemed as if they had found love and happiness together a women from Gideon's past comes forward and tears apart everything that Lonnie and Gideon had built together.  Cassie is Gideon's legal wife so he has no choice but to stay with her.  Lonnie is determined to move forward and adjust to life without Gideon.  It is easier said then done, but when the handsome Scottish minister comes calling, it's not long before Lonnie begins to have hope for a better future.

In the meantime, Cassie decides to let Gideon go back to Lonnie for she know's that he will never love her like he love's Lonnie.  They decide to get an annulment and Gideon heads back to Lonnie.

Right when Lonnie was beginning to accept her life without Gideon, he shows up again and now she must make a choice...a choice between Toby and Gideon.  Who will she choose?

I love the character of Lonnie but I must admit I am not a fan of Gideon.  Although he has changed a lot through this series he just seems so selfish and hot tempered.  I was glad to see redemption and forgiveness written into the story, but I was not real happy with the turn out.  Even with that said, I love the way Joanne Bischof writes and once again I found it hard to put the book down.  All in all it was a great series that I would recommend!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Rebellious Heart - A Book Review

Rebellious Heart is the second book I have read by Author Jody Hedlund and she is quickly becoming my favorite author!!  She has an amazing way of telling a story.  As I read Rebellious Heart it felt as if I was transported right to 1763 where I was watching the story unfold right before my eyes.

This book had me chuckling several times, page turning suspense at others and the romance is enough to make a grown women "swoon". ;)  I also loved the historical accuracy on what life was like in the 1700's!

If you have not read any of Jody Hedlund's books I highly recommend her and Rebellious Heart would be a great place to start!

About the Book:

In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate. 

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tattler's Branch - Book Review

Lilly Corbett Still has grown to love her life as the small-town doctor of Skip Rock, a tiny coal community in the Kentucky mountains. Though her husband, Tern, is away for a few months at a mining job, Lilly has her hands full with her patients and her younger sister visiting for the summer.

Lilly turns to her good friend and neighbor, Armina, to help keep things in order—until a mysterious chain of events leaves Armina bedridden and an abandoned baby on her doorstep. Lilly works to uncover the truth, unaware of what a mess she’s found herself in until a break-in at her clinic puts her on high alert. As she struggles between what is right and what is safe, Lilly must discover the strength of her resilient country neighbors, her God, and herself.

I did not realize this book was part of a series until I was finished with it, so even if you don't want to read the series this book works fine as a stand alone book. I was in no way "lost" about the events or the characters. I did however find it slow paced.

The first chapter I was captivated. I thought it was going to be a great "can't wait to turn the page" book, but after the first chapter the story line took a different turn. It became very slow paced, very detailed with too many details about doctor procedures that in my opinion were irrelevant to the story line. It was not until the last third of the book that the story started to pick up and really grabbed my attention again.

I really did enjoy the last part of the book and it even made me want to read the first book in the series to see how Lilly and Tern's love story began. I'll give it a try and sure hope it's not as slow as this one.

***This book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my review.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wounded Women of the Bible - Book Review

One thing that you can count on living in this world is that sometime or another you are going to get hurt.  Someone is going to wound you to your core.  Whether intentional or not, it hurts and it cannot be avoided.  Truth be told you have probably done your share of hurting others as well.

Women tend to feel things deeply.  We love deeply and when we hurt we hurt deeply.  So many times when we get hurt we tend to shut ourselves off from others.  We have the frame of mind that if we guard our hearts, stop opening ourselves up to others we can "protect" ourselves from being hurt again.  Sad thing about that way of thinking is that we are only hurting ourselves.  We need friends, we need family, we need love and to be encouraged by others.  How then do we deal with the hurts that are sure to come our way if we continue to open ourselves up to relationships?

Wounded Women of the Bible:  Finding Hope when Life Hurts by Dena Dyer and Tina Samples is a great book of encouragement for all women no matter where they are in their walk with God.  There are stories straight from the Bible, plus Dena and Tina both give accounts of different times in their lives that they have went through trying experiences.  The book offers encouragement and hope.  It lets those of us who are hurting know that we are not alone in our suffering and most of all that God is right there with us, carrying us and He has a plan even when there seems to be no hope.  I really enjoyed the stories from the Bible such as Abigail, Hagar, and the two women in Solomon's Court just to name a few.  Sometimes we get so used to hearing these stories that we tend to forget that these were real people, who had feelings just like me and you.   When I thought of some of the emotions that these women may have went through during their trials, the Lord began to minister to me in a whole new way.

This book will be one that I know I will pick up in the years to come for encouragement.  I also think it would be a great gift idea for anyone you know that is struggling with the hurts that this world sometimes brings.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Indoctrination - A Book Review

What happens when God is expelled from the classroom?

88% of Christian children deny their faith by graduation day…. are public schools to blame?


"Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity"

"Why a growing number of parents choose not to send their children to public school.

The companion book to the award-winning documentary "IndoctrinNation", this eye-opening book includes:
* An unforgettable introduction by a father who lost his son in the Columbine school massacre -- "I put him in a pagan school where they teach there is no God."
* 12 common reasons people give not to homeschool -- and the manageable reality of this educational alternative
* Revealing, firsthand accounts of Christian educators working in public schools-- sharing the struggles they face in a hostile system
* The classroom anti-Christian ideologies from humanism, Marxism, utopianism, educational psychology, and more confronting students in public schools today.

Look behind the comfortable myths of an educational system actively at work to alter your child's moral values, worldview, and religious beliefs. Learn the history and philosophy of public school education -- and discover it is based on neither Christian nor American values. Explore the biblical principles regarding education -- and who is ultimately responsible for our children's future." (From New Leaf Publishing Group Website)


The book IndoctriNation is a companion book to the dvd documentary, IndoctriNation.  This review is for the book itself and not the dvd as I did not get a chance to watch it for review.  So even though it is a companion book you can definitely use it without the use of the dvd or vice-versa.   

The book is very straight forward.  It does not come across as "bashing the school system", but instead tells it how it is by showing how the public school system is controlled by the government and how they are leaving God out of it.  The decline of the school system is a tragedy and one that is still spiraling downward.  I believe in homescooling 100% and believe that parents are the best ones to educate their children.  This book has reconfirmed my decision and convictions.  I would encourage every parent who has school age children and are considering sending them to public school to read this book first.  You need to know what kind of environment your child will be in and what they will be taught.  No matter what choice you make for your children's education, educate yourself first!!

***This book was provided to me by New Leaf Publishing in exchange for my review. 

Be sure to check out this video book trailer to learn more!

For Every Season - A Book Review

For every Season by Cindy Woodsmall is book three in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.  The book starts off right were book two ended.  Rhoda Byler and the Kings have been working hard to start a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine and it seems like everything under the sun has come up against them.   At the end of book two Jacob had found out about Samuel and Rhoda's kiss and in book three you find the three of them trying to mend their relationships and earn back each other's trust.

Rhoda is learning not to fight her "gift" of premonitions and is starting to embrace who God has called her to be.  Jacob is starting to be able to put his past behind him, and Samuel, well he's just Samuel and I love the chemistry between him and Rhoda that seems to jump off the pages.  It is quite entertaining to read how these two fight their feelings towards each other.  In this book we are also introduced to Iva, an unconventional Amish girl who fits right in with this strange concoction of a family.

Book three has by far been my favorite book of this series.  Once I picked it up I could not put it down. I struggled some with the beginning of the first two books, but not the case with this one.  It had me loving it from the get go!  When I first got the book I thought it would be the last book in the series, but I see now that there will be a book four coming out in April!  I can hardly wait to read the conclusion of a series I have come to love!

I definitely recommend reading the whole series in order.  I have read all of Cindy Woodsmall's books to date and have never been disappointed.

***I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.