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Saturday, December 31, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- SARAH JANE

Sarah Jane (Orlan Orphans Book 4) by [Osbourne, Kirsten] 
Sarah Jane Jefferson never felt like she was important to anyone. Just one of the fifteen orphaned girls Edna Petunia Sanders adopted, she spent her days working in an orphanage. She had no real talent other than cooking, but she knew how to love. Needing someone to play Santa Claus for the orphans' Christmas party, she approached the handsome young pastor, Micah Barton, the new man in town. 

Micah Barton had his eye on one of the orphans the Sanders had adopted, and when she approached him to help her at the Christmas party he couldn't refuse. When a little girl captured his heart at the party, and he needed a wife to help him raise her, he knew what he had to do. They could parent the little girl together easily, but could they live as husband and wife as effortlessly? Or were they destined to be in a loveless marriage for the rest of their lives?  
 AMAZON   3 STARS

Just Okay.  Although the story line was a bit unusual, I have to say that the story was just okay. I will say that it is clean with no sex scenes. The family that Sarah Jane was "adopted" into was large and unusual. Since 15 girls were adopted at once, it made for a large and noisy group. The romance between Sarah Jane and Micah was a quick one even though very proper. Both of them falling in love with a little 6 year old orphan named Chrissy was one of the few a surprises in the story.
Sarah Jane's adoptive mother and father made for a few smiles in the story


BOOK REVIEW- THE BRIDE'S DECEPTION

The Bride's Deception by [Vanlandingham, Heidi]
Escaping the outlaw who controlled her old life, Alayna Kimbal is determined to forge a new one. She answers a mail-order bride request and shoulders the job of wife and mother, each day hoping her lies and the identity of the man hunting her aren’t discovered.
US Marshal Jerome Riddick has never considered getting married until he inherits his best friend's three children after she's murdered. Struggling to care for her children and do his job, he takes a bride—only to find out she’s keeping a huge secret from him. A secret that could get them all killed.  AMAZON 4 STARS

A good story that kept me involved in every minute of it.  Alayna had lived quite the lonely life with her male cousin as her only friend.   Like she said in the book, she lived with determination but without hope.   That stayed true until she met Riddick and began to build a new life.  Although she was building a new life, she was also checking over her shoulder a lot.  She was afraid that the danger of her past would catch up with her and ruin her present and her future. Both main characters were good and Riddick has known pain in his childhood although his was different.  He did step up and try to do his best for his friend's children even though he had no idea what he was doing.   It was easy to be drawn into Alayna and Riddick's story pretty quickly.  I keep calling him Riddick because that is what he was called throughout the story.  The Reverend and his wife were good additions to the story.  And responsible 8 year old Carl, wild card 6 year old Jake and baby Jenny were great too!
Looking for excitement and bad guys?  Yes, it has that too.  And a good HEA

BOOK REVIEW- ROSE RED(An EVERLAND EVER AFTER)

Rose Red: an Everland Ever After Tale by [Lee, Caroline] 
A wounded bear is more than he seems... even during an Everland Christmas! 

Shy Rose dreams of wild adventures-- gunfights and moonlit chase scenes--and the day when she can sell her novels to make enough to support her family. But her writing reflects her lack of experience, and she's determined to find a way to learn about the grittier side of life. So when a wounded outlaw shows up in her barn two weeks before Christmas, the opportunity is too good to pass up. While she nurses him, Rose can learn from his escapades... but how long will she remain unaffected by his dangerous good looks? 

US Marshall Barrett "Bear" Faulker might look like a dangerous bandit, but he can't give away his real identity until he knows that the gang who attacked him is behind bars. He needs to keep his distance from his beautiful young savior, but her winning smile and her probing questions about his life and missions makes him defenseless against her charms. And when the gang decides that Everland's Christmas celebrations are an easy target, Bear realizes that he'll do just about anything to save the woman he's come to love. AMAZON 4 STARS


An entertaining idea and story. Since Rose has a sister named, Snow White it made me wonder if Everland was a take off the fairy tale stories?   I tend to think so and I like the unusual slant to the retelling of those stories, at least in this case. By the way, that question does get answered as the story goes on.  What an interesting little town, it made me smile.
I was thinking that since this book had under 100 pages that maybe it would be hard to really get a chance to get into it.  No worries, it was packed well. It was a quick read with great main characters, a selfish mother, a loving sister, Snow White.
There is also an Excerpt of "Briar Rose: An Everland Ever After Tale.
What an attractive cover for this e-book.






BOOK REVIEW- SAGEBRUSH CHRISTMAS

Sagebrush Christmas (Truly Yours Digital Editions Book 667) by [Etchison, Birdie L]
Following a desperate letter from her sister, Jessida Wilcox travels from her cozy home in Kansas to Pell's Valley, Oregon, where she is surrounded by sagebrush, bitter winds, and blizzards--and heartbreak as she finds Abby dead and her baby orphaned. Cal Rutledge, the cowboy who buried Abby and saved the baby's life, is drawn to the spirited Jess. She is turning the sleepy town upside down with talk of a Christmas program, a church, a school, and most important, a fight for custody of the baby. But does Jess have room in her ambitions for a simple cowboy? Is the Lord's plan for Cal and Jess to share a sagebrush Christmas, then part ways? Or could he have a life in store for them that surpasses all they thought the desert could provide?   AMAZON 4 STARS

I liked this story, even more than I first expected to.  Cal was a great main character, who though short in stature had a big heart.  The story started out in a dramatic way as Cal meets Jess's desperate sister Abby.  The emotions came through pretty good in the story and there were also some interesting people secondary to the story.  There is also Brady, a friend of Jess's who has always wanted to be more than a friend.  Under pressure, that likable guy wasn't quite so likable anymore.
I liked that the story had the hero have the "disadvantage" of being a short man, that was unexpected.  It made me smile when he compared his sweet late wife Millie to Jess.  Millie had been sweet, easy going and fun.  Jess was a bit more difficult, she was more spunk.  Jess was out of her comfort zone and she came across as someone demanding and as someone looking down her nose at this situation and this town.  I'm glad that didn't last long, because that would have really made it hard to like her.  And as I got to know her, it wasn't really her.  
Jess began to think of Cal as a man who maybe might need her because he was a lonely man who went out of his way to help others.  I like how that was put. 
After going through various challenges, the story has a sweet ending. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- A CHRISTMAS GONE PERFECTLY WRONG

A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong: A Blackshear Family novella (Blackshear Family series Book 0) by [Grant, Cecilia]
IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SIMPLE...
With one more errand to go--the purchase of a hunting falcon--Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister's impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it's his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide.
He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer's vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that?
IT COULDN'T BE MORE DELICIOUSLY MIXED-UP...
Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She's going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she's going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes--it's not as though they'll see each other again after today.
..or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they'll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan.   AMAZON 3 STARS

I tried to like this story, I really did.  But it was so stiff and highbrow.  Yes, I know that one of the main characters was exactly like that, so that did come through.  Mr. Blackshear was luridly proper.
But so was some of the writing, to my way of looking at it.   Words like, "elegiac" and " perspicacity" was just a start.  Come on, that just seemed to hinder the flow of the story and I didn't enjoy that much.  So was a sentence like, "Is it something in particular that's precipitated her interest?" See, what I mean?  It does soften somewhat as time went on but connecting with the main characters was hard.  Although charming and unusual at times, Lucy was also high-handed in getting her own way.  Yes, she also cared about other people and seeing them happy but it was her scheming that I didn't find all that cute most of the time.   I didn't hate this book but it wasn't my favorite either, so that is why I gave it the 3 Star rating on Amazon.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.
It did have a generous excerpt of another book at the end.  It is called, " A Lady Awakened."



BOOK REVIEW- A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS by Gail Gaymer Martin

A Husband for Christmas (Love Inspired) by [Martin, Gail Gaymer]
Spending her holidays in picturesque Lilac Circle, Michigan, is the perfect place for Nina Jerome to start anew. She's determined to put her painful divorce in the past and focus on the future. She hadn't planned on being distracted by her sweet neighbor, Doug Billings. The successful businessman and temporary dad is clueless when it comes to taking care of his little niece. Getting help from Nina is the perfect setup—but something about the pretty new nanny makes him think about the unthinkable: having a wife and a family of his own. Can he convince Nina that she's worthy of a second chance at love—just in time for Christmas?  AMAZON   3 STARS

A clean, sweet, charming story.  Even with that it also was one with challenges that life can bring.  Doug was sweet, honorable but also shy and lonely.  He was always there for others usually at the cost of having to put his own life on hold, more than once.  And he's doing it again as he temporarily takes care of his 7 year old niece,  Kimmy.  He may feel like he's over his head caring for her but she is helping to pull him out of his shell.  Kimmy is also connecting with Nina and helping pull her back to life too. 

A couple of other interesting people in the story are El and Angie (who are not a couple). 
El was an older man who was able to charmingly live his faith before Nina and also show her more about God in gentle ways.  
I especially liked the opening scripture that the author used,  Ruth 4:13-14.   It really brought to light that it is the Lord that enables women to conceive.   That part stood out and I think it's something that we don't often think of.  
There is also an excerpt of "Rekindling the Widower's Heart"  included. 


Mark Zuckerberg Says He Is No Longer an Atheist, Calls Religion ‘Very Important'

Mark Zuckerberg Says He Is No Longer an Atheist, Calls Religion ‘Very Important'
Mark Zuckerberg

BOOK REVIEW- GIRLS WITH SWORDS by Lisa Bevere


If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!”
—Jesus

What if you discovered you have been entrusted with an invisible, invincible, and incorruptible weapon? Would you use it? Would you move beyond only study and begin to wield the Word of God!

If there ever was a time for women to be armed, it’s now. Worldwide, women are the targets of prejudice, sex trafficking, abuse, and even gendercide. Lisa Bevere writes that these attacks say more about who women might be in the future than who they have been in the past. In Girls with Swords she explains how the enemy is seeking to disarm women on every level. It’s time women become the heroes God created them to be and stand—courageous, discerning, forgiving, and wise. 
Take up your sword and be a hero!    AMAZON   5 STARS

I love how the book opens up, with the parallel identification of some important points from a secular movie.  God will use things like that, and some important points were shown from it.  The Terminator, and Sarah Conner and her rescuer were used to show you, that people know who you are and some know who you CAN be.  Sarah's guardian is there and begins to tell her "who she is. " That he is there to protect her and help train her in what she needs to know.
That is so like God isn't it?  The fact that her guardian begins to tell her what she will do is almost more than she can understand, it's overwhelming to her. .  She's living a normal, not doing much kind of life and pretty much says so.  Her words of, but I haven't done anything are countered by her rescuer's words of "But you will."   Wow, that should explode in all of us.  I like how it was pointed out that followers of Christ are targets but as women, we are even more of a target.  I am now looking at Genesis 3:15 in a new light after this.

I found this book to be refreshing and fun to read.  I have heard Lisa speak on short clips on YouTube and enjoyed what I heard.   I was a little leary when it came to reading the book, although the title was catchy.   Why was I hesitant? Because there has been a person or two who I really enjoyed listening to but in book form it felt like it fell short. The information was good but the delivery was just so-so to me.   I can happily say that isn't the case here.  I also like the fact that she can cause me to look at things in a new way without getting away from Bible truth.
Chapter 11 Sword of Song was interesting as was the explanation of an ancient sword called flamberge which literally means "flame blade."  What imagery.  The fact that many battle are won  in song, which I believe is true.  The shape and function of this sword gives a great picture of what happens when we use our "Sword of Song."  The edges of the flamberge sword has an undulating or waved pattern.  When that sword makes contact with another's sword, the flamberge's design causes vibrations to the opponents  sword.  That makes the opponents sword shake and tremble in their hand. This weakens their grip  and the increase in friction causes an advantage to the holder of the flamberge.  Jesus spoke in parallels to our natural world that we could understand.  I liked that Lisa did that along with written visuals that we could "see".  Some personal stories are added as well but didn't overpower the book.
For me this is a book that is a keeper.  To be re-read every so often and yes, to be studied as well.  

Mercy Me - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 29, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- THE BORROWED BRIDE

The Borrowed Bride by [Lane, Elizabeth]
"We're going to have a child. You need to come home so we can get married."
So wrote Hannah Gustavson to her childhood sweetheart, the father of her baby. But with no response, she was forced to marry another man…her lover's brother.
Tall, handsome and honorable, Judd Seavers could make any woman's heart race. Hannah was no exception, and she was awed by the ex-soldier who gave her his name.
A forbidden love as grand as the Rockies crested between them. But a shadow loomed. Would the baby's father come home? And if he did, would Judd return his borrowed bride?  AMAZON 4 stars

I liked this emotional story. Hannah was so close to her dirt poor, hardworking family.  She had such a loving, giving heart even in the tough times.  She had a lot of responsibility fall on her shoulders before she got pregnant, when she was pregnant and after she married Judd.  It was tough for everyone at first when Quint took off on his great adventure.  He was the Golden Boy of the Seavers family, he was handsome, fun, charming and immature.  His mother spoiled him.  He had his good moments and good points but he was basically selfish. Judd the undervalued son of the house stepped up to the plate.  Even early in the book I began to feel so bad for Judd, he was so unloved and in the shadow so often of his younger brother.  Judd loved his brother dearly though even though Quint was his mother's favorite son.  It hurt to see that she didn't even try to hide it; it was like he came in second all of the time.  He was a hard worker though and the townspeople who knew him had nothing but good things to say about him.  Over time even Hannah came to see how much of a man of his word he is; no matter the cost.  The search for Quint went on for quite a while,  Where in the world was Quint?  Is he even still alive? Those questions will be answered but of course, it's going to cause problems even when it finally does get answered. 


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- KILL WITHOUT SHAME (Ares Security) Book 2

Kill Without Shame (Ares Security) by [Ivy, Alexandra] 
Five brave military heroes have survived the hell of a Taliban prison to return home—and take on civilian missions no one else can. They’re the men of ARES Security. Highly skilled, intimidating, invincible, and one by one, tested again and again . . .

Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.
Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves . .AMAZON 5 STARS

I loved this story and couldn't put the book down.  I was so glad to be able to have the time to read this book because I read it in one day. That should show how much I liked it and how much I really didn't want to put it down.  Why did I like it so much?  Well, for one thing the closeness of the ARES team, who were more like brothers to each other. I liked that closeness and how most of them were involved in this story.  Because they had each others back, it added a richness to the story. Both Mia and Lucas were people who were easy for me to begin to care about.   It was pretty early in the story when I got to understand the sincerity  of Lucas when it came to not only protecting Mia but also to make the most of a second chance.   He was in it to win it and not in any temporary way either.  He had his hands full trying to get Mia to risk trusting him again.  The way Lucas distanced himself from his toxic family (his words) was pretty well explained and important because he was fed up with his cold family trying to control him. He'd already lost so much and wasn't going there unless they changed.  Now usually I'm all for people reconciling with family, even in the stories I read but in this case, it was a wise choice.  I liked that Mia was not only beautiful but a smart woman, in business and in life. That she had a successful business, no matter how life tried to keep her down, she came up on top with flying colors.  Mia's best friend Taylor made me smile, as I could see her value, her staunch protectiveness and loyalty to her friend.  And no man, was going to ever run over Taylor ever again.  Which made the introduction of Detective Brian Cooper another interesting element.  Not only because of his being a part of the investigations but also because of his gentle interest in Taylor.  It was sweet on his part and resistant and spunky on her part, at least at first.  He may have been gentle and kind to Taylor but he considered Lucas and his ARES team a pain in his butt.   And he wasn't afraid to say so.  Although Lucas and his team have resources that the detective doesn't, they switch back and forth from adversarial and helpful to each other.  And they are going to need all hands on board to find out what is going on now and what has happened in the past.  And to keep Mia alive and well in the meantime.  Lots of great action, twists and turns and tender romance too. Yes, there is also sex depicted in the book too.  Although I am happy to say that it isn't the main theme wrapped around a thin story.   I also look forward to the rest of the team having their stories told.  Hauk in particular, since the danger he was in was mentioned in this book. Can you imagine someone is stalking the sniper in the group and is so clever that they haven't discovered the who or why of that enemy?  Yep, sounds like another good book in the series.  

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

BOOK REVIEW- WAITING FOR AN EARL LIKE YOU

Waiting For an Earl Like You: A Masters of Seduction Novel by [Hawkins, Alexandra]
Justin Reeve Netherwood, Earl of Kempthorn—a.k.a. Thorn—has never cared much for his neighbor’s daughter. But his twin brother, Gideon, befriended the wild, reckless, and wholly inappropriate Miss Olivia Lydall in youth, and two have been close ever since. So when Olivia finds herself in a state of romantic conflict and seeks out Gideon for advice, he’s only too pleased to oblige. Only problem: The man Olivia is speaking to is Thorn. And now it’s too late for him to tell Olivia the truth…
Thorn always believed that Olivia was too smitten with Gideon for her own good. So what’s the harm in steering her away from him? But Thorn’s charade turns out to be anything but harmless once he begins to see Olivia for who she really is: A woman full of spirit and passion…and someone he can’t live without. But how can Thorn claim Olivia’s heart when their deepening connection—and burning desire—is built on lies and deceit?    AMAZON  3 STARS


I thought that the book was okay, but it also didn't seem to hold all that many surprises.  Well, at least through most of the book anyway.  Through most of it, the pace was kind of slow.  And although time was needed to develop characters, I found at times that it was hard to keep my attention. The twin issue had some interesting moments. Olivia was likable with a unique personality.  There was a time or two when I thought about Olivia, "don't do that, you can't be that dumb". An innocent yes, but I wanted to hit her in the back of her head at least once.   I will say though that towards the end, the book began to gather speed and did have a surprise or two waiting for the reader.  It did end with a bang.

Thorn's twin Gideon was a puzzle to me because it seemed like he showed up when needed but then disappeared without much input being made to explain his mysteries.  Unless I missed it, it seemed like it was more than just Olivia that kept him away.



I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Look back to Accelerate Forward- G. Cooke

Image may contain: text

Brilliant Perspectives Link  With the calendar year coming to a close, I invite you to entertain a simple practice I’ve done for years that has been pivotal to my growth in God.
I love to take time at the end of the year to review and evaluate the major areas of my life. As I go about the process, I am intentional about recounting the specific lessons that I have learned, who I have become, and who God has become for me. I then look ahead to the following year, and see where I am going and who God wants to be for me. I am always looking for my next upgrade!
Reflection allows us to look at our journey with God; it helps us take stock of who we are becoming and where we are at in life. It gives us the key to see who God has become for us and who we have become in Him.

As you take note of 2016, be intentional about where you want to go with God and what upgrades you want to receive in the coming year.2

As you begin to ponder this last year, you may find yourself recounting memories of specific places where God has shown up and what He has done for you. You may see a specific aspect of His nature that is now apart of your life. No matter the breakthrough or upgrade, you must remember to record them as part of our story and journey with God. They are now your new normal, and anything below that is no longer who you are.

Take some time this week to sit with a journal and reflect back on 2016 and map out 2017. If interested, use these six questions as a guide…

  1. What is one or two stories of something major that God did for you in 2016?
  2. What upgrades and/ or breakthroughs did you experience this past year?
  3. Who did God become for you? Who have you become as a result?
  4. Who do you want God to be for you in 2017? Who do you want to become as a person?
  5. What specific upgrades and/or breakthroughs are you looking for this year?
  6. How are you going to manage the breakthroughs you received last year?
As you go through these questions, I hope you find the areas of your life where God has or is desiring to transform you into His image. He is always growing our identity in Him. Everything we experience and encounter in life is an opportunity to be made in His image and experience more of His fullness.
I pray the upgrades of 2016 become your new norm for 2017, as we all continue to experience more of who God wants to be for us!   

Teaching Kids to Knit -Picture

For teaching your kids how to knit with you.

BOOK REVIEW- LUKE, The Callahan Brothers

Luke-The Callahan Brothers (Brazos Bend Book 1) by [March, Emily]
They are the Bad Boys of Brazos Bend—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Callahan.
DEA agent Luke Callahan has suffered one loss too many and a fishing trip with his brothers is just what his broken spirit needs to heal. What he doesn’t need is a gorgeous stowaway harboring secrets and running from killers. Never mind that he does his best work undercover…
Maddie Kincaid is accustomed to trouble, but she’d hoped to leave it behind when she settled in peaceful Brazos Bend. Who would have guessed that helping a gentle old man would land her in the middle of an attempted murder—her own? Now she’s running for her life—straight into the arms of the infamous Luke Callahan. 
Lucky for her, he’s deadlier than the men chasing her. Unfortunately for him, protecting her means breaking a vow he holds dear. When the nights heat up and the secrets start to spill, Luke faces a brand new danger—losing the woman he loves. What’s a mad, bad, and lethal Callahan man gonna do? AMAZON  4 STARS

It was okay, I liked it but I wasn't crazy about it.  Luke was interesting and Maddie was a trouble magnet.  She had a interesting background and some crazy ex-boyfriend experiences.   There were a few times it felt like some of it was almost unbelievable. Luke hit it right on the mark with one of his comments.  That everything that was in her past and what she was going through now was almost like a "soap opera".
The ongoing bitterness between Luke and his father was kind of hard to take. But so was the many manipulations that his father has gone through to try to "make" his sons reconcile with him.  The emotions that it brought were good but I guess after awhile I was over it.  There will be sex aplenty in the story as well as sexual tension and teasing sexual talk as well.  If you can get past that, the story will heat up in the way of several mysteries that continue to happen.  It will make you wonder the who, what and why of the feeling that Maddie still isn't safe.    Not to worry, it will be answered.  That's where more action in book happens to make way for a couple of twists to the story.  About three quarters through the book, I had my suspicions of  who was after Maddie.  And I was right but I didn't know the whole story until the reveal, of course.  

Monday, December 26, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- AGAINST THE EDGE

Against the Edge (The Raines of Wind Canyon Book 8) by [Martin, Kat]
A child he's never met. A danger he's never known.

That he's a father is news former navy SEAL Ben Slocum was not expecting. But once the initial shock wears off for the confirmed bachelor, he takes in the rest of what social worker Claire Chastain tells him: that his son is missing, abducted by a man who wants revenge against Claire and Sam's dead mother. And that Ben is now the child's only hope.

As Ben and Claire band together to track the two down, their concern for Sam draws them closer, each fighting feelings there's no time to explore. Because when their search takes them too close to Sam's abductor and his cohorts, the danger hits home—the son he's desperate to save, the woman he's desperate to love…. Ben's got one chance to take back what's his, and in one gunshot he could lose it all.   AMAZON  4.5 STARS

It's a great story with lots of intense action, mysteries and romance.  Did I mention that it's intense?  And right now, I'm only talking about the chase to find Sam, Ben's son.  There are plenty of mysteries and near misses when it comes to recovering Sam.  Great main characters and even really good secondary people in the story too.  It was a wild ride and that's before you even add in the wild, intense, physical attraction between Ben and Claire.  They do the best that they can to keep away from acting on it for as long as they can, because they just have to rescue Sam above all things.  In the beginning of the story, most people are convinced that Sam just ran away and so Claire had her work cut out for her because she was pretty sure someone took him and she knows who.  Sam is NOT safe with this person, that she does know.   About the time you feel like its safe to take a deep breath and relax, something else comes at you, the reader. 
Oh and that thing about Ben and Claire staying away from having sex together?  You do know of course that, that is only going to last only so long, right? 
Let me just add one last thing, Sam had a "voice" of sorts in the story too.  That was a nice touch too. 

Dogs, fireworks stressed? Try this sling

Simple Trick To Calm Your Pets During Fireworks:

Over the Counter meds for Dogs

If your dog is under the weather, this list of dog-friendly meds might make him…:

How to Make a Lego Key Holder

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Charity Kayembe's blog

Charity Kayembe's blog

BOOK REVIEW- ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT


Dynamic, Never-Before-Published Work on the Holy Spirit from A.W. TozerWhat does it mean to have the Holy Spirit in our lives? Many look to extraordinary experiences and manifestations as evidence of the Spirit. But what happens when the event is over? How can we experience the Holy Spirit in the ordinary, everyday world? How can we be filled with the Spirit?

In this material taken from Tozer's sermons, he answers these questions and explores life in the Spirit from a balanced perspective. The church needs the gifts of the Spirit--all of them--or it will never be what God intends it to be. But this has to happen in wisdom and humility.

Many people talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but very few accept the conditions for being filled. Tozer lays down requirements for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and transform us into Spirit-filled people. Though every Christian has the Holy Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit. He explains the difference and how it could change the evangelical church of today.  AMAZON 4 stars

I liked this book and so much of it resonated in my spirit. I really like the A.W. Tozer's statement as a way to start this book, even though it is added in at the end of the book. This is what he said,"No book on the Holy Spirit can ever exhaust the subject and this book is no exception."  I do think this book does have what I think is a good foundation and has some things that I have already seen and found to be true on my own walk with Holy Spirit.   That's not to say that this book didn't have anything for me to learn, because it does.  Please forgive me for dropping "the" from Holy Spirit because it's hard for me to use that form because to me He really is a person. 
 Even the introduction of the book had so much good in it all by itself. I know that it was suggested that you not hurry through the book but to savor it slowly.  And to answer the Reflections that are at the end of each chapter. But since I need to read and then review this book, I don't have the luxury.  At least not this time.
 I really liked the fact that it was said that the authority of Holy Spirit must begin with the individual believer first and then spread throughout the congregation.  A congregation that sorely needs Holy Spirit, to get their Bible understanding about Him first and then to go out and learn to know Him. 
A favorite chapter for me, was 11-The Holy Spirit: An Uncomfortable Presence.  
Another one is Chapter 9- A Portrait of the Spirit-Filled Church.  "The Spirit- Filled  Church needs to be focused on Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit in their midst." Good point.   It's past time get to know Holy Spirit and stop ignoring Him.  
The last chapter deals with your personal daily walk with Holy Spirit and offers a few tips.
I will say that a few times it got a little dry but over all I liked it.  A good starting point. 




I received a copy of this book via Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- MAIL ORDER MYSTERY (Chance City)


Leigh Hawthorne, a widow and local farmer in Beckham, Massachusetts, enlists the services of Elizabeth Miller, the creator of the nationally published, Groom’s Gazette, to find a husband. An unusual letter from a man out west, who wants to marry a woman with ranching expertise, could solve all of Leigh’s problems. Hoping to find a better life, Leigh embarks on a journey to Chance City, Oklahoma. Fired for breaking Pinkerton rules, former detective, Cyrus Decker, just wants to live a quiet life as a cattle rancher. The problem is that he knows nothing about ranching—and his bank account shows it. Dogged by Chance City’s sheriff to join his staff, and plagued by money woes, Cy desperately needs help to turn their ranch around. He hopes that Leigh is the answer to his prayers. Brought together by necessity, will Leigh and Cy find love or will their attempt to find lasting happiness meet with disaster? Join the Chance City adventure as its citizens battle opposing forces and mayhem in their searches for love and a brighter future.   AMAZON   4.5 stars I really enjoyed it.  

I really liked both of the main characters, who each had their own good stories and needs before they even got together.  The secondary cast of people were a good addition to the story as well,  It was one I just flat out enjoyed.  Cy's sister, Daphne and his cousins, and Johnny were just a few I'd like to mention. There is also a fellow deputy named, Brock despises Cy and his heritage, so that adds tension to the story.  As well as several crimes that need to be solved. There were some surprises when it came to those crimes that kept my interest.  Also  Leigh had a secret, that was totally unexpected, both that she had one and what it was.   

Hearing God Through Your Dreams - Mark Virkler

Thursday, December 22, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- DARK CORNERS

Dark Corners: A True Heroes Novel (True Heroes Series Book 3) by [Madden, A. M.]
A real hero can protect and serve, but a true hero knows how to love.

David Cavello is no longer in uniform, but the memories of combat still haunt his every waking moment. Driven to protect and serve, he accepts an undercover job he has to keep hidden from everyone. But David’s mission goes against orders the second he makes contact with gorgeous and spirited Maygen Whitney. The intense attraction he feels for Maygen drives him crazy—almost as crazy as he feels about hiding information from her.  
After growing up with an overprotective father, Maygen feels like she’s finally claiming her independence. Sure, she’s been lonely, but David seems to make all her dreams come deliciously true—until the sting of betrayal sends her world spiraling. Now Maygen’s caught in a tragic web of lies, leaving her more vulnerable than ever to an enemy hidden in the shadows. But when Maygen most needs a hero, David leaps into action—intent on doing whatever it takes to save the woman he loves. AMAZON  4 STARS

Wow, I don't know exactly what I was expecting but this book was different.  The first part dealt so much with the PTSD that David dealt with.  There was also the pulling towards each other and the fulling away of the two characters that had the reader wondering what that was about.  It was more than just the memories and stress of  David's past war-time experiences.  I got so involved with the story about David and Maygen that I totally forgot the information in the book blurb.  Which is kind of good because when more of David's story came out I was temporarily blindsided ( in a good way).  I had to begun to think it was kind of bogging down and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it all that much, until that happened.  But that's when everything began to hit-the-fan.  Surprises, twists and turns galore, made for a very satisfying ending.
I have to add that I enjoyed the other people in the cast of characters. Betha, one of Maygen's close co-workers was one of them.  She had an R-rated mouth, a heart of gold but as direct as a missile.  Nothing was too out there for her to say or ask.
I also liked some of the ways the author described things, like going to a restaurant that was decorated  like Ronald McDonald had thrown up in a Taco Bell.  Can't you just see that?  There's a few more descriptive things like that but not so much that it ruined the story with too much cheese,
Also this is an adult story due to adult situations including, the sexual scenes and some violence.
This book might not be for everyone.  Although I don't personally know of anyone who suffers from PTSD it seemed pretty realistic, in some of the things that were shared.


I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- INTENDED FOR BRISTOL

Intended for Bristol: A Second Chances Novel by [Dover, L.P.] 
L. P. Dover’s tantalizing Second Chances series scores once again as the Carolina Cougars’ infamous bad boy takes a shot at seducing a driven career woman who’s supposed to be out of bounds.

Trying to live down his very public indiscretions, Carolina Cougars kicker Jaxon Reed feels like the most hated man in the NFL. Fans and teammates alike treat him with the disrespect he figures he deserves. Unfortunately for them, Jaxon’s no easy target. As payback, he sets his sights on the quarterback’s sister: a sultry brunette who’s curvy, confident, and sexy as hell. But what begins as a revenge fling turns into so much more—a lesson in humanity, and in love.
  
Bristol Thomas doesn’t have time for games, especially those played by her brother’s Neanderthal teammates. A talented interior designer with lofty goals, she doesn’t know the first thing about football, or Jaxon—except that he’s exactly the type of man she usually avoids. But when his deep laugh and deeper kisses break through her walls, she becomes the target of a fan who’s obsessed with Jaxon. Now she needs to know that Jaxon has her back . . . because he already has her heart.   AMAZON

I had mixed feelings on this one.  I like the idea of second chance stories and Jaxon sure had a lot to make up for.  He had some growing up to do before he even met Bristol.  As this story started I was kind of disappointed in it because it was kind of like other stories I have read.  Sports guy who is a player, with bad language, which I hadn't thought about, but it is about football players, right? And Jaxon is into one night stands, so of course there will be sex scenes.  I was all set to give it 3 Stars (it's okay)  on Amazon but then more and more of the "real" Jaxon began to show up.   I began to see some redeeming qualities and even some other unexpected talents that he had other than jumping from one bed to another.  And pulling mean, underhanded tricks on people.  The emotional part of the story about his mother added more of my interest.  That part was well done.  That and the unexpected twist towards the end of the book, caused me to like it more.  That gained it another .5, I just didn't feel like I could give it a full 4 stars, saying that I liked it.  It was all about those mixed feelings.  I felt like it redeemed itself at the end but, not quite enough.  It could have been so much better.


I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- IMMORTAL WRITERS

Immortal Writers (Immortal Writers Series Book 1) by [Bowers, Jill]
Young up-and-coming author Liz McKinnen has no idea that her life is about to change forever when she comes home from her first book tour. When she's kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to kill her fantasy book's antagonist, she thinks that she's fallen into the hands of crazy, dangerous fans... until her antagonist sends a real, fire-breathing dragon after her. 

Liz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers, a group of authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it's brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field. As Liz meets authors such as William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, she has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her power-hungry villain takes over the world. Will she survive the ultimate battle against the dragon lord whom she created?   AMAZON 4.5 STARS

The unusual story-line is what got my attention and my desire to read this book.
Wow, it was intense and fast moving.  I'd have to say I really liked it and it had a really good world building to it.  Liz's kidnapping thrust her into a world that was something that she had never imagined.  It took a while and a lot of convincing before she could believe that what was happening was real.  I enjoyed the secondary cast of characters, they added quite a bit to the story as well.  The dragons and other creatures in the book were well drawn and imaginative as well as plentiful.  The magical powers and the rules that went with them were varied and creative.  As was the idea of an Imagination Room and other parts of The Castle.  There was just so many good,creative things in the book, it's hard to nail it all down in this review.  At least not without giving anything away.
The relationship between Curtis and Liz was different especially since she was real and he was.. well,  a hero.  That's all I'm going to say about that.
The only thing that bothered me, was at one point, a character was speaking to the dead. Actually connecting with and interacting.  That is a no, no for me.  It doesn't last long and it doesn't end well. So maybe that helps, maybe as a warning?  
This is a complete story with no cliffhangers and I liked the ending.  But be warned, there will be blood, death and pain. But there is also love, friendship, loyalty and overcoming,  There will also be the thing I like best; good winning over evil.  You just have to read the book to see how that happens.


I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO


I first heard this song 5 Years ago.

LEGACY Jewelry- May it be to me as YOU have SAID

The Crowning Jewels/ Legacy      LINK
I really like this one.
There is also a blog link on this site. 

BOOK REVIEW- COLORADO COWBOY CHRISTMAS

Colorado Cowboy Christmas (Peakview Series Book 5) by [Haymaker, Jill] 
This Holiday season author, Jill Haymaker, brings you home to the small Colorado mountain town of Peakview, Colorado, where everyone has the chance of love. 
Cynthia Welch has made a name for herself as one of Chicago’s top divorce attorneys at the expense of her personal life. Burnt out, she heads to Peaktop Guest Ranch for a couple of months of solitude over the holidays.
AJ Coulter, a cowboy from Wyoming, has been a loner and a drifter ever since his divorce and his teenage daughters leaving for college. He finds a temporary job at Peaktop Ranch as the head wrangler.
When their paths cross, Cynthia begins to question her life in Chicago, and AJ struggles to find a way to keep her in Colorado.
Can the spirit of Christmas bring these two people from very different worlds together and help them find their way to true love?  AMAZON  3 STARS

I liked the story in a low-key kind of way.  It was sweet, charming and without detailed sex scenes.
It had a good Christmas, family feel to it.  It felt as though as Cynthia started to unwind and just relax so did the reader.  I wouldn't say it was a real deep book but it did have good main characters who you could  care about.  I just wondered how in the world the two of them could have any future with their so different lifestyles.   If you are looking for surprises, I don't think that there were that many.  It does have a friendly town and friendly people and  it does end with a HEA

Monday, December 19, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- WILD HORSES, WILD HEARTS

Wild Horses, Wild Hearts: A Sweet Historical Romance Novella (The Front Range Series Book 1) by [Whitman, Charlene]
Eli Banks heads west into the foothills of the Rockies to search for wild horses, but when he hears a cry and encounters Clare McKay and her young brother in need of help, he strides headlong into danger. While he’d hoped to find wild horses, he finds something just as challenging—an Irish gal with a wild heart.
Spring, 1873. Eli Banks stares out the window of his ranch house just north of Greeley, restless. It’s been a long, harsh winter in Colorado Territory, and he’s itching to ride out on the Front Range once the drifts of snow melt. So when his ma asks him to take a payment to a man in Fort Collins for some horses she’s buying, Eli is glad for the task.
Once his transaction is completed, he follows horse tracks into the hills, excited at the thought of adding a new wild herd to his family’s ranch. But in the middle of his pursuit, he hears a gal’s alarmed cry and hurries to investigate.
Clare Ferne McKay, caring for her squalling younger sisters, is called outside by her mam, who tells Clare to go look for her brother Paddy, who left to tend the family’s cows an hour ago. Clare, the oldest of seven siblings, is glad for the chance to get out of the stifling cabin.
She follows the tracks Paddy’s horse had made in the deep snow, but when they stop, she finds the horse but not her brother. Then, she sees Paddy across a frozen pond, tending to a cow in labor.
There is no way to get to Paddy but across the ice, but the warm day is quickly melting the surface, and when Paddy tries to meet her partway, the ice cracks and Paddy is in danger of drowning.
Clare’s cries summon Eli Banks, and with his help, they rescue Paddy. Eli is smitten by the feisty, stubborn Clare, and Clare finds Eli unbearably annoying—though she can’t but help being drawn to his handsome features and the compassion he shows ...
Wild Horses, Wild Hearts is the prequel to the Front Range series of sweet historical Western novels set in Colorado in the 1870s.      AMAZON  4.5 STARS


I really liked this book, it flowed smoothly and quickly.  Yes, I know that it was a shorter book, but it didn't really feel like it.  This is not the first book in the series that I have read, so it was nice to re-visit a few of the characters from the other books.  Especially one of my favorites,  Eli's ma.  A woman skilled with horses people.  She could "see and know" things about people before they showed up.  She was a person who, accepted the teachings of Christ that was preached to her by her father-in-law.   She also had skills from her Native American background.  That included being a Cheyenne medicine woman, some of it that she was passing onto her sons.  It was fun to read some of the Cheyenne words and the Irish words and saying.  The reader wasn't left hanging to their meaning or having to leave the page to look it up,  it was right there.  I appreciated  that. 
Eli and Clare had so many things in common even before they realized it.  Both were getting restless, both had attracted the opposite sex without having any real lasting interest in anyone. Both, were hard workers, with a fair amount of responsibility, and they loved family and  they LOVED horses.  I liked BOTH of the main characters. l also liked  that Eli was tough enough to outlast a blizzard, but he also had a tender caring side that he wasn't afraid to have seen.  Clare also had a spunky, tough side when she need to be.  She had many skills but that didn't take away from her sweet side either. 


There an introduction to another story at the end of this book.  In fact the first chapter of "Colorado Promise" is included. 

"I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review."