Monday, October 25, 2010


I just love doing giveaways and the latest winner is..... {insert drum roll sound.....}


I already sent Merry an email letting her know she won. I'm sure she'll really love this book. Please feel free to add your congratulations as well. I look forward to the next giveaway and I hope I'll find something you'll be interested in then as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Title: Tandem
Author: Tracey Bateman

Goodreads Blurb:

Six months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn welcomes the reprieve from watching Alzheimer’s steal her father from her, piece by piece. She soon realizes that centuries-old secrets tie Abbey Hills to the Chisom estate and a mysterious evil will do anything to make sure those secrets stay hidden. Even the man who grew up loving her may not be able to protect Lauryn from the danger.

When Amede Dastillon receives an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, she hopes it might be the key in tracking down her beloved sister, long estranged from her family. Visiting Abbey Hills seems the logical next step in her search, but Amede is unusually affected by the town, and when mutilated carcasses begin turning up again in the small community, the local law enforcement isn’t sure if they are confronting a familiar evil or a new terror.

Two women brought together by questions that seem to have no answers.  Can they overcome the loss and darkness threatening to devour them—or will their own demons condemn them to an emotional wasteland?

My Take:

I didn't get to read Thirsty, the book that precedes this one, but I was really excited when I found out that I had won this book through Goodreads. Thank you to the people at Goodeads and the publishers for my copy. 

This novel is really unlike anything I'd read before. Instead of looking to traditional ideas on vampire, romance, crime, mystery, or even Christian novels, the author has made her own path. When you read this book you have to let go of what you may expect and just read it for what it is.

What I discovered was a fast-moving plot with surprises that kept me on my toes. I thought I had some things figured out, but I was wrong. She did an exceptional job crafting the storyline. It keeps you interested from beginning to end.

The characters are very real. You can relate to what they're feeling and going through. You want things to work out for them. You want them to reconcile. I read some reviews of the first book that criticized it for not being "Christian" enough. I think sometimes we can get the message across even more effectively without coming on so strong. Without giving away too much, characters in this story seek reconciliation and redemption. There are serious conversations about whether there is any hope for them, whether God cares about them, about their hardships... That's real life. I think those are the kind of faith struggles and the kind redemptive messages people can relate to.

I thought this was a fantastic book. If you like mystery, suspense, or vampires - this one may be one to add to your list. 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Miracles in Chile

Maybe you've been glued to the footage of the rescue of the miners in Chile like I have - maybe not. In any case, I was struck by so many things by this story. When I review books I learn to analyze them for the motivation of characters, the plot, and other factors. I tend to do it automatically now.

When I look at this situation I was amazed at the way 33 men survived those 17 days with that tiny amount of tuna fish and milk physically - but maybe even more importantly - how did they manage to hold out hope that anyone would even believe they were alive after that long when they had no way to contact anyone? How did they stop from fighting one another and band together for survival? How did they manage to escape serious physical harm in the cave in itself? One of them is diabetic; how did he manage so long without insulin and an obviously bad diet? I think these are all miracles.

Then there is the rescue itself. They expected to reach them at Christmas. Instead they are being rescued in the middle of October. Isn't that a miracle? There are a host of people who have come to the aid of Chile in this attempt and the Chilean government has been very gracious to the media in the coverage of the rescue. That isn't always the case - especially since there are already legal issues regarding the incident. So the spirit of cooperation and goodwill could be seen as a miracle as well. If not, at least it shows what can be accomplished when we all work together instead of bickering.

I hear about the organization the miners set up while they were underground and how they kept themselves healthy, busy, clean and feeling part of a community. They sent up letters that were shared and each one I've heard talks about how they believe God has used this to make them better and they want to change and spend more time with family or how they are thankful to God for taking care of them and their family and fellow miners. These are not bitter or resentful men. When I watched the first two men emerge I saw strong, healthy, joyful men. They loved their country, their rescuers and their family. They wanted to share that joy. I think that's a miracle as well. It easily could have made them angry, sick, crazy, weak, or a great many other things.

There is no doubt that this started off as a tragedy. These men have gone through a terrible experience. However I think God has used it for good in many ways. It has shown them and us many miracles and some lessons we can learn from their experience. May God bless these men, continue to heal and watch over them and their families, and help me to be as strong as they have been.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Healer's Apprentice

Title: The Healer's Apprentice
Author: Melanie Dickerson

Goodreads Blurb:

Two Hearts. One Hope.Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

My Take:

I have been so surprised by the talent in young adult novels I've read recently and this one is my favorite so far. It may even make my favorite books of the year list. I kept checking the back of the book and - yep - there is the label "teen fiction." The one drawback to young adult books (in my opinion) is actually common to most shorter novels. I find that a lot of times they have great stories and show incredible creativity, but often you don't always get as in depth characterization as you do with longer novels. That isn't true with this book. It feels longer than it is, the writing is rich and I felt like I was living the story right with Rose. 

Your heart beat faster when the young men flirted with her, you could smell the herbs, the food, hear the music... I wanted to reach out and carefully pet Wolfie, her dog and guardian. The author made the whole world come alive. Whether Rose was working with her mentor trying to help the sick or confiding secrets to her best friend Hildy, everything felt real. The characters mattered to me and I found myself wanting to talk about them not just while I was reading, but long after I finished and shut the back cover.

Speaking of covers, isn't this one fantastic? I think it's beautiful. The back is nearly as interesting with a gorgeous carved cabinet. I can't leave without mentioning that this story was filled with romance. It was enough to make my heart go pitter patter without being anything you couldn't hand a teenager. 

I purchased this book myself and I can already tell you it's one I'll be keeping and re-reading. I hope you'll consider it for your bookshelves.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Code Triage

Title: Code Triage
Author: Candace Calvert

Goodreads Blurb:

Dr. Leigh Stathos likes her ER shifts fast, furious, and adrenaline-infused—“Treat ’em and street ’em”—with no emotional complications. Life’s taught her a soul-rending lesson: nothing lasts forever, including marriage. And the clock is ticking toward the end of hers. Then an unwelcome confrontation with “the other woman” begins a whole new set of lessons.
San Francisco police officer Nick Stathos never gives up, whether protecting his patrol neighborhood, holding fast to faith—or trying to save his marriage. Seven days is all he has to reach Leigh’s heart. But when a desperate act of violence slams Golden Gate Mercy Hospital into lockdown, it starts a chain of events that will change lives forever.

My Take:

I've heard such awesome things about this series that I was thrilled when Tyndale sent me this book to review.

This is a very realistically written hospital drama (some scenes had me on the edge of my chair wondering what would happen next while another section detailed a patient's allergy problems).  It had these great characters that I truly was pulling for, realistic problems and struggles that they had been facing up to this point and even into their seven days and even some mystery.

I think I liked Nick best. Before you ask, no it didn't have a thing to do with the fact that he's a great cook, brave, good with kids, and have you looked at that cover? :op  lol 

If I was nit-picking, I would have to say I thought the time line wasn't realistic. A lot is packed into seven short days and without giving away the ending, that's about all I can say on that subject. The writing was first rate and even the secondary characters were outstanding.

This was a great book for people who love hospital dramas especially. If you would like to have this book for your very own, then please leave a comment with your email. In the same comment note if you are a follower for another chance, and if you posted about the giveaway on your blog for another chance. The drawing will end on the 22nd of Oct at midnight Central time. It is only open to those living in the US - sorry - and is void where prohibited. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hannah from Project Journal gave me this award. The rules for accepting the award are:

1) Put the logo within my blog or on my post

2) Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers

3) Link the nominees within my post

4) Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog

5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.

So I have given out this award before, and I know they probably have it already but so do I and it never hurts to remind someone that they bring sunshine into your life.

  1. Renee @ Black n' Gold Girl's Book Spot

  2. Deborah @ Butterfly Journey

  3. Lori @ Some of my Favorite Books

  4. Susan @ Journeys of Love.... Inspired by Faith

  5. Carrie @ In the Hammock

  6. Angie @ Never a Dull Moment

  7. Dineen @ Kitten Come From Eggs

  8. Ashley @ After All, Tomorrow is Another Day

  9. Katy @ A Few More Pages

10. Julane @ Inspiration From the Commonplace

11. Andrea @ Arise 2 Write

12. MaryLu @ The Cross and Cutlass

Lori @ Some of my Favorite Books gave me this award:

It is one of the cutest awards I've ever received. Everyone I've met on here has been so supportive and has really been kind through this move and the hard times my family has been through. Know that you are all special to me. In this case, I'd like to pass it on to:

  1. Renee @ Black n' Gold Girl's Book Spot

  2. Deborah @ Butterfly Journey

  3. Susan @ Journeys of Love.... Inspired by Faith

  4. Carrie @ In the Hammock

  5. Angie @ Never a Dull Moment

  6. Dineen @ Kitten Come From Eggs

  7. Ashley @ After All, Tomorrow is Another Day

  8. Katy @ A Few More Pages

  9. Julane @ Inspiration From the Commonplace

10. Andrea @ Arise 2 Write

11. Hannah @ Project Journal

Thank you all and have a great day!