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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winners of Bonus Giveaway




I am writing this post on the brand new laptop computer that was a very welcome Christmas gift from my husband who constantly worried about the fact that it was not healthy for me to sit at the computer desk for such long periods of time.  He wanted me to be able to sit in a softer, more comfortable chair with my feet elevated and still be able to work on my writing.  So, here I sit (recline) in comfort, all thanks to him.  It may take a while to write this post because it isn't easy to get used to the difference in the keyboard after years of using a desktop computer.  However, I promise to persevere long enough to announce the winners' names.

The winners of the bonus giveaway have just been drawn by my devoted husband, the same one who purchased this laptop for me.  Actually, since I have just one husband, it only stands to reason that it is the same one.  I know that I promised the drawing would be held on Christmas evening but it was so late by the time my two sons and their families left and then a visit had been paid to the 92-year-old matriarch of the Newby branch of the family that I felt you would all understand if I waited a few more hours.  So, with no further delays, here are the latest winners:

1st place:  Katy M

2nd place: karenk

3rd place: Julie

Here's how this will work:

I will send an email to each of the three winners.  The first place winner will get her choice of three different books.  Once she has made her choice, the second place winner will get her choice of the two remaining books.  The third place winner will get the final book.

The choices are:





If by chance any of these winners fail to redeem their prize, another name(s) will be drawn until all three books are awarded.  Ozark Weddings is, of course, the book around which this entire contest was centered. The copy being given away is an autographed copy signed by co-author Anita Higman. Denim and Lace is a non-fiction book about friendship and how it can be found in the most unexpected places. Field of Danger is a Steeple Hill Love-Inspired suspense story that was the discussion book several months ago by the ACFW online bookclub. 

Congratulations to the winners!  I only wish it were possible to award even more prizes so that I could let all of you know how much I appreciate your following my blog.  Since that is not feasible, I will just ask you to stick around because another exciting giveaway will be posted very soon. 

Happy New Year and God bless each and every one of you!















Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bonus Giveaway ... One More Week to Enter!


As I ponder the past five months and events that have transpired during that period of time,  I feel very grateful and humble when I see how many followers this blog now has. It seems that it has been such a very short time since I first began to ponder the idea of creating a blog. For a long time, I was quite content to visit other writers' blogs and see what new books were being released and to read the reviews of others. The first giveaway that I won was a huge thrill because I had seldom before ever won any contests that I entered. To have someone mail me a copy of a book just for making a comment on their blog was a fascinating and exciting experience.

Then came the day when I posted my very first entry. That was on July 14th of 2010 - only five busy months ago. The number of followers of Write About Now has grown so quickly that I am astonished and overwhelmed. In order to express my deep and sincere appreciation to all of my faithful followers, I have decided to have a bonus giveaway.
For this giveaway, you can't simply say, "Please enter me in this giveaway." You will have to follow the directions in order for your entry to be valid. (Oh dear, I am in teacher mode now; I sound just like I do in the classroom when I tell the students that their answers will be marked wrong if they don't follow the directions).


In order to be entered, you will need to go to my past blog entries (shown in the right hand sidebar) and read the review of the very first book that I reviewed on Write About Now. In order to be eligible, you must first read my review of Ozark Weddings by Anita Higman and Janice Thompson. Then you must, in your comment, quote one sentence from that review. If you do not provide a quote with your entry, your name will not be put in the drawing. The drawing will be for an autographed copy of this book. Since the primary reason for this contest is to recognize the faithful followers, you MUST be a follower to be eligible to win.

In addition, a second and a third name will be drawn. It is also possible that a fourth name will be chosen, depending upon the number of entries. Those winners will receive a different book, the titles of which are as yet undetermined. One of them will be a copy of Denim and Lace, a non-fiction book about friendship by Lois Olmstead and Phyllis Rowe. However, the other title is still pending.


So there you have it. This contest will run until Christmas Day. The drawing will be held late in the day on December 25th and the winners will be notified promptly. As always, please be sure to leave your email address in spam-proof format (yourname[at]domain[dot]com) so that I can contact you if you win. If there is no email address, you cannot be entered.

Again, I would like to extend a big thanks to all of the followers of Write About Now. I am delighted to have so many new friends and I pray that each one of you will be blessed to the utmost. I hope that you leave here enriched and inspired by what you have read. If I don't 'see' you before then, have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winner of Love Remains...

Another record has been set on Write About Now.  The total number of entries for Love Remains came to a grand total of fifty-seven!  From those fifty-seven entries, the winner is ...

Kait!

Congratulations, Kait!  I'm sure you will enjoy reading this book.  I have sent you an email and hope to hear from you soon.  Kait will have one week, until Wednesday, December 22nd, to respond.  If I haven't heard from her by then, another drawing will be held and a new winner selected.  

In the meantime, don't forget to check out the blog posting for the latest giveaway.  There will be at least three books, and possibly four, given out to express appreciation to all of you who have helped to make this blog a success.  The newest giveaway will run until the evening of Christmas Day and will feature books by some really outstanding writers.  Hurry and get your name added to the drawing.  Be sure to read the rules as they are a little bit different from the typical giveaway.   

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bonus Giveaway ... Multiple Books

Today as I sit here at the computer to begin tallying the comments for the giveaway of Love Remains by Kaye Dacus, I feel very grateful and humble when see how many comments have been submitted and how many followers this blog now has. It seems that it has been such a very short time since I first began to ponder the idea of creating a blog.  I was quite content to visit other writers' blogs and see what new books were being released and to read the reviews of others.  The first giveaway that I won was a huge thrill because I had seldom before ever won any contests that I entered.  To have someone mail me a copy of a book just for making a comment on their blog was a fascinating and exciting experience. 

Then came the day when I posted my very first entry.  That was on July 14th of 2010 - only five busy months ago.  The number of followers of Write About Now has grown so quickly that I am astonished and overwhelmed.  In order to express my deep and sincere appreciation to all of my faithful followers, I have decided to have a bonus giveaway. 

For this giveaway, you can't simply say, "Please enter me in this giveaway."  You will have to follow the directions in order for your entry to be valid.  (Oh dear, I am in teacher mode now; I sound just like I do in the classroom when I tell the students that their answers will be marked wrong if they don't follow the directions). 

In order to be entered, you will need to go to my past blog entries (shown in the right hand sidebar) and read the review of the very first book that I reviewed on Write About Now.  In order to be eligible, you must first read my review of Ozark Weddings by Anita Higman and Janice Thompson.  Then you must, in your comment, quote one sentence from that review.  If you do not provide a quote with your entry, your name will not be put in the drawing.  The drawing will be for an autographed copy of this book.  Since the primary reason for this contest is to recognize the faithful followers, you MUST be a follower to be eligible to win.


In addition, a second and a third  name will be drawn.  It is also possible that a fourth name will be chosen, depending upon the number of entries. Those winners will receive a different book, the titles of which are as yet undetermined.  One of them will be a copy of Denim and Lace, a non-fiction book about friendship by Lois Olmstead and Phyllis Rowe.  However, the other title is still pending. 

So there you have it.  This contest will run until Christmas Day.  The drawing will be held late in the day on December 25th and the winners will be notified promptly.  As always, please be sure to leave your email address in spam-proof format (yourname[at]domain[dot]com) so that I can contact you if you win.  If there is no email address, you cannot be entered.

Again, a big thanks to all of the followers of Write About Now.  I am delighted to have so many new friends and I pray that each one of you will be blessed to the utmost.  I hope that you leave here enriched and inspired by what you have read.  If I don't 'see' you before then, have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Trailer for new book by C.J. Darlington

Bound by Guilt by C.J. Darlington will release in March of 2011.  I viewed the trailer for this book and immediately added it to my MUST READ list.  I wanted to share it with you so you too can be watching for this book.  Enjoy!



Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Giveaway and Review: Love Remains

Love Remains is the first book in the new Matchmaker series by author Kaye Dacus. When I think of matchmakers, I normally don't picture them as the type who are found in this series. The matchmakers in these books are a group of grandparents who are plotting to find suitable mates for their recalcitrant grandchildren.


 As the grandparents of Zarah Mitchell (a long time employee of the Middle Tennessee Preservation Commission), and Bobby Patterson (who has just returned to Nashville after many years in order to work for the Tennessee Criminal Investigations Unit), plot to bring their grandchildren together, they are totally oblivious to the fact that Zarah and Bobby are not strangers; in fact, they have a secret past that few people are aware of - a past that could prevent them from ever being more than just members of the same singles group at their church.

To further complicate matters, Bobby's first assignment in his new position is to investigate a case of fraud in the very same Commission for which Zarah is employed.  Even though the spark that has lain dormant for many years is quickly reignited when Zarah and Bobby come face to face, Bobby's hands are tied because he is being forced to include Zarah in his investigation.

I enjoyed reading Love Remains and also enjoyed the writing style of Kaye Dacus. This was the first book I have read by this author and I will be looking forward to reading many more. There were some elements of the story that I felt were too easily resolved and some elements that I felt were too vague and needed a bit more explanation.  For fear of revealing too much of the plot, I won't give any more detail about those particular portions of the story. Overall however, I would recommend this book and I think you will find it to be both enjoyable and inspirational. 

 As I read a book, I always try to think of scriptures that are being depicted.  It is my feeling that this book strongly portrays the message that can be found in Psalms 37:9: "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." (KJV)  The book of Matthew, chapter 7 and verse 7, tells us to "ask, and it shall be given you ...".  Further down in that same chapter, in verse 11, we are told " ... how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?'' (Once again, this scripture reference is taken from the KJV). All of these scriptures are vividly displayed in the pages of Love Remains. My apologies to the writer if this is not the message that she hoped to impart.

To read more about Kaye Dacus and her writing, visit her web site at http://kayedacus.com. Her books can be purchased at Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, through her publisher, Barbour Publishing, or your favorite local book store.

To win a copy of this book, leave a comment below which includes your email address in spam proof format; i.e., yourname[at]domain[dot]com. For a second entry, please become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower. If you do not tell me you are a follower, even if you are, you will not receive the second chance to win. For a third chance to win, include the name of another book written by Kaye Dacus. This giveaway will run until midnight on December 18th.


A copy of this book was provided to me by Barbour Publishers for review purposes. I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review. All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer.

Book Review: Head in the Clouds by Karen WItemeyer

I am delighted today to have the opportunity to review Karen Witemeyer's latest release, Head in the Clouds. Before I express my views, let me give you a brief synopsis of the book's plot.

Adelaide Proctor is a young school teacher who longs for a husband and a family of her own. Her teaching contract is quite explicit in stating that she cannot marry during the term of the contract. When circumstances bring a traveling book salesman, Henry Belcher, across her path, little does she realize that he is simply a worthless philanderer who already has a wife.  Instead, she misinterprets his attentions and rashly resigns her position and sets off to follow him, hoping to become his bride. It matters not that Adelaide doesn't feel the spark of romance that she has always dreamed of; that will come with time, she decides.



The situation that Adelaide next finds herself in is humiliating and only her quick thinking saves her from being completely mortified. In an effort to save face and thinking that God has abandoned her, she applies for a position as governess to the daughter of rancher Gideon Wescott. Gideon has left a home of wealth and privilege in England to make it on his own as a sheep rancher in America. On his voyage to America, he aids and befriends the mother of young Isabella and becomes Isabella's guardian and adoptive father when the mother dies.

The adventures that await Miss Proctor as she assumes the role of governess to the ward of Gideon Wescott are filled with peril, adventure, excitement, humor, and, yes, with romance too. Gideon and Adelaide must unite forces to protect Isabella from her greedy and evil uncle who wants to obtain custody solely for the fortune attached.

This book is, without a doubt, one of the best books that I have read in a long while.   This book of historical romance is not a book that I would normally pick up to read. As those of you who know me well know, I much prefer contemporary fiction filled with suspense and mystery. However, in giving this book a rating, I would definitely have to assign the highest marks possible. Head in the Clouds has something for everyone; the suspense and drama, interwoven with elements of rich humor, make it a book that demands that you keep turning the pages and allows no stopping point. In fact, I took the book with me to school to read on my lunch break and became so immersed in the story that I nearly forgot to stop in time for my afternoon classes. It was only the students peeking their cute little heads around the corner and asking, "Mrs. Newby, are you ready for us yet?" that brought me back to reality.

From the beautiful front cover to the final word in the text, this book captures the reader and takes them back in time on a journey fraught with peril and adventure.  Through it all, Karen Witemeyer paints a picture with her words that show God's faithfulness to His own. She very adeptly depicts the premise that what man may mean for evil, God can take and use for good.

If you are looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend this book to you. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for a friend or loved one, you won't go wrong if you give them a copy of Head in the Clouds. This book can be purchased through the publisher, Bethany House, or at Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite local book store.

A copy of this book for review purposes was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers. I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review. All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Congratulations to the newly elected ACFW officers!




 
 
  President: Margaret Daley






                   

       




Vice President: Richard L. Mabry, MD














Publicity Officer: Kristin Billerbeck















Zone Officer: Eileen Key












I have been a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers for only a very short time.  In that time, I have already learned that the ACFW is filled with some of the finest, most caring, and helpful people that I have ever been privileged to know.  This election was the first since I became a member and I am looking forward to the coming months as these four outstanding writers assume the leadership of the organization.

Congratulations and best wishes for the coming year to our new leaders!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Congratulations to ...

Charlotte Kay!

Charlotte Kay is the winner of the drawing for Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler.  Charlotte, if you see this announcement, I will be sending you an email very soon. 

She has one week to respond and give me her address.  If I haven't heard from her by Monday, December 6th, another name will be drawn.

Thanks once again to all who participated in this giveaway drawing!  It is always with mixed emotions that I announce the winner of a drawing because I wish that everyone could be the winner.

Just as soon as I can sit down at the computer long enough to write the reviews, there will be a review of Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer (sorry, no giveaway with that one) and also a review AND giveaway of Love Remains by Kaye Dacus.  Keep watching for these posts!

Until then, I pray God's richest blessings on each and every one of you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Let me join in with bloggers all across the nation in wishing you a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving. 

This year has brought some of the most trying and traumatic personal events I have ever been forced to face and it has been difficult at times to find the good in life.  Tears have become a daily occurrence.  Smiles and reasons to smile have been rare.  Through it all though, God has been faithful, as always, and has given me the strength to carry on and face each new day.  I am so thankful today that I know and serve a mighty God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.  Without Him, I would not have survived recent events.  With Him, I can do all things. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There Is Still Time!

Don't forget to enter for the drawing for Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler.  The contest will conclude on November 29th, so there are still a few more days to get your name added to the list. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Giveaway ... Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler

Jackie Donovan dreams of just two things.   One is a husband and the other, something she wants possibly even more than a husband, is to own and manage a bed and breakfast; but it can't be just any bed and breakfast.  She has her sights set on the Bailey House Bed and Breakfast which is situated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  This is  the very same bed and breakfast that was owned by the Baileys; it was one of her favorite childhood hangouts and the place where she spent many happy hours. 
While waiting for her prayers to be answered, Jackie earns her living as a writer for a magazine, Lighthouse Views. She goes on one disastrous blind date after another which are arranged by her well-meaning family members who only want to see her happily married.  Then comes the day she is assigned to interview the handsome, up-and-coming young realtor, Davis Erickson.  When a romance develops between Jackie and Davis and Jackie also learns that Davis is the grandson of the Baileys and current owner of Bailey House, she thinks that both of her dreams are going to be realized at once. 

Hatteras Girl portrays the story of several different scriptural truths.  For Jackie's friend, Minnie, the young widow and mother of the incorrigible Zane, it depicts the truth found in Psalms 30:5 (KJV) that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  For Jackie,  it is the same lesson that King David spoke of when he said "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry."  (Psalms 40:1 KJV).  Jackie also learned, once again in the words of King David, to "delight thyself in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."  (Psalms 37:4 KJV).   Sometimes we pray and then continue to look for the answers on our own instead of giving it over to God and trusting in Him to supply our needs and wants.  Sometimes, as Jackie learned, the answer is where we least expect to find it; and sometimes is right in front of us all along if we but open our hearts and minds to Him, for He always knows what is best.

This is an enjoyable and relaxing book.  If you are looking for lots of tension, suspense, and excitement, this is not the book you want.  If you want to sit back and relax with your favorite beverage and meet some funny, kind, and quirky characters while watching how God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform, then I recommend Hatteras Girl to you.

Hatteras Girl was written by Alice J. Wisler and is published by Bethany House.  You can learn more about Alice and her previous books by going to her web site at www.alicewisler.com.  If you have a book club and are looking for a book for discussion, there are some very nice discussion questions included in this book.  

A copy of this book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for review purposes.  I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review.  All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer. 

I am offering my copy of the book as a giveaway on this blog. Please leave a comment, along with your email address in spam-proof format (yourname[at]whatever[dot]com). As always, mention if you are a follower or become a follower of Write About Now for an extra chance to win. Please be sure to mention this fact in your comment. If you are a follower but do not say so in your comment, you will not receive the extra entry. This contest will run until November 28th and the winner will be announced on the blog on Monday, November 29.






Monday, November 1, 2010

Winner of "And the Beat Goes On" ...

The lucky winner of the drawing for Tracy's book, And the Beat Goes On, is ...


Pixcess!

Congratulations, Pixcess!  I will be contacting you for your mailing address.  Readers, if Pixcess fails to respond within one week (or by Monday, November 8th), another winner will be drawn.  Check back later to see if Pixcess has claimed her prize in time. 

In the meantime, a new giveaway will begin later this week for yet another excellent book, Hatteras Girl, by Alice J. Wisler.  Be sure to come back later in order to read the review of this book and enter for a chance to win.

Thanks to all who entered and made this giveaway successful.  I am thrilled for all of the new followers and thankful for the faithful ones who returned once again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Interview With Tracy Krauss

Now that I have finally posted my review of Tracy's book, And the Beat Goes On, she has joined us today to tell us a bit more about herself.  Welcome to Write About Now, Tracy!  I truly enjoyed reading your book and it is a pleasure and a privilege to have you here today.  Can you give us a bit of biographical background to get us started?

I am a teacher, writer, artist, theater director, worship leader – pretty much everything I do revolves around the creative process. I have three daughters and one son who are all grown up. My husband, a chronic adventurer, was also a pastor for ten years, so I have also worn the ‘Pastor’s Wife’ hat.  I grew up in a small prairie town in Saskatchewan, Canada, but I have moved over thirty times in my life.  Many of these moves were to remote northern locations where all kinds of improbable (and sometimes unbelievable) situations arose, usually to do with nature!

Wow! Over thirty times!  And I thought that I had moved around a lot but you certainly have me beat! What were your favorite subjects in school?

I loved Art, History, English and Drama.  I now teach Art, History, English and Drama. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Do you have a favorite comfort food that you consume when you are under pressure to meet a deadline or are you one of those people who forgets about eating at such times?

I’m one of those people that forget to eat when ‘in the zone’, so I don’t have a writing comfort food. (Or any comfort food. I just like FOOD!)

I think a lot of us can agree with that statement!  What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

If it counts, it is all the marketing and self promotion. Oh, for the days when someone else did it all and you could just sit back and be creative!

It counts all right!  I am not yet to that point with my writing but, from all I hear from other writers, I am definitely NOT looking forward to it!  How do you cope with writer's block?

I honestly don’t suffer from writer’s block.  This is probably because I always have several projects on the go at once.  If I get tired of one, or stall out, I just switch to something else.  I’ve currently got three novels finished and in various stages of revision (this is not counting the two I either have published or in the production phase), eleven plays, three WIPs, and about 10 outlines.

That is quite an impressive resume!  If you were not writing, what would you rather be doing?

Another easy question! As an artist, I often struggle to maintain some balance between my writing life and my painting and printmaking. I am also heavily involved in local theater, either directing or doing tech work. I love all of these creative pursuits.

How do you go about approaching the beginning process of a new book?  Are you a plotter or a panster?

I usually start with a brief outline – kind of a rambling synopsis of the basic storyline.  Then I get into characterization.  I am really big on this aspect, perhaps because of my involvement in drama.  I usually construct quite elaborate biographies for all my characters, even minor ones, which of course may change with the writing.  Then I go back and do a more thorough plot map of the sequence of events.  Sometimes I will insert bits of dialogue or description into this as I am inspired to do so.  Then, it’s back to the beginning where I just start hammering out the story itself.  Naturally, things evolve and change as I go along and often I need to go back and revise or change things many times.  Once the first draft is finished, I’ve found it takes about five rewrites (approx) to get it where I want it before I will then give it to a critique partner for suggestions and editing.  No wonder it takes me so long to finish anything!

What's up next for you, Tracy?

I am very excited about my soon to be released novel called MY MOTHER THE MAN EATER.  It is a redemptive story about a forty-something cougar whose life is a mix up of men, mayhem and the mafia.  The book is full of great characters and I am super pumped.  I’ve already had quite a bit of interested feedback.  I think the book is just as engaging as the title.

That sounds very interesting, Tracy.  I will be watching for it, and I am sure that many of your fans are eagerly awaiting its release.  On a parting note, do you have any words of wisdom for those of us who are still among the ranks of aspiring but as yet unpublished?

For people that are truly writers (ie: those of us that are driven to write no matter what) don’t get discouraged when it seems like nobody is listening.  I have been writing for over twenty-five years, and the satisfaction I get from expressing myself through the written word is enough to keep me going, whether anyone actually reads it or not.  Having said that, I believe that as a Christian my entire life (which includes my writing life) is in the sovereign care of God’s mighty hands.  Therefore, I must also release that aspect of my life to Him, knowing that my success as a writer is not dependant on sales, but on obedience to what He has placed in my heart to write and on what He has gifted me to do.

There is so much wisdom in those remarks - thank you for sharing them with us.  Thanks for joining us today, Tracy.  It was a real pleasure to have you on Write About Now.  Readers, don't forget to click on the review of Tracy's book to enter the giveaway that is currently ongoing.  The giveaway will end on November 1st, so get your comments posted for a chance to win this terrific book.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway ... And the Beat Goes On by Tracy Krauss

At long last, here is the book review that I have been promising for about two weeks now.  Thanks for your patience as I feverishly try to catch up on so many things that have been piling up.  Did you ever have those times where you felt like you were behind on everything and, no matter which direction you turned, there was something else waiting on every side that should have been done a long time ago?  Well, I am going through one of those periods in my life and I have to say that I just don't like it.  The mental pressure of knowing that things are still pending that should have been done long ago is not a pleasant experience.

Enough about my problems; let us proceed to more pleasant topics.  

About the book:

If you enjoy a book with lots of intrigue, hidden agendas, mystery, deceit, betrayal, and a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, then you will enjoy And the Beat Goes On by Tracy Krauss. Tracy told me that the book is officially categorized as "Romantic Suspense"  but I felt that other elements of mystery and suspense were predominant and the romance was not the main element of the story.    

The book begins in an ancient time in the heart of Africa in the area that  is now known as Zimbabwe.  (See map below for location).  
   
Tracy certainly knows how to grab her reader and draws them in with her very first words.  In her prologue, she portrays the enactment of a pagan ritual in extremely vivid detail and such gruesome acts of violence and depravity are committed that I felt unclean after reading it and felt the need to purify my mind.

She immediately jumps from this scene to the present day where Canadian-born archaeologist Mark Graham has uncovered artifacts which are the remains of the ancient civilization and proof of the existence of the mythical race of the Nephilim.  His find is so startling and of such import to the scientific community that Mark is guaranteed a place in the annals of history for his discovery.  Unfortunately for him, his find also places him at odds with members of governments, political factions, and even his fellow scientists.  This discovery causes Mark and some of his crew to begin to rethink their stance on creation and other important Biblical events.

When Mark begins to document some of his data, the government of Zimbabwe steps in to take control of the site and suddenly Mark is not only desperately trying to salvage his research and his reputation, he is also fleeing for his life.  Who is it that could possibly be so threatened by Mark's discovery that they want him dead?  Who is it that will benefit from Mark's death?  Tracy keeps the reader guessing throughout the book as to the answer to these questions.  It is astonishing to discover the great lengths that scientists and politicians will go to in order to keep the Truth from being revealed.
   
Thus begins the chase and the race for Mark to reveal the results of his excavation before he is either arrested or killed.  Through it all, God is dealing with Mark and showing him the truth about the reality of God's word; Mark is slowly being drawn back to a place with God that he had left behind years ago. 

This book is a very well-written and suspense-filled tale and contains just enough factual material to make a plausible story; a story that will cause some people to think again about the various theories that are espoused in order to discredit the facts about the creation.  I was not aware until after reading And the Beat Goes On that it is a prequel to Play It Again. I did not feel that there was anything that I could not understand due to not having read the first book and this book can stand alone quite nicely.

About the author:

[laughing+-+Sept+2010.jpg]Tracy Krauss grew up in Saskatchewan and has been writing stories, plays, and novels for over twenty years.  She received her Bachelor of Education degree in Saskatoon and lives in British Colombia with her husband and four children.  In addition to being a writer, Tracy also teaches high school English, drama, and art.  To read more about Tracy, you can visit her at Expression Express.

Tracy has provided a signed copy of her book for a giveaway.  This is a book that I am very reluctant to part with so whoever is the lucky winner of the giveaway will be getting an excellent prize.  This is not just any book - it is a very nice hardback copy and will make a nice addition to your personal library.  For a chance to win Tracy's book, leave a comment along with your email address in this format: jdoe[at]younameit[dot]com.  For an extra chance to win, please let me know if you are a follower of my blog.  The giveaway will run until November 1, 2010. 

As stated, the book for this giveaway has been provided by the author. I am not responsible for the content or for any comments made by the author or publisher. Giveaways are void where prohibited and are limited to the United States only. Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of valid entries. At the conclusion of every contest, a random winner is drawn and will be notified, providing they have met the giveaway stipulations. If the winner does not respond within one week, a second drawing will be held.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My humble apologies ...

I apologize to all of you who have been patiently waiting for the book review and giveaway that I promised was forthcoming.  You know what they say about good intentions, don't you?  Well, I had the best of intentions but somehow life has managed to interfere with those good intentions and has kept me away from the keyboard for far too long.  I won't bore you with the mundane details but I just wanted to let you know that I am currently working on two book reviews/giveaways with two additional ones lined up to follow shortly after.  

Thank you for your patience.  Please keep watching because I really hope to be able to post the giveaways within the next couple of days.   That's a promise!

We had a bit of excitement at our house today.  After weeks and weeks of practically no rain at all, we finally had a storm today.  It was a real doozy too!  One minute the skies were perfectly clear and  the sun was relentlessly beating down on the dried earth.  As I left the school this afternoon, I stood in the parking lot discussing with some coworkers about how hot it has been for mid-October.  We were talking about the fact that it appeared as if the predicted rain was not going to happen.  The newspaper today said that rain was coming but "would not be enough to make a difference."  Ha!  Less than a hour later the sky suddenly darkened, the wind became ferocious, and huge hailstones pelted down on the unfortunate vehicles.  It was spectacular in its intensity. 

Meanwhile, I had arrived home from work and gone to lay down for a minute before beginning dinner preparations.  I heard the sound of heavy equipment outside the house but gave it little thought because it is, after all, harvest season and our house is surrounded by fields.  Five minutes later, my husband walked in the door, calling out for me and asked me if I was unaware that there was a fire in our front yard!  Yes, I was completely unaware!  It seems that lightning struck one of our ancient and stately trees and, due to the fact that everything is completely bereft of moisture, it caught ablaze internally and flames were spouting quite a few feet into the air.    

I am so thankful to God that the fire was no worse than it was.  We live in the country, several miles from the volunteer fire station, and it could have been much worse if some Samaritan driving by had not seen the flames and called the fire department when they did.   There is a stand of trees near where the fire was that could easily have burst into flames too and the fire could have then spread to our four and a half acres of woods.  Since the woods is an unofficial sanctuary for the local wildlife, that would have been a disaster.   Thankfully, all is well, the fire is out, and the rain assured that the last surviving embers were extinguished.  We have lost another of the beautiful trees that were what initially attracted us to this house; but trees can, and will, be replaced and someone, many years down the road, will enjoy the tree that will be planted to replace the one that we lost today.   

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coming up next ...

Another book review and giveaway!  Check back
 next week for more details !

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Great Blog Idea!

I wanted to let you all know about a really fun blog that I recently learned about.  It is called Christian Book Giveaways and is hosted by a very creative young lady by the name of Carman.  On this blog Carman lists the current giveaways on many different blogs.  It is a  great place to visit for an overview of ongoing contests.  She lists only Christian books, both fiction and non-fiction, so you can be assured that, if you visit a link for a book that is posted on her blog, it is a good, clean, wholesome book.   You need not fear being surprised by the smut that is so prevalent in many books that are being published in this age of sin and depravity.

If you are a reader looking for a good book, I recommend that you pay a visit to Carman's blog.  If you are a blogger with a book to give away, Carman's is a good place to list that contest and receive some free publicity.  Everyone comes out a winner!  I applaud Carman, who is a high school student, for coming up with this great idea.   My latest giveaway was posted on Christian Book Giveaways and I now have several new friends and followers as a result.  Check it out - I think you'll be glad you did!

Congratulations ...

The winner of A Door County Christmas is ...


katychick

Congratulations!  An email has been sent to her and she will have one week to respond with her address.  If, by September 25th, I have not heard from katychick, another name will be chosen and a new winner selected. 

Another giveaway is coming up real soon so stop by again for another exciting giveaway.  Thanks to all who entered this contest and I hope to see you again real soon.

May God richly bless each one of you!
Jan Marie

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Book Review with Giveaway ... A Door County Christmas

This week has been a lot of fun with visits from each of the four authors of the Christmas collection, A Door County Christmas. Today we will wrap this series up with a review of the book and a chance to win a copy for your own reading pleasure.

The book opens with The Heart's Harbor By Cynthia Ruchti. Amanda Brooks simply wants to escape a cold, lonely Chicago Christmas and flees to Door County, Wisconsin, and the famous Heart's Harbor Victorian Inn. She gets much more than she bargained for when the owner, Lola Peterson, announces that she has been called for jury duty and is leaving Amanda in charge of preparations for the annual Christmas Tea. 

Cynthia creates exceptionally interesting and realistic characters, including Harland, Lola's quirky and hilarious husband. Harland is so lovable that I found myself wishing that Cynthia would write an entire book about him.

Since I abhor reviews that reveal too much of the plot, I will say no more about this story other than the fact that it is delightful from beginning to end and paints a truly wonderful picture of how God has a plan for each of us if we will heed His calling and follow His leading.

Next, we move along to Ride With Me Into Christmas by Rachael Phillips. Rachael adroitly shows us that, just because a person is retired and has already raised a family, it doesn't mean that life is over for them. God still cares about them and understands their needs and desires. He understands their loneliness and hunger for love and companionship. Best of all, He will supply and provide for those needs, often in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. You will fall in  love with Joanna and Paul as they tiptoe around each other. You will laugh at the antics of their adult children who try to nip this growing romance in the bud. You will rejoice with them as love, coupled with faith, prevails.

Eileen Key introduces us to the enchanting Vestal and Hilde Grissom, who are still very much in love after many decades of marriage. In My Heart Still Beats, we follow the story of these two elderly lovebirds as they come to the realization that they must reluctantly sell their cottage. They hire Madison Tanner to drive and assist them as they go about making the necessary arrangements. It is up to Maddy to deal with the realtor and his precocious daughter when the Grissoms change their mind about selling. Through it all, the hand of God is at work to bring peace and fulfillment to those who are willing to follow His leading.

The book concludes with Christmas Crazy by Becky Melby. Jillian Galloway just thinks she is going on a Christmas vacation to Door County territory. Instead, it is up to her to rescue and salvage her uncle's dinner theater in time for the annual Christmas production. In one hilarious catastrophe and disaster after another, Jillian and the enigmatic, young, and extremely handsome Ricky rise to the occasion and overcome all obstacles so that the show can go on. Once again, we see the hand of God at work, drawing together those who are faithful in His service.

Four stories, each entirely different and unique, are bound together with the common threads of Lola Peterson's Christmas Tea and the legend of the Christmas cactus that Lola shares with the main character in each of these novellas. I enjoyed this collection so much that I read it in its entirety in one day. I recommend that you add this book to your Christmas list, both for your own pleasure and for gifts for those you love.

A copy of this book for review purposes was provided to me by the authors. I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review.  All comments are the true and unsolicited opinion of this writer.

For a chance to win a copy of A Door County Christmas, leave a comment along with your email address in this format:  yourname[at]domain[dot]com.  Become a follower for an extra chance to win.  Be sure to tell me in your comment if you are a follower. This giveaway will run until September 18th, at which time a name will be randomly drawn. Who will be the lucky winner?