Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ideas That Make Sense ~ Pintrest Linkup

Have you found ideas, recipes, crafts that you have pinned on to your Pinterest boards? Maybe you found something that made you say "I wish I had found that!" Ever found something that makes you go "AH! Now that is an IDEA that just makes so much sense!" We want to know! Please share those great pins with us! Maureen's Musings,Have Sippy Will Travel, The Spring Mount 6 Pack, and Hobbies on a Budget and Beck Valley Books are joining forces to offer you a place to find and share your Pinterest ideas! Link up your favorite pins so we can follow you. (Don't just link your pinterest account - link your favorite image!) strong>Bonus: The entry that gets the most clicks each week will become next week's featured pin of the week. (That translates to more traffic and more exposure for your great idea!)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pump Your Book Virtual Tours: Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins and Win Kindle Fire

Pam Smith is a Long Island housewife who spends her weekdays preparing for her husband Jack to return every weekend from the city. Their life is a perfect picture of American success, comfort, and the love of family and friends. Then, on a Saturday that seems no different than any other, tragedy strikes and Pam faces the greatest challenge of her previously charmed life. A riveting plot, shocking twists, and almost unbearable tension mark Suzanne Jenkins’ debut, a heart-wrenching examination of lives suddenly and irrevocably torn apart. On his routine weekend trip home, Jack has a heart attack on the train and Pam soon finds herself on a trip to identify his body. Theoretically, this should give her some form of closure, but instead it is the moment her life takes an unexpected trip down the rabbit hole of intrigue and past sins come shockingly to life. Pam must confront a series of revelations that unmask a life she realizes she only thought she knew, and the losses and disappointments she discovers give color and understanding to a man markedly different than he appeared. Uncovering secrets and betrayals far worse than her most vivid nightmare, Pam retreats to their meticulous Babylon beach house, the one refuge she has to put the pieces of her life together and move toward ultimate forgiveness. A fascinating, multiple point of view character study about confronting mistakes and omissions in life, Jenkins’ novel demonstrates the devastating consequences of our actions and how they can reverberate through generations. But it is through forgiveness that Pam finds redemption and strength, eschewing the option of victimization for one of power and, ultimately, personal peace. Affecting in its fast pacing and spare, evocative prose, Pam of Babylon is a powerful reminder for us all to strive to be better people. Themes of sexual abuse and infidelity.
Author Suzanne Jenkins

Suzanne Jenkins lives at the west Michigan lake shore with her husband, two dogs and two sheep. Her latest books are Pam of Babylon, Don’t You Forget About Me and Dream Lover.

To get your copy of PAM OF BABYLON by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon:

To get your copy of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon:

To get your copy of DREAM LOVER by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon:

Pick up your copy of PAM OF BABYLON by Suzanne Jenkins at Barnes & Noble:

Pick up your copy of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Suzanne Jenkins at Barnes & Noble:

To learn more about Suzanne Jenkins, visit her website:

Suzanne Jenkins will be giving away a Kindle Fire during her July, August and September virtual book tour campaign for PAM OF BABYLON. Fill out Rafflecopter!!

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My Review:

Wow talk about worlds getting turned upside down, this book has it! Guess we should remember that things are not always as they appear.
Pam Smith has what looks like is a perfect life, she lives in Long Island, NY and on the a beautiful cottage. Her children are grown and away at college, when she receives the news. Her husband has had a heart attack...and has died. I don't believe I would have reacted to the facts that come out as well as Pam does. She is one strong person. While things are being revealed you wonder who or whom she should trust? Then there's Jack...the father of her two children, and you want to hate him.
We learn a lot about these people and the people who raised them, are we repeating another generation.
Suzanne Jenkins has written a page turner, and I can't wait to get into the next book. Don't miss this compelling read!

I received this book from Pump Your Book Virtual Tours and the Author Suzanne Jenkins, and was not required to give a positive review.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop July 27th to August 1st ~ Annie's Truth by Beth Shriver

Annie's TruthAnnie's Truth by Beth Shriver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished reading Annie's Truth, and could not put it was done in less than a day. Now I'm wanting more!
As the story begins Annie Beiler is about to find out that she was adopted. Annie and her sister Hanna got their Mother's permission to go the attic and go through their hope chests. In doing so, Annie opens her bible and finds that her birth date is not filled in. When she goes and finds her Mom and Dad to find out the circumstance of her birth...she is thrown into a tizzy and yearns to learn more of why?
With her Mother's help she leaves and goes to another city to find out as much as she can. She stays with a former Amish family who seem to want to help her, and she does learn a lot! She finally decides to return to her home and family.
You will wonder what has happened since she left and if she is going to be shunned? She was in a relationship with John Yoder before she left, and while away she has found how much she has missed him. You will find yourself rooting for matter what. We meet tough Deacon Zeke...and a Sweetheart Bishop Omar.
You will find yourself immersed in this Amish Community very fast, and never want to leave. Enjoy!

I received this book from the Publisher Charisma Media, and was not required to give a positive review.

I have a new copy of this great book to giveaway to one lucky person..just be a follower and leave an email contact.
Sorry US Only Contest Ends Midnight Aug 1st!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pump Up Your Book Presents Betrayal and Forgiveness Virtual Book Publicity Tour 2012

In the Bible, the Lord asked that we not make promises unless we are sure that we can keep them. Lisa made a promise and has done everything in her power to keep that promise. a lesson her father needed to learn. Before he was able to practice keeping his promise, he lost the love of his daughter, his best friend, and he was about to lose the love of his son. Time was running out for all of them, but they didn’t know it.

Linda Armstrong-Miller is a retired registered nursed. She leaves in Ga. With her husband Mike and daughter Cayla. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is the way the truth and the light. I Believe.

My Review:

Lisa Rivers is a genius who grew up without her father's love. She never could figure out what she had done to make him hate her. Lisa has been groomed by the Government ...they paid for her education, and she had a job as soon as she graduated college at 17.
She has developed a program where no one will ever be kidnapped or lost again, without being able to be found. Because of this she is in danger, as is her father and her equally smart little brother.
Things are really not as they appear and the book will keep you page turning. There is a lot of heartache, betrayal, and we find them turning to God at last for forgiveness. When Lisa is kidnapped and brutally beaten, all of their world turn upside down. Will anything ever be the same? Who can you trust? At times it seems that there is no one. Just when you think you know what will happen, something else changes. Wow!
This is a well written story, and am looking forward to reading more by this author.

I received this book from the author Linda Armstrong-Miller, and Pump Virtual Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dark Crossings: The Covered Bridge\Fallen in Plain Sight\Outside the Circle by Karen Harper, Marta Perry, Patricia Davids

The Covered Bridge by Karen Harper

When Benjamin Kline returns to the fold after eight years, Abigail Baughman welcomes him with an open heart. But all is not well in their Amish village. Mysterious happenings put Abby in harm's way, forcing Ben to run to her rescue. He's vowed never to let anyone hurt her, and suddenly everything is at risk—their community, their way of life…and their future together.

Fallen in Plain Sight by Marta Perry

Childhood friends Sarah Weaver and Jacob Mast see each other in a different light when violence shatters their peaceful society. Now a series of accidents put their faith—and newfound love—to the ultimate test.

Outside the Circle by Patricia Davids

Isaac Bowman is an outsider, but Lena Troyer makes the widower and his daughter feel like part of the community. So when a deer-poaching ring divides the town, Isaac vows to keep this gentle woman safe from harm…in spite of the danger to his heart.

About Karen Harper
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county.

About Marta Perry
Marta Perry is a Pennsylvania-based author of over 35 novels, many of them inspirational romances. She uses her rural Pennsylvania life and her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage in writing her books, especially in her Pleasant Valley Amish series for Berkley Books and her new Amish-set suspense series for HQN Books.
Marta and her husband live in a centuries-old farmhouse in a quiet central Pennsylvania valley. They have three grown children and six beautiful grandchildren, and when she's not busy writing her next book, she's usually trying to keep up with her gardening, baking for church events, or visiting those beautiful grandkids.

About Patricia Davids
I was born and raised in Northcentral Kansas. I'm a farmer's daughter, but I now make my home in the city of Wichita. I'm an RN. Neonatal nursing has been the main focus of my career. What can I say? I love babies. I was invited to the highschool graduation of a baby I took care of. Talk about making me feel old!

In June of 2011 I became a widow after my husband of 36 years and 11 months died from multiple brain tumors. It was a very sad time, but thanks to the three f's, my faith, my family and my friends, life is moving forward. I have four brothers, one daughter and two grandchildren who all work at making me feel loved.

I'm the author of 15 books for Love Inspired Books and I'm currently writing a series called The Brides of Amish Country.

My Review

This book is such a page turner, with both mystery and Amish romance. Although there are three different stories, and in separate locations, they are about 3 second cousins. They all got reaquainted at a mutual cousins wedding, and now send a round robin letter to each other.
The first story is The Covered Bridge by Karen Harper, and features Abigail Baughman who is running her Grandmother's Mushroom farm, and Benjamin Kline a returning shunned Amishman. This one has quite a few scary moments, and you wonder who is behind some of the attacks. There is a broken relationship, jewelery theft, hangings....etc. Be prepared!
The next story Fallen in Plain Sight by Marta Perry is also excellent. This is about Sarah Weaver who works for an elderly, grouchy man, and her childhood friend Jacob Nast who works for her dad.
One day Sarah goes to work to find her employer Richard Strickland dead at the end of the stairs. While helping to clean out the house strange things begin to happen. Some things go missing, including phone messages. It does have quite a surprise ending...and will keep you guessing.
The final story is Outside the Circle by Patricia Davids. Lena Troyer is the teacher, and comes to school one day to find a new student. Ruby Bowman is a little girl who has not spoken since her Mother died. She is accompanied by her Dad Isaac, a woodcarver. Strange things begin to happen in the community after their arrival. There is gun fire at night, poaching of deer, being run off the road, and shootings. Again we keep reading and hoping it isn't the attractive Isaac. There is also a sweet relationship between Lena and Ruby.
This is Amish Romance and Mystery at its finished...don't miss!

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley and the Publisher Harlequin, and was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ideas that Make Sense – Pinterest Linkup

Have you found ideas, recipes, crafts that you have pinned on to your Pinterest boards? Maybe you found something that made you say "I wish I had found that!" Ever found something that makes you go "AH! Now that is an IDEA that just makes so much sense!" We want to know! Please share those great pins with us! Maureen's Musings,Have Sippy Will Travel, The Spring Mount 6 Pack, and Hobbies on a Budget and Beck Valley Books are joining forces to offer you a place to find and share your Pinterest ideas! Link up your favorite pins so we can follow you. (Don't just link your pinterest account - link your favorite image!) strong>Bonus: The entry that gets the most clicks each week will become next week's featured pin of the week. (That translates to more traffic and more exposure for your great idea!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spotlight Post ~ Author Sara Kay Jordan With Love and Genius: Book Two of the Moore Family Series.

About Love and Genius The Moore family is a unique group, full of special talent, blinding intelligence, and a love so strong they can survive every challenge, no matter how dangerous. But, how did they get there? Take a look back and see how it all began. This is the love story of Kathryn and Joe, their first steps toward the incredible family they build together. Dr. Kathryn Archer is a brilliant woman and a well-respected scientist. She is also beautiful, strong and painfully isolated from the world around her. A dark past has taught her to guard her heart and it is a lesson she learned too soon and far too well. Major Joe Moore is a handsome man, a soldier at the top of the army’s most elite group. As a single father, Joe is dedicated to his son and his career and he has put the pain and loss of his past behind him.
When Joe is charged with solving a military mystery he seeks out Kathryn’s expertise to help guide him. Their sparks fly immediately and it’s soon more than one puzzle they are trying to solve. Can they find the answers they are charged to seek when all they can feel is the heat building between them?
This is the story of their beginning. Their first, heady, romantic, steps toward the incredible family they create together. A love story as remarkable as the family they become.

Sarah Jordan author of Love and Genius: Book 2of the Moore Family Series Synopsis The Moore family is a unique group, full of special talent, blinding intelligence, and a love so strong they can survive every challenge, no matter how dangerous. But, how did they get there? Take a look back and see how it all began. This is the love story of Kathryn and Joe, their first steps toward the incredible family they build together. Dr. Kathryn Archer is a brilliant woman and a well-respected scientist. She is also beautiful, strong and painfully isolated from the world around her. A dark past has taught her to guard her heart and it is a lesson she learned too soon and far too well. Major Joe Moore is a handsome man, a soldier at the top of the army’s most elite group. As a single father, Joe is dedicated to his son and his career and he has put the pain and loss of his past behind him.
When Joe is charged with solving a military mystery he seeks out Kathryn’s expertise to help guide him. Their sparks fly immediately and it’s soon more than one puzzle they are trying to solve. Can they find the answers they are charged to seek when all they can feel is the heat building between them?
This is the story of their beginning. Their first, heady, romantic, steps toward the incredible family they create together. A love story as remarkable as the family they become.
Purchase here

Love and Genius Book Excerpt Chapter One by Sarah Jordan
Chapter 1

Joe Moore would always consider the moment he met Doctor Kathryn Archer the most infuriating of his professional career. It was also the best moment of his life. It began in the usual way, just a normal day that gave him no clue to the enormity of what was about to happen. He had managed to get his son to school on time, and surprisingly, with both shoes, a jacket and even his lunch all accounted for. That feat alone meant his day was a good one.
He had snagged the last hot donut from the break room for a perfect addition to his morning coffee. And now he was organizing his office in preparation for a brand new job. He liked the start of a new assignment. There was a feeling of anticipation, like beginning a journey, and that appealed to his sense of adventure. His days of rushing around the world for excitement and intrigue were over, and he took his thrills in smaller doses now.
A knock sounded at his door, and he looked up from the desk he was organizing to find the smiling face of Captain Kyle Harrison. “You getting all settled Joe?” “Trying,” he answered. “My last assignment didn’t come with such a swank office, but I think I’m settling in.”
Kyle looked at the bare gray walls of a standard Pentagon office. He laughed. “Swank?” “Yeah, well, I’ve been in the field or on the training grounds for years. Spending more time in the hot sun or wading through mud and water, than behind a desk, means having a place to hold my pencils seems like a luxury.” His buddy laughed at the joke as Joe tossed a handful of pens and pencils into a ceramic holder. “What is that?” Kyle quirked an eyebrow at the vaguely cylindrical object that now held Joe’s writing implements.
“It’s a pencil holder, Captain,” Joe barked. “My kid made it.”
“It’s an excellent piece of sculpture, Major,” Kyle quickly corrected himself. Joe looked at the present his six-year-old had given him last Father’s Day and smiled fondly. “Yes it is.” He dropped the last of his office supplies into a drawer and flicked it closed. “Did you need something?”
“Yeah.” The officer held out a file. “Your last assignment may have been in the elements, but you’ve moved on to command, all you’ll get around here is an avalanche of paperwork. Good thing this job is temporary.”
Joe reached out and took it. “I’ve been in a real avalanche,” he joked. “The paper kind might be more fun. And with my luck, the next assignment will have me in something worse than bad weather.” He flipped the folder open. “What is this?” “The lab report you requested.”
“What does it mean?” Joe scanned the summary sheet.
“Hell if I know.” Kyle chuckled. “Those folks over at Quantum don’t speak human, just science.”
“What am I supposed to do with this if I can’t tell what it means?”
“Beats me.” His friend shrugged. “But you better figure it out. The Hill is watching this one. It’s bad enough to lose four soldiers in a training accident—it’s a shit storm when one of them is a Senator’s son. I saw another report on the news last night. Senator Pendleton isn’t going to let it go until he has answers.”
“So why not give it to JAG?” Joe wondered in a rare flash of insecurity. “I don’t have an experience as an investigator.”
“The old man thinks he needs a real soldier on the case—” Kyle leaned over and patted Joe on the shoulder, “—and you, my friend, are the best we got.” He stood up and headed for the door. “I guess that’s why you got the special assignment and the swank new office, so you can figure it out.”
“Don’t make me regret requesting you as an assistant, Harrison.” “Never, sir.” Kyle stood at attention and saluted with overstated formality. Joe’s exaggerated scowl quickly twisted to a smirk. They had been through too much, and been friends too long, for him to worry about Kyle taking his threat to heart. Kyle paused in the doorway. “Hey, I’m up to grab a beer after work if you want to celebrate the new duty.”
“Thanks,” Joe answered without looking away from the file he’d begun reading. “But I can’t. I need to pick Parker up before six, he has a swim lesson.” Kyle nodded. It had been a long shot. Single parents didn’t have much free time and Joe rarely agreed to any activity that would keep him from his son. “Another time,” he said easily.
Joe called a good-bye and focused on the report. There were words on the page he couldn’t even hope to sound out, let alone interpret, and after ten minutes he sighed in frustration and snapped the file closed. “This is ridiculous,” he complained under his breath.
Standing, he jerked his uniform jacket from the back of his chair and hastily tugged it on. It fit snugly over his muscled arms and broad shoulders. Picking up the file, he rounded his desk and took long purposeful strides to the door. “I guess I’ll just have to ask,” he muttered as he pulled the door shut behind him. The drive to Quantum Labs took little time. The state of the art facility had been constructed in an area of DC that had once been an embarrassment. The choice of location had been praised by the city leaders as a positive step to revitalize and energize the community, an effort by its wealthy benefactors to make a contribution to the city even as they pursued their own agenda.
Those benevolent aspirations were of little concern to him, but Joe was quick to appreciate the proximity to his new office in the Pentagon. He had been briefed on the capabilities of the research facility, and he had orders to cultivate a relationship with what was proving to be an invaluable tool to military and government agencies. Learning that he wouldn’t have to waste his work day commuting back and forth to the facility was a positive.
His military ID got him through the gate, but he chaffed at the delay when he was required to wait for entrance into the lab itself. When the guard finally confirmed that he was indeed the investigator assigned to the Pendleton inquiry, the buzzer sounded and he pulled the door open with an irritated yank. A second set of doors required he submit to a retinal scan, but the process took far less time than the guard’s confirmation. Annoyed by the delay but impressed with the security he moved into the lab proper.
He wasn’t sure what he had expected, but as he stepped inside he had to pause and gape. The place was everything he would have imagined at the words lab or high tech. The foyer in which he stood held a few green plants, and what had to be expensive art, that gave the small space a warm feel. But as he moved forward, it opened into a cavernous room with high ceilings, exposed metal beams and glass walls that gave it a sleek look. The place had a sterile, clean smell that was part hospital, part library, and there was a sense of quiet calm that made the thought and discovery that happened here almost palpable.
A series of raised platforms dominated the center of the room. Each had a metal exam table under heavy lighting, and Joe had a mental image of men in white coats gathered around in fascination as something like Frankenstein’s creature came to life. Shaking his head at the fantasy he looked around for some clue about where to find his new associate.
A small man crossed the room in front of him. To Joe he looked like the quintessential mad scientist with a curly mop of out of control brown hair and a white lab coat. Several days’ growth of beard darkened his chin and cheeks, adding to the impression he was too busy thinking to worry about such mundane matters. He was walking and reading through a large stack of paper, oblivious to anything around him, and he jumped when Joe spoke.
“I’m looking for Dr. Archer?”
The scientist recovered quickly. He turned, almost as if he were going to physically confront the question. “Who are you?” The mouse of a man demanded, with more authority than Joe had expected.
“Major Moore, special investigator for the Pendleton inquiry.” Joe tried not to sound as irritated as he felt over the question.
The scientist was still regarding him with suspicion, so he held up the file he couldn’t decipher. “I have a question about a report she sent regarding the investigation.”
“Jack Holmes.” The scientist identified himself, finally offering a handshake and a less confrontational tone. “Sorry, we try to limit Kathryn’s interruptions, and lately the requests for her time have been a bit intrusive.” Joe’s memory quickly supplied the details he knew of the scientist. Jack Holmes was the money behind this operation. Like Archer, he held multiple degrees, but it was his family wealth which had allowed them to establish the lab in the first place. According to the dossier he was an excellent scientist, but he didn’t quite have the same brilliance as his partner. “Dr. Holmes, you’re Dr. Archer’s partner?” Joe asked. “That’s me,” Holmes answered modestly. He turned and pointed across the large room. “Dr. Archer is in lab three. I’d introduce you, but I have something I need to attend to. Besides,” he added with a smirk, “You look like you can handle it.” “Handle what?”
“A conversation with Archer,” Holmes said with a chuckle. “Good luck,” he called as he walked away.
Joe had never met a billionaire or a world’s leading expert on anything, but as he watched Holmes walk away, he wondered if the combination made the man so weird or if he just came that way.
Pushing thoughts of wealthy mad scientists from his mind he turned the direction Holmes had indicated and strode across the room with purpose. He had heard Archer was a tough nut, and Holmes’ attitude seemed to support that, so he mentally prepared himself as he stepped into the small lab. He had expected another strange academic like Holmes. He had expected the cold attitude he’d read about in the lab’s dossier. He had expected brilliance that threw out words like those on the report that had prompted this visit.
What he didn’t expect, was the strikingly beautiful woman who looked up when he entered.
“I’m busy,” she said dismissively and dropped her gaze back to the apparatus she was using.
Joe tried valiantly to ignore the reaction he was having. Damn, she was gorgeous. It was the only thought he could formulate. But when she summarily dismissed him without even a polite greeting his temper flared.
“Dr. Archer, I’m Major Joe Moore. I’m the investigator assigned to the Pendleton inquiry.”
She continued to ignore him and his temper spiked again.
“I need to discuss something with you.” His words came out a bit more harshly than he had intended and he grimaced.
Archer however, didn’t appear to be offended by his tone. “It will have to wait.” She maintained her focus. “As I already stated, I’m busy.”
“It’s about this report.” Joe waved the file in his hand.
“What about it?”
She still wasn’t looking at him, so he took a few steps forward. The action worked to draw her attention, but as she stood and lifted her beautiful blue eyes to his, he wondered at the suspicion he could see in them. He froze briefly under the intensity of her gaze then once again, he lifted the file.
Her eyes were incredible, and although he couldn’t look away from them, he ignored the thoughts they prompted. “I’m afraid I need some translation. I’m not sure what I’m reading.”
Archer rolled her eyes, breaking the lock he had with them, and spoke with exasperation. “Well you actually tried, that puts you up on everyone else it was sent to.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means the Army is woefully uninterested in facts, when they don’t fit their own agenda. I stand behind the report, Major. I mean every word of it.”
“That’s great,” Joe answered his tone slightly aggressive as he reacted to hers. “Now if I just knew what it said maybe I could clue the world’s leading military unit into what they’ve been missing.”
His retort reduced her reluctance to contrition. She lowered her eyes, seeming almost to turn inward rather than admit she had a change of heart. “Leave it. I’ll go back through it when I have time and dumb it down for you.”
“Well, you don’t have to say it like that.”
Her eyes snapped up again, and that willfulness was back. “Didn’t you just say you didn’t understand it?”
“Well, yeah, but it’s not like I don’t get any of it. I just need some help understanding the science.”
“Exactly. You need it dumbed down.”
She stared at him coolly and Joe fought for control. He wanted to shout at her. He wanted to demand she give this issue the kind of attention it deserved. He wanted to wipe that cold look off her face.
He wanted to kiss those damned red lips.
That terribly inappropriate thought brought him up short, and he took rigid control of his emotions. “I’d appreciate it if you could get back to me at your earliest convenience.” With quiet calm, he dropped the file on the table then turned. “The soldiers killed deserve our attention.”
Joe walked out with all the dignity his service and career had earned him. His back straight and his head high, he marched to the exit without a backward glance. He was boiling with an irritation that demanded an escape, but he would be damned if he gave that woman the satisfaction of knowing she had gotten to him.
But she had gotten to him. So, when he reached his car, he climbed inside and finally allowed himself the luxury of a response. “How can someone be so annoying in such a short time?”
Annoying was only the start. She was condescending and abrasive. She had dismissed him like some unimportant irritation, as if her time was far too valuable to bother with a conversation with the likes of him.
He closed his eyes, trying to gain control over this uncharacteristic turmoil he felt. He was an elite solider, he didn’t overreact, he didn’t get emotional. Except right now, he was definitely both of those things.
The moment his eyes closed, he saw her again, tall and thin but with the kind of curves that suggested a luscious body beneath that white coat. Her auburn hair was pulled back into a youthful, utilitarian ponytail, but he could image it spilling to her shoulders in warm waves if she released it. Her skin, pale and smooth—damn near perfect. The creamy complexion accentuated her eyes. Those eyes were what he remembered most. They were gorgeous, the most incredible blue he had ever seen. But it was more than the color. It was the sharp mind they revealed, and the strength that gave the impression she was made of steel, despite the soft body that said exactly the opposite.
Joe’s eyes snapped open and he rubbed a hand over his face. What the hell was wrong with him? He didn’t do this. He had barely noticed a woman, any woman, in over two years and he certainly didn’t objectify coworkers like they were some beauty pageant contestant. She was a scientist and a brilliant one if all he had heard was true. More importantly, she was his colleague. He was supposed to be cultivating a relationship between the Army and her lab, not ogling her. He was supposed to be using her expertise to reveal why four soldiers had died, not fantasizing about what she would look like with her hair down.
He took a deep breath and ordered his thoughts. He knew what to expect now, he would be prepared, he could control himself. Slipping his car into gear he headed back to his office, his mind firmly directed to the job that lay before him.

It worked fairly well. He was good at his job, and he had long ago acquired the kind of discipline necessary to avoid all types of outside stimuli—he could go days without food or sleep, could sit for hours in weather so cold or wet that his body tried to shut down and still he felt no discomfort. He could do what had to be done. The jobs the Army saw fit to burden on only a select few, he could do them without hesitation. Keeping his mind focused on the investigation, and not those blue eyes, wasn’t the hardest thing he had ever done and he finished his day with an iron control on his thoughts.
One question, however, made his control falter.
“Hey, Bro. How was your day? Make any new friends?”
He froze for only an instant before taking the final step inside his house, but she saw it. His kid sister had always been far too interested in his personal life. She had followed him around when they were kids, spied on him when he was in high school, and she hadn’t lost her interest just because she was now a grownup.
“Joe?” she demanded with suspicion.
“It was a day, Charlie,” he answered evasively.
“A day?”
“Yeah, a day. I got up, I went to the office, I met some colleagues. It was a day.” “What are you not telling me?”
He bit the inside of his lip trying to distract from the picture that had popped into his mind, trying to erase the image of those two blue eyes of steel and satin. “Where’s Parker?” He tried changing the subject for his own good. “We need to get going.”
Charlie waved toward the other room. “He’s changing clothes.” Her hair was darker than Joe’s, a coal black compared to his dark brown, but her eyes were the same chocolate brown and they revealed a hint of his same strength.
Those eyes were watching him now, with suspicion. She knew him too well and she wasn’t fooled. She stepped in front of her brother and looked him in the eye, squinting as she assessed his mood. “What’s up with you?”
“Nothing,” he scoffed. “It’s been awhile since I had a desk job, okay? I just need to adjust.”
“Okay,” she agreed, willing to accept that for now. She turned and called down the hallway as she walked toward the kitchen sink. “Parker! Your dad is home. Shake a leg, Bub.”
“He was good?” Joe flipped through the mail she had left for him on the counter. “He’s the best nephew ever born.” She grinned. “Of course he was good.”
“You didn’t let him fill up on junk after school, did you?” he worried. “I don’t want him getting into bad habits.”
“What am I, a bad influence?” Charlie joked.
Joe leveled an accusing glare and she cracked. “Okay, I let him have a milkshake. But we were celebrating.” “Celebrating what?”
She gave him an impish grin as she turned away from the now clean dishes that had been sitting in his sink. “We were celebrating the opportunity to have a milkshake.” There was the sound of pounding footsteps on the wood floor, and then a small form in red swim trunks, and nothing else, came barreling through the doorway. Joe abandoned the lecture he wanted to give his sister and scooped up his son, as Parker leapt into the air. He held him close, feeling his tension fade, as two small tanned arms wrapped tightly around his neck.
Ruffling the long blonde hair, that was starting to curl wildly without a haircut to temper it, he kissed his son. “Hey, Bub. You ready for a swim?”
“Yep.” Parker crowed excitedly. “Charlie says it is a big pool!”
“It is?” Joe asked with enthusiasm. “I bet you can’t swim the whole thing.”
“I can too,” Parker giggled. “I’ll show you.”
“Do you have to make everything a challenge?” Charlie scolded with a laugh as she picked up her purse. “Honestly, Joe, it’s a swim lesson not a competition.” “It makes it fun,” he answered, and Parker nodded in agreement.
Charlie rolled her eyes and shook her head, making her dark locks sway. “You are two peas in a pod,” she teased. Leaning in, she puckered for a kiss, and Parker dutifully responded, adding a quick hug as well. She dropped another quick peck on his forehead and then stood on her tiptoes to give Joe’s cheek the same treatment. “I’ll pick him up at school tomorrow, same time.” She headed for the door. “Have a good night.”
“Thanks,” Joe called after her.
Charlie paused in the door and gave him another long look. “You sure you’re okay?” “I’m fine,” he growled in warning.
“Okay, okay, don’t get all green beret on me.” She laughed as she stepped through the door.
“I’m fine.” Joe repeated to Parker.
“Daddy, I’m ready to go.” He squirmed excitedly, a huge grin on his face.
“Okay.” Joe dropped him to his wriggling feet. “Let’s go little man, let’s see if you can swim that pool.”
“I can do it!”
Beaming, Joe opened the door and followed his son outside. “You are going to have to prove it, little man.” Thoughts of irritating scientists slipped from his mind—the joy he found in spending time with his boy was a better weapon against her allure than all his discipline.

Sarah Jordan Bio author of Love and Genius: Book 2 of The Family Moore Series Sara Kay Jordan holds a BA in English, and is a lifelong daydreamer, a combination that prepared her in equal measure to pursue her dream to be a writer. Her first novel, Snatching Genius, was released in 2011 to warm praise. Her family includes two grown children and one cranky old dog. Sara lives in Springfield, MO. Follow her online at and on Twitter @sarakayjordan

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Litfuse Publicity Tour: Love Finds You in MacKinac Island, Michigan by Melanie Dobson

A story filled with beauty and wonder, Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan transports readers to a magical place and time. The story begins in the 1890s at the end of the Gilded Age, a golden era of prosperity and growth. As the Gilded Age comes to a close, the kingdoms of many wealthy industrialists begin to collapse, including the once-wealthy Bissette family who has nearly lost its fortune. However, the Bissettes still own a home on the fashionable Mackinac Island, where they will spend one last summer in the hope of introducing their daughter Elena to a wealthy suitor.

Not only is Elena is repulsed by the idea of marrying for money, she quickly grows tired of the extravagant balls and spends most evenings escaping back into Mackinac's rugged forest. There she meets Chase, a handsome laborer who shares her love for the night sky. The two begin to meet in secret at an abandoned lighthouse where they discover a mysterious tattered diary.

As Elena falls in love with Chase, her mother relentlessly plots to introduce her to Chester Darrington, the island's most eligible bachelor. While marriage to the elusive millionaire would solve the Bissettes' financial woes, Elena is torn between duty to her family and true love.

The Love Finds You series from Summerside Press is a collection of novels that captures the flavor of towns and cities across the country with colorful histories. The towns become as much of a part of the stories as the characters themselves. Researching the towns in which her novels are set is the aspect of historical fiction that Dobson enjoys most. In writing Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan, she was able to explore the island that has intrigued her since her early years growing up in Ohio. "I've always been fascinated by Mackinac Island because I was told time seemed to stand still there," explains Dobson. "From the moment I got off the boat, I could sense it was a magical place. There are no cars on the island so people ride bikes or horse-drawn carriages through the charming village and back into the forest. The island has been a popular vacation destination on the east coast since 1819, so it's rich with fascinating history and lore."

In the midst of writing this book, Dobson went to Haiti to help lead a retreat for the wives of Haitian pastors. Each member of their team spoke on a different name of God, and Dobson spoke about God as Mighty Creator. "As I researched God's passion for creating and the love He has for His creation, it was a joy for me to incorporate the wonder and beauty of the universe into this historical novel. I hope that readers leave with a sense of God's majesty on this beautiful island."

About the Author
Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside's Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense).

She enjoys the research process that comes along with being an author of historical fiction so much that she often has a difficult time stopping the research on the history and locale in order to start the writing. Because Melanie visits each location she writes about, she's been able to spend time in the beautiful and fascinating towns across the country that bring her stories to life.

Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.

She met her husband, Jon, in Colorado Springs, but since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. Along with their two daughters, Karly and Kiki, they now enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific.

When Melanie isn't writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.

For more about Melanie Dobson and her books, visit

Link to buy the book:

My Review:

As the book opens we given a look at the Island, and begin to smell the Lilacs that are perfuming the air. The beauty of this place sounds so awesome and peaceful. As the Bissett family has arrived on the dock for their Summer Holiday, to the horror of Elana her hat takes flight off her head. As she try to retrieve it she almost falls in, being rescued by one of the Forts soldiers. This is enough to start the tongues wagging for the gossip here is terrible. We also find that Mrs Bissett has plans to have her daughter meet and marry Chester Darrington, a wealthy investor. The Bissett family is beginning probably their last summer on the Island, but there is hope if Elana can marry well.
With so much pressure on her, Elana visits her favorite place on the Island, an abandoned Lighthouse. There begins another story...the story of Magdalena, her two children, and the missing Jonah...this during the War of 1812. Elana loves the Lighthouse, and feels closer to God here than anywhere else on the Island. She climbs the stairs and watches the stars, she also enjoys drawing, a talent her Mother frowns on. Here she also meets a man who she could marry, Chase, he is everything she wants, only he isn't wealthy.
We get drawn in with the beautiful surroundings, the balls, teas, and the delightful lawn tennis.
You are going to wonder who Elana will end up with, her childhood friend? The hotel worker Chase? or some other person of wealth to save her family. Once you start on this book you will be absorbed into it, and its not easy to put down. Don't miss this one!

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Tours and Summerside Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spring Hope by Martha Rogers

Can runaway Libby Cantrell finally get a new start? Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. After working in a brothel to support her abusive father, she sees no hope for her future until one cold winter night when she finds the courage to escape. When she collapses in Portersfield, Texas, exhausted, ill, and hungry, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her and takes her to the doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of her. As a deputy, Cory needs to know the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman.

As Cory’s feelings for her grow and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?

About Martha

Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella was released in 2007.

Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry.

Chapter 1

Porterfield, Texas

February 1891

COLDEST NIGHT of winter thus far chilled Deputy Sheriff Cory Muldoon to the bone as he made his rounds in the alleyways of Porterfield. Cold wind howled around the corners of the buildings now closed up for the night. Most everyone in Porterfield had gone home to their families and warm homes. This was all the winter he cared to experience, and even this would be only a few days, as the weather in Texas could change in a heartbeat, summer or winter.

Lights and music from the saloon rang out and mocked the dark silence of its neighboring buildings. Friday nights found cowboys and lumberjacks both squandering their hard-earned money on liquor and women. Tonight would be no different despite the cold, near freezing temperatures. Most likely at least one or two of them would end up in the jail for a spell.

Cory turned up the collar of his sheepskin-lined jacket and shoved his hat farther down on his head. When he rounded the corner of the livery, the gentle nickering and snorts of the horses boarded there broke the quietness of the night.

A cat skittered out from behind the general store, and a dog barked in the distance. Ever since the bank robbery last fall, he or the sheriff had roamed the alleys behind the main businesses every night to make sure everything remained locked tight and secure. So far he’d seen only a typical Friday night, with everything as routine as Aunt Mae’s boarding- house meal schedule. Of course, being Friday the thirteenth, anything could happen.

They already had two men put up for the night back at the jail. Sheriff Rutherford took the night duty to keep the jail cells warm so Cory could have Saturday off for his Aunt Mae’s wedding. Ole Cooter probably got drunk and disorderly just so he’d have a warm place to sleep tonight and not have to go out to his shack. Cory held no blame on the man for that. Durand, the saloon owner, caught the other man cheating at cards and had him arrested. Maybe the card shark would move his game on to some other town.

He shivered despite the warm coat and hoped Abigail and Rachel would have dinner waiting for him back at the board- inghouse. What with Aunt Mae’s wedding tomorrow, those two women had taken over mealtimes until his aunt returned from her wedding trip.

What appeared to be a pile of trash sat outside the back door of Grayson’s mercantile. Ordinarily the store owner wouldn’t leave a heap out in the open like that. Cory hesitated in making an investigation, but the snuffling and nickering of a horse grabbed his attention. His hand caressed the handle of his gun. No one and no animal should be here this time of night.

The horse, a palomino, stood off to one side. He wore a saddle, but the reins dangled to the ground. Cory went on alert, his eyes darting about the alley in search of a rider. He reached for the reins and patted the horse’s mane, then ran his hand down its flank. “Whoa, boy, what are you doing out wan- dering around?” No brand on his hindquarters meant he didn’t belong to a ranch around here, and Cory didn’t recognize the horse as belonging to any of the townspeople.

Then the pile by the back door moved, and along with the movement, a moan sounded. With his hand on his gun, Cory approached the mound. An arm flung out from the heap, and another cry. This was no animal. He knelt down to pull back what looked like an old quilt.

When the form of a young woman appeared, Cory jumped as though he’d been shot. Every nerve in his body stood at attention as he reached out to remove more of the cover. A woman lay huddled under the quilt, and her body shook from the cold while a cough wracked through her chest, followed by another cry.

On closer inspection he realized she was younger than he first thought. Her smooth, unlined face and tangled hair were that of a young woman. She couldn’t be more than twenty, the same age as his sister Erin.

He bent over her to pick her up, and she started to scream, but another coughing spell prevented it. When her blue eyes peered up at him, they were so full of fear that they sent dag- gers of alarm straight to his soul. This girl was in trouble.

“Don’t be afraid. I’m the deputy sheriff. I won’t hurt you, but tell me your name and let me take you to the doctor.” He pointed to his badge in hope of reassuring her.

Instead her gaze darted back and forth as she pulled the blanket up under her chin. Her ungloved hands trembled with the cold. He removed his glove and reached out a hand to touch her forehead then yanked it back. She burned with fever.

“You’re sick. We need you to get you to Doc Jensen’s right away.” He slid his hands beneath her to scoop her up into his arms. He almost lost his footing as he rose, thinking she’d be a heavier burden than she was. Light as a feather meant she was probably malnourished too.

She moaned against his chest. “I’m so cold.”

Her voice, weak and hesitant, touched a nerve in him. He had to get her warm. Cory made sure the blanket covered her then grasped the horse’s reins. A low whistle brought his own horse closer. “Follow us, Blaze. We’re going to the infirmary.”
He held the girl tight to his chest to transfer some of his warmth to her. The quicker he could get her to the doctor, the quicker Doc could warm her up and treat that cough.

No time to worry about drunken cowboys or lumberjacks tonight.


The man who called himself a deputy carried her in his arms. With his gentle touch and voice, this man wasn’t like others she had known. Her body burned with heat then turned ice cold with shivers. So much pain racked her body that she didn’t have the strength to resist him anyway.

The man cradled her to his chest. “We’ll be at Doc Jensen’s in just a few minutes. Hang on, little lady.”

Little lady? Little, maybe, but certainly no lady by his stan- dards. Another cough wracked her chest and set her throat afire with pain. Her thin jacket and the quilt had been no match for the cold, especially after she’d crossed the river. Not enough heat in the day to dry her clothes before chilling her to the bone and causing this cough. She’d lost count of the days since she left home and had no idea how far she’d come. She’d avoided towns as much as possible, only entering long enough to pick up food at a mercantile.

Pa had to be on her trail by now, or he’d have others searching for her. Either way, she didn’t plan to get caught and be dragged back to Louisiana. Even now the memory of all that she had endured because of Pa made her stomach retch. She’d die before she let anyone take her back to that.

The man called for someone named Clem to go get the doc, and he’d meet him at the infirmary. Maybe he was a sheriff after all since he was sending for help. She didn’t dare open her eyes, lest he’d see her fears again. Until she could be absolutely certain he meant her no harm, she’d stay still and quiet.

She inhaled the masculine scent of horses, sweat, and leather. He smelled like hard work and not a trace of alcohol. Unusual for a man, even a lawman. In the background raucous music came from a saloon. She’d recognize the tinny sound of saloon piano anywhere. It disappeared in the distance, and they proceeded down the street and up what felt like stairs or steps onto what must be a boardwalk or porch.

He set her on her feet, and she peeped with one eye while he fumbled in his pocket then pulled out a ring of keys. In the next minute he had the door open and strode through it, car- rying her once again.

Antiseptics, alcohol, and carbolic acid greeted her nose. This must be the doctor’s office. Not until he laid her on a hard surface did she open her eyes, half expecting him to be leering over her. Instead he had walked away to light a lamp, which filled the room with flickering shadows dancing on the walls. A glass door cabinet stood against the wall, and another bed sat a few feet away from where she lay.

He returned to stand beside her, and she almost shrank in fear at his size. Well over six feet tall, he’d removed his hat to reveal a mass of dark red hair curling about his forehead. His hand caressed her forehead, but she did not flinch, even though every inch of her wanted to. No need for him to know her fears.

“I see you’re awake. The doc will be here in a minute. He’ll fix you right up.”

Instead of resisting, her body relaxed at the gentle tone of his voice. He certainly didn’t fit her idea of a lawman or a cowboy. No one but her ma had ever treated her so kindly. Most people treated her like trash under their feet and didn’t care whether she was well or sick. Still, he was a man. She had to be careful.

A woman’s voice sounded, along with another man’s. She turned her head to find a beautiful red-haired woman and an older man entering the room.

The one who must be the doctor stepped to her side.

My Review:
Another great book by Martha Rogers and her Seasons of The Heart Series. Once started I didn't want to leave Portersfield, TX. This is a return visit for me, and was great to be reaquainted with old friends. Although this is a stand alone book, I recommend reading the other three, as they are equally good.
We begin our journey as Libby Cantrell has literally dropped into this caring town. Sheriff Cory Muldoon stumbles by the alley, and see an unattended horse, and a bundle, which turns out to be a very ill Libby.
We find out she is fleeing her horrible father. Only because of what he forced her to do, she is she doesn't give her real name or what she is fleeing. You see Cory start to have feeling, and his family, especially his Mom and sister's begin to love her. Cory though makes remarks about the woman working in a brothel, and Libby knows nothing can come of her feeling for him.
I love the faith of these people, and Cory is one who is struggling along with Libby. They both have to learn how to trust God and find forgiveness. I myself would have a heard time forgiving her father, what a horrible man, how could he do what he did to his child??
Love the ending of this book, and you will have to read it to find out if any or all are able to forgive? Enjoy a return visit with this great family, and town.

I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher Realms, and was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond

When the life she planned for herself is snatched away, Sophia's eyes open to the life God has planned for her.

Sophia Makinoff is sure that 1876 is the year she's going to become the wife of an up-and-coming congressman. But when the congressman humiliates her by proposing to her mousy roommate, Sophia wants nothing more than to disappear and avoid the wedding plans. She grasps at her first opportunity for escape and signs up for the Board of Foreign Missions.

She thinks she'll be going to China . . . but even running away doesn't go as planned when she's instead sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the Dakota Territory. It's an abysmal, primitive place for a lady of society, but as she gets to know the people, she discovers she can't abandon them. The motives that led her there were anything but pure, but she finds a new purpose in trying to protect "the least of these."

The water rushes around her—literally and figuratively—as Sophia learns that the only way to fulfill her purpose is to ignore the distractions and focus on God's leading.

About Caherine Richmond

I was busy raising a family, working as an occupational therapist, and trying to remember where I hid the chocolate, when a song sparked a story within me. The journey to publication has been long, but full of blessings. I couldn’t have done it without ACFW, RWA, and FHL, the inspirational chapter of RWA, and Nebraska Novelists critique group.

I was born in Washington, DC, grew up in northern Virginia, attended Western Michigan University, and moved around a lot for my husband’s aviation career. Maybe our paths have crossed; shoot me an email and we’ll figure it out!

My favorite place to write is the porch. Then I reward myself with reading time in my air chair – and chocolate, of course!

My Review:
I so enjoyed Catherine Richmond's Spring for Susannah that I really wanted to read her next book...and it does not disappoint!
We begin with Sophia Makinoff teaching at girls college, and convinced she is about to marry a new Congressman. When things don't turn out as planned she attends a Missionary Meeting and immediately signs up...thinking she is going to China. Again things don't turn out as she has planned and we find her in South Dakota at Ponca Indian Agency where she will teach. What turns out for her to be a disappointment soon turns into a blessing.
Willoughby Dunn or Will [the carpenter] Nettie and Henry Granville[Mom and son [Rev] and James Lawrence[the Indian Agent]. These are the people that Sophia will be spending her time with, along with the Indian children and adults. Will turns out to be such a blessing...he turns discards into something a dipper for the children to drink their water from using tin cans. Nettie does the cooking, and becomes a dear friend to Sophia.
Unfortunately the story is based on actual fact...and I find it heartbreaking. Come along and experience some of the History in the making of our Country, you will easily get lost in this book. We may not agree with what happens to these innocent people, but it brings to light the facts.

I received this book through Netgalley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ideas that Make Sense – Pinterest Linkup

Have you found ideas, recipes, crafts that you have pinned on to your Pinterest boards? Maybe you found something that made you say "I wish I had found that!" Ever found something that makes you go "AH! Now that is an IDEA that just makes so much sense!" We want to know! Please share those great pins with us! Maureen's Musings,Have Sippy Will Travel, The Spring Mount 6 Pack, and Hobbies on a Budget and Beck Valley Books are joining forces to offer you a place to find and share your Pinterest ideas! Link up your favorite pins so we can follow you. (Don't just link your pinterest account - link your favorite image!) strong>Bonus: The entry that gets the most clicks each week will become next week's featured pin of the week. (That translates to more traffic and more exposure for your great idea!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real-Life Stories of Supernatural Events by James Stuart Bell

Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real-Life Stories of Supernatural EventsAngels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real-Life Stories of Supernatural Events by James Stuart Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing read, and at times you will get goose bumps. Sometimes I don't like to think about surpernatural world, as I often in my mind think of the occult. This book brings it to into a Godly realm, with real life stories of miraculous experiences.
I think we have all had encounters and sometimes not realized God had sent help. With some of the stories in this book I have seen myself and things that have happened to me and mine.
I recently lost my husband, he was in Hospice, and when the time was getting near morphine and lorazepam was used, he no longer would be in pain. I knew I would not be able to communicate with him, and the reality of the situation was really hitting me. I was alone in the house with him, the nurse was still in the drive, and in walks in my dear husband's cousin. I knew without a doubt who had sent her.
I found this book so wonderfully refreshing and enjoyable. To think we have Him with us at all times, how blessed we are. Enjoy these wonderful short stories, and find them touching your heart.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.

View all my reviews

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour: Inescapable by Nancy Mehl

About Inescapable
Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, her family, and her faith with plans never to return. Five years later, Lizzie finds she'll have to run again. False accusations at her job, a stalker, and a string of anonymous threatening letters have left her with no other options. This time, however, her escape is back to Kingdom, her hometown.

As Lizzie becomes reacquainted with Kingdom, she realizes she may not have left her Mennonite roots and her faith as firmly in the past as she thought.

She draws on the support of Noah Housler, an old friend, as she hides out and attempts to plan her next steps.

When it becomes painfully clear that the danger has followed Lizzie to Kingdom, suspicions and tensions run high, and she no longer knows who to trust. With her life and the lives of those she loves at risk, Lizzie will have to run one last time--to a Father whose love is inescapable.

About Nancy

Nancy Mehl, the author of 13 books, received an ACFW Carol Award in 2009 for her novel For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA.

She writes from her home in Wichita, Kansas, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson.

Visit her website at

Win a Handmade Mennonite Quilt from @NancyMehl! RSVP for her INESCAPABLE Facebook Party 7/26!
Celebrate with Nancy by entering her "Inescapable" Giveaway and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 7/26!

Find out what readers are saying here.

One winner will receive:
  • A Handmade Mennonite Quilt
  • A copy of Inescapable by Nancy Mehl
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Inescapable" Author Chat Facebook Party on 7/26. Nancy will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills (how much do you know about the Mennonites?) and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Inescapable and join Nancy on the evening of the July 26th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!

My Review:
A great view of Old Order Mennonite life...Kingdom KS. We follow the life of Elizabeth Lynn Engel, or Lizzie as she is known, and her delightful 6 year old Charity. Lizzie has vowed never to return to Kingdom, but circumstance force her to do so. She is welcomed with open warm most everyone. Her Dad being one of the people who still doesn't want her around.
I found most of the character's here to be so very loving and living a Righteous Life. You find God speaking to them, and I found myself wanting to live and visit with them. There is a lot that goes on in the story...stalking, embezzlement, threatening letters, murder, and when you think you have it all figured out, you don't. Loved how the story wrapped up! A really great and wonderful read!! Don't Miss!

I received this book Litfuse and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review

First Wild Card Tours: A Promise for Miriam by Vannetta Chapman

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Vannetta Chapman has published more than 100 articles in Christian family magazines. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta is a multi-award-winning member of Romance Writers of America. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas Hill country. Her first two inspirational novels—A Simple Amish Christmas and Falling to Pieces—were Christian Book Distributors bestsellers.

Visit the author's website.


Amish schoolteacher Miriam King loves her students. At 26, she hasn’t yet met anyone who can convince her to give up the Plain school at Pebble Creek. Then newcomer Gabriel Yoder steps into her life, bringing his daughter, an air of mystery, and challenges Miriam has never faced before.

Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736946128
ISBN-13: 978-0736946124


Pebble Creek, southwestern Wisconsin
Three years later
Miriam King glanced over the schoolroom with satisfaction.
Lessons chalked on the board.
Pencils sharpened and in the cup.
Tablets, erasers, and chalk sat on each desk.
Even the woodstove was cooperating this morning. Thank the Lord for Efram Hochstetler, who stopped by early Mondays on his way to work and started the fire. If not for him, the inside of the windows would be covered with ice when she stepped in the room.
Now, where was Esther?
As if Miriam’s thoughts could produce the girl, the back door to the schoolhouse opened and Esther burst through, bringing with her a flurry of snowflakes and a gust of the cold December wind. Her blonde hair was tucked neatly into her kapp, and the winter morning had colored her cheeks a bright red.
Esther wore a light-gray dress with a dark apron covering it. At five and a half feet and weighing no more than a hundred and twenty pounds, Miriam often had the unsettling feeling of looking into a mirror—a mirror into the past—when she looked at the young woman who taught with her at the one-room schoolhouse.
In truth, the teachers had often been mistaken for family. They were similar in temperament as well as appearance. Other than their hair, Esther could have been Miriam’s younger sister. Esther’s was the color of ripe wheat, while Miriam’s was black as coal.
Why did that so often surprise both Plain people and Englischers? If Miriam’s black hair wasn’t completely covered by her kapp, she received the oddest stares.
“Am I late?” Esther’s shoes echoed against the wooden floor as she hurried toward the front of the room. Pulling off her coat, scarf, and gloves, she dropped them on her desk.
“No, but nearly.”
“I told Joseph we had no time to check on his cattle, but he insisted.”
“Worried about the gate again?”
Ya. I told him they wouldn’t work it loose, but he said—”
“Cows are stupid.” They uttered the words at the same time, both mimicking Joseph’s serious voice, and then broke into laughter. The laughter eased the tension from Esther’s near tardiness and set the morning back on an even keel.
“Joseph has all the makings of a fine husband and a gut provider,” Miriam said. “Once you’re married, you’ll be glad he’s so careful about the animals.”
Ya, but when we’re married I won’t be having to leave in time to make it to school.” Esther’s cheeks reddened a bit more as she seemed to realize how the words must sound.
Why did everyone think Miriam was embarrassed that she still remained unmarried? Did it never occur to them that it was her own choice to be single?
“Efram had the room nice and warm before I even arrived,” she said gently. “And I put out your tablets.”
Wunderbaar. I’ll write my lessons on the board, and we’ll be ready.” As Esther reached to pull chalk from her desk drawer, Miriam noticed that she froze and then stood up straighter. When she reached up and touched her kapp as if to make sure she was presentable, Miriam realized someone else was in the room.
She turned to see who had surprised the younger teacher. It was still a few minutes before classes were due to start, and few of their students arrived early.
Standing in the doorway to the schoolroom was an Amish man. Pebble Creek was a small community, technically a part of the village of Cashton. Old-timers and Plain folk alike still referred to the area where the creek went through by its historic name.
Miriam was quite sure she’d never seen the man standing in her classroom before. He was extremely tall, and she had the absurd notion he’d taken his hat off to fit through their entryway. Even standing beneath the door arch, waiting for them to speak, he seemed to barely fit. He was thin and sported a long beard, indicating he was married.
In addition to clutching his black hat, he wore a heavy winter coat, though not the type worn by most Wisconsin residents. The tops of his shoulders, his arms, and even parts of his beard were covered with snow. More important than how he looked standing in her classroom was the fact that he held the hand of a small girl.
Gudemariye,” Miriam said, stepping forward and moving past her desk.
The man still didn’t speak, but as she drew closer, he bent and said something to the girl.
When Miriam had halved the distance between them, he returned her greeting as his somber brown eyes assessed her.
The young girl next to him had dark-brown hair like her father. It had been combed neatly and pulled back into a braid, all tucked inside her kapp. What was striking about her wasn’t her hair or her traditional Plain clothing—it was her eyes. She had the most solemn, beautiful brown eyes Miriam had ever seen on a child.
They seemed to take in everything.
Miriam noticed she clutched her father’s hand tightly with one hand and held a lunch box with the other.
“I’m the teacher of the younger grades here, grades one through four. My name is Miriam King.” The girl’s eyes widened, and the father nodded again. “Esther Schrocks teaches grades five through eight.”
He looked to the girl to see if she understood, but neither replied.
“And your daughter is—”
“Grace is eight years old, just this summer.” Almost as an afterthought, he added, “I’m Gabriel Miller.”
“Pleased to meet you.” Miriam offered her best smile, which still did not seem to put the father at ease. She’d seen nervous parents before, and obviously this was one. “You must be new to our community.”
Ya. I purchased the place on Dawson Road.”
“Dawson Road? Do you mean the Kline farm?”
Ya.” Not quite rude, but curt and to the point.
Miriam tried to hide any concern she felt as images of Kline’s dilapidated spread popped into her mind. It was no business of hers where this family chose to live. “I know exactly where you mean. My parents live a few miles past that.”
“It’s a fair piece from here,” he noted.
“That it is. Esther and I live here at the schoolhouse during the week. The district built accommodations on the floor above, as is the custom in most of our schoolhouses here in Wisconsin. We both spend weekends at home with our families.”
“I don’t know I’ll be able to bring Grace in every day.” Gabriel Miller reached up and ran his finger under the collar of his shirt, which peeked through the gap at the top of his coat.
Miriam noticed then that it looked stiff and freshly laundered. Had he put on his Sunday best to bring his daughter to school on her first day? It said something about him if he had.
“A man has to put his farm first,” he added defensively.
“Some children live close enough that their parents can bring them in the winter, and, of course, most everyone walks when the weather permits.” Miriam paused to smile in greeting as a few students began arriving and walking around them. “Others ride together. Eli Stutzman lives past Dawson road, and he would be happy to give your dochder a ride to school.”
“It would be a help.” Mr. Miller still didn’t move, and Miriam waited, wondering what else the man needed to say.
She looked up and saw one of the older girls, Hannah, walking in the door. “Hannah, this is Grace Miller. She’s new at our school. Would you mind sitting with her and helping her this week?”
“Sure thing, Miriam.” Hannah squatted down to Grace’s level and said something to the girl Miriam couldn’t hear.
Whatever it was, Grace released her dat’s hand and took Hannah’s. She’d walked halfway down the aisle when she turned, rushed back to where they stood, and threw her arms around her father’s legs.
One squeeze and she was gone again.
Though it was fleeting, Miriam saw a look of anguish pass over the man’s face. What could be going through his mind? She’d seen many fathers leave their children for the first time over the last eight years, but something more was going on here.
“She’ll be fine, Mr. Miller. We’re a small school, and the children look after one another.”
“It’s that…” he twirled his hat in his hands once, twice, three times. “Before we moved here, Grace was…that is to say, we…well, her grossmammi homeschooled her.”
“I understand. How about if I write a note letting you know how Grace is doing? I’ll put it in her lunch box at the end of the day.”
Something like relief washed over his face.
Danki,” he mumbled. Then he rammed his hat on his head and hurried out the door.
Esther caught her attention from the front of the room and sent a questioning look toward the man’s retreating back, but Miriam shook her head. She’d explain later, at lunch perhaps. For now they had nearly forty children between them to teach. As usual, it would be a busy morning.

Gabe did stop to talk to Eli Stutzman. He wanted to make sure he trusted the man.
It helped when three girls and a boy who were the last to climb out of the long buggy stopped to wish their father a good day. The littlest girl, probably the same age as his Gracie, wrapped her arms around her daddy’s neck, whispered something in his ear, and then tumbled down the steps into the chilly morning.
“That one is my youngest—Sadie. Always full of energy, but she’s a worrier. This morning it’s about a pup she left at home in the barn.” Covering the distance between them, the older man removed his glove and offered his right hand. “Name’s Eli Stutzman. I take it you’re new here, which must mean you bought the Kline place.”
“I am, and I did. Gabriel Miller.” Gabe stood still in the cold, wishing he could be done with this and back on his farm.
“Have children in the school?”
“One, a girl—about your youngest one’s age.”
Eli nodded, and then he seemed to choose his words carefully. “I suspect you’ll be busy putting your place in order. It will be no problem giving your dochder a ride back and forth each day.”
“I would appreciate it.”
Stutzman told him the approximate time he passed the Kline place, and Gabe promised he’d have Gracie ready at the end of the lane.
He turned to go and was headed to his own buggy when the man called out to him.
“The Kline place has been empty quite a while.”
Gabe didn’t answer. Instead, he glanced out at the surrounding fields, covered in snow and desolate looking on this Monday morning.
“If you need help, or find something that’s worse than what you expected, you holler. We help each other in Pebble Creek.”
Gabe ran his hand along the back of his neck but didn’t answer. Merely nodding, he moved on to his buggy.
He was accustomed to people offering help. Actually delivering on it? That was often another story, though he wouldn’t be judging the people here before he knew them.
Still, it was in his nature to do things on his own if at all possible.
Was his new home worse than he had expected?
Ya, it was much worse.
The barn was falling in on itself, and the house was not a lot better, but he knew carpentry. He could make them right. At least the woodstove worked. He’d been somewhat surprised to find no gas refrigerator, but he had found out who sold blocks of ice carved from the river. The icebox in the mudroom would do.
Gracie would be warm and fed. She’d have a safe place to sleep and to do the drawing she loved so much.
He didn’t think he’d be calling on Eli for help.
He’d see that Grace Ann made it to school and church—he’d promised her grossmammis as much. But other than that he wasn’t looking to make freinden in Pebble Creek. He wanted to be left alone. It was the reason he’d left their community in Indiana.
He could do without any help.
His parting words to his parents echoed back to him.
“I can do it on my own.”
As he drove the buggy toward home, Gabe looked out over high ridges and low valleys. Dairy farms dotted the snowcapped view. Running through it all was Pebble Creek, no doubt a prime place for trout fishing most of the year. He’d heard the call of wild turkeys and seen deer. It was a rich, blessed area.
Pebble Creek ran through the heart of Cashton, the closest town. It also touched the border of the school grounds and meandered through his own property. It bound them together.
As he approached home, Gabe’s mind was filled with thoughts of the day’s work ahead of him. He wondered where he’d find the energy to do it all, but somehow he would.
For Gracie he would.
His parents had offered to send his youngest brother along for the first year, but Andrew was needed on the family place. And, truthfully, Gabe preferred to be alone—just he and Grace.
“I can do it on my own.”
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” his mother said. She had reminded him as he was packing their things that pride was his worst shortcoming, though the Lord knew he had many to choose from when it came to faults.
Was it pride that scraped against his heart each day? He couldn’t say.
He only knew he preferred solitude to company, especially since Hope died.
That seemed ironic, even to him. She had been his hope, his life, his all, and now she was gone. Her death had happened so quickly—it reminded him of one of the Englisch freight trains barreling around the corner of some bend.
A big black iron thing he hadn’t seen coming. A monstrosity with the power to destroy his life.
Which wasn’t what the bishop had said, or his parents, or his brothers and sisters.
He slapped the reins and allowed his new horse, Chance, to move a bit faster over the snow-covered road. He’d left Indiana because he needed to be free of the looks of sympathy, the well-intentioned words, the interfering.
So he now had what he’d wished for—a new beginning with Grace.
If it meant days of backbreaking work, so much the better. Perhaps when he was exhausted, he would begin to sleep at night.

My Review:

Amish romance at its best! Miriam King is 26 and should have married a long time ago, as most Amish woman do. She loves being a teacher, and the children love her. Aden Schmucker wants her to marry him..and so does his father! New in Pebble Creek WI are Gabriel Miller and his daughter Grace. He is a widower of three years, and little Grace has not spoken since her Mom died. When a near tragedy happens to Gabe, the Amish community rallies around him...bringing him out of his shell.
You will love how God has his hand on these people, showing them the right way! When a new change is about to happen in their loving community, the people put aside some of fears, and stand up for themselves. This has such a surprising end, and you won't be able to put down this very quick read!
I received this book from First Wild Card Tours and Harvest House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.

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