Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate (4 Stars)

This Book Touched My Soul  (4 Stars)

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The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate (Tyndale House Publishers)

Do you journal your prayers?  Do you keep track of them on paper and put them in boxes?  Iola Anne Poole did.  She had a most remarkable life, full of hurt and loneliness, but she learned some wonderful lessons from Sister Marguerite when she was a little girl, “Remember that you are God’s, not theirs.”

Tandi Jo Reese and her two children were running away from a messy past and Tandi has a lot to learn about herself and being a good parent.  She was living in the rental cottage that Miss Iola owns, and then one day Tandi finds that Miss Iola, at ninety-one, has passed away.  Tandi is mostly concerned for herself and her children, wondering what will happen to them, but even in death, Miss Iola is looking out for them.  She gave her house and property to the church that is located beside her and the pastor is letting Tandi remain in the cottage in exchange for helping clean out part of the old house.  That’s when Tandi discovers Miss Iola’s many, many prayer boxes.

So many things happen in this book, heart-breaking, mysterious, and even a little romance.  But the main theme is to give yourself to God and have a personal relationship with Him.  To pour out your heart to Him, regularly, and tell Him everything.  Iola’s letters in her prayer boxes are wonderful.  I did get angry and Tandi several times, she kept doing the same thing to her kids that she hated from her past.  But, then I thought, we do the same thing, we want to do better, but our flesh is sometimes much stronger.  Romans 7:19,24-25 “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Miss Iola is full of secrets and now the whole town depends on her legacy, will Tandi be able to rise above her past and help? You’ll have to read this book to find out all the wonderful treasures inside.  And don’t forget after finishing the book to read The Note From The Author. It ties the book and whole prayer box concept up…it a tidy box!  You can visit for more info about making your own prayer box.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

Watch this beautiful YouTube video about the book:

Let’s meet Lisa:


Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author of 16 books.  Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its fifteenth printing from Penguin Putnam.  Tending Roses is a staple on the shelves of national bookstore chains as well as in many independent bookstores.

Recently, Lisa’s Blue Sky Hill Series, set in Dallas, received national attention with back-to-back nominations for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award for A Month of Summer (2009) and The Summer Kitchen(2010). In 2011, Lisa’s Novel, Never Say Never, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award.  Pithy, emotional, and inspirational, her stories bring to life characters so real that readers often write to ask what is happening to them after the book ends.

Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for both Bethany House, a Christian publisher, and NAL Penguin Putnam, in mainstream fiction.  Her bestselling books have become a hallmark of inspirational southern fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader’s Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, American Profiles and have been chosen for numerous awards.

When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women’s literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read.  Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.

This book will be donated to the Media Center for our patrons to check out.




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Free E-Books from Tyndale House (and Two Discounted Ones!)

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Here are two free e-books from Tyndale House and a couple of $1.99 ones.  I’ve been dying to read Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills, so I’m excited about this one.  I have listed the link to the kindle store (amazon) but these books are also available on just about any other e-reader, so if you have something other than a Kindle, check your e-book store and I’ll bet they are the same price as listed here.  But always double check the prices before downloading.

  • FREE (8/11 – 8/14) on Kindle :  Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills
  • FREE (8/11 – 8/17) on Kindle:  Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins
  • $1.99 (8/11 – 8/17) on Kindle:  She’s got Issues by Nicole Unice
  • $1.99 (8/11 – 8/17) on Kindle:  The Briarpatch Gospel by Shayne Wheeler

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The Winner of our Jennifer Erin Valent Book Giveaway is…..

We are excited to announce the winner of an autographed book, Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent to Diane White, from New Port Richey, FL.  She is also a writer and has a website:  You will want to check out her website and see what she’s up to.  I’ll have to add her books to my “to be read” list!

Diane was very excited to get the news that she won!  She loves Jennifer’s books and is looking forward to reading Jennifer’s next novel.

We want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway and made comments.  It was a wonderful experience with Jennifer.  And those of you who didn’t win, I highly recommend reading her books.  You won’t regret one minute of time spent reading this series.

Our next author and giveaway begins September 1, 2013 and the author is Denise Weimer and we will be giving away an autographed copy of her book, Sautee Shadows.  So, come back on September 1st to read our interview with Denise and comment to enter.

May God bless each one of you!










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Tamera Alexander Takes Us on a Tour of Belle Meade Plantation

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Tamera Alexander’s first book in the Belle Meade series is, To Whisper Her Name.  After I read this book I wanted to jump in the car and drive to Tennessee to visit this plantation.  The book was wonderful and I can’t wait for the next two books in this series.

Tamera has made six YouTube videos that take us on a tour of Belle Meade Plantation and shares with us all the history of this wonderful place.  I’m sharing the first video here and you can go to Tamera’s website to view the rest of the videos.  It’s a wonderful insider look at this beautiful place and it really makes the book come to life for me.  I want to read, To Whisper Her Name again after watching these videos!

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Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

I just saw this is a freebie e-book.  It’s book 1 in a series of 4.  It’s a great series.  Cute, romantic, funny, I loved it.  And the author, Sandra is a great person too!  I don’t know how long this will be free, so get it now.

We have the entire series in our Media Center, thanks to Sandra’s generosity!

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With Love and Prayers on Every Side – Moore, Oklahoma

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“12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

2…I Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to Jeremiah, the prophet… 3.So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:2-3 (NIV)

On Sunday, my son and several friends left for Moore, Oklahoma to do disaster relief work there.  It is his first mission trip as an adult. This time, he would not be taking a church bus. This time, he would be making the trip on his own.  As a mother, I was nervous about this 1000 mile trip across four states.  At the same time, however, I felt blessed by his choice to dedicate his time and energy to helping others.

Moore, Oklahoma Disaster Relief Trip

Moore, Oklahoma
Disaster Relief Trip

In preparation for the trip, we had the car inspected, tuned up, and new tires installed.  We shopped for working gloves, appropriate clothes, and purchased snacks for him to eat and share along the way.  We gave him a Subway gift card, and people in our church gave him gas cards and money for expenses.  All of these things were important, but the most important thing we did was to pray and to ask others to pray. I know Christians in Moore are praying for this project.  Because we have Facebook, Christians in other states are also praying.

A few Sundays ago, I taught a Sunday school lesson about two prophets separated geographically, but bound together by prayer.  One man, Daniel, was called by God to serve Him in captivity. The other man, Jeremiah, was called by God to stay in the destroyed city of Jerusalem to preach and prophecy. During his lifetime, he was beaten, arrested, thrown in a cistern, humiliated, ridiculed, and abused.  But the beauty of God’s plan is that though the people of Jerusalem did not heed Jeremiah’s warnings, a man in faraway Babylon understood Jeremiah’s message, turned to God, and prayed.

And so, in the wake of a disaster in Moore, young people have decided to go and lend a hand. People in Georgia and Oklahoma pray, and others, who know them and even those who do not know them personally, all across the country, turn to the LORD in prayer.  United in prayer and in the beauty of God’s plan, we are strengthened, a town is rebuilt, and God is glorified.  Praise God!

Moore, Oklahoma Disaster Relief Team

Moore, Oklahoma
Disaster Relief Team

Moore, Oklahoma Disaster Relief Team

Moore, Oklahoma
Disaster Relief Team

Moore, Oklahoma Disaster Relief Team

Moore, Oklahoma
Disaster Relief Team

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Lord, today we recall Philippians 4:6 (KJV): “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”. How beautiful it is to be bound together in prayer, to know you are always present in our lives and ready to receive our praise, our thanks, concerns and petitions.  Today, we make our requests known to you.  We ask you to restore the town of Moore, but most of all we ask you to do a mighty work in the hearts of the people there.  We ask you to bless those who have gone there to help and return them safely to us.  We thank you for your guidance and protection, and in all these things we seek your glory.

In the name of Jesus,


One of our Christian authors, Rene Gutteridge, lives in the Moore, OK area and in her blog she shares her experience of that day.  It was scary and makes it so real.

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Jase and Missy from Duck Dynasty – Great Interview

Here’s a great interview for Duck Dynasty fans…really anyone will enjoy it.

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Into The Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden (5 Stars)

A Whirlwind of Emotions (5 Stars)


Into The Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

Mollie Knox inherited her father’s business, the 57th Illinois Watch Company.  She was no stranger to it, she was just as much an expert as the other employees, all of which were like family.  They made the best, most expensive watches in the country and had an exclusive contract to sell them at Hartman’s in Chicago.  Everything was going along fine, until October 8, 1871.  Mollie had been asked downtown to talk with Hartman’s lawyer, Zack Kazmarek.  She smelled smoke in the air, but didn’t think too much of it.  But, this day and night turned into terror as the fire spread across the town.  Zack, who had always been strictly business with her, was now fighting with her through the crowds to get to her apartment, to rescue her lawyer, who was blind.  Together they battled, suffered, burned, coughed throughout the night trying to save everyone and everything they could.

This is a story of rebuilding after all is lost.  Of not giving into fear, but pushing past it in order to get order back in their lives.  A closeness was forged between people of all kinds during that fire, some would last a lifetime and others would be betrayed.  There is romance, suspense, and even a little bit of humor in this book. It’s a book that you will be immediately drawn into and will not want to put down.

This is a Christian novel, but it’s not “preachy” like I’ve heard other reviewers of Christian fiction complain about.  This novel weaves their faith through their lives like a breath, sometimes hard to catch, sometimes the breath gets knocked out of them, but like breathing, it comes back to a regular flow eventually for them.  One verse that comes to mind after finishing this book is “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group & Bethany House for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

Let’s Get To Know Elizabeth:


A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.

Read an Excerpt:

Click HERE

I will be donating this book to the Media Center.  And for those of you who live around the Athens area and don’t come to our church, I was at the Carpenter’s Shop on Tuesday (their first day) and saw they had two copies of this book.  Brian told me that all Christian fiction will be 20% off.  They have a great store and are still getting everything moved in.  Open House will be in a few weeks.



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Does Anyone Remember These? I’m Not Ashamed To Say I Do!

This little walk down memory lane began with a search for a book by Victoria Holt for our featured author, Jennifer Erin Valent.  She read her books when she was younger and I felt for sure that I would have a copy.  I didn’t find Victoria Holt, but I did find these books!  It took me back, way back and it was an enjoyable trip.  I just wanted to share the books (most are books made from TV/Movies, of which I watched!)  Yes, go ahead and judge me if you want, but I loved those shows.  Still do, although I now realize The Monkeys was really, really silly!  But hey, I was a teenager in love with Davy Jones!

I know these have nothing to do with Christian books, but they are books.  And this is my “Just Me” column and I am sometimes a little bit crazy! 🙂

Let me know if anyone remembers these shows/books, so I won’t feel like the only one in the world who is old enough and in one case crazy enough to have loved them!

I loved Annette's beach movies!

I loved Annette’s beach movies!

Do you remember watching her movies?  Does anyone remember reading this book?

The Monkeys, yes I'm embarrassed now...but then??? I loved that show!

The Monkeys, yes I’m embarrassed now…but then??? I loved that show!

Please tell me that someone else watched this crazy, silly show!  And if you did, which one of the Monkeys did you like best?  And did you buy a book too?

I even have their album...thought I had more, maybe I have some singles.

I even have their album…thought I had more, maybe I have some singles.

The show may be silly, but the songs are still great!

Who doesn't like Doris Day and Brian Keith!

Who doesn’t like Doris Day and Brian Keith!

I think I’ve seen every movie with Doris Day and probably most of Brian Keith’s movies…but I think my favorite of his was, The Parent Trap, and the TV show, Family Affair!  Remember those?

I know Sally Fields hated this show, but it was like chocolate candy to me when I was in my teens!

I know Sally Fields hated this show, but it was like chocolate candy to me when I was in my teens!

I’ll even admit that I have the first season of The Flying Nun on DVD!  Yes, I’m crazy! 🙂

This is the Flying Nun album!  See I was a fan!

This is the Flying Nun album! See I was a fan!

I was such a fan, I thought about leaving my Baptist faith and joining the Catholic church to become a nun and go to Puerto Rico!  I wasn’t really serious, but it was a daydream!  My daughter actually got to go to Puerto Rico, oh how jealous I was.  Now you know for sure that I’m crazy!

This was not a TV show or movie, but I loved these silly letters.

This was not a TV show or movie, but I loved these silly letters.

Does anyone remember this book?  Please tell me I’m not the only one!  

Here’s a letter from camp:

Dear Folks,

One of the boys broke his leg.  They had a big fire in the recreation hall.  My counselor had his appendix out.  The boy in the bed next to me almost drowned.  The water pipe broke in the kitchen and they had a flood.  A tree fell down when the lightening hit it and they found a big rat in one of the bunks.  Nothing else is new.



I hope you have enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me.  Do you have some memory lane stories to share?



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I Feel Like I Went On The Grand Tour While Reading Lisa T. Bergren’s Series!

I Love This Historical Fiction Series (5 Stars)

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Glittering Promises (The Grand Tour Series #3) by Lisa T. Bergren (David C. Cook – Oct. 1, 2013)

This is the third book in this series and I do hope there will be a fourth!  I have loved traveling throughout Europe with this strange mixture of family, friends, and foes.  During their tour of Europe they saw many of God’s splendor in His creations, yet they also saw evidence of man’s creations that were now in ruins, crumbled, torn down.  That’s like us, we can build on our own or we can build on our relationship with Jesus, that’s something that will be here for eternity.

It’s hard to write a review about the second or third book in a series without letting some information out, so I do warn you…if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, please just take my word for it and go read them…this is an excellent series.

Cora Deihl Kenninston is surrounded by family and friends and bodyguards on this trip through Europe.  At first you think all the troubles from Book 2 are over with, but never let down your guard!   Cora is still searching for the right thing to do with her newfound position in life and her lady’s maid, Anna, had some very good advise for her.  She said, “I’ve rarely seen money make anyone a better person, but I’ve seen it destroy many….happiness depends on how a body uses what the Lord gives them.  Seek His will out, Miss Cora.”  Sounds like pretty good advise for us too!  Cora has tried all summer to fit in with her new family and new way of life, only to be miserable.  Will she decide on Will or Pierre?  Are the threats to her life over or really just beginning?  Finally Cora realized something important, “about how grand it was of God, to sort out the glittering promises of my life and make it clear what was truth and what was a lie.  What I could cling to, count on, and what I could not.”

God does work in mysterious ways and that is what happened with Cora on this Grand Tour.  So many joyous moments, so many sad moments, and so many terrified moments.  But God brought them all together to make sense of the whole trip and show her that her true heritage lies with Jesus!

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest opinion of this book and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

We have the first two books in this series in the Media Center and I’ll order this book as soon as it comes out!

A Little Info About Lisa:

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Lisa T. Bergren is the award-winning author of over forty books, with more than 2.5 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, Lisa now divides her time between writing, editing, parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of her next trip to Italy. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Two Free E-books From David C. Cook Publisher

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Both of these books are FREE until Tuesday, August 6, 2013 midnight compliments of David C. Cook Publishers.  So get them now!  (Check your e-reader, I just posted the link to Kindle, they may be free on other readers also.)

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Some Fantastic Deals on E-Books – Get Them While They Last!

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I have linked to Kindle on these books, but most are available in other e-book formats also, so check your e-reader store.

I just received a notice from Tyndale House Publisher about some free and discounted e-books and I’m really excited to share them with you.  There will be more as the month progresses and I’ll let you know, especially when, Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge is FREE toward the end of the month, you don’t want to miss that one!  Wow!  So keep tuned in.

Here are some more e-book deals, a free one and some discounted.  I don’t know how long these will be free, so if you like what you see, you’d best go ahead and download them.  Just double check the prices.

  • FREE on Kindle:  Good, Clean Murder (A Plain Jane Mystery #1) by Traci Tyne Hilton
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  An Unforgivable Secret (Amish Secrets #1) by J.E.B. Spreademann (you can search for my review of this book under “Book Reviews”)
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  Rescue Team (Grace Medical #2) by Candace Calvert  (Book 1 is called Trauma Plan)
  • $3.99 on Kindle:  The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck (you can search for my review of this book under “Book Reviews)

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Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery #1) by Julianna Deering (3 Stars)


Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery #1) by Julianna Deering (Bethany House Publishers)

It’s early 1930‘s in England and Drew Farthering and his best friend Nick Dennison are avid mystery buffs.  Drew owns the Farthering Place estate and Nick is his butler’s son who was raised and schooled along with Drew.  Drew’s mother and his step-father, Mason Parker, live on the estate and were hosting friends for a party the weekend that Drew and Nick decided to come home.

Almost like a murder mystery party, the events unfold.  Drew’s step-father’s niece from America and two of her friends show up for the weekend, along with his business associate and new secretary and the stage is all set.  Before the weekend is over there are two deaths and Drew and Nick are eager to use their detective skills, learned by reading mysteries, to solve the case.  There are lots of twists and turns and you really don’t know what’s going on until the end. I love to be kept guessing! Of course there is a budding romance in the works between Drew and his step-father’s niece, Madeline Parker.  She gets involved in solving the murders also.

This book was enjoyable, but I had to get into it about halfway before I really got the characters set in my mind.  It is described as “Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie”.  I must admit I’ve never been able to really get into Agatha Christie, but I do love Downton Abbey and other than the big estate in England and the butler, I don’t see any similarities.  I’m giving it a 3 star rating, for me 3 stars means it’s OK.  This is the first in a series and I will probably read the sequel to see what other adventures Drew and Nick get into and see how the author develops the characters.  I wanted to give this book a second chance and did start reading it again and I was able to get into the characters and the way they talked better the second time around.  This is published by a Christian publisher but the Christianity was not preachy and I think anyone that likes a good, clean mystery (especially set in England) will like this book.

Book 2 in this series, Death by the Book, will be coming in the Spring of 2013.  Visit Julianna’s website, by clicking HERE, to read an excerpt of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from and Bethany House Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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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Blowing on Dandelions (Love Blossoms in Oregon #1) by Miralee Ferrell

Historical Drama and Romance At It’s Best! (5 Stars)


Baker City, Oregon, 1880 is where this wonderful book is taking place. It’s the story of Katherine Galloway and her two daughters, Lucy and Amanda.  She is widowed and runs a boarding house in town.  She seems to be comfortable with her life, even though she misses her husband, she keeps busy with the boarding house, her daughters and the quilting circle at her church.  But one day, Micah Jacobs and his son, Zachary move to town to open the livery up again.  And then she gets a rather mysterious boarder, Jeffery Tucker, and he seems pleasant enough but no one really knows what he does for a living.

The bottom really falls out of Katherine’s life when her mother shows up with plans to live with her indefinitely.  They get along as well as oil and vinegar.  Nothing good seems to happen after that.  Especially when another cantankerous boarder, and her niece show up.  Talk about tension! But God has His hand on this family and even through some hard times, God is there with them and working in each of their lives. This is a story of how people, who are not perfect, can come to know God, who is perfect.  His mercy and grace is sufficient for all of us.

I totally loved this book!  And I’m so glad there is a sequel, Wishing on Buttercups, and I can’t wait to continue reading about these people and find out what’s going to happen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network and from David C. Cook for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

I will be donating this book to our Media Center and as soon as Book 2, Wishing on Buttercups, comes out, I’ll be purchasing it!  Can’t have one without the other, now can we?  Be sure to watch this short YouTube video with Miralee talking about the book.

UPDATE:  I just heard from Miralee and she said the sequel will be out next Spring!  Yeah!!!


August 2, 2013 · 3:33 pm

A Perfect Pet for Peyton by Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne

Delightful In So Many Ways! (5 Stars)

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This is one of the cutest books for children I’ve seen lately.  And it’s like 4-books-in-one!  First, it’s a delightful story about twins, Peyton and Penny and it’s their birthday.  They have been hinting to their parents about their dream party and it’s about to come true.  They end up in a delightful place called, Mr. Chapman’s Perfect Pet Pal Emporium. This place is amazing, and be warned…when you read this to your children they WILL want to go here for their birthday or any day!  I would love to go there!

Secondly, this is more that just a sweet birthday party story, it’s a story about children’s love languages and how each child responds to different ways of showing love and friendship.  You and your children will learn about each other’s love language while reading this delightful story.

Thirdly, this book is a “search & find” book too!  On each page that has a full picture, you are suppose to look for an insect.  There is one page I still haven’t been able to find it.  I guess I’ll have to get my grandson’s to help me!

Fourthly, it’s a book about animals and insects and learning about them, searching for them on the pages, and finding out different things about them.

All around, this book is precious and I highly recommend it for parents, grandparents, church libraries, even Sunday School teachers.  There are so many uses for this book.

“I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.” I  received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

I’ll be donating this to the Media Center for parents, grandparents, children workers, to come and check out.

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A Little Biblical Humour Doesn’t Hurt…..

Here are some funnies to get you going this morning. Complements of


braddunne_files_wordpress_com_2011_08_reading_the_bible_is_funQ. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
A. Ruthless.

Q.What do they call pastors in Germany ?
A. German Shepherds.

Q.Who was the greatest financier in the Bible? A. Noah He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q.Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Q.What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible? A. David’s Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.

Q.Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q.What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden ?
A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.

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Wood, Nails and Lots of Love

Devotion on blog Aug 2 2013.001

The year I turned ten, my brothers and I decided to build a clubhouse.  Our decision, however, did not go without opposition.  Living in a three story house with relatives, meant we all shared one back yard.  One day, I overheard a conversation my parents had with my grandfather and my uncle.  I recall the term “eye-sore” being used more than once.  At some point, however, my grandfather and uncle must have relented.  After much deliberation, it was decided that we could have our clubhouse till it was time for my grandmother to plant her flowers in the spring.

Joyfully we went right to work.  Most of our building materials came from Weber’s lot.  At Weber’s lot, treasures that only a ten-year old could appreciate were available for the taking:  two by fours with only a couple of nails to pull out, a metal shelf with only a dent or two, and a perfectly good step-ladder with only one rung missing.  Our local grocer supplied us with discarded wooden fruit crates.  We raised money for nails by collecting pop bottles and turning them in for cash: 2 cents for the small ones and 5 cents for the large ones.

Laying the foundation and erecting the four corners of our rectangular structure was as far as we got before running into technical difficulties.  While we worked, my grandfather sat on the patio reading his paper. From time to time, he would make a suggestion, or measure and then, saw a piece of wood.  Sometimes Uncle John helped us hammer nails, and once Uncle Frank stopped by to help us put a latch on the door.  Soon the whole family was involved.  My grandmother provided a piece of linoleum for the floor, my aunt, an area rug, and my mom, a flashlight and snacks.  My Dad helped us paint.

We enjoyed our clubhouse that fall and winter, but before long, it was time for my grandmother to plant her flowers.  With heavy hearts, we tore down the clubhouse.  In truth, springtime called us to enjoy other outdoor activities and the initial excitement and enthusiasm for the clubhouse had waned.  What remained intact was the solidarity that developed in our relationship with our relatives.  It was a thing of beauty, to work together for a common purpose.

A church is a family.  Sometimes its members do not agree on the merits of a project, but that is all right, as long as an agreement is reached and we decide to work together to achieve a common goal.

Dear Heavenly Father,

How wonderful that you let us call you Father and that you call us children.  We thank you for adopting us, and for placing us in a church family.  As we worship and serve you, there will be times of disagreement.  Help us to discern the things that need to stay the same and those we need to change. Teach us how to work together for your eternal purposes, and to love each other through our differences.

In the name of Jesus, our cornerstone,


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Great Free and Discounted E-Books

I’m really busy today with the interview/giveaway for Jennifer Erin Valent and keeping grandson’s too, so I’m going to cheat again and just give you the link to visit to see some REALLY GREAT free and discounted books.

The one’s my Mindy Starnes Clark, Ann Gabhart, Elizabeth Camden, and B. J. Hoff, I can tell you for sure that they are great.  And some of the others look really good too.

Here’s the link:  The Vessel Project

These are some great books for great prices and I don’t want you to miss them.




Filed under Free E-Books

Jennifer Erin Valent Interview and Book Giveaway-Make a Comment on This Post to be Entered in the Giveaway!

August Giveaway August 1-10, 2013

August Giveaway – Autographed Copy
August 1-10, 2013

I am so excited to have Jennifer Erin Valent be our August Featured Author.  I first heard of her back in November 2010 when Carmen picked her book, Fireflies in December, for our January 2011 Book Club.  After the first sentence in that book, I was hooked.  We ended up reading the entire series for our Book Club and the highlight of our July 2011 meeting (Cottonwood Whispers #2) was having a conference call with Jennifer.  It was so amazing to talk to her and ask her questions about her book, her writings and her life.  We were all thrilled! One member was so impressed, I think she told everyone she knew about these books. I asked her to write a little something for this post, here is what Zu wrote:

“Jennifer Erin Valent has a gift for making you long for the leisurely days of swimming holes, tire swings and sweet tea. However, that longing for days of old must be tempered with the remembrance of the brutal hatred and fear that existed, and sadly still does.

As the WFBC Book Club was getting ready to read Book Two, Cottonwood Whispers, I checked out, Fireflies in December, my first introduction to Jessilyn Lassiter. From the opening line, “The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I’d killed a man… ” I was hooked! In fact, as I devoured the book and had to wait for my turn to check out Cottonwood Whispers, I started thinking of all the things I wanted to ask Ms. Valent starting with “How do you come up with such fantastic opening lines?” Imagine my joy when she agreed to call us during our book meeting and I was actually able to ask her that very question. In fact, when I finished the last page of Catching Moondrops, the final and very satisfying finish to the series, I emailed Jennifer to ask her if it was as hard for her to say goodbye to the characters as it was for me.

I am thrilled that Jennifer Erin Valent has agreed to be part of our featured author book giveaway and I urge you to get your hands on Fireflies in December, Cottonwood Whispers and Catching Moondrops. Go ahead, it’s ok… get lost in this satisfying coming of age story of Jessilyn Lassiter. PS…Follow Jennifer Erin Valent on Pintrest for glimpses into the inspiration of the character and setting.” Zu

Jennifer Erin Valent

Jennifer Erin Valent

Jennifer Erin Valent is the 2007 winner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2010 Christy Award winner for Fireflies in December. She lives in central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for nearly twenty years. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes.

Jennifer, we are so thrilled you agreed to be our featured author this month and I know there is some very blessed person out there who will win your autographed book, Fireflies in December, and fall in love with the series.

When did you know you wanted to write?

I dabbled with it some as a kid, but it was never a passion, just a hobby. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s that I started to consider it more seriously. I started out writing children’s stories then tried my hand at non-fiction articles. But it was when I finished my first novel that the bug really hit. Typing THE END on that first children’s story was a rush, but there was nothing like putting the finishing touches on the novel. That made me realize I was meant to do this.

Do you have a favorite place to sit down and write?  Can you share a picture of your fav writing site?

Nowadays, I always write at my desk. When I first started to write, I used a laptop literally as a laptop… and my chiropractic bills will tell you why I don’t do that anymore. So it’s got to be at the desk. Ideally, it’s a beautiful breezy day with the window open and a mocha on the table beside me. If we’re going full-on dream writing space, it would be oceanfront with the sea air drifting through the screen. Talk about inspiration!

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Was Fireflies in December your first book? And what inspired you to write it?

No, the first novel I ever wrote was a romantic comedy that I STILL hope will get out to readers someday. In fact, I’ve written 3 ½ novels with those same characters. They still live on my computer, but one day I hope to see them sitting on shelves.

As for general inspiration, I’ve always had a very active imagination. I could daydream with the best of them, so I had plenty of stories percolating inside my head for years. Once I decided to really give genuine effort to trying to write some down, it just made sense. The particular inspirations for the romantic comedies were the brilliant screwball comedies of the 1940’s. For example, consider Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth… the books are based on that type of staccato dialogue and wacky characters. Tons of fun to write!

How did you come up with the title?

The title Fireflies in December was not original to the story. I started out with no title. In fact, the first sentence of the book was the official name of the Word file for quite some time. I eventually got to thinking about the charm of fireflies and ideas of how I could incorporate them in the title. The title really came from a desire to find the right one to match the feel of the story, and the conversation between Jessie and her dad was the perfect place to weave it all together.

How much of the book is based on fact?

There are no elements of the story that are specifically based on any actual events; however, I did research the time period and events that had happened in history to lend credibility to it. My rule of thumb for this story was, “Could this really happen?” My research gave me the basis for how I felt things could pan out had these people really encountered these events in depression-era Virginia.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I very much hope it encourages readers to live rightly even when so much wrong is around them. I have always had a fascination with bullies, on both a large and small scale. Whether it’s a school bully, a mafia boss or a dictator—what makes a large group of people put up with the nonsense of one dominant personality? Were the masses to rise up against the one, surely the masses would win. So what I tend to address a lot in my books is the good winning out over the bad; solitary individuals making the choice to stand firm and knowing that with the Lord’s help, anything is possible. I’m a justice-seeker by nature, and so is Jessilyn, the main character in these books, and I wanted her to stand out as someone who will do what needs to be done no matter the cost.

Jennifer Valent's Book Series Pics.001

What books have most influenced your life?

Undoubtedly, the Bible takes the top spot by far. It’s what I base my life on. I turn to the Word of God for answers, guidance, wisdom… it’s all in there. Also, I’ve been very impacted by Phillip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. This book explains the shepherding references found in that passage so that we can better understand the word pictures. It really opens your eyes to how much the Lord loves us and cares for us.

What are you reading now? And who are your favorite authors?  If you are like me I have a lot of favorite authors! 

Right now I’m reading Butterflies in the Garden by Maureen Lang. I’m not very far in, but I’m really enjoying it so far. My favorite author in Christian fiction is Julie Klassen. I’ve read every one of hers and eagerly await each new release. I’ve also enjoyed Tim Downs’ Bug Man series and Eva Marie Everson’s books, as well. And I’ve long ago gone through all of Victoria Holt’s and Helen Macinnes’ books. When an author is no longer writing, it’s so sad when you’ve reached their last title!

Are you working on another book and can you tell us about it?  I hope one comes out soon, because I totally loved this series and I’m looking forward to more great books from you. 

Thank you! That’s so wonderful to hear. I am nearing completion on another novel that is unrelated to the Calloway Summers series, although we don’t have any publication plans… yet! This story is set in Virginia in the late 1940’s and follows a young abused war-widow on her journey to find her identity outside of being a battered wife. But her struggle is complicated when she is faced with the decision of whether or not to defend her former mother-in-law against an abusive relationship of her own. I have really grown to love these characters and have learned a lot while walking in their shoes. Hopefully we will have some good news to share soon.

It’s been awhile since you published this series, what have you been doing since then?

I still work as a nanny, a career I’ve been in for twenty years now and still love. I’m so blessed to have two jobs that I enjoy so much. I have still been writing in the meantime, but some tendonitis issues have kept me from being as active at the computer. It’s been a relief these last few months to be back at work without physical complications.

What are your hobbies, besides writing?

I like to eat! What can I say? I wouldn’t call myself a foodie, but I do enjoy trying new restaurants. I have a wonderful mother and some fantastic friends that I enjoy getting out with to shop, chat, eat, drink coffee… those are some of my favorite times. I also love watching ice hockey (huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan!) and I picked up figure skating in my early twenties. Unfortunately, I don’t get on the ice as much as I used to, but I still love the sheer freedom of gliding around out on the rink.

Do you have any pets?

No, but I grew up with a Shetland Sheepdog named Tammy that I adored. She was like my furry little sister.

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Is there anything else you want to share with our readers today?

I love interacting with readers. Writing is such a solitary venture that getting a chance to see the books through the eyes of others is a unique experience. I try to actively participate in conversations on my Facebook page and also have a public Pinterest board that readers can contribute to so we can see their personal vision about the characters and settings in the books. Pinterest has been a great place for me to make my vision of the books come alive, so I also have a board that takes a walk through Jessilyn’s world as I see it and one that provides recipes I think would have come from Miss Cleta’s delightfully-scented kitchen. If anyone reads the books and wants to join in the conversations, please feel free to stop by.

Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to share yourself with us through this interview. We have certainly enjoyed getting to know you better.  I want to share with our readers your sites in cyberspace, so they can connect with you themselves.  I know I enjoy your Facebook posts and looking at your boards on Pinterest! Just click on the underlined links and you will be directed to Jennifer’s sites.

Jennifer’s website     Jennifer’s Facebook page    Jennifer’s Twitter account     Jennifer’s Pinterest boards

The giveaway starts today, August 1, 2013 and ends on August 10, 2013.  A winner will be randomly selected on August 11, 2013 and notified by email.

August Giveaway August 1-10, 2013

August Giveaway
August 1-10, 2013

  1. You must be 18 years or older and be a U.S. resident.
  2. Leave a comment in the comment section at the end of THIS post. One entry per person.
  3. We will randomly compile a list of everyone who made a comment and will draw a name.  We will then notify you by email giving you further instructions to collect your free book.  DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
  4. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
  5. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
  6. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought about the book.

Next Month – September 2013 – our Featured Author will be Denise Weimer and we will be giving away an autographed copy of her book, Sautee Shadows.


Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway