Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Secret of Us

Roxanne Henke's The Secret of Us is the story of two marriages: Laura and Donnie, and Stasha (their daughter) and Josh.

I've tried to read this book several times, and several times I failed. This weekend, however, I persevered. I finished it. It was not my favorite novel. This is my first Henke book, and I felt sometimes as if I were slogging through the story. The subject matter was not dealt with lightly, and it felt as if it were being written with a heavy heart and a heavy hand. But the story is a true one. It could be true for any married couple I know, newlywed or oldlywed.

If you are looking for a serious Christian novel about how and why to save a marriage, this is your book. If you're looking for a lighthearted read, this is not the book for you.

I did like Laura and Stasha, though. They were the characters that made it worth my while to finish the novel.

I finished this book as a part of two reading challenges: TBR challenge and Spring Reading Thing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The Memory Keeper's Daughter was recommended to me by my friend Roma, who had listened to an audio book version (which was given to her by her sister the weekend of the wedding and had recommended it to both of us).

It's the story of twins, born in 1964. One is a healthy boy, and one is a girl with Down Syndrome. He asks his nurse to take the baby girl to an institution for the mentally challenged. However, she does not comply.

The result is an intense and wonderful book. I could barely put it down.

I taped the movie that aired on Lifetime a few weeks ago and I hope to have time to watch it next week.

I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sisterchick Love

I *heart* Robin Jones Gunn. Have since Secrets was a bookstore find in 1995. Since I wrote her a letter and it was published in the Crossings Book Club newsletter. Since she wrote me a personal note to keep on writing.

I am anxious to read Sisterchicks Go Brit, and hope to get myself a copy soon.

In the meantime, enjoy this guest blog she wrote. I know I did!

Monday, May 26, 2008

20th Carnival of Christian Writers

I thought I'd let you know that the Carnival of Christian Writers is still going strong! Click here to find out more from Gina!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Raved-About Reads

Books people have raved to me about:

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I don't know when I'll get around to these! The list might lengthen but I doubt it'll change much. I own all three of these already.
ADDED 6/4: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Hope to get this through PBS or the library soon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sisterchicks go BRIT

This is an entry to win a copy of the book. I LOVE this series. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Healing Promises by Amy Wallace

Healing Promises by Amy Wallace, a fellow ACFW member!

I'm thrilled to be a part of this blog tour.


Facing a new threat.When FBI Agent Clint Rollins takes a bullet during a standoff, it might just save his life. But not even the ugly things he’s seen during his years working in the Crimes Against Children Unit could prepare him for the overwhelming powerlessness of hospital tests revealing an unexpected diagnosis. If only Sara weren’t retreating into doctor mode…he needs his wife now more than ever.

Frozen in fear.Sara Rollins is an oncologist with a mission–beating cancer when she can, easing her patients’ suffering at the very least. Now the life of her tall Texan husband is at stake. She never let the odds steal her hope before, but in this case, the question of God’s healing promises is personal. Can she hold on to the truth she claimed to believe?

Faith under fire.As Clint continues to track down a serial kidnapper despite his illness, former investigations haunt his nightmares, pushing him beyond solving the case into risking his life and career. Clint struggles to believe God is still the God of miracles. Especially when he needs not one, but two. Everything in his life is reduced to one all-important question: Can God be trusted?

Meet the Author:
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams, a homeschool mom, and a self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books, including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

I "met" Amy through ACFW and on Shoutlife. You can see her pretty face here:

I haven't been able to start this book yet (I'm overbooked, pun intended! Dance recital week is crazy!) but once I do, I'll be posting a review.

You can purchase the book at

Finding Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

Lisa Samson's second in the Hollywood Nobody series is Finding Hollywood Nobody.

Here is a brief summary of the novel:

Scotty Fitzgerald, oft-neglected daughter of well-known Hollywood food stylist Charley, knows the “inside scoop” about the Hollywood stars we can’t get enough of. Having spent her life in an RV driving from set to set while her mom “styled food” for celebrities, Scotty sees what the fans do not. And she reveals it regularly on her Hollywood Nobody blog, though she’d rather be as far away from Hollywood as anyone can get. After all, Scotty has enough drama in her own life!

After learning that her ‘mother’ is really her grandmother, Charley finds out her real parents were probably killed in a mafia-style shooting reminiscent of The Sopranos. Scotty’s now certain a sinister “Biker Guy” who’s continued to track her and her mom must be connected to her parents’ shooting. There’s a pretty good chance, she decides, that he’s looking to finish the job by taking her life.

So Scotty and Charley do what they’ve always done—run and avoid the situation. But a life on the run is exhausting and Scotty’s had just about enough—enough to ignore Charley’s motherly direction and chart her own course. Let’s just hope it isn’t a course that puts her in the crosshairs of her own parents’ murderer.

Themes of the Book

Finding identity. Teen Pregnancy. Exploring faith for the first time. Learning to listen to the Holy Spirit. Encountering new environments. Discovering the courage to act on your convictions.

And here is an interview:

Q&A with Lisa Samson, author of Finding Hollywood Nobody

Q. Discovering who you are is a major theme in Finding Hollywood Nobody. Scotty feels compelled to learn more about her real parents when she discovers that her ?mother? is really her grandmother and that her parents were likely killed in a mafia-style shootout. What do you think principally defines who we are ? genetics & family or how we see ourselves?

A. Being no expert in such things, I really couldn't say. There are way too many stories of twins separated at birth, growing up in very different homes, who end up living very similar lives. So I'd say genetics plays a large part. But just look and see what happens to people who are raised with many more advantages than those who aren't. So family as well as social standing hold a lot of sway as well. And then . . . how we see ourselves is a large part, especially how we see ourselves in light of God. Do we really believe God loves us? So can I answer yes to all three? I think we tend to get in trouble when we try and reduce the human psyche to one principle issue, anyway. As the Bible says, "we are fearfully and wonderfully made."

Q. What would you recommend to people in a similar situation as Scotty either through adoption or other circumstances? In your opinion - is finding your genetic heritage worth risking everything?

A. I wouldn't recommend anything! I think every situation is different and I would recommend commiting the matter of finding one's biological parent to intense prayer before even thinking of making a move. Let the Spirit guide above all else.

Q. What was your inspiration behind the Hollywood Nobody series?

A. I I just wanted to write a fun series. There are a lot of good series out there with teens in a more typical home situation, with either one parent around or two, living in a town, going to school, dealing with friends. But I wanted to remove my main character from the everyday world teens find themselves in and see what she did. I'm fascinated by what happens in Hollywood so setting it in that world, but on its edges, was something interesting for me. I swear, there are times I read what's happening to some of these young actresses and singers and can hardly believe my ears. I wanted to be able to explore a teenage girl's reaction to some of these foibles.

Q. What can you tell us about what?s in store for Scotty in Book 3?

A. Scotty finds some romance! As does Charley. And, of course, Seth "hottie" Haas, finds himself feeling a little threatened! The search for her mother continues full force. The book takes place in the mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina on the set of a Scottish epic film. Lots of guys in kilts. i'm just sayin'!

Let me just say, I wish I had had these books when I was a teen. They are so wonderful!

My review: I liked this book, perhaps not quite so well as the first one, but I believe it was a great book 2 in a series. There's a bit less of the "Nobody" blog, and a bit more of Scotty. It is a crucial book to get to the next stage in Scotty's life, and I appreciate that. Scotty gets into her own head for a while, then she's pushed out of her head and into the practice of her fledgling faith in her real-life situations. I love how Lisa Samson always puts her characters into situations where they must practice their faith. Just like real life, but more fun :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Whisper of Freedom

Welcome to a whistle stop on the WHISPER OF FREEDOM blog tour!

I'm thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for the third in this wonderful trilogy.

About the book: Battles heat up…not only those being waged by the soldiers on both sides fighting for Spain, but in the hearts and minds of the men and women who must sacrifice more than their dreams to save the lives of their loved ones.

In this meticulously researched novel, brave and idealistic Sophie, Philip, Jose, and Deion realize their only hope for freedom is escaping Spain's borders.

By continuing the story of this band of volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, A Whisper of Freedom proves that there are whispers of hope and liberty that resonate through even the darkest night.

This time, nothing boring. I get to answer a meme!

1. List three things you would do with a chest full of gold (assuming you got to keep it!)

*give gold to the church
*give gold to my family and friends
*have some really nice earrings made from it :)

2. List three charities/missions/organizations you support (and why).

*the Protestant chapel on's where we worship, and the money goes to programs.
*our home church, Northern Hills Baptist, because it's our home church.
*I'm going to be supporting Relay for Life this year, to stamp out cancer, in honor of survivors I know and in memory of those I've lost.

3. List three ways you have volunteered your time/services.

*the praise team at chapel
*the dance studio--helping with the recital program
*moderating a women's ministry message board online

4. List three things you keep "hidden" when company comes over.

*the trash!
*the mess!
*personal papers

5. List the last three things you've lost.

*my mind? No...let's try again!
*a Starbucks gift card from My Points. Still can't find that little bugger!
*the dance rehearsal schedule

6. List the last three things you've found.

*the dance rehearsal schedule
*my nail polishes
*my gold toe ring

During the tour, you can enter to win one of FIVE signed copies of A Whisper of Freedom by signing up for Tricia's newsletter here!


Three brave "players" will be selected at random to win their own lost gold (Gourmet chocolate coins and all three books in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series). To enter all you have to do is answer the MEME on your blog and then leave a comment on Tricia’s blog tour post here that you’ve posted your MEME. Easy.

Thanks for reading and be sure to enter the contests!

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...