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Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Carried an Angel by Staci A. Luker

I Carried an Angel is a true story about the short life of Barrett, Staci's first son.  Although Barrett never got the chance to live life on this earth, he has inspired countless people about a life of sacrifice, and the love of Christ. Through the heartbreak of learning about his death, to the days that followed, Staci has been able to share her family's love for Barrett and bring about a way to keep his name alive.
Each chapter follows Staci's journal of how she and her family learned to cope with the unspeakable tragedy.

When I first sat down to read the book, I grabbed a box of kleenex fully expecting to use it. Although the heartbreak is there, and as a mom, I found myself struggling to imagine what they went through, the book was different then I expected. Of course there are parts that were hard to read, but what was amazing was the focus while on the situation, brought about incredible joy of the Lord. Staci shares with us how Barrett's death caused her focus to be on Christ and in sharing it with others.

What I loved was how honest the book reads. It never sugar coated the feelings of despair, but allowed us to see that through Christ we can do all things, even things we never imagined we could conquer.

Barrett's Blankets is a ministry that Staci started because of her wishing she had the blanket from the time she held Barrett. Figuring others would benefit from it also, she began knitting wonderful blankets to share with other grieving parents. Before long, it was a huge success and she was able to not only share a blanket, but the message of Christ! You can find out more about it HERE

With how firmly planted in trusting God the family is, Barrett's short life will ultimately bring a multitude to Jesus. Barrett will never be forgotten.

Find out more about Staci on her blog at

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Giveaway for It Works! Basket worth $75

A wonderful opportunity to check out It Works! Great Products! 934078_604496312894814_2082911019_n.000(1) What a unique and different way to experience the excitement of weight loss or losing inches! Special thanks to Kelly, an It Works! Independent Distributor for sharing this cool new product line with our readers in this awesome giveaway! You can read the full review from Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou here. Per her website: Independent.Distributor "It Works! Global offers one-of-a-kind, safe, effective, and affordable products that will change your life. Our products are formulated by leading scientists, herbalists, and researchers who integrate innovative technology, strict quality standards, and the finest in diverse, natural ingredients into their work. The end results? A one-of-a-kind body contouring line, top-notch nutritional supplements, and a specially formulated skin care line that safely nourish your body and enhance your life. Our Ultimate Body Applicator tones, tightens and firms in as little as 45 min. Loyal Customers can purchase a pack of 4 applications for $59!" Have you ever tried the Ultimate Body Wrap or other products from the It Works! line of items? Well now you can! Kelly has been extremely generous and is offering to do a giveaway of a Pampering Basket with free wrap session and other goodies to one of my lucky readers! Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck to each of you!


Prize: Get ready to indulge yourself with this awesome Pampering Basket filled with goodies from It Works! including a free wrap session, a facial, samples of berry greens and defining gel and some recipes . Valued at $75! Location: United States residents Age: 18 years of age or older. Date: 7/25/2013 - 8/8/2013 at midnight. a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews was not compensated for this post except for a link on the giveaway form. This giveaway is not associate with Facebook in any way. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Special K Nourish treats!

As part of I received a package full of goodies! This is a new Special K selection.
My package contained oatmeal in 3 varieties (Cranberry Almond,Maple Brown Sugar Crunch, and Cinnamon Raison Pecan)and 3 snack/fruit bars( all Cranberry Almond).

In general I have loved any Special K product I have tried. In the case of the Nourish Oatmeal, I found it full of flavor. The container has the fruit and nuts separate where you add it in at the end. I feel this is a great idea because you can put just the desired amount in. I started out on the first one adding all the nuts. This proved to be a little much for me. I had a hard time tasting much besides the nutty flavor. My son tried the Maple Brown Sugar one and had it without the nuts. He thought it had a great flavor.

The snack bars to me had a odd taste to them. I tend to be picky when it comes to these kinds of bars, and to me it was missing something. I gave one to my son and he said he really enjoyed the taste. He has claimed the other bar!

I will definitely purchase the oatmeal as part of our regular breakfast choices. I might try another flavor of the snack bars to give them another chance.

Disclosure: I received everything in the pictures in order to do this review. No other compensation was given. My reviews are always honest and my own opinion.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ozeri Green Earth textured Pan

The Green Earth textured ceramic frying pan uses GREBLON, from Germany, which is a ceramic coating which allows a wonderful non-stick action and is completely free of PTFE, PFOA and other harmful chemicals. They also require less oil when cooking and are very easy to clean! 
The textured bottom of the pan allows for heat transfer which cuts down on the cooking time.

We love to cook up tacos and fajita's at our house. What I dislike is all the clean up that usually occurs from cooking the meat. What I was interested in especially upon trying this pan was whether the clean up process was actually a breeze as they claim. They were 100% correct! It was amazing. All I needed was warm water and soapy rag and it came off with no trouble. No cleaning brush or sponge needed!

The handle is made of silicon which is great. I will say though, that if you have the handle over another burner which is still on (yes, this is from personal experience!) but there's no pan on it, the handle gets extremely hot.  During the cooking process however, it helps keep the handle safe to touch.

I think this will be my new favorite every day pan! It's a pretty green color too which helps make it unique.

You can find the pan for your own personal kitchen at

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Devotions frorm Exodus (Part 1) by Nicole Halbrooks Vaughn

I was excited to learn that I'd have the opportunity to check out another of Nicole Halbrooks Vaughn's devotionals. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the devotion from Genesis(review on blog) and was sure this one would have the same feel to it. I was not disappointed.

The Devotion from Exodus part 1 is filled with wonderful descriptions of each of the chapters.  The basic structure of the book is similar to Genesis. Each chapter is full of relevant material helping to bring the Bible to life. There are personalized prayers throughout which allows us to draw closer to God and gives us a starting block for our own prayer life.

This book takes us from Israel's bondage to their freedom in God. Learn how important this freedom is.

What is truly inspiring in this devotional is how it helps to open our eyes to details we might otherwise overlook. Instead of just glossing over the chapters with superficial information, this devotional really digs deep into the truth of Exodus and brings it to us clearly. I found myself learning things I never knew before. I especially enjoyed the focus on Moses's mom. The story of Moses is one most people have heard many times, but here we see more on what Moses's mom was like and her true part in the story.

This book is a great way to spend time in the word, and realize the truths in the Bible. You do not want to miss out on this!

Here is a direct line to where you can find the ebook now at Tate Publishing!

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of the book in exchange for a review. My reviews are always honest and are my own opinions.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Above and Beyond by Sandra Brown

Kyla's husband Richard was killed in a terrorist attack while overseas. As Kyla is trying to catch a breath and move on with her young son, she finds herself drawn to a man she doesn't realize she knows.

Trevor was a soldier alongside Richard. By a stroke of coincidence, Richard ends up dying in the bunk where Trevor normally would have been. To aid his recovery, Trevor finds himself reading, and re-reading the love letters to Richard from Kyla. When he finds himself in love with her, he devises a plan to meet her.

While they are getting to know each other, Trevor is holding back a huge secret that could ruin everything. There is something Kyla doesn't yet know and Trevor hopes will never know.

Through a series of events, we follow them through struggles, love,  trust issues and finally the truth. Can they survive what secrets lie in the past or will it keep them from a lasting love?


This story will keep you engaged from beginning to end. It is full of creative plot lines which pull you into the story. There is great depth to the story which allows us to visualize realistic people and situations. When reading this book I found myself with many different emotions from disliking Trevor for keeping the secret, to wanting Kyla to forgive him, to laughing alongside the actions of a toddler.
You will not be disappointed with Above and Beyond. Again Sandra Brown has brought us a hit!
I have lost count of how many times I have read this book over the years. Certain books just fit in a way that brings you back time and again. This is that book!
You can find the book for yourself here at

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. I had the book in my personal collection. My reviews are always honest and my opinions are my own.

Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter

When Tucker meets Sabrina while she is working at the local cafe, he decides he has to get to know her. When he overhears about an online group she is a part of, he joins and finds her. Disguised by their online user names, they begin to email back and forth. Throughout daily emails, they begin to learn about each other and create a unique bond.
Although Tucker and Sabrina talk at the cafe, Sabrina has not let Tucker in on her secret. When he asks  for help in locating his mystery online woman, the woman he loves, Sabrina has to make drastic choice. Can she spend time alone with Tucker without letting him know she has fallen for him? If someone else helps him in his search, they will definitely find out her most kept secret...which is something she does not want happening. How could she ever face Tucker if he was to find out that the woman he loves is her?


Seaside Letters is part of a group of books based in Nantucket. What we find in this book is a refreshing look at love. It pulls from a place inside of all of us, the part of us that wants to be loved.
Although our stories are different, this book is relatable and authentic. I found myself connecting with the characters and wanting things to work out for them. From the main characters right down to the supporting characters
The book is very well-written. There is great depth of characters and descriptive in a way that draws us in where we can picture exactly where they are. This is a book I have read multiple times and will read again I'm sure. I highly recommend reading this book. Plan for a late night of reading:)
You can find Seaside Letters for sale HERE

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. This book came from my own personal book collection. My reviews are always honest and my opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Disconnected by Bethany Daniel

I was excited to have the chance to read a copy of Disconnected. This is the "guys" side to the story of
Reconnected.   In Disconnected, we find the story from Liam's point of view.
What is interesting is that while the story is similar, it still has a different or opposing side to it. While we were able to connect to Katy is Reconnected, we find ourselves learning more about Liam's feelings in this story.

When Liam is approached by Hollywood, his new wife Katy decides the party life is not for her. She takes off one night during another party where she feels Liam is ignoring her. As we learn in this book, his love for her is not at all on the back burner. He loves her, he's just adjusting to dealing with this new life along with realizing what it takes to be a husband.
After four long years, they meet again and discover their love again and learn to follow the adventures life throws at them.

As we see Liam determined not to lose his wife again, we all can find some way of relating to the feelings brought about. Although I occasionally felt like I was reading the same book, I enjoyed the fact that we find more depth in the characters in this book. We begin to really fall in love with the characters and can imagine the places they will go and look forward to following them along on the journey.

I feel the author has some great stories and look forward to more in the future!
You can find my full review also of Reconnected on my blog.

Disclosure: I received an ebook copy of Disconnected in order to do this review. No other compensation was given. My reviews are always honest and my own opinion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble

Amy has decided to return to Hope Beach to investigate the death of her brother Ben. Although reports have his death listed as a surfing accident, Amy is sure there is more to it. She is determined to find out the truth.  When she meets Curtis, she finds that he also has lost a loved one. He lost his sister in an accident and is now raising his niece for her.
Curtis agrees to help Amy in her investigation which leads them into dangerous territory. What they find is not at all what they could have imagined. Finding themselves on opposite sides of the situation causes them to really look into their new found relationship. Can they manage to work together, and  trust each other enough to survive the truth that they find?


My first thought is WOW! This book was better than I could have imagined. Rosemary Cottage is book 2 in the Hope Beach series. I already had read book 1 so I had a little knowledge of the area and some characters I hoped would be woven into the story somehow.
This book is full of wonderfully created characters. There is great depth into the characters pasts and lives creating people we can view as relatable and come to love.
The mystery surrounding the deaths of Amy and Curtis's loved ones is of course the center of the story. All I can say is you won't be disappointed. I was surprised by the twists and turns within the search for the truth. I was drawn in to the story and didn't want to stop reading!
There were some great characters who were not the main focus but whom I would love to see if future books. These are ones I found myself wondering what their futures would be and how the truths found would affect all the characters later on.
Although I recommend reading the books in order, it's not necessary to understand what is going on. You will however get a better sense overall of Hope Beach by seeing it from the beginning.

You can find the book for yourself at

Disclosure: I received a print copy of this book from in exchange for a review of the book. I was not required to give a positive review. My reviews are always honest and my opinions my own.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Game Giveaway!

Enjoy some quality family time!

RoosterFin games were designed and created by a former teacher. They are designed to be fun and educational at the same time. RoosterFin offers games for different ages and they can be found by visiting their website HERE.

Staci at Luker Family Tales was able to review the game "Color Slap" from RoosterFin. You can read her review HERE. If you want to learn more about the different games offered by RoosterFin or find a retailer near you, then click  HERE and check it out on their website. You can also find more information there about how the company was started.

RoosterFin is giving away one of their games to one lucky reader. The winner will be able to have their choice of games from: PongCano, Shufflin' Feet, Masheroo!, Monkeys Up, or Color Slap. Winner must be a US resident who is 18 years or older. Winner will be contacted via email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews and Luker Family Tales were not compensated for this post. Prize fulfillment is solely the responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. This giveaway is in no way associated with any social media platform.  

Monthly Mayhem Giveaways!

Amazing Giveaways going on! Check it out!

Welcome to Mommy Lesson Plans Monthly Mayhem!


I cannot forget my wonderful co-hosts!

An Ordinary Housewife, Little Angel on a Mission, Craft Cravings, Tiny Tidbits of an NC Diva, & Savory Savings

Let's get to the nitty gritty!

The event begins on July 15th. You have two weeks to enter any of the giveaways. On Tuesday July 30th, we will be having an online party at Mommy Lesson Plans. It will be in chat form. We will play trivia games that will earn you extra entries to prizes. The event will run from 8:00 ~ 2:00 PST. If you can not attend the event, this will not prevent you from winning. You just won't have the extra entries. Due to the Nature of this event, each prize needed to have it's own giveaway tool. This allows you to choose which prizes you prefer to win. (The follow pages are the same on all of the GT's, so once you do them on one GT, it's easy to enter them on another.) Our sponsors have been VERY kind so please stop by and show them a little love or purchase a product that piques your interest! Mommy Lesson Plans has reviewed most of the products listed so feel free to head to the site and read up on all of these wonderful prizes!

Click on the prize to enter the giveaway.

Sponsor Giveaway
Escape Monthly A gift box
Fou Fou Pet A Fou-Stick
Lindsay Boudinot from Just Jewelry Gift certificate
The Matching Dot Big Chloe dress
Money Savvy Generation A Money Savvy Pig
So Beautifully Broken Gift Code
Megan Goins from Silpada $25 gft certificate
Style Lately YOU Nite Shirt
Tom & Teddy A boy's swimsuit
Wax Vac A Wax Vac
Wugadogs A wugadog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island by Cara C. Putman

This is part two of  the Waterfront weddings book.  I have enjoyed being able to bring you both stories! I felt that providing the stories into separate reviews would give a unique and special look at both of them. 

In this story, Alanna is returning home to Mackinac Island after being away for 11 years. She fled after a terrible tragedy occurred putting her brother Trevor wrongly in the hot seat of suspicion. Now Alanna's father has been hospitalized and her mom is in need of help running the family painting shop.

Not only did Alanna leave her family all those years ago, she also left Jonathan, the man she loved for many summers. When she runs into him immediately upon her return, she tries to avoid him. Her plan is to get back out of town as fast as she can. Circumstances keep bringing them together and finally she starts to relax and remember why she loved him before.

While she is on the island, she finds herself determined to clear her brothers name.  In digging up dirt surrounding a teen's death, she finds herself at odds with many people from her past.  When things come to light which affect her family, she turns to Jonathan for help. He is an encouragement to her and stands by her side. When their search turns up a murder, they find themselves not only suspects, but also in danger from the real culprit.  Together they fight to the end.


When I first started reading the story, I was expecting it to focus on weddings and romance. While there was romance involved, the story revolved more around dealing with the past, mystery and suspense. 
The story had a slow start to it for me. I almost put it down, but I am so glad I didn't. The story pulls you in to the web of secrets in a way that you feel intertwined and can't get out. This is a great story. There are great characters and the author does a great job of developing the characters into people you can completely relate to.  There are many times when you find Alanna in situations very relatable. Not only is it a great overall story, but there are many parts which make you think of what you might do in her circumstances. 
The ending will also take you by surprise which is great!  Check this book out, you won't be disappointed.

You can find the book here at

Disclosure: I received an ebook copy of Waterfront Weddings from in exchange for the review. No other compensation was given. My reviews are always honest and my own.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cover Reveal of Disconnected by Bethany Daniels

Book: Disconnected
Author: Bethany Daniels
DATE: Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Reminder - Your post must be live by 7am (EST) time in the USA

Disconnected Blurb:
Liam and Katy were high school sweethearts. Shortly after they graduated they ran off to Vegas to get married. Liam does theater acting and it's there that he is discovered by Excite Entertainment and flown to L.A.
Once he's in L.A his marriage takes the backseat to rubbing elbows with Hollywood's biggest and brightest. One night Liam throws a big party and Katy comes into their house filled with half dressed women. When Katy says she's going to leave, Liam doesn't believe her until he comes home from filming and finds a note that tears him apart.
Four years later, he's tried to move on but never let go of the love he has in his heart for his Katy. It's in a little town they are filming in that their paths cross again and Liam has to try and convince Katy that their love is worth fighting for

Book One: Reconnected Blurb: A fast paced love story! 

Katy Warren thought her life was perfect. Then her new husband, and also highschool sweetheart, gets discovered while theater acting and gets swept away to Hollywood. Once there, things change. Liam throws himself into the Hollywood life and ignores Katy.
One night after a particularly crazy party, Katy can't take it anymore and leaves Liam and his celebrity behind but doesn't get an official divorce.
Four years later, Liam goes to Georgia for filming and crosses paths with Katy again. But now she's just Kate and she has a boyfriend and she doesn't want anything to do with her marriage. Liam has other plans.
Reconnected purchase links:
Paperback -

Author Bio:
Bethany Daniel lives in Texas with her husband and 2 boys. She enjoys reading, photography and of course, writing. When she's not doing that she spends a lot of time chasing her 3 and 4 year old!

Author links:
Twitter: @author_bethanyd

Disclosure: I am part of a group to help promote the cover reveal of the author's new book.