Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guarded by Kirsten Lasinski~a review~

by Kirsten Lasinski

ISBN: 0-8024-5568-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8024-5568-0
Price: $11.99
# of Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Moody Publishers

About the book Guarded:
Forty-one year-old Emily Blyton should be content; she has a job she loves, a beautiful home, and countless friends in the quaint mountain community of Murray, Colorado. On the other hand, she also has an estranged daughter who lives in New York, an ex-husband she hasn’t spoken to in years, and a past full of painful memories she can’t erase. When Emily discovers a devastating secret from her past, her carefully arranged world threatens to come apart.

About the author Kirsten Lasinski:
Kirsten has lived in Colorado since 1989 and currently resides in the Denver area with her husband Richard and their daughter Rachel. She is a graduate from the University of Colorado with degrees in English and Communication and enjoys speaking for a variety of groups including Words for the Journey and the Denver chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. In her spare time, she loves to backpack and camp in the Rocky Mountains.


Excerpt From Guarded:
Her reflection grimaced in the dark window over the sink as she poured in the sugar and mixed, grinding at the stiff dough with a wooden spoon. I look so old. She tucked a lock of wheat-colored hair behind her ear, wishing she could forget about her birthday next month. Why was turning forty-one so much harder than turning forty? Forty hadn't fazed her. She was healthy and attractive and well-liked by her many friends and neighbors, she had reasoned last year, so what else mattered? "I have an ex-husband I haven't spoken to in ten years," her reflection mumbled. "I have a twenty-three-year-old daughter who lives on the opposite side of the country and hardly speaks to me. I have no living relatives I care to talk to. Both my parents are dead." Had it been two years already? What was it he had tried to tell her, groping weakly at her arm before he died? The oven timer rang, sending Emily out of her skin. Moscow barked. "It's OK, boy," she gasped. "I'm just a little jumpy tonight." She reached for an oven mitt and pulled the curtain over the window.

My Review:
“Guarded” by Kirsten Lasinski is a wonderful, well written story.
This book tells of love, loss, failure, adoption, single parenting, forgiveness and peace finally. This book tells of many women who have lost men, but how they handled it in different ways.

Emily has always been searching for a love to fill the empty spot inside of her. She is strong and self-sufficient, but deeply hurt and struggling . Emily doesn’t want to put faith or trust in anyone or anything, she wants to do it all herself.
Emily loves her daughter so much, but doesn’t know how to relate to her. Emily doesn’t believe she needs God, because she doesn’t think He has ever helped her with anything. “Guarded” has many wonderful people in a small town that all love and appreciate Emily.

The ending is spectacular. I would never have guessed that it would end so fantastic. It shows how much God really loves us, and also how God is our Father and all we ever need. When no one else wants us or needs us God is always there for us. This is a book you really, really don’t want to miss. This is just a book you have to have.

Order from Moody Publishers

I received this book from Moody Publishers for review purposes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

GOD'S WORD for Boys and GOD'S WORD for Girls *a review*

Girl's Bible
Price: $29.99
ISBN: 978-0-8010-7256-7
ISBN-10: 0-8010-7256-5
Dimensions: 5.375 x 8.375
Number of pages: 1,714
Publication Date: Jun. 10
Formats: Duravella
Boy's Bible
Price: $29.99
ISBN: 978-0-8010-7254-3
ISBN-10: 0-8010-7254-9
Dimensions: 5.375 x 8.375
Number of pages: 1,714
Publication Date: Jun. 10
Formats: Duravella

I was asked to review both God’s Word for Girl’s and God’s Word for Boy’s and was given a free copy of both.

The God’s Word translation is very easy to understand and read. It is endorsed by many Pastors, professors, teachers etc.. The one I really trust and believe is Billy Graham when he said
"GOD'S WORD is an easy-to-understand Bible. . . . It is a wonderful version."
—Rev. Billy Graham

Here are the different parts one many of the pages. The only differences between the girls and boys Bibles is the drawing inside of the girls are pink and have pictures of girls and the boys drawings are blue and pictures of boys.

Book Intros--tell you the big ideas in the book you're about to read
I think these intros are so neat. The intros tell the main things that happen in each book and tells you what is in this book especially for you. Also little things you may not know about the people or places in this book.

Devotions--help you read, think, and pray
The caption of these devotions are “Good Morning Lord.” Just a few sentences but gives the reader many things to think about.

Genuine Heroes and Heroines--show you women of the Bible you'll want to be like
Talks about women-men like Esther and Hannah, Peter and Boaz. This section talks about who they were, what they did in the Bible and how they impacted many others.

Women's World/Men‘s World--uncover fascinating facts about what life was like for a woman in Bible times
This section tells about things like basket weaving, how they made paper and also how they collected jewelry for the temple.

Be All You Can Be--shows you how to think and act the way God wants
Talks about enjoying nature and thanking God for it, learning about needy people and helping them, etc.

Drawings, Illustrations, and Maps--bring the Bible to life
Beautiful, colorful illustrations and drawing. Small maps at the beginning of some books.

I really love these Bibles, besides all of the neat things inside, the covers are so soft and colorful. The age range for them are 8-12, but I think an even younger child would be able to use this and really benefit from it and older children would enjoy it as well. God’s Word for Girl’s or Boy’s I highly recommend.

GOD'S WORD for Girls/Boys has all this, plus the full text of the Bible in the accurate and readable GOD'S WORD Translation, so you can become the woman/man God wants you to be.

Order the Girl's Bible from BakerBooks

Order the Boy's Bible from BakerBooks

Was sent these Bibles for review purposes from BakerBooks!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand *a review*


They thought they could get away with it, but they forgot one thing:

On the back cover
Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he’s disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details…until an unexpected break gives March one last chance to save his career. And his humanity. All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life.

Price: $14.99
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0637-5
ISBN-10: 0-7642-0637-0
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.375
Number of pages: 384
Publication Date: Jul. 10
Formats: Paperback
Publisher: Bethany House

About the author:
J. Mark Bertrand

He earned an MFA from the University of Houston and lived in the city for fifteen years. After one hurricane too many, he and his wife moved to South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

My Review:
I love a really good mystery and “Back on Murder” is the greatest. I love to see how the title and cover of the book fit the story. The title “Back on Murder” tells you just what March is trying to do. This book is written in the first person, which I usually don’t like, but in this book it is fantastic. Roland March reminds me of Sam Spade, when he finds a clue he keeps working it until it makes sense.

Roland’s wife Charlotte is a corporate attorney and you can tell from the beginning of the book that they have a lot of problems in their marriage. There is something that is really eating at March and Charlotte, and not to far into the book we find out what.

March has/does make mistakes like all of us, but he doesn’t give up. This is his last chance to save his career. March is trying to acquire respect back from the other officers. He is the first one to discover facts at a crime scene that is significant to the case. Then his boss calls him into his office, and gives him one more chance.

A lot of books are full of light hearted banter and as I call it fluff, but “Back on Murder” is like real life. If you love a good mystery you will love this book.

J. Mark Bertrand co-authored with Deeanne Gist in the book “Beguiled” which was a super read so I knew this book was going to be wonderful and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is a page turner and I had a hard time not sitting down and reading it at one time.

I always try to figure out who did it, but couldn’t with this book. One that will keep you guessing to the very end. I’m really glad this is going to be a series. One book isn’t enough. I want to see
March’s next case, how things continue to go in his marriage, how he gets along with the other detectives etc…… So much to ponder.

This is J. Mark Bertrand’s first mystery and I say he has found his calling. He is one of my newest, favorite authors. I highly recommend this book. It is a book you will want to keep and enjoy over and over.

Available from Bethany House
and Amazon

~I received this book from the author to read and review. ~

Available July 2010


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's in the Bible DVD series by Phil Vischer

Join VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer and a boatload of new friends on a ground-breaking journey through the world’s most amazing book!

In the Beginning
Let My People Go
Wanderin’ In the Desert

Each DVD has two parts.

In the Beginning has
Part 1: What is the Bible?
Part 2: Who wrote the Bible?

Let My People Go has
Part 1: Who chose the books in the Bible?
Part 2: What is salvation?

Wanderin’ in the Desert has
Part 1: Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t Trim Your Beard?
Part 2: What is a “Pentateuch”?

Also each DVD has many bonus features that are very entertaining. What’s in the Bible series is a collection of 13 DVDs that will take you through the entire Bible—Genesis through Revelation. Phil Vischer wants to teach kids more than just Christian values; he wants to help them discover that the Bible is more than just the stories of Jonah and David by teaching them what is actually in the Bible and how all the stories fit together.
They have Buck Denver, Pastor and the Sunday School lady with many, many more colorful new friends. Phil is also on each DVD explaining many things.
The DVD’s are full of very colorful, high quality puppets and material. Fast action going from one puppet to another. Very lovable puppets who entertain and also educate young children. Phil is trying to turn around the inclination of biblical ignorance in the church.
Your children are sure to find new characters to love and they will become favorites for years. What I was expecting was really high quality shows, because of the creator Phil Vischer and that is what I saw.
I enjoyed the parts that the real children had in the DVD’s explaining what they knew about Jesus and the Bible. They were very precious. You will want to buy each DVD as it comes out. Don’t miss out on all of the fun. These are made for elementary level students but will benefit any student or adult.
These first three DVDs go through the first five books of the Bible very completely and your child will learn many new and exciting things.


Order from Christian Books

Order from Amazon
I received these first 3 DVDs from The Lovell-Fairchild Company free for review purposes.

Monday, June 21, 2010

[Revell Blog Tour & Review] A Love Of Her Own by Maggie Brendan

About the book:
She has everything her heart desires . . .
except the one thing money can't buy
A Love of Her Own is the eagerly awaited concluding book in Maggie Brendan’s Heart of the West series. Available in June 2010, it will take readers on an adventurous, spark-filled ride through love in turn-of-the-century Montana.
It’s here, in Lewiston, Montana, where April McBride travels to attend her brother’s wedding. Still cautious after a broken engagement, she fully intends to guard her heart. One look around the small mining town convinces April that doing so won't be difficult—just a bunch of dusty shops, bad service, and ill-bred cowboys. But a run-in with horse trainer Wes Owen opens up vast possibilities for frustration, embarrassment, friendship, and . . . love?
Can April and Wes see past their differences to envision a future together? Or are they destined to live the rest of their lives alone?

A Love of Her Own by Maggie Brendan,
Book 3 in the Heart of the West Series.
(ISBN: 978-0-8007-3351-3;

Praise for Maggie Brendan
"Brendan's gentle style of prairie romance is reminiscent of Janette Oke,
capturing the heart of the old West with romance that will make you sigh." — Julie Lessman, author of the Daughters of Boston series

"Brendan blends colorful characters, lively dialogue, and intriguing historical details."
— Amanda Cabot, author of Paper Roses and Scattered Petals

"Maggie Brendan is adept at weaving a sweet love story."

—Tamera Alexander, author of Beyond This Moment

About the author:
Maggie Brendan is a member of American Christian Writers and the American Fiction Writers Association. She is the author of No Place for a Lady and The Jewel of His Heart and lives in Georgia.

My Review:

The Heart of the West series book three. I read book one and then this one. Maggie is an excellent author. This story “A Love Of Her Own” is a book full of love, forgiveness, accepting people for who they are and lots of fun and hardships.
This book is a light read , I especially like this kind after I’ve read a good murder mystery.
April McBride, is on a journey, not only in miles, but also in growing and learning to be a better person. April had a very snooty personality at the beginning and didn’t care about anyone else’s feelings or hardships some people have to go through. She was a very spoiled, rich girl, who got anything and everything she wanted. More than anything April loves horses and working out on the ranch. That’s her one redeeming quality at the beginning.
Then April came West to see her brother get married and had many adventures-both good and bad. Right at the wedding she meets Wes, who is another lover of horses, but doesn’t care about money or much else. When two stubborn people get together you know there will be bedlam. So enjoy this book and see if Wes and April can become more than friends. Come and meet all of the sweet, caring people of this quaint little town in Montana. I was quite taken with Miss Margaret and her sweet and precious love she gave to everyone. You will want to read this book if you love a good romance. Recommended to all.

Order from Revell

Order from Amazon

“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

I received my free copy from Donna Hausler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group for my review.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Author Interview-Dan Walsh-The Homecoming

Dan thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been happily married to the only woman I’ve ever loved for the last 33 years. We have two grown children. We’ve lived in the same house in the Daytona Beach area for the last 25 years (we really like it there). I’ve also been a pastor for 25 years, but in the last few years God has allowed me to do something I’ve wanted to since the 11th grade…write novels. My first book, The Unfinished Gift, released last September and is doing very well. On the first of June the sequel released, called The Homecoming. My publisher, Revell, has signed me to write three more books for them. My third novel will come out next spring. I’m busy finishing up my fourth book now. For those who haven’t read my novels, reviewers often compare my books to Richard Paul Evans or Nicholas Sparks.

How long did you write before you were published?

As I said, I wanted to be a novelist as far back as 11th grade. Wrote some poems and short stories back then that, thankfully, have been lost to the sands of time. Life went in a different direction when I experienced a call to ministry. For the next twenty-plus years I only wrote sermons (wrote a lot of them). About 12 years ago, thought I might pick it back up again and actually got the idea then for my first novel, The Unfinished Gift. It’s a long story, but it became clear it wasn’t the right time to jump back in, so I set the book aside about halfway through.

Then three years ago, some things in my life changed (mainly, my children were now grown), and my wife urged me to start writing again. I picked The Unfinished Gift back up and finished it over that summer. To my surprise, after reading the synopsis and 3 chapters, two of the first three agents I contacted wanted to read the entire book. I signed with Karen Solem of Spencerhill Associates, and within a few months we had a contract with Revell.

Tell us about “The Homecoming,” the featured book.

I hadn’t intended to write a sequel after completing The Unfinished Gift, but two things happened. First, I realized I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind; they had become like family. And second, I could see there was at least one more story to tell. This time, a love story. Recently, Colleen Coble called it, “One of the most touching and delightful love stories I’ve ever read.” When I read her endorsement, it made me very happy, because that was my goal.

The story begins with Shawn Collins returning home from the war to deal with the tragedy of losing his wife Elizabeth, the love of his life. Romance is the farthest thing from his mind. Katherine Townsend was the social worker in the first book who loved Shawn’s son, Patrick, as her own. Once Shawn comes home, she has no legitimate reason to stay involved with the Collins’ family. Then Shawn is sent on a War Bond tour for four months and Patrick needs a nanny. The book explores a series of adventures for Katherine, who has never been in love; and Shawn, who can’t imagine ever being in love again.

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?

Terri Blackstock has been a good friend and a strong encouragement to me, especially starting out. Both Colleen Coble and Deborah Raney have been a great help. My agent, Karen Solem gives me great advice, as well as Andrea Doering, my editor at Revell. Probably the voice that influences me the most, day to day, is my wife Cindi. She’s got great instincts and gives me incredibly helpful feedback (my editor loves the help she’s given me). From a writing standpoint, I’ve been influenced by best-selling author Richard Paul Evans’ books, as well as some of Nicholas Sparks’ novels.

What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?

The Homecoming is not primarily a message book. My first hope is that my readers will thoroughly enjoy themselves. I hope they’ll feel transported back to a simpler time when our country made a whole lot more sense and become totally immersed in the lives of these characters that I’ve come to love. I hope every reader says what Colleen Coble said when they finish the last page. On a more spiritual level, there certainly are some strong themes in the book about the goodness of God and learning to trust Him again, especially when your hopes and dreams have been shattered.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?

I like pizza. It is a gift from God. I like T-Bone steaks, medium rare. I love Italian food. I love every kind of seafood. I guess you didn’t ask, “What food do you like?” but it seems that’s where I go first. I like watching romantic comedies and Jane Austen movies with my wife. I like watching action movies with my son. I love hanging out with good friends. I don’t like how hard it is to lose weight. I don’t like how sore I get after a few hours working in the yard. I don’t like the direction the country has been heading lately.

My hobbies and interests? I love to read. I love to write…a lot. Even though I’m starting to earn money from book sales, it doesn’t feel like a job to me. I like to play golf, but I’m terrible. I love to fish with friends who have boats. As far as favorite vacations…it’s hard to beat the times we’ve spent on cruise ships in the Caribbean (although I’d love to see some places in Europe with Cindi).

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.

In 6th grade, I won the school spelling bee that included all the 7th & 8th graders. The best/worst part was that the last two people left standing were me and my older brother. I loved beating him but hated it at the same time.

Also, I sing at least as good as half the folks who get kicked off American Idol in the early rounds.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

Mondays and Tuesdays are my writing days (I’m still a pastor). I’m definitely not a regimented guy. But a typical day would start with my quiet time, interrupted when my wife hands me a perfect cup of coffee (not exaggerating). Then a light breakfast. After, I check for any email from my agent or publishing team. I’ll wait till later in the day to read the rest. During the morning, I’ll write in our living room. We’re in our 50’s, so it’s a quiet house (it is nice). After lunch, I like to write outside. We have a private backyard, and I’ve got 3 spots where I love to write.

I usually start by reading the last chapter I’ve written, polish it up a little, then write from there for as long as it keeps flowing. I don’t have set word goals. The day ends when Cindi says, “You ready for dinner?”

How long does it take to write my novels? I’m finishing up my fourth one now (my 3rd will be out next spring). I guess from start to finish, I’m averaging about 8-9 months.

What are you currently reading?

Recently finished “Rooms” by my friend Jim Rubart (highly recommended). I’m now reading a wonderful book by fellow Revell author, Sarah Sundin, called “A Distant Melody.” Next on my list, is a novel set in WW2 by Andy Andrews, called “The Heart Mender.”

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? What are your favorite plants?

I don’t grow anything. I mow…and weed whack and sweat. My wife Cindi does wonderful things when her back isn’t hurting. My friend Deborah Raney has a wonderful blog that highlights the gardens of many authors. Here’s the link to our courtyard, one of the places I love to write: http://novelgarden.blogspot.com/2006/10/dan-walsh.html

My favorite plants? I love palm trees, of all kinds.

What are you writing now?

I’m finishing up my 4th novel. The working title is “The Book Nook.” It’s another Christmas novel, set in 1980, about this nearly enchanted little Christian bookstore owned and run by Art and Leanne Bell. The day after Thanksgiving, Art collapses at the store and is found by a homeless man. It’s the busiest shopping time of year but Leanne needs to stay by Art’s side, as he clings to life in the hospital. Her son Rick, a CPA in Charlotte, reluctantly agrees to help. He cancels his skiing trip and drives south to Seabreeze, Florida, his old hometown; a place he thought he’d left for good ten years ago. Over the coming days, he is re-introduced to the mother he’s ignored and the step-father he’s rejected, as he listens to a host of charming and eccentric characters, whose lives have been forever changed…at The Book Nook.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I love to correspond with my readers. They can visit my website at www.danwalshbooks.com, then go to the last button on the menu bar and click “Contact Me.” They can visit my blog at http://danwalshbooks.blogspot.com. Or they can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/authordanwalsh.

And thanks for spending this time with us, Dan. We wish you much success.

Thank you, Wanda, and thanks to your readers, for helping to get the word out about The Homecoming. Hope they find it a most enjoyable summer read.
This was just a wonderful interview. I really look forward to Dan's next book. Sounds like another winner. Thanks again Dan!

*Book Giveaway* This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson

This is a wonderful book that I know you will love!
ABOUT THE BOOK "This Fine Life."
This Fine Life is a stand-alone novel by popular author Eva Marie Everson that transports readers to small-town Georgia in 1959: Mariette Puttnam has just graduated from boarding school during the summer of 1959. When she returns to her privileged life at home, she isn't sure where life will take her. More schooling? A job? Marriage? Nothing feels right. How could she know that the answer is waiting for her within the narrow stairwell of her father's apparel factory, exactly between the third and
fourth floors?
In this unique and tender story of an unlikely romance, Everson takes readers on a journey through the heart of a young woman bound for the unknown. Readers will experience the joys of new love, the perseverance of true friendship, and the gift of forgiveness that comes from a truly fine life.

Go to http://thelifeandtimesofwanda.blogspot.com/2010/05/revell-blog-tour-this-fine-life-by-eva.html
to read my review of this book. :)

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker, a popular radio personality, and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken. She is coauthor of The Potluck Club series and The Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Florida.

If you want to win this book you need to be my follower and leave a comment with your email address in it. If you don't want to leave your email address on my blog send it to me at wandaelaine at gmail dot com.

If you want 1 extra entry comment on 2 of my post and let me know which ones you commented on.

Giveaway ends June 30, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stephanie Grace Whitson~author interview

Stephanie is an excellent author and a wonderful person. I've enjoyed getting to know her.
Read her books and you won't be disappointed.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

My husband of nearly 7 years and I and our soon-to-be-married son live in a late 1800s Victorian "hired man's house." We also have five grown & married children and two grand-children. We are a "blended family." Both our first spouses died of cancer. My husband's first wife was my best friend. My first husband was my current husband's dear friend and co-worker. Our children and our faith grew up together as we attended the same Bible-teaching church.

How long did you write before you were published?
I've always been a writer, but I didn't seek publication as a novelist until I was about 2/3 of the way finished with the manuscript that became my first book, Walks the Fire, published back in 1995 with Thomas Nelson.

Tell us about your featured book Sixteen Brides.
It was inspired by a 1902 newspaper article about Civil War widows filing on homesteads near a small Nebraska town. My widows aren't very happy about the "brides" part of the story at first.

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?
There are many. My first editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont, was an incredible encouragement. My current editor, Ann Parrish, has helped me continue to grow and develop.

What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?
That God is personally interested in their lives and that even when things don't seem to make sense. . . they do in light of eternity.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?
I like learning and experiencing new things and I dislike whiners. I'm passionate about pioneer women's real stories (working on my masters degree in history) and I love old quilts and quilting. Next year Kansas City Star books is releasing a co-authored book I've been working on for years about "quilts and the sod house experience." Vacations don't happen for me very often, but my dream vacations would involve Paris, Captain Cook, Hawaii, &/or Florence, Italy.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.
I'm an introvert.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Yes. Depending on my deadline date, I count back and try to create a per-day word count that maintains some semblance of sanity. (It hasn't worked yet, but I keep trying.) Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel? I like to have nine months, but I'd be pleased to write faster if more publishers were crying out for Whitson work.

What are you currently reading?
Dearest Marguerite, Letters from a Soldier to the Wife He Left Behind by Marguerite Swenson Young.
A mile-high stack of quilt history books.
And tomorrow I'll be in line at Barnes and Noble to buy Dean Koontz's newest Frankenstein novel and A Personal JourneyThrough the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
I'm nothing if not eclectic in my reading!

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? Both. Our back yard is very private and small with a little pond and waterfall and a large deck for lounging. No grass at all. We have lots of flowers and a tomato garden on wheels with seven huge plants growing in tubs. What are your favorite flowers? Butterfly Weed (the native prairie flower--it's orange), and Bleeding Heart (I plant one in every garden as a reminder of the grandmother I never knew).

What are you writing now?
A Most Unsuitable Match, my 2011 release with Bethany House. A banker's daughter heads for primitive Fort Benton, MT, by steamboat in search of her last living relative.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you so very much Stephanie.
May you have much success in your writing.
Can't wait to read your next book!

[Revell Blog Tour&Review] The Homecoming by Dan Walsh

No sooner is Shawn Collins home from the fighting in Europe than he's called upon to serve his country as a war hero on a USO bond tour. Others might jump at the chance to travel all around the country with attractive Hollywood starlets. But not Shawn. He just wants to stay home with his son Patrick, his aging father and to grieve the loss of his wife in private. When Shawn asks Katherine Townsend, Patrick's former social worker, to be Patrick's nanny while he's on the road, he has no idea how this decision will impact his life. Could it be the key to his future happiness and the mending of his heart? Or will the war once again threaten his chances for a new start?

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Revell (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800733894
ISBN-13: 978-0800733896
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches

I was born in Philadelphia in 1957 (guys don't care if you know) to a mostly
blue-collar, hard-working Irish family. My Dad was the first person on either side of the family to earn a college degree. It took him nine years, working during the day, going to college at night, using the GI Bill from his war days in Korea. In the mid-sixties, General Electric hired him as an engineer for the Apollo space program. We packed up and moved to Florida, which is really where I grew up.

I spent my childhood years playing basketball and surfing. In the spring of my senior year in high school I met the woman who would become my wife, Cindi. We dated for a brief period. I asked her to marry me and, to my great surprise, she said yes. We were married near the end of 1976. After several years preparing for ministry, in 1985 I was ordained as the first pastor of the church where I still serve near Daytona Beach.

It was actually in high school where the desire to write novels first started. But it wasn't until recently, now that our children have grown, that I've had the time to pursue it. I love writing and especially now that my books are being published. To find out more, see my website at www.danwalshbooks.com

My Review
“The Homecoming” by Dan Walsh is the sequel to “The Unfinished Gift,” but it can also be a stand-alone book. I didn’t get to read “The Unfinished Gift,” but wish I had. I would really like to know what happened first. So I will just have to read it.
There were many things I liked in this book the relationship of grandfather and grandson, drama of the escapes in the war, how death was handled. This book is full of brokenness, forgiveness, strong family love, faith, war and love.
I really enjoy how Ian the grandfather passed down his love of wood carving. so his grandson would have something from him.
Shawn the father always thinking of Patrick and what was best for him.
Patrick the son just had pure love for his father, grandfather and his nanny that only a child can have.
Katherine from having nothing to the many things she received. It was wonderful how each of their faith grew. I have a very favorite part near the end that was so touching, but I can’t tell you or it will ruin the story for you. This book is one that you really should read. If you like stories about the war, family and love you will greatly enjoy “The Homecoming.” Who doesn’t love those things. Dan Walsh is a great author and I’m glad I found his books.

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“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received my free copy from Donna Hausler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing


Here's a little about the book I'm giving away. I have a review posted at

if you want to check out what I thought about the book.
About the Book:
In this modern-day twist on C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, you’ll read an account of a young woman who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and found through the anguishing process that He alone is enough.

After battling cystic fibrosis for nineteen years, Amber’s lungs were scarred and damaged beyond repair, leaving her in dire need of a double lung transplant.

In Breathtaking, author Amber Nicole Metz takes the reader on her exhilarating journey through a series of gut-wrenchingly honest e-mails she wrote to hundreds across the nation during her illness. Amber’s steadfast faith in the sovereignty of God, even amidst adversity, will challenge you to breathe deeply and embrace life for His glory.

I wondered how Amber was doing after reading the book, so I got her email address and she wrote me this sweet note. Here are a few things she is up to right now.
"I've been married 7 months ago yesterday to my best friend, John, life has certainly changed quite a bit and does not afford me the opportunity to speak and travel as much as in the past. Due to this, I am unable to promote the book on my own as widely as before, but I am thankful for my marriage and the new opportunities I have to glorify Christ. My husband and I are currently settling into our marriage, and me into my position as a stay-at-home publicist and marketing assistant for WinePress. We are also praying about what the Lord would have for us ministry-wise, and plan on in the future not only writing but speaking together, as well.

I am now 24 yrs. old and doing extremely well physically-speaking. I will celebrate my 5 year double lung transplant anniversary on September 25th of this year. It’s crazy that 5 years have already passed! I feel so blessed! I didn’t even know my husband until over 2 years after my transplant, and had no idea that the Lord would allow me to experience so many blessings in these last 5 years."
If you want to win this book you need to be my follower and leave a comment with your email address in it. If you don't want to leave your email address on my blog send it to me at wandaelaine at gmail dot com.
Giveaway ends June 30, 2010
This is a very uplifting, encouraging,true life book that I received from WinePress Publishers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ransomed by Els Van Hierden~book review~

About the Book
Hundreds of thousands of orphans have been left homeless and abandoned as a result of the fall of the Communist era. Left to fend for themselves or locked up in state orphanages, the children have little hope for the future. Yet in the middle of suicide, alcoholism, and drug abuse, hope emerges. David Valensky, a successful US businessman who has experienced terrible personal loss, pours his life into reaching the homeless teens on the streets of Perm, Russia. But as the ministry grows, tragedy unfolds, threatening its very existence.
Karina Svetlana, a morose orphanage director with a dark past, meets David during his orphanage outreach. Will David be able to reach her with the Gospel and break the chains that hold her captive? And will their fledging love survive the storm that envelopes David's ministry?
Jared and Vanessa Williams travel to Russia to adopt a child, excited to bring home a new son. Can they cope with what they find in Russia and the devastating news that leaves their faith shattered?
Based on the author's personal experience in Russia, this novel will not only captivate and intrigue, but change your heart.

Book Information
Price: $19.95
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1579219616
ISBN-13: 9781579219611
Publisher: WinePress Publishing
Year: 2009

About the Author:
Els and her family live in Lethbridge, Canada, where they own an equestrian centre. She oversees the day to day operations of the centre, homeschools two of her five children, and is a Certified Equine Therapist. She is certified through Strategic Life Alignment as a conference speaker, helping people find God's call for their life. Els enjoys speaking to groups, and working with women. Els and her family like camping in the mountains with their horses, spending time at their ranch, and traveling.http://www.elsvanhierden.com/

My Review:
I fell in love with these characters. They were really honest and easy to believe.
Ransomed is full of love, suspense, endings, beginnings, extreme sadness and supreme happiness. David is working in Russia at a mission for teens to bring them off of the street for a meal and a place to stay. His love for the teens changes many of there lives. Karina is the head of an orphanage. She wants to provide for the infants and children that have nothing or no one. Karina has had a troubled past and has made some bad decisions. David shows Karina the love of Christ, but that causes problems for David.
This story is also about Jared and Vanessa are trying to adopt a Russian child, but have their share of troubles. They are close to adopting a child and then it falls threw. God blesses them and then things happen.
This is a beautiful book abandoned children, alcoholism, suicide and drug abuse, but also the gift of the Lord and many happy blessings from the Lord. I highly recommend this beautiful book. It's a serious, but wonderful story. This book teaches us that God works in all situations, that things are never to hard for the Lord. A book that is hard to put down. I will be keeping this book for my library for sure. A new author to me, but a new favorite.

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I received this book free from WinePress publishers for review purposes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson~a review~

About the Book:

With the promise of prime homesteads and fresh starts, sixteen Civil War widows uproot and move out West. But they soon find that more than land is awaiting their arrival.
When the women finally stumble off the train, they are greeted by the local bachelors--eager to propose marriage! As the true motive behind the offered land is revealed, the women muster all the faith, courage, and cunning they can to survive their new circumstances.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House; Original edition (April 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764205137
ISBN-13: 978-0764205132
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches

About the Author:

Stephanie Grace Whitson, bestselling author and two time Christy Award finalist, pursues a full-time writing and speaking career from her home studio in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her husband and blended family, her church, quilting, and Kitty--her motorcycle--all rank high on her list of "favorite things". Visit www.stephaniegracewhitson.com

My Review:
This book starts out with sixteen women going West to claim a homestead to begin a new life. The ad they saw featured some of the words "Only women need apply," " Take control of your own destiny by acquiring land in your own name." So these sixteen ladies set out all looking forward to land and having a place they can call their own. Tricked by the con artist, Mr. Drake, the women accidentally discover that his real intention is to provide them as brides for some lonely men at a nice profit for himself. They find this out one town before the place they were suppose to live. Ten of the ladies decide to go on, but six of them decide to stay where they are to help out in town at different places and they get four plots of land that connect at the corners. These six women are Ruth, Caroline, Hettie, Ella and her mother Zita, and Sally. Many reviewers said this was very confusing at the beginning because of sixteen characters, but I had no trouble at all.
Then Stephanie narrows it down to six women and keeps each ladies story separately interesting and fun, but she brings each of their lives together as well. This book was fun, touching and very hard to put down. I wanted to read it every second I could. This ladies will stay in your heart and I wish the book was MUCH longer. Really loved it. Another super book to keep on your book shelves. Make sure if you don't read any other book this year{shame on you if you don't read lots of books ;) }, you need to read this one. Highly recommended.

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Thanks to Bethany House and Jim Hart for the book Sixteen Brides for review purposes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Breathtaking by Amber Nicole Metz~a review~

About the Book:
In this modern-day twist on C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, you’ll read an account of a young woman who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and found through the anguishing process that He alone is enough.

After battling cystic fibrosis for nineteen years, Amber’s lungs were scarred and damaged beyond repair, leaving her in dire need of a double lung transplant.

In Breathtaking, author Amber Nicole Metz takes the reader on her exhilarating journey through a series of gut-wrenchingly honest e-mails she wrote to hundreds across the nation during her illness. Amber’s steadfast faith in the sovereignty of God, even amidst adversity, will challenge you to breathe deeply and embrace life for His glory.

Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing (December 4, 2007) Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414108974
ISBN-13: 978-1414108971
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches

About the Author:

Amber is the founder of Breathtaking Ministries, Inc. She is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a B.S. in Biblical Studies. She is also an avid speaker on behalf of organ/tissue donation awareness and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.



My Review:
This book is about a true life story. Now over four years since surgery, Amber is doing well and is breathing deeply for the first time in years. She spent the entire year of 2006 formulating the 165 or so e-mails she wrote while she awaited – and up to three months after – transplant into her now published book, Breathtaking. This tells of the spiritual journey of a young lady who fell more in love with God each day. Amber was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at a couple months of age. In Breathtaking we see how Amber always had a positive attitude even when breathing was very difficult and waiting on her new lungs seemed endless. She couldn’t finish her first year at college and had to come home from Cedarville University in Dec 04.
The FEC measurement measure total lung capacity. Results are out of 100. Amber was born in 86 and her FEC was at 95% in 94 and then in 04 when she left Cedarville it was at 24%. The FEC went down steadily for years. In late April 05 Amber was finally on the transplant list. Now she had to wait for the right lungs to be donated and the wait seems forever. She had to wait for 146 days, but most of her life it was hard for her to breathe. I just can’t imagine how it would be to go from not being able to breathe without oxygen to being able to breathe normally up to 100%. Wouldn’t that be amazing! Anyway in this book you won’t read about a lot of complaining or about asking God why, but most of it is about how wonderful God is, how much He blessed and enriched Amber’s life. This book is just full of love, blessings and the talk of peace that comes only from God. I thought this book might be a little depressing, but was greatly and gladly surprised at the love this special young lady has for God. It really touched my heart and opened my eyes. I have so much to be thankful for. We take so many things for granted. This young lady is now married as of November 7, 2009. I haven’t heard about her life now, but am trying to find out how she is doing. Besides loving and serving God she lives in the great state of OH so that makes her even more special. So if you want to be uplifted and read about someone who puts God first read this book. It’s a book to keep on your bookshelves. I really must recommend this book.

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I received this book from WinePress publishers for review purposes.

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell~a review~

During New York City's Gilded Age...
The game is played amid banquets and balls.
The prize is a lifetime of wealth and privilege.
The rules will test friendships and
the desires of a young woman's heart.
Clara Carter is the social season's brightest star...
but at what cost?
For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.

Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries. When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

Publisher: Bethany House
Price: $14.99
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0433-3
ISBN-10: 0-7642-0433-5
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.375
Number of pages: 400
Formats: Paperback

Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area. Visit www.sirimitchell.com

Clara dreamed of studies and travel, but when she is only 17 years old her aunt decides she will debut and be out into society in just 2 months. She is told she must get a certain very rich, young man to marry her. Clara is wondering why she can't marry for love. This book talks about how she must be in a corset tightly laced which causes her from breathing well and she can't eat much because it causes pain and discomfort. You learn about the dances, unique utensils, etiquette and games and appliances used in this era of time. One neat part of the book tells about how Clara’s friend makes Skeleton leaves. Below is a picture of how they look. Thought that was sweet.
She walks in Beauty tells of the Gilded Age the splendor, beauty, and greatness of the wonderful dinners, beautiful balls, and fancy gowns.
Clara and her best friend are both suppose to get the same man to marry them. You meet that young man Franklin and his brother Harry.
Clara wants to be loved for who she is not for who she pretends to be. She finds out the God loves her just the way she is, she doesn't have to change in order for the love of God.
You will read about the rich and affluent as well as the unkempt and deprived. How Clara finds out about them and what she does with them. I really, really loved this book and read it in a few days. If you love Christian fiction you need this for your library. I highly recommend She Walks in Beauty!

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Thanks to Jim Hart from Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Becoming a Woman Who Loves by Cynthia Heald~a review~

About the book:
Jesus loved unconditionally, passionately, and sacrificially. How can we possibly love as He did? And what does such love look like? Best-selling author Cynthia Heald confirms that, yes, you can learn to love as Christ loved and that you will be richly blessed in the process. Discover how to be sure such beautiful love truly resides deep within your soul and how to let it flow more freely to others in your daily conversations, encounters, and thoughts.

Publisher NavPress

ISBN-13: 9781615210237

Trim Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4

Cover: Paperback

112 Pages

Price $9.99

About the author:


Cynthia Heald was born in Houston, Texas, and received Christ as her personal Savior when she was twelve years old. In 1960, Cynthia married Jack, who by profession is a veterinarian but has been on staff with The Navigators since 1978. They have lived in Tucson, Arizona, since 1977. They are the parents of four (two daughters and two sons) and grandparents of nine. Cynthia is the author of Becoming a Woman of Excellence , Intimacy with God , Loving Your Husband , Becoming a Woman of Freedom , Becoming a Woman of Purpose , Becoming a Woman of Prayer , Becoming a Woman Who Walks with God , A Woman’s Journey to the Heart of God , Becoming a Woman of Grace , When the Father Holds You Close , Becoming a Woman of Faith , In the Secret Place of the Most High , Becoming a Woman Who Loves , Maybe God Is Right After All , and Uncommon Beauty . Cynthia speaks frequently for women’s retreats and seminars nationally and internationally. She loves to share the Word of God, be with her husband and family, take bubble baths, have tea parties, and eat out.

My Review:
This is a Bible study that can be used for an individual or for a group study. It has 11 chapters which can be used for 11 days or for a group it can be used for 11 weeks. Each chapter has many scriptures to look up, lots of space for your answers, the author has a reflection for each chapter and a Memory Verse. Some of the chapters are The Supremacy of Love, A New Commandment, The Source of Love with many more excellent chapters. This Bible study is very informative, easy to understand, gives you lots to think about. I have learned so much with this study and am so glad I have it. Here are a few things that I have learned that mean a lot to me. It is a precious gift to be loved, wanted and accepted. To love as Jesus loved is to be a servant. God’s love is not only amazing but overwhelming. Here is a quote that has become one of my favorites “You love God as much as the one you love the least. ~John J. Hugo~ That makes you think doesn’t it? I highly recommend this study. It will help you to see how you can be a woman who loves more and deeper. It will let you share your feelings and needs. A great study at a great price.

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I was given this book by NavPress for review purposes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sammy's CatVentures Volume One: Sammy Catches the Gloomy Loomies ~a review~

Book Recap:
Sammy’s CatVentures: Sammy Catches the Gloomy Loomies tells the tale of a usually happy and cheerful Siamese cat who wakes up one morning gloomy and sad. His mother Lucy and sister Lacy tie him to the roof of the car and take him off to see Dr. Katz to find out what is wrong. “Your son has the gloomy loomies!” Dr. Katz exclaims, and the silly, funny adventure begins.

What happens when an unusually gloomy cat is given a big heaping dose of some “Giggles and Jiggles” medicine? He soon bursts out into giggles, and from there the happiness spreads. Laugh along as the giggles and jiggles begin to spread across the whole town of Clawsville and throughout the whole country of North Americat. Carried by sailboats and airplane the laughter soon captures the rest of the cat world: South Americat, Eurokitty, Afrocat, Catasia, Antarcticat, and Australiakatty.

Join Sammy as he finds out that a cheerful, laughing heart is truly the best medicine of all!

Product Details
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing (February 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414115229
ISBN-13: 978-1414115221

Author Bio:
Hayley L. Howell’s passion is to spread the healing power of laughter to children worldwide, and she has taken an active role in the community of Federal Way, Washington, where she has lived for the past twenty-one years. Hayley spends time talking to children in schools, hospitals, and churches in an effort to build lasting friendships and promote fun and laughter.

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Hayley spent her childhood writing stories, especially about cats, many of whom were based on her own kitties growing up. A visiting author at her grade school inspired her to become a children’s author and when she was in sixth grade, Hayley illustrated and wrote a story called “Sammy’s Good Luck, Bad Luck Day.” This first Sammy book was submitted to the Young Authors Conference and received great acclamation from teachers, parents, and peers alike.

In her spare time, Hayley likes to sing, write, draw, read, watch “I Love Lucy,” volunteer with children, and make people smile. Through her books, Hayley hopes to teach kids fun-filled entertainment with good morals and values. In a world that can seem increasingly scarier to young minds, Hayley brings a ray of sunshine through her humorous story and bright illustrations, spreading joy and laughter to children everywhere.

Currently, Hayley resides with her mother, Helen, in Federal Way, Washington and is attending the University of Phoenix online. She is studying children's psychology and social work and plans to incorporate her books with her degree. To find out more about Hayley, you can visit her on the web at www.SammysCatVentures.com .

My Review
In this book “Sammy Catches the Gloomy Loomies” from the Sammy’s CatVentures series, Sammy is usually a very happy, jolly cat, but he wakes up with the Gloomy Lommies which is a kind of flu. The book takes you on a wild adventure of going to the doctor, getting a cure and the fun it causes. I really liked this book. The pictures are so colorful and full of fun. A child could just look at the pictures to know the story, but you wouldn’t want to miss all of the fun with the words. This is a wonderful, amazing book. It will make your child laugh and he will want to have you read it again and again. This book is about spreading the healing power of laughter. A wonderful book that you should buy for the young ones in your life. Really a happy, positive book. Hayley L. Howell is a wonderful story teller.

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This book was given to me by Winepress publishers for review purposes.