Saying "Hi"

Hi there! You might have noticed that I didn't say, "Hello there!" Like I usually do. But then again maybe you didn't. Around my house we're gearing up for 4-H and the county fair. Frantically putting the finishing touches on our masterpieces (that we started last year in September, but somehow forgot about till now. LOL!) You might wonder what's up with me so I'll tell you. I'm gearing up for Bible Quiz season, though I haven't officially started studying yet. I just got facebook, which is really addicting. And I mean REALLY ADDICTING!
Meanwhile, I'm working hard to bring you some more reviews of Christian books, fiction and non-fiction alike.
As for my writing I'm sad to say that my daily word count has dwindle to a measly 125 words a day. But it's coming together. Which I'm really happy about.
Did I mention that I am cross stitching like a crazy person to get my 4-H project finished in time for fair? Well I am and it's getting there too!
Hope you don't mind my quirky side coming out to play today. Keep on reading! Thanks!


The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones ~ review

The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones: Book Cover
My Review: Governor Gray London and his wife Mackenzie are in a beautiful season of life. Their daughter Maddie is just starting Kindergarten. After trying so hard for a baby, Maddie is the center of their world. But now she's growing up. Suddenly a ground shaking tragedy takes place, rocking Gray and Mackenzie's faith to the core. Mackenzie falls into a deep depression, while Gray mourns on his own. Jeremiah Williams, the gardener brings Mackenzie a different flower nearly everyday, each with its own special meaning hoping to help heal her broken heart.
   Come down south, and meet a bounty of unforgettable characters that will have you laughing, crying, and ranting right along with them. This book leaves no emotion untouched! Let the characters steal your heart in the latest release from Denise Hildreth Jones.

The First Gardener is gem of an emotional read that thoroughly touches your heart in a variety of ways. It was hard to put down to the very end, yet at the same time hard to read during particular parts due to certain plot twists. What I really liked about this book was the realness of the characters,  their dialog, and their emotions. Each character was distinctly unique and likable in their own wonderful way. I particularly liked Jeremiah, with his unique way of saying things in a way that was so real and honest, yet with a completely fresh, sometimes hilarious spin to it. Some of the story was told from Jeremiah's point of view, and I found myself looking forward to those parts most as I read this book. Jeremiah is definitely the kind of character who will warm your heart in a thousand different ways.

Ms. Hildreth Jones has a beautiful lilt and rhythm to her writing, and the humorous quips were priceless! I really enjoyed this book, though at first I wasn't sure if I would. It's a little different for me, but I would definitely recommend it now, having read it. Overall it presented an inspiring message of love, loss, letting go, and forgiveness, filled with hope and heart.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-3558-2

Buy it HERE

Thanks so much to Tyndale publishers for giving me a free copy of this book  in return for an honest review.


Mr. AWANA by Art Rorheim ~ review

Mr. Awana by Art Rorheim: Book Cover
My Review: As a leader in the AWANA program and a high school participant, I was so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about my favorite children's program. And let me tell you that this book did not disappoint. The font was easy to read, and the overall design of the book was attractive. I realize that this is a niche book, so it may not appeal to everyone, and is aimed more at the AWANA crowd. But definitely not limited to those involved in AWANA.

Mr. Rorheim tells the story of how AWANA started out, and of all the little miracles that made club possible. How many different countries got involved and how the money was raised for the AWANA headquarter buildings.  It was obvious that while it may not have been visible at the time, God was certainly at work in the hearts of so many people. It touched so many peoples lives in so many countries.

As a leader at one of the thousands of clubs, I know firsthand how much of an impact AWANA has on families, and so I was able to relate to things in this book that I might not have been enthusiastic about if I were not so involved. The stories were inspirational and uplifting, making me even more excited to start the AWANA season. There was so much in the history that I did not know! For instance that the SPARKS branch in which I volunteer was not part of the original AWANA groups. I also found the index of the countries which had AWANA clubs very fascinating and helpful.

The one thing that I found that was a bit confusing, was that sometimes a story was told twice, almost word for word. By my count that only happened twice. But I didn't mind too much. Otherwise, I found the book to be filled with humor and encouragement. A  must-read for every AWANA leader.

It most certainly made me rethink my dedication to AWANA and made me strive to do even more. I think that this book could be a blessing to many others like me, so I highly recommend it. Thanks so much!

ISBN: 978-1-60265-027-5

Buy it HERE

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thanks so much to Bookcrash Publicity for letting me be a part of their review program and for providing the review copy of this book free of charge.


The insanely crazy life of me!

Hey there! Sorry I haven't been blogging as much as I used to. I've been so busy with 4-H and getting ready for the fair next week. Today was fashion revue (and yes, I spelled it that way on purpose), so that meant spending nearly the entire day down at the county extension office. I'll be doing 4-H for the next 2 weeks, but I'll still be posting. Don't you worry about me, I haven't died! I hope to be bringing you a book review very soon so stay tuned! I'm trying to figure out how to say something in the right way so it won't sound wrong. So I'd better get it right!
Well, thanks so much for tuning in! See ya tomorrow! (I'm posting then, either that or tonight).


Pieces of Silver by Maureen Lang ~ review

Pieces of Silver by Maureen Lang: Book Cover

My Review: It's 1917, and America is at war with Germany.

Liesel Bonner's world changes forever on the day she loses her job as a stenographer, simply because she's of German blood. She's an American citizen, born and bred, she's never questioned her loyalty to the United States. But government agent David de Serre does, and so does the country he represents. He also questions the allegiance of her beau Josef von Woener. Who will she trust? What path will she choose? Who will she trust? Liesel is torn between love for her country, her faith in God, and her longing for lasting love, in this book of betrayal and loyalty, in the year of 1917. What will she choose?

Having never read anything by Maureen Lang, I didn't know what to expect. But this book was definitely worth my time! Almost as soon as I started reading I felt connected to the character of Liesel. Reading about her struggles, and how she dealt with them, was inspiring. She is such an inwardly strong character, yet vulnerable. But so remarkably strong.

While David de Serre might not have been the hero in a red cape, he was very admirable. Not in the flashy sort of way but in the way that slowly-grows-on-you-and-you-don't-know-why. Which I thought was very well done. Plus he knows his Bible. The perfect hero. I'm a huge fan.

The plot was skillfully woven, and encompassed most of my favorite things in one book! Those things are: intrigue, mystery, suspense, romance, history, touching characters, WWI era, & spies! Whenever I picked it up, from putting it down, I was instantly plunged back into the year of 1917. It didn't take time, just, BAM! And I was there. Definitely one of my top ten favorite reads this year - so far anyway!

Also, I found the characters and dialog, warm, engaging and believable. I thought that it presented both sides of the conflict very well. Which is something that really caught my attention about this book. The new angle of German-Americans caught between two countries that they loved. It was fresh and intriguing.

As a closing word, I found nothing that I found objectionable in the content. Just some kissing, but I didn't find that objectionable. So in the end I will most certainly be on the lookout for more books by Maureen Lang! Thanks!

ISBN: 0-8254-3668-0

Buy the book HERE

Special thanks to Kregel Publishing who provided this book to me for review free of charge. Thanks!


Please rank my review!

Hi, will you please take a second and rank my review?


Thanks so much.
Read my review HERE.


Carmelized Onions

4 onions, sliced with the rings separated (like onion rings).
3 tablespoons brown sugar.
1/2 cup beef broth.
1 tablespoon vinegar.
Okay, so cut up the onions and put them in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the Brown sugar. And then stir constantly until onions are tender. About 15 min. Then add the vinegar and the broth. Then wait for most of the juice to cook away. There should be about a tablespoon of liquid left. Then serve on top of steak. Or eat them plain. I mean you can eat them plain. They taste good. But that get's old after awhile.


4 things I learned on vacation

I learned some interesting things from my cousins while visiting here are a few:

"Everybody goes to Texas, especially to chase girls-there are pretty girls in Texas." ~ 6 year old cousin B.

"Have you ever noticed that when you run into a spider web you instantly turn into a ninja? ( because you start batting at your face with your hands)." ~ cousin C.

"God is the King of dirt- and everything else- so you can't be the king of dirt!" ~ cousin B. to little brother.

Dogs love it when you share your ice cream with them. If you do you WILL have a new best friend.


I'm happy to tell you that I will be back to blogging this upcoming Monday. Not quite sure what day that is. I'm on vacation, see? But I'm looking forward to seee ing ya'll soon! I have some pretty cool reviews coming up so stay tuned!


Adventures out west

Okay, I probably wouldn't be posting right now, but I promised. First of all let me put your fears of me being eaten by a Mountain Lion to rest, it hasn't happened yet! But it still might.
I spent my 4th of July cranking homemade ice cream, 5 quarts of it, and my arm almost died. If you have ever cranked ice cream in an old fashioned churn, I'm sure you can relate.
Yesterday, was interesting. I spent it crashing through trees on horseback after naughty cattle, and accomplished absolutely nothing! Yes, they were that bad. But it was fun!
My cousin is very happily hitched and he and his new bride are doing well.
I'm sorry this isn't longer!


A Big Congrats To...

Today is the day that marks the union of Jedediah & Jenni H. of Wyoming, in Holy Matrimony.
Jed is my cousin. So a big congrats to the newly married couple.

"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:6 NIV

Okay let's get down to business. During the next two weeks I will be visiting relatives,(the obvious reason is above), and thus will have sporadic Internet access. You can be sure that I will post as often as I have Internet access, but I didn't want you to think that I got eaten by a rabid polar bear or something, so I'm alerting you to this development. Please feel free to comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

P.S. If you don't hear from me in about 6 months, I probably got eaten by a mountain lion! LOL!

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo ~ review

Cover of ISBN: 0307444821

"Sometimes romance is just an inconvenient marriage away!" - From the back cover of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck.

While visiting Europe Charlotte Beck meets the Viscount Alex Hambly, and falls - literally - into his arms. Charlotte wants to pursue a career in her father's business, while Alex has a passion for astronomy. Charlotte's father meets Alex and immediately takes a liking to him.
Pressured by her father, Charlotte and Alex enter into an inconvenient marriage. Sparks fly and a battle of wills rages. Can love really be just an Inconvenient Marriage away?

My Review: This book had me hook, line, and sinker from page one! The characters were charming and lovable, despite their faults. Ms. Y'Barbo's voice was perfect for this book, and the pace moved right along. It isn't often that a book draws me in so completely. I loved how the sparks flew (sometimes literally) between Alex and Charlotte, not to mention the humor that had me chortling constantly. I could go on and on about how the chemistry between Alex and Charlotte entertained me, but for the sake of keeping your attention, I won't.

The characters were well done and believable. Charlotte and Alex weren't perfect but they both had their charms. Charlotte was spoiled, but somehow I ended up loving her anyway. Alex was a perfect gentleman and easy to fall for hero.

I was surprised at how easily I believed the plot and characters, at first I wasn't sure that I would. But the plot worked very nicely for me and fit the tone of the writing to a T. This is the perfect read for anyone who loves a good old fashioned western romance, with a healthy dose of humor.

As the book moved along, I found that the pages flipped by at a steady, but fast rate. There wasn't a moment I was detached or un-entertained. I can guarantee, that I will be recommending this book to  all my friends, in fact I just handed it off to my mother! Definitely one of my new favorites!

Buy it HERE!


Thanks to Blogging for Books (Waterbrook/Multnomah) for a complimentary review copy of this title. This is my honest opinion. Thanks!