Thursday, June 27, 2013

Falling in Love with God by Bob Hostetler

Book Description:  Every human heart longs to love and be loved. And every heart is unfulfilled until it falls in love with God.
Why does anyone want to ''fall in love?'' With anyone? Perhaps it is because we instinctively recognize that love is the most pleasurable of all human sensations. Love makes us feel good. It satisfies our deepest needs. And if falling in love with another human being can do all of those things . . . how much more powerful could it be to fall in love with God?
HOW TO FALL IN LOVE WITH GOD answers that question. Drawing from the ancient love story of Hosea, a prophet whose life and prophecy map how to fall in love with God, this book will fulfill the desires of all who long for a different--or deeper--relationship with God. This thoroughly biblical book will help and bless readers who long to love God with all their hearts . . . but just aren't sure why they don't, if they could, or how it happens.

My Thoughts:  As a christian I thought, "I need to read this book!"  Falling in Love with God seems like it should be a "given" when we are following Him.  But I think that reading about and recapturing that first love is why we, all, need a reminder of how to fall in love with God.  To know of God and to love God are two very different things. I want a heartfelt love!
I found it interesting that Bob Hostetler used the story of Hosea.  Hosea was faithful to God but when Hosea married a young woman she became unfaithful to him.  Yet, Hosea went to great lengths to win his wife back, even though she had truly turned her back on his love. Such a loving God we have!  God, like Hosea, woos us and wants us to return His love.  How can we not fall in love with such a wonderful God who loves us best!
That vacuum that many people try to fill with other"loves" is simply needing God the Creator's love.
Mr. Hostetler writes with a creative pen as he describes our need to be in love with God.  He includes stories of people and their relationships . . . how they fell in love and were wooed by their spouses.  
An interesting and beautiful read about our relationship of how to fall in love with God-the One who loves us most!  
A must read for those who love God and want Him to be first in their lives!
*This book was provided by Leafwood Publishers*
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891123741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891123743

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Lemon Cookies

I found this delightful yummy lemon cookie on
Lemon cookies are a summertime treat!
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3.Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{Kregel Blog Tour} Rainbows for Rainy Days (40 devotional readings that reveal God's promises) by Catherine Campbell

Book Description:  Catherine Campbell's experience as a nurse and as the mother of two girls who both inherited a rare genetic condition that required constant care until their deaths at ages 10 and 13 has given her a unique insight into suffering. As an inspirational speaker, she frequently encounters people with tragic stories. And yet she believes that God is Lord and that in both good times and bad, He is always good.

My Thoughts:  Rainbows for Rainy Days by Catherine Campbell is a collection of devotionals readings for 40 days.
Catherine Campbell has dealt with quite a bit of grief and yet she knows that God is there for her just as He was there with a promise of the rainbow when Noah and his family had gone through some rough waters.
This small, hardback book is chock full of encouragement with Scriptures at the top of each page where the devotional begins.
All of the devotionals are inspiring and encouraging but the one that "popped" out at me was on p. 24, day/number 36:  "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9b.
Joshua faced the biggest task and the biggest fear of his life. God saw his fear and God was telling Joshua, I will be with you every step of the way. Yes, Catherine has had devastating lost in her life but yet she writes not of her experiences but she writes from God's Word to encourage others.
Such an encouraging read!
This book makes a great gift or it would make a great "card" for someone who is going through a rough patch in life.

*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*
  • Visit Catherine's page HERE!
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books; 1st New edition edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857212893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857212894

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson

Book Description:  There’s nothing quite like family—for good or bad. But in a world where we sometimes know more about the Kardashians than we do the people sleeping right down the hall, it’s easy to forget that walking through life with our family offers all sorts of joy wrapped up in the seemingly mundane. There’s even a little bit of sacred sitting smack-dab in the middle of the ordinary. And since time’s-a-wastin’, we need to be careful that we don’t take our people—and their stories—for granted. Whether it’s a marathon bacon-frying session, a road trip gone hysterically wrong, or a mother-in-law who makes every trip to the grocery store an adventure, author Sophie Hudson reminds us how important it is to slow down and treasure the day-to-day encounters with the people we love the most.

Written in the same witty style as Sophie’s BooMama blog, A Little Salty to Cut the Sweetis a cheerful, funny, and tender account of Sophie’s very Southern family. It’s a look into the real lives of real people—and a real, loving God right in the middle of it all.

My Thoughts:  With all of the reality shows on TV, I wonder if people forget that the family God gave them are the "real" people we need to be with!??!
I love the title of this book because that's exactly how a family unit can be classified  . . . a little Salty with the Sweet by  Sophie Hudson is a timely reminder that we need not take for granted the family that God has given us. Family, that group of people that we have so much in common with, those peoples who are there for us through thick and thin.   The ones we fight with (salty) and have fun with (sweet) and make memories with. Our family is the one we make "our story" with . . . they are the ones who know us best.
Remember that one (or maybe more than one) vacation that went terribly wrong.  You know the one, where the rear axle on your family car kept coming off as you made your way home from Grandma's house and your dad kept stopping every couple of miles to fix it.  But in the end we had to get a hotel room and didn't go to church that Sunday because dad was fixing the axel?  We ate doughnuts for breakfast and read Good Housekeeping!  See, if you have a memory like that you probably have a family that has many memories.  Keep those memories and write them down.
Great book!  And a great gift, too!  I'm thinking that this will make a 
great grandparents day gift...or a great gift for that baby shower in July!
*Tyndale Publishing*

List Price:
Trim Size:
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 
June 2013    

Friday, June 21, 2013

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

Book Description:  When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted–more interested in art than in oil–she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire.
The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down. Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them–her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage–and earn the right to love her.But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love–and their belief that God can work through every circumstance–survive?

My Thoughts:  Meg is a millionaire heiress and just wants to get back to her humble apartment.  She isn't interested in all that money!  
And Bo. Well, he's just a plain good cowboy.  He wants  to be angry at Meg but, well, he just can't help like her and protect her.
Bo has a dream and Meg could very well take that dream away.  But as they draw closer together and get to know one another . . . it seems that they're both more alike than they thought.
Family issues . . . her family is outraged about Bo, a lowly commoner, would be with an heiress.  
Meg has "something" from her past that may break the camel's back.  Can love withstand this "something?"
If you love horses and all things Texas and cowboys/cowgirls then this is the book for you!
A great  fun, christian, contemporary romance.  As in no sickly love scenes just plain ole' good romance that makes one feel those sweet tingles!
*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209758

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yikes!!! by Bill Myers

Book Description:  In an effort to find the last of the fuel ingredients for their time pod, 23rd-century goofballs Tuna and Herby transport themselves to Africa. Unfortunately, they also transport TJ Finkelstein and half of her 7th-grade science class, including TV star Hesper Breakahart and dreamy Chad Steel. In the jungle, the Time Stumblers’ usual mayhem jumps to a new level as Herby is adopted by a mother gorilla, Tuna is transformed into an ostrich chick, and the students are taken in by an African tribe. When Hesper tries to escape by leaping into a raging river, TJ finds that it’s time to begin showing the leadership qualities that Tuna and Herby claim she’ll have someday as a world leader. Thanks to her, everyone makes it home safely, and the Time Stumblers fuel up their time pod, leaving with laughter, tears . . . and one last zany surprise for TJ.

My Thoughts:  Summer time is here!  And that means reading fun books during the summer for our newly turned teen.  He loves books by Bill Myers!  He began reading books authored by Bill Myers when he was 8 years old.
Of course, I read these books too.  Well, they are just so much fun!
TJ and the Time Stumblers (I love that word...stumblers! )  This word suggest that they "just happened upon a discovery" and this is why my son loves this series . . . the adventure!
This time TJ and his friends are transported to the jungle.  Yikes! Every 7th grade boys dream! Without his mom, of course.  Yikes!  The escapades these kids get into is fun but then fun has a price.  Time for TJ to get it together!  
It's not just any ole adventure, but Bill Myers uses that zany humor of his 
to make this an adventure that is laugh.out.loud funny!

*Tyndale Publishing*
List Price:
Trim Size:
5 1/4 x 7 1/4 
February 2012 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aaaargh!!! (TJ and the Time Stumblers) by Bill Myers

Book Description:  This six-book series centers around two 23rd century goofballs, Tuna and Herby, who travel back in time to study TJ Finkelstein for their history project. TJ will someday become a great leader who demonstrates honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, self-sacrifice, respect for others—all traits she hones and grasps through her adventures in this series. Unfortunately, Tuna and Herby get stuck in TJ’s time (modern day), so she has to deal with their schemes while juggling the normal issues of a seventh grader who has moved to a new city, is trying to fit in, and is coping with her mother’s death and her family’s new life. 
In AAAARGH!!!, Tuna and Herby try to help TJ with a book report by getting the author to write it for her, but all three of them quickly see the consequences of cheating spiral out of control. Meanwhile, TJ’s cute neighbor and classmate Chad Steel is getting ready for a big surfing competition—and learning his own lesson about honesty.

My Thoughts:  Bill Myers is one my favorite children's authors.  He's funny and extremely talented in presenting a creative message to children through the written word.
TJ and the Time Stumblers are always  on the look out for a new adventure, sometimes just stumbling on one (hence the name Time Stumblers =)
This is the second book in a six book series.  And is filled with some good issues that seventh graders (middle schoolers) might have to deal with). Bill Myers does a great job of bringing out the sadness of losing a parent without being sappy.
We're reading all the series this summer because it's such a fun and unique series.
Life lessons, faith filled fun and in this book truth/honesty.  

*Tyndale Publishing*

  • Age Range: 8 and up 
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Kids (May 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414334540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414334547

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Puzzle Cookies

Summer times is HERE!  And what to do? 
Well, I found this picture on Pinterst and the cookie cutter at Hobby Lobby. 

We made a basic sugar cookie recipe, added sprinkles to the dough and made puzzle pieces.  It was SO much fun and we had fun trying to make a puzzle that actually fit together...after we sampled the cookies. {smile}

I like Martha Stewart's cookie dough:  Martha Stewart's sugar cookie dough


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Love Stays True {The Homeward Journey, Book One) Martha Rogers

Book Description:  Can Sallie and Manfred overcome the distance that the war has put between them and find love?
 In April 1865, the day following the surrender at Appomattox, Manfred McDaniel Whiteman and his brother, Edward, are released in an exchange of prisoners. They are given a few provisions, and they begin a long journey to their home in Bayou Sara, Louisiana. At home Sallie Dyer is waiting word of her beloved Manfred. Though just a young girl when Manfred left, Sallie has grown into a caring young woman who is determined to wait for her love—despite her father’s worries that she is wasting her life on someone who may never come home. On their journey Manfred and his brother encounter storms and thieves and are even thrown in jail. Will he make the journey home before someone else claims Sallie’s hand?

My Thoughts: Love Stays True By Martha Rogers is written about a time when the Union and the Confederate soldiers were exchanged.  Manfred and his brother, Edward, are exchanged and given the barest of provisions as they head home to Louisiana.
All the time that Manfred was held captive his girlfriend, Sallie, waits patiently at home for him to return.  She knows that he loves her and she loves him . . .he love remains true!
But as life would have it not all is coming up roses on the home shore.  Sallie and her family have had to defend themselves at times to save their own lives and their homes.  
Now Sallie's father believes that Sallie should marry a young man and not wait for Manfred.  How can Manfred come home when he's been gone for so long.  But Sallie never gives up hope.  Until . . . 
On their long journey home, poor Manfred and Edward not only have to endure the terrible weather conditions but they are thrown in jail.  Not again!
Never one to give up Manfred decides that he loves grits after days of not eating. 
This is a delightful historical romance that is all about honor and truth.
Martha Rogers always pens a delightful story but this is her best book yet!  I loved this read . . . it's a great read for a lazy, rainy day or a day at the beach!

*This book was provided for review by Bookteria*
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Realms (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621362361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621362364

A Bride For All Seasons {Mail-Order Bride Collection} Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy & Robin Lee Hatcher

Book Description:  It all started with an ad in a mail-order bride catalogue . . .
This charming bouquet of novellas introduces you to four Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue prospects in the year 1870, all eager for second chances . . . and hungry for happiness. Year in, year out, they'll learn that love often comes in unexpected packages.
"And then Came Spring" by Margaret Brownley
Mary-Jo has traveled halfway across the country to meet her match, arriving just in time for his funeral. Returning home seems like her only option until her would-be brother-in-law proposes a more daring idea.
"An Ever After Summer" by Debra Clopton
Ellie had no idea she's not what Matthew ordered. And what's wrong with being a "Bible thumper" anyway? She's determined to show him she's tougher than she looks-and just the girl he needs.
"Autumn's Angel" by Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena would be perfect for Clay if she didn't come with kids. But kids are a deal breaker, especially in a rough-and-trouble mining town. ­ The trouble is, there's no money to send them back . . .
"Winter Wedding Bells" by Mary Connealy
David's convinced he's not long for the world. He needs someone to mother his boys when he's gone-nothing more. Can plucky Irish Megan convince him to work at living instead of dying?
My Thoughts:  This a book with four novellas or short novels.  I picked this read because these four ladies write great romantic novels.  Not the mushy, yucky kind but the fun, faith filled kind.  
That mail order catalogue started this whole thing.  You know where men are working and there aren't any women to marry.  So they advertise for a bride.  It seems like a good idea at the time and then, well, "things don't always go as planned.  God always has our best interest at heart and these stories show that God is in control even when a mail-order catalogue seems like the only answer.
This mail-order bride thing seems so funny to me.  But I didn't live in the 1800's!  A lot of history is included in these reads.
I like all the novellas but I love Debra Clopton's story.  Debra is hilarious, to me.  All the stories are well written, short stories of love on the line!
If you enjoy faith filled love stories then you'll love these!
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze*
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401688535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401688530

{Kregel Blog Tour} Red Dawn Rising (Book 2, Red Returning Trilogy)

Book Description:  Twenty-seven-year-old Cass Rodino is a hardworking, dedicated set designer on Broadway. But, like the actors who take the stage every night, she is masking a different reality.
Evgeny Kozlov has secrets of his own. As Cass and Evgeny separately set out to save Liesl from an impending doom, both are hurled into a fierce CIA/FBI dragnet, not knowing that their formidable opponent—a most unlikely predator—is already closing in on them.
Book 2 of the Red Returning Trilogy, Red Dawn Rising mixes suspense, action, and romance in a tale of personal tragedy and triumph that will keep readers pivoting between the evil desires of world powers and the redeeming powers of personal faith, life, and love.

My Thoughts:  Red Dawn Rising is the second book in the Red Returning Trilogy.  Yes, I would suggest that the reader read the first book in this trilogy, The Sound of Red Returning.  I read The Sound of Red Returning so as I began this second novel I wasn't stumped when events and characters from the previous book were mentioned.
I enjoyed the first book but this second book is even better!  And I love the cover! 
Espionage, romance, traitors and good vs. evil!  My.O.My! What a read!
The first few pages of this read captured me and I simply couldn't put the book down . . . I got so caught up in Cass and Evgeny's secrets and the rescue of Liesl, the great pianist they are trying to keep from assassination!  Cass and Evegeny keep the trail hot as they both work for the greater good.  Then enter the FBI & CIA who are trying to hold back a greater evil that could destroy the U.S. presidential administration.  
The mix of military, common life, and romance makes for one suspenseful read!  It keeps the reader  glued to the pages wondering and guessing how this scenario will play out.  The twists and turns in events is what keeps the reader enthralled with the lives of Liesl, Cass and Evgeny.
An absolutely grand-tastic read for those who enjoy spies, faith in God, romance and suspense!  I loved this read!!
*This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications*

About the Author: 
Suspense novelist Sue Duffy says, "It's thrilling to me to enter the world of those on the run, whose senses must sizzle on high alert, pitting their wits against the enemy's to survive." With a journalism degree from the University of Florida, she wrote for ad agencies, newspapers, and magazines before penning her first novel, "Mortal Wounds." Her second, "Fatal Loyalty," was a 2010 finalist for Foreword Review's Book of the Year Award. Her third novel, "The Sound of Red Returning," launches a trilogy about the Russian threat and a young pianist who stumbles into the web of global terrorism. The author also is an avid boater, tennis player, golfer, and pianist.

Visit Sue Duffy HERE!

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (April 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825442664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825442667

Monday, June 17, 2013

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Welcome to a New Clash--April's Emotion-filled New Releases!

Beach trips, mountain jaunts and lazy days in the swing on the front porch. Tis the season to enjoy a great read outdoors. Clash of the Titles’s got five brand new April releases to recommend. It’ll be difficult to choose from these three romances, a mystery with suspense, and women’s fiction. The stories tell of a woman who falls in love with an Army veteran with PTSD; a kidnapped doctor accused of murder; a woman yearning for a family; a lady with a heart attack and spiritually broken heart; and three unwed mothers from three different eras. All will tug at your heart. But please select the one you most want to get lost in. Then vote for it below.

Cindy Waymire, a college senior in search for a topic for an upcoming sociology paper, finds more than a topic when she meets Army veteran and college freshman Danny Flynn outside the student union. An undeniable attraction to this troubled veteran leads her on a difficult and winding path that brings her to a crossroads—get into a relationship with a man who has serious mental health problems or turn her back on one of the best men she’s ever met.

Dr. Matt Newman escapes from kidnappers only to land in the ICU then awaken to find the police are convinced he’s a killer, and he’s still a target. Can attorney Sandra Murray and he find the truth before it’s too late?

Terri Hayes owns a thriving Day Care but hungers for a child of her own  while  writer Steve Evans has all the family he needs. Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive them further apart, or does God have another plan?

What would you do if the one man who can help is the one man you can’t trust? A heart attack has stopped workaholic Mara Keegan in her tracks, but Mara’s heart needs to be healed in more ways than one—will Joel Ryan help her or take all she has left?

Three women from three different eras face the aftermath of unwed pregnancies, desperate for hope. Can it be found in the memoirs of Anna, who ran a home for unwed Moms in the 1890’s, or is there no link to their cries for help and their source of hope?

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Breakthrough (Precinct 11) by Jerry B. Jenkins

Cover: The Breakthrough

Book Description:  As the youngest bureau chief and head of the Chicago Police Department's Major Case Squad, Boone Drake seems to have it all under control. Only those closest to him know that just a few short years ago, he lost everything that mattered to him in a tragic accident. After years of healing, his life is back on track. He recently married a wonderful woman named Haeley, adopted her son, bought a beautiful home, and rediscovered his faith. But Boone can't fight the feeling that something is about to go terribly wrong . . . again.When an all-too-personal case takes Boone to Beijing at a time when Haeley can least afford to let him go, Boone is forced to make a difficult choice. There he becomes enmeshed in a dangerous human-trafficking ring that takes him through the famed Hutong District's narrow streets, alleys, and hovels. Teamed with a former Liberation Army officer, Boone has one chance to pull off an elaborate sting and rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.
My Thoughts: I began reading Jerry B. Jenkins  books years ago when the Left Behind Series first appeared. Jerry's writing is quick witted and fiery...reminds me of toasting marshmallows on a campfire and then whoosh the marshmallow catches fire...the reader is caught of guard and is taken through a different field of vision.
I think it's important that the reader read, at least the first book in this series, The Betrayal, so that one can understand Boone Drake.  Drake has gone through some harrowing experiences and now that he is married to Haeley and has adopted her son, well, can a good cop ever let "things" go?!?! Not Boone!
The depths of human trafficking and the evil practically drip off of the pages...not for the weak of heart.  Jerry B. Jenkins makes a great case for helping those caught in this web of deceit and lies.
A captivating and courageous story in the third book of Precinct 11!
*Tyndale Publishing*
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414335849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414335841

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Cute Father's Day Gift!

Father's Day is this Sunday and I thought I'd share what we're making for our dad:
No, it doesn't require an oven but he'll love it!
I found it the idea room and it's a FREE Printable!
Just supply your dad's favorite candy bar!