icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: March 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday~My Beautiful Girl

This picture was taken by ShiAnne Dansie, a talented classmate of Alyssa's who owns Sunnie Photography

Book Review~Threads of Hope

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Threads of Hope
Abingdon Press (March 1, 2013)
Christa Allan


A true Southern woman who knows that any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa is a writer of not your usual Christian Fiction. She weaves stories of unscripted grace and redemption with threads of hope, humor, and heart. Christa is the mother of five adult children, a grandmother of three, and a brand new retired teacher. She and her husband Ken live in New Orleans with their three cats and do their best to dodge hurricanes.

And, since she is not fond of writing about herself in third person, she asked her oldest daughter to contribute. Like her mother, Erin is not at a loss for words…


Passed over for promotion and dumped by her boyfriend, Nina O’Malley is further frustrated when her editor assigns her one of the “soft” stories she despises—covering a gala benefit supporting the AIDS Memorial Quilt. More determined than ever to prove she deserves a promotion to the NY office, Nina decides to write a series featuring a local quilting group raising money for AIDs research. At the event, she runs into her high school nemesis: Greg is a widower and the adoptive father of Jazarah, an HIV positive girl from Ethiopia. Unlike Nina, Greg has faith in a loving God, and he trusts in God’s plan for his life. Greg and Nina grow closer, and as Nina interviews the quilt families, she begins to question the choices she has made and her lack of faith. Nina suddenly finds herself facing two possible dreams, two paths for her life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Threads of Hope, go HERE.

What I Thought: First, let me just say that the author, Christa Allan, is so sweet! She came to my blog to read my review and saw that I hadn't received my copy of the book yet.  Guess what I got in the mail?  A signed copy from her!  I thought that was really great.  So, on to the book!  Threads of Hope is part of the Quilts of Love series, and I have read some books from the series already.  They are different authors, different stories, with the uniting theme of a quilt.  Now, I love quilts and would love to learn to quilt, BUT I think even if you weren't interested in quilts at all you would still enjoy these books.  Threads of Hope is an inspiring story.  The topic of AIDS is not something I've read about in a fictional story, and it was really touching.  The AIDS memorial quilt information was fascinating and at the back of the book is information on how to be involved. I enjoyed how the characters of Greg and Nina grew throughout the book, putting their trust in God.  I liked that this was a heartwarming read, but still had so much 'meat' to it with the AIDS topic.

Book Review~The Survivor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Survivor
Zondervan (March 5, 2013)
DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/diannmills


Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into a viper's pit of danger. Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss's new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold-case?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Survivor, go HERE.

What I Thought: The Survivor is the second book in the Crime Scene: Houston series.  Apparently The Survivor picks up where the first book, The Chase, left off.  I had not read The Chase, but had no trouble following the storyline. The Survivor is a good Christian suspense book, with lots of mystery and action, along with just enough romance.  It kept me engaged and interested from start to finish.  I really enjoyed the story, and I think I would have liked it even more if I had read The Chase first!  For someone who loves Amish Fiction, I've really been enjoying mystery and suspense books lately!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from CFBA. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Try a New Recipe Tuesday~Easy Crescent Taco Bake

This is a yummy, quick recipe that I have taken to potlucks.  The crescent roll crust is the best part!  I usually double the recipe below and make it in a 9x13 baking dish.

Easy Crescent Taco Bake (6 servings)
One 8oz can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb ground beef (I use extra lean)
3/4 cup thick and chunky salsa
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese
shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and sour cream for topping

1. Heat oven to 375.  Separate dough into 8 triangles in ungreased pie pan or 9 inch square pan.  Press dough over bottom and up sides to form crust.
2. In a large skillet, brown ground beef, drain.  Stir in salsa and taco seasoning, simmer 5 minutes.  Spoon meat mixture over bottom of crust-lined pan, sprinkle with cheese.
3.  Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted.  Serve topped with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream, if desired.

Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos hosts a weekly recipe link-up:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Children's Book Review~The Night Horses

The Night Horses is a delightful children's story by Anaka Jones, who is only twelve years old.  It is  26 pages in length, with just one or two sentences in large print per page.  My youngest son, Chad (10) used to
adore horses when he was younger, so I thought  he would like it.  At first glance, he said it was too babyish.  Next thing I know he was in his room reading it, and came out to admit that he liked it.  He's read it several times since. 

The surprise was my grandson Daniel, who is just 18 months old.  He fell in love with The Night Horses and kept bringing it to me to read. He loves the illustrations, and I have to agree-they are great! The story and illustrations are fun, bright, and playful.  The storyline is a cute tale of what fun the horses have at night when noone is watching.

*Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review and Giveaway~Purex plus Fabric Softener with Crystals

Purex has a new laundry detergent with fabric softener and Crystals fragrance.  Purex plus Fabric Softener with Crystals contains the deep cleaning power of DirtLiftAction, with the most popular Purex Crystals fragrance!

I use Purex because it works great at cleaning our clothes, and is less expensive than leading detergents.  This Purex worked great, and I loved the smell-a fresh, floral scent.

One evening my husband came home from a long day at work.  I gave him a hug, and noticed his shirt smelled like it had just come out of the dryer!  It had been washed several days before with Purex plus Fabric Softener with Crystals and worn all day, and smelled great!


 Enter the Experience the Enchantment Sweepstakes featuring Purex detergent plus Fabric Softener with Crystals Fragrance! One lucky winner will receive $1,000 and a year of FREE Purex detergent plus Fabric Softener, while 500 second place winners get to try this powerful, fresh detergent for FREE!  Click here to enter.  

Two The Loose Screw readers will win a coupon for a free bottle of new Purex plus fabric softener with Crystals!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex detergent plus Fabric Softener with Crystals in exchange for a product review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday~Archery!

Book Review~Wings of Glass

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wings of Glass
Tyndale House Publishers (March 1, 2013)
Gina Holmes


Gina Holmes began her career in 1998, penning articles and short stories. In 2005 she founded the influential literary blog, Novel Journey now called Novel Rocket and she is also the founder of Inspire The Fire.

Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW Religion bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain, was also named a Christy finalist. Her upcoming novel, Wings of Glass will releases this month. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.


From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heart-rending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of womanhood, Penny is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign-town, Penny’s happily ever after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.

When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to grow her own.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wings of Glass, go HERE.

My Thoughts: Wings of Glass was a wonderful, heartwrenching story.  I was emotionally attached to the main character, Penny, throughout and my heart ached for her.  I love stories that get to me so deeply.  I could see how the domestic abuse in the storyline may be too much for some readers, though. I would definitely read more by Gina Holmes.

Disclosure: I received this book free from CFBA in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review~Catherine's Pursuit

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Catherine's Pursuit
Realms (February 5, 2013)
Lena Nelson Dooley


Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers http://www.acfw.com/ and president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s also a member of Christian Authors Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with fifteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.


When Angus McKenna was forced to give two of his daughters to families in the wagon train, he promised he'd never try to contact them. Catherine made no such pledge. But when she sets out to find her sisters, she doesn't go alone. Angus sends Collin with her. Will they discover the two women---and love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Catherine's Pursuit, go HERE.

What I Thought: Catherine's Pursuit is the third book in the Mckenna's Daughters Series.  I had not read the previous two books, and I wish I had. This was an inspiring historical romance, and I enjoyed it immensely but was confused a few times.  Having been adopted myself, the story of Catherine searching for her lost sisters interested me.  Being one of triplets was also a unique and interesting part of the story!  I would like to read Catherine's Pursuit again after reading the first two in the series.

*Disclosure: I received this book free from CFBA in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review and Giveaway~Grace Given

I recently read Grace Given by Beth Shriver, which is book two in the Touch of Grace series.  This is the story of Elsie Yoder, a young Amish woman living with her family in Texas.  Elsie's sister and the young man Elsie had feelings for have suddenly left the community.  Along with that, Elsie and other members of her community have been harassed by local young men.  Elsie deals with her fear and sadness by withdrawing.  Gideon Lapp has feelings for Elsie, and tries to comfort her and get her to open up to him.  They also try to do the right thing in dealing with the harassment of their people.

I was immediately drawn to Grace Given because the setting is so different from other Amish fiction.  I've never read about Amish in Texas!  The different location and small community were interesting to read about.  Grace Given is a good mixture of romance and mystery, with an exciting storyline.  This is the second book in the series, and I had not read the first book, but I had no trouble reading this one.  Now I want to go back and read the first book!


Thanks to Charisma House, I just happen to have an extra copy (brand new) of Grace Given to give away!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I received this book free from Charisma House in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review~Threads of Grace

Threads of Grace by Kelly Long is a new book in the Patch of Heaven series.  The main character is Grace Beiler, a newly widowed young Amish mother.  She recently relocated to Pine Creek, Pennsylvania, having fled a haunting past.  There she meets Seth Wyse, who has strong feelings for her.  Her late husband's will reveals troubling restrictions regarding her son's future, and Seth steps in to help her, despite her hardened and hurt heart.

I enjoyed Threads of Grace.  The storyline was interesting with Grace being older than Seth and widowed.  Her son being Autistic was a different element to the story as well.  Threads of Grace was a story with good lessons in grace, love, and trust.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Book Review~Though Mountains Fall

Though Mountains Fall by Dale Cramer is the third book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series.  It is inspired by actual events!

From the Back Cover: 
"Now in its fourth year, the Amish settlement in Mexico is thriving. But as new settlers arrive, sons and daughters marry, babies are born, and crops grow thick, a storm looms on the horizon. And Caleb Bender knows--perhaps better than anyone--that the worst of storms don't come from the western skies.

They come on horseback.

When their very existence is threatened, the Amish turn to the Mexican government for help, only to discover that the rulers of men are fickle and security is an illusion. Tried by fire and riven by war, Caleb and Domingo come to understand that the kingdom of God is not to be found in land or buildings or gold or armies, but in the hearts of peaceful men trying to feed their families.

Watching helplessly as daughters Rachel, Miriam, and Emma are drawn inexorably toward their separate destinies, Caleb is forced to confront the most important decision of his life."

What I Thought:
The Daughters of Caleb Bender series has been one of my all-time favorite Amish series.  The beautiful setting in the Mexican mountains is unusual-not your ordinary Pennsylvania or Ohio in this book.  I could not put Though Mountains Fall down!  The storyline is full of adventure (of course with some romance), and will keep you on the edge of your seat.    

Disclosure: I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shutterfly Yearbooks Review~ Photo Book Giveaway

You've probably heard about Shutterfly's photo books.  I've ordered them before, and have been so impressed by their quality.  Well, you may not know that there are also Shutterfly Yearbooks.  Shutterfly Yearbooks are the easiest way to preserve school memories, and to make it a school year to remember!  Shutterfly has a brand new style of yearbook called Best In Class.  
Shutterfly Yearbooks are easy to create and easy on your budget.  They are made to last-printed in color and professionally bound.  

Here are some helpful links: 


Shutterfly has generously offered one The Loose Screw Reader an 8x8 20 page Hardcover Photo Book, with free US shipping!  The winner will have until 4/30/13 to use their codes.  

*NOTE: This giveaway ends at end of day on 3/19/13.  I have to turn in the winner's information by 3/25/13, so it is important to get back to me right away if I email you that you've won.  Check your junk mail folders!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post is sponsored by Shutterfly.

Book Review~Memory of Murder

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Memory of Murder
Love-Inspired Suspense
Ramona Richards


A word from Ramona:

The hardest biographical sketch to write is always your own, whether or not you’re a writer by profession. You can’t decide what to throw in, what to leave out, and whether or not you should list strengths and flaws, or just strengths.

I like writing and telling stories so much that I once tried to live out a few. After getting a master’s in English, I went on to be the seneschale of my local Society for Creative Anachronism. I had a rocky start, but I did get better. (Robin Hood, eat your heart out.)

People often ask members of the SCA, “Are you in a play?” so I thought it would be fun to do that, too. For seven years, I produced and performed in shows staged by Nashville’s Circle Players.

Although I’m single now, I married in 1982 and in 1987 had Rachel. She’s a cutie. Severely disabled, she’s the heroine of many an article for Special Ed Today magazine. Rachel's nurse, Phyllis, is the real life heroine of “An Act of Desperation,” which I sold to Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul.

I’m not really a complex person, and my dreams are fairly straightforward: sell books, have enough money to pay the bills and travel a bit, and settle into a cottage. In early 2006, I bought the cottage, which is now more or less swamped by books and DVDs. I write at night (I’m a lifelong night owl), and I occasionally escape by scuba diving, hiking, dancing, and going to movies and bookstores.

I’ve gone to the same church since 1993, and I even sing in the choir. It’s a small but awesome church. I’m no angel, although occasionally I play one in the backyard.

I like staying busy. Life is too short not to follow your dreams.



Lindsey Presley certainly can't imagine why anyone would want her dead-though she knows she wouldn't be alive today if not for the local cop who saved her from two murder attempts. Deputy Jeff Gage has worked difficult cases, but with only Lindsey's fractured memories of a broken past to guide him, this is by far his most challenging.

For Lindsey, fleeing the town she has come to call home is unthinkable. Separately, they are vulnerable, but together, Jeff and Lindsey just may stand a chance of catching a ruthless killer.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Memory of Murder, go HERE.

Watch the book video trailer:

What I Thought: Memory of Murder was a good romantic supsense novel that quickly got my attention and drew me in.  I liked the character of Lindsey, and found the subject of memory loss interesting.  I liked the smaller, compact size of the book.

*Disclosure: I received this book free from CFBA in exchange for my honest review.

Pre-Order Lead Your Family Like Jesus!!

Back a few months ago, I told you all about how I was on Tricia Goyer's fiction launch team.  I love Tricia's work, she is such a talented author.  Well, now I'm part of her non-fiction launch team as well!  She has co-authored this book put out by Focus on the Family.  Here is the publisher's description of  Lead Your Family Like Jesus:

"Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus, points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light—as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book’s practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference."

If you pre-order  your copy of the book before March 20, you receive a bundle of free downloadable resources.  You can pre-order at AmazonChristian Book, and Barnes & Noble.  After you pre-order, go to http://leadyourfamilybook.com/pre-order/ to receive all your freebies!!

As part of the launch team, I get to share with you an excerpt from Lead Your Family Like Jesus!  Click here to read part of this great book!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review~Swept Away

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Swept Away
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2013)
Mary Connealy


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.


When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there's going to be trouble in Texas!

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke Stone...so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won't let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can't just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she's going to have to go with him.

But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.

What I Thought: I had heard great things about Mary Connealy's Bride series, but hadn't read anything by her before.  I've only read a few western historical romances, and really enjoyed them so I was excited to read Swept Away. It was a sweet story with a lot of action that moved along quickly.  It honestly wasn't in my list of top books I've read, but it was a good story that I enjoyed, and I will probably read the next book in the series.

Try a New Recipe Tuesday~DIY Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs

With Easter coming up fast, I thought I'd share one of my Easter favorites! I originally found this recipe on Tip Junkie and posted about it in 2011.  Back then I just posted a link, so this time I'll treat you to the full recipe :)

My family loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cup eggs, and although these aren't exactly the same, they are pretty darn close.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 to 3 Tablespoons milk
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon shortening

*Mix together the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter.  Add the mild one tablespoon at a time until it becomes a nice, workable dough.  It will be just like play dough, really easy to work with.
*Form the dough into egg shapes, and place in the freezer for about an hour.
*Place the chocolate chips and shortening into a glass measuring cup.  Microwave 1 minute at a time, stirring in between until completely melted.  (You can also use a double boiler if you prefer)
*Dip each egg in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper until set.  (In the recipe they suggest using a skewer and then sliding the dipped egg off and covering the hole with chocolate.)
*Once they are set you can trim any excess chocolate off that may pool at the base with a pairing knife to make them look pretty.  You could also decorate with icing.

Now I'm off to find some more yummy recipes at this week's link-up:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review~Strands of Deception

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Strands of Deception
B&H Books (March 1, 2013)
Robin Caroll


Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?


When Gina Ford, the daughter of a prominent Tennessee politician, goes missing from the University of Memphis a week after another girl was murdered on the same campus, police call in the FBI. Nick Hagar, married to his job as Special Agent in Charge, is assigned to the case, and when Gina’s body is found, her father demands justice.

Maddie Baxter is the forensic expert running DNA tests from the crime scene. When they come back without a match, Nick asks her to do a familial DNA run that yields a shocking result: the prime suspect is Adam Alexander, the very same guy who broke Maddie’s heart when she was in college.

But do scientific advancements tell the whole story? Strand of Deception offers romance, suspense, and a lively debate about the impact of DNA testing, for better or worse, on the United States justice system.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Strands of Deception, go HERE.

My Thoughts: I was concerned when I found out that Strands of Deception is the third of a series, because I hadn't read the first two books.  It became clear early on in the book that this wouldn't be a problem, and it could be read alone.  I don't usually like books with a scientific topic, but was glued to this book from start to finish!  The topic of DNA really was fascinating, and the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat!  I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of spiritual/Christian theme in the story, and there was just the right amount of romance.  I could see fans of many different genres enjoying Strands of Deception. Now I'd like to go back and read the other two in the series!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Product Review and Giveaway~Dial Coconut Water Body Wash

Dial has a new body wash made with Coconut Water.  Dial Coconut Water Body Wash is a hydrating body wash with fresh hints of green, floral, and coconut.  Coconut water is a leading trend in the food and beverage industry.  It is found in young, green coconuts and is rich in antioxidants and electrolytes that provide replenishing hydration.

What I really like about this new body wash is that it is a scent for the entire family.  Often the body washes out on the market are very feminine smelling and looking.  Dial Coconut Water Body Wash has a fresh, clean scent.  My family has all tried it, and it is a unanimous hit at our house!  It feels great to smell fresh and clean when you step out of the shower.

Dial is proud to announce the Healthier Skin, Healthier You Sweepstakes!  One lucky grand prize winner will receive $1,000, while 250 second place winners will receive free Coconut Water Body Wash.  Click here to enter.  Good luck!


THREE The Loose Screw readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of new Dial Coconut Water Body Wash!  Enter Below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Dial Soap provided me with a sample of new Dial Coconut Water Body Wash in exchange for a product review.  However all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Product Review~Kroger yogurts

As a BzzAgent, I recently was able to sample some of Kroger's healthier yogurts.  I tried their new CARBmaster, which has less carbs, calories, and sugar without losing good flavor. They have some really unique flavors, like Cinnamon Roll and Black Forrest Cake!  I also tried their Greek and Greek lite yogurts.  I love Greek yogurt and actually make my own at home, but I also enjoy occasionally purchasing store-bought Greek  yogurt.  This yogurt was smooth and creamy and flavorful-my favorite flavor was Lemon Creme.  These Kroger yogurts are affordable, good for you, and taste delicious!

*Disclosure: I received this sample free in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review and Author Giveaway ~Shattered

Shattered is the second book in the Alaskan Courage series by author Dani Pettrey.  I was really excited for the release of this book because I loved the first book in the series, Submerged.  Shattered is the story of the McKenna family in Yancey, Alaska.  They are an extremely tight-knit family of adult siblings who lost their parents.  After a murder occurs in their small town, Reef McKenna is arrested for it.  His sister Piper is determined to prove his innocence, along with the rest of the family.  The odds are stacked against Reef though, and his siblings have quite a task ahead of them.  Deputy Landon Grainger, who has been very close to the family, is part of the investigation but also has deep feelings for Piper.  He wants to help the family that has been so good to him over the years, but he also has to do his job.  Shattered is an edge-of-your-seat mystery!

I found Shattered every bit as exciting as the first book in the series, Submerged.  Now, I love my Amish fiction but every once in a while I need a break.  I really enjoy reading about Alaska, so I devoured this book!  It is full of mystery, twists and turns, and romance! Dani Pettrey is a talented author, and I hope there will be a third book in the Alaskan Courage series!

To read more reviews of Shattered, go to the Litfuse Shattered landing page.  

To purchase your own copy of Shattered, click here.

Dani Pettrey is celebrating the release of Shattered with a Nook HD giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party {3/14}. 

Shattered Pettrey

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • Submerged and Shattered by Dani Pettrey {Be caught up in this riveting series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 13th. Winner will be announced at the "Shattered" Author Chat Party on 3/14. Connect with Dani for an evening of book chat, trivia, and a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Shattered and join Dani on the evening of the March 14th 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 14th!

*Disclosure: I received this book free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Book Review~Icecutter's Daughter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Icecutter’s Daughter
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2013)
Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.
She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.


As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Icecutter’s Daughter, go HERE.

My Thoughts: I like some historical fiction, but I'm really picky about it.  Usually it's a complete hit or complete miss.  The Icecutter's Daughter was a hit!  The setting in Minnesota and Swedish/German heritage intrigued me, as my husband is from the same area and heritage. Most fascinating was the profession of ice harvesting!  This was a beautifully written book that captured my attention immediately.  I enjoyed the strong female main character being a tomboy-not your norm for this time period.

*Disclosure: I received this book free from CFBA in exchange for my honest review.