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Monday, February 21, 2011

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Save The Date
Thomas Nelson (February 1, 2011)
Jenny B. Jones
Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones is the second women’s fiction by the author. Though she’s written numerous young adult books, Just Between You and Me was the first time I was introduced to Jones as a writer. I’d heard of her success in the YA market but wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved that book. It was funny, yet had some deep family drama that drew me in immediately.

So when I received Save the Date to review I was already looking forward to the book. And boy did it deliver. I read the book in one day. One. Day. And I’m a busy woman. LOL. I couldn’t put it down. It was such a wonderful blend of romance and comedy that I never wanted it to end. In fact, that would be my only complaint. Jenny B. Jones needs to write faster. Faster I say. I need more books by this woman and fast. :)

The story centers around sometimes klutzy Lucy Wiltshire and former NFL hunk Alex Sinclair. Alex is running for congress to make a difference and Lucy runs a home for young women that have aged out of the foster system. Both need each other to keep their dream going so they partner in a deceptive, yet, delicious, plan to get what they both want. Nobody should get hurt. All Lucy has to do is portray Alex’s fiancĂ© during his campaign. It will give Alex the credibility of a levelheaded family man and in return, Lucy will get the money she so desperately needs to save her home for girls. It’s foolproof. Until love enters the equation.

This book was fabulous. My favorite part was the bantering back and forth between Alex and Lucy. The dialogue was so smart and funny I found myself laughing along. Jones made these characters so real, by the end of the book I wanted to go to Charleston and meet them. I dreaded turning the last page, not because the writer didn’t do a great job wrapping up the story, but because I never wanted it to end.

If you love smart and funny romantic comedy, you’ll love Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones.

I received this book from the publisher for review--but that in no way impacted how much I loved it! :)
P.S. If anybody is still reading this blog and takes the time to comment I might be inclined to draw a name for a copy of this book. That's a big deal considering how much I love this book. It will be hard to part with.


I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series and So Not Happening. I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie.

When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.

My students are constantly telling me how my teaching changes their lives and turned them away from drugs, gangs, and C-SPAN.

Okay, that’s not exactly true.

Some facts that are true include:

I've always been refined!

A. I got my camera confiscated by big boys with guns at the American Embassy in Europe this past summer. O la la!

B. I once worked in a seed mill office and cleaned out mice on a regular basis. Ew.

C. I’m a former drama teacher.

D. I didn’t pass my drivers test the first time. Or the second…

E. I attract stray animals like a magnet.

F. I used to assemble and test paint ball guns for a local factory...

Since my current job leaves me with very little free time, I believe in spending my spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits such as:

-watching E!

-updating my status on Facebook

-catching Will Ferrell on YouTube and

-writing my name in the dust on my furniture

I’d love to hear about you, so drop me a note. Or check me out on Facebook.


You’re invited to the engagement of the most unlikely couple of the year.

When the funding for Lucy’s non-profit job is pulled, she is determined to find out why. Enter Alex Sinclair, former professional football star and heir of Sinclair Enterprises—the primary donor to Lucy’s Saving Grace organization. Alex Sinclair has it all . . . except for the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Both Lucy and Alex have something the other wants. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancĂ©e in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn’t quite what he seems, Lucy finds her heart – and her future – on the line.

Save the Date is a spunky romance that will have readers laughing out loud as this dubious pair try to save their careers, their dreams . . . and maybe even a date.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Save The Date, go HERE

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Ramblings of an Exhausted Mother...Advice not needed at this time...

Do you know someone who loves to give advice? Don’t we all? I love how people think because they’ve been a parent they know exactly what’s wrong with your child. They can look at the situation for all of five minutes and yep—they have diagnosed what’s wrong and they’re going to tell you how to fix the problem.
Come on, truthfully, haven’t we all given advice? I know I have. And advice from those that understand or have knowledge of the situation is awesome. I can’t tell you how I covet the advice and prayers of those that understand what goes on in our home. I especially love talking to other mothers that have parented children that were different. They get it. They know what it’s like to be in my shoes.

Here’s where I get a little sassy. :) What I don’t need is Susie Patootie who’s raised two beautiful children who are perfect in every way telling me what I’ve done wrong. Not when she has no idea who I am or what kind of mother I am. Sounds prideful I know, but stay with me.

Maybe I’m bitter from when our doctor kept telling me Tanner was fine, just love him. I can’t tell you how many times I left that office in tears. I would go home thinking it was me. I must be expecting too much. Maybe I’m over thinking things. Until other professionals starting calling me and telling me they needed to talk about Tanner. Sunday school teachers. Preschool teachers. Other moms that noticed things and in a loving way wanted to share what they’d observed in comparison to the children they’d raised.

Finally, my sister in law who heard about something called Aspergers and ordered me a book so I could read it. The book that changed the way I parent my son. I learned that by parenting him differently, he would be fine. He just saw the world in a little different way. And it was my job to help him figure the world out in a way that made sense to him.

Tanner’s almost 12 and he’s doing so much better. He knows how to convey to me when he’s anxious better than he used to. I still have days where I sit in my room for five minutes and have a good meltdown. But most days are pretty good. One of the things I’m most thankful for is that Tanner is now able to walk down the Asian aisle at the supermarket and not have to pull out the sack he carries everywhere and vomit. (That was a rough couple of years) Now he just looks toward the ceiling and walks really fast. Progress. It’s fabulous.

Still, to this day, I get a lot of well-meaning, though hurtful, advice. I can remember my sister in law, who I love dearly, telling me that her kids are to clean their dinner plate and not complain. So when my son was little I think she thought I was being soft on him when I’d let him get by without eating what was on his plate. As if that was an easy decision. Not something I’d learned the hard way. That if I forced him to eat something he would put it in his mouth and vomit all over the table. Hmmm, didn’t seem as worth it at that point.

So one day he’s staying at her house and she asked what he would eat. I told her grilled cheese. That evening she calls me in a tizzy.

“He won’t eat and he’s freaking out.”

“Freaking out. ” (Hmmm, that doesn’t sound at all like him) “What’s going on?”

“He’s crying and begging me not to make him eat. Please. I don’t eat that. Promise I won’t have to eat that. Please. Please Ninny, etc...”

Yep, sounds like an evening at our house. “What did you make?”

“Toasted cheese sandwiches.”

“Is that what you called them?”

A moment of silence then, “Well, yeah.”

“There’s your problem. He doesn’t eat toasted cheese. He eats grilled cheese.”

“But I make them just like you and you said-”

“I said he eats grilled cheese, not toasted cheese. You will never convince him now that your sandwich is the same as mine not even if you show him how you make it. You called it toasted cheese and that’s not what he eats.”

I hate to admit that I was laughing inside. Not for my son who as she puts it was “freaking out” but for the sheer joy that someone finally saw what it was like in our house. It’s easy to give advice as if you know exactly what’s going on, but you don’t. Not until you’ve lived with a child who sees the world differently can you fully understand how exhausting and how constant it is. How everything you do has to be just so or your whole day will be ruined. Just like that. Now she knows what he’ll eat and that’s all she makes him when we visit. Now who’s the softie? No more meltdowns for her.

I’m not at all saying you should cater to your children or never push them outside their comfort zone. I’m just saying all kids are not alike; so quit putting them all in the same boat. And quit giving advice when you don’t know what you’re talking about. It hurts. It damages.

Instead, just listen to those exhausted looking mothers. Hear what they're saying. Say something kind to her. And if you really have something worth saying, say it. But be slow to judge her parenting skills. You have no idea what it’s like to walk in her shoes.

Another Dawn by Kathryn Cushman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Another Dawn
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
Kathryn Cushman

My Review: Kathryn Cushman does not disappoint in her fourth book, Another Dawn. Having read her other three offerings, I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed this one. It’s the classic women’s fiction book. Lots of family drama and heartache that keeps you turning pages well into the night.

There’s an issue in the book that could be controversial and I found myself wondering what the author’s stance was. However, it didn’t matter. She pulled it off wonderfully.

If you enjoy good family drama with a lot of soul searching, you’ll love Another Dawn.

I received this book for review from the publisher.

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. After practicing as a pharmacist, she left her career to marry and begin a family and has since pursued her dream of writing.

Other books by Kathryn, A Promise to Remember was a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book-of-the-Year in the Women’s Fiction category, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

Leaving Yesterday, her third novel, was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.

Now her fifth book, Another Dawn, has arrived in stores, and I’m very excited about it!

On the homefront, Kathryn has been married to Lee for over twenty years now, and their two daughters are currently braving the worlds of junior high and high school. They’ve lived in Santa Barbara for the last nineteen years. It’s a beautiful place and Kathryn feels blessed to be there (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves her dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)


Grace Graham is back in Tennessee with her four-year-old son on a short unpaid leave from work, helping her father recover from surgery and spending time with her sister.

Shoal Creek seems more backward than ever after her years in California, and it's hard to find organic food anywhere. When the unthinkable happens and her son is diagnosed with measles, Grace's fears over modern medicine take a dangerous turn.

Worse, the town has fallen into quarantine and its residents focus their anger and blame on Grace. She is alone and scared, until one brave woman chooses to reach out a hand of forgiveness and mercy. But when the outbreak takes a life-threatening turn, will Grace be able to forgive herself?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Another Dawn, go HERE.