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Showing posts from September, 2009

Book Review: "A Taste of Fame" by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

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The women of the Potluck Catering Club have a growing business. They even became the subject of a budding filmmaker's class project. Problem is, they didn't read the fine print when they signed off on his documentary. When he enters the club in the reality show "Great Party Showdown," the ladies of Summit View, Colorado, head to the Big Apple for the unexpected adventure of their lives. Between navigating New York City, dealing with other cutthroat contestants, and trying to maintain their close friendship in the high-stress world of reality TV, the Potluck women must keep their eyes on the prize--a cool million dollars--and work together if they're going to make it back to Colorado in one piece. A Taste of Fame serves up the perfect blend of humor, misadventure, and mouth-watering recipes. Fans new and old will love this exciting trip into the wild world of competitive cooking!

This has probably got to be my absolute favorite Potluck Club book ever. The story wa…

Book Review: "The Great Christmas Bowl" by Susan May Warren

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Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s team in their bid for the state championship. Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot—the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea. When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can’t come home for Christmas. As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?

This is probably one of the best Christmas novellas I've ever read. Yes it's short, but it gets to the point and it's sweet and funny and it totally gets you in the mood for Christmas. The way the book started, I was worried that it would fall in the trap of moms who find themselves empty nesters and make everyone else feel sorry for them. The other potentia…

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow
Abingdon Press (September 2009)
by
Joyce Magnin


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joyce Magnin is the author of short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children.

Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups.

She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet who can’t seem to keep a name. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is her first published novel.


A…

Book Review: "Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah" by Melody Carlson

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In the final installment in the 86 Bloomberg Place series, Melody Carlson follows the girls in a crazed competition for bridesmaids, wedding locations, and showers. Newly engaged Lelani has returned from Maui to Bloomberg Place and is trying to book her wedding date. Unfortunately there are scheduling conflicts for that same weekend. For starters, Megan and Marcus have a family wedding commitment. Anna and Edmond have promised to attend his younger stepbrother’s Bar Mitzvah and, to everyone’s surprise, Kendall has just accepted her “Maui Man’s” proposal of marriage and also wants to be wed on that first weekend in June. Wedding madness ensues at 86 Bloomberg Place, yet at the same time friendships are being forged that will last a lifetime.Wedding bells are ringing at 86 Bloomberg Place as Lelani begins to prepare for her wedding to Gil. As someone who's recently finished with her own wedding, I totally understand the importance and struggle of trying to have a small wedding. …

Guest Review: "The Book That Made America" by Jerry Newcombe

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*This is a guest review from my dad!*


In this pluralistic society and postmodern generation, most of us may not know the greatness of America, much less the source of its greatness. You cannot help but be amazed at the greatness of America when you see the sheer number of people from all over the world migrating to this nation, often at the risk of their lives. What then is the source of the greatness of this nation? The author gives convincing proofs that America is great because it was founded on the teachings of the Bible—the word of God. To prove his point, the author cites document after document that the early settlers (the Pilgrims, Puritans, Jamestown settlers) were motivated by the teachings of the Bible to come to the New World, hoping to worship God freely, and to propagate the gospel to the natives. The author also cites how the founding fathers of this nation were shaped and molded by the teachings of the Bible to write the Declaration of Independence and the constitu…

Have a New Husband by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman

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In Have a New Husband By Friday, author Kevin Leman shows women how making a few changes in attitude, behavior, and communication style can revolutionize their marriages and bring out the very best in their husbands. Leman's popular common sense method sprinkled with his humorous wit makes his advice to women irresistible and easy to swallow.

As someone who's recently gotten married, and still technically in the period of the honeymoon year, one would think I wouldn't need this book. Well it's always better to be prepared in case of unexpected turn of events right? The main purpose of this book is the help women be able to communicate with the husbands in the hopes of a better marriage. Communication is usually the biggest factor in problems in a marriage. This book explains the differences between men and women and how women should use those differences to help change their own attitudes and help them figure out their husbands.

Usually I have trouble with reading mar…

Book Review: "Seeing Things" by Patti Hill

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Birdie Wainwright, 72, isn’t concerned about seeing things that others can’t. For a woman who still climbs mountains with her dog (Miss Bee Haven) and likes to tango, the impractical visions brought on by macular degeneration are just another gift from God, adding more adventure to life. But when a tumble down the stairs breaks her ankle and leads back to her son’s home in Denver where she must convalesce, Birdie’s imagination really takes flight. Following a conversation with her grandson about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, she begins to see and speak with the unkempt literary character himself on a regular basis. As the line between reality and whimsy turns brittle, faith is tested among friends and loved ones, and hope is reborn.

Who hasn't had an imaginary friend that used to talk to when they were little? Even now, sometimes the characters you create in your head are better company to keep than the real people you have to interact with on a daily basis. That's what…

A Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy

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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:

Mary Connealy

and the book:

A Cowboy Christmas
Barbour Books (September 1, 2009)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

As an award-winning author, Mary Connealy lives on a Nebraska farm with her husband and is the mother of four grown daughters. She writes plays and shorts stories, and is the author of two other novels, Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon. Also an avid blogger, Mary is a GED instructor by day and an author by night. For more information on Mary Conn…

Book Review: "Fashionista" by Micol Ostow

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Madison, Spencer, and Reagan have it all: the looks, the connections, the money, the boys. As the daughters of three of the most prestigious families on Philadelphia's Main Line (read: old money, and lots of it) and the ruling juniors at Bradford, nothing can stand in their way...except, perhaps, their own dark secrets. Madison feels plenty guilty for sneaking around behind Spencer's back with Spencer's long-time boyfriend, Tyler. But what Spencer doesn't know can't hurt her, right? Too bad nothing at Bradford stays secret for long...Starting a series with the second book can be hit or miss. Sometimes there is enough information in the second book to keep you updated from what happened in the first book and therefore can be read as a standalone. Other times it feels as if the author fully expects you to have read the first book before you even touch the next one. This book feels like the latter. For the first few chapters of the book, I was totally lost. The bo…

Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Fields Of Grace
Bethany House (October 2009)
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling, award-winning author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, grandmother, author, speaker, singer of songs and lover of chocolate... but most importantly, she's a born-again child of the King!

A former elementary school teacher, Kim closed her classroom door in 2005 to follow God's call on her heart to write and speak. Now blessed with multiple writing contracts with Bethany House, Barbour, and Zondervan Publishing, Kim enjoys sharing her journey to publication as well as the miraculous story of her healing from a life-long burden of pain and shame.

Kim's gentle yet forthright testimony lends credence to the promise of Ps. 117:2--"Great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."


ABOUT THE BOOK

Will their Mennonite faith be shaken or strengthened by the journey to a new land?

With their eldest …

Book Review: "A Prisoner of Versaillles" by Golden Keyes Parsons

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Having fled their homeland of France because of the persecution by Louis XIV, the Clavell family seeks refuge in Switzerland. However, the king is not about to let the recently widowed Madeleine, his childhood sweetheart, escape that easily. He sends musketeers to kidnap her and her oldest son, Philippe, holding them captive in his opulent palace. King Louis is suspicious that Philippe could be his son, and he's enraged by the growing affection of one of his courtiers for Madeleine. Will Madeleine escape the king with her life or lose everything that she's fought so hard to keep?

I am not a fan of French history. There's nothing wrong with the country or anything and I will admit there are times where it is interesting. However, as an American history major, European history (except for British) just confuses me with all the kings that have similar names and the politics that kept changing the government constantly. Except for a few movies, I usually avoid most historical t…

If God is Good by Randy Alcorn

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Every one of us will experience suffering. Many of us are experiencing it now. As we have seen in recent years, evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us.

In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?

These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.

In If God is Good, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.

Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He…

Fall Reading Challenge 2009

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Well it's that time of the year again! The Fall Reading Challenge is here! Katrina at Callapidder Days is issuing out the command to get our reading lists out and done!

I started these twice-yearly challenges because I thought it would be fun to share my love of reading with other bloggers and to push myself to read some books I might not otherwise read, or to finish some books I had started and then abandoned & stashed under my bed. I thought there were probably others out there who would appreciate the accountability and encouragement that a challenge can provide. And along the way, I discovered there were lots of people who — whether they needed the extra push or not — loved to share what they planned or hoped to read during the upcoming months. So that’s the point: sharing some reading goals with all the other participants and doing it in a way that works for you. If you want to push yourself, go for it! Or if you just want to share what you’re hoping to get around to readi…

Book Review: "An Eye for An Eye" by Irene Hannon

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After he accidentally shoots a teenager at a tense standoff, FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Mark Sanders is sent to St. Louis to work as a field agent and get his bearings while the bad press starts to settle. Just weeks away from returning to Quantico to resume his work on the HRT, Mark has a chance encounter with an old flame, Emily Lawson. But their reunion is cut short by a sniper. Now Mark must find the shooter before he tries to strike again. But what is his motive--and who was his intended target? Can Mark put the pieces together, keep Emily safe, and rekindle a long-dead relationship at the same time?

Irene Hannon is back with the second installment in her Heroes of Quantico series. Once again I felt really drawn into the story and imagined that I was part of the action. There's a great deal of suspense and it's extremely realistic the way the plot folds out. Mark and Emily have great chemistry together and I enjoyed seeing them reunite and rebuild that old flame. W…

One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
One Imperfect Christmas
Abingdon Press (September 2009)
by
Myra Johnson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Making up stories has been second nature to me for as long as I can remember. A select group of trusted friends back at dear old Mission High waited eagerly for the next installment of my "Great American Spy Novel" (think Man from Uncle) and my "All-American Teen Novel" (remember Gidget and Tammy?). I even had a private notebook of angst-ridden poetry a la Rod McKuen.

The dream of writing persisted into adulthood, although it often remained on the back burner while I attended to home and family and several "real" (read paying) jobs along the way. Then in 1983, while recovering from sinus surgery, I came upon one of those magazine ads for the Institute of Children’s Literature. I knew it was time to get serious, and the next thing I knew, I'd enrolled in the “Writing for Children and Teenagers” course.

Within a y…

Triple Threat

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It's here! Today is my 3 year blogiversary! (Never mind that the first entry is marked on 9/20, I had written that post the day after and then backdated it). I can't believe that I'm still here and blogging away! As always, the reason why I started blogging was thanks to Camy Tang's blog which inspired me to write my own blog. My main goal was to blog about the books I read because I figured I'd like others to know about the goodbooks that were out there. I honestly can't believe that it's lasted this long and I hope to keep going strong. I've met so many new friends in the past year alone and I've even gotten to meet several in person and I'm going to meet more next week at the National Book Festival!

I'd also like to say thank you to those who nominated me for Best Cultural Review Blog for the 2009 BBAW Awards. It's truly been an honor that you considered me for that award and even more awesome that I made the shortlist! I've s…