Monday, November 30, 2009

Tuesday Thinger: Are You Covered??

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Thingers! We always love to hear from regular participants as well as new people.

Ok... so I couldn't come up with a better title, but I found something "new-to-me" today as I was browsing the new links feature on LT. I clicked on Gone With The Wind, which happened to be a recently added book to my bookshelf. I then clicked the WorldCat link as I had no idea what WorldCat was... I LOVED what popped up! Lookey here:



Look at all the wonderful covers!! I tried to count them all (with a few minor interruptions)... and there are over 60 available from WorldCat.

Next little bit of information... the covers are clickable, and will take you to the site that has provided them... in this case WorldCat. WorldCat is really neat. Not only did it give me information on the particular book edition I clicked on, but it also gave me the availability at local libraries, prices at a few stores, additional details, and some reviews from the WorldCat site as well as Amazon. How neat!

And what exactly is WorldCat you ask? Very good question... I asked it myself and here is what I found:

What is WorldCat?
WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.

WorldCat.org lets you:
-Search many libraries at once for an item and then locate it in a library nearby
-Find books, music, and videos to check out
-Find research articles and digital items (like audiobooks) that can be directly viewed or downloaded
-Link to "Ask a Librarian" and other services at your library
-Post your review of an item, or contribute factual information about it
-You may need to have an active offline membership with a WorldCat library to view/download content or check out materials through its Web site.

Questions: Have you had a chance to peak at the Quick Links section on the book page of your favorite book(s)? Were you surprised by any of the covers or lack thereof? Did you click on any of the covers to see where it would take you? Have you heard of WorldCat before?

My Answer: I was exploring this evening, getting ready for this post when I saw the word WorldCat and decided to see what would happen when I clicked on it... It was pretty neat!

I have to admit, that it seems to be a better feature for books that have been out for a while as you can see more covers available, but it was neat to see the additional information when I clicked on a cover.

Looking forward to reading everyone's answers!!

~ Wendi

If you are new to Tuesday Thingers: Welcome! The meme was originally created as a way to network with other bloggers and to learn about Library Thing! I'd like to encourage you to join us. If you don't know what Library Thing is - you are in a great place to learn about new things, and if you are an old pro, stick around and share your wealth of information! Visit Library Thing here. To join in, copy the picture and question into your post and link back here so people can read other responses. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post so we can stop by! If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave a comment here!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review, Tour and Giveaway: God is With Me Through The Day AND God is With Me Through The Night by Julie Cantrell

God is With Me Through the Day and God is With Me Through the Night
by Julie Cantrell
Zonderkidz (March 1, 2009) ~ Day: 32 pages Night: 32 pages
Fiction / Kids (Ages 4-7) / Learning To Read / General / Christian

Edition Reviewed: Hardback - Review and giveaway copies received courtesy of Zondervan Publishing, the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review and one to giveaway!

Perfect for : Personal Use, Gift, Story time, Classroom use

My Thoughts: God is With Me Through The Day and God is With Me Through the Night are both beautiful books, with full color photographs of animals that children and adults will love. The words on each page are large and colorful, making it easy for children to follow along or read. On top of the wonderful pictures and easy to read words, the message throughout the book is very family-oriented and is uplifting and makes children feel more secure. Each book ends with a scripture from the bible.

While the book is recommended for kids ages 4-7, I feel completely fine letting my 2 (almost 3) year old leaf through the book. He does not tear pages, and loves the big colorful pictures and words. The book is also quick enough to read that it keeps his attention, and we can use the pictures to explain the sentiments being expressed, as well as providing other learning opportunities (what is the bird sitting on, where is the bear's foot, how many birds are sitting on the branch, what color is the..., etc). So, I would even recommend this book for children as young as 2 with adult help! They are wonderful and impart very helpful messages.

Pictures: The pictures are wonderful full-color photographs of animals, some are very funny and help to illustrate what Julie Cantrell is writing about.
Story-Line: Very family-friendly, and supportive of young minds. The feelings of security they help provide are wonderful.
Readability: VERY easy to read and enjoyable for all ages.
Overall: These are great books that help to address issues like God is always watching over us, He loves us, He keeps us Safe, etc.

About the Book:


Back Cover: Brave mice and playful puppies inspire little hearts to have big faith. You are safe, brave, and loved because God is always there - all through the day.





Back Cover: Cheerful dolphins and loving zebras inspire timid hearts to have big faith. Even in the dark, God keeps his children safe, brave, and loved. He is always there - all through the night.


About the Author: (from the publisher's site)

Julie Cantrell was born in Louisiana, where she grew up running barefoot over fire ant beds, swimming with alligators, and eating crawfish. Today, she lives with her husband and two spirited children in Mississippi, hallowed ground for many famous authors.

Giveaway Details:
1. Leave a comment here telling me why you are interested in winning a set of these books (1 entry)

1.5. For a daily bonus, come back and tell me about a book you have read to your son, daughter, niece, nephew, etc, and what you liked about it (1 entry daily, must be different books each day)

2. Post a link to the giveaway on your blog and/or Facebook and report it here (1 entry)

3. Become a follower (link is on the right hand sidebar) and leave a comment here (or "remind" me you are already a follower so I know you want to be included in this giveaway) (1 entry)

The drawing will be held December 13th, with the hope that I can get the books to you prior to Christmas! Winner: I will send you an email, please reply with your address so I can send the books directly to you!

This giveaway is open to residents within the United States and Canada, no PO Boxes.

~ Wendi

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday Thinger: It's That Time of Year - SantaThing is Here!

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Thingers! We always love to hear from regular participants as well as new people.

This week is a special Thinger! It is time to sign up for SantaThing... Here are the basics (followed by a link for more details)...

What: Pay $25 to participate, and get up to $20 in books from your Secret Santa (the difference goes toward shipping)
When: Sign up between now and December 1st (that is NEXT week!) at 4 PM EST
Who: It is open to more countries this year (see full list), and you can sign up a non-LT member to receive books as well.
How: Become a Secret Santa, get a name/profile from LT, pick out books based on their library and/or wishes, then LT will place the orders and take care of shipping! ... wait for your package to arrive from your Secret Santa.

For more details, click here.

Questions: Have you ever participated in SantaThing (it is in its third year)? If so, what did you like? Dislike? Are you planning to participate this year?

My Answer: I have never participated in SantaThing before, but did hear really good things about it last year.

I have however participated in book blogger Secret Santa projects in the past, and they are always fun. :)

I haven't decided if I'm going to participate this year. My TBR pile is more like a mountain or two, and I'm working really hard to try and catch up... that said, I am REALLY tempted because it sounds like so much fun.

Looking forward to reading everyone's answers!!

~ Wendi

If you are new to Tuesday Thingers: Welcome! The meme was originally created as a way to network with other bloggers and to learn about Library Thing! I'd like to encourage you to join us. If you don't know what Library Thing is - you are in a great place to learn about new things, and if you are an old pro, stick around and share your wealth of information! Visit Library Thing here. To join in, copy the picture and question into your post and link back here so people can read other responses. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post so we can stop by! If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave a comment here!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Product Review: A Life Well Read (Personal Book Catalog Box Set)

A Life Well Read: My Personal Journey Through Books
Developed by: D&D Creations, LLC

A Life Unplugged ~ Organizing system in Box Set format
Books / Organizing / Box Set / Book Journal

Edition Reviewed: Box Set ~ Many thanks to D&D Creations, the creators of A Life Well Read, for sending me a box set for review.


Special Promotion going on NOW!
For readers of Wendi's Book Corner ~ A Life Unplugged has set up a special page just for you, where you can get 25% off discount! Just click here!!

Also...
ONE WEEK ONLY - Buy 1, Get 1 50% off ! ~ Perfect for a boss, teacher, co-worker (regularly $29.95 each)
Book Club Specials! ~ 15% Discount on a set of 8 A Life Well Read boxes

Perfect for : Personal Use, Gift for book lover and/or someone who likes to stay well-organized, Resource for book reviewers, book clubs, participants of book/reading challenges, teachers, etc

My Thoughts: First, let me start by sharing a few key things I noticed while setting up my A Life Well Read box set. The set is elegant and fits in really nicely on a book shelf next to books. The box set is really well-thought-out and complete, all you need to add is your own books or book lists.

Next, let me share a quick lesson with you. I belong to a very fun book club, where we meet once per month, and have been meeting for about six or so years. Every few meetings we think back about some of our favorite books and TRY to remember exactly what we've read! Let me tell you... when you've read more than 70 books as a group, it can get hard to remember every single title, let alone your top favorites! What I love about A Life Well Read is that it is helping me to document the books we are reading, including special notes about the meetings (what we ate, recipes, guests, notes about how the group liked the book, etc). I am even able to have a section for suggested reading books, where I can include the title, author, and who suggested the book. On top of that, as I'm reading, I can tuck the card for that book into the book itself and add notes/page numbers to passages I'd like to share during our get-together.

With that said, let me tell you my favorites about the inserts within the box set. It comes with 50 double-sided cards to document your books (author, title, book rating, where you got the book from, date, genre, notes, lending history, book club selection, and information on availability). It also comes with sheets of book plates for gift giving, as well as those for "from the library of," which I have had a hard time locating! These are wonderful features, especially when you add the tabs that help to organize your cards within the box.

Are you looking for a special gift this holiday season for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life? This might just be a perfect gift! This wonderful organizing / cataloguing system can be used in many ways:

~ Book Reviewers (take notes as you go by keeping a card tucked inside the book)

~ Reading Challenge Participants (use the system to catalog the books you read for a reading challenge - it will keep your list handy and help you remember key points about each book)

~ Book lovers (use the system to keep track of the books you have, are reading, want to read, loan out, etc)

~ Book Club members (After the first few books, it can get hard to remember all those wonderful books you've read as a group, and the reactions to the books. Use this to help keep track of all the great details: what the group thought of the book, your thoughts, what happened at the book club meeting, if you had special treats or dinner - what was served, special guests, other notes, etc)

~ Teachers (With so many books on the shelves, use this system to keep track of those special books you pull out from time-to-time to share something really great from)

~ Bosses (They always seem to have a book shelf full of books they like to pull out and refer to from time to time. This will help them keep track of key pages, and who they have loaned the book to)

I challenge you to leave me comments with more great ideas as to how you could use this system!

If I could add anything to this box set, it would be some elegant clear stickers with gold numbers on them that could be added to the spine of the box to show which volume the box set is... I foresee the need for multiple boxes in my future!

About: (from the A Life Unplugged website)

Finally, a truly unique gift idea for book lovers of all ages! Bookworms who love to read books, create their own book reviews and summaries, buy books as gifts and create their own “must read” book lists will love A Life Well Read—My Personal Journey Through Books®.

The first in a series of Living Unplugged™ products, this is the ideal personalized and mobile reader’s companion for anyone who wants to celebrate the simple joy of reading books – the old fashioned way – and for those who savor their moments “unplugged” away from the wired world of computers and the internet.

A Life Well Read is the perfect gift for your family and friends, fellow book club members, students as well as being a great gift for birthday’s, anniversaries and other special occasions. With this practical and easy-to-use journaling aid for book aficionados, you can organize a book collection, add to a book wish list, start a book gift list for friends and keep track of loaned out books and book club events. This modern, mobile and personalized solution for organizing your favorite book content contains everything a book lover would want all in a beautiful keepsake box that fits right on your bookshelf!
Keep track of the books you yearn for. Fill out the “Title” and “author” information on a main card and file it in the “Books I Want” section to create your own book wish list.

Organize your personal library. Collect your book lists and your notes about great book content and book recommendations according to five preprinted categories: (All) My Books, My Favorites, Books I Want, Books On Loan, Books To Give.

Customize your categories. Belong to a book club? Use one of the blank dividers to label “book club” and use the main card to keep track of book club books, meeting dates and comments.
Personalize your library. Included in the box are 56 elegant bookplates to insert inside any of your books to ensure your beloved books stay in your library.

Never lose track of loaned out books again! On the back of the main card is a lending history area that will help you to remember who you loaned the book to, when you loaned out, and when you got it back. Once the book is on loan, file it under “Books On Loan”.

Make book gift-giving a breeze. Special “gift” cards help track books you’d love to give. Write the title and name of the person/people that you want to give the book to on our special “Gift Card”. Check the “given” box once the gift has been purchased so you can keep track of who you have given that book to. Beautiful gift labels add that personal touch to the gift of books.

And never find yourself asking, “Now if I only could find a pen…”. Enjoy using our classic writing pen which is comfortable to write with and a joy to hold - to make notes on any of your cards or book plates.

Each Box Set Includes:

~An elegant, premium-quality keepsake box in the shape of a book which fits easily on your bookshelf to keep your personalized impressions for years to come. Share them with family and friends anytime!

~50 pre-printed note cards to use as bookmarks and also record your “a ha’s!” about your favorite books

~Record your notes and impressions, quotes and page references, your personal rating, where you got
the book, book club notes, lending history by title and author.

~5 pre-printed (and 7 blank) dividers to organize your note cards into an evolving reader's journal of your best book content (All) My Books, My Favorites, Books I Want, Books On Loan, Books To Give plus 7 additional blank dividers to customize for your own needs. Categorize by title, author and subject.

~56 elegant bookplates to personalize your books in your own personal library.

~24 color gift labels to add a personal touch to your gifts of books to friends, family and fellow book club members.

~3 double-sided gift-giving reminder cards which help you track to whom and when you gifted a book

~A classic, heavy weight ballpoint pen which fits neatly into your keepsake box so you are always prepared to capture a lifetime of reading!

Other Products Available:

~$4.95 - Main card refills (set of 25)
~$3.95 - Book plates (set of 10 sheets, 80 book plates in total)
~$3.95 - Gift plates (set of 10 sheets, 80 gift plates in total)

About A Life Unplugged (D&D Creations, LLC): (From the website)

A Life Unplugged (dba D & D Creations) is dedicated to the creation of unique gift products of exceptional beauty and quality which encourage all to pursue the enjoyment of a life beyond the wired world. The mission of A Life Unplugged is to take back your quality of life and celebrate the spirit of life’s simple pleasures.

A Life Unplugged was founded by two busy, working moms in Southern California who not only share the same name (Debra and Deborah), but also the dream to create something on their own. After years of reading O Magazine and watching the Oprah show, it was the Oprah / QVC "Next Big Idea” contest in 2007 that moved them from dreaming into action. With the contest coming to Los Angeles, they knew the time was now.

Their inspiration was to reflect on their own lives and what was missing. What they found was that their lives had become almost too full. They never seemed to be able to get away from the wired world long enough to enjoy the simple things they enjoyed before the computer and the internet forever changed their lives. Don’t get them wrong – they love technology. But they also know there is a time and place to simply “unplug” and relax. With that - the concept for A Life Unplugged was born.

Although they weren’t finalists in the competition, they walked away winners, bringing their idea into reality. These two women are passionate about their crusade to encourage buyers of their products to return to the simple pleasures in life and spread the message behind A Life Unplugged to others. So if you are of a similar mind, buy a gift, spread the word and enjoy!
As a Special Thank You for readers of Wendi's Book Corner, A Life Unplugged has set up a special page just for you, where you can get 25% off discount! Just click here!!

Review and Tour: Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro


Sins of the Flesh
by Caridad Pineiro
Forever (October 27, 2009) ~ 336 pages
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal Romance

Edition Reviewed: Paperback - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher and Pump Up Your Book Promotions. Many thanks to the author, the publisher and the people at Pump Up Your Book Promotions for sending me a copy to review!


Perfect for : Personal Use

My Thoughts: Sins of the Flesh is a heart pounding romance filled with mystery, suspense, and a mercenary who may have a heart to match his brawn when it comes to the slightly less-fortunate Cat Shaw.

Caterina Shaw, a famous cellist, has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, and has agreed to an experimental gene treatment as a last hope. When one of the doctors is found murdered and Cat is missing, she becomes the main suspect.

With the police looking for her, Dr. Edwards has hired mercenaries to find and return Cat to him as he can't risk his experiment (or her strange new abilities) falling into the wrong hands. When Mick finds her, he is faced with a woman he was not expecting, bringing more questions than answers. She is wounded and confused, and he can see that she has been abused, so he finds himself determined to shelter and help her instead of turning her over to Dr. Edwards.

There is definitely a burning attraction between Cat and Mick, and as the story progresses, it becomes clear that they will have to trust each other and work together to stay alive and safe.

I really enjoyed the fast pace of the book, as it had no problem keeping my attention, and I was overjoyed to read that there is already a second book in the series.

Characters: Filled with strength and a desire to find the truth. Filled with chemistry that keeps the readers attention.
Story-Line: Picks up quickly and doesn't slow down!
Readability: Easy to read, hard to put down.
Overall: A great start to a new series by author Caridad Pineiro!

About the Book:
Caterina Shaw’s days are numbered. Her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment – a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body — and she’s been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.

Mick Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he’s hunting down is far from the vicious killer he’s been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she’s a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both . . . for a dangerous group is plotting its next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.
Excerpt:

The day the music died, Caterina Shaw did as well.

Not physically, although she understood the death of her body was inevitable. She had come to terms with that reality some time ago. She had even managed to deal with the blindness caused by the tumor eating away her brain. But then the pain had become so great that it had silenced the music, stealing away the only thing that had made life worth the anguish.

“You understand this treatment is new and uncertain,” Dr. Rudy Wells explained, his voice smooth and comforting. The touch of his hand, warm and reassuring, came against hers as it rested on her thigh.

“I understand,” she said and faced the direction of that calming voice.

Another person abruptly chimed in, his tones as strident and grating as a badly played oboe. “We’ll begin with laser surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor followed by two different courses of gene therapy.”

Two? she wondered and sensed Dr. Wells’ hesitation as well from the tremble that skated across his fingers. He removed his hand from hers and said, “Dr. Edwards believes that we can not only shut down the tumor growing in your brain, but possibly regrow the portion of your optic nerve that the tumor damaged.”

Caterina’s only wish when considering the experimental treatment had been to stop the pain so that she could play her cello once again. So that her last months would be filled with the vitality her music provided.

It was through her music that she lived. That her mother lived, Caterina thought, recalling the passion she had felt as a small child when her mother had played the piano for her; the way her mother’s fingers had coaxed life from the keys much like she now did with a stroke of her bow and the deft touch of her fingers on the strings of her cello.

Or at least like she had up until the cancer had put an end to her music, bringing her life to a close. Except now she was being told something different.

Caterina had never thought about eliminating the tumor. Every prognosis so far had been that she was terminal. Now these new doctors told her not only that might she live, but that she might actually see again too. She didn’t dare believe that she would be able to get her old life back completely, as well as her sight but . . .

“You think I’ll be able to recover? To see again?” Caterina asked, needing to be sure she had understood correctly.

“The risks are great, my dear,” Dr. Wells urged gently.

“But you qualify for the human trials because of the advanced state of your illness, Ms. Shaw,” Dr. Edwards added, annoyance at his partner evident in the staccato beats of his voice.

Her advanced state which could possibly bring death even with this treatment, Caterina thought. Not that she feared her end. What she did fear was letting the pain in her head rob her of the one thing she could not live without.

Her music.

She knew without hesitation that it was worth any risk to regain that part of her. To drive back the illness so she could play her cello once more and reanimate her heart for as long as she had left if the treatments couldn’t stop the tumor.

“What do you need me to do?”

Copyright © 2009 by Caridad Pineiro. All rights reserved.


About the Author: (from the publisher's site)

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Caridad Pineiro wrote her first novel in the fifth grade when her teacher assigned a project – to write a book for a class lending library. Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the written word through high school, college and law school. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Caridad’s passion for writing led to a determination to become published and share the stories she loved with others. In 1999, Caridad’s first novel was released and a decade later, Caridad is the author of over twenty novels and novellas. Caridad hopes to continue to share her stories with readers all over the world for years to come.

When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista. For more information on Caridad, please visit www.caridad.com or www.thecallingvampirenovels.com.
Extras

For Behind the Scenes blogs where readers can find out about the places where the book is set, you can go to: http://www.caridad.com/books/paranormal/sins-of-the-flesh/










Caridad Pineiro’s SINS OF THE FLESH VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Nov. 2 and end on Nov. 27. You can visit Caridad’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the month of November to find out more about this great book and talented author!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tuesday Thinger: Get This Book! (New Feature)

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Thingers! We always love to hear from regular participants as well as new people.

This week's Thinger topic is another great topic from Caite, over at A Lovely Shore Breeze. (Caite!! I don't know what I would have done without you! A LOOOOONG night last night had me dreading the computer and my state of brain-deaded-ness today! Thank you!)... Caite pointed out a brand new feature that Library Thing has added as of November 16th, and it is pretty neat! The programmers over at Library Thing have worked hard for over two months to create a new feature that will help us users of the site to see where the books we are looking up are available... more details here.


This is easy... you go to a book page, and there is a new link on the right hand side under the "Quick Links" section called "Get this book." On the picture to the left, it is the 3rd from the bottom. When you click on it, it gives you a page that explores all the ebook versions available, online audio, and regular books (including swap sites, used books, new books, local stores, etc).



Why is this important???? I can think of two really great reasons, and I'm sure you can think of even more. :) First, if you are looking for a specific book (on your wishlist, or want to give as a gift) you can see the versions available, and a whole range of prices at one glance, including swap sites, which is great, especially if you have credits available somewhere! Second, if you are ready to trim down your bookshelves, you can see how many copies are "wanted" on swap sites, and you can see the low used prices on many sites.

Over at the LT blog, they used Romeo and Juliet as an example... here is the page. I took the time to look up a few books myself (see below if you are interested... the links on the title should take you to the "Get" page for the title, and if you are logged in, you should see your Local info instead of mine... crossing fingers)

Questions: Have you explored this great new feature? Can you think of any times this would be handy to use? Were any of the Local (bookstores or libraries) resources surprising? How did the Swap sites seem? Think you will use this feature in the future?

My Answer: Ok - So I decided to put this one to the test... and looked up Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall (a book that I'm really interested in reading for the holidays - yes, I'm a holiday book junkie!) Here are my thoughts:

- I'm REALLY impressed with the Local results (store, likely stock on hand, phone number, address and distance - yeah!!)

- I was SAD when I saw the swap sites... over 100 people are wanting it on Paperback Swap, which is where I try to go for swaps... with NONE available for swap at any other site listed

- I LOVED that I could see this all in one glance!



While Sound of Sleigh Bells is a new book, I decided to look up one of my trusty favorites, Ruth - A Love Story by Ellen Gunderson Traylor, and the results were great!

-For new and used prices at online bookstores, there was quite a range of prices available (great)

-Locally, there didn't appear to be any available, short of calling a library

- Swap sites :) There were copies available at PBS, and I could see where there were copies wanted as well!

Overall, it was a lot of fun to check out this new feature.


AND a HUGE thank you to Caite again for helping me with this week's topic! Hugs!!

Looking forward to reading everyone's answers!!

~ Wendi

If you are new to Tuesday Thingers: Welcome! The meme was originally created as a way to network with other bloggers and to learn about Library Thing! I'd like to encourage you to join us. If you don't know what Library Thing is - you are in a great place to learn about new things, and if you are an old pro, stick around and share your wealth of information! Visit Library Thing here. To join in, copy the picture and question into your post and link back here so people can read other responses. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post so we can stop by! If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave a comment here!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mailbox Monday / In My Mailbox

Many thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox every week!

It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

Here are the books that came into my house last week:

A Life Well Read - My Personal Journey Through Books by D & D Creations ~ Reference Material ~ Review copy received courtesy of D & D Creations / www.alifeunplugged.com

Finally, a truly NEW product for book lovers! Combining the intimacy of a diary and the organization of a Rolodex, A Life Well Read-My Personal Journey Through Books is ideal for readers who want to create a personalized record of their book content - wherever and whenever they can find a moment to pursue their passion for reading.

The set contains fifty preprinted book cards to keep track of notes, quotes, and impressions of each title read (or to be read), with space to record the lending history, and, if applicable, book-club information (meeting date, who recommended it, etc.). File the book cards behind dividers such as my books, books on loan, books I want, or use the blank dividers to create your own sections. Simplify gift-giving with the three Give the Gift of Books cards, which offer space to jot down people to whom you d like to give specific titles. You ll even find sheets of fiftysix colorful bookplate stickers, as well as twenty-four lovely gift labels. Along with a handsome ballpoint pen, everything comes neatly encased in a sturdy book-shaped box with a pretty floral pattern, which fits right on the bookshelf. It s the perfect gift for book lover who has everything!

A Widow's Hope (The Miller Family Series) by Mary Ellis ~ Fiction / Romance ~ Courtesy of the author for review


From Amazon: A bright new voice shares a tender love story set in the rolling green fields of Ohio Amish country.

After the death of her husband, Hannah Brown is determined to make a new life with her sister’s family. But when she sells her farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and moves with her sheep to Ohio, the wool unexpectedly starts to fly. Her deacon brother–in–law finds just about everything about Hannah vexing. When his widower brother shows interest in the young and beautiful widow, the deacon turns to prayer for guidance.

Hannah thought she could never love again, until she meets the strong, gentle farmer. Unfortunately, Seth Miller’s only interest is in Hannah’s sheep. He is content in his bachelor state and slow to recognize his daughter’s need for a new mother. Yet God offers Seth the perfect solution to their problems if he could only open his heart again...and love.
A Christmas Carol Special Edition: The Charles Dickens Classic with Christian Insights and Discussion Questions for Groups and Families by Stephen Skelton ~ Religion / Holidays / Christmas Advent ~ Received courtesty of FSB Associates for an upcoming review


Since its publication in 1843, the tale of a miserly old man and the ghosts who visit him has been bringing the true spirit of Christmas into hearts and homes. Whether you’ve read the story a thousand times or have only seen the movie, A Christmas Carol Special Edition will enrich your enjoyment of this holiday favorite with:

- The complete text of the Charles Dickens classic.
- Annotations offering interesting insight into the story’s biblical allusions, the author’s faith, and compelling Christian themes throughout.
- Discussion questions designed to engage and promote dialogue among readers of all ages on such subjects as regret, repentance, and redemption.
- A list of related resources to enhance your study.

Enjoy A Christmas Carol Special Edition in your home, study group, book group, or Advent celebration and learn how to say with Scrooge:
“I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.”
The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson ~ Fiction / Contemporary ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review/tour the week of Nov 30th - Dec 4th


From Amazon: Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. There's church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations? Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He's doing home improvements that don't appear to be improving much of anything. These days when Betty looks out the window, she sees a beat-up truck, a pile of junk, lots of blue tarps, and--horror of horrors--an old pink toilet. But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn a very important lesson about what Christmas is all about. This contemporary Christmas story is a timely yet gentle reminder that God can work miracles through something as seemingly insignificant as a little brown dog.
The Christmas Glass: A Novel by Marcia Alborghetti ~ Fiction ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for an upcoming CFBA tour Dec 2nd-4th
From CFBA email: In the tradition of The Christmas Shoes and A Christmas on Jane Street, the heartwarming story of The Christmas Glass shows how, today as always, the Christmas miracle works its wonders in the human heart.

In the early days of World War II in Italy, Anna, a young widow who runs a small orphanage, carefully wraps her most cherished possessions -- a dozen hand-blown, German-made, Christmas ornaments, handed down by her mother -- and sends them to a cousin she hasn't seen in years. Anna is distressed to part with her only tangible reminder of her mother, but she worries that the ornaments will be lost or destroyed in the war, especially now that her orphanage has begun to secretly shelter Jewish children. Anna's young cousin Filomena is married with two-year-old twins when she receives the box of precious Christmas glass. After the war, Filomena emigrates to America, where the precious ornaments are passed down through the generations. After more than forty years, twelve people come to possess a piece of Christmas glass, some intimately connected by family bonds, some connected only through the history of the ornaments. As Christmas Day approaches, readers join each character in a journey of laughter and tears, fractures and healings, as Filomena, now an eighty-four-year-old great-grandmother, brings them all to what will be either a wondrous reunion or a disaster that may shatter them all like the precious glass they cherish.

The Christmas Lamp: A Novella by Lori Copeland ~ Fiction / Christian / General ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for an upcoming CFBA tour Dec 9th - 11th


Christmas trees, twinkling lights, skating in the park, and holiday displays are the hallmark elements for celebrating Jesus birth for the sentimental residents of Nativity, Missouri. Will fiscal responsibility replace Christmas their traditions when times are tough?

Though their priorities and methods clash, Roni Elliot and Jake Brisco want the same thing, for the town to prosper. As the two get to know each other better, each begins to gain a new perspective on what the real wealth of Nativity and the season might be.
Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham ~ Nature / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric creatures / Juvenile Nonfiction / General ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for an upcoming First WildCard tour Jan. 8th
Peek inside a dinosaur egg, discover what dinosaurs really ate, and learn how dinosaur tracks are made - all in this awesomely-illustrated book!

Dinosaurs for Kids shares the unique world of dinosaurs and their true history like never before as you:
- meet the most unusual creatures to ever walk the earth, stalk the seas, or soar across the sky!
- discover how dinosaur bonebeds are made, and other kinds of fossils beyond just bones!
- learn the truth behind museum exhibits and flawed evolutionary timelines!

Within these pages kids will uncover the facts about dinosaur history from the Creation to recent discoveries. Let Ken Ham take you on a journey through time to explore these awesome wonders of God's design. From where dinosaurs lived to what scientists assume they know about these great creatures, dinosaurs have never been this exciting, revealing, and simply amazing!
Fallen: They Are Among Us...ARC by Lauren Kate ~ Fiction ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review (Shelf Awareness)
From Amazon: There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.
Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay by Tiffany L. Warren ~ Fiction ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
From Amazon: As President of Grace Savings and Loans, Charmayne Ellis is an established, polished professional. Although she has reached great success, her ridiculing mother and wise cracking younger sister won't let her forget that she is a 36-year-old, overweight, unmarried woman.

In an attempt to help, Charmayne's best friend, Lynette, is obsessed with setting her up on a series of pity-driven blind dates. When a drop-dead gorgeous man, Travis Moon, shows interest, Charmayne's caution light blinks like crazy. But out of loneliness and pressure from her family Charmayne ignores her gut feeling and gets married.

Yet instead of marital bliss, Charmayne begins to discover new things about her husband that force her to question her marriage and her faith in God.
The Handy Answer Book for Kids (and Parents) by Gina Misiroglu ~ Non-Fiction / Parenting and Family / Children's ~ Received courtesy of the publisher and Lisa of Online Publicist for review
From Amazon: As a launching pad for inquisitive young minds and a life raft for parents at wits end, this collection addresses a critical part of being a kid: asking questions. A wide variety of questions are answered, such as Is there life on Mars? Do rivers ever dry up? Why are there wars? Is there such a thing as a funny bone? What is DNA? Having this nearby will equip every parent for those difficult, absurd, or sometimes funny questions from their kids.

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway ~ Fiction / Historical ~ Won from Amy of Passages to the Past
Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan was written during the same period as another novella called Elinor and Marianne–which was later revised and expanded to become Sense and Sensibility. Unfortunately for readers, Lady Susan did not enjoy the same treatment by its author and was left abandoned and forgotten by all but the most diligent Austen scholars. Until now.

In Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway have taken Austen's original novella and transformed it into a vivid and richly developed novel of love lost and found–and the complex relationships between women, men, and money in Regency England.

Lady Vernon and her daughter, Frederica, are left penniless and without a home after the death of Sir Frederick Vernon, Susan's husband. Frederick' s brother and heir, Charles Vernon, like so many others of his time, has forgotten his promises to look after the women, and despite their fervent hopes to the contrary, does nothing to financially support Lady Vernon and Frederica.

When the ladies, left without another option, bravely arrive at Charles's home to confront him about his treatment of his family, they are faced with Charles's indifference, his wife Catherine's distrustful animosity, and a flood of rumors that threaten to undo them all. Will Lady Vernon and Frederica find love and happiness–and financial security– or will their hopes be dashed with their lost fortune?

With wit and warmth reminiscent of Austen's greatest works, Lady Vernon and Her Daughter brings to vivid life a time and place where a woman's security is at the mercy of an entail, where love is hindered by misunderstanding, where marriage can never be entirely isolated from money, yet where romance somehow carries the day.
Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss ~ Fiction / General / Romance ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for an upcoming tour with First WildCard (tour was postponed, no date set)
Amazon: Julia Cavanaugh has never left New York City. But in 1890, the young woman must head west to ensure that the orphans under her care are settled into good families. After her final stop in Montana, she plans to head straight back east. But upon arriving in the remote town of Lonesome Prairie, Julia learns to her horror that she is also supposed to be deliveredinto the hands of an uncouth miner who carries a bill of purchase for his new bride. She turns to a respected circuit preacher to protect her from a forced marriage but with no return fare and few friends, Julias options are bleak. What is Gods plan for her in the middle of the vast Montana prairie?
One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber ~ Non-Fiction / Religion / Christian Life / Inspirational ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for an upcoming WildCard Tour on Dec. 2nd

What if you, personally, could make the world a better place...by tomorrow?
Debbie Macomber knows the secret to doing exactly that! In a world that seems too often stingy and grudging, she has witnessed how one simple act of generosity can yield unforeseen miracles.

You are about to discover, through true stories, what happens when we commit intentional acts of generosity. Lives are changed in ways we never envisioned. Come with Debbie late one evening through the checkout line at the grocery store. Visit a midwestern train station. Discover the link between a submarine, a few bread crumbs, and some minnows. Visit ancient Galilee as a young boy volunteers his fishes and loaves to Jesus only to see his meager gift multiplied many times over to feed five thousand. Listen in on a touching phone call with an elderly widow. You will stand amazed at what God accomplishes when we make ourselves available through simple acts of generosity.

This blend of true stories and motivating messages will delight and surprise you as you discover how giving the gifts of time, encouragement, hope, laughter, prayer, hospitality, service, and even forgiveness can have lasting, life-changing impact, not only on the recipient of such gifts but on the giver as well.

Debbie Macomber, through the power of story, invites us to live with open hands, offering who we are and what we have to God, to use in the lives of others. When we do so, lives--including our own--are changed in ways we couldn't have imagined. All it takes is one simple act.

Unfinished Gift, The: A Novel by Dan Walsh ~ Fiction / Christmas ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review/tour the week of Nov 30th - Dec 4th
Amazon: Patrick Collins is seven years old, and on his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And, for reasons even he doesn't understand, he wants the soldier that's tucked away in his grandfather's attic. Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift tells in an engaging, simple style the story of a family, and reminds us of the surprising things that affect powerful change in our hearts--like a young boy's prayers, a shoebox full of love letters, and even an old wooden soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of forgiveness will engage readers everywhere.
What was in your mailbox last week??

If you would like to participate in Mailbox Monday, head over to The Printed Page and grab the logo. Make sure to visit other blogs hosting Mailbox Monday and comment/leave your link!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tour, Interview, Giveaway: Christmas Miracles by Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson

Christmas Miracles
by Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson

St. Martin's Press (October 13, 2009) ~ 256 pages
Non-Fiction / Christian / Inspirational

Edition Reviewed: N/A The tour is brought to you courtesy of Kathy Carlton Willis Communications


About the Book:
From Amazon: Celebrate the season of hope and miracles with these inspiring true stories that will warm the heart and touch the soul…

A man lies gravely ill in the hospital on Christmas when he hears angels singing and immediately makes a full recovery. A little boy with dyslexia sits down to read a Christmas book and realizes that his disability has vanished. And a woman’s faith is renewed by the chance discovery of a simple nativity set.

Many ordinary people experience God’s grace during those special moments when Christmas becomes more than just a holiday, but a time for miracles. Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson bring you the real-life stories of everyday people who have experienced these life-changing moments of hope, comfort, and transformation—all during the most wonderful time of the year.
Interview:
Interview with Cecil “Cec” Murphey

by Marley Gibson

Co-authors of Christmas Miracles, from St. Martin’s Press


I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity today to talk to my friend and co-author, Cecil “Cec” Murphey, and to chat about our upcoming book, Christmas Miracles.

Marley: Cec, thanks for spending some time with me today.

Cec: Marley, it's great that you could take time away from important things like making a living to spend a little time with me.

Marley: I’m so jazzed about our Christmas Miracles book that’s coming out soon. I’ve had a lot of questions from folks wanting to know how we met, what brought us together, etc. So, I thought we’d do a back and forth on how it all came to be. Of course, I have to give props to our amazing agent and friend, Deidre Knight, for bringing us together. For those of you who don’t know, Cec co-authored the runaway New York Times bestselling hit 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper.

Cec: I have to say thanks to Deidre Knight as well. Between Deidre and my assistant, Twila Belk, I've been able to sell quite a few books. 90 Minutes in Heaven has been my big book. I'm also proud of a book I wrote in 1990 called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The book has never been out of print and has hit close to four million in sales. Early this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in the made-for-TV film version.

Marley: That’s amazing! You are truly prophetic and definitely “the man behind the words.” Now, people ask how we teamed up. Sadly, there was a personal tragedy that brought Cec and me together as friends.

Cec: True. In early 2007, our house burned and our son-in-law died. Aside from the grief over Alan, we lost everything. Deidre and Jan, my-then-assistant, sent the word out of our tragedy without telling me. I'm immensely grateful for every gift people sent, but I probably wouldn't have admitted I needed help and wouldn't have asked. They taught me how much we need other people.

Marley: Deidre put out a call to other clients of The Knight Agency, to help Cec and his family out in any way in their time of need. At the time, my company was moving and we were cleaning house. We had a ton of office supplies that we were either going to throw away or give to some of the charities the company worked with. I got my boss’ permission to send a large care package to Cec…full of office supplies for him to re-stock his writer’s office. You name it…post-its, staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, markers, white out, ruler, scissors, paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes, a laptop case, tape, glue, folders, binder clips…etc. A veritable potpourri of office delights. I was hoping that it would help Cec have a sense of getting his office back so he could keep working.

Cec: Marley's gift was the most unexpected I received. We hadn't met, although Deidre Knight had spoken of her many times and kept telling me she was wonderful. I wonder if you can imagine what it was like for me to open that box from someone I didn't know. I saw all those practical things for my office and yelled for my wife. I felt as if I were reading a first-grade book. "Look! Look and see! Oh, look!" I was overwhelmed by the gift and even more to receive it from a stranger. Those supplies were the most practical gift anyone could have given me. I'm still using black paper clips and red folders from Marley.
Marley: Awww…thanks, Cec! I didn’t have to think twice about doing it. Writing is such a solitary “sport,” but the writing community always astounds me with how they help their own. Not long after that, over plates of spinach and Gouda omelets, Deidre introduced me to Cec in person and I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind the words. Deidre knew we needed to work on a project together and thus began our brainstorming. What did you think of that first meeting, Cec, and cooking up the idea to work together?

Cec: Deidre and I had already spoken about a Christmas book and I had some idea about what it should contain, but nothing had come together. One day Deidre told me that Marley was coming to visit her and she wanted us to work together on a Christmas project. Marley and I talked before we ate and again during the meal. Everything felt right to me. I knew my strengths and Marley knew hers (and Deidre knew both of us). Everything clicked. Marley, a far better networker than I am, immediately sent out the word for submissions. Within days she had almost four times more than we could use. (She read every one of them!)

Marley: I was truly impressed with the submissions we received and it was hard narrowing it down to the ones we chose for the book. We’re fortunate to have such a go-getter agent in Deidre Knight. Cec, can you share how the whole idea of Christmas Miracles came about and what you thought of the project originally?

Cec: For me, it actually started while I was on the rapid-rail train from the Atlanta airport when I listened to teens talk about Christmas and it was mostly about gifts. I had the idea then, but nothing really came together. Months later when Deidre I and had a meeting, she brought up the idea of a compilation and mentioned my working with Marley. I've been Deidre Knight's client since 1997 and I've learned to listen carefully when she comes up with an idea. I said yes before she gave me all the information.

Marley: That’s the truth about Deidre! Getting back to those submissions, I want to say we got more than two hundred submissions for Christmas Miracles. So many wonderful stories to read through and select for the book. It was a challenge to pick and choose which ones were right for the book, but I loved every minute of it. After I chose the entries that would go into the book, Cec toiled long hours editing the works for a unified voice. What was the biggest challenge you found in the editing process, Cec?

Cec: I've been a ghostwriter and collaborator for twenty-plus years and this was a switch to give the book a unified voice—which was mine. It would have been easier to stay with each writer's voice, but the book—like many compilations—would have been uneven in tone and quality. When I discussed this via email with our delightful editor, Rose Hilliard, she was (to my surprise) familiar with my work. She told me she liked the warm tone of my writing and that I don't waste words. "That's the voice we want," she said. It still wasn't easy, but it was an exciting challenge. After Marley and I agreed on the stories and gave them that unified voice, our editor pulled six contributions. Although different, Rose felt they were too similar to other stories.

Marley: Can you give our readers a preview of the book? A favorite story perhaps…or one that moved you to tears? (I have to say the little boy who wished for nothing but to be able to read a book all the way through because of his stutter had me bawling when I read the submission.)

Cec: That's not fair! I liked them all. The one that touched me most, however, is the last story in the book, "Sean's Question." We had almost finished the book and I was teaching at a conference in Florida. I felt we needed one strong story at the end. Despite all the good ones, I didn't feel fully satisfied to conclude the book. On the last day of the conference, I met a conferee named Sara Zinn for a consultation. As we talked, I mentioned Christmas Miracles and that I still needed one more story. "I have a Christmas story," she said and told me about Sean. As I listened, tears filled my eyes—but, being the macho type I am, I was sure it was an allergy. Sara wrote the story, and it became the one I sought.

Marley: Oh yes…that one is an emotional one all right. It was meant to be in the book because of how you met at the conference. Now, you and I have both had challenges in our lives that others might have found too much to take, but we are both very strong in our faith and our relationship with God. How do you think Christmas Miracles is going to help others feel closer to God and experience His miracles in their own lives?

Cec: Awareness and appreciation are the two things I want readers to grasp. Awareness means for them to realize that they're never totally alone in life. Those unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary events remind us of that. Appreciation means to be thankful for what we already have. Too often, and especially at Christmas, we focus on what we'd like or what is supposed to make us happy. Christmas Miracles gently reminds readers of both.

Marley: In this day and age when our country is fighting two wars, unemployment is high, and a lot of people have a lack of hope and faith for their future, what do you want readers of the book to take away from Christmas Miracles and how can the stories in our book help provide comfort to those struggling?

Cec: I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural (as in one of Marley's stories). I call myself a serious Christian. For me, the world's greatest miracle began with the birth of Jesus. Regardless of a person's religion, this book encourages readers to think about life during the Christmas season and see that life as more than gifts and celebrations. It's also a reminder that God loves us and hears our needy cries.

Marley: Beautifully put, Cec, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Can we share what’s next after Christmas Miracles? J

Cec: Why it's the Cec and Marley show, of course. Because of our go-getter agent and our enthusiastic editor, we've already received thumbs up for The Christmas Spirit. This will be stories of people who express the true spirit of Christmas by acts of love and kindness, for release in the fall of 2011.

Marley: And I can’t wait to start working on that project! Thank you so much for your time, Cec, and answering my questions. It was a privilege and honor to work with you and I look forward to our future projects together. You’ve helped me along during a trying time and I appreciate your friendship and support.

Cec: I liked this project because Marley had to send out the word, collect submissions, read them, and discard the weaker ones. I get to see only the better-written stories. (Don't tell her that I have the better job.) Although I mentioned only one story, all of those in the book touched me because of the poignancy of their situations and the miraculous answers. I won't say the stories increased my faith, but they increased my appreciation for the delightful mix of human need and divine intervention.

Marley: Thanks again, Cec! God Bless! And to our readers, please be sure to pick up a copy of CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, out October 13, 2009 from St. Martin’s Press. It’s a great stocking stuffer or gift basket filler. We hope you, too, will discover your own Christmas Miracles in your life.
About the Author: (from the tour)
Award-winning writer Cecil Murphey is the author or co-author of 114 published books, including the NY Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). He’s also the author of When Someone You Love Has Cancer and When God Turned Off the Lights, both 2009 releases. Murphey’s books have sold millions and have given hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. For more information, visit www.cecilmurphey.com.

Marley Gibson is a young adult author whose first published books in the Sorority 101 series were released by Penguin Group in 2008 under the pen name of Kate Harmon. She has a new Ghost Huntress series with Houghton Mifflin written under her own name. She can be found online at www.marleygibson.com.
Special Giveaway Details:
Leave a comment for a chance to win the Christmas Miracles gift basket.

Wouldn’t you love to take home this amazing basket filled with Christmas goodies galore? This amazing gift basket contains everything you’ll need to make your Christmas holiday a success. Inside you’ll find a stocking stuffed with hard candies, kitchen towels and oven mitts, seasonal potpourri, holiday-colored candles, stuffed animals that talk, snowman candle, nutcrackers, Christmas ornaments, gift bags, gift tags, gift bows, ornament hangers, Christmas cookie cutters, a Merry Christmas doorstopper, a picture frame, Christmas cards, Santa ear muffs, and not just one, but two copies of Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson’s Christmas Miracles – one to keep and one to give away to someone special.

One winner will be chosen from all the comments left throughout the tour stops. Good luck!

Review and Tour: Fit To Be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher




Fit To Be Tied (Sisters of Bethlehem Springs, Book 2)
by Robin Lee Hatcher

Zondervan (November 1, 2009) ~ 272 pages
Fiction / Christian / Historical

Edition Reviewed: Paperback - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher and CFBA, many thanks to the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review as part of this CFBA Blog Tour!

Perfect for : Personal Reading

My Thoughts: I found Fit To Be Tied to be a really fun and enjoyable read. While it is the second book in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, I had no problems picking it up as a stand-alone book (although now I want to go back and read book 1).

The premise of the book is just so fun - the fourth son of an English Duke has sunk so low in his father's eyes, that his father asks for a favor of an American acquaintance: that his son, Sherwood Statham, be sent to America to earn his way for an entire year.

When he arrives in Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, he expects to work at his friend Morgan's new spa, but finds that he is to work as a ranch hand with Morgan's in-laws, the Arlingtons, a father/daughter team. Griff Arlington sees a lot of hurt and potential in Statham, and asks his very independent cowgirl daughter Cleo (Cleopatra) to show him the ropes and help him adjust.

From the beginning, the tension between Woody (as Cleo calls him) and Cleo is obvious (and fun) to the reader. But as the story progresses, it is fun to watch as Woody grudgingly begins to see Cleo as as a young woman who has shouldered a lot of responsibility instead of the boyish and snappingly independent, pants-wearing female he first noticed at the train station. The same can be said of Cleo, who begins to notice Woody in a different light, seeing the hurt he must feel as he is abandoned by his family, and the pain he must be in due to his injuries in the war, all while he does his fair share of the work around the ranch without complaint, even though it is so foreign to his proper English upbringing.

I won't say more as I don't want to spoil the story, except that I will add that the story takes off quickly and before you know it, you've read all afternoon and enjoyed a very nice story!

Characters: The interaction and differences between them are great.
Story-Line: Entertaining historical fiction.
Readability: Fun and easy.
Overall: A great story set in 1916 Idaho on a cattle ranch, which finds a disillusioned younger son of a duke who has really let his life get off track coming face-to-face with a loving family, among whom is a very boyish and independent young woman. Fun and enjoyable as a stand-alone, although I challenge you to read this one and NOT go back to read the first book! ;)





This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fit to Be Tied

Zondervan (November 1, 2009)

by

Robin Lee Hatcher


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon

ABOUT THE BOOK

Cleo Arlington dresses like a cowboy, is fearless and fun-loving, and can ride, rope, and wrangle a horse as well as any man. In 1916, however, those talents aren’t what most young women aspire to. But Cleo isn’t most women. Twenty-nine years old and single, Cleo loves life on her father’s Idaho ranch. Still, she hopes someday to marry and have children.

Enter Sherwood Statham, an English aristocrat whose father has sentenced him to a year of work in America to “straighten him out.” Sherwood, who expected a desk job at a posh spa, isn’t happy to be stuck on an Idaho ranch. And he has no idea how to handle Cleo, who’s been challenged with transforming this uptight playboy into a down-home cowboy, because he has never encountered a woman succeeding in a “man’s world.”

Just about everything either of them says or does leaves the other, well, fit to be tied. Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. And though Cleo believes God’s plan for her includes a husband, it couldn’t possibly be Sherwood Statham. Could it?

Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fit to Be Tied , go HERE.

Watch the book video Trailer:


Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday Thinger: Where, When and Why

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Thingers! We always love to hear from regular participants as well as new people.

Tonight's Thinger is quick and simple (I hope!). As I was looking over LT features and tabs, I realized that I didn't know where people were connecting to the site from, when they were doing it, and why!

So...

Questions: Do you connect to Library Thing from home, work, mobile, other? When do you find yourself on Library Thing (throughout the day, evenings, etc)? Why do you primarily connect to LT?

My Answer: I connect to Library Thing from home! I generally go to the site in the late evenings, but will occasionally visit during the day if I'm looking for something specific. :) I usually visit the site to read reviews that people have written about books I'm considering picking up, or to post reviews myself. Every now and then I connect to participate in the groups or forum.

Looking forward to reading everyone's answers!!

~ Wendi

If you are new to Tuesday Thingers: Welcome! The meme was originally created as a way to network with other bloggers and to learn about Library Thing! I'd like to encourage you to join us. If you don't know what Library Thing is - you are in a great place to learn about new things, and if you are an old pro, stick around and share your wealth of information! Visit Library Thing here. To join in, copy the picture and question into your post and link back here so people can read other responses. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post so we can stop by! If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave a comment here!

Teaser Tuesday: Becoming Beauty by Dimitri James


TEASER TUESDAYS : hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~


Teaser :

"Split Ends Mask:
1 mashed ripe banana
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon honey

Mix all ingredients together. Apply to hair. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Finish with a cold-water rinse."

~ page 26 “Becoming Beauty" by Dimitri James

** Honestly, there are so many great tips in this book... this one was completely random, but there were so many others I wanted to share as well!**

About the Book:

Back Cover: Internationally recognized beauty, hair and skin care expert, Dimitri James, shares his 25 years of experience in creating total head to toe “make-over magic!”

Get the most out of your look by learning the simple building blocks of skin care, make-up, hair, clothing and accessories to build the best you possible!

• Become your own brand by discovering your personal unique style.
• Make a powerful impression by discovering the secret language of color.
• Look like you stepped out of a magazine cover on your wedding day.
• 50 ways to beat acne for good.
• Disguise figure faults by choosing the right clothing for your body type.
• Strengthen your internal beauty and project a stronger more powerful image.
• Never have to ask “how do I look” ever again.
• Look 10 years younger with skin care recipes you can make in your own kitchen.
• Learn the right hair style and hair color for your personal face structure and never have a bad hair day again.
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

Review: Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook by Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook
by Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore

Thomas Nelson ~ 192 pages
Non-Fiction / Cooking / General

Edition Reviewed: Paperback - Received courtesy of the publisher for review and participation in their blogger review program!

Perfect for : Personal Use, Gift, Great for Whiskey appreciator in your life
My Thoughts: Keeping the Spirit alive with down-home cooking and some wonderful people... not only does Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee explore some wonderful recipes that include the classic whiskey, but Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore also took time to explore the history and people that make up Tennessee itself (they even included lots of great photographs). The cookbook also includes some non-whiskey recipes that really represent the people and tastes of Tennessee.

One story I absolutely loved reading about was "Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House," which talked about Mary Bobo, who turned 100 in July of 1981, how her birthday was celebrated, and the boardinghouse she ran until she was 98 years old! [pages 29-31, complete with pictures] ** The boarding house is now used for dinners, and is ran by Lynne Tolley (author) ~ this cookbook includes some of the original recipes used by Mary Bobo, which are still used today **

Some of the recipes that sound divine and make me want to join in on hosting some good old Southern hospitality: Bride's Party Punch, Hot Southern Comfort Nog, Divine Fruit Dip, Pecan Chicken Salad (non-whiskey recipe), Southern Belle Fancy Potatoes (non-whiskey), Hushpuppies (heard so much about these over the years and I've never gotten to try them... until now!, non-whiskey), Black Label Sirloin Roast, Pit Barbecue (complete with instructions on how to make the pit, when to do things, recipe, etc), Jack Daniel's Rib Glaze, Truffles (chocolate), Jack Daniel's Chocolate Velvet Cake, Eggnog Pie

Content: From the Contents ~ Drinks, Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Vegetables, Breads, Entrees, Outdoor Cooking, Desserts, Cakes & Pies, Accompaniments, and the Index
Format: Cleverly mixing the history of Tennessee throughout the different sections of the cookbook make it more personal and give it more depth.
Readability: Fun and easy to read/follow recipes
Overall: This cookbook is a great addition to any kitchen, and would be a great gift for any whiskey fan... add to that the fact that these recipes would be great for entertaining and for everyday cooking!

About the Book:
From the Publisher: The rich tradition of country cooking, the distinctive taste of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, and the heritage of rural America are all elegantly captured in Jack Daniel's The Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook. Included are more than 350 recipes, stunning full-color photographs, and stories of the people, places, and traditions of Middle Tennessee. Illustrated and indexed.

About the Author: (From the publisher)

Lynne Tolley, the great-grandniece of Jack Daniel, is the proprietress of Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House restaurant in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Lynne travels extensively as a talk show guest, sharing traditional southern recipes.

Pat Mitchamore is a writer, public speaker, seminar leader, and travel consultant. She is also executive director and producer of the Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band.
This book was reviewed as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mailbox Monday / In My Mailbox

Many thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox every week!

It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

Here are the books that came into my house last week:

Becoming Beauty by Dimitri James ~ Non-Fiction / Beauty ~ Received for review courtesy of SKINN Cosmetics and Lisa Cocuzza PR / It's a Glam Thing

Back Cover: Internationally recognized beauty, hair and skin care expert, Dimitri James, shares his 25 years of experience in creating total head to toe “make-over magic!”

Get the most out of your look by learning the simple building blocks of skin care, make-up, hair, clothing and accessories to build the best you possible!

• Become your own brand by discovering your personal unique style.
• Make a powerful impression by discovering the secret language of color.
• Look like you stepped out of a magazine cover on your wedding day.
• 50 ways to beat acne for good.
• Disguise figure faults by choosing the right clothing for your body type.
• Strengthen your internal beauty and project a stronger more powerful image.
• Never have to ask “how do I look” ever again.
• Look 10 years younger with skin care recipes you can make in your own kitchen.
• Learn the right hair style and hair color for your personal face structure and never have a bad hair day again.

God is With Me Through the Day and God is With Me Through the Night by Julie Cantrell ~ Kids / Learning To Read / General / Christian ~ Received courtesy of Julie Cantrell and Zondervan publishing for an upcoming tour and giveaway Nov 17-24

Back Cover: Brave mice and playful puppies inspire little hearts to have big faith. You are safe, brave, and loved because God is always there - all through the day.




Back Cover: Cheerful dolphins and loving zebras inspire timid hearts to have big faith. Even in the dark, God keeps his children safe, brave, and loved. He is always there - all through the night.



Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook by Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore ~ Non-Fiction / Cooking / General ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review and participation in their blogger review program.

From the Publisher: The rich tradition of country cooking, the distinctive taste of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, and the heritage of rural America are all elegantly captured in Jack Daniel's The Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook. Included are more than 350 recipes, stunning full-color photographs, and stories of the people, places, and traditions of Middle Tennessee. Illustrated and indexed.
What was in your mailbox last week??

If you would like to participate in Mailbox Monday, head over to The Printed Page and grab the logo. Make sure to visit other blogs hosting Mailbox Monday and comment/leave your link!
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