July 27, 2016

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton {Book Review}

It is very hard to find CLEAN contemporary fiction books. It just is. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary novels, but every now and then I get a "wild hair" and go for them. Because picking up a novel free from the world's smut is very important, I tend to stick with Christian Fiction for my contemporary reading selections. There are a few authors in this genre that I have come to love for their skill in writing contemporary novels--one of these is author Debra Clopton. I was recently given her latest novel to review from the Fiction Guild, and I dove into it.

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About the Book


Kissed by a Cowboy is the third book in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. The series focuses on the three Monahan brothers living in Wishing Springs, TX. Book 3 gives us a story about the oldest of the three brothers, Jarrod. Jarrod is your typical oldest child--burdened with heavy responsibilities in taking care of family including his grandfather Pops who is succumbing to dementia. Trying to keep the family ranch afloat after his dad bankrupted it to pay off gambling debts has been a long hard road, but he's finally moving ahead--except there are rustlers to deal with. Dealing with all of that keeps him way too busy to take time to seek a romantic relationship. He was in love once, but he ran scared and lost his shot at happiness.

Enter Cassidy Starr. She grew up next to the Monohans, living more often than not with her Aunt Roxie at her strawberry farm. Now after a painfully dreadful divorce, she's back in town and ready to pick up where her aunt left off running not only a successful organic strawberry business, but opening a bed & breakfast. She is absolutely 100% done with love and ready to live like her aunt as a happy, independent SINGLE woman. Trouble comes in the form of former sweetheart, Jarrod who has decided to change her mind.

My Thoughts

Oh my. I fell in love with Cassidy from the opening scene where she gets herself good and stuck in the pet door of her new home in the middle of the night. I mean seriously. HILARIOUS! And then to make matters worse, the person who finds her is no other than her old sweetheart Jarrod. My what a pair. I definitely enjoyed the chemistry that flew between these two.

As someone who prefers to purchase organic products, I enjoyed the bits about Cassidy's challenges with becoming an organic farmer. It made me understand even more why there is such a cost difference in the two types of products.

This is the third book in the series, and while I think it stands on it's own perfectly well, it definitely made me want to go back and check out the first two books. I wanted to see the behind-the-scenes pieces that brought the other couples together and set the stage for this book.

Characters in this book were delightful. I enjoyed the bantering between the brothers and sister-in-laws, and the challenges of having to take care of an elderly grandparent suffering from a mental illness like dementia. My grandpa suffered from it, so I absolutely related to the portrayal. I think that the hesitation on Cassidy's side for any relationships was also well done. Some might thing it was over exaggerated, but I have a brother-in-law who has a girlfriend so much like Cassidy--predominately in her leeriness of relationships, based on her parent's example.

I give Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton a solid four star rating. It was very enjoyable and i enjoyed the setting and meeting the characters. I thought the story was very flushed out and made you relate to each character very well. I highly recommend it for anyone seeking a heartwarming, happy ending type of romance. I look forward to seeking out the rest of the books in this delightful series.
Kissed by a Cowboy
by Debra Clopton
ISBN #978-1401690533
Available in Paperback and Kindle

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July 26, 2016

A NotebookingPages Back-To-School Giveaway and 3-Day Sale!

In my recent review of NotebookingPages.com, I shared how it changed how we will be homeschooling this coming year. I also stated that I couldn't think of any style of homeschooling where the pages WOULDN'T be a great addition. I also encouraged you to watch for their sales events in order to take advantage of their membership...well, guess what?! It's TIME FOR A SALE!
Back-to-School Membership Sale
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Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

I am so happy to share that NotebookingPages.com is having a special THREE DAY sale event that kicks off TOMORROW, July 27th and runs through FRIDAY, July 29th. During this three day sale, you will be able to get the LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP (which is a FOREVER membership!) for just $72! That's a $25 savings! And this membership means that you will have access to everything that has been created or will ever be created...forever! How many other subscriptions and memberships offer you that?

But you know what? That's not all! There is a ONE DAY ONLY GIVEAWAY going on TODAY too! Running from 9am-9pm CST, you can get entered to win one of the very awesome prizes from NotebookingPages.com AND you get a FREE sampler pack from NotebookingPages, just for entering the giveaway! A great way to "try before you buy!"

Back-to-School One Day Giveaway

I URGE you to get entered into this giveaway, because the prizes are simply marvelous!

1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER receives ...
Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership
plus 12 sponsor gifts ($780+ value)

24 WINNERS receive ...
Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership

And EVERYONE who enters gets the FREE product sampler! Woot! Woot! Don't waste time wondering if you should enter--it's going to be over at 9pm CST--so go enter the giveaway now!

I am so excited that we will be able to use this fabulous resource in the coming school year and I need to sit down and plan out what all I want to do with it, including printing out the catalog listings to keep in my binder for easy access. If you have been eyeing them for awhile, or if this was your first introduction to this company, I hope you will at the very least enter the giveaway and to snag that sampler pack!

Have a BLESSED day!
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July 23, 2016

Imagination

As I sit here this evening, I am caught up in the sounds around me. The hum of the crickets and cicadas outside. The tick of the clock. The drip of the faucet in the bathroom (gotta fix that). And then I hear the sound of motors running. Closer closer. Closer they come. But never fear, it's just the two boys "working" on their "farm".

"We've got a big load to do, Mommy! Make sure you watch where you step!"

And they parcel their land out between them, and work independently at their "job". Back and forth. Up and down. Mouth motor never stopping. Gotta get that hay in. Gotta plow that field. The will sometimes spend two hours like this.

In their eyes, the laminate floor is a ripe wheat field, ready for harvest. They have jumped into their combine and are hard at work bringing it in. Or they have their haybine hooked up and the field of clover ready to be cut and baled. And so they mimic what they have seen and heard around our farm. I hear my husband's words coming from their lips as they strive to get done before the big storm arrives.

You don't know HOW much a child can learn outside of the classroom, until you watch them caught up in their imaginary world. It's the beauty of letting children PLAY freely. I love watching them play when they are caught up in their own special world. And it doesn't take actual toys. Give them sticks, and boxes, and dirt and they will make something magical!

Don't forget to let them have time to just BE and to just PLAY. Their brain will be working harder than ever, as it weaves figments of imagination together, bringing it to life in their eyes and hands. It's what they do best. And why seeing the world through the eyes of a child is so coveted. We have lost our skills with imagination, because we want to quantify what we know. We've lost much of our own imagination, but if you sit down with a child, I promise you will be able to find pieces of it again. 

Now excuse me, but I've been summoned. Apparently some cows got out and I need to go drive the small tractor and herd them up again. If you need me, I will be on the floor relishing in their imagination.
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