Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Country Mice

This morning I got up at 6:15 and knowing I had a lot to do, decided to get started on my day.  I made my coffee and a bowl of oatmeal and sat down at the dining room table to get some work done.  I was hitting send on an email when I saw a mouse dart next to me along the baseboards and go into a corner behind some bags.  I thought "Great, there are mice in the house (again*.)"  So I go into the kitchen to see if I can see the mouse in the corner or if there's a hole in the baseboards that it went into.  The reason I do this is because I have some poison I could stick in the hole then some stuff to seal the hole.

Now that I am relocated to the kitchen looking into the dining room, I see nothing.  Of course.  And that's when #2 darts out from under the stove and heads toward the refrigerator.  Right. Next. To. My. Foot.  I screamed.  And ran to the living room and called my dad.  He's the only person I knew who would be awake around 7 in the morning so it seemed logical.  And he laughed at me.  I knew he would, but I still needed to talk to someone for I feared I was nearing heart-attack status.  I mean a mouse just ran Right. Next. To. My. Foot. And I was wearing houseshoes.  Like those are going to protect my toes.

So while I'm standing in the big living room talking to my dad mouse #2 runs AT ME.  I am not even kidding.  So I screamed.  And I said "It's running around, it's running around."  My dad (ever the intelligent one) says "Are you talking to me?"  "YES!  Who the heck else would I be talking to?"  Um, for those of you who are confused, I don't make it a habit of talking to mice who are running at me.  So the mice turns and runs into the computer desk (which was slightly funny) and then runs onto the hearth where I quit following it.

At this point, I wrap up the conversation with my dad and go take a shower.  Because if there's one thing I know, if have a heart attack and die due to these mice, I don't want to smell when Britt** gets here for the body.

* For those of you who don't know me in real life, we had a mouse infestation in the garage and house at my grandparents this fall and dealt with it for the better part of a week trying to get cracks and holes sealed and replacing seals along doors.  We thought it was under control.  It is not.

** The people who own the funeral home are friends of the family so yes, we are on a first name basis with them.

P.S. It's over an hour later and my blood pressure is still elevated.  I know this because I normally have low to normal blood pressure and at this moment I can FEEL it pumping through my veins.  I've earned a second dose of caffeine today because I know once I calm down I'm going to be exhausted.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Lots of Love

A couple of years ago my niece grew her hair out and donated it to "Lots" of Love.  That was how she understood us saying Locks of Love.  Those who know me IRL also know that I have been growing my hair out.  What started of as more of something that was a burden (finding someone who can cut my hair the way I like it is hard, especially with the natural wave it enjoys) turned into me also growing my hair out.  My philosphy on this was "Why not?"  I mean let's think about this.  I'm in my early 30s, I am physically well, and I can grow my hair out.  Some child out there is young, not physically well, and has no hair.  Why wouldn't I became the bigger question.  So I grew it.  And grew it.  And grew it some more.  My hair is really think, yet appears thin.  So it was a lot of hair on my head.  And I am not a girly girl, so out came the hot rollers if I needed it to have any body or style.  And for the first time in my life I had long hair.  Wowsers, what a difference long hair is.  Flashback a couple of weeks ago and I decided to go in for a trim.  Just for kicks and giggles I had the lady measure my hair.  When she said it was long enough to donate and I wouldn't be bald as a result, I finally decided it was ok.  And this is what I'll be sending in to "Lots" of Love to help someone who otherwise would not have hair.


Note: If I pull out the curl, it measures over 12 inches.  Wowsers!

Also, there is no after picture.  If you know me IRL you know I don't do well with having my picture made.  So you'll just have to wait until I'm felling "worldly pretty" and then I'll see what I can do.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Dangerous Mercy - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dangerous Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
by
Kathy Herman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

Naomi's Gift - A Book Review



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Naomi's Gift
Zondervan (September 12, 2011)
by
Amy Clipston


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

From Amy:
A native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend.

In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.

After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.

One day while surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group, I accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and I met writers in all stages of their careers. The group helped me realize that I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels. Through Chesapeake Romance Writers, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and I also learned how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.

My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman's story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams ... and secrets. You'll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the 'English' way of life---and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families. Naomi's Gift re-introduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love and has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches---a time of family, faith, and hope for many others---Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family's quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down. Naomi's story of romantic trial and error and youthful insecurities has universal appeal. Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results. Naomi's Gift includes all the details of Amish life that Clipston's fans enjoy, while delivering the compelling stories and strong characters that continue to draw legions of new readers.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Naomi's Gift, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why the Internet Drives Me Crazy

Note: This is a rant.  This is my blog so I have the right to rant.  You have been warned.


You want to know one of my biggest peeves about this thing we call the World Wide Web?  I thought so.  It's when I click on a webpage and have then click on subsequent webpages to read the whole article or list.  NEWSFLASH: That's why God allowed the invention of the bullet list.  Let's take a note of how beautiful this works.  Imagine the article title is "The First Five Books of the Bible."  You click over on the webpage and expect to see the following:

  1. Genesis 
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy
Isn't that nice?  A list of the books of the Bible in one place.  But no, that's not how the WWW works.  You have to click into the article for them to further describe what you'll be seeing.  It's a list of the first five books of the Bible in case you were confused and the title didn't accurately describe what was in the article.  Then you click and are taken to 1. Genesis.  Then you click next and it takes you to 2. Exodus.  Enough already!  Just put the list on one page.  It's the internet.  It's not like it's print and you need to save space.  Or if you're designing your webpages that way because of all the mobile devises accessing your side, give me the option to click one button to read it all in one place.  Some news sites do this, but rarely if ever the lists. Drives. Me. Nuts. 

Rant over.  I feel somewhat better now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Here's to Friends - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Here’s to Friends
David C. Cook (September 1, 2011)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever.

Decades later, they're all back home in Clifden and reinventing their lives, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Abby’s new B&B is getting bad reviews and husband Paul is acting strange. Still grieving for her mom, Caroline is remodeling the family home, but boyfriend Mitch keeps pressuring her to go away with him. Artist Marley, distracted by a friend's family drama (and a touch of jealousy), can't find her creative groove. And Janie’s drug-addicted daughter has just appeared up on her doorstep! When a long-planned New Year's cruise turns into a bumpy ride, they learn once again that, in your fifties, friends aren’t just for fun—they're a necessity!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Here’s to Friends, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Doctor's Lady - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Doctor's Lady
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Jody Hedlund


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jody has written novels for the last 18 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), hit the CBA Best Seller list on two different occasions and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released this September. She has completed a third book which will be released in 2012. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

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

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A Whisper of Peace -- Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Whisper of Peace
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and numerous grandchildren.





ABOUT THE BOOK

Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother's dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.

Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people. Clay is totally focused on this goal...until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he's ever seen.

But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Whisper of Peace, go HERE.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Grandparents are a Funny Relationship

I always find it interesting when I speak to others about grandparents.  Some people never knew theirs; some people saw theirs for major holidays and maybe a week or two in the Summer; and some people grew up with them in their backyards, almost (if not more) a part of their life as their parents are.  Thankfully I fall into the last group.

When I was born I had three grandparents who were still alive: my paternal grandfather and my maternal grandfather and grandmother. I said goodbye to my Grandaddy T in 1997 right before I graduated from high school.  Oh man, was he a character.  I always wish he could have lived forever only because he would have loved the Doodlebug so much.  If we thought she was rotten now, he would have ensured she was past the point of rottenness into unbearableness.  Last Summer I said goodbye to my Granny.  My cousins called their grandmother MomMom because they said she was like a 2nd mom to them.  That would have been my granny. She took care of us when we were sick, she took us shopping and to doctor's appointments when my mom couldn't.  She fed us and loved us and made sure we knew she'd always be there for us.

Last Thursday, I said goodbye to the last of the three.  My Papaw Neill finished his voyage on this Earth and has been made whole again.  It was a sort of second goodbye though.  You see, my maternal grandparents both had Alzheimer's Disease.  And if there is anything that I have reflected on in the past week it has been how this horrible disease makes us mourn the loss of a person twice.  First we go through the long process of mourning the loss of their mind, and the person we always knew them to be.  You see, my Papaw had not called me by my name in months.  I remember being here in the Spring and my mom asking him if he knew who I was.  He said "yes" but never said my name.  It was like you could see him looking at us knowing he knew but not being able to connect it all.  And then after you have lost the person they were, time eventually takes their living body.  Goodbyes are said again.  Such a cruel disease.  Such a wonderful man.

As I drove home on Wednesday I was thinking back on the 32 years I spent being the granddaughter of Neill C.  Until I was two he was a dairy farmer and upon retirement began raising beef cattle.  Guess what?  I am not much a fan of chicken.  Why would I be?  I grew up eating hamburger meat.  The good kind. When we were little he would lay us across his lap and "remove our meanness."  After supper was the time to watch Wheel of Fortune (he usually won), Jeopardy, and if it was a weekend Hee Haw.  He and my granny played cards on a regular basis with their friends.  We weren't allowed in the room due to the "adult language" used.  My papaw had two twin beds in his room... the second was where we slept.  He was an early riser due to years and years of waking up to farm, but he never complained.  I always remember watching Troy-Bilt commercials and thinking "that looks like my Papaw's garden."  (I didn't know at the time my granny had as much a part of it if not more than my Papaw.)  As I got older he was still there.  Who needs a babysitter when there's a Papaw to watch the kids.  And who else would go visit their friends in Middle Tennessee and meet their oldest granddaughter at a gas station in her small college town just to say "hi?"  My granny and papaw of course.

It's all these memories and so much more that I cherish and know that my Papaw had a great life here on Earth.  He was loved by his family, friends, and community.  And I know that when he got to Heaven he was greeted with a "Well done, good and faithful servant."  

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Survivor - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Survivor
Avon Inspire; Original edition (August 30, 2011)

by
Shelley Shepard Gray


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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


ABOUT THE BOOK

One of today’s most beloved authors of inspirational Christian fiction, Shelley Shepard Gray completes her acclaimed Families of Honor series with The Survivor—a poignant and beautiful story of love and faith in a small Amish community. Delving once more into the lives of these devout and fascinating folk, as she did in her popular Sisters of the Heart and Seasons of Sugarcreek novels, Gray tells the story of a young Amish woman who has survived the ravages of cancer, but now longs for the love of the one man who can heal her lonely heart. Like Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, and Cindy Woodsmall, Shelley Shepard Gray introduces readers to characters they will never forget as she masterfully depicts a world of simple living, abiding faith, and honest emotions.

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Survivor, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thunder in the Morning Calm - A New Favorite Author!!!!

If you know me in real life you know there are certain authors who could write the classifieds and I would buy it.  Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Nicholas Sparks.  I have a feeling Don Brown is going to be joining this list.  I could not put this book down.  I wanted to know what the next page held, what the next chapter would reveal.


The book is centralized around Lieutenant Commander 'Gunner' McCormick, an intelligence officer who changes careers as often as some of us change hairstyles.  In a top secret trip to Washington, D.C., he learns through classified materials that there may still be American POWs alive in North Korea.  Knowing his grandfather was captured and his body never recovered leads Gunner to put together a team or rogue, retired military people and venture into the unknown to see if the possibility of finding a missing piece of his heritage is possible.

Told from the perspective of 'Gunner', his mother, the aging, American POWs, and the North Koreans who hold them captive, seeing the story come together and wondering which piece will be uncovered next kept me entertained form start to finish.  I highly recommend you pick up this book and join the journey.  

If you'd like to buy this book (which you should) the link is:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ransome's Quest - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Ransome’s Quest
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
by
Kaye Dacus


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing and Harvest House Publishers.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her blog and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The pirate El Salvador has haunted the waters of the Caribbean for almost ten years. When he snatched Charlotte Ransome, it was a case of mistaken identity. Now Charlotte's brother, whose reputation in battle is the stuff of legend, is searching for him with a dogged determination. But another rumor has reached El Salvador's ears: Julia Ransome has been kidnapped by the man feared by all other pirates--the pirate known only as Shaw. The violent and blood-thirsty savage from whom El Salvador was trying to protect her.

When word reaches William of Julia's disappearance, his heart is torn--he cannot abandon the search for his sister, yet he must also rescue Julia. Ned Cochrane offers a solution: Ned will continue the search for Charlotte while William goes after Julia. William's quest will lead him to a greater understanding of faith and love as he must accept help from sworn enemy and have faith that Julia's life is in God's hands.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ransome’s Quest, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dancing on Glass - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dancing on Glass
B&H Books (August 1, 2011)
by
Pamela Ewen


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Until recently retiring to write full time, Pamela Binnings Ewen was a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P., specializing in corporate finance. She now lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, James Lott.

She has served on the Board of Directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas, as well as the Advisory Board for The New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans; Pamela is a co-founder of the Northshore Literary Society in the Greater New Orleans area. She is also a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him.

She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing.

Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.

Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small town and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama's rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith. His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret.

In this lawyer's unraveling world, can grace survive Ama's fatal choice? What would you do when prayers seem to go unanswered, faith has slipped away, evil stalks, and you feel yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dancing on Glass, go HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Most Unsuitable Match - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Most Unsuitable Match
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
by
Stephanie Grace Whitson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.

Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends. Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.

ABOUT THE BOOK

An unlikely attraction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana...

She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana. Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way... except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Most Unsuitable Match, go HERE.

Friday, August 05, 2011

A River to Cross - Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A River to Cross
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)

by
Yvonne Harris


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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











ABOUT THE BOOK

Texas Ranger Jake Nelson patrols the U.S.-Mexico border, protecting the settlers from cattle rustlers, outlaws, and bandits. Sparks fly when Manuel Diego stirs up a revolt against the government, which leads to the murder of a newspaperman, who is the son of a U.S. senator, and the kidnapping of his sister, Elizabeth Madison, a journalist in the making.

With Elizabeth's photograph in hand--a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes--Jake rides over the border to find her. After the Rangers defeat the marauders and rescue Elizabeth, Jake is surprised to learn she's not the spoiled daughter of a senator that he was expecting. In fact, he finds himself taken by her. And she by him.

But the Mexicans won't give up that easily, as Elizabeth becomes the target of an all-out hunt. Leaving Elizabeth back at Fort Williams, Jake and his men set off again, this time to go after Diego himself--to apprehend him and his renegades and bring them all to justice.

Meanwhile, Jake knows what's begun between him and Elizabeth is undeniable. Amid all the turmoil, Jake finally admits how much he loves her. She tells him the same. Until now, they've lived in different worlds, yet it is those differences that drew them together.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A River to Cross, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Out of Control - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Out Of Control
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
by
Mary Connealy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father's homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe--until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family's cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch--and Rafe's controlling ways--as soon as they were able. He's haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn't expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels--or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he's ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Control, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gift Tags

This past week I spent some time in the glorious hills of East Tennessee.  Due to the fact that it is HHH (hazy, hot, humid) there most of my time was spent indoors.  I recently have attended several baby showers and after purchasing gifts/cards/etc. I was trying to figure out how to cut costs a little.  I'd rather keep the same gifts but I figured the card was an added expense that could be reduced.  So I made the trek across town to Hobby Lobby where much to my delight cardstock was 50% off.  I picked up some browns, grays, and purples to go with some green and pick wrapping paper I have.  Using my mom's Cricut, this is a sampling of what I was able to create. 



The grays and purples were my first attempts.  I must admit I'm much happier with the tags I created out of the brown cardstock.  And the best part is, on a few of them I was able to incorporate the actual wrapping paper!  I always save my wrapping paper scraps for my niece to do craft projects with and decided I would take a few inches for myself.  I bought some colors to do Christmas tags last year so I think in November I'll be making a few more tags to go with my Christmas wrapping paper as well.  

Monday, August 01, 2011

Salsa - It's What's for Snack (Lunch and Dinner)

If I had to choose one food group to eat for the rest of my life it would be Mediterranean.  I love hummus, baba-ganoush, grape leaf rolls, falafel, etc.  Plus I figure the Mediterranean really encompasses Italy so I'll get my pasta and pizza.  However, a close second on my list of foods would be Mexican.  Now, before anyone goes and tells me the Mexican food I eat is not really Mexican, I know.  But it's all I know.  And I know this.  It is good in my belly.  So a few years ago I wanted a good salsa at home.  I was over the stuff in a jar, what I really wanted was something finely processed and tasting like the local Mexican dive.  So I researched the world wide web and found this recipe: D's Famous Salsa.  And I decided I would make it.  But that I would be like my Granny and just use the recipe as a suggestion.  And thus we now have what I make.  And apparently what 82% of my RiverChurch family makes (or so they tell me.)  So here goes:

1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can Ro*tel
1/4 - 1/2 onion
3-4 cloves garlic or 1 heaping TBSP of the garlic in a jar
cilantro (I use a lot, I'm a fan)
garlic powder <-- really, can you have too much garlic?


  1. Throw the onion and garlic in your food processor.  (Whitney can tell you that the food processor works better than a blender because she did an experiment.  Whitney can also tell you the onion is necessary.  Do not leave it out, but adjust the amount you use to your tastes or based on the strength of the onion.)  
  2. Once the onion is to chopped finely status, add the tomatoes and Ro*tel.  (I have learned there are people in American who do not know what Ro*tel is.  I am sorry.  It is goodness in a can.  Check it out.)  Pulse a few times to incorporate with the onion and garlic.  
  3. Then throw in the cilantro (a heaping TBSP to 1/8 of a cup I would think is good...or more.)  Put in a few dashes of garlic powder at this stage as well.  Pulse again.
And voila, you have salsa!  The best part is you have so much salsa, you can use 16 ounces of it to make this recipe: Crockpot Chicken Tacos.  This may be my new favorite recipe as I am in love with the tortilla soup that you make with the finished product.  Yummy!  

Notes: 

  • There are 15-20 varieties of Ro*tel and stewed tomatoes on the market these days.  Part of the fun of this recipe is to use different combinations while trying to find your current favorite.  
  • My friend Lauren uses the cilantro in a tube and it works well too.  It's really whatever you feel like purchasing.  The fresh stuff is good, but it doesn't keep more than a week so if you know you'll want several batches of this over several weeks (and you will) then the cilantro in a tube is probably the way to go.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa - A Book Review


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa
Summerside Press (June 1, 2011)
by
Melanie Dobson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011.  

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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

With a backdrop of the community of The Amana Colonies, the Civil War, and a great love story, Melanie Dobson’s new historical fiction title LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA both enlightening and entertaining.

The novel is set in the United States during the turmoil of the 1860s. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace with a strong faith in God and pursuit of community, intertwined with hard work, family life and the building of their colony.

Amalie Wiese is travelling to the newly built village of Amana in 1863. When she arrives in the colonies she finds that her fiancée, Friedrich has left to fight with the Union Army. Amalie fears for his safety as she also struggles with his decision to abandon the colony’s beliefs. Matthias, Frederick’s friend, stays back in Amana to work in the colonies. But there is something wrong with Matthias; he always seems angry at Amalie when there is no simple explanation for him to act that way.

The goods that colonies manufacture are much needed supplies for the war effort and Matthias decides to deliver the goods to the soldiers. When he leaves, Amalie realizes that her fear for Matthias’s safety is equally as strong. What will become of Friedrich, will Matthias return safely, and will Amalie marry Friedrich? LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA is a richly told story of life in the Amana Society and the people who live and love there.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Canary Island Song - A Book Review



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Canary Island Song
Howard Books; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
by
Robin Jones Gunn

I should begin by telling you that I fell in love with Robin Jones Gunn in high school.  She wrote the Sierra Jensen series and then the Christy Miller series.  My best friend and I devoured them as soon as a new one was released.  Imagine my delight when I opened my book review email to discover she has started writing adult fiction as well.  Yippee!!!!  

I must confess I am only 3/4 of the way through Canary song because as soon as I lay down to read, it only takes a chapter before my eyes start shutting.  However, it is not for lack of content.  The book is so good.  She delves into the life of a middle-aged woman who returns to her roots in the Canary Islands.  Her mother, who returned to the island years before, welcomes Carolyn with open arms.  However, once there she receives the welcome surprise that her high school crush, Bryan, has also returned to the island.  As they navigate the forgiveness for past mistakes and catch up on their present lives, I can't wait to see how the story turns out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robin Jones Gunn was born in Wisconsin and lived on a dairy farm until her family moved to southern California when she was five years old. She grew up in Orange County and spent her summers at Newport Beach with friends from her church youth group. After attending Biola University and Capernwray Bible School in Austria, Robin and Ross were married and spent the next two decades working together in youth ministry.

It was the young teens at Robin’s church who challenged her to write stories for them. She hadn’t thought much about being a writer, but took their request to heart and set her alarm for 3am, three days a week. With two small children it was the only time she could find to write the first story about Christy Miller. After two years and ten rejections the novel Summer Promise was accepted for publication in 1988. Robin hasn’t stopped writing since. Over 4 million copies of her 75 books have sold and can be found in a dozen translations all over the world.

Robin and her husband now live in Hawai’i where Ross is a counselor and Robin continues to write to the sound of tropical birds chattering in the palm trees outside her window. Their children are grown but manage to come to the islands with their families every chance they get. Robin's awards include: three Christy awards for excellence in fiction, a Gold Medallion finalist, Mt. Hermon Pacesetter and the Mt. Hermon Writer of the Year award. Robin travels extensively and is a frequent key-note speaker at various events around the world. She serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and Jerry Jenkin’s Christian Writer’s Guild.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An American Doll for an American Girl

Meet my friends P, T, and their current three kids at their blog Unrelenting Love for Her.  And while you're there enter to win an American Girl doll.  This would be your opportunity to support an amazing family in their quest to bring home their American Girl and in the process you could win an American Girl for a sweet girl in your family.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sadness

While there are a lot of good things happening in my life right now it is also a season of sadness.  I've heard more news of cancer and death lately than my heart can handle.  Every time my phone rings at an odd time I am terrified of what news may be on the other line.  So here's a bullet list of families I am praying for.  Mine included.



  • My Papaw.  91 years old.  Growing up, outside of my daddy, my Papaw and my Granddaddy were the strongest men I knew.  My mom's dad (Papaw) lived closer to us so we saw him more regularly.  I regularly spent the night there and have such fond memories of sitting in Papaw's lap while he "removed our meanness."  He and my Granny grew a garden that rivaled those of the Troy Bilt commercials.  He was a retired dairy farmer and continued on with beef cattle long after he retired.  The past few months have not been good to him.  He's getting weaker and is started to fall more and more.  The only drugs that keep him from being agitated keep him asleep.  It's hard, watching someone die.  It's even harder knowing they wouldn't want to live like this.  But I just pray that he can be comfortable.  I pray for my mom and her sisters as they watch over him at night and the caregivers who are there during the day.  
  • Baby Aiden -- My aunt and Aiden's grandmother are best friends.  I cannot imagine.  His story is eerily similar to my next entry.  But here's to praying the God of miracles performs one and D & S don't have to experience the pain of losing their only child.  Our God is big and no cancer is unnamed in His eyes.  
  • Baby Jamesie -- I was just directed to his blog yesterday through another blog I read.  And today he won his complete healing.  But now his mom and dad are left with a larger void.  I am praying for comfort for them as their worst nightmare has come true.
  • The family of Lee.  Lee was part of our family.  Not in the DNA sense but in the sense of what really makes family: commitment and stick-to-it-ness.  You see, my Papaw, when he was running his dairy farm needed help.  And Lee was just that.  He worked right by my Papaw up until the retirement days.  In fact I think Lee deciding to retire really pushed my Papaw into it as well.  He and his family remained close and he would often come and visit papaw and just talk farming.  Lee was diagnosed a few weeks ago with cancer and passed away yesterday.  As my mom and I decided last night, for her it was like losing an uncle.  
I know that's not it.  I know that we will always experience suffering as long as we are on this side of Heaven. But for now my heart is heavy with sadness.  It is aching for these families.  And while I know there is plenty of good happening in the lives of myself and those close to me, for now it's the sadness that is heavy on my heart.  So for now I shall pray some prayers, for that is the most I can do for any of these families.  

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

It's Therapy to Me

I like doing laundry.  I like spending Saturday morning sorting my clothes into piles and then washing them, folding them, and putting them away.  For me there is something therapeutic to the orderliness of this task.  I know that my t-shirts, yoga pants, and even underwear have a specific way in which they must be folded in order to maximize the space in my dresser.  My shirts must be hung up as soon as the dryer stops so they aren't wrinkled.  (Ironing is not therapeutic at this time of my life, however when I had to wear pressed clothes even that was nice.)  Skirts and dress pants too.  Jeans are folded just so and tucked away for their next wear.  My towels and washcloths are bleached and dried completely, because in my opinion nothing is worse than a musty smelling towel.  There's a way they must be folded as well.  And all of this, while extremely OCD to an outsider, makes me feel happy.  I like starting off my week knowing that all of my clothes are clean and ready for me to wear.  It also gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I don't find in other household chores.  Perhaps one of these days vacuuming or cleaning the kitchen will give me a sense of peace as well, but for now it is the laundry.

So if you come to visit, ignore the dust bunnies under the table and the dishes in the sink.  However, I'll be more than happy to show you my happy, organized t-shirt drawer.  And if you throw your laundry in my basket, it will be washed and folded come the weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

She Makes It Look Easy - Book Review


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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.









ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Sweetest Thing - Book Review


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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Green Beans and Bacon

If you like both of the above items then I suggest you head over to How Sweet It Is and make the green bean bacon bundles.  I currently have them baking for the second time in three days.  Yes, they are that good.  The first time I screwed up the sauce so it ended up basically just being a butter/garlic mixture and it was great.  Today I managed to get the brown sugar to blend properly so we have the full deal going on over here.  I can't imagine they won't be even better than the first time.

Oh, and if you don't like green beans (and you know who you are ye who doesn't eat vegetables), well then the bacon should hide the fact that you are eating a vegetable.

And she has several more recipes which I feel will pop up in my kitchen over the next few months.  I mean, red velvet brownies.  Now that's what I'm talking about.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I Love My Hair

If you know anything at all about me you know two things: I am low maintenance and I have high maintenance hair.  It's a naturally kinky/curly/frizzy mess that's about 6 inches longer than I normally keep it. Each hair is actually thin but there are so many of them I am considered to have thick hair.  Yeah, I know it doesn't look like it, but tell that to the hair dresser who always had to mix up extra color back in the day because they underestimated the thickness.

Anyways, I have never "loved" my hair.  I had one good haircut the Summer after my senior year of high school but the hairdresser couldn't even replicate it 6 weeks later.  She was an "artist" and never did listen to me.  Needless to say I moved on.  I can dry it straight in the winter, but once Summer rolls around I just have to succumb to ponytails and frizzies.  I've tried every over the counter product on the market and they all fail to deliver.

So back up a couple of years and my dear friend Autumn comes home from a two year stay in the tropics of Asia.  And she comes home with stick straight hair that DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BLOW DRIED.  WHAT?  I mean, she has the naturally curly hair just like me.  How did this happen?  (Cue mucho jealous music here because I was.  I wanted her hair.)

So I started doing some research because I figured it would cost me way too much money to fly to the tropics of Asia to have this done.  I am all about travel, but since I no longer had a good reason to go there now that she was stateside I needed to find a plan B.  I started doing some research and came across some options that were both pricey and seemed as if they would do permanent damage to my hair.  Since the main reason my hair is so long now is because I want to donate it, I figured doing damage to it would not be beneficial to my goal.

Cue current day.  I learned about Keratin hair treatments.  I learned that they don't damage your hair and they are really expensive.  Another thing to know about me.  I will drop money on a nice meal, but I am low maintenance.  Therefore my hair shouldn't be expensive.  Well, thanks to Living Social I got a deal.  A Keratin treatment at a salon I had been perusing their website showed up in my inbox one morning and I jumped on it.  I waited until the weather started getting humid and booked my appointment.  My research told me this would last 6-8 weeks.  I needed it to get me through July at least but due to travel I needed to make my appointment in May.  So I did.  And after 3 hours of sitting in a chair having my hair soaked in the treatment then dried and flat ironed I had straight hair.

I can now let my hair air dry (a little wavy, but no frizz!) or I can blowdry it almost perfectly straight.  If I want it to look super straight I can use the flat iron but for the most part it's easy, peasy, 1-2-3sy.  And frizzies?  Yeah, they went bye-bye too.  So, if you have problem hair and you can find a Groupon, I highly recommend the Keratin hair straightening.  The best part is, my stylist said if I take good care of it (ie use the good shampoo) it could last 3+ months.  Now that's what I'm talking about!   

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Lady of Bolton Hill - Book Review


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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.