Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tracie Peterson celebrates 100 books with an iPad Mini Giveaway & A SENSIBLE ARRANGEMENT Live Webcast Event!

A Lone Star Brides book.

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?

MY REVIEW-A Sensible Arrangement is the first book in a new series written by author Tracie Peterson. I found the plot quite interesting and having an arranged marriage with a widow and widower was new for me. Tracie always knows how to capture the attention of the reader and reel them in with a fine story. 

Marty is a widow whose husband was gored to death by a longhorn steer. She has basically given up on God and sees no reason to trust Him with her future, much less her daily life. So she answers an ad for a bride and moves to Colorado, not telling her family what she is doing. That was one of the big problems I had with Marty. She lies constantly throughout the book. And at the end she realizes that lying is just as much a sin as anything else, but it really bothered me reading about her deceit. 

Now Jake was a different story. Very upright and quite dashing. His first wife was dishonest and he can't stand it now so I was waiting to see how it would play out when he realized what Marty was doing. Of course, it was a marriage of convenience anyways so there were no feelings involved, NOT! :) 

I liked how the author put real events and history in the novel. Finding out about the impact silver had on Colorado and the common person made for a good story. Oh, and the servants were so entertaining! I loved Brighton and Samson the most, excluding Alice. My only complaint? I wish the story hadn't ended so abruptly! I felt like I was left hanging with not everything solved. Hopefully that will be taken care of in the next book. There will be another one, right? lol:)


Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson's 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie's new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.

Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.


One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini

  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

  • Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

    So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

    Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    On The Pineapple Express #Giveaway & Interview with H.L. Wegley!

    Hey readers! Today I have another author to introduce to ya'll. I haven't had the honor of reading his books yet but that is being put on my to do list after checking this one out. I would like you all to meet Harry Wegley! He has been kind enough to offer a giveaway of his latest book, On The Pineapple Express. Make sure to enter through the rafflecopter form.

    Thank you for being with us today, Harry!!

    How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
    Since the 1970s I’ve enjoyed writing and being an author. I published a lot in the scientific literature in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and some in the early ‘90s, but I never knew the joy of writing novels until my wife and I retired in 2008. After penning (actually penciling) my first novel in 2010, I knew.

    Can you tell me a little bit about your latest book?
    On the Pineapple Express, book 2 in the Pure Genius Series, is a high-action, romantic suspense story about a beautiful, brilliant young woman who, with the help of her fiancé, is willing to risk her life to save a group of girls from human traffickers.

    When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?
    Hopefully, there will be a couple of takeaways. First, if God calls us to do something, even though we must face our worst fears and possibly risk our lives, He will give us the courage and the strength to accomplish His purposes. His word tells us at least 400 times, “Do not be afraid.” Secondly, I wanted to paint a picture of the human-trafficking epidemic and the dangers to our children, but I wanted this to be a story that even early teens could read.
    There is a third takeaway, aimed at readers who don’t know our Savior. It’s the message of redemption, presented in a very natural, non-preaching manner.

    Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?
    One of the regions assigned to me when I co-authored the Wind-Energy Resource Atlas of the world was the U. S. Virgin Islands. I waded through reams of data, pictures, and topographical maps, but never did get a trip to the islands. I would love to snorkel with my wife through the coral gardens along shores of St. Croix.

    If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?
    I hear there’s a big marriage supper coming someday, and Jesus will be there. I already have an invitation, so I’ll wait for that dinner with Him. There are a lot of questions I would like to ask some of the historical figures in the Bible. I’ll have eternity to visit with most of them. But there are some other people I’d like to talk to, people I may never see. For example, I would love to sit across the table from Charles Darwin and tell him about the cell and the universe inside it, a complex universe he was totally ignorant of when he proposed his theories. I want to hear him respond, see the lights come on, and watch him toss Origin of the Species in the trash can. I would like to have dinner with Karl Marx and show him what an attempt to implement his economic theories in the real world looks like … circa 1991 and the collapse of the old USSR. Maybe the lights would come on for him too.

    What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?
    Genesis 1:1 part b, “… God created the heaven and the earth.” I’m sure I’d be struck dumb with awe, but to see it happen would incredible. It would also settle a lot of arguments among scholars of all stripes. J

    Do you have a favorite hobby?
    Not too long ago, I was really into racquetball, softball, and playing guitar. But, after a hand injury and shoulder surgery, I’m more into reading, a little photography, hiking beaches on the Olympic Peninsula, and snorkeling Maui whenever my wife and I can save up enough pennies for the trip.

    Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
    I had a lot more fun growing up than most people know. More fun than I should have had. My best friend and I could write a book titled, The 101 Most Fun and Exciting Things to Do with Potassium Nitrate. We made smoke bombs, fire bombs, rocket fuel, and some really cool fake meteorites. We also made a diving suit in which my buddy nearly drowned. But that project didn’t require using potassium nitrate, only a little ignorance and a lot of foolishness.

    Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
    The power of story is incredible. Jesus, the Master Storyteller and the inventor of story, knew that. So, learn to tell stories. That means learning the craft of plotting and writing them. Read writing craft books. Study novels and stories in the Bible. You’ll never master it all, but when you’ve learned enough about the craft of writing stories, your words will impact people’s lives.

    Any last thoughts for your readers?
    If you think you might enjoy On the Pineapple Express, you’re sure to enjoy the sequel, Moon over Maalaea Bay, set entirely in Maui.

    And how can they connect with you?
    Web site: HLWegley.com
    Pelican Book Group: On the Pineapple Express

    Thanks so much for being a guest here today!

    After reading the interview, Mr. Wegley sounds like quite an author. I enjoyed the thought and details he adds to the answers which assures me his books will be just as fulfilling. And one of you, my loyal readers, will be taking away a copy of his book. This giveaway will end 5/8. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. USA ONLY!!

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    Kregel Blog Tour for Goldtown Adventures by Susan Marlow

    Jem Coulter’s pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch—along with Aunt Rose, that is.
    No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts—a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa’s horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa’s deputies seem unconcerned.
    Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper’s tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills. Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?
    Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post–Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.

    Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they’re carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn’t so far away; it’s right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem’s father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army’s Knights of the Golden Circle. When the family finally reaches the city, they think they’re safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves? River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they’ve come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post–Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways—and lots of gold!

    MY THOUGHTS-I received books three and four for my review. I am going to tell you what I thought about them in my browsing but I will also allow M to let you know what she liked or didn't like about these stories. They are a little more on her reading level I think:)

    The series is about twelve year old Jem Coulter. He lives with his family in Goldtown, CA circa 1860's. There is no mother to speak of but his father, sister, cousin and aunt are all throughout these books. The first book I read opens with a bang, literally:) Jem flies into the house running for the rifle hanging over the fireplace. See with his pa gone for a little bit, guess who is left in charge as man of the house? Yep, twelve year old Jem. I like how he jumps right in and acts as an adult. Sure he may not have all the maturity of an adult but back then the children were often more grown up. So when Jem rides out with a loaded gun to shoot himself a wolf, it was very normal. And kind of him to keep the news from his sister that her calf was killed. But once he is out waiting for the wolf, that is when it gets interesting. Because he shoots something that isn't a wolf and could be quite disastrous. Don't want to spoil it for you so you will just have to read the book to find out what happens:)

    The fourth book is just as good as the third one. These are great books for children and tweens. I enjoyed it but definitely for younger kids. Great lessons taught throughout and characters that will make your children laugh and totally connect with them. Excellent Susan!!

    Canyon of Danger is about Jem Coulter his father goes away for a few weeks, and leaves him in charge of the ranch, a wolf kills one of their cows and he accidentally shoots somebody in the shoulder! he brings him back to the ranch and his aunt Ruth bandages him up, they have him sleep in the barn then his horse and his dads rifle goes missing, Goldtown Deputy's are no help they have their hands full with the disorder and rowdiness in town he will do anything to get them back! The thing I don't like is that he skips Church to track clues down one time and his Aunt tells him his father will take care of him when he gets back.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Total Turnaround: 12 Keys to Breakthrough in Every Life @DanetteJoy Book #review

    Your Breakthrough is Waiting!

    Are you experiencing trials or setbacks in your life?

    Though challenges are a normal part of life, they don't have to become your entire life. Isn't it time you had a Total Turnaround?

    Through Bible-based teaching, authenticity, and humor, Danette Crawford shares ten keys to unlocking breakthrough and victory in ten vital areas of your life.

    Get ready to:
    • Experience fresh power in your prayer life
    • Fill your mind with faith that overcomes doubt
    • Discover and pursue God’s standards for successful relationships
    • Receive freedom from depression and anxiety
    • Press through the barriers and receive your healing
    • Exchange financial struggle for supernatural provision
    • And more…

    Your breakthrough is waiting. Discover how to receive the victory God has made available for you, and experience your Total Turnaround today!

    MY THOUGHTS-I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into by reviewing this book. The author was not someone I was familiar with and after all, did I really need a book about turning my life around in finances, relationships, future, your doubts and fears, etc? So you can imagine my surprise when I read through this book in two days.

    Danette goes through many aspects of our life that we many times need turned around. Like the things I mentioned above. And while we may want to skip to a certain chapter or part, I think it would be good for everyone to completely read through this book. Even if we don't think we could use that chapter on finances, or the one on relationships with our family, there is a ton of good information available in here.

    I think my favorite chapter was on finances. The author gives scripture references throughout the chapters and she breaks the guidelines down to make it easy to understand. And not everything is a guideline per se but tips, hints and what she has personally gone through. Again, an excellent book that I enjoyed reading.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman. Book #Review Through Litfuse

    Claiming Mariah

    After her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.
    With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.

    MY THOUGHTS- Ever since hearing about this book, I was excited to review it. The plot sounded so interesting and I love a good historical. Needless to say, once I picked it up and started, I didn't put it down until the end. I even had someone else who wanted to read it at the same time:) The characters are so well written I fell in love with them immediately. Especially Mariah. Slade took me a little bit. I know he was hurting so he automatically lashed out at everybody but at the same point, so was Mariah. She just seemed so strong compared to him. Then about the middle of the book I fell in love with Slade too. My heart ached for him and his troubles, especially when you finish and find out what really happened all those years ago.

    I really liked Mariah's grandmother as well. She is kinda quirky but also a well of wisdom and knowledge. Pam really brings to life the time period and the scenery. I love when an author pens the detail so well that you can see it. I can almost feel the dust and the heat but also see the beautiful mountains and valleys. Oh, and the gun fight? Spot on in detail and has you sitting on the edge of your seat! Okay, maybe not quite but very well written. Absolutely loved this book and can't wait to see what the author has in store for her readers. The end of the book has a sneak peak of the next novel and boy does it sound interesting. Wonderful job Pam!!

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Another Excellent Story from Tamera Alexander!! @tameraalexander

    Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war--and still had one to fight.

    Eleanor Braddock--plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty--knows she will never marry. But with a dying soldier's last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America--and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path--building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.

    Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows' and children's home run contrary to Eleanor's wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground--and a love neither of them expects.

    But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.
    From the USA Today bestselling author of To Whisper Her Name and A Lasting Impression comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to a group of people forgotten by Nashville society--and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.

    MY REVIEW-I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! Tamera Alexander is one of those authors you go back to again and again because you trust their writing style. And believe me when I say that this novel is excellent. 

    As the book opens we meet Eleanor Braddock working as a nurse during the war between the states. She has seen so much and had to deal with things many women wouldn't dream about, yet she is still a tender and compassionate heroine who makes a promise to a dying man. One she intends to keep, even though nobody else knows about it and in the years to come she isn't able to follow through. This is just a beginning of my falling in love with her. 

    Skip forward a few years and we see the world changed after the war. Men are few and far between and most are not interested in a woman who is almost 30, no money to her name and not what you would call beautiful. Oh, and don't forget her height. Eleanor towers above most of them. We find her placing her father in an insane asylum after he is diagnosed with dementia and has had fits of anger, endangering his daughter. She is also going to live with her aunt, owner of the famed and illustrious Belmont Mansion. Aunt Adelicia was a lot different than I expected her to be. Not quite as charming as Eleanor but not near as snobby as I thought she would be. Not to say that she was the best of people, but I did like her. 

    Now to get to the fun, Marcus Goeffrey. Boy he was a favorite! Of course, there weren't many people I didn't like:) Marcus is in the US undercover as an architect while in reality he is an heir to the throne in Austria. I totally loved the lessons in botany and flora. It was so interesting. I think he was deceptive when he shouldn't have been but I also see why he was doing it. Once he comes down from his high horse he is kinda nice. I don't normally like characters who are full of themselves and automatically expect women to fawn over them. 

    Some of my favorite parts in this would be Eleanor cooking for others. The little gatherings with her and her friends. Another funny part was the exploring in the tunnels. Kind of fun when Eleanor and Marcus spar with their words. Love the witty dialogue! 

    This was an excellent book that I thoroughly enjoyed. You also see mention of other characters from previous books. You did it again Tamera! 

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% mine. No monetary compensation was received.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Purex No Sort for Colors Laundry Detergent Review & 3 Winner #Giveaway!

    If you have been following my blog any amount of time, you know how much I love being a Purex Insider. Not only do I get to try out new products but I also get to share them with you all. And this time I am reviewing the No Sort for Colors Laundry Detergent. Did you get the meaning of that name? No sorting of colors from your whites? I could not wait to try this out and see how it did with my laundry.

    Oh, and another reason I like being a Purex Insider? I get coupons for free product to giveaway to my readers!! There will be a 3 person giveaway here with each winner receiving one coupon for a free bottle of No Sort for Colors.

    My package arrived and I couldn't wait to try out the new Purex detergent. In our family of eight we often have trouble with whites being turned pink. As much as I try to sort everything, invariably something gets colored that shouldn't be! I remember one time when we had just gone to the thrift store and found this beautiful blouse. And you guessed it, a white blouse. And normally I do laundry, sorting and taking out whites to wash separately. But this time, I had to go shopping or something and somebody else ran a load of clothing.

    Want to take a guess at what happened? I am sure you all can figure it out but it came out looking like a pretty pink blouse:) Not really a bad thing but not exactly going to work with the outfit I wanted it to. So, this laundry detergent works perfectly in our household.

    The first time I tried it I played it safe and just put in some white socks with the colors. Not that I don't trust it, but I wanted to see if it worked. And it did!! The socks came out just as white as they went in!! I was very impressed by how it cleaned and kept my whites protected. Now please, this isn't a miracle product so make sure to wash new pieces of clothing or strongly colored fabrics a couple times separately. But overall I have enjoyed being able to use it and not sort my colors.

    Readers, Purex is also hosting a sweepstakes where somebody will win 1,000 and a year's supply of this new laundry detergent. Sounds good to me!! So go ahead and enter the Rules Have Changed Sweepstakes.

    So, anyone interested in a giveaway? Three winners will each receive one coupon for a free bottle of the new Purex No Sort for Colors. This giveaway will end 4/28. Winners will be chosen through Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. US ONLY!!

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    What Follows After by Dan Walsh Book #Review

    In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
    And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

    For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

    Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

    In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.

    MY REVIEW-Dan Walsh is an author I really enjoy. I say it about all his books but this one was a favorite. He brings to mind days gone by and yet through it all forces you to think about subjects that are alive and well today. And in this one he shows what can happen in every day lives. It could be us, our next door neighbor or the family at church. It is heartbreaking and I would urge you to have the tissues handy for this one.

    In here we meet Scott and Gina Harrison. They appear to be the average couple who has their arguments but are happily in love. Yet things aren't the way they look. Life has gone terribly wrong and they don't know how to fix it or if they even want to. I felt bad for them. But the ones I really felt for were their sons. Tired of their parents living a lie and then forcing them to participate in the charade, one rises up to do something about it. And this is where things go from bad to worse. I don't want to give anything away but Dan Walsh kept me turning pages to see what happened and if things would ever look up for this couple and their sons. Something about it kind of reminded me of a film I viewed previously about a little boy who disappears. The frantic searching and praying is all portrayed in detail. Way to go Dan on a book that will stay on my shelf!!

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    The Used Auto Parts Industry

    If you do the mechanic work on your own vehicle, then you probably know about used auto parts companies like U Pull N Save. If you have not heard about the used auto parts industry, then you would probably benefit from learning a little about it. Used auto parts retailers can be inexpensive tools that can help get your car back on the road. There are many benefits to buying used parts, but there are some limitations as well. Here are some things to think about.

    Used Parts Are Sometimes Just as Good as New

    This might be surprising for some people. Not all parts on a vehicle get used up at the same rate. In fact, some parts on a car or truck would probably last through four or five vehicles before they start malfunctioning. For this reason, it can be a lot cheaper and better to buy a used part instead of a new one, depending on several variables. It is important to take into consideration the condition of the used part, what kind of part it is, and how long you need it to last. It is not always the case that a used part is as good as a new one, and you need to be careful when making your choice.



    Most of the places that offer used parts will give some kind of guarantee. Usually this guarantee will last a week or two. Many new parts will come with a lifetime warranty or a money-back guarantee for a year or more. This is obviously a big difference. Again, it is important to know what kind of part you are buying and how it gets used. Some things, like wheels, will last for a very long time. Other things, such as thermostats, don’t tend to last as long. If a wheel lasts you two weeks without any visible change or loss of function, then it will probably last a lot longer than that. However, a used thermostat might last two weeks and then break two days afterward. Do some research into the proposed longevity of the parts you need before deciding whether to buy new or used.

    Installing the Parts

    If you are going to install the parts yourself, then there’s no real issue. However, if you are going to have a mechanic install the part, there might be a problem. Some mechanics will refuse to install used parts. This is usually because they can’t guarantee that the part will last. Also, you might blame the mechanic for your car breaking down, when in reality it was the used part that wore out. If you are going to have a mechanic install a part, you will probably have to find one that’s new or in pristine condition.

    U Pull N Save and other used parts dealers can help you find the parts you need for much less money than new ones. You should be aware of the limitations of the used parts, though. It can save you money or cause you headaches depending on the quality of the parts you buy.

    This is a sponsored post for the enjoyment of Giveaway Lady readers. 

    **DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post for the enjoyment of Giveaway Lady readers.  Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    NueVue iPad Mini Cases That Clean! Canvas Case #Review

    Remember last week when I was talking about our electronics? And how much we should be protecting them and taking care of them? Well, today I have a review for another product that will help in this endeavor. Nuevue, Cases That Clean. Now, I received the case for the iPad Mini. But, they have another case for the iPad Mini as well as cases for iPads and iPhones. Once you hear about the concept behind the Nuevue cases, I think you will like them very much. So, what makes them different from every other case out there? Check it out below as I try out the iPad Mini Canvas Case!!

    Now at first I was thinking, okay what is really going to be great about this? I mean, really, who needs a case that cleans their iPad Mini? Then when it came in and I read the facts on their little paper? I think I am going to be cleaning my electronics a lot more often!! Take a look at some of the facts I found so interesting. You just might want to take a better look at your own electronics:)

    Studies show that 94.5% of all smart phones are contaminated with some kind of bacteria - and 30% of the bacteria end up on the owner’s hands.

    Sorry, but that just made me shrink in disgust. And I won't get into the one about the germs found on your smartphone compared to a toilet handle? In any case, this case will help take care of that. No pun intended:)

    Basically this case cleans and protects. You slip your Ipad Mini in there, carry it around or whatever you do with your electronic, and then as you take it out, apply gentle pressure on it. The whole inside features BioCote Antimicrobial technology that cleans and protects.

    So, after trying it out, putting smudges on the iPad Mini, sticking it in and pulling it back out as they say to, I was pretty impressed. It cleaned right off without me having to apply a lot of pressure and I liked how nice it looked. The case is well made and I can't see it falling apart any time soon. I like the snap on it as well since this keeps your electronic from falling out.

    Overall I was well pleased with this. A product that is worthy of my recommendation I will gladly give it five stars. I am sure this company will do well in the future and for anyone looking to purchase a case that helps clean at the same time it protects, check out the Nuevue website! Also be sure to follow them on their social media sites.

    Nuevue on Facebook
    Nuevue on Twitter

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Enter to win a Kindle HDX from @TLHigley in THE QUEEN’S HANDMAID giveaway!

    From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

    Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
    Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
    But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
    Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

    MY THOUGHTS-I wasn't sure how well I would like this book when I started it. But by the time I got to through the first chapter, I was hooked! Believe me, it takes a lot to interest me in a book. I love reviewing them but many times I read a book just because I have to. This one, I wanted to! Tracy pulled me in from the beginning and didn't let go until the last page. Even then I wished for more:)

    Lydia is the heroine in this book. But she isn't your typical heroine. A young lady at first who is not much more than a girl but we see as she grows and matures. I think my favorite aspect of this book was the history. I loved learning more about this time period and the way things were back then. Seeing the treachery and deceit that went on, not to mention the bloodshed and pursuing the throne no matter who died, was quite interesting. I got a history lesson without even realizing it:) I did notice some characters from a previous book if you have read her others. Overall an excellent book that was a non-stop read!

    Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen's Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

    Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: "Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs." 


    • A Kindle Fire HDX

    • The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

    Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy's blog.

    Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy's blog on April 21st to see if you won.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    Sincerely Yours A Novella Collection + Giveaway Option

    Four unexpected letters. Four intrepid women. Four lives changed forever.

    Spanning a century and a continent, these romantic novellas will lead you on a journey through the landscape of love. Four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote hospital, you'll be swept into the lives of women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.

    Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
    Camilla Renfrew is a highborn English lady fleeing false accusations when she runs smack into love on a steamboat bound for the new Erie Canal. But can this unexpected attraction survive the treacherous journey?

    Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey
    Marigold Montgomery Bentley writes marriage advice for Kipler's Home Weekly even though she is single. Everyone assumes from the initials that "M. M." is a man. When the editor asks to meet Mr. Bentley, can Merrie come up with a ruse to keep her writing job?

    One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
    Lorraine Caldwell will lose her family fortune to a reckless cousin if she doesn't marry quickly. When she learns her long-lost brother is alive, she hopes she's found the answer to her problems. What she finds instead is a mysterious carousel carver who turns her life upside down. 

    A Saving Grace by Jane KirkpatrickGrace Hathaway must rescue a dear friend from a remote and notorious clinic that promises healing but delivers only heartache. In a place laced with deceit, where lives hang in the balance, whom can she trust to help her?

    MY THOUGHTS-I love every one of these authors individually. They write awesome books that I can read over and over. So when I heard about a novella featuring a short little story from each of them, I knew I had to try it! My only difficulty, they are too short! I wanted to get really involved in these stories but it was so hard having such a short space for the characters to grow and fall in love.

    My favorite story out of them all was One Little Word by Amanda Cabot. I seriously fell in love with this one! Lorraine is so sweet and Jonah, don't get me started on him:) A little bit uppity in his own right but boy is he great. And quite the personality that Lorraine needed. My next favorite would have been Lessons in Love. Other than all the deception. I know that Merrie felt she needed to at first but then it just kept growing and she drags other people into it. Everything is cleared up in the end but I wish it hadn't gotten that far. Moonlight Promise was kinda rustic but I liked the whole riverboat aspect. Seeing how different they were from even the time of Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer:) Camilla is so funny when they ask her to cook and she doesn't know how to do something that simple. I almost wanted to slap Nathaniel when he doesn't believe her. And A Saving Grace is different as well. Each of these authors did a great job at fleshing out the characters in the short amount of space they had, I just wish they had been full length. It makes for a wonderful book to take on a trip when you only want a little bit of a book.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

    Eleanor Braddock's Savory Custard from A Beauty So Rare!

    Eleanor Braddocks Savory Custard
    (or Ham and Cheddar Quiche)
    From the novel A Beauty So Rare
    by Tamera Alexander

    Most people think quiche originated in France. Not so. Its originally a German dish and people referred to them as "savory custards" in the 19th century. Which is accurate since the egg-based mixture forms a luscious-like custard as it bakes.

    In my novel, A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series, the heroine, Eleanor Braddock, is "a cook with a dream." But her dreams dont quite turn out like she thinks they will. However, her savories always do!

    I hope you enjoy this recipe (or "receipt" as recipes were called in the 1800s) from A Beauty So Rare. For more about A Beauty So Rare and for recipes from all my novels, visit www.TameraAlexander.com.

    1 old-fashioned unbaked pie crust (recipe below)
    1 large onion, diced (or sliced if you like larger pieces of onion in your savory)
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 pound cooked ham diced into cubes (if using bacon, use 8 slices, fried chewy, not too crisp)
    8 large eggs
    1-1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
    1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste (I always go heavier on the pepper, personal preference)
    1 3/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

    Sauté onion in the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

    Chop the ham into bite-sized pieces (or fry your bacon until chewy, then chop). Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pie crust and press into a deep dish pie plate. A medium-sized iron skillet works wonderfully for making a savory custard (and is what Eleanor used). The crust comes out divine. I just happened to use a pie plate this time.

    Whip the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then mix in the onions, ham (or bacon), and cheese. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Cover the pie plate (or skillet) lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. QUICK BAKING TIPS: The quiche may still seem a little loose when you first remove it from the oven, but it will firm up nicely once removed from the heat. Also, watch that lovely crust so the edges dont get overly brown. I use a silicone pie crust shield if that starts to happen. Those are a fabulous invention (but foil crimped around the edges works just as well).

    Remove from the oven and allow the savory custard to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before diving in. Its so good, and just like Eleanor Braddock would make. Its also delicious left over and warmed up the next day.

    Eleanor Braddocks Old-Fashioned Pie Crust
    (makes two large crusts)
    From the novel A Beauty So Rare
    by Tamera Alexander

    This is a wonderful crust that Ive been using for years. Eleanor would likely have used lard in place of Crisco (since lard was cheaper than butter in her day), and you may too, if you prefer. Yes, lard is still available on most grocery shelves, although Im pretty sure I just felt you shudder!

    This pie crust "freezes beautifully " as they say in Steel Magnolias (instructions on freezing below), so even though I may need only one pie crust at the moment, I always use this recipe and make a second, and freeze it for later. Makes that next pie (or savory custard) go twice as fast!

    1 ½ cups Crisco (or lard)
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 egg
    5 tablespoons ice water
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1 teaspoon salt

    In a large bowl, using a pastry cutter (or two knives will do the job), gradually work the Crisco into the flour for 3 to 4 minutes until it resembles coarse meal. In a smaller bowl, whip the egg and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir gently until all ingredients are blended well.

    Halve the dough. Form the 2 evenly-sized balls of dough and place each into large sealable plastic bags. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each to about 1/2 inch thickness to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If youre using the crusts immediately, its still a good idea to let them chill in the freezer for about 15- 20 minutes. Theyll be much easier to work with.)

    When youre ready to roll the dough for your crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes (if its frozen). On a well-floured surface, roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough if its too moist. If the dough starts to stick to the countertop, use a metal spatula and gently scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until its about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie plate (or iron skillet).

    Using a spatula, carefully lift the dough from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. (I sometimes fold my well-floured dough in half and then "unfold" it onto iron skillet. Or you can lop it over your rolling pin. That works well, too.) Gently press the dough against the sides of the pan or skillet, getting it all tucked in. Then crimp the edges in whatever way you prefer. And now, youre ready for that yummy savory custard filling above, or maybe for a fruit pie.

    If you make this recipe (or if youve read A Beauty So Rare), Id love to hear from you. You can write me through my website at http://www.tameraalexander.com/contact.html.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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