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Friday, August 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: FLABBERGASTED BY RAY BLACKSTON

From the moment I started this book by Ray Blackston I couldn’t put it down. I can’t attribute it to one particular thing but to a gift of combined talents that hooked me. These include his superb writing, keen observations, ability for humor, and a unique story telling style, all from a single man’s perspective.


The main character, Jay, an investment broker is single, new in town, and has recently broken up with his girlfriend.  Though he’s not necessarily a spiritually-minded person, Jay randomly chooses a Presbyterian church to attend. He acted on the advice of his real estate agent. According to her, churches are the best place to meet other singles. When the single’s group goes on a beach trip, Jay is captivated by Ali, a tan girl who marches to her own drummer and who just happens to be a short-term missionary on furlough from serving in Ecuador.  I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed a book with such a great combination of sensitivity and wit. Is it a romance, chick lit, or guy lit?  Is there such a thing?  You be the judge. I give this five out of five stars. And there’s good news. This is book one in a series of three.

Here's the amazon.com link.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel

When Grace Runyan experiences the loss of her husband, she moves to escape her pain and her past. She rents a home in a small Michigan town next door to a seriously  ill man with a young son. Grace’s personal tragedy and hurts run deep. The  more we get to know her, the more secrets we learn about her. As she begins to care for the little boy, and finds herself also attracted to his father, she is filled with turmoil, afraid to change giving her heart to yet another person she may lose.

Lickel slowly reveals more about Grace as the story unfolds. She’s a physician’s assistant with an extra something, a gift of healing which is both a blessing and curse. The fact that she wasn’t able to heal her husband or prevent her son and parents from dying haunts her and she blames herself.  An interesting and tender story on several levels. Those who have experienced deep loss may find themselves identifying with Grace who has been through so much.  I give this four out of five stars.

Here's the amazon.com link.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Giveaway: Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship

Here's your chance to win a print or electronic copy of my book, Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship

Here's a bit more about the book.

Mothers and daughters. In perhaps no other relationship are our hopes so high, and the dysfunction so disappointing. You feel locked into a hurtful relationship that you must deal with, and it's wearing you down. But Jesus knew the brokenness we would face in the world, even in close places such as family relationships, and still He promised the Counselor would come alongside us. As a daughter who has struggled to maintain a healthy relationship with her mother, author Teena Stewart will help you name your hurts, face the barriers that stand in the way of a healthy relationship, and forgive even the unforgivable. Learn how to cultivate a friendship, communicate more effectively, and become the change you want to see. There is hope for restoration and renewal.

Available through Amazon.com

To enter, leave a comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL  as to why you would like to win the book.  Print copies are only available for those in the U. S.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: The Heart of Thornton Creek by Bonnie Leon

I expected yet another romance lacking originality but Leon took this Christian historical  in another direction. When independent-minded Rebecca Williams is left without any prospects or means to support herself after her father dies, she has few prospects. Despite the fact that she doesn’t love him, she agrees to marry a young Australian, Daniel Thornton.

The Bostonian tries to mentally prepare herself for life in Australia but the reality of the stark landscape and culture broadside her. The Thornton’s are renown in the area and have vast holdings. Rebecca soon realizes the influence of her father-in-law, a professing Christian has. He enjoys a tyrannical rule in the local church and over  his family. Her independent nature and self-righteous father-in-law’s determination to rule over her, his family and anyone in his sphere puts them on a collision course. Leon creates even more conflict with an ex-girlfriend who still has designs on Daniel.


Leon creates good tension among the characters and in Rebecca’s marriage. I didn’t feel the Australian accents felt authentic though I can’t precisely say why. Despite that, It’s a good story that shows the extreme difference between following the letter of the biblical law to the letter and living by grace. I give it four out of five stars.

Here's the link on Amazon.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Giveaway: Falling Like a Rock, Bonnie McCune

Announcing a book launch and giveaway of Bonnie McCune’s new book Fallilng Like a Rock. A woman gambles all, including her life, when she’s “falling like a rock.”

I'm giving away one digital copy of her book. To enter, just leave a comment with your email in the comments section below stating why you would love to own a copy. Here's more about the book and author.


 BOOK DESCRIPTION

Falling Like a Rock, a heartfelt romance, features unloved and unemployed Elaine Svoboda, after she’s sacked, then flees across country to her boyfriend who drops her flat. Teetering on the abyss of disaster, she calls an old friend who invites her to a tiny mountain town with fresh prospects. There she meets rugged, hunky Joe Richter-Leon, mayor of Falling Rock. Believing she needs to be perfect, she must overcome a few obstacles like a broken ankle, an eating disturbance, his stubbornness, and her own fears before she and Joe can build a new life on the ashes of the old. She’s smothering her hopes when a battle with a forest inferno illuminates their true feelings and desire.  Funny and frank, poignant and perceptive, when two people are “Falling Like a Rock,” they learn surrender sometimes means victory. Readers who like their romances rooted in real characters struggling with authentic life situations will enjoy this book.  



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bonnie McCune lives in Colorado and is the author of novels, novellas and short stories. A writer since the fifth grade, her interest in the craft led to her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. Simultaneously, she published news and features as a free-lancer. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes that one person can make a difference in this world. Bonnie’s writing explores the highs and lows of everyday people and their unique lives with humor, close attention, and appreciation.  Her blog addresses "ordinary people, extraordinary lives" and also features samples of shorter works. 



Visit  http://bonniemccune.com/ to connect with her.

Blog : BonnieMcCune.com
twitter.com/bonniemccune

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: The Marriage List by Dorothy McFalls

Viscount Evers was seriously injured the Battle of Salamanca and nearly lost his life. Now he can no longer ride and can scarcely walk and the emotional scars go deep. He is under pressure to marry to produce an heir so he makes a marriage list of qualities in women who might qualify and none of it includes love.


The moment he meets May Sheffers, who is everything contrary to what a refined, aristocratic single woman should be, he is hooked. She’s diminutive but full figured and he compares her to an elfin princess. She’s also in serious trouble. The more Evers tries to stick to his list, the more he is drawn to May. McFalls introduces a sensual element but never really acts on it, so this is a wholesome story, much to my relief. It’s a nice historical romance. The one thing I felt she could have done better was to make the language of the time a bit more authentic. It seemed to waiver.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Here's the amazon link

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: SHOUT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY NICK ROSENER & ERIC LEHNEN

A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?

The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandable and implementable plan for success. The book is broken into three sections. Part I is Building Your Marketing Plan. It includes defining your target audience, setting goals, measuring goals and more  Part II is Tools which explains various social media networks and the differences between them. I especially found this section helpful.  The authors liken each social media network to a different country with its own culture, etc.  Great example. The better you understand that concept, the more success you will have. Part III, Creative, wraps up the book with types of social media actions you might take, as well as building your following and more.


They also provide examples of real businesses who used or learned from some of these marketing techniques.  I will definitely be recommending this book as a resource and will be adding it as a resource link on this website as well as on my art blog, www.serendipitini.com.

Here's the link to the book on amazon.com