Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"The Bone House" by Stephen R. Lawhead

The adventure from "The Skin Map" continues in the second installation of the Bright Empires series by Stephen Lawhead. Kit and his grandfather, Cosimo, resume their search for the missing parts of the map (the map that literally contains all of the ley lines), with Wilhelmina becomes very good at time travel. Each jump on a "ley line" brings adventure (i.e. Egypt) and danger (i.e. burly men), yet they continue on. The author gives more information about Lord Burleigh and how he became the person he is. What do Kit and Cosimo find this time? Why is Kit more laid back now? Will they escape Lord Burleigh and the burly men once again, or will the evil forces win a battle? Come along with Kit, Cosimo, and Mina as they explore time travel while unraveling the secrets of the Bone House.

I was excited to see this book available because I read the first one. I recommend reading them in order so that the story and characters make sense to you. The characters are wonderfully written and the story line is fun. As the book comes to life, each reader gets to become a detective and a time traveler. The different characters and transitions may cause some difficulty at first, but taking the time to figure them out is worth it. This book will make a wonderful gift for young readers who love using their imagination and detective skills. I received the free copy I read on my Nook from Net Galley, and thank them for the opportunity. I look forward to the next installation.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"The Betrayal" by Jerry B. Jenkins

Crime, fear, secrets, love, betrayal, and faith all come together in this new thriller by Jerry B. Jenkins. Detective Boone Drake is part of a special task force protecting a former crime boss. He is going to provide the evidence to take down a large crime organization, but while secretly moving Pascual Candelario, someone attempts an assassination. Boone, unfortunately, takes a bullet to the shoulder, setting up a whodunit with lots of pieces and clues. It had to be an inside job, but after Haeley is arrested and evidence mounts, Boone knows he has to find out who is responsible. Who can he trust? Is it someone he has worked with; someone on the police force who is supposed to have his back? Is it the woman he loves? Or, could there be someone else? The twists and turns will keep you guessing and pushing for Boone to find answers.

Jerry Jenkins has another hit on his hands! I had a hard time putting this book down. It will make a great gift for anyone who loves a good suspense novel and might make an interesting book club choice. There is plenty to talk about. Many thanks to Tyndale House Publishers who furnished me with a copy of this book.

"It's Your Kid Not a Gerbil" contest

It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil – Giveaway!
Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker, has a new message to tell you…It’s your kid not a gerbil!
Do you sometimes feel like a gerbil running on a wheel inside a cage as you scurry from place to place, chauffeuring your children from one endless activity to another? What if, for one moment, you could just step off of the wheel . . . and relax? How would you feel then? And what if that single moment could stretch into an hour, or even a whole day? In his new book, It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil, Kevin Leman will provide practical solutions and helpful insight to get off the activity wheel so that you can put your time and energies where they really count: in establishing strong character and a love for home and family that will serve your kids well for a lifetime.
Want to help promote this idea to your friends and family and possibly win something for it?
Here’s how you can help:
-          Visit the It’s Your Kid Not A Gerbil Facebook page and become a fan
-          Invite at least 10 friends to become a fan of the It’s Your Kid Not A Gerbil Facebook page.
-          Share a link to this contest page on your own Facebook page or on Twitter.
-          Write a blog post linking to this contest page.
Each task you complete counts as an entry into our giveaway.  We’ll draw names at random from all the entries, here’s what you can win:
3 Random people will win a prize pack of Kevin Leman books
5 Random people will win a copy of It’s Your Kid, Not A Gerbil
1 Random person will win an iPod Touch
We’ll announce the winners on September 9th!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sadly, hatred, prejudice, and inhumanity still exist in our world today. They know no boundaries and wear many colors. "Mugabe and the White African" is one such true story. Ben Freeth was one of many white men who had grown up in Zimbabwe. Their families had farmed the land for generations and then, Mugabe came to power and started taking the land for the government. His sole purpose was to drive the white man from his land and gain complete control over the people.

For more than ten years, the Freeths, Campbells, and others fought for the right to continue farming on their land. They knew the risks. They had seen the destruction leveled on other farms, on other people. They had become all too familiar with death. Courage comes from many places, and Ben drew his from God. He and the others worked through the legal system to help stop the land take-over in order to keep the land that was theirs. Come, read the true account of the harrowing accounts that would have made many people run in fear. It is the story of the destruction of a country.

I received this free book as part of a blog tour from FSB Media, and I thank them for the opportunity! I recommend this book to those who enjoy true stories and to those who think things like this don't happen in the world today. The comments by Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu will prepare you to read on.

About Mugabe and the White African:

Ben Freeth has an extraordinary story to tell. Like that of many white farmers, his family's land was "reclaimed" for redistribution by Mugabe's government.

But Ben's family fought back. Appealing to international law, they instigated a suit against Mugabe's government in the SADC, the Southern African equivalent of NATO. The case was deferred time and again while Mugabe's men pulled strings. But after Freeth and his parents-in-law were abducted and beaten within inches of death in 2008, the SADC deemed any further delay to be an obstruction of justice. The case was heard, and was successful on all counts.

But the story doesn't end there. In 2009 the family farm was burned to the ground. The fight for justice in Zimbabwe is far from over--this book is for anyone who wants to see into the heart of one of today's hardest places and how human dignity flourishes even in the most adverse circumstances.

The PBS debut of Mugabe and the White African, the award-winning documentary of the same name, was on July 26. Watch now at PBS:

About the Ben Freeth:

Ben Freeth, MBE, is a British-born Zimbabwean farmer. He has lived in Zimbabwe most of his life and is raising his three young children there, together with his wife Laura. Ben's story has already been the subject of an award-winning documentary which won Best Documentary 2009 (British Independent Film Awards), was nominated for the BAFTA Outstanding Debut Film 2010, and shortlisted for an Oscar in 2010.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Shadows on the Sand" by Gayle Roper

"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven." Eccl. 3:1

Seaside, New Jersey seems like a wonderful place to live and work. But, there are people here with hurts that run deep, hurts that may be their undoing. Carrie and Lindsey are sisters who have made their own way for years, escaping the abusive treatment of their drunken mother and her boyfriends. Greg was a police officer, but an explosion took away his heart. Yet, you wouldn't know they were hurting unless you took a deeper look. Will Carrie and Greg learn to trust and love again?

Now, add Andi, Jase, "The Pathway," and a missing piece of evidence, and the mystery that follows will lead to murder and fear. What is "The Pathway" and how does it gain its followers? Who is killed, and who is the killer? The suspense and mystery will keep on the edge of your seat to the very end.

What a great story! I loved the suspense, mystery, love story, hope, and forgiveness that were all tied up in this book. The characters were real to me and their problems didn't disappear in the blink of an eye. They were real too. The cult and its power seemed to come right from the headlines, and the author's use of Twitter and Face Book were priceless. This book makes a great read for anyone who loves mysteries with a touch of romance.

I received this free book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, and thank them for it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Too Blessed to be Stressed" by Debora M. Coty

Stress is everywhere and it seems hard to avoid. Yet, we have an anchor to help us feel calmer in our daily world. In her new boo, "Too Blessed to be Stressed," Debora Coty shares helpful tips through humor, stories, and Scripture. There are four sections that enable readers to quickly identify the reading they need. The encouragement found in this book will help you count the blessings in your life, rather than the tribulations. Come on and take a more humorous look at situations and dilemmas. Let go of the stress!

I have enjoyed this book since receiving it from free from Litfuse for review. It has made me laugh, think, and count blessings. Too many times the world encroaches on our peace, but Ms. Coty will help bring you back to a place where you can feel power to overcome the problems. I think this book will make a great addition to any library and I will be purchasing copies for gifts.
About the book:
Do your to do lists have footnotes? Has your fam suggested a rabies shot because your bite has surpassed Rover’s?
Maybe it’s time for a healthy dose of truth gift-wrapped in humor. With her own offbeat brand of wit and near-wisdom, inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses the heart-needs of desperate women drowning in the churning everyday stress-pool of busyness.
In Too Blessed to Be Stressed, you’ll find simple, practical steps for attaining the peace that you crave as you struggle with the stresses of finances, health, career, relationships, self-image and family. You’ll discover healing, refreshment, and revitalization for your own spirit, body and mind through heart-changing real life stories, biblically based insights, and short chapters for on-the-run convenience.
About Josh and Bob:
Debora M. Coty is a humorist, columnist, speaker, writing workshop instructor and award-winning author of over 100 internationally published articles and ten inspirational books. She has also contributed short stories and devotionals to numerous anthologies. Debora's passion is sharing her offbeat blend of humor and hope, wit and near-wisdom with women of all ages. As a piano teacher for twenty years, she acquired the skill of auditory long-suffering and has helped countless people as an occupational therapist specializing in orthopedics for over three decades. Mother of two grown children, Debora currently lives and loves in central Florida with her husband and desperately wicked pooch, Fenway. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Too Blessed to be Stressed" giveaway and party!


To celebrate the release of her latest laugh-out-loud book, Too Blessed to Be Stressed, Debora Coty is hosting the Too Blessed to Be Stressed KINDLE Giveaway!
Too Blessed to be Stressed is a fun-filled read overflowing with insights and practical tips. Perfectly delicious for living happily ever after! 
-Rhonda Rhea, best-selling author of Whatsoever Things Are Lovely
Debora has created a “Too Blessed” prize package worth over $150! One grand prize winner will receive:
* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen
Too Blessed to Be Stressed by Debora Coty (for KINDLE)
To enter just click one of the icons below. Hurry! The giveaway ends August 25th. Winner will be announced on the evening of the 18th during Debora's De-Stress Facebook Party! Debora will be hosting a "life-preserver" chat (it’s okay if you haven’t read the book – who knows, you might WIN a copy!), testing trivia skills, swapping funny stories, handing out some decom-stress tips, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Chocolate, books, and more!) Hope to see you there. Bring your friends and join the fun on August 25th at 5:00 PM PST (6 PM MDT, 7 PM CDT, & 8 PM EDT).
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Also - be sure to check out Debora's series of Stress-Buster videos at her website: Also, be sure to check out the photo caption contest she's running on her blog for a chance to win a copy of Too Blessed to Be Stressed.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Thunder Dog" by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory

"Thunder Dog" is a name that makes you think of an animal with super powers, a hero, doesn't it? Well, Roselle is a hero who has a fear of thunder. She was Michael Hingson's guide dog, and partner, as he worked in the World Trade Center  on Sept. 11, 2001. Michael Hingson is blind and in this book he provides a great view of what it is like to be blind and partnered with a specially trained guide dog. 

Michael was the regional sales manager for Quantum/ATL, and was at his office on the 78th floor of Tower 1 that fateful morning. As he tells the story of their descent down 1,463 stairs, he also tells his personal story. What was it like growing up with parents who didn't hold him back? What was it like when he got his first opportunity to "read" e-mail? Huge strides have been made to help the blind function normally in a seeing world, and this book chronicles the history of a lot of it. He even includes things like a "Further Reading List" and "Resources for Blindness."

I read this book in one sitting. It is one that evokes memories because I think we all know where we were and what we were doing on 9/11/2001. I found the story inspirational and hopeful. His parents never put barriers on him, so Michael never put any on himself. That is something for all of us to apply today. This book is a wonderful choice for all readers. I thank the Book Sneeze program for my free copy of the book. That review is my personal opinion.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Lone Star Trail" by Darlene Franklin

Two families, the Morgan's and the Fleischer, are caught in the expansion pains of Texas. It is around 1845 and settling the land is hard for those moving west. Then, German immigrants are brought to this land that promises a new homeland for them. Struggles increase between the groups of people and anger sometimes runs hot, but there is also the spirit of giving and help that permeates the work. There are many obstacles to overcome - illness, weather, Indian attacks, prejudice, and loss that could bring them to their knees - yet people do survive, some even fall in love, making the story come to life.

This book is the beginning of a series, and I can't wait for more. The characters and their struggles seem real as Ms. Franklin brings history to life. This is a great start to the series, one I think history buffs will enjoy. Thank you to Net Galley for the preview copy I read on my Nook!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"The Hardest Thing To Do" by Penelope Wilcox

A new Abbott (Father John) is coming to St. Alcuin's and the brothers are preparing for his arrival while continuing their lives of service - Lent is upon them. The life is difficult and there aren't any luxuries, but as the brothers tell the story, the reader is drawn into life in the monastery. There are blessings in the life of service as well as hardships. But, as with any story, conflict arises when a prior enters their lives and tries to cause disruption. What will they do with him? Why was his abbey burned to the ground? Themes of hard work, worship, giving, and forgiveness are prominent, and asking for forgiveness seems to be the most difficult thing to do.
I enjoyed this book because I love historically based novels. While I haven't read the trilogy that precedes this book, I am looking forward to picking up "The Hawk and the Dove" and taking the journey. The characters are realistic and the setting well researched. This book will make a great gift for readers who enjoy history, and book clubs will find some interesting topics to discuss. Thank you to Net Galley and Crossway for the opportunity to read this on my Nook!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer e-book Promotion!

Summer of Crime Promotion Schedule 
For the remainder of the summer, Tyrus Books will be offering a free e-book download as part of their "Summer of Crime" promotion. Each week a new book will be made available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a free e-book download.  
Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi (8/1 - 8/7)Late Rain by Lynn Kostoff (8/8 – 8/15)
The Wind Knot by John Galligan (8/15 – 8/22)
Untouchable by Scott O'Connor (8/30 – 9/6)

"Safe from the Past" by Patricia Miller Mauro

"If you are ever afraid of doing something because you don't think you can do it, think of this: if it's a true and noble desire in your heart, and you do everything in your power to achieve the unachievable, people will stop and take notice. In a lot of cases, they will even help you. But you must have hope; you must have faith and you must have determination. The rest is magic." pg. xvi

To say that Patricia Mauro had a difficult, bitter road to travel is an understatement. There was poverty and food stamps, a step-father who promised security, but that hope went out the window with nightly drunken fights, and the road to college that was anything but easy. But, through it all, Patricia kept her mother's words, "You don't want to end up like me," in mind. Through it all, she kept planning to bring her mother and sister into financial freedom with her. The bright spot in this book is that she continually worked hard and became a conqueror.

I enjoyed the candor Ms. Mauro used to write this book. It couldn't have been easy to live her life, much less write about it, but her hope and inspiration kept me turning the pages. If you are looking for a book to help you be strong or to gather hope; if you need to help someone else with problems and struggles, this book will help. It is a story I won't forget. I was thrilled to receive my free copy of this book from Litfuse as part of the blog tour. Be sure to read the contest information below!

Litfuse is sponsoring a $30 giveaway open to both you and your blog readers.

About the Giveaway! 
To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using #litfuse) about Safe From the Past or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy. (All Litfuse bloggers who post a review are automatically entered and do NOT need to email us.)

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:

TWEET THIS:  Safe From the Past by Patricia Mauro - inspiring tale of perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardships. #litfuse

FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss Patricia Mauro’s Safe From the Past  - inspiring, deeply personal tale of perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardships. Told in an open, honest voice with the deepest sincerity, the author's life story serves as a rousing inspiration to those with the desire to create a better life than the one they are currently living.