Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy birthday, Kelly Marie!


Happy birthday, Kelly!


First off, let me start by saying that I am NOT a card maker. In fact, this is the first card I have ever made and I find it fitting that it is for my good friend, Kelly Marie (because I don't think I would have done it for anyone else but her.) I'm normally a Project Lifer, so it was kind of fun to actually make a card (using my PL journal cards, of course.)

Happy birthday my dear friend. I am so happy for you and all that happened over the past five years with Lawn fawn. It's been such a blessing to watch it blossom from just an idea into a thriving, growing business. I am so proud of your hard work to make Lawn fawn the company it is today. You are such an inspiration to me and to so many others in the crafts world. I'm just lucky to call you friend.

And I'm super lucky that I still get handmade, original, one-of-a-kind Kelly Marie cards because I love them and love YOU to pieces.

Wishing you all the best this year and hope that your 33rd year only brings much more joy and happiness.

All our love,
Jasmine (and the rest of the Kos)

P.S. Let's hang out soon! We craving "Mike and Kelly" time... either that, or another Coty's burrito. Hehe. :)

I hope you will check out the other many birthday projects that other fawnies have created for Kelly. Here's the list:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog Tour & Review :: Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Title: Once Upon a Prince
Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan (May 7, 2013)

Source: Received from publisher via LitFuse Publicity Group

Buy book: here
About the Book:
The Royal Wedding Series Book One

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?



Review:
I loved this book. I really loved this book. It was exactly what I wanted in a love a story and I haven't read something like this in a long, long time. I loved The Wedding Dress last year and was so excited to be able to read Once Upon a Prince.

Inspired by the real-life love story of Prince William and Kate, this story follows the same formula of commoner-falls in love with-famous person. I will be the first to admit that I love all things about Kate Middleton and Prince William. Who doesn't grow up wanting to marry a prince? Even though I think we are brainwashed by Disney at a very young age, but I think at our core, we are searching for our prince and it really isn't until we find Jesus that we find our true Savior. In Once Upon a Prince, we get an inside look at the budding love between prince and commoner and the challenges that come along with it (and any other "normal" relationship). Even though this kind of love story could have been overly predictable, glamorized,  and sensationalized, I love its simplicity because it is a good, wholesome love story. It was incredibly refreshing to my soul to read a pure love story.

What makes this book great is that everything is believable. The main character, Susanna Truitt, is definitely a real, authentic, and flawed girl-next-door who meets Prince Nathaniel of Brighton who is bearing the impeding weight of taking on his father's kingdom. You understand them and feel for them. Most importantly, you root for them on their journeys to follow God's Will and not their own. It feels like a story that could really happen even though falling in love with a prince only seems to happen in fairy tales, but with God, ANYTHING is possible and Hauck does an exceptional job of weaving God in and out of her book. I love that the characters have unanswered prayers until the timing is right. It's what we struggle with on our walk with God each and every day, not just in our love lives.

I especially enjoyed the use of Susanna's friend, Aurora, as a "fairy godmother" kind of character. She comes in and out of the story at critical moments with prophetic warnings and messages. Aurora and the cast of various secondary characters make this story even more enjoyable and well-rounded.

I cannot wait for the next book!

Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

About the author:
Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of ACFW Book of the Year winner Sweet Caroline, RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle, bestselling and RITA Finalist The Wedding Dress, and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, The Songbird Novels. Hauck’s latest release, Once Upon A Prince, is already receiving rave reviews, including a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.

Hauck earned a degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes fan. She worked in the corporate software world until 2004 when she began to write fulltime. Although she admits to being Yankee-born, Hauck has lived in the south most of her life and works her southern experience into her stories. She now lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane-plagued, central Florida with her husband and writes from her own two-story tower.

She is the past president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves on the Executive Board. Hauck is also one of five author contributors to Southern Belle View Daily.

Visit her website at www.rachelhauck.com to sign up for her newsletter, read her blog and follow her on Facebook (Rachel Hayes Hauck) and Twitter (@RachelHauck). 

Check out more posts on the blog tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/rhauck


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blog Tour & Review :: Secretly Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter

Title: Secretly Smitten
Author: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers (January 8, 2013)

Source: Received from publisher via LitFuse Publicity Group

Buy book: here
About the Book:
Summer, fall, winter, spring-Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!

There's a secret in Grandma Rose's attic-a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?

The mystery intrigues Rose's three granddaughters-Tess, Clare, and Zoe-and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?

Join popular romance novelists-and real-life BFFs-Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.

Review:
I enjoyed reading Smitten last year and was excited to be able to read this 2nd book. At first I was a little nervous that it would be an unnecessary sequel, but then when I found out that there are four new characters, I was sold.

One of my favorite things about reading Smitten last year was that it introduced me to some new authors that I haven't read before. It was nice to see all their different writing styles combined again into one compilation.

In some ways this book is actually better than the first one because three of the characters are sisters who are are on the mission to solve the mystery of their grandmother's first love and their stories a little more intertwined together than the friends in the first one. Regardless, I was so happy to revisit Smitten and still secretly wish that this was a real town that I could visit in real life. It was fun to revisit this quaint town again.

The stories are very light and cute including dog tags, knitting (and a sheep!), the same snappy, witty dialogue from the first book and another all-around feel good story.

If you like Christian fiction, you will love this quick, light love story. You'll be smitten with Secretly Smitten. :)

Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

About the authors:
RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including "Tidewater Inn", and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. * Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include "A Billion Reasons Why" and "What a Girl Wants." * Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including "A Cowboy's Touch" and "Sweetwater Gap." She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. * Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate.

Find out more about Coble, Billerbeck, Hunter, Hunt here.


Check out more posts on the blog tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/Smitten

Monday, February 4, 2013

MIA

I've been MIA from my blog for awhile now. :(

Here's the reason why:


Our little family is growing and we will be a family of 4 come May. Pregnancy this time around has been very different and I had a very sick first trimester (hence being MIA). I was a walking, nauseous zombie and there was very little reading done during this time. It's taken a long time, but I'm finally starting to feel more like a normal, fully-functioning human being again. Food is finally good again. I'm looking forward to catching up on some reading now that I'm FINALLY getting my 2nd trimester surge.

 
And for those of you not following me on fb/Instagram... we're having another girl! :)

Look for some Armchair BEA posts coming up soon! I was asked to be on the organizing committee after last year and I'm so honored to be able to work amongst these wonderful ladies. (Ironic thing is I'm due the week before BEA, but hopefully I'll still be able to help out beforehand.) 

 

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