Friday, November 28, 2014

What Would Jesus Post? Seven Principles Christians Should Follow In Social Media by Brian D. Wassom

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Synopsis: Social media gives each of us enormous power to influence others for good or ill. But far too many Christians ignore the opportunities and undermine their own reputations through thoughtless words shared online. This book comes directly from the author's experiences as an attorney and a church leader and offers seven simple guidelines for exercising Biblical wisdom in social media.

Thoughts: **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

While this is obviously a Christian book, it offers a lot of good common sense for dealing with social media. The author provides some great real life examples,as well as quotes and pop culture references. All of those things together make this a quick, easy read.

The seven principles the author chose to focus on in this book are as follows:

Think before you post.
To your own self be true.
Guard your heart.
Don't miss the forest for the trees.
Don't be a stumbling block.
Be a peacemaker.
Build genuine community

If we all tried to follow these principles while on our social media sites, and in our everyday life, the world would be a much better place.

My rating: Four stars

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Tour and Giveaway: Trouble In Paradise, by Deborah Brown

Welcome to the Florida Keys! Get ready to go on vacation and lose yourself in this action packed read.

What is big news in small town Tarpon Cove? An accidental drowning or perhaps a ruthless murder? When a dead fisherman rolls up on shore, Madison cannot resist jumping into her new role as Private Investigator. But she soon discovers the people in The Cove who normally gossip about everybody's business are unusually tight-lipped.

The bad tenant radar still not working, the cottages continue to be full of riffraff. Madison gets arrested, shot at, and outsmarted. She teams up with her best friend – the Glock carrying Fabiana. Together they take on cases no other investigators would ever touch!

Trouble in Paradise, the third novel in Deborah Brown's Paradise series, can be read as a stand alone book.

"'Trouble' is captivating from the first paragraph.  The stories are a true adventure!" - review from Amazon

"This book continues the drama as it can only occur in South Florida, with a host of truly fun, unique characters." - Author Kim Cano

Buy the book from.....    Barnes and Noble

My Review:  This book is the third entry in the Paradise series, but it is a great stand alone read. I haven't read the first two books yet, but I do have them and plan to read them in the very near future--and have plans to read any that come out in the future. This book is a great winter escape mechanism. Not only is there a mystery to be solved, there is also a lot of humor included. Madison's mother is so much fun!!  I love the fact that the main character is a very self-sufficient woman who definitely knows how to take care of herself.
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

My Rating: Four stars

About the Author
The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, "great as stand-alone reads, but they're like won't be able to devour just one!"

I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Follow the Author.....

Also available in the Paradise Series

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Thankful For Today by Roitman Trillo

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Synopsis: Whether sunny, cloudy or rainy Little Bear is grateful and finds joy in every circumstance the day brings. 

Inspired by the prayers of a three year old, this beautifully illustrated story celebrates the little blessings in the life of a child. 

Thoughts: A lovely picture book for young children. It would be useful for opening a discussion of all the things they have to be thankful for each day.

The rhyming text is easy to read, and the illustrations are adorable. Each one is also available as a print or canvas print at, and a portion of the sale of each book and print goes to selected charities fighting child trafficking.

**I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

My rating: Five stars

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2014 Laurel Award Feature

On October 22, 2014, A Miracle of Hope won Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award. During a six-week period, the novel's first 3,500 words were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined it to be the worthiest to receive the 2014 Laurel Award.

Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Ruth Reid for her commendable work. We wish God's abundant blessings on her future projects.

“A Miracle of Hope quickens a reader’s heart in hope that one child’s faith will be miracle enough.” –Alan Daugherty, News-Banner columnist

About A Miracle of Hope
Lindie Wyse thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve a future for herself and her unborn child. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined. After a short time, Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes the child’s special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building—and the love that is growing between them.

Will their marriage survive their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?

“A beautifully written love story, A Miracle of Hope is both heartwarming and heartbreaking and features believable, charming characters who are willing to do whatever it takes for love.” 4 stars, RT Book Reviews  

Listen to Cynthia L. Simmon'sHeart of the Matter" radio interview of Laurel Award Winner, Ruth Reid!

About Ruth:
Ruth is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth and Amish Wonders series. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Ruth resides in Florida with her husband and three children. 
She can be reached HERE.

“…Ruth’s descriptions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the winter are vivid and almost hauntingly beautiful—yet the hardship and “cabin fever” element are very real. But it’s character depth that is this story’s strength…” –Carole Jarvis, Amazon Review
Ruth's Upcoming Projects:
Her Christmas Pen Pal, a novella in An Amish Second Christmas collection released October 2014.
A Woodland Miracle will be released in January 2015
She is currently working on book three of the Amish Wonders Series (untitled at this time; release is planned for 2016). 



Authors, take note! 

Clash of the Titles has opened its doors for submissions to the 2015 Olympia.

The Olympia is COTT's yearly contest for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by their audience—readers well versed in Christian fiction yet not associated with the CBA industry.
Authors write for readers, so why not have readers be the judges?
Finalists in the contest will also have their work read and judged by three industry professionals!

With a submission fee of only $15, easy electronic submission, a bevy of prizes, and judges devoted to Christian fiction and author encouragement, the Olympia is a contest like no other.

But once our doors are open, you'll need to act quick! Slots are limited. To avoid overburdening our volunteer judges, we are limited in the number of submissions we can accept.

Oct. 31, 2014-Dec 12, 2014 

For more details, please visit our site.

Stay tuned for updates by 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frostbite by Julia Dweck

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Synopsis: Bestselling children's author, Julia Dweck, shares the magic of the holiday season in a delightful story of one boy’s wish for a dog of his very own. After a wintry mix of snow and love, two icy mounds of snow come to life with a bark, a wiggle and a wag. The wonder of childhood is born in this frisky snowpup named Frostbite. Children will be enchanted by the artistry of Robb Mommaerts, whose illustrations perfectly capture the magic of this imaginative picture book. Told in rhyme by a little boy whose dream comes true, this tale will warm the heart of young readers and any parent who remembers wishing for a dog of their very own. 

Thoughts: Another winner for this author. The rhyming text is simple and fun. It is a great book for reading to younger children, or for beginning readers to try out their new skills. And its subject matter makes it a great read for this time of year.

The illustrations are perfect for the text. I especially love the very first page, where you can tell that the boy is TOTALLY dog obsessed by the illustration. And every page after that reflects the words in amazing detail.

I believe this will become a new winter classic!

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

My rating:  Five stars

A Different Kind Of Safari by Helen C. Hipp

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Synopsis: What do you need to feel happy about being different? Based loosely on real life experiences, this heartwarming and powerful book illustrates how self-awareness, and courage help a young boy named Raymond learn the difference between seeing things as they appear to be and seeing things as they are. Feeling "different and lonely" Raymond befriends a hippo while on Safari in Africa. Unlike other grey hippos, this hippo is pink. Ray is soon carried into a world beyond labels and challenging assumptions. You will never guess what happens next! 

Thoughts: This story is about a very different kind of safari,indeed. Ray is an introverted child who prefers to be on his own, and finds it difficult to talk to others. Thanks to Rosie the pink hippo and TLC the crocodile (TLC stands for Tender Loving Crocodile), and their story of Eli-zee the zebra,Ray learns that we should not judge others based on their appearance or our fears which may be based on stereotypes. 

The illustrations are in rather muted colors, and match the accompanying text quite well. I would have preferred more illustrations to break up the text a little more, but it would be a good book for slightly older readers, or to be read aloud to younger children. 

I can see using this to teach that everyone is unique, and that we should all be happy with ourselves just the way we are. It would open the door for questions and discussion.

My rating: Four stars

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spell Check by Julie Wright

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Synopsis: A skeleton is rattling its way out of the closet marked “FAMILY SECRET! KEEP OUT!” 
Allyson Peterson believes that being hanged by the Salem High Witches is the absolute worst thing that can happen. But when her powers, wrested from the trolls of ancient Sweden, manifest themselves, she realizes that a prank hanging by vindictive cheerleaders is the least of her worries. 
Ally accidentally sends her parents to the jungle to fight anacondas, turns her brother into a mute, and curses the entire cheerleading team with an illness that has no cure, proving that her spells need a little checking. Her Swedish grandmother shows up to help her through the worst part of all—surviving the Troll Trials and saving the guy of her dreams from a vengeance that has festered through-out generations. 
The power is in her, if she can just get the magic right.

Thoughts: This was such a fun read! The author is new to me, but I will be exploring some of her other work after this. 

Spell Check is not just your typical teen witch story. Allyson is totally unaware that she has any sort of powers until she turns 16 and finds whatever she wishes instantly happens, usually with hilariously wrong results. Her Scandinavian grandmother turns up to help her prepare for her trials to determine if she is worthy of wielding the power. Amid all this, Allyson is falling in love with Jake, dealing with a group of popular girls who bully her, and trying to cope with family issues.

I love how each chapter begins with a "note to self," which gives a little glimpse into what happens in the chapter, and which is usually humorous.

Although it is a story about teens, I would recommend it to teens and adults alike.

My rating: Four stars 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Love Defined (Remnants #3) by Elizabeth Maddrey

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Synopsis: Dreams Change. Plans Fail.

July (pronounced "Julie") and Gareth have reached the end of their infertility treatment options. With conflicting feelings on adoption, they struggle to discover common ground in their marriage.

Meanwhile, July's twin sister, June, and her husband, Toby, are navigating the uncertainties of adoption and the challenges of new parenthood.

How much stretching can their relationships endure before they snap?

Thoughts: This book is the perfect ending for story of June and Toby, and July and Gareth. It isn't a "happily ever after" fairy tale ending, but it was honest and realistic. Both couples were able to create a family, even if the experience wasn't quite what they had been hoping it would be. The relationship between the sisters was strained at times, but by the end of the book, they had found their way back to the closeness of twins. Gareth and July still have many of the same issues from the previous book, most especially the lack of open communication. Most of their friends and family members from the last two books are present, dealing with their own emotions regarding the couples' journey toward parenthood. I would love to read another story about the two families, set five or ten years in the future, to see how things have gone. :)

I was provided a free copy of this book to read and review, but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

My rating: Five stars

Book Tour And Giveawy--Hilltop Sunset by Joyce T. Strand

A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.

Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.

Book available from....   Barnes & Noble

About Brynn Bancroft
Brynn Bancroft evolved from the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries where she served as Jillian’s manager while Chief Financial Officer of Harmonia Therapeutics in Silicon Valley. A shapely blonde with a MENSA IQ, she had an affair with the CEO of the company. Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do. In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif. Much like Jillian--who does appear in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries--Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.

Other Books Available

My thoughts The first several chapters spend a lot of time in Brynn's head rather than actually furthering the story.  Although it is billed as a mystery, I found it to be more of a romance novel with a little mystery/suspense thrown in. There's nothing wrong with that, but it just wasn't at all what I was expecting.
Once the mystery part of the story really kicked in, however, it was amazing, and I couldn't read it fast enough. There were several "shady" characters, which made it impossible to tell exactly where the plot was going to go, which is something I LOVE in a mystery!
It was also fascinating to watch Brynn grow as a person as the book progressed. She began to realize what a family is really supposed to be like, and to allow herself to feel emotions she had kept a tight rein on for most of her life.
I am looking forward to the next installment in this series already!
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

My rating: Four stars

About the Author
Joyce Strand, much like her fictional character Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing articles and press releases and delivering presentations to publicize her companies.

Joyce has been a mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy stories as a teen-ager. She has always enjoyed the challenge of following clues to solve a mystery before it is revealed. Therefore Joyce relished the transition from writing press releases to writing fiction.

Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.   She lives with her two cats in Southern California near San Diego.

Follow the Author
Website,   Blog,   Facebook,   Twitter,   Pinterest   Goodreads 

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Two lucky winners will win either a $50 Giftcard or Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 21st December at 11.59pm EST

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Friday, November 14, 2014

But I Said Forever by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

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Synopsis: After a whirlwind courtship, Brittany Beresford married her Prince Charming and looked forward to living happily ever after. Five years later, she’s been reduced to a not-quite-desperate housewife, with a husband who spends more time flossing his teeth than holding meaningful conversations with her.

She braves his disapproval and turns working mother and, other than feeling far more drawn to a handsome baker she works with than him, things seem to be looking up. But then Brittany discovers that her husband’s “hobbies” include something even worse than golf - and he expects her to put up and shut up.

Fairy tale illusions shattered, but still believing marriage is for life and wanting the best for her son, Brittany has a choice to make: should she follow her heart, or her conscience?

Thoughts: **I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

This is the first book I have read by this author, but I now look forward to reading more. This book presents a more realistic look at marriage than the typical "happily ever after" ending. The main character learns to stand on her own two feet, and to make choices that will benefit herself and her son, regardless of the way those choices may be viewed by family and friends.Her husband was the least likable character in the book for me...the epitome of the word snob. The secondary characters are well developed and wonderfully written.

An overall great chick lit book I would recommend to everyone.

My rating: Four stars

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ane Mulligan's Fresh Taste of Small Town Life

Bestselling author Ane Mulligan is here tell us about her debut novel about best friends in small-town life. Heartwarming and humorous, Chapel Springs Revival will drop you into the midst of a

Let's chat with main character Claire.

I’ve heard you are the one who spearheaded the reviving of Chapel Springs. Is that true?
Are you from the mayor’s office? If you are, it wasn’t my fault. Whatever it was. Felix Riley takes credit for everything that works and blames me if anything goes wrong.

Really? Did anything go wrong?
Of course not—unless you count the incident at Georgia Tech with the monkey.

Moving right along, I’ve heard of your Great Aunt Lola’s theatrical career. What was it like growing up with her?
I adored her. Patsy and I both did. The old gal would give us her cast-off gowns to play dress-up. But she retired from the screen when she was seventy-five, I think. She wanted to leave her fans wanting more. She was quite the flamboyant character. She tried to teach Patsy and me to flirt, but it didn’t take when we were eight years old. She died a couple of years later.

She had a bit of a racy past didn’t she?
You bet your booty patooty. Aunt Lola never took second place to anyone or anything. She lived the high life, all right. Presidents and princes wined and dined her, while all I got was a TV tray in front of a ball game. I miss her and her stories, not to mention her advice.

Great Aunt Lola knew men, that’s for sure. What with having seven husbands, she might have been able to tell me how to get my Joel to pay me more attention. Right. Like that would happen. I’d have to turn into a high definition television set or a fishing reel to get some attention paid to me.

I’ve heard that you…well aren’t the best cook in Chapel Springs. Any truth to that rumor?
Okay, I admit I failed home economics—twice. My culinary expertise maxed out at Jell-O jigglers. And coffee. I make a mean pot of coffee. Unfortunately, that lack got me into trouble with my firstborn’s future mother-in-law. But the woman coerced me.

How so? You’re no shy violet from what I’ve heard?
Who’ve you been talking to?

Let’s see, first there was Faye, oh and Gloria, then Bev and—

Uh-uh, that dog won’t hunt. They gossip. Besides, if you’d heard my son’s future mother-in-law talk, why she’s wound tighter than an eight-day clock. The woman never takes a breath. She could talk the hind legs off a donkey. It wasn’t until after she’d hung up that I heard the end of that particular conversation.

So, what did you do?
Oh, no you don’t. You’ll have to read the book like everyone else to find out.

Chapel Springs Revival
With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.

With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

About Ane: 
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, bestselling novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads,Twitter, and Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

COTT's September Clash Champion

And we have a champion! 

Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. For those in the Cleveland area, Sharyn will be selling and signing her novel at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Craft Fair in Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday, November 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and she'd love to meet you there!

Early reviewer Anne Lemon says this about Spinstered:"Spinstered is a poignant and realistic portrait of extended singleness. It offers comfort and hope to readers who have never married and are brokenhearted about it. It's also just a plain good read that single women will see themselves in, laugh, and maybe cry, too. ... In Kopf's novel, just like in real life, the gut-punches of our alone-ness don't always get resolved in a marital happy ending. But she offers the promise that we all can have the prize that Catie ultimately finds. For this message of hope, single readers will be grateful."

Spinstered, The Novel: 

Three friends. Three stories. Three women trying to figure out how they ended up over 40 and still single.

Committed to her job and pushing fifty, Catie Delaney has almost given up on her dream of love and marriage. Maybe, she tells herself, she’d be happier just embracing her singleness. Maybe that's been God’s will all along.

Catie's friends, Jolene and Uli, have their own struggles with men, careers, and family.

Then into this mix of feminine angst walks Brian Kemper—the latest GWP (Guy With Potential) to join their church’s singles group. But just as something seems about to happen between him and Catie, her world falls apart.

With their hearts on the line, these three friends search for hope ... and find it in unexpected places.

Purchase Spinstered, The Novel:

Pull up a chair now and join us for a look inside the creation of this book, and a glimpse of its author's heart.
Let’s start at the beginning—how long have you wanted to be a writer and what did you envision for your writing life?

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I wrote my first poem at the age of 5. And, for the longest time, that dream meant being a romance novelist. In my 20s, I saw myself becoming the clean, Christian version of Kathleen Turner’s character in Romancing the Stone—enjoying a life of adventure and romance and lots of bestsellers.

So, what happened?
Well, things didn’t turn out the way I imagined. (Do they ever?) On October 15, I turned 51 and, though I suppose I’ve had a few mild adventures, I still dream of true love and being such a popular novelist that even people in the jungles of Columbia have heard of me.

Then, in my 40s, I realized I needed to write about my single heart and broken dreams. When I started working on Spinstered, it was a nonfiction book about grieving singleness. I took the seven stages of grief—denial, disbelief, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and hope—and applied them to what I was dealing with as a 40-something single woman.

A few years later, while at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, a friend encouraged me to focus on my fiction writing. As a result, Spinstered the Novel was born.

What are some of your strengths as a writer?
Years ago, I had the privilege to work for the in-house radio marketing department at Focus on the Family. I learned I not only love writing scripts and dialog but I’m pretty good at it. I even won a few awards while I was there.

I’m also passionately committed to making my manuscript as good as I can. Though that can also be a detriment because I’m a bit OCD about it, which means I have a hard time letting something I wrote go until it’s perfect. And it’s never perfect.

Continuing that thought, what are your weaknesses as a writer?
Well, to be honest, I don’t write as much as I should. I think it’s a mixture of fear and laziness. Fear that what I write won’t be any good. And the laziness that comes from letting other things distract me from what I know needs to be done. Like spending too much time on Facebook.

Why did you decide to self-publish Spinstered?
That’s a long, sad story but suffice it to say I went through a disappointing contract experience that did not end with a published book. In the meantime, numerous interactions with singles fed the urgency I felt to get this book to the audience I know is out there.

My choice was to start over with submitting to agents or editors—a process that can take years—or self-publish. Since the novel had already gone through several rounds of edits, I knew I could have it ready within a week or two. In fact, I was able to make my goal of taking copies to the Labor Day Singles Retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC. I sold several copies there and made some great connections. It also led to my first 5-star review!

What’s next?
First, I plan to finish and self-publish the nonfiction version—Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40—in the next few months. In addition, I wrote an unrelated novella titled Cold Read that I hope to have available soon. Finally, I have two sequels to Spinstered the Novel in the works. Book two will be titled Inconceived and I’ll probably name book 3 Altared. Of course, all of that could change. I’m open to whatever God wants to do!

About Sharyn:
Spinstered is Sharyn Kopf’s first novel. Over the years, her work has included co-authoring a book about traumatic brain injury, penning scripts for stage, and writing for newspaper as well as Focus on the Family radio.

Every Friday, Sharyn ponders the over-40 single life at, the blog she shares with two other authors. For her day job(s), she works as a literary publicist for Route 1 Manuscripts and teaches high school English at a small Christian school.

She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from her favorite people in the world—her family. You can connect with Sharyn through her blog or on Facebook.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hit by Lorie Ann Grover

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Synopsis: After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah's future is all laid out before her that is until she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with a poem in her back pocket one that will declare her feelings once and for all.

Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah's attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning.

But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her.

Thoughts: This is an amazing book. It takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with both of the main characters, as each one struggles to deal with the traumatic event that occurs. The entire story covers just three days, but it feels like so much more, with everything that happens. Once I started reading it, I hated every time I had to put it down, and I could hardly wait to get back to it. The end leaves me wanting more....where do they go from here? For me, that's always a sign of a great story and believable characters.
**I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.**

My rating:  Five stars

Friday, November 7, 2014

Isabella Babysits Baxter, by Melissa Perry Moraja

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Synopsis:  Six year old Isabella usually is the one who has a babysitter. But when her enormous puppy named Baxter creates a mess and prevents her mom from working, Isabella's mom asks her to babysit him. And Isabella knows exactly how to do it! Or does she? First, Isabella gets Baxter dressed...TWICE! Next they have a snack, but not without a CRASH and a BANG. And that s just the beginning. Join Isabella in her very first picture book filled with lots of humor and adventure as she tries to keep Baxter from making a bigger mess. 

Thoughts: ** I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.**

This was a quick, easy read which is a lot of fun. The illustrations are brightly colored and kept fairly simple, getting the point across without including too much detail. 

The book is a good lesson in responsibility for young children, and at the same time is laugh out loud funny. I would recommend it to anyone with a child in their life.

My rating: Five stars