Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review ~ Now and Then and Always (Maple Valley #1) by Melissa Tagg

Kindle Edition422 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Larkspur Press

“It was just a house. Just a weathered old house in a hidden grove, shuttered and still...” 

Last year, after traumatic circumstances forced her from her job as a nanny, Mara Bristol finally found a place to belong—the winsome Everwood Bed & Breakfast at the edge of Maple Valley, Iowa. For months, she’s helped its owner, Lenora, maintain the ramshackle property despite their shortage of guests. But when Lenora fails to return from a month-long trip and the bank threatens foreclosure, Mara worries she’s once again alone . . . abandoned . . . about to lose the only true home she’s ever known. 

Detective Marshall Hawkins is no closer to whole today than he was two years ago . . . the day his daughter died. Between his divorce, debilitating migraines, and a dependence on medication, his life is falling apart. And when a reckless decision on the job propels him into administrative leave, he has no other plan but to get in his truck and drive. A one-night stay at the Everwood was supposed to be just that. But there’s something about the old house—or maybe its intriguing caretaker—that pulls him in. 

Together, Mara and Marshall set out to save the Everwood. But its secrets run deeper than they could’ve imagined. As they renovate the house and search for its missing owner, they’ll each confront the pain that brought them to the Everwood in the first place . . . and just maybe discover a faith and love to help them carry on. 


 I am NOT affiliated with any vendor. Links are for your convenience only. 
All links are for Ebook.

My Review
4.5 STARS!!!

"I'm ready to let God put me back together. I know now there's life beyond the brokenness."

Now and Then and Always—characters, setting, plot, mystery all combine to create one of the most delightful books I’ve read this year! I was captivated and read it in a day. That’s saying something for me, or rather the author. J It’s an emotional story that brought laughter and tears more than once and had me smiling a lot. And yet the pain Marshall is experiencing since the death of his precious daughter, Laney, is too familiar. I can’t spend too much time thinking about that other than to say that Melissa Tagg has written it as if she has experienced it but I sure hope not. I hope it is pure skill and a blessed gift from God that she can write about such devastating loss. Everything described that Marshall feels and thinks, I have been there or I’m still there in my own grief journey. But I have hope that I, too, am not so broken that God can’t heal me.

Mara has found purpose and friendship in Maple Valley. Lenora, elderly owner of Everwood, helps her discover what can be and not just what was. Their friendship is bound in need and love and an answer to prayers not even realized. I loved hearing Lenora’s thoughts. At first I thought they were written as diary entries but then realized that wasn’t the case. I was anxious to find out what was happening to her. There is a mystery surrounding Lenora and her parents who disappeared many years ago. It’s woven expertly through the story.

None of the main characters are related but they’ve formed their own family with one another. I look forward to finding out more about Jen and Lucas and Sam. Maple Valley is a storyworld like no other and one that any reader would want to live in. I highly recommend this book to fans of good clean contemporary romance with strong yet subtle faith elements interlaced throughout.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Review ~ Friendship Promises from (in)courage

Hardcover112 pages
Published February 1st 2019 by B Books

Friendship Promises is a meaningful gift book, for both the giver and the recipient. Sharing these encouraging words will help friends walk confidently toward a sweet, strong relationship grounded in honesty, kindness, and a devotion to God and one another. Featuring reflections about friendship from Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker, and Craving Connection from the (in)courage community, Friendship Promises combines beautiful graphics with devotional reflections, prayers, Scripture, and journaling prompts. By giving this lovely book, you are sharing your heart to be a friend that is authentic, present, encouraging, and rooted in Christ.

My Review
4 STARS!!!

Friendship Promises is a lovely pinkish colored linen cloth-on-board covered book with gold lettering containing short devotions, inspirational sayings, pretty graphics and images, and space to journal. It's a book best shared with a friend, letting her know her friendship is important and you are beside her for the long haul. It's isn't deep in theology but it is deep in (in)couragement. God wants us to inspire and strengthen our sisters-in Christ and let each other know we are not alone on this life and faith journey. I visited the (in)courage website and this group of women do friendship well!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a positive review.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thrifty Thursday Anyone?

Y'all know I love thrift shopping, especially when I find two gems like these! 

This darling footed octagon-shaped Royale Limoges teacup and saucer have the sweetest pink flowers adorning them. 

I tried to find the pattern online but no success.

 I don't have a pink teapot so when I saw this Old Amsterdam Porcelain Works teapot, I knew it was coming home with me. It's small size is perfect for two cups of coffee or tea! Officially ,the color is Sierra Rose but I like PINK better! :-)

I’ve decided to try making a weekly post featuring one or two of my thrift store finds, past and current. I make no promises I’ll be a regular poster but I will sure try. This last photo was taken with my phone. It's not great but it actually turned out to be my favorite.

I would love it if you shared in the comments about something you’ve rescued from a thrift store. :-) 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Book Spotlight ~ The Number of Love (The Codebreakers #1) by Roseanna White

About the Book

The Number of Love
Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.
Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?
Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.
Pre-order now!! 
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2WdRsY0 
Christian Book: https://bit.ly/2U3x4LB

NOTE: I am not affiliated with any online retailers and make no monies if you use links provided to order a book. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rebecca Reviews ~ Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Paperback368 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss's humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.

Decades later, Annie Sawyer is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn't anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea. 

Rebecca’s Review
5 STARS!!!

"He said he loves you, that it'll be all right, that life is big . . . and God is bigger." 

"Whose Waves These Are" clears generational speed bumps with the ease of a stallion; its poetic prose is enchanting, the spiritual depth and metaphorical descriptions compelling the most seasoned of readers to take pause. 

Using the lives of twin brothers as a foundation stone, the author builds her story; and it's a story like none other, for Robert and Roy Bliss are unparalleled. Their lives diverge from the tiny town of Ansel by the Sea when the call for war beckons one and not the other. In the end, or it could be viewed as the beginning, it's grief that completes what life could not accomplish. 

Years later, a granddaughter reappears in the tiny Maine town, apparently her beloved GrandBob needs her. As Annie Bliss uncovers the fascinating layers of her family history, she learns that "every wave . . . is a story" and "there's a whole lotta light . .. when the Lord makes His face to shine upon Thee"; yet, Annie can only wonder what kind of stories the waves will write for her.


I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With over 30 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Review ~ Cards of Kindness for Courageous Girls: Shareable Devotions and Inspiration, Compiled by Barbour Staff

Paperback96 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Shiloh Kidz

Courageous Girls Are Kind!

Your heart will delight in spreading kindness and inspiration wherever you go with these shareable Cards of Kindness!

Flip each page to discover a positive life message that will both uplift and inspire your heart—and the hearts of other courageous girls just like you. Once you’ve read through the devotion and pondered the message of loving-kindness, tear out the card and pass it on to another girl . . who will then be encouraged to keep the "Courageous Girls Are Kind" movement going. . .by passing the card along to yet another courageous girl!

Each Card of Kindness will spark positive, faith-building discussions with other like-minded girls. You’ll enjoy spreading kindness and God's love, page by delightful page! 


My Review
5 STARS!!!

Cards of Kindness is a lovely devotional and sharing book for girls! It’s durable and can be carried in a purse or backpack so it’s always on hand to read encouraging words and share with others. Each perforated card has a short devotional, a Scripture verse, and on the backside whimsical illustrations with positive and uplifting thoughts to be pondered. I highly recommend Cards of Kindness for girls of all ages! :-)

I randomly opened the book and the page headline read 
When You Need to Forgive. It’s about a friend hurting your feelings and maybe you’re angry or you’re holding on to the hurt. It talks about an opportunity to show Jesus to this friend. I was a little stunned as I recently was pretty upset about something and yes, I was feeling a good deal of anger toward a friend. They didn't know it but I did. I knew it was wrong to feel angry and had already asked the Lord to forgive me but how awesome was it for me to find further encouragement and confirmation in the pages of this sweet little book?!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Saturday, May 11, 2019


ELIZABETHD is the winner of the Kindle copy of...

Thanks to those who commented and chatted beverages and books!

~Happy Reading~

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review ~ Not Forsaken: Finding Freedom as Sons & Daughters of a Perfect Father by Louie Giglio

Paperback256 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by B Books

This book is for everyone who has a father.
And for all those who know what it’s like to long for a father’s blessing: his approval, affection and attention. It’s for anyone who’s ever longed to hear your dad say, “I love you. I’m so proud of you.”
You may already know what it’s like to live in the rays of such a blessing, to flourish in the marvelous light of a father’s love. Yet, in this “fatherless generation,” it’s also likely you’ve never known the blessing of your earthly dad. The possibility of hearing the words, “I love you, I’m proud of you,” may be gone—washed away by your dad’s death or distance or divorce or disinterest. Your father’s blessing may be mired in a pit of regret, pain or abandonment.
But here’s the good news— regardless of how amazing or absent, invested or disinterested, empowering or deflating your earthly father was or is — you do have a perfect Father.
We see all throughout Scripture that God wants us to know Him as Father and wants us to live under the waterfall of His blessing.
In Not Forsaken, Pastor Louie Giglio invites us to reframe our view of fatherhood, by understanding that God is not simply the bigger version of our earthly dads, He is the perfect version of our earthly dads. And, He’s inviting us to walk in freedom as loved sons and daughters of the King. 
God is not the reflection of your earthly father; He is the perfection of your earthly father.


My Review

“Open your eyes and see how astonishingly beautiful He is.”

I enjoyed listening to the audio version of Not Forsaken by Louie Giglio. He also is the narrator and I do believe it added a depth of authenticity to his storytelling to hear him recall stories about his own dad. His persona is engaging and witty and had me chuckling a few times.

Giglio’s statements relating to how we think about God are right on target because so often we base our conclusions on who God is by what we think about our own fathers, who aren’t in any way, shape or form perfect.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to know more about God, the deep and abiding love of a true Father, and for healing that we all need. Not Forsaken points us to the source of all goodness and perfect love, our heavenly Father!

Philippians 1:6 ~ And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

I received an audible download of the book from the publisher in exchange for my review. No compensation has been received.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Review ~ Moments We Forget by Beth K Vogt + Goodreads Giveaway

Happy Release Day!!!

Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Tyndale House Publishers 

Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine.

Now, Jillian's on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she'd hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again.

Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be "just Jillian," the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever? 

Purchase links are for Ebook:
Amazon (4.99)
B&N (4.99)
CBD (3.99)

I am NOT affiliated with any of these vendors. Links are for your convenience only. 
All links are for Ebook but paperback and hardcover are also available to purchase. 

Beth K. Vogt

Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she'd never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four who said she'd never have kids. Now Beth believes God's best often waits behind doors marked Never. Beth's first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released in May 2018. Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, releases May 2019.

Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA Award finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Weddings series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there's more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Academy and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers' groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.

My Review
5 STARS!!!

‘A single thread of hope is still a very powerful thing.’

Moments We Forget is an incredibly moving story. I will admit it was hard for me to read. I see parts of myself in all three of the Thatcher sisters. Each one has unique protective measures in place and they’re explored with depth and clarity. My emotions swirled and at times plummeted like a kite losing its wind.

Johanna, the oldest sister, is a piece of work and I often found myself talking to her, even scoffing at her. Out loud, of course, because that’s the way I roll. Then as the story progressed and circumstances unfolded, my heart was deeply affected, as it was toward Jillian and how she is surviving the aftermath of cancer and chemo. And she is in survival mode. It’s raw and real.

It isn’t all gravity and we get a glimpse into some tender moments that truly show the bond between sisters no matter what is taking place. Personality differences aside, in the end, your sister is still your sister.

You might be a little like me and you’ll see a broken or strained relationship represented here between yourself and your mom or daughter. I envisioned scenarios in my life with the ones closest to me and ended up stopping several times to pray and seek God’s wisdom.

I anticipate a fabulous end to this series when the final book releases because Vogt’s writing is amazing, intense and convicting. Moments We Forget will touch many readers deep in their hearts; discoveries will be made and hope found.

I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher. No review was required. No compensation received. 

Giveaway Information:
Stuff & Nonsense is in no way affiliated with this giveaway. 
It is solely offered through Goodreads!!
Link to giveaway -- click here.

Monday, May 6, 2019

COVER REVEAL!!! A Cuppa Trouble by Angela Ruth Strong + Giveaway!!!

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there's nothing else she'd rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK.

From Goodreads: Plans for a Valentine's Day grand opening of a small town coffee shop go awry when the first customer is killed. Evidence points toward the victim being mixed up in a car theft ring, but shop owners Tandy and Marissa have reason to believe he was framed. An assortment of suspects--from a pink-haired heir to Tandy's charming ex--all seem to know a little too much about grand theft auto.
Without approval from either their boyfriends or the gum-chewing FBI agent in charge, the shop owners go on stakeouts, plan stings, and pursue justice in a high-speed car chase. If they don't find the killer soon, it might be more than their love lives in trouble.

Isn't this cover cute???

Have you read any of Angela's books? I've read several and enjoyed them all. 
Her voice is fresh and feisty and fun!

The first book in this series, A Caffeine Conundrum, was a 5 star read for me last year 
and made my Top Ten Reads in 2018!! If you have Kindle Unlimited, it's FREE to read on there and you'll be all ready for Tandy and Marissa's latest adventure in 
A Cuppa Trouble, releasing July 1st!!!. 

And guess what today is??

 National Beverage Day!!!

I'm a tea and coffee drinker.  

What about you? Do you prefer tea or coffee? Or maybe you enjoy soda more than hot drinks. 

Let's chat beverages and books in the comments. 

I'm giving away a Kindle copy of A Caffeine Conundrum  (The CafFUNated Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

to get one of my readers started on this series. Be sure and leave your email address in a non-spammy format (jane at doe dot com) and follow the blog thru GFC in the right sidebar. 
Ends May 10th!

Open internationally if you think you can retrieve the book! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Connie Saunders!!!
You won these two lovely books today!

Thanks to all who came by and entered the giveaway, and to those who signed up 
to follow the blog thru GFC. It is much appreciated!!