Wish Upon a Star by Tabitha Bouldin – Review & Giveaway

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My Review

Wish Upon a Star by Tabitha Bouldin is a nice Christmas story of starting over and second chance at love.  Along with his six year old daughter, Anna, Bryce moves back to his home town. Just prior to their move Anna tells him she has wished upon the Christmas star for a mother.  After losing his wife, he does not want to marry again.  But, for his daughter’s sake, he turns to God to help him make the decision.

I enjoyed reading this book.  It is a quick read that moves rather quickly. The characters are well introduced.  The story is so well written it is easy to envision the happenings  as reading the book.  I felt like I was watching a Hallmark movie.  It shows the generosity of the towns people with helping Bryce set up the book store.  It also shows how God can take a broken heart and heal it when we open our heart to God for help.  This is a great story to read to prepare our hearts for the upcoming Christmas season, especially important this year.

I received an e-book copy from Celebrate Lit, this is my honest review.

About the Book

Book:  Wish Upon A Star

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre:  Holiday Fiction

Release Date: December 1, 2018

wish Upon a StarBryce Masters had everything he needed…or so he thought. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, would disagree. They were going home, moving back to Jingle Junction where Bryce would take over the local bookstore just in time for Christmas. Losing his wife, Molly, during the birth of their daughter six years ago was tragic, but Bryce has no idea just how much it weighs on young Anna’s heart until she confesses her deepest wish. What Anna wants for Christmas is a mother, but Bryce’s heart is not ready to love again. Only God can give Bryce the desire to make Anna’s wish come true. Only He can heal the hurt and open Bryce’s heart to the power of love. But Bryce will have to be willing to listen. And when the perfect woman reveals a secret that could devastate them all, will Bryce be able to look beyond what was and accept what might be?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Tabitha bouldinTabitha Bouldin has a Bachelor’s in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University, where she graduated with honors. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, you’ll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.

More from Tabitha

Wish Upon a Star owes its existence to Hallmark’s Christmas movies. I could, and often do, watch their Christmas movies all through the year. Doesn’t matter how cheesy the storyline, I love them all. While I wanted to bring that sense of fun and feel-good romance, I needed a little oomph. So, I took some inspiration from “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong. For the record, I love Hallmark and NewSong equally, so putting the two together was a natural fit.

The intention wasn’t to make a sad Christmas story, but there’s some pain Bryce has to manage while learning to love again. The best things come from overcoming that thing you never thought you could do. When you press on, with God’s guidance and with His approval, anything is possible. Bryce needs this reminder that even in the darkest nights, God is there.

Wish is part of the funky town I created and dubbed Jingle Junction, a place where it’s all Christmas all the time. Jingle Junction has only a few rules. First off, you can have any business you want, as long as the business name is an alliteration. Second, community is the name of the game. When someone’s in need, everyone pitches in to help.

For this story, I wanted to highlight homecoming. To do that, I needed Bryce to have a reason to come back to Jingle Junction. That’s where the song came in. If you don’t know the song, it’s about a little boy who wants only one thing for Christmas, and that’s a pair of shoes for his dying mother. I listen to “The Christmas Shoes” at least a dozen times a year. It’s heartbreaking but wonderful. It has that bit of hope I needed for Wish. For my story, Bryce’s daughter, Anna, lost her mother when she was born. The only thing she wants is the one thing she’s never had: a mother. It’s also the one thing Bryce cannot give.

The plan had always been to return to Jingle Junction. Bryce wants to raise Anna in the hometown where he was born, and he’s finally gotten the opportunity to make good on the plans he and his wife made when they first learned of her pregnancy. It took him six years to make good on his promise, and he’s not sure he’s made the right decision.

Wish Upon a Star is one of those books where I wanted to challenge myself by writing only from the male point of view. Although I always write alternating point of view in my romances, Wish has always been Bryce’s story. A story of coming home.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

deb’s Book Review, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 26

For Him and My Family, September 27

CarpeDiem, September 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 28

Older & Smarter?, September 29

lakesidelivingsite, September 29

Artistic Nobody, September 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Batya’s Bits, September 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 1

Emily Yager, October 1

She Lives To Read, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Pause for Tales, October 3

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 4

Connect in Fiction, October 4

Spoken from the Heart, October 5

Just Your Average reviews, October 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tabitha is giving away the grand prize package a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10114/wish-upon-a-star-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

MY REVIEW

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox is a dual timeline story that bounces between present day and 1994. The story tugs at the heart of the reader. Harvey is a homeless man living in a lean-to on abandoned property who finds an abandoned baby and cares for her as his own. Without money, he attempts to get food and necessities for her from a church and ends up becoming the janitor and living with the elderly lady living next to the church. Present day, the baby is grown and has now come home to clean out the elderly lady’s home after her passing and is trying to find out more about who she really is.

I loved this story. It is a story that will stay with me for a while. The story is well written and easy to envision. The characters are dealing with issues of their own, but form to make up a strong family unit. The topics of foster homes and abuse are hard to read but show how Harvey could become so attached to the baby immediately.

I received an e-book copy of this book from Revell Publishing through NetGalley, this is my honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Cox is a therapist-turned-novelist who writes about characters searching for hope, healing and a sense of belonging. She is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. You can learn more about her at https://amandacoxwrites.com/

WHERE TO PURCHASE

https://www.christianbook.com/the-edge-of-belonging/amanda-cox/9780800737405/pd/73740X

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-edge-of-belonging-amanda-cox/1136472106

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/the-edge-of-belonging/399610

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Edge-Belonging/Amanda-Cox/9780800737405?id=7983966262059

Facts about Isobel’s Mission of Courage by Susan K. Beatty

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a really good book? Well I have. And Susan K. Beatty has shared with us several facts surrounding the writing of her book “Isobel’s Mission of Courage” so I am going to share those with you. But first I want to point out what a powerful story this was for me. Having many family members and friends who have walked the cancer walk, this story is so realistic. It points out the physical and emotional struggles the cancer fighter is going through. It points out that even though they are going through one of the hardest journeys they will ever go through, they still think of others and their needs before their own. I think of my mother, who attended so many events when she probably wanted to just stay in bed and rest. I think of my sister-in-law who planned a daughter’s wedding while still having a young daughter at home. I think of my cousins who share the news of clean margins and those of returned spots. I think of those I have lost, way to young, their journeys were an inspiration to me. Much like Isobel’s is to each reader. My thanks goes out to Susan K. Beatty for writing such a great book in a way that was so easy to read. The following are her 15 fun facts about Isobel’s book. I hope you enjoy reading them.

  1. Her daughters courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer inspired her to write of Isobel’s mission of courage as she deals with breast cancer.
  2. The City of Hope, where Isobel receives her treatments, is a real world-class treatment center where Susan K. Beatty’s daughter received treatment.
  3. The Parker family lives in the city of Orange, a true city in the middle of Orange County. It is about five miles from where Susan K. Beatty lives.
  4. 4. Isobel’s favorite place is Watson’s, originally a drug store and soda fountain in the now historic Old Town Plaza area. She loves the yummy chocolate sodas but the author prefers the orange.
  5. 5. Unable to travel to New Guinea or Samoa for research, the author did travel to the City of Hope and the the City of Orange, where she researched Watson’s orange sodas.
  6. 6. New Guinea, Isobel’s home for most of her life, is the world’s second largest island nation with eleven million people.
  7. 7. In order to purchase new Easter outfits, Isobel and Noolie visit the Main Place Mall where the author frequently shops.
  8. 8. Noolie fled her island home Samoa. American Samoa is the United States territory in the Pacific, approximately 5,000 miles from the coast of California.
  9. 9. Isobel’s son, Elijah, loves history, collects miniature army figures, and re-enacts battles. His interest was inspired by the author’s cousin’s decades-long hobby.
  10. 10. Todd, a former US Marine, has incorporated “oorah” into his permanent vocabulary. Originally a battle cry, it is most often used by marines as a greeting or expression of excitement.
  11. 11. Isobel and Todd go on a date to Polly’s Pies, a popular Southern California cafe, and eat coconut cream pie, The author’s favorite Polly’s pies are boysenberry or apple.
  12. 12.Isobel likens her home to a Painter Lady, houses originally built in San Francisco and brightly painted in the 1960s. Isobel’s house in nota painted lady, but a colorful farmhouse.
  13. 13. Although Isobel neglects it in our story, her favorite hobby is lace making, Is it called tatting and done by knotting thread using a shuttle or a needle.
  14. 14. Orange County oranges: Only one company is left – the Sunkist Packing House. Built in 1919 and abandoned in 1955, it is now a popular food hall where the author’s son is a sous chef.
  15. 15. Isobel’s friend Quint, an old-fashion gentleman, is modeled after one of the author’s high school teachers.

My original review for Isobel’s story is located at: https://lakesidelivingsite.wordpress.com/2020/09/08/isobels-mission-of-courage-by-susan-k-beatty-review-giveaway/

This book can be purchased at: https://amzn.to/2TU7LKN

Until I Met You by Tari Faris

MY REVIEW

Until I Met You, by Tari Faris, is book two in the Restoring Heritage Series. This is a modern day Christian contemporary romance story. The story is very well written and background information is given so it could be enjoyed as a stand alone story, but it does reference characters and events from the previous book. This series is so good and gives good messages. The story focuses on Libby, the new librarian, and Austin, the contractor hired to do the town square restoration. Each of them is struggling with past relationship and family issues and is trying to move forward.

One of the things that stand out for me with this story is the way Austin and his brother get along. Austin’s brother is constantly telling Austin he will be there to help with their father and the failing family business. He is pastor and so heavily involved in helping others that his family comes last and he breaks his promises. Another is how much Libby’s extended family does to help her and the love they share. The story contains a beautiful message of trust, faith and forgiveness.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. This is my honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Series: Restoring Heritage (Book 2)

ISBN: 9780800736484

When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.
All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town’s new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints–and possibly even his heart?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The author is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers . She has been writing fiction for over 12 years. She is a 2017 Genesis winner, 2016 Genesis finalist and double semi-finalist, 2014 Genesis finalist, 2012 Genesis semi-finalist, and a 2012 Frasier bronze medalist In addition to writing, she works for My Book Therapy as a special project project manager and blogger at LearnHowToWriteAnNovel.com. You can read more about her at: https://www.tarifaris.com/

WHERE TO BUY

https://www.christianbook.com/until-i-met-you-2/tari-faris/9780800736484/pd/0736484

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Until-Met/Tari-Faris/9780800736484

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/until-i-met-you-tari-faris/1136472123

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/until-i-met-you/396821

Jack by Chautona Havig

My Review

Jack, by Chautona Havig is volume one in Ballads From the Heart, which is a collection of unrelated novels inspired by the ballads the author’s father sang as a child.  I enjoyed reading this story.  It was easy to get lost in and gave an awesome Christian message.  Jack’s father died and his mother turned to men as a way to get past her loss.  As a result Jack fled their home and ended up on an orphan train.  He fled the orphan train and as a young person stole food and clothes to survive.  After  becoming a Christian, Jack finds work at ranches and goes back to pay those he stole from.

Also mixed in this story is the romance between Jack and Hazel, the daughter of a wealthy neighbor. Jack struggles with any relationship with women due to his experience after his father’s death.

This is a great story of asking for forgiveness and repaying debts.  Having read and loved other books by this author, I found this one to be of a different genre but giving great messages and easy to read.  I received an e-book copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit, this is my honest review.

About the Book

Book:  Jack

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Historical Western Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Women are trouble—lying, cheating, untrustworthy bundles of trouble.

Jack Clausen doesn’t need anyone but his horse and a boss who won’t interfere in his personal life—or lack of one.

Sure, he’s a lonely cowboy, but better lonely than brokenhearted.

If only he hadn’t met a girl who made him hope that honest and true women do exist. Maybe he wouldn’t be riding off into a snowstorm with a fresh determination to avoid women—indefinitely.

When Hazel Meissner sees a cowboy risk life, limb, and horse to save a child, she knows he’s someone special. When he finally gives her his heart, she considers herself the most blessed woman alive.

However, when he rides off without a word, she wonders if her heart will survive the loss.

One broken man. One trusting woman. One orchestrated misunderstanding that tears them apart. What’ll it take to bring Jack home again?

It’s Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing mashed up with the old ballad, “Cowboy Jack.”  Don’t miss a cast of characters inspired by the Bard himself—especially Dirk and Deborah (Benedick & Beatrice).

Jack: a lot of hullaballoo on the prairie.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

The Inspiration I Hate to Love

The plaintive notes of a ballad filled the living room. People sat on couches and chairs or stood in the doorway, listening. Three steps up the staircase, out of view of most of the room, a little girl sat, chin in her hands, listening.

If you looked close, you’d see freckles dotting her nose and crooked teeth that never were too large for her mouth like most children’s were. Just a bit closer, and you’d see wide, hazel eyes riveted to the man with the guitar seated on the hearth. To his right, a cup of coffee and sometimes a shot of whiskey.

With a voice like Jim Reeves (the non-twangy Reeves, mind you), the songs told stories, like all ballads do—a little blind girl praying for her father’s future happiness, a girl of thirteen who barely escaped a massacre in 19th century Wyoming. “Hazel eyes,” the man called her. California Joe—he was a real man, although not as good of one as the song made out.

Sometimes the man sang happier songs, but most of them were slow, western ballads that could keep Nicolas Sparks writing for decades.

And the little girl loved them all—especially California Joe and one about a cowboy who left his sweetheart alone on the prairie after a quarrel. One called “Cowboy Jack.”

As you’ve probably surmised, I was the little girl, and that man who sang and stirred the hearts of our family at nearly every gathering was my father.

How I miss those days.

For years, I wanted to give Jack a happier ending. See, the song goes like this. A lonely cowboy (with a heart so brave and true) meets and falls in love with a maiden (with eyes of heaven’s own blue). Alas, as with all good romances, the couple quarrel and Jack rides away. He finds a new band of cowboys and would have been just fine, but someone asks him to sing a song to “drive all cares away.” Alas, the song he devises is one about a “lonely maiden who waited for her Jack.”

Of course, he rides off to ask forgiveness. It’s all his fault. He arrives too late. She died of a broken heart on the “lonely prairie where skies are always blue.”

After I began writing, the idea came to me to turn those songs Dad sang—old ones that had been passed on and down through many different versions—into novels. I’d write all the subtext the songs left out.

I’d give them happy endings.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. One by one, I figured out how to do it, but Jack… well, I didn’t want to change the stories. I just wanted to leave on hope instead of despair

Shakespeare to the rescue!

I was watching Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado about Nothing adaptation, and the answer came to me so clearly. It had the solution I needed. So, I smooshed the song and the play together. Inside, you’ll find the characters Shakespeare created (including Dirk and Deborah and their biting repartee—they steal the show!) in the setting and with the elements of the ballad, too.

Dad’s older now. His hands are gnarled with age, swollen with arthritis. His mind is slipping away. Today, you’ll find his guitar at my house. My son now owns it, but he doesn’t know the songs I heard played on the old Goya. Still, when I take it out of the case, tune it up, and pluck the strings, everything shifts. Suddenly, I’m nine years old again, sitting on my uncle’s stairs, just out of sight, watching. Listening. Heart breaking.

See, I’ll never hear my father play again, and I can’t play either. So, the songs will have to live on with stories of Mary, Jethro, Maggie… and of course, Jack.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 21

Connie’s History Classroom, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23

Bigreadersite, September 23

Texas Book-aholic, September 24

lakesidelivingsite, September 24

Inklings and notions, September 25

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 25

For Him and My Family, September 26

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 30

Lots of Helpers, September 30

She Lives To Read, October 1

Mary Hake, October 1

Daysong Reflections, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Simple Harvest Reads, October 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Spoken from the Heart, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10101/jack-celebration-tour-giveaway

Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell

Scrumptious Independence FB Banner

My Review

Scrumptious Independence: Merriweather Island by Melissa Wardwell is book 2 in the Independence Island series. This is a series that is being written by six different authors and covers five different island. This story does well as a stand alone story, but it does bring in characters from the first book.

Beth use to visit her grandparents on Merriweather Island as child and teenager. She was a very close to her grandmother and the two of them spend time together cooking and coming up with new recipes. When Grams passes on she leaves her home on the island and finances to Beth. Following Gram’s suggestion of moving to the island and getting a food truck, Beth gets reacquainted with childhood friend Scott.

This is a wonderful story that was fun to just get lost in. This is a nice story of second chances and perseverance. There are several things that stand out to me in this story. The mayor plans to take Gram’s property and turns to Scott for help. Scott turns the mayor down. And with things being done to discourage Beth from establishing her business, she keeps pushing on through the hard times. I enjoyed the humor written into the story of the retelling of the things Beth and Scott did when they were younger.

I received an e-book copy of this story through the Celebrate Lite Street Team. This is my honest review.

About the Book

Scrumptious Independence-sm

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

And so is Beth’s cooking! It’s a good thing, too. After a lifetime of her family’s smothering embrace, a whole new world opens to her with the passing of her beloved grandmother.

Armed with an inheritance she never expected and orders on how to use it, Beth sets off for Merriweather Island and fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams.

Or so she hopes.

What she didn’t hope for was what most women would—a man who fills her thoughts at the most wonderfully unwelcome times. She doesn’t have time or space for a relationship, but how do you tell love to just go away?

Of course, starting over in a new place is never easy, especially as an outsider in a small community. Add to that a mayor who has her dander up and a woman bound to make her life miserable, is it any wonder that Beth begins to doubt God’s and Gram’s plans?

With her heart betraying her resolve and challenges to her faith, Beth finds it takes bravery she didn’t know she had to discover just how scrumptious independence can be.

This “Merriweather book” is the second in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.

Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

“Lord, I don’t know how I can keep doing this.”

That was my prayer one evening in 2019 as I made my way to praise practice. I knew that writing was something God had called me to (because He never seems to call you to do something you enjoy) but the finances were just not there to publish another book. I felt lost in the uncertainty of the path moving forward and I needed a light. I had just shared all my concerns with my parents and left with my dad’s words ringing in my head. Are you writing to gain notoriety or are you writing for God?

The next morning, CelebrateLit had a post looking for submissions for a new and innovative series. Hope burst within me and I know I needed more information. I followed instructions and spoke with Sandy Barela and Chautona Havig. The more I was told, the more excited I became because I knew I needed to be part of this collection.

Ideas were hatched, characters began to talk, and a book proposal was sent. I continued to work on the development of characters and the mobile business knowing in my heart that God had given me this opportunity. I wouldn’t do things halfway. And when the confirmation email came, I was ready to share the beautiful story and characters that developed.

Beth is a food truck proprietor, so that means she spends most of her time cooking. In an effort to grow her recipes, I have been making videos of me cooking some of our family’s favorites as well as raiding my mom’s recipe box. The result is some amazing food to share.

Every book, pre-order card, and my YouTube channel has recipes on it. And so will this tour.

With it being summertime, our family doesn’t want those heavy meals so sometimes chips and sandwiches are all we need in the evenings. One favorite is my chicken salad.

Now, this recipe is easily substituted with other things like however, you like your chicken.

Melissa’s Chicken Salad

Feeds 4 (unless you have big eaters.)

2 cans of chicken (you can use cooked but this is quick and easy

1/2 cup of red grapes – halved

1/2 cup celery – diced

Make sure you rinse all of this well as you prep the salad

Dressing

1 1/2 cup of miracle whip (you can use mayo)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

Mix everything together and serve on your favorite bread option or on a bed of lettuce. I like mine in a pita pocket or on lettuce. This time it was with a pita pocket with a side of lightly salted chips and a pickle.

Now, just a little side note, you can add what ever veggie or fruit you like. Apples and cucumbers would be a great addition as well. So, don’t feel like you have to do things exactly like I do. Make it your own.

Bon appétit

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 21

Soulfully Romantic, September 21

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 22

For Him and My Family, September 23

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Artistic Nobody, September 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

She Lives To Read, September 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 25

Quiet Workings, September 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , September 26

Older & Smarter?, September 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 26

Blogging With Carol, September 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 27

Batya’s Bits, September 27

Emily Yager, September 28

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28

Stories By Gina, September 28

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 28

CarpeDiem, September 29

Christian Bookaholic, September 29

Cultivating Us, September 29

Aryn the Libraryan, September 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

The Collaborative Press, October 1

Livin’ Lit, October 1

Simple Harvest Reads, October 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meaderings of a Bookworm, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Joanne Markey, October 3

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Vicky Sluiter, October 3

Blossoms and Blessings, October 4

Splashes of Joy, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10105/scrumptious-independence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Pretending to Wed by Melissa Jagears – Review & Giveaway

pretending-to-wed-banner

My Review

Pretend to Wed by Melissa Jagears is book two in the Frontier Vow series. This is also a great stand alone story.

Nolan’s father has recently past away and specifies in his will that if Nolan does not marry within a short time the ranch will pass to his nephew instead. Nolan has no desire to marry and struggles with how to keep his home. He has worked along side his father to  build the ranch, while his cousin does visit the ranch he has never worked it.

Corinne is the towns laundress.  She is suffering greatly physically  daily work and the work may cause irreversible damage to her hands. She has had two  terrible relationships with men that has made her decide to never have another. A marriage in name only is the best solution for her and Nolan has offered a great business deal for her.

This is a nice story to read to just get lost in.  It is well written with strong characters.  There are many good messages given in this story. The ones that stand out to me are  that Nolan’s father probably made his will the way he did to protect Nolan, not to take it away from him.  With marrying, Nolan will have a helpmate for his physical needs as well as a companion. The other is when a friend helps Corinne see that God arranged marriage for both spouses to enjoy, not just men.  The parts in the story I enjoyed the most were those of Corinne’s inventions and that Nolan wanted her to  be the one receiving credit for them, even if they were looked down on because they were woman made.

I received a copy of this e-book from Celebrate Lit, this is my honest review.

About the Book

Book: Pretending to Wed

Author: Melissa Jagears

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 28, 2020

PretendingToWed_EbookIt’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love!

The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.

Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.

When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought?

Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage-of-convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Melissa jagearsAward winning author, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

More from Melissa

The Elusive Electrical Spark to Awaken Frankenstein’s Monster

The plot of Pretending to Wed just wasn’t coming together for me. I had the romantic dilemma, but I didn’t love the characters. They were boring. And if I’m going to write a book, a.k.a. read it a bazillion times, I have to really want to read the book myself. I decided to take a break from the weeks of struggle and read. I was recommended a book because of the author’s great voice (I can’t recommend it because it’s not a clean novel), but I loved the fact that the heroine was a scientific illustrator. I wondered if I could give my heroine a scientific hobby and came up with inventing. That single character tidbit was the jolt that awakened Frankenstein’s Monster. She came alive! The research into what she could have patented at the time led my imagination to the egg hatching romance scene in the middle of the story and I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to read my book that didn’t yet exist.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 17

Writing from the Heart Land, September 17

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

Connie’s History Classroom, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 19

Batya’s Bits, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

lakesidelivingsite, September 21

Genesis 5020, September 21

The Book Chic Blog, September 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 22

The Collaborative Press, September 22

Betti Mace, September 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 23

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 24

Remembrancy, September 24

Wishful Endings, September 24

Life of Literature, September 25

Book Love, September 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bizwings Blog, September 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 26

Bigreadersite, September 26

Labor Not in Vain, September 26

CarpeDiem, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Splashes of Joy , September 27

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, September 29

Blessed & Bookish, September 29

Simple Harvest Reads, September 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, September 30

NovelsCorner, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a Gift Certificate for the winner’s Choice of Book (up to 16.99 plus S&H) from Melissa’s Local Christian Bookstore, Faith & Life Bookstore, and a signed copy of Pretending to Wed!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e6/pretending-to-wed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

MY REVIEW

Something Worth Doing, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a powerful story based on Abigail Scott Duniway, a real true character in our countries history. This story focuses on Mrs. Duniway as a woman, wife, mother, sister, friend, business owner, and writer as well as her many decades working diligently for women’s rights. For fiction readers interested in learning about our foremothers who worked so hard to earn us our many taken for granted rights, this is a must read.

I struggle with writing this review. Only God could have had a hand in current events happening at the time of the release of this book. The story is so well written it is so easy to get caught up in it. At times I got really frustrated with Mrs. Duniway for putting her work for women’s rights before the needs of her family. I strongly feel this is a must read, especially for those who do not read non-fiction. The author contains a chapter at the end of the story outlining her extensive research and how she kept true to events in the story.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blogging Program. This is my honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Abigail “Jenny” Scott lost her mother while traveling from Illinois to Oregon in the mid 1800’s. When she got to Oregon she was determined to teach to help her family financially as well as have some money of her own. She almost immediately was approached by men to marry them so they could acquire an additional 160 acres of land.

She wanted to take her time in finding a husband but was rushed into it when her father finds out his life was not what he thought. Fortunately she had already met and had feeling for Ben Duniway. She wanted a marriage where she was part decision maker, but that is not the way it was done then. Ben made decisions that cost them their home at one point. He was also severely injured.

Despite having several children, she was forced to become a business owner to support the family. She took out loans to start her businesses and traveled alone to keep them going. It is at this point that she started working for women’s rights. She invested large amounts of her time as well as her own money for the cause. She often spent long lengths of time away from her family to help get women the right to vote.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A New York Times Bestselling author, Jane Kirkpatrick’s works have appeared in more than 50 national publications including The Oregonian, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts. With more than 1.5 million books in print, her 30 novels and non-fiction titles draw readers from all ages and genders. Most are historical novels based on the lives of actual historical women often about ordinary women who lived extraordinary lives. Her works have won numerous national awards including the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award, USABestBooks.com, Will Roger’s Medallion Award and in 1996, her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage and National Cowboy Museum. Her novels have also been finalists for the Spur Award, the Oregon Book Award, the Christy, Reader’s Choice and the WILLA in both fiction and non-fiction. Several titles have been Literary Guild and Book of the Month choices and been on the bestsellers list for independent bookstores across the country, in the Pacific Northwest and the Christian Booksellers Association. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Finnish and Chinese. You can learn more about her and books she has written at: http://jkbooks.com/

WHERE TO PURCHASE

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/39450

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/something-worth-doing-jane-kirkpatrick/1137081582

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Something-Worth-Doing/Jane-Kirkpatrick/9780800736118?id=7983966262059

https://www.christianbook.com/something-worth-doing-jane-kirkpatrick/9780800736118/pd/0736118

Amish Christmas Twins by Shelley Shepard Gray, Rachel J. Good and Loree Lough

MY REVIEW

Amish Christmas Twins is an awesome collection of three Christmas stories by different authors. Each of these stories takes place within the Amish community with families that are blessed with twins. The stories are all well written, easy to follow and will touch the reader’s heart. They include topics such as foster care, adoption, infertility, gambling, infidelity and death.

I really enjoyed reading these stories. The stories are a good length to read in an evening. They are very descriptive and easy to imagine. I especially enjoyed reading Twins Times Two. The humor of the two sets of twins that are always getting into trouble was fun to read. I wish this story would be turned into a full length book.

I received an e-book copy from Kensington Books through NetGalley, this is my honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In these heartwarming, faith-affirming stories, three Amish families face the joys, and challenges, of the holidays—with fruitful results . . .

THE CHRISTMAS NOT-WISH by Shelley Shepard Gray
When the foster parents they’ve cautiously grown to love discover they’re expecting, orphaned Roy and Jemima Fisher, ages six and seven, are secretly devastated by the certainty they’ll be given up. With Christmas around the corner, their only wish is for new foster parents as nice as Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz. Meanwhile, the Kurtzes have wishes of their own—and with faith, they all may be gifted with twice the blessings . . .
 
NEW BEGINNINGS by Rachel J. Good
Still grieving the loss of her husband and unborn baby in an accident several months ago, Elizabeth Yoder is oblivious to her neighbor Luke Bontrager’s deepening affection for her. But while she bleakly faces Christmas alone, it’s Luke who reminds her it’s the season for giving. And when Elizabeth donates her handmade baby clothes to New Beginnings, a home for teen moms, she soon finds her gifts repaid beyond measure, with Luke’s love—and new beginnings of their own . . .

TWINS TIMES TWO by Loree Lough
What happens when two secretive, stubborn people find themselves thrown together to help four rascally youngsters—twins times two!—create a Christmas surprise for their parents? Mischief and mayhem, and just maybe . . . love!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray writes Amish and Inspirational romances and contemporary women’s fiction. She has over a million books in print, and translated into more than a dozen languages, her novels have been Holt Medallion winners and Inspirational Readers Choice and Carol finalists.  You can learn more about her at https://shelleyshepardgray.com/

USA Today bestselling author Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events. Along with her Amish novels, she’s written more than 50+ books for both children and adults under several pen names. To find out more about Rachel and her books. You can learn more about her at: http://racheljgood.mystrikingly.com/

Once upon a time, USA Today best-selling author Loree Lough (literally) sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the U.S. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for the “grandorables,” but mostly, she just writes. (And writes.) Over the years, her stories have earned thousands of 5-star reviews, more than 100 industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, and 7 movie options.

There are nearly 10,000,000 (yes, that’s TEN MILLION) copies of Loree’s books in circulation, and by year-end of 2020, she’ll have 121 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults) 72 short stories, 2,500+ articles in print. A writer who believes in “giving back,” Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers’ Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations. You can learn more about her at: http://loreelough.com/

WHERE TO PURCHASE

https://www.christianbook.com/amish-christmas-twins-shelley-gray/9781496717856/pd/717856

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amish-christmas-twins-shelley-shepard-gray/1135644829

A Joyful Christmas by Cynthia Hickey, Liz Johnson, Vickie McDonough, Liz Tolsma, Carrie Turansky and Erica Vetch

MY REVIEW
A Joyful Christmas is a very nice collection of six Christmas stories based in the late 1800’s, written by six different authors. Each of them are a good length to read in an evening. The stories are all well written with good messages. The characters in the stories are strong, caring people. The theme of trust and faith run through the stories as well. They are good clean romance stories, often focusing on family and helping others. The stories are good stories to help prepare the heart for the upcoming Christmas season.

I enjoyed reading these novellas, despite having read three of them several years ago. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher through NetGalley. This is my honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Christmas Collection to Warm the Heart
Grab a warm cup of tea and watch as romance is kindled and joy is restored to broken lives during six bygone era Christmas celebrations.
A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
Married by proxy in Missouri, Annie Morgan sets off for Tombstone, Arizona, to join her new husband as a cattle rancher. But too soon she finds herself a widow with an unexpected daughter and butting heads with her handsome neighbor.
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Wounded within Confederate territory, Union officer Jedediah Harrington finds refuge at the tiny cabin of Cora Sinclair and her grandfather. Still haunted by what she saw as a battlefield hospital volunteer, Cora finds that only Jed can understand. But, though she longs to give him her heart, the risks to both of them are too great.
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
When Jackson Lancaster’s brother and wife die, he takes his three-year-old niece home. But a meddling busy-body makes the judge give her custody “because an unmarried man shouldn’t raise a little girl.” Now Jackson has until Christmas to find a bride or lose his niece forever. Larkin Doyle is grateful her employer took in the orphan and believes Jackson abandoned his niece. When her heart says otherwise, will romance blossom?
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie O’Connell, orphaned and left alone in a dangerous Wisconsin logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.
Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man?
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth Sorensen has been put in charge of the Christmas pageant at the little log church, and this year she wants something different. But she didn’t count on a Minnesota blizzard paralyzing the whole town. Can the blacksmith teach this preacher’s daughter about what it means to serve one another in love through the storm?
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Cynthia Hickey is a multi-published, bestselling author and has sold over a million copies. She also has taught continuing education classes at writer’s conferences. She and her husband run Winged Publisation. You can learn more about her at www.cynthiahickey.com
Liz Johnson works in marketing and is an author of more than a dozen novels. She writes stories of true love filled with heart, humor, and happily ever afters. You can learn more about her and other books she has written at: https://www.lizjohnsonbooks.com/
Vickie McDonough is a best-selling, award-winning author of more than 50 published books and novellas, with over 1.5 million copies sold. She has recently stepped into independent publishing. You can learn more about her at http://www.vickiemcdonough.com
Liz Tolsma has written several books ranging from WWII novels, Amish stories and romance novellas.  You can read more about her and her books at: http://liztolsma.com/
Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of more than twenty inspirational novels and novellas. Her novels have been translated into several languages and enjoyed by readers around the world. You can learn more about her at http://carrieturansky.com/
Erica Vetsch is am award-winning author who loves Jesus, history, romance and sports. You can connect with her at http://www.ericavetsch.com/

WHERE TO BUY

https://www.christianbook.com/a-joyful-christmas-6-historical-stories/cynthia-hickey/9781643526348/pd/526348

https://www.barbourbooks.com/a-joyful-christmas/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-joyful-christmas-cynthia-hickey/1135602781?ean=9781643526348

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Joyful-Christmas/Cynthia-Hickey/9781643526348?id=7983966262059