Monday, July 23, 2018

Mailbox Monday - July 23

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Somehow it is Monday again. We had a nice rainy day on Sunday so my garden is very happy. Finally put the fence up around it to keep the critters out. Think the rabbits are stealing my peppers and beans.

It was a totally crazy week. Just got back into the swing of things after vacation and had appointments up the ying-yang. My mother-in-law was here for a few days so I could bring her and my father-in-law to the doctor. The Lil' Diva's senior picture photo session was this week. The Lil' Princess took off for a vacation with a friend on Friday--but not before we had to go shopping for stuff--and I spent two days tossing things into a dumpster at my in-laws' house. At least the end is in sight.

No books arrived in my physical mailbox, but I did download these Kindle freebies:

What was in your mailbox? Anything good you were waiting on? 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Contemporary Christian Romance Free on Kindle Today: Finding Love in the Low Country Box Set

After the Storm

Sharon cannot face her future until she has dealt with her past. When an accident takes everyone in her family except Sharon Martin’s grandson, she is forced to face the secrets of her past. For decades she has protected herself and "his family" from the damage this secret could cause. But when Bobby’s well-being depends on her honesty, will she have the courage to speak the truth? When tragedy strikes, can love and honesty save a life? 

Catch of a Lifetime 

From an early age, Adella believed that love brings only pain. First her mother dies, and Adella struggles to deal with her grief and care for her younger sisters. When the young girls decide they don’t need Adella anymore, she concludes she can’t trust anyone but herself. With few options, she determines she will use her good looks and intelligence to catch a handsome, wealthy man who can give her the security she craves.

Derek Goodson appears to be the man of her dreams, and at first their marriage is wonderful. After a few years, however, Adella discovers a restlessness that nothing seems to satisfy. She is bored with exclusive parties, clothing, and vacations. When introduced to a handsome stranger, she wonders if he is the answer to her secret longings.

Adele must face some tough choices, along with a tender tug on her soul. She married Derek for his money. Why can’t she love him for it? 

Somewhere a Rainbow

Brooke Haddon’s future looks gray…

After her unfaithful husband is killed in an auto accident, she faces the challenge of rebuilding her life. With most of her money gone, she takes her five-year-old son to the honeymoon cottage on Hilton Head Island where her marriage began. As a single parent, she wonders how she will manage, and once she arrives on the island, she can’t imagine how she’ll be able to repair a cottage as broken down as her life.

When local carpenter Jake Randolph offers to help, Brooke immediately distrusts him. But as the months pass, she begins to think he may be different from the other men she has known. He begins to melt the emotional ice around her heart. Then Jake admits he’s concealing a secret past. Are Brooke’s hopes of a brighter future about to be destroyed. Or is there a rainbow beyond the storms of heartbreak?

Southern Gentleman

What’s best for the baby?

Norah Brown must answer this question when Thornton Winter pushes his way into her life. Baby Camille’s parents, Thornton’s brother and Norah’s sister, were killed in a terrible accident. Now both feel responsible for the baby. But by the time Thornton comes along, Norah has already formed a strong bond with Camille. Will Thornton try to take the baby from her? 

To keep her greatest fear from being realized, Norah reluctantly agrees to move with the baby to Thornton’s family home in South Carolina, where she soon finds herself in a battle of wills with his take-charge manner. It certainly doesn't help that Norah begins to lose her heart to this Southern Gentleman.

Purchase here!

Book Review: The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with this next exciting installment, The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

Faith Lytton Jackson is a friend of George Washington and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Living in Boston, she is holding meetings with like-minded women when the British invade. Little does she know that when she agrees to help the cause in a more meaningful--and dangerous--way, she will meet someone who makes her think she could love again.

Matthew Weber is friends with Ben Franklin and his son William, which makes him privy to information on both sides of the conflict. Acting as a spy, Matthew meets his messenger, Faith, and is quickly taken with her.

What will these two people sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country? Can they find love despite the conflict?

The Patriot Bride is my favorite of the series so far. Woodhouse brings her masterful storytelling back for the fourth book set between 1774 and 1775 when the First Continental Congress has already met but prior to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. She brought her characters to life against the backdrop of a war that would change everything for the Colonies as the people tired of being ruled from across the pond. Next to the Civil War, this is my favorite time in American history, so it was a thrill to read this novel.

As with the other books in The Daughters of the Mayflower series, the main character is a strong, independent woman who defies conventions in one way or another. The pace of the novel is closer to romantic suspense than the typical romance novel, which may entice different readers. It does, however, stay true to its romance genre as the reader watches Faith and Matthew's relationship unfold. I must applaud the author for creating such fascinating ties for her characters to two of America's Founding Fathers. It's really quite clever.

With every book The Daughters of the Mayflower series gets better. History, faith, romance and adventure are the perfect combination. You can read only The Patriot Bride, but I encourage you to start at the beginning and go from there. You won't be disappointed.

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower (Book 4)
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books; Gld edition (August 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1683226062
ISBN-13: 978-1683226062

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts - July 18

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. This is a chance for book bloggers to dabble in areas besides books (but those are welcome too). Share your plans for the weekend, a rant on people not using their turn signals in parking lots, or your love of Sunday morning mimosas.

I turned 50 last week. Oh, my gosh, that was tough. It shouldn't be. Age is just a number. I don't feel 50. Well, how would I know? What does 50 feel like? Maybe I should say that I don't feel like my mother. Granted, she never made it to 50, so I already feel blessed I'm happy and healthy. My memories of my mother, though, are of this serious person who never would think of doing the Carlton in the middle of the living room--which I've been known to do. She was definitely the adult in the house.

It's also hard to imagine I've been around for half a century. Where did the time go? Didn't I just graduate from high school? How am I the mother of two teenage girls and a son who has been married for eight years? How is it I'm much closer to retirement than to starting out?

Perhaps the toughest realization of turning 50 is that I thought I would have accomplished more by now. I'm actually working harder now than I did when I was 30.

Life is strange. Now instead of taking care of kids, the hubby and I are caring for his parents. We find the girls want to spend more time with friends and less with us. In a couple of years, it's possible our oldest daughter won't join us on vacation because she will be working or off on her own. We've spent our entire adult lives taking care of kids. What will it be like when they aren't home anymore? Yes, they will still need us, but it will be different. It doesn't make me sad, really, just makes me wonder what else the Lord has in store for us.

Have you been down this road before? How did it feel for you? Any helpful tips you can share?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Task It Tuesday - July 16

Originally created by The Geeky Blogger, Task It Tuesday is a weekly meme to help you--and me--get things done. The challenge is to post a task or list of tasks you want to complete before next Tuesday. These tasks can help you with your blogging life, reading life, personal or professional life.

Trying to stay focused these days. I've been overwhelmed, which means I procrastinate. With vacation now behind me, I really want to finish out the year strong. Might sound silly with five months still left, but that's how my brain works.

I accomplished all the tasks I had on my list two weeks ago, so I'm happy about that. This week I am looking to do the following:

  • Clean out most of my in-laws house on Thursday. Dumpster is coming so hope to get a lot done. Heat might be an issue.
  • Post a review of The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse. Loved it! Can't wait for the next book in the series.
  • Schedule a time to get the old furniture out of the house. Not that I have bought the new furniture yet, but I don't want to deal with taking it out while getting the new pieces in. I think I need a few days of empty, clean space.
  • Make my plan to clean out my own house: donate, trash, and clean. That might become my new mantra.
Is there anything you're looking to accomplish this week? Do you create to-do lists? 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Mailbox Monday - July 16

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely week. Here are some photos from our recent trip to the Outer Banks.

Our first visit to Miller's Waterfront Restaurant this trip. One of my favorites and views are awesome.

My favorite store - The Christmas Shop & General Store in Manteo

Listening to the 208th Army Band on the waterfront before the fireworks on July 4.

Tropical Storm Chris made it dangerous to swim the second week. 

The new bridge (to the right) they are building on Route 12 to Hatteras.

On the ferry to Ocracoke. 

Hanging out in Corolla.

Theo liked the beach in the evenings.

Big Bucks in downtown Manteo. Great ice cream!

The ride home on Saturday.

I managed to get a fair amount of reading done. Most of my reviews have been posted at The Book Connection. While we were away, I received a book that is for a book tour running in August and September.

In the novella, Appointment in Prague, one woman, a British secret agent, sets out in May 1942 to single-handedly send to hell the most evil Nazi alive—SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SD, the domestic and foreign counter-intelligence wing of the SS; second in rank only to the head of the SS himself, Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler; and the architect of “The Final Solution” that will send millions of European Jews to their doom.

When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill authorizes the SOE—the ‘Special Operations Executive’— in October 1941 to assassinate Heydrich, he is unaware that the entire operation has been conceived and is being run by his Scottish goddaughter, the former Pulitzer Prize-winning Hearst photojournalist Mattie McGary. The SOE is Churchill’s own creation, one he informally describes as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and, at his suggestion, Mattie becomes one of its Deputy Directors.

Mattie has a history with Heydrich dating back to 1933 and a personal score to settle. In September 1941, when the man known variously as ‘The Blond Beast’ and ‘The Man With the Iron Heart’—that last coming from Adolf Hitler himself—is appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, the remnants left of Czechoslovakia after the Germans had dismembered it in 1939, Mattie is determined—now that he is no longer safely within Germany’s borders—to have him killed. She recruits and trains several Czech partisans for the task and has them parachuted into Czechoslovakia in December 1941.

An increasingly impatient Mattie waits in London for word that her agents have killed the Blond Beast. By May 1942, Heydrich still lives and Mattie is furious. The mother of six-year-old twins, Mattie decides—without telling her godfather or her American husband, the #2 man in the London office of the OSS—to parachute into Czechoslovakia herself and “light a fire under their timid Czech bums”. Which she does, but her agents botch the job and Heydrich is only wounded in the attempt. The doctors sent from Berlin to care for him believe he will recover.

On the fly, Mattie conceives a new plan to kill Heydrich herself. With forged papers and other help from the highest-placed SOE asset in Nazi Germany—a former lover—Mattie determines to covertly enter Prague’s Bulovka Hospital and finish the job. After that, all she has to do is flee Prague into Germany and from there to neutral Switzerland. What Mattie doesn’t know is that Walter Schellenberg, Heydrich’s protégé and the head of Foreign Intelligence for the SD, is watching her every move.

What was in your mailbox?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Book Review: The Lifegiving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson

If you are looking for a heartfelt and meaningful story of how to create a home that is both inviting and warm to family and others, The Lifegiving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson is a great choice.

In this joint mother/daughter effort, they share their perspectives on creating a lifegiving legacy in your home through rhythms, routines, and rituals, growing relationships, celebrating life, being in service to each other, and shaping a certain family culture based on love, and combining personalities, history, events, and traditions. This book addresses how we have lost our center in the hectic, busyness of day-to-day life that our current modern, consumerist culture encourages.

The last point mentioned is why I requested to review this book. At the end, however, I can't say I'm any closer to finding a way toward creating the kind of home I've always envisioned we would have. The Clarksons sound like lovely, god-fearing people, whose goal is to inspire others. Sally and her husband founded Whole Heart Ministries in 1998 and Sarah is an award-winning author who also leads workshops on reading as a means to transform a child's mental and spiritual development. They have a clear calling from the Lord to serve others. While one can't argue that more time in prayer and with Scripture is key to making any change, getting from where you are in your crazy life now to the type of home culture you desire is a step-by-step process. While The Lifegiving Home is a vital part of that process, it may not be the starting point for some of us. I have to admit to enjoying Sally's chapters more because they are more conversational, whereas Sarah's style is more academic. Coupled with The Lifegiving Home Experience, a twelve-month guided planner, the reader may have more success creating the home culture she seeks.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (February 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1496403371
ISBN-13: 978-1496403377

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.