Friday, August 31, 2018

Month in Review - August

  • Wrote words
  • Sculpted  babies
  • Tatted 2 crosses
  • Sewed  sock monkeys  
  • Knit  hats
  • Exercised  days
  • Read in the Bible  days
  • Wrote up  backlogged book reviews 
  • Monday, August 27, 2018

    "Make Haste Slowly" by Amy K. Rognlie

    About the Book
    Life in Short Creek, Texas is just what Callie Erickson expected it to be: calm and predictable…until the morning a gift bag—along with a dead body—appear on the doorstep of her shop. A terrible tragedy? Or something more sinister?

    After moving halfway across the country for a new crack at life, Callie isn’t eager to become entangled in any more trouble than necessary. But a cryptic message, a needy neighbor, and her own heart won’t allow her give up so quickly. With the help of her indomitable Aunt Dot, and friends both old and new, Callie sets out to discover the truth. What she finds might change her life forever.

    My Thoughts
    "Make Haste Slowly" is the first book in the Short Creek Mysteries series. The book starts out right away with the mystery so you hit the ground running, so to speak. I liked the way the book was written and found it to flow well. I like Callie and her struggles make her very relatable. The secondary characters were fun and Mona made me laugh on more than one occasion. There were a lot of parts to the mystery and I never did figure out exactly how all of them fit together. The book touches on hard issues like sex trafficking. Callie hears God talking to her in her spirit and is visited by someone that smelled like Heaven. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. 

    Amy Rognlie
    About the Author
    Amy Rognlie is a Christian author, speaker and teacher. She loves to write fiction that will point her readers toward a deeper understanding of God and how He works in our lives. Amy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes from her home in Central Texas. She is also a middle-school language arts and Latin teacher. She and her husband have three grown sons and one granddaughter. Amy enjoys reading (of course), gardening, and knitting. After taking a long hiatus from writing fiction, Amy has recently authored Miss Opal Makes a Match and Miss Opal Learns a Lesson, the first two stories in a series of historical novellas set in Central Texas. Her recently-released cozy mystery, Make Haste Slowly, is the first in the Short Creek Mysteries series. You can visit her at

    "Make Haste Slowly" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Short Creek Mysteries
    • Paperback: 250 pages
    • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (November 1, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1943959331
    • ISBN-13: 978-1943959334
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 3084 KB
    • Print Length: 252 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (December 1, 2017)
    • Publication Date: December 1, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B076GH4LK7

    Saturday, August 25, 2018

    "Chasing Embers" by Rachel Skatvold: Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Chasing Embers
    Book Title: Chasing Embers (Hart Ranch, Book 2)
    Author: Rachel Skatvold
    Genre: Christian Romance / Contemporary Western
    Release date: August 20, 2018
    ANNABELLE HART thought owning the family ranch would be everything she ever dreamed of and more. The Montana wilderness has always flowed like blood through her veins, but she can’t understand why her heart feels so empty inside.
    Three years after leaving Montana to become a wild land firefighter, COLTON BROOKS still dreams about the girl he left behind at Hart Ranch. He prays for her happiness, believing she deserves someone better than him, but doubts he will ever love again.
    When their paths intersect again, will the embers of their past romance be rekindled, or will an unexpected disaster change life as they know it forever?

    My Thoughts
    "Chasing Embers" is the second book in the "Hart Ranch" series. It benefits from reading the first book first. It does fill you in on things from the first book, but you get the fuller picture for reading them in order. I enjoyed getting to see all the characters that I'd met in "Escaping Reality" again and getting to see Belle and Colton's relationship in more depth. There were trials and difficulties that needed to be overcome and the characters grew through them. I look forward to reading more of Rachel Skatvold's books. 

    About the Author

    Rachel Skatvold Author Bio Pic (1)Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the second book in her new Hart Ranch Series. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons.

    Guest Post from Rachel

    Chasing Embers is a sequel I have been excited to write since the release of Escaping Reality over two years ago. To be honest, while writing book one, I thought it would just be a standalone story and not part of a series. However, Logan’s strong-willed little sister, Belle, was determined to have her own story and I’m thrilled that she is finally getting one!
    One of the theme verses from Chasing Embers is Ephesians 3:20, which says, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” In the story, the characters go through some trials that seem impossible to overcome. In order to keep their loved ones and the ranch safe, the Hart family must cling tightly to their faith and trust that God always keeps his promises. The events of the story also serve as a reminder that God can do mighty things through us if we allow him to.
    Chasing Embers is a heartwarming tale of lost love, second chances and choosing to love even when it is difficult. Be prepared to laugh, cry and rejoice with Belle and Colton as you read their love story. To find out more about Chasing Embers by Rachel Skatvold, read the summary above.

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, August 23
    Remembrancy, August 29
    Texas Book-aholic, September 1
    Carpe Diem, September 2
    Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 4
    Bigreadersite, September 4


    To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "Chasing Embers" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Hart Ranch
    • Paperback: 226 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 18, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1724512374
    • ISBN-13: 978-1724512376
    • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 333 KB
    • Print Length: 251 pages
    • Publication Date: August 20, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07DF6JCRF

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

    Sunday, August 19, 2018

    "Ties That Blind" by Chautona Havig: Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Title: Ties that Blind
    Author: Chautona HavigTiesThatBlind-sm
    Release date: August, 2018
    Genre: Suspense
    He may not be the only person in the Rockland area to wake up without a memory, but he might be the only killer…
    Simon Prescott, the latest victim of spontaneous amnesia in Rockland, is under suspicion of murder. The evidence, though weak and circumstantial, points only to him. He’s confident he didn’t do it, but there’s no way to prove it. Grieving for a wife he doesn’t remember, Simon refuses to allow his family in, refuses to cooperate with police, and is heading straight for the pokey if he doesn’t figure out something and fast.
    Enter: Ella Weeks and Vikki Jeffries. The previous two victims are determined to help him, and with jail time looming, Simon capitulates. But what Vikki and Ella find as they work through Simon’s life reveals astounding and rather chilling evidence of a bigger scheme than any of them could have imagined.
    They’re on the verge of total discovery, but the closer they get, the less confident they are that they want to know.

    My Thoughts
    I was glad to read the final book in this series. I enjoyed seeing Ella and Vikki again and seeing how the "episode" effected Simon. There were more twists and turns to get to the truth of what happened to them. I didn't really know what to expect. I was thrilled for the three of them to have closure on what happened and be able to move forward with their lives.

    About the Author

    ChautonaThe author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.

    Guest Post from Chautona


    “So why is this series called ‘Sight Unseen’ if it’s about people who lose their memories? Why the vision references?”
    I can’t pretend I wanted to answer her question. She isn’t the first to ask, and I doubt she’ll be the last. I tried to explain.
    Look, it’s a valid question. Originally, the first book was called From the Cinders, and if it had remained a stand-alone book, it still would be. But when I finished with another person waking up to no memories and a hint that something sinister might be behind it all, I had to change it to fit two books—no, three!
    Recall. Rewind. Refresh. I liked those titles. But that still didn’t give me the name of a series. I kept studying. Tried again.
    I read what would become None So Blind three times in a row, if I recall correctly. And as I read it, a theme emerged. Ella Weeks hadn’t been blind to her faults even before her memory loss. Even her husband hadn’t been, despite his obvious love for her. But those around her had been blind to her awareness of those faults—to her silent cries for help in overcoming them.


    Vikki had a past that she hid from and refused to acknowledge. And even as those around her drew closer to provide support, she still managed to block out all that she found frightening—even physically shutting down and shutting out life.
    So, when it came time to plan the final book in the series, the one that would now tie together everything that had happened, I knew I wanted something that also fit with the other titles. And one night it came to me. Ties That Blind. So often our ties to people blind us to their faults—to the destructive influences they have in our lives. And Simon Prescott will learn that lesson in a rather lonely, horrible way.


    Now we see through dark glasses… we can’t really make it all out. But with the Lord, when we’re truly with Him in eternity, we’ll see things as clearly as we do when we are face to face.
    And that’s what faith is all about, right? It’s the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we “buy in” to the Lord Jesus, we’re taking it all in faith. We’re trusting in Him, “Sight Unseen,” just as the characters in this series do with every element of their lives.
    I hope their journeys bless you as they have me as I wrote them.

    Blog Stops

    Live. Love. Read. , August 18
    Fiction Aficionado, August 20
    Among the Reads, August 20
    Lots of Helpers, August 22
    Cordially Barbara, August 23
    All-of-a-kind Mom, August 23
    Multifarious, August 24
    Texas Book-aholic, August 26
    A Reader’s Brain, August 27
    Carpe Diem, August 28
    Bigreadersite, August 30
    Mary Hake, August 30
    Pause for Tales, August 31


    To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the entire Sight Unseen series in paperback!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "Ties that Blind" is available in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 4405 KB
    • Print Length: 277 pages
    • Publication Date: August 7, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07FXRLK3P

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

    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    "The Hope Jar" by Wanda Brunstetter: Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Hope Jar
    Book Title: The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars, Book 1)
    Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
    Genre: Amish Fiction
    Release date: August 7, 2018
    A Brand-New Series from New York Times Best Selling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
    What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?
    Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.
    Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

    My Thoughts
    I enjoyed reading "The Hope Jar" and look forward to reading other books in the series. I wish it would have gone into more details about the jars that Michelle finds, but maybe the other books will give more details. I liked Mary Ruth and Willis and Ezekiel, but I didn't really connect with Michelle that well. I'm not really sure why, though. I think she did grow through the book and I'm glad for that. I was a little disappointed at the end of the book as I felt like it was a little unresolved. I hope to see more of Michelle and Ezekiel in the following books. 

    About the Author

    Wanda BrunstetterNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
    Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
    When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Make your own Prayer Jar!

    Want to make your own prayer jar to pass along to future generations? CLICK HERE to download a printable template you can use to write your sentiments on. Simply cut out each strip of paper when you’re finished and put them in the jar of your choice.

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, August 14
    The Avid Reader, August 14
    Just Commonly, August 15
    Genesis 5020, August 16
    Mary Hake, August 16
    Bigreadersite, August 16
    Lighthouse Academy, August 17
    Splashes of Joy, August 20
    SusanLovesBooks, August 20
    Cafinated Reads, August 23
    Quiet quilter, August 23
    Carpe Diem, August 24
    Texas Book-aholic, August 26


    To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card, jar-shaped notepad, and a copy of The Hope Jar (with an autographed book plate inside).
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

    "The Hope Jar" is available in paperback:
    • Series: The Prayer Jars (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (August 7, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1624167470
    • ISBN-13: 978-1624167478
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 954 KB
    • Print Length: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (August 1, 2018)
    • Publication Date: August 7, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07C66C6X1

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

    Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    "A Promise Forged" by Cara Putman: Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Book Title: A Promise Forged
    Author: Cara Putman
    Genre: World War 2 Romance
    Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017
    A Promise ForgedKat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.
    A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:
    Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.
    Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.
    When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

    My Thoughts
    I enjoyed reading this book. I did not realize it was book 3 in a series and while I figured that the other two books must be about Kat's sister and brother and would have gotten to know them better if I had read their books first, I didn't feel like I was left in the dark. Throughout reading the book, I recalled things that happened in the movie "A League of Their Own". It is one of the prizes in the giveaway, so you can watch it if you win! I liked Kat and Jack and enjoyed their interactions. I want to go back and read the first two books now!

    About the Author

    cara putmanSince the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.
    Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
    Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at<>.

    Guest Post from Cara

    Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.
    And I started thinking.
    What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?
    And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?
    I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.
    He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.
    As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.
    A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, August 4
    C Jane Read, August 5
    Genesis 5020, August 6
    Carpe Diem, August 7
    Mary Hake, August 8
    By The Book, August 9
    Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
    Lighthouse Academy, August 10
    Remembrancy, August 10
    100 Pages per Hour, August 11
    Bigreadersite, August 11
    Godly Book Reviews, August 12
    Cafinated Reads, August 12
    A Reader’s Brain, August 13
    Book by Book, August 13
    All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14
    amandainpa, August 15
    Pause for Tales, August 17


    a promise forged(1)
    To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.
    "A Promise Forged" is available in mass market paperback (from 2010):
    • Mass Market Paperback: 169 pages
    • Publisher: Heartsong Presents (March 3, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1602607575
    • ISBN-13: 978-1602607576
    • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 5758 KB
    • Print Length: 169 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Whisper Valley Press; 2 edition (March 21, 2017)
    • Publication Date: March 21, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B06XSKW2J7

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