Saving Amelie

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

(Affiliate Links are used) 


The time is 1939 and the place is Germany.  Hitler has taken over power and has started his crusade for a perfect German race, a race of perfect people, free of disease and handicaps.  Rachel Kramer, daughter of an internationally noted eugenics scientist, has traveled with her father to Germany to share his genetic research with the new, “progressive” minds of the Third Reich.

While there, Rachel runs into her old childhood friend, Kristine, now the wife of SS officer Gerhardt Schlick.  Kristine secretly contacts Rachel with the news that her 4 year old daughter, Amelie, is in danger.  Born deaf, Amelie is about to be subject to the Reich’s genetic cleansing, freeing up precious German space needed for new, perfect babies to be born.  Kristine begs Rachel to save Amelie by taking her to America and raising her as her own daughter.

Unsure of Hitler’s plans and knowing her father is somehow involved, Rachel risks discovery by looking at her father’s private eugenics research and discovers shocking information about his subjects, herself included.  Now hunted by the Reich, Rachel enlists the help of American journalist, Jason Young, to save young Amelie and then to save Rachel, herself.

Read the rest of this entry »


Distortion by Terri Blackstock


(affiliate links are used)


(from the Booklook Bloggers website)

Juliet Cole’s life has been dismantled by the murder of her husband. She doesn’t know who—or what—to trust when everything she has believed to be true about her marriage has been a lie. When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is gunned down in a dark parking lot before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning. When she’s finally allowed to return home to break the news to her boys, she hears a voice mail that takes the situation from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. “Mrs. Cole, we know you have access to the supply and the money. If you don’t turn fifty million over to us and give us the codes, then you’ll be burying more family members.”

Suddenly, Juliet realizes that she and her children could be in danger. She teams up with her sisters and PI Michael Hogan to dig into the sham Bob has been living for years. The more she learns, the worse the betrayal. A drug trafficking history, a fortune in cash, and a secret family all emerge to turn Juliet’s belief system on its head, and threaten the things she loves. Are she and her sisters skilled enough as sleuths to get to the truth?

Read the rest of this entry »

Smart Money, Smart Kids

Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey


(affiliate links are used)

I’ve written a few posts about this book already (First Step to Teaching Our Kids About Money and Putting Your Kids to Work), but today it’s time for the full book review.


Financial guru Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, team up to teach parents how to “raise money smart kids in a debt-filled world.”  Starting with how to teach your children to work, and continuing through what your child should do with their hard earned money (spend, save, give), Dave and Rachel talk about the principles of good money management for children as well as giving the reader plenty of stories of what life was like for the Ramsey kids.  The second half of the book dives into more advanced issues such as how to be debt free for life, including how to go to college debt free.

Read the rest of this entry »

Putting Your Kids to Work

Smart Money, Smart Kids (Part 2)


“Work creates discipline and when you have discipline in your life, you are a healthier person.” – Rachel Cruze

Saturdays begin in our home like they do in most of yours, with a little Saturday morning TV.  And what comes next is probably fairly similar to most other houses as well.  Around 10 AM every Saturday, it becomes chore time.

But that may be where the similarity ends.  Because we don’t MAKE our kids to their chores.  They CHOOSE to do their chores or they choose NOT to do their chores.  No, we’re not some sort of progressive parents who let the kids rule in our home.  We are parents who are purposefully teaching our children financial concepts that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The work /payday system that we implement in our house with our kids is adapted from what Dave Ramsey has taught for years out of his Financial Peace University and from his many books.  And on April 22, Dave and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, are releasing their brand new book, Smart Money, Smart Kids which goes into detail about how to raise money-smart kids in a debt-filled world.

Chapter 2 of SMSK is all about putting your kids to work.  After explaining the Ramsey way of doing commissions instead of allowances, Rachel and Dave give several stories about what this looked like for the Ramsey kids.  Then they give details on how you can implement this system in your house.  If you want more details, you’ll have to read the book!  You can pre-order it on the Smart Money, Smart Kids website.  If you do, you get all sorts of freebies like the free audiobook and the free e-book version of the book.  If you want to look before you buy, be sure to visit the site and scroll down to the bottom where you can download the first 2 chapters of the book absolutely free.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blood Moons Rising

Blood Moons Rising by Mark Hitchcock

(affiliate links are used)


Are we living in the final days?  Is the end of the world coming in 2015?  According to some theologians, the occurrence of 4 “blood moons” in 2014-15, each occurring on a Jewish feast day, signifies that a major end time event involving America and Israel is going to take place.  Is their prophecy accurate?  What does history reveal about the previous times this has happened? Revelation scholar Mark Hitchcock examines the evidence that leads these thinkers to make their predictions and leads the reader to an educated revelation of their own.

In simple terms a “blood moon” is a total lunar eclipse, when the earth is directly between the sun and the moon.  The moon cannot directly reflect the sun’s light in that situation.  Instead the sun’s light passes through the earth’s atmosphere and only the red light is seen on the moon.  This phenomenon makes the moon look red, like blood, and is called a “blood moon.”

In 2014-15, there are 4 occurrences of a “blood moon” and all 4 occur on Jewish feast days.  The first ones in each year occur on the Jewish Passover and the second ones in each year occur during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Some modern end times scholars feel like these “blood moon” occurrences fulfill prophecy found in the Bible that talks about the “moon turning to blood” at the time of Christ’s return to earth.  Therefore, they believe that the coming “blood moons” are signs of Christ’s imminent return to earth.

Mark Hitchcock, also an end times scholar, refutes these prophecies by talking about the history of “blood moons,” the specific prophecies in the Bible that refer to the “moon turning to blood” and the danger of trying to predict a precise day or year of Jesus’ return to earth.

Read the rest of this entry »

The First Step in Teaching our Kids about Money

Smart Money, Smart Kids (Part 1)



(affiliate links are used)

I’m pleased to announce that I have been selected to be part of the Smart Money, Smart Kids launch team.  Yay!!

I’m going to be telling you all about the book in bits and pieces over several weeks.

Do you want your children to learn how to handle money correctly?  Do you want them to avoid some of the financial mistakes that you have made?  Are you at a loss as to how to start the process?  Now there’s help.  Smart Money, Smart Kids teaches you how to raise money-smart kids in a debt-filled world.

My husband and I have been huge Dave Ramsey fans for most of our marriage.  I’m not sure where we originally heard about him, but early on in our marriage we read The Total Money Makeover together and loved it.  A few years ago we had the opportunity to go through the Financial Peace University at our church.  Once again we loved all the material we were learning and we loved getting to share those ideas with others.  For the last 11 years, those “others” have included our children.  We, as parents, have a responsibility to teach our children good money habits.  We need to teach them how to handle $10 correctly now so they can handle $10,000 correctly when they are older.  Good money habits are not about how much money you have, but about the principles that govern that money.

Read the rest of this entry »

Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Affiliate links used


Can the truth be found in chocolate?  Dinsmore’s World Famous Chocolate Factory is not only the home to great chocolate but also to a possible murderer.  When a labor investigator is killed suspiciously in the chocolate factory, fellow investigator Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to discover the truth.  Was his death truly an accident?  What had he uncovered about the factory’s youngest workers, the children?

Caroline is not the only one working undercover making chocolates.  Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore Chocolate dynasty has been tasked by his father to work under an alias, janitor Ollie Moore, in order to better learn what improvements could be made for factory workers.

Suspicious of each other yet drawn together by circumstances and attraction, Ollie and Caroline fear their relationship is doomed from the start.  Can the two mend their differences by helping three orphaned children?  Can a friendship that started under aliases and lies blossom into a romance?

Read the rest of this entry »


Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

(affiliate links are used)


(from the BookLook site)

Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren’s estranged father wants her to investigate a cold case from his FBI days. Lisa nearly refuses, even though a wrongly convicted man faces execution for murder. Then her father reveals a photograph: a little white girl playing alongside a little black girl at a rally in 1965 where the shooting of a civil rights leader took place. She recognizes herself in the photo.

She was there.

Lisa agrees to help, resolved to boldly seek answers she’s skirted for decades. What she discovers are layers of deception, both personal and professional, reaching as high as the head of the FBI. Possibly even the president.

And though Lisa and the other girl may have escaped the 1965 shooting physically unharmed, her little friend, now grown, bears the scars of it. All because of the color of her skin. As Lisa and her father get closer to the truth, the real killer turns the hunt around.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls by Olivia Newport

Affiliate links are used.

There’s a new genre of e-book emerging – the episode novel.  With this new way of reading, an author releases a book a little bit at a time.  Usually each episode is short and inexpensive to purchase.  With each new episode released once a week, if written well, the author leaves you anxious for Friday to arrive so you can read the next installment.  This type of story is reminiscent of stories such as the Sherlock Holmes tales which would be released a little at a time in a weekly newspaper.  History is repeating itself, except with a new technology twist.  Now instead of waiting for that newspaper to arrive in your box, you wait for the next installment to show up on Amazon so you can zap it right away to your Kindle to begin reading.

Author Olivia Newport, utilizes this episodic novel approach in her new book Hidden Falls.  Released in 13 installments Hidden Falls gives a whole new spin on the idea of a novel or “season,” as the 13 episodes together are called.

Read the rest of this entry »

It Had to be You

It Had to be You by Susan May Warren

(Affiliate links are used)


Eden Christensen’s life is not turning out how she imagined it would be.  Instead of a career as a world class reporter, she is mindlessly writing obituaries all day long.  Instead of owning a beautiful home, she lives in a cheap apartment full of hand-me-down furniture.  Instead of helping her younger brother and rising NHL star mature, her hovering seems to be keeping him from independence.  Where did her life go so much off track?

In the midst of bailing her brother out of yet another bad choice, Eden meets Owen’s team captain, self-absorbed Jace Jacobson.  Eden can’t stand the bad boy, womanizer man she has seen out on the ice.  But is the media persona who Jace truly is?

When Owen faces a career ending injury, Eden is forced to reevaluate her life on the sidelines.  Can she see the potential she has inside?  Thrown together with Jace to research the story of a lifetime, Eden must learn how to work with him as a team.  Will she see the real Jace inside, or is the cocky, media hungry, hockey player all there is to him?

Read the rest of this entry »