Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"The A-Z of C.S. Lewis"

Book Info
About the book: 

A Complete Guide to His Life, Thoughts and Writings
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis's death, this complete guide covers all of Lewis' works, from his literary criticism to Narnia.
C. S. Lewis's work is widely known and regarded, but enthusiasts are often only aware of one part of his work-his children's stories and his popular theology; and yet he wrote so much more, including science fiction and literary criticism. This volume brings together all aspects of C S Lewis's life and thought. Arranged in alphabetical order, it begins with The Abolition of Man-written in 1943 and described as "almost my favorite"-to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters. This book will delight anyone who is interested in C. S. Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works, and his life.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: 

Colin Duriez was for many years a commissioning editor at Inter-Varsity Press UK. He has subsequently appeared as a commentator on DVDs of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television's The Worlds of Fantasy. He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed to definitive reference works relating to Tolkien such as The Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge).

My Review:
Colin Duriez has created "The A-Z of C.S. Lewis: an encyclopedia of his life, thought and writings," and this is a must-have for anyone whom is a fan of C.S. Lewis.  This book is an amazing collection of C.S. Lewis' work that has been enjoyed for so many years.  People and places from C.S. Lewis' life and his books are explained in this collection and it is a fascinating escape into his world.  This is a wonderful, hardcover edition that will be treasured by each and every fan of C.S. Lewis.

To read other reviews of this book, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review - "The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith"

"The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith," written by Mike Berenstain, is the latest book in this series. I loved the Berenstain Bears while I was growing up and I love that Mike has continued on with writing stories about the Bear family that was created by his parents so I am able to share them with my children!  This is such a wonderful book to share with children as it teaches them about what faith is, in a way that is easily understood by children and through characters whom they love.  Sister and Brother are confused as their friend does not believe what they have always been taught.  This is something that children are faced with or will be faced with and this is an excellent resource to help teach the concept of faith and can also lead to a great discussion between parents and children about what they believe. 

Book Description from the publisher:

Brother and Sister Bear’s friend Ferdy Factual loves science. Brother and Sister like science too. They like digging for fossils, examining the moon through their telescope, and peering at tiny things under a microscope. But Ferdy tells Brother and Sister that he doesn’t believe God created the world. In fact, he doesn’t believe in God at all. This is a new idea for Brother and Sister. Together with Mama and Papa, they visit Preacher Brown to find out what it means to have faith and learn a lesson from Daniel who had faith in a den of lions.

*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "It Had to be You"

"It Had to be You," book 2 in Susan May Warren's series about the Christiansen Family and I loved it just as much as the first one!  Eden feels like she does not matter, her life and what she has been doing does not matter, because she is stuck in a job that is not what she really wants to do and her life has been revolving around looking out for her brother Owen.  Owen has made it to the big time as he is a NHL rookie; however he is also on a course that could potentially destroy his career.  As Eden spends more time with Jace whom she thinks should be keeping a better handle on Owen, Eden realizes that she may have misjudged him. 
I loved this book and loved spending time with the Christiansen family again. Susan does an incredible job with bringing to life this family and their relationships among each other. Although the focus of this book is mainly on Eden, the other family members all play roles and I loved reading more about them and I am looking forward to Grace's story that will be released in a few months!

    Susan May Warren answers some questions for her readers!:  Q&A

*Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for the honest review.*

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Book Review - "My Amish Boyfriend"

Melody Carlson's latest teen fiction novel, "My Amish Boyfriend," is one that teens and adults alike will love!
Shannon is the typical English teenager, her plans for the summer include getting her driver's license, a job and getting a tattoo.  However, her plans are turned upside down when she arrives home to find out plans have been made for her and her ill mother to go stay with estranged family members whom live in an Amish community. Shannon cannot believe this turn of events; however she seems to have another change of heart is when Shannon meets Ezra and spends more time with him.  What is Shannon going to choose as she is at a time in her life of great decisions and a time that will impact her future.
I really enjoyed this book and it puts a little bit extra spin and adds extra challenges and choices to a typically confusing and exciting time in a teenager's life as well.  This is a fun story to read and one that delves into a choices, family relationships and sweet, young love. 

*Thanks to Revell Reads for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Friday, February 21, 2014

$200 Visa Cash Card Giveaway & “Amish Roads” Facebook Party with Barbara Cameron

Enter Today | 2/10 - 2/27!
Barbara Cameron A Road Unknown
Barbara Cameron is celebrating the release of A Road Unknown with a $200 Visa cash card giveaway and a fun "Amish Roads" Facebook party.
One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card
  • A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 27th. Winner will be announced at Barbara's "Amish Roads" Facebook Party on February 27th. Connect with Barbara for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, laughter, prizes, and more!

So grab your copy of A Road Unknown and join Barbara and friends on the evening of February 27th for a chance to connect 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Book Info
About the book: Book 1 in the new Amish Roads series
Elizabeth is at a crossroad. She's been given the chance to experience life outside of her community, away from the responsibility to care for her eight younger siblings, but Elizabeth Bontrager can't decide which road to take. Goshen has its charms and pressures, but Paradise, Pennsylvania, sounds . . . well, like paradise. And it's also home to her Englisch friend, Paula. Decision made. Elizabeth is Paradise bound.
But will the small town live up to its name? When Elizabeth meets Paula's friend, Bruce, she quickly learns he wants more than a friendship. And the same might be true of Saul Miller, her new boss at the country story that sells Amish products to the Englisch community. As the two compete for her attention, Elizabeth is surprised to realize she misses her family and becomes even more uncertain about where she belongs. She has a choice to make: return home or embrace this new life and possibly a new love?

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Barbara Cameron is a best-selling author who has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the author of more than 38 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara is a former newspaper reporter. Some of her non-fiction titles include the Everything Weddings on a Budget Book and Her Restless Heart: A Woman's Longing for Love and Acceptance. Cameron currently resides in Edgewater, Florida.

Learn more about Barbara at:

My Review:
"A Road Unknown," book 1 in Barbara Cameron's Amish Roads series, is a great start to a series that I am looking forward to reading more of!  Elizabeth is given two choices and she thinks she has made the right choice, but then in the midst of her new life she wonders what really is the right choice for her?  Elizabeth is a character whom can be related to and be empathized with.  How many times are we faced with having to decide what road to take and even after deciding which one, we are still filled with uncertainty and wondering what could have been?  Elizabeth has felt like she hasn't had time to really live life and have a life of her own, but once she is living the life it's not as she expected it to be.  The story will keep you hooked as Elizabeth has two men fighting for her affection and she is torn between two communities.  This is a good story that will keep you turning pages and completely immersed in the characters' lives. 

To read other reviews included on this blog book tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on the blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Undercover at a chocolate factory - get ready for sweet romance and secrets in "Echoes of Mercy"

"Echoes of Mercy" is the latest novel from Kim Vogel Sawyer and this is a delicious mix of suspense and romance!
Caroline and Oliver are both working undercover at Dinsmore's World -Famous Chocolates Factory, but they are both there for different reasons and they do not know each other's true identities or motives.  However, these two become friends, but there are so many secrets between them as well as issues that they disagree upon which causes tension between these two.
I really enjoyed "Echoes of Mercy!"  I loved the setting and the inside look into the world of making chocolates, from all aspects, being that of the owner and of the common worker.  I loved both Oliver and Caroline as main characters.  Each are strong, and independent and able to think for themselves even amongst influence from others.  Caroline's past has formed her into whom she has become as an adult and helped drive her in her work which makes her an inspiring character as well. 
I highly recommend this book for those whom enjoy historical fiction sprinkled with romance and mystery.

*Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Quilts of Love KINDLE FIRE HDX Giveaway | Barbara Cameron’s SCRAPS OF EVIDENCE

Enter Today | 2/17 - 3/8!
Barbara Cameron Scraps of Evidence Quilts of Love
Barbara Cameron's Scraps of Evidence is the newest book in the Quilts of Love line, and Barbara is celebrating with an "intriguing" Kindle HDX giveaway!
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 8th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog on March 10th.

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Book Info
About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

About the book: Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he's been trying to get to know her better and he'd like to be seeing her during those couple nights a week she spends with her quilting guild.

Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home and she acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan seems to be communicating a message to them about Tess's uncle. There's a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Barbara Cameron is the CBD, CBA, and  ECPA bestselling author of 24 books including the new Stitches in Times series for Abingdon Press. Barbara has written fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers. She sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and is the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara's first two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of  RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW). 

Learn more about Barbara at:

My Review:
I have really enjoyed the books that I have read in the Quilts of Love series and "Scraps of Evidence" by Barbara Cameron, may just be my favorite one in the series so far!  The story begins with Tess, a police detective, being assigned a new partner at work and as she is adjusting to her new professional life, she is also adjusting to some changes in her personal life as well.  Tess is very close with her Aunt Kathy and they share a love of quilting; however these quilts may also hold the key to solving a crime, but may also be placing Tess in danger. 
I loved this story, but there is one important thing to note, the back cover of this book does not match up with the story.  I was confused at first because I always read the back cover before beginning a book and when I started to read I was confused as Tess' aunt's name is Kathy, not Susan.  However, don't let this bother you and just enjoy the story, believe me you will not be disappointed!  I love how in the very first chapter there is a lot going on - Tess is assigned a new partner, Aunt Kathy is in the hospital, tension in Kathy and her husband's relationship is alluded to and Tess shares with her new partner why she got into law enforcement; all of these caught my attention and I just wanted to keep on reading!  This is a quick read and one that I really enjoyed!  I am looking forward to reading many more in this series, as I love the role that the quilts play in each of this stories. 

To read other reviews included on this tour, go here!

* Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

John Faubion’s FRIEND ME Kindle HDX Giveaway!

Enter Today - 2/4 - 2/22!
John Faubion Friend Me
John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Me, with a Kindle HDX giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Friend Me by John Faubion
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

Book Info
About the book: When a lonely wife and her frustrated husband each secretly pursue companionship online, neither dreams that a real woman is behind their virtual creations, threatening their marriage---and their lives.
Scott and Rachel's marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. As Rachel desperately tries to re-create a friendship with a friend who has passed, Scott becomes unfaithful and is torn between the love for his wife and the perfection of his cyber-girlfriend. But neither realizes that there's a much larger problem looming . . .
Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant---and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the virtual friend software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all---Scott, his family, and Rachel's life.
As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it's a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it's too late.
In today's digital age, the Internet presents all kinds of opportunities to test our personal boundaries, and this exciting and suspenseful story raises important questions about the ethics of virtual relationships. Friend Me will open your eyes to a new---and terrifying---moral dimensions and how they play out in the real world.

Read an excerpt and purchase a copy: 

About the author:
 John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter.

Learn more about John at:

My Review:

John Faubion's debut novel is suspenseful, current and will keep you on the edge of your seat reading!  "Friend Me" is an all too realistic look into today's society: lonely people wanting a friend, wanting comfort, turning to the internet to fulfill that need and not being aware of the dangers that go along with this.  Scott and Rachel could be the couple living next door, the couple whom is overwhelmed with responsibilities, feeling pressure at work, not feeling confident about themselves and turn to a virtual friend to meet the needs of feeling secure, and feeling listened to without being judged.  Melissa has issues from her past that have not been addressed and she is seeking to fulfill needs in her life, no matter how it impacts others.  I found myself drawn into Scott and Rachel's world and empathizing with them, with Scott's insecurities at work, Rachel's insecurities about her appearance and feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.  I also found myself cringing and yelling at them to be careful and not do something during their moments of contact with Melissa, contact with someone whom they really do not know.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a suspenseful read, this is a fast-moving and intense story that you will not want to miss out on!

To read other reviews that are included on this book blog tour go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Monday, February 17, 2014

HOPEFUL by Shelley Shepard Gray | Win a copy!

Enter Today - 2/4-2/23!
Shelley Shepard Gray Hopeful
Welcome to the blog tour for Hopeful, the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Return to Sugarcreek. Critics have already given their thumbs up for Hopeful: “Lovable characters and a good story, full of romance and suspense . . . a must read." (Library Journal)

Enter to win one of FIVE copies of the book. 
Five winners will receive:
  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 23rd. All winners will be announced February 24th at Shelley's blog.

Enter today and be sure to visit Shelley's blog on the 24th to see if YOU won one of the books!

Book Info
About the book: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One
In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?
Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own.
Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.
If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Learn more about Shelley at:

My Review:
Shelley Shepard Gray is back with a new series!  "Hopeful" is book 1 in her Return To Sugarcreek series and I really enjoyed it and I feel as if it is a perfect start to the series!  Miriam is a perfectly imperfect character and one whom is completely relatable to.  The book begins with Miriam running late to work and the story takes off from there and immersing the reader into Miriam's world.  Miriam is insecure about her physical appearance and has had her heart set on a man whom is only interested in Miriam in order to get the attention of her friend.  "Hopeful" is a sweet romance that will sweep you away into an Amish community and leave you feel as if you have a new group of friends. 

To read other reviews included on the book blog tour go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for a complimentary copy of this book and for including me on the blog tour.*

Saturday, February 15, 2014

William Sirls’ THE SINNERS’ GARDEN iPad Mini Giveaway!

Enter Today | 2/11 - 3/1!
William Sirls The Sinners' Garden
Meet William Sirls: Once a senior vice president in a large investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. The Sinners’ Garden is his second novel. William is celebrating the book's release with an iPad giveaway.

  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • The Sinners' Garden by William Sirls
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 1st. Winner will be announced March 3rd on William Sirls' blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by William’s blog on the 3rd to see if you won.

Book Info
About the book: In the small Lake Erie township of Benning, someone is at work cultivating a supernatural garden . . .

Andy Kemp's young life has been as ravaged as his scarred face. Disfigured by an abusive father, the teenager hides behind his books and an impenetrable wall of cynicism and anger.

As Andy's mother struggles to reconnect with him, his Uncle Rip returns transformed from a stint in prison and wants to be a mentor to the reclusive boy, doing everything he can to help end Andy's pain. When Andy begins hearing strange music through his iPod and making near-prophetic announcements, Rip is convinced that what Andy is hearing is the voice of God.

Elsewhere, police officer Heather Gerisch responds to a late-night breaking and entering in one of the poorest homes in town. She soon realizes that the masked prowler has left thousands of dollars in gift cards from a local grocery store.
As the bizarre break-ins continue and Heather pursues the elusive "Summer Santa," Andy and Rip discover an enormous and well-kept garden of wildflowers that seems to have grown overnight at an abandoned steel mill.

Soon, they realize who the gardener is, and a spree of miracles transfigures this small town from a place of hopelessness into a place of healing and beauty.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the author: Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows---some born of chance, some born of choice. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. The Sinners' Garden is his second novel. His first novel, The Reason, was published in 2012. William makes his home in southern Michigan.

Learn more about William at:


My Review:

William Sirls' latest novel, "The Sinners' Garden," will draw the reader in and hold you there in the story for long after the book is finished. This community is filled with people whom are hurting, hiding behind their pasts, struggling to move forward in their lives and seeking healing.  I loved the characters and hope to read further books about some of them, mainly Andy.  Rip and Heather I both enjoyed reading about as well.  While reading, I felt as if I were a part of the characters' lives and immersed in the community.  This is a beautiful, well-written book that brings God's healing and love to life for each of us. 

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review - "Love's Sweet Beginning"

"Love's Sweet Beginning," book 3 of Ann Shorey's Sisters at Heart series, is the much-anticipated story of Cassie.  Cassie never had to learn to care for herself or learn skills to make her way in the world as she was always taken care of by others. However, the war changed all that and Cassie is forced to find work.  Cassie returns to Noble Springs excited to be back to this town where she met Faith and Rosemary.  There are a few others she is excited to see and one in particular whom could be the answer to her problems and also one to capture her heart.

I have been waiting for Cassie's story as she was introduced in the previous books in this series and it was very well-written.  First of all, I love the cover, it is beautiful and fits in so perfectly with the other two book covers in this series.  Ann does such a great job with bringing these characters to life and also the time period, the struggles of rebuilding and starting over after the war.  The romance woven throughout is sweet and I loved reading about Jacob and Cassie's story and watching their relationship grow.  I am excited to see what Ann writes next!

*Thanks to Revell Reads for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Bruce Feiler’s “The Secrets of Happy Families” Kindle HDX Giveaway!

Enter Today | 1/28 - 2/15!
A Miracle of Hope Ruth Reid
In The Secrets of Happy Families, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by cutting-edge techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military. Written in a charming, accessible style, The Secrets of Happy Families is smart, funny, and fresh, and will forever change how your family lives every day.

Bruce is celebrating the release of his book with a family fun "Happy Family" Kindle HDX giveaway.

  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 15th. Winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on the 17th to see if you won.

Book Info
About the book: The book that revolutionized our view of what makes families happy . . .

Determined to find the smartest solutions and the most cutting-edge research about families, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler gathered team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques from the most creative minds---from Silicon Valley to the Green Berets---and tested these ideas with his wife and kids. The result is a lively, original look at how we can create stronger parent/child relationships, manage the chaos of our lives, teach our kids values and grit, and have more fun together.

The Secrets of Happy Families includes more than two hundred unique practices that will help your family draw closer and make everyone in your home happier. It has already changed the lives of millions of families, and it can do the same for yours.

Purchase a copy and download the Happy Families Toolkit:

Meet the Author: Bruce Feiler writes a column in contemporary families for the New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Council of Dads. He is the host of several series on PBS, a popular lecturer, and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and twin daughters.

Learn more about Bruce at:

My Review:
Bruce Feiler's "The Secrets of Happy Families: improve your mornings, tell your family history, fight smarter, go out and play, and much more" is a must-read for every parent! This is a book that will change your interactions with your children and the entire family unit as a whole.  There are three main sections of the book with well-defined chapters, so it is easy for the reader to jump around to the parts that are identified as high priority if one does not have the time to sit down and read straight through.  However, the entire book is most definitely worth reading!  I love the section on family dinners as this is such an important time for families and such a wonderful opportunity to discuss things and reflect upon the day and just a great time for a family to connect.  There are chapters devoted to connecting as a couple, conversations with children and playing as a family. Also, the toolkit included in the end is a great addition to the book.  I really enjoyed this book and one that I will refer to often.
*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

"Sweet Nothings"

What better way to spend this snowy Valentine's Day than curling up with a good book or baking?  Okay, well maybe there are more romantic plans out there for the day, but seriously if reading is on your agenda for today, then "Sweet Nothings," by Janis Thomas, is just the book to read (and has the baking part too without you actually doing any!)! This is a fun, light read that is filled with romance, romantic struggles, sweet treats and an overall delicious story!  Keep on reading to read a cute excerpt from Janis and a description of the book.  Happy Valentine's Day and enjoy this sweet day!

10 Reasons A Cake is Better Than a Man
By Janis Thomas,
Author of Sweet Nothings
Don't get me wrong. I love men. Especially my husband and Hugh Jackman. Despite the notion that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and aside from the cold, hard truth that I often think marriage was invented by a bunch of sadists, I cannot imagine my life without Alex in it.
I could say the same thing about cake. Not that it was invented by sadists, because that would be ridiculous. Obviously, cake was invented by a glorious angelic genius bent on spreading happiness and good cheer throughout the world. But I can't imagine living without cake, either.
The other day, a friend asked me a hypothetical question which inspired this post. It went something like this:
If you had to choose between cake and men for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
My husband was seated right beside me, so I quickly answered, "Oh, I'd pick men . . . specifically my man." And I gave his arm a little squeeze. (I think he bought it, although I can't be sure.)
But the question stayed with me, and I found myself mulling it over late into the night. I actually took out a notepad and created a pros/cons list for each, cakes on one side and men on the other. In so doing, I came to the conclusion that a cake really is better than a man, and here are the ten top reasons why:
10. Extreme heat makes cake smell good.9. There is such a thing as a perfect cake.
8. Cakes don't watch football.
7. Certain parts of a man are more attractive than others, whereas every slice of cake looks gorgeous.
6. Even bad cake is good.
5. A cake won't complain about crumbs on the counter.
4. A great chocolate cake is better than sex.
3. If you marry a cake, your in-laws are butter and sugar.
2. Cakes don't expect you to pick up their dirty underwear.
And the number one reason why a cake is better than a man is:
1. You don't have to talk dirty to a cake to get it to rise.
I'm not saying that men don't have good qualities too. They do. Men have the capacity for compassion and understanding, whereas cakes don't have feelings. A man is more likely to discover a cure for hair loss than a cake. When you feel sad or upset, your husband will put his arms around you and comfort you, whereas a cake pretty much just sits there. And you certainly can't ask a cake to take out the garbage.
But, I have to admit, when I'm consuming a luscious red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and shaved dark chocolate curls decorating the top, the last thing on my mind is the overflowing trash bin.
© 2013 Janis Thomas, author of Sweet Nothings

"Sparkling, witty, and poignant. Sweet Nothings is absolutely delicious!"
-- Jane Porter, author of The Good Daughter

Sweet Nothings
By Janis Thomas
Published by Berkley Trade
Paperback: 384 pages
July 2, 2013; $16.00 US/$17.00 CAN; 9780425264829


Life's sweetest moments happen when you least expect them . . .
When Ruby McMillan's husband announces one morning that he's dumping her for another woman, she's unable to decide which indignity stings the most: the dissolution of their eighteen-year marriage or the deflation of her white-chocolate soufflé with raspberry Grand Marnier sauce. Without a good-bye to their two teenaged children, Walter leaves Ruby to cope with her ruined dessert, an unpaid mortgage, and her failing bakery.
With only royal icing holding her together, Ruby still manages to pick herself up and move on, subsidizing her income with an extra job as a baking instructor, getting a "my-husband's-gone" makeover, and even flirting with her gorgeous mortgage broker, Jacob Salt. For as long as she can remember, Ruby has done what's practical, eschewing far-fetched dreams and true love in favor of stability. But suddenly single again at the age of forty-four, she's beginning to discover that life is most delicious when you stop following a recipe and just live.
Author Bio
Janis Thomas, author of Sweet Nothings, is a native Californian, lives in Orange County with her husband, their two children, and their dog, Ruby. Janis has written more than fifty songs and (with her dad) two children's books, and is also an avid baker. She is also the author of Something New.
For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter
"Sparkling, witty, and poignant. Sweet Nothings is absolutely delicious!"
-- Jane Porter, author of The Good Daughter
"A breezy read."
-- Publishers Weekly
"For any woman who has ever flirted with the possibility of a different life. Or who has ever flirted, period."
-- Sally Koslow, author of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Smitten Book Club Kindle HDX giveaway, Facebook Party, and Book Brunch!

Enter Today | 2/3 - 2/20!
Smitten Book Club Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

Sign up to host a Smitten Book Club Brunch on March 22nd!
Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt
The Smitten gals are back with their newest release, Smitten Book Club! Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, and Denise Hunter are celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway, a Facebook party on February 20, and a nationwide book-club brunch on March 22.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Smitten books (Smitten, Secretly Smitten, Smitten Book Club)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 20th. Winner will be announced at the Smitten Book Club Facebook Author Chat Party on February 20th. Connect with Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, and Kristin Billerbeck for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! The Smitten gals will also be taking questions from the audience, giving away books and gift certificates, and sharing news about their upcoming nationwide Smitten Book Club brunch on March 22nd. (Sign up to host today!)

So grab your copy of Smitten Book Club and join Colleen, Denise, Kristin, and friends on the evening of February 20th for a chance to connect 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!

Sign up to host a Smitten Book Club Brunch on March 22nd!
Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

Book Info
About the book: The century-old Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!
The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back.
Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends' romantic exploits.
When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, the Guide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.
What's more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold---exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?
In this remarkable collaborative novel, besties Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman's Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the authors: 

RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.  

Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants.  

Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including A Cowboy's Touch and Sweetwater Gap. She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. 

Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate. Diann lost her courageous battle with cancer in December 2013.

My Review:

"Smitten Book Club" is the third Smitten book written by these four authors and this was my favorite of the three!  The old leather bound book of "The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship" was chosen as the book selection for the group's book club and it is one that the ladies will enjoy and interpret in different ways.  Heather, Molly, Lia and Abby all have a novella devoted to each of them in this collection and their interpretation of the book is shared as for these ladies this book is filled with tips, mystery and most of all a guide for finding love. Each of the four novellas are enjoyable to read and a sweet love story that is just wonderful to snuggle in and read on these cold, wintery days.  I love the quotes that are shared at the beginning of each chapter as these really adds so much and really makes the reader get into the book club choice as well!  Now I want to go out and find my own "treasure" book to read in a book club! 

If you want to read other reviews of this book, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*