Tuesday 23 July 2013

Book Review: Trouble In Store

ISBN# 978-0-7642-0956-7

From the Back of the Book:

Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.

The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.

But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb’s business–and romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

My Reflections:

Trouble in Store is the tale of Melanie Ross who believes that her position as a governess will bring her the security and independence that she craves. Set in 1885, Melanie soon discovers being a governess is not as easy as she once imagined.

When Melanie finds herself penniless and homeless all at once, she must find employment in order to survive. Melanie will have to be one very determined woman in order to make it on her own, a quality she has no problem with.

Caleb Nelson has moved to the Arizona Territory to start a new life with his son, Levi. He is grappling with the ins and out of running the mercantile that he has inherited from his uncle. Life has been as constant struggle since his wife passed away. Little does Caleb know that life is about to get a whole lot more complicated than he ever dreams possible!

When Melanie shows up in the western town of Cedar Ridge Things heat up!

Trouble In Store tells of the story of two very different characters trying to overcome loss and survive in a tough and cruel world. Both are fighting for something they believe in.

 Will this battle result in a union of wills, or enemies to the end?

I quite enjoyed the feisty characters in this novel and the Mystery and suspense that was laced with humor and romance. It was a pleasant surprise to see this twist in the story line. I was not anticipating it at all. I am so very glad to have had the opportunity to read this wonderful new book written by Carlo Cox, and can't wait to read more of this fine authors books.

If you enjoy historical romance with heaping doses of humor, sprinkled with wit, tossed in with a dab of mystery and intrigue – you will love Trouble In Store!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About the Author:  

Carol Cox

Carol Cox

Native Arizonan Carol Cox has an abiding love for history, mystery, and romance. The author of more than 25 books, she believes in the power of story to convey spiritual truths. Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where deer and antelope really do play--within view of the family's front porch. Visit her website at www.authorcarolcox.com.

Monday 22 July 2013

Book Review: Small Town Girl


About The Book:

How long can two people stand on the brink of love without plunging in headfirst?

In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates with apprehension, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest.

Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything and Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways. Could she truly be in love with him? And if he enlists, will she ever see him again?
In her gentle and textured style, Ann H. Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip your heart and stir your spirit. Fans of Gabhart's Angel Sister will love seeing Kate Merritt all grown-up, as well as other characters they have come to love.

My relaxing river companion, what a great place to read!

My Reflections:

 Ann Gabhart takes her readers on a sweet coming of age drama. Kate thinks love may have passed her by as she watches her sister marry the only man she believes she has loved since she was fifteen.

Kate, the sister in the middle, finds her self drawn to the best man, and drifter by the name of Jay Tanner. After snubbing her life long friend to explore her feelings, Kate struggles to understand her new found friendship towards Mr Tanner, and decide whether to give in to her emotions or hold fast to her stubborn determination and beliefs towards him.  Will love win out? Does the  handsome rugged Tanner go to war?

Gabhart captures the World War II era in this novel authentically, with all the sacrifices and anticipation vibrating off the pages you feel as though you too are trapped in the time when the world was drastically changed.

Gabhart has masterfully painted her readers an endearing and enchanting town in Rosy Corner. The residents are colorful and engaging and the story wraps its self around your heart until you truly feel like you know the characters. I absolutely love when I read a novel that envelops my senses enough to make me forget the world around me. This is one of those books!

I have not had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series but will definitely be purchasing it in the near future.This author is definitely one to keep your eyes on, I am hoping to see a sequel to this novel in the near future.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About The Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Book review: A Most Peculiar Circumstance

most peculiar circumstance
ISBN # 978-0-7642-1019-8

From the Back:

Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the down-trodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need. But things go sadly awry, and both ladies soon find themselves in dire need of rescue. Arabella, always loath to admit she needs help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.

Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. He is already in a less than pleasant mood, and when Hamilton’s sister turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.

Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return home to New York, but the most unusual feelings beginning to grow between them certainly can’t be anything serious. When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love.

My Reflections:

Full of humor, whit and hilarious twist and turns, Jen Turano’s, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, will have you laughing out loud! Though the theme is serious in nature the characters beg you to continue reading, with their crazy antics and far fetched predicaments.

With an intriguing plot and colorful characters, this is a delightful read for any Historical Christian Fiction fan.

Old character favorites return in this story and share the tale of Arabella and Theodore, two very head strong individuals at odds with each other. these characters will have you laughing and sighing all at once, wondering what trouble will befall them next.

There is a bit of a mystery that was quite a surprise well into the book, I was not expecting this twist and am not sure it quite fit with the theme of the book. That being said it was an interesting turn of events and while I didn't enjoy this aspect, I am sure it may appeal to other readers.

This is Turano's second book in the Ladies of Distinction series, and If you are a fan of her first book I am sure you will enjoy A Most Peculiar Circumstance as well.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About the Author
Jen Turano
Jen Turano, author of A Change of Fortune, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. When she’s not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

Sunday 21 July 2013

Book Review: In Golden Splendor

 ISBN: 978-1-4336-7820-2

 From the Back:

Irish immigrant Seamus Hanley is a lost soul, haunted by his past as a U.S. Army deserter and living alone in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in 1849. But after witnessing a deadly stage coach crash, he finds purpose in the scattered wreckage -- a letter with a picture of a beautiful and captivating woman named Ashlyn living in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush.
Moved by her written plea for help, he abandons all and sets out on an epic journey across the wild and picturesque American frontier. While being pursued by those who want to hang him, Seamus encounters fascinating characters including a young Pauite Indian who makes the ultimate sacrifice in helping Seamus to cross the snowy Yosemite Valley.
Battered but changed for the better, Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve as the city burns in the tragic fire of 1849. But there is little time for rest, as an even greater, more harrowing adventure involving Ashlyn is about to begin.

My Reflections:

This book sounded like an interesting and engaging book and I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to read it. Unfortunately the story line had so many characters I found it challenging to keep the story straight in my head. Although I did enjoy the fact that all the characters demonstrated solid values like forgiveness, love and hope, that was the thing that spurred me on.
 I am thankful I did!

Even though this book didn't capture my interest as expected I was pleasantly surprised that a male writer could dish up a good romance just as well as his female contenders.

The second Heirs of Ireland novel centers on Seamus Hanley, brother to Clare, the lead of Flight of the Earls. The storyline is fast paced, with twists and turns and a few surprising events. my addled brain eventually adjusted to the many charterers by this point.

Seamus Hanley proved to be an inspiring character, a man running from a past he could not escape. From Ireland to the Rocky Mountains to San Francisco, Seamus encounters many along his journey that slowly help him become the man God created him to be.

This book has all the aspects you would want in a historical christian fiction, humor, action/adventure, family, love, danger, history, suspense and most importantly a faith based message.

So if you are looking for a complex, yet deep and thought provoking read, laced with a little romance I would say this is it!

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from B and B media Group. Thank you B and B!

About the Author:

Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

How chore pouches changed my life!

So you ask, how do laminated cards in little plastic sleeves change a persons life?

In this post I will tell you a simple, no yelling way to get what needs to be done, well... done!

I stumbled across this idea when visiting my new friends the cow milking, fun and friendly Homeschooling crew. They are one inspiring family!

The kids were wearing these strange necklaces, and me the ever curious friend asks ..uh what's stuck to all your kids.. is that so you remember all their names? I think there are 10 kids in the family, but they never stop moving so I have not officially counted.

The ever so gracious hostess smiles at my lame-o attempt at humor and explains the concept to me.....I initially thought it strange and slightly humiliating for a child to wear their chores around their necks until completed.

But the more I pondered the concept the more I was sold on trying it.

who cares, I thought we all have a ball and chain, and if those children of mine do the chores I nag them to complete without all the hoopla, well why not give it a whirl?

My conclusion: LOVE IT!

Here is my Cadillac version sourced from a few different blogs:

Here is the Chain and ball, hehehe no really here is the chore pack necklace. This is the 5 year olds everyone has their color hers is pink!

 Here is the actual chores, notice it is visual and written for readers and non readers alike!
 laminated and cut out for durability.

The packs are sorted the night before and the chores I want completed for the next day are in order in the pack and hanging on the childrens door for morning.

So when the kids wake up they pop on their chore pack and flip through the chores as they complete them. So if little one was wearing this pack pictured here I could look at her and know she was on "Make Bed"  No nagging, no bribing...the bribe is in the pack.

At the end of the chores the children have a "mystery reward card" It could be something simple like bake with mom, or free time, or Phone a friend. Or it could be pick a prize out of our prize basket. (I fill these with dollar store goodies)

These charts have saved me from the constant nagging, they really work, my friends!!

Here are the site I found to download the "chore picture cards" Lots of other useful ideas here as well.


Love this blog!

Enjoy Hope this helps the chores get done in your house as well... Blessings!

Monday 15 July 2013

Book Review- Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home

Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home 
ISBN 13: 9781433536052

Publisher's Description

Sometimes life feels a lot like a burden—day-in and day-out its the same chores and tasks, challenges and discouragements, anxieties and responsibilities. Dust bunnies show up on the stairwell, social commitments clutter the calendar, and our families demand daily attention and care. At times, just catching our breath seems like an impossible feat.

So where is God in all of this? Does he care about the way we unload the dishwasher or balance the budget? Do the little things like changing diapers or cooking meals make a difference? And how can we use our spheres of influence for God’s glory and our joy?

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working woman splitting time between the office and home, Gloria Furman—writer, pastor’s wife, cross-cultural worker, and mom—encourages us to see the reality of God’s grace in all of life, especially those areas that often appear to be boring and unimportant. Using personal examples and insightful stories, her richly theological reflections help us experience the gospel’s extraordinary power to transform our ordinary lives.
Includes a Foreword by Lauren Chandler

My Reflections:

We all long to wrap our heads and hearts around the concept of grace. We want to see it, to recognize it...in the remarkable. In the mundane day to day tasks that zap our energy and dim our wits, we long to feel the peace and contentment only Grace can provide. Grace is that untangible aspect of faith that seems to stump us all from time to time. Or in my case most of the time. 

I mean it is so easy to recognize grace in those times when we are desperate, and by grace we truly LIVE. But in the laundry, in the chicken poop...I was not so convinced. 

This book truly helped me to see where we can see glimpses of Gods grace in the ordinary, quiet times when life is just happening. 

Glimpses of Grace does a good job of pointing us toward the grace that is right in front of us. Offering beautifully simple examples from her life, the author does a good job of showing us what grace looks like when your living out your day to day routines. 

I would definitely recommend this book, to women in all stages of life. It is a wonderful reminder of how we can intentionally live a god centered life, joyfully!

I was provided this book free of charge through Crossway, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you so much Crossway!

About the Author

Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of three young children, doula, and blogger. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She blogs regularly at The Gospel Coalition, Domestic Kingdom, and Desiring God, and is author of the forthcoming book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.

Monday 1 July 2013

That Certain Summer

Cover Art

ISBN 9780800722494

Two very different sisters . . . an unexpected homecoming . . . one unforgettable summer
Karen and Val are family--yet they're anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had other reasons for moving away--as well as a secret to keep--and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with past mistakes as they care for their ailing mother. When two handsome men enter the picture, the summer takes on a surprising new dimension. As their lives intersect, can each of them learn how to forgive, let go, and move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

My Reflections:

That Certain Summer is a perfect feel-good beach read. Though no character has an easy go of it, you go into the book knowing things will work turn out in the end. 

From the wonderful character development to the very enjoyable plot Hannon gives us very good and likable three dimensional characters, intelligent, smart, willing to speak their minds and who act like mature adults. 
You will not see silly or childish misunderstandings or out of character choices. The author gives us true to reality scenarios, which makes for a good reading experience. 
You will find yourself rooting for the characters in this story of love and redemption.

I rank this novel as a wonderful start to my summer reading season!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About the Author:

Irene Hannon

 Irene Hannon

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

For more information about her and her books, Irene invites you to visit her website at www.irenehannon.com.
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