Thursday, February 26, 2015

Widow of Gettysburg - A Book Review

Widow of Gettysburg - Heroines Behind the Lines - by Jocelyn Green is the second book in The Civil War Series.  

Liberty Holloway knows about loss.   Her mother gave her away to a cruel aunt who always belittled her.  She married when she was just 17 to Levi in a quick wedding before the war starts.  Levi goes off to war and gets killed in the Battle of Bull Run.  Now Liberty lives alone on a farm and has plans to turn her farm house into an Inn to make a living for herself.  

When Silas Ford shows up asking for something to eat Liberty has no idea who he really is.  She's not sure if she should trust him but he comes to her aid in her time of need.  

When the battle comes to Gettysburg and Liberty's home is confiscated and converted into a Confederate hospital, Liberty comes face to face with suffering like she has never experienced.  She needs strength from God to face the challenges that she is up against, but will she trust in God and allow Him to help her help the very men who took her husband from her?

This is a beautifully written book that had me captivated from start to finish.  It takes the reader into the town of Gettysburg and we get to experience what it was like before the battle, during and after.  It focuses mainly on the aftermath.     I've always been drawn to Civil War novels, but never have I been moved by a story as much as I have by this one.  Liberty is an amazing woman and reading about her made me want to do something that matters.  

I love when an author can write a fictional novel without losing historical facts.  This is the first book I have ever read by Jocelyn Green and she has made me an instant fan.  The book  is rich in history and the fictional side of it coincides perfectly with the historical side.  I can't wait to read more of Jocelyn Green's books!

If you would like to purchase Widow of Gettysburg from Amazon you can do so by clicking HERE


Award-winning author Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels, inspired by real heroines on America's home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration.

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Evangelical Press Association, Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Visit her at 

***This book was provided to be by Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

The Postage Stamp Garden - Book Review

I love gardening.  There is something greatly satisfying in growing your own produce.  It taste so much better than anything you can buy in a store and it is so much better for you especially if you go the organic route.  I have planted a large garden for years and it is a lot of hard work.  Even though I enjoy it, my health does not always cooperate.  The last couple years, by the end of the season, I find myself saying "next year I'm going to downsize".

When I had the chance to read The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden I was super excited.  Not only do I enjoy learning new ways of gardening I really felt like this might be a method that will be beneficial to me.  I really enjoyed the book and I would love to try a postage stamp vegetable garden.

The book gives instruction on how to grow tons of organic vegetables in tiny spaces and containers.  It is chalked full of information that is valuable to any gardener and even if I decide not to try a postage stamp garden I know I will be referring back to this book for the tips it gives in growing a successful garden.

I think this is the perfect book for today's lifestyles.  Many people have small yards and busy schedules.  A postage stamp garden will not take up much room, you can even go the container route and have it on your patio.   It provides lots of produce that will benefit your family's health and save on your grocery bill and it doesn't take near the amount of time or work that a regular size garden takes.

With spring just around the corner now is the time to start planning your garden so if you are interested in planing a postage stamp garden you'll want to get this book now so you can start enjoying delicious produce in the summer!

Click HERE to purchase The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden from Amazon.

***This book was provided to me through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

William Henry is a Fine Name - A Book Review

I am a huge fan of Author Cathy Gohlke.  Saving Amelie and Band of Sisters are two of my all time favorite books.  I guess I am going backwards because I just now read Cathy's first book William Henry is a Fine Name.  This novel won the Christy Award in 2007 and after reading it I can see why!

One of the things I love about Cathy Gohlke is how she can write a fictional story based on historical events and stay true to the history of that time period.  She makes history come alive through her novels!  

The book is pre-Civil War and is about the Underground Railroad.  As a homeschool mom I think this book is perfect for the classroom, but more suited for older students as there are some topics that are for mature audiences.  There was nothing written that was detailed in an inappropriate way, but there is mention of slave women giving birth to white children and disturbing things such as a black man getting his foot cut off as punishment for trying to run away.  So parents might want to read this book before passing it on to a teen just to make sure it is something that is suitable for your family.

In William Henry is a Fine Name you will read about Robert.  Robert is a 13 year old living in the south in 1859.  His family's views on slavery is split.  His mother sees slavery as a natural part of life and his father is against it.  Robert also has a best friend named William Henry who is black and Robert is told that his best friend is less than human because of his color.  Robert must decide for himself where he stands on slavery.  

There is a second book - I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires - that is the sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name.  It continues on with the telling of Robert and I can't wait to read it!

If you would like to purchase William Henry is a Fine Name you can by clicking HERE.

About the Author:

Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Saving Amelie, Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award. 
Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between Northern Virginia and their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland. Visit her website at

***This book was provided to me by Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Deadly Echoes - A Book Review

I absolutely loved Deadly Echoes (Finding Sanctuary book 2) by Nancy Mehl!  I don't read very many murder or suspense novels but Nancy Mehl is making me a  fan!  I love her writing style and there is a perfect balance of suspense and relationships.   I am so impressed with how she incorporates a faith in God into her characters lives.  The Finding Sanctuary series is set in Missouri and since I am a Missouri girl that makes it even more interesting.   Sanctuary is a fictional town, but there are plenty of Missouri towns that are mentioned in the book that I am very familiar with and I find that very cool!!

Finding Sanctuary is the second book in this series, but it would also be a good stand alone book if you don't want to read the first one.  Some of the same characters from the first book are mentioned in the second book, but if you are not familiar with them it does not affect the story.  I will say that I have read the first book (Gathering Shadows) and it is a very enjoyable read and you should read it too, but only because it is that good! ;)

The day I received this book I also received about 6 other books in the mail, but this is the one I grabbed first.  48 hours later I was finished with it.  I did not want to put it down.  I am a little bit of a scaredy cat and reading it at night was a little challenging for me.  I kept looking over my shoulder and was a little jumpy, but that just shows how great the suspense was.  It had me guessing till the end with page turning excitement!


After a childhood filled with tragedy, Sarah Miller has finally settled into a normal life in Sanctuary, MO.  All the echos of her past are silent at last.  She now spends her days teaching and living a simple life.

When Sarah was 6 years old and her sister Hannah was 12 their parents were murdered.  They spent some time in foster care, but when Hannah was adopted and Sarah wasn't they lost contact with each other.  Now Sarah and Hannah have reunited and Sarah also has met her niece Cicley that she didn't even know she had.  Sarah's joy is quickly extinguished when she is told that her sister has been murdered.

As Sarah learns more about her sister's death, she realizes that the details are eerily similar to their parents' murder.  With help from Paul Gleason, Sarah begins digging deeper into the murders that the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong.  The deeper she gets to uncovering the truth the more desperate one person gets to hiding the truth.


Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored over twenty-one books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing. 

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

To learn more about Nancy you can check out her website by clicking HERE.

To purchase Deadly Echoes from Amazon you can click HERE.

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

101 Conversation Starters for Families - A Book Review

My family had lots of fun with this book.  It's a small, economically priced book that could be used in several different settings.  It is a great resource to get your family communication and a good way to get to know the ones you love better!

The book includes 101 questions that will get your family talking.  Some are fun, some are imaginative and some are serious, but according to my 16 year old, their were also some dumb and cheesy ones. lol  I felt that there was a great balance and I loved that some of the questions included biblical references and encouraged good character.

In the front of the book there are tips for using the book and few suggestions to encourage participation.  It would be great to take along on the next road trip, or perfect for dinner time conversation.  We used it at night before bed so whatever works best for your family will do!

A few sample questions from the book:

"What dessert do you think you could eat for a lifetime?"

"As a surprise for your birthday party we've arranged for a famous person of your choice to attend.  Who will you choose?"

"Recall a family outing or vacation that went badly but you're able to laugh about now."

The purpose of the book is not to just answer the questions, but to talk.  The questions are just a starting point.  There are a lot of similar products on the market right now and if you are wanting to try something out this is a great place to start since it is so economically priced!

You can purchase this book on amazon by clicking HERE.

*** I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

God Bless My Boo Boo - A Book Review

I believe that reading to your child is beneficial in many ways.  From the time they are born and on through their growing years, you and your little one can bond in a special way simply by sharing a book together.  Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my mother reading to me before bed.

God Bless My Boo Boo by Hannah C. Hall is a sweet little book that you and your child can enjoy together again and again.  I absolutely loved the artwork in this book! The adorable animal pictures are so cute and the colors are bright!  It is a board book which I love for little hands that want to reach out and grab the pages.  No fear of ripped or bent pages with this book.


I also loved that it brings forth a message...God is always with you and helps you when you hurt.

Each page focuses on a different animal and a different sickness or boo boo and a cute rhyming text about the sickness with the key phrase being "God bless my boo boo please!"

The target age is 1-4 years, but I seen no reason that you couldn't start younger than that!

This is a great book to start with if you are wanting to build a library for your new baby!  It would be perfect for parents or grandparents and would make a great gift for an expectant mother or newborn baby.  Whatever the purpose I would highly recommend this sweet little book!

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Joy In The Night - A Book Review

Joy In The Night:  Stops along the Journey of an Itinerant Preacher  is a compilation of sermons by Don West.

Don West has done extensive missionary work and he shares ten of his most popular sermons which he has preached around the world.  Each sermon starts with a prologue.  The place the sermon was originally preached is given and a short explanation of why the topic was chosen.  The sermons are just right in length and scripture references are given.

I cannot say enough good things about this book.  The sermons shared are written in truth and stand firm on the Word of God.  They are edifying to the child of God and I found myself meditating on many of the thoughts that were shared.  I don't usually mark in my books, but I couldn't resist highlighting and underlining the many things that spoke to my heart.  I have already flipped back through the pages and re-read some of the parts that stood out most to me.

I enjoyed all of the sermons, but there were a couple that stood out more to me than the others.  My most
favorite was the first sermon in which the book is named after - Joy In The Night.  Anyone who is going through a trial, who is or has endured a "night" will glean from this sermon.  A verse that is so familiar ("Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  Psalm 30:5) now has new meaning to me.  I love the phrase "anyhow joy" and the quote "The secret is not how soon the morning comes; it is who is by my side in the night!" is going in my journal of favorite quotes.

I found it refreshing that Don West does not shy away from the Truth.  We live in a world where many are afraid to speak the truth or have all together swayed from God's standards and it is great to know that there are still real men of God that will speak the Truth and stand firm on The Rock.  

This book is going on my shelf of favorites and I know I will be referencing back to it!  I think this would be a great addition to your library as well and I am certain that it will encourage and uplift you as you strive to make heaven your home!

You can purchase Joy In the Night at by clicking HERE.

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

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tiny Bear's Bible - A Book Review

A bear to hug, a Bible to love, and a promise to treasure:  God loves you!!

Tiny Bear's Bible is a warm, fuzzy reminder of how God loves His children-in a format kids can cuddle.  Together with their friend Tiny Bear, children discover eleven Bible stories in a book they can carry with them wherever they go!

It's never too early to start teaching your little one about God's word.  Tiny Bear's Bible is the perfect little book to share some of the most popular Bible stories with the children in your life.

The picture I've included does not do this book justice.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received it in the mail and seen the great quality of this book.  It has a soft fleece cover and a plush  teddy bear on the front.  It's just as cute as can be!  So cuddly and little hands will be sure to enjoy the texture of the fuzzy wuzzy bear!  It is a board book so the pages are nice and sturdy and you won't have to worry about little hands bending or tearing the pages.  The size is perfect.  Not to big and not to small.  It is just right!

It comes in a nice plastic case that buttons on the side which is perfect for protecting the book from getting dirty when not in use.

It focuses on eleven Bible stories.  As you open the book one page will have the name of the Bible story and scripture references to look  up in your Bible if you so wish.  On the adjoining page there is a sweet little bible story rhyme that goes along with the story it is focusing on.  The pictures are bright and colorful and it is a perfect blend of words and pictures that are sure to keep your little ones attention from start to finish!

This book would be great for moms, dads, grandparents, Sunday school teachers and anyone who likes to read to children.  It is sure to be a favorite and one you will want to keep for years to come!

The book I received has blue on the front, but it also comes in pink if you would prefer a more girly color for your little girl!  The target age is for 2-5.

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

Friday, February 6, 2015


I love trying new recipes and I love it even more when it is a hit with the whole family!  I was super excited to find this recipe for a Meatball Sub Casserole on Pinterest.  It is super easy and super yummy!

This would be a great recipe for a church dinner or other potluck.  Or if you are a working mom you could easily assemble it ahead of time, but I would hold off on putting the spaghetti sauce on until you are actually ready to cook it.  I think it would make your bread soggy.

The first thing I did was slice my french bread into 1 inch slices and layer them in the bottom of a lightly greased casserole dish.  After that, I combined my cream cheese and Italian mix and spread that on top of the sliced bread.

Next I cut up some thawed out meatballs and placed them on top of the cheese mixture.  I was pretty random with this.  Some I cut in half, some in thirds and some in fourths.  No rhyme or reason, just do what ever you prefer. 

Next, top with your favorite spaghetti sauce!

Then add Mozzerella Cheese

Now you are ready to pop it in the oven and cook until hot and bubbly and your cheese starts to brown.  This takes approximately 25 minutes.

Now your ready to taste the goodness!  

Meatball Sub Casserole

1 (16oz) loaf of french bread
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 lb. frozen meatballs, thawed
1 (26 oz) jar of spahetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.  Slice french bread into 1-inch slices and place in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 dish.

3.  Mix together cream cheese and Italian seasoning and spread over french bread.

4.  Chop meatballs and layer over cream cheese mixture.

5.  Pour spaghetti sauce evenly over meatballs.

6.  Top with mozzarella cheese.

7.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Woodland Miracle - A Book Review

Ben is a rebellious young man living in Florida.  Due to his trouble making ways Ben has lost his father's respect and his father has decided to send him to Michigan in hopes that Ben will get his life back on track.  Once in Michigan Ben finds himself in a community where the women out number the men three to one.  Ben is very cocky and full of himself, but when he meets Grace everything changes.

Grace struggles with feeling inferior.  Due to her physical limitations and her visible limp she is certain that no man would ever want her for a wife.  Grace is a hard worker and she works well with Ben, but Grace takes everything Ben says as though he is pitying her.  She is learning that God's grace is sufficient.

When two mental patients escape from a local hospital, their small community is put in danger.  Grace is kidnapped and Ben is determined to save the girl who has captured his heart.  You'll have to read the book to see how God uses a miracle to help Ben and Grace.

I really enjoyed A Woodland Miracle.  It is actually the second book in a series, but it is fine as a stand alone book.  I did not read the first book and in no way felt lost or unconnected.  The book grabs you from the beginning and keeps you captivated through to the last page.  It is not like your traditional Amish fiction and the author, Ruth Reid does a beautiful job of showing how God's grace is sufficient for all of our needs.

About the Author:

Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who resides in Florida with her husband and three children.

To find out more about Ruth Reid and to see her other books you can check her website HERE.

***This book was provided to me through in exchange for my hones review.