Showing posts from July, 2007

Interview with Virginia Smith

I'm happy to have here today Virginia Smith, author of Murder by Mushroom and Just As I am. If you like cozy mysteries, you'll love this book. Look below for a review of Murder By Mushroom. And without further adieu, an interview with Virginia Smith!
1.How did you get started into writing?I’ve always loved reading, and one day I read a published short story with a HUGE plot hole in it. I thought, “I could do better than that!” So I did. I wrote a short story – a brilliant work of utter genius, in my and my mother’s opinions – and sent it to the same magazine. The rejection letter arrived in something just short of the speed of light. And there began a very painful lesson, that writing well is a lot harder than it looks.But as I wrote that first story, I discovered a passion for writing that I didn’t know I had possessed. I kept writing, and kept submitting, and kept falling deeper and deeper in love with the process of writing. And then finally I received a book contract – twen…

Book Review: "Murder by Mushroom" by Virginia Smith

Killer Fungi

Jackie Hoffner thought she'd be helping out the church potluck by bringing in a mushroom casserole. Little did she know that her dish would end up killing the most hated woman in church! Jackie's on a mission to prove that she's innocent by trying to find the guilty party. The problem is that there are many people who wanted Alice Farmer dead. Secrets from church members arise as Jackie and the pastor's wife try to question those who have the biggest motive to kill.

This was a fun book to read (although don't attempt on an empty stomach!) I liked Jackie even though she's no Nancy Drew. Her character changed throughout the story as her original intentions were purely to clear her own name. Then as she found out what really happened to everyone else she changed for the better. What I found most interesting about the story was the attitude that other Christians had against Alice. It's tough to show love towards someone so spiteful. So I was g…

This Week's Book Giveaway

Congrats to Lesha for winning a copy of A Shred of Truth by Eric Wilson!

Stop by again for more book giveaways in the next few weeks!

Book Review: "The Restorer" by Sharon Hinck

Mom-Lit Fantasy

Susan Mitchell was just enjoying time away from her family by relaxing in her new attic hideaway created by her husband. But then suddenly she is transported to a different world where she finds that not only does she heal very fast but she's been sent as The Restorer to help out those in trouble. Susan has to learn the ways of the new world as she tries to understand the new culture and learn as to why she'd been sent. The adventures she will face bring many dangers but Susan learns that her faith will help her win the fight in the upcoming battles.

Fantasy is a genre I don't normally read. It's not that I don't like it, I just have trouble getting into a story where it doesn't relate to what I live in. I'm not saying I don't have an imagination, I just prefer stories that seem more realistic. But when I saw Sharon Hinck had a fantasy/mom lit book coming out, I wanted to pick it up because I really enjoy her writing. I ended up enjo…

July -"Scorcher: It's Hot Outside!" read a suspense/ thriller or a hot new release you couldn't wait to read !

1. Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

2. Author: J.K. Rowling

3. Copyright: 2007

4. How long was the book languishing in your TBR pile? I finished it the day it came out, in 5 hours!!

5. What made you buy/borrow the book in the first place? DUH! I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and it's the last book.

6. What were your thoughts on the story? Everything I wanted and more. I laughed and I cried. This is one of the few books where I have really cried hard while reading. The characters are so real to me. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it but it is SOOOOOOO good. And what's even better are the Christian overtones throughout the book, something totally unexpected but very appreciated. This is one of the best books I've read every, definitely the best of the whole series. I've been reading HP for 6 years (yes I'm a late bloomer) and I feel like I'm losing a part of me now. J.K. Rowling is a genius.

7. Now do you wish you read the b…

Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

This has been a wonderful Harry Potter week for me. This movie came out and I finished Deathly Hallows in 5 hours. Bloody Brilliant. I went and saw the movie with my sisters. One of my sisters is a die hard fan like me so she's read all the books, while the other sister only has watched the movies. So the experience was different for all of us. We were told by the movie-only sister to shut up during the film b/c we kept whispering about how it compared to the book.

There wasn't as much rage in the movie as there was in the book by Harry. It was quite toned down actually. Still the story was quite good with lots of stuff for fans of the book to enjoy. The Ron and Hermoine relationship is sooo obvious. Harry has grown up a lot, him and Ron look better with shorter hair.

Evanna Lynch was cast as Luna and was perfect. Strange and weird but wonderfully cast. She's just like how I pictured her. Jim Dale makes Luna's voice all loopy and deep in the audio books, but I like h…

Book Review: "In Search of Eden" by Linda Nichols

I love Abingdon

Miranda was 16 when her child was given up for adoption eleven years ago. Her relationship with her own mother is not the greatest. She finds a letter giving clues that her child may be in Abingdon, VA so she travels there in search of her. When she reaches the small town, she's noticed by the sheriff who's past rivals that of Miranda's. Together the two form a shaky relationship that strengthens with the friendship of Joseph's 11 year old niece who just happens to be adopted....

So I had seen this book in the bookstore and online for a while and didn't pay much attention to it because I hadn't read anything by the author before. Then one day I decided to finally read the blurb on the back and saw that the story was based in Abingdon, VA. I was shocked! My boyfriend lives there and I have been there several times. I had to read the book now. I wasn't disappointed. What I thought was pretty cool was that lots of places that were mentioned…

To Dance in the Desert by Kathleen Popa

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(RiverOak, May 1, 2007)
Raised in the American Southwest, Kathleen began her love affair with the desert as a child. Before becoming a writer she, among other jobs, worked in both the juvenile facility fro incarcerated girls and a home for emotionally disturved children. Mother of two, sh lives in Northern California with her husband and youngest son. Visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and What Else is There? She is a member of the CFBA, too! Give her a holler!

ABOUT THE BOOK:“Not a safe world.” How many times had she heard it over and over again? Well, it is not a safe world and Dara Murphy Brogan knew it better than most, which is exactly why she had tucked herself away on a desert mountaintop. Now it was just her, the voice inside her head and the boxes of hastily packed odds and ends—all that was left of her pathetic excuse of a life. Hadn’t she chosen the desert because …

Book Review: "Crime and Clutter" by Cyndy Salzmann

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

The Friday Afternoon Club can't believe it. Perfect Mary Alice has been keeping a secret for years. The always together mom has been hiding the fact that her parents were hippies and her real name is Maya. The FAC gets together again to unlock the secrets of the VW bus given to Mary Alice by her father. The women take a blast to the past trip back to a time where peace, love, and rock and roll was the national creed. But in between the love beads and bell bottoms is the story of a woman who discovers the father she never knew and the power of forgiveness.

The 60s are my absolute favorite decade. I love the culture of that time period especially the music. I would have killed to be alive when the Beatles were popular. So when I heard about the premise for this story, I was excited to read it. And I was not disappointed. This story will give Baby Boomers and fans of the decade a time capsule of the events that happened. From the Bea…

A Shred of Truth by Eric Wilson and Book Giveaway!

I'm giving away a brand new copy of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Monday, July 30th. Good luck!
Eric Wilson returns with another sharp-edged thriller that will appeal to the rising generation of men and women on the fringes of faith.In The Best of Evil, Aramis Black uncovered family secrets and historical conspiracies, hoping that his own dark past had come to certain resolution. But now, in A Shred of Truth, he finds his brother unconscious and tied to a statue in downtown Nashville with the initials AX carved into his back. A shadow from his former life has reappeared, casting threats of violence and retribution. And soon the attacker is swinging his blade of self-righteous judgment directly at Aramis, challenging him to “face his sins.” Can Aramis finally break free from the guilt of his old ways, or will he succumb to the vengeance of an arrogant sociopath?Aramis Black’s…

Movie Review: "Evan Almighty"

Yet another movie I got to see for free because the BF was here. For this movie, we went to the smaller movie theater where the matinée was only $3.50. It wasn't too crowded, you didn't get refills on the drinks but the popcorn was still good. I had been looking forward to see this film because it had been filmed mostly in Virginia. In fact scenes had been shot in Charlottesville and my sister was going to try out to be an extra but no one would give her a ride. Plus I had surprisingly enjoyed Bruce Almighty.

This movie was downright hilarious. I love Steve Carrell. He is got to be one of the funniest guys in Hollywood. He's just so deadpan in his reactions. He's great in The Office and I actually did quite enjoy The 40 Year Virgin (surprisingly a film about abstinence). He is wonderful in the movie. I especially love the scenes where his hair grows. The ponytail beard was a hoot. I was pretty much cracking up throughout the entire movie. (What was weird was…

Interview with Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

I'm happy to have here today Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson, authors of The Potluck Club series as part of their blog tour for their new book The Potluck Club Takes the Cake. If you haven't read any of these books about friendship and food, you NEED to go GET A COPY. And without further adieu, an interview with Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson!

1. How did you get started into writing and why did you choose to write this series?Eva: I've written my whole life, but my write to publishing story is a story within itself. Here's the short version: I took a walk one day, had an idea, came home and began to write a novel based on the idea, wrote for a year, a year later received a contract for another book (right place, right time), and three books later, the walk-idea-book became my fourth published book.Linda: When I worked as technical writer my job was to interpret product descriptions from our engineers. My first fiction came about by accident when…

Book Review: "The Potluck Club Takes the Cake" by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

Back for more

The girls are back in the third novel in the Potluck Club series. There's a wedding in the works in Summit View! But before anyone can say I do, the women seem to attract many adventures coming their way. Evie's worried about tying the knot while Goldie is trying to resist fixing her relationship. Vonnie's trying to get used to being a new mother while Lizzie's having all her family descend on her at once. Donna seems to have the whole world throw its problems at her feet while Lisa Leann just wants to make everyone know that she's there. These women are all connected through their friendship and being there for each other when they need it the most.

Another taste tempting pleaser! I really really love this series. I really like all the different POVs from the characters. You would read about an event from Evie's outlook and then change characters and find out that Donna didn't see things the same way. I really felt for Donna in this book…

One Step Over the Border by Stephen Bly

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducing
ONE STEP OVER THE BORDER(Center Street June 12, 2007)
Stephen Bly


Stephen Bly is a pastor, a mayor, an antique Winchester gun collector and a writer.

He's mayor of a town of 308 in the mountains of Idaho, on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. In his spare time, he pursues the three R's of ridin', ropin' and rodeo...and construction of Broken Arrow Crossing, a false-front western village near his home.

That keeps him very western. And he collect old Winchester rifles, which reflects his love of historical accuracy. He's also a fan of Jimmy Buffet music.

Stephen says about his writing, "I write about the West (historic or modern) from the inside. Born and raised on western ranches, I have both the heart and mind to describe things as they really were...and are. There are those who think the frontier has long passed and with it the ‘code of the west.’ The truth is, both are still…

Book Review: "A Lady of High Regard" by Tracie Peterson

Girl Power - 1800s style

Mia Stanley comes from an upper class society who would greatly look down upon her greatest ambition. Mia writes for Godey's Lady Book, focusing on issues that many women would avoid. She's now turned her attentions on the plight of the sea men's wives down by the docks. What she finds there horrifies her and makes her more determined to tell the world. However, Mia also finds that with her social standing comes responsibility to marry. She worries that the man she loves, her best friend Garrett might love someone else. Will her passion for saving lives overpower her yearning for love?

I had always thought that Godey's Lady Book was just a fashion magazine, a precursor to Vogue. At least that's how it was always portrayed in Little House on the Prairie, with talks about hoop skirts and corsets. This book, however, portrayed it as a precursor to women's lib, giving women the opportunity to showcase their talents and try to make a m…

This Week's Book Giveaway

Congrats to AussieTigger1980 for winning a copy of A Sister's Secret by Wanda Brunstetter!

More book giveaways in the next few weeks so be on the lookout!

Book Review: "Moon Over Tokyo" by Siri L. Mitchell

How to Adapt to a New Country

Allie O'Connor is an American reporter living in Japan. Her dream however is to write a novel. She still hasn't adapted to the Japanese culture even though she's lived there for over two years. One day at church she runs into her old high school nemesis, Eric Larson. Eric was everything Allie stood against for in high school. However since then, she finds out they have quite a bit in common. Eric shows her how to enjoy living in her new surroundings and also gives her hope for a new change for a relationship in her future.

Siri Mitchell's books are always a favorite to read, the characters are well developed and the story makes you really think. This one is no exception. I really loved the descriptions of the Japanese culture and society. I've been to Japan once, well it was really a layover in the airport during our flight to Malaysia, but the airport itself was stunning. I love the cover of the book. It shows both the old and…

Movie Review: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

One of the good things about my boyfriend coming down to visit was that I got to see 2 movies I've been dying to see for free. Plus free popcorn refills! (and yes it was good to see him as well) I've been waiting all summer to see POTC since I saw the other two in the theaters as well (I saw the first one 4 times).

Johnny Depp is wonderful again in his role as Jack Sparrow. It never feels old watching him act like that. I know that women will love that scene with the multiple Jacks. I love the scene with Keith Richards as his dad. Who knew Keith Richards could act serious. I orginally saw the first Pirates because of Orlando Bloom (Legalos!!!!) Well sorry Orly, you won't win an Oscar for this movie (interestingly Pirates hosts 1 Oscar Winner and 2 nominees) But I still love Will Turner, especially near the end of the movie. Chow Yun Fat!!!! Love him in this role! After seeing him in the trailers we were very excited to watch him. But he's only in the movie for li…

Book Review: "The Courtship" by Gilbert Morris

Satisfying End

The saga of the Freeman family comes to a close with this book. Lanie Freeman's father was put in jail unjustly. Her sister runs off to California to find the woman who can set him free. Lanie has the chance to become a published author with the help of a fellow writer who is vying for her attentions. Her relationship with the doctor is still unresolved. She has to leave everything in God's hands and put her trust fully in him.

I felt that this was the best book of the series. A lot of the characters came around full circle in this book. I really liked the change in Maeva the best. She started off as a really rebellious character who hated being tied down and told what to do. Then she changed and even brought along one of the town's misfits with her. Her conversion is not dramatic or unrealistic. It is a gradual change which is more believable.

Many loose ends are tied up in this book. Lanie's father for example finally is released from priso…

Fearless by Robin Parrish

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Bethany House, July 1, 2007)
Robin Parrish
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robin Parrish had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist.In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract.

Born Michael Robin Parrish on October 13, 1975, Robin's earliest writing efforts took place on a plastic, toy typewriter, and resulted in several "books" (most between 10 and 30 pages long) and even a few magazines.By the age of thirteen, he had begun winning local writing awards and became a regular in his high school's literary magazine. In college, he garnered acclaim from his English professors and fellow students while maturing and honing his skills.After college, he entered the writing profession through a "side door" -- the Internet. More than ten years he spent writing for various websites, including,, and…

Book Winner Update

well the original winner of The Divine Appointment never responded to my email so I redrew another name and the winner is Callista! Congrats!

Wedding Bell Blues by Linda Windsor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wedding Bell Blues

(Avon Inspire 2007)

Linda Windsor


Linda, a native of Maryland's Eastern Shore, is the author of eighteen historical novels and nine contemporary romances for both the secular and Christian market. A Christy Award finalist, Linda has received numerous awards in both the ABA and CBA, including the Romantic Writers of America's Beacon Award. She lives in Salisbury, Maryland. Learn more!

ABOUT THE BOOK:Wedding Bell Blues is the first in a new series, The Piper Cove Chronicles, that follows four women who grew up as best friends in a small community on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They have returned home from their successes and failures at college and life, determined to pursue their dreams in the town they'd once vowed to leave in the dust. True love has eluded the four friends until one by one they encounter their soul mate. Next in the series is FOR PETE'S SAKE, on sale from …

A Sister's Secret by Wanda Brunstetter and Book Giveaway!

I'm giving away a brand new copy of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Monday, July 16th. Good luck!

Everything is going well for Grace: a loving family, a waitress job, and a wedding on the way. But when Gary Walker comes to her Amish community, Grace's secret threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Grace is ashamed of her running-around years (rumschpringe), and has kept it hush-hush since returning to join the Amish church. Gary shows up as a freelance photographer and writer, but he is capable of much more. Not only does he know some of Grace's secret, he is part of it. As a contrast to Gary's evil ways, fiance' Cleon Schrock is filled with all things good. Does Grace have the strength to reveal her secret? Compounding the situation are the unusual pranks gone too far in hurting the Hostettler family. Is Gary to blame, or is someone ups…