Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Return by Austin Boyd

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one, simply because it is a little out of the "norm" in my normal books that I read, but I LOVED it! It was a great story set in the future with lots of science fiction and action that you will not expect. If you want a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then The Return will not disappoint!

About This Book:

Six years after completing a manned mission to the Red Planet, Admiral John Wells is set to make another journey to Mars. But this time his crew is not alone, as John's team encounters a secret colony comprised of individuals pursuing John Raines' strange religion, the "Father Race."

While John begins to uncover a web of lies on Mars, his wife and daughter are struggling for survival on earth. Now John must survive his dangerous mission and find a way back home, even as a shocking plan begins to unfold millions of miles away on earth.

Austin Boyd is back with his third thrilling novel in the Mars Hill Classified series, full of high-tech intrigue, memorable characters, and adventure that transports readers to another world.

From the Back Cover:With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.

Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself.

About the Author:
Austin Boyd writes from his experience as a decorated Navy pilot, spacecraft engineer and an astronaut candidate finalist. Austin lives with his wife Cindy and four children in America’s “Rocket City”--Huntsville, Alabama, where he directs business development for a large NASA and defense contractor.

His creative talents include inspirational fiction and poetry, finely crafted reproduction colonial furniture, archery and long distance cycling. He serves his community as an advocate for a crisis pregnancy center and as a motivational speaker in the area of lifestyle evangelism.

THE RETURN is part of the Mars Hill Classified Series with The Evidence and The Proof.

To buy this book for yourself, click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Illuminated by Matt Bronleewe

This book was AWESOME! I love books with just a bit of archaeology and history in them and this one perfectly fit the bill! There was action, adventure, and suspense, too, to help keep your interest from the first page until the last. The great news is that this is the first in a series of FIVE books like this! I am so excited! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves their books with some excitement!

About This Book:

August Adams has failed his family before. He's sacrificed relationships in pursuit of adventure, fame, and money. Now the very lives of those he loves depend on his ability to decipher a centuries-old puzzle encrypted in the colorful hand-painted illuminations that adorn three rare Gutenberg Bibles.

It's a secret that could yield unimaginable wealth, undermine two major religions, and change the course of Western civilization. Two ruthless, ancient organizations are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. And August has the span of one transatlantic flight to figure it out.If he fails, those he holds most dear will die. If he succeeds, he'll destroy a national treasure.

The clock ticks, the suspense mounts, and the body count rises as August pits his knowledge and his love for his family against the clock, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself.

About Matt:
Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.

To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. Illuminated, in stores now, begins the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.

Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.

To purchase this book for yourself (you know you want to), click here.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Winners Are....

The Winner of Life Unscripted is....

Sweet Mummy
The Winners of Mosaic are....
Congratulations, ladies! I will be emailing you to get your addresses to get your winnings on the way! Have a beautiful week!
Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mosaic by Amy Grant

I remember the very first time I heard on of Amy Grant's songs. Coming from a traditional Baptist background, contemporary music was thought to be "not quite right", so it was very different for me to hear her music. I wasn't used to it, but I really liked it. It was my first foray into Christian music that was contemporary in nature. This book is a collection of experiences throughout her life that is accompanied by the songs that she is popular for. Her life is quite varied, with lots of ups and downs. It was very interesting learning more about her and her life. She is much like you and me, except for the fact that she lives her life in a glass fishbowl, where her every move is scrutinized. She is a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and Christian woman just like us that has struggles and questions just like us. That is what is so refreshing about this book.

About the Book:

Grammy Award–winning artist Amy Grant has lived in the spotlight since bursting onto the Christian music scene as a teenager thirty years ago. In that time her work, marriage, and spiritual life have been subject to varying degrees of adulation and criticism.

Now, in her first autobiographical book, Grant bares her heart and soul, giving readers an intimate glimpse into her everyday life and the lessons she’s learning along the way. From lighthearted reminiscences of her Tennessee childhood to painfully honest reflections on the journey of faith, her vivid writing draws readers into her world while simultaneously creating space for them to rethink their own perspectives on life.

With honesty and depth, Grant offers poignant and often startling insights on motherhood, marriage, friendship, faith, loss, forgiveness, and redemption. Never-before-shared stories about her husband, country music star Vince Gill, provide a look into her life as a celebrity, while intimate portraits of her mother and musings on the past reveal the various pieces of a life blessed with jagged edges as well as vivid colors. Readers will find their preconceived notions of this music icon stripped away as they settle in for a warmly satisfying conversation with a gracious and wise friend.

About Amy:

Amy Grant is the best-selling Christian music artist of all time and the first to garner the number one spot on Billboard’s chart. Since beginning her career at age 17, she has earned six Grammy Awards and twenty-five Dove Awards, and last year she received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Grant’s numerous television appearances include Oprah; Good Morning, America; and Late Night with David Letterman. In 2007 she’ll tour nationwide, performing with local symphonies in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and elsewhere.

Click here to purchase this book for yourself!


I have not one, not two, but three of these books to give away! If you are interested in winning one of these books, then leave a comment. Drawing will be Monday, October 29th!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Crimson Eve by Brandilyn Collins

I have loved Brandilyn's books for years. There are just full of action, suspense, and excitement, in addition to a good message about God. What could be better? This is the third book in a series, but it easily stands alone. Crimson Eve delivered on all of the expectations that I had for this book and more.

About the Book:
Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real.

“Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.”

“Then you’d best rethink your friends.”

Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?

Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...

About Brandilyn:
Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…® ” She’s so well known in the industry there’s actually a club for her non-readers. That’s right. The Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) members are proud of the fact that they’re too wimpy to read Brandilyn’s intense fiction. Now and then one of them tries. Bribing works pretty well. (Just ask Deb Raney.) Somehow they live to tell the tale.

Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 17th book. Her first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.

She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences. Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith.

Visit her website to read the first chapters of all her books.

Have an awesome day! Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Life, Unscripted by Tricia Goyer

The teenage years were not those of which I am very proud of. Mostly due to the fact that I was trying so hard to fit it and be "popular," that I lost who I was for a while. I think that many teenage girls fall into this trap, simply because you want to be like everyone else. This book is an excellent read for girls as young as 13 or so and, while geared toward more teenage life events, I enjoyed reading it, too. The premise behind the book is that if your teenager knew how to react to certain events, then they could make better decisions. This book is filled with scripts of certain events that they may come into contact with and they are discussed for both their good and bad points to help a teenager determine how they themselves would handle the situation. I really enjoyed the format and think that a teenager would as well.

A Brief Synopsis:

My Life, Unscripted explores relationships in every teenage girl's life--with herself, her friends and enemies, her parents, guys, and with God.

Real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, make this an interesting read for teen girls as they delve into their own inner struggles and outward relationships.They'll also learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise and are able to think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before the scene begins. By contrasting real-life with TV or movies, teens will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama.

About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing: From Dust and Ashes (2003), Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005), Arms of Deliverance (2006), A Valley of Betrayal (2007), A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007), and A Whisper of Freedom (Spring 2008).
Tricia is also the author of Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, 2008), and 3:16—the teen version of a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, March 2008).

Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category. Night Song was awarded the American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year award for Best Long Historical Romance. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006. In 2003, Tricia was named as the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year".

Tricia is also a mom to three, all of which she homeschools.


I will be giving away one copy of this wonderful book. Please enter if you have a teenage daughter, granddaughter, or friend that you think could benefit from reading this! Just leave a comment and you will be entered! I will draw for a winner on Monday, October 22nd.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Never Look Back By Kathy Herman

I was privileged to receive Ever Present Danger and Never Look Back, the first two books in the Phantom Hollow series by Kathy Herman to review. I just have to say that I sooo enjoyed both of these books. The story of redemption and faith in the first book and the story of God's forgiveness in the second book really spoke to me with their reality. I am a big fan of series of books and these by Kathy Herman have whet my appetite for more. I can't wait to read more of her books and more of this series!

About this Book:
The day Ivy Griffith walks out of jail after serving her sentence for withholding evidence in the Joe Hadley murder case, she is ready to put her years of pain and drug abuse behind her. A new job at her parents’ Christian camp in Colorado promises stability in this new season, but she is unprepared for her brother’s indifference toward her and her son, Montana. When camp worker Rue Kessler takes an interest in Montana, Ivy hopes the attention will make up for the rejection her son is feeling—and she doesn’t mind the attention Rue directs her way either.

Then a rash of crimes turns deadly, and Ivy suspects that Rue isn’t all he appears to be. But how can she condemn another when she knows the pain of accusation? The mysteries increase as Ivy struggles to move beyond the secrets of her past. Along the way, she discovers that the hardest person to forgive might be herself.

This fast-paced suspense novel continues the Phantom Hollow series with a rich exploration of the risks and possibilities of starting over.

About the Author:
Award-winning author Kathy Herman has been on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and at Better Books Christian Center in Texas. She has conducted educational seminars at CBA conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served as a judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards, and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market. She is the author of twelve novels, including the bestsellers Tested by Fire and All Things Hidden. Kathy and her husband, Paul, live in Tyler, Texas.

To read this book for yourself, you can click here.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, October 12, 2007

School, Fun on Fall Break, Birthdays

Life has a way of giving you exactly what you want sometimes. The thing is, you didn't realize all of the ramifications of getting what you want or you might not have wanted them in the first place. Case in point-school. Who knew that brain cells started dying off in the 30's until you were left with very few by the late part of your 30's? That may not be scientific, but I am sure that I was smarter when I was younger. These two classes are kicking my big patootie. It is just two classes, people! When I went to college after high school I took six classes! What is up with that? I have all A's, which is awesome, but I had to WORK for those A's. It has been somewhat fun, however, as I am learning so much about the Bible. Now, if I could only talk my dear hubby into hiring a maid and nanny....

The kids have been out of school this week. It has been quite a bit of fun hanging out with them this week at Playworld Down Under (huge indoor playground) and the Crow Creek Pumpkin Farm. They have cleaned their rooms (a miracle from God, I assure you) and are now quietly playing in their rooms (i.e., they are up to something). Last week, I took the girls to see Disney on Ice, which was quite fun-especially watching their little faces. Oh, to be that young again!

K had a birthday this week. She is now 8, which FREAKS me out! Of course, A is now telling me that she is going to be 8 on her next birthday, simply because she wants to be like her big sis, but I keep assuring her she is only going to be 4. Birthday party tomorrow night at our house throws me into a cleaning tizzy. Members of my dear family, who shall remain nameless, get their kicks by pointing out my dust laden fan blades and other cleaning failures, so I have to clean. My only worry is that if I clean off the dust, the fan may not work. Who knows? I am not a cleaner, but I will do my best. Anyways, I guess I must go now. I hope your week is going great. I have missed catching up with all of you and hope to be able to stop by your blogs and see how you are all doing.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nobody by Creston Mapes

Nobody by Creston Mapes combines the best of action and romance with little thrills thrown in here and there that you will love. I really enjoyed the plot of this book, simply because it was a little different, and it kept me guessing until the end of the book. If you are looking for Christian fiction that is interesting and full of action, then you will want to consider this one!

About This Book:
Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas!

They said, “He’s a nobody.” They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?

Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list.”- Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle

“A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue, and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes delivers a winner in Nobody.”- James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying

Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by, it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves.”- Athol Dickson, Christy Award—winning author of River Rising and The Cure

About The Author:
Creston Mapes is a talented storyteller whose first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, made him a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards and the Inspirational Readers Choice awards. Creston has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries, including Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Oracle, Focus on the Family, and In Touch Ministries. Committed to his craft and his family, Creston makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Patty, and their four children.

He's been married for twenty-one years to the girl he first loved way back in fourth grade. They have three lovely girls and a boy in a very close-knit family, spending a lot of time together - watching old classic movies, going on outings, and taking in various school and community events and activities. Creston loves to go for morning walks with his dog, read, paint watercolors, meet friends for coffee and Bible study, watch hockey, take his wife on dates, and spend time in God's Word.

To purchase this book for yourself, click here!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Trophy Wives Club-Kristen Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and majored in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then,she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing. She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year. Featured in the New York Times and USA. Today, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show for her pioneering role in Christian chick lit. Her last three books were:Split Ends: Sometimes the End is Really the Beginning (April 17, 2007)She's Out of Control (Ashley Stockingdale Series #1) (Nov 13, 2007)Calm, Cool & Adjusted (Spa Girls Series #3) (Oct 1, 2006)


Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps "was" is the more accurate term. Haley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty years old – back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.When Jay first turned his eye to Haley, she was putty in his slender, graceful hands. No one ever treated her like she was important, and on the arm of Jay Cutler, she became someone people listened to and admired. Unfortunately, after seven years of marriage, her Prince Charming seems to belong to the Henry the XIII line of royalty. When Haley loses Jay, she not only loses her husband, she loses her identity.With her first independent decision, Haley leaves LA and moves home to Northern California. Feeling freedom just within her grasp, Haley learns that her settlement payments must go through one of Jay's financial advisors, Hamilton Lowe. Haley believes he's nothing more than a spy. And the feelings of distrust are mutual. Yet somehow, Hamilton finds himself handing over the monthly checks in person, and Haley can't deny that there's a kind of tenderness and protectiveness in Hamilton that she's never experienced in a man before.But before Haley can even consider another relationship, she must learn to accept her inherent worth, and what it is to be loved for who she is, not what's on the outside.

To purchase this wonderful book, click here.

Have a wonderful weekend! Janis


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