Saturday, March 29, 2014

DANCING WITH FIREFLIES || RSVP for April 10th Facebook Party and enter to win a Kindle HDX from @DeniseAHunter!

Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 

Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.
One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter (A Chapel Springs Romance-book #2)

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group 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: A Chapel Springs Romance

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she'd never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.
The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He's loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she's back, his feelings are stronger than ever.
As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she's hiding secrets from her family, and she's strangely attracted to the man who's always called her "squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn't writing, she's busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Title: Dancing with Fireflies (A Chapel Springs Romance)
Author: Denise Hunter
Format: trade paperback with a Reading Group Guide
Genre: Christian, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Published: Thomas Nelson / 2014 / ISBN: 978-1-4016-8702-1/ 352 pages / $15.99
Buy the Book: Amazon / Thomas Nelson 
Find the Author Online: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Why I Read this Book:  I am a fan of Denise Hunter's writing--in case you couldn't tell by the number of reviews I've done on her books. (To see my other reviews, click on her name under "labels" in this posting and my other reviews on her books will pop up.)  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for romance stories and Ms. Hunter certainly delivers it in book #2 of the Chapel Springs Romance series--Dancing with Fireflies.  

When I read the first book in the series--Barefoot Summer (review here), I fell in love with the McKinley family and their faith that God will get them through the tough times--even when they couldn't feel Him near.  That theme is even more abundant in book #2 as Jade faces a surprising situation when she finally returns home after being gone for a year.

What I Liked: I have to say that I was actually giddy reading this book.  Yes, you read it right--giddy.  I was giggling like a little school girl in many places and clapping my hands as I cheered on the budding romance between Jade and Daniel.  There were a few times that I wanted to smack them because they were not communicating with each other very well, but then I thought about my own life and how realistic their reactions really were in the story and decided to cut them a little slack.  After all, moving from life-long friends to dating is a HUGE step!

I also liked the fact that Ms. Hunter did not shy away from the hard topics of date rape drugs, unplanned/unwanted pregnancies, homelessness, and single-parenting.  While many stories do not have happy endings, I'm glad that everything worked out well for Jade and Daniel--according to God's purpose.

What I Didn't Like: That I finished this book too quickly and have to wait until December 9, to read book #3-The Wishing Season.  Otherwise, I really enjoyed reading Dancing with Fireflies!
Overall Impression: Rating: 5 out of 5
Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading!!

Win a Kindle HDX!
Dancing with Fireflies denise hunter

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring!

Happy 1st Day of Spring!  Of course here in Florida, we're nearing summer temps, but I've always loved this hopeful and inspiring section of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  Enjoy!

Vivaldi's Spring (Four Seasons)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of the little green men running around trying to dodge people and keep their pots of gold safe, I had to bring out this video to show you.  Say hello to the Riverdance Teddy Bears!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Sky without Stars (Quilts of Love series) by Linda S. Clare

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book  blogger campaign and 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: (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)

In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father's killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Vandergriff, a half-Lakota who's also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren't all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

About the Author: Linda S. Clare is an award-winning coauthor of three books, including Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them(with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp), Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, and Making Peace with a Dangerous God (with Kristen Johnson Ingram). She is also the author of The Fence My Father Built. She has taught college-level creative writing classes for seven years, and edits and mentors writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter and church retreat leader. She and her husband of thirty-one years have four grown children, including a set of twins. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their five wayward cats: Oliver, Xena the Warrior Kitty, Paladine, Melchior, and Mamma Mia!

Learn more about Linda at:

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Format: trade paperback
Genre: Christian, Historical, Fiction, Light Romance

Source: Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign 

Published: Abingdon Press / $13.99 / 2014 / ISBN:978-1-4267-5279-7

Stalk the Author: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the Book:  Abingdon Press / Christianbook / Quilts Of Love site

Why I Read this Book:  When I first read the synopsis for this story, I realized that it focused on Native American culture and the maltreatment of the various tribes that continues to this day.  I wanted to learn more about their struggles and the significance of the Lakota star Frankie was creating in her quilt.

What I Liked:  We first meet Frankie and her son, Harold, broken down on the side of the road with no help in sight, but the last gas station they passed.  Making their way back to the gas station to get water for their radiator, we get a glimpse of the harsh life Frankie has had to endure, and even more of a look when she has a run-in with the station's owner and his son.

The realistic portrayal of the prejudice against the Native Americans by the "white men (and women)"  grabbed me from the start.  I grew up in New Mexico and remember visiting one of the Reservations so we could "see how the Indians lived."  I remember playing on the monkey bars with the other students and listening to their stories, but I also remember the comments made between our teachers and theirs--let's just say there was not a lot of love between them.  The tension was high and I don't remember us ever going back on a field trip.  

Reading about Frankie's distrust of all men, including the alcoholism that was rampant among the men in her tribe, really opened my eyes to the issues she faced in trying to raise her son as a single Native American parent.  I loved that she had to learn to trust and lean on other people for help since she was unable to provide and make ends meet on her own.  It showed her strength, as well as her helplessness, which eventually led her to rely on "the white man's God."

Overall, it was a great story about struggles and the power of hope and love.

What I Didn't Like:  I would have liked to learn more about the various tribal cultures-especially since several different ones were represented among the characters.  I think it would have brought a richer depth to the story, but then I love to learn about different cultures, so it's probably just me.

Overall Impression:  
If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a heartwarming story, then A Sky without Stars is the book for you!  What are you waiting for?  Go get this book!

Rating: 3 out of 5 

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading! 

Win a Kindle HDX!
Quilts of Love Linda S Clair A Sky Without Stars

Thursday, March 6, 2014

You Tube Thursday

I was searching for something Spring Break-y since tomorrow at 3 PM I will be officially on Spring Break, but most of the videos were too disgusting to post.

Instead, here's the newest from one of my favorite groups:

NeedToBreathe-Difference Maker

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding Series #2) by Rachel Hauck

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book  blogger campaign and 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: (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)

Regina Beswick was born to be a princess.
But she's content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother's hand-painted book of fairytales.
Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation's future---and his own.
Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever. Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide if she's destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together---with a little divine intervention---Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love.

Author: Rachel Hauck  (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)
Meet the author: Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominatedThe Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Learn more about Rachel at:

Format: trade paperback

Genre: Christian, Fiction, Romance

Source: Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign 

Published:  Zondervan / $14.99 / 2014 / ISBN:978-0-310-31550-6

Stalk the Author: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Buy the Book: Amazon / Lifeway / Christian Book Distributors / Zondervan

Why I Read this Book:  Almost every little girl dreams of growing up and finding her "prince charming," getting married, and living happily ever after.  However, what if it turns out that she is the princess (albeit unknowingly and unwillingly) and finds that her primary confidant may be her prince?  

I have always enjoyed reading about the lives of princesses and living happily ever after, or at least vicariously through their stories, so when I found out that book #2 in the Royal Wedding series (Read about book #1 here) was coming out, I jumped at the chance to read about the next royal adventure. 

What I Liked:  I am currently a Floridian, living in the Tampa Bay area, so when I found that our main character, Regina Beswick, was also a Floridian from the Tallahassee area (Go Noles!), I was excited to read to her story.

Regina is a down-to-earth type of girl, who enjoys hanging out with her family and her friends while doing the things she loves-such as restoring older cars.  I can only imagine her surprise when she was told that she was actually a princess from the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, and that the country's fate rested on her shoulders.  (Talk about massive pressure and stress.)

I loved that Regina was an independent woman who could think for herself and make decisions based upon the counsel she sought and her own convictions.  Many of today's "role models" for young ladies seem to lack morals, so I am impressed that Regina would not let people pressure her into her decisions, but rather prayed about them and asked for help from the people around her. 

I also enjoyed getting to know her heritage and the country's "history" through  the journal entries and the other characters.  I also liked the fact that she seemed to absorb the shock of her situation well, and rallied herself to help the people while she made her decision on whether to stay and rule, or to renounce her throne.

What I Didn't Like:  Where on earth do all of these characters get their money?!  Apparently I am in the wrong profession because even working two jobs, I can barely pay for rent and food, while the characters gallivant around like money is no issue.  I understand that Regina used to work for the rat race and may have saved some money back, but Tanner must make millions as the Minister of Culture if he's able to maintain his lifestyle and his...well, I don't want to give it away.   I know, it's a fairy-tale, but I still want to have hope that one day...just maybe...I'll become a princess too.  ;)

Overall Impression:  If you're looking for romance with the twist of surprise and delight, then Princess Ever After is the book for you.  What are you waiting for?  Go get this book!

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

PRINCESS EVER AFTER $200 “Princess” Giveaway and Facebook Party with @RachelHauck!

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of her latest "swoon"-worthy romance,  Princess Ever After, with a fun $200 "Princess" prize package giveaway and a Facebook "Princess" party on March 6th. Grab your tiaras and RSVP today!


  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (buy your very own "princess ever after" gown or tanks of gas for your "royal" ride)
  • Princess Ever After, Once Upon a Prince, and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6th. Winner will be announced at Rachel's "Princess" Facebook Party on March 6th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of "royal" book chat, princess-themed trivia, laughter, prizes, and an exclusive look at the next book in the Royal Wedding series!

So grab your copy of Princess Ever After and join Rachel and friends on the evening of March 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!