This blog is dedicated to books that I have read and reviewed (sometimes at the request of the author and/or publisher) OR that I have read on my own and want to share with you. Author interviews are also included. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fun & Easy Contests - Still time to win!

If you love books, then you will love these 2 authors and they are passing out PRIZES!! Sweet!! Two of my fun author friends, Tristi Pinkston and Sarah Eden are both promoting new books and I'd like to send you in the right direction for each of them.

Tristi has been giving away very cool stuff all month but you can still join in the fun today and tomorrow and be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing. ~ check out the details at her blog: Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author and you can participate in her "Month of Miracles"

Just read her blog for instructions on how to enter. Just have to do a few "tasks" - like follow her blog, which is easily done. In fact, you should follow both of their blogs (and this one too, please - the new year WILL bring the promised book reviews from me, including these two books, hopefully ... eventually). 

Then head over to Sarah Eden's blog and watch her very cool book trailer for The Kiss of a Stranger and you can read the details of how to enter her contest. Sarah M. Eden

I hope you have a wonderful New Year Celebration and that many blessings await you in 2011

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Check out the first 5 chapters of a fabulous new book!!

Laurie has generously posted the first five chapters of Oh, Say Can You See? at the link below. Even though this wonderful book is part of a series, you can enjoy it as a "stand-alone" historical novel as well.

This will give you a taste before you buy it!
Read the first 5 chapters here:

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Oh Say Can You See?" Blog Tour - Slight Change of Plans

Wow - how NOT to get started with a NEW book review blog! Today I was scheduled to post a review of L.C. Lewis' new book, Oh Say Can You See? (a stand alone historical novel, as well as the 4th in her series Free Men and Dreamers). However, life sometimes has other plans. I'll spare you details (everyone is fine, just got an unexpected monkey wrench thrown at me) but I won't be posting that review today - Laurie Lewis graciously suggested I post it later so check back BUT in the meantime, you should just buy it anyway - in time for Christmas - because it's fabulous!

You can also expect a review on The Waterfall Concept soon - am waiting to find out about "First Rights" to another place that will be publishing my review before I can proceed. So, guess most ventures start out with a few surprises, but stay tuned, I have lots to share with you ... soon. Become a follower!! Thanks and I'll "see" ya' later.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Angel on Main Street

BOOK REVIEW: An Angel on Main Street

(re-posted from 11/27/09 at "")

If you add only one Christmas book to your collection this year, you need to add An Angel on Main Street by Kathi Oram Peterson. If you know anything about me, you know I have a bazillion books, poems, stories and movies about Christmas. I love a good Christmas story and this one really fits the bill. It is such a pleasurable and satisfying read.

I was instantly drawn into the story with Kathi's delightful first-person narrative told from the viewpoint of schoolboy, Micah Connors. He and his widowed mother and his little sister moved to Bolton, Idaho to get a fresh start. Micah promised to behave and as the “head of the house” since his father died in the Korean War, he desperately wants to help out and please his mother. However, a series of circumstantial events has him constantly in the path of the Sheriff, Garth Anderson.

Micah is suspicious of the Sheriff’s interest in his family. He is also preoccupied trying to uncover the secret of the mysterious wooden structure that suddenly appeared in the center of town. Micah thinks it looks like a stable and his little sister, Annie, who is very ill, thinks it holds the key to a miracle that could make her well again. She is sure angels are building it, but Micah gave up on angels and help from his Heavenly Father long ago. Each day Annie grows worse and each day the town awakens to a new addition; animals, shepherds and more. A few days before Christmas Micah has convinced himself if he can discover the baby Jesus before He is placed in the manger and bring Him to Annie to hold, she will not die. It’s up to him. Little does he know the many hands that are waiting to assist him in his quest. Yes, there must be an angel on Main Street.

Congratulations to Kathi Oram Peterson for crafting such a delightful story. I couldn’t put it down. You can view a trailer of her book on YouTube at: An Angel on Main Street Book Trailer

You can purchase this wonderful Christmas story at: Seagull Book - Search by title or at - Angel on Main Street

It’s time to turn on the Christmas music, break out the hot cocoa and settle down with a good book. I suggest An Angel on Main Street! Enjoy!!

A Mighty Heart by Mariane Pearl

I finished A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life And Death Of My Husband, Danny Pearl
by Mariane Pearl the other day (reprinted from "StephanieSaysSo" blog 3/14/09). In some ways it reminds me of Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Both take place mostly in Pakistan and both are so powerful that you reflect on them for days and even weeks to come. Both have some rough language but it was nearly transparent to me as the heart-wrenching frustrations in each story resulting in such words were so overwhelming that I hardly noticed the harsh and sometimes foul words, normally foreign to me. (And in both cases, I listened to the book on CD driving to and from work over the course of a couple of weeks. I still consider them books that I "read").

I remember when this occurred as the world held it's breath for five long weeks, sending up prayers in many languages for Danny's safe return. He was a reporter and the South Asia Bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Danny put himself in harm's way to shed some light to the side of the news that might bring about world understanding. Instead, in this instance, it brought a type of horror that proved to be both universal and yet painfully personal for his wife, Mariane, who was pregnant with their first child, a son.

On January 23, 2002, on his way to what he thought was an interview at a village restaurant in Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped by the militant group, "The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty." This group claimed Danny (of Jewish heritage and an American) was a CIA agent. Before he left for the interview, he told Mariane that he might be late for dinner. He never returned.

Mariane's riveting account of realizing her husband was missing and working to help the authorities piece it all together, leading up to Danny's eventual and brutal murder will leave you forever changed. Mariane is also an award-winning journalist and shares a very detailed step-by-step account of what took place. Surprisingly, interwoven throughout every page of the book, is a love story so intimate, intense and tender that you'll find often yourself smiling and feeling very privileged to "know" these remarkable people, including those surrounding Mariane during this difficult time ... each with their own "mighty heart."

The book on CD is read by Mariane. You really need to concentrate to understand her as she was born of an Afro-Chinese-Cuban mother and Dutch-Jewish father in France. She is a practicing Buddist. Mariane was raised in Paris and has a very unique accent. It's a good thing that you have to listen so carefully as you want to catch every detail and no one else would ever be able to tell the story as she does. It's a story I shall not soon forget. It makes you grateful and also sad but leaves you in awe of the courage of so many of our brothers and sisters half-way around the world, especially Mariane, whose heart is every bit as mighty as her husband's.

Singleness of Purpose - A blog just for BOOKS!

Hey, fellow book-lovers ~

      I decided I'm so random and eclectic that maybe I could create the appearance of being organized by at least keeping my blogs on topic (somewhat, anyway). This blog will focus on books that I read and review, either at the request of an author and/or their publisher OR by my own choosing ... as well as a place where I can post author interviews.

      Now, anyone who has been to my house knows that I OWN THOUSANDS of books (that's no misprint). But I'm in good company, Thomas Jefferson owned thousands of books as did many of my other heroes. Sadly, some are just boxed away. Clearly, I can't begin to post a review of every book I have ever read (or even the ones I'm reading these days), BUT I hope to post reviews on most of the books I read currently from this point on. As time and interest (MY interest) allow, I may post reviews on books I've read previously.

      As the "disclaimer" I posted explains:
Some of the books I review are given to me by the author or the publisher, some I have purchased myself, some I get at the library. All books, regardless of how I came to read them, get my honest opinion. Just thought you might like to know. I also reserve the right to simply not post a review if I think the book is not worthy of your time because I respect your time and sensibilities and I do not want to discourage a new author whose work needs some polish before we suggest it to others.

     I'm going to start out by re-posting a book review I did on my personal blog in March of 2009: A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life And Death Of My Husband, Danny Pearl by Mariane Pearl ~ it's one I really liked and it's already written up! This way I can get the blog up and running.

      Then I'll post the Christmas one I did LAST year and the next one you will see is going to be brand new - I've got three I'm reviewing right away. I hope you enjoy them! And feel free to become a "follower." :)