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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The Reluctant Duchess

by Roseanna M. White

Another fabulous read from Roseanna M. White. In this book, she continues on with the characters from The Lost Heiress. The Duke of Nottingham is back and as brilliant as ever!! As he seeks God’s will at every turn, he is surprised by what God asks him to do next…

What a great book. It captures the good and the bad of the ton during the Edwardian era. It’s beautifully written and the characters have so much depth. God is so intertwined with this storyline that there wasn’t anywhere that had to stop to include Him. That’s so rare in a story and it’s VERY appreciated. No token prayer here and there in this one!

I love that Roseanna is not scared to talk about heavy issues either. Women were property that had the purpose of providing their spouse with money (by way of a dowry) and an heir. They were easily taken advantage of and ruined for life. Speaking out about rape and bullying is much needed even now.

If you have not read the first book, you will need to. The story will be confusing without. It’s definitely not a stand-alone novel. I do highly recommend! All of you coming off of 6 seasons of Downton, this is your chance to get an Edwardian fix!!! Just click on the links below to get your copy:

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

Be sure to check out my exciting face-off with Roseanna!

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Charity’s Cross

by MaryLu Tyndall

Before I get into anything, I need to say, GREAT HEROINE NAME! Woot Woot!

<– Check them out here!

Charity’s Cross is book four in the Charles Towne Belles series and it’s just as fabulous as the others! MaryLu is absolutely one of my favorite authors. Her books were some of the first I started reading in the Christian Fiction genre. Her stories are always fun stories full of pirates, passion and faith.

The book starts out saying, “Charity killed her husband.” and so began an adventurous story. As she is on the run after killing her husband in self defense, she meets a preacher named Elias. They travel together, under a set of strange circumstances, causing love to bloom. When he learns of her past, what will he do?

Always full of hard issues, deep faith and heart-stopping action. I love this author and her love for God. It spills over into her books in such a special way!! I highly recommend you picking up a copy!

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

For more fun, check out my awesome review with this lovely lady!!!

How about a little Rachel Hauck this weekend?

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Here at aTransParentMom, we LOVE Rachel Hauck!!szcmi6enim0bd5lkfg-nvxedixt1ywbwiu-6n2p6xfu0ustjx4rouuz3kvdur3kxjux113ywt93okycjcvr-snfoab9coumvj3tvyng7kz3je_exigxiw50fimigysyw1bjr4vy425diqmpndfmpp4pphojweuhbwfeaf1tvsypfvploi8ljtotuip We had so much fun when she stopped by for a Face-Off last year. She’s a girl after my own heart (ie: she loves football!) Click on the pic to check out all the fun! —->

Right now, you can pick up her current USA Today Bestselling Novel, The Wedding Dress, for only $1.99!!!!

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Now, I know that’s insanely exciting news, but you don’t have to stop there! She has a few more great deals going on right now:

$1.99 ❤ ❤ ❤ .99¢

❤ $3.99 ❤

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Face-Off with Regina Jennings!!

authors20-427x640 I am SO happy to have Regina Jennings here today! What a lovely, lovely lady!!!!! She’s a homeschool mamma, avid traveler and a self-proclaimed “Redneck Bluestocking”. Love it!!

You may have seen one of my latest posts
about her new release, At Love’s Bidding. Be sure to check it out and grab a copy of this fun read!!! You won’t regret it.

Check out this cute pic of Regina in the outfit from her book, Caught in the Middle. I absolutely love this!! ❤ ❤

  You can check out a bunch of her awesome books here:

<– Only $1.99!!

Let’s do this!!!


The rules are simple. I ask Regina 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. Most bizarre thing that happened on a mission trip?

Regina – We were going to a village in Mexico to have services at the farmhouse of some believers. Before we got there the missionary warned us about their dogs. They had aggressive dogs that might bite, so we were advised to stay away from them.

Of course the dogs were there at the truck just licking their chops and waiting for us to step out, but they behaved themselves. Still, I kept an eye on them as I trekked across the rough ground to the side of the house where we were having the service. Our host led us to a log bench next to a chain-link cage.

The cage was about five feet high and the size of a generous bedroom closet. It housed a rough shelter that could give you splinters just from looking at it.

“Great,” I thought. “I’m sitting next to the dog pen!” Then I see a guy sitting in the cage. He’s glaring at me, like he’s contemplating how it’d feel to chop me up with a rusty machete.

What was he doing inside the cage? Cleaning it? Then I see a shackle on his leg. What in the world? I waved the missionary over to me, too afraid to get up and leave. Turns out the man in the manacles was the son of the family we were visiting. He’d tried to kill them once, burned their house while they were sleeping, so now they have to keep him chained up for the safety of themselves and their neighbors. Likely he’s suffering from some sort of mental illness or possession, but this village family didn’t have any resources at their disposal, so they dealt with it the best they could. They cared for him, fed him, gave him clothing and tried to include him in their family life, all while keeping him chained up in a cage because he is too dangerous to let out.

After that, I wasn’t so concerned about the dogs.

Charity – 😯 Oh. My. Word. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever heard!!! hahahahaha I have absolutely nothing to compare to that! I was thinking of how scary is was being driven around the Dominican Republic…Those people have no road rules and much road rage.

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— No comparison.

Charity 0 / Regina 1

2. As a “redneck bluestocking” and a homeschool mom, what is your favorite subject to teach (and your least!)?

Regina – I love teaching history and literature, and I chose our curriculum (Sonlight) because it is so rich in both. It seems every story connects to another story. Every reference brings up another interesting fact we can look up. Frequent referrals to the globe and our world history timeline book are required.

Ironically, what I hate to teach is reading. The mechanics of reading, the phonics and grammar, are so arbitrary, that it’s hard to get a feel for any consistent rule. Once I get a kid past that point, we celebrate.

Charity – I am a homeschool mamma too and, BOY, do we love our Sonlight curriculum! I have 3 boys and the teenage years are the best!!!!! I love all those subjects. I honestly can’t stand teaching kindergarten and the lower grades. Favorite subject is history. I’m such a history nerd and it’s so awesome that we live in the historic triangle. ❤ Least favorite is english mechanics. blah.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Regina 2

3. Have you ever been on a bucking bronco or a crazy bull?

Regina – I was on a horse with my husband and it gave a little buck. He landed on the saddle horn and got hurt. I was fine until he pushed me out of the saddle so he could regain his seat. That’s the truth, although he disputes my account. Either way I wasn’t as hurt as he was.

My only injury was on a donkey. I was helping my dad train a donkey and it got mad. It smashed my leg up against a pole fence leaving nice bruised-stripes on my leg. I didn’t go to the doctor because I was four months pregnant and thought I could do without the lecture.

Charity – Girl! You are crazy!!! haha. What in the world! I have not done either…but that could be because I am NOT an animal lover, thus I avoid them at all costs.

— Again, no comparison.

Charity 1 / Regina 3

4. Favorite BBQ on the grill recipe?

Regina – I eat a lot of Bar-B-Q, but I don’t grill. That’s my husband’s domain. Unless you are as big of a loser as I am in the kitchen, that question is an automatic win for you.

Charity – Hmm. Just look at the delightfulness of this picture and click on it for the recipe.

bangin-grilled-shrimp-skewers

— I’ll take it!!

Charity 2 / Regina 3

5. Would you have enjoyed living in the 1800’s? What would you have liked and hated?

Regina – When? Where? Am I rich or am I a servant or slave? C’mon, be more specific!!

I know I would like to live in a society that was more God-honoring and respectful. I would like to raise my kids in an environment that wasn’t as fraught with temptations and hostile to families, but as far as conveniences, I really enjoy having the time to write and pursue some of my own interests. If I was an average woman in the 1800s, spare time and access to books wouldn’t be readily available.

Charity – I have to agree with everything you said. I also wish women still wore pretty dresses!!!! I don’t care how many layers! So beautiful and ladylike.

— tie

Charity 3 / Regina 4

6. Awesome, obscure and totally useless talent that you have?

Regina – I can lick my nose. Yep. I guess it’s not totally useless, but it’s disgusting enough to render it close.

Charity – Ha! Nice. I can wave my pinky toe back and forth. Pretty cool… You’ll want to be sure to turn up the volume so you can hear me say, “Ew” at the end of this video.

— Tie

Charity 4 / Regina 5

7. What kind of food is your greatest weakness?

Regina – Dessert! I love ice cream, chocolate, cheesecake, cookies, brownies… I don’t eat a lot for supper, but I rarely skip dessert. Feel free to send me candy.

Charity – I always tell my kids to eat dessert first because you don’t want to get filled up on dinner and not have room for it!

I’m a candy love and CHIPS!!! Chips have to be my biggest weakness. I could live my life without chocolate and that would be just fine.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Regina 6

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

Regina – We humans are a frail and fallible bunch. But instead of allowing us wallow in self-pity, God tells us the reason for His design. It’s because He wants no confusion over who gets the credit for our deeds (1 Cor. 1:26-29, 2 Cor. 4:7). So God is glorified through our weaknesses, but that’s kind of hard to strive for, isn’t it? Fortunately, I don’t have to work hard cultivating weaknesses. They appear way too frequently. But it’s so reassuring to remember that whenever I feel inadequate, whenever I know I’m at the end of my strength, my knowledge, my efforts, that is when I’m least likely to try to take credit for what God has done. When I’m trusting Him, submitting to Him, having faith that He is in control, that’s when I’ve seen His glory most clearly.

Charity – Love that. It’s beautiful. My sister and I were just talking about that today!!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Regina 6

9. Do you garden?

Regina – Ha! I love gardens, beautiful landscapes, and welcoming lawns. In the spring I do my best. I plant flowers and I try to keep them alive, but the Oklahoma heat and droughts are determined to ruin my efforts. I don’t have much to show for my work.

As far as a real, producing garden, I hate vegetables, so what’s the point?

Charity – HA! Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. I actually love veggies…BUT, I have a total black thumb. I kill every plant I’ve ever had. Every. One.

— Another tie!

Charity 6 / Regina 7

10. Last item you returned to the store?

Regina – My daughter’s college textbook! It was such a rip-off. For $40 we rented the textbook and the access key for the online extras. When we tried to log into the online portion it said that the access key had already been used, but we could buy another access key for $94(!!!!) I called Amazon and they pointed out the fine print that says the access key might not work, never mind that the item is listed as “book and access key”. But they did let me return it for a refund- minus a hefty restocking fee that was almost half the purchase price.

Let me just say… textbook people, enough is enough. Now you’re putting in $100 access keys that can only be used once per student? Way to fleece our future!

Charity – Rant heard. I had no idea. That’s ridiculous, but good to know. My oldest starts college next year 😯 I will be watching them and their sneaky ways…

Last item I returned was a 49’ers shirt from Target. I ordered a Redskins shirt for my son and they sent me a 49’ers. Lame.

— Textbook drama

Final:

Charity 6 / Regina 8

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Regina–Question for you:

What is the weirdest thing you hoard?

Mine? Dryer lint and empty toilet paper rolls. I save those all year round, and then when winter comes, I stuff the dryer lint into the cardboard rolls and use them for fire starter for the fireplaces. Recycling Redneck style!

Charity – Wow! That is redneck style recycling!! haha. Love it! I am not sure what I hoard. I am a total organizer. Like, “Christmas is coming! What toys are you getting rid of to make room for the new?” Maybe skinny people clothes that I imagine I will actually wear again someday. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one…By the time I fit in them, perhaps they’ll even be back in style.


Thank you, Regina! Such a blast. You are THE BEST! Custom-Balloon-design-tool

Who wants to win a book by this lovely lady? It’s easy! Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering to win At Love’s Bidding. (Remember how I gave it a GLOWING review just a few days back? Yep, it’s a good one!)

*All entries will be checked
**U.S. Residents Only (sorry! We do love the rest of you too!)

GOOD LUCK!!

Congratulations, Trixi!!!!

chris pratt

We have a winner!! Trixi Oberembt has found a whopping 19 AUTHORS that have agreed to face-off!!!

This has been SO much fun seeing all the different names come through. It’s really exciting! Thanks to all of you for participating. It was a tight race!! I mean, really tight! I want to give a shout out to Sam Bes for coming in a VERY close second with 18 authors!

Thanks for participating in the Summer Giveaway Challenge. We will try again with a new challenge in a few months. Trixi, some books will be heading your way!

The Day I Met Jesus

by Frank Viola and Mary Demuth

What a beautiful book! This is an in depth look at five different women that were affected by Jesus while He was here on Earth. We have the woman caught in adultery, the prostitute that covered Jesus’ feet with perfume, the Samaritan woman He met at the well, the woman that grabbed His cloak and Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

To start with, each story is told from the first person point of view, then the actual Scripture is produced. After that, there is some theological musings on what transpired. I found it very interesting. I’ve never really seen a book written in this style before. I enjoyed it immensely.

Most of these stories are a mere few verses in the vastness of the entire Bible. Easily overlooked or breezed over. I liked taking the time to think about it and what it really meant. It is obviously in the Bible for a reason and we shouldn’t overlook it. I highly recommend this. It is co-authored by Mary Demuth and Frank Viola. It’s well written and will appeal to many genres. If you would like to pick up a copy, the link is in the picture above.

Thanks, Baker Books, for this great read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Face-Off with Rachel Hauck

Who doesn’t love an awesome fairy tale? Isn’t it every girls’ dream to marry a prince?? This is the third book in Rachel’s Royal Wedding Series. (and the first one I’ve read!!!)

Review to follow later today.

For now, we play!!


SZcMi6enIm0Bd5LKfg-nvXEdIXT1YWBwiu-6n2p6XFu0UStjX4RouUz3kVDUr3KXJux113Ywt93OkycjcvR-SnFoab9cOuMvj3TVynG7kz3jE_eXiGXIW50FiMIGYsYW1bJr4vy425DiqmpndfMpp4PPHojweUhbwfEaf1tVSypFVPloi8LjtOTuipgVHjLxmpaW6v1ZoEnl8n5dLhLfgV7YOt0W7B0D7

The rules are simple: I ask Rachel 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. Do you prefer shopping malls, or the new, trendy outdoor malls?

Rachel – Ooo, does online count? LOL. I do like the new trendy outdoor malls.

Charity – Girl, I hear ya!!! Amazon is my best friend!!! I like the outdoor ones too!!!

— Tie!

Charity 0 / Rachel 0

2. Favorite pair of hot, little shoes?

Rachel – Flip flops. 🙂 All the way. Though I do have a pair of dark red patent leather heels I love.

Charity – Ohhhhh!! Who can compete with a red patent leather heel?????????

— Rachel!!!

Charity 0 / Rachel 1

3. What’s a fun Holiday tradition you have that nobody else does? (ANY holiday…a made up, unique one is even better!)

Rachel – I have a made up holiday with my older brother called “Opening College Football Weekend.” My husband and I go to his house and watch football all day on the first day of college football. So fun.

Charity – How fun!!!!! We have an annual holiday: 99 days ’til Christmas! We decorate the house, put up a small tree, do little gifts, eat yummy food and watch Elf. It’s SO much fun! We love it and look forward to it every year.

— Tie!! We are AWESOME!!

Charity 0 / Rachel 1

4. What is your favorite type of pizza? Toppings?

Rachel – I love just cheese. Crazy, but I started liking it way back in college and have been true blue ever since.

Charity – Oh, I love a good veggie pizza!!! The more veggies, the merrier!

— Veggies win!!!

Charity 1 / Rachel 1

5. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Rachel – What a great questions! I think being authentic is the best way to show I’m human, but how God has met me so many times and answered so many prayers. I talk honestly about His work in my life.

Charity – Well said! I agree.  I believe that we have to be honest with our mistakes and use them to bring God glory! Otherwise, it’s just a wasted, crappy situation!

— God wins!!!!!!!!!

Charity 1 / Rachel 1

6. Are you a pet person?

Rachel – In spades!! I love animals. We’ve had four dogs and two cats.

Charity – Ohh…. I am not so much :-/ We had a dog for a few months, but I couldn’t handle him waiting outside the bathroom door and tripping over him constantly. We gave him to my parents! ha ha. We still visit him!!! He’s much happier now…

— Rachel is nice and not as high maintenance!!

Charity 1 / Rachel 2

7. Farthest you have ever run?

Rachel – On purpose, or because I was being chased? ;p I’ve run 3 miles before because I thought it would be fun. I have a weird sense of humor.

Charity – OMGosh. Yes you do! ha ha.

The farthest I’ve run? How about to the end of my street? (BTW, we live on the corner…)

— HANDS DOWN, Rachel!

Charity 1 / Rachel 3

8. Ever been to a professional sports game?

Rachel – Yes. I’ve been to a few Reds baseball games and when I was in college I photographed a professional football game played at Ohio State. Very Fun!

Charity – Fun! I have only been to one Redskins game.

— You are crushing me!!! Good thing I took the veggie pizza one!

Charity 1 / Rachel 4

9. What is the funniest story (or a funny one) revolving around you and your spouse?

Rachel – My husband is very witty and clever so he makes me laugh a lot. The most recent funny thing — not THE funniest, but one I can remember– happened at church. After leading worship, I sat in my usual chair and he came to sit next to me. After a few minutes I leaned over and said, “How was worship?” He made a face. “Good. You just asked me that?”

“Huh? No I didn’t.”

“Yes you did. I sat down and you asked, ‘How was worship?’ and I said, ‘Good’.”

“No way. I didn’t say anything to you”

“Yes you did.”

“You must have imagined it.”

“YOU must have imagined you didn’t.”

It was funny, but also very weird. Like I completely forgot a moment in time. LOL!

Charity – ha ha hahaha! That’s so something that I would do too!!! My husband is also hilarious. He is always doing funny things to make us laugh. He’ll have hidden glow sticks in the house and will turn the lights off and hand them out and blast some tobyMac while we have a dance party with glow sticks in the dark. Completely random! But so fun!!

fIW0Vpla1NWlpxaLLcpAHXDJQ9UAifgYZ62-rzCZMUOUg3WhEqbKR4DBCo1fb1OzNOHsPR-QsAYSJk6D2UB9_wiMEgM1c8HweVnFQ9WJAcTMA6zr5LwwrsoKTrEUPDERBulWp2YJlaXfZZZ_4gnVdN3pjEd_pDxPlBH5gUaLN3MBCk6UyJ8BlIvqkZrtadGNGGYgGjZM-BtvdlnzUS6XXuOvp05M9bqss<—- My hubby and oldest son (before he became 6’3” and about to graduate high school!! waahhhh… getting away from the point here…) wearing fake mustaches out to eat. ha ha. So fun!! They keep me young!!

— Fun husbands are THE BEST! They win!!

Final:

Charity 1 / Rachel 4

41pQGKwBBLL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ to say the least…


Thanks, so much!! I had such a great time, Rachel! Looking forward to posting my review (:

Check out Rachel’s Royal Wedding Series here:

For Elise

by Sarah M. Eden

Sarah has done it again. She never disappoints!! This is another INCREDIBLE, Regency romance. It’s a story of redemption, intrigue, death threats, tragedies, true friendship and deep love. It’s absolutely beautiful. Best part? Characters keep their strength of character throughout the book. Nobody storms off after declaring their love and finding out something they didn’t like about the other person. They remain true. I love that kind of man. That’s a hero, in my eyes.

Every book by Sarah is clean, the plots move along and don’t grow stagnant, has wit and is full of loveable people. If you are looking for great Regency reads, you can stop here!! I give it 5 Solid Stars. Please pick up a copy for yourself and gift one to a sweet friend that’s needing some love!!! (Link is in the pic above)

Thanks, Sarah, for taking time to Face-Off with me and have me review your book! As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!!!

Jesus Without Borders: What Planes, Trains, & Rickshaws Taught Me About Jesus

by Chad Gibbs

Traveling all over the world so you can “research how people worship” is very clever. Well played, Chad! Well played.

This book had me hooked from the beginning. It is always interesting to see how other cultures worship God and live their lives. In America, for some reason, we always think we are the professionals of everything. However, Christianity has been practiced for years in other countries long before the good ol’ U.S. of A. ever existed.

Chad’s witty humor (yes, actually laughing out loud while reading a book is not very cool…I know), honesty and writing style have you “whipping through” this book. You’ll enjoy flipping the pages as well as learning a lot of new things about the world around us** (**Yes, there is a world outside of the Bible Belt of America).

5 Solid Stars! Pick it up for that friend of yours that loves travel, culture and a good laugh here and there. (Link is in the pic above). Thanks, netgalley and Chad Gibbs, for a copy of this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!


Guess what?? balloonsChad is giving away 3 SIGNED COPIES of his new book! Click on this a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy!!

Remember, there are only two mandatory entries. The rest are just extras!! All entries will be checked and any falsified entries will be disqualified.

Good luck!!!

And for more fun, check out our awesome face-off. Want to find out if “Death by Skydiver squashing him” will be on his obits? How long between dentist visits?? War Eagle? What’s that?!