Quilts of Love: A Grand Design

This review is part of a blog tour, to see what others are saying about A Grand Design, click here.

A Grand Design
by
Amber Stockton

About the Book

On a dare, Alyssa Denham enters a contest to win a free honeymoon trip to Mackinac Island.  It sounds like a fantastic trip, especially since her grandmother lives there and she has many memories of summering there while growing up. The only problem is that she’s single, with no wedding in site. Much to her surprise, Alyssa wins the contest  and invites a friend to join her for a relaxing trip full of strolling and shopping.  While on the trip, Alyssa’s grandmother sends the women on a quest to collect quilt squares from various residents of the island, giving them a glimpse into the parts of island life that most visitors never see.

As the women collect the squares, Alyssa learns a lot about her grandmother’s past and also catches the eye of island resident, Scott Whitman. As she begins to fall for Scott, Alyssa must deal with memories of her last trip to the island over a decade ago, memories that make it hard for her to trust any man.

My Thoughts

This is another great book from the Quilts of Love series, the story told is an amazing story of love, forgiveness and grace.

I’ve always wanted to travel to Mackinac Island, to witness the past meet the present in a beautiful setting. Amber Stockton made me feel like I was right there traipsing the island with Alyssa. The way she described the settings and crafted the character interactions had me lost in the story, as if I were traveling the island via carriage with them collecting quilt squares. I enjoyed following the twists and turns of the story, even if I wanted to smack some sense into some of the characters at times. :)

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Quilts of Love | A GRAND DESIGN – Kindle HDX Giveaway & “Fall into Fall” Facebook Party!

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, A Grand Design by Amber Stockton. Who hasn’t struggled to let painful memories go and move into God’s healing? You’ll be sure to love this heartfelt and encouraging tale set on historic Mackinac Island.



Celebrate August’s release by entering to win a Kindle from Quilts of Love and RSVPing for the “Fall into Fall” Facebook author chat party.


Quilts of Love Kindle HDX Giveaway, Amber Stockton, A Grand Design

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 16th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog. Plus make sure you RSVP to the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on October 7th!

Cookbook Review: Kitchen Confidence

Kitchen Confidence
by
Kelsey Nixon

Back when we had cable I was slightly addicted to cooking competition shows.  Top Chef, Next Food Network Star, Cupcake Wars, you name it, it was probably in my DVR lineup. When I saw this book pop up on the list of options available for review, I recognized Kelsey right away.  She came in fourth on season 4 of Next Food Network Star. I remember watching her and rooting for her throughout the season. Her bubbly personality and simple, yet sophisticated style made her someone I could see being successful on Food Network.  She didn’t win the show, but she still ended up with her own show on the Cooking Channel. I haven’t watched it since we don’t have cable, but I was excited to be able to “catch up” with her while reading through Kitchen Confidence.

Kitchen Confidence is a beautiful cookbook. Not every recipe has pictures, but that doesn’t take anything away from the book. Each recipe is accompanied by a little blurb about why Kelsey chose it and many have additional tips and tricks. There are also pages devoted to certain techniques, these range from braising to pan roasting to quick pickling. While not every recipe is something that sounds appealing to me, there are many I can’t wait to try including cinnamon buns with cream cheese glaze, fried homemade pickles and honey corn. I’d highly recommend this cookbook to anyone looking for some simply delicious recipes.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Odyssey Adventure Club iPad Mini Giveaway!

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The end of summer is in sight, and OAC is giving away an iPad Mini back-to-school bundle!
It might seem like summer just began for your kids, so if they need some added motivation to get their homework done, remind them they can jump on the Odyssey Adventure Club after their papers are written and their math problems are solved.

As members, your kids can also listen to Album 58 before the album is released to the public! Sign up today for just $5!

Here’s what part one is about (which you can listen to for free HERE):

It’s a time of surprises as Wooton becomes the celebrity guest at Comic-Connellsville and Whit finds himself in conflict over the upcoming “Let’s Get Together Festival” in Odyssey. Plus, hear an interview with writer-director Paul McCusker about the entire 14-part series.

Album 58 was inspired by Focus on the Family’s The Family Project, a 12-session small group experience that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family, and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive.
Plus, here’s a sneak peek of a new episode called “The Lone Lawman”!

LoneLawman_Final 2

Jason, Whit, Red and the gang rustle up herds of fun while performing a new Kids’ Radio show set in the Old West. “The Lone Lawman” features a confused boy getting mixed up with a shifty band of bank robbers. Can a hero on horseback set things right? See just how wild the West can get in this action-packed send-up of old-time radio dramas.

NOW . . . on to the iPad Mini back-to-school bundle.
One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini

Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. All winners will be announced August 28th on the widget on this page.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit this page again on the 28th to see if you won! (You’ll see the winner’s name in the widget.)

Book Review: Pilgrim’s Wilderness

Pilgrim’s Wilderness
by
Tom Kizzia

According to the book description on randomhouse.com, Tom Kizzia has captured the story of the Pilgrim family in a book that is “Into the Wild meets Helter Skelter in this riveting true story of a modern-day homesteading family in the deepest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness—and of the chilling secrets of its maniacal, spellbinding patriarch.” The book tells the story of the Pilgrim family’s fight with the National Park Service over land they purchased in a national park in Alaska. Papa Pilgrim has a twisted view of religion and lords over his family with these crazy notions, leaving one to question whether his family actually abides by these rules by choice or more as hostages. His religious fervor combined with his anti-government mentality leads to a situation that the back of the book calls “an era-defining clash between environmentalists and pioneers ignited by a mesmerizing sociopath who held a town and a family captive.”

For some reason, I am fascinated by stories of those who have been in cults or very fundamentalist religions.  I enjoy reading their accounts and learning more about these factions that we sometimes don’t even know exist. That’s the reason I picked up this book, I thought it would be an interesting story, unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me this time.

It’s not very often that I pick up a book and am not able to read through the whole thing without losing interest; I love reading so I’m usually game for ready most anything.  That was not the case with this book.  With a subtitle that boasts about it being “a true story of faith and madness on the Alaska frontier,” I expected the book to be something that would really pique my interest and tell an intriguing story.  While I’m sure the story is fascinating, I can’t get through how much information is included.  There’s so much description and detail at time that I lost the story trying to get through it all. The writer also bounces around in time, going back and forth between past and present.  Given the amount of other information included, I think  I would have been able to follow it better if it was set up in chronological order. I’m sure there’s an interesting story under all the fluff, but I have yet to find it.  I’ve had this book for two months and haven’t even gotten halfway through it.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Exciting Giveaway

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to read and review Kim Vogel Sawyer’s book, Through the Deep Waters. You can read that review here, but to make a long story short it was a really good book and I really enjoyed reading it.

I’ve been given the exciting opportunity to test out a new method of hosting giveaways and one of you lucky readers will receive your very own copy of this fantastic book. All you have to do is follow the link below, enter your name and email and you will be entered.

http://form.jotformpro.com/form/42147582007956

Good luck!

 

PS. The contest starts on July 31, 2014 at 6:00am EST and ends on August 20th, 2014 at 11:59pm. One winner will be chosen at random on August 21st, 2014 and will be alerted by email.

 

Book Review: All for a Sister

All for a Sister
by
Allison Pittman

This book set in the 1920’s tells the story of aspiring actress Celeste DuFrane. After her mother passes away, Celeste discovers that half of the family estate has been left to Dana Lundgren, a woman accused of killing Celeste’s infant sister before Celeste was born.

After spending most of her life in prison for the murder of Celeste’s sister, Dana is shocked to learn that she has been left half of the estate. She wonders why a woman who accused her of murder would do such a thing.

As the two women learn more about each other and read Celeste’s written mother’s confession, they realize that they have more in common than they ever thought possible.

It took me a while to really get into this book, it seemed to start out a bit slow for my taste.  Of course that could be because I was reading 3 other books at the same time.  However, once I delved into the story a bit further it drew me in. Once I got sucked into the story of Celeste and Dana, I couldn’t read it fast enough. The author stayed true to the time period, really making the reader feel like they could just immerse themselves into the story’s settings. I really enjoyed the way she told the character’s stories and the way she intertwined their lives so carefully and creatively.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.