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Showing posts from 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

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I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Bartered Bride by Lena Goldfinch

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At the end of the year it's always fun to look back on what you've accomplished as well as look ahead to fun new things to come! The new things I always look forward to in each new year are books! I'm so happy to be a part of the cover reveal for Lena Goldfinch's next novel, The Bartered Bride, which will surely be a must-read next year. While you're waiting for The Bartered Bride, you can read her new holiday themed short story, Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe.

Check out the beautiful cover below and don't forget to enter to win a lovely pair of earrings (I wish I had pierced ears!) and a copy of book one, The Unexpected Bride or one of three copies of Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe (e-book).

What books are you adding to your wishlists next year? I know my list is already a mile long. :-)

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The Story:
What's a wife to do when her Christmas plans fall apart?

 Join Becky and Isaac from The Unexpected Bride in a romantic short story complete with sleigh …

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz ~ TLC Book Tour (My Review)

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The Story:
The game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery from the bestselling author of The House of Silk, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.

Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty—dubbed the Napoleon of crime” by Holmes—in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty’s death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place—including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.

Hope Rising by Stacy Henrie ~ My Review + Giveaway!

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The Story: 
In France at the height of World War I, American nurse Evelyn Gray is no stranger to suffering. She's helped save the life of many a soldier, but when she learns her betrothed has been killed, her own heart may be broken beyond repair. Summoning all her strength, Evelyn is determined to carry on-not just for herself and her country, but for her unborn child.

Corporal Joel Campbell dreams of the day the war is over and he can return home and start a family. When a brutal battle injury puts that hope in jeopardy, Joel is lost to despair . . . until he meets Evelyn. Beautiful, compassionate, and in need of help, she makes an unconventional proposal that could save their lives-or ruin them irrevocably. Now, amidst the terror and turmoil of the Western Front, these two lost souls will have to put their faith in love to find the miracle they've been looking for.

To learn more about Stacy and her books visit:
@StacyHenrie 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacy-Henrie-Author
h…

The Paradise, Season Two (2014) on DVD and Blu-Ray

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Blu-Ray/DVD Overview:
Set amidst the Victorian splendor of Britain’s first department store, The Paradise is the enchanting rags-to-riches story of a young girl who falls in love with the intoxicating charms of the modern world. The second season begins a year after the dramatic events that saw Moray (Emun Elliot, Prometheus) declare his love for Denise (Joanna Vanderham, Dancing on the Edge) and lose The Paradise after breaking off his engagement to Katherine Glendenning (Elaine Cassidy, The Others). But the spurned Katherine has since married Tom Weston (Ben Daniels, Law & Order: UK) – a mysterious, brooding ex-military man with a troubled history. Although she seems to be starting her life anew, her passion for Moray threatens to draw her back into a love triangle, competing with Denise. Meanwhile, Moray and Denise, still at the forefront of fashion and innovation, are plotting to regain The Paradise from Katherine and her husband – whatever it takes.

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Stone Cold Touch (Dark Elements, Book 2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ My Review

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The Story:
Every touch has its price 

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who's pretty sure things can't get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla's powers begin to evolve, and she's offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She's finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay….


My Thoughts:
Going into this book I&…

Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope, Book 1) by Jody Hedlund ~ My Review

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The Story:
1859
Presque Isle, Michigan 

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives? 

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once mor…

Fashion: Bonobos Winter Style Challenge

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With sites like Bonobos.com, men have no excuse for not looking their best. Fairly new to the game, founded in the late 2000s, Bonobos offers apparel from the likes of suits to casual shirts to shoes. The man in your life can look put together for work or for those Saturday visits with you to the bookstore.

In honor of their new Winter LookBook, Bonobos is hosting a Winter Style Challenge for fashion bloggers. They asked me to come up with my best look to complement an ensemble from their men's suit collection. I don't blog about fashion as much as I'd like to, but as a Pinterest addict who's constantly pinning something fashion related, I jumped at the chance and here's what I came up with.

Here's the men's ensemble from Bonobos:


The Nottingham Blazer by Bonobos Rhodes Collar Plaid by Bonobos

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson (YA/Teen Fiction)~ My Review

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The Story:
The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?

Read more about Trading Secrets on the Revell website.



My Review:
I don't normally pick up young adult books when I visit the Christian book section, but I'm considering making room on my shelves after having had such a great experience with the books I've read this year. Since Amish stories are my guilty pleasures, I thought I'd give Trading Secrets, teen f…

Happy Holidays with Her Universe!

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I don't know many people who aren't suckers for the Christmas season. As much as I HATE the cold, I love the thought of a white Christmas spent with family and friends. In fact, I think Christmas is the only time of year I wish for snow. Of course it never seems to happen, but I can continue to hope, right? Oh well.

Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco, Book 3) by Julie Lessman ~ My Review

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The Story: 
She can turn the head of the man who spurned her--but can she turn his heart? 

When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney's office, she's thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she'll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored.

Doctor Who: The Spear of Destiny Review + Giveaway! #12Doctors12Stories

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Happy Halloween! Chances are, most of you are or have dressed up as a favorite superhero, princess, or even a character from your favorite story for those Halloween parties or trick-or-treating. I dressed up as Barbie, I'm pretty sure I dressed up as a monster, and one year I went as a blast from the past; a 50s girl complete with poodle skirt.

I have to say if I were going out tonight, I'd go as the Doctor. By now, I'm sure you all know how much I likelove am obsessed with Doctor Who, so this probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. How could you not want to pay homage to someone as cool and timeless (pun intended) as the universe's favorite Time Lord?

The character of the Doctor is one of the few TV heroes with staying power -- he's been around for over 50 years now and it's easy to see why. Doing good will never go out of style in my opinion! And speaking of style, could it be any easier to whip up a Who costume in the lurch? I mean this guy has s…

It's Animal Welfare Week ~ Check Out Doghouse by L.A. Kornetsky (Pocket Books Fiction)

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You may not know it, but it's Animal Welfare Week through October 11 and National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week November 2 - 8. I don't know about you, but I would be lost without my furry friends. Coco is queen of the castle here at Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot and she's helping me celebrate critters everywhere with this special post featuring L. A. Kornetsky and her latest novel, Doghouse. If you love a mystery with a twist (anthropomorphic characters), this is a book you'll want to get your hands (or paws!) on.

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The ASPCA and kitty, Pandora by L.A. Kornetsky:
I’m getting ready for a move, and part of that is decluttering. Getting rid of things – objects, old paperwork – that I don’t need to haul with me any more.

But in a folder of otherwise no-longer-needed papers, there’s a sheet I’m keeping. It’s from the ASPCA, and it documents my adoption of the kitten once known as Minna, who became my beloved Pandora, gone now a little o…

Litfuse Blog Tour: The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford (My Review)

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The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford Copyright 2013 St. Martin's Press ISBN: 9781250043344 The Story:
Scotland, 1860. 

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together – a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home – but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which…

Book Spotlight: The Unexpected Bride by Lena Goldfinch

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Fall seems to be the perfect time for new books. The weather's getting cooler and sitting by a warm fire or cozying up under a fuzzy blanket with a hot cup of tea are perfect situations in which to find yourself with a good book close at hand. This time of year authors and publishers take full advantage and some great looking books are in the pipeline from some of my favorite authors as well as new stories from established writers. One of those writers, Lena Goldfinch, has a brand new sweet historical romance coming out that looks fantastic. I thought I'd share with you just in case you're looking for a book to add to your TBR piles this season! Check it out and let me know what you think. Don't forget to enter Lena's giveaway linked at the bottom of this post!


The Story:
What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?

Rebecca Sullivan has been "Becky" all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a r…

Litfuse Blog Tour: Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll (My Review)

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The Story:
A quilt holds the secret to a killer still at large—and who his next victim will be.

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21‑year‑old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?


My Thoughts: 
I'm an avid …

Tieks Review

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Ahhh the first day of fall, isn't it refreshing? Meh. I don't care for it. Bet you thought that was going to go a different way, didn't ya? Well, even though I don't care for the arrival of the cooler weather, I do appreciate the fact that I can once again break out the boots! Yay! However, if you're a flip flop wearing girl like I am, the transition from almost going barefoot to encapsulating the ol' tootsies in thick socks and leather can be a difficult thing! Luckily, I have found the perfect shoes to help with the aspect of transitioning my feet from summer warmth to fall chill -- Tieks by Gavrieli.

Just what the heck are Tieks? you may be wondering. Tieks are a fabulous line of high quality leather (don't worry, there are vegan choices too!) ballet flats available in a variety of shades, colors, and patterns, to suit just about everyone's tastes. Each shoe is accented with the classic Tieks blue sole and heel accent. The patent leather and prints

Her Universe Apparel is a Fangirl's Dream ~ Review & Giveaway!

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By now I'm sure you know that I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, Marvel, and other sci-fi and superhero franchises. These days I think it's becoming more acceptable to be a geek than ever before. I personally LOVE that more companies are catering to not just the dudes anymore, but names like Her Universe and Think Geek are marketing towards the ladies.


Her Universe is one of my all-time favorite companies. Not only are their clothes specifically geared towards the female figure, but they offer clothing for all shapes and sizes anywhere from extra small to 3X. Did I mention a lot of their stuff is made right in the US? I know, right?! Super cool! I own a few of their pieces, including the tank top pictured above. It's part of their new Doctor Who collection and I already know it's going to be a wardrobe staple. I really don't care that it's fall and there's a bite in the air. I'm wearing it, sleeves or no! Its super soft cotton blend in the perfect

Vacation Notice!

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Hello loyal readers and friends, this is just a note to let you know that I will be absent from my blog September 7th - September 14th. I'm taking my annual blogging break to spend time with my family and friends and hopefully catch up on my reading. In the meantime you can be sure I have some fun stuff planned for my return, including a super cool giveaway that I have been teasing on my Facebook page for a while now. Let's just say it's totally different from the giveaways I usually host and it's something both Whovians and fashionistas alike will love. ;-) Curious yet? Hehehe.



Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz ~ A Review

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The Story:
With two very different horizons stretched out before her, one young woman stands on the cusp of an unknown future. 

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena "Wren" Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Wren makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew.

As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Wren feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story…

Wren Has Arrived!

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If you know me there are a few authors whose books I get REALLY excited about and Laura Frantz's stories are always at the top of my list. I just adore her stories. Reading The Ballantyne Legacy series has been nothing but pure joy, so I'll just bet that the final installment Love's Fortune will be nothing short of amazing, not to mention romantic. ;-) I'm thrilled that I'll get to plop down on the floor along with my furry sidekick Coco and a piping hot cuppa and dive into the adventure that is Wren's tale. I was going to save the story for my beach vacay, but that idea flew out the window along with all desire to complete the household chores when the beautiful book arrived in my mailbox this morning!


FINALLY! A Downton Abbey Series 5 Trailer!

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Just when I thought they were going to pull another The Hunger Games:Mockingjay and tease us with a million cast photos and mini-trailers for six years, ITV has finally released a full-length trailer for Downton Abbey. I'm SO excited that it starts on my birthday -- too bad that's the UK premiere date. :-( SO not cool of ITV to do that to me. Why do we have to wait until January? WHY? Oh well... I'm most excited to see how the Lady Mary/Gillingham/Blake love triangle works out, although it's looking preeeeetty good for Gillingham in the trailer. See for yourself below!


Hallelujah! Peaches Are In Season!

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Remember when I was bored late last month and made these White Almond Sour Cream Cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and a peach garnish? Well, I couldn't help myself from snatching up (don't worry, I paid for them!) a few more gorgeous, fuzzy peaches from the local roadside farm stand and turn them into another sweet treat... cookies!!!








Let me tell you, when peaches are in season I take full advantage. I won't buy peaches from the grocery store, because after you've had fresh picked fruit, store bought tastes like cardboard.


In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin ~ A Review

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The Story:
Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love 

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.


My Thoughts:
While Sarah Sundin's Wings of Glory still holds the place as my favorite WWII-set series, she once again knocked it out of the park with her Wings of the Nightingale series.

Get A Doctor Who Fix Before August 23rd ~ Doctor Who, Tales of Trenzalore

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~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

If you're like me it has been difficult to wait for the season 8 Doctor Who premiere (here in almost a week!!!!). Thankfully, the folks at BBC Books have taken pity on us and released some great new books this summer to ease the pain. Tales of Trenzalore is the perfect way to pass the time if you have run out of ideas of Who related things or don't have your own TARDIS to pop ahead to the August 23rd premiere.

Fun Friday: Tieks by Gavrieli

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Fridays are the best, especially when you get a fun package like this in the mail! My ruby red patent leather Tieks came today!


TLC Book Tours: The Forever Man by Pierre Ouellette (My Review)

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The Story:
From the author of The Deus Machine and The Third Pandemic comes a fast-paced thriller about the power of harnessing life itself—and the deadly secrets it conceals.

Portland, Oregon, was once a beacon of promise and prosperity. Now it’s the epicenter of a world gone wrong, its streets overrun by victims and hustlers, drifters and gangsters. Lowly contract cop Lane Anslow struggles to keep afloat—and to watch out for his brilliant but bipolar brother, Johnny, a medical researcher. Lane soon discovers that Johnny is part of an experiment veiled in extraordinary secrecy. But he has no idea who’s behind it, how astronomical the stakes are, or how many lives might be destroyed to make it a reality.

Paranormal Fiction Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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The Story:
One kiss could be the last 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it …

I was bored today...

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...so I made cupcakes!


I found this recipe for White Almond Sour Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting a few days ago on Julie's website, The Little Kitchenand decided to give them a try today!

For Love or Loyalty: MacGregor Legacy, Book One by Jennifer Hudson Taylor (My Review)

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The Story:
To atone for her father's evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she's the bargaining price to free Malcolm's mother from indentured servitude, it's too late.

Malcolm MacGregor only wants to free his family and exact revenge against Duncan Campbell. As the pride and joy of Duncan's life, his daughter Lauren is the perfect answer, but during the voyage to America, her faith continues to witness to Malcolm. He becomes enraptured with her, and upon their arrival, discovers he's sold her into a fate worse than death. Now Malcolm has the dilemma: free his family or rescue Lauren? Time is short and with little means, he needs a miracle.

To read more about the book and the author, visit Jennifer's website:
http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com/

Finally... A Full Length Trailer!

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Biking the Great Allegheny Passage

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I just got back from a 30 mile ride on the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail (seriously, if you love wildlife and coal/steel history, this trail is AWESOME!) and am proud of my accomplishment. I know, I know, a guy passed me on the trail wearing a shirt bragging that he biked 12,000 miles in 2009 so 30 might not seem like a big deal, but it totally is for a couch potato like me! I've never went for more than 15 miles, so doubling up and going 30 is huge! It's time I got a little more fit and since I don't have a gym membership and I don't like to run or jog, biking was the answer. I hope to hit the trails more often and hopefully go even further next time.

Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie (My Review)

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The Story:
IN A TIME OF WAR, LOVE IS THE INSPIRATION.

With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents' farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home-and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . .

More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country's struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy-and dark secrets from the past-threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what's right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.

To learn more about Stacy Henrie be sure to v…

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin (My Review)

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The Story:
Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther 

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. 

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings …

Litfuse Blog Tour: Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble (My Review)

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The Story:
Seagrass Pier is the perfect place for Elin to hide from a killer, but an old love's ability to see her true heart could be her undoing. 

When Elin Summerall contracted a virus that damaged her heart, she was lucky to get a transplant. At first it was an overwhelmingly good gift. But then she began to remember a murder she never witnessed—the murder of her heart's donor.

When she reveals what she knows to a disbelieving police officer, she's exposed as a witness and must flee for her life to a remote cottage on Hope Beach.

Fearing what might happen to her daughter and mother, she asks Marc Everton for help, though she hasn't seen him since the night her father died. She remembers that night with shame, and she never told Marc about their daughter.

Marc is less than convinced that Elin's "memories" are real. He is blindsided by the news about his daughter, but for her sake, he agrees to help. Then he begins to notice the small ways Elin is differ…

Color of Danger by Alexa Verde (My Review)

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The Story:
Former runaway Mari Del Lobo works hard to save her struggling restaurant and to trust people again. Dallas surgeon Dr. Luke Goodman turns her world upside down with terrifying news. A recent murder has her late brother's - aka the Smiling Killer - signature and MO. When attacks on her escalate, Mari fights her growing attraction to the good doctor as fiercely as she fights for her life. To rescue herself and those she loves, will she be able to stop the murderer before he strikes again? 

Luke couldn't save his fiancée from the Smiling Killer, but he'll do anything to prevent more murders, even ask help from the serial killer's sister. Finding a kindred tortured soul and the perpetrator's next target in Mari, Luke is determined to protect the stubborn ex-rebel. But Mari would rather face danger than risk the safety of the man she comes to love.


My Thoughts:
These past few months I've read a bunch of books on both ends of the spectrum, half have been…

An OK Installment in the Port Aster Secrets Series

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The Story:
Kate's not sure how deep this deception goes--but she'll do whatever it takes to find out. 

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money and can't believe that it came from her sweet elderly neighbor. Or that it has landed her in the middle of another of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and one that strikes too close to home for comfort.

As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But then will it be too late for her and Tom?


My Thoughts:
I loved that this story continued where the first one left off with the same characters, but sadly this just did not keep my attention like Deadly Devotion did. We're once again catching up with Kate Adams and Detecti…

A Fun Summer Read: Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits by Mary Jane Hathaway

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The Story:
This hilarious Southern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice tells the story of two hard-headed Civil war historians who find that first impressions can be deceiving. 

Shelby Roswell, a Civil War historian and professor, is on the fast track to tenure—that is, until her new book is roasted by the famous historian Ransom Fielding in a national review. With her career stalled by a man she’s never met, Shelby struggles to maintain her composure when she discovers that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her small Southern college.

Ransom Fielding is still struggling with his role in his wife’s accidental death six years ago and is hoping that a year at Shelby’s small college near his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, will be a respite from the pressures of Ivy League academia. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman whose career—and pride—he injured, and who would do anything to make him leave. 

When these two hot-headed southerners find …

Litfuse Blog Tour: Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett (My Review)

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The Story:
Abby’s shattered faith in both God and man is challenged when the terrible earthquake hits 1906 San Francisco.

While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.

As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?


My Thoughts:
Almost any time you pick up a Christian fiction book, you're pretty much guaranteed some sort of faith message woven into it. Sometimes they are overt and other times it's im…

A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino (My Review)

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The Story:
She could cross an ocean, but could she ever win his heart?

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?


My Thoughts:
I'll be the first to stand up and applaud Revell for publishing so many wonderful historical romances this year that have such varied locales and time periods around which they revolve.  A Place in His Heart is one of these books. Set in the 1630s-40s England and Massachusetts, it&…

A Woman of Fortune: A Texas Gold Novel by Kellie Coates Gilbert (My Review)

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The Story:
Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream--designer clothes, luxury cars, stunning homes. But everything comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must face incredible odds to save her family--and discover a life worth living. 

Author Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers a story both poignant and emotionally gripping that celebrates the kind of fortune that lasts.

To learn more about the book, visit the Revell website.

My Thoughts:
I'm a snob. OK, not really. I like to think when it comes to real life I'm a nice person, but when it comes to my books I tend to root for the underdog or the down and out characters. Characters born with silver spoons in their mouths, who look down on others aren't that interesting to me. After having read the first few chapters of A Woman of Fortune, I really felt no sy…

Oath of the Brotherhood by C. E. Laureano -- Fantasy & Faith in One Great Book

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The Story:
In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.

When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king’s sister, Aine. Nor does he suspect his gift with the harp (and Aine’s ability to heal) touches on the realm of magic. Then his clan begins a campaign to eliminate all Balians from the isle of Seare, putting his newfound home in peril and entangling him in a plot for control of the island that has been unfolding since long before his birth.

Only by committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything—even the woman he loves—to follow the path his God has laid before him?

My Thoughts:
When it comes to fantasy fi…

Litfuse Blog Tour: Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig (My Review)

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The Story:
Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean’s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the US military, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.

My Thoughts:
Who would have thought that this Austen loving, regency romance reading gal would count Ronie Kendig's 21st century military suspense novels among my all-time favorite stories. Each and every time I've picked up one of her novels, it's been nothing short of an exciting, fast-paced, dangerous thrill ride. I dare you to put her books down -- I know I …

Three Things I Love About Spring...

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1. Flowers!
Peonies are my favorite -- they require little care and look like the more finicky rose. Check out how great the blooms are this year!













2. Cool breezes on hot days
Life is "ruff".








The Perils of Lending Books to Friends

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Has this ever happened to you before, you lend a book to a friend only to get it back with dog-eared pages, water stains, or worse yet food stains? Yeah. I think it is a tragedy that has befallen us all at some point or another. Check out this fun video from Epic Reads about the drastic steps you can take if this ever happens to you again! I think she takes it rather well, I'd have sat in the corner and cried. :-P

Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt (My Review)

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The Story:
Can a young widow find love again with her husband’s reflection?

Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?

Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation­ship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?

- See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Somebody-Like-You/Beth-K-Vogt/9781476737584#sthash.XYV7E4Yh.dpuf

My Thoughts:
Somebody Like You just proves what a knack Beth Vogt has for penning a perfect romance centered around imperfect people. Haley Ames and her estranged brother-i…

Review & Giveaway: While Love Stirs (The Gregory Sisters, Book 2) by Lorna Seilstad

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The Story:
After graduating from Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery in 1910, Charlotte Gregory is ready to stir things up. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove--and certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the handsome Lewis Mathis to perform at her lectures.

Lewis encourages her work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?


My Thoughts:
If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. I feel like these would be Charlotte Gregory's words to live by if she were a contemporary heroine rather than an Edwardian lady. Since she…

Blog Update!

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As you may know, we had a family emergency last month and I didn't do a lot of blogging or reading for that matter for many days. I'm slowly but surely catching up on all my reading. Usually I like to vary my posts between books, TV, and just life in general, but lately it's been books books books! I hope that my reviews are helpful for those of you creating your summer reading lists.

In case you missed my review, I highly suggest adding Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio, by Serena B. Miller to your romance piles. ;-) If you prefer to watch a movie rather than read, (hey, we all like to mix it up a little on occasion, right?) be sure to check out the TV movie on UP TV this weekend, June 1 @ 7PM EST! The trailer and a link to a viewing party are below.

Litfuse Blog Tour: A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson

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The Story:
A quilt becomes a labor of love for a lonely wife mysteriously separated from her young husband.

After her fiancé returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life.

But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of lo…