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Showing posts from August, 2008

Writer Mama Giveaway Rules

It's time! Get ready to visit The Writer Mama's Back to School Giveaway, which runs the entire month of September.

Christina has posted the rules for the giveaway on her site.

I participated about half the month last year, but I never won (That dang random number generator thingie never chose me!). However, I will not let it stop me from trying again this year. There are some GREAT prizes!

the sound of silence

I didn't think I was one of "those people."
The ones that can't sit still.
I mean, I can sit for a stretch of online/computer time. I can sit for a movie, generally, all the way through.
But unstructured time? Time without a BOOK? Alone?
Here's the story: Yesterday hubby worked from home, so I came home from work and the bank so we could both walk to go pick up the girls. Now that M1 is in middle school, there's 1/2 hour difference in beginning and ending times. M2 insisted that DADDY be the one to walk her home. That left me with no cell phone, no book, nothing to DO for twenty-five minutes.
Is that the saddest thing you've ever heard?
I'm one of those people who must have alone time to rejuvenate, but I also like to be around people (on the Myers-Briggs, I'm just a few points on the extrovert side from the middle cut-off point). But my alone time generally involves reading. Or writing. Or online time. Not alone with…


Forgive me, Challenge, for I have sinned. I spent one dollar for two nearly-new paperback books today at my library.

On the plus side, I have gotten about six or so books out of the house this month. That's not bad.

The Church that Multiplies

The Church That Multiplies: Growing a Healthy Cell Church in North America is Joel Comiskey's answer to the question: Does the cell church strategy work in North America? His answer is yes, and here is why and where!

Comiskey takes the reader step-by-step into the whys and hows of the cell church model. He offers current examples of thriving cell churches (as the book I have is the second printing from 2007, it's been updated since its first edition in 2005).

This 180-page book is small enough not to be daunting, but annotated enough to provide a great starting place for men and women who want to learn more about this vibrant church movement.

Joel Comiskey has a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary and is a former C&MA missionary, as well as working as a church consultant and speaker. He is also an adjunct faculty member for several seminaries. He is the founding pastor of a cell-based church in Southern California.
It's time! Get ready to visit The Writer Mama's Back to School Giveaway, which runs the entire month of September.

Whoo hoo Christina!

Wild Goose Chase

Welcome to the tour for Mark Batterson's latest book, Wild Goose Chase. Click on the cover art above to purchase the book on

About the Book:

Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect.
“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….
Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.” --from the introduction About the Author:
Mark Batterson, author of Wild Goose Chase, is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., and an avid blogger…

The Sugar Queen

Another great recommendation from Dana. The Sugar Queen is the second novel by Sarah Addison Allen. It's a completely different story from her first one, which for a sophomore novel is quite a feat, I believe.

What I loved was the delicious phrasing. The beauty of the language, the sadness and sweetness of the story, the characters who are so delightful and whom I'd love to meet. The laughable joy of Chloe and her books, of Josey and her hidden sugar stash, and the men, oh the fallible yet loveable men.

I think the saddest thing is that I can't read the book for the first time, again.

here's the summary from Amazon:

In this irresistible follow-up to her New York Times bestselling debut, Garden Spells, author Sarah Addison Allen tells the tale of a young woman whose family secrets—and secret passions—are about to change her life forever.

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry ex…

Summer Challenge Wrap-Up


June 1-August 31, 2008
My original list is posted here. I listed six books and three alternates. I finished five books and two alternates, thereby reading one "extra" book. The other two books are selections by Jodi Picoult. I do plan to read them at some point, but not now. (I have to be in a certain mood and frame of mind to read Picoult, and while I did read two of her books this year so far, I'm in a different reading place right now.)

I know it's not yet the 31st, but with the books I have coming for review (I joined CFBA since entering this reading challenge), I don't see myself tackling the remainig two Picoult novels.

I accomplished my goal of intentional reading. I wasn't aimlessly wandering, so to speak. And that feels good.

I declare this challenge completed. Thanks to Kathleen of Rock Creek Rumblings for hosting the challenge!

Children's Books

Welcome to a children's book blog tour! Three books for you to enjoy.

Clicking on the book cover photo will take you to, where the book can be purchased. I've included the publisher's summary and author/illustrator bios, as well as my own thoughts.

by Lisa Tawn Bergren:
Little Cub awakens one morning with some important questions on her mind: What is heaven like? How do we get there? Will we eat in heaven? Will we be angels?

During a delightful day spent wandering their arctic world, Papa gently answers each question, assuring Little Cub that heaven is a wonderful place, “a million times better” than she can imagine. He explains how God has made a way for those who love him to enter their heavenly home forever after their lives on earth are over.

Reuniting the best-selling author-illustrator team from God Gave Us You, this gentle story provides satisfying answers for a young child’s most difficult questions about heaven. Parents, grandparents, childcare prof…

Garden Spells

An addendum to the "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" list.

My friend Dana recommended this book to me, and when the library had it on the shelf, I went ahead and checked it out while the recommendation was fresh. What a delightful read! I was captivated by the characters, both Claire the steadfast older sibling, and Sydney the prodigal sister who returns home.

It's just a great story. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.

From Publishers Weekly (
Two gifted sisters draw on their talents to belatedly forge a bond and find their ways in life in Allen's easygoing debut novel. Thirty-four-year-old Claire Waverley manifests her talent in cooking; using edible flowers, Claire creates dishes that affect the eater in curious ways. But not all Waverley women embrace their gifts; some, including Claire's mother, escape the family's eccentric reputation by running away. She abandoned Claire and her sister when they were young. Consequently, Claire has remained cl…

Blog Tour: Finding Stefanie

Welcome to the LitFuse blog tour for the third in the Noble Legacy Series by Susan May Warren: FINDING STEFANIE.

About the book:

When she put her dreams on hold to help run the family ranch, she never imagined they would slip out of sight. Luckily for Stefanie, those dreams are about to come knocking at her door.

Lincoln Cash has gained fame and fortune on the big screen, but a crippling secret leaves him one last chance to make his mark on the movie industry. With dreams of hosting a new film festival, Lincoln intends to remodel a sprawling ranch in eastern Montana to make it the new Hollywood hot spot.

Unfortunately, a house fire threatens his plans. So does opposition from his new neighbor Stefanie Noble, who's not thrilled about his Tinseltown changes. What Lincoln and Stefanie don't know is that the fire won't be the last disaster to threaten Lincoln or his future. Someone is out for revenge... but who? And who is the real target?

read chapter one ~ buy the book

About the A…

CFBA: That's Not Exactly Amore

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
That's (Not Exactly) Amore
FaithWords (August 14, 2008)
Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2)

She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years.
She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.

Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.

She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.


When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe…

challenge update

We are one-third of the way through August. So far, so good. I have not purchased any new books for myself. I have, however, been deluged with a few Paperback Swap books that have been on my wish list for over a year. Then I also brought home three library books (the kind you check out, not the ones you can buy for fifty cents!).

I have a lot of reading to do!

I read two books on vacation and began a third. Then a fourth. Those reviews are forthcoming with some blog tours coming up. I am about "booked up" (pardon the obvious pun) on blog tours with all the invites that have invaded my inbox! It's tough to turn down a book, especially for me.

Words, words, words, to quote Hamlet

Where has my time gone? Ah yes, I took a reading break, then a scrapbooking break to scrap our vacation, and now we're headed into a hugely busy week! So I'll be reading again (as the scrapbook is almost done).

What am I reading? Well, let me tell you:

Reclaiming Nick and Finding Stefanie, volumes 1 and 3 in the Noble Legacy Series, by Susan May Warren. (Book 2 is Taming Rafe, and my library doesn't have I guess I'll have to catch it another time, as I'm not purchasing books during the month of August!). My review for Stefanie's story is due next week. I have to say, after briefly visiting eastern Montana on our recent vacation; Susan Warren did a fabulous job of describing the landscape. Gorgeous. Curves by Gary Heavin. I'm a Curves circuit coach part-time, and I'm taking on the added responsibility of teaching the 6-week Weight Loss Challenge this fall. To that end, I'm reading the NYT bestselling book, sometimes. Love Starts With Elle by R…

Romancing Hollywood Nobody

Disclaimer: I'm not a member of FIRST (honestly, with my current blog tour/book review schedule and work commitments kicking into high gear this month, I can't join another. But I thought I'd "borrow" the code for this post, which I first saw on Camy Tang's blog.

I read this book last week, and I really, really, REALLY liked it. Almost as much as the first one. (I reviewed book two here, and you know I wasn't as happy with it. Book Three is good, though (did I mention I REALLY liked it?).

Anyway, you can read the first chapter below.

It is August FIRST, time for the FIRST Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

Today's feature author is:


and her book:

Romancing Hollywood Nobody

NavPress Publishing Group (July 15, 2008)

Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold