Archive for October 2012

Personalized Coloring & Placemat Giveaway

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Personalized Preschooler's Prize Pack Includes:
Sponsor:  I See Me, Inc.
Find out what Messy Mama thought of the Coloring Book and Placemat in her Review.

One Lucky Reader will win a Personalized Coloring Book AND a Personalized Placemat.
Enter on the Rafflecopter form below.
Open to the US and must be 18+
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Review: Isle of Shadows

Monday, October 29, 2012

Isle of Shadows
Isle of Shadows by Tracy L. Higley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Isle of Shadows is book one of the Seven Wonders series by T.L Higley. Set in the heart of Rhodes in 227 B.C. This story takes us to the base of Colossus and into life of a hetaera. *In ancient Greece, hetaerae were courtesans—highly educated, sophisticated companions. (See "Notes" for more information on the hetaera of Ancient Greece)

In this story we meet Tessa, a beautiful and well known hetaera. Tessa was sold to Servia as a hetaera ten years ago and has been in bondage ever since. Tessa desires for freedom but that chance is dashed when her patron Glaucus, meets an untimely demise. That is, until Tessa finds a friend in his daughter, Persephone. The two of them conspire to keep his death a secret until Tessa can escape to Crete.

We follow Tessa through the depths of her despair, her guilt and her shame as she tries to come to grips with her past...and present life. With the help of a man she doesn't dare to love and an older Jew who cares for her as a daughter, Tessa fights for her freedom. Simeon introduces her to the God of Israel and promises her that God can deliver her and give her peace.

This book is Christian Fiction and is not simply Historical Fiction. Though the author takes us back to Ancient Greece we learn not only of the Greeks but also of the Jews who were scattered across the land at that time. Often living lives of servants or slaves.

On this note I must address the issue of Simeon. I have seen comments that the author took too many liberties with this character in regard to his age. As to not spill the story of Simeon in this review I would encourage those that read this part and puzzled at time discrepancies to please go back and read the author's notes and "Story behind the Story" I think you'll find her explanation to be satisfactory. As you read her explanation please keep in mind that the Bible tells of men that lived up to 900 years so I did not feel that this part of the story was too hard to believe.

I really enjoyed this book. Tessa represents a lot of people living in their pain and grief. She's built up walls to protect herself from hurt and in doing so she has no joy, no peace. Only through her submitting herself to God will Tessa find the peace she craves. Aside from the message of grace and forgiveness in this book, I found myself completely immersed in an ancient landscape. I could almost see the colossus and the docks on the island of Rhodes. The author painted such imagery with her words that I could almost smell the salt air as I read and imagine the waves as they beat against the shore. I definitely suggest this book for readers that are interested in the ancient world and also enjoy Christian fiction.

About the Author:
The author of nine historical fiction novels, including the popular
Seven Wonders series, Higley isn’t just transporting readers: She’s
transporting herself, too.

“My Iifelong interest in history and mythology has taken me to Italy,
Greece, Egypt, Rome, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, where I’ve gotten to
study those ancient cultures in rich detail,” says Higley.

“It’s my desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past,
and I figure what better way to do that than to visit the cultures

For more information or to read “Tracy’s Travel’s” blog, please visit

"Hetaera." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 25 October 2012, from

I received this book free from the author through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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Inspirational Sunday

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"God doesn't always ask us to do things that don't cause pain, and we can never know His plan."
His Love Endures Forever by Beth Wiseman

Review: Morris the Village Voice

Friday, October 26, 2012

Morris the Village Voice
Morris the Village Voice by Doris Rueger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Morris is an advertising column in a small town. Once he was one of the most important features of the village. Standing tall and proud with advertisements for events and activities going on in the community. Unfortunately, people have abused Morris. They have torn down his advertisements and covered him with graffiti. As a result, no one gathers around the town center anymore. No more smiling children or local artists and entertainment. The city council wishes to replace Morris with a flashy neon sign. Finally Morris has had enough. He asks for help from two village children. He asks that they restore him and clean him up. A big flashy neon sign can't be the center of joy and entertainment!

This was a cute little book that teaches children the value of respecting your community and respecting community property. The author, Ms Doris Rueger is also an artist that uses illustrated the book with colorful crayon drawings and collages. It's a fantastic way to discuss the arts and the importance of your community.

About the Author:
Dor Rueger emigrated to America and having had to adjust to a new country and culture gave her great insight into the challenges that so many youngsters from diverse backgrounds face daily. A wife, mother and grandmother, Reuger has worked with people from all over the world for over thirty years.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the Author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Review: Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas

Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas
Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall is a Three-in-One collection of The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing and an all new novella, The Dawn of Christmas . This book means something special to me as I had the pleasure of getting to know the author a bit better via email and facebook and I was deeply honored that she included one of my original soap recipes in the back of the book. One thing is for certain, this author cares deeply about her fans and about the characters she is writing about. That care and attention becomes evident in the stories she brings to life and gives her readers a window into the very soul of her characters.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells
Beth Hertzler has had her heart and spirit broken. She mourns the loss of her fiance far longer than expected and her family worries about her future. When Beth discovers a beautiful carving of Amish children something stirs deep within her soul and seems to mend some of the pain that she has carried in her heart. Her aunt is determined to bring the talented young artist and Beth together, but Jonah has his own painful past. With pain and suffering in both of their lives, will Beth and Jonah be able to overcome their fears and trust in each other?

I had already read this story once before but once again I really enjoyed it. The characters are dealing with very real issues and I found their journey to be one of inspiring faith. Our paths are not always ideal and learning to put our trust in God isn't always an easy road to travel. This is particularly true when a person's faith in friends or family has been shaken. This is absolutely one of my all time favorite Christmas novellas!
Read excerpt

The Christmas Singing
Gideon made a promise to Mattie that he would always attend the Christmas Singings, a promise he keeps, even now that they are broken up and living separate lives. She has relocated to Ohio and is now the owner of a very successful bakery called "Mattie Cakes". Not only has she found success there, she has also found a new boyfriend and as much as Gideon dislikes it, there is very little he can do about it without revealing a deep secret that he feels should remain hidden.

When Mattie's shop burns down, she is forced to return her parent's home for a visit. Going home means seeing Gideon...something she is not at all interested in. Why did Gideon throw away her love for a flashy English girl? How did it happen? When? How could he throw away their relationship as if it never mattered? At the end of the day though, it is easier to leave those questions unanswered.

As the story unfolds around the pair we also see a glimpse at a few other beloved characters from within the Apple Ridge community. Namely, Jonah, Beth and Lizzie from The Sound of Sleigh Bells as well as Roman and Aden from The Scent of Cherry Blossoms. The small peek into the lives of her other characters and stories is one thing I really enjoy about reading Cindy's books. I feel like I'm getting to know the entire community and building relationships with them.

The Christmas Singing is a fantastic Christmas tale. One filled with love, understanding and forgiveness. All the things that make up the true meaning of Christmas!
Read excerpt

The Dawn of Christmas
Heartbreak seems to abound in Apple Ridge and there is no exception for Sadie. Years have passed her by and the pain of finding her cousin in the arms of her fiance is still fresh in her mind. For the last four years, Sadie has lived away from her family, trying to to get over the betrayal, but the time has come to return home. Eager for some quiet time, Sadie saddles up and heads out for a late night ride. Instead of peace and quiet she finds a scared horse and his rider who has been seriously injured. Sadie learns that his name is Levi, and like her, he places no trust in love.

When Sadie and Levi find themselves pretending to court, both are surprised to find that they have true feelings for one another. Which happens to be a problem since they have both sworn that they will never marry and have their own plans for the future. Then, when Daniel, Sadie's ex-fiance, makes an appearance, it seems all hope is lost for Sadie and Levi. Can Sadie and Levi learn to trust or will they let the hurt of others keep them from ever experiencing love for themselves?

I really LOVED this story. It was concluded so beautifully and like the previous novellas, it continued the stories of Jonah and Beth as well as Mattie and Gideon. I just about squealed with delight at the continuing of Jonah and Beth's story and I'm certain that my book crush on Jonah has deepened into book love! It seems I develop quite a few book relationships with the characters in Cindy's stories and I think anyone that is a fan of Christian Fiction or the Amish Genre will not be disappointed in this book!
Read excerpt

Places to Buy Christmas in Apple Ridge:
Barnes & Noble

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About the Author:
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.

A Special Note:
You made my year! I may not know you personally or even all that well but you have been such a blessing to me this year. Your books have given me peace during a difficult time, during the loss of my Evenstar. You have given me courage through your writing and the faith to keep trying to do more, live more and love more and most importantly, the desire to please God with my life. I am proud to answer "Cindy Woodsmall!" when I am asked who my favorite author is and I am so honored that you took the time to reach out to me. God bless you my friend!
With much love,

Review: A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs is the first book that I have read from the author and it has been such a pleasure. My only complaint about this novella is that it wasn't a full blown novel! This was such a fantastic Christmas story and really put me into the mood to hop on a train and visit the locations she was describing!

In this story we meet Meg, a sweet girl that is on the outs with her family. Twelve years prior her brother was injured in an unfortunate accident. True to real life, a catastrophe has one of two effects on a person. It will either pull out a strong perseverance spirit or the spirit of bitterness and the latter is true for Meg's brother, Alan.

Alan has determined that it is better for him to live his life in bitterness for the attention that it brings than to try to do better for himself. Caught in his cross-hairs is his sister, Meg. Life with Alan became unbearable for Meg and after inheriting her Aunt's town home she decided to move off to become a school teacher.

While visiting with her family for Christmas, Meg decides that the relationship with her family, with her brother, cannot be repaired and she finds herself on a train, heading back home! It is on the train that she meets an intriguing gentleman named Gordon. It is through the course of a terrible snowstorm and a minor accident that results in Meg and Gordon finding out that their past and their future is intertwined in a way that they never expected.

This story was an excellent tale that portrayed what the forgiveness of God can work in the heart and how a person can change with the help of the Lord. The importance of forgiveness and the fresh promise of love and understanding made this such a fantastic story that I was sad when it was over!

I received A Wreath of Snow as a complimentary gift in exchange for an honest review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. My comments and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Liz is the author of nearly 30 books, with more than 3 million copies in print. In her best-selling Bad Girls of the Bible series, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous—and intriguing—women in history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene.
Scripturally sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God’s grace anew.
Now, with The Girl’s Still Got It, Liz offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey with one of the Good Girls of the Bible.
Liz also spent a decade as an award-winning columnist for Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Her articles have appeared in Faith&Friends in Canada, WomanAlive in Great Britain, and Enhance in Australia

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Jewelry Candles Giveaway! 10/23-11/6

Giveaway done by: Elitemama

Hey everyone and welcome to another great Jewelry Candles giveaway. Jewelry Candles was inspired off of the classic movie "Willie Wanka and the Chocolate Factory". Inside the movie, very few won a prize when the opened their chocolate bar to reveal a golden ticket. With Jewelry Candles, everyone is a winner. You can find yourself a gorgeous piece of jewelry that is worth any where from $10 to $7,500. You might find a ring, necklace, a pair of earrings, pendant, anklet or even a bracelet.

The candles are made with all natural soy and premium quality scents. They are 21oz and burn anywhere from 110 to 150 hours. There are so many scents to choose from!!!

Now, if you haven't tried Jewelry Candles, it is a must! Not only for the jewelry, but for the scents as well. They have so many candles out now it's crazy. When Jewelry Candles first started they had about 18 scents at the time, now they have well over 30 scents to choose from. I was given the opportunity to review another amazing candle from Jewelry Candles. The candle I reviewed was the Banana Nut Bread candle.

The picture above shows you what the candle looks like, the wicks and the candle lit. Jewelry Candles is the only candle that I know of that has two wicks. Normally you would see one in a candle and a lot of the times the candles don't burn evenly. Having two wicks in the candle ensures you that you will get the even burn you seek in a candle. As for the scent, it is scrumptious. At first I was iffy about giving the Banana Nut Bread candle a shot because of the scent. I wondered if it would come out smelling like the actual bread baking.

Oh Boy! The candle is true to its scent. Just lite the candle, let it burn for a while, walk away and then walk back into the room and BAM! Your senses are hit with a delicious aroma making you want that mouth watering banana bread. Only to realize.... it's a candle.

Alrighty! Well, I let the candle burn for about an hour and a half or so and the foil was revealed. Didn't take very long because the jewel was close to the top. So I grabbed my tweezers, scissors and some paper towels. I pulled the foil out, wiped off any wax that was on it, unwrapped and revealed a lovely ring inside. I tried getting the best picture I would of the ring, but taking a picture with a cell phone camera is pretty eh.

Here is the ring in front of the Jewelry Candle. There is a center diamond there are diamonds circling around it. It's a $10 ring, but I'm not complaining. It's a gorgeous ring and it's a size 7 or so. Also, the jewelry is great quality. I have not had any problems with the jewelry what so ever and I am extremely sensitive to jewelry. I love my candle and my ring as well!

Check out Jewelry Candles and get yourself one of these lovely candles

Enter to win!
There are 2 winners. One will receive a mystery candle and the other will receive a mystery jewel from Jewelry Candles. Open to the US only. Must be 18 years and older to enter. Giveaway begins 10/23 and ends 11/6. Enter the rafflecopter form below.
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Review: A Marriage of the Heart

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Marriage of the Heart
A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Marriage of the Heart is three Kelly Long Amish novellas—available for the first time in one collection. Since it is a 3-in-1 collection I will be reviewing each story individually within this review. Something I have never done previously! So, bear with me if it is rough around the edges!

A Perfect Secret:
Rose has accepted her best friend's marriage proposal but she secretly wishes for something more. While she loves him as a friend she desires to feel that spark of romance from him. That moment when he will kiss her and the world stops moving. Instead, it seems to her that he isn't attracted to her and simply proposed because they were friends. Then, she finds out a secret that Luke has been carrying and her entire perception changes. She is intrigued by the "new Luke" and she is desperate to get to know that side of him, even as it threatens to tear them apart. This was a sweet little story about the unknown when it comes to romance and how you can know someone as a very close friend for years and still miss the inner workings of their mind and heart.

Christmas Cradles:
The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh. As a midwife, Anna knows this lesson well. She prays that the Lord will give her patients protection and safe deliveries on a cold winter night, Christmas to be exact! Covering for her aunt who is also a midwife, Anna braves bad weather to attend to three births in the community. With the poor weather, she is relying on Asa Lapp to get her to the homes of her patients safely. It is her first time meeting Asa as she is not from the same Amish community, therefore she doesn't know the true reasons for his brooding personality. What she does know is that she is completely intrigued by this man. As she spends the evening with him going from home to home...she can feel herself falling for him. Likewise, he is falling for this quirky and determined midwife! Our past has a way of creeping up on us though and a dark secret threatens to ruin this budding romance. Can Anna trust in the Lord enough to hear him out? Or will she judge him for past sins that are quickly bubbling to the surface?

I really enjoyed this story and though it was over pretty quickly and seemed a little rush, that is pretty typical for a novella. I think you will not be disappointed at the conclusion! If you're like me, you might even develop a little book crush on the obviously handsome Asa with his husky voice and dreamy personality!

A Marriage of the Heart:
Abby is a beautiful and yet manipulative girl who finds herself married to a wonderfully patient man. Despite the fact that she trapped him into marrying her. Joseph is genuine in his desire to get to know Abby and even to love her but Abby is eager for the ways of the world. Joseph has had his fill of the world though, having been "English" he wants for nothing more than to forget his past. A past that he hopes Abby can never finds out. Abby is reluctant at first but she can't help but to start to fall for her new husband and she is surprised by the desire in her heart to learn to cook, to sew, to do all the things a good Amish wife should do for her husband. With his help and gentle patience, he slowly wins her heart and helps her find her true self and in turn, he relies on Abby to help him confront his dark past.
Joseph's character was so dreamy to read about! I think I developed at least two crushes in this collection of novellas. Kelly Long certainly knows how to paint an appealing Amish-man! I think this was my favorite out of the three stories. I kept hoping that things would work out for Abby and Joseph. I was not disappointed with this story in the least! It met all the criteria I look for in a good Amish romance!

Places to Buy:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

About the Author:
Kelly Long is the author of Sarah's Garden, the first novel in the Patch of Heaven series. She was born and raised in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. She’s been married for nearly 25 years and has five children.

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Review: Inheritance

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Inheritance (Inheritance, #4)Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini is the conclusion to the Inheritance Cycle. Out of all of the books, this was the best written story and it had a lot of potential but how anyone can give this book 5 stars is beyond my comprehension, if for not other reason than the ending. The conclusion has to be one of the worst endings I have ever read to a series.

First off, I must say that you can tell Paolini is improving as a writer. I saw a little less in terms of borrowed story-lines in Inheritance although it was still there. It is very obvious that the author is a fan of Tolkien and Star Wars. Also, the simplistic and unexplored objectivist views hint that the author changed course from a simple story to dabbling with allegory, much like Terry Goodkind. Unlike Goodkind I can't tell if this was intentional on the part of the author or if he threw in these views because that is what another fantasy writer did and he liked the idea.

Then we have the issue of too much fluff and fillers in these stories. There is no way this series needed to fill four books. Much of it had nothing to truly lend to the final conclusion such as Nasuada's capture in which he rambled on about her jailer whom we never learned a name for or his story. It added nothing beneficial to the story so why the author spent so much care and attention on describing the jailer's fingernails causes me to scratch my head in confusion.

This book could have very well picked up at the Vault of Souls and bypassed the entire first half of the book. It is honestly...sad. It's sad that I enjoyed this book more than all three of the first and yet it still had so much rambling. Then the fact that the leading up to killing Galbatorix had no huge climax. It was just...over. Then the next 200+ pages had to semi-wrap up all the side story lines that were present and he didn't even do that efficiently.

Spoiler Alert: The conclusion to this story has me wondering why I wasted so much time even reading. Despite the short comings that I described above, I would have still given this book 5 stars. That is, until I read the end. There is no real conclusion. So what, Saphira finds a temporary mate...only to be ripped away from him. Arya finally admits to an attraction to Eragon after four books of him pining away for her and for what? For him to still be alone? We have absolutely no idea what happens. We have no idea if Saphira ever hatched some eggs or if she died with no love or family. The author tied up the unnecessary ends and left the important ones to have no conclusion which really sums up my point of "What did I read all four of these books for?" Did I read it for the anti-climatic killing of Galbatorix because that was over entirely too fast. Did I read it to see Murtagh redeem himself? Because if I did...the author failed on that point too. Although Murtagh did redeem himself for what point did he do it? So he could ride off into the sunset without a real conclusion to his story? For the sake of a girl that he doesn't even end up with? His interest in Nasuada was enough to influence him to betray Galbatorix and yet it was not explored any further? What a colossal waste of my time. I'm so disappointed. Paolini had the chance to redeem himself with this book and he wasted it by writing such an unfulfilled ending.

Click here to read all of my Reviews about the Inheritance Cycle

About the Author:
Christopher Paolini was raised in the Paradise Valley, Montana area. His family members include his parents, Kenneth Paolini and Talita Hodgkinson, and his sister, Angela Paolini. Home schooled for the duration of his education, Paolini graduated from high school at the age of 15 through a set of accredited correspondence courses from American School of Correspondence in Lansing, Illinois. Following graduation, he started his work on what would become the novel Eragon the first of a series, set in the mythical land of Alagaësia.

In 2002, Eragon was published by Paolini International LLC, Paolini's parents' company. Paolini created the cover art for the first edition of Eragon, which featured Saphira's eye. He also drew the maps on the inside covers of his books.

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Livin' Life and Readin'

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hello dear friends and fans! The ole' blog has gotten a little dusty this week and so here I am with my virtual duster. I will brush away the cobwebs, blow away the dust and while I do so, I will invite you to pull up a stool and drink a cup of hot tea while we talk and catch up!

Mostly, I've been too busy to get here to blog. Yes, I know that it is bad that I do not have a bunch of posts lined up for your reading pleasure but this blog tends to follow my life and the things I'm doing. I want it to be fresh and not some old news I have lying around. You all are my friends and that means news as it happens and not last week's tales!

So, having said that...let me just say how crazy my life has been the last couple weeks. In less than a week's time I attended two military funerals for two very amazing men. A great uncle and then an uncle. I can't say that I knew either of them as much as I would have liked but everything I do know tells me that their presence in this life will be greatly missed.

Secondly, my girls had dental visits. I live in a dinky little town and that means driving some distance to take my daughters to a pediatric dentist. It seems as of late all I've done is put gas in the van and hopped in the car to go somewhere!

Then...there's a little thing in life called responsibility. When community and neighbors fail to uphold their responsibilities it unfortunately falls to folks that will. This is particularly true when it comes to pets. While I have already rescued three cats from bad situations, I am once again finding myself in the situation again. Our neighbors have set out a small cat, malnourished and barely more than a kitten herself and she's struggling to nurse four kittens. Thus, Operation-Save-A-Cat (you can thank my daughter for the name) is underway! I cannot bring her in just yet. Her kittens are in a thick underbrush I cannot get to and I cannot abandon them. They will surely die without their mother. So my family and I are feeding mama kitty several times a day until the kittens will come out. I suppose I will have to find homes for the kittens or see if a shelter can take them!

My shop has also kept me a little busy. Retaking pictures has been a goal this week and I'm also busy fine tuning my goal and what our shop means to me. One of the things I want to expand on is offering bookmarks and more book related items as well as doing away with tutus since my girls aren't really into them anymore. This means pulling out all of my fabrics and closets so I can gather all of my tulle and make up a ton of tutus to use it all up. Then will be the process of getting pictures and listing so that I can say goodbye to that time of our life! I'm a little sad that my girls are out of the tutu craze but it's been a fun venture. It's just time to say goodbye!

In other big news, I got some things in the mail this week! A Simply Enchanted Life is SO honored to have a recipe published in Christmas in Apple Ridge. It's a 3 in one novella collection by the very talented Cindy Woodsmall! Getting an autographed book in the mail was such a fantastic surprise and the book nerd in me certainly jumped up and down with joy! If you haven't checked this book out...DO IT! Not only will you get a fantastic story, you'll also get a free soap recipe in the back!

Are you guys bored yet? If you're still reading then...bless you! It's been long and for that I apologize. As if our week wasn't busy enough I've been super busy wrapping up the 600 fan giveaway and announcing the winners as well as planning and contributing to a few other fantastic giveaways! Be sure to click the "giveaway" link from my blog to see other fantastic prizes you can win.

With all we've had going on I am sure you think I've had absolutely NO free time, that isn't entirely true. Late at night after the kids have crashed, I've also been occupying some time with books as well as a game I've finally had the time to buy. I'd been saving up for it forever and finally had the opportunity to pick it up. I've stolen a few moments here and there to play although, I haven't had the time I would like to have to be a total bum and put in hours of play!.

So what's on my shelf right now? I'm juggling several books and have two on my "to read" list! YIPES! Here's the down low on the reading situation...
All three books are keeping me fairly busy. I picked up Inheritance from the Library so I'm on a deadline. With only one copy at our county library I cannot renew it as there is a waiting list so I have to get my butt in gear and finish it! Two Towers is taking me forever to read this year. I've had so many deadlines and books lined up that I keep pushing it aside. Lastly, my Bible reading is almost finished (early) for the year! I'm in the very last book and should be finished this week!

After all of that you would think I haven't had time for anything else, right? Not exactly. As a homeschooling mom I have been super busy teaching my five munchkins and today we took a trip to Carrigan Farms with our church homeschool group!

So that was my week in a nutshell! I think I've earned a well deserved evening off! I might curl up and read for an hour or so and then catch up on Once Upon A Time or Merlin episodes. Btw, I'm giving away virtual pie to the persons that made it all the way through this long rambling and unedited mess of a blog entry!

Feel free to share what you've been busy with this week and link me to your blogs!

Thanks for Reading!

Review: Whispers in the Wind

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Whispers in the Wind
Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whispers in the Wind is book two in the Wild West Wind series by Lauraine Snelling and picks up where Valley of Dreams left off.

Cassie has made it to her father's Valley of Dreams and finds that it is already occupied by another family. Not only that, the ranch isn't hers in it's entirety. The deed was written up between her father and the Engstrom family. Meaning, the ranch is only half hers and the Engstrom boys are none too pleased to be sharing.

Mavis Engstrom, the matriarch of the Engstroms, warmly welcomes Cassie as a part of the family and has a small cabin fixed up for her and her makeshift family consisting of two indians and a wrangler from the wild west show. However, not everyone in town is so accepting of Cassie's friends, nor of the color of their skin. Branding the Engstroms and Cassie as "injun lovers", a group of local drunks decide to run them out of town and as a result, certain events cause Cassie to question whether God is truly keeping his promise to be her protection.

Through it all, Lucas makes his intentions known to Cassie and professes his love. Cassie is confused. She cares for Lucas but in a way that a sister cares for a brother. He asks her to let him make her love him and this too confuses Cassie. It is with that thought that the book wraps up and leaves us hanging. Honestly, I like Lucas but I just don't see Cassie falling for him. I'm very curious as to how this will conclude and will definitely be looking for the release of A Place to Belong which is coming out in the spring of 2013!

About the Author:

Award-winning and best selling author Lauraine Snelling began living her dream to be a writer with her first published book for young adult readers, Tragedy on the Toutle, in 1982. She has since continued writing more horse books for young girls, adding historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers to her repertoire. All told, she has seventy books published.

Shown in her contemporary romances and women’s fiction, a hallmark of Lauraine’s style is writing about real issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence, and cancer within a compelling story. Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish, and German, and she has won the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Land and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.

As a sought after speaker, Lauraine encourages others to find their gifts and live their lives with humor and joy. Her readers clamor for more books more often, and Lauraine would like to comply ... if only her paintbrushes and easel didn’t call quite so loudly.

Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a watchdog Basset named Winston. They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.

View all my reviews

Win a Kindle Fire HD from BookSnagr! 10/6-13,2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway Event!

Here's your chance to WIN one of the NEW Kindle Fire HD Tablets!

This awesome giveaway event is sponsored by BookSnagr, a website for book lovers that connects you with free, discounted and recommended eBooks! Check out their Top Free Kindle Books page for a whole list of freebies you can find at Amazon! Follow their blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for deal alerts, updates and giveaways, and be sure to subscribe to their newsletter for exclusive info on newly released free, discounted and recommended eBooks!

One winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD 16 GB Tablet

"The world's most advanced 7" tablet!"

(Prize will be delivered via an gift card valued at $199.00)

Giveaway ends October 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.

This giveaway is open to USA only.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Complete the first easy entry to unlock the rest.

Remember, the more entries you submit, the better odds you have of winning!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spooktacular Giveaway Hosted by Lu&Ed!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Simply Enchanted Life is super duper excited to be participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway being hosted by Lu&Ed! Here is how you can enter and how you can meet some fantastic artisans and win some awesome prizes!

Here you can find all posts regarding the prize list and a showcase of the sponsors. This list is updated daily so be sure to check back often!!!

Prize List
Sponsor Showcase: The Mollie Shop
Sponsor Showcase Bandtail Boutique
Sponsor Showcase: Little Green Guy
Sponsor Showcase: Krafts by Kondrot
Sponsor Showcase: Heart Felt Design
Sponsor Showcase: Kaitie Monda
Sponsor Showcase: Doodle La
Sponsor Showcase: Squshies
Sponsor Showcase: The Marker Maiden
Sponsor Showcase: The Individuality
Sponsor Showcase: The Knotty Nerdsery
Sponsor Showcase: Rebel a la Mode
Sponsor Showcase: Mallorie Owens
Sponsor Showcase: fAveritte Creations
Sponsor Showcase: Streeter, LTD

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month!

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. In 1988 President Ronald Regan proclaimed October the month to bring awareness to Pregnancy and Infant loss.

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day passed by the United States House of Representatives on September 28, 2006. In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, it is suggested that grieving parents light a candle at 7 p.m. in their respective time zones to create a wave of light around the world in memory of babies lost to pregnancy and infant loss.

In 2009 I experienced my first loss. I was right at 6-7 weeks pregnant and the loss was devastating. In August of this year I once again found myself the mother of an angel. I delivered my Evenstar on August 27th at 16weeks 3 days. His or her heart had stopped at 12 weeks. I will always love and cherish all of my children, including the ones that have went on to heaven before me.

I have decided to make these little sculptures in honor of my babies and in honor of all the lost babies and their families. 100% of the proceeds from these sculptures will be donated to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (nilmdts). A ministry to provide remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture.

These little babies are 100% handmade. Therefore they may slightly vary from the picture shown. You may choose to have the baby mounted to an alligator clip for little ones that desire to remember their lost sibling or I can mount it to a lapel pin. Clips will be fully lined and a slip grip for fine hair can be added at no additional charge. Please leave a message for me via buyer's comment if you would like the no-slip grip attached.

Your sculpted baby will come packaged in a jewelry box to protect it during shipping.

You can purchase and support this cause by clicking here

**Babies with a gender neutral blanket will be added soon as well as more skin-tone selections**

Review: Poppy and the Stranger

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Poppy and the Stranger
Poppy and the Stranger by Eli Jay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
About the Book
Poppy is a little wandering balloon that is out on an adventure. However, Poppy sees his shadow and is afraid. He thinks a stranger is following him! With the help of his friends and a very wise bear, Poppy learns that we all have a shadow and that we shouldn't be afraid.

My thoughts
I thought this was a cute little book. My four year old had some thoughts though, "If he thought a stranger was following him why didn't he find an adult or a police officer?" It made me realize that maybe the topic of a shadow shouldn't have been called a stranger as this might make children think they shouldn't be alarmed by strangers. I know it made my daughter ask! Otherwise, cute little book and the illustrations are simple but appealing to my little ones.

A picture my daughter drew of Poppy!

About the Author
Eli Jay is the author of Poppy, The Wandering Balloon and Poppy and the Stranger. She is also a physician and a native of Washington, DC. It is here Eli lives with her family and continues to write, produce, and illustrate several Poppy adventures. Many of these adventures will live on through a delightful and intriguing children's series for decades to come. Poppy is not only an adorable little green balloon, but he has also been described by many reviewers as the ultimate inner child within each one of us. Poppy is a character who happens to be a source of inspiration, hope and comfort to those big and small. And that is just what he will be to you and your family as you enter his world.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

View all my reviews

Win a Kindle Fire or Nook HD & RSVP for “Life with Lily” Author Chat Party {10/16}

“Based upon Kinsinger’s own childhood, it’s reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie books.” —Romantic Times

Celebrate with Suzanne and Mary Ann by entering their contest and RSVPing to the “Life with Lily” Facebook Author Chat Party on 10/16!

Two fortunate winners will receive:

  • Either the new Kindle Fire or new Nook HD
  • Signed copy of Life with Lily for you and a young reader in your life.  by Melanie Dobson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 15th. Winner will be announced at the Life with Lily Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/18. Connect with authors Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger for an evening of book chat, Q&A about Mary Ann’s Amish childhood, trivia, and fun! There will also be gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Life with Lily and join Suzanne and Mary Ann on the evening of the October 16th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 16th!

Kindle Fire #Giveaway Event: Looking for More #Bloggers!

The Kindle Fire Giveaway Event hosted by Madame Deals Media is Looking for More Bloggers!

Up for grabs is a Kindle Fire!

The Event Dates: 10/10-10/24

This is a FREE Event, just click here to be a host blog.

When signing up--under "Blogger who Referred you" please say A Simply Enchanted Life sent you!