Sunday, November 18, 2012

 Review of A Christmas Home

by Greg Kincaid


 Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her. 
            Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity.  The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news.  Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year.  But what will happen to all the animals?  
   As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.
My Review:    Greg Kincaid has written a delightful Christmas story for dog lovers of all ages.  I think this book would be suitable for younger readers with a high-reading level.   If you have not read A Dog Named Christmas, I believe you can still enjoy this book as a stand-alone.  I have seen the movie version of it and so that helped with many details.    It was nice to see Todd grown up and able to work and live independently.   He has many challenges in life with his developmental disability and everyone is worried about him when the shelter is set to be closed, but I think he shows everyone in the story just how strong  a man he has become!   He moves forward with great strength and dignity.   His parents are concerned, of course. His mother, in particular, has some difficulty in "cutting the apron strings" but I don't want to spoil the book by telling too much!   You need to read the book to see just how independent Todd has become.   You will likely fall in love with Christmas, the dog, just as I did.   What a wonderful loving pet !  this is a heartwarming tale for the Christmas season.  I was wondering if this one will also be made into a movie, as it would certainly be one I would like to see.   
About the Author:
Greg Kincaid, author of A Dog Named Christmas and Christmas with Tucker, is a practicing lawyer who specializes in family law mediation. He is also an active advocate for literacy and for the humane treatment of animals. He helped to start the Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidaysprogram that has found homes for tens of thousands of shelter dogs. The father of five children, he lives on a farm in western Johnson County, Kansas, with his wife, two cats and two dogs.  You can visit his website at:  http://www.gregkincaid.com.
I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multonamah Publishing in exchange for my honest review.   

Review of Healing Love(The Amish of Webster County)

by Laura V. Hilton 

                           and GIVEAWAY Winner:    

           Karen Schulz is the winner of copy of Healing Love

Congratulations!   You will receive email--please send mailing address!  

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Healing Love, the first in the new series, The Amish of Webster County, by Laura V. Hilton.  To celebrate this tour, Laura is giving away a basket of goodies, on her blog, all comments left on this blog or on her blog during the blog tour (November 1 -22nd) will be entered for the drawing of the Grate-Fall Basket.  Click on the picture below to go to Laura's blog to learn more about the participants and to enter the giveaway.  Don't forget a comment here also will give you an entry.  This book was provided by Whitaker House for review purposes, Blog Tour promoted by LovenGod Promotions. 



Life gets a lot harder for Amish midwife Kristi Lapp when a buggy wreck lands her in the hospital and leaves her with a pronounced limp. Among her biggest concerns is the well-being of her dog, Chinook, as she is no longer able to keep up with the high-energy Siberian husky. Adding insult to injury, she fears she’ll never marry for love, for what man would willingly wed a woman who needs help with even the most basic of household tasks? 
Shane Zimmerman moved to Seymour for a fresh start. The veterinarian is still reeling from the loss of his young wife, who died in childbirth—an aneurysm, the autopsy determined, but he still blames the midwife and the herbal remedies she administered. He meets his next-door neighbor, Kristi, when he discovers her wrecked buggy and takes her to the hospital. Eager to deepen the friendship that forms between them, he offers to take care of exercising her dog. But the harsh words of Kristi’s father discourage him from pursuing a relationship further—for the time being. Shane isn’t Amish, although his grandparents were, and Ira Lapp would rather his daughter marry an aging Amish widower than a young Englischer. 
Despite all the forces that would keep them apart, Kristi and Shane can’t deny the strong attraction between them. So, their on-again, off-again relationship persists, as Kristi submits to physical therapy for her leg and Shane reevaluates his reasons for being Englisch. But will they find a way to stay together? Or are their differences too divisive to resolve?
My Review of Healing Love:
Laura V. Hilton has written a masterful piece of Amish fiction.    I loved this book, but I sure did get mad at her Uncle Timothy and her daed for always butting into her romantic interests!  It seems very unfair that an Amish person can not look to the Englisch for marriage or even friendship among the opposite sex.   I was also surprised that Kristi's injury which left her with a limp and forced to use a cane would be of such concern to Amish men.    They seemed to feel that she could no longer handle the responsibilities of an Amish home.    
It was very interesting to learn of the ways of healing with herbs used by the Amish.  Also I was quite fascinated to learn more of the ways of the Amish midwife.   For those animal lovers, the dog is a beautiful addition to this story as well as Shane's career as an Englisch veterinarian.  It is a challenge for Shane and Kristi to work through his issues with his wife's death during her pregnancy attended by a midwife who used herbs.  Will they be able to sort the negative feelings out between her death and Kristi's healing use of herbs?   The ending proved to be a huge surprise to me and I am anxious for a second book to be published so that I can find out what happens to Shane and Kristi.     I highly recommend this book to readers!   Thank you so much for writing a beautiful story of love and persistence.   

About the Author:
Laura V. Hilton graduated with a business degree from Ozarks Technical College in Melbourne, Arkansas.   A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web.  
         Healing Love is the first in Laura's second series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Webster County.   Her fist series, The Amish of Seymour, included Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts,  and Promised to Another. Previously, she published two novels with Treble Heart Books, Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past, as well as several devotionals. 
      Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools.   The family makes their home in Arkansas.   To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, readers may visit her blog at http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com.   
 The book was provided by Whitaker House for review purposes, and the Blog Tour is promoted by LovenGod Promotions.
To purchase Healing Love:
http://www.amazon.com/Patchwork-Dreams-Amish-Seymour-ebook/dp/B007W649HU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350330077&sr=1-1&keywords=patchwork+dreams


 Visit Laura V. Hilton at her blog to enter the giveaway for her Grate-Fall Basket, in celebration for the Blog Tour of her latest book Healing Love, The Amish of Webster County.  http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com 

~Cindy Loven~sponsor of Book Launch Blog Tour:   to see LovenGodPromotions: 
Read Cindy Loven's book reviews at Cindy Reviews
Read Cindy's product review or tips and hints at Cindy's Tips and Hints

Friday, November 16, 2012

Review of An Amish Gift

By Cynthia Keller

From the author of An Amish Christmas and A Plain & Fancy Christmas comes a heartwarming novel of marriage and family, new beginnings and poignant homecomings—just in time for the holidays.
 
After her husband, Shep, loses his latest job, Jennie Davis is grateful to be in a car en route to beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Shep has inherited a house from a distant cousin, along with the cousin’s long-established bicycle shop. The move gives Jennie, Shep, and their two children a welcome chance for a fresh start.
 
While Shep dives into his new venture at the bike shop, Jennie carefully restores their broken-down house. She loves being a stay-at-home mom but yearns to find some fulfillment outside of her family—particularly as they struggle financially. On morning walks, she forges a friendship with her Amish neighbor, Mattie Fisher, who opens up about her modest way of life. Mattie’s unswerving good character in the face of adversity encourages Jennie to seek practical solutions to her own difficulties. A passing remark by Jennie’s son transforms desperation about their finances into inspiration, leading her to embark upon a candy-making enterprise.
 
Soon, Jennie’s newfound purpose collides with Shep’s growing stress at work and long-simmering tensions between husband and wife rise to the surface. As the holiday season approaches, their family is challenged as never before—until an unexpected visitor arrives to give Jennie the greatest gift of all.
My review:
I really enjoyed this Christmas novel by Cynthia Keller.  Jennie, Shep, and their children are Englisch but find great friendship among the Amish neighbors: the Fisher family.    I must admit to fantasizing as I read that some long lost relative would leave me a home in Amish country.    I could just imagine moving there and starting over in such a peaceful setting.  
  Jennie and Shep have many things to work on in their relationships and home.  This book certainly shows that people can start over and that forgiveness is possible.     I believe that readers will get great satisfaction from this story of hope.    
I received a free digital copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers in exchange for my honest review.   

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Healing Love book giveaway!    

by Laura V. Hilton 
Enter now by leaving a comment with your email.  For extra entries, follow my blog, share on facebook, or twitter.   You can leave one comment telling me what you did to enter.  Good luck!    Contest ends at 12:01 a.m. on November 18, 2012.  Review will follow announcement of winner!!!   
Life gets a lot harder for Amish midwife Kristi Lapp when a buggy wreck lands her in the hospital and leaves her with a pronounced limp. Among her biggest concerns is the well-being of her dog, Chinook, as she is no longer able to keep up with the high-energy Siberian husky. Adding insult to injury, she fears she’ll never marry for love, for what man would willingly wed a woman who needs help with even the most basic of household tasks? 
Shane Zimmerman moved to Seymour for a fresh start. The veterinarian is still reeling from the loss of his young wife, who died in childbirth—an aneurysm, the autopsy determined, but he still blames the midwife and the herbal remedies she administered. He meets his next-door neighbor, Kristi, when he discovers her wrecked buggy and takes her to the hospital. Eager to deepen the friendship that forms between them, he offers to take care of exercising her dog. But the harsh words of Kristi’s father discourage him from pursuing a relationship further—for the time being. Shane isn’t Amish, although his grandparents were, and Ira Lapp would rather his daughter marry an aging Amish widower than a young Englischer. 
Despite all the forces that would keep them apart, Kristi and Shane can’t deny the strong attraction between them. So, their on-again, off-again relationship persists, as Kristi submits to physical therapy for her leg and Shane reevaluates his reasons for being Englisch. But will they find a way to stay together? Or are their differences too divisive to resolve?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review of The Amish Family Cookbook 

by Jerry & Tina Eicher



From the home of bestselling author Jerry Eicher (more than 350,000 books sold) and his wife, Tina, comes this warm and inviting peek into an Amish kitchen, complete with....

Amish recipes:

Hannah Byler's Pecan Pie

Beat on low speed slightly or with hand beater: 
3 eggs 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 cup light corn syrup 
? t. salt 2/3 cup sugar 
Stir in: 1 cup pecan halves. 
Pour into: 1 pie crust
Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes.

Amish proverbs: It takes seven to cook for to make a really happy wife.

and Amish humor:

The Englisha visitor suffered through a three-hour Amish wedding service, sitting on the hard backless church bench. 
"Why does it take so long to tie the knot?" he asked afterward.
"Well," the bishop said, stroking his long white beard. "So that it takes ?em a lifetime to untie it."


Readers will laugh, pray, and eat robustly with The Amish Family Cookbook at their side.
My REVIEW:   Jerry & Tina Eicher have put together an amazing collection of tried and true Amish family recipes !   The cookbook also features recipes from many of Jerry Eicher's works of Amish fiction.    There are Amish proverbs and little stories interspersed through out the cookbook.    I have really enjoyed the cookbook and look forward to preparing many more of the recipes.   I decided that I needed to try several of the recipes and feature them here with my review.   
I first made
 "Laura's Rice Custard"  
4 cups milk                                                                     1 cup sugar
2 cups cooked rice (do not pack)                         1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins                                                              1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs                                                                               cinnamon
                                                                                            nutmeg
Heat milk, rice, and raisins in small saucepan until warm.   Set aside.  In separate bowl, beat egg and whisk in sugar and salt.   Add hot milk mixture to eggs along with vanilla.   Pour into 2-quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set in shallow pan of water and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour.  Stir twice while baking---20 minutes after start of baking time and again about 15 minutes later. (this helps to keep rice and raisins from settling.)
Note: Laura is an older lady in our church and she knew I loved her rice custard.  She often brought it to carry-ins at church.
"The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice you give others."   

"Laura's Rice Custard" was really creamy and delicious!

I next tried :
"Baked Oatmeal"
3 cups quick-cooking oats                                                   1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar                                                                   2 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder                                                              1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt                                                                                     1/2 cup butter, melted
Combine the dry ingredients.   Whisk together the wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.   Serve warm with milk.
(I added 1/2 c. raisins)
This was also quite yummy, but I think I would have liked it better if I had baked it a few more minutes.  
Last, I prepared:
"Pineapple Cake"
2 cups flour                                                                 Frosting:  
2 cups sugar                                                                1/2 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. baking soda                                                    1 8-oz. pkg, cream cheese, softened
2 eggs                                                                            2 cups powdered sugar
1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple                        1 tsp. vanilla
Mix first five ingredients.  Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.   For frosting, cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.   Frost cake immediately while still hot.   
This one is for my mom's 79th birthday celebration......smells so good! moist and delightful!  
"Pineapple Cake"
Awesome cookbook!  check it out!    
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers: Harvest House, in exchange for my honest review.   

Friday, November 9, 2012

Days 7 & 8 NHBPM

Days 7 & 8 of NHBPM 

Day 7:  Redesigning a doctor's office:   wow, could I really redesign the doctor's office?   There should be some really comfy reclining massage chairs in here!   Two of them--one for the patient and one for caretaker.    There should be soothing colors on the walls, lovely paintings or murals.    How about a television or computer to use while waiting?   Let's have videos/shows/computer games that educate us about the illnesses we are here to diagnose, discuss, and treat/cure!   This could alleviate a great deal of stress.  Music! Music! Music!  let's have some great music to choose from  to help us pass the time without stressing and our blood pressure going sky high.    I know you need all the medical things and that's okay.  Let's just have a few goodies in the room to make us less fearful and anxious.   It will make your job so much easier!  

Day 8:  Letter to my health:                                                                                      

Dear Rhonda's Health:

what do I say to you?   there is not one illness to target.  There are so many....the ulcerative colitis, depression, mania, migraines, vertigo, lumbago, fibromyaglia, ulnar neuropathy, sleep apnea, anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, numbness and tingling in arms and legs, psorsiasis, sebhorreic dermatitis, joint pains, knee pain/degeneration, urgent bowel needs, incontinence of bowels, no gall bladder, no small intestine, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, urinary tract infections, reflux, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.........wow, that's a lot!  

It is such a stress and a strain to want to go out and do something or go somewhere and always looking for the bathrooms, carrying extra supplies and clothing, having to stop in the grass and literally go on the streets, having accidents on myself and never making it out of the driveway and having to come back inside the house and get in the bathtub and wash all over AGAIN!  Hurting so much that there is no energy to go anywhere....no desire.....laying my head on the PILLOW causes pain to the back of my head.....can't sleep.....can't wake up......skin rashes, anxiety, scared to go out.....scared to stay in.....lonely....depressed.....isolation....numbness...tingling....am I having a stroke?  a heart attack?  will I live to see my grandchildren?   do I want to live? Is it worth? do I have any worth? any value?  Is there a point to my life? why I am here? I can't work anymore....can't teach....can't fulfill my calling now....who wants me? who needs me?  why do I bother? should I bother?   my heart is racing!  My chest hurts!  am I having a heart attack?  my face is numb! my arm is tingling....stroke?   tests! tests! more tests!  that awful gallon of detestable liquid to clean you out.....and then the colonoscopy where you feel the procedure....you are not sedated enough...ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! somebody, get me out of here!    Help!   

and yet, all of these things have brought me to this place in my life to the age of 50 and have formed me into the person that I am today.   And that is okay.   I am okay.  I am getting help.  I am getting treatment for all of these ailments as I need them.  I am taking my medications.  I am going to my therapist.   I am praying.  I am studying.  I am filling myself with knowledge and researching ways to get help.  I am reaching out for support and giving support to others through peer groups and support groups.   I am okay.  My health is not perfect.  My health is not good....in fact, it is pretty darn poor, but I am okay.  I will survive this.   I am going to make it.   

Love, Me

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review of The River                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                     

by Michael Neale


"You were made for The River . . ."

Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure.

But something holds him back-the memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River when he was just five years old-something no child should ever see.

Chains of fear and resentment imprison Gabriel, keeping him from discovering the treasures of The River. He's remains trapped, afraid to take hold of the life awaiting him.

When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest-and most brave-thing he has ever done.
My Review:
What an absolutely incredible story of discovery, grief, and forgiveness.    Gabriel will likely steal your heart as he did mine.  I fell in love with him just as his teacher did.   He is such a tender-hearted soul and I feel that it touched that part of me that also longs for discovery of my "river". .....that which God has called me to....my purpose here on earth.    
Michael Neale is masterful in his writing. I have had the privilege of doing some rafting and kayaking on rivers and the images he painted with words made me feel that I was actually on the river with the characters as they forged ahead.    The beauty of the Colorado scenery was easy to imagine.    I am ready to get out my camping gear and head there to hit the river!    
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Neale:  gifted writer, veteran performer, and masterful storyteller are all phrases used to describe him.  He's currently leading a live, multimedia concert event known as The River Experience, which immerses the audience in breathtaking film imagery and a world-class musical score.   Michael resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with his wife, Leah, and their children, Micah, Maisie, and Wyatt.
You can visit his website:  http://www.michaelneale.com.
I received a free copy of this book from booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review of A Home for Lydia

by Vannetta Chapman


A Home for Lydia, the second book in a new romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, centers again on the Plain community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges to their community from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.

Aaron Troyer simply wants to farm like his father and grandfather before him. But instead he finds himself overseeing the family's small group of guest cabins nestled along the banks of Pebble Creek. That also means he must work with the cabins' housekeeper, Lydia Fisher.

Lydia is the most outspoken Amish woman Aaron has ever met, and she has strong opinions about how the guest cabins are to be run. She also desperately needs this job. Though sparks fly between boss and employee at first, when the cabins are robbed, nothing is more important to Aaron than making sure Lydia is safe.

Together they work to make the vacation property profitable, but can they find out the identity of the culprit before more damage is done? And is Lydia's dream of a home of her own more than just a wish and a prayer?
My review: 
Vannetta Chapman is such a wonderful author and I love her books!!!   This one is another terrific book!   I love camping and the Plain Cabins sound so relaxing and comfortable.  I wish I could go there to camp for a while.  In fact, I'd love to be the caretaker as Lydia and Aaron are.   I love how Vannetta weaves a mystery into the romantic tale.   It is indeed sad that someone would rob from the Amish and from the Plain Cabins, but it is great fun to try to figure out who is doing it and why.   Loyalty to family plays a large part in the theme of this book as well.   Lydia and Aaron both give selflessly to help their families out.   Read this one when it is released to see what happens in their lives as God works to weave his plan for their lives, even as He is doing so for us.   

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
you can connect with her at: http://www.VannettaChapman.com.
I received a free electronic copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NHBPM Thankful, Excited, Inspired Day 5

NMBPM Day 5:  Three things I am thankful for, excited about or inspired by..................


Three things that I am thankful for, excited about, or inspired by.................

wow, this is difficult because there are SO MANY THINGS I could choose to share!  
I am thankful for God and His love for me!   I am thankful that this LIFE is not all there is.....that there is an eternity waiting that is even better! even more glorious than any thing I have ever imagined!
I am thankful for my husband and daughters and all my family!   They brighten my life and bring so much joy to me!   
I am thankful for all the difficult things that have happened in my life because they have formed me into the person I am today!   They have made me a stronger person.   They have forced me to accept some hard realities and admit the existence of death, sickness, and evil.   They have shown me that joy does come in the morning!  
my son-in-law, me and my three daughters at our sweetie's beach wedding

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NHBPM Day 4: What's in the Purse/carryall?

NHBPM DAY 4:  WHAT'S IN THE PURSE/CARRYALL?

OH NO!  I remember as a child, seeing in my Granny's bag, and thinking to myself: "I will NEVER carry all THOSE things in my purse!"   and now, what do I find in my purse?  very similar items!  LOL 
  • wallet 
  • id cards
  • driver's license
  • insurance cards 
  • business cards
  • appointment cards for doctors/therapists
  • hand sanitizer
  • spray cologne
  • Blistex lip balm with SPF 15
  • tissues
  • wet wipes
  • ink pen
  • keys
  • pads
  • note pad
  • cell phone
  • pill box with all my "as needed" pills
  • bottle of extra pills "just in case"
  • coin purse
  • very little cash!  :(
  • checkbook
  • postage stamps
  • receipts
  • eye glass case with prescription sunglasses to prevent migraines
  • eye glass cleaning cloth
  • spray eye glass cleaner solution
  • eye drops for allergies
  • oh no, I think I'm my granny!   

Review of  A Thin Film of Lies

by C. S. Lakin

The story tells of a homicide detective, Fran Anders, whose next case throws her into the lives of Mike and Alisa Jepson, a couple whose marriage is disintegrating fast. When leads coming into the precinct point at Mike Jepson as guilty of murder, Fran watches the damage wrought on this couple, yet is unable to ignore the incriminating evidence. When Mike ends up arrested and in jail, Alisa takes comfort in a friend—Dee Dee—who moves in with her but soon becomes her worst nightmare. Mike hires a PI who uncovers clues to who is setting Mike up, but Alisa is caught in a trap before Mike can protect her. Although Fran reaches out to Alisa during her crisis of faith, she is unable to stop events from barreling toward a crash. Yet, despite the tragedies to follow, Fran sees how God has used the Jepsons’ trials and pain to bring Alisa back into His arms, with hope that Mike might follow suit.
Fran is a dedicated, no-frills cop who takes her job seriously but with a wry sense of humor. She suffers from the unbearable heat, from unrelenting allergies, but does not suffer fools. As much as she wants to please her superiors, she knows her true boss is—God—and she answers first and foremost to his leading, which sometimes takes her beyond the call of duty, often to the ire of those around her. A middle-aged, divorced, single parent with two teens, Fran hopes someday to find a great man and remarry, but she’s not holding her breath. Right now, she just wants to be a good cop and mother, and use her faith to help those she encounters in her line of work learn there’s someone “up there” who truly cares for them.
 My Review:   Wow!  I started reading this book a few hours ago and I simply could not stop reading!  I was biting my lip with the sheer terror and suspense at times!  I was frantically telling Alisa to run at certain key moments in the story.    I was both fascinated as I read and appalled!!   To think that someone would go to such extremes to hurt another human being over a perceived injustice was hard to fathom.   I truly felt pain for the characters.  
 I would say that this story did draw on some of my own insecurities and fears.  It brought to mind instances where I felt a need for God and all I could say was, "Help me, God," just as several of the main characters did.   I admire Fran for her determination to minister to others, even if her boss at the police station does not condone it.   This is a novel to make you truly rethink your own values and relationships.    I love reading mystery and suspense novels and this was a superb piece of literature!   I will definitely be looking at some of C. S. Lakin's other novels.    
Author: Susanne Lakin | A Thin Film of LiesAbout the Author: Susanne Lakin
C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first four books in her seven-book fantasy series, The Gates of Heaven, have been released (AMG/Living Ink Publishers) and she is also the author of 5 novels of pyschological suspense and YA sci-fi.
Please Note: A Thin Film of Lies is spiritually uplifting but does have some gritty characters. It was written for readers who enjoy mystery/suspense and like relational drama.
Connect with C. S. Lakin at http://www.cslakin.com 
I received a free copy of this book from Christian Women Affiliate's Book Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.    

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3:  What it is like to travel with my condition: Ulcerative Colitis

I chose one of the alternative prompts for today's blog as it is so much a part of my daily life.  I have to carry a bag with extra clothing, Depends, wipes, and medications.   I have to plan additional time as well in the event that I will have to stop somewhere for bathroom.  Many times, the stopping might be on the side of the road as there is nothing in sight when the URGE hits and others with this condition will know what I mean...when we gotta go, we REALLY GOTTA GO!   
It creates a great deal of anxiety for me to travel.  I have to watch what I eat and I must take more medication to slow down my colon so that I don't have an accident!  That leads to pain.    Doesn't sound like much fun, does it?   It has indeed created some agoraphobia for me.  I am a very social person and love to travel and be with other people so this is not easy for me!  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NHBPM 30 Days, 30 Posts Day 2

Day 2 Blog 

I was talking to some friends today and we were discussing the depression we experience and how getting out and being with others helps to alleviate those feelings!!    Just the act of getting out of the house and sitting on a porch or taking a short walk can be helpful.   Physical health problems can keep us stuck.....stuck inside and stuck inside our pain-FILLED bodies.  It helps to have something else on our minds.   I also find that doing something to help someone else is really important to healing!    

National Health blog Post Month 30 Days/30 posts


Day 1, Blog 1:  WHY I WRITE ABOUT MY HEALTH: 
 I want to simply say that living with any chronic illness presents daily challenges for each of us.   It does not define us.   There is hope.   
I write about my health as a healing tool.  I find that keeping a prayer journal or any journal helps.  Blogs can serve as a journal for folks in today's technological world.    It helps when we SPEAK things aloud or record them on paper or the internet.  We take the power away from the demon when we name it!!!   

Review of The Little Amish Matchmaker

by Linda Byler


Simon can’t stop thinking about the pretty Amish teacher at the local one-room school. But he’s ignored the sparks between them because he’s so shy.

So Simon’s little brother, Isaac, takes matters into his own hands. He’s determined to give his brother the best Christmas present ever—a date with his favorite teacher.

Amish novelist Linda Byler brings her tender humor and skillful observation of family relationships to this holiday story. “I love Isaac’s self-confidence and scheming as he prods his reluctant older brother,” she says knowingly about her characters.

Byler takes her reader straight into the Amish world as Isaac is both charmed and annoyed by his too talkative, but quite bright, Mam. He can barely tolerate his little nieces and nephews, who substantially outnumber the grown-ups when the whole family gets together. And he loves his humble, circumspect Dat, although his father isn’t always pleased by how well Isaac sweeps the forebay in the barn.


As anticipation for the Christmas program at the schoolhouse builds, Isaac cares for troubled Ruthie who stutters miserably when she practices her poem. And he wonders how much he’ll have to help his brother Sim act on his growing affection for Teacher Catherine!

Linda Byler has written a very cute story about the younger brother matchmaking his brother, Sim, with his teacher, Catherine.  Sim and Catherine seem quite stubborn and uncooperative.  Will Isaac finally give up on them ever getting together or will he remain persistent to the end?
I enjoyed seeing the one-room Amish school children preparing for their annual Christmas play and program for their families.   It was very touching for Isaac to be so concerned about Ruthie and her stuttering problem.  He shows a very compassionate heart...not something you always see in children that age.  It was refreshing to witness the assistance he and his friends gave her.  
This is a very quick read at only 88 pages.    It can easily be finished in one sitting.    One thing of interest that I noticed was the women wearing a kerchief to bed at night instead of their kapp.   This was done so that if the woman felt the need to pray all during the night, her head would be properly covered.  Many books show the females brushing their hair out at night for their husbands and leaving it uncovered. I wonder if that differs for the various Amish districts.   
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Linda Byler is in fact Amish, she originally self-published but her series of books have started to be released by Good Books. She is the only Amish person currently in the genre to my knowledge.
I received a free digital copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher:  Good Books in exchange for my honest review.