The Knight's Bride - Chivalry Lives in Six Stories from the Middle Ages - Dianne Christner, Pamela Griffin, Yvonne Lehman, Tracie Peterson, Jill Stengl

Thursday, December 31, 2015

In an age where chivalry thrives, danger abounds also. Follow six stories of love and honor that will warm your heart during these cold winter months. 

With settings ranging from the years 1367 to 1815, there is a wide variety of stories in this collection. Each author brings to life the mystery and romance of the time in their own unique ways. The beauty of the language and the oddity of the customs is always a pleasure to learn more about. The Middle Ages has always held a fascination for me. Times were so different then that it is sometimes hard for me to understand why things happened the way they did. But this collection was eye opening to the culture of the time and inspired me to look up different aspects of the era. This is a nice collection and the stories are short and easy to read. My personal favorite was A Stranger's Kiss by Yvonne Lehman. Even though most of the time I was frustrated with the main character for not speaking out what was on her heart. I realised however, that in the real world, we could save so much stress and confusion if

My Favorite Things - Top Reads of 2015

The year 2015 has been one of adventure, challenges, growth and settling for my family. Throughout it all I have been so thankful for the chance to read so many wonderful books. Many of the stories I read, I needed at that specific time in my life. Therefore they touched my heart in a special way. Choosing my favorites was an almost impossible task! Yet here we are, with my top picks of the year. The common core in all of these books is that we all face challenges in our daily lives. But what we do with what we have been given can make all the difference. Whether we are fighting for survival during a war, defying all odds to find true love, risking everything to follow our heart or simply having the freedom to be who we were created to be, our Father is with us every step of the way. He is always watching over us, guiding us, protecting us. True, life does not always play out in the way that we hope or plan. But we must remember to trust that He knows what He is doing.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose - Romans 8:28 NIV

Amish Christmas at North Star - Four Stories of Love & Family - Various Authors

Friday, December 18, 2015

Snowy winter nights, the sound of a blazing fire crackling, laughter of family and the joy of Christmas. Amish Christmas at North Star is the perfect book to read during this Christmas season!

On a cold winter night 25 years ago, four babies were brought into the world under the same roof, at the hands of the midwife Rebekah Schlabach. Life has taken the children in different directions, but God found a way to bring them together again. Follow their stories of love, loss, forgiveness and redemption. 

This is the first Amish Fiction that I have read. I believe that it was the perfect choice! I was introduced to various author's style and learned a lot about the Amish community. My interest is very much piqued and I can not wait to read more now! I love books that put you in a festive, Christmas mood. The stories in this book remind us that Christ should be at the center of Christmas. It is not about how much "stuff" we want, or will receive, but about family and love and cherishing the moments we have with each other. All the while knowing that Christ's birth is the reason we celebrate. If you are looking for a lighthearted Christmas read, pick up

For Kicks & Giggles - Please Vote for Me!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

I recently entered a coloring contest of the cover of The Painter's Daughter by Julie KlassenGo HERE to vote for me before Dec. 15th  You can also vote for multiple entries....Look at the artist names mine is "Rachel D." and my picture is the one you see at left. Thank you for your support!

Read my review of The Painter's Daughter here.

The Painter's Daughter - Julie Klassen

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

When Sophie is betrayed by the man she loves, she is forced to choose between living a respectable life and living for love. Will she be able to find love and acceptance on the path she has chosen?

Sophie Dupont is not only the daughter of a painter, but an accomplished artist herself. Although, she does not see the value in her work. When Wesley Overtree sweeps in and captures Sophie's love, she is sure he will marry her. But when he leaves her in a dire predicament, she has no one to turn to. Captain Stephen Overtree has become accustomed to picking up the pieces after his brother, but will he be able to rescue Sophie? With Wesley gone, and no promise of return or marriage, Sophie accepts Captain Overtree's proposal of marriage, in name only. Although her heart longs for his brother, she is grateful for the opportunity to save her reputation and give her child a fresh start in life. Will a marriage that is based on convenience ever have a chance at true love? Or will fate intervene and prevent the chance for love to bloom at all?

I have to be completely honest, it took me quite awhile to get into this book. All of the other books that I have read by Julie Klassen have sucked me right in and I devoured them like candy. But once I

Crochet One-Skein Wonders® for Babies - Judith Durant & Edie Eckman

Monday, December 7, 2015

Great ideas for Christmas presents. Maybe I will be able to get ahead for next year!

There is nothing worse than starting a project and realising that you need 2 or 3 (or 4) skeins for that adorable baby blanket, or the cardigan that would be perfect for your nephew. One-Skein Wonders® solves that problem! One skein (granted some of the skeins are rather large) and that is all you need. From toys and blankets, to caps and sweaters. You are sure to love the adorable project bursting with color and creativity on every page! 

If you are anything like me, you will be scrambling for the next few weeks crocheting like mad in order to get all of your projects done before Christmas Eve! Let me tell you, this book has 101 fun projects requiring only one skein. Mommy and Me Legwarmers and Tiny Tango Vest are a couple of my favorites. This will be the

Santa's Sleigh is on its way to Michigan: A Christmas Adventure - Eric James (Illustrated by Robert Dunn)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The children of Michigan prepare for Santa's arrival, but he can't make his appearance until they are all in bed and fast asleep! 

"The icicles sparkle as snowflakes drift down from Midland to Ann Arbor, and all around."

Although we are not from Michigan, my Grandma lives there. We received this book from her this week and think it's a marvelous idea! Even though we are not familiar with the area, it

Santa is coming to Michigan - Steve Smallman (Illustrated by Robert Dunn and Jim Mitchell)

This is a personalized Christmas books that the kids are sure to enjoy!

Santa is about to head to Michigan to deliver toys to all the good girls and boys. But this year he has a new reindeer helping to pull his sleigh. When a snow storm causes Santa to get lost, even though he has a handy Santa-nav, the youngest reindeer helps guide them to safety. Santa is able to then deliver his presents to all the children. The reindeer have to work together to help get the job done, and at the end are rewarded for their hard work. 

The Night Before Christmas - Clement C. Moore (Illustrated by Bill Bell)

"To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now Dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

With Christmas fast approaching I realised that we don't own a copy of The Night Before Christmas. Therefore I began my hunt for a copy that my three year old would enjoy. I wanted something with vivid color and interaction. The pages are very busy and there is something new to see each time we open the pages. The traditional poem has always been one of my favorites. The illustrations add life to the words. My son loves it and keeps asking to "Read Santa!" and he goes around saying "Dash away! Dash away!" If you too are on the hunt for The Night Before

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (Medieval Fairy Tale Romance - Book 1) - Melanie Dickerson

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Danger and romance lie deep in the heart of Thornbeck Forest. Where a poacher's only desire is to feed the poor. The forester determined to catch the poacher. And a margrave who holds the future of all in his hands.

"Because love was the best reason of all!"

Odette Menkels has a burning desire to help the orphans of Thornbeck. And the forest at her doorstep has an abundance of wild game. The only problem is that the game belongs to the king. Nevertheless, Odette braves the wrath of the margrave who is responsible for the Thornbeck forest. Every night she disguises herself, hunts the deer and feeds the poor. Her life is changed in an instant when she meets Jorgen Hartman, the forester, at the Midsummer festival. Jorgen has found evidence of a poacher and would like nothing better than to bring this poacher to justice. What will he do if he finds out that Odette is the poacher? Will Odette have everything stripped from her? There will be many confessions and consequences, but not all are bad...and some may even surprise you! 

This is the first book I have read by Melanie Dickerson, but it won't be the last! I already have The Beautiful Pretender on my list to read next year. I believe that writing medieval fairy tales for adults

The Time Chamber - Daria Song

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Take a break from the chaos of life and spend hours immersed in the intricacies and the magic of The Time Chamber, a coloring book for adults.

The red haired fairy leaves her time garden to visit our world. She brings with her, a few magical items, which you must find hidden in the pages. Everything she touches is a magical new adventure for her. She explores our world as the little girl sleeps. When the girl awakens, the fairy retreats back to her own world. 

I have always enjoyed art. Whether it's painting an original piece, coloring a fuzzy poster, doing a paint-by-number or doodling in my son's coloring book, I find relaxation in expressing myself through my artwork. So when I
discovered coloring books for adults, I did a happy dance. I have spent hours coloring in The Time

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard - Susan Meissner

Thursday, November 19, 2015

To what lengths would you go to make your deepest desires come true? For Audrey Duvall and Violet Mayfield, the lines of reason are blurred. Will the bond of true friendship be enough to hold them together? 

A hat is found in a vintage boutique in Los Angeles 2012. It is unmistakably Scarlett's green curtain hat from Gone With the Wind. But how did it end up there? In 1938 Violet leaves home and travels to California and gets a job as a secretary at a movie studio. With high hopes of starting a new life she meets Audrey Duvall, a fellow secretary who was once rising star in Hollywood. As the filming for Gone With the Wind commences both Audrey and Violet find themselves in places they never thought imaginable. And when the infamous curtain hat goes missing, more than one person's future is at stake. Will Violet finally get the family that she dreamed about for so long? Will Audrey finally make her big break? And what will they sacrifice to see it all come to pass? Through the joys and the heartbreak, they are always there for each other. We know that love comes in many forms, and that ultimately, love conquerors all.
"You been brave so long, Miss Scarlett.
You jus' gotta go on bein' brave."

The Chili Cookbook - Robb Walsh

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chili has grown and changed over the years. But one simple fact remains. Chili is a dish that continues to bring us warmth and comfort.

Robb Walsh not only gives us 60 delectable recipes for the ever favorite dish. But he also dives into the history and the evolution of chili. The book is divided into four parts: Chili's Family Tree, Tex-Mex Traditions, Chili Road Trip and Modern and Vegetarian Chilies (Because vegetarians have to eat, too - pg. 1). There are many vibrant pictures, so that your mouth begins to water just by flipping through the pages. Walsh not only instructs us on the main course, but how to roast green chiles, make fresh corn tortillas and stone ground cornbread. There is also a detailed guide to peppers and chili powders that I found very helpful. With dishes like Lobster Chili, Three-Bean Chipotle Chili and Old-Fashioned Tex-Mex Enchiladas, there is no doubt that this will be my go-to cookbook as the winter months quickly approach.

Chili...Need I say more? I love making chili, but also enjoy a variety of styles. The Chili

Fire & Ice (Wild at Heart Book #3) - Mary Connealy

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bailey has hidden her true identity for years. Will she be able to set aside the charade, forgive herself for her past and open herself to love?

In 1866 it is unheard of for a woman to be a successful rancher. But that is exactly what Bailey Wilde has done. Through hard work, sheer determination and hiding that she is indeed a woman, her ranch is thriving. Partly due to the fact that she has homesteaded directly across the opening to a lush canyon owned by Gage Coulter. Gage will stop at nothing to get his canyon back, even if it means blowing up the mountain. Bailey's sisters have both married and moved away just as winter is setting in. As she endures the frigid winter months alone, she longs for companionship. And then Gage shows up with a proposal that could drastically change their lives. Will they both be able to overcome their stubborn independence and work together as a team? Will their fire and ice spark into love along the way?

         "That's not God refusing to forgive you...It's you refusing to forgive yourself."

Fire & Ice was a wonderful completion to the Wilde sisters' stories. Mary Connealy's unique story line was very interesting. I did get frustrated with Gage's attitude a couple of times, and the situation

Toward the Sunrise - An Until the Dawn Novella - Elizabeth Camden

Saturday, October 17, 2015

When a rash decision threatens Julia's dreams, she seeks help from the one person who can help her. Ashton Carlyle, attorney to the business tycoon Nickolaas Vandermark.

It is 1897 and Julia Broeder longs to become a physician and travel the world as a medical missionary. But when she makes a hasty decision and is expelled from college, she watches as her dreams crumble before her. The Vandermarks have always taken wonderful care of her family and she beseeches Ashton Carlyle for his help. Reluctant to help at first, Ashton spends more time with Julia and sees the potential that she carries as a medical missionary. Will Julia see her dreams become a reality or will she find a new dream?

"You are going to change the world wherever you go. Don't give up now."

This is the first book that I have read by Elizabeth Camden and I was not disappointed. This book made me laugh on multiple occasions. There are a few mentions of

Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion - Jody Hedlund

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Amidst the flames of the Reformation, the bonds of love become an overpowering force.

The year is 1523, Martin Luther's teaching have slipped into the abbey were Sister Katharina von Bora resides. His words are powerful and awakens the desire for marriage and a family in Katharina. She leads a handful of nuns in an escape from the abbey, to forsake their vows and follow Doctor Luther. Danger follows the sisters and Abbott Baltazar will stop at nothing to see the nuns returned and punished for their sinful ways. Doctor Luther protects the sisters and finds them husbands and homes to begin a new life. All the while steadfast in his vow to remain single. Katharina and Martin are as opposite as can be, yet they are drawn together despite the never ending tension. Little does he know that the fiery sister who led these brave nuns to freedom would steal his heart. Katharina is of noble birth however, and longs to return to her social class and regal way of life. Will she be able to put aside her stubborn desires for true love? Will Doctor Luther be able to forsake his vow of isolation? When life is at its darkest, love triumphs through it all. 

I will begin by saying that I can not believe the historical accuracy of this book. I was eager to read the author's note and

The 12 Brides of Christmas (Novella Collection) - Various Authors

Friday, October 9, 2015

Twelve Heartwarming Historical Romances for the Season of Love.

In this collection you will find 12 short stories that are set during the 1800s in the frontier of our expanding country. As the name of the collection proclaims each story highlights a bride's journey to love and romance. This collection has a wide variety of stories and characters. While I thoroughly enjoyed each story, a couple of my favorites were: The Festive Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, The Nutcracker Bride by Margaret Brownley and The Christmas Tree Bride by Susan Page Davis. 

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than 12 novellas written by some of my favorite authors? Each author did a wonderful job of capturing the Spirit of Christmas in just 50 short pages. Every story drew me into the heart of the season. The blessing that God gave us in Jesus' birth is demonstrated

The Lost Heiress - Ladies of the Manor Book 1 - Roseanna M. White

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A lost heiress has been found, but the past brings a danger that will threaten all she holds dear.

With a mysterious past, Brooke Eden recruits her closest friend, Justin Wildon, to find who her true family is. She has been raised in Monaco by the Grimaldi family, but she knows that they are not her true family. She is shocked to discover that she is a long lost daughter of The Earl of Whitby and even more surprised that her father receives her with open arms. Although, the rest of the family takes a little more convincing. Horrors of her mother's death haunt Brook and there are many secrets that have to be uncovered. When greed and lust for wealth and power threaten Brook's life, her faith keeps her strong. Will the secrets of the past be revealed? And will Brook return home after being lost for a second time? 

"But God does not just instruct us to forgive - He instructs us to trust. To trust that, even though life hurts us, He will take care of us." 

Roseanna White had me completely captivated from the first page of The Lost Heiress. Set in 1910, during the Edwardian Period it was a new experience for me. With society rapidly changing and new

My First Hands-On Bible - Tyndale Publishing

Friday, September 18, 2015

Explore the wonders of Creation and Jesus' life with your preschooler in a new and exciting way.

The fact that there is true scripture in this "kid's" Bible is one of my favorite aspects of this book. The Word of God is important and our children should be included in that. The verses are abridged, but not revised. Not all of the Bible is portrayed, however there are many key stories from both the Old and New Testament.

My First Hands-On Bible is a wonderful first Bible for preschool aged children. My son is 3 years old and really enjoys the stories and activities. The stories are short enough that he doesn't loose interest before we are done and the activities throughout help to keep him engaged. Throughout the day and for days afterwards, he is still repeating the lessons he has learned. I really feel that the

Chivalrous (Valiant Hearts Book 2) - Dina Sleiman

Sunday, September 6, 2015

In 1217 the daughter of a baron has but one obligation in life: To marry the man her father chooses and continue the family line. But what if said daughter wished for something different, what if her heart's desire was to become a knight?

"Gwen felt no fear, only the surge of battle coursing through her. Steeling her. Strengthening her."

Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be be a chivalrous knight like her brothers. But her ruthless father has plans to marry her to a man who is able to break her free spirit. She is expected to become a meek and submissive wife to whomever her father chooses. Even in the Arthurian-inspired land of North Britannia Gwen is expected to concede to her parents decisions. But when Sir Allen comes to Edendale, Gwen finds herself longing for a family of her own, if Sir Allen were the one she was wed to. When tragedy befalls the land they must make their choices. Ones which could separate them forever. Will the love Gwen has found be lost forever? Will she be forced to marry a brute of a man? Will Sir Allen, the hope of the land, be able to save them all from destruction?

A Noble Masquerade - Hawthorne House Book 1 - Kristi Ann Hunter

Friday, August 28, 2015

Living the life of nobility can be oppressive and demanding. There are restrictions for every aspect of life. Lady Miranda longs to be free of the expectations placed on her, but will she have the courage to stand up to her mother and her "lady lessons"?

"A lady never posted letters to an unrelated male. But the very writing of his name made her feel dangerous."

Lady Miranda Hawthorne has been raised to be the epitome of poise and grace, but everything inside of her screams to rebel. She pours her heart out on paper, in letters she never sends, to her brother's childhood friend, the Duke of Marshington. She is approaching her fourth London season when Marlow, the handsome new valet to Lady Miranda's brother, accidentally mails one of these letters. She is mortified, until she receives a reply. Conflicted with her growing attraction for two men, her life is quickly changing in ways she never thought possible. She soon realises however, that there is more at stake than her heart. Miranda has had to hide behind the mask she have been expected to wear for so long. Hiding her true personality and identity. But the time has come for her to become the person she was created to be.

For Such a Time - Kate Breslin

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

In a place where hope struggles to survive and lives are torn apart, Hadassah Benjamin will do whatever it takes to save her people.

"And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"

About the Book (In my own words)
Hadassah is hiding in plain sight as Stella Muller, secretary to SS Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at Theresienstadt. In 1944 the camp is a stopping point from which many are sent to Auschwitz. As she puts her life on the line to try and save her people she suspects that the Colonel has a tender heart despite his role as an SS officer. As their relationship grows, they will have to face their drastic differences. With this unconventional love Hadassah struggles to find the meaning behind it all. She does not understand how God could abandon His people to slaughter. But has the Lord brought them together for a bigger plan? Will Stella be able to save her people as well as the man she has grown to love?

My Thoughts
A book written about the atrocities of the Holocaust is never easy to read. It is full of emotion and the history is tragic. Kate Breslin did not soften the details of the horrors of the second World War, even though this is a romance. However, she did give us a new perspective of love during the war. I was drawn in by the intriguing story line. I had never imagined a romance like this. However, there are true stories of similar relationships taking place: Edith Hahn Beer and Helena Citronova. Although Stella and Aric's story is different, it is a wonderful book. In every page you can feel the battle raging within Stella as she falls deeper in love with Aric. There were many times that I found myself grinning from ear to ear while reading one page and crying on the next. Be prepared for a wealth of emotion to overcome you as you read this book, but it is worth it! For Such a Time is a truly remarkable story of redemption through faith. We are reminded that God's love for us never fails and His forgiveness is never out of reach. 

Purchase Options

Also by Kate Breslin

Read my review here: Not by Sight

Through Waters Deep - Waves of Freedom Book 1 - Sarah Sundin

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tensions run high as a saboteur begins to wreak havoc at the Boston Naval Yard. America is on the brink of entering the second World War and there are those who will stop at nothing to make sure the nation stays out of it.

Mary Stirling is content with her job as a secretary at the Boston Naval Yard, so long as she can stay out of the spotlight. Mary is determined to remain in the shadows and keep her pride suppressed. On her journey, she learns that using the talents and gifts that God has given her, is not a sin. And it brings glory to the One who gave her those gifts. The last thing Mary expected was Ensign Jim Avery, a childhood friend now assigned to the USS Atwood. As they investigate the strange goings on at the Naval Yard, they become increasingly attached to one another. But will they ever get to tell each other how they feel? Or will they be separated forever? 

First of all, I am completely in love with the cover of this book! I admit that I am a sucker for a good cover. And I would have to rate this as one of my all time

The 12 Brides of Summer - Novella Collection #2 - Mary Connealy, Amanda Cabot, Maureen Lang

Friday, July 31, 2015

Romance is budding in the summertime of the old west. Join three lovely ladies on their adventure of finding true love. As their stories unfold, God's hand in their lives is evident. He leads and guides them to the perfect match.

I found this collection of short stories very entertaining. Perfect for a quick read when you don't have a lot of time to spare. All three stories were light and romantic with a hint of adventure. If you are looking for a good summer read, I recommend purchasing this collection. Very affordable and well worth it! Curl up on your porch swing (or in front of the air conditioner) with a glass of iced tea and let yourself be transported back in time.

I received a free digital copy of The 12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #2 from Barbour Publishing, Inc. through NetGalley.

Not by Sight - Kate Breslin

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Rating

★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book (in my own words)

Espionage is at its height during WWI. The slightest piece of evidence, whether legitimate or not, can mean the difference between life and death.

Grace Mabry is full of patriotic ideals. She believes there is no excuse for fit and able young men to stay home and drink champagne and attend fancy parties. Grace sneaks into a masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice in her efforts to aide the war. She slips a feather into the hands of Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrook. Unbeknownst to her the events that are set into motion by that one act. Both Jack and Grace are soon forced to learn the true meaning of walking by faith, not by sight. 

"She taught me to never back down and to always stand up for what I believed in."

My Thoughts

Not by Sight has to be one of the most spellbinding books that I have read. On multiple occasions I had to remind myself to breathe. I couldn't even put the book down to walk from point A to point B.

A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House): A Novella - Kristi Ann Hunter

Friday, July 24, 2015

Love, heartbreak and redemption can all be found in this charming novella. A wonderful story set in 1812, you will find yourself immersed in the regency era.

Amelia Stalwood was sent to live in London by her guardian at a young age. Raised by her governess, she has little hope of entering society and her circle of friends consists primarily of servants. As events come into play, she is introduced to the Hawthorne family and their friend, Anthony, the marquis of Raeburn, who has recently done away with his scandalous lifestyle. As she is introduced into society by the Hawthornes her circumstances are dramatically changed. The rumour mill begins as the ton speculate her true identity. Will the society that she has finally obtained turn their back on her? Will the support of her new friends be enough? And will the man she loves give her up so that her reputation is not further tainted? 

A Lady of Esteem is a captivating story about God's redeeming love and mercy. Amelia is desperate to have the love of a family. She finds that family among people she never dreamed she would ever be able to associate with. Meanwhile, Anthony struggles to forgive

The Curiosity Keeper - Treasures of Surrey Book 1 - Sarah E. Ladd

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The year is 1812, and the search for a missing treasure commences. Mystery and intrigue are found around every corner. A thrilling new regency book!

Jonathan Gilchrist  is on a mission to recover The Bevoy, a ruby of immense value, stolen from his father. Jonathan's family needs The Bevoy in order to save their home. But the last thing he expected was Camille Iverness. Camille has grown up in a shady part of London and has learned how to fend for herself. Running her father's curiosity shop, she has encountered many people of different characters. When strange and threatening events occur, she must rely on the help of Mr. Gilchrist, a stranger. But can she trust him? Running from her past, Camille seeks refuge in the village of Fellsworth. As her attachment for the village grows, she begins to feel as though she can begin a new life at last. But when her past literally shows up in Fellsworth, her hopes for a new life are dashed to pieces. Will Jonathan and Camille ever be able to find peace? Will events that unfold push them apart or draw them closer together?

"It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail's egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whomever possess it."

The Curiosity Keeper was a book that I had been looking forward to reading for quite a while. And I was not disappointed! It is a thrilling story that kept me engaged from beginning to end. It has all of

In Good Company - A Class of Their Own - Book 2 - Jen Turano

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In Good Company is a witty romance filled with people that are sure to capture your heart. Embark on this journey and find yourself immersed into the society of Newport, Rhode Island.

The summer season of 1882 is about to begin and Everett Mulberry has found himself without a nanny for his wards, again. Millie Longfellow has once again been dismissed from her position as a nanny. Neither Everett or Millie are thrilled when the employment agency places Millie in Everett's services. But this is the last hope for both of them. Millie's unique behavior as a nanny is frowned upon by many, however her unorthodox ways might be just what these children need. Everett's goal of holding a powerful position among the upper class of society appears to be within reach. But as events begin to unfold regarding the untimely death of the children's parents, he is severely tested. Will he hold on to his position and snobbery? Or will he let the children, and Millie, soften his heart?

"I don't think reading is a pleasure I'll ever be able to abandon." - Millie Longfellow

Jen Turano is one of the most brilliant authors that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I had to spend this last week in the hospital with my son, and I am so very thankful that I chose to read this

On a Personal Note...Prayers Needed

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I have intentionally avoided talking about anything personal on my blog. But that is changing today. If you have read my bio you will have a small understanding of where we are in life. However, I am writing this now to ask for your prayers.

We are currently inpatient at Seattle Children's Hospital (one of the BEST children's hospitals in the USA). This last year+ has been very challenging for our family. A lot of time has been spent apart. There was even a time when the 4 of us were in 3 different cities, making us more than 3 hours away from each other. With an almost 3 year old and a 15 month old, it can be very emotionally stressful for all of us. When Ezra was diagnosed with SCID (an incomplete immune system) at one week old, we had no idea the journey that we were about to begin. He had a successful bone marrow transplant completed when he was 9 weeks old. His brother being the donor. Since then it has been a long process of recovery. He currently has a suppressed immune system to prevent GVHD (Graft vs. Host Disease - when the body reacts to the donor's cells growing inside of

An Uncertain Choice - An Uncertain Choice Book 1 - Jody Hedlund

Saturday, July 4, 2015

After spending years preparing to become a nun, is there finally a chance that Lady Rosemarie can find true love?

Lady Rosemarie finally has peace about her imminent future at the convent. But one month before her eighteenth birthday The Noblest Knight returns after his long absence and everything she knows is turned upside down. The Ancient Vow of Hannah, that Lady Rosemarie's parents made, has one exception: marriage of true love by midnight on the 18th birthday will end the vow. Three knights are presented to Lady Rosemarie who have a contest to win her heart. But is one month long enough to fall in love? When incidences arise, it appears one of the knights is to blame. Is the convent a better choice for Lady Rosemarie or will she follow her heart to her true love?

Jody Hedlund's first YA novel did not disappoint! The medieval setting, the romance, the intrigue and the faith all met with my expectations. Lady Rosemarie's character is very naive and is swayed easily

Five Days in Skye - The MacDonald Family Trilogy - Book 1 - Carla Laureano

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
Reviewed by Rachel Dixon
Radiant Lit Blog Tours
Genre: Romance
Publisher: David C. Cook
Date Published: June 10, 2013

Will Andrea open her heart to God and love on the beautiful Isle of Skye? Or will she let her ambitions of a successful career interfere with a life full of love and happiness?

Andrea Sullivan is a hospitality consultant with one last chance to save her job and land the promotion that she has worked so had to achieve. She is not affected by her new client, James MacDonald, a Scottish celebrity chef, until his true character begins to show. Andrea just wants to get her job done and close the deal, while keeping her heart walled off from any damage. Both Andrea and James have experienced heartbreak and disappointment in the past. As they spend more time together they begin to wonder if God brought them together for a reason. After spending five days on the Isle of Skye, will Andrea open her heart and let James in?

Five Days in Skye is the first book that I have read by Carla Laureano and I was a captive audience from the first chapter! The vocabulary and descriptions she used brought me straight into the middle

Irish Meadows - Courage to Dream Book1 - Susan Anne Mason

Thursday, June 25, 2015

 Romance, drama and faith can be found on every page of Irish  Meadows. Delve into the pages of this book and get lost on Long  Island, 1911.

 In order to save his farm from complete ruin, James O'Leary  pressures his family to do what they have to do in order to save  their home. His daughters, Brianna and Coleen, have very  different plans for their future however. Brianna wishes to further  her education by attending college. And Coleen is content to  marry, as long as the man in questions meets her standards.  Gilbert Whelan, who has practically been adopted by the  O'Learys, returns and Brianna begins to question her outlook on  her future. While Rylan Montgomery, a distant cousin attending  seminary, sends Coleen's heart on a wild ride. Will they live the  life that James has dictated for them? Or will they have the  courage to dream?

 Irish Meadows had me riding an emotional roller coaster from  beginning to end. This book is packed with dramatic events that left me frustrated, yet I kept turning

London Tides - The MacDonald Family Trilogy - Book 2 - Carla Laureano

Monday, June 22, 2015

London Tides by Carla Laureano
Reviewed by Rachel Dixon
Radiant Lit Blog Tours
Genre: Romance
Publisher: David C. Cook
Date Published: June 1, 2015

Grace Brennan has seen the brutality of war first hand. Will she give up her identity in her career to build a new life with the man she loves?

Ian MacDonald has not seen Grace since she left him ten years ago. Grace has suffered very severe trauma with her job as a conflict photojournalist. As she searches for a place to call home, can she lay to rest the ghosts of her past? When their lives are thrown together again, they are different people than they were ten years ago. Will they be able to forge a new life together? Or will the past push them further apart then ever before?

                                      Hope leaves no room for despair

London Tides had me biting my nails till the last page. There are a lot of ups and downs and I had no idea which direction Carla Laureano would take me next. The romance was a little more heated than in

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope - Book 2) - Jody Hedlund

Monday, June 15, 2015

With sorrow and uncertainty all around, Caroline will do anything to keep her family safe and protected.

Caroline Taylor's family has had their fair share of suffering. With their father having recently passed, their beloved home is now being threatened. But in 1865, because Caroline is a woman, the inspector sees fit to replace her with a man, Civil War veteran Ryan Chambers. Ryan is haunted by the pain of the past. All he wants to do is drown his sorrows any way that he can. Will they try to find their own solutions to their problems? Or will they turn to the only One who can heal their hearts and make them whole again?

"God is good all the time, no matter what bad things come into their lives." - Hearts Made Whole

There is something about Jody Hedlund's books that grip my heart. My laundry has sat forsaken the last few days and I have burned the midnight oil finishing Hearts

The Vow: A Novella - Prequel to An Uncertain Choice - Jody Hedlund

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tragedy and despair have come knocking at the door. If the door remains shut will it go away?

Lady Rosemarie's life has been turned upside down in more ways the one. With her plans for the future completely demolished, she holds her head high with a determination to be the best that she can be.

How can Jody Hedlund snare my attention so effectively in just seven chapters? My only regret is that I can't start An Uncertain Choice quite yet. I was quickly swept away to the late 1300s in this novella. The detail and language is exquisite. Definitely worth a read.

Published by Zondervan

Look to the East - The Great War Series Book 1 - Maureen Lang

Monday, June 8, 2015

Out of the east comes a terror that will attempt to destroy the world.

At the dawn of World War I, the village of Briecourt is nestled in relative safety. That all changes when the German Imperial Army marches in and takes over. Life will never be the same for the villagers, who have had a family dispute for generations. Will having a common enemy finally bring them together? Julitte Toussaint, the adoptive daughter of a seaman, has to withstand the scorn of the de Colvilles for the shadows of her past. When she finds an unexpected "visitor" hiding in the cellar of the church, she feels the pull of love for this man she hardly knows. Charles Lassone is a Belgian entrepreneur caught behind enemy lines. He longs for escape so that he can join the Allies cause and win the respect and love of Julitte. With a dispute running so rampant, who can be trusted? The difference between friends and foes could not become more complicated.

This is both the first book that I have read by Maureen Lang and my first book set during World War I. Unfortunately, The Great War is not always as popular of a topic as its "sequel" is. Labor camps

Now & Forever (Wild at Heart #2) - Mary Connealy

Monday, June 1, 2015

Romance and suspense in the mountains of Idaho Territory, 1866.

Shannon Wilde, the middle sister, has a soft spot for animals. She cares for her flock of sheep on her homestead. When her life takes a dramatic turn off of a cliff with Matthew Tucker, she finds herself married to the rugged mountain man. Shannon is a strong independent woman who is not used to being protected by a man. But as attacks begin to try and drive her off her land, maybe she needs that protection after all. The attacker picked the wrong family to mess with, Tucker's fury is not something to trifle with. But will he be able to protect the wife that he is falling in love with? Will her past drive a wedge between them? Find out on another adventure with the Wilde family!

Mary Connealy is quickly becoming one of my favorite western authors. Her romantic comedy has a side of action and terror, which makes her books well balanced. Now & Forever is not for squeamish stomachs however. I found myself grimacing as I read through a couple of the scenes. I was hooked from the start though, and I couldn't put it down through

Gentleman of Her Dreams - Ladies of Distinction Novella - Jen Turano

Monday, May 18, 2015

Miss Charlotte Wilson believes that God has brought her the perfect man to marry, Mr. Hamilton Beckett. But is he truly the gentleman of her dreams? Charlotte has devised a flawless scheme to snatch up the perfect husband. But does she have her sights set on the wrong man?

My review of this novella is short because I don't want to give away too many spoilers. I enjoyed reading this short prequel to Jen Turano's series Ladies of Distinction. It is light and full of humor! An excellent start to this series and I can not wait to read the first book, A Change of Fortune. Jen Turano has quickly become one of my favorite authors. After a Fashion is by far one of my favorite books that I have read this year.

Read Gentleman of Her Dreams for FREE:
Barnes & Noble

Published by Bethany House Publishers

Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk - Tracy Groot

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The entire history of the world is about to change as Hitler marches his troops across Europe. Can the actions of one person make a difference?

Clare Childs has mysteriously inherited the Maggie Bright. Her suspicions that Maggie holds a secret are proven when a thief comes aboard. Clare is suddenly thrown into the middle of a Scotland Yard investigation that could finally expose one of Hitler's darkest schemes. While on the other side of the channel, Private Jamie Elliot has been tasked with the mission of returning a wounded captain home. The captain has suffered a head injury and the only words he speaks are quotes from John Milton's Paradise Lost. When Churchill calls for civilians to help rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, Clare knows that Maggie must go. Piloted by William Percy, a detective inspector and Murray Vance, a world renowned cartoonist, the Maggie Bright goes to war.

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis

Never have these words rung more true for me than when I finished reading Maggie Bright. I wish the

As Love Blooms - The Gregory Sisters Book 3 - Lorna Seilstad

Friday, May 15, 2015

Love blooms in Saint Paul's Como Park. But will the roots grow deep enough to survive life's challenges?

Tessa Gregory's dream of becoming a gardener seems impossible in 1913 at Como Park. She will go to any length to impress the superintendent of her abilities. When the handsome gardener Reese King offers to help her, will she risk it all, including her heart to win the favor she so desires?

I deeply enjoy reading Lorna Seilstad's books. They are so full of life and humor, but also deep with truths. As Love Blooms has all of these wonderful elements. The bond and strength of family being in the forefront of this book. We are also reminded that faith is not something that we have to try and muster up ourselves, but to have the faith to rely on God to take care of us. I enjoyed Tessa's adventurous spirit! She reminded me a great deal of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. You will be on the edge of your seat as you read this remarkable story of love and life.

I received a free copy of As Love Blooms from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.

Secrets of a Charmed Life - Susan Meissner

Sunday, May 3, 2015

As the Luftwaffe rains down terror on London, two sisters are separated and their lives changed forever.

**I have done my best to not share any spoilers. I have not shared more than you will find on the back of the cover.**

Isabel MacFarland has finally agreed to share her story and secrets that she has hidden for years. Isabel chose to pass her history to Kendra, an American student attending Oxford. Her story follows the lives of Emmy and Julia Downtree during World War II. With the war becoming more and more of a threat, the sisters are evacuated to the country along with the rest of London's children. Emmy's dreams of becoming a designer cloud her vision though. Julia, who is much younger than Emmy, needs her protection. At what cost will Emmy see her dreams become a reality?

I was extremely pleased with the incredible story Susan Meissner tells. I feel like I need a week to digest and process Secrets of a Charmed Life. I went through almost an entire bag of Starburts in one sitting when the book was getting really intense! This book was not published by a Christian publishing house, but the story is

Long Trail Home; A Morgan Family Series - Texas Trails Book 3 - Vickie McDonough

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Long Trail Home is a compelling story about forgiveness and ultimately coming back home. Not only in the natural but in the spiritual.

We follow the story of Laura, Annie and Riley. Laura is the instructor of a school for blind children. She has sacrificed her own long term dreams for the children that she loves and adores. But when the school has been threatened to be shut down, will those dreams resurface? Annie, once was a homeless orphan. Now she has a family at the school, but will her deception be her undoing? She has found God's forgiveness but will her fellow man be as forgiving? Riley, a soldier come home to devastation after the war has found peace and refuge working at the school. But will he ever find "home" again?

I enjoyed Long Trail Home. Although the story line was a bit slow at times, there is enough action to keep it going and Vickie McDonough relays a great message. Forgiveness is the main basis of the story. God's forgiveness of the sins we have committed. Forgiveness of our selves. And the forgiveness of others. Coming clean and telling the truth can be the hardest thing to do at times.

Meet You Again - Bethany Engelhardt (CD)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ok, I am taking a totally different route with this post. But, I wanted to do what I could to get information about this amazing CD to as many people as possible! I grew up in church with Bethany and she has such an amazing gift for music! This CD completely blew me away!

All of the songs, save one, are original recordings written by Bethany Engelhardt. This CD is packed full of powerful worship music. But a new and different sound. I LOVE it! There is a song for every season and emotion that I have been through recently. I can't tell you how many times I have cried and laughed and danced while listening to this music. The power of God is definitely felt in every lyric. I would encourage everyone who is looking for a new worship album to grab this one! You won't regret it! Turn the lights down low, start listening and let the Holy Spirit minister to you.

Buy Meet You Again - iTunes

The Creole Princess - Gulf Coast Cronicles Book 2 - Beth White

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lyse is caught in the middle of the strife between countries during the Revolutionary war. Not just the British and the Americans, but the French and the Spanish as well. Don Rafael seems as mysterious as his comings and goings. Whose side is he really on, and can he be trusted? Lyse's best friend is the daughter of a British commander, but where do her loyalties truly lie? Caught between loyalties to family and country, what path will Lyse choose?

The Revolutionary War is a part of history we should all know. But I have never considered the effect that it had on the colonies on the Gulf coast. The colonies that remained loyal to Britain. The Creole Princess is a wonderfully unique book about a chapter of our country's history that is not very well known. Beth White has opened my eyes to the involvement of the Spanish's help with the American's fight for freedom. Lyse's journey is also one of hope and faith. Trusting in God to lead us down the right path and that He knows what is best for us.

I received a free copy of The Magnolia Duchess from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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About the Author
Photo Credit: © Wendy Wilson Photography
Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she writes historical romance with a Southern drawl and is the author of The Pelican Bride and The Creole Princess. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Learn more at

More by Beth White
The Pelican Bride - Book One
It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Geneviève Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pélican bound for the distant Louisiana colony. Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old. Geneviève knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs. Read More.

The Magnolia Duchess - Book Three
Review Coming Soon!
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