Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Blast: Though I Don't Deserve It, God's Hand of Protection Watches Over Me: My Story by Arthur Luke (Giveaway)

Title: Though I Don't Deserve It, God's Hand of Protection Watches Over Me 
Author: Arthur Luke 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Biography 
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Purchase at: iUniverse

Though I Don't Deserve It, God's Hand of Protection Watches Over Me: My Story spans sixty-four years in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ, telling how God has watched over him and his family.

Arthur Luke begins with his childhood in Georgia, follows the sojourns of his military family, narrates the key events in his adult life, tells about his stroke, and shares the decision he and his wife, seniors at the time, made to adopt a child. He pairs twenty-four powerful scriptures with the key events in his life's journey. This potent mixture of personal history and biblical witness demonstrates an enduring truth. With faith in God and obedience to him in your life, his favor—his hand of protection—will guide you and lead you to offer him praise in all seasons, no matter what happens.

Though I Don't Deserve It, God's Hand of Protection Watches Over Me: My Story promises to inspire and encourage readers by showing how God works, in accordance with his promises in the scriptures, to guard and guide all who believe in him. This is the story of Arthur Luke's life, but its message applies to all who believe.

Arthur Luke, a retired preacher of the gospel, holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and an MBA in financial management from National University in Sacramento. He and Sharon, his wife, have five children and live in Elk Grove, California.


Arthur is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms and Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins March 28 and ends on April 8.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 9.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

March 28
March 29
March 30
March 31
April 1
April 4
April 5
April 6
April 7
April 8

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Christian Parenting Resource: Lead Your Family Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges & Tricia Goyer

Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus, points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light―as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book’s practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Focus on the Family (March 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1589977203
ISBN-13: 978-1589977204

Purchase here!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Results of the 21 Day Fix

My 21 Day Fix ended yesterday. I'm sure you'll all dying to learn the results. What? Only me?

Here's the scoop: I lost 7 pounds and even lost 1 inch. Since the first week of January, I have been eating better and exercising, so that has led me to lose a total of 14 pounds and 2 inches. Not bad.

My biggest challenge: making time to exercise.

The easiest part of the whole thing: getting more sleep. Between working, family life, and exercising I was pretty tired by the end of the day so I slept more and slept better.

What did I do right: Used my containers every morning to start my day off right.

Where did I flounder: Still can't seem to give up my one Pepsi a day and only once made time to exercise in the evening if I didn't get a chance to work out in the morning.

Am I happy? You bet. I am definitely on the road to where I want to be. Now that I have my DVDs and my containers--which really do help you think about what you're eating--I can keep on moving forward. Having met my weight loss goal of 110 pounds, I am going to focus on toning up.

Thanks to all those who have supported me along the way. I couldn't do it without you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Free for Kindle: Welcome to Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

The red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life--especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

File Size: 2924 KB
Print Length: 290 pages
Publisher: Revell (August 1, 2013)
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B00B85M54A

Purchase here!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The 21-Day Fix Has Begun

Last week I started the 21 Day Fix. I have to admit when it arrived, I was unimpressed. I spent $70 on a book, a plastic shaker for shakes I won't be making, a meal chart, a couple of DVDs and a set of plastic containers I could have bought at Walmart for about $3?

I can't say the cost still doesn't irk me, but here's the thing: it's making exercising and eating right easier. Here's how it goes:

  • There are six containers: green for veggies, purple for fruit, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats, and orange for seeds and dressings. You start by calculating your current caloric intake. Then based upon your caloric intake, you are allowed a certain number of each containers a day. I'm within the 1200-1499 range, so I can have 3 containers of veggies, 2 fruit, four protein, two carbs, one healthy fat, and one seeds and dressings. The containers come with stick on labels so you remember how many servings you can have of a particular food group and what each color contains.
  • In the eating plan book, you'll find not only ideas of what you can put in your containers, but recipes. 
  • It also comes with a paper daily meal tracker so you can make sure you're getting the right number of containers each day. 
  • The two DVDs have five days each of workout routines. They are not easy. If I hadn't been doing a bit of exercise before now it would be hard to keep up. Luckily, they have one person who performs a modified workout. I have to resort to that from time to time. You need some equipment for these workouts: exercise mat and light and heavy weights or resistance bands. 
  • The plastic shake container is for those who will be making protein shakes. I can't, as even the smell of them makes me sick to my stomach.
  • The 21 Day Fix Start Here pamphlet has a Transformation Tracker on the back where you can record your Before and After measurements. In addition, participants are encouraged to take Before and After photos. 
So, how's it going? The first week I took two days of rest because working out seven days is too tough for me. I am, however, doing a a mostly good job about sticking to the eating plan. I have to admit I can't give up that one last can of soda a day. Caffeine withdrawal headaches are still a pain. I also find that since I have been drinking more water--water is highly encouraged--I crave it more when I don't have it. 

I was supposed to work out today, but it didn't happen because of my schedule. Tuesday it must happen or I will start getting lazy. 

One thing I've found helpful is to take Probiotic Gummies. Probiotics are said to promote digestive and immune health. I definitely feel better when I take them daily. My belly feels too full otherwise.

I've been sharing photos on my regular Facebook page. Sometimes they are food photos. Other times it's just me looking exhausted after a workout. I'm a visual person, so these pictures help motive me to keep moving forward.

I'm not sure what the end of the 21 Day Fix will bring, but I know I'm working toward a healthier lifestyle, and that's all that matters. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Little House Series Now Available for E-Readers!

This is the day Little House fans have been waiting for--HarperCollins Publishers released the series for e-readers today!

It looks like they are only offering a 5-eBook set on the HCP website, but if you visit:

Barnes and Noble

you will find all nine books available in digital format.

While this is not Christian fiction, faith plays a role in Laura's life, and therefore, I felt this news fit in well with our family friendly book discussions.

Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder Now Available in eBook Formats

This is the day Little House fans have been waiting for--HarperCollins Publishers released the series for e-readers today!

It looks like they are only offering a 5-eBook set on the HCP website, but if you visit:

Barnes and Noble

you will find all nine books available in digital format.

What would Laura think of this new way to read her books?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mailbox Monday - March 7

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're having a great week so far. Buyers are coming out of the woodwork looking for houses right now. I've worked two days in a row morning until night. Not a lot of reading--or blogging--getting done.

I received one book last week. I had been impatiently awaiting its arrival. This was a pre-order that helped to support the restoration of the Conservatory at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA. Charyn's other book about Emily Dickinson is a favorite of mine, so I hope to enjoy this one just as much.

Through interviews with contemporary scholars, close readings of Dickinson’s correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly discovered photograph that is purported to show Dickinson with her lover, Charyn’s literary sleuthing reveals the great poet in ways that have only been hinted at previously: as a woman who was deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the world, attracted to members of both sexes, and able to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today.

What did your mailbox hold last week?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Spotlight: Mr. Zip and The Capital Z by Kimberly Bryant-Palmer

After a terrifically hard and terribly disappointing day before the Fourth of July, Peanut Johnson, wandering aimlessly down Main Street, stumbles upon The Capital Z, a This and That Shop. Stepping inside, he meets Mr. Aloysious Zip, the kind and eccentric shopkeeper, who introduces Peanut to a most extraordinary place. There are toys and trinkets, model cars and miniature wagon trains, even memorabilia from days gone by. Discovering the wonders of The Capital Z, Peanut finds not only anything and everything a young boy could imagine or want, but also history unfolding before his very eyes. Touching a Kentucky rifle hanging on the shop wall, he is transported to the wilderness where he sees his Great-Great-Great-Great Uncle Milkweed Johnson fighting in Andrew Jackson's regiment during the War of 1812. George Washington's sword brings Peanut onto the battlefield where the General, on horseback, dodges bullet after bullet. And while staring at a beautiful stained-glass window depicting the building of the Tower of Babel, Peanut finds himself in a crowd of angry and confused spectators, all speaking a different language! But Peanut's visit to The Capital Z turns out to be much more than a journey through history. As he peers into the past with his Uncle Milkweed and some of America's greatest leaders, he finds courage and hope to face his own mistakes, taking his first steps from boyhood to those of a young man.

File Size: 5392 KB
Print Length: 136 pages
Publisher: Capital Z Books LLC (July 15, 2015)
Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B01476MX3E

Purchase here!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Free for Kindle: Wildflower B&B Romance Novels by Kimberly Rose Johnson

Five-Star-Chef Zoe Griffin walked away from her dream job. Did she make a mistake?

Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together.

Piper Hunt arrives on Wildflower Island to develop family property into an upscale resort knowing this may be her last chance to prove her worth to her father. With grandiose ideas, she soon finds herself at odds with adjoining property owner, Chase Grayson. As she begins to appreciate the simplicity of the island, she struggles to maintain balance between her father’s wishes, preserving the natural beauty of the island, and her attraction for Chase.

Chase Grayson values the peace and quiet of Wildflower Island. That serenity is threatened when Piper Hunt discloses her plans to develop an upscale resort that not only butts up to his property, but will turn the island into a busy tourist destination. In fighting her plans, he also finds himself fighting his attraction to her. If he doesn’t stop her plans for the resort, his life will be altered forever. If he succeeds, it means he will never see her again. Can he live with either choice?

These books and more by Kimberly Rose Johnson can be found here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review: From the Mouth of Ma by Robynne Elizabeth Miller

One chapter at a time, author Robynne Elizabeth Miller seeks to learn more about Caroline Quiner Ingalls--Ma from the Little House books.

In From the Mouth of Ma, Miller indicates that readers didn't get a chance to know Caroline Ingalls very well. Much of the close relationship Laura Ingalls Wilder had with her Pa (Charles) is written into the pages of her Little House series, but Ma remained a bit elusive.

Each chapter--except the first two, which are dedicated to outlining the purpose of the book and providing a bit of background on Caroline Quiner Ingalls--shares a little piece of Ma with readers: how practical and traditional Ma was in her daily life, her matter-of-fact opinions, how she valued honesty and forthrightness, what a devout Christian she was, how pragmatic she was while holding onto a dose of optimism, and more.

Miller discusses some things that bothered her about Ma from the Little House books--like her seeming lack of compassion for her children after the prairie fire that threatened their home in Kansas. She also dives into the many platitudes that Ma's character used in the books to help her--and readers-- understand more about who Ma was.

We end up with a well-rounded portrait of Ma with her unwavering love and devotion to her family and her desire to teach her children important and valuable lessons. Caroline Quiner Ingalls did not live an easy life out on the prairie, but as the author states, she navigated through it with grace and strength. For me, this book served to grow my admiration for a woman who embodied those characteristics and a pioneering spirit that helped create the country we know today.

Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press; 1 edition (November 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692580654
ISBN-13: 978-0692580653

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