Monday, October 31, 2011

Mailbox Monday ~ Oct. 31, 2011

Join Mailbox Monday meme
with monthly hosts, Oct's host is
(I will be hosting sometime in 2013 she is that far booked ahead)


Gruesome Halloween by Joy Cowley

 Not too spooky, not too scary just right for a fun Halloween read.  Gruesome Halloween is a cute book just right for the special little ghost and gobblins one to learn what it is like for the Gruesome family as they disguise themselves as humans and go to a costume party on Halloween night.  It is so cute.  I really like Cowley's books for kids.  They are just at the right level.  Your child can read it or you may read it to them.  Written for 1-2 readers to comprehend. 

 Get more information about this book here.

Hameray Publishing Group is dedicated to providing innovative literacy materials to today's educators that adhere to the Common Core State Standards. Combining research-based methods with cutting edge content, Hameray has developed products for struggling readers, as well as those reading at grade level.

An ecopy of this book was provided by Hameray Publishing and the author for this review purpose.


Friday, October 28, 2011

better late than never

I'm a little late at posting this winner, want to acknowledge her as she was from my site....well actually, her name was drawing for the grand prize on two sites and she ended up the grand prize winner.  WooHoo....

Carol’s Notebook
She left comments at two sites:
Abi Buening’s “My Heart Belongs 2 Books
Jamie Dieterle’s “Bring on the Books”

Congrats to you Carol


Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits by Melody Carlson

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits
By Melody Carlson

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?

Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way.

But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward.

However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God.

This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet.

This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked.

But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it.

Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry.

So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For’ll have to read the book.

Melody Carlson published her first book in 1995 and she has been writing prolifically ever since. To date, Melody has published over 200 books, making her one of the top 20 most prolific authors of all time. With total sales of over 5 million her award-winning books include: Homeward, Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon; Limelight; the Diary of a Teenage Girl series; the True Colors series; and the Carter House Girls series.

In her professional life, Melody has worn many hats: from pre-school teacher to political activist to senior editor. Currently, she writes full-time, and freelances from her home. She has two grown sons and lives in Sisters, Oregon with her husband, Chris, and Audrey, her yellow lab. They enjoy skiing, hiking, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

visit Melody's site here.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The 13th Demon by Bruce Hennigan

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The 13th Demon
Realms (October 4, 2011)
Bruce Hennigan


Bruce Hennigan was born and raised in the isolated countryside of Shreveport, La., a place full of possibilities for the active mind of a young boy. The fertile imagination he cultivated while playing deep in the Louisiana woods would lead to a lifelong love of creative writing.

In 2006, Hennigan pursued the Certified Apologetic Instructor Certificate from the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has become a frequent speaker at regional and state events on apologetics and his strong point is in making these sometimes hard to understand issues easily approachable for the average Christian. Hennigan’s experience in apologetics inspired him to write his new novel, The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye, a supernatural Christian thriller that combines science and faith. Now, combining his love for apologetics and his love for the art of writing, Hennigan is pursuing a career as the “Michael Crichton” of Christian fiction building powerful, fast paced stories around the truths of Christian apologetics.

Hennigan currently resides in Shreveport with his wife and daughter. He continues to write and to practice radiology at the Willis Knighton Health Care System. He has secured Jeff Jernigan of Hidden Value Group ( as his literary agent and has signed a five book deal with the Realms imprint of Charisma Media for “The Chronicles of Jonathan Steel”.


When Jonathan Steel wakes up on a beach in a raging thunderstorm, naked, beaten, and bleeding, he has no idea who he is or how he got there. But just as he starts to make progress in his slow journey to recovery, tragedy strikes again, taking everything in his new life that he has come to love and rely on.

Filled with rage and a thirst for revenge, he searches the countryside for the entity responsible—an entity called only the Thirteenth Demon. His quest brings him to Lakeside, Louisiana, and a small country church where evil is in control and strange writing on the walls, blood-soaked floors, and red-eyed spiders have appeared in the sanctuary.

As he faces the final confrontation with an evil presence that has pursued him all of his life, he must choose between helping the people he loves or destroying the thirteenth demon.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The 13th Demon, go HERE.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just Like You by Robert Kroupa

The theme of this book is tolerance and acceptance.  The author did a wonderful job getting this message across to the reader.  It is a very well developed book.  The illustrations are just as well done as the story.  This is one message that we need to really get across to children.  Accept differences in others especially when it is something they have no control over. This would be a good book for a child to find in his/her Christmas stocking. 

When values of acceptance and kindness are instilled early,children's minds and worlds expand. That is the lesson of the new children's book - Just Like You - an endearing tale about self-acceptance and embracing the differences in others. Just Like You tells the tale of Harry, a deaf field mouse and his best friend Boris, a spider with a bad leg. They live in The Piney Forest with the other animals who taunt them because they don't act,walk or talk like the others. After repeated attempts to fit in, a discouraged Boris and Henry are forced to stay by themselves in the outskirts of the forest. When a fire threatens all their homes,Boris and Henry rally to help their fellow critters and teach us about honor and character.

The spectacular images found in Just Like You were designed by first-time illustrator, Hannah E. Harrison. Hannah's beautiful illustrations help children understand the message of the story and the added animated touches turn the characters into charming and loveable friends.

 Just Like You is written by Robert Kroupa, a Chicago real estate developer, inventor (with two appearances on ABC-TV's Shark Tank) and civic activist. He wrote this for young children in response to the epidemic of bullying. Said Kroupa, "Through my personal experiences from childhood, helping children understand the value of tolerance and inclusion from a young age has been a passion of mine. I hope that Just Like You will inspire children to accept, appreciate and celebrate the similarities and differences in all of us."

About the Just Like You Foundation:
Just like You Foundation was organized to help people from an early age to accept, appreciate and celebrate the similarities and differences in all of us. It is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization. The foundation publishes a beautiful book of the same name, Just Like You, about accepting those with disabilities. The Foundation will also support other not-for-profits that assist and aid children while working to help create a more harmonious world for all. For more information please visit,

A copy of this book was provided by the author and Bostick Communications for the purpose of this review.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hey Kids, Want Some Chocolate? by Melitta Strandberg

 I'm not much of a memoir book reader, but I will have to say this one was good.  I enjoyed reading of the courageous acts of Melitta's father and mother.  The dangerous situations they were in and the ingenious tactics used to protect themselves and their family.    You hear it first hand how they struggled for life and self-subsistence daily.  Read of risks that were taken to get to freedom.  This is a good book if you want to know what it was really like to live during war time.

Author Melitta Strandberg's new memoir follows the Mohr family's remarkable quest for freedom beginning in Romania as WWII was starting and continuing through their perilous experiences in Weimar, infamous home of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Melitta Strandberg was born on September 3, 1944. Her parents' story began in Romania and is filled with the many risks and the many narrow escapes that could have ended prematurely their quest for freedom. Melitta's own quest ended before she was one year old, but those first few months of her life are intriguing and much about them remains a mystery. Thereafter she has led a successful and typical life. Her first eighteen years were spent in Germany and the remainder of her life has been in the United States. Today she lives with her husband, Herb, in Northern California.

 For more information visit the book's web site here.

A copy of this book was provided by the author and Bostick Communications for the purpose of this review.


Tuesday Teaser ~ Remembering You

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 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
"He was young once.  I bet he met some girl during the war.  Maybe a milk maiden on a farm.  It was love at first sight and they spent every moment together before he moved on.  He's never forgotten her, but he can't say anything.  After all, he doesn't want to make you think he didn't love your grandmother."  She took a small bite of her salad, eyes wide.  

~taken from p. 75 of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer


Monday, October 24, 2011

Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Attracted to Fire
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2011)
DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website at: or find her on Facebook at


Special Agent Meghan Connors’ dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president’s rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he’s also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn’t the work of a single suspect—it’s part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it’s too late.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the first chapter of Attracted to Fire, go HERE.


Mailbox Monday ~ Oct. 24, 2011

Join Mailbox Monday meme
with monthly hosts, Oct's host is


Friday, October 21, 2011

Knit with Love by Lisa Bogart

 Knit with Love by Lisa Bogart is definitely a motivational book.  If you aren't a knitter before you read the book you'll be motivated to learn how to knit by the time you are finished with reading the book.  Oh, the things I learned about knitting while reading this book.   

Back Cover
"As an avid knitter and yarn-aholic, I devoured this book in one sitting and came away inspired, encouraged, and eager to reach for my needles."--Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author
The rhythm of knitting brings peace and joy to life. Knitters love to share stories, skills, and even their stashes of elegant yarn. And they love finding new outlets for their talents.

Knitting can't feed the hungry, fight crime, or stop global warming. But a hand-knit sweater warms a cold child. A cozy scarf eases a homeless night. A tiny hat comforts a new baby's head. A lovely prayer shawl wraps a worried patient in peace.

Through inspiring stories and gentle encouragement, Knit with Love reveals the many ways you can, with your own two hands, bring joy and comfort to those around you.

Lisa Bogart
is a knitter, weaver, and scrapbooker with a degree in Fine Arts from Colorado State University. She works at Piedmont Yarn & Apparel in Oakland, California, and belongs to three knitting circles.

Publisher's Description

Knitting blesses the knitter in so many ways. It affords quiet time, the satisfaction that comes with a challenge met and a project finished, and a creative passion to share with other knitters. As knitting and the fiber arts enjoy a renaissance in popular culture, more and more women are discovering these personal benefits. But knitting also offers knitters a way to bless those around them with handmade gifts that come straight from the heart. With inspiring stories, Knit with Love encourages and motivates knitters to see their own potential to bring joy and comfort to themselves and those around them. Whether someone has just picked up knitting needles for the first time or is a lifelong knitter, she will discover new ways to share her beautiful creations with others--and the peace that the rhythm of knitting brings to her own life.
 Visit Lisa's website here
 For more information about this book visit here.
“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

A copy of this book was provided for this review by


A Christmas Journey Home by Kathi Macias

 Unfortunately, we are doing a spotlight on this book today.  Somehow in the hustle and bustle of summer when this book was posted for review my name didn't get on the list for this tour.  I was so disappointed a few weeks ago when the tour coordinator explained it to me after I inquired as to when the book would arrive.  I graciously said that was ok and I understood and I would still do a spotlight on the book because Kathi is one of my favorite authors.  There aren't too many books that I endorse without reading, but I've been reading Kathi's books since 2008 and so I feel comfortable with endorsing this book without reading it first.  I have never met Kathi, expect through email, but I love her books.  Through my inquiry of trying to find out where the review book was, I found out I will get a copy but just not in time for posting my review with the tour.  So you have something to look forward to in the future.  My review on the book.  Now with on further ado here is the book tour....
During Isabella Alcantara’s seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence, simply because their home was targeted by mistake. Isabella knows she was spared only because she now lives in a different location, but she knows too that the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a “coyote” to bring them across the border to America, she agrees. But Francisco and Isabella are abandoned by the coyote and left to die. Francisco then valiantly sacrifices himself to get Isabella to safety. Homeless, nearly penniless, pregnant, and alone, Isabella determines to find a way to honor her promise to her beloved husband.

Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Though her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from the anger and bitterness that have overtaken her, they make little headway.

Two widows—one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge—must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn fullA Christmas Journey Home coverof animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.

Isabella shivered, her teeth chattering as she huddled against the frigid night air, doing her best to burrow her backside into Francisco’s embrace. How could her esposo sleep in such harsh conditions? She and her husband had not eaten in nearly three days, they were almost out of water, and now she felt as if they would surely freeze to death before morning. And yet his even breathing, blowing warm against the back of her neck, assured her that her beloved had indeed escaped their dilemma for at least a few hours.
Isabella wished she could do the same. During the daylight hours, when her feet burned with each tortuous step, she imagined that she could fall asleep in an instant if given half the chance. But when the desert sun, still hot in mid-autumn, finally sank below the flat, dismal horizon and the night winds blew mercilessly upon them, sleep eluded her. True, Francisco did everything he could to protect her from the elements, even using his body to shield her as they sought meager shelter under a small rock overhang or behind a sand dune, but it was never enough. They were going to die; she was sure of it. She and her husband of eleven months would perish in the middle of the Arizona desert, with only the scavengers to dispose of their remains.
A slight flutter in her stomach reminded her that death would come to three of them, not just two. The baby that had been growing in her stomach for seven months and that less than a week earlier had kicked with strength and determination now grew weaker by the day.
Perhaps it is best, she told herself. It was a foolish dream to think we could escape the violence and poverty of our home country and find a new life here, north of the border. My abuelo meant well, but we should never have listened to him…should never have taken his money and given it to the coyote….
The ominous glare of the coyote, the man who had promised to take them safely to the United States but who instead had stolen their money and left them to die in the desert, danced through her memory, but she pushed it aside. Instead she focused on the beloved face of her grandfather, her abuelo, and fought the hot tears that stung her eyes as she wished yet again that she and Francisco were back in Don Alfredo’s casita, sharing a simple meal of tortillas and frijoles with the leathery-skinned old man Isabella had adored since she was a tiny girl.
Despite her discomfort, the memory of her abuelo’s face brought a smile to her lips, as she snuggled closer into her esposo’s embrace. But then another memory, the horror of what had driven Don Alfredo to the point of pleading with them to flee across the border, wiped away her smile and once again brought tears to Isabella’s weary eyes.

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored more than 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time buzzing around in their new ride: Al’s 2005 sunburst orange Corvette. Here latest releases are Deliver Me From Evil and A Christmas Journey Home.

You can find out more about Kathi’s writing and speaking at

A copy of this book was provided for  this review by Pump up your Book tours


Thursday, October 20, 2011

OOPS! my face is RED!

I accidentally made a post that needed the comment section open for comments closed to comments.  I have been wondering why this giveaway hasn't had any comments.  Don't know how I managed that but that is beside the point.  I'm so sorry about that therefore, I'm leaving the giveaway open for two more weeks so people may enter.  It was for the children's book Countdown to Fall check out the details here and enter to win the book. 


Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wonderland Creek
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Lynn Austin


For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother (age 98), and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. And two of her inspirational fiction books were chosen by Library Journal for their top picks in 2003, and 2005. One of Lynn's novels has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.


Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend, Gordon, breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real world. Then to top it off, Alice loses her beloved job at the library because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.

Fleeing small-town gossip, Alice heads to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the library in the tiny coal-mining village of Acorn. Dropped off by her relatives, Alice volunteers to stay for two weeks to help the librarian, Leslie McDougal.

But the librarian turns out to be far different than she anticipated--not to mention the four lady librarians who travel to the remote homes to deliver the much-desired books. While Alice is trapped in Acorn against her will, she soon finds that real-life adventure and myster--and especially romance--are far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wonderland Creek, go HERE.