Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Offering


Book Review


The Offering by Angela Hunt takes an in-depth look at infertility. Hunt explores infertility issues by skillfully wrapping them in a good story. The book takes an in-depth look at gestational carriers and adoption. It also shows the healing power of family and the difficulties that arise for parents through false perceptions.

Protagonist Amanda Lisandra, married into a big, loving Cuban family. She and her husband have a talented, delightful four-year-old daughter. They would like more children but do not feel they can afford it. Mandy decides she wants to be a surrogate to bring extra money to the family budget.

I found the book interesting in that I knew very little about gestational carriers. Mandy swears that she will not become
attached to this baby because she realizes that she is only “babysitting.” When her situation changes, she suddenly becomes very attached to the child. Frankly, knowing nothing about being a surrogate, I have to say I think it would be difficult to not be emotionally involved. Hunt does a good analysis pointing out different issues that should be considered.

Mandy forcefully tells her childless sister-in-law that if she adopts that baby will be hers; bloodlines are not that important. Raising the child is what’s important. Amelia, the sister-in-law and her husband do adopt a baby. Then, suddenly Mandy’s position changes and bloodlines become a significant factor in how she feels. The adoption topic was interesting to me because I know of an instance where a couple adopted a baby and were told by the social workers, “Just take her home and love her like she’s your own.” They were given the impression that it was just a matter of loving the child. Reality was the child had issues that plagued her through adulthood because she believed her birth mother had abandoned her.

The book also portrays how Mandy’s in-laws, a large Cuban family, were an amazing support group for her. Her family surrounded her, loved her, and took

care of her. The book also addresses the issue of Mandy’s false perception about her own mother and the love and caring that her mother showered on Mandy with nothing but perfunctory caring in return. Hunt show the sacrifices parents make for their children.

This book was enjoyable along with challenging many perceptions. Hunt juxtaposes several social issues that are important to consider, along with writing a book that is a very good story. She gave me subjects to think about that I had not considered before, all enfolded in an interesting story. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

Buy the Book for $11.92


About the Book


From bestselling author Angela Hunt, the heart-wrenching story of a young mother who unknowingly gave away her own child after serving as a surrogate for a childless couple.

After growing up as an only child, Amanda Lisandra wants a big family. But since she and her soldier husband can't afford to have more children right away, Mandy decides to earn money as a gestational carrier for a childless couple. She loves being pregnant, and while carrying the child she dreams of having her own son and maybe another daughter. . .
Just when the nearly perfect pregnancy is about to conclude, unexpected tragedy enters Mandy's world and leaves her reeling. Devastated by grief, she surrenders the child she was carrying and struggles to regain her emotional equilibrium.

Two years later she studies a photograph of the baby she bore and wonders if the unthinkable has happened---could she have inadvertently given away her own biological child? Over the next few months Mandy struggles to decide between the desires of her grief-stricken heart and what's best for the little boy she has never known.

About the Author


With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including "The Nativity Story". Hunt is one of the most sought-after collaborators in the publishing industry. Her nonfiction book "Don't Bet Against Me", written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Angela's novel "The Note" (with sales of over 141,000) was filmed as the Hallmark Channel's Christmas movie for 2007 and proved to be the highest rated television movie in the channel's history. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RITA, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the Holt Medallion. She often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences, and she served as the keynote speaker at the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers' national conference. She and her husband make their home in Florida with mastiffs. In 2001, one of her dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest dog in America.



Angela Hunt is celebrating the release of The Offering with a Nook HD Giveaway and an Author Chat Party on Facebook {6/5}.
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  One winner will receive:
  • A Nook HD
  • The Offering by Angela Hunt 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 4th. Winner will be announced at the "The Offering" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 5th. Connect with Angela for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Angela will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Offering and join Angela on the evening of June 5th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Face of the Earth



Book Review


The tension builds immediately – and continues throughout the book. The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney is a mystery that pulls the reader in from the first chapter. It made me stop and question – what would it be like to have someone you loved deeply just disappear? How could someone just drop from the face of the earth? Mitchell Brannon’s wife Jill called from a hotel in Kansas City, three hours away, and said she was starting for home. She never showed up. I had trouble getting my mind around the idea. How can someone just disappear without a trace?

Mitchell lived in limbo for almost a year. Raney does an excellent job of showing what the extreme consequences are when a loved one is just gone and no one knows what happens. Mitchell’s wife Jill had a best friend, Shelley, who lived next door. The ordeal is difficult for Shelley too; and she and Mitchell naturally are drawn together in their search for Jill. After several months they feel an attraction toward one another but know that Mitch gave a vow to Jill that they would be together until death parted them. Again, I felt that Raney shows how complicated situations get when there are no answers. As human beings, we are programmed to want and feel we need answers.

This book has one main theme: what happened to Jill and how should Mitch live his life if he never finds out. Raney articulates the difficulties for Jill’s entire family, her husband and her college-age children, Evan and Katie. She also expresses the pain that Shelley, Jill’s best friend goes through. The Face of the Earth makes the reader think about thoughts that are unthinkable. It is a book that keeps the reader reading. There has to be an answer. Will the answer be at the end of the book? Or will the question never be answered? What did happen to Jill Brannon?

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book


When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye one autumn morning, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised Jill's car isn't in the garage. Her conference in Kansas City is only a few hours' drive from their little town of Sylvia, Missouri. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. "Hey, babe, I'm just now checking out of the hotel, but I'll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you."

Mitch sets the table with their best china and lights some candles, looking forward to their first weekend as empty nesters.

But at eight o'clock, the candles have burned to stubs and Jill still hasn't shown up. Mitch tries her cell phone only to get her voice mail over and over again. Their two college kids haven't heard from their mom either.
At midnight, Mitch's irritation turns to dread. And later, when the police and Missouri Highway Patrol have turned up nothing, the Kansas City hotel calls to say they've found property belonging to Jill in a hotel maid's possession.

Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, and together they search for clues to Jill's disappearance. As days turn int
o weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer--and decidedly complicated with Jill as the tie that binds them together. Just when Shelley decides to finally reveal her feelings for Mitch, a clue to Jill's whereabouts is uncovered. But every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.

About the Author


Deborah Raney is the award-winning author of several novels, including "A Nest of Sparrows" and the RITA award winning "Beneath a Southern Sky" and its sequel, "After the Rains". Deborah's first novel, "A Vow to Cherish", was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures' highly acclaimed film of the same title, which in December 2004 aired on prime time network TV for the second time. Deb's novella, "Playing by Heart", was a National Readers Choice Award winner and a 2004 Christy Award finalist. Her novel for Howard/Simon & Schuster, "Yesterday's Embers", appeared on the ECPA Christian fiction bestseller list. Known for her sensitive portrayal of family struggles and relationships, Deb has also written nonfiction books and articles and often speaks at women's retreats and writers' conferences around the country. She and her husband, illustrator/author Ken Raney, have four children and make their home in Kansas.


Deborah is celebrating with a fun "Date Night" Giveaway (win a $200 Visa Cash Card!) and an Author Chat Party on Facebook! {5/30}

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One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one – your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 29th. Winner will be announced at the "The Face of the Earth" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 30th. Connect with Deborah for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deborah will also be sharing a sneak peek of her next book and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Face of the Earth and join Deborah on the evening of May 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Catch a Falling Star


Book Review


Beth K. Vogt, an author who wrote nonfiction, has just published her second work of fiction; and it is a good read. Catch a Falling Star is a romance with an appealing heroine, Dr. Kendall Haynes. The tension is built in because Kendall has one man courting her and another one who is “just a friend” that against all odds she develops a desire for something more. Now, the thing is, to me the choice was a no-brainer. She had this smooth talking, gag-me-with-a-spoon man, feeding her a line that is almost as old as the earth itself. Dr. Heath Parker seems to really want to become close to Kendall. Kendall and Griffin Walker, an air force pilot, get off to a difficult start. Griffin Walker is a bit boorish, but he seems real.

I realized that Vogt was doing a great job of bringing her characters to life when I noticed that I was having strong reactions. I could not stand Heath Parker. I had an even stronger aversion to Kendall’s spoiled, down right bratty younger sister, Bekah. I was completely captivated by Griffin’s younger brother, Ian in a good way; and I liked Griffin Walker even though he was far from smooth. It is good writing that evokes such strong feelings. The book takes an unexpected turn when one of the men pulls Kendall into a situation that could be the end of her medical practice and possible criminal charges.

I also loved Vogt’s detailed descriptions of Kendall’s work/loft. We know she had a private “compact” pool, red granite countertops, concrete floors with “broad, red marbled strips,” and “floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing a twenty-four-hour view of Pike’s Peak.” Sounds very nice. Vogt even described the food Kendall ate in such a way that the reader will salivate. She had “a glass of iced tea and a seafood entrĂ©e of Durango Bass crusted in walnut and fennel,” served with cranberry chutney, followed by “cappuccinos with just the right amount of steamed-milk foam on top.” Kendall’s wardrobe also included details like “Wide-legged black slacks and plum colored cashmere sweater.” The attention to detail made the book interesting on several levels. Catch a Falling Star also has details that Jeep aficionados will love. Couple that with an adorable, very funny dog and it adds up to the perception that Dr. Kendall Haynes is living the good life.

This was an enjoyable book to read. I loved reading the details of a life that is so different from my own. Plus, it was a just plain good romance. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book


What does a girl do when life doesn't go according to her plan?

At 36, Kendall Haynes has seen some of her dreams come true. She's a family physician helping kids with severe allergies and asthma achieve more fulfilling lives-a childhood struggle she knows all too well. But the feeling of being "the kid never picked" looms large when romance continues to evade her and yet another one of her closest friends gets engaged. Are Kendall's dreams of having it all-a career, a husband, children-nothing more than childish wishing upon a star? Should she hold out for her elusive Plan A? Dust off Plan B? Or is it time to settle? God says he knows the plans he has for her-why can't Kendall figure them out and be content with her life?

Griffin Walker prefers flying solo-both as an Air Force pilot and in his personal life. But a wrong choice and health problems pulled him out of the cockpit. His attempts to get out of "flying a desk" are complicated by his parents' death-making Griffin the reluctant guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother, Ian. How did his life get so off course? Can God get his life back on track ... or has there been a divine plan all along?
Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn't just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your "wish I may, wish I might" dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you.


About the Author


Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice), though she said she'd never marry a doctor-or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four, though she said she'd never have kids. She's discovered that God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." Her contemporary romance novel, "Wish You Were Here", debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and "Catch a Falling Star" releases May 2013. An established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren.



Celebrate the release of Catch a Falling Star (Howard Books) with Beth K. Vogt by entering to win a Romantic Weekend Getaway and RSVPing for her June 4th Author Chat Party.


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  One "lucky" winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Perfect for a weekend stay at a hotel or B&B!)
  • Catch a Falling Star and Wish You Were Here by Beth Vogt (Swoon-worthy!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Catch a Falling Star" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 4th. Connect with Beth for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Beth will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Catch a Falling Star and join Beth on the evening of June 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Undeniably Yours


Book Review


Undeniably Yours is a romance novel by Becky Wade that has a little extra something. To be sure, the love story is a sizzling romance between two unlikely people. Protagonists Meg Cole and Bo Porter are both attractive people and they light each other up; but Meg is wealthy and Bo works for her. However, the book has more than romance to make it a good read.

Meg Cole is super-rich, in the old Texas oil family tradition. I personally loved reading about the life of the rich. As someone who has moved cross-country several times, I loved the thought of having someone come in and pack everything up, deliver it all to the new place, and then have an interior designer come in and arrange everything. That appealed to me. Having a housekeeper and having someone make all my meals for me sounded real good, too.

I loved Meg’s character. She perceived herself as being timid; but after her father died she became a poised, feisty, and self-assured young woman. I enjoyed the progression that Wade presents. In the beginning of the book, Meg is awkward and suffers from almost continual panic attacks; but she becomes confident and sure in her faith. The story documents how much Meg can accomplish when she seeks God wisdom and is not afraid to step out and do things differently. Bo becomes a perfect complement to Meg. He is a strong but caring man, a man’s man who is not afraid to show his feelings.

There is also a component of excitement in this book that adds a new dimension to the story. Just when everything seems perfect, someone from Meg’s past comes. The danger is palpable and this lovely romantic novel becomes a page-turner.

So, this is a wonderful romance novel but Wade weaves in other details that push it beyond “just a romance.” I do recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

Buy the book for $11.20


About the Book


When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who's determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them and earn her love.

Just when Meg realizes she can no longer deny the depth of her feelings for Bo, their fragile bond is broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their relationship-and their belief that God can work through every circumstance-survive?

About the Author


Becky Wade is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas.







Becky Wade is celebrating her latest swoon-worthy novel, Undeniably Yours (Bethany House), with a Kindle Fire giveaway and hosting an Author Chat party on Facebook {5/29}!

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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Undeniably Yours" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 29th. Connect with Becky for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Becky will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Undeniably Yours and join Becky on the evening of May 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!




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