The Best People In The World!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Return of Cassandra Todd

When Turner Caldwell left high school behind, he had hoped all the memories of being bullied went right along with them. Being the focus of many high school pranks, he couldn't wait to graduate and leave those times long behind him. Yet little did he know that those old memories would resurface in unexpected ways and literally right under his nose. When Cassandra Todd and her three-year-old son, Justin arrive in town, all those old feelings of his high school crush come rushing back. She was the ever popular cheer leader and it seemed like even then she didn't acknowledge him so why should today be any different.

Working as a handy man at the Mountain View Motel in Lakewood, Colorado and attending college pretty much occupied all his hours in a day. He had hoped one day to reap the benefits of working for Camp Kopawanee and helping troubled teens in a survival camp. Now supplementing his college classes in outdoor education and Psychology, he had hoped to one day make a difference unlike his former life in high school. Taking his ever present to do list from Harvey Jones, the owner of the motel, he found himself face to face with Cassandra in Room 21 to replace the door chain. What he doesn't expect to to find himself involved in helping Cassandra and Justin hide from her abusive husband, and one time high school bully, Brad Duncan.

When Cassandra leaves him in the middle of the night hoping to find a safe haven, she didn't think she'd run into Turner Caldwell, but she truly believes in the power of prayer and knows Turner is sent to her from God to help. But no matter how many times they try and avoid detection from Brad Duncan and his two thugs, they seem to be one step behind. Now that Turner's involved, Brad's out to make sure this time, Turner stays put even if it means killing him in the process. Will Turner be able to help Cassandra and Justin find peace or will Brad follow through with his threats and kill Cassandra and Turner and take back his son?

I received The Return of Cassandra Toddy by Darrel Nelson compliments of Realms Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. This is the second book written by Darrel that I have had the pleasure and true honor to review and I am so thrilled I did. His writing style immediately engages you from the prologue and even though you know how it might turn out, just being along for the action thrill ride is guaranteed to give you white knuckles turning pages and holding on to the book! I love how the survival training Turner has experienced in growing up, he is able to utilize when things go wrong and the threesome find themselves in a true survival situation in the mountains and no phone service. I absolutely LOVED how Darrel incorporates all this into this novel and kept me engaged until I turned the final page leaving me truly breathless. Well done, once again Darrel Nelson and I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!! Can't wait for Following Rain coming soon!

For more information about The Return of Cassandra Todd, Darrel Nelson or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Darrel Nelson on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

For more reviews from Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour for The Return of Cassandra Todd, please click here. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


You've probably heard the phrase, "turn the other cheek," however is it possible to still turn the other cheek when the life of someone you love may be in danger? How long would you be able to remain passive even if your core religious beliefs were founded on those very principles. To not return violence with violence?

Yet in the small Mennonite town of Kingdom, removed from most of society to maintain those solid religious beliefs, the town suddenly finds violence has stepped inside the borders of the town. First with the burning of a church just on the outskirts of town and now when Hope Kauffman, has become the latest target of violence. She was returning home when a red truck forced her off the road in her buggy, but she was able to leap clear just in time. As the truck attempted to run her down again, she was saved by her answered prayer when Jonathan Wiese shows up in his truck and scares the driver off. Had it not been for Jonathan's quick actions, Hope might be dead.

Jonathan reminds her that the violence is growing towards those who hate Christians, burning churches, running drivers off the road and knowing that the people of Kingdom will not retaliate against them no matter how bad it gets. He advises Hope to please speak with the Elders of the church to see if there are so precautions that they can take to prevent the violence from getting out of hand. He offers to follow Hope back into town to her quilt shop, Kingdom Quilts but learns that not everyone is glad to see him, even if he did save Hope's life. Jonathan was a young man who moved to Kingdom with his family a year ago. He had immediately started sharing his ideas about reforming the Kingdom Mennonite Church and had caused some in the church to be upset with him and his beliefs. Her father was not at all pleased with the amount of time that Hope was spending with Jonathan even if they were only friends. Hope was engaged to marry Ebenezer Miller or Ebbie for short, but found herself wondering just what were her true feelings for Jonathan.

However will her father's opinions change now that Hope's life was threatened? Will he be able to stick with his foundational beliefs when the violence continues and the best they can hope for is praying for God's divine intervention? Is it possible to remain sincere to your religious beliefs and yet still protect those you love? All these answers are found in the latest novel, Unbreakable from Nancy Mehl's Road to Kingdom series. This is the second book in the series and can be read as a stand alone. Nancy's exceptional detail she pours into her characters will make you truly care about them as though you knew them personally and will make you want to go back to the beginning and read her first book, Inescapable.

I received Unbreakable by Nancy Mehl compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. This is such an amazing novel because it shows how truly devoted some people are to their faith, despite the fact that the world around them is changing and they can't remain locked away forever without having the world intrude upon them. It takes you behind the scenes through the eyes of Hope Kauffman and teaches us that sometimes it's alright to question the things you have been taught instead of simply accepting them at face value. It makes them easier to hold onto and shows that often times compromise can be achieved without losing your foundations in the process. I proudly give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the third book in this series coming soon. There is also a discussion guide included at the end that works perfectly for book clubs to enjoy this one as well.

For more information about Unbreakable, Nancy Mehl or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also stay up to date with all of Nancy Mehl's novels on Facebook. 

To read more reviews from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour for Unbreakable, please click here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Flora's Wish

She was the legendary Fatal Flora, the bride who had lost four fiancès to their untimely graves. All of Natchez knew that, so why not total strangers as well? He also knew that she had an ability to navigate heights, decent skill on the ballroom floor, and an interest in finding Will Tucker. It did not escape her notice, though, that somewhere out there was a strange man who knew her as Fatal Flora. A man who could ruin everything with Mr. Tucker.

That is, if Mr. Tucker ever saw fit to arrive for his wedding.

When a chance encounter at a masquerade ball behind a set of palms introduces Flora Brimm to Lucas McMinn, a Pinkerton agent on a reconnaissance mission at the Crescent Hotel in Arkansas where neither one of them was hoping to let on who they really were. However for Lucas, he seems to have the upper hand. Of course he has to be able to get past Millicent Brimm, her wealthy grandmother who seems to have plans for keeping Brimmfield from leaving the family. If Flora doesn't have an heir by the time her Cousin Winthrop Brimm turns 30, he will inherit the estate instead of Flora.

But the problem with Flora is none of her grooms-to-be make it to the altar before dying and with just 2 years left to secure a husband, a marriage and give birth to an heir, Flora has a plan. She has managed to convince Will Tucker, a railroad detective to marry her for just the legalities and give her a child that she will raise on her own. It's a marriage in name only. However when Will Tucker fails to show up for their wedding two weeks late, she feels there is something more going on with Will then what he's telling her. Especially when her grandmother claims to have seen him a week earlier but didn't know who he was. Will Will Tucker have an explanation that Flora will believe or will Lucas McMinn have other plans for the newlyweds?

In the novel, Flora's Wish by Kathleen Y'Barbo, we get a look at the unlucky circumstances of Flora Brimm. How one manages to get engaged four times and never married has many in town questioning whether Flora had anything to do with their untimely demises. Perhaps a Black Widow in disguise looking for a way to increase her holdings and keep her family's estate? Or is Flora's luck about to change? I can completely understand the motivation behind Flora's planning especially during the late 1800's where a woman's goal in life was to be married with a husband and family. Yet poor Flora can't seem to make a go of it no matter what she tries to do and feels desperate enough to marry in this case for money, but the money will be paid to Will Tucker to care for the needs of his family. At least that is the story he has told Flora, but perhaps the wisdom of Grandmama Millicent be just what she needs to finally hear and pay attention to before it's too late.

I received Flora's Wish by Kathleen Y'Barbo compliments of Harvest House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. Being a huge fan of traditional regencies and historical western's you get a brilliant combination of both when you pick this one up. Flora's situation is similar to that of wealthy aristocrats but set in Arkansas in 1887. So this will appeals to fans of both book genres. Having never read a novel with this type of premise, I knew that this would be an interesting read and was not disappointed. I love how the author used the historical Crescent Hotel found in Eureka Springs as the inspiration for the setting as well as the Southern Belle lifestyle of her characters! I personally rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to more from Kathleen Y'Barbo in the future. This is the first book in The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series.

For more information about Flora's Wish, Kathleen Y'Barbo or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Kathleen Y'Barbo on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews from the Flora's Wish book tour hosted by Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, please click here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You - For Good!

How do you deal with traffic jams, lost keys, bills to pay, unruly children? Feeling tense already just thinking about any of those or even all of them? What about when it comes to work, dealing with office politics, lack of respect, unemployment or time management? How about things that seem completely out of control like noise, pollution, harsh lighting or crowds? Add in holidays, peer pressure, addictions, college, divorce, marriage, aging, emergencies and grieving? Hopefully you aren't dealing with all of these during this time in your life, but if you like most of us, you are dealing with one or two if not a handful of these. So how do you deal with them without going postal, taking medications, or even running away?

We all have secrets that have helped us deal with any of these issues and yet there are some that seem to be professionals at handling things so smoothly they are like the water on a duck's back while we sit back, stare and look at them in complete awe! Now, there is a great collaboration between Shawn and Ron Kilgarlin put together in a great resource to deal with all of those items I've mentioned above in Past Tense: Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You - For Good!

This book is packed with 24 subcategories that will enable you to find a different way to deal with problems that you have come across or perhaps are going through right now. Each of these chapters takes a closer look at some of the specifics that would fall in that category and offer a different way to look at them from a more positive impact. For example in the chapter dedicated to Being Productive, you'd find advice on making plans, taking breaks, using calendars and planners, lists and eating and sleeping habits. There are so many great resources tucked away that the authors refer to such as ways to pay for college, signing up for free online training resources, and financial advice. There is simply so much to cover I can't list them all.

Some of the topics I found interesting were taking a walk in the rain and why it makes you feel so good if you do it. I've loved the rain since I was a child and often have been critized in the past for simply wanting to sit outside for a good soak, but did you know there are some surprising health benefits to just being outside when it rains? Did you ever hear anyone mention allergies when it rains? Perhaps there was a great reason for Gene Kelly to be so happy just Singing in the Rain! It all deals with negative ions. People get the same benefits by sitting next to a bubbling stream, waterfall or at the beach.

"Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it." ~ The character Michael Simmons in the movie Fireproof (2008)

"An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold." ~ Chinese Proverb.

Along with each topic are some great quotes dealing with the subject from some equally famous people, so if you're like me, a LOVE a great quote, this is a definite added benefit. There are references to great authors, speechwriters, Bible scriptures, movies and more that you will be using this book as a resource not only to help you manage your own stress level but role modeling it for those that you come into contact with every single day. It seems so simple when you read them but it's a wonderful resource to have them all collected in a wonderful book. I highly recommend this to family's, manager's and any one struggling with dealing with anything that life hands you. I know this has benefited me greatly and left me with more than one smile on my face and plans to reduce stress in areas where I am still challenged. Can't wait for another rainy day!

I received Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You - For Good by Shawn and Ron Kilgarlin compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and think this is a wonderful self help resource in that it deals with virtually everything you can think of including Postpartum Depression, Addictions, Heartaches, Peer Pressure, School, Faith, Holiday Stress, Friendship, Love, Community and Neighbors, Health and Fitness and so much more! This will be a resource, I know I will be referring to for quite some time and has a permanent place on my library shelf. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for anyone looking for some great options on dealing with stress in a more positive way!

For more information on Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You - For Good, Shawn and Ron Kilgarlin, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find more reviews on Past Tense from the Pump Up Your Book Tour, by clicking here.

  • Hardcover: 452 pages
  • Publisher: American Screening Corp (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623331218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623331214
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 1 inches

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heart in Hand

I love a great series of books whose characters are so well written, you'd swear they were real. Such is the case in Barbara Cameron's series Stitches in Time, in which I finished the third book, Heart in Hand. Stitches in Time is a shop owned by a wonderful family of women in Paradise, Pennsylvania. It is run by Leah, the grandmother and cousins, Naomi, Anna and Mary Katherine, each of them with a unique special skill like quilting, weaving or knitting. In the previous books in the series, we have gotten an in depth look at the lives of Naomi and Mary Katherine who have found their perfect husbands and now await their marriages. Yet Anna, the first to get married is also the first to experience true loss. Her husband Samuel died shortly after they got married when Leukemia claimed his life. Now living in the home they dreamed would one day be filled with children and love, Anna finds loneliness and thinks she will never find love again. Not after Samuel who she knew growing up and going to school with.

When she finds herself face to face however with Gideon Beiler and his daughter Sarah Rose who have come to the shop to help teach Sarah Rose some "women skills" since his wife, Mary also has died. Gideon is afraid that she will become more like a tom-boy unless she learns to quilt or knit. When Anna recommends learning to knit, she encourages Gideon to learn as well to help Sarah Rose when they are at home. She soon finds that the loneliness that her and Gideon share is something only two who have experienced loss can understand and it's the very thing that soon draws them together. When Sarah Rose starts having problems with school and struggling in her own grief in losing her mother, Anna becomes a friend to her to help her through the grieving process. She soon finds herself falling in love with Sarah Rose first and it's not long before she begins to fight her feelings about Gideon. She feels she is betraying her trust to love Samuel and struggles with wondering if God wishes her to fall in love again.Is it possible all this time, God has had someone in mind to help her move forward and put the past of loneliness and sorrow behind her?

I received Heart in Hand by Barbara Cameron compliments of Net Galley and Abingdon Press for my honest review and really love how this book brings to a close all the relationships between these wonderful characters we've come to love. I can relate to Anna's own struggle in believing that the love she shared between her and Samuel can never be found again. It can't and as soon as she realizes that and accept Gideon as his own instead of trying to compare him with Samuel, she can soon come to grips with the feelings she has for him. Their's isn't going to be like those early years of romance, but now one of more maturity since life has already dealt them with a lot to handle. Even though this is part of a series, you can read this as a stand alone. Barbara does such a wonderful job in each of her books that you can immediately jump in and gain an understanding of where everyone is at. But to fully appreciate the series as I have, you need to start from the beginning. You can pick up Her Restless Heart and The Heart's Journey at your local retailer.  I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and hope that Barbara might just squeeze one more out before ending this one!

For more information about Heart in Hand, Barbara Cameron, or where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Barbara Cameron on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426714343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426714344
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When Truth Whispers

Teal Benning just wants to find one honest man in the world. One who can truly love her for who she is, not who they want her to be. After a series of rough starts in dealing with the dishonesty in men, starting with her father, and then subsequently her ex-financè Ian Hartsuk, she's ready to give up. If just one more man in her life fails to hide things from her or keep secrets, she may never find true love or even marriage. Thankfully however, she's arrived back home where a sense of familiarity can be found. That's the one thing she can always come home to, her roots and her best friend, Hunter Miciver.

Now that she can find time to rest and find her inner peace once more away from the lights and cameras of being in magazines and newspapers, she hopes to attempt to finish her book with a deadline of 3 months away. She hopes that spending time at Promise Lake will give her a better perspective on her love life and hopefully find her creative juices to finish her book. Hunter has always been there for her since her childhood. Her one true friend, a life long ally. Hunter couldn't lie if his life depended on it, and that's one of the things she like best about him and his hugs.

But after being away all these years, will she finally look at Hunter, like he has been hoping for? Will she finally see that the love she's been searching for has been right in front of her the whole time? But will the deep, dark secret that Hunter's been hiding for the past 9 years shattered the image that Teal has had about him, or will she be able to see that he's merely been looking out of her like he always has been for all these years?

In the latest novella by Dora Hiers, When Truth Whispers, takes the reader into what often times seems to be the easiest approach in dealing with relationships. Being open and honest. However with Hunter he finds that the one thing he wants to be honest with Teal about, may in fact ruin any chances of a meaningful relationship with her because he's kept it from her all these years. No matter how it tries to justify his reasons, to Teal she will wonder if anyone can really be honest with her including her own mother, who is hiding secrets of her own. Will he be able to give it all up for the love of his best friend? You'll have to pick this one to find out.

I received When Truth Whispers by Dora Hiers compliments of the author for my honest review of her ebook and in no way was I compensated to give a favorable review. I honestly liked this one. It has the makings of something great and would have liked to have seen a longer version of this story with more development on the characters of Teal and Hunter. Overall it was a quick read with a happy ending and one that will leave you wanting more. I look forward to seeing more books from Dora Hiers in the near future and rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. It's great if you want a short romance with a twist! This is available as a eBook only at this time.

For more information about When Truth Whispers, Dora Hiers, or where to pick up a copy of this ebook today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Dora Hiers on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books. 

You can order a copy of this eBook as of March 15, 2013 by clicking here. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

For Love of Eli

"You should be thanking God that you have these things to help you remember your loved ones."

How true this wisdom was coming from 4-year-old Eli who had already dealt with handling the loss of both his parents. Now if only Taylor could come to terms with her own grief and finally look in the attic where the memories of her family lay waiting to be discovered. After opening the trunk her mother had left for her, she discovered a box at the bottom with a letter that was written by her mother when she was 7 years old. Inside the box lay scraps of fabric her mother had hoped to turn into a memory quilt but died before she had the chance. Yet poor Eli didn't have much to remember either of his parents as his mother had gotten rid of most of their personal affects before she died.

Taylor had been appointed as Eli's guardian by his mother and as his aunt she wants to do something for his birthday to help him keep the love of his parents close to his heart. He spends his time helping Taylor with running the Misty Wolf Inn, a quaint Bed and Breakfast with a few horses for the guest enjoyment. Taylor alternates weekends and holidays with Eli's Uncle Reece, a pediatrician who is still having a hard time coming to grips with the fact he didn't see the signs of depression in his sister until it was too late. Now he spends his time second guessing every probable circumstance that could go wrong to make sure nothing happens to Eli. However no matter how much animosity he has for Taylor, it's her charming ways of making him feel cared for that is slowly melting his ice cold heart. Hopefully he will realize it before someone else does and whisks her away instead.

I received For Love of Eli by Loree Lough compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my honest review. This is truly a story about healing and understanding that the process of grief is a long one and also one that never ends but gets easy to manage over time. Too many times all the "what if's" begin to surface when it seems as though we could have alleviated the issue or helped to prevent it from occurring in the first place. It goes to show some very heart felt emotions not only within the characters of Taylor and Reece but also in the child like faith of Eli, who truly is much older than he is on the inside. This is a great novel to share with anyone trying to get over something from the past and moving into the healing and forgiveness stage. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars! This is the fourth book in the Quilts of Love Series!

For more information about For Love of Eli, Loree Lough, or where to pick up a copy of this book today please click on the links below:

You can also find Loree Lough on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

You can also find more reviews on For Love of Eli on the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour by clicking here. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saving Grace

"There's no such thing as old-fashioned values. There are just values. Right has always been right and wrong has always been wrong. Old-fashioned really has nothing to do with it. People have just lost sight of what's truly important." ~ Garrett Anderson.

Just when you think all the romance books out there have lost their true appeal and sense of "Ah!" when it comes to the storyline, think again. J.M. Hill has managed to create what I would consider a remarkable blend of romance coupled with a great deal of action and suspense while managing to keep it clean. I've lost my interest in so many books either due to profanity, content or subject matter, but I feel blessed when I was asked by J.M. Hill personally to read this one. I wanted to give this one a true standing ovation. I think we might be kindred spirits of the sorts based on the premise behind this novel.

We are immediately introduced to a vague scene in the opening of the book of a man who appears to have been murdered and then tossed into the story of meeting Grace Burke, and her cousin, Kate who live at the end of a lonely street. While the house across the street has remained dilapidated over the years and unlived in, Grace and Kate are more than curious when moving vans and soon vehicles appear as they peer out their blinds to check out the new neighbors like Lucy and Ethel from I Love Lucy. I can complete relate to this myself. When the new neighbors are three brothers who they soon find out are single and incredibly good looking, Kate offers to make the first move of being neighborly.

When an oversized, but good natured man by the name of Garrett opens the front door, we meet the first of the Anderson brothers, who are in their own family construction business. Kate becomes immediately interested in Miles. Their younger brother, Michael, is often referred to as the "stunning one!" and one that Grace finds herself a bit tongue tied just trying to talk to. The five of them find common ground being neighbors as well as interested in football and a great meal. As Kate and Grace get to know each of them a bit more, they soon are befriended by the brothers with Garrett taking an active role as big brother to Kate and Grace. Over time the relationship grows between Kate and Miles, but the real story develops between Grace and Michael who find themselves attracted to one another but afraid to make the first move.

You find yourself falling in love with each of the brothers as you move through the story. First with the need to watch over and protect the girls with Garrett, Miles is your quiet silent type and Michael is struggling with the need to keep his business relationship with a client from getting too personal and fighting his attraction to Grace as he becomes her running partner. Like all great romance stories, it begins with an attraction, then friendship and soon a bit of conflict to force the two together, but all done in such an amazing way, you simply won't be able to put this one down until the end.

The best part of this book besides its characters that J.M. Hill has breathed life into is there will be another one! That made me super excited and now can't wait to read that one. There's even a bit of suspense thrown in to keep the reader engaged. I love how Kate and Grace have an incredible relationship despite their own family tragedy that kept them together and how they form such a loving bond not only with the Anderson brothers but also their parents. There's such an simply humility to Grace's character and that's perhaps why you can find yourself relating to her as you read this wonderful heartwarming book! If you're looking for a fantastic romance without all the unnecessary stuff thrown in to make a book sell, then trust me, grab this one! It's for hopeful romantics everywhere that hope to be rescued by a handsome man in the end. I personally rate this one a hands down 5 out of 5 stars and hope to be included in the sequel to this one!

I received Saving Grace by J.M. Hill compliments of the author for my honest review and have not be compensated in any other way to provide a favorable review. She is now on my favorite author watch list for upcoming books! For more information about Saving Grace, J.M. Hill, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find J.M. Hill on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

Why Diets Are Failing Us!

I know that there is a way to reduce the weight gain that is happening all over the world and I'm been doing my own research into what is happening to make it so hard to lose weight without going to the extremes. So when I was contacted to review, "Why Diets Are Failing Us!" by Peter Greenlaw, Dr. Dennis Harper, and Drew Greenlaw, I was hopeful this one might fill in the missing answers for me. At first the book has some great information that really draws the reader in, about the levels of toxins that we are introducing into our bodies through pollution, pesticides and additives in our food. In fact if you consider it, our food has fallen so far from what God originally intended. In fact, I would hardly call what most of us eat anymore as food, and it's no wonder our bodies are constantly craving more unable to satisfy the hunger within us.

Yet I can honestly say despite what this book claims on the back cover, it is not what you will receive once you read this in its entirety. I was hoping for what most would expect upon getting this and reading it, the answers we all seek to what is happening to our bodies, our food and what we can do to counter the effects. Yet in fact, all this book is is an ad for Isagenix products and testimonies from people who have been successful on it's diet and cleansing program. While I do not argue the claims as to whether or not this program works, the fact remains that the book is misleading.

If you're like most of us, you expect to get a book that defines how to sleep better, how to gain more energy, experience less stress and how to safely lose weight fast. I truly believe that we are a generation spiraling out of control with the fact we are doing more than we were 50 years ago, technology is enabling us to be more sedentary in lives and we are too busy to sit down and simply eat right anymore. Not only that, I think Peter has hit on the proverbial nail, that were are simply ingesting too many chemicals, toxins and additives that our bodies simply can't keep up with. Not only that the fast food industry and convenience foods are not helping for families that are looking for a way to save time, yet still eat.

If you are looking for answers like I am, this book does offer some insight I hadn't considered before but the fact remains that this book is strictly a glorified ad for Isagenix products and program. However if you are looking for a program that might work for you to help you might want to check out the companies website first before looking at this book to provide the answers based on what it promises. I received this book compliments of Peter Greenlaw for my honest review and based on the feedback I have provided I would rate this book a 2 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Why Diets Are Failing Us!, Peter Greenlaw, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find out more information about Isagenix Products from their website. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Secrets of Happy Families - Giveaway and Review

If you have a family more than likely you have heard of the term, the Sandwich Generation. This is what society is defining the lifestyle most of us are living or will be living soon. If you have children still living with  you or children that had once left that are back living at home as well as taking care of aging parents living with you, welcome to the term, Sandwich Generation.

No longer are adults looking forward to the Empty Nest, because it seems like children are returning as well as parents in what some have called Life Boating. A way to make it through life now, that was unheard of before. Whether for economic reasons or simply as a temporary situation, the way we were raised has now changed to incorporate this changing lifestyle. Technology has advanced to the point that physical exercise is now just walking to the car and back as you run errands for now. Take for example you latest family get together whether its just dinner or a holiday celebration, tension is now common place for most. We see our families falling apart more than appearing strong than ever before. Where did the change begin that makes us wonder just how dysfunctional are families really are? What is the secret sauce that holds families together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, functioning, happy?

Maybe it's because those problems are gnarlier. Navigating nap time is child's play compared to navigating screen time. How do you teach your kids discipline while making sure they have fun along the way? Is it possible to develop timeless values in a 24/7 world that prizes novelty and coarseness? How do couples find time to nurture each other while spending so much time nurturing our kids? These days, the old rules no longer apply, but new ones have yet to be written.

So Bruce Feiler introduces some interesting concepts to delving into these questions in his latest book, The Secrets to Happy Families. In it, he realized that most of the ideas have been hiding in plain sight. He took a course from the founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project on how to fight smart. He visited ESPN to find out what the best coaches know about building successful teams. He worked with Green Berets to design a perfect family reunion. He got some advice from Warren Buffet's banker about how to set up an allowance, and sat down with top games designers in the Silicon Valley to see how we can make family vacations more fun.

I have to say I was a bit skeptical at first have a strong Christian background that some of the ideas may not be for everyone. Using the TV Series, Modern Family as his model for the new dynamics for families, he shows that no matter what is happening in the show, they always come together before the end. I don't think life is quite that simple. But nonetheless I gave some of his ideas a shot and was surprised by the outcome of establishing family meetings once a week and how the suggestions he provides has made living together with adult children returning to our home once again a fully functioning and do I dare say it? Happy? Yes, our meetings have been a huge success, and not only that every single member feels empowered and we are teaching them valuable life skills they will take into their future careers in effective team leadership, negotiating and building winning teams all with positive thinking.

There are such valuable insights based on the diversity of the research Bruce Feiler has completed and while not everything will work for everyone, this has been one of the first book's I've read that really got me excited to try out these new dynamics within my own family and still incorporate our traditions and biblical values alongside them. I received The Secrets to Happy Families by Bruce Feiler compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and have to give this one a high 5 out of 5 stars!!! There is truly something in here for everyone and you don't have to read it from front to back and simply move to the areas that may be causing some chaos in your own home. Either way, I think this is a must read book for today's ever-evolving family!

For more information about The Secrets to Happy Families, Bruce Feiler, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Bruce Feiler on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books.

Thanks to the generous folks at William Morrow, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's your guidelines:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart.

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US Shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway via email when it ends on February 27th.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Demon: A Memoir

If you're like me, you've probably read the creation account of the Bible quite a few times as well as the story of the life and testimony of Jesus Christ. When I had the opportunity to read, Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee I was completely blown away by the author's ability to enhance what I've read time and time again with new clarity. Mind you she doesn't take away anything from the Bible, but merely increases the reader's knowledge about why there is such a hatred from demons towards human beings in general.

In this novel, the reader is given the opportunity to witness an interaction between an editor for Brooks and Hanover named Clayton and what he considers as a random encounter with a well-dressed man who goes by the name of Lucian. What Clay soon discovers is that Lucien isn't all that he appears to be, and begins to tell him things about his life that only Clay would know. Thinking Lucien has been spying on him, he gets visibly upset and its then that Lucien reveals that he is a demon who wants Clay to publish a memoir of sorts based on the conversations he has with him.

Of course at first, Clay doesn't believe this is really happening until an unexpected meeting appears on his calendar at work with the name of the client as simply "L." When Clay arrives at the library he encounters a beautiful woman he is immediately attracted to. However when the woman speaks to him, Clay soon realizes that Lucien can take on the shape and likeness of anyone he chooses while having these random meetings with Clay. Over the time he spends with Lucien, he learns about the history of angels and their relationship with God before the fall, as well as what happened when Lucifer and the third of the angels fell from heaven. He is the witness to the creation of the world, the garden of Eden, the testing of Job as well as the life, testimony and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Along the way, he gives Clay insights on why they rose up against God, how they viewed their own status against human kind, what they really thought of Earth, the creation of Adam and the new relationship with God. He paints the picture for Clay that illustrates just why things have gotten so out of hand in the world and what role demons play in their influence here on Earth with humans. It truly does paint a different picture seeing it through the eyes of a fallen angel who was once in a very intimate relationship with God, and then suddenly found themselves perpetually damned with no hope of redemption, while man on the other hand, could make mistake after mistake and God works to restore that relationship even to the point of dying to restore the covenant of everlasting life for those that believe and have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

I received no compensation to review this book or to provide a review other than my own honest opinion and I purchased a copy for my Kindle on my own. After reading Iscariot, also by Tosca Lee, I was completely blown away by her uncanny ability to delve into such historical biblical research and create an impression of what we might all be missing. For me, this just solidified some of the answers to those time honored questions we all find ourselves asking like, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" "If God, really is a God of love, why does He allow things to happen when He could easily prevent them? Like I stated, earlier, she doesn't change what the Bible has to say but merely gives us a more in depth look at why things are the way they are, and truly how wonderful the gift of salvation really is. It is one I will never take for granted again. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to get started on Havah next!!!

For more information about Demon: A Memoir, Tosca Lee or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Tosca Lee on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska

"I suppose sometimes it takes getting lost to enjoy the joy of being found." Ginny Marshall should know. She's had more than a lifetime's share of being hurt and having put her in hopes into people only to have them completely come up short. Now it seems that the best solution to ever being hurt is to keep from becoming too attached to anyone. Especially those that would affect her ability to love again.

Ginny always felt abandoned. After becoming a child in the foster care system when her mother dropped her off and never looked back it seems trust is something that will remain elusive to her. When she does find parents who want her and will love her, they are snatched away just as quickly, reminding her that the lessons learned are often painful. When Ginny has the opportunity to finally fall in love with Brett Miller and spend their lives helping in the missions fields, she remembers all the times in the past that people she has loved have left her, and leave Brett before he can break her heart.

Now that she has pursued her goal of becoming a singing sensation and finally get the contract of her dreams, more money than she can ever spend and the most eligible man to love, she turns and runs once more. She heads back to Glacier Bay, Alaska to the only man who truly knows her inside and out. Yet will she be able to find Brett once again and hope that he can provide the advice she desperately needs? Brett however is out exploring the Alaskan wilderness when Ginny arrives and she is faced with staying with his grandmother until he hopefully returns home as promised. Ginny is given a box full of old letters from Ethel, his grandmother, to pass her time since Brett is in charge of restoring the historical museum in town. Will the letters she reads from another time, provide her with the answers she desperately seeks to make her life whole again?

I received Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Summerside Press for my honest review. I LOVE every single, Love Finds You book I've read and getting the opportunity to see how love is found in the Alaskan wilderness sounded perfect for the setting for a great romance story. Couple that with reading about another historical time set in the early 1800's through the letters Grandmother Ethel provides her sheds light into all the wounded places in all our lives. I love her character and how strong her faith is truly is unforgettable. Brett's ability to see all sides of Ginny's past and even what motivates her, makes him truly a remarkable man to fall in love with. Just the description of the small town of Gustavus makes me want to add this not only to my bucket list of places to visit but also places to live. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and love how it all ended!

For more information about Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska, Tricia Goyer, Ocieanna Fleiss or where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Tricia Goyer on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

You can also find Ocieanna Fleiss on her website to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here. 

You can also find out more information on the author's tour and insight into the story behind this book on Pinterest by clicking here. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


What if everything you ever believed about your upbringing and the life your parents had lived was nothing but a lie? What would that make you think about all the decisions you've made that were called wrong when instead they could have been right, if only the true were allowed to shine through? Now you have the premise behind the latest novel from Shelley Shepard Gray in her new series The Days of Redemption. In the first book, Daybreak we are introduced to the residents of Daybreak Retirement Home where Viola Keim has been working in Mennonite community. Even though she herself isn't a Mennonite, but a New Order Amish, she finds herself wondering just how children can abandon their parents to live out the rest of their lives in the care of strangers instead of living at home with them.

She finds herself particularly drawn to an elderly man named Atle Swartz who is wheelchair bound but is ornery as they come and lately only Viola can dish it back to him in a manner that creates a wonderful relationship despite the age difference. However when Atle shares the letters from his son volunteering in mission work in Nicaragua, she isn't pleased when Edward returns home to see his father. She has a hard time coming to terms between the differences in caring for aging parents and feels obligated to share her concerns with him. However it seems there might be more sparks there than just anger but can they work through their differences before Edward has to return to Nicaragua?

When Viola learns that even her own family has been hiding secrets of their own, it opens her up to the possibilities that not everything as it appears on the surface. She learns that her own mother was born English and have hidden the facts of their lives before marriage from their children. Now Viola's parents have to come to terms that what people think about them as the perfect family isn't really true and that those same standards they have placed on their children growing up has made life more difficult than they could have imagined. What implications will that have not only on their immediate family but in the Amish community as well? Will this new knowledge help Viola move towards having a softer heart towards Edward and his own father?

I received Daybreak by Shelley Shepard Gray compliments of Avon Inspired, a division of Harper Collins Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. Once again Shelley does an exceptional job at writing a series that defines some valuable lessons in between, about judging a book by its cover! In this instance Viola is judgemental when it comes to how Edward deals with his father based on her own values in growing up Amish, but she doesn't understand what has motivated them to make the decision that worked for them. Much like how she has judged her own parents based on what she saw on the outside without really knowing the truth about their own pasts. I LOVED novels that offer a duality about them, incorporating an wonderful story with some valuable life lessons we can all relate to. I rate this one a wunderbaar (wonderful in Amish) 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next book Ray of Light in this heartwarming The Days of Redemption series. You get a teaser chapter at the end of this one!

For more information about Daybreak, Shelley Shepard Gray or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Shelley Shepard Gray on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Daybreak from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance tour, please click here. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Mystery book lovers who are looking for a great Christian Romantic Suspense series need look no further than Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage Series! In her latest novel, Shattered, the second book in the series, we find the McKenna family dealing with a possible murder conviction of their brother, Reef. He was found holding Karli Davis in the women's locker room covered in blood and with the murder weapon next to him. Sheriff Slidell is facing a reelection campaign and believes this is an open and shut case. However Deputy Landon Grainger has been a family friend of the McKenna's forever and knows that just because the evidence appears to point one way, you still have to conduct a thorough investigation to cover all your bases. What he doesn't look forward to, is telling his sister Piper McKenna that he needs to arrest her brother, Reef. Piper still holds the keys to his heart even though she has moved on in her love life.

The one thing that Reef has going against him is fleeing the scene of the crime and heading straight for his sisters house. Piper would be the one person who would believe Reef no matter what and knowing her, she will find out who really murdered Karli and left her brother holding the bag of evidence. However when Landon questions Reef about what happened that night and learns that they had an argument of sorts, he wonders if it's possible that Reef could have killed her in a moment of heated anger. He wouldn't be able to face the McKenna's if he had to be the one to tell them. Worse yet, the Sheriff feels so strongly that Reef's the murderer without considering all the evidence, he's pushing for a speedy trial. They only have a few weeks to find enough evidence to prove Reef didn't kill Karli and find the person or persons who did.

When the Sheriff feels that Landon is too close to the case to remain objective, Landon takes a leave of absence to continue to follow whatever leads he can find, and that may in fact put the entire family at risk when their investigation begins to get too close to the answer. But how can Landon work with Piper when he finds himself falling more and more in love with her the more time they spend together? Sometimes however, God can take our shattered pasts and restore them like new. Yet first Landon will have to come to terms with accepting whether God is real or not and it may take an unfortunate accident with Piper to bring him to his knees and believe.

I received Shattered by Dani Pettrey compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. This is my second book in the Alaskan Courage series I have been honored to review and once again think Dani did an exceptional job at keeping the reader on the edge of their seats but also second guessing themselves just when they think they know all the answers. This book has all the earmarks of a classic suspense thriller with the element of romance woven in to keep you hoping for a positive outcome between Piper and Landon despite all the odds working against them. Truly a roller coaster ride set in the wild outback of Alaska and a must read for Christian Murder Mystery Genre Lovers! This one hits home with a 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about Shattered, Dani Pettrey or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Dani Pettrey on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour on Shattered, please click here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Safe in His Arms

I've been a huge western romance fan for almost as long as I've been able to truly love reading and whenever I find a great novel that has a strong woman character it makes it all the more enjoyable. In Colleen Coble's latest novel, Safe in His Arms, we are immediately immersed into the typical ranching lifestyle of Margaret O'Brien, the daughter of a Texas cattle rancher, that feels that it's high time for her to find a respectable husband and settle down to raise a family. Only Margaret is not the typical woman most men would find attractive. She wears britches instead of dresses, does the work of most of the men that work her father's ranch, and finds married life boring.

When her father gives her an ultimatum to find a husband or he will leave the ranch to her cousin Lewis, Margaret feels cornered. No matter how hard she tries, it seems that no man will give her more than a passing glance other than her father's new foreman Daniel Cutler. However, it seems that Daniel Cutler is not all he appears to be despite his gentlemen like manners, smooth talking compliments and whenever Margaret looks into his eyes she goes weak in the knees. When Margaret overhears Daniel having a conversation with a man in a darkened alley, she feels Daniel is after the ranch and her father's money. Seems like marriage isn't all it is promised to be, especially with the likes of Daniel Cutler.

When violence finds its way on to the Triple T ranch, Margaret believes that Daniel knows more than he is letting on and sets out to prove her suspicions correct and turn Daniel into the town sheriff. Yet how can a man who quotes scripture and looks at her the way he does really not have a redemptive quality to him after all. Perhaps its up to Margaret to bring Daniel Cutler into the light and reform his dark past.

I received Safe in His Arms by Colleen Coble compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. Another captivating novel from Colleen once again. This is the second novel in the Under The Texas Stars series with Blue Moon Promise being the first. You can feel the intensity of Margaret's character in ways she tries to measure up to her father's standards and acceptance and her own self struggle with who she really is inside. One I found myself relating to in my own life and perhaps why I identified with Margaret's character so much. It often times gives the character a low self esteem whenever she measures her self worth but what others think she should be instead of accepting herself and her own strengths that God provided when He created her. It takes her some time to see herself as others do through a series of circumstances she finds herself in the middle of and in time her own self healing begins. Truly an unforgettable story for those that love western romances! I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

For more information on Safe in His Arms, Colleen Coble or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Colleen Coble on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Iscariot: A Novel of Judas

I love it when great writers take the time to completely research a project if they are going to write a historical fiction novel. It's even better for me as a reader when I can get my hands on a greatly researched and well-thought out biblical historical fiction. When they can take me by the hand and transport me back into history and allow me to walk side by side with a character, it truly helps me understand them better and what may have motivated them to make the decisions they did. Such is the case in the latest novel from Tosca Lee in Iscariot: A Novel of Judas. She provides an in depth look at what the life of Judas Iscariot may have been like and attempts to fill in the missing holes to help us understand why someone who was invited into the sacred circle of being one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, could easily sell him out to the men who wanted to kill him.

It provided me with a different view point. First of all by tackling the difficult process of establishing the time period where Judas would have grown up in. What was really happening in the world? Why was there such a great fear from the Roman's from the Jews? What was life really like living back in Israel so long ago and what might have life been like looking at these circumstances through the lives of one of the most notorious biblical men in history? I have to say, I completely applaud Tosca Lee. Too often it's hard to label people just based on one side of the facts. We obviously know more happened that just what the writers of the gospels have to say, and I think she filled in the holes masterfully.

I never realized just how difficult it was growing up for Judas. How difficult it was to deal with all the backlash from the Romans towards the Jewish people. If just a handful of people voiced their concerns against the Romans and caused conflict, they were dealt with harshly, either imprisoned or crucified. Sometimes even entire cities were may to pay for the consequences caused by a group of men who didn't agree with the way Herod was handling things such as taxes or even property disbursements. How hard it would have been to be such faithful followers of the old Jewish laws and in studying the Torah, believing that the Lord would return bring about justice to those that oppressed the Jewish people. This is why so many didn't believe Jesus was the promised Messiah. They wanted someone to punish the Romans and reward the Jewish people, but Jesus was the complete opposite. He dealt with things justly with love, grace and peace,  but was not the promised Messiah the Jewish people believed would come to right all the wrongs in their minds.

This is a novel that I believe every single Christian should read. Not to glorify what Judas Iscariot did but to understand why he may have did it. It was such an exceptional read, I had to go and purchase a copy of Tosca Lee's other biblical novels, Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir, a story about the fall of Lucifer. Tosca Lee's exceptional ability to find the truth and fill in the holes without much to go on, allows us to see things differently while still holding on to the Biblical truth. I easily give this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. I received Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Publishers for my honest review. Trust me, you'll want to pick this one up, to see if there really was a motivation for Judas making the decision he made and wondering if we, in fact, would have followed in his footsteps as well.

For more information about Iscariot, Tosca Lee, or where to pick up this exceptional novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Tosca Lee on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find more great information on Tosca Lee's website by clicking here. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Goodbye to Yesterday

If you're looking for a great Amish novel that is broken into manageable pieces, you might want to pick up a copy of Wanda E. Brunstetter's, Goodbye to Yesterday. It is the first in six mini-novels that are part of the Discovery Series and the Lancaster County Saga. Wanda is renowned for her Amish novels and for those of you with a little time on your hands, this is perfect. A whole lot is packed into 121 pages and introduces us to an Amish couple, Luke and Meredith Stoltzfus living in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania.

In this one, Luke is facing what many of us today are dealing with and that is a downsizing in his woodworking company. Since Luke was one of the recent hires, he is unfortunately the first to go. Now struggling to find work before his savings run out, he takes out some of his stresses on his new wife Meredith. Meredith offers to find work outside the home for now but for Luke, he feels it is showing a failure to provide for his family and tells her no. On top of that, Meredith believes she may be pregnant but doesn't offer to tell Luke until she knows for sure. With all the stress he's under now, she can't think of adding something else to his already full plate.

Just when it looks like there is no sign of hope, Luke gets an offer from his uncle in Indiana who is looking to retire and wants to sell him his business. Meredith isn't sure this is the path they should take, and feels that the time away from her isn't going to be in their best interests. Yet with no other work opportunities in front of them, Luke has to make a decision to either stay in Pennsylvania and hope that works turns up or take his Uncle's offer. Now that a winter storm is brewing, it may not be the best time to travel or leave his wife at home. 

I received Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda E. Brunstetter compliments of Handlebar Central and Barbour Publishing for my honest review. I have to warn you that because this is a series of parts of a book, it ends on a cliff hanger. Yet the next book is slated for release in March of 2013, The Silence of Winter so you won't have to wait long to see what happens next. Like I stated earlier in my review, I saw this mini-novel as a way of breaking up a much bigger story for people who would love to read a full size novel but simply lack the time or energy to do so. This way you can have your cake and eat it too! I personally rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and the perfect way to introduce a new reader to Amish Fiction in general. I've read several of Wanda's books and am never disappointed by the time she puts into making the reader feel like part of the story. I can't wait for March and this one is already on my Must Read List!

For more information about Goodbye to Yesterday, Wanda E. Brunstetter, or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the  links below:

You can also find Wanda Brunstetter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

You can also visit the Discovery Saga Facebook page to see what everyone has to say regarding this amazing new series. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cafè Escapes - Product Review

What is your favorite way to escape? Some would say to fly away to a deserted island or simply a chance to do nothing all day, however few of us actually can do this. I've come across a simply easy way to take a break in the middle of a busy day, and incorporate something soothing such as a nice hot beverage and dessert all in one.
Introducing, Cafè Escapes for your Keurig!!! There are six different varieties to choose from, Chai Latte, Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Dark Chocolate Cocoa, Cafè Vanilla, Cafè Caramel or Cafè Mocha. These are best enjoyed when brewing in your Keurig using the 8oz option, but since I love a larger cup of anything, I opted for the larger cup. The best part is that they are only 70 calories of warm liquid enjoyment.
You can find these at your local retail stores or grocery stores everywhere and you can learn more online at, and
Since this arrived in the mail yesterday, we were anxious to try them and each member of my family grabbed their favorite. I opted for the Cafè Caramel, my hubby opted for the Cafè Mocha, and my youngest took the Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa. Since the Keurig makes it so easy to make all these with little fuss, it was fun to sample them all. My daughter commented that the Milk Chocolate tasted so creamy that it seemed like it was made with hot milk instead of simply the hot water in the Keurig machine! She gives it a thumbs up and when I asked her to rate it on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, she gave it an 11!
My opinion of the Cafè Caramel was simply delicious. Besides the enticing aroma that smells delicious, the flavor was buttery and sweet just like I had personally melted caramels right into a hot cup of coffee. My rating a perfect 10!
Hubby tried the Cafè Mocha and said it was fine but preferred his traditional white chocolate blend over all. He commented that it was a bit bitter, but remedied that with a touch of sugar in his cup!
Over all, my family gives this a wonderful rating and since we are out of our samples, we will be using our $2.00 off coupons to pick up our favorites! With snow coming this weekend, I can't think of a better way to spend a little family time together with our favorite hot beverages!! It truly is like drinking your favorite dessert in a cup!

I received Cafè Escapes compliments of BzzAgent for my honest review and have already restocked my pantry with our favorites. These hands down for my family rate a perfect 5 out of 5 stars in our book!

Redeeming Grace

The one thing I've come to realize in life is that you can't outrun your past. No matter how much you try to hide it, unless you confront it head on, it will find you especially when it comes to politics. There is always someone willing to dig into closets to find the skeletons we kept in our past to bring them to light once again. In other cases, people will use such skeletons to blackmail people into accomplishing their own agendas and without involving themselves in it personally.

In the latest novel, Redeeming Grace by Ward Tannenberg, he uses these elements to create such a mind boggling story you can't help but wonder just how much of this could be used even today to create a master puppet show involving our own government leaders. While they receive the blame for the decisions they make, the rest of us refuse to accept the fact that they could be blackmailed into performing atrocities. We don't see the real show going on behind the scenes.

Such is the case with Grace Grafton, the main character in Redeeming Grace. Grace is the catalyst that ignites the firestorm of controversy and shows how things can escalate quite innocently and yet all are tied together. Grace was part of a controversy that happened seven years ago. She and two of her friends, Ilene and Bonnie Jo were hired as escorts to simply provide conversation and act as female dining companions for some high level political men at a dinner party. However when they arrive and things are not as they should be, it becomes apparent that the men have more on their minds then simply dinner. Things turn ugly and soon Grace has to flee for her life. It's a secret she has kept hidden this long because those high level political men are now in the running for president and vice president and they know that Grace is the wild card they need to gain control of.

I received Redeeming Grace by Ward Tanneberg compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for my honest review. The story is exceptional once you ignore some of the inconsistencies that you may come across. In one scene Ilene is referred to as Irene and you find yourself stopping and wondering what just happened. In other places in the book, paragraphs and sentences repeat themselves one after another as if this book made it to publishing without a good and thorough edit. However, taking that all aside, this is an incredible book. It engaged me after about the 7th chapter due to the introductions of all the characters taking place at the beginning of subsequent chapters and then a vague prologue makes you wondering how it all connects. But trust me when I say, stick with it! It's so worth it and caught me staying up way to late to attempt to finish it. It was that hard to put down. It felt like a blend of Ransom and Taken mixed together to create a great suspense thriller that you wonder how it will all turn out. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars!

For more information about Redeeming Grace, Ward Tanneberg, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Ward Tanneberg on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

You can also read more reviews on Redeeming Grace from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour by clicking here. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Secretly Smitten

Welcome to Smitten, Vermont!!! Where romance is once again the air with many more couples bound to find love in surprising ways when they least expect it. Renown authors Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter each take a turn charming our romantic hearts once again in four very different stories that are interwoven into each other, in the novel, Secretly Smitten.

In Love Between the Lines by Colleen Coble, she introduces us to the first of the Thomas family women, Tess who runs the towns charming bookstore. She believes that there is no way the handsome and now eligible single father, Ryan Stevenson would ever fall for a plain old girl. After losing his beautiful and rich wife earlier and is now raising his young daughter Sophie alone, he finds solace and peace in Tess' girl next door personality who isn't afraid to just be herself. Can Ryan find a special love interest with Tess?

Make Me a Match is the second story by Kristin Bellerbeck, who takes on the love life of Zoe Thomas, the youngest of the Thomas daughters who dreams of opening a match making service in town when the new business falls under the scrutiny of the new City Manager, William Singer. Will sparks fly between them or her building with faulty wiring?

Knit One, Love Two by Diann Hunt, introduces us to the matriarch of the Thomas daughters where we meet Anna Thomas, mother to Tess, Zoe and Clare, as well as the owner of Sit N Knit. She finally meets what could be the man of her dreams, Michael Conner. Little does she know he lives next door caring for his mother, Emma who has been diagnosed with cancer. Will love find them when they least expect it?

Love Blooms by Denise Hunter wraps up the love interest for Clare Thomas who truly believes love will remain elusive for her and her predictable and often boring ways. Just when even finding prospects at her sister, Zoe's match making business seems to come up short, she thinks her own company will be in raising plants and flowers for the town. While putting away tools one evening she comes across a homeless man, Ethan Foster, who will show her that love will often show up in the unlikeliest of places.

I received Secretly Smitten by these four talents authors compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. The common thread woven into all four of these romance stories is the mystery of what happened to the long lost love of their grandmother, Rose who learns that the man she believed was MIA is found thanks to the efforts of her granddaughters who believe that it's never too late for a lost love. A delightful series that takes readers into the little romantic town of Smitten and teaches us all that love can be found if we are willing to be open enough to let it find us. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see what else these four talented authors will come up with next. Little by little we are slowly meeting each of the town's residents through each of these delightful books. While this book is the sequel to Smitten, you can read this one as a stand alone book but trust me, you'll want to get lost in all the love that this small town seems to have in big doses.

For more information about Secretly Smitten, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find each of these talented authors on their Facebook pages by clicking below:

Colleen Coble
Kristin Billerbeck
Diann Hunt
Denise Hunter

You can also find more reviews on Secretly Smitten from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour by clicking here. 

The "gals" are celebrating the release of Secretly Smitten with a fun Live Webcast on February 5th. They'll be debuting the *NEW* animated Smitten trailer, giving away tons of prizes, dishing on the book and their friendship. They'll also be wrapping up the Secretly Smitten blog tour, answering audience questions and testing your trivia skills. Don't miss the fun and bring your friends. Click here to RSVP and set up a reminder.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Aviator's Wife

Being a huge lover of history we all know there are supporting characters that elevated those people to the positions they achieved as they made their way into the history books and it's their back stories that make for some interesting reading. We all know about Charles Lindbergh, the man who made his first solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, but we know so very little about his wife, Anne Morrow. If you understand anything about the decade in history up to this point, you should understand the role of the wife was to be supportive and to never really air her opinions about anything to anyone. Most of those conversations were usually conveyed in confidence.

So with that understanding of what Anne's role in a marriage would have been we know in history that women's rights were a hot topic and had been on the minds of women everywhere as they pushed forward to find a voice in the things in the world. This is apparent even in Melanie Benjamin's novel, The Aviator's Wife. Anne Morrow is a smart and successful women in her own right, but her husband Charles cautions her to make sure that he remains the center of focus on both the public and private eye. Many women readers may be put off by that fact, but again historically it was the accepted role for most women to remain silent and supportive. It doesn't mean she didn't have opinions, just wasn't able to voice them the way we do today.

I think Anne retained her fantasy of marriage in the fact that she was marrying a successful man with a certain celebrity like status. It made certain aspects of their life easier, but also eliminated the privacy that both of them at times would like to maintain. Anne often times feels like the proverbial doormat by her husband's consistent treatment to her to keep her in her place and in her role as a wife and mother. It does take the reader into the real story of Anne's struggle to deal with the changes not only in marriage but in society as well. It's a story of power, struggle, determination, and grace under fire and in the end, shows that in circumstances though the road may be difficult to travel, we can move forward if we simply have the determination to keep getting up and trying.

I received The Aviator's Wife compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Delacorte Press for my honest review and while I understood certain historical elements, mostly pertaining to Charles Lindbergh, I was delighted to get a sense of what it meant to be the wife of someone famous during those turbulent times in the 20's. I knew it wouldn't be an easy read and for someone to truly appreciate the story, you really have to understand the role of women back in those time periods. The story of how they dealt with the kidnapping and lose of Charles Jr. is heartbreaking, but again shows the determination of Anne to remain focused on keeping her marriage in tact despite all the odds that come their way. I easily rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

For more information about The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Melanie Benjamin on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Aviator's Wife on the Pump Up Your Book Tours, please click here.