February in Review

February 28, 2015

It just hit me today, that it's the 28th and the last day of the month...I'm so out of it. Another month has come to a close and move on to another one.
It has been a busy month for me, reading and personally. I've bombed a bit on the photo challenge, I'll post the last of the February a little later, but at least the reading has been steady...as has the snow the last few days!

For Review:
 The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki (Howard Books)
Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma (Litfuse Publicity)
Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black (Blogging for Books)
An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund (From the Author)
The Crimson Cord by Jill Eileen Smith (Revell Blog Tour)
10 Things for Teen Girls by Kate Conner (Family Christian Blogger)
The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan (Revell Blog Tour)
Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock (Litfuse Publicity)
Review will be posted with the blog tour.
The Berenstain Bears' Please & Thank You Book by Mike Berenstain (FlyBy Production)
Only God Can Make a Kitten by Rhonda Gowler Greene (Zonderkidz)
Review will be posted soon.

It's been a busy and good month of reading.
How was your month?

Review: Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black

February 27, 2015

Title: Rise of the Fallen
Author: Chuck Black
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1-60142-504-1
Publication Date: February 17th, 2015

A six thousand year war rages and now the demonic Fallen are coming for him---the one man shrouded in mystery. Only Validus stands in their way. Validus is the last and least of God's angels, but he's seen much across the millennia since his creation. Empires have risen and fallen as angelic and demonic forces battle in a raging war that will determine humanity's fate --- and the fate of his defeated brothers.

Validus finds himself suddenly demoted to a task of apparent insignificance considering the fierce war they are waging against the demonic Fallen, the covert protection of one unbelieving man. Validus soon finds himself on a mission that will push him beyond his abilities as he battles to protect Drew Carter, for the Fallen are coming for him. Legions of them. As Validus races against time to discover why Drew is so important to humanity's survival, can he stand between Drew and all who would destroy him?
I thought the first book in this series, Cloak of Light was fun and unique supernatural story. I didn't know what to expect or what would happen next. Starting Rise of Fallen, I was quite surprised and thrilled to see that this story was going to keep throwing out the twist and turns and to see who would lead this story.

In Cloak of Light, we follow Drew Carter through his harrowing adventures and we gain glimpses of the supernatural element. In this second book, we get to look into the life of Validus, the angel warrior who has been by Drew's side through his fights.

This story kept me hooked. I thought the story would pick up right where the first left off. No, we start at the beginning, the very beginning, before earth was even created. We learn of Validus and his life as the last angel created. He follow him from creation, onward. Through the fall and the ensuing battles of Apollyon and army of fallen, onto Noah and the wickedness and battles that took place. It was an interesting thought. The battles we can't see, but are going on around. It didn't stop there. The story kept flowing all the way to WW2 then on to present day.

There was so much touched on, but it wasn't bombardment of information. And the story, focusing on Heaven, angels, and the fallen, the story is respectful to the teaching that are in the Bible and the battle that Jesus fought while here on earth. It didn't take away from any of that, it actually enhanced how important it was. This was a fantastic idea for a book and I can't wait to see what will happen in book 3!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
CHUCK BLACK, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical combat communications engineer, is the author of thirteen novels, including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, have six children and live in North Dakota.

For more information on Chuck, check out his website: http://perfect-praise.com/

Thank you to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan

February 26, 2015

Title: The Trouble with Patience
Author: Maggie Brendan
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2264-7
Publication Date: February 17th, 2015

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with the restoration of a dilapidated boarding house in order to support herself.

Despite her desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local sheriff with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: Patience needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse, and Jedediah needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But Patience gets more than she bargained for as she explores the depths of the "hanging lawman"--and finds both betrayal and love.

With a keen eye to historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites readers to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.
I have to say, the synopsis caught my attention right off the bet. The idea of of a western, romance typically is one that calls to me right away. The settings are fun and so open.

The idea of the story I thought was good. It was unique and had promise and the writing was good. A troubled sheriff with a past that haunts him. A girl who is trying to put the past hurts behind her and move on with her own business. However, I just couldn't click with the characters, mainly Patience. She came off a bit condescending and had a bit of a holier-then-thou attitude and looked at some information from the past with rose colored glasses. The assortment of these things just made it hard to connect with her and made it a little more difficult to read her story.

This story may not have been for me, but it could be one you might enjoy.

2.5 out of 5

About the Author:
Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of several books, including the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series. Winner of the 2013 Laurel Wreath Award, she was a 2013 finalist for the Published Maggie Award of Excellence, a 2013 finalist for the Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Award, a 2012 finalist for Inspirational Reader's Choice award, and a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award in Atlanta. She is a member of the Author's Guild; Romance Writers of America; Faith, Hope, and Love; and Georgia Romance Writers. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, researching for her novels, and spending time with her family.

You can follow her at her website www.MaggieBrendan.com, her blog www.SouthernBelleWriter.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter @MaggieBrendan.

Thank you to the Revell Blog Tour, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

VeggieTales: Noah's Ark...A Special Family Christian In-Store Event!

February 25, 2015

It's not a secret that I love VeggieTales. To show my age, I remember when they first came out on VHS. Now my kiddo is a fan and we own all of the DVD's... out to date. So it's safe to say, I'm very excited about the newest video coming out! And you can't top Noah! It's bound to be a fantastic story.

To celebrate the new release, Family Christian Stores are having a special in store event!

Here is just some of the fun things they have will have to look forward to!

On Saturday Feb. 28, VeggieTales will be releasing their newest movie Noah onto DVD!  It will be available for purchase at all Family Christian locations on the 28th.  Arrive at 10 am and catch the premiere showing of this DVD in the kids section…plus, there will be fun and games!  And BONUS, we are having a Mega One Day Only sale on the 28th…everything in the kids dept. will be 30% off!

New video and a sale! That's a great day all around. I know I will try to be there, hope you will too.

Review: The Berenstain Bears Please & Thank You Book by Mike Berensain (And GIVEAWAY)

Title: The Berenstain Bears' Please & Thank You Book
Author: Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Ideals Publication
Pages: 20
ISBN: 978-0-8249-1945-0
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015

In The Berenstain Bears' Please & Thank You Book, little readers are introduced to the importance of manners, through gentle reminders given to Brother, Sister, and Honey as they await their milk and cookies. The shorter story length and well-loved characters provide toddlers a perfect introduction to valuable life lessons and routines. Recommended for ages 2 to 5.
The Berenstain Bears played a big part in my life. They were a constant on my bookshelves and in school growing. I have such a found memory of Mamma, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear. It is wonderful to see this bear family continue on through Mike Berenstain, Stan and Jan Berenstain's son.

The Berenstain Bears' Please & Thank You Book is a cute and short board book for young children. A good reminder to the importance of manners. Goodness, from experience, kids can't be exposed enough to manners, and this book was a nice way to remind kiddo's the importance of them, and not just for kids, but for adults too.

The Please & Thank You Book is full of the Bears we all know and love, and it is wonderful to see them around after all of these years helping with important lessons for kids as they have in the past. The message is clear and to the point and on a level that kids can easily understand.

This book would be great for any young one in your life.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents, Stan and Jan, working together to write and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to FlyBy Promotions, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting On Wednesday: A Worthy Pursuit

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release that you are most excited about.

Waiting On:
Title: A Worthy Pursuit
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015

From Good Reads
Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the little girl entrusted to her care after her mother’s death. Charlotte promised Lily’s mother she’d keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When the teacher he’s after produces documentation that shows she’s the little girl’s legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he’s been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her. Should Stone break his perfect record?

Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he’s ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte’s heart.
Why I'm Waiting:
I've been a fan of Karen Witemeyer for a while now. Her stories are always fun and have a fantastic setting. This new book sounds like another winner!

What are you waiting on this week?.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Heroines

February 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten.

Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books

There have been many. Can't wait to share my favorites with y'all.

 1. Priscilla White
The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
2. Lydia Pallas
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
3. Samantha Moore
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay 
4. Gabi & Lia
Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
5. Morrow Little
Courting Morrow Little by Laura Franz
 6. Raine & Gin
The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Celia Park
Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade
8. Tamsen Littlejohn
9. Nell Marchwold
The Hatmaker's Heart by Carla Stewart
10. Alethea Sutherton
Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot
 Even though each of these stories are so different, whether it is the genre, setting, time period, whatever. They all have one thing in common. Each of these female characters are strong. They each pushing past their limits. The limits that they set for themselves or ones that others or society had placed on them. Each of these women reach and when there is a hard spot, they don't stop, they may take a breather, but they push on.

 Who are your top ten this week?

Review: 10 Things for Teen Girls by Kate Conner

February 23, 2015

Title: 10 Things for Teen Girls
Author: Kate Conner
Publisher: B&H Books
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1-4336-8291-9
Publication Date: August 1st, 2014

The world is run by teen girls: parents of teen girls, teachers of teen girls, boys trying to date teen girls, feminists who want to empower teen girls, companies trying to sell things to teen girls, and people who have had it “up to here” with teen girls.

Chances are if you’re reading this, there is a young woman in your life for whom you desire the very best, and 10 Things for Teen Girls can help with that.

 Based on student minister Kate Conner’s runaway blog post, this book answers a lot of important questions: Why should I follow my heart? Should I care what other people think of me? Why are boys only interested in my body? How do I handle my emotions? Am I beautiful? Am I enough? 

Teen girls have already heard the typical shtick about how they need to dress modestly, or how they shouldn’t care what others think of them, but it doesn’t suffice. Rooted in biblical wisdom and interspersed with candid stories of the modern teenage experience, Conner’s imparts common (and all too uncommon) sense.
As much as I hate to think about it, the littles is inching ever so closer to the preteen years and from there, it's a down hill plummet till eighteen. Yikes!

I'm always on the hunt for ideas to prepare myself and have advice on hand for when the time comes. So when the opportunity came along to review a surprise package of teen girls books, I jumped at the opportunity.

I had not heard of 10 Things for Teen Girls by Kate Conner before, but I have to say, I'm going to be looking for her work more often now. I could relate to so much to what she said and spoke about, granted, I am in my 30's and the same age she is, but her writing was so easy to connect with for any age. I wish, this book was on the market when I was a teenager. It had such a wonderful flow of information and insight, with perfect amount of humor. I was cracking up through this book!

This book also touched on some very important information that girls...well, any teenager, needs to understand, especially in today's social media crazed society. Touching on the importance of not turning Facebook into a diary and the drama that can be involved. Even with the changes in the last 12ish years, the emotions and the feelings are still the same, just different ways of sharing it.

This is a book I will be hanging on to and probably sharing with the littles when it's needed. It is a good one for parents of teen girls or for teen girls themselves.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Kate Elizabeth Conner is a 28-year-old writer, speaker, and first generation southerner who spends her days learning braille, counseling teenagers via text message, and adjusting to life in middle Georgia. She is married to a college pastor and has three impossibly beautiful children who only make her crazy 97% of the time. Kate authors a self-titled blog, which received more than three million views in two years, due in part to her viral post, 10 Things I Want To Tell Teenage Girls. Kate writes about surviving parenthood, teenagers, and her twenties with her faith and sense of humor intact. She believes in music, coffee, and prose – and in all the world, nothing has taken hold of her like Christ.

Thank you to the Family Christian Blogger Program, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

February 22, 2015

Title: An Uncertain Choice
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0-310-74919-6
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015

Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, shortly before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice—if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the knights’ arrival results in a series of attacks within her land, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights—the one who appears the most guilty—had not already captured her heart.
I have to start off by saying, Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors to date. Her ability to weave in historical details to wonderful romances is flawless and fun. When I saw that she was going to dive into another favorite genre of mine, young adult, I was giddy! I could not wait to see what her story would bring.
You better believe when I received an Uncertain Choice in the mail, I dove into in pretty short order. Right from the start, the story transports you back in to medieval times. The time of public tortures, rampant disease, and dashing knights...which all play into this story, and loved to see! The middle/dark ages is such a fantastic back drop to work with.

This was a fun story. There is also a bit of a back story, you can find it in The Vow. It is a short prequel to this book. Rosemarie has lived with only one thought to how her life was going to be lived for four years and that is changed over night. I have to say, the change brought three very handsome, smart, and talented knights to her door, so it wasn't a bad change at all, in my opinion.

An Uncertain Choice had a fantastic mix of romance, mystery, history, chivalry, and gorgeous clothes and jewels. It all played off of each other added such a fantastic depth to the plot. The story was one, that also never stopped. I was hard pressed to set the book down.

I can not wait for the next book in the series, especially after being left with such a question! I will leave that to you to find out.

Too Read
4 out of 5

About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured by Love, A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence. She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

She can be found online at www.jodyhedlund.com.

Thank you to the Author and Zondervan, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Stacking the Shelves (79)

February 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight the books you have gotten this past week. They can be the books you received for review, bought, borrowed, or won.

 The Berenstain Bears' Please & Thank You by Mike Berenstain (FlyBy Promotions)
Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black (Blogging for Books)
Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd (Howard Books)
Remember Me by Laura Van Hulzen (From the Author)

It's been a fun week of book mail.

Did you get anything you've been looking forward to this week?

February Photo Challenge: Week 3

We are past Valentine's Day (yay!) and well past halfway through the month. The year is seriously speeding by people. The saying is true, time goes quicker as you get older...ah!
I'm a day late in posting this, but it's here! Time to share another fun week of book pictures.

Week: 3
 Day 12: Classic Romance
I have many favorites!

Day 13: Book & Candy
My current read and a box of candy I swiped from my mom. :-)

Day 14: My Valentine
I try not to post too personal a picture here on the blog.

Day 15: Love Letter in a Book
Dear Mr. Knightley is a lovely book in letter form! 

Day 16: Paranormal Romance
There are supernatural elements to these stories and romance in them as well. :-)

Day 17: Favorite OTP
There is just something about Scarlett & Rhett

Day 18: Current Read
Just started this one.

I fell a little behind in the picture taking this week. It's been a bit busy. Thankfully, I've caught up and hope to finish.

There's still time to participate if you want to join in, or if you just want to follow along. Just check out the hashtag.... #Feb15BookChallenge

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