You Inspire Me ... By Tondeleya Allen

Inspirational, encouraging, and uplifting, "You Inspire Me" is a devotional straight from Tondeleya Allen's heart. An optimistic attitude and positive words are liquid gold that can benefit each of us every day. Readers will find tools to triumph struggles, overcome negative thinking, and marginalize the naysayers and dream killers in their lives.

"You Inspire Me" explores the strength of women, our purpose in life, and steps that can be taken to transform our lives and make
Tondeleya Allen
our dreams a reality. When we maintain hearts of gratitude and positive attitudes, there is no task we can't handle.

Author of "The Blessed Woman Endeavor," "You Really Do Deserve Me," and "A Good Sandwich Can Save a Marriage," Tondeleya Allen believes that faith is the cure for what ails us and that women have enough grace and strength coursing through our veins to handle every ounce of pressure life sends our way. 

I always know when a read a book by Tondeleya Allen, you better have a highlighter on hand or paper and pencil to take notes!  You Inspire Me has done it to me again! I look down at my desk and see all kinds of gems that I found from this devotional, as actually there isn't any wisdom found here that we can't take away!
I enjoy the easy style of Allen's writing, as if she is talking to me personally, encouraging and helping me get back on the right track. She has her finger on the pulse of women's struggles, defining the problem issues and giving us direction to work on our most difficult situations.

What I think is amazing starts off in the very first part of the book. It doesn't matter that Allen doesn't know us, that she doesn't know our past, or what we have already done with our lives up to now. Her quote from the book:

 I believe that even your pain and heartache can be turned into joy and lessons.  Your gifts can improve this world.

The positivity that is expressed in each chapter drives us forward and encourages us to forget the past and recharge ourselves:

Delegate when you can. Move as your energy, inspiration and time allows.

I always find a special chapter that jumps out at me...this one happens to be Live to Create. Allen shares a story about her mom that I believe implanted her gift of writing:

Whether I’m weaving words, mixing textiles, sewing without patterns or cooking without recipes, I enjoy experiencing the freedom and playfulness of expression.

A must read for all women in any stage of life, as you will be uplifted with God's love and faithfulness.

                                        Amazon Review


Love Defined ... By Leila Tualla

In their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends expect an uncomplicated transition to adulthood…but learn they all still have some growing up to do.

Alex Makapulo is facing a crisis of faith.

Raised a Catholic, Alex is considering becoming a member of her best friend Jack Page’s church—against her family’s wishes—but she can’t quite take the final step of baptism. Jack loves Alex and doesn’t understand her hesitation, and Alex wonders if Jack’s love is a blessing or a distraction to test her religious conviction.

Lori Hanson embarks on the trip of a lifetime.

For her twenty-second birthday, Lori’s grandfather presents her with a summer vacation in England. While preparing for her adventure, she meets British musician Colin Watson online and quickly falls for him. They plan to hook up when she lands in London, but her grandfather forbids it. Due to complicated family dynamics, Lori must regretfully comply with his wishes, though she vows never to forgive him.

Andy Taylor is looking for love in all the wrong places.

When Andy runs into an old crush, she decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with sexy Miles Webber. But when she confides in Alex, her friend warns her Miles only wants her for sex. Andy becomes angry and devises a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as she expected, though, and Andy is left facing a crushing moral dilemma.

As the summer unfolds, three young women learn love and faith go hand in hand, not everything is black and white, and sometimes in a fast-paced world you have to slow down, breathe a little, and find your own definition of love.


Right from the get go, I knew this was going to be an intriguing YA book. The cover of Love Defined by Leila Tualla, confirms this marvelous contemporary story of three college girls on the brink of discovering their new adult lives in the working world.

Author Tualla sets the stage where we are hooked into some kind of distressing event that is causing a lot of emotional tension between the girls.

Backing up three months to the start, we are introduced to college girls that have been friends for eternity, but even though their personalities are being constantly defined by age and life, friends stick together no matter what.

Three different girls, three different storylines, but uniquely blended together with some of the chapters opening with one of the girl's quotes, directing our attention to the storyline at hand and moving it forward.

I have to admit I loved Alex's story, as she developed strength and maturity in her devotion to God. Her struggles were real, but her faith continued to grow and deepen as her friend's problems spiraled out of hand.

I loved the style of the author's writing, as Love Defined is as true to life as you can get. This is not a sugar coated book, but definitely a Christian story that is probably happening all over the world to young adults and older teens, over and over again. Although, as in real life, we don't know what will happen in the long run with these girls,  Tualla does give us a satisfying ending, knowing that God is faithful and His love endures. As the author reminds us: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13

There must be a sequel to this book!

                                         Amazon Review



Restored ... by Tanya Eavenson

Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family's grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future.

But how can there be a future when he's only come to kiss her and says good-bye?


Author Tanya Eavenson blends life and death in the heartwarming  Christian romantic story Restored. Is it possible that love from the past can ever be forgotten or forgiven? 


Eavenson's style of writing has a balanced rhythm to it. She incorporates the feel of heartache with the joy and love that the main characters develop as they find their way around some troublesome past events. As it is in real life, Restored has a nice Christian "flavor" flow to it. The story isn't pounding you over the head with trying to change your view of God, but speaking as we do in everyday life, expecting God has a plan for us.

Trust me, you'll need your tissues, but Eavenson doesn't leave us disappointed.

                                       Amazon Review               


                                     Enjoy the Poodle Skirt ... by Kate Willis

Rule one: Keep your hands clean.
Rule two: Careful with the food trays.
Rule three: Visit the soda fountain as often as you like, but don’t make yourself sick.
Rule four: Enjoy the poodle skirt.

Canary is excited to spend a whole week helping her newlywed aunt and uncle run a 50’s diner along with her older siblings Rose and Michael. Even the rules for working there are fun! But when a routine cleanup presents a mysterious, hand-drawn map, her vacation gets even more exciting than a banana split with hot fudge sauce. And that’s saying a lot!


Wow! What a surprise I found in this deliciously, delightful mystery book. Enjoy the Poodle Skirt by Kate Willis is an exceptionally written story for the older elementary age reader.

Willis keeps the flow steady and holds your attention with cute descriptions of the diner and outfits that have to be worn, even to the naming of the embellishment on her skirt.  (I wish there was a diner like that around here!) I did get the vintage feel of the place, and felt the enjoyment that the characters were having. They mystery was just the right amount for the age that this book was written.

An added bonus: You have to even read the warning in the front of the book about what would happen if you reprinted or misused this story in any way. Very cute and creative.

The end acknowledgements were very heartfelt, giving God the credit for what He has done in Willis's life and family.
As a first grade project aide for my daughters class, I would have to say that this book should be a must read as an introduction for the mystery genre, as it is sweet, wholesome and not overdone.

                                         Amazon Review


Wow! As we grow, we have added on a new category...

Books that really don't fit anywhere, but are fun to read for the beauty and content.

Check out our side bar for the start of our'll see what we mean!



Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy, and Fun ... By Marco Tosa

For anyone who loves Barbie and wants to know more, this illustrated biography tells the story of the doll's evolution into an icon of popular culture, beloved and avidly collected by children and adults alike. 
Conceived in 1959 as an "adult" doll to dress for every occasion, Barbie has since become a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Illustrations reveal her many faces, styles, and incarnations, from the blonde, blue-eyed mainstay to the exotic dolls available around the world. Here too are her most glamorous costumes, and the real-life Hollywood stars-Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Vivien Leigh-and fashion designers-Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, and Bob Mackie-who inspired them.   Doll expert Marco Tosa presents a wealth of documentation, including a description of how the dolls are made, a family tree, a chart of the dolls' occupations, the dates of issue of each Barbie doll discussed, and photographs of original packaging. There is also a section on the forthcoming, more anatomically correct Barbie doll.
Linda   (of course not!)
Marco Tosa, a native of Genoa, Italy, teaches at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. He is the author of several books on fashion and on the history and culture of dolls.


I received this absolutely beautiful Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy, and Fun by Marco Tosa from my girls at Christmas. I am a Barbie collector and found this book fascinating. It gives the history of the creation of the Barbie doll, as well as the transformation she has had over the years.

Did you know that in 1945 the birth of the toy company named "Mattel," stands for "Matt" for Mattson and "El" for Elliot, old friends who worked together in a garage converted into a small creative studio.

Not only does it contain amazing pictures, the history behind Barbie will rock your socks off!
Here are a few from my own collections:

                 Amazon Review


                                                             Congrats to :

                                                             Jennifer B.

                             For winning our "Sweet Read Package"


Drawn by the Frost Moon: Bitter Eyes No More (Creek Country Saga Book 4) ... by April Gardner

For those who enjoy saga-length Christian historical romance. Bitter Eyes No More is a single, complete story. It is book four in
the Creek Country Saga.

A man of abiding honor, tested by a woman of ruinous passion. A woman of unspeakable sins, pursued by a God of unquenchable mercy.

Spanish Florida once sheltered Lillian McGirth from her fears. Now, it feeds them. Mercy is for the deserving; for Lillian, an unwed mother accused of treason, there is only battering and defeat, but her fall breaks softly in the arms of an unexpected arrival, a man too beautiful of soul to stain with her lost character.

Captain Marcus Buck sails in on a pledge to save Miss McGirth from herself and from her child's father, a ruthless don. All the while, he's to regard her as virtuous and worthy of protection and to guard said virtue from pilfering. But the terms are flawed since he must first guard her from himself. Regardless, he is determined. He will free her, repair her name--simple labor compared to dodging the army's noose, mending wounds three years deep, and navigating a host of rebel Natives bent on inflicting more.

Through the steady crumble of his pledge, their friendship becomes a consolation, for she knows his pain as no other can or will. Their scars are one; their paths, however, might irrevocably become two... 


Even though I picked this book up out of the series order, it is a stand alone book. Drawn by the Frost Moon: Bitter Eyes No More (Creek Country Saga Book 4)  by April Gardner picks up action with characters that have crossed over from the previous story line, but I quickly learned their backgrounds and personalities thanks to their introduction in the beginning of the book.

Author Gardner has richly supplemented the story line with amazing details of the  historical 1817 era, proving that taking time in  researching details turns an average story into an epic book. I have to say, there were some characters that I didn't like and it took a while before I warmed up to them. Is it possible that a passionate woman could reach inside her soul to find the strength and boldness to endure hardships, battles and devious men that ruled her life?

This book could easily be transformed into a mini series or movie, as there are plenty of diverse characters and intense action. If you love historical fiction, this is  a must read series for you.

                                                                             Amazon Review


                            Two outstanding small, sweet devotional books!

Scriptures and Meditations for Your Best Life Now ... by Joel Osteen

If you're like me, you don't want to live your life with a 'barely-get-by' mentality. You want to crack the ordinary mold and become the best you can be. You want to break the power of the past and the chains of limitations and feelings of inadequacy. You want to learn how to live your best life now and discover the joy, peace, and enthusiasm that God has for you. In this book, you will discover just how to do that! Allow the Scriptures to speak to you. Be still and listen to what God is saying through His words. Explore what it means to enlarge your vision. Learn what God has to say about you and allow Him to rebuild your self-image. Understand the power of your thoughts and words, and begin to let go of the past. Renew your strength despite whatever adversity you face. Learn to live as a person who gives generously without reservations, and choose to be happy.


Wow! ... This was another great gift from my girls. Joel Osteen is so positive and finds the scriptures that really mend our hearts and souls. The book has so many of my book markers in that I actually I just keep re-reading the whole book.
As Joel says: Set your mind on the right course. Start every day by agreeing with the psalmist, "This is the day the Lord has made, and I'm going to be happy. I'm going to go out and be productive. This is going to be a great day." Magnify your God, and go out each day expecting good things.


                                             Amazon Review

Be Blessed, Living God's Life of Blessings: 25 Devotions for Women ... by Jane L. Fryar


This sweet little devotional book was given to me by my girls. You get so relaxed reading and meditating on the Word...lovely pictures, great fonts and scriptures that are uplifting. Each day is two pages long, just a short
reminder of who is in charge!

                       Amazon Review


        Debra Sue Brice shares her latest releases ...

                                               The Danni Girl Mysteries


Eating on the Run ... By Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD

Work, social, and family commitments often make it difficult to fit tasty and healthy food choices into your diet. In Eating on the Run, Evelyn Tribole solves your dieting dilemma using her proven expertise concerning all foods, savory and sweet.
Divided into four parts for easy reference, Eating on the Run presents the latest and best information on the following issues:
-Smart food choices for you and your family
-Eating options for managing weight
-Strategies for speedy grocery shopping—including sample shopping lists
-Healthful eating away from home, whether at work, at a restaurant, in your car, or at the airport
-Nutritional values for common fast foods
-Eating and ordering ethnic cuisine
-Dietary decisions relative to hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease
-Diets and supplements, with advice on today's most popular programs, including liquid meal replacements and high-protein diets such as the Atkins and Zone diets
-Easy meal preparation, including recipes and tips
Evelyn Tribole is the nation's leading nutritionist for busy people who want to remain healthy and trim. A former nutritional adviser for “Good Morning America” and the American Dietetic Association, she's been a columnist for SHAPE and has written several books on nutrition. She also juggles work, family, and frequent speaking engagements—so she knows firsthand just how hectic life can get. Her experience and strategies will help you avoid flavorless, fast-fried choices and eat great while on the go.


I've had this book since the first edition. Eating on the Run by Evelyn Tribole is a SIMPLE guide to how to control your eating, as well as some helpful guidelines to why we can get out of control.

Why Diets often Fail for People on the Go
What About Convenience Diets or Liquid Diets?
The Life Span of a Diet
Changing What Triggers You to Eat
Vending Machine Roulette
Catering Trucks
Nutrition Foundation
...and much, much more!

It has the calorie count and information on Brand Name Frozen foods as well as our favorite Fast Food places.

Best part is the simple make ahead HEALTHY meals as well as a weeks worth of menus. This is an easy reference guide laid out in plain language.

                                          Amazon Review


Dreams Of Tamar: A Tale of Rejection, Redemption, Restoration, and Faith ... by Darlene Pryor

When single mother of twins Diedra meets and falls in love with James, she assumes that “as long as you both shall live” will be the start of peace, contentment, and blissful motherhood.

Diedra has a full life that often intersects with the lives of three other women: Breanna, the free and flirtatious spirit; Cassandra, Diedra’s childhood friend; and Sharnell, the overachiever. And when Diedra’s brood grows to seven after the birth of triplets, she thinks that surely her saga is fully written.

But when unexpected obstacles suddenly pile on with no end in sight, Diedra must struggle to save her marriage, brave a frightening diagnosis, and untangle mysteriously lucid dreams whose meaning remains just out of reach—but which are increasingly worrisome in their urgency.

On top of it all—she’s pregnant again.

More than a Christian romance, Dreams of Tamar weaves together relevant scripture and riveting storytelling and will resonate with believers of today who have real problems that require real solutions. Dive in to a story of a love that binds people together with unbreakable chains as they work out their salvation and journey toward restoration.


 I was amazed at the love and passion felt between Diedra and her husband James in the book Dreams of Tamar: A Tale of Rejection, Redemption, Restoration, and Faith, by Darlene Pryor. Not all things start off good, but as Diedra's life continues on she fights through the ups and downs and the disappointments of love and life. When James comes into her life, wow...he IS the love that she longs for, but will it last? Being married for a while and having children sometimes isn't always what you might hope it to be.

I love how author Pryor brings into the book the Biblical story of Tamar. Well, I had forgotten about those stories, and what a little bible study I got, in fact I loved all the scriptures that Pryor added, each adding to the meaning of where the story was at that time.  This family thrived on Bible principles.

Surprise after surprise came along, and the flow of the story made me happy and sad and in a few places, rejoicing in the Lord! Pryor gives us a big surprise and the end, which you'll have to read to find out.

Love, passion, and Scriptures makes this a fabulous book!

                     Amazon Review


The Back Pain Book: A Self Help Guide for Daily Relief of Neck and Back Pain ... By Mike Hage, MS, PT

A physical therapist tells how to relieve back and neck pain, of which 70 million Americans suffer. Your movement and posture may be the source - or the cure - for neck and low back pain. Mike Hage shows you how to analyze your patterns of standing, bending, breathing - even thinking. Learn to adjust these patterns in every move you make, from getting out of bed and choosing the right shoes to talking on the phone and getting to work. Take control of your pain and participate in your own rehabilitation by reprogramming your body to move correctly.


I had to use The Back Pain Book by Mike Hage, MS, PT while recovering from a back injury. My therapist had me use this as a guide not only while recuperating, but to learn better ways to help myself during my life, such as correct posture while driving, walking, working at a desk, and just plain relaxing.

It has fabulous illustrations, easy to follow instructions and great exercises. The book answers what, why, how often, how long, and how much. The book is organized in such a way that you can turn to specific areas that you need to work on, and blank pages in the back to take notes on your improvements.

As stated in the book: Becoming more active in your pursuit of comfort and your ability to function means gaining greater control over your pain and the effect it has on you.

                                 Amazon Review


The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2017: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show with Product Ratings and a Look Behind the Scenes

This newly revised edition of The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook includes all 17 seasons (including 2017) of the hit TV show in a lively collection featuring more than 1,100 foolproof recipes and dozens of tips and techniques. Learn what happens in the test kitchen before the cameras start rolling, what's really involved in our recipe development process, and what lengths we'll go to in order to produce a "best" recipe.    

This collection of recipes from the hit TV show includes all of the treasured dishes, tips, and test kitchen-recommended tools and ingredients from the 2017 season. All your favorites are here--from Coq au Riesling and Tuscan-Style Beef Stew to Whole-Wheat Pancakes, Foolproof New York Cheesecake, and Cherry Clafouti. With this newly revised and updated edition, you'll have 17 years of great cooking and expertise from America's most-trusted test kitchen.


Who doesn't like good food?! The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook has everything you need to know about testing out Home Cooking. Their recipes are chosen after trying out at least a dozen or so versions of a recipe, presenting their best one. The test cooks on the TV show are not actors but real cooks using real kitchens, as revealed in this book.

This book also has many suggestions on what to look for when buying your kitchen gadgets and equipment so you don't have to waste your time and money trying out what might be the latest but useless item.

It's almost impossible to describe the amount of knowledge that is shared in this book, as it's not only a cook book but bits and pieces of how recipes are developed, what it takes to become a test cook, and how this all comes together.

I have to say, we watch this show on TV, but having the book at our side makes it fun to try our hands at new and tasty recipes.

                                    Amazon Review

Summer Pasta Puttanesca:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes
1 pound campanelle
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped coarse
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Combine oil, garlic, anchovy paste, pepper flakes, and oregano in bowl. Process tomatoes in blender until chopped. Transfer to fine-mesh strainer set in large bowl. Reserve tomato liquid in bowl and tomato pulp in strainer.
2. Bring 4 qts. waetr to boil. Add campanelle and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain campanelle and return it to pot.
3. Cook garlic-anchovy mixture in 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add tomato liquid and simmer. Add tomato pulp, olives, and capers: cook until just heated through. Stir in parsley.
4. Pour sauce over campanelle and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water as needed. Season to tast. Serve immediately.


The Lady of the Vineyard Kindle Edition ... By Kellyn Roth

Judy has lived with her egocentric mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. When her father, Troy Kee, shows up at her sixth birthday party and whisks her away to his vineyard in France, Judy is more than happy to go with him. But Adele, Judy’s mother, isn’t quite ready to give up her daughter. Can Judy forgive Adele? More importantly, can Troy?

A sweet novella set in Europe, the year of 1938, this sweet story is sure to delight loves of light-hearted historical/literary fiction.


I have to say you needn't be a history buff to fall in love with The Lady of the Vineyard by Kellyn Roth. The author sets the time period with just enough description to let the reader ease into the story of a six year girl whose life consists of taking care of a mother who really doesn't even care about her own daughter. Adele has made it perfectly clear that Judy is a regret and a bothersome child that was a mistake from her past.

My heart broke for the emotionally drain child, missing her father that had been gone most of her life, having only the love of her dear granny she adored. 

Meeting a mysterious man on the way to pick up some food items, Judy's life suddenly takes quite the turn of events. The flow of the story from this point made it hard to put the book down! Author Roth gives our heartstrings a good "tug" as we discover many misconceptions that have tainted this family. Can forgiveness be attained or has too much time and lost love passed this family by?

A fabulous epilogue that can not be missed puts a finishing touch on to this amazingly sweet story.

                 Amazon Review


What do all these "sweet" and delicious fun items have to do with the latest novel ~Icing~ ... by Debra Sue Brice?

Take a chance and find out...U.S. residence only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to the Your Lucky Day Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!
Co-Hosted By: Everyday Life
  Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!