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.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book Review of The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

I have read and enjoyed several of Gary Smalley's books, both fiction and non-fiction, and all of Dan Walsh's books with great admiration, so looked forward to reading The Dance. I wasn't disappointed! Although this was a review copy given by the publisher, that in no way affected my review.

I love books like this that teach spiritual truths through story, similar to Jesus's parables. We start with a couple who seem to be very successful in life, but not in love/marriage/relationships. I've known guys like Jim Anderson who have no clue how unhappy their wife is until it is too late. And even when she tries to explain, he doesn't understand what she is saying. They aren't speaking the same love language!

Things look pretty dire for this couple until Jim meets a little old lady who used to run a dance studio. By following her dance lessons (something he has always refused to take!) he begins to learn the lessons of love he had forgotten and some he had never known. But it will still take a miracle to unharden his wife's heart after all the years of pain. As we know, God is a God of miracles! What better place for this miracle to begin to take place than at a wedding, where Christ's first miracle began His ministry on earth?

Like all of Dan Walsh's books and the books Gary Smalley co-authored with Karen Kingsbury, while reading this story you will laugh awhile and cry awhile and come away better for it! And the great thing is it's the first of a series of books (The Restoration Series) written by this team!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review of Sauce for the Goose by D. A. Featherling

I just finished and highly recommend a delightful romantic comedy--Sauce for the Goose by D. A. Featherling. Although very contemporary, parts of it it reminded me of some of Shakespeare's plays like "Comedy of Errors" and "Taming of the Shrew" with all the ploys and deceptions the characters try on each other to ferret out information and all the plot twists and turns. Some of them were fun to predict, but I didn't see the last surprise coming until the very end!

We start out with Laurel Edmonds, a single mother with a problem--she doesn't want her son to make the same mistakes she did by marrying an unsuitable mate. That is what leads to all the twists and turns, so I won't give away any more of the plot. But each character, especially Laurel, shows growth in wisdom and in drawing closer to their family.

This would be a fun read for all ages, covering a grandmother, her daughter (Laurel), and the grandson, and all their love interests. The characters learn some humiliating and often hilarious lessons and experience many adventures along the way, but as the Bard says, "All's well that ends well!"

This review copy did not affect my review in any way.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review--Love Finds You in Lake Geneva Wisconsin by Pamela S. Meyers

I have read many of the "Love Finds You..." stories pubbed by Summerside Press, and this is one of my favorites. Set in 1933, the history of that era and the town of Lake Genevea are both woven into the fabric of this story effortlessly.

Meg Alden lives at home and works as a typist at the local newspaper whose owner refuses to give reporting jobs to women. Although she does much of the work of the son of the boss, she still gets passed over for a reporter job right before the owner has emergency surgery.

His replacement seems to have everything going for him--money, good-looks, and he hails from a newspaper family in Chicago. He asks Meg to join him in ferreting out information about trouble brewing in the town, but Meg refuses at first, thinking her own dad may be involved.

Meg needs to learn to trust her earthly father and her Heavenly Father again. And, as the title promises, love will find her in Lake Geneva. A great read! Hope you will order it from any bookstore.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Giveaway and New Winner!

Tiff Stockton is the winner of Crimson Eve by Brandilyn Collins. This month's giveaway will be the final book in the Kanner Lake series, Amber Morn, also by Brandilyn. Leave a comment with your contact info to be entered in the drawing on July 1st.

Book Review, Amber Morn by Brandilyn Collins

I have now completed all four books in the Kanner Lake series, and this one is my favorite of them! Perhaps it is because after reading all the other books in the series, I now feel so connected to all the characters who are threatened in this one, and wanted to keep reading to make sure no one else was going to be shot!

This read was very suspenseful without being gory or giving me nightmares! But it did set my heart to pounding, and I did lose some sleep from staying up so late a couple nights to finish!

If you have read any of the other books, you know the characters often meet at Bailey's Java Joint. This book covers one day at Java Joint, with many of the people who wrote the "Scenes and Beans" blog in the other three books. Only this time none of them are blogging, but all of them are in a life and death situation. I think it would make a great movie!

Kanner Lake and its inhabitants have survived many harrowing events in the other books. Can they survive again? Leave a comment to be entered, or go to Amazon or CBD and order the whole series!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Giveaway and Interviewing one of my best writing buds--Jennifer Johnson!

So happy to highlight Jennifer's newest book Bluegrass Bachelors--a great read, and one of the heroes has the same last name as my hubby! I have read all three stories, and love them all, but Mike McCauley holds a special place in my heart. Must be something about his name! LOL Just leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing for a free copy of this book.


Jennifer Johnson and the world’s most supportive husband have been married for over two decades. They’ve been blessed to raise three amazing daughters and recently added a terrific son-in-law to the crew. Jennifer teaches 6th grade writing at her local middle school. She has seventeen published novels and one novella. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys shopping and watching movies with her family, going to dinner with her best friend, and brainstorming slumber parties with her writing buddies. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at jenwrites4god@bellsouth.net or www.jenniferjohnsonbooks.com.

Question: What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Hmm…life! I have a husband, who tends to lose things...he’s a terrific guy, though. I love you, Al. I have three daughters. The oldest is newly-married and student teaching. She’s in meltdown mode at least three times a week. My second daughter is just walking drama of disaster. God loves that child and so do I, but whew that girl can wear a momma out. My youngest is a freshman who enjoys being chauffeured from one thing to the other, and who also shares her heart with her mommy quite often. Note: I’m very thankful my girls will talk to me. J

Outside of family, I teach 150 6th graders a day. Now that’s a distraction. J I also tend to like to play Ruzzle, Family Feud, SongPop, and Pics & Words. And I’m a Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, Duck Dynasty, and American Idol junkie. I suppose I’ve been known to get caught up in Good Luck, Charlie- love that mom, Reba, and a few of the other shows my girls suck me into watching. I’m telling you, it’s all their faults. J

Question: What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)

I love reading Christian romance. I will read anything written by Denise Hunter or Deanne Gist. Probably my favorite story by Denise is A Convenient Groom, a story in which the hero depicts Jesus, a man who loves his bride even when she doesn’t love him, and the heroine depicts us, the bride who continually denies him. And I love Deanne’s book Courting Trouble, which tells the story of a woman who discovers the true Love of her life.

As a middle school teacher, I also read a lot of young adult fiction. I admit I love the Twilight and Hunger Games series by Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins respectively. I also fell in love with the book Legend by a new author, Marie Lu. Like the Hunger Games series, the setting is a dystopian society in which the people are ruled by a cruel government.

Question: What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

Just about everything makes me smile or laugh.

I love babies…as long as they’re not mine, I’m too old for any surprises…grandbabies are welcome in a few years.

I love a sunshiny day.

I love to laugh at myself when I do something silly at school…it allows my students to see that it’s okay to do something a bit embarrassing and then laugh.

I love to hang out with my husband, my girls, and my friends.

Oh…I know! I can’t help but smile when I see my three big girls (21, 19, and 15) sitting side-by-side on the couch or the pew at church or anywhere- my oldest is married and finishing college two hours away and the middle lives at a dorm thirty minutes away, so it’s usually just my husband and I and the youngest girl hanging out together.

I love when God does something and then shows me. For example, one time I sent a card to a church friend. I just kept feeling the Spirit’s pressure to send her a note about how much I loved her. Well, I mailed that letter and come to find out she received it on her deceased husband’s birthday…the very first birthday she spent without him. I didn’t know it was his birthday. I was just obeying the spirit to uplift a friend. It was very cool, and just made me smile again. J

I love when my girls tell me I’m a total creeper because I smile at everyone. In fact, if you meet me on the street and I’m not smiling, please ask me how I’m doing, because something is definitely wrong!

Question: Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Things I do because I dread them:

1) Write proposals- This makes me laugh, but the truth is writing a synopsis is like pulling teeth. Just let me write the story already. J

2) Grade on demand papers- In Kentucky, students write on demand papers. They are exactly as they sound. The students are given a prompt, then they have forty minutes to write a two-to-four page response to the prompt. Okay, maybe I should love digging into their papers, and maybe I would if there weren’t 150 of them to grade each time I assign an on demand. J

3) I hate cleaning. I mean, I do it, because somebody’s got to, but I don’t like it. I’ve been known to start cleaning my house at eight o’clock or later because I’ve put it off the whole day.

4) I’m not a fan of going to the grocery store. This morning my husband was whining because we didn’t have milk. But the grocery always puts a big dent in my pocketbook, so I avoid it at all costs. J

I could probably continue this list, but I’m not sure I want you to know all the things I put off. Unless it’s something I want to do, I’m a habitual procrastinator. Not a very disciplined girl.

Question: Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?

YES! I love to write about God’s faithfulness and mercy, and that He can use us no matter how we’ve sinned and no matter what sins have been done to us. We live in a world that for the most part bows to the wrong master. As a result, we mess up, even after accepting Christ as our Savior, we mess up. And sometimes evil affects us, even when we’re doing nothing wrong.

God-fearing men and women have affairs, get hooked on drugs, steal, lie, cheat…they do things we can’t believe…and we talk about them. Children are abused. People are killed in accidents. Evil abounds. None of us are immune.

Can I give you an answer WHY some of these things are allowed, how a sovereign God would be willing to see those things happen? I can’t. What I can say is that we serve a good God. One who has a plan for our lives, who offers rest and comfort for the weary, who will save us from ourselves and this world, who will use everything that’s happened for GOOD to those who love and trust Him.


Friends Nick Martin, Drew Wilson, and Mike McCauley are betting on love—and the last man left single wins.

With Nick’s competitive, determined nature, winning should be easy. After all, he managed to pay off his land debts before her turned thirty—ahead of schedule. But Nick didn’t count on Addy Wilson returning to town. Now, with the risk of losing love, are the stakes too high?

While his friends may succumb to wedding vows, Drew is sure he won’t. And Melody Markwell only confirms his resolve. She’s hard-headed, competitive…too much like himself. So why does Drew suddenly feel that winning her heart is worth losing the bet?

Mike has waited for this moment for years. But now that he finally gets a chance to take the girl he’s been pining over on a date, he’s let down. Then to his annoyance, clumsy Johanna Smith keeps running into him—literally. Is this God’s way of getting his attention?

All bets are off, but will these bluegrass bachelors give in to love?