Friday, March 31, 2017

Month in Review: March

By this list, I didn't do much at all this month!

  • Wrote 0 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 0 crosses
  • Sewed 0 sock monkeys
  • Knit 0 hats (but knit 1 headwrap)
  • Exercised 23 days
  • Read in the Bible 30 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Sunday, March 26, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 12

    With having to order a new skein of yarn to finish the row for March 16th, I got behind in the actual crocheting of a row each day, so I just kept track of the temperatures and precipitation so I could do it when I got the new yarn. My new yarn came in on Thursday, but with getting ready for a birthday party, I didn't pick it up yet. I hope to get caught up next week and update with a picture.

    Mar 19: 44
    Mar 20: 54 Rain from 2:00 am - 4:00 am
    Mar 21: 51
    Mar 22: 33
    Mar 23: 45
    Mar 24: 71
    Mar 25: 40 Rain from 6:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "21 Days of Grace" compiled by Kathy Ide

    About the Book

    21 Days of Grace

    Book: 21 Days of Grace
    Author: Compiled by Kathy Ide
    Genre: Devotional
    Release Date: March 24, 2015
    Love fiction? Looking for a devotional? Check out 21 DAYS OF GRACE, book one in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (published by BroadStreet Publishing Group). Fictional stories followed by brief life applications written by best-selling Christian novelists and debut authors, including Angela Hunt, Cindy Woodsmall, and Deborah Raney. Great for individual or group study.

     My thoughts

     This devotional is unlike any I've read before. It consists of 21 short stories or excerpts from stories that help teach a lesson. Sort of like modern day parables in a way. There are many different issues covered, so everyone is sure to find one that applies to them. There are also different types of genres-Amish, contemporary, historical. I was only familiar with a few of the contributing authors, so it was nice to be exposed to the writing styles of new (to me) authors. Most of the stories are only 4 (double-sided) pages so they are quick to read. They also include a "Life Application" section to help apply it to your life. There is a section that lists the contributing authors alphabetically, but not anywhere that lists the "topics" covered. Since several people could read the same story and get something different out of it, I suppose it may be difficult to pinpoint the specific "topic" covered, however. I enjoyed this book and read one story a day along with my daily Bible reading. It would also be good for when you want to read but only have a very short amount of time to do so (maybe in the 'necessary room'?) 

    About the Author

    Kathy Ide-rectangle (1)Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a full-time freelance editor and writing mentor, working with Christian authors of all genres at all levels. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and is the director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She’s a co-owner of the Christian Editor Network LLC and founder of the four divisions that comprise the CEN: Christian Editor ConnectionThe Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors NetworkPENCON, and The PEN Institute. To find out more about Kathy, visit

    Guest Post from Kathy Ide

    I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution. And you can take these purse-sized devotionals wherever you go, to read when you have a few minutes of down time. It’s a great way to get “inspiration on the go.” And they make fantastic gifts for friends and loved ones.

    Blog Stops

    March 23: A Reader’s Brain
    March 24: ASC Book Reviews
    March 24: autism mom
    March 26: The Power of Words
    March 27: Lighthouse Academy
    March 28: A Greater Yes
    March 29: Southern Chelle
    March 30: Pause for Tales
    March 30: The Scribbler
    March 31: Carpe Diem
    April 1: Splashesofjoy
    April 2: Karen Sue Hadley
    April 3: Lane Hill House
    April 5: God is Love


    To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away:
    1st – 4th place winners: A set of all four devotionals in the series.
    5th & 6th place winners: An autographed copy of 21 Days of Grace with a novel written by one of the contributing authors!!
    Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
    "21 Days of Grace" is available in hardcover:
    • Series: A Fiction Lover’s Devotional
    • Hardcover: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Broadstreet Publishing Group, LLC (June 1, 2015)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1424550238
    • ISBN-13: 978-1424550234
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 2597 KB
    • Print Length: 192 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publication Date: March 24, 2015
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00UVMXKB8

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

    Saturday, March 25, 2017

    Book Review: "When Tides Turn" by Sarah Sundin

    "When Tides Turn" is the third and final book in the "Waves of Freedom" series. The main characters in the first two books appear often in this book, so it would be helpful to read them in order. This book almost serves as an "epilogue" for the first two books' stories as it "wraps up" their storyline. We first met Tess Beaumont in the first book of the series, "Through Waters Deep", so it was nice to see her get her own story. She is tired of being looked on as only a decoration or lawn ornament and longs to do something worth while and useful. Dan Avery is resolved to be a Navy admiral and not let anything- especially a woman- distract him from his goals. I really liked how Tess and Dan were what the other needed and how they balanced each other out. I enjoyed the historical details and the amount of research that went into getting the book accurate. The faith element is woven through the story seamlessly. The mystery of who was the spy in the French group kept me guessing right up to the end. I love how the story flowed and I didn't want to stop reading. Looking forward to Sarah Sundin's next book.

    "When Tides Turn" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Waves of Freedom (Book 3)
    • Paperback: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (March 14, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0800723449
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800723446
    • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 4534 KB
    • Print Length: 401 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800723449
    • Publisher: Revell (March 14, 2017)
    • Publication Date: March 14, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01LWY2R2T

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

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 11

    Mar 12: 28
    Mar 13: 25  Snow from 2:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Mar 14: 23
    Mar 15: 31
    Mar 16: 41
    Mar 17: 32 *St. Patrick's Day* Snow from 10:00 am - noon, Rain from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Mar 18: 39 Rain from midnight - noon

    When doing the row for Thursday (March 16), I ran out of yarn about a foot from the end of the row. I had already looked for more yarn at both Meijer and Walmart, but neither store had any. I looked online and almost everywhere it was "Sold out". I finally found a 3 pack of the correct yarn on Amazon. It was supposed to arrive on Sunday, but in the meantime, I couldn't do any more rows for the week. I was happy to see my package waiting for me when I got home from church so I could get my blanket up to date. But when I took the yarn out, it was darker than the yarn I had originally even though they were both "Light Sage". Argh!! When I was searching for this yarn, I saw one that looked the right color but was lighter than "Light Sage" and since that was what I had, I got that. I should have gone with the visually correct one instead of the one with the correct name. So I will have to order a new skein and wait some more and now I have 3 skeins of yarn to do something with!

    A foot short of finishing my row 

    My new yarn doesn't match!

    Update with pictures:

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Murder for the Time Being" by Joanie Bruce

    About the Book

    FINAL - Murder for the Time Being Front 72dpi
    Click to purchase your copy

    Book: Murder for the Time Being
    Author: Joanie Bruce
    Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance
    Release Date: November 29, 2016
    “You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”
    Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?
    Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.
    Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

    About the Author

    ESP_9231 (2)
    Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

    My Thoughts

    I have not read any books by Joanie Bruce before, so I didn't know what to expect, but wow, the book starts right off with suspense and action! The book kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what was going to happen next. I kept coming up with theories of what was going on and then something else would happen and I would revise what I was thinking. The faith element was nicely done and a good presentation of the Gospel is given. There were a lot of different point of view characters. In order of their first personal point of view, they were: Cindi Grover, Lexi Wynn, Drew Sheffield, "Fizz", Craig Patrick, Diana Wynn, "DQ", Travis Wynn, Joe Kellogg, Marcus Powers, Sid Barlow, Dr. Abel Cassidy, and Jacob Wynn. Some of them had more "screen time" than other characters, but they each had at least a section told from their view point. Even when you were following the "bad guys", you still didn't know what was going on, which added to the suspense and mystery. There were a few things that seemed a bit too coincidental, especially near the end of the book, but it did wrap up the story and give it a happily ever after. I look forward to reading more books by Joanie Bruce.
    Guest Post from Joanie Bruce
    Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.
    In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.
    This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.
    After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

    Blog Stops

    March 15: autism mom
    March 16: A Reader’s Brain
    March 17: A Greater Yes
    March 18: Radiant Light
    March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
    March 24: Pause for Tales
    March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
    March 26: Carpe Diem


    To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
    "Murder for the Time Being" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Ambassador International (November 29, 2016)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1620205777
    • ISBN-13: 978-1620205778
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1389 KB
    • Print Length: 246 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Ambassador International (November 29, 2016)
    • Publication Date: November 29, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01M5GV05N

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

    Sunday, March 12, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 10

    Mar 5: 46
    Mar 6: 57
    Mar 7: 59 Rain from 2:00 am - 7:00 am
    Mar 8: 45
    Mar 9: 41
    Mar 10: 29
    Mar 11: 28

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Buried Secrets" by Rachel J. Good

    About the Book

    Buried Secrets_Good

    Book: Buried Secrets
    Author: Rachel J. Good
    Genre: Amish Romance
    Release Date: March 7, 2017
    Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.
    Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.
    But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

    My Thoughts

    "Buried Secrets" is the second book in the "Sisters and Friends" series. As with most books that are part of a series, I recommend reading "Buried Secrets" after you read the first book in the series, "Change of Heart". If you read "Buried Secrets" alone, you will be just as surprised about Emma's past as she is when it comes to light. I really liked Sam and Emma's relationship and how it grew. He was so kind and thoughtful toward her. I felt sorry for her as she floundered to know who she was and how she felt like she made problems wherever she went. I was happy to see mending of relationships and personal spiritual growth for the characters. I didn't want to put the book down and I can't wait to read the next book in the series when it comes out.

    About the Author

    rachel-photo-web-1Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her websiteFacebookauthor pageTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.

    Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

    Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.
    In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.
    Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.
    Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away.
    I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.
    Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.

    Book Excerpt
    Emma concentrated on the plants beside her. Gardening soothed her, made her feel whole again. The spring sunshine warmed the ground and sent comforting rays through her cloak as she bent over the soft, moist earth. She lifted a seedling from its pot and inhaled the savory tomato-y aroma. Then she pinched off the lower leaves, set it in the hole, and gently bent the stem before covering it with soil.
    Whoosh. A heavy weight slammed her backwards, smashing her head against the ground. Gasping, desperate to suck some air into her crushed lungs, Emma opened her eyes to find a furry face inches from her own. A huge mouth opened, revealing pointy white teeth. Then a wet pink tongue scraped across her cheek.
    “Bolt,” a deep male voice commanded. “Off.” 
    A handsome stranger, black bangs hanging in front of his eyes, bent over her, his hand outstretched. “Ach, I’m so sorry. She slipped out the door again.” He clamped his other hand on the Irish setter’s collar and pulled the dog off Emma, leaving muddy paw prints across her skirt.
    Still dazed, Emma lay where she’d fallen, gazing up at him, unsure whether the rapid pattering of her pulse was from her recent fright or from looking into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen.
    “Are you all right?” Worry crinkled his brow.
    “I–I’ll be fine.” Ignoring the hand he’d extended, she tried to sit.
    The stranger dropped to one knee beside her. “Don’t get up if you’re hurt. Is there someone I can fetch?”
    “I don’t need help.” Heat flooded Emma’s cheeks when her words came out sharply. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Please forgive me.” Then pinching her lips together, she steeled herself to sit without assistance.
    “There’s nothing to forgive. I’m the one who let my dog escape.” The words were barely out of his mouth when the Irish setter twisted free and bounded off, crushing the rows of seedlings Emma had just planted.
    “Oh, no!” The stranger dashed off after the dog, swerving to avoid the tomato plants the setter had crushed. Gasping for air, he made a desperate tackle, landing a few feet beyond the garden, the dog wriggling under him. With a firm grip on the Irish setter’s collar, he stood, the front of his shirt, galluses, and black pants splattered with dog hair and dirt.
    Emma suppressed the urge to giggle at his sheepish expression, the clod of mud clinging to his forehead, and the panting dog struggling to jerk free of his hold.
    He pinched his lips together as he studied the mess. “I’m so sorry. Let me put Bolt in the house. Then I’ll help clean up.”
    “Bolt?” Had he called the dog that earlier? Emma had been too distracted to pay attention. Now she couldn’t hold in her mirth.
    Rather than taking offense, the stranger glanced down with a rueful expression, then joined in her laughter. “Jah,” he said between hearty chuckles. “Short for Lightning Bolt. She zigs and zags so fast I can’t catch her sometimes.” He waved a hand toward the disaster in the garden. “Like she did here. And now look at me.”
    Emma did, and her laughter ended in a sharp intake of breath. And then his eyes met hers, and she stopped breathing altogether.
     I hope you’ll enjoy reading Buried Secrets as much as I enjoyed writing it!

    Blog Stops

    March 9: autism mom
    March 13: Bigreadersite
    March 15: Carpe Diem
    March 16: Splashes of Joy
    March 20: A Greater Yes
    March 22: Rhonda’s Doings
    March 22: Karen Sue Hadley


    To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

    "Buried Secrets" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Sisters and Friends (Book 2)
    • Paperback: 304 pages
    • Publisher: Realms (March 7, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1629989533
    • ISBN-13: 978-1629989532
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1652 KB
    • Print Length: 306 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1629989533
    • Publisher: Realms (March 7, 2017)
    • Publication Date: March 7, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01HX2U3SQ

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