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Thursday, May 5, 2016

When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts

Looking for a television series that is great for all ages? Check out Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart Series, based on the novel from author Janette Oke and executive producer Michael Landon Jr. Now in its third season, the DVD When Calls the Hearts: Troubled Hearts is released to fans of the series known simply as "Hearties!"

The entire series is based on a fictional town in the west known simply as Hope Valley, formerly Coal Valley. Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) leaves her well to do family in Hamilton to head west in search not only for adventure but answering the ad for a school teacher. She falls in love with Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing), a Canadian Mounty, and realizes that she has finally found a true home. In this episode, Elizabeth finally has her own home, at last after living with Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin), owner of the cafe. She is excited as she prepares to write her novel of life on the frontier in her new home but first it will need more than fixing up and Jack is just the person to lend a hand. He had hoped that one day he would build her a home, but for now those plans are on hold.

Rosemary begins to see signs that her love interest Lee Colter, the owner of the Sawmill might be having financial difficulties and she lends a hand helping him to economize and save money at every opportunity without first confronting him. She believes its not her place to ask if he needs money. Meanwhile just as things are beginning to look up for Abigail as she expresses an interest in Pastor Frank, an unexpected visitor Jesse shows up to make things difficult based on Frank's past he is keeping hidden. Things are about to get complicated once again for the residents of Hope Valley!

I received When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts compliments of Word Films and Edify Media Group for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the DVD in exchange for my heartfelt and honest opinions. There honestly has not been much I don't like about this series, except that you have to wait for each new season! The DVD's however help to pass the time. This one includes exclusive behind the scenes interviews  and runs about 84 minutes in length for the feature. This is truly one series that every single member can enjoy and fans of Little House on the Prairie will definitely want to make sure you pick this entire series up from the beginning. It has humor, romance, adventure and a few tears along the way as you cheer on your favorite character or couple! For me, another 5 out of 5 stars!

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

You can find When Calls the Heart on Facebook to stay up to date with all the cast and crew.

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

You can purchase a copy of When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts at your favorite online retailer like Amazon. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Oniza 3 in 1 Camera Lens

Sometimes its too much to grab a bulky full size camera along especially with all the advancements in camera technology and the versatility of having your smart phone handy. Add in all the latest photo editing software and your just about set. Now you can also add on Oniza 3 in 1 camera lens designed specifically for use on your iPhone, HTC, Samsung smart phones as well as your iPads, Tablets, PC's or laptops that have a camera included in them.

The Oniza 3 in 1 camera lens offers you three unique lens capabilities, Fisheye, Macro and Wide Angle. You simply clip on the lens of your choice on your device and ensure that it is over your devices built in lens and you're all set. I found that I truly enjoyed the Macro the best because it blurs the outer edges so your focus is on the detail in the center of the lens.

The top photo shows the image from my Samsung 4 phone without the lens and the bottom is with the macro lens attached. It blurs the outer edges so you can focus on the "shift" button photo.

The only downside I found to using the clip on lens is that based on the size of the case you have, you might need to remove it in order to line up correctly so you don't see an edge from the lens. The wide angle lens offers a 180 degree view point of what your camera sees which helps if you're not a pro using the panorama function on your device like me. All the lens fit in a smart fabric bag that you can tuck into your purse or pocket and you're ready to use. This definitely gives you some incredible options to take your own photography to a whole new fun level. For the price point, you can't beat it!

I received the Oniza 3 in 1 camera lens kit compliments of Oniza and the VIP Power Club for an honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from the Oniza 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit to try in exchange for my honest and personal opinion. You get three lens, a fiber cleaning cloth, a fabric holding bag, and rubber covers for each of the lens, along with a clip to fit your device. For the price point, this is definitely worth it in my opinion. I would give this product a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and love the convenience of taking this with me for more photo options in using my smart phone. Teens will definitely LOVE it as my 17-year-old daughter commandeered mine when I got it.

For more information about the Oniza 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit or where you can pick one up today, please click on the links below:

Her One and Only Release Party

wade event promo - fb 

A female bodyguard plus her star NFL client plus danger equals a great recipe for romance! Her One and Only, book four in Becky Wade's Porter Family novels, releases May 3. To celebrate, Becky is hosting an author chat party on her Facebook page on May 5 at 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT. Join Becky for an evening of book chat with other bookworms and prizes.

Plus a portion of all pre-sales and sales the release week of Her One and Only will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more details on how to purchase a copy, click here.

wade 400 - fallen heroes

About the Book

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Messenger By Moonlight

I have such passion for historical fiction novels based on historical facts, in this case the Pony Express as the backdrop for Stephanie Grace Whitson's latest novel, Messenger By Moonlight. While the story line revolves primarily around Annie Paxton, the sister of Emmet and Frank, who find themselves in a bit of a predicament when they find their family home and farm lands sold from out under them to settle their father's excessive debts. Believing that God is in the details, they pack all their belongings into three trunks and head out to St. Joseph, Missouri in search of new futures. One thing is for certain, Emmet and Frank want to make sure that all of Annie's dreams come true and that begins with finding ways to earn money so she can have the home she has always wanted.

Frank and Emmet try their hand at auditioning for the Pony Express and find that they are but a handful that will be based in remote home station in Nebraska. Fearing she will be left alone, the brothers assure Annie, that they have secured her a job as a cook at the station house working for George Morgan, a man with a less than stellar reputation, but one they feel will be the best for all of them. They promise Annie if they can all do their part for two years, she will have everything she has ever wanted and more. For Annie it will mean learning to cook for more than 4 people, as not only will she have to deal with the stagecoach passengers but men who serve one of the local outposts at the fort as well. In fact, they are sure, Annie will have no problem with being alone once the local population finds out how beautiful the local cook at the station house is.

Now they will each face uncertainties they had never dreamed of before. Annie is trying to find her way in a world she knows very little about, working for gruff old man who has very little to say to her and instead keeps out of her way most of the time. Frank has to come to terms with the fact that Annie and Emmet have their faith to fall back on, while he struggles to come to terms with the fact that there is a God often times when you least expect Him to show up. Emmet, believes that he can save up enough money to secure the future of a girl he left in Buchanan County, Missouri if he can prove he can provide for her. But like all great novels, things aren't going to be as simple as that.

I received Messenger by Moonlight by Stephanie Grace Whitson compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest and personal opinion. I really loved this novel because it involves not only Annie's story but also that of Emmet and Frank. They each have a bit of growing up to do and the challenges of life on the wild frontier is not always an easy one. The challenges of riding for the Pony Express isn't as straight forward as you might imagine as riding long distances can take a physical toll of the body as well as dealing with adversities like Indians, uncooperative horses and weather just to name a few. But the mail must move forward and this is a well written and engaging novel that fans of historical fiction will absolutely LOVE! 5 Stars in my opinion. An author's note at the conclusion of this novel highlights some of those unique facts about the Pony Express she used in the creation of this novel.

For more information about Messenger by Moonlight, Stephanie Grace Whitson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Stephanie Grace Whitson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Messenger by Moonlight, please visit Faith Word's website. 

Messenger by Moonlight is available in paperback and eBook formats at your favorite retailer. ISBN: 9781455529087, 352 pages.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

There Will Be Stars

"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair...the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes will nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die. ~ Dorothy Sayers"

I sat here for quite some time, wondering how I can put into words what Billy Coffey's newest novel, There Will Be Stars is, without giving it away. I'm probably sure of one thing, after I write this review and publish it, think on it some more, will probably wish I had written something else. I always do when it comes to Billy's novels and that my friend, is what makes his novels so unique! I guess, I'm still wondering what genre it might fit into, because for some it will be one thing, and for others something else. I think people will all take something very different away from this novel, and that is what makes Billy Coffey's writing style so unique and almost ethereal in a sense. It takes you someplace, you're not sure you want to go, kinda of like hearing that strange noise at night, and you don't really want to know what it is, but you have to see for yourself if it is something or simply nothing at all.

There Will Be Stars in a novel from the Mattingly Series of novels Billy began writing about and as he places a disclosure at the beginning, these can be read in any order, but this one takes place a few years after  In the Heart of the Dark Wood. I love to read them in the order he has written them, and then I make in fact go back and read them in a different order. This is the story not only of Bobby Barnes, the main character in this novel but those who he is interconnected with. Not only those who play a role in this novel, but those who he speaks with in getting from the beginning to the end of this story.

Bobby Barnes is the town's drunk. He runs a automotive repair shop in the small town of Mattingly, Virginia, one in which everyone knows your business, often without your permission, because it is that small and everyone is connected in some unique way that can only be explained by the mind of the writer of the novel. People have been saying for some time, that Bobby will one day drink himself to death, either by consuming so much or by getting behind the wheel. Bobby might have a different opinion on that one. He works better when he has had a few even though he rarely gets much done. Perhaps he drinks to forget, perhaps he drinks simply because that is all he has known, and to do something different, might just throw him for a spin he isn't willing to take. Whatever the issue, this is the story of how Bobby defines those very moments in something I have a hard time describing. All I know is that you have to experience it to understand it and that my friend, is why you need to read this novel.

I received There Will Be Stars by Billy Coffey compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and personal opinion. How to describe what this novel is about is like mixing Groundhog Day with the Twilight Zone. There are six people who are about to find out what heaven or hell is like based on their own perceptions of where they are in life and how they see the events that are coming to them all. In fact, all I know is that Billy Coffey can spin a tale that will have you second guessing yourself all the way to the very end and make you want to reread it to see if you might have missed something along the way. For me, this is a definite sign of a truly talented writer, and for me, this one rates up there with something Stephen King might have written! Well worth again another 5 out of 5 stars! Keep em coming Billy Coffey, keep em coming! A reader's discussion guide is included at the conclusion and would make for one great novel for book clubs to take a poke at!

For more information about There Will Be Stars, Billy Coffey or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Billy Coffey on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To see more reviews on There Will Be Stars, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website. 

Mattingly Series Novels by Billy Coffey 

When Mockingbirds Sing
The Devil Walks in Mattingly
In the Heart of the Dark Wood
The Curse of Crow Hollow
There Will Be Stars

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Secrets of Flight

Funny how the older we get, the more we tend to love history. I can honestly say, I hated it in school but truly appreciate it now, especially the role women played in the war efforts that sad to say were missing from my history books growing up. Maybe that is why I appreciate it so much now and to know that few of our WWII veterans remain living, so their stories are just waiting to be told if we simply sit down with them while they are still here to listen to.

In the novel The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler, I was drawn to the story of Mary Browning, a 87-year-old woman who used to be a WASP pilot during WWII but is now wishing she had the time to write down her memoir. She can't write because she suffers from tremors and using a computer now is beyond her knowledge of technology. She resolves to spend her time, meeting with a group of fellow seniors, sharing their love of writing once a week at the library and collaborating and editing them although many will never be published. Perhaps it just keeps them young at heart.

However when 15-year-old Elyse Strickler arrives at the library one day to answer an add one of the members places in the local paper seeking new writing talent, things are about to get interesting. Mary now realizes that she can get Elyse to write her story as a part time job, but it will mean divulging all those secrets of a life she left behind in WWII that no one including her writing group is aware she holds. Elyse on the other hand is suffering her own issues at home, dealing with the potential divorce of her family and gaining the attention of a young boy at school, while she is less than popular at school This is where her and Mary becoming peer and mentor of sorts and an unlikely friendship is born of the secrets they keep.

I received The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the novel in exchange for my honest and personal evaluation. While I was initially drawn to this story because of the WWII side of it, I was left a bit disappointed first, by the amount of profanity used in the novel, but the disconnection I felt for the characters. For me, that is what makes a great novel, is that you can connect with them on some level, but this one for me fell short of my own expectations, but others might feel differently. Mary's secrets in this novel are many and for those close to her, she felt the need to lie to them about virtually everything in her life, from going to flight school at the University to enrolling in the WASP program and it affects those relationships throughout her life. For me this one rates a 3 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Secrets of Flight, Maggie Leffler or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel that is available in May of 2016, please click on the links below:

You can find Maggie Leffler on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Secrets of Flight, please visit William Morrow's website. 


Friday, April 29, 2016

Song of Silence

"There are moments in life, seasons in life, when it seems that God goes silent. We wait. We listen. Nothing. No movement. No stirring. No signs of hope or relief. In the silence, it's tempting to believe nothing is happening. Good musicians understand the crucial role silence plays in music. The pause creates tension. They give weight to what is about to come or what has just passes. These silences are not empty, dead space. They're the crucial, fertile silences that make a song what it is. Musically speaking, in the silence, something is happening.

"In your season of waiting on God to speak, don't be fooled into thinking that just because nothing's happening, nothing's happening. In the silence, a song is brewing. Even now, in the quiet pause, in the desperate waiting between what was and what is to come, a song is being composed. You are becoming, and this becoming is not empty and passive. It's active, fertile and alive no matter how hidden it may seem to your ears. Wherever you find yourself waiting...keep composing. Keep becoming. Keep hoping and listening. Somewhere beneath the silence that is your life, a faint chord is striking, a song is brewing. - Brad Nelson, Restoration Living" (pg 201-201).

Such profound advice for retired music teacher Lucy Tuttle who finds herself afloat in her life without a sure way to figure out what is next. Being forced into early retirement when the school board votes to eliminate the music program, she feels like she has no voice. No song left to sing. Her husband Charlie, who has been retired is looking forward to this chapter of their life where he has hopes of spending it with Lucy. Lucy realizes how much this early retirement will cut into their finances and can't seem to get her head above water long enough to figure out what she is going to do.

Her daughter Olivia, needs to move home temporarily while she finishes up school and at the same time, her son just announces that he is getting married to someone who he has barely known at all. Along with that relationship comes the fact of dealing with Sasha who is deaf and her son Evan who has Asperger's. Just how much more can one woman be expected to deal with at this stage in her life when age seems to play an imminent role in her finding another teaching position. The last thing she wants to do is hang out with her husband Charlie who is considering going into the worm farm business and Lucy would make the perfect partner.

I received Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti compliments of Abingdon Press 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 honest review. This is such a great novel as I find myself considering entering the work force at the same age as Lucy is and wondering how I will be received. I couldn't imagine dealing with all that she is faced with all at the same time. Love her HHATT group, her doctor has her meet with and can only hope I can form my own such group to share my inner most woman feelings with to those who can truly understand. For me, this one easily goes down as a 5 out of 5 stars and a Reader's Discussion Guide is included for those real book clubs to enjoy! I hope Cynthia decides to expand this into a series of the women we meet in Lucy's HHATT group! Would love to know their stories!

For more information about Song of Silence, Cynthia Ruchti or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Cynthia Ruchti on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

For more reviews on Song of Silence, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, will Lucy's faith song go silent, too? Find out in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, Song of Silence. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes. When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

Celebrate the release of Song of Silence with a blog tour and giveaway. Two winners will be chosen!

song of silence - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A $150 Visa cash card
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by Cynthia
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 9th. The winners will be announced May 10th on Cynthia's blog.