Vote for Miralee Ferrell

Battle of the Books!

 
Hi all! Miralee Ferrell is currently nominated in two contests for her latest book Blowing on Dandelions and she would like your vote. Blowing on Dandelions is a fabulous book that hooked me from the very first page. If you haven’t read it, I hope you’ll check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed. You can read my review here.
 
 
 
 
Katherine Galloway knew this moment of calm wouldn’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. In 1880, three years after her husband’s death, she struggles to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter entering the teenage years, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming.
 
Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, for everything is about to change.
 
 

Contest #1

Bookfun.org is sponsoring a contest for the best non-fiction and fiction book for this month, so mosey on over and check the right side of the homepage for the voting box. You might have to scroll down a little to find Miralee’s title but it would be very appreciated.
 

Contest #2

Blowing on Dandelions is up for the Clash of the Titles! Yes, I said the Clash of the Titles! It’s such an honor I felt like repeating myself. 🙂 Miralee could really use your vote to win this prestigious title. One quick click right here will take you directly to the voting page and while you’re there, leave a quick comment letting Miralee know you support her.
 
Both of these contests take only a minute and your vote can make such a difference so I hope you’ll give Miralee your vote TODAY!!

A Little About Friendship and Me

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Hi fellow book lovers! I usually post reviews and new releases, all things book related, but today I wanted to share a recent day out of my life and a little story from the past. In January 2009 I met someone online that has become one of the best friends I have ever had. Who knew an online friendship could mean so much or make such an impact on my life but it has definitely made it’s mark.

Don Antisdel has become my very best friend and I can’t thank God enough for sending me such a special angel. He is quite a few years older than I am but he has been my rock on more than one occasion and I will be forever grateful. I want to share a story with you from my life that happened a few years ago (2010 to be exact).

The year started out like any other with nothing extraordinary going on but by May I knew something was definitely wrong. I started feeling tired and weak, My heart would pound like it was jumping out of my chest, I started keeping terrible headaches and by July I could barely swallow. I asked God for help and wisdom to know what was wrong. Nothing I was doing was working. Every doctor I went to sent me to another and NONE could find anything wrong. I felt like I was going crazy and I think the doctors thought I WAS crazy. I was getting sicker by the day and no one knew why. My prayers had become more frequent and I started to feel that God wasn’t listening. What was going on and why was I feeling this way? I was at my rope’s end when God brought to light what was causing my illness. Through my brother-in-law, He led us right to the root of the problem. Black mold had found a hold in our home and it was literally draining the life from me.

We lived in the house where I grew up and, honestly, it had seen it’s better days. We lost EVERYTHING we owned, literally, right down to the socks on our feet but I was out of the environment and I was getting better! Praise God for seeing me through yet another battle!

But this post isn’t all about me, it’s about the special Angel God sent directly into my path. Like I said, I met Don in January of 2009 and he has been there for me on numerous occasions. When I lost my Dad in September 2009 as a result of lung cancer he helped me get through it and that was the most devestating time in my life. A month and a half before we lost my 47 year-old cousin to lung cancer and 7 months later we lost my Aunt to a brain aneurysm. All on my Dad’s side of the family.


Daddy and me in May 2006

Well, this time in my life was no exception. Don was a true friend in every sense of the word. He came to see me (he lives 3 hours away) and took me shopping against all my protests, but, at least now I had a few neccessities and was starting to feel HUMAN again. Even though I protested every item he bought, I was internally and eternally grateful. We had lunch that day and when we got back home he pulled more clothes out of the trunk of his car that he had bought himself because he knew I wouldn’t choose many items when we went shopping. This man is a true Angel. A kind and generous soul that I that has become such a part of my life.

I’m sharing today because I wanted to let you into MY life a little and share what friendship can mean to a person. I had the chance to have lunch with Don a couple of weeks ago and I was so thrilled to see him again! We ate and chatted for quite awhile and when it was time to go I was saddened but I left with a heart full of pure joy. I hope to do it again soon. Although he hates cameras I managed to snap a picture before we went our seperate ways.


My friend Don and me July 2013

Friendship can be a very special thing. It can get you through the hard times and it can be a celebration through the good times. I have learned through the years that friends come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and, yes, AGES. I feel God gave us friends just to have someone to share the special and not so special moments in our lives. Someone to lean on physically as we lean on Him spiritually and I am SO thankful!

What about you? Do you have a special friend you’d like to talk about? How important do you think friendship is in the scheme of life? Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

To Judge a Book By It’s Cover?

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Yes or no? Do you judge the books you purchase by the cover? I will admit, I have passed up some very good stories because the cover wasn’t appealing to the eye (or MY eye). A recent book I read and reviewed opened my eyes to this flaw. I’m SO glad I was asked to review this particular book because it was a fantastic read (4.5 stars!). It showed me, though, that I have a very bad habit. I don’t even read the back cover of a book if the cover isn’t pleasing to look at UNLESS it’s a favorite author of mine (those are automatic purchases). This is where the dilemma comes in. Authors that are new to me seem to get overlooked and I realized that is unfair to the authors and me. They lose sales and ratings and I lose out on a fantastic story. Is this okay? No!


Because of this, I have decided to add a new feature to my reviews. I will now be rating the covers as well as the story itself. What’s the purpose of this? Hopefully by using a rating system for the covers we can ALL learn something. Authors can see that covers can make or break a sale and therefore, if they so choose, make needed improvements on their next book. You and I? We can learn that not all books should be judged by their covers. Maybe seeing the cover rating along with the book rating will help you to judge whether to purchase a book on ALL aspects, ie: cover, blurb, author. My rating system is below for future reference.



What about you? How do you decide whether to purchase a book? By the cover? Author? Blurb? Feel free to leave a comment and share your feelings on the subject.






Review: A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

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null Book Info:

Date Published: April 1, 2013

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Author: Angela Breidenbach


Will Joel help Mara or take everything she has left? Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She’s been chasing success and all the “good things in life” for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.


She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. How can Mara trust the one man who nearly destroyed her life and business? While Mara recuperates, she’s forced to face her physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence’s big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara’s business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara’s heart and onto Cadence’s quilt? Or will he betray a vulnerable woman and her children?



You can order it Here:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook.com


Meet The Author:


Angela Breidenbach’s family tradition is giving unique quilts of memorable moments spanning birth to graduation to their graduating seniors as portrayed in her new release, A Healing Heart. Mrs. Montana International 2009, an inspirational speaker, and author, Angela also coaches weight loss/fitness in Missoula, MT.


Angela is a certified Stephen Minister, life coach, and weight loss coach. After her mom’s passing, Angela donated her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia. She’s also on the donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. Angela is married with a combined family of six grown children and now several grand children. She loves being a grammy.



You can find Angela Here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  YouTube

My Favorite Scene:


  “Joel picked up the pile of quilt blocks off the couch. He laid one out over his large hand. “Is this Davis?” The man stood next to a yellow and black snowmobile and wore a medal over his yellow and black winter gear. Louie sat at his feet with a yellow and black dog coat.

  “Yes.” Mara’s stomach clenched at the site of the snowmobile. She hated, hated, hated that thing!

  “By the look on your face, you didn’t approve of his racing?”

  She inhaled and closed her eyes. “It wasn’t his racing. Although that should have been more enough.” She left the next thought unsaid. How could I speak ill of the man I loved? She blew out her breath with careful control. Still she fought for balance on this topic. They’d argued when he bought the dumb thing. He seemed to thrive on pushing more and more adrenaline through his body. He should have been a stuntman. “It was his risk-taking.”

  “Oh, I see.”

  “No, you don’t. He won a lot of races. But they weren’t enough. When extreme sports started getting popular, David took it to the next level. He and his buddies took their snowmobiles into the backcountry of the Bridgers. Then, according to the rescue patrol, they ignored the posted warnings.”

  She knew her voice took on an icy edge, but she couldn’t help it. “He died because he was hill climbing on that machine and ended up racing ahead of an avalanche. But his avalanche beacon malfuctioned. It took a long time to find him. When the guys dug David out, he was barely alive. The snowmobile landed on top of b him and created an air pocket. In fact, David lived almost two days after that. One lung had been crushed, several of his bones were broken, and the doctor said his spine was crushed.”

  “I can’t imagine what you went through.”

  Tears choked her words, “He asked me to kiss him and let him go. He thought a man who couldn’t walk, couldn’t feed himself, and couldn’t be a husband…” She reached for the glass of tea and sipped to relieve the clogged burning in her throat. “But I’d have rather had him here, walking or not.” A tear rolled from her cheek and plopped into the glass. She set it back down, embarrassed. Who cried in her tea?

  “Mara, I’m so sorry.” Joel took her free hand in both of his. “Why would you put this photo on a quilt block when it causes you so much pain?”

  “Cadence chose it. She wanted to remember him as strong and fearless. Not the broken man in the hospital.”

  “Ah, that makes alot of sense.”

  “Joel, the nurses worked hard to clean him up enough not to scare the kids. The hard snowpack ripped his helmet right off. He was a mess. Bruises and scraped skin everywhere. His face was so raw I asked the nurses to cover David’s face before the kids saw him. They couldn’t even cast his arms and legs for all the open wounds.The nurse helped me hold a sheet above him to hide the worst from the kids.” She looked at the photo. “I loved him so much. I can’t believe he risked everything for a thrill. But he did, Joel. And by doing that, he broke his promise to me. To our family. And God let him.”

  Joel moved closer to Mara and put his arms around her.

  She cried there, safe against his shoulder. “God let him.”

Meet The Characters:


Mara Keegan: Mara was determined, driven and desperate to keep her promise to her deceased husband David. She was a loving mother and designer of beautiful quilts. Her crow ancestors taught her the craft and it was a great love of hers. She was at peace when she was designing and crafting quilts.


Joel Ryan: Joel has a past of being hard and unfeeling in his business transactions. I love the new Joel that centers his life around God. Because of it, he has become a loving, kind and generous man that is full of faith and an overwhelming desire to help. He builds a great relationship with Mara’s kids.


Cadence, Marisa and Toby Keegan: Mara’s kids. Very well behaved and well mannered. Their only problem is missing spending time with their mother.


Mrs. Calder: The quirky next-door neighbor. She was actually pretty cute and adorable and a great help in their time of need.


Louie: The beloved family dog.

My Thoughts:


Mara Keegan is owner of Bridger Pack and Rescue, a company she started with her husband David before his passing. With the business expanding, her days are filled with attending to the business matters and everything else has pretty much fallen by the wayside, including time with her kids and the quilting she loves so much. Mara is under a great deal of stress and pressure to fulfill the promise she made to David and doesn’t realize just what that stress is doing to her… Until that fateful day she has a heart attack. Mara slowly comes to realize she needs help. Her help comes in the form of Joel Ryan.


Joel Ryan has a history with Mara only she doesn’t know it yet. When his boss sends him to coach Mara in how to grow her business, he fears she will turn him away for his past mistakes. Joel used to be a fortune hunter and tried to issue a hostile takeover of Mara’s company. Although Mara wants nothing more than to send Joel packing, she feels she needs to give him a chance to prove he has changed. When Mara has a heart attack, Joel steps up and takes over the handling of the company until Mara is well. They soon realize they are developing feelings for each but can Mara let go of David’s memory and move forward? Can Joel compete with her dead husband’s legacy? Like the stitching woven through the quilt Mara is making for her daughter, Cadence, Joel soon becomes woven in each of their lives.


I can’t tell you how this book warmed my heart. There were several “scenes” I wanted to share but decided not to because I didn’t want to give away any important details. You’ll have to read the book and discover them for yourself. There were a few times I cried and continued to cry for several minutes after reading certain scenes. This was a very touching story that dealt with love, friendship, family, healing and a deeper relationship with the”Big Guy”. It also dealt with Heart disease, one of the number one killers in America. A Healing Heart was so well written the words just flowed from page to page. Hat’s off to Angela Breidenbach for an amazing story.

What is a heart attack?:


Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely (View an animation of blood flow). This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. This slow process is known as atherosclerosis . When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI). About every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction (heart attack). To read more go to the American Heart Association.

Warning Signs:


Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:


  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Quilting History:

The history of quilts began long before European settlers arrived in the New World. People in nearly every part of the world had used padded fabrics for clothing, bedding, and even armor. With the arrival of the English and Dutch settlers in North America, quilting took on a new life and flourished.

The term “quilt” comes from the Latin culcita, meaning a stuffed sack. The word has come to have 2 meanings. It is used as noun, meaning the 3-layer stitched bedcovering. It is also used as a verb, meaning the act of stitching through the 3 layers to hold them together.

In the 100 years between 1750 and 1850 thousands of quilts were pieced and patched, and many of them are preserved. Many of these quilts were so elaborate that years were spent making and quilting them. It is no wonder they are cherished as precious heirlooms and occupy honored places in homes and museums. Those early quilts provide a glimpse into the history of quilting as well as the history of the United States… For more information click Here.





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**A copy of this book was provided by Bookfun.org for my honest review**