Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leaving Yesterday review

I always enjoy reading fiction that makes me think about my life and things close to my heart. Currently, that involves parenting. (Big surprise with four kids, I know!)

One of the dilemmas of parenting is walking the fine line between protecting your child and making them take responsibility for their actions and the consequences that stem from their actions.

Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman follows Alisa Stewart. A mom and Christian who says and does all the right things. She leads the women's ministry at her church. She leads grief seminars to help others find healing, but she feels like her life is falling apart. One child was murdered for sharing his faith. One has become the prodigal. Her marriage is in trouble. When it looks like the prodigal has changed his ways, a police officer starts asking questions about an unsolved murder. Was her son involved? Alisa is torn. Her son has changed, he is a new creation, doesn't he deserve to move on with his life? But if he was involved, should he face the consequences of his actions? Is it her responsibility to make sure the truth comes to light?

This is the first book I have read written by Kathryn Cushman. I really enjoyed her writing. It is easy to read. Actually, I was hooked. I kept wondering, if I was in that situation, what I would do. I would like to say I would help my child face reality and consequences, but without actually being in that situation, I'm not sure I could accurately guess my actions....

It was a page turner. Alisa's internal struggle and ultimately dealing with the consequences of her own decisions was captivating!

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. Her two previous novels were A Promise to Remember and Waiting for Daybreak, a finalist in Women's Fiction for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, CA.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House publishers. No money was received for this review and the opinions expressed are my honest opinions.

Newest winners!

S from Temple Transformation wins a copy of Extraordinary by John Bevere.

Heather from Sugar N Spice Mostly Nice wins a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall.

Congratulations! The next giveaway will start the week of Nov 9th!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My 11 year old dear daughter's christmas list

I thought I would share Sha Sha's Christmas "Wish List" (her title, not mine).

Divided into two parts, the first part is predictable and has seven reasonable items.
I won't bore you with it.

The second half is titled "Wishful Thinking", and subtitled "(probably won't happen)". This will have you laughing. I'll refrain from commentary on it...

1. an email address
2. A facebook account (I know this won't happen).
3. A Nintendo DS
4. My own room
5. On/off switches for my 3 siblings
6. a car
7. to be allowed to babysit

A couple of these are reasonable. But I certainly got a good chuckle out of a couple of them too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Well-Behaved Child review

I have been a parent for 11 years. I have read A LOT of parenting books. Within the last few years I've grown disenchanted because they all started to blend together and sound the same. I admit I wasn't sure about this book when I first heard of it. BUT - after I started reading, I was captivated! John Rosemond writes in a practical tone and to the heart of every parent. Using specific examples, practical techniques and frequent questions drawn from his years of Family Psychology and personal experience as a parent, Rosemond addresses techniques and parental attitudes toward discipline. He writes as if in the room with you, chatting over a cup of coffee. My favorite part of reading this book was the realization that ALL kids misbehave. We so frequently feel like failures as parents because our children misbehave. Children are born with a sinful nature, just like the rest of us. Rosemond's straight-forward approaches are likely to offend the sensibilities of those who believe that discipline stifles children, but parents who are dedicated to shaping their children's behaviors, to eliminating "negotiations", and to raising truly well-behaved children will find a treasure trove in this book. The book includes -

Seven Fundamentals of Effective Discipline
Seven Discipline Tools You Can't Do Without
Seven Top Behavior Problems of All-Time
Seven Tales of the Strange and Un-Expected

Intrigued? You should be!

John Rosemond is a family psychologist, popular speaker, featured guest on major televison talk shows, and syndicated columnist for more than two hundered newspapers. He and his wife, Willie, married forty-one years, have two adult children and seven grandchildren.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson publishers.

The Secret of Indigo Moon review

We have all heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words." I suppose that might be why manga art comics have become so popular. The Secret of Indigo Moon from The Doppleganger Chronicles by G.P. Taylor combines manga comics and novel in an interesting read for young adults. It is a good combination of the two that can encourage belligerent readers.

The book follows the escapades of three youngsters who are labeled as troublemakers and seem to be in the right place at the right time to be unlikely heroes. The illustrations are well drawn. The plot is easy to follow and somewhat interesting. This book is the second in a series and frequently mentions events that happened in the first book. Since I didn't read the first, it was a tad frustrating. If you have a young adult that is interested in the genre, it is worth checking these out!

A motorcyclist and former rock band roadie turned Anglican minister, Graham Peter (G. P.) Taylor has been hailed as "hotter than Potter" and "the new C. S. Lewis" in the United Kingdom. His first novel, Shadowmancer, reached #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in 2004 and has been translated into 48 languages. His other novels include Wormwood (another New York Times best seller which was nominated for a Quill Book Award), The Shadowmancer Returns: The Curse of Salamander Street, Tersias the Oracle, and Mariah Mundi. Taylor currently resides in North Yorkshire with his wife and three children.

This book was provided for review by Tyndale publishers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Sound of Sleigh Bells

I know that I have mentioned before my fascination with Amish novels. So it should be no surprise that Cindy Woodsmall's new novella, The Sound of Sleigh Bells, had me riveted! I am glad it was a novella, or I would have been up all night!

Beth Hertzler has been emotionally wounded by a horrible tragedy and her family is worried. Beth occupies herself with her work, actually, she hides behind her work. Beth's Aunt Lizzy notices a change for the better in Beth and seeks out the source of the change. Will her aunt's attempts at drawing Beth out work? Will Beth resent the very person who could provide her a second chance at love?

If you are at all interested in Amish fiction I have to recommend Woodsmall's books. They are riveting and filled with characters that are so dimensional that readers will find themselves crying for and cheering on the characters as if they were real people.

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

And yes, I have a copy to give away! Leave a comment by Wednesday, October 28 for a chance to win!

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah publishers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Extraordinary (review and giveaway)

Do people long to be normal or ordinary? Not really. I believe we all have a desire in our hearts to excel at something. God placed that desire in our hearts for a reason. We all have abilities and gifts that were given to us for an explicit purpose. Are those best utilized to achieve normality or commonness? John Bevere's most recent book, Extraordinary, is a great encouragement to those who are tired of being average and living only in the day to day. It encourages us that God created us for so much more. Our salvation doesn't depend on works, but because we have a God who cares about others, and we have a desire to please our Father, we should WANT to carry out His will on this earth! He has given us EVERYTHING we need, all we need to do is embrace it and put in into practice! Bevere does a great job of backing everything up with scripture.

John Bevere is an internationally popular conference speaker, teacher, and author of bestsellers, including The Bait of Satan, Drawing Near, and Driven by Eternity. His award-winning curriculum and books have been translated in over sixty languages and his weekly television program, The Messenger, is broadcast around the world. John and his wife, Lisa—also a bestselling author and speaker—reside with their family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit his ministry website at

If you are ready to be encouraged and equipped to do and expect the "extraordinary" in your life, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy. I'll select a winner on Wednesday, October 21.

You can also read more about the book and buy it here.