Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Interesting Story from Betsy St Amant! With #Review

About the book: 

Love Arrives in Pieces (Zondervan, June 2015)

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn't trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn't get another job soon, she'll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he'll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town's old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness---and their unresolved feelings for each other-until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice---to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NfxL7S

MY THOUGHTS-This book evoked mixed emotions from me. I opened it expecting a kind of contemporary story with humor, thoughtful conversations and an overall fun book. But it is a very heavy book with characters depressed, battling emotional ties and plain out feeling sorry for themselves. Not to say that doesn't change close to the end, but totally different from what I thought I was reading at the beginning.

The main characters are Chase and Stella. Stella is the divorced party whose husband was a louse. She is now feeling sorry for herself while living in her home town, doing what she doesn't really want to be doing. Her designing has gone downhill and she isn't the flamboyant person she used to be, seeing colors in only black and white. Chase is the guy who used to be her sisters steady boyfriend but he also flirted with Stella at the same time. Eventually things came out, her sister Kat moved on to a sweet man(we read about their story in All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes) but when Chase shows up back in town and Stella has to work with him, she isn't sure she can do it. He brings out things in her that she thought were gone forever, but at the same time he steps into her personal space and pushes in where he doesn't belong. Of course, this all works out in the end after many fights, shoulder crying and hugs:)

For me, I just think from the cover and her previous book, that I was looking for a more light book. The stories are good and her characters are well written. Believe me, at times I wanted to slap Stella:) I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series when it comes out.

**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, June 29, 2015

Beyond The Ashes by Karen Barnett with #Review!

About the book: 
Beyond the Ashes (Abingdon Press, June 2015)

Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?

Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald's fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they're striving to cure. Together they must ask---is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1IGu1bg 

MY REVIEW-Karen Barnett quickly became a favorite of mine after reading her first novel, Out of the Ruins. It dealt with the city of San Francisco and I loved how she made history come alive. So when her second novel in the series came up for review, I jumped at the opportunity to read it! And I am so glad I did. This is definitely going on my keeper shelf:)

This is the second book in a series and I would strongly urge you to read them in order. It will make more sense about who the characters are and what they have all been doing before the book opens. We get to see what has happened to a few old friends as well as meet some new people. Ruby, a widow way before her time, is troubled. Not sure of what she should be doing or if she is just going along with the flow, when she decides to take a trip to San Francisco and help her brother who is alone in his work. Of course when she arrives to find him engaged and living in a house full of people, she isn't sure she made the right decision. Especially after she is asked to ride in a car, the very thing that caused her husband's early death. The only thing that might make her stay worth it is the young doctor who is friends with her brother, Gordon. I found myself falling in love with him from the start, from the moment he saw Ruby's distress over the car and finagled a way to ease her mind.

The characters are intriguing but more than anything I love the history. Karen Barnett makes it come alive in a way that few authors do. I felt like I was there in the rubble of San Francisco as they worked to rebuild their lives, clean the city and be stronger than they were before. The romance is part of the book but again, I love the background of the city and seeing it through the eyes of the characters. An excellent keeper 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.**

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SinfulColors Summer Line with #Giveaway!

Are you all ready for summer to be here? I can't believe we are in the middle of June here! But guess what, this is the time of year that we all go around barefoot or in sandals. For me I live in sandals as they help cool my feet off in this heat. I am sure you are asking what in the world that has to do with nail polish but when you go around showing everyone your toes, I like to keep mine pretty. And nothing works better than some SinfulColors nail polish!

Their summer line is totally gorgeous this year. I love the bright bold colors that catch the eye and make you realize it really is time to get outside.These will flash and sparkle when you walk or talk with your hands. I am not one of those people who waves their hands around a lot but I know many people do so put this on and let your fingers do the talking!

For my review I received Sky Tree, Cherry Blossom, Fierce Fiesta, Baila Baila, Color Tag and Kiera Blu. I will be holding a few of these back to host a giveaway with so keep reading to see what ones I chose to keep!

My absolute favorite is the Cherry Blossom. Just my style with light sparkly pink tones. I really wish the picture did it justice but with the glitter it won't come out right. Needless to say you know how I love to layer my colors, right?

So I took the Cherry Blossom and put that on first. After it dried completely, I used the Fierce Fiesta and layered that on top. Wow! I love how it came out!! Can you see the nice dots and confetti that totally blend with the light pink?

Now for my toes, I used the Sky Tree. This one is almost a mix between blue and green, hence the name. At times it is a really pretty green but then my mom saw it and thought it was blue at first. So this can go either way. I like that it is bright but in a mellow way. Does that make sense? I normally go with a red on my toes but this one was too hard to resist. Love it!

The giveaway will consist of three colors. Kiera Blu, Baila Baila and Color Tag. This is the bright blue, and then the two right ones in the second picture up top. So one winner will receive all three. These are unopened, never been used. The giveaway is USA only and will end 7/7/15. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book #Review of Esther by Angela Hunt

ABOUT BOOK: When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.  

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

"The biblical tale of Esther is a story often told, but here it is enhanced and elaborated with scholarly insight...Esther is a good read for those who love Bible accounts come to life." -RT Book Reviews

"Biblical fiction seems to be on the rise and readers will find nothing better in the genre than bestselling Hunt's interpretation of the biblical book of Esther....Hunt handles the tale's nuances with care and openness, presenting readers a beautiful, honest, captivating retelling of a familiar story." -Publishers Weekly

MY REVIEW-I have read plenty of books out there about Esther. My younger sister loves the Biblical account and so any time I find a book about this great female heroine from the Bible, I try it out. This one I found to be strangely compelling and loved how the author portrayed Esther. I don't know about you but previously I always had the idea of her as a young woman, never as a child. I also just automatically thought she was imbued with extra spirituality and never had bitter feelings or worried about the worldly side of things. I think this book opened my eyes like none of the others have. We see Esther as a girl who grows up with ideals and dreams. Do they all come to pass? Not exactly in the way she might have thought they would but all in God's timing and plans. An excellent book from Angela Hunt and hopefully we get to see another from her about the great heroines in the Bible!

**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.**

Friday, June 19, 2015

Deborah Raney’s ‘Two Roads Home’ 5-Book Giveaway

                                  Two Roads Home (Abingdon Press, June 2015)

What if it's too late for dreams to come true?

Minor---but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman's initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans' son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington's friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless---and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk.

With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1BdaEcG

MY THOUGHTS-Deborah Raney is one of those authors who writes thought-provoking every day stories which leave you feeling much different when you are finished than when you started. Two Roads Home is the second book in the Chicory Inn series and I found myself pondering these characters lives and how they correspond to real life situations. Accusations and how quickly they can change a families whole world, dreams that are lost or never seen come to fruition, and what happens when you lose the joy that comes from your daily living.

If you have read the first book in the series, this one will make much more sense to you. A lot of characters to keep track of and it will help if you know in advance who they all are. This one centers around Corrine and Jesse but also goes to the mother/father POV as well. I felt heartbroken at times for Corrine and how she was so tired of the humdrum daily life. Both of them want more but aren't exactly sure what they want.

Again, this is a book that will take you on a roller coaster ride that may seem familiar. I think a lot of us know people who are in one of the situations of a character in the book. Lots of good advice given from the mother and father and I really like how everything turns out. Excellent story from Deborah Raney!!


Two Roads Home Deborah Raney

**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, June 17, 2015

CFBA Tour for The Midwife's Tale by Delia Parr

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Midwife’s Tale

Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015)


Delia Parr


Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including Hearts Awakening, Love's First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a long-time high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida.


Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she's hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha's world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can't remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it's trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Midwife’s Tale, go HERE.

MY REVIEW-I found this delightful book to be written in a somewhat different vein than Delia Parr's previous books but it did not stop me from devouring it at all. The story is told from the eyes of a midwife in the early 1800's and some parts might be a bit in detail for a few but I was intrigued by the doctoring that was done. Not only did she help birthing babies but also dealt with herbs and potions to nurse others to health. The regular doctor who arrives in town I was somewhat hesitant over at first but I think he showed his true character at the end. A wonderful historical novel with some mystery and a slight romance that you will thoroughly enjoy!

**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.**

PicJoy Photo App + Amazon Gift Card #Giveaway! #PicJoy #MomBuzz

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.

picjoy ROF

Picjoy is an intelligent photo library that automatically organizes all of your precious photos and helps you locate them instantly. Can you imagine having all of your photos organized? That’s what’s so exciting about PicJoy.


Record the details and stories behind each of your photos.
Watch Picjoy instantly organize your photos for you - no matter where they are stored!
◆ FIND ◆
Search by category or keyword to retrieve any photo you've ever taken right from your mobile phone.

As a blogger who takes hundreds if not thousands of pictures a month, organizing your photos is a must. Otherwise you can spend hours trying to find one certain picture or photo shoot. This little app here is my new way to organize and find pictures! It is amazing! They give you the options of tags so you can look specifically for things like food, holiday, swimming, etc. That is probably my favorite feature as of yet. They also have a story option that allows you to use a picture as a cover and then write a small story. That sure could be fun:) Totally loving this and will continue to update as I play around with the different features. 

PICJOY is available now on iTunes FREE for a limited time!

Picjoy photo app will also be available for the Android

market on Google Play soon so be looking for it!

And NOW for the GIVEAWAY!!!

picjoy giveaway button

Picjoy is thrilled to finally be able to share their app with the world! In celebration we will be giving away a few gift cards sponsored by Picjoy and hosted by the Mom Buzz Media Bloggers!

4 Winners each get a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Giveaway ends 6/30 at 11:59pm CST. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, then a new winner will be chosen. All winning entries will be verified. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. US Residents only please. Good Luck!

**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, June 8, 2015

BODYARMOR Sports Drink #Review! #Sports @drinkbodyarmor

How many of you participate in sports? Or let me ask this, how many of your children engage in some sort of sport? This could range in anything from soccer, little league, martial arts, tennis, ballet, etc. Personally in our family we have those who play racquetball, basketball, tennis and one who loves playing basketball.

We are constantly looking for sports drinks that will re-hydrate them but also still be good for them. Do you know how many of the energy drinks out there contain nasty chemicals and bad for you ingredients? I was happy to find out about this company here today known as BODYARMOR. I received a set of their drinks for review and I have to admit, the children quickly guzzled them down.

I received a six pack for review and sat them on the shelf. By the next evening, three of them were gone:) I think they voted the favorite as being the Fruit Punch.

Don't ask me why as I tried the Strawberry Banana and the Orange Mango and loved both of them. In all honesty these do not taste like energy drinks at all. They tasted good and healthy, good enough that the children all wanted to taste the different flavors. If I can get them to drink these instead of the other sports drinks that are out there with the chemicals and sugars, this makes sure they get the coconut water, vitamins and electrolytes their body needs after a tough sport.

Do you see the good things that are included in the drink? I love knowing that the children are getting what they need and as a parent, that is one of the biggest issues with sports drinks. Not any more! Now to find them around me. I have checked the one store closest to me and they were out but I will be checking later this week when I go shopping. They are well worth stocking up on.

Also make sure to follow BODYARMOR on their social media sites shown below.

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Friday, June 5, 2015

My Top Ten Favorite Pieces of #Jewelry from Anjolee

For many women, there is nothing better to get as a gift than a piece of jewelry. I love baubles and often just browse online stores or spend time walking through jewelry stores in the mall, admiring the different pieces I see or imagining how a certain set would look on me. Diamonds and pearls are not on my top list, but I do have to say they might make their way into my heart after a bit:) They make perfect gifts for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, going away presents, etc. Below are some of my favorites that I found on Anjolee. The price ranges vary and there are so many options to choose from I had a hard time only picking three. These are so beautiful and full of sparkle!

I have always an affinity for hearts. When I get a piece of jewelry, more often than not it has a heart design in it. I am also a fan of gold color so when I saw this bracelet, I just knew it would be my top choice. Their pieces are all able to be customized so if you want a white gold, or even a charm, you can play with all of those options. I just love it!!

I told you I liked hearts, remember? This one here immediately caught my eye when I saw it. Just look at the design! The heart is inverted so it is upside down but it is so pretty. Very sparkly and stylish you could give this for any event but especially for a birthday, etc.

I actually have quite a few of these bracelets known as Tennis Bracelets. They happen to be a favorite accessory because you can wear them with anything and it adds a bit of style with just a little bracelet. Nice and unassuming these are classical pieces.

This here is almost the same as the one above. It is a tennis bracelet as well but a different style. Check out the swirls, which is why it is known as a twist. A virtual curl of swirls that will gleam on any wrist and evoke a stunning response from those around you.

I fell in love with this necklace after seeing all the options to customize. My birthstone is Amethyst, yes I am a February gal, and I like being able to choose that stone for my necklaces. Not that they all have that color by any means but it is nice when the company has that available. I also like the design of this necklace. I don't have many that have the tiers like this one and it draws the eye to follow the line of the pendant. I love it!

And this one I liked because of the different style. The stars remind me of a woman in a long evening gown out under a starry night. The long classical lines paired with an evening gown would be beautiful.

Every now and then you want something that is different and will stand out from what everyone else is wearing. That is where this necklace comes in. The bolero tie style looks awesome! Talk about being in a crowd above everyone else.

I personally don't wear earrings. But it doesn't stop me from looking and seeing the beautiful pieces that dangle from your ears. Thus I chose these here. I like the journey style as it dangles and flashes, drawing attention to the long neck lines. Or your small ears:)

These last two are dealing with wedding sets. My first choice is an eternity ring that is princess cut and really pretty. I am the type of person who doesn't really like flashy rings and this one is small, just the way I liked them.

Now if I were to go all out, this is the ring set I would choose. Definitely not in my budget and won't be for a while but a girl can dream can't she? A beautiful piece to show your vows.

Anjolee has beautiful pieces of jewelry that would make any woman proud. I love that you can customize them and these are truly works of art.

Be sure to follow Anjolee on their social media sites. 

**DISCLOSURE: Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Safety with Master Lock Review and #Giveaway! @MasterLockUS

Summer is finally here! I don't know about your area but it has been raining off and on and then the sun peeks out of the clouds and all is well again. This is the time of year when people are out walking, biking and everyone is out and about. Today I want to introduce Master Lock. I have worked with them in the past and I know they are a company you love. When you need something locked up or kept safe, they are the ones to go to. And when I was offered to opportunity to review one of their bike locks, I was super happy! But, I also kept one back so that I could give it away to one of my readers!!!

I received the set of 3 Keyed Cable Locks. These are different colors and are your basic locks. These are great for bicycles but also work equipment, gates that you may not need a padlock on, etc. The braided steel makes them very hard or almost impossible to cut through so no worry about someone taking off with your stuff. I am using mine for when I go riding and I love how heavy duty their products are. Check out this baby!

One of the main problems we normally have with locks would have to be keeping track of the keys. Do you know how easy it is to lose keys or forget the combination of the padlock? In a family of 8 it is super easy and we are constantly having to search the house over for keys to our locks.

This set here all uses the same keys!! So you get keys for each lock but you can use the same key to open them all. I love it!

So, is anyone interested in a giveaway? I kept back the green lock and key so I could use it as a prize for one my readers. The giveaway is USA only as I am shipping this out and it is not light:) Giveaway will end 6/19 and winner will be chosen through Random.org. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jolly Time Popcorn #ourJOLLYTIME with #Giveaway

Hi all! My apologies on being so absent around here lately. Things have been hectic and family has to come first over the blog but I do apologize. Today I want to feature a company that has a lot to do with families. They also have a great campaign going on right now to unplug from the electronics and spend more time with your family so I think they fit in just great around here:) May I introduce to you.... Jolly Time Popcorn!

In 1914 the Smith family started the American Pop Corn Company. A century later, we are still family owned and operated by the descendants of Cloid H. Smith.
But being a family business doesn't depend entirely on last names. Our employees, our growers and our customers are all part of the JOLLY TIME extended family.
We strive, everyday, to make the absolute best popcorn, to give employees the absolute best work environment and have the absolute best time doing so. We take pride in every aspect of what we do and want you to taste it in every delicious kernel of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn.

I actually received two coupons as part of a campaign I did with them but I wanted to include all my readers as well. So I am keeping one coupon and then hosting a giveaway here for one coupon. This is for a completely free box of Jolly Time Popcorn. The coupon doesn't expire til 6/30/16 so you can use it anytime til then.

The Jolly Time company has started this wonderful Unplug. Pop. Connect. opportunity that I think will really help families unplug from the electronics and spend more time playing games, being outdoors and just having fun together.

Got a minute—or three? Turn them into a POP Moment: a few minutes to put down your phone, pop up a snack, and reconnect with whoever’s around.
Tell us how you're going to connect with your family in a POP Moment, and you'll be entered to win a free Unplug. POP. Connect* prize package.

So, anyone interested in a giveaway? You will receive the one coupon shown above for a free box of Jolly Time Popcorn. This is not hosted by the company, I am hosting this giveaway on my own. USA ONLY!! Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
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