Thursday, November 15, 2018

Book Review: Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher has a way of weaving together the stories of love that leave you wanting to know what happens next. In Who I Am with You, we get the stories of both Jessica and her Great-Grandparents.

I really enjoyed both stories but the redemption story of the great-grandparents was heartbreaking and heartwarming. Loved it! The more modern second chances story of Jessica and Ridley was also really special. I can't wait for the next book!

There were 2 special moments (of the many in this book) that stood out to me.

One was a prayer that Ridley prayed "For food in a world where many walk in hunger; for faith in a world where many walk in fear; for friends in a world where many walk alone; we give you humble thanks, O Lord. Amen."

The other special moment happens in a restaurant in the Great-grandparents story as Jessica's great grandmother returns to the table. I nearly cried.

I can't recommend this book highly enough and pretty much everything else by Robin Lee Hatcher is amazing!

I received and advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my review but I would have read it anyways. All the thoughts here are my own.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Review: The Rancher's Surprise Daughter by Jill Lynn

Luc and Cate didn’t part well. In fact when she told him to get lost, he did what she wanted and let her go. So when Cate shows up at Lucas’ family ranch with a surprise in tow, he is to say the least a little shocked to see her. Can Lucas find a way to hold on without scaring Cate off again?

The Rancher’s Surprise Daughter was a fun summer read. It’s a great sit beside the pool and soak up a good story kind of book. The characters are really well developed and the plot is reminiscent of a good ol’ chick flick. I’ve always wanted to visit a working ranch and see the ins and outs of ranch life so the ranch setting of the book was charming. This story was heartwarming. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend this wonderful book. I’m thinking it would be a great stocking stuffer this year if you are already shopping for the holidays.

I received a free copy of this charming book for my honest review. But I would have read it anyways!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Who wants free books?

Just a quick post to let you know about these 5 books/novellas that are free right now on Kindle!


Where There's Smoke: (Montana Fire Book 1) by Susan May Warren

Three Little Words (Walker Family): A Novella by Melissa Tagg


Surrendered Hearts by Carrie Turansky

Friday, March 16, 2018

Book Review: Her Texas Cowboy by Jill Lynn

In Her Texas Cowboy by Jill Lynn, Rachel and Hunter have history. When Rachel left town she figured that's what they were...history. But when she comes back for a couple of months while waiting for a job to pan out, she gets more than she's bargained for.

Hunter never quite let go of Rachel when she left the first time. He still held out hope that one day she'd show up again. When she does, he's trying to not get either of them hurt. Luckily, neither of them has control over everything. And that always makes for a fun story.

I really enjoyed this book! As the 3rd book in this series, it does a great job of continuing the story of this small Texas town. Both Hunter and Rachel are well rounded characters with realistic personalities. I love to read stories of people who seem and act real. It's always nice to read more about the lives of the characters that you met in earlier works.

My favorite part was the banter. Their conversations were straight out of a chick flick or those awesome black and white slapstick comedies. Jill is a great writer! If you haven't read the first 2 books in this series, they are equally amazing.

I got a free advance copy of this book for my honest review. You can get your copy of Her Texas Cowboy here. You can also try a free month of Amazon Prime where you can read lots of amazing books for free.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New year, New tip series January: The Trash

When we moved to our new rental home there were 2 large trash bins and an equally large recycling bin in the garage. They were huge and we were a little short on space in the garage as is was. Our family of 5 has never filled one bin except on rare occasions when we end up with boxes or lawn trash. Even when we had diapers in the house we had one "dumpster". And here is how we do it.

We collapse everything!

My husband spent time growing up in a military family on a base in another country where they had to ration their trash to one can. When we got married, I started doing this too. It just makes sense.

Here is an example of something that takes up space and doesn't have to. Pop-tart boxes aren't that big but when you place them into the trash can along with cereal boxes, milk cartons, etc. they take up lots of space.

Those big 12 pack soda boxes take up an inordinate amount of space until you rip them apart and/or collapse them. 2 liter bottles can be collapsed by taking off the lid and squeezing the air out then replacing the lid. We don't take out the trash more than once every 2 days or so.

And we had the trash and recycling guys come and pick up the extra bins which made more space in the garage!

Here is the flattened Pop-tart box for reference. It's almost flat! That takes up almost no space.

Get the kids involved. Especially if they are the ones taking out the trash. Take your aggression out on the boxes and stomp on them. See if you can get your trash down to one can!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Review: Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Ah, where to begin?

As always, Jen Turano writes the most hilarious Christian fiction ever. Behind the Scenes is the first in a new series called Apart from the Crowd. You are going to want to start this series by reading At Your Request. It’s a novella to get you started with the characters you’ll be following in this series.

This particular book follows the story of Miss Permilia Griswold. She’s the author of a gossip column which and she’s also privy to the details of New York society. She stumbles upon quite the mystery involving Mr. Asher Rutherford. And like most of Turano’s male leads, Asher doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into.

Turano writes some of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in recent years. Her historic settings and the mix of propriety and sometimes hilarious improprieties make for laugh out loud stories. The only problem with her books is that once you start reading, it’s impossible to stop. The characters are always relatable. The historic settings are always educational. All together, you will enjoy whatever wild ride you’ve been lucky enough to start.

I always highly recommend anything by Jen Turano. Her heroines are always a charming surprise.

I got this book for free for this review. I get to read all sorts of awesome, free books because I blog for Bethany House. If you’d like to learn more about Bethany House reviews just click here. This book and lots of others are available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited. Get your free month now!

Book Review: Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

Long Time Gone picks up almost immediately where No Way Up left off. However, I had probably about a 6 month gap between reading these books. So it took me a minute to remember the first book. Once that was taken care of, it was off to the races.

This series is about 3 siblings (Chance, Justin, and Sadie) and the ranch they are trying desperately to hold on to. Their stories are all taking place in and around the ranch. This particular book focuses on Justin and his love interest Angie.

Justin’s the rancher. He’s your typical rough and tumble cowboy. And Angie is the assistant to the local doctor. You tell that there’s chemistry between the two but they both are in a tough situation and it’s not exactly a great time to be thinking of romance. Nevertheless, their story is moving.

It’s always interesting to me in western type novels, the roles that the women play. Western women have never come off as dainty. They work and play alongside the men. They are no less feminine than the dainty female leads in other stories but they have a beauty all their own. Mary Connealy writes wonderful love stories with believable characters. Her heroines are people with whom you can identify. The men are always interesting and leave you wanting to know more.

I can’t wait to read the 3rd book in this series! If you haven’t read any of this series, you’ll want to start with The Boden Birthright. It’s a novella but it’s a great backstory for the series.

As always, I highly recommend anything written by Mary Connealy! Since I found out about her a couple years ago, I’ve read everything. You can’t go wrong with cowboys.

I got this book for free for this review. I get to read all sorts of awesome, free books because I blog for Bethany House. If you’d like to learn more about Bethany House reviews just click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Meaning of a Refrigerator

About 6 months ago, my family moved from the house we’d been renting for 8 years to a new house. The new house is double the size of the old one and we were thrilled with the house. It’s an older house with quite a few quirks. One such quirk was an eyesore of a hot tub on the back patio. It was not only old but also the home to a dead animal of some sort. The landlord most decidedly wanted the hot tub gone and had every intention of removing it...eventually. After being in the home for about a month, we removed it ourselves. We don’t dally.

The house has been a wonderful place to gather friends. It’s a wonderful party house. We’ve been having so much fun in this new house. As you probably know the kitchen is the center of any home. It’s the gathering place and the place warmth in a home. So when we discovered after a couple of months that the refrigerator that was no doubt really expensive when purchased had multiple issues, it became an annoyance.

At first the fridge not only didn’t produce ice and water but it also leaked water from the bottom. We just unhooked the water supply and decided we’d deal. Next we discovered that the freezer didn’t actually freeze. Well, the top half didn’t anyways. We couldn’t even use ice trays in it because they wouldn’t freeze. The bottom half would sometimes freeze. Luckily, we have an upright freezer in the garage. So anyways, we got use to it. We used the garage freezer. We bought a container to put water in the fridge so that we could have cold drinking water. We used the top half of the freezer for bread and things that didn’t need to necessarily freeze. We learned to adjust our expectations of a fridge.

Until...the fridge stopped closing. And by stopped I mean the interior of the fridge was somehow freezing and forcing the shelves forward making it impossible to keep the door closed. How does one adjust to that? I didn’t have an extra garage fridge. Just this one that refused to stay closed. So I removed the offending shelf. We moved groceries around. Forcing them into every inch of space that was available without smashing anything. We took off the door and tried to remount it to see if we could somehow force it to stay closed. And that worked for a bit.

Then the veggie drawer was being pushed forward and it cause the door to open again.

I’m a really patient person. I mean really patient. But I will admit that I spent many moments mentally swearing at the fridge. I slammed the door. I yelled at it. I did everything possible. It was a point of stress in the center of my gathering place. My home was at least once per day the scene of an unhappy mom. We’d have people over and they had to slam the door after getting water. So stressful. An embarrassment.

It wasn’t just a fridge. It was a point of stress. It was attacking my home. My peace. My way of providing for my family was being attacked. We had literally done everything to appease the piece of junk. I’m editing here because the words that come to mind aren’t necessarily kind and generous words that one would expect from a lady.

My husband removed the veggie drawer. And then it stayed closed. But seriously though, what is the point of a refrigerator if not to contain your food that needs to stay fresh. Shouldn’t it be an obvious thing that you can see what food you have purchased and stored in there. Instead, to open the door and see all the food piled up in what can only be described as the leaning tower of produce, it’s obnoxious to say the least. I think that was the final straw.

Because on Saturday, we searched Craigslist. We weren’t going to put up with it any more. The amount of food that has gone bad since using this fridge could feed us for at least another week. After a couple of failed attempts, we decided to try the Salvation Army store. They were having a 50% off sale. We got a “new” fridge for $90! No bells and whistles. No ice maker. No water in the door. Just a regular old side by side refrigerator.

After much ado, it was installed into our kitchen. It works and the food is visible. The freezer freezes. The water container makes the water so cold that I have to mix it with tap water :) I have ice trays filled with ice right now. It does what a refrigerator is suppose to do.

I realized that a refrigerator isn’t just a refrigerator. I mean it is but in this case it was a point of stress. If it works it’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s just a thing that is needling at you.

It’s not always a refrigerator, though, you know?

Maybe in your life it’s something else. Maybe it’s a thing or maybe it’s a relationship. But until it’s dealt with it’s just a point of stress. I don’t know. I just feel this sense of calm now. And it’s not just the refrigerator. But it’s definitely a big part of it. When I walk into the kitchen now, the space is bigger. I don’t have to worry that the food is going to be spoiled. I can be assured that the door is closed. I don’t have to be concerned about providing food for my family because something isn’t working.

I feel like the fridge is a symbol of something at the center of my home. A part of the heart of my home. And now it’s a point of peace, instead of stress. It works like it’s suppose to. It’s doing what it is intended to do and I don’t have to think about it anymore. Isn’t that always the way of things? One thing is out of whack and it just messes with your peace. Don’t wait to deal with things. If there is something that’s a point of stress, stop working around it. Deal with it! It’s not always an easy thing to do but you’ll feel better when it’s dealt with.

So, anyways. That’s what’s been happening in our neck of the woods.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Review: From This Day Forward

Okay, I’ll be honest here. I picked out this book because of the cover.

It happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, in reviewing the book I realized that I had chosen a book that is 4th in a series...

Fortunately, it's really good. That said, I had a hard time jumping into the middle (toward the end?) of a series. Snelling is an excellent writer and has written lots of series and stand alone novels. I hadn't read anything by her before this book showed up on my stack. But I can't wait to dig in to the beginning of this series and her other books. 

Deborah, Toby and Anton are all really well developed and the setting is also really interesting. Matchmaking stories are always great! I highly recommend starting at the beginning of this series and once you get to book 4 I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. 

I got this book in return for posting my review. If you'd like to get awesome books by amazing authors contact Bethany House. 

Book Review: Women in Science

Okay, so this one is a fun review. I mean they all are but this one had pictures :)

Women in Science is a wonderfully illustrated encyclopedia of 50 women you may not have heard of who made a huge difference in the world of science. It’s just so adorable!

My favorite is the page about Katherine Johnson. She’s one of the women portrayed in the new movie, Hidden Figures.

It’s a great book with lots of illustrated data graphics and so much information. I highly recommend this book as a reference for homeschooler and students of all sorts. It makes a great gift. I’m sure your science teacher would really love a copy!

It belongs on the shelf with other biography type books. And it’s just beautifully done!

I got the book in exchange for my review. If you'd like to get free books and read amazing authors join the fun at Blogging for Books. Click the button in the sidebar.