Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Hop Countdown!

February 2nd is right around the corner and I am so excited about the great items I have for the Hand Made with Love Blog Hop giveaway, you simply do NOT want to miss this event!  Over 200 blogs will be linked up and all giving away some wonderful hand made items!  Get your fingers and computers ready, you will have 5 days to enter all of the giveaways!

....and I have more in store for February, after the blog hop I will have a few other giveaways to share the love!


Book Review: Stars Collide

Stars Collide: A Novel (Backstage Pass)

If you're in the mood for a fun, quirky quit read then Stars Collide is the book for you!  This is a seriously fun read and I'm about to pass it on to my teenage daughter!

Kat Jennings is in a sitcom right along with sexy Scott Murphy, that alone would be perfectly fine, but when you throw in a very mix-up grandmother who is also an ex-Hollywood icon, you have a great chance for things to get a bit out of hand!

Just as Kat and Scott begin to realize their feelings towards each other the sitcom writers decide it's time for them to get engaged to keep the ratings up, that's all fine and dandy until Kat's grandmother takes the engagement seriously and turns sitcom into real life!

You cannot help but laugh at the antics of Kat's grandmother, antics which turn Kat's life completely out of control and upside down and you will cheer with joy when you see the plan that Kat and Scott have to right a bunch of wrongs.

What a fun book, great for mom's and teens alike.  This is the perfect book to give yourself a break from the winter doldrums, a quick and easy read with a lot of heart!

“Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: Flight Plan

Flight Plan: your mission to become a man

Flight Plan, by Lee Burns and Braxton Brady is a great book for anyone raising a boy!  This is a book about "Navigating the steps to authentic manhood."  As a woman I can relate very well to my daughter, but my son, that's an entirely different story.  Boys grow up to be men, they have a lot on their shoulders as they think of how they'll make money, raise a family, etc.  Believe me, I realize that girls grow up to be women and in many cases they are the ones who care for the keeping of their family, but it seems as though society puts a much larger burden on boys.

I really enjoyed this book, it is very encouraging for boys, yes, you will want your son's to read this book!  Flight Plan goes through many of the things that boys may wonder about as they grow older and each chapter is related to an airplane flight, what happens if you go off course, you may crash and burn just like an airplane.  The analogies in Flight Plan make this a very easy to read and understand book.

Flight Plan takes you through the good and bad, from drugs to anger and love, what is love, how do you look at is one of the best resources I have seen for boys, and what makes it even better is the constant reference to God.

The back of the book says, "There is something special, sentimental and sad about the approach of adolescence for a boy.  Much will be changing-quickly and dramatically-in the upcoming months and years.  But there is excitement as well.  A life of greater possibilities, potentials and passions awaits the emerging young man.

Flight Plan is a resource and source of instruction and encouragement for boys, their parents, and other adults who work with boys.  We write this book, though, primarily for the boys themselves, with the aim of offering them a vision and definition of manhood before they get there, a framework for considering the challenges of adolescence, and tools and strategies for making healthy and appropriate choices during those years.  We hope they see the connection between the long-term vision of manhood and the short-term teenage choices.  We believe that connection is vital."  

I highly recommend this book for everyone who has a boy, what a great gift idea for a teenager or even a new mom!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from The B & B Media Group in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

CFBA: Book Review, The Rhythm of Secrets

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rhythm of Secrets
Kregel Publications (December 22, 2010)
Patti Lacy


Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites.


Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame.

After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved…or imperil Edward’s ambitions.

Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.


“A vibrant journey across time in search of the greatest truth of all: grace.”—Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir

“No longer a ‘well-kept secret,’ Patti Lacy is a master storyteller who speaks to the soul with a powerful and unique rhythm, weaving a tale so emotionally rich that story and reader become one.”—Julie Lessman, author of The Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted
“Patti Lacy pens another beautifully written story in The Rhythm of Secrets. I couldn’t put it down!”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of The Black Cloister
“The Rhythm of Secrets is a stirring story of faith and endurance that will keep readers turning the page until every last secret is revealed.”—Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House

If you would like to read an excerpt of Rhythm of Secrets, go HERE.


This is one of those must read books that will leave a mark on your heart.  Shelia Franklin is a woman that has been through some of life's worst struggles, yet she still has a great ability to love, to laugh and to forgive.  They always say that God knows how much we can handle, and I think that Sheila handled the problems in her life with quite a bit of grace and compassion.  Just thinking that this story is based on a true story makes my heart cry out to the real life characters. This is not one of those read on the beach stories, but one with true grit that will really make you think!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Skin Free Discount Code!!!

Skin Free Skincare

Skin Free is offering all products at 50% off from 1/26 to 1/30, this is a deal too good to miss! Click on the above image and when you check out put in this code: BRRRRR  (Case Sensitive)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CFBA: Book Review, Digitalis

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Barbour Publishing, Inc.(January 1, 2011)
Ronie Kendig


Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series began in July 2010 from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

This is the second book in the series.


Step into the boots of a former Marine in this heart-pounding adventure in life and love. Colton “Cowboy” Neeley is a Marine trying to find his footing as he battles flashbacks now that he’s back home. Piper Blum is a woman in hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. When their hearts collide, more than their lives are at stake. Will Colton find a way to forgive Piper’s lies? Can Piper find a way to rescue her father, trapped in Israel? Is there any way their love, founded on her lies, can survive?

If you would like to read an excerpt of Digitalis, go HERE.

While I enjoyed this book it was one that I had a difficult time wrapping my head around.  Once I reached about 1/2 way through I was starting to get it!  This may be my lack of military experience talking, or just the fact that it took me awhile to get that there were two separate stories going on that began to merge towards the end.  This is a story full of a lot of hurt and even more action.  I think I will wait awhile and read this book again because it really did have a great story line and I thoroughly enjoyed the drama.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Fatal Judgement

Fatal Judgment (Guardians of Justice, Book 1)

Fatal Judgement, (Guardians of Justice, book 1) a novel by Irene Hannon is a book full of suspense that will keep you turning pages for hours!

U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor is coming home, hoping for a rest but that is not going to happen.  After a call telling him to report to duty his dreams of a good night sleep are dashed, and after learning he must protect Jiz Michaels his mood deepens even more.

Liz just happens to be the widow of Jake's college friend and he has been left with a low opinion of her, but after just a short time of protecting her for lurking evil he finds a side to her he didn't know existed.  Liz is left without family when her sister is shot in Liz's home, was it Stephanie's husband bent on revenge, or is Liz the target?

As you read this book you will be taken from pain to heartache, through love and understanding.  This is a book you won't be able to put down and while each of the main characters have their own type of pain to overcome you can see  how they each are pulled towards God in the healing process.  I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

“Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

**I received a complimentary copy of this book for review


Sunday, January 23, 2011

In a tangle over yarn

Have all of you yarn people out there heard the news? Elmore Pisgah, Inc. is changing hands....hopefully their line of Peaches and Creme cotton yarn will live on, it's my favorite, so soft it makes the most wonderful cloths. For those of you looking for a bargain, head on over to their site, everything is 50% off, EXCEPT for the cotton 930 yarns...bummer for me, but if you like their other yarns you're in for a deal!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review: The Search

Search, The: A Novel (Lancaster County Secrets)

The Search, by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a Lancaster County Secrets Novel and is the 3rd book in this series. 

About the book:
Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many.
Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.
Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.
Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.
"Beautifully written, 'The Search' is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past."
About Suzanne:
In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results.
Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.
After returning from Hong Kong , Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.
Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she now has numerous  books under contract with Revell. Also look for Suzanne's Amish non-fiction, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, as well as Amish Proverbs, and coming in Spring of 2011, look for Amish Values for Your Family. The Choice and The Waiting are the previous books in the Lancaster County Secrets Collection.
Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.
Suzanne can be found on-line at:
Lainey O'Toole makes a decision as a young girl that will forever change many lives.  Her secret is known to only one person and that one person is Bertha (Mammi) Riehl...a force to be reckoned with!  When Bess is summoned to her grandmother's home (mammi) she's not sure what to think, somewhat fearing this grandmother she doesn't know well, Bess spends her summer in Stoney Ridge learning Mammi's rose business and falls in love with mammi in the process.  Love for Bess is not only for her grandmother but for Billy Lapp as well!

Soon, circumstances bring Bess's father to Stoney Ridge as well and he is mortified to learn of his mother's shenanigans!  This woman is one of the more unlikely Amish women you'll meet, she just does her own thing and is really quite funny, once you get past her stern exterior.

Of course, when a secret is involved it ends up being revealed, but it's how the revelation happens that makes the story and this story is one that will break your heart yet make you feel a great love.  Lainey is one person who really seems to grasp the full meaning of loving God as well as others and this book will make you smile as the characters work their way into your heart.

As you can tell, I loved this book and I highly recommend it, I have read a lot of Amish books, and I love them all, but this book has a different twist to it that is rather refreshing!

Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest installment of the Lancaster County Secrets, The Search,  is just out and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Search iPad Giveaway!

One Grand Prize winner will receive an iPad Prize Package worth over $500 and includes:
To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form/s, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 3rd at Suzanne's Everything is Coming Up Roses Facebook Party. (Did you know The Search takes place on a rose farm?)

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter
Facebook Party:
Join Suzanne for the Everything is Coming Up Roses Facebook Party on February 3rd! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Search iPad Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Search, giving away copies of all three books and HEAPS of other readerly prizes! Including roses delivered to your door for three months for you AND a friend! Be sure to join us on Thursday, February 3rd at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.

“Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

**I received a complimentary copy of this book to review

Friday, January 21, 2011

Debbie Macomber: Knit 1, Bless 2

Are you like me, do you love Debbie Macomber?  She has a heart of gold and once again she's launching her charity drive....are you a knitter, sewer, do you crochet?  Read below and find out what you can do to help!
Did you donate last year?  I did, I met Debbie at the MOA and gave her a cute flowered baby headband, but this year I plan to do more, and you can too!



#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is reaching out to readers to encourage their participation in her second annual KNIT1, BLESS2 Mother’s Day initiative, benefitting three national charities that provide handmade garments and blankets to infants and children in need. The popular and prolific author, an admitted knit-o-holic, is asking her readers to send in one hand-knitted or crocheted item that can be donated to Newborns in Need, Project Linus or The Binky Patrol to commemorate the holiday. Debbie will officially kick off this 2011 Knit1, Bless2 program during Vogue Knitting Live, which will be held January 21-23, 2011 in New York City. The goal for 2011 is a 25% increase over the 2010 donation of more than 2,000 hand-made baby blankets and garments.

“Mother’s Day is a very special time for me. I’m usually on tour in May, as I will be this year when my new Blossom Street novel, A TURN IN THE ROAD, is released. But I always make it a point to be home on that special Sunday to celebrate with my children and grandchildren and honor the memory of my own mother,” says Debbie. “This year, I thought about the babies born into this world who may not have all of the advantages that my own children and I enjoyed. I wanted to find a way to help -- and knitting for charity has always been one of my passions. It seemed like a natural: I could encourage my many readers who knit or crochet to mark Mother’s Day by making one special project. “

KNIT1, BLESS2 was created as a focus for the effort. Readers can go online at or to register and join the effort. Once they’ve chosen their project from the list of recommended items for each charity and signed up, they will find links to each charity to download patterns. All reader items will be donated as part of our KNIT1, BLESS2 effort by sending their completed projects to: Debbie Macomber, P.O. Box 1458, Port Orchard, WA 98366. Items can be submitted up until May 31, 2011.

The Project Linus Mission

Project Linus is comprised of hundreds of local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Each volunteer and local chapter all work together to help us achieve our mission statement, which states: First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children. Together we have distributed over 3.5 million blankets to children in need since our inception in 1995. Project Linus welcomes blankets of all styles, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors. Blankets must be new, handmade and washable. Website:

Newborns in Need

Newborns In Need provides basic essentials to hospitals and social service agencies that provide assistance to premature, ill or impoverished newborns. By dedicating their time, talents and love, NIN volunteers are able to give a warm welcome to at-risk newborns in their own local communities. They utilize their sewing, crocheting or knitting skills to create much-needed items. They invite beginners to join in and enlist their help year-round in collecting donations and supplies to support their local chapters. Clothing, diapers, blankets, hats and many other basic items are donated to the little ones.

Anyone who sews, knits, crochets or quilts, can visit for more information. The organization is a 501(c)(3) charity, providing tax deductible receipts when requested.

Binky Patrol

This 100% volunteer organization has a simple mission: to make and delivery handmade blankets to children and teens in need of comfort. These are children who are ill, abused, experiencing trauma of any kind. They all deserve to know that they are not forgotten and that someone cares. All types of binkies are welcomed: sewn, knitted, crocheted, tied, quilted, embroidered - as long as they are soft, washable and made with love! For tips on how to make our most popular ones, please visit our website for ideas: . Helpful links are: Quick links to make a sewn, easy, strip pieced quilt - A great way to involve children is to let them make a no-sew, fleece blanket -

“I hope all of the friends I’ve made over the years through my books and my love of knitting will join with me to help,” Debbie continues. “Combining our passion for needlework with the joy of giving just seems like a wonderful way to celebrate Mother’s Day.”

Debbie Macomber, author of the bestselling Blossom Street books and the Cedar Cove series, is one of the leading voices in women’s fiction today. Her work has debuted in the number one position on every major bestseller list, including those of the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly. She is a multiple award winner, and there are more than 140 million copies of her books in print worldwide. A TURN IN THE ROAD, her new novel from MIRA Books, goes on sale in May 2011.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

CFBA: Book Review, Angel Harp

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Angel Harp
FaithWords (January 26, 2011)
Michael Phillips


Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.


Widowed at 34, amateur harpist Marie "Angel" Buchan realizes at 40 that her life and dreams are slowly slipping away. A summer in Scotland turns out to offer far more than she ever imagined! Not only does the music of her harp capture the fancy of the small coastal village she visits, she is unexpectedly drawn into a love triangle involving the local curate and the local duke.

The boyhood friends have been estranged as adults because of their mutual love of another woman (now dead) some years before. History seems destined to repeat itself, with Marie in the thick of it. Her involvement in the lives of the two men, as well as in the community, leads to a range of exciting relationships and lands Marie in the center of the mystery of a long-unsolved local murder. Eventually she must make her decision: with whom will she cast the lot of her future?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Angel Harp, go HERE

We received this book late, so my thoughts are coming soon!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CFBA: Book Review, Someone To Blame

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Someone To Blame

Zondervan (September 21, 2010)



C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor and writing coach. She is currently working on her eleventh novel, a contemporary family saga drawn from the biblical story of Jacob. Someone to Blame(Zondervan), an intense relational drama and winner of the 2009 First Novel contest, released in October 2010, and she is also the author of the allegorical adult fantasy series The Gates of Heaven, featuring The Wolf of Tebron and the upcoming release The Map Across Time (March 2011). She is currently completing her tenth novel and developing a dog memoir of epic proportion.


In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore move with their fourteen-year-old daughter, Casey, to a small town. Their goal is to get far away from the daily reminders that leave each of them raw and guilt-ridden. Their hope is to find redemption, repair, and renewal. Instead, the threads that hold them together unravel even more.

Breakers, a small community perched on the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest, is draped with cold isolation that seems to mirror the hearts. As they settle into their new life, old grief settles with them. Matt is always on edge and easily angered, Irene is sad and pensive, and Casey is confused and defiant. They've once more set the stage for calamity. Into this mix comes Billy Thurber, a young drifter with his own conflicts, whose life unexpectedly entangles with the Moores'.

His arrival in Breakers parallels a rash of hateful and senseless crimes, and soon the whole town -- eager for someone to blame -- goes after Thurber with murderous intent. Out of this dangerous chaos, however, the Moores find unexpected grace and healing in a most unlikely way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Someone To Blame, go HERE.

The characters in this book are living in a world of hurt.  I cannot imagine living with the kind of pain the Moore family has, yet while reading this book I wanted to reach out and grab them, shake some sense into them.  That may not sound nice, but this family just cries out for help.  Instead of seeking help from their church or family and friends the Moore family packs up and moves away looking for a fresh start.  How can you start fresh when you're carrying a whole lot of baggage and pain?  Blame.  Blame is carried out high and low throughout this story and it makes you wonder if the characters are just lashing out, looking for a way to replace pain by using blame.

The young drifter, is someone you just love to dislike and his being in town creates quite a stir.  While I enjoyed this book I had a difficult time getting through it, the middle of the story dragged a bit for me.  I think this book does send a good message about healing broken hearts and forgiveness, and while I probably will not read it again, it's a book I'm glad to have read.  Very thought provoking.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from CFBA


Tuesday, January 18, 2011, I haven't forgotten you!

A Vacation Sunset
As you may or may not be aware...I am on the road, we've traveled from MN to CA and stopped quite a few places along the way! One wonderful place we stopped was at a Down East Basic Store, yahoo! Actually, it seemed to be more of an outlet store and they offered quite a few brands other than Down East, but the bargains were outstanding. I purchased a baby dress, a pair of dress pants, a dress shirt and a t-shirt and spent $11.00, what a steal!

Do you know that in just a couple of weeks the Hand Made with Love Blog Hop will start? I have some special gifts lined up for you and can't wait for the big event.