Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review


No book giveaway this week. BUT when you leave a comment on THIS post about the eBook I review below by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, July 1, 2012 you'll get an extra entry on the next book giveaway.(You can read details about my book giveaways here.)


Judy Martin-Urban/Jude Urbanski is a multi-published author writing women's fiction with inspirational romance elements. She also writes nonfiction. Her Southern heritage often shows up in her novels as does her nurse practitioner background. Her strong heroes and heroines spin tragedy into triumph with God's help.






From Amazon summary of the book:
Nurtured in Purple, Book Two in The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing, continues the now-married love story of Seth Orbin and Kate Davidson of Joy Restored, Book One, but nemesis' Willard Wittenberg and Elizabeth Koger come center stage still pursuing personal vendettas against Seth and Kate.

Seth again faces potential loss of wife and child with Kate's life-threatening pregnancy complication, while Willard maneuvers to ruin Seth's business. Willard and Elizabeth, once lovers, engage and marry, but her flame for Seth has never died. Married life proves ragged.

Late-blooming love comes to Ninville Cornelius and Margie Craig and new characters of Ruby Moody, alcoholic wife of a deceased Vietnam vet, and her small son Bobo are introduced.

Can Seth and Kate, modeling God's grace and forgiveness, bring hope and light to Willard and Elizabeth and Ruby and Bobo, all so needy of God's redeeming love?


From Jo:
Nurtured in Purple is a sweet love story but also deals with devious and envious characters. I love that all the characters are mature in their relationships. One couple, however, deals with a lack of a strong faith in God. Seth is willing to forgive past negative treatment from the husband in that couple. Seth's strong belief is an important element to others' understanding forgiveness. Memorable characters.

If I had read Book #1 before reading Book #2 I would have better and more quickly understood the relationships among the characters.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, July 1, 2012 and you'll get an extra entry in the next book giveaway I have. Please, please remember to leave your email address.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Four Seasons?

In my neck of the woods the temperatures are closing in on 100 degrees. And this is the earliest, by two weeks, in hurricane season that we've had 4 named tropical storms. The current one is skirting the Gulf coast with some projecting its path as far west as Texas and Mexico while others have it racing toward central Florida.


I have this debate with myself every summer: Would I rather have winter or summer all year around? Of course, I rationalize the situation. In winter I can wear layers of clothing and remove some if the day warms. In the summer I begin the day with only one layer of clothes so there are no layers to remove to cool down.


My ideal weather would be about 75 degrees year round. Yes, I could do without seasons. After all, I can read about seasons in books and be satisfied. I enjoy going to the beach in early May and again after Labor Day in September and early October. I can enjoy the ocean view, hear the calm waves lap onto the sand, and bask in the temperate climate. I can also get fresh seafood of one kind or another whenever I go.


I've lived as far north as Kentucky and also in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. So I've had all of the cold weather and snow that I ever want to see again. I know, I know, you may live where the thermometer never reads above freezing in the winter and I truly hope you enjoy it. I lived a year in a place like that, atop a mountain. We used the air conditioning one time the whole summer. The people there were precious but I didn't enjoy the cold weather. I wouldn't want those cold days again.


Having lived in the South as long as I have now, I'm not sure my blood could adjust to colder temperatures anymore. Is that possible? In my mind it is.


What would be your ideal weather? And where would you like to be to enjoy it?


The winner of last Thursday's blog post for a copy of Love in Disguise by Carol Cox is Rachelle. I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Win a Book!

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 24, 2012 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book I review below. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where  prohibited. (You can read details about my book giveaways here.)


Love in Disguise by Carol Cox


Author of nearly 30 novels and novellas, Carol Cox has an abiding love for history and romance, especially when it's set in her native Southwest. As a third-generation Arizonan, she takes a keen interest in the Old West and hopes to make it live again in the hearts of her readers. A pastor's wife, Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where the deer and the antelope really do play--within view of the family's front porch. You can visit her at her website.


From the book's back cover:
Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a  middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.


Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can't figure out who's stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow...or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.


Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he's falling in love with doesn't really exist?


Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can't-put-down read.


From Jo:
Cox does a fantastic job with her invention of two non-existent characters, Lavinia and her niece, Jessie. She gives Ellie Moore a great juggling act to convince the town's people of the existence of the two but yet always seems genuine in her reasons why the two characters never appear together. Cox gives the reader memorable characters and a strong plot--a gray-haired widow is a Pinkerton detective and her "niece" visits from back East. There's enough humor thrown in to give you a few chuckles.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 24, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of Love in Disguise. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. Please, please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address. Winner will be announced in Monday's blog.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Working at Home is Not Working?

Monday Musings on This 'N That 


When I grew up in the South, every Monday was wash day. If it took the entire day, all the dirty clothes had to be washed on Monday. Oh, and those without a clothes dryer had to carry those heavy, wet clothes outside to the clothesline and pin them up to dry. And, of course, later in the day those clothes on the line had to be brought inside. So, yes, it was an all-day affair every Monday.


Friday was grocery-shopping day. Thinking back, I suppose getting groceries on Friday coincided with people receiving weekly paychecks. So as soon as the checks were cashed, off the lady of the house went to get groceries.




I'm sure a day was set aside for ironing the clean clothes. Mother taught me how to iron by beginning with handkerchiefs and then promoted me to pillow cases. Now, not many people, men or women, carry handkerchiefs but use paper tissues (I won't mention a brand name because I'm afraid the trademark police will knock on my door).


That leaves two other week days, which I'm certain were spent on the house, waxing the hardwood floors, cleaning windows, changing bed linens, dusting furniture (I hate to do this!), and other such chores. I remember once we moved to a house, which did not have a dishwasher. When Mother asked Daddy to get her a dishwasher, he replied that she had one, pointing to me. That disappointed both Mother and me.


Saturday was when Daddy caught up on his outside chores. Sunday was our Sabbath and unless the biblical ox was in the ditch no one did work on Sunday. Of course Mother cooked our midday meal before we went to church. The rest of the day was family time or time with visitors ("company" we called them) who might drop by.


Most of this week-day stuff happened while I was in school. Once school vacation time came, I learned quickly what had been going on and was swiftly drafted into helping Mother. Where ever you grew up, was your family's routine similar to this? How do you look upon work now?


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,
not for men." --Colossians 3:23, NIV



The winner of last Thursday's blog post for a copy of Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes is harness.... I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Win a Book!

Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 17, 2012 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book I review below. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where  prohibited. (You can read details about my book giveaways here.)

Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes

The role of midwives in history began to fascinate Laurie Alice Eakes in graduate school,  and she knew that someday she wanted to write novels with midwife heroines. Ten years later, after several published novels and a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, the midwives idea returned, and Lady in the Mist  was born. Now Laurie Alice writes full time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.





From the book's back cover:

By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets. Dominick Cherrrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, why he, a British aristocrat, is on American soil working as an indentured servant.

In a time when relations between America and England rest of the edge of a knife, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths, leading them on a journey of intrigue, threats, public disgrace, and...love. But can Tabitha trust Dominick? Finding true love seems impossible in a world set against them.

With stirring writing that draws you directly into the story. Lady in the Mist takes you on the thrilling ride of love's discovery.

From Jo:

Laurie Alice Eakes is a great storyteller. She places trouble after trouble in Tabitha's path to be allowed to follow the occupation  of her mother and grandmother. She has heard secrets from mothers-to-be in the pain of delivering a child. Tabitha has never revealed those secrets. She could use some of these secrets to shame men sitting on the town council that reviews her case for continuing to be a midwife. Will she do that or risk being run out of town?. Then there's Dominick and a former beau that has re-entered her life that she must consider for her future.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 17, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of Lady in the Mist. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. Please, please remember to leave your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.



Monday, June 11, 2012

May I introduce......

Monday Musings on This 'N That

I'd like to let you know about someone I've never met. I've talked with her by email and phone. In ALL the pictures I see of her she is SMILING. All of them. So  for the purposes of this post I'll call her Smiley.

Everything Smiley writes that I've seen is uplifting. By her writing and her thoughts online she inspires me. Period. Inspires me to try to be happy all the time as she appears to be. Inspires me to appreciate Smiley as a colleague, mentor, and helper. I've known Smiley for almost a year and it seems nothing gets her down. If she doesn't know something or something isn't working, she stays with it until she works it out.

I hope someday our paths will cross because I love to be around positive thinking people. I believe Smiley is one. Oh, our interests may not be identical but I believe within our souls we both have a love for the Lord. And that steers what we write.

I believe we could sit down with a cup of coffee and our conversation would roll as if we'd been friends since kindergarten. We would be like BFFs perhaps. As I mentioned earlier, Smiley's an inspiration and I feel blessed to have found her. Someday at a writers' conference we'll look up and wow, we'll finally meet in person.

Well, I've just given you a hint of who I'm writing about--yes she is a writer as I am. No, I'm not going to tell you her real name or give you any more hints about Smiley's identification.

I just wanted to write this blog post as a tribute to someone I'm so glad God has put in my life. I just wanted to share. You may know her. If you think you do, please leave a comment to tell us her name. Maybe later I'll disclose who Smiley is...maybe.


The winner of last Thursday's blog post for a copy of Race Against Time by Christy Barritt is eyeballlucy. I'll email you to get your mailing address and get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Win a Book!

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 10, 2012 you'll be entered in the drawing for a SIGNED copy of the book I review below. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. address, void where prohibited. (You can read further details about book giveaways here.)


Race Against Time  by Christy Barritt


When Christy's not working on books, she writes articles for various publications. She's also a weekly feature writer for the Virginia-Pilot newspaper, the worship leader at her church and a frequent speaker at various writers groups,women's luncheons and church events.

She lives close to the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean with her husband and two sons, two dogs and a houseplant named Martha. Visit her at her website, www.christybarritt.com.




From the book's back cover:
Were it not for her cop neighbor, widowed mother Madison Jacobs would be dead. Thankfully, Detective Brody Phillips interrupts an attempt on her life in the nick of time. But the would-be killer hasn't given up, and each tick of the clock brings the madman closer to finishing what he started. Brody vows to catch the serial killer plaguing the sleepy Virginia town...especially when he realizes the danger has followed him from the big city. With everyone around him at risk, it'll take everything Brody's got to do his duty and keep Madison and her son safe.

From Jo:
Madison Jacobs,  a widowed mother of a son lives in a sleepy little Virginia town where everyone trusts everyone else. When a new neighbor moves in next door, she takes the proverbial casserole along with her welcome to him. He seems aloof and not interested in small talk. That's a big enough hint for Madison. Unknown to Madison, her neighbor Brody Phillips has left New York City and is now a sheriff's deputy in her town. But their boy-meets-girl first encounter grows into something meaningful between them. When an attempt is made on Madison's life, Brody thwarts it. Christy Barritt leaves clues along the way as did Hansel and Gretel, but the reader probably won't know for sure till the last few pages who the predator is and why.


Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, June 10, 2012 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a SIGNED copy of Race Against Time. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. address, void where prohibited. Please, please remember to leave you email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you for your mailing address.


Till  next time ... keep on smiling.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Trying to Sleep

Monday Musings on This 'N That


I'm getting over a small health thing. I've had to have lots of best rest. I can hear you saying, "Oh, I wish that somebody would tell me to stay in bed all day." Well, no, you don't wish that if you know pain goes with it.

Anyway, last Saturday morning when even the not-sick folks like to sleep in, noise awoke me way before I intended to awake. The noise was lawn caring equipment. How can something like that happen? Does nobody give a thought of others around them? No compassion at all?

I can understand those getting their yard work done early on Saturday. But this was not early. It was early-early. You may say, "You surely already knew how inconsiderate some people have become." Well, I've heard other people complain about a lot of things except loud machinery on a Saturday morning.

There's a lot more wrong around us than having to wake up earlier than planned. I would have to agree with that. But, please look around you. Some people still open doors for you to enter or exit stores. Some people still allow you to enter ahead of them into backed up traffic. Some people will allow you and your handful of items to go in front of them and their full buggy at the grocery store.

Most folks grow impatient quickly when they have to stand in line for anything. We live in a college town. One characteristic of a college town is that the college kids don't mind at all standing in line for anything. That's what they do. They have to stand in line for lots of things almost every day on the campus.

So maybe we can learn to be patient by watching the example of college kids. Yes, you may think some of their behavior is unpleasant. But, bless their hearts, most of them are away from Momma and Daddy to watch after them 24/7 and they're trying out their wings. All we can do about that is to pray for them daily. If you don't have any college kids to watch and learn from, take it from me: they can help you have a more patient and unhurried lifestyle.

But loud noises that grab you out of a sweet sleep EARLY in the morning, that's something else! That requires a ton of patience. I'm working on it.


Till next time ... keep on smiling.