Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Most Eggs-ellent Hodgepodge



It's time to join Joyce for the Hodgepodge, and that's not an April Fool's joke!


1. In honor of the date...when were you last sent on a 'fool's errand'?

A couple of weeks ago, I was told I needed to be at work on my day off for a few hours for some training. I was less about a mile from work (it's about sixteen miles from my house) when my boss called and told me that the training would also be the next day, when I was scheduled to work, and I didn't need to come after all. So I turned around and enjoyed my day off!

2. Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, The Energizer Bunny, The Easter Bunny, Rabbit (Pooh's friend), White Rabbit (of Wonderland fame), or the Trix Rabbit...which of these 'famous' rabbits can you best relate to right now?

I have pretty much eliminated all of them. Right now I'm more Flopsy - no energy! LOL

3. When did you last find yourself scrambling to get something done? Explain.

Last week, regarding some paperwork that had to be sent out of state so something could be taken care of on that end before the 31st.

4. Last time you were up at the literal crack of dawn? Why? Last time you stayed up all night? Why?

Well, since the time changed, the crack of dawn has been a little later, so probably that first week! And it's been awhile since I stayed up all night, but it was awfully close the night I got home from work at 4:00 am.

5. Crack a book, crack a bottle, crack a joke, crack an egg...which have you done most recently?

I'm sure it will not surprise anyone that my answer is crack a book!

6. What's your favorite part of a typical weekend? Tell us why that's so.

If it's my weekend off, I love Sunday afternoons. Nap, relaxing, no chores. It's just peaceful.

7. What's something I'd find on a bookshelf in your home? Other than a book I mean!

A picture frame or two.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I've said a time or twenty to anyone who will listen how much I love spring. However, there is one thing I don't like about it, and it began this week. The annual Yellow Dusting of the Cars. And Driveway. Also known as oak pollen. And right behind that come the little flowery wormy things.





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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

From the Start


From the Start
(Walker Family)
Melissa Tagg
(Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764213076
April 2015/352 pages/$13.99


Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft-and-coaching community for writers. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.


MY THOUGHTS

I met Melissa Tagg a year or two ago and could immediately tell she was an author to watch. As I read her debut novel and subsequent releases, that prediction was confirmed. Her new Walker Family series continues with yet another charming tale full of engaging and authentic characters and a plot that drew me in. . .well, right From the Start! She truly does a delightful job of developing her characters and making their issues relatable to readers. The wonderful town of Maple Valley and its close-knit inhabitants drew me in, making me want to move there. The fresh, fun, romantic thread adds to the appeal of this novel and the pages fly by. Colton's childhood background touched my heart, and his efforts to use his experiences to reach out to others, such as Hawk, will inspire you. Don't miss From the Start and the free novella introducing this series, Three Little Words (which I reviewed here last week)!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Melissa Tagg and Bethany House Publishers. 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.”


Q&A WITH MELISSA TAGG

1. What’s the premise for From the Start?
Kate Walker is a romantic-movie scriptwriter who isn’t sure which is worse—the fact that no one wants to buy her latest script or the reality that she stopped believing in true love and happily ever after (and thus, her own stories) long ago. Colton Greene is a quarterback whose whole world is football and the woman he thinks he’s going to marry. When both are ripped from his life on the same day, he’s left without a game plan for his future. In a last-ditch effort to hold on to his career, Colton agrees to release a sports memoir. Only problem? He needs a writer. Kate Walker fits the bill . . . even if she’s not too up on her football knowledge. The unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their lives, but old wounds and new dreams turn what should be a quick project into a complicated tangle.

2. What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
Oh my goodness, I had so many moments with this book when I said out loud, “Melissa, seriously, what were you thinking?” Because at the outset, my football knowledge was so basic I’m not even sure it counted as “knowledge.” Thankfully, I have some very football-savvy friends. And thanks to YouTube, I was able to watch some game replays. I may have also used the football angle as an excuse to rewatch Friday Night Lights.

3. Your romantic comedies have been compared to classic movies. Did your love of classic movies make its way into this story?
Yes! Somehow that obsession tends to creep into all my stories, but it’s a bit more obvious in this one. My main character, Kate, is named after Katherine Hepburn. And there’s a key scene later in the story in which Kate and Colton watch the very first classic movie I remember watching: Bringing Up Baby.

4. You’ve said From the Start is the hardest story you’ve written. How so?
I think the reason From the Start was so hard to write is that I prodded much deeper into my own emotions in this story than I have in the past. There are big pieces of me in all the stories I write, but From the Start probed some of my more vulnerable places. My heroine, especially, embodies some of my own insecurities. She struggles to feel like she’s doing something important with her life. She wishes she were as brave as the characters she writes. She has trouble admitting what she wants and how she feels, even to the people closest to her. All of which is very...me.



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Monday, March 30, 2015

Jeremy Camp: "I Will Follow" - Giveaway!


"I Will Follow"
Jeremy Camp
Label: Capitol Records
ASIN: B00P826ZRCC
February, 2015/$12.99/CD/MP3
Available on Amazon, iTunes and other music retailers

TRACK LISTING:
He Knows
Living Word
I Will Follow (You Are With Me)
Finally Home
Christ In Me
'Til The End
Can't Be Moved
Only You
Same Power
We Are The Dreamers
Here I Am
Spirit Now
Be Still
Perfect Love


MY THOUGHTS

I love Jeremy Camp's voice, and he produces some great music. His new CD has several songs that resonate with me. "He Knows" may be familiar as it is the current single being featured on the radio, and I love the reminder that He knows every thing we are going through. The more reflective "Be Still" (available only on this deluxe edition) calls me to
Be still and know that You are my God
Be still and know that You are enough
Though my heart is racing
Still You're in control
Be still and know that You are my God.
And "Finally Home" is a beautiful reminder of the joy and beauty of heaven. Listening to it this week, I couldn't help but think of Kara Tippetts as she is "forever running free." You'll be blessed by Jeremy Camp's music - grab your copy of this CD or download it today!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this album free from Merge PR as part of a blog tour. 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.”


GIVEAWAY!
I have the privilege of offering a copy of this CD to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT Easter Sunday, 4/5/15, and a winner will be randomly chosen. You must include an email address so that you can be contacted. Offer limited to US and Canada mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited. Winner must respond to notification of win within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.



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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Three Little Words - FREE!



Three Little Words
(Walker Family)
Melissa Tagg
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-1441265128
ASIN: B00U7SV5O0
March 2015/3140 kb/$0.00

Ava Kingsley and Seth Walker might be the most unlikely friends ever. The only thing these two polar opposites have in common is a knack for wordsmithing. Back in college, they were known for their written sparring in the campus newspaper's popular "He Says/She Says" column.

At their ten-year college reunion, they pick up right where they left off. Except this time their squabbling leads to a surprising turn: friendship and a year-long exchange of emails. So when Ava approaches a crossroads in her athletics department career in Minnesota, Seth is quick to offer the open apartment above the restaurant he's been remodeling in Maple Valley, Iowa.

Ava doesn't know where her career will lead her next, but she's starting to suspect she might see Seth as more than a pen pal. Which would be exciting...except for the fact that he only sees her as a friend.

As Maple Valley grows on her, Ava wonders if there might be something here for her even though Seth is unavailable. And maybe, just maybe, after all the words the two of them have exchanged over the years, they'll finally be able to say the three that matter most.

Three Little Words is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Melissa Tagg's new series about the charismatic Walker family and the endearing town of Maple Valley!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft-and-coaching community for writers. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.


MY THOUGHTS

Melissa Tagg's first novels were fresh and fun, and her introductory novella to her new Walker Family series continues to delight. Engaging characters and crisp dialogue bring this charming story to life. As a word geek myself, I particularly enjoyed the repartee between Ava and Seth and the way their friendship grew through their banter. While some might deem this series for the twenty-something generation, those of us who are a "few" years beyond that but are still young at heart or have family members in that age range will still enjoy this novella. And the price certainly can't be beat! Watch for my review of Tagg's upcoming Walker Family novel From the Start, coming very soon!





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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Double Cross


Double Cross
FBI Houston, Book 2
DiAnn Mills
(Tyndale House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-1414389943
April 2015/400 pages/$14.99

FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington—and what she sacrificed to put him away—he is now her best lead.

Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family—even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon.

As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.


Read an excerpt.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Carol award contests.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media sites listed at www.diannmills.com.


MY THOUGHTS

Whew! DiAnn Mills is on my short list of must-read suspense authors and Double Cross proves why. She wasted no time in pulling me into the story, and the prologue had barely begun before my heart was pounding wildly. A master storyteller, Mills makes every word count and weaves multiple threads into this tale brimming with intrigue, danger, and a bit of romance. Her zeal for research is obvious as she crafts her story around the workings of the FBI Houston office and the Houston Police Department. I'm always a little amazed at the level of detail she provides and sometimes wonder when the FBI will turn the tables and interview her! LOL Memorable and sympathetic characters touched my heart and personally connected me to the story, especially Daniel's grandparents. Mills lives up to her tagline Expect the Unexpected as a variety of twists and turns kept me guessing who could be trusted in the race to discover who was targeting the elderly. My one mistake was picking up this book when I couldn't read it straight through, and it was torturous waiting until I could get back to it. This is a stand-alone, so if you haven't read Firewall, the first book in the series, that is no problem, although I highly recommend it as well. (My review of Firewall is here.) In addition to a compelling story, Double Cross contains a wonderful message of faith and forgiveness woven naturally within its pages. Grab your copy today!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from DiAnn Mills. 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.”








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Monday, March 23, 2015

Halo Found Hope


Halo Found Hope:
A Memoir

Helouise "Halo" Matzelle
(Dog Ear Publishing)
ISBN: 978-1457531330
October 2014/228 pages/$16.95

Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope?

A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life… and her family waited.

Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn’t feel half of her face, couldn’t hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn’t even tell anyone that she felt hopeless… or could she?

Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo’s story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo’s story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn’t need to be re cognized by you to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helouise “Halo” Matzelle led a charmed life until receiving a shocking diagnosis in 2011 of a rare brain tumor sitting over the main artery in her brain. Matzelle’s passion is helping those who face various challenges and afflictions discover where true hope is found. She resides in Redmond, WA, with her husband and their three children.

Find out more about Helo at http://halofoundhope.com/.



MY THOUGHTS
I read the first pages as a preview when offered the opportunity to review this book, and I was immediately captivated by this story. As a nurse, I was fascinated by the medical details, of course, but Helo's (pronounced Halo) testimony was even more gripping. She describes her experience of being diagnosed with a brain tumor and walks the reader through the days following that lead up to her surgery as she and her husband wrestle with the potential ramifications this could mean for her life. The book continues to document her surgery and long, arduous recovery. Honest and frank, Helo shares her fears and how she learned to trust that God would never leaver her or forsake her, no matter the outcome, and prayed, "Please make something beautiful out of this." This book will inspire and encourage anyone facing difficult times.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Helo Matzelle and Litfuse Publicity. 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.”



This story of hope and faith in the midst of great physical and medical adversity is sure to encourage you in your faith. Helo Matzelle's Halo Found Hope is a must-read. Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope? Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor.

Halo is offering a Kindle Fire to one lucky reader to celebrate the release of Halo Found Hope!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Halo Found Hope
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 3rd. Winner will be announced April 4th on the Litfuse blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}






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Thursday, March 19, 2015

By Your Side


By Your Side
(Crisis Team)
Candace Calvert
(Tyndale House)
ISBN: 978-1414390321
March 2015/432 pages/$14.99

ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.

Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.

When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse and author of the Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series. Her medical dramas offer readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, Candace makes her home in northern California. Please visit her Web site at www.candacecalvert.com and connect with her on Facebook (CandacdCalvertBooks) and Twitter (@CandaceCalvert) .


MY THOUGHTS

Now that I'm back at work as a nurse full-time, I no longer have to get my medical "fix" vicariously through novels, but that doesn't stop me from reading Candace Calvert every chance I get! A former ER nurse herself, Calvert knows that which she writes, and it shows in the authentic scenarios, believable characters, and crisp dialogue she creates. By Your Side combines her trademark medical drama and heart-pounding suspense in a tale that might be wise to read with a defibrillator nearby. (Good thing AED's have become so prevalent these days! LOL) As the story unfolds, Calvert spotlights the phenomenal work and dedication of crisis volunteers who labor tirelessly on a daily basis, especially the chaplains who deliver the news no one wants to receive about a loved one. This novel gripped me from the opening paragraphs and didn't let go until the final sentence. A steady thread of faith gives evidence why Calvert is known for writing Medical Hope Opera, and a bit of romance simply adds to the appeal of this book. Take two chapters. . .but don't call me in the morning and blame me if you stay up all night reading the entire book!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free Candace Calvert. 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.”




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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Springing for the Hodgepodge


I'm springing over to Joyce's website to play with the Hodgepodge today!


1. Share a favorite song, book, or movie title containing the word green?

I can think of one in each category: the song "Green Green Grass of Home" from way back (a bit morbid!), the book Green Eggs and Ham, and the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.

I don't consider any of them favorites. In fact, I have hardly anything green in my wardrobe or my home. It's just not a color I'm drawn to!

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, 'Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.' Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck?

No. I think strong men believe in God.

3. Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring...which 'spring' word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now?

Oh, I've definitely got spring fever and my offspring are on spring break - one this week and one next week, which means they'll BOTH be home this weekend! And that makes me want to do a handspring!

4. What's something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident?

Dress the part; fix my hair, wear an outfit that I know I look good in, etc.

5. It's National Celery Month...are you a fan? If so, what's a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery?

When I think of celery, I think of the holidays - appetizers that have pimiento cheese in celery and celery in the dressing!

6. What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner?

Self-confidence.

7. Would you like to own a second home? If so where would you want that home to be?

Not really.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

One thing I'm loving about spring besides the warm weather is seeing the fruit start appearing in the grocery store. The strawberries have been wonderful!



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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Heart's Disguise


A Heart's Disguise
(Journey of the Heart)
Colleen Coble
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-0529103413
March 2015/128 pages/$6.99


In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.

The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery’s marriage before it’s even begun.

After Sarah receives word that her fiancé, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner—despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive—and that Ben Croftner knew it—she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.

But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly—and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancé, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife.

But could Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks.

MY THOUGHTS

Colleen Coble writes great stories and I am thrilled that her newest venture is serialized into a set of six novellas, to be released monthly. Coble creates wonderful characters and a compelling story, and I was immediately drawn to Sarah. (Not so much to the insufferable Ben! LOL) Normally, novellas frustrate me by their brevity but Coble packs a lot into this small tome. While the serialization means that everything isn't resolved and tied up with a neat and tiny bow at the final page, the fact that I only have to wait a month for the next installment--instead of years as with many other series--assuages my anxiety over Sarah's circumstances. Don't wait: grab your copy and start this Journey of the Heart today!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. 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.”


In the midst of end-of-war celebrations, Sarah discovers her betrothed was keeping a devastating secret in Colleen Coble's A Heart's Disguise. Will Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the only man she’s ever loved? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

Celebrate book one in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession (blog tour coming in April)
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge (blog tour coming in April)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!

heartsdisguise-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER
and increase your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on May 5th!







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Monday, March 16, 2015

Hawk Nelson's New CD plus a Giveaway!

UPDATE Wednesday, 3/25/15: WINNER!

My apologies for being slow to draw a winner; the combination of work and my girl being home for spring break totally blocked this from my mind.

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
1
Timestamp: 2015-03-25 23:39:55 UTC

Congratulations to Laura Pol! Email me your address, Laura, and the publicist will send the CD your way.

* * * * *

Diamonds
Hawk Nelson
Label: Fair Trade Services
ASIN: B00SJ9TY9C
March 17, 2015
Audio CD: $9.99
MP3: $8.99 Amazon and iTunes

ABOUT THIS ALBUM
From Hawk Nelson's frontman Jon Steingard
Reflecting on how God uses those times of trial to shape us into something stronger and more beautiful gave the band the idea for Hawk Nelson’s new album title. “I feel like a diamond was a great metaphor for that. It’s strong. It reflects light. It doesn’t have any light of its own, but it reflects the light that it receives. There are so many aspects to the idea of a diamond that are indicative of the way God shapes us.”

Diamonds Track Listing:
Diamonds
Drops In the Ocean (current radio single)
Just Getting Started (featured on FOX's American Idol)
Live Like You're Loved
Sold Out
Thank God For Something
Count on You
Made to Live
Straight Line
Only You


ABOUT HAWK NELSON:

L to R: David Niacaris, Jon Steingard, Daniel Biro, Micah Kuiper 
PHOTO CREDIT: David Molnar

This powerhouse band has won the hearts of thousands since its debut release in 2004. Hawk Nelson has released six studio projects (Letters to the President, Smile It’s the End of the World, Hawk Nelson is My Friend, Live Life Loud, Crazy Love, and Made). Hawk Nelson has been awarded two Canadian GMA awards, multiple GMA Dove Award nominations as well as a JUNO nomination. The band's music has been featured on NBC, MTV, WB, WGN, KTLA, Nickelodeon and the NFL Network. Their music has been used with special promotions for American Idol, the NFL, Nike, JCPenny's, Olympics, NHL and Michelle Obama's "Big Day Out" 2011 campaign. Hawk Nelson is Jonathan Steingard (vocals, guitar), Daniel Biro (bass) and Micah Kuiper (guitar) and David Niacaris (drums).


MY THOUGHTS

I had heard Hawk Nelson on the radio but hadn't really paid much attention to their music until I had the opportunity to review this new CD. I will definitely be keeping my ears open for them in the future! This release is full of songs that will have you tapping your foot and singing along. Several have quickly become favorites that echo in my head. More than just catchy tunes however, the songs contain solid lyrics that will uplift and inspire you. I especially love the title track.
He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining
And in His timing
He's making diamonds out of us

"Drops in the Ocean" is currently being played on KLOVE and other radio stations, and it's a great reminder of God's love for us, as is "Live Like You're Loved". And when things aren't going our way, we can always "Thank God for Something!" Grab your copy of this release today!




GIVEAWAY!

I have the privilege of offering a copy of this CD to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT Sunday, 3/22/15, and a winner will be randomly chosen. You must include an email address so that you can be contacted. Offer limited to US and Canada mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited. Winner must respond to notification of win within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this album free from Merge PR as part of a blog tour. 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.”




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Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Catch a Prince


How to Catch a Prince
(The Royal Wedding Series)
Rachel Hauck
(Zondervan)
ISBN: 978-0310315544
February 2015/368 pages/$15.99


She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.

When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre-war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.

Or let it be lost forever?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel Softly and Tenderly one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and is also a conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find out more about Rachel at her website.



MY THOUGHTS

I always enjoy a book by Rachel Hauck, and her Royal Wedding series is such fun. I was enchanted by Once Upon a Prince and Princess Ever After (click the titles for my reviews), and How to Catch a Prince is just as charming. Hauck creates a tale with a fresh and unique twist to the lost love scenario, and tossing in some royal complications adds to the emotion and drama. A thoroughly delightful romance, the real beauty in this story lies in the carefully woven faith journeys of Corina and Prince Stephen. (Corina's arrival in Cathedral City and her tucked-away stay at The Manor with its enigmatic caretakers might be one of my favorite parts of the book!) So many riches can be gleaned from this heartwarming novel. This is a must for your spring reading list. Highly recommended!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Zondervan and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. 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.”




An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever? Find out in Rachel Hauck's new book, How to Catch a Prince. True love has a destiny all its own. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

Enter to win a "royal" prize pack! 

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A royal-themed Brighton charm bracelet
  • 2 tickets to see the new Cinderella movie
  • The Royal Wedding series (Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on Rachel's blog.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spy of Richmond


Spy of Richmond
(Heroines Behind the Lines)
Jocelyn Green
(Moody/River North Fiction)
ISBN: 978-0802405791
March 2015/432 pages/$14.99


Trust none. Risk all.

Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone.

Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.

As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration.

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two small children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com and learn more about her novels at her Heroines Behind the Lines website.


MY THOUGHTS

Wow. Jocelyn Green closes her Heroines Behind the Lines series with another incredible novel that transports the reader to the midst of the Civil War. Once again, Green's impeccable research and matchless writing skills shine as she authentically and, at times, painfully, portrays the horrors of the war and the plight of Sophie and Bella without becoming mired down in minutiae or gratuitous descriptions. Multi-dimensional characters and interwoven threads add depth to this novel, and reading it engaged my mind, heart, and soul. Richly descriptive prose made the pages practically turn themselves, and I couldn't tear myself away from this compelling story. While it is a stand-alone, a few characters overlap from the previous novels in the series, providing an even richer reading experience for those who have read the first three books. The heart-wrenching prologue immediately drew me in and provided a harsh though necessary introduction to this horrific time period. I was awestruck as I considered the strength and determination of Sophie and Bella, as well as others in the novel. The Libby Prison moved me to tears when I considered what those men endured and their perseverance time and time again. I've read many, many novels in this genre, and this series outshines them all. This set has a place of honor on my shelf of favorite authors. Don't miss Spy of Richmond and pick up the others in the series as well. You won't regret it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Jocelyn Green and Moody Publishers as part of a blog tour. 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.”


Don't miss the first three books in this series! Click on the titles below for my reviews.


Wedded to War
(includes my 2012 interview with Jocelyn Green)
Widow of Gettysburg
Yankee in Atlanta

And don't miss my 2014
Interview with Jocelyn Green


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Monday, March 9, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe


Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe
Max Lucado
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-0718000882
February 2015/192 pages/Hardcover$16.99/$10.99 CBD

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
Find out more about Max at his website/.

MY THOUGHTS

This is a quick but meaningful read. Endearing characters and the cozy coffeehouse setting made me feel as if I were in the cafe with my own mug of mocha! Many women will relate to Chelsea and her endeavors to recover from the hurt and disillusionment of a failed marriage. And of course, I loved Manny, the mysterious helper who suddenly appears right when Chelsea loses her only employee and seems to be just what she needs. His klutzy moments and unusual sense of style made me grin. While a book like this can be trite and cliche', Lucado avoids that trap with this inspiring tale.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. 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.”


In Max Lucado's new fiction release, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, he asks, If you could ask God anything, what would you ask—and how would he answer? When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

Join Max in celebrating the release of his new fiction book by entering his iPad giveaway and RSVPing to his Coffee with Max webcast!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A copy of Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on the Litfuse blog. Then tune in later on the 24th for his Coffee with Max webcast. RSVP here!

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