Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"A Promise in Pieces" A Quilts of Love - Every Quilt Has a Story series by Emily T Wierenga/#Giveaway/Facebook Party!


5 Stars!
This happens to be my first time reading A Quilts of Love novel, and won't be my last! Now I want toread them all! This book happens to be one of over twenty in this series of stand alone novels, and this is also author Emily T Wierenga's debut novel! Congratulations to her! I definitely plan on reading many more of her books in addition to the other authors in this series, too. I really enjoyed this author's writing style and her story telling because it felt 'real', as if I was right there in the car listening to the story! This book covered so much in the 207 pages, but it never felt as if it was too much. Now that I am finished, I am finding myself thinking more about this book, still! I thought the story this book told was pretty amazing! It was a beautiful story for everything Clara, our main character, did! Even though her husband may be quiet, Clara's growing up life was not quiet to begin with at all.
This book starts out in the year 2000 with Clara and her entire family going on a trip to Louisiana for a very important mission. She had a quilt to deliver to the National World War II Museum to be accepted as an artifact. This quilt helped to deliver many babies into this world and to comfort many women who lost husbands or sons/grandsons from the war. For all of the lives this quilt touched, their names were all hand stitched onto this quilt, so there is a lot of history on/in it. It was never intended to be, it just happened to turn out this way.
In the beginning of this trip, Clara's grandson, Noah, was playing a game on one of those electrical devices, a Nintendo, and when he handed it to her to try to play it, it wrenched her heart to see he was playing a game in which you shot and killed other people. If only these young kids had known life/war was not a game but a true loss of life affecting so many people. This gave Clara the idea to ask her family if they would like to hear her life story on this trip. She asked if any of them were interested, and they were! (Even the Nintendo game disappeared!) This is where the book starts to flip-flop back and forth between the present and the years of WWII.
On page 57, Clara tells her grandson, "If it weren't for Mattie, I would never have found my way to your father nor to each of you. So in a way, this trip is about commemorating the gift of friendship. The gift of family. The gifts of faith. And it all started with a quilt."
It is in the second chapter the story that starts to tell us how Clara's life begins. We go back to the year 1943. We learn Clara was named after Clara Barton, the founder of the National Red Cross, also her Grandmother! Clara had the same drive and ambitions as her grandmother had, and every different part of her life was devoted to God's plan he had for her to follow from the beginning of her life well into her 80's, and just shortly after the loss of her husband. God was once again at work inside of Clara, and she knew it!
Clara starts telling us the story of her life when she and her only friend at the time, Eva, go to the Red Cross Recruiting Center and signed up with the Army Nurse Corps. This was BIG and wrong according to Clara's parents, but right for Clara to do.
Clara had many hurdles to get through in life, starting in her childhood. One of her very first was her bible thumping preacher father who seemed to use the bible the way he wanted to as it pertained to him and his circumstances no matter who it seemed to hurt, and it hurt Clara the most as she had to listen to him twist it to serve his wants and needs. Her mother was not one to stand up to her father, either. She was not allowed to play with other kids her own age either, but as long as her life revolved around the church, then it was okay. This was not okay, and Clara missed out on a lot of childhood because of it. Not only that, but her father was completely against the war and thought we should just turn the other cheek! What? How anyone could be against that war is beyond me! He not only preached it but lived what he preached. It was during this time that Clara had lost her faith in God because of her father. She was not even allowed to read any other book besides the bible. As we read this book, we learn she finds her faith again, but it took quite a lot to get it back.
Clara was so afraid of telling her parents what she did, she waited until the night before she was to leave to go the next morning, yet she lies and tells them she has a week yet before she really has to leave. Lying to them was the only way she was going to be able to go. Later that night Eva threw a stone which hit her window, and out of it down she climbed to go start her life. Now they were on a ship on their way to Normandy, France where they ended up nursing 'all' of the good troops injuries the Germans inflicted upon them. Clara made many friends along her time in Normandy, France, and many of them lifelong friends, especially Mettie. There is so much more to learn from and about Clara's during her time in France during the war, but that is left for you to read and enjoy!
It wasn't until later after she returned home that she met a man named Oliver who was smitten over her. The problem was she had decided marriage was not in her future. See how the plans God has for us can change despite what 'we' want for ourselves! That was enjoyable! A little shocking because I truly believed her!
Another quote from the book: "Oliver was a very quiet man who loved the Lord (and his wife and family) with a LOUD kind of love." That was the perfect description of Oliver. To read of their awkward yet amusing courtship was very amusing!
This is one book I HIGHLY recommend anyone read. It touched my heart and is a book you will not soon forget. This book is very full of faith (it must be especially when you are sitting in the center of a world war! If that does not test your faith, I don't know what will?!), quiet love, shows us the how God uses us for His plans and not ours, and great family.
I just want to add a personal note. I was lucky enough to have both sets of my grandparents alive well into my early 20's! I was extremely grateful! I heard so many WWII stories from all of them. Being an avid family tree maker and scrapbooker, I sucked in every story they ever told me about WWII, and I asked a lot of questions, too. They also taught me a lot about the Depression prior to the war, too (although that is 'not' in this book.) I also have scrapbooks I made that have the war ration books in them. I could SO relate to one of the characters in this book because one of my own grandmothers did what one of the characters in this book did! They did not use all their ration stamps and getting so low without food in the house that she would get left with ONE packet of sugar, too! I had a good laugh when I read that! She never would use all the stamps up each month, either, which drove my own mother and her two brothers crazy! They were hungry! I can honestly say what this author writes IS true and does follow true to history of what I was told from word of mouth by the people who lived through that time. This book will always hold a dear spot in my heart because I felt like my grandparents were back with me, even if for a little while! Thank you, Emily T Wierenga!
I received this book for FREE from Abingdon Press and LitFuse Publicity in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Welcome to the blog tour campaign for the latest offering from the Quilts of Love series, A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga. The endorsements are glowing for Emily’s debut fiction release:
“. . . a poignant, beautifully crafted story that will leave you wanting more.”  —Suzanne Woods Fisher, award-winning, bestselling author
“. . . grabbed hold of my heart and didn’t let go . . . the characters have lingered in my mind.” —Ane Mulligan, President, Novel Rocket and author 
Emily is celebrating the release of her debut novel with a “Women Helping Women” shopping spree giveaway.

One winner will receive:
  • $200 to spend at Emily’s favorite shops, Noonday CollectionVibella (Click through to learn more about how these companies exist to make a difference in the lives of women!)
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 10th. Winner will be announced on theQuilts of Love blog on May 12th. Then be sure to stop by the Quilts of Love Facebook page on May 29th for the “Quilting Bee” Facebook party with Emily and other Quilts of Love authors. RSVPfor an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!


Emily Wierenga is a former editor, ghostwriter, freelance writer and staff journalist, a monthly columnist for “The Christian Courier,” and the author of “Save My Children,” “Chasing Silhouettes,” and “Mom in the Mirror.” Emily and her family reside in Alberta, Canada. This is her first novel.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Finding Cinderella by @ColleenHoover - Review

This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone. 

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

My Take:
5+ Stars!
I pre-ordered this FREE ebook and got it, put it up on Goodreads as 'currently reading' but then stopped! Why stop reading this book? The reason: I found out this book was going to be made into a paperback with Colleen's "own" Cinderella story included in the book! STOP! That was it! NO reading 'this' ebook! I wanted to read Colleen's Cinderella story FIRST! That was my goal! I thought I knew what it was, and I was pretty much right as I've been with her and her books since Slammed. I am extremely happy for Colleen! 
When the book finally came, I had a few others I 'had' to read before I could read this one, however, I DID sneak read Colleen's Cinderella story in right away! Beautiful! It's amazing how life works out sometimes, isn't it! Congrats, Colleen! Also, THANK YOU, COLLEEN, for this free ebook, and THANK YOU @Atria books for making this into a print book! I can now pass this around to my daughter and her friends who if they don't have a print book right in front of them, they forget about it! They LOVE Colleen's writing, but being in their early 20's, out of sight is out of mind! Now it's been around and I still don't have it back, which is GREAT!
First I want to say this IS a Cinderella story. This was a FREE and quick ebook Colleen wrote just for us diehard COHO fans! I ask that everyone DO put on their rose colored glasses, and put aside your requirement that fiction needs to feel real, and just let this story flow! Let it be the fairy tale that really doesn't happen in real life and just enjoy!
I loved this part - Daniel didn't have a 5th period, so he would sleep it off in the maintenance room! (Yes, we wonder how is he going to get the credit for the class, but this, I ask you, don't think about!) He had a nice visitor in the dark a few times! LOL!
Meet Daniel and Six. Perfect characters for each other, and they do end up being so! It's kind of funny how Holder says quite seriously to Daniel NOT to date Six, don't even think about it! Daniel realizes they are using reverse psychology on him, and he goes for it! Daniel and Six even make an announcement they ARE dating each other! I loved that part!
Even in this short story, there is quite a twist in it! WOW! I never saw it coming! Never! 
Of course we know Colleen LOVES HEA stories, and this one HITS it right on!
Let's talk about Colleen's writing. She is one author who can suck you into a story and NEVER let you go! You FLY through the pages as fast as you can because you cannot stop reading her words! I LOVE the bickering! That sets apart any seriousness. We all need more of that in our own lives, too, or at least I think so! GOOD bicker! SILLY bicker! The kind of bickering I wished I had in my household as I was growing up! It sure would have lightened up the seriousness, anger and shouting matches during my teenage angst!
Okay! That was Finding Cinderella! Thanks for this free fairy tale ebook! Or, paperback, for some of us! This was a fun one!
To get right down to it, I do look forward to more of Colleen's writing, of course, but I do look forward to a little more grown-up characters, though. These have all been nice, especially this fairy tale freebie, but I'm ready for all of her characters growing up a little more. I'd like to see them all in college, or maybe even mix it up a bit with a few out of college and a few still in, struggling to make the grades. Maybe even some of these characters starting out living their own lives after college. We'll see, huh? We have Ugly Love coming this summer, which will be here right before we know it! Perhaps this book won't be a HEA? We'll find out soon enough!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The #NYTimes Top 15 (25) #BestSellers for the week ending April 20, 2014

Welcome! To another week of great books! Posted by NOON every Sunday or sometimes earlier! Thank you for coming by!

Well, I had one heck of a week! Last week after writing this article, my computer crashed! I was able to send out two posts letting you know what was going on at least, so I hope you got them as I was using hubby's computer - UGH! You know how it is when it's just not your computer! I had to do the last of my tax wrap-up using an online service, and THAT kept my computer running! I couldn't believe it! (YES! I AM a procrastinator when it comes to doing those! I ADMIT IT!) I was done, I just had to go through and do the last run-through, and I didn't want to do it! I HAD to do it, so I did. After that, I tried to fix whatever it was that was wrong, but "I" could not fix it on my own. I tried again the next day by removing old things,  didn't work. So I'm bummed out about a day or so when I remember I have the Geek Squad!! I called them and they fixed it over the phone! They are able to get into your computer, you know how they do that. I have to call them back because my Toolbar is so TINY! Something is also causing this computer to load SO S L O W L Y! They have more work to do! Lucky for them! LOL! They are great! I LOVE having them!!

This week I finished reading: 
The Collector of Dying Breaths (Book 6) by M J Rose - EXCELLENT! LOVED it! Watch for my review of it this week!
Now I'm reading A Shining Light (A Home to Amana, Book 3) by Judith Miller. I'm in a Blog Tour for that book, but I don't know my Tour Stop date. I can't find it in my email, either, so I'm in trouble! I'll find it. That book is a historical one about the Amana's, who I have never heard of before this book. This is a new one for me. Different lifestyles and they seem much more strict than the Amish! I can't believe it!
I'll talk more about the reviews for these books in a moment.

What's happened at the blog this last week and are there any Giveaways going on? YES for both!
*A Book Blitz - NO GIVEAWAY - for Invitation by Christina Hoffman
*Introducing and Cover Reveal for "Prejudice Meets Pride" by Rachael Anderson - NO GIVEAWAY
*"The HOPPY EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA" Blog Hop! You can enter my giveaway and ALL the other blogs by clicking HERE! There are about 150 blogs who are participating this time! This runs NOW to MIDNIGHT on THURSDAY THE 24th! Good luck!
*A Kindle Fire Giveaway
*The Man Test by Amanda Aksel - win a Lolita Martini Glass!
*The Killer Within by Jeff Gunhus - $50 Amazon or PayPal Cash Giveaway!
Click on those photos in the LEFT side column to enter!

THIS WEEK, March 21-27th 'COMING UP' AT THE BLOG is what seems like "REVIEW WEEK"! Here they are:
*Review: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover (Tuesday, 3-22 - this was supposed to be last week, but my computer died, so it is THIS WEEK!)
*Review: A Promise in Pieces, Quilts of Love - Every Quilt Has a Story by Emily T Wierenga - Wednesday, April 23rd, sponsored by LitFuse Publicity - LitFuse and their authors always have AMAZING GIVEAWAYS! I just don't know what it is . . . yet, so you'll have to mark your calendars to come back HERE "this" Wednesday!
*Review: The Collector of Dying Breaths, Book 6 by M J Rose. I read this as a standalone, and it can be read as a standalone, yet it is part of a series. I am planning to write and post this review tomorrow, Monday OR Thursday, I'm not to sure what today will bring yet, so I can't set this review date in stone. This was an outstanding book! I LOVED it! If you like perfume, oils, lotions, a little Black Magic taking place in the late 1500's during Queen Catherine's reign, and the present day as well, you're going to LOVE this book! I did! I want to read ALL the books in this series now!
*Review: Monday, March 28th, I know this is going into next week, but I thought I would include it here anyway so you don't miss it! "Prejudice Meets Pride" by Rachael Anderson!

The next week's reviews for April 28th to May 4th - so far and more to come: - I have a book about sewing!
Little Green Dresses - 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More by Tina Sparkles.
A Shining Light by Judith Miller - this is that book I am in a tour with, but I can't find the tour company or my review date! I lost that when my computer died.

I prefer to devote one entire day to each book review I do, which is why I spread them out so much. Heck, the author spent MONTHS or a YEAR writing them, the LEAST I can do is devote one entire day to their book!

WHAT HAVE "YOU" READ THIS WEEK? We would LOVE to hear what YOU have read! When you tell us what you read in a COMMENT BELOW, it is a book recommendation from YOU for us! We LOVE those!! PLEASE SHARE WITH US!! You don't have to write much, just write the name of the book and the Author's name! That's IT! I HOPE you'll do it!! Thanks!!

So, for now, let's get to the books!

All books are linked to the ebook by clicking on the title OR the cover of the book itself. This will take you directly to Amazon where you can download whatever type of file you need, OR, purchase the paperback! I try to post the most economical price when it comes to the print version. Have fun! CONGRATS to ALL the Indie Authors on this list this week!

1. Carnal Curiosity (Stone Barrington) BY Stuart Woods
ebook: $10.99
print:   $19.86

2. The Fixed Trilogy: Fixed on You, Found in You, Forever with You by Laurelin Paige
Indie Author! Congrats!
ebook: $ .99

print: $19.81
(HINT: Grab these books at these prices NOW before a publisher grabs them up either by ebook or print! This is the 2nd week this set of 4 books has been on this list, (Congratulations to Laurelin Paige, again!) and generally once an Indie Author makes this list ONCE a publisher grabs the author and their books!)

3. Missing You by Harlan Coben
ebook: $11.99
print:  $16.77

4. NYPD Red 2 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
ebook: $ 8.99
print:  $16.11

5. I've Got You Under My Skin: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
ebook: $10.99
print:   $17.88

6. Shadow Spell: Book Two of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts
ebook: $7.99
print:   $9.67

7. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
ebook: $12.74
print:   $16.79

8. Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
ebook: $6.99
print:   $8.51

ebook: $ 7.50
print:  $16.20

10. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
ebook: $ 5.99
print:  $14.66

11. The Will (The Magdalene Series) by Kristen Ashley
ebook only: $3.99
No print edition available

12. A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
ebook: $8.04
print:   $8.46

13. The Invention of Wings: With Notes (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) by Sue Monk Kidd
ebook: $10.99
print:   $16.77

14. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One by George R R Martin
Here is a really neat article about this author from the NYT! Hope you enjoy it! CLICK HERE! 
ebook: $4.99
print:   $6.87

15. Never Go Back (with bonus novella High Heat): A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
ebook: $7.67
print:  $8.49

And the rest!

  • THE BOLEYN INHERITANCE, by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone)
  • THE KING, by J. R. Ward (New American Library)
  • REASONABLE DOUBT, by Whitney Gracia Williams (WGW)
  • SYCAMORE ROW, by John Grisham (Doubleday)
  • LITTLE GIRL LOST, by Brian McGilloway (Witness Impulse/HarperCollins)
  • NIGHT DIVER, by Elizabeth Lowell (Morrow)
  • JOYLAND, by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime)
  • MUD VEIN, by Tarryn Fisher (Tarryn Fisher)
  • ME BEFORE YOU, by Jojo Moyes (Penguin)
  • BLOSSOM STREET BRIDES, by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)

  • And again - WHAT HAVE "YOU" READ THIS WEEKWe would LOVE to hear what YOU have read! When you tell us what you read in a COMMENT BELOW, it is a book recommendation from YOU for us! We LOVE those!! PLEASE SHARE WITH US!! You don't have to write much, just write the name of the book and the Author's name! That's IT! I HOPE you'll do it!! Thanks!! Have a GREAT week! Laurie