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!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

NEVER WITHOUT HOPE by Michelle Sutton


Do you like Edgy Christian Fiction? The kind that takes you “there” but in a discreet manner? I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not but decided to give it a try and let me tell you that I absolutely LOVED it! Michelle has written a wonderful story that incorporates temptation, forbidden love, consequences and most of all God’s unfailing love.


Hope meets Tony on the airplane ride home from a writer’s conference. He invites her to lunch after she lands in his lap trying to get by to go to the restroom! She figures she’s married, everyone has to eat, and “we’ll never see each other again after we leave the airport”. She tells him she’s a writer and he wants to read her manuscript. She doesn’t have one with her, it was left with her editor, so she gives him her business card and says she can email him chapters. She tells him she would like to write an Italian man with Tony’s gorgeous eyes into her next book. One thing leads to another and they end up in a passionate affair. Hope feels very guilty but just can’t stop. She is getting what she needs from Tony because her husband doesn’t fulfill her needs.

James is Hope’s husband. He seems to have lost his “drive” and nothing Hope does can make a difference. She suggests help from either counseling or from a visit to his doctor. James refuses to discuss his “problem” with anyone. Hope is left frustrated and feeling like she isn’t wanted. Tony is there making her feel loved and wanted. And at the same time, guilty.

How could she do this to her husband? How could she do this to their 9 year old son? What is her church going to say if they find out? What about her friends?
Hope wants to confess her infidelity to James but the time is just never right. When he finally does find out, what happens? Does he forgive his wife? What about Tony’s wife? How does she react?

You won’t want to pass this book by! It’s not just about infidelity but about God’s amazing grace and His unconditional love. He loves us even at our worst, when we can’t even love ourselves.
This book has no vulgarity in it but does contain adult themes. I would recommend “Never Without Hope” for adults. I was not compensated in any way for this review.


FORGET ME NOT by Vicki Hinze


She wakes up in the woods, beaten and left for dead. She remembers vaguely the men who were trying to get her car from her. She remembers little else. One thing she does remember is her strong faith in God. Who is she? Why is she here? She finds a card in her pocket with the name “Crossroads” on the front and the name “Susan” on the back. Also, a cross necklace is with the card. She is found and taken to the Crossroads Crisis Center where she see’s a large photo of the founder, Susan Brandt, on the wall. Looking at the picture is like looking in the mirror, minus the bruises and swelling of course. So, she must be “Susan”. The only problem is that Susan has been dead for 3 years.




Benjamin Brandt has been trying for the last 3 years to find the killers of his wife and son. He has also been consumed with guilt that he didn’t protect his family. Isn’t that what a husband and father is supposed to do? When he’s called to the shelter about this “mystery woman named Susan”, it’s the first time in 3 years he’s been in the Center. At first he is certain that “Susan” is there to extort money from him. But after she tells her story and begins to remember tiny pieces of her past, he begins to believe her. He sees how hers and Susan’s lives have many common connections. Ben believes that maybe this is the lead he’s been hoping for after 3 long years. Can this mystery lady help him discover who killed his family?



The book is full of suspense, intrigue, romance and Christian principles. Vicki doesn’t “beat you over the head” with the Christian aspect of it. I really enjoyed “Forget Me Not” and would highly recommend it. I was provided an advanced reading copy of this book by the publisher.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ALMOST FOREVER by Deborah Raney



Bryn Hennesey loves working at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter but her husband, Adam, doesn’t want her there after one of the workers was attacked by a homeless person. Adam is a firefighter in their town of Hanover Falls. He works nights so Bryn has been secretly working at the shelter. On the night the shelter burned to the ground, Bryn was working. She is worried that Adam will see her when his station responds to the fire. She also is bothered by something else, something that haunts her. Bryn sees Adam go into the building, along with 4 other firefighters. Five heroic firefighters lost their lives that day, Adam among them. How can Bryn go on without her husband and how can she live with the haunting thought of what she may have done?


Garret Edmond’s wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter that died that day. He feels that it’s a husbands job to protect his wife. In his eyes, he failed miserably. The feelings of loss and guilt seem almost unbearable. How could God allow Molly to perish when they had only been married such a short time. They had their whole lives ahead of them.

Bryn takes in the dog of one of the homeless men when he has to relocate to another shelter due to the fire. She is out trying to walk this dog when she runs into Garret. They become fast friends because of what they have both been through. Bryn and Garret find things getting closer between them when Bryn has a dream one night that confirms her worst fears. How can she face Garret or any of the surviving spouses? How can she face anyone with what she now knows?

I really enjoyed “Almost Forever”! The characters were very believable and easy to identify with. Deborah shows that facing the truth and having faith in God and in yourself is the right way to go. The book was never preachy and I feel that Deborah got the spiritual message across perfectly! I highly recommend this book and I’m eagerly awaiting the next in the Hanover Falls series!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS.....

Martha, you've won Jen Stephens' debut novel, "The Heart's Journey Home"!  You should've gotten an email from me and Jen will be emailing you soon.  Thanks to all who entered!  Stay tuned for the next book giveaway coming soon!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"THE HEART'S JOURNEY HOME" by Jen Stephens

BOOK REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, & BOOK GIVEAWAY & A CHANCE TO ENTER JEN'S "WHAT A DIFFERENCE YOU'VE MADE IN MY LIFE" CONTEST!

In order to be entered to win Jen's debut novel, please leave a comment after the interview.  You must leave your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  No email address, no win!  The contest to win Jen's book will end on Friday, 5/21/10 at midnight.  Winner will be announced on Saturday, 5/22/10 via email.   Good luck!
And you don't want to miss out on this book!  The info for Jen's contest is after the interview down the page.


Here is the back cover teaser:
Three years after Kate Sterling's heart was shattered by the unexpected death of her husband, she packs up what is left of her life and moves back to Harvest Bay, Ohio, with her young daughter.  She soon discovers that her sleepy hometown has changed---and that she has been given a second chance at love.  But is God leading her to a love linked to the past....or to one who will walk with her into the future?

"The Heart's Journey Home" is Jen's debut novel, and hopefully not her last!!  It is a novel showing God's grace and how He works in the lives of the faithful.  If we are patient and wait on the Lord's timing, He will renew our strength and give us the desires of our heart.  Kate's grandpa reminds me of my granddaddy!  So wise and loving!  A strong man of God, he lovingly guides Kate to rediscover her faith.  She struggles, as do a lot of us, with why a loving God would take her husband and her little girl's daddy.
I really love how Jen developed her characters.  I felt like I knew each one of them!  She tells a story in such a way that I could imagine myself there in Harvest Bay, Ohio!  This is a wonderful Christian romance that I hope everyone will take the time to read.  You won't be sorry!

Now, for my interview with Jen Stephens!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jen Stephens grew up in a small Ohio town where she developed a passion for writing at an early age. She participated in Young Authors contests in grade school, wrote her first novel in high school, and wrote dozens of poems and short stories in between. She majored in elementary education with a concentration in English and the humanities at the University of Toledo.


Jen lives in the Nashville, Tennessee, area with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She teaches third grade at a Christian school and is very active with the youth in her church. A member of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Nashville Christian Writers Association, she writes in her “spare” time. Her first novel, The Heart’s Journey Home, released in February 2010.


How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?
I’ve been writing for as long as I could put words together. My earliest memories include wanting to be an author when I grow up. I wrote my first book in junior high but that one is in the back of my closet never to see the light of day! My first published book, The Heart’s Journey Home, was released in Feb 2010.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Free time??? What’s that??? Haha! Actually, I write in my free time. I am a wife, a mama of two beautiful little girls, and I teach third grade in a wonderful Christian school. I also like to cook, I dabble in photography, and, of course, play with my girls.

What are you currently writing?
The second book in the Harvest Bay Series, The Heart’s Lullaby. It’s about two things I care deeply about – kids and our United States military.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, writing-related or not?
I am most proud of my two little girls—Alison (8 years old), and Olivia (6 years old). My heart just bursts with pride as they reach every milestone. They’re both doing well in school, both LOVE reading (YES!), and they both already love the Lord (Double YES!!). In many areas of my life I feel, you know, just average, but when I look at my two girls, I know I’ve done something really, really special. I could win the Nobel Peace Prize and I would still be most proud of being their mother.

Favorite scripture and/or quote:
Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft? How many drafts do you normally do for each novel? Do you have a certain editing procedure that you follow?
No, I’m an editor at heart. I love going back in and making something I’ve written better. I’m maybe even addicted. I really struggle with getting the story written because I go back so often. The Heart’s Journey Home, went through about at least 2 full drafts, some scenes went through more than that. I don’t have a certain procedure, I just reread it and if there’s something that bothers me, I fix it . . . and fix it again . . . and fix it yet again!

What would you like readers to take away from your book?
I want those who read The Heart’s Journey Home to feel sense of hope above all else. I want this book to clearly illustrate Romans 8:28, that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” The key words here, I believe, are “His purpose”. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives that often may not be what we expect, but is ALWAYS perfect. It’s when we put our hope and trust in Him that we can see that. I also hope that my readers come to think of my characters as friends and Harvest Bay as their favorite vacation destination.

What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned more about certain “rules” of writing that I’m still trying to get right. I also learned that I still had open wounds from growing up with divorced parents and the death of my daddy that I never realized I had. This book actually helped me heal and I think that’s really cool!

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
I have several, honestly. I love all of the scenes with Grandpa Clayton, one of my very favorite characters, because he was so wise in a very non-intimidating way. I love the dance scenes, so different yet so critical. I love “turning point” scenes, where little by little you see these characters growing more in the Lord and becoming reacquainted with themselves. But if I had to pick one, I think I’d pick the very last one because as I wrote it, it filled my heart with not just satisfaction but a real sense of victory for Kate, the heroine.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Ugh! I really wish non-writers understood the time that goes into writing a book, especially for an author like me who cannot write full time. I also wish they would understand that this is a ministry for me. I don’t just write because I love it, which I do. I write because I really want to touch someones heart and maybe help them to grow even just a little in their relationship with the Lord. Because so much time goes into it, if I was doing it for any other reason, I don’t think I could continue to do it.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
My very first mentor that took me under her wing taught me about POV. As soon as she explained it to me, it was like I went from seeing in black and white to color.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Staying disciplined enough to follow a strict routine that would give me a couple hours every day to write. I just don’t have enough time with everything I do in a day to get a serious amount of writing done otherwise.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?
This is the toughest question on the list, Janet! I’m really rather boring. I don’t think I’m surprising at all! They might be interested to know I’m 100% country girl at heart. I prefer to go barefoot (even though my feet are terribly flat and have bunions). I love, and I mean LOVE, vegetables straight from the garden. In fact I have no qualms about standing there in the dirt (barefoot, of course) eating a tomato like it was an apple. Mmm! I raised and showed rabbits at the county fair for several years when I was younger and still remember how to care for them. I’d be perfectly at home living on a mini farm. Also my readers might be interested to know I have a terrible fear of flying and of tornadoes. I have recurrent nightmares of both. I’m sure Dr. Phil would have fun with that one. :o)

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
I really wish I would’ve known my daddy wouldn’t be here to share this with. I would’ve tried harder to accomplish it before he went Home. I wish I would’ve known how much extra went into the marketing and networking after becoming published. I love it, but it’s just the time thing, ya know? And I wish I would’ve been prepared for the challenge of writing under a deadline. I think I’m getting the hang of it now, but it’s a little more stressful.

How do you reach new readers?
My family and friends have been so supportive and helpful in spreading the word about my book and events that have taken place. I’ve made lots of new friends who are friends of a friend or family member. I love, love, love meeting new readers so however I can reach them is what I’ll do.

How can readers get in contact with you?

Email: jen@jenstephens.net

Website: http://www.jenstephens.net/

Blog: http://www.theheartsjourneyhome.blogspot.com/

Jen is having a "What A Difference You've Made In My Life" contest which goes on until Father's Day.
All you have to do to enter is email her through her website or leave a comment on her blog telling her about someone who has made a profound difference in your life, living or passed on.  She will pick one male and one female winner and they will become a MINOR character in her next novel!  How cool is that??  And in the front of the book there will be a short bio on the 2 people who are chosen.  So, email her or leave a comment on her blog and enter for a chance to win!!


Jen, thank you so much for doing this interview!  I'm sure after reading this people are going to be very eager to read your book!  I've really enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to the future!
May God continue to bless you and use you!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


If you are lucky enough to still have your mother with you, give her a hug and kiss!  I still have my momma with me and I'm going to go have coffee with her today.  If you ARE a mother, love and cherish your children with all God gave you!!  My daughter, Stephanie, is with the Lord now and I've asked Him to give her a hug and kiss for making me a mother for the first time!  I've now got her daughter as my own and am so thankful for the opportunity to raise her.  What a blessing to be a mother!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On My Mind

Today is such a beautiful day here I decided to get out and take a little drive.   I ended up at the cemetery where my daughter, Stephanie, and my daddy are buried.  It looked like the mowers had been there but not the ones to weed around the markers.  I did pull a few weeds and turned the vases upside down since I didn't bring flowers for them.  (the vases get stolen from there a lot!)  Hopefully it won't be long and we'll get back out there to put new flowers in the vases.
The reason I needed to get out of the house was this....I have fibromyalgia and it can really get you down!  Both mentally and physically!  When it flares up, it's very hard to do much more than very light housework.  And I mean VERY light!  Mine is in a flare up right now.  All I really want to do is go to bed and get comfortable.  My husband suggested a drive instead.  A walk is out of the question!  I'm waiting on the weather to get warmer and stay warmer through the night so our pool will warm up enough for me.  Right now it's still too cold for me.  My daughter and husband have been in but I will have to wait until later this month or early June.  Swimming is an excellent exercise for fibro since there is no stress on your body.  I know when I get out of the pool, I feel really good!  So let's pray for warmer nights to keep the heat in the pool!
I found a new doctor in Houston who specializes in fibromyalgia.  I've made an appointment and hope and pray she can find something I can take that will help with the pain.  The otc stuff just doesn't do much.
So, now you may know more than you wanted to know about me!  Fibromyalgia is a condition that not much is known about.  It is hard to diagnose and hard to find just the right treatment.  Let's all pray for everyone that is affected by this condition, including the families of the ones diagnosed. 
Thanks for taking the time to read this and may the Lord bless you and your family immensely!

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