Monday, July 31, 2017

Month in Review: July

  • Wrote 250 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 3 crosses
  • Sewed 0 sock monkeys
  • Knit 1 headband
  • Exercised 18 days
  • Read in the Bible 30 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Sunday, July 30, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 30

    July 23: 85
    July 24: 75
    July 25: 79
    July 26: 80
    July 27: 80 Rain 6:00 - 8:00 am
    July 28: 77
    July 29: 80

    Tuesday, July 25, 2017

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "A Name Unknown" by Roseanna M. White

    About the Book

    Book title: A Name Unknown
    Author: Roseanna M. White
    Release date: July 4, 2017
    Genre: Historical Romance

    She’s Out to Steal His Name.
    Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?
    Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
    As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
    When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
    My Thoughts I really liked this book. The characters were believable and likable, but not perfect. I loved getting glimpses into Peter's mind as he plotted his novel and how it made him seem absentminded. The Biblical truths worked into the novel through Peter's letters and conversations was great. I loved the setting and the authenticity of it. The addition of actual historical figures (albeit fictionalized) was wonderful. It made the story seem even more real. The mystery of who was behind the vandalism and the elusive Mr. V. kept me intrigued right up until the end. I can't wait to get to know more of Rosemary's family in the rest of the series. 

    About the Author

    RoseannaJuly2016Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

    Guest Post from Roseanna White

    It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.
    I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.
    Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)
    100 grams butter, cold and diced
    225 grams all-purpose flour
    ¼ heaping teaspoon salt
    2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
    2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
    1 heaping teaspoon ginger
    2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
    100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
    4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup
    Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
    Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.
    In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.
    Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

    Blog Stops

    July 20: Genesis 5020
    July 21: Pause for Tales
    July 22: Bigreadersite
    July 23: Vicky Sluiter
    July 24: Pursuing Stacie
    July 25: Live.Love.Read.
    July 26: Carpe Diem
    July 27: cherylbbookblog
    July 27: Splashes of Joy
    July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
    July 31: Cafinated Reads
    July 31: Artistic Nobody


    To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

    "A Name Unknown" is available in paperback:

    • Series: Shadows Over England (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 432 pages
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 4, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 076421926X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0764219269
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:

    • File Size: 7693 KB
    • Print Length: 434 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 076421926X
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 4, 2017)
    • Publication Date: July 4, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01MTFX5AL

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

    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 29

    July 16: 77 my birthday!
    July 17: 78
    July 18: 85
    July 19: 89
    July 20: 85 Rain 7:00 -10:00 am
    July 21: 85
    July 22: 80 Rain midnight - 4:00 am

    Sunday, July 16, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 28

    July 9: 81 (Sarah's Birthday)
    July 10: 76 Rain 7:00 - 10:00 am
    July 11: 86 Rain 7:30 - 9:00 pm
    July 12: 81 Rain 5:00-6:30 am, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    July 13: 81
    July 14: 76
    July 15: 79

    Saturday, July 15, 2017

    Book Review: "Maybe it's You" by Candace Calvert

    About the Book

    ER nurse Sloane Ferrell escaped her risky past―new name, zip code, job, and a fresh start. She’s finally safe, if she avoids a paper trail and doesn’t let people get too close. Like the hospital’s too-smooth marketing man with his relentless campaign to plaster one “lucky” employee’s face on freeway billboards.

    Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive Sloane Ferrell.

    Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past.

    Can hope spring from crisis?

    My Thoughts

    "Maybe it's You" is the third book in the Crisis Team series. It could be read as a standalone, but you get more of Sloane's past if you read the first two books first. To tell the truth, I didn't much like Sloane in the other books, but this book shows Sloane's metamorphosis into a new person. It was encouraging to see her transformation. I truly felt for her and all that she had gone through in her life. I liked Micah and his desire to help others. He also had growth through the book. One thing that did bug me was that he was dating her when she wasn't a Christian. It was interesting, but suspenseful, watching all the pieces of the mystery around Sloane's past and how they fit together. 

    "Maybe it's You" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Crisis Team
    • Paperback: 448 pages
    • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 3, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 141439036X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1414390369
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 7379 KB
    • Print Length: 447 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 141439036X
    • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 3, 2017)
    • Publication Date: February 3, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01I5IYK9U

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

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Finding Love" by Toni Shiloh

    About the Book

    FindingLove-highres (1)

    Book: Finding Love
    Author: Toni Shiloh
    Release date: June 28, 2017
    Genre: Contemporary
    Delaney Jones has finally started to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after the death of her husband, Parker. Just as life enters a new normal, in walks Army soldier, Luke Robinson. Just when she makes the decision to trust him, life deals her a heavy blow.
    Sergeant First Class Luke Robinson can’t get over his part in the death of Delaney’s husband. In hopes to assuage his guilt, he offers to lend a hand. Only, he never counted on the feelings she evokes with just a smile. Will his secrets widen the gulf or will he finally find absolution?
    My Thoughts:  "Finding Love" is the second book in the "Maple Run Novel" series. It gives hints about what happened in the first book, but I would recommend reading the books in order to fully appreciate the complete story. I liked reading Delaney's story. She seemed real and genuine. I also liked Luke and desire to do the right thing. There is a spiritual thread in the story and the characters learn valuable lessons. I hope that there are more books to come in the Maple Run Novel series.

    About the Author

    Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
    She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

    Guest post from Toni Shiloh

    I’m so excited about this book tour for Finding Love. This book holds a special place in my heart. The pathway to writing Finding Love was not as easy as I thought it would be. For the most part, my brain has an idea or characters share their story, and bam, I’m off and writing at my laptop.
    I decided to write Finding Love when I got the contract for Buying Love, the first book in the series. I figured fans would want to read another story in the fictional Maple Run, Virginia. I also figured that Shorty and Nikki’s story would be the second book, but alas, they refuse to talk to me.
    The reason I love Finding Love so much is because it’s about what every person is searching for: love. We search for it in families, in friends, and in that romantic ideal of happily ever after. And even greater, it’s a testament of God’s love for us.
    Sometimes, love is scary. To let another person in our heart, bare our secrets, and hold our breath waiting for them to accept us…makes a person’s heart quake. With Delaney, she wasn’t even trying to find love, but it rode in on Harley seeking for forgiveness. I loved watching Luke and Delaney fall in love and I pray you do as well.
    Blessings, reader friends!

    Blog Stops

    June 29: Remembrancy
    June 30: autism mom
    July 5: Carpe Diem
    July 9: A Path of Joy


    To celebrate this tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away three $15 Amazon gift cards!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
    "Finding Love" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Maple Run
    • Paperback: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing (June 19, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 099914510X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0999145104
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 2892 KB
    • Print Length: 197 pages
    • Publication Date: June 28, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0725KR7SN

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

    Monday, July 10, 2017

    Book Review: "Buying Love" by Toni Shiloh

    Nina Warrenton wants a husband and a family, but with no prospects, she places an ad in the newspaper for a husband and mentions she comes with a monetary dowry. When she starts to fall for Dwight Williams, she wants him to love her and not her money. 

    Dwight answers the ad because he needs money to save his family's restaurant. How can he prove to her that he is interested in her and let the money go?

    Buying Love had a bit of a mail order bride/marriage of convenience feel to it. I was drawn to Nina and Dwight and wanted them to fall in love. I enjoyed the spiritual thread woven throughout and the growth that Nina (especially) experienced. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

    "Buying Love" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 264 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 16, 2016)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1539595293
    • ISBN-13: 978-1539595298
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 2460 KB
    • Print Length: 264 pages
    • Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing (October 27, 2016)
    • Publication Date: October 27, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01M0WESED

    Sunday, July 9, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 27

    July 2: 79 Rain 4:00 - 5:30 pm
    July 3: 77
    July 4: 80
    July 5: 84
    July 6: 89
    July 7: 84 Rain 3:30 - 5:30 am
    July 8: 81

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    Book Review: "Brewed With Love" by Kimberly Rose Johnson

    Annika Cooke has just reopened her late aunt's coffee shop and struggles to fit in with the town she called home every summer. When Bryan Grant asks if his band can practice after hours, she must face her dislike of the musician lifestyle as well as deep seated fears. Can she find her life can be brewed with love?

    "Brewed With Love" was originally part of the collection of novellas "Love in Mistletoe Springs" and has been tweaked slightly and now offered alone. I enjoyed reading this story and found the characters likable and believable. It is a quick read, but didn't feel rushed. The story is clean and wholesome, but doesn't have a specific Biblical thread.

    "Brewed With Love" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 114 pages
    • Publisher: Sweet Rose Press (July 2, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0998431524
    • ISBN-13: 978-0998431529
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches

    or in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 2474 KB
    • Print Length: 79 pages
    • Publisher: Sweet Rose Press (June 15, 2017)
    • Publication Date: June 15, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B072KT7WMS

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