Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

by Lucille O'Neal with  Allison Samuals

Mrs.  O'Neal doesn't pull any punches in the story of her first 50+ years on this earth.
She discusses how, when her father and mother divorced, when she was quite young, her father took custody of the children, and with his parents, moved to Newark New Jersey.  How, being a young woman who was nearly 6 feet tall at a young age, can cause you to have low self esteem, and and how she dealt with this.  And how she coped, as she moved into her teens, including becoming pregnant at 17, and the young man skipping out, leaving her to deal with the pregnancy and raising of their child. 
Then, marrying, having 3 more children very close together, one of which was born prematurely. 

To make ends meet, her husband joined the army, and the difficulties in moving from place to place, feeding 4 children on a very limited budget, and how she coped by drinking. 
She shares her ups and downs, struggles along with the good things that happened along the way.

The book is well written, easy to read, and you feel you know Mrs. O'Neal by the time you've finished it.
I didn't always agree with her way of handling issues, but that didn't keep me from really enjoying the book .

I was provided a book to read and review by Booksneeze.
The opinions expressed here are my own, and no money was provided for this review.

Thomas Nelson Publishing

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Songbird under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer

The year is 1945, and 20 year old Betty Lake is headed to entertain the troops in post war Germany. She meets Frank Witt, a photographer for the army, on the plane, and the attraction is immediate.
After her first performance, she gets the nickname Songbird. Her roommate, Kat, an actress, tells her that she will be leaving soon, to make another movie. 3 days later, Kat disappears while walking back from her last performance at Festspielhaus, the Opera house where they are performing. Betty and Frank disagree when her death is called suicide, and they start an investigation of their own.
 I really enjoyed this book, and it did hold my interest. My only thought, I wish some of the other characters had been a little more developed.

I received no money for this review, I did receive a free book to read and review from Litfuse.
Published by Summerside Press Minneapolis

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rick & Bubba's big Honkin' Book of GRUB

By Rick Burgess
Bill "Bubba" Bussey
Martha Bolton

The first chapter is the
Rick & Bubba "Hey, you got to live" Diet,
Which pretty much tells it all.   If you are on a diet, get off it, and eat.
The food they describe is just good food, don't forget the butter or Mayo, or any other condiment that you would want. 
One of my favorite quotes from the book
"If you're going on a diet, then just eat less food, don't start messing around with diet versions of regular food that were never meant to be fat free."
 "Fat-free Cheesecake? Ice cream?  Butter?  Haven't we carried ths practical joke on long enough?"

Also included in this book are their 10 favorite places to eat, and their Food Fairs and Festivals of interest.
Rick and Bubba have something to say about casseroles, too.  In fact, if it has anything to do with food, these two have something to say about it, and I have to say I agree with most of their statements.
There are some recipes in the book, listed under
Rick & Bubba's Secret Recipe File.  Think I'll head to the kitchen and give them a try.

I had to laugh at their advice about eating fried chicken, with a fork and knife.
Somehow it just isn't the same.

I'm sure part of it was meant to be tongue in cheek but, if you enjoy hearing it told the way it really is, read this book.

Thomas Nelson Publishing

I received a free book from Booksneeze to read and review,
 the opinions written here are my own,
no money was paid for this review.


When Savannah Smith's father is transferred, the family moves to London England from Seatle Washington, Savannah, known to her friends as Savvy, learns quickly that her friends in Seattle move on with their lives.
She tries to fit into different clubs, with varying degrees of failure, before she finds that the school newspaper is looking for a new, and experienced reporter. She wrestles with her concience, as she applies for the position, and expands her experience, to get the position. Then, when it is offered, she knows she has to tell the truth.
It is a funny, insightful look at some of todays issues for teens, when the family has to relocate. Sandra Byrd has done a great job writing this, I recommend it highly, not only for teens, but for parents.

All opinions expressed here are my own.
I was send a free copy of this book to read and review.
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, Carol Stream IL

Here are some questions asked of Author Sandra Byrd, that may be interesting reading.

Tell us about yourself and why you got into writing.

When I was a kid I wanted three careers: to be a hair stylist, to be a waitress, and to be an author. After I mohawked my Barbie and gave myself a bad red dye job I knew I wasn’t cut out for the hairstylist career. I actually was a waitress in a Jewish deli when I was a teenager, and I worked for a caterer. Although I loved talking to my customers, especially Holocaust survivors, and watching them slice a clover-stained cow's tongue, writing was the real passion. And it stuck!

You actually write books for both adults and teens. What do you like about writing for both groups?

I love writing for women of all ages - young women, i.e., tweens and teens, and adult women all the way into their eighties. Funnily enough, even though we all mature in so many ways, a lot of the concerns we have as young women stick with us. We are relational, we are emotional, we seek to find our unique place in the world in whatever situation and during whatever age we find ourselves. And because women ARE relational I often hear from them via my website after they read my books. I love that!

Your new series is London Confidential. Book 1 is called Asking for Trouble. Savvy Smith moves to with her family to London. How would you describe the journey she goes through in the book dealing with her new surroundings?

I think she finds out a lot about herself, her family, and her God. Each of us can relate to not fitting in, and Savvy certainly finds out that while everyone speaks English there are many things she has to learn about living in London. This series is really a fun series, though. Lots of excitement, mishaps, friendships, fashion, and good times.

Why did you write the London Confidential series?

Each of us, as women, remember what it's like to be a young woman, struggling to find our place in the world. Some girls have family issues, some have friendship issues, some have school issues, most of us have more than one concern. Whenever I write for young women I hope to provide them with an enjoyable read that validates their concerns, shows them that they are not alone, and provides encouragement to stay the course and see what wonderful things the Lord has just around the next corner.

The world feels a little depressed right now, too. I wanted to provide a happy, hopeful read and not a heavily issues-driven series. The London Confidential books are, I hope, fun to read.

What are some of the biggest struggles for teen girls today? What do you hope teen girls will take away from the series?

Truly, as Eccelsiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun. The issues that young women had when I was growing up are the same ones that my daughter has. Who am I? How can I make a difference? Where do I fit in? Am I loved? Why are people hurtful? While they may have different formats, for example, the internet, texting, or movies, the issues remain essentially the same.

But that's good news! That means that we women have walked these paths and have hopefully found our way. It enables us to be Girl Guides, the British world for Girl Scouts, in a physical, emotional, and spiritual sense. Just as we're instructed to do in Titus 2. We can do this in person, or we can do it by buying a good book to pass along to our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and friends.

You say books can bring mothers and daughters together. How?

Books provide a non-threatening, impersonal forum for mothers and daughters to discuss issues. A mother can ask questions like, "What do you think of her choices? Is that a temptation kids at your school face? Do kids act that way in your school? Is the way these girls acting normal? Do you think those girls should be allowed to date?" That way you're not pointing to or calling our your daughter's behavior, specifically, but you're allowing her to express what her world is like. Just be sure not to offer a correction or comment to her every response!

Why did you decide to set the series in London?

I think, at heart, we are all fantasy travelers, excited about visiting new places - especially places that speak English! London is such a fun, cosmopolitan town. They speak English, but with an enchanting accent that American girls often imitate because it sounds so, well, posh! I noticed there is a facebook group that some of my readers are members of called, "I wonder if British people sit around trying to talk in American accents." We love their royalty, their history, the fact that they are both very similar and yet different from us.

The girls who read the London Confidential books may not be able to visit London in person this year, but they can go there via the book. And then plan the REAL trip to follow.

What can readers look forward to in the final two London Confidential books?

The final two books in the series release on September 1, 2010 and talk about good friendships and bad, why it's important for Christian girls to stick with only liking, even crushing on, Christian boys, how to persevere in times of trouble, and taking your first adult steps in your faith. When girls open any of the books, they'll find a girl who is a lot like them, with dreams and hopes and fears like theirs, and God who works things out in ways they would not have imagined. There are friendship ups and downs, school ups and downs, guy ups and downs, family issues and lots of fun. I wanted to write books that would be fun to read, and yet still be meaningful. I hope the girls find the books to be just that.

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd went on to publish more than three dozen books including her widely-acclaimed adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake and it's sequels, Bon Appétit and Pièce de Résistance. Her new series, releasing this month, is a tween/teen fiction series, London Confidential.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra is also an accomplished non-fiction writer and author. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications such as Radiant, Focus on the Family's Clubhouse Magazine, Christian Parenting Today, Today's Christian Woman, Pockets, Decision, and Guideposts. During the past eight years Sandra has mentored hundreds of students through the Christian Writer's Guild.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Gigi's Big Break by Sheila Walsh

The White Lie

Gigi is such a funny and creative little girl, and when a vase gets broken while she is dancing in the living room, her imagination kicks in overdrive. She tells a little white lie, which gets bigger and bigger with each telling.

            (The Pink Surprise)

When Gigi asks to go home with her friend to play after school, her mother tells her that they have a surprise for her, and she must come home that evening. Of course, she imagines all kinds of things that her parents may tell her, none coming close to reality.

I feel that Shelia Walsh has created a great teaching too for children. The music is wonderful, the creativity that went into this DVD is amazing.

I was sent a free copy of this DVD to watch and review.
I was not paid for this review

All opinions expressed here are my own.
a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing 

LIES THE GOVERNMENT TOLD YOU by Judge Andrew P Napolitano

Lies the Government told you, Myth, Power, and Deception in American History by Judge Andrew P Napolitano, with foreward by Congressman Ron Paul.

From the very beginning , it seems our governing forefathers had one set of rules for the 'masses' and another set of rules for themselves. Judge Napolitano uses 17 chapters, starting with Lie #1-'All men are Created Equal', to explain how the people were told one thing,when it was completely different for the ones in control. It gives examples of how the Government, be it Local, State, or Federal pretty much can twist things around to give themselves the upper hand.

Chapter #14-'Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars' has personal meaning for me, because my dad actually discussed how we ended up in WWII, and that he knew before Pearl Harbor being bombed, that it was coming, because of the way our government was handling things.

Judge Napolitano has really outdone himself. This is a book that I'll keep and reread many times, and use it as reference material. It isn't light reading, but it is very interesting, and it makes you think.

I was not paid for this review, and all opinions expressed are my own. I was provided with a free copy to read and review.

Published by Thomas Nelson Publishing Inc.
Nashville TN