Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stars Collide Giveaway Winner

Using to select the winner, the winner is:

Loraine Ertelt!!!!!

Congratulations. I've just emailed you for your address.

There will be another chance to win a book, or two, in September.  

Sometimes I'm too busy

Sometimes I'm too busy. This is one of those times when I feel that I'm too busy. I look at my datebook for the month of September and I see something going on EVERY weekend. Here's what my month looks like, beginning with this week.

Wednesday August 29 - baby shower for a co-worker at work during work. I'm finishing a blanket up for her, and I WILL have it finished by then. I'm almost finished with it now. Pictures of it will be posted probably on Thursday.

Wednesday Aug 29th - AWANA meeting at the church that night. Because AWANA starts back up on Sept 5.

Labor Day weekend - that's this next weekend! I will be out of town for a family reunion.

Wednesday Sept 5 -AWANA starts back up.

Saturday Sept 8 - baby shower for my cousin who is adopting a baby. No blanket for them right now, but they will get one.

Sunday Sept 9 -Baby shower for a young couple attending our small group Bible Study during class. It'll be lots of fun. I'm going to make a blanket "cake" out of receiving blankets.

Saturday Sept 15 - baby shower for one of my best friends. She's getting  a blanket, but it probably won't be until Christmas.
There's something on my schedule for the 16th, but I don't remember what.

Friday Sept 21 - Because I've finished this quarter as a star consultant, meaning I get a prize, we have our Star get together that night. I think my sales director told me it's a square dance.

Beginning the week of Monday Sept 24 - my fall TV shows start back up. So Hawaii 5-O, NCIS, NCIS LA, and Amazing Race (starts Sunday Sept 30) will be back on my schedule.

Saturday Sept 29 - I have a cousin getting married.

Add into this the occasional facial & party, plus working, and reading, and I'll be busier than I have been in a long time.
Speaking of reading, here is what I plan on reading in September.

Some of these are for fun and others are for to review.

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang, Over the Edge by Mary Connealy, Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson, Deposit Slip by Todd Johnson, Path Towards Love by Cara Lynn James, Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz, Submerged by Dani Pettrey, The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs (the only nonfiction on my list), With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin. So there are five new to me authors on this list. I also plan on reading at least one book on my Kindle and Rick Riordan's Demigod Diaries.

Here's what each book is about. Blurbs are from Amazon.

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?

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy - Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson - The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek—Book 3

Headed toward a fresh start but tethered by her past, Vivian longs to break free, to find forgiveness and love.

At last, the sisters are reunited! The youngest Sinclair, the family“ baby”, is moving from Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado and joining Kat, Nell, and Ida. But Vivian is a young woman with a will of her own, and made some decisions back in Portland that have begun to haunt her. Will she be able to live up to the expectations of her three perfect and now happily-settled sisters?

The sisters warmly welcome Vivian to the mountain west, but the wild-and-woolly mining town isn’t ripe with opportunities for a respectable young woman. The youngest Sinclair sister is determined to make her own way, so
when she’s off ered a job as a hostess in a sporting house, she takes it, thinking the position is appropriate for a tainted, unlovable woman like herself. Although she’s convinced she’ll never be asked to entertain privately, Vivian
keeps her employment a secret from her sisters, knowing they’d be mortified—as will Carter Alwyn, the kind and godly sheriff ’s deputy who’s sweet on her.

Vivian is descending into a life of secrets, lying to the very people who love her and could help her heal from her mistakes. Will an outpouring of grace remind her that she is still God’s beloved and that her past can be washed as clean as Rocky Mountain snow?

Deposit Slip by Todd Johnson - When Jared Neaton grew tired of the shady ethics of his big law firm and left to go out on his own, he never expected the wheels to fly off so quickly. One big case collapsing on him has pushed him to the brink and it's all he can do to scrape by. He can't risk another bad loss.

Erin Larson is running out of options. In the wake of her father's death, she found a slim piece of paper--a deposit slip--with an unbelievable amount on it. Ten million dollars. Only the bank claims it has no record of the deposit and stonewalls her attempts to find out more. This lawsuit, her last chance, has brought only intimidation and threats. Now she needs to convince Jared to take a risk, to help her because the money is real. And both need to watch their backs as digging deeper unleashes something far more dangerous than just threats.

Path Toward Love  by Cara Lynn James -
Katherine came home to forget her past. The last thing she expected was to find her future.

Young widow Katherine Osborne returns to her family’s rustic camp on Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. She’s determined to live a quiet life, but her socialite mother is equally determined to push her into a new marriage while she’s still young.

Andrew Townsend has known Katherine since they were children. An attorney who is successful, but not wealthy, he knows she is socially out of his reach. But he’s curious about what changed the free-spirited girl he once knew into this private, somber young woman.

Katherine has kept hidden the details of her unsuccessful marriage. When past sins come to light, she must turn to God for the courage to be honest. But how can she trust the God she feels has let her down? When she confides in Andrew, their relationship takes a dramatic turn into uncharted territory.
Amid impossible obstacles, two young people must learn to trust enough to walk the path that God has cleared for them. A path that leads to healing and restoration. A path toward love.

Love's Reckoning by Laura Franz -
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?

In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love's Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.
Submerged  by Dani Pettrey - A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town...until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a small town. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn't appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he's not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?

The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs - You know Ruth’s story. Now meet her in person. And prepare to be changed.

Walk with Ruth as she travels from Moab to Bethlehem, certain of her calling, yet uncertain of her future. Hold Naomi’s hand and watch love put the pieces of her broken life back together. And hang out with Boaz, their kinsman-redeemer, who blesses both women and honors God, big time.

With best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs by your side, you’ll tarry in the corners of their ancient houses, listen to their conversations, and consider every word of every verse until you can say, “I
totally get the book of Ruth. And I see what God is trying to teach me through this rags-to-riches redemption story—he has a plan for my life.”

Girl, does he ever!

Think of it as time travel without gimmicks, gizmos, or a DeLorean: a novel approach to Bible study that leaps from past to present, gleaning timeless truths that speak to the heart.

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin -  Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them?

Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.

I'm excited about reading the Demigod Diaries  by Rick Riordan as it'll hold my appetite until Mark of Athena, Heroes of Olympus book 3, comes out in October.

Here's the blurb about it.

What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads (who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion...all in one hour or less? 

With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these questions and more in three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and illustrated profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection that is sure to delight legions of loyal fans.

I'll probably dabble some in writing as well. There's a fun challenge going on right now on one of the Harry Potter sites I'm a part of and it's a year in the life of a Hogwarts student. We're up to the second challenge at this point, and I'm having a blast creating for myself a chance to be at Hogwarts.
I'm sure there will be lots of movies in here too.

So yes, my September is going to be pretty busy, but I like being busy. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dying to Read - A Review

Cate Kincaid is working as an assistant to her Private Investigator uncle. Her first assignment - verify the address of a woman for a client. What she thought would be a simple task turns into anything but simple. She arrives at the address to find a group of hungry elderly mystery lovers, a deaf cat, the woman she's looking for having disappeared, oh and a dead body. Cate's list of suspects includes the entire group of ladies from the book club along with the missing woman and a few other unique characters. Not really knowing what she's doing, will Cate uncover the secrets that her suspects are hiding or will she become a part of the crime scene?

I've read several of Lorena McCourtney's books over the years, though nothing recently. I found this to be a true cozy mystery as opposed to romantic suspense. I enjoyed the characters and really loved the deaf cat. The book itself was a really fast read and ended being the perfect way to spend a Friday evening.

Fans of true mysteries will delight in this book. As will fans of cozy mysteries like those written by Mary Nealy.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell Books, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

Look for Dying to Read in August, 2012 at your favorite bookseller available from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, August 20, 2012


It's time for another giveaway!

Today I'm giving away the paperback copy of Stars Collide by Janice Thompson.

About the book (from Amazon) - Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy don't just play two people who are secretly in love on a television sitcom--they are also head over heels for each other in real life. When the lines between reality and TV land blur, they hope they can keep their relationship under wraps. But when Kat's grandmother, an aging Hollywood starlet with a penchant for wearing elaborate evening gowns from Golden Age movies, mistakes their on-screen wedding proposal for the real deal, things begin to spiral out of their control. Will their secret be front-page news in the tabloids tomorrow? And can their budding romance survive the onslaught of paparazzi, wedding preparations, and misinformed in-laws?

From the sound stage to a Beverly Hills mansion to the gleaming Pacific Ocean, Stars Collide takes readers on a roller-coaster tour of Tinseltown, packing both comedic punch and tender emotion.

This is book one in the Backstage Pass Series. I recently downloaded this for free on the Kindle and so I want to share with one lucky reader.

How to enter: A valid email address must be included in one of your comments. Use form myname(dot)number(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • One entry for leaving a coment on this blog telling me your favorite TV show.
  • Extra entry for leaving a separate comment telling me you follow my blog & how you follow it (GFC, Networked blog, email, etc)
  • Gain an extra entry for each comment you leave on any of my book reviews. Find them here. You can do this daily.
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Include in your tweet my handle @DawnJanis. Also this can be daily as long as you come back and leave a comment that you tweeted.

I'll pick a winner next Sunday, Aug 25th, after my 8pm CST conference call. I can only ship US.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Full Disclosure - A Review

Midwest Homicide Investigator, Ann Silver, showed up in Chicago to attend a Cubs baseball game. She just needed to make one stop first. When FBI agent Paul Falcon meets the woman who has a tip for him regarding a long-time serial killer case he'd been investigating, he wasn't expecting the tip to turn out to be the best lead he'd had on the case. Paul's and Ann's  paths cross continuously as he works all new leads on his case. When she drops another case of a lifetime into his lap, he knows he'll stop at nothing to figure out the details of that case as well as the details of who Ann is. He's starting to get under skin as well. When all the secrets come to light, will Paul and Ann find a way to move to a future together?

Dee Henderson is back and with a book that brings a cast of new characters as well as some very familiar faces in it. I didn't expect the twists regarding some of the familiar faces, but the explanation makes sense. And then there's Ann. I couldn't help but love her. I'd figured out that the two case Paul was working on would tie together in someway, but was not expecting it to be the way that it did. I also figured that Ann had more secrets than what she was on the surface and Paul actually took the time to ferret them out while still giving her space. The last 20-40 pages, I literally couldn't put it down. To the point of my ignoring my very hungry kitty until after I'd finished reading the book. I don't know if this is a stand alone novel or the start of a new series. It could go either way, but I was thrilled to be able to read it. While it doesn't hold the same appeal as the O'Malley series, I will say that this is a page-turner and well worth the long wait.

I was provided an Advance Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher and the Full Disclosure Facebook page for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This book releases on October 2, 2012.

Rating - 5 stars

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lethal Legacy - A Review

Kelly Warren doesn't believe that her father committed suicide. Things just don't add up. Cole Taylor is the detective assigned to hearing her concerns while the detective who investigated her father's death is on vacation. Yet when more discrepancies start to appear and Kelly's life is in danger, Cole's radar goes off. There's something to what she's saying. Yes he's not supposed to cross the personal/professional line. But he finds himself falling for her as much as she finds herself falling for him. A few hurdles to cross - her father's case is reopened, his faith, or lack of it, and the fact that Cole would do anything to protect her. Will these two get to the bottom of her father's death, or will Kelly become the next victim?

 The third book in the Guardians of Justice Series doesn't disappoint. Having met Cole in the other two books and seeing him develop as a character, I was thrilled to be able to read his story. Fast paced and full of action from the start, I literally read this in about 18 hours. Irene Hannon provides romantic suspense that rivals that of Dee Henderson and Terri Blackstock. I'd figured out who the killer was fairly early in the story, but enjoyed the twists and turns the book took as the characters reached the same conclusion as I did. The book also touches on the importance of family as seen with Cole's interactions with his siblings and their love and support for their brother.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Revell Books, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Available in August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Recommended to Dee Henderson fans, romantic suspense.

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, August 6, 2012

Raising Financially Confident Kids - A Review

Watching her children learn from her spending habits, Mary Hunt realized that she and her husband needed to do something that would teach their children about the dangers of living beyond what their means. It was a lesson Mary needed to learn as well. Together she and her husband sat down and created a plan that would allow for each child to manage a portion of the family income while teaching them about finances.She shares what they did and some information about ways that debt gets its hooks into the lives of children early.

I found this book to be fascinating. I don't have children, but most of my friends do. Growing up I was given an allowance, but was not taught how to really manage my money. And that lack of knowledge stayed with me through college and beyond. In the Fall of 2009, I went through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and have not regretted it. I've learned things through that that I wish I'd known 10, 15, even 20 years ago. This book has made things clear to me that I wish I'd known as a child. I do know that the principles in the book are inline with what Dave Ramsey teaches and as it's targeted for parents as a tool to help their children learn how to be money-smart and grow into adulthood being debt-free.

I really liked the idea of each child being given a salary that would allow them to manage a portion of the family's budget. I think that concept and the hands-on technique used is one of the best tools for a child to learn to be responsible with money.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Raising Financially Confident Kids is available in August 2012 at your local bookseller from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stangler Figs - A Review

A dead pregnant woman. A murdered priest. That's the story reporter Ramona Jackson is asked to investigate. What she doesn't realize is that the story is bigger than she even thought and she is drawn into a web of intrigue. Forced into hiding, she soon finds herself in way over her head and decides to seek answers. Her quest for the truth leads her and two friends on an international chase that not only turns up answers regarding the murdered priest but also brings the mysteries of Ramona's past and her ancestry to light. Will she become the next victim or will she find the answers she seeks?

I only knew of this novel due to the fact that I know the author's daughter. And as a favor to my friend, I read the book. I didn't have any preconceived expectations about this book or what to expect. It's based in part on a novel written by Helen Hunt Jackson. What I wasn't expecting was to be sent on an adventure that crossed continents.Sure some of the theological ideas I took an exception to, but I had the same reaction with Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. A couple of spots, the violence was pretty graphic, but having read things with far more detail in the past, I really just skimmed through those sections. I'll admit that a couple of times I did fall asleep while reading it. But I kept hanging onto my seat as I read because the twists and turns weren't what I expected. Overall, it was a very entertaining book.

I paid for the Kindle edition of the book. The author did not ask me to review the book. And her daughter wanted me to give my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of the DaVinci Code, suspense fans, adventure lovers

Rating - 4 stars

The following is not part of my review on Amazon or Goodreads

This is not a book I would classify as Christian fiction. There are mentions of God and religion plays a big part of the story, but as far as what is actually classified as Christian fiction, this is not. For my readers who only read Christian fiction, this would not be a book I would recommend to you. But if you are a reader who reads pretty much anything, like me, then this just may be a fun book for you to try.