New Dancing With Stars Cast ANNOUNCED

Monday, February 28, 2011

Chelsea Kane - Disney Super girl

Chris Jerico - WWE Superman

Hines Ward - Steeler football player

Kendra Wilkinson - Actress known for her roll in the House Bunny BORE!!!!!!

Kristie Alley - The actress who is a HAS BEEN!!!!

Mike Catherwood - Who the heck?????

Petra Nemcova - Super Model/ Survivor (not on the show) Uh we saw what happened with a super model last time not sure this will be any better. This woman has had a broken pelvis!

Ralph Macchio - The Original Karate Kid!!! Now this I'm looking forward to!!!

Romeo - Hip Hop artist

Sugar Ray Leonard - Boxer

Wendy Williams - Talk Show host

This is not the best line up the show has ever had! We'll have to watch and see how it goes. I am not impressed! I mean the Oscars were just last night, they had scores of celbs to pick from and they chose these bozos - Hallie Berry, Carson Kressley, Goldie Hawn, Dedrie Hall, Jada Picket Smith, Will Smith . . . Just some thoughts!

Preview: When All My Dreams Come True

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When All My Dreams Come True
Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2011)
Janelle Mowery


Beginning in 1998, Janelle Mowery coordinated and wrote for the Children’s Ministry of a Christian website called The Invisible Connection. When the holder of that site discontinued the ministry and website in the year 2000, she began writing inspirational fiction romance novels.

Janelle became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the year 2002 and is an active member and leader in one of their critique groups, which has provided many opportunities for growth and development. In 2003, she entered her first novel in the Noble Theme contest and was named one of the top ten finalists in the historical category. In 2004, she had a short story titled ‘A Fair Chance’ published in the e-magazine, Romancing the Christian Heart. In 2005, her third novel, entered in the San Gabriel Writers’ League ‘Writing Smarter’ Contest, won first place. Also, Janelle’s fifth novel made it to the top ten finalists in the Noble Theme contest.

In 2006, she signed her first contract with Barbour Publishing in their Heartsong Presents Mysteries line. The novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Elizabeth Ludwig, released in spring of 2008. The second and third mysteries of the series, Died in the Wool and A Black Die Affair, is set for release in 2011.

Janelle has signed with Harvest House for a historical series set in Colorado. Release of the first book is set for early 2011. She has also signed with Summerside Press. Her novel, Love Finds You in Silver City, Idaho, released in October 2010.

Janelle has been married twenty-one years and is the mother of two sons. She is a member of Sandy Point Bible Church and serves as Treasurer. She also assists in the church’s teen program.


Bobbie McIntyre dreams of running a ranch of her own. Raised without a mother and having spent most of her time around men, she knows more about wrangling than acting like a lady. The friendship of her new employer awakens a desire to learn more about presenting her feminine side, but ranch life keeps getting in the way.

Ranch owner Jace Kincaid figures the Lord is testing his faith when a female wrangler shows up looking for work. Bobbie has an uncanny way of getting under his skin, though, and he’s surprised when she finds a home next to his heart. But when his cattle begin to go missing and his wranglers are in danger from some low-down cattle thief, can Jace trust God, even if it may mean giving up on his dreams?

An adventurous novel of faith, hope, and love in the Wild West.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When All My Dreams Come True, go HERE.

An Amish Love - Reviewed

Book Description

Two of today's most popular genres--Romance and Amish fiction--together in one volume.

"Healing Hearts" by Beth Wiseman: Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman are alone for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina wasn't expecting him to be gone a year. Now that he's back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and fall in love again?

"What the Heart Sees" by Kathleen Fuller: A tragic accident rocks a peaceful Amish community, leaving Ellie Chupp blinded and Christopher Bender's future shattered. But they find love and forgiveness in a place they least expect.

"A Marriage of the Heart" by Kelly Long: Rachel Yoder is tired of her Amish lifestyle and her domineering father's ways. When handsome Joseph Lambert comes back from the Englisch, she lies to force a marriage of convenience, providing the perfect means to escape her father's rule. But Rachel never imagined she'd fall in love with Joseph so quickly or irrevocably.

My Thoughts - This was a great book filled with three stories by three great authors of Amish fiction. I am a huge fan of Beth Wiseman so having her book in here was a treat. Each of these books were great little gems, it would be nice to see these authors take these characters and expand on them in a future books. Highly recommend!

Angel Sister - Reviewed

A Little Girl Abandonded on the Church Steps Awaiting her Angel…

“You have to be an angel.” said Lorena. “Why do I have to be an angel?” asked Kate. “Because mommy said that if I sat here and didn’t cry an angel would come and take care of me…” said Lorena.

Novelist Ann Gabhart, celebrated for her historical novels, weaves a new story from the Depression era in her latest work, Angel Sister (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3381-0, February 2011, $14.99). Growing up, Gabhart’s mother and aunts told many stories about the small community where they lived in Alton, Kentucky, including tales about the odd characters who lived in Alton. “Despite the hard times and some interesting personalities, what came through to me so clearly was the way those people in that small town cared for one another. My mother’s stories left a huge impression on me and planted the seed in my imagination that became Angel Sister,” says Gabhart.

It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together during the Great Depression. While her father tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times. Multidimensional characters face real and hard-hitting problems while maintaining their family bonds, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer. Readers will be drawn into the story and find themselves lingering there long after they’ve finished the book.

Ann H. Gabhart is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books about the Shakers, including The Believer, The Outsider and The Seeker. Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village and one mile from the place she was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, she has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past.

My Review: This is a very touching story that will have you cheering for Kate as she grows up during the time of the Great Depression. With an alcoholic father, and sisters who just go on with their lives as if nothing is wrong, while Kate tries to keep her family together. I highly recommend this book, and suggest you keep a box of kleenex close.

A Billion Reason's Why - Reviewed

Book Description: Katie McKenna had resolved to live a quiet life, marry a practical Christian man, and leave all her “worldly” desires behind. Since moving to California, she’d made it her goal to live life logically and for the Lord. She has the perfect life—a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancĂ©, Dexter.

But then in walks Luc DeForges, the handsome ex-boyfriend who’d broken her heart. After graduating college and rejecting Katie, Luc cornered the organic food market and became one of the most eligible multi-millionaire bachelors. But now he’s back and asking her to go home to New Orleans to sing at his brother’s wedding. She hasn’t fallen victim to her emotions since leaving New Orleans, and she’s invested too much to give into them now.

When Luc was in his element, there was nothing like it. His excitement was contagious and spread like a classroom virus, infecting those around him with a false sense of security. Katie inhales deeply and reminds herself that the man sold inspiration by the pound. His power over her was universal. It did not make her special.

Katie’s boyfriend, Dexter, is a practical man. As Katie’s roommate Eileen offers, “Katie, no matter how many entries you put in that book, Dexter is not going to be a romantic. I mean, fine, you’re going to marry him. He’s a good man. I just don’t want you to be disappointed. No matter how many junior high school hearts you draw next to his name, Dexter is going to order you what the Internet says is the proper gift for each anniversary. He’ll probably have a program created that does it for him.” But Dexter is safe. He’ll be a good dad. He’s very intellectual. He’s punctual. He’s everything she needs in a husband.

And Dexter will propose as soon as she gets her grandmother’s ring from her mom. And Luc will provide her with a free trip home for just that purpose. Plus, she needs to go home to New Orleans. It’s her last chance to find out why Luc tossed her from his life like a banana peel off the back of her father’s pickup. Love is a decision. A choice. All the leading experts said so, and she’d decided she would love Dexter in a way that honored and respected him. The way she’d loved Luc left her worn out and depleted, like an empty air mattress. Then what use was she? She’d get her ring and closure as well. Then nothing would stand in the way of her life with Dexter.

But what if God has more in store for her? What if God’s desire for her is a heart full of life? Can the passions she had as a young woman, which led to many of her past mistakes, still have a place in her life?

About The Author Kristin Billerbeck is a successful novelist from northern California. She has authored more than 30 novels, including the Ashley Stockingdale series and the Spa Girls series. She is a leader in the Chick Lit movement, a Christy Award finalist, and a two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award. She has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times.

My Review: This is not your typical girl gets the guy and they live happily ever after! Remember, Kristin is the author of this book! Katie is engaged and ready to walk down the aisle to her groom Dexter until she gets a phone call to asking her to sing at her ex-boyfriend's brother's wedding. This turns her world topsie turvie, - in classical Kristin style you will be laughing so hard you'll be crying, and getting misty because of the lesson learned. I can't recommend this book enough! And what great timing! Spring break is right around the corner, so go grab yourself a copy and take it with you!

It's Monday . . . What Are You Reading???

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last week I read:

Letting Go by Michelle Sutton
A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck
His Other Wife by Deborah Bedford
Angel Sister by Ann Gabhart

This week I am reading:

Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith
Perished by Ronald Riddle

My 1st Truckin' Experience & What You Should Know About Our Beef!

My fiance` Mark is a truck driver and last week I went with him on his haul. We went to UT and loaded the sodium mixture that is used on the roads and took it to Oregon. We then came back here to Wells, ID; and loaded whey products to take to Calva in Stockton, CA for feeding baby CALVES!!!!! -- that's right baby cattle!!!!!! We then loaded outside Stockton, CA this gross looking Molasses - not sweet molasses - but molasses for feeding baby CALVES!!!!! The last time I checked God intended the cows He created to eat GRASS!!!!!! Not all this junk that my fiance` Mark was hauling last week. It was super gross and it stunk! I will not buy anything but Organic meat from now on!!!!! I was totally sickened by what I saw and can't even imagine what that junk that is being fed to those baby cows could do to my own system.

It was fun going out on the road with him. I had never been in a semi truck. What an eye opening experience. : )

I was able to see my 21 yr old daughter Kassi while we were in Cali last weekend and that was super fun since I hadn't seen her in over a yr and a half. Here is a picture of us together

Preview: Meet Mrs Smith

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Meet Mrs. Smith: My Adventures with Six Kids, One Rockstar Husband, and a Heart to Fight Poverty

David C. Cook (February 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Anna Smith is a wife and mother of six children. Her husband Martin was the lead singer for the band Delirious? for over sixteen years. Smith and her husband founded CompassionArt, a nonprofit organization built to raise money through art and music to help orphans and the poor around the world. Meet Mrs. Smith is Smith’s first book. She and her family reside in the seaside village of Rustington, England.

Visit the author's website.


Are you tired of just feeling bogged down by your daily life? Do you wonder if your life will have an impact on your family or, even yet, the world? Come join Anna Smith as she encourages you to live a life of abandoned love for Christ.

Meet Mrs. Smith is Anna Smith’s life story—the story of how God used her, alongside her husband Martin, to raise a family, live a wild life for God, launch the worldwide phenomenon that is Delirious?, and start a ministry to orphans around the world. With a good dose of spiritual insight, parenting advice, and wry humor, Anna shares the hard lessons she’s learned. She also shares stories from behind some of Delirious?’s most popular songs while encouraging readers with her warm authentic voice.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434702030
ISBN-13: 978-1434702036



The phone rings just as I’m straining the potatoes and promising the waiting tribe that supper’s nearly ready.

“Indi, get back to the table.… Noah, try not to spill the water, my love.… Elle, can you encourage Levi not to arch his back in the high chair?”


I’m feeling slightly nauseous, and I wish the pregnancy hormones would take mealtimes into consideration—it’s far too inconvenient for me to have my head down over the toilet right now. I hear ringing from the other room.

I rush to pick up the phone.

“Helloooo, Anna here.”

“Hi, love, how are you?” Martin says.

“Yeah, good … general supper-time craziness, but we’re all fine. How’s your day been? What’ve you been up to?”

As he replies, I sense something different in Martin’s voice tonight. I don’t know, he seems bothered or troubled … just different. But there’s no time to chat.

“Can’t you phone in a couple of hours?” I ask him.

“Probably not,” he replies. Later I guess that he’ll be onstage or fast asleep in his hotel—I don’t know; I get confused with the time zones. He starts to talk about everything he’s experienced in India and how his heart’s caving in at the poverty he’s seeing.

What can I say?

“Sorry, honey, must be awful,” I say. “Right, got to go, the broccoli’s disintegrating.”

My words sound pathetic. And I can’t quite hear him anyway as the line is breaking up.

“Bye, I’ll call again soon, I love you.”

What horrible timing! As Martin wrestles with the impact of this great poverty he’s seeing and experiencing, I’m here trying to hold down the fort. He’s getting “all emotional” about someone else’s kids, but all I can think of in that moment is how I need him here. Our children miss their daddy.

But every trip to India seems to ratchet up the intensity inside Martin—something’s breaking his heart: He’s moved, challenged, and provoked by everything around him there. What’s God saying? What’s shifting? Martin’s seen poverty before, but this is something else altogether. It’s another telephone call we’ll have to resume later when the kids are in bed and my head’s clearer.

The thing is, I want him in the kitchen with me now, pouring out his heart to me, like a proper married couple going on this journey of discovery together.

Not tonight though. He’s somewhere in India, and I’m watching Pop Idol on TV.


We have been on a journey of so many paradoxes.

I’m on this adventure with my kids and my husband, Martin, who toured the world with the band Delirious? On this path I discovered both the joys and the chaos of family, but along the way, we

found that our chaos was little compared to the chaos of the poverty in the world.

The clash of emotions and heartbreaking stories led my children and me to a rubbish dump, a slum where people live, outside Hyderabad, India.

What am I doing here? I thought as I stood there in the refuse and dirt. Why did I bring my children to this place? Then I saw the children run up to us with huge smiles on their beautiful faces—and I wept when they sang to us.

As I said before, this has been a journey of paradoxes.

The book in your hands is about this exhilarating, enriching, exciting, and downright exhausting journey. It’s about being a wife, mother, friend, auntie, and sister. I’m a mother to six children, and due to that fact, it’s a miracle that this book has actually been published and that I’m not yet wearing a hairnet to bed and putting my dentures in a plastic cup! Rather than wait until my life calms down, I want to tell someone my story while I am right in the middle of it.

This book is about not wishing away the time or waiting until the house is empty before we look out to the world beyond our own. It’s about seeking God in all of the mess and exhaustion.

On this path, we look back on key events as turning points. For me, one of those moments came fifteen years ago. That moment accelerated my passion to embrace life to the fullest and birthed a band that played to hundreds of thousands of people around the world and spread a powerful message to the nations.

After three house moves, seven pregnancies, numerous flights with children in tow, many trips to India and Africa, dozens of tour buses, hundreds of gigs, thousands of earplugs in little ears, and too many dirty nappies (some might call them diapers!) to mention, I’m here to share a little of my story, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Thanks for coming along!


Chapter 1: The Longest Night

Little did I know that one moment would change everything.

I sit motionless in the passenger seat. Frightened and disorientated, my muddled brain tries to make sense of my surroundings. Slowly I turn my head and look across at Martin lying semiconscious, his inert body collapsed in a heap next to me. His head is slumped against the steering wheel, his foot in perfect synchrony, pressed down flat on the accelerator.

I don’t know what to do.

My head feels fuzzy and my thoughts move in slow motion.


At the time it seemed like a great idea to drive through the night. Waking up at home sounded sweet. There’s nothing like your own bed, and after spending a week cooped up in a leaky caravan, sleeping under what I can only describe as soft cardboard, my bed called to me.

The green Ford Sierra did us proud, and the thought of seeing my sister’s baby, Abigail, who’d been born ten days early (which was the motivation for our early departure), gave Martin and me lots to chat about on the way. My brother Jon fell asleep as soon as we left the campsite, so we had the whole journey to talk while eighties classics pumped out of our dilapidated stereo.

The A1 motorway continued on forever.

Martin had endured a hectic week, as part of his job was recording live music and seminars at conferences around the country, and this week we’d been at Grapevine in Lincolnshire. So it wasn’t long before we’d exhausted all conversation and stared at the road, willing the journey to come to an end. Jon snoozed away in the back of the car—he looked peaceful, albeit a tad uncomfortable, curled up next to a load of musical equipment, trying to muster up an agreeable position with the seat belt across his face.

Five hours later we drove onto the A259 to Littlehampton. Waves of excitement came over me at the thought of seeing baby Abigail. I remember the delight of seeing the familiar Windmill Pub with the patrons long gone and the feeling that we were the only ones awake in this sleepy village. We were so nearly home.

The next few moments would change our lives forever, but the God who does not slumber watched over us.


My eyes photograph the scene. One by one, images develop to make sense of things: a green car turned the wrong way round; a crushed and crumbling brick wall; smoke swirling in the foreground; the driver motionless, covered in blood. My other senses start to kick into gear: Intoxicating fumes creep into my nostrils; the hiss and crackle of the engine whisper in my ear.

These impressions become clearer, and my thoughts accelerate—I need to get Martin and Jon out of the car. I desperately kick my chair back, but it stubbornly refuses to move. Every part of me clambers and scrambles to escape, but I can’t get free.

“Someone call for help!” The words tumble out of my mouth and race into the cold night air, frantically searching for help.

Finally, I manage to force open my door. I tentatively step out of the car. My two-inch plastic heels crunch underfoot as fragments of glass break like icicles with every step.

I nervously survey the scene, but the dark gives nothing away. A ten-minute eternity passes. I wait, a thousand thoughts sparking a thousand fears. Suddenly, two fire engines and an ambulance careen around the corner, and the stillness is swallowed by a voracious urgency: lights and people, questions and confusion.


I’m ushered into the ambulance, the paramedics buzzing around me, assaulting my weary brain with questions. Jon somehow managed to get himself out of the car, but now he’s dressed in a green surgical

gown, hallucinating and singing “Yellow Submarine,” the shock of it all messing with his reality.

But what about Martin—what about my husband?

Their answer is a constant, unsatisfying repetition: “We are doing all that we can.”

The firefighters cut the roof off the car, the harsh grinding of metal against metal, battling to free the fragile body inside. I’m riveted to the action but can’t watch—my heart needs protection, but my head doesn’t want to miss any important detail. Fear and panic and emptiness and shock wrap around me like an oppressive shelter. Then in the midst of all the craziness, I see my dad running toward me, abandoned in panic. All I can think is that I need to tell him it’s going to be all right. He holds me; he’s shaking with fear, a thousand questions falling from his trembling lips.

The hours drag on heavily. People move around me in a haze, and nothing seems to change. I feel exhausted, confused, scared, and numb. The firefighters finally cut Martin free from the wreckage,

and they are relieved to find that his feet are still attached to the legs that have been hidden from sight for two hours. Now that he’s free, the paramedics are desperate to get him to the surgeon to repair his

broken and battered body.

Blood is everywhere.

As we’re leaving I hear one of the firefighters asking about the fourth passenger. Where is she? he asks. The blonde girl in the backseat?

To this day no one knows who she was. Either Jon had smuggled a new girlfriend home, or heaven made sure we weren’t alone on this night.

Maybe she was our angel.

©2011 Cook Communications Ministries. Meet Mrs. Smith by Anna Smith. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

The Story of Stuff - Reviewed

Book Description:
We have a problem with Stuff. With just 5 percent of the world's population, we're consuming 30 percent of the world's resources and creating 30 percent of the world's waste. If everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets!

This alarming fact drove Annie Leonard to create the Internet film sensation The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed over 10 million times by people around the world. In her sweeping, groundbreaking book of the same name, Leonard tracks the life of the Stuff we use every day—where our cotton T-shirts, laptop computers, and aluminum cans come from, how they are produced, distributed, and consumed, and where they go when we throw them out. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, The Story of Stuff is a landmark book that will change the way people think—and the way they live.

Leonard's message is startlingly clear: we have too much Stuff, and too much of it is toxic. Outlining the five stages of our consumption-driven economy—from extraction through production, distribution, consumption, and disposal—she vividly illuminates its frightening repercussions. Visiting garbage dumps and factories around the world, Leonard reveals the true story behind our possessions—why it's cheaper to replace a broken TV than to fix it; how the promotion of "perceived obsolescence" encourages us to toss out everything from shoes to cell phones while they're still in perfect shape; and how factory workers in Haiti, mine workers in Congo, and everyone who lives and works within this system pay for our cheap goods with their health, safety, and quality of life. Meanwhile we, as consumers, are compromising our health and well-being, whether it's through neurotoxins in our pillows or lead leaching into our kids' food from their lunchboxes—and all this Stuff isn't even making us happier! We work hard so we can buy Stuff that we quickly throw out, and then

we want new Stuff so we work harder and have no time to enjoy all our Stuff. . . . With staggering revelations about the economy, the environment, and cultures around the world, alongside stories from her own life and work, Leonard demonstrates that the drive for a "growth at all costs" economy fuels a cycle of production, consumption, and disposal that is killing us.

It is a system in crisis, but Annie Leonard shows us that this is not the way things have to be. It's within our power to stop the environmental damage, social injustice, and health hazards caused by polluting production and excessive consumption, and Leonard shows us how. Expansive, galvanizing, and sobering yet optimistic, The Story of Stuff transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.

My Review: Here in America we are quite the consumers of STUFF!!!! We have things everywhere! I mean we collect things, when something new comes out we just HAVE TO HAVE IT! The newest phone, gaming system, computer, tv, the list is long and luxurious. Do we ever think about what we're doing to our planet or better yet teaching our children by having to have the next latest and greatest??? This book will definitely make you think about all your STUFF and what you do with it!

His Other Wife Reviewed

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New York Times bestselling author Deborah Bedford sweeps readers into this compelling drama with her trademark style of beautiful, lyrical writing. Since her divorce from Eric, Hilary has done everything she can to control life for herself and her son. Beneath a calm surface, she is terrified of failing Seth. She's worked hard to raise him on her own, and she's succeeded--he's now set to graduate from high school and enroll at the University of Illinois with a full scholarship.

But Hilary's worst fears are realized when there is a rock-climbing accident at a post-graduation campout. A young girl is hurt, and Seth is arrested. Pamela, Eric's new wife and Seth's stepmother, blames Hilary for letting Scott go to the campout in the first place. With Seth's college scholarship now just a distant memory and his entire future at stake, the two women must come together for Seth's sake.

Is Hilary's love strong enough to save her son and release him to her ex-husband's other wife?

My Take: Hilary has taken care of Seth on her own since her divorce from her ex husband, Eric. She is very proud of the young man he has become. Seth is set to graduate and go to college in the fall. Hilary's world is turned upside down, as is Seth's when he goes to a campout to celebrate graduation with his friends and a tragic accident happens, and Seth is arrested. Typical blended family scenario happens . . . new step-mother blames Hilary for letting Seth go in the first place, Hilary is already upset because she let Seth go and she sees his dreams going down the tubes, and his dad, Eric is of no help. The dynamic is something you could watch on any Dr. Phil or Oprah . . . the difference is that Hilary's faith is not in herself it's in God.

Letting Go Reviewed

Book Description: Sometimes for dreams to come true, you have to let go . . .

Outwardly Diane Simmons appears to have everything a woman could want. A successful attorney, she’s beautiful and talented, and yet she always seems to be attracted to the wrong men. Longing to be loved for who she is, not for what she looks like, she finally realizes the world’s view of love is totally unrealistic and distorted and gives up on romance. She wants to find a better way but has no clue where to look.

Dave Passel can never father a biological child. He loves his foster son deeply, but something goes terribly wrong before the adoption can be finalized. When the State tries to reunite the child with the birth mother he has never known and the new caseworker accuses Dave of sabotaging visits with her, he hires Diane to fight for him in court. He believes in God’s sovereignty, but bad experiences with his late wife make it hard for him to trust Diane as she advocates for his son. If only he didn’t struggle so much with letting go . . .

My Review: Two people with hurting hearts, they meet because Dave needs a lawyer to represent him to fight to keep his foster son, Joey. During the course of their professional relationship Diane and Dave find that they have feelings for each other. Diane tries to fight it because of the abuse she suffered as a child, Dave is leery because his late wife held his sterility over his head. Diane has a passion for children and that is why she fights for them as an attorney.

Michelle has once again taken hurting hearts, and shown how with God you can heal. It is not always easy or fun, but you can do it! It requires trust and letting go of all the stuff in the past, and letting God take care of it.

One of my favorite lines from the book . . . "No wonder being a real Christian isn't popular. Who wants to suffer so they can find joy?" Diane

"The ways of the Lord are in conflict with the ways of men."

I highly recommend this book! I give it a lighthouse and shine a light on it for pointing a path to God!!! WAY TO GO MICHELLE!!!!!!

Preview: Delirious

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:


David C. Cook (February 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Martin Smith is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter from England. He was the front man for the Christian rock and worship band Delirious? for seventeen years. Delirious? released numerous records, with some of their songs hitting the top twenty UK charts. In their career, Delirious? played many major conferences, festivals, events, and crusades. They won numerous Dove Awards, were nominated for a Grammy Award, and produced songs such as “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” and “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” Smith collaborated with the other members of Delirious? for the book I Could Sing of Your Love Forever and with other artists to complete The Art of Compassion book and the CompassionArt CD and DVD.

Visit the author's website.


Martin Smith, one of the men behind the modern Christian worship movement, challenges readers in his autobiography, Delirious: My Life, Mission, and Reflections on the Global Worship Movement. Martin Smith fell in love with God early in his life. By his teen years, he was captivated by songs that expressed true intimacy with God. As he grew, he married a pastor’s daughter and became involved in his church’s outreach events. He began playing his own songs with a band at the events. Then, in 1995, Smith was involved in a near-fatal car accident. During his weeks of recovery, he decided to become a full-time musician. His new career quickly took off and he became the lead singer for the band Delirious?. Touring with groups such as Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Matchbox Twenty, and Switchfoot, Smith’s life became a whirlwind of balancing work and family.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434702375
ISBN-13: 978-1434702371



I never really knew what people meant when they said that their hearts had been broken. It had always seemed to me that people were exaggerating, that the description was all a bit too over the top. But on January 10, 2007, I found out exactly what it feels like to have your heart so comprehensively messed with that you know beyond all doubt, the rest of your life will be different as a result.

For me, though, it wasn’t that my heart broke. It was still beating—and faster than ever. It felt more like my heart had been ripped out. My head, on the other hand—now that was well and truly broken. Thoughts flew out like water from a broken pipe, and nothing made sense anymore.

I was a mess.

I sat in a hotel, waiting in the room for someone to take us to dinner. Nothing new there. But nothing could ever be the same. After what I’d seen that afternoon, I knew that if my world as Martin Smith carried on without any change, I’d be making the biggest mistake of my life.

We’d been in India for a day or so. In Hyderabad the band and I played to a crowd made up of four hundred thousand people, quite a few cows, and a whole lot of duct tape holding the PA system together.

Delirious? had toured India before, and we’d seen poverty around the world: We’d visited slums in Mexico and seen it from car windows on numerous drives to and from airports, but in India we always felt the greatest impact. Knowing that even our suitcases—not including the stuff inside them—cost more than a year’s wages for some of these people was enough to wipe the smiles off our faces.

Mumbai was different. The sounds, smells, and general chaos overwhelmed the senses, and somehow the children’s begging felt more intense and disturbing there than anywhere else. Every time we stopped at a red light and children approached the airtight windows of our cars, I wanted to empty my wallet and hand the contents over to them. It would have made the kids’ pimps happy, I suppose, and

I knew it was a bad idea.

So perhaps I should have known that I’d find it emotionally charged when we visited Prem Kiran, a project supported by Joyce Meyer Ministries that provides the children of prostitutes with food, education, and support. I should have known that their smiles and effervescent singing would lift my smile higher than the clouds, and I should have guessed that when we fed the children their lunch I would be fighting back tears.

But nothing could have prepared me for Farin.

You pronounce her name fa-REEN. For some reason she couldn’t stop looking at me all the time that she and the rest of the children sang.

I suppose I’m a little bit used to the “strangeness” of people looking at me, but this was different. At the same time that she was looking, God’s Spirit prodded me deep inside, taking my guts and wringing them out.

Once they finished singing and eating lunch, we spoke with the pastor. He told us that this project worked with more than seventy children, helping their mothers and families as well. He shared that Farin’s mum—like so many of the others there—worked as a prostitute.

I felt the air leak from my lungs.

Pastor Umale went on talking. This was a red-light district, and the chances were good that, yes, Farin would end up working as a prostitute just like her mother. Seeing as she was eleven years old then, that day might not be far off.

I looked back at Farin. She was so much like my eldest daughter, Elle: same age, same height, same way of moving, same big eyes, and a similar smile. But Elle’s future is one of possibilities and peace. Farin’s is a parent’s worst nightmare that never ends.

Pastor Umale invited us to walk across the street and visit the homes of some of the children and their mothers. We trod over the open sewer that ran between the brick and tin buildings; we wandered inside when invited and stood around looking like fools. There we were, a rock band that shouted about our faith in Jesus, standing in one room where the whole of life was played out: sleeping, feeding, playing, and working.

What did our faith mean in that place? We could take to the stage in front of hundreds of thousands, but what did our faith mean as we stood next to a bed on which a prostitute sold herself for a few rupees, and beneath which her children hid, in fear and silence, sometimes even drugged so that they would sleep? What did our faith mean, and what impact could it make? Were we out of our depth, or was that just the sort of place—and were those just the sort of people—that Jesus would have been found amongst, dealing in compassion, transformation, and restoration?

Our trip ended, and we got back on the bus. But it wasn’t enough to drive off and forget about it. It wasn’t enough for life to go on as before.

Back in the hotel all I know for sure is this: I am dying inside. Something has happened and I cannot find peace. All I can think of is Farin and the horrors that lie ahead unless some minor miracle takes place.

What would I do if she were mine?

The question makes me stop. What do I mean if she were mine? I realise the truth in that moment: There is no if in this scenario—I feel like I am Farin’s father and I am as responsible for her future as

I am for my own daughter’s.


That day we spent as a band in Mumbai changed things for me, though perhaps not in the way that I first thought it would. As I grabbed a few snatched phone conversations with my wife over the coming days, all I could tell her was that something amazing, disturbing, and beautiful had happened. I tried to tell her about Farin, but the words came out all wrong.

It wasn’t until the band and I got home that I had any sort of plan in place and the time and words to convey it to Anna.

“We need to adopt her,” I said. “We need to bring her back here to live with us, to be a part of our family.”

Anna was very good with me. She knows me well enough to let me talk and get the ideas out before those become actual plans, but she also knew that something different was going on. This wasn’t just

another case of Martin getting excited by someone he met at the end of a long tour.

But as I thought about it more and more, I grew even more convinced. We needed to adopt this girl. And the more I thought about it, the more I missed her. It was as if my heart—so blatantly ripped out from my chest upon seeing Farin for the first time—had now been put back but was wired up all wrong. I was constantly aware of the fact that she was still back there, living in a slum, surrounded by poverty and danger. This little girl was at risk, and I was doing nothing about it, other than looking at the photo of her that I’d placed on my piano while failing to put these feelings into song.

Eventually Anna laid it all out for me. My kids—the five we had then, sharing the house I’d been floating around in ever since I’d returned from India—needed me, but I wasn’t there. Physically I might have been in the room, but that was about it. I was drifting away, and it was starting to become a problem.

I wondered if I was having a breakdown. I struggled to concentrate and found it hard to connect with my loved ones, and all I could think about was this girl I’d only ever met once. What was going on?

Within a couple of weeks the air began to clear. The songs started to come—one about Farin herself and the other about her mother and her friends—and the adoption forms that I had ordered remained unopened on our kitchen table. Bit by bit I was starting to return to my body, to reconnect with the family, to come back to “normal,” whatever that meant. Being in a band means that life is a strange dance. You travel a lot and develop a life made up of stages, studios, and interviews that is far removed from the realities of family life. You have to work hard to smooth the transition between these two parts of life.

But coming back from India the landing was even bumpier.

Part of me liked that idea of everything getting back to how it had been. Part of me thought it was the most frightening thing that could ever happen.

Six weeks after meeting Farin, I found out that Farin’s mother had changed her mind. At the start she had been happy for Farin to leave India, for us to adopt her and bring her to England with us. Then she changed her mind. She couldn’t let Farin go.

How could I blame her? Honestly, I felt partly relieved, partly upset and sad. But then, finally, something like progress presented itself to Anna and me: If we can’t adopt Farin, then let’s take care of her and the other children in her neighbourhood. The pastor told me what the project in India cost to run, and we decided to contribute: We wanted to help with the care and education of all seventy children. After all, if we couldn’t bring Farin home, we could certainly help care for her along with all of her friends.


That is not the end of the story.

And it certainly isn’t the beginning either.

The day I met Farin was one of those points in life when so many threads come together. It was a junction box, with so many different experiences and influences colliding, and so many outcomes blossoming as a result. And part of the reason I wanted to write this book was to share a little of that bigger story.

But before we jump in, I need to do some confessing. Starting with a story like meeting Farin can sound impressive. That line about having my heart ripped out and my head broken makes it sound like I’m halfway towards being a saint. Don’t get me wrong—the feelings were absolutely genuine, but those were rare. On so many of the other trips our band made to projects that worked amongst the poorest people, life often went back to normal after a while.

I know lots of people who have experienced the same thing. Maybe you have too. After seeing the firsthand reality of what life is really like for so many of our neighbours here on the planet, you feel stirred up. You try your best, you try to respond to the compassion stirring within you. Most artists and creative people are by nature sensitive to suffering, and we often want to jump in and help, without thinking about whether there’s a lifeline. And even if you’re not a creative type, having faith in Christ more than sets us in line with compassion as a way of life.

Well, that’s the theory. Or, at least, that’s the start. What comes after the outpouring of emotion or the awkward feeling when you look in your wallet, that’s where I think we make the hard choices.

For those of us living in the West, when we come face-to-face with poverty it can be a problem. Especially when a trip feels more like a holiday romance than a blinding light on the road to Damascus.

For example, we fly into India, stay in a nice hotel, go visit these projects, go back to the hotel, have a shower, and eat a nice meal in a restaurant, and then, if we’re lucky, we get an upgrade on the flight home. In our culture, where selfishness is at worst a character quirk and at best a sign of inner strength, there is a real disconnect between head and heart, between passion and lifestyle. So we can be engaged in an issue, we can use our voices as our currency, and we can give cash. But the greatest tragedy is that we can come home from the short-term mission trip and get straight back into our everyday life and forget.

Not that there’s anything wrong with everyday life. For me that might range from driving one of the kids to a dance lesson today and piano lessons tomorrow, to taking out the rubbish bins; from getting the car fixed, to thinking about where we want to go on holiday next summer. Everyday life for me might be planning what I’m going to be doing this time next year or thinking about how to release these songs within me for others to hear. You can forget the pain, and you can forget the faces. That breathless feeling you get when you’re surrounded by life-and-death poverty can evaporate like the vapour trail left by the jet as you fly home.

I found this all to be true after my early trips to India. I didn’t like the way I, like the Israelites, could so quickly forget about what God had done just days before. It might not have been a miracle like the parting of the Red Sea, but facing children whose lives were on course for abuse, neglect, and horror stirred my compassion in powerful—but sadly, kind of temporary—ways.

Eventually I found what I thought was a perfect remedy for my wandering heart. Taking photos, and lots of them. All around my house now are pictures of many of the children—God’s children—through whom I have glimpsed more of life than I had known. As I sit at the piano or eat breakfast, all I have to do is look up to be reminded of their faces and to reconnect with their stories.

The truth is, though, that while the photos are a neat little device that I came up with, God had a better plan for helping me hold on to the sense of purpose that rose up after those days of seeing poverty up close. And that plan was Farin.

In one of those wonderful, God-only ways that showed how well my Father in heaven knows me, God broke into my heart and left it in pieces. Through Farin God made it all personal. And once that happened, there was no way I could ignore His call.

I’m not trying to sound like a saint again, but it’s true that one day in Mumbai back in January 2007 made the rest of my life different. Of course I still have one foot in my everyday life—the world in which I find myself getting more excited about the World Cup than about rescuing kids from sex trafficking. There are many, many times when I feel as though I just don’t know how to do this thing called compassion when there’s so much geography in the way. All those old temptations to go back to normal. But Anna and I have come so far down a new track that I’m not so sure I remember what “normal” looks like. I don’t think we can ever really go back to life being our own again.

So here we are, at the start of this book. Read it, and you’ll see that I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve tried to be honest with you throughout—honest about the good as well as the bad.

But, thanks to the grace of God, this book is about more than just my failings. It’s about an amazing journey that I’ve been on. I’ve seen miracles, heard armies of Christians cry out in faith, and seen what happens when ordinary men and women decide to live their faith out loud.

And I hope that this book helps you unleash more of the same.

©2011 Cook Communications Ministries. Delirious by Martin Smith. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

Preview: Save The Date

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Save The Date
Thomas Nelson (February 1, 2011)
Jenny B. Jones


I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series and So Not Happening. I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie.

When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.

My students are constantly telling me how my teaching changes their lives and turned them away from drugs, gangs, and C-SPAN.

Okay, that’s not exactly true.

Some facts that are true include:

I've always been refined!

A. I got my camera confiscated by big boys with guns at the American Embassy in Europe this past summer. O la la!

B. I once worked in a seed mill office and cleaned out mice on a regular basis. Ew.

C. I’m a former drama teacher.

D. I didn’t pass my drivers test the first time. Or the second…

E. I attract stray animals like a magnet.

F. I used to assemble and test paint ball guns for a local factory...

Since my current job leaves me with very little free time, I believe in spending my spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits such as:

-watching E!

-updating my status on Facebook

-catching Will Ferrell on YouTube and

-writing my name in the dust on my furniture

I’d love to hear about you, so drop me a note. Or check me out on Facebook.


You’re invited to the engagement of the most unlikely couple of the year.

When the funding for Lucy’s non-profit job is pulled, she is determined to find out why. Enter Alex Sinclair, former professional football star and heir of Sinclair Enterprises—the primary donor to Lucy’s Saving Grace organization. Alex Sinclair has it all . . . except for the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Both Lucy and Alex have something the other wants. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancĂ©e in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn’t quite what he seems, Lucy finds her heart – and her future – on the line.

Save the Date is a spunky romance that will have readers laughing out loud as this dubious pair try to save their careers, their dreams . . . and maybe even a date.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Save The Date, go HERE

Sneak Peak @ Bad Hair - Devotional Featuring Sandie Bricker, Kristin Billerbeck, & Diann Hunt

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here is a Sneak Peak at Bad Hair . . .

Do NOT Pull!
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

If you have ever talked to a mother about how she felt when her first child was born, you’ll hear words like, “I never knew I could love anyone this much.”
Love for our children is beautiful and unconditional, even when others question our devotion. Once, when…ahem!...someone’s three sons were all under five years of age, our new church decided to have its first ever Christmas brunch before service to celebrate our first holiday season as a “family” with fellowship and food. What a beautiful picture of Christ’s love, right?
Now…imagine, if you will, a five-year-old boy who sees the pretty red plate on the wall, and can read the sign that says DO NOT PULL. His four-year old-brother also understands the meaning of RED. Both older brothers know instinctively that, if they pull this lever, they will be in big trouble.
However, if they talk their darling little two-year old brother into pulling it, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it? And here’s the beauty part: They get to see what will happen and won’t be responsible.
Just as people begin to sit down, brunch is interrupted by the piercing wail of the fire alarm, which does not stop until the fire department arrives twenty minutes later and charges their mother $150 to turn off the alarm. And now everyone has evacuated the first, and incidentally the only, Christmas brunch.
Let me just say that the organizers of this brunch were not happy. My family was not feeling the unconditional love of Christ in those moments; instead, they were feeling consequences of sinful actions. And trust me, the boys knew what they were doing was wrong, or they wouldn’t have talked their little brother into doing it for them!
Times like this inspire me to think about how God must want to drop His head into His hands over and over again at my foibles. He must think, “I know she knows better!” And He probably shakes His head and wonders if I’m ever going to get it. Just like I know my son’s great ability to lead others can have a dark side, God knows my own weaknesses. I like to believe He cheers for me when I do the right thing and pass it on to my own children.
Sometimes, the ability to love is not easy, but I think that’s why God shows us what it looks like. When we see the good and the bad in others, and sometimes ourselves, we are seeing people as God sees them: in love. Not perfect, but worthy of love. Today’s Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for creating me as You did with a sinful nature, but a heart to do rightly. Help me to find my way in this world, to do Your will, and forgive myself and others as easily as You forgive me. When it’s time to get up and try again, be with me today in Your Strength. Amen. –Kristin

Proceeds from this devotional will go to OCRF (Ovarian Cancer Research Fund) I know you will want to support not only these gals, but the cause OCRF!!!!!

Lady In The Mist Reviewed

About the Book: (from the publisher)

By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, why he, a British aristocrat, is on American soil working as an indentured servant.

In a time when relations between America and England rest on the edge of a knife, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths, leading them on a journey of intrigue, threats, public disgrace, and . . . love. But can Tabitha trust Dominick? Finding true love seems impossible in a world set against them.

With stirring writing that draws you directly into the story, Lady in the Mist takes you on the thrilling ride of love's discovery.

My Thoughts: After living in Virginia for six years I was really excited about reading this book. I really enjoy historical fiction and it was great to read about Virginia in the 1800's. It has intrigue, suspense, disappearances, and a budding romance! Everything you would want in a great book for a cold night! I highly recommend this one!

Preview: Words

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
B&H Books (February 1, 2011)
Ginny Yttrup


Ginny Yttrup is an author, freelance writer, and writing coach. As she writes, speaks, and coaches, her prayer is that God will use her words to replace the lies so many believe about themselves with the truth of His unconditional love and grace. To see someone grasp, perhaps for the first time, the truth of God's love, is truly an honor. Through a relationship with the Truth, Jesus Christ, the bonds of shame are loosed and freedom abounds!

When Ginny is not working, she loves spending time with her two college-age sons or with friends. She is surrounded by the most amazing people--each a gift in their own way. If she can spend time outdoors with those she love, it's even better. And she thoroughly adores her dog, Bear. He's a book lover too.

She has two grown sons and lives near Sacramento, California. Words is her first novel.


"I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Words, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer video:

Preview: Lone Star Intrigue

Monday, February 14, 2011

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lone Star Intrigue
Avon Inspire (February 1, 2011)
Debra White Smith


Debra White Smith is a seasoned Christian author, speaker, and media personality who has been regularly publishing books for over a decade. In the last twelve years, she has accumulated over 50 books sales to her credit with over 1 million books in print. Her titles include such life-changing books as Romancing Your Husband, Romancing Your Wife, The Divine Romance: Developing Intimacy with God, the The Lonestar Intrigue fiction series, and The Jane Austen fiction series.

As a woman of God, Debra is committed to the highest standards of integrity and to spending hours a week being still before the Father, staying in tune with Him, and listening for His voice of direction in all she does. This commitment to romancing the Lord, coupled with her lifestyle of devouring, analyzing, and dissecting the Word of God has allowed God to bring about a miracle of deliverance and healing in Debra's spirit, mind, and soul. For you see, Debra holds a double Ph.D. from the toughest schools in the world. The first Ph.D. from the "School of Hard Knocks" and the second, from the "School of Very Hard Knocks." Aside from that, she holds an M.A. in English from the University of Texas.

Along with Debra's being voted a fiction-reader favorite several times, her book Romancing Your Husband was a finalist in the 2003 Gold Medallion Awards. And, her Austen Series novel First Impressions was a finalist in the 2005 Retailer's Choice Awards. Debra has been a popular media guest across the nation, including Fox TV, The 700 Club, ABC Radio, USA Radio Network, and Moody Broadcasting. Her favorite hobbies include fishing, bargain-hunting, and swimming with her family. Debra also vows she would walk 50 miles for a scoop of German Chocolate ice cream.


In the small town of Bullard, Texas, the Mansfield brothers seem to have everything in order . . . except for their love lives. Jack is the lonely police chief still pining after Charli, his college girlfriend. Younger brother Sonny keeps busy on the road as a private investigator, and a secret from his past prevents him from finding someone to settle down with. But all that is about to change...

Read the two stories...

In Texas Heat, Charli is wrongly accused of a terrible crime. Now Jack must arrest the one woman he's ever loved and risk everything to prove her innocence and save her life.

In Texas Pursuit, a single mother is a target of a relentless stalker—and Sonny finds himself both the only man who can protect her and the one who inadvertently leads danger back into her world.

Page-turning novels of romance and suspense, the Lone Star Intrigue series will give you faith in the power of love, and remind you that having faith in a God who redeems our mistakes is the greatest love story of all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lone Star Intrigue, go HERE.

New giveaway! Win an all expense paid Florida vacation that includes a Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas!

Friday, February 11, 2011

One of my Favorite Author's Michelle Sutton is giving away a Caribbean Cruise package worth over a THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!! I think this is a great giveaway and I think you guys should jump on this one!!!

This vacation prize is worth over a thousand dollars. It includes three days in Fort Lauderdale, then three days on the Caribbean Cruise Line ship to the Bahamas, then ends in Orlando Florida where you can get a pass into one of the theme parks there. This vacation package also includes a free rental car. All you have to do is pay for the gas. Winner will be required to pay a port of entry fee in order to get on the ship. Because it's not possible to include in this prize package (since I don't know who the winner will be or when they will leave, the winner is responsible for that small fee.) Did I mention the hotel rooms are all paid for and so are three meals per day per person? As you can see from the description above, this is a nice vacation package. However, the trip MUST be taken before August 2nd. When you book the cruise prior to that date is entirely up to you. Just book your spot a month before you leave. I have the transfer forms and information and will send it all to the cruise line when a winner is selected. You will get confirmation that the cruise has been transferred to you. So why not enter?

How many people can take this vacation? Up to four people because two separate rooms are paid for and the original deal I made was for four, which includes all meals, too.

What if only two of us want to go? Then you can save the other two spots for a separate vacation that can be either three days and two nights in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico or three days and two nights in Las Vegas.

How can you afford to do this? I purchased the vacation package last August thinking my husband and two kids could go with us (hence the two rooms) but then our household income dropped significantly and we were no longer able to afford the plane tickets to get to Florida from Arizona. But I'd hate to waste a vacation package I'd already purchased, so now I'm offering it to one of you guys.

Preview: Kaydie

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Kaydie – Book 2 in the Montana Skies Series

Whitaker House (April 5, 2011)

***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling of Whitaker House for sending me a review copy.***


Penny Zeller is the author of McKenzie, first in her Montana Skies Series, along with several other books, numerous magazine articles and her blog, A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author: She’s committed to nurturing women and children in their Christian walk, through a women’s prayer group, as a Bible study leader, through the organization she co-founded, “The Sisters in Christ Community Girls Night Out,” and as a frequent speaker. She desires to use her gifts of writing and storytelling to glorify God and draw others closer to Him. When she’s not writing, Penny enjoys spending time with her family, camping, hiking, canoeing, and playing volleyball. She and her husband Lon, along with their two children live in Wyoming.

Visit the author's website.


Since the death of her abusive husband, Kaydie Kraemer’s life has been easier, but she’s wary of men and builds a wall of protection around her, staying with her sister McKenzie as she awaits the birth of her baby. Haunted by her painful marriage, , Kaydie is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind—the same grace that works in the heart of ranch hand Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (April 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603742174
ISBN-13: 978-1603742177


October 1889

Pine Haven, Montana Territory

“No, Darius, I’m not going with you!” Kaydie Kraemer winced in pain as her husband, Darius, grabbed her arm and pulled her out the door of her sister’s house toward his waiting horse. She tried to pull her arm loose from his tight grasp, but her efforts were futile.

Darius then reached around and grabbed her other arm, squeezing it so hard that Kaydie could already see the bruises he would leave behind. “You don’t have a choice, Kaydie. You’re my wife, remember?”

“No, Darius. I’m staying here. I don’t want to be married to you anymore.” Kaydie fought back her tears, hating that they would be sign of weakness to her callous husband.

“You don’t have a choice,” he snarled. “Now, you can either come willingly, or I can carry you. Which will it be? Because I ain’t leavin’ without you.” He turned his head to the side and spit on the front porch.

“I thought—I thought you were dead,” Kaydie stammered.

Darius threw back his head with an evil laugh, which caused the nostrils on his prominent nose to flare in and out. His mouth was open wide, revealing more missing teeth than Kaydie remembered. His stringy brown curls bounced from his collar, and he removed a hand from Kaydie only long enough to slick back the few strands of greasy hair that had fallen over his forehead. He narrowed his eyes, which were already too small for his large face, making them appear even smaller. “I had you fooled, didn’t I? You’re a foolish woman, Kaydie. Ain’t no way I’m gonna die and let you go free! When you said ‘I do,’ it meant that you were bound to me forever!” He gritted his teeth and gripped her arm even tighter.

“No, Darius! No!”

Kaydie’s eyes popped open, and she stared into the darkness. She could hear her heart thumping in her ears, a sound loud enough to rival cannon fire. She placed her hand over her heart and felt it thudding wildly. Sweat poured down her neck; her hands were damp with moisture, and her forehead was covered in beads of perspiration. It was just a nightmare, she told herself, still breathless with terror. The vision had seemed so real.

Her heart continued to pound as she reached with her other hand and rubbed her belly. “I think it was only a nightmare, little one.” She sat up, swung her legs over the side of the bed, and stood to her feet. Groping in the dark, she made her way to the window and looked outside. The moon and the stars were the only things she could see. Darius and his horse were nowhere in sight.

“Thank You, Lord, that it was just a dream,” Kaydie whispered, then turned around and went back to her bed. Burying her face in her pillow, she whimpered softly, not wanting to wake McKenzie, Zach, and Davey. “Thank You, God, that Darius is not coming back,” she prayed, her voice muffled by the pillow. “Thank You that You are my ‘refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’”

You are safe here, My child, she felt the Lord say to her.

“I know, Lord, but I don’t feel safe—not with the memory of Darius,” she whispered. Turning over on her back, she gazed up at the ceiling, and the words of Psalm 91 filled her heart: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”

Tears of joy slid down Kaydie’s face and onto the pillow. “We’re going to be all right, little one,” she whispered to the baby within her. “We’re going to be all right, because the Lord will keep us safe.” She gently rubbed her belly again, thankful that God had been there when her husband had been tormenting her and had delivered her from him.

Darius was dead, and he wasn’t coming back to take her away. Kaydie had been there. She’d seen it happen. Now, here she was, staying with her beloved sister McKenzie, McKenzie’s husband, Zach Sawyer, and their young son, Davey. Never would Kaydie have guessed that McKenzie would move to the Montana Territory and marry a rancher. For one thing, McKenzie had always despised hard work; for another, she’d had her eye on a wealthy doctor from Boston for years. Yet, from everything Kaydie had seen in her first month at the Sawyer Ranch, McKenzie was happy and wouldn’t trade her life there for anything.

McKenzie had told her that God had changed her heart. Kaydie smiled at the memory because He had changed her heart, as well. She had learned about the Lord from Ethel, the woman who had taken her in after Darius’s death and given her a steady dose of God’s Word. That solid foundation had stayed with Kaydie, and she yearned to know more about her Creator day by day. Yes, she had grown up knowing there was a God, but she hadn’t truly experienced Him until Ethel had helped her begin a relationship with Him.

Kaydie turned from one side to the other, unable to fall asleep. In a few short hours, it would be dawn, and she would join the Sawyer family and their hired help at the kitchen table for breakfast. The day she’d met each of the members of McKenzie’s new family filled her mind, and she recalled asking McKenzie in private about each one of them. Fearful of placing herself and her unborn baby in danger again, Kaydie had felt it necessary to find out as much as she could about the people with whom she would be living as long as she stayed with her sister. She felt safe around Zach—and, of course, precious Davey. But the others she wasn’t so sure about, especially the hired man named Jonah, who had met her in downtown Pine Haven and driven her to the Sawyer Ranch the day she’d found McKenzie….


“Thank you, McKenzie, for taking me in like this,” Kaydie said as she sat with her sister on the front porch, sipping tea. The late September air was chilly, but the fresh breeze felt good.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” McKenzie said. She leaned over and put her arm around her sister. “I have missed you something horrible, Kaydie. I thought for a while that I might never see you again.”

“I thought the same thing, myself,” said Kaydie. “I never dreamed you would go to all that trouble to find me. I hoped that you would, but I knew better than to count on it.”

“It happened thanks only to the Lord,” McKenzie said. “Montana Territory is a huge place. I could not have imagined how big it is until I arrived here, and I’ve seen barely a fraction of it. To have found you within its borders is a miracle, indeed.”

“Yes, it is,” Kaydie agreed. “I must have thanked the Lord more times than I can count for rescuing me through you.”

“And I must have thanked the Lord more times than I can count for rescuing you and bringing you to me,” McKenzie said with a giggle.

Kaydie giggled then, too—something she hadn’t done for a long time. Oh, how she had missed her sister! “I think you were the only one in our family who didn’t give up on me,” she said, growing serious again.

“Well, Mother did come out here to take me back to Boston—”

“Thank you, McKenzie.”

“You are more than welcome. Besides, I couldn’t let ‘my baby’ stay lost somewhere in the uncivilized Montana Territory forever!”

Kaydie giggled again. “I think Mother feared you would call me ‘my baby’ as long as you lived!”

“Mother feared a lot of things,” said McKenzie. “However, I don’t think she ever counted on my leaving our home in Boston to become a wife on the wild frontier and then falling in love with a rancher!”

Kaydie smiled and shook her head. “No, I don’t believe she did, or her worst fear would have come true.”

“I think the worst thing, though, would have been for Peyton to have done the same thing we did—follow a man to the ends of the earth and forsake our privileged upbringing.”

“Oh, Peyton never would have done such a thing.” Kaydie rolled her eyes. “Perhaps she isn’t our true sister. She’s so different from us.”

“She’s our true sister, just unique. I pray for her daily that she will someday find true joy.”

“It would take a completely different outlook on her part—as well as the part of Maxwell—for that to happen,” Kaydie said. She thought of her oldest sister’s uppity, prudish husband. “Speaking of husbands, Zach seems like a good one,” she said, choosing to change the subject to something more positive.

“He is. I’m blessed beyond belief, Kaydie. It took me so long to see the gem that he is. Someday, I’ll have to share the entire story with you. To think that I could have missed out on him because of my own pride and stubbornness….” She shivered.

“I’m happy for you, McKenzie.”

“Someday, God will give you a love like that, Kaydie.”

“Oh, I think the days of courtship and marriage are over for me. I have my little one to think about now.”

“I know marriage is the furthest thing from your mind right now, especially in light of the horrid circumstances in which you found yourself while married to Darius. Still, I have faith that someday God will bless you with the husband He’s planned for you all along.”

“I suppose I might reconsider marriage—when I’m forty-five,” Kaydie said, laughing. But she wasn’t kidding. Never again would she trust a man, especially with her heart. She now had not only herself to consider, but also—and more important—her baby. How many times had she thanked the Lord that her baby hadn’t been born while Darius was alive? She shuddered at the realization that her survival—and her baby’s survival—would have been unlikely, at best, if she had remained with Darius. No, never again would Kaydie be so foolish as to fall in love. Things like true love happened only to others, like McKenzie, and not to her. Such a thought might have in the past bothered her, but not now. She was content in the thought of being reunited with the sister she loved and of soon becoming a mother.

“I will tell you whose marriage is a wonderful model: Asa and Rosemary’s,” McKenzie said. “They both have taught me so much about a marriage that’s centered on God, and they’ve been married pretty close to forever.”

“Yes, it was so nice to meet them yesterday,” Kaydie said. “They seemed quite friendly and charitable.”

“They are. I wasn’t fond of Rosemary at first, and I didn’t really know Asa, since he works with Zach outside most of the time, but once I became acquainted with them, I realized the treasures they are. They have both taught me so much—especially Rosemary. She’s like the mother we never had. No offense to Mother, for I know she tried the best she knew how to raise us, but Rosemary…she’s different. She has always been so accepting of me, even when I didn’t accept her. She taught me how to cook and stitch and how to survive in a home so different from anything I had ever known. She and Asa are like grandparents to Davey, and I believe Zach has all but adopted them as a second set of parents, even though he speaks very well of his parents, who, as I told you, are deceased.”

“I think I shall like Rosemary, too,” Kaydie said. “And Asa does seem like a good father figure.”

“That he is. His Irish accent makes him unique in these parts. I think Rosemary confided to me once that was one of the things that drew her to him when they began courting so many years ago.”

“They live just down the road, right?” Kaydie asked.

“Yes, they do. It’s nice having them so close. I know you’ll come to love Rosemary as much as I do.” McKenzie paused. “And then there’s Jonah Dickenson, the other hired man. He’s a hard worker, always willing to help. He lives alone in the bunkhouse.”

“He makes me nervous,” Kaydie admitted.

“Jonah?” McKenzie asked. “Why do you say that?”

“When he brought me here from town yesterday, there was just something about him…I can’t place my finger on it, exactly, but it was odd.”

“I’m not sure what it could be, Kaydie. He’s never been anything but polite, and Zach doesn’t know what he would do without him. I think the two of them have become brothers, in a way. When Davey’s father, Will, died, I think Jonah slipped into the spot he’d had in Zach’s heart.”

“I think it’s wonderful that Zach adopted Davey after his parents died,” Kaydie said.

“Yes. A man who accepts another’s child as his own is a special man, indeed. Of course, who wouldn’t want Davey for a son? I loved him almost immediately.”

“So, you don’t think I need to be afraid of Jonah?”

“I honestly don’t, Kaydie, but if he makes you uncomfortable, you are within your rights to keep your distance. If he ever does anything….” McKenzie paused. “If he ever lays a hand on you or anything else, tell Zach or me right away. Promise?”

“I promise,” said Kaydie.

“But, again, I don’t see any reason to fear him. He’s a godly man with a heart the size of the Montana Territory. I think you’ll discover that for yourself once you get to know him.”

Kaydie nodded but still wasn’t convinced.

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