Tournament of Champions: Third Week Recap

Monday, October 31, 2011

*Guest post by Michelle Massaro

Week THREE of COTT's Tournament of Champions saw four more authors compete and three more scavenger hunts played. 
Here's a recap:

On Monday, players were sent to Elaine Cooper's Blog with a mission: Find the full name of the girl Nathaniel Stearns falls in love with in the book trailer video on her home page. Renee C won a $10 Amazon gift card from Marianne Evans, author of Hearts Crossing.

Tuesday, the hunt was on at Shellie Neumeier's Blog. The question: What is the name of the book Shellie co-wrote with Lisa Lickel? Tammy G won a $10 Amazon gift card from April Gardner, author of Wounded Spirits.


Wednesday we were led to Naomi Musch's Blog. The question: In her new release, The Red Fury, Colette's daughter Lainey is seeking solace from tragic loss and two searing rejections by doing what 2 things? B.J. Robinson won a $10 CBD gift card donated by Ann Gaylia O'Barr, author of Singing in Babylon.

Want your own spending spree? Be sure to play in this week's hunts. Check Clash of the Titles for game info.


And what about the competing books? Who won?

Karen Witemeyer's A Tailor-Made Bride and Lena Nelson Dooley's Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico battled on Monday. A Tailor-Made Bride came out the winner.


Christine Lindsay's Shadowed in Silk and Naomi Musch's The Green Veil struck swords on Wednesday. The Green Veil took the top spot.


These two victorious titles competed together on Friday to determine which would move on to the finals for a chance to win the Laurel Award. And that finalist is...


Karen Witemeyer's A Tailor-Made Bride!

There are now three finalists vying for the ultimate COTT honor. In this final week they'll be joined by a fourth book, then all will be thrown into the ring until only ONE remains. Who will it be? It's up to readers to decide, so cast your votes!


The Laurel will be awarded on November 4th, along with the 15-book grand prize that will be given to one lucky reader. Want a shot at it? You can enter by sharing links, putting up buttons and banners on your blog, becoming a follower of COTT, etc. Details on the prize basket and full instructions on how to enter can be found here. To make it easy to grab n go, here are the banner and button codes (just don't forget to let them know if you put them up!)


OR




Clash of The Titles

Here's the button code:





* Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for COTT. Find her on twitter @MLMassaro, Facebook, and Adventures In Writing.

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Princes and Dragons in Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Friday, October 28, 2011

Veiled Rose (Tales of Goldstone Wood, Book 2)
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Copyright 2011
Bethany House Publishers
400 pages
ISBN: 9780764207822
I'm not usually one to pick up books labeled as fantasy but whenever I have I enjoyed them--unfortunately I didn't care for this one. It wasn't the writing style, which was fine, but I didn't feel any connection at all to the characters and Prince Leo annoyed me. He seemed very immature and, well, snotty. I realize he was a child when we first met him but he remained pretty much the same throughout his young adult years. Granted, at the end of the story in his encounter with Rose Red he was truthful about himself and accepting of her so that gave him a tad more appeal but still not enough to make me want to read the next book to see what happens next. Rose Red was a decent character and her loyalty to the Prince and Southland was unfailing in spite of being cruelly treated.

I guess maybe I just didn't "get" this story. It probably would have helped if I had read the first book, Heartless, but time didn't permit. I will say one thing about this series--the covers are amazing! Don't get me wrong, I love books with pretty pastel covers but these are so mysterious and somewhat foreboding and not something you see everyday on a Christian fiction book.

If you are a fan of fantasy or fairy tales or have middle school aged children who are this might be a series for your home library. Even if you don't like religious fiction this series may still be enjoyable since there are only parallels to Christianity and no "preachiness."

To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE

* I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*


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Drama, Drama, Drama in Julie Lessman's A Heart Revealed

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Heart Revealed (Winds of Change, Bk 2)
by Julie Lessman
Copyright 2011
Revell Books
512 pages
ISBN: 9780800734169
Are you surprised by the title of this post? Well you won't be since you now know that this is a review of Julie Lessman's latest novel, A Heart Revealed. If you are at all familiar with this series you know that drama is the key to each of these stories. If you're like me the more drama, the better and it comes in spades in this book.

Continuing the O'Connor saga is the story of Emma Malloy and Sean, the eldest O'Connor sibling. Each has a past that they let control their future and both must learn to give it to God for a chance at happiness. The unfolding story of Emma and Sean's romance is one that is sweet, passionate, and altogether frustrating. A friend asked if I threw the book across the room as I was reading, well  let me just say that there are black and green spots on my wall where there once was only white paint. Emma is almost too giving and good. I wanted to throttle that girl if she tried to push Rose off on a certain character one more time and trust me I'm not violent in the least! If there's ever a series where you feel so connected to the characters it's this one! They come alive and one even has a cute quirk that will have you craving chocolate.

 So grab a Snickers, a few lemon drops and a caffeinated beverage (you're gonna need it because you will want to stay up past midnight) and your copy of A Heart Revealed today. You won't regret it! If you haven't read a book by Julie I suggest getting to know the O'Connor family by reading the books in order starting with A Passion Most Pure, Book One in the Daughters of Boston series and going from there. Happy Reading!


To learn more about Julie and her books visit HER WEBSITE and don't forget to check out her JOURNAL JOTS page!

*I received my copy from the author in a giveaway. I was not obligated to post a review much less a positive one.*


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Waiting on Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts but thanks to my friend Rel @ Relz Reviewz and her great post on new Bethany House releases in Summer 2012 I had to post this!

The book I'm looking forward to the most next summer is...



About the book:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

Doesn't this sound terrific? I LOVE Karen's books and I just know this is going to be so cute! Can't wait till Summer!!!
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Jill over @ Breaking the Spine hosts a weekly meme that features one book that you can't wait to be released! Be sure to visit Jill's site to see what she and other readers can't wait to get their hands on.


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A World Where Chocolate is Illegal Is Here in All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All These Things I've Done
by Gabrielle Zevin
Copyright 2011
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Books
368 pages
ISBN: 9780374302108 
Can you imagine living in a world where chocolate is illegal and caffeine is strictly forbidden? I know this girl couldn't go on without an occasional Hershey Bar or daily glass of Mountain Dew. Oh the horror! Gabrielle Zevin, best selling author has created a world where this is reality and laws change at the drop of a hat, resulting in an underground lucrative black market where chocolate and those who control its distribution are king.

Anya Balanchine, the 16-year-old daughter of the deceased head of a notorious crime family wants nothing to do with illegal chocolate but those around her including her older brother, Leo pull her in. Like most young adult fiction these days there's a bit of forbidden romance (and potentially a love triangle!) which only adds to the drama in Anya's life. Despite being only sixteen most of the responsibility rests on her shoulders and Anya must learn to grow up and embrace the life that she shuns--the life that continues the legacy of her father.

In spite of the "heaviness" of this story Gabrielle Zevin manages to make life in the late 21st century easy to relate to. Sure not many of us are members of a crime family (at least I hope) but we can all relate to caring for siblings, coping with the pressures of high school our faith, and the risks involved in love. Anya is easy to like and no matter how much she wants to avoid it this girl fits the mold of tough-as-nails mob daughter. I could see her in the Godfather movies any day of the week. No worries though, there's no violence that's over the top or inappropriate for a YA novel. It's actually pretty decent compared to a lot of the YA out there these days.
In general I really liked this book and would definitely like to see where Anya's new alliances take her in the future. The ending was somewhat bland and I wasn't wishing that I had the next book to jump right back in but I'm definitely intrigued by Anya's world  and will probably read the sequel when it's released.

Note: Strong language throughout, some violence and sensuality.



To learn more about Gabrielle visit her WEBSITE

*I received my complimentary copy through Zeitghost Media in exchange for posting this review*

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Laugh for the Day

Having little brothers is sometimes a good thing, especially when they make you laugh. If you're like me and have a comedian of a little bro you laugh a lot. A few weeks ago my brother Riley brought this video to my attention and honestly I've watched a ton of this guy's videos since then and don't know when I've ever laughed so hard. It's Tuesday so I figured you could all use a laugh! ;-)

Here are two of my faves...




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Rockin' the Party @ Clash of the Titles!

Monday, October 24, 2011

*guest post by Delia Latham

It's been a bang-up bash all week at Clash of the Titles. We've been blog-hopping for treasure, and a couple gals found the loot!

LINDA won Game #1. She'll receive a 
$10 Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate 

CLAUDIA RIZZI won Game #2. She'll receive a 
$25 Partylite Gift Certificate 
from 
Michelle Massaro.

Congratulations to our game winners!

And the fun continues all the way through Nov. 4th. Our doors are open and we have a whole pile of party hats just waiting to be worn. Bring your votes and come on down!

In the midst of all the fun and games this week, we had four authors at swordspoint with TWO Clashes. All four entries were outstanding, and each possessed strong winning qualities. But, as in any race or competition, not everyone makes the finals.

We chose a single winner from each Clash. These two went head-to-head on Saturday…and only one will proceed to the finals and duke it out for the COTT Laurel Award.

This week's Clash WINNERS are:

Clash #3:


Erin Rainwater with her excerpt from 


Clash #4: 

Elaine Marie Cooper and her excerpt from 


CONGRATULATIONS, ladies!

These two went head-to-head on Saturday…with only one proceeding to the finals to duke it out for the COTT Laurel Award.

That one is....






Elaine Marie Cooper and her excerpt from 





Cyber-hugs and sincere thanks to Anne Patrick and Margaret Brownley! These were tough decisions and difficult votes to make. You're ALL winners!

More games and more exerpts are up for grabs this week, so don't miss out. Stop by COTT and play.

*Delia Latham is the author of the Solomon's Gate Series and a Blog Alliance Correspondent for COTT

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Regency Romance with a Twist: A Necessary Deception (Daughters of Bainbridge House, Book 1) by Laurie Alice Eakes

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Necessary Deception 
by Laurie Alice Eakes
Revell Books
Copyright 2011
ISBN: 9780800734664
Like a lot of people I'm a fan of all things Jane Austen after having read Pride and Prejudice in high school I became infatuated with all things Regency--Regency romance, fashion and manners. There's just something about that time period that is so intriguing. There was so much turmoil yet wealthy families tried so hard to maintain appearances and find stability for their families in the form of wealthy (or at least titled) husbands or wives for their children.

In her newest series, The Daughters of Bainbridge House, Laurie Alice Eakes explores not only those husband hunting families and their daughters but the mysterious world of French spies and double agents. Even though it's told mainly through Lydia's viewpoint the hero of this book and his occupation (for lack of a better word) and the action I think make it something a guy would like to read too. A Necessary Deception is not simply a romance but a novel of war and spies! That said if you're looking for a sweet romance of parlors, ices and beautiful gowns this book doesn't really fit into that category.

Some of the characters are from France and the use of French in the book is a bit distracting if you're as clueless about the language as I am. Christien wasn't very likable, at least to me, until the latter half of the story. Granted he was a spy and he did save Lydia's life but he seemed more of a secondary character rather than a hero. Lydia was an excellent lead and perfectly represented the picture in my head of a regency widow--not quite a debutante but someone who found purpose in watching out for her younger sisters and their loves.

A Necessary Deception is a solid start to the series and I'm really looking forward to reading more about the Bainbridge girls. Both Honore and Cassandra's, Lydia's sisters definitely had some loose ends that need tied up so hopefully we'll see more of them as this series continues.


To learn more about the author visit:
Her WEBSITE

“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”




*I received my complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest opinion of the book for the blog tour.*


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Blog Tour: Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist
Copyright 2011
Bethany House Publishers
368 pages
ISBN: 9780764204098
Historical Fiction
Hold the 'phone! We've got another real winner here from Deeanne Gist! If you're like me a handsome hero with *sigh* curly hair and a badge will make you melt anytime and when you throw in just a tad bit of swagger things get out of hand. Let me just say that Luscious Lucious puts all romance heroes to shame with his ability to make overalls sexy. Why is a lawman in overalls? Did I mention that he's undercover disguised as Luke Palmer, troubleman for Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company? Okay you're probably thinking this girl is crazy right talking about a Christian fiction hero as sexy but trust me, you will agree with me after having read this book.  Don't worry, Love on the Line is still completely PG-rated even though the chemistry between Luke and Georgie is smokin'. ;-) If you are familiar with Deeanne's work at all you know she always writes heroes that are oh so easy to fall in love with. Yes I realize this is fiction, therefore Luke is not real and yes I realize that the Verizon techs probably don't look like him but I might keep my eyes peeled anyway.

So enough about the hero you're probably wondering about the story itself, well I'm happy to say it's just as good. Deeanne has definitely brought the fun back with this book, although I have to say that if I never read about bird's again in a story it will be too soon. Georgie Gail the resident switchboard operator is as fanatical about her feathered friends as she is the telephone and it's definitely interesting to see Georgie and Luke go beak to beak...err head to head, whichever you prefer. The trademark chemistry that only Deeanne can create between hero and heroine is present from the very beginning. When you throw two hardheaded, stubborn people together it makes the story all that more delightful! Who knew that Christian fiction could be so much fun?

I highly recommend every single one of Deeanne Gist's novels to anyone who loves Christian fiction, Love on the Line is no exception. I'm wondering if there could be a sequel in the works because a certain character is just begging, begging, BEEEEEGGING for her story to be told! I hope so but if not I'm definitely satisfied with the way this one turned out and will be a Dee fan for life!

*I received my complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my thoughts for the Litfuse Tour.*


Check out what others are saying about the book HERE!

*************************

IN OTHER NEWS!!!!
Deeanne is thrilled to introduce Georgie and Luke to the word in her latest novel, Love on the Line. To celebrate Deeanne's publisher, Bethany House, is hosting the Love on the Line iPad2 giveaway an Author Chat on Facebook! Enter today and follow the link below to RSVP for Deeanne's rip-roarin' Facebook Party!







One fortunate winner will receive: 



  • A Brand New iPad2 
  • An Autographed Hardback Copy of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist 


Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at Deeanne's Author Chat Facebook Party. Deeanne will be wrapping up the Love on the Line celebration by chatting with friends new and old! So grab your copy of Love on the Line (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might could win one!) and join Deeanne on the evening of November 8th for a rip roaring book chat, a little trivia and lots of giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 8th!


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Anybody having a baby girl...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

...I need an excuse to buy this!


Toasty the Collie
American Girl Accessories

How cute right?

 I couldn't resist peeking at my gram's mail today (don't worry, I had permission) especially since an American Girl catalog was right on top. I found this cute collie, Toasty for just $20. I think the American Girl stuff is so adorable and I don't think it'll ever go out of style. If I had a little girl you can be sure she would own some of this company's toys.

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COTT Kicks Off Tournament of Champions!


Guest post by Jennifer Slattery
Last week, Clash of the Titles launched their first annual Tournament of Champions with two clashes and four talented authors. In Clash one, CS Lakin, author of Someone to Blame, and Marianne Evans, author of Heart Crossing, went head-to-head in a nail-biting, literary duel. In Clash two, our very own Gail Pallotta, author of Love Turns the Tide, competed against Clare Revell, author of A Season for Miracles. All four excerpts rocked, and this was a tough call, but you, our faithful readers chose two Tournament of the Champions' finalists.
Those finalists were Marianne Evans and Gail Pallotta.
Exciting stuff, and yet, the games weren’t done. In the next round, COTT staff cast their votes, and once again, one writer rose to the top and will advance to the next round.
That author is…
Marianne Evans!
And here’s a glimpse of what a COTT champion excerpt looks like:
“Collin Edwards stood before the funeral assembly. Heat crawled up his body. He clutched the edges of the podium where he stood and cleared his throat. The gesture was in vain. His throat constricted so much it hurt. Before the altar, just to the right, rested a flag-draped casket.
He looked down, at a piece of paper upon which he had crafted the words to a eulogy…” (Read more of Excerpt B here.)
About the novel, Heart Crossing:
Collin Edwards, a former parishioner at Woodland Church, has renounced God without apology, his faith drained away in the face of a tragic loss.
Daveny Montgomery cares deeply about her relationship with God, and the community of Woodland . Lately though, she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.
A beautification project at Woodland seems the answer for them both. Daveny spearheads the effort and Collin assists, but only with the renovations, and only because he wants to know Daveny better. Despite his deepening feelings for her, even stepping into the common areas of the church stirs tension and anger.
Can Daveny trust in Collin’s fledgling return to faith? And can Collin ever accept the fact that while he turned his back on God, God never turned his back on him?
We’d also like to congratulate our prize-winning readers:
 Jessica R Patch! She won a $10 Amazon Gift card from Elaine Cooper.
 LoRee Peery! She won a free bookmark design from Delia Latham.
 Larry Hammersley! He won a $10 Amazon Gift card from Author Anne Patrick.
Join us this week for more fun and prizes as four more authors jump into the ring hoping not only to advance to the next round, but ultimately reign as the Clash of the Titles’ champion of champions! Remember, every vote counts! Each vote gets your name thrown into the hat for our fab-tabulous grand prize give-away comprised of fourteen novels!
Visit our Tournament of Champions page for a complete list of prizes.
***
Jennifer Slattery is the marketing manager for Clash of the Titles. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters and has written for numerous other publications. She also works for Tiffany Colter, the Writing Career Coach, as a professional manuscript evaluator and publicist. You can find out more about her and her writing at her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud. You can find out more about her critique and publicity services at Words That Keep.




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Blog Tour: The Wonder of Your Love (Land of Canaan Novel, Book 2) by Beth Wiseman

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beth is celebrating the release of Book 2 in the Land of Canaan series with a Fabulous Facebook party on November 1st. She'll be giving away one of her OWN paintings, several mini prize packs and a sneak peak at the next book in this heartwarming series.

CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then join us on November 1st for a book chat, Amish themed trivia contest, and more!

The Wonder of Your Love Facebook Party on 11/1!


About the book:
Katie Ann lost the love of her life. Then God offers her a new beginning in Colorado.

Katie Ann Stolzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan, Colorado. At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about her as well. Is it really God's plan for her to be a single parent?

Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is finally an empty-nester. He's enjoying the slower pace of having no one to care for but himself.

When Katie Ann and Eli meet, there is an instant connection. Yet as strong as the attraction is, they both acknowledge that a romance would never work. He is done parenting, while she has just begun.

But as their friendship slowly blossoms into feelings that are as frightening as they are intoxicating, Katie Ann and Eli question if the plans they made for themselves are in line with God's plans.

Can Katie Ann entrust her heart to another man, and rediscover the wonder of God's love?


My Thoughts:

The Wonder of Your Love
by Beth Wiseman
Copyright 2011
ISBN: 9781595548863
These past few years have seen an influx of Amish fiction authors and stories. While I enjoy an occasional story centered around the Amish and their communities I don't often add these to my "must read" list--until now. With authors like Suzanne Woods Fisher and now my new fave, Beth Wiseman, Amish fiction has definitely become more interesting. These authors have given Plain fiction a more edgy feel and I LOVE it! Now if I scared you away with the word edgy, don't worry there's no content that will make you blush it's just a lot different than my grandma's favorite Amish books. For instance this book deals with infidelity in marriage--not an everyday topic in Amish fiction I'm sure! The author deals with a difficult situation in a tasteful manner while not skirting around the side affects like bitterness. She even broaches the topic of physical abuse later in the story. Despite what Katie Ann faced in her life outside of the Canaan Amish community this book does not have a "heavy" feel. The message of hope and love in Christ and learning to trust make this book a pleasant read for anyone, fans of Amish stories or not.

*To read what others are saying go HERE*

* I received my complimentary copy through Litfuse Publicity group in exchange for posting my honest opinion of the book for this tour.*


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Winners!!!

Thank you to every who entered my Abingdon Press prize pack giveaway! I wish I could give you all books but unfortunately I only have 2 prizes. Here are the winners as chosen by random.org

1st Prize: The Faith of Ashish and A Texan's Promise

Sara B.


2nd Prize: The Faith of Asish

Katie M.


If you haven't already done so I encourage you to check out these wonderful books and their authors. Winners have been notified and will have 48 hours to claim their prizes or another winner(s) will be selected.

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Best Commercial Ever!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Okay it's no secret that I love my Pittsburgh Steelers and it's pretty widely known that Troy Polamalu is the spokesperson...errr spokeshair for Head and Shoulders. What you may not know is that Brett Keisel, popular Steelers defensive end is known in the 'Burgh and throughout Steeler Nation for his playoff (now permanent) beard. He even has a t-shirt available depicting his rather ferocious look. Well apparently Head and Shoulders thought that Brett was giving Troy a run for his money in the luscious hair department and decided to take advantage by making this commercial. If you don't at least giggle while watching this you might want to have someone check your pulse...just sayin'.



Don't you love it? Come on admit it or do I have to call you a lyin' fool? Hehehe. ;-)

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Blog Tour: Baby It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Warm up to Christmas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!



Read what the reviewers are saying here.





One festive winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!



But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!



RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!



Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

*****Want to know what I thought about the book? Read on.*****

My Review:
~5 stars~

When it comes to Christmas stories I'm a real Scrooge. It's not that I don't love the holiday but every single Christmas story seems to be so sugary sweet or too predictable, even more so than a lot of the romances I read. With her latest novel, Baby It's Cold Outside, Susan May Warren has made me change my tune. It's not sappy or saccharin in fact it's one of the best seasonal stories I've ever read.

Following World War II so many small towns like Frost, Minnesota, felt the loss of many of their loved ones especially over the holidays. Dottie Morgan, the widow on the hill lost her son in the war and vows to keep as far away from Christmas as possible. She has nothing to celebrate especially since God has abandoned her...or so she thinks. Her neighbor, Gordy, close friend of her son along with three other complete strangers show Dottie that there are so many reasons to celebrate the season and to embrace the love that's been following her ever since childhood.

I was glued to every word of this story. Warren has captured the spirit of Christmas while also keeping true to the feeling of loss and sadness that gripped the nation immediately following the World War II. Dottie's grief was so genuine. When she got the closure that she needed concerning her son Nelson it was most definitely a "Kleenex" moment. Dottie's friend Violet wasn't without her own sorrows. While most women served on the home front, Violet was in the WAACs and did "men's" work that gained her little appreciation among the members of her community. One couldn't help but feel her frustration about not being able to share her true self with her family and friends for fear of additional ostracism. This is definitely a book filled to the brim with raw emotion and internal conflict!

Baby, It's Cold Outside is an excellent way to start off your 2011 Christmas book collection. I have the feeling that this is going to be an annual holiday read for me and one to pass on and share with my friends and family. If you're a fan of Susan May Warren you won't be disappointed. Between this book and Heiress it's been a stellar year!

*I received my complimentary review copy through Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for posting my thoughts on the book for the tour.*


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Get in the Holiday Mood with The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
Copyright 2011
Little, Brown and Company
304 pages
ISBN: 9780316097390
Fiction/Romance
The Christmas Wedding is my first James Patterson book and I'm happy to say I enjoyed it. It's definitely a story to get you in the Christmas mood with family, snow, weddings and of course love! Although it's a full-length novel this reads like a novella. Each of Gaby's children are introduced and each have situations and struggles that they face that somehow get resolved right at Christmas so there's not much room for development. The romantic element is a little unbelievable--Gaby strings along three potential grooms and they don't seem to mind or question her, hence the three star review. I definitely kept wondering who the groom was going to be and by the end I was glad she chose who she did. However Patterson's ability to weave a story that's centered around true-to-life characters is, I'm sure, one of the reasons why he's a bestselling romance (and suspense!) author.

Be warned, there is strong language throughout but The Christmas Wedding is still a pleasant read just in time for the holidays!

To learn more about the author visit:
http://www.jamespatterson.com/

For a limited time, read the first 24 chapters free:
http://www.jamespatterson.com/books_christmasWedding.partOne.php

Available October 17, 2011, from your favorite bookseller.



*I received my complimentary ARC from the publisher in exchange for posting my review/opinion of the book.*


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Life and Love in a Logging Camp: The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Measure of Katie Calloway
by Serena Miller
Copyright 2011
Revell Books
ISBN: 9780800719982
Have you ever watched the tv series Ax Men? Everyday the guys face incredible dangers and hardships. Now imagine taking away almost all of their safety equipment and throwing their chainsaws over a cliff. The job would be ten times as dangerous and yet 150 years ago that's how logging was done.

In her Revell debut, The Measure of Katie Calloway, author Serena Miller brings to life the logging camps of old with danger, romance, and a dash of humor. The loggers in the wilds of Michigan had very little but no matter what they always had full stomachs. A bad camp cook could be worse than a log jam on a river drive but thanks to Katie Calloway the men of Robert Foster's company ate like kings.

This book is a very interesting look into a seldom seen world even today. There will be times when you're heart literally skips a beat especially when the river rats follow their pine to payday down raging rapids in the spring. Loggers who went under, no matter how strong a swimmer they were, often didn't surface. Ms. Miller definitely knows how to write a dramatic scene that takes your breath! To top it all off there's a subtle romance that pulls at the heartstrings. The conclusion was a bit rushed for my taste but all in all this is definitely an author whose books I will be reading more of.

To learn more about Serena visit:
HER WEBSITE


“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

*I received my complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest opinion of the book.*


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It's Giveaway Time!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanks to the wonderful people at Abingdon Press I have 2 cool book prize packs to give away. The first prize is a copy of The Faith of Ashish by Kay Marshall Strom and A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray. The second prize winner will receive a copy of The Faith of Ashish.

The Faith of Ashish by Kay Marshall Strom
Copyright 2011
Abingdon Press
A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray
Copyright 2011
Abingdon Press

I've read The Faith of Ashish (see my review HERE) and was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful story of a little boy living in early 20th century India. I haven't had the opportunity to read all of A Texan's Promsie yet but what I've read so far is excellent. I'm sure romance fans will be pleased with this debut western from well know Amish fiction writer, Shelley Sheperd Gray.

Entering is easy, all you need to do is fill out the form below, if the form is not in this post the contest has closed. US residents only, ages 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Contest open to entries until October 17, 2011 @ 11:59PM EST. Winners announced October 18, 2011. Winner(s) will have 48 hours to claim their prize after the email notification has been sent. Failure to do so will result in forfeit of prize and another winner(s) will be selected.


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