Thursday, June 28, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Chasing The Sun

"Chasing The Sun" by Tracie Peterson is set in Texas during the fall of 1863.  Hannah Dandridge has been responsible for her two younger siblings for several years but now it was different.  Their father was missing.  His business partner, an elderly man named Herbert Lockhart seemed to hold all the information.  He is trying to convince Hannah that it was her father's wishes for him to take care of the little family in events of his demise, but she is not buying that.  She is sure that her father would have discussed these matters with her.  Of course there is another issue, the ranch where they reside. the ranch that her father recently acquired when it was seized during the war.  There were several ranch hands that assisted Hannah in keeping the ranch afloat and watching out for Indians.

William Barnett returns home from war wounded only to find Miss Dandridge running his family's farm, much to his surprise.  She also was quite surprised when he turned up at the door with a young Comanche boy slung over his shoulder and her brother Andy by his side talking ninety to nothing.  Emotions are running high due to the circumstances but Hannah instructs Mr. Barnett to take him up to her father's bedroom.  When Hannah realizes how bad the young boy is hurt, she sprang into action forgetting her fears wanting to help. 

Will there be trouble with the Comanche?  Will the young Indian boy survive?  Will his family come looking for him?  What has actually happened to Hannah's father and how is Mr. Lockhart involved?  Will Mr. Barnett take control of the ranch and put Hannah and her siblings out?  Or will Hannah and Will's attraction for each other develop, or will Hannah end up Mrs. Lockhart?  The answers to all these questions and many more are found in "Chasing the Sun," Book One of Land of the Lone Star series.

If you like westerns and a good romance this is the book for you.  Tracie has done a wonderful job of developing all of the characters.  I couldn't help but notice when she is dealing with the Comanche she put her fears aside and helped, something God would do, not judging but helping.  This is a wonderful  well-written book.  Tracie's writing and the interaction of her characters makes you feel like you are right there.  I highly recommend it!  I am looking forward to Book 2, "Touching The Sky."

You can read an excerpt from "Chasing The Sun" here.

I received this book free from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hodgepodge 4th of July Style...

1. What do the words 'freedom' and 'liberty' mean to you? Does your mind go more in the direction of not being persecuted or discriminated against or does it head in the direction of doing what you please?
When I hear the words freedom or liberty I always think of our military, how they fight and stand up for our freedom and liberty.  But most importantly our freedom to worship the way we choose.  Praying we never lose that freedom.

2. Nathan's sponsors a hot dog eating contest every 4th of July. Last year over 40,000 people attended the event and almost 2 million watched it on TV. The winner ate over 60 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. How do you like your hot dogs?
Nothing like a good Vienna Hot Dog - Chicago Style - poppy seed bun, dog, mustard, relish, onions, sport peppers, and homemade thick frenchfries all wrapped together.  (Just for the record Sonic's Chicago Style Dog just doesn't cut it in my book.)  lolol.  But since that is not available in my neck of the woods I am satisfied with a good all beef hotdog, with mustard, relish, and onions on it. Sometimes you just gotta live with it...

3. If you were going to enter an eating contest what would be on the menu?
I would have a hard time with an eating contest, I am not a big eater at one sitting. 

4. Do you run your house more as a dictatorship or a democracy?
I would say a democracy but it probably depends on who you ask.  lol.   When my kid was young I would say democracy also, if we had issues we always listened to all sides before we made a decision.

5. Where was your favorite summer place when you were a kid?
I liked spending time in Arkansas at my cousin Kathy's.  We always had a lot of fun there.  It was in the country and I always lived in the city so it was a different way of life.

6. Do you have a guest room? Would you want to stay there?
Yes, we have a guest room here in Willard.  I guess I would if I had no other choice.  The bed is not real comfortable and there are things that need to be moved out of the room.

7. Next Wednesday America celebrates her independence. Do you have any special plans for the 4th of July? If you live outside the USA when and how does your country celebrate its own patriotic holiday?
Tuesday we are going to an icecream social with our church at our pastor's house, so that should be lots of fun!  Not sure about fireworks yet.  There are areas that are banning them because it is so dry. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am so excited I am almost caught up on my Book Reviews... woo hoo!  We are headed to Arkansas the 5th of July,  Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays!  My daughter and her husbands party is the 6th.  She is turning 30, yes my baby is going to be 30 this year.  Maybe that is why I have been feeling so poorly...lolol.  Then Eden Jades will be the 14th, she will be 6.  She is having a rollerskating party, sounds like a fun time to me.   I know alot of areas are dry and having problems but please remember Arkansas in your prayers - they need rain so bad.  The grass was already crunching underfoot when we were there in May and they still have not had rain.  My SIL was fighting fires tonight. I think he has been called out almost every night.  People are already having to feed their livestock hay because there is nothing in the fields and the water level is really getting low.  Please remember them!

until next time... nel

Monday, June 25, 2012


WELCOME TO BECKON, You’re Not Here By Chance is on an old wooden sign at the edge of town. “Beckon” by Tom Pawlick finds one of the main characters Jackson David Kendrick searching for his father, trying to find out what happened to him, why he disappeared.

His search leads him to an Indian Reservation in Western Wyoming in the vicinity of Beckon. His best friend Rudy accompanied him on this journey, helping Jack to find answers. Jack being an anthropologist and Rudy having a molecular degree makes them quite a pair. Asking around they find all kinds of stories and myths about the Shadow People and the Soul Eater of the caves, but were they really fabricated stories?

George and Miriam Wilcox also found themselves drawn to the town of Beckon, however for different reasons. Miriam was slipping away due to Alzheimer’s. Dr. Henderson, who also lives in Beckon contacted them and convinced George he needed to bring Miriam in for treatment. Mr. Vale, Henderson’s boss has a miracle drug available at the right price but one of the stipulations is they would have to remain in Beckon. They did not realize this until after the treatments had already begun. One of the other benefits of perlium, the miracle drug was it turned back the hands of time, or was that really a benefit? Most of the characters living at Beckon are users of perlium and have been residents for a long time, too long.

Where does perlium come from? Why is this town in the middle of nowhere? Are there really Shadow People? What about the Soul Eater? What is really in the caves? You can meet the other characters and answer all of these questions and a lot more by reading, “Beckon.” Grab your copy now!

This book is different, but different can be good. I am not usually a fan of Sci Fi books and this one is so close but I could not put it down. It is a fast moving book, full of surprises and intrigue. It leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. I highly recommend it!

You can view a trailer about the book on the author’s page here.

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Friday, June 22, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Constantly Craving

Ready to find out what you are really craving…

"Constantly Craving" by Marilyn Meberg is a thought provoking book discussing "How To Make Sense Of Always Wanting More."

As Marilyn points out in the book we have this need to always want more, it is like a craving inside us, something we are born with. We are always looking for more; thinking it will make us happier and it does for awhile but then when that good feeling vanishes or we become accustomed to it, we are looking again. Whether it be a better job, more in friendships or love, we are never satisfied.

According to Marilyn we need to start by realizing what God's purpose for our lives is. When we figure that out we will be able to understand our sense of craving fully.

I highly recommend this book! Marilyn brought out so many things I had not even thought about. It will help you understand that feeling of always wanting more that constant craving.

I received this book free from Book Sneeze a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Why Men Hate Going To Church

‘Why Men Hate Going to Church’ by David Murrow takes an in depth look at this growing problem. Several valid points are made throughout this book.

According to several studies the majority of churches, especially smaller ones there is a definite gender gap in attendance. The women outnumber the men in almost every church.

In this book it states that churches today tend to cater to the women. Women lead most of your Sunday school classes, Children’s Church, and Nursery. They tend to be decorated on the flowery feminine side, reaching out to the women.

According to the book the number two excuse is it is for wimps. The number one excuse being there are too many hypocrites. These are only the top two excuses given, we as a church have to decide why men feel the way they do. Is there a reason they are being turned off from the church life?

This book also discusses the history of when men started pulling away from the church, and gives ideas that perhaps will draw them back in.

This was an interesting book, a lot of information and ideas. I agree with a lot of the info but I think we have to be careful or we will end up being an entertaining church, giving people what they want instead of what they need. They need to realize it is a personal thing between them and Jesus.

I received this book free from Book Sneeze a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hodgepodge Number 82

It is time for the Hodgepodge!  Can you believe 82 - wow!  Joyce does a great job in hosting the Hodgepodge!  Click on the button and join in the fun!

1. Summer officially rolls in with the Hodgepodge this week, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere anyway. What song says summer 2012 to you?
We travel more during the summer whether it be short day trips or longer jaunts so I would have to say "On The Road Again."

2. What's your favorite quintessential summer food?
Cantalope - I love cold cantalope! 

3. I've spent a lot of time traipsing up and down the NJ Turnpike in recent weeks. Did you know the rest areas on the turnpike are named after people who lived or worked in NJ? Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, James Fenimore Cooper, Molly Pitcher, Joyce Kilmer, Thomas Edison, and Grover Clevland just to name a few. Of those I listed, who would you most like to have known and why?
I would think Thomas Edison.  He was the great inventor of the electrical age, a very smart man who had a good sense of humor.  He was responsible for hundreds of inventions, a couple of them being the light bulb and the phonograph.

4. At what age did you move out of your parent's house and what prompted the move?
I was 22 years old when I moved out on my own... across several states.  I lived in a suburb of Chicago and moved to Central Arkansas, like night and day.  Dad always talked about retiring in Arkansas and I knew he would not leave Illinois if I was still there, so I moved a year before they did. 

5. What's more satisfying to you-saving time or saving money?
I think saving money, I love a good sale!

6. Name something you think brings out the good in people.
Being a friend to them and treating them nicely, complimenting them.

7. This last question comes to you courtesy of Kathy over at Reflections...will you be taking a vacation or a staycation this summer? If so where will you go? If a staycation is on the calendar have you made any special plans to fill the time?
It looks like we will be headed to Vegas in August.  Hubby is a delegate for a convention.  Hoping we can make it to Texas this summer to see a good friend of his.  May try to make a quick trip to Nebraska to see his sisters also.  And of course Arkansas in July, September, November and December.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My cousin Debi visited with us from Wednesday thru Sunday afternoon.  We had such a good time! We talked and laughed and wiped tears!  It was so good to spend more than an hour or two with her.  We had not done that for a very very long time...long overdue!

until next time... nel

Monday, June 18, 2012


"The Mercy" by Beverly Lewis is Book Three in The Rose Trilogy.  The main characters of this book are two Amish sisters, Rose and Hannah, better known as Hen.

Hen has returned to her Plain life with her daughter, Mattie Sue in tow.  She is taking care of her Englisher husband until his sight returns, hoping they can mend their differences.

Rose's chance of finding love in their community is becoming increasingly low.  She keeps busy taking care of their family home for Mamm and Dat since Mamm's accident.  She does not have a lot of time left for herself.

Bishop Aaron is still on probation or silencing as the Amish call it, removed from his ministerial duties due to his son's behavior.  Rose has had a hard time understanding why the bishop's son Nick just up and left town after his half-brother's death.

Will Nick return to Lancaster County and explain his involvement?  Will Hen and her husband work their problems out or will they go their separate ways?  Will Mamm always be in extreme pain succumbed to a wheel chair?  Will Rose ever find true love?  The answers to all these questions can be found in "The Mercy," by Beverly Lewis.

This was a wonderful book.  I love Beverly Lewis' style of writing.  She makes you feel like you are part of the story, seeing in first hand.  I highly recommend it to anyone that likes a good clean novel.  It can be read alone or in sequence with the other Rose Trilogy books.
You can read an excerpt from the book here.
I received this book free from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Hodgpodge #81

Join in the fun if you would like, just hop over by Joyce and grab the questions and then share your answers with the rest of us.

So here we go...

1. In what way are you your own worst enemy?
I tend to be a perfectionist on things and will start things over if I do not like the way it is turning out.  Sometimes it takes a lot longer to get things accomplished.

2. Jacques Cousteau's birthday was Monday, June 11th...ever been scuba diving? Is that something you'd like to try? What's your favorite 'under the sea' creature?
I have never been, I had thought about it once upon a time but not sure if I could handle the mask on my face.  I love dolphins and love to watch schools of salt water fish swimming also.

3. On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you in and around the water? (1=not at all, 10=very) Do you know how to swim and if so how and when did you learn?
Probably about a 6.  I can swim a little, I think I could save my life if I had to as long as I didn't panick.  I don't like getting out over my head when swimming, if I am on a boat no problem.  We had swimming in high school, but really did not learn anything except how to float.  I took lessons when I was 19, there were three of us that went, we had a lot of fun!

4. What's something you do to motivate yourself to tick an item off your to-do list?
I like to get my to do list done so I can do something I enjoy.

5. What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor?
State Farm... lol.  I don't guess that is what you really wanted.  Someone who is friendly but not nosey.  Someone who will wave at you when they see you out or chit chat for a little while.  Someone who keeps their place clean and their pets in their yard.  I try to be a good neighbor.

6. Who loads the dishwasher at your house? Is there a right way and a wrong way?
Patt does the dishes here at Willard, and she does not use the dishwasher.  At our Arkansas home I do the dishes, and we do not have a dishwasher in that little house.  When I cook at my daughter's I usually load the dishwasher.

7. You know it's summer when_________________________.
the neighborhood pool opens.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am so excited my cousin Debi is coming to visit.  She will be here tomorrow.  We grew up together, living only 3 blocks apart.  We are planning on a girls day out, going to Branson to the outlet malls and just running around.  It has been a long time since we have spent any time together.  Really looking forward to it. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

until next time... nel

Saturday, June 9, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer is the 2nd installment of his series “The Daughter of Caleb Bender.” This story continues in Mexico close to the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, in an area knows as Paradise Valley. There Caleb Bender an Amish man brought his large family to establish a new colony where they would not face religious hardships or so he thought, they did face trials and setbacks.

His family consisted of his wife Martha; his daughter Ada; his daughter Mary and husband Ezra with their 4 children; his daughter Lizzie and husband Andy and 4 children; a son Aaron; Amos was Aaron’s twin but he is deceased; a daughter Emma and husband Levi and child; a daughter Miriam; a son Harvey; and three daughters, Rachel, Leah and Barbara.
The Amish people had to be very careful watching for Mexican bandits, El Pantera who was well known and his renegade was the worse. Domingo, a hired hand of Caleb’s who was very attracted to Miriam knew how to handle the bandits. El Pantera was one of Pancho Villa’s men and the Amish were safe as long as Pancho was alive, even though they had been threatened my him and his mob.
Unfortunately Pancho Villa was murdered and utter chaos set in. While Aaron, Ada, Little Amos, Rachel and Jake were headed back to Paradise Valley they crossed paths with El Pantera and his outlaws.
You will want to read the book to find out what happens to the Bender family. Will they ever escape El Pantera’s grasp? Will Meriam and Domingo ever work out their differences? Will life in Paradise Valley ever be peaceful? Grab a copy of this book to read you will not be disappointed.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It totally kept my interest and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next.
I received this book free from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
You can read an excerpt of the book here.
until next time... nel

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Woo-Hoo Number 80...

It is Hodgepodge time again.  This is the 80th Volume. 80th people can you believe that? I am not sure how she comes up with all of them. You do a great job Joyce!  If any of you would like to join in click on the button above and grab the questions and make sure you link up at Joyce's.  It is a lot of fun!

1. How many students were in your high school graduating class? Did you know most, if not all of them?
There were 467.  I graduated from West Leyden in Northlake, IL.  No I did not know all of them.  Actually I am in contact with more now because of Facebook than when I was in school.  I was very quiet and shy in school, no self esteem.

2. What was the last thing you photographed?
Saturday, our church met at Ryans and had lunch for Mother's/Father's Day. I took a few pictures before we started eating. We have a small church but about 15 showed up.  It was a lot of fun!

3. Pickles-love 'em or loathe 'em? If its love what's something you eat that needs a pickle?
Love 'em!  I love to eat Kosher Dill Strips wrapped in a piece of bread.  A pickle sandwich - yeah I know I am weird.  I usually just eat pickles by themselves.  Love Bread & Butter, Sweet & Sour or sometimes called Lime Pickle, and I have a recipe for Fire and Ice Pickles.  They are really good!

4. What's a stereotype you seem to perpetuate without meaning to?
Wow - I am not sure on this one.  I am drawing a blank!

5. Ever been horse back riding? If so is it something you enjoy? If not, do you have any interest? Did you watch the Kentucky Derby? Will you be watching the last leg of the Triple Crown this weekend?
Used to horse back ride all the time until I got thrown and was in the hospital for 3 days unconcious.  Enjoy it - not so much anymore. I can finally be close to one if it is on the other side of the fence.  I do watch the races if they happen to be on.  I have always wanted to go to the races.  Had plans to go with a few friends for my birthday one year.  Unfortunately, one of them was killed in a freak accident two days before my 24th birthday. One of these days...

6. What's your favorite 'wedding' movie?
I love the "Runaway Bride" with Julia Roberts.  I also like "Father of The Bride" 1 & 2. 

7. What is one 'tourist attraction' in the USA that you'd like to see in person.
I would like to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I can only imagine what my ancestors thought when they set foot in the United States. 
I would also like to see Yosemite National Park.  Those are at the top of the list, of course there are lots of others.  I think we are truly blessed in the United States, it is sad more people do not enjoy it.  Ooops that is more that one isn't it?  Oh well you know how I roll...

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Looking forward to this evening, it has been a long time since I have been to a Revival.  We are meeting at the church and taking the bus to Marshfield Free Will Baptist Revival, about a 28 mile ride.  Expecting a blessing!

until next time... nel