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Book Review: Trusting Grace

This kind of felt like I was reading a Disney movie from the 1970s set in the Old West. Think The Apple Dumpling Gang or Hot Lead and Cold Feet. This book didn’t take me back to the time period it was supposed to be set in, mainly because the dialogue simply didn’t fit.



The publisher’s blurb:

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for a loving husband and children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband’s ranch, until she places an ad for a hired hand.

Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart.

Readers will be swept away into 1860s Montana’s lush Gallatin Valley, nestled among towering mountains and proud pines, in this emotional conclusion to the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series

What I thought:  Continue reading “Book Review: Trusting Grace”

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Make It Yours!

I am always, always looking out for cool ways to repurpose old things and spruce up items I’ve been using. This book is one of those true inspiration-filled guides a crafty person needs!

The publisher’s blurb:

Transform everyday objects into handcrafted pieces to wear, share, and display.

In Yellow Owl’s Make It Yours, you’ll learn techniques for bringing personal touches to objects all around your home. Upgrade your plain scarf with a colorful abstract design. Turn a dresser into an eye-catching art deco showpiece. Whip up a desert-inspired quilt to enliven your living room. Expert printer and Yellow Owl Workshop founder, Christine Schmidt, shares her trade secrets for creating gorgeous projects using unexpected materials, from gold leaf to cake fondant. What’s best: the included Yellow Owl Workshop templates and techniques can be mixed and matched to create countless more projects! Featuring inventive ideas for every room, skill level, and time constraint, Yellow Owl’s Make It Yours will teach you to print, stamp, stencil, and dye your way to a personalized life.
Projects include:

• Monogram Leather Clutch
• Roll Stamp Table Linens
• Fruit Shoji Blinds
• Shibori Dyed Bed Linens
• Plaid Tote
• Upholstered Chair with Hand-Printed Fabric
• DIY Delftware

What I thought of it: Continue reading “Make It Yours!”

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Amish Or Englischer?

The ebb tide, when the tide is at its lowest, revealing things otherwise hidden beneath the ocean, half-buried in the sand. An apt title for this book, where when we feel everything is stripped from us, only to discover a bit of shiny we were supposed to be all along.

The publisher’s blurb:

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her.

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish.

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie’s realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

Continue reading “Amish Or Englischer?”

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How Long Would You Wait?

If you knew he was the right one for you, how long would you wait for him? Even though he promised he would return and marry you soon, a year later he sends a short letter to you, telling you he will not be returning, and he wishes you well in your life. Would you still hold out hope that he might someday return?

The publisher’s blurb:

It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett’s heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.

Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can’t tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can’t pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.

What I thought of it: Continue reading “How Long Would You Wait?”

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We Can Always Go For Indian…

When my sister and I were very little, Mom had an au pair for a few years. The au pair, Mari, was dating a young man from India, Jiwan, who taught Mom how to cook a few Indian dishes. Vibrant India, a cookbook by Chitra Agrawal, brought back those memories with a smile.

A bevy of delicious dishes, all plant-based, harking from southern India. You won’t find the heavy creams and curries in this book! Instead, your tastebuds will be taken on a delightful journey led by a tempting array of spices.

Chitra Agrawal is the talent behind Continue reading “We Can Always Go For Indian…”

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I’ve said before, I thoroughly enjoyed Murder Comes By Mail, the second of the Hidden Springs Mysteries. A.H. Gabhart kept me guessing and guessing with that one, and I think I was even more wrapped up in the mystery this time around, with Murder Is No Accident.

The publisher’s blurb:

Young Maggie Greene may be trespassing in the old, empty Victorian mansion on a quiet street in Hidden Springs, but all she wants is some private time in the magnificent tower room to write her stories. Certain she’ll be in trouble if caught, she hides when a realtor shows up. But someone else is in the house too, someone even more worried about getting caught. When Maggie finds the realtor’s body at the bottom of a flight of stairs and the other person gone, Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane is called in. He assumes the realtor’s death is a tragic accident–until a second person is found dead in the house. When Maggie is threatened, Michael must catch the murderer before anyone else dies.

Cozy mystery fans will love this third installment in The Hidden Springs Mysteries series from an author who knows how to make small-town America sweet, sentimental–and a little sinister.

What I thought of it:

Maggie Greene is fifteen, a girl with a penchant for writing stories up in the tower room of the old Chandler mansion. She does have permission to be in the empty place – Miss Foda, the owner who now lives in a care facility, has told her she may go up there any time she wishes. She keeps silent about it, however, because she is certain her mother (who cleans the house once a month) would not approve. It’s become her own little spot – until the day the local realtor, Geraldine Harper, shows up while Maggie is there, and comes across an intruder who’s not Maggie! Is her lethal fall down the stairs an accident, or could it be murder? Signs point to a simple accident, until another person is found dead – this time a definite murder – in the same house.

It would seem Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane’s mind would be primarily occupied with the woman he loves, and it would be if these deaths didn’t usurp Alexandria Sheridan’s place in his thoughts. (Well, for the most part…) Will Michael keep Maggie and her little brother safe, find the killer, and find a way to be with Alex forever?

I just loved this book. It’s a page-turner, and makes me wish I lived in Hidden Springs… except for the body count. It’s fun how I will have ideas on “who dun it” that change as I read the story, sometimes returning more than once to a suspect. This series reminds me a bit of Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who mysteries int the way they welcome you into the world of the author, and they let you keep guessing all the way through. Definitely hoping the fourth in this series is published soon!



**I was sent this copy from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

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Packing Hacks!

I love to travel, but oh, I am lousy at packing most of the time.

Bless Hitha Palepu! Her new book, How To Pack, is going to be a HUGE help to me from now on.

Already, the book is just too cute. Look at the cover! Inside there are all sorts of tips and tricks to packing, how to pack certain things, and even what to wear while traveling. (Hint: It’s not sweats and house slippers.)

Different types of luggage are explained. What to do to get ready the week before. Creating a packing station. How to keep your clothes fresh. And in the back are eight tear-out cards for your packing lists. This is definitely a great book for someone who travels a lot, especially on business. If no one has a birthday coming up, you might want to grab one as a surprise “Just Because”, or an early Christmas present! Hey – it’s never too early to be prepared, right?

While you’re at it, you should nab one for yourself. Who doesn’t need a little help packing, after all? And from the woman who has made a bit of a name for herself as being a packing guru? Come on!



**I was sent this copy from Blogging For Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**