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: