Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Your Family Tree What’s In Your Roots? By: David L. Cole

I loved this book by David L Cole. It isn’t too long, but long enough to touch on history pertaining to the early populations, what sources should you research, to what to do when you are finished. The author uses a lot of exclamation points, but it’s to impart his enthusiasm for genealogy.

I have spent the past several years trying to research my ancestors and loved reading this book. David L Cole wrote this book from his experience 25 years’ experience researching his ancestors. What he’s learned along the way he imparts in this book. His explanation of surnames and coats of arms is direct and he gives many free sites to get started on your genealogical search, as well as tips to get your tree started. Once you get further along in your research, he also talks about paid sites that may be more helpful once you know more information. Do you want to know why some ancestors left their home country or why they had to relocate? Cole explains some of the scenarios surrounding these early ancestors depending on where they originated from.

The format of this book is very good. It is very easy to read, with just a couple of grammatical errors. I loved the cover of this book with the trees and the undergrowth. I couldn’t wait to read this book and see what knowledge the author had and how it related to my search. I wasn’t disappointed and actually got a few more leads to try in searching for my own ancestors.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

Rival Hearts
By: Tara Randel

A great book about community, friendship, rivalry, and love. We need all these components to figure out who we are, to feel connected to the people we come in contact with, and to know what we stand for. When Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver are pitted against each other to win the office promotion, sparks start to fly. Molly has to take on Ben’s outdoor’s activity for his adventure magazine and Ben has to take on quilting for Molly’s quilting magazine. Can they survive the challenge without losing their hearts to each other? Or will the rivalry pull them further apart?

In order for Molly to win her part of the competition, she has to depend on her brother to coach her. She is not the outdoorsy type, but she is determined to win that coveted office on the top floor with the awesome view. From her growing up years, there has been a strain between Molly and her brother. Everything came easy to him and he had their parents’ approval. Molly had to fight for everything but was still not recognized for her accomplishments. She found a quilting circle of women who took her in and taught her quilting and about God’s love.

Before Ben’s parents died while he was in college, they traveled. After their death, he continued traveling, not having close friends or family. If he didn’t stay in one place too long, he didn’t have time to think about his loss. Taking on the quilting challenge puts him in close proximity to others on a personal basis. Will he survive the challenge of spending time with a circle of women bound to learn all they can about him? Can he keep his distance or will he learn having friends and a close community strengthens and connects him?

Molly’s mom kept her at arm’s length. She in turn kept others behind a formidable wall. Ben had been hurt by a past love and built walls around his heart that no one could get through. Molly and Ben needed to be reminded of God’s unconditional love. Both come to depend on others to help them complete their challenges in order to be in the running for the promotion, but during the competition they both learn what is important to them.

Will they act on what they learn, or is it all about the coveted office? Pick up this great book today to find out. I read it in one afternoon. I couldn’t put the book down. Tara Randel pulls you into Molly’s and Ben’s life and I couldn’t stop until knew how it ended.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review

Quilts of Love | RIVAL HEARTS – Summer Coleman Camping Kit Giveaway!

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, Rival Hearts, by Tara Randel. Who doesn't like a friendly competition, every now and then? You'll be sure to love this fun tale of unexpected competition between two people forced out of their comfort zone.


Celebrate June's release by entering to win a summer camping kit (grill, tent, and camp chairs) from Quilts of Love.


One winner will receive:

  • A Coleman grill, tent, and camp chairs
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 13. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog.

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Four Weddings and a Kiss A Western Bride Collection by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher

From the prologue I was hooked on this book! Reverend Gregory Miller has a small church. He is traveling with other preachers heading home after a weeklong revival. He broke up with Elizabeth Princeton because she wasn’t modest, reserved, and obedient. If he married her, he wouldn’t be dignified and sedate. The other preachers around him start in with their stories of God using highly unlikely people to fulfill his purpose, like Moses with his speech problem, and David killing Goliath with a stone. The following are the stories in this collection “living proof that God has a sense of humor.”

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy: The more stories I read of Mary’s the more I love her books. This story is no different. Maizy MacGregor has been raised by her pa since her ma died. She is a tomboy through and through. She wears a gun, works like a ranch hand, and wears men’s clothes. Then, Rylan Carstens moves in. He takes one look at her and shows his disgust of her clothes and appearance. After Ryan berates her for being on his land to her Pa she goes to her getaway place, which happens to be on Carstens’ land. Which puts her right in the middle of trouble between an ornery bull and a mad grizzly. Once Carstens figures out she’s there, he gets her to safety but not before he’s hurt. Maizy’s Pa makes her stay and take care of him, dressed and acting like a lady. Carstens’ ranch hand ends up leaving and Maizy fills in there too.

Unfortunately for Carstens, he realizes he loves Maizy when she’s dressed as a woman and he’s willing to marry her so she won’t have to wear men’s clothes and work like a ranch hand. This makes Maizy mad. Why can’t he love the real her instead of the her all dressed up? She works hard, she loves working on the ranch, and even though she caused Carstens to be laid up for awhile, she is working hard to help him save his ranch until he can get back on his feet. Can he accept her as she is?

This is a great love story. I loved the characters of Maizy and Carstens. You shouldn’t have to give up who you are in order for someone to love you. Maybe it just takes the other person getting to know you.

A Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher: I loved this story. Molly Everton has worked for her dad’s paper since they opened it 10 years ago. She writes a weekly column, but not the household hints her mother thinks she should write. Molly is smart and speaks her mind. She hasn’t found a man to be her husband in the town they live in. Women are expected to marry, run the house, and have kids. Then her father decides to hire a managing editor instead of letting her have the position. Molly decides from the beginning to not like Jack Ludgrove. How can she like him if he’s come to take her job away?

Jack has always wanted to travel west. When he saw the advertisement for an editor, he jumped at the chance. After a year or two, he could move on. But then he meets Molly. What’s wrong with the eligible men in town that they haven’t married Molly before now? Once he reads her column and spends some time with her, he realizes she is for women voting, knowledgeable on current events, and has passion for the stories she writes. Can he handle that in a woman, or is he like the other men in town? What about his plans to see the west? Will this little town be enough adventure for him? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

I loved Molly’s and Jack’s characters. Their bantering and getting to know each other kept me turning the pages to see how their story would turn out.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton: I was hooked on this story! Katie Pearl is such a fun character. The town thinks she’s crazy after she was trapped in her house after a tornado came through that killed her pa. She talks to herself, shoots at any man that asks her to marry them, and won’t go inside a building.

Then she hires Treb Rayburn to help her rebuild her house. She feels safe with him because after he’s done he’s moving on. He just needs money to buy a horse. But strange things start to happen. Treb stays out all night in a thunderstorm holding her and protecting her because she’s too afraid to go in the barn for shelter. He builds her a temporary shelter from poles and tarp so she won’t feel confined. And while he’s rebuilding her house, he places the windows so it feels open and spacious, not confined like a house.

But can Katie trust Treb? What happens if she falls in love with him and he leaves? Treb took the job knowing if he contemplated marrying her, she’d shoot him like she had the others. But if he fell in love with her, how would he get to see the places further out west he wanted to see? What about his dreams? Katie is strong but will she discover she needs Treb? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley: Grace Davenport, the Black Widow, is in jail for killing her third husband. Her son Jesse hires Brock Daniels for fifty-six cents. Brock is a lawyer from Philadelphia, not used to how justice is served in Colorado. He promises to consult with Grace. Once he does, he decides to take her case.

Grace has been married three times, and each time her husband died of mysterious causes. Did she murder them or has she been set up this time? Brock and Jesse work together to defend her.

Grace will not trust a man ever again. Can she learn to trust Brock with her future and her heart? He seems to have hit it off with her son. But does he have good intentions? When Brock decides to run for judge, will Grace’s past be more of a hindrance?

Check out this story. I loved it. Big town lawyer with a past meets small town justice and a lady with an uncertain future. Can they learn to trust each other? Great story on trust, forgiveness, and second chances.

Epilogue: Remember Reverend Gregory Miller from the Prologue? Does he take the advice from these four stories and embrace his love? Can the most unlikeliest couples find true happiness? You’ll have to read this book to find out!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A KISS – Win an iPad Mini & rip-roarin’ Facebook Party!

Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West in Four Weddings and a Kiss. Don't miss the latest from the Western Brides Collection from Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton.

The authors are celebrating with a "Sweet on Love" iPad Mini Giveaway and rip-roarin' Facebook party.


One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Bride for All Seasons and Four Weddings and a Kiss 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the Four Weddings and a Kiss Facebook Author Chat Party. Connect with Western Brides Collection authors Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton for an evening of fun book chat, western-themed trivia, and prizes. The authors will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the collection!

So grab your copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss and join the authors on the evening of July 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Forever Amish By: Kate Lloyd

No matter where you run to, your problems follow you. Sally Bingham thinks getting away for a while will help her view her problems in a different light. Should she marry Donald? Why won’t her dad tell her about her mother? Will she ever feel like she fits in?

Lizzie Zook lives in an Amish community and sends emails to Sally asking about buying a dog, since Sally raises and shows them. Sally decides to go visit Lizzie as a chance to get away from her problems. Sally meets Lizzie’s family and Armin who is staying there. She is drawn to their way of life and to Armin, but can she give up everything she has ever known and adhere to their way of life?

Armin King has stayed single all this time. He’s been to the Amish singings and taken a few girls home, but none of them have caught his eye. Could he be waiting for Sally, even though she hasn’t been raised Amish?

Sally must learn to come to terms with her past. Can she forgive her father for not telling her about her mother? Can she forgive her mother for abandoning her? Forever Amish is a great story of love, forgiveness, and finding peace. This is a definite must read Amish romance!

I received this book free from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

The latest book in Kate Lloyd's Legacy of Lancaster trilogy, Forever Amish, introduces us to a young woman about to uncover a shocking secret and find an invitation to a new way of living. This is a story of forgiveness, legacies, and the ties that bind through generations.

Kate is celebrating by giving away an Amish-made prize pack!


One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • A Qillow (A pillow with a lovely surprise inside! It opens to a 40” X 60” quilt ideal for traveling, sports events, and home.)
  •  A Center Diamond wall hanging (Hand-stitched by Old Order Amish quilter Emma Stoltzfus of E.S. Quilts in Lancaster, PA. It measures 42” x 42” and is a traditional Old Order Amish design.)
  • Darling Amish-made faceless dolls (Hand-crafted in Lancaster County, PA. Each measures 12 inches and is individually named. Meet Martha and Henry!)
  • Forever Amish and the rest of the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy by Kate Lloyd
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 29th. Winner will be announced at Kate's blog on July 1st.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning and be sure to stop by Kate's blog on July 1st to see if you won!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Mother’s Secret By: Amy Clipston

I loved this story by Amy Clipston. Carolyn Lapp lives with her Amish family. She had a child out of wedlock when she was a teenager. She has been apologizing and defending her son ever since. Her son is now 15 years old and Carolyn is ready to find love. But is there a man who will look past her mistake and see her for who she is?

Joshua Glick was in love with his brother’s wife. When he died and his wife moved away, Joshua didn’t think he’d fall in love again. Then he meets Carolyn. He thinks her son is her nephew. Joshua’s mother wants him to date another girl Lena. Will he find true love or will he settle for the girl his mother wants him to marry?

Carolyn has a hard time forgiving herself for what she did. God and the church have forgiven her, but people who don’t know her past judge her when they find out. You can’t let a past mistake ruin your whole life. Joshua trusts Carolyn with his past, but Carolyn can’t trust him with her future. Once he finds out the truth about Benjamin her son, she is afraid he won’t like her anymore. She thinks maybe she should settle for a marriage of convenience with Saul instead of a marriage filled with love.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. God forgives us, but we have a hard time forgiving ourselves, especially when we have others reminding us of how we’ve fallen short. Will Joshua take a chance on love? Will Carolyn decide to marry someone who knows about her son instead of taking a chance on love? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

I look forward to reading more books by this author. The Amish came to life in this story and I loved the characters. It was a well-rounded story, getting to know Carolyn’s family and Joshua’s. I felt like I was living in this Amish community while reading this story.