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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Preview: {A Love Surrendered} by Julie Lessman/October 2012

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman
Book 3 in the Winds of Change Series 
The final book in the O'Connor Family Saga
Scheduled to release October 2012

About the Book:
Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt. She longs for romance to fill the void left by her parents' death. But when she falls hard for Steven O'Connor, the man who broke an engagement to her sister, Annie is worried. Will he break her heart too when he discovers who she really is?
With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and emotional twists and turns, A Love Surrendered is everything Julie Lessman's many fans have been waiting for.

About the Author:

 Julie Lessman is the popular author of A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied, as well as A Hope Undaunted, which was one of 2010's Booklist Top Ten Inspirational Fiction winners, and A Heart Revealed. Lessman has garnered several writing awards, including ten Romance Writers of America awards.

If you haven't read Julie Lessman's books, be sure to start with the Daughters of Boston Series before moving on to the Winds of Change series.  These books are at the TOP of my FAVORITES list, and many others will agree -- with 513 five-star reviews on, you don't want to miss out on these books!  The writing is amazing, and each and every book is filled with faith, family, romance and a passion for God that will knock your socks off!  Do yourself a favor . . . get these books!  You'll be so glad you did.  : ) 

The order to read Julie's books:  A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, A Passion Denied, A Hope Undaunted, A Heart Revealed, and finally A Love Surrendered.  


Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Monday: {God's Not Dead} by Newsboys

God's Not Dead by Newboys is the number one song right now on Air1 radio.  It's good!  I can definitely say that I like the upbeat, high-energy sound of the song, but even more . . . I love the message!  God's not dead!  He's alive in us, as believers, and He's alive through His word . . . "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12 NIV  

It still amazes me that I could spend 34 years in the wilderness, lost and without purpose, and not knowing the truth of the Gospel.  For years thinking "how could there be a God?" then coming to the place of "How could there not be a God?"  I will forever be in awe of the amazing power of God to transform a human life!  I know that He changes lives, because He's changed mine.  Praise the Lord!

My God's not dead. He's surely alive. He's living on the inside Roaring like a lion

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Preview: {Love's Reckoning} by Laura Frantz/September 2012

It's no secret, Laura Frantz is one of my favorite authors!  Her new cover has just been released, and it is gorgeous!  And as captivating as this cover is, I have no doubt that the story within will be just as captivating and breathtaking!  I can hardly wait for the September 2012 release!  It's going to be a sweet treat, indeed!

About Love's Reckoning:

On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?

In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love's Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

Laura is the author of three other books:  The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady.  If you haven't read them yet, I highly recommend adding them to the top of your list of must reads!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Book Review: {When the Smoke Clears} by Lynette Eason/Revell Blog Tour

About the book: After a brush with death due to equipment failure, smokejumper Alexia Allen is ordered to take time off while the incident is under investigation. She makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother's home and attend her high school reunion. Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she is confronted with murder, arson--and a handsome detective.

But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she struggles to accept and forgive her family's past, she must also decide if the secret she's been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension you've come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

My Review:  With this being the first book I've read by Lynette Eason, I wasn't sure what to expect, other than I'd read GREAT reviews of her other books.  Let me start off by saying, Lynette Eason has a new fan!  Wow!  This book grabbed me from the start, and kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end -- heart pounding, sweaty palms, and all! The story was fast-paced with never a dull moment in sight!  When the Smoke Clears is book one in the Deadly Reunions series, and is filled with non-stop action and suspense!  It's not very often that I will sit and read for over 4 hours straight, until 3 in the morning --- but I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

The story is very well written, and has many layers to it.  It's not just about murders, arson, and crime scene investigations -- there's a heart-warming love story, plus the added dimension of faith and forgiveness that I enjoyed.  Alexia Allen is a non-believer at the beginning of the story, and everywhere she turns, God seems to keep showing up.  Her family members and close friends keep pointing her to Him, and it's nice to see how this plays out for her throughout the story.

I regularly read historical Christian fiction, but I'm moving romantic suspense and Lynette Eason to the top of my list!  I highly recommend this book, and give it a full five stars!  Now, I'm anxiously awaiting When a Heart Stops, book two in the Deadly Reunions series, which is scheduled to release October 2012!  I can't wait!

**Thank you to Revell Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book for review, in exchange for my honest opinion.**
**Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

Monday, February 20, 2012

Music Monday: {All This Time (LIVE)} by Britt Nicole

Hi there, Music Monday fans!  I'm a little late, but here's my selection for today's edition of Music Monday.  It's the latest by Britt Nicole, and I feel a very special connection to this one.  I came to Christ 5 1/2 years ago, when I was 34.  It's a short period of time, in comparison to the rest of my life, but He's been with me "all this time" . . . as I learn His word, get to know Him better every day, and praise Him through the mountains and the valleys.  And even though *I* didn't know it, God has been with me all along, before I ever knew it . . . seeking me and loving me.

I'm so thankful that He found me, even though I didn't know I was lost.  Thank you, Lord, for rescuing me and restoring this lost soul.  I am in AWE of you, Lord, and I can never thank you enough!

I pray you enjoy this song.  God bless each of you! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Music Monday: {Blessed are the Ones} by Audrey Assad

Captivating.  Stunning.  Anointed.  These are just some of the words that I would use to describe Audrey Assad's music and her beautiful voice.  She has a new album coming out on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, so I thought it would be fitting to showcase one of the new songs from the album, Heart, for this edition of Music Monday.  Enjoy!

So blessed are the ones,
Oh, blessed are the ones,
Blessed are the hungry ones.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Book Review: {Summer of Promise} by Amanda Cabot - Revell Blog Tour

About the Book: Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.

When circumstances--and perhaps a bit of matchmaking--put Abigail and Ethan together, there's certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?

Book 1 of the new Westward Winds series, Summer of Promise is a tale of following your heart to unexpected places. Readers will enjoy Amanda Cabot's passionate characters and vibrant setting in the beautiful high prairie.

My Review: Summer of Promise is Book 1 in the Westward Winds series, and begins in Wyoming Territory, June 1885.  It is and my first novel by Amanda Cabot, but it won't be my last.  I've read many good things about her Texas Dreams series. 

I found Summer of Promise to be an enjoyable story, with morsels of suspense, intrigue, faith, and romance.  Mrs. Cabot is a very skilled writer, and is to be commended for crafting a satisfying story.

The characters and setting are well written, and I appreciate the unique historical aspect of the story. The story moved along at a nice pace, and I really liked the added suspense that was woven into the love story.  There was plenty going on to keep me turning the pages.

I think fans of Christian Historical Romance will enjoy this offering by Amanda Cabot.  Book 2 of the Westward Winds series will be released in the Spring of 2013, and will focus on Abigail's sister, Charlotte.  

**Thank you to Revell Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book for review, in exchange for my honest opinion.**
**Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

Monday, February 6, 2012

Music Monday: {Our God's Alive} by Andy Cherry

I've been hearing this song on Air1 a lot the past couple of weeks, and guess what . . . I love it!  I kept thinking, who is this guy!?!  He is awesome!  He's debut artist, Andy Cherry.  He has a GREAT voice, and the sound and lyrics of this song are amazing!  I think he's going to be at the top of the Christian music charts!

On his website, Andy says, “The reason I do what I do is because I want to compel people to a deeper walk with God.”  That's exactly what I'm looking for, and I'm really looking forward to Andy Cherry's debut album, Nothing Left to Fear, which releases on March 6, 2012.  The single, Our God's Alive, is available on iTunes.  I pray you'll be blessed by this song.

“Rise with a shout, cry out, our God’s alive!”  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blogiversary WINNER!

The winner of the three book giveaway is Pam!  Congratulations Pam!  
Thank you to all of you who entered, showed your support, and are now following Sweet Treats & Inspiration!  And a BIG thank you to Julie Lessman for graciously offering two books for this giveaway, and for stopping by to visit and leave comments!  What a SWEET TREAT it has been to see such an awesome turn out for my one year blogging anniversary! 

Again, thank you all so very much!  Happy Reading and Sweet Blessings to all of you!