Friday, March 30, 2012

Glass Road Tour/Review - RIVER'S CALL ( The Inn at Shining Waters series #2) by MELODY CARLSON

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

More About Melody



About Book
Anna Larson's daughter, Lauren, is confused, brokenhearted, and misguided. It's the turbulent 1960s and, feeling alienated from her mother, Lauren chooses to stay with her paternal grandmother. However, repelled by the woman's manipulative and spiteful ways, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn at Shining Waters.
There, Lauren begins to appreciate the person her mother is becoming--and she loves the river. However, romantic interests throw a wrench into the works and Lauren, jealous and angry, returns to her grandmother yet again.
But as time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis--one that puts the entire family at risk.

Read First Chapter here

Publisher: Abingdon Press Fiction
Publication Date: 02/2012
ISBN-13: 9781426712678

Want to read RIVER'S SONG book #1 in The Inn at Shining Waters series?
For info click on image below.

My Thoughts

Anna is not just rebuilding her life with her new husband, Clark, they are restoring her old family store, that was handed down to the women of the family.  It would no longer be a store they were  turning it into an Inn, The Inn at Shining Waters

 It is 1960 and there are many changes going on in this country and in Anna's life. For instance her daughter Lauren is staying with her parental grandmother, Eunice, after leaving college. As much as Anna dislikes this she tries not to be controlling of her daughter. 

 As time goes by Lauren becomes very rebellious.  Anna remembers when she felt like she had nothing in common with her own mother,  Though she got alone great with her Native American Indian grandmother, Pearl. But luckily she has her husband to support her in any situation that arises, be it Lauren or Eunice. If only she could get Lauren to stay at the Inn and maybe learn some coping skills. Lauren is beginning to expects everything to be handed to her on a silver platter. Lauren takes no responsibilities for her own mess, expecting her Grandma Eunice's house maid to clean up after her. Anna can't tell who is the worst manipulator Lauren or Eunice.   At times Lauren seems content when she is at the Inn but this does not last long. In no time at all she gets bored and takes off to Grandma's again.

Anna kept quoting an old saying, "You have to let them paddle their own canoe."

I can see that we can't paddle the boat for them forever.

This book touched me in a lot of ways since I raised several daughters myself.  Each one totally different from their sisters.  But to say the least it was challenging and they did  know how to manipulate. They are grown women now and paddle their own canoes.  Thank goodness!

There is so much more I would like to say about this book but I am afraid of saying too much and spoiling the book for you. You really should read this series.

I highly recommend this book.

I gladly rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book from Glass Road PR/Melody Carlson/Abingdon Press for review.
I was in no was compensated for this review it is my own opinion.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Dawn Comes Early (The Brides of Last Chance Ranch Series) by Margaret Brownley

About Margaret

Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.

Authors Website

About Book

Looking for a woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona territory. Must be SINGLE and prepared to remain so now and forever more. Will be given ownership of ranch. —Eleanor Walker

Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest book for a fresh start at a cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory. She hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels.

But what awaits her is a much harder life. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch in 1895, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early . . . every day. But she is tenacious.

Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn’t expect to meet Luke Adams either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn’t recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir.

Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.

More Information

Length 352 Pages
Series The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch Series
Publication Date March 13, 2012
Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595549684
ISBN-13 9781595549686

Reason to Smile Contest here

My Thoughts 

Kate Tenney has a passion for writing dime novels.  Not only has she had one her novels rejected but it has been banned.  She might as well been banned herself by the way everyone was treating her since they found out about her book.   So she decides to answer an advertisement in the newspaper.

Looking for a woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona territory. Must be SINGLE and prepared to remain so now and forever more. Will be given ownership of ranch. —Eleanor Walker

Kate packs up and heads out to Arizona Territory in hopes of becoming the heiress of Last Chance Ranch.  When she becomes a land owner of a cattle ranch everyone that looked down on her will see she is as good or better than them.    

When Kate steps off the train in Cactus Patch the town looks deserted and there is not anyone there to take her to the ranch.  She drags her trunk closer into town and is accosted by a bandit Cactus Joe. He had a gun and he was shooting at everything.  She is knocked unconscious and when she comes to she was being doused with water by a very handsome man that she mistook for Brandon the hero in her novel.  But it was the towns handsome blacksmith, Luke Adams.   He let her know that he was very concerned about her injuries and volunteered to give her a ride out to the Last Chance Ranch.  He felt a responsibility towards her and found her very attractive.  

When she arrived at the ranch she found that as a stipulation of becoming the heiress she would have to learn the ranching business from the bottom up, literally.  Her first assignment was to muck out thirty stalls.  Then she had to learn how to ride a horse western style.  Which was pretty hard because she kept falling off the horse.  Once she was able to keep her seat she was to learn how to rope and then be able to rope a calf.  She also had to help in birthing calves.  She worked from sun up to sundown sometimes longer. Her mentor was a ranch hand by the name of Ruckus and he had a bible verse for just about every time he talked to someone.  But Kate had stopped trusting God when she was very young.  She felt as if God had abandoned her as a child.

Luke visited the ranch and she had to run errands for the ranch into town which included to the blacksmiths.  Kate and Luke realized they had a hankering for each other.  But Kate's mother had drilled into her head that men could not be trusted.  Besides she had vowed to Eleanor the ranch owner that she would remain single or forfeit the ranch.  

The character Ruckus was a sower and sowed seeds of faith, hope and trust in Kate.  Will she trust in God and grow in faith?  Will she hope for more than land?

This was a fun book with many metaphors from the ranch hands. Which they call tall tales.  

There were many colorful characters like Cactus Joe, Aunt Lula-Belle, Aunt Bessie and let's not forget the ranch hands. 

I Highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.

Monday, March 26, 2012

COTT's Fiction Flash Clash

*guest post by Michelle Massaro and April Gardner

Last week, COTT posted a "Flash Clash" in which readers had just 2 days to cast their votes between two 100-word excerpts. It was a fast one! But not so fast that voters didn't have time for their say.

To add to the tension, the winner took the clash by a margin of one vote. That’s right. ONE vote difference. Both excerpts were so good, readers were split almost exactly down the middle. I love clashes that are this close!

The winner of our Flash Clash First Hundred is…

Rebecca Carey Lyle’s Winds of Wyoming.

Winds of Wyoming clashed against Tom Blubaugh’s Night of the Cossack. It was a pleasure getting to know both authors during this fun, super-speedy clash. We wish many blessings on their writing paths!

Here's what readers had to say about both books:

*Great excerpts...both caught my interest immediately!
*Wow - two really great flashes that sound like amazing stories! Love it!
*Keep writing and don't give up!
*Both excerpts were great, especially given the short time to convey what was happening in the story. Keep up the good work!

COTT is taking a spring break starting immediately. We will begin clashing again on April 2, 2012 when hostess Gail Pallotta brings us a brand new clash--Comparable Covers!

In the meantime, check out these other Splashdown Books…

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Contest - Reason to Smile #13 by Margaret Brownley

Reason to Smile #13

When Kate asked what colors the bandannas came in, Ruckus told her: “I reckon you can have any color you want long as it’s red. If you git shot you don’t want the other fella seeing blood. Puts you at a disadvantage.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Guest blogger: Jennifer Slattery

Sometimes Clash of the Titles highlights great talent. Other times we get to "discover it." This is exactly what happened with our speculative fiction unpub'bed clash.

Join me in welcoming Chawna Schroeder to the COTT family!

There's nothing like discovering great talent before it goes to print! And I have a feeling we're going to see our latest COTT champion's books on bookshelves very soon. When we do, we can all say, "We saw her on COTT first!" And this clash--a battle for best speculative fiction unpub'bed--was even more exciting because the winner has been invited to submit a full proposal to Asraea Press for immediate review!

Her winning excerpt was pulled from the pages of Metamorphosis, a gripping tale of a Beast and her master:

Once upon a time there lived a Beast…
Not in a shining castle, but among a pack of dogs.

For as long as Beast can remember she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming Master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.

Then strangers attack. Her pack scatters. Fire eats the village. And Beast knows: Master is no more.

Alone and unprotected, Beast tries to defend herself against slavers scavenging for any leftovers. But she is only one, and they are strong.

Tracked by men, sold as a monster, is Beast only prey to be hunted…
…or something more?

A few comments from readers:

"I enjoyed both excerpts! I am curious about the world created in A, but B really got me in the gut."

"Great job! Keep writing!"

"God has given you a gift. Your TRUE fans will always be there for you!! Never give up and follow your dreams!!! I am sending up a prayer for you and your family!!!"

Join us March 19-23 for a fun Flash Clash!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Giveaway/ Review COUGAR CUB TALES: The Sneezy Wheezy Day by Sharon Cramer

Cougar Cub Tales: The Sneezy Wheezy Day: The Sneezy Wheezy Day

About Book

  •   ISBN-13: 9780983943709
  •   Publisher: B & F Publishing
  •   Publication date: 1/28/2012
  •   Pages: 38
  •   Age range: Up to 9 years
  •   Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.45 (d)
  •   Binding: Hardcover

Looking for The Sneezy Wheezy Day in eBook format? It is here. Or rather purchase on Amazon? Book here. And eBook here.

From the award-winning series, COUGAR CUB TALES: The Sneezy Wheezy Day continues the adventures of the cougar cub brother and sister as they venture into the world to play. When one of the cubs becomes ill, they decide to seek their well-intentioned friends for treatments and remedies for brother cougar's ailment. One friend even tells the cub, "Tickle your nose with the tail of a goose and do it before the next blue moon rise!". Although the recommendations are sincere, the final remedy is a sibling's love. The rhyming verse is captivating, not just for the child, but for the adult reader, and it is illustrated with incredibly vivid watercolors. It is a heartwarming story about negotiating childhood illness, but in a hilarious and lighthearted way. Make sure your child searches for the small additional creature on each page!

About Author

Sharon CramerSharon Jean Cramer was born in Jamestown, New York in 1960. Sharon’s education includes a Master’s in Anesthesia Education from Gonzaga, with her minor area of study in fine arts at the University of Houston. She pulls heavily from her experiences in healthcare to consider subject material for her children’s books. 

She also pulls from very personal experience for The Sneezy Wheezy Day. Her twin sister struggled with childhood illness for many years. Sharon observed that the treatments, though helpful and therapeutic were not what was ultimately most significant. What mattered most to Vonnie was the family and friends around her, who supported and loved her. 

Sharon is surrounded by her own cubs. Her three sons all live in Spokane, and though grown, have opinions about the cougar cubs. Lost and Alone was actually written for her youngest son, Chase, when he was born. It is about his two older brothers, who were eight and ten years old at the time! Cole and Shad tangled on occasion so it was easy for Sharon to write about sibling rivalry and conflict resolution! 

Sage is Sharon’s granddaughter, loves the Cougar Cub Tales, and is a tough critic! She pits the cubs against Dora, Spongebob and of course the Disney princesses, but so far, the Cougar Cubs hold their own (and dad doesn’t bore so quickly over reading them over, and over, and over!)

Sharon’s husband, Daryl, is a nurse anesthetist, and ‘personal organizer’ for Sharon. He is also chef, karaoke partner, best friend, and inspiration to the author. He is a good voice of reason, sometimes editor, and unlikely audience during studio recordings. (More than one take has occurred due to
his enthusiastic presence!). If you see Sharon at a big event, say hello to Daryl as well. He is
usually close by.

Cramer FamilyDaryl and Sharon

My Thoughts

In The Sneezy Wheezy Day brother cub and sister cub were enjoying their playful day until brother cub complained that he was not feeling so well. Sister cub suggested they go to some of their fellow forest friends for advice. So they went to White Owl, King Stag, Canadian Goose, Red Fox, Razorback Hog and Grizzly Old Bear and each one of their friends had a different remedy for him to try. Some where sensible but some were a little bazaar. The characters were very charming and showed concern for brother cub.

But the best remedy of all was from his sister cub which included kittycat tea, his favorite pillow and blanky plus tender loving care.

I think that is what most of us would recommend to a loved one that wasn't feeling well. Have them drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. My favorite is read to them an awesome book just like this one, with tender loving care.

The illustrations were colorful and stirred the imagination.

I highly recommend this book!

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I was provided a free copy of this book for review from B & F Publishing/PR by the BOOK.  In no way was I compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

Now for the Giveaway!

B & F Publishing has been kind enough to provide a copy of "The Sneezy Wheezy Day" by Sharon Cramer  for the giveaway.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment about the book and/or author and state that you would like to win this book. Be sure to add your email address to the comment so I can contact you in case you are the winner.

I will be choosing the winner by using the Random Generator.
There will be one winner. I will keep the entries open until  March 20, 2012.

The winner will be announced on Monday, March 21, 2012.

Good Luck! Blessings to All!
Patricia aka Mamaw

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Litfuse Tour: Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings

About the book:

She's Finally Found a Place to Call Home... How Far Will She Go to Save It?

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can't help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention.

Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future. Read an excerpt:

About Regina:

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children. Meet Regina here.

 Regina's website: here

Link to buy the book: here

About the giveaway and party:

Celebrate with Regina by entering to win a Kindle Fire and coming to her Author Chat Party on 3/27!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/26/12. Winner will be announced at Regina's Author Chat Facebook Party on 3/27. Regina will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and some beautiful silver jewerly!

So grab your copy of Sixty Acres and a Bride and join Regina and friends on the evening of March 27th for an evening of fun.


Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Blog tour schedule:

My Thoughts:
This story is compared to Ruth and Esther  in the bible.  

Rosa Garner and her mother in law Louise Garner have returned to the Garner's family ranch in Caldwell County, Texas.  They have arrived from Mexico without their husbands whom were killed in a cave in.  When they arrived at the ranch it was in an appalling state.  It took a lot of work to get it ready for it's human inhabitants and rid of all other critters. 

Louise does not have a head for figures and had no idea they owed so much money on back taxes and that they were about to loose the ranch.  Louise's sister in law, Mary knew it was going to be almost impossible to come up with the money but Rosa was determined to put in crops along with  raising  chickens and selling the eggs.  She even took in embroidery work at which she was very talented.  Louise's nephew, Weston Garner from a neighboring ranch gave them some sheep which they prepared to sell. Weston did not know how dire the situation was with the taxes on his Aunt's ranch.  

For years Weston has battled buried emotions ever since the death of his wife.  He tries to avoid all the matchmakers and single ladies looking to catch a suitable husband and since Weston Garner has one of the largest ranches in Caldwell County he is most certainly a good catch.  Although he is not very sociable.  Then here is this little mexican gal, Rosa as pretty as can be, awakening feelings in him he thought were long well buried and he fights to keep them buried.  Rosa is also finding Weston very difficult to read because one day he is full of tenderness toward her and then he disappears for days as if he can't stand to be around her.  But why even try to develop a relationship when with anyone when Rosa and Aunt Louise are doomed to be homeless and this is the first real home Rosa has had since she left her parents home in Mexico.

This story was so like Ruth and Esther.  This young woman had so much faith in her mother in law and her new found faith in God.  How frightening it must be to know that you are about to be homeless, no where to go.  How far would you go to save your home?  Are would you have faith that God will provide?

I highly recommend this book.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

I was provided a free copy of this book for review by Bethany House Publisher for review.  This review is my own opinion.  I was in no way compensated for this review. 

If you liked this review vote here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

COTT Spotlight on Gail Pallotta

*guest post by COTT Sr. Editor, April W Gardner

This week, it was my privilege to spend a few extra minutes with author Gail. Gail is one of the blog alliance correspondents at Clash of the Titles.

Her husband, Rick, says she’s the only person he knows who can go in the grocery for a loaf of bread and come out with someone’s life story. That’s probably because she inherited her mother’s love of people and enjoys talking to them. Working as an editor and freelance writer, Gail published a couple hundred articles. While some of them are in anthologies, two ended up in museums. In 2004, the American Christian Writers Association named Gail a regional writer of the year. She recently published her first romance, Love Turns the Tide. When she isn’t writing she likes reading, swimming, and getting together with friends and family. Gail wants to write books of faith that show God’s love. She and Rick live in Georgia. Just a couple hours north of me, actually! We’re practically neighbors. :-)

Every COTT staff member is a professed child of God. Gail, can you tell us about your relationship with Christ?
I can’t remember when I didn’t love Jesus. My father’s father was a minister, so I grew up listening to Bible verses and references to Jesus. But my mother played a huge part in helping me establish a relationship with Christ. At bedtime she said prayers with me and told me stories from the Bible. First, she taught me “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” but even then I had a copy of “The Lord’s Prayer” hanging on the wall above the headboard of my bed. She taught it to me a few lines at a time. We soon started saying it instead of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” She also told me about the Crucifixion in her own words, explaining how much Jesus had to love me to die for me. She taught me to talk to Jesus, to say the things I was thankful for, to praise Him, and ask for things I needed. I did the same with my daughter. I’m so grateful for the many blessings Jesus has given me and that He’s always there for me. I don’t always get the answers I want to my prayers, but I get the answers I need to fulfill God’s plan for my life. Whenever I’ve needed a miracle, Jesus has supplied one. There are several hymns that touch on how I feel about my relationship with Christ. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “He Leadeth Me” are two. My daughter recently gave me a CD, Elvis, An Evening Prayer. The first song on it, “His Hand in Mine,” conveys how I feel about my relationship with Christ. It’s an old gospel song written by Mossie Lister. It’s on YouTube. The URL is

Beautiful testimony! A mother’s faith is essential in a child’s life, and you’re proof of that!
None of us are perfect though, so what’s the craziest thing you did as a teenager? 
Gail Pallotta
I grew up at the foothills of the mountains. At a reunion a few years ago, many of us told our beloved biology teacher how much she meant to us. She replied, “Well, I had to teach biology. There was no one else in town that could.” Teachers were scarce. We had a very old algebra teacher. He couldn’t stay awake during class. Nope. He took the roll and told us to turn to the next chapter and work the problems. Then he pushed back his seat and propped his feet on the trash can. We’d give him about ten minutes, and he was out like a light. His classroom was in the basement with a window level to the ground. In the spring as soon as he started snoring, we went out the window, got in my friend’s convertible (she had the only car) and went to the lake.

No way! That’s so funny!! How long were you gone? What is something else people would be surprised to know about you? 
At age twenty-two when I graduated from college, I packed my clothes in a medium-sized suitcase and moved to a large city with eighty dollars in my pocket. Had no car, no job, and nowhere to live. 
Wow! You can’t leave us hanging, lol! How did that work out for you?

On a slightly more serious note, what is the nearest book to where you’re sitting? 
I love to read anything, non-fiction, fiction, any genre, Christian and many secular. But the book closest to me, probably because I also write as well as read, is Essentials of English.

I’d imagine that covers grammar? Forms of writing? Sounds like a must-have for every writer! What are three things you can’t live without?   
Faith, family, fun

Three very important f’s! Makes me wonder though, when I say the word “fun,” what’s the first thing to pop into your mind?

What is the message you most want to convey to readers with your writing? God loves you. Accept His love and let the greatness of it overcome the imperfections of this world. 

That brings to mind. John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." NAS (©1995)
Anything else you’d like to add? 
I was honored when asked to be part of the Clash of the Titles Staff. I love helping to promote Christian books and writers.
And we love having you!!
Get to know Gail better by visiting her website or her blog.

Litfuse Tour: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

About Julie:

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

For more information, visit

About the book:

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?

Link to buy the book:

Paperback, 410 pages

Published January 1st 2012 by Bethany House Publishers

ISBN 0764207091 (ISBN13: 9780764207099)


Win a Kindle Fire and RSVP for FB party 3/15!
Enter Today and Save the Date-3/15!

Julie Klassen The Maid of Fairbourne Hall GiveawayAbout the contest:
Don't miss the perfect blend of Regency-era romance and mystery in The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Grab a copy and then be sure to enter Julie's Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVP for her Author Chat party on Facebook! Swoon.

One fortunate winner will receive:

A brand new Kindle Fire
A Julie Klassen Library (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/14. Winner will be announced at Julie's "Fairbourne Hall" Facebook Party on 3/15 . Julie will be hosting an evening of chat, trivia and a sneak peek at her next book - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Downton Abbey Prize Pack!
So grab your copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and join Julie and friends on the evening of March 15th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Blog Tour Schedule:

My Thoughts:
Let's start with a little information about the characters...
  • Margaret Elinor Macy - hieress to a fortune and main character in this book
  • Sterling Benton - Margaret's step father and vilian/manipulator after her fortune
  • Marcus Benton - Sterling's puppet of a nephew out to marry Margaret and her fortune
  • Lewis Upchurch - aka Don Juan had courted Margaret at one time. He is all play no work
  • Nathaniel Upchurch - younger brother of Lewis.  He is all work no play. Also courted and proposed to Margaret, she turned him down leaving him bitter.
  • The Poet Pirate - anonymous
  • Helen Upchurch - sister of Lewis and Nathaniel.  She has become a spinster due to lost love. 
  • Joan - Margaret's maid whom helped her to escape the villianous stepfather and nephew.
  • Nora Garret - Margarets new name while in disguise.
  • Fairbourne Hall - resident of the Upchurch family and Margaret's new place of employment as servant
  • Mr. Hudson - house steward at Fairbourne Hall. Hired Margaret as servant at Fairbourne Hall
These are just the main characters there are many more that make up this story.

Margaret Elinor Macy was determined to come up with a plan to flee her step father's iron rule.  Sterling Benton not only taken over the financial responsibilties of his new family he also chose to lock away all the families jewels.  He also has plans to marry off Margaret to his puppet of a nephew, Marcus Benton, in order go get control of a very large fortune Margaret is soon to inherit.  She overheard Sterling and Marcus scheming to go as far as comprimising her virtue forcing her to marry Marcus.  This she would not allow to happen she had to find a way to escape.  She seeked out an old friend Lewis Upchurch to help her hide away from Sterling but to no avail.  When she was home alone she took money from her step father's room which resulted in her maid, Joan, being accused of the theft and was fired.  Margaret convinced the maid to help her escape and give her safe haven.  She decides to disguise herself by wearing a wig and coloring her eyebrows darker along with wearing a pair of her father's old glasses.  Margaret no longer goes by her real name she is now to be known as Nora Garret and plans to hire out as a servant to support herself until she comes into her inheritance.  She had no clue as how to be a servant.  But she had no other recourse.

Nora is hired as a house maid by Mr. Hudson, a house steward.  When she nears her new place of employment she is shocked to see it is none other that Fairbourne Hall home of the man she spurned, Nathaniel Upchurch and his brother Lewis. Along with their sister, Helen, mistress of the Fairbourne Hall.
She fears she will be recognized and sent back to face whatever her step father has in store for her.  But to her amazement she is able to keep secret from everyone.  Are does she?

It was really diffucult for me to know just how much of the story I should share in this review.  There is so much secrecy among all of the characters, along with manipulation and intrigue.  Of course there is a chance for some romance in the story also.  It is said that the author's writing is comparable to that of Jane Austen's and I whole heartily agree. 

There are many interesting quotes in the book.  This is one of many...

Housemaids were meant to be invisible, and all cleaning had to be performed either before the family to up or while they were absent.  As one housemaid later wrote. "It was assumed, I suppose, that the fairies had been at the rooms."  Trevor May, The Victorian Domestic Servant

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I was given a free copy of this book for review by Bethany House Publisher/Litfuse.  I was in no way compensated for this review, it is my own opinion.

If you liked this review please vote here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Litfuse Tour/Prizes: Gabby's Stick to it Day by Sheila Walsh

About the book: Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day

Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.

Gabby, God’s Little Angel, flies to the rescue as Sophie attempts to help others but has a little trouble sticking with things. Sophie tries to be helpful by washing the family dog for her mom, but she gives up when she’s the one who ends up all wet. She then tries to be kind by reading to her little brother, but he has plans of his own, which include a splash of cereal right in Sophie’s face! When Sophie is ready to quit once again, it’s up to Gabby to encourage her to keep trying and to teach her what the Bible says about perseverance: “We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NCV)

About Sheila:

Sheila Walsh is a Bible teacher, speaker, singer, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. Sheila Walsh is the creator of the award-winning Gigi, God's Little Princess® brand, which has sold over 1.5 million units and won two National Retailer's Choice Awards. As a featured speaker with Women of Faith®, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women by artistically combining honesty, vulnerability and humor with God's Word. She resides in Dallas with her husband Barry and son Christian.

Visit for more information about Sheila, her other books or Women of Faith.

Gabby's back ... and she's brought a Kindle Fire Giveaway with her!

Meet Gabby for yourself here. || Read what people are saying here.

Enter today - Sheila and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have put together a prize package worth over $200!

One lucky winner will receive:
  • A brand new KINDLE Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Gabby, God’s Little Angel 
  • Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day
But wait! There’s more …

The winner will be announced on the Gabby Landing page on 4/2/12. In the meantime, enter to win the Kindle Fire then head over to the Tommy Nelson site and download the Gabby coloring sheets, watch Sheila's Gabby video, sign up for news about upcoming Gabby and Thomas Nelson products, and much more.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Link to buy the book:

My Thoughts:

Raffles, a senior angel, was asking the Gabby and her friends about the child each angel was watching over. Gabby seemed to have a problem with the child, Sophie, she is watching over. It appears Sophie never seems to finish any task she starts. She gets frustrated and gives up too soon. This happens over and over again. Gabby is always there rescuing her from pending disasters. Gabby is at her whits ends as to how to get through to Sophie to encourage her to finish what she starts.

Can Gabby really get through to poor frustrated Sophie? I think with God's guidance and His little angel Gabby it is possible for Sophie to have more confidence in herself.

I was very touched by this endearing little story about Gabby and Sophie and the Stick to it Day. The illustrations depict the authors writing without any doubt as to what the story is about. Even if a child just looks at the pictures they will be able to tell what Gabby and Sophie are up to. Of course you must read the book with to the child so they will get the full picture. I am sure your child with be delighted with this book.

I highly recommend this book. In fact I will be passing it on to my two year old granddaughter.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.


I was provided a free copy of this book by Tommy Nelson for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

If you liked this review click here

Blog tour schedule:

Faith Words Tour: EVERY DAY A FRIDAY JOURNAL How to be Happier 7 Days a Week by Joel Osteen

About Joel Osteen:
Joel Osteen is the pastor of the largest church in America with one of the most diverse congregations and over 30,000 members attending every week. He has quickly become a leading voice in a new generation of inspirational leaders and pastors. Under his leadership, Lakewood Church has grown in every area of ministry, more than quadrupling in size in the past five years. In the summer of 2005, the church moved into Houston’s 17,000-seat Compaq Arena and become the new Lakewood International Center. Joel and his wife Victoria live in Houston with their two children.

You can visit his website at

About book:


Category: RELIGION
Publish Date: 3/13/2012
ISBN: 9780892969814
Pages: 128

The EVERYDAY A FRIDAY JOURNAL is the perfect companion to Joel Osteen's latest book Everyday a Friday. It offers the same encouragement, but in daily doses, supplemented by inspirational and thought-provoking material, including relevant scriptures, inspirational quotations, selected stories, prayers and points for contemplation.

The practice of journaling has many benefits. It helps people find clarity as they think through their challenges and opportunities. Putting pen to paper helps put matters into perspective and straighten priorities. Journaling can record readers' progress towards making the right choices to be happier people.

Joel says: "Happiness comes in many forms, whether it's the satisfaction of a job well done, the warmth of a friend's smile, or the serenity that comes in knowing God is present in your life. You have the power to choose joy whether through gratitude, with forgiveness, by serving others, or by doing your best."

This interactive journal provides readers with a concrete way of working toward happiness, each and every day.

My Thoughts:

Every Day A Friday Journal is a seven week journey in uplifting your spirit. It is the perfect companion to your quite time with God. It will awaken you to a happier day than the day before.

Contemplate on the answers and thoughts you want to share each day in your journal.  All it takes is five minutes a day. Surely we can spare five minutes from our busy daily schedule.  Have you laughed lately? From what I read it is actually good for your health. On my main blog I have a cute little anime on my sidebar with the verse.. "A happy heart makes the face cheerful,..." Proverbs 15:13 .  I laugh out loud every time I see it.

I wanted to share with you the titles of the chapters in this journal...

  • Week One:  Don't Give Away Power
  • Week Two:  Know What To Ignore
  • Week Three:  Live Without Crutches
  • Week Four:  Travel Light
  • Week Five:  Laugh Often
  • Week Six:  Be A Dream Releaser
  • Week Seven:  Celebrate Yourself

I recommend you take this daily retreat into this journal with God.  Don't forget to Laugh Today!

I rate this book a 4 out of 5.

I was provided a free copy of this book for review from FaithWords.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

If you liked this review vote here

Friday, March 9, 2012

Litfuse Tour: Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the book:

Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit.

After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?

About Kim:

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of nineteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.

She invites you to visit her Web site at for more information.

Link to buy the book:

Win a Nook Tablet from Kim Vogel Sawyer and RSVP for her "Song of My Heart" Facebook Party {3/29}!

Celebrate with Kim by entering to win a Nook Tablet and connecting with her at the Book Chat Party on 3/29!

One "songbird" winner will receive:

  • A Nook Tablet
  • Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/28/12. Winner will be announced at Kim's Book Chat Facebook Party on 3/29. Kim will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and much more!
So grab your copy of Song of My Heart and join Kim and friends on the evening of March 29th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Blog Tour Schedule here           

My Thoughts

Sadie Wagner has taken a job away from her hometown and family in order to provide for her parents and siblings.  Her stepfather was badly injured and is unable to work.  An long time family friend recommends Sadie for a job as store clerk in Goldtree, Kansas.  She not only has a job to be a store clerk but also the chance to sing in the town's Opera House. God had given Sadie an amazing talent for singing.

Thad McKane is also a new resident in town. But he does not plan on staying in town very long. He has been hired to be the Sheriff of Goldtree only long enough to flush out a bootlegging operation.  His future plan is to solve this case earning enough money to pay for training  to become a minister.  It did not take long for Thad to notice Sadie.  He is very attracted to her but is afraid she might be involved in the boot legging operation.   

Sadie fears her new boss at the opera house because some of the things her boss has asked her to do could compromise her reputation .  She just can not agree with her boss as to what her role at the opera house was about become.  

I am sure Sadie moving away from home for the first time in her life and feeling betrayed by someone your family and everyone else had thought to be trust worthy must have been traumatic.  When God gives us gifts, like all things in our lives they are to be used to glorify God.  Only by the grace of God can we do this.

Another reviewer made a comment in one of her reviews that she wanted to scream at the characters in the book telling them what they should do.  Well this is how I felt in this book I wanted to scream at Sadie wanting to protect her from making the wrong choices she was faced with so far from home. 

I highly recommend this book.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5

I was given a free copy of this book for review by Bethany House.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.