Monday, August 30, 2010

R.I.P. V Reading Challenge 2010

It's time again for the R.I.P. challenge hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

It runs September 1 through October 31 but you can start today.

I love the buttons Carl created again. This is a really fun different reading challenge and I am excited to particpate again.

The different categories of books involved in this challenge are:
Dark Fantasy.

There are two simple goals for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril V Challenge:

1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.

I am signing up for Peril the Third which is to read one book that falls into any of the categories listed above. I am taking suggestions as far as which books to read.

Here are three books I have so far on my list:
- Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

- Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

- Thirst by Tracey Bateman (possible Christian vampire novel ?)

It's Monday What Are You Reading? August 30, 2010

This is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

What I read last week:
- TSI: The Influenza Bomb by Paul McCusker and Walt Larimore
- Protective Custody by Lynette Eason
- Sweet Memories by Lavyrle Spencer
- Tender Vow by Sharlene MacLaren
- The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews
- Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher

What I am currently reading:
- The Brothers K
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
- Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

What I am reading next:
- Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart
- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
- Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

Reviews Posted last week:

The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Vigilante's Bride
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)

Yvonne Harris


Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a winner and three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which is her debut novel.


Montana Territory, 1884...Is Her Kidnapper the Only Man Who Can Keep Her Safe?

Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and abducting a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expected to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from his pa, but instead ended up rescuing a feisty copper-haired woman who was on her way to marry Sullivan's dangerous enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn't take kindly to her so-called rescue. Still, she's hoping Providence will turn her situation for good, especially when it seems Luke Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Luke has crossed a vicious man, a powerful rancher not used to losing, and Emily is the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Vigilante's Bride, go HERE

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Salon August 29, 2010

The Sunday

* I cannot believe it is Sunday night already. Yikes!

* Summer is almost over and I am happy and sad at the same time. I love Summer but Fall also. And the changing of seasons is an interesting time. There is a lot of fun stuff to do where I live in the Fall including our State fair.

* The Fall into reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days starts on September 23 and is one of my favorite reading challenges ever.

* I had an okay reading weekend. I had trouble focusing.

* Hopefully this week will be better than last week. I think I had a little post vacation let down. :)

* I hope everyone has a great week and lots of reading time.

Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review and Giveaway)

Hardcover: 205 pages
Publisher: Revell (August 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-0800719531

About the book:

Simplify your life with Amish wisdom

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 occasion.

My Review:
I enjoyed this book. One of my mother's favorite sayings is, if you are going to do it then do it right the first time. Some of my favorite proverbs I read in the book are:
- Pride in your work puts joy in your day.
- Enthusiasm is contagious and so is the lack of it.
- One thing you can learn by watching the clock is that it passes time by keeping its hands busy.
- It may be difficult to wait on the Lord but it is worse to wish you had.
- Our children are the only treasures we can take to heaven.
- The most important things in your home are people.
- The person who thinks too little usually talks too much.
- Those who can't forget are worse than those who can't remember.
- Don't believe everything you think!
- You don't need to get sick to get better.


Suzanne Woods Fisher is the CBA bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, Amish Peace, and Amish Proverbs. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne is the host of a radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California.
Available now from Revell/Baker publishing company.
Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.
*** Leave a comment with your favorite proverb to be entered to win a copy of this book. Deadline is Sunday September 5 at midnight.***

Friday, August 27, 2010

Surrender the Heart by M. L. Tyndall

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Surrender the Heart
Barbour Publishing (August 1, 2010)

M. L. Tyndall


M. L. (MaryLu) Tyndall grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she'd only give her heart to Him completely.

She had written stories her whole life, but never had the confidence to try and get any of them published. But as God began to change her heart, He also showed her that writing had been His wonderful plan for her all along!


For the sake of her ailing mother, Marianne Denton becomes engaged to Noah Brennin---a merchantman she despises. But as the War of 1812 escalates, Jonah's ship is captured by the British, and the ill-matched couple learns vital information that could aid America's cause.

Relive the rich history of the War of 1812 through the eyes of Marianne Denton and Noah Brenin, who both long to please their families but neither one wishes to marry the other. Noah is determined to get his cargo to England before war breaks out, and Marianne is equally determined to have a wedding so that her inheritance can be unlocked and her destitute family saved. When their stubborn games get them captured by a British warship, can they escape and bring liberty to their country—and growing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Surrender the Heart, go HERE.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart (Review)

Book Description

Do you remember the best summer of your life?

New York City, 1945. Marjorie Jacobson and her best friend, Marty Garrett, arrive fresh from the Kappa house at the University of Iowa hoping to find summer positions as shop girls. Turned away from the top department stores, they miraculously find jobs as pages at Tiffany & Co., becoming the first women to ever work on the sales floor—a diamond-filled day job replete with Tiffany blue shirtwaist dresses from Bonwit Teller's—and the envy of all their friends.

Hart takes us back to the magical time when she and Marty rubbed elbows with the rich and famous; pinched pennies to eat at the Automat; experienced nightlife at La Martinique; and danced away their weekends with dashing midshipmen. Between being dazzled by Judy Garland's honeymoon visit to Tiffany, celebrating VJ Day in Times Square, and mingling with Café society, she fell in love, learned unforgettable lessons, made important decisions that would change her future, and created the remarkable memories she now shares with all of us.

My Review:
I first saw this book mentioned on the 5 Minutes for Books website. Then I read a review by Carrie at Reading to Know and put it on my Paperback swap wish list. When Sheila, One Persons Journey Through a World of Books, mentioned on her blog about doing a book club I was interested and then when I learned this would be the first book it was fate. I fell in love with the cover first and then the description. It was a great memoir and focused mainly on the events of one summer (1945) of this author's life. The author does a good job especially considering how many decades passed before writing this book. I really liked all the details about what they saw and did. It has a good wrap up at the end letting you know what happened to everyone and I enjoyed that closure. Recommended. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand? August 24, 2010

This is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. It is on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The first book picture is my stack of Steeple Hill books. It grows bigger than I read from it. Help! The last picture is of my current review books and The Brothers K which I am attempting to do a read a long for. It is not going so well. lol I really want to do the Bleak House by Charles Dickens read a long but it overlaps with The Brothers K and I am already behind so we'll see. :)

Its Monday What Are You Reading? August 23, 2010 on Tuesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books:

What I read:
- Life in Defiance by Mary DeMuth
- Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky
- Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
- TSI:The Gabon Virus by Paul McCusker and Walt Larimore M.D.
- Wedding Cake Wishes by Dana Corbit

What I am currently reading:
- The Brothers K
- Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini

What I am reading next:
- Surrender the Heart by M. L. Tyndall

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Bethany House (August 1, 2010)

Nancy Moser


Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane(Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novel is Masquerade. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at and


They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...

1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine.

She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.

As for Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt from the possibility of discovery and the presence of another love that will not die. Is this what her heart truly longs for?

Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Masquerade, go HERE.

View the book trailer:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis My Review

Ok so here is the rest of my thoughts on this book:
I did love the book. It is one of the best Christian historical romantic suspense books I have read this year. The plot and setting were interesting and not something we read a ton of books on every year. It is set in the pre WWI era. I read the book in one day. I liked how the relationship between two of the main characters John and Emma develops. The ending was good even if worked out a little too perfect. Recommended. :)

The Sunday Salon August 22, 2010

We got back from the beach today so I thought I would post some pictures for my Sunday Salon. :)

1. Our Condo
2. Me doing what I do at the beach (read) lol
3. My cousin and me
4. My family on the beach
5. Me

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis

I loved this book and my review will come when I get back from vacation. They are already yelling at me to hurry up. lol :)
This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Susan Page Davis


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.



A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.

In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?

Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.

Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.

And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Crimson Cipher, go HERE.

Solitary by Travis Thrasher

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:


David C. Cook; New edition (August 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings Senior Media Specialist
The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Travis Thrasher is an author of diverse talents with more than twelve published novels including romance, suspense, adventure, and supernatural horror tales. At the core of each of his stories lie flawed characters in search of redemption. Thrasher weaves hope within all of his tales, and he loves surprising his readers with amazing plot twists and unexpected variety in his writing. Travis lives with his wife and daughter in a suburb of Chicago. Solitary is his first young adult novel.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (August 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434764214
ISBN-13: 978-1434764218


1 . Half a Person

She’s beautiful.

She stands behind two other girls, one a goth coated in black and the other a blonde with wild hair and an even wilder smile. She’s waiting, looking off the other way, but I’ve already memorized her face.

I’ve never seen such a gorgeous girl in my life.

“You really like them?”

The goth girl is the one talking; maybe she’s the leader of their pack. I’ve noticed them twice already today because of her, the one standing behind. The beautiful girl from my second-period English class, the one with the short skirt and long legs and endless brown hair, the one I can’t stop thinking about. She’s hard not to notice.

“Yeah, they’re one of my favorites,” I say.

We’re talking about my T-shirt. It’s my first day at this school, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think carefully about what I was going to wear. It’s about making a statement. I would have bet that 99 percent of the seven hundred kids at this high school wouldn’t know what Strangeways, Here We Come refers to.

Guess I found the other 1 percent.

I was killing time after lunch by wandering aimlessly when the threesome stopped me. Goth Girl didn’t even say hi; she just pointed at the murky photograph of a face on my shirt and asked where I got it. She made it sound like I stole it.

In a way, I did.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” Goth Girl asks. Hersparkling blue eyes are almost hidden by her dark eyeliner.

“Did the shirt give it away?”

“Nobody in this school listens to The Smiths.”

I can tell her that I stole the shirt, or in a sense borrowed it, butthen she’d ask me from where.

I don’t want to tell her I found it in a drawer in the house we’re staying at. A cabin that belongs to my uncle. A cabin that used to belong to my uncle when he was around.

“I just moved here from a suburb of Chicago.”

“What suburb?” the blonde asks.

“Libertyville. Ever hear of it?”


I see the beauty shift her gaze around to see who’s watching. Which is surprising, because most attractive girls don’t have to do that. They know that they’re being watched.

This is different. Her glance is more suspicious. Or anxious.

“What’s your name?”

“Chris Buckley.”

“Good taste in music, Chris,” Goth Girl says. “I’m Poe. This is Rachel. And she’s Jocelyn.”

That’s right. Her name’s Jocelyn. I remember now from class.

“What else do you like?”

“I got a wide taste in music.”

“Do you like country?” Poe asks.

“No, not really.”

“Good. I can’t stand it. Nobody who wears a T-shirt like that would ever like country.”

“I like country,” Rachel says.

“Don’t admit it. So why’d you move here?”

“Parents got a divorce. My mom decided to move, and I came with her.”

“Did you have a choice?”

“Not really. But if I had I would’ve chosen to move with her.”

“Why here?”

“Some of our family lives in Solitary. Or used to. I have a couple relatives in the area.” I choose not to say anything about Uncle Robert. “My mother grew up around here.”

“That sucks,” Poe says.

“Solitary is a strange town,” Rachel says with a grin that doesn’t seem to ever go away. “Anybody tell you that?”

I shake my head.

“Joss lives here; we don’t,” Poe says. “I’m in Groveton; Rach lives on the border to South Carolina. Joss tries to hide out at our places because Solitary fits its name.”

Jocelyn looks like she’s late for something, her body language screaming that she wants to leave this conversation she’s not a part of. She still hasn’t acknowledged me.

“What year are you guys?”

“Juniors. I’m from New York—can’t you tell? Rachel is from Colorado, and Jocelyn grew up here, though she wants to get out as soon as she can. You can join our club if you like.”

Part of me wonders if I’d have to wear eyeliner and lipstick.


“The misfits. The outcasts. Whatever you want to call it.”

“Not sure if I want to join that.”

“You think you fit in?”

“No,” I say.

“Good. We’ll take you. You fit with us. Plus … you’re cute.”

Poe and her friends walk away.

Jocelyn finally glances at me and smiles the saddest smile I’ve ever seen.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified.

I might look cool and nonchalant and act cool and nonchalant, but inside I’m quaking.

I spent the first sixteen years of my life around the same people, going to the same school, living in the same town with the same two parents.

Now everything is different.

The students who pass me are nameless, faceless, expressionless. We are part of a herd that jumps to life like Pavlov’s dog at the sound of the bell, which really is a low drone that sounds like it comes from some really bad sci-fi movie. It’s hard to keep the cool and nonchalant thing going while staring in confusion at my school map. I probably look pathetic.

I dig out the computer printout of my class list and look at it again. I swear there’s not a room called C305.

I must be looking pathetic, because she comes up to me and asks if I’m lost.

Jocelyn can actually talk.

“Yeah, kinda.”

“Where are you going?”

“Some room—C305. Does that even exist?”

“Of course it does. I’m actually heading there right now.” There’s an attitude in her voice, as if she’s ready for a fight even if one’s not coming.


She nods.

“Second class together,” I say, which elicits a polite and slightly annoyed smile.

She explains to me how the rooms are organized, with C stuck between A and B for some crazy reason. But I don’t really hear the words she’s saying. I look at her and wonder if she can see me blushing. Other kids are staring at me now for the first time today. They look at Jocelyn and look at me—curious, critical, cutting. I wonder if I’m imagining it.

After a minute of this, I stare off a kid who looks like I threw manure in his face.

“Not the friendliest bunch of people, are they?” I ask.

“People here don’t like outsiders.”

“They didn’t even notice me until now.”

She nods and looks away, as if this is her fault. Her hair, so thick and straight, shimmers all the way past her shoulders. I could stare at her all day long.

“Glad you’re in some of my classes.”

“I’m sure you are,” she says.

We reach the room.

“Well, thanks.”

“No problem.”

She says it the way an upperclassmen might answer a freshman. Or an older sister, her bratty brother. I want to say something witty, but nothing comes to mind.

I’m sure I’m not the first guy she’s left speechless.

Every class I’m introduced to seems more and more unimpressed.

“This is Christopher Buckley from Chicago, Illinois,” the teachers say, in case anybody doesn’t know where Chicago is.

In case anybody wonders who the new breathing slab of human is, stuck in the middle of the room.

A redheaded girl with a giant nose stares at me, then glances at my shirt as if I have food smeared all over it. She rolls her eyes and then looks away.

Glancing down at my shirt makes me think of a song by The Smiths, “Half a Person.”

That’s how I feel.

I’ve never been the most popular kid in school. I’m a soccer player in a football world. My parents never had an abundance of money. I’m not overly good looking or overly smart or overly anything, to be honest. Just decent looking and decent at sports and decent at school. But decent doesn’t get you far. Most of the time you need to be the best at one thing and stick to it.

I think about this as I notice more unfamiliar faces. A kid who looks like he hasn’t bathed for a week. An oily-faced girl who looks miserable. A guy with tattoos who isn’t even pretending to listen.

I never really fit in back in Libertyville, so how in the world am I going to fit in here?

Two more years of high school.

I don’t want to think about it.

As the teacher drones on about American history and I reflect on my own history, my eyes find her.

I see her glancing my way.

For a long moment, neither of us look away.

For that long moment, it’s just the two of us in the room.

Her glance is strong and tough. It’s almost as if she’s telling me to remain the same, as if she’s saying, Don’t let them get you down.

Suddenly, I have this amazingly crazy thought: I’m glad I’m here.

I have to fight to get out of the room to catch up to Jocelyn.

I’ve had forty minutes to think of exactly what I want to say, but by the time I catch up to her, all that comes out is “hey.”

She nods.

Those eyes cripple me. I’m not trying to sound cheesy—they do. They bind my tongue.

For an awkward sixty seconds, the longest minute of my sixteen years, I walk the hallway beside her. We reach the girls’ room, and she opens the door and goes inside. I stand there for a second, wondering

if I should wait for her, then feeling stupid and ridiculous, wondering why I’m turning into a head of lettuce around a stranger I just met.

But I know exactly why.

As I head down the hallway, toward some other room with some other teacher unveiling some other plan to educate us, I feel someone grab my arm.

“You don’t want to mess with that.”

I wonder if I heard him right. Did he say that or her?

I turn and see a short kid with messy brown hair and a pimply face. I gotta be honest—it’s been a while since I’d seen a kid with this many pimples. Doctors have things you can do for that. The word pus comes to mind.

“Mess with what?”

“Jocelyn. If I were you, I wouldn’t entertain such thoughts.”

Who is this kid, and what’s he talking about?

And what teenager says, “I wouldn’t entertain such thoughts”?

“What thoughts would those be?”

“Don’t be a wise guy.”

Pimple Boy sounds like the wise guy, with a weaselly voice that seems like it’s going to deliver a punch line any second.

“What are you talking about?”

“Look, I’m just warning you. I’ve seen it happen before. I’m nobody, okay, and nobodies can get away with some things. And you look like a decent guy, so I’m just telling you.”

“Telling me what?”

“Not to take a fancy with the lady.”

Did he just say that in an accent that sounded British, or is it my imagination?

“I was just walking with her down the hallway.”

“Yeah. Okay. Then I’ll see you later.”

“Wait. Hold on,” I say. “Is she taken or something?”

“Yeah. She’s spoken for. And has been for sometime.”

Pimple Boy says this the way he might tell me that my mother is dying.

It’s bizarre.

And a bit spooky.

I realize that Harrington County High in Solitary, North Carolina, is a long way away from Libertyville.

I think about what the odd kid just told me.

This is probably bad.

Because one thing in my life has been a constant. You can ask my mother or father, and they’d agree.

I don’t like being told what to do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I am leaving bright and early tomorrow morning to go the beach. I will be back on Sunday August 22. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading? August 16, 2010

This is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books.

What I read last week:
- Crazy Love by Frances Chan
- The Guardian's Honor by Marta Perry
- The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis

What I am currently reading:
- The Brothers K
- Misadventures in Travel by Paula Edwards
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
- Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher

What I am reading next:
- Solitary by Travis Thrasher
- Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

Reviews I posted last week:

Misadventures in Travel: A Missionary's Experience in Brazil by Paula Edwards

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:

Misadventures in Travel: A Missionary's Experience in Brazil

Hannibal Books (June 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Jennifer Nelson, PR Specialist, Hannibal Books for sending me a review copy.***


Paula Edwards, a native of the piney hills of north Louisiana, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Louisiana Tech University. Besides having served God on the mission field, Paula also has been a schoolteacher and enjoys riding and training horses. She and her husband, Van, are parents of two grown daughters. The Edwardses live in North Louisiana, in which Van serves as pastor.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.95
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Hannibal Books (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934749796
ISBN-13: 978-1934749791


Chapter 1 -- The Beginning

Everything started innocently enough. One evening we were sitting in our living room doing the usual things. The TV was on, I had a magazine of some type; my husband, Van, was browsing on his laptop. I had no idea what he was studying on his computer, although I was reasonably certain it was something harmless. Wrong assumption.

All of a sudden Van called out, “Found us a job.”

That was interesting to me, because I didn’t know we were looking for one. Anyway, what he said got my attention. To learn more I leaned toward his chair. Turns out he was browsing the site of the International Mission Board of the Southern

Baptist Convention; he was surveying opportunities to serve overseas.

At the time Van was the pastor of a small Baptist church in North Central Arkansas. We had been at this church for about three years. In some ways our time there had been good, but we also had experienced many challenges. Recently we had talked about believing that our usefulness at this church had reached an end and that God seemed to be calling us elsewhere. The way God speaks to His children is amazing. We both heard Him; we both heard the same thing—which brings me back to Van’s announcement.

“What?” I asked

“I said I found us a job.”

“Oh, yeah? Where?”


“Brazil? Doing what?”


“Mapping? What does that mean?”

Van can be maddeningly persistent in making me drag everything out of him without offering any unnecessary information that I don’t specifically ask for.

“For Pete’s sake, tell me!”

“It says ‘mapping team needed to explore fishing villages in northeastern Brazil’.”

My heart went thump-thump. I figured he could hear it, but I wasn’t ready to reveal the excitement those simple words caused in me.

“Hmm. That could be interesting.”

We spent a few minutes discussing the possibility; then I picked up my magazine and pretended to become absorbed in an article while at the same time I watched Law and Order. Actually my mind was spinning. I can be maddeningly persistent in hiding my true feelings . . . for a while anyway.

The next day while I was at my job as a band director/ music teacher, I had the opportunity to check out the job for myself. I had a study hall that had only one student in it. Our relationship was more one of friendship than teacher-student. I read the job description and then turned and looked at her.

“I’m going to Brazil,” I stated bluntly.

She gave me a confused look, so I told her about what had happened the night before and read the job description from the computer in front of me. A slow smile spread across her face. She said, “You’re going to Brazil.”

I really believed this was going to happen, but at the same time I couldn’t imagine going back overseas. I have two grown daughters whom I love fiercely; at the time I had two small grandchildren. How could I leave them for two years? How could I miss out on everything that would be going on? On the other hand, I knew God was speaking to me. If you have ever been in that position, then you understand that when He calls you to a job, you never will be happy doing anything else. If you never have been in that position, you won’t understand the way I was feeling at that moment. Believe me, the call is unmistakable.

For two weeks I wrestled with the idea, even though I knew what the final decision would be. I knew I would go to Brazil, but convincing myself actually to admit it out loud in words was difficult. Finally one Sunday after church Van and I went out to eat. Van had mentioned the job in Brazil a couple of times, but he hadn’t pressed the issue. He was absolutely ready to go. Now. This minute. But, you see, when a couple accepts a call to missions, it has to be a joint acceptance. If both parties aren’t completely on board with the idea, then some sort of compromise has to be reached. This decision is best not forced on anyone. So Van hadn’t pressed, but I knew exactly where he stood. The time had arrived for me to let him in on the fact that I was right there beside him. For a long time we sat in the restaurant and talked. I cried. I was so torn. I knew what God wanted me to do. And I wanted to do it, too, but I still had that nagging desire to stay near my family. After spending the biggest part of a year serving in Guatemala in a previous short-term missions assignment, I knew how difficult the separation would be. Ultimately, though, I knew I couldn’t put my family and my desires ahead of God’s will for my life. So we left the restaurant knowing we would pursue employment with the International Mission Board.

To be accepted for service with the IMB requires an exacting process, but we were hoping the fact that we had served before would hasten the schedule. It must have, because we went home that Sunday night and emailed the IMB, which meant that on Monday the agency received our communication. On Tuesday we had a response. We could begin the procedure to fill the mapping-team position. We were ecstatic. Having finally crossed that line to submit to God, I now was eager to get things on the road. All of this happened in February, but we had lots of things to do before we actually could go to Brazil.

The first item on our list was to resign from our present jobs. I was teaching, so I finished the school year. At the end of May Van resigned his post. In June we sold our house and most of our possessions and moved across the state to Fort Smith to be closer to our daughters while we made preparations to go to Brazil.

Another thing we had to do was to go to Richmond, VA, for training. While there we talked to our advisor. We learned that we could go to Brazil either for two years or three years. We chose to extend our term to three years. In the back of our minds we were thinking we eventually would spend even more time than that in Brazil. We also learned about the requirements to get a visa to Brazil. This sounded as though it was a very straightforward procedure, but from conversations with missionary colleagues in Brazil we knew that getting a visa for that country would be tougher than for Guatemala. The process turned out to be much tougher. Van, the planner and detail person in our unit, began gathering all the things we would need such as his diploma from seminary, his ordination certificate, and birth certificates and our marriage license. Once he was satisfied everything was ready, he sent it to the mission office in Richmond. The mission office promptly wrote back and said the birth certificates and marriage license we had submitted would not be acceptable at the Brazilian consulate. We needed certified copies of our birth certificates and our marriage license. Both of these things had burned in a house fire. So, even though we had the certified copies we had gotten for Guatemala, we would have to get new ones for Brazil from the agencies in the states in which they had been issued: Louisiana and New Mexico. When we checked online about having them sent to us, we discovered that just going to get them would be about as inexpensive and much quicker, but that required a road trip to those two states. We combined business with pleasure by visiting with family in Louisiana and then made the long trek to New Mexico to get my birth certificate. At last we believed we had everything we needed. All that remained was to go to the consulate in Houston and present everything to Brazilian officials there. Two days were necessary to get in to see the consul. When we finally sat down with him, he sat on one side of the glass and we sat on the other as he flipped through the huge pile of documents in front of him. He arrived at my birth certificate—the one we had traveled all the way to New Mexico to get.

“Who’s this?” he asked.

“Me,” I replied.

“I don’t need this,” he sneered as he tossed it back to us through the slot at the bottom of the window.

We were flabbergasted. They had specifically asked for originals of our birth certificates.

“But, you asked for it!” Van exclaimed. “We went to New Mexico to get it!”

“No, we never ask for that. It is not in our policy,” he asserted.

“But . . .,” Van began; then, thinking better of the matter, he let it drop.

After checking through the rest of the papers, the consul told us we could return the next day to get the visas. We were so relieved! The process had been long and tedious; at last it was over.

We were so excited as we arrived early for our appointment the next day. In just a matter of minutes we would have the visas in our hands and we would be on our way.

The consul entered. We sat together on a love seat; he took a chair near us. Although his attitude seemed a little lighter than it had the day before, he still was a pretty sour person. He began to speak, but we were surprised that he didn’t talk about us; he talked about his job and what a thankless position he held. He complained about his co-workers and his work environment. He was a miserable little man. I felt sorry for him. Then he shifted the subject to our visas. That was more like it. I was squirming in my seat.

“Your visas have been approved. You may return to this office next Friday and pick them up.”

My sympathy evaporated. Sometimes I am too impulsive; I opened my mouth to argue with him, but Van beat me to the punch.

“Next Friday will be fine. Do we both need to be here, or can I pick them up?”

My jaw dropped as I gaped at my husband. Then I realized the wisdom of his words. Even though this would require another trip from Arkansas to Houston, the process would be over. If we argued, who knew what additional hoops they could find for us to jump through?

The miserable man did his best attempt at a smile.

“You may come alone. We will see you next week.”

The next week we did get the visas. We were only a month behind our expected departure date. That was not bad.

On January 21, 2007, we boarded the plane for Brazil. It was a trip into the unknown—the first of many adventures . . . although the word misadventures ultimately would describe much of what lay before us.

My Review:

I am almost through reading this book so these are my reflections so far. It is the account of a husband and wife who become Baptist missionaries in Brazil for a few years. They have lots of car issues while they are traveling the country. I am still a little unclear on their purpose besides spreading the gospel. There were not enough details on that. The whole book could have used more fleshing out. It was a little repetitious. Every town they came too they would list the churches found there and their struggles to find a decent hotel to stay in. I think the people who would most find the book interesting would be Christians especially Baptists. :)

Malacca Conspiracy by Don Brown

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Malacca Conspiracy
Zondervan (June 4, 2010)

Don Brown


DON BROWN, a former U.S. Navy JAG Officer, is the author of Zondervan’s riveting NAVY JUSTICE SERIES. a dynamic storyline chronicling the life and adventures of JAG officer ZACK BREWER. In 2003, Don began writing Treason, his first novel in the NAVY JUSTICE SERIES.

Paying no homage to political correctness, DON BROWN’S writing style is described as “gripping,” casting an entertaining and educational spin on a wide-range of current issues, from radical Islamic infiltration of the military, to the explosive issue of gays in the military, to the modern day issues of presidential politics in the early 21st Century.

In November of 2009, four years after it was released, and in the wake of Fort Hood, TREASON rocketed to the top-selling in the nation on the bestseller list for fiction, and remained there for over a week. On Thanksgiving Day of 2009, all four of Don’s novels were ranked in the top 5 on the Amazon bestseller list for fiction!

DON BROWN graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1982, and after finishing law school, continued his post-graduate studies through the Naval War College, earning the Navy’s nonresident certificate in International Law.

During his five years on active duty in the Navy, Don served in the Pentagon, was published in the Naval Law Review, and was also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.


A rogue Indonesian general and his army of terrorists attack oil tankers in the Strait of Malacca in order to profit from oil futures and buy nuclear weapons to establish an Islamic superpower.

Navy JAG officers Zack Brewer and Diane Colcernian race against the odds and a 24-hour deadline before nuclear attacks hit the United States. Departing from the sea of books barely better than soap opera romance and using the frantic pacing of suspense fiction, Brown glides flawlessly among global hotspots of terrorism--including the United States--and the book's principal settings in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The President of the United States orders ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet towards the Malacca Straits to reassert control over the sea lanes, but with time quickly ticking away, will they arrive in time for Zack and Diane to survive this dangerous and final high-stakes drama of life and death?

Sign up for the contest above! And if you would like to read the first chapter of Malacca Conspiracy, go HERE.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Sunday Salon August 15, 2010

The Sunday

* Sunday night already. Yikes!

* Friday I had a horrible day at work and I do not believe in Friday the 13th stuff. Saturday I shopped all day and part of the night. Don't worry I hardly bought anything. I found one swimsuit to take on vacation with me. Today I skipped church because of a sinus headache and I had trouble falling asleep last night because of the same problem. I did laundry and finished a book. We just got home from eating dinner with my Dad's side of the family for his birthday. I cannot believe he is going to be 49. I feel so old (27).

* I am so excited. I am leaving really early Wednesday morning to go to the beach with my mom and stepfather. My grandmother, aunt, 7 year old girl cousin, and 13 year old girl cousin went down today. Hopefully I will not come back with a nervous breakdown. lol

* I am taking a huge stack of books to read at the beach. I will take a picture and post it before I leave. As of right now I don't have anything ready to post while I am gone but I will be back Sunday.

* I hope everyone has a great week and lots of reading time. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson Jr. (Review)

Paperback: 450 pages
Publisher: Visible Ink Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1578592173

Synopsis: (As taken from back of book)

Everyday we encounter the rules of law — from the time we decide to get married, or perhaps divorced, to making purchases with our credit cards or dealing with bankruptcy. Who couldn't’t use a legal primer that answers hundreds of questions related to the history and practice of law in the United States? Let the Handy Law Answer Book help you navigate the system.

You’ll learn how to find a lawyer; what happens when you file a lawsuit or are sued by someone; what your rights in the workplace are; and what you can expect when you have your day in court. Plus, you’ll get tips on how to read those legal citations, as well as discover some fascinating — and quirky — legal cases.

Combining practical legal tips with an exhaustive overview of the law in the United States, the Handy Law Answer Book provides a history of the U.S. legal system, including the personalities who shaped it. You’ll get an introduction to various laws, important cases, court opinions, and how they all might affect you.

You’ll find answers to more than 800 questions, including …

■Where did the word “tort” come from?
■How are the state court judges selected?
■Where did the first U.S. Supreme Court meet?
■How does the law define “marriage”?
■What should you do if facing too much debt?
■What is a “wobbler”?

Guest Review by Brittanie's sister Courtney:
FYI: She is considering going to Law School. :)

It is perfect for anyone considering going into the legal field or anyone who wants to learn more about our legal history. Many different topics are covered including marriage, civil, criminal, and employment law. It explains everything clearly. Anybody would be able to read and understand it. Real cases are used as examples. The book is organized and clearly defined. There are many facts that the average person might not know and would be interesting in learning.This would be a good resource for teachers to use in the classroom especially history and government classes. I would be interesting in reading future books by this author. Highly Recommended.

About the Author: (As taken from the press release)
David L. Hudson, Jr. is the author or co-author of 24 books including The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book, The Rehnquist Court: Understanding Its Impact and Legacy, and (as co-editor with John Vile and David Schultz) The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. He works as First Amendment Scholar for the First Amendment Center and teaches classes at Vanderbilt Law School, Nashville School of Law, and Middle Tennessee State University. Hudson earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. He resides in the Middle Tennessee area with his wife, Carla, and two dogs, Gloria and Gucci.
Review copy provided free of charge by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Its Monday What Are You Reading? August 9, 2010

This is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books.

What I read last week:

- Fatal Loyalty by Sue Duffy
- Bellwether by Connie Willis
- Forgotten by Melody Carlson
- Anna Finch and the Hired Gun by Kathleen Y'Barbo
- Postcards from a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber

What I am currently reading:

- The Brothers K
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini

What I am reading next:

- The Guardian's Honor by Marta Perry
- Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

Reviews I posted last week:

Crazy Book Swap

This event is being hosted by Wallace at

Brittanie: This sounds like a lot of fun. I have read several good books this year. I can't wait to see what happens. :)

What if you were to receive a book that you HAD to read and review? You didn’t know the author, the title, or even the genre. Scary. I know.

So who’s in? This, my people, is my form of bungy jumping, skydiving, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef… this is my no-contact adrenaline rush sport (since I have never and will never do the former). Just call me crazy, wild Wallace: she reads books that she didn’t even choose. Ooooh, ahhh, I can hear the crowd now in utter amazement.

This Book Swap is open to all readers (no matter what country). Please keep in mind that because most of the participants will be English speaking (and because this blog is in English), the books should also be written in English. If you live in a country that offers Media Mail (the U.S. does, for those who live here), make sure you chose that way of sending the book when you go to the Post Office (it is loads cheaper to send books this way).

The Mission if You Choose to Accept It:

1.Sign Up with THE FIRST link list.Link to your blog (or GoodReads, LibraryThing, etc. account), so we all know who’s in. Deadline to sign up = Saturday, August 14th.

2.E-Mail me ( with the address to which you want the book sent. Make sure CRAZY BOOK SWAP is in the subject line so your e-mail doesn’t get overlooked.

3.Chose an Unputdownable book of almost (see below) any genre to send to someone else. The book must have been an Unputdownable read for you (the goal here is to give someone a book that they will actually like — an expand their horizons and introduce them to new literature). Note, you may send a used copy as long as it is in good condition. Please do not send a book that is over 400 pages.

4.Once you receive the e-mail from me, send the book as soon as possible.

5.Read whichever book you receive and then review it. Once you have reviewed it, link back to THE SECOND link list (which will be up after the sign-ups have closed), so we can read your review! Remember, you are not obligated to like the book — just to give it a try and let us know what you thought.

The Only Rule:

◦Books may be of any genre excluding pornography (I don’t mean bawdy Romance novels– those are fine– I’m talking about straight pornographic material, do I even need to say that?), and Horror (too risky that someone won’t read it out of fear… have already had requests for no horror and I know I couldn’t read that either).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Sunday Salon August 8, 2010

The Sunday

* 9 days until I go on my beach vacation. I am really excited. I love the beach. I am going with my grandmother, mother, stepfather, aunt, and two cousins.

* I read 4 books this weekend. I will have my wrap up tomorrow.

* The weekend flew by so quick. I needed to go shopping for beach clothes but I really did not feel like it so the only place I went Saturday was Pizza Hut. Definitely not on my diet. I tried on a bikini and I still look horrible in it. I need to tone my abs so bad.

* Today I went to church, came home did the laundry, read books, checked my Google reader, and baked some muffins from a package mix I bought.

* I hope everyone has a great week and lots of reading time. :)

Interesting Quote

“I read because one life isn’t enough, and in the page of a book I can be anybody;

I read because the words that build the story become mine, to build my life;

I read not for happy endings but for new beginnings; I’m just beginning myself, and I wouldn’t mind a map;

I read because I have friends who don’t, and young though they are, they’re beginning to run out of material;

I read because every journey begins at the library, and it’s time for me to start packing;

I read because one of these days I’m going to get out of this town, and I’m going to go everywhere and meet everybody, and I want to be ready.”

- Richard Peck (Anonymously Yours)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Forgotten by Melody Carlson (Review)

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: NavPress (August 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1600069482

From the back cover:

With MIA parents, overdue rent, and no one to turn to, Adele is forced out of her home. She strives to maintain the pretense of a “normal” life while struggling to finish high school, all the while concealing that she is homeless. But is she strong enough to keep up the act?

Every teenage girl has a secret. And every teenage girl loves hearing someone else’s secret. But some secrets are big enough to detour, derail, or even destroy a young person’s life. Each of Melody Carlson’s Secrets novels will propel readers into a world where promises are broken, life is not fair, and challenges can make or break them, while ultimately helping readers discover that solid faith, loyal friends, and a persistent spirit will see them through.

My Review:
I read this book in one sitting. That said it is not without its problems. Overall the book is written okay. I did want to see what happened next to Adele. Some parts are a little hard to believe. The ending especially was hard to accept. It felt rushed and the beginning of the book was much more developed and time spent there. There were two main characters including her mother who just disappeared from the plot and we don't know what happened to them. It dealt with the hard topic of homelessness and especially among teenagers. I was touched after reading the story and my eyes opened a little more. The spiritual element was there but not overwhelming. So overall an okay Christian YA book. I am glad I read it. :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fatal Loyalty by Sue Duffy (Review)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fatal Loyalty
Kregel Publications (April 23, 2010)


Sue Duffy


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. Her first novel Mortal Wounds was published in 2001 and she has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children. Find out more at


Where do you run when you know you cannot hide?

Andie Ryborg has nowhere else to go. Her father's campaign for governor and his aggressive war on drugs has chased her from their family home. Drawn to Miami's exotic Coconut Grove, Andie hopes to find a quiet refuge where she can discover herself apart from the public eye. But even in that seclusion, even with an officer assigned to protect her, Andie's privacy has been violated. Someone is watching

Evan Markham's entire life has been a tug-of-war between what is and what could be. He is drawn to a life that is beyond his reach and emotions have clouded his judgment. Evan knows that earning someone's trust isn't easy, especially when he plans to break it. But in the secret corridors of the criminal underworld, he knows what must be done, and he is determined to see it through. Whatever the cost

When enemies close in, a sudden turn of events leaves them both questioning. Where is God in all of this? Who is this enigmatic stranger who offers to help? They both know their lives are in danger. But what about their hearts?

If you would like to read the Prologue of Fatal Loyalty, go HERE.

My Review:

I thought this was an okay book. There were lots of twists and turns and interesting characters. It is a Christian mystery/suspense book with a little romance in it. The ending took me a little by surprise. I wanted to fuss at some of the characters at some point in the book. The beginning was a little slow and repetitious but it picked up speed and the ending came before I knew it so an okay debut novel. I look forward to seeing what this author writes next.

Classics Club Spin 18

My Classics Club Spin List for August This is a hodgepodge of books left on my list I made in 2017 for the Classics Club. Tomorrow the clu...