Thursday, April 28, 2011

Writer Mama May Fun

Christina Katz is hosting a book giveaway at her blog each day in May. Having been the recipient of gifts in the past, I highly recommend this giveaway. I plan to participate as much as I can as we prepare for our 2nd move in just over a year.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Felicities

Friday Felicities for Good Friday, April 22:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gifts 11

holy experience

Gratitude Journal: One Thousand Gifts

55. Rosebushes in bloom
56. Fans that circulate the air
57. Free lotion from Bath & Body Works
58. A crazy brain that works in circuits I can't understand
59. Creativity
60. Meaningful work
61. Coca-Cola on a warm day
62. My Flip video camera

Beside Still Waters

Welcome to the LitFuse blog tour for Beside Still Waters.

Synopsis From the Publisher:

Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in English ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many English influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend Ben a defining story about the Sommer family, and his response further illumines the active relationship God seeks with His followers. In due time, she learns the move from Indiana was not about losing anything, but finding out who God really is. Despite all the shake-ups, Marianna feels a sweet peace, like still waters, in her soul.

Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and children in Little Rock, Arkansas.


To celebrate the release of the first book in the Big Sky Amish series Tricia is giving away 10 copies of Beside Still Waters and a pair of super cute antique Amish salt & pepper shakers. (photo attached)

Details at Tricia’s blog, It’s Real Life:

BONUS! Each person who enters the giveaway will receive a FABULOUS Montana Amish Calendar. Hurry, it’s only available while supplies last!

Pattie's Review:

This review is from an advanced proof copy of this book.

I enjoyed the characters of Marianna and her family. While this family has endured much tragedy and Marianna has grown up thinking she was a replacement child, they still seemed real and likeable to me. Tricia Goyer always has well-rounded characters; it is a hallmark of her fiction.

However, there were a few rough spots in the book that I am sure Tricia and her editor likely fixed before publication. By this I mean there are a few places where details seemed out of place or out of order. Also, because this is the first in a series, it's obvious that there are several story threads that are left hanging (to borrow a quilting metaphor), which I'm sure will be tied together by the end of the series.

In conclusion, if you're a fan of contemporary Christian Amish fiction, you will enjoy this novel.

Thanks to Lit Fuse and Broadman & Holman for the opportunity to review this book.

(Personal aside: I've decided I don't like reviewing books from an advanced proof copy, because the editor in me wants to take a red pen to it, mark it up, and send it in with my resume and a letter requesting a telecommuting job with the publishing house! The errors and rough spots and notes get in the way of my enjoyment of the novel.)

You may click here to purchase the book.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Felicities

Happy Friday! Please go post your own felicities at Joyful Mother.

  • Getting to keep my dog in our next move
  • Grateful my husband has a job
  • Seattle's Best level 5 coffee (BOLD French roast)
  • Cool breezes in warm sunshine
  • UniBall Signo pens in purple

Monday, April 11, 2011

bookish musings

Bullets for a Monday...
  • I just updated my Spring Reading Thing post for this spring. I've got 1.5 books left to read on my list.
  • I've read over 40 books this year, with more to follow. I'm trying to finish as many as I don't plan to move so I can get our household weight down.
  • I've been keeping the Post Office busy.
  • The Post Office is the great equalizer in terms of economic class. Everyone uses it. Just take a look at the people in line sometime and you'll see what I mean.
  • I love my Kindle. It was a gift from a very kind and generous friend after I had to go on a spending fast rather it means even more to me than it would otherwise.
  • I am so excited about moving with the Kindle instead of a backpack full of books.
  • I suffer from abibliophobia--the fear of running out of reading material.
  • Not with a Kindle. Not ever.
  • I have a writing assignment for five devotionals! I'm so very excited!

Tea for Two and Two for Tea

me, and you - and you, and me...

I enjoyed this book so much! What a great, cozy, fun read. It was hard to put it down.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tea For Two
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
Trish Perry


A word from our Author: I started writing short stories—pretty bad ones. And I started taking creative writing courses to round out my degree. So I was in classes full of people just like me—lousy writers. But we were learning!

Then the Lord led me to a local writers' group, Capital Christian Writers, and the contacts and friends I made through CCW enriched my personal life and my writing life more than I can measure. Through CCW and through reading just about every book and magazine ever published by Writer's Digest, I started catching on. Now I'm writing full time and man oh man do I love it.

Before the writing began, I worked for attorneys in Washington, D. C. I worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission. And I was a stockbroker. A horrible stockbroker. How do people do that? Take responsibility for other people's financial futures? Yikes. I'm perfectly happy to take responsibility for the amount of time any one person wants to spend reading my books. If you enjoy the experience, then know that we both enjoyed it together. I love that about books.

In the midst of all that fretting over other people's money and writing about other people's lives, I racked up a few personal experiences myself. Some good, some bad, but all part of God's plan. Now I'm an empty nester living in Northern Virginia. My brilliantly funny son is in college. I have a savvy, gorgeous grown daughter, a charming son-in-law, and an amazing grandson.


Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law.

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.

And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

Although heroine Tina Milano and her women's group are mentioned in The Perfect Blend (the first book in this series), Tea for Two is where we meet her and hero Zack Cooper. I knew I would write this book while I wrote the first, so it was fun to plant a passing mention of Zack and Tina while I wrote Steph's story in The Perfect Blend. By the time I was able to write Tina and Zack's story, I was eager to unfold their lives, conflicts, and love. I hope readers will be eager to experience what happens to them!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tea for Two, go HERE.

Watch the Book Video:

Review: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle My rating: 4 of 5 stars I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't m...