Monday, August 31, 2015

Book: Irish Meadows

Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream.

Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry---as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

***

In some ways this is your typical romance novel, you know which girl is going to end up with who and the story is in the twists and turns until they get there.  In other ways this is not your typical romance because the characters have some very hard lessons to learn and it didn't turn out in the way I expected at all.

The biggest lesson was that every action has consequences, both for yourself, and for everyone around you.  It's hard to write much more than that without giving away much of the story, but the father, James' actions, were the most obvious.  He was so desperate to save his farm that he made choices that hurt everyone around him.

I really enjoyed this book, it's the first in a series and I hope to read the rest when they come out.  There are other siblings who's stories are waiting to be told.

***

Read other reviews and purchase your own copy of the book!


Susan Anne Mason's debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.


I received this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Get It All For Fall: Tea Collection Sale!

I know, summer can't be over already, right?  Well, we've got 2 more weeks until school starts, but now's the time to get everything stocked up!

Tea Collection has a sale going on just in time and the more you buy, the more you save, up to 20% off. 

Now through Monday only use code SHOPFALL for 10% off 3 items, 15% off 4, and 20% off 5 or more items.


Check out the new Argentina and Bolivia collection from South America in fun and rustic colors and layers for fall and winter.

And while you're there, enter the Back to School sweepstakes for lots of fun goodies to get your year started off right!

Back to School Sweepstakes at Tea Collection!

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Angry Mommy

When my boys look back on their childhood I'm afraid that what they will see is me, angry all the time. I wonder how much counseling that will cost them. 

I'm overwhelmed. All the things are overwhelming to me. The kitchen thrown in on top of everything else this summer has been too much. I need schedule and routine and time to plan things and I got none of that. 

We had an anniversary trip planned and I thought it would be a good break, that it was a good thing we had it planned before the kitchen came upon us or we never would have gone. It turned out to be a disaster. The place we stayed was too hot with all the city noise of a big holiday weekend and windows open. I'm sure hormones didn't help, but I am still the angry mommy.

And so we ruined our trip and came home early and I'm wondering after 10 years if there's any way to get along with someone who is your polar opposite in everything.

And I am undone. Wondering if there is any hope left to be had. Wondering why the people I talk to most I've never even met in real life. Wondering if I am so angry because I'm truly crazy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: 10 Years


For better or worse.  And these last 4 years have been mighty crazy!  I couldn't have imagined what my life would look like now and I can't imagine it any other way!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tea Collection: Citizen Blue and India extra 25% off!

It's here, for three days only the Tea Collection Citizen Blue styles are finally on sale! Use code INDIA25 for 25% off any Citizen Blue or India items and free shipping over $75.

What is Citizen Blue?
A semi-annual collection that celebrates the magical spots we stop along the way to somewhere else. Rooted in rich indigo hues, Citizen Blue revisits heritage Tea styles and favorite prints from places we’ve already been and offers new designs inspired by places we’ve seen only glimpses of. 


All of the India and Citizen Blue clothing is already on sale, now take an extra 25% off mark downs!


*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Book: Goodbye, Magnolia

Wedding photography is Maggie’s passion. The art of capturing a moment forever in time is magical to her, and she’s worked hard to become the best of the best. Week after week, she works with couples as they plan their happily ever afters, but she hasn’t been so lucky in love.

Behind the camera, it’s easy to hide from the pain and rejection of her past. The life she has made for herself is safe and predictable, until the owner of a rival photography studio sets up shop in her small town and comes to her with an unexpected proposal. Suddenly, everything she has worked so hard to build is threatened and her simple, controlled life is thrown into chaos.

As she travels the state of Michigan photographing weddings, she struggles to keep her business afloat and the wall around her heart intact. But along the way, she learns more about loyalty and love than she ever imagined.

***

Funny thing, this book started out almost exactly the same as the one I read a couple weeks ago, which was a bit odd.  But given that it's a full length novel rather than a novella it really had time to develop the characters and for me at least, this one really felt much more true to life.  It was the perfect length.

Maggie has to deal with someone coming back into her life that she essentially despised since college.  The way she sees the things he does only reinforces the views she has of him.  But is it possible he's changed?

I really truly loved this book and the way it reminded me to not judge other people by only what I can see of their actions.

My only caveat is the ending was missing what I thought should have been there (can't give anything away!), but Krista is working on a sequel and she assures me that scene is in it!  Can't Wait!

***

Read more about Krista below and find your own copy of Goodbye, Magnolia at Amazon, for Nook or iTunes.

KRISTA NOORMAN is the author of the young adult novel, The Truth About Drew, and the contemporary romance, Goodbye, Magnolia. Most of her life has been spent scribbling away in journals, honing her writing skills, while documenting her every day life. But it wasn’t until she took part in National Novel Writing Month in 2008, that she found her true calling and turned her pen (or rather her computer keyboard) to fiction.

Krista studied music education at Cornerstone University. After college, she turned to her love of photography and spent nearly a decade running her own wedding photography business. She is constantly inspired by books and movies, enjoys beautiful instagram feeds, and loves a great cup of coffee. Krista makes her home in a small town in western Michigan with her husband, Jacob, and their two children.

She writes about life, family, faith and whatever else comes to mind at bykrista.com.

Krista sent me a copy of her book to review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Water Babies!

These girls have gone from not wanting to put their faces underwater to this in 10 days!












My little swimmer babies! Their teacher has been teaching at this pool since my family moved here 23 years ago and my old neighbor, whose daughter was in Noah's class last week, said she was her teacher too, so that would be pushing 40 years! She's a pretty awesome teacher!