Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K Paul- Quite An Enjoyable Read!

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Paul, Donita K.

For two unsuspecting parties change can seem like a challenging feat indeed.

Cora Crowder, looking for a bit of Christmas cheer is busy bustling here and there amongst the mound of anxious Christmas shoppers. Her life is built upon the familiar sameness, the aloneness that she has come to expect from those around her. In the shared oneness of the spirit of Christmas, Cora is about to receive an unexpected holiday surprise.

Simon Derrick is a man whose life holds responsibilities but is trapped within a mixture of predictable moments. He is about to embark unknowingly on a journey of a different sort, a once in a chance opportunity, call it destiny or perhaps it is truly something more.

A unique novella of reality, fantasy, matchmaking and wonderment that will capture your attention and promise to become a worthy magical holiday read! I immensely enjoyed this quick to read book that had some laugh aloud moments woven into the storyline. Strong characters will be people you recognize, engaging dialogue will make the pages fly, and progressive plot will hold your attention. I was challenged in my faith by this inspiring and impossible to put down read and will highly recommend this book to others. Well written!

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer- my review

Cover Art

Promises are housed in the kindness of thoughts.

Tarsie Raines and Mary and Joss Burbacher are eager to leave hehind a home and city with all of its challenges. With arrival in Drayton Valley, Kansas, which appears to a be as a star in the far off distance, with it brings heartbreak and sadness.

Joss needing a promising income to right a wrong sets his hopes and dreams off in the distance. But with a familiar family trait following his shadow the choices of his actions falls upon one person strong enough for them both.

A novel of challenges, sacrifice and love along with easy to connect with characters, loved the personalities of Simon and Ruth!, descriptive and believable scenery and progressive storyline. I found the overall message to be inspiring and I was entertained and challenged in my faith and would recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my review.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot- A Charming Read!

Cover Art

Boardinghouse Proprietor Celia Anderson, widow, is not searching for a new husband and father to her young and ill daughter as she initiates a challenge for her would be suitors.

Mark Williams searching for the one lost to him from long ago, and new in town, is wanting a place to call his own, when he happens upon the door of Celia's boardinghouse. Although Mark is looked upon suspiciously by those he encounters in his new town, he finds he can fix broken objects to earn his way. But the question remains will his skills be enough to fix a broken heart?

Romance, sacrifice and a twist ending is sure to please the reader who is searching for an excellent quick to devour book for this holiday season. Strong character development (loved the character of Mark, warm and genuine), engaging and smooth flowing plot with no dull moments, along with winter scenery kept me reading and involved in the storyline. I found the overall message inspiring and I was entertained by this charming read. I will recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for this blog tour for my review.

"Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

    Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow's Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler. She lives in Wyoming.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson-A Great Little Book!

Christmas Pony, The, Melody Carlson, 978-0-8007-1927-2

It is the tiny inklings of thought that are worth savoring.

Lucy Turnbull longed for a pony to call her own.
In tough economic times running a boardhouse can be a challenge indeed for Lucy's mother Mirian.
George and Veronica strangers who met in passing, become two of the tenants at the Turnbull's boarding house on one afternoon before the snows of Christmas lined the entryways.
Will this be a magical holiday despite the challenges one family faces?

Guaranteed to bring romance, animals and winter fun into your day, this warm and capturing novella is sure to get the reader into the spirit of the upcoming Christmas holiday season. This easy to love book is just enough to spend a few hours with snuggled warmly within your blanket. Engaging characters (loved George's character, easy going), captivating scenery and progressive plot can be a book for a preteen to adult reader. I will recommend this engaging book to others. 4 Stars! I received a complimentary copy for this blog tour from Revell Publishing for my review
“Available Sept 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.
For more information about Melody visit her website at

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Christmas Home by Greg Kincade- A Heartwarming Tale of the Furry Kind!

In the challenging "signs of the times" we all share similar stories, similar memories, and lingering dreams.

An abandoned Golden Retriever named Gracie is a much needed blessing to others in so many ways.
George, MaryAnn and son Todd, along with family member dog Christmas, reminisce upon the not so distant past when neighboring towns that surround them were once prosperous, and filled with unique shops and smiling faces.
Todd befriends Laura, a nurses aide, and the two share a common bond- the love of animals.
Given an uncertain looming economy, a painful decision arises to close the animal shelter, which both Todd and Laura take a great interest in. This action would bring a consequence for many, but especially for the dogs and cats who reside there as they are the ones who have no voice.

Could the animals find new homes in time for Christmas, or will darkness truly fall blanketing the quaint town of Crossing Trails?

Reality, sacrifice and love creatively mesh together to bring a very special and sentimental story for dog lovers and admirers everywhere. This must have novel will become a true shelf keeper that will be read again, and will gracefully remind the reader about the appreciation, and generousity which lie in the true spirit of Christmas. Spend some time getting to know these unforgettable characters and their fearless pets. Engaging plot contains absolutely no dull or broken parts, with easy to follow dialogue, and one that can be savored in a single sitting or broken up into smaller segments. I will recommend this inspiring and impossible to put down well written novel to others! 5 Stars! I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Your Husband Isn't Telling You by David Murrow- Revealing

What Your Husband Isn't Telling You, David Murrow, 978-0-7642-1011-2

This book digs deep into the core of how a man might think about his life, wife, career, family and others, and how he may rate them in order of importance. Chapters that are included ie: His soul's greatest need, what is your husband afraid of, how providing and protecting has changed, what "men are visual" means, why your husband has a hard time doing "spiritual stuff" and many other chapters.
This is a very honest, raw and extremely revealing volume that also brings the reader in touch with other marriages and concerns of husbands, as well as the authors own marriage and challenges that he faces as a man in relating to his wife.

This book does introduce very sensitive and seemingly off limits subjects that is not usually touched upon in most marriage christian books. The author seems to air some of his frustrations at how his wife and other husbands wives treat them as some of the material presented can be easily misinterpreted by a reader that is having a particularly stressful day, as I myself had learned. I had to stop reading and then I came back to the book on another day to finish it.

On a positive note I gained an insight into the minds, thoughts and desires of men and this book did help me to understand what a "typical" man goes through in his married and spiritual life each day. I commend the author in the challenge of getting his point across as I feel that some points need to be made and this book addresses these, and he does mention at times about not wanting to hurt his female readers by his comments.
On a lesser note I did not 100% agree with the material presented and not sure that anyone would but I feel that there is a gray area within every personality not just a right and not right. I feel that marriage depends on both people to make it work and that marital challenges lie within both partners, not just with the wife. 3.0 stars.
I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers for my review.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Placebo by Steven James- My Review

Placebo, Steven James, 978-0-8007-3425-1

In the course of a day we all fight a common foe.

Jevin Banks survivor of a family tragedy, becomes involved in a conspriacy linked to a pharmaceutical company.

Riah Colette vicim of a challenging childhood and now member of a research team has learned how to achieve the impossible goal even at the expense of others.

In the course of danger, and as the time window narrows, death is imminent. Will it be possible to discover the true link and escape that which seems an unreachable goal?

This novel can be enjoyed by all who crave first class suspense, intrigue and drama. Character development was high, dialogue seemed to flow well and plot was well crafted, lots of twists, turns, intense drama and excitement to satisfy. This is the first novel I have read from the author and plan to go back and read his previous series. The storyline left some new developments and makes room for the next one to start where this one left off. I was entertained and will recommend this book to others. 3.8 I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for my review.

“Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including Story, A Heart Exposed, and the bestselling Patrick Bowers thriller series. He is considered one of the nation's most innovative storytellers and versatile authors, and is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest. Steven lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winter Sowing

It's that time of year again, time to gather the containers and potting soil and start thinking about winter sowing! The containers I usually use are cottage cheese or whipped cream containers, carryout plastic restaurant containers, tin foil containers from the dollar tree and many others are suitable, just make sure they have lids with them. These act as minigreenhouses. If the container tops are opaque and no light can get through I cut out the lids with scissors so only the seals are intact and use saran wrap for a tight fit. Make sure to punch holes on top of lids  (saran wrap) and on bottom of container, but not too many in bottoms so soil dries out too quickly. Fill with potting soil sow/ plant seeds water well and set them outside preferably close to your home or other buildings (the wind can be mighty strong at times.) Many websites tell what seeds are used for winter sowing as just about any are but there are exceptions. I have had great success with coneflowers, primroses, johnny jump ups, tomatoes, black eyed susans, daisies to name a few and especially ones ie: iris, poppy, or moonflowers for example that are hard to germinate and need stratifying. I am going to close for now, I have to get going and survey my containers and find my potting soil! Next week is planting week!!! Happy gardening and have fun with winter sowing!!

The Hunted Hare by Fay Sampson- Enjoyed this book!

The road to discovery is but a journey.

Aidan, his wife Jenny, and daughter Melangell Davidson, are en route to the House of the Hare in Tennant Melangell. The Hare is a haven for those who have come in need and for those who search for a peaceful refuge. Housed within Melangell is St. Melangell, a church that holds secrets locked deep within it's depths. When foul play suddenly happens upon this quaint village and takes the life of one of it's own questions are raised. The answers must be found at a quickened pace but at what cost?

Building suspense, intrigue, and twists and turns are sure to entice and satisfy the reader. Excellent character development, realistic and interactive dialogue, along with a descriptive plot held my attention from the beginning and kept me reading while digging deeper into the storyline. I will be searching out previous novels by the author and anxiously await the next in the series! I was entertained and will recommend this mystery to others! I received a complimentary review copy from Monarch Books Kregel Publications for my review.