Monday, April 28, 2008

The Winner of Do the Hard Thing Is....

Thanks to all that entered! Next giveaway is later this week!

The Winner of Do the Hard Thing Is....

Don't You Just Love My New Look?

I am just so excited about my new look that I won for free during the Bloggy Giveaways! Trisha did a marvelous job with it and I could not be happier. It is a great way to start off a new week!

What is up with me? I am still going to school, which has been quite a trial for me this semester. With three classes, work, kids, and life, my plate has been quite full. I had decided to take two classes during the first summer session as well, but my hubby has encouraged me to take the summer off. He keeps reminding me that "it is a marathon, not a sprint." That is very true, and, as it is A's last year at home (she starts school in August), it will give me a few weeks with her alone without the stress of school.

Otherwise, life is just trucking on. I am so excited about my life right now! Lots of things are beginning to come into focus. God is so good-all the time! What have you been up to?

Smiles and Loves!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blog Construction

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Mother's Heart Knows

Are you looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift for your mom? If so, you will want to check out A Mother's Heart Knows. This book is perfect for gift-giving to the favorite moms in your life. This touching book will be a great way to let her know exactly how much you love and appreciate her. To purchase this book, click here ( it is only $3.99 at Amazon! What a deal!).

About the Book:

What better way to tell Mom how much you appreciate her on Mother's Day than with this lovely reminder of thoughts about the loving, selfless attitudes that fill a mother's heart?

The text and original four-color illustrations will be a beautiful and touching reminder to Mom that her love is never forgotten. The text is a reminder of those things that only a mother's heart knows, with some special emphasis on a Christian mother. Appropriate Scripture verses will be incorporated into the design element.

All royalty proceeds from this book go to WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) and a student missionary scholarship fund. WINGS is a non-profit organization that provides a domestic violence shelter for women and their children in addition to transitional housing and programs.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Don't Forget....

I have three giveaways going on right now for books!

Do the Hard Thing

My Soul to Keep

Clearing in the Wild and A Mending at the Edge

To win, read the reviews for each and leave a comment!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Mending at the Edge by Jane Kirkpatrick

Let me tell you how much I love the writing of Jane Kirkpatrick. Historical fiction is my favorite and she writes this so well! The Change and Cherish series that this book is part of is full of stories of God's love. I have so enjoyed reading each one of these books and am looking forward to more!

*****Guess what? Yes, it is ANOTHER giveaway! This giveaway is for the 1st and 3rd books in the series! Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite type of fiction is and you will be put into the running for these books! Drawing will be on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th). Don't miss a chance for free books! Other giveaways are in progress now, so check the earlier posts!

About the Change and Cherish Series:

A Clearing in the Wild
Spirited young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of her 1850s religious community, which values conformity over independent thought, especially in women. Skeptical of the colony’s growing emphasis on preparing for “the last days,” Emma clashes with their increasingly autocratic leader—and faces the unexpected consequences of pursuing independence.

A Tendering in the Storm
This lyrical novel, based on an historical figure of the 1800s, follows the spirited and intelligent Emma Giesy, who achieves her goal of separating her family from the repressive religious community in which she grew up. But unexpected and dire consequences leave her family—and her faith—struggling to survive.

A Mending at the Edge
This richly textured novel, the third in the acclaimed Change and Cherish series, follows the historical figure of Emma Wagner Giesy, who chafes under the restrictions of her 1860s religious colony. When her bid to belong in her unique way unravels her most precious relationships, she seeks new ways to stitch meaning into her life.

About Jane:

Jane Kirkpatrick is the best-selling author of two nonfiction books and fourteen historical novels, including the popular Kinship and Courage series. Her award-winning writing has appeared in more than fifty publications, including Sports Afield and Decision. She’s won the coveted Western Heritage Wrangler Award, an honor shared by such writers as Larry McMurtry and Barbara Kingsolver. Jane is a licensed clinical social worker as well as an internationally recognized speaker. She and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 acres in eastern Oregon.

To win this book, see the above instructions. If you would rather purchase it than try to get it for free (are you sure?) or if you just cannot wait to begin this wonderful series, then click here!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Bride So Fair by Carol Cox

If you enjoyed Carol's Fair Game, then you will love the newest book in this series, A Bride So Fair. To read the review and learn more about this book, visit my book review blog, The Nearsighted Bookworm.

Don't forget to sign up for my two giveaways that I am having! Scroll down for more information!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells

From the first page until the last page, I was kept mesmerized by the action of this book. Suspenseful twists and turns will keep you wanting to read. If you have been looking for a fast-paced, action-filled read, then you need look no further!

**Multnomah/RandomHouse has sent me a copy to give away! Don't forget to leave a comment to win your own copy of this wonderful book! Or you can purchase it here.

About this Book:

As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits and a staple gun…It’s psychology professor Dylan Foster’s favorite day of the academic year…graduation day. And her little friend Christine Zocci’s sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seen to lead nowhere.

The police are baffled, but Christine’s eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces of a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.

About Melanie:

A native of the Texas panhandle and the child of musicians, Melanie Wells attended Southern Methodist University on a music scholarship (she's a fiddle player), and later completed graduate degrees in counseling psychology and Biblical studies at Our Lady of the Lake University and Dallas Theological Seminary.

She has taught at the graduate level at both OLLU and DTS, and has been in private practice as a counselor since 1992. She is the founder and director of LifeWorks counseling associates in Dallas, Texas, a collaborative community of creative therapists.

When the Day of Evil Comes is her first published work of fiction, and the first of a three-book series. The second work, The Soul Hunter was released in May, 2006. Melanie lives and writes in Dallas.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be put into a drawing to win My Soul to Keep. If you don't win, you can purchase it here.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

As a former youth leader, I have long been concerned with the lack of drive and passion that some teenagers seem to have for God. Not all, but some teenagers take a lacksadaisical approach to every facet of their lives, which leaves them lacking when they hit their adult years. This book is for those kids who fall for the lies of Satan during these very important teenage years. They can turn their teenage years into the beginning of a life filled with Godly purpose and do not have to live as the world lives. This book was written by teenagers for teenagers and would make a great book for youth leaders to give their youth or for parents to read and pass on to their own teenager.

Great News! I have one copy of Do Hard Things to give away! Scroll down to see how you can get put into the drawing!

About this Book:

With over 10 million hits to their website, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.

Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential. Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.

Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

About the Authors:

Alex and Brett Harris founded in August 2005 and today at age 19 are the most popular Christian teen writers on the Web. The twins are frequent contributors to Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine, serve as the main speakers for the Rebelution Tour conferences, and have been featured in WORLD magazine, Breakaway, The Old Schoolhouse, and the New York Daily News. Sons of homeschool pioneer Gregg Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), Alex and Brett live near Portland, Oregon.

To purchase this book for yourself or for a teenager that you love, click here.

I have one copy of this book to give away! To win a copy, leave me a comment on this post. Drawing will be on April 30th.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, April 11, 2008

If You Liked...

Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, you will love Nicole Seitz's Trouble the Water. To read more about Trouble the Water, visit my book review website, The Nearsighted Bookworm!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Outcasts of Skagaray by Andrew Clarke

The author of this book, Andrew Clarke, contacted me to to see if I would like to review his book, Outcasts of Skagaray. I enjoyed reading this book. The universal struggle between good and evil is seen in this fantasy fiction book very clearly. The fast paced action kept my interest and the meaning behind the story captured my heart. In this world, it is sometimes necessary to step out and make a stand for what you believe in. Tarran, the hero, is making a stand against centuries of beliefs of the Skagaray people. When he makes his stand, he finds that others join him in several different ways. This book is great for high schoolers or for adults with its exciting story and impactful message. To purchase this book for yourself, click here.

About this Book:
The world of Skagaray is dark and bleak but there is the possibility of beauty and goodness too. The people of Skagaray respect strength, and hardness, and make gods in their own image to please themselves. They reject those they consider weak, or unworthy, and make outcasts of them. But one among them rejects their cruelty, and will not take part in the brutality they call their Proving.

About the Author:
Andrew Clarke was born in Malta in 1953 of an Australian father and British mother. He lived in England and Australia and had several jobs before he served in the Australian Army Reserve. He then studied for four years at the University of New England and taught English and History in New South Wales high schools for twenty five years. Always a lover of books and stories, Clarke began writing at the age of seven. Outcasts of Skagaray was written in response to what he loved about reading the history of peoples like the Spartans, Romans, and Vikings. Clarke and his wife Elizabeth have five children and live in Inverell, New South Wales.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Amber Morn by Brandilyn Collins

I have long loved the writing of Brandilyn Collins and was very excited to get to review her latest book. This book is full of twists and turns, as well as God moments, that will have you enthralled from beginning to end. You will be delighted with this book that signals the end of the Kanner Lake series. If you love books with excitement and action, then you will want to read this book and check out the other writings of Brandilyn.

About this Book:

The whole thing couldn’t have taken more than sixty seconds.

Bailey hung on to the counter, dazed.

If she let go, she’d collapse—and the twitching fingers of the gunman would pull the trigger.

The rest of her group huddled in frozen shock.

Dear God, help us!

Tell me this is a dream . . .

The shooter’s teeth clenched. “ Anybody who moves is dead.”On a beautiful Saturday morning the nationally read “Scenes and Beans” bloggers gather at Java Joint for a special celebration. Chaos erupts when three gunmen burst in and take them all hostage. One person is shot and dumped outside.Police Chief Vince Edwards must negotiate with the desperate trio. The gunmen insist on communicating through the “comments” section of the blog—so all the world can hear their story. What they demand, Vince can’t possibly provide. But if he doesn’t, over a dozen beloved Kanner Lake citizens will die...

Amber Morn is the climactic finale to Collins’ widely read Kanner Lake series. All first three titles in the series, Violet Dawn, Coral Moon, and Crimson Eve, were bestsellers. Library Journal placed Crimson Eve on its Best Books of 2007 list, and hailed it the “Best Christian suspense of 2007.”

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 …®”

Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 19th book. Her first, 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.

To purchase this book for yourself, click here.

To read more book reviews, click here to visit my book review website, The Nearsighted Bookworm.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Generation NeXt Marriage by Tricia Goyer

Although my parents did not divorce and are still married, I find that there are things in their marriage that I do not want to repeat. The chapter, "Revisiting Role Models", was especially poignant to me. I remember as a child listening to my parents fight and that made me feel so insecure and scared. As a parent today, I try hard to not fight with my hubby in front of my children. I want them to see parents who love on each other with hugs, kisses, and kind words, instead of fighting and upheaval. My parents still loved each other, even when fighting, but as a child, I did not get that. Making sure my children know what a healthy marriage looks like is important, so that they will know what to look for in their own relationships. This book had several chapters that resonated with me, so I am sure that you will find information that you will find helpful in strengthening your marriage.

About this Book:

Do you still find yourself humming the love songs of the 80s and 90s?

Do you still believe that every marriage should be between soul mates?

But -- do you wonder how you can succeed at love and marriage when the generation you grew up in didn't?

Marriage isn't what it used to be-it can be better than ever.

If you are a Gen Xer, your marriage has challenges and potentials that no other generation has known. A Gen Xer herself, Tricia Goyer offers realistic help to achieve the God-honoring marriage you long for. She includes:

·Ways to protect your marriage despite the broken relationships modeled in your youth

·Stories, suggestions, and confessions from fellow Gen Xers facing the "What now?" question of real-life marriage

·Advice from the ultimate marriage survival guide: the Bible·Stats, quizzes, sidebars, and study questions related to this "relationally challenged" time in history

·Practical helps for negotiating kids, work, sex, money, and dirty laundry-sometimes all in the same evening

If you are part of a generation of adults who don't want to bow to their culture or live and love like their parents did -- this book is for you.

About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the author of twelve books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana.

To learn more about keeping your marriage strong and healthy, you can purchase it here or here.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, April 4, 2008

When Zeffie Got a Clue by Peggy Darty

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read that had me guessing until the end. If you like fun mysteries then you need look no further!

About this Book:

It’s an ordinary afternoon in Summer Breeze, Florida, when a young, wide-eyed girl steps into I Saw It First, the trash-to-treasure shop Christy Castleman and her Aunt Bobbie have opened. Clutching a jewelry box, Zeffie Adams tells Christy she needs money to pay her grandmother’s medical bills, prompting Christy to offer this curious visitor more than the jewelry box is worth–or so she thinks.

But complicated questions form when Christy rips out the box’s lining and uncovers a clue to a cold case murder mystery from eight years ago. Despite warnings from her family and handsome boyfriend Dan Brockman, Christy decides to do a little detective work of her own. After all, the infamous murder happened close to her grandmother’s farm. How risky could it be to take the jewelry box back to the Strickland plantation and ask around about it?

Soon Christy finds there is more to the small box than someone wants her to know. A jewelry theft. A mansion murder. Dangerous family secrets buried in history. Can Christy convince others to let go of the past before it’s too late?

About the Author:

Peggy Darty is the award-winning author of twenty-seven books, including two other cozy mysteries set in Summer Breeze, Florida: When the Sandpiper Calls and When Bobbie Sang the Blues. She has worked in film, researched for CBS, and led writing workshops around the country. Darty and her husband call Alabama home but spend a great deal of time in Colorado, Montana, and on Florida’s Emerald Coast.

To purchase this book for yourself, click here.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Forgotten Gospel by Mark McGrath

This book was written to those of us for whom evangelizing does not come naturally. The author says that only 10% of us have this gift, which lives 90% of us who struggle with sharing the Word. I am part of that 90%. It has never come very naturally to me. I liked his thoughts regarding what we need to concentrate on when evangelizing. The cross is usually where we start, but that is not how Jesus did it. We need to concentrate more on the resurrection and the hope that came with that. It is important that every Christian learn how to spread the Word. That is what this book is all about. I really enjoyed this book and am even going to reread it to soak more of it in. To learn more about this book or to purchase it, visit

About this Book:

Does the thought of obeying the Great Commission make you feel inadequate, unprepared or just plain nervous? Have you encountered quizzical looks or outright laughter when using words like “God,” “sinfulness” or “salvation” in conversations? Are you uncomfortable about sharing your faith because you don’t want to alienate friends and family from on-going conversations? While all of these issues are common and understandable, even a quick reading of the Book of Acts shows that New Testament believers didn't share these same struggles. What was their secret? While preparing to teach the basics of evangelism to his church, one pastor noticed that today’s popular witnessing techniques were very different from those used by first-century believers. Digging further, he saw that every gospel presentation in the Book of Acts contained the same essential elements and emphasized one central theme. A Forgotten Gospel explains the same easily remembered, New Testament method that’s been taught on university campuses and churches in the U.S. and England. You’ll learn how to use this same flexible approach to effectively communicate the good news. No longer will you wonder what to say or how to say it. By following the conversational approach explained in A Forgotten Gospel, you'll be ready to clearly and confidently share your faith without alienating friends and loved ones.

About the Author:

As a church-planting pastor for 25 years, Mark McGrath has struggled to reach non-believers with the gospel, finding surprising answers to his questions in the gospel presentations made in the Book of Acts. He has started churches in New York, New Jersey and Great Britain, conducted evangelism-training programs for churches around the world, and has run a school of evangelism.

Mark conducts evangelism training with several national Campus ministries at Rutgers University in New Jersey and has launched an updated version of both the weekend and small group evangelism seminars he developed. These seminars will be available to churches across the U.S. An accomplished speaker and trainer, Mark owns a communications skills training company that provides training and coaching in communication, facilitation, listening and meeting leadership skills to executives and professionals.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Winners Are....

Experiencing the Resurrection goes to Carolynn W.
Family Squeeze goes to Carole!
Thank you for all of the entries ladies!
Keep looking for more giveaways coming soon!
Blessings! Janis


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