Saturday, December 31, 2011

Forever Faithful - a Waterbrook Multnomah review

Forever Faithful, a trilogy by Karen Kingsbury, is a compilation of the novels Waiting for Morning,
A Moment of Weakness, and Halfway to Forever.

The first novel will introduce you to Hannah Ryan and her daughter Jenny. Hannah loses her husband and oldest daughter in a car crash. A drunk driver plows into the vehicle, and Jenny is the only one of the three remaining alive. When Hannah goes to the hospital, finding only her youngest daughter has survived, she vows to get revenge against the careless drunk who killed her beloved husband and daughter. This book is heart-wrenching and gut-punching. The first three chapters left me so emotional that I wasn't sure that I would be able to continue reading. However, since the trilogy is an astounding 1100+ pages in length, I simply put the book down until the following day after I'd had time to get myself calmed down.

Novel Number Two is the story of Jade Conner and Tanner Eastman, childhood friends who were separated during their adolescent years then reunited as young adults. When Tanner's wealthy mother determined that Jade wasn't good enough for her aspiring politician of a son, Jade and Tanner were tragically separated again for another decade. This is a powerful story that will move you and keep you reading to see if things get better for Jade and Tanner.

Novel Number Three is another gut-wrencher. This was another one that I had to keep the tissue box nearby. The characters from the two previous novels are joined together and are all friends. When Hannah and new husband Matt determine to adopt a young girl, they wind up having her ripped from their arms, leaving them bereft. When Jade comes down with a deadly disease, Tanner visions himself spending the rest of his life without Jade--this time, forever. I found myself at times skimming through this book because toward the end there was a case involving Matt that didn't seem to really add much to the story. It just felt like filler to me.

I'm a very avid reader of Karen's, but this series was way too emotional for me. If I'd not been given it to read for review, I'd have never finished it. Real life is hard enough, and when I read, I like to escape just a wee bit, so this trilogy was very hard to get through. However, if you like a good read with lots of emotion, this trilogy will definitely be for you.

I received Forever Faithful as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. My comments and opinions are my own.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love - a BookSneeze review

Beth Wiseman, author of The Wonder of Your Love, has done it again! This newest novel is the second novel of the Land of Canaan series. (The first in the series is titled Seek Me With All Your Heart, which I also recommend!)

You'll follow the story of Katie Ann from Colorado, an Amish widow whose husband had left her for another woman then tragically died in a car accident. Katie Ann, after twenty years of infertility, has carried her deceased husband's child and has given birth. Her struggle with being a single parent is portrayed beautifully and so is Katie Ann's personality.

When she meets Amish widower Eli Detweiler from Ohio, she and Eli both secretly harbor feelings for each other and struggle with the long distance relationship. Holding back because of the distance and ties holding them to their individual states, Eli and Katie Ann both face the reality that it may not be in God's plan for them to be together.

In this story, you will also read about other characters' struggles (namely Martha who you would've been introduced to in Book 1). Beth does a fabulous job with weaving these characters' personalities. Martha is a hoot!

If you enjoy Amish fiction, check out Beth's newest novel today. You won't regret it!

I am a member of BookSneeze, a fabulous program through Thomas Nelson. BookSneeze sends members free books to read and keep in exchange for written reviews on a blog and on a major retailer's website (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

How Do We Know the Bible Is True - a Creation Conversations review

Written by Ken Ham (President of Answers in Genesis) and Bodie Hodge, How Do We Know the Bible Is True? is a book that I believe all pastors should have in their church libraries, and all Christians should keep on their shelves at home. This book is relevant to today's issues; it answers questions that many new Christians may not know, and it helps defend the faith.

The book tackles many topics, including my favorites (but not limited to):
- Is the Old Testament reliable? This chapter discusses how historical records were kept back in Biblical days.
- Is the New Testament reliable? This chapter explains why that it IS reliable.
- Is Genesis a Derivation from Ancient Myths? Is it all just hearsay or legends passed down?
- What about the Factual Claims in the DaVinci Code? I love this chapter!
- Polygamy in the Light of Scripture
- Laminin and the Cross - fascinating chapter!!
- How Were People Saved Before Jesus Died on the Cross?

This is a book that can easily be shared with a teen class at church or even included in a homeschool curriculum for older students. It would also be perfect for a church Bible study or a book discussion. Or if you're like me and you enjoy reading Apologia and Hermeneutics, you'll enjoy this one as well. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Shadow of Your Smile - a Tyndale review

I was given the opportunity to review an advanced copy of The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren, one of my favorite authors.

This was a very enjoyable novel. It is a Deep Haven novel, a series of books set in a town called Deep Haven. Deep Haven is set in Minnesota, and the story takes place in the snowy winter months.

A horrible fall after running from the scene of a robbery, Noelle Hueston has lost her memory. She's lost the last twenty-five years of her life, including the memory of being married and having three children. In spite of that, Noelle could tell that her marriage to Eli was strained, but he wouldn't tell her why. Noelle desperately wanted to get her memory back, and slowly her family and friends opened up portions of her life that are missing, including the memory of losing her daughter in a horrific way. During the process, she learned that her relationship with Eli was something she wanted to build, not tear down.

In this story, you will also be thrust into the lives of Eli and Noelle's sons Kirby and Kyle, Kyle's girlfriend Emma and family friend (and Emma's mother) Lee Nelson, who had lost her husband at the same time that Eli and Noelle lost their daughter.

I loved the characters in this story. You could feel their sorrows and joy, feel Eli's embarrassment and frustration with himself, and the detail was just thoroughly enjoyable. Susan goes into detail with Emma's struggle to write lyrics to go along with her music, Noelle's frustration with her memory loss, the family struggles, and action scenes.

If you like a good, clean romance, this book will not disappoint. Way to go, Susan; this one's a winner! :)

Since this book is not released yet, I wasn't able to also post a review on, so I reviewed it instead on Goodreads.

I am a member of Tyndale Blog Network, a fabulous website that sends free books to read and keep if you write a review for your blog and for a major retailer (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble). Tyndale Blog Network is through Tyndale House Publishers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Lasting Impression - a Litfuse review

Tamera Alexander is an author that I am just now getting acquainted to, and I have to say I LOVE her writing! A Lasting Impression left a great impression on me! :) I loved it so much that I had a very hard time putting it down. At any rate, I'm going to say now: I HIGHLY recommend reading it, especially if you're a historical-romantic fiction lover like I am. What makes it even better is that it's also clean and not filled with language. I wish that I had four hands so that I could give this book four thumbs up; I like it so well! lol

Tamera weaved the story so very well, and the characters felt so real. I love it when I can delve into a book and feel the world simply fade away. If you decide to read this book, I've no doubt that you'll laugh with the characters and feel their emotions--the frustration, fear, anguish, and joy.

Claire Laurent, a painter who helps her father make a living from forging famous paintings for his gallery, comes upon a terrible trial when she comes home to find her father stabbed in the abdomen. She is sent away from Louisiana to Nashville to hide and take her craft elsewhere. When she is sent by her father and his friend to the home of a man with a seedy character, she runs to a chapel where her life drastically changes. She wants to put her forgery behind her and paint honestly and from her heart. But when her past follows her, she's worried that her trust in God might be for naught.

My favorite quote from the book is this: 
Handsome could've been used to describe him, but that would have been like calling Michelangelo's David "adequate."

I won't tell you more--you can pick this book up and read it for yourself. The storyline is so involved, detailed, and rich that you just have to check it out. Thankfully, Tamera has the first two chapters of the book on her site that you can read for yourself before you buy. Here's the link if you want to do that:

Read the FIRST TWO chapters of A Lasting Impression {here}!!
Click on the link that says "Read an Excerpt".

I've slowed down on my collection of books simply because I've nearly run out of room of the books that I want to collect. However, this book will be one I will not trade; it will find its place on a shelf . . . somewhere! lol

I've gotta say that this book is definitely . . .

About the Book:
A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.
About Tamera:
Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

For more information please visit

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually (with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern FoodBaskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera onthe evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspired giveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!


I received A Lasting Impression as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to give a favorable review; my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Refuge on Crescent Hill - a Kregel review

Refuge on Crescent Hill is a Christian mystery written by Melanie Dobson. Set in a small town called Etherton, the story revolves around Camden Bristow, a broke, homeless and jobless photographer who decides to return to her grandmother with the hopes that things will get better for her. Crescent Hill, a mansion on a crescent-shaped hill, is where her grandmother lives. When Camden arrives home and finds that her grandmother has died and she's the estate beneficiary, she finds that the situation is not as easy as she thought. When mysterious sounds and a mysterious woman are found in the house and items turn up missing, Camden finds herself in a tailspin to figure out what's going on. What she doesn't realize is that she's not who she thinks she is, and that another family in town is just dying to get a hold of treasure that is supposedly hidden on the property.

Alex Yates, in charge of bringing new businesses (and profits) to the small town, finds himself involved when the city decides that Crescent Hill mansion was falling apart and is in need of condemning. Drawn by Camden and her family's history (and moved by Alex's own sad family history), he decides to help her in any way that he can, even if it means he loses his job.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat, and the characters drew me in. The intrigue was really good; at times when I thought I had the story figured out, I later discovered I was wrong. I love it when that happens! Refuge on Crescent Hill also was inspired by a real mansion. You can view the pictures at Ms. Dobson's website here.

I received Refuge on Crescent Hill as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Kregel Blog Tours. My comments and opinions are my own.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Greatest Patriot - a MediaGuests review

The Greatest Patriot, written by Daniel Sullivan, is a story that would captivate any JFK conspiracy theorist junkie. However, this is no conspiracy theory. It's a work of fiction, but don't let that deter you from enjoying the story, if this type of book interests you. In this novel author Daniel Sullivan has interestingly weaved a story into the possibility that the whole JFK assassination thing was a fake, a cover-up, a farce. Because of the threat that JFK was presented by Russian leader Nikita Khrushche, he (with the help of his aids and powers-that-be) hatched a plan to remove himself from office, with the idea that doing so would stave off a third world war. This story will take you through the story from JFK's "assassination" to his moving to Aristotle Onassis' island Skorpios on the Ionean Sea. You'll follow how JFK affected political wars, his relationships with his family and friends while exiled, and his loneliness.
This book is written in a unique way. There are no chapters, and at first, that was a bit shocking and unattractive. The way the story is divided is into portions of time. For example, the story is told in the present day and in the past (1963-64, etc.), so the reader is taken back and forth quite often. That was another thing that I had to get used to. The point of view switched quite frequently (at times as often as every page), and at first it was difficult to remember who was whom. There were a lot of characters introduced in the first thirty pages or so, and I had to make a note in my notebook so that I wouldn't forget who was whom.

The author did a good job in making his characters seem real. JFK and his friend Hal were very well plotted, from descriptions of facial expressions to his description of Jack's cigarette smoking.

However, there were a few things that distracted me from the story. There were a couple of misspellings (which isn't uncommon at times in books--not all spelling errors are caught), and there were a few cases of POV issues where the story was told from one person's point of view, but Daniel described what a secondary character was feeling. There were quite a few grammatical errors and some instances where words were missing as well. And since most of my readers are Christians who like to know in advance, there were quite a few instances of language.

Ultimately, I found this story very fascinating (conspiracy theories are a guilty indulgence of mine :P), but I was disappointed by the errors and language.

I was given the opportunity to read and review this book for free for Media Guests. My comments and opinions are my own; I was not required to give a positive review.

To read more reviews on The Greatest Patriot, click on the image below.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Echoes of Savanna - a Media Guests review

Echoes of Savanna, written by Lucinda Moebius, is the story of a young doctor in the year of 2036 and thereafter. She is a child prodigy, and at the age of 19, has proven herself to be a competent doctor. When a terrorist attack threatens the calm and safety of the United States, Savanna Taylor finds herself absorbed in the effort of preparing vaccines to thwart the efforts of biological warfare, namely against smallpox, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, and others.

This book is a sci-fi/dystopia novel with a medical fiction twist.

The first half of this story confused me from time to time. I take notes when I do my reviews, and I'm glad I did because this one was a very involved story.

Savanna Taylor, main character, deals with some of the following topics: biological warfare, the genetic alteration of humans (including the insertion of animal genetics), martial law, fetal adoption, rape, female circumcision, the microchipping of the population, and dealing with sects and militant groups. Because there were so many big topics, I felt overwhelmed at times while I read. It's not uncommon for writers to hit on some controversial topics once in a while, but Lucinda touched on several.

The story begins with Susanna's struggle to calm a pandemic. Then she's swept into a situation where she's dealing with a 14-year-old Navajo girl requesting that Susanna adopt her unwanted embryo. Then the pandemic situation seems to go away, leaving me thinking that the author's going to hit the topic again in a chapter or two. However, it seems to be a background situation that just pops up at random. In fact, it seemed like the author got tired of talking about one topic and would hit another here and there. There was a feeling of underdevelopment that I had.

The secondary characters at first seemed to be faceless to me. As I was reading the first quarter of the story, I couldn't help but wonder if there was a book that preceded this one, because the way Lucinda wrote, it felt like I should already know who some of the characters were.

Also during this first quarter, four or five years pass with too little "activity". In a few lines, six months of pregnancy pass, and then years pass in a few pages. It wasn't until I hit about the 60% point in the book that the story seemed to pick up my interest.

Throughout this story, I kept asking myself: "what is the purpose of this story?" and "what does the main character learn?" I was finally able to answer that question during the last chapter of the book. You'll have to read it to find those answers yourself! ;)

I think Lucinda did a good bit of research in writing this story, and I appreciate that greatly. However, there were times when I had to go and search some things to find out what she was talking about. I'm not familiar with a lot of medical terminology. For example, there was mentioned ACL, and I was waiting to see if there was an explanation of ACL and didn't see it. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see it and ended up looking it up.

As a reader, I'm mildly interested in telling. That's a good thing, but there's a point where too much telling is a bad thing. There was a lot of narration in this story and a lot of year-jumping. For example, one character named Raven was 9 in chapter 31, and then all of a sudden in chapter 33 I read that she's 14. Whoa! This book includes a span of probably about 20 years or so, and that just seems to be too much for one book. I felt like I was reading a lot of "backstory" to get to the good stuff. Once I got past the halfway point, the story finally started, and as a busy mom, I felt a little robbed by all the narration I had to go through to get to the good stuff. I think this book could've easily been made into two or three books, and as a result Lucinda could've really fleshed out some of the topics, the characters, (and backstory) and kept my attention a lot easier.

Ultimately, what I as a reader want is some showing. Don't tell me about the people trying to get into Haven; SHOW me who they are. I want to be able to see their expressions, know their frustrations. Give me some more description, and some dialog.

The last quarter of the story was very moving. I was satisfied with how it ended, and I was pleasantly surprised to find I was wanting to know what happens to the rest of the characters. Hopefully Lucinda will keep writing this story but take it a little slower with the next books. :)

The copy that I received was an e-book version. I was given the opportunity to read and review this book for free for Media Guests. My comments and opinions are my own; I was not required to give a positive review.

To read more reviews of Echoes of Savanna, click the button below.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shadows on the Sand - a Multnomah Review

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper was such a great book! At 309 pages, this book flowed smoothly and was one that I had trouble putting down!

The characters in this story felt very real. I was able to feel the characters' frustrations, fears, and joys.

This novel is a romantic suspense. The main character Carrie Carter had had a rough childhood. She and her younger sister Lindsay had run away from a bad home when they were just sixteen and ten. Carrie, as an adult, ran her own successful cafe in Seaside, New Jersey, with her sister as co-owner.

Every morning, she served Greg Barnes breakfast. Greg was an ex-cop, a widower who'd lost his wife and children in an explosion that had been meant for him. Carrie found herself drawn to Greg and attracted to him, but he seemed to never notice her beyond the perfunctory nod, order, and payment.

Carrie and Greg were soon joined in an effort to find out who killed Carrie's dishwasher Jase. Greg found himself drawn to Carrie's life. But when Carrie had an accident in Greg's presence, his panic made him question whether Carrie deserved him. He made the difficult decision to pull away from her, feeling as if she deserved a stronger man. When Carrie's employee Andi disappeared and Carrie found herself in danger, Greg couldn't deny his feelings; he put himself in harm's way to save the lives of Carrie, Andi, and Lindsay.

If you love suspense and a little romance thrown in for good measure, you'll enjoy this book!

I received Shadows on the Sand as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. My comments and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bombus the Bumblebee - a Creation Conversations Review

Bombus the Bumblebee, by Elsie Larson (illustrated by David Haidle & Elizabeth Haidle), is a story about Bombus, a bumblebee. At 40 pages, this Christian fiction book published by Master Books, is appropriate for preschool children through early elementary.

Since this was a children's book, I'm including my review and the review of my first grader son, who also has read this book.

Jami's Review
The story takes place shortly after Creation. Bombus makes the mistake of listening to the honeybees who insisted that bumblebees were not meant to fly. They jeered and made fun of Bombus' big body and showed off their abilities to fly easily. Bombus quickly became self-conscious of his abilities to fly and even decided to stop flying altogether until God had a talk with him. "I told you to fly," God said. "No matter what your shape or weight, you can fly because I gave you flight. Now, lift up your wings . . . and FLY."

At the end of the story are pages dedicated to information about bumblebees, some discussion questions for children and adults, and some activities to go along with the story.

This was a cute story, the illustrations were very colorful, and my son Jacob, a second grader, read and reviewed this book as well.

Jacob's Review
This book is about Bombus the Bumblebee. The other bees are trying to trick Bombus; they are mean. I like the book. It's very cool. I think you should get the book. I love, love, love the book.

I received Bombus the Bumblebee as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Creation Conversations. I was not required to give a positive review; my opinions are my own.

Treasuring Emma - a BookSneeze review

Treasuring Emma, by Kathleen Fuller, was a nice Amish story. There were bits of romance and suspense laced throughout.

Main character, Emma, was an Amish woman who was unmarried at age 25. The young man that Emma had loved as a young girl had left the faith and gone to another state. When Adam left, Emma's heart went with him.

Having recently lost both of her parents, Emma and her grandmother Leona were forced to take care of the farm on their own. When Emma's sister Clara begins to make problems for Emma, heartache begins to ensue.

Shortly thereafter, Adam returns because of an illness that his mother seems to have, and Peter, Clara's husband, has a cousin show up at his and Clara's door. While Adam returns for a good reason, Mark King--Peter's cousin--arrives to wreak havoc.

I enjoyed this story, but there were a few things that left me a little perplexed. Mark's part in the story felt a little forced, as if the author felt like some action needed to be added to the story. His part seemed a bit jumbled to me, and I'd have been just as satisfied with his not being a part of the story at all.

Also, Clara and Emma had some issues that I felt needed to be fleshed out a bit more. There were problems between the two of them, and then the issues were resolved after Mark's situation was wrapped up. The mending of Clara's and Emma's relationship felt a little disjointed to me.

Otherwise, this is a great story to read, and if you like Amish stories, I'm sure this one will be a pleaser.

If you'd like to read other reviews I've done for Kathleen Fuller's books, check here and here.

I am a member of BookSneeze, a fabulous program through Thomas Nelson. BookSneeze sends members free books to read and keep in exchange for written reviews on a blog and on a major retailer's website (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coming Home

I was just sitting yesterday in my recliner wondering what I was going to blog about today for the blog chain. I sat down to begin writing, and something else came out instead. And unfortunately today my mind is just not focused, so I'm going to have to rely on the Lord to lead me through.

Some say you can always go home, but that's not always true.

A man named John Ed Pearce is quoted to have said, "Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to."

Poet Margaret Elizabeth Sangster said, "There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again."

I think about the prodigal son who left his home where he was loved, accepted, and provided for. He wasn't happy with life at home. Perhaps he had to help his father, perhaps the meals weren't fancy enough, and maybe his parents were "stuffy". No matter what his reasons, the son left. He asked for his inheritance and took off (Luke 15:11-32).

You know what happened to him: he squandered all of his money. "Prodigal" means wasteful, so we know that he used his money in a way that was not wise. When all was said and done, he had nothing left. He knew that even his father's servants ate better than he. Recognizing his pitiful condition, he decided to set off for home.

I can only imagine his embarrassment though, can't you? Admitting defeat isn't something that most men are able to do easily. I'm not a man, but I can't imagine going home in the shape that that son did. No doubt he was ashamed and scared. I can imagine he might have wondered if his father would slam the door in his face. Or would he have to earn back his position in the family? I'd say that the trip home was not an easy one.

When he came in view of home, no doubt his pulse probably raced. Then something wonderful happened: his father spotted him in the distance. Did the father sigh and shake his head in disdain or murmur about his foolish son? No. The father RAN to his son, EMBRACED him, and KISSED him.

When the son told him that he was unworthy to be called his son, the father simply made his son welcome right back again, unconditionally. The son was given the best clothes, had a ring put on his finger and a celebration was on.

That's exactly what happens when God welcomes us into His Home after we've strayed away. None of us is perfect, and let's face it: in this world, temptation is all around. Television, newspapers, and the internet is full of stories of sin--sins committed by unbelievers and believers. Yep, believers are sinners, too. Just like sheep, if we're not listening to our Shepherd's voice, we can go astray.

The good news is, when we go off the path that God wants us to take, we can ALWAYS go Home again!! Just like the prodigal son's father, our Father God waits for us, ready to run to us, embrace us, and host a celebration.

Don't let fear or embarrassment keep you from going Home. God will accept you just as you are--filthy rags, penniless, or shameful. He doesn't care where you've been; He just wants you.

Fairer Than Morning - a Litfuse Review

Fairer Than Morning, by Rosslyn Elliott, was exactly the type of book that I LOVE to read! A romance set in 19th Century Pittsburgh and a farm in Ohio, this book was incredibly gripping. If you read this book, you'll find a story that tugs your heartstrings, keeps your nails short (because you'll chew them off in anticipation!!), and leaves you loving the main characters.

I love when I finish reading a book with a love of the characters, and this is exactly what has happened for me. Ann Miller, the heroine, lost her mother when she was just a young girl. As a teen, she finds herself smitten with Eli Bowen, a young romantic much like herself. However, when Eli proposes and Ann tells him that her father would never allow her to marry at 15, Eli soon has his head turned by another young lady.

A few years later when Ann, her minister/saddler father, and her sisters go on a trip to Pittsburgh where her father has been commissioned to make a saddle for a well-to-do lady, Ann finds herself in the middle of danger. To add to that, Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice, lives nearby where Ann and her family are staying in Pittsburgh. Will's and Ann's hearts are tied in a very tender way, and when Ann realizes that Will's master is a cruel man, she longs to find a way to help him.

When Ann's father finishes his task and Ann and her family go back to Ohio, Will makes the decision to leave his master, forsaking his contract for indenture, and follows the Millers.

Excellent story. Excellent drama. Excellent characters. The only thing more I could ask would be for the story to continue!!

This is definitely

About the book:
Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio , young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

Ann travels to Pittsburgh , accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's
apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.

When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it
back to Ann, will she be waiting? Read an excerpt here:
About Rosslyn:
Rosslyn Elliott grew up in a military family and relocated so often that she attended nine schools before her high school graduation. With the help of excellent teachers, she qualified to attend Yale University , where she earned a BA in English and Theater. She worked in business and as a schoolteacher before returning to study at Emory University , where she earned a Ph.D. in English in 2006. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She lives in the Southwest, where she homeschools her daughter and teaches in children's ministry.
For more about Rosslyn, visit her website:

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Fairer Than Morning, Rosslyn Elliott is giving away two fabulous prize packages. The first is brand new KINDLE in her Fairer Than Morning Kindle Giveaway. Then on September 20th she's giving away a $200 gift certificate toward a Custom-Made Historical Reproduction Dress (from Recollections) during the Fairer Than Morning Book Club Chat Party on Facebook! Sigh...romantic.

Fairer Than Morning is receiving wonderful reviews - Library Journal said, "A well-written historical series debut…". Read more reviews here.

Be sure to join the fun and enter the Kindle contest -

One winner will receive:
* Kindle with Wi-Fi

* Fairer Than Morning (for Kindle)

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, giveaway ends on 9/19. Winner will be announced on 9/20 at Rosslyn's Book Club Facebook Party. Details and official rules can be found when entering the contest.

Then be sure to RSVP for Rosslyn's Facebook Party! During the party Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, hosting a book chat about Fairer Than Morning (don't worry if you haven't read the book yet - you could win a copy!) & historical Fiction, testing your trivia skills. She'll also be giving away that $200 gift certificate toward a FABULOUS custom-made period dress from Recollections!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

I received Fairer Than Morning as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to give a favorable review; my opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not My Decision

I sat down to write a blog for the September blog, but this came out instead. I'm not a poet by any stretch, but it encapsulates my inner battle while dealing with costochondritis for the last (almost) seven months. These are my thoughts just put down--they're not meant for publishing.

Not My Decision

I sit alone in a prison
Not made by me
It was not my decision.

Aching body, jaw clenched

I wait alone in a prison
Not made by me
It was not my decision.

In a crowd, with smile pasted

I walk alone in a prison
Not made by me
It was not my decision.

Holding His Book, the tears flow

I read alone in a prison
Not made by me
It was not my decision.

Before the throne, I make my plea
To make my leave

To never be alone in a prison
Not made by me, for
It was not my decision.

His eyes gaze into mine
He takes my hand

To guide me from my prison
Not made by me, and
It was His decision.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Across the Wide River - a Kregel Review

Across the Wide River, written by Stephanie Reed, is an inspiring tale (based on real individuals and real events) about a young boy and his family's experiences as pro-abolitionists. This story is earmarked for teens, but honestly it could be read by younger children and adults can certainly appreciate it as well.

In Across the Wide River, main character Lowry Rankin, an ordinary boy yet extraordinary in character, finds himself in situations where he witnesses the plights of slaves. Having watched his own black friend nearly beaten to death, Lowry finds himself in agreement with his family that slavery is wrong.

Lowry, as an adolescent, struggles with his own problems with self-esteem because of being bullied by those who disagreed with him and his family's beliefs in abolishing slavery. Lowry battles between acting on what was right or whether to turn a blind eye to slavery.

This book was thought-provoking and moving. I highly recommend this book to all teens and adults who appreciate historical fiction. If you're interested in more information about the real Rankin House and story, click {here}.

I received Across the Wide River as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Kregel Blog Tours. My comments and opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mine is the Night - a Waterbrook Multnomah Review

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs was a breathtaking book that read like a classic to me. It had a Jane Eyre feel to it, I thought, and it had me in anticipation from start to finish.

Set in 18th century Scotland, Mine is the Night is a story of two ladies' journeys from prosperity to poverty. Due to the loss of her husband and her sons (Jacobites) after they were lost in battle, widow Marjory Kerr and her widowed daughter-in-law Elisabeth set off for the Kerr hometown of Selkirk to begin life anew. Running from dragoons who would surely capture them and turn them into the King for their treason frightened them, but they found Selkirk to be fairly safe.

After being reluctantly accepted by the townsfolk, Marjory and Elisabeth, with the help of their cousin Anne who provided shelter, began to support themselves. Marjory learned to cook and care for the home (having been a mistress of a large home with servants, she'd not had to do that before), and Elisabeth became a seamstress in town.

After admiral Lord Jack Buchanan was awarded an estate in Selkirk by the King, Elisabeth applied for a servant's job--as seamstress. She was quite a talented seamstress and caught Lord Jack's eye immediately.

What results is a story that will warm your heart. The story has a Ruth-Naomi-Boaz feel to it that is sure to please.

I had never read any of Higgs' books, but now I'm definitely ready for more. This was a winner!!

I received Mine is the Night as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. My comments and opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thunder of Heaven - a Zondervan review

Ok. Let me just get this off of my chest:


Thunder of Heaven is absolutely incredible. When I was given the opportunity to review this second book in The End Series written by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall, I knew it was going to be good. I didn't waste any time trying to read the second book before having read the first, so luckily I found it at the libary. By the time Thunder of Heaven arrived at my door, I'd read Edge of Apocalypse and was ready to roll. :)

Thunder of Heaven is a book that has a similar feel as the Left Behind series. It's captivating, full of drama, and it leaves you on the edge of your seat. The End Series, however, focuses more on military aspects than the Left Behind series does, but don't let that discourage you from reading if you're not entirely too thrilled about reading military jargon. I'm normally not interested in military or political fiction, but this book has completely changed my mind. Coming from a girl who tends to prefer chick lit, that's saying a lot! ;)

Main character Joshua Jordan, retired colonel from the Air Force, is the head of a secret "round table" of individuals who meet regularly to try to protect the country from disaster when the government seems to turn a blind eye to danger. So Joshua Jordan and some of his pals created a RTS (Return to Sender) antimissile defense system, which had first been used in the first book (Edge of Apocalypse) to detract certain demise intended for New York. The RTS system was considered controversial, and Joshua Jordan was considered a criminal for using a system that hadn't been given the OK by the government.

Joshua's wife Abigail, their son Cal, and daughter Deborah are thrust headfirst into chaos when threat comes from Russia. Joshua and Deborah head to Israel to attempt to help the Israelis thwart an attack, while Abigail and Cal work to keep things together as the round table is being brought to justice for their secret meetings.

Even though this book is set in the future, it has an intensely current feel to it. LaHaye and Parshall do an excellent job fleshing out the characters, portraying the feel of corruption, and leaving the reader turning the pages furiously in attempt to absorb it all!

I hope that they're working on Book 3, because this chick is ready for more!!

I received Thunder of Heaven as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Zondervan.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Health & Beauty Products I LOVE!

I was just thinking the other morning while I was doing my morning "beautifying" routine that I need to make a blog entry about the products that I love the most. There are certain beauty and health products that I would truly hate to see go away because I absolutely love them. And here is a list of those things I LOVE (in no particular order).

Coconut Oil
I have recently bought coconut oil in order to make homemade deodorant. I LOVE it! Not only can it be used in the making of deodorant, coconut oil is also very good for you. It can be used for dry skin and irritating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. (Combine it with honey, and it feels so awesome on the face!!) My grandfather is a barber, and I remember he always had a jar of Coconut Oil in his shop; it's a great dandruff-buster and hair conditioner!! It also is a healing agent for cuts and scrapes. I hear that coconut oil rubbed on the forehead is also good for stress. (Haven't tried it yet myself though.) It also supposedly helps in digestion, vitamin absorption, irritating bowel problems (IBS), stimulates metabolism, and improves thyroid function. Coconut oil is a must-have for me from now on!!

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals
I LOVE this stuff! This makeup is the only makeup I've ever had that has not broken out my skin. In fact, it has done the opposite!! The acne that I used to have all the time--great big zits, y'all--are all but gone. I just thought that I was one of those unfortunate adults who was cursed with acne forever. Obviously, I still get little teeny things when hormones hit that crucial stage during the month, but as for the huge, ugly beasts that I got regularly, they are gone. I highly recommend this makeup for any adults (and teens) who struggle with sensitive skin like I do. It's a little more expensive than the typical Cover Girl products I used to buy, but it lasts me a long time (especially the blush). Typically, the foundation lasts three months and sometimes a little longer. So when you consider $16 on foundation for three months' time (especially knowing that it won't break your skin out!), that's a pretty good deal.

Organix shampoos and conditioners
This brand is my absolute favorite. It's an organic shampoo and conditioner (and sulfate free!) that leaves the hair's natural oils intact. I use the "flavor" you see on the left because my hair tends to get dry. There are other blends like, but not limited to, cherry blossom ginseng, coconut milk, vanilla silk, teatree mint, and coconut butter.

This shampoo can be found at most pharmacies and stores like Walmart. I'm able to buy each bottle around $6 at Walmart, and they last me about three months. (I wash my hair every other day.)

Renpure Organics
This is another organic shampoo and conditioner that I like. I also use the "flavor" that you see on the left: it's the pomegranate, papaya and olive leaf. I came upon this brand by accident. I'd sent my husband shopping at Walmart one day and he came back with this instead of my usual Organix brand of shampoo. I was a little worried at first, but when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised. It works about as well as Organix, and is just slightly cheaper than Organix. I am able to buy it just shy of $6 at Walmart. They also have other blends. Check them out!

Essential oils
A few years ago, if someone had talked to me about the use of essential oils, I'd have thought they were old school. I won't discount traditional medicine, but the use of essential oils in treating simple problems (and even some complex ones!) shouldn't be forgotten. Grandma's use of cloves for your toothache wasn't just some back hills remedy. It worked.

I LOVE lavender. I absolutely love it, and have used it so often for healing acne and boils and the like that it has become a staple in my medicine cabinet. Add to the fact that it's soothing and relaxing, and you've got a winner.

I also regularly use lemon oil, peppermint oil on occasion, Thieves oil (though I'm mildly allergic to cinnamon, so I have to use with caution), and tea tree oil. If you don't know much about the healing properties of essential oils, I highly recommend you look into it!

Melt and Pour Soaps
I love making my own soap. There are companies out there like Bramble Berry who sell organic melt and pour bases so that you can make whatever flavor of soap you want. Twenty-five pounds will cost you about $40, but you can make a looooot of soap with 25 pounds! Add some essential oils like Rosemary or Tea Tree and some fragrance oils that you like, and you're set!

Amber necklace
I was first introduced to amber for headaches by my friend Kristin. She'd found a website called Inspired by Flynn. The website features necklaces, bracelets, etc. that have healing properties. You can read here about the healing properties in amber.

What are the health and beauty products that you cannot live without? Please share!!

I have not been paid to review any of these products. My opinions are my own.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Of August Lineage

Recently, my sons and I were talking about the timeline for heavenly events. My boys, 11 and (just today) 7, have grown up in church and so it's not unusual for us to talk about the Bible, the Lord, or even things complicated like prophecy. Revelations is an especially interesting topic to my eldest son Daniel. He's fascinated with events leading up to the rapture and what happens afterward. And the great thing is, I'm fascinated with that timeline as well! :)

So when Daniel asked me about how things will work during the tribulation and the thousand year reign, I was excited. He always tends to ask me difficult questions while we're driving and I can't dig my pocket-sized Bible out of my purse (it comes in handy when I'm not driving! lol).

I always get excited to talk about the calling up of believers, the millennial reign, and New Jerusalem. The fact that I have been adopted into the family of the most Righteous on High (Eph. 1:5) never gets old, because by my own merit I'm not worthy of heaven.

Ephesians 2:8 tells me "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." [Emphasis mine] There's nothing on this earth that I could do to earn God's gift. That verse specifically says that salvation IS A GIFT! The Merriam-Webster online dictionary's definition (specifically the second one) of "gift" is:

something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation

God doesn't require us to pay Him back for that gift of salvation. He doesn't offer salvation expecting something from us in return. He gives salvation simply because he WANTS us to have it. God created man so that He might have a relationship with him. He wants to have fellowship with His creation. Even when Adam and Eve sinned and men and women continually showed God that they were sinful and at times unlovable, God didn't give up on His creation. He sent Jesus to the earth to be "the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2) Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, when He was rejected by His very own lineage, allowed the Gentiles to be adopted as part of the heavenly, the august, heritage.

I'm so glad I'm part of the family of God!!

(Fast-forward to 1:40 for the song :P)
From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong!

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God

Monday, July 4, 2011

Seek Me with all your Heart - a BookSneeze review

Seek Me with all your Heart, written by Beth Wiseman, was a fantastic book! I've had the privilege of reading and reviewing several of Beth's books, and I have to say they're just fabulous reads. Beth never lets her readers down!

Seek Me with all your Heart is book one in the Land of Canaan series. Emily Detweiler, the heroine, and her Amish family had recently uprooted from their Ohio community and settled in Canaan, Colorado, where they had hoped to start anew. Emily had faced unbelievable circumstances in Ohio, which caused her faith to be battered.

David Stoltzfus's family moved to Colorado due to financial reasons. Because of a health condition that David had suffered, his medications would be costly for the rest of his life. However, David's parents hadn't told him this, so he wasn't aware of the real reason for moving to Colorado. David was determined to save his money and eventually move back home to Paradise, Pennsylvania. David had his own burdens and reasons for remaining single. But then he met Emily and things began to change.

If you're an avid reader of Amish fiction, you'll love this book! I highly recommend it and I have to say that this is definitely:

Beth has available a sample of the first few pages of this book that you can listen to on her website.

Please visit Beth today!

I am a member of BookSneeze, a fabulous program through Thomas Nelson. BookSneeze sends members free books to read and keep in exchange for written reviews on a blog and on a major retailer's website (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Author Interview - Tracy Krauss!

It is my great pleasure to host an interview with Tracy Krauss, who is a best selling author, playwright, artist and teacher. She currently has two 'edgy inspirational' novels and one play in print and is working on several other books and plays. She is a member of 'American Christian Fiction Writers', 'Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship', and 'Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers', as well as several writing related social networking groups. Originally from a small prairie town, Tracy received her Bachelors Degree from the university of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. with majors in Art, and minors in History and English. She teaches High School English, Drama and Art. Apart from her many personal creative pursuits, she also directs an amateur theater group and leads worship at her local church. She and her husband, an ordained minister with the PAOC, have lived in many remote and unique places in Canada's north, including Churchill Manitoba - the 'polar bear capital of the world', the Yukon, and the NWT. They raised four children and were active advocates of the homeschooling movement for many years. They currently reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, known for its waterfalls.

And now, on to the interview!!

Jami: When did you begin writing?

Tracy: I started writing seriously about 25 years ago shortly after I had my first child. I wrote every afternoon while she napped. Although I had dreams of publication even back then, I never acted on those dreams until years later.

Jami: I think a lot of writers can relate to that! What are your motivations for writing? What/Who inspires you?

Tracy: Like many authors, I am compelled to write. It certainly is not for the fame and fortune, since these are very hard to come by. I get ideas from all kinds of places. It’s pretty hard to narrow it down to one thing. Long ago, I did decide to dedicate my writing to God, so a Christian theme has appeared in each of my novels so far.

Jami: Amen. You have experience in the classroom. How do you feel that teaching has impacted your writing?

Tracy: I teach high school Art, English and Drama. Teaching is actually a very creative process, so I think this transfers to my writing. I’m constantly trying a new approach, tweaking, and making things better. Also, dealing with people all day long can be practically applied in terms of characterization. As far as each subject goes, Art simply inspires me, my English classes have kept me immersed in ‘words’, and my Drama classes have inspired me to write many plays. For those who love to teach, like me, the educational field is very rewarding, and living a fulfilled life can only help you as a writer. The down side is the time commitment. I’m always burning the midnight oil, squeezing in my writing after hours.

Jami: I can empathize with you. As a teacher myself (now homeschooler), I agree with you. I found myself being inspired a lot by my job. Going back to the questions, you're not only an author of books, but you're a playwright! Tell us about your passion for theater.

Tracy: I’m glad you used the word passion. I truly love live theatre, and writing and directing affords such a wide range of creative outlets. Seeing a play you’ve written performed is so immediate, because you get to feel the audience response directly. I’m not sure there is anything that compares. Also, it is a very collaborative art form – each actor brings something to the play that you maybe didn’t even realize was there.

Jami: I agree with you. Theater is word put to life! Speaking of life, your characters in your books are so full of that. They're so real! When I read the title for your novel My Mother the Man-Eater, I couldn't contain the laughter. All sorts of crazy images burst through my head. I can say that Joleen's character definitely seems to fit the title. Can you give readers a brief view into Joleen's world?

Tracy: Joleen Allen is a ‘cougar’ – a forty something woman who finds fulfillment and self-worth through relationships with men – lots of them. On the surface this might seem shallow, but we discover she actually has some dark secrets from the past that keep driving her penchant for sexy younger men. The story gets complicated by the fact that she is also the mother of five grown daughters, all with their own strengths and issues. Unknown to any of them, some of her current boyfriends also get involved with her daughters, with comic (and sometimes messy!) results. Added to this, her ex-husband, who is a convicted criminal fresh out of prison, arrives back on the scene out for revenge. It’s a twisted merry-go-round that is both humorous and very dramatic at the same time.

Jami: The first chapter of And the Beat Goes On is quite riveting and different from My Mother the Man-Eater. Tell us about the inspiration behind this story.

Tracy: This book is about an archeologist who discovers pterodactyl and human remains buried together in the mountains of Africa. In his quest for the truth, he soon discovers that some of the ‘powers that be’ don’t want this kind of evidence for ‘Intelligent Design’ to surface. There is also speculation that the giant human bones are actually the ‘Nephilim’, a race of ‘god-men’ mentioned in the Bible during pre-flood times. The chapter you are referring to is the prologue, I assume, which is a peek into that ancient world where a Nephilim king is about to witness an orgy involving human sacrifice and pterodactyls. This was my imagination running wild as I tried to portray just how low man had become before the flood. The topic of creationism vs. evolution has been very interesting to me since I became a believer. I wanted to know how creation lined up next to accepted scientific theories of the origins of the universe. Years of research led to the idea for this book, which also has a romantic twist.
In fact, both books are ‘Romantic Suspense’ with lots of action, intrigue, murder and mayhem, so even though they may seem different on the surface, my writing style isn’t really that divergent.

Jami: Most writers find themselves diligent readers. I know that's certainly the case for myself. Other than your own books, what is your favorite book of all time?

Tracy: I love good spec fiction and nobody does it better, at least from a Christian perspective, than Frank Peretti. I have all his books, but Monster is still probably my favorite. I also love Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood – not a Christian book by any means, but still riveting and twisted, the way I like it.

Jami: I always wonder about how other writers get themselves in the "writing mode." Describe your preferred writing environment. What tools do you use, what room or outdoor area, music, comfort food/drink?

Tracy: I mostly sit in my office/library at my desk, or sometimes I use my laptop at the kitchen table. Once I’m in the zone, it doesn’t matter much where I am. As long as I have good light, I’m fine. I don’t actually eat, drink or listen to music while writing. I just get so tuned in to what I’m doing that I forget everything else … the snack sits uneaten, the coffee gets cold, the music stops … and I rarely notice.

Jami: Has a funny or inspirational event spurred your creative juices? If so, in what way?

Tracy: I know this sounds cliché, but I feel as if I’m constantly internalizing everything for later use. My head is in a constant swirl of ‘possibilities’ for the next novel, play, painting or lesson. I can’t help it. So this question is very difficult to answer. When has something NOT spurred my creative juices? In my thirty years with my husband, an eternal optimist and adventurer, I have been in some interesting (read ‘scary’) situations. I’ve been stampeded by a herd of buffalo (on foot), come face to face with a polar bear, (more than once with nothing more than the car window between us) slept out on the tundra with no gear, been out to sea in an 8 foot boat with giant waves almost capsizing us, had whales go under the canoe and almost capsize it, slept in my vehicle for weeks on end while on ‘vacation’, driven for five hours just to meet someone for ‘coffee’ and then driven home again … I could go on. Raising four kids, homeschooling for many years, being in ministry … these have all contributed to my stockpile of fodder.

Jami: Crazy! You've definitely been inundated with inspiration, it seems! As God's word says, "All things work together for good to them that love God (Rom. 8:28)." How has God's word encouraged you during your writing career?

Tracy: I love that ‘God makes everything beautiful in its time’. He knows the plans He has for us and each day is marked out for us even before one of them came to be. This has given me the drive the continue writing despite the setbacks and rejections. I believe that God did not make a mistake when He made me with this burning desire to write. What happens with those words is up to Him, and I am content with that. My path is not the same as someone else’s and I try not to measure my success in dollars and cents.

Jami: What advice would you give to someone who wishes to publish?

Tracy: Perseverance is key. Do not get easily discouraged, especially if your goal is traditional publication. The competition is fierce and you really need to do your homework in terms of how to make a good pitch etc. Then sit back and wait for the rejections to come in. It takes fortitude and courage to expose yourself to criticism, but in the end it is worth it. Of course, there are many options open to writers these days, but make sure that your writing is excellent. Sub standard writing is one of the pitfalls of self-publication, so if you go that route, spend the extra money to get outside editing.

Jami: Great advice, Tracy. If you could recommend one book in aiding someone whose goal it is to be published, what book would that be?

Tracy: Sally Stuart’s Guides are like the Bible of Christian publication. It’s tried, trusted and true, so go with her. There are lots of other good resources, too, but it might take some weeding online.

Jami: What's next for you?

Tracy: A third book called
Play It Again is now in production. It is actually the prequel to And The Beat Goes On. I also have another manuscript I am preparing to pitch, and of course, I continue to work on several other projects.

Jami: I've really enjoyed this interview and learning more about you, Tracy. I hope that in a few years I can have you back to find out what new things you've been delving into! Do you have anything else to add that you'd like readers to know about?

Tracy: Thanks so much for hosting me today. You can check out any of these sites for more information:
FB fanpage:

Also, you can check out this trailer for Tracy's book And the Beat Goes On:

Thanks for joining me, Tracy! God bless you in your efforts! Be watching this blog for future author interviews!

If you're a Christian author and you're interested in being interviewed, you can contact me at xjacielbx @