Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the Year 2009

Hello friends!!! Another year gone, and no I'm not getting any older... lol. I have been keeping my age while reading. Here is what I read in 2009. (Keep in mind my blog started in August.)

Ones in Italic, not a fan.
Ones in bold, fan.
Ones untouched, on-the-fence.

1. The Servant of the Bones - Anne Rice
2. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - Joshilyn Jackson
3. Julie & Julia - Julie Powell (Also saw film)
4. Tea Time For The Traditionally Built - Alexander McCall Smith
5. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tougher People - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Amy Newmark
6. The Society of S - Susan Hubbard
7. The Year of Disappearances by Susan Hubbard
8. Knockout Entrepreneur - George Foreman with Ken Abraham
9. My Name is Will - Jess Winfield
10. Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook
11. Twenties Girl - Sophie Kinsella
12. Mistress to the Merciless Millionaire - Abby Green
13. Afraid - Jack Kilborn
14. Murder in the Magicks Club - Byron A. Lorrier Esq.
15. When Everything Changed The Journey of American Women From 1960-present - Gail Collins
16. A New Earth: Awakening Life's Purpose - Eckhart Tolle
17. One Scream Away by Kate Brady
18. Locked In - Marcia Muller
19. MBA in a Book: Fundamental Principles of Business, Sales and Leadership - Leslie Pockell and Adrienne Avila
20. Take Your Best Shot - Austin Gutwein, (Founder of Hoops for Hope) and Todd Hillard
21. The Sugarless Plum - Zippora Karz
22. A Climate For Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions
23. A Flower Blooms On Charlotte Street - Milam McGraw Propst
24. Can God Be Trusted? Finding Faith in Troubled Times - Thomas D. Williams
25. Children Of Dust - Ali Eteraz
26. Simon's Cat - Simon Tofield
27. Chris Dreams Big - Chris Dudley & Chris Love-Dudley
28. Ociee On Her Own - Milam McGraw Propst
29. The Further Adventures of Ociee Nash - Milam McGraw Propst
30. Musical Chairs - Jen Knox
31. The Guilt Gene, Poems - Diana Raab
32. Looking For Closure: The Theresa Ferrara Story - Maria Stewart
33. Tamed by a Laird - Amanda Scott
34. Embrace the Struggle, Living Life on Life's Terms - Zig Ziglar & Julie Ziglar-Norman
35. On The Line - Serena Williams with Daniel Paisner
36. A Christmas Carol Special Edition - Charles Dickns & Stephen Skelton
37. Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, Volume 1 - Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore
38. Decoding The Lost Symbol - Simon Cox
39. Life After 187 - Wade J. Halverson
40. Death Of A Valentine - M.C. Beaton
41. Call Me Sonya Grey - Sonya Tupone Lloyd
42. 7: The Number for Happiness, Love and Success - Jacqueline Leo
43. Chocolate: A Love Story 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection - Max Brenner
44. How to Score - Robin Wells
45. Camp Club Girls: Mystery At Discovery Lake - Ranae Brumbaugh
46. Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World - Ed & Deb Shapiro
47. Your Astrology Guide 2010 - Rick Levine & Jeff Jawer
48. Wrapped In Pleasure - Brenda Jackson
49. The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul of Friendship - Sarah Zacharias Davis
50. Gifts of the Heart - Karen Boes Oman
51. Corduroy Mansions: The Dog Who Came In From The Cold - Alexander McCall Smith
52. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters - Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters
53. Strictly Sundays - Joe Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giveaway: Corked By Kathryn Borel


About Book:
Meet Kathryn Borel, bon vivant and undutiful daughter. Now meet her father, Philippe, former chef, eccentric genius, and wine aficionado extraordinaire. Kathryn is like her father in every way but one: she's totally ignorant when it comes to wine. And although Philippe has devoted untold parenting hours to delivering impassioned oenological orations, she has managed to remain unenlightened. But after an accident and a death, Kathryn realizes that by shutting herself off to her father's greatest passion, she will never really know him.


GIVEAWAY:

THANKS TO ANNA & Hachette Book Group, I HAVE
5 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to US (SORRY EVERYONE)
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES


All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends January 15 (2010), 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Best of luck!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Strictly Sundays by Joe Fitzpatrick



Book Description:
Strictly Sundays is a special occasion cookbook designed for and by a family chef. Joe Fitzpatrick has been working wonders in the kitchen and on the grill for decades – now you can too. Serve real food that fills the belly, satisfies the soul and wins the day. Any day. Not just Sunday.

For more information visit the book website: http://strictlysundays.com/

About Author:
JOE FITZPATRICK is the only real estate agent who also holds membership in the Washington Trucking Association. Trying unique combinations, whether at work or in the kitchen, comes naturally to Joe with wondrous results. He has tested his culinary skills on the world’s toughest critics--his family. Still they beg for more! Joe continues to cook on Sundays for his high school sweetie, Vickie, married 32 years, their three children, and their two grandchildren. He has lived all his life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, loves golf, but has greater success puttering in the kitchen.

©2009

My Take on the Book:
I love this cookbook!! I made the cabbage rolls, and they were a hit! Mind you they were a lot of work to make. I still say grab a copy of this book and make some for your family today!

Cabbage Rolls - page 32

The sauce.

The filling.

Soften the cabbage.

In the pan, sauced and ready to bake.

Cabbage rolls complete.

~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Teaser Tuesday



Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:

Monte was a terrifying sight, his shirt and pants blooded from Flora's injuries. And after trotting eleven miles in two hours in that blazing mid-afternoon, he was red-faced, exhausted, and sweat-soaked.

~Page 58, The Cost of Dreams by Gary Stelzer

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lucifer Rising by Barbara Fifield



Full Description:
When ace reporter Elsa Eldridge is assigned to profile a local religious cult leader named Tyrell, she doesn't expect to fall under his spell. But Tyrell's charismatic personality, muscled body and piercing gaze make him hard to resist, and soon Elsa is enamored. But all isn't what it seems. And what Elsa doesn't know could make her regret the day she ever laid eyes on this spiritual seducer. Before long, cracks show in Tyrell's glossy veneer. There's the intense possessiveness that threatens to burst into violence; the not-even-trying-to-hide-it womanizing; and the rumors about his private life. Lawsuits from former lovers dog him; an ex claims he committed the ultimate sin. But through it all, Elsa is drawn as if by some mystical force into his world. Every time she succeeds in breaking away, he brings her back into his snare. Can Elsa find the strength and courage to stand up to the man she lusts after? What's the truth behind the whispered allegations? And what explains the bizarre sensations Elsa has that Tyrell is visiting her when he's not around? Savvy, sexy and spiritually aware, Lucifer Rising mixes romance with paranormal intrigue for a thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the very last page.

©2009

About Author:
Barbara Fifield is a retired social worker and journalist who has published widely in newspapers and literary journals. She is the author of Photographs and Memories, published in 2009. A member of several writing groups including Tomoka Poets and the Ormond Beach Writers' League (OWLS), Fifield lives in Port Orange, Florida. She is at work on a collection of poetry spanning the last quarter century.


My Take On The Selection:
Though at times using sensitive topics, I rather enjoyed this book. I think we all can connect somehow to the characters in the story, whether personally or someone we know. In the end, I am feeling good that I read it. The only downside for me, was its length. It was not very long at all, and I think the story could have gone on. I hope the next tale Barbara brings is a little longer.
An entertaining book for the most part, and making it onto my recommendation list.


~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Giveaway: Points of Power by Yolanda Adams


About Book:
Over five million listeners tune in to hear Yolanda Adams's Points of Power, a segment in her daily radio show that inspires people by applying biblical truths to present-day realities. In her first book, Yolanda Adams transfers that winning segment into a reader's delight. In this highly accessible manual for daily living, she shares stories from her and others's personal experiences, showing readers how to access God's love and grace in their modern world and troubles. By revealing how Yolanda and other human beings have transcended the world's difficulties, POINTS OF POWER empowers readers to face trouble with confidence in the God who never fails.

http://theyolandaadamsmorningshow.com/


GIVEAWAY:

THANKS TO VALERIE & HATCHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE
5 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES


All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends January 13 (2010), 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Best of luck!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters


Full Description:
From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities.
As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon.
Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen's biting social commentary with ultra-violent depictions of sea monsters biting. It's survival of the fittest -- and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!


©2009

About Author:
Jane Austen, coauthor of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, is coauthor of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which has been translated into 17 languages and optioned to become a major motion picture. She died in 1817.
Ben H. Winters, coauthor of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, is a writer based in Brooklyn.
For more information: http://www.benhwinters.com/


My Take On The Selection:
There was romance in this story, and then there was science fiction. For me, it was a strange and unpleasant combination. It took me forever to push myself through this book, but I have to admit, it wasn't all bad. it just wasn't my cup of tea. Just an example of the ridiculous nature of this book, in the reading guide in the back, one of the questions is;
"Have you ever been romantically involved with someone who turned out to be a sea witch?"
Um, who would actually answer yes to that?
Maybe there is some people who will really love this tale, I'm sure there is somewhere. They'd have to love romance/sci-fi/strange, that's all. Not on my recommendation list though. Sorry.


~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Friday, December 25, 2009

Giveaway: Hearing From God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer


About Book:
In the hustle and bustle of today's busy world, sometimes it's hard enough to hear yourself think, much less take a minute to stop and listen for the voice of God. But learning to recognize God's voice and the many ways in which He speaks is vital for following His plan. This devotional; drawing from How to Hear From God, Knowing God Intimately, and The Power Of Simple Prayer shows the reader through a daily reminder, how God speaks through their own thoughts and feelings, their dreams, and the words of other people.
For more information: www.joycemeyer.org/heargod.htm




GIVEAWAY:


THANKS TO VALERIE & HATCHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE
5 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES


All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends January 11 (2010), 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Best of luck!!!!

12 Pearls of Christmas Celebrate

What Really Matters
by Dawn Meehan

In the hustle and bustle and commercialism of Christmas, take time to remember the real reason why we celebrate - the birth of Christ, our Lord and Saviour. May you all have a blessed Christmas!

I had a VERY long day with the kids doing little but fighting. By the time we left for church, we were all short tempered, snapping at each other, and not at all in the Christmas spirit. Thankfully, once at church, we calmed down. Things were put in perspective for us. We sang Christmas songs and began to smile at one another again. The kids didn't fight once while we were there. Well, they did use their battery operated candles as light sabers for a minute, but we'll forget about that part.

I never sent out cards (sorry to all my family and friends). It just didn't happen this year. I don't think I ever completely finished my shopping, but it's a little late now. Several items I ordered online have been back ordered. I just realized that the kids have eaten all the cookies I've made and there are none to put out for Santa now. I encouraged them to leave him a glass of wine instead. And I failed to read the Christmas story to the kids before they went to bed.

But you know what? None of that matters. It really doesn't. Christmas is here! Christ is born! And He doesn't care if we sent out Christmas cards. He doesn't care if we ate all the cookies we baked. He doesn't even care if we never got around to baking a single cookie at all! He loves us no matter how much we screw up.

Now that's worth celebrating!

_____________________________


Dawn Meehan (aka mom2my6pack) grew up in Chicagoland where she began her writing career at the age of 5 with her widely praised, The Lucky Leprechaun, an epic tale of a leprechaun who is- yes, you guessed it, lucky.

Dawn has six children, basically because she didn't want seven. She is the author of Because I Said So and spends her days blogging at BecauseISaidSo.com, changing diapers, cleaning pudding off her ceiling, tackling insurmountable piles of laundry, and explaining to her kids why they can't have a pet squirrel or an indoor slip-n-slide.


__________________________________


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Friday 56



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Page 56, Sentence 5:

She was never too smart.

12 Pearls of Christmas Slow Down, Pray & Give Thanks

All Decked Out For Christmas
by Maureen Lang

One of the reasons so many of us love the holiday season is that it's just so...pretty! Twinkling lights, shiny ornaments, packages that glisten with bows and fancy wrapping. Our houses are trimmed with wreaths and glowing trees, and the neighborhood lights up the night with strands of icicles and glimmering reindeer.

Even we get decked out for the holidays! Chances are most of us will attend at least one party this season, and if we don't usually don clothing or jewelry with a bit of sparkle, now's the time to take a chance with something that reflects the holiday.

Smiles are another reason this season is such a popular one. They accompany that familiar greeting-Merry Christmas! Smiles go with the gifts we give and with the gifts we receive. Smiles go with the old Christmas carols and classic movies we watch every year.

The holiday season is a time when everything can seem amplified. But what if we're all decked out on the outside, from the sparkling clothing to our best effort at a smile, and on the inside we're anything but happy? If life isn't what we expected it to be, the gap between reality and our happy, hopeful expectations seem wider when everyone around us is laughing through the season.

I know there are as many reasons to be unhappy as there are to be happy, and I wouldn't begin to have the answer to make this season bearable for everyone. But I do know a few things that have worked for me:

Slow down. What? During the busiest time of the year? Yep. I know when I feel completely overwhelmed it's because I'm pressuring myself to do too much. So I try to plan ahead, settle for less than perfection, do my best without driving myself and everyone around me crazy. Choose what's really important and let go of the other things. And I've adopted my aunt's favorite saying: "However it turns out, that's how we like it." Works wonders on attitude!

Pray. As my pastor reminded me this weekend from Psalm 34:18: the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. God may not deliver us from our troubles, but He promises to stay beside us-in fact, closer than when everything seems hunky-dory.

Find a moment to give thanks for what you do have (without looking around at those who have more).

This last point deserves a moment of reflection, and is something I'm still learning to do. I have a child severely handicapped by Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic form of mental retardation. For years I thought I'd accepted his condition. I obediently said to God, "thank you even for this," since it taught me many things about adjusting to the life I've been given rather than the one I might have chosen.

But as my son gets older, I see new forms of acceptance making that feeling of gratitude more genuine. I think I'm finally letting go of some of the hopes and dreams I had for him, my oldest son. I can no longer imagine him any other way than the way he is, even though I'd be first in line if a cure is ever found.

I still think it's a good thing to give thanks in all things, even if it begins out of obedience rather than tender gratitude for whatever thorn we live with. But realizing it's okay to grow into that gratitude was a blessing to me.

Maybe some of the bruises on our spirit seem tender during the holiday season, a reminder that all the glitter on the outside might not light us up on the inside. My prayer is trust Psalm 34:18. Let's lean on Him this season-He's right here beside us!
______________________________


Maureen Lang grew up loving to tell stories, and God has blessed her immeasurably to be able to tell them to a wider audience these days. For the latest goings-on, please check her blog!

__________________________________


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gifts of the Heart by Karen Boes Oman



Full Description:
When a terrible storm whisks Grandpa and Grandma off the road on Christmas Eve, it scatters their grandchildren’s presents all across Mother Goose Land. Their search for the lost gifts leaves them empty-handed but with hearts overflowing with love. But what will Grandpa and Grandma tell their grandkids when they arrive without presents?
A knock on the door leads grandparents and grandchildren on an exciting Christmas adventure, a night filled with music, magic, and the best gifts of all—gifts of the heart. Featuring lush illustrations by painter Marilyn Brown, Gifts of the Heart brings generations together around a timeless message of love and generosity.


©2009

About Author:
To learn more about Karen Boes Oman and to preview the book, visit her website: http://www.timetobreathe.com


My Take On The Selection:
Besides being a truly beautiful illustration of Christmas, the author has created a book that every child would enjoy, and parents too. It's a poem and yet a story, entwining some of our own favorite nursery rhyme characters. Definitely a book to read with your children during this festive season. On my kiddo recommendation list for sure!


~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

12 Pearls of Christmas Wondrous Mystery

Magnificat
by Anna Joujan

Holy. Holy. Holy is the Lord. The familiar catch of breath. The sting in the eyes. And the tears begin to flow with the falling rain. Or do the tears fall with the flowing rain. What is it in these words that I whisper that wrenches at my heart so? Why does Mary's prayer touch the core of my being, so many centuries after it was spoken?

I think it must be because I know that she was just a girl, just a human being, with a woman's heart like my own. And so, when I hear her wondering words, I can feel with her the emotion she must have felt. To bear the son of God-what wondrous mystery, what glorious honour! And she was, like me, just a young woman-much younger, in fact, than I am now. And so, no matter how often I hear the story and read her words, it still has the power to bring abrupt and unsought tears.

What a gracious God, to work wonders with such frail and faulty creatures as us!
__________________________________________

Anna G. Joujan was born in South Dakota, as a Canadian citizen, and was raised in Zambia, the child of missionary teachers. Since her family's move to the U.S., Anna spent her childhood and early adulthood traveling throughout the world thanks to various educational and work opportunities . . . France, China, Peru, and Jamaica being some of the stops in her journeys. Her undergraduate degree in French Literature led to a Masters in Information Sciences, and to work as a college and high school librarian, and a cross country coach. She has also returned to Zambia multiple times to teach for individual families and for local schools. All the while continuing pursuing her passions of writing, artwork, photography . . . and running to a fault. She blogs at Full of Grace.

__________________________________


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul of Friendship by Sarah Zacharias Davis


Full Description:
During a particularly painful time in her life, Sarah Zacharias Davis learned how delightful–and wounding–women can be in friendship. She saw how some friendships end badly, others die slow deaths, and how a chance acquaintance can become that enduring friend you need.
The Friends We Keep is Sarah’s thoughtful account of her own story and the stories of other women about navigating friendship. Her revealing discoveries tackle the questions every woman asks:
• Why do we long so for women friends?
• Do we need friends like we need air or food or water?
• What causes cattiness, competition, and co-dependency in too many friendships?
• Why do some friendships last forever and others only a season?
• How do I foster friendship?
• When is it time to let a friend go, and how do I do so?
With heartfelt, intelligent writing, Sarah explores these questions and more with personal stories, cultural references and history, faith, and grace. In the process, she delivers wisdom for navigating the challenges, mysteries, and delights of friendship: why we need friendships with other women, what it means to be safe in relationship, and how to embrace what a friend has to offer, whether meager or generous.

©2009

About Author:
Sarah Zacharias Davis is an senior advancement officer at Pepperdine University, having joined the university after working as vice president of marketing and development for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and in strategic marketing for CNN. The daughter of best-selling writer Ravi Zacharias, Davis is the author of the critically-acclaimed Confessions from an Honest Wife and Transparent: Getting Honest About Who We are and Who We Want to Be. She graduated from Covenant College with a degree in education and lives in Los Angeles, California.


My Take On The Selection:
In all actuality, when I first saw this book I didn't take it seriously. I tell you, by the end of, I really agreed with the author on many levels, and felt connected to the book. I learned quite a bit about my own relationships and friendships, and why us women do some of the things we do. This book opened my eyes, to try to be a better friend to everyone. Even the people with whom I'd rather not.
A very inspiring book, but only if you are female. I just don't think the men in the world would really get this book. It would probably leave them shaking their heads. Plus do we really want all our secrets getting out?! I think not.
I liked the way the book was written, and the format to which it was given. It was a very good book through and through. Another smash for my recommendation list!


~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Wrapped In Pleasure by Brenda Jackson



Full Description:
A classic and an original Westmoreland story from New York Times Bestseller BRENDA JACKSON. Delaney’s Desert Sheikh When a mix-up forces Delaney Westmoreland to share her vacation cabin with irresistible sheikh Jamal Ari Yassir, they both get an unexpected lesson in passion. Seduced by a Stranger Johari Yassir wants adventure—not marriage to a stranger in her homeland. Handsome stranger Rasheed Valdemon offers her a whirlwind romance. What will happen when she realizes she’s been seduced by her husband-to-be?


©2010 Publication date: 01/01/2010

About Author:
Brenda Jackson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She is married thirty-seven years to her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon.
She is a member of the First Coast Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She began my writing career in the eighth grade at Northwestern Junior High School. She began her professional writing career began in 1994 when she signed on with Kensington Arabesque. Her first book, Tonight and Forever, became a huge success. Since then she has introduced the Bennetts, the Westmorelands, the Savoys, and the Steeles. A listing of my books can be found on her website; http://www.brendajackson.net/


My Take On The Selection:
What a hot story! There was no lack of romance in this book. It was so hot, I felt my own temperature rising. The characters were fun, and I enjoyed the bringing together of two cultures. There were so many good points to this book, and am happy that I am continuing with the next in the series, Seduced by a Stranger.
A very entertaining read, for any romance lover out there!! Definitely on my recommendation list!


~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Giveaway: Who Owns The World by Kevin Cahill & Rob McMahon


About Book:
You don't have to be a student of geography or cartography to have an interest in the world around you, especially with globalization making our planet seem smaller than ever. Now you can IM someone in Alaska, purchase coffee beans from Timor-Leste, and visit Dubai. But what do we really know about these lands? WHO OWNS THE WORLD presents the results of the first-ever landownership survey of all 197 states and 66 territories of the world, and reveals facts both startling and eye-opening. You'll learn that:
--Only 15% of the world's population lays claim to landownership, and that landownership in too few hands is probably the single greatest cause of poverty.
--Queen Elizabeth II owns 1/6 of the entire land surface on earth (nearly 3 times the size of the U.S.).
--The Lichtenstein royal family is wealthier than the Grimaldis of Monaco.
--80% of the American population is crammed in urban areas.
--The least crowded state is Alaska, with 670 acres per person. The most crowded is New Jersey, with .7 acres per person. --60% of America's population are property owners. That's behind the UK (69% homeownership).
--And much, much more! With its relevance to contemporary issues and culture, WHO OWNS THE WORLD makes for fascinating reading. Both entertaining and educational, it provides cocktail party conversation for years to come and is guaranteed to change the way you view the U.S. and the world.
Website: http://WhoOwnsTheWorld.com




GIVEAWAY:

THANKS TO VALERIE & HATCHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE
5 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends January 8 (2010), 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)



Best of luck!!!!

12 Pearls of Christmas Perspective

A Soggy, Jolly, Holly Christmas
by Melody Carlson

One of my most memorable Christmases started out as a natural disaster. But isn't that a bit how a pearl is formed? An oyster's soft easy life is disrupted by the invasion of sand, but something good comes out of it. When I was eight, we experienced the worst flood in recorded Oregon history. It was only a few days before Christmas when our streets became shallow rivers and the governor proclaimed a state of emergency. My sister and I assumed the flood was simply our new water-world playground and didn't understand the seriousness of washed out bridges and downed power lines and submerged homes. But when we realized this flood was about to nix our usual three-hour trek to our grandparents' home near the coast, we were not happy.

Naturally, our mom, a single parent, protested the sensibility of holiday travel (most of Oregon's rivers were involved in the flood). But Christmas at Grandma's house was our favorite event of the year. And thanks to our persistence, Mom finally gave in. We piled into the car and headed out. Flood waters climbed higher the closer we got to the coast. And at one point the road behind us was closed and the one ahead was flooded and about to be closed as well. The state policeman told us we could cross "at our own risk." We followed a Volkswagen Bug into the water-then we actually watched the bug floating away! Of course, there was nothing to do besides plow on through the water, which appeared to be nearly two feet deep! Fortunately we had an old heavy Chevy that did not float away, but the water seeped in and pooled on the floors.

Fortunately, we made it safely to the grandparents. But once we arrived, we learned there would be no Christmas tree because the road to the woods was closed. Then my grandpa picked up his ax and led us outside where he chopped down his prize holly tree planted in the parking strip. I stared in horror, thinking Grandma was going to have a fit. But then he explained the city had told him to remove the tree for traffic visibility. So we had a twelve foot holly tree for Christmas. It was a little prickly decorating it, but with its shiny green leaves and red berries, it was the most beautiful tree ever! So what started out as a disaster turned out to be a soggy, holly, jolly Christmas after all.

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Melody Carlson, author of Limelight, Love Finds You in Sisters, The Christmas Dog, 86 Bloomberg Place, Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Carter House Girls, and much more... http://www.melodycarlson.com

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A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday



Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/?s=Teaser+Tuesdays

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!


My Teaser:

Without time to contemplate the bitter coldness now swiftly stealing over her body, or how far she ventured from the antechamber that led back into the Sub-Station and precious oxygen, or to note the horrified expressions on the faces of both Mrs. Jennings and Miss Steele, Elinor grasped the sea scorpion with both hands, crushing its carapace between her protective gloves, tugging mightily to dislodge it. Still the thing clung, its claws firmly embedded in her neck.

~ Page 233, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters

Completed: Fall Into Reading Challenge



Sponsor site: http://callapidderdays.com

Original post: http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/09/fall-into-reading-challenge.html

First book finished; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-name-is-will-by-jess-winfield.html
My Name Is Will by Jess Winfield



Second book finished; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/10/twenties-girl-by-sophie-kinsella.html
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella



Third book finished; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/10/afraid-by-jack-kilborn.html
Afraid by Jack Kilborn



Fourth book finished; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/10/one-scream-away-by-kate-brady.html
One Scream Away by Kate Brady



Fifth book finished; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/11/tamed-by-laird-by-amanda-scott.html
Tamed By A Laird by Amanda Scott



The last book finished; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-score-by-robin-wells.html
How To Score by Robin Wells



This was a lot of fun. I think I will do it again next season if the challenge continues!
I'd have to say Afraid by Jack Kilborn was my favorite of them all. Though I really did like them all. I gave some bad reviews, but not to any of these challenge books. I would recommend them all.

Chill Baby Chill Challenge Starts Today!


This will be the first Reader's Challenge I sign up to. Maybe you'd like to join along?? It is hosted by http://mybookdragon.blogspot.com/
Rules:
1. Comment there with a link to your POST about the challenge -They'll get a participant list going.
2. read at least six books
3. comment with links to your reviews (if you review) at mybookdragon.
4. Just relax - read whatever you'd like or use this time to catch up on challenge books.
5. Do a wrap-up post at the end of March
6. Comment back there with your wrap-up link

My six:
1. Lucifer Rising by Barbara Fifield
Review: http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/12/full-description-when-ace-reporter-elsa.html
2. Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/beautiful-mess-story-of-diamond-rio.html
3. A Good Talk by Daniel Menaker http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/good-talk-daniel-menaker.html
4. The Basic Book of Digital Photography by Tom Grimm & Michelle Grimm http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/basic-book-of-digital-photography-tom.html
5. Rock 'N' Roll Confessions by Helena Danyluk http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-n-roll-confessions-book-1-helena.html
6. Topless Prophet by Alan Markovitz http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/topless-prophet-alan-markovitz.html

12 Pearls of Christmas Help & Support

Calling Elizabeth ... HELP!
by Tricia Goyer

Mary, the mother of Jesus is one of the most well-known women of all time. She was also a teen mom facing an unplanned pregnancy. This Christmas we will see evidence of Mary's story all around us. And as you hear it through Christmas songs and Christmas shows think of three things:

1. Mary was signed up for a big task she wasn't prepared for.
2. Mary no doubt faced criticism from people around her.
3. Mary found someone to turn to - a friend who could help Mary to succeed in her new role. It was Mary's older cousin Elizabeth.

Elizabeth played an important part in Mary's life. We know this because the book of Luke begins by telling us Elizabeth's story first. Elizabeth was the wife of a priest. She was very old and had no children, but God blessed her in her old age by allowing her to get pregnant. After Elizabeth's story comes Mary's story ... another surprise pregnancy. Can you imagine what a shock that was to everyone who knew both women? (Yes! I'm sure you can!)

The cool thing is that the angel Gabriel told Mary about Elizabeth's surprise pregnancy. It's as if he was saying, "Look, there's someone in your same situation. Turn to her. She can help you."

Mary did go to Elizabeth. In fact she lived with her older cousin for three months. Elizabeth was the first one who rejoiced over the child Mary held within her womb, and I imagine Elizabeth was there to encourage Mary as she coped with the idea of becoming a teen mom.

Like Mary, each of us should have people in our lives who we turn to for help, support and encouragement. Being a mom isn't an easy thing, and facing an unplanned pregnancy is even tougher.

When I had my son Cory I was 17-years-old, and there were a group of women from my grandma's church who supported me. They were the first ones who showed me that the child that was growing inside me was a gift. They gave me a baby shower, and they fought over holding my son after he was born.

As my son grew, there were other women I looked to ... and most of the time they didn't even know I was watching. One of them was Cheryl. Cheryl was patient with her children, she gave them big hugs, she laughed with them and played with them and I modeled myself after her. The thing about finding mentors is sometimes we can observe them without them even knowing. And if we're really lucky they enjoy their role of giving us advice.

Later, when I had two kids, I met a friend named Cindy. She and I were the same age and we became quick friends. Cindy was a support to me because we traded babysitting, talked about parenting problems, and we encouraged each other. She was someone who was walking the same road as me, and her advice helped more times than I can count.

No matter who we are, or where we live, each of us can look around and see the people we have in our lives. Some may cheer us on, some may guide our parenting, and others may just be there to walk along side us. If the mother of Jesus needed someone to look to for support ... shouldn't we? Everyone needs someone to provide a little help and support.

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Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-one books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. 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 Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana. Connect with Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.

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A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Sunday, December 20, 2009

12 Pearls of Christmas God Intervenes

The Answer
by Susan May Warren

Whos, Here, we are Whos here, smaller than the eye can see. Whos here, we are Whos here, I'm a Who and so is she...

I've always wanted to live in a musical. When I was a kid, I loved Oklahoma, Sound of Music, West Side Story. I seriously thought that, if the moment was right, maybe the stars aligned, people would break out into song and dance.

I was sorta right. Because in my house, one needs to be able to talk in movie lines and song lyrics to effectively communicate. At any moment, someone might break out with a quip from the Princess Bride, or Finding Nemo. They might sing Tomorrow from Annie, or My Favorite Things like Julie Andrews.

But, most recently we've found ourselves speaking in "Suess"...

It's suppertime, son, and the time is near To call far and wide the sneetches who hear Just the sound of their bellies, the whir of their gear The Gurgles and Burbles that give them great fear Tell them all, tell them loud, tell them clear Their hands they should wash, check their face in the mirror Because the food is now ready and it's time to steer Close to the table, where they'll find hot gribbles here.

Why, you ask? Because David and Sarah are performing in the community theater's production of Suessical the Musical, a hilarious conglomeration of Dr. Suess' fun work, from Horton hears a Who to Horton Hatches an Egg.

As the Christmas season draws close (and the songs from the play linger in my head), one line has stood out to me... "We are here, we are here!" You know the story - that part where, after everyone has called Horton names and they're about ready to boil the speck that contains Who-ville, Horton calls out to the Whos to send up a cry to prove themselves as real. "We are here, we are here!"

It strikes me that sometimes we can feel like Whos...smaller than the eye can see. Tossed hither and yon by the wind, helpless and facing being boiled. Tired, perhaps, or alone. Wishing someone might find us and pay attention.

Someone has, and that's the good news about Christmas. Because we don't have to "make ourselves heard," like the Whos. In fact, even before we realized we were headed for the cauldron, God intervened. God demonstrated his own love for us in this - while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8). That's what Jesus is all about - he's the answer to even the unspoken cry of our hearts, saying, "I am here, I am here." Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

So as this season approaches with its whistles and bells I hope you hear the voice where the Mighty One dwells -- down deep in your hearts, so nothing can shake the knowledge of his love, given all for your sake.

Merry Christmas from Susie May Warren

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Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of twenty-one novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota. www.susanmaywarren.com Check out her Christmas Novella, The Great Christmas Bowl.

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A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Stella & Dot

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