Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mailbox Monday - June 26



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.

If you're here, welcome. As I mentioned last week I merged The Busy Mom's Daily and Cheryl's Christian Book Connection into this blog, which I think will work out much better. Last week was a bit hectic with appointments and end of school year stuff. Dance recital was Saturday and I worked all day Sunday. Someone I still managed to get some cleaning done around here and some farming for real estate.

My mailbox made me happy last week as I received a book from one of my favorite southern fiction authors I ordered and then a book of poetry I am reviewing for a book tour arrived.



Chattahoochee, Florida, a town with a state mental institution on its main drag, seldom slips from its usual relaxed pace. Detached from the tourist havens farther south, everyone here knows everybody else. Senior citizen Elvina Houston, head of the little-ole-lady hotline, keeps her nose wedged in the middle. October typically brings three well-attended festivals and a break from the oppressive summer. But this year, the relentless heat and humidity continue and a parade of horribles cranks up for Jake Witherspoon, his best friend Hattie Davis Lewis, and her older brother Bobby, one that will affect their intertwined families, friends, and the entire town. The incidents Jake perceives as a replay of his horrible assault are every bit as real as the twisted man who inches into Hattie's family. How this group of small town folk handles the clash with hate and crime is a tribute to resiliency, friendship, and hope.


In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God's watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

Hope you'll share what was in your mailbox too. Enjoy your week!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mailbox Monday June 19



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! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. The Lil' Diva, Lil' Princess and I took their dad out to Olive Garden for lunch after church. Then we went to visit my father-in-law in rehab. Looks like two more weeks of physical therapy for him before he can go home.

Last week I posted my reviews of What the Bishop Saw and Annie's Recipe over at The Book Connection. I also received the following book for review:


It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady.

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place.

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.
But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

Three other short books are on the way for virtual book tour reviews: a children's book and two books of poetry.

That's it from me. Hope you'll share your mailbox too. Have a great week!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Caring for Aging Parents



I don't always talk about my blogging days at Christian Children's Authors but I thought my article on caring for aging parents might be of interest to our readers here. You can find my post at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2017/06/16/role-reversal-caring-for-elderly-parents/

Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review: What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman

If you like Amish mysteries, you need to grab a copy of What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman. This first book in a new series features a bishop with an extraordinary talent that could be the key to finding a murderer.

Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene of an out of control fire in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. He soon learns the fire was no accident and that Vernon Frey was killed. Considering Vernon's reputation in the Amish and Englisch communities there is no end to potential suspects.

When police suspect someone Henry knows is innocent, he must decide if he will use his mysterious, God-given gift to set the record straight.

When I heard Chapman was releasing a new series that blended two of my favorite genres--Amish fiction and mystery--there was no doubt I would read it. What the Bishop Saw hooked me right from the Prologue and didn't let go until the Epilogue was done. I'm already planning to beg to review the next book in the series when it comes out.

Her trademark of "Christian Fiction Full of Grace" is front and center throughout this exciting story, while the romance between Henry and Emma percolates slowly like a good cup of coffee. The ending is superb and I loved the Epilogue. The novel is filled with characters I hope we will see again in the next book.

I have enjoyed everything I've ever read by Vannetta Chapman, but What the Bishop Saw is my new favorite. I can't wait to see what happens next in The Amish Bishop Mysteries series.


Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (May 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736966471
ISBN-13: 978-0736966474

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.

Product Review: ElimiTag Skin Tag Remover Homeopathic Medicine


As I have gotten older, I've noticed skin tags cropping up mostly underneath my arms--which can make shaving a challenge. Tired of dealing with them and a bit self-conscious that a few are large enough that I don't want to wear tank tops, I decided to try ElimiTag, which I purchased at the grocery store. You brush this on up to three times a day and in three to six weeks the tags are supposed to be gone. 

Considering the hefty price tag of this product ($12.49 for a 5 fluid ounce bottle), I was expecting better results. A couple of the smaller skin tags have gone away, but even with consistent application the larger ones remain unchanged. ElimiTag also smells dreadful. I'll qualify that by stating I am very sensitive to strong odors, but the reason I switched from apple cider vinegar to this was so I didn't smell horrible. After spending that much money on such a tiny bottle I am planning on using most of it, but I will switch back to the vinegar after that because it is so much cheaper. 

ElimiTag has received mixed reviews on Amazon. Some people have had success with it and others haven't. Check it out for yourself and see if you want to give it a try. 

I purchased this product during my regular grocery shopping run. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.

Book Review: Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker

A story of faith, love and lifelong friendship is what you'll find in Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker.

In the second book of Baker's Hope Chest of Dreams series, Annie Mast and Levi Miller are reunited many years after a shunning forced him from her life. With their bond as strong as ever, the two separately imagine spending their lives together. But Levi is part of the English world and there is still a ton of bitterness over his family's shunning. With love on their side perhaps they will find an answer to their prayers.

Annie's Recipe is a sweet story that will tug at your heartstrings. Annie and Levi were the best of friends as children, but that ended abruptly when his father was shunned and the family moved away. When Levi returns to Arthur, Illinois for a wedding they reconnect and it opens up new possibilities for both of them.

What caught me off guard a bit with this story was how much focus was placed on simply these two characters. So much of the Amish fiction I read gives you an entire community feeling. Annie's Recipe was really about Annie and Levi and to some degree their families. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about that at first because it was decidedly different from what I am used to. By the time I came to the end, however, I was grateful for it. This style truly allowed me to fully understand these characters and how they developed thought this touching story.

While I didn't read the first book in this series, I didn't miss anything as Annie's Recipe is a stand alone novel. I would, however, love to read Rebecca's Bouquet and Rachel's Dream because these three women are sisters and it would be interesting to learn all their stories. I'll definitely be on the look for more of Baker's work in the future.

If you enjoy Amish fiction, you need to add Lisa Jones Baker to your "to be read" list.


Series: Hope Chest of Dreams (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (February 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420141546
ISBN-13: 978-1420141542

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.

Mailbox Monday - June 12



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.

What a difference a week makes. Last week was damp and rainy. Today is hot and sunny. They are talking record-breaking heat.

Last week was hectic with closings, soccer tryouts, and other end of school year stuff. I'm looking forward to heading to the Outer Banks soon. The pet sitters are all set and John Boy will be living here while we are away. I'm so eager to get away that I've already packed up my reading material. Plan to get some writing done too.

As for my mailbox, the second book in the Da Vinci's Disciples series arrived last week.


In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city.

A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win.

But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger.

All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

An author friend of mine also sent me her next book to read to provide an endorsement.

That's it for me. Hope you have a blessed week.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mailbox Monday - June 5



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.

Welcome to the first Monday in June. A bit rainy here, but the sun will come out one day this week. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. It was a family and friends weekend for us.

Another year of dance is quickly coming to an end. On Saturday the girls had recital pictures. I'm not quite sure how this...


and this....


Turned into this...


We also attended a wedding for a young couple from our church. We wish them many blessings and much happiness.


On Sunday, we had church and then visited my father-in-law who is currently in rehab after another fall at home. Growing old certainly isn't for sissies. 

As far as my mailbox, it's been pretty dull lately. I haven't been requesting much of anything since I am so far behind. This cute elementary age graphic novel arrived unsolicited from the publisher.





Second grade isn't always a breeze for Birdie. There are just so many opportunities to embarrass herself! But Birdie's got a secret weapon that nobody knows about--her alter-ego, Crafty Cat! Birdie can become Crafty Cat without anyone noticing, and she always manages to get herself out of a jam using her awesome crafting skills! When Birdie goes to a day-camp for crafting, she knows she's going to have a great time and be the best in the group. But when things go wrong, can Crafty Cat help Birdie set them right?

From Just Grace and Fashion Kitty author Charise Mericle Harper comes the next volume in a hilarious, charming, and sweet new graphic novel trilogy for elementary-age readers about a little girl who can craft her way out of any situation.

That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope you have a great week.