Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Inconvenient Match by Janet Dean Love Inspired Historical Series

About Janet

Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write.

She married her college sweetheart and taught first grade before leaving to rear two daughters, but Janet never lost interest in American history and the accounts of strong men and women of faith who built this country.

With her daughters grown, she eagerly turned to Inspirational historical romance. Today Janet enjoys spinning stories for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical.

When she isn’t writing, Janet stamps greeting cards, plays golf and is never without a book to read. The Deans love to travel and spend time with family.

Website  http://janetdean.blogspot.com/

Where To Buy  
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Christianbook.com

About Book

His family destroyed hers. But Wade Cummings's job offer— to care for his recuperating father—is impossible to decline. Schoolteacher Abigail Wilson can swallow her pride for the sake of a summer paycheck that will help her sister. And when Abigail's employment ends, old loyalties will separate the feuding families once more.

If there's anyone in town stubborn enough to deal with Wade's cantankerous father, it's Abigail. It's just a business arrangement—and a temporary one, at that. Her good opinion shouldn't matter a lick to Wade. Yet their different backgrounds belie a surprising kinship. Perhaps unexpected love will be their reward for the summer's inconvenient match.



My Thoughts

When Wade Cummings offers a job to Abigail Wilson she had to think long and hard. How can she possibly take the job caring for the very man that was responsible for the eventual death of her father? Wade's father George Cummings destroyed her families future.  The two families have been feuding for years.  Now he is injured and needs someone to care for him while Wade is at work.

Maybe if she looked at it as if the Cummings owed her family this job.  Abigail works as a school teacher and is on summer break.  So that means her family is without any income.  She has expunged all of her sources for employment.  Wade promised a good wage if she takes the job.  She  feels as if she will be able to handle Wade's old grouch of a father.  After all she ruled over some pretty rowdy boys in the high school classroom.

One thing she isn't sure of is, can she deal with the attraction she has for Wade her old beau. Not to mention the advances he keeps making towards her.  Any kind of future with him is impossible not just because of the feud but because they are from two completely different social classes.

Is it possible Abigail and Wade have more in common than either of them realize?  Could it be that God has his own plans?  Is it wrong for her to blame Wade for something his father did?  She feels God didn't help her when her family lost everything and He let her father die. Why would God help her now?

The author has written an endearing story of repentance, forgiveness, faith, hope and love.  Love of neighbor  and the healing of not just a fire damaged town but that of the body and soul of the people that live in New Harmony, Iowa.

I highly recommend this book.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:
I won a copy of this book provided by the author.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: May 25-31

Book Blogger Hop



Blogging Question: 
How do you handle the writing of a negative review?

 My Answer: 
 My norm is to rate five out of five. But there have been a couple I have rated three out of five. I don't really give negative remarks because the book may not have peaked my interest but may have been a fantastic read for someone else. I don't think we should berate the writers. Sometimes I might read the book at a later date and end up having a completely different attitude about the book. 


 HOP ON OVER AND JOIN THE FUN - CRAZY FOR BOOK BLOG HOP

Saving Bobby by Crystal Cattabriga

About Crystal 

I was born and raised in Massachusetts and moved to Georgia in 2004. I'm the mother of three beautiful children, Zackary 18, Blayke 13, and Ema 10. I've been married for 10 years to a wonderful man who always seems to keep me grounded. When I'm not writing novels, I enjoy reading, going to the movies with my children, walking through trails, and bowling. We have three dogs and several cats. Living my life as it is, I feel blessed, so I always remember to pay it forward to others. I've been a Partner's in Hope member of St. Jude's Hospital since 2006 and give to my local community, The Sharing and Caring Place in GA.


Website  http://www.crystalcattabriga.com
Twitter   http://twitter.com/c​cattabriga
Genre    Children's Books, Young Adult, Religion & Spirituality


PictureAbout Book 


ISBN-13: 9781466306882
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: 11/20/2011
Pages: 246

When Bobby's world came crashing down on his thirteenth birthday he knew his life would never be the same again. After losing most of his family before ever becoming a teenager. Bobby was determined not to lose the only person who had truly loved him and was always there for him; his mom. Struggling with the fear of losing his mother to cancer Bobby takes it upon himself running away in search for a way to save her. Along Bobby's journey, he meets Annie, a 'runaway.' Together, they embark on a road where they both find a friendship that will last forever and the true meaning of God. Will Bobby save his mother in time and will Annie go back to the life she had? Experience this journey with Bobby and Annie and feel the power of true determination, and what God can do if you just let him into your heart....


   


 My Thoughts

Thirteen year old Bobby is on a quest to find more time or a kidney donor for his mom.  She is in desperate need of a new kidney due to cancer. She is all he has left in this world.  He has no other relatives other than his uncle and they recently got notice from the military that his uncle is missing in action.  But he doesn't believe them, he feels in his gut that his uncle is alive.  

Bobby is staying with a family friend while his mom is in the hospital.  He decides to sneak out one night without telling anyone and hits the streets for answers that might help his mom. When he starts out on this quest he makes friends with a young girl, Annie and she joins him on his journey. It is very clear that Annie has a personal relationship with God.  Bobby doesn't know God or what He is capable of doing if he would just believe in Him.  Bobby watches Annie as she share her beliefs with strangers about the power of  prayer if only they would have faith in God.   Annie tries to tell Bobby who God is and about Jesus.  But he isn't sure he believes or trust what Annie says about God. 

Any mom reading this story will freak at the idea of this young boy out on the streets alone.  And why does so many people know this girl Annie and don't seem to be concerned about her?  Where is her parents? Why is she on the streets?  Why doesn't she want to go home?  I had so many questions running through my mind.  

This may be a Young Adult book but don't let that stop you from reading this book.  Also you better make sure you have a box of tissues at hand  because you will need them.  

I have had this book on my to read list for some time now.  I am so glad I was able to work it into my schedule.  I'm sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

I highly recommend this book!

I rate this book 5 out of 5.

Disclosure
I received a free copy of this book from the author for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson

About Mona

MONA HODGSON is the author of TWO BRIDES TOO MANY, TOO RICH FOR A BRIDE, THE BRIDE WORE BLUE, and TWICE A BRIDE, The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series published by WaterBrook Press. Her writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books, contributions to eleven books for adults, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in newspapers and magazines. One of Mona’s favorite things to do (besides writing or eating dark chocolate) is to speak at women's retreats and schools, and for women’s groups, librarians, and at writers’ conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Mona lives in Arizona with her husband, Bob.

Check out www.monahodgson.com to learn more.
You can also follow Mona at www.twitter.com and http://www.facebook.com/author.mona.

  The Bride Wore Blue; A Novel


About Book


The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek—Book 3
 
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 8, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0307730301 ISBN-13: 978-0307730305

Where to Buy 
Amazon
Christianbook.com
Barnes & Noble

Headed toward a fresh start but tethered by her past, Vivian longs to break free, to find forgiveness and love.

At last, the sisters are reunited! The youngest Sinclair, the family“ baby”, is moving from Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado and joining Kat, Nell, and Ida. But Vivian is a young woman with a will of her own, and made some decisions back in Portland that have begun to haunt her. Will she be able to live up to the expectations of her three perfect and now happily-settled sisters?

The sisters warmly welcome Vivian to the mountain west, but the wild-and-woolly mining town isn’t ripe with opportunities for a respectable young woman. The youngest Sinclair sister is determined to make her own way, so when she’s off ered a job as a hostess in a sporting house, she takes it, thinking the position is appropriate for a tainted, unlovable woman like herself. Although she’s convinced she’ll never be asked to entertain privately, Vivian keeps her employment a secret from her sisters, knowing they’d be mortified—as will Carter Alwyn, the kind and godly sheriff ’s deputy who’s sweet on her.

Vivian is descending into a life of secrets, lying to the very people who love her and could help her heal from her mistakes. Will an outpouring of grace remind her that she is still God’s beloved and that her past can be washed as clean as Rocky Mountain snow?


My Thoughts

Vivian Sinclair is the youngest of the Sinclair sisters to arrive in Cripple Creek.  Being the youngest she feels as if she will never be able to compete or compare with her older sisters and their accomplishments.

When she first arrives she meets the local deputy sheriff, Carter Alwyn and they do not seem to see eye to eye on anything.  When they finally come to a meeting of the minds Vivian tries to discourage his advances.  She feels she is not worthy be in a relationship with any man, because she is so haunted by her past.

The local businesses are just getting back on their feet after the last fire that swept through Cripple Creek.  Which left her with no luck finding employment.  Her dream was to be a fashion designer.  But in Cripple Creek there was not much use for high fashion.

She is offered a job as hostess at a local bordello.  She justifies taking the job because she would only be a hostess and not a working girl.  She takes the job trying to keep it a secret from everyone which has put her in extreme danger.

Growing from school girl to adulthood is a hard transition and back then women were not wanted in many of the workplaces.

I enjoyed this series very much and look forward to reading book four TWICE A BRIDE.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Press/Blogging for Books for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Clash of the Titles: April New Releases Winner Announced!



Clash of The Titles

The winner of our April New Releases Clash




The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition by Sharon Hinck

A hearty congratulations to Sharon!

And a special thank-you to the following authors for being part of this fun week:

Susan Page Davis, author of Cowgirl Trail
DiAnn Mills, author of The Chase
Kate Lloyd, author of Leaving Lancaster
Nancy Herriman, author of The Irish Healer

ABOUT The Restorer's Son-Expanded Edition:
Book two in the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric series, The Restorer’s Son won a Carol Award for speculative fiction.

Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake. All signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them and threatens their son. A target of assassins and more political intrigue, false leads and near misses beset their path, which leads them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.

Cast out by those he trusts, the new reluctant Restorer prefers to cross swords with the One rather than submit to His will. Pursued by his calling, he journeys to Sidian, where he finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.

WHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY ABOUT "The Restorer's Son."


*Have read the other books & the original editions & Sharon is a master story-teller. ..humorous, poignant, deep & lyrical! A must-read!
*I love and am impressed and inspired by everything you write, Sharon. God's blessings daily.
*  I LOVED The Restorer! One of my all-time favorite books because it made me love Jesus more.
*I love, love, love The Restorer's Son. If you haven't read it, you should. (Make sure to look for the Expanded Edition to get extras.)
*Sharon is a wonderful wordsmith whose creative writing is experience validated. Can't wait to dig into this one.
*To be read? Maybe to be re-read... for the sixth time. I'm in love with The Sword of Lyric trilogy, and the extended releases are the perfect excuse to tell everyone I know about these books. The Restorer's Son is one of the most powerful fiction titles I've ever read, and it will be on my to-(re)read list for many years to come.

ABOUT the author, Sharon Hinck:

Sharon writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people experiencing God’s grace in unexpected ways. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include contemporary fiction such as The Secret Life of Becky Miller or Stepping into Sunlight and the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series which includes The Restorer’s Son–Expanded Edition . She’s been a Christy finalist and won three Carol awards.
Sharon’ s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication. When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She loves interacting with visitors at her website and blog: sharonhinck. com.


Q and A with SHARON:& nbsp;


Q. Besides an entertaining read, what do you hope people experience in The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition?

A. My hope is that readers will catch glimpses of the way the One speaks to each of us in the language we understand, and that we can go to Him with our difficult questions. For those who are walking very painful roads, I hope the story will help them feel acknowledged. The journey is hard, heroic, and sometimes frightening. But we are never alone.

Q.What was it like developing new material for this new edition?

A. Books are like children. I treasure each of them in different ways, and among the novels I’ve written, I try not to have favorites. However, I confess that The Restorer’s Son has an extra special place in my heart. Because of that, it was fun to revisit the characters and world of this story. Kieran’s attitudes were loosely inspired by a verse in Judges where Gideon is told God will use him to save his people. Gideon’s response is basically, “If God is for us, why have all these bad things happened to us?” It’s a question many can relate to, and part of the reason that Kieran is such a beloved character. 

The new devotion guide gives readers an opportunity to dig deeper into the Biblical inspirations that helped inform the book, as well as find personal application. About forty pages of new content, including bonus scenes and a new song composed for the book, make this edition a new experience.& nbsp;

Q. Where can we buy the book?


www.sharonhinc k.com
http://sharonswriti ng.blogspot. com/


To order The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition:
http://urlcut. me/aM3


Kindle version:
http://urlcut. me/aM2




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chasing The Sun (Land of the Lone Star Series #1) by Tracie Peterson

About Tracie 

Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 85 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.

Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer's conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents book line - overseeing the production of 52 books a year.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.

Website:  http://www.traciepetersonbooks.com/



Land of the Lone Star Series, Book 1 

About Book 

When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family's land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?

Paperback, 347 pages 
Published March 1st 2012 by Bethany House Publishers 
ISBN076420615X (ISBN13: 9780764206153) 

Where to Buy:
Chistianbooks.com
Barnes & Noble
Amazon



My Thoughts

Hannah is in charge of her two motherless, half siblings. Ever since the recent disappearance of her father she is also responsible for the running of the new ranch that her father had uprooted her and her sibling to move to in the Lone Star State. Now her father has been reported as missing in war torn Mississippi. The Civil War has split many families and friends some fighting for the Confederacy and some the Union.

While Hannah is trying to hold things together on the ranch a wounded Union soldier and former heir to the ranch, William Barnett shows up to claim the ranch as his own.  William is angry when he hears that just over a year ago  the ranch was awarded to Hannah's father  for being a credit to the Confederacy.

William and Hannah come to the agreement that he stay and work the ranch while they await a decision from the Court Judge as to who is the rightful owner of the ranch.  He turns out to be a great help around the ranch. Plus he seems to really care for the well being of her and her young siblings.

This story will really stir your mind as to what families suffered and dealt with during and after the Civil War.  We all know it was brothers against brother and neighbors against neighbors.  But in this story a man and woman work together to rebuild their lives even though their loyalties were on different sides.

I highly recommend this book.  I can't wait to read more of this series.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

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


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Litfuse Tour: Forever Hilltop series by Judy Baer

About the book: 

The charming and often hilarious Forever Hilltop series follows the experiences of former city dweller Alex Armstrong as he settles into his new role as pastor of a Scandinavian community in rural North Dakota. Alex is sometimes baffled by his parishioners and their colorful ways, but he comes to appreciate their simple wisdom. One thing's for sure -- life in Hilltop Township is never dull! This new two-in-one format features An Unlikely Blessing along with its sequel, Surprising Grace.

In An Unlikely Blessing, Alex Armstrong is a former city dweller who has just accepted his first parish assignment to a small community in the wilds of North Dakota. In Hilltop Township, Pastor Alex becomes familiar with the residents and their odd traditions, from julebukking to King Oscar's fish balls. And then there's the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community! Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he has to teach them.

In Surprising Grace, Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he's even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie. But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined. In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once loved -- and the home he's come to love.

Paperback, 2 books in one volume, 572 pages 
Published 2012 by Guideposts
ISBN 13 9780824945299
 

  About Judy:

Judy Baer was born and grew up on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota, experiencing many of the same things as her Hilltop characters. An only child, she spent most of her days with imaginary people-either those she read about or those she made up in her head.

Baer graduated from Concordia College with majors in English and education and a minor in religion. While at the time, she was simply studying what interested her, Baer later realized that she was educating herself for her future career as a Christian writer. She certainly put her education to use as she is the author of more than 75 books.

A certified professional life coach now certified in three coaching disciplines, Baer coaches primarily professional and aspiring writers. She is also a faculty advisor in the Department of Human Development at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis, MN. Baer has two daughters and three step children. She and her husband live in Minnesota.

She invites you to visit her at her web site www.judykbaer.com for more information on her and her books.

Link to buy the book:  http://ow.ly/azv7s 

Blog Tour Schedulehttp://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/13467681/foreverhilltop


@JudyKBaer is giving away a Kindle for YOU … and one for a Friend in her Forever Hilltop Giveaway! Celebrate with Judy by entering to win a Kindle for you and a friend!


One lucky winner will receive:
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi to Giveaway to a Friend!
  • Forever Hilltop by Judy K Baer for you and a one for a friend

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 22nd. Winner will be announced 5/24/12 on Judy's Blog.

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!




My Thoughts


Alex Armstrong has just arrived in Hilltop Township, North Dakota.  He is to be the new Pastor of not just one church but two.  Unfortunately the two churches have had a split of communities.  This was not what he had expected.  He thought he would be moving to a tranquil community. Since he arrived it has been one thing after another.  It is a beautiful area and the house provided for him was a big surprise to him.

There are definitely some very colorful characters in this novel.  Some that are overly helpful and some that are in desperate need of help. Then there are those that don't wish to be bothered at all.  Alex Armstrong has his hands full.  It is a good thing God is with him and Hilltop Township.

Book two takes up right where book one left off.  With some unexpected events.  Also a hometown girl comes home to the community for harvest time and put a whole new spin on Alex's life.  But will she stay or will she return to her home in the big city?

This was a long book for sure.  But well worth reading.  I highly recommend this book!

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

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


Monday, May 21, 2012

Five New Releases You Gotta See

*guest post by April W Gardner


This week, Clash of the Titles is featuring five novels new to bookstore shelves. You don't want to miss a single one! They're already getting great reviews. Check them out on Amazon by clicking the cover images. You can also use the survey below to let us know which you're most likely to read first. Which one is going to the top of your TBR pile?

COWGIRL TRAIL by Susan Page Davis
Alex Bright is torn between supporting the cowboys who want to strike or the rancher who gave him his start. The boss’s beautiful daughter complicates matters when she organizes an all-woman outfit to replace the striking men.

THE RESTORER'S SON by Sharon Hinck
Cast out by those he trusts and preferring to cross swords with the One rather than yield to His will, Kieran flees to enemy Hazor, only to find that the One knows no borders. Pursued by his calling, Kieran finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. 


THE CHASE by DiAnn Mills
To FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, it's a cold case, but to writer Kariss Walker it's a story that she has to write despite the danger. 
LEAVING LANCASTER by Kate Lloyd
When Holly Fisher's mother reveals a long-kept secret, that Holly's mother abandoned her Amish community where relatives still live, will Holly's yearning for family be strong enough to overtake her conflicted feelings of betrayal? Set in the heart of contemporary Amish country, Leaving Lancaster explores the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and love where least expected.





    THE IRISH HEALER by Nancy Herriman
Accused of murdering a child under her care, Irish healer Rachel Dunne flees the ensuing scandal while vowing to never sit at another sickbed. When a cholera epidemic sweeps through London, she feels compelled to nurse the dying daughter of the enigmatic physician she has come to love. < /i>



















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Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Couldn't Love You More written by Jason Ingram & Matt Hammitt illustrated by Polona Lovsin - Giveaway

About Book


In the same manner as touching picture books like bestsellers Let Me Hold You Longer and Love You Forever, I Couldn't Love You More tells a sweet, loving, yet powerful message: I couldn’t love you more, but there is someone who does. Through the unique relationship of adorable animals, the book shares that Christ is always with you and he loves you more than you can imagine. This engaging picture book combines lovable and irresistible images with the lyrics from the song (co-written by Jason Ingram and Matt Hammitt). Matt is lead vocalist for Sanctus Real, a Grammy-nominated Christian rock band. The song is on Hammitt’s latest album, Every Fallen Tear. When Matt and his wife, Sarah, were halfway through her pregnancy, they discovered their son would be born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare congenital defect. Matt and Sarah’s son, Bowen, was born on 9/9/10 and received a huge following through the Hammitt’s blog (bowensheart.com), K-LOVE, and ABC News. A portion of the proceeds from the book goes to the foundation the Hammitts’ have started to help parents with children who have this heart condition.

Published by TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHING







Matt Hammitt
About Matt

Matt Hammitt is the lead singer and a founding member of the band Sanctus Real. Over the past decade, the Grammy nominated, Dove Award–winning group has released five albums and has topped the Christian radio charts with fourteen No. 1 and Top 5 radio hits. In 2010, Matt and his wife, Sarah, found out they were expecting their third child. Already the parents of two young daughters, Emmerson and Claire, they were looking forward to an ultrasound that would reveal whether they were having a boy or a girl. "We found out it was a boy, and we were all celebrating," Matt recalls. "But only a few minutes later the doctor came in and told us that things weren't right, that half of the baby's heart wasn't developed. At that time, they didn't think he would survive." Diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, little Bowen, whose name means "small, victorious one," defied the odds and survived. But it hasn't been an easy road for Matt and his family. Following Bowen's birth, Matt and Sarah watched their newborn son endure two open-heart surgeries, and they spent more than three months by his bedside at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Matt and Sarah have shared the pain, as well as the joy, of their journey with others through their blog, Bowensheart.com, which has received more than one million hits to date. Sarah says, "God clearly has His hand in all of this. Our family has been called to walk through this, and we will do our best, even though it's going to be really rough at times." "Everything I've watched happen in the hospital—all the pain I've felt—is deepening my faith, strengthening my marriage, and molding my character," Matt says. "Out of what appeared to be a well of emptiness has flowed a fountain of purpose." Matt's album Every Falling Tear, released in 2011, was born out of the heart of a father wrestling with his pain but buoyed by his faith and his love for his family. I Couldn't Love You More is one of the songs on the album. It expresses a parent's desire to share Christ's unconditional love with his child. A portion of the proceeds from both Matt's album and this book will be given to support the Whole Hearts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the Hammitts that is dedicated to helping families with children suffering from congenital heart defects. Matt says, "We've met so many families like us whose children are suffering, and they are looking for hope. It has become our mission to help them find it."

My Thoughts

I am so moved by this story. The illustrations are darling.  

I have been through a similar situation with my little grandson that passed away  when he was fifteen months old.  He spent the first nine months of his precious life in the hospital. The miracle we experienced was getting to share those fifteen months of his short life with him.  He smiled and laughed all the time. It is the hardest thing for a family to go through when you have a sick child.

Love and cherish your children!  Have you told your child you love them today?  

What are some ways you can actually show them how much you love them? 

I have fourteen grandchildren with one more due in July.  The most fun I have with my kids and grandkids are when we are all together at the same time.  

Do you have something special you do with your child?

How do you share GOD'S love with them?

When my grandchildren stay over we have a special prayer time before we go to bed when we are all tucked in. Some on air mattresses some in the bed with me.  They all know how much GOD loves them.  Some of them remember when their young cousin passed away and make comments about him being in Heaven with God not suffering anymore.  

Don't let all of this make you think this is a sad story because it isn't.  This is a story about MIRACLES and LOVE.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

WIN A CERTIFICATE 
FOR A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK.  
 Giveaway May 17-24, will announce lucky winner on May 25.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Litfuse Tour: MY STUBBORN HEART by Becky Wade and Giveaway

About Becky: 

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since. 

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn't be more thrilled with it. 

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Learn more at:  www.BeckyWade.com










Litfuse
About the book:

My Stubborn Heart 
by Becky Wade 

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light...whether he likes it or not. 

When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed? 

Published May 1st 2012 by Bethany House
ISBN: 0764209744
ISBN-13: 9780764209741

Where to buy? 
Christianbook.com 
Barnes&Noble
Amazon 

 Win a Nook Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™! Enter Today - 5/7-5/24!
  Becky Wade's My Stubborn Heart Giveaway and RSVP for FB Party {5/24}!
  Celebrate with Becky by entering her My Stubborn Heart Giveaway
 and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 5/24!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Nook Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™
  • A $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate
  • A copy of My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on May 24th. Winner will be announced at the "My Stubborn Heart" Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/24. Becky will be hosting an book chat, testing your trivia skills and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of My Stubborn Heart and join Becky on the evening of the May 24th for a chance to meet Becky and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

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 24th!

Schedule for Blog Tour of My Stubborn Heart:   http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/13491775/beckywade


My Thoughts:


Kate Donovan has taken a well needed reprieve from her job in order to travel to Rosebud, Pennsylvania.  Her Grandmother asked for her help in restoring the house where her grandmother grew up.  They will be getting much needed help from Matt Jarreau, a contractor that specializes in restoration of old homes.  Everyone sees much more in this handsome man than just a contractor.  He  definitely looks as if he carries a great burden on his heart that even show in his eyes. Kate has a soft heart for burdened souls.  Has God brought her to Rosebud to help this man heal his broken heart and soul?

Reading this book was like wrapping up in a warm blanket.  The characters became very familiar to me like old friends. My heart especially ached for the pain Matt endured.  Kate's character was so in tune to the needs of others to the point of neglecting her own needs.

Kate's grandmother had some eccentric and very comical friends. They helped to loosen up Matt and pull him out of his recluse like state.

I highly recommend this book.

I have rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.


Monday, May 14, 2012

High Desert Haven Wins on Clash of the Titles

Clash of The Titles

**Guest post by Michelle Massaro

In the recent Leading Ladies Clash, Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux and High Desert Haven by Lynnette Bonner   went into the ring on Clash of the Titles

After the public vote, the winning title was....



  HIGH DESERT HAVEN 


  We're happy to announce that High Desert Haven has been added to the list of COTT Champ titles! And we also want to extend our congratulations to the author. I'm sure we're all eager to add this book to our summer to-be-read pile! 

  In response to her win, author Lynnette Bonner said:

It was an honor just to have been chosen as a clasher, in the first place, and then to have won… wow, I’m totally blessed by that. I’m still fairly new at this, and putting my stories out to the public is, to say the least, a daunting experience. So every little bit of encouragement and affirmation gets tucked away for days ahead when I will need to draw strength from them. I so appreciate COTT for giving me this opportunity to interact and connect with their readers.


Some of the comments left by readers were:
  • Great job!!
  • Both excerpts make me want to read the rest of the story. It was hard to choose!
  • I think they both did a good job of presenting their books.
  • Both leading ladies were believable and presented with skill.
  • Looks like a whole lotta fun!
  • I found it very hard to select only ONE excerpt. They were both great! Keep up the great work!
  • Both excerpts have great leads! Would like to read both books!

Curious to read the winning excerpt? You can both contenders' entries here .
An interview with the winning author can be found here .  

Want to congratulate the author? Leave a message in the comments. Have a question about future Clashes on COTT? Email them at contactCOTT@ gmail.com

Thank you! 


** Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for Clash of the Titles, a mother of four, and a wife of nearly 17 years. She bakes, crochets, cross-stitches, sings, writes, and cries during movies. She champions for Biblical authority, leads a Jr. High girls' Bible study, and plays a mean game of backgammon. She spends way too much time on the computer, but makes it up to her family (she hopes) with prayer coverings and chocolate chip cookies. The best place to connect with her is on Facebook, naturally.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blog Alliance Guest Post by Jennifer Slattery



*Guest post by Jennifer Slattery

When our daughter was young, I was very cautious of the television shows and movies she watched. It wasn’t just the language or violence that concerned me, but the image of women they portrayed. The media seemed to convey a constant message: “Women’s value is only skin deep.” I was probably overly cautious, but the discussion still holds merit. What do our choice of heroine’s say about our values as a society?
At the risk of sounding clichĂ©, we’ve come a long way … in but a short period of time. The other day my daughter showed me a page from her magazine. On it, there were five models, each with different skin tones and body types.

Hurrah!

I believe the heroine’s in Christian fiction are changing, too. I’ve read novels of women with disabilities, vices they need to overcome, backgrounds they’re not fond of. I’ve read of women doctors, single moms, those facing divorce. To me, a sinner saved by grace, it’s encouraging to read of women just like me—imperfect, yet strong. Struggling, yet overcoming. Imperfect women living in an imperfect world, embraced and loved by a perfect God.

I believe our cardboard heroines from the past arose out of honorable intentions. There was a general desire to set forth perfection in the hopes that we, as readers, would strive for it. And there is much wisdom to that theory, and yet, the Bible presents a different kind of hero and heroine.

Those like Abraham, who lied, thus betraying his wife.

And Moses, a prince turned murderer turned liberator.


Those like Ruth, who had to beg, well, glean, for her next meal.

Paul, a religious tyrant who watched as Stephen the first martyr was stoned.< /div>

A sinful woman with an alabaster jar who was willing to surrender something so costly when she found something of higher value—Jesus.

Each of these characters taught us something about grace and something about ourselves. Through their struggles, God reveals our own. More than that, through their triumphs, God stirs us toward victory.

I’d love to hear from you. Has there been a heroine—in a novel, movie, or the Bible—that God used to tap deep into your heart, revealing an area of weakness He wanted to change? Tell me about her, and what God revealed through her.
 ***
*Clash of the Titles’ hostess, Jennifer Slattery, lives in the Midwest with her husband and their teenage. She writes for the ACFW Journal, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, Jewels of Encouragement, and the Christian Pulse. Her work has placed in various contests and appeared in numerous publications and compilation works. Visit her online at her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud (http://jenniferslat terylivesoutloud .com) or on Facebook at “Living by Grace,” a modern-day meet-at-the- well community. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

GOD GAVE US LOVE by Lisa Tawn Bergren art by Laura J. Bryant

About Lisa

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 35 books, with more than 2 million copies sold. She recently finished a teen series called River of Time (WATERFALL, CASCADE and TORRENT) and soon will release a follow-up e-novella called BOURNE. She's currently writing a New Adult series called The Grand Tour, and the first release is GLAMOROUS ILLUSIONS (June 2012). Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She’s married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids–Olivia (16), Emma (13) and Jack (9). All five of the Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


About Book 

 As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others…even the seemingly unlovable.

 “Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

In a sturdy format, ideal for the littlest hands at storytime, bedtime, or anytime, God Gave Us You assures each child that he or she truly is a treasured gift from the Lord.


Board Book, 22 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
 (first published September 15th 2009)

ISBN 0307730271 (ISBN13: 9780307730275)
God Gave Us Love - Coloring Page

My Thoughts

Little Bear goes fishing with Grampa Bear but the Otters were so playful and mischievous that Little Bear just knew they would chase all the fish away. Grampa sensed that Little Bear was getting upset at the Otters. Grampa decided to have a talk with her about sharing the love of God.

The story is very endearing. I could almost hear the tone in Grampa Bear's and Little Bear's voices. Grampa being loving and patient, Little Bear being curious and sometimes confused. Grampa does a wonderful job getting God's message of love for others across to Little Bear.

The illustrations in this board book colorfully depicts the feelings shared between Grampa Bear, Little Bear and the rest of their family. Let's not forget the playfulness of the Otters that prompted  the  lesson of God's Love.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for review. I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own review. It is my own opinion.


120 x 60



Friday, May 4, 2012

Booksneeze Review: Here's Lily (Lily Series) by Nancy Rue

About Nancy

Nancy Rue is the author of 110 books, including 9 novels for adults, 17 for teens, and 60 for tween readers, as well as 2 parenting books, 32 non-fiction books for tweens and teens, and the features for the FaithGirlz Bible. Her Lily Series, published by Zondervan, has sold well over one million copies. Her ability to relate to a wide audience has made her a popular radio and television guest and an in-demand speaker and teacher for writer's conferences across the country. She has been a regular keynoter for The Young Writer's Institute and Virtuous Reality Ministries, and now anchors Zondervan's Beauty of Believing Tour for FaithGirlz, which draws thousands of tween girls and their moms. Nancy is also the founder of the "Writing for Children and Youth Conference" in Glen Eyrie, Colorado. Her latest titles include The Reluctant Prophet for adult readers (David C. Cook) Limos, Lattes, and My Life On the Fringe (Zondervan) for teens, and That Is SO Me (Zondervan), a year-long devotional for tweens. A student of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, sponsored by the Upper Room, Nancy continues her own spiritual journey even as she writes and speaks for mothers, daughters, and would-be writers about theirs.

For more information, visit her website at www.nancyrue.com


About Book

Reading level: Ages 7 and up Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
(May 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1400319498
ISBN-13: 978-1400319497

Grow with the spirited, sometimes awkward, but always charming Lily as she learns what real beauty is. In this fun, entertaining story, readers meet awkward sixth grader Lily Robbins who, after receiving a compliment about her looks from a woman in the modeling business, becomes obsessed with her appearance and with becoming a model. As she sets her sights on winning the model search fashion show, she exchanges her rock and feather collection for lip gloss, fashion magazines, and a private “club” with her closest friends. But when the unthinkable happens the night before the fashion show, Lily learns a valuable lesson about real beauty. This best-selling, Biblically based fiction series for girls—with a fresh new look and updated content—addresses social issues and coming-of-age topics, all with the spunk and humor of Lily Robbins as she fumbles her way through unfamiliar territory. As readers come to love Lily and her stories, they’ll also benefit from the companion nonfiction books that will help them through their own growing pains.

Where to Buy
Christianbook.com
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts

Lily has fire red hair, a milk white complexion and large lips. She is now in the sixth grade and between being teased by her brothers and a boy at school Lily has come to see herself as anything but pretty. Then one day a modeling agent comes to her school to share with the sixth grade girls about poise, caring for their hair, skin and how to pick the right closes for their person. But the most important thing she wanted to share with them was self-esteem.  All of the girls were surprised when the lady chose Lily to be her model which shocked Lily and the other girls to no end.  Lily left the class with self-esteem she never had before.  She wanted to share this with her friends that seemed to have had the same problems as she had. They started a club calling it Girlz.

She gets an amazing surprise that could change her life and then events happen that could discourage Lily on her new quest.  I know you want to find out how this ends.

This book is geared for 7 yrs and up.  We I am 60 up and I enjoyed the book very much.  I think every young girl should read this book.  Parents you should even read this book it will clue you in on how to raise self-esteem in your daughters.

The author brings up what a difficult time this is for young girls when they are going through so many new changes and challenges in their life. She even bring up the issue about bullying.

I highly recommend this book.

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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Litfuse Tour: Beyond Hope's Valley – Book Three in the Big Sky series by Tricia Goyer

About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

More info: Living Inspired and www.triciagoyer.com.


About the book: 

Beyond Hope's Valley – Book Three in the Big Sky series

After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

 As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belong.

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/azust
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by B&H Publishing Group 
ISBN143366870x (ISBN13: 9781433668708)


Win a Custom Amish Prize Pack from @TriciaGoyer in her Beyond Hope's Valley Giveaway!
 RSVP for All Things Amish Party {5/21}! 
  Celebrate with Tricia and enter to win a custom-made Amish Wall hanging in the colors of your choice ... and much more!


One fortunate winner will receive: 
  •  Custom Amish Wall Hanging {You choose the colors!} 
  • An Amish Doll {Sweet.} 
  • Amish-made basket {It’s picnic season!} 
  • Doilies, potholder and an Amish cookbook {All items form Bird-in-Hand, PA!} 
  • Three book Big Sky Amish series {Be swept away by this captivating series.} 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 20th. Winner will be announced at "All Things Amish" Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/21. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and more!

So grab your copy of Beyond Hope's Valley and join Tricia on the evening of the May 21st for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Amish?) and lots of giveaways. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)


Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

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 21st!


My Thoughts:

This novel begins where book two in this series left off, with Marianna on a train with her future husband Aaron Zook.  They have just left Montana and are headed for their childhood hometown of Shipshewana, Indiana where Aaron has built them a new home.  Before they marry Marianna has promised to help her brother Levi and his future wife Naomi prepare for the unexpected birth of their baby.  Naomi's parents have asked they wait to marry until after the baby is born. So Aaron will get to court Marianna properly before they set a date for their own wedding.

I can't help but use the old saying that this little Amish community has turned into a regular Peyton Place.  The town folk seem to know everyone's family secrets, even some secrets that folks don't even know about their own relatives. Even though the Amish do not approve of gossiping, things sure do get spread from house to house like a wildfire.

So many secrets, temptations and past guilt are alive and abundant in this novel.  But so is Love.  Love and Faith in God's will and a new desire to read God's Word from the English Bible. Also praying and talking to God which created a personal relationship between God and themselves.

This book was definitely the icing on the cake, as some say.  I couldn't put it down.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:
I received a free copy of this book from B & H Publishing Group for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.