A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood

by Stephanie Corfee

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You know I love my coloring books! Well, Hachette got it right again with this new one from Stephanie Corfee. It’s visually stunning and has such beautiful passages in it.

Be sure to pick up a copy of this beautiful book (and check out some of her others too!) for a momma you know. It will definitely brighten her day!

Thanks for this great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to manymore!

Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate

by Gary J. Byrne

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Want a chilling read about the slow decline of America? This is a great place to start. Gary J. Byrne was an Oval Office Secret Service Officer and saw much of what happened behind the scenes during the George Bush and Bill Clinton eras. His memoir will give you plenty to think about!

You may have seen him on C-Span or all over the news during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. That’s because he had a front row seat to the spectacle and was the only one that came forward with the truth. Because of our President’s lack of ability to accept his mistakes (we all make them!), Byrne’s life was turned upside down!

Take a look as he takes you  step by step (he took IMPECCABLE records!) through his years at the White House. I highly recommend it. Yes, it’s one side of the story, but isn’t every memoir? Definitely worth your time! Pick up a copy in the link above. And, thanks, Hachette, for this great read in exchange for my review! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Israel – God’s Heart

by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

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Ron Gafni is a professional aerial photographer that has taken many beautiful pictures of the landscapes in Israel. Even if you have had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land (as I have), you will enjoy seeing it from a completely different perspective.

image2(1) I really enjoyed seeing all of the breathtaking views! So, for photos, I highly recommend. Unfortunately, I found that the narrative left a little to be desired. There were definite editing issues and I failed to really get how it all went together. It seems forced – as if they were trying to get a lot more theology in than what works with a picture book.

Overall, it’s fun to look at and I definitely recommend checking it out. The link to Amazon is in the first pic.

Thanks so much for this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Want to see a flipbook of this? Check it out!

 

Behind the Scenes

by Jen Turano

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Oh. My. Stars! This was so not what I expected! So, Miss Permilia Griswold is apparently a “wallflower” in 19th century New York society. In other words, she’s used to sitting back and observing at high society events (which…I can’t imagine ever happening if you know her personality!). She happens to overhear a murder plot to “take out” her new friend – and one of society’s most eligible bachelors – Asher Rutherford. The chaos that ensues will have your eyes open wide and you may even find yourself laughing out loud.

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This was a madcap romance if I have ever seen one! What I found to be most bizarre is that so many elements of this book closely resembled the writings of Anya Wylde – even down to the naming of her pet! Now, I am not claiming anything untoward here as these authors are in different circles and genres, it just really surprised me.

No, I did not expect a madcap, but I did thoroughly enjoy it. It’s not my usual genre, but it was a lot of fun and held my attention. It was well written (well, of course it was! It’s Jen Turano!)

Take a look at it for yourself! Link in the pic above. Thanks for the read! It was great. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!! (and here are a couple of FREE Turano books you can read too.)

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Romancing Daphne

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Plain Jane. That’s all she’ll ever be.

At least…that’s what she’s been told her whole life! How do you compare when your oldest sister married THE Duke and your next sister was the beautiful belle of her season? As third in line, it’s quite difficult to “come up to scratch”. Especially when you are as shy as Daphne.

As usual, Sarah M. Eden had me swept away in Regency England. Her characters are the perfect mix of depth and lightheartedness. The stories always keep me flipping pages to see what will happen next. I could not recommend this author more. She’s in my top 3 favorite ❤

Be sure to check out the stories of her older sisters too!!

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If you would like to win a copy of Romancing Daphne (and you definitely do), just check out this link!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank so much for this great read in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Romancing Daphne BT banner

Face-Off with Carrie Fancett Pagels

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So, this happened on Thursday! The lovely Carrie and I had lunch at none other than Plaza Azteca. I know you are jealous. That’s right! (Hey, Regina!!! Glad you joined us too! kiss-emoji-pillow)

The truth is, we all like to try to look like we have it pulled together. This was after multiple shots. Don’t get me wrong, these two ladies are professionals! It was me that struggled getting the pic right…#BeingTruthful

This was the reality. image1

What can ya do. It’s what makes me “special”.

ANYWAY, I’m ready to tell you a little about this lovely lady! After 25 years as a psychologist, Dr. Carrie Fancett Pagels (yep, DR!!!!) decided to jump full time into writing.

“Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s ‘The Story’ national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.”

image3 June 1 was release day for
Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection: A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town. (Click on pic of me holding a copy!!)

This book is 7 novellas by popular authors. Dime Novel Suitor is by Carrie Fancett Pagels:

Widow Caroline Kane is the proprietor of a restaurant and inn—and responsible for her five teenaged siblings. But she has no plans of finding a mail-order groom. Britisher Barden Granville IV is on a “cowboy holiday” when he finds himself flat broke in Kansas.  When he answers an old “help wanted” ad, Caroline misconstrues Barden is there as a potential husband. Will the beautiful and fiesty widow cause the new vicar to make Kansas his home?

It’s beautiful!! Be sure to pick up a copy Heart_Eyes_Emoji_large

I wanted to show you some other lovely reads by Carrie,61K8tMUepDL but let me start by giving a shout-out to Regina’s (see photo above) beautiful daughter on the cover of Lilacs for Juliana.

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(Links are in the pics!)

I have to be honest. My brain almost exploded when I saw this.

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Ok, lastly? Be sure to check back in July51J8sWR0C6L._UY250_ for the release of Carrie’s newest novel. If you are not familiar with Mackinac Island, you are in for a TREAT!!!

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Remember how Zachary Bartels was telling us about his favorite vacation spot? No cars allowed….Sounds amazing! It is definitely on my bucket list…like it passed up LOTS of other things. Looks amazing!

LET’S GET TO IT!!!!


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The rules are simple. I ask Carrie some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever eaten an oatmeal raisin cookie and been horrified because you thought it was chocolate chip?

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CarrieYes, what a bitter disappointment — especially when the person who baked them is looking at you and asking, “Is anything wrong?” and you paste on a fake smile and shake your head no, all the while thinking — ack these aren’t chocolate chip cookies after all. But I do like oatmeal raisin cookies too — as long as I know that’s what I am eating and if they are warm!

Charity – I have definitely done that. Thankfully, I never did it in front of the person that made them while they watched!!! hahaha. That would be awful!

The other one I can’t handle is when people mix Skittles and M&M’s. Now, there should be some kind of law against that. Your poor mouth would be in a constant state of paranoia because it wouldn’t know what to expect!!!! #MyWorstNightmareBelow

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– Carrie gets this one because of being put on the spot. So embarrassing!

Charity 0 / Carrie 1

2. Worst calendar idea you have seen?

Carrie – Those kind where they are so small you can’t hardly read the numbers!!!

Charity – Oh, I so have this one!

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Who can seriously put this up in their house and not be thoroughly ashamed?!

Charity 1 / Carrie 1

3. We met at Plaza Azteca for lunch (which I was 100% on board with!!) on the release date of Seven Brides for Seven Mail Order Husbands. Tell me about that.

Carrie – I started writing seriously about 13 years ago. When I would get a rejection letter, my critique partners told me to celebrate that I was doing something and working towards it. They said to “Go out for Mexican”! It started to become a “thing”. “It’s a Mexican night”!! Now I use it to celebrate for any reason!

Charity – I love that! How encouraging. I might not mind those rejection letters so much 😉

We grew up eating Mexican so often. To this day, my sister still eats it every day! Her family has it for lunch or dinner. Every day. For real.

– Totally Carrie’s point!!!

Charity 1 / Carrie 2

4. Ready for Grandkids?

Carrie – I call myself “Tired Old Mommy”. I had a son at 44 years old. I had to have my own because I couldn’t wait for a grandson!

Charity – Ok, there’s NO WAY I can compete with that. If I had a baby now, I wouldn’t ever get out of my recliner. Like, ever.

And for the record, I am SO READY for Grandbabies! My oldest son is 18, so…..????

– Lol. I have to give this one to Carrie as well! I can’t compete with starting over at 44!!!

Charity 1 / Carrie 3

5. Dream Vacation?

Carrie – Straits of Mackinac. I grew up near there and I love it.

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Charity – Ok, I am seriously needing to visit this beautiful land of Michigan!

My dream vacation would be to go alone with a journal and my Bible, have no schedule restrictions, no time or money limit and just go to England. I would spend time in all the cities and quaint villages until I was ready to move on to the next. I would just soak in the beauty and culture. It would be MAGICAL!

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– Tie.

Charity 2 / Carrie 4

6. Tell me about the pink! I see you are usually in pink 🙂

Carrie – I “came out of the closet” with pink when I realized that I was not just a historical author. I enjoy writing romance and wanted to embrace the idea of being a historical romance author. Also, I’ve had some close to me suffer with breast cancer and the pink represents awareness for that.

76952Charity – I love that! My 9 year old and our 17 year old foster son used to always wear pink and say, “We support breast cancer”!!! They would always forget to add the “awareness” portion and it was so funny because they didn’t even realize what they were saying. Their friends were a little taken aback.

Check out the link for support groups and ways to help support!

– I am getting crushed!

Charity 2 / Carrie 5

7. A cool story!

Carrie – Dina Sleiman won a Carol Award and wasn’t able to be there to accept it. Because she lives locally, I was able to deliver it home to her. I was walking around carrying this big award and everyone was congratulating me and I had to tell them it wasn’t mine.

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Charity – Oh, man! That’s both awesome and awkward! haha. How awesome is that?! You have to love having Dina so close by! She’s an AMAZING person ❤

Ok….Wow. How do I compete with that? Awards…Awards…OH! I KNOW!!! I won 20 gold medals in piano olympics when I was growing up! I never got anything less!

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– I am going to take that one SOLELY because I am SO FAR BEHIND!!!!

Charity 3 / Carrie 5

8. How do you strive to bring God glory in your life?

Carrie – Although I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, God has me writing for Him. And I pray that brings Him glory! It’s all You, Abba Father!

Charity – Girl, that’s awful. I am so sorry! No fun at all. But, God still deserves the glory for all of it because we have no idea what He’s doing behind the scenes!! ❤

– God wins!

Charity 3 / Carrie 5

9. Have you ever felt horrible and just decided it was OK to go out in public in sweatpants, yoga pants or PJ pants?

Carrie – To this day my family still teases me about this. I was hurting badly and had to go to Kohl’s. I wore boots, tall lime green socks and sweats. I did my shopping and came home. When my family saw me, they were horrified and told me that I cannot wear things like that out in public.

Charity – That’s amazing! You are my hero. I am so particular and couldn’t do this. I feel like I need to, not only get dressed, but dress nicely even when I feel horrible. Some days I feel almost hysterical trying to get ready because I can’t even wear jeans and a t-shirt out in public! Ridiculous, I know.

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– This is, BY FAR, the biggest loss I have suffered. I even gave myself a free point!

FINAL:

Charity 3 / Carrie 6

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I have SO MUCH FUN doing this face-off, Carrie 🙂giphy-1 Thanks for your candid answers and fun personality!

Guess what????

Yep!!!!! You guessed it. Not just 1, BUT 2 GIVEAWAYS!

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seven-brides-grand-prize-giveawayGrand Prize Giveaway:

Kindle Fire + Postcards of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order, bookmarks from upcoming release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

Maude’s Mooring, print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands

Cowboy-themed earrings

Ebook copy of Holt Medallion finalist “The Steeplechase.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But, wait! There’s MORE!!!

2_91 ****** ALERT ******

PLEASE READ THIS!!!

COMMENT ON THIS POST TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS LOVELY BOOK! IT’S SUPER EASY AND YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE VERY HIGH!!! —————>

So, hurry and COMMENT BELOW! Tell us your favorite part of this face-off, a great memory with Carrie, OR which one of her books you are most excited to read.

COMMENT BELOW.

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NKJV The Woman’s Study Bible

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Have you been thinking it’s time for a new Bible? Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift? Well, look no further! Click the link above 🙂

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This great new release by Thomas Nelson is full color and bold print! What’s that mean? It means that there is plenty of room in it for all you Bible journaling fans, note takers and whatever other ideas you have to make your Bible your own personalized love letter.

Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
FullSizeRender-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index
-Concordance
image2 I started a new One Year Bible reading plan and wanted to start fresh with a new Bible to highlight in different colors for specific things I was looking for. This is the perfect choice!

I love all of the great features that shed new light on things I’ve read so many times before. I’m a very visual person, so it’s fabulous to have these family tree pictures and sections dedicated to people that are quickly mentioned in Scripture. It brings it so much more alive for me!

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I definitely recommend this and hope you will pick up a copy. image3They are really bargain-priced and you are getting so much with it!

Also, check out this fabulous giveaway below!!! I want to thank Thomas Nelson and Litfuse for this fabulous Bible in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!


You’re invited to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart’s spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

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Getting Started!

Image-1Alright!!! The time is here! Tomorow we embark on a YEAR LONG journey through the Bible.

I am SO EXCITED! I actually have a new Bible that I am going to use so I can start highlighting all the new things I find.

I’ve decided that I am going to use three colors:

Pink: To highlight any passages that describe God and His character in ANY way

Purple: To highlight any passages that say ways we can please or worship God (including phrases like, “I fall on my knees and pray”.

Yellow: To highlight any passages that are confusing or that I find to be at all difficult to process.

I would love to hear your thoughts about other things I can be looking out for! I would also love to have you join me so we can be reading the same passages and having really awesome discussion/accountability.

I will be starting tomorrow, April 1st. (nope! No joke!) Please join me and comment here any thoughts you have. ❤

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PS: I know that this is not TECHNICALLY what Matthew 18:20 is referring to, but it still works~

A Stolen Heart

by Amanda Cabot

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Ten years after the Civil War, Lydia is a Yankee that’s unknowingly engaged to a married man, traveling South across the country to start completely over and reinventing/finding herself in this beautiful book. I mean, come on! Look at that gorgeous cover!! Tell me you don’t want to pick this one up!

Amanda Cabot has a way of intertwining spiritual matters, deep characters and beautifully vivid visuals in her writing. You can see it all so clearly. I absolutely loved reading this book. Through all the trials Lydia has to work through, there’s hope and a spirit of determination. Most importantly, there’s no whining and I LOVE that!

You will fall in love with the citizens of Cimarron Creek as they fight for their way of life and learn how to love a Yankee. Be sure to pick up a copy of this great read! (link in pic above) Thanks for this fabulous book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!

Here is an example of making this book visual for the reader:

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Ahhh…What does this mean? Are you with me?

I don’t know about you, but I seem to always think that life is going to slow down as soon as I get through this thing I am dealing with right now.69520623f35487f2bed71f2c4d4f5a6d Strangely enough, that never happens and my pea brain keeps thinking it will.

I mean, YEAH, it hasn’t slowed down yet…but it’s got to eventually, right?

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I am pretty sure that God lets us think that so we aren’t too overwhelmed. That’s totally His mercy. But the truth is, His thoughts are so far above our thoughts that there’s no comparison. He knows what’s coming and knows we couldn’t handle it if we knew all of what was to come. So, He gives us these little chunks we can handle (with His help) at a time.

You know, I was talking to someone the other day and she was commenting on how hard it must be to be a counselor. I mean, they have to know how to handle their clients’ problems AND their own. She was saying how difficult it was because just handing your own is overwhelming. I suggested to her that maybe that was the problem. We aren’t meant to handle them. Why would we want our own opinion on how to help ourselves when we have access to the One who’s thoughts are so far above our own?

c771a9bccf11c9ab09d603fdf00ecea7I know that almost every time I try to sort a problem (big or small) on my own, I would naturally do the opposite of what God would suggest. And the truth is, He created us, so He would know what makes us the happiest.

a4ea5912d48c3634db2a1fb313a986a6When you find yourself unsure about ANYTHING (Yes, even if you should buy the red or the blue shirt), ask God.

He WANTS to give us wisdom. He is NOT a God of confusion. If you are confused, perhaps that’s a sign that you aren’t seeking God’s wisdom?

All this to say, we need to be in the Word. We need to be learning more about Him and helping each other out! The more we know Him, the better we can hear His voice. I don’t know how many times I have been saved from a big jam because I asked Him for wisdom at the last minute!

I am just now finishing my “reading through the Bible chronologically in one year” plan and am about to start something new. I want to do it again, but a bit differently.

I am hoping that some of you would like to read through the Bible with me (and adding in a few things). I am not going to read it chronologically this time. I am using a different plan. I also intend to do some very verse specific highlighting. Lastly, and most importantly, I would love if some of you would like to go on this year-long journey with me starting April 1st. (nope, not a joke) It would be fabulous to be working together and falling more and more in love with God ❤

I will be posting more about it over the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys about taking this journey!

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