Friday, March 27, 2015

Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe: A Heavenly Novel by Max Lucado

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe
About The Book:
Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café 
(Thomas Nelson, February 2015)
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.
When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

My Thoughts:

I have always enjoyed Max Lucado's style of writing in his non-fiction spiritual books - it is easily understandable and speaks directly from his heart.  So when I found out that he was writing a series of novels featuring heavenly visitors, I was thrilled! And after reading "Miracle At The Higher Grounds Café," I was absolutely not disappointed!

Lucado presents his readers with the gift of the charmingly beautiful story of Chelsea Chambers and her attempt to regain control of her shattered family life as she also tries to save her family's longtime coffee shop business in San Antonio, Texas.

When one day Chelsea discovers that her Wi-Fi service is actually a "hotline" to God, where He answers customers' questions, she suddenly finds her business is busier than ever before as people line up for blocks with their questions.

With a little help from her friends and her loyal sister, plus a visit and a little intervention from her own guardian angel, Chelsea regains her faith and finds a renewed love and achieves great success along the way.  All it takes is trusting God to lead the way!

" Miracle at the Higher Grounds" is a delightful introduction to what promises to be a fun and inspirational series of truly well-written tales from Max Lucado.

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to more stories!

About The Author:

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Here is a great video where Max explains the story found in "Miracle At The Higher Grounds Café."

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing the review copy of this book and including me on this tour.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You? What God Wants Us To Hear When We Talk To Our Kids by Rachael Carman - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About The Book:

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?
(Apologia Educational Ministries, March 2015)

You’ve probably said these things to your kids, but have you listened to what you’re saying?

“I remember the day you were born.”

“Turn down the music!”

“This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”

“Hold my hand.”

Your heavenly Father wants to tell you many of these same things. Rachael Carman knows how noisy it can be when you’re raising children—she has seven! But this lovely devotional book will help you to hear God’s still, small voice amid the chaos of carpools, cut fingers, and carpet crawlers. You’ll learn how to recognize God’s instructions for you, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Thoughts:

Where was this book when my husband and I were raising four boys???  Author Rachael Carman takes scripture and some of the most frequent questions parents regularly deal with and combines them all to have one of the liveliest advice book that I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time.

"How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You?" would make a wonderful gift for both new parents and those who are already in the parenting trenches.  I particularly loved how Carman intertwines stories of her own family's experiences throughout the book - as a mom of seven, Carman walks the walk and talks the talk with her advice!

I highly recommend this book!

About The Author:

Rachael Carman is an author and speaker for Apologia Educational Ministries. The wife of Davis and the mother of seven children, Rachael challenges parents to live by reckless, obedient faith. As a direct reflection of her heart's desire to encourage, inspire, and celebrate motherhood, Rachael also leads Real Refreshment Retreats, weekend events that energize and invigorate homeschooling mothers with meaningful worship and speakers plus practical encouragement for the homeschool journey.

Find out more about Rachael at

  Pinterest Instagram

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this tour and to the author for providing the review copy.

I was not compensated for my opinion.

Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

Welcome to Braggsville cover

About Welcome to Braggsville

• Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (February 17, 2015)

From the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold It ‘Til It Hurts comes a dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment—a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer
Welcome to Braggsville. The City That Love Built in the Heart of Georgia. Population 712.
Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D’aron Davenport finds himself in unfamiliar territory his freshman year at UC Berkeley. Two thousand miles and a world away from his childhood, he is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large hyperliberal pond. Caught between the prosaic values of his rural hometown and the intellectualized multicultural cosmopolitanism of “Berzerkeley,” the nineteen-year-old white kid is uncertain about his place, until one disastrous party brings him three idiosyncratic best friends: Louis, a “kung fu comedian” from California; Candice, an earnest do-gooder from Iowa claiming Native roots; and Charlie, an introspective inner-city black teen from Chicago. They dub themselves the “4 Little Indians.”
But everything changes in the group’s alternative history class, when D’aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, recently rebranded “Patriot Days.” His announcement is met with righteous indignation and inspires Candice to suggest a “performative intervention” to protest the reenactment. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal, and their own misguided ideas about the South, the 4 Little Indians descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses, and drunken family barbecues is uproarious at first but has devastating consequences.
With the keen wit of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and the deft argot of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, T. Geronimo Johnson has written an astonishing, razor-sharp satire. Using a panoply of styles and tones, from tragicomic to Southern Gothic, he skewers issues of class, race, intellectual and political chauvinism, Obamaism, social media, and much more.
A literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation, written with tremendous social insight and a unique, generous heart, Welcome to Braggsville reminds us of the promise and perils of youthful exuberance, while painting an indelible portrait of contemporary America.
My Thoughts:
Being a born and bred Southern girl, I had a little bit of a hard time with this novel. I realize it is supposed to be a satire of the culture, but I still cringed a few times.
That being said, I did enjoy the novel and admire the author for his writing skill. Because a good writer invokes emotion, and T. Geronimo Johnson does a great job with this story.
Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links


About T. Geronimo Johnson

T Geronimo Johnson

Born and raised in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his M.A. in language, literacy, and culture from UC Berkeley. He has taught writing and held fellowships—including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship—at Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Western Michigan University, and Stanford. His first novel, Hold It ‘Til It Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Johnson is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

He lives in Berkeley, California.
Find out more about Johnson at his website and connect with him on Facebook.

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing the book and including me on this tour.

I was not compensated for my opinion.

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

Life from Scratch

About Life from Scratch

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (March 3, 2015)

It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world.

As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother to a string of foster homes to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within

My Thoughts:

I found Sasha's memoir fascinating, filled with emotion both heartening and heartbreaking. Her life story is one that horrifies and aggravates the mother in me - no child should have to go through what she did.  I admire her for her perseverance and her bravery to push forward in life and be as successful as she currently is.

Sasha peppers her book with fabulous recipes that sets the taste-buds to tingling as you read along.

I highly recommend this book for food fanatics, as well as readers who enjoy a good overcoming story!

About The Author:

Sasha Martin

SASHA MARTIN is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. Her work has been featured on NPR (Travel with Rick Steves), Whole LivingBon AppetitThe SmithsonianThe Huffington Post, CNNgo, and Food52. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.

Connect with Sasha on Twitter and Facebook.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Author Links: Website, Global Table AdventureTwitter, and Facebook.

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for supplying the review copy of this book and including me on the tour.

I was not compensated for my opinion.

Follow on Bloglovin

Happy Spring! I'm back!

Wow, I had no idea that it had been so long since I posted on here ... I blame it on the long, cold winter - :)  (My apologies to my northern readers!)

But I'm back and reading again!  And this spring has produced some of the best fiction books that I've seen lately!  So, I wanted to share with you what I'm reading this week and some special events I have coming up!

What I'm Reading Now:

What I Plan To Read:

Special Events:

Today - Book Blog Tour Stop with Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin

Wednesday - Book Blog Tour with Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

Thursday - Book Blog Tour Stop with How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You by Racheal Carman

Thought I'd share a little picture of my distraction!  My grandson Oliver all spiffed up for St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Reading everyone!!

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If The Viscount Falls: The Duke's Men by Sabrina Jeffries - Book Review

About The Book:

From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries, the deliciously sexy fourth book in the “Duke’s Men” Regency romance series—the first of which was called “a totally engaging, adventurous love story” (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick).

The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach—a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatched away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future. Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom staged a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.
Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy—Jane’s cousin and closest confidant—never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancé to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgiveable—but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?

My Thoughts:

When newly named Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton, meets a romantic flame from his past who asks for his help in solving a puzzling mystery, he struggles to control his emotions for pretty Jane Vernon as she is pledged to wed another. But as they work together to find Jane's missing cousin Nancy, they discover that the flicker of love's flame is still kindled between them. But will that old love be enough to bring them back together again?  Only readers of this fun and lively romance will find out!

The fourth book in Sabrina Jeffries' "The Duke's Men" series, "If The Viscount Falls" can easily be read as a stand-alone novel - but why miss out on the fun of the entire series that features steamy romance, great relationships, an intriguing mystery aspect, and a charming look at Regency England at it's best.

I highly recommend this latest book as well as any of Sabrina Jeffries' books.

About The Author:

Sabrina Jeffries is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-eight novels and nine works of short fiction (some written under the pseudonyms Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas). Whatever time not spent writing in a coffee-fueled haze of dreams and madness is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions—jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and music.

With more than 7 million books in print in eighteen different languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction, and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world. She always dreams big.

Check out her website at


My thanks to Nancy Berland Public Relations for supplying the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Follow on Bloglovin