Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why Did A Big Honkin' Chicken Cross the Road?

I'm a member of Brandilyn Collin's Big Honkin' Chickens Club (BHCC)--people who read her women's fiction, but not her "seatbelt suspense" books. I love everything about her writing, especially her "feel like you're in their skin" characters. But, she is currently only writing suspense novels, so I have been in a dilemma the past couple years. Do I dare cross over to the dark side or do I read her Bradleyville series over again and again? (If you haven't read them, stop right now and rush out and get them!)

Brandilyn herself told me that Violet Dawn, the first book in the Kanner Lake series, is a little milder than some of her other suspense books, so I promised her I would read it and have been gathering up my courage. This past weekend our whole family spent 3 days in a cabin in the Smokies, so I figured it would be a good un-scary time to start the book with 11 people in the house!

Since I knew the first scene took place in a hot tub I decided to begin my read there, but you will notice in the picture that I only put my feet in the water. Once you read the book, you will find out why. BWAAAAH! And once you start reading it, you won't be able to stop even if you are a scaredy-cat like me! I stayed up past midnight last night to finish it, and now I want to read the next one in the series, Coral Moon, because one of the minor characters in the first book is the main character in the second one, plus I want to find out what is happening with the other inhabitants of Kanner Lake. In other words, I got hooked by one of the best "hook-ers" in the business of writing Christian fiction.
So travel on over to Brandilyn's website at http://www.brandilyncollins.com/ for more info on all her books and/or to join the BHCClub. And if you are interested in writing, you have to check out her other site http://www.forensicsandfaith.blogspot.com/ for some of the best writing tips and market info around. Plus the true story of Brandilyn's healing! Enjoy! Just don't blame me if you never want to get in a hot tub all alone again!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Our latest winner is...

MaryAnn Diorio. Hers was the name drawn by my dear hubby, so a copy of Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria is on its way to her. Enjoy! Everyone except MaryAnn is eligible to win June's prize which is a non-fiction book entitled Help for Busy Moms by Mary May Larmoyeux. Check the blog for May 1st for the other requirements.

I met Mary May at last year's ACFW conference in Dallas. When a group of us went out on Friday night, Mary and I sat beside each other at a Mexican restaurant. (Where I got a bad case of food poisoning, but that's another story!) Mary mentioned that she had a book coming out in the next year. We exchanged business cards, and I offered to review it on my blog, so here it is:

Mary and I are in the same stage of life--married children and grandchildren, but her book would be helpful for busy moms of any generation. I especially enjoyed the examples she gave from her own parenting years when her boys were younger. Each chapter starts with a quote from Scripture or another book, and each chapter ends with "Questions for Purposeful Living" to help the reader learn to apply the principles from that section to their own lives.

Here's what the back cover blurb has to say:
"They say 'Home is where the heart is,' but with the daily grind and nightly chores, many moms find themselves caught in a constant juggling act with too much to do.

This tender book, filled with Scriptures and personal anecdotes, has 100+ time-saving ideas, dozens of mom-to-mom tips, and interviews with on-the-go women. You'll be encouraged as you focus on your calling as a mom, and you'll learn new ways to connect with those you love.

With personal application questions at the end of each chapter, Help for Busy Moms makes a great journal companion or group study. This practical book will help you:
* Make family a priority
* Create lasting memories
* Connect with your children
* Maximize your time
* Focus on God's will for your family
* Simplify your days
* Live a purposeful life

Mary May Larmoyeux is a writer for FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. She is the co-author of There's no Place Like Home and the Resurrection Eggs Activity Book. Mary and her husband, Jim, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have two married sons, five grandchildren, and have been foster parents."

Leave a comment on any blog I post the month of June, and you will be entered in the drawing for this book on July 1st. Or better yet, order a copy through Mary's website at http://www.marymaywrites.com/

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sisterchicks Go Brit!
In Stores Now
London calling all Sisterchicks...Hop on a bus to pick up your copy today. This book is the latest in Robin Jones Gunn's Sisterchick books. I've read all the rest and can't wait to read this one! And I hope it is not the last one! Each one makes you laugh and cry, often at the same time! And they each have a wonderful spiritual lesson that the sisterchicks learn which you can apply to your own life! It's like eating a dessert while learning! Get one and enjoy!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Books by Kim Sawyer

It has been several months since I've done a review of books by one of my favorite authors--Kim Sawyer. I met Kim at our first ACFW conference in Kansas City in 2002. She had already self-pubbed the first in a series of books at that time, but in the past few years she has had 10 books contracted by Barbour and Bethany House! And two more are getting ready to come out this fall and next spring!

Besides being so successful, Kim is as sweet and genuine a person as you can find. And her stories are as sweet as she is! If you love heart-tugging tales of characters who seem so real you find yourself thinking about them after you finish the book, hurry out and buy, beg or borrow one of her books. Sorry, but since her books are so special to me, you'll have to get your own copy, because I don't give them away in my monthly drawing.

The three books I am reviewing today make up her Sommerfeld Trilogy. In BYGONES (Book 1) Widower Marie Koeppler Quinn and her grown daughter Beth return to the Mennonite community Marie abandoned twenty-three years ago. Soon after their arrival in Sommerfeld, a series of mysterious thefts raises the community's suspicions against the "outsiders." Can Marie prove their innocence or will she be forced to flee once more? Henry Braun, who has loved her since they were teenagers, soon begins to wonder if she's stolen more than his heart. When all is said and done, can Henry and Marie let bygones be bygones, or has their love been doomed from the start?

BEGINNINGS (Book 2 ) This book centers on Beth, Marie's daughter. Beth is starting over...in her place of residence, her occupation, and her relationships. Two men vie for her affection--Andrew Braun, a steadfast and helpful Old Order Mennonite who expects traditional roles between men and women; and Sean McCauley, a man with Christian convictions but who is seemingly more business-minded than people-minded. In which world does Beth's heart belong? With so many choices in front of her, how can she know what God has planned?

BLESSINGS (Book 3) Trina Muller who was a minor character in the first two books finally has one of her own, although we do get to catch up on happenings in Marie and Beth's lives, also. Trina has been blessed with the gift of healing God’s creatures. Desiring to use that gift, she seeks the opportunity for education but is met with resistance from her family. Graham Ortmann loves Trina, but he can't understand her desire to be more than wife and mother. Will this Old Order Mennonite girl be able to spread the wings she believes God has designed for her?

I wondered how Kim had written so realistically about these young Mennonite women, even down to the details of how their cap strings tickled their faces, so I asked her. She told me that her mother was from a Mennonite family and her dad had joined the Mennonite faith when they married. So Kim was raised in a conservative Mennonite home, giving her first-hand research on these books! That gives these books an authentic look at the Mennonite faith.

I hope you will also check out Kim's website at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/ for more info about this talented, yet humble, author and her other books. You will find your own Blessing!