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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias

The Moses Quilt is a contemporary novel that bridges racial and generational divides. With a realistic and compassionate look into a twenty-first-century dilemma, multiple award-winning author Kathi Macias introduces readers to a confused and apprehensive young woman, Mazie Hartford. Facing major decisions about the love of her life and her future, she must also wrestle with a nagging question about her family's past. She finds the answer to her questions in a most unexpected way--her great-grandmother's Moses quilt. As her great-grandmother begins to explain how each patch represents a story of courage and freedom, Mazie must decide if she has the courage and freedom to overcome her own personal fears and prejudices.



Author Kathi Macias


The Quilt Series sounds interesting, but what makes it unique or sets it apart from the many other quilt books that are so popular right now?
First, I must confess to NOT being a quilter. I’ve never even considered taking it up! Second, I love quilts and have always been fascinated by the stories behind them. I combined that fascination with my passion for writing issues-related fiction, and I ended up with a three-book series that is, for the most part, contemporary but told against historical backdrops.

Sounds interesting! Can you tell us a bit about each of the three books in the series? Sure! Book one, The Moses Quilt, involves an interracial romance, where the couple works through their concerns and apprehensions as they learn the story of Harriet Tubman’s faith and courage as told through the patches of the Moses quilt that represents her life. Book two, The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt, deals with the topic of abortion told against the backdrop of the life of America’s first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, who was strongly pro-life. Book three, The Singing Quilt, deals with a young woman overcoming a physical disability; the background for that story is based on the “Queen of Gospel,” Fannie Crosby.

Was it difficult to do the research on these women, particularly Harriet Tubman? What did you learn about her in the process? I knew more about Harriet Tubman than I did about Elizabeth Blackwell or Fannie Crosby, but I expanded my knowledge of each as I did the research. Harriet Tubman’s amazing faith and courage is what stood out most to me about her life. Here was a woman born a slave, penniless for the majority of her life, and illiterate except for the scripture verses she had memorized (even if she couldn’t read them). Her prayer life was powerful, even as a child. After she escaped to the North and began making forays back into the South to help bring others out of slavery, friends would caution her against it. “Harriet, there’s a reward on your head—dead or alive. Aren’t you afraid?” She brushed off their fear and explained that she believed God had called her to help rescue her people; therefore, He would protect her. When her job was done, He would take her home to heaven, so what was there to fear? Wow, what a dynamic woman of God! I also learned that her achievements went far beyond rescuing slaves, though that’s what she’s best known for. She also served as a spy for the Union Army, worked as a nurse, and opened a home for indigent elderly former slaves. She died there herself in her mid-nineties, and the entire town flew their flags at half-mast in her honor.

Tell us a little more about the contemporary story in The Moses Quilt. The majority of the contemporary story is set just outside San Francisco. Mazie is white and deeply in love with Edward, an African-American lawyer who adores her and wants to marry her but tries to be respectful of her hesitation to make a commitment. What he doesn’t know is that Mazie is disturbed by what she considers secrets in her family’s past, secrets that begin to be unraveled as her great-grandmother, Mimi, tells her and Edward the story behind her Moses quilt, which she bought years earlier in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a little town famous for its quilts. Edward thought he knew everything there was to know about Harriet Tubman, who had always been somewhat of a hero to him, but Mimi’s story opens up new avenues of discovery for both the young people in this relationship—and takes them straight back to the quilt’s origin in Gee’s Bend.

This sounds like more than just a “feel-good” story. Can it be used as a study book in some way? Absolutely! As with nearly all my books we have free downloadable discussion questions at www.newhopedigital.com that will enable The Moses Quilt to be read as a study book for individuals or used as a discussion/study book for groups.
 


For more opportunities for free copies of THE MOSES QUILT by Kathi Macias, please follow this book tour on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias. This blog host was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on this blog. CSS Virtual Book Tours are managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).

 


 My Review:

What a fascinating quick read, once I started I had to finish it. The family relationships here are wonderful.
Mazie Hartford lives with her Mom, Lilly, and her Great-Grandmother Mimi. She is in a long term relationship with Edward Clayton, he actually wants to move toward marriage. His family adores Mazie, and hers loves Edward...her 93 year old Great-Grandmother actually lights up in his presence. So what is Mazie's problem?
Mimi knowing that at 93 her time on earth is getting short, has decided to give Mazie a quilt. It is not just any quilt, there is a historical story behind it, and it is called the Moses Quilt. Mimi begins to tell the story of the quilt to Mazie, it is about Harriet Tubman, the Moses to her people.
Hearing the story of each of blocks is so interesting, I loved it. Edward then is asked to join and becomes enthralled in the stories.
Will the quilt help Mazie to make up her mind, let go of whatever it is that is keeping her from marrying this Godly man? Or will the answers they find in the quilt end up driving them apart.
Kathi Macias has done it again, written a captivating story. Don't miss this...enjoy!

I received this book through Christian Speaker Services, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Threads of Grace by Kelly Long


Grace's autistic son needs a life that is safe and consistent. Seth wants to leave his flirting days behind him and settle down.
Deep in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, the beautiful and weary Amish widow, Grace Beiler, is not looking for a husband—especially one so much younger than her. But handsome and smitten Seth Wyse stumbles upon a way to help her and they marry to keep Grace’s autistic son safe from his ill-intentioned uncle.
Grace soon discovers that she is far from immune to her young husband’s experienced charm and realizes that her first marriage has not destroyed her capacity for love.
Seth Wyse seeks counsel from his older brother, Jacob, when playing the game of pursuing his wife becomes more dangerous to both his heart and life than he ever imagined.
Yet God can give Grace and Seth a passion for family and each other that teaches them the ways of the Master Quilter through the tangled and tender threads of their lives.

 About The Author


Kelly Long was born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania. There was an Amish hitching post at the small grocery store in her town. She loves to write Amish romance and is the author of novel, Sarah's Garden, the novella Amish Christmas Expanded Edition with some other great Amish authors, Amish Love with Beth Wiseman and Kathy Fuller, and Lilly's Wedding Quilt--the sequel to Sarah's Garden. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and children.







Purchase Amazon 


My Review: 

I really enjoyed this Amish story. Could feel myself cringe at that young girl, Grace Raber, being forced into a marriage with a cruel man, Silas Beiler.
When the book opens her living hell is over, her evil husband has died. She has begun a new life in Pine Creek PA. She does now have a young son, Able, who is Autistic. While she is working in the garden, a stone wall falls on her, she sends Able to the neighbors for help. So begins the relationship of Grace and Seth.
One thing we see throughout the story is how Grace has been badly hurt, and her learning to accept love. You do see God working in all of their lives, and all they need to do is accept his Grace!
Loved Alice...we meet her again. Although she is English, you want her to stay and be part of the family. Then their is Violet Raber, Grace's younger sister. She sees what she wants and not going to be stopped.
You do feel while reading that their is evil lurking, is someone going to be hurt? Don't miss this great read, once you start you will not be able to put it down.

I received this book through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Pressents: Fields of Elysium Book Blast.


Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.




PRAISE

"The novel's take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"I expected a good love story with a paranormal twist. I got so much more. I think you should take the chance and read it. Let this book take you on the adventure, fall in love." - Young Adult and Teen Readers

"Fields of Elysium is a fabulous read. ... Whelan paints her faith into the fabric of her story with deft, light brushstrokes, making her work accessible to all, no matter their spiritual beliefs or background." - Readers Favorite

"I escaped into this fantasy world, author, A.B.Whelan, created and I didn’t want Molly to go. From detailed descriptions, to sweet romance, and to all the twist and turns in the story, it had me captivated from page one." - Mary Ting, author of the Crossroads Saga

"Whelan's writing is very vivid and descriptive. It's more formal than the average YA novel, but I enjoyed the lyrical and mesmerizing quality to it. I thought the overall story read like a fairy tale--very sweet." - Megan Thomason, author of Daynight







Author A.B. Whelan

A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.
While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.










Tour Schedule






$50 Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash plus a gift bag of one signed copy of Fields of Elysium, a scrabble-tile pendant with a butterfly image on a chain necklace, and a fridge magnet.

Ends 3/11/13

Gift Bag open to US only.  If winner is international they will receive only the gift card or paypal cash.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Wild Card Book Tours Presents: Beyond the Rapids by Evelyn Puerto


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
***Special thanks to Evelyn Puerto for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


 Evelyn Puerto left a career in health care planning to serve as a missionary for seven years in Russia. During those years, she met and was inspired by the Brynza family, whose story she tells in Beyond the Rapids. After her return from the mission field, she got married, inheriting three stepdaughters, two stepgrandsons and a cat.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Imagine that you are a believer living in a communist country. You live with the knowledge that at any time you could be imprisoned, tortured or killed simply because you are a Christian.

Award-winning Beyond the Rapids is the true story of Ukrainian pastor Alexei Brynza and his wife, Valentina, who endured persecution in a culture that was hostile to their faith as they struggled to raise their children as believers The Brynzas children were tempted by ambition, wealth, love and popularity as they struggled with the choice between embracing the communist system or believing in God. Beyond the Rapids is an inspiring story of God's grace and faithfulness in all circumstances.



Product Details:
List Price: $19.99
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414116055
ISBN-13: 978-1414116051


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Beyond the Rapids

One Family’s Triumph over Religious Persecution in Communist Ukraine


Chapter 1


Grandpa and the Firing Squad


Stone walls do not a prisone [sic] make.1

George Bernard Shaw




Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32



As told by Lena

My parents didn’t allow my three brothers and me to play with the other children in the neighborhood. They built a wood fence around the yard and installed a gate, which Mama locked every morning after Papa left for work. Then she let us amuse ourselves in the yard while she was cooking or planting potatoes or taking care of the goats. We often stood at the gate, peeking through the bars, stretching our hands into the air, rejoicing that our hands were free, even if we were not, waving at the neighbors passing by, neighbors who laughed at us, remarking we were like prisoners in jail.

Maybe the neighbors were joking; maybe they remembered that our grandfather had been imprisoned during the Great Patriotic War. Many Ukrainians rejoiced when our country was invaded. Some greeted the German army with bread and salt, the traditional symbols of welcome, hoping the Nazis would rule more humanely than the iron-fisted communists. After two years of German occupation, the Soviet Army drove the Nazis out, fighting so fiercely around Zaporozhe that the Dniepr River ran red with the blood of the dead.

The Soviet Army rounded up all the men who survived the occupation to take to the front. My grandfather, Gavril, was among them. He refused to fight. The Baptist church left decisions about participating in war or bearing arms to each person’s conscience. For Grandpa, it was clear. “I am a Christian,” he said, “and I will not kill anyone.”

To the Soviet authorities, this was traitorous. How could any citizen shirk his duty to defend the Motherland from the fascist invaders? The Nazis treacherously attacked our country, plundered wantonly, slaughtered millions of people, and carried off thousands more to slavery in Germany. Maybe my grandfather would have been more willing to help a regime that had not been so cruel to believers. He certainly wasn’t going to compromise his principles to help the Communist Party complete its Five Year Plan. He would remain true to his faith and convictions no matter what.

For many years the authorities sought reasons to arrest Grandpa for his faith; now they had grounds to execute him. He was tried, sentenced to death by firing squad, and flung into the death cell with others condemned to die. There he sat for an entire month. The guards distributed almost no food and offered no medical care of any kind to these prisoners, reasoning that the inmates were going to die anyway. Why waste good food or medicine on traitors and criminals?

Every morning, as the pale winter sun peaked through the tiny window high up in the wall of the unheated cell, the cell’s door grated open and a guard would appear. As he probed the faces of the condemned with his flashlight, the prisoners waited, resigned, knowing what was about to happen—one of their number would be called out never to return, and each one hoped to be spared one more day. But the guard’s light would finally settle on one weary face. “You.  Let’s go.”

One morning the light drilled into Grandpa’s face. He calmly said good-bye to his cellmates. After a month in the death cell he still wasn’t sure why he had been arrested. Was it for refusing to fight in the army, refusing to kill another human being? Or was it simply for his faith? Now his sentence was about to be fulfilled; it didn’t matter why he was to die. He staggered to his feet, lightheaded from hunger, stiff from inactivity.

The weak light of the winter sun pierced Grandpa’s eyes when he left the cell. Each step was a struggle, every muscle protesting, pain shooting through his feet as he walked to certain death, his heart at peace. He knew that in a few minutes he would be rewarded for his faith and enjoy eternal life with God. The guards marched Grandpa along the muddy streets of the camp. As they passed the headquarters, an officer came out. “Where are you taking this man?” he asked.

“To the firing squad.”

“What has he done?”

“He’s a Baptist leech who won’t fight.”

“My mother was a Baptist,” said the officer. “I can’t allow you to kill him. Give him another trial.” At the second trial they sentenced Grandpa to ten years hard labor in a concentration camp in Siberia. Grandpa’s suffering was only beginning.



My Review:

What an amazing book! Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. It is a rather fast read, and written as though you are standing there with them. The most amazing thing is that it is a true story!
The book takes place in the Ukraine beginning in the 1930's and ending in the present.
This the Byrnza families story. Beginning with the Reverald Alexei and his wife, Valentina, their children Yakov, Viktor, Lena and Veniamin. We travel with them and their many trials. First and foremost they are Christians, and have learned that there is a high price to be paid for being one.
Each of the children tell the story of their lives, the hardships, and the joys. We take so much for granted living in the US, never having to risk my life for my beliefs. To be a Baptist in the Communist, Atheist Ukraine, is to be a very low life. You never know when the car will stop outside your home and take you away.
Loved how people like Igor, Lena's to be husband, come to the Lord. Amazing and yet not, for we all have the chance. It is a real joy to read these stories, and realize that God is with them. He answers their prayers, not always as they wished, but he sure heard them.
Once you read this book, it will linger with you for a long, long, time. Thank you Evelyn Puerto for the gift of such a book. I am thankful!

I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back Blog Tour & Giveaway

Tour Schedule


The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson 

Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.


Purchase


Praise

“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”
~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy

“Sariah Wilson's new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair

“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I've read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn't put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle's battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing

“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors - Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn't go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I'll be re-reading this one all the time!  She's extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that's a real modern-day fairy tale.”
~Hilary at Novel d’Tales

“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn't have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn't want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It's a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out

The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup



Author Sariah Wilson

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).




Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My Review:

  Mattie [Tilly] does have a beautiful, sweet, giving step-sister, Ella. She feels like she lives in her shadow, can never be good enough.
Mattie is very much in "love", with Ella's boyfriend Jake. She is hounded by the class bully...a two car named girl, Mercedes Benz. What a stinker that girl is.
You will feel like your back in High School, and rooting for the good ones! Mattie is a modern day Goth. Her Mother, whom she does not live with or really see, keeps in touch with her by Skype. You wanted to disconnect her whenever she called!!
This is a modern day Cinderella story, and I wish I could look at some before and after pictures. Coming from a privileged background does not mean happiness. Be ready for a really good captivating read.
 I received this book through The I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: Phantom Summer Book Blast


Phantom Summer by Amy Sparling

Seventeen-year-old Taylor Gray moves to Sterling Island to get over her dead boyfriend. Mom’s cool with letting her crash on the couch, but Taylor needs to get a job before the lights are cut off again.

When the tall, dark and crazy Raine Tsunami offers her a position at his thriving ghost tour business, she figures it’s an easy way to make some cash. Taylor isn’t afraid of ghosts--that crap is as fake as her mom’s boob job. She loves their adventures on the historic island, especially the secret places he shows her when the crowds go home. So what if all the ghost stories are just legends?

When Taylor comes face to face with a ghost and Raine crosses the line between friend and boyfriend--Taylor’s new life collides with her haunted past. If murdered people end up as ghosts, then that someone she was trying to forget is probably trying to find her.




Praise
"I was wonderfully surprised by Phantom Summer!!! I couldn't put it down. Loved everything about it."
~Amazon Reviewer Angelmusic

"The emotions are so well written... I would definitely recommend reading this."
~Goodreads Reviewer Lauren



Author Amy Sparling

Amy Sparling is a Texas native with a passion for young adult literature. In her free time she participates in an unhealthy amount of Xbox playing, attends nerd conventions and reads books with her daughter. She's studying to become a high school teacher and lives near the beach with her daughter and two cats. Amy Sparling is a pen name.












$50 Book Blast Giveaway

Ends 3/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Presents It’s Nothing Personal Virtual Book Publicity Tour

On a chilly January morning, anesthesiologist Dr. Jenna Reiner made her daily drive to St. Augustine hospital, completely unaware that her life was about to change forever. One of the surgical technicians in her hospital has been stealing syringes, and infecting patients with hepatitis C. The battle against the thieving surgical technician was only the beginning. Jenna Reiner was about to begin the fight of her life – the fight for her reputation, her pride, and her sanity. Beautifully composed, and inspired by real-life events, It’s Nothing Personal is a riveting, suspenseful, and emotional thriller that tells the story of faith and fortitude when an innocent woman finds herself surrounded by corruption and greed.









 ABOUT KATE O’REILLEY
Kate O’Reilley is a physician, specializing in anesthesiology. In late 2009, Kate was plunged into a painful battle in a high-profile, medical malpractice suit. The calamity that ensued nearly destroyed Kate and her family. After the suit ended and the wounds started to heal, Kate was urged by close friends and co-workers to document her experiences. The words flowed, and It’s Nothing Personal was born from Kate’s journey through her temporary hell.
Kate’s second book, In Good Hands, is a moving, gripping, and tragic story of an anesthesiologist who dispenses her own version of justice after being the innocent victim of a brutal crime.
Kate currently resides in Colorado with her husband and beautiful daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys running, writing, reading, and spending time with her family. Her vacations are always spent in Hawaii, a place that Kate and her family hold dear to their hearts. Having lived on Oahu while her daughter was young, Kate and her family relish the day when they can return to the islands permanently.



  


My Review:  

          Once I opened the covers on this book, I virtually devoured it. Wow! It contains so many emotions, and the main character Jenna Reiner, is so loveable. We would all want to achieve and be like Jenna. What looks like she has it all...a successful Dr, Wife and Mother. When it all comes tumbling down! It's Nothing Personal is just as it says, it is greed. Felt so much like real life, and you wanted to reach out and smack one of the characters. Don't know how people live with themselves. Loved what Jenna does to the judge! Don't want to give much away, as you are going to want to read this for yourself! In all it makes to realize what is really important! It isn't money! Be ready for a roller coaster ride in this one, and I thought I had it figured out, not even close. I am really looking forward to Kate O'Reilley's next book due out this coming summer, In Good Hands. Thank you Kate, for this really great read!


 I received this book through Pump Your Book Virtual Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.


It’s Nothing Personal Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

————————————————————
Thursday, February 7
Friday, February 8
Tuesday, February 12
Book spotlight at Jody’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, February 13
Interviewed at Yahoo News
Friday, February 15
Guest blogging at My Devotional Thoughts
Monday, February 18
Interviewed at Examiner
Tuesday, February 19
Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Wednesday, February 20
Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Thursday, February 21
First Chapter Review at My Life. One Story at a Time
Book reviewed at Deco My Heart
Friday, February 22
Book spotlight at Review From Here
Monday, February 25
Book reviewed at Maureen’s Musings
Tuesday, February 26
Book reviewed at Miki’s Hope
Thursday, February 28
Interviewed at Review From Here
Monday, March 4
Book reviewed at Vic’s Media Room
Tuesday, March 5
Wednesday, March 6
Book reviewed at Deco My Heart
Thursday, March 7
Interviewed at Digital Journal
Friday, March 8
Book reviewed at The Self-Taught Cook

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass

A new memoir from Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Cathy Glass. Eight-year-old Aimee was on the child protection register at birth. Her five older siblings were taken into care many years ago. So no one can understand why she was left at home to suffer for so long. It seems Aimee was forgotten. The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to Aimee on – there is something about her that reminds Cathy of Jodie (the subject of ‘Damaged’ and the most disturbed child Cathy has cared for), and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings. When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as ‘not fit for human habitation’. Aimee is so grateful as she snuggles into her bed at Cathy’s house on the first night that it brings Cathy to tears. Aimee’s aggressive mother is constantly causing trouble at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well. It is a trying time for Cathy, and it makes it difficult for Aimee to settle. But as Aimee begins to trust Cathy, she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee’s life before she came into care, the more horrified she becomes. It’s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and as her journey seems to be coming to a happy end, Cathy can’t help but reflect on all the other ‘forgotten children’ that are still suffering.

About The Author

Cathy Glass is a bestselling British author, freelance writer and foster carer.
Her work is strongly identified with both the True Life Stories and Inspirational Memoirs genres, and she has also written a parenting guide to bringing up children, Happy Kids, and a novel, The Girl in the Mirror, based on a true story.
Glass has worked as a foster career for more than 20 years, during which time she has fostered more than 50 children. Her fostering memoirs tell the stories of some of the children who came in to her care, many of whom had suffered abuse.
The first title, Damaged, was number 1 in the Sunday Times bestsellers charts in hardback and paperback. Her next three titles, Hidden, Cut and The Saddest Girl in the World, were similarly successful, all reaching the bestseller charts.
The name "Cathy Glass" is a pseudonym. The author writes under a nom de plume due to the sensitive nature of her source material. The names of the children she writes about are likewise altered.




 



My Review: 

Such an eye opening read, and it reads very fast, and yet I felt I was standing next to Cathy the whole time. Being there from the first when Aimee arrives.
Cathy has such a kind and firm way about her, and I can see that God has given her such a gift and put her where she needs to be. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy, some unbelievable things come out...yet they aren't unbelievable, as evil does walk this earth.
This story takes place in England, but it sounds like here in the States, a child getting lost in the system. Happens way to often, no Child left behind...not true! I personally know of one, and the State she lives in wants the child to take care of the unfit Mother...no advocate for the Child.
Thank you Cathy for sharing your gifts, and then sharing them with us. May you be blessed!

I received this book through The Library Thing Early Reviewers Program, and was not required to give a positive review.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack Book Blast & Giveaway

Tour Schedule



Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmillers latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.




Praise for Baked Alaska
Josi Kilpack has done it again. You would think that all these events that occur in Sadie's life wouldn't be natural, but Josi Kilpack has a way of making you believe that it just "happens" and it is normal. I have grown to love Sadie's character, even if she is a busybody, you can't help but cheer for her as she attempts to solve a mystery or crime. One of my favorite series. :)
~Goodreads Reviewer Lacey McNeill









Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.





Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/20/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When the Heart Heals by Ann Shorey


Courageous and unconventional,
Rosemary Saxon served as a nurse during the Civil War, a service that has caused most women in town to regard her as unfeminine and downright vulgar. Although she would like to put her experiences as a nurse behind her, she must support herself. She takes a position with Dr. Elijah Stewart and a mutual attraction begins to develop. But when a sophisticated woman arrives in town claiming to be Elijah's fiancee, a heartbroken Rosemary decides to leave Noble Springs and start fresh. Can Elijah convince her of the mystery woman's deception before he loses her forever? With tenderness and grace, Ann Shorey invites readers back to the town of Noble Springs, Missouri, for an engrossing story of love's tentative first steps and fragile future in the face of opposition. Readers will find in Rosemary a sympathetic but strong woman determined to thrive in a world that doesn't always understand.




About The Author




Ann Shorey is also the author of THE EDGE OF LIGHT, THE PROMISE OF MORNING and THE DAWN OF A DREAM. She has also published selections in the Cup of Comfort series and in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE GRANDMA'S SOUL. Shorey lives with her husband, Richard, in Oregon.






My Review: 


I found this to be a compelling page turning fast read. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.
After the Civil War Rosemary Saxon is looking for a way to earn a living. All she really knows is nursing, and I for one never knew they were so looked down at. Evidently, people though a Lady should never see or clean a mans body. Oh well, she is now getting desperate. So she takes a chance and asks the new Dr in town for a job.
Dr Elijah Stewart, has decided to settle in Noble Springs, MO, and is now setting up his practice. He is horrible at keeping the books, so when out spoken, Rosemary asks for employment...yes!
Rosemary has always been interested in healing the natural way. Soon she and the Dr do start butting heads. Rosemary gives advice at the Dr's office, he feels she is giving medical advice, and it will be against him if something goes wrong.
I loved the interaction with Rosemary and her beloved dog, Bodie. Also some of the other Characters in this book are so heartwarming and love the Lord. One is Jacob West, he is developing feelings for Rosemary, but goes out of his way to help her.
This story is going to get your attention, with the notes, violence, and things that do go boom in the night! Through it all their faith seems to carry them.
The only problem I had was the ending went very quickly, some of it you will be surprised by, and others I had figured out before.

I received this book through Revell's Blogging Program, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Captain Courage and the Fear Squishing Shoes by Stacey Marshall

In the story, a precocious third grader named Katie shrivels during various common scenarios at her new school--show and tell, chatting in the lunchroom, presenting/participating in class, the playground scene. That is, until a unique superhero swoops in to the rescue, demonstrating how to have self confidence and courage.





About Author Stacey Marshall  '86 recently released a bestselling children's book, Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes. A copy of the book has been donated to the CCDS library in honor of Merrie Jane Pierce, one of Stacey's former Charlotte Country Day teachers and a current CCDS grandparent. An exceprt from one of her reviews: “Stacey Marshall spins an inspiring and heartwarming story of acceptance for who you are and the courage to become an active participant in one’s life. A must have book!” - Donna M. McDine Award-winning Children's Author, The Golden Pathway Stacey is under contract for a second book in the Captain Courage series due out within a year. Learn more about Stacey, her book series, and where you can purchase a copy of her latest book at www.captaincourage.com.




My Review:

A delightful book that should be mandatory in every elementary school. When a sweet little third grader, Katie, moves to a new school, Blythe Elementary. She is paralyzed with fear. An out going child, who is now in something new, and is very afraid.
You will love how the wonderful teacher Mrs Berrycastle, and the Principal Mr Magico, trying to put the children at ease with their manner and smiles. They notice how shy Katie is, and she seems petrified to come out of her shell.
The name of the book brings a smile to my face, and when a super hero with fear squishing shoes shows up in the class room one day, we find out what an amazing school she attends. The super hero's name is Captain Courage and you will love his super powers.
The book is geared to the ages 4 to 11, and the brightly colored pages just draw you in. Each child will feel special, and the book is just made for them and their imaginations. I shared this with my 5 and 7 year old grandsons, and they wanted it read again and again.

I received this book from the Author, Stacey Marshall, and was not required to give a positive review.



Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and select retailers throughout the US.  For more information on author Stacey Marshall and the Captain Courage series, visit http://www.captaincourage.com.   Check out Stacey’s humorous video about the way kids communicate today vs. in the past: http://youtu.be/g6PGMFuAvD4.



Goodbye to Yesterday (Discovery Series #1) by Wanda E. Brunstetter



 Join Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus, an Amish couple who are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives. Financial struggles. Arguments. A suspected pregnancy. A last-minute trip to Middlebury, Indiana. A drug addict on the run. A deadly encounter at a Philadelphia bus station. Will their love and faith be enough to bring them back together again, against all odds?











About The Author



Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of over 60 books with more than 6 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today. Wanda’s books have been translated into four foreign languages.


My Review: 


This story is about a young couple who are facing financial struggles in today's economy. Luke Stolzfus, has lost his job making furniture, last hired, first to go. Meredith and Luke have only been married a year, and this has put a big strain on their marriage, as Meredith thinks she might be pregnant.
Then a prayer is answered, at least for Luke. His Uncle in Indiana wants him to buy his business, and bring back to the Lancaster area. It will take most of their savings to pay for half the business up front, but Luke is sure he can make a go of the tombstone engraving business.
As he prepares to leave, Meredith has uneasy feeling about his leaving. There is a bad storm brewing, and although everyone tries to reassure her that bus drivers are used to this weather, she is have a hard time.
This is the first installment of a six part book, we end on a cliff hanger, be prepared for some anxious moments!

I received this book from Handlebar, and Barbour Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: Showstoppers & Three Sisters Blog Tour & Giveaway




Three Sisters and Showstoppers by Helen Smith
Three Sisters and Showstoppers are two novella-length stories in the Emily Castles mystery series. The first full-length novel, Invitation to Die, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in October 2013.

The Emily Castles mystery series is set in present-day London. It features twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles and her neighbor, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel Crowther. In Three Sisters, Emily goes to a party in a big house at the end of her street. She's sure she witnesses a murder, but no one will believe her. She teams up with Dr. Muriel to investigate.

In Showstoppers, Emily helps out at a local stage school run by her neighbor, Victoria. Soon she's mixed up in a blackmail plot and two deaths. Emily and Dr. Muriel team up to prevent further a massacre live on stage during the end of term show.



Praise for the Emily Castles Mystery Series

Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious... Helen Smith is a master story-teller. ~Socrates Book Reviews

It grips you from the very beginning.
~Babs Books Bistro

Bright, colorful and full of surprises.
~Amazon Vine Reviewer

Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one.
~Eva’s Sanctuary

Praise for Helen Smith

Smith is gin-and-tonic funny.
~The Booklist

Purchase
Showstoppers * Three Sisters







 Author Helen Smith

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She's the author of bestselling cult novels Alison Wonderland, Being Light and The Miracle Inspector as well as the Emily Castles Mystery Series.



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 My Review: Showstoppers                                                                                           
 
This is the first book I have read by Helen Smith, and it is a very fast read. We begin with Emily Castles, coming home after loosing her current job. Perchance her neighbor mail has made it into her box, so she goes to give it to the rightful owner. Thus begins a mystery. Victoria finds that this is another rather threatening letter. She in the end wants to hire Emily to help at her with Showstoppers Showcase. We immediately take twists and turns, and is Victoria's former College Sweetheart, David is behind this or who else? This one will keep you guessing right to the end. We meet some really different character's here, and are in for a few chuckles. Enjoy!! I received this book through I Am A Writer, Not A Reader's Book Blast, and was not required to give a positive review.


My Review: Three Sisters 

Very unusual neighbors for sure! This is the second book in this series that I have read. We reunite with some from the first story.
Emily reluctantly goes to a very weird party one of her neighbors is having. She lives in London, and enters and sees a troupe of performers.
I think I would have turned around right then! Or at least in a few minutes, when she thinks she has witnessed a murder.
Emily is the type that once she sees something...she has to see it through. She cannot let it go, even when her own safety is in danger.
This is a very quick read, and with most mysteries once you begin, you won't put this one down until you are done. It is only 40 pages long!

I received this book from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tour Giveaway
10 winners will each receive a Kindle Ebook copy of Showstoppers & Three Sisiters
Ends 2/28/13


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