Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Welcome Dear Friends
I hope your having a wonderful week
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I am very sorry I've been AWOL the last couple of weeks.
Today I am 
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Our internet is fixed.  I've been spending the last few days catching up on posting book reviews.  I was so behind!  
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I really have a huge thankful list to share with you today 
...I am thankful for my clients who helped us out by paying me in advance recently.  More on that another time
...I am thankful for my client that give me plants
...I am thankful The Cowboy is getting more hours at work.  He's not back to where he was at his old job but things are better.
...I am thankful that The Cowboys new school is right by Kroger and Dollar Tree.  He can stop in for produce and bargains!  
...I am thankful we are having a wonderful spring with rain.
...I am thankful I have had spinach and swiss chard from my garden for salads!
...I am thankful I have green beans, yellow squash and zucchini sprouting and tomatoes blooming. 
I love spring!  
Do you have a springy 
Thankful 
list?
Join the party over and Michelle's and share your thankful heart.
Click here to visit Michelle
And on another note before I leave.  My other blog
My Reading Journeys has now been accepted to post reviews.
By June hopefully all reviews will be posted there which 
means My Journey Back will return to my normal crazy and eclectic posting!  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review-Red-tailed Hawk-Giveaway

Red-tailed Hawk by Nancy Schoellkopf
A giveaway follows 

About the book (provided by I Read Book Tours)
When Mariah Easter encounters a large hawk in her urban midtown neighborhood, her father Charlie is concerned. He can see a wild and mystical path opening before his daughter, a path he himself would never be able to resist. The hawk soon reappears: engraved with its twin on a golden thimble that has been an Easter family heirloom for generations. After the thimble is stolen at a funeral reception, Mariah and her mother Samantha set off on a road trip to find it, a journey that will bring healing to the grieving family and change Mariah's life forever.

Red-tailed Hawk is a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman's quest to discover the source of her own longing and to understand the mystical legacy of her family.

Book details
Book Title:  Red-tailed Hawk by Nancy Schoellkopf
Category:  Adult Fiction,  210 pages
Genre: Literary / Women's Fiction with magical realism
Publisher:   Butterfly Tree Publishing
Release date:  February 1, 2017
Format available for review:  Print and ebook (PDF)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada

Tour dates: April 3 to 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are a few non-explicit sex scenes, and a bit of profanity.)

About the author...
Nancy Schoellkopf
Nancy Schoellkopf is the author of Yellow-billed Magpie, the first in her Easter Family series. Nancy has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying that she'd need a second income, so this time around she has happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cats, her garden, and her intriguing circle of family and friends. 
Available

And I thought...
Book two following Yellow-billed Magpie takes place some 20 years later.  After the death of her father Mariah and the 
rest of her family set off on a quest to find a missing family heirloom. 
On the journey Mariah begins to understand herself and her family. Red-tailed Hawk is well written and interesting.  

I received a complimentary copy from I Read Tours
This review will appear on retail sites where the book is available.
This review will appear on My Reading Journeys and Good Reads.

To read more reviews, author interview, guest posts and 
enter the giveaway visit I Read Book Tours.  Click here.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Fragile Hope-Cynthia Ruchti

A Fragile Hope

About the book (provided by Litfuse)
Hope grows when seeds are planted—even in the muddy middle of life.
Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?


About the author
Cynthia Ruchti
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.
Click here to visit the author and purchase

Visit the tour to read reviews. Click Here

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Woman's Study Bible -KJV-Review

The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible

About
he Woman’s Study Biblepoignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation.
Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.
Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, The Woman’s Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman’s Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.
Features Include:

—Beautiful full-color design throughout
—Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
—Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
—Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
—Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
—Book introductions and outlines
—Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
—Quotes from godly women throughout history
—Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
—Topical index
—Concordance
And I thought
A great Study Bible.  This Bible is great especially for new Christians who don't have a background in reading the Bible. 
The study helps including the maps, concordance and topical index  bring the Bible to life.  
The verse to verse studies and the biographical portraits of women Bible characters give practical applications for today's women.
Included also are devotionals from top female writers and speakers. 

This is a great Bible for any woman wanting to dig deep. 
The Bible is pretty.  The colors are pretty and girly in pinks, and reds, blues and maroons.  The floral cover is continued inside.  

One negative for me is that I am not sure the pages are heavy enough to use any medium other than colored gel pens.  I would have liked to have been able to color.  I know this is not a journaling Bible but most women love to include journaling.  I think it might have been even better with the added option.  

I would purchase this Bible as a gift for a friend or student.  
A perfect gift for mom for mother's day.  Or for the young girl 
going off to college.  

Available

This review will post on the above retail sites, Good Reads 
and My Reading Journeys. 

For more reviews visit the blog tour at Litfuse.  Click Here

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dial P for Poison-Book Review


About the book (provided by Great Escapes Tours)
Movies. Muffins. Murder.
Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.
With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?
Cozy, quirky, and fun, this tongue-in-cheek mystery is a delicious introduction to the Movie Club Mysteries Series. Grab a cocktail and join Maggie as she takes her detective skills across the pond in Dial P For Poison
And I Thought....
I rarely get a chance to read book 1 of a series.  This time I managed to read the 1st one! Yea me.  And, to my joy book 2 is awaiting me on my phone! 

I was captivated from page 1 until the end!  I am choppin' at the bit to open up book 2 but alas there are other books ahead in my que.  Dawng it.  Can you tell I really enjoyed Dial P for Poison?

Honestly I liked loved the story better than the cover.  If I   was perusing the shelf in a store I wouldn't be drawn to the cover.  Sadly it wasn't catching to me.  If it isn't catching to you ignore it and purchase anyway.  You'll be glad you did!  

I loved Maggie from the start.  I rooted for her as she struggled with persuading the local authorities to investigate.  

And, when a handsome motorcycling stranger appear in town I had it pegged.   Handsome hunk.  Romance in the making.  Except
handsome hunk ended up being 'the law' sent to take over the investigating for the stumble bum local law enforcer.

Because I was intending to review this book I wrote down the characters and took some notes.  I loved that in chapter 13 the author included a list of suspects.  All 13 of them.  There were a lot of quirky characters in this book.  

I didn't get confused.  Maybe because I was taking notes but probably not.  Many of the suspects were scratched off the list rather quickly....

Except poor Noreen Maggie's aunt.  Whose business's began to suffer when she was arrested for murder. 

The suspect list was long including...
Paul the son-in-law of the victim.  And his wife Melanie.   Paul was not faithful in his marriage and had a difficult time managing business/money so he was a prime suspect in offing his MIL and inheriting the fortune everyone suspected she had. 

Then there was Paddy Driscoll aunt Noreen's neighbor who helped take care of her animals when she was away.  He had an axe to grind with the victim over a land dispute.  

The story revolves around Maggie trying to investigate and clear her aunts name without getting into trouble with the new 
authority in charged handsome motorcycle hunk Sergeant Reynolds. 

All's well that ends well when Maggie discovers who actually did the deed.  Everyone in the town is grateful when they are no longer on the suspect list!  

Maggie is persuaded to stay in town when she is given a lease on a cottage for a few months.  And guess who her neighbor is!

I am looking forward to book two!

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escapes Tours.
This review will post on Amazon and Good Read.
This review will post on My Reading Journeys and will be linked at available blog parties.

Available

About the series
Postmen. Poltergeists. Poitín. When former San Francisco cop, Maggie Doyle, extends her stay in Ireland, dealing with more murder and mayhem isn’t on her to-do list. The instant Maggie and her UFO-enthusiast friend discover the dead body of the Whisper Island postman, Maggie’s plans to chill for the next two months are put on ice. After Police Sergeant Reynolds, Maggie’s handsome neighbor, arrests Lenny’s brother for the murder, her friend begs her to find the real killer. Meanwhile, Maggie is hired to investigate ghostly goings on at the Whisper Island Hotel. Can she solve two crimes before St. Patrick’s Day? Or will the island’s annual celebrations end in a glittery flame of green, white, and orange?                                                                              Watch for the release of book 3 in June!
                                        Giveaway

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Yellow-billed Magpie-Author Interview-Book Review With Giveaway

Yellow-Billed Magpie by [Schoellkopf, Nancy]

Book Details (provided by I Read Tours)
Book Title: Yellow-billed Magpie by Nancy Schoellkopf
Category: Adult Fiction, 214 pages
Genre: Literary / Women's Fiction with magical realism
Publisher: Butterfly Tree Publishing
Release date: October 2015
Tour dates: April 3 to 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are a few non-explicit sex scenes, and a bit of profanity.)

Book Description:

Unlike their black-billed cousins, yellow-billed magpies are rarely found outside California’s central valley. So when they begin showing up in Samantha O’Malley’s dreams, she wonders: are they calling me home?

Disappointed by failed fertility treatments and the break-up of her marriage, Samantha returns to her home town and slips into old habits, resuming her teaching career, even hooking up with an old lover. But she also renews her friendship with Craig, the school custodian she honors as her spiritual guide. The work they do together with Samantha’s special education students will lead her to discoveries she never thought possible.

Yellow-billed Magpie is a love story, a spiritual journey, a quest to look beyond appearances to the mystical rhythms that guide the human heart.

Interview with the author  . . . 
Hello Nancy,
it is so nice to get to chat about your book Yellow-billed Magpie.
Before we start let’s get acquainted with some fun questions.
 
Do you have any hobbies that keep you busy when you’re not writing
I’ve retired from teaching now, so I’m blessed to have a lot of time to devote to writing and reading.  I love spending a lot of time with family and friends.  I belong to two different writing groups, and a spiritual reading and discussion group.  I also do volunteer work at a center that serves breakfast and offers hospitality and support to poor and homeless women.
 
Did you take the beautiful photos that you share on your website?
 
Yes, I did!  I love to take photos of flowers and birds.  But I don’t take as many pictures as I did back when I had an old fashioned 35 mm camera!  Plus now when I’m out walking in nature, or visiting with friends, I’d rather focus on the present moment rather than recording that moment for the future. 

If you could go anywhere in the world to write where would you go
Anyplace where I can sit and watch the Pacific Ocean roar onto the beach.  Favorite places are Point Reyes, Santa Cruz, and Point Lobos, just south of Carmel.

One last one and then we’ll get into the book.  Do you have any pets that help you
with your writing
?
 Oh, I’m so glad you asked!  Samantha’s cat Angel was based on my smart, big and beautiful feline companion AngelCat who passed away last year at the age of 13.  She was a wonderful companion, and I’m so glad I memorialized her for all time in my first novel.  At Christmas, two new kittens came to live with me.  They’re littermates named Valentine Rose and Suzanna Christmas (called Zuzu).  They bring me a lot of joy.

And now about the book…How would you describe Yellow-billed Magpie to the
reader that hasn’t seen the book or read the description
Yellow-Billed Magpie is the story of a woman on a spiritual journey.  As the story opens, she is at a cross roads, wishing she could plan out her life neatly, and know automatically what to do.  But she learns that life will surprise you, so you need to learn to go with the flow!

What character in the book would you want to sit and chat with over coffee
The Craig character is based on a dear friend of mine who died a few years ago.  Of course I would love to sit and have one more deep conversation with him.  And now that I’m learning to market my own books, it would be very helpful if I could get some business advice from successful entrepreneur Anna Victoria!

This is an interesting title.  Can you tell us how it came about and how it plays into the
story
Shortly before I started writing the book, I’d gone to an Audubon lecture on local bird species.  I found out that the Yellow-billed Magpie lives only here in my stomping grounds in Northern California.  Black-billed Magpies are relatively common, but serious birders come from all over the world to the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys to get a glimpse of our yellow-billed natives. 

A few weeks later when I started writing, just for the fun of it, I named the computer file “Magpie.”  At first it was just a file name.  I hadn’t intended to keep it as a title.  But slowly and surely, those big majestic birds worked their way into Samantha’s dreams, and into the plot of my story.  They became my mascot, and my ticket to a unique series of novels. 

Please tell us a little about your career and if it had any emphasis on the development of the story
I had a joyful career in special education for over thirty years working primarily with students who have severe cognitive disabilities.  I worked first as an instructional assistant, then I earned my teaching credentials.  I worked in two inner city school districts here in Sacramento.  When I was younger I often wrote poems about my students, and so often the poetry sounded sad.  But my students weren’t sad.  In fact, they were some of the happiest, bravest, most unpretentious people I’d ever known.  Eventually I became skilled enough to create a snapshot of a classroom that is genuine and unsentimental, but also relates how much fun it is to be with these kids.

In case anyone is wondering:  the story of Samantha’s students is completely fictional, though informed by my time in the classroom.  I encountered many students with disabilities and behavioral challenges like Lulu and Echo.  But of course none of my students were psychic or clairvoyant!      

I haven't had the pleasure of also reading Red-Tailed Hawk.  Are the two books a series or are they stand alone novels
I don’t think of Red-Tailed Hawk as a sequel, since it is a stand-alone story.  But many of the same characters appear in both novels.  Let’s just say a minor character in Magpie becomes the major character in Hawk!
 
Can you give us a sneak peek at Red-Tailed Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk is a coming of age story.  Our teenaged protagonist embarks on a quest—also known as a road trip!  She is inspired by an encounter she has with a large red-tailed hawk she is surprised to find in the middle of the city.  She feels the hawk is leading her—and he takes her south, north, and finally to the east—back to the spot where the sun rises—seeking the answer to her own mysterious origin, and--well, I guess I’ll leave you hanging right there!

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat.
Best wishes on the tour!  


Thank you too, Sherry!  These were wonderful questions!  I so appreciate the opportunity!--n
  

Buy the Book: 

Visit the I Read Book Tours page for additional reviews and enter giveaway
Click Here
iRead Book Tours
And I thought...
Yellow-billed Magpie was a different kind of a 'read' for me.  
I enjoyed the story and the characters.  
Nancy provides a wonderful story for the reader.  
For me having the opportunity to interview Nancy provided me with a different vision of the book/story than I anticipated. 
Admittedly I don't have an interest in poetry. Mainly because I've never really had a 'real' introduction.  
Basically I just don't understand Poetry and Symbolism.
Poetry and symbolism basically I just don't understand it. 
Books/stories with a poetical type of underlying theme confuse me.

And so. the cover of the book had me with a confused idea of what the story was about.

 Yellow-billed Mapie was a slow read for me.  But there are times that a slow read is what I need.  I need to absorb the story.  I need to take my time and enjoy instead of rushing through which is what I normally do. 

I didn't do that with Yellow-billed Magpie the book deserved my attention.

I enjoyed the characters and the story once I got 'into' it. 
Samantha's character is endearing.  He struggles and her
triumphs are engaging and kept this reader involved and 
interested.  

I am looking forward to reading Red Tailed Hawk
Thank you Nancy for introducing me to a different kind of story. 

I received a complimentary copy from I Read Book Tours 

This review will be posted on retail sites where the book is 
available. 
This review will appear on Good Reads and My Reading Journeys.  



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review-Bed & Breakfast & Murder

Bed and Breakfast and Murder (Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Patti Larsen Books (January 28, 2017)
Print Length: 189 pages
ASIN: B01N6W3JKN

Synopsis (provided by Great Escapes Tours)

 A Poo Poo Kind of Morning
I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.
Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.
“At what point,” I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, “did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?”


Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother’s death grants her a new chance–inheriting Petunia’s, Iris Fleming’s bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.

And I thought . . .
It's always fun to get the chance to begin a series with book 1.   
This was my first introduction to the author and this new cozy series. 
I always enjoy a story taking place in a small town.  Getting to know all the townspeople/characters and pets.
B&B&M was no exception.  
There were alot of characters to through into the mix of suspects.  
The story begins when Fiona 'Fee's' day goes from bad to worse.  Beginning with plumbing problems and ending with a letter devlivered informing her that her newly inherited B&B. Then trouble comes knocking at the door in the form of someone who has laid claim to the inheritance.  Before Fee has a chance to investigate she finds a dead body in the backyard and quickly becomes a 'suspect'.

Things go awry for Fiona as she begins to suspect her dad!
The reader is carried along on a fast paced journey as Fiona looks for clues.
I won't share the ending but the reader  is relieved along with Fiona when she realizes her dad
Didn't do it!
Through twists and turns and sub plots the story takes the reader on a fast paced ride.  
A  'who dun it' for the mystery lover. 

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escape Tours.
This review will post on Amazon and Good Reads.

Visit the tour at Great Escapes to read more reviews,
author and character interviews.
great escape button244
Click Here








Cozy Office Space

Welcome Dear One's
I hope your having a lovely Saturday
I am spending the day in my Office/Sewing/Crafting Room 
I've changed my desk space a little 'Wanta See?'


 :
A little imposter joined the party!
I love this little guy so I'll let him stay!
Maybe he can spell check!


 :       :
Another favorite from a friend he is a cute little trinket box.
 :
I have two Department 56 bunnies that my daughter gave me years ago


It's fun to collect. It gives friends and family ideas on what to give you for gifts.
A gift from my mother. . .
 :     :
Adorable detail . . . 


Another favorite.  He is little.  Soft and cuddly.
 :
The grouping
 :
I am surrounded with things and people I love . . . 
 :
The pencil holder is another gift from my mother . . . 
 :
The little bunny on the side is actually for a flower pot.
I love him on my desk.  I bought him myself at a garden store.
 :
A sweet little moss covered bunny from my daughter last year.
 :
I love the rock paper weight.  
A hand painted rock from my Daddy.

Surrounding myself with favorite things makes my little space warm and cozy anytime of year!

Come over and share your Cozy spaces at the 
Fabulous Spring and Easter Party

And for May it's all about . . . 
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Join the monthly parties over here at 
Our Holiday Journeys
Click Here




Friday, April 14, 2017

A Little This/That And A Couple Parties

Good Morning Dear Friends
I do hope this day finds you happy and well.

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And maybe getting ready for a wonderful Easter weekend! 


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I've been a busy girl.  
Working and keeping our Cabin Cozy. 
 :
Today I am working on making over the mantle
I have a few elements in place. 
It's a work in progress...
 :
The foundation elements are in place.  I have the primitive chippy mirror in the center
A group of silver painted wooden candles anchor the left end
 :
This work in progress looks a little silly right now
I guess your wondering why the Santa photo!
I was just auditioning frames and choosing which ones I'll use
Then I will dig through photo's and switch them out. 
Just in time to link for the end of ...

Have you visited and linked at the party?
The party goes on all month every month. 
There is a monthly theme with barely any rules.  
 Vine6
I would love for you to come over and link.  
And plan ahead for the month of May.
It should be tons of fun sharing Copy Cat Posts.
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I wanted to give you a 'heads up' so you could plan some posts.
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Have you tried any Copy Cat Recipes?
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Or maybe saw a magazine layout and you can't wait  to Copy?
Maybe you saw a  pin that strikes your fancy. 
All posts are welcome!  
You have all of April to think about 
Being a . . . 
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Come over and join the parties at
Our Holiday Journeys

And for June

Happy Easter