Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate Book Review

 

 

Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries
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Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries by Debora Coty is a delightful read. I have never read anything by Debora before and her sense of humor is so fun as she talks about life topics. There are many different chapters that span from jealously, depression, death, aging, money, health, and relationships. Debora covers it all in short chapters that start with a real life story, helpful advice, verses that relate to the topic, and then bullet points of what you can do to actually make a change. 

 

This is a small read that I didn't want to read all at one time, but about one or two chapters a day. I will probably go back and read different topics over again. I highly recommend to anyone who needs a little pick me up every once in awhile. 

 

"I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for a review."   

 

Celebrate the release of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate with Debora Coty by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 7th Author Chat Party on Facebook!

Fear-Faith-Giveaway-300
One "sweet" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A Debora Coty Library (Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, Less Beast, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, and Everyday Hope)
  • Chocolate (Every good thing begins with chocolate!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/6/13. Winner will be announced at Debora's "Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate" Facebook Party on 3/7. Debora will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Debora via Skype.)

So grab your copy of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate and join Debora and friends on the evening of March 7th for an evening of fun. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What I'm Into Right Now...





My posts are few and far between because it doesn't seem like many days are too different from the other. Here is what is on my mind these days:

SPRING Now that I have lived in Kansas for a couple of years I know that spring comes earlier than I've ever experienced. So I know that even with the foot of snow outside, spring is right around the corner.

Buying a house This has been an ongoing search and dilemma for the past couple of months. This will be our first house we buy and there are limited houses available in this area so finding the right one has been difficult.

Yoga I'm loving it!

Ahmad Tea from London. This is really yummy! Vanilla


Watkins Natural Aloe & Green Tea Body CreamLavender Bath & Body Oil, 4 ozWatkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla



Love Comes Softly Movies It has been ten years since the first movie came out. That I simply can't believe but I have re-watching all of them. Though they are not at all like the beloved books by Janette Oke, they are still decent movies that have good values.



The Piano Guys and Downton Abbey Soundtrack
Downton Abbey CD Official Soundtrack - shopPBS.org




Swept Away


Swept Away (Trouble in Texas, #1)

As odd and random as this list is, these are the things that I am into right now.

Thanks for stopping by! 

-Michelle




Friday, February 22, 2013

Wishing On Willows Advance Reading Copy Giveaway!!

Wishing on Willows 






This is a giveaway for Wishing On Willows by Katie Ganshert advance reading copy! This book does not hit stores until March 19th so this will give the lucky winner an opportunity to read it before it's even in the stores.


 You can read my review on the book over here. 

 A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
                                     
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances. (Goodreads)
Take Note: Advance reading copies are uncorrected proofs that the publisher sends out. Also, the front cover will say that it is an advance reading copy.


 Simply enter through the Rafflecopter below. U.S. entries only please.
Thanks for stopping by!
 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wedded to War Book Review



Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Line, #1)
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Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green is the first in the new Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War Series.



Tending to the army's sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she's combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse. Will the two men who love her simply stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or will their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey's letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. This is the first in the series "Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War," a collection of novels that highlights the crucial contributions made by women during times of war. (Goodreads)

Jocelyn creates a lovely historically accurate story about young women nursing on the battle lines. Charlotte is sick of her entire purpose in life being about marriage and children, she is unmarried and ready for a change. This takes her on quite an adventure during the Civil War. She faces a lot of criticism and blood. To add a twist, her suitor is very full of himself and involves himself in shady dealings without her knowing. At the end of the book I discovered that everything had been researched to the smallest details and was loosely based off of Georgeanna Woolsey's life during that time.

This book is written a lot like Jane Kirkpatrick's books with tons of history and fun fictional additions.

I highly reccomend to those who don't mind reading about bloody battles and like historical facts.

"I received this book for free from Moody  in exchange for an honest review".








Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beautiful Battlefields Book Review










Beautiful Battlefields
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"We rejoice in our suffereings, knowing that suffereing produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame." Romans 5:3-5





Bo Stern realizes life is full of fierce and unexpected battles. When her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness, she knew she had found her Goliath. With winsome sincerity, Bo points to the battle plans available to us in Scripture and to our God who brings beauty from the struggles we face. (Goodreads)



Bonita Stern is an excellent story teller and this book is full of hope, even when she is going through her own battle. Her husband has been fighting ALS and a disease that is taking over his body. With the medical bills, the stress of a man not being able to live the way he once did, Bo writes with a strong faith in God. Every chapter is new and different along with a story and Biblical reference. Bo also adds questions at the end of each chapter for the reader to think on. I read this as more of a devotional or a couple chapters a day. I enjoyed her take on life and the common question on why do we suffer-just read Romans 5!

I enjoyed this book and for others who are going through their own battle this book is a good one to read.

Hop over to Litfuse for more info!

Stop by Bo's website.

You can buy the book here.


"I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review".

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Brushstroke Legacy Book Review


The Brushstroke Legacy
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Ragni Clauson’s work, relationships, and body all seem to be falling apart. And she isn’t convinced that spending her vacation fixing up her great-grandmother’s cabin and supervising her rebellious teenage niece, Erika, will offer any much-needed rejuvenation.

As Ragni and Erika clean, they begin to uncover the secret paintings and life of Nilda, Ragni’s ancestor who lived in the cabin in the early 1900s. Ragni doesn’t know how much she has in common with her great-grandmother, but it becomes clear Nilda faced her own struggles. Taking care of home and menfolk, fighting off locusts, raising her daughter, and finding time to paint in the midst of it all were not easy tasks. Will Nilda’s passion for enduring art re-ignite Ragni’s artistic soul a century later?

Weaving together the stories of three generations of women, The Brushstroke Legacy stirs us to believe that no matter the circumstances, we are called to use our gifts– never knowing when they might bring a stranger to a new place of hope. (Goodreads)





The Brushstroke Legacy by Lauraine Snelling  is a beautiful story about Ragni and her neice and how their life suddenly takes a turn from the typical.
Ragni is going on a relaxing vacation, that is until her mother tells her that their old family cabin in North Dakota needs fixed up. Ragni's vacation ends up  her dragging her teenage neice to the middle of nowhere in order to fix up a cabin that has defintely seen better days. As the story moves on the two women grow and they discover a family secret of an ancestor who lived in the cabin a long time ago. God is evident even with the trials that they face with cancer, alzheimer's, and stessful work situations. This story is so easy to relate to with our every day life and it combines a contemporary story with a historical romance.


I am reviewing this book simply for my blog.









If You Have A Craving, I Have A Cure Book Review


If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure: Experience Food, Faith, and Fulfillment a Whole New Way
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Unglued Devotional Book Review

http://www.booksneeze.com/art/_240_360_Book.765.cover.jpg
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Unglued Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst is set up as a sixty day short read devotional.

Lysa writes on many topics such as marriage, deary days, kids, family, disappointments, and self control. I do not have kids yet, so some of the topics I couldn't relate to. Lysa includes different verses for each topic as well.

My personal favorite devotional was the one on husbands. The title is Advice to Unglued Wives: Stop Praying which is followed by the "thought for the day" God isn't looking for me to be a "fix-him" wife. God is looking for me to be a "love-him" wife. At the end of her devotionals she often asks questions. This question is a good for any wife to remind herself: Am I praying about my husband or for my husband? 
How do I pray for my husband? Do I pray for him or ask things to be different in some way? Even with praying you have to understand what you are really praying about.  

I have not read any other books by Lysa Terkeurst but have found that she has written multiple other books. She also a part of Women of Faith. Along with this devotional she has also created a DVD and an entire Unglued package.

I enjoyed this devotional, it was easy to read and understand, short, meaningful, and to the point.


 "I received this book for free from Zondervan through the Booksneeze program. This is my honest opinion of the book." 











Puffed Up Chickadees


These are little puffed up Chickadees. It was a tad chilly and they are so cute when they are all puffed up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jaydon One Year

 Jaydon's First Birthday!





















 We attempted to make chocolate cake...and it was an epic failure. We have no idea why but we just poured icing on top and enjoyed it anyway!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wishing On Willows Book Review


Wishing on Willows

Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert is a good read that deals with many issues that people can easily relate.

A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
                                     
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances. (Goodreads Description)



I have not read anything by Katie before though I know her book Wildflowers From Winter was a big hit. Honestly this book was really difficult for me to get into and I had to push myself to finish it. I did like the fact that it discussed real life issues such as infertility and the life of a single mom. I also liked the characters and the small details that Katie added into the story. This was not my favorite book but still a decent read.


Wishing on Willows will be available March 19, 2013.

Learn more about Katie here.


 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for a review."








Monday, February 11, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter Book Review



The Tutor's Daughter
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The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen is a delightful read with a beautiful setting on the Cornwall Coast.

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems—and secrets—of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her....
When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame, and which to trust with her heart?
Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast—a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions—where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits. (Author's Description)

There has been a lot of outstanding reviews for Julie's new novel and I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. I did enjoy this book, though it took me a little longer to get into. I must admit, I had just finished watching the most recent season of Downton Abbey and there were so many similar things between the book and show such as how they spoke and whatnot. After I got through chapter five I completely fell in love with the characters and the ongoing mystery of the story. The romance is sweet and Julie fit all aspects into the book perfectly. There is a lot of  humor in the book that I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times. I give this book five stars and highly recommended!

Please stop by Julie's Website where you can watch a book trailer and read an excerpt from The Tutor's Daughter.


"I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review"





Thursday, February 7, 2013

All for a Song Book Review



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All for a Song by Allison Pittman is set in the flapper era of the 1920s. The story goes between two time periods in Dorothy Lynn Dunbar's life. At the start of the book Dorothy is in a nursing home and over one hundred years old, having survived multiple strokes. The story then goes back to the time when she was 19 and her life took a different turn for a few weeks. Her life is set in place, she is engaged to the pastor and will settle down in the same town where she grew up. Dorothy visits her sister in St. Louis and discovers an entirely different world in the big city. Her talent with playing the guitar and writing music makes her stand out and she is offered an opportunity with evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Dorothy must decide between her life back home or evangelizing with her music.


I have read most of Pittman's books and some have made it to my favorite list-this was not one of them. I was extremely disappointed with this book and the story line. For the entire book Pittman writes as if Dorothy has a great secret and did drastic crazy things on her six week traveling spree. There is no mystery, no secrets, and nothing that you wouldn't expect. I understand that it is difficult to write a Christian story that is set in the '20s, but I have read other books set in this time and I was simply not impressed. I am disappointed with this novel but I look forward to what else Pittman has to offer in the future.


For more information about Allison head over to her website.

"I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this review."


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Skip Rock Shallows Book Review


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Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson has a great setting and good characters, for the most part. Set in the hills of Kentucky, Lilly is working as a doctor in the mining community. This being her first real doctoring job she wonders if she would much prefer to live in Boston with her fiance. Many characters fill her days with delightful mishaps. The odd and mysterious Tern or known as Jo seems to pop up whenever she is around. In the end there is a love story that is not what Lilly planned.
I love most everything about this book except for Lilly's relationships with her fiance and Tern. Her sudden love interest in Tern is so quickly thrown together and then the story ends. It was really difficult for me to get into this story, though I really wanted to.

I received this book through Tyndale Rewards! If you haven't heard about this program I would check it out. If you use the link I provided you will get extra points to start out with.

Also, hop over to Jan's Website to learn about all of her books.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Threads of Grace Book Review



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Threads of Grace by Kelly Long is part of the Patch of Heaven Novels. I have not read anything by Kelly Long before, and this is not the first book to the series but it can be read alone. 

"Grace's autistic son needs a life that is safe and consistent. Seth wants to leave his flirting days behind him and settle down.
Deep in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, the beautiful and weary Amish widow, Grace Beiler, is not looking for a husband-especially one so much younger than her. But handsome and smitten Seth Wyse stumbles upon a way to help her and they marry to keep Grace's autistic son safe from his ill-intentioned uncle. Grace soon discovers that she is far from immune to her young husband's experienced charm and realizes that her first marriage has not destroyed her capacity for love." (CBD)


Grace Beiler is a woman with a long painful past that made me mad as I read this book. She had been forced into an awful marriage to a terrible man who was abusive and crushed her spirit. Grace has so many doubts and doesn't trust anyone, in a way she was easy to relate to as her story unwound throughout the book. Seth Wyse is a wealthy man who has had many girls after him, but he enthralled by Grace. An unwelcome guest shows up and Grace is yet forced into another marriage. I tried to put myself in her shoes and I just simply can't imagine how difficult it would be for me! The story builds on itself and then takes an unexpected turn at the end that I actually enjoyed. This was a good Amish story that promotes the fact that God knows what He is doing. 

 "I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through their Booksneeze program. This is my honest opinion of the book." 


Check out Kelly's Website to learn about more of her books. 
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