Monday, June 26, 2017

Musing Monday - June 26

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:   What is your favorite spot to read during the summer?

Happy Monday! I am feeling good because I made some decisions last week and made progress on real estate, writing, and blogging goals.

As far as real estate goes, I'm actually taking a vacation. I plan to be almost totally unplugged from work once we leave. I still have to check on a couple of things if there is an emergency, but no two weeks of working from the beach this year. Also, I've begun reaching out to the communities I am really interested in working, so hopefully once I return I'll have some new business to look forward to.

Last Monday, I reviewed my writing goals at TC&TBC--my kid's book blog. Happy at the progress this year and hope to do some writing from the beach.

As far as blogging goes, this is where it gets really exciting. I merged The Busy Mom's Daily and Cheryl's Christian Book Connection into An Imperfect Christian Mom. I'll give up the domain on BMD to save money and the new blog will give me a good spot to talk about Christian fiction and non-fiction in addition to family friendly products and movies and my motherly rambles. Here is my list of active blogs:

The Book Connection - you are here. :)
The Children's and Teens' Book Connection (picture book through YA)
Books Can Be Deadly (mystery, thriller, suspense, crime novels, and true crime)
An Imperfect Christian Mom
Busy REALTOR® Mom (going to change the name on this one and keep it just real estate)
Laura's Little Houses (Little House and Laura Ingalls Wilder blog--not as active as I would like but some neat stuff there)

I also blog the first and third Fridays at Christian Children's Authors.

In other news, I'm currently reading....

Finally, the answer to this week's question is easy: my favorite summer reading spot is on the porch of the beach house--which I'll be seeing soon. 

That's it for now. Hope you'll share your musings.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Friday 56 - June 23

Hosted by Freda's Voice.


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post on Linky at Freda's site. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It's been a while since I participated in this meme. Hopefully I can keep it going at least through the summer. My first choice is from one of my favorite authors of southern fiction. This is a continuation of her series set in Chattahoochee, Florida. I reviewed the first and second books. I own two other of the author's books set in the same place but they have different main characters.

Jake swung open the paneled door. A squat woman waited on the other side of the screened door. Genevieve Presley Alcott. No need to second guess the name. Her initials were monogrammed on her paisley red Vera Bradley handbag. First thought: she looks like someone's somewhat overdressed grandmother.  Second thought: Red Riding Hood had mistaken the big bad wolf for her kindly grandmother. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Musing Monday - June 19

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:   What is your favorite Mark Twain novel?

It's Monday again. Expecting a very stormy day here. Maybe the bad weather will bring me good luck with the houses I'll show today.

Posted two reviews here last week and now I am reading Weddings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard.

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

As for this week's question, I can't answer it. I've never read an entire novel by Mark Twain. Gasp! I know, I am so awful about reading classics. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn would most likely be my first choice of reading material because of the time period in which it is set.

Hope you have a great week. It is going to be a busy one around here as I have closings and vacation preparations to continue. Just for the record, my husband comes home the day we are scheduled to leave, packs his bag, and then packs up the truck for our journey south. It certainly doesn't take him weeks to prepare the entire family to go. Just sayin.....

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson

Fifteen years after she left Prince Edward Island, Natalie O’Ryan had no plans to return. But when her fiancĂ©, music producer Russell Jacobs, books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose’s Red Door Inn, she sets out to put the finishing touches on the perfect wedding. But she can’t possibly prepare for a run-in with Justin Kane–the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin’s never forgotten Natalie or the music career he always dreamed of pursuing. He’d been prepared to follow her off the island until his dad died and he was left to run the family dairy farm. He’s done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him–but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he’s been missing.

After Natalie’s reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin’s property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin discover the groundwork for forgiveness–and that there may be more than an old friendship between them.

Series: Prince Edward Island Dreams (Book 3)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Revell (July 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800724518
ISBN-13: 978-0800724511

Order here

Tuesday, June 13, 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.

Monday, June 12, 2017

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.

Musing Monday - June 12

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:   Which would you rather live without? Books or chocolate.

Happy Monday! It's a sunny and hot one here today...about time the nice weather arrived.

I'll be posting a review of Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker this week and I just finished reading What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman. If you like Amish fiction you'll want to check out both of these.

We are getting ready for our annual vacation and I have packed up my reading material--five books are overdue reviews and two are upcoming reviews. The rest are Kindle freebies I might get into if I have time.

As for this week's question, without a doubt I could give up chocolate much easier than giving up books.

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book Spotlight: Sparks of Love by Mary L. Ball

Misjudged and accused, Lynette Cunningham walks away from God and everything she loves.
Ten years later, a phone call from father offers hope when he announces he may have a clue to the unsolved crime that forced her to run. She’s scared, but encouraged. Maybe this will clear her name from slander in her small North Carolina hometown.

Before Lynette returns tragedy strikes. A fire destroys her childhood home and kills her father. While she sorts through the ruins and hopes to find the clue, Lynette meets the new pastor, Price Fletcher. She must face the two things that scare her most. The past and a man of God.
The past wants to stay buried. Will Lynette stay alive long enough to prove her innocence and accept the love that is offered?

Praise for Sparks of Love

Great romance, Sparks of Love (Paperback) JoAnn S.

Sparks of Love is a terrific book. Suspense and romance are the two ingredients that I enjoy most in a book and this book offers both. I was pulled immediately into the plot and could not put the book down. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. Opinions stated are my own.

A Sweet Love Story! Kindle Edition By Linda Weaver Clarke

Sparks of Love is a sweet love story that takes place in a small town in North Carolina. In this inspirational romance, Lynette learns to trust the Lord and realizes the importance of coming back to the fold once again with the help of Price Fletcher. When she realizes that she is attracted to Price, she never dreamed that she would fall in love with such a handsome Pastor. She soon finds out that he is just like any other man and has the same feelings and desires in life. And his kisses? They really are “sparks of Love.” First and foremost, this is a love story, surrounding this couple. Secondly, it is a mystery that slowly unravels as time slowly passes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Couldn't put it down! By Ann E. Kindle Edition

I love this author's books and she didn't disappoint with this one. The book is a wonderful combination of interesting characters, romance and faith combined with some suspense that pulled me in from the first pages and kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. The story line certainly kept me guessing until the final pages. This is definitely one I recommend to the reader who enjoys a good Christian mystery and romance story. I received an advance copy of this book for free, and a favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

A page turner By Victoria Pitts Caine Kindle Edition|

After her father’s death at the hands of an arsonist, Lynette finds her way back Freedom and to the faith that once comforted her. A relationship grows between her and Price, the minister of her father’s church, but Lynette can’t let go of the injustice of the town’s gossips that hold a grudge against her for a wrong she didn’t commit.

Ms. Ball once again delivers an exciting novel full of mystery, murder, and moving prose. The novel is one that’s hard to put down full of page turning twists and turns.

Purchase links:

Mary L. Ball is a multi-published Christian author, a member of ACFW and a gospel singer. She resides in the heart of North Carolina. Some of her novels include Escape to Big Fork Lake, Redemption in Big Fork Lake, Sparks of Love and Moment’s with God’s word.

Readers can connect with her on her web page, Face Book or Twitter.

Visit Mary’s singing ministry site:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Spotlight: Hometown Hero's Redemption by Jill Kemerer

When he becomes guardian to his friend’s troubled ten-year-old boy, firefighter Drew Gannon knows he needs help. But before he can get former social worker Lauren Pierce to agree, he’s got to prove he’s changed from the sports jock who gave her a hard time back in high school. Returning home, Lauren wants no part of her old profession. She only wants to forget the unspeakable tragedy she left behind. She can’t take responsibility for another child. Or a reunion with Drew—no matter how generous he’s become. But a desperate boy and his handsome guardian may be more than Lauren can resist…

Read an excerpt here!

Purchase at:
Barnes & Noble

and more!

Jill Kemerer writes contemporary inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund and keeping up with her busy kids, Jill enjoys magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website,

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Blast & Giveaway: Where It All Began by Lorana Hoopes

Sandra Baker thought her life was going in the right direction until she ended up pregnant. Not ready for a baby, her boyfriend pushes her to have an abortion. After the procedure, Sandra spirals into depression losing her relationship and turning to alcohol. Then she meets Henry, a strong Christian man, who shows her God's love. Will she accept God's forgiveness and more importantly, will she forgive herself?


I pulled four festively colored mugs down from the cabinet and filled them each with the creamy liquid. Handing two to Raquel, I picked up the other two, and we returned to the living room where we chatted idly as Christmas music played in the background.

When I could contain my joy and curiosity no longer, I clapped my hands and surveyed my friends. “Okay, who’s ready for gifts?”

They smiled, laughing at my exuberance, and I handed out a gift for each person. The little red box from Henry I picked for myself, holding it like a cherished toy. “Open yours first,” I nudged him.

He smiled and unwrapped the gift I had gotten for him. As he pulled out the book he had wanted, his smile deepened. “You remembered.”

“Of course I remembered.” I swatted him playfully on the arm. “You didn’t already buy it for yourself, did you?”

“No, I was hoping my very attentive girlfriend would cover that base.” He laughed and kissed my nose. “Okay, now you.” He stared at me as I began to unwrap the little box.

Beneath the red paper was a small black jewelry box. A lump formed in my throat, and I raised silent eyes on him.

“Go ahead,” he teased. “Open it.”

The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour:

Barnes and Nobles:

Lorana Hoopes is currently an English teacher in the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing, she can be seen kickboxing in her local gym, singing at her church, or performing on stage. The Heartbeats series is her first full length novel series. She has also just released the first book in her early reader chapter book, The Wishing Stone.

You can follow her blog at


Get a free novella or audio reading of The Wishing Stone by filling out the contact form at

Lorana will be awarding a Medieval Renaissance Handmade Leather Diary Journal Thought Book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 5, 2017

Musing Monday - June 5

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:   Have you ever read a book where you needed more answers to the story? Where maybe the ending was just way to open ended and you wanted to yell at the author about it? What book was it?

It's Monday again--a rainy one here in Western Mass. Thankfully we have a bit of a break in the wet weather and the landscaper was able to come cut the grass. Our mower is in the shop and our yard was beginning to look like one of those through which you walk toward an abandoned house in a horror movie.

I've been reading What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman. It's a new Amish mystery series. I'm loving it so far and I might have figured out who the culprit it...though I am often wrong.

This elementary age graphic novel was shipped to me directly from the publisher. Didn't request it, but it's too cute not to talk about.

As for this week's question, I'm sure there are more instances but I can clearly recall two where the open ending of a book really ticked me off; granted they were both books in a series. I truly prefer series novels where you could read it as a stand alone if you wanted. One was a young adult fantasy novel and the other was a murder mystery. Both were excellent books regardless of their endings.

What is going on in your reading world this week? Hope you have some sun and happiness where you are.