Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway Info: Unbreakable

About the book
Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.

Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation. When Hope's safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can't help but question what she's always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence.

As it swiftly becomes apparent the threat Hope faced is only the beginning, the town that's always stood so strong finds itself divided. With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?

My thoughts
Unbreakable is the second book in The Road to Kingdom series.  You can read my review of the first book, Inescapable, here. Like the first book, this one marries the genres of Mennonite/Amish fiction and mystery.  The main character from Inescapable, Lizzie, also has an important role in this book, as the best friend of Hope. 

Unlike, Inescapable, this book was a bit more predictable, but still enjoyable and difficult to put down.  I was equally intrigued by the criminal aspects as I was by the romantic knot that Hope found herself tied up in.  I felt as torn as Hope was in choosing between these two men, as they both offered her something different for her life.  I also found the discussion surrounding the Mennonite belief of living a passive, peaceful life, free of violence, very interesting.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Mennonite/Amish fiction and/or mystery books.

About the author
Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored fourteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help." Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: She is also active on Facebook

About the Giveaway
Celebrate the release of Unbreakable with Nancy Mehl by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!

Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire

  • Books one and two in Nancy's Road to Kingdom series (Inescapable and Unbreakable)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the "Unbreakable" Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.

Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!


I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and Nancy Mehl for the copy of the book I received to facilitate this review.  As always, my opinion is my own.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Review and Giveaway: 20 Mule Team Borax

laundry booster
I have been wanting to write up a post about this great homemade laundry detergent "recipe", from One Good Thing by Jillee, that I came across a while back.  When I was given the opportunity to review 20 Mule Team Borax, I knew that I would share the information with you then.  I do not alter her directions at all, so I will not post the instructions here, but I can tell you that it is only three ingredients, and Borax is one of them.  It is super easy to make, but it is watery so it takes a little getting used to.  I use it when I run out of the other stuff and to strip the baby's cloth diapers.

So what exactly is 20 Mule Team Borax?  Borax is 100% natural mineral from the earth.  After it is removed from the ground, it is washed, dried and boxed up for the consumer.  The scientific name for this mineral is sodium tetraborate and it occurs naturally by the perpetual evaporation of seasonal lakes. There is absolutely nothing added to 20 Mule Team Borax, so it is free of phosphates, chlorine, and other additive chemicals.

What are the uses for Borax?  I already shared that I use this in my homemade laundry detergent, which makes sense, since Borax is a detergent booster.  If you are not up to making your own detergent, you can still use Borax to boost the cleaning power of your regular detergent.  It works by softening hard water, which allows the detergent to clean better, and it helps keep stains from being re-deposited back onto the clothes.

Where can I find Borax?  I have been able to find it near the laundry detergent in all of my local stores.  You can also check their store locator to find a store near you.

20 Mule Team Borax has given me some coupons to give away to one of my readers.  Enter below on the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Borax provided a free sample of their product for this post.  My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own.

Review and Giveaway: Purex Baby Detergent

baby detergent
As a Purex Insider, I am blessed with the opportunity to review many products.  Recently, I was sent a bottle of Purex Baby Detergent to try out.  I do currently have an 8-month old, so using a detergent that is specialized for babies is important to me.  Baby skin tends to be more sensitive than adult skin so Purex kept that in mind when they developed this formula, yet it is strong enough to deliver the same bright, white clean that regular Purex delivers.  This detergent is also gentle on delicate baby clothing, so that they can stay looking nice.  Purex Baby Detergent is designed to ensure proper performance for all washers, including HE and traditional washing machines. I am also pleased to say that the price point for this new baby detergent is very reasonable.  This is a new variety, so it may not be available at your store.  You can use the store locator on the Purex website to find a store near you that does carry it.

I enjoyed the gentle fragrance that smelled fresh and like, well, like a baby.  The baby has not had any negative response to the detergent, which is what I would expect from a hypoallergenic product.  Also, I have not had any stains that this did not remove.  In fairness, I do not use formula though, so that is one common baby stain that I have not personally tested.

I am excited to share that Purex is offering one of my readers coupons for free packages of Purex Baby Detergent.  You can enter below on the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purex provided me with a sample of Purex Baby detergent in exchange for a product review.  However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: Safe in His Arms

About the book

Sometimes it takes a stranger to see you as you really are.

Under Texas Stars, Book 2
Born and raised on sprawling Texas land, Margaret O'Brien prides herself on her competence as a rancher. But her father believes she's made for more than just dawn-to-dusk work. He wants her to have the love of a good man, to raise children, to build a life. But Margaret gave up such dreams years ago. She's convinced no man would have her, that the ranch is her life now.

So when Margaret's father hires Daniel Cutler as a new foreman, she's frustrated and suspicious. Then an overheard conversation links him with a gang of bank robbers, and she's downright worried. Daniel swears he's not involved, but Margaret's not convinced. She knows the man still has secrets. But would a criminal be so kind and talk so convincingly of his faith? As a series of tragic "accidents" threatens all she holds dear, Margaret must decide what to trust: her own ears, her best judgment . . . or what her heart keeps telling her. 
My thoughts
Safe in His Arms has a bit of everything to please a wide range of readers.  The main character is a strong, female.  There is romance, faith, growth, along with a tornado, an illegitimate child, murder, assault, bank robberies, and kidnappings.  I found myself unable to put the book down, either because I was on edge to see how the mystery would play out or how the romance was going to grow.  There are some parts that I was able to predict, but I was not certain of my predictions until they were revealed by the author.  I recommend this book to any one who enjoys a good romance, or books with a strong female as a main character, or a good mystery. 
About the author
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
Find out more about Colleen at 

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.