Monday, Monday

Sick Computer 2

I have a very sick computer. It began with not letting me like or comment on friends’ blogs at BlogSpot. It has unfortunately spread and now will not let me like or comment on WordPress.
I first noticed the problem a few months ago. I solved it by finding another computer. However, now that the holiday season is in full swing, I am finding it harder and harder to “borrow” a computer, and going to the library is a real PAIN!
So, dear friends, I am not ignoring you, I just can’t like or comment!
Alas, this will be a MAJOR problem soon as I am scheduled for several blog hops!
I also don’t see a new computer anytime in the near future, either. So, please bear with me I will answer as soon as I can.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I did, it was just very busy and caused some health flare-ups, but it was nice, even so.



Monday’s Mission

I was nominated for two blog awards, both around the time I lost my brother.
I am committed to MANY author’s launch teams, blog hops, promotions, etc. Due to this (and because it truly is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY past due), I am going to accept my awards. Today, a week later than I originally planned, I am accepting the second award.

So here goes!

I would like to thank kind Kathleen, aka LaFayette Angel, at My Daily Musing for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Here Are The Rules For This Award:

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you

  3. Write a post to show your award

  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started

  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers

  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog

  7. Attach the award to the post (right click and save, then upload)

  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them

I originally started my blog just to get my feet wet where writing was concerned and to share some thoughts. However, as time went on, I kept getting more and more requests for book reviews-so I started reviewing books. It was a great fit as I read close to 300 books a year (it helps that I can read very fast!). Of course, I don’t review anywhere near that many, it would be a full-time job!!

My advice would be to just do what you love. If you want a HUGE following, I don’t have any real words of wisdom. I know for me, I like connecting with other bloggers and that connection has given me more and more followers over time.

The blogs I nominate are:

So, there you have it. A very eclectic and interesting group! I have come to appreciate every one of them for many different reasons.

There are so many wonderful, inspiring blogs out there, way too many to name! But, maybe, in my own small way, I can sincerely say, “Thank you.”



Friday’s Fiction

The Golden Braid

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

 About the Book

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

“The Golden Braid is a delightful, page-turning retelling of the story of Rapunzel. Dickerson brings this familiar fairy tale to life with a fresh and unique plot that is full of complex characters, a sweet romance, and danger at every turn. Rapunzel’s search to understand her place in the medieval world is a timeless identity struggle that modern readers will relate to. Her growing courage and faith are inspirational and will have readers cheering her on and sad to see the story come to an end.”

—Jody Hedlund, bestselling author of An Uncertain Choice

My Thoughts

Melanie Dickerson has rewritten the story of Rapunzel, elaborating on the story and including elements of faith.

In The Golden Braid, Rapunzel is seventeen and Gothel, her adoptive mother, is raising her. Rapunzel wants to marry and have a family, but more than anything she wants to learn to read. Her mother, however, doesn’t want her to do either and does everything she can to prevent it.

Rapunzel is disheartened when her mother tells her they are moving again. She knows it’s just a ploy to keep her away from eligible men. However, things change dramatically for Rapunzel and her mother when highway robbers waylay them.

Sir Gerek, a knight, rescues them, with a little help from Rapunzel. In the process, Sir Gerek is injured. Rapunzel naturally wants to assist him, yet her mother does whatever she possibly can to thwart her.

The Golden Braid is a whimsical, inspirational retelling of a classic fairy tale.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday’s Take

Another Way Home

Another Way Home: A Chicory Inn Novel – Book 3 by Deborah Raney

About the Book

Grandchildren are not in short supply for Grant and Audrey Whitman, although their middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, after trying for years, have not been able to contribute to the growing family. Danae is open to adoption, but Dallas will not even discuss it. Her despair over never having a family of her own is so deep, it even causes her to question God’s plan for her life. Knowing she must find something to do to fill her lonely days and energize her life, Danae volunteers to work at a newly opened women’s shelter in town. She was only looking for a way to spend her time, but getting to know the hurting women at the shelter fills her heart and she learns to live a life of gratitude once again. But heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil— and leave them all forever changed.

My Thoughts

Another Way Home is book three of four in the Chicory Inn Novels by Deborah Raney.

Danae Whitman is the middle daughter of Grant and Audrey Whitman, owners of Chicory Inn. Danae and her husband Dallas Brooks have been trying every conceivable way to have a baby. Danae is finally willing to adopt, but Dallas is adamantly against it.

Trying to find anything to do to fill her lonely hours, Danae decides to volunteer at the local women’s shelter. She discovers that not only her husband, but also her family, are not happy about her decision to volunteer. Danae can’t bring herself to quit, though. The women and children there tug at her heartstrings and help her to realize all she has to be thankful for in her life.

Danae settles into her job, and her family reluctantly accepts her decision; however, on Thanksgiving weekend events conspire to change everyone’s mind. Maybe even Danae’s.

Deborah Raney has written another stirring novel. The issue of infertility is not an easy one, and Miss Raney has handled it with compassion and understanding.

Another Way Home will make you laugh and cry, stir your emotions and leave you thinking, but it won’t disappoint!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday’s Tale

All is calm

All Is Calm, All Is Bright by Colleen Coble 

About the Book

All Is Calm

It’s going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch.

Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his Marine buddies. Now, it seems just the place to spend Christmas recovering from an on-the-job injury.

Lauren Everman first came to the ranch as a foster kid, but now knows it’s the perfect hideout. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low. Her beauty immediately catches Brendan’s attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one. Can he trust her, or is she putting the ranch at risk? One thing is certain: he’s going to do everything he can to keep her safe so he can see what magic Christmas brings.

All Is Bright

A romantic Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn gives Delilah’s unique gifts a chance to shine. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”?

As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friend, Elin Summerall. But when Delilah’s car is forced off the road and into the ocean, she finally has to admit that the strange phone calls she’s been receiving lately may be more than just pranks.

Sheriff Tom Bourne has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. He hopes to win her heart by giving her the surprise gift of a lifetime . . . but first he has to make sure nothing happens to her before Christmas Day.

It’s the season of miracles. But will both Elin and Delilah get the ones they need this holiday season?

My Thoughts

Lauren Everman has been accused of a murder she didn’t commit and needs somewhere safe to escape to. She decides her former home, Bluebird Ranch, provides a welcome hiding place.

Brendan Waddell, injured while in the Marines, decides Christmas at his buddy’s home, Bluebird Ranch, is just what the doctor ordered.

Lauren wasn’t expecting to find a Special Ops marine there and is fearful he will turn her in.

Brendan wasn’t expecting to find a possible fugitive there and knows he has to follow the law.

Can Lauren trust him to help her find the true murderer?

Can Brendan let go of his training long enough to listen to what Lauren is telling him?

Colleen Coble has created a well-written novella with plenty of intrigue and suspense and there is a bit of romance thrown in the mix. All is Calm is a quick, page-turning story, sure to keep you guessing.

The second novella, All Is Bright, is set near the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Delilah Carter is the manager at Tidewater Inn and is up to her neck in wedding preparations for her friend, Elin Summerall. However, just before the wedding she is forced off the road and into the ocean barely managing to escape from the submerged car.

Sheriff Tom Bourne must investigate the accident. However, he is having a hard time because Delilah is not very forthcoming with information.

As forces head toward a collision course on Christmas Eve, Sheriff Tom has his hands more than full protecting Delilah.

Will Delilah be safe and able to give Elin her dream wedding?

Can Sheriff Tom keep her safe?

Danger lurks around every corner in All is Bright. Colleen Coble has done a wonderful job of maintaining tension and suspense throughout the story. Both novellas are interesting and can be read quickly, perfect for curling up with a hot cup of tea.

I received this book from The Fiction Guild sponsored Thomas Nelson and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

Monday’s Mission

I was nominated for two blog awards, both around the time I lost my brother. In fact, one was the day before. At the time, I couldn’t even think straight and just posted several re-blogs. Then I immersed myself in reading and posting reviews.

In the next few months, I am committed to MANY author’s launch teams, blog hops, promotions, etc. Due to this (and because it is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY past due) I am going to accept my awards. I will accept one today and the other one later this week

So here goes!

My first award (of the two) is the WordPress Family Award. I was nominated by the lovely and kind Ellie of New Creations Ministries at .

Blag award 1

The following are the rules for acceptance:

1. Copy and display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10-15 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience.

4. Let your “fellow blogging family members” know you have awarded them.

5. That’s it. Simple. Then, pick 10-15 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

The blogs I nominate are as follows:

There are LOTS more I could nominate, too!

Thank you to everyone in my blog “families” for their encouragement and kindness, not only to me but to all the other lives they touch, too.


Monday’s Mention

Authors 2

An Amish Christmas Gift: Three Amish Novellas by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

About the Book

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston

Naomi has begun to believe that she isn’t meant to find love, but she might receive more than she has ever hoped for this Christmas.

Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches, Naomi is certain that her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid

Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?

Being a caregiver for Micah Zook’s grandmother is the answer to Abigail’s prayers. In fact, the elderly lady keeps finding ways to set Abigail up with her grandson. Despite Abigail’s constant chatter, Micah realizes he’s beginning to care for her—until he makes a decision that leaves her feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal the true feelings of his heart?

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.

Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?

My Thoughts

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston introduces Naomi King. Naomi, at age 24, believes she is to be single for the rest of her life. She has “run” after boys and each time the situation ended disastrously, what more evidence does she need?  Her mother feels she shamelessly chased the boys and needs to settle down and help run the family business.

Naomi is working one day when precocious 7-year-old Susie Schmucker strikes up a conversation with her. Unbeknownst to Naomi, Susie had wandered away from her father’s side. Susie’s father begins to frantically search for her.

Susie’s father, Caleb, finds her and swoops away with her before Naomi can even react. However, not before Susie has tugged Naomi’s heartstrings with the story about her deceased mother. Since Naomi has never seen Susie and Caleb before she figures they aren’t from the area and she’ll never see them again.

Amy Clipston has written a sweet, magical Christmas story. Naomi’s Gift is sure to tug your heartstrings and leave you with a smile.

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid, the second story, focuses on Abigail “Abby” Kemp. Abby has never had more than one “date” with the young Amish men she knows. Her constant chatter scares them off, according to her family. In fact, her mother has started buzzing at her whenever she talks, hoping to draw her attentions and get her to stop talking. Poor Abby feels it is her gift from God and doesn’t want to change.

Micah Zook needs someone to care for his grandmother and Gabby Abby (his nickname for Abby) seems like a perfect fit. Abby’s constant chatter will help fill his grandmother’s lonely hours while he is away at work.

One day, close to Christmas, Micah hurts Abby’s feelings. Will Micah be able to explain to Abby? Will she accept his explanation?

An Unexpected Joy illustrates how snap decisions and a judgmental attitude can poison a friendship, but with forgiveness, not all is lost.

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin, the final story in the trilogy, is about Frannie Mast. Frannie makes a trip to Bee County, Texas, to stay with her relatives. She left her home in Missouri because she had fallen in love with an Englisch boy, Richard “Rocky” Sanders.

Frannie settles into life with her relatives only to be shocked by a visit from Rocky. He followed her to Texas to profess his love. However, Frannie can’t be around him, regardless of how much he implores her because she’s Amish and he’s Englisch.

Kelly Irvin has written a heartwarming story of love and faithfulness. A Christmas Visitor is an uplifting and touching story.

If you enjoy Amish stories, especially one with a Christmas theme, be sure to read An Amish Christmas Gift. You’ll also appreciate the dictionary of Amish words at the beginning of the stories and the recipes at the end of the book.

I received this book from The Fiction Guild sponsored Thomas Nelson and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.