Summer Time & Ice Cream

The Secret to Happiness by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the second book in the Cap Cod Creamery series. She brings the Dixon ladies back together as Main Street Creamery is struggling through the off-season. We were introduced to Dawn and Kevin in book one as they continue to struggle moving forward with their wedding and Dawn’s cousin, Callie is also struggling with the death of her dream career. Cowboy Leo, a favorite of mine who loves ice cream and has a zeal for life.  The author does an incredible job of wrestling with real life issues like how we embrace the good things in everyday life, but faced with trying to find our identity outside of what we think defines us. But we can find beauty after everything is stripped away.

The Secret to Happiness will always be in my heart, to not take life too serious, to always look for the goo in people and situations. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to Cape Cod Creamy. Eagerly looking forward to the next book.

I received a copy of the book from Revell Reads in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

After the Shadows

Wow, what a great start to a new series, the Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing trilogy by Amanda Cabot. This series is based around the lives of the Vaughn sisters, Louisa, Joanna and Emily. This is Emily’s story based in the hill country of Sweetwater Crossing in Texas.

When Emily’s abusive husband dies, she decides to return home and discovers her dad has passed away under an unusual circumstance, one sister is out of the country and Louisa, her younger sister leaves home when both have a disagreement on whether to turn their home into a boarding house.

The story is a pager turner and kept me engaged till I turned the last page. How does one leave the past and look forward to a better future? Amanda Cabot is one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend After the Shadows to those who enjoy reading historical fiction with a twist of mystery and romance.

Second Time Around

A lighthearted, beautiful story of second chances. Mallory Farrell takes a leap of faith when she inherits her grandma’s run-down tourist shop in Portside, Oregon which holds wonderful memories that might cost a small fortune to restore. Facing an empty nest when the last of her children have moved out, she is looking to possibly have a fresh start. A home interior designer, she looks at the tourist shop and apartment above it as a challenge when a developer wants to buy her out to tear down the shop and build a mall. Read Second Time Around for the surprise ending.

I received a copy from Revell Reads in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinion’s are my own.

A Story of Courage

I really enjoyed reading The Sound of Light. The characters, Else and Henrik are ordinary people who do extraordinary things in the direst of circumstances.

The story takes place in Denmark during World War II. Henrik takes on a new identity so he can row secret messages across the waters to Sweden. A story of resistance against the Nazi’s and saving the lives of Jewish people.

Else who refuses to leave Copenhagen and leave behind her life’s dream. She is slowly falling for the strange man at her boarding house wondering if he is also involved in in secrets.

An incredible story of love, strength and most importantly courage as Else must help others

What a wonderful surprise to see that in the last chapter of the book, the characters have ties to those in another book of Sarah Sundin’s.

A Journey for Hope

About the Book

Book: A Journey for Hope

Author: Stacy T. Simmons

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: January 17, 2023

With one “yes” everything Hope Fuller has sought could be hers.

Hope Fuller has life all planned out. Following a short trip to Briar Creek, North Carolina to help her sister, Hope will return home to Florida and begin her teaching career. Alas, keeping her trip short proves challenging after she sees someone from her past—a handsome lawyer who makes her heart want to plant itself within the community.

Dylan Gaines is just starting out his small-town legal practice and has his own plans for life. However, his reunion with Hope just might change some of them. Then again, their last attempt at romance ended up straining their friendship.

What will it take for Dylan and Hope to strike out on a different journey this time, one where love takes the wheel and leaves solitary plans in the dust?

Get your copy here:

My Review

When I heard the author passed away suddenly three months ago, I decided to join the launch team so that her book still had a chance to be out in the world.

A Journey of Hope is a story of encouragement as Hope becomes more confident in her photography. I enjoyed the descriptions of North Carolina and the small town feel.

A story of pure, clean romantic fiction that I recommend.

I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Stacy T. Simmons writes uplifting fiction that delights the reader’s romantic sensibilities. Thirty-four years of marital bliss is a great contributor. She is a mom of two grown children, and she and her family have a menagerie of pets she likes to call “Noah’s Ark.” You can find her working on her next manuscript with a piece of dark chocolate and a cup of coffee nearby. She loves to connect with her readers via her web site at

More from the Editor

A Light to the World by Denise Barela

This is a hard one for me to write and share. I’m writing this article, not as an author, but as an editor. This past year we lost an amazing sister in Christ, and her loss has been felt even in the small things. This month, Stacy T. Simmons’ book, A Journey for Hope releases. We were still in the editing process when she passed away, so I’ve taken over the editing of the book and have been working hard to ensure it stays as true to the way she wrote it as it can be. Stacy worked hard on this book, and we wanted to make sure her words were shared with her readers.

Stacy was such an encouragement to so many people. She would respond to emails letting you know how grateful she was or sending a little bit of encouragement for that particular day. She’s touched so many people’s lives, and it was so heartwarming to see all the authors posting how much she’d touched their lives in the last several years. We wanted to honor her memory and hard work with this book.

I’ve never had to take on another author’s role in applying edits. I’ve only ever tackled my own as a whole. I know I’m bound to make a few mistakes since I don’t know all the thoughts she put into some of what she wrote, but I’m doing my best to keep her ideas and message intact. I’m so grateful for the privilege of knowing her for the short time I did. She was an incredible person whose love for the Lord shone through. I know I’ll get to see her again in heaven one day. Until then, I will work to bring her story to the world all shiny and polished. I hope you find her words inspiring and heartwarming.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 10

HappyWhenReading, February 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11

Back Porch Reads, February 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 13

An Author’s Take, February 14

deb’s Book Review, February 15

Christina’s Corner, February 15

Simple Harvest Reads, February 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 17

She Lives To Read, February 18

Sylvan Musings, February 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 20

Holly’s Book Corner, February 20

Melissa’s Bookshelf, February 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 21

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, February 21

Texas Book-aholic, February 22

Blogging With Carol, February 23

For Him and My Family, February 23Giveaway


To celebrate Stacy’s tour, Celebrate Lit is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Transformational Weight Loss Journey

When I tried weight loss products in the past, I always took progress photos, but I kept them in a locked folder on my phone, never to see the light of day. Why? guilt, shame, and then there’s the fear of sharing a photo… publicly…. but when I took this first photo earlier this year, the feelings were even worse. I was mortified at how far I let my body go during quarantine. It happened for a lot of reasons… from emotional eating, to not being active, to thinking “I’ve already tried and failed too many times,” but it all led here… to the heaviest I have ever been but that day I made a decision to take control of my health, then I remade that decision every day. on hard days. disappointing days. emotional days. and then I discovered the Amare products which were a game changer for me. The first picture before my weight loss. Second picture is after losing 10 lbs. Are you ready for a transformation?

See what your score is with the Happy Quiz.

Love February!!!

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You Are Sent: Finding Your Place in God’s Global Mission, Study Guide with Leader’s Notes

How has your delight in the gospel propelled you out on mission, and how has your mission made you hungry for more of the gospel?”
Being on mission is not just one facet of following Jesus-it’s part of our DNA. We are commanded to go to the ends of the earth sharing Jesus while on mission. Jesus instructs every Christian to live on mission every day whether it’s at the grocery story or taking a walk. The author leads readers to discover how the Spirit that sends us, fills us with God’s heart to share the gospel near and far. As a mission team lead, “You Are Sent” is a great resource to use with my team. I liked that the book shows the biblical basis for missions and how to live cross culturally.

Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined, Study Guide with Leader’s Notes (The Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible

Ezra and Nehemiah: Rebuilding What’s Ruined is about the story of the both. How often do we think our life is a mess or are discouraged, just like Ezra and Nehemiah-a ruined city, a ruined church, God is always faithful. He is always with us as we journey back to Him. The author discusses hard topics, but through the study, we learn to turn away from our way’s and run towards God who ultimately is the one who rebuilds and brings new life even through our dark times.

The Secrets of Emberwild

The Secrets of Emberwild had me hooked from page one. The suspense had me up late into the night turning the pages following Nora who prefers horses over men. They never tell her what to do, more reliable and much easier to handle. The story took place during a time when women were not allowed to race, however she was quite determined to save her family farm with entering her horse into the Mississippi Fair. We all have a bit of Nora in us, headstrong and stubborn. I love stories filled with suspense, historical fiction and lots of twists. McGee has become one of my favorite author’s and I anxiously wait till her next book is released.

Honor Bound

WOW! I could not put this book down and read it in one sitting. Honor Bound by Hallee Bridgeman was an action-packed story as Captain Rick Norton and Dr. Cynthia Meyers don’t meet under normal circumstances. Dr Meyers is in an African village where an army is headed, and Captain Norton is on task to get her out. Over time Cynthia is learning to trust Rick’s judgment as he admires her strength. As their relationship grows, they begin to question whether they are meant to be together. Rick, a soldier and protector, Cynthia, compassionate, sometimes stubborn, and hard to read. With their strong faith even in the middle of emotional turmoil was truly an inspiration.

I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

Where Is God In This?

Title: Where Is God in This? 

Authors: Landra Young Hughes and Holly Crawshaw 

Publisher: Baker Books 

Release Date: October 18, 2022 

Genre: Christian Living

Life is unfair. Bad things happen to good people. Not all dreams come true. We lose people. We fail people. And when we encounter the inevitable struggles of life, we may be tempted to ask God Why me? as we try to reconcile our pain with God’s promises. But a far more helpful and life-enriching question for us to ask God is What are you trying to teach me in this? Tackling ten common struggles, such as isolation, fear, rejection, failure, insecurity, temptation, and more, Landra Young Hughes shows you how to have peace even when life doesn’t make sense. Speaking with great empathy born from her own losses and years in ministry, Hughes doesn’t suggest you “get over” your hard times. Instead, she helps you recognize that, while you will always live in a broken world this side of heaven, your pain has much to teach you about God and yourself. With her empathetic help, you’ll discover how to grow through grief and thrive despite adversity.

PURCHASE LINKS:Goodreads | Baker Bookhouse | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound |

Christianbook | BookBub

My Review

This book could not come at a better time as I struggled wondering where God was during a recent mission trip to Africa with a team who had poor attitudes. God was right there with me, although at times it did not feel like it. He does not want us to struggle, but to learn to grow and become fully dependent on Him. We are all broken and live in a broken world; however, we all have a lot to learn, that God will never leave us or forsake us.

The author shares her personal stories and covers everyday struggles that we all face: from fear to rejection to insecurity. We can not just “get over” those issues but lay those at His feet daily.

I received an ARC from Just Read Tours in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Landra Young Hughes

Landra Young Hughes is the daughter of prominent pastor Ed Young Jr. and Lisa Young of Fellowship Church. Because of her upbringing, Landra has developed a passion for seeing people maximize their God-given potential and embrace their God-defined self-worth. She and her husband, Brad, live in Dallas, Texas, where they serve on staff at Fellowship Church and raise their three children. Landra is coauthor with Holly Crawshaw of A Different Kind of Love Story.

Connect with Landra by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Holly Crawshaw is a writer and editor who believes everyone has a meaningful story to tell. Holly is passionate about partnering with authors to leverage their experiences to further God’s kingdom and help God’s people. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her three daughters.

Where is God in This? JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 7, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 14, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Beneath the Bending Skies

Beneath the Bending Skies by author, Jane Kirkpatrick takes the reader away on an unforgettable journey based on the true story of Mollie Sheehan Ronan and her husband Peter who ran the Jocko Agency for Flathead Native American tribes in Montana. Mollie’s father voices his disapproval to marry a man who is older than her.
Mollie and her family are always moving to different towns until they settle in Montana where she meets Peter, one of her fathers’ friends and end up falling in love. Mollie shows such resilience and soon realizes that God is in control of her life not her dad and that even the biblical command to “honor thy father” has its limits.
I love reading stories based on true events especially historical fiction. This story will not disappoint and highly recommend the book

Dangerous Beauty

Dangerous Beauty is a story of understanding, love and courage. Lilana Vela does not like the term “victim,” she is a fighter who is determined to take back her life after escaping human traffickers. Can she safely stay in the states or accept a proposal by the man who rescued her.

Human trafficking is happening in our neighborhoods right under our noses. There are people out there who are trying to stop this and Meric happened to be at the right place and the right time to save Lilana. Over a month a lot happens in the story and has me wondering what is next.

I received a copy of the book from Revell Reads in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Alaskan Escape

God, You know I cannot serve You in my own strength. I need the Holy Spirit’s help. I’m giving You my life to direct because on my own I’m a stressful mess. How often do we try to do things on our own?  When Grace’s husband wanted to take a new job that would require the family to move onto a fishing vessel, the first thought that came to mind was worry? How would she trust God to see the family through the unknown’s? Sometimes we have to accept what is in our path and trust that God has our best intentions.

I hope you will fall in love with the series as I have.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinion’s are my own.

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