Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blog Tour - Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rose House

WaterBrook Press (May 5, 2009)


Tina Ann Forkner


Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that challenges and inspires. She grew up in Oklahoma and graduated with honors from CSU Sacramento before settling in Wyoming. She lives with her husband, their three bright children and their dog and stays busy serving on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors. She is the author of Ruby Among Us, her debut novel, and Rose House, which recently released from Waterbrook Press/Random House.


A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope

Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.

A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Rose House, go HERE

Monday, May 25, 2009

Good weather, good family, good times, good life:)

We are hosting Steve's parents right now and loving it.
The kids are in their glory having Grammy and Grandpa here.
They are not demanding guests-which is nice:)
We can just hang out and I can be free to enjoy the visit too!
I don't have to worry that I have laundry (or insert any other chore here) piling up and that they are going to see it. Gasp! It is a good visit. Sigh. Life is nice.

Tomorrow is another doctor's appointment for Oliver.
Perhaps Kirsten and I can bond? ;)

This weekend was a rummage sale at a church in our neighborhood and
did we ever clean up! We got a fantastic fridge (clean and white and yummy looking) for a great price, canning jars, a stand mixer, standing air conditioner, stair master, and some adorable wooden chairs for the kids. It was a great day.

Hope some of you made it to Harvey's Day on Sunday.
We went after church and boy were the burgers good.

Blog Tour - Jillian Dare: A Novel by Melanie M. Jeschke

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Jillian Dare: A Novel

Revell (May 1, 2009)


Melanie M. Jeschke


Melanie Morey Jeschke (pronounced jes-key), a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa with an Honors degree in English Literature and a minor in European and English History.

A free-lance travel writer, Melanie contributed the Oxford chapter to the Rick Steves’ England 2006 guidebook. She is a member of the Capital Christian Writers and Christian Fiction Writers as well as three book clubs, and taught high-school English before home-schooling most of her nine children. Melanie lectures on Lewis and Tolkien, Oxford, and writing, and gives inspirational talks to all manner of groups, including university classes, women’s clubs, young professionals, teens, and school children.

A fourth generation pastor’s wife (her father Dr. Earl Morey is a retired Presbyterian minister), Melanie resides in the Greater Washington, D.C. area with her children and husband Bill Jeschke, a soccer coach and the Senior Pastor of The King’s Chapel, an non-denominational Christian church in Fairfax, Virginia.


Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home behind and strikes out on her own as a nanny at a large country estate in northern Virginia. She is delighted with the beauty of her new home, the affection of her young charge Cadence Remington, and the opportunity for frequent travel to the Remington castle in England.

She is less certain about her feelings for her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she is falling for her boss. But how can a humble girl ever hope to win a wealthy man of the world? And what dark secrets from the past is he hiding? This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic Jane Eyre, will capture readers' hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Jillian Dare: A Novel, go HERE

My Thoughts: Hooked after the first chapter, this book took me on a great and colourful adventure. I loved the characters and the overall general feel of it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blog Tour - Deceptive Promises by Amber Miller

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Deceptive Promises

Barbour Publishing, Inc (2008)


Amber Miller


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, live in Colorado and just had an incredibly beautiful daughter named Victoria.

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.

I got involved with web design in 1997, when I was asked to take over running the official web site for the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. That eventually led to a series of negotiations where I was offered the job of running world-renowned actress Jane Seymour's official fan site. That has branched into doing web sites for a variety of clients, including: authors J.M. Hochstetler, Trish Perry, Kathy Pride, Louise M. Gouge, Susan Page Davis, and Jill Elizabeth Nelson, actor William Shockley (the voice of AT&T and Toyota) and many others. With the help of a handful of other web site "technos," Eagle Designs was born! Feel free to visit and see our other clients.

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 Quills And Promises (July 2008) and this one, Deceptive Promises (December 2008). In 2009, they will be repackaged for a state set entitled Liberty's Promise. 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.



Is deception fair in wartime Margret Scott must deal with this question as she finds herself attracted to the enigmatic Samuel Lowe. As the tensions grow between the colonists and the British soldiers and loyalists, Margret cannot always tell where Samuel's loyalties lie.

"If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity." -Job 31:5-6

Samuel's duties have him working for both sides of this war, and he often finds himself torn between what is right and what is wrong. He promises Margret she can trust him, and Margret promises him she does. But can promises born in deception be trusted? Can a relationship built in uncertainty survive?

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

My Thoughts: I am quickly falling in love with this Author:)
She has a great style and her books suck me in.
This book 'Deceptive Promises' was great.
It certainly dusted off the old cogs in my head and got them
turning again.
Congrats on your new baby Tiffany/Amber!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I totally fell in the shower this morning and laughed and groaned and lay there.
Water spilled out onto the floor, but I could not move for the laughter and the pain.
If you can imagine my feet all of a sudden shooting out from under me and almost completely going over my head then kapow I was on the floor of the tub slipping to the end. All I could think was "Oh my gosh I wish I could have seen that from outside my body." So bruised. It's gross.
Still funny though.

If you hear my screams all over the country this afternoon it is because of the insane, rabid squirrels in our neighborhood. Last year we had one that tried to come in our screen door. This year they have gotten more squirrely. I looked out the kitchen window today to find a squirrel climbing across the GLASS scraping it's claws against the window. Arg! They are relentless. When he discovered that he could not get in via the window, he tried the screen door and climbed all over it. I am scared for my life that he is now circling around the house for an entry point. OH MY GOSH!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blog Tour - Beloved Counterfeit by Kathleen Y' Barbo

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beloved Counterfeit

Barbour Publishing, Inc (May 2009)


Kathleen Y'Barbo


KATHLEEN MILLER Y’BARBO 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 and an award-winning novelist of Christian fiction whose first published work jumped onto the Christian Booksellers Association bestseller list in its first month of release. 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.



Washed ashore on Fairweather Key, Ruby O’Shea and her three nieces─the offspring of the pirate Thomas Hawkins and Ruby’s late sister─have a chance for a new beginning as Ruby takes a job in a boardinghouse and the girls are passed off as her daughters. But will Ruby be able to confess all when she falls for Micah Tate, a widower, wrecher, and soon-to-be preacher?

Micah is determined to marry the young woman who has captured his heart despite knowing she has something to hide. But will he be able to remain true to his vows when his lady love’s shady past comes to light?

Captain Thomas Hawkins will go to any length to discover the whereabouts of his daughters. What will his determination cost the folks of Fairweather Key?

When Ruby finds herself bereft of her newfound love and protector, will she run away in an attempt to escape her present as she did her past? Will Micah’s love cover the multitude of Ruby’s sins, or will Ruby’s duplicity cost her everything?

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

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blog Tour - Taking Tuscany by Renee Riva

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Taking Tuscany

David C. Cook (May 2009)


Renee Riva


Renee Riva writes humorous stories with a message, for both children and adults. Having been raised in a large Italian family with a great sense of humor, she has much to draw from for developing quirky characters.

She loves sharing her secrets for story starters at Young Author events, helping to spark the imagination of young minds. Renee and her husband live in Richland, Washington, with their three daughters, a dog, a cat, and until recently, her beloved hamster—may she rest in peace.


A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Country... until her family decided to stay. It's 1972 and she's turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her blonde hair makes her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she's so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent.

The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J., but she's going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. Can't anyone see that Italy isn't really home? It will take a catastrophe - and a few wise words from a friend - for A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.

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

My Thoughts:
There is nothing like a change in scenery to open your mind.
Fresh and vibrant. I enjoyed this one:)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I love having days where I feel like I get a lot done.
Yesterday was one of those.
The highlight of my day was a chat with the bank.
Go figure. But it's true!
I was asking for them to cancel one of my cards and they
offered me $50 instead, which of course I took!
I even said to the guy "So basically you are paying me
to keep this account with you."
He said "Yup, pretty much." Then he laughed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I am sure going to miss Tuesday nights once Biggest Loser is over:(
Last night was yet again a doozy. When Ron crossed that finish line
I was cheering him on! Yay Ron! Such an inspiration.

Last night we had our dead van examined and we discovered what is NOT
wrong with it. Today we'll do some more examinations to dig deeper and hopefully
get to the bottom of things. Thankfully some gracious and kind friends
have loaned us their car for the morning! Gonna grab some groceries
quickly after I drop off the kids and also get some half price running shoes.

Yesterday I found out that there is a chance that Oliver's favorite teacher
in the school (she was an EA in his class last year) could be his grade one
teacher next year. He would be beside himself if she got that position!
The moms are writing letters this week. Not sure if it'll help or not, but we'll see.

Blog Tour - According To Their Deeds by Paul Robertson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

According To Their Deeds

Bethany House (March 1, 2009)


Paul Robertson


Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.


A Deadly Game of Justice Versus Mercy Charles Beale lives outside the shadow of Washington, D.C. Politics and power matter only when a client crosses the Potomac to visit his Alexandria Rare Books shop.

But that all changes when a former client--a man deeply connected in the Justice Department--is found murdered after a break-in gone bad. When Charles reclaims at auction the books he'd once sold, he quickly discovers he's bought more trouble than he could have ever imagined.

Inside one volume are secrets. A collection of sins that, if revealed, could destroy reputations, careers--even lives. Charles soon learns he isn't the only who knows. Going to the police means ruining a multitude of lives. But staying silent puts a target on his shop, his wife--and himself. Charles must decide: Should one mistake really cost you everything?

If you would like to read the first chapter of According To Their Deeds, go HERE

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My new favourite cleaning utensil is a sock.

I know. How absurd is that, right?
But it works so well for getting the
dust out of all those little nooks and crannies.
That is how I did the dusting yesterday...although
now I am seeing far more uses for this brilliant idea.
Windows, doors, the list goes on.
Sigh. I love a clean house:) It just doesn't stay that way for
very long. Especially in this weather with the kids playing in
the sandbox allllll day long.

If you have not already discovered the Airmiles toolbar
please seek out and download the toolbar.
Then do some searches and earn FREE airmiles! I have already
earned AND redeemed:) (For Starbucks of course)

The library is once again going to be our
saving grace this summer. Although I have found
some other local day items that we can do to entertain
ourselves that will not break the bank too too much.

Speaking of the library, I recently fell in love
with a few books from there: Frugal Living for Dummies

How to Cook Everything

America's Cheapest Family

Some great reads. I love getting out cookbooks. This cuts down on cupboard space for storing them all the time and it helps me continue to have new recipes all the time...even though I still go back to the favourites:)

Monday, May 04, 2009

It looks like it is finally here:)
With that, comes a good spring cleaning.
Today while having a good chin wag with
my Mother-In-Law I washed walls and dusted
all over the house. Yesterday I did every
last loving piece of laundry I could find.
The kids have become musty smelling all of a
sudden. (Eww) But they are outdoors more and
play SO hard. It's nice!

Today Oliver was collecting bugs, but every time
a bug would come near his container, he would SCREAM!!

School is wrapping up and before we know it: Summer will be here:)

Blog Tour - Shame by Greg Garrett

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


David C. Cook (May 2009)


Greg Garrett


Greg Garrett has published newspaper and magazine features, short stories, personal and critical essays, reviews, encyclopedia articles, novels, a memoir, and books of nonfiction during his thirty-year writing career.

Author of the critically acclaimed novels Free Bird (chosen by Publishers Weekly and the Rocky Mountain News [Denver] as one of the best first novels of 2002) and Cycling, as well as the nonfiction books The Gospel Reloaded (with Chris Seay), Holy Superheroes!, the spiritual autobiography Crossing Myself, The Gospel According to Hollywood, and the forthcoming Stories from the Edge, Dr. Garrett is a past winner of the Pirate's Alley William Faulkner Prize for Fiction, and a regional CASE gold medalist for nonfiction.

He was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters in 2005 for his lifetime literary achievements. Professor of English at Baylor University, Dr. Garrett was named the Outstanding Baylor Faculty Member for 1994 by the Baylor Student Congress, and received the university administration's outstanding professor award in 1996. He received his Ph.D. in English from Oklahoma State University, and recently completed the M.Div. at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, where he lives, writes, and serves as a lay preacher at St. David's Episcopal Church.


It's hard to appreciate the life you have when you're wondering about the one you might have had.

John Tilden's glory days are far behind him, and now it seems like all he has is the monotony of everyday living. He certainly thought there'd be more to it than his ramshackle Oklahoma farm and a mundane job coaching basketball at his old high school. He questions his fatherhood skills too: His oldest son won't speak to him, his younger son wants to quit the basketball team, and now his daughter wants to go out on dates. He loves his wife, but the marriage has settled into complacency.

With John's twentieth high school reunion approaching, he has agreed to play in an exhibition game with the old championship team. And his ex-girlfriend's back in town, newly single. What might have been now seems closer than ever.

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