Sunday, May 28, 2017

Happy Anniversary!





According to the calendar it's only been a year, but my heart knows it's always been you.  Happy Anniversary my handsome man!  
I can't wait to live more of life's adventures with you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Avalon Valentine by Darien Gee



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through Kate Tilton's Book Blogger's Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 





About The Book:

In Avalon, Illinois, Valentine’s Day is less than a month away but for five women, will it be a day of loneliness or love? 

Jilted at the altar, Lucia Blake now spends her days making chocolate in an effort to keep some sweetness in her life while hoping for her own happily ever after. Former professional cellist Hannah Wang is uncertain about her future with boyfriend Jamie Linde when her ex-husband re-appears in her life, intent on winning her back. Tea salon manager Connie Colls is planning a Valentine’s Day surprise for Eli, her busy veterinarian boyfriend, in the hopes of spicing things up, but she’s unprepared for who shows up. For young Gracie Evarts, first love comes in the form of know-it-all Finn O’Neill, whose big idea for a kissing booth might succeed, but only with Gracie’s help. Goldie and Edward Love have agreed to a 50th anniversary celebration, but when their daughter uses one of Goldie’s old journals as inspiration for the party, Goldie knows it’s time to confess a long-held secret.

An Avalon Valentine is funny and full of heart, shedding light on what it means to love and to be loved.








About the Author:
Darien Gee is the bestselling author of four novels that take place in the small rivertown of Avalon, Illinois, as well as an award-winning book on writing the memoir. Her books have been translated into 14 languages and are selections of the Doubleday, Literary Guild, and Book of the Month Club book clubs.





Dynamic Uno here:  I would first like to give a shout-out to the author, Darien Gee, for being so accommodating and helpful when I was having issues downloading the book so I could read it on my phone.  She finally sent me a copy through Amazon so I could read it through the Kindle app.  THANK YOU!!!  An Avalon Valentine was well worth it!

I usually read a lot of Christian fiction, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I first start An Avalon Valentine as it was touted as a women's fictional romance.  There was no need to worry as there was no sex scenes and everything was light-hearted and heart-warming.

The town of Avalon seems like any other basic small-town in America.  Everyone knows one-another and is always looking out for each other.  At first the book was a little hard to follow because there were four different storylines going at once and I couldn't keep them straight.  However, after reading further they all started to make sense and I was drawn into the characters and their lives--or should I say love stories since Valentine's Day is all the rage in the town of Avalon?

I loved how the characters' stories were interwoven and that at the end of the day, true love and friendship always wins!  (Of course, chocolate treats and different varieties of friendship bread didn't hurt either.)
If you're looking for a great read that values friendship and romance, this is the book for you.  I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the Avalon series!
Let me know what you think in the comments section and Happy Reading!


Friday, May 19, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


ABOUT THE BOOK:

True to You (Bethany House, May 2017)
It’s the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She's the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

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Dynamic Uno here:  Becky Wade has quickly become one of my new favorite authors.  I can relate to most of her characters (aside from being wealthy) and they're always full of spunk, which makes reading their adventures that much more enjoyable.

Nora is definitely my favorite character in True to You.  She epitomizes librarian and even seems to dress the part--at least until her sister gets ahold of her.  Since I'm a public librarian, I really enjoyed her take on the research process that I use with my customers every day.  Although my focus is not genealogy and I would certainly never agree to meet one away from the library to assist them in their search unless s/he was a really close friend, I admire her dedication to helping her customers--especially a certain hunky former Navy SEAL.

Another element that I thoroughly enjoyed was the setting of the book.  I'm headed to Maine for a few days soon and even though everything took place in Washington (with a few side trips elsewhere), the scenery described is exactly what I'm seeing as I research the Maine area.  In fact, one of the places described (the lodge) is almost like where I'm going to be staying--overlooking the trees and the water with a huge balcony!  But enough about me...  

I feel like the characters in True to You are my friends.  I realized that I was really starting to care about Nora and John and their friendship/attraction towards each other.  I wanted to know why John was so reserved, despite his military background, and why Nora seemed to take on the role of spinster despite her young age.  As they reveal bits of their past throughout the book, it only drew me in more because I wanted them to realize what the other one felt and that they would be perfect for each other.  Now that I'm done with their story, I keep thinking about how they're doing.  (Does anyone else do this?)  The Bradford Sisters Romance series is off to a great start and I can't wait to read about Willow and Britt!


Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Becky Wade’s ‘True to You’ Prize Pack and $100 Giveaway

Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky
 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!!



Happy Mother's Day Mom!  
Thank you for helping me through thick and thin despite your own troubles.  I love you!



Friday, April 28, 2017

Becky Wade's 'True to You' Author Chat Party


Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 





ABOUT THE BOOK:

Her Secret (Avon Inspire, March 2017)
A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shelley Shepard Gray is the "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won "RT Book Reviews'" prestigious Reviewers' Choice Award.


Dynamic Uno Here:  If you've been following my blog for any length of time you know that I love to read Amish fiction and that Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite authors in that genre.  When the Litfuse Publicity Group posted Her Secret as an option for review, I hesitated because I wasn't sure how the suspense would play into the Amish culture.  As usual, my curiosity won out and I requested to review the book.  

The suspense did not disappoint and actually made the Amish characters more realistic because they were dealing with some heavy issues throughout the story.  

Seeing the Amish in this new perspective, made me realize that they are flesh and bone just as I am, and they have less than perfect lives as well. The suspense of someone stalking an Amish person led to a creepy factor for me.  I can only imagine the turmoil Hannah and her family went through to where they even felt they had to move to another state.  I hope no one ever really has to go through that horrible experience in their lives.

Overall, if you're looking for an Amish story with a twist of suspense, then you'll definitely want to start with this first book in The Amish of Hart County series.

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As an avid "quotation collector," I found many gems that spoke to me and tie in to my word of the year--perspective:

"Life was full of ups and downs....It was uneven and unexpected.  It was full of quiet moments..."
What a beautiful picture of the messiness of life.  There are many days that I feel the ups and downs, but it is the quiet moments that I get to think about the many blessings God has given me.

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"It made me not worry about things that don't matter."
How amazing is this quotation?  For someone to realize that you don't have to constantly worry about all of the stupid little things in life.  That in the larger scheme of things, they really don't matter.

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"Even in the midst of darkness, there is always something to be thankful for."
Amen.  While I struggle daily to remember this and have to constantly remind myself that I am blessed and that there are others who have it worse than I do, it was neat to see that even the characters in the book had to remind themselves as well.  It's a struggle we all deal with on a daily basis.

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"Faith is believing when you don't have proof.  Faith is understanding that you can't control everything and that is just as well."

Can you even think of a better word picture than this one?  As a control freak, I have to be constantly reminded that I am not in control.  That God is the one in charge and He can handle things MUCH better than I ever could.  It was refreshing to see that even the Amish have their moments where they have to be reminded to trust in God too.


I hope you enjoy reading Her Secret as much as I did.  Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy 2017!

It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  Time seems to go faster and faster every year and I feel like life is just passing me by because I'm choosing to stand still and watch rather than participate in the craziness all around me.  I think in this season of life God is giving me a new perspective and slowing down to observe is part of that process.


I'm sorry dear readers for not posting as often as I have in the past, but stopping a lot of my activities is what I needed to do in order to learn the lessons God was and is giving me.

The new year is when most people choose resolutions or a word to focus on for the year.  I've tried to do this in the past, but have usually slacked off a couple of weeks into January.  Sadly, I think most people do this as well.  While I do have goals that I'm setting for myself, I think that my word for the year will be:
 PERSPECTIVE.


In fact, I think it's rather fitting considering what God has taught me--to look at things from multiple perspectives before commenting and reacting.  I also think it's fitting because one of my favorite artists, M. C. Escher, would draw images that mess with people's perspectives to try and get them to look at things in a different light or way.

Throughout the year I will be posting on how I'm doing relating to my word, as well as my usual book reviews, favorite songs and groups, and life in general.  I hope you will continue to join me along this adventure!