Sunday, May 21, 2017

Temperature Blanket - Week 20

May 14: 72
May 15: 75
May 16: 87 Rain from 2:30 - 3:30 am & 4:30 - 5:30 am
May 17: 85 Dan's birthday
May 18: 79 Rain from 4:00 - 5:00 am
May 19: 52
May 20: 63 Rain from 2:00 - 4:30 pm & 10:00 - midnight


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: "An Encore for Estelle" by Kimberly Rose Johnson



"An Encore for Estelle" is the second book in the "Melodies of Love" series. Having met Estelle in book one (and not liking her that well), it was fun to see her story and how much she had changed in the six years since "A Love Song for Kayla". I thought the book was well written and flowed well. Blake and Estelle were fun together. It was interesting to see how their relationship grew quietly, almost in the background. There were good Biblical truths given throughout the book, especially in regards to not carrying around guilt that God wants to take from you. I liked the fact that we got to see Derek and Kayla again and find out how they were doing. I look forward to being able to read "A Waltz for Amber" (book 3) when it comes out.

"An Encore for Estelle" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Melodies of Love
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Sweet Rose Press (May 16, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0998431516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998431512
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 5822 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sweet Rose Press (May 29, 2017)
  • Publication Date: May 29, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B071Z3C5SG

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston

About the Book



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Book: The Beloved Hope Chest
Author: Amy Clipston
Genre: Amish
Release Date: May 9, 2017
In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.
Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.
But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?
Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

About the Author

clipstona_portrait (1)AMY CLIPSTON is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. She has sold more than 1 million books, and her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at amyclipston.comFacebook: AmyClipstonBooks and Twitter: @AmyClipston
My Thoughts I enjoyed reading the wrap up to the "An Amish Heirloom Novel" series. This book was well written and easy to read. I found myself reading for longer periods of time than I had planned as I didn't want to put it down. I found it interesting to see the start of Mattie and Leroy's relationship. It was not anything like I had expected. It was nice to see the tie-ins with the rest of the books in the series and how Mattie and Leroy were able to relate to their daughters in their problems because of what they went through. The Biblical principles woven through the book were nice. I will be sad to not be able to visit the Fisher family anymore, but look forward to reading other books by Amy Clipston.

Guest post from Amy Clipston

I am thrilled to share the The Beloved Hope Chest, which is the final installment of my Amish Home series.
In The Beloved Hope Chest, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of. Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades? Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.
This book is very close to my heart since it is the last in my Amish Heirloom series. I’ve grown to love the Fisher family, and writing Mattie and Leroy’s story was bittersweet. This is a very emotional story, and I poured my heart and soul into it. I hope you enjoy this book since it reveals all of the mysteries that have been placed throughout the series.

Blog Stops

May 13: Just Commonly
May 16: A Greater Yes
May 17: Quiet Quilter
May 18: Splashes of Joy
May 19: Pause for Tales
May 19: Book by Book
May 21: Bigreadersite

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a copy of An Amish Home and an handpicked Amish goodie chosen by Amy to two winners! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3b3

"The Beloved Hope Chest" is available in paperback:
  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 9, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310341973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310341970
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches

and Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 998 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310341973
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 9, 2017)
  • Publication Date: May 9, 2017
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HAKH230

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Temperature Blanket - Week 19

May 7: 55
May 8: 58
May 9: 64
May 10: 69 Rain from 9:00 pm - midnight
May 11: 64 Rain from midnight - 2:00 am
May 12: 68
May 13: 73




Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Review: "The Cherished Quilt" by Amy Clipston

"The Cherished Quilt" is the 3rd book in the "An Amish Heirloom Novel" series. This book is the youngest Fisher sister, Emily's story. Each book could be read as a standalone book, but you get a much fuller and complete picture by reading them in order. I had gotten to know Emily from the first two books and was anxious to read her story. The book flowed really well and I didn't want to put it down. I liked how the Biblical principles were woven through the story and how the characters grew during the course of the book. Like the first two books, this book gives a little glimpse into the secrets that the girls' mamm is keeping locked up inside her hope chest.

"The Cherished Quilt" is available in paperback:
  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (November 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310341965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310341963
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches


and Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 2525 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310341965
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (November 29, 2016)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01CXDN5R6


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Temperature Blanket - Week 18

Another new month has started! I am 1/3 done with my blanket.

Apr 31: 42 Rain all day
May 1: 64 Rain from 5:00 am - 8:30 am & 3:30 - midnight
May 2: 47 Rain from midnight - 7:30 am & 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
May 3: 57
May 4: 49
May 5: 59
May 6: 60

Using my temperature scale, I had the following number of days of each temperature. (The first number is for just April and the second is cumulative for the whole year)

 < 9 :   0/0
10-14: 0/2
15-19: 0/2
20-24: 0/5
25-29: 0/10
30-34: 0/14
35-39: 1/21
40-44: 1/13
45-49: 2/9
50-54: 5/12
55-59: 3/10
60-64: 5/8
65-69: 4/4
70-74: 5/6
75-79: 1/1
80-84: 2/2(15 colors)

Using the more common scale, I would have ended up with:

 <  22: 0/8
23-32: 0/23
33-43: 2/36
44-53: 5/19
54-66: 11/22
67-77: 9/10
78-88: 2/2(7 colors)



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "A Second Chance" by Alexis Goring

About the Book
Book cover (2)
Book: A Second Chance
Author: Alexis A. Goring
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Jan 25, 2017

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.
Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.
Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

About the Author

Original photo of Alexis A. Goring, Nov. 2014Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

 My thoughts

This book had a nice story with Traci and Marc each getting a second chance at love. It didn't flow as easily for me as some books and seemed a bit stilted. I kept wondering why Marc would run off from knowing Traci was going to get an inheritance when she got married. The extra story line of Marc's sister and her being a widow seemed unresolved and not completely necessary. I also was concerned over the line in Marc's prayer where he said, "If Gina continues to follow you, she'll see her husband again." This makes it sound like she has to work to get to Heaven, but if she has accepted Jesus as her Savior, then she'll go to Heaven and see her husband after she dies. I did like how the characters turned to God to see what His will was for their lives. 

Guest Post from Alexis Goring

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God has good plans for every single person living here on Earth. It’s important to remember to trust Him because no matter how bleak a situation looks, hope is always on the horizon when God’s in the picture…and the good news is that no matter what God is always in the picture.
I thought that it would be a good idea to explore the theme of Jeremiah 29:11 through a fictional story about characters who are in need of a second chance in life and love. So I create Traci and Marc and wrote their story, A Second Chance.
Traci and Marc are entry-level journalists therefore they struggle with the industry’s tough system of paying your dues and they know the conflicts firsthand about struggling to pay your bills because of that system.
But it’s not just the bills that weigh heavily on their hearts. Traci and Marc are facing battles that are unique to their individual life stories but common to people in the real world.
When the reader meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical because she was left at the altar. Her fiancĂ© ran off with her Maid of Honor and left Traci with a mile-high stack of bills to pay for their wedding that never happened. So when Traci’s Mom shows up on her doorstep with an inheritance letter that stipulates Traci must be married before receiving her inheritance from her late grandfather, Traci is closer to destroying the letter and being a bachelorette for life than she is about husband hunting.
When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight. But they soon learn that he has trust issues because of his previous romantic relationships with women who would dump him because he was “too nice.” However, his niceness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina who is struggling to raise her children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Naturally, Marc wants to help his sister. So he volunteers to babysit her kids and take them out of the house so that she can meet her book deadlines. Gina is a bestselling romance novelist.
All of these main characters go on their own faith journey with God. Some resist His love at first (like Traci), some draw back because of broken trust (like Marc) and some heal slowly from pain (like Gina) but they all realize how much they need God in their life.
Faith elements are a woven lightly throughout this story but also go deep as the characters work toward wholeness and restoration.
If anything, this is a story about how the Creator of the Universe (God) loves humankind and desires to restore broken hearts, homes and lives.
I hope that you will enjoy reading this book!
God bless your heart.
Sincerely,
Alexis A. Goring
Author of A Second Chance

Blog Stops

May 9: A Greater Yes
May 10: Quiet Quilter
May 11: Remembrancy
May 14: Carpe Diem

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away four eBook copies of her book – A Second Chance!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b54b


"A Second Chance" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Winged Publications (January 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1944203931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1944203931
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches


or in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 3671 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications (January 25, 2017)
  • Publication Date: January 25, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MSBMKEP



I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Behind the Scenes" by Jen Turano

About the Book

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Click to purchase
Book: Behind the Scenes
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Release Date: April, 2017
Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”
Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.
As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

About the Author

jen-turanoJen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this book! I laughed and was surprised and was amazed all at different points in the book. I liked Permilia and her refreshing look on life. It was fun to watch Permilia and Asher's relationship grow and develop. The mystery of who was behind the threat to Asher was a total mystery right up until the bad guy walked into the room and revealed their intent. I found myself reading longer than I had intended at any particular time because the story pulled me in and I didn't want to put it down.  I liked how there was a little bit of history mixed in with the novel and a little bit of Cinderella as well.

Interview With Jen Turano

  1. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?
Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.
  1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?
“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.
  1. Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?
I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.
  1. Where is your favorite place to write?
I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.
  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.
  1. Why did you choose the timeframe or setting this book is written in?
I’ve been wanting to set a book during Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball of March, 1883, for years. Since I decided to slowly travel through the Gilded Age, I just reached 1883 on my plot timeline, so knew I was finally going to get to throw some characters into the very midst of Alva’s ball. It was a blast to write, loved going back to all my books on this particular ball and seeing the pictures, and only wish the Vanderbilt house at 660 Fifth Avenue was still standing so I could visit it in person to visualize the splendors located inside a little more clearly.
  1. What inspires you?
I think like most writers, I simply get inspired by the world around me. I love to people watch, and I love to imagine all sorts of outlandish scenarios as I do that watching. I also get inspired by reading the headlines of the daily papers, and by the research books I read. I also love to look through old photographs of the Gilded Age, and became intrigued with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball when I saw a picture of a young lady, Miss Kate Strong, with a stuffed cat on her head and wearing a choker necklace with the name Puss engraved on it. That was all it took for me to investigate the Vanderbilt ball further, delighted to discover it truly was a ball that only comes along every blue moon.

Blog Stops

April 27: The Scribbler
April 27: Genesis 5020
April 28: Back Porch Reads
April 29: Bookworm Mama
April 29: Karen Sue Hadley
April 30: Lighthouse Academy
April 30: Radiant Light
April 30: Bigreadersite
April 30: Lane Hill House
May 3: Book by Book
May 5: Baker Kella
May 6: A Greater Yes
May 6: Just Commonly
May 8: Giveaway Lady

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04910/

"Behind the Scenes" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Apart From the Crowd (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 18, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217944
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 4902 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 18, 2017)
  • Publication Date: April 18, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01M5AM9OF

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.