Wednesday, December 28, 2016

For The Record by Regina Jennings

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review

From the back of the book:

Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle's newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don't seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies' pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She'd be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.
Deputy Joel Puckett didn't want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.

My thoughts on Regina Jennings:

Regina Jennings is a lovely person who has a real knack for writing and for developing characters. She is one that inspires me to write and to come up with better characters. She has a heart of gold and is really down to earth. Regina is a real sweetheart and someone who tells great stories that actually keep your attention. 

Regina has struck a HOME RUN! 

My thoughts on the book:

This is kind of a continuation of At Love's Bidding in which you meet Betsy Huckabee. I love that she decided to continue on with the story. I wanted to know more about Betsy and couldn't help but wanted her to have her own adventure. 

When I read Joel Puckett's character, there was one person who popped into my head right away and that is Josh Cooke from Hart of Dixie. He just screams Joel to me. This book has my attention from the second chapter and is running away with me. 

I completely adore the chemistry between Joel and Betsy. Her idea to make him a hero in her writings reminds me a lot of something that Regina Jennings would have done as a young woman smitten with her favorite celebrity or best friend or complete stranger who waltzes into town. I love the adventure of the outlaws, the cowboys, Joel and Betsy. It makes for a great western time of a story line. 

The characters have their own personality. The words that Regina writes some great details. She is very detail oriented. From the details of the woods, to the mountains, to the embarrassing moments between characters. 

I would rate this book 5 stars. 

Here is who I can see as Betsy Huckabee (in her own book), Joel Pluckett, and Sheriff Taney (the old bat himself). 

Where to buy:

Joel Puckett

Sheriff Taney

Betsy Huckabee

The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea Cobb

From the back of the books:

The Sound of Diamonds:

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates. 
With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent. 
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash? 
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.

The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint, fighting for faith...the redeemed rebel, fighting for honor.
After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Now truly orphaned yet not alone, Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted. 
Dirk's quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth's searching hearts ever sing the same song?

My thoughts on Rachelle Rea Cobb

Rachelle Cobb is a sweet person who has a knack for writing. She has a very vivid imagination that can tell a really good story. She has a big heart for friends and family. 

My thoughts on the books:

These books are perfect for those who seek romance, adventure, and religious fanatics. She picked her genre that includes a lot of turmoil, persecution and most of all trials of faith. Her stories reminds me of some cases on Mysteries of the Museum. 

If I am being honest, these books were pretty good but they did not appeal to me because they are not my style of reading. I am more into contemporary romance, christian fiction, and mysteries. I have a hard time enjoying a book if I can't make a connection to a character. 

I adore Rachelle Rea Cobb and her faith, her love for life.  I would recommend this to my friends as a 4 out of 5 stars. If you are into historical fiction, catholism and adventure....then you will LOVE this series. 

Here are the people I can see playing Dirk and Gwen. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Shades of Chocolate by Cecelia Dowdy

I received this book in exchange for my honest review:

From the back of the book:

Toni enjoys making chocolate treats in her bakery. Haunted by her abusive past, she struggles with her faith in God. Her world changes when a handsome stranger arrives, reminiscing about his childhood. Jason Matthews misses his days of working in his family's pastry shop. Estranged from his father, he longs to rediscover the joy and comfort from baking. When Toni's life is threatened, Jason realizes how deeply he cares for her. Can Toni and Jason overcome their pasts and learn to trust one another?

My thoughts on Cecelia Dowdy:

Cecelia Dowdy tells a great story about love, sacrifice, hardship. She is a new author for me and I found that I really enjoy the way she writes. Cecelia is sweet, down to earth and talented in the ways of backstory. 

My thoughts on Shades of Chocolate:

It was a real joy to read this book for Cecelia. This book is the second one in the series. I have always wondered what it would be like to run a bakery.....this book definitely let me know that they are hard work, they take a lot of time but they can be very much worth it. I mean, really who doesn't love Chocolate in some form or other. 

Toni and Jason are some of the strong names in today's culture. The faith elements are strong in this book but it reminds us all of God. How He is there even in the quiet times. How He has our back. 

This book covers two different worlds, how love can cross the boundaries and can help to heal our hearts along with faith, and determination. 

I know when I get upset or do not want to talk, I tend to start baking but I also bake when I am happy so sometimes no one knows the difference unless they are close to me in person. 

What I love most about baking is that you can express yourself through creativity, through giving and sharing your gifts with the world. I find that it releases some of the bad feelings and that its something nice to do for someone. 

Who I could see playing Toni and Jason:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review....

From the back of the book:

Mercy Brennan followed in her father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she's assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang.

When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent--a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety. 

Initially unaware of the danger she's in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy's frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn't until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?

My thoughts on Nancy Mehl:

Such a sweet sweet lady! She is so down to earth, beautiful and talented at writing. She knows how to tell a captivating story if you are into law enforcement types of books. You can see her faith spread across the pages as you turn through the pages. She takes time to talk to her readers and shares her heart with us. 

My thoughts on Fatal Frost:

Interesting book! Not usually one that I go for but that being said, it was a bit hard to get into but I loved the action, the friendship, the challenges and most of all the faith that is evident among the story plot lines. I have always loved the name Mercy but I would spell it Merci like the French. 

Did you know Mercy means Compassion and Brennan means Brave. So you have Compassion and Brave which makes up the character very well that is known as Mercy Brennan. I can't even being to imagine what it is like to put your life on the line every single day....Nancy Mehl opened my eyes to the real dangers that law enforcement faces everyday. 

WOW! is all I can say. I adored the friendship between Tally, Mercy and Mark. I thought the kisses were sweet and so much can be conveyed through such a small gesture. 

So much action and adventure. If you are looking for something that shows you into the minds of gangs, law enforcement and just sure to check out Nancy Mehl's Fatal Frost

I rate the book a 4 because though I kept putting it down and picking it up, the adventure kept playing in my mind in the background and made me wonder what would happen next. 

Down below are who i can see playing Tally, Mark, Mercy and Mercy's father. 

Where to buy:

                                                        This is who I can see as Mercy.

This is who I see as Mark.

This is who I see as Tally.

Until next time, 

The Traveling Gyps

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Yuletide Redemption by Jill Kemerer

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

From the back of the book:

After an accident leaves Celeste Monroe to raise her baby nephew, all she wants is to provide one-year-old Parker with a happy life. She hopes taking a job caring for injured Sam Sheffield will help fulfill that goal. But Sam's determination to avoid the world throws a wrench in her plans. Despite his best efforts, Sam can't take his eyes off the pretty caretaker. Her strength and her loving nature has him falling for her—and her baby. But he refuses to burden them with a man who's not whole. Can Celeste convince Sam he's daddy—and husband—material in time for them to celebrate Christmas together?

My thoughts on Jill Kemerer:

Amazing writer! Amazing friend! Humble, down to earth and sweet are just some words I would use to describe Jill Kemerer. She always takes time out to respond to messages on Facebook which in my opinion shows that an author is approachable. She demonstrates her faith in all that she does from what I can tell, from the words she writes, to the messages she responds to, to the characters she creates for all of us readers to fall in love with. 

My thoughts on the book:

When I opened this book to the first page, I just knew within an instant who should play Sam Sheffield. Sam is an injured soul who has a lot to learn but the is also what Celeste Monroe is going through as well. This book is easily a 5 star rating in my personal opinion because it shows that with love, encouragement and faith that anything that seems impossible is actually possible with God, family and friends. 

I personally adore Sam. I love his story, he is such a heartwarming, heart tugging character but I also side with Celeste because as someone who struggled for so long with beauty issues/self esteem, I can relate to her story. Being hearing impaired makes me be able to relate to Sam's story. 

This book reminded me of a time that God used me: 

I once had a job in Illinois school system as a teachers aide. Boy, did I not know how challenging that could be. Anyways, I met a young boy at the age of 4 or 5 by the name Zachary. Zachary did not talk at all his whole time of being at the school (3 years total), he did not communicate with his family either. Zachary struggles through autism. 

He would come in everyday from the bus and sit with me in the hallway. Then we would head off to his class where he would be for the hours of 8 am to 1 pm. Little did I know my life was going to change by being Zachary's aide. 

I decided to work with him on his level. Some days that was just playing with toys, some days it was sitting on the circle time rug with everyone else, some days it was just being quiet. I would introduce myself to him everyday. 

"Hi Zachary. My name is Halita. What's your name?" Most times this was met with silence. 

One day this changed completely. 

We were going back and forth with my introduction when all of a sudden:

"Hi Zachary. My name is Halita. What's your name?" This time there was a sound. 

He replied, " My name's Zachary!!!" 

He was so proud of himself. I nearly cried. 

A few weeks later, we had parent's day at the school and his mom came. 

She said that she was so thankful for an aide who got down on Zachary's level because he hadn't said one word but now was speaking in broken sentences at home. She bawled with happy tears. 

I believe that was the day I met God's Will.

Thank you so much Jill for reminding me of such a beautiful memory. 

You can buy Jill's book on Amazon. 

Here are the people I could see as Sam and Celeste

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Write Me Home by Crystal Walton

I received this for free because I am on Crystal Walton's influencer team.

From the back of the book:

He lives by his heart. She lives by her plans. Until an unseen enemy and growing affection threaten control of both.

Returning to his hometown in the Catskills is the last thing firefighter Ethan DeLuca’s ready for. He’d rather leave memories where they belong—buried under ashes. But if he doesn’t step up to take care of Nonna, who will? Working at the camp down the road seems like the perfect solution. Until his feisty redheaded boss ends up being one fire he has no idea how to put out.

Cassidy McAdams is on a mission. Get the camp Grandpa left her ready to sell, turn enough profit to bail Mom’s business out of foreclosure, and hightail it back to her life in New York City. With unexpected complications mounting, she can’t afford any distractions. Especially a ridiculously charming one who’s eager to rescue her at every turn.

It’d be easier on them both to hide behind professional boundaries. But when unexplained attacks on the camp ignite a connection between them they can’t ignore, running away is no longer an option.

My thoughts on Crystal Walton-

Crystal Walton is a genuine sweet and caring person. She has so much energy and so much passion for writing. She really takes her time into developing the characters, plot line and tugging at your heart strings. I laugh, cried and even got annoyed a time or two while reading this beautiful story. 

My thoughts on the book:

Ethan DeLuca---first off I have to say that is a good strong solid name. I find that when a character has a strong name, they are more memorable or if they have a intense back story. I adore the feistiness between him and Cassidy. He is trying to do his job and they find that they can not help but fall in love. 

Cassidy McAdams- She gets what she wants or she makes a big deal about it. She is laser focused and when people are like that, they can be difficult to get along with. You can tell that Ethan has her heart even when she doesn't want to admit to it. 

I was truly honored to read this story and to help Crystal Walton out.. You have a major talent for writing stories that mean something. Keep up the good work. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars. 

Where to buy Write Me Home?

These two are who I see playing Ethan and Cassidy

Until next time, 

The Traveling Gypsy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who's your Anchor?

Hey there everyone! I just wanted to welcome you to my blog. Today we are going to be talking about anchors and who is your anchor during your hard times. Who do you rely on? Do you go running to a special someone? Do you run to God? 

Has there ever been a time in your life where something you wanted didn’t go the way you wanted or even ended up being taken away? Have you ever looked up to the sky and say “Lord, I have no clue what you are up to now? How did that happen?”

I want to tell you about a time when that has happened to my family and I. We have been through heck and back. This summer was a totally a chance to hang onto God, our Anchor and our Faith. 

Some days there were a lot of questioning about where we were going to live, if we had made the wrong decision to move everyone up here at the time or to have people stay in Maryland. We just had to learn that God is into control no matter what. 

We were in the process of relocating to Michigan from Maryland. We own a house in SC, which have renters currently. Praise the Lord for that. We had our house in Maryland up for sale. 

Anyways, there was an offer for the Maryland house, but that fell through for various reasons but God is still good. In fact, we had an interest in the South Carolina house, which means that we could sell it. But we have but we have been in a hotel for 12 and a half weeks with 4 adult people, 6 animals in one hotel room about 1,000 sq ft. Good thing my family like each other for the most part or we would have never survived this. 

It took months as the house we tried for here in Michigan, had issues that were being sorted out. We were in the process of still looking for a house as a back up and what not. This meant we could be in this hotel room for a couple more months. It turned out that five days before closing, we LOST the house due to faulty financing and a company that didn't see any things wrong until the last few days before we were to close. 

What happened up to this point?

We had to go out searching again for a new house. Thank goodness for my sister and my family who had two or three houses picked out as top 3. The second house we were going to put in an offer, had already had an offer and little did the financing company forget to tell us that it was considered a "condo" which wouldn't work with the loans we were considering. 

My family decided to pick our 2nd choice house to the second one that was a condo and we are so happy with our choice. We had to wait another month before closing on our beautiful house that we are living in now. Patience and faith pay off in God. 

We finally moved into our house---finally at the end of the month of September. We are just celebrating a week in our new house. God provided a way to be able to sell our house in Maryland. God heard our cries, prayers and concerns for so long this summer and has truly blessed us by providing. 

How does one not lose their mind? Study their bible and keep remembering God is their source of life, hope and sanity. Play games and watch TV.  

Here are some Bible verses for you to check out:

Joshua 1:9

Isaiah 55:8-11

Psalms 22:28

Phillippians 4:13

Please tell me in the comments below: What ways do you keep your faith when going through hard times or shaken times? Please share with me about a time that God reminded you that He was in control of your circumstances for a chance to win an Anchor necklace. Who is your Anchor?

By the way, check out Dawn Crandall's Curious Maiden series:

Thank you for stopping by the blog! God bless you all and I am praying for each and every one of you who stop by. 

Until next time,

The Traveling Gypsy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg

I received this book in exchange for my honest review as being part of Melissa Tagg's influencer team.

From the back of the book:

Beckett Walker hasn’t stepped foot in Maple Valley in years. There’s no getting past the painful memories, and there’s every chance he’ll be arrested as soon as he shows his face. Which is exactly what happens when he finally returns. Suddenly his dream of adventure as a military lawyer comes skidding to a halt. 

Horticulturist Kit Danby has spent too much time missing home and her childhood best friend—Beckett Walker. Now she might have a shot at reclaiming both. After years of living abroad, she returns to run her family’s apple orchard. She has one season to turn a profit and impress the father she barely knows. But she can’t do it alone. 

It should be simple: Beckett needs community service hours. Kit needs a helping hand. But there’s more at stake than either of them planned. With a tangled past and futures that look nothing alike, they’ll have to find a way to weather the storms of the present . . . or risk losing everything.

My thoughts on Melissa Tagg:

Melissa Tagg is an amazing writer who is able to pull at your heartstrings. She builds the story line with many colorful, believable characters. She goes back and forth between Logan and Beckett Walker. I personally like Logan the best out of the guys. I can't wait to read Reagan's story. I feel like I can somewhat relate to Reagan. I think Melissa Tagg needs to get married. I have a perfect guy for her. I would have to say Chris Soules, the bachelor who is in the Iowa. 

My thoughts on the book:

When I started reading this book, I knew exactly who I could see as Kit Danby. Ashley Benson is the one who popped up in my head, some of you may know her as Hanna Marin from Pretty Little Liars. Kit Danby has been one who has captured my attention because of all that she has been through. Will she fall in love with Beckett? The guy who rescued her from marrying the wrong guy 10 years ago? I love that Kit Danby fights tooth and nail to save the Orchards. 

Beckett Walker took a little bit of getting into his story. I felt that the story was a bit disjointed at first until I got further along in the story because to me the connections were feeling a bit forced. He got home after being away so long and the relationships were so strained. It took time to understand what was going on. 

The story itself is pretty good. Melissa tugs at the heart strings half way through the book. The plot thickens and you are on your seat wondering what is going to happen. The Walker family continues to grow and to teach us all lessons as time goes on. The family makes you want to meet them and see what life in a small town is like but BEWARE of the drama that comes with small towns. I would rate this book a four out of five stars. 

Until next time, 

The Traveling Gypsy 

Where to buy: