Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hi Everyone and Happy Halloween!!

Yes, even though I haven't posted for awhile, I am still writing and hosting my Facebook community page, "Books, so many books." I hope you will join us there. In the meantime, I am planning articles for this page, too. Keep checking back for my observations on life, book reviews, poetry, etc.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Food Lover's Guide To Wine

Author: Karen Page
Andrew Dornenburg
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;
1 edition (November 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316045136

Book Description:

A wine book unlike any other, THE FOOD LOVER'S GUIDE TO WINE offers a fresh perspective via the single aspect of wine most compelling to food lovers: flavor.

At the heart of this indispensable reference, formatted like the authors' two previous bestsellers The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat, is an encyclopedic A-to-Z guide profiling hundreds of different wines by their essential characteristics-from body and intensity to distinguishing flavors, from suggested serving temperatures and ideal food pairings to recommended producers (including many iconic examples). The book provides illuminating insights from dozens of America's best sommeliers via informative sidebars, charts and boxes, which complement the book's gorgeous four-color photography. Another groundbreaking work from two of the ultimate culinary insiders, this instant classic is the perfect gift book.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nearing Home by Billy Graham

Author: Billy Graham
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849948320

My thoughts:

I received my book, Nearing Home; Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham a few days ago and I have been absolutely absorbed by this great man's testimony, and depth of spiritual wisdom. Rev. Graham has lived on a higher plain than most of us and imparts, in his new and possibly his last book, what he has learned and witnessed over a 92+ year life-span.

As always, Rev. Graham tells the story with vast Biblical knowledge, grace, integrity, and beautiful simplicity. The book is filled with wisdom from this spiritual giant of a man, the most celebrated and followed minister of our time. His complete love and devotion to his Lord, Jesus Christ, and his family are totally evident as he remembers life-events and gives simple, loving advice to the reader. Since I am a grandmother, I especially liked the emphasis he puts on the role of a grandparent.

I am so glad I got the chance to read Billy Graham's story and would recommend it to readers of any age. I will pass my copy on in hopes that it will inspire someone else as much as it did me. May God bless this wonderful man who many of us have followed for most of our life...a living example of a true Christian disciple. Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publisher for my free review copy.

Heaven Is For Real

Author: Todd Burpo
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson;
Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849948363

My thoughts:

I first bought the CD version of Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo, so I could listen while I drove in my car. After listening to it, I agreed to do a review of the hardcover edition. Young Colton’s story is so real and so innocent that one cannot help but be inspired by it. It is about his experience in Heaven and seeing people and things he could not possibly have known unless he was actually there. The book is certainly Biblical and told with simplicity and heartfelt sincerity.

Four year old Colton Burpo is very near death when he has his Heavenly experience with Jesus and sits on the knee of Jesus while they talk. When he doesn’t die, he starts to tell his family about the things he has witnessed and the dead family members that he met while on his exceptional journey. How could he know such things if he had not seen them? His parents were amazed as Colton’s story began to unfold, little by little, through the innocence of a child’s eyes and speech.

The book is well-written, believable, and inspiring. I am so glad to know Colton’s story. It was a real blessing to me. Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for my free hardcover review copy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Easy Entertaining at Home by Sandra Lee

Author: Sandra Lee
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
(November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 140131080X

Cookbook Description:

Television and cookbook star Sandra Lee offers her best ever at-home entertaining book, full of fabulous recipes and ideas for making year-round gatherings fun and simple. This month-to-month go-to guide features fast favorite cocktails and canapés for everyday entertaining, and every holiday and special occasion. In this book you will find your favorite libations and scrumptious appetizers, as well as tips for hosting a successful get-together.

In Easy Entertaining at Home, Sandra Lee has created the perfect party primer and resource for the modern, busy homemaking host. The recipes include a long list of margaritas, martinis, sangrias, punches, coladas, and cosmopolitans--all your favorites are here.

You'll also find savory and sweet recipes for party foods such as deviled eggs, steak skewers, sliders, jalapeno poppers, cakes, and cupcakes sure to please. Cocktails and canapés guaranteed to make stress-free at-home entertaining fast, fun, and fabulous.

Thank you to Hyperion for my free review copy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
(August 17, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414348126

Book Description:

Find inspiration and meaning while excelling at the sport of running!

Ever wonder if your running has a purpose and how it connects to your relationship with God? The Runner’s Devotional will inspire you in your faith while encouraging you to excel at the sport you love! This book is for runners of all levels—casual and avid, competitive and recreational—who want to improve their running skills, attain personal running goals, and grow in their faith.

The Runner’s Devotional features:

Weekly devotional readings to keep you motivated and inspired

Personal stories of faith, challenge, and victory

Scripture explanation to help you apply the Bible to running and your life

Health and fitness tips

Weekly runner’s logs

Race training schedules for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon

Journaling pages

(thank you to Tyndale for my review copy.)


Author: Sara Horn
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939415

Book Description:

Author Sara Horn always admired the Proverbs 31 wife, but when she became a busy writer and mother, she deemed this model to be dated and impossible. Or is it? Join Sara as she heads into a one-year domestic experiment and offers full access to see if this biblical model can be embraced by a modern woman—even one who can’t sew.

With humility and humor, Sara sets out to pursue the Proverbs 31 characteristics through immersing herself in all things domestic, but when her family's situation changes and she must return to a full-time job, she's forced to look at the Proverbs 31 woman with a whole new viewpoint. Through it all, she and readers discover:

what it means to be a godly woman and a wife

how investing in family and faith refines priorities as a spouse and a parent

how mistakes are opportunities for growth

This thought-provoking, surprising, and entertaining personal account will inspire women to try their own experiments in living out God’s purpose for their lives.

Thank you to Harvest House for my review copy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Home for Christmas by Deborah Grace Stanley

Author: Deborah Grace Stanley
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
(November 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982175671

Book Description:

A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a feel-good community tale in the best tradition of storytellers like Debbie Macomber. Romance Junkies Dr. Janice Thornton has been lonely for too long, especially at Christmas. But Angel Ridge, Tennessee, the one place that holds the key to what family should be, is offering her a chance at a new life. Could she find happiness by taking over her uncle's small town practice? Local contractor and carpenter Blake Ferguson comes from a big family. He'd like to fill his rambling old Victorian with one of his own. But there's one problem. He needs a wife! When Janice shows up at his house, Blake sets a course to win her, but soon finds she's built a wall around her heart this master carpenter finds difficult to dismantle. Can the magic of an Angel Ridge Christmas bring hearts home or will old hurts create an obstacle even the town's legendary angels can't overcome?

Thank you to BelleBooks for my review copy.

Only You by Deborah Grace Staley

Author: Deborah Grace Staley
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
(May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982175639

Book Description:

A charming romance about the lives and loves of people in a small Tennessee town. In the tradition of Debbie Macomber. "Hey, ya'll. Dixie Ferguson here. I run Ferguson's Diner in Angel Ridge, Tennessee. Population three hundred forty-five. It's a picturesque town in the valley of the Little Tennessee River, established in 1785. In the early days, its first families--the McKays, the Wallaces, the Houstons, the Joneses, and, of course, the Craigs--staked their claims on hundreds of acres of the richest bottom land anyone had ever seen. After all the years I've spent behind the counter at Ferguson's, I could probably tell ya'll a story about near everyone in town. But we only have so much time, so I'll narrow it down to just two for now. This is a story about coming home. It's also a story about acceptin' folks for who they are. You could say it's a story about Josie Allen, a librarian, and Cole Craig, a handyman, but I say it's a story about finding love where you'd least expect to."

Thank you to BelleBooks for my review copy.

What The Heart Wants by Deborah Grace Staley

Author: Deborah Grace Staley
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
(August 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935661973

Book Description:

Candi Heart is layers of mystery in a very appealing package. A lethal combination for Sheriff Grady Wallace. With a nickname like "Candi Heart" and a plan to open a frilly lingerie and perfume shop called Heart's Desire, Lark Hensley knows she may raise some eyebrows by moving to quiet little Angel Ridge, Tennessee. She hopes no one remembers that the women in her family were once accused of being seductive witches by townsfolk, and that decades ago her moonshiner grandpa committed a deadly crime. Lark has questions she can't answer and secrets she doesn't want to share, especially with Angel Ridge Sheriff Grady Wallace, even if Grady is hard to resist. Grady falls hard and quick for the new mystery woman in town, though he's determined to find out what she's hiding. Angel Ridge's one-woman Welcome Committee, Dixie Ferguson, has taken a liking to Candi Heart, and Dixie's instincts about newcomers are rarely wrong. But maybe not this time . . . Grady never intended to follow the Wallace family tradition of lawmen, but when his father died young, rebellious Grady grew quickly into the role of staunch town defender. Candi Heart may not have meant to bring trouble to his town, but she has. Someone does remember her family. That someone wants her to leave . . . or to die. An unknown driver tries to run her down. Her shop is broken into. Rumors begin to swirl. Suddenly Grady is caught between his duty and his heart's desire for Candi Heart. Deborah Grace Staley has written three books in the Angel Ridge series and is hard at work on a fourth.

Thank you to BelleBooks for my review copy.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

UNSAID by Neil Abramson

Author: Neil Abramson
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Center Street
Import edition (August 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599954109

Book Description:

 As a veterinarian, Helena had mercifully escorted thousands of animals to the other side. Now, having died herself, she finds that it is not so easy to move on. She is terrified that her 37 years of life were meaningless, error-ridden, and forgettable. So Helena haunts-- and is haunted by-- the life she left behind. Meanwhile, David, her shattered attorney husband, struggles with grief and the demands of caring for her houseful of damaged and beloved animals. But it is her absence from her last project, Cindy-- a chimpanzee who may unlock the mystery of communication and consciousness-- that will have the greatest impact on all of them.

When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena's life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief, and loss, and discover the only way to save Cindy is to understand what it really means to be human.

My thoughts:

If you like a book that moves right along, is well-written, and will make you cry, then UNSAID is for you. I loved it!!!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

HELP! FOR WRITERS by Roy Fetter Clark

Author: Roy Fetter Clark
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;
1 edition (September 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316126713

Book Description:

The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head.

In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem. Out of ideas? Read posters, billboards, and graffiti. Can't bear to edit yourself? Watch the deleted scenes feature of a DVD, and ask yourself why those scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. HELP! FOR WRITERS offers 210 strategies to guide writers to success.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my free review copy.)

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing;
Reprint edition (August 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446547603

Book Description:

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my free review copy.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The One Who Waits For Me by Lori Copeland

Author: Lori Copeland
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736930183

Book Description:

Bestselling author Lori Copeland (Walker’s Wedding and Outlaw’s Bride) sets her brand-new story in North Carolina the months after the Civil War. In the midst of chaos, there is also a sense of possibility and the hope of love when:

Sisters Beth and Joanie run from a vindictive uncle toward healing

Trella, a pregnant young slave, leaves a plantation for freedom

Gray Eagle, a Cherokee military scout, finds refuge for the young women

Captain Pierce, a quiet man of faith, heads for a plot of land and a new life

Samuel, a black soldier, longs to follow his father’s preaching legacy

The intersecting lives and tales of these engaging characters and those they meet along the way create an uplifting story of tested faith, growing seeds of love, and the challenge and gift of believing God’s promise of a future.

My thoughts:
Lori Copeland has written a good, clean, fun read with The One Who Waits For Me. I can't say that it is on par with Gone With The Wind, but it is an entertaining Civil War/old South novel. It is a spiritual adventure book which reminds us that God has a plan for our lives--a plan that we may not see at the moment.

(That you to Harvest House for my free review copy.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Money Saving Meals & Round 2 Recipes by Sandra Lee

Author: Sandra Lee
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
(October 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401310818

Book Description:

In Money Saving Meals and Round 2 Recipes, Sandra Lee helps readers save more money than ever before one meal at a time, as she does in her highly popular Food Network show.

These dishes are easy, quick-scratch style, and include dishes such as Slow Cooker Short Ribs, Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Salsa, Chicken Tacos with Cucumber Salsa, Beanless Beef Chili, S'mores Pudding Parfait, and much more.

Each recipe combination offers money-saving pricing and total savings for delicious healthful, quick, easy meals so that readers see what they save with every dish. The savings, and your repertoire of tasty, effortless meals, quickly add up on cooking. In these budget-conscious times, Sandra's Money Saving Meals truly hits home, offering "the maximum joy with the minimum kitchen and grocery shopping stress."

My thoughts:

Love this new cookbook! I have other of Sandra Lee's previous books, and I often watch her show. I have long been a fan. I have used many of her recipes and find them generally simple to make, budget-conscious, and delicious.

After I received Money Saving Meals & Round2 Recipes a few days ago, I spent a couple of hours pouring over the recipes and photographs. I marked many of the 149 that I wish to try right away, like: Zucchini Cakes; Asparagus and Tomato Tart (using a frozen store bought pie shell); Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze. My husband and I like veggies, so the Asparagus dish is one that will make a nice meal for two people, with leftovers.

As a reviewer and cookbook collector, I try to look at the cookbook from a buyer's perspective. What would I find if I opened it physically in the bookstore or library. What type of recipes would I find; who is the cookbook directed toward; are there nice photos; are there charts, etc.; what are some unique aspects of the cookbook. As an experienced cook and having won my share of awards, I feel that I am able to judge whether the book is worth buying and I try to impart this to the reader.

In my opinion, this is a very nice cookbook with lots of color photos, and which offers tips on how to be a smart shopper and coupon user. The recipes also appear to be simple to recreate, as most of Sandra Lee's have been in the past. If you are looking for a cookbook that offers quick, but unique and tasty meals, this is one that I recommend.

(Thank you to Hyperion for my review copy.)