Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine~ Pump Up Your Book Tour with review and giveaway

Pump Up Your Book Presents A Sandy Grave Virtual Book Publicity Tour & GiveawayTitle: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook

The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had–especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?
EXCERPT:
The lifeguards had their arms extended and attempted to move the crowd back. The tallest lifeguard said, “People, please stay back. The authorities will arrive to examine the whale to determine the cause of death within the hour. The whale must have died at sea and washed ashore.”

My take on this book:
A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine is introduces us to Leah,Nicole and Hayley, three friends who are spending a fun day at the beach when they notice a whale that has washed up on shore. Plenty of people show up but it is two strange acting men that capture the girls attention and when those guys bury something in the sand Leah can't help but wonder what it might be. 

Interesting as well as educational, A Sandy Grave is a story about three friends who spends the day at the beach and wind up leading officials to poachers. A fast moving chapter story that captures the imagination with a bit of mystery and suspense while the three girls decide to get involved and do the right thing. I think the author does a great job of portraying the friendship between the trio, but also allows the reader to see the characters as individuals as well, making them so easy to relate to. The author certainly brings the setting to life and the illustrations further enhance those descriptions allowing me to not only envision the setting but the characters as well. Mystery, suspense, and friendships make this a great read, the information about poachers and what they do was like an educational bonus. 

Donna McDine HeadshotDonna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway.
Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership. 
Visit Donna online at www.donnamcdine.com or her blog at www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

Connect & Socialize with Donna!

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Donna McDine is giving you a chance to win a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Adventures of Flapjack: The Collar of Courage by Dan Cohen


    20830548
  • Paperback: 34 pages
  • Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing (January 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1457525208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1457525209





The Adventures of Flapjack - The Collar of Courage is the second in the Adventures of Flapjack series. The series consists of narrative poems about an intrepid Australian Shepherd who faces challenges similar to those typically encountered by children. The first in the series, The Adventures of Flapjack - Finding Where I Belong, published in March, 2013, involved issues of separation, adaptation and the value of enduring friendship. The second book addresses fear related to bullying, inner strength and self-esteem. Throughout the series, Flapjack faces befuddling circumstances and follows his observations with "...but I don't know why." This invites children to engage with Flapjack in reasoning through and resolving confounding challenges. Throughout his adventures, Flapjack remains positive, inquisitive and...well...adventurous! 

My take on this book:
The Adventures of Flapjack: The Collar of Courage by Dan Cohen is about a dog named Flapjack, who is being bullied. Flapjack loves going to the big green park where he can play with his friends, but there's one dog that he hopes will stay away, and that's a bully. You see the bully is the meanest dog around, and picks on Flapjack and his friends, and they don't know why. When Flapjack hides behind a garbage can to get away from the bully he feels ashamed, but his mom tells him about the collar of courage and takes him to buy one. Will the collar of courage help Flapjack find courage to stand up to a bully?

The Collar of Courage is the second installment in The Adventures of Flapjack by Dan Cohen. It deals with the subject of bullying and how one little dog finds the courage to stand up to the bully in order to protect himself and his friends. Bright, colorful illustrations captures the eye as well as the imagination, bringing the story to life, allowing the reader to imagine the fear and shame that Flapjack felt but also how proud he was when he did the right thing! Written in rhyming prose the story flows well and is easy to read. The perfect pairing of words and pictures bring the story to life in such a way that I can just imagine youngsters will be reading along in no time at all. While fear of bullying is the major theme of the story it's also about finding courage, doing the right thing, and the importance of knowing that your parents are always there to help.  I love how the author allows the parents to take such a positive role in helping Flapjack deal with his fears, no matter what they were always there for him! As a dog lover I found this story a delightful read, while filled with the challenges that children often face, it is also filled with positive messages that will help them overcome those challenges! This book would make a wonderful addition to any library. On a scale of one to five I would give this book a six because it is just that good, I only hope that Flapjack has many more tail wagging adventures to share.

Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com

Friday, April 18, 2014

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril by Susan K. Marlow


    18060094
  • Series: Goldtown Adventures (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825442966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825442964



Jem Coulter’s pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch—along with Aunt Rose, that is.
No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts—a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa’s horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa’s deputies seem unconcerned.
Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper’s tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills. Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?
Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post–Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.

My take on this book:
History really comes to life within the pages of the Goldtown Adventure Series written by Susan K. Marlow. While I didn't read the first two books in the series I had no problems diving right into Canyon of Danger which is book three because the author provides enough background information so that I really didn't feel lost. Jem Coulter's dad is the sheriff in Goldtown, so when he has to escort a prisoner to another town he leaves Jem in charge of the ranch for two weeks. It's a job that should be pretty easy because he is going to have help, but it doesn't take long for things to start to go awry. When a calf turns up dead, Jem thinks it's a wolf and decides he will set up a stake out and shoot it, only thing is he gets trigger happy and shoots the first thing that moves and that turns out to be a person. When he gets the injured man to the barn he asks his aunt Rose to help. Jem and his little sister ride to town for medicine, but more trouble awaits when their horse Copper along with their dads rifle is stolen. Can Jem find his stolen property?
Short easy to read chapters, and a page turning adventure made this a story that I didn't want to put down. While it's geared toward 8-12 year olds I think anyone who enjoys reading about the wild west will enjoy this one. It seemed that if it could go wrong it did for Jem, and that kept me wondering what might happen next. I really enjoyed the illustrations that I found peppered through the pages of the story, I felt they captured the essence of Jem and his adventure. While this book can be read as a stand alone, I really want to go back and read the first two because I enjoyed this one so much.


River of Peril:

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: Goldtown Adventures (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (February 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825442974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825442971



Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they’re carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn’t so far away; it’s right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem’s father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army’s Knights of the Golden Circle.
When the family finally reaches the city, they think they’re safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves?
River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they’ve come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post–Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways—and lots of gold!

My take on this book:
In River of Peril Jem the civil war is going on, but it seems pretty far away to young Jem, that is until his family decides to take a trip to Sacramento. Another great adventure awaits with the fourth book in the Goldtown Adventures series. History truly comes to life within the pages of these well written stories that are sure to appeal to young boys, but honestly young girls just might enjoy reading the adventures of Jem, while learning a bit about history as well. I think that the historical information that the author provides at the end of each story enhances the story, and provides a real look at the timeperiod. While each book can be read as a stand alone story I think that if your like me you are going to want to read the entire series. Recommended for youngsters or the young at heart who enjoy a historical tale filled with mystery, suspense and the many adventures of Jem.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson ~ Litfuse Blog Tour with review and giveaway


    ASA Peterson
  • Series: Lone Star Brides (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210587
A Lone Star Brides book.



This book is also available as an ebook.


To purchase a copy of A Sensible Arrangement click here.

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?
My take on this book:
A Sensible Arrangement is the story of Marty Dandridge Olson, a thirty-five year old childless widow of four years whose beloved husband was gored by a longhorn bull. Try as she might time hadn't lessened the pain so she hopes that answering an ad to marry Jake Wythe, a banker who lives in Colorado who is looking for a Texas bride. Jake Wythe hadn't really been lucky in love, his wife left him for another man, and then died a few months later, as a banker for Morgan Bank the board members feel that a man of his standing needs to be married. So he decides to place an ad, and gets an answer from Marty. Will leaving Texas help Marty heal from the pain of her past? Feelings start to develop between them, but one thing is standing in the way, Jake wants to return to Texas and Marty has no desire to return.
Truly a unique twist on what I consider the mail-order bride genre. Normally the ad is placed by a farmer looking for a bride, but in this instance it's a banker, and the couple is a bit more mature, with more life experience. Neither one is expecting love, but sometimes love comes when one least expects it!   Marty was spunky, the stagecoach scene really showcased her grit and determination,she did have one major flaw though, she was sometimes a bit reckless with the truth, but the author handled that issue in a very real and spiritual way.Jake is someone who is still dealing with past hurts from loves gone wrong. The feelings that develop between them was ok, but I found the historical aspects to be just as interesting. Several secondary characters really kept the plot moving along. A Sensible Arrangement is more than just another mail order bride tale, its light on romance, but provides a bit of mystery, humor and a faith based message along with enough loose ends which makes me anxious to read the next book in the series!
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.



Tracie Peterson

{MORE ABOUT TRACIE PETERSON}      

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. Visit Tracie’s Web site at www.traciepeterson.com.
Find out more about Tracie athttp://www.traciepeterson.com.


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!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

Claiming Mariah
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414389752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414389752

This book is also available as an ebook.

Claiming Mariah
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.

My take on this book:
Wyoming during the spring of 1882 is where readers will find themselves transported as they read Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman. A story where the author's descriptive writing captures the feel of the old west while providing an intricately woven story that captured my imagination from the beginning paragraphs. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen with Mariah Malone. Her father confessed on his deathbed that he had purchased the Lazy M ranch, the family home with ill gotten gold that belonged to someone else. Mariah does the right thing by writing to the man, never imagining that someone would come along to claim the ranch, but that's just what happens. Slade Donovan comes to claim what belongs to his father, intending to take over the ranch, but will he?
The main characters of Mariah and Slade are such well written characters, and the author easily pulled me into their story, making me want the best for them. Slade was one of my favorite characters, rough on the outside, but truly a gentle man. Plenty of secondary characters propel this plot along so that it never lags. Pam Hillman is a new to me author, but I enjoyed Claiming Mariah so much that I plan on checking out her other work. Fans of historical western fiction with romance, suspense, a splash of mystery that is sprinkled with humor and a faith based message will certainly enjoy this page turning read. Highly recommended!


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 and purchase a copy at Pam’s website.

Don’t miss Pam Hillman‘s latest novel, Claiming Mariah. Julie Lessman gave it a thumb’s up, saying: [Hillman is] gifted with a true talent for vivid imagery, heart-tugging romance, and a feel for the Old West that will jangle your spurs.
Pam is celebrating with a fun giveaway. Click the banner for details.

PHpromo

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Follows After by Dan Walsh

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800721209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721206


This book is also available as an e-book.




In October 1962, Colt Harrison and his little brother, Timmy, hatched a plan. They would run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Savannah, Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents got back together. But things go terribly, terribly wrong. Colt's mother and father must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their broken marriage. 
In this emotional story, Dan Walsh takes readers on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family.

My take on this book:
What Follows After by Dan Walsh grabbed my attention from the first pages and didn't let go until the end! I felt compelled to know what would ultimately happen with this family!
Scott Harrison and his wife Gina have been living a lie, they have pretended they are still together when actually they have been separated for ten months, they  even have their sons lying about their situation. While Scott hoped that Gina would change her mind, he really isn't sure that she even loves him anymore. When Colt and Timmy decide to run away in the hopes of changing things at home, but something goes wrong. Will Scott and Gina realize what is really important in time to save their family?

A suspense filled, edge of your seat page turner is what I found with What Follows After. The author writes an emotionally charged story that had my emotions all over the place. The historical significance of the story was very well done, I felt like I was getting a true glimpse of the early 1960's, and the tension that was felt. It was quite interesting to see the cultural differences from the 60's verses now, especially the role women were expected to play. An inspirational story that reminds the reader what truly is important. Fans of family drama,that weaves together suspense and allows the reader to feel as if they have been on an emotional roller coaster will find this a must read. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Young Women of Faith Bible by Susie Shellenberger


    NIV Young Women of Faith Bible, Hardcover, Printed Caseside  -     Edited By: Susie Shellenberger
    By: Susie Shellenberger
  • Age Range: 8 and up 
  • Hardcover: 1696 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310730864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310730866






The study Bible that's just for girls! This Bible is filled with engaging features that will help you learn more about yourself and your relationship with God. Designed to encourage you to develop a habit of studying God's Word, you'll discover how relevant the Bible can be to your everyday life. Weekly studies and many of the side notes are also linked to the women's study Bible, the NIV Women of Faith Study Bible, allowing you and your mom to share God's Word together. Features include: Weekly Bible studies apply biblical truths to life Side notes address difficult passages and offer historical and cultural insights Journal captures other girls' experiences or struggles along with space for you to record your own 'I Believe' statements of faith and foundational beliefs 'Memory Challenges' are verses worth remembering 'If I Were There . . .' include Bible stories that place you in the Bible character's situation.

My take on this Bible:
Truly the perfect Bible for girls! The bright, colorful cover is pink with flowers, what's not to like about that! Some of the features of this Bible include a pretty presentation page that includes a scripture verse about having confidence in the good work God is doing in their life is something that all young ladies need to be reminded of. There is also a my story page that allows the user to document when they became a Christian, the people that have supported them and how, along with a place to document Bible verses that they have been blessed by. The text is the easy to use NIV version, and each book of the Bible has an introduction that provide several basic facts, such as who wrote it, where it took place and why it was written. There are fifty-two full page Bible studies that will lead the user thru several Scripture passages while helping the user to understand how they apply to their life, the neat thing about this feature is that it is linked to the Women of Faith Study Bible so mothers and daughters can study together. Statements of faith are found in the I Believe readings, and popular verses are highlighted for memorization. One of my favorite features had to be the journal, which is a place for the user to read what other girls experience or struggle with, there is also space to jot down personal thoughts! All in all a well rounded Bible that is sure to be a hit for the younger set. What a wonderful gift for that special young lady. Geared toward users 8 years old and up.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

Sincerely Yours ~ A Novella Collection

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722043


This book is also available as an ebook.





In this collection of brand-new historical novellas from four outstanding storytellers, four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path toward a changed life--and perhaps lifelong love. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote and controversial hospital, readers will love being swept into the lives of four young women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.

My take on this book:
Sincerely Yours is a collection of four novellas that can be read as a stand alone, making it easy to pick this one up spend an hour and then go back later to read another story, although in my case I read the book in one afternoon because it the stories were just that good. There are a couple of  things that ties each story together one is the heroine gets a letter that alters the course of her life, and the time frame in which each story takes place is also another common factor. There is no way for me to say which story was my favorite because I really enjoyed each one. The historical settings come to life with each story, but it was each heroine that really made these stand out stories for me. One heroine finds herself in a dilemma, she just might lose her inheritance if she doesn't marry, while another is desperate to get away from the man whom her brother is in debt to. One is willing to put herself in danger to save a loved one, and one heroine has a secret that is about to come to light. Each story has Christian themes woven in, and romance is a sure bet. While each story is novella length the author's don't scrimp on detail, providing for a rich satisfying read. What a wonderful way to sample each author's writing. 


A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


Fulfilled ~ The NIV Devotional Bible For The Single Woman~

    Fulfilled: The NIV Devotional Bible for the Single Woman Hardcover, Black  -
  • Hardcover: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310407133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310407133





Fulfilled: The NIV Devotional Bible for the Single Woman provides what no other devotional Bible product can deliver---the full text of the NIV Bible paired with heartfelt, practical, entertaining, and inspiring biblical insights from Christian women who understand the unique joys and challenges of living single. Single women today can feel lonely and isolated in a world that often feels as if it's been designed for couples. Fulfilled offers insightful and encouraging notes by a variety of women writers---some names you'll recognize and others will be new to you---that will encourage your heart by helping you recognize that you are a Christian woman who just happens to be single, either by circumstance or by choice. And this gives you the freedom to do what other women cannot. Fulfilled uplifts and inspires single or virtually single Christian women to become powerful voices for Christ. You will discover new insights, new perspectives, and a growing life in Christ. Features:* Full NIV Text * 104 Devotions written by Christian, single women authors* Profiles of single women in the Bible* Scriptural index* Encouraging Scripture verses highlighted * Topical index for single women* Presentation page

My take on this Bible:
My first thought when I picked up Fulfilled was what could be so different about this Bible that it is specifically geared to single women. Well the first thing that caught my eye is the pretty cover. Inside though it was the devotionals that are geared toward single women that really make this a unique choice if you are selecting a new Bible. A few features of the Bible is the easy to use and understand NIV translation, a presentation page is something that I always look for whenever I purchase a Bible, there are 104 thought, provoking, as well as inspiring devotionals, powerful quotations about single topics and issues by some well known authors including Maya Angelou,Kay Arthur,and Louisa May Alcott name a few. Nineteen profiles of single, Biblical women whose stories will inspire while providing spiritual insight for the reader's daily life. There are also 200 highlighted scripture verses that touch on topics that single women might encounter from time to time. I love the topical index,and found the index to the devotionals quite handy, because it made it easy for me to find devotionals that spoke to me. The size of this Bible makes it easy to carry, and the print is big enough to make it easy to read. A perfect gift but also a wonderful Bible to use as a daily devotional. Even though I am not a single woman I really enjoy the features of this Bible, and found myself relating to the devotions and quotes. 

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Aundy~ A Sweet, Historical, Mail Order Bride Romance~ by Shanna Hatfield


  • Series: Pendleton Petticoats
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1484966287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1484966280

This book is also available as an e book.



Desperate to better her situation, Aundy Thorsen agrees to leave behind her life in Chicago to fulfill a farmer's request for a mail-order bride in Pendleton, Oregon. When a tragic accident leaves her a widow soon after becoming a wife, Aundy takes on the challenge of learning how to manage a farm, even if it means her stubborn determination to succeed upsets a few of the neighbors. 

Born and raised on the family ranch, Garrett Nash loves life in the bustling community of Pendleton in 1899. When his neighbor passes away and leaves behind a plucky widow, Garrett takes on the role of her protector and guardian. His admiration for her tenacious spirit soon turns to something more. He just needs to convince the strong-willed Aundy to give love another try.

My take on this book:
Aundy, by Shanna Hatfield takes readers back to 1899 and introduces us to Twenty-One year old Aundy Thorsen. Aundy's  life in Chicago hasn't been the same since the death of her beloved fiance Gunther. She longs for a change so when she reads an ad in the paper from Erik Erikson, a farmer from Pendleton, Oregon stating that he is looking for a mail order bride Aundy decides this might be the what she is looking for, after corresponding with him she travels west. She is married right off the train, but an accident occurs that leaves her a widow within days of becoming a wife. When she learns that Erik has left his ranch to her she decides to stay even though she knows nothing about running the ranch. The Nash family lives next door and are more than willing to take Aundy under their wing, soon though feelings start to spark between Aundy and Garrett, thing is Aundy is convinced that she is bad luck where men are concerned, can Garrett change her mind? 

Aundy is a story that pulled in in and kept me reading, because it was like a breath of fresh air where mail order bride stories are concerned. Sure there is romance, but there is also humor, as well mystery and suspense that surrounded the goings on at the ranch.   Aundy was such  a strong character, full of pluck,but with a kind heart, that helped those less fortunate than herself, it was so easy to become invested in her life and want the best for her.  I could easily envision the plights that she found herself in.  Garrett was a true gentleman, such a help to Aundy and the love story between the two was touching and sweet. The character of Nikola, the shepherd and his dog Bob really gripped my heart, I was so glad that he found his way to Aundy's ranch. The author's attention to detail brings not only the setting but the characters to life as well, but it was the plot twists that kept me glued to the pages of this one. Fans of good clean historical romance that is rich in detail will certainly enjoy Aundy, but anyone looking for a sweet mail order bride tale filled with a few twists will be pleased as well. 

Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com



Thursday, April 3, 2014

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin ~ Litfuse Blog Tour with review and giveaway


    Maybelle In Stitches
  • File Size: 1441 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IBJP64C



Maybelle In Stitches | A Quilts of Love book.
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.
My take on this book:
Imagine being married for just a few weeks and having your husband go off to war, well that's just what happens to Maybelle Kazinski. The year is 1943, and Maybelle's husband Holden is off fighting in the war while she is at home doing her part by taking a job as a welderette in a shipyard. She lives with her mother, but when her mother suddenly dies, and then earth shattering news comes about Holden Maybelle's faith is tested.Thing is Maybelle isn't alone, there are several war wives and widows in the neighborhood, including her friend Doris. When Maybelle decides to finish the quilt her mother was working on, the scrap pieces in the quilt remind her of faith and family. 
I really enjoyed the historical aspects of Maybelle in Stitches. From the unconventional job that Maybelle worked to the way that the ladies at the Yard pulled together to support each other this book was so easy to get into.  Rich detail really brought the story to life, I could just imagine the emotional upheaval that so many of the characters faced as they worried about their loved one off at war.i also got a sense for the day to day life of the characters and the bond that formed between the characters. I found the few letters that Maybelle and Holden wrote at the beginning of the story to be a joy to read, and I only wish there might have been more of that. I thought the author's notes at the end of the story shared interesting details about the shipyard and really piqued my interest to read more about it. The discussion questions makes this a perfect selection for a group read.  Great historical detail, a faith based message,and characters who were faced with very real problems makes this another great installment in the Quilt of Love Series. 
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.



Joyce MagninAbout 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.


Don’t miss this month’s 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 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!