by Kristen McKendry

Heart’s Journey is a delightful read! This is the story of a young girl determined to find her father in the mix of the gold rush. She goes through many ups and downs, but is helped along by a man that found her dying on the trail. Their journey is full of mystery, intrigue, and love.

The characters were witty and full of life. I love that the author had a sense of humor. God was not a major part of the storyline, but it was a clean read. I definitely recommend!

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

Want to win a copy? Head on over and start entering!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Face-Off with Melissa Jagears!!

I first heard of Melissa Jagears last year when I was asked by Bethany Publishers to review A Bride in Store. I fell in love! Her mail order bride series is so much fun!! Oh, and get this! You can get the novella prequel for FREE right now:

Melissa won the infamous Carol Award with Love by the Letter. Carol_Award_Gold_-_no_base_transparent_background

Last week, her latest book in the series was release!! Woot Woot! Make sure you take time to check it out. But first, get caught up! You don’t have to, you’ll just want to! With the other books in her series being $4.99, it’s practically a steal!


Let’s get to it…shall we?

11755681_1468497273448513_942181219316080795_nThe rules are simple. I ask Melissa 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 accidentally shoplifted?

Melissa – Yes, just last month. I was buying a microwave at Walmart that I thought was the one I decided on after researching online. I go home and realize it was the microwave I had decided NOT to buy. (My brain is frazzled at the moment to say the least) So I tried to return it later that afternoon….but the cash register declared it was an “unacceptable return.” How can it be unacceptable? I just bought it two hours ago, I have the receipt, and it’s not opened….we look at my receipt and it is not on there. I’m guessing that when the check-out lady asked if I wanted a service plan and I declined, she must have deleted the item itself, not just the service plan. I had just stolen a microwave! So the customer service guy looks a little mystified on what to do. We analyzed my really long ticket again to make sure I hadn’t paid for it and then I shoved it over at him and said, well, it seems it was yours anyway!

Charity – Oh my gosh! That happened to me once too!!! I bought a dress…that I actually didn’t buy. When I tried to return it, it wasn’t on the receipt! AH HA! I wasn’t as clever as you though. I just felt really weird and they looked at me all suspicious like.

— Cleverness always wins!

Charity 0 / Melissa 1

2. What vegetable should be a sin to eat?

Melissa – Burnt Parsnips. Or rather, it’s a sin to make someone else eat it. I made my own baby food, and my first child screamed a lot–I’m not exaggerating. So being distracted with my screamer, I over boiled the parsnips. I am insanely frugal and thought I could scrape off the burnt stuff and puree the non-burnt stuff. Well, I had to go teach at the community college before I had a chance to taste it, and my husband thought it was my pureed pears and fed it to our three month old. After the first bite, she refused to eat any more and then my husband tastes the stuff. Bleck! It was so bad, my three month old not only refused to eat more baby food that night, but she refused to eat baby food ever again. Seriously, she went back to being solely breastfed until she turned 9 months old and could eat off our plates because she only trusted what she saw others eating. She never let pureed anything get close to her again.

Charity – Oh. My. Gosh! hahaha. That is horrible! Poor little thing. hahaha

I hate carrots. I mean,  HATE carrots. I love fruit and veggies, but carrots are evil.

— Scarring your baby for life takes the cake.

Charity 0 / Melissa 2

3. What type of dance style do you have the best moves for? Waltz, Macarena, Twerking (? ha ha), Club?

Melissa – Swing. My husband and I took some ballroom classes and if ballroom classes aren’t the ultimate test of a marriage, I don’t know what is. We fought. A lot. Especially the leading thing. I’m a firstborn, it’s hard not to try to take over. But we survived the first class with a lot of under-our-breath muttering and arguing in an attempt to keep the other couples from feeling too uncomfortable as they watched the break up of a marriage right before their eyes…..but at the very end we FINALLY figured out our swing rythmn and decided to try the class again so we could learn the fancy swing movements we missed while trying to figure out the simple basics of it…..but before signing up, we apologized to our teacher, telling her we’d understand if she didn’t want us back in her class, though we promised we to be better. She said we weren’t the worst fighting couple she’s ever had. So there’s that.

Charity – Wow! I wish I could have seen that!! Girl, I am so bad. Swing dancing sounds so fun…Whenever I dance, my arms go up and it gets really inappropriate. My hubby and I took a free class at the Y. It was a line dancing class. HA!! We don’t even like that style of music. We mostly laughed at everyone else. So awful…

— You are whooping me!!

Charity  0 / Melissa 3

4. What’s your favorite old movie?

Melissa – Ugh, so so hard. If we measure favorite by how many times I’ve rewatched it, it’d be a fight between White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Singing in the Rain, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.

Charity – Oh man! I would list most of the same ones!! White Christmas, Singing in the Rain (and I can’t stand ’em), The King and I, The Sound of Music, and then I would also add Guys and Dolls, The Happiest Millionaire, Meet Me at the Fair, and Follow Me Boys.

— Tie

Charity 0 / Melissa 3

5. Most embarrassing outfit you have ever owned?

Melissa – I got a hot pink fuzzy mohair sweater one year for Christmas when I was in junior high. I used to believe you should at least wear/use a Christmas present once. I looked like a hot pink muppet and I left hot pink hair all over the school. That cured me of the “you must attempt to use your Christmas present at least once” belief.

Charity – Oh my. Yeah, I definitely don’t have that belief…I had my fair share of frightening outfits.

Yep. That’s me on the right. Looking good, 1985.

— Taking it!

Charity 1 / Melissa 3

6. Ever had an online romance with someone you hadn’t physically met?

Melissa – Nope, I’ve only had one boyfriend who I met at work, who turned into my fiance, and then into my husband. I’m rather happy to have never had a broken romance, online or off.

Charity – Oh man! Pretend I didn’t ask this question… I did have an online boyfriend for a while. He lived in Canada and his online name was The Pope. hahahahaha. So embarrassing… I was only 18 and the internet was brand new!!!

— I get it!

Charity 2 / Melissa 3

7. What movie are you looking forward to releasing the most this year?

Melissa – Oh, I’m so going to lose this question. I don’t even know what movies are coming out or are even out right now! This writing thing sucks up all my free time.

Charity – Oh my! That is a problem!! There are so many good ones. Insurgent already came out, which I was totally excited about. Mockinjay, of course! There’s also the newest Mission: Impossible, The Peanuts Movie and The Scorch Trials…Ant-Man, The Fantastic Four, and Star Wars…

— I’ll stop.

Charity 3 / Melissa 3

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

Melissa – By shucking my unbelief, choosing to believe that God will take care of me even when I feel like taking over.

Charity – Short and simple. Love it!

— God wins!

Charity 3 / Melissa 3

9. Would you have ever wanted to be a mail order bride in the wild west?

Melissa – Yeah, I could see me becoming a mail order bride. I’ve often wondered what I’d do if my husband died and left me with kids to raise even in the present day. I hate the idea of dating so much, that I could envision myself cornering some single guy in the church parking lot or driving across the country and knocking on some guy’s door, then saying something like, “I really want to continue homeschooling my kids and I can’t do so without a husband. I think you’d be a good father from what I know of you. Want to think about it?” At least I could see my unromantic self saying that over trying the flirting thing again. It never got me anywhere. Of course, when my husband later learned that I HAD tried to flirt with him, he laughed. He claims that standing near someone and talking to them isn’t considered flirting–it is in my introverted world!

Charity – Oh man!! That’s amazing!! hahaha. I don’t know if I could have done it. The adventure sounds fun, but the reality was much different, I’m sure. You don’t know if you are going to get some scary, backwoods, toothless wonder.

— Gotta give it to Melissa!


Charity 3 / Melissa 4

diddy-instagram idols-brent-622px

— Wait! Melissa has some Q’s for me:

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Melissa – For me, it’s chicken feet. Oh wait, no, a peanut butter and seal popsicle. Yeah, that one.

Charity – oh my gosh. I am so confused right now. You cannot be serious. WHAT????? I was going to go with Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Peanut Butter (it’s the best!!), but…whew. You came out of left field with some doozies!!

Craziest thing that’s made you cry?

Melissa – Cheerleaders on youtube. Uh yeah, I was watching some talented Japanese award-winning cheerleaders on youtube once while pregnant and I cried because I was so proud of the hardwork and abilities of strangers…..okay, so that could be blamed on pregnancy hormones. But yesterday, I was explaining to my daughter that if we moved to a bigger city, she might be able to join a homeschool organization that forms sports teams and she might be able to cheerlead (which I think she has the personality for). She didn’t know what cheerleading was, so I pulled up a youtube video of a cheerleading competition….and got verklempt and teary eyed all over again! I am so totally not pregnant this time. Maybe I don’t want my daughter joining a cheerleading team, I might dehydrate myself with all the crying I would do watching her at games…..

Charity – HA!! Yeah, again…got nothing exciting. I always cry in movies and shows when couples get divorced or I cry when they get back together because I am so happy that they worked it out. Lame.

Strangest book title you own?

Melissa – Probably a tie between “Bleed, Blister, and Purge” and “A Social History of Wet Nursing in America.”

Charity – Ok. I just threw up. I mean…ew. EW!!!!! I don’t have any weird titles…hahahaha. Those are so gross!!!!!!

Melissa is awesome! What a funny, funny gal! Guess what…

Yep!! She is offering a giveaway of EITHER ONE of her new books!! Can you believe it?!?! She rocks. 🙂

Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!!

*For U.S. Rez only. Sorry! We do love the rest of you too!!
**Entries will be checked. Don’t get yourself disqualified by cheating…

The Trouble with Patience

by Maggie Brendan

Link is in the pic.

Welcome to the wild west! Cowboys, sheriffs, cattle thieves, you name it! Patience has moved into town to take over her Grandmother’s boarding house. She couldn’t wait to get away from her horrible mother (I only mention this because that HORRIBLE woman was named CHARITY!!!! ha ha).

This is a story about dealing with your past, forgiveness, trust and love. It’s a light, easy read. As expected, it ends up with everything wrapped in pretty little bows (: But, who likes a book without a good ending, right??

If you love the wild west, easy, light and relaxing reads, this is the book for you! Maggie Brendanhas written quite a few of these books, so she knows what she’s doing!

You can check out our face-off if you would like to know a little more about her. I had a fun time with it!! (:

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

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.

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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


All you ever wanted to know about fortifications but never asked

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

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.

Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West

by Chris Enss


Oh my goodness! Can I just say how much fun this book is? It’s full of stories about the wild women from the Old West! You always hear about Wild Bill, Pistol Pete, Doc Holliday and others…It’s not so often that we get to see how tough the cowgirls could be!!!!

Chris Enss does a FABULOUS job of telling these stories and keeping it tasteful. A lot of them were madams, but it is a clean read. It’s so fascinating how these girls would make their livings so dangerously and live to tell about it!

Please pick up a copy! Link is in the picture and HERE. Thanks so much, netgalley, for giving me this great read! Here’s to many more!!

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