Showing posts from October, 2011

Tournament of Champions: Third Week Recap

*Guest post by Michelle Massaro
Week THREE of COTT's Tournament of Champions sawfourmore authors compete and three more scavenger hunts played.  Here's a recap:

On Monday, players were sent to Elaine Cooper's Blog with a mission: Find the full name of the girl Nathaniel Stearns falls in love with in the book trailer video on her home page. Renee C won a $10 Amazon gift card from Marianne Evans, author of Hearts Crossing.
Tuesday, the hunt was on at Shellie Neumeier's Blog. The question:What is the name of the book Shellie co-wrote with Lisa Lickel? Tammy G won a $10 Amazon gift card from April Gardner, author of Wounded Spirits.

Wednesday we were led to Naomi Musch's Blog. The question: In her new release,The Red Fury, Colette's daughter Lainey is seeking solace from tragic loss and two searing rejections by doing what 2 things? B.J. Robinson won a $10 CBD gift card donated by Ann Gaylia O'Barr, author of Singing in Babylon.

Want your own spending spree? Be sure…

Princes and Dragons in Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I'm not usually one to pick up books labeled as fantasy but whenever I have I enjoyed them--unfortunately I didn't care for this one. It wasn't the writing style, which was fine, but I didn't feel any connection at all to the characters and Prince Leo annoyed me. He seemed very immature and, well, snotty. I realize he was a child when we first met him but he remained pretty much the same throughout his young adult years. Granted, at the end of the story in his encounter with Rose Red he was truthful about himself and accepting of her so that gave him a tad more appeal but still not enough to make me want to read the next book to see what happens next. Rose Red was a decent character and her loyalty to the Prince and Southland was unfailing in spite of being cruelly treated.

I guess maybe I just didn't "get" this story. It probably would have helped if I had read the first book, Heartless, but time didn't permit. I will say one thing about this series-…

Drama, Drama, Drama in Julie Lessman's A Heart Revealed

Are you surprised by the title of this post? Well you won't be since you now know that this is a review of Julie Lessman's latest novel, A Heart Revealed. If you are at all familiar with this series you know that drama is the key to each of these stories. If you're like me the more drama, the better and it comes in spades in this book.

Continuing the O'Connor saga is the story of Emma Malloy and Sean, the eldest O'Connor sibling. Each has a past that they let control their future and both must learn to give it to God for a chance at happiness. The unfolding story of Emma and Sean's romance is one that is sweet, passionate, and altogether frustrating. A friend asked if I threw the book across the room as I was reading, well  let me just say that there are black and green spots on my wall where there once was only white paint. Emma is almost too giving and good. I wanted to throttle that girl if she tried to push Rose off on a certain character one more time and …

Waiting on Wednesday!

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts but thanks to my friend Rel @ Relz Reviewz and her great post on new Bethany House releases in Summer 2012 I had to post this!

The book I'm looking forward to the most next summer is...

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

About the book:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about,…

A World Where Chocolate is Illegal Is Here in All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Can you imagine living in a world where chocolate is illegal and caffeine is strictly forbidden? I know this girl couldn't go on without an occasional Hershey Bar or daily glass of Mountain Dew. Oh the horror! Gabrielle Zevin, best selling author has created a world where this is reality and laws change at the drop of a hat, resulting in an underground lucrative black market where chocolate and those who control its distribution are king.

Anya Balanchine, the 16-year-old daughter of the deceased head of a notorious crime family wants nothing to do with illegal chocolate but those around her including her older brother, Leo pull her in. Like most young adult fiction these days there's a bit of forbidden romance (and potentially a love triangle!) which only adds to the drama in Anya's life. Despite being only sixteen most of the responsibility rests on her shoulders and Anya must learn to grow up and embrace the life that she shuns--the life that continues the legacy of her …

Laugh for the Day

Having little brothers is sometimes a good thing, especially when they make you laugh. If you're like me and have a comedian of a little bro you laugh a lot. A few weeks ago my brother Riley brought this video to my attention and honestly I've watched a ton of this guy's videos since then and don't know when I've ever laughed so hard. It's Tuesday so I figured you could all use a laugh! ;-)

Here are two of my faves...

Rockin' the Party @ Clash of the Titles!

*guest post by Delia Latham
It's been a bang-up bash all week at Clash of the Titles. We've been blog-hopping for treasure, and a couple gals found the loot!
LINDAwon Game #1. She'll receive a
$10 Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate  fromGail Pallotta.
CLAUDIA RIZZIwon Game #2. She'll receive a
$25 Partylite Gift Certificate
fromMichelle Massaro.
Congratulations to our game winners!
And the fun continues all the way through Nov. 4th. Our doors are open and we have a whole pile of party hats just waiting to be worn. Bring your votes and come on down!
In the midst of all the fun and games this week, we had four authors at swordspoint with TWOClashes. All four entries were outstanding, and each possessed strong winning qualities. But, as in any race or competition, not everyone makes the finals.
We chose a single winner from each Clash. These two went head-to-head on Saturday…and only one will proceed to the finals and duke it out for the COTT Laurel Award.
This week'sClash WI…

Regency Romance with a Twist: A Necessary Deception (Daughters of Bainbridge House, Book 1) by Laurie Alice Eakes

Like a lot of people I'm a fan of all things Jane Austen after having read Pride and Prejudice in high school I became infatuated with all things Regency--Regency romance, fashion and manners. There's just something about that time period that is so intriguing. There was so much turmoil yet wealthy families tried so hard to maintain appearances and find stability for their families in the form of wealthy (or at least titled) husbands or wives for their children.

In her newest series, The Daughters of Bainbridge House, Laurie Alice Eakes explores not only those husband hunting families and their daughters but the mysterious world of French spies and double agents. Even though it's told mainly through Lydia's viewpoint the hero of this book and his occupation (for lack of a better word) and the action I think make it something a guy would like to read too. A Necessary Deception is not simply a romance but a novel of war and spies! That said if you're looking for a s…

Blog Tour: Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

Hold the 'phone! We've got another real winner here from Deeanne Gist! If you're like me a handsome hero with *sigh* curly hair and a badge will make you melt anytime and when you throw in just a tad bit of swagger things get out of hand. Let me just say that Luscious Lucious puts all romance heroes to shame with his ability to make overalls sexy. Why is a lawman in overalls? Did I mention that he's undercover disguised as Luke Palmer, troubleman for Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company? Okay you're probably thinking this girl is crazy right talking about a Christian fiction hero as sexy but trust me, you will agree with me after having read this book.  Don't worry, Love on the Line is still completely PG-rated even though the chemistry between Luke and Georgie is smokin'. ;-) If you are familiar with Deeanne's work at all you know she always writes heroes that are oh so easy to fall in love with. Yes I realize this is fiction, therefore Luke is…

COTT Kicks Off Tournament of Champions!

Guest post by Jennifer Slattery
Last week, Clash of the Titles launched their first annual Tournament of Champions with two clashes and four talented authors. In Clash one, CS Lakin, author of Someone to Blame, and Marianne Evans, author of Heart Crossing, went head-to-head in a nail-biting, literary duel. In Clash two, our very own Gail Pallotta, author of Love Turns the Tide, competed against Clare Revell, author of A Season for Miracles. All four excerpts rocked, and this was a tough call, but you, our faithful readers chose two Tournament of the Champions' finalists.
Those finalists were Marianne Evans and Gail Pallotta. Exciting stuff, and yet, the games weren’t done. In the next round, COTT staff cast their votes, and once again, one writer rose to the top and will advance to the next round.
That author is…
Marianne Evans!
And here’s a glimpse of what a COTT champion excerpt looks like:
“Collin Edwards stood before the funeral assembly. Heat crawled up his body. He clutched …

Blog Tour: The Wonder of Your Love (Land of Canaan Novel, Book 2) by Beth Wiseman

Beth is celebrating the release of Book 2 in the Land of Canaan series with a Fabulous Facebook party on November 1st. She'll be giving away one of her OWN paintings, several mini prize packs and a sneak peak at the next book in this heartwarming series.

CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then join us on November 1st for a book chat, Amish themed trivia contest, and more!

The Wonder of Your Love Facebook Party on 11/1!

About the book:
Katie Ann lost the love of her life. Then God offers her a new beginning in Colorado.

Katie Ann Stolzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan, Colorado. At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about her as well. Is it really God's plan for her to be a single parent?

Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is fi…


Thank you to every who entered my Abingdon Press prize pack giveaway! I wish I could give you all books but unfortunately I only have 2 prizes. Here are the winners as chosen by

1st Prize: The Faith of Ashish and A Texan's Promise
Sara B.

2nd Prize: The Faith of Asish
Katie M.

If you haven't already done so I encourage you to check out these wonderful books and their authors. Winners have been notified and will have 48 hours to claim their prizes or another winner(s) will be selected.

Best Commercial Ever!!!!

Okay it's no secret that I love my Pittsburgh Steelers and it's pretty widely known that Troy Polamalu is the spokesperson...errr spokeshair for Head and Shoulders. What you may not know is that Brett Keisel, popular Steelers defensive end is known in the 'Burgh and throughout Steeler Nation for his playoff (now permanent) beard. He even has a t-shirt available depicting his rather ferocious look. Well apparently Head and Shoulders thought that Brett was giving Troy a run for his money in the luscious hair department and decided to take advantage by making this commercial. If you don't at least giggle while watching this you might want to have someone check your pulse...just sayin'.

Don't you love it? Come on admit it or do I have to call you a lyin' fool? Hehehe. ;-)

Blog Tour: Baby It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Warm up to Christmas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One festive winner will receive:

A brand new Kindle FireBaby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May WarrenEnter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

*****Want …

Get in the Holiday Mood with The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo

The Christmas Wedding is my first James Patterson book and I'm happy to say I enjoyed it. It's definitely a story to get you in the Christmas mood with family, snow, weddings and of course love! Although it's a full-length novel this reads like a novella. Each of Gaby's children are introduced and each have situations and struggles that they face that somehow get resolved right at Christmas so there's not much room for development. The romantic element is a little unbelievable--Gaby strings along three potential grooms and they don't seem to mind or question her, hence the three star review. I definitely kept wondering who the groom was going to be and by the end I was glad she chose who she did. However Patterson's ability to weave a story that's centered around true-to-life characters is, I'm sure, one of the reasons why he's a bestselling romance (and suspense!) author.

Be warned, there is strong language throughout but The Christmas Wedding

Life and Love in a Logging Camp: The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller

Have you ever watched the tv series Ax Men? Everyday the guys face incredible dangers and hardships. Now imagine taking away almost all of their safety equipment and throwing their chainsaws over a cliff. The job would be ten times as dangerous and yet 150 years ago that's how logging was done.

In her Revell debut, The Measure of Katie Calloway, author Serena Miller brings to life the logging camps of old with danger, romance, and a dash of humor. The loggers in the wilds of Michigan had very little but no matter what they always had full stomachs. A bad camp cook could be worse than a log jam on a river drive but thanks to Katie Calloway the men of Robert Foster's company ate like kings.

This book is a very interesting look into a seldom seen world even today. There will be times when you're heart literally skips a beat especially when the river rats follow their pine to payday down raging rapids in the spring. Loggers who went under, no matter how strong a swimmer they w…

It's Giveaway Time!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Abingdon Press I have 2 cool book prize packs to give away. The first prize is a copy of The Faith of Ashish by Kay Marshall Strom and A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray. The second prize winner will receive a copy of The Faith of Ashish.

I've read The Faith of Ashish (see my review HERE) and was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful story of a little boy living in early 20th century India. I haven't had the opportunity to read all of A Texan's Promsie yet but what I've read so far is excellent. I'm sure romance fans will be pleased with this debut western from well know Amish fiction writer, Shelley Sheperd Gray.

Entering is easy, all you need to do is fill out the form below, if the form is not in this post the contest has closed. US residents only, ages 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Contest open to entries until October 17, 2011 @ 11:59PM EST. Winners announced October 18, 2011. Winner(s) will have 48 hours to claim the…

Congrats to COTT Clash Winner Tanya Stowe!

* Guest post by Delia Latham

Divine gifts have been a topic of much dissension down through the ages. Some folks believe God bestows certain gifts on his children others firmly believe He does not—or at least that He might have long ago but He certainly doesn't today. We're not here to argue the point (although for the record I do believe in divine gifts!). That said it has been proven time and time again that certain people have specific abilities that others do not. Not learned skills which is the ability to do something because one has deliberately set out to master that particular challenge. I'm talking about inherent abilities that one naturally possesses usually from birth. That's the kind of mind-boggling gift Tanya Stowe tackles in Tender Touch, the excerpt from which won the most recent COTT Clash. Lacy Butler is graced with the gift of healing…but she refuses to use itbecause it didn't save her mother. Pretty commonisn't it? We never seem to want the gift…