Monday, September 22, 2014

COTT {Clash of the Titles} Annie's Stories

Clash of the Titles' next featured author comes in with a storm of high-five comments from some very dedicated fans! Cindy's novel, Annie's Stories, was the runner-up in our August Clash, and for good reason. Doesn't that cover just make you want to drop everything and float away on a good book? 
Why not grab, this book...?



About the book:
The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

PURCHASE

What our voters had to say!

--Annie's Stories was a sweet novel. Cindy Thomson was a new author to me. I will definitely be reading more of her books!
--Love your stories, Cindy Thomson!
--Sounds wonderful Cindy Thomson. Reminds me of be read to by my lovely parents.
--Looking forward to reading Annie's Stories, Cindy Thomson!
--Cindy Thomson is such a talent!
--I loved this novel by author Cindy Thomson.
--Vote for Annie's Stories!
--Cindy Thomson I am really looking forward to reading Annie's Stories! I know I can carve out some quality reading time really soon! -Ronda R
--Go Cindy Thomson! Her books are great! You won't regret picking up her book!
--I just love the way Cindy weaves a story :-)
What Cindy's readers have to say:
"Now and again there comes along a book that holds a personal message for me. I believe these messages come from God. In that alone I’m so very glad I read this book. The influence a book can have on a reader is a special message gleaned from this book. Annie looks to the characters in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while dealing with her life challenges. Any reader can relate to having been influenced by a book."  ~Christian Manifesto, 2014 Lime Award Nominee

Amazon reviewer: "A good historical novel will take you back through the years and let you remember a time you never experienced. Cindy Thomson's Ellis Island series is doing just that. A great historical novel won't stop there, though, it will also give you characters to befriend while you're in its pages. Cindy Thomson's books do that as well." ~TheophilusFarrell4

About the author:
Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the 
author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio.

Connect with Cindy:
Events 
Facebook
Website

Find more great reads at Clash of the Titles.com!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

The River by Beverly Lewis

Book Description:  She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.

            A line I can't move beyond...

           The River 

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.
Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

My Thoughts:  The River by Beverly Lewis is another must read book! especially for all those Amish readers out there.
I find that the title of this book, The River, tells a lot more than the reader is expecting.
Tilly and Ruth are sisters and they are both "used to be" Amish.  Tilly has married an Englisher but Ruth still remains single even though she still remembers her Amish boyfriend.  
It seems that the river has a life of its own...it took the life of sweet Anna and it also is a barrier, a line, so to speak, between what was and was could be.  Interesting!
Ruth and Tilly are both seeking, trying to get on with the present but yet there is just something that holds each of them on the sidelines of life.  
Sometimes as humans we want to be and try to be all we can but "a river" comes in and sweeps away some of our dreams and our inspiration.  But with faith in God we can get past the river.  
Another grand read by Beverly Lewis!  This book also makes for great present!

*This book was provided by Bethany House*

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764212451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212451

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Birthday Bash...Win books!

Don't forget to go to
today and everyday until September 23 
for a chance to win books...everyday!!

Magnolia Market (Trumpet & Vine) by Judy Christie

Book Description:  Fresh starts aren’t nearly as glamorous as they appear. And love isn’t any easier the second time around.
Avery Broussard was savoring her long-dormant optimism. It was the first anniversary of her husband’s death, and she was fi nally going to buy the dress boutique from her former mother-in-law. After a year of saving, the deal was nearly done. Avery was about to get her life back.
But every deal in Samford, Louisiana, can change at the whim of a Broussard. After being unceremoniously ejected from the very boutique she planned to buy—the boutique she herself had rescued from ruin—she becomes a woman without a future . . . suddenly at war with her late husband’s family.
When carpenter T. J. Aillet begins working for the Broussards doing manual labor, he overhears enough to know that Avery is being victimized. Soon enough, T. J. is lassoed into the squabble by his family connections, his good heart . . . and the undeniable attraction he feels toward Avery.
But the Aillets are no strangers to Samford society—and T. J. knows what happens when you cross the Broussards. Could these two misfi ts ever make a start together? Or will the pressures of Samford society pull them apart before they even get a chance to try?

My Thoughts:  I've had the pleasure of reading all the "Going to Green" books and Sweet Olive by Judy Christie.  So, I was excited to read her latest and newest book, Magnolia Market (Trumpet & Vine).  
I like Avery.  She's tough but kind hearted.  She's true blue but not a pull.the.wool over kind.of.person.  She sticks to what she believes in!
But all of Avery's well laid plans go awry when her terrible in-laws, the parents of her late husband, literally try to cast her out of business, out of her home and out of town!  But enter T.J. Alliet!  A man who sees through the in-laws and knows that someone needs to help Avery.  Well, he also likes Avery very much...you know, attraction!  {sigh!}
Together Avery and T.J. take on the "crown jewels" of the Samford society.  Avery knows what who's going up against but poor T.J. not quite so. 
Judy Christie writes with emotion, so much emotion that I felt as if I were Avery...and I felt the pain and sorrow of someone trying to make an out cast of a really good christian person.  
Forgiveness and romance are two of the themes of this great read. 
If you enjoy good christian romance without all the "stuff."  Then you'll enjoy this read!
*This book was provided for review by BookLook*
  • Series: Trumpet & Vine
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310330572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310330578

Monday, September 15, 2014

COTT {Clash of the Titles} August Winner and A GRAND Event! This week!

A hearty thanks to all the voters who turned out for this month's clash!

The scores have been tallied and a winner chosen.

But before the grand reveal, an announcement...

***

Clash of the Titles is having a 
BIRTHDAY BASH!

During the week of
September 15-23
COTT will be conducting FOUR giveaways, one for each year 
we've been promoting Christian fiction.
During these giveaways, TWENTY of our former champions will be donating 
62 copies
of their books!

 You read right--62 novels!
(Distributed among four different winners.)


****

And now, the winner of our August Clash...

The Rose Ring
by Lucie Ulrich

Congratulations, Lucie! 

As you'll note from the comments (below) left during the voting, Lucie's fans simply adore her.

Lucie, welcome to the family.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

With a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?

PURCHASE 
Amazon   
B& N 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Lucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to
her--until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else's was so strong, that once she started, she couldn't seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.
Lucie's first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for "Broken Vessels," her first published work.
No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States. 

What COTT voters had to say:

-Great job Lucie!
-Lucie Ulrich, wonderful story-I really enjoyed it
-Always enjoy reading books written by Lucie Ulrich...hard to put down!
-Lucie Ulrich I can't wait for your next book!
-I love, love, love Lucie Ulrich's work. Ms. Ulrich expertly weaves true-to-life stories that trap the reader in a web of heartache, absolution, forgiveness and acceptance.
-Excellent story, Ms. Ulrich! I couldn't put it down and look forward to seeing a return of these characters in future stories!
-Keep writing, Lucie!
-Loved the book Lucie Ulrich! YG
-Cindy Thompson is one of my favorite authors. She and I share the same passion--genealogy. I look forward to reading her Ellis Island series.
-Way to go Lucie Ulrich. Your books are wonderful!
-Lucie Ulrich is a wonderful author. I have read both of her books and absolutely loved them.
-Lucie Ulrich's book THE ROSE RING is a must read. I didn't want to quit reading. I love it, Lucie!!!

What Lucie's Readers Have to Say:


"The Rose Ring is a story of wounded souls who find healing as they learn to lean on God and come to trust one another. Ulrich has a knack for creating complicated, compelling characters that readers can't help but fall in love with.  What I liked best about this story was that it is woven around realistic family fractures, and that it has a real world ending."

"Lucie Ulrich doesn't just tell us a story, she brings us into the story! I felt their pain and joy, their confusion and relief....It is a story about love and loss, tragedy and forgiveness, inspiration and faith. You’ll be teary-eyed many times throughout the story, so keep a box of tissues close by. And you'll become so attached to these characters that you'll be better for it! It is emotional, inspiring and unforgettable. This will be a book I will pick up again and again and will recommend it to everyone I can."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind Paperback by Marbles: The Brain Store

Book Description:  Want to get your frontal cortex breaking a sweat? Make your blood pump to your cerebellum? Stretch your occipital lobe to its limits?

Then you need to bend your brain! This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store, a chain devoted to building better brains, offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress.
Since Marbles started helping people play their way to a healthier brain, they've sold, solved, and been stumped by more than their fair share of puzzles. Along the way, they've learned which puzzles tie people in knots (not in a good way) and which ones make the neurons downright giddy. With the help of their in-house team of BrainCoaches and access to cutting-edge neuroscience, they've designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.
        Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):

·  Connecting the dots? More like working your spatial-orientation skills.
·  Identifying famous smiles? Flexing your visual memory.
·  Taking a closer look at your keyboard? Coding, storing, and retrieving.
·  Word-doku? Summoning cognitive abilities like appraisal, inference, impulse control, and evaluation.
·  Word scrambles? Tapping your brain’s association areas.

Your brain is your most important muscle, so let the brain-building begin!

My Thoughts:  We are a family who enjoys "stretching our minds."  So the brain benders in this book were right up our alley!
This book has five sections: visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination and memory...our favorite section was critical thinking.  We enjoyed doing the exercises in the other areas but critical thinking really got us to thinking. {smile}
There are 151 puzzles, some can be cut out but most are done in the mind or on paper.
This is not a book for youngsters, well, unless they are a genius.  We found that most of these mind bender puzzles are for this about 12 years and older.  A very smart ten or eleven might understand the puzzles.
We found this a fun book to do after homework and before our bedtime rituals.  We also found it a hard book to put down...just one more puzzle, please!
This book would make a wonderful gift for the puzzle lover in your family or for someone who may be housebound and enjoys learning.

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080414009X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804140096