Thursday, November 29, 2012

CD Review - "Simply Christmas"

I love Christmas, and Christmas music!  I was thrilled to have a chance to review a new Christmas CD.  "Simply Christmas" is a collection of 11 Christmas songs sung by Robin Harper with piano accompaniment by Marvin Goldstein.  This collection is beautiful and a nice variety of songs as it has "The Christmas Song," "Santa Baby," "Mary, Did You Know," and "White Christmas" to name a few.  Robin has a strong voice that is beautiful and along with the piano accompaniment, the songs are soothing and perfect for an evening at home decorating, making cookies, sitting in front of the fireplace and just enjoying this Christmas season.  I have many Christmas cds, but this one will be enjoyed over and over again!
To get a copy for yourself go to Amazon: or to iTunes: https://itunes/SimplyChristmas

Book Review - "Resurrect"

To celebrate David has teamed up with his publisher, Kregel Publications, for a Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Author Chat Party {12/4}.
One “thrilling” winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Resurrect by David E. Stevens
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the “Resurrect” Author Chat Facebook Party on 12/4. Connect with David, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Resurrect Trilogy, try your hand at the trivia contest, and win some great prizes – gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!
So grab your copy of Resurrect and join David on the evening of the December 4th for a chance to connect with David and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Resurrect Stevens

{More about Resurrect}

Book 1 in the Resurrect Trilogy.
Preventing his burning fighter from crashing into a neighborhood, Navy Commander Josh Logan ejects … too late.
Critically injured, he’s offered a new life and mission exploit highly classified military technology to stop a global cataclysm. The price? He’ll be dead to everyone he knows.
He wakes in a city hospital with a genetically enhanced body and no identity. With the help of his brilliant, Neuro ICU nurse, and guided by nothing but a voice, he must infiltrate the military-industrial complex to develop the world’s most powerful weapon … to protect humanity?
Purchase a copy here.
Read an excerpt.
David E. Stevens

{More About David E. Stevens}

A Navy fighter pilot with hundreds of aircraft carrier landings, Commander David E Stevens holds degrees from Cornell and the University of Michigan with graduate work in astrophysics. He test piloted new fighters and received an aviation patent. With a Top Secret clearance, Dave served as Strike Operations Officer for the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and led classified defense programs. He’s traveled to over two dozen countries.
Find out more about David E. at

My Review:

I was immediately drawn into this story and it was more than I expected!  I initially thought it would be a story just about war and being in the Navy, but it deals with relationships, and everyday life as well. Josh is a great main character, but I think Elizabeth has to be my favorite character throughout the story.  The interactions between the characters and the choices they are faced with kept me turning the pages and eagerly waiting to see what would happen next.  This novel will really make you think about life and where we are headed with advancements in today's society.  I am looking forward to not only the movie coming out, but the next books in this trilogy as well!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review - "Debt-Proof Your Christmas"

Mary Hunt, the Founder of Debt-Proof Living, is now sharing her tips in order to have a debt-free Christmas in her latest book, "Debt-Proof Your Christmas: celebrating the holidays without breaking the bank."  This is not a really long book, but it is filled with a lot of useful tips, information and ideas that will really make each reader think about Christmas, the real meaning behind Christmas, and if really all that money must be spent.  The book is split into well-defined chapters making this a very easy and useful resource that can be used again and again.  There is a chapter for making a plan for Christmas, gifts from the kitchen, family fun, decorating the home, and traditions. 

I learned something from each and every chapter when I read this book!  This is an excellent book as not only does it encourage you to save money but it actually helps you do it.  The "Developing a Plan" chapter is one that is a must-read before beginning Christmas shopping and preperations. Once you make the decision to do things differently for Christmas then there are chapters devoted to various types of gifts and ideas for specific groups of people.  The recipes that are included sound delicious and easy to make and will be appreciated by the ones receiving the goodies. I highly recommend this book for everyone as Christmas can be stressful, yet it is a time that so many memories and traditions can be made that will last must longer than an item bought in a store. 

Mary Hunt was featured on the Today Show this week!  If you missed this, watch here:

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review - "A Home in Drayton Valley"

Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest novel, "A Home in Drayton Valley," is full of heartache, loss, pain, joy, peace and second chances.
Tarsie has no family and lives with other girls whom all sew in order to survive in New York City.  Tarsie spends as much time as she can with her close friend Mary and her two children as Mary feels poorly often and Tarsie does not care much for Mary's husband Joss as he frequently drinks liquor and is not that involved in the lives of his children.  When the opportunity arises to go to Kansas, they are all thrilled with the chance, for various reasons.  Joss wants to escape those whom he owes money too, Mary wants the children to be raised in a cleaner place than New York and wants Joss to be away from temptations and Tarsie is thrilled to have a chance to live in a place that is so beautiful in the booklet she found.  However, on the trail Mary passes away and her dying wish is that Tarsie cares for the children and Joss.  Tarsie agrees, but does not see how she could ever care for Joss in that way.  As time passes, Tarsie learns more about Joss and sees him changing, especially with his attitudes and opinions about spending time with Ruth and Simon.  But, is it too late for Tarsie and Joss to have a real relationship with each other?

I really enjoyed this book; however it was far from a light-hearted, romantic read.  The characters all faced hardships and difficulties and had much to work through.  Joss and Tarsie both grew and changed and I enjoyed seeing those changes in the characters.  Simon and Ruth were great characters in the story and they would be a couple that I would want to spend time with and learn from.  This book is filled with so many issues: historical issues such as prohibition and racial issues, physical hardships, love, finding peace through seeking God, and changing as a parent.  I highly recommend this book to those whom enjoy historical fiction. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a honest review.*

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review - "Every Perfect Gift"

Dorothy Love's latest Hickory Ridge Romance "Every Perfect Gift" is a story that is well-written and filled with secrets and romance. 

Book Description from the publisher:

Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.

Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.

Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.

When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She's equally intrigued with him but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.

My Review:

I have enjoyed Love's Hickory Ridge series and this book is a great addition to it!  I was excited to return to Hickory Ridge and spend time with the characters once again!  Ethan and Sophie are both harboring secrets and trying to make something of themselves.  Their relationship develops and grows and hits rough patches and uncertainity just as relationships do in real life; this makes it easy to relate to the characters and empathize with them throughout the book.  This book cover is also absolutely beautiful, I love the snow and the church in the background, it is such a beautiful scene.

*I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for a honest review.

Book Review - "At Every Turn"

Anne Mateer's "At Every Turn" will keep you turning the pages as it is filled with excitement, suspense and romance!
Alyce loves to drive fast and has a heart for God, both of which are frowned upon by her parents, especially her mother, as it is the year of 1916 and her main goal in life should be to secure a suitable husband.  Alyce meets a missionary couple at church one Sunday and pledges $3,000 in front of the entire church; however her parents will not give her the money, so Alyce has to get the money on her own.  Not having many talents and a big heart when she sees others' in need, Alyce has difficulty raising money and holding onto the money she does get.  The only option seems to be to race a car that her father's mechanic Webster has built, but no one can know that she is driving the car as that would be a huge scandal if discovered. 

Although this author is new to me, I love historical fiction and the blurb on the back cover was intriquing as it is such a unique story line and I was not disappointed!  This story had everything to keep me hooked in the story - romance, mystery, excitement, relationships and lovable characters!  Alyce's bond with her grandmother and their conversations and interactions added much to the story and helped me understand not only these two characters, but other ones as well.  Alyce is torn between Webster and Lawrence, not only which one she should trust, both or neither, but her feelings for each one as well.  Lucinda is a great minor character and Anne and Lucinda both discover a true friend in each other.  Anne has a great style of writing, as she writes with emotion and descriptives that bring the characters to life and I found myself laughing out loud at various moments throughout the book and at other times empathizing with the characters as well. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a honest review.*

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review - "Christmas Roses"

I am a fan of Amanda Cabot's novels and her latest, "Christmas Roses," is a beautiful story that I loved just as much as her other works!

Celia is widowed with a baby daughter and runs a boarding house and cares for a toddler while his father is at work during the day.  Celia is not looking for a husband and is content until Mark arrives in town and becomes a part of her life.  Celia's first marriage was not filled with romance and everything she dreams about and she has doubts that it exists outside of books.  Mark is searching for his father whom abandoned him and his mother years earlier.  Mark believes he has nothing to offer to a woman and could not be a father as he grew up without one.  Mark finds himself helping out Celia and wanting to spend time with her, but he knows that he will be moving on soon and he does believe he could be a good husband or a good father to baby Emma.  Celia is proposed to, but she does not feel the way about her suitor as she does about Mark; however this marriage would make sense for everyone involved.  Will Celia hold out for her Christmas roses?

Amanda's style of writing is so easy to read and really get involved in the story.  I love reading historical fiction and although the story is set in the past it is still easy to feel a connection with the characters.  This story is just a well-written and beautiful Christmas story that will leave you feeling happy and in a Christmasy mood!

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review - "The Christmas Pony"

The Christmas season is just not complete without a Melody Carlson novel!  Therefore, I was so excited to receive my copy of "The Christmas Pony," this year's Carlson novel!

Lucy is growing up in the midst of hardtimes and as the Christmas of 1937 is approaching, she has two wishes and two prayers - that she will get a pony that she visits for her very own and that her mama will smile again.  Lucy lives with her mama and grandma in a big farmhouse and they rent out rooms to boarders.  Lucy meets Veronica and George one day in town and is thrilled that they need a place to stay while George's car is being fixed as they will bring in extra, needed money and Lucy believes Veronica to be the most fascinating and beautiful woman she has ever met.  However, the more time Lucy spends with these two people, she realizes that Veronica is not as great as she thought and George has the ability to make her Mama smile.  As she spends more and more time with George, Lucy wishes for more than just a pony, but for something that could forever change their family.

I loved this book!  It is such a sweet Christmas story and I love reading about this time period.  The characters are all wonderful, and I could picture them as well as hear them.  This is quick read and at the end I was happy, but also sad as the book was over.  Carlson writes with such vivid descriptions and emotions that the characters come to life as well as the situations they are involved in.  A great way to start off the Christmas season!

“Available Sept 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review - "Placebo"

Steven James' new series The Jevin Banks Experience starts with book 1, "Placebo," and is one that his fans will not want to miss out on!
This is a suspense novel that is filled with mystery, science, seeking answers to the past, and trying to move on.  Jevin and his assistant Charlene are teaming up and pretending to be a couple while also trying to find out more about a mind to mind communication program.  However, Jevin is also trying to seek answers for the hurt and loss in his own life.  He is seeking to understand why his wife would drown herself and their twin sons. 
I was drawn right into the plot of the story and into the characters' lives.  The characters are all so unique and have their own little quirks.  This is a fascinating read and I am looking forward to the next book in this series!

“Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys"

Mike Bechtle's book, "People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys," is a must-read for everyone as it will give each of us a new perspective on how we let people and situations affect us. The book contains 23 chapters that are split into 5 sections; therefore each chapter is pretty short and to the point.  You can pick up the book and read one chapter when you have a few minutes or several if you have the time to.  The author points out that each dramatic situation and each person brings different elements and yet each person is affected in different ways as it depends on how a person responds and feels toward the drama and the person. 
I really enjoyed reading this book as I found myself agreeing with most of it and even laughing at times.  The style of writing is very easy to read and follow.  The author shares great information and backs up and rationalizes the different points that he makes throughout the book.  I highly recommend this for everyone if you feel like people don't drive you crazy as admit it, we all feel this way at various times throughout each and every day!

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review - "The Breath of Dawn"

 Win a Kindle Paperwhite and connect with Kristen Heitzmann at “The Breath of Dawn” Facebook Party {11/27}!

Enter Today - 11/7-26!
< /b> The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

Book Info
About The Breath of Dawn:
"Heitzmann weaves a many-layered tale keep[ing] readers entertained and wondering when the next bit of drama will occur." -Publishers Weekly
Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the "success guru," has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he's living for-until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.
Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.
Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counterproposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past, will they survive to build a future?
Link to buy the book:
Meet Kristen:
Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including "Freefall", "Halos", "A Rush of Wings", and the Christy Award winner "Secrets". She and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church.

Find out more about Kristen at
To read what others are saying about this book go to:
My Review:
Kristen does such a great job creating stories that will be read over and over again by her fans!  She ties together romance and mystery in such a way that I just want to keep reading the book until I reach the end and then I do not want it to end as I have become so immersed in the characters' lives!  The characters in "The Breath of Dawn" are so real, they could be your neighbor and they are easy to relate to as well as empathize with and cheer for in the midst of their struggles
and trying to figure out life.  Morgan and Quinn are both excellent main characters who come to live in the pages of the book and will be in your mind long after you finish reading. 
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review - "A Flight of Fancy"

"A Flight of Fancy," book two in Laurie Alice Eakes' The Daughters of Bainbridge House series, is one that is filled with historical detail, romance and mystery!

Cassandra and Geoffrey are engaged to be married; however Geoffrey is against Cassandra's obsession of ballooning, but she is willing to let her love for him win out.  However, Cassandra is forced to end the engagement and is not only trying to recover from physical injuries but a broken heart instead.  During this time, Cassandra is able to pursue her dream and yet also learn about her heart.

This book is a must-read and enjoyed if you read book one in the series, "A Necessary Deception," as the storyline picks right up and you will once again be immersed in the lives of the Bainbridge sisters.  Eakes starts right out with political turmoil and unrest in the story and touches on the characters' emotions and struggles of knowing what they really want.  The historical details included in the story allows the reader to be transported to this time period and the characters' lives.

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”