icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: June 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday~Great Grandma's Shower Cap

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Wordless Wednesday on Only Passionate Curiosity

Book Review~Pieces of the Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pieces of the Heart
Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)
Bonnie S. Calhoun


Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year,” President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference(GPCWC).

For the last six years she has taught workshops in Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and creating Social Media promotions at both CCWC, and GPCWC, and in 2011 at the Montrose, Pa Christian Writers Conference. She also taught a Facebook workshop at the 2012 ACFW conference.

Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin in upstate area of New York with a dog and cat who think she’s wait-staff.

Her sites are: https://www.facebook.com/bonniescalhounsnarkandsuspense


Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.

But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?

If you would like to read teh first chapter of Pieces of the Heart, go HERE.

What I Thought: Pieces of the Heart is an emotional story, set around World War II.  It touched upon so many deep issues, and things I had never thought of, such as how African American soldiers were treated.  I was immediately drawn into the story, and it kept my interest through to the end.  I loved the characters, and their struggles with forgiveness and love.  The topic of prayer was strong throughout also.  This is a great book,  you won't be able to put it down!

Disclosure: I was given this book to review free from CFBA in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review and Giveaway~20 Mule Team Borax

Have you heard of Borax?  Many people have but have not tried it themselves.  I first started using Borax as a laundry booster, and also as an ingredient in my homemade laundry detergent.  Now I use Borax for many things, including in cleaners and  as a dishwasher booster. 

20 Mule Team Borax is 100% natural mineral from the earth. Absolutely nothing is added. Borax naturally softens hard water, which maximizes your detergent's cleaning power. 


I have coupons for two The Loose Screw readers to get a free box of 20 Mule Team Borax!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Borax provided a free sample of their product for this post.  My participation was voluntary, and my opinions are my own.

Try a New Recipe Tuesday~Dutch Babies

This recipe is from my Aunt Patty.  It's a yummy breakfast treat!

Dutch Babies
Heat oven to 425. 
Melt 1/3 cup butter in pie dish.
In a bowl, blend 4 eggs on high for one minute.
Slowly pour in one cup milk.
Slowly pour in one cup flour.
Blend 30 seconds.
Pour mixture into pie dish of hot melted butter.
Bake 25-30 minutes.
Serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or syrup.

Looking for some new recipes to try?  Click the button below

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review~The Winnowing Season

The Winnowing Season is the second book in the Vines and Orchards Series by Cindy Woodsmall.  She is one of my favorite authors and I loved the first book in the series, A Season for Tending.  I was very excited to get back into the story of the King and Byler families.

The Winnowing Season continues where A Season for Tending left off, with the families getting ready to move to Maine to start their new orchard.  They encounter many struggles in their move and their time settling into their new home, and friendships and relationships are tested.  As in the first book, I felt like I really knew the characters personally, and I was riveted to the story throughout the entire book.  I am looking forward to the third book in the series!

Here's the best part: My grandson enjoyed reading The Winnowing Season too!

Disclosure: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 21, 2013

ACTS Summer Challenge and Giveaway!

Last month, I posted about a great opportunity for your family this summer, the ACTS (A Call to Serve) Summer Challenge and Contest.  You can read that post here

My 10 year old son has got an unbelievable imagination, but the more he watches TV and plays on the computer, the less I see that imagination at use.  Children are spending more and more time in front of TVs, iPads, computers, and video games. That doesn’t leave much room for kids to dream up their own visual images—like the ones that fill their minds when they hear a great story! Rather than passively receiving images, kids actively engage in making images themselves when they hear a good story. Their imaginations are enriched and stimulated, and the material becomes more personal and memorable. 

Adventures in Odyssey is all about great stories—and the power of the imagination. The beloved audio dramas are heard on over 700 radio stations, and AIO has recently expanded to books and devotionals—including The Imagination Station series, a fast-growing line of early chapter readers. We have read several of these books and my son fell in love with them! You can check them out by downloading a FREE e-book of Imagination Station #1: Voyage with the Vikings!  Click here to get your free copy!

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey encourages kids to write their OWN stories, as they join in ACTS: A Call to Serve! AIO is helping children use their imaginations to serve their family, community, and world this summer—maybe by sending a care package to a missionary or baking cookies for the local fire department. Check out www.whitsend.org/acts  for details and a chance to win fabulous prizes, including a mission trip with a parent to Costa Rica!

More important than prizes are the stories your child will tell about the creative ways they served others, and how they grew as a result. And what they come up with really might change the world! 

Your own ACTS Summer of Service Kit is available for download at http://www.tyndale.com/blog/index.php/acts-summer-of-service-kit/.  

Tyndale is generously offering to give one of my readers the first three books in the Imagination Station Series : Voyage with the Vikings, Attack at the Arena, and Peril in the Palace.  Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review~Pennsylvania Patchwork

Holly Fisher has moved from her native Seattle to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to live with the Amish grandmother she just recently discovered she has.  She is embracing the Amish culture, and loving everything about it.  Mennonite veterinarian Zach has stolen her heart, yet she has many doubts.  As her family struggles with some serious situations, Holly has to learn to trust God and her heart.

Pennsylvania Patchwork is the second book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy by Kate Lloyd.  I had not yet read the first book in the series, Leaving Lancaster, but definitely plan to now!  This is a story full of emotion, suspense, and trusting God.  The author did a wonderful job with the characters-I felt strongly for Holly and her mother, Esther.  The story held my attention throughout, and I stayed up way too late reading several nights because I didn't want to put Pennsylvania Patchwork down!

Learn more about author Kate Lloyd at her website.  Purchase a copy of Pennsylvania Patchwork at Amazon. To learn more about the book and read the other reviews, head on over to Litfuse's Pennsylvania Patchwork Landing Page. 

Kate Lloyd is celebrating the release of book two in her Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, Pennsylvania Patchwork, by giving away an authentic Amish-made quilt!
  One "grand" winner receive:
  • An authentic Amish-made Quilt
  • Pennsylvania Patchwork and Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 29th. Winner will be announced on July 1st at Kate's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse Publicity. 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."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Product Review~Palmolive soft touch

Influenster recently sent me two bottles of Palmolive soft touch liquid dish detergent.  I received a bottle of Soft Touch with Vitamin E, and Soft Touch with Aloe.  I kept the Soft Touch with Vitamin E for myself, and shared the other bottle with my Mom.

We were both very pleased with the performance of the product.  It cleaned great, and was very gentle on my hands.  I liked the scent, and the fact that the liquid was pink :)  There is also a Coconut Butter Soft Touch, which I'd like to try next.  You can find Palmolive soft touch at many retailers, including Walmart.  If you'd like to read more about Palmolive soft touch, click here.


*Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review~Letters to Katie

Letters to Katie is part of the Middlefield Family Novel series by author Kathleen Fuller.  Katie is a young Amish woman who is not yet married, while most of her friends are married and having babies.  She has always loved Johnny, since their childhood, but he acts like they are just friends.  He really does love her, but wants to get his business up and running successfully before he courts Katie.  Soon Katie becomes ill , which makes Johnny realize he cannot wait any longer to profess his love.  But a stranger arrives who claims he and Katie have been writing to each other.  Katie is having trouble remembering due to her illness. 

I enjoyed Letters to Katie.  I've enjoyed other books I've read by Kathleen Fuller.  They aren't 'edge of your seat' type books for me, but just nice Amish love stories.  I recommend reading Letters to Katie-it is nice for a relaxing weekend read. 

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Try a New Recipe Tuesday~Broccoli Pasta Salad

I got this recipe from my Mom.  It's a spin on the traditional Broccoli Raisin salad, with the addition of pasta and a few other things.

Broccoli Pasta Salad
1 cup bow tie pasta, uncooked
6 cups small broccoli florets
1 small red onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon sugar

*Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding broccoli to the boiling water the last minute of cooking, drain.  Rinse with cold water, drain again.
*Place pasta mixture in large bowl. Add onions, pepper, and bacon, mix lightly.
*Mix remaining ingredients (mayo and sugar) until blended. Add to salad, toss to coat.
*Refrigerate at least one hour.

More new recipes:

Schoolhouse Crew Review~Christianity Cove

Christianity Cove is a leading supplier for Sunday School and Children's Church materials.  "Christianity Cove is your one-stop-shop for free Sunday School lessons, Bible games, crafts, skits and activities for Children's Church. Our blog features hundreds of fresh, fun, and creative ideas for helping your students understand the Bible and relate it to their own lives. We are firm believers that Children's Ministry does NOT have to be expensive or complicated. Just as Jesus could make an easy lesson from a nearby fig tree or a few seedlings by the roadside, our budget conscious lessons and activities make good use of what’s around us — either in the church storage closet, the garage at home, or the nearest dollar store. "

Members of the TOS Crew were able to review a variety of products available.  The materials are easily adaptable for home use.  I reviewed The 10 Commandments Activity Kit and The Lord's Prayer Lesson Pack.

My son Chad, 10, knows about the Ten Commandments but doesn't know them by heart.  The downloadable activity kit is full of activities, games, crafts, snacks, and worksheets to reinforce learning about the Ten commandments.  The regular price is $47, but currently there is an early bird special for just $27 for the first 250 who order.

The Lord's Prayer Lesson Pack came just at the right time.  For a few weeks, we had randomly been reciting The Lord's Prayer at dinnertime because it occurred to me that Chad didn't know it.  It is something that was recited regularly at both my husband's and my churches as children, so we had it memorized,  but is not recited at our church.  The downloadable Pack comes with activities, games, snacks, crafts, and worksheets.  The regular price is $39.99, but there is currently an earlybird special for the first 250 orders for only $19.99.

What I Thought: These two downloadable Activity Packs were a great fit for us. Chad learned so much (and retained so much) about the Ten Commandments and The Lord's Prayer. We would pick what we were in the mood for (craft, activity, etc.) every few days.  The crafts and activities are easy to do with items you probably already have at home, but are easy to find cheaply.  One of Chad's favorites was Fishing for Commandments(although it doesn't look like his favorite by the weird look on his face!):

I can see that these would be great products for Sunday School use.  As for the prices, they are a bit high for me and my family's budget, but would be inexpensive for church use.  They are great products though, so maybe budgeting ahead for them would work for families on a tight budget.  I suggest checking out Christianity Cove and seeing for yourself all they have to offer!

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Book Review~The Promise Box

About The Promise Box (from the back cover): Every year, young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Lydia Wyse, a book editor from Seattle who grew up Amish, returns to the small community of West Kootenai, Montana to give comfort to her father after her mother’s death.
She is drawn back to the familiar Amish ways after finding her mother’s most precious possession, a Promise Box of prayers and scripture. What her publisher sees, though, is an opportunity for a sensational ‘tell-all’ book about the Amish. Lydia soon finds herself falling in love with Amish bachelor Gideon Hooley. She wants nothing more than to forget her past and look forward to a future as an Amish bride. Will the pain of her childhood—and her potential betrayal of her community—keep her from committing her whole heart?

What I Thought: If you've read my blog before, you know I love everything Amish!  Tricia Goyer is one of my favorite authors, and I've had the privilege this year to be part of her Launch Team, helping spread the word about the new books she is releasing.  The Promise Box is book 2 in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series, and it is another hit by Tricia Goyer!  In case you are wondering if  you need to read the first book in the series, The Memory Jar, first, I definitely recommend you do because it is so good, but it is not necessary to be able to read and enjoy The Promise Box.

I enjoyed that the story was about a former Amish woman returning to the Amish after time in the English world.  It was very interesting to see how Lydia is treated in the community.  One of my favorite things about this book and series is the setting.  West Kootenai, Montana sounds like such a wonderful place to live high in the mountains, and the Amish are a bit more relaxed.  Once again, Tricia Goyer has done a  wonderful job with characters I felt like I got to know personally, and a storyline that is hard to put down! 

Purchase The Promise Box here.  Get more information and read more reviews about The Promise Box here. 

Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her lastest novel, The Promise Box (Zondervan), by hosting an Amish Baking Box giveaway and connecting with readers during her June 12th Book Chat Party!

One "promising" winner will receive:
  • Apron, hot mitts, and kitchen towels
  • Amish baking items (rolling pin, pie plate, etc...)
  • Sherry Gore's Simply Delicious Amish Cooking
  • The Memory Jar and The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 11th. Winner will be announced at the "The Promise Box" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 12th. Connect with Tricia for an evening of Amish fun - book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tricia will also share an exclusive look at the next book book in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Promise Box and join Tricia on the evening of June 12th 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 12th!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse Publicity. 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."

Monday, June 3, 2013

Children's Book Review~Strangers on the High Seas

In April, I reviewed a book that we really enjoyed by Carole P. Roman called Stuck in the Doldrums.  You can read that review here.  I'm happy to report that there is a new book in the Captain No Beard series called Strangers on the High Seas(ISBN: 9781480177222).  This is the fourth book in the Captain No Beard series.

Strangers on the High Seas has all the same great characters we loved aboard their ship the Flying Dragon, with the addition of Cabin Girl Cayla. When a scary ship starts following them, the crew must work together to stay safe, and they might be surprised who saves them from danger!

My son Chad and I enjoyed this book just as much as the last. It is 32 pages, and full of adorable illustrations.  You can purchase Strangers on the High Seas on Amazon, and on the author's website, http://www.caroleproman.com/

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

Children's Book Review~Oh Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale

I recently had the pleasure to review an adorable children's book: Oh Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale (ISBN 978-1466942875), published by Trafford Publishing.  The author is Kimberly Sentek, and it was illustrated by Eumir Carlo Fernandez. 

Nico was an only dog, the center of his owner's attention.  When a new puppy, Tugger, comes to live with them, Nico has a lot to adjust to!  Oh Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale follows the two pups as they learn to live and play with each other. It presents the story from both dog's point of view. This is a cute story to read to your kids or grandkids, or for young readers to read themselves. It would be a great story to read to a child who has a new sibling on the way! There are 28 pages, all illustrated in color.  The illustrations are cute and fun. 

My son Chad (10) and I both enjoyed Oh Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale.  When I went to the author's website, http://kimberlysentek.com/, I learned that this is the first in a planned series, so we look forward to reading more in the series.  I also learned that the dogs in the story are based on Ms. Sentek's own dogs, Nico and Tugger!  You can go to the website to see pictures of the real dogs (cute!), as well as download coloring pages and puzzles!  There are also links to purchase your own copy of the book. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.