Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Director's Cut - A Review

Tia Morales is the director of the popular sitcom Stars Collide. On the set, she's the one calling the shots and in control. Yet her life off of the set is anything but controlled. Her family has their own problems and somehow Tia's in the center of them all. Yet when she admits to herself that she's got feelings for camerman Jason Harris, she finds herself out of her comfort zone. Will she let down her guard long enough to let love in? Or will she fight a tug-of-war battle with the God of the universe who wants to show her who is really in control?

I've never read anything Janice Thompson has written until now. Yes this is the third book in the Backstage Pass series, but I didn't have to read the others to know what was going on. This book had me laughing so much. Of course it took me until chapter four to realize that the chapter titles were really television shows. Tia struggles with the same things that so many of us struggle with, and that is allowing God to take control of our lives and for us to let go. Yet the moment that she comes to the realization that she needs to let go, it was beautiful. While I do wish that there was more of the romance between Jason & Tia in the story, overall the book was a great read. It's a romantic comedy that teaches some good lessons.

I look forward to reading both the Weddings By Bella Series and the other books in the Backstage Pass series.

This book is available in June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell Publishing Group, a division of Baker Publishing. 

I received this book for free from Revell for the purpose of reviewing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

Extra goodies from the publisher
The author, Janice Thompson has spent time in Hollywood as a director. This blog post tells of some of her experiences.  

Also Family Fiction magazine has published an article about the Backstage Pass series. The article can be found here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prize mailings

For my giveaway winners from May & June, Sharisa (May), Nicole & Laura (June):

I've not mailed your prizes yet girls. They're here. Just not yet made it to the post office to drop them in the mail. You will get them soon as I hope to make it to the post office this week.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Starring Me - A Review

Kara McCormick is one of ten girls selected to audition in a new teen variety show. The girls don't know who their co-star will be. The ten girls spend a month living together in a house with an eccentric housemother while going through a series of different auditions. Chad Beacon, popular teen singer, wants to expand his horizons and try his hand at acting and writing in addition to singing. With his parents, he's agreed to allow family friend Flora supervise the auditions of the girls who will be his co-star. The biggest condition that the family has is that the girl be a Christian. Kara isn't too sure about God, but He's sure about her. Will she allow the pettiness of the girls in the house to influence her and change her or will the people that God has placed in her life, including Chad, draw her to a forever relationship with the God of the universe?

I was delighted to see a book about Kara. I'd met her in Krista McGee's first book, First Date where Kara was a minor character. Kara is a delightful, spunky, and not afraid to admit that she's skeptical of God. Chad's faith is strong, and it's nice to see a teen male who respects the wishes of his parents. This book was a delightful read and I look forward to Krista McGee's third book due out in the winter.

I recommend this to teens, preteens, and anyone who enjoys a fun story.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 5 stars

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. This is a picture of my Daddy. He died 23 years ago. But he left a great legacy. My Daddy was the first AWANA commander at the church I grew up in, Fellowship Bible Church in Pearland, TX. He loved camping and I admit I was spoiled rotten. I was his little princess. I still am. :)

Even though I was only 11 years old when my Daddy died, I've been very blessed to have strong Christian men step into a father figure role for me. There were three men in particular that took care of us while growing up. Each of these three men were great role models. Tom took me on a father-daughter date when I was 16 and showed me how a man should treat a lady. Doug was a police officer for HPD for years and once I went off to college, gave me his police cell phone number and told me to call him if I every had any problems. And then there's Mike. Mike showed us through the years the value of a Godly life. I'm not saying that Tom and Doug didn't, they did. Just in different ways. Each of these three men took it upon themselves to be role models and mentors to two young kids. As a result, my brother is a Godly man and I've learned the value of reaching out to other kids who are hurting. I want to be the kind of woman who can be almost like a big sister to younger girls. Especially ones who don't have dads or whose dads are deadbeats and not really around. Because these three men have been there for me over the years, I want to pass it on as well.

So Happy Father's Day to Tom, Mike, and Doug, my three honorary dads!

Mary Magdalene - A Review

Mary was just a child when one night changed her life forever. As she grows into a beautiful woman, she is tormented by forces of evil. Her family has sought every treatment they could think of, yet there was no change. When a new Teacher comes to Magdala, her family takes a chance that this Jesus can help her. Once she's healed, Mary realizes that Jesus has changed her life completely and she joins His followers. 

Mary Magdalene is one of the most complex and mysterious characters of the Bible. I've always been intrigued by Biblical fiction and was thrilled to be able to read this book. I'd never read any by Diana Wallis Taylor before this book either. The author does an excellent job of telling Mary's story while remaining true to Scripture. Seeing the freedom that comes to Mary when she has an encounter with Jesus is beautifully told. I hope that this book will draw people closer to the Savior.

I received this book for free from Revell Books in exchange for my review. All thoughts an opinions are my own.

This book is available in June 2012 at your local booksellers from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Prize Of My Heart Giveaway Winners

Using to generate the winners...

The first winner is ....


And winner number two is....


Congratulations girls. I'll email you for your addresses. 

Next month I'll be giving away

Cindy Woodsmall's The Christmas Singing.

Look for the giveaway around the middle of the month.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Alchemyst - A Review

Two ordinary teens suddenly find themselves having to believe in the stories of myth and legend and magic. Twins Josh and Sophie Newman didn't think that their world would change drastically when they met Nick Flemming until his true identity is revealed as Nicholas Flamel. Magic exists. And that's just the beginning. Will the twins survive the fight and who can they trust?

I've read this book before. It's a fun read. Action packed and it leaves you longing for more. I was introduced to the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series in the aftermath of Harry Potter. I've been eagerly awaiting the 6th and final book in this series, but then realized that I needed to do a massive re-read before reading the 6th book.

I recommend this book and this series to Harry Potter fans, young adults, and anyone who loves to see myth and legend come to life.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Prize of My Heart Giveaway

I have two copies of Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato to giveaway. I received both copies from the publisher, Bethany House. I know that this was recently free on the Kindle

One of my best friends took part in the Mary Kay Makeover contest. She had a lot of fun the night we did her makeover. She got to try all of the seasonal products for her after picture. If she makes it to the finals (only the top 100 vote getters will make it) then she will have a chance to be part of the private judging. If she's one of the 3 Grand Prize winners, then she will win a $2500 Visa gift card. And Mary Kay Corporate will donate $5000 to the charity of her choice. She really wants to make it to the finals. She's already chosen her charity - it's an organization that helps to provide medical supplies to children in countries without proper medical care. One of her friends is very active in that organization and I can't remember the name of it though.

How to enter:

1. Leave a comment on my blog telling me your favorite charity or non-profit organization.
2. Follow my blog (you can tell me you follow in the same comment as your favorite charity or as a separate comment).
3. You can get 5 entries for this part - visit the link below and vote for Lynnette P. (spelling counts on searching for her if the link does not take you directly to her picture). You can vote 5 times per day per email address. You need to leave a separate comment telling me how many times you voted. You can do this part daily until June 14th.

Lynnette P.'s Makeover Contest Entry 

Extra entries - send friends to vote for Lynnette and you let me know. Then you'll get one entry per friend you send (who actually votes). 

I will randomly draw two winners on Saturday June 16th. An email address must be included in one of your posts so that I can contact you. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Happy Friday

It's finally Friday. And it's been an insane week. At my work, for some reason, we've been very very busy for the past couple of weeks and that means I've been at work until 5:45 or so. Not very fun to come home exhausted and feel like I've only been home for an hour before I up and do something else. My poor Kiki is completely off her schedule. She doesn't know what time I'll be home to give her her dinner. But it's always sweet to get home and to be greeted by a sweet kitty. I pick her up and she purrs LOUDLY at the same time that she's trying to hurry me into the kitchen because she's hungry. Last night we had a thunderstorm pass through here. She darted off the bed and went to hide. Her spots of choice to hide in a storm - under the bed or behind the dryer. She cracks me up. The picture at the top is my sweet Kiki. On HER blanket at the top of my stairs.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Best Friend - A Review

Lishia Vance went from being popular to being an outcast in a matter of days. Feeling left out at the closeness of the girl she thought was her best friend and a new girl, Lishia finds herself pulling away from her youth group friends and even from God. When she strikes up a conversation with popular, beautiful cheerleader, Riley Atkins, Lishia suddenly finds herself thrust into being a member of the "in crowd." But is the cost too much? Is Riley too good to be true or is she genuine? Lishia doesn't know and it's going to take some pretty interesting events for her to discover what exactly she's looking for.

This book is definitely targeted for teens and preteens. As I'm neither, it was a very quick read for me. Early on, I was able to see the direction that the events were heading, and I found myself hoping that Lishia would have some good Christian friends come to her and tell her that she's heading down a dangerous path.

While this probably won't make my read again list, I did get several important things from the story. The first that it's so easy to get caught up in the trappings of the world because it's "pretty". And to me, that reminded me of what sin looks like in our lives. The second thing  I got from this book is the value of being honest and telling the truth saves you a world of hurt. Also being willing to say you're sorry is another point that the author makes. Overall, this was a very entertaining book and I recommend it to teens and preteens.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of reviewing.

Look for The Best Friend at your favorite bookseller in June 2012 from Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Rating - 3 stars, but it's really more of 3.5 star book for me.