The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon - Reviewed

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

About the book:

Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she'll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.
As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.
In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?

You can purchase a copy HERE.

About Sarah Monzon:

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain's wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn't enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn't in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance.

My Thoughts:

The story of Queen Esther has to be one of the most known from the Old Testament. A young Jewish girl who is taken into the harem of King Ahasuerus and through trials saves the Jewish people. 
Ms. Monzon has taken the theme of the Old Testament story and created a beautiful story for today. 

Two people from two completely different cultures, one a Christian, the other a Muslim with a dilemma on their hands. For one the pressure to marry, the other a need for protection.

I fell in love with Hannah and Karim. They were so real I could reach out and touch them. The entire time I read this book I felt like I was in the middle of the desert, with camels, dangerous insects, the whipping of sand from sandstorms, and caves where breathless kisses take place. 

The beautiful part about this story is Ms. Monzon's ability to put human flesh on the Muslim culture showing not only a belief system but a person. I don't know about you, but I don't exactly run into many Muslims here in Nampa, Idaho, and reading this book gave me a new understanding. 

This is a definite must read! I highly recommend taking the time to read this.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday Funday - Favorite Holiday Desert

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Happy Sunday before Thanksgiving! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just four days away? It seems like the days just go quicker and quicker!

In thinking about Thanksgiving we were talking about our favorite holiday desert and thought it would be a great idea to share it, and the recipe if we have it.

My favorite is my Gramma Newberry's pumpkin pie.
Since my dad was in the Navy we weren't in Colorado for a lot of holidays, but the ones we were there are some of my favorites. I wish I had the recipe to share but I don't.

What is your favorite holiday desert? Let me know in the comments.

I hope you have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving!

Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham Review and Giveaway

Saturday, November 18, 2017

About the Book

Title: Charming the Troublemaker  
Author: Pepper Basham  
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good… When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell. Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne. When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

Click here to purchase!


About the Author 
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs. Misfits. Lots souls who desperately need to find where they belong. I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another. I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence. Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued. In a bad way. If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy. As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem. Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt. So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero? What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost? The answers were surprising!! Just wait. The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed. And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family. Alex rocks her world with his ready charm. And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul. Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun! AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉 Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes: Anything with Sarah! Underoos All of the scenes in Rainey’s house And those in Mama Mitchell’s Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

My Thoughts:

We met Adorkable Alex in Twist of Faith, and while he was adorkable in that book he is even more so in this book.

This the fifth book of Ms. Basham's that I have read and her writing gets better with each book.
In this book Ms. Basham adds an element of suspense which works perfectly and stretches her as an author. The charm, and humor within the pages of this book is off the charts. I have highlighted so many quotes within the book, that I have to choose my favorites for meme making. I really identified with Rainey. My ex-husband was a lot like Gray, and I had a lot of the same feelings, and issues. Mama Mitchell reminded me of my mom, in the way she talked to Rainey about how she had changed since being with Gray.

Bottom line this book has it all. Suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat, romance with sizzle that you will need a fan blowing on you, and you will have to catch your breath during the kissing scenes. Along with great family scenes that encompass you like a warm hug.

This book is appropriate for pre-teens through adults.
I received a copy of this book compliments of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I'm giving Charming the Troublemaker 5.5 stars. How appropriate that my rating quote is from Pepper Basham's The Thorn Keeper. You can read about my rating system here.




To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14
Just the Write Escape, November 14
Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15
Fiction Aficionado, November 16
autism mom, November 16
Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17
Inklings and Notions, November 17
Faithfully Bookish, November 18
Radiant Light, November 18
Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19
The Power of Words, November 19
Cordially Barbara, November 20
Red Headed Book Lady, November 20
Smiling Book Reviews, November 20
Kat’s Corner Books, November 21
A Greater Yes, November 21
100 Pages per Hour, November 22
Splashes of Joy, November 22
Carpe Diem, November 23
Bookworm Mama, November 23
A Baker’s Perspective, November 24
The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24
Daysong Reflections, November 25
Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25
Remembrancy, November 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27
Karen Sue Hadley, November 27


Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan - Review

Friday, November 17, 2017

About the book:

Riveting New Series Offers Legal Suspense with a Romantic Twist
In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.
Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.
Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.

About Rachel Dylan:                                        

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including inspirational romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense and the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. Rachel has practiced law for almost a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at

My Thoughts:

This is the third book I've read by Rachel Dylan and I thoroughly enjoy the suspenseful, edge of your seat ride that she creates. This is the first book in her Atlanta Justice series and it is not one to be missed. Her characters are real and engaging. The book is based on a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company which is relevant to our society today. 
Using her legal skills Ms. Dylan has you nearly figure out what is going on and then schools you on the truth of bait and switch. I didn't read this in one sitting but easily could have. You won't want to miss this legal thrill ride! Highly recommended!!


I received a copy of the book from the author, through the publisher for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Top Ten Tuesday . . . Books I Want My Grand-Kids to Read

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I've missed a few top ten Tuesday's, sorry about that. I was a little under the weather. I am finally feeling back to myself.

This week's Broke and Bookish top ten Tuesday meme is books I want my kids, or niece and nephews to read. My kids are all grown and gone, and my niece and nephews are adults too and definitely ask for recommendations. I decided I'd focus on books I would want my grand-kids to read.
They range in age from 22 months to thirteen, so this should be fun.

For the younger ones, Olivia and Xander, I would want them to read Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar,  and definitely Green Eggs and Ham.

Our school age kiddos, Isabella, Lily, Savannah, and Kalea, all or any of the Ramona books by Beverly Clearly, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

For our school age boy, Jackson, any or all of Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, all of the Dr. Seuss books.

Our middle age kiddos, James, Chance, Nalani, there are so many, and two of these kiddos are huge readers. Definitely The Chronicles of Narnia, The Bridge to Terabithia, The Indian in the Cupboard,  series, Behind the Attic Wall.

For all, I'd say Pocahontas: True Princess, The Black Stallion, The Girl of the Limberlost, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Book Thief.

I could go on and on, but I thought I better cut off the list now. The hard part about being a bookworm.

I'd love to hear what books you want your kids, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren to read. Please tell me in the comments!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Perennials by Julie Cantrell - Reviewed

About the book:

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.
Eva—known to all as Lovey—grew up in Oxford, MS, surrounded by literary history and her mother's stunning perennial gardens. But a garden shed fire and the burns suffered by one of her best friends seemed to change everything. Her older sister Bitsy blamed her for the fire—and no one spoke up on her behalf. Bitsy the cheerleader, Bitsy the homecoming queen, Bitsy married to a wealthy investor. And all the while, Lovey blamed for everything that goes wrong.
At eighteen, Lovey turns down a marriage proposal, flees from Oxford and the expectations of attending Ole Miss, and instead goes to Arizona—the farthest thing from the South she can imagine. She becomes a successful advertising executive, a weekend yoga instructor, and seems to have it all together. But she's alone. And on her 45th birthday, she can't help but wonder what's wrong.
When she gets a call from her father—still known to everyone as Chief from his Ole Miss football days—insisting that she come home three weeks early for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration, she's at wits end. She's about to close the biggest contract of her career, the one that will secure her financial goals and set her up for retirement. But his words, "Family First," hit too close to home. Is there hope for her estranged relationship with Bitsy after all this time?

Eva's journey home, to the memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise for her mother, becomes one of discovering roots, and truth, and love, and what living perennially in spite of disappointments and tragedy really means. Eva thought she wanted to leave her family and the South far behind . . . but she's realizing she hasn't truly been herself the whole time she's been gone.

About Julie:                                                          

Julie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, teacher, and speaker. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has earned starred reviews by both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Cantrell is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and was named a finalist for the 2017 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award. Perennials is her fourth novel.

My Thoughts:
I was introduced to Julie Cantrell through her first novel, Into the Free. Her debut novel that captivated me from the beginning and will always be a favorite. 
Her new book Perennials is beautifully written family saga, that deals with secrets, sibling rivalry, fractured dreams, along with hope, forgiveness, and healing. 
With symphonic prose, Ms. Cantrell writes a story that everyone of us can relate to on some level. Whether broken dreams we let go in our life, people the need to forgive, and since most of us have experienced a broken dream, and have someone we need to forgive, even if it is our self. We need to heal, and Ms. Cantrell shows this in a beautiful tangible way.
I loved how Ms. Cantrell used flowers, and gardening symbolism to show both a spiritual and inspirational message. I loved the garden which is a huge part of the story, so I won't say too much, I would love to be able to go there physically to see it. 
Every piece of this novel is relevant to all women today in one way or another. This is a must read!
It releases today! You can purchase your copy here . . .AMAZON

I received a copy of this book from the author through the publisher, for the purpose of a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


A Devotional For You For The New Year - The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional

Monday, November 13, 2017

Can you believe January 1, 2018 is just 48 days away?! I definitely can't! If you're like me you look for a new devotional to start the year off.

About the book:

When was the last time you took a break to experience God's love?
To experience something is to live it, to encounter it, to understand it, to explore with our hearts, minds, and souls as well as with the five physical senses and our God-given spiritual ones. Every action we do with and for God, every good day and bad day, we walk hand-in-hand with God, experiencing Him.
Experiencing God's love takes time. Love unfurls its blossoms in our lives when we concentrate all of our senses on the small gifts we pass by every day. Time slows, and we finally get to hear God's beautiful background hum to our lives.
The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional helps you intentionally carve out those moments in your day to savor God and his love for you.

About Sandra    
After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published in April, 2013. 
Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens including the Secret Sisters Series, London Confidential Series and a devotional for tweens.
A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has published many nonfiction articles and books. She is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.
Please visit to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed Ms. Byrd's fiction work over the years, so I was super excited to find out that she had written a devotional. It seems like within the last few years inspirational non-fiction for women have a negative title which for me turns me away, and it doesn't help the fact that I am not one to naturally gravitate to non-fiction in the first place. Which is why I was excited to review Ms. Byrd's devotional when asked. 
The prime focus is knowing God's love, and she uses things in her everyday life to visualize His love for us. In doing that you will walk away from your daily reading of this beautiful book knowing without a doubt that God loves you, and He sees you. Living in a hurting, dark world like we do that is hope. Hope we can hang onto.

You can order a copy here:

Here are some beautiful meme's that Tyndale Publishing created for this book. Feel free to share them.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book compliments of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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