Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top 10 books for 2011

My top ten books of 2011
alphabetically arranged

A Marriage Carol by Gary D. Chapman
Ellie’s Haven by Sharlene MacLaren
Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee
Gray Matter by David Levy
Rooms by James L. Rubart
Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury
The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz 
The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh
The Wedding Kiss by Hannah Alexander
Throw the Devil off the Train by Stephen Bly


These books are also fantastic

Possession by Rene Gutteridge
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander
Fatal Judgment by Irene Hannon
A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann
Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock
Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
Now I Walk on Death Row by Dale S. Recinella
The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins
The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker
The Chair by James L. Rubart
Lonestar Angel By Colleen Coble 
One Perfect Day By Lauraine Snelling
The Crossing by Serita Jakes
Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins
The Road Trip by Jo Lynn Crozier  

Happy New Year

Unto the Hills-A Daily Devotional by Billy Graham*A Review

The classic 365-day devotional from Billy Graham, now back in print.

No matter your place in life, this classic collection of devotional readings is designed to bring you daily to that special place of renewal-to help you pause and gaze "unto the hills" for help and inspiration.

Each of the 365 daily readings in this inspiring collection offers a carefully chosen passage of scripture, a brief, thoughtful message from Dr. Graham, and a heartfelt prayer composed especially for this book. Distilled from a lifetime of study and ministry, these devotionals supply daily food for thought about living fruitfully and joyfully in an often fretful world.

Simple, direct, encouraging yet challenging, this book offers itself as a heartening companion for your daily walk in the valley. This collection is a gentle but constant reminder that we can find help for all our needs as long as we remember to look up . . . unto the hills but especially unto the Lord.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (December 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849946212
ISBN-13: 978-0849946219
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Billy Graham, the world-renowned author, preacher, and evangelist has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history and has ministered on every continent of the world. Millions have read his inspirational classics, including ANGELS, THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS, PEACE WITH GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT, HOPE FOR THE TROUBLED HEART, and HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN.

  I love anything written by Billy Graham and this daily devotional entitled Unto The Hills was just so full of knowledge and compassion, but the thing I like the most is Billy Graham’s love of our Lord.
  Each day has a Bible verse and is full of wisdom and a story to make a point. Also it always ends with a prayer.
  I have put many of Billy Graham’s quotes on facebook from this book and was quite inspired by his words of healing and wisdom.
 I will keep this book and in a few years go through it again. This fantastic book will work for any year, it just has the date and not the year on the pages.
  I highly recommend this book and it will be treasure to you as it is to me. After reading it you could give it to someone else so they could share or buy an extra copy for a gift. Definitely a 5-star book.

Order from Amazon

Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program/BookSneeze. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express are my own. This is true of any book I review for any publisher or author; I will not review books where a positive review is required and I will always express my own opinions of each book received and read.

The Attic in My Yard Ebook By Birgit Horvath-Muck

Most of us no longer dream and imagine the way we did as kids. Where we once saw pirate's ships sailing by or fairies dancing in the meadow we now see a cherry tree or the trash can. No one knows how this happens, but one day you look out the window and the ships and fairies are gone. Then again, maybe they are just hiding beneath a raspberry bush. And maybe all it takes is to lure them out again. From the attic in your yard … into reality.

a -thinking really deep thoughts- book

Includes 28 illustrations

The Attic in My Yard
Ebook By Birgit Horvath-Muck
(5.00 based on 2 reviews)
Published: Oct. 04, 2011
Category: Non-Fiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
Words: 2342 (approximate)
Language: English

I'm a reader.
I'm a writer.
I'm a book blogger
Some random facts about me.

1. While I was at Uni I had a part-time job at a bookshop. Great for my arm muscles. Bad for my finances.

2. I love broccoli.

3. Apart from my obvious addiction to books I'm also crazy about handbags.

4. The northernmost city I've ever visited is Murmansk. The southernmost Melbourne. Oddly enough my hometown starts with M too.

5. I could literally live in a Kinkade painting.

6. Yes, I'm from Austria. No, I don't ski ... or wear a Dirndl, for that matter.

7. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies and usually I have a camera with me wherever I go.

8. I procrastinate. A lot.

9. Boyds Bears. My bedroom is basically a bear cave. Wish I could hibernate with them.

10. Clowns aren't funny. Period.

11. I've been a vegetarian for more than 20 years now.

12. James Caviezel is hot. And talented. But mostly, hot.

13. I don't like talking on the phone and rather send an e-mail.

14. "Pillow Talk" is my favorite movie. I have watched it so often I pretty much know all the dialogues by heart.

15. I'm a huge fan of Disney World.

16. If you should ever happen to be in my car when I'm driving, be prepared to learn some new ... uhm, vocabulary.

17. Tori Amos is one of my alltime favorite musicians.

18. I had budgies as a kid. Would have prefered a dog though.

19. One of my pet peeves is people who're late.

20. I wrote my thesis about the alien in Star Trek, looking at the series from the anthropological side.

21. One day I will be able to afford flying first class. Not sure whether this makes me an optimist or just delusional.

22. I love taking naps

  This is a sweet little book that I really enjoyed. It really is inspiring and lets you know that no matter where you are in life or how old you are you can still have your dreams. Don’t give up and remember to look at things positively.
  One line in the book that I really liked was this “Just remember that running along with blinders will neither make you reach your goal faster nor will it make the journey enjoyable.”
  A lot of things in this book are very profound and have a lot of meaningful words.
  The pictures were really neat, even though I have a Kindle the pictures were interesting and lovely. I really love the cover to this book. It was just priceless.
  I was uplifted and inspired to keep working on my dreams and don’t give up.
  If you read this book you will be encouraged and really glad you read it. It won’t take you long to read at all. I was probably done in an hour or two.
  I highly recommend this book for your reading encouragement and to inspire you.

Order from Smashwords

Thank you to the author for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ellie's Haven by Sharlene MacLaren*A Review

A courageous young woman seeking refuge...

Ellie Booth was never the type to run away. But she'd witnessed her stepfather commit a heartless crime, and, knowing he'll stop at nothing to keep her quiet, she has no choice but to flee. Soon, she finds herself in Wabash, Indiana, scrambling for a cover identity to evade her stepfather. For lack of a better option, she answers an ad for a wife/housekeeper/nanny, praying that her lack of experience won't be obvious.

A widowed father with no domestic skills to speak of...

Gage Cooper is reaching the end of his rope. With four children between the ages of three and ten, he needs a reliable nanny, yet each one he's hired has thrown up her hands and deserted her post. When an attractive, spirited young woman applies for the "job," he knows he should pray about the matter, but his desperation for help propels him headlong into a marriage of convenience.

A trial by fire of their wedding vows...

Ellie immediately falls in love with the Cooper children, and, not long after, with their father. Soon, the "marriage of convenience" becomes less of a business arrangement as husband and wife yield to an attraction neither one had expected. When secrets of the past and dangers of the present arise in their lives, their marriage is put to the test, and God alone knows what will become of their union.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (March 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603742131
ISBN-13: 978-1603742139
Shipping Weight: 0.5 ounces

Born and raised in west Michigan, Shar attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree way back in 1971, she traveled internationally for a year with a small singing ensemble, then came home and married one of her childhood friends. Together they raised two lovely, wonderful daughters, both of whom are happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 from 31-years of teaching, Shar loves to read, sing in the church choir and worship team, travel, and spend time with her family, in particular, her wonderful, adorable grandchildren, Dylan, Alexis, and Gavin!
A Christian for forty+ years, and a lover of the English language, Shar has always enjoyed dabbling in writing—poetry, fiction, various essays, and freelancing for periodicals and newspapers. Her favored genre, however, has always been romance. She remembers well the short stories she wrote in high school and watching them circulate from girl to girl during government and civics classes. “Psst,” someone would whisper from two rows over, and always with the teacher’s back to the class, “Pass me the next page.”
Shar is a an occasional speaker for her local MOPS organization, is involved in KIDS’ HOPE USA, a mentoring program for at-risk children, counsels young women in the Apples of Gold program, and is active in two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan with their lazy, fat cat Mocha.

  I really love this book. Ellie’s Haven is such a tender, compassionate book that it will grip your heart. This is book two in the River of Hope series. Ellie’s Haven is one of my favorite books for 2011. Sharlene MacLaren is an excellent author and I love her writing style.
  I like that Ellie’s Haven has so many interesting parts. I couldn’t wait to read it each day, but was sad to finish. Very interesting, lovable characters.
  Ellie’s Haven has suspense, hate, mother-daughter love, friendship, family, new relationships, new beginnings, murder, forgiveness.
  Ellie and Gage make a good couple even though their age difference is really big. Gage sees Ellie as a young girl for quite a long time, but finds out she is really capable. She soon shows Gage that age isn’t all that important in a relationship.
  It’s really special how Ellie and her mom each come to the Lord, but at different times through different people and the love they have for each other.
  This book is highly recommended and I know you will love it. The release date is March 2012. Keep a look out for Ellie’s Haven and all books by Sharlene MacLaren.

Order from Amazon

Thank you to Whitaker House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Road Trip by Jo Lynn Crozier*A Review

The story is a tapestry of fantasy woven by the threads of reality. In the story, God takes the female lead character, Liz, on a road trip. On the trip, Liz interacts with many different and whimsical characters in fantastical locations. Each location is vastly different from the other, but each time she leaves a location, she receives a very important, relevant, and useful spiritual life lesson. The story is imaginative, entertaining, and humorous.

Hardcover: 184 pages
Publisher: Emmanuel House Publishing (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615483674
ISBN-13: 978-0615483672
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Jo Lynn Crozier, a member of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, draws her literary inspiration from her relationship with God. She attended the University of Texas at Arlington and works as a mortgage banker. Crozier resides in Granbury, Texas, with her husband, Bobby. They have one son, three daughters, and five grandchildren. Jo Lynn is devoting her writing career to reshaping the way we all relate to God.

  This is the first book I’ve read by Jo Lynn Crozier and it is a fantastic book. The Road Trip is a flight of the imagination. The first part of each chapter talks about the main character Liz taking a road trip with God. It is just amazing at the places they stop and the people they meet. In each chapter you learn the wrong way people do things, but God always explains and tells what we should do.
 Here are a few of the chapters and what they are about: The Comfort Zone, where people are afraid to go out and try new things and keep themselves crippled, but they would be so much better if they just tried it. Another one was in the Gardens of Humanity which I loved a lot. This is talking about in some people lives they have joy, peace, love etc, because they let the lord in, which is a beautiful garden, full of flowers and beautiful things, but in other lives-gardens people have fear, hatred, gossip etc, which is ugly and full of scary, sad things.
Each place has whimsical characters that represent each of the problems many people face.
 Each chapter is an adventure in the whimsical sense of the word and at the end of each chapter Jo Lynn gives certain Bible verses and gives an example of the meaning of the chapter. Each chapter has deep spiritual importance.
  This book is very whimsical with deep insight that will be such a help to any Christian. I really love this book and will keep it for my bookshelf. I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment and learning abilities.

  Order from Jo Lynn Crozier

Order from Amazon

Thank you to the author for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

WINNER of My Life and Lesser Catastropes by Christina Schofield

The winner of 
My Life and Lesser Catastropes by Christina Schofield

go to karenk
Enjoy this wonderful book.
I will have a lot more book giveaways in the coming year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Made by God Big Bugs, Little Bugs* A read by yourself book for children*A Review

Butterfly, Goliath Beetle, Lightning Bug, and Praying Mantis includes simple text perfect for I Can Read level two readers and provides basic facts about these bugs of all sizes and their habitat. Parents and teachers will enjoy introducing early readers to the wonders of God’s creation.

Did you know … There are about 18,000 kinds of butterflies? That the goliath beetle is the largest bug on earth? Learn more about these and other amazing bugs made by God.

Book & Bible Cover Size: Large
Page Count: 32

Paper Edge Description: Plain
Size: 6 wide x 9 high x 0.1 deep in. | 152 wide x 229 high x deep 2 mm
Weight: 0.165 lb | 74 gms

Available: March 2011

  These made by God books are so fantastic for children. It really is a help to get them to read. The pictures are so big and colorful. I know many children will look at them again and again. This one is called Made by God: Big Bugs, Little Bugs.
 These I can read books are high-interest stories for developing readers, which will capture and keep a child’s attention.
 The different parts of this book are called:
Goliath Beetles
Lightning Bugs
and Praying Mantises.
  One really fun, interesting thing I learned is that Butterflies can fly up to 12 miles an hour. I find that fascinating.
  Something about the Goliath beetle is when they fly their wings sound like a helicopter.
    There are about 2,000 different kind of lightning bugs.
   The head of a praying mantis can turn almost in a circle.
  God made some amazing bugs, some bad and some good. I really like these books because God is mentioned so much.
  I highly recommend these books for reading to your child, but mostly for them to learn to read better and it’s all full of the amazing things God created.

Order from Amazon

Thank you to Zonderkidz for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins*A Review

Amaryllis, Mississippi is a scrappy little town of strong backbone and southern hospitality. A brick-paved Main Street, a park, and a legendary ghost in the local cemetery are all part of its heritage. Everybody knows everybody in Amaryllis, and gossip wafts on the breeze. Its people are friendly, its families tight. On the surface Amaryllis seems much like the flower for which it’s named—bright and fragrant. But the Amaryllis flower is poison.

In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago—a sixth murder.

Clearly a killer lives among the good citizens of Amaryllis. And now three terrified women are sure they know who he is—someone they love. None is aware of the others’ suspicions. And each must make the heartrending choice to bring the killer down. But each woman suspects a different man.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (March 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433671638
ISBN-13: 978-1433671630
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for
her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing
crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget
to b r e a t h e . . ."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of
Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995.
Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and
radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.
Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW
Book of the Year (three times), Inspirational Readers'
Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.
Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.
When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences. She and her family divide their time between homes in the California Bay Area and northern Idaho.

   Brandilyn Collins is one of my favorite authors. I haven’t read any of her books that I haven’t loved. She is an excellent suspense author.
  In Gone to Ground it tells of a story of a killer who has killed six women.
This book is about three women who believe they know who the murder is. One woman believes it is her brother, another believe it is her husband and the last one believes it is her employer. Each one has evidence and they work together to try to get the real murder caught.
 I love to try and guess who the murderer is, but didn’t do it this time. Gone to Ground is full of twists and turns and you won’t know what is going to happen next.
 I was very interested and couldn’t put down this book.  Another winner for Brandilyn Collins and a winner for anyone who reads it.
  I loved that these three women worked together to find out who was the murder. They could have kept all of the information to themselves and let the other one take the blame.
  This is a five-star book for sure. You will love this book and it will keep you reading late into the night. Highly recommended.

Order from Amazon

Thank you to the author for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock*A Review

Carny Sullivan grew up in the zany world of a traveling carnival. Quaint and peaceful Serenity, Texas, has given her a home, a life, and a child. Logan Brisco is the smoothest, slickest, handsomest man Serenity, Texas has ever seen. But Carny Sullivan knows a con artist when she sees one---and she's seen plenty, starting with her father. As far as Carny Sullivan can tell, she's the only one in town who has his number. Because from his Italian shoes to his movie-actor smile, Logan has the rest of the town snowed. Carny is determined to reveal Brisco's selfish intentions before his promise to the townspeople for a cut in a giant amusement park sucks Serenity dry. Yet, as much as she hates his winning ways, there is a man behind that suave smile, a man who may win her heart against her will. Shadow in Serenity is a modern-day Music Man, penned by a Christy Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310332311
ISBN-13: 978-0310332312
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Terri Blackstock ( has sold six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestseller. She is the award-winning author of Intervention and Double Minds, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

  I really enjoy books written by Terri Blackstock and this one is very good. It is a book she wrote before she got into the Christian market, but loved it so much that when she could she rewrote parts of this book and had it published in the Christian market.
  I really like it because it shows us even the most unfeeling, unloving person can truly want to change and be saved. God isn’t held back. He can even make the vilest person clean and whole.
  Carny grew up in a carnavial and saw lots of people being swindled. Even though it was her life she wanted to be different and change. So the first chance she got she took it and was now content doing the Lord’s will. When Logan came into town she knew he was a swinder.
  I like how you see in the hearts of Carny and Logan, both knew evil and both just wanted love and a chance to change and prove themselves.
 I like Terri’s rich characters and the small town feel she puts in this book. The kind, caring, simple town full of trusting, happy people. I love Carny and her sweet son. I even like Logan even though he has nothing but evil in his heart and only thinks of himself.
  This book Shadow in Serenity is full of action, family, friends, sneakiness, love, forgiveness and peace.
 Will Logan change, can he? Will Carny ever believe him? Will the town lose everything? Read this book to find out.
 I recommend this book as a very enjoyable read that will be very entertaining.

Order from Amazon

Thank you to the author for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christina Schofield-author interview and book GIVEAWAY

Today my interview is with Christina Schofield who wrote My Life and Lesser Catastropes-a true story. I loved this book and I know you will also. Here is my link for the review I did. 
Book giveaway below. I really love making new author friends and Christina is a very special lady!

Tell us about My Life and Lesser Catastropes the featured book.
For Christina Schofield, the difference between life as she’d always known it and a life of fear and uncertainty was a matter of a few pebbles.

As the motorcycle she and her husband were riding hit a patch of loose gravel, the bubble around her smooth Christian life popped. The safety nets she thought she had--based on unquestioning obedience to God, unyielding faith, a ministry-focused life--broke as their bodies were hurled from the bike.

What began that very moment was an emotional search for the God she thought she knew. With warmth and transparency, Christina describes facing her deepest questions of faith--and God’s painful silence--with honesty, sincerity and humor, showing that even in our darkest hours, God’s goodness shines through.

Why did you write this book?
As the title suggests, this book is about something awful our family was faced with. An accident changed our lives completely in less than a minute, and our eyes were instantly opened to what matters most. Tragedy brought perspective! I've always hoped by sharing our story, other people could benefit from that new perspective without having to go through the whole catastrophe thing personally!  And I had a strong desire to say, "Yes! God is good! Even in gross times!"

Can you tell us how many books you have in print in the Christian market? 
This was my first book. I've collaborated on maybe as many as 100 other books and projects, mostly for things used in youth ministry.

How can readers and fans encourage you as you pursue what is sometimes a challenging and solitary job? 
I don't really have aspirations of becoming a writer, but I love to hear from new people and I would be so happy to know people were praying for Allen and my Dad.

Many writers are also avid readers.  Do you have any favorite authors?  If so, could you name a few?
I like anything written by God or Dave Barry. :) Because of our weird circumstances right now with my husbands' paralysis, I have very little free time and read the Bible almost exclusively. But every once in a while, I'll get my nose into a book I can't put down!  Mostly I love to read stories about how God is moving in our generation (or recent history)! Stuff by Bill Johnson, T. L. Osborne, John G. Lakes, Heidi Baker. I recently read the book The Heavenly Man by Liu Zhenying (Brother Yun) about the infancy of the Underground House Church in China.

If you could only take five books with you on a journey of ten years, which ones would you take? The Bible, and a few books I haven't read yet but would like to: Francis Chan's "Forgotten God" and "Crazy Love," "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper, and maybe one of the "God's Generals" books? Or could I just take four and then have extra room for my Ipod Nano and some chocolate?

If you had 48 hours to hang out with any TWO people (besides Jesus), alive or dead in the history of the world who would you hang out with and what would you do? 
My Mom and Dad. I love them soooo much. We'd go thrift store shopping and then, have to stop for donuts and coffee to keep Dad engaged. I know I should say someone Bible-y or whatever, but I really get kind of nervous around new people and couldn't possibly enjoy anyone more than my parents!

What three things are you most thankful for in your life?
Lord Jesus, my family, and music. I play piano and a little guitar and I'm learning violin, which still sounds terrible in my opinion. The cat always leaves the room and at my family's request, I practice with a mute!

What is the most fun thing you have ever done? 
Before our daughter was born, we lived on a cul de sac. Late at night, when I didn't think I'd be spotted, I would roller skate out there under the street lamps. A neighborhood dog would gallop alongside with his tongue hanging out! He thought it was great fun! But I've never laughed so hard as the day I played racquetball with my sister at the YMCA. She is maybe the only person on earth who might possibly be worse at sports than me! We laughed the entire time! Another fun day was this past October when I took my daughter and her little friend to this drive through animal safari. The exotic animals stick their heads in your car window hoping for a tasty snack! It was unbelievable! I got zebra drool on me!  (Sorry, you only asked for one.)

What are you writing now?
Just a personal project. I have a dear friend I've been trying to share Jesus with. Whenever I try, I chicken out or gumble it up, so I'm making a little picture book about how to become a follower of Christ to give her as a gift. (I 've done a little illustrating for children). Pray with me that it bears fruit!

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a website with my online art portfolio:, and at  I'm starting up a blog spot:, but it isn't very exciting yet!

Wasn't that just a wonderful interview? I think Christina is a very sweet, witty person. Here are the rules of the giveaway.
Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

Here are the ways to get extra entries:
~Be or become a follower  +1
~Be or become an email subscriber +1
~Be or become a networked blog follower +1

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party-  ENTRY DEADLINE December 19, 2011

The Crossing by Serita Jakes*A Review

Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fi re on a Texas school bus.  Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 6, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400073030
ISBN-13: 978-1400073030
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

Mrs. Serita A. Jakes is an inspirational woman of God who leads with wisdom and grace. Throughout her nearly 30 years of marriage, she has diligently served alongside her husband, Bishop T. D. Jakes, with purpose and precision. An insightful speaker, she draws heavily from her education and background in theater and mass communications. A soft-spoken woman offstage, Mrs. Jakes possesses the rare ability to reach and stir her audiences as she works to complement her husband’s ministry.
A gifted speaker and author, Mrs. Jakes released her first book in August 1999, The Princess Within, which to date has sold more than 200,000 copies. The book is a poignant and revealing autobiographical reflection of encouragement and victory over pain, trauma and abuse. Mrs. Jakes wrote the book as a vehicle of encouragement for hurting women who want to break the silence surrounding their secret pain and obtain healing from it. That same year, Mrs. Jakes traveled extensively as co-executive producer with the Woman, Thou Art Loosed stage play. She also served as public spokesperson on the performance tour, addressing the critical issues of sexual abuse, alcoholism, abortion, and addictive relationships that were dramatized by the play. In 2000, Mrs. Jakes was co-executive producer of her husband’s stage play Behind Closed Doors, which addressed the critical issue of breast cancer among women.  In November 2003, Warner Faith published Mrs. Jakes’ second book, Beside Every Good Man: Loving Myself While Standing By Him.  It challenges women to explore the seasons that shape their views of male influence in their eyes.

In 2009, Mrs. Jakes appeared in the movie, Not Easily Broken, which was released January of that same year by Sony Pictures. The movie ranked No. 9 nationally during opening week. Because of her heart for women, in 2011, Mrs. Jakes debuted eMotions Magazine, a digital publication that seeks to inspire and educate all women. She also assisted in the production of her husband’s latest film Jumping the Broom. The comedy opened in theaters May 2011 and topped box office numbers during opening weekend. Currently, Mrs. Jakes has been intricately involved with her husband’s highly anticipated sitcom, One Love, and most recently released her non-fiction book, The Crossing. The book, which centers on young people, explores the traumatic situations they encounter that transpire into their adulthood. The book also addresses what they must do to move forward in their lives.
A loving wife, mother and grandmother, Mrs. Jakes and Bishop Jakes have five children and two grandchildren.

  This book The Crossing is one of my favorites of the year. I was so interested in it that it only took me one day to read it, and that‘s really great for me. What an exciting book.
  I like how this book is split into different parts, told from different viewpoints, one being the viewpoint of the victim. I especially liked that  viewpoint.
   The Crossing has a lot of love, pain, hurt and forgiveness in it. Also it shows how different characters had PTSD-posttraumatic stress disorder. It shows how some people get help and how some just cause trouble.
   I was very intrigued to find out who the murderer was. I always try to guess and this was a complete surprise to me.
  You never know how many lives you touch and how many people you can affect by your actions.
  This book shows us if we go through something tragic we need to go to God and also get help from professionals.
  The characters in this book are very likable, colorful and compelling. The Crossing is a gripping book that will take you on a roller-coaster adventure. There are no parts in this book that aren’t thrilling.
  This is the first time I’ve read any of Serita Jakes books, but it won’t be the last.
  I give this book a 5-star rating because it is an unforgettable, riveting book. I highly recommend it. You will love this book.

Order from Serita Jakes

Order from Amazon

Thanks to WaterBrookMultnomah for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Longing by Karen Kingsbury-Book 3 in the Bailey Flanigan series-A Review

Longing, book three in the Bailey Flanigan Series, picks up where Learning ended. After a long and lonely silence from Cody Coleman, Bailey Flanigan becomes closer to her one-time Hollywood co-star, Brandon Paul. Nights on the town in New York City and long talks on the balcony of Brandon's Malibu Beach home make Bailey dizzy with new feelings and cause her to wonder if her days with Cody are over forever. Meanwhile, Cody's work coaching a small-town football team has brought him and his players national attention. In the midst of the celebration and success, Cody finds himself much closer to a woman who seems to better understand him and his new life. Even so, never does much time go by without Bailey and Cody experiencing deep feelings of longing for each other, longing both for the past and for answers before they can move forward. Will an unexpected loss be the turning point for Cody? Will Cody and Bailey find a way back together again for the first time in more than a year? And if they do, will their brief time together be enough to help them remember all they've been longing for?

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (November 22, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310276349
ISBN-13: 978-0310276340
Shipping Weight: 0.5 ounces

New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's favorite inspirational novelist, with more than 15 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction has produced multiple bestsellers, including Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women's groups. She lives in Washington with her husband, Don, their daughter and five sons.

  The third book in the Bailey Flanigan series was a surprise. The first two books were pretty predictable to me, but this one was different. I’m not liking the way the series is going, but hope things will turn around in the last book.
  Bailey and Brandon are getting along really good in Longing and I like that. I think they make a great couple, but I miss Bailey and Cody together. Cody is doing really good with his coaching and the team is undefeated. Cody and Cheyenne are getting along really well and have become fast friends.
  In Longing Cody and Bailey have a couple of really good talks that straighten up the past mistakes they have made, but they still aren’t back together.
 I’m really looking forward to Loving, book 4 and the end of the Bailey-Cody story. I want it to turn out one way, but have a feeling things won’t happen as I hope.
  I recommend this book. It is the best one in the Bailey Flanigan series so far.

Order from Zondervan

Order from Amazon

Thank you to Zondervan for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Life and Lesser Catastrophes by Christina Schofield A REVIEW

For Christina Schofield, the difference between life as she’d always known it and a life of fear and uncertainty was a matter of a few pebbles.

As the motorcycle she and her husband were riding hit a patch of loose gravel, the bubble around her smooth Christian life popped. The safety nets she thought she had--based on unquestioning obedience to God, unyielding faith, a ministry-focused life--broke as their bodies were hurled from the bike.

What began that very moment was an emotional search for the God she thought she knew. With warmth and transparency, Christina describes facing her deepest questions of faith--and God’s painful silence--with honesty, sincerity and humor, showing that even in our darkest hours, God’s goodness shines through.

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Chosen (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800795113
ISBN-13: 978-0800795115
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

Christina Schofield has been a children's illustrator and writer for the last ten years, working with Zonderkidz, Group Publishing, Standard Publishing, and Cook Communications. She and her husband, Allen, a campus pastor, have one daughter, Lily, and live in Rolla, Missouri.

  I really enjoyed this true story told by Christiana Schofield. Her husband and her were in a motorcycle accident. Christiana tells about the different stages they go through in the hospital than at home and she tells it with such style and love her wit and humor. She only suffered a concussion, but her husband, Allen became paralyzed.
  When reading this book you will find out how they cope with hardships like changing their lifestyles completely, having to quit or slow down in their jobs, how their prayer life and Bible reading changed. How they thought they were leaning on God before, but now have no one else to turn to.
  I love how both Christina and Allen put humor into their new life situation.  They still have moments of wondering why or how can they cope with all of the changes. I really like how they go about praying for complete healing.
  This little book is really an encouraging book. It will lift you up even though it talks about some hard issues in life.
I highly recommend this book and am very glad to have read it.

Order from BakerBooks

Order from Amazon

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, December 2, 2011

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling a review

Nora Peterson has two children--twins, a boy and girl, who are seniors in high school. She wants their last Christmas as a family living in the same home to be perfect, but her husband is delayed returning from a business trip abroad. And then there's an accident--a fatal one involving a drunk driver.

Meanwhile, Jenna Montgomery has a daughter who needs a new heart.

One woman’s loss becomes the miracle the other has desperately prayed for. And while one mother grieves, and pulls away from her family, the other finds that even miracles aren't always easy to receive.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: FaithWords; First Edition edition (October 22, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446582107
ISBN-13: 978-0446582100
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Lauraine Snelling, an award-winning author of fifty-plus books with sales of over 2 million copies, also writes for a wide range of magazines and teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.

 I’ve read many of Lauraine Snelling’s books. She is an excellent author. I have loved everything I’ve read of hers, but One Perfect Day is just fabulous. I didn’t realize it but One Perfect Day is a book that happens at Christmas, so it is wonderful I read it in December.
  This book is just perfect if you or someone you know has lost a child or one that needs a transplant.
 I was quite touched by the depth of feeling and loss that happened in this book, but the love and joy of the Lord will shine through.
 I could just imagine how a mother would feel if their child died or needed a transplant to keep living.
The title One Perfect Day was talking about how a woman wanted everything to be so perfect for her family and everything just fell apart when her son was killed, but that same day was horrible for one family, but fantastic for the family looking for a new heart for their daughter.
  This is an older book, written in 2008, but so very important and needed everyday.
  In this book you find out that everyone needs someone to talk to, someone to be a friend, even when you want left alone, you really can’t make it alone. With God and friends you will make it.
 I highly recommend this book even though it is an older book. You won’t be sorry you read it.

Order from Lauraine Snelling

Order from Amazon

I received my free copy from Sarah Reck at Faith Words/HachetteBookGroup, for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy+A Review

When an insidious genetic disease strikes her family, Harvard graduate Dr. Kai Chang must alert Lily, the sister Kai left on orphanage steps years earlier. Standing in her way are the Powells, Lily's adoptive parents. Gloria Powell distrusts Kai and thinks her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year-old over the precipice of teenaged angst. Can Kai and Gloria, separated by culture and faith but devoted to Lily, reconcile their differences and trust their dreams to God?

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764209418
ISBN-13: 978-0764209413
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Patti Lacy, a graduate of Baylor University and a Southerner who's found happiness in the Midwest, taught community college humanities. In 2005, God called Patti to write novels exploring the secrets women keep and why they keep them.

An Irishwoman's Tale, Patti's first book, draws on the real-life memories of a brave Irishwoman, who was banished from her beloved Cliffs of County Clare and plopped into a dysfunctional Midwest home.

Both An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw, Patti's second novel, were Foreword Magazine Book of the Year finalists.

Patti spans seas and secrets to gather material for her projects. 2010 found her hiking China's majestic Great Wall and mysterious Mount Tai in search of stories. Music weaves its way into her text, especially her third novel, The Rhythm of Secrets, which inspired a listening guide, The Music, found on Patti's website,

2011 brings two new Patti Lacy novels to bookstore shelves; The Rhythm of Secrets, published by Kregel, and Reclaiming Lily, published by Bethany House. Here's what award-winning, best-selling author Gina Holmes says: Reclaiming Lily is a moving story of loss, healing, and above all, love."

Patti has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. Visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites. Patti LOVES to hear from her readers and thanks every one of y'all for supporting books!

  I really liked Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy. This story is full of love and compassion between sisters, parents and children and fellow Christians.
  Reclaiming Lily shows even when we make mistakes we can be forgiven, even when we feel alone we aren’t alone, God is always there for us.
  The story is also about adoption and PKD-Polycystic Kidney disease and explains both very well. It shows how things can change in a blink of an eye.
 The characters are very real and likable and Patti Lacy has a way with words that really tell a story to keep you glued to your seat and your eyes on the page. I couldn’t wait to see how the story turned out. I was surprised at the ending, but not disappointed.
  If you like books that are about real life problems this book is for you. It is full of problems, love and compassion with loss and plenty of excitement to keep you reading and wanting more.
 I recommend this book and really enjoyed reading it.

Order from Bethany House

Order from Amazon

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mary's First Christmas by Walter Wangerin Jr. A Review

On the night you were born the whole sky exploded with love, and the angels shouted, and more than a thousand hearts were in love with my baby Jesus on his birthday! Gather near and listen to the wondrous bedtime story, told long ago by a special mother to her very special son. Listen as Mary tells five-year-old Jesus of the first Christmas -- of his own birth and the remarkable events that surrounded it. Award-winning author Walter Wangerin tells this moving story in four parts, to be read in one sitting or over the course of four nights. And artist Timothy Ladwig brings to glowing life the people and places of Jesus' young life. Listen. Look. And you too will experience the wonder and glory of Mary's First Christmas.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (October 1, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310222168
ISBN-13: 978-0310222163
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.7 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin's writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children's story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the millions. The author of over forty books, Wangerin has won the National Book Award, New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year Award, and several Gold Medallions, including best-fiction awards for both The Book of God and Paul: A Novel. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he is Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University.

Timothy Ladwig is an illustrator whose recent books include Saying Grace, Jubilee, and Tonight You are My Baby. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife, Leah, and three children.

Mary’s First Christmas by Walter Wangerin Jr. is a very good children’s book.
   It is told from Mary’s viewpoint as she tells Jesus about how she found out she was going to have him and the love she had for him. About how Joseph loves him and how he found out about Jesus. About how God loved him and provided for him. Then about how much Jesus himself loves the world and would give himself for everyone.
  The pictures are just magnificent and the people in the pictures are so loveable and precious. This book is for children four and older and has 48 pages, put into 4 chapters.
  I really like this book and would recommend it for you and your child/children.

Order from Amazon

Thank you to Zonderkidz for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Journey to Christmas DVD*A Review

Journey to Christmas is a fascinating new reality DVD series that invites you to explore Jesus’ birth through five modern-day explorers. Shot on ultra-high-definition film and packaged as a four-part DVD church curriculum, this unique study series chronicles the experiences of five very different people—a messianic Jew, a First Nations woman, a poet, a Christian radio personality, and an agnostic lawyer—as they journey through the Holy Land to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Guided by a local historian (Nizar Shaheen) with on-camera commentary from a team of Bible experts (astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross, ancient history expert Dr. Paul Maier, archeologist and New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans, Biblical times culture expert Claire Pfann, and others), viewers will see the Christmas story unfold though the eyes of each member on this unique pilgrimage. Journey to Christmas lets you immerse yourself in the culture, places, and people surrounding the Nativity. Stunning photography, a reality show format, exotic locations, and fascinating commentary from a team of Bible experts make this an unforgettable Bible learning experience!

List Price:
Trim Size:

2 DVDs
December 2011

  These two DVDs are 180 minutes long. I really enjoyed all of the scenery and information of the Holy Land.
Five different people from five different backgrounds got to go. They were a messianic Jew, a First Nations woman, a poet, a Christian radio personality, and an agnostic lawyer. All of them were either raised in a Christian home or had the opportunity to go to church. They all knew about the Christian faith.
The three women to me seemed to get more out of their trip than the two men. I can’t believe someone who has been raised in a Christian home or know about Christ gets to go to the Holy Land and they still don’t believe. To me it seemed like the trip for the two men Drew and Rory was just a waste of time. They wanted some kind of sign or a big miracle.
  So would I recommend this DVD? Yes, for the three girls and they faith and love of the Lord and all of the beautiful places they visited. Below you will read who was there and where they went.
I enjoyed the DVDs, but probably won’t watch them again.

Here is one of the experts and the names of the others.

Nizar Shaheen
Biblical Scholar and Guide

Dr. Paul L. Maier
Prof., Ancient History
Western Michigan University

Dr. Stephen J. Pfann
University of the Holy Land

Claire Ruth Pfann
Academic Dean/Instructor
University of the Holy Land

Dr. Craig L. Evans
Prof., New Testament
Acadia University

Dr. Hugh Ross
Physics & Astronomy
Here are the five travelers and a little about them. The first part is the words of the traveler.

“Although I’m not religious, I can offer some benefit to those that are, by opening a more spiritual side to their religiosity.”

An expert in international affairs, Rory Nisan will bring a unique geo-political perspective to the group. He grew up in an environment where religion was perceived to be a divider. His father was disowned by his strict conservative Jewish family as a result of his marriage to a gentile. Now an agnostic, Rory relishes the opportunity to interact with the other Journey to Christmas participants.


“My culture is very close to Judaism. I would be interested to go and re-connect with what could possibly be my heritage.”

Nazreth Mebrahtu is a Toronto-based visual artist who works with fibre and paint. For the last five years she has explored issues of identity, freedom of expression, and spirituality.

Nazreth’s vast influences include primarily, inspiration from her Eritrean indigenous heritage, and from Western art, with her work often revealing conflicting values of the philosophy of her mixed heritage. Nazreth's work is informed by her deep passion and knowledge of materials, color, and texture.


"I intentionally wanted to put my life into the hands of God and make a personal investment in this thing called 'faith.' Trusting anyone was tough, let alone God. The next thing I knew I was an Associate Pastor at a church wondering how I ever got the job!”

Drew Marshall grew up in a funeral home, was kicked out of four schools, and finally dropped out after completing grade nine. Not wanting to wait around for life to give him a shot, he ran away to California at the age of seventeen and became a wrangler at a ranch-camp in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After returning to Canada four years later, having never played a game of football in his life, he became a punter at the semi-pro level, which eventually led to NFL & CFL tryouts. After leaving his football dreams behind, Drew then began training for a career as a Fire Fighter. Had he decided to settle into any one of these ambitious pursuits, this wandering autodidactic iconoclast would never have ended up taking an unbelievable step of faith. In 1997, he moved his family to Australia with nine bags of clothes, two children, no place to live, and no job!

Then, after five years in Australia, he moved his family back to Canada and in 2003 and with absolutely zero broadcasting experience, walked into the studios of JOY 1250 and pitched the idea of hosting a talk show that was different.


“I will be of good cheer in the most adverse of circumstances… I will bring harmony to the group without placating people… I might sing Christmas songs!!! Is that allowed?”

Dusty May is a young and vivacious writer, singer, and painter from Hamilton, Ontario. Born into a dysfunctional single parent home, her childhood was filled with pain and difficult trials. Her amazing story involves a radical life change from involvement in the occult, dealing with mental illness, and eating disorders, to a life where family and balance have been restored. Her goal is to live a life of radical joy and faith, and to inspire those around her to do the same. Dusty May’s enthusiasm to be part of the Journey to Christmas is infectious.


Kim Kakakaway is an adventurous, compassionate, First Nations young woman, from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewn. Kim grew up in Calgary, AB, where she lived with her mother and 3 sisters. A deep love for her people inspired the creation of Anchored Warriors – a non-profit organization dedicated to; mentoring, leadership development, and bringing Hope to today’s Native youth who are in search of truth, identity and a sense of belonging. Recognizing the cultural similarities of first century Judaism and her own Native heritage, Kim’s quest on this Journey to Christmas is to discover the tribal aspect of the Nativity story.
Here are the places they traveled to.
Ancient ruins of a city overlooking the Spice Route

Bet Sh'ean
Where no less than 18 cities were built

The birthplace of Jesus

One of the great cities of antiquity

Jesus' main base during his Galilean ministry

Ein Kerem
Home of Mary's cousin Elizabeth

Holy city to the three major world religions

Herod The Great's fortress above the Dead Sea

The hometown of Mary, Joseph and Jesus

Where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found

DVD website

Order from Tyndale

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255