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!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Some Exciting Happenings Coming to Janet's Treasures!

First....I'm having a "Follow Me" contest. This will run until we reach 100 members. The 100th follower of Janet's Treasures will receive 5 books, my choice. These will all be Christian or Inspirational fiction in different genres, different authors. If you get something you've already read, pass it on to someone who hasn't. I am also giving the 99th and 101th followers a gift of one book, my choice. (I always hated "just missing" the required number to win!)  These books will either be new, unread books or very gently used, read once. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. When you follow me, please leave a comment here letting me know you have.


Second....beginning in January, Janet's Treasures will be having "Tuesday's Treasure". We will be featuring one author the first Tuesday of each month. You'll get to know a little bit about your favorite Christian and/or Inspirational authors. I'm working on having a giveaway with Tuesday's Treasure. If you are an author, or know one who you think would like to participate, please send me an  EMAIL with "Tuesday's Treasure" in the subject line.  I'll be getting in touch with the authors in the very near future to get the ball rolling. This will be fun getting to know the authors a little better. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from a bunch of ya'll.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And the winner is.....

MissKallie2000. She has won Lisa Wingate's book, "The Summer Kitchen". Congratulations to you!
I know you will love this book!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome Lisa Wingate, author of "The Summer Kitchen"

A big Texas "howdy" to fellow Texan, author Lisa Wingate! Thanks so much for taking time out to be here, discussing "The Summer Kitchen".


What made you decide to be a writer? Are you a full time or part-time writer (do you have a different job too)?


A very special first-grade teacher told me I would become a writer one day, and I believed her. These days, I am a full time writer and have been since my first two novels, Tending Roses and Texas Cooking, sold to Penguin Putnam ten years ago. The Summer Kitchen, just released, is my twelfth published novel. I now work for two publishers, Penguin Books and Bethany House, writing a book each year for each house.


How much time goes into the thought process for a story?

It depends on the book. Some come to me fairly quickly, and some require more research and thought. Often these days, the ideas come from reader letters, when someone writes to me and asks, “What happened to this character after the story ended?” Those questions send my mind flying into the world of my imaginary friends, and that process of wondering as I wander generates another story. Even though each of my stories is written to stand alone, they’re often part of a series, in that a secondary character in one story will become a primary character in the next.


Tell us about your book The Summer Kitchen?

The Summer Kitchen (July 2009) is the second book in the Blue Sky Hill series, following A Month of Summer (July 2008). With the excitement of A Month of Summer being a finalist for the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the release of The Summer Kitchen has been a whirlwind. In the midst of that whirlwind, I’ve been tried to make sure the story behind The Summer Kitchen isn’t lost.

The Summer Kitchen was inspired by the incredible true story of The Gospel Café in Waco, Texas. I learned about the Café a few years ago when a reader came to a book signing and said, “If you’re looking for a great story, there’s a place you should know about.” She proceeded to tell me about three women who had, some years ago, hatched the idea of buying a former crack house in a rundown area of town, and turning it into a café that would offer lunches to all who came asking, whether they could pay or not. This groups of friends not only hatched the idea--they acted on it and made it work! Thirteen years later, the Café feeds hundreds each week. In the novel, the main character, SandraKaye, doesn’t begin her Café with such a grand sense of purpose. She is merely compelled to deliver a bag of sandwiches when she sees kids digging for food in a dumpster at a nearby apartment complex. With the help of a young foster-care runaway, she begins to create something that, much like the real Gospel Café, takes on a life and a mission of its own.


How did you bring these characters to life?

The characters of The Summer Kitchen and their neighborhood came to life very much on their own. As research, I volunteered periodically in the kitchen of The Gospel Café. When you look out the kitchen window and see the amazing cross section of humanity—homeless men and women, families from the housing project, university students from Baylor, professors, ministry students, youth group members—all sharing a common table, it is an amazing experience. Cass, SandraKaye, and the members of the Summer Kitchen’s neighborhood came to life during those visits to the Gospel Café.


Are you currently working on something?

Currently, I’m putting the finishing touches two new books for 2011, Larkspur Cove, the first in my new Moses Lake series (Bethany House, February 2011) and the fourth in the Blue Sky Hill collection, Dandelion Summer (Penguin Books, July 2011). I guess you could say it’s been a busy summer around here!


How can my readers find out more about you and your books?

Visit my website at www.Lisawingate.com. Right now, I have an amazing contest going on, in which readers can enter to win a getaway weekend at the book event of the year, the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Book Extravaganza, 2011!


My Review:

Here is a blurb from the back of the book:


“Sometimes hope springs up in unlikely places. SandraKaye Darden certainly never expects to find it in the little pink house left by her uncle Poppy. With her adopted son, Jake, missing thousands of miles away, and her family life disintegrating in the comfortable suburban home that once seemed perfect, Sandra feels as if her world is falling apart. A decaying house in a struggling Dallas neighborhood just adds to her burden. But what begins for Sandra as a simple painting project to help sell the house becomes a secret venture that starts to change everything.”


Sandra’s uncle has died and his little pink house is to be put up for sale. Sandra is the only family member close by so she gets to oversee the sale. When the realtor sees this house, she immediately points out the things that needs to be done in order for it to even be put on the market. Sandra decides to get the paint and paint the cabinets, clean up what is left, and fix a few of the major problems herself. Her oldest, adopted son Jake, leaves home for his birth place, Guatemala, after Poppy dies. Her husband, Rob, is a physician and is hardly ever home, and her youngest son, Christopher, has taken to his room since Poppy’s death and Jake’s disappearance.

Cass Blue is a runaway who left foster care with her brother, Rusty. Their mother died and their step-father was not a nice guy. When they get to Dallas, they find a small apartment to rent and Rusty goes to work. They don’t have much at all, in fact there are times when there isn’t any food in the apartment. Rusty comes home from work one day with Kiki, who works at a “club” and her little girl, Opal. Cass has to give up her bedroom to Kiki and Opal and sleep on the couch. Not only does she have to give up her bedroom but she is left to care for Opal while Kiki sleeps all day.

SandraKaye and Cass meet one day over sandwiches that Sandra brought after seeing kids in the apartment complex going through the dumpster looking for food. A unique friendship is born. Cass and Opal begin to go to help Sandra at Poppy’s house, where they make sandwiches for the hungry kids, including Cass and Opal. One of the beautiful things is that Cass begins to trust SandraKaye, something she’s had a problem with. Together, Sandra and Cass, along with many friends, bring to life The Summer Kitchen. The Summer Kitchen is a place for second chances, a place for healing.

I absolutely loved this book! Lisa’s characters are so real and life like! I fell in love with Cass and little Opal! I wanted to bring them home to my house! I feel certain that anyone who reads this book will fall in love with the characters of The Summer Place, and also with Lisa’s writing.




If you would like a chance to win a copy of this awesome book, please leave
a comment along with your email address. No email address means no entry!
Contest will continue until 10/18, winner announced on 10/19/10.
Good luck and God bless!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Welcome Michelle Sutton, Christian Romance Author

Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit!


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


I started writing in August 2003, then I became serious about writing (and to find out more about how to get published.) I attended the Sept 2004 ACRW conference in Denver. I sold my first book in 2007, and it released in 2008.


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

Don't get discouraged when things seem to take forever to go anywhere, and keep learning and applying what you learn.


Where do you get ideas for stories?

Usually from real life and people or situations I've become familiar with through work (I'm a social worker,) or from friendships I've had over the years.


Has anything surprised you about being an author?

Mainly how much work is involved once the book is sold and in going into print. It's not like you just hand it in and move on to the next project. You need to be actively involved in the promotion of your books, too.


Tell us how you come up with characters.

The characters from most of my books are completely made up and spring from other books I've written based on actual people I know or situations I've been involved in through work or church.


What is a typical writing day like for you?

Nothing is typical about me or my day. I write when I'm inspired to write. When I am not feeling up to it, I don't write. That way I never burn out. Fortunately I write fast and always hand my stuff in early. I've not missed a deadline yet.


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

The quickest I've written a 60,000 word book was about two and a half months just writing after work and on the weekends.


Where is your favorite place to write?

The back room when it's the right temperature in there. I don't like it when it's a bit too hot or cold as it breaks my concentration.


What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?

I love to read historical fiction, and mostly inspirational historical romance.


What are you reading right now?

I am reading a book that is okay, but not great, so I'll pass on naming it right now. The last amazing book I read was Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers. I finished that a few days ago.


What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

Read, of course.


What is your favorite movie?

Probably Charlotte Gray. I'm a sucker for WWII romances.


What 3 things would you rather not be without?

Books, coffee and chocolate. I've always got the Lord with me, so that's not an option. The other three, however, are essentials "in the flesh."

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

I would love to tour the USA promoting Christian fiction and visiting bookstores. That's up to God when the situation becomes a reality for me.


How can readers and fans contact you?

http://www.michellesutton.net/

http://healingheartsseries.blogspot.com/

http://edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com/

http://neverwithouthopethenovel.blogspot.com/

http://edgychristianfictionlovers.blogspot.com/
and I'm also on goodreads, shelfari, shoutlife, librarything, facebook and twitter. You can find links to facebook, twitter, and goodreads on some of my blogs and my website.



My Review of "First Love":

First Love, the second in the Tombstone Treasures series, is a wonderfully, edgy romance. I liked this one even better than the first one. If the trend continues, the third one should be a blockbuster! Michelle has written an edgy, Christian, romantic story that has a little bit of suspense thrown in.




Tara Hinkson has had a tough time since graduating from high school. Her mother was involved in a horrible car wreck that has left her with the mind of a 5 year old and severely disabled. Tara and her mother share a small house just down the street from the beauty shop where Tara works. Since her mother can not be left along, she has had to hire someone to be able to sit with her mom while she works. Can you imagine having to be the “parent” to your mom or dad? Wanting to be able to sit down and share your thoughts and feelings with them or even just to sit and hold each other and not being able to. That would be a very hard adjustment to make.



Josiah Reardon was Tara’s long time boyfriend in high school. Things got very heated in their relationship and they spent most of their time in bed. He broke off the relationship when he was getting ready to go off to college. Tara had not heard from him since then, several years, when he walks into her hair salon for a haircut. To say she was shocked would be an understatement. She didn’t really like the way she felt when she saw him. The old flame was still there, at least on her part. How did he feel?



The story takes us on Tara & Josiah’s journey of trying to build on the past relationship to make a future. But can that be? Every time they get near each other the old feelings take over. The ones that led to the bedroom. Since high school both of them have become Christians. They both know what they are doing is not right in God’s eyes but the flesh is weak and they don’t seem to be trying too awfully hard to be strong.



I really loved this book! I loved the characters! Michelle did an awesome job of developing them so that the reader can feel their emotions and know what they are going through. I could picture every place that Josiah and Tara were. I felt so bad for Tara’s mom and for Tara having to put her own life on hold all these years to take care of her mother. Michelle has written several good bible truths into her story without being “preachy”. Way to go, Michelle! You’ve done it again!
 
 


Unfortunately there is no giveaway with this review, sorry!


FIRST LOVE can be purchased at Amazon here:

Tombstone Treasures Book Two: First Love

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Mark of Love

The Mend Mark tells a powerful story in two words.


Have you been “Marked?” The Mend Mark is a mission, a movement, an entire revolution. It is a bracelet meant to remind its wearers of Christ’s love and sacrifice, and its message is the passion of its creator, Hunter Harrison.


The Mend Mark is an innovative and distinctive bracelet that is designed to reflect the scars and nail holes of Jesus. When worn, the band resembles the deep holes of the nail driven into the wrists of Jesus during his crucifixion. By bringing the story of Jesus’ life and death to constant awareness by wearing a bracelet, Mend Mark is meant to powerfully remind wearers of the ultimate act of love Jesus made for all of humankind.

Harrison’s mission is to remind all to remember Christ’s love in both his life and death. But more than only a poignant recollection, the Mend Mark is meant to inspire and motivate wearers to live a life of service. Harrison strives to bring people together around the simplicity and power of love as lived by Jesus. But this is no example of passive love. The Mend Mark calls individuals in all walks of life to love with a profound sincerity and commitment great enough to change a neighborhood, a community, a world.

Harrison leads this call to love and sacrifice by example and joins hands with each Mend Mark bracelet purchaser to take the first step in global change. A portion of each bracelet sold goes to support Living Water International, an organization combating the clean water crisis victimizing over one billion people worldwide. Each $5,000 given will result in one well drilled, providing a community with clean water.
(click on the picture to see a larger pic)
But wearers should be prepared to be seen. Unique in its design, the Mend Mark is sure to be noticed and gives wearers an opportunity to share the story of the profound love of Jesus for each and every person. “It was important to me that the design was simple and generic enough that the observer had to ask about it to know what it meant. But I also wanted it to appear distinctive enough that it sparked curiosity,” reveals creator Hunter Harrison. “I wanted it to require the wearer of the product to engage in conversation about the love of Christ (and hopefully show that love to others) instead of just letting the product talk for them.”

Launched in late 2009 after a year and a half of packaging, material, and design development by Harrison, the bracelet has been sold across the United States, Canada, and the UK and has been featured in retail stores as well. The Mend Mark bracelet movement has grown to further fame after being worn during performances by American Idol winner Lee Dewyze, Idol runner up Siobhan Magnus, Decifer Down, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Pillar, and Finding Favour, to name a few. Says Harrison, “I want it to be more than just another bracelet; I want it to represent a movement.” Based on the way things are going, a movement is exactly what it is becoming.

Do you want to be MARKED? Jesus was marked for us, in the most gruesome, painful way possible. Can we wear a bracelet to show we are marked for Him? This bracelet will give you the opportunity to share just what Jesus has done for you!

Order online for $9.99 at www.mendmark.com.

Thank you Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for sponsoring this giveaway. I have one of these awesome bracelets to giveaway! Please leave a comment sharing a time in your life when you knew "it was a God thing". You MUST leave your email address in order to be entered. Your comment will not be counted if there is no email address! Giveaway ends on Friday, November 5, 2010. Contest is open to US and Canada residents only. God bless and good luck!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"And The Beat Goes On" by Tracy Krauss

I would like to welcome Tracy Krauss to Janet's Treasures!

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


I have been writing for about 25 years. Most of my author friends report a similar ‘obsession’. However, AND THE BEAT GOES ON is my first published novel. It released in the fall of 2009. I have another book about to release called MY MOTHER THE MAN EATER. I’m also a playwright and have had a number of plays produced and subsequently published.


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

Persevere. Sometimes one’s dream to be an author takes a lot of tenacity. (As in my case.) However, as I already said, writing is ‘in my blood’. I can’t NOT write, so it’s just a matter of honing your craft, learning to accept rejection, learning from criticism, and persevering.


Where do you get ideas for stories?

I get ideas from very random places. I’d love to say ‘nature’, ‘music’ or some other such ethereal source. I have been inspired by nature and music, but more often it is from the mundane – little slices of life, or random thoughts that just pop up unannounced.


Has anything surprised you about being an author?

Back when I completed my first novel, I was naïve enough to think I could send out a couple of manuscripts to a few publishers and ‘Viola!’ someone would recognize my genius and I’d never have to work in the ‘real’ world again. Hm … hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Getting published was a much longer and more difficult journey than I had expected. Also, I am amazed at the hard work that is necessary AFTER publication – all the marketing and promoting.


Tell us how you come up with characters.

Characterization is one thing I spend a lot of time on. I like to develop very elaborate back stories for all my characters – even fairly minor ones. Perhaps this comes from my work as a theatre director and playwright. I am always very aware of internal motivation. For me, my stories often evolve out of these character sketches.


What is a typical writing day like for you?

I am very much a ‘spurts’ writer. What I mean by that is, I write in spurts where I lose track of time, forget to eat, or realize I really have to go to the bathroom, but forgot to do so! There is no ‘typical’ day, unfortunately. Naturally, I also have a lot of other writing related activities that take my time, like blogging, promoting, queries to editors etc., but as far as creative writing goes, it is very much about inspiration. I always have many projects on the go at one time, as well, so if I get bored, or have ‘writers block’, I just switch to a different story or play.


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

Ha! AND THE BEAT GOES ON took me four years to write, but that was in between working full time as a teacher, raising four kids, volunteering in various capacities etc. etc. My very first novel took me sixteen years! LOL! However, as I said, I usually have four or five projects on the go at once, so it’s difficult to tell exactly how long one would take on its own.


Where is your favorite place to write?

My office, I guess, although I have been known to write out on the deck, or while riding in the car. I have the ability to ‘tune out’ other stuff, so if I’m ‘in the zone’ it doesn’t really matter where I am. I’m in my own little world.


What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?

I love suspense/thriller and fantasy Sci-fi. Frank Peretti is my all time favorite Christian author with Ted Dekker coming in a close second. I also admire Francine Rivers for her honesty and realism.


What are you reading right now?

I just finished the Circle series by Dekker, and I’m currently reading “One Smooth Stone” by a Canadian author named Marcia Laycock, and “Flight of Shadows” by Sigmund Brower. (I like reading multiple books at the same time, too.)


What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

Relax? Oh, that. I’m an artist as well, so I paint. I also enjoy playing the piano. Or I read. Writing is also relaxing for me. Actually, I don’t relax much.


What is your favorite movie?

There are lots, but I’d have to say my all time favorite is still ‘The Matrix’. I love that movie and could watch it over and over.


What 3 things would you rather not be without?

My computer and indoor plumbing. I can’t think of anything else.


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

Write full time.


How can readers and fans contact you?

I maintain two blogs;

http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.blogspot.com/

http://www.krauss.aegauthorblogs.com/

I’m also on Facebook, twitter, and a ton of other places!


MY REVIEW


Here is the back cover blurb:

Canadian born archeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men.



But skepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as his very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the Nephilim.




As an archeologist, Mark Graham has spent his professional life trying to make what he learned growing up in a Christian family “jive” with what he knows as a scientist. On this latest dig, evidence is being discovered that just might bring him back to the truth.



The romance aspect of this book is a little edgy. Mark and Laura, a fellow archeologist, spend some their off time “together”. Nothing too descriptive, thank you Tracy! When Mark goes back home to his parents for a visit, he sees an old family friend who has suddenly “grown up“. There is an attraction there but that is all I’m going to say. Read the book to find out what happens!



Mark has many colleagues that have their own agendas. Who can he trust? Who is really his friend? Answers you will only get when you read this awesome book! Tracy has given us very defined characters and a well developed plot. I was surprised several times throughout the book trying to guess who was doing what. That is the kind of stories I love. The type that keep you guessing, at least most of the way through! If you can figure it out in the first two chapters, why finish it right?

I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good romantic suspense.

There will be a drawing for this book on Tracy's blog,
Please leave your comments to win the book on her site!

http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.blogspot.com/
Thanks and God bless!






Monday, October 4, 2010

New Review...."The Skin Map" by Stephen R. Lawhead

The back cover blurb:


“Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard, and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code, a roadmap of symbols, that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.

But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.
*******************
This is a very fast paced book. You are jumping from character to character, dimension to dimension, time period to time period. Kind of leaves your head spinning sometimes. With that said, I really liked this book! I think Mr. Lawhead did a good job of helping us get to know the characters. I especially enjoyed Wilhelmina, Kit‘s girlfriend, and her journey back in time. I can’t imagine what I would do if I was suddenly thrust into another place and time!

Poor Kit leads such a boring life that you almost clap when he is whisked away for an adventure! Along with Kit and his great-grandfather, the good people, there are some really bad people looking for this map, also.

This is my first time to read anything my Stephen Lawhead. He does very well with describing the places you visit. I could visualize each place and even smell the wonderful bakery smells with Mina in Prague. I did feel the end was too abrupt. I guess it will continue on in the sequel which is quite a ways off. Something that bothered me is that there was no connection to faith or Christianity in this book. I kept waiting for it but it didn’t happen. When I read a Christian fiction book, I really hope to see some reference to Jesus and how our lives can be changed by our relationship to Him.

All in all, I did like the book and would recommend it. I was provided a copy of the book through BookSneeze for my honest review.
 
 
To be entered to win a copy of "The Skin Map"
please leave a comment, with your email address, and you will be entered. Contest
open to U.S. residents only. The winner will be announced on Saturday, 10/9/10. Good luck and God Bless!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Would You Like To Win A Kindle?

Click on the "Contests" tab above and you will be taken to the page where you can enter various contests sponsored by authors and/or publishers.  Let me just say that I have a Kindle and I love it! It is so cool to be able to carry thousands of books in one "tablet" about the size of a paperback book and only as thick as a pencil! Can you imagine? Enter and see if you, too, could be reading on your Kindle!

Search This Blog