Thursday, April 23, 2015

When Calls the Heart Season 2 Premier! {FlyBy Giveaway!}

The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

Do you love Janette Oke??  I do!!  I didn't know there was a tv series based on her books until a couple of weeks ago.  I was thrilled to watch the sneak-peak season premier of season 2 of When Calls the Heart.  Taking place in Canada, When Calls the Heart, follows the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, an inexperienced teacher who receives an assignment in remote Coal Valley.  In Coal Valley life is quite different than the elite circle that Elizabeth is accustomed to.  She keeps company with Jack (who apparently kissed her at the end of season 1 and I missed it!).  Jack is a Mountie (SWOON) who was initially unhappy at being assigned to Coal Valley specifically to watch over Elizabeth.  When an explosion in the mine kills several miners the widows are forced to work in the mines to make ends meet.    It is then that they discover that the explosion may have been due to negligence and short-cuts in safety that the mine owner condoned.  As we enter season 2 a trial is underway to get to the bottom of what happened and clear the names of the men who were killed.  Problems with the trial are exacerbated when a female prosecutor arrives and finds the judge fraternizing with the defense.  Things go from bad to worse as their only witness is "bought out" and changes his story on the stand.

This has been such a good show!  I have NOT seen season 1, but I scrounged around to find it and it is available on Netflix!  I can't wait to go back and see what I missed.  You can catch Season 2 airing April 25th on Hallmark channel!!  Don't miss it!

But!  Guess what!  If you are a lucky winner here on Swinging On Small Hinges YOU can win Season 1 on DVD!!  (And then you can loan it to me!  LOL)

Enter using the Giveaway Tools below.  (Ends April 30th).

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Great Homeschool Convention - Cincinnati

Here in South West Missouri we have a small homeschool convention and while it is fun I have harbored this desire to go to a BIG homeschool convention.  So this year I convinced the hubby, James, to load up the kids and go to one of the Great Homeschool Conventions.  We chose Cincinnati since it was only an 8 hour drive and I heard that it was THE biggest.  (Yes, it was go big or go home!)  Anyway, it was AMAZING.  There had to have been 200 vendors there and at least a dozen conference speakers running simultaneously.

The girls attended Giant Cow, the kids conference.  Their first day there was a fire and the kids had to evacuate the building.  The staff kept the kids calm and organized and did a great job!  Both girls had a blast and really want to go back again (this isn't something that they offer here at our small conference)

We were a bit star-struck to meet several homeschool "celebrities" like Dr. Christopher Perrin from Classical Academic Press...

And Mr. Demme from Math-U-See!  
(Please excuse Maggie - she is still shy around strangers and was hiding behind Daddy)

The vendors were fun and friendly...we tried out instruments and got a ton of freebies!

And....we tried Cincinnati Chili.  It was yummmmmy!  I have GOT to learn how to make it!

Overall the convention was so fun!  We had such a great time and while I said something to the affect of "oh...this is probably the only time we will do this" I have to admit...that I may have to convince the hubby to go again next year!  :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

What Makes Us Sisters {Deseret Book Review}

"Sisters take care of each other, watch out for each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through thick and thin," observes Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president. 
In this delightful and inspiring book, Sister Oscarson encourages all women to look beyond differences in age, culture, and circumstance in order to better nurture and serve one another. She explains that all women—young or old, married or single, working in an office or running a home—have unique talents and gifts to share. Focusing on the boundless blessings that Latter-day Saint women enjoy, Sister Oscarson urges women throughout the Church to live and inspire others in ways that realize their greatest potential.

Sister Bonnie Oscarson has been one of my favorite conference speakers.  She is always so insightful and has such loving, kind advice for women.  In this little book, What Makes Us Sisters, Sister Oscarson asks all women to look carefully at one another and recognize that, while we are not all the same, we are all sisters in Christ and we all have great potential.  It is filled with inspirational pictures, some of which would make awesome "memes!"

I love these "gift sized" books (measuring 6.5" by 6.5").  They perfect for giving in a welcome basket, a special friend who needs to be uplifted, or mothers day!

You can buy a copy at as a hardcover for (currently) $14.99!

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions here are my very own!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Heart Revealed {Shadow Mountain Book Review}

Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?  But when Amber's social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she find herself exiled to Yorkshire. alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?
Ok, I shout for joy every time a new book comes out in this favored Proper Romance series!  I have LOVED every single one I've read and I'm always ecstatic when I get to review another one.  This book, written by popular author Josi S. Kilpatrick is called A Heart Revealed and it features Amber Sterlington, belle of the season.  Amber is beautiful and could have her pick of men and she is out to get just the right husband.  She wants one with a title and a fortune.  Love?  Nonsense.  But, as we read in the teaser her "social standing is threatened" when something dreadful begins to happen to her.  I am NOT going to tell you what it is because it would really spoil the book for you.  She is forced into exile and realizes that love was NOT nonsense and she should've grabbed for it while she had the chance.  Doomed to a life of exile she is surprised by the attention of Thomas Richards and wonders if maybe, just maybe, she might not be forced to live a life of loneliness after all.

It is good.   It is really good.  Every Proper Romance I read just gets better and better.  This "dreadful thing" is unlike anything I've ever, ever, ever read in a historical romance before.  You know another thing I like about this book?  It's tasteful.  Proper Romances always are.

So, I think you will enjoy A Heart Revealed!

Disclaimer:  I received an advanced reader copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you so much!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Real Moms {Deseret Book Review}

I didn’t have gold shoes, and I didn’t have time to go shopping, but I thought I could just spray-paint some heels I owned that I never really wore. I spray-painted them and tried them out for three hours at church where they held up perfectly. I felt pretty good about myself. “Suckers who buy gold shoes when they could just spray-paint them,” I thought, congratulating myself for my frugality and my foresight for testing them out. 
As moms, we improvise. We get along. We make things work. And we make a lot of things up as we go along because, let’s face it, no manual is ever going to cover all the bases a real mom needs to touch. But if laughter and perspective and a renewed energy to face the day are what you’re after—if you too are a “real mom”—this is the book for you!
I am a real mom.  How about you?  While I've never gone so far as to spray paint myself a pair of gold shoes I have gone so far as to make things work with household items like tape and safety pins.  Some thing have worked out and some, well, not so much.  But isn't that what motherhood is all about?  Making things up as we go.  There is not one single right way to do everything and sometimes we just have to improvise, substitute or DIY.

In this book Real Moms: Making it Up as We Go, Lisa Valentine Clark (remember her?  from Pretty Darn Funny?), shares the ups and down of being the Mom.  Complete with rants and "side rants." Lisa offers the reader a humorous and insightful look at Mommyhood.  I found myself laughing along with her foibles and nodding my head yes emphatically over the things NOT to say!  She is a real mom and she helped me discover that I am a real Mom too and that that is a great thing.

Real Moms retails at as a paperbackbookshelf eBook and an audio book!  Don't forget that Deseret Bookshelf app is free and can be downloaded to Android and iPad devices!

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thank you Deseret Book!!

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