Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Kitchen Daughter

Jael McHenry's The Kitchen Daughter was a novel I just could not put down. Maybe it intrigued me that the main character has some Autistic tendencies - maybe that was it - but whatever it was - it caught me and I was hooked! This novel is a touching story about family, loss, and how to deal with both! Ginny is the adult daughter left alone when both of her parents are killed unexpectedly. She knows she might be a bit different from others - but she does not feel she is not "normal". She knows techniques to use to calm herself and most of those involve food or cooking. So she spends a lot of time in the kitchen and is shocked to find out that if she makes recipes that are hand-written, she can meet with the ghosts of those people. Normally that might turn me off right there - but it was handled so well that I almost believed it could happen! What a wonderful novel - this isn't a story like any other I have read but yet it sure resonated with me! Excellent read!

Monday, October 24, 2011

If My Body Is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch


I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Davis' If My Body is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch!! This is a hilarious read that not only gives you great advice for losing weight safely, but also adds scripture behind it to give us, as Believers, Biblical reasons for losing weight as well. I enjoy Davis' sense of humor and down-to-earth reasoning. There is no magic formula - he admits that - but you can take principles and apply them to help yourself view weight loss in a new light - one that makes sense and is do-able. You will be encouraged and challenged - and we can all use that!!

If you want to read what others are saying about this book - read more review on the tour page.


* I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Dog's Way Home

Are you a dog lover? Have you ever had a dog that was your best buddy? Have you ever lost a dog and it nearly tore you apart?? Then Bobbie Pyron's A Dog's Way Home will surely touch a chord with you. This is a delightful book that will resound with every dog-lover out there. It is a novel that our junior middle age readers will certainly enjoy. The story is tender and sometimes even hard to read for those of us that have a soft spot for dogs, but SO worth the read. Pyron has captured it - the love we can develop for a dog is one that can not be matched!! Join in on Abby's story as she loses her best friend and dog, Tam - the story that takes up after that loss is surely to be savored over and over. We get to see Abby's struggle as she hopes and waits for Tam to return home and we see Tam's story as he tries to survive in a cruel wilderness. Wonderful chapter book for our 3rd-6th grade readers!



I am also hosting a GIVEAWAY by the same author!!! The Ring, her young adult novel, is available here and all you have to do is leave a comment!!! For extra entries - share this on Facebook and/or Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did that! I will use Random Generator to choose a winner a week from today, Wednesday, October 26.

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Love Winner

Our ONE LOVE package winner is Comment 1 - Alexia - you have won!!! Your prize package should be there shortly!! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Baker's Wife

Erin Healy has hit one out of the park - this is an author to watch!! The Baker's Wife was a book I honestly could not put down! It is the story of Audrey, the Pastor's Wife, and her ability to feel the pain of others - physically FEEL their pain. This isn't the wonderful gift that one might think - it is so difficult for her to distinguish what that pain is telling her, that's it's really quite a frustrating gift. In the midst of some other trials in their lives - Audrey and her husband are forced to leave the ministry and it only spirals downward from there. This is when Audrey becomes the Baker's Wife AND becomes the lead suspect in a murder. This is a great read - the characters are well-developed and the storyline is strong! She is on my "Authors to Watch" list!


*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher - in return for my honest opinion of the book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Get These While They're Free!!


Here are some SUPER apps - they are free until December and from Lakeshore Learning - can't beat their quality!! Make sure to get all 3!!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

WonderMaps


If you have not seen this great product in action - well, it's time you did!! I have looked for years for a good geography program for my kids and this one is really a great one!


Bright Ideas Press has finally put WonderMaps - on the map!! WonderMaps is a computer program that has over 350 different maps - all customizable - so you can turn off state lines,
geographical items, color, black and white - really, the maps you can create are endless. It has modern day maps and historical maps ranging from maps of the world, to maps of the USA, biblical maps, historical maps and even maps from History series - all in this package.


Thematic Maps you can choose from


The US Map we wanted to use to fill out Laura Ingalls Wilder's trips

We made the map in black and white to we could trace her trips and fill in only the states we needed.

I am including the tutorial as it does give a very good overview of the program:


I honestly can not think of one thing this program is missing - it is well-thought out and easy to use. It is going to get a lot of use here - that is for sure!!

You can purchase it at Timberdoodle - which I also highly recommend as they are a high quality homeschool supply company! To learn more about them, visit Timberdoodle on Facebook as well. For there great Hands-On Geography ideas, visit THIS link.

*As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of WonderMaps in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Fall Into Reading

I wanted to join in on Fall Into Reading Fall 2011 so here's my lineup:


*The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry - I do not know how this came across my radar, but I started it today and it is QUITE good so far!!

*Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran - This has been on my TBR pile for ages!! I started reading one chapter last night and can hardly put it down. NOT easy to read, but I do feel it will really help me in the future!

*Prodigal God by Timothy Keller - starting this as a study for a women's group - POWERFUL - that is all I can say. Can't wait to keep delving in!!

*Rest Assured by Bill Ewing - just went to a seminar that followed this book - now I can't wait to read the book and be challenged again - WOW - great stuff here!

*Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley - bought this one cheap on my Kindle App - looked intriguing and I am excited to get reading it.

Now, that I've signed up, does that guarantee I'll have free time!?!?!

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Year of Fog

Michelle Richmond's The Year of Fog - somehow came across my radar. I can't even remember who or what suggested I read it - but I had it on my list and finally got to reading it. This is quite a compelling read - the story starts as Abby, soon to be wife to Jake and mom to Emma, takes Emma on a trip to the beach. As they are there, Abby looks away to photograph a baby seal, and Emma disappears. The rest of the book is Abby's search for Emma - even when Abby's own father gives up the search. It is difficult to read as you trudge through the days with Abby - days with seemingly no hope of finding this little girl that has suddenly vanished off the face of the earth. Although I felt at spots that it got long and sluggish, I am glad I finished - I think that is just what Richmond was trying to accomplish - to have us feel what Abby may have been feeling - day after day - looking for a child in a huge world and how her own world was barely moving as time passed. It was a good read - you could really feel for the characters as they developed throughout the story. Definitely a worth-while read!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

One Love

Here is a fun children's book that's spreading LOVE all over!!


One Love by Cedella Marley and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton is such a fun book - reminds me of the catchy tune that Cedella's father, Bob Marley, made famous!!

GO watch the fun book trailer HERE.

When you read this children's book, you can see how one little girl, with the help of her friends, family, and community can help transform their whole neighborhood! This is a great story and the illustrations add to the sweetness of the story - really a fabulous mix!!



Here are some words from Cedella herself!!
One Love – Many Hearts
While I loved the the idea of adapting my father’s lyrics into children’s books, I did have some concerns. His songs are beloved by millions of people all over the world - would his fans accept a new version of a songs that means so much to them? But the more I thought about it, the more I knew that it was an idea my dad would have loved. He gave his music to the world and to his family. His song will always be his, and now my version can stand alongside and give a new generation of children a chance to experience One Love in a way that’s just for them.
I can understand fans’ concerns because I had to take the same leap of faith when I
gave my adapted lyrics to Vanessa Brantley-Newton to illustrate for One Love. She and I hadn’t worked together before – and hadn’t ever met. Would she understand my vision for the new lyrics? Would her pictures match those in my mind? Luckily she not only understood, but surpassed by vision. Her illustrations capture all the joy of the song and I especially love the diversity of the characters – every child will be able to see someone that looks like them or someone they know on the pages. And Vanessa incorporated so many wonderful touches, like the pictures of my father and the number “56” on the town house, which was the house number of my childhood home.
Allowing many hearts to contribute to a project isn’t always easy. We often hold onto what’s familiar and want to maintain control. But the message of One Love is “let’s get together.” So in away my father and I got together to create the lyrics, and Vanessa and I got together to create the book – and it does “feel alright.”
And now for MY fun - you have a chance to win THIS fun prize pack!!!


How??? Just leave a comment on my post for one entry. For another, tweet or Facebook about it and leave that link in my comments as well!!! (So up to three entries!!) I will post a winner on Thursday, Oct 13!!!










**I was sent a copy of this book for preview purposes by the publisher.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Reclaiming Lily

This is a book that really caught my attention - China adoption, older child adoption, finding birth family later in life - yep, Lacy had me from page one!! Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy is a book that captivates. It is authentic - even the whole adoption story - we can say from experience that it follows truth. But Lily's story was also moving for me - just a scenario of what adopted children might face as they get older (not much different than our biological children on some levels) - but those deep-seated thoughts of their birth families - it all just made for a wonderful novel for me. The story is tender - and not one that you figure out in 10 pages (my big beef with christian fiction)! It is the deeply moving story of Kai, trying to locate her biological sister, Lily, in the United States. Kai is not involved in the medical profession and feels it is her duty to find her sister and tell her of a life-threatening disease that their birth mother died from. It is the story of an adoptive family that must decide if this is good timing for their daughter - and then it is the story of Lily (Joy, as her adoptive family calls her) and all that she goes through in finding out more of her story. Truly a novel full of passion and authenticity.



Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book, Reclaiming Lily, with a KindleTouch Giveaway, blog tour and FB Book Chat Party!

Follow the blog tour and read the reviews!

Patti and her publisher, Bethany House, are giving away a Reclaiming Lily prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!


Enter the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway and you could win:

  • A brand new just released KindleTouch with Wi-Fi

  • $25 gift cetificate to Amazon.com

But, wait there’s more!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/19! Patti will be announcing the winner of the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway at her Party on Facebook October 20th! She’ll be hosting a book club chat of Reclaiming Lily (it's okay if you haven't read it - you could win a copy!) and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to Amazon.com, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on 10/20/11 at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)! RSVP today!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter


Here is what the publisher says about the book:

A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.

Gloria's relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman's apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer--or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?

About Patti:

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master's-level courses in English at Indiana State University. She taught at Heartland Community College until May 2006, when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal, Illinois.

For more about Patti and her other books, visit her website at www.pattilacy.com.

**I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

If there is one book you read to your little ones this year - this is it!!! The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein is "just what the doctor ordered" for us perfectionists!! Too many little people live with too much pressure to be perfect - whether self-inflicted or put on them by others - they need to be assured that mistakes are normal. And this book is perfect for showing them how mistakes can be normal AND even funny!! Pett's illustrations are wonderful at capturing the feelings of the kids in the book - they are simple and yet full of emotion.


Here is what the publisher says:

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes is the delightful story about Beatrice Bottomwell, a girl who prides herself on being perfect, until she’s not. She is a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a slip-up. But one day she does the unthinkable—she makes her first mistake! Not only that, she makes it in the most public way possible. Will the mistake be the end of her life? Or could it end up being a lot of fun?
(And I wholeheartedly agree!!)

Thank you, Pett and Rubinstein, for showing us perfectionists that it's ok to NOT be perfect all the time!! Where was this book when I was a kid anyway!?!?!?


*I was sent this book as a review copy by the publisher.

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