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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bestsellers Winners Announced for Giveaway

Congratulations to our winners for the Bestsellers Giveaway. They were really dedicated to winning and I thank them for that.

Our first winner is Danah. She has chosen the novel "Help" by Kathryn Stockett as her book of choice.

Our second winner is Sidne, she has chosen "Midnight and the Meaning of Love" by Sista Souljahas her book of choice.

And our third winner is Evangelist Cookie who has chosen "The Room" by Emma Donoghue as her book of choice.

Thank you ladies for participating and I look forward to staying connected with you on this journey of blogging and all things literary. Hope you enjoy your books and please don't forget to come back and tell us how you liked your selections.

Blessings and Congratulations on winning the following three books!

Midnight and the Meaning of LoveThe Help (Movie Tie-In)Room: A Novel

Now that the three books above have been won, which books would you like to see in the next giveaway?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blogging about Blogging BEA

It's been a long day, Blogger has not been working properly. I couldn't post comments to my own blog or make comments on other blogs. The issue has still not been resolved, but thankfully with the help of other bloggers who have the same issues, I found a way around it.

Today is the last day of the Armchair BEA. I'm a little sad because it's coming to a close, but elated because my fingers will finally get a little rest. Today's topic is what genre do I blog about and why? How do I find a balance between life and blogging. I will also discuss how I network and how you can find places to network outside of Blogger.

Genres I prefer:
My blog is geared towards fiction. I prefer mainstream fiction that is plot driven. I have recently become a fan of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction thanks to some great recommendations.

Genres I Don't Prefer:
I don't read non-fiction or children's books for reviews. I do enjoy those genres, especially children's books when I'm reading with my kids. However, I need to have some limits and restrictions placed upon myself to keep me focused. Too many genres or directions and I lose focus on what my goal is and the purpose of this blog which is to inform readers on books that I love and also write about as an author. 

Balancing Life with Blogging:
I can't honestly say I've found a balance between life and blogging. I'm still working on it. I do put a time limit on my blogging. Once my first child arrives home from school, I'm officially done blogging on other sites and will only respond to comments on my blog. But six hours of blogging is enough to time to read the posts of other blogs and make comments. If I can't get it done within that time frame, then I add the blog to the list of other blogs to visit for the next day. But I do visit the blogs of the people that comment on my blog the same day because then I'm too curious and nosey to wait til the next day.

How I Network:
I ask questions. I visit blogs and websites about blogging. Google is your friend. Type in the word "blogs" and what genre you like and you will find results. Visit them, check out the people making comments. Visit their blogs. Just put yourself out there and don't try to be a know it all if you don't have the answers. It's okay to redirect them to someone that can help. And usually that person will come back to you as a loyal reader or lurker (Hi Nise), who may be able to help you in the future. An exchange of resources and knowledge is mandatory.

Also, get off blogger sometimes. Find other book social sites. There are so many places to find resources for books and book lovers. If you stay confined to one particular site you may lose opportunities to meet people who share the same passion for books as you do.

Book Social Sites:

Copia: Not only allows readers to discuss literature, but it also boasts its own e-reading software. Readers also get seven free titles just for signing up.

GoodReads:  User generated reviews and recommendations. Probably the most popular book social site.

LibraryThing: Allows users to catalogs their books and discuss them.

Shelfari:  Similiar to Goodreads. Own by Amazon. Users use bookshelves to display their books, reviews and recommendations.

Book Glutton: An online book club.

Book Lamp: A book suggestion site. Compares styles of writing with other books and makes suggestions for you.

ReadFeeder: Makes suggestions based on popular blogs, that may not have made the bestsellers list but are still talked about by readers. 

Where to Find Me Outside My Blog:
You can reach me in so many ways aside from my blog, I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, LibraryThing and Shelfari.

Well, that's a wrap for this week's BEA. What a ride. I can truly say I've met some great bloggers that I hope to continue networking with. I'm always open to sharing ideas, partnering up for an event, swapping resources or volunteering blog space for special themes or giveaways.

Hope all the newcomers stay connected with me on my writing journey and I shall do my best in sharing yours. Best wishes and blessings to you all.

Happy BEA Week!

1. What genre do you specialize in?

2.Tell me where I can find you? Are you on any of the book social sites I mentioned above?

3.Are there any other sites I should look for you on?

Also don't forget to check out the current book giveaways. We are giving away three bestselling novels. Click HERE for more details

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Building and Nurturing Relationships Through Blogging

It's the fourth day of the Armchair BEA. Today's BEA topic is how to nurture book blogging relationships. So I will talk about how I nurture my relationship with other bloggers and readers. I will also talk about how I like to be approached by authors for interviews and book reviews. And lastly, I will list some barriers that could prevent nurturing relationships with readers and other bloggers.

How do I connect with bloggers?

I usually find the best readers and bloggers from other blogs comments. If someone leaves a comment on a blog that I find interesting, funny or entertaining, I will look at their profile and see if they own a blog and then from there I'll follow them and read their blogs. That's how I found Sidne at Reading Rendezvous Reviewz. She was commenting on another blog I visited. Strangely, I tried to follow the initial blog I found her at, but that person was impersonal to her readers. So, I don't visit the other blog, but now I have a faithful reader and a blossoming blogship with Sidne. When I find a connection with another blogger, I try to be a loyal blog friend. I pass on resources and tips I receive in hopes that there is a mutual swap of ideas and connections. And on days I don't hear from her or see a new post, I will track her down and vice versa. I love having the motivation. Blogging can be isolating, so connections are valuable. You know you have a blog connection when you have contact with a blogger outside of your own blog.

How do I connect with authors?

Well, I think it's easier because I am a writer as well. I have a novel debuting this fall, "Waiting on Heaven" along with a short story titled "3 Minutes" being released in June. I also contributed five poems to an anthology that was released last week called, "The Poetic Lounge" that is currently available on Amazon. So because I interact with other authors on a somewhat regular basis, I have no problems getting interviews or book reviews. I also attend several writing conferences, workshops and book signings every year. I think like an author, therefore I want readers just like other authors. My blog is just one gigantic memoir about who I am as a person, mother, writer, wife and lover of books.

How do you maintain a friendship with an author when you're a book blogger?

I give an honest critique. I do the same for films. I love movies and generally when someone wants to know about a recently released movie, they ask me because they know I've seen it and I will be honest and fair. I don't want anyone paying for something, especially in these hard times, that is not worth it. I tell author acquaintances upfront when I am contacted, I will be honest and that whatever rating I give, is the rating it will be and I will still publish the review regardless of the rating. Just like authors are obligated to give their readers the best content and experience in their work, I am obligated to stand by my commitment to my readers. And I think if you are upfront with the author, they respect that. And I try to help authors long after the interview or review has been posted. It's an ongoing relationship.

How would I like to be approached by authors and publishers for reviews and interviews?

By email. I have a review policy tab on my blog, so I want go into the details. But I think if an author or publisher wants a review or an interview, they also need to be an extension of that publicity. Don't wait on me to tweet, Facebook, StumbleUpon or submit it to a dozen social and bookmarking sites, while you do nothing. You can't  depend on my blog to do it all. It's a give and take. If you want the review and I agree, then you need to help me help you and do the same in return.

How can other bloggers make it easier for readers to comment, so they can foster a blogging relationship?

Don't put up a fence of barbed wire around your comment box. Sometimes it takes too long for me to make a comment. Readers, just like myself, are busy. They sometimes want to comment but commenting is too much of a chore. So I have come up with 5 reasons why people don't comment and why your blog is not being nurtured by you or your readers.

1. You didn't ask a question.

2. You said everything already, what else is there to say except great job.

3. You have on Captcha or want my social security number and first born child to make one comment.

4. You don't reply to the comments already posted so why should I bother.

5. You have 500 + followers but only two comments. Which says to me, you don't interact or socialize with your readers. Having tons of followers doesn't necessarily mean you have a healthy blog.

Okay, I said 5, but I have one more...

6. Your reader has followed you for weeks, commented on your posts daily and you have yet to make it to their blog, even if it's just to say hello. So now it's their turn to return the favor by leaving you and your blog and saving their tired tapping fingers the extra work. Or they have not felt the love and are now bestowing their time upon some deserving blogger who is doing all the right things, who relishes in their support.

What ways do you nurture your blogging relationships? Are there some reasons you can add to my list of why people don't comment? Do you have some tips on how to get more comments, more readers or more support for bloggers?

Also don't forget: Twitter parties are on today from 10-12 AM EST and 8-10 PM EST. Remember to use the hashtag #armchairbea

Also don't forget to check out the current book giveaways. We are giving away three bestselling novels. Click HERE for more details

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogging and Networking BEA Style

I woke up this morning with no Internet service. My modem didn't want to act right and after staying on the phone with tech support for nearly an hour to no avail I hung up. Then guess what???? It came on. >:^{ After I mean mugged the modem for a few seconds, happiness began to swell and I was up and doing my happy dance. I praised Jesus a few times, thanked him for the modem angels and got back to blogging.

Networking as a blogger and in life, is how we succeed. It means getting to know fellow bloggers outside of their blog posts. One of the highlights of BEA and BBC is the opportunity to meet dozens of fellow bloggers in person, to build new relationships and strengthen old ones. However, even though those of us not in NYC cannot meet other bloggers in person, we can get to know other bloggers better through the Armchair BEA.

I've decided to put some of my favorite book bloggers in a slideshow.(removed the slideshow, don't know if it was causing my blog to act crazy, but will see if it improves, but I listed them below). It's my way of saying thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. I realize the time it takes and I truly appreciate it. Without my followers, I'm just a blog with an audience of one.

Also, don't forget to list some of your favorite bloggers so we can follow them as well. Enjoy your BEA week.

Below are some of my favorite blogs, including the ones in the photo slide above. A majority of them are book related, a couple are inspirational blogs. I think I follow over 175 blogs now. But I do enjoy them all and I narrowed them down as best I could. Strangely I comment daily on most of them, I don't know how I find the time but between my iPad, laptop, Kindle and cellphone, I stay on Google Reader. It's time consuming, but I've learned a lot. You can't learn nearly as much as you could if you stay confined to your own blog.

Please feel free to add a link to your blog in the comments section so I can follow you and other visitors can follow you as well.

A Backwards Story

Blessing Reflections


Books I Done Read

Books, Personally


Eleusinian Mysteries

Leeswammes' Blog

Life With Books

Line of Serenity

Not on Shelf

Once Upon a Chapter

Reading on a Rainy Day

Reading Rendezvous Reviewz

Sort of Beautiful

YA Addict


Also don't forget to check out the current book giveaways. We are giving away three bestselling novels. Click HERE for more details

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Best Books of 2011

Considering I've been slacking on my reading schedule for 2011. I have managed to read several fantastic books. Several of the books I read this year were recommended to me and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. My reading experience has been taken to a new level because of all the wonderful readers who drop by to offer new suggestions. Most followers of my blog know I am not or perhaps I should say, I was not a big fan of science fiction, mystery or dystopian novels. Now I can't get enough of them. The next genres I would like to explore are steampunk, apocalyptic, splatterpunk and historical whodunnit novels. I still need some more dystopian novel recommendations as well, so if you have any recommendations please let me know and leave a comment.

I know Hunger Games came out last year, but I read it this year, so it's going on the list simply because I love it so much. It's one of my favorite books I read this year. And if you've read any of the books on my Best Books of 2011 list, please let me know what you thought of it and if it was on your list as well.

And to all the Armchair BEA followers, thank you for coming by and sharing your time by commenting. Please keep in touch by clicking the follow buttons, either by Google or RSS Feed buttons on the right sidebar. There is also a button at the top left corner that says follow. Thanks so much and I look forward to stopping by your blogs as well, so leave a comment so I know where to find you.

Don't forget to check out the giveaways at the bottom of the post. There are some really good ones up for grab. Two of them are actually on this list.

 Happy BEA Week!


"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger GamesProduct Details: Publishers Weekly

In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds;


"Mama Ruby" by Mary Monroe

Mama RubyProduct Details: Amazon

Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, Ruby Jean Upshaw is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. By the time she’s fifteen, Ruby has developed a taste for fast men and cheap liquor, and not even her preacher daddy can set her straight. Most everyone in the neighborhood knows you don’t cross Ruby. Only Othella Mae Cartier, daughter of the town tramp, understands what makes Ruby tick.

When Ruby discovers she’s in the family way, she’s scared for the first time in her life. After hiding her growing belly with baggy dresses, Ruby secretly gives birth to a baby girl at Othella’s house. With few choices, Othella talks Ruby into giving the child away-and with the help of a shocking revelation, convinces Ruby to run off with her to New Orleans.

But nothing can erase Ruby’s memories of the child she lost-or quell her simmering rage at Othella for persuading her to let her precious baby go. If there’s a fine line between best friend and worst nightmare, Ruby is surely treading it. Because someday, there will be a reckoning. And when it comes, Othella will learn the hard way that no one knows how to exact revenge quite like Ruby Jean Upshaw

"A Visit From the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon SquadProduct Details: Publishers Weekly

We begin in contemporaryish New York with kleptomaniac Sasha and her boss, rising music producer Bennie Salazar, before flashing back, with Bennie, to the glory days of Bay Area punk rock, and eventually forward, with Sasha, to a settled life. By then, Egan has accrued tertiary characters, like Scotty Hausmann, Bennie's one-time bandmate who all but dropped out of society, and Alex, who goes on a date with Sasha and later witnesses the future of the music industry. Egan's overarching concerns are about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn. Or as one character asks, How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about? Egan answers the question elegantly, though not straight on, as this powerful novel chronicles how and why we change, even as the song stays the same.


"Midnight and the Meaning of Love" by Sista Souljah

Midnight and the Meaning of LoveProduct Details: Amazon

Powerful and sensual, Midnight is an intelligent, fierce fighter and Ninjutsu-trained ninja warrior. He attracts attention wherever he goes but remains unmoved by it and focuses on protecting his mother and sister and regaining his family’s fortunes. When Midnight, a devout Muslim, takes sixteen-year-old Akemi from Japan as his wife, they look forward to building a life together, but their tumultuous teenage marriage is interrupted when Akemi is kidnapped and taken back to Japan by her own father, even though the marriage was consummated and well underway.
“There’s not one drop of inferiority in my blood,” Midnight says as he first secures his mother, Umma, and sister, Naja, before setting off on a global journey to reclaim his wife. Midnight must travel across three countries and numerous cultures in his attempt to defeat his opponent. Along this magnificent journey he meets people who change him forever, even as he changes them. He encounters temptations he never would have imagined and takes risks that many a lesser man would say no to, all for the women he loves and is sworn to protect.

"Catfish Alley" by Lynne Bryant

Catfish AlleyProduct Details: Amazon

Roxanne Reeves defines her life by the committees she heads and the social status she cultivates. But she is keeping secrets that make her an outsider in her own town, always in search of acceptance. And when she is given a job none of the other white women want-researching the town's African-American history for a tour of local sites-she feels she can't say no.

Elderly Grace Clark, a retired black schoolteacher, reluctantly agrees to become Roxanne's guide. Grace takes Roxanne to Catfish Alley, whose undistinguished structures are nonetheless sacred places to the black community because of what happened there. As Roxanne listens to Grace's stories, and meets her friends, she begins to see differently. She is transported back to the past, especially to 1931, when a racist's hatred for Grace's brother leads to events that continue to change lives decades later. And as Roxanne gains an appreciation of the dreams, courage, and endurance of those she had so easily dismissed, her own life opens up in new and unexpected ways.

"Go the F**k to Sleep" by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes

Go the F**k to SleepProduct Details: Amazon

Go the Fuck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach's verses perfectly capture the familiar--and unspoken--tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.
With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the Fuck to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny--a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.


Room: A Novel Product Details: Amazon

Five-year-old Jack and his Ma live and eat and play and sleep in one room--an 11×11-foot space that is their prison--captives of the terrifying man Jack calls Old Nick. But as Jack grows older and more curious, it becomes clear that the room will not be able to hold him and Ma forever. Michal Friedman shines as Jack; her narration is haunting and compelling in its every inflection and tone. The voice she creates for Jack is so convincing, listeners may even mistake her for an actual child. Her powerful performance is complemented by Robert Petcoff's sinister Old Nick, and Ellen Archer's portrayal of resourceful Ma, whose gentle voice is infused with patience, terror, and hope. The chemistry between the players creates a gem of an audiobook that will haunt listeners long after the story's end.

Also don't forget to check out the current book giveaways. We are giving away three bestselling novels. Click HERE for more details

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA 2011 Let's Get it Started!

This is the first day of the Armchair BEA. I'm so excited and thrilled to be participating. The BEA conference is for book bloggers from the comfort of their favorite chair.  Those of us who aren't able to attend in New York for Book Expo America (BEA) or the Book Blogger Convention, are celebrating with a conference of our own.

The topic today from the Armchair BEA is....introducing yourself to other bloggers. I chose to do mine in interview format.

Who are you and how do you do Armchair BEA? 

I'm Lena. I love reading. I love writing more. But what way to have a medium where I can do both. I blog about just about all things books, reviews and interviews. I love having giveaways and finding book bargains for other readers. To do Armchair BEA, just go to the blog and sign up. Follow the daily discussions and post on other blogs that are participating. It's a great way to network with other blogs.

What is your favorite genre?

My favorite genre to read would be mainstream fiction. I will review just about any form of fiction aside from children's or middle grade. And I never review non-fiction. I am now loving dystopian and mystery novels; an affection I got from visiting other blogs.

Tell us a little about yourself aside from blogging?

I am a writer and a poet. My first contribution in book form debuted May 21, 2011 called "The Poetic Lounge." It is a complilation of 20 poets from around the world. I am thrilled to be apart of it. I also have my own book due this fall titled, "Waiting on Heaven." I am also a wife, mother of five and a political scientist. I love watching C-Span (I'm probably the only one watching but eh).

Tell us an Interesting fact about yourself?  

I own nearly 750 books. So I'm glad I recently got an Ipad to store new books. My favorite app is Flipboard and my favorite games are Jeopardy and Angry Birds (I feel an addiction coming on.)

If you could put a book in anyone's hand, which book would that be?

"Sugar" by Bernice L. McFadden. That book is the first novel I read non-stop as an adult. It made me think, it kept me awake, it fueled my desire to be a writer. It was literally the first time I said, "I wish I had written that." I've since read it a dozen times and bought it half a dozen times to give away as gifts.

Do you have any special meme's or themes?

Yes, I do a Friday's Free Books for Kindle. Every Friday I list books that are free for Kindle, and you don't need an ereader to read them, you can download the Kindle app to your computer or cellphone and still enjoy the free books.

What can we expect from your blog in the future?

Videoblogging is next. I hope to feature my first video blog from Youtube this week. So look out for it. And hopefully continuing the same path of dedication to books, readers and writers, while switching it up occassionally. For example, some Fridays, I may not do a Free Kindle because I have something interesting to post like a giveaway, contest or writing tips. But one thing I don't do is stagnation. I get bored easily, so I have to have fresh ideas and I love it when readers help me decide what to blog about.

What's the best thing about blogging?

Meeting new people. I've met some great bloggers that I've had the pleasure of connecting with. I've yet to meet them in person, but I want to. It's like a sisterhood. I can't go throughout the day without checking my google reader and commenting on their blog. It's the first thing I do every morning and the last thing I do at night. I want them to know, I'm thinking about them and I care about what they have to say and what they have to offer. Blogging is time consuming and it's nice to know the effort put into it has an audience, even if it's an audience of one. It matters.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be?

That's a hard question. But I can narrown it down to three. Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Terry McMillan.

Below are some photos of me, the first is with some friends from The Alabama Writers Conclave and the other is from a wedding I just attended.

 Please let me know if you are doing the Armchair BEA, so I can stop by your blog. If you are not, then just tell me something about yourself so I can get to know you better.


Also don't forget to check out the current book giveaways. We are giving away three bestselling novels. Click HERE for more details

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 21 The Rapture: The World is Ending, So Here's What You Need to Read

I was informed via Twitter that the world was coming to an end this Saturday, May 21st. My first thought was why didn't anyone tell me sooner, Twitter is a terrible way to find out I need to rush and get things done in less than 48 hours. My next thought was maybe the Doomsayers will move to the moon. And perhaps, they will be so kind as to leave me all their stuff, like flat screen televisions, houses, cars and all their cash. Surely, the moon will have it's own currency. My favor in return will be to recommend some books they may want to read or take with them on their earthly exodus. I feel that's the least I can do in return for boat loads of cash. I will also make a few suggestions for Doomsayers who believe they will exit this world entirely on May 21st. Sidenote: I could use all your stuff too. So here are a few of my recommendations for all those waiting on the rapture of May 21, 2011.


"The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyProduct Details: Amazon Review

It's safe to say that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest science fiction novels ever written. Adams spoofs many core science fiction tropes: space travel, aliens, interstellar war--stripping away all sense of wonder and repainting them as commonplace, even silly.
This omnibus edition begins with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction. Then in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur and his new friends travel to the end of time and discover the true reason for Earth's existence. In Life, the Universe, and Everything, the gang goes on a mission to save the entire universe. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish recounts how Arthur finds true love and "God's Final Message to His Creation." Finally, Mostly Harmless is the story of Arthur's continuing search for home, in which he instead encounters his estranged daughter, who is on her own quest. There's also a bonus short story, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe," more of a vignette than a full story, which wraps up this complete package of the Don't Panic chronicles. As the series progresses, its wackier elements diminish, but the satire of human life and foibles is ever present. --Brooks Peck

"And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were NoneProduct Details: Amazon Review

Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of 10 strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets--until they begin to die.


"Too Little, Too Late" by Victoria Christopher Murray

Too Little, Too Late: A NovelProduct Details: Amazon Review

Jasmine Larson Bush returns to her devious ways in this tale of two marriages -- each threatened by lies and betrayal. She took marriage vows to be honest and true, but Jasmine's still hiding secrets to keep her husband, Minister Hosea Bush, by her side. When Hosea's ex-fiancée, Natasia, suddenly appears in New York, Jasmine knows it's not a coincidence. A former manstealer herself, Jasmine is very aware of Natasia's motives -- even if Hosea is not. Complicating Jasmine's life is the secret she's kept from her baby's daddy. Luckily for her, Brian Lewis has problems of his own. His wife, Alexis, is convinced he's cheating on her -- but Brian's real betrayal is much worse. Revealing the truth to his wife could lead him back to the biggest mistake of his life...Jasmine.

Two marriages are in desperate jeopardy. Will Jasmine be able to scheme to save her own? Or will she have to choose between protecting her past and compromising her future? Even if Jasmine and Brian find the courage to stop the lies, it may be too little, too late....

"Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and BackProduct Description: Amazon Review

A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.

Heaven Is for Real is the story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us. Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.


"Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn

Safely HomeProduct Details: Library Journal

Executive Ben Fielding hits upon a perfect plan: he will make his company millions of dollars by using Chinese labor to manufacture its electronic components. To kickstart his plan, he visits China, where he stays with college roommate Li Quan, whom he hasn't seen in over 20 years. From Li, Ben learns that his initial impressions of China from his research and from visits over the years are false, but Ben doesn't believe Li's stories of the persecution of Christians until Li is taken to jail. As Ben rediscovers Jesus through Li's faith, he discovers the truth that God does not promise an easy life on Earth, only eternal happiness after death.

"The Doomsday Key" by  James Rollins

The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force No. 6)Product Details: Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Rollins's labyrinthine sixth Sigma Force thriller (after The Last Oracle) offers plenty of intriguing science and history lessons. Sigma Force director Painter Crowe gathers the usual crew—Cmdr. Grayson Pierce; Pierce's best friend, Monk Kokkalis; lumbering Joe Kowalski—to discover why an experimental agriculture site in Africa has been attacked and razed, killing everyone, including a U.S. senator's son. The future of mankind may depend, they learn, on the Doomsday key, a strange substance brought to England long ago by ancient Egyptians that holds the promise of a new and powerful medicine. A few of the book's many highlights include genetic manipulation, traitorous beautiful women, illuminated manuscripts, saints, prophecies, curses and miracles. Rollins deftly juggles all this and more as the Sigma team races from the depths of the Vatican to the outer reaches of Norway toward an explosive confrontation with the shadowy forces of evil known as the Guild.

"A Change is Gonna Come" by Jacqueline Thomas

A Change Is Gonna ComeProduct Details: Barnes & Nobles Review

Think Waiting to Exhale with a spiritual\al twist...
Co-workers Cordelia, Bonnie, Sabrina, and Tangie may range widely in age, but they've become good friends who share advice, joy, and pain.

Cordelia, 40+, is an avid church-goer - some might say too heavenly bound to be any earthly good. Her zest to please the church has cost her a husband, but now her teen daughter - and her reputation - are at risk.

Bonnie was 50 when her white husband died four years ago. Now she replaces her loneliness by mothering everyone in her path and trying to make everything right.

Sabrina, 26, is a shameless gossip who's not afraid to use a man, or even her own mom, to get the money and possessions that make her happy.

Tangie's in her thirties and addicted to love, if you know what we mean. Part of her problem stems from her mother, who has a thing for married men - including Tangie's dad.
But when illness strikes Cordelia, in spite of all the drama, her friends (and her ex) will have to rally around her in her time of need.
"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western FrontProduct Details: Amazon Review

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive.
"The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first trank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."

"Let the Church Say Amen" by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Let the Church Say AmenProduct Details: Amazon Review

 In her riveting second novel, ReShonda Tate Billingsley -- winner of the Gold Pen Award for Best New Author for My Brother's Keeper -- crafts a bold and heartwarming story of family and faith that will inspire readers everywhere.

Reverend Simon Jackson has always felt destined to lead and he's done a good job of it, transforming his small Houston church into one of the most respected and renowned in the region. But while the good Reverend's been busy tending his flock, his family's gone astray. His nineteen-year-old daughter, Rachel, gives new meaning to "baby mama drama." Crazy in love with her son's father, she's wreaking havoc on the man's life, even though he's about to marry another woman. David, Simon's oldest at twenty-seven, has been spiraling downward ever since a knee injury ended a promising football career. These days he's seeking solace in drugs -- even feeding his habit by stealing church offerings. Blessedly, twenty-three-year-old Jonathan, a college graduate and the apple of Simon's eye, is poised to take his father's side as associate pastor -- or so everyone thinks.
Loretta has been a devoted wife to Simon, but she's beginning to realize that enabling him to give more to the church than to his children was her biggest mistake. As things begin to fall apart and secrets are revealed, will Loretta be able to help her husband reunite their tattered family before it's too late?
Let the Church Say Amen is a powerful journey through one family's trials -- and a remarkable story of reconciliation and love.

"This is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper

This Is Where I Leave YouProduct Details: Publisher Weekly

Tropper returns with a snappy and heartfelt family drama/belated coming-of-age story. Judd Foxman's wife, Jen, has left him for his boss, a Howard Stern–like radio personality, but it is the death of his father and the week of sitting shivah with his enjoyably dysfunctional family that motivates him. Jen's announcement of her pregnancy—doubly tragic because of a previous miscarriage—is followed by the dramas of Judd's siblings: his sister, Wendy, is stuck in an emotionless marriage; brother Paul—always Judd's defender—and his wife struggle with infertility; and the charming youngest, Phillip, attempts a grown-up relationship that only highlights his rakishness. Presided over by their mother, a celebrated parenting expert despite her children's difficulties, the mourning period brings each of the family members to unexpected epiphanies about their own lives and each other. The family's interactions are sharp, raw and often laugh-out-loud funny, and Judd's narration is unflinching, occasionally lewd and very keen. Tropper strikes an excellent balance between the family history and its present-day fallout, proving his ability to create touchingly human characters and a deliciously page-turning story.

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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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