Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Spotlight-The Wish Rider-Barbara Casey w/ Giveaway

                                           The Wish Rider by Barbara Casey
About the book (provided by IRead Book Tours)

Seventeen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the F.I.G.'s (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy. It was there that their much loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies, and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world.

Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks her friends to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother.

Their determination turns to desperation, however, as they encounter a dark hidden society more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined. It is there that
Dara hopes to find out why she was abandoned in a candy store all those years ago.

An Interview with the Author...

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Because I am a writer, I observe everything – usually without even realizing it. Then, just when I least expect it, something I saw or heard will spring into my consciousness. The Cadence of Gypsies started out as a line in a poem.

There are many books out there about teenage girls. What makes yours different?
Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, or the FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) are orphans, and each girl is a genius with a special talent. All of these things taken together make the F.I.G. Mysteries such an unusual series.

What advice would you give budding writers?
You really must develop a thick skin and not let rejection bother you. Don’t submit anything until you know it is the best you can write. If you believe in it, submit it. Then start on something new.

Your book is set in Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York City. Have you ever been there?
I attended NC State University and then lived and worked in Raleigh for many years. When I lived off campus, I drove past an orphanage every day on the way to my classes. I think even back then The Cadence of Gypsies was forming in my mind. I have also had to opportunity to visit New York City many times.

Thank you, Sherry, for interviewing me and for your interest in my young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, Book 1 in The F.I.G. Mysteries.

Connect with the Barbara:  Website 

            A link to the Giveaway follows my Thoughts.

And I Thought . . . 
This was a charming book about a group of teenage girls with a 
huge bond of friendship.  They work together to solve a mystery. 
Their friendship is one that many of us wish we had.  

This being book 2 of a series I didn't feel a huge need to have read book 1 but I think if I were purchasing I would buy both to have a complete set for the young reader.   This book can be purchased for the young reader with complete faith in it's content as appropriate for all ages.  

I received a copy of The Wish Rider from IRead Book Tours in 
exchange for my honest review.  

This book review is posted at the following retails sites . . . 
This review is posted at My Reading Journeys and Good Reads.

Click here for a chance to win. . .
Win one of three copies of The Wish Rider (choice of print or ebook). One winner will also receive a $25 Amazon gift card (open internationally)

Wordless Wednesday--Write a Caption

 Add a caption          __________________
The party begins Sept. 1 at

WW@Talbert Zoo  Picture Perfect @ Amandas Books and More, WW@Moms Own Words,
WW w/ Claire Justine , WW @ Oh My Heartsie Girl ,Creatively Unleashed,
WW @ Just Playing House, Saturday Sparks , Best Of The Weekend

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blue Monday--Blue Scavenger Hunt Part 1

Joining Blue Monday today and sharing some pics that my grandson took with my phone.  

I gave him the task of looking for Blue things in our apartment. 
A Blue pencil we're sending to his cousin in Missouri.
He was very creative with his task.  This is a box from a new toy.

I set the stage by getting out a set of  Blue dishes...

He really didn't need any encouragement.  
T:  T:  T:

I had to  step out of my comfort zone to show you my messy laundry room . . . 
              T:   T:
I was surprised how much he enjoyed the project . . . 

He didn't miss anything.  Even checked out the shower . . . 

T:  T:
And the Cowboys closet . . . 

There was one more photo that he took but I'm saving it for another post.  

After his little scavenger hunt we talked about uploading to the computer and editing.  He chose a photo and then we edited it with Pic Monkey.    

It was a fun project that we'll do again.  It's always fun to find activities that he enjoys.  

Linking with Blue Monday,  The Art of Homemaking,  
Share Your Cup,  Create with Joy , Share It One More Time
Saturday Sparks

         Join me for the Fabulous Fall Party beginning Sept 1
                          The Party is HERE
                                                                                                                   The party begins Sept. 1 at

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review-Service Tails-Ace Collins

                                        Service Tails
About the book (provided by Litfuse)
Serrvice Tails (Abingdon Press, August 2016)
Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.
Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.
In Service Tails: More Stories of Man’s Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance–stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally. 
And there's a Giveaway . . .     
service tails - 400 (2)
Enter today by clicking the icon, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 30. The winner will be announced August 31 on the Litfuse blog.         
 And I thought . . .
Ace Collins had me with the cover.  As soon as I was offered
this book I signed up! 
And I was not disappointed.  Service Tails is filled with heart
warming stories that reminded me of the Kitchen Soup 
series only much better. 
There are 12 stories.  Most of the stories are 16-20 pages 
long.  Making it simple to each story as a chapter.  
There are a few photo's.  
I really liked that each story began with a quote and the a 
graphic of dog foot prints.  
This is a great book.  I recommend it as a gift book for dog 
 I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse in exchange for my hones review. 
This review is posted at My Journey Back.  
This review is posted at Good Reads and the following retailers...
About the Author . . . 
Ace Collins
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
Find out more about Ace at


Friday, August 26, 2016

Fabulous Fall Linky Party

Welcome.  I hope your having a wonderful week. 
 It's almost time for the Fabulous Fall Linky Party . . . 
The party begins Sept. 1 at
Do you have any precious little Pumpkin boy photo's?
I loved this shot of my grandson from a few years ago.  I thought it was perfect for the party.  
We go to a pumpkin patch every year.  I'll be linking a few older posts at the party. 
The party rules are simple.  Only Fall Theme posts. New or old. 
Please no Halloween posts.  I have a special Halloween edition.
More on that later.
                               Image result for fall theme blog post dividers
This year the party will be at my new blog over here.  My new blog is all about making your home festive any day.  I hope you can come over and visit.    
                  Image result for fall theme blog post dividers
I began my new blog because I was having such a hard time with comments on this blog.  The comment option one day disappeared.  And then after my trying and trying to fix the problem and then giving up.  They came back.  In the end I ended up with a new blog.  

It really wasn't my intention for this blog to become a book blog but it kind of has.  I'll continue to post about other things as often as I can.  And I'll keep up with the linky parties I enjoy so much. 

If your more interested in my posts than reading reviews come over and visit and follow me at Our Holiday Journey
            I hope to see you on the 1st at the party

Thursday, August 25, 2016

No Way Up--Mary Connealy-Book Review

About the book (provided by Bethany House)
The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!
When Cimarron Ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg--and possibly his life--Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch's will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance's three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don't live and work at the ranch for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative. 

Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set--and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future--and a desired future with Sadie--locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.
About the author ...
Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at

And I thought ...
A fun little summer read.  Give me a Cowboy and I'm happy.  
 I couldn't happier  No Way Up is full of Cowboy's!  
It was an easy fast read.  The story only takes place in a few days but it is filled with tension as the Brode family fights no only for their ranch but to stay alive!  There is suspense in the air as some unknown villain try's to 'take them out'.  
There was a little sibling squabbling going on as Sadie annoys her brothers when she starts becoming interested in ranch hand Heath. 
The humor comes out in the story as each of the siblings 'fire' Heath for one reason or another.  Mostly for getting caught kissing the irresistible Sadie.  
I enjoyed the sub story line about Angelique who comes to town to work at the orphanage when Sadie has to leave her position to 'help at home'
I'm a little curious if Book 2 will offer us a little romance with the new in town Angelique and one of the brothers.  

No Way Up (Kind of a strange title to me which is explained within just a few pages) is book 1 of the Cimmarron Legacy. 
I look forward to Book 2.  

No Way Up was a good summer read appropriate for all audiences.  

I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. 
This review will be posted at My Reading Journey, Good Reads, retail sites and linked at blog linky parties.  

Visit these retails to read additional reviews or purchase:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sort Of Wordless Wednesday

. . . 
                       Books Reviewed in August
                        Books I reviewed in August  

Linking with   Create With Joy, Wordless Wednesday and Image-in-ing ,WW@Talbert Zoo
Picture Perfect @ Amandas Books and More, WW@Moms Own Words,
WW w/ Claire Justine , WW @ Oh My Heartsie Girl 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What To Do On . . .

. . . A Rainy Day

Hmm.  Or maybe . . . 

Or . . . 
I'm finishing this . . . 

And starting this . . . 

                            What do you do on a rainy day?

Linking with Create With Joy,  and Share Your Cup

Friday, August 19, 2016

Candidate For Murder-Lauren Carr-Book Spotlight-Review-Giveaway

Check out the sidebar for a link to the giveaway!

About the book:(provided by iRead Book Tours

It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

And I thought:
I can't say enough about Lauren Carr and this series. I've already read the previous book on my Kindle and I'm currently reading book 1.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to get started on this series.

The story line is full of twists and turns. It's spellbinding and interesting trying to figure out
'Who Dunnit'.
I really enjoyed the characters. I'm so glad that a cast of characters is included in the book.
That made it really easy to keep track of everyone. There are a lot of characters woven into this fun and funny and mysterious story.

Oh a whim/joke our main character Gnarly (which is a dog) is hilariously nominated for mayor. The townspeople of the small town of Spencer, Maryland are disgruntled by the candidates for the mayors office and begin to campaign for Gnarly. And then Gnarly himself becomes suspect to various crimes and our people hero Mac Faraday and Gnarly's owner must dive into the accusations to clear Gnarly's name.

The characters even the vilians are heartwarming. I would recommend reading the series.
Although each book in the series can be read on its own I think you would enjoy it much better by reading the series.

For instance I was curious about the attitude that Archie Mac's had about David's girlfriend Dallas Walker. At one point Archie admits she dosen't 'like her'. The two keep getting thrown together and a few sparks fly. Poor Dallas is new to the town and everyone else has history together which is the reason for Archie's lack of acceptance of Dallas. (Read book 16 in the series Cancelled Vows)

I would recommend this 5 star book to anyone. It is a mystery and crime is involved but it's not graphic.

If your looking for a fun book to spend reading the last few days of the summer I recommend
Candidate for Murder.

Don't forget to check out the giveaway!  Click Here. 

I received a complimentary copy of Candidate For Murder fromiReadBookTours in exchange for
my honest review. 

This reviews is also posted at My Journey Back , Good Reads and the following retailers.
This post will be linked to some of my favorite Blog Link Parties.  Check out my parties page.

This review is posted at Amazon and  Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Flowers On A Fence

The other day when I was leaving work I noticed the prettiest
flowers and . . .
This pod was huge.  I've never seen anything like it.

I think it makes this . . . 
I think it might be the pod that makes these pretty flowers on a trumpet vine.  But I've never seen one up close.
In this shot you can see a few more pods.

It was sharing space with another vine with these pretty purple blooms.  (Sorry it's blurry)

When I came home I logged on and starting looking at Pinterest and found this . . . 
Angel's Trumpet. Easy to grow and so pretty...I love these flowers.:
The pods are similar.  I've never seen this plant before. 
This one is called Angel's Trumpet.
Then I found this one . . . 
This site has the best trumpet vine growing guidance!  Supernova has MONSTER…:
This site was Trumpet Flowers(dot)com.  Wow.  A whole site
dedicated to Trumpet Flowers!

I spent awhile reading all the information.  Really cool site!  
There are some beautiful photo's.  

I wonder when I go back on Friday what I might find to photo?  

              Have you ever seen a Trumpet Flower?    

The Art of HomemakingShare Your Cup,  Create with Joy Grace At Home
Wake Up Wednesday The Homemaking Party, Friday Features
Simple Sweet Fridays,  Outdoor Wednesday and Flower Friday

The (un)Natural Mom--Book Review


(un)Natural Mom--Hettie Brittz--Book Review

               Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids
                                                                                               (un)Natural Mom
About the book (provided by Litfuse)...
(un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids (David C Cook, August 2016)
Do you feel like you’re the only mom who serves store-bought birthday treats, dreads school plays, and misses the days of going to the bathroom by herself?
Unnatural Mom gives you permission to say that mothering doesn’t always come naturally to you. Parenting expert and self-proclaimed unnatural mom Hettie Brittz helps you…
—Recognize how unrealistic our culture’s standards of mothering are
—Move beyond the myths of “supermom”
—Complete a profile to determine your own parenting style
—Understand and forgive the mothers who hurt you
—Embrace your capabilities as well as your challenges
Come find new hope in discovering that every mother has unique gifts. In Christ, the “unnatural” mom becomes the supernatural mom who is just right for her family!
About the author...Hettie Brittz
Hettie Brittz is an author, international speaker, and one of South Africa’s foremost voices on parenting advice. She is the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course and Tall Trees Profiles. Hettie and her husband, Gospel singer Louis Brittz, live in South Africa with their three children.
Keep up with Hettie Brittz by visiting or following her on Facebook (HettieBrittzAuthor) or Twitter(@hettiebrittz).
“Our culture puts so much pressure on moms to be perfect. Hettie Brittz reminds us that the ‘supermom’ is a myth and encourages mothers to embrace their unique temperaments and gifts as they raise their kids.” —Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
And I thought. . . Real, Authentic Truth.  Hettie allows us moms to realize that God has blessed us by being the moms he intended us to be. 
I love the subtitle . . .
        Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids
First I wish I had been taught these truths when I was parenting. 
Second I wish that every mom gets a chance to read this book.  
As a retired preschool teacher I have seen how damaging moms can feel from comparing themselves to other moms.  
These days moms feel that they have to compete.  Compete being the 'best mom'.  And they feel their kids need to be a certain way based on what others are thinking or doing.  
Hettie reminds the reader about the truth of God's word.  
And dispels the myths of parenting.  
This book offers hope for moms.  
from the back cover...
Come find new hope in discovering that every mother has unique gifts.  In Christ, the "unnatural" mom becomes the supernatural mom who is just right for her family!
This book rates 5 stars!  
This review is posted at My Reading Journey and Good Reads and is linked at some of my favorite linky parties. (a complete list can be found on my Parties Page)
I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.
This review is posted at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CBC.