Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Release Blitz | Sophia Redeemed by B. Benfield

Sophia Redeemed Banner

TITLE: Sophia Redeemed
AUTHOR: B. Benfield
IMPRINT: Evermore

SOPHIA REDEEMED - B. BENFIELD - BISON PUBLISHINGBouncing around the foster care system, Sophia has a horrible life until at the age of eighteen; she flees her abusive “father.” Trying to survive on the streets, she is taken in by a pimp, Jax. While she makes enough money to rent a rundown apartment, Jax’s percentage leaves her struggling to pay her own way.
While treating herself to a cup of coffee, she meets Matt. The persistent young man asks her out, not realizing her circumstances. When Sophia reveals her past and shares with him her current life, Matt is undeterred.
A violent, life-changing encounter with Jax brings Matt to her rescue. He takes her to his parents’ guesthouse, where she is welcomed and given a job in his father’s church. The only stipulation is she must attend church with the family.
Blossoming in her new life, Sophia and Matt begin to explore their relationship.
However, someone is not pleased with the changes in her life. Threatening calls and messages are only the beginning of the danger to Sophia. Corruption, lies, and betrayal threaten the couple and when the truth is revealed, many lives are left in turmoil. Can faith and love overcome the devastation in Sophia’s life and lead to her redemption and the life she deserves?
Sophia Redeemed - Teaser.jpg

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B. Benfield is a Contemporary Christian Romance author. She got her start writing New Adult Romance. She went on to self-publish four novels before ultimately deciding to take those books off the shelves, follow her heart, and pursue Christian Romance.
She’s a banker by day and a writer by night, spending all time in between hanging out with her husband, son, friends, and family! She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t hesitate to shoot her a message!
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Monday, March 28, 2016

Belize Mission Trip 2016 | Day 6


We had about 69 kids come to our last day of Vacation Bible School (on 3/9/2016)!! I cannot believe we had that many kids come. It was just amazing to see God working in their lives. Pastor Tim stopped by their classes to give them some words of encouragement and say a prayer with them. They were so excited to see him. To me, that shows how much trust and love our church has built in that community by coming back year after year.

Before Bible school tonight, we were able to get in and finish Mr. Pesch's classroom. Every wall had two coats, inside and out. The ceiling was even painted! They finished the wiring and made sure all of the electrical components worked as they should. We were going to move the classroom chairs in after lunch, but the teacher was so excited, he did it by himself! We were also able to provide Mr. Pesch with a bike. He walks over an hour and half a day to school and back just to teach. We are hoping the bicycle will help cut down on the time he spends walking and allow him to spend more time at home with his family. It's nice to meet a teacher at St. Jude who is passionate about their kids and teaching.

After lunch, we were able to go to Hopkin's Beach in Belize. It was BEAUTIFUL. It was a nice day to rest and rejuvenate for our trip home. After we got back, Delinda and I snuck off to see sweet baby Kai. Jessica is doing well. I continue to pray for her and her little boy every day. They are never far from my heart and mind. Heman, the maintenance man at the camp, took the "newbies" tarantula hunting tonight. If you ever stay at the Baptist Training Center in Belize, you have to experience the tarantula whisperer. 

Our work in Belize is coming to an end. I am approaching the last couple days with a heavy heart. I know this will be the last time I visit these precious people for a while, and it makes me sad. Friday will be a whirlwind of activity as we strive to finish all of the projects we've started. I am looking forward to finishing, but I'm dreading the day we leave.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant

Love Arrives in Pieces
June 2015

About the book:For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to her brokenness—so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but always falls short. So she keeps her passion for her secret art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancĂ©e in a car crash. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater, and is shocked to learn former flame Stella is the designer for the project.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and their pasts as they struggle to compromise and come together on a vision for the theater. Chase doesn’t understand why Stella is such a subdued version of herself, while Stella doesn’t get Chase’s constant need for productivity and speed. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase breaks through Stella’s walls and convinces her to enter her mosaic tile art in a contest.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force both Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from the broken.

Buy your copy: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: When I first picked it up, I thought to myself "this book is utterly chaotic... in the best way possible!" I love Betsy St. Amant's writing style. This book is as chaotic as it's characters feelings and lives. I cannot even begin to describe how well I think this book is written. The more I read, the faster I wanted to read because I was so involved in Stella and Chase's story.

The chemistry, banter, and all out anger Stella and Chase have with one another is captivating. The emotions this books takes you through will bring you down and build you up all at the same time. I was literally healing right along side Stella and Chase. I felt their pains, hurts, and especially their victories. The depth of these characters is absolutely amazing. I can relate to a lot of the feelings Stella and Chase were dealing with because of my personal experience with loss. However, even if you haven't experienced some kind of loss, Betsy St. Amant has written the story so realistically, you can definitely relate.

The message of the story is about healing. It's about learning to lean on God to get you through the hard times and help you pick up the pieces of what you think is broken. There were several quotes in the story that punctuate that point: "God tells us to come to Him with faith like a child. I figure that means with our storms too. If it's going to rain anyway...might as well make something out of it." and "Beauty from broken." and my personal favorite (the one that resonated with me the most), "But God said 'Even though.'"

Overall, I highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to read more by this fantastic author.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

About the Author: Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things – chocolate, new shoes and sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. She lives in Louisiana with her adorable story-telling young daughter, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. A freelance journalist and fiction author, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is multi-published in Contemporary Romance via Love Inspired and Harper Collins (Zondervan). When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Connect with Betsy: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Friday, March 25, 2016

TBAP's Easter Fiesta! | March 10-27th

About the Event
TBAP’s Easter Fiesta is a social media event where the professionals of the literary and the entertainment industries give back to the audience that has supported them over time, by chatting with the audience that will appear on TBAP’s social media on a set date/time. For 2016, it’s TBAP’s facebook! The professionals are drawn from the categories: authors/actors/alliances/music artists.

Meet your Host!
Miranda A. Uyeh is the author of To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a book/entertainment blogger, and a Mogul Global Ambassador. She’s passionate about all these and even found herself to be shortlisted as one of Inspy Awards’ Judges in 2014! You can connect with Miranda on twitter, facebook, google+, YouTube and Pinterest or visit her corner of the web, TBAP!

Meet the Guests of 2016!
Julie Lessman (Author)
Cheryl McKay (Screenwriter/Author)
Rene Gutteridge (Screenwriter/Director/Author)
DiAnn Mills (Author)
Michelle Griep (Author)
Rich Swingle (Actor)
Kirk Fernwood (Film Critic/Entertainment Blogger)
Heather Manning (Author)
Melica Niccole (Author)
Bill Ewing (Producer/Director/Screenwriter)
Doc Benson (Director/Producer/Actor)
Rebekah Cook (Actress/Casting Director/Script Supervisor)
Francine Locke (Actress)
Jody Thomae (Author/Music Artist)
Juli Tapken (Actress/Producer/Director)
Katie Pavao (Actress)
Bronwyn Angley (Actress)
Apolonia Davalos (Actress/Filmmaker)
Irene Santiago (Actress)
Sharon Wilharm (Director/Producer/Screenwriter)

Dates/Time You Can Chat with the Guests!
March 17th, 2:00-3:00pm Pacific Time – Julie Lessman, Cheryl McKay, Rene Gutteridge
March 18th, 2:00-3:00pm PT – DiAnn Mills, Michelle Griep
March 19th, 3:00-4:00pm PT – Rich Swingle, Kirk Fernwood
March 20th, 2:00-3:00pm PT – K. Victoria Chase, Brenda Anderson
March 21st, 2:00-3:00pm PT – Heather Manning, Melica Niccole
March 22nd, 2:00-3:00pm PT – Bill Ewing, Doc Benson
March 24th, 5:00-6:00pm PT – Rebekah Cooke, Katie Pavao
March 25th, 2:00-3:00pm PT – Jody Thomae, Juli Tapken
March 26th, 2:00-3:00pm PT – Francine Locke, Bronwyn Angley, Apolonia Davalos
March 27th, 7:00-8:00pm PT – Irene Santiago, Sharon Wilharm

Talk About This with Your Friends!
You can tweet to @Rini_MAU and use this hashtag #TBAPFiesta, and I’ll find you! You can also update your facebook status by using the hashtag #TBAPFiesta and tagging your post with Miranda Afa Uyeh or Miranda’s To Be A Person, and I’ll find you! Also, you’re more than welcome to post on TBAP’s facebook!

Finally, watch the lovely inspirational messages sent your way by some of the guests, on TBAP’s Official YouTube Channel. I, too, was blessed by their messages!

Influencer Roster
Rachelle Rea – March 17th, 2016
Amber Stokes – March 18th, 2016
Rissi C. – March 19th, 2016
Meagan Davenport – March 20th, 2016
Grace Mullin – March 21st, 2016
Bekah M.  – March 23rd, 2016
Shannah Mauney – March 25th, 2016
Shantelle Hannu – March 26th, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Imposter
The Bishop's Family (Book 1)
October 2015
ISBN: 978-0800723200

About This Book: Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?

As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow’s farm just when help is most needed–and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check.

When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?

Buy your copy: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: Wow! What a book! I don't know why it took me so long to pick it up and read it. With a refreshing view of the Amish life, and specifically of an Amish's minister's family, this book is filled with depth and feeling. Suzanne Woods Fisher is a masterful storyteller, and The Imposter is a superb example of that.

To me, it seemed the side story of David (Katrina's dad) was more prominent than Katrina's, but that's ok. I still got the connection I craved with Katrina. A woman scorned always makes for an interesting story. Reading the story was like being in Katrina's mind. I could feel Katrina's angst and struggle, her fear and joy. David Stolzfus is a strong example of a Christian man. His life is not perfect, his family is not perfect, but he handles what life throws at him with a heaping of grace and God's love. The side characters, Thelma, Andy, Jesse, and especially Birdy added a depth to the story and perfect little nuggets of God's mercy and love.

Suzanne has a masterful way of weaving in a message that not only touches the characters at just the right time, but also digs itself into the heart of the reader (at least is seems that way to me). The Imposter delivers a strong message of redemption and what it means to be in the midst of a storm. As David is fond of saying, "everybody begins somewhere." I believe the little Amish community of Stoney Ridge is getting ready to find out just how true that is.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads Blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

About the Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction. Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research. For fun, too.

Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. She has an underlying belief in her books–you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate many of their principles into your life: simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily, trusting in God.

When Suzanne isn’t writing, playing tennis, or bragging to her friends about her grandbabies (so cute!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.

Keep up on Suzanne’s latest news by receiving her e-newsletter, as well as connecting on Facebook, Twitter and her blog!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Belize Mission Trip 2016 | Day 5

I have been sick for the past day with the stomach bug. If any of you have had the dreaded bug, I am sorry. It really sucks the life out of you. I am feeling better today, though, but will not be returning to work this week. The CDC recommends staying home for at least 3 days after you stop having symptoms because you are still contagious. Sitting here on my couch, I almost didn't want to pick my computer up. However, I couldn't deny you another glimpse of my fabulous trip, so here it goes!

We cannot keep our team well. One person gets better, two more go down, two get better, one more goes down... It's a vicious cycle. Despite that fact that so many of our team is sick, we are accomplishing so much! I'm amazed at how well our team has come together to get things done. 

The Bishop came for confirmation at St. Jude's today. His visit was kind of disappointing. I was excepting a lot of pomp and circumstance, and there wasn't any. We were painting at the lower school building, and I expected to know when he showed up. He came and left without us even knowing! There were a lot of people that stayed at the school afterwards. Sounded like they were having a party. 
Though I don't consider myself a "Belize Veteran" as it was only my second trip, I have enjoyed getting to know the "newbies." The folks from New Sterling that I haven't gotten to know before and folks from Boyce Memorial are a joy to work with. Overall, this trip is turning out exactly as I'd expected. I'm beginning to dread the end of the week, though. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer

OverviewIn a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope? 

Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”

Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?

ISBN-13: 9780307731371 | Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/16/2016
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: I've come to know Kim Vogel Sawyer for her deep, soul reaching stories and her characters that come to life. Their depth of feeling and range of emotions are always phenomenal. Room for Hope was no exception, it just took me a little longer to really get into it. Once I did, though, I couldn't put it down.

I cannot even begin to fathom what Neva Shilling is going through. Can you imagine finding out the husband that you loved and adored, had a secret family?! The weight of grief, anger, and responsibility that is suddenly heaped upon her would literally make me crumble. Her faith and strength of character show a great deal about the woman. I also appreciate the author downplaying the romantic aspect of the story. In real life, a wife doesn't grief and move on in the space of weeks, even when the husband turned out to be a sorry rascal. The promise of a future romance was all that I needed.

As I said at the beginning, it took me longer to really get invested into the story. Once I did, though, I could almost weep at the strength and faith Neva shilling showed. Of course, she wasn't the only one who was learning and growing in her faith. Arthur, the neighboring shop owner and Jesse Caudil, the sheriff, were finding their way back to God, as well.

Overall, I'm glad I chose this book to review. It was an excellent read about strength of faith and character.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author with more than one million copies of her books currently in print. Awards include the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Sawyer lives in central Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their feline companions. She savors time with her daughters and grandchildren.

Connect with Kim: Website | Facebook | Twitter | WaterBrook Publisher

Belize Mission Trip 2016 | Day 4


My friend, Jess, had her baby!! We were all praying for her as we worked. His name is Kai Alexander. Delinda (my mother-in-law) got to be in the delivery room and witness the entire thing. Their hospitals are not held to nearly the same standards as ours. Even though Delinda, Pastor Tim, and Judy had to wait at the hospital LITERALLY all day, baby Kai is here. He is healthy and strong, and mama is doing fine.
We painted again today. Some of the kids from the village asked if they could help, so we let them. That was an experience! I was so excited that they wanted to help. It gave us the opportunity to talk with them and give them the experience of making their school a better place. I hope it helps them appreciate their buildings more. You would not believe how much writing was on the walls, from names, to silly stuff, to down right vulgar stuff! I also hope the kids will learn that it's OK to go get a teacher if they see someone defacing the school. 

After dinner, we got together our 2 lbs of candy we were asked to bring, and we put together bags for the kids. The bags included candy (obviously), as well as pencils, erasers, and Sunday school lessons. We also made bags specifically for the teachers at St. Jude's. We made over 300 bags! It was so much fun assembling the bags and passing them down the line. I can't wait to give them out to the kids on Friday at the Bible School program we are holding.

There were 53 kids in VBS today. Since there were so many kids yesterday, our teachers regrouped and decided to do stations. Susan ordered little booklets to bring with us this year for Bible school on the "colors" of Salvation. She ordered 50 booklets and somehow God provided enough for all 53 children! As our pastor says, "loaves and fishes." 

Overall, it was a long and tiring day out in the hot sun, but the Lord blessed our village family with the healthy arrival of sweet baby Kai. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Playing the Part by Jen Turano | Review & Giveaway

Playing the Part by Jen Turano is a 352 page book in the Christian historical fiction genre.  It is published by Bethany House Publishers and was released on March 1, 2016.  To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Book

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucinda’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

My Review

As always, Jen Turano lures me in with her witty characters, humorous schemes, and hilarious plots. Playing the Part is probably my favorite book in the A Class of Their Own series, and I'm glad Jen waited until the end to tell Lucetta's story.

Jen Turano went above and beyond with this story. Lucetta Plum is an awesome character. Her strength, humor, and wit make her one of my most favorite heroines. The fact that she is unconventional, like her dear, dear friends, is even better. I loved Bram. His "knight and shining armor" ideals are endearing. His charm and wit makes him a match for Lucetta in every way. The host of secondary characters add to the depth and hilarity of the story.

The message of the story was masterfully done. Both Bram and Lucetta had to overcome secrets and parts of their pasts. They had to learn that God orchestrated all things for their good. It's a message that we can always learn from. Overall, I loved, loved, loved this story. It was absolutely hilarious and I can't wait for more fantastic stories by Jen Turano.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Celebrate Lit blogging program.*

About the Author

Jen Turano is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author ofThe Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers.  Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist.  It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award.  Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013.  Her seventh book, Playing the Part, will release in the spring of 2016, followed by a new four-book series, The Wallflowers.  When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life.  She can be found on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by Susan Brower of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in most fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work.


Jen is graciously giving away an entire set of this series! Click on the link to enter!

Blog Stops

Visit all the blogs on the tour!

March 16: cherylbbookblog
March 18: Bookworm Mama
March 21: A Greater Yes
March 21: Southern Chelle
March 22: Splashes of Joy
March 23: Bigreadersite
March 23: Texas Book-aholic
March 24: 100 pages per hour
March 25: simpleharvestreads
March 25: Karen Krayons
March 26: Buwurmzzz
March 27: The Power of Words

Friday, March 18, 2016

Belize Mission Trip 2016 | Day 3

Welcome to work day number 1!! Before we start our work day, we have devotions as a group in the morning. Pastor Tim chose a book on Humility. I can tell just from reading the first few chapters, this is going to be one of those books I stop, start, stop and start again. It will be hard to get through because it's personal, but I'm looking forward to finishing the book (eventually). (Hey at least I'm honest!)
It was so nice sitting under the chapel (which is really a big gazebo), singing praise to the Lord, studying God's word (even though it was on a tough subject), and listening to the rain beat on the tin roof. 

Since it was raining, we couldn't start our work at the school. Instead, we were tasked with painting the ceiling in the kitchen that we cook and ate in. Have you ever painted a ceiling before? It's not exactly easy. I can't tell you how many times I had to stop and wipe paint flecks out of my eyes! It was fun though. All of us, working together, got the kitchen painted in about an hour. That was after one of our ladies spent about 20 minutes stirring the paint because it was old! Maria and I had a paint war, and ended up with splotches of white paint all over us.  After lunch, we did get to go paint at the school for a little bit.

Monday night was the first night of Vacation Bible School. With the help of the principle at St. Jude's (the school in Camelote that we were painting) and some of our young friends in the village, we had over 50 kids. That is the most we have EVER had, from my understanding! I cannot believe it! God is so good. The ladies who were teaching were amazing. You can tell they have a passion for teaching. I admire their strengths!

After the kids left, dinner was cleaned up, we sat around in the chapel and sang songs. It was absolutely inspiring and beautiful. I'm looking forward to all God has in store for us this week. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter

OverviewEden Martelli is too busy fleeing the clutches of danger to realize she’s running straight into the arms of a new love.

Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.

Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.

When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.

Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.

Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?

ISBN-13: 9780718023713 | Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 09/08/2015 | Series: Summer Harbor Series, #1
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: I have really come to love Denise Hunter's books...especially when she chooses a family and writes about all of them! It's like revisiting old friends each and every time a new book comes out. The little bit I got to know about the Callahan brothers intrigued me, and I cannot wait to delve into each of their lives.

Falling Like Snowflakes focused on the oldest Callahan, Beau. I like him because he reminds me a lot of me. He's a problem solver, of everyone else's problems but his own. His flaws and faults are endearing. Eden's story is intriguing. I cannot imaging running and looking over my shoulder. I would be a hot mess. She handles it like a champ, for the most part. While I loved the main characters and supporting characters (Beau's brothers Zac and Riley, Paige, and the Callahan's ornery aunt Trudy), there was something missing from the story. I can't quite put my finger on it. The romance and suspense added to the plot, but I might have been looking for more depth in the characters.

The spiritual aspect of the story was spot on. Denise Hunter excels at taking a story and weaving in the spiritual message she wants to get across to readers. In this case, Eden's dad sums it up when he says, "When you can't trust others, and you can't trust yourself, you can always trust God. He'll carry you through  whatever comes your way." Watching Eden and Beau come to this realization was beautiful.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I cannot wait to delve further into life in Summer Harbor with the swoon worthy Callahan brothers.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

About Denise: Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys.

Connect with Denise: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Belize Mission Trip 2016 | Day 2

It's Sunday! We were settling into Belize life and it was time to go to church. We attended a church in Belmopan called Bethel Church. The service was...interesting. The lesson was on grief. It was very informative, but lacking in spiritual depth. After church, Pastor Tim gathered us together to explain why the service "set off alarm bells," as he put it. This church has suffered recently. They have asked their pastor to step down for personal reasons. They were getting ready to lose their bus that brought the majority of their members to church (they didn't own the bus, but couldn't afford to buy it and keep up the repairs).

After learning that information, and letting it soak in, I realized how blessed I am to have an amazing church and pastor. I also admired the speaker who took the time to study for a lesson on a subject that
many people in Belize know little about. His bravery was inspiring. Please keep Bethel Church in your prayers as they seek God's guidance for their future.

After church, we ate lunch at Hode's Place. I love the authenticity of the food. It's amazing! On our way back home, we stopped at the Mayan Ruins in San Ignacio called Xunantunich (a.k.a. The Stone Lady). I climbed all the way to the top. The view was absolutely breathtaking! The ruins were in excellent condition (not that I'm an expert on Mayan ruins, but they looked good to me). I decided that Mayans must have been tall. The steps were very tall and narrow. The climb to the top was exhilarating. We had to cross a river to get to the ruins... I called it a "row boat on a cable wire." 
It was a great day to celebrate and admire God's handiwork. However, I had been in Belize for a day and a half and I was anxious to begin working!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Belize Mission Trip 2016 | Day 1

Hi friends! Back in January, I posted a blog about what's been going on in my life (A New Year | A New Focus). In it, I talked about my Belize Mission trip. Well, I just got back from Belize Sunday! I kept a journal while I was there and I plan on taking you through my trip day by day. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy....
Today was a travel day. I had to be at the church at 3 AM ready to go, so I was up at 2:15. We traveled for most of the day. Our flight left at 7 am. Travelling all day was not particularly fun, but getting to Belize made it worth it. We got there in the pouring rain, loaded our bags onto the vans in the pouring rain, and drove out of the airport in the sunny blue sky. After having dinner at Cheers, we headed to the Baptist Training Center. The closer we got, the more I began to recognize. There were so many changes, good chances, since the last time I'd been there!

Pulling into the Baptist Training Center in Camelote was like coming home. Seeing all the kids that I met from the previous year and seeing Maria, Sophie, Jessica, and Mrs. Benedicta brought me such joy and made my weary spirit happy. The first thing Jose said to me when I stepped out of the van was "So, I heard you got married Shannah. You married Mrs. Delinda's son." I thought I was going to die I was laughing so hard. 

Since this is only my second trip, I didn't expect to be so welcomed again. They might not remember me! Boy, was I surprised. Those kids are so smart! We also had the most people we've ever had in the 6 or so years New Sterling has been going to Belize. There were 26 people total: 20 from New Sterling and 6 from Boyce Memorial. The people from Boyce Memorial were real excited to be there and super nice.

Overall, day 1 was exciting and tiring. I couldn't wait to dive in and see what the Lord was going to do with our group!