Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Giveaways!

Congrats to Dawn for winning this week's giveaway! I'll mail your book soon.

I've mentioned that I'm moving, so I am weeding out my books. This week I'm doing something different.  I'm going to list a number of books, and you can get one just by following my blog.
First, follow the blog.
Second, leave a comment with your first two choices of books from the blog post and your email address so I can contact you.
I'll send the books first come, first serve, which is why you should list a few you would want just incase someone else picked the one you want. When the books run out, so will the contest.
I can only ship to the US.

I think that's about it.
Here's the list:
A Thousand Tomorrow's by Karen Kingsbury
Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh
Crimson Eve by Brandilyn Collins
Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins
Priced to  Move by Ginny Aiken

Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra Bricker
Freedom's Stand by Jeanette Windle
Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren
Blood Lines by Mel Odom
Breaker's Reef by Terri Blackstock

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Restless in Carolina: A Book Review

Summary: Widow Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is determined to find a an eco-friendly buyer for her uncle's land so that he can right a wrong in the family's history. When two men are interested in purchasing the property and also in pursuing Bridget, she has to figure out which man is the one for her and which one is just a "widow sniffer." Will she find out the truth before her heart is broken again?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this book. At first, it was a little hard to get into the book because I didn't click with Bridget as quickly as I did the characters in the previous books in this series. However, I think that shows the character for who she is: rough on the edges and a little odd but after a while, people see her heart and all she has to offer. Bridget's zany idiosyncrasies like her refusal to read the words "happily ever after" to her niece lighten the serious theme of the book, Bridget's anger at God for taking her husband and her struggle to live and to love again.

Overall, it was an enjoyable conclusion to the series, and readers will enjoy seeing what is finally done with Uncle Obe's property.

I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Loraine for winning Shadow in Serenity! I just sent you an email.
This week, I'm giving away A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell. It's a great book! To enter to win, tell me about a desire of your heart. One of my desires is to get married. I'm praying God sends me the man he has for me or that he makes me happy with being single. Most days I love  being single, but these holidays can be hard alone, especially since it's the first Thanksgiving without my dad.
But, I don't mean to be a downer. Sorry!
To get a second entry, leave a second comment letting me know you follow the blog. I can only ship to the US, and I'll pick a winner next week.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. My dad used to always say, "In America, every day is a holiday, every meal is a feast, and every man's a king." We got together often to eat, and he would say that every time. America has its problems, but I'm so thankful for it, flaws and all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cabin Fever: A Book Review

Greg is back and running from the law. When Greg and Rowley scheme up a plan to make some money for Christmas, their idea goes awry as usual, and school property is damaged. When a blizzard hits, Greg is stuck inside with his family but that's better than being hauled off to jail, right?

I enjoyed this book. Yes, some elements require the reader to imagine a little (like the family not noticing the neighbors having electricity), but what children's book doesn't?  I am a librarian at an elementary school, and I found the jokes about education hilarious. The kids were getting hurt on the playground equipment, so they removed each piece of equipment. When a kid got stuck, the teachers weren't allowed to touch a kid, so the parents had to come. They removed sugar drinks, so kids started selling them behind the school. It was also fun to see Manny grow up a little and become more of player in the storyline.

Fans of the series will enjoy this funny addition.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shadow in Serenity

When Logan comes to the small town of Serenity to swindle a naive town out of its hard-earned money, he didn't count on meeting Carny, a former con artist herself. Will he be able to pull of the ruse without losing his heart in the process? 

Terri Blackstock is one of my favorite Christian suspense authors, so I found this book a little slow as it focused more on a romance than a mystery. The characters are vivid, the town is enrapturing, but the plot dragged on for a little too long.

Fans of Terri Blackstock will enjoy this book, but it's definitely not my favorite by her.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In the small town of Amaryllis, a serial killer is on the loose. In the last three years, five elderly women have been murdered in the exact same way. When a sixth woman is murdered, authorities believe it is the work of the serial killer although the woman murdered doesn't fit the profile of the previous victims. Is it the work of the same man, or is there a second killer threatening the peace of the quaint town?

This is Brandilyn Collins' best book! Although the book is a murder mystery, the entire story is told from the point of view of three women, who are quite different but similar in one way...they each believe they know who the murderer is. Working together, they begin to piece together the pieces, and I enjoyed the storyline of normal women stepping up and figuring things out instead of having the investigators do all the work.
As always in a Collins' novel, there is a lot of action, and while I suspected who the killer was, I still enjoyed the ride finding him. Even more than the mystery, I enjoyed seeing the character growth in the three narrators. This book is a must-read for Christian suspense fans!

I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Melanie for winning Try Dying.
This week I'm giving away Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock.
To enter to win, tell me what makes you feel serene. Be sure to leave an email address. Get a second entry by following the blog (leave a second comment). I can only ship to the US.
I'll pull a name next week.

If you won in the last few weeks, I've been really busy and haven't shipped the books. I'm going to do it tomorrow, I promise!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Busy Tree and My Trees

I LOVE this book, partly because of my tree obsession and partly because it is a simple but poignant look at one of nature's most beautiful creations.
Most people look at a tree as something that stands, provides shade, and can cause a lot of damage when falling. However, they are so much more. They are home to creatures, playgrounds for children, and the source of the very air we breathe.
The illustrations are magnificent and add vivid images to the short couplets.

I live in Kingwood, which is known for beautiful trees. My cousin sweetly came and shot some of my favorite tree spots. Here are a few of her pictures.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Falling for Rapunzel

Falling for Rapunzel is a cute twist on the Rapunzel story. Instead of the helpless maiden, we have a maiden with a bad hair day. When the prince hears her crying over her hair, he tries to save her, asking her to throw down something to let him climb up to rescue her. She doesn't understand him and sends down everything from socks (locks) to underwear (hair). She sends down her maid when he tells her to let down her braid, and the fairy tale ending comes true...just not the typical way.

This delightful tale is sure to entertain both children and parents alike.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Billy and Milly, Short and Silly

What a wonderful book for young children and those learning rhyming words. Told only in rhyming words, this book tells the adventures of Billy and Milly. With one word per page, the reader has to use the colorful illustrations to piece together the story. Young kids will have fun guessing the next rhyming word to complete the story.
I used this book with my kindergarten kids in the library, and they loved guessing the next word and then coming up with more rhyming words.


Even though Cody and Bailey are dating other people, their story is not yet finished. When life events cause their paths to cross, the two must figure out their lingering feelings for each other. Will they return to their first love or discover that your first love isn't always your forever love?

After being disappointed with the first two books in the Bailey Flanigan series, I enjoyed Longing. Bailey finally makes a decision about which man is the one for her. (I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that although I love both Cody and Brandon, the decision is logically and satisfying.) I became frustrated with the first two books because I felt characters I had loved for so long were being destroyed to fill a four-book series. However, this book brought the journey to a close in many ways. Both Bailey and Cody are now completely developed as characters, and as a faithful Karen Kingsbury reader, that was wonderful to read.  Although some of the subplots were far-fetched (Cody's football story), the story of Cheyenne was delicately written and touching to read since I have walked that road with someone I love. Now that Bailey has made her choice, I look forward to the fourth book to see her final growth as an adult woman.

I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Book Giveaway

Congrats to Michelle for winning There You'll Find Me. You're going to love it, my friend. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments. :)
Today, I am giving away Try Dying by James Scott Bell. To enter to win, leave a comment with something new you would like to try. I want to learn how to quilt. I called a sewing place around me because my mom, niece, and I want someone to teach us. Sadly, the classes are in the day when I'm at work and my niece is at school. I think we'll try youtube because I've heard from several people that they've learned new things by watching videos of someone demonstrating how to do something.

To get a second entry, follow the blog and leave a separate comment that you follow.
I can only ship to the US. I'll announce a winner next week.

Just so you know, I am moving next month, so I am cleaning out my books. I may do a few two/three book giveaways soon. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Twenty Pounds Down

I hit 20 pounds lost a week or so ago, and I wanted to have a picture to document to see if I can tell a difference.
I don't have a full-body picture, but here's me when I started my fitness pal. (Isn't the tree beautiful? It's the survivor tree at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. I love trees.)

Here's a picture at my sister's birthday party Saturday.

I've lost 1 inch from my neck, 3 inches from my waist, and 2 inches from my hips. :)

I still have a long way to go!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii

Fans of Sierra Jensen will love catching up with an old friend in this novel. Four years have passed since readers last saw the fiery blond with a heart for God. When Sierra's job in Brazil ends, she finds herself at a loss at what do next. When her friend offers her a trip to Sunset Beach, Hawaii, Sierra knows it's a gift from God. She'll have time to catch up with her sister and to figure out God's plan for her life next. When she keeps running into Jordan, a photographer with his own career plans, Sierra must decide whether to return to Brazil and take the job offered or follow her heart and Jordan back to the states.

I read the Sierra Jensen series back in high school and felt the series ended before Sierra's story did. I was thrilled when Robin Jones Gunn wrote this book, telling the next phase of Sierra's life. However, one book didn't do justice to this amazing character. Most of the book felt rushed, and several times I wished there had been more reflection on an event (like Sierra's work in Brazil ,her conversations with Tawni,  or even Sierra's thoughts on seeing Paul married) than was given. The events of this book could have been told with more depth in a two or three book series.
Overall, I enjoyed catching up with a character I consider an old friend.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Giveaway!

Congrats to Patricia and Melanie for winning last week's giveaways.
Today I'm giving away one of the best books I've read in a while, There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones. (Am I the only one who thinks of Junie B. Jones every time I write her name?)
To enter to win, leave a comment telling me the best book you've read in a while or tell me about the place where you found Christ. I reconnected with Christ when I was working at an orphanage in Mexico. They had the most beautiful sunsets that reflected vibrant colors onto the desolate houses in the area. God's beauty is everywhere, and I'm amazed He shines into the dirtiest places of my heart. I worked there two summers in a row, and I long to go back.

To get a second entry, follow the blog and leave me a separate comment letting me know you follow. :) Make sure you leave your email address too.
I can only ship to the US. My sister will pick a random number next Tuesday.