Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's On Your Nightstand? February 26, 2013

This is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. You just make a list of books that you’d like to read this month, or hope to read this month, or books that you’ve recently finished and are moving off your nightstand. I have not participated in an embarrassing long time. lol The site is www.5minutesforbooks.com

What I am currently or about to be reading:

1. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy (so far okay on chapter 3)
2. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price
3. The Amen Solution by Dr. Daniel Amen (about half way and it is good)
4. Moonlight Masquerade by Ruth Axtell
5. The Last Lion Winston Churchill by William Manchester (biography) (the only reason I am attempting this book is because of 64 year old PT named Sam at work. lol I told him I would give this author a try just for him. He is trying to convert me into liking biographies. )

Friday, February 22, 2013

Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

  • Paperback: 336 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (February 15, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721527
    She's trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?
    Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She'll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley's list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.

    As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it's not the only thing getting more intense. She can't get the handsome man out of her thoughts--or even out of her line of sight--and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she's worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?

    With contagious humor and a cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives you crazy bridal-business drama, sweet romance, and a satisfying dose of laughter.

    My thoughts:
    I thought this was an interesting start to a new series. It had the author's trademark light funny chick lit style to it with a faith base. I have also read the Weddings by Bella and Backstage Pass series. The characters and plot were unique and held my attention. Recommended to fans of this genre.

    About the Author

    Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series. She lives in Texas.
    Available February 2013 wherever Revell/Baker books are sold.
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    For Love of Eli by Loree Lough

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    For Love of Eli
    Abingdon Press (February 1, 2013)
    Loree Lough


    With more than FOUR MILLION copies of her books in circulation, Loree has 98 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults; four novels optioned for movies; more books slated for release between now and 2014), 68 short stories, over 2,500+ articles in print, and over 19,000 letters from fans!

    Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

    A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

    She splits her time between a tiny home in the Baltimore suburbs and an even tinier cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of "wolf stuff."


    When unspeakable tragedy leaves young Eli an orphan, two families are devastated. But Taylor, Eli’s aunt and legal guardian, vows to help him remember his parents by creating a Memory Quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments of his parents' lives, the story of the young family emerges and Taylor and Eli begin to heal. But Eli’s uncle Reece is slow to let go of the past and still blames Taylor’s brother for his sister’s death. So, although he has long been attracted to Taylor, Reece keeps a safe distance away. Can their shared love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness or will Taylor and Reece be separated by pain?

    If you would like to read a first chapter excerpt of For Love of Eli, go HERE.

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Submerged by Dani Pettrey (Review)

  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (May 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209826

  • A sabotaged flight. Two murdered divers. A single clue—a grainy image of sunken treasure.

    Dive Rescue Captain Cole McKenna has never worked a case like this, but who he’s working with may prove more dangerous than the assignment. It’s been a lifetime since Bailey mangled his heart. Now she’s back in town and he needs her expertise to track down the illusive treasure.
    Professor of Russian Studies Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again, but when her beloved aunt dies, she has no choice. Her plan of attack is simple: return for Agnes’s funeral, get the family business ready for a quick sale, and then put Yancey and all the heartbreaking memories wrapped up in it behind her for good.

    Cole walking through her door, asking for her help on a murder investigation, wasn’t part of her plan, neither are the feelings he’s resurrecting—feelings best left dead.

    Bailey agrees to help for the sake of the victims, and travels with Cole across Alaska’s rugged terrain and deep beneath its coastal waters. As the case escalates, so do their feelings for one another.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to let go of the past and just when Bailey thinks she can’t take it any longer, the case shifts in a new and extremely personal direction, fastening her in for its duration.

    Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Cole and Bailey fight to find the treasure and uncover the hidden history at the root of it all. But will they be too late?

    My Review:

    This was a great debut novel. I really enjoyed it and read it as fast as I could. Christian romantic suspense is my favorite genre. It held my attention from the first page. I am so glad it is a series. I liked the author's descriptions of setting and characters. The plot was well developed and flowed well. She reminds me of Dee Henderson and Irene Hannon whose books I love. I can't wait to read more from this author.  Highly Recommended. :)

    About the author:

    Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nailbiting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Daybreak by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Avon Inspire; Original edition (February 12, 2013)
    Shelley Shepard Gray


    Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

    Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

    Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

    When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

    Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


    When Viola Keim starts working at a nearby Mennonite retirement home, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with resident Atle, whose only living relative, son Edward, is living as a missionary in Nicaragua. Viola understands the importance of mission work, but she can’t imagine leaving her father in the hands of strangers. Even though her family is New Order Amish, it’s not the Amish way, and though she doesn’t know Ed, she judges him for abandoning his father.

    But when Ed surprises his father with a visit, Viola and Ed both discover an attraction they never expected. Despite her feelings, choosing Ed would mean moving to a far-off country and leaving her family behind. She can’t do that. Her twin sister, Elsie, is going blind and will need someone to care for her all her life. Her family is reeling with the recent discovery that her grandmother hid her past as an Englischer. Her father seems forgetful and distracted—and to be harboring some secrets of his own. Does Viola dare leave them all behind and forge her own life? Or will family ties mean her one chance at love slips away?

    If you would like to read a first Chapter excerpt from Daybreak,go HERE.

    My Review:
    I love all of this author's books I have read. She is very talented at the Amish genre. This book was no exception. I enjoyed reading it. The characters and plot were interesting and unique. It's not a plot line I have seen before in an Amish book. I felt Viola's emotions and her family troubles made them seem more human. I am excited that this is the first book in a series. Recommended especially for fans of Amish fiction.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    5 Days to a Clutter Free House by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims (Review)

    A clean, organized, and restful home is only 5 days away.
    If you've picked up this book, you want to reduce the clutter in your home, organize what's left, and keep it that way. But does the sheer scope of the project give you an anxiety attack? Don't let fear stop you! Organizing and time management experts Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims show you how, with the right game plan and a healthy dose of adrenaline, you're just 5 days from your goal.

    With their proven team-based approach, even the most overwhelming de-cluttering job becomes doable. Section one shows you how to de-clutter, with each day of the week focused on one reachable goal. Section two shows you how to cultivate time-tested habits that keep your house in the clean, well-ordered state you've just achieved. You'll even learn how to deal with common obstacles such as
    •storage needs
    •health issues
    •space restrictions
    •the car
    •even family sabotage!

    So what are you waiting for? The home of your dreams is just a week away.

    While most of us aren't hoarders we can all benefit from assessing and reducing the clutter in our homes--and then organizing what's left. Many things stop us from succeeding: the sheer scope of the project, the tendency to lose momentum if the job takes too long, and the fact that we're always acquiring new clutter. But what if it really took only a week to de-clutter the whole house, and then you even had the weekend to relax and enjoy your new clutter-free space? Could it really be that simple?

    Organizing and time management experts Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims show how with the right game plan and a healthy dose of adrenaline, anyone can de-clutter their home in just five days. With this systematic, team-based approach, even the most overwhelming de-cluttering job becomes doable. The authors' enthusiasm and energy keep readers pushing forward to the goal, and their time-tested tips and habits help readers maintain their hard-won gains. The authors even show how to deal with common obstacles to achieving and keeping a clutter-free house, like filing, storage needs, health issues, space restrictions, the car, and even family sabotage!

    My Review:
    I thought this was an interesting unique book on cleaning. It was not what I was expecting. Although not a method I would ever use for myself I can see it helping people with serious clutter issues. It uses a team approach and divides a house into layers then in five days the team takes it layer by layer and puts it in white boxes and then the owner goes through them.

    About the Author

    Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady®, is a pioneer in the field of organizing. She is the founder and president of Messies Anonymous, the author of many books, including Organizing Magic, and the coauthor of Organizing Your Day and Smart Office Organizing. She lives in Florida.

    Marsha Sims is an international speaker and lecturer on time management and organization. She is the founder and president of Sort-It-Out, Inc. and Clutter-Free University. She is the coauthor of Organizing Your Day and Smart Office Organizing, and lives in Florida.
    Available February wherever Baker/Revell books are sold.
    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Shattered by Dani Pettrey

    *** I finished the first book in the series and loved it. I am currently reading this book. So far it is good too. :)***
    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
    Dani Pettrey


    In real life, Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

    Just in case you’re curious…The real Dani does love traveling. She’s been to some amazing places (Greece, Hawaii, the Keys) and there are many more she hopes to visit in the future.

    And while she’s not quite up to sky-diving, cave diving or heli-skiing (too high, too enclosed, too cold!) she and her family love hiking, canoeing, wave jumping and a ton of other outdoor adventures a little further down on the risk scale.

    Dani is the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling debut novel Submerged and latest release Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.


    Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

    Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

    With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

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

    Friday, February 8, 2013

    A New Home for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)

  • Reading level: Ages 8 and up

  • Paperback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (February 1, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721336

  • About the book:

    Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town where changes--and newcomers--are greeted with suspicion, Lily must adjust to a new school, new friends, and Aaron Yoder, an annoying boy who teases her relentlessly. Still, there are exciting new developments, including an attic full of adventure and a new baby brother. But why, Lily wonders, can't God bring her just one sister?

    The second novel in the charming Adventures of Lily Lapp series, A New Home for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish--and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With line illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old.
    My Review:
    I really enjoyed reading this Amish middle grade book. It is the second book in the Adventures of Lily Lapp series. It can be read alone but both books are good. Depending on how well the children of the age group targeted read they might need help. It is a lengthy chapter book although easy to read and comprehend. The plot is interesting and covers many different aspects of an Amish child's life.  I look forward to reading more about Lily and her adventures.
    Recommended. :)

    About the Author

    Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days, and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The Keeper, and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California.
    Available now wherever Baker/Revell books are sold.
    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen (Review)

  • Paperback: 416 pages

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210693

  • About the book:

    Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?

    The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...

    When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

    Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.

    My Review:
    I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read all of this author's books and liked them. So far this one is my favorite I think. It is well written with interesting characters and plot. There were several twists that added to the story. I love the setting for this book. Fans of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters will like it too. Recommended. :)

    About the author:

    Two-time Christy Award winner Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more at www.julieklassen.com.
    Available now wherever Revell/Baker books are sold.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

    The Big Game's On Read a thon 2-3-13

    Ok so my cooking is done for the day and I am finishing the laundry about to read finally. I have tons of good food for today and the week.  My bed is calling my name and I probably will not watch any of the big game. lol I hope to finish A New Home for Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher for review this week. :)

    This reading challenge is hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves. http://www.jennsbookshelves.com/
    In case you were wondering the big game references the Super Bowl. I normally cook all day on Sundays but I would love to read more so I am signing up for this challenge. :)

    The details:

    • No rules, no guidelines, just read
    • No start/end times, just read at your leisure.
    • Mini-challenges will be created to break up your reading time. Participating in these challenges is not mandatory, but you will be eligible for a number of great prizes!

    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...