Thursday, December 31, 2009

I hope everyone is doing well. It has been a busy time for us all. I've got several reviews I am anxious to write, but will wait until I have more time - stay tuned! I wish you all a peaceful 2010.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Future of Books!

This has been a question that has appeared many times lately on the American Christian Fiction Writers newsgroup. What will be the future of books as opposed to the future of e- readers such as Kendall put out by or the Nook put out by Barnes & Noble. This has become a heated debate at times. What is your opinion. Do you think that books will ever be replaced or will there always be a place for the written word?

Of course, we all have an opinion -- mine is worth what you have paid for it. I believe that there will always be a place for written books, but the future will also hold a place for e- readers. I have to admit that I have become enanmored with the idea of the e-reader. I fell in love with the Nook from Barnes & Noble. Even though I had asked for one for Christmas I really wasn't expecting to get one. Hoping - yes, expecting -- no. However, the love of my life surprised me Christmas morning with a card telling me that a Nook had been ordered. Of course I was beyond myself with excitement. There have been so many people ordering them that the next shipment is not due to go out until February 1. But, that is okay I can wait.

There are many reasons I think this will be helpful to me, but here is one. Because of my fibromyalgia and arthritis, it is hard for me to hold books open with my hands. I will no longer have to do that. Of course that is just a one of the features it has. For another feature, Barnes and Noble offers thousands of books for free and when I was going over just a few I noticed several Love Inspired books available. How cool is that!

I have copied a picture. And of course you can go to Barnes & Noble to read more about it. I have also heard good things about the Kindle which you can find on I will be updating you as soon as I receive mine and learn how to use it. Stay tuned for further updates

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

"The Hand-Me-Down Family" by Winnie Griggs

First off I would like to talk about genres. What is your favorite? Do you read other genres or are you stuck in a rut like I was? My genre of choice since I was a little girl has been mysteries/suspense. The past ten years it has been mostly cozy mysteries (amateur sleuth/lighthearted). That is until I discovered Christian Fiction and blogging!

Because I have won several books that were not in my genre I felt obligated to read them. That was the best thing that has happened to me in the way of reading in a very long time! I have,read just about everything: mysteries, suspense, chick lit, romance, romantic comedies, historical, adventure - just to name a few.
My world has opened up! I have enjoyed all of the books I've read. I think about all I have missed by not keeping an open mind and trying other genres. I hope, after reading this, you too will keep an open mind and try something new in the near future.

Now having said all of this I want to give a review of The Hand-Me-Down Family by Winnie Griggs. This is a historical romance that takes place in California, 1888. Winnie takes the main character, Calley Gray, and puts her on a stage coach to meet her new husband by proxy. Before she arrives he loses his life in a fire and leaves his young daughter without a father. (she had already lost her mother, Calley's good friend).

Now, mind you, Calley knows no one in California and is shocked to say the least when she finds out he is dead. She meets his brother Jack Tyler who wants to take care of his brothers daughter as well as his sisters two children who also lost their parents in the fire. Most of the book is about Calley and Jack vying for the children. Neither think the other is capable of doing it alone. So they get married - for convenience.

Calley has a birthmark on her face that makes her feel no one would ever love her, so she has settled on just being a mother. But then she begins to have feelings for Jack - but Jack is going to leave to go back to his old job as soon as they are settled.

The rest you will have to find out for yourself. This is a book I would not have chosen in the past, just because it wasn't a mystery. I am so grateful that I am now open to reading other books. I would not have wanted to miss this one! I don't think you will either. Here is a link to Winnie's web site: Go over and take a look - you might just find yourself back in time!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A New Blog Award!

My friend, Lee Smith, @ Butterfly Blessings has given me The Circle of Friends Award! The rules are that I am supposed to share 5 things that I love to do and then pass the award on to five other blogs. Here we go:

1. I Love To Read: Surprise, surprise. I can remember as a little girl coming home from school doing my chores, putting my books away, changing my clothes and then the first thing I did when I got a spare moment was to continue reading a book I had started. Then on Saturday mornings I would get up before everyone else and sit in front of the fireplace and read. I also remember a very young age writing a mystery, well I didn't actually finish but I did start it. And to this day I still love to read.

2. I Love to Blog: Now this is something that is new to me. I had heard of blogging and knew that it was similar to a journal, but did not really get interested in having one myself until about six months ago. When I became a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers I realized that all the published authors have their own websites and/or blogs. So I decided that I would create mine in anticipation and preparation for that day when I can say I am a published author. I have had a tremendous amount of fun learning how to blog. Also, I have met so many other wonderful people who also have blogs. And while I am waiting to finish my book what a wonderful way to share with others Christian fiction books I have read.

3. I Love Photography: Photography is something that I had an interest in for many years. I remember the first time I decided to take some pictures of butterflies. This was back in the day of cameras that used film. All of the pictures I had taken were blurry. I asked the young man who was helping me at the camera shop while they were blurry. He told me that I needed a camera that would take close-up shots. That was the beginning of my photography adventure - I had learned the secret of good photography equaled a good camera. My first camera was a Canon Rebel SLR which used film. Eventually, I got a Kodak digital camera which is what I use now and the one I took the picture of the bee on the side bar. Because of my fibromyalgia I am not able to do anything that is very active. Taking pictures in nature is a perfect hobby for me.

4. I Love to Advocate: Advocating is something that I have been doing for the past couple of years. I have two groups that I enjoy advocating for. The first group is for adults with developmental disabilities. We have a group of parents in our community who have come together for the purpose of building housing for the disabled in our town. DIGS (Developing Independence, Growth and Security) has not reached that financial goal yet, but we have come a long way while we are still working on that goal. In the meantime we have developed several activities for our adults. We have an adult choir "Just As I Am" who is very well known in our community and performs many times during the year. We also have an art club and a dance club that meets once a month. If you have a chance go to the site and check us out. The other group that I like to advocate for is NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). This is an area where education is needed for the general population. There is also a great need for education to our religious community.

5. I Love to Write: Last but not least by any stretch of the imagination I love to write. This is something I have always wanted to do since childhood. I believe it was 2002 when I had my first article (Chasing the General) published in Georgia Backroads. I have written and had published several historical article's. I have really enjoyed doing this, but now I want to work on completing a novel. I am not holding my breath and I wouldn't ask you to hold yours because I may be using a walker by the time it's completed. However, I am trying my best to enjoy the journey.

OK - the next part of receiving this award is to turn around and present it to five other people.

1. First I want to give this to Stormi over @ Books, Movies, Reviews - Oh My. Stormi was the first non-relative to sign up as a follower. I have enjoyed getting to know her.

2. Second will be Lea Ann over @ Lea Ann's Garden. I've just met Lea Ann recently and she has shared her story about her wayward daughter on her blog to give others hope and help. I really admire Lea Ann for this and I know it has been beneficial to many others in similar trials.

3. Third, these are in no particular order, is Colletta @ Colletta's Kitchen Sink just because she has the cutest Christmas blog you've ever seen!

4. I'm adding Debra over @ Debra Lynn Collins blog. I've just found out that Debra doesn't live far from me - so we are going to try and meet up dome time. Stop on over and check out her blog. She's had some great giveaways lately - I know because I just won "A Connecticut Christmas". Thank you Debra!

5. Last and surely not least is Jennifer over @ Journey of Grace. Jennifer is just starting out like I am and could use some support. Go on over and sign up as a follower for her.

I'm gong to take a break right now, because my eyelids are slowly closing. I will try and come back and add two more to the list. I want to thank Lee for sending me this award. Lee has been a good friend to me over the past few months. We have a lot in common: especially fibromyalgia and fledgling writing. Thanks again Lee!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pat On The Back!

I don't usually talk about things that are happening to me or about me, but I wanted to share this with my readers. Our local newspaper puts out a small magazine four times a year called Magnolia that focuses on women in our community. This past summer they had a contest where anyone could write in about a woman they considered to be a steel Magnolia.My daughter's caregiver, Patsy Beck, wrote a beautiful summary highlighting me. There were 10 ladies chosen and I was one of them. We were treated to a ladies night out at the play Steel Magnolias, put on our local theater. It was a ladies night only and there was a packed house nearly 500 ladies. It was so much fun! Then we were all highlighted in the magazine that was published on December 7. Want to thank Patsy for what she wrote and I appreciate everything she does to help keep Niki at home. I have copied the article posted it below and if you want to read more in the magazine here is the link:

(If you click on this link and then click on Debbie Malone you can read the article as well as see the picture they shot of me.)

Debbie is a tireless caregiver and advocate. But she does need some time for herself, and photography has become an outlet for her. She started out taking photos to accompany her freelance articles for Georgia Backroads magazine. She loves to shoot outdoor photography, especially out in nature — whether it’s wildflowers in bloom or flitting butterflies or the scenic beauty around Berry College’s Old Mill.

Debbie Malone has spent her life as a caregiver, first to her mother as a child. Her mother had crippling arthritis and was not able to do housework — the cooking, the laundry, etc. — therefore Debbie was responsible for all this early in life.

She didn’t complain; she just assumed the responsibilities, missing out on so much of her childhood.

It seems this fate would follow her through her life.

As a young woman, Debbie married and started a family. With two beautiful daughters she could now have that life and dreams she had missed out on as a child. Life could be normal.

But fate would not have it. Debbie’s youngest daughter Niki was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 3, and again she found herself putting dreams aside.

For 32 years, Debbie has cared for Niki at home, refusing to put her in a home for the disabled.

Instead, she’s dedicated her life to finding out what’s available for the disabled, getting waivers to go through, etc.

She has searched the laws and fought for the rights of those with special needs. She is an advocate for the disabled and their rights and puts herself out there to be sure all parents are informed of these rights.

If she runs into a snag in the system, she just starts fighting to have it changed.

Debbie Malone is an inspiration to women from all walks of life. She’s a strong, determined lady who has taught me to never give in to circumstance. She is a fighter and is always standing ready to fight for others’ rights as well.

She is just starting to get some help with Niki after 32 years, some much-deserved help.

If anybody deserves to be called a Steel Magnolia, it’s Debbie Malone!

Submitted by Patsy Beck

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Releases!

1. A Bouquet for Iris, byDiane Ashley & Aaron McCarverfrom Barbour Heartsong Presents. Iris Landon travels to Daisy, Tennessee, to care for two Cherokee children and finds romance and danger while aiding one family in the struggle to keep their land.

2. A Lady Like Sarah, Rocky Creek Romance, by Margaret Brownley from Thomas Nelson. He's a preacher. She's an outlaw. Both are in need of a miracle.

3. Angel With a Backhoe, by Deb Kinnard from Desert Breeze Publishing. A small-town widower and a spunky suburban transplant match wits over a church construction project, finding true love can mix with blueprints and concrete footings.

4. Child Finder: Resurrection series: Child Finder Trilogy, 2nd book, by Mike Angley from Total Recall Publications, Inc. Child Finder: Resurrection…the highly-anticipated sequel to the award-winning debut novel, Child Finder, which Library Journal placed on its 2009 Summer Reads list for Christian fiction!

5. Christmas Peril, by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Christmas themed, romantic suspense stories.

6. Cup of Joe, by Teri Wilson from White Rose Publishing. A grieving woman resists the cups of comfort offered by the shy, but handsome, owner of the neighborhood coffee shop.

7. Field of Danger, by Ramona Richards from Love Inspired Suspense. When April Presley can’t remember details of the murder she witnessed, deputy Daniel Rivers must help her recall the event and protect her from the killer determined to silence her.

8. Her Patchwork Family series: The Gabriel Sisters, by Lyn Cote from Love Inspired. In spite of opposition from the rich and influential, can Felicity Gabriel establish a home for children orphaned by the Civil War and heal two wounded hearts?

9. Patterns and Progress series: Michigan historical, book 3, by Amber Stockton from Barbour Publishing. A farmer's daughter would rather turn back the hands of time than accept the fact that advancement in technology could be in God's plan.

10. The Sheriff's Surrender series: #1 of The Ladies' Shooting Club Series, by Susan Page Davis from Barbour Publishing. The men of Fergus aren’t keeping the town safe, so a group of feisty women take matters into their own hands.

11. The Glassblower series: First book in the New Jersey Historical Series, by Laurie Alice Eakes from Barbour Publishing. Colin Grassick moves from Edinburgh, Scotland to Salem county New jersey totake a position as a master glassblower. He loves his work and hopes of bringing his family to America for a better life. But his love for Meg, the daughter of the owner of the glassworks, threatens his job...and then his life.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"The Christmas Jouney"

As I mentioned in my last post I want to spend some time reviewing Christmas books. After all, Christmas will be here before we know it. The first books is "The Christmas Journey" by Winnie Griggs. This is a book that I won on another blog. I really enjoy reviewing these books and helping out the author. They give these books to be used in contests for blogs and i like to give them all the exposure I can. Now here goes:

"The Christmas Journey"
Philadelphia lawyer Ryland Lassiter is everything Josephine Wylie wants - for a brother-in-law! As the sole supporter of her family, Josie's plans for herself have always had to wait. But Ryland will be ideal as the new had of the Wylie clan...once he finally realizes how perfect his is for Josie's sister.

Ry knows it's time to settle down. The newly appointed guardian to a friends daughter, he's ready for a home and family. All he needs is a bride... and Josie's sister is not the Wylie who has caught his eye. If only Josie would see the truth-- that the only Christmas present he needs is her love.

About the author:
Winnie Griggs is a city girl born and raised in southeast Louisiana's Cajun Country who grew to marry a country boy from the hills of North West Louisiana. Though her Prince charming is more comfortable riding a tractor than a white steed, the two of them have been living their own happily ever after for 30+ years. During that time they raised four children and an assortment of dogs,cats, fish, hamsters, turtles and 4H sheep.

In addition to her job at a utility company in her writing career, Winne serves on committees within her church in several writing organizations, and is active in local civic organizations -- she truly believes the ad each day you reap in proportion to what you sow.

In addition to writing and reading, Winnie enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and exploring flea markets. Readers can contact Winnie at P.O. Box 398, Plain Dealing, LA 71064, or e-mail her at:

My Take:
From the very start this little book packs a wallop. There is adventure from the very first page to the last page. It is set in Knotty Pine, Texas during 1892. The only thing is that I would've liked to have seen a little more about Christmas in the book. However, towards the end of the book Christmas is focused on quite a bit. There are several humorous parts that will keep you laughing out loud. I would recommend this book as a Christmas read for yourself or for someone as a gift. Stop over at Winnie's website and check this book as well as her others. The link is:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Reviews!

It has been a few days since I've posted. During the past few weeks I have read several books that I would like to give a review on. All of these books are Christian fiction and I can say that you would not go wrong with any of these books. They are in different genres but they were all enjoyable! I will review them in the order that I read them. The first one is:

Word Gets Around by Lisa Wingate

Lauren Eldridge we all should wiped the dust of Daily, Texas off her boots forever. Screenwriter Nate Heath thought he was out at second chances.

Life is never that predictable, though.

Cajoled by her father, Lara and is back in town helping train a skittish racehorse set to star in a Hollywood film. But the handsome screenwriter gives her more trouble than the horse. And Nate is realizing there's a spark of magic in the project - and in the eyes of the girl who is so good with horses.

Daily, Texas, has a way of offering hope, healing, and a little romance just when folks need it most.

LISA WINGATE is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books including Tending Roses, Drenched In Light, and A Thousand Voices. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.

My Take: This was a cute book. It is told from the two main characters POV. Lauren Eldredge has moved away from her hometown of Daily, Texas. Lauren has ghosts that haunt her and they live in her hometown of Daily. She doesn't want to go back home and have to face these ghosts, but her father has called and asked her to come home. He has put some money into the backing of a movie to be shot in Daily. He needs Lauren's help to train the horse who is to star in the movie. Reluctantly, she does return to help her father in the process she faces the past which will lead to a new future.

The male character is Nathaniel Heath who has been blind sighted into working on the script. His good friend and the movie star who has started the project expects him to rewrite the script in a couple of weeks. He doesn't think that will work, but he doesn't want to tell the people of the community who have put time, effort and money behind the project. As he struggles with what to do he becomes interested in Lauren. Nate has secrets of his own which he will deal with while he is working on a script. Nate will also find peace in this project.

There are interesting bunch of characters that make up the community of Daily, and provide a lot of fun and adventure during the book. Please take a few minutes to go over to Lisa's website at: I don't think you'll be sorry!

The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy. Still in mourning, she cuts herself off from any hope of happiness. A gifted carver holds the answer to both her past and the future in his hands-- but can Beth move beyond yesterday and embrace a second chance at love?

Cindy Woodsmall: is the author of When the Heart Cries, and the New York Times bestseller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish Families. A mother of three sons and two daughters in law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of more than 30 years.

My Take: This is a small hardback book. I wasn't sure how I would like reading a book about the Amish. I am so glad that I took the chance to go ahead and read this book. It is one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. This isn't about religion it is about the human spirit to heal after it has gone through a tragedy. Two young people, one with physical scars and one with emotional scars, come together (with a little help from Beth's aunt) and find healing and peace for their wounds. I encourage you to go to Cindy's website at: and check out all of her books. This is a Christmas story and the perfect time to read to help get you in the Christmas spirit. This would also be a wonderful gift for yourself or a friend. By the way, I was privileged to meet Cindy at a writers meeting not too long ago. I feel blessed to have met her.

The Big 5-0h! by Sandra D. Bricker
Olivia Wallace can't remember a birthday that wasn't marked by illness, tragedy, or both. As she approaches the big 5-0, she's determined to change her streak of bad luck. With the help of her best friend, Liv escapes a snowy Ohio winter and runs away to the Florida sunshine.

Amidst a crazy cast of characters that include a dog with a lampshade collar, a rogue alligator, and a flirtatious octogenarian, God surprises her with the best birthday gift of all -- a second chance at love.

Sandra D. Bricker: For more than a decade, Sandra lived in Los Angeles and, while writing in every spare moment, worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of the daytime television's hottest stars. Since then she has written three novels for middle-grade readers and several romance novels, including unWANTED Husband,Change of Heart, Sins of the Past, Wish I Weren't Here, and Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas. Sandra lives in Tampa, Florida.

My Take: Several days ago I wrote a review of Sandra's book Love Finds You in Holiday Florida. It was the first time I had read any of Sandra's books. I had been asked by Sandra to read her book and give a review of it. I read the book and gave it a rave review. Anyone who is middle-aged can relate to the characters in this book. Now I want to rave again about a brand-new book that I believe will be out in March. This book was sooooo funny! The cast of characters will keep you laughing to the very end. Once again, if you are middle aged you will relate beautifully to the characters. Olivia runs away to Florida to escape the winter in Ohio and to find her new self. Once there she can't decide what to do about coming back - it wasn't suppose to be this hard. Of course there are some very handsome men that make her acquaintance which make it doubly hard to go back to Ohio. Sandra definitely gets a thumb up for her new book The Big 5-0h! Visit her website at: and check out all of her books, including inspirational books!

It is very late and my eyes are getting blurry. I hope I haven't made too many mistakes, but if I did please forgive me. The next time I review books they will be Christmas books. I've have several to read and this is the perfect time to get in the Christmas mood. Thank you for reading and following my blog!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Christmas Giveaway at Colletta's Kitchen Sink

Here is a new Christmas Giveaway over at Colletta's Kitchen Sink. Go over and check it out at:

Christmas Book Giveaway #3

This week I'll be giving away 2 Christmas books.

Forever Christmas by Christine Lynxwiler

Christmas Dreams by Rebecca Germany, Mary Hawkins, Veda Boyd Jones and Melanie Panagiotopoulos

To enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas cookie (1 entry)

2. Be a follower and mention it in your comment (1 entry)

3. Blog about this giveway and let me know that you did (2 entries)

That makes a total of 4 entries possible for these drawings.
The drawings will be held on Tuesday, December 2 @ 12pm.
I can't wait to hear about those yummy cookies!

Kreative Blog Award!

I am once again proud to announce that I've been chosen for the Kreative Blog Award. I want to thank Edwina over at Musings of Edwina. Stop by and check out her blog at:

I hope to pass this on to some other bloggers in the next few days! Thank you Edwina!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Lee Smith's Book Blog Giveaway!


Christmas Giveaway

I love Christmas. It is getting to be about that time and in the true spirit of the season, I wanted to give away not just one book, but a couple books. In that spirit, I will give you all a little while to share the word and gather up names before I announce a winner, but not too long, because Christmas isn't too far away. :o) These are the books I am giving away

  1. Saturdays with Stella by Allison Pittman ~ This book is subtitled How my Dog Taught me to Sit, Stay, and Come When God Calls. This isn't a novel - but more of a quirky, inspirational book. I think it sounds like such a neat book, especially for animal lovers.
  2. A Leap of Faith by Lenora Worth ~ Big City gal Autumn Clancy comes home to take the reins of her Dad's company only to find someone else already doing that job. A very annoying and yet handsome someone. Campbell Dupree tries to charm her, but doesn't really know if God will deem him worthy enough to win her heart...
  3. A Texas Legacy Christmas by DiAnn Mills ~ Zack Kahler is going home to Texas when he becomes the victim of one of twin orphaned pickpockets. He decides to take them with him, but can he manage them and the paper, plus recover from his broken heart? Chloe Weaver has always been the outcast. Only Zack ever treated her with any compassion. Now he's back and boarding at the house where she works. Can she hope to capture his heart or is it safer to look for romance with someone else? Maybe they all need a Christmas miracle.
  4. A Carol for Christmas by Robin Lee Hatcher (hardcover) ~ What would you give up for love? Carol sacrifices her dream to sing. But was it worth it now that her marriage is crumbling?
None of these books have been read, they are all brand new, but one has a tiny bit of white on the cover where it looks like it was rubbed during shipping or on the shelf and very corners of two of the books are slightly bent from when they shipped to me - and it moved around in the box. You can see the tiny white line in the pic, and you can see all the books bottom corners - so you know they aren't in bad shape. I really hope you'll enjoy them.

So, there you go. If you want to enter, please leave a valid email address, but disguise it so the spammers don't bug you. If you become a follower, you get two entries, my existing followers get three, and extra one if you share about the contest on your blog and link back to me. Tell me all of this in your entry. I will announce the winners on the 30th of November.

I also want to let you all know about my friend Lori's giveaway. Hers is truly unique. You get to pick which book you want! You can read all about it on her blog,
Some of My Favorite Things.

Let Your Garden Grow

I want to tell you about a book that I recently read called "Guarded Secrets" written by Leann Harris. This is a Love Inspired Suspense put out by Steeple Hill publishing company. I would like to start by reading the back cover.

At the time, Lilly Burkstrom brushed aside her ex husband's words. Then he dies -- "accidentally" -- in a convenience store robbery, and she starts to wonder. Turning to the police doesn't help. They don't see the binder closing in on her, not even when someone breaks into her house and her ex-husband's apartment. Only Detective Jonathan Littledeer understands her fears, having lost his own family. He is determined to keep the single mom safe. He's not going to let another "accident" claim Lilly or her daughter before he can bring the killers guarded secrets to light.

I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it highly. Lily who is a single mother has been working at her church for the past several years. The new Minister had decided to try to get the community involved, so he chose growing a community garden as the project. One of Lilly's jobs was to organize the harvesting of the garden and the delivery of the vegetables to those in the neighborhood that needed them. This brought the community closer together and was one of her pride and joys. She loved working in the garden and seeing others enjoy it also.

It was not but a few days after I finished reading the book and was sitting in the doctors office reading a People Magazine when I came across an article about a young lady, 11 years old, who started a project very similar to this. I was so excited to stumble across this article and see the relationship of how this could really work in reality. I am going to attach the article. I hope you enjoy the article and it prompts you to check into the book. You can go to Leann's website at .

· October 26, 2009

· Vol. 72

· No. 17

A Young Gardener Feeds the Poor

By Diane Herbst/Summerville

· Summerville, S.C.

Last year Katie Stagliano planted a cabbage seedling in her family's backyard. After it grew to an astonishing 40 lbs., Katie donated it to a homeless shelter. Two days later she returned to help serve some of the 275 meals (rounded out by ham and rice) made with her massive crucifer. "I've never felt so good in my life," says Katie, now a fifth grader. "I thought, 'Wow, with one cabbage I helped feed that many people? I could do much more.'"

So she started other gardens—in her subdivision, on donated land outside of town and on a field at her school. She then enlisted volunteers, from gardeners to her classmates, and a plant company donated seedlings. This year Katie and her crew have supplied soup kitchens with over 1,000 lbs. of squash, okra, cabbage and other crops. With the fall harvest, she'll add another 4,000 lbs. "We are amazed, thrilled," says Charlotte Carroll, 57, executive director of Palmetto House, a homeless shelter that gets twice-weekly deliveries from Katie. "It's easy to have a canned food drive, but it's unique a child would grow her own vegetables." Says Elois Mackey, 48, who lives at Palmetto with her two kids: "She shows that children can play a big part in helping people. The vegetables she brought were delicious."


Sunday, November 22, 2009

I want to thank Cathy Bryant over at Word Vessel Blog at
Cathy has been gracious enough to give me the honor of winning another blog award! Go on over and check out her blog. It is really something to see!

award on t

Whoever wins this award is asked to tell 10 honest things about themselves and then pass it on to 10 other bloggers. I'm not sure I can pass it on to 10, but I'll do as many as I can. OK - here goes my 10 things:

1. I am over 50 and under 60 years of age. That should give you a ballpark range.

2. I have short hair with a mind of its own.

3. I won a Steel Magnolia award in our community and along with 9 other steel magnolias we will be featured in a community magazine highlighting women.

4. This is the first time I've tried my hand a creating a blog. Not bad for a beginner?

5. I have fibromyalgia which limits my physical abilities.

6. I love to watch Nancy Grace.

7. I love to read - guess you already knew that one!

8. I have two beautiful grown daughters.

9. I live in the country.

10. My favorite genre is cozy mysteries.


Monday, November 16, 2009

"Love Finds You in Holiday Florida"

Let me tell you about a book I have recently read called "Love Finds You In Holiday Florida" written by Sandra Bricker. This book is like a breath of fresh air and it takes place in a small town in Florida during the Christmas holidays. Who would not want to be taken away from the cold, dreary days of winter to a place that is warm and full of fun? This is the adventure that you will go on when you pick up this book and read it. It was a fun book and I believe you will not be disappointed when you have finished your adventure.

First, let me tell you a little bit about Sandra. Sandra is the author of 11 novels and co-author of two devotionals. The southern California native was an entertainment publicist for 15 years and now works as an editor in Tampa, Florida where she lives with Sophie, her collie mix. You can read more about Sandra at

And let me read you a little of what is written on back of the book. Cassie Constantine has no plans to stay in Florida. She's just here long enough to sell a vacation house she shared with her late husband, and then she'll hightail it back to her gracious Boston brownstone. But then Cassie gets more than she bargained for with house renovations and wacky neighbors. Then there's Richard Dillon, the stuffed shirt she's paired with on the dance floor, who seems involved in a mystery... and makes her heart beat faster than the rhythm of the quick step. But the biggest surprise of all? The has-it-all-together Cassie finds herself in the midst of a personal overhaul. Will she let loose long enough to find new love in Holiday?

Cassie is in her 50s and it was easy for me to relate to her and some of the other characters in this book. She's going through a lot of changes in her life and doesn't know quite what to do with them. She meets this handsome man that she falls for but hears rumors that he is behind a scheme to buy up all the houses in the neighborhood and build a golf course. Of course, this lends fodder for some conflicts between Cassie and this new man that has her thinking she might want to live in Florida after all. The cast of senior characters are very funny and will keep you laughing at their antics!

If your ready for a break from the winter doldrums then this is the book to read. What a great gift for a friend or maybe even for yourself!


What Is An Influencer?

Let me take this opportunity to explain to you what an "influencer" is in the world of Christian fiction and books in general. And influencer is someone who reads a new book that is coming out by a particular author with the hope that the influencer will enjoy the book and give it a good review on several different venues to further the promotion of the book.

There are several ways to obtain a book. The author may ask for people who would like to do this for their new book and if so they will send you a free book for them to read and promote. Another way to obtain books is by winning them in a contest on book blogs, and these books are not necessarily expected to be promoted in any way. However, if the book is good I like to promote the book. If you have a blog and you can possibly qualify to get books directly from the publishers before they come out for the purpose of reading and reviewing them. I have not done this myself - but I would be willing to do so in the future.

A few weeks ago there was a lot of talk on the blogs about a new law saying you had to disclose that the books you reviewed were given to you for the sole purpose of reading, reviewing and promoting their book. Since that time I have heard that this does not apply to book blogs were books are reviewed. However, I've seen on several blogs a notice stating this fact. I have one myself at the bottom of my blog.

One reason you will probably never see a bad review on my blog is that if I do not like the book or think it is not well written I will not review it. There is no need to criticize another's work. There have been very few books that I have not enjoyed, but sometimes if you read a book from a different genre than you are used to reading you may give it a bad review simply because it is different and for this reason I would not want to dissuade a person from reading that book.

I have been reading since I was old enough to hold a book and read by myself. I love to read and of course I love to write and I am in the process of writing a cozy mystery in Christian fiction. I have a lot of work to do on the book so in the meantime I want to promote other authors in the Christian fiction world. It is hard for me to believe that after reading all these years I did not know about Christian fiction until I stumbled on it maybe six months ago. I knew right away this is how I wanted to rewrite my manuscript. I have been so excited about discovering Christian fiction that I have devoured as many books as I could. I want you and others to enjoy what I have enjoyed and help others discover Christian fiction. If I did not know it was available with all that I read I feel sure there are many others who are not aware of it. It is my goal to help make them aware. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the books I have read and some day pick up one of those books for yourself. As always, HAPPY READING!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award!

Thank you so much Lee Smith at Butterfly Blessings Blogspot for giving me this beautiful award. It is my first award! Here is Lee's link We are supposed to give the award to 15 other blogs who are just beginning. Like Lee I don't know if I can give out that many, but I will try my best. I will list the ones I pick!

Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award": Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Great Give A Way!

Go on over to Vera's Luxury Reading Blog and check out her contest. I've copied her review on the book.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: "White Picket Fences" by Susan Meissner

Reviewed by Amanda S.

In White Picket Fences, Neil and Amanda Janvier feel obligated to take in the daughter of Amanda’s estranged brother. Tally was staying with her grandmother when she passed away suddenly, and Tally finds herself with nowhere to go since her dad is out of the country and hasn’t contacted her. What will it be like living with her Aunt Amanda? Will they force her to tell why her dad went to Europe, a secret she promised to keep?

Do I want to know the truth of what happened all those years ago? If I find out the truth, how will it change me?These are the questions that Chase Janvier is asking himself regarding an incident that happened when he was four years old. Not knowing what to do, Chase keeps his secret to himself. That is, until Tally shows up at their house. Tally can tell that something isn’t right about Chase after they start working together on a Holocaust project. They interview two Holocaust survivors in a nearby nursing home and Tally notices Chase reacting oddly to certain parts of the story they are being told.

Amanda also begins to notice some pretty dramatic changes in Chase that cause her to wonder if he really does remember what happened all those years ago. But if he remembered, he would tell them, wouldn’t he? Should she ask him about it? What kind of damage would she do if she brings it up and he really doesn’t remember? Clearly, though, something is wrong and Amanda just doesn’t know what to do or which direction to turn.

Will they all be able to handle the truth when all the secrets are revealed?

As always, Susan Meissner does a wonderful job weaving a tale of deception, secrets, and twisted paths. The characters in this story have a serious problem with trust…trust in each other and trust in God, which unnerved me throughout the story. When I first picked up this book, I was intrigued by the cover: a white picket fence with a cobweb near the top. It’s so easy for people to look like they have it all-together on the outside with their pretty houses and white picket fences. But on the inside, all families have secrets and cobwebs hiding from the real world.

I always enjoy reading books my Meissner, and
White Picket Fences was no different. Her books always challenge a person to really take a hard look at themselves, deep inside, to discover their true character. She caused me to ask myself how I would handle the truth if some long-ago family secret was revealed to me? Would I let it weigh me down or would I allow it to cause me to grow as a person?

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband and two boys. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women's Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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