Sunday, September 30, 2012

{Glass Road Blog Tour} Mother of Pearl by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Book Description:  Barrie Graeber has two great kids, a loving husband, and a respected job as a high school counselor in her close-knit community. Without warning, everything unravels when her teenage daughter, Pearl, is betrayed by friends and lashes out.

Nothing prepares this mother for the helplessness that follows when her attempts to steer her daughter back on course fail and Pearl shuts her out . . . or when she discovers the unthinkable about her nemesis, the football coach.

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, MOTHER OF PEARL brings us into the heart of a mother bound by an incredible burden, who ultimately finds she must recognize her own vulnerability and learn to trust in something much bigger.

My Review:  As a an elementary school teacher I was interested in this book since it's about a high school counselor.  We meet Barrie Graeber who has a loving, supportive husband, Steve,  and two kids.  Her oldest daughter, Pearl, is in high school.  Pearl is every mother's dream child....popular, on the high school drill team, cute and sweet.
Her second child, Aaron (aka Scoot) is a tween.  At twelve years old Scoot is a sweet boy who loves his family.  
The story begins with Barrie in the school trying to finish up to go and see her daughter perform in the drill team at the football game.  A high strung student comes to her door and Barrie feels obligated to stay and see the girl through her tears.  Barrie barely makes it to the game. She does make it in time to see Pearl perform.  As Pearl and Barrie leave the game and are half way home Pearl sees her boyfriend in the parking lot of a store kissing another girl.  Oh! teen! drama!
This is where the story takes a turn in Pearl's life.  Pearl breaks up with her boyfriend and somehow ends up at the coach's home.  
I truly enjoyed this read.  Mother of Pearl tells the story of one mother's struggle to not only understand the "system"  but to see that justice is served!  A real tear jerker!  Kellie Gilbert writes with an emotion that leaves the reader feeling as if she were Barrie.  
Mother of Pearl tells the story of one mother's struggle to not only understand the "system"  but to see that justice is served!  
Oh! What a great read!
*This book was provided for review by Glass Road PR*
Meet the Author: 

Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure. Kellie's books tell emotionally poignant stories about women in life-changing circumstances. She writes about messy lives . . . and eternal hope.
Kellie currently makes her home in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a very spoiled 2.7 lb. Yorkie named Ava.
Please visit her online at

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Drum Roll, Please!
And the winner of October Baby dvd is 
Congratulations and happy viewing!
(Winner was chosen by and has been notified)

Friday, September 28, 2012

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Amazing August 2012 Releases

September is here and Clash of the Titles is ready with five more awesome releases ready to vie for top spot in our August Releases Clash!  This month's offering is a unique blend of books from several genres where you're sure to find something that peaks your interest. 

We have harrowing missions and a parent's legacy, princely heroes, the dangerous love of a baron, healing for a widow's heartache, and fledgling love in Lancaster. Whew!  

Remember…vote for the book you’d most like to add to your favorite reads pile, and share the news with your friends and family! Vote today  next Tuesday when the polls close at Midnight EST; then come back on THURSDAY to find out which book received the most votes. The winner will tour with our Clash of the Titles blog alliance, so have fun being a roadie without all the heavy lifting if you want to go along. 

And now…Peruse, Ponder, Press the button of your choice.

A Sense of a Mission by Ann Gaylia O'Barr
Kaitlin is driven to succeed in the mission denied her mother. Can she redeem that mission if she discovers another calling?

The Fire Starter by Gloria Clover
Amaryllis Filippopoulos was raised to rule the island of Celosia.  Alone.  So what's she to do with an off-island prince who tempts her to surrender her life's purpose for him?

Her Good Name by Ruth Axtell
In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron's son, Warren Brentwood, fights his attraction for Esperanza Estrada, daughter of an immigrant fisherman. Espy discovers that catching Warren’s eye is a far cry from capturing his heart because when rumors circulate about her, Warren believes the worst, forcing Espy to flee

Living in Harmony by Mary Ellis
Amy King--young, engaged, and Amish--faces difficult challenges in her life when she suddenly loses both of her parents in a house fire. Her fiancé, John Detweiler, persuades her and her sister Nora to leave Lancaster County and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where the ultra-conservative district becomes more than either bargained for.

Rodeo Ashes by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Lacie Gentry, a young widow and mom, is struggling with the aftermath of her husband’s tragic death. Quinn Remington, her former classmate always had eyes for her, but will his involvement in her husband’s demise keep them apart?

Visit COTT to vote on your favorite title!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Material Witness {Shipshewana Amish Mystery} by Vannetta Chapman

Book Description:  Tragedy strikes on the opening night of the Fall Crafters Fair when a woman is killed in the parking lot of Daisy's Quilt Shop, and the only material witness is one of Melinda Byer's boys. The investigation takes a more bizarre turn when detective Shane Black becomes convinced the killer was actually after Callie. This time it's a madman loose in the largest crowd of the year, and he's looking for something or someone. If they can't figure out what, one of Deborah and Callie's close circle of friends may be next. Masked identities, antique quilts with hidden messages, an Amish boy whose handicap makes him stronger, one brave dog, and a possible hidden treasure ... this time it's nonstop action, danger, and a dash of romance.

My Thoughts:  Material Witness by Vannetta Chapman is the third book in the Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series.  Having read the first two books A Perfect Square and Falling To Pieces, I was excited to read this third (and hopefully! not final) book in this series.
I was pleasantly surprised at how Vannetta Chapman's story telling had "increased."  I loved the first two books but in this third book she has "come into her writing!"  The characters, the sights & sounds and the development of the story are so GOOD!
Now, one doesn't have to read the first two books to understand the mystery of the third book but it would be best to read the books in order for more understanding of the characters.
A murder has been committed in the small community during the fall festival and one little crippled, wheelchair bound boy is the only witness.
Callie and her quilt shop are in the middle of the tragedy.  
The robber somehow thinks that Callie knows where the treasure is hidden.  Callie is clueless but with the help of her trusty Amish friends, Deborah and Esther, they piece the heirloom quilts together coming up with an interesting idea.
This mystery has a lot of action, hidden messages, friends that help and a dash of romance.
Here's hoping that there will be a fourth book.  I love this series!
*This book was provided by Zondervan Publishing*

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310330459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310330455

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Coca Cola Cake

In honor of my dad's 70th birthday I'm making this wonderful Coca Cola  cake! 

2 cups sugar 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows 
1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 3 tablespoons cocoa 
1 cup Coca-Cola® 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 cup buttermilk 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup
3 tablespoons cocoa 
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola 
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift sugar and flour. Add marsh- mallows. In saucepan, mix butter, oil, cocoa, and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well. Pour into a well-greased 9- by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.
To make frosting, combine butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who Is Simon Miller? {DVD}

I rarely review a dvd/movie but when one comes across my screen that I REALLY like I want to pass on the good news.
Who Is Simon Miller is a Walmart Family Movie Night Collection DVD.  
We loved this movie! No cussing, no inappropriate scenes or other naughties. A family can actually watch this movie together and not be embarrassed. The spy story was actually very well done! Need a great movie for family night with excitement and no blood, guts or gun shots? 
A movie the whole family can watch!  
This is the movie to watch!

  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • ASIN: B006G209RA

Monday, September 24, 2012

COTT {Clash Of The Titles}

Podcast Interview: Cynthia L Simmons and Laura V Hilton

Clash of the Titles Laurel Award winner, Laura V Hilton, is featured today. She's interviewed by Christian Authors Guild board member, Cynthia L. Simmons. The ladies discuss Laura's award-winning novel, A Harvest of Hearts. Click below to listen!
If you enjoyed the interview, CLICK HERE to visit Cynthia for more or to subscribe to her podcasts.

Cynthia L Simmons resides in Atlanta with her husband Ray. Active in Christian Authors Guild (CAG) she served as president, vice president, chaplain, and conference director as well as conducting writing seminars. Cynthia posts monthly podcasts, CAG Spotlight, in which she interviews authors and VIPs in the writing industry.  "Cindy" is fond of history and writes both historical fiction and nonfiction. Her first book came out in 2008. Her website is

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

dear deb : A Woman with Cancer, a Friend with Secrets, and the Letters That Became Their Miracle by Margaret Terry

Book Description:  "I want you to know that if my illness inspired you to write these stories, the cancer was worth it."—Deb
What stories could possibly make cancer worth it?
Stories that represent a miracle—a lifetime of miracles. Stories that changed the writer as she wrote them and stories that will touch the heart of the reader, one by one by one. Stories that are not just stories.
They started out as words of encouragement to a dying woman. They turned into a collection of sparkling and intimate moments, pulled from the past to finally be understood and shared with new meaning.
Story by story, letter by letter, Margaret Terry uncovered powerful pictures in her own life of the one truth that could help carry her friend Deb from this life to the next: God is at work.
Together, Deb and Margaret found renewed hope in all the ways God shows up right to the very end. Which is where they found the miracle they'd been praying for all along. In each other.

My Review: Three years ago my sweet mother-in-law went through breast cancer.  The chemo treatments were hard on all of us.  When a person goes through cancer the disease affects everyone in the family.  It can even affect friends.
As I began reading dear deb I knew that this book would be like a tribute to women everywhere, who have fought the battle...some have won and some have gone on to their reward.
dear deb made me think, laugh and cry!  What a friendship and what a lovely hope!
People may give up hope but God is continually at work. As I was reading this book the scripture from Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" came to mind.  Yes, God has a purpose that we may not understand but we can be conquerors through His love.
I loved the deep friendship of these two women...a bond stronger than "natural-born sisters."  A sisterhood of understanding and caring that comes from the deepest depths of the heart.
This book would make a great gift for someone who is going through a rough time or even going through cancer.
Such an encouragement!  And a lovely take on life!  God's grace is sufficient!
*This book was provided for review BookSneeze/Thomas Nelson Publishing*
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400204372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400204373

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday} Too Much Chocolate Cake

Sometimes a girl just needs a great piece of chocolate cake                           and wow! this cake takes, well, takes the cake!
So yummy and moist!
A wonderful recipe from All Recipes!


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012



I am giving away ONE dvd of 
October Baby.

*Please leave your email address in case of winning (addresses not used for any other purposes)
Giveaway ends Friday, September 28!
(Winner will be chosen by using Random

Monday, September 17, 2012

{Kregel Publications Blog Tour} Secret of the Journal ~Mortal Fire by C.F.Dunn

Book Description: When Emma D'Eresby - a 29 year-old, self-contained Professor of History - leaves her Cambridge college for a post in an exclusive university in Maine, USA, she hopes to learn more about a curious 17th-century journal in the College library. Instead, it leads her to a secret that should never have been uncovered. In the States, Emma meets the enigmatic 33-year-old surgeon, Matthew Lynes, a quiet and thoughtful widower. Driven to learn more about him, Emma takes the unique journal from the College library in which she believes there are clues to his family's English past. Meanwhile, the sinister Professor Kort Staahl mounts a psychotic attack on her. Matthew's courageous intervention saves her, but as he nurses her back to health, his unusual attributes raise questions he is unwilling to answer. As Part One ends, she returns to her claustrophobic family, avoiding her domineering father and wrestling with despair ...

My Review:  Mortal Fire~ Secret of the Journal by C.F Dunn is probably one of the best romantic thriller's that I've had the pleasure to read!  
This is not my usual genre of reading and because the cover has a rather "odd" look I was hesitant to read this book.  But being enticed by the title, Mortal Fire, I quickly opened to the first chapter.  Well, the rest is history (no pun intended)....
This fascinating read had me at "It must have happened only minutes before."  The very first line of the story!
Of course, after reading that line...I had to know!  What happened just minutes before?  What crisis took place and who was involved?
Well, apparently Emma, a twenty-nine year old, professor/doctor of history, from Cambridge (that's in England, ya know), has witnessed an unpleasant accident.  But the story isn't about the accident, it's about the people who are there....those involved and then the story literally takes off.
Emma is the strong kind of young woman who has studied and apprenticed and knows where she is headed.  And she has chosen to take this professorship so that she can look for a long lost 17th century journal...a journal with secrets.  Are some secrets too much to bring to light?  
There is a small group of people in this read that revolve around the university where Emma teaches.  Some of the historical  subject matter that Emma teaches about is best defined as gruesome but it is a part of history.  Interestingly enough, this part of history seems to making it's way into the campus.
The twists and turns of Emma's teaching at the campus, the friends she makes, and the life of the university are all very real.  Makes one feel the dampness of the chilled night or the creepy sounds of the wind blowing as Emma heads, alone, back to her flat/small apartment.
This read, Mortal Fire, is one fantastic work of art!  The romance is light with the emphasis on the missing journal that Emma seeks.  Gothic!  Mysterious!  Romantic!  All rolled into one great read!  This is a not to be missed story!  
*One word of caution, however, don't begin this read before going to bed for you won't be able to put this book down and may sleep through your morning alarm*
*This book was provided for review by Kregel publications*
Meet the Author: 

To read the first chapter go Here!
Be sure to visit C.F. Dunn's web page Web Page!

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857212028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857212023

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Trouble with Cowboys {Big Sky Romance} by Denise Hunter

Book Description:  Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.
Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.
Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.
Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.
The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.
When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.

My Thoughts:  The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter is one of those fun, witty, light reads that makes for a perfect read on a cold, crisp day.  So, grab your favorite hot cocoa or frappe and travel the rough, dusty roads with Annie and her kid-siter, Sierra.
I love horses!  So this book was right up my alley.  Annie is also a writer.  When she loses her column her finances become so tight that Lincoln has trouble meeting Washington.  Trying to help Sierra through college and raise her four year old nephew, Ryder, Sierra's sweet boy.  Sierra has no idea of what the word responsibility means.  And Annie takes on more responsibility so that Ryder won't suffer.
Then there's Dylan...the great looking and kind cowboy who seems to show up at the best and worst of times.  Annie doesn't want to like him but well...he's so likable and helpful!
This fun and witty story has a fun and sometimes profound quotation at the top of each chapter.  One of my favorites is on page 219, the top of chapter 30, 
"Dear Scared Saco,
Whoever said we have nothing to fear but fear itself has never been in love."
Once again Denise Hunter write a story that will not only make you feel good but will increase your faith!
*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze/Thomas Nelson Publishing*
Meet the Author: 
Denise Hunter is the nationally published author of bestsellers Sweetwater Gap and Surrender Bay. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!When Denise isn't writing she's busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.You can learn more about Denise through her website or by joining her FaceBook group at

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595548033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595548030