Friday, August 12, 2011

Vote for A friend of Mine...

So my friend has co-written a cook book and the recipes in it are so yummy... (there will be a review to follow). And she's been nomintated for an award from babble.com... Too cool!!

Click here and Look up "Something Better" and vote for them!

Thank you!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Book by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot



What a lovely read... A cross between Cyrno de Bergiac and Mail Order Bride.

Sarah and her sister Thea, are left alone in the world when a tragedy happens in their family. Sarah opts to answer an ad for a mail order bride, and secure a new future for Thea and herself. Her faith in the Lord is almost destroyed in the memory of the tragedy, and is baggage she carries with her into her new future. With a determined spirit and hope in good she strives to create a new home and a new adopted family in Texas, only to find another twist in life she did not plan on.

Clay has lost so many people close to him that he does not feel worth any love or hope for the future. His wife and baby die, his father has had a stroke, and his brother is gone. Now he has the complication of his brothers intended bride and her little sister. Vowing to have vengeance on whomever took his brother's life, Clay battles anger and hopelessness.

Both characters are introduced to other characters in the story who point them back to the true source of love and hope... Jesus. And both characters learn to let go of the past and learn to love again.

This book was a delightful read with twists and turns, and true love from the real source... God. The way conflicts are dealt with and come up in the book are very believable and relatable to our modern age too. And brings one to question our true devotion, and if our Christianity shows from the inside out, and if we are letting go of our baggage at the foot of the cross.

This book is the beginning of a trilogy, which looks like the whole series will be a great easy fun read.



This book was a free Amazon.com download for the Kindle app. My review is my own views, I received no compensation for my review.

Falling down the stairs...

Has given me a lot of time to read... But not so much time to write reviews. I am hopelessly behind!

And my tailbone is officially dislocated... Ouch!

So, I am hoping to catch up this week with all my reviews.

Watch this space. ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Journey's Ending... with hope and reconciliation. A Review...

When the Soul Mends - Sisters of the Quilt, Book 3... by Cindy Woodsmall, as reviewed by Tami.


A book full of re-connections and rediscovery. Hannah Lapp has gone through a long journey in 2 other books to get to the point she is in book 3. From a tragic rape, rejection and fleeing to the unknown... to the strong confident nursing student we meet in "When the Soul Mends". I had not read the other 2 books of this series (and seem to be getting the end of alot of stories with my review books) but was able to get the idea of the story by reading this book, I do think that the book would have had more impact and made more sense if I had read the other 2 books.

A well written story of hope about Hannah Lapp as she journeys home to help her sister - and reconnects with family, friends and an order and pace of life that is a part of who she is. Being pulled between helping her sister and attending school and being engaged to an 'Englisher' with whom she is helping raise 2 children. The 2 worlds and pace of life are highlighted and compared neatly in this book... without blame or making the other better. And served to show how Hannah was part of both... yet like all of us a time of choosing comes around.

I really enjoyed Hannah's growth to discover that it's okay to want the things that bring joy to your soul. To listen to ones inner voice is what brings peace in the long term. 

Ms Woodsmall did a great job bringing the characters to life and making all the situations believable. I loved the reconciliation theme and the longing to have that peace in ones soul that passes all understanding.

I am sure this is a great series... enjoy it~

3 of 5 stars.


Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The words and thoughts used to describe the book are strictly my own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Ball of a Story!



The Lightkeeper's Ball is the third installment for the Lightkeeper's trilogy (or The Mercy Falls Series). Ms Coble did a lovely job in making this a fine stand alone read. Having not read the other 2 previous books in the series, I was able to read and understand all that was going on without missing any vital information.

This story is an excellent mystery and romance rolled into one. With just the right amount of Christianity showing through, it warms the soul and dispels doubt with hope and freedom.

Our main character in this book is Olivia Stewart, who is being forced to marry a man she does not know - her sister's fiancé. With the death of her sister a mystery, Olivia sets out to find out more about the death of her sister and the man that she is going to be engaged to. Leaving the security of the New York social set for the relative wilderness of California - in the age of innovation and invention... The book weaves the tale of determination and courage when everything seems to be against you.

With the lighthouse destroyed by a sever storm, Olivia plans an elaborate ball to raise the funds to rebuild the needed lighthouse. So the story gets it's title.

This book highlights the trait of honor... And shows how worthy it can be for a person. And hints to the fact that God is a personal God who sees all, knows all and is involved in even the small things of your life. Which is the journey our main character takes.

One thing I would have liked to see in the book, but was not, was the small church mentioned in the book by some of the characters. Perhaps that is explored more in the other 2 books. The main character, Olivia, mentions that her church is a social event... Who's who, and who wore what... While in Mercy Falls the church is a different more real experience.

Unlike some other books I have read, I do not feel compelled to read the other books in the series. It would be nice... But I do not NEED to.

Our second main character is Harrison Bennett, who shows us the meaning of finding a balance between passion and gifts from God. We are all given these for reasons... If we use them to better others then they are a blessing, and will grow. This was a nice twist and a touch that was not needed but surely made one consider gifts and purpose.

A short, comfortable read, this book offers. But to the casual reader who is in search of a quick diversion from life's busy pace. With a murder/suicide to solve, an attraction to deal with and friends to support and guide - makes this book fun and a delight.





Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Scottish Biblical Ruth?


Mine Is the Night - by Liz Curtis Higgs  as reviewed by Tami.

This is the second and conclusion book in a series based loosely on the Book of Ruth from the Bible. I have not had the privileged to read the 1st book of this series - but was very glad to get the 2nd book as I love historical fiction books!

As a stand alone read. This book does just fine with out knowing all that happened in the 1st book, but does reference some things in the 1st book, and explains them - as a memory - so you are included with the character in real time with out feeling you've missed a vital step somewhere. Great Job on that Ms Higgs!

Our main character, Elizabeth Kerr - affectionately known as Bess - is the reflection of the Biblical Ruth. A recent widow, who chooses to embrace Christianity and because of that chooses to stay with and assist her mother-in-law - Marjory Kerr. Like the Biblical story, these two start out with virtually nothing but faith. And hope that God will provide all their needs. Having supported the wrong side of the war - they are labeled as rebels and are fleeing for the relative safety of the Scottish Highlands where Marjory lived as a young bride.

This time period in history where ones religion is mingled with ones political allegiance - leaves our two Kerr women with doubts as to the churches acceptance of them. (An aspect of Ruth I had not thought about...) Having supported the "wrong" side and having become widowed and penniless - the church has an obligation to see if the heresy is or has been spurned by the member... if not the member is cast out and not supported or welcomed by the church and it's members.  This all adds to the drama and suspense in the two ladies lives.

I truely enjoyed the fact that Ms Higgs included other characters - such as the cousin Anne Kerr and Michael the tailor. These add flavor and friendships that lend support to the Kerr's. And gives practice to the women in being proactive about Love and matters of the heart.

On the subject of matter's of the heart... the book is delightful in the way it shows hope and equality in a time where class and station are very much relevant and can hinder the matters of the heart more then help. As today there are many obstacles that arise when you decide you are actually in love. So with the Kerr women - all three are deeply smitten - yet do not want to fly too far in the wind of convention or society that they maybe outcast completely. Suffice to say  - love in Christ conquers all!

And as the Book of Ruth ends in a birth - so does this one... with the promise of a new generation and restoration of honor.

I LOVED this book!! And would LOVE to read the 1st one... maybe sometime. ;)

I look forward to reading another book by Ms Higgs...

Five out of Five Stars!!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Video Review



Don't forget to rank this book please...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Natural Sweetners

The Azure Standard is hosting a giveaway on Natural Sweeteners on their blog!!!
Check it out at - http://azurestandard.blogspot.com/2011/03/giveaways-dont-get-any-sweeter-than.html

I LOVE Agave nectar and straight honey... we are trying to get completely off of refined sugar. It's quite a process... I have bought some Sucanat - but find the taste quite strong, unless I am cooking with it. I have not tried to make these great ideas with it - but hope to soon!

Blessings as you journey to find true sweetness without refined sugar for your family!

And don't forget to check out those great recipes from Heavenly Homemakers... Yum!

And my friends at Give Them Something Better ... Double - Vegan YUM!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

What has been keeping me busy while I wait for new books...

I am in charge of out Kindergarten 1 class at church. This Quarter I am leading out with the crafts... so every week I am looking for ideas, and dreaming up ways to make the story real for the little 3 - 4 year olds. It's fun!

Here are some of my ideas for this quarter:

Noah's Ark
You take a small paper plate, spray paint it brown and cut it in half, then staple the 2 halves together at the rounded edges. Viola! An Ark. :D


Now you take a sheet of paper and cut little paper people - I used the old according style fold and cut method to make 8 people for our Ark. Totally Biblical - eh?


Here comes the best part!
We took Baggies (the snack sized ones) and put animal crackers in for the animals on the Ark. An instant hit! Yay!!



Noah's Ark - done!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mom - What's 'the World' ?

Book Review of "God Gave us the World" by Lisa T. Bergren






Finally!! A book I can review and sit with my boys to read. I have 3 boys - 4,5 and 8. All of whom LOVE reading... so one weekend the 2 little ones sat with me and we read this book. My 5 yr old loved it! And kept asking why all the bears looked different and why the little bear kept asking questions. Too funny as he is my question asker. While the youngest did not quite grasp the book - until I kept pointing out the photos of the different bears and asking him (when his brother was not asking questions) what the differences were between the bears and what they ate.


This is a fun book which highlights the differences and similarities between the bear families and habitats. While they are all bears, they all look and act differently. The main message in this book is that God is good and love us all no matter what we look like or eat. He made each of us special just the way we are.


I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5


I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Seek Me With All Your Heart - Review





A Review of 'Seek Me with all your Heart' by Beth Wiseman

Unlike most Amish books, this one is not set in the traditional settings of the Pennsylvania Dutch areas. But is a tale of leaving hurt and trouble, memories and pain, burdens and preconcieved notions behind and starting fresh in a new area... namely Colorado!

2 families move into the area with in 6 months of each other. Both families are looking for a fresh start... and having left behind all their support - family, friends and church - they forge ahead looking to create new friends and church family.

The 1st family, Emily Detweiler’s family, abruptly moved to Colorado after tragedy struck in Ohio. But Emily can’t get far enough to escape what happened there. Something I did not know happened in Amish communities - and yet, people are people and evil and unrestrained behavior, sadly, happens in all cultures today. Their tale is of healing, and renewing faith and hope in the future.

David Stoltzfus is not happy when his family relocates from Pennsylvania to Colorado. Nevermind that they haven't told him why. David struggles not only with this unwelcome move, but also with the fear that a health condition could keep him from living his life in full. Again, he is struggling with the unknown... the Amish way of not being too open with their children and spouses is highlighted here, and a glimpse is given to us of how the Amish deal with Medical troubles and money - gives insight to the care and community they left behind. This gives a common thread for Emily and David's character - hope... what it is and if they have any for the future.

This book is a delightful read with quirky characters thrown in to lighten and liven up the story and make it more relate-able to readers who do not read many Amish stories. Beth makes this a fun and easy read - and the heavy parts and unanswerable parts are not so oppressive that you do not see the golden thread of hope and Love from God in them.  I believe this is the first book in the series and truly look forward to any more books Beth Wiseman does.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this ebook for free through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program in exchange for my unbiased review.

Purex Crystals - and Inside View...

So, I was selected as a Purex Insider and have recieved some of their products to review.
This is what I recieved in the mail:


My first impression on how they cam  up with the idea for this type of softener is that it must be based on a salt softener, not unlike your house water softener that uses those big bags of salt.  But THIS smells SO nice!! And really does make your clothes soft too.



Meet the Lovely  -  Purex Crystals!



They smell so clean... and go straight in the wash with your detergent. and stay with your clothes till you take them out to dry. I think they add the scent that lasts for a few days.  Look out Downy!


Purex has a softener that is 92%  natural, and safe for your family, your washer and dryer and clothes!



Unlike other liquid softeners Purex does not leave any oily residue on your clothes - which can build up over time and leave your clothes looking yellow or gray. And can decrease your towel's absorbency... yes, this is why the towel's label says not to use softener. But did you know that this same oily residue can make your children's clothes and sleepwear unsafe? Well, these same oils can impair the flame retardant qualities of the fabric of the clothing. 

So far, I am LOVING this softener... and hope that you do too!

For more info and pricing please see:

 http://www.purex.com/MXTQEPZOXYOMU2800AXODMQMFIYLHZ


And hopefully I'll have some coupons to share with you soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lady In Waiting - Book Giveaway!

I am giving away a copy of 'Lady in Waiting' by Susan Meissner.

 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review- which can be seen here.



This is a great book - read once and in Like -NEW condition.

Win It: One lucky reader will a copy of 'Lady in Waiting' by Susan Meissner! For your first required entry, just leave a comment below telling me why you want to read this book. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM EST on February 28th. The Winner will be announced on the 1st of March.

Want extra entries?
  1. Become a 'Wonderings as I Wander' follower on Blogger. 
  2. Comment on any other post on this blog, and post the URL with your extra entry.
  3. Subscribe to 'Wonderings as I Wander' RSS Feed.
  4. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this page (leave your post url). (Good for 2 extra entries)
**NOTE: Leave one comment for every entry. You must have a visible email address in your Blogger Profile, otherwise it needs to be listed on every entry!!** 

Giveaway Rules:
1. Giveaway is open to US residents only unless otherwise stated.
2. You must answer the question in the giveaway accordingly. Please don't just say "I want to win" or "Pick me."
3. Winner will be chosen via random.org and notified via email. 
4. Winner will be asked to respond with full contact information within 48 hours of being notified. Failure to do so will result in another winner being picked.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Do you Communicate or Connect?

A Book Review of 'Everyone Communicates, Few Connect What the Most Effective People Do Differently' By John C. Maxwell.


This book review took forever to do because my Pastor - husband loved this book and would not return it for me to finish. So, it's a VERY good book. My husband plans for all small group leaders and all senior leader in our church to go through the principles in this book

With an easy reading style and an approach that reaches every reader and gives practical tips on how to make a meaningful connection with others you are trying to communicate with. I have found that the main focus is to put one's self aside and value and empathize with what others are saying. There are so many tips and how-to's in this book that I believe everyone would benefit from reading it.



To comply with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission:
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

For Your Sweet Tooth

A Book Review of 'Always the Baker, Never the Bride' by Sandra D Bricker.


If you love Cupcake wars or Cake Boss then this book is for you!
With an engaging opener and a twist of diabetes, this book has something for every romantic and christian reader.

Emma is a talented baker who can't even taste what she creates because of her diabetes. Her creations earn her awards and with that comes demand for her as an asset as an employee. She gets offered a job as Head baker for a new specialty boutique hotel catering for one stop weddings - from the celebration dinners to the venues and honeymoon. A recently widowed man takes on the job of creating this hotel from top to bottom out of an older hotel with the help of his 4 sisters (all of which are southern, and care greatly for their brother and others).

A relationship blossoms and others are brought to full light, and through it all remains family, friends and prayers.

There are recipes throughout this book - adding to the charm.

This story has all the right amounts of everything to bake up a delicious story... including twists and prayers. And I'd ask for seconds!

A delightful, fun read!

5 out of 5 stars

I received no compensation for this review.

This book was a free Amazon ebook download.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Interwoven Story of Jane

A Book Review of 'Lady In Waiting' by Susan Meissner



The cover and the teaser at the back of the book do not do this book justice. With an interesting twist of parallels and a soul searching look at ones self and ones definition of happiness and joy... this book has a way of reaching into you and touching a cord.

Starting in the present, Jane an Antique store owner, is faced with a blow that shakes her to her toes. Her husband leaves her, and with that her stability and her understanding of happiness. The story explores all the supporting relationships Jane has with her family and friends as she discovers a ring in a locked box...

Switching to the Story of Lady Jane Grey and her relationship with a dressmaker and friend. And the discovery of truth, loss, sadness, choices and loss of choice, and love. The history is woven with hope of joy in this sad tale. Although the character of the Dressmaker is fictional the insight of relate-able things are brought to light and the joy and hope of love is paralleled by this character. The Ring and all that it symbolizes is explained.

Back to the Present Jane, we see that she is trying to discover her self, her joy, her strength to stand on her own and decide for herself what those things hold.

This is a book that highlights pain, and shows you how to heal. Also, it does not throw Christianity in your face... nor does it use Christian principals to solve the pain in the characters.

This is a good read... I enjoyed it. I really LOVE history and historical fictions, so I loved the story about Jane Grey more then the Modern Jane. But I must admit I took a long hard look at what makes ME happy because of the modern Jane story.

Thank you Susan for such a heart searching book!

4 out of 5 stars

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review of "Crossing Oceans"

The review of "Crossing Oceans" by Gina Holmes






This is a very poignant story of a lady who is estranged from her
family, because of an unplanned pregnancy, as she finds out that she
is terminally ill and has to make a real solution for her daughter's
welfare. So many years have gone by and feuds have been caused by her
leaving and having and raising the baby that there is much hurt and
anger to deal with from all sides.

Jenny, the main character, is trying to make the right decision when
they are all hard and all seem so unfair. Having left her family to
have her baby and raise her away from judgement and stigma - now has
to make a choice between her estranged family or her ex- boyfriend's
family to raise her daughter Isabella.

Amid all the turmoil is a few light hearted hopeful moments of prayer,
reflection and healing. There is a budding relationship with a man
who rents a room above the barn, with love and hope... But as all hard
decisions happen she has to put the welfare of her daughter over even
her own desires. The fact that she is dying is painful and constant
during the whole story. It taints all the decisions and all the
moments that are precious seem more fleeting.

This book has a lot of emotion and heavy subjects in it, like
rejection, illness, death, and how children handle all of that. It is
one of the few books that made me cry with all the grace and
selflessness the whole situation was handled.

It is a heavier read because of all the topics in it, but is a very
good read and VERY well written.

4 stars out of 5

This was a free ebook Amazon Download

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