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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The Loyal Heart

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a fabulous writer. While I am not a big reader of Amish fiction, her books have always won me over. This book, The Loyal Heart, is NOT Amish (which she is known for), but Civil War fiction. While the South struggled to find it’s way after the war, many lived under oppression and fear. Shelley takes her ability to write in a new direction and tackles the hardships of the time.

Her characters are always really likeable. They have good sense and you really root for them. This story is a bit of drama, mystery and romance. If you are a history buff, you will really enjoy the whole story. If you aren’t, you’ll still enjoy the storyline and characters. I definitely recommend!

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

Check out my fun face-off with Shelley Shepard Gray while you are here!

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Abandoned Memories

by MaryLu Tyndall

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

Breathtaking. Suspenseful. Terrifying. Beautiful.

There are so many words to describe this book. You know when a book sticks with you? After you read it, you think on it and think on it? That is what this series will do to you.

Abandoned Memories is the third book in the Escape From Paradise series and it is a WHOPPER! Through the series, we get to know a bunch of colonists that left America after the Civil War. They all left for different reasons, but they basically wanted to start a “new south” in Brazil. The cool part? All of this is true! It was the only recorded exodus in the history of America. You should check out this article to find out more about it!!! (Link is in the pic)

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In this final installment, the battle with the forces of evil in their town has escalated and they must seek God to fight it. We also get to FINALLY see Angeline’s and James’ stories. They were my favorite from the start!! This book is NOT for the weak of heart. It is surely going to open your eyes to the battle we don’t see. It is a beautiful story of grace and redemption. I wish I could give it 10 stars!! (Looky there! I just did!!).

Bravo, MaryLu! As always, you have given me a book I really enjoy. However, you went above and beyond this time. *still trying to catch my breath*

— If you would like to see our fun FACE-OFF, just head on over there and enjoy. BTW, there’s a giveaway so you have a chance to get this book in your hands!!!

Face-Off with Author Jocelyn Green and more!!

Spy of Richmond (Heroines Behind the Lines)A few weeks back, I reviewed an awesomeHeroines Behind the Lines book named Spy of Richmond. Jocelyn has written a series of books called Heroines Behind the Lines. When you hear stories of the Civil War, it’s always on the battlefield, or in the prisons. How often do you think about what the women left behind were dealing with? Their homes raided for food and animals needed for the armies. Often times, the ladies weren’t safe from the men either.

Widow of Gettysburg (Heroines Behind the Lines Book 2) Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines)Yankee in Atlanta (Heroines Behind the Lines Book 3)

Each one tells the perspective of women and how they managed to live through, and help their cause. Check these books out on Jocelyn Green‘s Amazon page.

As a homeschool mom, I was excited to hear that Jocelyn also homeschools her children. HSSWeddedI was telling her that her books were so full of history, I was having my 11th grade son read one of them. That is when she informed me that she is, in fact, so passionate about teaching history through books and novels that she has begun writing a curriculum based on these books. You will have to check it out. I thought it was really awesome!

Ok, now that we have the official business taken care of….. HERE WE GO!

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The rules are simple. I ask Jocelyn 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 gone Ice Skating in NYC at the Rockefeller ice rink?

Jocelyn – Nope—I’ve been to NYC a few times, and to Rockefeller Center, but haven’t skated there.

Charity – I have not been there, let alone skated there 😦 I saw a lot of NYC, just not there.

— Easy point for Jocelyn

Charity 0 / Jocelyn 1

  1. Do you ever set all the clocks in your house ahead by a couple hours on New Years Eve so you can celebrate with the kiddos and get them to bed at a good time? ha ha ha

Jocelyn – I haven’t yet, but this is a great idea! Thanks!

Charity – I haven’t either. My friend did it every year. Her and her friends would have a big party with all the kids and then go home and have their kids in bed by like… 9:00. ha ha ha. My husband thinks that horrible. I like it!

— Fail

Charity 0 / Jocelyn 1

3. Do you do Civil War Re-enacting?

Jocelyn – I don’t, but my husband did in high school. He was a re-enactor at Fort Clinch, Florida. Ironically, though, he wore Union blue because nobody else wanted to be a Yankee!

Charity – ha! That’s awesome. Well, I used to do a lot of it when I was a teenager (over 20 years ago….). I am currently part of the Regency Society of Virginia though. I love that.

— I get that one! woot!

Charity 1 / Jocelyn 1

4. Any relatives (that you know of) in the Civil War?

Jocelyn – Yes, I had a relative who fought at Gettysburg but died of pneumonia around Little Rock the next year.

Charity – One of my great grandpa’s was also in the Confederate Army. Pretty crazy! What’s crazy is how it wasn’t even that long ago…Seems so archaic.

— Tie

Charity 2 / Jocelyn 2

5. Do you have any guilty pleasure tv show (that may, or may not be embarrassing)?

Jocelyn – Parks & Rec. And Psych. I need a little buffer of ridiculousness between researching the Civil War and going to bed!  I also love more cerebral shows like Sherlock, but I wouldn’t call that a guilty pleasure.

Charity – I am a sucker for all those cheesy Hallmark movies. Big time!!! The funny thing is, I like Jane Austen movies, Hallmark movies, and then SUPER bloody movies like Warrior and Lone Survivor. No in-between with me, I suppose.

— Not sure how to judge that one.

Charity 2 / Jocelyn 2

  1. What’s your biggest phobia?

Jocelyn – I know there are worse things in the world to be afraid of (ebola, tornadoes, etc.) but the one recurring fear I have is of bats in my house. I have friends who appreciate bats, but I do not appreciate bats in my home. We’ve had this happen three times, and I just can’t stand it. Once a bat flew into my office at 11pm while I was writing Yankee in Atlanta, and I was so freaked out I almost couldn’t move. Not long after that, a bat was swooping around my kitchen at two o’clock in the afternoon! Ack!

Charity – OMGosh. That is bad. ugh. We had a injured bat in front of our house a few months ago and I was FREAKING OUT. My biggest phobies are snakes and spiders and crickets and heights. ha. I have a lot!! We were raking our back yard a couple of years ago and I was wearing flip flops because it was in the middle of summer. I look down, and there is a copperhead RIGHT. BY. MY. FOOT. Omgosh. I almost died. I told my son (he was 13 at the time) that I needed something QUICKLY so that I could kill it before it devoured my toes. He comes back with a little tiny garden shovel and scissors. ????!!!!!!!!!! I was like, “What in the world!??” So, I pinned it’s head down with the shovel and cut through his body…… *shiver* it was SOOOOOO GROSSSSSSS AND TOOK SO LONG! *shudder*

— Both had horrible experiences. Even

Charity 3 / Jocelyn 3

7. I see on your Amazon profile that you love Mexican (I applaud you). Do you have any amazing Queso or Guaq recipes for us?

Jocelyn – Thanks! I was a nanny in Mexico one summer during college, and I was in total food heaven. As for a recipe, here’s one for a dip I really enjoy:

½ lb. ground beef
½ t. ground mustard (dry)
¼ – ½ t. chili powder
¼ c. chopped onion
¼ c. finely chopped green pepper
1 can (16 oz) refried or black beans
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
Finely shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream topping (mix 1 c. sour cream, 2 T. shredded cheddar, ¼ t. chili powder)

  1. Cook beef in skillet. Drain.
  2. Stir in rest of ingredients (except for sour cream topping, lettuce and cheese). Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
  3. Spread in ungreased pie plate. Spread sour cream topping over it. Sprinkle with lettuce and cheese. Serve with chips.

That’s really delicious, but sometimes I don’t have enough time for that. SO if that’s the case, I resort to another yummy but simpler version of Taco Dip. I call this one my Dip on a Deadline since I’m usually on a book deadline if I’m too time-starved to make the first recipe. Here we go:

1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 c. (8oz) sour cream
1 carton (8oz) French onion dip
1 envelope taco seasoning
4 c. shredded lettuce
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ c. chopped tomatoes

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, onion dip and taco seasoning until blended. Spread onto a 12-in. round serving platter. Top with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Charity – Oh goodness. I will be trying that!!!!!

Charity 3 / Jocelyn 4

8. How is God being brought the most glory in your life?

Jocelyn – I would like to think that my books, both nonfiction and fiction, bring Him glory. That is certainly my goal. But I’m sure that I bring Him the most glory when I fulfill the role He has for me inside my own home as wife and homeschooling mother to our children.

Charity – Great answer. I agree. It’s like God is letting us “babysit” these people He has huge plans for somewhere down the road. It’s up to us to take care of His kids and train them up right. Heavy, but lovely job ❤

Charity 3 / Jocelyn 4

9. What made you choose Libby Prison over Andersonville?

Jocelyn – I had chosen to do a novel on Richmond’s spy network because I was so intrigued by the historical figure of Elizabeth Van Lew. So Libby Prison just naturally fit into that because of its location, and Van Lew’s connection to it. Even beyond that, though, Libby appealed to me because it’s much lesser-known than Andersonville. Many books have been written about Andersonville, so I didn’t feel the need to shine more light on that prison.

Charity – Ok, that is pretty neat about the spy ring. I can’t imagine how scary that would be. I live right outside of Richmond and didn’t even know about Libby Prison!!! I was, however, part of the movie Andersonville. I used to be in the Yorktown Fife and Drum Corp and we were able to take part in the production. So fun!!!

— Again, no real winner here!

Charity 3 / Jocelyn 4

10. Do you have any writing rituals or warm-ups you routinely perform as you get ready to write for the day?

Jocelyn – Other than prayer, which is absolutely indispensable, I do two things. I read a little bit of poetry, which shows me that it really is possible to say a lot without overwriting. I also put on my writing pants. These are really just pajama pants from L.L.Bean, but they are so comfortable, I just love them. It’s easiest for me to be creative when I’m wearing comfortable clothes.

Charity – Ok, I see what you did here. You asked me a question that you knew I couldn’t win a point for!!! My My. (; I will agree that I wear my yoga pants all day. You know there’s a problem when you put normal clothes on and your kids start freaking out wanting to know where we are going…”I’m just getting dressed…” “huh???” That confuses them. ha ha ha ha

Final:

Charity 3 / Jocelyn 5

Total annihilation. One day, I WILL BEAT one of you (:

Thanks so much, Jocelyn. I had a great time getting to know you better and facing off. Readers, check out her website. She has some awesome ministries to military families as well as her books and some homeschool stuff.

You can also give her a on her FB page, or on .

 

How about some History Freebies Today?


The Weird Wild West: Tall Tales and Legends about the Frontier

*Includes pictures
*Includes contemporary accounts of the legends
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

Space may be the final frontier, but no frontier has ever captured the American imagination like the “Wild West”, which still evokes images of dusty cowboys, outlaws, gunfights, gamblers, and barroom brawls over 100 years after the West was settled. A constant fixture in American pop culture, the 19th century American West continues to be vividly and colorful portrayed not just as a place but as a state of mind.

Even for those who travel through the West today, there are plenty of traces of the old times. Ghost towns still stand in remote parts of the desert and prairie, Native American rock art still tell their mute legends, and old prospectors’ mines still dot the hillsides. Even some of the places’ names, such as Bloody Basin, Arizona and Soldier’s Hill, New Mexico, have their stories to tell. In November 2014, one lucky archaeologist at Nevada’s Great Basin National Park spotted an old rifle leaning against a pine tree; the sun and wind had weathered the wooden stock until it was as gray as the tree trunk, making it almost invisible to passersby. When the gun was examined, it turned out to be a Winchester rifle. The serial number was still legible and records showed that it had been manufactured and shipped in 1882. Some prospector or hunter had set the rifle against a tree more than a century ago and never came back for it. It had been leaning there ever since.

As popular as works about the West remain today, the Wild West captured the imagination of people all the way back to the days when it really was wild. Even in the 19th century, its fame spread thanks to dime novels, travelogues, Wild West shows, and theater plays, and people were thrilled by tales of exploration and gunfights. Naturally, in the process of settling the frontier, the adventures contained countless numbers of strange stories, ranging from tales of monsters and lost mines to those about hidden cities and men coming back from the dead. It was a vast, unexplored country, and many mysteries could hide in the unmapped mountain ranges and seemingly endless plains.

The Weird Wild West: Tall Tales and Legends about the Frontier is a collection of tales about America’s frontier that range from the possible to the downright ridiculous. Some are adaptations of old folk tales immigrants brought with them or creations of overly eager newspaper reporters, but many have their basis in fact. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about the Weird Wild West like never before, in no time at all.

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The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World for Kids: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids!

Get ready to take a tour through the wonderful world of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

This book is perfect for any young reader ages 4 to 8. Younger children will also enjoy looking at the vivid pictures and hearing you read to them. You and your child will discover intriguing facts about these unique and Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

Such as…
Chapter 1: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Chapter 3: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Chapter 4: Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Chapter 5: Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Chapter 6: Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Chapter 7: Colossus of Rhodes
Chapter 8: Lighthouse of Alexandria
*And Much More…*

Includes delightful FULL COLOR photos of the most adorable and incredible tigers you and your child have ever seen. So get ready to have a lot of fun with your kids as you both learn amazing facts about these incredible Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

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50 Core American Documents: Required Reading for Students, Teachers, and Citizens

The Ashbrook Center’s 50 Core American Documents is meant to introduce
readers to America’s story as it has unfolded from the American Founding
into the Twentieth Century. Many of the documents emphasize America’s
uniqueness and contributions to the world, but they also present different
views on some of the major issues and disputes in American history and government,
especially on the meaning of liberty, the injustice of slavery, and the
demands of progress. Taken as such, the documents reveal a kind of political
dialogue to readers, an ongoing and profoundly consequential conversation
about how Americans have agreed and often disagreed on the meaning of
freedom and self-government. 50 Core American Documents invites teachers
and citizens alike to join in this American political dialogue.

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Failed Yet Famous: How To Learn From Extraordinary Men And Women Who Overcame Adversity

Life can be difficult sometimes: set-backs, roadblocks, and sometimes failure threaten to derail dreams and goals we all have. Everyone has faced obstacles and chances are that more obstacles are yet to come, but how you deal with those obstacles can be the difference between happiness and misery. Successful people are just like everyone else because they too have faced adversity in a number of different ways, but successful people persevere through their set-backs and learn from their failures.

This book examines the lives of a number of men and women from different walks of life and different periods of time to understand how some of these extraordinary people overcame adversity. The book serves as both a guide and an inspirational manual for those who have feel beaten by life but want to fight back!

This book is unique in that it borrows from the literary genres of biography/history and motivational writing to present a fresh perspective on life. Although the book focuses on the life of historical and some contemporary personalities, it is not a historical study and does not try to paint an especially glamorous picture of any of these people. In fact, the book does not focus on the “highlights” of the extraordinary people’s careers and instead emphasizes the “lowlights” of their lives because that is where the reader can learn the most. Each person profiled in this book is unique, like each of us, but they also employed similar techniques to overcome adversity, which is where you the reader can learn the most. By studying how great people overcame various set-backs, roadblocks, and failures you can use the same methods to persevere adversity in your own life.

Ultimately this book intends to motivate everyone who reads it to pursue their goals no matter the set-backs. The goal is to tap into our unused perseverance reserves in order to meet our goals and attain happiness and success. We all have the power to realize our goals, but sometimes we need a little help when the going gets tough. Most of us have friends and family that we can lean on when times get tough, but hopefully this book will provide a little more incentive for those of you who are looking for an extra person to help you when things get tough!

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101 Amazing Facts

Did you know that Shakespeare wrote the world’s first ever knock knock joke? How much of a ribbon worm’s own body can it eat and still survive if it gets a little hungry? What unusual lost property has been handed in on the London Underground? And what surprising kind of song is the American national anthem based on? This absolutely fascinating book contains over one hundred facts covering various categories such as war, music, TV & film, ancient civilizations, royalty and many more. So whether you want to know which pirate ate a man’s beating heart, or what Lennon and McCartney’s unfinished play was called, then this is the book for you.

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Great Battles For Boys: Bunker Hill to World War I

1st book in the Great Battles series designed specifically for young boys.
“I strongly recommend this book, particularly to younger readers who aren’t provided this kind of insight in standard texts. Giorello has written a truly valuable, concise and relevant work of scholarship for readers of all ages seeking an enhanced understanding of crucial turning points in American history.”

Ranolph Harrison, Army Special Forces Captain with 27 months of combat duty in Vietnam, and author of “West from Yesterday.” This is the first book in the Great Battles Series for students in Grades 3-9. This series will transform the way we experience history. Great Battles is a unique look into specific battles affecting American History. Also included is a listing of other reading materials and movies that will help each student not only understand the history, but realize how it has shaped our world.

Great Battles takes young readers directly to the field of war. This first volume begins with Bunker Hill and the American Revolution then moves chronologically through United States history: The Alamo, The Civil War, Little Big Horn, San Juan Hill and World War I. (Later Great Battles will cover WWII in Europe and the Pacific, modern warfare, and Ancient battles). With historic photographs and maps, each chapter also offers an age-appropriate reading list, Internet resources and movies the whole family can watch. Even the most reluctant reader will be captivated by history shown through weapons, warfare and strategy. Learn how those ragtag American colonists beat the powerful British, why the Civil War so bloody, and how lloss at the Alamo ultimately led to Texas Independence. Great Battles is the perfect primer for creating a love of history in any child.

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All you ever wanted to know about fortifications but never asked

An introduction to the history of fortifications and their building technology.

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Some Wore Blue & Some Wore Gray

With the 150th Anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg, New York Times Best Selling Author, Heather Graham, is revisiting one of her favorite time periods – The American Civil War. This time, however, she has compiled biographies of some of her favorite real-life characters of the period. We hope you’ll enjoy her gift to you in SOME WORE BLUE & SOME WORE GRAY. And feel free to comment in the review section if there are people you would be interested in reading about from the Civil War. Ms. Graham sees this as a living, growing document and is certain to add to it as time goes by.

My Heart Stood Still

by Lori Copeland

Once again, Lori brings us a light, fun book. Anne-Marie is a high spirited girl that has been thrown in the path of a Crow Indian and a black man during the Civil War. The story takes place in Texas, so it is on the outskirts of the battles, not within the center of it.

Outrunning the law, stealing gold for the Union and trying to stay alive, this book will keep you reading. It’s an easy read. Nothing too deep, just an adventure where everything is wrapped up in pretty little bows by the end. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like happy endings!

If you would like to pre-order a copy, just click HERE.

Thanks, netgalley, for giving me a copy of this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!

The Last Heiress

by Mary Ellis

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This is the first book I have read by Mary Ellis and I was enraptured throughout. Amanda Dunn travels from her homeland of England to North Carolina during America’s final days of the Civil War. She is sent to procure more cotton for their factories. Because of the war, nothing was being shipped and her father’s company was losing money.

The characters are very likeable, the history is fascinating and the storyline will keep you reading through the night. I did feel like in the last third of the book, some of the main characters changed. It seemed like they acted completely out of character and the book changed it’s course quite unexpectedly. It was still interesting and still held my attention, I just felt like it was very odd and didn’t make a lot of sense. I also felt as if the characters had no relationship with God. Surprisingly, that it never changed throughout.

I do recommend the book and hope you will pick up a copy! The link is in the picture above.

Thanks, netgalley, for the another awesome read! As always, I have given my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Spy of Richmond

by Jocelyn Green

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History buffs: TAKE NOTICE!

Wow. If every fictional novel had this much history in it, we wouldn’t need school! Jocelyn does an incredible job of intertwining fictional and real characters in this story about the last years of the Confederacy.

Sophia Kent is living in Richmond, the Capitol of the Confederacy. Her father is a rebel soldier and she cannot bring herself to agree with the ideas of southern slavery. Joining a spy ring (based on the real deal), she leads a double life: charming the rebels and sharing important information with the North. It is a dangerous journey and she must decide if faith and listening to her heart are worth the risks.

Wonderful book. It is fourth in the series: Heroines Behind the Lines. To get any of these books, just CLICK HERE.

Thank so much, netgalley, for giving me this book! As always, I’ve given my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!