Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's On Your Nightstand?

This is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

 It is for the fourth Tuesday of every month. Mine is late because I could not get my pictures to upload. I should call mine dresser and desk instead of nightstand. lol That is where I keep my immediate tbr books. I have not posted in a few months. I am still having trouble focusing and sometimes I don't even finish one book a week. Right now my main focus is getting my review books read. I have cut back on how many tours I am doing. I have also been purging my bookshelves. I have way too many books and a lot of them I have not read but I want too. So I am reading what I can when I can and sometimes that is all you can do. :)

The Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Protector
Avon Inspire; Original edition (June 28, 2011)
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.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


Everyone needs a safe place to call home

When her mother passes away, Ella's forced to auction off her family's farm. Her father died years ago, and she could never manage the fifty acres on her own. But after she moves to town, she can't deny the pain she feels watching the new owner, Loyal Weaver, repairing her family's old farmhouse—everything Ella had once dreamed of doing.

What Ella doesn't know is that Loyal secretly hopes she will occupy this house his wife. He begins inviting her over, to ask her opinion on changes he wants to make. As their friendship blooms, Ella starts to wonder about Loyal's intentions, especially when her best friend, Dorothy, hints that Loyal is not who he seems. There's no way the golden boy of their close-knit Amish community could be interested in Ella, long the wallflower, hidden away caring for her ailing parents.

Should she trust the man she's always yearned for, or the friend who's always been by her side? When one of them threatens to disrupt the independence she's finally achieved, Ella is faced with a choice. She can protect her heart and keep things the way they've always been. Or she can come out of her shell, risk everything for the love she's always wanted, and finally have a place to call home.

If you would like to read an excerpt from The Protector, go HERE.

My Review:
I thought this was a good Amish book. It is the second in the Families of Honor series and I do recommend reading them in order because some of the characters and plots repeat. I have read all of this author's books and liked them. Ella is the main focus in this book and I enjoyed learning more of her story. The plot and characters were unique and interesting and I can't wait for the next book in the series. Great Amish series. Recommended. :)

Great Quote

It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our life’s but what we do consistently. If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you will accept into your life then it is all too easy to slip into behaviors and habits and even a standard of live that is far below what God has intended for you. Its not the conditions that will determine your destiny but its your decisions.
Mike Clark

What this means to me right now is that I am more than the junk food binge I went on this afternoon. I was made for more than ice cream, poptarts, honeybun, four big pieces pizza, cheesy bread, and watermelon. Yes I actually ate all of that this afternoon. I have no idea what got into me. I was doing okay for the past two weeks and blew it tonight. I was grain free and watching my carbs but there is always tomorrow to get back on track. I am making a promise to myself to do right tomorrow. I feel so sick right now. I can not let myself go back to this lifestyle. I have come too far and worked too hard to give up now on myself.

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading? June 27, 2010

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

What I read last week:

- The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (on audio)(really really good)

- Double Take by Melody Carlson

- The Protector by Shelley Sheppard Gray

What I am currently reading:

- Vigilante by Robin Parrish

- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot ( on audio in the car)

What I am reading next:

- Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand

Reviews I posted last week:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Double Take by Melody Carlson (Review)

  • Reading level: Young Adult

  • Paperback: 273 pages

  • Publisher: Revell; Original edition (June 1, 2011)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719647

  • It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League pressure, her parents' marital problems, and her boyfriend's neglect, Madison gets in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Anna Bronner wants to escape the so-called simple life--which for her consists of caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking, and gardening--and she's well aware that her future will simply be more of the same with a man she doesn't love. Suddenly, worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet in a small town, realize they look uncannily similar, and decide the grass is definitely greener on the other side. Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse into two very different worlds, they may find themselves happy to be just who they are, where they are.

    My Review:
    This was a cute, simple, sweet Christian young adult book. Even though the plot is one that has been used many times I still enjoyed reading the book. Maddie and Anna both learned several things by switching places. One of them is to appreciate what they have. Anna is a simple Amish girl who is tired of her everyday life and missing her ex boyfriend who left the community for New York. Maddie is a super rich stressed out by family and school girl. After they switch places they both have several moments of regret but in the end are happy with the results. I think middle school Christian girls will like this book the best. Recommended. :)

    Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry (Review)

    ISBN: 978-1-4143-1957-5 
    Release: October 2010 
    Publisher: Tyndale

    Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius. People in Dogwood, West Virginia, say he was born with a second helping of brains and a gift for playing the mandolin but was cut short on social skills. Though he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back, they were right. Billy longs to use his life as an ode to God, a lyrical, beautiful bluegrass song played with a finely tuned heart. So with spare parts from a lifetime of collecting, he builds a radio station in his own home. People in town laugh. But Billy carries a brutal secret that keeps him from significance and purpose. Things always seem to go wrong for him.

    However small his life seems, from a different perspective Billy’s song reaches far beyond the hills and hollers he calls home. Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. Though it is not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and begins to see the bigger picture of how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.

    My Review:
    Overall this was an okay contemporary Christian fiction book. The writing was good but I got stuck a little toward the middle. It is a little slow moving but that might be because it is a character driven story. His writing is good and still lyrical like his first two books. I think the book would have been better without the guardian angel sections. For me it did not add anything to the story. It is also depressing to read at times because of certain plot details. I thought the idea of Billy building a radio station in his home was interesting and unique. This book was okay but I really liked his first two, Dogwood and June Bug. Recommended if you enjoy character driven stories. :)

    I received this book free from Tyndale Publishing 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."

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Spring Reading Thing 2011 Wrap Up Post

    I cannot believe Summer is here already. Spring Reading Thing is a reading challenge held every Spring and hosted by Katrina of Callapidder Days.

    I did not do very good sticking to my list. I only read four books from it. Here is a link to my original list.

    My favorites are in bold.

    What I read this Spring:
    1. The Glory of Green by Judy Christie
    2. Bound by Guilt by C. J. Darlington
    3. Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
    4. False Pretenses by Kathy Herman
    5. Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer
    6. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot
    7. The Final Summit by Andy Andrews
    8. A Cowboy's Touch by Denise Hunter
    9. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
    10. Point Blank Protector by Stephanie Newton
    11. The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh
    12. The Judgment by Beverly Lewis
    13. Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
    14. To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
    15. Livvie's Song by Sharlene MacLaren
    16. An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser
    17. The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble
    18. A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini
    19. Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini
    20. Undercover Pursuit by Susan May Warren
    21. A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan
    22. Secrets of the Heart by Jillian Kent
    23. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
    24. Missing by Lynette Eason
    25. A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason
    26. A Great Catch by Lorna Seistad
    27. The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir
    28. The Officer's Secret by Debby Giusti
    29. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (audio version)

    My Summer plans include catching up on my review books, continue cleaning off my bookshelves, exploring audio books, and hopefully reading some spontaneous books. :)

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    She Makes It Look Easy
    David C. Cook (June 1, 2011)
    Marybeth Whalen


    Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. The family lives outside Charlotte, NC. Marybeth is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries writing team and a regular contributor to their daily devotions. Her first novel,The Mailbox was released in June 2010. Her next novel, She Makes It Look Easy, will be released in June 2011. Additionally, she serves as director of She Reads, Proverbs 31 Ministries' fiction division.


    Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood play dates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.

    Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be.

    If you would like to read an excerpt of She Makes It Look Easy, go HERE.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson (Review)

    Paperback: 373 pages
    Publisher: Revell (June 1, 2011)
    ISBN-13: 978-0800734367
    Sometimes you get a second chance at your first love
    Kimberly Tucker's life hasn't turned out the way she thought it would. While her ex is living it up, she struggles to understand what went wrong. When her two sons end up spending five weeks of summer vacation with their father, Kim plans a respite at the family vacation home on tiny Cedar Key. As she revisits the long-forgotten past, she discovers that treasures in life are often buried, and sometimes you do get a second chance at love.

    Let yourself get swept away to an island retreat of warm tropical breezes, sandy beaches, and the most glorious sunsets you can imagine.

    My Review:

    Overall I enjoyed reading this Contemporary Christian fiction book. I could feel the beach atmosphere through the author's language. This author has a wonderful way with words.  I felt for Kimberly and her two boys. Divorce is horrible even when it is for a good reason. I have never been married but my parents are divorced. I loved Patsy her neighbor at the beach and can't wait to read her story next. The only thing I did not like about the book was the ending. It felt abrupt and not fully developed. I am happy this is the first book in a series set in Cedar Key. Recommended.

    “Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Pompeii by T. L. Higley

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    B&H Books (June 1, 2011)
    T.L. Higley


    A fiction aficionado since grade school, T.L. Higley, author of Pompeii: City on Fire (B&H Publishing House, June 2011) started her first novel at the age of eight.

    Now the author of nine historical fiction novels, including the popular Seven Wonders series, Higley isn’t just transporting readers: She’s transporting herself, too.

    “My Iifelong interest in history and mythology has taken me to Italy, Greece, Egypt, Rome, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, where I’ve gotten to study those ancient cultures in rich detail,” says Higley. “It’s my desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past, and I figure what better way to do that than to visit the cultures themselves?”

    In addition to her accomplished novelist career, Higley is a business entrepreneur and a mother. In fact, for Pompeii, she brought her daughter along with her to Italy for the research trip.

    “We gave it to her as a graduation present, not only because Italy is terrific, but because I believe in exposing children to global cultures,” says Higley, who became a student herself again this year. She’s now a graduate student at American Public University, earning her master’s degree in Ancient and Classical Studies.

    When Higley isn’t traveling on research trips, writing her novels, or studying for class, she operates four online retail companies, including – a family-run business that began as a way for her oldest daughter to make some extra money for camp. Today, it is a go-to site for parents, children and teachers all over the country, looking for beads and other kid-friendly craft supplies.

    Higley lives with her husband and her three other children (aforementioned daughter now in college) just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


    Pompeii, a city that's many things to many people. For Cato, it's the perfect escape from a failed political career in Rome. A place to start again, become a winemaker. But when a corrupt politician wrongfully jails Cato's sister, he must oust the man from power to save her.

    For Ariella, Pompeii is a means to an end. As a young Jew, she escaped the fall of Jerusalem only to endure slavery to a cruel Roman general. She ends up in Pompeii, disguised as a young man and sold into a gladiator troupe. Her anger fuels her to fight well, hoping to win the arena crowds and reveal her gender at the perfect time. Perhaps then she will win true freedom.

    But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii. Political corruption, religious persecution, and family peril threaten to destroy Ariella and Cato, who are thrown together in the battle to survive. As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, the two must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love, before the fiery ash buries Pompeii, leaving the city lost to the world.

    Watch the book trailer:

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

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Its Monday What Are You Reading? June 13, 2011

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

    What I read last week:

    - The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

    - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Audio Book)

    What I am currently reading:

    - Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson

    - The Book Theif by Marcus Zusack (on audio)

    What I am reading next:

    - Double Take by Melody Carlson

    - The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser
    Reviews I posted last week:

    The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    The Sweetest Thing
    • Bethany House (June 1, 2011)
    Elizabeth Musser


    Elizabeth Musser, an Atlanta native, studied English and French literature at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Vanderbilt, I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Aix-en-Provence,

    France. During her Senior year at Vanderbilt, she attended a five-day missions conference for students and discovered an amazing thing: God had missionaries in France, and she felt God calling her there. After graduation, she spent eight months training for the mission field in Chicago, Illinois and then two years serving in a tiny Protestant church in Eastern France where she met her future husband.

    Elizabeth lives in southern France with her husband and their two sons. She find her work as a mother, wife, author and missionary filled with challenges and chances to see God’s hand at work daily in her life. Inspiration for her novels come both from her experiences growing up in Atlanta as well as through the people she meets in her work in France. Many conversations within her novels are inspired from real-life conversations with skeptics and seekers alike.

    Her acclaimed novel, The Swan House, was a Book Sense bestseller list in the Southeast and was selected as one of the top Christian books for 2001 by Amazon's editors. Searching for Eternity is her sixth novel.


    Compelling Southern Novel Explores Atlanta Society in the 1930s.

    The Singleton family’s fortunes seem unaffected by the Great Depression, and Perri—along with the other girls at Atlanta’s elite Washington Seminary—lives a life of tea dances with college boys and matinees at the cinema. When tragedy strikes, Perri is confronted with a world far different from the one she has always known.

    At the insistence of her parents, Mary ‘Dobbs’ Dillard, the daughter of an itinerant preacher, is sent from inner-city Chicago to live with her aunt and attend Washington Seminary. Dobbs, passionate, fiercely individualistic and deeply religious, enters Washington Seminary as a bull in a china shop and shocks the girls with her frank talk about poverty and her stories of revival on the road. Her arrival intersects at the point of Perri’s ultimate crisis, and the tragedy forges an unlikely friendship.

    The Sweetest Thing tells the story of two remarkable young women—opposites in every way—fighting for the same goal: surviving tumultuous change. Just as the Great Depression collides disastrously with Perri's well-ordered life, friendship blossoms--a friendship that will be tested by jealousy, betrayal, and family secrets...

    If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sweetest Thing, go HERE.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols (Review)

  • Paperback: 350 pages

  • Publisher: Bethany House (February 1, 2010)

  • ISBN-10: 0764207474

  • Two Desperate People--

    One With All the Answers•One With None
    Mary Bridget Washburn is tired of running, tired of being haunted by the empty shell her life has become. How in the world did the little girl she once was become a woman on the wrong side of the law?

    Determined to make a new start, she escapes to the quaint city of Alexandria, Virginia, where she takes on her mother's identity and finds sanctuary in the shadow of a decades-old church. But a little girl's plea proves to be her undoing, and the reverend well, someone's got to open his eyes before disaster comes calling.

    Can Mary Bridget and her tainted past stay hidden long enough for her to bring hope to a family falling apart?

    My Review:

    I thought this was a sweet, touching story overall. It is a contemporary Christian fiction book. The characters and plot were interesting and unique. I really felt for all of them. The writing was good and drew me in from the beginning. Some parts were beautiful. The ending was fitting and I liked it. The main theme is forgiveness. Recommended.

    About the author:
    Linda Nichols, a graduate of the University of Washington, is a novelist with a unique gift for touching readers' hearts with her stories. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels If I Gained the World and At the Scent of Water. She and her family make their home in Tacoma, Washington. Visit Linda's Web site at
    Review copy provided by publisher.

    How to Never Look Fat Again by Charla Krupp (Review)

  • Paperback: 264 pages

  • Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style; Reprint edition (March 7, 2011)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0446547468

  • From Publishers Weekly

    In How Not to Look Old, Krupp aided readers in their quest to fend off the ravages of age. In this second outing, she puts her style and beauty savvy—gleaned from her work at Glamour, InStyle, More, and People: Style Watch—to work helping women discover and celebrate their slimmer side. Those who know the basics of dressing thin (avoid horizontal stripes; Spanx do wonders for bulgy bits; etc.) and are ready for advanced techniques will be thrilled with this book. And novices who think any derriere looks good in any jean should study up: the woman knows her stuff, as evidenced by loads of revelatory before-and-after photos, plus clever tips and useful lists (e.g., the winter-themed Swap-outs chart recommends sleek leather gloves vs. bulky woolly ones). The book is organized by issue, such as big bust, muffin top + back fat, and Buddha belly. While some of the topics may seem wacky at first (Are your brows making you look fat? and Hiding fat with your bag), a careful read will reveal that Krupp's advice—delivered in just the right knowledgeable-yet-commiserating tone—makes excellent sense. When it comes to clothes and the female figure, the author understands how proportion, balance, and color make the difference between lumpy and lovely, frumpy and fabulous. (Apr.)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
    My Review:
    I did not read this book all the way through. I skimmed it and then read the sections that applied to my figure. I thought it was really informative and had lots of great tips. I did learn things I did not know about how to dress for my shape. I definitely recommend it to anyone that is trying to dress your shape better. :)
    Review copy provided by publisher.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    The Lady of Bolton Hill
    Bethany House (June 1, 2011)
    Elizabeth Camden


    A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.

    A word from Elizabeth: I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.

    As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.


    Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

    When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain's worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.

    But time has changed them both.

    Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.

    Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts, and lives, hang in the balance?

    If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lady of Bolton Hill, go HERE.

    Audiobook Love Week Day Five

    Friday: Audiobook Resources
    Where do you learn about great audiobook titles? Find reviews? Buy your audiobooks? Share your secrets with the rest of us!
    I honestly don't remember where I heard about the three audio books I have listened too. I subscribe to a lot of blogs that sometimes post reviews of them. I also go to the library and browse the shelves. I check out what looks interesting and try it out. I almost never can stand the narrator's voice. One great blog is Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Audiobook Love Week Day Four

    Thursday: Audiobooks for the Uninitiated
    Whether you just started listening or have a long history with audiobooks, you probably have some suggestions for those new to audio whether for narrators, titles, or ways to experience the medium. Write a post, make a list, get creative.

    I just started and don't have a lot of experience. The only three I know to recommend are The Help by Katherine Stockett, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Audiobook Week Day Two

    Tuesday: Sound Effects in Audiobooks
    Love them? Hate them? Take them or leave them? How do you feel about sound effects in audio books?
    Alternate suggestions: Single narrator vs. multiple narrators vs. full cast, audio dramatizations, etc.

    I do not have a lot of experience with audio books. I am not sure how sound effects affect me. I loved the fact there were several narrators in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. They helped make the individual characters come alive. I am currently listening to Great Expectations which has one narrator and like it too. What I am really picky about is the narrator's voice. I am only on my third audio book because of that.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Audiobook Love Day One

    Monday: 2010-2011, Your Audiobook Year
    Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience.

    I am new to audio books in the past year. I don't remember how I got started on them. I listened to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and loved it. I listened to it in the car on the way to work etc. I checked out many at the library after that but could not find a narrator I could stand until The Help by Katherine Stockett. I only got to the first two Cd's before I had to return it to the library. I intend on finishing it hopefully this year. Right now I am listening to Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I love it. I have read the book before so I know the plot line but the narrator is awesome. :)

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    The Sunday Salon June 5, 2011

    The Sunday

    * I have not been a very good blogger lately. Lots of distractions in my life. One of the things I have neglected are my Sunday posts but not today. lol

    * I am reading slower than normal. Lots of issues with focusing and staying in one spot long enough to finish a book. My tbr stacks are in my bedroom and overwhelm the living daylights out of me. I have gotten rid of some books but I still have like fourteen shelves of unread books. I want to read everything all at the same time. I have not read a single book this weekend. I am working on The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden for a book tour this week. It is good so the problem is with me.

    * Today I have a lot of cooking to do and a little cleaning. I am also spending the afternoon at my Mom's house in the pool. :)

    * Saturday I was busy all day. I went to the gym, post office, Kroger, Wal Mart, the pool, and a festival for a short period. I was really tired last night and way too much sugar to compensate for it.

    * My diet and exercise life change are kinda turbulent right now. I really want to cut back on my grains and sugar but it seems like I can't. I don't think I am addicted to sugar because I don't drink soda or eat candy. I do eat a lot of Kashi cereal bars, granola bars, and regular cereal. I eat ice cream/frozen yogurt at least once a week. It is already really hot here in the Deep South and I love and crave ice cream. The frozen yogurt at Bops is really good but a little too sweet. I am also having trouble keeping all my workouts going because I get so tired by the middle of the week. I have noticed fat gain in the belly area which makes me not happy at all. I am eating a lot more fruits and vegetables so that is one postive. So definitely struggling overall.

    * My work is going better because I am staying caught up more. I don't want to jinx myself though. For reasons I am keeping to myself the next two weeks are going to be rough so please pray for me.

    * School is not going good at all. I am still in the first class and I should be in the third. I do not like online classes which I knew before I started. I either need to get my but in gear or drop out. So I am thinking about that too. My head feels like it is spinning in circles there is so much going through it on a daily basis.

    * Off to work on my goals for the day. I hope everyone has a great Sunday and a good week with lots of reading time. :)

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad (Review)

  • Paperback: 380 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (May 1, 2011)  

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800734466

  • About the book:
    She wants to change the world.

    He wants to change her mind.

    It's the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

    Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

    When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

    My Review:
    Overall I liked this book. It is the second in the Lake Manawa Summers series but can stand alone fine. I liked Carter and Emily and the author did a good job developing their characters. The plot was a mix of women's suffrage for Emily and baseball for Carter. The plot and characters were unique and interesting. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a lighthearted for the most part and had several funny moments. Recommended. :)
    Available May 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
    Thank you Donna at Baker for my review copy.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt (Review)

  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 3, 2011)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1439182031

  • About the book:

    Three grown Southern sisters have ten marriages between them—and more loom on the horizon—when Ginger, the eldest, wonders if she’s the only one who hasn’t inherited what their family calls “the Grandma Gene”: the tendency to like the casualness of courtship better than the intimacy of marriage. Could it be that her two sisters are fated to serially marry, just like their seven-times wed grandmother, Mrs. Lillian Irene Harper Winslow Goldstein Carey James Bobrinski Gordon George? It takes a “girls only” weekend, closing up Grandma’s treasured beach house for the last time, for the sisters to really unpack their family baggage, examine their relationship DNA, and discover the true legacy their much-marrying grandmother left behind .

    My Review:

    This is one of my favorite authors and I was excited to see a new book by her out. This was a great contemporary Christian book. It is told in the three different sisters first person views. The chapters had headings letting you know which sister was speaking but after a while I did not need them. The author did a good job with developing the characters and they all felt real to me. Ginger, Penny, and Rose grew up spending the summer with their grandmother after their mother died. Ginger as the oldest felt responsible for her younger siblings. Now grown they are back at the house to clean it out to sell. All three of the sisters have issues going on in their life. Thrown together things start coming out and they all learn things about themselves and each other. I loved this book. It held my attention from the beginning and the writing was great! Highly Recommended even if you do not have sisters. :)

    I received a free copy of this book courtesy of Glass Road Publicity.

    The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir (Review)

  • Paperback: 352 pages

  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (April 5, 2011)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1601420749

  • About the book:

    How much money would it take for you to betray the truth?

    Ex-homicide detective Ray Quinn never had glamorous thoughts of the life of a private investigator—but being cornered in a bathroom stall by the enraged philandering husband of a client? That’s something he could live without. Retired from homicide and living with a painful disability, Ray’s options are limited. Stick to the job, keep impetuous sidekick Crevis alive, and spend quiet evenings with trusted pal Jim Beam, that’s about the best he can hope for.

    As a new client emerges, Ray finds himself in an impossibly large boardroom holding a check with enough zeros to finally lift him from his financial pit. The job seems easy enough: find Logan Ramsey, an ex-cop turned security officer who’s taken off with sensitive corporate information. But few things are easy in Ray’s world, regardless of the amount of zeros in the check.

    In what should be an open-and-shut case, Ray stumbles across Logan Ramsey in a seedy motel room. Only Ray wasn’t the first to find him. Now Logan’s dead, the client’s information is nowhere to be found, and Ray’s employer is less than forthcoming with the details. Suddenly the line between the good guys and bad guys isn’t so clear. With a foot in both worlds and an illuminating look at an unhappy ending that could well be his own, which will Ray choose?

    My Review:
    This is the second book in the Ray Quinn mystery series and just as good as the first! It can stand alone but I recommend reading them in order so you have all the background. Ray reminds me a lot of Dr. House on TV. He has a disability and he abuses alcohol instead of pills to treat it unlike House though who uses alcohol and pain pills. Ray Quinn is also a good detective with crimes instead of medical illnesses. Any who, in this book Ray has a difficult case to solve that keeps getting more complicated. It held my attention from page one. I like the faith element that starts to surface for Ray.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out what happens to Ray and Crevis next. Recommended.

    Review copy provided by publisher.

    Classics Club Spin 18

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