Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: Real

About the book
"Real" is a collection of 60 inspirational stories by Shelley Malcolm, with photos by Terilee Dawn Ouimette. The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Subjects range from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity.   Here is a link to view the video trailer:  Proceeds from "Real" go to various charities.  Visit for more information.

My thoughts
I enjoyed the small insight I was able to get into a variety of lives and the epilogue at the end, brings a semblance of closure to my involvement in their lives.  The stories not only cover a variety of people and slices of their lives, but covers a broad area of life topics, such as hope, love, courage, and renewal.  I found the stories to be inspiring and heartwarming and the photography is stunning.  I will never look at, or even think of, hands in the same way again.  The photos did a fabulous job of capturing the stories and lives of the hands they showed.  Overall, the book brings the reader to the realization that the only way to make it through this life is to be the real you.  In fact, one of the opening quotes to the book, has become a favorite of mine.  It is by Margery Williams, from her book, "The Veleveteen Rabbit".  Skin Horse says to the Velveteen Rabbit, "Real isn't how you are made.  It's a thing that happens to you... Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."   This quote perfectly captures just what this book is about.

I recommend this  book for anyone who enjoys peering into the lives of everyday people and who need to be uplifted.  This is the type of book that you can open and read just 1 or 2 stories at a time and does not need to be read in order, or you can sit down and read it cover to cover in a few sittings. 

About the author
While "Real"  is her first published book, Malcolm is no stranger to creative projects, as co-owner and restorer of an historic chapel, La Perla del Mar in Shell Beach, CA, and a set designer for theater and film. Shelley Malcolm was named Pismo Beach’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 for her extensive contributions and involvement in the community. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation and other charities. Shelley Malcolm graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in dental hygiene. For more information, please visit or Shelley Malcolm resides in Shell Beach, California with her husband, Doug. 

Shelley has four adult children. Her interests include painting , drawing, sculpting, building, playing piano and other musical instruments, outdoor activities including hiking, ocean kayaking, running, water and snow-skiing, international travel, sewing, reading, writing and others. Visit for more information.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes. My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

48 hour giveaway: $25 gift card to Kroger (or affiliate) giveaway

I was offered the opportunity to share information with my readers about a sale Kroger had back in November and to give away a gift card to Kroger.  Unfortunately, due to the accidents and surgeries, I was unable to get online to post in a timely manner.  However, the kind folks at Kroger and General Mills through My Blog Spark are still allowing me to offer my readers the prize of a $25 gift card to Kroger.  The gift card can be used at Kroger or any Kroger affiliate (Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott’s Food & Pharmacy).  I need to have the winner's information to the prize sponsor on December 9th, 2011.  The winner will be notified no later than 10AM on 12/9 and MUST get back to me with their information no later than 7PM or a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark

Book Review and Giveaway Info: The Mirror of N'de

About the book
In the mythical city of N’de lives thirteen-year-old Hadlay and her people, the Ramash. Scorned and abused by the unloving and absent Emperor, the Ramash are poor people, placed second to the ruling class of the Oresed. Young but bold, Hadlay rages against the injustice in her city. When she is chosen for the honor of serving the Prince in the Tower, she hopes to find a way to right the wrong... but soon discovers that things are worse than she believed.

While Hadlay works to better her people’s condition, she struggles to abide with the abusive Oresed and understand the meaning of her dreams in which a fantastical white horse appears to her and speaks in riddles. When Hadlay stumbles into one of the Tower’s secret rooms, she discovers a hidden mirror that doesn’t just show her reflection, but reveals much more: the horse’s name is Sirach and he has a plan to save the children of N’de, if only Hadlay can bring them to the mirror. Hiding her knowledge of Sirach from the Prince, Hadlay sets out to do Sirach’s bidding. But when Sirach’s presence is revealed, Hadley’s life is in danger and the only way to save her is for Sirach to give up his own.

Crafting powerful narrative and creative characters, author L. K. Malone spins a compelling tale that combines exciting entertainment and the Christian story. In The Mirror of N’de, readers will empathize with the desires of an oppressed people, will anger at the affliction of a cruel adversary, and ultimately rejoice with the revelation of a Savior.
You can also watch a trailer for The Mirror of N'de on YouTube.
My thoughts 
This book is targeted at tweens and  teens, so I decided to read it along with my tween girls, ages 9 and 10.  They really enjoyed the storyline, but found much of the vocabulary to be rather advanced for them.  I would put the vocabulary level of the book at 10th grade or so, but if an adult were to read it along with them, the storyline would be great for 6th grade or so (and up).  There are many aspects of  The Mirror of N'de that anyone who knows the stories, even just the basic ones, like Adam and Eve,  of the Old Testament would recognize.  I think that is what intrigued my girls the most.  Also, be aware that many of the names are not names we are used to.  However, there is a pronunciation guide in the front of the book that was very helpful.  
I recommend this book for families with older kids to read together and for high school students and adults to read alone.  

About the author
L. K. Malone is an insatiable reader who devours nearly a book a day when she isn’t writing. Favorite genres include political thrillers, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. Some of her favorite reads include the Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter books, which inspired her to try her hand at fantasy with a Judeo-Christian twist. Malone is a Colorado native with a large extended family, which includes two lovely young women who graciously let her mentor them through the Denver Kids program, and a handsome menagerie of pets. 
About the giveaway
The publisher is sponsoring a $50 giveaway.
To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using @litfuse) about The Mirror of N'de  or share about it on Facebook!
If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy.
Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:
TWEET THIS: New YA fantasy - The Mirror of N'de - compelling narrative and creative characters! @litfuse RT for $50 to @amazon 
FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss this debut YA fantasy story: Crafting powerful narrative and creative characters, author L. K. Malone spins a compelling tale that combines exciting entertainment and the Christian story. In The Mirror of N’de, readers will empathize with the desires of an oppressed people, will anger at the affliction of a cruel adversary, and ultimately rejoice with the revelation of a Savior. Share this for a chance at $50 to

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes. My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Lots of upcoming posts and giveaways and an official announcement

I will start with the official announcement, well, I actually announced this in the book review I posted October 20th, for The Wonder of Your Love,  but I know not everyone enjoys book reviews so I am making a special official announcement.  My family and I are excited to announce that we are expecting our 5th baby in June 2012.  This partly explains my disappearance for the past several weeks and the relatively few posts in the weeks prior to that.  I have never experienced morning sickness, but the beginning of this pregnancy has proven to be the hardest on me physically.  Along with feeling awful, we had a car accident and 2 surgeries (unrelated to the accident) in our home within the past month.  Having said all that, life is quieting down and I am starting to feel better, at least most of the time.  My surgical "patients" are healing and our van has been repaired.  Now, I have LOTS to catch up on.  I will start with some reviews and giveaways and then get back to posting more original content.  I have lots to share and can't wait to get to writing it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway Info: Remembering You

About the book
35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.

As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. 
My thoughts
Until I read this book, I was only familiar with Tricia Goyer's works regarding the Amish, Beside Still Waters and Along Wooded Paths.  I immensely enjoyed both of these books, but was unsure if I would like one of her "non-Amish" books.  I will admit, I had some difficulty getting into the book in the beginning.  I would read 1 or 2 chapters and then put the book down.  I was afraid it was going to take me quite a while to finish it.  However, towards the middle of the book, I was drawn in so much that I finished it in 2 sittings.  I truly enjoyed watching Ava and Paul rediscover their relationship with God, and seeing Ava begin to view the various people in her life differently than she had before.  For some people, like her grandfather, this was good, for others, such as her former fiancee, not as good.  The part of the book that I enjoyed the most were the stories from World War II that were retold, with some poetic license, but were generally accurate.  The descriptions that the author uses allows the reader to feel as though they are in these places themselves, both currently when the characters are on their trip, but also when they are reminiscing about their war experiences.  I recommend this book to any one who enjoys historical fiction, particularly World War II, and stories of first loves reconnecting. 

About the author
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia's weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
For more about Tricia and her other books 

About the giveaway

Win a Kindle Touch for YOU and a Friend from Tricia Goyer!
Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her novel, Remembering You, with a KINDLE Touch Giveaway for you ... and for the friend of your choice. Then on 11/29 she'll be wrapping up the release of Remembering You with a Book Chat Party!

During the first half of the party Tricia will be chatting, sharing a sneak peek of her next book, and giving away a ton of great stuff. Then she'll head over to her website for a Live Chat! Readers will be able to chat with Tricia via video or text.

Don't miss your chance to win a Kindle Touch for yourself ... and to "remember" a friend this holiday with a Kindle Touch for them!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Touch and a Kindle Touch for a Friend (winner's choice!) 

  • A copy of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer for each

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 29th. Winner will be announced at Remembering You Facebook Party on 11/29. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away copies of her other WWII books and gift certificates to Starbucks and So grab your copy of Remembering You and join Tricia on the evening of the 29th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes. My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway Info: The Baker's Wife

About the book

To save her husband and son, Audrey Bofinger must rescue her enemy.
The Bofinger family has lost their church ministry in a scandal exposed by Officer Jack Mansfield. Hoping to heal and to restore their reputation, Audrey, Geoff, and their son Ed take over a failing bakery in the small community.
Driving to the bakery one morning, blinded by fog, Audrey hits a motor scooter owned by Jack’s wife, Julie. The mangled scooter is crushed and bloody. But Julie is nowhere to be found. Her disappearance coincides with a sudden illness that nearly cripples Audrey.
Jack believes the Bofingers have hurt Julie to take revenge on him, but the evidence dries up and her trail goes cold. At a breaking point, Jack takes the tiny bakery and its patrons hostage, issuing only one demand: Audrey has six hours to return Julie to him, or lose Geoff and Ed forever.
With only an excruciating and intuitive gift, an ex-con, and Julie’s estranged daughter to help search for clues, Audrey starts the search of her life for a woman who has vanished like the fog.

My thoughts

This book did a great job of weaving together a bunch of seemingly unrelated lives.  It also showed just how much lives can change over time and how people can be misjudged based simply on a title in their life, such as convict or police officer.  The Baker's Wife was a great read, full of suspense, with an underlying storylines of learning how to forgive oneself and others and how to be resilient when faced with things out of your control.  I had a difficult time putting the book down each night and recommend this to anyone who enjoys books about people changing, resilience, or suspense.

About the author

Well-known to critics and reviewers, Erin Healy has established herself as an award-winning editor and a best-selling co-author with Ted Dekker. Healy received wide acclaim for her two debut novels  Never Let You Go  and  The Promises She Keeps . Her work focuses on the psychological and spiritual, driven by high moral stakes. She lives and writes in Colorado with her family.
For more information please  visit .  

About the giveaway

Let the flour fly! Beginning October 24th, Erin's celebrating the release of her latest page turner, The Baker's Wife, with an outstanding KitchenAid baking prize package giveaway that includes a brand new KitchenAid Mixer, cook books, and all you need to whip up some fabulous bread or sweets! Then and on November 10th she'll be wrapping up the release of The Baker's Wife with an Author Book Chat Party on Facebook! Don't miss a minute of the fun!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • Empire Red 4.5 QT Ultra Power KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  • Black & White Kitschy Apron
  • Black Silicone Oven Mitt
  • Black OXO Rolling Pin
  • Wilton 9X5 loaf pan
  • At My Grandmother's Knee Cookbook by Faye Porter
  • Second Helpings with Johnnie Gabriel Cookbook
  • The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 9th. Winner will be announced at The Baker's Wife Author Book Chat Facebok Party. Erin will be wrapping up the The Baker's Wife celebration with a book club chat and giving away a bunch of "sweet treats"! So grab your copy of The Baker's Wife (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Erin on the evening of November 10th for a book chat, some "baking" trivia and lots of "sweet" giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 10th!
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes. My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Please come vote for me

Crane USA is hosting a contest right now where, their facebook fans can help name their animal humidifiers.  They just finished naming the finalists for the cow humidifier and I am one of them!  I would love it, if you would go and vote for the finalist you like best, even if it is not me (though I would love it it was me).  I chose the name Bo, short for Bovine. While you are there, you can also submit your idea for a name for the elephant humidifier.  The winner of each naming contest will win that humidifier and their child will be made into a cartoon and featured in a video that will be on the Crane USA facebook page and website in 2012.  Let me know if you make it to the finals in any of the naming contests.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway Info: Love on the Line

About the book

It's a Battle of Wills ... and Love Is on the Line!
Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world . . . which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.
Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

My thoughts

I particularly enjoyed the unique setting for this book.  The story line was intriguing, though I had figured out much of it before it was revealed.  This did not make it any easier to actually put the book down though, as there were pieces that I had not figured out and I wanted to confirm my theories :)  

About the author

Deeanne Gist--known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee --has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary romances. Add to this three RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you've got one recipe for success.
She has a very active online community on her website at and at
About the Giveaway
Deeanne is thrilled to introduce Georgie and Luke to the word in her latest novel, Love on the Line. To celebrate Deeanne's publisher, Bethany House, is hosting the Love on the Line iPad2 giveaway an Author Chat on Facebook! Enter today and follow the link below to RSVP for Deeanne's rip-roarin' Facebook Party!

One fortunate winner will receive: 

  • A Brand New iPad2 
  • An Autographed Hardback Copy of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at Deeanne's Author Chat Facebook Party. Deeanne will be wrapping up the Love on the Line celebration by chatting with friends new and old! So grab your copy of Love on the Line (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might could win one!) and join Deeanne on the evening of November 8th for a rip roaring book chat, a little trivia and lots of giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 8th!
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.  My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review and giveaway info: The Wonder of Your Love

About the book
Katie Ann lost the love of her life. Then God offers her a new beginning in Colorado .
Katie Ann Stolzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan , Colorado . At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about her as well. Is it really God's plan for her to be a single parent?
Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is finally an empty-nester. He's enjoying the slower pace of having no one to care for but himself.
When Katie Ann and Eli meet, there is an instant connection. Yet as strong as the attraction is, they both acknowledge that a romance would never work. He is done parenting, while she has just begun.
But as their friendship slowly blossoms into feelings that are as frightening as they are intoxicating, Katie Ann and Eli question if the plans they made for themselves are in line with God's plans.
Can Katie Ann entrust her heart to another man, and rediscover the wonder of God's love?

My thoughts 
I was able to completely relate to the theme of this book: questioning if our plans, even if they are good plans, are in line with what Heavenly Father is wanting us to do.  How often do we make plans and later realize that they are not the plans God has for us, or maybe we assume He wants us to do something for one reason, but we later realize that the reason was nothing like we thought?  When I joined the Army, I KNEW that was where Heavenly Father wanted me, I assumed it was to serve my country.  That is why, when I fell ill just a few weeks in and learned I was being discharged, I was very confused.  To make a long story short, the real reason I was in the Army was to have an undiagnosed, life threatening illness diagnosed and treated (I had already had it for 5 years and was lucky to be alive) and to meet the man who would become my husband.  

More recently, after the birth of our 4th child 3 years ago, we were pretty sure we were done having kids.   We did not take any permanent actions, but were preventing conception in other ways.  One day, about a year ago, I began to feel like maybe we were NOT supposed to be done.  I really struggled with this because I was not certain that I WANTED more kids and my last 2 pregnancies had been fairly difficult.  None-the-less, when I saw my OB/GYN for my annual this year, I asked about the problems I had in the past.  He gave me the go ahead to have more if we desired and told me that the problems were no more likely to occur than they had been previously.  It did not matter much though, because my husband was not having those same thoughts and feelings that I was having.  Then one day, out of the blue, he told me that he had been lying to me.  I asked what he meant and he went on to tell me that he HAD been feeling like we were meant to have more, but that he REALLY did not WANT to.  Of course, the not wanting to does not mean that we would not love and cherish any future children just as we do the ones we have now, just that we dragged our feet about doing what Heavenly Father had planned for us.  Now, after all those months of fighting it, we started trying to get pregnant and I am very happy to announce (for the first time publicly) that we are expecting the next Garcia baby in June of 2012.  (Because this has not been announced elsewhere yet, I do ask that if you want to leave any notes about this on facebook for me, please do so privately.)
My thoughts on the book- sorry for the sidetrack above
I really enjoyed this book.  As I said above, I could completely relate to Katie Ann and Eli.  I also loved Katie Ann's ability to forgive the woman who had caused her such pain, even though she could not forget it.  I know that forgiveness like that is expected among the Amish, but this really put it in a way that made it easy to understand.  I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Amish literature, love stories, or stories of healing.  Although this is part of a series, I have not read any of the other books in the series and did not have any trouble following this one.  Click here to read what other reviewers are saying.
About the author
Beth Wiseman is hailed as a top voice in Amish fiction. She is a Carol-award winner and author of numerous bestsellers including the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. She and her family live in Texas ., Twitter @bethwiseman,  

About the giveaway
Beth is celebrating the release of Book 2 in the Land of Canaan series with a Fabulous Facebook party on November 1st. She'll be giving away one of her OWN paintings, several mini prize packs and a sneak peak at the next book in this heartwarming series.
CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then join us on November 1st for a book chat, Amish themed trivia contest, and more!
The Wonder of Your Love Facebook Party on 11/1!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.  My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Book Review and Giveaway Info: Baby, It's Cold Outside

About the book
Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.


It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.


When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.


My thoughts
This was another book that I struggled to put down, in fact, it only took me 2 days to finish it, because I couldn't wait to see what happened next.  Each character has their own story, but they intermingle so much, even those who were strangers in the beginning of the book, find that pieces of their lives had crossed paths at an earlier time.  Other characters have long histories together.  They all have their own unique trials though and they all have faced love, loss and desire in their own lives.  I loved watching one romantic relationship grow and another one rekindle after many, many years of them trying to extinguish the flame that was smoldering beneath the surface.  I highly, highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys romantic tales,  stories that take place near Christmas, or who just appreicate a good heartwarming tale.  

About the author
Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia , Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota ’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.


Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota , where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)


A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found

About the giveaway
Warm up with a Kindle Fire from Susan May Warren

Warm up to Chrismtas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

One festive winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire

  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.  My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Here are the winners from last week's giveaways:

Yoplait Do the Swap: There was only 1 entrant so by default, the winner is Raven in a Blue Room
Hearts for Hearts Girls: The winner is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-10-20 00:45:47 UTC

which belongs to debijackson   The winner is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-10-20 00:51:42 UTC

which belongs to Tea Moore

All winners have been notified (Tea, I did not have your e-mail, so I sent a Twitter message).  Please reply within 48 hours so that new winners do not need to be chosen.  Congratulations to all the winners and a big thanks to all who entered.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book review and Giveaway Info: Married Mom, Solo Parent

About the book
For married women who feel like single parents.
Bookstore shelves are full of parenting resources for moms who are newly divorced or widowed. But where do moms turn if they feel like a single parent--but they’re not? Whether he is away on business, deployed in the military, or obsessing over a computer game, dad may not be available for a variety of reasons. Moms who parent in this situation still need help and don’t necessarily relate to the advice given in divorce recovery or single parenting resources.
Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God's Strength to Face the Challenge
 is a common-sense, down-to-earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a married single mom, Carla Anne Coroy will help wives and mothers sort through their questions, such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor their father? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one in action? With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book will encourage moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing for their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God’s strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.

My thoughts
This book does not currently apply to my life, in fact, my life is currently quite the opposite.  My husband is currently looking for work, but due to modern technology, that means he is home almost all the time, and I am blessed that he is very involved with the going-ons of the family.  Unfortunately, this has thrown our schedule way off and I am struggling to figure out how to make sure all the things that need to get done, actually get done.  However, I have spent considerable parts of our marriage as a "solo parent" (a term that is not to be confused with "single parent.") My mom also spent her marriage to my dad, at least all the parts I can remember, as a solo parent, so I was definitely able to relate to this book.  What is a solo parent?  It is a parent, often the mom, who although married, has the majority of the parental duties laid on them 100% of the time.  As it says above, the other spouse may be in the military or travel a lot for work, or they may have addictions or illness that keep them from being involved.  For me, my husband was working both a full-time and a part-time job and attending school full-time.  For my mom, my father is schizophrenic which kept him from being able to provide the emotional and mental parts of parenting.  Any which way, if you find yourself in the role of a solo parent, there is a lot of things you need to learn how to deal with, not just how to balance it all, but also emotional issues.  This book did a great job of covering all the aspects of solo parenting.  I do have to warn my non-Christian friends, this IS a Christian book and is therefore rather "preachy", especially regarding the emotional parts.  However, there is also a lot of practical information, particularly when talking about how to do all the work that is laid before you.  I found much of that information applicable to my life, even now, when I have an extra set of hands around to help.  

I recommend this book to any Christian solo parent, whether they think they need help dealing with it or not.  For those who are not solo parents, but need help learning how to balance all the household duties, you will find quite a bit of help in the book as well.  To see what other bloggers think about the book, click here.

About the author
Carla Anne Coroy runs the Married Single Mom blog at She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children. For more information, visit 

About the giveaway
Come to an encouraging MomChat party on Facebook…you could win a KindleTouch
To celebrate the release of her new book Carla has partnered with her publisher, Kregel, to host a live MomChat party on Facebook!
The party will wrap up the blog tour ( and Carla will be hosting an encouraging MomChat about all things mom and wife related. There will also be a fun contest and she’s giving away a KindleTouch and a ton of other fun stuff (books, gift certificates and more!).
So RSVP today and then come back on 10/25 at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern for the party.
Don't miss the fun ... and tell your friends.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.  My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.