Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm in a giving mood! NEW CONTEST!

I'm in a giving mood and I realized that I have not hosted a book giveaway in awhile. Therefore here you have one! 

P.S. Due to formatting, you may have to hit the "Tab" key to complete the form. If you  know how I can fix this formatting issue, please advise! :)


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Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer

Paradise ValleyParadise Valley by Dale Cramer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in the 1920's, Caleb Bender and four of his Amish brothers face the challenges of raising their children in an American Amish society. They are incredibly misunderstood and because of that and the Bing Act, Caleb and his neighboring brothers spend five nights in jail for not sending their children to public school. During their imprisonment, these children are also ripped from their homes and everything they know and love and are sent to foster homes. The men decide to comply with the Bing Act and are subsequently released. Caleb isn't about to have that so when he spots an opportunity to buy land in Mexico for $10 an acre, he jumps on the chance. Leaving behind all his neighbors and some family, he moves his family from  the demanding clutches of an Ohio government to Mexico where he has to start from scratch. Along the way, his faith is challenged in ways he would have never imagined. Would it have been better to stay in Ohio?

It's been awhile since I've read any Amish fiction but as always, I find it enjoyable. The Amish ways intrigue me more so than most other religions. They are such simple people, yet in my mind, so complicated. I know that I could never live the way of the Amish today knowing what I know of modern conveniences.

The one thing that struck out at me the most from this delightful read is the use of various languages. This was like a mini-language course in some respects. The book is written in English but has phrases in High German, Dutch, Spanish, and Nahuatl. I appreciate the author's research and use of the various words from this time.

*************SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT!!!!************************

I eagerly await the next book in this series (The Daughters of Caleb Bender) and suspect that it will focus on Rachel and the surprise she receives at the end of this book!

This book is available for purchase on Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender) Amazon as well as other fine bookstores!

Many thanks to Bethany House for providing this copy for review!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall

Surrender the Heart (Surrender to Destiny, #1)Surrender the Heart by M.L. Tyndall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a first time reader of M.L. Tyndall. This won't be my last book by her! I could not put this book down!! Poor Marianne grabbed my heart right from the start. Who wouldn't feel sorry for a young girl who's whole life (and the lives of her mother and sister) depend on her marrying a wealthy sea merchant? Especially one who she doesn't love and he doesn't love her in return. Noah is one of those men who is going to have it his way and nothing will stop that. He leaves the engagement party to board his ship. What a man, eh?

M.L. Tyndall has written a book that doesn't give a "perfect world view" of the main characters. Marianne is described as rather plain and Noah doesn't sound all that attractive to me. Marianne is also a bit conniving and spunky too! However, I became more enamored with Lieutenant Reed and Luke. Even more than him, Mr. Weller absolutely stole my heart! The characters were so well developed that you feel like you know then as you read this tale of swashbuckling adventure!

I am definitely a fan now of M.L. Tyndall and I look forward to the next book in this series.

Many thanks to Barbour books for providing a copy of this book for review.

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The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas ListThe Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge story. Kiel is a very busy business man who has left his wife and son. He and his girlfriend have plans to steal away for the weekend at a quaint bed and breakfast in the mountains. He arrives early and waits...and waits...and waits. She never comes. The morning paper arrives and he sees his obituary. He supposedly died on the trip!

Comments are pouring in from all over the world about him. Comments that you don't want to read about yourself. The only nice ones? From his wife. Who he left. Who he served with divorce papers the day she had her first chemo treatment. What a jerk!

Kiel decides he wants to change things. After all, he's alive. Now he just has to convince others of that. He calls his secretary Linda and asks for a list of all the people who he's wronged in life. She returns with a list of 5 stating that these were the most affected. He sets out on a quest to right these wrongs and along the way, learns many valuable lessons.

This book was written out of an experience that the author had while still in school. His English teacher had him to write his own obituary. I have my students to do the same. It's a lesson in leaving legacies. What kind of legacy would you leave? What would you want others saying about you when you are no longer here?

I highly recommend this book. It didn't necessarily have to center around Christmas because the story could apply at any time. This book will make you consider choices you have made in this life. There is still time to make amends if you need to! Leave a legacy you'd be proud to read of in the paper!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by A.R Shickman

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country (Zan-Gah, #2)Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shickman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zan-Gah is so excited to have his twin, Dael, back home but he's not the same person he was when he disappeared a few years ago. Zan-Gah fell in love with the "Beautiful Country" of the Wasps when he was captive there. He wants to go back so he arranges for elders of his tribe to journey there to see if peace can be found amongst the various tribes. When they arrive in "Wasp-land", there is a horrible stench and death is evident. The Wasp people are gone. Zah-Gah decides to pursue moving the Ba-Caro tribe to this beautiful land. Along the way, division takes place because of Dael's instabilities, both from being held captive and tortured for a great many years and seeing his wife and child die right in front of him.

This book gives more background on Dael's captivity and allows you in his mind more than we saw in Zah-Gah A Prehistoric Adventure. One can truly see just how messed up he really is. Had Dael been alive today, he would have PTSD.

I feel sorry for Dael but then again I don't. He could have "manned up" and handled his problems better. I also don't have much sympathy for Zan-Gah as he could have done things differently as well. As I was hoping, Siraka-Finaka made an appearance in this book and is even more feisty than ever! She is still my favorite character in this series!

Thank you to Bonnie at Earthshaker Books for providing a review copy of both books in this series.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Secrets of a Christmas Box by Stephen Hornby

Secrets of a Christmas BoxSecrets of a Christmas Box by Steven Hornby

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you've ever wondered what happens on the Christmas tree when the family goes to sleep, this is the book for you! I also learned how my packages get those little rips in them just from sitting under the tree. It's a great way to start the holiday season reading one chapter a day right up until Christmas Day! At 25 short chapters, I envision families sitting around a fire next to the tree reading this festive story about Larry, Debbie, and Splint.

Larry is a snowman ornament who carries a tree shaped umbrella with him everywhere he goes. Debbie is an adorable reindeer who's a bit smitten with Larry. Splint is the newest ornament on the tree and is having a hard time finding a place to fit in. The tree is decorated and the family goes to bed so it's time for the "Awakening Ceremony". Larry is trying to find his brother Terrance but he's nowhere to be found. How could he have not made it to the tree this year? Larry is determined to leave the tree and find him even though it's totally against the rules. Debbie and Splint agree to help him out. Along the way, packages are torn, the evil white box purrs, and steps are mastered with a paperclip and yarn. Will Terrance be found? Can Larry, Debbie, and Splint survive this adventure into the unknown world away from the tree or the Christmas box? What happens when a mutiny happens on a Christmas tree?

I would advise parents on this one as it does become a bit violent towards the end. I wouldn't personally recommend reading this to youngsters under 8. I was going to read it to my 6 and 4 year olds and I'm glad now that I didn't before I read this. I know they would be terrified of the tree and would have nightmares as well. Otherwise, it's a great read for your yearly festivities!

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by A.R. Shickman

Zan-Gah:  A Prehistoric Adventure (Zan-Gah, #1)Zan-Gah:  A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zan is not your typical boy. He lives in a cave with his family and tribe. He hunts with a spear. He sounds pretty scary...especially when a youngster goes missing and neighboring tribes get together to kill the enemy...a huge lioness. Zan is raring to go but everyone says no. Like your typical child, Zan disobeys and goes anyway. Then he kills the lioness all by himself. It's then that he gains the respect of all the tribes in the area, especially his own. A highly respected tribal leader from a neighboring tribe gives him a name of distinction...Zan-Gah.

Zan's twin had been missing for quite some time (part of the reason why no one wanted him to fight the lioness). Zan-Gah now feels empowered to find his brother Dael. Of course, his parents are against this and he finally wins the argument. He will have to travel through many of the neighboring (and warring) tribes to find Dael. Along the way, he learns why the tribes are holding such grudges and almost becomes a victim of them. He has no idea how bad it really is until he meets Rydel and finds the Wasp tribe.

Will he find Dael? Does he survive the interesting Wasp people? Read this fascinating story to find out!

If there is one feature of this book that stands out it would be the vivid use of language and imagery. I felt like I was in the story and could picture the sights sounds, and smells with ease (ok, some smells I could have done without!)

I also have to mention my favorite character. Siraka-Finaka is a minor character but not one to be messed with!! Siraka-Finaka is Chul's wife and she is fill of spunk and spice. Not someone I'd want to battle for sure! I hope she'll show up again in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country!

Many thanks to Earthshaker Books for providing this book for review!

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Stupid Christmas by Leland Gregory

Stupid ChristmasStupid Christmas by Leland Gregory

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was not what I thought it would be when I downloaded it to my Kindle. However, I was looking for a Christmas themed book (trying to STILL get into the spirit this year!) so I chose this one to read. It's a collection of short stories and news clippings of events that have occurred involving a Christmas themes. Only a couple of the stories were humorous in my opinion but I did learn where some of the typical traditions originated. Fans of the popular Bathroom Reader series would enjoy this book as it is very similar in nature.

This was a free download for Kindle from Amazon.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

The Healer's ApprenticeThe Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was my first Kindle e-book purchase and I anxiously dived in after hearing many good things about it.

Rose is a young woman who is apprenticing under the town healer. Rose, however, does not like blood and cannot stand the smells associated with illness. What else is there for this young woodcutter's daughter to do?

Lord Hamlin has long been betrothed (since the age of 5 actually) to Lady Salomea. He's never met her because she's in hiding from the evil Moncure. Setting his sights on Rose gives him a bit of challenge though. Can he possibly be faithful to his betrothed or will his brother Lord Rupert win Rose's favor?

This is a spin-off so to speak of the story of Sleeping Beauty, only with a few twists. It is a good story but I did feel that the characters were lacking a bit. I wasn't really connected to any one character and became slightly bored with the story in the middle. It did pick up and had a very predictable ending that I figured out around the middle of the book. I do think young girls (8+) will enjoy this book as it gives hope for the fairytale ending.

I appreciate the author's note about how she came about developing this story and how she strived to keep to keep this book as historically accurate as possible. She is honest about a couple of areas where she knows she struggled in doing so.

I would have to say that the most discouraging thing to me about this book is that I never got a clear picture of what the characters looked like. I kept asking myself what each one would look like if I were to jump in the book and see them.

I do recommend this book and believe that the younger set will have a larger appreciation for this book!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Thoughts on the Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

As the CSFF Blog Tour wraps up, I wanted to leave you my final thoughts on The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers.

This book was getting four stars from me until the last chapter. Once reading this book, I gave it 5 stars and a standing ovation (really, I did!) I don't think I've ever given a book a standing ovation before!! 

Grady only knows himself as a feechie (for more information on this, please refer to YouTube video posted on Monday of Jonathan telling us about feechies or check out his website for more info!). He's a good feechie too! He can scare the best of them! Floyd is a not-so-great charlatan (is there such thing as a good one?!?) who is using little Grady to make a few bucks here and there. Grady loves his life as a feechie...until the day Floyd tells him that he's not really feechie. Floyd also drops another bombshell...he's not Grady's dad. 
Throughout the remainder of the book, Floyd and Grady go on some pretty amazing journeys as they travel around trying to make some coppers. Grady goes from "feechie" to "mind measuring assistant" and back to feechie while he tries to figure out who he *really* is. Would he ever find someone to love him for him and not for a money making venture?
My favorite feature of this book was the beginning of each chapter. I just love how Grady introduced each new chapter! You see a crystal ball (much like on the cover) with somewhat of a sarcastic or funny remark about a new adventure. I found myself chuckling at Grady's humor and wanting to box Floyd in the ears!! 
I highly recommend this book for youngsters on up. There are so many beautiful and valuable lessons to be learned in this book that  represents how life was back in the "Old West". I found myself thinking back to my childhood when I was involved in a musical (Going West) where I was a part of the traveling salesman group peddling some sort of healing elixir. 
I am very excited to see what is in store for Grady in his next adventure, which will start in 2011!
Many thanks to Jonathan Rogers for the time invested in making this tour possible (writing the book, visiting our blogs, answering interview questions, etc) as well as Waterbrook Publishers who provided the copy of the book for review. 

Finally, please be sure to visit with others on the tour! I'm sure they will all some entertaining info on this great book!"> Sally Apokedak"> Amy Bissell"> Red Bissell"> Jennifer Bogart"> Thomas Clayton Booher"> Keanan Brand"> Beckie Burnham"> Jeff Chapman"> Christian Fiction Book Reviews"> Valerie Comer"> CSFF Blog Tour"> D. G. D. Davidson"> April Erwin"> Andrea Graham"> Tori Greene"> Katie Hart"> Bruce Hennigan"> Christopher Hopper"> Becky Jesse"> Cris Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Julie"> Carol Keen"> Shannon McDermott"> Allen McGraw"> Matt Mikalatos"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Nissa"> Donita K. Paul"> SarahFlan"> Sarah Sawyer"> Chawna Schroeder"> Tammy Shelnut"> Kathleen Smith"> James Somers"> Donna Swanson"> Robert Treskillard"> Fred Warren"> Phyllis Wheeler">  Nicole White"> Elizabeth Williams"> Dave Wilson

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers: Hearing from the Man himself!

As the CSFF blog tour continues, I would like to introduce you to the mastermind behind The Charlatan's Boy...Mr. Jonathan Rogers!

Jonathan took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us! Here's his responses:

1. Who is your favorite literary character (not including one you have written about)? Why?

I don't suppose I would ever answer this question the same way twice. So I'm just going to tell you who my favorite character is today. Today, I'm going to say Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow. Or Wendell Berry's Burley Coulter. Wendell Berry is a national treasure; his characters are so beautifully drawn, so complex. They are so earthy, in every sense of the word. And yet it is through their earthiness that they speak to real transcendence. Wendell Berry has had a huge impact on me as a writer. 

If you had asked me another day I might have told you my favorite character was John Ames of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead. Or Don Quixote.
I've never read/heard of Jayber so I guess I need to check these characters out! I have also never read Gilead or Don Quixote! *gasp*

2. Who would you most want to have dinner with (living or dead) and why?

Well, Jesus is the obvious answer here. Having said that, I should also acknowledge that there are plenty of people who say they'd like to sit down to a meal with Jesus who wouldn't enjoy it as much as they think they would. Jesus could be pretty hard on the self-satisfied and the self-righteous. So I hope I would enjoy sitting down to dinner with Jesus; it would do me good either way. 

If we disallow Jesus as an answer (and maybe we should) I'm going to say my wife. That's why I married her; because I wanted to have dinner with her as often as possible. I'm only half joking. It's actually a pretty important part of my worldview. In the world's economy, it's the rare and the hard-to-come-by that has the most value.In God's economy, the things that are the most valuable also happen to be the most readily available. Love, friendship, grace, forgiveness--these things are there to be scooped up by the fistful. That's the astonishing thing about marriage: the dearest things in the world become the fabric of our daily lives. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out that the woman I wanted more than anyone in the world wanted me too.

If you're looking for a celebrity answer, I guess I'd have to say Mark Twain, who told great stories. Or Saint Patrick, who had an incredibly winsome faith (although he didn't speak English, so that would be a problem).

I love these answers! Well said! 
3. What book are you currently reading?

I just finished Russell Banks' Cloudsplitter, which tells the story of John Brown, who led the raid on Harper's Ferry before the American Civil War. I'm in the middle of A.S. Peterson's two book series, The Fiddler's Gun and The Fiddler's Green.  Really great books.
Cloudsplitter sounds really good! I've only read one of A.S. Peterson's books but I really enjoyed it!  
4. Name one book (other than one you've written) that you would recommend to a young adult reader (I have a lot of high school students who read my blog). Tell us why it should be read.

Andrew Peterson's books are great--On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten. They're really funny and have a whole lot of heart. Andrew is actually the brother of A.S. Peterson, whose books I mentioned in the previous question.
Oops! Guess I haven't read anything by A.S. Peterson. I was thinking that was Andrew! I have read North! Or Be Eaten. Loved it! :) 
5. Any parting words of wisdom to readers?

Cultivate the habit of repentance. Being good at repenting is more important than being right all the time.

Very well said! Thank you for your time Jonathan! I sincerely appreciate it! :)

Finally, please be sure to visit with others on the tour! I'm sure they will all some entertaining info on this great book!"> Sally Apokedak"> Amy Bissell"> Red Bissell"> Jennifer Bogart"> Thomas Clayton Booher"> Keanan Brand"> Beckie Burnham"> Jeff Chapman"> Christian Fiction Book Reviews"> Valerie Comer"> CSFF Blog Tour"> D. G. D. Davidson"> April Erwin"> Andrea Graham"> Tori Greene"> Katie Hart"> Bruce Hennigan"> Christopher Hopper"> Becky Jesse"> Cris Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Julie"> Carol Keen"> Shannon McDermott"> Allen McGraw"> Matt Mikalatos"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Nissa"> Donita K. Paul"> SarahFlan"> Sarah Sawyer"> Chawna Schroeder"> Tammy Shelnut"> Kathleen Smith"> James Somers"> Donna Swanson"> Robert Treskillard"> Fred Warren"> Phyllis Wheeler">  Nicole White"> Elizabeth Williams"> Dave Wilson

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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Today through Wednesday, the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy tour will be featuring The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers. This is a super fun book that I will tell you more about in the coming days. I so have a small confession to make though and I hope you won't think this educator as someone who is uneducated. When I first started reading this book, I had no earthly idea what a "charlatan" was!! I feel so crazy now and I did figure it out from the context, however I also took the time to look up the meaning of the word. According to the Oxford American Dictionary, a charlatan is "a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud". 

Along the way, I also researched YouTube for more information on Charlatan's and Feechies. Enjoy the following clips!! Come back tomorrow to learn about our featured author, Jonathan Rogers.
This one was created by Sally Apokedak! Be sure to visit her during this tour!!

This video is our featured author, Jonathan Rogers, telling us everything there is to know about feechies!!

Finally, please be sure to visit with others on the tour! I'm sure they will all some entertaining info on this great book!"> Sally Apokedak"> Amy Bissell"> Red Bissell"> Jennifer Bogart"> Thomas Clayton Booher"> Keanan Brand"> Beckie Burnham"> Jeff Chapman"> Christian Fiction Book Reviews"> Valerie Comer"> CSFF Blog Tour"> D. G. D. Davidson"> April Erwin"> Andrea Graham"> Tori Greene"> Katie Hart"> Bruce Hennigan"> Christopher Hopper"> Becky Jesse"> Cris Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Julie"> Carol Keen"> Shannon McDermott"> Allen McGraw"> Matt Mikalatos"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Nissa"> Donita K. Paul"> SarahFlan"> Sarah Sawyer"> Chawna Schroeder"> Tammy Shelnut"> Kathleen Smith"> James Somers"> Donna Swanson"> Robert Treskillard"> Fred Warren"> Phyllis Wheeler">  Nicole White"> Elizabeth Williams"> Dave Wilson

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hero's Tribute by Graham Garrison

Hero's Tribute: A NovelHero's Tribute: A Novel by Graham Garrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wes is your ordinary everyday run-of-the-mill reporter. Michael is a decorated war hero who is losing his battle with cancer.  Michael finalizes his wishes and chooses Wes, a man he's never met, to deliver his eulogy. Just how would one go about doing that when they knew nothing of this person short of the newspaper articles on him. Michael made it easy though. He left Wes a list of names of people to interview to make the perfect eulogy.

Through a series of unforeseen twists and turns, debut author Graham Garrison tells a tale of a hometown hero that might be found anywhere. How are heroes glorified? Are they proud of what is said about them? What if truths are covered up in the event that the hero will no longer be the hero everyone thinks he/she is?

I read this book in just under 6 hours. I found it very hard to put down!! I will caution readers to have tissues handy as the first chapter grips your heart and never lets go...even to the very end! This is a beautiful tribute to all soldiers on the war battle field as well as those fighting the cancer battlefield. It is important to include the families of these warriors as well. If you are reading this and you are a warrior/family of a warrior, THANK YOU!

I highly recommend this read for all. I'll be taking this one to school and recommending to my students!

Many thanks to Kregel Publishing and Mr. Garrison for providing a copy for review!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Love For Tomorrow by Vanessa Miller

Love for TomorrowLove for Tomorrow by Vanessa Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, this is my first read by Vanessa Miller and while I enjoyed this book, I cannot recommend it because it defies what the Bible says about the role of women in the church. From a purely "I'm reading this because it's a good book,not filled with smut and foul language" standpoint, I could recommend it.

Serenity has just been dumped by Michael because he can't stand her being in the limelight more than he. She moves on with her life, further builds her career, and when the chips start to fall, who's there for her? Why did the chips all anyway? Could it be that bridges burnt can haunt you?

I read this book in just under 2 hours. It's a super fast read for a rainy day!

Many thanks to the publisher for providing review copy!

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Judgment Day by Wanda Dyson

Judgment Day: A NovelJudgment Day: A Novel by Wanda Dyson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this to be an enjoyable book and a super fast read. I finished it in under 12 hours during the beginning of my Thanksgiving vacation!

In Judgment Day, a reporter by the name of Suzanne, just can't keep her mouth shut. She wants to be the first to release the story, no matter the cost. When it's suspected that the principal is the one abducting young girls, Suzanne jumps to scoop the story on air without having all the facts. Needless to say,the principal is not impressed and is not guilty either. When he takes his life, other events take place that cause Suzanne to have to hire a private investigator. Did it have to be her former flame?

This is my first read by Wanda Dyson and it won't be my last! Looking at her website,  I see several other books that interest me! You can read an excerpt of this book by clicking

Many thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book!

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Head In The Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

Head in the CloudsHead in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Does Adelaide really have her head in the clouds? I think so! This is a great follow-up to Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. British nobles, governesses, rogues, and sheep herders are all that's necessary to make this book complete! I loved everything about this book, especially the cover!

My favorite character, without question, is Isabelle! How could one resist her charm? Poor thing has had a rough life though and is now mute because of her trials. However, Adelaide is on a mission to change that. What will it take to get her to speak again?

Gideon is also intriguing. Love the name, wish he were real so he could sweep me off my feet (in the form of my real hubby!) Hmmm...nothing like a sheep herder with an adorable daughter to make you fall in love!

I highly recommend this read. It's a quick read (took me longer than I wanted because of time constraints!) that is well worth the magical journey. Oh how I wish I would have lived back in this era! The author makes you feel that you are there watching the sheep shearing and feeling Adelaide's fabrics wrapped around you! Great book for teens and older!

I'm looking forward to more of Karen's works!

Many thanks to Bethany House and Karen Witemeyer for providing me a copy of this book for review!

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A Hero's Tribute by Graham Garrison

I'm sharing this press release and brief "Get-to-Know-You" from author Graham Garrison. I received a complimentary copy of his book that I had intended on having finished by now but it just hasn't happened yet. Please support this author and his work! I'll post a review soon!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

CFBA: While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
While We're Far Apart
Bethany House (October 1, 2010)
Lynn Austin


It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.   


In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother.

Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.

And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse.

Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.

If you would like to read the first chapter of While We're Far Apart, go HERE.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

CFBA: Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Embers of Love
Bethany House (October 1, 2010)

Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents.  She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella.  Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max.  She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books


The logging industry in eastern Texas is booming, and Deborah Vandermark plans to assist her family's business now that she's completed college. Unexpectedly, her best friend, Lizzie Decker, accompanies her back home--fleeing a wedding and groom she has no interest in.

Deborah, the determined matchmaker, puts her sights on uniting her brother and dear friend in a true love match. Deborah soon meets Dr. Christopher Clayton, a much-needed addition to the town. As their lives intersect, Deborah realizes that she has a much greater interest in medicine and science than the bookkeeping she was trained in.

But when typhoid begins to spread and Lizzie's jilted fiance returns, Deborah wonders if true love can overcome such obstacles...for those dearest to her, and for herself.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Embers of Love, go HERE.Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Medical Error (Prescription for Trouble Series #2) by Richard Mabry

Medical Error (Prescription for Trouble, #2)Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Imagine being without your ID, finding yourself in a dire situation in need of emergency surgery, and no one knows who you are. That's where Dr. Anna McIntyre finds herself, well with her patient anyway. When adverse reactions occur to the treatment given during surgery, Anna finds herself in a huge legal mess.

The DEA, Denver Police, and a family are on her tail...and she can't figure out what she's done so wrong to cause this problem! She only followed protocol!

Then Nick enters the scene...a handsome pathologist who wants to help Anna. Just exactly HOW does he want to help her though? How can she tell who's sincere and who's out to get her? Is her lawyer even a "good guy"? Afterall, she was told he was a liar and a cheat!

Whatever is Anna to do? Did she prescribe the end to her career and possibly her life as well? Whatever you do, don't commit a medical error and NOT read this book!

This is the second book in the Prescription for Trouble series. I have loved reading the first two books so far and eagerly await April 2011 for the next installment!

Anyone else agree that Richard L. Mabry and author: Candace Calvert should team up and write a series together? Seriously, they are two of my favs!

This was the main book I focused on the for the Readathon that took place yesterday. What a great way to spend it! :)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review, of which you are reading here.

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Venom and Song (The Berinfell Prophecies #2) by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper

Venom and Song (The Berinfell Prophecies, #2)Venom and Song by Wayne Thomas Batson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED THIS BOOK! This was a superior followup to The Curse of the Spider King and any fantasy lover would appreciate this book. The Elven Lords are now in their homeland and they quickly learn that they will have to fight for it. Not until Grimwarden gets his way though! A series of brutal training episodes will lead the Elven Lords into the battle of their lives. Will they succeed?
I highly recommended this one for fantasy lovers young and old. There is a Christian undertone here (Ellos is often referred to...represents God) but don't let that stop you if you are not a believer. This is a great clean book unlike others on the market today and even my 6 year old was becoming interested in it as he saw me reading it. Maybe one day (when he reads better) he'll pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.
I did receive this book directly from the publisher in return for my honest review, of which you have received here.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Finally! A Real Book Review!: The Gathering Storm by Bodie and Brock Thoene

The Gathering Storm (Zion Diaries)The Gathering Storm by Bodie Thoene

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, this is the first book I've been able to finish since school started. It took me almost 2 months of 20 minute "Magical Mondays" to complete! Second of all, this is my first read by Bodie Thoene. That being said...

I was instantly attracted to this book based on the cover and the premise. I love reading books about the Holocaust (I really don't know why, it's such a sad point in history) and this cover instantly drew me in. The flag, the burning, the couple, told me that I might enjoy this book. I feel that the fact that it took me so long to read, I my have missed some points, as I struggled a bit with the ending.

Lorelei (love the name!) is a young girl from a missionary family who struggles to find her way in life after losing her mother and then choosing to marry Varrick to save him from being sent to the concentration camp. Her life is full of struggle from the beginning and just never seems to end. Varrick is sent away to fight in the war and Lorelei, her dad, her sister Jessica, and her nieces begin a journey to leave their homeland. More lives are lost along the way and soon Lorelei finds herself all alone. She is proficient in several languages so her skills come in handy in churches and other refugee places for those who are misplaced due to the war.

As far as characters go, Judah is a favorite of mine, as are the other Tin Man army. Their stories are inspiring to me. I was also intrigued by Helga, but found her character's choices to be very frustrating. Eben was another intriguing character although I do not like how things ended up with him. I felt that his character took a poorly scripted turn that was set up to be spiritual and I do not believe it was in the least bit. It was too much of a stretch for me personally. I have read other reviews where readers felt entirely different so please read this book and decide for yourself.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will read other titles by the Thoenes. I have read many great reviews on other books they have written and they tend to focus on a time period in history that I enjoy reading.

I was provided this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, of which you have received without any coercion.

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CFBA: Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe by Irene Brand and Anita Higman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe
Summerside Press (September 1, 2010)

Irene Brand & Anita Higman


Irene Brand has written Sunday School curriculum, edited a two-year series of mission curriculum, and her works have appeared in five program-material anthologies. Her publishers include Zondervan, Standard Publishing, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Fleming-Revell, Barbour Publishing, Kregel Publications, Steeple Hill (inspirational imprint of Silhouette), and Summerside Press. She has had 4 non-fiction books published, and 43 fiction works. Her first inspirational romance was published in 1984.

Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-six books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble Author of the Month for Houston. Anita has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Her favorite things include exotic teas, movies, and all things Jane Austen.


Two Christmas stories - one historical, one contemporary - under one cover!

Love Finds You under the Mistletoe: An Appalachian Christmas

A promise to her dying sister compels Julia Mayfield to take her young nephew to Mistletoe, Kentucky, a tiny town tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains. Sparks fly when she meets David Armstrong, a World War II veteran like herself. Even as shadows from the past weave a dangerous web around Julia and David, will their love flourish like the mistletoe that blankets the nearby hills?

Love Finds You under the Mistletoe: Once Upon a Christmas Eve

Hollie Goodnight's store has just been voted best Christmas shop in America. All the new publicity draws flamboyant novelist Van Keaton to the cozy town of Noel, Missouri, demanding to write Hollie's story - a dramatic tale of misfortune and triumph. She is swept up in his world of beautiful words and fanciful interludes. . .until Owen Quigly, her lifelong best friend, launches a plan to win her back.

If you would like to read an excerpt of Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

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