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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Friday, June 24, 2016

Un-Ashamed by Heather Davis Nelson- Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame





My Thoughts:
  Un-Ashamed, written by Heather Davis Nelson, is a must read. Every person on this earth has or will have shame in their life. They will also carry guilt. Shame and guilt are not the same yet they often occur together and may cause damage, hurt, and suffering. They have the ability to linger for a very long time- even a lifetime. The author wants us to discover, through Christ's love and redemption, that we may heal and recover from our brokenness and suffering.There is hope for all!

  I carry a lot of shame. I'm certain that you do, also. It's sadly quite disabling and destructive. What I learned from Un-Ashamed is that a lot of my anger and stress is rooted in shame. I examined myself through the Reflection and Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter and was amazed at what I found. There is Body Shame, Social Shame, Performance Shame, Shame in Marriage, Shame in Parenting and also Shame in Church. I struggle mostly with Social Shame (feeling like I don't fit in, comparing myself to my friends (Facebook, anyone?)) and Shame in Parenting (it seems like everyone else knows how to parent than I do). I love how Heather Davis Nelson gives helpful, realistic suggestions as to how to overcome shame. She sites personal examples as well as biblical ones. Yes, shame began in the Garden of Eden and hasn't stopped since! Thankfully, God has overcome sin and is a loving, forgiving Father. 

Un-Ashamed is a wonderfully helpful book for all who are struggling with guilt and shame. It's calming and reassuring and would be a blessing to anyone who reads it.

About the book:
Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame offers hope to those struggling under the burden of shame. This book shines the life-giving light of the gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, directing our attention to the God who promises to forgive and restore us—no matter what.

About the author:
Heather Davis Nelson (MA, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a writer, counselor, and speaker. Heather writes regularly at HeatherDavisNelson.com and has been a featured writer at the Gospel Coalition, as well as a contributing author to the Journal of Biblical Counseling. She and her husband are parents to twin daughters and live in southeastern Virginia. 

*I was given a copy of this book by FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale- 2016 summer favorite!



It all begins with a mystery man, a secret and a friendship shared by three Southern women in a small town in Louisiana. The Secret to Hummingbird Cake is absolutely delicious and meant to be savored, like a frozen margarita on a hot summer night. Sweet and salty but every sip is delightful. You never want it to end! I was laughing out loud one second and crying the next. After the first chapter I was already looking to see what other books Celeste Fletcher McHale had written (The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories comes out next year!). The friendship shared by Carrigan, Ella Rae and Laine is outrageous and rich and all together beautiful. They met in grade school, cruising through the years with crushes and adventures all the while growing as sisters. The journey you share with them as you learn their story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. The most memorable character is Carrigan. Oh, how I wish I were more like her! Brave, outspoken and all heart, she is the driving force in the sisterhood. The way she meets her future husband is sizzling! And the way he comes to her rescue is swoon worthy!! My favorite character is Laine, though. She lives her life in such an unassuming manner. Looking out for those who are forgotten and often overlooked. She is the champion of the underdog. Brave and strong in her own quiet way. Celeste Fletcher McHale's writing style is an engaging combination of familiarly warm and cleverly humorous. I adored the main characters, flaws and all. They aren't even close to perfect and THAT is where the magic lies. They are friends I wish I knew and I was charmed by the way the author wove their pasts into the present. I'd love to read more about this trio! Perhaps a prequel? I highly recommend this book to ladies who are looking for a magnificent story of friendship, love and gracefully letting go. Prepare to laugh until you cry one minute and then bawl your eyes the next. You'll love every second. Will you learn the secret to hummingbird cake? I guess there's only one way to find out...

*I was given this incredible book by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde- Secrets, Smugglers and an Intriguing Love Triangle


My Thoughts:

Dawn at Emberwilde, written by Sarah Ladd, is a compelling combination of mystery, myth and romance. I adore Sarah Ladd's writing and I believe this is my favorite book of hers to date! Isabel Creston is a fledgling teacher, on the brink of beginning her career, when an invitation to come live with family arrives. Isabel's parents have passed away and she believes her younger sister, Lizzie, to be her only living family so the letter is quite a surprise. She and Lizzie embark on a journey to live at Emberwilde, an elegant estate that also contains a mysterious forest. Rumors of this dark wood come to light along with talk of the past, which includes conflicting information about Isabel's mother and father. Isabel begins to question what she believes to be true. To add to the confusion, there are two handsome men who are vying for her affections. I really enjoyed the love triangle in this story and the forest of Emberwilde is chillingly intriguing! Beauty, mystery and romance keep the story rolling at a delightfully rapid pace. There truly isn't a dull moment! Highly recommend for those who enjoy period mysteries and romance. Wonderful book! 

{MORE ABOUT DAWN AT EMBERWILDE}

Dawn at Emberwilde(Thomas Nelson, May 2016)
Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.
For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.
The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.
At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.
At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.
Sarah Ladd

{MORE ABOUT SARAH LADD}

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for “The Heiress of Winterwood.” She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.
Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.







*I was given a copy of this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"The Eleventh" on Feeln Review- Good, wholesome entertainment for the entire family!

Feeln is the leading streaming service that brings you heartfelt stories of love and togetherness - anytime, anywhere. This May, Feeln launched its original series “The Eleventh” which stars a trifecta of TV legends including Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch, Dancing With The Stars), Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roots, Up), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Malcolm In The Middle), and newcomer Ren Harris. I was given the opportunity to review the first episode and share my thoughts with you. 

“The Eleventh” focuses on a young girl’s journey to getting to know her estranged grandmother in order to bring closure to the past and unite her family. Cloris Leachman plays the grandmother and does a wonderful job. There are many unanswered questions and mixed emotions when her granddaughter, Janey, appears at her door (seeing her grandmother for what she believes is the first time). Through letters written by her deceased mother, a key to an old chest is uncovered and pictures in an album come to light. A grieving, angry father (played convincingly by Christopher Atkins) demands that the grandmother stay out of their lives. The backstory is a mystery and the end of the episode is quite a cliffhanger!

I enjoyed the fact that "The Eleventh" had an intriguing storyline and familiar faces such as Cloris Leachman, Christopher Atkins and Tracy Nelson (more to come). There was no foul language or nudity and that was refreshing! I would love to watch the next episode as the cliffhanger ending left me wanting to find out more of the story. I'd recommend this show to anyone who enjoys good, wholesome entertainment for the entire family!

I didn't particularly enjoy the main character,  Janey, as she appears quite shallow and emotionless, bordering on boring, in my opinion. I imagine she'll (hopefully) evolve into a deeper personality as the show develops.  

*To watch full episodes of ‘The Eleventh’ on Feeln go HERE


About Feeln: Feeln is the leading streaming service that brings you heartfelt stories of love and togetherness, anytime, anywhere. All movies are handpicked so you spend less time searching and more time with the stories you love. Feeln brings home the exclusive library of Hallmark Hall of Fame features, Hollywood movies and TV series, and award-winning originals you won’t find anywhere else.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Her One and Only by Becky Wade- Exciting ending to the Porter Family series!


My Thoughts:

I've been anxiously awaiting this book. The Porter siblings, Bo, Ty, and Jake have become like family to me (Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, A Love Like Ours) and I was thrilled to read their little sister, Dru's story. Don't be misled by the term"little sister", friends.  Dru is feisty, independent and drop dead gorgeous! She's an ex-Marine, expert markswoman and a black belt (with a taste for Doritos and Pop Tarts). ;)  Her current occupation is as as executive protection agent, aka bodyguard, for pro football player, Gray Fowler (awesome name, don't you agree?). Gray's life has been threatened and Dru is committed to discovering who wants to harm him. He's tough as nails, makes ladies of all ages swoon, and he absolutely doesn't want his friends to know that he's being protected by a girl

Would Becky Wade be able to deliver another exciting, romantic, and compelling book? The other 3 books in this series were crazy fabulous (my daughters and I still talk about Ty!) and I was a little concerned that the last book may not be able to live up to the others. Boy, was I wrong. Her One and Only completes the series with a BANG- literally! I loved the mystery that the author wove into the story and the relationship between Dru and Gray absolutely sizzled. Sparks were flying from the moment they met! There is humor and delightful characters as well. Augustine, Dru's elderly motorcycle riding, Precious Moments collecting neighbor, is adorable and Ashley, Gray's super sweet, housekeeping Doris Day, is endearing. As always, I eagerly caught up on the happenings of the family. Meg & Bo, Ty & Celia and Jake & Lindie all play a delightful part in this story. I'd be thrilled if someone would create a TV series of the Porter family! Lifetime? Feeln?? Please??!!

Click HERE to read the first chapter!

About the book: 
Her One and Only
 (Bethany House, May 2016)
After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans.
But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?
Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt---none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she's determined to find Gray's stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.
Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they'll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives---and their hearts---to one another. 

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NrA4cO
About the author:




Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Meet Dru Porter, former Marine, expert markswoman, and black belt—who also happens to be assigned as a bodyguard to star NFL tight end Gray Fowler. Don't miss the final Porter family novel by Becky Wade, Her One and Only. Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, and Dru is determined to find his stalker. Every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives—and their hearts—to one another.


Join Becky in celebrating the release of Her One and Only by entering to win her Porter prize pack and $100 cash card giveaway!




her one and only - 400 


One grand prize winner will receive:



  • A copy of Her One and Only

  • A $100 cash card

  • Follow Your Heart tote bag

  • 24 oz Tervis Wonder Woman Tumbler

  • The Blind Side DVD

  • Necklace with star charm

  • Porter Family navy jersey




  • her one and only - prize collage 

    Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 31st. The winner will be announced June 1st on the Litfuse blog.




    her-one-and-only-enter

    *I was given this wonderful book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Phil Wickham - Children of God review



    My Thoughts:

    When I first heard the song, Your Love Awakens Me, I immediately became a Phil Wickham fan. It was the first I had heard of him, but my 13 year old recognized the name immediately. "They played his music at my ballet summer intensive last summer, Mom." (Great job, Ballet Mag!) I'm just a little late to the game but that's alright! ;) Phil Wickham's new CD "Children of God" is excellent! Praise music with a great beat and fabulous message. It's Phil Wickham's first release since having a polyp removed from his vocal cords. After surgery he was unable to talk for a month and it was unsure if he would ever sing the again. This chapter of his life has become part of Phil's testimony and the lyrics in his music echo the experience and his praise to the Lord. Phil definitely delivers an amazing album with God by His side! I'd describe Phil Wickham as a combination of Chris Tomlin (sincere and melodious) and Bono (he can belt it out!) but with his own unique sound."Children of God" contains powerfully passionate rock tunes as well as gloriously intimate, slower melodies. If you enjoy contemporary praise music, I believe you'll love this CD and Phil Wickham!



     

    YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQyXsJMkUPg

    *I was given this awesome CD from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion. NO other compensation was received.*

    Sunday, May 15, 2016

    Sister Dear by Laura McNeill- A Delightfully Thrilling Ride!


    My Thoughts:

    Sister Dear, by Laura McNeill, hooked me from the first page. The book begins with Allie Marshall being released from prison after 10 years. She was convicted of murder but things aren't always as they appear... Returning to Brunswick, GA, Allie anxiously anticipates reconnecting with her daughter, Caroline, and beginning a new life. I soon discovered that parts of Allie's past have yet to be uncovered and the townspeople are not anxious to have her return. Ever. To make matters worse, Allie's only sister, Emma, who's been raising Caroline in her absence, has secrets of her own and a plan to keep things just the way they are. 

    There are so many reasons that Sister Dear is a great read. The characters are interesting and well developed. Their stories unfold in varying voices alternating between chapters making it difficult to put down! The drama is a compelling puzzle that twists and turns. I wanted to fit all the pieces together in one sitting! The tone is delightfully chilling and keeps the reader guessing as to what will happen next. Perfect for a day in the sun or a night by the fire. I can't wait to read more from this author!


    About the book: 

    Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)

    All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

    Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish --- time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

    But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

    As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret---one that holds the key to Allie's freedom.

    Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/24TOGXK
    About the author:



    Laura McNeill is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she's not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.



    *This exciting book was given to my by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*