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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Driftwood Point



I am so blessed to have been a part of Mariah Stewart's amazing series, The Chesapeake Diaries from the very beginning and have lovingly enjoyed each of the novels that she introduces. I truly hope it never ends. Driftwood Point is the 10th novel to enter into the world of the residents of St. Dennis, a charming seaside community along the Chesapeake Bay. Once more readers are taken back to that small town sense of community and companionship you dream really exists in the world.

As the art display of Lisbeth Parker is about to make its debut in the small town, everyone is generally excited to have one of their own, now about to become a well-known name in the world of art. Even though she was raised along the Chesapeake Bay in the nearby Cannonball Island, her paintings are that of New York cityscapes and that of Central Park during the changing seasons. People are truly drawn to them in such a way but even her family wonders why someone who spent her whole life living on the Bay isn't drawn to capture the life of the island and its town before it soon is abandoned much like the beach cottages that lie desolate all over the small community.

She returns to spend some time figuring out why she no longer has the inspiration to paint anymore as many of her painting in her New Jersey apartment now sit vacant and unfinished. Perhaps its the change in her own life as she walked away from an engagement to a man she no longer loved. Is the island calling her back? She now is helping her 100-year-old great grandmother Ruby, run the general store on the island and finding some sort of inspiration she has been missing. Maybe it's time to renovate the family's deteriorating cottage along Driftwood Point and start over again. Whatever life is ready to hand her, she is more than ready.

Alec Jansen has had a crush on Lisbeth since the fifth grade and is more than thrilled when she moves back to Cannonball Island with her great-grandmother, but soon finds himself defending his actions to help her renovate a few things in the general store in lieu of payment by restoring an original skipjack that his family had made. She believes that Alec has taking advantage of her great-grandmother because she always believed the boat should stay as part of her family home. Now it just seems like things are changing and Lis can't do anything to stop them. Alec meanwhile has been hired by a land developer to look into the abandoned homes now all over Cannonball Island in the hopes of making a tidy profit off of buying them, demolishing them and rebuilding something more large and extravagant in their place and his eyes are set primarily on the 22 acres of Driftwood Point.

I received Driftwood Point by Mariah Stewart compliments of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my personal and unbiased review. Coming back to St. Dennis has always been huge favorite of mine and this entire series would make for a great summer read. But trust me, while each can stand on its own, you won't know each of the resident's stories until you read them as they have moved or married within the town limits of St. Dennis. This is truly a charming and heart-warming series and one I am so excited to see whenever there is a new addition. By the way this one ends, looks like there is more in store for the residents of St. Dennis in the very near future. For me this one is another 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about Driftwood Point, Mariah Stewart or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Mariah Stewart on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Driftwood Point, please visit Simon and Schuster's website. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Almost Like Being in Love



What woman hasn't dreamed of her ideal wedding? From the dress, to the venue, to the honeymoon and even whom she might marry? Caron had hoped that the man she had been dating for the last 2 years and known since she was fifteen might be excited as she is when she wins a destination wedding in Telluride, Colorado. The only problem is that he hasn't exactly proposed. So how does she break this news to him without upsetting the apple cart? Especially since she has quit her job working for her father at Hollister Realty Group, when he choose a business partner to help the business instead of Caron. After all she had hoped that her successes in real estate might just give her the edge she needed to convince her father she'd make the ideal partner.

Since that wasn't going to happen, she opted to quit and try to find herself in all the choices she has made in her life, seeking the approval of her father, as worthy in his eyes, instead of being whom God has created her to be. Her boyfriend Alex, is less that supportive when he learns she is no longer employed. He has his own struggles dealing with his alcoholic mother who can't seem to get past the death of his younger brother. So while Alex juggles trying to be a care giver when his dad is busy, to keep his mom from falling further into depression, he can't deal with Caron's issues with her own father.

Taking a month off of their relationship for now, Caron takes up her ex-boyfriends offer to help stage a home his real estate company is hoping to sell in Colorado. She will spend time with her best friend helping make wedding preparations while she sorts out the ongoing feelings for both her father and Alex. Busy work is just what she needs, but will those feelings she has for Kade Webster be rekindled or will she realize that she really does love Alex after all. Sometimes distance and perspective is all that is needed and she has a year before she has to redeem her wedding anyway. There is plenty of time, right?

I received Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. Vogt compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. I really love the complexity of the issues facing all three characters. They are each dealing with the past that is keeping them from moving forward and for Alex and Caron, they are dealing with trying to please everyone but themselves and in the process don't seem to realize they are lost in the fact they don't know who they are or what they truly want. Love how this plays out all the way to the end. For me, this one rates a 4 out of 5 stars. This is the second novel in the Destination Wedding series!

For more information about Almost Like Being in Love, Beth K.Vogt or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Beth K. Vogt on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can read more reviews on Almost Like Being in Love by visiting Howard Book's website. 


Monday, June 27, 2016

GO PUCK: The World's Most Versatile Battery - Product Review



I am super excited to share a great new product with you. For anyone who has ever winded up with a dead battery and no way to charge it, I have something you'd be interested in that works better than promised. It is called GO PUCK. About the size and weight of a hockey puck, the GO PUCK is a device that can charge up to two devices simultaneously to full capacity within about an hour or two depending on the device, via the USB cable which comes included.



I had the opportunity to try GO PUCK and mine not only came with the USB cable to allow you to charge the GO PUCK device but to use it to charge any device with the standard charging port found on most devices with the exception of the iPhone. However you can use your iPhone charger to plug into your device and then attach the USB end directly into the GO PUCK for a recharge.

This would be so convenient for someone like my husband who uses his phone during his flights and can't always find someplace to charge it during the flight or during brief layovers. In fact, he tested it for me during his flights to Boston and Texas and both times, this worked flawlessly. It gave him just what he needed so he didn't have to stop and find an outlet somewhere to charge his phone or tablet. This would also be great for hikers who don't always have access to a charger during weekend hikes, when an emergency might warrant such a need or when a back up battery simply won't do. Plus it is rugged: shock and vibration resistant. Students or anyone who simply don't have access to a charging station depending on your need, you don't have to worry about one now, as long as you have your Go Puck charged before you leave.

Here are you specs on the GO PUCK: It is wearable as long as you get the active mount. (Mine is included and pictured here). It is a 2.4 A output 2A input and up to 2 times faster charging than other systems. The capacity is a lithium power to go 6,600mAh  24.42 Wh. It is sharable in that it can charge up to two devices at once with the dual USB ports on the GO PUCK.

This can charge any device such as a smartphone, device, action camera, wearables like smart watches and even Bluetooth devices. This is truly mobile freedom and one I would highly recommend adding to your emergency packs. Capacity for charging is depending on the devices you are charging and the model Go Puck you have. There are 3X, 5X and 6XR models available but tablets can be charged 1 time, large phones can be charged 2 times, small phones 4 times, and action cameras between 3-6 times depending on the device manufacturer and weight of the device from 4 oz up to 6.5 oz. You can even enjoy up to 4 times faster recharging with the 6XR Model. With the active mount, you can clip it on, strap it or mount it on your device or backpack (See picture below). The GO PUCK comes with a LED that will turn off while charging your device.



I received the GO PUCK compliments of GO PUCK and Omni-Deals for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a complimentary GO PUCK in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. I really LOVE this for anyone who uses a wireless device and hates the hassle of always trying to find some place to charge it. Now I need to get my husband to give it back so I can have it handy. Most likely I'll end up buying two more, one for him and one for my daughter who is always forgetting to charge her phone. No more excuses of my phone died and I didn't have a place to charge it. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about the GO PUCK, or where you can pick one up today, please click on the links below:


You can find GO PUCK on Facebook to stay up to date on all their latest products and uses.


The Ringmaster's Wife



"We only see what we want to see - in people, in love, and in life. What we see is a choice, as is what we offer the world in return. And it's only behind the costumes and the masks that we can be who we truly are." ~ Mable Ringling

I am completely blown away by a story within a story based on historical facts of the life of Mable and John Ringling in Kristy Cambron's latest novel, "The Ringmaster's Wife." It will be forever a part of my permanent library and one that will long be forever inscribed in my heart as an all-time, will read again and again novel. Brilliant in its execution into taking readers not only in the behind the scenes of the Ringling Bros. circus but more than that to the very lives of the couple that while unable to have any children themselves made sure to entertain and capture the very imagination and essence of children everywhere if only for a brief moment in time.

While John Ringling came from a affluent lifestyle building up his circus enterprise, he fell in love with a small farm town girl he met while visiting Chicago one day. Mable was filled with the hopeful dreams that one day life just might offer her more than what others believed she would end up with. Never too far from her was a cigar box filled with newspaper clippings that housed a world that Mable hoped might one day come true, and if determination was any indicator, she would fulfill them all. When she caught the attention of John, she never imagined her life would ever be the same, and the details she saw that no one else did would forever change the lives of the family that would become part of the Ringling world.

For Lady Rosamund Easling, life was all about choices and the perfect match. Being paired with just the right man was something her parents sought after in an attempt to keep the Easling estate from falling into ruin, and they had just the perfect man in mind. However because Rosamund refused to give up her childish notions of spending the afternoons riding her black Arabian Ingènue bareback as a tribute of sorts to the brother Hendrick she lost when the war took him away. Her family insisted on selling her horse without her permission in order to make her focus on her future, but in Rosamund's mind it was already settled. Thankfully she was given an opportunity to follow her horse to America and ensure that he was properly cared for by Colin Keary, but Colin has other plans of his own in mind.

He knows that in order for a circus to stay successful one must always find ways of packing the Big Top and if witnessing Rosamund talents in the field one day when she thought no one was watching was an indicator, he has just found Ringling's new top star! Now if he can only find a way to convince her to come to America and leave behind the life of a well-to-do lady with a title he could never hope to gain. In fact, he would spend his entire life trying to make up for past mistakes in his life and he owed his future to the Ringling's. He would do everything to ensure they were always a success.

I received The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. I was simply captivated from the first three sentences of this novel, which I captured by the quote at the beginning of this review. It really does convey the persona's we all put on each and every day. The person we allow people to see and the person we are inside. What child hasn't wanted to run away at some point to join the circus and gain a sense of what really goes on in the Big Top. I absolutely LOVE the historical details that Kristy captured in the Ringling's home in Sarasota and hope to add this to my bucket list to see this year hopefully! This one was over way too soon and I know deep in my heart, Kristy has managed to entertain the notion in my heart that "faith that when one has no control, there is One who does." 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and even comes with Discussion Questions at the conclusion. Can't wait to reread this one again!

For more information about The Ringmaster's Wife, Kristy Cambron or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Kristy Cambron on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more review on The Ringmaster's Wife, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Jilted



"My daughter, Ruthie, always called me a glass-is-half-empty kind of person, but she was wrong."

I love it when novels open with a opening statement that truly makes me want to read more and more. Kinda like that first bite of your favorite food. Memories are a lot like that. Just the smell or the taste of something can bring us back to the very essence of that moment. For Lynda Turner and Clyde Felton are each working through their own set of memories and in this case they are not at all pleasant.

Lynda has been abandoned by men her whole life and now she is dealing with the consequences of coping with those losses in the form of depression. She goes through episodes now and again and finds solace driving out to watch the windmills turn and cast shadows that will capture and move her memories to the past where they belong. She just needs to find a way to keep moving forward, while working at the local diner as a cook now.

For Clyde Felton, is seems if there is any crime in the town of Trapp, Texas, everyone seems to think Clyde may have had a hand in it or is responsible. After all, once a criminal always a criminal right? But with Clyde's criminal past, even though he served his time and is trying to find a way back, the residents can't seem to see him as anything but a tarnished penny. Unworthy or unneeded to be polished back to its former glory. Maybe that is why he developed feelings for Lynda. They say opposites attract, but in this case much like the scripture from the Bible in Ecclesiates 4:9-10, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." This is the theme we see played out between Lynda and Clyde.

I received Jilted by Varina Denman compliments of David C Cook Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my personal and unbiased opinion. The hardest thing for anyone who has faced a bad past is the ability to find a way to move forward, and be able to leave it behind. For both Lynda and Clyde, they have to come to terms with doing so in different ways. Lynda has to deal with the issues of abandonment from those in her life, willingly or unwillingly. Clyde has to deal with always feeling like an outsider and that nothing he does will ever be good enough, especially within the church he attends. It seems hard for people to apply the Bible to their own lives and instead find ways to sit back and judge the actions of those around them, instead of seeing them like God does with love and unconditional grace and mercy. I give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and this is the third in the Mended Hearts series. A book club discussion guide is included at the conclusion of this one.

For more information about Jilted, Varina Denman or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Varina Denman on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Jilted, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour page.

Can all things really work together for good, and can the joy of living be found once again? Don't miss one woman's story in book three, Jilted, of Varina Denman's Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Celebrate the release of Varina's Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.

jilted-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading
  • A $50 Kohl's gift card to make your summertime sweet
The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina's website.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Close To Home



When you lose the love of your life, how long will it take before you feel comfortable about dating again, or do you ever? What about the relationships you have built with the family after the death, do you maintain it or simply realize at some point that too will change? These are the questions running through Bree Whitman faces when it has been five years since she lost her Marine husband Tim in Afghanistan. She just can't even begin to imagine what that must be like, even though she is still young enough to begin again. Where does one even start? How will she ever be able to explain that to the Whitman family who feels more like her own family, than her real ones?

Since she has been on the receiving end of the attentions of her co-worker Aaron, who has expressed more than a passing interest in dating her, Bree just isn't sure what to do, but believes it may be time to see how it might work out with Aaron. While her job permits interoffice dating, she knows if it doesn't work out, it will be very uncomfortable to continue to work together and it may affect her working relationship with clients in the event planning business if her and Aaron can't work together. Still it is a risk she is willing to begin, but when Aaron gets too pushy on what he believes Bree should be willing to do at this point in her grieving process, she begins to wonder if she made a mistake, especially when he wants her to give up her Tuesday night dinners with the Whitman family at the Chicory Inn.

Drew Brooks find himself laid off from his job and with no prospects within town including with his brother Dallas' company that is at a hiring freeze, he opts to look outside for work in St. Louis. He just didn't expect it would mean giving up being a part of the family with the Whitmans. But since Grant and Audrey's mother, Cee-Cee is dealing with health issues including forgetting things and running the risk of getting injured living alone in her old age, they believe now is the time to begin building her a small cottage in the meadow on the land in which they run the Chicory Inn, a bed and breakfast so they can keep her close but still allow her to live independently. Now that Drew is looking for work, Grant offers him a job working on the cottage with him until he can find a more permanent job. That works out perfectly until he begins to spend Tuesday nights with the Whitmans and finds a friendship with Bree building into something much more more!

I received Close to Home by Deborah Raney compliments of Net Galley and Abingdon Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free eBook of Close To Home in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. Since I have read the previous novels, this one was missing and was so glad I got the chance to see how Bree would deal with the loss of her husband Tim. I can only imagine how difficult the situation would be and dealing not only with your own feelings but that of your former spouses as well. This played out so well and I was rooting for Bree and Drew the whole time. I really didn't think she would work out with Aaron since their first interactions. A man who thinks Bree is ready but isn't willing to consider all the aspects of beginning again, certainly isn't worth anyone's time. I would easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and reader's even get a sneak peek at the 5th novel coming soon, Home at Last! Even though these are part of a series, you can read this one just fine, but the back stories of each of them are in subsequent novels including the first one that establishes why Grant and Audrey decided to start a Bed and Breakfast in their home.

The Chicory Inn Series
1 - Home to Chicory Lane
2 - Two Roads Home
3 - Another Way Home
4 - Close to Home
5 - Home at Last (Coming Soon)

For more information about Close to Home, Deborah Raney or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Deborah Raney on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

You can read more reviews on Close to Home at Abingdon Press' website.




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When Calls the Heart - Heart of a Hero



Looking for a great family series that is suitable for all ages? Trust me, check out When Calls the Heart! It began with the novel from Janette Oke and spawned into a great series that you can find on the Hallmark Channel. Now going on it's 4th season soon, this is produced by Michael Landon Jr, whose family has produced some amazing series geared for families.

When Calls the Heart - Heart of a Hero, is the 3 DVD release in Season 3 that showcases the life of a frontier town called Hope Valley, a mining town out west that takes us into the heart of all the town's residents, and has roots in relationships, self-empowerment, love and enduring power of love. New arrivals bring excitement, love and danger to Hope Valley. Pastor Frank has been reinstated following the revelation of his criminal past, but the arrival of his old cohorts, the Garrison Gang, are making life - and his relationship with Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) - very tense. Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) has his own debt to settle with Jake Garrison, and Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing), intends to stay Bill's hand from killing the man. Meanwhile, Lee Coulter's foot injury brings a pretty nurse, Faith Carter from Hamilton...and soon after, her possessive fiancè. And Jack rises to the defense of new settlers on Gowen's land when Gowen abruptly raises their rent.

Just when you thought love was blooming in all the right places for our favorite characters Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) and Abigail Stanton who have had their faith share of problems, now it seems they will have to deal with issues from the past in both of their situations. Faith was the nurse who helped Jack's brother back in Elizabeth's hometown of Hamilton and caused their relationship to be tested and now she is in Hope Valley. But will she stay? Will Pastor Frank even be able to face the town again as their man of faith, when he held back his own secret past? What will that do for the relationship that was just beginning to kindle with Abigail? It seems our heroes heart will be put to the ultimate test.




I received When Calls the Heart: Heart of a Hero by Word Films and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review aside from a free copy of this DVD in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. This has truly been my favorite series from the Hallmark Channel, in part because I grew up with Little House on the Prairie and now When Calls the Heart is this generations equivalent of the same. It has great moral lessons and the characters convey the consequences that come from wrong decisions, but forgiveness and unconditional love always win out in the end. Dove Family Approved and running time is 84 minutes approximately and worth all 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about When Calls the Heart, Word Films, The Hallmark Channel or where you can pick up this DVD today, please click on the links below:


You can find When Calls the Heart on Facebook to stay up to date all everything from the series.

You can find Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date on all their latest movie and film projects.