Top Ten Tuesday . . . Ten Favorite Childhood Books

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My mom taught me to read when I was three, after that I could always be found with a book in my hand, and under my pillow. I was that kid who got in trouble for using a flashlight to read at night.

Here are my ten favorite books from my childhood, in no specific order.

I loved this set from Disney. Each book represented an area of Disneyland and the stories from there. Before I was reading chapter books, these were one of my favorite go to.

My dad gave me this book and taught me how to tell time with it. I can still remember sitting on the family room floor learning time.

Miss Suzy the squirrel was a favored bedtime read. I found out that my cousin, Susie loved it too.

The Three Little Kittens who lost their mittens. I think my gramma gave me this book, not positive. Another book that I read at least once a day.

After I read Ramona the Pest by Beverly Clearly I knew she would become a favored author and I was never disappointed with any of her books!

I loved this book and always dreamed about a cookie tree.

This was the first book I read to my little brother. I'll always remember him asking me to read it to him.

Probably my all time favorite books from my childhood. I'm pretty sure I got all the ideas to pester my little brother from Ramona.

We have family friends who had pigs at the time I read this and I remember wanting to save all of the pigs. I may not like spiders but I am not afraid of them and I attribute that to reading this book.

I will never forget my 5th grade teacher reading this book to us after lunch. I was so glad we were all crying together at the end.
I can still see my daughter, Kassi, coming into my room bawling at the end of the book.
I believe books that evoke emotion like that have a special place in our heart.

Are any of your favorite childhood books listed in my top ten? Let me know if they are in the comments and your favorite childhood books.

Do This To the Least of These . . .

Sunday, January 29, 2017

With all the social media hub-bub you'd think President Trump just started WWIII. Uh-No, he just made America safer with tightening up our border. Christians all over are touting scriptures saying that since our country is founded on biblical principles we have a duty to refugees.

The scripture most believers seem to be using is Matthew 25:40, where Christ tells his followers "Truly when you do this for the least of these you have done it to me."
So. . . who are the least of these? Only refugees escaping war torn countries? Uh, no! Not in my opinion. As an American I am sick and tired of our country taking care of other countries problems and ignoring ours here at home.
Wouldn't our Veterans who are homeless, who have fought for our country count as the least of these? I would say YES! What about homeless families, abused mothers and children in shelters? Again I say YES! As a country we have been so focused on other countries and saving the down-trodden that we have forgotten to take care of what is going on in our own borders.

It is believed that when Christ said these words he was talking about the persecuted believers, not the poor. Which when you read it under this light it makes sense. Especially when we know that Paul was persecuted and in prison. It was like Christ was fore-shadowing.

Matthew 25:35-36

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in, I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.

I think it is real easy to make noise with the crowd because going against the crowd is not the popular thing to do. Yet, where are these voices when it comes to issues going on here at home? Is it only worthwhile to say something when you have people backing you up, and they agree with you? Would you say something if you were the only one speaking? I've always been a rebel so going against the grain works for me.

I am a Navy brat, emphasis on the brat part, Mark always says. I was a Navy wife for 20+ years and I think our vets are more important than refugees who want to escape a war torn country. I believe we have a responsibility to them, they fought for our country and deserve being taken care of respectfully.

Each of us has to make our own decision about this, I'm not sure there is a right or wrong, I just think based on our own life experience we will feel pulled in one direction more than the other.

First Line Friday . . . Week #4

Friday, January 27, 2017

                                                         About the book:
Separated by an inconceivable tragedy, can faith and love reunite childhood friends and light the way to a bright future?
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?"

First Line:

Four years later...April 1903

Maggie turned the hat block and examined the broad-brimmed, yellow straw hat.



Visit these other bloggers, read their first line and leave yours in the comments. 

Rachel at Bookworm Mama 

Heather at Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen 

BethErin at Faithfully Bookish

Katie at Fiction Aficionado

Carrie at Reading is My SuperPower

Robin at Robin's Nest

Sydney at Singing Librarian 

And welcome Bree to our little gang!! 

Bree at Bibliophile Reviews


Tuesday's Top Ten Favorite Covers From 2016

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I am going to add a new feature to my blog, a Tuesday top 10. Each week I will feature top 10 favorite bookish things. This week I will add my favorite book covers from 2016.

In no specific order. . .

I love the beauty and peacefulness of this cover, and the book is beautiful!

My review

 Pepper is known for the hats she wears, and I love that her signature is transposed on this cover.

My review

This cover of Jen Turano's has the sassy, snarky, playfulness her characters and stories are known for.

My review

This cover of Sue Meissner's is so vintage and fits the story to a T.

My review

A perfect cover for a book about Miriam, Moses' sister. Love the way she is on top of the parting of the Red Sea.

My review

The mystery behind this cover just makes you want to read it and find out what it is all about.

My review

2016 was the year of circus books and this one is just pretty.

My review

This is just one of those engaging covers.

My review

Another vintage cover that is just so pretty!

Melanie Dickerson is known for her fairy tale re-tellings and this one has a dreamy, wishing look to it.

My review

It was hard to choose my top ten out of all of the books I read last year, every one appealed to me in one way or another.

What are your favorite covers from 2016? Are any of yours my choices? Please tell me in your comments!

Warrior's Seal (Tox Files #0.5) by Ronie Kendig

About the book:

The Tox Files – Special Forces operator Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue—the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president–and his team–before it’s too late!

About Ronie:

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married her own hunky hero, who’s an Army veteran. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her husband have a full life with four children and two dogs. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of raw, broken characters. Since launching onto the publishing scene, Ronie’s Rapid-Fire Fiction has hit the CBA Bestseller List, won the prestigious Christy Award, finaled in numerous contests and reader awards, including ACFW Carol Awards, RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards, Christian Retailing’s Readers’ Choice Awards, INSPY Award, The Christian Manifesto Lime Awards, and FamilyFiction’s Readers’ Choice Choice Awards. Ronie loves people and helping other writers through speaking, workshops, and/or mentoring. Find Ronie at, on Facebook ( , Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads.

My Thoughts:

This was an absolutely perfect start to a new series! It is action packed, and edge of the seat suspense!
I loved how she wove Old Testament history with real life military situations of today. Tox is a perfect hero and Tzivia is not only a great heroine, I love her name. Ronie's research is impeccable and evident on every page. 
Great book, I highly recommend!


Keith Korman’s ‘Eden’ Kindle Fire Giveaway and Blog Tour

Monday, January 23, 2017

About the book:

Eden: The Animals' Parable (Liberty Island, April 2016)
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you." -Job 12:7
Experience the Gospels in a way that you never imagined.
In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals---especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden.
With a wise, old donkey, innocent lambs, and legions of curious field mice---the animals follow their master's journey across Galilee and onto Jerusalem, rapt with awe and wonder and bearing great tidings---even if they don't fully comprehend the divine events they witness.
Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Keith Korman is a literary agent and novelist. Over the years he has represented many nationally-known writers of fiction and non-fiction at his family's literary agency, Raines & Raines. The idea for Eden first came to him as a child when he saw the little calf jump across the stable in the prelude to William Wyler's Ben Hur. And he's been thinking about it ever since.

Return to the story of Jesus and read it from a new perspective in Keith Korman's Eden: The Animals' Parable. In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals-especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Settle in for some winter reading and enter to win a copy of Keith's book and a Kindle Fire!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Eden

  • A Kindle Fire

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on January 24. The winner will be announced January 25 on Keith's blog.


My Thoughts:

 Jesus told parables so that those who heard them could understand him and his father better. In this book we hear from the animals who were around Jesus. This book started out a little slow, yet soon picked up pace, and was very touching. 
This is a book for all ages, and all times. If you are looking to escape from the winter blues this is the perfect book!


Reflecting . . .

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This has been a crazy week. On Sunday I left with Mark on a semi and was gone until today. We went to Texas to deliver a load, picked up a load in Arkansas, to bring it back here to Boise, ID for delivery in Oregon. If you think truck drivers are not professional I challenge you to spend a week with one on the road. They have at least three time clocks to keep track of while driving, not to mention finding their way around an unfamiliar city. What seems to be the hardest thing is finding a parking spot at night at the closest truck stop. It was an eye opening experience to say the least! I love my husband, and enjoy spending time with him, however I am a true home body and enjoy time at home doing my own little routine. I especially like using my own toilet and shower.

While I was gone our new President was sworn into office and women marched at every capital in our country, for women's rights. I am not sure I completely understand why they marched, other than to continue to complain about Donald J. Trump being our President.

I am a woman, a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and I don't believe for one second that since Donald J. Trump was elected President that my rights as a woman have been removed. Actually since his election I feel as if for the first time in eight years my voice was heard. I know a lot of people are very upset about this election and I know how that feels, because I felt that way in 2008. I just wish people would give him a chance to lead instead of jumping to the conclusion that he is against women, how? Ivanka is his right hand man, and a woman ran his campaign. To me that shows that women are important to him, and that he values them. I won't deny that he said some deplorable things in his past, and he's the only one that has ever said anything that wished they hadn't? I sure have, more than once and I sure hope it is not held against me forever!

At one time we were all a baby inside our mother's womb. My birth mother was only 14 when she found out she was pregnant with me, and she didn't get pregnant because she climbed into the back seat of a car with her boyfriend. She was raped, and her mother wanted the family doctor to abort me, my birth mother at the very young age of 14 told her mother NO, gave me to my parents, a young couple who were desperate for a child.
Women say they want the right to do with their body what they want, when they talk about having an abortion they don't say anything about the rights of an unborn baby girl. Doesn't she have rights like any other female? I think she does, and I also think that any baby boy or girl has the right to life, even if the way they arrived wasn't "planned." God took the rape of a young girl, something horrible, and turned it into a beautiful family.
When you think about abortion please think about adopted children who have lives and parents who have children that they longed for.

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Release Date: January 4, 2017  

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island  

June 1880                                                                               

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

About the Author

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?

By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.

Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.  

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.

If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!  

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?

Blog Stops

January 10: Karen Sue Hadley
January 10: Bookworm Mama
January 11: Faithfully Bookish
January 12: Genesis 5020
January 13: The Scribbler
January 14: Daysong Reflections
January 14: Blogging With Carol
January 16: A Greater Yes
January 16: Bigreadersite
January 18: Book by Book
January 19: Carpe Diem
January 19: Splashes of Joy
January 20: Stuff and Nonsense
January 21: Radiant Light
January 21: cherylbbookblog
January 22: Neverending Stories
January 22: A Path of Joy
January 23: Henry Happens
January 23: Onceuponatime


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

My Thoughts:

Wowzer! I was not ready for the sizzling kisses that Jody wrote into this book. I was reading this in bed and I had to turn on the fan several times because of the heat from the kissing scenes. That wasn't the only thing this book was rich in, it was rich in setting, and true to life characters dealing with real situations. Jody weaves spiritual truth without being preachy, and she shows how making bad choices with God's redemption can turn your life around.
Abbie is a favored heroine. I loved all the critters she collected, and her deep devotion for her Gramps.
This beautiful finale to her Beacons of Hope series. While this is the final book in the series, it can stand alone.
Highly recommended!

First Line Friday - Week 2

Friday, January 13, 2017

About the book:

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you” —Job 12:7

Experience the Gospels in a way that you never imagined.

In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals—especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden.
With a wise, old donkey, innocent lambs, and legions of curious field mice—the animals follow their master’s journey across Galilee and onto Jerusalem, rapt with awe and wonder and bearing great tidings—even if they don’t fully comprehend the divine events they witness.

Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

First Line

The Roman Legionaries called the dog Old Gray.

It's easy to play, just grab the closest book to you, open to the first line, and leave it in the comment section, then visit these other bloggers to see their first lines, and leave yours in their comments.

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Bookworm Mama

Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen

Faithfully Bookish

Reading is My SuperPower

Robin's Nest

Singing Librarian

Fiction Aficionado

Golden Globes . . . Meryl Streep . . .Mark Wahlberg. . . Keep politics out of show-business!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

“A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t,” he told Task & Purpose last week, at a swanky luncheon in New York, held on behalf of his upcoming film “Patriots Day.” We were talking about the parade of actors and musicians who lined up to denounce Donald Trump in the months and weeks leading up to Election Day.
“A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family.”
“You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway,” he continued. “They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. Me, I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world and I exist in the real world. And although I can navigate Hollywood and I love the business and the opportunities it’s afforded me, I also understand what it’s like not to have all that.”
This election cycle has certainly been about the regular guy, the average American and things that affect them. As it should always be, and it still seems to be reflecting that message everywhere, to the annoyance of the left.

By now you've probably heard what Meryl Streep said at the golden globes when she accepted her award, she is one of my favorite actresses, but I am very disappointed in her. Her opinion is her own, I just don't think that an award show is the time or place to disrespect the President elect. I'll never understand why they can't just accept their award, enjoy it, without getting all political.

This has been floating around social media and it is so true . . .

Dear Hollywood celebrities, You exist for my entertainment. Some of you are great eye candy. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you can scare the crap out of me. Others make me laugh. But you all have one thing in common, you only have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. You make your living pretending to be someone else. Playing dress up like a 6 year old. You live in a make believe world in front of a camera. And often when you are away from one too. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I’ll crank the organ grinder; you dance. I don’t really care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your stance matters far less to me than that of my neighbor. You see, you aren’t real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer and you cease to exist in my world. Once I am done with you, I can put you back in your little box until I want you to entertain me again. I don’t care that you don't like Mr.Trump. But I bet you looked cute saying it. Get back into your bubble. I’ll let you know when I’m in the mood for something blue and shiny. And I'm also supposed to care that you will leave this great country if Trump becomes president? Ha. Please don't forget to close the door behind you. We'd like to reserve your seat for someone who loves this country and really wants to be here. Make me laugh, or cry. Scare me. But realize that the only words of yours that matter are scripted. I might agree with some of you from time to time, but it doesn’t matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

Of course they aren't smart enough to realize that the people they are dogging are the ones that go and watch their movies, TV shows, concerts etc. So it doesn't make much sense to tell them that they're wrong. We are all entitled to our own opinion, I just don't believe that an award's show, such as the Golden Globes are the place to make a political statement. 

 I am not dogging Meryl, I just think she had poor timing in speaking her opinion about President elect-Trump. Eight years ago I was not a happy camper about Obama but I was willing to give him a shot. It seems as though the liberal left isn't even willing to do that. Prior the the election they said over and over again, that they would accept the outcome of the election. Well . . . they haven't, if anything they've tried to make things more difficult for Trump. 
Since Meryl's statement Sunday night I know that I will be very selective of the movies I pay to see. And maybe that's the answer. Since we are customer's of their entertainment the only way to let them know how we feel about their behavior is to not to go to their movies.

Little does she know, that there is a huge number of us that love football and MMA, so saying that is all we'll have to watch doesn't bother us, because a lot of us would rather watch sports.

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