Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve ?

Apparently it is already Christmas Eve and no one told me the time seems to go into warp speed when you have kids. Or perhaps they did and I just wasn't listening...that is entirely possible;)

To update you on the happenings of our lives lately: Our van has been found, but not returned to us as of yet. It still sits at the repair shop being repaired. And most likely will stay there until the end of the month. However, the gracious and kind gentleman at the shop took pity on us and loaned us a courtesy car until our van is done! Happy happy day! That is a miracle in and of itself. We'd had a rental car, but maxed out our allotment so had been car-less up until yesterday. It is very painful having to rely on others. I am VERY thankful for all the help we have received (with rides etc) but I so despise being an inconvenience. Just don't like it. So now hopefully, we are almost normal again. Oh...and I had the option of which car to choose at the repair shop for our courtesy vehicle-big or small. I chose small:) You should see Steve behind the wheel. LOL.

Emma is SOOOOOO enjoying the break from school. Poor little duck just needs a break every now and again. Her favorite thing to do over the break? Rolling in the snow in the yard. The is bliss to her. It's like she doesn't even feel the cold, she is too happy and excited with playing to feel it. I love standing at the window watching.

Oliver has been counting the days. Yesterday he must have gone to the calendar a thousand times to check if the day had changed without him knowing it.
I am glad for his sake that he doesn't have to wait much longer.

The kids and I played games and laughed so hard yesterday. We ate treats and had a lot of fun just doing family stuff. Not rushing around like crazed maniacs. I love this non rushed feeling. Calm.

Steve (and all the other blessed posties) have been working their little tails off.
Truly dedicated workers in that business. The alarm here has gone off a few times this week around 4am for Steve to get an early start. Grog.
It'll be nice for him to have the day off tomorrow.

Happy Christmas to you all!
Cherish those around you:)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Where Do I Go?

Thomas Nelson (December 9, 2008)

by

Neta Jackson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books. In addition to writing several books about Christian community, the Jacksons have coauthored numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.

They're trying something new! Not just new for them, but something completely new in Christian fiction: “Parallel novels,” two stories taking place in the same time frame, same neighborhood, involving some of the same characters living through their own dramas and crises but interacting with and affecting one another … just the way it happens in real life.

It’s something that only a husband and wife writing team could pull off. While Neta has Where Do I Go?, her husband Dave has written Harry Bentley's Second Chance.



ABOUT THE BOOK

A story of seeking-and finding-God's will in unlikely places.

Gabrielle Fairbanks has nearly lost touch with the carefree, spirited young woman she was when she married her husband fifteen years ago. But when the couple moves to Chicago to accommodate Philip's business ambitions, Gabby finds the chance to make herself useful. It's there she meets the women of Manna House Women's Shelter; they need a Program Director-and she has a degree in social work. She's in her element, feeling God's call on her life at last, even though Philip doesn't like the changes he sees in her. But things get rough when Philip gives Gabby an ultimatum: quit her job at the shelter or risk divorce and losing custody of their sons. Gabby must take refuge, as in the song they sing at Sunday night worship: "Where do I go when there's no one else to turn to? . . . I go to the Rock I know that's able, I go to the Rock."

Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “Exquisite characters coupled with God's mercy and love emanate from each page.”

Publisher's Weekly adds, “Jackson's Yada Yada series has sold half a million copies, and this new offshoot series ... promises the same.... The book's dramatic ending ... leav[es] readers eager for the next installment in the series.”

To read the Prologue and first Chapter of Where Do I Go?, go HERE

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thoughtful

December usually brings about a time of reflection for me.
What have we done over the year? What do our hearts look like
going into the new year? Have I done enough, loved enough, laughed enough?
Have I shown enough gratitude?
Perhaps yes to all of the above, but ultimately I can always do more.

These past few weeks have been busy and I am so looking forward to the holidays.
Even in the busyness, there has been so much joy.
Normally we are run ragged by now, but not this year.
Tonight I stayed in with the kids and we decorated a gingerbread house
and gingerbread men (Thanks Krista Jefferson!).
It wasn't mass chaos rushing rushing rushing.
We were just hanging out and eating the candies and getting muck all up our arms having a ball. Good times.

My son makes my heart seize when he prays these days.
Lately he has been praying for the homeless, that they
will have a warm place to stay and food to eat.
Also he's been praying that "people are not too greedy
getting too much stuff because then there won't be anything
left for anyone else."
Cute and yet it speaks volumes! My goodness! He's only 5.

Emma loves school, but she is sure looking forward to the
holiday. I can't believe what they teach is grade two now!

I am excited for the coming weeks.
There are some good things happening:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Engaging Father Christmas

FaithWords (October 30, 2008)

by

Robin Jones Gunn



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin grew up in Orange County, California and has lived in all kinds of interesting places, including Reno and Hawaii.

She and her husband currently live near Portland, Oregon and have been married for 30 years. They spent their first 22 years of marriage working together in youth ministry, and enjoying life with their son and daughter who are now both grown.

As a frequent speaker at local and international events, one of Robin’s favorite topics is how God is the Relentless Lover and we are His first love. She delights in telling stories of how God uses fiction to change lives.

Robin is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter Award, the Sherwood E. Wirt Award and is a Gold Medallion Finalist. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and the Board of Directors for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet...maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Engaging Father Christmas, go HERE

Warm and cozy to sit down with for the holidays. Just that kind of book that makes you think of winter and Christmas with family and warm fuzzies. A great little read!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Free Coffee

At Cinnabon

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Quills And Promises

Barbour Publishing, Inc (May 28, 2008)

by

Amber Miller



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my 30's, married the love of my life in July 2007, and live in beautiful Colorado just east of the Front Range of the Rockies, but I love to travel and visit new places. Ultimately, my dream is to own horses and live in a one-level rancher or log cabin nestled in the foothills of the mountains. For now, I will remain where I am and do what I love—design web sites and write.

Amber's very first book, Promises, Promises, released in February 2008. It's a historical fiction set in Delaware during the Colonial period and the Great Awakening. The other 2 books in the series are this current one, Quills And Promises (July 2008) and Deceptive Promises (December 2008). In 2009, they will be repackaged for a state set entitled Delaware Brides. She has also sold another series set in historical Michigan during the Industrial Revolution. The 3 books in that series will begin releasing in May 2009 and will be repackaged in 2010 as Michigan Brides.


ABOUT THE BOOK

-- Separated from Madison when he leaves to fight the French and Indians, Elanna Hanssen must choose between her heart and her head, especially when Madison's integrity is questioned. --

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not until thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Innocence paired with wisdom beyond her years. With these traits, Elanna Hanssen unwittingly captures the attentions of Major Madison Scott. Her honest desire to understand the war fascinates him, and he resolves to get to know this perspicacious young lady better. When his military duty separates them, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to each other. Elanna has never known emotions like this before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. When a local news reporter questions the major's credentials and activities, however, will she allow her heart or her head to rule? Can true love grow over such distance and around such obstacles?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Quills And Promises, go HERE.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Technology is amazing!

We received Oliver's new FM system yesterday from the hospital.
I thought the hearing aides made a difference, but this, this is a
stunner! I don't have to raise my voice at all. I can even whisper
IN ANOTHER ROOM.
Of course I have been playing with it;)
Last night I was upstairs and Oliver was downstairs. I spoke into
the microphone and said "Oliver if you can hear me say 'ding dong'".
He said "Ding Dong!" with gusto.
This morning when I dropped him off I left it on and got outside the school...
then said "Bye Oliver I love you!"
I am not sure if he heard me or not because his teacher's system may have intercepted mine-or mine may have gone through the gym like his teacher's has before. LOL. I don't know. I am sure the novelty will wear off, but for now I am excited because it is another step up for my boy...and a connection that we have:)
He can't turn me off, only I can. Poor little guy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

One Perfect Day

FaithWords (October 22, 2008)

by

Lauraine Snelling



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Today, Lauraine Snelling is a member of the more than Two Million Books In Print club, but when she first began, she was a mother of three teenagers with a simple dream to write “horse books for kids.”

All told, she has over 50 books published. She thinks. She’s not sure. She’d rather write them than count them. Lauraine’s work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish and German as well as produced as books on tape.

Awards have followed her dedication to “telling a good story”: the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Land and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.

Helping others reach their writing dream is the reason Lauraine teaches at writer’s conferences across the country. She mentors others through book doctoring and with her humorous and playful Writing Great Fiction tape set. Lauraine also produces material on query letters and other aspects of the writing process.

Her readers clamor for more books more often and Lauraine would like to comply, if only her ever-growing flower gardens didn’t call quite so loudly over the soothing rush of the water fountains in her back yard and if the hummingbirds weren’t quite so entertaining. Lauraine and husband Wayne have two grown sons and a cockatiel named Bidley, who loves to tease their Basset Hound named Chewy.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Two mothers end up more closely connected that they could dream...and yet they are strangers to one another.

The first 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, the other mother has a daughter who needs a new heart, and so the loss of one woman becomes the miracle the other has desperately prayed for. While one mother grieves, and pulls away from her family, the other finds that even miracles aren't always easy to receive.

If you would like to read the first chapter of One Perfect Day, go HERE


My Thoughts: Some books I pick up and have to really force myself to get into them, but not this one. I found myself teary eyed just reading the jacket (which I normally try not to read because I always feel that they give too much away).
I can not imagine the emotions that must have taken place between the two women.
This book is saturated from beginning to end with goodness. Love it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Update....

Still nothing about the van.
I have been working daily with the
insurance company to wrap things up.
What a nuisance.

I am very tired this week. Been burning the candle
at both ends trying to cram everything in.

We are very thankful to report that our insurers
have given us a rental car! Yay! This allows for
easier days...sort of. Perhaps not easier, just busier
because I am trying to get all my errands done at once
instead of more spread out. I am not sure how long we have
the car or what the future holds so I do what I can for today
with a great sense of urgency.

My brother Shawn has been able to visit now and again which has
been wonderful! It's nice to have family around. Too bad they don't live here....
(Same to you too Mike)

In other great news, next week we get OUR OWN FM system for Oliver!!!
That is a microphone for me to wear and a little amplifier that hooks up to
his hearing aides so he hears even better. So excited:):):):)
He has one at school that the teacher wears, but it has to stay there.
We have been approved to get one at home and now it is finally here. Yippeeee!

Emma last night at supper leaned over to me and whispered "I forgive him mommy."
I was a little puzzled and was in the midst of another conversation at that time so I could not really dig into that too much. At bedtime I asked her what she meant by that statement. She said "The guy(s) who took our van. I forgive them Mom."
Awesome.

That's all I have for now.
I am going to try to nap this afternoon. Mmmm. Napppppp.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Always hopeful:)

This morning comes too early after such a l-o-n-g night of talking talking talking with Steve and police last night and insurance people and going through all our information trying to decipher everything. A bit overwhelming, but manageable piece by piece.

Our van was taken from outside the church last night.

I keep looking outside expecting to see our van returned to us. I know that is terribly naive. But a girl can hope can't she?

I am very thankful for all the love and support I have received this morning from our friends. We have such a great community here.

I am moved for these folks who took our van. What desperation they must have felt to take our crappy ol' thing. They must have really needed something! So with that, I pray for them-and not in a greedy fashion either although it's tempting! If you are the praying type also, please add them into your words today:)

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beloved Captive

Barbour Publishing, Inc (November 1, 2008)

by

Kathleen Y’Barbo



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

There’s never a dull moment in the Y’Barbo household! From hockey and cheer mom to publicist to bestselling author, Kathleen Y’Barbo somehow manages to do it all - and well. While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.

Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

The first book in this series is Beloved Castaway.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Beloved Captive, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
Hooked at the start, this book had me diving in and I couldn't help but fall in love. With the story and characters. There is much to learn beyond just the surface story of travel, adventure and love. Do they sit and wallow once mysterious discoveries are made? NO! This lifted me. I am happy to read a book where the heroine doesn't fall down and cry when something hard is thrown at her. Love it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

FaithWords (November 5, 2008)

by

Stephen Baldwin
&
Mark Tabb


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

STEPHEN BALDWIN - actor, family man, born-again Christian - makes his home in upstate New York with his wife and two young daughters.

Equally adept at drama and comedy, Baldwin has appeared in over 60 films and been featured on such top-rated television shows as Fear Factor and Celebrity Mole. He has his own production company that is developing projects for television and the big screen. These days, however, his role as director, co-producer and host of Livin' It - a cutting-edge skate video is bringing out his white hot passion for evangelism.

Writer and communicator Mark Tabb calls himself an “internationally unknown author.” Although his books have been published around the world, he is best known for his collaborative works. His 2008 release, “Mistaken Identity”, written with the Van Ryn and Cerak families, hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list for two weeks, and remained on the list for over two months. He and actor Stephen Baldwin teamed up on their 2005 New York Times bestseller, “The Unusual Suspect,” and with their first work of fiction, “The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips,”


ABOUT THE BOOK

Even years of experience haven't prepared Officer Andy Myers for this case---

When Officer Andy Myers met Loraine Phillips, he had no interest in her son. And he certainly never dreamed he'd respond to a call, finding that same boy in a pool of blood. Even more alarming was the father standing watch over his son's body. Myers had never seen a man respond to death-particularly the death of a child-in such a way. When the father is charged with murder and sentenced to death, he chooses not to fight but embrace it as God's will. Myers becomes consumed with curiosity for these strange beliefs. What follows is the story of the bond these two men share as they come to terms with the tragedy and the difficult choices each one must make.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips, go HERE

*STRONG LANGUAGE*




My Thoughts:
Eye opening. I am not so sheltered and innocent that I believe the happenings of this book couldn't happen, but reading it made it come alive.
Right in front of my face I could not ignore the images that were flying at me.
Sometimes it is good to open yourselves up to the horrors of life in order to appreciate all that we do have.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

White Christmas Pie

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)

by

Wanda E. Brunstetter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband's family in Pennsylvania, WANDA E. BRUNSTETTER combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the states.

This year Wanda also publishedA Sister's Hope


ABOUT THE BOOK

Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Abandoned by his father, Will Henderson was raised by an Amish couple. Now he's about to marry Karen Yoder but is having second thoughts. Can Will overcome the bitterness of his past in order to secure his future? Karen cannot break through the barrier her fiance has suddenly constructed around his heart. When she seeks the advice of an old boyfriend, Will begins to see green. Has he already lost his chance for happiness?

When an accident threatens Will's life, the strength of blood ties is tested. Will a recipe for White Christmas pie contain the ingredients for a happily-ever-after?

If you would like to read the first chapter of White Christmas Pie, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:



My Thoughts:
A very light read. Good right before bed to put light thoughts in your head.
I do enjoy these Amish novels, they sure make me smile. This one was a bit predictable-but still very enjoyable!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

One Holy Night

Sheaf House (April 1, 2008)

by

J. M. Hochstetler



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


J. M. Hochstetler writes stories that always involve some element of the past and of finding home. Born in central Indiana, the daughter of Mennonite farmers, she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic languages. She was an editor with Abingdon Press for twelve years and has published three novels.

One Holy Night, a contemporary miracle story for all seasons, released in April 2008. Daughter of Liberty (2004) and Native Son (2005), books 1 and 2 of the American Patriot Series are set during the American Revolution. Book 3, Wind of the Spirit, is scheduled for release in March 2009. Hochstetler is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, and Historical Novels Society.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1967 the military build-up in Viet Nam is undergoing a dramatic surge. The resulting explosion of anti-war sentiment tears the country apart, slicing through generations and shattering families. In the quiet bedroom community of Shepherdsville, Minnesota, the war comes home to Frank and Maggie McRae, whose only son, Mike, is serving as a grunt in Viet Nam.

Frank despises all Asians because of what he witnessed as a young soldier fighting the Japanese in the south Pacific during WWII. The news that his son has fallen in love with and married Thi Nhuong, a young Vietnamese woman, shocks him. To Frank all Asians are enemies of his country, his family, and himself. A Buddhist, Thi Nhuong represents everything he despises. So he cuts Mike out of his life despite the pleas of his wife, Maggie; daughter, Julie; and Julie s husband, Dan, the pastor of a growing congregation.

Maggie is fighting her own battle--against cancer. Convinced that God is going to heal her, Frank plays the part of a model Christian. Her death on Thanksgiving Day devastates him. Worse, as they arrive home from the gravesite, the family receives news of Mike s death in battle. Embittered, Frank stops attending church and cuts off family and friends.

By the time a very pregnant Thi Nhuong arrives on his doorstep on a stormy Christmas Eve, Frank is so filled with hate that he slams the door in her face, shutting her out in the bitter cold. Finally, overcome by guilt, he tries to go after her, but driving wind and snow force him back inside. With the storm rising to blizzard strength, he confronts the wrenching truth that what hate has driven him to do is as evil as what the Japanese did all those years earlier, and that he needs forgiveness as desperately as they did ...

Frank doesn't know that what God has in mind this night is a miracle. As on that holy night so many years ago, a baby will be born and laid in a manger--a baby who will bring forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss.

If you would like to read the first chapter of One Holy Night, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
I barely know where to start on this one. Moving.
Touching. Just when I think I couldn't possibly be moved
by another book, this one comes along and stirs me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Pics:)

 
 
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Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Until We Reach Home

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)

by

Lynn Austin



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. She has published twelve novels. Three of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, and Fire by Night have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2004 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005.

Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Among her latest books are A Proper Pursuit and A Woman's Place


ABOUT THE BOOK

Life in Sweden seems like an endless winter for three sisters after their mother's and father's suicide. Ellin feels the weight of responsibility for her sisters' welfare and when it circumstances become unbearable, she writes to her relatives in Chicago, pleading for help.

Joining sixteen million other immigrants who left their homelands for America between 1890 and 1920, Ellin, Kirsten, and Sophia begin the long, difficult journey. Enduring the ocean voyage in steerage and detention on Ellis Island, their story is America's story. And in a journey fraught with hardships, each woman will come to understand her secret longings and the meaning of home.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Until We Reach Home, go HERE

My thoughts:
This book isn't one for dilly dallying. It jumps into the story and never looks back. The pace of the book is steady, not lacking or slowing in any way. IT grabbed me straight away within the first few chapters. I had to know if the girls made it to America! In their young lives so much has happened to them, yet they handle life with such tenacity. One I would recommend again and again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sharing...

I found this article interesting and thought it'd be neat to share.

Some of you have been asking me where I find a lot of my information for things. So here are a few of the sites I visit regularly:

http://www.bzzagent.com/index.jsp

http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php

http://www.diynetwork.com/

Onceamonthcooking.com

http://www.retailmenot.com/

Here is a small explanation for each site in case you don't understand what they are. BzzAgent is a company that relies on word of mouth. They send you out products (free) and you spread the word either good or bad about them. Currently I am working on Nabob coffee, Lancome Mascara, Silk Soy Milk and Eggs. This is the place where I got the Sonicare toothbrush from a long long time ago. Anyone remember that far back?

Moving on...

Paperbackswap should be pretty self explanatory. You swap books with other people. Easy.

The diynetwork is the Do it yourself network and they have loads of helpful information on there. I really like that site.

Once a month cooking is full of great recipes that I draw from and freeze ahead for weeks like this where the time seems to slip through my fingers.

Retail me not is one of my favourite go to sites for coupon codes. Since shopping online has become the norm here, I've found this site to be most helpful with their coupons and 99% of the time they have the coupons I need. It's great.

That's all I am sharing for today. Off and running:)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Out Of Her Hands

Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)

by

Megan DiMaria



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I was born and raised in New York State and have since lived in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and now I live in Colorado. My husband and I have three delightful, adult children and an old Jack Russell Terrier named
Belle who seems to find her way into my novels. My resume will tell you I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Communications, and after graduation I worked as a radio and television reporter, freelance writer, editor and marketing professional.

I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and am assistant director of Words For The Journey, Rocky Mountain Region.

But what's most important to know about me is that I am a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, reader and writer.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the adventures!


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Her Hands, go HERE

"No sophomore slump for DiMaria! This novel (Out of Her Hands) is as engaging and meaningful as her first, Searching for Spice. Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials."
~Romantic Times Magazine, 4 ½ stars TOP PICK!

“Life in Linda's world is messy...but filled with love, laughter, struggle and faith. Megan has created a most real heroine for us to love...and I adore her!”
~Deena Peterson, reviewer: A Peek at my Bookshelf

“Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you're reading fiction.”
~Darcie Gudger, reviewer: TitleTrakk

"This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone."
~Amazon reviewer


My Thoughts:

When first getting into this book it made me exhausted just reading about the busyness of her life and I was annoyed at all the take-out she endured. Why couldn't her husband cook? The more I read though, I realized it was a bigger story than just a busy life of some frazzled woman. I actually found myself caring for these characters and connecting with them. The twists and turns of the story kept me hooked and I found myself wanting more from the family at the end.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rain Song

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)

by

Alice J. Wisler



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alice sold her first story to David C. Cook for a take-home Sunday School paper called Sprint. The year was 1988, this was her first submission to a paying market, and the check sent to her was for $125.00.

She was on her way!

Since then, Alice has sold articles and devotions to the Upper Room, Alive Now, Standard Publishing, ByLine magazine and others.

In 2006 she sent her novel Rain Songto Bethany House...and the rest is history! She signed a two -book deal and the second, How Sweet It Is will be out in 2009.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan...something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone...something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his emails tug at her heart. Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rain Song, go HERE

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Novemeber First!!!!

It's hard to believe that two months of school have gone by already and Christmas is right around the bend!

We Halloweened it up last night until we all had sore feet and were yawning our faces off. The night started off with a laugh at our neighbor next door to us. We knocked on his door (his light was on and he had a pumpkin out) and he opened the door dressed as the fellow from Clockwork Orange. Uhhh. Our kids are 5 and 6 and thankfully did not get that ... but none of us could stop looking at his shiny 'package'. Gosh! How embarrassing! I thanked him for giving us good content for our dinner conversation for the next few nights;)

It was so great to be able to see people we knew as we walked in and around our neighborhood. The weather was beautiful, it was such a treat not to have to trudge through snow.

Today we are off and running to get caulk for our windows and do fun errand things like that. So exciting, I know:)

Anyone ready for Christmas yet?
I can remember last year trick or treating and seeing some Christmas trees already up. Some people have their lights up around here....not sure if they are up all year though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

An Irishwomans' Tale

Kregel Publications (July 8, 2008)

by

Patti Lacy



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future.

A shattered cup. Cheap tea. Bitter voices asking what's to be done with the "little eejit." Mary, an impetuous Irishwoman, won't face the haunting memories--until her daughter's crisis propels her back to County Clare. There, in a rocky cliffside home, Mary learns from former neighbors why God tore her from Ireland forty-five years earlier. As she begins to glimpse His sovereign plan, Mary is finally able to bury a dysfunctional past and begin to heal. Irish folk songs and sayings add color to the narrative.

Watch the Book Trailer:



If you would like to read the first chapter of , go HERE

My Thoughts: Of course could not put this one down. But that doesn't tell you anything. I started out thinking it would be a nice light hearted book to help
get me to sleep at night with pretty dreams. This book was one of those which
makes you sit up and turn the pages faster and faster. There was so much emotion
tied into this story and came with such pull that when I finished it I wanted to start all over again just to make sure I had not missed anything.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Less Than Dead

Thomas Nelson (September 9, 2008)

by

Tim Downs



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tim Downs is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University. After graduation in 1976 he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate until 1986. His cartooning has appeared in more than a hundred major newspapers worldwide.

His first book, a work of non-fiction, was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. His first novel, Shoofly Pie, was awarded the Angel Award in 2004, and his third novel, PlagueMaker, was awarded the Christy Award for best suspense novel of 2007. First The Dead, the third book in this Bug Man series came out earlier this year.

Tim lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife Joy.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Some secrets just won't stay buried.
When strange bones surface on a U.S. senator's property, the FBI enlists forensic entomologist Nick Polchak to investigate the forgotten graveyard. Polchak's orders are simple: figure out the mess.

But Polchak, known as the "Bug Man" because of his knowledge of insects and their interaction with the dead, senses darker secrets buried beneath the soil.

Secrets that could derail the senator's presidential bid.

Secrets buried in the history of a quaint Virginia town.

Secrets someone is willing to kill to protect.

With the help of a mysterious local woman named Alena and her uncanny cadaver dogs, Polchak sets out to dig up the truth.

But with a desperate killer hot on his trail, he'll be lucky to wind up anything less than dead.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Less Than Dead, go HERE


My Thoughts:
Fast paced and right into the story. Before I knew it, I was hooked.
I first chose this book thinking it would be a good change from the romance ones
that I have been reading and I was not at all disappointed. The first page grabbed me by starting out with a entire town searching for a lost little boy. A page turner for sure. Very satisfying read.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Neat-o!

I found this great info that breaks down the energy use of each appliance per month etc.
Very interesting to see what everything uses. The tv especially! Have a look and see what you use:) Here.

*Side note*
It's an American site, but you can get the idea.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tidbits

Our roof is finally coming off today!
I can hear it crashing to the ground outside my living room window.

The kids and I are home sniffling today-I didn't want to traipse back and forth
in the cold air and get more sick.

I missed The Office last night:( Because I went to bed so early.
Oh well, perhaps I can catch up and see it
on Global.

Emma is currently singing to Mika right now. Loudly.
Ok, I have run out of things. My brain is too clogged.

Hope you all are enjoying the Fall. We are almost in November!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Beautiful Fall

David C. Cook (October 2008)

by

Chris Coppernoll



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Coppernoll is the founder of Soul2Soul Ministries, with his interviews with Christian artists airing weekly on 650 radio outlets in thirty countries. He has conducted hundreds of interviews on faith issues with personalities such as Amy Grant, Max Lucado, Michael W. Smith, and Kathie Lee Gifford. He also serves as a Deacon at The People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and is currently working toward a Masters in Ministry Leadership degree through Rockbridge Seminary.

His "Inspirations" column is published monthly in the mid Michigan newspaper, The Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Chris Coppernoll is the author of four other books including Soul2Soul, Secrets of a Faith Well Lived, and God's Calling. Providence, his first novel, is his fourth book.


ABOUT THE BOOK

High-powered Boston attorney Emma Madison is celebrating her latest courtroom victory when she gets a call from a number she doesn't recognize. Area code 803 home. Juneberry, South Carolina eight hundred miles, twelve years, and a lifetime away from Boston. Emma's father has had a serious heart attack. Emma rushes to his bedside, and a weekend trip threatens to become an extended stay. She has to work fast to arrange the affairs of his small-town law practice so she can return to her life and career in Boston.

And then Michael Evans shows up. They'd shared hopes, dreams, and a passionate love as young college students during a long-ago summer. But Emma walked away from Michael and from Juneberry to finish college and start a new life. Michael has never forgotten her.

Enveloped in the warmth of family and small-town life and discovering that she still cares for Michael Emma knows she'll have to make a choice between the career she's worked so hard to build and the love she left behind.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Beautiful Fall, go HERE

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book Review


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Home Another Way

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)

by

Christa Parrish



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Christa Parrish graduated high school at 16, with every intention of becoming a surgeon. After college, however, her love of all things creative led her in another direction, and she worked in both theatre and journalism.

A winner of Associated Press awards for her reporting, Christa gave up her career after the birth of her son, Jacob. She continued to write from home, doing pro bono work for the New York Family Policy Council, where her articles appeared in Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine. She was also a finalist in World magazine’s WORLDview short story contest, sponsored by WestBow press. She now teaches literature and writing to high school students, is a homeschool mom, and lives with her family in upstate New York, where she is at work on her second novel.



ABOUT THE BOOK

After her mother’s death and her father’s abandonment, tiny infant Sarah Graham was left to be raised by her emotionally distant grandmother. As a child she turned to music for solace and even gained entrance to Juilliard. But her potentially brilliant music career ended with an unplanned pregnancy and the stillborn birth of her child.

In an attempt to escape the past, Sarah, now twenty-seven, is living life hard and fast–and she is flat broke. When her estranged father dies, she travels to the tiny mountain hamlet of Jonah, New York to claim her inheritance. Once there, she learns her father’s will stipulates a six-month stay before she can receive the money. Fueled by hate and desperation, Sarah settles in for the bitter mountain winter, and as the weeks pass, she finds her life intertwining with the lives of the simple, gracious townsfolk. Can these strangers teach Sarah how to forgive and find peace?

A story of grace, of God’s never-ceasing love and the sometimes flawed, faithful people He uses to bring His purpose to pass.

If you would like to see a video book trailer of Home Another Way, go HERE.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Home Another Way, go HERE

My Thoughts:
It's been a long time since I wanted to grab a highlighter and dog ear every page. This book had so much to say to me that I wanted to mark all the passages and come back to them later so I could re-feel them. I loved this novel because it made me FEEL. It was realistic and life like. I love that in a book. One part in particular jumped out at me and of course I applied it to my own life. There was a verse from John 9:1-3
Of course I related that verse to my own life with Oliver. I've had to defend him/myself time and time again to people saying that it's okay for him to be going deaf when people persist and say that certainly there must be another way. He should not be this way. I always responded with "He was born with it. How can he help that?"
Now am equipped with "Perhaps God is showing us something else (which I fully believe!). This book was more than just words for me, it was a tool box. Plus it doesn't end the way I thought! That made me love it even more.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Excuse me, did you say 39?

I just got off the phone with the bank.
Don't be afraid, the fella on the other end was
doing his job properly and he was actually very good
at customer service:) I had initially called regarding
another matter but while I had them on the phone, I wanted
to ask about doubling up on our mortgage payments.
The guy on the phone did some math for me and if we just
plod along and never change a thing EVER it will take us 39
years to pay off our home.

Of course, most of you know that I would rather die first.
So, I asked him to run the numbers for double payments.
That would bring us down to only 10 years.
Are you inhaling as sharply as I did?
I knew it would be staggering, but
until the actual man from the bank told me, I wouldn't
believe it for myself. That is a great number:)

Thanks for listening. I try not to talk about money on here
too much for a few reasons. It's taboo.
People get bored. And...the judgments.
So thank you for letting me get excited about this.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Book Review



My Thoughts:
A great read. One that took me back to the days when my Dad would watch game after game...after game on the weekends. It was not just about football though, otherwise I never would have bothered:) It was about obstacles in life and how to overcome them and still be a whole person in the end. Overall, a good intertwining of the sport and faith. Quite enjoyable. And of course my Dad can not wait to read it.