Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Karen K wins a copy of Start Here by default. One one entry, lucky her!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Never Say Never (Review)

Lisa Wingate hits a home-run with another novel set in Daily, Texas. Never Say Never is about a hurricane evacuation that throws together some quirky characters.

The juxtaposition of the southern drawls and the creole/cajun accents is wonderful! Kai Miller does not have roots and doesn't mind, until she meets the trio of unlikely friends from Daily that take her under their wing during the evacuation. She is drawn to them, AND to a certain nephew. It is not only a story of new romance, but also a tale of rediscovery for disillusioned hairstylist Donetta Bradford. Rediscovery of her background and family history. I won't spoil it, but Donetta also has some surprises headed her way!

Wingate writes with humor and compassion and alternates between points of view of Donetta and Kai throughout the book. The writing of their corresponding chapters fits their characters so well, I could almost hear their voices. The storyline was unique and entertaining.

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, A Month of Summer and The Summer Kitchen. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House publishers. No other compensation was provided. Be sure to check out her other novels set in Daily, Texas, Talk of the Town and Word Gets Around.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not a Sparrow Falls (Review)


It takes a lot of courage to try and change your life if you see no way out. Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols focuses on Mary Bridget, who has made some bad choices and is living with the consequences. She believes that God does not see her. So many people think this at some time in their lives. Mary Bridget finds an opportunity to escape and begin a new life. But the past won't stay in the past. Will it change her new relationships? Is there such a thing as unconditional love? Can she be an instrument of healing someone else's life?

There were a few places in the novel that I felt lost and couldn't place why a particular event or scene was included, but Nichols ties it all together in the end with a somewhat predictable and sweet ending. Definitely a book with themes of redemption, forgiveness and grace, both in the eyes of our Heavenly Father and fellow men.

Linda Nichols is an award-winning and bestselling novelist with a unique gift for Touching readers' hearts with her stories. She and her family make their home in Tacoma, Washington.

This book was provided by Bethany House publishers for review. No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Absence So Great (Review and Giveaway)


Jane Kirkpatrick's novel, An Absence So Great, is the sequel to A Flickering Light. Both are based on the life of Kirkpatrick's grandmother. Jessie is a young woman in the early 1900s working as a photographer's assistant who dreams of owning her own studio someday. She has left home to try and escape the attraction that she feels toward her married employer. The novel chronicles Jessie's growth professionally and spiritually.

I love that this is based on a true story, even though it is somewhat fictionalized. I also love that some of the actual photos taken by Jessie are included. Some parts of the book are written in first person, as journal entries. It was unclear as to whether or not these were actual entries or fiction.

Kirkpatrick's writing is skillful and heartfelt. Characters are developed in a way that makes them very real. Both novels are epics. Sweeping in scope and well written. Written to capture visual cues and emotions, these novels are extraordinary. BUT, you must read them in order. Reading An Absence so Great first will pretty much void the predecessor (A Flickering Light).

Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning, best-selling author of sixteen historical novels and three nonfiction titles, including A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebele's story and one of Library Journal's Best of 2009. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family, and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past twenty-five years.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah. No other compensation was provided. You can read more here.

And, even better, I have a copy of BOTH to give away. Leave a comment letting me know you are interested by Friday, April 2 for a chance to win.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Clarity Bible Contest

Sounds like a great opportunity - so I wanted to share this with you!

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

With each fan number milestone a new prize will be given away.

Grand Prize

Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fifth milestone
Retail Value: $829.00

2nd Prize - Already awarded

32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fourth milestone
Retail Value: $300.00

3rd Prize – Will be awarded when fan count hits: 3500

Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the third milestone
Retail Value: $489.00

4th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the New Living Translation Fan Page hits the second milestone
Retail Value: $499.00

5th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the first milestone
Retail Value: $599.00

Prize Eligibility – Recently updated to include more countries

Sweepstakes participants and winner(s) can be U.S. residents of the 50 United States, or residents of any country that is NOT embargoed by the United States, but cannot be residents of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India. In addition, participants and winner(s) must be at least 18 years old, as determined by the Company.

Sweepstakes Starts

March 17, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Sweepstakes Ends

April 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Wait, there’s more!

Visit for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii!

Here are the details:

Choose one of six passages of Scripture from the New Living Translation and consider:
How do these verses encourage you to know God better?
What is God teaching you in this passage?
How does this passage apply to your life?

Submit your answer and you’ll be entered to win.

Just for signing up: Everybody Wins! Win a Free .mp3 download from the NLT’s new Red Letters Project. It’s the dynamic, new presentation of the sung and narrated words of the Gospel of Matthew. You win the download just for entering! Or choose to download the NLT Philippians Bible Study, complete with the Book of Philippians in the NLT.

Every day, one person will win the best-selling Life Application Study Bible!

The grand prize: One person will win a fantastic trip for two to the crystal clear waters of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in beautiful Hawaii.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Start Here (review and giveaway!)

Good intentions. What use are they unless acted upon? I so often hear "What can God do through me?" (From myself sometimes, as well as the kiddos.) Isn't it underestimating our God and his might to question his ability to do anything great through us? Big things start with faithfulness in the small things.
Brothers Alex and Brett Harris, who wrote Do Hard Things when they were eighteen, are the authors of Start Here. Start Here is the next step to Do Hard Things. You should definitely read Do Hard Things first. Do Hard Things was a challenge to teens (and adults) to move past low expectations and do great things for God. It is so easy to become complacent and avoid stepping out in faith. A practical book that offers real life stories and encouragement for those who want to allow God to use them. The book is targeted at teens, but adults can still glean wisdom from it too. It helps the reader identify a "starting place", tips for avoiding discouragement, and how to inspire others.

Alex and Brett Harris are the coauthors of the best-selling book Do Hard Things, which they wrote at age eighteen. Today the twins speak regularly to audiences of thousands on The Rebelution Tour, maintain a hugely popular online presence through their blog,, and have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and in the New York Times. Raised in Portland, Oregon, the brothers currently attend Patrick Henry College in Virginia.

Interested in your own copy. I have a copy to give away! Leave a comment by Friday, March 26. A random commenter will win.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Winner of Dancing with my Father is Melinda from Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.

Winner of Mother-Daughter Duet is Karenk. Congratulations!

I will be contacting you both by email to get your mailing address.

I will have 2 more giveaways in the next two weeks. Keep checking back!.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dancing with My Father (review and giveaway)

In the church lobby the other day, my dear two year old heard the worship team practicing and she stopped what she was doing and began dancing. She didn't worry about a schedule, where she needed to be, who was watching or who was judging her actions. The beautiful image it presented made my heart flutter. If only I could express the same joy! Often, I get too discouraged by my circumstances and agendas to just drop everything and express the gift of joy bestowed on me through Christ!
Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson uses biblical references and insights as well as examples from the author's life to reveal what life can be like if we trust our God. Listening to His voice, searching for Him around us, examining our hearts for wrong attitudes, and protect our hearts from "joy robbers" and deception. But it is much more as well. It is a comfort to the hurting, telling them there is hope and joy isn't based on your circumstances. It is all about relationship. Relationship with God. The book is well written and inspiring.

Questions at the end of each chapter offer an opportunity to use the book for personal or group study.

If you are interested in a copy for yourself, leave a comment here by next Friday, March 12 and I'll select a random commenter.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah. No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More to think about

After reading Beaded Hope about the plight of South African mothers, I found out Kristen at We are That Family was traveling to Africa with Compassion International. I am planning on reading about her journey and living vicariously thru her and her journey. Why don't you join her too?

Beaded Hope review

I have never been on an international missions trip. I have never been out of the cushy comfort zone of the USA. By USA standards, I wasn't born into wealth, but by the standards of the Third World, I was rich. I have never had to send my children to bed hungry or worry about how to clothe them.
Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett teams together a group of women from the U.S. facing varying issues in their personal lives. These women embark on a missions trip to South Africa. Their reasons for going are anything but altruistic, but what they encounter changes them all forever.

If you like being complacent and selfish, this isn't the book for you. If you want to be thankful for what you have, where you live and be challenged to think about someone besides yourself, then this book is a MUST read. The book is well-written, easy to read, compelling and heart-breaking.

The novel was inspired by the nonprofit organization Beaded Hope. Their mission is to fight HIV/AIDS one person at a time by providing South Africans with the opportunity to earn an income, support their families and nurture their creativity while preserving age-old African beadwork traditions.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of the novel support the organization.

Cathy Liggett
is the author of several contemporary romances and one nonfiction book. She was inspired to write Beaded Hope after traveling to South Africa on a mission trip like the one described in the story.

This book was provided by Tyndale Publishers for review.

Revolve 2010 review

Heard of a Biblezine?
I had not heard of them until I received a copy of the Revolve 2010 Biblezine. It is the Complete New Testament in the NCV version in a magazine format geared specifically to teens. The colorful formats and designs would appeal to pre-teens and teens alike. Some subject matter including purity make me tend to think this is better directed at the early high school years. Side articles include advice columns on relationships and style. There are profiles for biblical characters in a "goodbook" format to mimic facebook. To an adult some content could be seen as "cheesy". I am all for ways to get the Word to teens and this seems like a new and innovative way. I think I would have loved a resource like this as a teenager and I imagine my girls will love it too (in a couple of years.)

Since 2005, more than 215,000 girls have attended a Revolve Tour event. For 2008-2009, the Tour has expanded to 16 cities and expects to reach 150,000 girls this year alone.

This Biblezine was supplied by Booksneeze (Thomas Nelson) for review.

Mother-Daughter Duet (review and giveaway)

With three daughters ranging from 11 to 2 I try to read what I can about Mother-daughter relationships. I was recently speaking with a friend and we talked about how family relationships can often be the ones that hurt the most. But restoration of those relationships is possible and it all starts with trying to understand each other.

Authors Cheri Fuller and Ali Plum are a mother-daughter writing team that have spoken to moms and daughters across the country while researching their book, Mother Daughter Duet, Getting to the Relationship You Want with Your Adult Daughter. The book is written to mothers and includes topics and practical advice on validation, respect, and healthy communication. This book helped shed light on my relationship with my mother too. The book includes discussion questions that would make it easy for a mother/daughter study or group discussion.

Cheri Fuller is a best-selling, award-winning author whose books have sold more than one million copies. She speaks at a wide range of women's conferences and is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs.

Ali Plum is Cheri's daughter, a writer and songwriter, a wife, and a mother to Noah and Luke, She has recorded background vocals for popular musicians, and Mother-Daughter Duet marks her debut as an author.

If you would like to read your own copy, leave a comment for a chance to win by Friday, March 12. I'll choose a random winner.

This book was provided for review from Waterbrook/Multnomah. No other compensation was provided.