Saturday, March 28, 2015

Book Review - A Heart's Disguise

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.

The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery's marriage before it's even begun.

After Sarah receives word that her fiancé, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner---despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive---and that Ben Croftner knew it---she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.

But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly---and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancé, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife.

But could Sarah leave her dying father's side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Twitter, Facebook

MY REVIEW:

This is the first book is a series that Colleen Coble is re-issuing this year. This story is one that she published 10 years ago and it's been out of print and now we're getting the pleasure of reading this wonderful story again.

Sarah is a young woman who has lost everything when she lost her fiance, Rand, in the Civil War. She is a shell of her former self as she tries to go forward, taking care of her ill father and coping with a brother who is less than kind and arrogant.  She has recently been told by the doctor that her father's heart is failing and he has less than one  year to live. She is devastated and wants to do whatever she can to make him  happy.

Ben has been coming around and helping Sarah's family, as well as trying to court her, since Rand was killed. He is determined to marry her and Sarah's father encourages her to do so as he won't worry about what will happen to her after he's gone. He knows that Sarah's brother is not kind to her and he wants her to have a home of her own and be settled. She

I don't want to give away any of the story so I'm not going to go into any more detail. Suffice to say, there are lots of twists and turns and things get very complicated. This is a short book - 96 pages - so it would be hard not to give away the whole story if going into it more. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, obviously, since there will other books to this series. 

It was a quick and delightful read and perfect for those lazy days when you just want to read a good book for a bit. I really enjoyed this story and am anxious to read the next in the series to see what happens. I think you'll enjoy this book, too, and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE


Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up!

It's time to count our blessings! I've been slowly healing and trying to accept my new normal. I do better some days than others. With God all things are possible and I believe that I will get better and learn to live with my limitations. I'm so thankful that I have Jesus as my Savior - that's the greatest blessing of all!

21. I've been feeling a bit better since my last bout of diverticulitis. I've been taking Slippery Elm religiously and it seems to be helping. I'm so glad the pain is better - that's the worst part of it all. I'm thankful and blessed that I have my family that takes care of me and loves me despite all these issues! MY BODY IS BATTERED BUT MY SPIRIT IS FULL!!

22.  I did get the baby items done for my son's friend and his wife. They had their little boy about a week ago and I wanted to make a few crocheted items for them. I did this cocoon




and this hat to go with it



and the two together.


Such a blessing to be able to make things for a new baby!


23.  I also made some booties for the baby. This is my go-to pattern for making booties. Simple pattern that takes about an hour to make one bootie. I love how lacey and baby-like they are. I hope that makes sense!

24.  After my doctor appointment last week, my son took me to Joann's Crafts. I hadn't been there for over a year and it was so fun to go there. I love Joann's, too, because they have the electric carts that I can ride on. I wish Hobby Lobby and Michael's crafts provided them. I have to have someone push me in the wheel chair there, which I'm not to excited about. I digress, though...

They were having a big sale on the scrapbooking supplies, including the Tim Holtz products! Everything was 50% off! I got these lovlies for my art, faith, and Bible journaling

I am loving these products! Such a blessing to get everything on sale!

25.  I also found some washi tapes. I am becoming quite a collector of washi tape and trying not to get too huge of a collection! I also found some tags for my journaling. Here they are -

I love using these not only in my art and faith journals but in my planner and my journaling Bible.

26.  Speaking of Bible journaling, here's a page from my Bible. I love doing this and it has added so much for my quiet time with God. This is a very simplistic page, but I still love it.

Such a blessing to read through the Scriptures and pull things out to focus on in the sidebar.

27.  I also got this wonderful thing at Joann's with a 40% off coupon. I have wanted one of these for a long, long time but they weren't available at our craft stores and were quite expensive to purchase online. I will be using it for my crochet to put my granny square project in so I can move it around the house, depending on which room I'm in. It will also be great if I actually go anywhere again! lol


28. Do you remember my book review of "The Hardest Peace" by Kara Tippetts? Her testimony, through this book and through her website, touched me and brought me into a greater longing to have a very firm relationship with Jesus. Her grace through her horrible illness of breast cancer kept me in awe. She made me want to do better and be better for God.

 We lost Kara to this horrible disease on Sunday. I did not know her personally, but she had such a profound affect on my life, it was like losing a dear friend. I cried tears of loss but also tears of joy knowing that she is with Jesus now and healed. Please keep her husband and four children in your prayers as they navigate this world without her. She was such a blessing and I count her as a huge blessing in my own life.


Blessings - Julie

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review - Life Unstuck


ABOUT THE BOOK:

We all start life with the ability to dream, but somewhere along the way life gets sticky. We find ourselves wondering:

· Does anyone know me for who I really am?
· Am I going to have to "fake it" forever?
· What do I have to offer the world?
· How can I dream about tomorrow when I can't even handle today?
· Is this all my life will ever be?
· Do I dare to dream of more?

With passion and enthusiasm, Pat Layton invites you to imagine a life where you experience peace with the past, enjoy purpose in the present, and expect the possibilities that the future holds. With fresh personal tools and clear action steps, she delves deep into the areas we get stuck in the most and unveils the path to the life you long to live.

You are a one-of-a-kind design. Life Unstuck will help you live like you believe it! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patricia Layton, founder and president of Life Impact Network (one of the nation's largest Sanctity of Life ministries), is a speaker, life coach, and author of A Life Surrendered and Life Unstuck. Founder of the national women's conference Imagine Me . . . Redeemed, Restored, Renewed . . . Set Free, Pat and her husband Mike have three children and five grandchildren and make their home in Tampa, Florida.

 MY REVIEW:

I think all of us feel stuck at times. I know I do. This book is for those who are looking to move forward from their past and move to a more productive, spirit-filled life. Pat encourages us to let go of our mistakes and allow God to work in our lives more fully.

Pat starts the book off with a hilarious story from her own life. This was a great beginning to this book and the whole book was a fun, yet informative read. I really liked all the stories, not only from Pat's life, but from the lives of others. You quickly realize you're not alone in this being stuck thing.

There is a personality test that shows you your traits and how these traits affect how you deal with life and also your walk with the Lord. I really liked this because I came to realize some things about myself that I didn't know and it helped me in my quest to be unstuck.

I really liked that she encourages us to read our Bible. She gives us some very compelling points for spending time with the Lord and reading His Word. I was so inspired to get unstuck in my spiritual journey and really make my time with the Lord my top priority.

This is a really wonderful book that has helped me in so many ways to get unstuck and move forward. The past tends to want to have a tight grip on me and I finally feel like I have the tools and information to move forward, get unstuck and do the things that God has given me to do! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

This book was provided to me for my honest review by Revell Publishing



Blessings - Julie

Book Review - How To Catch A Prince

ABOUT THE BOOK:

American heiress Corina Del Rey's life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she's shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen's pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it's own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

MY REVIEW:

This is such a beautiful, almost fairy-tale like, romance. Just absolutely the type that brings you into the story and never lets you go. It's a book you'll love to escape into and won't want to leave after the last page. The gorgeous cover is the beginning of the beautiful story within!

Corina was married to a prince but they married against the laws of his country and so the marriage was annulled, much to her sorrow. Add the sorrow of losing her brother in the war and this affects her whole family and they fall apart. She is trying to move forward and get on with her life when Stephen, her prince, shows up and tells her that they are actually still married and he needs an annulment  before his pending coronation.

Corina is trying to find out answers as to why her brother died, so there's that aspect to the story as well as the love story between her and Stephen. There's also the story of Stephen who is trying to recover from the war he served in and the losses he encountered there. This story is rich with stories that draw you in and keep you there. 

I especially loved the beautiful spiritual story woven throughout. We see Corina, who is solid in her faith, and compared to Stephen, who is struggling with his. It's beautiful to see redemption and restoration in this book. I loved how we're reminded that we are daughters and sons of the most high King. It's just a beautiful thread that runs through.

I loved this book and I know you will, too. It's just a really great romance and such an enjoyable read! I highly recommend this and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE
 


Blessings - Julie

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review - Make It Happen by Lara Casey

ABOUT THE BOOK:

"You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them!"

In the constant chase for perfection women find themselves worried, anxious, and completely overwhelmed. Working women want to take their careers to the next level, but are struggling to "do it all." Stay-at-home moms look for relief from burning the candle at both ends. Aspiring entrepreneurs and artists seek the courage to jump into a new venture. Make It Happen is the tool these women need to finally let go of the chase for perfection and take the leap of faith towards God's perfect plan.
Author Lara Casey was once a burned-out workaholic buried by debt, depression, and a failing marriage. Now thriving as a wife and mother, and running a booming business that fills her with joy, Lara is on a mission to share her experience and help readers find the spark that lives inside them. "I believe in the impossible. I'm living it," Lara says. "Life is too short to wait to take the leap!"
Written for women who want to do it all and live a life of meaning, Make It Happen rescues them from being overwhelmed by endless to-do lists, paralyzing fears, and other obstacles that stand in the way of cultivating the rich life God desires for them.

With seasoned advice, wisdom, and encouragement, Lara helps them pinpoint what isn't working and how to get there from here so they too can make it happen!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lara Casey is a believer in the impossible, helping women to live on purpose through the many hats she wears in her parent company, Lara Casey Media. She is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings® magazine and the founder of the Making Things Happen movement. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Ari, and their bubbly daughter, Grace. For more information, visit www.LaraCasey.com.

MY REVIEW:

We hear it a lot - "We are made for a purpose". Do we believe it? Let me tell you, Lara Casey will absolutely make you believe it! This book is so inspiring - so exactly what I needed!

The greatest thing that holds many of us back (including me) is fear and Lara gives us the tools to help us to identify that fear and then move past it. She also helps us to make that leap of faith and go after what we've been dreaming of doing for so long.

The greatest thing about this book that I loved (and is lacking in so many books like this) is that Lara is so transparent! She shares from her heart and doesn't portray herself as someone above us that we must esteem to be like. She encourages us to look to the Lord for our confidence and the help to go forward.

Another great thing about this book is that she gives us questions - encourages us to participate as we read - that we can answer and really understand ourselves better. I started a notebook that I wrote down the questions in and then wrote the answers in. The notebook gave me lots of room to expand on my answers. The fact is, I am going to re-read this book and go over the questions even more carefully because it was just that good!!

I can't say enough good things about this book! It's so inspiring and has given me a new direction and a new thinking regarding my dreams and goals. I love that it's God-centered and practical. Just a great book all the way around and I highly recommend it!! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by BookLook Bloggers


Blessings - Julie