Sunday, January 27, 2013

Forsaken Dreams by MaryLu Tyndall- A True Romance!

What is not seen with the eyes can sometimes be sought unknowingly within the heart.

Onboard a ship New Hope bound for Brazil each day can bring many challenges not only from unsuspecting other vessels at sea, but also from opposing parties from within.

Eliza Crawford war widow and former war nurse on the quest of a  search for a new start takes great pains to avoid the familiar.

Colonel Blake Wallace aka Mr Roberts war hero hiding from this past is about to meet his match.

Parson Bailey is convinced of the catastrophy that awaits their voyage as one passenger seems to bring hardship to the crew.

The many passengers on a quest to gain that which is lost to them when the ship reaches land new found love, new found dreams, new found peace, new found freedom or perhaps something else.
Will love capture the attention of more than one onboard?

An adventure of Romance, Action, Romance, History, and Romance for those who crave something a little different. Housed within the book lie a great many characters, and although they were well developed, the storyline shifted back and forth among all of them quite frequently that making connection with most seemed quite difficult. I personally found the character Captain Barclay however to be quite refreshing and at times humorous and a much needed part in the story. The storyline is sprinkled with many metaphors, the scenery is realistic and descriptive and very well written as the author is known for, plot flows smoothly no broken parts. I found the overall message inspiring and faith challenging. Overall I enjoyed it, a good read! 3 Stars! Thanks to Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.

Quiet by Susan Cain- Insightful and Valuable!

A valuable volume for the understanding of yourself and others.

The world seems to be catered to the extrovert. Whether in the job search market, the workplace or the classroom to name a few, experience and studies in everyday life seem to follow this rule. This book is a treasure trove of information in the presentation which follows the history and science of the study of introverts and extroverts and the underlining differences between the two personality types. Shows the extrovert ways of bringing out the valuable contributions of introverts whether a loved one, a teacher, a coworker, friend or neighbor. Also gives suggestions for introverts on how to gain confidence and adapt to the extrovert world. Highlights many stories that enhance the material being presented.

Extremely interesting and thought provoking research has went into the creation and execution of this book. As a mostly extrovert personality who lives with and interacts with introverted personalities I found that once I started reading I couldn't stop reading. The material was presented in a knowledgeable and compassionate style as I recognized others within the pages and gained valuable skills I can apply to my own relationships. Very well written no dull or broken parts. I was highly entertained and will recommend this book to others. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review. Very easily 5 stars!
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport- A book to savor!

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Captured by the world in lights the heart longs to compete.

The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition Fair holds the attention of the members of the Banning household as well as the servants with the new inventions that are showcased amongst the many vistors that have arrived.

Charlotte Farrow an employee in servitude whose baby son Henry was discovered in the Banning household must keep him hidden from her employers. After the babys sudden discovery a fellow servant is entrusted to care for the child. Charlotte watches from afar going to great lengths to keep his identity a secret from others as it could end her career while someone lurking in the shadows cultivates their ruthless plans to destroy her.

Relive the grandeur and wonderment of the fair through the creative storytelling of this hard to put down book.
Suspense, history, romance and danger highlights this book that reminds me a little of my favorite television drama Downton Abbey. I was drawn into the story from the beginning with the riveting plot, interesting and comfortable characters, and the impeccable scenery. The plot flowed well creating no dull or broken parts. A story that can be enjoyed by all male and female. Although it is part of a series it can certainly be read as a stand alone novel. I was challenged in my faith by this well written and inspiring read. I will highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for my review.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Olivia Newport

Olivia Newport

Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt- Lots of great hints!

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This book contains many tips that you wish you would have thought of or known but will be glad they are contained in this book. Your savings and savvy shopping knowledge and handy household tips can really add up beginning now. A treasure trove of a book that no household should ever be without.

I learned so much with reading and absorbing thousands of useful and worthwhile tips and tricks. A must have keeper volume and perfect for the person who has everything! Tips are categorized by chapters ie: Cleaning, Health and Beauty, Shipping, Money and Finances, Outdoors and Garden, Repairs and Maintenance and many others. They are arranged in alpha order to make finding a tip quick and easy. I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for my review.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt is the award-winning and bestselling author of several books, including 7 Money Rules for Life, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies and her daily newspaper column is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate, and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskate readers. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as Good Morning America, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Focus on the Family. She and her husband live in California.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee- An absolute must read!


In the glimmer and promise of night thoughts are but a challenge.

Travel back to the time of Christ and experience first century anew narrarated by Judas. As a young boy Judas and his older brother Joshua struggled against the brutality and cruelty of Roman depression. What Judas experienced throughout his childhood and adult life as a disciple of Jesus shaped him into the man he ultimately became.

His regrets, dreams, longings and life as well as numerous appearances of Jesus and others are portrayed brilliantly by a most gifted storyteller. Highly entertaining, an exciting must read! I was drawn into the book from the first chapter as the story of Judas comes full circle throughout this unforgettable and impossible to put down read. Time well spent which will guarantee reflection long after the book has been devoured and put on the shelf.

A suspenseful, loving and heartbreaking read that has it all promising absolutely no dragging or dull parts. An easy to follow storyline and climatic plot, engaging uplifting and challenging dialogue, familiar very well developed characters that will read as friends, complete with descriptive picturesque scenery. I absolutely loved this book! I found it overall to be faith challenging with an inspiring message. I was highly entertained and will be recommending it to others! Extremely well written! 5 Stars would give it more if I could! Thanks to Howard Books and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes- Enjoyable!

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For the needs of another, sacrifice is but a necessity.

Esther Charrett a preacher's daughter leaves her parents home to make a start on her own in the mountains of Virginia. Armed with a passel of books in tow she begins her new career as a teacher.

Zach Brooks and Griffin Tolliver, cousins, whose personalities are so  different, yet in some ways very much alike each sharing their own strengths and weaknesses.

What Esther encounters instead in her new home town are feuding relatives set on acheiving their own agenda. As she keeps up appearances her thoughts stray longingly towards home as familiarity and newness bite at her emotions. Will she be able to fulfill her job as the new teacher despite mounting difficulties between the families or will she leave her job unfinished?

A novel of romance, secrets, hatred and tenderness held my interest and kept me digging deeper into the storyline. The dialogue throughout much of the novel was charming country backwoods, the plot engaging, scenery realistic and character development was strong. I really enjoyed connecting with Griff seemed very familiar to me. The book came full circle and promises no dull parts nor cliff hangers. I was entertained by this faith challenging novel. I would recommend this well written book to others. I received a complimentary copy for this blog tour from Revell Publishing for my review.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Laurie Alice Eakes

Laurie Alice Eakes

Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Christmas Bride by Grace Livingston Hill- Classical

Gregory Sterling is suddenly a man of the world after the discovery of oil on his property. When he witnessed Margaret McLaren fall he took it upon himself to assist in her care however he could despite the questioning of others concerning his honest motives.

Alice Blair whose past was known by Gregory realizes that some things need to be revitalized before the hour is overdue. But at what price?

Will love be rekindled or will there be another?

This read is a classic romantic gentle novel that will take the reader back to another time period. Prose is dated yet refreshing! I did enjoy the character of Gregory charming, easy to connect with and realistic! Scenery was exquisite and very descriptive felt as if I were there.
I found reading that most parts within the book made it impossible to put down but a few though I struggled through. This is a faith challenging and inspiring read that is good for a relaxing winter day. 4 stars
Thanks to Barbour Publishing for the complimentary copy from the Christmas Giveaway!

Candy Cane Cookbook & Inspiration for the Season- Love this little cookbook!

This fun little book chocked full of creative and innovative recipes has already become a hit in my home! We have made several recipes from the 157 that are available ie: Chocolate Candy Cane Marshmallows that are a now favorite and other pages are marked to try later! Included are Cookies and Bars, Cakes and Pies, Desserts and Candies, Beverages and General Yumminess, a complete index and pages for notes. Highly recommend this little cookbook to add to your book collection. Thanks to Barbour Publishing for the complimentary copy from the Christmas Giveaway!

Vanished by Irene Hannon- This book held my attention!

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Danger has a way of altering one's priorities.

Moira Harrison newspaper reporter, alone and driving in the blinding and rainy darkness of night on her way to cover a story, lost control of her car and accidently hits an innocent victim. Help has arrived mysteriously on time, or was it just her mind spinning illusions? All has vanished before being accounted for.

Cal Burke, private investigator for the firm Phoenix, is confident about he way he handles new clients. When Moria comes in search of answers he realizes there may be more to her story than just a mystery.

A book that will yield a mysterious, gripping, suspenseful and secretive storyline along with multiple twists and turns and peppered with romance will promise to keep the pages flying. A believable, climaxing storyline that once I started reading I found quickly that the book could not put down easily. Down to earth and easy to connect with characters and very descriptive scenery along with a progressive plot will be a read that I will highly recommend. I was highly entertained by this inspiring book. I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for this blog tour for my review.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. Booklist also included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri.

For more information about her and her books, Irene invites you to visit her website at

The Lesson by Suzanne Woods Fisher- Fun and Enjoyable!

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Sometimes loves answer lies close to the horizon.

Mary Kate Lapp is suddenly on the go in search of mysterious clues to a murder victim near her homestead. Her contributions are brushed off by local enforcement and noone seems to pay her much mind.

Chris Yoder, quiet and always aware of his surroundings, takes protective care of his sister Jenny quite seriously.

Jimmy Fisher does not fit into the typical Amish persona. But even the best made intentions can have very interesting elements indeed.

Will the murder be solved in time for love to be found in Stoney Ridge?

An extremely fun, and hard to put down read. Although I have not read the previous two novels in the series I was able to pick up on the storyline right away as this book can be read as a stand alone. Numerous twists and turns held my interest and kept me following every word. Excellent character development as the personalities themselves will seem like old friends. I do not read alot of Amish fiction but this one was highly entertaining and will go back and read the first two in the series. I throughly enjoyed this well written, witty, fulfilling and original book and will certainly recommend it to others. I received a complimentary copy for this blog tour from Revell Publishing.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorite Seed Companies that I recommend!!!!

It seems that seed catalogs fill my mailbox at this time of year. Which are my favorites and why? Most if not all are US shipping only.

JL Hudson Seedman
This company is a seed bank and has unusual and collectible seeds not found elsewhere as well as common ones. I have filled my garden with these plants. Incredible amount of seed in packets! The catalog is a treasure trove prices are very fair and shipping price is very minimal and receiving time is quick. But be sure to check out of stock items on website. Germination is excellent and have had seed germinate well past the dates on packet recommended! Shipping time is excellent.

Fedco Seed, Trees, Bulbs, Plants, Tubers and Garden Supply
This company has an excellent catalog filled with valuable information and history and one I look forward to each year! They support non GMO products and seeds and have alot of organic seed selections as well. Free shipping for 30 dollars or more order for seed only! Seed prices very fair and shipping is quick. Check out of stock on website. Wide variety of herbs. Germination excellent.

Crosman Seed
This catalog is printed on 3 pages all seed is 99 cents a packet! Seed is plentiful and germination is always dependable and excellent.  I have had seed germinate after many years of storage! They carry seed not found in many places such as cactus, rhurbarb and others. Selection does not vary much and is so appreciated especially if I have a variety I have grown and had success with. Shipping is fair and shipping time is excellent.

Sand Hill Preservation Center
This company has many varieties of rare and heirloom tomato seed not available in most places. Carries other seeds as well peppers, squash, large variety of other vegetables common and less common and even cotton seed (had success in my garden with cotton)! Seed packets are very plentiful, prices are excellent for what you order. Germination is excellent shipping cost very fair.

All have websites for the most up to date information. You too might add these as your favorites as well!
Happy New Year and Happy Gardening!

If You Have A Craving I Have A Cure by Sheri Rose Shepherd- Quick to Read and Forever to Enjoy!

Quick to read and forever to enjoy is how I would describe "If you have a craving, I have a cure"!

This book contains chapters ie: Craving more energy, Craving some spice in your life, Craving healthy food to satisfy your children, Craving an adventure and so many more satisfying and worthwhile chapters along with many recipes. Includes Power up with Prayer devotions and New Life Recipes that incorporates suggestions that relate to the chapters that you can apply to your life to enhance the quality. So many healthy yummy recipes, bible verses and reflection fill this worthwhile, creative and inspiring book.

I always look to the author to provide nourishing food recipes that I can feel good about serving my family. Over the Christmas holidays I prepared Homemade Cranberry Sauce and it was a huge hit, many compliments! Other pages were dog eared with plans to introduce into our meals starting this month. The overall message of this book is inspiring, entertaining and faith challenging. I will highly recommend this book to others and especially to those who are looking for new healthy recipes intermingled with faith to start the New Year and beyond. I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishers for this blog tour.
Sheri Rose Shepherd

Sheri Rose Shepherd
Sheri Rose Shepherd is an award-winning author, Bible life coach, and humorist with over one million books sold. Her life experiences help her identify with almost any woman's battle. She grew up in a broken home and was severely overweight as a teen; she also experienced depression, dyslexia, and an eating disorder. Through God's strength, Sheri Rose has become a bestselling author and popular speaker at events nationwide, including Women of Joy and Extraordinary Women. Her weekly video devotions will be featured on Bible Gateway beginning in 2013.