Friday, September 28, 2012

Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias- This must read will tug at your heart!

In the quiet challenge of a moment hope lingers just overhead.

Josie Meyers and her young children Susanna and Jacob, victims of unfortunate circumstances, struggle to find their place in the world, while searching for a spot to rest their weary hearts.

Rick a Vietnam veteran, is a kindly man who always looks for ways to put others needs in front of his own. His faith is a source of strength always challenging him to take the next step forward.

Will the trials and struggles of the Meyer family bring them closer together as they are lead through the darkness or will the unseen and cruel challenges pull them apart?

A must read for the upcoming holiday season that will tug at your heart and one that will give the reader a sense of gratitude for God's blessings. Faith, heartbreak, reality, sadness and love come together for form this impossible to put down read. Plot flowed easily creating no dull or broken parts, dialogue was easy to follow and scenery was vivid leading to the ending. I found the overall message to be very inspiring and I was highly entertained! I will recommend this well written novel to others! 5 Stars! Thanks to New Hope Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How I Grow A Persimmon Tree From Seed

Ahh Autumn!! Its almost time to begin thinking about gathering the persimmons that fall from the trees! What to make with the pulp and perhaps starting your own grove of trees. Starting persimmon trees from seed is a time consuming process, several years as a matter of fact, but the result will be so worth the wait as they begin to germinate. Most of the seeds I gather are the American Persimmon, some fruits are small while others are larger depending on the variety. After I process the persimmons into pulp I reserve some of the nicer seeds clean them and put them in paper envelopes. I then mark them with dates and put them in the freezer section of my refrigerator, this is what takes so long because I leave them in the freezer for 1.5 yrs as they need the hibernation time. So if I gather them this fall 2012 in the early spring of 2014 I take them out. As the seeds have an extremely hard coat I nick them with a knife (make a notch) to the inside of the seed (generally on the side of the seed not top or bottom) so water can penetrate the seed coat. I then put them in a cup of water and soak overnight. The next day I put them in potting soil in a plastic container I have poked holes in the bottom cover seeds with soil (don't plant them too deep) or crowd them, then water well, place lid on container that I have also poked holes in, set in a partially shaded area and wait. The seeds also need the heat for germination, and the container will act as a mini greenhouse, after being in cold for all that time. In a week to 2 weeks seeds will start to germinate. Remove the lid after germination either place in separate containers to grown on further sunk into ground or plant directly into the ground in good garden soil. Do not over water for the first year. Don't be discouraged if all do not germinate or after planting into the ground they all fail to grow. That is a chance that you take as all may not reach maturity. Also it takes 9 or more years to see fruit. Other trees may be grown from my method I have not tried that. Plus the money you will save in the long run is worth trying to grow from seed. It is rewarding and fulfilling seeing what you and God have grown together! Good luck and happy growing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Escaping the Cauldron by Kristine McGuire- Satisfied my curiosity

Escaping the Cauldron: Exposing the Dangerous Occult Influences in Everyday Life  -     
        By: Kristine McGuire

The excitement of witchcraft embraced the author, when in her younger years and in joining her friends unknowingly through experimentation and innocent games. Later in her life and for eight years she had practiced witchcraft after falling away from the church and God's loving graces. Her memoir also explains the growing fascination with the occult, the lure that society and the entertainment industry can provide, and how common practices can be a bridge that links to the occult.

Some of the subjects covered are: (in my own words) Detecting demons or are they angels?, ridding your life from the paranormal, meditation, what are ghosts and many other topics. Terms familiar to wicca participants are covered as well as truths and myths that are explored in detail that links Christianity with modern practices of wiccan, pagan and witchcraft. Volume contains many scripture references along with Digging Deeper sections that has questions for individual and group use, also contains a helpful question and answer section in the back.

With this book the Christian reader can enter into a world that is unseen and one that movies and books I feel for the most part do not generally portray accurately.
Haunting, disturbing and honest are the terms I would use to describe this hard to put down book. Not having read a book quite like this one to date I gained a knowledge of these practices and learned how to handle paranormal experiences in that might invade my life and others lives. This book strengthened my faith and gave me hope and a discernment to what is evil.
I recommend this well written book to both Christian and non Christian readers as an avenue of becoming aware and how to differentiate what is from God and what is from paganism. I received a complimentary copy from Charisma House for my review.5 Stars! or 10 Stars out of 10!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Twice A Bride by Mona Hodgson- Charming

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson

In a breath of a moment love renders quiet thoughts.

Willow with the imminent death of a loved one is given an opportunity to be in sales but her hopes lie in the paint spread upon the canvas. Willow is an asset in Cripple Creek but will she be able to cease the longings of her yearning heart?

Trenton Van DerVeer photographer and creator of beauty on a glass plate takes a suggestion from a client on a new way of producing portraiture. Could this be the avenue he needs to expand his business?

Four sisters, each with their own life's trial come together for each other in the path of uncertainty and confusion.

Romance, loss, happiness and reality are introduced into the broad emotions displayed within the pages of this book. Charming, entertaining and at times mildly predictable this fourth book in the series will catch your attention. My favorite thus far. Can be read as a stand alone novel although part of a series. Characters were well developed and dialogue and scenery meshed well. I found the overall message to be inspiring and I was entertained. I will recommend this creative novel to others. 4 Stars! I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Over the last twenty-five years, Mona Hodgson’s publishing credits have grown to include nearly thirty children's books, contributions to more than ten books for adults, and four historical novels, including her debut, Two Brides Too Many in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. Mona is a popular speaker for women's groups, schools, and educators’ and writers’ conferences. She lives in Arizona with her husband and has two daughters and several grandchildren

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy- Fast and Fun Read!

Over the Edge, Mary Connealy, 978-0-7642-0913-0

In the stillness of one's heart love has the capacity to protect from the worst of fears.

Callie is always mindful of protecting her infant son Conner from others even if the person happens to be of a husbandly kind.

Seth Kinkade knew Callie's voice sounded familiar as she yelled after him he just didn't know how familiar.
Tried though he wished he cannot remember a thing about her and when in the world did he get married?

A book of romance, danger and wild west cowboys that promises a fast and satisfying read sure to keep one entertained. Progressing plot, strong character development and fun dialogue will keep you burning the midnight oil. Even though the book is part of a series it can easily serve as a stand alone novel. I found the overall message inspiring and I was entertained by this fast and fun read and will recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers for my review.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mortal Fire by C.F. Dunn- Intriguing

Sometimes a thought cannot be trusted.

Emma D'Evesby professor from the University of Cambridge is being welcomed into the US from the UK. A book catches her eye, one that is reminiscent of medievel times and one that seems to intrigue her love of history. The Dean at the University appoints several mentors to assist Emma in transitioning as she seems unsure of herself at times. However there is noone who is safe when lives are at risk. Will Emma discover the secrets before the clock ceases to tick?

Danger, intrigue and suspense come together to form the storyline. This is a plot building book with description happening progressively. Scenery worked and was descriptive, dialogue flowed smoothly and I was able to connect with the characters fairly well. Although the novel did have a few parts that drug slightly towards the middle it does get better as the book moves along. Hints of faith seemed to strengthen values, however, a few of the conversations amongst the characters casually mentioned sexual situations but did not describe details. A good first novel 3.5 stars! Thanks to Kregel Publications Monarch Books for the complimentary copy for my review.

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin- A Must Read!

With Every Letter, Sarah Sundin, 978-0-8007-2081-0

There is war looming on the horizon, yet, in the age of differences the heart is full with similar thoughts.

Lt. Philomela Blake (Mellie), nurse, is paired with a group of other nurses who each longs to prove herself useful. Mellie is given a challenge to write letters anonymously to a soldier to improve morale.

Lt. Thomas MacGuiver is the recipient. When he reads her letter he is intrigued by what he has read. The sender is oceans away.

Two souls, two hearts, one mission.
Each has a duty to perform, will their travels cross?

A story of sacrifice, action, suspense with a bit of romance. True to life, I adored With Every Letter! This novel reads like a movie and will grip you from the start with beating action, luscious scenery you can walk through and reliable and personable characters you can connect with and relate to. This book's audience I feel, could appeal to all, male and female alike can walk away feeling satisfied for the time well spent. I was highly entertained by this fast paced and impossible to put down read and will recommend it faithfully. Very well written! 5 Stars!
I received a complimentary copy for this blog review from Revell Publishing.
"Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

headshot sarah sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner- Rich with Artistic History

The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

The world is ripe with regrets.
Nora, about to be married, dreads leaving Florence. She recalls her life set around the lure, beauty and tragedy of fine art.
Coming from a family of painters, Meg Pomeroy, who is employed by a book publishing company, and whose dream and goal since teenage years have been to travel to Florence is called by her father urgently one eventful evening with plans to fulfill his promise to take her to Italy. Will she be afforded the opportunity of a lifetime or will it just become a dream faded?
Peer into the lives of two very different women with a bond more commonly shared than each realize.
A book that will satisfy the artist and wonderer in us all. This richly complex and historical novel of hope, heartbreak, romance, reality and dreams was one that I could "hear" the characters conversing with each other as I was reading "their story." These well formed characters are easily connectible with, and a storyline style that shifts back and forth between Nora and Meg, the past and the present. I feel alot of research has went into the writing of this novel, and as one who studied fine art, I can appreciate fully the beauty and depth of art that encompasses this book. 4.5 stars! I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz- Loved Book 1 of the Ballantyne Legacy!

  Love's Reckoning, Laura Frantz, 978-0-8007-2041-4
Leige Lee and Louise Lee are father and mother to Elspeth and Eden. Leige has made his intentions clear of the future life of one of his daughters.
Elspeth and Eden, raised in the same family, like most families, are as different as the mountains to the sea.
Silas Ballantyne, a Scotsman and fiddle player travels far to become an apprentice to Leige is unaware of his pending arrangement.
Two sisters vying for one man's attentions come to know the mystery that lies within his heart and he in theirs.
When all is quiet in the still of dawn will love be strong enough to endure what lies beyond?

I loved book one of the Ballantyne Legacy! High historical and romance quality writing, this book is quite impossible to put down and will capture your heart, as it did mine, and will refuse to let it go. From the start I was glued to the pages, smooth flowing and unique plot with absolutely no dull parts to take away from the enjoyment. Well developed and easily connectible characters with intriguing and believable dialogue, along with descriptive scenery that felt real to me lined this unforgettable story. I especially loved the revealing character of Silas, so brave and gentlemanly! Be sure to visit with the Lees and make this your next to read book!

I received a complimentary copy for this blog tour from Revell Publishing for my review.
"Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."


Laura Frantz is a lover of history, is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.