Saturday, August 27, 2011

Two New Books from Colleen Coble - Lonestar Angel (Lonestar Series #4) & Smitten.

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that my absolute favorite author is Colleen Coble.  Not only is she an awesome author but it is because of her that I have came back to being an avid reader.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Colleen in person at my husband's company picnic.  See my story here. She was so sweet and offered to send me ARC copies of two of her new books, Lonestar Angel, the 4th book in her Lonestar Series and Smitten a book written with Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter and Kristen Billerbeck.  Don't you just love the covers?  I think Smitten looks magical.

I have finished reading Lonestar Angel and let me tell you, I think this is the BEST of the series.  I LOVED it!  I will be writing my review a little later on so be sure to come back.  I hope to start reading Smitten soon.  It is a unique story about the town of Smitten and each of the authors took one character and developed their story.  I can't thank Colleen enough for offering both books to me.

I would like to say, if you have never read anything by Colleen Coble you are truly missing out.  God has given her such a precious gift of writing.  Her characters are so well developed that they stay with you long after you turn the last page.  My first experience with Colleen's work was Without a Trace (Book one of her Rock Harbor Series).  I fell in love with her character, Bree Nichols, and her dog, Samson.  When I was talking with Colleen she mentioned that she will be bringing Bree back in an upcoming book.  I got so excited and asked if she was bringing Samson back too and the answer was "yes"!

Have you ever encountered a character in a book that grabs hold of you and you think of them long after you turn the last page?  If so, please leave a comment and let me know the character, book and author.

May you have a blessed weekend!

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Revell Blog Tour - Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin

I am an avid reader that tends to allow a book's cover to draw me into picking it up off a shelf to read.  Sarah Sundin's debut book, A Distant Melody, did exactly that, it beckoned me to read it.  The cover reminded me so much of one of my favorite classic movies, Best Years of Our Lives that I knew I just had to buy it and take it home.  Let me tell you, Ms. Sundin's talent for creating believable characters absolutely blew me away.  She also has a strong knack of drawing you into her story where you become a part of it.  There were times I felt I was actually in a B-17 during WWII.  I could hardly wait for her second book, A Memory Between Us, to hit the shelves.  Her sophomore attempt was just as wonderful as her debut novel swo when her third book, Blue Skies Tomorrow, came out I knew I had to get a copy of it as soon as possible.  Let me tell you, the only thing wrong with her third book in the Wings of Glory series is that it is the third and final book.

Blue Skies Tomorrow, is about Ray, the oldest of the Novak brothers.  Ray's father is a pastor who had dreams for all of his sons to become pastors.  Of the three sons, Ray was th only one who wanted to follow his father into the ministry.  Unfortunately, WWII was going on and Ray had a talent that the Army Air Force needed.  He knew how to fly B-17s and he was an excellent teacher so his dreams of being in the pulpit. were placed on hold while he trained young men to fly the Flying Fortresses in battle.

Helen, the female lead, is a young war widow and mother of a toddler.  She has secrets that she is keeping that are slowly revealed to the reader through letters she sends to Ray while he is flying bombing raids in Germany.

The story lines threading throughout the book blend well with the history of WWII.  I found myself learning more about WWII then I had ever known before.  My husband is a big WWII buff and we have shared several great discussions all stemming from Ms. Sundin's books.

I do not believe in giving spoilers so I would just like to say, in closing, if you love good Christian romantic historical novels please pick up any of Ms. Sundin's books.  Better yet, pick them all up.  You do not have to read them in order although I am happy very happy that I did.  One thing I really loved about Blue Skies Tomorrow is that most of the characters from the previous novels were brought back together in this one.  I must say, it helped to have a box of Kleenex handy while reading this book.

On a five-star scale, I would rate this book, as well as the series, five-stars.

Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. 

I received a complimentary copy of Blue Skies Tomorrow from Revell for purpose of reviewing.  It was not required that I write a positive review, only an honest one, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Learning by Karen Kingsbury - a review

Believe it or not, I just read my very first Karen Kingsbury book and you can be sure it won't be my last.  Ms. Kingsbury is a gifted author that utilizes her obviously God given gift to not only entertain her readers but to minister to them as well.

When I selected "Learning" to read for review I was hesitant to select a second book in a series when I hadn't read the first book.  Although I wish I could have read "Leaving" first, "Learning" has enough back story in it that you don't lose your way.

Learning is the story beyond Bailey and Cody.  In this story, Bailey is now in the Broadway cast of Hairspray in New York City.  Cody is working as a football coach at a small high school in Lyle, Indiana.  While they are no longer an 'item' their hearts are still connected emotionally.
In "Learning", Bailey experiences a growing friendship with Brandon Paul, a Hollywood actor and America's heart throb.  Cody has found a new 'friend' as well in Cheyenne, the fiancee of his friend who died in the Iraq war.  I found that I was rooting more for Bailey and Brandon as a couple then I was for Cody and Cheyenne.  I think it's because I never really felt I got to see a fully dimensional Cheyenne.  But if the truth be known, I really feel that Bailey and Cody belong together.  I'm hoping that in the next novel, "Longing" that maybe, just maybe, they will find their way back to each other.

What a ministry Ms. Kingsbury has in her works of fiction.  The characters and situations are so real that I truly believe she could be winning souls for Christ just by people reading her books.  I love the way she brings in Scripture throughout the book.  It's a little more than "subtle" but not overpowering.
Ms. Kingsbury has a way of drawing you into the story and stirring up every emotion possible.  I laughed and cried throughout the book and I enjoyed every last word.  I will definitely go back now and read "Leaving" as well as her other books.

I would like to thank Zondervan for supplying me with my review copy. It was offered to me for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

On a five star scale. . . 5 stars

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two Book Giveaway!

Okay, as promised last week, I am giving two books away.   Sweet Misfortune, see my review here   and The Final Note, see my review here both by Kevin Alan Milne. I must say I enjoyed both of these books very much!  If you haven't read any of Mr. Milne's books do yourself a favor and enter to win these two very special books.

************ NEW GIVEAWAY RULES  ************

1.  Giveaway is open to US and Canada

2.  No PO Boxes please.

3.  You MUST be a follower of my blog (please be sure to leave the name you follow under in your comment)

4.  For extra entries you may do one or all of the following:
    -- become an email subscriber +1
    -- invite a friend to become a follower of my blog.  If they become a follower & mention your name, you will both receive 2 extra entries

5. Include an email address where I can reach you if you are selected as the winner of this giveaway.  Please enter your email address in this format    winner[at]yahoo[dot]com

To make sure your entry counts, please answer the following question:

If given a chance to live anywhere in the continental United States where would you like to live

Giveaway will run through August 31st and the winner will be selected using Random.Org

Smiles & Blessings,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Become an E-mail Subscriber!

I just added a new feature on my blog. In the upper right hand corner you'll find a place where you can sign up to receive emails from my blog every time I post. That way you won't miss out on any of my giveaways that will be coming up soon. In fact, I have a double book giveaway that I hope to get posted no later then the end of next week. So make sure you get signed up on my email list or stop back by next week. *** hint *** If you become an email subscriber you will be able to get an extra entry into my giveaways too! I promise the books are both wonderful!

Until next time...

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Congratulations! Winner for The Muir House chosen!

My contest for The Muir house ended yesterday and with the help of we have a winner.... JO

I have sent an email to Jo and she has 48 hours to contact me with you mailing address.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, August 1, 2011

I was blessed on Saturday!

I had the most exciting thing happen to me on Saturday. My husband, who is a full time pastor, also works part time at a plant here in town. On Saturday, the plant held a company picnic and before the picnic we had a tour of the plant. While waiting to go on the tour I noticed someone that looked just like my favorite author, Colleen Coble. Well, I thought I heard her being introduced as Colleen then her husband was introduced as Dave so I was pretty sure it was Colleen Coble. I went up and saw her name tag and asked her, if she was Colleen Coble and she confirmed that she was. I was in awe. I told her she was my favorite author and it was because of her that I started reading again after about a ten year hiatus. She had her daughter-in-law, Donna, take a picture of us for her blog, Girl's Write Out. Such a small world, Donna works in Human Resources at the plant. Needless to say, I smiled all day long.

Colleen was so gracious and I feel so blessed having met her in person.

Smiles & Blessings,