Monday, April 29, 2013

Mailbox Monday ~ April 29, 2013


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April's host is:

Adult Fiction


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Eight Gifts You can Give to your Young Child's Brain by Sandra Sunquist Stanton

April was the Month of the Young Child 

Eight Gifts You can Give to your Young Child's Brain 
By Sandra Sunquist Stanton

Nothing brightens my day like a baby’s contagious laugh. We can give them what they need to be happy, without breaking the bank. April celebrates the young child. These tips might help you, parents and caregivers, guide your little ones toward healthy brain development.

1. Security
You create his world. If he feels safe, he will be willing to try new things. If he is fearful, he may withdraw, refuse contact and choose to protect himself.

2. Touch
Loving touch soothes the central nervous system for both you and your child. It communicates safety and love. Enjoy snuggles, massage, and rocking while reading to her. These times are short.

3. Fuel Food
His brain doesn't store the fuel it needs to operate. An infant’s brain uses 70% of his body’s energy. Every day it needs water, fresh fruit, and omega 3 healthy fats. These building blocks create and strengthen connections between his 100 billion brain cells.

4. Music
Both sides of her brain are active when she enjoys music. It's a workout for her brain. She forms stronger memories when many parts of the brain are involved.

5. Movement
Your child's vestibular system coordinates sensory input to send to his brain. Dance, skip, clap, and let him help you in the kitchen and garden. These activities provide the movement that gives each experience depth and dimension. His learning becomes multidimensional, richer and easier for him to remember and build on as he grows.

6. Reading and Language
Talking and reading with your child prepares her for reading and learning. Time with you is the best way to help her learn language patterns and support early social development. Does reading the same book over and over again get old? Remember repetition is exactly what her brain needs to learn.

7. Rest and Sleep
During quiet times his brain gets a chance to process his mountain of experiences. When he’s busy, his neurons are busy taking in sensory information. His brain’s original cells still need to be connected to one another. That happens during these breaks.

8. You!
Enjoy your time together. Give her face-to-face practice matching your expressions and language with everyday activities. Electronic media cannot substitute for time with you. She learns that she matters when you respond to her. Enjoy this together time and make some memories.


Sandra Sunquist Stanton NCC, LPC, BCC, translated, means she is a National and Wisconsin Counselor and Nationally Certified Health/Wellness and Personal/Life Coach. She served as school counselor for 25 years and is nearing delivering her 100th brain coaching program. Her clear descriptions of everyday neuroscience applications help others find their best lives.

See: www.ourbrainbuddies.com

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.





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Saturday, April 27, 2013

New release glimpse

glimpse into Cindy Woodsmall's newest book




Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?


About This Book

The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.
Learn more about this book here


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Friday, April 26, 2013

Princess April Morning Glory by Letitia Fairbanks



Letitia Fairbanks, the niece of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, lived a life guided by artistic passions. In 1939, wanting to commemorate her late uncle, Letitia began work on Princess April Morning-Glory, allowing a creative outlet for combining her lifelong loves: painting, writing, and illustration.

Holding firm to her artistic identify, Letitia gravitated toward portraiture, landscapes, and still-lifes. She was also a biographer, co-authoring Douglas Fairbanks: The Fourth Musketeer, with Ralph Hancock. Her marriage to Hal Smoot in 1966 marked the beginning of a particularly joyful and creative period. Needle points and annual Christmas cards, which featured a painting from the previous year, not to mention her role as a wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother brought her much fulfillment. After a life rich in artistic accomplishment, Letitia passed away in September of 1992.



Kelley Smoot Garrett was born in Dallas, raised in Manhattan and has lived the life of a West Texas wildcatter as well that of an IT professional. At one time or another in her life she’s called places as diverse as Scourie, Scotland; Austin, Abilene and Midland, Texas; Singapore; Paris; and Auckland, New Zealand — home. She is proud to be the daughter of Sue Ashby and Harold Smoot and the step-daughter of Letitia Fairbanks Smoot. She currently lives with her husband Danny Garrett, three cats, and one happy only-dog, Moxie in the Texas Hill Country.


At long last, Princess April Morning-Glory emerges as a lost treasure from the golden age of Hollywood.

Written and illustrated in 1941 by Letitia Fairbanks, the niece of silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, the seemingly traditional children’s book is transformed into a modern-day fairy tale that will captivate child and adult readers alike.

Letitia was inspired to create portraiture for the characters of Princess April Morning-Glory from film stars of the day. John Barrymore, and Letitia's cousin Douglas Fairbanks Jr., provided glamorous inspiration through their then-current films. The Wicked King's (Barrymore) costume was sparked by his role as Louis XV in Irving Thalberg's 1938 Marie Antoinette, while the hairstyle resembles his eponymous role in Archie Mayo's 1931 Svengali. Prince Chivalry was inspired by her cousin's (Fairbanks) sword-fighting role in David O. Selznick's 1937 The Prisoner of Zenda.

Viewed as unconventional when it first debuted – up until then, no one had thought to meld a Disney-like moral tale with a swashbuckling adventure – the story centers on the prescient acknowledgment that we create our destinies by the choices that we make.

The main narrative is focused around the brave and courageous Princess April who must first transcend darkness and evil before she can realize her true potential. Intrigued by the Great World and its sense of adventure, a young Princess April decides to abandon the familiarity of her home in Fairyland and undertake a voyage into the unknown. Once outside the Enchanted Forest, she finds comfort and friendship in the company of various creatures who ensure her safe passage.

But returning home proves more difficult than at first she realized. In order to go back to Fairyland, a friendly wizard informs Princess April that she must first accomplish three good deeds. Can Princess April resist the temptation of darker forces and summon enough courage to continue doing good deeds? And if she dares to hold true to herself, will it someday lead her back home again?

Letitia Fairbanks' book, Princess April Morning Glory is whimsical, magical and transports you to Fairyland, an enchanted forest.  You'll find fairies (good and wicked), a princess and her faithful creature followers, a prince, a wizard,  and more.  The Princess becomes unsatisfied with her world so she enters into the Great World for an adventure of her life.  Will she be able to handle all that awaits her as she explores the new world outside the enchanted forest boundaries.

Only thing I see about this book that may be somewhat of a hindrance is the font that is used.  Throughout the whole book the font is Old English type, it does make for the mood; however, I found it difficult to read.  I found myself having to really concentrate on the words they didn't flow because of the type set.  Other than that  I loved the book and its story very nicely written. 

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A copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review by...






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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Plant a Tree, Grow a Memory by Hally Franz


Plant a Tree, Grow a Memory 
By Hally Franz 

Road trips and vacations have always been great memory-makers for families, but let’s not overlook the potential to build memories in the simple, everyday activities that occur right at home. Memories are often made on steamy afternoons spent cooling one another with a hose or water balloons, or by building and playing in crunchy, colorful leaf piles. When children finally get that coveted snow day, they love exhausting themselves in the white stuff. And, here’s another thought—make Arbor Day special in your home. It’s a great way to spend quality family time, teach, improve our environment and serve others.

Here’s How 
National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April; this year that happens to fall on April 26th. The Arbor Day Foundation will send a set of trees at a nominal fee, and your state may have programs through 4-H that provide free trees for planting each spring. Order your seedlings in advance, so that you are ready for the big day. Gather your gardening tools and assign jobs for each family member; one will dig, another place the tiny sprig, another water and so on. If you order a group of trees, you may find some surprises in the batch, and you may not know exactly what you’ve planted until it begins to grow. That’s all part of the fun.

Make it An Event 
Prepare snacks that come only from trees (nuts, fruits, figs and olives), and discuss Bible times and what their diet may have been like. Or stop by a woodshop beforehand, and pick up some wood samples to share with your family. Think about colonial life and how these woods may have been used. The possibilities are endless.

An Opportunity to Serve 
If you don’t have a large yard or if it is already full of shade, offer to plant the trees at your church or for an elderly neighbor or friend. Your family will have an added bonus of making another person’s day.

Watch it Grow 
My family’s tree survival rate is approximately 50%, still pretty cheap entertainment at about $1 per tree. It will take some years for your trees to be standing tall, but simple occasions like these may make memories to comfort and sustain you and your children for years to come.

Hally Franz writes about her observations on family, faith, parenting and people. A former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom, Hally is a 4-H leader, and she serves as her church secretary and a Bible class teacher. She enjoys traveling with family and monthly book club meetings with pals.

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.





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When The Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When The Morning Glory Blooms
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Cynthia Ruchti

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”

For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE.



books

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Buttersmiths' Gold by Adam Glendon Sidwell

The Buttersmiths' Gold
BATTLES. BLUEBERRIES. BOVINES.
TORBJORN AND STORFJELL’S HISTORY UNFOLDS IN AN EPIC EVERTASTER NOVELLA.

Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all. 

Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

About The Buttersmiths' Gold
The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing.



Evertaster, Book #1:
A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.

Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.

Buy on Amazon here



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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for fun! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!   


 I just love Amish fiction and Cindy Woodsmall has a new book being released soon so thought I'd give you a first chapter peek on my blog...Enjoy this is my teaser for the week. 



books

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Healing Heart
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Angela Breidenbach

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Angela Breidenbach is a speaker/coach in mental and physical health, author of A Healing Heart April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life, Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance, and Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. While Mara recuperates, she revisits the choices she's made that led to this physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Healing Heart, go HERE


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Mailbox Monday ~ April 22, 2013


Join Mailbox Monday meme

April's host is:

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman



 Ok so I love this cover...but what isn't to like about Julie Lessman's books?  she has it all under one cover.  a spunky female (I love spunky females), a rogue of a male and in between.  Yes, I'm a Julie fan have been since book #1 and probably always will be.  Love at any Cost is no different than any of Lessman's past writings- it is SUPERB!  Her newest book to her new series is a wonderful way to kick off the beginning of Spring; you couldn't ask for a better book to get lost in. Since I'm such a Julie fan I needed to include the video trailer for her book.




The Gilded Age is brought to life in the new Heart of San Francisco Series. Fans of bestselling author, Julie Lessman, will join her on a journey to the West Coast for romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in Love at Any Cost.

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself cheated by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can't buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion with a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards. Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll. She resides in Missouri with her family and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series whose first book, A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

visit Julie's Site here

“Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review by... 





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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Josiah's Treasure by Nancy Herriman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Josiah's Treasure
Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)
by
Nancy Herriman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She has been writing for longer than she would like to admit. Her work has been a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests and she won the 2006 RWA Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense. In 2009, she was an ACFW Genesis finalist. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When she is not writing, or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is either watching history shows on cable TV or singing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah's son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah's life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man's heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Josiah's Treasure, go HERE.


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