Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Betrayal may be my favorite book in the series so far! In this novella we meet Emmie Croftner, the sister of Ben Croftner and the widow of Monroe Courtney. Emmie and Sarah were friends back home in Wabash, Indiana, and after Monroe passes and his secrets are revealed Emmie finds herself without a place to call home. She sets out for Fort Laramie to help Sarah and upon arriving is taken aback by her near instant attraction to Isaac, Rand's best friend at Fort Laramie. I can't wait to read more about Emmie and her adventures. This cover is probably also my favorite one so far. The pink sky, purple mountains, and lush green grass are beautiful!


Book info

About the book:
A Heart's Betrayal (Thomas Nelson, June 2015)

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what's more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.
Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can't stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she's pregnant---and without a husband. The new start she'd hoped for slips from her fingers.

But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his---and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1B65ZsM

About the author:

Colleen Coble
has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 Blog Tour Schedule



Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, but will her big secret drive them apart? Find out in book four, A Heart's Betrayal, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.

Melt into summer with a new giveaway from Colleen: four books (books one–four in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and a box of chocolates to pair with your new books!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Betrayal
  • A box of Colleen's favorite chocolate truffles from DeBrand Fine Chocolates
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced July 1st on Colleen's website.

heartsbetrayal-enterbanner

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What I've Read Wednesday #7

Whew, it's been awhile since I've posted what I've been reading and with good reason. The farm sold and a new family has moved in so I was basically off the radar for the 6 weeks before closing. I'll get more to that in a separate post all about our last days at the farm. For now let's chat about all the books I've read lately!

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First up we have Chance of Loving You, A Heart's Danger, Finding Me, and A Love Like Ours which I've posted reviews for on the blog so if you want to hear more about those you can check out my older posts. For the most part I really enjoyed all four of these books.


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Next we have Never Too Late by Robyn Carr, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, The Widow's Walk by Robert Barclay, and When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley. Never Too Late was another Robyn Carr classic that I found enthralling and moving. As with all of her books that I've read (which is over 30 by now!) I would recommend this one. Sharp Objects kept me on my toes and with any Gillian Flynn book it kept you guessing right up until the very end. I think I liked this one a little better than Gone Girl and in a way I thought it was even more twisted which is really saying something. The Widow's Walk is a bit strange and was kinda out there for me but I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the house that the story centered around. When Sparrows Fall is probably my least favorite of Meg Moseley's books and throughout the book I felt sad and that feeling never left me even at the end when it seemed like things were turning around for the family. I'm not sure I'd really recommend this one unless you like to read something that's a little dark and twisty and pretty sad throughout.


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Just this past week I read my neighbor's newest book Inside and Out. It's a novella and a super fast read with some real substance in the story. At times I wanted to shake the main character to get her to snap out of her self pity and unworthiness but with her past I can understand why she behaved the way she did. It takes her daughter to remind her that she too is beautiful inside and out before she believes she can give love another chance. If you're looking for a fast, summer read with some romance thrown in then you'd probably enjoy this book. Her company (Clean Reads) is exactly what the title implies: a company that only publishes clean novels. You can check out their website to see what that entails and to see all the other books available through Clean Reads.

Over the weekend I read The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks so I could go see the movie at the dollar theater (which I still have yet to do this week!) and I think it might be my favorite Nicholas Sparks book yet. I've read all of his other previous books and even though there's always an element of heartache I love the way that man weaves together a story. The book flips from past to present while it tells the love story of Ira and Ruth in the past and the unfolding romance of Sophia and Luke. At times I had a hard time with this book because I lost a dear friend in a bull riding accident so I had sweaty palms every time Luke was in the chute to ride a bull. I hope the movie is as good as the book. I'll keep you guys posted once I see it!


I've got a few books that I need to read and review but I have so many others calling my name right now that I've picked up this summer so who knows which one I'll pick up next!


What have you been reading lately?

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Danger is not my favorite of the series and the only reason I can put my finger on is the fast pace at which this one seemed to move. I felt like there were some parts that needed delving out more but overall I liked this third installment of the series. Colleen Coble definitely filled this one with danger and drama from beginning to end as the title indicates. As things continue with Rand, Sarah, and the rest of the characters you are made aware of an unfavorable but not unlikely partnership. I'd love to talk about my favorite part of the book but I fear if I do it will give it away so for now let me say that if you've read the first two then you'll like how this one ends on less of a cliffhanger than the previous two.

Book info
About the book:
A Heart's Danger (Thomas Nelson, May 2015)

On the brink of war with the Sioux, Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, a trap has been set for Rand Campbell.
Rand's new fiancée wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.

Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell---the man whose love she craves---and Croftner---the man whose lies have cost her everything.

Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1G01e4s

About the author:

Colleen Coble
has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Facebook, Twitter
 Blog Tour Schedule

Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves—but will the risk be worth it? Find out in book three, A Heart's Danger, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Rand’s new fiancée wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns. Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell—the man whose love she craves—and Croftner—the man whose lies have cost her everything.

Enter to win the perfect pairing giveaway: three books (books one–three in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and coffee to pair with your new book!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
  • A pound of Colleen's favorite coffee, Captain Davy's Coffee Roaster Costa Rican
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 31st. Winner will be announced June 1st on Colleen's website.

heartsdanger-enterbanner


I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

The Porter series by Becky Wade is captivating and as much as I've enjoyed the first two this is my favorite without a doubt! A former Marine/horse trainer, a heroine with a personality to match my own, and a terrific story all wrapped into one made this one of the best books I've read this year. If you enjoy contemporary romance with a bit of country western and farm life thrown in you'll love this book!

I remembered Jake from a previous Porter Family novel and I recall being anxious for his story to be written. I have a soft spot for wounded warriors and Jake's past as a Marine and the injuries he suffered as well as the resulting PTSD were written incredibly well. Becky Wade did an excellent job doing her research on this and making his struggle very real. I was so glad to see that she didn't "fix" him immediately and that the PTSD wasn't downplayed or inaccurately portrayed. I adored Lyndie! Throughout the book I read a situation she handled that sounded exactly like what I'd do or what I have done. Her love of animals, her tenacity, and her kind heart resonated with me.

Jake and Lyndie were childhood best friends but after her family moved way Jake took it pretty tough and in a sense never forgave her for leaving him. It's been years since they've seen each other but now that her family has moved back to Texas a reunion is inevitable despite Jake's absence at family gatherings of the Porter and James families where Lyndie thought she was sure to see him. As one can imagine their connection as adults is a strong as it was when they were children and it's easy to pick up on that right away in the story. From the very beginning I was rooting for Jake and Lyndie to work through their issues as friends and later on as horse trainer-exercise rider and hopefully become more than friends in the end. There were parts of the story where I had to laugh at Lyndie pushing Jake's buttons knowing exactly what his reaction would be. She seemed to know how far to push him before enough was enough. A particular horse that Jake had nearly given up on presents a unique challenge for Lyndie once Jake hires her as an exercise rider. She never could resist fixing the broken and in her mind Silver Leaf and Jake are somehow connected. If she can get him to run like the racehorse he is then perhaps she can break through Jake's tough exterior and find the root of the problem.

I sincerely believe anyone and everyone would enjoy this book and I'd love to hear from you if you pick up a copy and read it for yourself!

Book info

About the book:
A Love Like Ours (Bethany House, May 2015)

Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion's reluctance to run.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

Purchase a copy:
 http://bit.ly/1R9Tv8p

About the author:

Becky Wade
is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky's work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award.

Find Becky online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 Blog Tour Schedule



Fall in love with Becky Wade's new book, A Love Like Ours, a story of healing, romance, and cowboys. A glimmer of the hope Jake thought he’d lost returns when Lyndie lands back in Texas, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

To celebrate the release of her new book, Becky is giving away a $100 cash card and a book-inspired prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $100 cash card
  • A copy of A Love Like Ours
  • A copy of the Secretariat DVD
  • A scarf
  • A dog-tag/cross keychain
  • A pair of earrings
  • A Scarf
  • A Texas-shaped cutting board
  • A Jake Porter mug
love like ours - prize pack 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 26th. Winner will be announced May 27th on Becky's site.

lovelikeours-enterbanner


I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Chance of Loving You



Chance of Loving You packs a punch as an anthology by three bestselling romance authors: Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, and Susan May Warren.

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock- I liked how this one starts with Julie and Blake meeting in a restaurant when Julie is waiting on Blake after he's had a terrible day. Instead of a tip he leaves her half of a lottery ticket and a promise to take her to New York if they win. Well, they do and that's when the story took a little dive for me. Julie and Blake both behave in a manner that I felt was uncharacteristic to the way they'd been portrayed at the start. I had a hard time getting past this but overall it was a cute story.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert-Amiee and Lucas are the center of this story and this one was a close second in being my favorite. I loved how the author weaves Lucas's grandparents and their love story into this one. Amiee is working as a dietary assistant and after an unfortunate incident with a decorative olive that resembles a bug she finds herself at the mercy of a nurse in order to avoid being written up. The nurse coerces Amiee into helping feed some of her patients in the evening and this is where she meets Lucas and his grandmother. It was his grandmother who was the recipient of Amiee's decorative olive and Lucas gives Amiee a bit of a hard time about it to begin with. Their playful banter and mounting attraction seemed quite real even in the short period of time the story takes place. As Amiee prepares for the last day of competition in the Vegan Valentine Bake Off she revisits her mom's recipe box and discovers the recipe for life.

Hook, Line, & Sinker by Susan May Warren-My favorite of the three and the one that I found to be most plausible is this story. In a novella it's hard to give the characters history and yet the author did a wonderful job of weaving Abby and Ross's past into the story to give them more depth and make what transpires between them more believable. I liked the fishing angle that this story was written from because it was something I could relate to. Abby's stubborn nature also drew me in because I could see myself doing some of the same things she did. The painful past that Abby and Ross share brings itself to the present and it's time to resolve it once and for all.

I received this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

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I have read a lot of books in my lifetime and I have never read anything quite like this. It's such a unique premise for a story. Can you imagine growing up believing that your mother, brother, and sister perished in a fire leaving only you and your father to carry on? Now imagine your father and stepmother passing away in a car accident when you are only a young woman and discovering that the life you've lived has been nothing but a lie: there was no fire and your mother, brother, and sister are quite possibly still alive. This is exactly what happens to Kelli Huddleston and with this knowledge she is faced with making decisions that will yet again alter the course of her life. As she takes off driving from California to Tennessee she is broken, hurting, and reeling from not only losing her father and discovering that she may still have a family but also from being fired from her job for being honest and trying to do the right thing. Originally Kelli plans to stay in Tennessee for a week and then head back to California to continue preparations for the restaurant opening she and her best friends have been working toward. What actually happens once Kelli arrives in Tennessee is anything but according to plan! The depth of the characters, the powerful emotion behind the issues they deal with throughout, and the real struggles each of them face makes this a wonderfully written story that I recommend to anyone. You don't have to be able to relate to any of the issues within the story to feel the palpable emotion behind it. This is my first time reading Kathryn Cushman and I can't wait to get my hands on her other work!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

It's been awhile since I've read something that tugged on my heart strings from so many different directions. The story bounces between present day and the World War II era but it was written in such a fashion as to where the switch doesn't distract away from the story at all. While there is a connection between Sera in the present day and Kaja in WWII the two stories are separate but intertwine more and more toward the end where the connection is at last revealed. I did wonder if I would have been better off to read Kristy Cambron's first book (The Butterfly and the Violin) before starting this one so I would have more of the back story that was often referenced throughout this book and perhaps already know the connection between the two women. One of the aspects of this book that I particularly liked was how quickly you get hooked into both women's stories. In the first chapter we meet Sera and William and on their wedding day and before the chapter is over William is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. Talk about hitting the ground running! In the second chapter we meet Kaja and her entire family as their lives are forever changed with the Nazis invading Prague. As each story unfolded I found myself amazed by the strength and resolve both of these women exhibited in the face of trials. In situations where so many would give up or not try as hard these women seemed to push even harder to succeed where others believed they would fail.

If you're like me and you enjoy reading World War II historical fiction you'll enjoy this immensely! Let me know what you think if you decide to pick it up or if you've read The Butterfly and the Violin I'd love to hear about it!

Book info

About the book:
A Sparrow in Terezin (Thomas Nelson, April 2015)

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day---With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she's stumbled into a charmed life---until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she's planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942---Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear---even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1a1Mk02

About the author:

Kristy Cambron
has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 Blog Tour Schedule

Please submit your 2-3 sentence snippet from your personal review via the website* (please make sure this does not include the book summary). Please note that your review MUST be submitted this way in order to be eligible to receive any additional titles.

*use the landing page link below, click on the "write a review" bar, fill in the needed information and click "submit review." Review will show up after approval.
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Please include this link to the blog tour post in your review. 


Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection in Kristy Cambron's new book, A Sparrow in Terezin. Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy's blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.