Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

She's Gone Country by Jane Porter (Book Review) and Giveaway!

Title: She's Gone Country
Author: Jane Porter
Publisher: Hachette

My synopsis: Shey is a Texas girl, born and bred - but for the last 20 some years she has lived in the city (New York) and traveled as a high fashion model.  She has even had her own tv show.  She married another model and together they had 3 boys.  But then, what she thought was everything she wanted, started to chip away.

Her husband of 17 years tells her he is gay and is leaving her for a man. She returns home to Texas and her family after her brother Cody commits suicide.  Feeling like she really has returned "home" she packs up her 3 boys and moves back to the family ranch.  The ranch house has been empty since her mom has moved in with her mom to take care of her. Brick and Blue, her 2 remaining brothers both live in the area, but with wives and children of their own.

Hank, her oldest son at 15, is miserable in Texas.  He misses his prep school and the lacrosse team.  Bo, her 14 year old, suffers from depression and Shey is very worried that he is too much like Cody to chalk his problems up to just being a teenager.  Then there is Cooper.  Cooper is only 12, but is already almost 6 feet tall.  He is also probably the strongest willed of the 3 boys and is bound and determined he is going to be a bull rider like his Uncle Brick was and Dane Kelly.

Now Dane is a man from Shey's past.  When she was 16, Shey was sure she was going to marry Dane, but Dane was 6 years older than she was.  Her parents thought she was too young for such intense feelings and shipped her off to a private school in California.  From there she went on to Stanford, and when she finally returned to Texas, discovered that Dane had married a girl from her class.  She is angry and hurt, always thinking that he would wait for her. And now here he is. Divorced. No longer a bull rider due to an injury. But still as sexy as she remembers.  But he is carrying around a lot of baggage of his own.

My thoughts: I liked Shey's character.  You can tell she is very strong - being a single parent to 3 teenage boys - but her whole life has been shaken up by the announcement of her husband that he is gay.  For 17 years she has lived as his partner, his lover, and she considered him her best friend - and now she finds out that it was all a lie.  It is enough to make you question how much of your life has been real. Her boys are no angels either.  Hank feels he is entitled to his private school education at any cost.  Bo, once a straight-A student is struggling to get by.  Cooper will do anything to get Dane to teach him all about bull riding.  Talk about having her hands full.  Then there is the whole family dynamic of 2 older brothers still trying to tell Shey what is right for her and a mom that disapproves of pretty much everything Shey does because she doesn't take her family to church on Sundays! 

In the course of this book, Shey is able to shake off the stuff that doesn't matter, and discovers that you have to take what life throws at you. Iit may not always be what you wanted - or when you wanted it - but stay true to yourself and your family - and things usually will work themselves out.  With cooler weather coming (hopefully!) - this would be a good one to curl up in front of the fireplace with.

~I received a copy of this book from BookSparks in exchange for my review.~


Thanks to Hachette Books I have 3 copies of She's Gone Country to give away to 3 of my readers.  School is back in session, so even though the heat is still here - simple summer rules have gone away.  But don't worry - things aren't THAT tough.

1.  To enter, must be a follower - but I don't care how, just let me know (Facebook, twitter, Google Friend Connect, email subscriber).  Leave me that information in a comment with your email address and you are in!
2.  You can also twitter about this giveaway by just using the twitter button at the end of the post - or spread the word in any creative fashion that you want - just let me know where to find it.
3. If you comment on any of my non-giveaway links - just let me know here and you can have another entry.

So you see - you can get 3 entries - nothing real difficult - and you can leave them all in one entry if you want!  Amazing!  Just don't forget that email address!

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada, but no PO boxes.  It will end on Sept 21.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond, and if at that time there are unclaimed books, they will be given away on twitter.

She's Gone Country
Publisher/Publication Date: Hachette, Aug 23, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-446-50941-1
382 pages

The Women in Jesus' Life by Mindy Ferguson (Book Review)

Title: The Women in Jesus' Life
Author: Mindy Ferguson
Publisher: CreateSpace

About the Book:  The Women in Jesus' Life is a six week study of the women Jesus encountered during His life and ministry.  Jesus felt the pain of those who grieved; spoke to the unacceptable; healed the sick; extended grace to the sinner; made the crippled whole. Through the lessons in this study, you'll experience the compassionate and merciful nature of our Savior.  It's encouraging material that emphasizes application and the lessons are manageable for today's busy women.

My thoughts:  This is a really good no pressure study.  It was interesting to me as it brought forth women that were in Jesus' life that might not associate with Him at first glance or maybe had forgotten about.  Mindy give small bites of the Bible to read accompanied with her insight and great questions.  The questions not only help you to see what was happening in Jesus' day, but also how it is applicable today.  If you are looking for a light study, with rich rewards - you should check this one out.

About the author: In a world that urges us to live for ourselves, Mindy Ferguson encourages women to live for Christ. She founded Fruitful Word Ministries in April 2003 and is passionate about encouraging women of all denominations to apply and abide in God's transforming Word.

Mindy stumbled her way into the arms of Christ at the age of twenty-six. She speaks nationally at women's events and at retreats as one who understands the tug of worldly passions and the emptiness of selfish ambition. Her writings have appeared in Christianity Today's Kyria.com, the P31 Woman magazine, Just Between Us magazine, Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul, and the One Year Life Verse Devotional.
Mindy is the author of Walking with God: From Slavery to Freedom; Living the Promised Life, Hugs Bible Reflections for Women, and The Women in Jesus’ Life.

Mindy is also the Women’s Ministry Director for her home church in Cypress, Texas where she lives with her husband of twenty-three years. Their son is currently attending college and their daughter is a junior in high school.

The Women in Jesus' Life: Exploring the Lives of the Women Jesus Encountered During His Life and Ministry
Publisher/Publication Date: CreateSpace, June 2010
ISBN: 978-1453611494
97 pages


First Wild Card Tour: The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
***Special thanks to Krista Ocier of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***


Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

Visit the authors' website.

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310712564
ISBN-13: 978-0310712565


Monday, August 30, 2010

Kid's Korner: The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage (Book Review)

Title: The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage
Authors: Mike Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
Publisher: Zondervan/ZonderKidz

About the book: Brother and Sister Bear wonder if they can be as brave as David when he fought Goliath. They find out when they face Too-Tall Grizzly and his gang.  In The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage, the bus learn where real courage comes from.

My thoughts:  What's not to like about the Berenstain Bears?  Another good story that teaches about having faith in God and standing up for what is right.  Great illustrations with a little humor even thrown in at the end.

The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage
Publisher/Publication Date: Zonderkidz, April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-310-71256-5
32 pages

Win a Kindle at the Amish Proverbs Wrap Up Party!

Suzanne's Amish Proverbs just hit the shelves. To celebrate she's giving away a KINDLE and throwing a party! Let the fun begin. See below for info and links.

Find out more about the book, Suzanne and the blog tour here.

Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher's Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway!

Simple Wisdom giveaway=

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles. The Prize Pack (valued at over $205.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation
* Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher
* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 1st.

Sweet Kindle Giveaway 
Join Suzanne for a Wrap-up Party on September 1st!

She’ll be announcing the winner of the Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway, chatting with readers, and giving away copies of Amish Proverbs and The Choice! Be sure to join us on Wednesday , September 1st at 8PM EST at Suzanne’s Author Page

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life!

Amish Proverbs - Book Tour and Giveaway

Title: Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom From the Simple Life
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell

From the back cover: Through firsthand research and personal relationships, Suzanne Woods Fisher has collected more than 200 proverbs that uncover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history and essence of the Plain People.  These proverbs serve as teaching tools and maxims for practical living -- but they're not just for the Amish.  They're for anyone who seeks God's wisdom and truth for everyday circumstances.

Ranging from the simple to the profound, from the serious to the humorous, these sayings will stick with you through life's joys and sorrows. With beautiful full-color photos throughout, Amish Proverbs is the perfect gift for any occassion.

My favorite proverbs from the book:
  • There's only one way to fail, that's to quit.
  • Swallowing words before you say them is so much better than having to eat them afterward.
  • You can't stumble when you are on your knees.
  • It may be difficult to wait on the Lord, but it is worse to wish you had.
  • Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of wait.
I see many needlepoint designs that could be fashioned around some of these sayings!

Here are a couple that I remember from when I was a child:
  • Children should be seen and not heard.
  • What comes around goes around.
 I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing for review as well as one to give away!

So - to enter the giveaway - please share with me a proverb from your childhood.  Leave your email address in your entry so I can get in touch with you!

This giveaway is open to U.S. only and will end Sept 20.  Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.  If there is no response, this book will then be given away on twitter.

Amish Proverbs
Publisher/Publication Date: Revell, Aug 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1953-1
205 pages

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mailbox Mayhem (Aug 23 - 29)

Bison roam the Black Hills of South Dakota

In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren.  Mailbox Monday's host for August is Chick Loves Lit. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week!

by Jeremy Asher

For twenty-seven-year-old Jaye Logan, life has been full of neglected opportunities and missed chances. He's had an incredibly unadventurous career as an assistant librarian and only one serious girlfriend. But on the day he decides to literally climb a mountain and seek something better in life, something better finds him instead.

That glorious day, Jaye rescues a beautiful young woman and realizes he's just met the girl of his dreams. In the turmoil surrounding her rescue, though, he doesn't even ask her name. She slips through his fingers-another casualty of his too cautious life. Reeling from disappointment, Jaye writes a simple yet heartfelt e-mail about the key to life and sends it winging into the ether.

When that same inspirational e-mail returns to his inbox three years later-after impacting people around the world-Jaye is at another crucial intersection in life. The e-mail reminds him of what he lost, and he embarks on a life-changing journey to find it again, a journey full of adventure, mystery ... and maybe even love.

In the tradition of Nicholas Sparks, Insignificant Moments speaks to the profound impact a single moment can have on our lives and in our hearts.

by Karen Hawkins

A rollicking tale that traverses a mystical Scottish isle, a stormy sea, and lands firmly in a luxurious manse upon the banks of the Thames as the luckiest man in England is forced to wed the unluckiest woman in Scotland! A fun, spirited prequel to Karen's MacLean Curse Series and her upcoming Hurst Amulet Series.

by Kevin Guilfoile

Kevin Guilfoile’s riveting follow-up to Cast of Shadows (“spellbinding”—Chicago Tribune; “a masterpiece of intelligent plotting”—Salon) centers on an extraordinary young woman’s race to find her father’s killer and to free herself from the cross fire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.

In 530 B.., a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton, in what is now Italy. After three days the skies finally cleared and a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered along the wet sands. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. They became a community. A school. A cult dedicated to the search for a mathematical theory of everything. Although Pythagoras would die years later, following a bloody purge, his disciples would influence Western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.

Chicago, the present day. Canada Gold, a girl both gifted and burdened by uncanny mental abilities, is putting her skills to questionable use in the casinos and courthouses of Las Vegas when she finds herself drawn back to the city in which her father, the renowned composer Solomon Gold, was killed while composing his magnum opus. Beautiful, brilliant, troubled, Canada has never heard of the Thousand, a clandestine group of powerful individuals safeguarding and exploiting the secret teachings of Pythagoras. But as she struggles to understand her father’s unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in the violence erupting between members of the fractured ancient cult while she is relentlessly pursued by those who want to use her, those who want to kill her, and the one person who wants to save her.

In an irresistibly ambitious novel that fuses historical fact with contemporary suspense, Kevin Guilfoile delivers an erudite, propulsively entertaining thriller that seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music, and philosophy. The Thousand is ringing confirmation of Guilfoile’s enormous talent.

by Carolyn Brown

She means business. . .

Sharlene Waverly is determined to have the new room she's adding to the Honky Tonk up and running before it's time to hang the mistletoe. For that, she'll need Holt Jackson, the best darn carpenter in the state, but his warm whiskey-colored eyes make her insides melt and make him the only person she can talk to about her military career and her nightmares...

He's determined to keep things with her strictly professional. . .

With his young niece and nephew depending on him, Holt Jackson would take any job he could get. But when Holt shows up at the Honky Tonk, he's completely unprepared for the sparks that fly between him and the beautiful new bar owner, and what started out as a routing job turns into anything but!

by Lydia Dare

He could never lose control. . .

Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth, has spent his life fighting the wolf within him. But when the full moon rises, Dash is helpless. A chance encounter with Caitrin Macleod on a moonlit night inadvertently binds the two together irrevocably, and Dash's impulsiveness plunges them both into a nightmare...

She never saw him coming. . .

Caitrin Macleod is no quiet country lass, but a witch with remarkable abilities. But when it comes to Dashiel, she's as helpless to fight his true nature as he is. Her senses overwhelmed, she runs back to the safety and security of her native Scotland...

But Dashiel is determined to follow her -- she's the only woman who can free him from a fate worse than death. And Caitrin will ultimately have to decide whether she's running from danger, or true love...

by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown

A ghost will find his way home.
But I am not a ghost.
And this house is not my home.

After losing her parents and her brother, falling in love with Will was Jennie Lovell's last opportunity for happiness. But then she lost him too...

As Jennie tries to mend the pieces of her broken life, she feels an eerie presence from something otherwordly...something that won't let her leave the past behind.

Acclaimed author Adele Griffin and bestselling illustrator Lisa Brown have created a spellbinding mystery where the living cannot always be trusted, and death is not always the end.

by Mandy Potter

I started revising recipes a couple of years ago when I decided it was time to be as healthy as possible without the loss of the foods that I love. I did a lot of research on foods, nutrition, and the body to discover everything I could to enhance the recipes. Every time I create the healthy version of a recipe, I would follow these 6 points:
1. Healthy - decreasing the bad nutrients and increasing the good nutrients
2. Tasty - the recipe needs to taste the same or better
3. Good Portion Size - enough to make you feel full
4. Easy to Make - with two kids I have to make this quickly!!
5. Common/ Everyday Ingredients - ingredients you can buy at the local store and use until they are gone
6. Complete Dinner - pairing a side with an entree makes things a lot easier when trying to feed the family
As you will see with my recipes, I still use some of the staple ingredients that I used when I was cooking the unhealthy versions - I just change how much of those ingredients are used and how those ingredients are used. I also added many new staples to my kitchen that help change my recipes to the healthy version. These recipes have helped change my family to a new and healthy lifestyle and I hope they do the same for yours.

by Laurel McKee

Blonde and beautiful Lady Anna Blacknall is in the mood for mischief. Entering Dublin's most notorious den of vice, she finds herself in the arms of a mysterious, emerald-eyed Irishman. And although he is masked, his tender kiss is hauntingly familiar.

Conlan McTeer, Duke of Adair, has come to Dublin to fight for a free Ireland. But he's suddenly reunited with the young Englishwoman who had once claimed his heart, and his passion turns from politics to pleasure. When their sizzling encounter brings danger to Anna's door, she must decide where her loyalties lie-and quickly. For someone will do whatever it takes to destroy Conlan . . . and anyone he dares to love.

by Joel Goldman

When Things Don't Add Up. . .

Meeting ex-FBI agent Jack Davis in the middle of a shootout is the best thing that could have happened to Roni Chase. But Jack has no idea how deep-and how deadly-his involvement with the mysterious young bookkeeper will get. The pretty accountant may be able to pull a trigger as well as she manipulates a spreadsheet, but her talents may add up to zero if a killer gets their way. As Jack follows Roni into a lethal web of deceit, years in the making, the only thing that might save them-time-is running out. . .

by Tim Comstock

The magnificence of the Monterey Peninsula has provided a welcome new lifestyle to Will Kempton.  After fourteen years as a narcotics agent in New Jersey, Will believes he's found heaven on earth for his family in Carmel, where he is the Chief of Police.  He has all but forgotten the grinding existence of his former life in Jersey.

Suddenly, the serenity of the quaint village of Carmel is shattered by a series of vicious, seemingly random, murders. Chief Kempton leads an investigation unparalleled in local history.  His tiny band of cops, well practiced in distributing parking tickets, is quickly overmatched, then completely overwhelmed, by the depravity of a truly malignant killer.

Will, whose own survival after the years in New Jersey seemed guaranteed with the move to Carmel, must call on skills and a persona untried in his years on the West Coast.  His department, his reputation, the home he's come to love and, ultimately, his family depend on his ability to hunt down and stop a singular force of evil.

Events spin further away from his control until he gambles everything in a final effort to confront his past and a cold killer.  That encounter propels Will back to the lethal man he thought he left forever 3,000 miles away and a decade ago.

The clash between the idyllic tourist playground and the horrors wrought by a cunning killer serves as the perfect backdrop to this novel of confrontations between past and present and tranquility and violence.

by Kate Perry

Willow Tarata is a Guardian who trusts no one. She hunts those who prey on the vulnerable. And she's driven by a vengeful goal-find the man who murdered her mother. Yet suddenly Willow's quarry now has her on the run . . . straight into the sights of San Francisco's most dangerous detective.

Three bizarre murders have Inspector Rick Ramirez baffled-and determined to uncover the truth. But to catch the real killer, he needs the help of his prime suspect, Willow Tarata, even though this fierce and sexy blonde is challenging his professional cool. And now, unless they believe in each other and trust their deepest instincts, a relentless evil will end both Willow's and Rick's life-and claim this Guardian's extraordinary powers forever . . .

by Terry Spear

She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice. . .

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her. Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders. . .

Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature -- no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love.  And now, it may be too late...

by Helen Hollick

"Where, for a queen, does sense end and survival begin?"

In 1022, when Emma vowed to give her soul to England, she never could have imagined how very far she would have to take that promise. Fed up with her incompetent husband and determined to save her people, Emma must take matters into her own hands. But can she risk everything on a gamble that could rescue a country -- but ruin the rest of her life?

This vivid and compelling tale reveals the unmatched life of Queen Emma -- the only woman to have been anointed, crowned, and reigning queen to two different kings; the mother of two more; and the great aunt of William the Conqueror.

by R.C. Ryan

The last thing in the world Zane McCord wants is a wife. But after returning home to the family ranch in Montana to help his cousins search for the lost treasure that is their legacy, Zane can't help notice that love and marriage seem to be contagious. Both his cousins have succumbed, but he refuses. Determined to stay a bachelor till he dies, Zane wants to devote his time to filming documentaries and taking care of the ranch...and then Riley Mason walks into his life.

The last thing on Riley Mason's mind is romance. Sent to the McCord ranch to save the family's accounting problems, she only wants to impress her firm in Helena and be on her way. Life as a single mother isn't easy and she needs to impress her bosses for a raise. But when Zane McCord opens the door, her breath catches in her throat and a desire she's never experienced before takes over her. When the McCords insist that she and her daughter, Summer stay at the ranch, she's forced to give in and before long, she's pulled into their search for the long lost treasure. But she absolutely draws the line at getting involved with Zane McCord, playboy and heartbreaker extraordinaire.

But as they all get closer to finding Coot's lost treasure, a dangerous series of accidents target Riley and her daughter Summer. Can Zane keep her safe while trying to win her heart?

by Roxanne St. Claire

The killer she can't escape . . .
The heartbreak she can't forget . . .
The one man who can stop them both.

When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won't provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he's equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life. Now, as they crack a conspiracy that leads to Boston's darkest corners, Sam and Zach must face their fears, desires, and doubts, before a hired killer gets a second shot...

by Alison Johnson

Two tons of silver and gold coins, hundreds of thousands of nickels, dimes, quarters, and gold pieces. They were under our beds, in the kitchen cupboards, up in the attics, in the bottom of dresser drawers, in holes in the ground. My father was obsessed with gathering up these coins and hiding them away in any likely spot in the houses and garages and store buildings he owned in our tiny town on the mid-Western prairie. Nothing could shake his belief that the total collapse of the American economy and government was just around the corner, a collapse that would bring anarchy and rioting in the streets.

With this shadow of Armageddon always hanging over him, Dad believed that he could save his family from disaster only by collecting as much gold and silver as he could lay his hands on.

This fear of a future calamity that might leave his family penniless so dominated Dad's thoughts that he failed to see how his blind absorption in amassing wealth created family problems that would lead to his oldest son's hopeless alcoholism and his wife's mental collapse.  My sister grew up so insecure that she eventually turned to the stars for answers to the frustrations of her life, immersing herself in the study of astrology.  In the fairy tale, King Midas's daughter was miraculously restored to life after she had been turned to stone by her father's desire for gold, but Dad's destructive influence on his family could not be so easily reversed.

by Rachel Vincent

Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh.

She doesn't see dead people, but...

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy  having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

What came in your mailbox?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...