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Friday, April 25, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement Review!!!

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Book Description:
A Lone Star Brides book.

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways . . . and dreams and secrets collide?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/vlp1S

About the Author: Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. 

Learn more about Tracie at: www.traciepeterson.com

My Opinion:
I truly love this book!!!  And I LOVE this author!!!  Tracie Peterson has always been one of my all time favorite authors!  And this, her 100th book, is one of my favorites of her works.  It has made it to My Favorite Books list!  Tracie's characters touched my heart immediately and Jake, the hero of this tale, stole my heart completely!  I love how she made Marty's character a tough woman that can take care of herself, and others, instead of becoming the victim always in need of rescue!  Yet, though she is toughened by loss and the ways of ranch life in 1892, she still has a huge heart and loves very deeply.  OH but the cliff hanger!  I must know what happens next and can't wait for A Moment in Time to release in June!!!  Mystery's are mixed within A Sensible Arrangement's plot as missing money and strange threats abound!  I truly enjoy how Tracie weaves The Word and God's messages throughout the story.  Showing how He loves us through it all, even our anger and hurt.  This is a fabulous read, with an easy pace, and filled with great characters, an intriguing plot, secrets, pain, forgiveness, lies, love, uncertainty, friendship, repentance, fears and more!  I highly recommend it!

Songs: "Onward Christian Soldiers" by Various Artist, "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" by 101 Strings Orchestra, "Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana - Intermezzo sinfonico" by Herbert von Karajan, and "Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson
Songs etc. may be changed or added in the future.

John 8:32

~ASC

*I requested and received this book for the purpose of giving an honest review.  The above is truly how I feel and what I think about A Sensible Arrangement. ~ASC


Monday, April 21, 2014

For Such a Time Review!!!

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
Book Description:
Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther
In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. 

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. 

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself? 


My Opinion:
An Amazing tale!  I really enjoyed this book!  Kate stuck to the story of Esther for the base of the story, but it wasn't just a retelling.  There are key differences that make Esther's life and this story different and in so doing For Such a Time's ending was wide open for me.  I didn't know what was gonna happen to these characters that I'd come to love.  What does happen had me in a state of shock!  This made me want to read the book of Esther again!  A great read from a highly talented author!  Her descriptions are fresh and not bogged down with detail.  There where some things that I personally wish were different.  One being the glossary!  There are two glossaries in the back German and Jewish but both of them don't contain all the words that are used and I really wish they did!!!  Some of the words that aren't in the glossary Kate put in English further down the page, but it got a little confusing at times.  There was more than one time that I turned to the dictionary and was disappointed when the translation/definition wasn't there.  Second being the Esther verses that begin every chapter.  I LOVED them but most aren't finished and "..." are used.  They also jump around from chapter to chapter from 2 to 8 back to 3 and so on.  Thirdly there was a strange part that said " 'More like Jewish tradition,' she said. 'On the sixth day, God created the first man and woman as conjoined twins.' " I don't personally get this and found it odd.  And finally I wish Jesus had been mentioned more.  God is mention throughout and New Testament verses are within as well as the words Jesus spoke in John 3:16, but I guess I wished Stella came to Christ more or in a bigger way.  I understand why this probably isn't so because of her familial and cultural situations but I did REALLY love how much strength and comfort she finds in God's Word.  These are just my personal things and I understand why Kate did some of them, but to give my honest opinion I felt I need to include them.  Overall this is a VERY heavy tale filled with sadness, hope courage, Faith, pain, betrayal, surprises, love, loss, and Divine strength.  The setting itself is a heavy time in history and Kate's description of some of the awful and horrific things that happened are so real they tore at my heart.  I think this has made it to my favorite books list if for no other reason than the fact that it touched me so deeply!  I highly recommend it.

Songs: "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin, "Blue Danube Waltz" by Vienna Symphony Orchestra, "Friling" by Lucette Van Den Berg, "Symphony No. 7 (8) in B Minor, D. 759, "Unfinished": I. Allegro moderato" by Leonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic, "Carry Me" by Josh, Wilson "Raisins and Almonds" by Dorothy Olsen, and "God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes
Songs etc. may be changed/added in the future. 

John 3:16, Matthew 5:44

~ASC

*I Received this book for the purpose of posting an honest review.  This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about For Such a Time. ~ASC

*"Almonds and Raisins" by David and the High Spirit

Monday, April 14, 2014

GIVEAWAY!!!

Pam Hillman is giving away Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet to celebrate Claiming Mariah's release on February 1st!!!

Tracie Peterson celebrates 100 books with an iPad Mini Giveaway & A SENSIBLE ARRANGEMENT Live Webcast Event!

Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson's 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie's new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.

Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.


sensible-400-click
One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Win & RSVP!
Tracie Peterson A Sensible Arrangement

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Claiming Mariah Review!!!

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

Book Description:
After her father's death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father's farm, the only home she's ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father's rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade's careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/uPDB6

About the Author: Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of!

Learn more about Pam at: http://www.pamhillman.com

My Opinion:
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!! :)  This is the first of Pam's books I've had the privilege to read, and it is a privilege.  I love how God provides.  I've wanted to read Claiming Mariah for a while now and was overjoyed when I got the chance to read the paperback!  It is amazing!  It's one of those books that I didn't want to put down!  Pam's writing is great as she keeps you going wondering what's gonna happen next!  I LOVE all the characters from Mariah and Slade to Mariah's grandmother, Slade's brother, and Cookie the bunk house cook!!!  The messages of bitterness and forgiveness weave through the plot gracefully as these characters face loosing far more than just a ranch.  I always love to find and read a great western and Pam has written just that.  You can always tell when an author doesn't really spend time around ranch life and horses, but Pam sure has!!!  She writes in a way that shows she takes every detail into account.  Forgiveness, pain, sadness, healing, shocking turns, love, fear, murder and much, much more await you in Claiming Mariah.  This has made it to My Favorite Books list and I highly recommend it.  

Songs: "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" by Alan Jackson, "Valley Of Pain" by Randy Travis, and "One Day At A Time" by Merle Haggard**

Luke 6:37

~ASC

*I requested and received this book for the purpose of reviewing.  This in no way affected my opinion and the above is what I truly think about Claiming Mariah. ~ASC

**Songs etc. may change in the future..."One Day At A Time" by Jeannie Seely


Monday, April 7, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies Review!!!

Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter

Book Description:
A Chapel Springs Romance

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she'd never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.


The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He's loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she's back, his feelings are stronger than ever.
As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she's hiding secrets from her family, and she's strangely attracted to the man who's always called her "squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/uJ6OD

About the Author: Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn't writing, she's busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Learn more about Denise at: http://www.denisehunterbooks.com

My Opinion:
A great story!  I really love the way Denise writes!  She adds a humor that really brings her story to life!  I don't think this book is for a younger audience for a few reasons, one being the prologue contains a terrible crime that leaves Jade pregnant and terrified.  So maybe more PG-16, in my opinion anyway.  That said I enjoyed this book so much I could probably read it again!  I LOVE the messages and lessons this it contains, like learning to let go and trust God!  From the beginning Denise' expression of what her characters are going through and feeling is authentic and her twists are amazing!  Every time I thought there couldn't possibly be more surprises she threw in another one!!!  :D  I want to go back now and read the first in this series!  I absolutely LOVE her characters, especially Daniel!  He is so sweet, full of Faith, loving, but still not perfect, yet still amazing in his flaws! :D  The whole family dynamic is awesome, as they pull together when things get rocky.  And I love how Jade heals and grows throughout the changes that come her way, as well as her relationships with her family and Daniel.  The pace of the story is set nicely, and I love the length of the chapters.  Overall this is an awesome story of God taking horrific circumstances and making blessings spring forth!  I highly recommend it!

Songs that I think go with Dancing with fireflies: "God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes, "All Through the Night" by Melanie Hoffman, "Rock Of Ages" by Mike Curb Congregation, "Jesus Loves Me" by Instrumental Guitar Songs, "Softly and Tenderly" by Instrumental Guitar Songs, "Amazing Grace" by Instrumental Guitar Songs, and **"Bless The Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts
*Songs may be changed or added in the future.
**While this song isn't necessarily a perfect fit I think there are aspects that ring true.

Matthew 13:18-23

~ASC


*I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it.  This in no way affected my opinion and  the above are my true thoughts and feelings about Dancing with Fireflies.  ~ASC

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sincerely Yours Review!!!

Sincerely Yours 
by
 Laurie Alice Eakes, Ann Shorey, Amanda Cabot, Jane Kirkpatrick

Book Description:
Four unexpected letters. Four intrepid women. Four lives changed forever.
Spanning a century and a continent, these romantic novellas will lead you on a journey through the landscape of love. Four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote hospital, you'll be swept into the lives of women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.

Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
Camilla Renfrew is a highborn English lady fleeing false accusations when she runs smack into love on a steamboat bound for the new Erie Canal. But can this unexpected attraction survive the treacherous journey?

Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey
Marigold Montgomery Bentley writes marriage advice for Kipler's Home Weekly even though she is single. Everyone assumes from the initials that "M. M." is a man. When the editor asks to meet Mr. Bentley, can Merrie come up with a ruse to keep her writing job?

One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
Lorraine Caldwell will lose her family fortune to a reckless cousin if she doesn't marry quickly. When she learns her long-lost brother is alive, she hopes she's found the answer to her problems. What she finds instead is a mysterious carousel carver who turns her life upside down. 

A Saving Grace by Jane KirkpatrickGrace Hathaway must rescue a dear friend from a remote and notorious clinic that promises healing but delivers only heartache. In a place laced with deceit, where lives hang in the balance, whom can she trust to help her?


My Opinion:
Home run!!!  I jumped at the chance to read this book because I knew and love two authors, wanted to read one, and the other is new to me! :)  I was not disappointed!

First it begins with Laurie's great tale on a steamboat! :)  I love her way with words, and as she always does for me Laurie grabbed me from the beginning with a GREAT start and then wouldn't let go!  The characters and circumstances are great.  Some secrets lie within this story as the main characters come to learn what is truly important.  The spunk and strength of these characters really fleshes out the story and I love their whole relationship from start to finish.  The authors note just ties it all up, going into the history behind the story. Laurie is becoming on of my favorite authors!  Steamboats, danger, enemies, jewels, and love await in this first tale.

Next was Ann Shorey's Lessons in Love.  This one is lovely!  I love Ann's writing!  The overall concept of a women journalist attempting to hide here identity is highly entertaining to me as you, as the reader, see where problems may arise, and in many cases they surely do!  I love the characters in this one as well.  Merrie is a smart character whose articles are fantastic!  And her love interest Colin is a sweet and lovable character.  I loved the end, love this author, love the pace, and love the history within the story.  Excellent second novella.

Then there's Amanda Cabot's One Little Word!  It is Excellent!  I have wanted to read Amanda's work before, but hadn't had the pleasure.  I have been missing out!  Her style is wonderful and her descriptions are fantastic!  She infected me with carousel fever!!! LOL!  And then in the authors note I found out that was her intention all along!!! :D This is the occupation that really peaked my interest in the overall book description, and I love all that I learned about carousels and what went/goes into them!  But that's not the only thing that intrigued me in this.  From a beautiful and fun inn to discovering God's great provisions and plans One Little Word is great!

And Finally Jane's A Saving Grace.  This was the first book from Jane I've read.  What a story!!!  This is a VERY high suspense thriller that I couldn't put down!  I HAD to get to the end to see what would happen and how it would happen.  Grace is an amazing friend that is The Lord's instrument in taking down horrible foes!  I was, however, haunted to find that the villains in this novella actually lived and did the things depicted here.  This is a sweet and awesome tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat!  I am SO happy it wasn't any longer though! LOL!  I'm not sure I could have taken the suspense for even a few more chapters!  From twists to anticipation I highly enjoyed this read.

Overall I LOVE all of these stories!  I really enjoy novella collections like this.  But usually I have a favorite among them, one that stands out from the rest, but not so with this one!  I LOVED them all and couldn't choose a favorite if I tried.  Revell hit a home run with these four authors and their stories!!!  The only thing that really bothered me is my personal pet peeve; He when referring to God isn't capitalized.  But I digress.

*Songs: "Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2" by Chopin, "Butterfly Waltz - Piano and Cello" by Wedding Day Music, "Chopin - Preludes - Sostenuto - Db major - Rain Drop" by Chopin, "All Through the Night" by Melanie Hoffman***, "Softly And Tenderly" by Alan Jackson, "Be Thou My Vision"**, "Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson, and "Standing On The Promises" by Alan Jackson

2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 49:10, 

~ASC

Giveaway: Jane Kirkpatrick is hosting a giveaway on her blog!  Click Here!!!

*Songs maybe added or changed in the future.
**Amazon doesn't have a version of this hymn that I liked or went with the books.  If I ever find an MP3 that goes I will link it here. 
***"All Through the Night" Perry Como's version 

I Received this book for the purpose of reviewing it from Revell.  This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings. ~ASC


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Maybelle in Stitches Review!!!

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

Book Description:
About Quilts of LoveQuilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love seriesfocuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Maybelle in Stitches: Maybelle Kazinzki can't sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother's house she gets the crazy idea to finish it---somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.

Her recently departed mother's quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother's childhood, her grandmother's childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden's stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle's faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful---no matter what. And it'll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.

Learn more about this book and the series at the
Quilts of Love website.

About the Author: Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright's Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about Joyce at: http://joycemagnin.blogspot.com

My Opinion:
A good read.  I really like the way Joyce writes.  Her humorous, expressive way with words is highly entertaining.  There where times that some of the sayings and words from the times got on my nerves, but that just tells me why The Good Lord didn't have me born in that day and age! LOL!  I REALLY loved the history throughout the book and learning about the women left behind during the war.  Tragedy strikes early on in this book and shocked me!  And Joyce continued to surprise me up to the end with her surprises and twists.  I love the characters and how they all fit together.  Especially Maybelle's best friend that lifts her up and has the kind of spiritual strength and faith that I admire!  Reading this book made me want to quilt! ;)  I LOVE the way things are all wrapped up in the end, and I really loved this book more towards the end especially chapter 17!!! ;)  Overall I think this is a great story that depicts the sacrifices and price for freedom.  

Songs: Some of these songs are mentioned in the book some are ones I think go with the books; 
"Stardust - Frank Sinatra Version" by Frank Sinatra, 
"Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, 
"May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You" by Perry Como, 
"Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep" by Bing Crosby, 
"Juke Box Saturday Night" by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, 
"The Stars And Stripes Forever" by US Army Band, 
"You Won't Let Go" Michael W. Smith,
"I Had The Craziest Dream" by Harry James, 
"I'll Be Seeing You" by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra;Frank Sinatra, 
and 
"Rock Of Ages" sung by Perry Como

1 Peter 5:6-7

~ASC

*I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it, this in no affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings on Maybelle in Stitches. ~ASC


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Win a NEW Spring Wardrobe from @TheQuiltsofLove | “Maybelle in Stitches” Giveaway!

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.
Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!

qol-maybelle-400-click

  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 ModCloth.com gift card
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced on April 21st on the Quilts of Love blog!

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER.


Quilts of Love Joyce Magnin Maybelle in Stitches
4/1-4/19!

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