Blog Tour and Review: The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson

Monday, November 30, 2009


The Christmas Dog
by Melody Carlson
Copyright 2009
Revell Publishers
172 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1881-7
Contemporary Fiction


From the publisher:
Christmas miracles can come from unlikely sources.

Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it's because her husband is gone. Maybe it's because she's missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbor, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.

But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is really all about.

My Review:
If you're a fan of Christmas fiction you will probably like this book. I'll admit, I chose to review this book because of the cute Yorkie puppy on the cover, however I was not disappointed in this book.

Like most short stories it didn't really include all the details that I would have liked, for example the background to Betty's mysterious stranger, Jack. I would have liked to know more about him other than the sentence towards the end of the book where we learn he was a soldier in Afghanistan. The same is also true for Betty's granddaughter, Avery. I would have liked to have know more about her other than that she had a poor relationship with her mother. Betty, however we got to know pretty well and she is a sweet Christian lady who reminds me a bit of my own Grandma who just happens to go by Betty too.

The doggie who we come to know as Ralph is a real sweetheart and it is very believable how he brought two neighbors together to become friends just in time for Christmas! I've met a lot of nice people through my dog, Coco so I know all about that aspect of the book...trust me! This is a nice novel of discovering new friends when we take the time to "kill them with kindness" even when it's not the easiest thing to do.

To learn more about Melody Carlson and her books visit
http://www.melodycarlson.com/

For more information on The Christmas Dog visit Revell online!

*Many thanks to Donna @ Revell Books for providing me with this book to review!*



Book Review: The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Gladiator
by Carla Capshaw
Copyright 2009
Steeple Hill Books
276 pages
ISBN: 978-0-373-82824-1
Inspirational Historical Romance

Synopsis: The greatest challenge of Caros Viriathos life was not in the pits of Rome's Colosseum but inside the walls of his own home in the form of beautiful Christian slave, Pelonia Valeria. Pelonia, purchased by Caros on a whim from a passing slave trader after being sold into slavery by her cruel uncle Marcus, vows to keep her distance from Caros. During her time serving in Caros's house she learns that he is not a violent, angry, gladiator but a kind man scarred by the tragedies he's experienced in life and in the pits. When it is discovered that she is a Christian Pelonia's life hangs in the balance and Caros must decide between life as a gladiator and slave or the safety of the woman he has come to care for.

My Review: The Love Inspired books have been some of my favorite romances for a long time. This book by new author, Carla Capshaw does not disappoint, it is my favorite one in the Love Inspired Historical line this year.

I'm really liking the fact that Steeple Hill is trying to publish books from time periods that we don't often see a lot of. The Gladiator is of course based in Rome right after Christs death and one of the most dangerous times in history for any one who was a Christian.

Right from the start this book grabbed my attention and the attraction between Caros and Pelonia was immediate. Caros is a great hero, tall dark, and handsome as well as kind hearted. Pelonia is a great heroine flawed but beautiful and devout who you can't help but root for. This was a very interesting book, I really liked that I got to "see" the different places around Rome, like the markets, the Colosseum and also the gladiator training facilities. With a strong faith message I strongly recommend this to anyone who loves a good Christian romance!

To learn more about Carla Capshaw and her books visit
http://www.carlacapshaw.com/


A-Z Wednesday

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Vicki @ Reading at the Beach hosts a weekly meme that introduces different books whose titles feature a different letter of the alphabet each week. It's a great way to find new books to read or rediscover some classics.

Here are the rules:

~ Post a photo of the cover and a short synopsis of the book, sites like Amazon.com and bn.com are great places to find cover blurbs!
~ Post a link to where the book is available for purchase.
~ Please swing by and leave a comment along with your A-Z post on Vicki's blog and be sure to visit the blogs of others to see their selection of the week!
~ Add a link to your review of the book if you have one.

This week the letter is "P."

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
First published 1813
Wordsworth Classics
262 pages
ISBN: 978-1-85326-000-2
Fiction


Preview from Barnes and Noble:

In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, a country squire of no great means must marry off his five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are his headstrong second daughter Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy—two lovers whose pride must be humbled and prejudice dissolved before the novel can come to its splendid conclusion.

A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice is also a sumptuously detailed picture of contemporary society, which, in its exploration of manner and motives, has a great deal to say about the society of today. Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

NFL's Dirtiest Player, Hines Ward

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just 'cause he's the best wide receiver in the NFL doesn't mean you have to hate on him! :-)

(Hines Ward is the guy in the back wearing #86...but you know I had to use this photo from Yahoo! Sports cause #83 is in it *wink*)

Check out this video of some of the NFL's best coaches and what they have to say about Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward being voted the leagues "Dirtiest Player."

"Check out this great MSN Video": See it Star: Hines Ward


Book Review: Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

Monday, November 23, 2009


Though Waters Roar
by Lynn Austin
Copyright 2009
Bethany House Publishers
430 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0496-8
Historical Fiction

Synopsis: While in jail after having been caught with bootleg liquor in her car during Prohibition, Harriet wonders how she ended up there. There's a lot of time to think when you're sitting in a small jail cell about finding her purpose and how she reached that point in her life. Harriet retraces her past as well as her great grandmother Hannah's, who raised a family during the Civil War to her own mother's life of wealth and privilege in the latter part of the 19th century.

My Review: Lynn Austin's, Depression based book, Hidden Places is one of my favorite Christian fiction books ever. Though Waters Roar very much reminded me of that book. It was very touching and it was told in a similar fashion with flashbacks to the pasts of strong and determined women. The last book I've read by Ms. Austin, A Proper Pursuit, was okay but this book is going on my keeper shelf right beside Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, and Hidden Places!

It is very seldom that a book makes me cry but this one certainly did. The struggles that all of the women faced, especially Bebe's really pull at your heart. Throughout the book the women struggle with relationships, fighting for equal rights, and most importantly their relationship with God. This is not a short story by any means (430 pages) but I finished it in two sittings. I stayed up well past my bedtime reading 3/4 of it and woke up today eager to read what happened next.

If you like history, romance, drama, a great faith message etc. you should read this book. Ms. Austin best works are the ones that span generations like Hidden Places and now this book! I can't wait to see what she comes out with next! She is definitely one of my favorite Christian fiction authors!


To learn more about Lynn Austin and her books please visit:
Her Website
The Bethany House Website

*Many thanks to Jim @ Bethany House for providing this book for me to review!*


Mailbox Monday!

Every week Marcia @ The Printed Page hosts Mailbox Monday. This is the chance for you to showcase all the great reads that you have received during the past week. Also it gives you an opportunity to check out what great books others received too! Be sure you stop by Marcia's page...you never know, you might get some ideas for your wishlist!

This week I got 5 books and they all look like winners, what do you think?

From Bookmooch:

Vision in White
by Nora Roberts
Copyright 2009
Berkley Books
344 pages
ISBN: 978-0-425-22751-0
Fiction

Yellow Rose Bride
by Lori Copeland
Copyright 2006
Steeple Hill Publishers
313 pages
ISBN: 978-0-373-78572-8
Historical Romance

From Swaptree:

The Van Alen Legacy (The Bluebloods, Book 4)
by Melissa de la Cruz
Copyright 2009
Hyperion
384 pages
ISBN: 978-
YA Fiction

For review from publishers:

The Sheriff's Surrender
by Susan Page Davis
Copyright 2009
Barbour Books
320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60260-562-6
Fiction/Christian/Romance

Though Waters Roar
by Lynn Austin
Copyright 2009
Bethany House Publishers
430 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0496-8
Historical Fiction

Book Review: The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy

Friday, November 20, 2009


The Triumph of Deborah
by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
Copyright 2008
Plume
358 pages
ISBN: 978-0-452-28906-2
Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Deborah a highly respected Israelite leader and judge, has convinced military leader, Barak to attack the neighboring Canaanites. With Barak's success comes more trials,including the love triangle between Barak and the two captured Canaanite princesses, beautiful Asherah and loving Nogah. On top of it all, Deborah finds herself increasingly attracted to Barak which leads her husband to divorce her. Deborah exhibits much strength and character and independence that many modern women of today strive to achieve.

My Review: First off let me say that if you are a reader of Christian fiction you may not like this book because there are some love scenes although not romance novel descriptive, they are still there nonetheless. As for the story of Deborah I have to admit that I'm not all that familiar with her story in the Bible however, I thought that Eva did a wonderful job capturing Deborah and her spirit.

It is amazing to me that Deborah was revered among her people when today, even in our society women aren't as respected as much as their male counterparts. We often tend to think that people of ancient society were more backward in their societal views but in truth they really were not in some aspects.

That being said, I think Ms. Etzioni-Halevy did a really wonderful job capturing the dilemmas that Deborah had to face as a judge, wife, and woman. The story of Barak, Nogah, and Asherah were also woven together neatly, although I felt at times relationships were rushed and there was a little bit too much lust for me to handle. Barak was not a likable hero (if he can be called that), he was just too much of a womanizer for my tastes.

But if taken just from a fictional point of view as it is meant to be taken, The Triumph of Deborah is a good book for those who like well researched historical romances! Seeing as she lives in the Middle East it's pretty easy to see how she could so aptly describe homes, towns, and scenery. If I come across any of Eva's books in my travels I'll probably pick them up and see what she does with the story of Ruth and the life of Hannah.

To learn more about Eva Etzioni-Halevy and her other books visit her website:
http://www.evaetzionihalevy.com/

*Many thanks to the author for providing me with my copy to review!*


Book Giveaway!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This month I was mistakenly shipped a copy of Things Worth Remembering by Jackina Stark from Jim @ Bethany's House's Book Review Program. When I let Jim know about this mistake he let me know that I could keep the book...sooooo I decided to offer it to you, my wonderful blog readers!

Things Worth Remembering
by Jackina Stark
Copyright 2009
Bethany House Publishers
316 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0711-2
Contemporary Fiction


Here's a preview from the Bethany House website:

An Emotionally Gripping Story of Broken Relationships Restored

Kendy Laswell and her daughter, Maisey, used to do everything together--until one fateful summer when Maisey witnessed something she shouldn't have, and their relationship fractured. Now, Maisey is back home to get married and Kendy realizes this is her last chance to reconnect with her daughter. Will Kendy and Maisey be able to reclaim the bond they once shared?

Maisey asked for a bride doll the Christmas she was five, mesmerized by her aunt's wedding the fall before. Since then I've been dreaming of the day, or days, we would shop for her wedding dress. A mother helping her daughter find just the right creation for that momentous walk down the aisle strikes me as one of life's happiest endeavors. The night she called to tell us she'd bought her "dream of a gown," I sat beside Luke on the couch, a striking contrast to Maisey's exuberance.
My dejection seemed a tad inappropriate. "Being hurt because I wasn't included is silly, isn't it?" I asked.

"Not so silly," he said.

Will I ever quit longing for the Maisey who was once mine?

If this sounds like a book that you would like to read this could be your chance to win.

Rules:
~ Void where prohibited.
~U.S. Residents only please.
~ You MUST leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner! Disguise it something like this: steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com
~ Contest is open until November 30, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST. Any comments made after that time will not count.
~The winner will be announced on December 1, 2009, on this blog AND I will contact the winner via email. The winner has 48 hours from the time winner email is sent or another name will be drawn.

~For 1 entry you must leave a comment with your email!

~For 1 extra entry:
Since this cover has so many beautiful daisies on the cover I would like to know your favorite flower...tell me in your comment!

Stop back on December 1 to see who the lucky winner is!!!!

To purchase this book visit Bethany House's website.



Teaser Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


MizB @ Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesday every week at her blog! This gives everyone the opportunity to share a few lines from a new book they're reading or one of their old favorites.

Here are the rules for Teaser Tuesday!
1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
5. PLEASE avoid spoilers!!!!!

This week I chose to take my teaser from In the Shadow of the Sun King, Book 1 in the A Darkness to Light series. This novel centers around France in the 17th century and the persecution of French Protestants, particularly the Clavell family.

In the Shadow of the Sun King (A Darkness to Light series, Book 1)
by Golden Keyes Parsons
Copyright 2008
Thomas Nelson Publishers
366 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59554-626-5
Fiction/Christian/Historical


Teaser from page 195:

"Francois watched Louis' face redden with rage, but he continued, 'Your majesty, you say you still care for Madeleine. Do what you will to me, but spare her and our children. For her sake. Because of the love that you once shared.'"

Be sure to visit MizB!!!

Mailbox Monday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Every week Marcia @ The Printed Page hosts Mailbox Monday. This is the chance for you to showcase all the great reads that you have received during the past week. Also it gives you an opportunity to check out what great books others received too! Be sure you stop by Marcia's page...you never know, you might get some ideas for your wishlist!

I got 8 books last week! I'll be busy ;-)

From Bookmooch:

Gwyneth and the Thief
by Margaret Moore
Copyright 2002
Avon Books
279 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-447337-6
Teen Fiction/Romance


Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson Series, Book 1)
by Molly Harper
Copyright 2009
Pocket Star Books
384 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8942-6
Paranormal Romance
My REVIEW

From PBS:

Outlaw's Bride (The Western Sky series, Book 1)
by Lori Copeland
Copyright 1999
Harvest House Publishers
255 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2751-2
Fiction/Romance

From blog giveaways:

A Forever Christmas
by Missy Tippens
Copyright 2009
Steeple Hill Publishers
218 pages
ISBN: 978-0-373-87564-1
Inspirational Romance

In the Shadow of the Sun King (Darkness to Light Series, Book 1)
by Golden Keyes Parsons
Copyright 2008
Thomas Nelson Publishers
366 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59554-626-5
Fiction/Christian/Historical

From the authors/publishers:

Emmy's Equal (Texas Fortunes, Book 3)
by Marcia Gruver
Copyright 2009
Barbour Publishers
319 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60260-207-6
Fiction/Christian/Romance

The Triumph of Deborah
by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
Copyright 2008
Penguin Group
362 pages
ISBN: 978-0-452-28906-2
Fiction

Tales of the Heart
by Loree Lough
Copyright 2010
Whitaker House Publishers
480 pages
ISBN: 978-60374-167-5
Fiction

Book Review: Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John


Her Colorado Man
by Cheryl St. John
Copyright 2009
Harlequin
280 pages
ISBN: 978-0-373-29571-5
Historical Romance

Synopsis: Mariah left her small Colorado hometown when she realized she was expecting a child. Not wanting to shame her family with the scandal of having a child out of wedlock Mariah and her grandfather make up an absentee husband who is supposed to be in Alaska trying his luck in the gold fields. One day he shows up in the form of ruggedly handsome Wes Burrows.

Not willing to break her sons heart by revealing the truth about Wes, she begrudgingly agrees to let him stay. When Mariah discovers the man underneath the handsome exterior is just as nice, she must decide whether to risk her heart and reveal the secret of her sons true father and risk losing the man she has come to care for very deeply.

My Review: I was expecting another great story by Cheryl St. John and I was not disappointed. Even though the imaginary husband concept and how she and her grandfather went about making him up was a little far fetched I was okay with it. It is fiction after all and I want an escape from real life! Mariah is a very likable heroine, and it is very interesting that she is pretty much in charge of running the family brewery.

I liked Wes from the get go. He's ruggedly handsome, a hard worker, and a soft hearted man to boot! Who doesn't love a hero who beats the stuffing out of the antagonist who's twice his size and can adeptly handle a pink clad baby girl?

The chemistry between Wes and Mariah sizzled, everything flowed and wrapped up nicely in the end! I really enjoyed the latest release from Cheryl and am very much looking forward to her next story!

To learn more about Cheryl St. John and her books visit:
Website:
http://www.cherylstjohn.net/
Blogs:
http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/

*I received my copy from the author, thank you Cheryl!*

Blog Award: Honest Scrap!

I'm so grateful to Vicki @ Reading at the Beach for choosing me for this award! Thank you Vicki!!!!!

As a part of this award I have to tell you 10 honest things about me and pass the award on to 10 more bloggers!

1. I read too much.
2. I eat way too much pizza!
3. I drink A LOT of Mtn Dew and Dr Pepper (I think I could live on these alone.)
4. Whenever I order iced tea at a resaurant it has to look like a snow globe before I drink it.
5. I don't like talking on the phone...I can never think of anything to say.
6. I'm a pretty good quarterback.
7. I'm addicted to Vampire Diaries (books and tv show)
8. I love chick flicks!
9. I think a good car chase makes a movie!
10. I hate computers.

Now to pass on this great award!
1. Heather @ Gofita's Pages
2. Mimi @ Woven By Words
3. Carman @ A Sequence of Continuos Delights
4. Angie @ Never a Dull Moment
5. Hannah @ Project Journal
6. Sharon @ Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews
7. Jen @ So Many Books...
8. Christy @ Southern Sassy Things
9. Suko @ Suko's Notebook
10. Wendi @ Wendi's Book Corner

Winners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woohoo! I am sooooo excited that I get to announce TWO winners this month! You ladies are each getting a great book! Enjoy! Without further ado...here are the lucky winners!!!!






















Ladies I am emailing you at the addresses you gave me in your entires. I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

Remember if I don't get emails back from the winner(s) within 48 hours I will draw a new winner(s)!

Blog Tour and Book Review: Thirsty by Tracey Bateman


Thirsty
by Tracey Bateman
Copyright 2009
WaterBrook Press
376 pages
ISBN: 978-0-307-45715-8
Fiction/Suspense

Synopsis: Nina Parker, a divorced mother of two is fighting the most challenging problem of her life, not raising a teenage daughter or the love she still has for her ex husband, Hunt, but the demon that is alcoholism. Deciding to move back to her home town of Abbey Hills that she abandoned as a teen, Nina along with her teenage daughter, Meagan, try to become reacquainted with life in a small town. With their arrival, the small Ozark town must deal with strange and ritualistic murders that are taking place and officials must find who or what is responsible before another life is taken. Along with these terrifying murders and events from Nina's past, and the mysterious new neighbor, Markus her tenuous hold on sobriety is severely tested.


My Review: Having read Tracey Bateman's sweet prairie romances I wasn't really sure what to expect with her latest release, Thirsty. It's a suspense and one of the main characters IS a vampire...completely the opposite of what I'm used to reading from Tracey! Being a lover of Christian fiction and paranormal/vampire fiction I was really excited to read this and I wasn't disappointed.

For all those leery of the vampire, bloodsucking, type books this novel is NOT really one of those. There are some crime scene descriptions and a hostage type situation but nothing that I haven't read in other Christian suspense. That being said even if you're not a fan of Christian books, this is not at all preachy but rather a clean story of the life of a woman facing her past and all of the problems that came from life growing up as an alcoholic from a very young age.

I'll admit I'm not a reader of a lot of suspense books and I'm not sure if this was really a suspense. It wasn't an edge of the seat type read. Nina's story was really touching and I was thoroughly entertained while reading Thirsty! I really liked, Hunt and Markus too and the ending was terrific. Nina's story is really sad, her struggle very realistic. Tracey did an excellent job with this, I would recommend Thirsty to all readers, guys included and am very much looking forward to Tracey's next book!


For more information on Tracey Bateman and where to purchase her books visit:


*I received my copy of Thirsty as part of WaterBrook/Multnomah's Blogging for Books review program.*

Ohio Amish Country!

Friday, November 13, 2009



Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I will be leaving today for a trip to Ohio to visit family and then take a trip to Ohio Amish country. That being said, I won't be back until Sunday November 15th so there won't be any posts!

I will be back in time to announce the winners of each of my book giveaways. There's still time to enter both so be sure to click on the covers on the right sidebar for Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida by Sandra D. Bricker to enter for that one and the cover of Tracey Bateman's book, Thirsty if you would like to enter for that one. Remember you can enter to win both if you wish to! Good luck and see you Sunday!!!

Book Review: Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson Series, Book 1) by Molly Harper

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson Series, Book 1)
by Molly Harper
Copyright 2009
Pocket Star Books
384 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8942-6
Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
Jane Jameson's life literally sucks, after being fired from her job as a librarian, she visits Shenanigans and has one too many neon colored drinks. On her way home, car trouble leaves her stranded and literally left for dead after being mistaken for a deer. Thanks to the handsome stranger she met at Shenanigans she isn't dead...just undead.

For Jane, adjusting to her knew lifestyle isn't easy even though she gets a gift basket from a perky vampire whose the head of the undead welcoming committee. Someone is trying to frame her for murder, her best friend tries to stake her, and she has to decide how to tell her parents the news. To top it all off someone is out to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a book loving vampire to do?

My Review:
I haven't reviewed a paranormal for a while and figured it was time I did so for a change of pace. This is the first book by writer Molly Harper and I am happy to say that it won't be the last that I read of her work. I really enjoyed the humor and the sarcasm. Oh did I mention that the main character has a penchant for Jane Austen and knows how to appreciate the American engineering that is a Ford Mustang (well she gets her head smashed off of the hood but that's the same thing, right?)

There are some great secondary characters in the book too such as, Zeb her human BFF and her deceased Aunt Jettie's spirit who just happens to love hiding car keys. This was a great first book and I can't wait to read book 2, Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men and book 3, Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. If you like the Sookie Stackhouse series or Michelle Rowen's Immortality Bites series you will probably enjoy this book. It is PG-13 as far as language and content goes but it's fun, more of a chick lit than a romance in my opinion. Definitely check this book out for a light, entertaining read!

To learn more about Molly Harper and her books visit

A-Z Wednesday

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Vicki @ Reading at the Beach hosts a weekly meme that introduces different books whose titles feature a different letter of the alphabet each week. It's a great way to find new books to read or rediscover some classics.

Here are the rules:

~ Post a photo of the cover and a short synopsis of the book, sites like Amazon.com and bn.com are great places to find cover blurbs!
~ Post a link to where the book is available for purchase.
~ Please swing by and leave a comment along with your A-Z post on Vicki's blog and be sure to visit the blogs of others to see their selection of the week!
~ Add a link to your review of the book if you have one.

This week the letter is "N."



No Place for A Lady (Heart of the West, Book 1)
by Maggie Brendan
Copyright 2009
Revell Publishers
303 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3335-3
Historical Romance

From Revell:

Nothing in her past had prepared her for a Colorado cattle drive--or Luke Weber.

Longing for a new start, Crystal Clark arrives amid the splendor of the high country in June 1892. After the death of her father, Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt's cattle ranch. Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land--even if a certain handsome foreman named Luke doubts her abilities.

Just when she thinks she's getting a handle on the constant male attention from the cowhands and the catty barbs from some of the local young women, tragedy strikes. And saving the ranch from a greedy neighboring landowner means taking charge of a cattle drive, ready or not. Can she rise to the challenge? Or will she head back to Georgia defeated?

My REVIEW

Teaser Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MizB @ Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesday every week at her blog! This gives everyone the opportunity to share a few lines from a new book they're reading or one of their old favorites.

Here are the rules for Teaser Tuesday!
1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
5. PLEASE avoid spoilers!!!!!

It's been a while since I featured a paranormal romance on Teaser Tuesday so this week I am sharing a bite (pun intended) from Molly Harper's book, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs. I'll be reviewing it later this month so be sure to watch for that.



Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson Series, Book 1)
by Molly Harper
Copyright 2009
Pocket Star Books
384 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8942-6
Paranormal Romance

Teaser from page 133:

"I turned my attention back to my face-rearranging buddy, who was seconds from slamming me like a rag doll into the hood of an old Mustang. Let me tell you, solid American engineering hurts."


Be sure to visit MizB!!!!!

Book Review: Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Fields of Grace
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Copyright 2009
Bethany House Publishers
352 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0508-8
Historical Fiction

Synopsis:
Lillian Vogt and her husband Reinhardt, along with their three sons and Reindhardts' adopted brother, Eli travel to America to start a new life in 19th century Kansas. When tragedy strikes aboard the ship on the way to America, Lillian and Eli must strike a bargain to keep their family together and their dreams of a successful Mennonite settlement alive. Eli, having never had a family starts to believe that a loving family might not be in his future but in the present.

My Review:
I really didn't think that I was going to like this book after I first started it, simply because it was soooo sad! As the story went on however it got better and when finished I thought it was a good read. Mostly this story was about a family coming together in the face of two terrible tragedies to try and make a new start at life. I really felt for Lillian and what she went through but I also sympathized with Eli and his struggle to become a part of a loving family. This was a predictable story and I knew how it was going to end but still I recommend it and look forward to Kim's next book, A Hopeful Heart, releasing in June 2010! If you're in to Amish/Mennonite fiction you will probably enjoy Fields of Grace.

To learn more about Kim Vogel Sawyer and her books visit:

*My copy was an ARC I received through
Bookmooch*

Interview with Author Sandra D. Bricker and Giveaway!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I was so excited when Sandra stopped by my blog a few weeks ago and offered to do a blog interview and book giveaway on MY blog! This was my very first "famous author" interview and I was honored to "meet" her and hope you get to know a little bit more about her and her wonderful books too! Be sure to read all the way through to see how you can be entered to win a signed copy of Sandra's newest release from Summerside Press, Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida!

Thank you Ms. Bricker for the wonderful interview and the generous offering of your book to one lucky reader!



Sandra D. Bricker

BIO: Sandra D. Bricker has been publishing in both the Christian and general market for years with novels for women and teens, magazine articles and short stories. With 8 novels in print and 5 more slated for publication through 2010, Sandie has carved out a niche for herself as an author of laugh-out-loud comedy for the inspirational market. Sandie was an entertainment publicist in Hollywood for 15+ years for some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she left Los Angeles to provide care … and begin her writing career!

RECOGNITION:
Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas is a 2009 finalist in the inspirational category of The Write Touch Readers' Awards.

Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas is a 2009 finalist in the inspirational category of The National Readers' Choice Awards.

Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas is a 2009 finalist in the Inspirational Readers' Choice Contest.

Without further ado here's Sandra!!!!


RC: For those of my readers who don't already know, please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started writing.

SB: Well, I'm a goofball, which is why I write comedy. I work a day job as an editor in Corporate America. And I've wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. I went to film school first in hopes of becoming a screenwriter. Then a few years later, my mom became ill in Florida, and I left Los Angeles to provide care for her. That's when I started writing novels, and she was able to hold my first romantic comedy in her hands and read it just a few months before she passed away.

RC: What was the hardest part of becoming a published author?

SB: Back then, I was “too secular” for the current Christian market, and “too Christian” for the general market. By the grace of God, I found Avalon Books, and they published right down the middle of the road with sweet romance so that I was able to get started. And then Summerside finally opened the door to inspirational.

RC: Is there a certain place you need to be to write or can you just get on the laptop or get out the journal and write anywhere?

SB: I have an office, and I usually do my more technical writing there, like synopses and chapter outlines. But when I want to just really get down into it, I take my laptop to my prayer place in my bedroom, pile pillows behind me, prop up my feet and go for the gusto. It's become my favorite spot for finding my creative flow.

RC: What are your current works in progress?


SB: I'm just putting the finishing touches on my second novel for Abingdon Press, Always the Baker, Never the Bride. It's a comedy (of course) about a baker who is diabetic and can't indulge in her own creations. I'll be sorry to say good-bye to these characters, but I'm really looking forward to putting daily thoughts of cakes and pastries behind me!

RC: Tell us a little bit about your latest release, Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida.

SB: When Summerside came calling and asked me to write Holiday as my follow-up book to Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, I jumped at the chance because I live about 30 minutes from Holiday, Florida. Unfortunately, when I went to explore the little town, I discovered that there isn't much to it. I said a little prayer asking the Lord to help me find something to inspire me, and when I drove around the next corner, two elderly women in neon spandex with fanny packs were power-walking down the middle of the street in front of my car. Then I glanced over at one of the houses on that street, and I saw two plastic flamingos in the yard. That was the answer to my prayer, and I was inspired! Holiday is filled with quirky characters, including a couple of elderly women with fanny packs!, and two neon pink flamingos are right there on the cover.

RC: Who has been the most fun character for you to write?

SB: That's really hard to say because I love my characters so much. Lucy in Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas was all of the clumsy, goofy parts of me, and I adored her. Cassie in Holiday has that fish-out-of-water quality that became a part of me when I moved to Florida. Liv in The Big 5-OH! survived cancer, just like I did, and then found a way to embrace life again. And then, now that I've gotten to know Emma Rae from Always the Baker, Never the Bride, I think she has become my new favorite. I identify with her on so many levels, and I wish I could be more like her.

RC: Would you ever consider writing a historical fiction novel? I'll have to admit that historicals are my favorite...so I had to ask this :-P

SB: I've tried a few times, but me and historical … not so much! I'm a very contemporary girl, and the historical thing just doesn't flow for me. Sorry! (RC: I'm not at all sad about this since your contemporaries are so good, Sandra)!

RC: If you could use 3 words to describe your novels what would they be?

SB: Funny would have to be first. Quirky, because most of my characters are a little offbeat. And I think Unexpected because people usually tell me that they hadn't anticipated the tug at their heartstrings with a comedy. I like that. Unexpected is a very good thing for a writer to be called, don't you think? (RC: Definitely!)

RC: What do you love to do besides write?

SB: I'm a bit of an armchair animal activist, so I love animals of all kinds, especially dogs. I spend a lot of time with my Collie, Sophie (who is also a real character in Holiday!). I enjoy scrapbooking and painting pottery and ceramics. I also enjoy graphic design, like creating brochures, flyers and the like for myself and my writer buds. I think my creative genes are on steroids.

RC: What do you hope your readers take away after reading your books?

SB: The best thing I can hope for when someone reads my books is that, while they were laughing (because the scriptures say that a merry heart is like medicine!), they came across something that inspired them to change and draw closer to God. If they don't get that, then I'm not doing my job.

RC: And finally, I'm a car enthusiast so I have to ask this, what's your dream car/truck/SUV?

SB: Oh, I wish I could give you some impressive answer, but I don't know much about cars. I liked the old Jaguar, but not this new one. And a convertible PT Cruiser almost always turns my head on the freeway, but I'm not sure I'd own one. All I really care about is that it runs and there's a big enough back seat for my dog to be comfortable. (RC: Hahaha...back seat?! My collie tries to drive! She needs to learn some manners from Sophie!)


Wasn't that a fun interview?! Sandra is so sweet! It's no wonder her books are so enjoyable! For more info on Sandra and her books visit her:
Website: www.SandraDBricker.com.
Personal blog -
http://sandradbricker.blogspot.com
Group blog -
http://bestilldevos.blogspot.com

Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida:


Bostonian Cassie Constantine is only in Florida long enough to use her Christmas break to get the vacation house that she's always despised ready for the real estate market. But her widow
status is like a target on her back, and the elderly matchmakers around town manage to sidetrack her mission at every turn. Holiday is a land mine of golf tournaments, ballroom dancing competitions, shuffleboard and day trips. But the biggest obstacle of all? Nope, not Sophie the crazy Collie. It's Richard Dillon, the stuffed shirt she's paired with on the dance floor. He makes her heartbeat tap faster than the rhythm of The Quickstep.

Now for some more fun! If you would like to win a SIGNED copy of Sandra's book, Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida all you have to do is leave a comment!
~Sorry no extra entries in this contest, only one entry per person please.
~You MUST leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you for your mailing address if you win!
~U.S. residents only please!
~Contest open until November 15, 2009 at 11:59PM EST.
~One winner will be chosen, their name posted on this blog, and they will be notified by email on November 16th and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.



Mailbox Monday!

Every week Marcia @ The Printed Page hosts Mailbox Monday. This is the chance for you to showcase all the great reads that you have received during the past week. Also it gives you an opportunity to check out what great books others received too! Be sure you stop by Marcia's page...you never know, you might get some ideas for your wishlist!

I only got 3 books this week, one from Revell, one was a gift, and one I bought!

Here they are!

From Revell Publishers:



The Christmas Dog
by Melody Carlson
Copyright 2009
Revell Publishers
172 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1881-7
Fiction/Contemporary



Whirlwind
by Cathy Marie Hake
Copyright 2008
Bethany House Publishers
358 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0319-0
Historical Romance



The Returning
by Ann Tatlock
Copyright 2009
Bethany House Publishers
362 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0006-9
Contemporary Fiction