Friday, February 28, 2014

Rest In Peace Martha

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quilts of Love KINDLE FIRE HDX Giveaway | Barbara Cameron’s SCRAPS OF EVIDENCE

Barbara Cameron's Scraps of Evidence is the newest book in the Quilts of Love line, and Barbara is celebrating with an "intriguing" Kindle HDX giveaway!
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 8th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog on March 10th.

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Scraps of Evidence (Quilts of Love series) by Barbara Cameron

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book  blogger campaign and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


About the Book: (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)

Scraps of Evidence: A Quilt of Love book.
Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan,for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those couple nights a week she spends with her quilting guild.
Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home and she acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan seems to be communicating a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Author: Barbara Cameron  (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)
Barbara Cameron is a best-selling author who has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the author of more than 38 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara is a former newspaper reporter. Some of her non-fiction titles include the “Everything Weddings on a Budget Book” and “Her Restless Heart: A Woman’s Longing for Love and Acceptance.” Cameron currently resides in Edgewater, Florida.

Format: trade paperback

Genre: Christian, Suspense, Fiction, Light Romance

Source: Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign 

Published: Abingdon Press / $12.99 / 2014 / ISBN:978-1-4267-5278-0

Stalk the Author: Website

Buy the Book:  Abingdon Press / Christianbook / Quilts Of Love site

Why I Read this Book:  When I first saw the tour listed for this book and read that it was part of the Quilts of Love series, I just assumed that it was an Amish story with a bit of suspense thrown in to it.  I was WAY OFF because Scraps of Evidence has nothing to do with the Amish.  (Talk about me stereotyping because of the word-quilt.  Geesh!)  In any case, the suspense part was what really drew me in and made me want to read the book.

What I Liked:  The setting is St. Augustine, Florida--which just so happens to be one my favorite cities to visit when I get a break from teaching.  I loved the fact that I knew many of the (real) places that were mentioned, and had even been to them.  St. Augustine is full of history and I was thrilled that Ms. Cameron incorporated some of that history into the story-line. (No, I am not getting paid to advertise the city--although I would not be opposed to it!)  ;)  

The two main characters-Tess, and her new partner Logan, were very well matched (in more ways than one) and worked well together.  The compassion they showed to the victims and their memories  will stick in my mind for a long time.  I especially loved how they treated the homeless man to lunch before asking him questions concerning their case, and that they offered to get him to safe place to stay since he did not have home of his own.

I also enjoyed the family dynamics between Tess and her Aunt Kathy.  It reminded me of the relationship I have with my own aunt because of the easy-going attitude and spirit they share. 

What I Didn't Like:  It felt like the relationship between Tess and Logan was a bit rushed, but I've been told that "you know when you know," so I'll have to wait until it happens with me to be able to give better feedback.  I also think this may have been due to the fact that I couldn't put the book down and devoured it quickly--which may have caused the rushed feeling.  (Go figure.)  :)

The only other thing I disliked has to do with me.  I managed to guess "whodunnit" fairly early on, so the rest of the book was me anticipating whether or not I was correct.  I hate doing that to myself because I don't take as much time to enjoy the story because I'm too busy trying to figure out if I'm right.  Maybe someday I'll learn to slow down and savor, but this really was a page-turner, so it really couldn't be helped.

Overall Impression:  
If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a bit of blood then Scraps of Evidence is for you!  You will be enchanted as you read  about St. Augustine's rich history and be enchanted with the lovable characters.  What are you waiting for?  Go get this book!

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

YouTube Thursday

Today's post is a bittersweet one for me.  I learned that someone I care for tried to take her life this morning due to her depression.  At this moment we're still waiting to hear if she is still in critical condition or if she succeeded.  (Stupid HIPAA laws!)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...get help if you're having suicidal thoughts!  I know I wouldn't be here to write this post  if it hadn't been for my friends forcing me to make the call.

If you want to "chat" with someone instead of talk in person,here is the National Suicide Prevention Line website.

In the meantime, I've brought back this video from Kerrie Roberts--Keep Breathing

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Friend Me by John Faubion

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book  blogger campaign and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


About the Book: (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)

When a lonely wife and her frustrated husband each secretly pursue companionship online, neither dreams that a real woman is behind their virtual creations, threatening their marriage—and their lives.
Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. As Rachel desperately tries to re-create a friendship with a friend who has passed, Scott becomes unfaithful and is torn between the love for his wife and the perfection of his cyber-girlfriend. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming…
Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant—and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the virtual friend software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.
As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.
In today’s digital age, the Internet presents all kinds of opportunities to test our personal boundaries, and this exciting and suspenseful story raises important questions about the ethics of virtual relationships. Friend Me will open your eyes to a new—and terrifying—moral dimensions and how they play out in the real world.

Author: John Faubion  (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)

John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter.

Format: trade paperback

Genre: Christian, Suspense, Fiction

Source: Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign 

Published: Simon and Schuster / $14.99 / 2014 / ISBN:978-1-4767-3872-7

Stalk the Author: Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Blog

Buy the Book:  Amazon / Christianbook / Other Sellers

Read an excerpt here.

Why I Read this Book:  I am a fan of all things mystery and suspense because I enjoy the aspect of trying to figure out all of the "pieces" and how they are interwoven to form the story.  I saw the request for reviewers of Friend Me, and once I read the synopsis, I was hooked!  After all, who wouldn't want a friend that was low maintenance and cared about the things happening only in my life?

What I Liked:  The concept of virtual friendships and relationships has always intrigued me because I am a recluse at heart.  I love the idea that I could type information into the computer and "create" a personal friend that I could "talk" to about my day-especially when it's been extremely stressful and my regular friends are tired of listening to me whine. 

Scott and Rachel are ordinary people who are trying to make a living for their small family.  Their relationship is not as exuberant as it used to be and they're drifting apart each day.  Hmmm...sounds like most marriages out there--which is what I like about this book. Mr. Faubion makes his characters as realistic as possible--even down to their thoughts and actions on a daily basis.

As I learned more about Scott, Rachel, and their virtual "friends," I was sucked more and more into the manipulation and was trying to figure out how to warn them of the impending disaster about to take place in their lives and possibly keep them apart forever.

Another dimension of the story was that of the Christian family values.  I loved the fact that Scott and Rachel were depicted as having problems and succumbed to temptations like the rest of the Christians in the real world.  Too many times, Christianity in novels is portrayed as having the perfect life and that nothing goes wrong for the characters.  I'm glad that Mr. Faubion didn't shy away from the hard questions--what constitutes cheating and is it considered cheating if the person isn't real?--and offers a way for the characters to be redeemed, just as Christ did for us.

What I Didn't Like:  Knowing the dangers of the "Internet" is something that is foremost in my mind--especially as a single female.  I used to play Second Life, and while roaming around in the virtual premise of the world, it was still creepy to think that the "virtual people" there were really other individuals on their computers playing and talking with me at the same time.   Having experienced that cyber-world, I can completely envision this scenario taking place, especially with more and more people learning how to program and "create" virtual worlds at younger and younger ages. 

As a single woman, I am constantly being  pressured to form more "meaningful relationships" with the "friends" I have online.  Reading Friend Me gives me the exact reason NOT to give out as much personal information to these virtual friends because sometimes relationships, whether real or imagined, are taken to the extreme. Faubion's imagined scenario scared me a little too much and I am now going to be a less likely to trust virtual programs/people due to imagining the "psycho" behind the computer at the other end.  

Overall Impression:  Friend Me is John Faubion's first novel and he definitely hit a home run!  The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will not want to put this book down until you have turned the last page!  Run to your nearest bookstore or have Friend Me  rush delivered to your door--you will not be disappointed! 

5 out of 5 

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

John Faubion’s FRIEND ME Kindle HDX Giveaway!

John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Me, with a Kindle HDX giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Friend Me by John Faubion
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

YouTube Thursday

I know we just had a song on Monday, but I couldn't help but post this one as I realize that I need to pay attention to the song's message.  By the way, if you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it!

Disney's Frozen-Let It Go-Sing Along Version

Monday, February 3, 2014

Music Monday

It's no secret that I LOVE Mercy Me!  This song has been playing on the radio for several weeks and I can't wait for the CD to come out in April so I can listen to it non-stop.  (My poor neighbors...)

Anyhoo...I thought this might be the perfect song to listen to as we get ready for work this Monday.

Shake by Mercy Me #MMSHAKE

MercyMe - Shake (Official Music Video) from mercymemusic on GodTube.

Have a great day and don't forget to SHAKE!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Soul Searching Sunday

I've been doing a lot of thinking  soul searching lately and I've realized that as I've grown older there's been less "playing" and "happiness" in my life.  Too many responsibilities and general life circumstances have made me worn and somewhat bitter and cynical. (My current friends are rolling their eyes right now because they haven't really seen me at my happy and playful stage--unless you count that one glimpse at Disney's Grad Night as a chaperone.)  But I digress...

The good news is that I've been working really hard at trying to be a bit more positive in my life.  One of the steps I've taken is that I've signed up for the 100 Happy Days challenge via Instagram.  I didn't start it at the beginning of the year like several of my friends, so I'm only on Day 17 (which has caused all sorts of anxiety from my OCD), but it has caused me to focus on the little moments that bring me happiness each day.  While some days it's a struggle to find something, or I forget to take a picture so I substitute a different "moment of happiness" instead, it has caused me to be more aware in my day of all the little things that go right instead of the negative that comes as a constant barrage.

What are some things that you do to play more and be happy each day?

As a side note, I am going to try and make Soul-Searching Sundays a regular feature on the blog.  I've made a grab-button if you're interested.  (It's the first one I've made, so please be kind while I work out the kinks.)