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Archive for CWAHM Reviews

Tell us about your new novel, Across the Blue.

Across the Blue is a historical romance set in Kent, England, in 1909. It’s the Edwardian era, and the dawn of aviation. The hero, James Drake, is a young aspiring aviator who dreams of being the first to fly across the English Channel. He hopes winning that race and prize offered by the Daily Mail will help him gain a respectable reputation and the love of Bella Grayson. Bella longs to become a journalist and write for one of her father’s newspapers. She especially wants to write about aviation and the race to fly across the Channel. But her parents want her to focus on developing a relationship with a wealthy, young aristocratic who will help them step up in society. It’s a story of high-flying adventure, family drama, romance, and inspiration, and I’m excited to share it with reading friends.


Bella Grayson, the heroine of the novel, lives on a grand country estate with her family. Was this inspired by a real location? If so, which one?

I had Broadsworth Hall in Doncaster, England, in mind for the Grayson’s family estate when I was writing Across the Blue. I changed some things about the house, so I called it Broadlands. It’s a lovely home, and I hope to visit some day. I have several photos on my Pinterest board. I hope you’ll take a look:

A central topic in Across the Blue is the race to make the first flight across the English Channel. How was your interest in early aviation sparked?  I visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 2016, and I enjoyed the displays about the Wright Brothers and early aviation. I saw a poster for the First International Air Meet in Rheims, France, and I noticed it took place in 1909. That’s the time period I enjoy writing about, so I decided to do some more research. That’s when I found out about the race across the Channel. The more I read about the race, the newspaper owner who sponsored the prize, and early aviation, the more the story came to life for me.

What was the most fascinating information you discovered in your research for this book? I loved learning about those early aviators and how they designed the first airplanes. Their determination to come up with a design that would actually fly was very inspiring. We take air travel for granted today, but only a little over 100 years ago flying machines were brand new and piloting an airplane was an amazing feat. I was surprised to learn that more than 200,000 people attended the first International Air Meet in Rheims, France, in 1909. The crowds went wild watching those first aviators demonstrate their skills. I enjoyed including that air meet in the book.

What do you hope your readers will take away from Across the Blue? I hope readers will be inspired by James and Bella’s pursuit of their dreams and enjoy the journey with them. I hope their imaginations will be sparked and they will look for ways to reach for their dreams. Most of all I hope their faith will be deepened and they will see how God’s work in their own lives.

What can you tell us about what you are working on next?

I’m working on a new English historical series set in the early 1900s and focused on British Home Children—poor and orphaned children who were sent to Canada not to be adopted but to become indentured workers on farms and as household servants. It will include family drama, adventure, romance, and inspiration.



Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?


Review: She Reads Truth Bible

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Win one of 7 copies!

I recently have had the opportunity to review the She Reads Truth Bible and I have enjoyed it immensely. To start off, the cover is just gorgeous (I received the orange “poppy” version) and really draws the eye.

Upon opening the Bible, I was please to see not one but two bookmarks. I know this might seem minimal, but I love reading in both the Old and New Testaments and often read a little each day in both. So, two bookmark ribbons was an unexpected bonus for me!

The She Reads Truth Bible offers helpful introductions to every book of the Bible, giving details about the book’s author, a synopsis of each chapter’s content and even a reading plan for each book. It also contains numerous devotionals throughout to aid you in applying what you read to your daily life.

I love the She Reads Truth Bible  and will be continuing to use it daily for my quiet times. 🙂 #SheReadsTruth #ReadYourBible

Read More→

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Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Recipe: WHITE CHICKEN CHILI WITH CILANTRO AND LIME

By Amy Nelson Hannon

Oh my word. Y’all, it’s finally Fall! Fall is my favorite! If I had to list all the things I love about Fall in order of what I love best, it’d be nearly impossible. Football, crisp mornings, jeans and boots, apple everything, pumpkin everything, adding more blankets to the beds, and the anticipation of the holiday season! I mean, how’s a girl to choose?!

One other favorite of mine during this season is sturdy soups – a bowl full of earthy, warm goodness that gets at my soul. What’s the difference between regular soup and sturdy soup you might ask? Sturdy soups have girth. They are spoonfuls of hearty bites. And they fill bellies way up. You know, they’re sturdy. They can stand alone served with only a few fixins on top. Have I got a sturdy soup for you!

This recipe is an adaptation of one found in my church cookbook. Y’all know that if you can ever get your hands on a church cookbook, then it’s a keeper. Church cookbook recipes are those tried-and-true, time-tested, crowd-pleasing dishes. I know, because I’m a pastor’s wife, and I’ve been feeding people for more than 20 years. So you learn what’s good, what people come back for, and what people request recipes for. And this White Chicken Chili meets the criteria for sure! It is so creamy and loaded with flavor, and the texture is divine with hearty bites of tender chicken and white beans. Sturdy. This recipe is the first soup that my family asks for when the weather officially turns cooler and there’s football on TV. Here’s to fall! And here’s to full bellies and full hearts! – Amy Nelson Hannon, author of Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give



{serves 6-8}


2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ – 2 cups yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

3-4 cups chicken stock

½ cup dry white wine like Chardonnay (optional)

1 bay leaf, broken in half

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

3 cans white beans of your choice, drained

3 jalapeno peppers, minced

3 cups fresh grated Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Salt to taste

3 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for topping)

The juice of 3 limes

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (around 5-6qts). Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until they’re tender and just starting to get color.  Add the garlic oregano, cumin, and ginger, cooking for one more minute. Stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn!  Add stock, wine (if using) and bay leaf.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes over medium heat until somewhat reduced.  Add chicken, beans, and jalapenos. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Read More→



Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Review: ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS

Photo: Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes

Can you feel it? That little edge of crispness in the air and the undercurrent of excitement in the stores? The holidays are right around the corner and you know what that means. Decorations, baking and family? Uh…no. It’s time to tuck into snuggly pajamas, grab a steaming cup of cocoa and curl up on the couch with your favorite holiday movies!

Every year, Hallmark Channel outdoes itself on the family movie front and this year is no different. With TWENTY-ONE new holiday features premiering on the network’s “Countdown to Christmas” this season, there is plenty of sweet, family friendly goodness to go around.

One of these movies in particular has piqued my interest. It’s called Enchanted Christmas*. Here’s the description of the movie:

Young widow, Laura Trudeau (played by Alexa PenaVega) was a remarkable dancer. Now working as a project manager in LA, she is tasked to renovate a rundown hotel lodge, in her hometown of Rosemont, Utah and have it ready by Christmas eve. She is stunned to run into her former love and dance partner Ricardo Archuleta, (Carlos PenaVega) who she discovers is in rehearsals for The Christmas Eve shows grand finale, with his new dance partner Taylor (Chelsie Hightower, “Dancing with the Stars”).  When Taylor has an audition abroad, Laura once again finds herself back in Ricardo’s arms. Feelings are rekindled, and with both the hotel opening and the show in jeopardy, Laura has to make some difficult decisions, both personally and professionally.

You can check out the trailer here.

Doesn’t that look great? Who doesn’t love ballroom dancing? And you throw in Christmas? Seriously! 

If you thought you recognized the main character, Laura, you probably did. Alexa PenaVega skyrocketed to fame in the Spy Kids series of movies. Now she’s all grown up and co-starring with her husband, Carlos PenaVega. They even contributed their musical talents by recording one of the songs for the movie. Is there anything they can’t do?

Enchanted Christmas airs on November 12th on Hallmark Channel at 8:00 pm/7:00 central. Don’t miss it!

*Enchanted Christmas is a Mission Pictures International and Gabriel Productions, LLC production. Cindy Bond and Gene Davis serve as Executive producers. James Wilberger and Jarrod Phillips are producers. Terry Cunningham directed from a script by Rick Garman and Catherine Y. Friday.  #HallmarkChannel #EnchantedChristmas #CountdowntoChristmas #Missionpicturesintl

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Review: Life Verse Creative Journals

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life-verseThe Life Verse Creative Journals by Jana Magruder and Morgan Grace Magruder are a great way to both relax and spend time in God’s Word.  The set comes with both a blank journal for writing (or drawing if you are more talented than I am) and a coloring book full of verses and pictures.  It’s a great set to kickstart a new journaling habit or to give as a gift.

life-verse-insideI’ll admit, I wasn’t so sure that I would enjoy coloring as an adult. As a child coloring drove me crazy because I could never get the pictures to look as pretty in real life as I imagined them in my head. And I was so concerned about staying in the lines, that it was more stressful than relaxing.  However, I do find it to be more therapeutic now that I’m older.  I do still stray out of the lines once in a while, and the pictures are still prettier in my head, but I am much more relaxed about it. Especially since I don’t plan to ever show them to anyone else. 🙂

These journals are a nice way to spend some quality time meditating on Scripture, talking to the Lord, and relaxing.



* I received these books from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: Justified

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23168525Justified by Varina Denman
Radiant Lit Blog Tours
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date: June 1, 2015

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

This book really surprised me.  I thought it would be such a heavy topic that it might be hard to get through, but it turned out to be such an encouraging book that I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It definitely covers tough topics, but Denman does so in such a way that you love the characters and love the story.

Fawn is easy to connect with. We’ve all done things wrong, things that made us feel unworthy of God’s love … or anyone else’s love for that matter. Fawn is convinced that she’ll never live down the shame or condemnation of the people living in her town.  She also knows that she has been guilty of being the one judging others, and believes she doesn’t deserve grace because of it.

Justified paints a beautiful portrait for us of how we can love others as Christ loved us – and how we often find His grace when and where we least expect it.

Varina Denman is a native Texan who spent her high school years in a small Texas town. Now she lives near Fort Worth with her husband and her five mostly-grown children.

 Justified is available for purchase here from

 Note: I received this book as part of the Justified  blog tour from Radiant Lit.  I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Book Review: Five Days in Skye

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skyeFive Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
Reviewed by: Jill Hart
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 2015

Andrea Sullivan finally has life all figured out. She’s on track for a promotion to VP in her career as a hospitality consultant. She has a great apartment in New York and travels around the world helping her clients make their hotel properties better and more prosperous. She’s known as being the absolute best at what she does.

James MacDonald is the best in his field, too. He’s a celebrity chef with his own TV show and string of restaurants. Now he’s looking to open up a hotel near his hometown on the Isle of Skye. When his brother, Ian, brings in Andrea as a consultant to make sure everything is in order, James resents it at first. However, as he gets to know Andrea he realizes there is much more to her than meets the eye. Can he convince her to give him a chance? He only has five days with her on the island in order to do so.

This book has everything a reader could want. It will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think about your own life and what you hold most important. Laureano keeps the tension high throughout the book and the characters come alive as you learn more and more about thier pasts and what makes them tick.

I couldn’t put this book down – I sailed through it in a matter of hours. The writing flows smoothly and you’ll forget where you are, transported to Scotland through the detailed imagery. I loved this book and I can’t wait for the book two in this series!

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Review: Chloe & Isabel

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Enter to win a pair of Chloe and Isabel Crystal Stud Earrings! 

ci-logo3It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I’m given the opportunity to review the products of a home-based business here on CWAHM. I’m so excited to share with you my experiences with Chloe & Isabel recently.

When Shana contacted me, I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even heard of Chloe & Isabel. I soon learned that the company has been around for a while and offers gorgeous jewelry as well as a home-based business opportunity. When Shana offered me the chance to review a few pieces of the jewelry that I saw on the website, I jumped at the chance. Here are the pieces I chose:


necklaceI LOVE this necklace. Not just because it’s gorgeous, but because it’s so versatile. You can wear it long (see the picture on the left) or take it apart – it comes in two pieces – and wear it short (see the picture on the right). You can even wear the short piece that you remove as a bracelet! Super cute and totally useful for us moms on the go.

I put it on with my outfit to wear to church this last Sunday only to discover that it was too long to go with the top I had chosen. I didn’t have time to go searching through my closet for another shirt, so I simply unclasped it, made it short and headed out the door.

Now THAT is my kind of jewelry!


ring2How beautiful is this ring?! And I can honestly say that it’s ten times prettier in real than in this picture. I put it on with a simple silver top and some silver earrings and wore it to a baby shower for my sister-in-law last weekend. Needless to say, my daughter (12 yo) didn’t even have to tell me to change clothes. I think she might have even been impressed, which is HARD TO DO with a twelve year old girl full of fashion sense. 🙂




earrings2And last, but definitely not least, are these awesome earrings. No, that’s not me in the picture, but those are the earrings I chose. They are simple and elegant and go with just about every outfit I own. They are lightweight and have a cool snap-clasp that makes them easy to put on and take off. It’s all about comfort as we get older, right? 😉


Enter to win a pair of Chloe and Isabel Crystal Stud Earrings! 

As you can see, I had a BALL choosing jewelry and reviewing it. I can’t say enough about the quality and beauty of these pieces. I like very simple, primarily silver pieces, but Chloe and Isabel has a ton of bright, colorful pieces as well. Here’s a sample (below) and you can find lots more at Shana’s website:



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Review and Giveaway: WiseDecor Wall Decals

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I am so excited to share with you my thoughts on and experience with WiseDecor! This wonderful company offers Scripture and other quotes as wall decor that you can place anywhere in your house. Here is the one that I chose:


I LOVE it. It’s beautiful and was fairly easy to apply. Wisedecor offers many options of verses and other quotes and you can customize the size, color, font and layout of your design. What a great way to bring God’s Word into our homes!

And we get to give one away! Simply follow the prompts below to enter our WiseDecor giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: Restless by Jennie Allen

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restlessAbout Restless
Restless explores the fact that God has called each of us to do great things in his name, and then helps us discover what that might mean for each of us individually. Jennie says, “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

Jennie doesn’t suggest women add one more thing to their to-do list, but instead invites them to stop and listen where they are. She frees them to be themselves and to see themselves as valuable. In addition to this permission to dream she helps them get over themselves and their issues and then offers a simple process on highly designed journal pages to identify the raw materials—the unique threads—they’ve been given by digging into five areas:
–  Gifts
–  Suffering
–  Places
–  People
–  Passions

Using her own story and that of women with whom she has walked through this process as examples, Jennie weaves in the story of Joseph the dreamer and how God used his threads to fit into the greater story of God. Untangling the threads of our lives and assembling them together in one place reveals a beautiful plan designed by the Creator himself: God’s Agenda + my threads + the need + the Holy Spirit = my purpose

And since living out our purpose is often filled with uncertainties Jennie addresses the doubts, fears, and challenges that hold women back from what they’ve been called to do. This repositioning of their lives is not a promise that all things will be perfect, or will go perfectly, but a promise that it will be the start of the best part of life—the part that completes what we were made for.

What a breathe of fresh air Jennie Allen provides in Restless. The kit that I received is actually a video-based small group Bible study, but I used it on my own. I know, I’m a real rebel. 🙂 Read More→

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