New Spring Reads! Mystery, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, & an Instant Pot Cookbook!

Forget all that spring cleaning, because I’ve got a new bouquet of books that are worth leaving your mop and broom behind for. So find your nearest lounge chair, a big glass of lemonade, and grab one of these titles. In the bunch there is contemporary fiction, mystery/thrillers, historical fiction, and even a surprise cookbook for new Instant Pot owners.  


From the author of "Girl on the Train" comes this much anticipated follow up novel. This is another twisting and turning plot with multi-voiced narration, and will please Hawkins fans, and mystery lovers alike.

Authentic Holocaust survival story loosely based on the author's own family experiences, this book is staggeringly accurate and extremely moving. Fans of well written historical fiction do not miss this one.

Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this story of finding love and joy again after a great loss will have you cheering for its lovable characters, and feeling renewed with hope. Great book club choice. 

Coined as "a mix of Beaches and  Thelma and Louise," this debut centers around the story of some small town women headed for the bright lights of NYC. Emotional and honest portrayal of life long female friendships. 

For fans of The Nightingale and Light Between the Oceans comes another historical fiction gem centered around WWII, but this time the high society of German Bavaria. Credible reflection of war, loss, survival, and love. 

You'll never look at your neighbors the same way again after this gripping page turner. A truly shocking thriller, plan to stay up late to finish this debut, probably in one sitting. Suspenseful doesn't even begin to describe this one.

Speaking of thrillers, hold on to your bookmarks folks, because you won't need one for this book. A spine tingling, goosebump producing plot will have you unable to stop reading this one. Gardner is a master mystery storyteller keeping you guessing until the very end. 

Set in Civil War time and touching on the issues of racial divide, love, and southern themes,  this haunting tale is told entirely through letters and diary entries. A clever mystery adds to the accurate historical portrayal of the times. 

Debut thriller set in the roasting Australian outback, this book starts with the savage murder of a mother and her young son. Follow the woman's childhood friend turned detective as he tries to find the killer. You won't believe who did it! 

Pulitzer Prize winner Strout is back with the complex cast of characters, and the many dramas of their lives. Lucy Barton (from My Name is Lucy Barton) even makes an appearance in this deeply moving book that covers themes of love, yearning, and family ties. 

Still wondering how to use your new electric pressure cooker? Start here! With gorgeous illustrations and step by step directions, clear how-to's on pressure cooking, and plenty of easy and delicious dinners, this is a must have for Instant Pot owners. 

Do the Words "Science Fair" Send You Into a Panic? No Worries, Because Science Fair S.O.S. Will Save Your Sanity

“Mom, my science project is due tomorrow!”

No other sentence can send parents everywhere into a frenzied panic than that one. Oh science project season how I do NOT love thee! (And I’m betting I’m not alone on this.)

It seems school projects, especially traditional science fair projects, have taken on a life of their own as of late. What was once a small school assignment that could easily be put together in an hour or two (and with minimal crafting talent), has seemingly turned into a six week long project. There are very specific forms to complete, official processes to endure, and a very particular set of standards and concepts that all final project boards must adhere to. 

Listen, I'm all for my child discovering the scientific process,  conducting experiments, and in the name of innovation possibly inventing the world’s next must have gadget. I believe the step by step process over a longer length of time teaches planning, time management, and helps students set long term goals and objectives.  But I can’t help but wince when I hear the words “science project,” knowing full well that I will have many late nights and most likely a few arguments with my child over the how-tos and final board construction. 

Science Fair S.O.S. sample planning guide.

Basically, we’re both going to need some outside help.

This is where Science Fair S.O.S. comes in. Like it’s namesake, this website is here to throw you and your child a science project life raft, right before you drown into the abyss of rubber cement and hypothesis covered index cards. It is the brainchild of the website, which specializes in posterboard accessories, including poster markers, poster lettering, decorative items, and innovations to make easier, faster,and better, poster projects. But Science Fair S.O.S. is not simply a website for purchasing poster board accessories, it is your all in one stop for all things science fair HELP, and should be your first stop when you begin the science fair process.

At S.O.S., you will find a project planning calendar, presentation tips, science fair experiment ideas,  an emergency last minute guide, as well as pages of actual science fair board examples.  You’ll have access to their poster accessories store which offers a plethora of lettering, board decorations, craft tools, and even light, sound, and motion effects that can easily be added to your project board. There are plenty of along the way tips, planning guides, video tutorials, and even a helpline you can call to reach an actual person who can offer solutions to your project problems. 

In a word, this is the science fair lifeline you cannot live without. 

Don’t let the experience of creating a science fair project with your child be one of frustration, angst, and despair. That is the last thing science educators want the experience to be. Instead, make the planning and preparation easy and enjoyable by both you and your child with Science Fair S.O.S., and let the fair awards come rolling in. 

7 Books to Help You Find Joy, Grace, and Peace with Christ This Easter Season

Spring is right around the corner, and with often comes the urge to purge and clean up our homes. But what about cleaning out our hearts and minds? Now is also the perfect time to seek spiritual renewal, and this list of Christian non-denominational titles  geared specifically toward women, mothers, and grandmothers, will help you when seeking higher meaning during these spring days. It's time to see your joy bloom, not just your flower beds. 

Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love by Rachel Macy Stafford.  Stafford is the author of the bestsellers "Hands Free Mama" and "Hands Free Life," and knows all too well the stresses placed on motherhood. This book is meant to be read in bits and pieces, and need not be started at the beginning. Part devotional, part inspiration, Only Love will help you learn to live with more intention, and less frustration.

Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want by Maria Goff
Maria is wife to Bob Goff, author of the bestseller "Love Does." This is from a wife's point of view, and tells of the many incredible journeys they have shared as a family, while teaching the importance of living and loving right where you are at, accepting grace, and to stop comparing. 

You Are Free, Be Who You Already Are by Rebekah Lyons  
Ready to overcome the exhaustion of trying to be someone you're not just because you want to please others? Tenderly written, this is a good follow up to Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way."  Learn to embrace the freedom of perfection because Christ has already given you the best freedom of all- grace. 

Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen 
Calling all "Type A" personalities, ready to stop trying so hard? Me too. Beautifully written book to help release you from the stresses of self-induced perfection, and introduce you to the grace that Jesus offers you, knowing that you are enough for Him. 

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott
Lamott has the great talent of being able to write inspirationally deep content, but filled with humor and honesty that will have you both laughing and reaching deep into your soul at the same time. Library Journal has already coined this latest book of hers as one "not to be missed." I couldn't agree more.

The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us by Sarah Arthur and Erin F. Wasinger
Two families embrace on a year long experiment to live out their faith as strongly and radically as they can, instead of waiting for the "right" time to do it. Somewhat of a field guide to living out the teaching of Mother Teresa, by doing small things but with great love, but very relatable and how to do those things living in suburbia. 

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren 
Wake up, make breakfast, wash clothes, go to work, eat dinner, go to bed. Where is Jesus in all of this? Well, He is closer than you think. By exploring all the small and overlooked things in our days and redefining them through the eyes of Christ,  this book will have you reexamining the sacredness and beauty of living an ordinary life.