Saturday, April 30, 2011

Winner is . . .

(winner has been contacted by email)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Goodbye Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

Book Description:  Charley's off to Scotland with her new beau, and Scotty and her dad travel to Maine in search of Scotty's mom. That's not all they're looking for though.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about faith. Scotty's faced with her bitterness toward Karissa and what it means to live a "Jesusy extraordinary" life. Shouldn't forgiveness play a role in that?
And when Scotty and her dad land on her mother's last known trail, will their questions finally be answered?

My Review:  This is the dramatic conclusion to Scotty Dawn's life!  Lisa Samson does an excellent job of bringing all the loose ends together in this read.  Scotty and her dad, Ezra, go on a road trip to find the truth~is Scotty's mom, Babette, dead or alive?  As the adventure continues, the father/daughter duo have high hopes and truly believe in miracles. 
Then they locate Vince, the mob man who supposedly fell for Babette way back when.  But it soon becomes apparent that Vince and Babette aren't together anymore.  However, Vince seems to be holding some knowledge about Babette from Scotty and her dad.
Deciding to work at an orphanage where she falls in love with a sweet baby.  Enter Monica, who was a victim of abuse before coming to the orphanage for her protection. Re-enter Karissa, the spoiled actress who once was the heart throb of Scotty's best friend Seth.  After receiving a text from Seth, Scotty learns that Karissa is now pregnant.  Scotty feels overwhelmed and somewhat in over her head~what a mess!
Scotty wants Karissa to come and visit the orphanage.  Karissa comes and learns about Christ helping to secure Scotty's faith in God.
Scotty and her dad find the answers they've been seeking and ask God to direct the rest of their lives.
This is read is a fantastic end to the series.  I read all of the books but each book could be read as a stand alone read.  However, to gain the "whole picture" I suggest you read them all.  I truly enjoyed this read!
*This book was provided by NavPress*
Book may be purchased at Amazon!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

90 Days of God's Goodness Devotional by Randy Alcorn

Book Description:  Daily Assurance in the Face of Life’s Hardest Struggles

When life throws challenges at us, our view of God’s presence can become cloudy. If God is good, why is there so much evil and suffering? In times of hardship, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s purpose, goodness, and love. 

90 Days of God’s Goodness helps disperse the fog—little by little, discovery by discovery, day by day. Through these thoughtful, inspiring devotional readings, bestselling author Randy Alcorn brings clarity to the question of God’s goodness. 

For anyone who’s ever suffered, or shared in a loved one’s suffering…or for anyone who’s ever been painfully distressed by the prevalent evil in this world…90 Days of God’s Goodness opens a wide door to healing and the reassurance of a God whose love we can count on and always turn to.

My Review:  90 Days of God's Goodness by Randy Alcorn is another great devotional with daily reflections that shine light on personal darkness.
Best selling author, Randy Alcorn, offers his unique insights on the ups and downs of life.  
This nice, hardback book includes 90 devotionals with thoughtful mediations that will help one to see and recognize the wonderful works of God.
At times life throws us challenges.  Some times those challenges can lead us to a dark maybe depressive place; however, this devotional challenges us to rely  on the One who created us for a specific reason.
Chapter 6, Suffering Is No Accident, is one of my favorite chapters.  The chapter begins with Psalm 34:11-19, then a short devotional, and lastly a prayer to go with the devotional.  Each devotional is roughly two to three pages long and each devotional brings a thought provoking idea for the reader.
This is a great 5 star devotional for those going through a rough time or simply a devotional for those who want to draw closer to the Lord in times of learning.  This read would also make a great "Get Well Card" for someone who is learning to trust the Savior!
As Randy Alcorn tells us, "God is in charge."  What a grand thought!
*This book was provided for review by Reader's*

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

But Why Shoot the Magistrate by Patricia Sprinkle

Book Description:  When a popular youth pastor is accused of a grisly crime, MacLaren Yarbrough won't rest until she finds the truth. Her gut instinct tells her Luke Blessed is innocent. Still, how could the dream he had on the night a young woman was murdered depict the crime with such chilling accuracy? As MacLaren tracks down clues from all corners of Hopewell, GA, four like suspects emerge. But the police aren't buying her theories. Even her husband, local magistrate Joe Riddley, resists her amateur sleuthing. This case, he feels, is too dangerous. Just how dangerous, both of them are about to discover. The assailant strikes again, leaving Joe comatose from a gunshot wound to the head. And suddenly, a new question stares MacLaren in the face. It's the most perplexing question of all -- and the most personal: Why shoot the magistrate?

My Review:  The first sentence of a good mystery can "hook me" and then hook, line and sinker I'm into delving into the read trying to figure out the mystery.
Such is the case of this read, But Why Shoot the Magistrate by Patricia Sprinkle.  Here's the first sentence, "On the night of the first murder, a full moon sailed over middle Georgia."
Even though this is the second book in the Thoroughly Southern Mysteries series it is probably (in my opinion) one of the best mysteries I've read.  I was surprised that I had not read any books by  Patricia Sprinkle since this book was published in 1998!  I was enthralled from page one.  
I truly like MacLaren (yes, her first name), the southern charm and the great mystery of why would anyone want to kill a nurse and then blame the Youth Pastor.  Had a hard time figuring this mystery out!
Mac is on the case!   MacLaren Yarbrough is back in her hometown of Hopemore, Georgia, with another mystery to solve. There are quite a few eccentric characters who inhabit Hopemore and we also meet MacLaren's sons, Ridd and Walker. 
I enjoy a good clean mystery and I love it when an author writes about the "God things" of life.  Ms. Sprinkle incorporates a lot of God and Christianity into this short, fast read!  
Will be looking for more books from Ms. Sprinkle!
*This book was provided for review by Zondervan*

Learn more about the author 

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}Pineapple Cheese Ball

2 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (8 ounce) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup fine chopper green pepper
2 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 and 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Assorted crackers
1.    In a small mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, drained crushed pineapple,                                    green pepper, onion and seasoned salt until well blended. 
2.    Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
3.    Shape into a ball and roll in walnuts.
4.    Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5.    Serve with assorted crackers.
Always a hit!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Facebook Page!

Want to stay in the know?  Follow Tammy's Book Parlor on face book!  Just log in to face book and type in Tammy's Book Parlor OR simply click on my facebook badge on right sidebar.  LIKE page.  Stay in the know on great books!

The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno

Book Description:  “We’ve all pledged, promised and bullied ourselves to eat better and exercise more, but so many times even the best intentions fall short. I incorporate healthy habits into my work and home life and you can too.” –Dr. Mike Moreno
If you need to shed pounds fast and in a safe, effective, and lasting way, this is the book for you! Unlike many diet programs that starve you down to size, Dr. Mike Moreno’s 17 Day Diet relies on proven methods to help you take weight off and keep it off for good—whether you’ve got 10 pounds to lose or 100. His revolutionary program adjusts your body metabolically so that you burn fat day in and day out. The program is structured around four 17 day cycles:
Accelerate—the rapid weight loss portion that helps flush sugar and fat storage from your system
Activate—the metabolic restart portion with alternating low and high calorie days to help shed body fat
Achieve—this phase is about learning to control portions and introducing new fitness routines
Arrive—a combination of the first three cycles to keep good habits up for good. On weekends, enjoy your favorite foods!
Each cycle changes your calorie count and the food that you’re eating. The variation that Dr. Mike calls ‘body confusion’ keeps your metabolism guessing; this means that you can expect big changes in the first 17 days alone!
This is not a diet that relies on a tiny list of approved foods, grueling exercise routines, or unrealistic calorie counts that leave you hungry and unfulfilled. Moderation and proper portions are key factors in the 17 Day Diet—the trick is to figure out the foods and routines that work best with your real lifestyle. That’s why the book is filled with tips for how to avoid the usual food pitfalls like holidays, eating out, or even just a tempting candy jar. Along with a comprehensive explanation of how each segment works, every phase comes with an extensive list of foods, recipes, and sample meal plans to help make grocery shopping a breeze. Because of the diversity that you are allowed from the very beginning of the program, there is a way to make this diet work with almost any food allergies you might have or what cuisine you’re used to eating.
The 17 Day Diet is a simple plan that gets big, long-lasting results if you stick with it and let Dr. Mike help you along the way. Whether this is your first attempt at dieting or your fiftieth, you must believe that you can do this. What matters now is focusing on your goals, identifying what you need to get there, and taking action to begin the process. Your health and happiness are important, so stand strong, believe in yourself, and let your 17 Day Diet begin now!

My Review:  The 17 day diet was created by Dr. Mike Moreno to help shed holiday pounds. There are four cycles:
Cycle 1: Accelerate. Encourages rapid weight loss, cleansing and fat burning. Discourages fat storage. 
Cycle 2: Activate. Resets the metabolism. 
Cycle 3: Achieve. Develop good eating habits, re-teach yourself how to eat carbs. 
Cycle 4: Arrive. A combination of the first three Cycles. On weekends, enjoy your favorite foods.
Dr. Moreno claims in the first 17 days you loose about 10 pounds since one is not "on" sugar, drinking more water, and eating fewer carbs.

On the First Cycle Overview:

  • You can eat all you want of certain lean proteins, they’re referred to as “freebies
  • 2 servings a day of a probiotic choice
  • No other dairy except fat free cheese, fat free sour cream as condiments and in moderation.
  • Vegetables are limited to certain “Cleansing Vegetables” but are also “freebies

On Cycle 2 you can add:

  • Additional Proteins – Including shellfish and lean cuts of meat
  • Natural Starches (1 serving = 1/2 cup) - brown rice, bulgur, barley, couscous, cream of wheat, grits, basmati rice, oatmeal, etc... 
  • Legumes (1 serving = 1/2 cup) – black beans, butter beans, garbanzo, northern, kidney, lima, navy, pinto and soy beans, lentils, peas, etc...
  • starchy veggies - breadfruit, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, yams, etc…
  • Add two daily servings of natural carbohydrates and everything else stays the same.
I found this 17 day diet to be well laid out.  I love a diet that gives a plan and this book is "chock full" of plans and food ideas.  
After reading through the book this diet seems a lot like The Atkins Diet Plan.  
I can do 17 days of eating well and I hope that this will become a life style habit! So, I've just begun eating the way Dr. Moreno suggests.  
My goal is to lose about 20 ponds....I feel that the 17 Day Diet is a great plan to follow!
*This book was provided for review by Free Press News*

Book GIVEAWAY! Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

Book Giveaway!  

  Mandatory:  *Be a follower of this blog & leave a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you win)

Giveaway ends May 4, 2011

A Collection of Wednesdays {Zondervan Blog Tour}

Book Description:  If you were to set aside a part of one day every week to explore all the pieces of who you are, what would you find? For Amy Gaither Hayes, Wednesday mornings have been such a time: a sacred space for her to distill the seemingly disparate bits and pieces of her life into their essence. Then she has set about reconnecting those pieces like beads in a necklace, discovering in the process a unified whole infused with purpose and beauty by her Creator. So it is with us all. In this anthology of Wednesday reflections by Amy, you will discover a new, simpler way of looking at the person you are. Through story, poetry, and song lyrics, A Collection of Wednesdays helps you uncover a Divinely woven order in what appear to be the random components of your life. Calling. Passion. Sand. Rest. Church. Music. Books. Words such as these offer fresh, uplifting glimpses of how your soul is put together. Find out how, and discover new insights into both yourself and the heart and ways of God.

My Review:  Creating a whole from the parts . . . this is how Amy brings A Collection of Wednesdays to us.  Amy, daughter of the well known Gaithers, takes time on Wednesdays to draw closer to God and to gather her thoughts from the previous week.  A time alone to reflect.  
This is not a devotional book, in the sense that Amy gives us a plan, a prayer and a platitude but instead this is a book that lends the reader a sense of spending quality time with the Master.  
My least favorite chapter is entitled Books.  It is a bit long and tedious; however, the chapter entitled Rest quickly drew me in.  Here Amy writes about Mary and Martha relating them to her mother-in-law and how all of us must work but how important work is to daily living.  In this chapter she writes of reading " . . . I  encourage them {people} to be discerning about what they read for their spiritual deepening . . . "  This was a great chapter on leaning on Him and not ourselves!
This book reads smoothly and in somewhat of a story form.  The reader quickly gets a glimpse into Amy's life and her dedication to living for a mighty God.
This handsomely bound hardback book is great for gift giving and makes for a wonderful read to encourage us all in Him.
*This book was provided for review by Zondervan*
About the Author:
Whether working as a speaker, vocal artist, actress, dancer, stage director, writer, teacher or storyteller, Amy Gaither-Hayes is driven by the notion that art aimed at the heart can transfigure the souls of men and women. As one who thanks God for the leaping greenly spirits of the trees and a blue true dream of sky, Amy Hayes says yes to His amazing days and the chance to share the story of those amazing days with others.
The writing room and the reading room are two of the most treasured spaces in the Hayes home today. In fact, Amy believes that clues about the heart of a homeowner can be found in their bookshelves. Favorite reads in Amy's collection include books by Robert Benson, Susan Howatch, John Irving, Madeleine L'Engle and, on a somewhat higher shelf, the many works of William Shakespeare.
Today Amy and her husband Andrew - along with their three children - live in rural Indiana where Amy teaches Acting at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.

COTT: Clash Of The Titles

Naomi Musch and the opening paragraphs from her historical novel, The Green Veil.
Naomi takes the title in her clash against the very worthy runner-up, Karen Baney, author of A Dream Unfolding.
A snippet from Naomi's winning passage:
Pain seared Colette's temples, neck, and shoulders. Behind her eyelids, everything blazed like a powder keg of dynamite going off inside her. Explosions roared and blasts glared - red, and now and then a streak of hot white. She stirred on the bed, and her satin dress rustled.

Naomi says her best ideas come from overlooked portions of history she stumbles upon and in The Green Veil those include lumberjacks, land barons, and mill owners racing to control the pine lands in 1840s Wisconsin Territory. To read more about the book and find out what her favorite reads of the last year were, check out her interview ith COTT's Senior Editor April Gardner here.
What did readers have to say? A few comments from our voters:

"Excerpt A grabbed my heart. I found myself hurting for Colette, wishing there was something I could do to save her from her plight. Beautiful work."

"I wished I could pick both. I chose A simply because of the references to the book of Esther, one of my favorite accounts in the Bible."

"Wow, I really enjoyed that pine book."
Naomi responded to her win:
Oh WOW! Thank you to everyone at COTT for allowing me to be part of this month's clash, and for all those who stopped by and voted for either mine or Karen's book. What a way to start the Easter weekend! 
There are two more Opening Hooks to vote on this week, so head over to Clash of the Titles and let your voice be heard! A free copy of each competing book will be given away to two lucky readers--you can increase your odds by voting, commenting, sharing our link, or joining our Blog AllianceTell us whose blog sent you here to give them an extra entry too!
Have fun!

bio: Michelle Massaro is a homeschooling mom and aspiring novelist, as well as Assistant Editor for the literary website Clash of the Titles . Connect with her on twitter @MLMassaro, facebook, and her blog Adventures in Writing


For His glory,
Michelle Massaro, COTT Assistant Editor
Adventures In Writing
Clash of the Titles

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times Stephen G. Post

Book Description:  The world's religions affirm it to be so and recent research across a number of disciplines tell us that "Helping others not only benefits those we assist but is good for us as well." The recent and astonishingly generous outpouring of help and donations in response to the earthquake in Haiti is a clear demonstration of this phenomenon, but what if we could be convinced to make helping others a way of life, even when times are hard?

* Post is author of the widely praised Why Good Things Happen to Good People
* Filled with inspirational anecdotes about the transformative power of doing good
* The author is a leader in the study of altruism, compassion, and love as well as the President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love
* Beautiful packaging, ideal for gift giving 

The Hidden Gifts of Helping Others will leave you with the unshakable feeling that the world is an essentially good place.

My Review:  Stephen G. Post is professor of preventive medicine and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He is president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, established in 2001 with support of the philanthropist John Templeton and the Templeton Foundation. Post is the author of several books including Why Good Things Happen to Good People.
Mr. Post uses his family's move from one state to another as a way of illustrating the many ways in which transition, change, and helping others can signal a breakthrough to new possibilities.  
AFter living in one area for 20 years the author finds the transition challenging , at best.  Finding it hard to adjust to new faces and new places, he finds that over time family togetherness, good neighbors and love are the true meanings of life.  He then decides that helping others is what life is truly about.  So, he discovers that people reap many rewards from doing good including greater longevity, lower rates of heart disease, improved mental and emotional health, and relief of stress and negative emotions. Volunteers who regularly serve others talk of a "helper's high" that comes with moving beyond self and putting others first.
I found this a moving read!  Putting Post's concepts of helping others to use by discovering my hidden gift and then putting it to good use by helping those who can use it the most.  Whether it's teaching children at Sunday School, fixing meals for those with limited physical abilities, reading to patients who can't read for themselves or simply being a listening ear to one in distress.  I, too, am going to try and put Mr. Post's words to good use and find my hidden gift that will "get us through hard times."
A great five star read that will encourage you!
*This book was provided for review by The B & B Media Group*

Friday, April 22, 2011

Experiencing the Comfort of Abba's Love I AM HIS by Rita J. Platt

Book Description:  What happens inside your heart when you hear the word father? Some women feel indifference or pain, while others become wistful or sense an aching void. Still others recall their dads with fondness. Whatever your experience with your earthly father, I Am His invites you to know the comfort of dwelling in the arms of a tender, wise, and powerful Abba Father. Through personal stories, creative interaction with Scripture, quiet reflection, and guided responses, the wonder of living as a child of God will come alive and be more accessible to your heart.

My Review:  Experiencing the Comfort of Abba's Love I AM HIS by Rita J. Platt is an eight-week devotional journal that focuses on the comforting and powerful Abba Father~God our Father. 
Each week is divided into five parts: an introductory illustration, pondering related Scripture verses, reflection, and response.
This is an easy to read devotional that helped to see God as a loving Creator who longs to be a part of each child's life.  He longs to be our Abba Father.  To help me understand the 'Abba Father' I include this definition of Abba Father from a pastor: "This phrase refers to an oriental custom of Bible days, regarding the adoption of a child. Until the adopting papers were signed and sealed by the adopting father, the child saw this man only as a father. He had no right to call him Abba, meaning “my. Yet, as soon as the papers were signed, registered and sealed, the child’s tutor presented him to the adopting father—and for the first time the child could say, “Abba, Father!” As the father embraced him, the young one cried, “My father! He’s not just a father anymore. He’s mine!”
As I pondered the definition and read this book I, too, had a more concrete view of a loving Daddy who loves and comforts me!
Of all the devotionals I enjoyed Week 3 the most.  Week 3 is entitled: The Father's Love.  this devotional has a place to write contrasts of What Love Does and What Love Does helps the reader to view the Love of the Father in his own life.  Using I Corinthians 13:4-8, the author leads through loving actions of LOVE.
This is a great study for those who long to become closer to God.   Also, for those who may have a "bad" view of their earthly father...this devotional will give you a loving view of God the Father.
*This book was provided for review by NavPress*

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Deep In Trouble by Mary Connealy

Book Description:  Get ready for a Grand Canyon tour de force by award-winning author Mary Connealy. Gabe Lasley and Shannon Dysart are an unlikely pair. He’s an aimless wanderer who wants nothing other than to be left alone. She’s a fearless female determined to find a city of gold. When they are forced together the mayhem begins. As they set out to find the treasure, trouble is hot on their trail. Will the dream of gold color every decision Shannon makes? Will Gabe fail yet another helpless female in his life?

My Review:  Shannon Dystart's father swore to a lost city of gold on his deathbed and Shannon is determined she will find it.  However, she is literally stranded on the top of a 100 foot cliff dwelling.  The help she hired has run off with her map, shot the rungs off of the ladder (her only way down) and run off to find "her" gold.  What is a girl to do?!?!
Gabe Lasley is on his way to visit one of his seven brothers when he hears a cry for help. It takes him a little while to realize that the call for help is coming from the top of the cliff.  With a little imagination and using his roping skills Gabe "eases: Shannon off the cliff.  When Shannon finally gets on the ground the two set off for a Navajo village to regroup and reassess her mission.
Meanwhile, Shannon's mother, is at home in St. Louis trying to persuade Shannon's intended, Buckstone (Bucky) Shaw, to go find her, bring her home and marry her.  Finally Bucky takes some men and off he goes in search of Shannon.  
When Gabe sends a telegraph to his brother Abe, telling him he will be late in arriving, Abe sets off with his own search party looking for Gabe and this mysterious woman he is helping. As these four groups of treasure seekers come to the Grand Canyon, each group takes a different path down into its depths, some in search of gold, some in pursuit of other searchers and some in pursuit life's true treasures. Navigating the canyon is a treacherous, exciting and sometimes humorous journey.
This great-tastic read is about what is truly important in life! Mary Connealy has given us another romantic western adventure in her Wild West Weddings series.  Be sure to grab this book when it releases in May 2011!
*This ebook was provided for review by Net Galley and Barbour Publishing*
 About the Author:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist. 

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist. 

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days. 

Find Mary online at: