6 Things a Godly Woman Knows about Modesty

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A few months ago, I posted the article 6 Things a Godly Woman Knows about Modesty. I really appreciate all the feedback I got on that post! I’ve redone it (made it a little more concise and added great pictures courtesy of KB Photography), and you can read it today on Dainty Jewell’s blog.

6 Things a Godly Woman Knows about Modesty

Check it out, if only for the beautiful photos. :)


Book Review & Giveaway: “A Sensible Arrangement” by Tracie Peterson

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A Sensible Arrangement: WordSmith Book Review

The Book

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past. Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.

Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways . . . and dreams and secrets collide?

My Thoughts

I’ve been a fan of Tracie Peterson since I was a teenager. I’ve always loved her books, and I enjoyed this historical romance as expected. I liked the characters, and I loved how historical facts were woven into the fabric of this story. Tracie did a good job portraying the high-society Denver setting in which the book took place. The story was interesting and I read far more hours than I should have over the course of two days in my eagerness to see what would happen.

What I Thought Could Have Been Better

There were a few things I thought were unrealistic. For one, Marty, the main character, loathes Texas–ranching in particular–but I’m not sure that her reason–her husband’s death there–is convincing. Since a large part of what happens in the book is based on her aversion to Texas, it seems there should be a stronger reason for it. (Not that a person’s death isn’t a big deal, but people can die in any place while fulfilling any occupation. I didn’t see how Marty could truly feel so threatened by the thought of Texas and ranching.)

I also thought that Marty’s decision to answer an ad for a Texas wife seemed a little irrational. Again, probably because her reason for “needing” to get out of Texas wasn’t quite convincing. Then, when she and Jake, her new husband, met, they didn’t seem as uncomfortable or weirded out as you’d think the typical couple in that situation should be.

Most of all though, I was surprised when the story ended. Unless I totally missed something, there was a significant piece of the story line involving Marty’s personal maid that was left unresolved. Also, without giving away the story, I expected Jake and Marty to know more about their future when the book ended than what they actually did.

All in all, I enjoyed this read; I was just left slightly confused when it was over. (Of course, when you have two toddlers bouncing all over you, you sometimes feel like you’re living in a perpetual state of confusion!) :-)

I give this book 3.5 stars.

One star – No comment!
Two stars – Couldn’t get into it.
Three stars – Pretty good.
Four stars – Great read!
Five stars – Worth reading more than once.

In compliance with FTC regulations: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publicist on behalf of the author and publisher in exchange for this honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Visit Tracie’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Tracie on Facebook.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Book Review & Giveaway: A Sensible Arrangement

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.



Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson’s 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie’s new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.
Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.


One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th for a chance to connect 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 today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Book Review: “Havah: The Story of Eve” by Tosca Lee

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Book Review: Havah: The Story of Eve

The Book

Myth and legend shroud her in mystery. Now hear her story. From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam, experience the dawn of mankind through the eyes of Eve, the woman first known… as Havah.

My Thoughts

I’ve read the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible more times than I can count. I’ve known it since I was in diapers; I’ve been able to recite it like a fairy tale. Until now, it was blasé–something that I knew held important meaning for my life, but meaning I never stopped long to consider.

After reading Havah, I will never look at the first five chapters of Genesis the same. I have never been so emotionally impacted by a book–not that I can remember. The author made the Garden of Eden, the relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God, the love and emotionally intimacy shared between Adam and Eve before the fall, so real–so relevant to me–that for the first time, I realized how devastating the whole thing was–in a literal sense, not just in some abstract, “that-happened-to-someone-else” kind of way.

Before I finished the last chapters, I was trying not to cry. Afterwards, when the last page was closed, I did cry. I finished the book in bed, and I cried (as quietly as possible, so my husband wouldn’t panic!) until I fell asleep. Because even though the true details of history certainly must have differed from those in this book, the overall story is true, and it’s our story–the story of all humankind.

I don’t expect that every, or even most, readers of Havah will be touched the way I was, but I do know that in reading this book, I was able to grieve for what was lost at the Fall between God and man.

Havah attempts to tell the beginning of our story; I’m so thankful that for believers and followers of Jesus, there is a triumphant ending that remains to be seen.

What I Thought Could Have Been Better

There were a few things about the story that were a stretch or that seemed unlikely. For example, in the book, when people saw the mark God placed on Kayin (Cain), they supernaturally saw their own flaws and failures, so they did not harm him. I did think this was a genius idea, however, as well as several other of the artistic liberties the author took in writing this story.

I didn’t like the almost unhealthy bond between Kayin and Havah (or between Adam and one of his daughters, for that matter), but again, the way the author wove it into the story “worked.” It made sense that Kayin might get upset enough to kill his own brother with the hopes of his mother weighing heavy on his shoulders.

I personally don’t feel that Eve ever expected to be able to return to the garden, as was her lifelong goal in this book. While I can see where she might have taken hope in seeing the day when her seed would crush the serpent’s head, I feel Adam and Eve were fully aware that they’d sinned, and as a result, things could never go back to the way they were.

There were several details in the book that I didn’t feel were compatible with a pre-Flood world. There were rainstorms, the people ate meat, and they also aged very quickly considering they still had hundreds of years to live.

All that being said, I don’t think anybody could have done a better job crafting a story like this; there are just so many details we can’t know.

This is an adult book; I wouldn’t recommend it for young people, mostly due to sensual content and suggestion.

I give this book 4 stars.

One star – No comment!
Two stars – Couldn’t get into it.
Three stars – Pretty good.
Four stars – Great read!
Five stars – Worth reading more than once.

Visit Tosca Lee’s website.
Follow Tosca Lee on Twitter and Facebook.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

“Just 18 Summers” Giveaway

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Just18Summers / WordSmith


I just finished reading Just 18 Summers, and due to an ever-shrinking amount of space on my bookshelves, I’d like to give away my copy! The book is still in good condition, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great mix of funny and tear-inducing scenes. (Full review coming in May.)

The Book:

With just eighteen summers . . . don’t forget to make some memories. 

After the tragic death of Butch Browning’s wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious–and fleeting–their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch if facing single parenthood. The O’Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty next, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they’ve forgotten what they truly need. With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way?

As summer flies by, each of these parents must learn about guilt and grace . . . and when to hold on to their kids and when to let go.

If you’re interested in being entered in the giveaway, just answer one of the following questions in the comments:

1. For those whose kids are grown: What would you do differently if you could go back and raise your kids all over again?

2. For those who currently have kids at home: What are some things you are doing to make the best of your time with your kids?

3. For those with no kids: What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Don’t forget to leave your email address!
(If you use this format–name(at)email(dot)com–I won’t have to approve your comment.)

Drawing will be April 27th.
Open to readers with US mailing addresses.

5 Fun Wedding Ideas

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I’m blogging at Dainty Jewell’s today! Stop by and check out my post: 5 Fun Wedding Ideas

5 Fun Wedding Ideas: WordSmith blog

Image courtesy of once like a spark photography


I had SO much fun writing this post. Where was Pinterest when I was getting married?

Have you seen any unique wedding ideas you just loved? Let me know in the comments!

CrossReads Book Blast with Lillian Duncan

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By Lillian Duncan

About the Book

The Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules, so Maria follows the rules–every rule. She’s given up everything–her friends, her family, her past–even her name–to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop.

A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood.

A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past. But what if she’s wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one…and that’s her first mistake


lil2011dLillian Duncan

Stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com

Follow Lillian Duncan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Lillian Duncan!

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

My Special Kiss!

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Tricia Goyer is doing a blog link-up/giveaway on her blog right now, and I thought I’d join in the fun!

These are the instructions:

“I’m thrilled to announce the latest release in my Amish series Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors. The Kissing Bridge is the story of a young woman caught between a stifling Amish community and the unnerving outside world and the daredevil bachelor determined to find an Amish woman who can quench his thirst for adventure.

Find out more here.

I’m celebrating by hosting a ‘Beautiful Bridges and Special Kisses’ giveaway. I want to hear about your favorite bridge or your most special kiss!”


I’m sure few want to hear the details of my romantic life, so I’ve decided to share this very special kiss instead: the first time I kissed my newborn son!


I love the little smile on his face in this picture!

I love the little smile on his face in this picture!

Axton, my son, is almost two years old now, but I remember the years leading up to his birth like they were yesterday. My husband and I thought we were ready for kids soon after we were married, but it would be nearly five years before we would hold our baby in our arms.

Once, probably within months of us finding out we were expecting, my husband told me, “I want a baby more than anything.” I felt so helpless and sad because there was nothing I could do to make his desire a reality.

Thankfully, our son’s arrival into this world was orchestrated by God with impeccable timing. At a doctors visit on October 25, 2011, I got the shock of my life when the doctor informed me I was expecting. I was afraid to believe it could really be true.

But apparently, it was. :)

Less than eight months later when the same doctor handed me my red little wrinkled son, I kissed his perfect, tiny forehead.

As long as I may live, I think that will be one of my most special kisses ever. :-)

Interested in sharing your story for a chance to win great Amish fiction? Check out Tricia’s blog!


First Blog Post for Dainty Jewell’s

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My first blog post for Dainty Jewell’s is up!

"A Night in Paris" - Photo Courtesy of KB Photography

“A Night in Paris” – Photo Courtesy of KB Photography

I’m excited to be part of a team that works so hard to make gorgeous, modest dresses available to women of all sizes and ages. I’ll be blogging over there weekly on Thursdays, and I’m looking forward to covering many fun topics.

If you’ve never stopped by Dainty Jewell’s website, go over and look around!

"A Night in Paris" Dress - Photo Courtesy of KB Photography

“A Night in Paris” Dress – Photo Courtesy of KB Photography

If you’re looking for inspiring reading, new blog posts by different writers will be posted each day of the week–all on topics relevant to today’s Christian woman.

Book Review & Giveaway: “Claiming Mariah” by Pam Hillman

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WordSmith Book Review: Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

The Book

After her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.

My Thoughts

I love books where I know from page one that I’m in for a great read. This was one of those! I read Claiming Mariah while suffering with a major case of allergies. Even though I spent the majority of my reading time wanting to claw my face off, I loved the story. That’s saying a lot!  :)

From the start, Claiming Mariah made me wish I had a few uninterrupted hours to curl away somewhere and just read. I liked the characters and thought they were easy to sympathize with. For some reason, I enjoyed Mariah’s grandma in particular. The familial structure in this novel–Mariah, her grandma, and her sister who spends the book away in Philadelphia–was a little different, and I thought it provided nice variety.

There was one surprise toward the end, around page 300 or so, that I thought I probably should have seen coming, but didn’t. I think Pam Hillman is an excellent writer. If you like Old West romances, you’ll love this book.

What I Thought Could Have Been Better

At the beginning of the book, Mariah feels obligated to hand her land over to Slade, the male lead in this story. Though I understood why she did it, I felt like she handed over the only place she’d ever known as home too easily. She was upset that she was forced out of her home, but wasn’t quite as freaked out about it as I would have been.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

One star – No comment!
Two stars – Couldn’t get into it.
Three stars – Pretty good.
Four stars – Great read!
Five stars – Worth reading more than once.

In compliance with FTC regulations: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publicist on behalf of the author and publisher in exchange for this honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Visit Pam’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Pam on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of!



Pam Hillman is giving away a Kindle Fire!
Find details here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below!

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