Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coming September 17th! - The Legend of Sheba: The Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee


In the tenth century BCE, on the eve of her father's death, the new Queen of Sheba, Makeda, has inherited the throne and all his riches. Makeda's realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But growing tension with Egypt threatens her trade routes by way of the Red Sea. The queen has heard tales of Solomon for some time. Concerned about alliance with Egypt, Makeda decides to travel north to cement her own alliance with Israel's king. As she and Solomon spend days testing one another, Solomon becomes tortured by his love for her. He submits to love her and is willing to give her anything she asks of him-as a king or as a man.

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Howard Books
ISBN: 1451684045
ISBN-13: 9781451684049
Availability: Available to ship on or about 09/17/14.

Mailbox Monday - Sept 1

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Well, it sure has been a while. We're home from Disney and I'm trying to get this blog back on track. It's been tough because I've been working more than I thought I would be right now.

I haven't been taking on many new books to review, so my incoming mail has slowed down. This one arrived while we were on vacation.


Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don’t always realize is that Wilder’s books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura’s real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete with charming illustrations, points out the differences between the fictional series as well as the many similarities. It’s a fascinating story of a much-celebrated writer.

I bought the following one right before we went away. I've been wanting to read this series for a long time.


Some summers are just destined to be pretty

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer — they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

What did you receive in your mailbox?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kindle Freebie: The Boy Who Walked a Way by Nancy James


In the year 2162, a young boy named Jal Valhyn is caught in a maelstrom of violence and conflict. His country is at war and the world government based on humanistic principles that had fulfilled its promise of a halcyon peace for over a century has fallen. Alone and helpless, he has an encounter with an invisible being that leads to a seven-day journey. With his two appointed companions he sets out for a safe haven far from the world of danger and turmoil. Each day's trek brings the gift of new friendships and a growing awareness that life has dimensions grounded in more than the material. He intuitively understands the faith that sustains the inhabitants of an enduring peaceable kingdom.

The Boy Who Walked a Way is a touching literary fantasy novel by Nancy Janes about the true power of belief. Representing the child inside all of us that neither age nor time can eradicate, young Jal is a perfect personification to the untainted and wholehearted faith and belief in miracles that the innocence of childhood provides. With Bea and Sammie as correlating characters who impact Jal’s present and future, the two companions teach him the importance of using his troubles as an asset in developing a sense of mastery over his circumstances and in turn give readers a glimpse into the importance of trust in yourself and the personal conquering of adversity.

With a deep and gentle meaning that is born of violent circumstances, The Boy Who Walked a Way is a rare young adult novel that appeals to both genders equally. Though born of Christian roots, this profound story is a perfect fit for readers of all backgrounds and faiths that truly inspires with its touching journey of self-discovery, belief, and personal mastery. With a rich and detailed world that has descended into out-of-control chaos, this grand novel is an epic, touching fantasy that will inspire and entertain for years to come.

A lifetime love of literature’s possibility to convey the meaning of human experience in simple or complex terms motivates Janes’ writing. A clinical social worker by training and profession, she has been writing on various topics, since childhood. Other than her poetry, Janes has never felt compelled to publish her writing until she began The Boy Who Walked a Way. While leading a rather quiet life, she finds the life stories and cultures of others inspiring and leans toward assorted genres of literary and non-literary books. And when travel is on the menu, she is quickly off to collect the many splendid stories of the individuals on their mutual journey of life.

File Size: 308 KB
Print Length: 241 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1479139076
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 22, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00BZZC188


PURCHASE HERE!

Fall Decorating Ideas



As soon as the girls head back to school, my mind starts thinking about decorating for fall. I have to admit that original decorating isn't my strong suit, but give me an image and I can come up with something. Here are links to some fall decorating ideas you might like. Since we live in New England--a place known for its great fall colors--I tend to lean more toward native decorating ideas.

Yankee Magazine offers 10 simple ways to add garden style to your home in this article: http://www.yankeemagazine.com/gardening-advice-ideas/simple-ways-to-decorate-for-fall

The Heart of New England has a list of classic ideas that never go out of style at http://www.theheartofnewengland.com/garden/autumn-decorations.html

This article from Country Living talks about a bed and breakfast in Comfort, Texas, but the photos offer some lovely autumn decorating ideas: http://www.countryliving.com/homes/how-to-get-the-look/comfort-common-bed-breakfast-1005#slide-1

Looking for some fall gardening ideas? Try this article from
Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/gardening-by-region/northeast/

About Home has an article offering "8 tips for Fall and Winter Container Gardening" at http://containergardening.about.com/od/containersyearround/a/falltowinter.htm

Finally, this series of photos on HGTV FrontDoor includes "7 Curb Appeal Tips for Fall": http://www.frontdoor.com/photos/curb-appeal-tips-for-fall

Hope you have fun and share links to your photos when you're done.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


CFBA: Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Miracle in a Dry Season
Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
by
Sarah Loudin Thomas


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

ABOUT THE BOOK



In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope


It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.

My Review:

What a fabulous and unusual book. I enjoyed getting to know Perla, Sadie, Casewell and several of the townsfolk from Wise. Miracle in a Dry Season is about second chances, forgiveness, and faith. It's about using the talents God gives us to honor and glorify him. It's a book about how one person's best intentions can be misrepresented and how deadly gossip can truly be. In the end, however, it's a story of two people who are brought together during a time of great conflict in their lives--one searching for a new beginning and the other seeking the approval of a father he never really knew. The subplots of this story are just as engaging as the unfolding romance between Perla and Casewell. I'll be looking forward to more books by Thomas. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser


An East-coast socialite embarks on a journey to the Wild West, and her life will never be the same.

A setting populated by hundreds of common laborers, outlaws, and Indians is hardly the place for a wealthy general’s daughter from the nation’s capital. But Josephine Cain is determined to accompany her father as he oversees the day-to-day work involved in the greatest undertaking of post-Civil War America: the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Life with the railroad is far from the proper life Josephine is used to, and she faces deadly gunfights, harsh weather, and vigilante uprisings. She is torn between West and the East; between her privileged upbringing and the dangers of a new frontier; between the pull of the suitable beau her parents chose for her and an attraction to a rough but charming Irish railroad worker. But if Josephine is willing, she just might find a new life, a unique purpose…and the love of her life.

Series: An American Tapestry

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press, an imprint of Guideposts (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 082493427X
ISBN-13: 978-0824934279

Also available for Kindle.

Purchase at Christianbook.com or Amazon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CFBA: A Grand Design by Amber Stockton (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Grand Design: Quilts of Love Series
Love Inspired (July 15, 2014)
by
Amber Stockton




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, and virtual assistant who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Australian shepherd/retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold 14 books and three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards.





ABOUT THE BOOK




When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a romantic getaway for two on Mackinac Island, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops, eateries, and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, part of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life ... and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart — and bring healing to her entire family?



If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Grand Design , go HERE.

My Review:

I received this book late, so please understand that my review is based upon the part of the book that I've had time to read.

Fifteen years ago, Alyssa Denham stopped taking her annual summer trip to Mackinac Island to see her grandmother, but never told anyone the real reason why. After winning a romantic getaway for two, Alyssa returns to the island, where her grandmother gives her and her best friend, Libby, the task of helping her piece together a friendship quilt she had started years ago. Alyssa also attracts the attention of Scott Whitman, who seems to be playing a role in her quest.

From the opening page, I was captivated by these characters. The relationships between Alyssa and Libby, Alyssa and her grandmother, and Alyssa and Scott provide a wealth of entertainment and conflict to move the story along. Alyssa feels like the awkward ugly duckling next to beautiful Libby who always seems to know just what to say to men. Alyssa and her grandmother were always so close, but both of them have felt the pain of their separation. It's hard to know who feels more awkward--Alyssa or Scott--as they seem to be thrown together more often than not.

All of this is set against the beautiful backdrop of Mackinac Island and the unfolding story of a friendship quilt that was never sewed together. Stockton pulls the reader in immediately and fully. I can't wait to see how this one ends.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Spotlight: Tremors by Bonnie S. Calhoun


In this gripping prequel to Thunder, unsettling secrets change Selah Chavez's life forever in the days before her 18th Born Remembrance.

File Size: 4424 KB
Print Length: 48 pages
Publisher: Revell (August 5, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00KQS1DLG

Purchase here!*

Bonnie Calhoun is the Owner/Director of CFBA where she has 250+ book reviewer blogs that twice weekly do blog tours. She is also the Owner/Publisher of CFOM, a six-year-old 50+ page Ezine with columns and articles by the best and brightest authors and professionals in our industry. Bonnie serves as the Northeast Zone Director of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Seh lives in upstate New York with her husband Robert, a dog, and two cats who think she is the wait-staff. Learn more at http://bonniescalhoun.com.

* This book is currently listed as free for Kindle.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Vacation


We'll be away from August 18 - 25. Good thing for house sitters or our cats and the hermit crab would get might lonely. Our girls are headed back to school two days after we return, so I'm sure they will be making the most of this trip.

Hope you have a great week!

Prairie Memories by Patrick Loubatière Now Available!



Prairie Memories
$19.99
Magazine - 68 pages - Glossy Coated Paper - 8.5 x 11 Inches - English Language -
Published July 2014


  • Exclusive in-depth interviews with four actors from Little House on the Prairie: Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls), 14 pages; Richard Bull (Nels Oleson), 14 pages; Dabbs Greer (Reverend Alden), 14 pages; Katherine MacGregor (Harriet Oleson), 21 pages.
  • The interviews with Richard Bull and Dabbs Greer were made shortly before their death.
  • All pictures published in the magazine are courtesy of the actors. Most of them are very rare and previously unpublished.


Magazine available only through http://prairiememories.bigcartel.com/product/prairie-memories Can be dedicated by the author upon request.

Payment by Paypal or check.

Patrick  Loubatière is a French writer, stage director and high school teacher. He is the author of the book "Little House on the Prairie from A to Z", which accompanied the complete series on DVD, in 2006. He also interviewed the actors on the bonus segments, plus created the trivia quizzes. 
Since 2006, he has co-starred with Alison Arngrim in France in two comedic, interactive shows based on Little House on the Prairie. 

Aside from Little House, he has published interviews with most of the actors on the series Lost, NCIS, The Mentalist, Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, Revenge, Castle, Dallas, etc.


PURCHASE HERE!

Bargain Kindle Book: The Cookbook for Teens by Mendocino Press


Become a kitchen whiz with The Cookbook for Teens.

Even the world’s top chefs had to start somewhere. The Cookbook for Teens is the perfect introduction to the art of cooking, even for teenagers who have never cooked more than a slice of toast. The Cookbook for Teens will guide you through introductory preparation and cooking techniques, how to read recipes, and how to shop for groceries.

Once you are comfortable in the kitchen, you will learn how to make your own easy dishes, with simple Cookbook for Teens recipes for appetizers, entrées, and snacks. After you have mastered the fundamentals, The Cookbook for Teens will walk you through preparing a three-course meal that will completely wow your friends and family.

The Cookbook for Teens makes the kitchen accessible for any teenager interested in the culinary arts, with:

• 74 easy-to-follow Cookbook for Teens recipes, such as Bacon and Cheese Risotto, Deep Dish Spaghetti Pizza, and Southwestern Salad
• 25 basic cooking techniques to make you a kitchen pro
• 27 essential kitchen tools
• The Cookbook for Teens guide to grocery shopping on your own
• 12 key safety tips for everything from chopping to baking, from the editors of The Cookbook for Teens

With easy directions and delicious recipes, The Cookbook for Teens is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to start getting creative in the kitchen.

File Size: 2784 KB
Print Length: 145 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Mendocino Press (February 19, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00IJM0PZG


PURCHASE HERE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting for Heaven Book Blitz - Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title: Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle
Author: Heather Gillis
Genre: Religion / Memoir / Spirituality
Publisher: WestBow Press
Publication Date: March 20, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4908-2786-5

Life can sometimes lead us to unexpected places, to only leave us broken, desperate, and hurting. Heather Gillis and her husband, Mac, waited in anticipation for the birth of their third child. Like many Christian couples, their dreams and expectations in marriage, parenthood, and daily life developed differently than they’d planned, and left them grieving a life that would never be. Their journey gives insight into a new normal and uncovers the stepping stones of the healing process. In their process, they re- discovered God’s abounding love through their experiences of joy, heartbreak, and purpose. Heather reaches out to parents around the globe to speak openly about being a wife, mother, friend, relative, or stranger during life-changing trials and devastating struggles. In God’s love, she has found beauty in the midst of pain and struggle, as well as peace in His presence on Earth while waiting for Heaven.

Book Excerpt:
Life is not about how comfortable I can be; to expect life to be comfortable is unrealistic. I’m not exempt from the harshness or pain of this world. I have realized since Bowen’s passing that there are no guarantees in life; to think otherwise leads to disappointment. When I was pregnant, I assumed Bowen would be healthy. I assumed that when I left the house, I would return, unharmed. I assumed for some reason I would make it through life unscathed; I never thought I would be writing these words.

We can do all the right things in life, but that doesn’t guarantee us rewards or benefits in this life. We did not choose the path we are walking, but God willing, we will endure what comes our way and to where God wants us to go. We can have all the plans in the world but God is in the driver’s seat, and God knows what he is doing; we just have to trust him. Uncomfortable situations have taught me to trust in God, and I have learned more than I ever thought I would; and still am.

Purchase Book at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Heaven-Finding-Beauty-Struggle/dp/1490827862

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/waiting-for-heaven-heather-gillis/1119019515

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21809735-waiting-for-heaven

Meet Heather Gillis. In her book, Waiting for Heaven, Heather recalls the story of her infant son, Bowen, and her family's journey with polycystic kidney disease. Through Bowen's short life and death, she and her husband, Mac, discovered the true meaning of God’s love and grace. By telling her poignant story in the book and speaking to groups, Heather hopes she can help others through the challenges of loss and devastation; giving hope that their can be joy and happiness again.

After Bowen's death, Heather founded Bowen's Hope, a ministry serving kidney disease kids and their families, especially those getting dialysis treatments at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She's also involved with Camp Maska for dialysis patients in Arizona, and has raised over $50,000 for the PKD Foundation. In addition, Heather volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, an organization serving meals and providing temporary housing to families with children in the hospital.

Heather works part time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She and Mac have two living children, Brooklyn and Blake. With a serving heart, Heather’s passions are her family and helping others.

Visit Heather online at www.bowenshope.com

Contact Heather at:



Contest Giveaway


Pump Up Your Book and Author Heather Gillis are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins August 1 and ends on August 29, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 1, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


CFBA: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sky Zone
David C. Cook (June 1, 2014)
by
Creston Mapes




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


ABOUT THE BOOK



A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.

A terrorist threat.

A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions. 


Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier.

With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Sky Zone, go HERE.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Waiting for Heaven Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title: Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle
Author: Heather Gillis
Genre: Religion / Memoir / Spirituality
Publisher: WestBow Press
Publication Date: March 20, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4908-2786-5

Life can sometimes lead us to unexpected places, to only leave us broken, desperate, and hurting. Heather Gillis and her husband, Mac, waited in anticipation for the birth of their third child. Like many Christian couples, their dreams and expectations in marriage, parenthood, and daily life developed differently than they’d planned, and left them grieving a life that would never be. Their journey gives insight into a new normal and uncovers the stepping stones of the healing process. In their process, they re- discovered God’s abounding love through their experiences of joy, heartbreak, and purpose. Heather reaches out to parents around the globe to speak openly about being a wife, mother, friend, relative, or stranger during life-changing trials and devastating struggles. In God’s love, she has found beauty in the midst of pain and struggle, as well as peace in His presence on Earth while waiting for Heaven.

Book Excerpt:
Life is not about how comfortable I can be; to expect life to be comfortable is unrealistic. I’m not exempt from the harshness or pain of this world. I have realized since Bowen’s passing that there are no guarantees in life; to think otherwise leads to disappointment. When I was pregnant, I assumed Bowen would be healthy. I assumed that when I left the house, I would return, unharmed. I assumed for some reason I would make it through life unscathed; I never thought I would be writing these words.

We can do all the right things in life, but that doesn’t guarantee us rewards or benefits in this life. We did not choose the path we are walking, but God willing, we will endure what comes our way and to where God wants us to go. We can have all the plans in the world but God is in the driver’s seat, and God knows what he is doing; we just have to trust him. Uncomfortable situations have taught me to trust in God, and I have learned more than I ever thought I would; and still am.

Purchase Book at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Heaven-Finding-Beauty-Struggle/dp/1490827862

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/waiting-for-heaven-heather-gillis/1119019515

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21809735-waiting-for-heaven

Meet Heather Gillis. In her book, Waiting for Heaven, Heather recalls the story of her infant son, Bowen, and her family's journey with polycystic kidney disease. Through Bowen's short life and death, she and her husband, Mac, discovered the true meaning of God’s love and grace. By telling her poignant story in the book and speaking to groups, Heather hopes she can help others through the challenges of loss and devastation; giving hope that their can be joy and happiness again.

After Bowen's death, Heather founded Bowen's Hope, a ministry serving kidney disease kids and their families, especially those getting dialysis treatments at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She's also involved with Camp Maska for dialysis patients in Arizona, and has raised over $50,000 for the PKD Foundation. In addition, Heather volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, an organization serving meals and providing temporary housing to families with children in the hospital.

Heather works part time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She and Mac have two living children, Brooklyn and Blake. With a serving heart, Heather’s passions are her family and helping others.

Visit Heather online at www.bowenshope.com

Contact Heather at:



Contest Giveaway


Pump Up Your Book and Author Heather Gillis are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins August 1 and ends on August 29, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 1, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mailbox Monday - August 11

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

It was a busy week. I worked every day. Then on Friday night the girls went to the One Direction concert. Should have been my night off, but the hubby's car died and I had to go pick everyone up. Saturday, the family came over to celebrate the Lil' Diva's birthday, which is actually today. On Sunday, I had an open house and then joined the hubby, our son and daughter-in-law for the Def Leppard and KISS concert. I am tired.

In the mail I received an ARC of Nancy Thayer's latest through the Amazon VINE program.


Known for her heartwarming observations of family life, New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer showcases her beloved Nantucket’s snowy off-season in this emotionally gratifying and utterly entertaining story.

Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, from the jolly decorations on the Brant Point lighthouse to the much anticipated Christmas Stroll, in which merrymakers promenade through quaint streets adorned with Yuletide cheer. The season’s wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.

But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole’s chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arms’ length—or, better yet, out of the picture altogether—Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole’s holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.

Nancy Thayer’s wonderful tale reminds us that this is the season of miracles. Before the gifts are unwrapped, surprise visitors appear, and holiday joy comes to all, both naughty and nice.

I also picked up these two Kindle freebies.


Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work--and the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

Readers will love being swept away into a world of mansions, secrets, and romance as they follow Lucy through the streets of the Windy City during one of the most exciting times in the city's history. From opulent upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Olivia Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history--and everyone is invited.


Vampyres don’t exist. They absolutely do not exist.

At least I didn’t think they did ‘til I tried to quit smoking and ended up Undead. Who in the hell did I screw over in a former life that my getting healthy equates with dead?

Now I’m a Vampyre. Yes, we exist whether we want to or not. However, I have to admit, the perks aren’t bad. My girls no longer jiggle, my ass is higher than a kite and the latest Prada keeps finding its way to my wardrobe. On the downside, I’m stuck with an obscenely profane Guardian Angel who looks like Oprah and a Fairy Fighting Coach who’s teaching me to annihilate like the Terminator.

To complicate matters, my libido has increased to Vampyric proportions and my attraction to a hotter than Satan’s underpants killer rogue Vampyre is not only dangerous . . . it’s possibly deadly. For real dead. Permanent death isn’t on my agenda. Avoiding him is my only option. Of course, since he thinks I’m his, it’s easier said than done. Like THAT’S not enough to deal with, all the other Vampyres think I’m some sort of Chosen One.

Holy Hell, if I’m in charge of saving an entire race of blood suckers, the Undead are in for one hell of a ride.

What came in your mailbox?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kindle Freebie: The Liar's Gallery by Aaron Paul Lazar


From award-winning author Aaron Paul Lazar:

The last place Gus LeGarde expects to find his old friend Byron Cunningham is in a plane that crashes in a field near his farmhouse. But that’s just the first surprise in a series of shocking events beginning with the discovery of a Monet painting crammed into the plane’s fuselage. Is it real? Or fake? The trail leads Gus into a twisting trio of dangerous art world conspiracies.

Gus fends off some very pushy collectors and soon realizes he may have crossed paths with treacherous criminals, putting his family at risk. As if that isn’t enough, he must also contend with a problem that’s close to his heart: his daughter, Shelby, is growing up too fast. She’s determined to sing professionally and is now under the spell of a wolf in tenor’s clothing, handsome Greek student, Dmitri. When she vanishes with the family car, her frantic parents desperately chase the fading trail.

A slew of Facebook messages on Shelby’s computer lead them to The Eastman School of Music, where both Shelby’s new flame and Gus’s old friend have been hiding secrets linked to the art scandal. There’s a real Monet out there somewhere, and nothing—including murder—will stop the desperate man who wants it.

NOTE: This series can be read in any order. Each book is complete and can stand alone without having read the first books in the series.

File Size: 430 KB
Print Length: 264 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Aaron Paul Lazar; 1 edition (July 7, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00LMD7ZSO


PURCHASE HERE!

The Friday 56 - Week 190

Welcome to Week 190!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.


This is an updated version of a book I read several years ago. I'm reviewing it for the author.



I wanted him to sit near me so badly I could have died. But he sat in the row in front of me, a little to the right. Not too bad. Now I can look at him all day. My best friend, Angela, sits beside him on his right. I hope she doesn't fall in love with him, too. He's mine!

Location 57 of 1105 from The Truth: Diary of a Gutsy Teen by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Spotlight: Next Step by Timothy K. Lynn

Written by accomplished businessman Timothy K. Lynn, Next Step presents a faith-centered system for keeping one’s life on track and moving into an even closer relationship with God.

At an early age, author Timothy K. Lynn found himself facing adult challenges: at 16, Lynn had a wife and child, had dropped out of school, was on welfare and food stamps, and was working seven days a week just to make ends meet. At 16, Lynn had a singular focus: providing for his new family. Realizing that faith was central to having—and executing—a meaningful life plan, Lynn, through God’s grace, began to develop a system for keeping his life on track and maintaining focus. Inspired by Andy Stanley’s Starting Point, Lynn created a system centered on the four crucial components of faith, self, family and life’s work. That system evolved into Next Step.

An extraordinarily powerful book with a simple premise, Next Step provides a road map for navigating one’s way through life. Resplendent with Scripture, Biblical wisdom, and advice, Next Step shows readers how to make the next step a step in the right direction.

Presented in workbook format, Next Step has a dual purpose: Next Step functions as both a self-directed study guide as well as a guide for use with small groups. Filled with exercises designed to lead individuals and small groups towards developing a sense of direction, and receiving God’s grace, Next Step provides an enlightening look at the importance of a life centered on God.

In Next Step, Lynn addresses such crucial issues as time management, influences, faith, taking care of oneself physically, mentally, and spiritually, beliefs, family, finding purposeful life’s work, and giving back. Next Step also provides practical instruction by illuminating the importance of “big picture” thinking, reaping vs. sowing, setting—and reaching—goals, and staying out of debt. Next Step also introduces the concept of “lifeline goal setting”—an innovative strategy for setting and reaching goals. Moreover, Next Step sheds light on the most important dialogue in any person’s life: an open, ongoing and meaningful conversation with God.

A faithful companion for a life well-lived, Next Step is an inspiring, powerful, and transformative book. Brimming with wisdom, sage counsel, and instruction on finding balance, order, and meaning, Next Step is a thoughtful and thought-provoking guide to creating—and living—a life of meaning, purpose, and abundance.


PURCHASE LINKS:


   
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/next-step-timothy-k-lynn/1119917426

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Timothy K. Lynn is an entrepreneur, author and teacher, but above all, a man of faith. He has used the Next Step system for over 30 years. The Founder and Chairman of a successful company, Lynn lives in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with his wife, Jane. He and Jane are blessed with a blended family of eight children and eight grandchildren.

Book Spotlight: The Traitor's Heir by Anna Thayer


Every man has a destiny. His is to betray.

Like many from his village, young Eamon Goodhand dreamed of joining the Gauntlet, the army of the overlord Eldered. Now he is about to complete his training and swear his loyalty to Eldered and his commanders, the Hands, who uphold Eldered’s tight control of the land.

Entering into the service of the Gauntlet, Eamon’s gifts, particularly his potent Sight, quickly become valuable to his superiors and he advances to the command rank at a speed that arouses the suspicions of fellow officers.

However, Eldered’s bloody rule, and Eamon’s personal friendships, start to challenge the young soldier’s assumptions about what might be true, and worthy of service. And soon Eamon must conceal a fatal secret: he is sworn to both Eldered and to Hughan, the rightful king of the land. Yet he may not forswear the vows he has uttered in all good faith so however he serves, his name will be traitor.

As tensions and military skirmishes increase, Eamon finds himself trusted by both his masters. How can he possibly maintain his integrity, act justly to his fellow officers of the Gauntlet, and act on behalf of all the warring people of the land?

Series: The Knight of Eldaran (Book 1)
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications; 1st New edition edition (June 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1782640754
ISBN-13: 978-1782640752

PURCHASE HERE!

Save 20% on Limited Tickets for Kiss Me, Kate at The Pasadena Playhouse Starring Wayne Brady



September 16 - October 12, 2014

Save 20%* Off Tickets
Use Code: BOOK20

The Pasadena Playhouse presents
Wayne Brady
Starring In

KISS ME, KATE
Also Starring Merle Dandridge

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
Directed by Sheldon Epps
KISS ME, KATE, the beloved backstage musical, includes many of Cole Porter’s most famous songs: “So in Love,” “Another Op’nin’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”  This classic show celebrates Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and the joys, madness, and the rewards of working in the theatre - both onstage and off.
The Pasadena Playhouse production will view the work through a new lens, using the wonderful material of this celebrated production to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century.
Tickets may be purchased online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by calling (626) 356-7529.
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91101

*Code is valid for 20% off tickets to KISS ME, KATE. Offer expires Sun. October 12, 2014 at 7pm and is good on all performances excluding Sunday, Sept. 21. Discount is available on all seats excluding ROW C. All seats are best available. Offer not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offer. All tickets are subject to availability. Service charges and theatre restoration fee apply to all orders. 

Overstock Kid Zone from Overstock and PBS KIDS



Overstock.com believes in a bright future for all children. To support its commitment to children’s education, health, happiness and well-being, Overstock has partnered with PBS KIDS to create the Overstock Kid Zone, a curated shop within Overstock.com that includes hundreds of children’s products across many categories. A portion of the proceeds from every sale in Overstock’s Kid Zone will go to support PBS KIDS’ mission of educating children.

The Kid Zone is made up of several shop categories, including “School Essentials,” providing the perfect opportunity to purchase supplies for the school year while supporting PBS KIDS. The page also provides links to PBS KIDS videos and fun family activities.



Sunday, August 3, 2014

CFBA: A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart to Heal
Love Inspired (July 15, 2014)
by
Allie Pleiter




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.






ABOUT THE BOOK



The Courage To Hope.

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he's felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max's bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon's self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather's heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Heart to Heal, go HERE.




Mailbox Monday - August 4

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

It's great to be back. I had a blast with my friends, but it's nice to be home with my family. Two books arrived while I was gone.

One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.

Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.

Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.

Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.



In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope

It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor . . . until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.




This book was a digital download gifted to me by the author. I had read a previous version of this book and she asked me to review the new one.

"I hate Angela and I wish she would move away tomorrow!" "I get so worried when I hear my parents fighting at night." "My mother thinks my crush is silly. I know I am in love!" "I have so many questions about growing up. Who will answer them?" "I feel so awful when Jake makes fun of me." "When I grow up I going to remember how to have fun with my kids and never look away."
Growing up is tough. Adults don't always understand you (even though they were once kids), and children today face increasing pressure to be, look, or act a certain way. Written in the voice of a girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager, The Truth provides young girls with an opportunity to see how a girl, who is in many ways like themselves, handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Each new page brings forth a discussion to help girls handle everyday problems: How do you survive a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What can you do about relentless teasing by your peers? What really matters as you grow older?

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, The Truth is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.


This was the one book I allowed myself to buy on vacation. It will be a great addition to my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection. 


From May 1890 to October 1891 Laura and Almanzo, along with their daughter Rose, lived in Spring Valley, Minnesota. They stayed with Almanzo’s parents, recuperating from illness, before moving to Florida. This booklet focuses on the 1890′s, while Laura and Almanzo lived there, but also tells the story of the Wilder family in Spring Valley.

What did you receive in your mailbox?


Kindle Freebie: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport


Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work--and the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

Readers will love being swept away into a world of mansions, secrets, and romance as they follow Lucy through the streets of the Windy City during one of the most exciting times in the city's history. From opulent upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Olivia Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history--and everyone is invited.

File Size: 1430 KB
Print Length: 304 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00EKWQARG
Publisher: Revell (May 1, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B0073UPR6C


PURCHASE HERE!