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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa from Melanie Dobson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa

Summerside Press (March 1, 2010)


Melanie Dobson


Melanie Beroth Dobson is the author of the inspirational novels Together for Good (2006), Going for Broke (2007), The Black Cloister (2008), Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana (2009), Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (2010), Refuge on Crescent Hill (2010), and The Silent Order (2010) as well as the co-author of Latte for One and Loving It! A Single Woman's Guide to Living Life to Its Fullest (2000).

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.


Times are hard in 1894. Desperate for work, former banker Jacob Hirsch rides the rails west from Chicago with his four-year-old daughter, Cassie. When a life-threatening illness strands the pair in Homestead, Iowa, the local Amana villagers welcome the father and daughter into their peaceful society. Liesel, a young Amana woman, nurses Cassie back to health, and the Homestead elders offer Jacob work. But Jacobs growing interest in Liesel complicates his position in the Amanas. Will he fight to stay in the only place that feels like home, even if it means giving up the woman he loves? Or will Liesel leave her beloved community to face the outside world with Jacob and Cassie at her side?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa, go HERE.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Winner of Joy's book.

I drew for Joy DeKoK's children's book Raccoon Tales today.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Winner is


Teaser Tuesday ~ Real Solutions for Busy Moms

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for fun! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I've come to realize that it's truly important to make "you" one of your priorities. If family really matter, remember that you're a member of your family. When you take care of yourself, your family will benefit more than you can imagine.

p, 161.; Real Solutions for Busy Moms by Kathy Ireland

Read my review for this book here.


My review of The Missing

This is book two in Beverly Lewis' Seasons of Grace series. In book 1 Grace's mother, Lettie, leaves in the middle of the night because of a secret. The secret is revealed to reader in the book, however, in the story the family still doesn't know what the secret is and why Lettie left the community. The Missing picks up where The Secret leaves off. There are still some mysteries as the book continues. I love Beverly Lewis' writing style. She keeps you wanting more. I can't wait to get my hands on book three, The Telling. Let's get the family out of the dark and on with their life. Will life ever get back to the way it use to be? Will Grace and Heather find momma? All hopefully will be revealed in The Telling. You won't be disappointed if you start reading any of Beverly Lewis' books.


Monday, March 29, 2010

does anyone know

Is blogger having issues? or is it my computer?

Some of my pictures and graphics that have appeared before have disappeared. I don't know where they went.

Blogger is having problems I was referred to this link.


Mailbox Monday ~ Mar. 29, 2010

Join Mailbox Monday meme
@ The Printed Page


Words of Comfort for Times of Loss by Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison

Read to the end. Giveaway with this tour.

My review:
This book has 12 short inspirational stories with scripture and a brief prayer for those that are grieving. No matter if you are grieving yourself or you are wanting to reach out to someone who is grieving this book will bring insight to the reader on how they can help those that are grieving and experiencing loss. Everyone grieves differently and the healing process is slow says the authors.

This book's illustrations add a nice soft comforting touch in water color. A very nice inspirational gift book.

About the book:
Through great personal loss, authors Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison have gained insight to share with others who are going through uncertainty, depression, and loneliness after losing a loved one. They also offer advice for those comforting someone who is grieving.

Among comforting paintings by artist Michal Sparks, brief stories, personal experiences, and prayers offer a meaningful path toward healing for readers when they:

  • feel alone and lost in their grief and want to reconnect with others and to life
  • seek to make sense of their loss alongside their sense of faith, purpose, and God
  • want to honor their loved one without clinging to the past in unhealthy ways
Readers are given gentle permission to grapple with doubt, seek peace, and reflect on loss in their own way without judgment and with understanding and hope. A perfect gift for a loved one dealing with loss and grief.

Practical Tips to Comfort and Encourage Those Who Grieve

Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison, co-authors of Words of Comfort for Times of Loss, offer the following suggestions to those who want to comfort and encourage their friends who have lost loved ones. As you read the list, many of the suggestions will depend on your relationship to the person in grief. If you don't know the person well, the authors suggest you focus on the first nine tips.
1. Don't worry about what to say. Those in grief don't need words, but they need love and support during their bereavement.
2. Never say, "I understand exactly how you feel." You don't; no one does. If you feel you must say something, try this: "I don't know how you feel but I care about you." That's honest and it conveys the right message.
3. Listen more than you speak. Those who grieve may want to talk about their pain. They don't need opinions or advice. Become a safe haven where they can release their grief, vent, or say nothing.
4. Sit silently with the grieving. Many people try to fill the space with words when the hurting person needs only a warm body with a caring heart.
5. Don't hold to preconceived ideas about personal loss or the grieving process. Individuals grieve differently. Think of grieving as a sacred place and treat it that way without intrusion or instructions.
6. Here's a wrong question to ask: "What can I do for you?" They may not know and practical things may be beyond their thinking at the moment.
7. Don't say, "If there is anything I can do. . . " Unless you know something specific, keep silent. The question may add a burden to the grief-stricken person.
8. Don't discuss the feelings and/or information the grieving person has shared with anyone else.
9. If it seems important for you to communicate information, ask for permission. "May I tell. . . ?"
10. If you know the person well, make a list of work around the house or errands that others can do. Show the list to your loved one before you arrange anything.
11. Leave the list for others who visit and let them write their names if they want to do specific tasks. You can help others by providing a list of things they can volunteer to do.
12. Never assume the grieving person wants help; always ask first. If the person wants help, follow through and do it as soon as possible. Don't add aggravation to the pain.
13. Help ensure that the person sets aside rest times and do what you can to protect the time from all visitors. Sleep and rest may not come easily, but it's needed to deal with the added stress of grieving.
14. Give the person spiritual space. The grieving may need time to be alone. Ask, "Do you want time alone?" If the person says yes, volunteer to handle visitors or answer the phone during those periods or help arrange for someone else to do those tasks. In the midst of chaos and noise, the hurting person won't be able to hear God or receive divine comfort. Depending on their need, help them have quiet time to listen for God's gentle and loving voice.
15. If little children are involved, ask if and how you can help care for them.
16. Don't neglect the children. They may not understand everything and feel confused. If the children are old enough to communicate, listen to their concerns. Answer their questions simply and honestly.
17. When appropriate, pray for (and with) your grieving friend or loved one. When the words come from your heart, the hurting person can sense your love. Don't expect the grieving person to pray aloud unless he or she indicates a desire to do so.
18. Allow loved ones to feel and to express their emotions—no matter what they are. Grieving is like a wild roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Good friends learn to lead when needed or to take the back seat and go with them for the ride.

About the Authors:

Liz Allison was married to NASCAR driver Davey Allison until his tragic death in 1993. Widowed at 28 with two young children to raise, Liz faced the long journey of pain, loss, and grief with great faith. Committed to encouraging others, she returned to her work in TV reporting, has published eight books, and hosts a weekly radio show.

Cecil Murphey is an international speaker and bestselling author who has written more than 100 books, including the New York Times’ bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper). No stranger himself to loss and grief, Cecil has served as a pastor and hospital chaplain for many years, and through his ministry and books he has brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

Why We Write About Loss

On the morning of July 12, 1992, my husband, Davey, left home like any other morning—he kissed my forehead and hugged our kids.That afternoon I answered a knock at the door, sensing something wasn’t quite right. When I glimpsed the faces of Davey’s two best friendsthey didn't have to speak—the looks on their faces said it all.

That day, after lunch with his race team, Davey had hopped into his helicopter and taken an unplanned trip to the nearby Talladega Superspeedway to watch a buddy practice. Attempting to land in the infield, he had lost control of his helicopter and crashed. Although paramedics airlifted Davey to a Birmingham hospital, sixteen hours later he was pronounced dead.

Immediately following Davey’s death, I had to work through my grief enough to plan his funeral and make hundreds of small-but-significant decisions, all while maintaining the time and energy to care for our two young children, ages one and three. Well-wishing friends hovered around me and frequently asked, “What can I do for you?

Most of the time, I could only respond with a blank stare. Looking back, my friends could have done many things for me, but they didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to tell them.

I hope the insights I have gained during the aftermath of Davey’s death will help you as you struggle with your own grief.
Two weeks after my father suffered a ministroke, a massive stroke took his life. On the day of his funeral, my older brother, Ray, died of cancer. Over the next eighteen months, I lost two brothers-in-law and my mother.

On the Sunday after Dad’s and Ray’s funerals, a parishioner rushed up to me, hugged me, and said, “Pastor, I heard about the deaths. Were they saved?”

I honestly don’t remember what I answered, but I wanted to shout, “Does it matter right now? I hurt. I’m so filled with pain that I’m not sure I can handle the worship service today!”

In 2007, our house burned down. Our son-in-law, Alan, died in the fire. The next day, a neighbor pulled up in front of our burned house, got out of his car, and started to look around. “Where did he die?” he asked.

Through the years, I’ve met many like those two people. Maybe they didn’t know what to say. Perhaps they were so focused on what they cared about that they were unaware of my pain. Instead of helping me, those comments made me feel even worse. What I needed was compassion. I didn’t get that from either of them, but I can offer it to you.

That’s why we’ve written this book.

Book's Table of Contents
Little Joys
You're Not Alone
One Simple Thing
Accepting Help
Make It Go Away
Why Did You Leave Me?
If Only I Had
What's Wrong With Self-pity?
Perfect Grieving
Am I Crazy?
Material Possessions
Facing Those Special Days

Grand Prize Giveaway includes:
Words of Comfort for Times of Loss
Heaven Is Real
Gift Edition, 90 Minutes in Heaven
Potato soup
Oyster crackers
Dove silky smooth milk chocolate
Dove silky smooth dark chocolate
Ultra-plush spa socks
Large gel eye mask
This special grand prize giveaway is designed especially for someone going through a difficult time. The winner can keep or pass along to someone who could use the pick-me-up.

For this giveaway I'm going to ask you to take a look at the authors' web site and come back and tell me another book they have written that looks interesting and why. Here are the sites to check out or
This drawing for USA/Canada residents only please. I will draw one name on April 8th for the grand drawing. Be sure to leave a way of contact.

A copy of this book was provided for this review by KCWC.

This blog tour is through:


Friday, March 26, 2010

On The Road Home: The Sagebrush Collection - Vol. 1

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

On The Road Home

Port Yonder Press; 1st edition (March 3, 2010)


Terry Burns


Terry has over 30 books in print, including work in a dozen short story collections and four non-fiction books plus numerous articles and short stories.

His last book Beyond the Smoke is a 2009 winner of the Will Rogers Medallion for best youth fiction and a nominee for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. He has a three book Mysterious Ways series out from David C Cook, and Trails of the Dime Novel from Echelon Press.

A graduate of West Texas State he did post graduate work at Southern Methodist University. Terry plans to continue writing inspirational fiction as well as working as an agent for Hartline Literary Agency. Terry is a native Texan Living in Amarillo, Texas with his lovely wife Saundra.


In our sound-byte society, short stories and poems will always have a place, especially when they've been penned by the likes of Terry Burns. This, the first of four in The Sagebrush Collection, is a compilation of fictional, autobiographical, and fiction-based-on-fact shorts and poems.

Through fluent cowboy-speak, author Terry Burns shares his heart with these sometimes somber, often humorous, always engaging glimpses of life. From short stories about time machines and troubled marriages to poems of roses and hauntingly cold winds, you’ll find much to savor on the pages within.

A born storyteller, Burns style is natural, conversational, and above all real. He’s a fifth generation Irish tale-weaver and a fourth generation Texas Teller of Tall Tales. Storytelling comes as natural to him as breathing.

Come along with Terry as he journeys “On the Road Home”. You’ll be glad you did.

If you would like to read the first chapter of On The Road Home, go HERE.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Real Solutions for Busy Moms by Kathy Ireland

According to the author, motherhood is the most important career in the world. I can wholeheartedly AMEN Ireland for this statement. However, you can't do everything all at once. Maybe you can do it all, but we can spread ourselves too thin. We must learn to take time for ourselves as mothers.
The author says, "I've come to realize that it's truly important to make 'you' one of your priorities. If family really matter, remember that you're a member of your family. When you take care of yourself, your family will benefit more than you can imagine. "

Each chapter of the book is designed to help you win in life as a mom.
  • daily issues you face are discussed
  • questions and answers
  • solutions to solving the need
  • a checklist for staying on track
  • advice from experts to help

This book will help you remove obstacles to reach your dreams and destiny as a mom and person. You can enjoy the life meant for you.

Topics discussed in this book are ~
  • finances
  • building a happy home
  • health
  • safety
  • becoming your best
  • balancing care of others as well as yourself
  • faith


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Heart Of Stone by Jill Marie Landis

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Heart Of Stone
Zondervan (March 1, 2010)


Jill Marie Landis


Jill Marie Landis is the bestselling author of over twenty novels. She has won numerous awards for her sweeping emotional romances, such as Summer Moon and Magnolia Creek. In recent years, as market demands turned to tales of vampires, erotica, and hotter, sexier historical romances, Jill turned to writing Inspirational Western Romances for Steeple Hill Books. She truly feels back in the saddle again, working on stories that are a joy to write. With her toes in the sand and head in the clouds, Jill now lives in Hawaii with her husband, Steve.


Laura Foster, free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood has struggled to make a new life for herself. Now the owner of an elegant boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura never forgets that she is always just one step ahead of her past.

When Reverend Brand McCormick comes calling, Laura does all she can to discourage him as a suitor. She knows that if her past were discovered, Brand’s reputation would be ruined. But it’d not only Laura’s past that threatens to bring Brand down─it’s also his own.

When a stranger in town threatens to reveal too many secrets, Laura is faced with a heartbreaking choice: Should she leave Glory forever and save Brand’s future? Or is it worth risking his name─and her heart─by telling him the truth?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Heart Of Stone, go HERE


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mother's of the Bible Speak my review

Kathi Macias tells it like it is. Actually, with some humor she let's the mothers of the Bible tells mothers of today like it is. Kathi sprinkles in thought provoking quotes about motherhood. Each mother has key Bible passages that Kathi covers with the reader in the chapter. There are places for you to record your own reflecting thoughts and a prayer that wraps it all up. Some of the mothers Kathi takes a look at and what we can glean from them in her book are:

  • Rachel & Leah ~ God's purpose for our lives can still be accomplished along with hope, forgiveness and healing
  • Jochebed ~ a self-less love
  • Hannah ~ heart of gratitude and integrity, self-sacrifice, and prayer
  • Rebekah ~ God's plan is better
  • Sarah ~ what can happen when we play God, the disaster and negetive long-term consequences
  • Eve ~ Keep your eyes on God, facing fears and dealing with insecurities
  • Rizpah ~ dedicated courage and faithfulness
  • Bathsheba ~ God's faithfulness; forgiveness and restoration
  • Widow of Zarephath ~ generosity, wait for God's time
  • Elizabeth ~ great sacrifice, humble and honorable heart
  • Salome ~ faithful follower of Jesus
  • Eunice & Lois ~ Godly examples, devotion, strong faith
  • Mary mother of Jesus ~ lay aside her own dreams and desires, submit to God
  • Prov. 31 woman ~ virtuous, priceless, trustworthy
  • and the list goes on

Kathi also brings in personal stories to bring her point home. What better way to learn than from someone that has been there done that. Mistakes are to be learned from. Kathi in her own way and with humor trys to helps mothers today.

See this book's tour here.

A copy of this book was provided for this review by KCWC.

This blog tour is through:


Teaser Tuesday ~ Plain Promise

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for fun! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The recollection of Kade Saunders leaning over her in a most inappropriate way was much worse than the pain she was in. She winced as she recalled the horror and embarrassment of it all.

p. 17, Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman

Read my review of this book here.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday ~ Mar. 22, 2010

Join Mailbox Monday meme
@ The Printed Page


Spring Reading Thing Challenge

Ready, Set, the time to Start reading is now. The Spring Reading Thing Challenge is now under way. Make up your list, modify your list if you need too. The main thing is to get reading. Check out the details here.

My Reading list

Books to finish ~
The lighthouse of Mr. Tinfish by Crist Wardle (juvenile)
Golden's Rule by C. E. Edmonson (tweenies)
A Century Turns by Willaim J. Bennett (non-fiction)
Ambushed by Grace by Shelly Beach (non-fiction)
The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley (fiction)

Books to start and hopefully finish ~
Mr. Choli's River Trip by Chris Wardle (juvenile)
Asking for Trouble by Sandra Byrd (juvenile)
The Raindrop by Brian McClure (juvenile)
The Way to Stillness by Anne Vincent (non-fiction)
Jack's Dreams come to life by Sara Jackson (juvenile)
No Greater Love by Kathi Macias (fiction)
More than Conquerors by Kathi Macias (fiction)
Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (fiction)


My review of Prayer Power

My Review:
This book is a 30 day inspirational book on gaining a stronger connection with God through Prayer. I found it to be very interesting and took lots of notes. It challenges the reader to really connect with God through prayer. The author makes you really take a close look at your own prayer life. The information and the way it was presented was well. Didn't leave you scratching your head as to the message the author wanted to get across to the reader. The Biblical truth of gaining the power of Prayer and importance of prayer was well developed. Each day ends with the prayer starter to get the reader started off in the right direction. There is an appendix in the back of the book with growth gauges and suggested activities for each of the 30 days.

You may visit this book's blog tour here.

A copy of this book was provided for this review by KCWC.

This blog tour is through: