Friday, August 24, 2012

Dying To Read

Dying To Read
Lorena McCourtney

This is such a fun book!  Lorena McCourtney has initiated a new series with Dying to Read, and it promises to be a winner. Cate Kincaid is pulled into the world of private investigation as a short term paycheck, working for her uncle. But when he gets waylaid by an accident, she ends up taking over more than she bargained for. 

This story has tons of twists, unique characters, and intrigue. Plus a lot of laughs! I highly recommend it.

Cate Kinkaid is just dipping her toe into the world of private investigating until one of the many résumés she has floating around lands her a real job. All she has to do is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine PI job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

Lorena McCourtney is the award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Invisible (which won the Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), In Plain Sight, On the Run, and Stranded. She resides in Oregon.

Endorsements for Dying to Read & Lorena McCourtney
“With each new mystery series Lorena McCourtney skillfully creates a unique sleuth—and Cate Kinkaid is no exception in Dying to Read. I loved all the witty prose and the laugh-out-loud moments I’ve come to expect when reading McCourtney’s mysteries. Seasoned with romance and a fascinating collection of peculiar characters, this clever tale will keep you guessing about more than murder. Never a dull moment, Dying to Read is a winner!”—Elizabeth Goddard, author of Carol Award–winning The Camera Never Lies

“Lorena McCourtney has fashioned a fun and engaging mystery that begs to be solved. And just when I thought I had figured it out, I realized she had added another layer. Mystery lovers, kick off your shoes, curl up somewhere comfortable, and prepare to be entertained! Dying to Read will keep you fully engrossed and guessing.”—Kathy Herman, author of The Baxter series, Seaport Suspense series, and Secrets of Roux River Bayou series

“I adore Lorena McCourtney books. She’s one of my favorite authors. Dying to Read adds a delightful new tale to her stack of engrossing and entertaining mysteries seasoned with her signature wry humor. The fun and intriguing plot is populated by interesting characters with fascinating quirks, foibles, and challenges. McCourtney keeps the pages turning with fresh developments in a case that lures rookie PI Cate Kinkaid ever deeper into skin-tingling danger. I can hardly wait for the next book in this exciting new series!”—Jill Elizabeth Nelson, award-winning author of Reluctant Burglar


Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tidewater Inn

Tidewater Inn
Colleen Coble
My Thoughts:
This is a great book for suspense lovers. Colleen Coble does a great job creating multi-dimensional characters who get caught up in situations and relationships they never expected! I especially like the setting of this one -- a wonderful old inn desperate for some TLC on a wonderfully remote island. Add caves full of secrets and ruthless land developers and you have a book that is hard to put down.
You can buy the book here

About the Book: 

Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.

Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby’s under suspicion for the crime.

Libby’s dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.

About the Author: 

Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

Visit her website at Twitter @colleencoble.

Check out what others are saying -- see the blog tour schedule here:

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group and  B&N Publishers for providing a copy of this book for review.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Food Famly Style Cookbook

Food Family Style: Simple and Tasty Recipes for Everyday Life
Leigh Oliver Vickery

This is an amazing cookbook with recipes that will fit into any lifestyle and taste. I'm overwhelmed by the number of great recipes that MY family will actually eat! There are even more that I may try even though they have some of the 'no-no's' for my family. Who knows, they sound so yummy that at least half of my gang should like them.

I really like the additional items Vickery has included in this book, such as a chapter called "Kids in the Kitchen" with fun, kid-friendly recipes. Another great chapter is Table Talk, with tons of ideas and conversation starters to keep supper interesting. Many of the recipes were submitted by MOPS Moms (Moms of Preschoolers), so you can be sure they are pretty easy and kid-friendly! 

Each recipe is labelled to tell you if it is freezer friendly, healthful, good for the crock pot, or vegetarian, so you can tell at a glance which recipes might be right for the need at the moment. I wish she would have included an index of these categories, though, so you could quickly find all recipes for the crock pot, for instance.

Here is one of the recipes I we tried -- it was amazing!

Yummy Chicken Enchiladas

1 small white onion, chopped
1 Tbs unsalted butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
6 oz cream cheese (can use reduced fat)
1/2 cup sliced black olives, optional
12 small flour tortillas
1 cup whipping cream or half-and-half (fat free works fine)
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack or your favorite Mexican blend cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x113 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large skillet, saute onion in melted butter until softened. Add chicken and heat through. Remove from heat and add cream cheese and black olives, if desired. Stir well to combine. Spoon mixture evenly into center of tortillas and roll into enchiladas. Place in baking dish. When finished, pour cream over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and enchiladas are slightly browned.


Time may be short and budgets may be tight, but these 365 mouthwatering recipes are sure to draw families into the kitchen and around the table day after day. Crowned Queso Queen, Leigh Oliver Vickery shares her passion for including the whole family in cooking and eating dinner around the kitchen table. From tasty breakfasts, soups and salads to sumptuous main dishes and desserts, Food Family Style delivers just what readers' families ordered.
Vickery is an entrepreneur and founder of Leigh Oliver’s (, a specialty, all natural food company. Her original white cheese queso and more than 25 other products can be found in Central Market, Whole Foods Market, Brookshire’s, Costco, Kroger and other retail venues across the country. She is now in her second season as a food offering at the Dallas Cowboys stadium when you order chips and queso or cheese steak. Those popular choices even made the list of foods given a four star review by the Dallas Morning News.
Throughout Food Family Style are symbols indicating recipes that double easily, freeze well, are gluten-free or vegetarian, can be made in a slow cooker, and more. And since there's more to mealtime than just the food, this innovative book also includes tips about how to involve kids in meal preparation, meaningful conversation starters and simple ideas to bring warmth to your home.


Leigh Oliver Vickery is creator and founder of Leigh Oliver's, a specialty "fun food" company with numerous products on the market in at least twenty-five states and grocery chains, including Whole Foods Market and Costco. She is the former food editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph in Tyler, Texas, and now blogs at Leigh also has a regular twice-weekly segment on two local TV stations called "One Big Happy Table with Leigh Vickery." She lives in Tyler, Texas, with her husband, two sons, and three dogs.

Available August  2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Over the Edge

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over The Edge
Bethany House (August 1, 2012)
Mary Connealy

Although I haven't read the first two books in this series, I really enjoyed Over the Edge. I knew I liked the heroine immediately from the first paragraph! She is one tough cookie, but she isn't stereotyped -- Mary Connealy did a great job of creating a complex character whom is easy to fall in love with (from a readers' perspective at least).

There were subtle references to prior books in the series, but nothing that leaves a reader confused when starting with this book. I definitely want to go back and read the first two. This was a fun, feisty story.


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.


Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Over The Edge, go HERE.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Chasing the Wind

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing The Wind
B&H Books (August 1, 2012)
Pamela Ewen

 This is an interesting book that highlights some difficult ethical issues about "progress" in an old part of New Orleans. The main character, Amalise Catoir, is forced to examine her values as she struggles to make sense of between her current high visibility project as an up-and-coming lawyer and her new found friendship with people who will be displaced as a result.

While I really enjoyed the story line of this book, I was distracted by a strong back story that never fully got explained. If I didn't know better, I'd presume this was the second book in a series. I kept waiting to get more information but it never came. There were also a few instances where something popped up in the story that didn't make sense, causing me to go back and find references to that instance because it seemed inconsistent (don't want to explain more because I might give things away!).

The story is set in the post Vietnam War era, and it is fun to go back and visit some of the issues and signs of that time.

This book is set in

Until recently retiring to write full time, Pamela Binnings Ewen was a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P., specializing in corporate finance. She now lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, James Lott.

She has served on the Board of Directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas, as well as the Advisory Board for The New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans; Pamela is a co-founder of the Northshore Literary Society in the Greater New Orleans area. She is also a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him.

She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing.

Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.

Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.


At 8:47 A.M. on Wednesday, October 12, 1977, new-to-town businessman Bingham Murdock flew his small plane into New Orleans, banking it in such a way that a ray of sunshine shot through the city at light speed.

Amalise Catoir saw the flash from her sixteenth floor law office window. Finally feeling alive after the death of her abusive husband, she imagined seeing the plane was a fate for her eyes only; a special connection between the unknown giver and she, the recipient of light.

But someone else saw it, a six-year-old Cambodian refugee in foster care for whom a sudden burst of brightness reminds him of artillery fire.

Destined to cross paths with the man and the child, Amalise doesn’t yet know the deeper spiritual lesson she will learn: that we are responsible not only for the things we do, but also for the things that we don’t.

If you would like to read an excerpt of Chasing The Wind, go HERE.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Great Deals!

Top 5 Back-to-School Deals for This Weekend (August 3-5, 2012) 
Crystal Paine, The Money Saving Mom, thought you might be interested in these great weekend deals.
Kid's Jeans for $9 Shipped From Old Navy: Old Navy has all their Kid's Famous Jeans on sale for $10through August 15, 2012. This sale is both in-store and online.

If you are planning on purchasing multiple pairs, you can sign up for Old Navy emails to get a $10 off $50 coupon. Plus, shipping is free on orders over $50. So you could potentially get five pairs of jeans for just $9 shipped each.

Kid's Jeans for as Low as $8 Shipped from The Children's Place: The Children's Place is offering free shipping on all denim orders, no minimum. Plus, you can use coupon code E6H76QDP82 to get an additional 20% off your order. They have jeans priced at $10, making them just $8 per pair shipped after this coupon code.

Crayola Crayons for $0.25 at Toys "R" Us: Through Saturday (August 5, 2012), Toys "R" Us has Crayola Crayons on sale 4 for $1. You must purchase in quantities of 4 to get this price. You can price-match at Walmart, if that's more convenient for you. These make a fantastic addition to Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Backpacks for $0.01 After MaxPerks Rewards at Office Max: Use your MaxPerks card to purchase a backpack or messenger bag from OfficMax and you'll get 100% back in MaxPerks Rewards minus $0.01. For example, if you purchase a backpack for $39.99 out of pocket, you'll $39.98 back in MaxPerks Bonus Rewards via an email coupon within 90 days. You can use this email coupon like a gift card to purchase anything at Office Max. This offer is good through Saturday, August 4, 2012.

Get In Free Weekend at Sam's Club: Non-members can stop by Sam's Club this weekend (August 3-5, 2012) for their Get In Free Weekend. Non-members are able to enjoy the same prices as members during this special weekend, no coupon is required. Sam's Club often has great deals on bulk office and school supplies, as well as bargains on electronics.

MSM Crystal Paine is a wife, mom of three, author of The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget. Visit her blog,, for the best back-to-school deals and for practical ideas and inspiration to get your life and finances in order.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Making Sense When Life Doesn't

Making Sense When Life Doesn't
Cecil Murphey

My Thoughts:

When I first picked up this book I expected it to be related to those really tough times in life when disasters occur -- deaths, terminal illness, physical and psychological pain. Sort of a "Where is God when Bad Things Happen" book. The kind of book you buy for a friend in crisis. I guess I had this perception from the title.

Instead, it is a book about everyday life -- coping with the daily challenges that clutter up my and block my vision of God's love and mercy. Yes, there are chapters that deal with the big crises, but I continually found myself learning great insights that help me deal with my daily frustrations. Murphey uses his life experiences to help the reader deal with jealousy, anger, regrets, forgiveness, pain. Between the pages of his personal struggles, I learned from the vast wisdom that accompanies a life of challenges.

This is not a book by someone telling you how to 'get over' the situation or 'buck up'.  It is the heartfelt, gut-wrenching type of life lessons that cause you to examine parts of your life that you didn't realize were broken and open your eyes to the possibility of moving on as a stronger person.

This is a book I want to reread every year.

See what others are saying about the book at

Link to buy the book:

More about the book:

Beloved author Cecil Murphey empowers readers to discover the good in every situation and to make life better because of adversities.

Sometimes life gets messy. It’s cluttered with too many demands. Companies downsize. Love relationships end. Trauma hits. When chaos erupts, every person has a choice to make—to decide whether it’s the worst time of life, to find comfort in the way things used to be, to move on because change is forced, and then resent everything that happens, or to say, “This can be the best time of my life. I can try the things I wanted to do but never did.”

In Making Sense When Life Doesn’t, Cecil Murphey’s compelling stories, hope-filled insights, and gentle encouragement move readers with messy lives to the stunning realization that life won’t ever be perfect, but it can be good…even exciting!

Meet Cecil Murphey:

Cecil Murphey has written or co-written more than 125 books, including the bestsellers 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

Murphey stays busy as a professional writer and travels extensively to speak on topics such as writing, spiritual growth, caregiving, significant living, sexual abuse, and recovery.

Prior to launching his career as a full-time writer and speaker, he served as pastor of Riverdale Presbyterian Church in Metro Atlanta, as a volunteer hospital chaplain for ten years, and was a missionary in Kenya for six. For more information, visit