Monday, February 28, 2011

free book! (it's a good one)

A few months ago, I reviewed Maureen Lang's Whisper on the Wind for Tyndale House Publishers. I gave it a positive review, and I can still remember the plot six months later. (Trust me, with all the reading I do, I very quickly forget some of the books I've reviewed--even books that I enjoyed at the time!) I found out today that Tyndale is offering a free Kindle download of this book during the month of March. Remember, you don't have to have a Kindle or other portable reader to read ebooks; you can download them to your computer. (I don't have a Kindle ... yet ... but I have around 50 ebooks on my computer.) I still highly recommend Whisper on the Wind. Click here to get it free!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

why i haven't been blogging

(except to post book reviews)

There's a one-word answer: speech.

Our competitive season starts the first week after Christmas break and ends the 4th week of March. We go to eight Saturday invitationals, seven of them in a row (thankfully, this is the eighth Saturday after Christmas break and is a day off!), plus we have Conference, District, and (hopefully) State! It's an insane three months, and I spend many evenings at school, working with team members. Thankfully, we're on the downward slope now, with only one invitational, District, and State to go!

I hate that this blog has basically turned into a book review blog (five of my eight posts in 2011 are book reviews), and I do plan to remedy that ... it's just that I'm so tired when I get home, and I'd rather read a book or watch something on Netflix than actually have to think and write!

And as much as I'd like to write now, I have mountains of papers to grade. I'm so far behind. Like, I gave a test two weeks ago that isn't graded yet (hangs her head in shame). So, I'm setting myself up with a cup of Teavana tea (that's another post waiting to happen!), some relaxing music, and a purple pen (which is so much friendlier than red!), and I'm settling in for an afternoon of grading.

Hope to see you again soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"an unlikely blessing" by judy baer

Forty-something Alex Armstrong is starting over. After teaching English at a university for ten years and having his heart broken by his fiancee, Alex feels God calling him to a pastorate in North Dakota, of all places. A lifelong city dweller, Alex finds he has much to adjust to when he arrives in Hilltop Township. Not only must he learn to live on the prairie, but he also must find a way to bridge the gap between the two churches in his parish.

In An Unlikely Blessing, author Judy Baer weaves a gentle, heartwarming story of faith and friendship. While this isn't the kind of fiction I normally read, I did enjoy this glimpse into a small farming community. Though I've never read Jan Karon's Mitford series, this book has the feel of what I imagine the Mitford books to be--gentle, humorous, and full of quirky characters. At times, I struggled to keep all the characters straight ... something Baer herself addresses near the end of the book through the words of one of the characters: "It will take a while to understand everyone here. But give it time."

After reading An Unlikely Blessing, I'd like to do just that: take the time to understand the characters by reading the subsequent books in the series. (Besides, I'm really curious about who or what is buried in that grave!)

You can enter a Kindle giveaway here:

Prolific author of over 75 novels, Judy Baer, is launching her new Guideposts series, Forever Hilltop, with a KINDLE giveaway! The first book in the series, An Unlikely Blessing is available now wherever fine books are sold.

In celebration of the release of An Unlikely Blessing, Judy is giving away a KINDLE prize package worth over $175.

One lucky winner will receive:
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • A $25 gift certificate to
To enter just click on one the icons below and then tell your friends! Winner will be announced on February 21st on Judy's blog,

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

For more information please visit the Litfuse website, and click {HERE}!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"the rhythm of secrets" by patti lacy

Sheila Franklin, the wife of an influential Chicago pastor, has kept her past buried for half her life. Her childhood in New Orleans, the son she gave up for adoption, and even her true identity remain hidden from everyone, including her husband ... until her son finds her. A Marine, Samuel seeks Sheila's help in rescuing the Thai girl he loves. As Sheila opens her heart to the son she's yearned to know, she risks losing the husband who never really knew her.

In The Rhythm of Secrets, Patti Lacy weaves a captivating tale of love, heartache, racism, and forgiveness. After reading the first page, I honestly wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the book, but I kept going ... and before I knew it, I'd read 50 pages! I love how Lacy intertwines Sheila's past with the present. Her writing is so vivid that I felt like I was watching a movie--and this book would make an excellent film! The plot takes turns I didn't anticipate, and I loved the resolution. (I even cried a little, but you didn't hear that from me!) I also loved the description of Chicago. I didn't attend Moody, but I visited several times, and I could picture many of the places Sheila went.

I can honestly say this is one of the most intriguing books I've read in a long time. I highly recommend it!

You can buy the book here or read other reviewers' thoughts here.

There's also a contest you can enter to win a Nook prize package:

Patti and her publisher, Kregel Publications, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!! 

Enter the Nook eReader Giveaway and you could win:
  • A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble
To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form/s,  then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon!  Winner will be announced on February 16th at Patti's Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Patti will be announcing the winner of The Rhythm of Secrets NOOK giveaway at her Party on Facebook  February 16th! 

She’ll be hosting a book club discussion of The Rhythm of Secrets and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on February 16th at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."