Book Quotes

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”― Jane Austen

Sunday, April 29, 2012

To See the Sun by Peggy Blann Phifer ~ FIRST Wild Card Tour & Review

* My purple theme today is especially for Peggy Phifer, who ♥'s purple :)



My Review

For a debut novel, this is one good book! Combining just the right amount of seriousness and tension with some tangible humor, To See the Sun gives you everything you expect in a whodunit, plus a little more.

My attention was secured from the first page on. The opener is a humdinger! Shock is all I can say I felt, and then great sadness. I knew I was going to be spending some late nights with these characters. A young widow expecting a baby, an ex-boyfriend who is still in love, a psycho killer, and some very supportive secondary characters are spectacularly written and just seemed to vault right off the page.

I'm always saying how visual I am and that covers are the first to pique my interest in a book. This entire book was a pleasant experience for me. I love the font that was chosen for the title and chapter headings, the print was easy enough to read without my glasses, and the story leaves me looking forward to the next in this anticipated series!

I was provided a copy by the author for review purposes. A positive review was not required, just my opinion of the book. No monetary compensation was received.



It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:



CreateSpace (January 6, 2012)


***Special thanks to Peggy Blann Phifer for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader and loves to escape between the covers of a good book. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband Jim.
To See the Sun is Peg’s debut novel, released January 2012

Visit her blog, Whispers in Purple.
Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her . . .

Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.

When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband's gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, was predictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger.

With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help . . . and it just might be her undoing.


Product Details:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 356 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace (January 6, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1468121081

ISBN-13: 978-1468121087

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Friday, March 26, late afternoon


What a fantastic day. A bid won. A contract signed. The job of a lifetime that would put Stuart and Macintyre at the top of the construction heap, not just in Las Vegas, but all of southern Nevada.

Whistling, Justin Macintyre pressed the keyless remote of his Cadillac Escalade, tossed his briefcase across the console to the passenger seat and slid behind the wheel.

To top it all off, after seven long years, he and his wife, Erin, were going to have a baby. A baby! He laughed aloud at the overwhelming joy of it.

"Hey, world, I'm going to be a daddy!"

He shifted the SUV into gear and pulled out of the Mt. Charleston Lodge area onto Kyle Canyon Road and headed down the mountain to the Las Vegas Valley below. Despite the successful day, Justin couldn't banish his worry over a recent discovery of some irregularities in the company's finances. Nothing concrete, and his Uncle Sebastian, S&M's CFO, assured him everything was fine. Nevertheless, Justin's uneasiness had prompted him to send what little proof he had to his long-time friend, Clay Buchanan, a private investigator in Texas.

Preoccupied with his thoughts, he vaguely registered the yellow and black blind curve warning sign. Too late he saw the stalled car across the center line. No time to stop! He spun the  wheel to the right.

I'm going too fast! God, help me . . .!

###

Seconds passed and silence settled once more over the mountainside. A shadow emerged from behind a Joshua tree and stepped to the edge of the ravine. After a moment, the form walked to the car in the road and drove away.

###

Erin Macintyre stretched her arms along the balcony's balustrade of her twenty-seventh-floor condo above the streets of Las Vegas. Beyond that, the lower edge of the setting sun kissed the still snowy peaks of the Spring Mountain Range and Mt. Charleston.

Justin would be home soon.

"Erin, where's the zester?"

Erin returned to the kitchen. "In the utility drawer."

"Which is the utility drawer?" Magie Gifford, Erin's dearest friend, pulled out drawer after drawer.

Erin giggled and reached across Magie's arm and slid out the utility drawer.

"You changed it." Magie snatched the zester and bumped the drawer shut with her hip. "That's not where it was last time."

Erin wrapped her arms around her friend and hugged. "No, Mags, I didn't change anything." She waited a beat. "Can I interest you in a memory enhancement program?"

"Very funny." Magie pushed Erin aside and proceeded to rub a lemon across the gadget and then whisked the zest into a frothy mixture of olive oil, Italian herbs, and balsamic vinegar. "Okay, just drizzle this over the salad and stick it in the fridge."

That done, Erin checked on the lasagna in the oven. The garlic toast waited on the foil-lined cookie sheet ready to pop under the broiler. Everything was ready.

Erin glanced at the kitchen clock. "He's late."

"Posh. You should know by now how those meetings can drag on."

"Yeah, I know. It's just—"

"Get over here, Erin. He'll be here when he gets here."

Erin joined her friend in the breakfast nook off the kitchen and adjacent to the balcony. She scooped up a dozing Siamese cat from her chair and sat, settling him back on her lap.

"You spoil that critter." Magie brushed off the chair cushion before sitting.

"Yeah, I do. But you love him, too. I saw you sneaking him some treats earlier." Erin smiled. "Not to mention the romp you had with him in the living room when you got here."

"Busted. But he's so much fun, aren't you, Kazimir?"

At the sound of his name, the cat uncoiled, left Erin's lap and jumped onto Magie's. She snorted. "So much for protecting my black slacks."

"Thanks for coming over to help with this meal. I wanted it to be special and I never know when the nausea will hit." She raised an eyebrow. "But you will leave as soon as Justin gets here."

"You think he'll get that bid?"

Erin tapped her heart and nodded. "I know he will."

The first five descending notes of Welcome to My World sang out in the condo's foyer. Justin! No, he wouldn't ring the doorbell. Puzzled, she stepped across the tiled floor and rose on tiptoes to peer through the peephole. She gasped and jumped back.

The doorbell chimed again.

Fingers trembling, Erin released the security lock and opened the door to two uniformed police officers.

"Mrs. Macintyre?"

Erin nodded as Magie moved to her side.

"What is it, officers?"

"I'm afraid there's been an accident, Mrs. Macintyre. Your husband . . ."


Saturday, April 28, 2012

WINNER!!!

CONGRATULATIONS



~ KAREN GERVAIS ~


You won The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer!


Stay tuned for more interviews, book reviews, and giveaways!


Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rescue Me...Repurposed for Rural Thursday

I've been so busy I haven't had time for a "new" Rural Thursday post. This is from August 2011. We are always finding something to rescue out here in the country. 

This beautiful, plump dove flew into my sons bedroom window and knocked herself unconscious! He went out and picked her up so the cat wouldn't get her and placed her on our front porch pillar until she woke up. I took the opportunity to snap some pictures of her. She is beautiful!


She wasn't lucid enough to eat.


She's beginning to wake up....


Now she's on her feet!


At this point she had hopped through the iron piece so tried to feed her by hand. 
Nope. Not interested.


She jumped down onto the ground and was all wobbly, and unable to fly yet so he picked her up and took her down to our pear tree and placed her on a high branch. He was so gentle with her! She sat there for a long time before flying away. We were all glad Dirtbag kitty didn't find her first.

I thought of this song afterwards... My son just gave me an eye roll :)







I'm linked to Rural Thursday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Do you enjoy a good suspense novel?

When troubled youth, Londy Akins, is arrested for the murder of the mayor, he asks for ten-year veteran Detective Carly Edwards.  Plucked from her normal assignment in juvenile investigations to assist homicide, Carly recognizes him as one of her mother’s church reclamation projects.  Irritated by her mother’s belief that God can change anyone, which Carly views as dangerous wishful thinking, Carly presses the kid for a confession that will fry him and bring her a commendation. But Londy doesn’t confess. He insists he’s innocent. Further, he tells Carly he’s a new Christian, not a murderer.
The young man’s profession of faith in a God Carly swears doesn’t exist steels her resolve to prove him a liar.  However, the only evidence she digs up corroborates Londy’s story and she has no choice but to believe him.  She gives Homicide what she’s uncovered and finds herself treated like an unwanted stepchild, kicked off the case and sent back to Juvenile.  Homicide is certain of Londy’s guilt and Carly’s evidence is ignored.
Stunned, surprised, and fearing a cover up, Carly disobeys a direct order and continues to investigate on her own.  She finds an unlikely ally: her ex husband, Nick, also a police officer.  Divorced a year ago because of his infidelity, Carly is wary of Nick’s extended hand of friendship, more so when he tells her he’s a changed man; he’s also a renewed Christian.  Their only common ground is they both believe Londy is innocent.
Carly and Nick jump into the investigation and as her life begins to spin out of control, Nick becomes an anchor. But will that hold as lives and careers are threatened?
Question: What will it take for Carly Edwards to realize that the key to survival is not holding on tight, but letting go and letting God take control? 


Giveaway sponsored by Tyndale House @ Stuff & Nonsense II.

Accused by Janice Cantore ~ Author Interview, Review & Giveaway ~

One of my favorite genres to read is Suspense. If it's police oriented, it's even better. Today, I want to introduce Janice Cantore, a veteran police officer turned author.
Welcome, Janice! I want to thank you for being so quick to reply to my request for an interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Born and raised in Southern California, I have three brothers and one sister. I grew up kind of a Tomboy, loved sports and horses, was fortunate enough to have a horse while I was in High School. I went away to college, first to San Jose State, then UC Irvine where I earned a BS in Biology. Not sure of the career direction I wanted to take, I went back to school, to Long Beach State where I just decided to have fun and earned a degree in physical education. I was working on a master’s degree when I saw a flyer about the Long Beach PD hiring and I applied. I tend to get bored easily and decided that police work would be different and changing. For the most part I wasn’t disappointed. I spent 16 years as a regular uniformed officer before retiring early with a bad back. I was rehired as a non-career officer and worked in that capacity for 6 years. When I first became a police officer, I wouldn’t call myself a dedicated Christian. I rededicated my life in the early nineties and pray my writing reflects my desire that Christ be first in everything. I have a house in the mountains but right now I live in my parent’s house. I moved in four years ago to help with my dad who had dementia. He just passed away at the age of 95. I’ll be staying to look after my mom. I have three labs, Jake, Maggie and Abbie.
We had a lab named Jake, too :) You sound extremely busy. I'm glad you find time to write! What do you feel is the most challenging aspect in writing?
Being consistent, picking a word count and hitting it every day. Life often interrupts work.
Yes, life seems to happen and we just have to go with the flow! Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
I usually have a character in mind first. I am a seat of the pants writer, I have a difficult time outlining so I usually start a character sheet and then sit down and write, developing a story line as I go. Once I have about 100 pages, I try to outline the rest of the story, but often struggle. I just have to write it and see how it works for me.
Whew! Sounds like it is a little overwhelming at times. Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?
I always hope to encourage and inspire with my stories, by that I mean I want the reader feeling uplifted when they finish that last page. With Accused, my goal was to write a story with the salvation message without being preachy. I wanted to write a book my aunt would read. She was not a Christian at the time and I thought a well-written novel with a main character who comes to know the Lord would get her thinking. Unfortunately she passed away before the book was finished but her memory kept me writing.
I appreciate the messages that naturally flow through the story without feeling forced. How do you research the psychological aspect of a killer's mind?
I read a lot, I’ve read books by FBI profilers and we did have courses from time to time on stuff like that when I was on the job.
I'm glad you're so dedicated to the research. It sure makes for great suspense!  Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
I love the male model on the cover of Accused, he is the Nick I pictured in my mind. As for Carly, I really like the actress who plays Kate Beckett on Castle, Stana Katic.
I'm a die-hard Castle fan and I can see her perfectly as Carly.
Is there a particular Bible verse that has helped you through a difficult time?

Photo Credit - Bob Bell, 2012
Wow, I’ve just been through the most difficult time in my life. My father passed away a week ago as I write this. (I’m sure he’s at peace now in heaven) He’d been physically strong, but his mind was gone so he could be difficult. During the times I struggled with my attitude Psalm 51 was special. And Roman’s 8:28, Jer 29:11 also meant a lot. But the last two months of his life were so hard because his physical health began to decline rapidly along with his mental heath. Lamentations 3:22-26 meant a lot and any verse with “trust God” in it was soothing, like Isaiah 43:2, Pro 3:5-6, and 1Chon 5:20.
Oh Janice, I am so sorry to hear about your dad! All of those verses you mentioned are so comforting. And that's one of my favorite Psalms! You and your mom will certainly be in my prayers.

Rebecca has a few questions she wants to ask you.
Did you ever imagine that your life would take such a dramatic turn; from police work to suspense novelist?
Writing is something I’ve always wanted to do. In the beginning, there were so many rejections, no, sometimes I never thought I’d get to this point. All I can say is, God is good.
Did you ever aspire to be an author one day or did it just happen that way?
I wrote stories about horses when I was a kid and always loved to read. I did want to write but in college a creative writing teacher hated my work so I shelved the idea for a long time.
Did you keep journals while you were on the force that you can now refer to for creative ideas?
I started a journal when I first graduated from the academy, but I never kept it up. Real police work is a lot more boring than novels and TV shows because there is so much paper work and down time. I think for a time I didn’t see any possibility for a good story. The Rodney King riots sparked the desire to write a story that would convey what it was like to work during that time because it was a time that evoked a lot of emotion. That story never took off, but it made me realize I did want to write a lot more than just police reports.
One theme I saw continually weaving its way though happenings at work was people picking themselves up after tragedy and becoming stronger, whether it be from an accident, a murder, or their own carelessness. When I finally started to write, I wanted that resilience in my stories. Usually an uplifting story had a foundation in faith, and I wanted that to come through in my stories as well. Life is hard, but God is good. When I went to a writer’s conference and heard that people could learn to write good stories, the criticism the writing teacher had tossed my way faded and I started to work on learning the craft.
Stana Katic as Kate Beckett (Castle, ABC),
Image from IMDB
I worked with a lot of outstanding people in Long Beach. Carly is a composite of the best I saw on the job in women. I saw a lot of infidelity at work, unfortunately, so Nick is flawed, but he’s redeemed. I went that direction with him because I wanted to write a hopeful scenario. Even in the most painful situation, there is hope for forgiveness and redemption.  I saw a lot of relationships break up when there was hope, but they didn't look hard enough to find it. Nick lost the love of his life when Carly left, but then found eternal life when he realized he needed a savior more than he needed a wife. The rest you watch work out through the course of the series.
I loved the camaraderie between Carly and her partner, Joe; you must have had some great co-workers on the force?
I had good partners and bad. For a time I had a great partner, Bill. We worked great together and when we had to split, (our shifts changed by seniority every year and we weren’t close enough in seniority to stay together long) I was very sad. I very much wanted Carly and Joe to have a relationship like Bill and I had.
Do you have a favorite scene in Accused?
I like the jump from the boat into the unknown because when I wrote that portion it I tried to imagine what that would be like. I drove out on one of the shipping piers and watched the huge container ships come and go, trying to imagine swimming out there in the endless Pacific Ocean, in the dark.
I especially loved the conversation between Carly and Nick at her mother’s home when Nick put his newfound faith into words. Very touching and very well-written. Thank you.
I'm curious. Are you a swimmer?
I love to swim, but I’m more of a plodder. Years ago I competed in triathlons and in one at the police games, there was a lake swim. I came out of the water dead last. Now, I swim at the Y and find it a wonderful exercise.
I love the water and could readily identify with the stress relief from a good swim.
Can you give us a sneak peek into what book you are working on right now?
Abducted is the second book in the Pacific Coast Justice Series and it will be out this summer. The third book, Avenged, will be out next year. Beyond that, I’m working on a book with different characters, but still police centered suspense.
Where can readers find you on the internet?
www.janicecantore.com and facebook https://www.facebook.com/JaniceCantore
About the book
When troubled youth, Londy Akins, is arrested for the murder of the mayor, he asks for ten-year veteran Detective Carly Edwards.  Plucked from her normal assignment in juvenile investigations to assist homicide, Carly recognizes him as one of her mother’s church reclamation projects.  Irritated by her mother’s belief that God can change anyone, which Carly views as dangerous wishful thinking, Carly presses the kid for a confession that will fry him and bring her a commendation. But Londy doesn’t confess. He insists he’s innocent. Further, he tells Carly he’s a new Christian, not a murderer.

The young man’s profession of faith in a God Carly swears doesn’t exist steels her resolve to prove him a liar.  However, the only evidence she digs up corroborates Londy’s story and she has no choice but to believe him.  She gives Homicide what she’s uncovered and finds herself treated like an unwanted stepchild, kicked off the case and sent back to Juvenile.  Homicide is certain of Londy’s guilt and Carly’s evidence is ignored.
Stunned, surprised, and fearing a cover up, Carly disobeys a direct order and continues to investigate on her own.  She finds an unlikely ally: her ex husband, Nick, also a police officer.  Divorced a year ago because of his infidelity, Carly is wary of Nick’s extended hand of friendship, more so when he tells her he’s a changed man; he’s also a renewed Christian.  Their only common ground is they both believe Londy is innocent.
Carly and Nick jump into the investigation and as her life begins to spin out of control, Nick becomes an anchor. But will that hold as lives and careers are threatened?
Question: What will it take for Carly Edwards to realize that the key to survival is not holding on tight, but letting go and letting God take control?
Reviewed by Rebecca Maney
There were so many things I loved about Accused; Janice Cantore’s first book in the Pacific Coast Justice Series.
Romantic suspense is my favorite genre; I love the thrill of a good mystery, the unraveling of the plot, the satisfaction of the conclusion; not to mention the flirtatious tension between characters. Accused scored big in this category.
Book series are another favorite; it’s so fun to get to know characters, their friends and co-workers and to be able to immerse yourself into the lives that surround them through the pages of a book. What a bonus to have those stories continue through several publications.  Bravo Janice! Accused is just the beginning of a series.
But when a romantic suspense reaches down deep enough to touch the heart and spirit of a reader by openly and honestly displaying the pain of brokenness and the beauty of redemption; well, it doesn’t get any better than that. More than once, Accused brought me to a complete internal standstill; I had to pause and absolutely revel in the miracle of a life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Shortly after Detective Carly Edwards finds herself off the street (following an officer-involved shooting) and resigned to a desk job in juvenile, she becomes involved in a high-profile murder case. When the prime suspect happens to be a troubled youth, Carly is given the opportunity to conduct an interview with the young man. Thinking her career might be back on the fast track to street patrol; Carly becomes reluctantly suspicious after her encounter with Londy; what the department is considering an open-and-shut case, might in fact be part of a citywide corruption scheme with tentacles reaching far beyond a local homicide.
Interestingly enough, Carly finds an unlikely ally; her very recently divorced husband, also a cop, whose gentle entrance back into her life begins with his offer of trust in the case. His uncharacteristic infidelity caused an abrupt tear in their marriage; and Carly is stubbornly reluctant to invite any level of relationship that would re-open the emotional wounds she has so carefully tried to knit together. But she has no choice; she has to rely on the one person who has caused her the most personal pain. Nick.
In my opinion, Nick is the “home-run” character of this book. During the year of separation and divorce from his wife, he has become a changed man; from the inside out. Cantore masterfully allows Nick to re-enter Carly’s life with gentleness, meekness, and self-control; accepting full responsibility for his mistakes and asking forgiveness from the depth of his soul; with no strings attached. Carly is intrigued and cautiously begins to explore the concept of forming a relationship with the God who has so totally transformed her husband.
Nothing comes easy.  Carly and Nick both risk their lives and their careers by dodging corrupt officers and city officials; accepting the help of a “rogue” undercover cop, whose disappearance only adds to the questionability of following his lead. As a veteran police officer, the author’s obvious knowledge of crime scenes and high level investigations add so much authenticity to every phase of this action-packed story line.
If you want to know how the story ends, you will have to read the book. I, personally, cannot wait for Abducted; the continuation of Nick and Carly’s re-discovery!
Thank you, Rebecca for that great review! I'm about 1/2 way through already and I have to say, I like it! A lot. It's very realistic. I didn't want to put it down, but this post must get posted :)
I also want to Tyndale House for offering a copy to one of my blog followers. Leave a comment to be entered. Ends May 2nd. US Only!!! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Coming up...

Tomorrow, I have an author interview, book review AND giveaway with Janice Cantore, author of Accused, Book 1 in the Pacific Coast Justice Series!






On Monday, there will be a guest post from Gwendolyn Gage, an aspiring author who writes Christian romance novels packed with history, adventure, and humor. Then on Wednesday, you'll be treated to another two book giveaway, courtesy of our own Judy Burgi!

Looking forward to seeing y'all around this week and next!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rooster ♥ Teacup Tuesday

While browsing in Tuesday Morning yesterday, I found this great Rooster cup & coaster set. Loving roosters and chickens like I do, I couldn't resist!





Technically, I suppose this isn't a teacup, but I can certainly drink tea in it! But this morning, I chose coffee. Fresh ground Eight o'clock coffee. Yum.




So there it is. 



My Tuesday Morning, Teacup Tuesday, 
with one of my favorite Bible verses.

 I'm linked to Teacup Tuesday.


Images are mine. Please don't take them without asking. Not that anyone would want them. I'm just sayin'.  



Kindle Freebies

Y'all know I can't resist posting free books... 

Click here


Click here


Click here

Make sure it says FREE for Kindle before you click to buy!!!  

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible if you purchase the wrong one and pay money for it!  

~ Happy Reading ~

Saturday, April 21, 2012

WINNERS!!!

CONGRATULATIONS...



Using Random.org to choose...


 Winner #1  ~ SHERI 


Winner #2  ~ JO 


Winner #3  ~ JOY 


Thanks to all who participated, and especially for Candace offering two more copies!


I have a guest post coming soon, and hope to get some more scheduled throughout the year. I love getting know the author's and writer's better!  


Stay tuned for more interviews, book reviews, and giveaways!


Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Looking forward to...


Isn't this a lovely cover?!


Coming July 2012 from Tyndale House


Bees in the Butterfly Garden


by Maureen Lang


Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.


Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charlotte or Charlie? ~ Rural Thursday

Her name is Charlotte. 


She lays brown eggs. 


Remember...the weird one?

Well, here's Charlotte the other day...


CROWING...

That's right. 
The old girl arched her neck, flapped her wings and let out a crow! Ok, it was a croaky crow, but she was definitely trying to crow. Sounded like a young rooster with laryngitis! 

And she continues to do this almost everyday!

So I researched this phenomenon at the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, and found out that it can happen when a hen becomes old. 

I guess Charlotte is old for a hen. 
She's at least 4, if not 5 yrs old. 


Here she is with the other girls. They used to pick on her but they don't anymore. 

Now I know why :) 
She has taken on rooster qualities and hunts for bugs, clucking at them to come and eat!

But I'm not ready to change her name just yet.

How's that for a weird Rural Thursday?!

Images are mine. Please don't take them without asking. Not that anyone would want them. I'm just sayin'. 







Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer, Review & Giveaway



The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer, Reviewed by Judy Burgi

In the spring of 1922, Caleb Bender brought his family to Paradise Valley to start a new Amish Colony. He moved his family because of religious persecution in Ohio. Now in their second year in Mexico they welcome more and more families from Ohio to Paradise Valley. The Colony has tripled.
Life is very hard in Paradise Valley. Bandits are still a threat and when they strike they are ruthless.

During an outbreak of Diphtheria and the loss of lives, at least one of the families of the Colony has decided to leave Paradise Valley and return to Ohio.

Caleb's family is put to the test. There will be many heart breaking incidences that will cause Caleb sleepless nights. Did he do the right thing by bringing his family to Paradise Valley? Will his family survive all that has happened?

This book was a real page turner for me. I was literally on the edge of my seat while reading this book. I couldn't stand not knowing what would happen next and picked up this book as often as possible tuning everything and everybody out. When I wasn't reading this book I was thinking about the characters in the book and worrying what would become of them. What would happen to the Bender family that I grew so fond of? This book will pull at your very heart strings and will take you through a gamut of emotions. I laughed, I cried, I worried, I fretted, I got angry...real angry, I also praised God. I thank the Author Dale Cramer for always showing God's presence throughout this book. I can't wait for book three to be published!

I wish to thank Bethany House for sending me The Captive Heart to read and review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Ok, Y'all! Doesn't this book sound good?!

Judy is offering her copy to one reader in the Continental US Only. To be entered in the drawing, leave an encouraging comment for Judy. Let's end this one on April 25th! 

If you haven't subscribed via Email, RSS or Linky Tools, please consider doing so :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love a good medical drama?


CRITICAL CARE (Mercy Hospital #1)

After her brother dies in a trauma room, nurse Claire Avery can no longer face the ER. She's determined to make a fresh start--new hospital, new career in nursing education--move forward, no turning back. But her plans fall apart when she's called to offer stress counseling for medical staff after a heart-breaking day care center explosion. Worse, she's forced back to the ER, where she clashes with Logan Caldwell, a doctor who believes touchy-feely counseling is a waste of time. He demands his staff be as tough as he is. Yet he finds himself drawn to this nurse educator ... who just might teach him the true meaning of healing.


DISASTER STATUS (Mercy Hospital #2)

Charge nurse Erin Quinn escaped personal turmoil to work at the peaceful California coast. But when a hazardous material spill places Pacific Mercy Hospital on disaster status and stresses staff, she’s put to the test. And thrown into conflict with the fire department’s handsome incident commander who thinks her strategy is out of line.

Fire Captain Scott McKenna has felt the toxic effects of tragedy; he’s learned to go strictly by the book to advance his career, heal his family, and protect his wounded heart. When he’s forced to team with the passionately determined ER charge nurse, sparks fly. As they work to save lives, can they handle the attraction kindled between them . . . without getting burned?



CODE TRIAGE (Mercy Hospital #3)

Dr. Leigh Stathos likes her ER shifts fast, furious and adrenaline-infused, “Treat ‘em and street ‘em” with no emotional complications. Life’s taught her a soul-rending lesson: nothing lasts forever, including marriage. The clock is ticking toward the end of hers. Then an unwelcome confrontation with “the other woman” begins a whole new set of lessons.

San Francisco police officer Nick Stathos never gives up, whether protecting his patrol neighborhood, holding fast to faith—or trying to save his marriage. Seven days is all he has to reach Leigh’s heart. But when a desperate act of violence slams Golden Gate Mercy Hospital into lockdown, it starts a chain of events that will change lives forever.

You can't beat the ones penned by Candace Calvert

Since reading the first book in her Mercy Hospital series, Critical Care, I have been a fan.


This week I'm giving away my review copy of her upcoming book, Trauma Plan, and Candace has generously offered TWO MORE COPIES for my readers!!!

How cool is that?? 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Giveaway & Review ~ Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert

Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter and faith are the best medicines. Her Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series offer readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine—along with a soul-soothing prescription for hope. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, she makes her home in northern California.

Please visit her Web site at www.candacecalvert.com.



My Review

Riley Hale is a former ER nurse turned chaplain after a horrible assault. She's eager to gain back her strength and skills so that she can get back to the ER, where her heart desires to be. Is that the plan God has for her? Riley is convinced that it is, and being a chaplain is only temporary.

ER doctor Jack Travis is a former military doctor and all around risk taker. Eager to help those who are less fortunate, the lost and forgotten on the street, he runs a free clinic in a well-to-do neighborhood. This doesn't go over well with the residents, and the confrontations that ensue really bring to light our reactions and responsibilities to those in need.

Jack offers Riley the opportunity to practice her nursing skills by volunteering in his clinic. Are his motives pure, or does he have a hidden agenda? Will Riley find what she needs to get back to ER nursing? As they work together in some pretty intense situations, they begin to see beyond the surface, touching a cord in the heart's of each other.

Anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time in an emergency room can appreciate this book. It's fast-paced with lots of intense moments interspersed with deep emotion, and thankfully at just the right moment...humor. Yes, that's right. Humor helps lighten the load and yet doesn't detract from the respectful way that we view the challenges that Riley and Jack, plus several others face. Expertly written dialogue, clean scenes, and characters that will sit down deep in your heart, and linger long after you have closed the book, are what make up Trauma Plan.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Riley and Jack work through their individual obstacles, as well as their budding relationship. And then there's Vesta, Bandy, and Hobo who almost steal the show. I loved this book and highly recommend it. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next book in this exciting new series.

I want to thank Tyndale House for providing a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not required, just my opinion of the book. No compensation has been received. 

Trauma Plan will be available in May 2012. Visit your local Christian book store, or order online at CBD.

My bookshelf is overflowing, so I am giving away my review copy. You MUST be a follower of my blog. Leave a comment to be entered telling me how you follow: Email, RSS, or Linky Tools. Continental US Only!!! Ends April 19th! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A glorious day in the mountains ~ Rural Thursday

This is kind of a long post so I apologize in advance! At least I didn't post all 106 pictures I took, though :)
(If you click on the pictures, they enlarge and look better)

On Saturday, it was a gorgeous day here in the Carolinas, not a cloud in the sky, and perfect for sight seeing. We set off to an Amish community about 1 1/2 hrs away. 


It's not everyday we see one of these signs. 


We ate lunch here. They have a deli and make the most delicious sandwiches on homemade breads. 


They're huge! I had turkey on wheat with tomatoes, lettuce & cheese.


 Their baked goods are almost to die for! We bought homemade donuts, a blackberry coffee cake, cinnamon bagel chips, and ginger snaps! Needless to say, none of it lasted long. Also brought home some rye flour that I am looking forward to making rye bread with :)


They're such nice people. I asked if I could photograph their buggy. I didn't want to intrude on their privacy. There were no horses hitched up here. Probably because it was Saturday and too many cars around! 


We also met the nicest man, Alvin Mast. He has the most beautiful yard with lots, and I mean LOTS, of birdhouses for the Martin's. Alvin is quite the Martin expert and was happy to share his vast knowledge with me. I didn't take photos as I felt kind of awkward asking. I'm now thoroughly set on getting some white gourds and putting them out in my garden! 

Then we set out for Mt Airy, aka Mayberry...


and onward and upward to Fancy Gap VA and The Blue Ridge Parkway...

Grandfather Mtn in the distance...

We had to take a short detour due to guardrails being installed on a section of the parkway. 
We saw these cool barns! They're part of the American Quilt Barn Trail.


And if you've hung in here this long, you're doing good! Almost done...

While on our detour, we stopped at a yard sale. I found some lovely pieces of china. 
Here's a teacup & saucer so you can see the pattern. 



AND...

last but not least is Redrock...he lives down the road from me and is famous in these parts.  


I wish my camera was better. He is so majestic looking!  

Thanks for hangin' in there through all the photos. 

Images are mine. Please don't take them without asking. Not that anyone would want them. I'm just sayin'. 

I'm linked up on Rural Thursday.