Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Remember Mommy's Smile by Dina Wolfman Baker

The author writes her experience from a child's perspective.  Very nicely written.  A story about a child's mommy that has cancer.  This book would be a helpful tool for a child that has a mom with cancer and the family is going through a lot at the time.  The story relates that though they are going through a difficult time they aren't alone in their sadness and lose and everything will be ok in the end.   A book of encouragement and hope.  A Story of love.  The illustrations are done in construction paper cut-out form of art; very unique. 

About the book:
I Remember Mommy's Smile by Dina Wolfman Baker
ISBN: 978-0615447520
Publisher: Baker's Dozen Press
Date of publish: April 2011
Pages: 45
S.R.P.: $11.95

Dina Baker lost her mother to cancer after a long illness. She wrote this book with the hope of helping other children who are coping with similar situations. In addition to authoring books and essays and running Baker's Dozen Press, Baker is an accomplished public speaker who has been engaged to address numerous audiences regarding I Remember Mommy's Smile-PhD psych candidates studying school psychology, children in child bereavement camp and with general audiences. She also has a nearly 30-year career in marketing and communications. She and her husband, Brad, are empty-nesters living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. For more information go to

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


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spring Hope by Martha rogers

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spring Hope
( Realms (May 15, 2012)
Martha Rogers


Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella was released in 2007.

Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry.

Martha is am alumni of CLASS and is available to speak at Women's Retreats, conferences, and luncheons on topics of interest to women of all ages.

As an author, she is available to speak at writing conferences and workshops on a variety of topics of interest to writers.


Can runaway Libby Cantrell finally get a new start?

Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. After working in a brothel to support her abusive father, she sees no hope for her future until one cold winter night when she finds the courage to escape.

When she collapses in Portersfield, Texas, exhausted, ill, and hungry, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her and takes her to the doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of her. As a deputy, Cory needs to know the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman.

As Cory’s feelings for her grow and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Spring Hope, go HERE.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Special Smile by SF Gilbert

today I have a fun book for giveaway. I was so honored when the author contacted me about hosting her book on my blog. This book is a children's picture book The Special Smile explains how love trumps the side effects of cancer. I really want to thank the author for providing a book for this giveaway. I haven't read the book myself but the picture she provided sparked my interest and intrigued me. It looks like such a fun book. 

The Special Smile is a sweet story of the unwavering love that shines through a special smile. As medicine changes the appearance of her mother, a young child is reassured that her mother’s smile continues to convey all the love she has always known. Beautiful illustrations bring to life the daily activities shared by mother and daughter with simple text.

You may check out this book's web page here.
My daughter was five when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.   Of everything, I was most terrified that losing my hair would make me less of a mother to her.  A friend gently reminded me that my smile would not change.  So, I started to smile more.  And, it helped.  Continuing our regular routine as much as possible, we got through the days and then the months.  Happily, I'm now post treatment and feeling good.  The Special Smile shares that story in the hope that it might help others.


The Author has answered a few questions below about the book:

Q:  Who should read this book?  A:  The Special Smile was written to help people understand that even though looks can change, the essence of who we are does not.  It’s written both for the person going through treatment to help provide support and for the family and friends who may find it difficult to understand the changes that the treatment creates.
Q:  Is there a minimum age for the book?  A:  No, in fact, this book specifically focuses on love and routine, two key parts of a young child’s day.  It does not reference cancer or chemotherapy as those terms may be too abstract for very young children.
Q:  Is there a maximum age for the book?  A:  No, the message of understanding the essence of who we are is a universal message, not just limited to children.
Q:  Is the book based on real people?  A:  Yes, the book is based on my experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer when my daughter was five.  The daily activities represent our regular routine (and I’ve hidden my husband and daughter’s initials in the book, see if you can find them!).
Q:  Where can I purchase a copy of the book?  A:  It is available in both print and Kindle editions on Amazon.

Now how about winning a copy of this book?  I'd like to again than the author for providing me the chance to host her book on my blog and supply a copy for the giveaway.   The author is willing to mail
Hard copy of the book shipped in the U.S. or supply a Kindle edition for international so here's your chance to international blog readers.  I'm even going to give you a bonus entry if you tell me you live outside of the US.  Please be sure to answer the author's question below and provide your email address so I may contact you.  Tell me if you are a follower of my blog for a bonus also.  Shout about this giveaway linking back to it on FB, twitter or blog leave link and get 3 bonus entries.  Be sure to tell me where the shout is.  Can all be done in same comment if you'd like. A winner will be drawn on June 9th.  However, keep in mind you must answer the author's question.....
A winner will be randomly selected from those that answer this question, “Who will this book help?” 

By now I'm sure everyone has been contacted the author was so touched by all the comments she is providing everyone that commented with a copy of her book.  Now how wonderful is that.  Thank you MS Gilbert.  Everyone won this time round.  WOOHOO.


Teaser Tuesday ~ Children of Angels

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!
She glared him down, and he gave it right back.  He watched her push back her rage enough to speak, her voice shaking.  "I've waited all my life for this day.  The world will finally understand that there are no angels or demons or heaven or hell..." 

~ taken from p. 150  Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstorm


Monday, May 28, 2012

183 Ways to Lose Guilt and Find Joy Guilt! 

She pokes you as you write about your quaint, eccentric aunt. She grabs you as you wander from e-mail to Facebook to laundry instead of focusing on your work. She kicks you as you complain about your husband to a friend.

Have you noticed? Women seem riddled with guilt. And it’s hard to know if guilt is legitimate or simply a product of our imaginations. After all, should we really feel guilty about things over which we have no control?

The three of us share in a speaking ministry and we have learned a few things about losing guilt and finding joy through the years:

1. We are not perfect. Sooner or later we say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing or fail to do the right thing. That’s life. While we feel guilty when we flub up, we thank God that memory fades and the rhythm of life continues. If our actions have hurt someone, we apologize—to the other person and to God—then we joyfully move on, guilt free.

2. We have no control over some things, so it’s no use feeling guilty. For instance, our children may suffer injuries as they participate in sports. When that happens, we look for ways God may be teaching us and them life lessons and trust God will use the experience to the good of all involved.

3. We can’t do it all. Much as we want to solve others’ problems, achieve perfection on our jobs and keep our homes neat and clean as a plastic dollhouse, we can’t. Maybe someday when we’re old and gray (Ha. Shirley already is, and it hasn’t helped her.) . . . . 

We shared our insights in our book, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. We would love to have you visit to learn more about us, order the book, invite us to speak or just to enter our Blog Tour contest. We will give away a free half-hour telephone consultation on each of the following topics:

1. “Writing for Publication” with Shirley Brosius. If you’re a wannabe writer, Shirley can suggest ways to get published; if you’re already writing, Shirley can help you set goals and suggest how to reach them.

2. “Children and Sports: Running the Race from Preschool to College and Life After Sports” with Janine Boyer. If you’re considering signing up your child for youth sports or wondering about the impact of sports on college and life beyond, talk to Janine. She can also tell you what to expect of coaches and how to relate to them.

3. “Building a Youth Ministry” with Kim Messinger. If you’re volunteering as a youth leader at your church and want your group to grow, talk to Kim. Her youth group increased from 20 to 75 youth--and is still growing. 

May Romans 8:1 help you enjoy the abundant life in Christ: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Shirley, Janine and Kim

Kim Messinger, Janine Boyer and Shirley Brosius had a common bond of Christian service when Christ drew them together for their first small group meeting in January, 1998. Since then they have drawn closer through life's joys and struggles and found God to be sufficient for their every need. They call themselves "Friends of the Heart" because their passion is to help women open their hearts and find joy in Christ. Kim and Janine supported Shirley in writing Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference, which was released by Howard Publishing, a division of Simon & Schuster, in 2006. More recently the three women worked together to write another devotional book, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. They have spoken at women's retreats and events in five states. All three women live in Millersburg , Pennsylvania.

Read more about this book view the book tour here.

This article was provided by the authors and....

Join the Flock! LitFuse Publicity Group blogger


Mailbox Monday ~ May 28, 2012

Join Mailbox Monday meme
(I will be hosting sometime in 2013 she is that far booked ahead)

 How to Raise A Good Kid by Starbuck O'Dwyer
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar


Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 25, 2012

Katrina and Winter by Nancy Stewart

All Katrina Simpkins longs to be is a normal girl. Because she must wear prosthesis as a leg, she feels anything but. When she meets and befriends Winter, the tailless dolphin, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, everything changes, including Katrina’s whole life.
I enjoyed reading this children's book about how a missing leg and a missing tail brings a little girl and a dolphin into a life long friendship.  Back in during the winter my daughter and I watched the movie Dolphin Tale and this is a very nice addition to have as a resource.  The illustrations throughout the book are photo shots of Katrina and Winter very nicely done.  If you want a book telling a true story for your child to read then this is the book that will help build the meaning of friendship and courage in your child. 

Nancy is the bestselling and award winning author of the four Bella and Britt Series books for children: One Pelican at a Time (eighteen weeks on Amazon Bestselling List), Sea Turtle Summer, Bella Saves the Beach and Mystery at Manatee Key. All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

One Pelican at a Time and Nancy were featured in the PBS Tampa special, GulfWatch. Pelican has won the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite Five Star Award and was nominated for a Global eBook Award.

Her travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education. Nancy is a frequent speaker at conferences, including the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Nancy’s latest book is Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage. She and her husband live in Tampa and St. Louis.

Visit Nancy online at

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Check out Katrina and Winter Tour Schedule for blogs with giveaways for this book.  Click here.

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


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Life Matter by Shane Stanford

In his book Making Life Matter author Shane Stanford helps the reader see that life happens, but how we handle it is up to us.  Stanford helps the readers choose to make each day count- by being strong, stable and joyful. Each choice we make is just a piece of a larger puzzle.  We may not know how life will unfold but making each step of the journey matters AND you define the journey.  The journey may not always be easy; it can actually be quite confusing and complicated at times.  Life is all about perspective and perception. 

Each chapter ends with journey points to help the reader make life matter.  You'll find:
  • suggested study scriptures
  • a Psalm for the daily path
  • thoughts for the week
  • life questions that relate to the chapter topic discussed
You'll find that the key to life is to make each day count.  

In a world of fast-paced schedules and priorities, conversations about what makes for a life well lived are a rarity and a luxury. But what if the daily pace of life held in itself the way to make choices more significant? What if the daily to-do lists gave a glimpse into how people might change their future? What if the daily grind, as arduous as it might seem, held the key to a life full of meaning and potential? What if everyday, simple steps, instead of some complex list of seemingly unattainable principles, showed how to make life matter?

Making Life Matter answers these questions and shows that the steps for making life matter are found in rather ordinary decisions, attitudes, and patterns found in normal routines. This book is about our story and our journey, and what we do and feel along the way.

Shane Stanford is a pastor, author and teacher.  He is the Senior Pastor of Christ UMC in Memphis, TN, one of United Methodism’s largest and most influential congregations.

Shane is a former church planter as well as the Director/Host of the United Methodist Hour, a radio and television ministry airing in 30 million homes nationwide.

Shane is the author of eleven books including A Positive Life (Zondervan), The CURE for the Chronic Life (Abingdon), and Mosaic (Abingdon).

Shane has also written several articles published in such journals/magazines as Giving, CNNOnline, Alive, and The Circuit Rider.

Shane has appeared on numerous media programs including ABC’s Good Morning America and Fox & Friends.

Shane travels extensively sharing his story as an HIV positive hemophiliac and pastor.  He has presented at such venues as the Saddleback Global AIDS Summit and the National Civil Rights Museum.

He is married to Dr. Pokey Stanford (a Professor of Education) and they are the parents of three daughters, ages 14, 11, and 7.

Visit his website at 

Check out Shane and his book at the following online locations:
Twitter| Facebook | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Official Tour Page

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


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Always There, edited by Susan Besze Wallace

Always There is a book of compiled stories from a mom's prospective reflecting on God's ever presence to Always be There.   These stories are short and inspirational each wrapping up with a reflection of some sort; whether it is a thought, scripture or prayer.  There are a wide varitiy of author so the readers gets a wide range of reflections.  The themes that are covered showing us that God is ever present with us are:  God is with us....
  • in the firsts
  • in the mundane
  • in our sacrifices
  • in our marriages
  • in our friendships
  • in our work 
  • in laughter and play
  • and in control
  • when we feel overwhelmed 
  • and provides
I so enjoyed learning through each of these women that contributed to this book.   I'm still trying to take the every day things and see spiritual emphasis in it.  I just love how people can do that.  I don't know if I'm too busy to listen or what.  

 Visit here for more information about this book.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review by... 


Anniversary Waltz by Darrel Nelson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Anniversary Waltz
Realms (May 15, 2012)
Darrel Nelson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Word from the author:

I am a schoolteacher by profession and have taught school for (thir—ahem!) years. I grew up in Raymond, Alberta, and attended the University of Lethbridge after graduating from high school and serving a two-year mission to Japan. During university, I met and married Marsha Smith, and we are the parents of four children, which has grown to include their spouses and our ten grandchildren.

I have always loved to write. I started writing stories before I was old enough to realize I was writing stories. It seemed a natural thing to pick up a pencil and paper and create a world simply by using words—worlds of adventure in steaming jungles (Tarzan was an early influence on me) or realms of adventure in outer space (Buck Rogers). But as I have grown older, I have discovered that the real inspiration for me is exploring the theme of love and how it can make such a difference in the world.

I’ve had an article published in Lethbridge Magazine and have written several dramatic plays, two of which won provincial recognition and were showcased at a drama festival. I won the CJOC radio songwriting contest two years running, and have had one of my songs receive international airplay. I have written four novels intended for the juvenile market. They are unpublished as yet, but I read them annually to my fourth grade students and my students tell me they love them, the darlings.


At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story—a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.

It’s the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.

If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Anniversary Waltz, go HERE.