Friday, April 29, 2016

When Pigs Fly

I hope y'all are having a great start to your weekend! We are thrilled to be at the Flying Pigs in Cincinnati, Ohio! 

We cannot wait for the race on Sunday. We are hoping the Thunderstorms hold on. In the meantime, there is an awesome piece of swag I bought at the race expo! Get in on this!! 

And if you think it's pictured, it is, but not obvious at all. Thanks for celebrating as we celebrate all the way till my birthday!!
Have a great weekend! I'll catch up with you soon!

Q: What is your favorite race, charity walk or athletic event you have participated in and why? 


Grace Wins Everytime

In the grand scheme of life, everything that has been happening around us, isn't a big deal, but it sure has taken the wind out of my sails.

Without going into a lot of details, I could use your prayers and encouragement as we've had to involve law enforcement, the postal service and all other carriers who deliver to us. We've had lovely people support and surround us especially with particular issue, while others haven't been as kind. I ask that your prayer would for me to be a light in this situation and the individual causing this massive headache would step forward or stop. There are multiple agencies, publishers, people on the ground and everyone in between working on this.

I've emailed some of Birthday winners from Tuesday, but just didn't have the emotional energy to take on the rest. Thanks for your patience. I'll be emailing the rest of you today.. Y'all are so wonderful! 
Have a great weekend.. Oh, and if your curious what is going to be posted next for my Birthday, stop by Monday to see the surprises that are for this weekend.. It's a mystery weekend.. 


Q:How do you handle difficult situations? Do you talk it out? Shut down? How do you cope?? 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs

25802575“I want you to take every step of your life with excitement for where you are headed. And I want you to feel beautiful and confident as you do.” But how? When the enemy whispers lies that you are not smart enough, pretty enough, or rich enough? Or you are too dumb, too loud, too quiet, too thin, too fat, too much or not enough? What if you don’t have what it takes to be who you really want to be? In Looking for Lovely, Annie F. Downs shares personal stories, biblical truth, and examples of how others have courageously walked the path God paved for their lives by remembering all God had done, loving what was right in front of them, and seeing God in the everyday—whether that be nature, friends, or the face they see in the mirror. Intensely personal, yet incredibly powerful, Looking for Lovely will spark transformative conversations and life changing patterns. No matter who we are and what path God has us on, we all need to look for lovely, fight to finish, and find beautiful in our every day!



My Thoughts: 
"Looking for Lovely" is absolutely raw and beautiful in the way Annie is so real about her life, her Jesus and her faith. She doesn't sugar coat the hard in her life and she is straight forward honest. She talks about the hard things in her life and is transparent. I feel like I say this about a lot of books, but not a lot of books draw me into a way where I read about the author feeling like I would want them to be a best friend. Annie is someone I would want to be friends. I love people who are just genuine and are working on being their best selves. Annie takes the reader for a journey as she discovers what it means to be her best self, while worshiping Jesus and living out the life he has called her to do. Telling a story of the beautiful hard, she has written a book that is unique to only the story that God has for her life. I identify with all the hard things. My favorite and the thing I struggle with deeply is biting my finger nails. I love how she celebrates with nail polish. Biting my finger nails is one of my hards. We all struggle with things. She is straight up, honest and Annie. I love that. If you haven't picked up your copy, I recommend you do. I am going to get the study that goes with this book. I can't wait to study the word of God with this book.
Thank to B&H for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest review.  I give this book 10/ 5 stars for it being such a lovely book.

Mars With Venus Rising by Hope Taler Dougherty


{MORE ABOUT MARS . . . WITH VENUS RISING}

MarsWithVenusRising_w11898_680Mars . . . with Venus Rising(Pelican Book Group, August 2015)
A meddling horse, paper bag floors and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all—including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.
Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she’s worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.
When John Townsend—full of life and the joy of living—moves to town, he rattles Penn’s view of herself, her life, and her dreams…which isn’t such a bad thing until she falls for him and discovers he’s a pilot.



My Thoughts:
John is exactly the time of man Penn needs, but is he the type she is willing to risk it all for?  Mayo and peanutbutter is the type of gal Penn is. Not a huge risk taker, but willing to try a few roller coasters to see if John can bring some adventures to her life. However, after losing her family, is John the one she wants to risk it all for? Filled with laughter, some moments of tears and a romantic adventure, Hope Daughtry pens a story like no other. I believe Venus does rise and to the top, I might add. This author was a new read for me and I enjoyed this light, witty and serious moments as needed kind of a book. If you're looking for a new author, I recommend Mars with Venus Rising by Hope Taler Daugherty. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to LItfuse for providing a complimentary copy for review purposes only. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

About the Author:
Hope Toler Dougherty


Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Almost an Author. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo.
Find out more about Hope Toler at http://hopetolerdougherty.com.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chase Away Cancer by Ellie Ewoldt

30065589About:
You may think you know how this cancer story goes. The characters: a little boy, a loving family, the team of doctors. The diagnosis: terminal, little hope for a cure. There are two possible outcomes. Will his family be plunged into extreme sorrow or miraculous joy?

What if the answer was both?

Ellie Poole Ewoldt debuts with a memoir of desperate hope and fierce love; of a family who refused to give up even when they heard the worst possible news for their two-year-old son, Chase. Moment by moment, the Ewoldts faced brain surgery and chemo, spinal taps and transfusions. And yet, the true miracle lay not in the medicine or Chase’s prognosis—rather, Chase’s life shows us the miracle of hope, even through the darkest nights. If there is anything he and the Ewoldts have learned, it is that God is always good and will stay at your side through every moment, no matter what it holds.

You’ll fall in love with Chase through his story and be inspired to help chase away cancer—for this headstrong boy, his fighting friends, and all those in your own life who need hope for whatever tomorrow may bring.

My Thoughts:
Grab a box of tissues and be ready for one of the most powerful, intense stories of your life. I feel like I say that about a lot of books, but when I read any books about children fighting pediatric cancer, immediately my heart melts and my eyes are a puddle, yet inside of each child is a warrior. "Chase Away Cancer" shows us the warrior inside of all of us despite the needle pokes, scans, radiation or whatever junk comes our way, we all have a hope and this book reminds us of who are hope is in and where we can find it. Whether you're facing Cancer or some other storm in your life, this book is for those who need to know there is something beyond the battle and you have the courage to weather the difficult storm. Thank you to Tyndale for allowing me to review this book. I give this book 5/5 stars. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Updates, Giveaways and more!

Good Morning! I hope this week is going well for all of you! This upcoming weekend is going to be very busy for us, and I am super excited to celebrate the beginning of almost turning thirty by running a race that we signed up for this past fall. It my Birthday race! I picked this one because I like cute PIGS and if you get me laughing hard, I snort like one too! 

Things might look a little more relaxed on my blog this week. This evening with the help of Random.org I will be emailing folks of their book winnings. Come Wednesday or Thursday; I will be shipping out your winnings, so you still have all of today to enter in these drawings yet! 

Here are those drawings: 
Just leave a comment on the page

Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury

Nuun

Broken for Good by Rebecca Rene Jones

One Dress, One Year

The Gift of Love by Amy Clipston


Also, I have the following three items up for grabs, and I will be mentioning some items throughout various posts over the next week, but I am writing at a more relaxed pace. I have not been sleeping well. I have had some nightmares and had a running incident this past weekend that I might talk about later on this weekend. It put me on alert in regards to safety for female runners. More on that later.


I personally love the Family Photography book! Great book with tons of ideas! 

So, if you see posts far and few between this week, it's because I am preparing mentally for a race that my head has been excited for and my body has had to overcome a lot of medical drama. Still overcoming and believing it will heal. 


If you would like to be entered into the drawings, please leave a comment below or on any of posts for this next series of books. Random.org will choose a person for each item by May 2, 2016. 

How do you celebrate Birthdays? 

Her One & Only by Becky Wade Pre-Order +Party

wade event promo - fb 

A female bodyguard plus her star NFL client plus danger equals a great recipe for romance! Her One and Only, book four in Becky Wade's Porter Family novels, releases May 3. To celebrate, Becky is hosting an author chat party on her Facebook page on May 5 at 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT. Join Becky for an evening of book chat with other bookworms and prizes.

Plus a portion of all pre-sales and sales the release week of Her One and Only will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more details on how to purchase a copy, click here.


wade 400 - fallen heroes

About the Book

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Gift Of Love by Amy Clipston + Giveaway

Image result for The GIFT OF LIFE, ONE WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO SAVE A LIFE AMY CLIPSTONAuthor, Amy Clipston is best known for her amazing ability to tell amazing Amish fiction. If you have never read The Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, I highly recommend it. It is my personal favor series on forgiveness, faith, hope, and grace. You will love the recipes Amy provides in each book and the characters, especially Rebecca in A Gift of Grace. 

However, aside from her amazing Amish fiction writing, my favorite story of Amy's is her own personal journey when she writes her memoir entitled "The Gift of Love," where she shares their families personal testimony to God's grace and healing for a miracle. 

Her husband, Joe began dialysis in 2003 when his numbers were not good. During this time, Amy was pregnant with baby number two and couldn't wait to give their other son, Zach, another sibling. However, Amy miscarried, and if this trial weren't hard enough, the transplant for Joe would be. Just as the Cliptson's were catching their breath, the nightmare was not over as Joe required a second transplant. 

One kidney transplant is a miracle and Amy knew a second kidney transplant would be a miracle in itself. Amy was willing to give her own kidney, but frustrated to find she was not a match. During this season, God was preparing Amy for his plan for her as she entered the writing industry and signed my favorite series, the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series. In "The Gift of Love" Amy gives the account of how God worked everything together for good, despite the long road in front of her and Joe. 

Their story doesn't just begin and end with transplants, but what it means to go through seasons of marriage hand in hand, despite the pain, loss, and believing in hope when all seems like it's gone. This book is for any Amy Clipston fan who doesn't know her remarkable story of faith, perseverance and hope. 


Grab a box of Kleenex and get ready to cry, laugh and find yourself trusting in a God who is bigger than what meets the eye. I think everyone should read this book! 

I am giving a copy of this book away because it is incredibly powerful and you should read it! 

If you would like to be entered into the drawing, please leave a comment below. Random.org will choose a person by April 29, 2016. 

When have you experienced adversity? How did you handle it? 

About Amy Clipston:
Photo Credit: Here
Image result for The GIFT OF LIFE, ONE WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO SAVE A LIFE AMY CLIPSTONIf you would like to learn more about Amy, please visit her website. She is a very talented  author that has expanded her writing beyond this beautiful memoir, but is now know for writing two wonderful Amish series including the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Series. She has written several novella's and has just recently released her newest title "The Forgotten Recipe and is also releasing The Courtship Basket in June. 

To connect with Amy, please visit her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti Book Review

Song of SilenceSong of Silence (Abingdon, April 2016)
Music taught Lucy love and beauty. Could silence teach her hope?
Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. Charlie retired early, but Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.
Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her form the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.
When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

My thoughts:
Having never read a book by Cynthia Ruchti, I can say this will not be my last novel by her. With an emotional and moving story, readers will not be able to put this book down. We meet main character, Lucy who takes the readers on a journey as she is a music teacher, goes through unemployment, handles it through marriage with her husband Charlie with a few bumps as marriages do. Of course, there are things in her life with her adult children that come into play, which throw a few curve balls.  This book will take you places you didn't see coming. You will find yourself laughing and of course crying. It's ridiculous. And of course, I lost it several times over the many quotes that Lucy said, the painful moments, the things she gave up, my heart went out to her.  My favorite line and the one that resonated so well with me was "God, I want to be healed, but I don't want to be as I once was." This resonates with my heart because of my own personal journey and story. God, heal me, and don't make old, but something different, however, I would change the path you've taken me on because it has made me the strong woman I am today. This book is one that will leave readers thinking about it long after you're done. Honestly, I would love to see it made into a movie. 
Thank you Litfuse for providing a complimentary copy for review purposes. This book receives 5/5 stars. I highly recommend you picking up a copy and asking your library to purchase a copy too! Get ready to spend a day in the chair reading this fantastic book. 

About the Author:
Cynthia Ruchti
Image Provided by Litfuse
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She’s the award-winning author of 17 books and a frequent speaker for women’s ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.


Friday, April 22, 2016

One Dress, One Year + Giveaway

Cover ArtSixteen Year Old Bethany Winz isn't your average gal. She has a passion for making a difference in the world, and I admire her. She believes in freedom. She learned about the millions of men, women and children enslaved and decided she needed to do something about it. For an entire year, she wore a black dress that she made to promote awareness to end slavery and promote justice. This girl is the real deal. She is Jesus with skin on. Full of passion to live the life Christ called his follower to live, she did  for 365 days.

Her attitude, spunk, courage and willingness to talk about her discouragement along the way is completely refreshing. I encourage you to pick up this book as it is a game changer for anyone who doesn't think that one person can make a difference. I am so proud of her. She is inspiring, and I think everyone can learn something from her message.  




If you need an inspiring read or something to get you out of comfort zone, this one will stretch you in a beautiful way. 
Thank you to Baker Books for allowing me to review this book for my honest review. I  give it 5/5 stars. 



I love how amazing Bethany is, and I think you should support this book. Not only that but the support of the end of human trafficking, which Bethany stands for. She mentions some amazing organizations that support the end of Human Trafficking. 

I think this is an issue that we all need more awareness, and I am giving a copy away! You just need to leave a comment in the section below, and Random.org will choose a winner on April 24, 2016. 


What do you know about Human Trafficking? 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother by Marianne Jantzi

27299035
Image provided from Litfuse

{MORE ABOUT SIMPLE PLEASURES}

Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother(MennoMedia, March 2016)
Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family’s life on the snowy plains of Ontario.
The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.

My  Thoughts:
"Simple Pleasures" was a breath of fresh air. Having read many fiction novels about the Amish and their lifestyle, I found this book to be incredibly well written and quite relateable. The Amish live in the same world we do, except with a more simple life style, yet they struggle with the same things we do. I think our world and culture has put high expectations on their lifestyle and the way they live, but I could help but find myself think as I was reading Marianne's words, "we've got it all wrong." In fact, our society has mis-interpreted the Amish community thinking we are very different, yet we aren't. 
I love when she talks about the art of listening. Her and I are a lot alike. I am talker and so is she. I could learn to listen more and talk less. I found this book to be straight from the heart, as almost as if I was sitting having coffee with an old friend. Marianne writes this book in small chapters like words of wisdom and you can read this as a devotional or all at once. I took it in small bites as a devotional and loved her words. I give this book 5/5 stars for the authors ability to make me laugh, feel like I was chatting over coffee and being able to connect with her about our faith in God. This book isn't like any Amish book I have ever read before. I highly recommend it. Thank you to Plainspoke for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Broken for Good + Giveaway




25744289If you've ever walked the road of grief, "Broken for Good" will wreck your life in a way unimaginable. Rebecca Rene Jones writes about the story of her father passing away three days into her freshman year of college. If it isn't hard enough to watch your father battle and lose his fight with cancer, move on to a new season of life as you start your journey into college, then how about dealing with the fact that your family aside from your dad, walks with Jesus? Didn't expect that, did you? Was he a bad man? Heavens no! He was a great man who loved the lake, loved his family, loved his wife and loved fishing. At the end of his life, on a family trip, something not only changed his family but changed his life for eternity. 

Rebecca writes the story of grief as humanly as possible with the honest emotions, raw thoughts we all have about losing someone we love, the isolation we feel, and the intense waves grief takes one on. Oh, I love her honesty about how as humans when we lose someone, it is so hard unfathomable to be without them and be here and know they are so far away. Yes, they can be without pain in Heaven, but we can hurt here. She makes no small thing about the pain she experiences and for that, I am forever grateful for "Broken For Good." I love the depth and risk Rebecca takes in being genuine with her feelings, faith and her ability to find hope. She is a shining light for anyone who has ever experienced loss. I find " Broken for Good" to be life-giving  and life-changing on how to respond to grief. 
I give this book 5/5 stars. 

Thank you to Faith Words a division of Hachette Book Group for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes only. 

This is one of my favorite books on grief and because I think as a society we don't grieve well, nor do we know how to respond to grief, I am giving a copy away. As someone who lost my Grandma this past December, I do miss her dearly and I this book had me in fits of tears as I realized how much I needed to grieve. This book also made me laugh too.

You just need to leave a comment in the section below, and Random.org will choose a winner on April 24, 2016. This is another one of my favorite items and I think you will love it! 

How do you handle loss in life? What is your coping skill? 

To purchase a copy, head here!! 

Rebecca Rene JonesREBECCA RENE JONES believes in the biggest God, the blackest coffee, and that earth is just an opening act. A 2005 graduate of Grove City College, Pa., she spent nearly a decade as a health care publicist, writer, and editor before shifting gears to freelance from home. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband and son. You can visit her at www.rebeccarenejones.com.