An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel

20 Oct, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Avon Inspire in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel

by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: Charmed Amish Life #4
Published by Avon Inspire on October 18, 2016
Genres: Adult, Amish Fiction, Christmas
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Avon Inspire
Buy the BookGoodreads
In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

Immerse yourself in the Christmas season with Shelley Shepard Gray’s last novel in the Charmed Amish Life series. Levi Kisinger is recovering from the loss of his father which prompts him to move out of the big family farm to his own place on Jupiter street.Julia Kemp and her daughter Penny are neighbors, but they keep to themselves, until she locks herself out in the snow and Levi happens upon the scene. Both are in rough patches of life where they struggle to trust others, and to move forward. Ultimately, God’s hand prevails.

Readers will enjoy the candid handling of issues like domestic violence with a hopeful background and resolution. Levi’s character is one of fierce protector and gentle father figure. The setting is idyllic recognizing there are problems in the world but there is always a greater good. Perfect for the holiday season, I recommend the entire series for purchase. Enjoy clean, Amish fiction.

Author Bio

I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.


I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl Release Day Spotlight

18 Oct, 2016 by in balzer & bray, gretchen mcneil, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Balzer & Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Balzer & Bray on October 18, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

Happy Book Birthday!


This book had me laughing out loud as Beatrice tries to reinvent herself and her group of friends using mathematical formulas. She’s “Math Girl, ” working on a scholarship to MIT, and she’s tired of her friends being bullied. Simple enough, Beatrice figures out a way to start over one day as Trixie, “manic pixie dream girl.” Her best friend Gabe reminds me a bit of Duckie in Sixteen Candles. Gretchen McNeil does a great job exploring the meaning of true friendship and the pitfalls of popularity.

Favorite character? Spencer

Content: heavy swearing, LGBTQ relationships, mature issues with parents.

About the Author

Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59.  In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.


Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson~ $100 Giveaway

17 Oct, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Madam President
Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove

After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the Executive Office. Mrs. Wilson had had little formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs. Wilson dedicated herself to managing the office of the President, reading all correspondence intended for her bedridden husband. Though her Oval Office authority was acknowledged in Washington, D.C. circles at the time–one senator called her “the Presidentress who had fulfilled the dream of suffragettes by changing her title from First Lady to Acting First Man”–her legacy as “First Woman President” is now largely forgotten.

William Hazelgrove’s Madam President is a vivid, engaging portrait of the woman who became the acting President of the United States in 1919, months before women officially won the right to vote.


Amazon * Goodreads


William Hazelgrove’s riveting style lets us into the backrooms of the White House to see how a woman who had only two years formal education was able to pull it off and do it for two years! A great read and ride!
~Robin Hutton New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt Reckless


Excerpt – Chapter One

The Cover-Up

President Woodrow Wilson lay with his mouth drooping, unconscious, having suffered a thrombosis on October 2, 1919, that left him paralyzed on his left side and barely able to speak. The doctors believed the president’s best chance for survival was in the only known remedy for a stroke at the time: a rest cure consisting of total isolation from the world.

His wife of four years, Edith Bolling Wilson, asked how a country could function with no chief executive. Dr. Dercum, the attending physician, leaned over and gave Edith her charge: “Madam, it is a grave situation, but I think you can solve it. Have everything come to you; weigh the importance of each matter: and see if it is possible by consultation with the respective heads of the Departments to solve them without the guidance of your husband.”

From there, Edith Wilson would act as the president’s proxy and run the White House and, by extension, the country, by controlling access to the president, signing documents, pushing bills through Congress, issuing vetoes, isolating advisors, crafting State of the Union addresses, disposing of or censoring correspondence, and filling positions. She would analyze every problem and decide which ones to bring to the president’s attention and which to solve on her own through her own devices. All the while she had to keep the fact that the country was no longer being run by President Woodrow Wilson a guarded secret.

hazelgroveAbout the Author

William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of thirteen novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR’s All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson will be out Fall 2016. Storyline optioned the movie rights. Forging a President How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt will be out May 2017.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/8/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Fabulous Charlotte Mason Finds For Under a Penny

14 Oct, 2016 by in charlotte mason, classics, ebooks, fabulous finds Leave a comment

Today’s Fabulous Find titles are selections from the Ambleside Online Years 9, 10, 11 Charlotte Mason curriculum. All of these have editions under a penny on Amazon.

Enjoy classics this weekend!

Fire and Ice is an Amazon affiliate. Double check prices before downloading.


The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
John Adams and the American Revolution
by Catherine Drinker Bowen
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Land of Little Rain by Mary Hunter Austin
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan by Peggy Noonan
The World: Travels 1950-2000 by Jan Morris
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The Sapphire Blade Blog Tour- Spotlight

11 Oct, 2016 by in blog tour, dorine white Leave a comment

sapphire-blade The Sapphire Blade

The Sapphire Blade by Dorine White

The final journey begins!

Travel with past heroes and a new adventurer to the historical romps of London and the scorching sands of Alexandria. Fourteen-year-old Akmir, raised from birth to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of Cleopatra’s magic gemstones, holds within his hands the secret location of the fifth and final mystic gem: the blue sapphire.

His quest leads him to England, where four other gemstone searchers: Sara, Melanie, Kainu and Claire, are on the hunt. A pawn of the Roman Brotherhood, Akmir must choose his own path, whether to follow in his father’s brutal footsteps or stay true to his mother’s Egyptian heritage. Clues, puzzles, and danger rule the day.

What will happen when the power of all five gemstones are brought together? This is a battle for life and death, and only one side can win.


add to goodreads

DorineAbout the Author

My name is Dorine White. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Humanities. I am a member of the SCBWI, PNWA, LDStorytellers, and ANWA. I write middle grade and YA fantasy. My first book, The Emerald Ring, was published in May 2013 by Cedar Fort Books. I live in the beautiful, yet rainy Northwest with my husband and 6 children.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter



$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/30/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The Sheriffs of Savage Wells Blog Tour

03 Oct, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells

by Sarah M. Eden
Published by Shadow Mountain on September 27, 2016
Genres: Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the Book
The small town of Savage Wells is barely big enough for the people who call it home; it certainly isn’t big enough for more than one sheriff.

Yet when famed lawman Cade O’Brien rides into town, he finds he’s not the only man ready to take on the job. What’s more, one of his competitors is a woman.

Paisley Bell loves her town and the eccentric people in it. She’s been the job to anyone else. Not only does she love the work, but she also needs the income to take care of her ailing father.

It’s a true battle of the sexes, and sparks fly between the two as Cade and Paisley banter and boast, neither one ready to acknowledge the attraction they have for each other. But when Paisley’s former beau shows up, along with a band of bank robbers, Savage Wells is suddenly faced with the kind of peril that only a sheriff can manage. Who will be man enough—or woman enough—to step up, claim the badge, and save the town?


About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML’s “2013 Novel of the Year” and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award’s “2014 Novel of the Year,” Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.


Growing Up with Conference Ebook Spotlight

27 Sep, 2016 by in Spotlight 1 comment

Growing Up with Conference: Practical Ways to Make General Conference Fun Year-round
Make General Conference fun year-round!
by Emilee Reynolds, Cassie Lytle, Tiffany McDaniel
Published by Cedar Fort, Inc.
September 13, 2016
Purchase on Amazon

From the creators of the Sweetly Made (Just For You) website comes a new book filled with fun and creative ways to get your family excited for General Conference, including crafts, recipes, FHE lessons, and more!

With this book you will get:
– Easy to follow DIY crafts
– Full-color photographs
– Memorable FHE lessons to use before and after general conference
– Gospel tools to motivate families
– Scripture references and quotes
– Easy, affordable recipes
– Link to FREE printables
– Dozens of tips to prepare for conference


Just 99 cents at Books and Things
Learn more at Emilee Reynolds Sweetly Made (Just for you)

Daily Devotional Outline

26 Sep, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

What do you do to start off your day on the right foot?

Here’s our schedule…


We use the Children’s Songbook and sing along


Pledge of Allegiance


We are currently studying the Book of Mormon. We listen along in our own set with this website . There are great Bible videos here, or you can read the Bible here.

Church History

Our younger children use

The older ones use

We make a timeline with events we read about that is hanging in the classroom. The line is made of simple hemp string and mini clothespins to which we attach index cards with visual images of the events printed off the computer.

Topical Study

Use the topical study paragraphs. We print one out each day and keep them in a binder for reference. We also listen to the Q & A’s on each topic via podcasts on the LDS media library.

We use the Noah Webster’s dictionary 1828 edition for definitions.


Our family has noticed a big difference in the atmosphere of our home since we started doing an organized, regular devotional.