Monday, February 9, 2015

The Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues by Cindy Vincent Litfuse Blog Tour



About the book:
Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next big case with the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency to be their most complicated ever! It all starts when someone hides a mysterious package in their Mom's antique store --- in the middle of the night! Of course, the boys find it, and put it in a nice, safe place, until they can open it . . . and, find the rightful owner. But that's when a whole bunch of suspicious people show up in St. Gertrude, and every single one of them seems to be after that package! Holy Catnip! Plus, everything happens just when a priceless, jeweled statue collection goes on display at the St. Gertrude Museum. Missing from that collection are two jewel covered cat statues that disappeared almost a hundred and fifty years ago.

But soon Buckley and Bogey wonder how long those statues will stay missing. Because this is one case that really keeps them on their paws! From a trip to the Museum, and to an old church for the Blessing of the Animals; and from dinosaurs to diamonds, they end up dodging shady suspects the whole time. It sure helps to have their friends with them, especially when the bad guys make a beeline for boys. That's because it becomes very clear, very quick --- the priceless cat statues aren't the only cats those crooks are after! Holy Mackerel!

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1xrwgJb 


About the author: Cindy Vincent was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She holds an M.A.Ed, and is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper books, the Daisy Diamond Detective book series, and the Cats are Part of His Kingdom, Too: 33 Daily Devotions to Understanding God's Love. She lives with her husband and the real, live Buckley and Bogey, who run surveillance on her house each and every night.

Find Cindy, Buckley, and Bogey online: website

My thoughts:
Some of the first books I recall reading independently and enjoying were mysteries.  There was something about looking for the clues with the characters and seeing if you could figure it out before the end of the book.  This is a fun mystery with the added element that it is from the point of view of the family cats.  What kid hasn't felt awkward and clumsy like Buckley or wanted to be just like their older sibling?

It was a fun ride tagging along with there two cat detectives as they worked through another mystery while keeping up with their nighttime watch duties at home, see there really is a reason why cats get so active at night, they are doing a job!  I plan to pass this along to my kids.  I can't wait to see what they think of it.

I loved how the cats worked behind the scenes.  They had to come up with ways to let people know what they were thinking and doing without being able to speak.  Typing things up on the computer and leaving mysterious notes.  I also appreciated how Vincent worked in animal adoptions as well.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last by Deb Dearmond Litfuse Blog Tour




















































About the book: 

I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last (Abingdon Press, January 2015)

Married for nearly 38 years, author Deborah DeArmond and her husband have made the spoken declaration, "I choose you today" a regular part of their communication. It's when we least feel like saying it that we need to remind ourselves that love is a choice, not a feeling. I Choose You Today features 31 scriptural principles that support marriage and help couples develop healthy biblically based behavior.

Built on an introductory anecdotal story, each chapter has an inspirational takeaway of not only what to do, but how to begin applying the principles immediately. Thought provoking questions create talking points for couples to explore their own choices and experiences in each area serve to generate open dialogue of discovery. I Choose You Today is not a book of "shoulds," but one of clearly identified choices that each individual can make to grow their marriage and align it with the word of God. Every saying ends with a conventional wisdom quote.





Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/HLFvU  

Landing page:


My thoughts:  
I love how this book was broken down into 31 separate chapters with ways to connect and questions to ask yourself and your spouse.  Even  more, I appreciated how the author encouraged the reader to go to the chapters that felt right to them instead of following the order given.  It makes so much more sense for people to address the issues that are important to them and their relationships instead of following a set in stone plan.  Each chapter starts with an example of a couple showing the issue and then how things can be different.  I loved that the author's husband proposed to her again years later, letting her know that he continued to choose her even after decades of marriage.






About the author:

Deb DeArmond
 is an author, a speaker, and relationship coach-helping her clients improve theiinteractions at work and at home. Her first book, Related by Chance, Family by Choice: Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships, was released iNovember 2013 by Kregel Publications.

Find Deb online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven Quilts of Love Litfuse Blog Tour



About the book: 

Sara doesn't think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don't always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past---and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane's grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer's granddaughter.
Still, it doesn't take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn't what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life---and her heart---forever.

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

Landing page: 

My thoughts:  Sara Jane and Drew are both dealing with their own feelings of survivors guilt from the loss of loved ones, each in his or her own way.  Because of the large amount of pain that has not been dealt with, neither of them has been able to move forward in their personal lives or been able to open up to others.

Sara Jane's grandmother forces the issue with them both due to her stubbornness and her ailing memory.  Drew has been hired as her handyman, but it uncomfortable with the assumption that he will date and marry Sara Jane just because he has been told to.  Sara Jane is worried about her grandmother and embarrassed by her not so subtle matchmaking.

The two find that they have some interests in common, top among them keeping Sari safe and cared for, but there is a big stumbling block for them.  Drew has found comfort in his faith and shares his beliefs freely, while Sara Jane goes to church out of obligation, but feels no connection with God  and lacks faith.  Before they can move ahead and work on connecting with one another, Sara Jane needs to find forgiveness and faith herself to move past her feelings of guilt.

I would have loved to have seen a picture of the quilt, just a sketch of each of the squares that belonged to the song!


About the Authors: 

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. TheQuilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (Quilts of Love- Litfuse Blog Tour)



Quilted by Christmas A grandmother's last wish is to communicate God's love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she's easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree---something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn's grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project---an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?
 
Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to Edie Melson's devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does (if she's lucky that day and they're actually listening...). Jodie loves to bake, ride the Harley with her husband, and fish the Outer Banks with their daughter. 

Connect with Jodie: websiteFacebookTwitter

Landing Page: http://litfusegroup.com/author/jbailey


My thoughts:
I enjoyed this story of faith and heartache.  Taryn has been hiding something for years, something she was counseled by her father and grandmother to keep to herself, and it has haunted and narrowed her life.  On the day her best friend and boyfriend, Justin, leaves to join the army they have a fight that colors how she sees herself for the next ten years.  Faced with losing the person she knows the best and loves the most, she tries to convince him to stay instead of go, causing him to make her feel like she is needy and manipulative.  That whole exchange leads to a chain of events neither of them could imagine.

When Justin comes back to town and seems to want to be her friend again, she is confused and worries that the longer she takes to tell him about what she did in his absence the harder it is going to be to do it, but at the same time she fears that once he knows he won't want to be around her anymore.  When her grandmother ends up in the hospital with a broken arm, it comes down to Taryn to finish her cousin's surprise wedding quilt.  Surprisingly, Justin offers his help with hand piecing the quilt.  Working together night by night they are able to rebuild their old rapport, but the secret is still there.

I love stories about Christmas and about people finding their way through tough situations that are true to life.  Nothing is easy or simple or solved right away, these characters work through their issues together and separately finding out who they are and what they really care about, while trusting in their faith.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley TLC Blog Tour

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Overview

Dory Delano, Charlotte Harris, and Turner Graham have been drifting through life since their days as roommates at Smith College, ten years ago. Dory is resisting taking the reins of her family's legacy and fortune even as she relishes the fabulous lifestyle it affords her in the fashionable seaside resort of Martha's Vineyard. She invites her old friends to join her for a summer on the Vineyard in hopes of rediscovering the innocence of old days and healing new wounds. But hidden in their midst and unknown to all but a few, a reclusive--some say dangerous--fisherman wanders alone, fueling wild speculation about his purpose and his past. None of these women can imagine the events their encounter with the fisherman will set in motion, the shadow he will cast over their destinies, or the transformation that awaits the world they know.

My thoughts:
After a slightly slow start, this book sucked me in and kept me wondering what was going to happen next.  Charlotte Harris shows up at Dory's Martha Vineyard home planning to end her own life to spend purgatory with her unbaptized daughter.  I had a rough time with the depth of her depressions and despondency at the beginning of the novel.  Getting to know these women, who are getting reacquainted after their separate lives for the past ten years, you feel like you are there on the island with them.  No one is quite how they seem and the past is never totally in the past, but what is really important always seems to come through.

These women are straining against what is expected of them, the sacrifices they feel they need or must make to achieve their goals and the idea of faith.  Each of them has had a different experience with the church and faith, Charlotte believes in the church teaching so forcefully that she is willing to make many sacrifices to make sure her daughter's soul will be able to ascend to heaven while Turner has very little faith in things she can't see and touch and is looking for something to believe in without even knowing it.

These women are drawn together and become closer during their summer, after Charlotte tells her how the fisherman saw her savior when she had reached rock bottom.  Turner writes about the incident on her blog and all of a sudden a spark is lit. When he also intercedes on Dory's behalf and Turner again records it something is set in motion that cannot be stopped and the pace just picks up.

It is hard to write about the book without revealing where the story is going, but it is so satisfying as it goes along that I would hate to rob anyone of the surprises.  This book kept me up late for the past two nights because I got into it so deeply that I forgot to pay attention to the time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976127567
  • Publisher: Ragbagger Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/2014
  • Pages: 384


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin Litfuse Blog Tour











































Book Description:

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America's involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana. 

In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements---until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help. 

Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew? 

In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart. 

The Turner family believes in God's providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ's birth and His plan for a future?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/BwVP9



About the authors: 



TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, includingChasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger. 

CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. 

SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

My thoughts:

I love interconnected stories and Christmas.  Having the two together in one book is a special treat.  I liked the short introduction story, especially with the way it introduced the grandmother and her desire to have traditions upheld, even during a time of war.

Set during WWII, three siblings have different experiences with loss and love, but they all rely on their faith to lead them during the hardest times.  Along with the elements of faith there were those of humor and family.  Who can imagine Christmas with all three of those things to bring people together and to remember what is truly important in life.