How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck – Blog Tour and Review

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8dbc4950-09cb-47c1-9bdc-bb739b7c866dAbout the book:

How to Catch a Prince (Zondervan, February 2015)

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1BD8DVo
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About the author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter
The above is from the publisher.
My Thoughts:
This is the third book in the Royal Wedding series and the second I’ve read (although i have the other one and will fix that problem shortly). I’m a sucker for a good romance and for a good princess story so these are a great fit for me. I love the whole modern look at princes and princesses that these books take. In How to Catch A Prince I especially enjoyed the secrecy behind the whole thing and the work of trying to fix a marriage. The writing was great as always and the characters were very likeable. Rachel has a great way of making the whole royal scene come to live without it seeming overly done if that makes sense. I loved the setting and could truly picture Cathedral City. The only part of this book I did not enjoy was the whole thing with Stephen thinking he can’t tell her about the war because he thinks she would then hate him forever. I hate when stories do that or even when people in real life do that. Just let the other person decide how they will react. However, we do come to find it isn’t just that he is worried about her reaction but is more so afraid of dealing with his own demons and guilt. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and will continue to look for more from Rachel Hauck.
I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? By Rachael Carman – Book Review and Blog Tour

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19833197-6a1a-4243-a540-a43eaca2d168About the book:

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? (Apologia Educational Ministries, September 2014)You’ve probably said these things to your kids, but have you listened to what you’re saying?

“I remember the day you were born.”

“Turn down the music!”

“This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”

“Hold my hand.”

Your heavenly Father wants to tell you many of these same things. Rachael Carman knows how noisy it can be when you’re raising children—she has seven! But this lovely devotional book will help you to hear God’s still, small voice amid the chaos of carpools, cut fingers, and carpet crawlers. You’ll learn how to recognize God’s instructions for you, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1FcMvCl
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About the author:

Rachael Carman is an author and speaker for Apologia Educational Ministries. The wife of Davis and the mother of seven children, Rachael challenges parents to live by reckless, obedient faith. As a direct reflection of her heart’s desire to encourage, inspire, and celebrate motherhood, Rachael also leads Real Refreshment Retreats, weekend events that energize and invigorate homeschooling mothers with meaningful worship and speakers plus practical encouragement for the homeschool journey.

Find Rachael online: website, Twitter, Facebook
The above is from the publisher.
My Thoughts:
This book is a reformatting and renaming of an older book by Rachael. The book goes through different things that we say to our children and what God may be trying to say to us through that same sort of thing as our heavenly Father. Rachael adds in many stories for her life raising her seven children. I have really enjoyed other books from Rachael and really enjoyed them so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately it fell flat for me. I just found it mediocre. I was lost a lot of them time with how these all tied together. I wouldn’t say the book is bad but it wasn’t amazing either. There are good thoughts and messages in the book I just feel like I’ve read so many like this and it just didn’t have the punch I was looking for if that makes sense. I gave the book three stars on goodreads. I’m sure there are lots of people out there who loved this book. Make sure to check out my fellow bloggers thoughts on it.
I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 


Book Review – Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

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Cover of Remember the Lilies by Liz TolsmaAbout the book:

Remember the Lilies (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

Can Irene and Rand stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom?

Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor’s office. She memorizes the parts she must black out and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till—and has news that could threaten Rand’s reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.
When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1EDGVJJ
Photo of author Liz Tolsma

About the author:

New York Times best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are Forever, Snow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of A Log Cabin Christmas. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Find Liz online: website, Facebook, Twitter
The above is from the publisher.
My Thoughts:
I have read other books from Liz Tolsma and loved them. She is fantastic at writing historical fiction and this was no exception. Remember the Lilies takes place in the Philippines and explains a part of World War 2 that I was not aware of.  Irene and Rand live in a Japanese interment camp. Irene is a missionary child and Rand used to own extremely lucrative night clubs. There are about as different as two people can be. But through crisis lots can change and happen.
This story contains heartache, loss, love, betrayal, all sorts of human emotions. Looking back on the book it is hard to believe that so much story was shoved into this length of book but while I was reading it it didn’t rushed or like too much at all. It is a fantastic look at what life would have been like and the joy that would have come with the freedom the American forces brought. I truly enjoyed this book and if you love Christian historical fiction like I do then you need to check out this book and Liz Tolsma in general.
I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Book Review – The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

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A1qVqbUWrxL._SL1500_The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn is a book about three different main characters. Nick Hennessey is an American journalist stationed in France. He is looking for his big journalist break and is approached by a contact about researching some thefts of ancient artifacts. And he knows the perfect person to help with that. His friend from high school Carey Matthers. Carey is an archaeologist with a degree in forensic archaeology who goes to her dream job in Greece only to find out that the institution has closed down. What she doesn’t know is that Nick will be calling her up and she will be working with and figuring out what happened to close that institution down as well as figure out why artifacts keep coming up missing. The third main character is Dimitri Rubinos. He is a Greek living on the Island of Patmos and has been living there most of his life. Island life is all he knows and he grew up as the son of a fisherman. When he takes over the business, however, he switches to doing tourism tours. But when the tourism business isn’t doing so well he turns to less than ideal ways of making ends meet.

This story has adventure, mystery, history, and lots of great descriptions of many historical places in Greece. I loved all the time spent immersing in that culture. The scene was set beautifully and the story had me intrigued most of the way. But then came the end of the story. It was all getting set up for catching the crooks but it sort of felt rushed, like the author was running out of pages or time to thoroughly flesh it all out. And then the book essentially ends with the cop saying “you are all under arrest”. I mean that was it. It was the worst ending to a book I have ever read. And for the ending alone a book that might have gotten five stars from me went down to a three. Bummer! I will, however, try something else from this author as I have read that some of his other books are fantastic.

I received a free copy of this product from Bethany House Publisheres in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 


Book Review – Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most by Amy Julia Becker

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91E+FXBxKsL._SL1500_Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker is a nonfiction book about Amy’s experiences with her children and what she has learned from them. She shares candidly the questions and situations that arise with having two young children in the house with a third one the way. Not only do these conversations help her develop a closer relationship with her children but also causes her to think about her relationship with God and refine what she believes.

This book is such a breath of fresh air to read. She writes so honestly and shares from her real life. The ugly parts as well as the beautiful parts. I loved reading it. It was so encouraging and made me think more about changing how I look at the many, many questions my children ask and the many, many hard times that come having three small children. Amy really has a knack at bringing the deep things of God into the everyday of her life and this encouraged me to try to do the same with my life.

I highly recommend this book to any mother. It is a great quick read and very inspirational. This is one I will definitely go to again and again.

I received a free copy of this product from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 


Liz Tolsma’s ‘Remember the Lilies’ Author Chat Party and Kindle Giveaway

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This gripping new tale from Liz Tolsma, Remember the Lilies, is a must-read for fans of WWII-era fiction. When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, she and Rand must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Help Liz celebrate the release of Remember the Lilies with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Remember the Lilies
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/19. Winner will be announced at Liz’s Remember the Lilies Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and WWII fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!
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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!


Trying to Keep Your Head Above Water While Homeschooling

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lifebelt-60328_1280Lately with homeschooling I feel like I am just keeping my head above water. I see friends posting all sorts of cool homeschooling posts with loads of great crafts and learning ideas and I so want to be like them. I think one of the reasons I haven’t posted much about homeschooling lately is because I just don’t have the exciting posts that I see others posting about.

But this morning as I was looking through Google plus and noticing all of that it dawned on me that I do have things to post. I can share about the struggle, because the struggle is real. I know that the majority of us are just trying to get through the curriculum day in and day out. We are just trying to have the energy to do the minimum that can be called school and still keep the house clean, cook, shop, sleep, keep our husbands happy, ect. We want to do more. We want to make schooling more fun, but we have yet to have the energy to read the books that are supposed to help and to get organized.

I mean lets face it. We have toddlers demanding our attention when we aren’t busy doing everything else. Or we just want to plop down and watch some Netflix or read a book in the very few moments we get to ourselves, not sit down and read a book about how to organize our homeschool day better or lesson plan for the following week so we can do more than just the minimum.

Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer yet. I don’t know how to get out of this stage of just trying to keep my head above water.  Most days I end the day (or who are we kidding feel this way near the beginning of the day) drained with no energy left to dig myself out of this hole.

As I’m writing this though I’m trying to tell myself that with God’s help there as to be a way. I’m not just saying that to be cliche. I’m saying that because I am at the end of myself. I have tried to figure out a way to do it on my own and it hasn’t worked. Maybe I need to take a good hard look at how God wants my homeschool to look and not what my ideal in my head is. Does this mean I just need to spend a lot of time in prayer? Read books about different ways to homeschool? Try different things? Honestly, I don’t have the answer.

So dear readers, here is my promise to you. I’m going to work on getting out of this holding pattern. I’m going to work on getting a better grip on life and feeling in control again. I’m not promising I will find the answers soon. I’m not promising there won’t be up and downs. But I’m promising to share this journey with you. I know there are others out there who are feeling the same way too. I know that others can be encouraged from my journey.

Let me know in the comments if you are feeling weary and like you are just trying to keep your head above water. Or if you have been there and are on the other side how you got there and what is working for you. I know that there is not a one size fits all fix out there but there as to be some basic principles we can apply to help. Join me on the journey.


The Survivor by DiAnn Mills – Book Review

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Book cover for The SurvivorKarris is an author who writes suspense novels. In the first book from her by DiAnn Mills she got herself in to quite a bit of trouble and also nearly got killed. In this second novel about her she has vowed to not get into that sort of trouble again. But when she is emailed by someone who was abducted and left for dead as a child, yet lived to tell of it, she just can’t help herself.

Let’s start with all the things I loved about this book. I loved that the main character was a suspense novelist and that the book itself is written by a suspense novelist. :) You really felt like you were getting a true representation of what that must be like and I appreciated that inside look. I also loved the suspense of the cold case and the romantic portions too. All in all this is a very well rounded good read. I look forward to enjoying more DiAnn Mills in the future.

I received a free copy of this product from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 


Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels – Book Review

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Book cover for Playing SaintParker Saint is your typical televeangelist with a thriving megachurch and sermons about destiny with no gospel message included. But when a public scandal threatens to come to the public eye he is offered a way out by collaborating with some local detectives on some recent homicides that have occultish symbols as the calling card. Then through in some Jesuit Militants and you have a very interesting story. ‘

When I read the description I was a bit afraid there would be too much going on in the book but it all plays together well. I loved the writing. Mr. Bartels is a fabulous word smith. Many of the dialogues read very genuine. You can actually imagine it happening instead of it just being something that would happen or be said in a book. His character development is also fantastic! My favorite characters in the book are the Vatican operatives. They are hilarious. I laughed out loud several times.

This story was full of suspense and mystery. Lots of action that read as though you were watching it happen in a movie. It was fantastic. Also the mystery of whodunit was amazing. I had no clue until right at the end who it was. It was someone I never, ever suspected the entire time. Usually in mysteries I’ve at least considered who it was for a short time during the story but not so with this one. It hit me out of nowhere.

If you love suspenseful books with fabulous characters I highly recommend this book to you. I sure hope Zachary Bartels continues to write novels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”