Friday, April 30, 2010

Kiss Me Again

Why do so many women find it so hard to resist sex before marriage—and so easy to resist it after? Many married women genuinely want to feel more desire toward their husbands…and can’t figure out what went wrong. In Kiss Me Again, Barbara Wilson shows how powerful “invisible bonds” from past relationships can cause heartache, disappointment, and distance for couples in the present. But there’s good news. With sensitivity, honesty, and hope—Barbara walks readers step by step toward healing…and a rekindling of the closeness and passion with their husband that they really want.

With assessment tools, write-in exercises, and gentle guidance, Kiss Me Again offers a biblical plan for rekindling the closeness and passion women long for in marriage. Because no past is beyond the reach of God’s healing touch.

In Kiss Me Again, Wilson:

· Shares her own story of healing and renewed desire

· Helps women forgive themselves and their husbands for past choices

· Shows readers how to break free from “invisible bonds”

· Explains God’s plan for helping a husband and wife to re-bond

· Includes conversation helps for both wives and their husbands

· Helps couples reignite the passion that they thought was lost

Barbara Wilson is the author of The Invisible Bond and former director of sexual health education for the Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center in Sacramento. She speaks nationwide to youth and adults with her message of sexual healing, and she teaches frequently in the women’s ministry at the multi-campus Bayside Church in Northern California. Barbara and her husband, Eric, have been married for twenty-eight years.

Thanks to Lisa Beech of Coast to Coast Publicity for the review copy of this book.

Making it Real

Making It Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway? by T. Suzanne Eller

A recent statistic said that over 80% of Christian teens abandon their faith for a season. Author T. Suzanne Eller says, "As someone who has ministered to teens for a long time, I believe that teens leave a support system only to have to find out what they believe, as opposed to what they've heard in a sermon or celebrated as a family." Making It Real starts that journey now, rather than later so that they are not one of the 80% who aren't sure what they believe anymore. Whether the reader is a first-time Christ-seeker or a seasoned believer, the book is for teens wanting to know God on a personal life-changing level.

Making It Real helps teens grow their faith, no matter where they are spiritually--into a dynamic relationship with God.

For teens asking questions about their faith, like:

  • How do I make my faith more personal?
  • How do I turn to God in both good and bad times?
  • Where is God leading me?
  • Is my faith a relationship or tradition?

Family faith is awesome. Youth church is a place where teens can grow. But personal faith is a one-on-one journey. Making It Real is great for individuals as well as small cell or discipleship groups or Sunday school classes.

What Others Are Saying

Making It Real will engage you and take you on a faith-building and life-changing journey,leading you daily to a powerful one-on-one encounter with God. This book connects this generation with a message that is relevant, inspiring and definitely needed.

~ Beau Herbert, President Youthfire.com

About the Author

T. Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is the author of five books and over 600 articles and columns. She is a contributing writer to Today's Christian Woman, cbn.com, and Enrichment Journal. Suzie is a youth culture and parenting columnist, and a community mentor in The Woman of Vision program. Her books include The Mom I Want to Be, The Woman I Am Becoming: Embracing the Chase for Identity, Faith, and Destiny and Making it Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway? Suzie is a sought-after inspirational speaker who ministers internationally to groups of all sizes. She has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV programs. Suzie and her husband have three children and make their home in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. For more information, visit http://www.daretobelieve.org/


Pattie's Thoughts:

I think this book looks like a great study for teens who either want to reinforce their faith, or who struggle with what they believe. With journaling space, prayers, contemporary and Biblical examples, this book would make a wonderful graduation gift for teens.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dear God It's Me and It's Urgent

Dear God, It’s Me and It’s Urgent by Marion Stroud

From the Publicist:

Urgent times call for urgent prayer! Marion Stroud's book offers readers the opportunity to enter into prayer for a variety of challenging events that women face at different seasons of life. While one reader may be faced with wedding bells and another chemotherapy, each will find a place within the pages of this book to be lead to the One Who is waiting to help her.

Prayer is a proven remedy for worry, and in Dear God, It’s Me and It’s Urgent, readers will find multiple, easily-worded prayers to pray during those moments in life when we lack the words to pray on our own.

You will find six sections that cover every aspect of a woman’s life:

  • A Woman Within
  • A Woman and Marriage
  • A Woman and Her Children
  • A Woman at Work
  • A Woman Who Cares
  • A Woman Growing Older

Pattie’s Thoughts:

Truly, this beautiful little book does what it promises on the cover: it offers prayers for every season of a woman’s life. Sprinkled throughout the prayers are lovely quotations and Bible verses.

I think this book would be a lovely gift for Mother’s Day.

Thanks to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for a review copy of this book.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hope for the Journey Through Cancer

Hope for the Journey Through Cancer by Yvonne Ortega

From the cover and the publicist:

When you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and you’re in the midst of hospital visits and treatments, you may wonder, Where is God? Where is His love and mercy? Yvonne Ortega knows how you feel—she’s a cancer survivor herself. Through sixty inspirational readings, she walks alongside you with encouragement and compassion gleaned from God’s word.

There will be triumphs and setbacks in this journey from diagnosis to recovery. But Ortega reminds us that even when it looks like we are alone, God is there every step of the way. Ortega helps readers see that, although cancer is a difficult illness to face, they do not have to face it alone.

Pattie’s Thoughts:

I liked that this book was written in short segments. Like bite-sized truffles of strength for the reader, these lovely devotions are highlighted by a Bible verse, called a “hope builder,” and end with a prayer for the reader to pray.

Ortega takes the reader from diagnosis, to surgery, to treatment, and then to recovery.

I think this would be a terrific resource for someone who is on the cancer journey, to encourage and strengthen.

Thanks to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for a review copy of this book.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Coming up...

There will be a rash of book promotions here...because I have a few books to pass along this weekend. For some, I had an obligation to review them. Others arrived unsolicited, but I'll post a note about each of them anyway!

In other news: details with our move are truly coming together. I'm so grateful to the Lord for working those things out! It might not be that hard of a move after all!

I have three weeks of class! OY! I did receive a compliment from my instructor, who suggested I revise my nonfiction piece, then submit it for publication. SUBMIT IT!!!!! It is exactly the kind of affirmation I was looking for--I should not give up on this writing of mine. I should keep going.

And I will.

But for now, the teenage girl in the house wants to check her email and facebook. And I need to clean the kitchen and find some dinner.

Have a great week! Next week I'll be participating in the Wives of Faith blog carnival for military spouse appreciation month, so stay tuned!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Easier than being a pastor's wife

I have often surprised people with my statement that being a military chaplain's wife is easier than being a pastor's wife.

By far.

I should probably include the detail "small church single-staff pastor's wife" since my husband always felt called to small rural or small-town churches, with active attendance between 50-110 members.

There are expectations placed upon the pastor's wife of such a church. Mainly, she is expected to pitch in when necessary, as are other members. In small churches, that's how it's done, in theory. In practice, as in all organizations, the 20-80 rule is in full force: 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work.

I played piano, sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, taught VBS, led VBS music, etc.

In the military chapel, there was no such expectation. In fact, in the past, this particular chapel had seen a chaplain's wife who worshipped at their own denomination's local congregation and not in the chapel with her husband! (I have a big problem with that personally, but that's not something I wish to argue today.)

The other advantage I have had here in the military chapel is that we live in town, not on base. This is a far different experience than living in the parsonage (a.k.a. the fishbowl), where everything is visible and known.

In a single-staff church, guess who's on call 24-7? My husband. In the military, he gets to rotate on-call time with two or three others. Nice!

So yes, even including the whole TDY and deployment experience, it is far easier to be a military chaplain's wife.

PS: Thank your pastor's wife for her service next time you see her. She will probably be shocked, but she'll be grateful.

____

Disclaimer: this is based on my own experience. I can't speak for the hundreds of other military chaplain's wives.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Green Mama

Happy Earth Day! While I'm far from a crunchy granola-type mom, I am concerned about our world for the sake of my kids and their kids. We've only been given one Earth, and we should take care of it as best we can.

Welcome to the blog tour for Tracey Bianchi's new book Green Mama: The Guilt Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet.

I have enjoyed this book a great deal. It's easy to read and full of practical advice and encouragement about our world, and the "guilt free" part of the subtitle is absolutely true. Bianchi does not set out to make us all feel like slime for using the occasional throwaway item. She does, however, offer some great ways we as citizens of our world and children of Jesus can make significant changes in our consumerism, recycling, and daily habits, with practical advice and using Biblical examples and verses as support. The book is also printed on recycled paper, which is a nice touch.

I highly recommend this book to all moms.

About the book:

Moms today are busier than ever. Taking care of the planet sounds like a great idea-but in the midst of taking care of your kids, it becomes just one more thing to feel guilty about not doing.
 


Tracey Bianchi knows what it’s like to live in the middle of suburbia with a to-do list too long to write down. In Green Mama, she brings green living within reach for every overtired, overstressed, and overwhelmed mom. Her practical suggestions help moms like you make environmentally wise choices at the grocery store, schoolyard, and kitchen table, while keeping an eye on the kids and the budget. With creative tips, tricks, and resources, she shares her stories of successes and failures in saving the planet and inspiring her kids to love God’s world.
 


Moms need a resource like Green Mama to remind them that green living is not another chore but an invitation to a creative partnership with God. As Bianchi enthusiastically tells you, green living is more than a trend-it is God’s beautiful plan for the planet and for your life.

About the author:

Tracey Bianchi is an editorial advisor and quarterly columnist for Christianity Today’s Gifted for Leadership newsletter and MOPS International’s Fullfill magazine. A frequent speaker at MOPS groups and MOPS International conventions, she earned a master of divinity degree with honors from Denver Seminary. She is now the director of women’s ministries for Christ Church of Oak Brook, where she regularly teaches large groups and classes. Bianchi lives in Chicago with her family.


And to get other perspectives about Green Mama, visit the other tour stops this week!

You can purchase the book here.

Thanks once again to the folks at Zondervan
and Tina at the Blog Tour Spot for a review copy of this lovely book.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How green am I?

In anticipation of Earth Day and a blog tour I'm doing for Green Mama, I was thinking of green tips to share with my readers.

A few years ago, my girls and I decided to start using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store. I wonder how many plastic bags we've avoided? Ten per trip, three trips a month, 360 per year?

I just looked at this website, and billions of plastic bags are headed to our landfills each year. That's overwhelming, isn't it?

If my family has saved 1000 bags from landing in the landfills, and you multiply that by a thousand families, certainly a million bags makes a dent?

So my tip for today is this: as much as possible, use reusable bags. Store them in your car. Make it a habit to grab the bag of bags before you go in to the store for your stock-up shopping. It WILL make a difference. Even if you're only slightly green :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Love Mercy by Lisa & Ty Samson

Welcome to the blog tour for Love Mercy by Lisa Samson and her daughter Ty Samson.

From the Back Cover:

A Mother and Daughter's Journey from the American Dream to the Kingdom of God.

Having lived a life of plenty in suburban America, Lisa Samson and her eighteen-year-old daughter, Ty, thought they were traveling to Africa to minister to the people and chronicle the AIDS crisis devastating the continent. Their trip, they assumed, would be missional, merciful, giving.

Instead, they experienced a life-changing, soul-rattling journey.

As mother and daughter are confronted with incidents of child prostitution, preventable illness, poverty, oppression, abuse, and death so prevalent it leaves no time to mourn ... their journey takes a decidedly different tack.

Love Mercy confronts us directly with the AIDS crisis in Africa, in particular Swaziland, which has the highest AIDS rate in the world and where the average life expectancy is thirty-two years of age. Offering two unique perspectives, Lisa and Ty share the questions they encountered on their journey and tell the stories of those they met along the way-from the children themselves, to adult AIDS victims, to the compassionate mercy-givers who seek every day to alleviate their suffering.

Smiles in a place of aching sadness. Mercy in a place of heart-wrenching poverty. Two people transformed by God in ways, and places, they never expected, discovering that even in a land riddled with heartache ... Christ's love and redemption are ablaze.

Pattie's Thoughts:

I haven't quite finished the book, but it is so engrossing. I've been a fan of Lisa Samson's for awhile, and this book seems to put all the puzzle pieces of her blogs and her novels together in one coherent whole. I love hearing from Ty as well, and her photographs are amazing.

Zondervan has given me several keeper books lately, and this is certainly one of them. You must check it out if you're interested at all in social justice and showing mercy to others in your community and in our world.

Update: I finished the book, and wow. It's just amazing. I think we should all read it, study the Scriptures for what they teach us about God's view of the poor in our world, and then go about the business of justice and mercy in our world.

To learn more about Lisa, you can visit her website. You can also visit more blog tour spots here.

Special thanks to Zondervan and Tina of Blog Tour Spot for a review copy of this book.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

He's a wanderer


This is Tiger. Tiger is a toy poodle. Tiger's new nickname is "The Wanderer," like that old Dino and the Belmonts song. "He's the kind of dog that likes to roam around . . . he's a wanderer, he's a wanderer, he roams around around around!"

Tiger decided he wanted an adventure early this morning, I guess. He whined to go out at midnight or so. In my half-asleep stupor I let him out without chaining him up (we live on a corner lot in a town home complex, so no fenced-in yard). Usually he does his business and comes back to the house with a name call and a whistle. Not so this time. In waiting for him to show up at the door and whine, I fell asleep. He wasn't home at 2, or at 3. By 4 my overactive imagination was running laps around my brain, and I was afraid for him. I put on my fleece, leashed the other dog, grabbed my flashlight, and headed out to find him. No luck. By 5:30 I called my husband, who is out of town, and cried on the phone that I'd lost the dog. At 6:45 my youngest and I headed out to look for him in the car, while the oldest was home to answer the phone.

At 7:45 we got a phone call, "Are you missing a little dog?" He had wandered around two miles from our house! This toy poodle is 12 1/2 years old! He has arthritis and floating kneecaps! He is a priss about his feet, and he has cataracts in one of his eyes!

But he's fine. He picked up a flea (first flea I've seen in the almost-four years we've lived in North Dakota, I might add) and some burrs, but after a quick trip to the vet, he is fine. We Frontlined him and the other dog so they won't breed fleas (although the one I found is dead at the vet's office).

He's just a wanderer. Who will never go outside alone again.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Last Chance Harvey

I rarely review movies, but this one, well, it should come with a warning label. It's called Last Chance Harvey and it was released at the end of 2008.

If you are looking for excellent acting, you'll get it. Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman are amazing in this movie. A-may-zing.

But the scenes with the whole extended family, well, they were just painful to watch. And the scene at the wedding, well, it made me cry.

So if you're looking for lighthearted romantic comedy, this isn't it. But if you are looking for something quirky and meaningful, this would be a good choice.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Party on

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hi there! Welcome to my blog spot! I'm Pattie, and I wear many hats:
  • military chaplain's wife
  • dance mom of two girls: a teen (13) and a tween (10)
  • servant of God
  • dog mom of a cocker spaniel and toy poodle--both geriatric-ish
  • voracious reader
  • book blogger and reviewer (see my sidebar for the groups I blog for)
  • military wife blogger for Wives of Faith, an organization to support & encourage military wives
  • coffee addict (hey, at least I admit it!)
  • student--finishing up a Creative Writing course at the local community college
  • former teacher
  • Curves circuit coach
  • journaler
  • chapel praise team member
  • writer
I think that's the main stuff! :)

So for the UBP 2010, here are my top three prize picks (from the US list), besides the

GRAND PRIZE <---#1 choice!!!

(which I would give to Chaplain Hubby--his computer is ooooold!)

49. (Gift card to STARBUCKS)
91. (Green Mountain Coffee GC)
112. (Amazon GC)

Of course, any of the Amazon gift cards would be fabulous, but I went for a big one :)

PS: I did visit at least 20 blogs on the tour. How fun!

A Distant Melody

WELCOME to the Lit Fuse Blog Tour for A DISTANT MELODY by Sarah Sundin.

About the Book:

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love.

Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a mutual friend's wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives.

As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.


About the Author:

Sarah Sundin is an on-call hospital pharmacist and holds a BS in chemistry from UCLA and a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

For more info please visit her website at www.sarahsundin.com!

Read what others are saying on this blog tour.

Pattie's Thoughts:

I have a new favorite author. This book is incredible. It is a chunkster--over 400 pages long--but it is so engrossing! I adore Allie and Walt, and their relationship. They are dynamic characters in one of the most dramatic times of history, and their story sings (yes, purposefully punny here) on every page of A Distant Melody.

As a military spouse with a move coming up, I am more purposeful about books I choose to keep. A Distant Melody is staying in my library for sure.

Special thanks to Revell/Baker Publishing and the gals at Lit Fuse
for a review copy of the novel.

Enter the Netflix and Nostalgia contest from author Sarah Sundin!


THE CONTEST:
A Distant Melody, Book 1 in Sarah Sundin’s exciting Wings of Glory series, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re offering one Grand Prize winner the chance to get NOSTALGIC!

THE PRIZE:
The Winner of the ‘NETFLIX® & Nostalgia’ giveaway will receive a vintage prize package, including:

*A 6 month NETFLIX® subscription
*$25 Starbucks® gift card
*A box of See’s Famous Old Time Chocolates®
*A jar of homemade strawberry jam
*A Big Band music CD
*A Mini B-17 Model airplane
*Vintage stationery and pen
*British specialty tea
*WWII style playing cards

To enter just click on the icon above! Contest will be live April 5th and run through April 25th!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thank You Thursday

Teri Lynne at Pleasing to You has begun a wonderful new prompt at her blog, and I decided to join her.
Here are a few thank-you's:
  • Teri Lynne, of course, for always having an encouraging word for me.
  • Valerie, my dear friend, who is quick to pray for me when I ask.
  • Roma, who is always there when I need to hash stuff out over the phone.
  • Sara, who is so encouraging and forgiving of my busy-ness
  • My W@H Girls.
I think that about covers it. Thanks to all of you ladies!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Best First Lines

I found this in the course content for the creative writing class I'm taking. I thought it was fun! Hope you enjoy it.


Now, back to work for me. I have 7 pages of short fiction due tomorrow!

Monday, April 05, 2010

A Distant Melody Contest

I'm participating in the blog tour for A Distant Melody, but my "turn" isn't for a while yet, so I'm going ahead and posting about the contest today.


Enter the Netflix and Nostalgia contest from author Sarah Sundin!


THE CONTEST:
A Distant Melody, Book 1 in Sarah Sundin’s exciting Wings of Glory series, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re offering one Grand Prize winner the chance to get NOSTALGIC!

THE PRIZE:
The Winner of the ‘NETFLIX® & Nostalgia’ giveaway will receive a vintage prize package, including:

*A 6 month NETFLIX® subscription
*$25 Starbucks® gift card
*A box of See’s Famous Old Time Chocolates®
*A jar of homemade strawberry jam
*A Big Band music CD
*A Mini B-17 Model airplane
*Vintage stationery and pen
*British specialty tea
*WWII style playing cards

To enter just click on the icon above! Contest will be live April 5th and run through April 25th!

Friday, April 02, 2010

As Young As We Feel Blog Tour

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


As Young As We Feel


David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010)


by


Melody Carlson






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.



She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.







ABOUT THE BOOK



Is there room in one little hometown for four very different Lindas to reinvent their lives … together?



Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was forty-seven years and four very different lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all together in their old hometown—at a crossroads in their lives.



Janie is a high-powered lawyer with a load of grief. Abby is a lonely housewife in a beautiful oceanfront empty nest. Marley is trying to recapture the artistic free spirit she lost in an unhappy marriage. And the beautiful Caroline is scrambling to cope with her mother’s dementia and a Hollywood career that never really happened. Together, they’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts … and friendship doesn’t come with a statue of limitations.



If you would like to read the first chapter of As Young As We Feel, go HERE.



Watch the Video:



Pattie's Thoughts:

I have been reading this since I got it Tuesday, and while I'm not quite finished with it yet, I have truly enjoyed it. It's been awhile since I've read a Melody Carlson book, and I enjoy her fiction very much. The four "Linda" characters are each unique and likeable, and I believe their struggles are real ones. This is the beginning of a new series, and I think it'll be a good one. It will appeal to fans of clean women's fiction, most likely appealing more to the over-35 crowd more so than younger women (although who am I to limit your fiction by just your age?).

Update: Saturday morning--I finished it! It resolves enough to satisfy me, while leaving several story lines open enough for the rest of the books in the series. Well done!

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...