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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

Cover Art 

A Bride in Store 
by Melissa Jagears

About the Book:

 Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn't even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel's business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store--where she quickly proves she's much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams--or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

My Thoughts on This Book:

Loved how this picked up from her first book "A Bride for Keeps" but allowed it to stand on it's own. You were introduced to Eliza, her desire to own her own store after spending her childhood alongside her father and then managing her father's store when grown. After her father dies and leaves the store to her brother, Eliza needs to find a better life for herself. When she finds Axel, a bachelor in Kansas, who owns his own Men's Emporium, Eliza sees this as an answered prayer.

After arriving early and losing all her money, she meets Will, Axel's friend and business partner. Sparks fly between the two but kept at bay as she prepares to marry her groom as his mail order bride. Things go wrong and her life turns upside down. Can Eliza pick up the pieces and change course to better her life and find true love?

Fantastic read. You won't want to put it down until the end!

About the Author:
 
Melissa Jagears

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. A Bride for Keeps is her first novel. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Something New.. Something to Think On..

Turning 40 has shed a new light on my life. I've had so many things in the past that have defined who I am and I've held onto for many years because it was who I was. When I had my 40th birthday back in August, I started to re-evaluate my life. Hobbies, likes, dislikes, journey's, goals, dreams...

I made a huge revelation with my card crafting hobby back in September and liquidated all of my stuff. It felt great to set that part of my past free. All my supplies are gone now. In it's place is a brand new D.S.L.R camera so I can work more on my photography hobby. 

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That's not all my card crafting hobby gave me.. I also received a new double oven and a new dishwasher to help with my ever growing passion for cooking/baking..

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Isn't it beautiful! I've lived in my home over 7 years now and have been battling an oven that wouldn't keep the correct temperature. When I purchased this one, I fell in love. I now have two extra burners on top and a double oven so I can cook different temps at the same time or use both to double and even triple my batches and get more done in a smaller amount of time..

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My dishwasher was on the fritz. Some of the buttons didn't even work and the racks were falling apart. This was a dream come true as well to purchase this alongside the oven. It's so quiet and I can even set it up to run in the middle of the night if I want to. I'm officially spoiled!

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I was also able to purchase three more items. Two more to help in the kitchen and one to help with my fitness goals. I needed a new food processor since mine was well loved. Now that we are a full blown hunting family and have processed our own meat each deer season, we were in need of a good food saver so we can keep our meat fresh in our freezer.

Now that I've laid this 'defining thing' to bed, I'm able to really see who I am now and not who I was 17 years ago when I picked up the hobby. A lot has changed in the years of my marriage. It's nice to sit down once in awhile and look back on yourself and see if you are still on the correct path for your life.

God has blessed me in the ability to cook/bake and I'm loving that. He's given me the talents to make my own cakes for my family and love doing that too. He has also blessed me with the eye of photography and find passion to continue to pursue these gifts/talents. 

I also have some new loves that have come to light over the past few years. Hunting, fitness, health, and eating right. I have a passion for all of these and look forward to working on building them up in my life.

I'm now coming to blogging. Why am I blogging? What am I getting out of blogging? I've been blogging since 2005. I started blogging to find an outlet from being a stay at home mother, homeschooling two young boys and I was alone. Of course, I had my wonderful husband but the days were long and lonely when he was at work and I was home taking care of two young boys and also worrying a lot over my daughter and my very tasking court custody with my ex husband.. 

Life has surely changed with this situation as well. My daughter will be 20 on Halloween, and my two boys are no longer little.. My oldest son is now 15 and my youngest will be turning 13 in December. When I started blogging for an outlet, my life was different then. It has changed a lot over the years. At one point I was blogging to share my homeschooling experiences but my family dynamic has changed there as well, with one child in college now, the other in public school and homeschooling only one now. Not much to talk about there anymore.

I also loved to review books and share my findings on my blog. I still do that but I've cut back dramatically because my passion to read all the time has changed as well. I find using my time in different ways more satisfying than a book on the couch. I do love to read now but I'm limiting my selections and picking my books more carefully.

So with that, I'm re-evaluating the reasons behind my blog. What I want to get out of it and where do I want to take it. So with that, I'm going to be thinking about the direction I would like to see my blog go. More personal posts, more informational posts, etc..

What are your thoughts on what you'd like to see in my blog? Sometimes I wonder if anyone is really reading my posts. I've had my blog for years and only very few ever leave comments... Am I leaving an impact in the cyber world? Should I continue or let it go? That's the question!!

We will see here soon as I look over my options and see where God wants to take me and my blog..

A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Love Undone
WaterBrook Press (September 9, 2014)
by
Cindy Woodsmall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written fifteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’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. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.


She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

(Since that last line sounds sad and bare, I thought I’d add an “epilogue” of sorts. Our two oldest sons are married and live only a couple of miles from my empty nest, and below are my three adorable grandchildren! ♥)


ABOUT THE BOOK

A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.

A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.

How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?



At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.


As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Love Undone, go HERE.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

October Unprocessed Begins Soon...

October Unprocessed 2014


Last year I took the October Unprocessed Challenge. We've been eating mostly unprocessed for a few years now but sometimes things go awry and the nasty food slips back into your life even if it's a little bit. Last year that's what happened. So taking the challenge helped me reset my eating habits and my shopping list.

I'm taking the October Unprocessed Challenge again this year. Mainly for the same reasons as last year but also for some new ones. It's been a hectic year with remodeling a couple rooms and selling off 17 years of hobby supplies that I let some unhealthy food into our home. I've then corrected that by taking it back out. 

I want to use this month to try new wholesome recipes, along with some new foods. I've gotten myself in a dinner food rut. I've found about a dozen recipes I keep switching around and my palette is getting real bored of these meals. So I would like to use this month to introduce more unprocessed options, help kick the sugar habit that I have, and hopefully shed some more weight.

I would like to post over the next month some new recipes that I've tried and love as well as some canning recipes that I've been working on over the Summer. 

Are you interested in taking the October Unprocessed Challenge? It's never to late to get involved. It's official start date is October 1st.. Check out the website HERE and take the challenge with me..