Monday, May 30, 2016

A Daughter's Dream by Shelley Gray with 5 Book #Giveaway!

A Daughter’s Dream 

A young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.
Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.
That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?
Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.
But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?

MY THOUGHTS-Shelley's most recent series has been a real joy to me. I enjoy her shorter novels that often pull me into the world of the Amish, a culture much different than the one I live in, and yet many times with the same struggles and trials. Such is the case of Rebecca Kinsinger, a girl with dreams and ambitions but when she is finally able to realize some of them, she finds out that not everything is as she thought it would be. Rebecca is a great female lead and I loved her interactions with the children, even the difficult ones, and how she handled things.

The book can be read as a stand alone but I would suggest reading them in order. This is the second in the series and certain things come into play that will be best understood by reading the other book. Cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment of, The Charmed Amish Life!


**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, May 27, 2016

I Have Seen God Book #Review

The miraculous founding of a top class hospital for some of the world's poorest people

Klaus-Dieter and Martina John--both brilliant, talented, and highly qualified doctors--turned their backs on lucrative careers to follow their dream to open a first-rate medical facility for the Indians of the Peruvian Andes, some of the world's poorest people. The Peruvian Andes natives suffer appallingly from the diseases of poverty and, although they make up approximately 40 percent of Peru's population, are ignored by the authorities.
Having studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon, Dr. Klaus-Dieter John together with his wife, Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, developed a concept for a modern hospital in the Peruvian Highlands.
Turning down other offers, including a professorship, they set themselves the task of raising the millions of dollars needed. God opened the hearts and consciences of individuals and companies to create not just a health center, but a fully equipped hospital. Their story and vision has captured attention around the world and today they have the backing of 180 corporations and 50,000 private supporters.
The hospital’s name, Diospi Suyana, means "we trust in God" in Quechua, the native language of the people it serves. It is a testament to their experience that with God the impossible can happen. The incredible conviction and profound faith of the Johns will refresh your heart and stir your spirit.

MY THOUGHTS- I have always found biographies to be intriguing. When you see people have faith and lots of it, I tend to find my faith strengthened. I had personally never heard of this work with the Diospi Suyana hospital founded in Peru, but nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about it. The author definitely has a way with words and pulls the reader into the story of their trials, their struggles and yet also the overwhelming goodness of God. His guidance led them through many valleys and rivers but in the end, the work that was done was all for His glory! A most amazing story!

**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.**

Creating a Mood with Incense

Incense can serve a variety of purposes. Although it may have its origins in religious ritual, incense has many other uses as well. You can purchase incense at a place like Patchouli Garden for some of the uses below. 

Make a New Space Your Own

If you're moving into a new house, apartment or room, you might want a way to claim that space and make it feel like yours. Burning some incense can be a great way to give the place a cleanse and claim it for yourself. A bonus is that it will drive out any harsh cleaning smells or lingering odors from previous tenants. 


For contemplative activities such as meditation, yoga or prayer, incense can help produce a calming atmosphere that helps separate where you are and your activity from the rest of the world. Nag Champa incense sticks are one type that can be great for this purpose.

Cover Bad Smells

Sometimes you just need incense for its most straightforward use. You might have burned something in the kitchen, had a heavy smoker visit or created an unpleasant smell in some other way that will eventually dissipate on its own, but in the meantime, incense can make the space bearable.

Repel Insects

Some types of incense will keep mosquitoes and other pests away. You may have to experiment to find out what works best. 

Religious or Spiritual Uses

Many different religions use incense in their ceremonies and rituals including Catholics, Hindus, Pagans and Buddhists. These might be used formally in temples and churches or informally in a believer's own home.

Create a Mood

There are so many different scents available that incense can be used to create a variety of moods and atmospheres in your home from wholesome and cheerful to woodsy to mysterious and decadent. 

Fight Insomnia 

Some people find certain scents help soothe them to sleep when they are struggling with insomnia. Lavender may be particularly helpful in this regard. 

You can keep a mix of incense sticks to hand so that you have a choice depending on your mood. There are so many options that you are sure to find a scent that suits you and your purposes.

**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, May 22, 2016

The Quieting by Suzanne Fisher with #Giveaway

My Review- Suzanne Fisher has written an excellent novel, the second in a series, that I thoroughly enjoyed. Amish books are not normally something I pick up, but there are a couple authors I know will keep my attention and Suzanne is one of them. This series has been very good, but this book really kept my eyes glued to it. The whole community that has secrets, a lineage that may not be what it seems, and characters we will remember from other books all pull together to make a fascinating read. I was drawn mainly to Birdy. Her compassion and kindness made for a great character. Of course seeing Ruth as a nurse intrigued me. There is one part where she is talking to David Stoltzfus and something she said stuck in my mind. "There are many ways to serve God, David. The Amish don't have the corner on that. They just think they do."

 Purchase your copy of The Quieting here.


About the Book

The Stoltzfus family faces serious problems, both in the church and at home. Everyone in the community expects minister David Stoltzfus to fix things–fast. But David doesn’t work fast. He prefers to wait for God to work in individual hearts. However, even he is left wondering if the solution to their most pressing problem might be a Quieting. When David’s mother arrives, uninvited, more upheaval is in store. She has matchmaking plans for everyone in the family, including David and her eligible granddaughters–and especially for David’s niece Abigail. When Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem–but will it create another? Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher takes fans back to Stoney Ridge, delivering the twists, turns, and romance they adore.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.  

Blog Stops

May 17: Heidi Reads…
May 18: Just Commonly
May 19: A Holland Reads
May 21: cherylbbookblog
May 22: Giveaway Lady
May 23: Splashes of Joy
May 24: Lane Hill House
May 24: Book by Book
May 24: Mary Hake
May 29: Bukwurmzzz
May 29: Bigreadersite
May 30: Quiet Quilter

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Twenty years ago, my husband and I attended a large church with a dynamic senior pastor. Each Sunday, we would sit spellbound during 40 minute sermons—he was that good a preacher. And then a terrible thing came to light—this very man had been taking advantage of vulnerable women during counseling sessions. Fourteen women, it turned out, and the pastor remained unrepentant. As issues were dealt with, our entire church suffered. We were a hurting community. The sins of one affected all.

As I plotted out ‘The Bishop’s Family,’ I wanted to borrow the theme of how a leader’s sins hurts the church community. (Now, I need to clarify that this is not a novel that addresses sexual sin. However, it does address unrepentant sin in an ordained leader.) First, I spoke to some Amish friends to see if my story idea had any merit. Was I was on the right track? To my amazement, a similar situation to my novels had occurred in one Amish friend’s church, and it resulted in a “quieting.” That’s an Amish phrase that means revoking the responsibilities of an unrepentant ordained leader. Just like it sounds–he is, essentially, “quieted.”

In this novel, you’ll see the behind-the-scenes of Amish church leadership, and get a sense of how a community is hurting. And how it begins to heal, too.

This series began in the Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania community with The Imposter. More twists and turns are coming to Stoney Ridge after The Quieting—so stay tuned for The Devoted to hit bookshelves in early October. Just in time for autumn reading by a warm fireplace!

Warmly, Suzanne


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grab bag of Amish-made gifts worth over $100! Click the link to enter:

**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, May 21, 2016

Karen Barnett Through the Shadows with 5 Book #Giveaway

Through the Shadows

As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome---and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King's hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley---a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco's crooked politics---Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

Purchase a copy:

MY REVIEW- Karen Barnett is a wonderful author who is quite talented at her work. Reading her novels makes me feel like I have entered into a time machine, bringing San Francisco to life in the early 1900's. Through the Shadows is book number three and while this could be read alone, I believe it is best if you read them all in order. Makes more sense and since many of the same characters are involved through the story line, you should probably just read them all.

Elizabeth King is a woman with a past, one that has made her feel guilty and unworthy. So she compensates by trying to rescue the young Chinese girls from the plight they are forced into. Charles McKinley plays the handsome hero, but one who struggles with his own guilt of sorts. I found both of them to be incredibly human, facing issues that I understood and could empathize with. Yet again, Mrs Barnett has written an amazing story!


**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, May 12, 2016

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin with #Review

Someone Like You

Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.
A brand new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father’s less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort’s general manager and her college sweetheart.
With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can’t ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

MY THOUGHTS- Victoria Bylin has been a favorite author of mine ever since reading her first LI book, The Bounty Hunter's Bride. And yes, I have read them all :) The first ones though were shorter novels and I enjoyed how she fleshed out the characters in the small amount of time she had. Needless to say, she does an amazing job with her full length stories!

This book has a very hard subject and it deals with some things that many would find tough to write about. The issues and struggles these two characters deal with are so down to earth and I found myself recognizing some of the symptoms. Zeke, or Ezekiel Amos Monroe, seemed to be a good sort from the beginning, but as we all know, things are always the way they seem from the outside. Everything is definitely not well with him. I do love his secretary though :) Oh, and that resort? Give me a week there any time! Julia has struggles that we see in any Christian's life and I wanted to give her encouragement and admonishments all the way through the book. It is an enjoyable read, but definitely one that will have you thinking. Take your time as you simply let the lessons found in the pages sink in.


**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, May 10, 2016

Kids Academy #1 Math Game #App Printable #Worksheet #Free

kids free app
 Kids Academy Releases #1 Math Games: Singapore Maths App for Android and Updates iOS Version of Math Games App for Kids in Preschool & Kindergarten. Kids Academy is a well-known mobile app developer working in the sphere of children’s early education. The team combines all the expertise, creativity and truly remarkable skills to develop a wide range of best educational games and fun worksheets for kids. The great news is that the team just released the long-awaited update #1 Math Games: Singapore Maths App for Kids in Preschool & Kindergarten - iOS version of the app.
itunes kids
This best math app for kids in preschool and kindergarten offers a great variety of fun educational games for kids. Children will get a fantastic chance to:
• train their brains • enhance their attention and concentration • improve their cognitive skills • learn to follow instructions
While playing the fun math games, little mathematicians will grasp their numbers, addition and subtraction facts in a fun and enjoyable way. Kids will trace numbers, master their geometric shapes, practice skip counting and acquire other useful skills too. The cool math games by Kids Academy are based on the famous Singapore Math method. They help children visualize math problems and solve them in a simple way. You can find a number of best educational apps for children by Kids Academy featured in the Family section of the Android store in the USA, Australia and Canada. This featuring is a reliable indicator of high quality and value of the fun educational games created by this team. android google play


We have more terrific news from Kids Academy. Available NOW is the long-awaited Android version of their cool #1 Math Games: Singapore Maths App.  Wow! I really, really love the new updated version of this math game. The previous version was good, fun and did teach math, but the newest version allows for more learning, is much more fun, and is quite more developed. When you first sign up, you will have the option of a 7 day free trial and then paying for the app. For the price, it really isn't bad. Try it out and see how your children like it for the 7 days and go from there but I am sure you will be buying it. This version has changed from the tracing to combining sets, addition and subtraction, as well as shapes. And like I said, much more interesting. You do math with penguins and little green aliens, birds and squirrels :) Great app for teaching children math! This app has it all! It boasts hundreds of new cool math games, videos and interactive surprises. Your kid is sure to love the new innovative system of motivation and rewards, lively music, colorful graphics and amusing animation. Parents will be happy too – while kids play the new fun math games, they will not need any assistance from grown-up.

  itunes app store

  Apple users can download the new Version 3.0.0 of the best educational app from Kids Academy now, Android users can download here after the release in mid-May! But that's not all. You can also try out the impressive collection of free printable worksheets and educational games on Kids Academy website. View a great variety of pre-school and kindergarten worksheets by topic and choose the perfect printables for your little learners. Download and print out the fun worksheets and give your kid a wonderful head start on math, writing, reading and other useful skills. free-worksheets

Click here to check out the Free cute worksheets for learning kids.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Intriguing Mystery in Gone To Ground! #Review


Amaryllis, Mississippi is a scrappy little town of strong backbone and southern hospitality. A brick-paved Main Street, a park, and a legendary ghost in the local cemetery are all part of its heritage. Everybody knows everybody in Amaryllis, and gossip wafts on the breeze. Its people are friendly, its families tight. On the surface Amaryllis seems much like the bright and lovely flower for which it’s named. But the Amaryllis flower is poisonous. 
In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago—a sixth murder.

Clearly a killer lives among the good citizens of Amaryllis. And now three terrified women are sure they know who he is—someone they love. None is aware of the others’ suspicions. And each must make the heartrending choice to bring the killer down.

But each woman suspects a different man.

MY THOUGHTS-Brandilyn Collins is one of my favorite mystery writers. Her first series has always been a favorite and I am hard pressed to pick another mystery series that I like as much as that one. This novel here was good, just nowhere near as good as the others. I found the plot to be a little strange, and the writing was almost disjointed at times. Once you actually get into the story and realize what is going on it is a little bit easier, but at times I wasn't sure who I was reading about or what exactly was going on. I know, part of a mystery, but for some reason it was hard to get into.

**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.**

After A Fashion by Jen Turano Book #Review


Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income. 
Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

MY REVIEW-Jen Turano is one of those authors whom you go to when you need a good laugh. Her writing style is funny and though sometimes the characters go a bit overboard, you will never leave without cracking a smile. After A Fashion is the first in a new series, A Class of Their Own, and I found it delightful.

Harriet is a young lady who I would have loved to know. She is fun, an entrepreneur in her own right, and just happens to catch the eye of a businessman with plenty of means. Of course, they strike up a deal that might end up in both of them falling in love! Oliver, the hero of the story, is quite intriguing but I have to admit, one of the reasons I loved this book would have to be Buford, the gigantic dog of Oliver's! A big baby but he sure comes in handy at times :)

Again, an entertaining novel that I enjoyed. Thank you Jen for a good laugh when I needed it!

**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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