Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Night, Little Sea Otter by Janet Halfmann

I want to take this time to thank Janet for providing me a copy of this book for review and also one for giveaway.  Read to bottom of post to see how you can win an autographed copy of this book.

This is the cutest picture book.  It is bedtime for Little Sea Otter, but as you read through the book you'd think that before he finished telling all of his ocean friends good-night it would be morning time again and time to face a new day playing with all of his friends.  I don't think he misses one ocean critter when saying good night.   However, as he snuggles in his mommy's arms Little Sea Otter does finally drift off to dreamland.  I guess the rocking of the sea would put anyone to sleep that was tired enough.  It is so neat to see that Little Sea Otter is not only loved by his mom but all the friends that he must tell good night.  The Illustrations are just as cute and adorable as the book and story line.  I believe if my girls were still young enough this would be a regular favorite of theirs before they drifted off to sleep.  I think I still have Good Night, Moon implanted in my brain I read it so much to my youngest.  Good Night, Little Sea Otter is just as cute as he names all of his sea friends, however, it is not written is rhyming meter.   

Check out more information on Good Night, Little Sea Otter here.
You may visit the author's site here.
Visit Star Bright Books here

What is the theme or message in your featured book (Good Night, Little Sea Otter)?

Good Night, Little Sea Otter is primarily a soothing book about getting ready to sleep. It is also the story of a loving relationship between a mother and her youngster. The story also contains lots of science about the behavior of sea otters and other ocean life, especially in the kelp forest.

Where do you come up with your book ideas?

My book ideas come from all kinds of places: from my children’s and my childhoods, from observing my grandkids and other children, from places I visit, from things I read . . . the list goes on and on. I got the inspiration for Good Night, Little Sea Otter while writing a magazine article about two young scuba divers set in a kelp forest off California’s coast. In writing the magazine story, I had to do lots of research about the animals that live in the kelp forest. I was fascinated by how the mother sea otter wraps herself and her baby in a cradle of kelp each night. I thought Little Sea Otter would make a perfect character for a bedtime story.

Who or what has most influenced you in your writing journey?

I would say nature has influenced me most in my writing journey. The lives and behavior of animals and plants never cease to amaze me. I think my love of nature comes from growing up on a farm. Today I am an avid gardener and love taking walks and observing nature.

Do you have children? Do you model your children, or children you know into the characters you create in your stories?

I have four children and four grandchildren. Sometimes I model my characters somewhat after a specific child. For example, when I wrote Little Skink’s Tail, I pictured my granddaughter dancing around and showing off each new tail. Little Sea Otter is a composite of all four of our children, all great bedtime stallers. I think Sophia, the main character in my other recent book, Fur and Feathers, is modeled a lot after me. As a child, I spent many hours sitting on our big farm porch with my mother, first doing play sewing and later helping her with the patching of jeans and socks and you-name-it. Later, as a mother, there was always some project that required getting out the big sewing box.

What do you love about writing?

I love playing with words and making a story come to life.

Do you have any favorite place you like to write from?

I usually write in my home office. It is a space that belongs only to me. My office window looks out on a huge, old maple tree and our garden. I can see the squirrels chasing one another along the tree branches and butterflies flitting above the zinnias. It is a cluttered, but perfect place.

If money wasn’t a problem, where in the world would you love to visit? Why?

I would like to visit all of the places I’ve written about in my books. Every time I write about a place, I completely fall in love with it. I also would like to visit Africa and learn about the cultures and traditions of some of the many countries. I also would like to visit the places in Germany where my ancestors lived before they came to America.

Tell us 5 things we may not know about you.

My favorite smell is laundry fresh off the line.
My favorite sound is the cardinal’s whistle.
I love the sound and feel of a cool breeze.
I fell all the way down the marble steps of the Sorbonne in Paris.
When I was in first grade, I was chosen to read a story to my now husband’s eighth-grade class (of course, we didn’t know each other back then).

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Now, for the giveaway.  Janet has offered one of my readers a chance to win an autographed copy of Good Night, Little Sea Otter.  In order to enter you must check out Janet's site and tell me another book she has written that catches your interest. Visit Janet's site here.

Want a bonus?  Visit Star Bright Books here and tell me another book that they have that catches your interest. 

Please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you.  I'll draw a winner for this book on Feb. 14th.  Please US only shipping address. 

To winner

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A copy of Good Night, Little Sea Otter was provided by the author for this review.


Mailbox Monday ~ Jan. 31, 2011

Join Mailbox Monday meme

adult books
children's book
check out giveaway for Good Night, Little Sea Otter book here.
on free table @ my public library
not books but none-the-less in my mailbox


Friday, January 28, 2011

Traveling the Avonlea Read...

My daughter and I participated in Carrie's LMM Reading Challenge @ Reading to Know which was during the month of Jan.  This year we chose to travel the Avonlea Road through the dvd series.  There are 7 seasons of this series.  We didn't get real far in our travels, but we had fun.  We met some new characters such as Sara Stanely and her cousins, Felix, Felicity and Andrew King, along with other King family memeber, Aunt Hetty, Aunt Janet, Aunt Olivia.  We also met some of the oldies from Anne of Green Gable:  Merilla, and Mrs. Lend.  We were able to travel through two seasons and will continue our travels even though the challenge is completed.  Thanks Carrie for making this challenge available.  Visit the Road to Avonlea site here


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rhythm of Secrets
Kregel Publications (December 22, 2010)
Patti Lacy


Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites.


Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame.

After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved…or imperil Edward’s ambitions.
Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.

“A vibrant journey across time in search of the greatest truth of all: grace.”—Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir
“No longer a ‘well-kept secret,’ Patti Lacy is a master storyteller who speaks to the soul with a powerful and unique rhythm, weaving a tale so emotionally rich that story and reader become one.”—Julie Lessman, author of The Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted
“Patti Lacy pens another beautifully written story in The Rhythm of Secrets. I couldn’t put it down!”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of The Black Cloister
“The Rhythm of Secrets is a stirring story of faith and endurance that will keep readers turning the page until every last secret is revealed.”—Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House

If you would like to read an excerpt of Rhythm of Secrets, go HERE.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Rose Princess and the Special Gift by Mike de Vetter

This book's theme is giving from a generous heart and not withholding anything.  The Rose Princess is given three gifts from her father.  In her adventures through the day she comes across three people in need and she has the means to help meet their needs.  She gives her help generously and ungrudgingly.  I just loved the way the author brings out generosity.  This is a message that all young children need reinforced all the time.  Giving with no strings attached even when it means me giving up.  Illustrations are as bright and bold and vibrant as the message of the book.  What better thing to share with a young one than a book with a generous message, such a teaching tool.     

Visit The Rose Princess site here.  Be sure to check out the page to enter a chance to win a copy of this book. 

More information about this book click here.

A copy of this book was provided by BIO communications for this review


Whatcha Reading ~ Stars Collide

This is how "Whatcha Reading Wednesdays" works this week...

Go to page 1 type in the first sentence. If it is a spoiler at all be sure to put **Spoiler Alert** at the top of your comment (like if the selection announces the death of an integral character or something).

Link up over at Busy Moms Who Love to Read

 "You want me to kiss him...where?"  I stared at my director, hoping I'd somehow misunderstood his last-minute change to the script.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Digitalis by Ronie Kendig

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Barbour Publishing, Inc.(January 1, 2011)
Ronie Kendig


Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series began in July 2010 from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

This is the second book in the series.


Step into the boots of a former Marine in this heart-pounding adventure in life and love. Colton “Cowboy” Neeley is a Marine trying to find his footing as he battles flashbacks now that he’s back home. Piper Blum is a woman in hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. When their hearts collide, more than their lives are at stake. Will Colton find a way to forgive Piper’s lies? Can Piper find a way to rescue her father, trapped in Israel? Is there any way their love, founded on her lies, can survive?

If you would like to read an excerpt of Digitalis, go HERE.


Teaser Tuesday ~ Stars Collide

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, f hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for un! 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!
She scooted out of the room, still humming the same little melody.  I spent the next half hour showering and doing my makeup.  My mind reeled as I prepared myself for the day.  Whom had she invited....and why?

~ from p. 38 in Stars Collide by Janice Thompson


Monday, January 24, 2011

the Good, the Bad and the Ugly... or something like that

OK today I'm going to guide you back to Seekerville again. Author 

Good morning, SEEKERVILLE!!!!

Oh my stars, what a fun week it’s been already, and it’s Thursday. That makes tomorrow Friday, and then the weekend cometh.

So, Good, Bad and Ugly….
Clint Eastwood... 'nuff said!

Let’s start with the reason we’re here. My office. See, I’m cleaning it. This is no ordinary job. No menial task. Nothing to be undertaken lightly. If you go HERE, and scroll down past the awesome pic of Vince and Made to Order Family, you’ll see what I mean. (And yes, of course this is a shameless plug for Vince and the awesome award he gave me because why WOULDN’T I  give that a shameless plug??? My FIRST published author award!!!!  YAY!!!! But I digress, per usual…)

And while cleaning (Three garbage bags later, 2 ½ boxes of books so far, and one super-ugly desk, spray-painted black with (gag) gold gilt trim that I got at a garage sale for $10…And I'm only half-done. For real.) I found old contest entries.
Humbling, to say the least. And downright UGLY.....(read the rest of the article here.)


Mailbox Monday ~ Jan. 24, 2011

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Angel Harp by Michael Phillips

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Angel Harp
FaithWords (January 26, 2011)
Michael Phillips


Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.


Widowed at 34, amateur harpist Marie "Angel" Buchan realizes at 40 that her life and dreams are slowly slipping away. A summer in Scotland turns out to offer far more than she ever imagined! Not only does the music of her harp capture the fancy of the small coastal village she visits, she is unexpectedly drawn into a love triangle involving the local curate and the local duke.

The boyhood friends have been estranged as adults because of their mutual love of another woman (now dead) some years before. History seems destined to repeat itself, with Marie in the thick of it. Her involvement in the lives of the two men, as well as in the community, leads to a range of exciting relationships and lands Marie in the center of the mystery of a long-unsolved local murder. Eventually she must make her decision: with whom will she cast the lot of her future?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Angel Harp, go HERE