Monday, November 29, 2010

Its Monday What Are You Reading? November 29, 2010

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

What I read last week:

- Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio by Annalisa Daughety
- An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller
- Anna's Return by Marta Perry
- Winter's Awakening by Shelley Sheppard Gray
- Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman
- Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace
- The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

What I am currently reading:

- Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
- Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
- A Long Long Time Ago and essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
- Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry
- I'll Be Home for Christmas by Julie Cannon

What I am reading next:
A variety of Christmas themed books coming and finish some review books for the year.

Reviews I posted last week:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Divine Appointments by Charlene Baumbich (Review)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Divine Appointments

WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (September 21, 2010)


Charlene Baumbich


Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the Partonville series. A popular speaker, journalist, and author, for several years she has lectured to women’s groups and retreats. Baumbich is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Today’s Christian Woman, and numerous other publications. She is the author of six nonfiction books of humor and inspiration.

Charlene says: For over two decades of writing and speaking, my passionate pursuit to entertain and rejuvenate using humor (I love to laugh-especially at myself), uncommon wisdom, and passionate insights has been affirmed through countless calls, letters, and evaluation sheets. A reader recently e-mailed, "There is so much depression and sadness in this world. I applaud you for reminding all of us to treasure the moments in our lives, and for encouraging us to find joy in the little things. What you do helps so many to rise above the heaviness of life and live, and laugh, and face another day, so thanks!!!!" That is exactly why I keep doing what I do.

I am a firm believer in the power of story (short or book-length, funny or insightful, real or fiction, on stage or page) to accomplish my purpose, which is to remind you: Don't Miss Your Life! Whether you're tuning into me live or in print, fasten your seat belt. I promise you a wild, fun, provocative, heart-warming ride.


Josie Brooks, at the age of 47, thought she was leading an enviable single life. A successful consultant, she calls her own shots, goes where the money is, and never needs to compromise. But her precisely managed world begins to falter during a Chicago contract when an economic downturn, a bleeding heart boss, and the loyalty and kindness between endangered employees ding her coat of armor.

Throw in hot flashes, a dose of loneliness, a peculiar longing for intimacy, an

unquenchable thirst—not to mention a mysterious snow globe with a serene landscape, complete with a flowing river and lush greenery that seems to be beckoning her in—and Josie’s buttoned-up life is on the verge of coming completely undone.

Maybe her solitary existence isn’t as fulfilling as she has convinced herself to believe. It will take a few new friends, a mystical encounter, and an unexpected journey to set Josie on her own path to “right-sizing” and making the life changes that really matter. Filled with laugh-out loud moments and a gentle dash of inspiration, Divine Appointments is another heartwarming charmer from a master storyteller.

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

My Review:

I really liked this book. I have read all of her other fiction books and there is always something to make me laugh. This book is the second in the snow globe series but can stand alone completely. I liked it better than the first even though it is good too. Josie's story just appealed to me. I love how her relationships develop. There is even a little romance in the book. The characters and plot are unique and interesting. They are well developed including the secondary characters. One of which I loved because she is the type of person at work who makes everyone feel better and encourages others and lives out her faith. Sometimes it felt like Josie's story was in the background a little but it worked out fine. The mystical snow globe part is not overwhelming or too crazy. This is a Christian fiction book but that aspect is not overwhelming either. Highly Recommended. :)

Thankful for ...

I am not so great with words but I have a lot to be thankful for this year so I am going to try express my thoughts.
I am thankful for God who never gives up on us and loves us the most of all.
I am thankful for my family who puts up with me good and bad and still loves me.
I am thankful for my work family.
I am thankful for Sherry, my manager at work. She is a wonderful boss and helps me very much.
I am thankful for the PT department at work. I love yall to pieces and am grateful for all the help and advice you give me. Thank you for saving me from myself several times.
I am thankful to work in a good environment and have lots of friends there.
I am thankful for the military that is defending us right now.
I am thankful to live in the USA. There are other places I want to visit but this is home.
I am thankful for the good changes that have happened in my life this year including weight loss and my new haircut.
I am thankful for having a safe place to live, food to eat, and a job.
I am thankful for the kitty cats.
I am thankful for having lots of books to read and the ability to read them.
I am thankful for the Internet and the relationships I have formed through it and the book blogging community.
I am thankful for all my blog readers.
I am thankful for numerous other things but I will stop here and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lightkeeper's Bride by Colleen Coble (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lightkeeper's Bride
Thomas Nelson (October 19, 2010)
Colleen Coble


Author Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.

A word from Colleen: God has been faithful, though the path has not been easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. God wouldn’t let me give up, and I like to think the struggle made me stronger. God has given me so much in my life, most importantly my great family, a loving church family at New Life Baptist Church, and my wonderful publishing family at Nelson Books.


A thrilling romantic mystery set in the lush Victorian age.

Central Operator Katie Russell's inquisitive ways have just uncovered her parents' plan for her marriage to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster. Her heart is unmoved, but she knows the match will bring her family status and respectability.

Then Katie overhears a phone conversation that makes her uneasy and asks authorities to investigate. But the caller is nowhere to be found. Mysterious connections arise between the caller and a ship lost at sea.

Against propriety, Katie questions the new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Then a smallpox epidemic forces their quarantine in his lighthouse. Though of low social status, Will's bravery and kindness remove Katie's suspicion and win her love. Katie and Will together work to solve the mystery of the missing girl and the lost ship as God gives the couple the desire of their hearts.

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

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading this book. Even though it is book two in a series it can stand alone fine. It is a Christian historical romantic suspense book. It is not heavy on the history and has a good balance of romance, suspense, and mystery. It held my attention from the beginning and is well written. The characters and plot are interesting and unique. Highly Recommended. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading? November 22, 2010

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

What I read last week:
- Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
- The Lightkeeper's Bride by Colleen Coble
- Divine Appointments by Charlene Baumbich

What I am currently reading:
- Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
- Lies Women Believe and the Truths that set them free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
- A Long Long Time Ago and essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
- Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry

What I am reading next:
- Uncertain Heart by Andrea Boeshaar
- Love Finds You in Charm Ohio by Annalisa Daugherty
- An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller
- Anna's Return by Marta Perry
- The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

Reviews I posted last week:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sunday Salon November 21, 2010

The Sunday

* It so does not feel like a Sunday night. I had a busy but good weekend.

* Friday night I went to visit my 13 year old cousin Mollie. She had a cadaver's bone put in her last week. She fell and broke her arm a few years ago and the bone quit growing. She is very active. She plays the violin and swims. The pain was awful after this surgery. My poor baby.

* Saturday I went shopping and ran errands. I cleaned and did laundry and finished a book too.

* Today I finished a book, went to lunch at IHOP with my grandmother and sister, went to Bed Bath and Beyond with them, and cooked oven roasted chicken with red potatoes and steamed broccoli.

* Needless to say my lifestyle changes have not been going so hot this month. I hope to make it through to the new year without gaining weight or fat back. We'll see. I have been thinking about starting a new blog to chronicle my food and exercise stuff. What do you think?

* I feel funny about this week. Holiday weeks always do that to me. There is something in the air it seems. I am off Wednesday through Friday. So five days total. I will miss work. I know I am quite odd. Its okay. lol

* It is my bed time so I am going to go get my things ready for tomorrow.

* I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving week and some reading time. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson (Review)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Silent Order

Summerside Press (November 1, 2010)


Melanie Dobson


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.


Rural America - 1928. After the murder of his partner, Detective Rollin Wells hides away in an Amish home near Sugarcreek, Ohio, to find out who in the police force is

collaborating with Cleveland’s notorious mob. While Rollin searches for answers to his partner’s death, he befriends an elusive young Amish woman named Katie and her young son. As Rollin learns about Katie’s past, he’s shocked at the secret Katie is hiding - a secret that has haunted Rollin for eight years.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Silent Order, go HERE.

My Review:

I loved this book. It is one of the best I have read this year. It does not fit in one category. It is some Amish, crime, suspense, and a little romance too. It is well written and the plot does not feel like the same ole same ole. I really enjoyed reading it. It kept my attention from page one and I felt like I was in the story. Highly Recommended. :)

Reading Meme

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (repetitive see 33)
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading? November 15, 2010

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

What I read last week:
- The Portrait by Hazel Statham
- Calling the Shots by Ellen Hartman
- The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson (one of my favorite books this year)

What I am currently reading:
- Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
- Lies Women Believe and the Truths that set them free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
- A Long Long Time Ago and essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
- Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry

What I am reading next:
- Uncertain Heart by Andrea Boeshaar
- The Lightkeeper's Bride by Colleen Coble
- Love Finds You in Charm Ohio by Annalisa Daugherty
- An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller
- Anna's Return by Marta Perry
- The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

Reviews I posted last week:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sunday Salon November 14, 2010

The Sunday

* Wow the weekend is over already!

* I had an okay weekend. I read two books which is a miracle. This reading slump stinks. I hope to pull it together for a big finish. lol I joined a reading challenge where the goal is to finish books we absolutely want done this year. I also have a lot of reviews I need to get done.

* I am DNF two books. I hate giving up but I have been trying to read these a while and just can't make my way through them. They are The Smart Mama's Green Guide and The Disappearing Spoon by Sean Kean. I gave the Smart Mama book to a friend at work who is expecting. The Disappearing Spoon maybe I can go back too at a later date but it is really dry and I was expecting more from the description.

* I did some cleaning and organizing in my bedroom today. It always makes me feel better. I need to continue doing it to the kitchen too. I started but have not finished it. Anyway I cleaned out my desk and have a bag full of papers that need to be shredded. I got rid of pens and highlighters that no longer worked. I moved some things out and organized my papers into new folders. I also cleaned out my nightstand. Next I want clean out my hope chest and organize it. It has my stationary and recipes etc. in it.

* I need to start another book tonight for a blog tour that I forgot was tomorrow. It was rescheduled in my defense. I have also been working on my reading/blogging goals for 2011. I am not quite done yet but I will post it closer to the end of the year. I have two sets of goals, those and my personal life ones. I have been a little unsettled lately so I hope to be semi normal again and overall nicer. We'll see how it goes.

* First I am going to finish getting things ready for tomorrow and the week. I like to have everything ready to go in the morning. It is a lot less stress and saves time.

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

I Better Finish These Books in 2010 Challenge

This reading challenge is hosted by Diane (Biblophile). Her blog is
I have been thinking about this topic lately too. I have a stack of books I want to finish before we move into 2011. I also have a lot of reviews I want to write before the new year. I want to start fresh.

My list:
1. The Alaskan Bride min series by Various Authors
2. Uncertain Heart by Andrea Boeshaar
3. Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry
4. Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace
5. Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
6. Hatteras Girl by Alice Wisler
7. A Long long time ago and essentially true by Brigid Pasulka
8. Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce
9. The Lightkeeper's Bride by Colleen Coble
10. Love Finds You in Charm Ohio by Annalisa Daugherty
11. An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller
12. Anna's Return by Marta Perry
13. The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
14. Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck
15. Angel Song by Shelia Walsh and Kathryn Cushman
16. The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

There are more but that is my starting point. I have been in a reading slump so I hope I can pull it together for a big finale. lol :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Portrait by Hazel Statham (Review)

About the book:

England 1812

Severely injured at the battle of Salamanca, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of Sinclair, returns home to his beloved Fly Hall. Determined not to present his prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he decides to end his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer, for vastly differing reasons, has reached the selfsame decision.

Throughout the campaigns, Edward was often seen relying greatly on a miniature he carried, and it is to this token he clings upon his return. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait, or will he remain firm in his resolve not to wed? Reason dictates one course, his heart another.

My Review:
I loved this book. It is a great Regency romance novel. All of the characters came alive and were interesting. The plot held my interest and was well developed. I would love to read more of this author's books. They remind me of Georgette Heyer. Recommended.

About the Author:

Hazel Statham lives in England and has been writing on and off since she was fifteen. Initially she was influenced by Austen, the Bront√ęs, and Sabatini but when she turned seventeen, Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She immediately knew she had found her eras and wanted nothing more than to re-create them in her work.

Her latest book is the Regency romance novel, The Portrait, released by Avalon Books in August 2010.

Hazel lives with her husband, Terry, and a beautiful Labrador named Mollie. Apart from writing, her other ruling passion is animals, and until recently she acted as treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities.

You can visit her online at and her blog at

Review copy provided by author for Pump Up Your Book blog tour.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Amy Inspired
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Bethany Pierce


After completing a master's in Creative Writing and working as a visiting instructor at Miami University in Ohio, Bethany Pierce now lives with her husband in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a member of the McGuffey Art Center and continues to write. Her first book, Feeling for Bones, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2007.


With rejections piling up, she could use just a little inspiration...

Amy Gallagher is an aspiring writer who, after countless rejections, has settled for a career as an English professor in small-town Ohio just to pay the bills. All her dreams suddenly start to unravel as rejections pile up--both from publishers and her boyfriend.

But just as Amy fears her life is stuck in a holding pattern, she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. She struggles to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as staying true to her faith becomes unexpectedly complicated.

When secrets, tragedy, and poor decisions cause rifts in Amy's relationships, she must come to terms with who she's become, her unrealized aspirations for her life, and the state of her faith. Can she dare to hope that she will find love and fulfillment despite it all?

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hatteras Girl by Alice Wisler

Still running behind but I can't wait to read this one. :)
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hatteras Girl
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Alice Wisler


Alice J. Wisler is an author, public speaker, advocate, and fundraiser. She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and has traveled the country in jobs that minister to people. Alice was raised in Japan and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina.

Facts about Alice

* Born in Osaka, Japan and lived in Japan for 18 years

* Went to Kyoto International School and Canadian Academy

* Majored in Social Work and graduated in 1983 from Eastern Mennonite University

* Worked at a group home for disadvantaged kids outside of Philadelphia

* Taught English and Culture Orientation at a refugee camp in the Philippines

* Taught English as a Second Language in Japan

* Speaks and teaches on Writing the Heartache

* Has three kids on earth, and one in Heaven

* Recently got married to Carl on 2/7/09


There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag.

When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Woman and her Workplace by Rosemary Flatten (Review)

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City (September 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-0834125230

Book Summary:

Why is it often so difficult to build healthy relationships with our coworkers? The grumpy boss, the arrogant team member, the lazy employee, or the backbiting woman may be part of our workplace reality, and it may be easier to blame them for our workplace woes. But, the easy blame isn t always the best solution.

A Woman and Her Workplace shows women how God can perform a deep heart transformation within us that will allow His love and care to flow through us to the people in our workplaces. By delving into the issues that wreak havoc on our workplace relationships, author Rosemary Flaaten provides readers the help they need to develop and apply strong biblical principles of humility, integrity, forgiveness, grace, and celebration in the workplace.

Through discussing relationships such as boss to staff, woman to man, woman to woman, and teamwork, Flaaten guides women on a transforming journey through the common workplace difficulties as they develop healthy interaction in their workplace.

My Review:

I am on page 112/185 and so far it is really good. I have several stickies in place. I had aha moments while reading. It is definitely written from a Christian perspective and has bible verses at the end of each chapter for further study and questions for reflection. The story of Esther from the bible is also referenced a lot. I learned that I am a powerful choleric in the team. It makes perfect sense. The author also emphasized living the golden rule at work too. It is "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:12 I think this book will help many women in the workplace. Recommended. :)

Building the Relationship Bridge
Pride Vanquished by Humility
Deception Defeated by Integrity
Anger Diffused by Forgiveness
Judgment Dissolved by Grace
Envy Rejected by Celebration
I'm Part of a Team
I'm the Boss
I'm NOT the Boss
I Work with Him
I Work with Her
Sharing Your Faith

ROSEMARY FLAATEN’S successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships helps women process their outside-of-work relationships, so now she’s delving into these 9-5 relationships. She writes from a fully equipped life-experience toolkit. In it we find her varied work experience, a counseling and educational background, and a deep love for God as well as a passion to help others. Her Relationships book won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada's top Christian literary honor. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Sunday Salon November 7, 2010 Reflections/Revelations

The Sunday

* I have neglected this meme for the past few weeks. I have not had anything really to write but the same ole same ole.

* I have been thinking really hard about my life and reading goals lately. I have come to several conclusions that I am going to share.

* I am fast approaching complete reading burnout. It has never happened to me in my life. I have always wanted to read. I think in the new year some of my reading goals are to accept less review books and read down my massive TBR shelves. A complete list of my reading goals for 2011 is not ready yet but I am working on it. I did not achieve my goals for this year which is depressing to me. I have never done this bad at reading challenges. Maybe I am getting burned out on them too?

* In my personal life I have been on a weight loss journey since June and have lost 20 lbs which I needed to lose. I am trying to make permanent healthy changes to my life. It is really hard. I feel a little like giving up but I really don't want too. Self sabotage is to blame for part of that. I ate way too much calories yesterday. I tend to go crazy on the weekends.

* I have been unhappy due to other things too. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot change absolutely everything about myself and still be happy. God made me a little old lady who will probably be an old maid. I don't know why but I used to be okay with that and I have decided to give up on men. I have been way too focused on finding Mr. Right this year.

* This year has been really rough for me and I will not be sad to see it go but I really do not want to keep the good changes I have made. I do my makeup and hair everyday now. I care more about my clothes and life choices. One of my goals for the new year is to start volunteering somewhere again. I used to love that. I need to get out of my own life and house more. Reading books all weekend sometimes is fine but in moderation.

* I have not read a single book this weekend and I have four tours next week. So I am going to go to Kroger then come home and focus. The laundry is almost done and we may go out to eat later with my Dad but other than that hopefully I can read. My reading buddies feel neglected. Poor kitties. :)

* Thank you for reading all my ramblings and blog. It means a lot to me. I hope everyone has a great week and lots of reading time. :)

Book Blogger Holdiay Swap

I participated in this last year and had a lot of fun. The sign ups end on November 14 and it is open internationally. Go to the website to fill out the google form if you want to participate. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grace by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Avon Inspire; Original edition (October 26, 2010)


Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.


It's Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed & Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holiday.

Anna and Henry will be celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, and for Katie and Jonathan Lundy, it's their first Christmas with baby Stefan. Winnie and Samuel Miller plan to stop by as well for a wonderful two weeks of family and rest.

But when two unexpected visitors show up, hoping to stay for Christmas, the family must test their commitment to hospitality. Levi is a widower who lost his wife four years ago and can't bear the thought of another Christmas alone. And Melody is a young pregnant woman who won't open up about how she ended up on her own at Christmas at almost nine months pregnant.

Anna, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets, doesn't trust her, and strives to find out the truth about these two strangers who have disrupted their holiday. But as the Christmas spirit descends on them all, as well as snow that traps them in the inn, a healing and hopefulness takes over, allowing new relationships to be built, and the boundaries of family to be extended.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Grace, go HERE.

The Perfect Blend by Trish Perry

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:

The Perfect Blend

Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Trish Perry is an award-winning writer and editor of Ink and the Spirit, a quarterly newsletter of the Capital Christian Writers organization in the Washington DC area. She has published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general market media, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736930159
ISBN-13: 978-0736930154


Steph Vandergrift was jilted in a truly beautiful place.

She focused on her surroundings so she wouldn’t break down and openly sob in front of people passing her on their way to work. Eyes blinking and chin quivering, she desperately sought distraction in the old stone buildings, lush spring greenery, and fragrant wisteria and lavender from the well-tended landscape nearby.

Rick told her she would love Middleburg, one of the most charming little towns in northern Virginia. When he proposed—

She breathed deeply against the urge to wail as if she were at an ancient European funeral.

When Rick proposed, he said she would even love his law firm’s stately, historic building. This was where she sat now, her dark bangs in her eyes. Despite the warm spring air, she huddled outside on the front steps, certain her brain—or surely her heart—would burst if she didn’t stop and collect herself.

A sudden leave of absence. That’s what the receptionist told her. Rick had taken a sudden leave of absence. And Steph knew she was whom he had suddenly left.

She swallowed hard. She stood and dusted off her short flared skirt in an attempt to look nonchalant while she sized up her situation. Where was she going to go? Where? She wiped away a tear, but another one swiftly took its place. She needed to not do this here, in the middle of this quaint old town.

God, what do I do now? Please tell me.

Distraction. She needed another distraction right now.

Across the street a middle-aged woman stepped out the front door of a small building, the white-painted stone of which was gorgeously weathered. She bent to lift a watering can, and her loose blond curls fell forward. She tended to the flower boxes that hung, moss-laden, from green-shuttered front windows. Then she seemed to sense someone watching her. She turned around and smiled at Steph before calling out to her.

“Good morning, dear. Are you all right over there?”

Steph took a few steps away from Rick’s building and tried to look purposeful. She managed to say, “Yes, I—” before her throat seized and then released a torrent of weeping and incoherent babbling.

So much for her stoic resolve.

Within seconds the woman was across the street and at Steph’s side. She smelled like vanilla and strawberries.

“You poor girl. Whatever is the matter?”

Steph tried to speak between heaving sobs. “…were s’posed to elope…left everything…job, family, friends…he’s not here…leave of absence…what…gonna do?” And then full-on wailing obliterated any further at-tempts at communication.

The woman enveloped Steph with her free arm, the other still holding the watering can, and steered her toward the little stone house across the street.

“You just come with me this instant. You mustn’t stand out here all alone like this.”

Yes. That was it. She was all alone. Rick had lured her away from everyone she loved. Everything she knew. She had left them all to marry him. It seemed like such a romantic notion, to elope after her parents had expressed their disapproval of Rick. And then what did the dirtbag do but desert her here?

The enticing smell of fresh-baked bread wafted all around them when they entered the little shop. Despite her anguish Steph sensed a rumble in her stomach. She thought she must be more beast than damsel to actually harbor hope for a pastry or two in the middle of this catastrophe.

“You have a seat right there.” The woman coaxed her into a wicker chair at one of the lace-covered tables in the dining area. “What you need is a nice, soothing cup of chamomile. Just give me a moment.” Before she went too far away, she stepped back to the table and placed a box of tissues within Steph’s reach.

Once Steph was alone again, reality descended. What was she going to do? Granted, she hadn’t walked out on a stellar career. She could get another job selling men’s suits in just about any department store, she supposed. But she didn’t know anyone here in Middleburg. Should she hang her head and drag herself back home to Baltimore? Why had she made such a scene before leaving? She hadn’t quietly sneaked away. No, she had to pull an all-out, in-your-face confrontation with her parents. A dramatic disconnect with her friends and roommates. And all of them had simply been trying to save her from exactly what just happened.

As she had always feared, her judgment was completely whacked. She had forgotten plans for any long-term career once she and Rick became serious. She thought she would spend the rest of her life married to an up-and-coming real estate attorney and raise their two perfect children and faithful dog in this adorable, classy town. Why had she believed that would happen simply because Rick said it would?

“Here we go, dear.”

It finally dawned on Steph that the woman had a faint accent. British? That would fit with this cute little shop, with its delicately flowered wall-paper and elegant china cabinets. The small, framed paintings hanging here and there looked like scenes of the British countryside.

The woman set a serving tray on the table and placed each item in front of Steph. A white porcelain china pot, painted with miniature violets, from which she poured tea into a delicate rose-covered cup and saucer. A plate with a couple of triangular biscuits on it. They smelled like butter and sweetness. And two dainty bowls: one holding strawberry preserves, and the other holding what looked like sour cream.

Steph realized she was able to stop crying as long as she stopped focusing on herself for a moment. She looked up and pressed a tissue against her nose. “Thank you so much. You didn’t have to—”

“No need for that. Go on, now.” The woman gestured at the food and tea and sat down across from Steph. Her gentle blue eyes reminded Steph of her mother during better times. “You’ll feel better if you have a bit to eat and some nice, relaxing tea.”

As soon as Steph lifted one of the biscuits, the woman said, “I’m Millicent Ashford Jewell. Everyone calls me Milly.”

“Steph.” She spoke around an absolutely delicious bite. She rubbed crumbs from her fingers and shook Milly’s hand. “Steph Vandergrift. Thank you for being so kind.”

Milly smiled and put a spoon of the cream on Steph’s plate for her. “Clotted cream. One of God’s great gifts, in my opinion. Marvelous on the scones.”

Clotted cream. Now that sounded downright nasty. But Steph was a self-admitted people pleaser, and she had never been one to ignore God’s great gifts. So she put a little of the cream on her next bite of scone. And then nearly moaned, it was so fantastic.

“But that’s just really thick whipped cream!”

Milly said, “I think you like it, right?”

“I love it.”

Milly stood. “I have a few matters to tend to in the kitchen. Feel free to walk back and get me if you need me. We don’t stand on ceremony around here.”

The shop door opened as Steph swallowed a sip of tea. She followed Milly’s delighted gaze toward the door and took another nibble of scone. Mmm. “Absolutely yummy.”

A crooked smile spread across the face of the young man who walked through the door. He looked directly at Steph and acted as if her comment were all about him. With a lift of his eyebrows and a tilt of the head, he said, “Well, thank you very much.”

Milly laughed and approached him. They hugged each other.

“Welcome back, stranger,” Milly said. “How was vacation?”

Steph didn’t pay much attention to their conversation after that. The man seemed to be in a hurry, which was fine by her. Otherwise she feared Milly might want to introduce them. She’d rather a man that attractive not look at her too closely right now.

Steph watched his warm brown eyes, which never seemed to lose their smile. She noticed he never once messed with his short, tousled blond hair or fussed with anything else about his looks. Yet, when he walked with Milly toward the kitchen, Steph saw how perfectly, yet casually, he was dressed and groomed.

Her heart was broken, thanks to Rick’s wimpy, childish retreat from her life. But Milly’s chamomile tea and warm scones made her feel a little better. And despite her circumstances and the many question marks in her immediate future, she was still able to appreciate a good-looking man. She leaned sideways to watch him at the kitchen door until he disappeared from view. He and Milly were out of earshot, so Steph surprised only herself when she whispered it again.

“Absolutely yummy.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

I am about halfway through this book and it is a good Christian historical. :)
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Head in the Clouds
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Karen Witemeyer


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House. When she visited her publisher back in January of 2010, she was interviewed by the staff. If you'd like a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how she develops her story ideas and a description of her bumpy journey to publication, go to her website to listen to a podcast of that interview.


Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Head in the Clouds, go HERE.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Non Fiction Five Challenge 2010 Wrap Up Post

This reading challenge was hosted by Trish of
I love it and have participated several times. It really helps me read more non fiction. It runs from May 1 through September 30. I can't wait for next year. :)

This time I read:
- For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhan
- Green Like God by Jonathan Merrill
- Dying to Live by Clive Calver
- The Man Who Loved Books too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
- I'll Mature When I'm Dead by Dave Barry
- Crazy Love by Francis Chan
- The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews
- Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher

R.I.P. V Reading Challenge 2010 Wrap Up Post

Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings host this reading challenge every year. It runs from September 1 through October 31.

It flew by this year. I did not read as many books as I wanted to for it. I also did not read as many out of my comfort zone as I intended. There is always next year. :) I have had a bad reading slump that I am just now coming out of, I hope.

I read:
- Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer
- The Black Madonna by Davis Bunn
- Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker
- A Very Private Grave by Donna Fletcher Crow
- Listen by Rene Gutteridge
- Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn
- Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason

The wrap up post for the challenge on his blog is here:

2010 Holiday Reading Challenge

Nely at All About n is hosting a holiday reading challenge. I have several Christmas themed books I want to read this year. I love the button she came up with, it is so cute. My goal is to read at least three Christmas themed books. This is the link for more details. :)

Challenge Requirements:

1- Challenge will start Monday, November 15 and will end Friday, December 31.

2- You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books for the challenge and, of course, if you're like me, you are more than welcome to surpass that number.

3- And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

4- The size of the book does not matter, nor does the genre. It is also okay for the book to overlap with other challenges. The only thing I ask is that they are not children's books. YA is okay. And so are re-reads. I for one tend to read the same books every Christmas - they are tradition.

5- To sign up - leave a link back to your challenge post. There will also be a post for review links as well as one for challenge wrap-ups.

6- And.... there will be goodies. That's right, we'll call them presents. At the end of every week that the challenge is running I will choose one winner from the review links. Meaning the more books you read, review and link up, the more chances you have at winning a "present".

It's Monday What Are You Reading? November 1, 2010

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

What I read last week:

- Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Betsy In Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Betsy Was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Betsy and Joe by Maud Hart Lovelace

What I am currently reading:

- Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
- Lies Women Believe and the Truths that set them free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- A Long Long Time Ago and essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
- Season of Miracles by Rusty Whitner

What I am reading next:

- The Perfect Blend by Trish Perry
- Grace by Shelley Sheppard Gray

Reviews I posted last week:

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...