Friendship, marriage and love – life on the trail

Have you been blessed with a long friendship? My longest one has lasted since I was eleven and no I am not going to tell you how old I am now! Figure it out if you can. She is seventeen years older than me and into her seventies.  I had the privilege of being her bridesmaid, and she talked me into wearing a dress. Horror of horrors as I only ever wore skirts to school and just under pain of death. Dresses/shirts got in the way of climbing trees, playing football and generally rummaging around.

I reckon I would have been suited to life on the trail with the pilgrims in Caryl McAdoo’s book Gone to Texas.  Knowing how to make and light a fire, change a wheel on my bicycle, make things out of junk. Skills I enjoyed along with improvising. But I never improvised with friendship.

In Gone to Texas seventeen souls “joined by blood and friendship” travel together to the promised land, will their friendship survive? Continue reading below for my review.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - Friendship

My Penny’s Worth

“Wagons roll” a blast from my childhood past that blared out from the television. So different from the history of England with our Kings, Queens and Knights in shining armour. I love the simplicity of the American Wild West. Caryl McAdoo’s book Gone to Texas reminded me of that past era. The pilgrimages made by ordinary people to find the promise land.

The Characters make the book

Throw a few families together add a widower and slave, mix it up with secrets and sins, and you have a journey of revelations, forgiveness and redemption. As the wagons roll friendship, marriage and love vie for centre stage.  I felt each character’s vulnerability at times as well as their great strength.

Yes I chuckled at one point

There is a scene: “The ladies gasped in unison, including Alicia. Uncle Laud spoke up, ‘Shot him dead? Mercy!’ ‘Over politics?’ I had to smile.

#amreading Gone to Texas @CarylMcAdoo #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet
The skill of the writer

Caryl McAdoo had me walking alongside the wagons listening into the conversations, holding hands with anticipation. Travelling with these souls as they journeyed onwards to the land of hope. Within the pages, you will find secrets and sins, forgiveness and redemption. These pilgrims walk the path of pain and sorrow while trying to hold onto their friendships.

Yes, there are disasters, it is the 1840’s and travelling by wagon takes months to get to a destination. There are no fast trains to catch back then. Just as I am getting comfortable by the fire with my friends, Ms McAdoo takes the mat from right under my feet.

“The thunder rolled over her heart, and the lightning flashed in her mind, and the rain wet her cheeks every time she found herself alone.”

The life of a pilgrim is tough. And it gets tougher.

“He slumped down to the base of the tree. Her lantern snuffed out, just like his life would be without her. There’d be no light. Tears filled his eyes.”

What are you doing to me?

“He looked skyward. ‘Please, Father, give me the desires of my heart.’”

Does God? My emotions are rung, I want to know what Caryl McAdoo has in store for them all.  But like you dear reader you will have to wait, you to read the book and me for the next in the series.

Does their friendship survive? He he, I can’t tell you 🙂

I am sore from the hardwood of the wagon seat, but I hope you will get on board and read this book.

Thank you, Caryl, for writing this book. I’d like to give it 4****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

If you liked my book review please comment and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

This book review was brought to you today by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - Friendship

Book Title: Gone to Texas

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: September 6, 2018

Can beauty truly come from ashes?

Deception drives seventeen souls to hard choices. Either stay on the land they thought they’d bought or heed the lure of free land in the faraway wilderness of a new Republic. Rife with peril and hardship, three families knit together by blood and friendship head out with a widowed man, daughter, and his slave, gambling everything they own on the prospect of land ownership and working it together. Does friendship pave a way to marriage? Can puppy-love survive through a harrowing journey to blossom into a forever lover? With duress at every turn, can the clan stay together all the way to Texas and accomplish their goals?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - FriendshipTop priority is God’s glory, and that’s exactly what Caryl McAdoo prays her stories will bring. To entertain and draw readers into a closer walk with Him is next. A quick check of stars and reviews attest to the success of this award-winning, best-selling author—all by the Father’s faithfulness. Besides writing, she loves singing praises, including the new songs He gives her! Visit her YouTube channel. Ron, her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live on thirty-four acres ‘The Peaceable’ in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post from Caryl

As much as I hated leaving the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales and the Red River Valley, I loved starting this fresh Family Saga series with all new characters! GONE TO TEXAS is Book One of the Cross Timber Romances and features three families—the O’Neals, Van Zandts, and Worleys—joined by blood and friendship through Liberty O’Neal. Laud Worley is her little brother and Mallory Van Zandt, her best friend since school days.

Together, they’d traveled south to settle in Tennessee and were about to harvest their first cotton crop that fall in 1840 when they discovered the deed to their land—the land they’d spent all their pooled savings on—was forged and no-good.

New horizons

The legal owner graciously allows them to stay through harvest, taking his portion of their labor and cottonseed. At the gin, Seve Van Zandt hears rumors of Texas, a new Rebublic out west, offering free land to pioneers willing to tame its wildlands. This first story—book one—is all about their journey to the new country filled with hope and dreams.

A hired widower who with his daughter and slave helped harvest the clan’s cotton asked to join them on their journey, and so, on that faithful September morn, seventeen souls set out after they hung a hand painted sign on one of the cabins they left behind. “Gone to Texas”!

A book amongst books

Another very special thing about this novel, one hundred twelve thousand words—about three hundred fifty pages, is that it is also book one in a brand new collection! The Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Collection that includes stories from eight other authors besides me: Lena Nelson Dooly, Heather Blanton, Kristin Holt, Kit Morgan, Suzette Williams, Pauline Creeden, George McVey, and Lynette Sowell!

All nine books will have Thanksgiving Dinner with family around the table, giving thanks to God for all his blessings. I’ve noticed many series launched in December, but Thanksgiving is my favorite. I love giving thanks to the Lord!

And as always, I pray my story gives God glory, and that its readers will be drawn closer to Him through it. He blesses and highly favors me daily. I cannot thank or praise Him enough!

Thank you, too, for reading my stories, reviewing my stories, and participating in the most AWESOME CELEBRATE LIT‘s Blog Tour!!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 11

Captive Dreams Window, September 12

proud to be an autism mom, September 12

Inklings and notionsSeptember 13

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 13

cherylbbookblog, September 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Janices book reviewsSeptember 16

Abba’s prayer warrior princess, September 17

Carpe Diem, September 17

Creating Romance, September 18

Madeline Clark, September 18

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 19

The Mimosa Blossom, September 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

Back Porch Reads, September 21

Bibliophile Reviews, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Godly Book Reviews, September 24

BigreadersiteSeptember 24



Coffee, life and encouragement on the island couch

Rebeccas legacy FB Banner copy

Raise your coffee mugs to Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens

I prefer tea, but coffee is the tipple of my guest Betty Thomason Owens. So please raise your cups, glasses and reusable containers to the one and only Betty T Owens.

Come on over Betty to the Desert Island couch. It’s a pleasure to have you with me today. Let’s all give Betty a huge round of applause. Ok smart alec over there, yes you clapping in a circular motion! 🙂

You are on tour with Celebrate Lit promoting Rebecca’s Legacy –  I hope that is going well. And because you are doing this tour I get to whisk you off to my desert island. I hope you like your time here.

Betty – Thank you for inviting me, Margaret.

Let’s get started then.

This is Author Interview 31
My first question is…

Who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

Betty I hope it’s my husband because I can’t imagine life without him. We’ve been married forty-four years, and still like each other’s company.

Wow, that is a long time Betty. You don’t look old enough. You must tell me your secret. No, not here when we are back on the mainland!

I love this next question, people ask for the strangest things…

What luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?

Betty I’m dreaming that we’re off the coast of South America, and a shipment of gourmet coffee beans gets washed up, along with a French press. Do we have plenty of fresh water available? I hope so. I can easily imagine myself using stones to grind coffee beans. Then I can brew them over an open fire. I hope it’s not as much trouble building a fire as it was in Castaway, though. I may have to try “sun coffee” instead. ?

That sounds like a great name for a brand of coffee. You will find that the island has some wonderful waterfalls and natural springs where you can use the water. I can see that you are going to have a wonderful cottage industry up and running before you are rescued.

Let’s get bookish…

What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?

Betty Jane Eyre. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read it, but whenever I’m stuck, it’s my go-to. Charlotte Bronte’s story techniques inspire me. Jane’s quiet desperation and final dream-come-true romance is timeless.

A good English author Betty, I like your thinking 🙂 I can’t disagree with you there. Of course, Charlotte Bronte’s pen name was Currer Bell, and there was speculation about the identity and gender of the writer. There is an interesting article about Charlotte and her sister’s pen names here.

Can you share with us a pearl of wisdom?

You find a piece of paper with a pencil left behind from the previous Author who was shipwrecked here, what encouraging message would you leave for the next cast away?

BettyNever give up. God’s mercies are new every morning, be ready for the impossible to happen!

That is a great piece of advice Betty and one I hope my readers will take away with them. Thank you.

That all-important final question…

On the island you have time to think, can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?

BettySometimes I wonder why I became a writer. I certainly never set out to write. The desire, almost overwhelming, struck suddenly when I was in my thirties. My decision to pursue it seemed foolhardy. But I had all these stories inside my head and there’s nothing in the world like writing under inspiration, when you can’t seem to stop. You can write for hours until the story is all told and only then, maybe the characters’ voices will grow quiet long enough for a good night’s sleep. Then another story buds and blossoms and must be told.

It sounds like God gave you a wonderful gift of storytelling. I am so glad you haven’t hidden it under a bush. Please don’t go exploding all over the place on the island as you no doubt will be brimming with great ideas with all that quiet time on your hands. I think we better provide you with plenty of paper to write your ideas down.

Thank you, Betty, this has been such fun getting to know the author behind Rebecca’s Legacy. I hope we have given readers a desire to get to know you and your books better.

Betty – You’re welcome, thank you for having me.

Don’t forget Betty’s giveaway at the end of this post. You could win a $50 Amazon gift card.

And of course, if you liked this interview please make my day and send me a comment or two. Many thanks – Margaret

Rebecca's Legacy @batowens #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #interview & enter #free #giveaway $50 Amazon gift card Click To Tweet
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Betty Thomason Owens author of Rebecca's Legacy

Book Title:  Rebecca’s Legacy

Author: Betty Thomason Owens

Genre: Gentle Romance, 1950s Romance

Release date: August, 2018

What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress that the greatest legacy is love?

Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter Amy Juliana is doing her best to follow in Mom’s rebellious footsteps.

Her desperate attempt to escape Dad’s control comes at the worst possible time. A threat against their family and Sanderson Industries has Robert Emerson taking extra steps to guarantee his family’s safety. He sends Amy, an heiress and a debutante, to the country to work on a produce farm run by Aunt Rebecca. Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home, away from Dad’s protection.

Will Aunt Rebecca’s quiet strength and unconditional love be enough to still the prodigal daughter’s rebellious ways, and open her heart to the plight of others around her?

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to help keep his daughter in line. She thinks the guy is an old fuddy-duddy. By the time her ideas about him begin to change, it may be too late. When an old friend tests her loyalty, she is forced to face her past to overcome a guilty conscience. But, is she playing into the hands of the enemy?

About the Author

Betty Thomason OwensBetty Thomason Owens has been writing for almost thirty years. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. Her writing credits include Amelia’s Legacy and Carlotta’s Legacy, in the Legacy Series, Annabelle’s Ruth and Sutter’s Landing, in the southern historical Kinsman Redeemer Series. When she’s not writing, Owens is a part-time bookkeeper, who loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Remembrancy, August 12

Inklings and notions, August 13

Baker Kella, August 14

proud to be an autism mom, August 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 16

Reading is my Super Power, August 16 (Interview)

Janices book reviews, August 17

Bibliophile Reviews, August 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 19

Carpe Diem, August 20

A Baker’s Perspective, August 21

Power of Words, August 22 (Spotlight)

margaret kazmierczak, August 23 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, August 24



How to break toxic soul ties with Gods help

A toxic relationship

What could I tell my friend when her toxic boyfriend proposed to her after only knowing her for two months? I tried to reason with Sally, suggesting that it was too soon to talk about marriage, but I failed miserably. Sally longed to be in love, to love and be loved. Now heading for her forties, she believed she would never meet anyone. Then Terry arrived on the scene. I could see right through him, sadly Sally didn’t.


Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom BrownBroken from childhood experiences my friend couldn’t believe the lavish exploits Terry would go to win her over. Sally besotted by the attention fell hook line and sinker into the arms of an abusive marriage.

Terry’s story of an abusive childhood given at his court hearing a year later confirmed my original hunch that he was indeed a toxic soul. Sally did not survive the marriage and Terry went to prison.

Perhaps if Sally had read Tom Brown’s book Breaking Toxic Soul Ties, maybe she would be here today.

Breaking toxic banner Template copy

My Penny’s worth

Sally’s marriage failed because of the toxic soul ties. Two individuals both broken bringing unhealthy experiences into their relationship. Sally, a victim from her past and Terry, a victim, turned predator – a recipe for disaster, not marriage.

Toxic relationships are destructive

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom BrownTom Brown does not mince words. Toxic soul ties are destructive because it gives the devil a door into your life. If you wonder why people treat you like dirt or say mean things to you, then you need to read this book.There are solutions, but you need to be open to the truth that Tom Brown writes, primarily as they are based in the Word.

Breaking Toxic Soul Ties deals with relationships, rejection, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Tom Brown reminds the reader that “Jesus needed friends, and so He had soul ties with twelve apostles. He was very close to them. Yet even Jesus had a bad soul tie with Judas.” It was a friend who betrayed Jesus; if it could happen to the Son of God, then we have a mighty ally.

Standing on the truth

Throughout Breaking Toxic Soul Ties there are many truths to remember to challenge the bad soul ties. If I quoted them all, this review would be pages long, so I have pulled one from the pages referring to Judas. “Jesus did not let His hurt emotions change God’s plan for Him and us.” He put behind the hurt and moved on. This message comes over loud and clear throughout the book.

Putting relationships in their place

Knowing a person’s place in your life is another theme that is important and reminds us that we need to be wise in our relationships so that they are a blessing and a godly soul tie.

Did I like Breaking Toxic Soul Ties?

I wanted to read this book as I knew it would be uncomfortable reading at times but being challenged is important to our growth in God. Therefore I am glad that I read Tom Brown’s book and have many bookmarks to go back to ruminate on.

Who might benefit from this book?

If you are looking for inner healing and health, then I would recommend this book, however, be warned taking that step requires a willingness on your part to break the toxic soul ties in your life.

Thank you, Tom Brown, for writing this book and reaching out to the broken.

I would like to give this book 4 stars.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Tom Brown has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Breaking toxic

Title: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties: Healing from Unhealthy and Controlling Relationships

Author: Tom Brown

Genre: Non-fiction, relationships

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Soul Ties

Going through this world in relationship with other people inevitably creates connections in our inner being called soul ties. When these relationships are loving, supportive, and nurturing, positive soul ties are created. But if the relationships become abusive or manipulative, or cause rejection, they can create a toxic brokenness within the soul that we carry with us, even long after the relationship ends. If these toxic inner soul ties are not broken, we will experience failure, fractured relationships, and even health problems throughout life.

A way to freedom

In Breaking Toxic Soul Ties, Tom Brown describes his own story of rejection and the process of inner healing he experienced. He helps you to identify and diagnose toxic relationships as he breaks down the difference between positive and negative soul ties. He also shows why toxic soul ties develop and how they can only be broken by a process of inner healing through confession, forgiveness, and prayer. The truth is, unless your self-image is firmly rooted in the truth of your identity in Christ, you will always be susceptible to bad soul ties. Tom Brown describes the way for you to move forward in life and leave pain and brokenness behind for good!

About the Author

Tom Brown is best known for his deliverance ministry. Millions have seen him on ABC’s 20/20, as well as on MSNBC and the History Channel. He is a noted conference speaker, prolific author, and committed pastor. His award-winning Internet site,, reaches more than a million people a year. His books published by Whitaker House are Devil, Demons, and Spiritual WarfareBreaking Curses, Experiencing HealingPrayers That Get Results; and Spiritual Gifts for Spiritual Warfare. Tom is the founder and pastor of Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 27

Reading is my Super Power, February 27 (Interview)

AllofakindmomFebruary 28

proud to be an autism mom, February 28

Bibliophile Reviews, March 1

Texas Book-aholic, March 2

Carpe Diem, March 3

A Baker’s Perspective, March 4

A Reader’s BrainMarch 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 9

Margaret Kazmierczak, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsMarch 12

Bigreadersite, March 12


9ebb6008-0ebf-448a-a19c-749f425c6268In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Grand Prize Package: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, KJVER Study Bible, and “A Friend Loves at All Times” scented candle from Abba Jerusalem.

1st Prize

1st Place: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, God That Saves worship music CD from, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book and Colored Pencils.

2nd Prize

2nd Place: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book and Colored Pencils!!!

Click the link to enter!


How to derail my crazy life

How to derail my crazy life

Last July I wanted to know how to derail my crazy life. I didn’t want another tomorrow struggling. I yelled out imploring someone to give me the key to this knowledge. Alright, smart-aleck don’t tell me the answer is 42 as I won’t believe you. Computers lie!

My slimming world journey by Margaret Kazmierczak

So looking in the mirror back then, I sensed that “over the hill feeling” as I am onto my last year in my fifties. Or at least that is what my body kept telling me. I am not listening. Bodies lie trust me!

Then my mind told me I am too tired to try. Don’t buy into that either – minds can lie too.

Continue reading “How to derail my crazy life”

Seasons to focus, inspire and challenge your prayer life

A God for all seasons FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

My penny’s worth

A God of All Seasons

A God of All Seasons is a beautiful book with thought provoking messages across all the seasons of the year. The Meditations and their questions delve deeply and request the reader to take a step back and reflect on their own lives.

What I liked

What I liked about this book is that it is vulnerable. Both Authors take examples from their past and show us how these experiences help us draw nearer to our Creator. I felt a closeness to the Holy Spirit speaking through the pages as the reflection opened up areas in my own life that required healing.

A hug and a challenge

This book is both a hug and a challenge, and a must-read for those wanting to find closure to past hurts. Can we drop the stones that we throw at our mistakes and stand next to Jesus and BE-loved? Are we able to find a pebble marked GRACE that we can throw into the pond of life so that its ripples will expand and multiply?

Living with pain

Having Chronic Fatigue, I found comfort in the words, “The cross at the front of that church had stirred up thoughts and questions in my young mind. Pain must stand for something if the church placed it so prominently.”

I had not thought about pain in that way – it had only ever been a discomfort for me, a burden. Now when I go to a church, I will look at the cross and breath “we are one in this pain – it can only lead to the resurrection.”

Moving forward

The book urges us to go forward, “Sometimes we need to look back and remember before we fasten our seatbelt for what lies ahead. We need that backwards glance at the beloved moments scattered through our lives so we can escape from the pain that tries to entrap us.”

A book that needs more than one read

There are so many gems in this book that I could quote.  I have no doubt I will return to it again and again to find more encouragement and hope.

Thank you, Tammy and Amy, for writing such a beautiful and life changing book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Book

A God of All Seasons - a book review

Book title: A God of All Seasons

Author: TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann

Release date: August 28, 2017

Genre: Non-fiction

What if your spiritual life landed in the grip of a wintered soul? How does one’s faith survive?

Discover the beauty and challenge of spiritual seasons as Tammy & Amy remember parts of their stories in order to draw out your own. Learn to perceive God’s companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. And unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but one who also walks with you through them.”

Book Trailer Video:

About the Authors

T.H Mayer – After living in Asia and Europe, T.H. Meyer’s family planted roots on their Texas farm in 2008 where they live among fields of Rye and Bermuda. Tammy is a writer and creative strategist who also moonlights as a social media specialist. She’s the mother to three children and author of, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith and Social Media Strategies: Discovering Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul for Christian entrepreneurs manoeuvring the daunting and soul-sucking world of online marketing.

Join Tammy on her website: The Art of Fear Not: An Adventurous Life of Faith

Or stay in touch with her at:


Instagram: for personal photos and thoughts from home.


Or Twitter: & find out what’s on her Twitter “Lists.”

Amy Breitmann – Bio Amy weaves together ministry and writing alongside her husband and two children in Augusta, GA. She is a writer, speaker, and founder of “The Lydia Project,” a national ministry for women facing cancer and is a storyteller for ViBella Jewelry, an international company that employs artisans in Haiti and Mexico. Her published works include pieces in Chicken Soup of the Soul, Mosaic: Sojourners of Faith, and Guideposts Magazine.

Blog Stops

August 10: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 11: A Baker’s Perspective

August 12: Just Jo’Anne

August 13: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 13: Splashes of Joy

August 13: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

August 14: A Reader’s Brain

August 15: autism mom

August 16: Captive Dreams Window

August 16: autismchristianmom

August 17: Karen Sue Hadley

August 18: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 19: Bigreadersite

August 20: Eat,Read,Teach,Blog

August 21: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 22: Breaking Ordinary

August 23: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

August 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations