Archives for August 2015

Borrowed and Blue by Emily Giffin book review

Disclosure: This former giveaway post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission. Opinions shared are mine.

I recently saw the Borrowed and Blue combo pack.  This combines two books I enjoyed – Something Borrowed and Something Blue.  It made me wonder what type of series readers you guys are.   Here’s my habit….

  1. Even if I love the first book, I might not read the second in the series. It has to really appeal to me.
  2. I read every book in a series, although I might not read them in order. It’s just the way I roll.
  3. I buy every book in a series as soon as I figure out that I liked the first one. I want to have them ready at a moment’s notice.

I tend to be more like reader A.  If it’s a series that I’m completely obsessed with, like the Twilight saga years ago, I might go to the bookstore and purchase all of the available books in the series.   There are just too many books that I love, though, to commit to a series unless I’m totally enamored.   Therefore, I’ve read a lot of First books, but not the rest of the series. I’m anxious to find out what other bloggers designated as the must-read second book, so that I can break my vicious cycle!  I’m featuring Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin as one of my favorite books.  It was so refreshingly different, and the character interaction was so unexpected.  I loved it!  I wasn’t sure if I’d read the second book (Something Blue) but went ahead and bought it.  I was SO GLAD that I read it.  Something Borrowed made me like the characters who weren’t really my favorite in the first book.  It rounded out the experience. [Read more…]

The Tears of Dark Water book review

Disclosure: I received the book to review. Post and giveaway form contain affiliate links; opinions shared are mine. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission.

Tears of Dark Water book review and #giveaway #FCevents
My copy of The Tears of Dark Water arrived just in time for the End of Summer giveaway hop. Thanks to Family Christian, one lucky reader will receive a copy of this book that releases on September 17, 2015!

When Washington, D.C., power broker Daniel Parker and his family embark on a round-the-world sailing trip, they’re sure they’ll survive the dangers of the open ocean—until they’re captured by Somali pirate Ismail Adan Ibrahim. FBI negotiator Paul Derrick is dispatched to handle the crisis. As their paths converge, will the seeds of justice and reconciliation grow?

This story starts out feeling like a life of privilege. How many of us get to sail away into the sunset on a yacht? Who gets a fabulous house purchased for them by their parents?! Although Daniel’s family certainly enjoys an affluent lifestyle, their broken family doesn’t align with the shiny exterior. The ship is aptly named the Renaissance, as it was hoped to signal a new beginning for the family. My husband and I love to watch political thrillers and dramas. The Tears of Dark Water had a similar feel; it reminded me of some of my favorite TV shows. As in many shows, the characters of this book are all highly successful in their respective fields. There are mentions of adult content (alcohol, romance, and the like) but it’s fairly clean overall. The deeper messages of social issues, steeped with symbolism and family dysfunction, were raised by this book. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see it become a movie at some point!

The strongest chord that resonated with me from The Tears of Dark Water seemed to be Quentin’s heartache. As a mother, I felt the need to reach out and give him a hug. On the cusp of manhood yet still so desperately young, Quentin was lost in his own head. I felt like the voyage was his second chance. It was hard to read about so much turmoil ruining it for him. Is it possible that God can work good from something so terrible as piracy and tragedy?

Family Christian is giving one lucky reader a copy of this book. US readers ages 18+ are eligible; void where prohibited by law. Enter through the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Read Me a Bible Story 365 book review

Disclosure: I received this book to review. Opinions shared are mine.

Are you ready for the Too Cool for Drool giveaway hop?  This event is hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It.  One lucky Savings in  Seconds reader will win a copy of Read Me a Bible Story 365 from Tommy Nelson.

#2Cool4School #giveaway hop [Read more…]

Through Waters Deep, Glory Days, and Hiding Places book reviews

Disclosure: I received these books to review. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

Sorry for the lack of new posts to read over the last week. We recently moved (yay!) but don’t have internet access yet (boo!) My phone’s data plan is hosting today’s wifi access, many thanks to the great customer service at Verizon for helping me set it up!   Taking a break from unpacking is made sweeter with some fun books to read. Every once in a while, I reward myself for the hard work by indulging in a wonderful piece of fiction. If you’re wondering what to read, check out these titles. Let’s start with Through Waters Deep.

Through Waters Deep - by Sarah Sundin
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin has the beautiful appeal of the WWII dramas she’s published in the past.  It has a refreshing, modern beat that bears the unexpected. It slightly reminds me of the story Something Borrowed (Emily Giffin).  [Read more…]

You’ve Got Back to School in the Bag #giveaway

You’ve got back to school in the bag – enter to win this giveaway for a Victoria’s Secret bag ($78 value). This is perfect for toting ballet gear, swim practice paraphernalia, and after school snacks. So many options, such a great bag. I’ll ship this prize directly to the winner. Will you win? Not if you don’t enter!
Enter to win this cute bag! [Read more…]

Quit smoking naturally – and get back the things you miss from your before-smoking life

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Aqua-tine™. Opinions shared are mine.

My mom has been a smoker for years, and badly suffers the urge to smoke. She turned to alternate forms of cigarette smoking, which helped in some ways but didn’t truly serve as a tobacco substitute. Heading back to school can be a stressful time, especially for older teens and college students. To reduce stress, many teens and young adults turn to nicotine. These days, most public buildings and schools are designated as non-smoking, so smokers can feel even more frustrated when they long for tobacco products! Although lots of smokers would like to quit smoking naturally, those pesky nicotine cravings can be unbearable at times. If you know a teen or young adult who would like to find an effective smoking cessation program, consider Aqua-tine™. It has only three ingredients, and none of the carcinogens that are found in regular cigarettes! Would Aqua-tine™ help you get some of your life back?
Consider Aqua-tine to quit smoking naturally #ad #WeLoveSmokers #giveaway

[Read more…]

Hangin’ on to Summer #giveaway — enter to win $25 Amazon or Paypal e-gift card

Disclosure:  This is a self-sponsored giveaway; post and giveaway form contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission.  Opinions shared are mine .

Enter to win $25 Amazon or Paypal - ends 8/31

August is usually one of the months where our checkbook balance takes a nosedive.  Back to school purchases coupled with higher electricity bills tend to eat away at our budget.  Are you suffering the same fate?  Join us – we’re hangin’ on to summer with a fun giveaway hop!  The prize for our giveaway is the winner’s choice of a $25 Amazon e-gift card, or $25 Paypal cash. [Read more…]

Welcome Home! Complement your home’s exterior style with color

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by James Hardie products. Opinions shared are mine.

Image courtesy of James Hardie

Image courtesy of James Hardie

What says “Welcome home!” to you?  For me, nothing beats a comfortable chair on a covered front porch. When we move into our new home on Friday, one of my first actions will be to set up my outdoor seating.  It’s amazing to think that after all of these months of slowly moving our many belongings into storage, filling out paperwork, and driving around for mile after mile of house showings….the day is finally here!    It’s taken many hands to get us to this point.  We’ve had help from so many wonderful friends and family to get this move underway.  I’m grateful to my sister, our realtors, the builders of our new home, and many more.  Now it’s time to think about maintenance and curb appeal of this new house.  While it might be tempting to focus on the “cosmetics” of the home’s interior, for most people the love affair begins with the exterior of the house.  When selecting your home’s exterior style, be sure to consider James Hardie as your resource for residential siding and exterior trim products!  [Read more…]

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant – book review

Disclosure: I received this book to review. Opinions shared are mine.



Book covers call to me, the way a chocoholic can hear a Hershey’s kiss singing from a desk drawer.  I love the way this cover looks, with the romantic faded-out couple walking on the brick-paved road. The pretty font-mosaic is just icing on the cake.  Love Arrives in Pieces is the dessert within, just waiting to be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea.  [Read more…]

What to read this weekend – Beyond the Ashes, A Heart’s Home, The Wood’s Edge

Disclosure: I received these books to review. Opinions shared are mine; post contains affiliate links.

Wondering what to read this weekend?  Here are some titles that will stir your curiosity and kindle your spirit!

What to read this weekend - Beyond the Ashes #LitfuseReads

As I read more historical fiction novels that take place around the early 20th century, I learn so much!  In Beyond the Ashes, there was such a feeling of being there that I couldn’t help but pursue my own research about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Then, I had to know more about early medical practices in the turn of the century.  Matters of etiquette and society’s graces were abundant in the story as well.  Although our home is far from prim and proper, the elegance in the story made me want to use a linen napkin or some such nonsense. The tense stirrings between Ruby and Gerald reminded me of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, with all the formality and stiff small talk.   [Read more…]