Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I love giveaways!  I love getting and I love giving, so.....I'm going to give one of these:
...in the color of your choice.  
I call it a mug shrug.  Because a small sweater is called a shrug....... and this is small ......and for a mug......
one of these in the color of your choice:
 A cup cozy! Here's how it looks on a travel cup...

They are crocheted using 100 percent cotton yarn...washable...absorbant... they'll help keep your hot drinks hot and your hands cool and your hands warm and dry with cold drinks...they fit several size takeout cups. I'll be listing them in my Etsy store soon but I'm giving my readers a chance to win one first.

So, what do you have to do to win one of these beauties???? 
It's easy!  Go to my Touch of Heaven facebook page and like it.  Then , and this is important , come back here and leave me a comment telling me you did it.  Make sure you leave an email so I can contact you (like this:  my email[at]email[dot]com) and which one you'd like and the color(s).  When I get 64 likes I'll pick a winner.  Why 64?  Because I have 48 now and I asked my husband to pick a number between 48 and 100 and he picked 64.  Tell your friends and help me get more likes!!! (after all, everyone likes to be liked, don't they?)

So to recap: 
1. Go to my A Touch of Heaven facebook page and "like" it
2. Come back and in one comment, tell me you did,   pick your style and color,  and leave your email so I can contact you

Once I get 64 "likes" I'll use that cool random generator thingy to pick a winner from the commenters.  I'll give the winner 3 days after I email them to send me their delivery information. If I don't hear from them in 3 days, I'll pick another winner.  AND, if I get more than 64 "likes" I might pick a second winner.

So, get busy and tell your friends !!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

From the WaterBrook Press web site:

Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.

Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.

But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?

This book started really slowly for me.  I had to restart reading it four times because as much as I wanted to love it, I couldn’t get into it.  It took about 75 pages and nine chapters for it to draw my attention.  I can’t really put my finger on why I wasn’t drawn to it.  To be fair, I did enjoy the middle of the story, but the beginning and the ending were a little flat.  There was almost no mention of faith and Christianity and when there was, it seemed as if it was randomly thrown in.  The first half of the book takes place before the marriage.  Then, the reader is fast-forwarded to four years later.  I would like to have seen how the characters changed and developed during those skipped-over years and what their lives had been like.

The main characters, Charlotte and Alex, enter into a marriage based on a lie and continue to deceive their friends and family.  And, as usually happens, more lies must be told to support the initial lie.  Eventually, they realize that the people that they are lying the most to are themselves.

There were many comical scenes and times of clever, funny conversation between Charlotte and Alex, and the historical settings were a plus. One particularly enjoyable scene worth mentioning occurred when Charlotte backed too close to the fire place and her bustle caught on fire. Alex has to react quickly and grabs a pillow and smacks her on the backside to put the fire out. Of course, Charlotte is oblivious to the fire and is mortified by his actions. Witty banter and verbal sparring ensues.

If you’re looking for a clean romance story with very little ‘religious’ content, you might like this. Don’t take my word for it, though - read a segment of it here:
The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

 But, if you’re looking for a Christian romance with characters deeply founded in their faith, this probably isn’t the one for you. I give this book a 3 out of 5.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press  through their Blogging for Books book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley

A Vision of Lucy is the last book of Margaret Brownley’s Rocky Creek Romance series.  The main character is Lucy Fairbanks, a young woman ahead of her time.  She dreams of working as a photographer and having her photos published in a newspaper, but in the late 1800’s, women weren’t taken seriously in that profession. 

The book opens with Lucy climbing a tree in order to get a photo of the allusive and mysterious white wild mustang.  As she is perched in the tree with her camera she suddenly falls into a story....literally.  She falls out of the tree and on to the top of the Wells Fargo Stagecoach that is at that moment being held up by masked outlaws.  She is rescued by the reclusive, David Wolf, known by the local townspeople as “the wild man”.

 Lucy is constantly getting herself and others in madcap, zany and sometimes dangerous predicaments.  While I was reading this book images of Lucille Ball, Doris Day and Debbie Reynolds kept popping into my mind. I could envision any one of them playing the part of Lucy. 

At the beginning of every chapter there is a quotation from Miss Gertrude Hasselbrink.  Each quotation gives you a hint of what of what you can expect coming up.  My favorite was “When posing for a photograph, spinsters should avoid looking desperate or deprived. A serene smile will show that your circumstances are by choice and not for lack of beauty or character.”

I enjoyed reading this book and found myself wondering what Lucy was going to get herself into next. The mystery and tragedy surrounding David Wolf is an interesting contrast with the comedy and zaniness of Lucy.   However, while I found myself laughing along with Lucy and her antics, I feel like the sad and tragic moments were treated a little too frivolously, even comically in a few instances.

If you want a lighthearted, fun book to read with characters who are searching for God’s will in their lives, then you’ll like this one and you’ll probably find yourself chuckling out loud.

You can read the first few pages here :

This book is available at:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze and Thomas Nelson through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hidden Affections by Delia Parr

From the Bethany House website:

A Tale of Unexpected Romance

Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Tyler wears the burden of legally being a divorcee, a difficult position for an upstanding young woman to find herself in. While attempting to start a new life for herself, an unexpected turn of events once again has Annabelle married--this time to Harrison Graymoor, the most eligible, yet elusive, bachelor in Philadelphia. Harrison assures her that he will secure an annulment immediately, unaware that the constable has sent word of the marriage to the press in Philadelphia. And here things continue to go awry. Harrison's past, a philanthropic cousin with his eye on Annabelle, and the appearance of Annabelle's ex-husband threaten the tentative relationship growing between Harrison and his "wife." For two individuals set against marriage, there are certainly a lot of second thoughts regarding the one forced upon them.

How could you not want to read a book with a first line like... “Annabelle Taylor may have hoped she would marry again someday, but she never dreamed she would be wearing handcuffs during the ceremony when she did.” ?  Annabelle’s story is this – she marries a man , who after a week, leaves her only to return months later with the news that while he was away, he had divorced her and married a wealthier woman.  She is left with no option but to leave her hometown in disgrace and look for employment elsewhere. This is where chapter one begins.  Through a series of unfortunate and stressful events she again finds herself married to a man who has no interest in marriage.  This time, it is she who keeps her past a secret.  As they spend more time together, Annabelle and Harrison form a guarded friendship. 

There are many interesting characters in this book, and I think for me the most memorable, other than the two main characters, was Irene,  the housekeeper.  She dispenses wise counsel, offers a shoulder to cry on and at times is comically manipulative, in her own loving way.  Her faith is evident in her life.

The setting was also very intriguing as most of the story takes place in a country home inspired by an historic home now located in the Philadelphia Zoo.  You can read more about it here : http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/about/AboutZoo/Zoo-History/The-Solitude-House.htm

I won’t give away the outcome, but I will tell you that many times while I was reading , I wished I could reach into the book and grab these two folks and give them both a good shaking! 

This was a very enjoyable and easy book to read. If you’re looking for a book with deep, profound lessons and doctrinal statements, this isn’t for you. But, if you are looking for a book with enjoyable characters, interesting historical settings from a Christian fiction point of view then you will want to read this.

Read the first three chapters here:

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House  through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, June 04, 2011

What I've been up to lately

The weather has been sooooo nice here lately.  Cool, sunny, breezy........perfect!  So I have been busy outside, cutting down weeds, and with the help of my son and husband, cutting down shrubs and planting new ones.  I have also tried my hand at 'garden decor'.  Unfortunately, all the activity, digging, raking and trampling, has done a number on the ground cover in that area but it's hardy and will come back. It just looks a little bare for right now.  The area is directly in front of our front porch.  I thought I'd share some pics of what it was before and what it is now. SO, here goes.......
This is a few years ago when all three bushes were still alive.  Shortly after this the outer two bushes died and had to be removed.  That left one lonely bush in the center.  You can also see the green and white ground cover in the center.  That has since spread to cover the entire area, or , at least it had...AND WILL AGAIN ! 

Here's a more recent picture taken at Christmas time, that shows the one lonely bush. Add about a foot to the height and you will appreciate how it overpowered the area.  My husband liked it because in nice weather he could sit on the porch and work without distractions.  I didn't like it because it just looked weird!

So.... this is what I did (with some help)......

See the new, cute little shrubs? They are a dwarf variety and hopefully we won't have the 'takeover' problem we had before.  Now here is where you have to use your imagination and 'look' into the future...See that trellis?  That will eventually be covered with morning glories, and the ground cover will blanket the area with pretty green and white foliage.
The stairs are the next project on the agenda.  I'll be replacing the handrails and then giving them a good coat of paint.

See those little green and white leavesin the lower left corner?  That's the surviving ground cover that will eventually carpet the area again.

That's what I've been up to.  Not much time for reading so there are no book reviews to post.

I AM putting together a giveaway that will include a bunch of stuff, including a book, jewelry, and whatever else I decide to throw in.  Keep checking back for it!!

This post is linked to:
No Ordinary Blog Hop
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