Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Month in Review: October

  • Wrote 3396 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 0 crosses
  • Sewed 0 sock monkeys
  • Knit 0 hats
  • Exercised 22 days
  • Read in the Bible 29 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Sunday, October 29, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 43

    Oct 22: 75 Rain 4:30 pm - midnight
    Oct 23: 62 Rain all day
    Oct 24: 49 Rain all day
    Oct 25: 51
    Oct 26: 51
    Oct 27: 50
    Oct 28: 43 Rain 4:00 - 6:00 pm

    Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 42

    Oct 15: 66 Rain mid - 5:30am, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Oct 16: 57
    Oct 17: 69
    Oct 18: 68
    Oct 19: 66
    Oct 20: 77
    Oct 21: 75

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Returning Home" by Toni Shiloh

    Series: Freedom Lake
    Genre:  Adult, Christian, Contemporary, Romance
    Publisher: Indie
    Publication date: September 26, 2017

    Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.
    Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.
    Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?  ​
    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 president of the Virginia Chapter.

    You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.
    1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?I changed my mind so often when I was a kid. I wanted to be a police officer, an interior designer, lawyer, foreign language teacher, etc. Becoming an author never crossed my mind because I didn’t see it as a something I was good at. Sure I always had high grades in English and enjoyed writing poems and the like, but I felt they were for my own viewing pleasure. Once I decided to go back to college and earn a degree the thought that I could be an actual author finally crept in.

    2. How many different publishers have you written for? Do you prefer writing for a publisher or Indie publishing?
    What are the pros and cons of each? I’ve written for one small press publisher. They’ve been great at marketing my books to the masses and that’s the major pro I see for going the traditional route of publishing. Editors, marketing, all of it is included with your contract. It can also be a con because you don’t control where you market, who edits your work, etc. I think the type of personality one has helps them choose their own publishing route.

    3. Who are some of your favorite authors?  Do they inspire your own writing?
    I have tons of favorite authors because I read in a lot of different genres. In contemporary romance my favorites are Pepper Basham, Becky Wade, Jennifer Rodewald, Sarah Monzon, and Mikal Dawn. I’ll devour anything these ladies write. For romantic suspense I’m all about Lynette Eason, Ronie Kendig, Dani Pettrey, and Irene Hannon. Whatever they touch is gold. J I also have favorite speculative writers such as Nadine Brandes, K. E. Ganshert, and Ronie Kendig. Since I write contemporary romance I would say my favorite authors in that genre do influence my writing. I hope to inspire the same emotions and love of characters that they inspire in me.

    4. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
    I decided to write a story just for the pure fun of it so I’m writing a medieval fantasy. My character, Althea, has been charged with healing the second borne prince. She has to use her spiritual gift of healing but as she’s only a fifth-level student, she is unsure of her capabilities. I can’t wait to see where the story takes me as I haven’t plotted a single chapter. :)

    5. What inspired the idea for Returning Home?
    I was out driving one day and wondered what would happen if one got in a horrific car crash that cost them their limb. It seems most often we associate a loss like that with the military, but every day civilians go through just as much as those who serve in the military.

    6. What do you want readers to take away from reading Returning Home?
    God can see you through the trials and tribulations you’re going through. That He cares for you and will never leave your side.

    I enjoyed reading "Returning Home" and meeting the residents of Freedom Lake. Jo and Evan were interesting characters and I liked seeing them grow closer to God and each other during the story. It was refreshingly realistic to not have everyone be perfect and able with having a hero who was disabled.  I found the faith element to be obvious, but well done. The book was easy to read and well written (although the one time it mentions the name of Jo's sister-in-law, it is the same as Guy's late wife, so I'm not sure if that was a mistake or not). I did wish it didn't end quite as abruptly, but it will probably continue in the sequels. I could see lead ins to sequels and look forward to reading more books in the series.
    Enter the giveaway HERE.


    HTML code: ​a Rafflecopter giveaway
    October 16-Christian Bookaholic
    October 17-Blossoms and Blessings | The Power of Words
    October 18-The Green Mockingbird 
    October 19-Joy of Reading | Red Headed Book Lady 
    October 20-Singing Librarian Books Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
    October 21-Faithfully Bookish

    Reviewer: Mindy Houng


    "Returning Home" is available in paperback
    • Series: Freedom Lake 1
    • Paperback: 326 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 28, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1973710749
    • ISBN-13: 978-1973710745
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 500 KB
    • Print Length: 266 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Toni Shiloh (September 26, 2017)
    • Publication Date: September 26, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0742MLL7S

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

    Sunday, October 15, 2017

    Temperature Blanket - Week 41

    Oct 8: 78 Rain 3:00 - 4:30 am
    Oct 9: 78
    Oct 10: 64
    Oct 11: 56 Rain midnight - 1:30 pm
    Oct 12: 57
    Oct 13: 68
    Oct 14: 62 Rain midnight - 3:30 am, 7:30 - 9:15 am, 10:30 am - midnight

    Saturday, October 14, 2017

    Halloween Costume Party 2017

    Because of conflicts on the other weekends in October, we had our annual family costume party today. It was my turn to host and I had a scavenger/treasure hunt planned and the weather was calling for rain! I was praying that the rain would hold off until after the party or let up when it was time for the game. It ended up being rainy, but it wasn't too bad so we went ahead with the game.

    My brother's family minus his oldest

    My sister's family.
    My nephew was a pumpkin and the hat was his stem!

     Time for the treasure hunt:

    My youngest niece

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Featuring Chautona Havig

    Scavengerhunt (1)

    Blog Stops

    September 29: The Scribbler
    September 30: Just Jo’Anne
    October 1: Quiet Quilter
    October 5: Carpe Diem

    Featured Books

    Volume1smPast Forward— A life lived intentionally. That’s how Kari Finley would describe the world she created on her farm for herself and her daughter, Willow.  But when Willow awakes one morning to find her mother with Jesus, that life changes in ways she never would have imagined.  Past Forward is a serial novel released in six volumes.

    HLvol1smHearthLand— Intrigued by Willow’s lifestyle, Ralph Myner sinks most of his retirement fund into creating an intentional community.  People from all walks of life join together to “live life more deliberately.”

    smalronReady or Not—When Aggie Milliken’s sister and brother-in-law die from a freak medical accident, the twenty-two-year-old recent college graduate is thrust into the role of “Auntie Mommy.”  One child would have been a challenge, but eight?  Follow her journey from inept babysitter to Mommy in the Aggie’s Inheritance series.
    speaknowsmSpeak Now— When Jonathan Lyman met Cara at a wedding, he had no interest in forging a relationship.  Still grieving the loss of his wife, he didn’t know there’d be someone so perfectly suited to help soothe the pain that still gripped him and his children.  But Cara’s gentleness and adaptability proved to be exactly what the Doctor of doctors ordered.

    hopecoversmDiscovering Hope— When Jay Brown overhears an epic brush-off, he and the brusher, Hope Senior, forge an unlikely friendship.  He’s an Indian immigrant.  She’s so All-American that her family dates back to the Mayflower. But through Christmas lights, epic laser tag, grief, saris, and a few hundred mistletoe sprigs, they may just form more than the friendship of a lifetime.

    mfmsmManuscript for Murder—  When local celebrity, author Alexa Hartfield, finds her next novel played out as if a script for murder of local residents, she’s both grieved and incensed. With the help of a local officer, she’s on the hunt for who could have “dunnit” before the murderer kills another resident and her career.

    prairiecoversmPrairie— When Jessa Davidson awakes in the place of her dreams, she finds herself thrust into a world that feels almost too good to be true. Only the new friendships she makes and the lessons the people of Prairie teach her help keep her rooted when her mind insists that none of it can be real.

    confessionscoversmConfessions of a De-cluttering Junkie—  Kaye Harper has had it.  No one needs six can openers, four umbrellas per person, or a closetful of games all missing pieces.  So, with her family watching on in horror, and her feline nemesis determined to trip her up at every move, Kaye embarks on a de-cluttering mission that might just become a bit of an obsession.

    cornerboothsm(1)Corner Booth—  Who knew you could lose your heart to someone you’ve never spoken to? When a strange girl stops at Dean Sager’s table and asks if she can join him to avoid a line out the restaurant door, he has no idea that this one shared meal will become a weekly ritual. But contrary to his talkative nature, Dean doesn’t say a word that day or any of the following days.  And an experiment in self-control becomes a lesson in really seeing and understanding people.

    nonesoblindcoversmNone So Blind— Waking up in a house you don’t recognize and with a family hurt that you don’t remember them is hard enough.  But when it feels like you’re forced into a life you didn’t choose, things become almost unbearable.  The only think keeping Ella Weeks from running from it all is the one thing that survived her inexplicable memory loss—her faith.

    jmsmJustified Means—  An organization designed to protect people where the law can’t, The Agency prides itself in a decade-long almost perfect record. But after an involuntary extraction, Keith Auger can barely stay ahead of those hunting down the woman under their protection.  It doesn’t make it easy when Erika Polowski is determined to escape from her “captors.”

    notawordsmNot a Word— We all make mistakes, but Savannah Forrester had no idea that her biggest mistake has ruined the life of the only guy she’s ever really cared about. Todd “Mac” Mackenzie has allowed the town to think what he will of him to protect her reputation. But when she returns to Brant’s Corners, they both have some explaining to do.

    shadowsfrontsmShadows & Secrets—  In the heart of medieval England, adventure awaits.  Philip Warden has known of “the creature” his entire life, but a chance encounter helps him discover that there’s more to a person than what you see, or don’t see, on the outside. Who knew he and the village pariah would have such great adventures together or become such close friends.

    LoV1smLegends of the Vengeance— Sebastian Soranzo wants nothing more than a normal life in a village somewhere far away from the pirate ship where he lives with his father.  He can’t understand his father’s thirst for revenge and the drive to help those wronged by their governments. But when an old enemy catches up with them, Sebastian finds himself out in the Atlantic in a ship too small to make it safely to the east.

    My Thoughts I had the privilege to read "Shadows & Secrets", the first book in the "Annals of Wynnewood" series. I found the book to be easy to read. I think that young adults/ middle grade kids would also enjoy the book. Philip and the town's outcast, known as the "Creature", become friends and they help and encourage each other. Philip teaches her about the things he learns about God and the Bible and she teaches him about the forest and how to shoot. They had several adventures together and learn to trust each other. It is set in medieval England and features dragons. It was interesting that the reader was able to know what everyone was feeling in a somewhat omniscient way. I look forward to reading the other two books in the series to learn more about Philip and his friend. 

    About the Author

    chautonaAuthor of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

    Guest Post from Chautona Havig

    They talked—my favorite Denny’s server and a guy she met. “Shanetta (she can’t get my name right to save her life) writes in booth 14 every night.”
    “Writes what?”
    Angela gave him a “duh” look. “Books?”
    Again, the guy asked, “What genre.”
    I’m sure she didn’t know what she was in for when Angela said, “Christian fiction.”
    The man’s response? Priceless. “So, what, she makes up lies about Christians?”

    As I said in THIS POST, I used to use Christian fiction as a general explanation of what I write but it wasn’t the “simple answer” that I’d expected. So, then I started saying, “Well, this one is…” and I’d fill in the blank. Mystery, romance, suspense, historical, contemporary, youth—you name it, I’ve probably written it. Well, except for erotica. And true sci-fi? Yeah. That probably won’t happen either. Horror? Not my thing.
    Once I’ve explained my odd genre choice for this particular book, I tend to point out that most of my fiction follows under the general heading of Christian fiction. Inevitably the question follows, though. “Why Christian?”
    It would be easier to answer why not. I could just say, “As a Christian, I find it almost impossible to leave my faith and worldview out of my writing.” It’s true, but I did manage. Once. Even then, if you look deep into the core of that little story, you’ll still find basic Biblical themes and truths. They’re just less overt.
    But people never ask why not write something else. They ask why I write Christian fiction. So I tell them. I start with my purpose. “I write stories to point Christians to the Master Storyteller.” I write about Christians for Christians. I don’t write evangelistic fiction, although occasionally someone comes to Jesus in my books. The reason I do this is because I’m writing to encourage the body of Christ. If I wrote to introduce the lost to Jesus, I’d be writing mainstream to whet people’s thirst for the Word and the Lord.
    But that’s not my goal. How I achieve my goal is my website’s tagline. “Christian fiction without apology or pretense—lived, not preached.”
    In the books featured in this blog tour, you won’t find people, as a general rule, spouting sermons disguised as prayers. I show a faith-filled life lived… or not, as the story requires. I show you why Christians believe things that I may not even agree with. And I hope, that with each word, I create a desire for just one more minute in the Word.


    "Shadows & Secrets" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Annals of Wynnewood (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 248 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 7, 2009)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1449551270
    • ISBN-13: 978-1449551278
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 3119 KB
    • Print Length: 250 pages
    • Publication Date: February 8, 2011
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B004MYFNM0

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

    Monday, October 9, 2017

    Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Deadly Proof" by Rachel Dylan

    About the Book
    Deadly Proof
    Book title: Deadly Proof
    Author: Rachel Dylan
    Release date: September 5, 2017
    Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense
    Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company’s dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved.
    Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He’s still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything–even commit murder–to keep the case from going to trial.
    As danger closes in, Landon can’t help but admire Kate’s courage and resolve–but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?
     My Thoughts "Deadly Proof" is book one in the "Atlanta Justice" series. I have never read a legal thriller before and had a little bit of a slow start getting into it, but from then on, it was a page turner. The book follows Kate Sullivan, Landon James, Ethan Black, and Nicole Sosa. I was glad that Landon didn't know the legal terms that Kate was talking about because when she explained it to him, she explained it to me! It is obvious that Rachel Dylan knows the legal system and that adds to the realism of the book. I felt like I was there with the characters. I honestly did not know what to expect or who was to blame for the things that were happening. It was well written and flowed really well. The faith element was woven it seamlessly and the characters grew throughout the story. I look forward to reading more books by Rachel Dylan.

    About the Author

    Dylan_Rachel1Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation’s most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband. She is active on social media, and you can visit her website at www.racheldylan.com.

    Q & A with Rachel Dylan

    1. The Atlanta Justice series is centered around strong, female lawyers who take on high-stakes cases. What made you want to write their stories?I’d have to say it’s personal! Having been an attorney for eleven years now, I love being able to pour parts of myself into the books. My everyday life as a lawyer isn’t that exciting and is definitely not as dangerous! But I’m able to draw on what I’ve lived through to bring life and authenticity to these characters.
    1. What type of research did you do for Deadly Proof?One of the great things about writing books related to my career is that I know lawyers who practice all different types of law. Deadly Proof focuses on Kate Sullivan, who is a plaintiff’s attorney taking on a big pharmaceutical company. I don’t do this specific type of plaintiff’s work, but I know lawyers who do, and I was able to talk with them. Also, I was able to relate to my characters on the defense side because I’ve done that work for years. It was really fun to write the perspectives of characters on both sides of the case.
    1. Is there a reason you chose Atlanta for this series?Yes! I’m from Georgia and lived in Atlanta, practicing law at a large law firm, for eight years. I wanted to pick a setting I was intimately familiar with to give readers an authentic Atlanta experience—sweet tea and all.
    1. Where do you think Kate’s passion for her work comes from?Kate truly believes that her life’s work is to help those who have been wronged. I believe a lot of her passion stems from her strong faith that has developed over the years. She’s not a lawyer to make big bucks but to change people’s lives for the better.
    1. What is the next book in the Atlanta Justice series about?Book two is about Kate’s friend Sophie Dawson, who we meet in Deadly Proof. Sophie is an Atlanta prosecutor. This story is exciting because it involves a completely different type of legal case than Deadly Proof. But I promise things get just as dangerous!

    Blog Stops

    September 26: A Baker’s Perspective
    September 26: Faithfully Bookish
    September 27: Reading Is My SuperPower
    September 27: Fizzy Pop Collection
    September 27: Blogging With Carol
    September 28: Fiction Aficionado
    September 28: Moments Dipped in Ink
    September 28: Genesis 5020
    September 29: Just Commonly
    September 29: Bukwurmzzz
    September 29: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
    September 30: 100 Pages per Hour
    September 30: Smiling Book Reviews
    October 1: A Reader’s Brain
    October 1: Bigreadersite
    October 1: Carpe Diem
    October 2: Karen Sue Hadley
    October 4: Mary Hake
    October 6: Pause for Tales
    October 7: Just Jo’Anne
    October 8: Neverending Stories
    October 8: Cafinated Reads


    To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away four Suspense Novels and a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!
    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/4664b04912/

    "Deadly Proof" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Atlanta Justice (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 5, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0764219804
    • ISBN-13: 978-0764219801
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 6713 KB
    • Print Length: 322 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764219804
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 5, 2017)
    • Publication Date: September 5, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0713TL43H

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