Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...  
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll read next?

I am currently reading:
The Good Girl by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann
and A Conversation with God by Alton 

I recently finished reading 
Love You More by Lisa Gardner (my review is up if you are interested.)

Next I am going to read

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge and
Easy by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

If you'd like to play along on Teaser Tuesdays, just go to MizB of Should Be Reading's blog

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I slipped the lipstick into my jacket pocket. It happened in a second, but the moment felt like slow motion. I could feel the rough corduroy of my jacket against my knuckles, then the silky inside of the pocket. I glanced up at the surveillance mirror in the corner of the ceiling."
Page 22 from The Good Girl by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love You More by Lisa Gardner REVIEW

Who do you love?
The tragic case seems to be open and shut: Pushed to the brink by an abusive husband, Tessa Leoni finally snapped and killed him in self-defense. But Tessa isn’t talking-not about her dead husband, not about her bruises, and not about why her six-year-old daughter has vanished. Tessa’s hiding something. Was her   husband’s death an accident? A murder? Or something far more terrifying? Every answer leads to more questions. To find a missing child, homicide detective D.D. Warren must dissect this family down to its darkest truths. She needs to learn how far a woman would go to save someone she loves.

I got to be honest with you. I have never read a book by Lisa Gardner before this. I know I know…But the good news is…I loved this book. From the very beginning it was suspenseful, a page turner. I was trying to read faster to find out what happened to this character and that character. I was trying to figure out the secrets about the marriage and the missing daughter before it got explained. And what went wrong in the marriage. How and where Brian Darby turned into an insecure controlling shmuck. 
There were two story lines in this book. One about Tessa and Brian and the other about D.D. Warren and her boyfriend Alex. The book kept bouncing between the two stories but it was easy to follow.
I really liked Tessa’s character. She is a strong woman who can handle her own. She is devoted to her child and her job. And even though she seemed genuinely happy with Darby and Sophie, Tessa’s daughter seemed to love him; it looked to me like Tessa’s almost lost herself to him.  It was as though she wasn’t as strong or as independent with him.
I loved how well developed the characters were in this book. Gardner did very well in creating these characters and making them realistic.
I loved this book and I am definitely going to start reading more of Lisa Gardners books!
I recommend this book definitely.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! All you do is post what books you read/listened to this past week (and any other bookish things) and what you plan to read/listen to (and accomplish bookish-wise) this coming week!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.

I recently posted my review for Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith- a must read!

Also, I posted my review for Life Lessons from Stanley the Cat by Jennifer Freed

This week I am planning on going to the library and take a peek around to see what looks good and maybe a movie? About a week ago I put in for a huge list of books, cd's and dvd's, and a few days ago I added to that list of books for my library after blog hopping. Hopefully they trail in a couple at a time so I get a chance to read them all and not return them to the library un-read. I hate doing that!

This week I am continuing to read A Conversation with God by Alton Gansky

I am also going to read The Good Girl by Kerry Cohen-Hoffmann

Love You More by Lisa Gardner

That's it! I'm trying to keep it light to make sure books get read and my goal gets reached.

Does that make sense to you? lol

I'm Library Crazy! Are you?

I went to the library to pick up a book that was on hold for me and ended up walking out a little while later with a bagful and some movies. While blog hopping this past week and seeing all these wonderful books I just couldn't help myself but go a little nuts. I want to read them all!
I got:
Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler with Shawn Smucker (thanks to BookJourney, I saw this on her blog and had to get it from the library as well as the movie)I'm glad that the book came in first though. I prefer reading than watching:)

By Kerry Cohen-Hoffmamm:
It's Not You, It's Me
After reading her memoir a while ago I fell in love with her writing style and had to get these too.

I have been seeing this at bookstores and seeing this on the blogesphere so I couldn't help myself...Testimony by Anita Shreve

I don't know how or where I saw or heard about this book but it sounds like a real journey and you know how I love memoirs:)
Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison

I read and reviewed a book by her in the past (Possession) the book was really good, I couldn't put it down. So when I saw this one it was a no-brainer to check it out.
Snitch by Rene Gutteridge)

I also got a few movies:
I Could Never Be Your Woman with Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, John Lovitz, Fred Willard. and Tracey Ullman 
I liked the cover, it looks interesting and I haven't seen it

Prime with Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg and Meryl Streep
I saw it once a long long long time ago and thought, hey why not...

And, last but not least, I couldn't get the book so I had to put a hold on it but they had the movie. I would rather read the book first but in this case, I'll take what I can get.
The Kite Runner...Watching it tomorrow night:)

Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think of them?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cozy Mystery Challenge

I love this challenge as I love cozy mysteries! I am doing 6 but you are more than welcome to do more. Go on over to her blog to sign up!
Here is the info:

It's that time of year again, time to sign up for the annual Cozy Mystery Challenge and start thinking about the books you'll want to read for the next 6 months.

Last year we had a great turn out and I hope we do just as well, if not better,  in 2011.

For those who might wonder what a cozy mystery is, here's a great website that explains it and is a great resource for series:   I also have the 2010 list of read books still available on this blog, so feel free to browse through the list to see what members read last year.

Here are the rules:
1. The challenge runs April 1st, 2011 through September 30, 2011.

2. The goal is to read at least 6 cozy mysteries, one for each month.  You can choose to read more, but you must read 6 in order to complete this challenge. You don't have to read 1 each month, you can read them whenever you like, you just have to read at least six.

There are three participation levels for this challenge:
Only the required amount - 6
I think I can do better - 7-10
Feeling very ambitious - 11+

3. While you can overlap with other challenges, please try to have at least 2 of the books only count towards this challenge.

Sign-up using the dedicated form. While it would be great if you signed up before April 1st,  you can sign up anytime between now and September 1st.

5. You do NOT need a blog to participate.  If you do have a blog, I would love to see a dedicated post linking back this post, but that's not required either.

6. You do NOT have to list the books you plan to read ahead of time, although you can if you want to (and the list can change throughout the challenge).

7.  Prizes!! Everyone loves a prize! Everyone who completes this challenge will get a bookmark made by yours truly.  My goal is to use the challenge button this year for the bookmark! That will probably help me mail them out a bit faster

Meet Me On Monday

This is a fun meme hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.

Every Sunday she posts five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!


1. Do you have a fireplace in your home?

No but I wish we did.

2. Can you drive a stick shift?
No but I want to learn how to.

3. How many computers are in your home?

Three. Hubby and I each have a laptop and we have a desktop computer that was given to us a while back that we let the nieces and nephews use when they come over. 
4. Are your taxes done yet? Do you do them yourself?
Yes they are. We do them ourselves.

5. What is your favorite meal of the day?
 Dinner. Means all I have left is cleanup from dinner put Daughter to bed and I can chill and read:))

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Passport Through Darness by Kimberly L. Smith REVIEW

Passport through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances
We are here to stand for the one no one else will stand for.
Kimberly Smith was an average American churchgoer, wife and mother- until she dared to ask God His dreams for her life. Traveling around the world and deep into the darkness of her own heart, Kimberly's worst fears collided with her faith as she and her family discovered the atrocities of human trafficking. But it was in that broken place that a self-centered life was transformed into an international effort to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease and genocide. 
Through painful trials, serious errors, and gut-wrenching fear, Kimberly reminds us of what God will do when one person puts her life on the line for His purpose. Along the way, she inspires you to discover your own story-to live your purpose and feel God's pleasure. Here you will find courage to live the life God dreamed of when He dreamed of you. 

From beginning to end, this book was full with stories that pull at your heartstrings; it brings tears, laughter, anger and compassion. The injustice and brutality that Kimberly saw first-hand through out the book which was inflicted upon others and on her will make you want to jump right into the pages of the book like a time machine to change   the sever cruelty. Taking you back to what was happening and stop the evil that was   perpetrated to the innocent. 
When I started reading this book, the first story that Kimberly told from Sudan had me feeling angry, offended and shocked. I was angry with the people who were doing the depraved acts of murder and rape. I was also stunned in unbelief at the mother who the story relay because to me, she just laid in the tall grass watching her daughter go through this torture of being raped and beaten continuously until she was carried away and never seen again. As a mother myself, I could not watch that. I could not let that happen to my own son or daughter.
I had to remind myself, it is a different culture. Their ways of living, their beliefs, traditions are completely different from my own. This mother was doing what she thought she had to in order to save herself and her newborn baby that she had strapped to her back. Unbeknown to her, her newborn was already killed by a bullet. This left her grieving for her three children.
After reading this first story, I needed to take a break from reading the book, because the first story itself had such an impact on me. I wasn’t sure if I could continue reading the book.  But after about a week, I picked the book back up…and could not put it down.
There are so many stories like the one above that will make your heart break; such as Kimberly and her partner over in Sudan, Lual Atak had to turn children away from their makeshift orphanage because they didn’t have enough space or supplies for them and were already tight on space and supplies. It was heartbreaking for them to turn these kids way because they knew they may not see them again with the wild animals out there that could very possibly attack them and turn fatal. There were other stories that are sweet and selfless like When Luak Atak had an opportunity to come to America, he chose to stay in Sudan and help the orphans.
I am so glad I didn’t give up on this book, this story, this journey Kimberly and her husband Milton experienced, is so powerful. But if they hadn’t gone through this journey, their organization Make Way Partners wouldn’t have been born, the help from Kimberly and Milton may not have happened.
 It started when they moved to Spain as missionaries. They had been in Spain a little over a year when they were told about a British couple who had a home for African immigrant children. Kimberly and Milton saw the bad conditions these kids lived in but that was only the beginning. By chance, they found out about the human trafficking going on in this home. One day while the couple was visiting the home to help, one of the little boys came up to Kimberly asking for Vaseline. That day, Kimberly and Milton found out about the sexual slavery going on in the home. After all their fighting and trying to stop this, the kids were placed elsewhere and they weren’t told where and couldn’t find out. Kimberly and her husband returned to the states and educated themselves about human trafficking and slavery. This led Kimberly going to Sudan. But because of her husband’s health and fight against diabetes, he was forced to stay home.
I could go on and on about this book. In the beginning I was hesitant, but after taking a short break from it, I could not put it down and was sad when I finished it because even though it was full of sad stories that people Kimberly and her husband met and helped and they themselves went through, it was so nice to hear what was being done to change and stop these sad things. But it was also full of great stories of how great God is and how having faith in Him and believing He is in control and letting Him be in control instead of trying to do everything yourself is so much better and always works out much better.
I would say this book is a must read. There are parts in this book that are not easy to read besides what I have mentioned and you may need a tissue or two. But I would put this on your must-read list. I would recommend this book most definitely.

To find out more about Kimberly and Milton’s Organization Make Way Partners:

Other great organizations:

Bethany Kids:

The Voice of the Martyrs:

African Inland Mission:

African Leadership:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lessons from Stanley the Cat by Jennifer Freed REVIEW

Lessons from Stanley the Cat : Nine Lives of Everyday Wisdom by Jennifer Freed

-Seduction is just the practice of artful stretching-

-Never let people know how fast you are. Appear slow in all things, and less is expected of you.-

-When someone is on the computer too long, help them by distracting them, or walk lightly on their keyboard.-

So advises Stanley, a remarkably  astute cat with a keen eye for the  important things in life. Perhaps you don't have time for yoga, can't afford therapy, or wouldn't dare cry to your mother. If so, let Stanley be your guide. Lessons from Stanley the Cat offers  wise and witty maxims from Stanley himself, translated by his doting psychotherapist (human) parent, Jennifer Freed. Whether you are a cat lover or prefer companions of the canine variety. Stanley's warmth and insight are sure to brighten even the grayest days.

Let me start off by saying how cute this book was. It was a delight to read. It reminded me of the movie Look Who's Talking but in book form and about a cat instead of a baby. And I loved that movie:) I started out reading this book with my morning coffee (replacing the news;) then again at night before I went to bed but I quickly realized I couldn't put the book down. 
Also, the illustrator Tone Gellerstedt did a great job on the pictures and details. really bringing the book and Stanley's personality through the pages.
I had such fun reading this book that many times I would read tidbits out loud to whoever was in the room.
I am a cat (and dog) lover and could completely relate to a lot of the things in this book as a cat owner/parent. Simple little things like your cat walking on the keyboard. 
I have already recommended this book to many people and will continue to do so. You will get many smiles and chuckles out of this book:)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WWW Wednesday

If you'd like to play along with WWW Wednesdays, just click the button above.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading

Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Against All Odds by John Milton
Love and War a Devotional for Couples by John and Stasi Eldredge
But Then Again I could Be Wrong by Jim Rising

I haven't recently finished reading anything...I just moved!

Next I am going to read
Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski
Chasing Zebras by Barbara Barnett
A Conversation with God by Alton Gansky

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck REVIEW

Book Cover
There are a billion reasons Kate should marry her current boyfriend…Will she trade them all to be madly in love?
Kate McKenna leads the perfect life. She has a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancĂ©, Dexter. She can think of a billion reasons why she should marry Dexter. He’s everything she wants in a husband.
And then in walks Luc De Forges, her bold, breathtaking ex-boyfriend. Only now he’s a millionaire. And he wants her to go home to New Orleans to sing for a friend’s wedding. As his date.
But Katie made up her mind about Luc eight years ago, when she fled their hometown after a very public breakup. Yet there’s still magnetism between them she can’t deny.
Katie thought her predictable relationship with Dexter would be the bedrock of a lasting, Christian marriage. But what if there’s more? What if God’s desire for her is a heart full of life? And what if that’s what Luc has offered all along?
Kate’s fiancĂ©, Dexter was a well written character. I didn’t care for Dexter though because he was too predictable, boring, no excitement and a little passive-aggressive. They had so spark. Which made me wonder why she picked Dexter. Luc  on the other hand, was very attractive, could command a room when he walked in, he knew what he wanted and would go after it. Luc is the exact opposite of Dexter. A good thing. I liked Luc’s Character. His character is what you would see in chick-flicks the girls go crazy for.  I didn’t like that Kate felt she had to settle for someone or something she didn’t really want. But I understood as I read on why she went with the safe choice of Dexter after her humiliating public break up with Luc some time ago. She wanted what she had with Luc but safe and comfortable. She was willing to give up the spark she had with Luc to feel safe and secure.  
It was a well written book that at times made me wonder what was going to happen and I had to find out! But, there were times that the story seemed to drag on and I caught myself thinking, ‘  alright already…get to it’.
That said, all in all I enjoyed this read and I am looking forward to reading more of her books.
I would and have already recommended this book.

                                                   I received my copy of this book for review from B&B Media Group