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The Healing Quilt ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (1)

The Healing Quilt
Return of the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club
By Wanda E. Brunstetter

Emma is bored, she's not made for a life of leisure, searching the beach for shells.  She misses her students and her quilting classes.  When her husband Lamar suggests starting up classes in Florida, Emma agrees.

But this may be her most difficult class yet.  One young woman, Erika, is paralyzed, wheelchair bound teen who sees no future for herself.  Kim, a waitress, is determined not to fail yet again.  Mike, who is at loose ends, is filling in for his wife.  Jennifer is a soon-to-be mother whose husband is out of work.  And then there is Noreen a widow at loose ends and BJ who is keeping his declining health a secret.

But 6 weeks of caring instruction and fellowship just might be what everyone needs.  And Emma is always willing to offer a listening ear and a word of encouragement and prayer.

It is interesting that when each person looks outside of their own concerns that their attitudes improve and they actually are happier.

There are several former students who play important roles throughout, sharing what Emma had given them.  And there is even romance in store for one former student and a current one.

This is a feel good book.  There are problems, but they aren't drag you down depressing,  If you want an enjoyable week-end read this is one you'll want to pick-up and then share with a friend.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through Handlebar in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

Join retired Amish newlyweds Emma and Lamar Miller in Florida for the winter as they lead another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students: Jennifer, a pregnant new mom; Mike, a charter boat owner; Erika, a wheelchair bound teen; Kim, a waitress; Noreen, a newly-retired widow, and BJ, an artist facing illness. When old friends visit from Indiana, will romance also become a subject of class discussions?

Goddess Tithe ~ Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on September 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)



Back Cover Copy:




The Vengeful Goddess




Demands Her Tithe




When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.




Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.




Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?







Cover Design Intro:




I had the fun of designing this cover—finding reference photos, inventing the composition, applying the text, etc.—but the actual artistic work was done by talented cover artist Phatpuppy (, whose work I have admired for many years. It was such a thrill for me to contact and commission this artist to create a look for Goddess Tithe that is reminiscent of the original novels but has a style and drama all its own.




The boy on the front was quite a find. I hunted high and low for an image of a boy the right age, the right look, with the right expression on his face. Phatpuppy and I worked with a different model through most of the cover development stage. But then I happened upon this image, and both she and I were delighted with his blend of youth, stubbornness, and strength of character! It wasn’t difficult to switch the original boy for this young man. He simply is Munny, and this cover is a perfect window into the world of my story.




You can’t see it here, but the wrap-around back cover for the print copy contains some of the prettiest work . . . including quite a scary sea monster! Possibly my favorite detail is the inclusion of the ghostly white flowers framing the outer edge. These are an important symbol in the story itself, and when Phatpuppy sent me the first mock-up cover with these included, I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!




Intro to Illustration:




There are eight full-page illustrations in Goddess Tithe featuring various characters and events from the story. This is the first one in the book. I decided to share it with all of you since it depicts my young hero, Munny the cabin boy, under the watchful eye of his mentor, the old sailor Tu Pich. Munny is on his first voyage, and he is determined to learn all there is to know about a life at sea as quickly as possible. Thus we see him utterly intent upon the knot he is learning to tie. Tu Pich is old enough to know that no sailor will ever learn all there is to know about the sea. Thus he looks on, grave, caring, and perhaps a little sad. He might be looking upon his own younger self of many years ago, fumbling through the hundreds of difficult knots his fingers must learn to tie with unconscious ease.




I enjoyed creating all the illustrations for Goddess Tithe, but this one was my favorite. I love the contrasts of light and dark, the contrasts of young and old . . . youthful intensity versus the perspective of age.




Excerpt from the Story:




Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:








“And what do you make of him yourself?”




Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”




“Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.




The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”




Munny made neither answer nor any move.




“We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”




“I hope—” Munny began.




But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”




The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.




Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.




“Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.




“It’s a sign!”




“She’s warning us!”




“It’s a sign, I tell you!”




Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.




They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.




They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.




Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.




“I’ve never seen anything like that.”




Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”




There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.




But it was.











Author Bio:




Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.








I am offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe as prizes! U.S. and Canada only, please.



Anomaly ~ Team Novel Teen Blog Tour

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on September 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)





By Krista McGee


















Thalli is an anomaly.  She thinks.  She questions.  And she feels!







In a world where emotion has been eliminated Thalli is a threat not only to herself but to Pod C.  Emotions destroyed the world but for the few that managed to survive below the surface.  Pod C is the third generation to be created and emotion was to have been stripped from their genetic make-up, but something is wrong with Thalli - she feels.







With minutes left before her life is ended Thalli must decide whose truth she is going to believe.  Is the truth that she has been taught her whole life true?  Or should she believe John, a man from before when times were primitive, a man who believes in The Designer a being who is not human?  Even more intriguing John speaks of emotions and feelings as if they were a blessing and not a horrible disease.  And what about Berk her childhood friend that has tried to protect her and save her life?





But The Ten are determined to save the world that they have created and if Thalli's death will help them accomplish that goal so be it!





Anomaly is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy from Thomas Nelson, who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  If you like books that hook you with the climax at the beginning of the book you will LOVE Anomaly, just don't let The Ten know or this may be the last book you ever read!







Though of a different genre than her previous works, Krista still hits the mark with an entertaining and enjoyable reading experience.  She creates characters that one truly cares about and doesn't mind spend time getting to know them.  Though the target audience is Young Adult I would say that adults and some older J Fiction readers will find much to capture their attention as well.

Book blurb: 


Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid. 







Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world was decimated by a nuclear war. But life continued deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. There they created genetically engineered human beings who are free of emotions in the hope that war won’t threaten the world again. 







Thalli is an anomaly, born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far by hiding her differences. But then her secret is discovered when she’s overwhelmed by the emotion of an ancient piece of music. 







The Ten quickly schedule her annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk—a scientist being groomed by The Ten—convinces them to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the Scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance. 







As her life ticks a way, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along. 







Thalli must sort out what to believe and who to trust, before her time runs out.



Interview with Krista McGee 



1) What inspired you to write Anomaly




I have always loved dystopian stories, from books like 1984, Brave New World and The Giver to movies like Gattica and Matrix. But I always wished a dystopian story would be told from a Christian worldview. When my publisher asked if I'd be willing to tackle just that, I jumped at the chance!







2) How was writing Anomaly different than First DateStarring Me, and Right Where I Belong? And do you have a preference in the these two genre? 




Writing Anomaly was different in so many ways. In my first books, the world in which my characters lived was real, and the time period was now. In Anomaly, the world is fictional and it is set in the future. Also, in my first books, the plots were taken from biblical stories. In Anomaly, the plot was all mine. So there was much more creative freedom in Anomaly, but it was more difficult to write. I love both genres, though. I don't think I could pick a favorite.







3) What 3 adjectives would you use to describe Anomaly?




Unflinching, Unpredictable, and Underground







4) If you had to pick one character that you most closely related to in Anomaly, who would it be and why this character? 




I am probably most like Thalli - as a teen, especially, I felt different from everyone around me. I also love music, and God has used music to draw me closer to him. And I can sometimes be a little too curious and overly emotional :).







5) You open Anomaly with the line "Fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds. That's how long I have to live." This opening just pulled me right into the story and I have to admit kept me up until 4:30, because I wanted to know what happened. Did this opening come to you early in the process of writing this book, or did it come later? 




That line was actually there from the beginning. When I sat down to write the proposal for this novel, it was there. I knew readers would need to be pulled in immediately - especially since the setting and characters are so different from setting and characters in contemporary novels. What better way to grab the reader than by giving them a countdown to death?







6) Will this be a multi-book series or will there just be two? 




This is a trilogy - the second book, Luminary, will release in January and the third, Revolutionary, is out next July.







7) Which of your characters(any book) would you most like to spend the afternoon with? Why this character? 






Great question! I'd probably go back to Right Where I Belong and hang out with Brian. He was my favorite character to write, partly because he is a projection of what I think my son, Thomas (age 10), will be like when he is 18. I'd enjoy listening to his antics and hearing his stories.





Author bio




When Krista McGee isn’t living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of “Anomaly,” “First Date,” “Starring Me,” and “Right Where I Belong.” Learn more about Krista at or connect on Facebook.











Anomaly is available from Amazon







Be sure to check-out all the Team Novel Teen tour stops:


• ADD LibrarianAudacious ReaderBlooming with BooksBookworm Reading











Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Anomaly by Krista McGee by clicking on the links above. 


Runabouts ~ Book Blast with Giveaway

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on September 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)



380004_bt Banner Ad_L1




Join P.J. Jenkins, author of the parenting/bullying book, Runabouts, as she tours the blogosphere September 9 - September 20 on her first Book Blast with Pump Up Your Book! P.J. will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC/Paypal Cash to one lucky winner! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form on the participating blogs below and good luck! If you would like to host P.J., please email Tracee at tgleichner (at)










Runabouts is a story about friends having fun together, as well as dealing with unpleasant situations. Sunny is a very good friend and tries to make sure that his friends are not taken advantage of by bullies. He also shows us how we can make choices for our own behavior even if others don't want to change their behavior. Sunny could leave Sharky stuck in the mud or he could choose to help him. What would you do? Enjoy the fun of zooming through the water and feeling the water spray over your face. I hope it will make you anxious to enjoy the water and warm weather just like Sunny.



Purchase your copy:


















I’m married and have two daughters, and seven and a half grandchildren. We enjoy spending time with our grandchildren and love to take them for rides on our boat. We are lucky to live in Michigan where lakes are plentiful as well as beautiful. I taught elementary school for over 35 years. Reading books is such a joy for children. Life often brings problems dealing with different kinds of people, and children need to now that they choose how they want to behave regardless of what others do. I hope they can see other options as well as enjoy a fun story.




Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!




Terms & Conditions:





  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.


  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.


  • This giveaway begins September 9 - September 20.


  • Winners will be contacted via email on Saturday September 21, 2013.


  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.





Good luck everyone!








book blast schedule




Monday, September 9










Tuesday, September 10












Wednesday, September 11












Thursday, September 12












Friday, September 13










Monday, September 16












Tuesday, September 17








Wednesday, September 18












Thursday, September 19










Friday, September 20













Pump Up Your Book


The Sword Series: Second Timothy ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on September 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)




The Sword Study is a unique way to involve all ages in the family in the study of the Bible.  The series that I was sent to review focused on II Timothy.  This is a 10 week study (FYI many of the activities in the Level 5 Leader's guide include activities that lend themselves to a summer type setting.  But these are merely suggestions and not you have to-do this.  Some of activities are also not something to do last minute so the parent/leader might want to go through the guide ahead of time to be sure that whatever activity they decide to go with they can have the materials on hand, such as suggested DVD's, games, books, etc.)

Level 1 is a one page activity per day while the other levels 2-5 are several pages that involve reading II Timothy in depth the first week.  Successive weeks focus on the individual chapters and verses and supporting Biblical references.

By the time the ten weeks have passed one will have an in depth understanding of II Timothy, Paul and the world at that time.  Between each week the reader is introduced to various persons who have upheld the Christian faith through their lives including Amy Carmichael, Eric Liddell, William Tyndale, and others.  There crossword puzzles, word searches, times lines and more to help get those in Levels 2-5 more involved.  Readers are also introduced to the advantages of using a concordance and Greek Lexicon when studying the Bible.  All in all it is a good study guide for a family setting.  I can also see that this would be an excellent study for a church or homeschool group as well.

I was provided a copy of this study series by Glass Road Media and Management in exchange for my honest review of these materials.





If you have tried to study the Bible together as a family, you are painfully aware that it has been impossible to find a study that suits every age level in your family...until now.   The Sword Study series from the Shelby Kennedy Foundation is now available to help you and your family become students of the Word together. The Sword Study series includes materials for everyone from ages 4 to 104.

About the Study:

Organized into different levels according to age, each study provides in-depth material from the same book of the Bible. Each study book is synchronized to cover the same truths at the same time but with graphics and learning tools appropriate for the age group.

Level 1, for ages 4-7, is an activity book with coloring, drawing, matching and other fun learning tools.

Level 2, for ages 7-10, contains light reading, fill-in-the-blank, and application sections.

Level 3, for ages 11-14, involves more investigation and questions for the student to answer.

Level 4, for teens and adults, steps up the reading and the depth of study including the definition of several Greek or Hebrew terms.

Level 5, is for the parent or study leader with guidance and background to lead a group of all ages includes a copy of Level 4.

The Sword Study series, originally created for competitors in The Shelby Kennedy Foundation's National Bible Bee, is now available to everyone for the first time.  Families no longer have to compete in the Bible Bee to establish family discipleship in the home with this one-of-a-kind study.  The Sword Study available for this tour is II Timothy.  I John is also available to the public and I Peter is scheduled for release in the fall of 2013. A new study is scheduled to be released each year. For more information visit

TNT Daughter of Light Blog Tour w/Giveaway

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 30, 2013 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (3)




Daughter of Light

By Morgan L. Busse

Daughter of Light opens with a woman running for her life.  A woman, named Mercia, who is trying to save the life of her daughter by getting to the White City.  But her time has run out...

Approximately 20 years have passed since Mercia's attempt to reach the White City when we are introduced to Rowen Mar, Captain Lore, Caleb Tala, and Nierne - four very different people from the various corners of this world.  Rowen has just lost her father to war.  Captain Lore is Captain of the Guard for Lord Gaynor Celestis, High Lord of the White City.  Caleb Tala is an assassin for his cousin Lord Corin. Nierne, a scribe at the Monastery of Thyria, was rescued by Father Roth when she as a child.

When a mark appears on Rowen's hand she is accused of being a witch and exiled upon pain of death should she ever return to Cinad.  When she is offered a position as varor Rowen is provided a means to escape the village that has just thrown her out.  But to become varor for Lady Astra will require training - physical training.  Can Rowen keep her mark and her frightening power a secret?

Captain Lore, tasked with overseeing Rowen's training, is puzzled by Rowen's demeanor.  He senses that something in her past has hurt her though he doesn't know what.

Meanwhile in Thyria something evil is moving in, an evil that most had forgotten had ever walked the land. An evil known as the Shadonae who bring with them the Mordra.  Only by calling upon the Word does Nierne survive the utter destruction of city.  With the only possible hope for stopping this ancient evil lying in the White City, Father Rath and Nierne are tasked with the mission.  But they are being hunted by the very beings they are hoping to stop.  Do any Eldaran yet live or has Nierne taken on a hopeless quest?

As the Temanins take their war to the very walls of the White City, Caleb is determined to destroy, in one night, the power of both the White City and that of Avonia.  Caleb's attack forces Rowen to use the powers that she has been hiding.  Will the White City now, out of fear, turn on the one person that could save it from the danger it will soon face?

To be perfectly blunt there is no way to review this book to do it justice to it without giving too much away.  I just finished up the CSFF blog tour for Patrick Carr's A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot and other tour participants were commenting on how little Christian Speculative Fiction is written for adults, well here you go!

This book has all the elements you could want.  A misunderstood outcast.  A heroic figure who calls upon God.  Danger.  An impossible mission (several in fact).  A closely guarded secret.  A hero is disguise.  A chance at redemption.  A world in the balance.  And a touch of romance.  Something for almost everyone.

The characters are an intriguing and compelling group.  Some you develop a fondness for, others you would run the other way if you saw them coming.  Daughter of Light  drew me in and held my attention to the very end.  Looking forward to reading book 2 Son of Truth sometime in the near future.

I was provided a digital copy of this book for the purpose of honestly reviewing it for this blog tour.




Be sure to check-out all the TNT tour stops:

ADD Librarian •  Blooming with Books •  Colorimetry •  CTF Devourer •  Jill Williamson








Book blurb: 



What if with one touch you could see inside the soul? 







Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . . But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand. 










About the author: Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at







Her Facebook Page 




Morgan’s website 










Enter to win an eBook of Daughter of Light runs August 30 - September 6, 2013













Keeper of Reign ~ Book Feature

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 12, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Join Emma Right, author of the young adult fantasy novel, Keeper of Reign, as she tours the blogosphere August 11 - August 30, 2013 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!









Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it? For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema. Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.





Purchase 2












Add to Goodreads:












Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one. Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children. Visit Emma Right at her home site and blog for tips and ideas about books, homeschooling, bible devotions, and author helps of various sorts: and follow her on facebook or her fanpage on
























Keeper of Reign Book Publicity Tour Schedule








Coming Soon!








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The Letters ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)




The Letters

The Inn at Eagle Hill ~ Book 1

By Suzanne  Woods Fisher

When newly widowed Rose Schrock needs to find a way to support her family, an overheard conversation seems to be an answer to her prayers.  A couple in need of a place to stay for the night opens Rose's eyes to the need of an inn in Stoney Ridge.

With the need to pay off her late husband's debts and needing to care for her ailing mother-in-law, in addition to her children most would think that Rose already had more than she could handle.  But with the help and encouragement of her neighbor, Galen King Rose is able to open the Inn at Eagle Hill.

But The Letters is more than a story about a bed and breakfast.  It is a story of a family struggling to come to terms with the sudden and unexpected changes that have come into their lives.  Rose uses her gift of caring to help others, including the hurting people who come to her home seeking rest. Her caring brings unexpected blessings and Eagle seems to be a place of miracles.

Some of your Stoney Ridge favorites are back, though in minor background characters.  The Letters brings back Jimmy Fisher who may finally start to grow-up while under the guidance of Galen King.  And Jimmy has some more adventures with horses (If you've read Suzanne Woods Fisher's Stoney Ridge Seasons series you know what I'm talking about).   And of course, Jimmy has found a new girl in his life, again!

The Letters is a story about finding joy in the simple moments of life.  But it is also a story about love - love of family, love of God, and a love of others around us.  And The Letters is a story of forgiveness and second chances.

I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Be sure to enter the giveaway being offered by Suzanne either by entering on her website here or on Facebook.  Contest runs August 1 - 17, 2013 with 6 winners.








Welcome to a place of unconditional love and unexpected blessings...

When widow Rose Schrock turns her Amish farmhouse into a bed and breakfast, she expects there might be problems. The reaction of her cantankerous mother-in-law for one. Disapproval from the church for another. But what she doesn't expect is that the guests at the Inn at Eagle Hill will spill their problems into her life and into her heart. She also never expects the kind of help and support she gets from Galen King, the quiet and rugged horse trainer next door. Love, Rose discovers, can bloom in the most unexpected ways.

With inspiration from a true story and her signature plot twists, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a fresh story of simple pleasures and strong faith in a complex world.

Anomaly ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 6, 2013 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)





by Krista McGee

The opening of Anomaly grips you from the very beginning.  Thalli has just over fifteen minutes left to live.  Her whole life she has spent as an anomaly because she has feelings and curiosity.  Thalli can't follow the rules, not because she intends to break them but because she isn't the same, she's malformed.

In a world where sameness is necessary to a productive, efficient society that is struggling to survive in post nuclear war Thalli is a threat! And threats must be annihilated for the good of the State.

But Thalli has a friend - Berk.  But this is a forbidden friendship because friendships are based on emotions and emotions are what destroyed the world above.  Can Berk and Thalli hide their friendship as Berk works to convince the Ten to spare her life and instead study her?

As Thalli struggles to understand her feelings she is confronted with different truths than she has been taught all her life.  But whose truth should she believe?  The strange man who speaks of the Designer?  Berk?  The scientists who saved their world?

Anomaly is a thought provoking look at a world where feelings have been removed from humanity for the betterment of humanity.  But can lack of feelings truly make for a better world?  Yes hatred and fear can drive some to the brink of war, but love and fear can also hold us back.

I think the saddest aspect of this book is the lack of family.  Children of the State, created by and for the State.  Children whose very existence is at the State's arbitrary will.

But where other YA titles have a similar theme most don't offer hope of something more.  As Thalli says at the end of the prologue Death is only the beginning, and Anomaly will take you on a journey of discovery with Thalli as she discovers what this beginning is.

This title is perfect for teens who want a dystopian book that is clean reading.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.



Book Description




Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.




Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world ended in a nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won’t threaten their lives again.




But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli’s secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.




She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.




As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.


Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out…

Finding the Good in Grief ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 2, 2013 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)




Finding the Good in Grief

By John F. Baggett

Rediscovering joy after a life-changing loss...

Why did this happen to me?  Have you ever experienced a loss so great that you thought you'd never recover from it?  And have you asked why me?

In this book John Baggett attempts to help you deal with and overcome your grief and to find the good in it.  Loss is a normal part of life and thinking that we are exempt because we are good people or because we have a relationship with God is unrealistic. 

How we deal with our loss is what is important.  Do we allow grief to control our life or do we use it to grow?  Grief is a journey and John looks at it in the context of faith and the spiritual struggles we now face. 

There are 11 chapters that each have a personal story dealing with various stages/reactions of and to grief. At the end of each there are questions to help you the reader to work through your grief.  John also shares his personal experience with grief so you know he isn't just giving you textbook answers to what you are going through.  He himself dealt with the these feelings of loss, he knows pain and grief.

What I liked best in The Good in Grief is what one man related in his story of loss, that in the midst of pain and loss he and his wife made a point of finding their happy moment each day.  If we can find something that brings us happiness each day we can get through our grief and find healing.

Grief is our time of change, it cocoons us so that we can come through it renewed and strengthened if we will allow God to help us and accept the support others offer us.

Keep a copy of this book on hand to share with anyone you know who has experienced a loss.  This would also be an excellent addition to your church library so that you can reach out to those who are grieving.

I was provided a copy of this book by Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.