Glad you're here. You'll find reviews of various products....books, dvd's, music, and who knows what else you might find with a review! There will be an occasional interview and maybe even a few giveaways! Enjoy your time here and find yourself a treasure or two!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our latest 2 winners:

First: The winner of "Faith's Reward" is......Virginia!

Second:  The winner of "A Path Less Traveled" is.....Rosemary Travis!

Congratulations to you both!! Thanks to all who stopped by and entered!
Merry Christmas and many blessings,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review and e-book giveaway of "Orphaned Hearts" by Shawna K. Williams

Get ready to fall in love! Ms. Williams characters will grip your heart and you’ll find yourself wanting to do anything you can to help.


David Langley is a minister who is especially drawn to orphaned children. He himself is an orphan, having lost his parents and a sister in a fire when he was 2 years old. David was left with horrible burns, now scars, from this fire. He hasn’t let anyone see them because he’s afraid of what people might say or think.

Sadie Miller has just recently lost her father. Her mother died years before. After the death of her mother, she devoted her time to taking care of her father. Sadie didn’t get out and didn’t have friends over. Her “social” circle was home and church. It’s pretty apparent that she has her eyes on Pastor Langley. She loves baking him cookies, pies, etc.

I really enjoy Shawna’s writing! She has the ability to take you right to the time periods, and the towns she writes about. Her characters are so real! I feel like I know them. Little Caleb is an orphan, with a physical disability, that was supposed to be adopted by a local family in Brady Hill. But shortly before he was due in town, the family changed their minds. The Sheldon’s found out they were expecting their own baby and didn’t feel they could take care of a little boy during Mrs. Sheldon’s pregnancy. I just wanted to reach into the book and pull Caleb out and take him home!

Sadie is asked if she can take care of Caleb until David can find a home for him. Of course she falls in love with little Caleb and wants him for her own. What will the orphanage have to say about a single lady taking charge of a child? Can Sadie and David overcome the barriers that keep them from opening up and loving? I’ve given “Orphaned Hearts” 5 stars! It deserves every one of them!
Please leave a comment, with your email address, for a chance to win Shawna's awesome e-book! No email, no entry! She will also include a special handcrafted jewelry item for the winner to enjoy!





Monday, December 6, 2010

Review and giveaway of, "A Path Less Traveled" by Cathy Bryant

Another brilliant story by author Cathy Bryant! She writes about God's love and forgiveness in such an awesome way! It was so good to re-connect with friends from “Texas Roads”. Yes, “A Path Less Traveled” is the second in the Millers Creek series but you can enjoy it even if you haven’t read the first one. (but I would highly suggest you read “Texas Roads” because it is an awesome story, too!)




Here’s the back of the book blurb:

Trish James is tired of being rescued. When a spooked horse claims her husband’s life, she’s determined to blaze a path for herself and her traumatized son without outside help. But will that mean leaving the place etched on her heart?



Andy Tyler has had to struggle for everything, and starting a new law practice in Miller’s Creek, Texas is no different. Though prepared for business challenges, he’s not prepared to fall in love…especially with yet another woman who will probably abandon him for her career.



Trish is a an interior designer who is doing the decorating for her brother’s wedding. Having lost her husband less than a year before, she is just not as excited as she would be if the situation had been different.



Andy is back in Miller’s Creek for the wedding of his dear friend, Dani. Trish remembers seeing him around town during the renovation of Miller’s Creek last year, although they never met. He and Trish are formally introduced as Trish is decorating for her brother’s wedding. Let’s just say Andy makes a “smashing” impression on Trish.



I really enjoy Cathy’s style of writing. It’s like you are picked up and dropped into this small town in Texas. You are there, walking the streets and meeting the people of this awesome little town. You can smell the tantalizing smells coming from Mama Beth’s kitchen, or the Tex-Mex cafĂ©, Soldano’s. Cathy’s characters are so true to life! My favorite is still Mama Beth. She is just so full of Godly advice and wisdom. I see my mamaw when I picture Mama Beth.



Cathy has written another 5 star story in “A Path Less Traveled”. I am eagerly awaiting the 3rd in the Miller’s Creek series!
 
If you would like a chance to win a copy of this really awesome book, leave a comment with your email address. No email address, no entry!
Good luck and God bless!!
 

       

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And the winner is.....

Barb Shelton....you are the winner of "Where Love Once Lived"!!
I apologize for it taking so long to announce! Can you say BUSY?
Congratulations, Barb! I'll be in touch with you shortly.
Thanks to all who commented.
God bless!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FIRST Wild Card Tour

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Faith’s Reward (Book 3 of the Sierra Chronicles)

Whitaker House (January 4, 2011)

***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling of Whitaker House for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tammy Barley’s roots run deep and wide across the United States. With Cherokee heritage and such ancestors as James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau, she inherited her literary vocation and her preferred setting: the American Wild West. Besides her recent three-book Sierra Chronicles for Whitaker House, she’s published two series of devotionals for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society. A homeschooling mother to three teens, Tammy’s speaking engagements often become living history lessons with the Barleys dressed in Civil War-era attire, demonstrating 19th century needlework and leather crafts. Barley is a professional editor, ghostwriter, and frequent contributor to fiction publications. She’s developed a strong fan base among lovers of the Christian western genre not only through her books, but also through her Lassos -N- Lace Newsletter and blog.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (January 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603741100
ISBN-13: 978-1603741101

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


January 1865

Honey Lake Valley, Northern California



“Jake?”

Jessica Bennett jolted upright in bed, her hand trembling as it searched the cold sheets in the darkness beside her. Her fingers brushed Jake’s equally cold pillow, then the soft fur of the cat that huddled on it, the only trace of warmth in the place where her husband had gone to sleep beside her. “Jake?”

Wind rattled the windowpane with nearly enough force to crack it. The wintry cold had seeped through the glass and turned the bedroom to ice. Jess hugged her flannel nightgown firmly to her and sat still and alert, straining to hear over the storm for any indication of movement in the house, either upstairs or down. She heard no thud of boot heels on the plank floor, no jingle of spurs to suggest any presence inside the house but hers.

Judging by the thick darkness, dawn was still hours away. Though she and Jake had worked until sometime after midnight, until they were both exhausted, he must have rested in bed until she had fallen asleep, but no longer than that. Once he had been certain she and the baby within her were at rest, he must have gone back to work and joined the next shift of cattlemen who fought to keep their horses and cattle alive, digging them out of the snow and providing hay to stimulate their bodies’ heat.

The misty darkness abruptly grew darker, closing in around her.

Then, blackness.

An image flashed through her mind—she stood in boot-deep snow under a gray sky, a Henry rifle gripped in her hands. At her sides stood two of the cattlemen. More than a dozen Paiute Indian men stepped forward to stand alongside them. She recognized one Paiute who worked at the ranch. The others were strangers. Their faces revealed fear, and resolve. In front of her, perhaps five paces away, stood thirty or more renegade white men who, as one, reached their hands to their holsters, drew their guns, then took aim at Jess and the Indians. Jess cocked the Henry rifle, pressed the butt to her shoulder, and sighted down the barrel at the cold, glittering blue eyes of the man who aimed the bore of his revolver at her. Though fear burned like liquid fire beneath her skin, she firmed her grip, shifted her index finger from the rifle’s trigger guard to the curve of the metal trigger. And pulled.

An explosion rocked Jess, tearing her back to the present. Shaken, she waited for the effects of the premonition to ebb, and focused on palpable images as they came to her: Her pulse, pounding like rapid drumbeats just beneath her ears. Her breath, passing though her parted lips in deep gasps, drying her throat. She swallowed. A chill permeated her flannel nightgown. The scent of forest that clung to the pine log walls filled the bedroom. The storm…. A second explosion!—No, not an explosion. It was the windowpane, pounded by the wind. Something trickled down her temples, rolled onto her cheeks. Startled, she swiped at it with her fingers. Dampness. Sweat. Nothing more. Sweat misted her forehead as well. She dried it with her sleeve and forced her breathing to calm.

Jess felt beside her, then remembered. Jake was gone. He hadn’t gone to sleep the night before.

In one movement, she flung the covers aside and reached toward the end of the bed for the union suit she had purchased two months before, shortly after she’d realized she was expecting a child. Leaving her flannel nightgown and stockings on, she stuffed her feet into the woolen legs of the union suit then stood and buttoned it up to her neck, using her thumbs and fingertips to feel the buttonholes and shove the buttons through. Jess hurried to the pegs on the wall near the window and felt for one of Jake’s flannel shirts. Her hand brushed one, then a pair of his trousers. Frustrated with not being able to see, she grabbed both garments and flung them onto the bed then rounded it to Jake’s side, where she felt along the surface of the tall chest of drawers until her hands connected with the oil lantern they kept there and finally the matchbox. After three strikes, a flame flared to life, and she lit the lantern then replaced the chimney with a glass-on-metal clink.

Winter buffeted the window once again. Jess ignored it. Moments later, dressed and belted, she slid her feet into her cowboy boots, then stuffed the extra fourteen or fifteen inches of Jake’s pant legs into the boot tops. Just as rapidly, she plaited her hip-length brown hair and secured the bottom with a leather thong.

She grabbed up the lantern, threw open the bedroom door—the place where she first saw her tall, handsome Jake standing when she was brought to the ranch, she recalled with a sudden lightness in her heart—then hurried out onto the landing and down the stairs, her boots and the steps gilded by a wide ring of golden lantern light.

The fire in the hearth had burned down and gave off little heat. Jess set the lantern on the mantel and pulled her weighty sheepskin coat from its peg near the front door, then tugged it on, followed by her woolen hat, scarf, and gloves.

The premonition had shaken her more than the other few she’d experienced before it, but what truly unnerved her was the certainty that had woken her—something had happened to Jake.

Jess lifted the iron latch that served as a door handle. The front door blew in and struck her in the chest. Resisting the wind, she held tightly to the door as she stepped out onto the covered porch and pulled the door closed, straining against the force of the gales.

On the porch she huddled deeper into her coat, thankful it hung to her knees. Squinting against the wind, she scanned the ranch yard and glimpsed dots of orange that flickered ahead of her and to both sides, lit torches that were barely visible through the snowflakes being driven through the night and against her cheeks and chin. Most of the torches appeared to congregate near the smithy, ahead of her and to the left.

Jess descended the two porch steps and moved toward the smithy, leaning into the wind. Her nostrils stuck closed, and she was forced to breathe through her mouth. If Jake had walked in this direction and broken a path through the drifts, she was unable to distinguish his tracks in the blackness. Already her toes and fingers tingled in sharp pain as if rubbed by frost.

One of the orange torches blew out. A moment later, another torch relit it. The man who held the relit torch shifted the flame away from the others, toward the ground. Its fire burst to nearly thrice its size, then gradually settled back to its original mass. The men must be using kerosene to keep them lit. On the wind, the faint smell of smoke drifted to her.

She pushed on and lifted one booted foot after the other over the snow as she forced her straining muscles to move as quickly as she could make them go, feeling oddly off-balance due to her inability to see.

A torch broke away from the others and wended its way in her direction, no doubt carried by someone bringing hay for animals to eat so they could produce their own warmth. She and Jake had done the same, beginning late the previous afternoon, when the storm had given its first whispers of the violence to come, and continuing until midnight, scattering hay about the ranch’s main compound. But now the snows made foraging impossible. The men who gathered near the smithy must have found another way to protect the animals.

The light of the single torch grew brighter and nearer, and she altered her path to move toward it. Orange light revealed Taggart’s surprised round face as his eyes met hers, his hairy eyebrows, mustache, and beard frozen white with ice and snow.

Jess leaned close to his ear and shouted over the storm. “Have you seen Jake?”

“He’s tendin’ the fireplaces in the buildings!” he yelled back and jerked a wool-clad thumb over his beefy shoulder. His fingers held a coiled lasso. “He told the men to string a rope corral from the smithy to the cookhouse to the bunkhouse, and back to the smithy. We’re searchin’ for the beasts and bringin’ them over, hopin’ the heat from the buildings will keep the critters from freezing.”

“By ‘beasts’ do you mean the horses?”

Taggart shifted the torch, apparently in mild impatience to be under way. “No, the cattle.”

Jess’s eyes searched the darkness and found a distant square of light emanating from the cookhouse window. Jake must be warm near the fires, or at least he remained so while inside, between jaunts from one building to the next in the deathly cold. Still, she couldn’t throw off the conviction that something was horribly wrong. “What about the horses? Without them, we’ll lose the ranch!”

“Jess, there’s no time for explainin’, though the boss knows about the horses,” he assured her above the scream of the wind. “He ordered us to wrangle the horses to the barn and stable.”

Jess nodded and held a glove over her nose, wishing she had a way to warm her face.

“Ye should be sleepin’,” Taggart chastised her, “but since ye’re here, we need ye.” He took her arm and turned her to face the outskirts of the ranch. “We’re able to drive the horses—a couple of the boys are on horseback doin’ just that—but the cows are the problem. They turned their backsides to the wind and lowered their heads to stay warm, but the snow is coverin’ them, and their breath and body heat have turned the snow into a casing of ice around them. They’re suffocatin’. Come on!”

Within her, Jess’s stomach sank in dread. She kept up with Taggart, step for step. They wended their way east past the ranch house and toward the Paiute village in the same manner he had approached her, occasionally changing direction from left to right as they continued forward, searching for cattle trapped in ice.

“Ye see? There!” Taggart held out the torch and headed toward a large mound half buried in a drift. The beast moaned, a pathetic plea that was nearly swallowed by the howl of the storm.

Jess thought the cow was merely covered in snow, but as she neared and touched its side, her glove stuck to ice.

Taggart kicked low to break the ice, again, then again, until it gave way with a dull crunch. The cow, with its first full breath, gave a loud bawl.

Desperate to help, Jess rounded the animal and kicked from the other side. Her toes stung unbearably with each blow, so she turned her boot and kicked with her heel. The frozen casing gave way.

Taggart secured the lasso around the cow’s neck and rapidly pushed off the rest of the snow. “Can ye take her to the rope corral, Jess, then come find me again? With two of us working together, one can break the cows free and the other can lead them to the buildings.”

Immediately, Jess took the end of the lasso from him. “If you wander too far, I won’t be able to see your torch.”

“Ye will. The wind’s still a fury, but the snows are dyin’ down. See?”

Jess realized he was right, though she was still forced to squint. Thank You, God, that the snows are dying. “I’ll hurry back.”

She had to pull to encourage the cow to move, and had to keep pulling against its wont to stop and hunker down. At the rope corral, she exchanged brief nods with the ranchmen there, then lifted the looped end of a rope from an iron post to lead the cow through to join the others. Jake’s idea was working. The cow nosed its way into the warm press of livestock and lowered its head to eat from one of the bales of hay. Though she paused to scan the open spaces between the buildings for Jake, she didn’t see him.

For the next several hours until sunrise, Jess helped the men rescue cows mired belly-deep in the snow, pausing only to gulp hot coffee kept in constant supply by the ranch cook and her longtime friend, Ho Chen.

Gradually, the snow had slowed until it resembled falling dust, but it wasn’t until dawn, while she led yet another cow into the corral, that she finally saw Jake. He was making his way toward the ranch house, hunched over, coughing uncontrollably, and was supported by two of the cattlemen, Seth and Lee.

The last of Jess’s strength bled from her. Jake had passed between extreme heat and cold, into hot buildings and out into the frigid storm, all night. She knew what such extremes did to miners who descended shafts to work in the hot steam more than two thousand feet beneath the surface of the Comstock, then later emerged up into arctic gales. Countless numbers of the miners died. From pneumonia.

“Lord Almighty,” she breathed, and ran toward the house. Never again, she promised God, never again will I doubt the instincts You gave me, if only You will let Jake live.



If you would like to win a copy of "Faiths Reward", leave a comment with your email address...no email address, no entry. A winner will be announced on 1/10/10. Good luck and God bless!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Drum roll please!.........

The winner of Penny Zeller's awesome book, "McKenzie" is.........Heidi!
Congratulations to you, Heidi! I know you will love this book. Penny did an awesome job!
I'll be in touch with you shortly.
Thanks to all who left comments!
May God bless each and every one of you,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We have a winner!

Sandee61, you are the winner of "Almost Heaven" by Chris Fabry!
Congratulations to you! I'll be in touch shortly.
Thanks to all who entered!!
Blessings,

And the winner is.......

Barb Shelton, you have won "In All Things" by Shawna Williams. Congratulations to you!!
Thanks to all who entered.
Blessings,

"Where Love Once Lived" review and giveaway!

Blurb from the back cover:

She’d once loved a bookmobile driver. Memories of that time with him poured in so rapidly she caught her breath. It’d been long ago, but her heart remembered. At first she remembered the love she’d felt back then but the good memories didn’t last long. She’d gone to the bookmobile as usual that last day, but nothing was to be the same again. She went to Brian with love and exciting news. She left alone. Not just without him, but alone in the world and apart from God.




Karen and Brian had been college sweethearts. Karen was sure that Brian would ask her to marry him. Instead, he told her he was going back to California to visit with his parents during the holidays. While there he ran into one of his high school classmates. One thing led to another and they ended up marrying due to a baby being on the way. That sets in motion other events that come to life later in the story. This book is packed with situations that are relevant to most of us today.


I really enjoyed this book! Although I did find, in spots, that it just seemed “too wordy”. I believe Mr. Frost did a really good job in developing his characters. I could see them and feel their emotions, which is the way a book should be. I loved the bookmobile! I grew up in a small town that had a bookmobile that came to the bank parking lot every 2 weeks. That was my favorite place to go on those Saturdays!


The inter-racial relationship was handled in a wonderful and understanding say. Of course a few people had problems with it, as is usual in real life. In addition to the interracial marriage, there were a few other “situations” that Mr. Frost wrote into his story. He did a beautiful job, in my opinion. I would definitely recommend this book!






Sidney W. Frost is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a Stephen Minister. While a student at the University of Texas, he worked as a bookmobile driver for the Austin Public Library.
You can learn more about Mr. Frost here:
His blog: http://christianbookmobile.blogspot.com/
His website: http://sidneywfrost.com/ 
 
 
 
 
 
If you would like a chance to win "Where Love Once Lived", please leave a comment, with your email address. No email address, no chance to win! A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on 11/23/10. Good luck and may God bless!
 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

75 Christian Authors * One Amazing Online Event!

The Christian Review of Books in conjunction with CrossPurposes Bookstore is excited to announce the first annual Christmas Book Signing Bash.


Beginning on the day after Thanksgiving and lasting ten days (26 November

- 7 December), this book signing will be an unprecedented online event. 75

of today’s favorite Christian Authors have come together to answer

questions, chat with their readers, and offer signed copies of their

books—all without leaving the comforts of home and hearth!



Readers can search by author, title, or genre at the Christian Review of

Books (http://www.christianreviewofbooks.com/) and then follow the purchase links

to CrossPurposes Bookstore (http://www.crosspurposesbooks.com/) and buy autographed

copies of each book featured. The authors will sign the books and ship them

to the customers.

For a full list of participating authors, visit the CRoB

What an opportunity! You can shop in the comfort of your home, in your jammies, skip the Christmas crowds, etc. Buy a signed book, by your favorite Christian author, for yourself or for Christmas presents. How awesome would it be to give a signed book to your favorite people for Christmas??
Check it out and get ready to shop on November 26, 2010.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

And the Winner of "A Christmas Gift" is.........

Molly Edwards! Congratulations to you, Molly. I'll be in touch with you shortly.
Thanks to all who entered! I wish we could've given you all a prize!
God bless!

Review of "McKenzie" by author Penny Zeller includes interview/giveaway

Penny Zeller

Penny Zeller is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles. She writes the humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” (http://www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com/ ), is an active volunteer in her community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. Her passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. She devotes her time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. When she’s not dreaming up new characters for books, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball. Penny’s most recent book, McKenzie, was released in September 2010 by Whitaker House and is the first in the Montana Skies Series. Her second book in the series, Kaydie, is a touching book of trust and God’s provision, and is scheduled for release in April 2011.

I want to welcome Penny to Janet's Treasures today! I'm so glad you're here to share a bit about yourself.


Hello, Janet! Thank you for inviting me to your blog. It’s great to be here!


How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?
I have been writing since I was in second grade and rewrote Bible stories from memory from what I had learned in church. (I suppose you could call it Second-Grade Commentary!)

My first book, titled Hollyhocks about a bug with severe food allergies and dedicated to my nephew, Seth, was published in 2003.


What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?
I am humbled how the Lord has placed me in a mentoring position for new writers. I love to chat with a new writer about what she envisions herself doing for God’s Kingdom and how can I pray and encourage her in that pursuit. I tell her that one of the most important things to remember in being a writer is that if God has called you to write, He will guide you, one step at a time.

In November of 2000, I gave my writing to the Lord. I quit my fulltime job with a social services governmental agency so I could stay home with my infant daughter. That was the start of my career, beginning with the magazine articles. I would advise a new writer to give her writing to the Lord and to not give up! I speak from experience when I say that when He closes one door, He opens another (much better) one.

A side note: I offer a host of writing helps on my website http://www.pennyzeller.com/ and at my blog http://www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com/, where I also include a short article about 11 steps to sticking with writing.


Has anything surprised you about being an author?
That the hardest work comes after the book is published!

Tell us how you come up with characters.
I have a very overactive imagination, so coming up with characters is one of my favorite parts about the writing process. My characters are a potpourri of many different people. I love to people-watch, so this gives me a great resource. For example, I will take the hairdo of the woman in the mall, the nose of the woman in the airport, the eyes of the woman in church three rows up, and maybe some personality traits of two or three people I know as acquaintances. I combine all of these attributes into one person to develop my characters.


What is a typical writing day like for you?
I drop my children off at school, then come home and the work begins. In between laundry loads and other household duties, I write scenes, edit, do interviews, answer emails and phone calls, and dream up new characters!


How long does it normally take you to write a book?
It varies. For my two nonfiction books, it took about nine months each. However, for my fiction books, the time has been shorter in most cases. I wrote McKenzie in three months, which is about average for me. The shortest time ever for writing a book for me has been six weeks and that was for the first book in my next series, set in the Civil War era. I have a lengthy contemporary novel I am working on that has taken several years because of the intense research involved due to the subject matter. I know that in God’s timing, it too will be completed!

Where is your favorite place to write?
I love to do my writing in my home office by the fireplace next to the big window.


What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?
Historical romance definitely tops the list. However, I do enjoy reading contemporary Christian romance as well. A dash of humor tossed in makes it an even more enjoyable read!


What are you reading right now?
I am reading and studying First and Second Timothy in the Bible.


What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
My family would laugh at the thought of me relaxing! My husband fondly refers to me as his little hyper Chihuahua.  I’m a high-energy sort of person…I love to go for speed walks, exercise, and spend time with my family. I also enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, and attending Christian rock concerts. All of these things are relaxing to me, as well as sitting on the front porch, with my legs propped up and delving into God’s Word…with a glass of lemonade, of course!


What is your favorite movie?
I definitely can’t narrow it down to just one. I have many favorites – pretty much anything that is wholesome (preferably a romantic drama or romantic comedy!) Some recent ones I’ve watched that I thoroughly enjoyed were The Christmas Card, Though None Go With Me, Hidden Places, Duma, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, and Clancy.


What 3 things would you rather not be without?
My faith, my family, and my health.


If you had the time and the money, what would you like to do?
I would build a new Christian school in my town, start a diaper ministry for new moms, purchase flying lessons and an airplane for my husband, and take my family on a wonderful vacation to somewhere warm! If I had any money leftover, I would buy a few cute outfits. I have a slight addiction to cute clothes. *grins*


How can readers and fans contact you?
I love to hear from my readers! I can be reached through the following:

http://www.pennyzeller.com/ (website)

http://www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com/ (blog)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Penny-A-Zeller/96391560959?ref=ts (Facebook page)

http://twitter.com/pennyzeller (Twitter)


Thank you, Janet!
 

My Review of "McKenzie":
 
Oh my goodness. How do I even start? I LOVED this book! Penny has written a remarkable love story. She has written about faith, hope, and God’s unchanging love for us.


McKenzie Worthington was born into a rich, sophisticated, well to do family in Boston. She is the middle daughter of three. She is used to having everything done for her by servants. Her parents are hoping for her to marry one of her own kind. McKenzie is used to beautiful clothes, tea parties, balls, etc.

Zachary Sawyer is a rancher. He loves God with all of his heart. He lives in a small town in the Montana Territory. His home is rather crudely built, according to some standards. Old, worn out blankets cover the windows. Zach works hard on his ranch. He has been praying for a wife, someone to share his life, his dreams, and his young adoptive son with.

Thanks to a nosey store keeper, Zach runs ads in several newspapers across the country advertising for a mail order bride. Back in Boston McKenzie is desperate to find her younger sister, Kaydie, whose abusive husband took her across the country away from her family. Kaydie has written a few letters to McKenzie, the last of which she mentioned being in and around Montana Territory.

McKenzie sees Zach’s ad for a mail order bride and decides to answer it. She sees it as the perfect way to find her sister. She will go there, marry Zach, find her sister, then her and Kaydie will both return home to Boston where she will have the marriage annulled. Sounds like the perfect plan until she gets there and finds Zach to be a very kind, gentle, loving man. His son, Davey, falls in love with his new Ma. The towns people accept her with open arms. All of this begins to change her heart and ruin her plans!

What will McKenzie do? She wasn’t supposed to actually have feelings for these people. She wasn’t born to live like this, she was born to live in high society.

Penny did an excellent job of writing her characters! They come alive on the pages! Her descriptions of the surroundings are so vivid you are there! This book is definitely one I will want to read again! And the sequel, Kaydie, is coming out next year! Can’t wait for that one.

I gave "McKenzie" 5 stars! It deserves more!!

If you would like to be entered in the contest to win a copy of this wonderful book, please leave a comment, with your email address! No email address, no entry! A winner will be announced on 11/17/10.
Good luck and God bless!!                 

















 








Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Could Amazon Do This??

I found out earlier this afternoon that Amazon is selling a book on it's website that is a "how-to-book" for pedophiles! Yes, you heard me correctly! How can anyone want to promote the rape of an innocent child? I know that people will be crying, "Freedom of Speech!!" Yes, we do have that in our country but I don't think that should include the freedom to write a book on how to rape and molest a child!

This country has gotten so far from the principles it was founded on! We can only hope and pray that God will continue to bless us, as a nation, even though we don't deserve it! We need to get back to what the country was founded on!

2 Chronicles 7:14 says it all:  "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Come on folks! We can't support a company that is promoting the rape and molestation of children!
Join me, and many of my friends, in boycotting Amazon!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winner of "Nipped in the Bud" is......

Deborah M!! I'll be sending you an email shortly! Thanks to all who entered! Blessings!

"Almost Heaven" by Chris Fabry with a book giveaway

Here is the back cover blurb:                                        


Some people say Billy Allman has a heart of gold. Others say he’s a bit odd. The truth is, they’re all right. He’s a hillbilly genius…a collector, a radio whiz…and he can make the mandolin sing. Though he dreams of making an impact on the world beyond the hills and hollers of Dogwood, West Virginia, things just always seem to go wrong.

But however insignificant Billy’s life seems, it has not gone unnoticed. Malachi is an angel sent to observe and protect Billy. Though it’s not his dream assignment, Malachi always follows orders. And as Billy’s story unfolds, Malachi slowly begins to see the bigger picture…that each step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful song that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.





This is the first Chris Fabry book I’ve read, and it won’t be the last! I think Chris did a wonderful job of giving his characters personality and depth. His descriptions of the settings were so well done that I could “see” everything.

That, in my opinion, is what makes a good writer.



I love how Chris shows that God is a God of love and forgiveness. How He uses ordinary, broken people to carry on His work here on earth. Billy was such an unassuming person…probably first on the list of people least likely to succeed. But God has other plans for Billy. He puts just the right people in Billy’s life to accomplish these plans. Callie loves Billy but for the longest time, Billy is caught up in his own life and problems to notice her feelings.



This is such a wonderful book! I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I give it 5 stars!! I will definitely read Chris Fabry’s other books. If you would like to find out more about Chris and his other writings, here is his website:
http://www.chrisfabry.com/

I was provided a copy of this book by Glass Road Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this awesome book, please leave a comment, with your email address, and you will be entered. A winner will be announced on Monday, 11-15-10. No email address means no entry!
Good luck and God bless!!
 
 

Monday, November 8, 2010

"In All Things" review and awesome e-book giveaway!

In this sequel to “No Other”, author Shawna Williams brings back all of our favorite characters, and a few that probably weren’t on our favorite list. The setting for “In All Things” is about 10 years later in Hollywood, where Jakob and Meri have followed their dream, well Meri’s dream. Meri, known in Hollywood as Meredith Louis, is fulfilling her dream of being an actress. She is working for Majestic Studios when the book starts. Majestic Studios is responsible for putting Jakob through school to become an architect. He has established himself as a fairly upscale builder. Shortly after the story begins, Meri quits Majestic Studios to go out on her own, to be able to take on more diverse rolls and to make a name for herself.




It’s coming up on the Christmas holidays and Jakob and Meri take some time off to travel back home where Meri hopes to reconcile with her parents. They have not spoken in about 10 years, before Jakob and Meri left their home town. They both have brought inner turmoil and insecurities to their marriage. Can Jakob learn to step aside and let God have control? Can Meri realize that she may always have had what she’s been looking for, right before her?



I loved this book! I really love Shawna’s writing style. She can pull you into the story, where you almost feel like you are there! Her characters are not perfect. Neither are we. They have the same feelings, insecurities, flaws, etc. that each one of us has. That is what makes them so real. My heart went out to Meri. She longed for something she had already been gifted with. She had to overcome many things to get where she is at the end of the book. I especially loved the scripture that Shawna picked for this book, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).



I gave this book 5 stars. It deserves it! Read “No Other” first. It will let you meet the characters and know some of the background of the families of Jakob and Meri. Then read “In All Things” and follow the characters you’ve come to love!

Shawna has graciously added a beautiful hand-made locket necklace to the
e-book giveaway! If you haven't read "No Other", she will let you have this
e-book instead of "In All Things". That way you can start at the beginning of
Jakob and Meri's story. And if that wasn't grand enough.....Shawna is giving away, to anyone who would like them, PDF files of the first 3 chapters of both of her
e-books, "No Other" and "In All Things". WOW! So even if you don't win the
awesome giveaway, you can still get a taste of Shawna's writing!!

In order to be entered in the giveaway you MUST leave a comment and your email address. No email address means no entry. If you would also like the PDF files, please leave a note in your comment letting Shawna know you would like these. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday, 11/15/10. God bless and good luck!!


              

Friday, November 5, 2010

Review/Interview/Giveaway with Janelle Mowery

Thanks, Janelle, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us here on Janet's Treasures!



How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?

I started writing January 2001, signed my first contract in 2006, and my first book was released in 2008.


What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?

Getting to the point where agents or editors will look at your manuscript takes a LOT of hard work. Don’t give up. You’ll have days where you feel you can’t get past the frustration to write a single word. Write anyway. Even if it’s just a paragraph or two, try to write something. Getting involved in a small critique group is huge in moving you forward in your writing. And don’t let your impatience and frustration mar the journey toward getting published. You’ll find that joy can be found in each step along the way.



Where do you get ideas for stories?

Oh goodness. They come from everywhere. Everyday life. Movies. News. I was watching a documentary a while back and just one bit of information ignited an idea. I built on it from there.


Has anything surprised you about being an author?

I think the whole process, including the amount of time from submission to publication, has surprised me because I knew very little about the whole procedure. Each book is a learning experience. And I was surprised at the amount of time it takes for marketing each book. It can eat up quite a bit of your day.



Tell us how you come up with characters.

My characters basically just evolve while I’m plotting the story. I usually already know the two main characters and the antagonist, what they do for a living, their temperament, etc. because they need to fit into my plot, but the secondary characters present themselves to me as I prepare my synopsis and timeline.



What is a typical writing day like for you?

I rarely get to have a set schedule to my day. I’m a stay at home mom so I write in between other requirements of my time. Afternoons seem to work out the best for getting some writing time in.



How long does it normally take you to write a book?

It can take me anywhere from three to six months to get a story to the point where I’m satisfied. A lot depends on how much time I’ve spent playing scenes out in my head beforehand.



Where is your favorite place to write?

Believe it or not, I’m most productive when I sit in my recliner with my laptop. If I’m on the desktop, I have too many distractions.



What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?

I LOVE historical romance. And if there’s a touch of humor and mystery, all the better.



What are you reading right now?

I’ve just started Vickie McDonough’s Second Chance Brides. I loved her first book of the series, The Anonymous Bride.



What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

I love to ride out to the farthest point of our property and just enjoy God’s beautiful creation. It’s so quiet and rarely does a time go by that I don’t see some kind of wildlife.



What is your favorite movie?

This is a very hard question. It’s difficult to narrow down the list. I love The Patriot, Gladiator, Mission Impossible 3, all the Bourne movies. Somewhere In Time is great, as is Pride and Prejudice and Braveheart. As you can see, I’m all over the page when it comes to movies.



What 3 things would you rather not be without?

My husband and two sons. J Oh, right. THINGS. LOL. Let’s see. My laptop, so I can write. The internet, for research. And my Bible, for direction.



If you had the time and the money, what would you like to do?

I would love to go on my dream vacation, where we would drive from where we live, which is as flat as you can get, on up through the Rockies, including the states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Then end up on the coast where we’d catch a cruise to Alaska. And I want to be able to take my time doing it.



How can readers and fans contact you?
 
I can be found on my website, http://www.janellemowery.com/ as well as on facebook.



And now....My review:


The back cover blurb:


It’s 1869, and chaos rules Silver City. As Rebekah Weaver recovers from an accident that has left her badly burned, she worries that her father’s handsome new assistant won’t see past her scarred exterior. Deputy Marshall Nathaniel Kirkland is working undercover to investigate a series of explosions in the mines and businesses of Silver City. When ominous notes begin appearing on townspeople’s doors, Nate needs Rebekah’s help to uncover the identity of the perpetrator. As they work together, Nate begins to speculate that Rebekah’s “accident” was really a case of intentional sabotage….and that she might still be in danger.

Janelle has done a wonderful job of writing believable characters. I loved how Nate and Rebekah meet! He rescues her and her brother from drowning in the creek. Rebekah had jumped in to try and save her little brother, Andrew, and since she can’t swim, well, you get the picture. As I was reading this, I could feel my heart speed up and I could tell I was holding my breath. Janelle had written such an awesome scene, so believable that I could imagine I was there!

Someone is blowing up the mines in and around Silver City, Idaho. Nate has been sent in, undercover, to investigate. What he doesn’t expect is the feelings he begins having for Rebekah. In trying to remain undercover, Nate takes a job in town working for Rebekah’s dad at the livery. This puts him close to Rebekah every day since she works in her family’s store which is right next door to the livery.

This book is packed with suspense, and a little romance. It will keep you guessing until the end, and might even surprise you. I love the way Janelle writes about the town and the surroundings. I could picture it all in my mind and feel like I was a part of the story. (I just love reading books like this!)

I would highly recommend this book! It gets 5 stars from me!! If you don’t win a copy, please buy one! You won’t be sorry!

If you would like to be entered to win a signed copy of Janelle's book, please put a comment with
your email address in the comment section. NO EMAIL=NO CHANCE TO WIN!
Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries. Winner will be announced on 11/11/10.  Good luck & God bless!







 




Thursday, November 4, 2010

"A Christmas Gift" by author Diane Craver; review/interview/giveaway

I'd like to welcome Diane Craver to Janet's Treasures today! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit!


How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?


When our oldest daughter Sara was a toddler, I started writing nonfiction. I wrote a partial book, Born to Love about her. I never finished it because no book publisher was interested in the story, but I did get a few magazine articles out of it. One was in Virtue magazine, one in Down Syndrome Today, and a few other publications. My sweet mother bragged about the Virtue article to her friends and relatives. She told me that my article was better than Debby Boone’s in the same magazine. LOL In 2001, my first short book was published and later I switched to writing fiction. My first inspirational romance was published in 2006.



What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?

Even thought I’m published now, it’s been a long road to publication for my books. Getting published has never been easy. But I made it with self-discipline, faith in my writing, family support, and determination. If you are an aspiring writer wanting to get published, hang in there. You have to continue to write and to believe in yourself. Writing is not a career for the weak. You have to be persistent and develop a thick skin when it comes to rejections. Remember this is a subjective business so don’t get discouraged.



Where do you get ideas for stories?

I get my creative ideas sometimes from my own family and life. Other times something on TV or the newspaper might spark an idea for a story. Once I heard a TV reporter talk to a survivor after a plane crash, so that give me the idea to write Never the Same. It’s about two women’s priorities being changed after they survived a plane crash where many people died. A Christmas Gift is based on my childhood experiences, but the characters and story line are fictional.



Has anything surprised you about being an author?

I thought it would be easier than it is being a published author. Promoting takes a big chunk of time so that doesn’t always leave me enough time to devote just to writing.



Tell us how you come up with characters.

Well, A Christmas Gift was inspired by my parents and siblings. I had thought of writing a story about my father for a long time. His life was hard with his mother’s rejection and being raised by various relatives. Even though both his parents deserted him, he had a deep faith in God, and was able to be a good father to me and my siblings. A Fiery Secret is based loosely on my daughters, Christina and Amanda. Learning more about various careers gave me ideas for other characters. Also I like to write about family relationships, so that’s how I came up with the characters in Whitney in Charge. It’s a sweet contemporary romance about three sisters.



What is a typical writing day like for you?

While writing a new book, I try to write so many pages a day, but I’m afraid that I don’t always meet my personal writing goals. We were blessed with six children and two daughters with special needs. Once I have a publisher’s deadline for a particular book, I am very disciplined and focus hard on my writing. I always finish the final editing on time.



How long does it normally take you to write a book?

That’s hard to answer. I’m a slow writer and I don’t write daily. Although I consider my writing as a career, family and promoting my published books all take time away from writing. I also have a seasonal scoring job. I score the tests that students hate to take. LOL It probably takes me on the average seven to nine months to write a book from beginning to end. If I actually wrote daily, I’m sure it would take less time.



Where is your favorite place to write?

I’m usually sitting in a comfortable chair in the living room and writing on my laptop.



What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?

I enjoy reading inspirational romances. It can be either historical or contemporary Christian romances.



What are you reading right now?

I’m reading In All Things written by Shawna Williams. I read her book, No Other and enjoyed it very much, so it’s fun to read more about her memorable characters, Meri and Jakob, in the sequel and their lives ten years later.



What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

I enjoy reading, watching movies, TV, college football,(big Ohio State fan), bicycling, swimming and spending time with my awesome husband and six children.



What is your favorite movie?

I watch a lot of movies but Ever After is one that I especially enjoyed. Drew Barrymore plays a strong heroine which I liked a lot. Even though the prince comes to rescue her, she’s already rescued herself. She has a cruel stepmother and stepsisters like the Cinderella fairy tale.



What 3 things would you rather not be without?

Well, of course, first my husband and children. Next, my laptop. And third, I’d definitely need my medication for my acid reflux condition.



If you had the time and the money, what would you like to do?

I’d love to go to Hawaii. My problem is that my husband has no desire to go there. I’d also like to travel out west.



How can readers and fans contact you?

My website is http://www.dianecraver.com/ and my blog is http://www.dianecraver.com/blog. And another spot is my Jewels of the Quill group: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/jewelsofthequill.html I’m also on Facebook and various yahoo groups.


I have lots of fun prizes listed on my blog. By leaving a comment here, you’ll be entered in my two drawings. More details on my blog.


Thank you so much, Janet, for having me on your wonderful blog. It’s been fun!



My Review of "A Christmas Gift":

The story starts out in the present day with Debra Reeves Cunningham telling her story of what happened back in 1957, at the age of 7. Debra saw something back then that she wasn’t meant to see. Her father had an overwhelming disability that he was trying so hard to overcome. He was a farmer and a good provider for his family.




Debra is the youngest of 4 children in her family. Her oldest sister, Gail, is 25 and still living at home. Her brother, Carl, 21, is in the Army. She shares a bedroom with her 14 year old sister, Kathy, who is crippled by polio. On this particular night in 1957, Debra wakes up needing to go to the bathroom. There is only one bathroom in their home, downstairs close to her parents bedroom. As she is sneaking to the bathroom, she sees something that she doesn’t understand. She returns to bed, pondering what she had seen.

I’m going to stop right here with describing the book…I don’t want to give anything away!



This is a short read but it is packed with a wonderful message! I LOVED this book! Diane did an awesome job of developing her characters. Her writing style pulls you in and puts you right there, in the Reeves house in 1957! You will be truly blessed by reading this book.

Diane has graciously offered to give a copy to one lucky winner! Please leave a comment here, with your email address, for a chance to win this awesome book! (no email, no chance to win!) Winner will be randomly chosen from all valid entries and announced on Wednesday, 11/10/10. Good luck and God bless!



Monday, November 1, 2010

NIPPED IN THE BUD by Susan Sleeman

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book: 


Paige Turner has secured her first landscaping contract, sprucing up the city park for the upcoming Pickle Fest. But the day after a confrontation with the city manager, she finds him dead in a mound of mulch. With no alibi for the time of death and, according to the police chief, with plenty of motive to carry out the murder, Paige must dig her way out of the mess by finding the real killer. Attorney Adam Hayes aids in her search as he works hard to keep her out of jail….and his heart.

I loved this book! Susan has done such a great job of putting together suspense, humor, murder, and romance in one book! In addition to Paige having a landscaping company, she also has a morning radio program called, “Through the Garden Gate”. She gets some real strange characters calling in to her program. At the beginning of each chapter you get a little clip from the radio show. I got a real chuckle from these!



Susan’s characters are so true to life and her descriptions of the scenes take you right “in there”. I could picture every scene. I love books like this, where the writing is so good that the reader can be there, seeing everything just like the author wrote it! The suspense kept me wanting to read to see who killed Bud. It is not one of those books where the killer is obvious. I really loved that!

Adam, Paige’s attorney, is drawn to her but due to his professionalism wants to keep the relationship neutral. Paige is very “smitten” with Adam but hasn’t had the best luck with relationships in the past. Susan did a great job of writing their relationship.

                                                                                                       
I gave this book 5 stars! (It deserves more!) I would highly recommend it if you’re wanting a good suspense/murder with some romance and a little humor sprinkled in.

You can learn more about Susan here: http://www.susansleeman.com/

If you would like to win a signed copy of Susan's "Nipped in the Bud", please leave a comment with your email address. (no email, no win) A winner will be randomly picked and announced on 11/8/10. Open to US residents only.

Good luck and God bless!!

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