Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It is COLD in North Texas today - a bone-chilling 34 as I type this post. Now that may not seem cold to some, but it's the coldest November we've had in a long while, and yesterday we got SNOW!  Ack!  Too early for winter to appear!

Thankfully, I've got a great husband who keeps the fireplace roaring, and a stack of books to keep me entertained!

I've got a great lineup of books this week. It's been a little while since I've updated, but hopefully, this week I'll have reviews to post and a great giveaway that I'll share later!

So, let's get to the books!

What I'm Reading Now:

What I Plan To Read:

Special Events:

Tuesday - Book Blog Tour

Wednesday - GIVEAWAY!!!

Come back on Wednesday for your chance to enter to win the three book set of inspirational novels from author Shelley Shepard Gray!

Hope you have a great week of reading this week as well!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme sponsored by Sheila at BookJourney - check out what other bloggers are reading week at

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Stress Cure: Praying Your Way To Personal Peace by Linda Evans Shepherd - Book Spotlight

Who doesn't have stress in their lives these days? Some of us, more than others, I'm sure!

Author Linda Evans Shepherd takes a look at how prayer can help ease and understand the stress in your life in her new book, "The Stress Cure: Praying Your Way To Personal Peace."  With plenty of room to journal, prayer guidance and personal stories, Shepherd delivers a beautifully wise and inspiring book that is sure to help those who need peace in their lives.

Here's more about the book:

Stress Cure, The: Praying Your Way to Personal Peace

About The Book:

We live in a world filled to the brim with advice, and when it comes to dealing with stress, there's plenty of advice to go around. Sleep more, eat better, avoid this, seek out that. But more ideas about how to cope are not necessarily what we need if we're stressed and anxious. 
What we need is a cure.
The true remedy to stress, Linda Evans Shepherd says, is prayer. In this inspiring book, she shows you how to recognize God's continual presence in your life and yield your troubles to the Prince of Peace. Through captivating stories, explorations of fascinating biblical characters, and examples of deeper-than-ever prayers, she brings within your grasp the peace that passes understanding. If you are overwhelmed by all of the urgent demands on your time, this book offers you a lifeline to true peace.

About The Author:

About Linda Evans Shepherd, Linda Evans Shepherd, the prayer author, prayer author, prayer books, how to pray, Linda Evans Shepherd books, help me GodLinda Evans Shepherd is an award-winning author, a popular speaker, and a radio personality. The president of Right to the Heart Ministries, she is the author of When You Don't Know What to Pray and Experiencing God's Presence. She and her husband live in Colorado. Learn more at

My thanks to Revell Books for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Breast Cancer Alphabet by Madhulika Sikka - Book Review

Breast cancer awareness is something that should be done every day until a cure is found - not just for one month a year.  So, keeping that in mind, I give you a beautifully written book on this disease by one who has been there herself. 

A Breast Cancer Alphabet

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Crown

About The Book:

From NPR News executive editor Madhulika Sikka comes an indispensable and approachable guide to life during, and after, breast cancer.

The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman.  Madhulika Sikka’s A Breast Cancer Alphabet offers a new way to live with and plan past the hardest diagnosis that most women will ever receive: a personal, practical, and deeply informative look at the road from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

What Madhulika Sikka didn’t foresee when initially diagnosed, and what this book brings to life so vividly, are the unexpected and minute challenges that make navigating the world of breast cancer all the trickier.  A Breast Cancer Alphabet is an inspired reaction to what started as a personal predicament.

This A-Z guide to living with breast cancer goes where so many fear to tread: sex (S is for Sex – really?), sentimentality (J is for Journey – it’s a cliché we need to dispense with), hair (H is for Hair – yes, you can make a federal case of it) and work (Q is for Quitting – there’ll be days when you feel like it).  She draws an easy-to-follow, and quite memorable, map of her travels from breast cancer neophyte to seasoned veteran.

As a prominent news executive, Madhulika had access to the most cutting edge data on the disease’s reach and impact.  At the same time, she craved the community of frank talk and personal insight that we rely on in life’s toughest moments.  This wonderfully inventive book navigates the world of science and story, bringing readers into Madhulika’s mind and experience in a way that demystifies breast cancer and offers new hope for those living with it.

My Thoughts:

Madhulika Sikka has taken an ingenious look at a disease that frankly scares the #*&$ out of most people and gives it a humane, realistic and informative twist in this tiny book that is so full of pertinent wisdom, advice and information.  Everyone who has either been diagnosed with, or knows someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer should immediately get this book or give it as a gift - it will become a constant companion.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!

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About The Author:

Madhulika Sikka Photo Credit Kainaz Amara
MADHULIKA SIKKA is a veteran broadcast journalist with decades of experience. Among other media outlets, she has worked at NPR News and ABC News.
Visit Madhulika’s website for more information.

.My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Gossamer Ghost: A Scrapbooking Mystery by Laura Childs - Book Review

Happy Halloween, y'all!  I saved all the treats for the big day, and the sweetest one of all is Laura Childs' fabulous new book in her Scrapbooking Mystery series, Gossamer!

About The Book:

Carmela Bertrand knows that Halloween in New Orleans means a week of rabble-rousing, costumed craziness—and she can’t wait to get the party started. But when a local antiques dealer turns up dead, Carmela suddenly finds herself in a real-life danse macabre….

An evening’s work deciding on the class schedule for her scrapbooking shop has put Carmela in the mood to kick up her heels. But after some strange noises draw her into Oddities, the neighboring antiques shop, Carmela’s night is abruptly put on hold when a bloody body falls out of a curio cabinet—and into her arms.

While shop owner Marcus Joubert was known for being an eccentric with a penchant for eclectic merchandise, Carmela never thought he was the kind of man who could inspire the passion required to kill. But when Marcus’s assistant—and fiancée—Mavis reveals that a priceless death mask was also stolen, it becomes clear that murder wasn’t the culprit’s sole intention.

Carmela can’t resist the urge to investigate the growing mystery, but as the list of suspects increases, she realizes it’ll take every trick in the book to unmask the killer thief before there’s another night of murderous mischief….

My Thoughts:

Laura Childs is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors and it is always a treat when she has a new book released!  I'm especially fond of her Scrapbooking Mystery series, which is set in the always fun and interesting New Orleans, and in my oh-so humble opinion - "Gossamer Ghost" is Laura's absolute best of the bunch!

Laura has a special way of pulling her readers right into the heart of the story and makes them feel like they are there with Carmela and Ava as they find themselves once again embroiled in another murder mystery in the "Big Easy." These gals are two smart cookies who always seem to find clues and answers that the police (and Carmela's honey, Detective Edgar Babcock) seem to overlook.

Throughout the story, Laura adds in fun sessions with Carmela's scrapbooking ladies, and as a special treat for readers, includes recipes for some of the yummy treats that the ladies are forever baking and cooking up!

So, this Halloween, treat yourself to a fun read with "Gossamer Ghost!"  You'll be so glad you did - I promise!

About The Author:

Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is a consummate tea drinker, scrapbooker, and dog lover, and travels frequently to China and Japan with Dr. Bob, her professor husband. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.

Check out her website at for news of her upcoming releases and other fun information.

My thanks to the author for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trick or Deadly Treat: A Fresh Baked Mystery by Livia J. Washburn - A Halloween Book Review

You're never too old for a sweet treat this time of year, especially when it comes in the form of a wonderful cozy mystery like Livia J. Washburn's "Trick or Deadly Treat," the latest book in her Fresh Baked Mystery series!

About The Book:

It’s Halloween in Weatherford, Texas—which means Phyllis Newsom is baking up a storm of yummy seasonal treats...but she’s about to get even busier unmasking a killer.

While Phyllis and her friend Carolyn are preparing for a baking contest, her housemate Sam adopts Buck, an adorable Dalmatian who was hit by a car. To thank local veterinarian Hank Baxter for helping the dog, Phyllis and Carolyn bake a batch of doggie treats for his other four-legged patients.
But when they arrive at the clinic, the vet is in the process of being arrested—for the murder of his wife! Convinced that the police are barking up the wrong tree and that someone’s been burying evidence, Sam begs Phyllis to help find the real killer. Joined by Buck, the friends engage in a dogged pursuit of the murderer, who will stop at nothing to muzzle them …permanently.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy Livia Washburn's Fresh-Baked mystery series for several reasons. Her characters are good ol' Texas down-home folks, people you'd want living next door to you; the setting of Weatherford, Texas is realistic and charming; and the mysteries that Phyllis and her friends find themselves getting involved with are always interesting and intriguing.

In "Trick or Deadly Treat," I was thrilled to find Sam Fletcher, Phyllis' gentleman friend and fellow retired teacher, getting to take a leading role in the mystery-solving and he really shines in this story.  The two other retired teachers who board at Phyllis' home, Eve and Carolyn, take a little bit of a back-seat in this tale, although Carolyn is still there competing with Phyllis to see who is the best baker amongst them (as has happened in previous stories) - this time they are trying out doggie treat recipes as well as recipes for a magazine contest. This little competition is a fun part of this series, and Washburn delights her readers with scrumptious recipes at the end of the book!

Washburn delivers a solid mystery with this book, along with all the fun. Her storytelling skills are evident in that readers will be surprised at "who dun it" in the end!

I highly recommend this book for a charming Halloween read, or a fun "anytime" read for cozy mystery lovers!

About The Author:

Livia J. Washburn has been a professional writer for more than twenty years. She received the Private Eye Writers of America Award and the American Mystery Award for her first mystery, Wild Night, written under the name L. J. Washburn, and was nominated for a Spur Award by the Western Writers of America for a novel written with her husband, James Reasoner.

She lives with her husband in a small Texas town, where she is constantly experimenting with new recipes. Her two grown daughters are both teachers in her hometown, and she is very proud of them. Other titles in the Fresh-Baked Mystery series include The Fatal Funnel Cake and Wedding Cake Killer.

My thanks to Penguin Books/Obsidian Mysteries for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Yes!  It's Monday, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the weather is nice and mild - I love fall!  Seems like I can just think better this time of year, and that's a good thing indeed!

I am excited about my book selection this week - a little bit different that what I usually read - but it's good to expand my reading horizons!!

Plus, I have a fun Halloween-themed week of wonderful books that are sure to thrill and chill you, and make you giggle a little in the process!  Hope you'll come back by this week and check out the fun books I've gathered up.

So, without further ado, here's what I have planned!

What I'm Reading Now:

What I Plan To Read:

Special Events:

Wednesday - Book Blog Tour Stop

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have fabulous books to read this week as well!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme sponsored by Sheila at Bookjourney (  Stop by and see what other bloggers are reading this week!

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