Wednesday, September 30, 2009
About The Great Christmas Bowl:
Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s football 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?
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. Her larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com .
I grinned throughout most of this book, and chuckled during the rest, when I wasn't teary-eyed at the sweet moments. This is a laugh-out-loud fun book to read! It's not so much that Susan captures the Midwestern Small Town Life perfectly (which she does; I've lived there, in a different state, but it's the same in all the ways that matter), or that she captures the "We've Always Done It This Way Before" attitude in the small-town church (again, I've been there). Or even the Swedish influence (even though I live in an area of the country populated by the hardy Norwegians...lefse, anyone?). It's that she captures this slice of humanity in such a way as to focus on the positive and fun side of the story, uplifting the reader--while also encouraging the reader to practice true hospitality.
This book is the perfect read during the holidays. Be sure to pick up a few copies to give as gifts!
Be a part of the Great Christmas Bowl recipe exchange!
Will you share your story and recipe with Susan and the readers of the Great Christmas Bowl? She will post your story and recipe on the FRONT PAGE of the Great Christmas Bowl website, and send you a link when it goes up so you can tell all your friends. Then, at the Great Christmas Bowl party (December 5th, 10am, online! Details TBA) she’ll make the entire cookbook available for download!
For every recipe/story you submit (up to 3), you will be entered in a drawing to receive one of SMW’s collections (Noble Legacy, Team Hope, Heirs of Anton, Deep Haven Series, Josey series, or THE ADVANCED COPY of Sons of Thunder – Susie’s brand new epic World War 2 novel, due out in January 2010!)
Go – run, get your recipe, then come back here and click on the link below to share your Christmas memories!
(I received a review copy of this book from the publisher and participate in this tour through a marketing agency. Thank you!)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michelle Sutton, otherwise known as the Edgy Inspirational Author, is Editor-in-chief of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, a member of ACFW, a social worker by trade, and a prolific reader/book reviewer/blogger the rest of the time.
She lives in Arizona with her husband of nineteen years and her two teenaged sons. Michelle is also the author of It's Not about Me (2008) and It's Not About Him (Sheaf House 2009). She has nine other titles releasing over the next three years.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Susie passed out while drinking at Jeff’s party and later discovered she’s pregnant. She has no idea who the father is and considers having an abortion, but instead decides to place her baby for adoption. Following through ends up being more wrenching than she imagined, but she’s determined to do the right thing for her baby.
Jeff feels guilty that Susie was taken advantage of at his party and offers to marry her so she won’t have to give up her baby, like his birth mother did with him. But Susie refuses, insisting he should he marry someone he loves. Can he convince her that his love is genuine before it’s too late? Can she make him understand that it’s not about him—it’s about what’s best for her child?
If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of It's Not About Him, go HERE
I ran out of time to review this book, but I will be doing so very soon.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
It's that time of year, when the world falls into reading...
To make your own list, go here to Callapidder Days. :) Thanks, Katrina!
Emilie Richards' Ministry is Murder Series: Blessed is the Busybody
Let There Be Suspects
Beware False Profits
A Lie for a Lie
Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy (to be an influencer) Daisy Chain by Mary De Muth - a reread, to prepare for: A Slow Burn by Mary De Muth (also an influencer for this, and will need to review for three blog tours) The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow (book club) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (book club)
- It's Monday.
- I need to get my week organized TODAY because I work a lot this week. A lot.
- This is the week my own reinvented 6-Week Challenge for Curves begins.
- I teach at one club Tuesdays and one on Thursdays.
- For six weeks.
- Teach is not really accurate: I'm really supposed to be Coaching, Compelling, and Celebrating.
- That's what we do at Curves.
- I already blew the "diet" today. I had zucchini bread for breakfast.
- It has a vegetable so it should be ok, right?
- I have a list of errands, too.
- I also have a lot of clutter to go through.
- Well, not a LOT, but a couple of paper piles and a desk to straighten, so the hubby doesn't feel claustrophobic amongst my disorganization.
- I've been between calendaring systems this month, and I MUST convert to the new calendar today! Out with the old, in with the new.
- If I keep it, I'll continue to be between and that will be BAD.
- I also must decide if I want to stick with Zumba.
- Zumba is hard for a girl raised Southern Baptist...all that hip and glute wiggling goes against everything I was raised to be!
- But it's good cardio.
- And I'm getting older...
- So that's where I am today.
- Have a great day!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Welcome to the blog tour for Jean Blackmer's Boy-sterous Living!
About the Book:
Raising boys isn't easy. Life with them is loud. If it's quiet, they're probably up to something. Boys are messy, competitive, fearless, and proud. Living with them pretty much guarantees that you're in for an adventure.
As the only female in a house with three sons, a husband, and two male dogs, Jean Blackmer has learned a lot about living with boys. She knows that as a mom it isn't always easy to communicate and connect with these creatures of noise and energy. Everyday, they force you to live in a world where bugs are cool, safety is an afterthought, and "talking is torture."
In Boy-sterous Living, Jean shares a few of the priceless stories and laugh-out-loud lessons that she and her boys have experienced over the years. With humorous insight and practical advice, she offers encouragement and ideas to help both mothers and fathers impact and shape the lives of their sons. From understanding their love of sports to overcoming the superman complex, Jean shows moms how to find joy and contentment in everyday life by celebrating the laughter, passion, noise, and endless energy boys bring to our lives.
Additonal resources include:
* Thoughtful questions to help parents explore their views on raising sons
* Bible verses to help parents apply God's truth to the trials and joys of raising a family
* Suggestions for more information on several topic and issues related to parenting boys
Beacon Hill Press, 192 pages.
About the Author:
Jean is currently the Publishing Manager for MOPS International and she's been free-lance writing for 16 years. She has been published in a variety of local and national publications, including: Guideposts, MomSense, Today's Christian Woman, Christian Parenting Today, American Girl, Proverbs 31 Woman, Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul, Chicken Soup Cookbook for the Busy Mom's Soul, Focus on the Family's Teen Phases, Guideposts Miracle Series, and others.
She also co-authored her first book, Where Women Walked: Powerful True Stories of Women's Perseverance and God's Provision. (Tyndale/Focus on the Family, 2004) This book was nominated for a Gold Medallion Award.
Jean graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Bachelor's (1987) and a Master's (1992) degree in Journalism. She lives in Boulder with her husband Zane; three boys, Josh, Jordan, and Jake.
Find out more about Jean at her website:
To Purchase click here
I don't have boys, but I wanted to take a look at this new book before handing it over to my friend who has two tween boys (look for it in the mail soon, Valerie!). It looks like a wonderfully encouraging, helpful book for moms of sons, full of humorous vignettes and Scripture. Some topics include: technology, sports, communication, love, joking, and having fun.
Blog Tour Sponsored by LitFUSE Publicity Group
To read others' reviews, click here.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
- Rode with my little one to school today on our bikes. It's getting easier, praise God!
- I have committed to so many book reviews that I felt like I should post something non-bookish. But I have a lot of reading to do! It's always on my list.
- I am in the middle of sorting Mom's Precious Moments collection to sell online. Let's just say there are a LOT of teardrop eyes staring at me from the table...
- I am enjoying my spiritual journaling a lot. It's helping me stay committed to reading some portion of Scripture each day. I'm vacillating between Psalms and Philippians. (Had to have a common theme, so I chose books with the letter P.)
- Friends of mine are all facing new challenges this week: new job, new dog (maybe--long story), new home and new church. You know who you are. You know I am thinking of you and praying for you.
- I am in the middle of converting my 2009 calendar into a 16-month 09-10 calendar. I don't know why it's taking me so long!
- I need to get ready for work now. Have a great Wednesday!
Monday, September 14, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning author Shelley Adina wrote her first teen novel when she was 13. It was rejected by the literary publisher to whom she sent it, but he did say she knew how to tell a story. That was enough to keep her going through the rest of her adolescence, a career, a move to another country, a B.A. in Literature, an M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction, and countless manuscript pages.
Shelley is a world traveler and pop culture junkie with an incurable addiction to designer handbags. She writes books about fun and faith--with a side of glamour. Between books, Shelley loves traveling, playing the piano and Celtic harp, watching movies, and making period costumes.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Finals week is approaching and Mac is still undecided on where to spend the holidays. Normally she'd go home to Scotland, but spending two weeks alone in the castle with her dad isn't as appealing as it used to be. So she invites Carly, Lissa, Gillian, and Shani to join her for the holidays!
Mac is determined to make this the best Christmas ever. She even decides to organize the traditional Hogmany dance for New Year's Eve. If she can get her mother involved in the dance, maybe her parents will finally get back together.
But when Mac and the girls arrive in Scotland, they are faced with bad news: the castle is falling apart and Mac's parents are struggling financially. Not only that, but Shani is in big trouble with Prince Rashid's royal family. Can the girls find a way to celebrate the holidays, get Mac's parents back together, save the castle, and rescue Shani from her relentless pursuers? There's only one way to find out...
If you would like to read the first chapter of Tidings of Great Boys, go HERE
My good friend Teri Lynne over at Pleasing to You is celebrating her 100th post with a Joy Party. What fun!
- Looking back on my life (since I'm nearing a hallmark birthday, this has been on my mind for the past several months) and seeing how far I've come. Looking back at the valleys God has brought me through, and looking ahead to a future orchestrated by Him. I thank Him all the time for being with me, not giving up on me, and for molding me into the woman He would have me be. Unfortunately this self is pretty stubborn, so it makes His job much harder.
- Watching my girls dance. This is my tenth season as a dance mom, and it always makes my heart hurt (in a good way) to watch my daughters dance. This often causes an overflow of joy out of my eyes in the form of tears, for which my girls forgive me (sometimes with an eyeroll and "Oh Mom," but I know the forgiveness is there, deep down...).
- Being good friends with my sister again. She and I have had our moments, as all sisters do, but since our parents' divorce, we have become very close. It's been wonderful to be closer to her in our hearts, as well as in driving distance.
- All of my online friends. What a joy and a privilege to be involved in online friendships and ministry opportunities! I've "virtually" met so many wonderful godly Christian women over the past thirteen years of being online, and I am truly blessed. It's a joy to turn on my computer each day.
- Writing brings me joy. It also brings me angst, and tears, and frustration, and many other emotions both positive and negative. Overall, though, if I didn't write, I really believe I'd shrivel up inside, like the Grinch and his heart that's two sizes too small.
Friday, September 11, 2009
September 20-26 is National Dog Week, so this book is a perfect way to celebrate our furry friends. Charlene is a dog-lover herself; in fact, her dog, Kornflake, sits at her feet as she writes, and he even makes an appearance in her “Dearest Dorothy” series. So celebrate man’s best friend by reading this book.
In Stray Affections, the last thing that Cassandra expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home—even if means wrestling another shopper for it!
The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw, Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange—flurrious, as Cassie deems it—moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.
“As a believer, I know the power of forgiveness and new beginnings, and of a God, and family and friends, who love me the way I am,” Charlene Ann Baumbich says. “The heartbeat of change flows through those wonderful gifts.”
With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites readers to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.
About the Author:
Charlene Ann Baumbich is a popular author and speaker and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written seven nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. A bungee-jumping, once motorcycle-owning grandma and unabashed dog lover, Charlene lives with her husband and rescued dog Kornflake in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She loves telling stories, laughing whenever possible, and considers herself a Wild Child of God.
Video Intro by the Author:On Facebook
This book is not what I really expected it to be. I suppose I thought it was about a woman who rescued dogs, since the tour is just before dog week; however, this is a much different story than I originally thought.
Cassie's journey of healing is long and roundabout, full of interesting encounters, twists and turns, and redemption coming from prayer, forgiveness long withheld, and yes, dogs.
Sometimes the passage of time, especially in the latter third of the novel, seems rushed. And while I understand the need for it, it's a little bit awkward as the book races on toward its conclusion.
I liked Cassandra. Cassie is a woman who would make a really good friend.
The town boasts a few quirky yet loveable characters as well. Burt and his Durves especially.
All in all, Stray Affections is a good book with a strong message of grace and a healthy sprinkling of dog adoption.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series and So Not Happening. I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie.
When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.
My students are constantly telling me how my teaching changes their lives and turned them away from drugs, gangs, and C-SPAN.
Okay, that’s not exactly true.
Since my current job leaves me with very little free time, I believe in spending my spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits such as:
-updating my status on Facebook
-catching Will Ferrell on YouTube and
-writing my name in the dust on my furniture
I’d love to hear about you, so drop me a note. Or check me out on Facebook.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The only thing scarier than living on the edge is stepping off it.
Maggie Montgomery lives a life of adventure. Her job as a cinematographer takes her from one exotic locale to the next. When Maggie's not working, she loves to rappel off cliffs or go skydiving. Nothing frightens her.
Nothing, that is, except Ivy, Texas, where a family emergency pulls her back home to a town full of bad memories, painful secrets, and people Maggie left far behind . . . for a reason.
Forced to stay longer than she intended, Maggie finds her family a complete mess, including the niece her sister has abandoned. Ten-year-old Riley is struggling in school and out of control at home. The only person who can really handle the pint-sized troublemaker is Conner, the local vet and Ivy's most eligible bachelor. But Conner and Maggie keep butting heads--he's suspicious of her and, well, she doesn't rely on anyone but herself.
As Maggie humorously fumbles her way from one mishap to another, she realizes she's going to need to ask for help from the one person who scares her the most.
To save one little girl--and herself--can Maggie let go of her fears and just trust God?
If you would like to read the first chapter of Just Between You And Me, go HERE
I really liked this book. Just Between You and Me is a story of overcoming fear, and the difference between being saved and surrendering everything to God. Maggie is such a reformed wild child! She's a very likeable and sympathetic character, for sure. Conner, well, of course we KNOW he and Maggie will get together, but it's an interesting journey to the end, let's say.
I think the author did a great job of showing us how people can change throughout the years, and how God can work to change our hearts and goals when crises happen, as they often do.
PS to the author, if she happens by: I used to teach English and Journalism in Arkansas!
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I am thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Max Lucado's newest release, Fearless.
Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.
They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken up a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison of unlocked doors. Wouldn't it be great to walk out?
Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, where you could trust more and fear less.
Can you imagine your life without fear?
Monday, September 07, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
I love my felicities! So here we go on this frantically busy Friday:
- My little red LG cell phone.
- Texts that make me smile, arriving on my little red LG phone.
- My wallet. I've had it now for around 12 years, including the 10+ months it was missing, but found after it'd been stolen in the church, thrown behind the furnace.
- Burt's Bees tinted lip shimmer.
- Old Navy's Stuff and Save sale. LOVE IT!!! And their clothes are comfy. And soft. And did I mention comfy?
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
My biggest writing challenge today (as it seems it changes daily!) is to find my place in the writing world. Some days, as I open a new Word document, it seems crystal clear. Other days, not so much.
So what am I going to do about it? Find my writing purpose. Using my talent for the good and not merely for the trivial. To tell the story I must tell, in whatever format serves me best at that time: fiction, nonfiction, blog, personal journal.
I have had this particular prize book on my wish list on Amazon for quite a while! Thank you for the opportunity to enter to try and win it.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Visit Day One here!
I didn't win, but I decided to list my entry anyway:
I have been writing for a long time, but have not been able to motivate myself to focus enough on pursuing a career in writing. I guess that makes me a dabbler, huh? So my biggest challenge to a writing career is myself. I fear that my lack of focus on that One Thing I Am An Expert On, will hurt me in the long run. What if I chose the wrong thing? What if I should focus on Subject X when Subject Y is what is most needed in the market? So I remain a Jane-of-Many-Subjects-But-Expert-On-None.
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