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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Made the Grade: The Sullivans Series, Book 4

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 174; Kindle Edition - File Size: 359 KB | Expected Release Date: April 10, 2012 | Publisher: Oak Press, LLC | Obtained: NetGalley

"I Only Have Eyes For You" [The Sullivans Series, Book 4] by Bella Andre

My Book Summary : Sophie has been in love with Jake, a friend of her brothers and family, since she was five years old and he was ten years old. However, she has always believed that he has never noticed her as an attractive woman, so she decides to seduce him at her brother's wedding. While, in truth, Jake has always noticed Sophie but with the way he was raised and because of a secret about himself he doesn't feel worthy of her. Nevertheless, when he finds Sophie at his front door after the wedding he has a hard time turning her away, especially after she walks into his place and starts stripping. Soon their lives will change in ways they never expected, yet both wanted, if only they have the courage to admit their love for each other...

My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars, this is a sweet novel about being willing to put it all on the line for the one you love. I liked Sophie and Jake as a couple, they are both had their own insecurities but it's very entertaining to see them work through them together!

I will admit that this book has some slow bits to it. However, because of the chemistry between Jake and Sophie along with the intrigue as to what will happen after their "time together" ends made me not want to put this book down!

I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of contemporary romance novels!!

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Love Me

Book Teaser(s) :
"What the hell are you doing here?"
Sophie was standing on the front step of Jake's Napa Valley rental house, as if he'd conjured her out of thin air.
"I came to see you, Jake. To talk. To figure things out." Her gaze dropped to his mouth before she whispered, "And to kiss some more." ~ within Chapter 7
Again, he made her part of their snack.
"Yes," he told her after he finally made himself let go of her hand, "it's very good." He slid the plate away from her and broke off a piece. "Your turn now."
She flushed, but didn't hesitate to open her mouth. At first he thought she was only going to take the food, but at the very last second her tongue came out to curl over his fingertip.
He barely bit back a groan. Why the hell had he made that stupid promise not to touch her? ~ within Chapter 17
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Bella, then please check out her website.

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Desire the Night

  • Today's "Waiting On" Wednesday by Jill - click here

  • "Desire the Night" by Amanda Ashley (aka Madeline Baker)
    Expected Publication Released Date: September 4, 2012

    Author's Book Description:
      A VAMPIRE IN CHAINS

      Held captive in a basement prison, wrapped in silver chains, the vampire Gideon is too weak to fight the monster who enslaves him. For years, she’s tapped his precious blood like a fountain of youth—sustaining him with human females she captures for his pleasure. But with the latest victim she brings him, he senses something intriguingly different. Something dangerous, yet oh so tempting.

      Kay Alissano is no ordinary woman. Every full moon, she must answer the call of the wild—unleashing the wolf within. As daughter of the Shadow Pack’s Alpha, Kay is extremely powerful—and when she’s offered up to Gideon, she doesn’t surrender easily. In wolf form, she might be able unchain Gideon’s heart and set them both free—if only he can resist the urge to consume her, body and soul, before the next full moon...

    My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Bound By Blood

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Feasted On: Her Best Friend's Brother by T. J. Dell

    Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 618 KB | Release Date: September 2011 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Amazon.com

    "Her Best Friend's Brother" by T. J. Dell

    My Book Summary : Elizabeth (Libby) has been in love with her best friend's, Melanie (Mel), older brother, Anthony (Tony) since she was 7 years old. While Tony has been in love with Libby ever since she was 16 years old. However, because of one miscommunication or another it takes both of them fifteen years to tell each other what they truly mean to each other. This story follows their constant friendship/relationship and their fond memories of each other, while proving that if you don't succeed the first time with the person you want to be with, then you have to try and try again until you get it right!

    My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars, this novel proves that if you truly love someone it's hard to let them go for good. I loved the chemistry between Libby and Tony! And while I know there are some reviewers that got annoyed with how long it takes the two of them to get together, I believe that it all worked out for the best, because who knows if they would have been able to accomplish everything they did if they had gotten together earlier in their lives.

    Anyway ... as I was saying ... you can't not root for the two of them throughout this book! In truth, other than Tony's gentlemanly tactics when it came to Libby, the only thing that really keeps the two of them apart is Tony's sister, Mel (who is Libby's best friend), and I'm not always certain it wasn't on purpose in a few ways. Therefore, for me the only character I didn't like, mostly/only towards the end of the novel, was Mel and the way she swoops in. True things might not have panned out between Libby and Tony the way they did if Mel didn't create the crisis. However, I still didn't like it. =0/

    Again, with that being said, I LOVED the main characters, Libby and Tony, and this novel!! I recommend it to anyone who likes reading romance novels where the main characters go from teens to adults.

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Teaser #1 ~ within Chapter 1
    He remembered very clearly the night Ms. McKay had come home in the early morning and found him and Libby fast asleep wrapped up in each other on this very couch. When she had shaken Tony awake he had wanted to crawl under a rug. Although-- she had been very sweet about the whole thing. Thanking him for being such a good friend. For sacrificing his Halloween night and for tucking Libby back into her bed since the medicine had knocked her out cold. That had just made him feel worse; because of course Tony had had his own less than honorable reasons for being there that night. ~ within Chapter 9
    For more information on this book, and/or any other books by T. J., then please check her out on the Goodreads' website.

    Interview with Susan Mallery

    Today I'm pleased to share an Interview with Susan Mallery author of "Summer Days," which is the 7th book in her Fool’s Gold Series!!



    A Q&A with Susan Mallery :

    Tell us about "Summer Days!"

    "Summer Days" is the perfect beach read. It’s funny, romantic, sexy, and it’s light both in tone and in actual weight – you can toss the paperback into your beach bag and go. (It’s also available wherever ebooks are sold.)

    Heidi Simpson had a vagabond childhood with her grandfather. The one thing she wanted most in the world was a home of her own. Now, in her late 20s, she finally has one, but her ranch is put on the line by a scam her grandfather pulled in order to pay for a friend’s surgery. Rafe Stryker is the son of the woman whose money was stolen, and the first of the Stryker brothers to move to Fool’s Gold. He’s on a tear when he arrives, determined to protect his mother’s interests at all costs.

    Since possession is nine-tenths of the law, neither is willing to leave the ranch until a judge can decide the matter. Sparks fly right from page one between Heidi and Rafe! The people of Fool’s Gold take sides in a pretty hysterical way.

    You can find "Summer Days" wherever books are sold – bookstores, online, even the grocery store check-out line. You can read a free excerpt on my website, www.susanmallery.com or in the free app for iPhone and Android (www.mobileroadie.com/apps/susanmallery).

    Who are these Fool’s Gold cheerleaders I keep hearing about?

    Oh, the cheerleaders are beyond fabulous! This year’s squad is made up of 60 Fool’s Gold super fans who are earning prizes all summer for telling other readers about Fool’s Gold. They’re driving around with Fool’s Gold car magnets, wearing Fool’s Gold T-shirts, handing out bookmarks like candy to everyone they meet.

    For those of my followers who have never read a Fool’s Gold book, tell us about the small town known as the Land of Happy Endings.

    "Summer Days" is the seventh book in my series set in fictional Fool’s Gold, California. Fool’s Gold is a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It’s a quaint place where people truly support each other – mostly with casseroles. And margaritas. Women rule in Fool’s Gold. For many years, there was a man shortage, which is just now beginning to level out, thanks to the town’s efforts to bring in some pretty spectacular men.

    Fool’s Gold is the most popular series I’ve ever written. In fact, last year, one of the Fool’s Gold books hit #3 on the New York Times and #8 on the USA Today bestsellers lists. Those were personal bests for me and very thrilling.

    Each book is written as a standalone, which means that you can jump in and start with "Summer Days," and you won’t feel lost or confused. While previous characters make an appearance, you don’t need to know their stories to understand this one.

    Why did you decide to write about three cowboy brothers?

    With each year’s Fool’s Gold books, I try to create heroes who represent iconic male archetypes. The men of Fool’s Gold have been athletes, businessmen, pilots, surgeons. Each is a leader, powerful in his own way. His strength goes deeper than the physical. He does what’s right even when it’s not easy. When he falls, he falls hard... and he loves forever.

    This summer, three cowboy brothers will ride into Fool’s Gold on horseback in "Summer Days," "Summer Nights," and "All Summer Long." The Stryker men represent everything I love about a cowboy hero. They are protective, honest, tall and strong. And wow, do they do nice things to a pair of blue jeans!

    Since this is Fool’s Gold, these cowboys come with a special twist – humor. Rafe is undone by Heidi the Goat Girl. Shane has to teach the local librarian how to do the ancient Dance of the Happy Virgin – while riding a horse. And Clay, the youngest, made his fortune as a Hollywood butt double.

    What’s next for Fool’s Gold?

    In "Summer Nights" (July), Shane Stryker will meet Annabelle who, oh my WORD, do I love! Annabelle is my gift to all the librarians who have supported me so wonderfully over the years, putting my books into readers’ hands with a fervent, “You’re going to love this!” Annabelle is a librarian who defies the stereotypes – she’s fashionable, modern... a dangerous, pint-sized sexpot, as far as Shane is concerned. He’s completely undone by her the first time they meet, so much so that he can’t even remember his own name.

    Then comes Charlie, to be paired with Clay in "All Summer Long" (August). Oh, Charlie. She’s so tough and oh, so wounded. She’s got that hard-as-nails firefighter exterior, but when it comes to matters of the heart, she is as vulnerable as they come. Something happened in Charlie’s past that has made her afraid of intimacy with a man. She’s the kind of person who tackles her problems head-on, much to Clay Stryker’s delight. She’s determined to learn how to be with a man, and she’s decided to ask Clay to teach her.



    About the Author :

    New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Publisher’s Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says, “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Visit Susan online at www.susanmallery.com.



    "Summer Days" [Fool’s Gold Series, Book 7] by Susan Mallery

    My Book Summary :

      Heidi hasn't been living in Fool's Gold that long but for someone who has grown up as being a part of a carnival being able to settle down in Fool's Gold with her grandfather and take care of her goats is a piece of heaven she never knew before. However, the security she has made for herself is about to be destroyed after her grandfather scams Rafe's mother into thinking she's buying Heidi's ranch. In the end, while Heidi, Rafe, Glen (Heidi's grandfather), and May (Rafe's mother) wait to see what the judge decides to do about their legal situation, May and Rafe move onto the ranch with Heidi and Glen. Throughout the time that they try living together, they learn about each other’s pasts and presents while sharing what they hope for the future. They all grow closer only with the knowledge that soon they'll find out what the judge has planned soon, which means only one of them can win between them especially since Rafe doesn't seem to know the meaning of compromise. However, what will happen after Heidi and Rafe's feelings involved? Will they be able to reconcile their difference and problems? Or will everything implode between them, making it so the town will have to take sides? [Click HERE to read my review of this novel!]



    Find Susan Mallery :

    Teaser Tuesdays: Her Best Friend's Brother


  • Today's Teaser Tuesdays by MizB - click here


  • "Her Best Friend's Brother" by T. J. Dell

    Book Teaser:
    “Should we call it a draw? Or see who has the most cash?” Tony smiled slyly and Libby knew exactly what he was up to.
    “No way Marchetti! I have 3 monopolies! You might have more cash but a few more turns around the board and it will all be mine! Nothing doing – we can finish tomorrow.”
    “How do I know you won’t cheat during the night?” Tony played along with mock outrage. So they carefully wrote down who owned what and their cash totals and they even went to the extreme of carrying the board to the garage and locking it inside. When the door was locked and the key solemnly slid underneath Mr. and Mrs. Marchetti’s bedroom door (for safekeeping) the hilarity of it all (compounded by the fact that it was now almost 2:00 in the morning) over took them and they exploded into giggles. Giggles! Anthony Marchetti actually giggled!
    Libby grinned at the memory. ~ within Chapter 1

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Made the Grade: Fool’s Gold Series, Book 7

    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Hardcover - Pages: 384; Paperback - Pages: 384; Kindle Edition - File Size: 548 KB; Audiobook - Unabridged | Expected Release Date: May 29, 2012 | Publisher: HQN Books | Obtained: NetGalley

    "Summer Days" [Fool’s Gold Series, Book 7] by Susan Mallery

    My Book Summary : Heidi hasn't been living in Fool's Gold that long but for someone who has grown up as being a part of a carnival being able to settle down in Fool's Gold with her grandfather and take care of her goats is a piece of heaven she never knew before. However, the security she has made for herself is about to be destroyed after her grandfather scams Rafe's mother into thinking she's buying Heidi's ranch. In the end, while Heidi, Rafe, Glen (Heidi's grandfather), and May (Rafe's mother) wait to see what the judge decides to do about their legal situation, May and Rafe move onto the ranch with Heidi and Glen. Throughout the time that they try living together, they learn about each other’s pasts and presents while sharing what they hope for the future. They all grow closer only with the knowledge that soon they'll find out what the judge has planned soon, which means only one of them can win between them especially since Rafe doesn't seem to know the meaning of compromise. However, what will happen after Heidi and Rafe's feelings involved? Will they be able to reconcile their difference and problems? Or will everything implode between them, making it so the town will have to take sides?

    My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars! This novel is all about the meaning of love and what the main characters willing to give up or do to make sure everything works out for the best. I loved Rafe and his family!! I can't wait to see where they will go from here. Plus, ever since reading more about Heidi, Charlie, & Annabelle in "Only His" I was so happy to read about them again in this book!!

    Rafe is a man who had to grow up quickly when he was a kid after his father past away, and now he has based his life around making sure everyone he loves is protected. Heidi has built a life for herself that she loves and is willing to do just about anything to protect it and her grandfather. Together they make a wonderful couple, if they can only get over the complication that Glen (Heidi's grandfather) put them in. It's very sweet how they are able to turn their situation around and be there for each other!

    I recommend this novel to anyone who is a fan of the Fool's Gold series!!! Also, this is the perfect contemporary romance to put you in a good mood!

    My Previous Review(s) for this Series : Book 1 | Book 4 | Book 5 | Book 6 | E-novella 2

    My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Tempting | Accidentally Yours | Falling For Gracie | Having Her Boss's Baby | Barefoot Season

    Author's Series Extras : Fool's Gold Magazines | About Fool's Gold | Fool's Gold News | Meet the main characters from the Fool's Gold Series

    Author Book/Series Trailer :

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Annabelle and Charlie exchanged a look.
    "That's quite a list," Annabelle said.
    "Most of it was about Rafe and she's drinking more than usual," Charlie added. "You know what that means."
    "Trouble." Annabelle shook her head. "Big trouble."
    "Man trouble."
    "There's no man trouble," Heidi announced. "None. Zero. Zip. I'm not attracted to Rafe."
    "But you've kissed him," Annabelle said smoothly.
    "Yes, but it was---" Heidi slapped her hand over her mouth. She wasn't going to mention the kiss. She dropped her arm to her side. "It's not what you think."
    "Was there tongue?" Charlie asked.
    Prepared now, Heidi pressed her lips together and didn't speak.
    "That's a yes," Annabelle said with a sigh. "I miss tongue. Or any kind of kissing. I miss sex and men and orgasms." She sighed again. "I'm sorry. What was the question?"
    "Tongue is exactly what I think," Charlie said. ~ within Chapter 7
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Susan, then please check out her website. To find out more about the town of Fools Gold then click here.

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Made the Grade: Wild Pleasures Series, Book 2

    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 306 KB; Audiobook - Unabridged | Expected Release Date: April 2, 2012 | Publisher: Carina Press | Obtained: NetGalley

    "Consent to Love" [Wild Pleasures Series, Book 2] by Abby Wood

    My Book Summary : Ana is a small town girl with big dreams, but knows her limitations (or at least believes she does) that she'll probably live in Pochuk (aka Podunk) for the rest of her life. And she's okay with that, for the most part. Ana has her "hobby" of painting these beautiful creations. In addition, she has hopes to advance from serving beer at the local bar to being their head chef soon. As long as she gets through the day-to-day of it all, she'll be fine.

    Howahkan (Kane) has been dealt some hardships throughout his life, especially being a Native American, but he's content with who he is and his life. Nevertheless, when he meets Ana, even though he knows no relationship can last between them, he immediately wants her. Therefore, after Kane convinces Ana to call him they make plans to get together. But will they be able to handle walking away from each other after sharing only a red-hot weekend full of passion?? Or can they try to make something more??

    My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars, this intense, dramatic, and erotic romance is one that keeps you on your toes! Ana and Kane make a good couple and explored quite a bit of sex scenes that I would never have thought of! The plot was unique because it took on the Native American culture in a way I was not use to reading before and thoroughly enjoyed.

    I recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary erotic romances!!

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Her body trembled. Relief turned her muscles to putty, and she flopped back on the bed in complete exhaustion. Kane removed her legs from around his waist and sank down beside her, out of breath.
    "You're crazy." She laughed softly, stroking his face.
    He arched his eyebrow. "And you've got a filthy mouth."
    "Only with you." She grew serious. "With you, I'm safe. You give me power I had no idea I had." ~ within Chapter 8
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Abby, then please check out her website.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Idolizing In: Greystone Series, Book 1

    Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 359 KB | Release Date: July 2011 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Smashwords

    "Valor" [Greystone Series, Book 1] by Taylor Longford

    My Book Summary : MacKenzie has a typical life. She lives in Colorado, mostly by herself, with her mom (who travels a lot for her job), step-person Greg (who she doesn't like but thankfully he travels a lot too), and brother (who's away at college). Nevertheless, she has two wonderful best friends, Mim and Whitney, and a protective dog named Hooligan. Along with a lot of unruly red hair.

    Yet, one day after she waited at home for one of her step-person's important shipments to arrive at their house her life changed forever. Since the shipment that step-person thought was of an antique statue of a young male actually turns out to be Valor a gargoyle who, along with his two brothers and six cousins, was trapped in his "statue form" for the past 800 yrs until MacKenzie opened his box. Now MacKenzie is thrust into Valor's world and honor bound to keep his and his families secret while helping them out to fit into her world. In addition, Valor and his family are honor bound to protect MacKenzie too. However, Valor and MacKenzie are drawn to each other in a way that is stronger than just pure attraction, but with all of the risks, secrets, and mystery that surround both of them could anything good really happen between them? Will they find out the truth before it's too late??

    My Book Review : 5 out of 5 stars!! This series is one I bet you have never read about (or any type like it) before and will keep you just as captivated as I was!!! I LOVE THIS NOVEL!! The plot was awesome, intense, dynamic, funny, and very fast-paced! Also -- I could NOT get enough of the characters!!!

    About the Characters:
    • MacKenzie: Human, 16 yrs old. Maybe a witch...? Protective of those she loves. Pretty much lives on her own. Helps out Valor and his family with everything they need. Has a crush on Valor.

    • Valor: Gargoyle, about 18 yrs old. Meets MacKenzie first and tells her about who and what he and his family are. Instantly and intensely drawn to MacKenzie. Likes to hunt.

    • Havoc: Gargoyle. Valor's brother. Charming and funny. Loves to cook.

    • Reason: Gargoyle. Valor's cousin. Victor's brother. Annoys MacKenzie a lot, and never sure if he likes her or not. He's a good guy though. The second oldest of Valor's pack.

    • Defiance: Gargoyle. Valor's cousin. Likes MacKenzie's friend Whitney.

    • Dare: Gargoyle. Valor's older brother. Had a bad experience with a harpy a long time ago that changed him and his hair. Likes MacKenzie's friend Mim.

    • Victor: Gargoyle. Valor's cousin. Reason's brother. The oldest of Valor's pack and therefore he's their leader. Very charming. Known as the "golden one" amongst his pack.

    I can't wait to see where this series will go next!! To find out if everything is okay with Reason, since he was, suppose to have returned already. Also, to see what happened to Valor's other cousins Chaos, Force, and Trust. If they are all written, like this novel and will keep me up to date with all of the characters ..... then I'll be very happy to read this series!!!

    I HIGHLY recommend reading this novel and series to anyone who wants to read a paranormal romance that has a very unique plotline!!

    Author's Novel Extras : Excerpt from "Valor"

    Book Teaser(s) :
    When I opened the mudroom door, I could smell food cooking. Havoc was in the kitchen with my mother's striped apron pulled over his head and tied around his waist. He looked utterly adorable in a lean, dreadlocky sort of way. He'd already started dinner---something he called dead bird stew. At first I freaked, until he told me he'd found the bird in the freezer above the refrigerator.
    It was chicken. And the stew was really good. Way better than it sounds. ~ within Chapter 14
    Victor gave Valor a considering look then moved his gaze to me. "Would you mind giving it a try, MacKenzie?"
    I shrugged. "Just don't get your hopes up," I warned him.
    They set me down at the dining room table.
    "First you need some glass," Defiance stated.
    "Or a bowl of water," Havoc added.
    "Glass works better," Defiance immediately argued.
    There didn't seem to be much agreement on how the scrying should be done. It seemed as if each of the gargoyles had his opinion on how the procedure should be performed. In the end, I tried everything. We found some glass in the garage that had fallen out of a double-paned window. I tried the glass and water and mirrors but nothing worked. I even tried laying the piece of glass over a map on the table and hanging a needle above it on a long piece of thread.
    I saw that in a movie a few years ago. It worked spectacularly on film. ~ within Chapter 19
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Taylor, then please check out her website.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Blog Tour - Made the Grade: Seized by Lynne Cantwell | Review, & Giveaway

    Today I'm turning my blog over to Lynne Cantwell, with a review of her latest novel "Seized!!"

    ALSO -- Be sure to comment on this post to be able to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAYs (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from May 21 - 25, 2012]



    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 345 KB | Expected Release Date: March 2012 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

    "Seized" [Pipe Woman Chronicles, Book 1] by Lynne Cantwell

    My Book Summary : Will the Mayan's "Doomsday," December 21, 2012, actually happen?? Find out through the eyes of Naomi...

    A woman who believes she has everything she needs. A great job. She's happy with everything she's accomplished. Recently she became engaged to her longtime boyfriend!

    However, as December 21st comes up her life begins to change. In her dreams, she recalls a white buffalo bowing to her when she was a little girl. Then she is invited to a sweat lodge on the Winter Solstice (on December 21st) with her best friend who convinces her to go. Soon Naomi will come to realize that everything in her life is about to change...

    My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars, this is an interesting book that puts an interesting spin on what would happen when "the beginning of end" happens, or when "doomsday" sort of arrives, only you get to find out about it from the "key players" point-of-view. It puts a fascinating (and highly debatable) spin on what is going on between our gods or with our main "God." When reading it I thought it was a unique mix of Children of the Goddess Series, House of Night Series, and Mercy Thompson Series only set in a contemporary-type of setting with a completely different plot (of course).

    The characters are entertaining, intense, funny, and quirky (or as Naomi would say, "woo-woo"). It'll be interesting to see where the author is going to take the story from here since it's lined up that it can really go anywhere!

    I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal mystery that has a little bit of romance in it!

    Author's Series Extras : How the Pipe Woman Chronicles Came Together

    Book Teaser(s) :
    “Corporate work pays a lot better than nonprofit work does. I feel like such a heel.”
    “You’re not a heel,” she said. “If you were a heel, none of this would even occur to you. I bet Brock never even thinks twice about it.”
    “And that’s another thing,” I said. “Joseph’s going all big brother on me, worrying about my being around Brock, that Brock might hurt me. Where did that come from?” I looked up from my plate – somehow, a second scone had disappeared while I talked. “Is Joseph crazy, or what? Any clues from your vaunted empathy?”
    Shannon paused in folding a towel and considered the question for a moment. “Brock’s definitely icky, I’ll give Joseph that much. I’d have to see him again, now that the new software’s installed” – a corner of her mouth quirked – “to know whether there’s anything more to it.
    “But what about this: what if Joseph’s interest in you is more than brotherly?”
    “Wow. That never occurred to me.” I sipped my tea and considered the possibility. “He’s never come on to me, unless you count that wink through the mail slot when he was sixteen and I was twelve.” ~ within Chapter 5
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Lynne, then please check out her website.



    About the Author :

    Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed her a book he had written, and she thought, "I could do that." The result was "Susie and the Talking Doll," a picture book illustrated by the author about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master's degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. Her third novel and her first urban fantasy, "Seized": Book One of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, was released in March 2012.



    Book Excerpt :

    No sooner had my head hit the pillow than I started to dream. Or at least it seemed like a dream.

    I was about twelve. I was wearing a fluffy white coat that Mom had bought for me when I was in sixth grade, and my hair hung in braided pigtails behind my ears. I could hear someone droning on about some Indian legend. I turned away from the voice, and came face to face with a small, white buffalo. His withers came even with my eyes, and he didn’t have any horns. I reached out to touch his fur – I think I intended to pet him, like you would a dog – but his front half dropped to the ground, his skinny legs stuck out straight in front of him, while his back half stayed up in the air. The droning voice stopped, and then cried, “He bowed to her! The white buffalo calf bowed to her!” I heard more voices then, murmuring behind me. The little buffalo’s rump then sank to the ground, and as I bent to try to touch his head once more, I looked up.

    Behind the buffalo stood a woman. Her dress was made of white buckskin, elaborately fringed along the seams of the bodice and sleeves. Her hair – long, straight, and black as night – fell around her shoulders like a cloak. Her skin was deeply tanned; her eyes were black and kind, and their depths went on forever. And she was smiling at me, and nodding. She seemed to be encouraging me to touch the little buffalo calf, which still lay motionless at my feet.



    Giveaway!! :
    • A $10 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour

    To Enter : Please leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address included at the end of it.

    Soo .... COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

    ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites! Commenting on the other stops on the tour will also increase your chance of winning!


    Find Lynne Cantwell :

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    Feasted On: The Fake Boyfriend Experiment by Stephanie Rowe

    Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 313 KB | Release Date: May 2012 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Amazon.com

    "The Fake Boyfriend Experiment" by Stephanie Rowe (aka Stephie Davis)

    My Book Summary : Lily is a piano prodigy, or at least she was until recently when all the fun in playing the piano got drained out of her. She cannot seem to get her gift back until she meets Rafe one day during her practice session. He's cool, a talented drummer, has a tattoo running down the length of his arm, and is in a band!

    So, when she spies his band practicing and complaining about having to wait for their keyboard player she steps in saying she can play it and instantly finds her life changing. Everyone in the band is so different (and loose) then what she used when playing the piano. She starting to get her groove back, a bit, but mostly she just feels more comfortable playing with them then she has in a long time. Nevertheless, she's determined giving up professionally playing piano. Yet her mother and her piano teacher (nicknamed by Lily as Old Crusty) feel differently, so they decide that Lily has to keep practicing with the teacher or with Rafe's band. Lily chooses Rafe, and his band, who opens her eyes to the she's been missing when it comes to playing the piano.

    However, when Lily's heart comes into play is another story .... especially when she finds out that Rafe already has a girlfriend. What is a girl to do about her hurt pride? Why make up a fake boyfriend, or two, of course! Now hopefully her secrets won't come out...

    My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars, this is a great YA book about the joys of growing up and coming into your own, which is exactly what Lily tries to do throughout this whole book while trying to win the guy along the way! I loved the innocent romance between Lily and Rafe. It was sweet and charming while still being humorous with all of the banter that they share.

    I related to Lily when it came to feeling like the dork in her group of friends, at times, and having to resort to the fibs to make sure you stay cool. Thankfully, I never took it as far as she does when I was her age but I feel it's something all teenage girls do so this novel is definitely relatable in that way.

    I recommend this book to anyone who would like a quick read of a YA romance!

    My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Putting Boys On The Ledge

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Teaser #1 ~ within Chapter 1
    He flicked me a surprised look. "You're---"
    "A terrible singer. I know." I turned it up to drown me out more. "Good thing I can play an instrument, huh?" I started signing again.
    After a second, Rafe started singing too. His voice was like the sound of a jack hammer at three in the morning when you were trying to sleep.
    I immediately whooped and hit him on the shoulder. "You're awful, too!"
    He grinned at me, his dimples completely adorable and out of character with his full-arm tattoo and leather jacket. "Good thing I can play an instrument, huh?"
    I giggled, a warm bubbly feeling exploding through me. "I think you're even worse singing than I am, and that's nothing to be proud of." ~ within Chapter 4
    For more information on this book and/or any other books by Stephanie, then please check out her website.

    Teaser Tuesdays: The Fake Boyfriend Experiment


  • Today's Teaser Tuesdays by MizB - click here


  • "The Fake Boyfriend Experiment" by Stephanie Rowe (aka Stephie Davis)

    Book Teaser:
    “Good afternoon, Lily.” My piano teacher, who I’d dubbed Crusty on her most annoying days, strode into the private practice room before I could dive under the piano and hide.
    Crusty was my current piano teacher, and had been for the last three years. The rest of the world called her Miss Jespersen. Not Ms. Not Mrs. Miss. As in, I’m like one hundred years old and still unmarried because I’m so evil that I suck the life out of any man who comes near me. ~ within Chapter 1

    My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Putting Boys On The Ledge

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Made the Grade: One Bite To Passion by MaryLynn Bast

    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Renaissance eBooks Inc.: eBook | Expected Release Date: May 18, 2012 | Publisher: Renaissance eBooks Inc. | Obtained: MaryLynn Bast

    "One Bite To Passion" by MaryLynn Bast

    My Book Summary : Paige is on a business trip in Japan that will last six months. However, this is the first business trip for her to really let loose at all, since she's very serious about her job, her family life, and keeping her marriage together. Even though her husband, Dalton, had his own on-going affair, a couple of years ago, they've worked thru it and are still together. Their marriage isn't any better but it can't be any worse, right? They do love each other, in their own ways, right?

    Well, then way is it that when her friend and co-worker, Rosa, decides on taking her out at a few clubs she keeps running into and being drawn to Casey, or as she calls him Mr. Dimples? Casey's a man who is younger than her (which she's not use to), someone who she's willing to throw her inhibitions to the wind for, and someone she just can't say no to. However, soon she'll find out how much she really can handle when Dalton suddenly shows up on her doorstep in Japan and she finds out all the secrets EVERYONE has been keeping her in the dark about. Will she be able to handle the realization that everything and everyone is not who they seem? Will she be able to let Casey come between Dalton and her, can she choose him over her husband?

    My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars... This story is nothing like I expected, as it's a dark mystery, kind of like "The Demon Lover" is only this being more of an erotica, with a deep spicy edge to it that keeps you a bit shocked and wanting more!! It was not the type of erotic romance that I typically read, especially with the scenes in Rosa's room, but I did love the chemistry between Paige and Casey!! They played off each other well and created something believable between them.

    I will admit to thinking that the beginning of this book has a slow start to it but I'm glad I pulled through and finished it because it has a very big finish in the end!! I liked how Paige's revelations played out. In addition, even though Paige was freaked out about what was going on, at the end, when push came to shove she stepped up to the plate, which made me like her as the heroine even more! Also, another big character in the book is Rosa and even though she was redeemable towards the end, she was probably one of the characters I least liked. It might be because of Rosa's pushy attitude but just I could not stand her in the beginning/middle of this book.

    Anyway .... the only bad thing about this book is it keeps you wondering about where Casey and Paige are going to go from here. Therefore, I hope that if/when there is another book to this series, hopefully, we'll be able to see how they are doing and what they’re up too.

    Nevertheless, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys erotic romances with paranormal twists to it!!

    My Previous Review(s) for this Author : No Remorse

    Author's Novel Extras : "One Bite To Passion" Blog Tour

    Book Teaser(s) :
    He didn't give her time to think. Shoving her long blonde hair away from her neck and shoulders, his tongue danced across her sensitive skin and found the tender spot that sent a shiver spiraling through her body.
    Her hand grasped at his hair, but it wasn't long enough for her to hold. Her other hand roamed across the muscles that played along his back while he moved against her. His hands were everywhere all at once. Okay, she was now convinced that he wanted her, not Rosa. A fleeting thought of wondering why he would want her crossed her mind but she forced it away. She heard him say her name gruffly. He breathed heavily against her, and then felt him nip her neck, his teeth scraping against her sensitive skin. ~ within Chapter 2
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by MaryLynn, then please check out her website.

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Made the Grade: Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn

    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 306 KB | Expected Release Date: April 23, 2012 | Publisher: Entangled Publishing | Obtained: Entangled Publishing

    "Tempting the Best Man" by J. Lynn (aka Jennifer L. Armentrout)

    My Book Summary : When Madison (Maddie) was younger, she use to follow her brother, Mitch, and his best friend, Chase, wherever they went. What use to be kids-just-being-kids turned into a full out crush on Chase that lasted until college where Maddie tried to turn their relationship into something more and Chase pretty much turned her down wanting to keep their friendship instead. Since then, nothing has been the same between them. Even though Maddie still has a major thing for Chase, it's hard not to when she's loved him from afar her whole life and they see each other everywhere, their relationship is stilted and she tries to avoid him as much as possible.

    However, avoiding Chase will be harder than ever at her brother's wedding, where she's the Maid-of-Honor and he's the Best Man. To top that off when they first get to the cabins to check-in they find that the location overbooked so they both have to share a "honeymoon suite" cabin, which will bring both their temptations to a crashing point. Will they be able to make it through the wedding weekend unscathed? Will all their secrets be laid bare? Maybe will this weekend of extreme close proximity turn out to be what they both needed? Or will they find that what they want and what they should do won't work out in the end?

    My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars, this novel proves that old crushes are hard to overcome especially when it's someone who has grown up around you. A fast-paced, entertaining, and fiery novel leaves you wishing for more!

    The characters were all engaging in their own ways. Maddie is very opinionated, but I didn't like how she went back and forth between being a strong heroine and a weak one. Chase had his own "player swagger" but when it comes to Maddie, he's willing to drop everything to make sure she's okay and nothing bad happens to her no matter the cost. The only problem is what Chase believes to be good choices a first don't always turn out to be the right choices during his follow-thru.

    And---OMG---Chase's older brothers Chandler and Chad made this novel funny! I couldn't wait to see what would come out of their mouths next! I hope there'll be other books with them as the main characters to find out what happens to them as well as seeing where Chase and Maddie go off too! I really think Maddie's best friend and co-worker, Bridget, needs to be the one to tame one of Chase's brothers!! =0)

    I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance novels!

    Author's Novel Extras : Meet Chase Gamble

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Madison ran a hand over her hair, stunned. Rooming with Chase? There was no way. Between gawking at him in close proximity and wanting to beat him over the head when he opened his mouth, she was going to go insane.
    The days leading up to the wedding were supposed to be fun and relaxing. Not a trip into crazy land. And her mom—her nutso, matchmaking mom—had a hand in this. She was going to bury that woman in a bomb shelter. ~ within Chapter 2
    “Don’t tell me you shouldn’t have done it.”
    His eyes went wide and then narrowed. “Maddie—”
    “And stop calling me that.” Her hands balled into fists. “I think you’ve made it perfectly clear how unattractive you find me.”
    “Whoa. Wait.” He threw up his hands. “This has nothing to do with that.”
    She huffed. “Yeah, because when you’re attracted to someone, you actually enjoy kissing them and afterward, you don’t act like you kissed Adolf Hitler.”
    His lips twitched as if he were trying not to smile, and he stood, too. “For one thing, that’s not how I acted. And secondly, I don’t want to hear ‘kissing’ and ‘Hitler’ in the same sentence ever again, because now I’m picturing you with that little Hitler mustache.”
    “Shut up.”
    “And that’s not hot—not hot at all.” ~ within Chapter 5
    For more information on this book and/or any other books by J., then please check out her website.

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Feasted On: Take Me Series, Book 2

    Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 279 KB | Release Date: June 2010 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Amazon.com

    "Love Me" [Take Me Series, Book 2] by Bella Andre

    My Book Summary : Janica has loved Luke (who is her older sister's--Lily--best friend and brother-in-law) from afar, for what seems like most of her life but definitely during the past five years that Lily has been married to Luke's brother. They seem to be complete opposites since Janica has always been the "wild child" while Luke has always been the "good son" in his family. But they are both going to get their assumptions of each other proven wrong when after a tough work shift at the ER Luke decides that instead of going home to his empty house he's going to visit Janica at her place. As soon as Janica opens the door both of their passions ignite into something neither will be able to walk away from. However, what will Luke do when Janica tells him she wants an all or nothing deal that includes his heart?

    My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars, this is a compelling novel about two head strong people who seem to have loved each other for forever but they either don't know it yet or soon will find out just how much their willing to take on to get what they want! Janica is very dynamic and determined to get what she wants but is also very sweet. Luke is a workaholic ER surgeon who isn't used to opening up about his emotions but can't seem to stop wanting Janica or her love for anything. This novel is intriguing in how it brings these two together, and has them go over their shared pasts to over come the hurdles that are between them. I really liked it!!

    I highly recommend this novel to anyone wanting to read about how love can conquer all!! Also, this book is for people who like contemporary romances that have a little bit of erotica in them! =0)

    Book Teaser(s) :
    I love you, Luke.
    If she hadn't said those words to him, if he could have pretended she was no different than any other woman he'd been with...
    Damn it.
    She wasn't just anyone. She was his best friend's little sister. She was his sister-in-law.
    And she thought she was in love with him.
    What had he done? ~ within Chapter 8
    “Where the hell did you come from?”
    Holding her hands out at her sides as if she were trying to fly, perfectly comfortable with her nudity, she said, “I'm one-of-a-kind.”
    His grin widened, but then, suddenly fell away. “I can't ask you to stay. I shouldn't ask you to stay.”
    “You use those words too much. Can't. Shouldn't. I think you should stop worrying about a bunch of random rules and get to the real question.” She pressed her palms flat against his six-pack, enjoying the feel of his muscles rippling beneath her hands. “What do you want, Luke?”
    “I want you to stay.”
    This time, it was her turn for her grin to fall away at his potent statement. And when he followed it up with, “I don't know what I would do if you left, Janica,” she was pretty sure all the breath left her lungs.
    Again, it wasn't love, but it was something. ~ within Chapter 14
    For more information on this book and/or any other books by Bella, then please check out her website.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    "Waiting On" Wednesday: Colors Of Love

  • Today's "Waiting On" Wednesday by Jill - click here

  • "Colors Of Love" [Speed Series, Book 2] by Jess Dee
    Expected Publication Released Date: July 24, 2012

    Author's Book Description:
      Their true colors are hidden...until one woman turns everything upside down.

      Speed, Book 2

      Seth Pace, guitarist of the rock band Speed, is a born dreamer, and nothing stands in his way of making those dreams a reality. Except when it comes to band manager Luke Struthers. He’s everything Seth wants in a partner, but even after five years of perfectly explosive sex, Luke refuses to commit.

      After a childhood ravaged by abuse, Luke knows he’s a potential danger to anyone foolish enough to love him. Seth is safer without him, but Luke has no idea how to cut him loose painlessly. Until he spots Seth’s kind of woman—pretty, smart, friendly. The plan: seduce her into a sexy threesome, then leave the two alone to fall in love. Problem solved.

      A night of excitement with the two hottest men on the planet? Yeah, baby! Yet Kaz’s inborn ability to read auras tells her something isn’t right. It’s obvious Seth and Luke are madly in love, but subtle clues in Luke’s aura signal he’s up to something. She’s not sure what, but if she doesn’t do something quick, the two men she’s quickly come to adore will wind up without the happily ever after they both deserve.

      Warning: One man + one man + one woman = a whole lot of steamy two-way and three-way M/M & M/M/F sex, a hero or two to drool over, and a heroine who recognizes true love when she sees it.

    My Previous Review(s) for this Author : See You In My Dreams

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Teaser Tuesdays: Georgia on My Mind


  • Today's Teaser Tuesdays by MizB - click here


  • "Georgia on My Mind" by Marie Force

    Book Teaser:
    "Yesterday I heard them talking about 'annual' sex," Georgie said with a cringe and shudder.
    Groaning, Tess said, "Please tell me they were talking about once a year and not---"
    Georgie held up her hand. "Don't even say it. The visual is enough to give me nightmares."
    Tess laughed until there were tears in her eyes. "Your mother was a saint." ~ within Chapter 1

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Blog Tour - Idolizing In: My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade | Review & Giveaway

    Today I'm turning my blog over to Becky Wade, with a review of her debut novel "My Stubborn Heart!!"

    ALSO -- Be sure to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAYs (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from May 7 - 24, 2012 | Giveaway ends on May 24, 2012 | Becky's Facebook Author Chat Party is on May 24, 2012]



    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 343; Kindle Edition - File Size: 1172 KB | Expected Release Date: May 2012 | Publisher: Bethany House Publishers | Obtained: LitFuse Publicity Group

    "My Stubborn Heart" by Becky Wade

    My Book Summary : Ever since Matt's wife died, he couldn't find joy in anything. So, he quit his job of being the star athlete of the NHL's New York Barons and moved back to the town he grew up in knowing that it was the one place where no one would bother him. That lasted quite a few years .... that is until Kate moved into town.

    After dealing with some hard times at her job and having a nonexistent love life for so long Kate agrees to take three months off from her everyday life to move into her grandmother's, Beverly, old estate and fix it up with her. However, when she meets Matt, who has been hired to help them renovate the house, she can't help but be drawn to him. Yet after she hears about Matt's past, she knows she doesn't have a chance romantically with him but she still wants to be friends with him. To be friends though means trying to get him to open up, even a little, which will be hard since Matt keeps pushing everyone (friends and family) away.

    After a while, it seems like Kate is making progress with Matt and becoming his friend. But as they become closer Kate's heart has other ideas as she starts to fall in love with him. Too bad falling in love can't make everything better when it comes to saving someone. Will Kate's friendship be enough to bring Matt back to his old self? Or will Kate be required to give up more for Matt than she ever planned?

    My Book Review : 5 out of 5 stars!! I loved the setup of this novel!! The prologue sets up this novel in a way that it fills in what happened, a bit, in the main characters' pasts while leaving you curious to read more about them. Then to read the build-up between Kate and Matt throws you for a loop and back again. When you finally realize what each of them have gone through and how they get into this sweet relationship where they both want more from each other but because of God or their pasts or just life itself makes it so they have to fight for what they want you might just fall in love with this novel too! What also makes this novel is "the seniors!" They are a group of Beverly's friends, who Kate hangs out with too. And boy do they have their own share of antics! =0)

    When I read this novel it hooked me and didn't let go, making it so, I read it in one day! Nevertheless, if you get into this novel as much as I did then be sure to have a tissue on hand since I did cry a few times while reading it.

    I HIGHLY recommend this novel to anyone who likes contemporary romances!! Also, this is for anyone who enjoys inspirational romance novels!

    Author's Novel Extras : Matt’s Character Interview | Kate’s Character Interview | Deleted Scene from "My Stubborn Heart"

    Author Book Interview(s) :

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Yes. It truly was gray. A beautiful gun-metal color, slightly darker near the temples, slightly lighter in a streak over his right eye.
    "Morty!" She rinsed the suds out, practically bouncing on the footstool with excitement. "It worked!"
    "It did?"
    "It did!"
    And then, before he'd even had a chance to see it, or form his own opinion about it, he asked, "Do you think Velma will like it?"
    "Oh, Morty," Kate replied. "She better." ~ within Chapter 6
    What was it with churches and single people? In all spheres of life---work, social, athletic, academic---singles mixed with married people. Not so in Sunday school.
    What were the married people studying in their classes, anyway? Top secret marriage info? Racy sex tips? What could possibly be so juicy that it merited separating the married and the single adults into two separate areas of the building? Like the L sign for loser, she sometimes felt like she wore a big S for single on her forehead whenever she set foot on a church campus. ~ within Chapter 12
    For more information on this book and/or any other books by Becky, then please check out her website.



    About the Author :

    During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

    Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing.

    She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn't be more thrilled with it.

    These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

    Learn more at: www.BeckyWade.com.




    Giveaways!! :

    Celebrate with Becky by entering her "My Stubborn Heart" Giveaway to win a Nook Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™ and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on May 24!


    One fortunate winner will receive :
    • A Brand New Nook Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™

    • A $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

    • "My Stubborn Heart" by Becky Wade

    To Enter : Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on May 24th. Winner will be announced at the "My Stubborn Heart" Author Chat Facebook Party on May 24. Becky will be hosting an book chat, testing your trivia skills and giving away some great prizes!

    So grab your copy of "My Stubborn Heart" and join Becky on the evening of the May 24th for a chance to meet Becky and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

    Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

    Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning! Hope to see you on the 24th!

    ALSO -- Be sure to check out LitFuse's other Blog Tour Stops for this novel!!



    Find Becky Wade :

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Guest Post :: What I Didn’t Know by Rhonda Schrock | Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl & Giveaway

    Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl!

    Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John and more)! I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.

    AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs May 6th - May 13th and the winner will on May 14th. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

    If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of "Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace" or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

    And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!



    "What I Didn’t Know" by Rhonda Schrock

    I always knew I wanted to be a mother. As a girl, I played house with my dollies, shushing them when they cried and kissing their plastic heads.

    Looking back at that girl, I realize now that there was a lot she didn't know. This morning over my fresh-ground coffee, this mother of 22-1/2 years scratched out a list of 10 things she didn't know then that she knows now.
    1. I didn't know - how could I? - just how completely a tiny, helpless scrap of humanity can capture the heart and hold it forever. From that first whooshing heartbeat and the first butterfly brushes, a mother's heart is never again her own. For all eternity, it enlarges, walking and pulsing and moving outside of her body; in my case, in the shape of a blue-eyed boy with rooster tails. Times four.

    2. I didn't know that the size of a mother's heart is always changing, stretching to embrace each new baby that comes, then growing again to love their friends and then their own families.

    3. I never knew, as I changed my dolly's dress, how many reasons there are to worry when you're a mama. Didn't know about the nighttime vigils. Didn't know the anxiety of separation, the terror that floods when you turn around in the grocery store and they're gone. Didn't know about the fear of the pond next door or the concern that pays for swimming lessons. Didn't know the thousand-and-one reasons that keep a mother awake, whispering prayers on her pillow in the dark.

    4. No one told me that loving so much means that you will hurt hard and keen; that what pains your child hurts you even worse. I didn't know then that a playground taunt travels through that smaller heart and lands square in yours, stinging and burning like fire. I didn't know that motherhood makes lionesses of us all and that there'd be days I'd have to bite my tongue and pray to not sin.

    5. I didn't know how exhausting it is, being a mother. I didn't know that it takes everything you've got and then some. Didn't know the bone-deep exhaustion; how it strips you bare and shows how selfish you can be, but, too, that you have more strength than you know.

    6. I didn't know, playing house, how much joy mothers feel; joy so big that it makes up for the pain. Just looking at those eyes and the curve of the cheek can make you so happy it hurts. Watching them grow and find their talent and win at something...all the money in the world can never buy that kind of happiness.

    7. I didn't know how making babies and raising them, how it binds you to their father. I didn't know the intimacy you feel when your eyes meet above those tousled heads, and your smiles say, "Just look at what we've done."

    8. That girl in the homemade dress, she didn't know that letting go is one of the hardest things a grown-up mama will ever do. Rocking those babies in that small rocking chair, she didn't really know that babies grow up and walk away and there goes your heart, out into the big, wide world. No one told her that part.

    9. I had no idea how rewarding it is, being a mother. How the happiness that comes from boy kisses and awkward hugs can't be bought or sold. How proud you feel when you see what they're growing up to be and that all the planting and pruning and watering and feeding is finally making fruit!

    10. I didn't know how much my babies would enrich my spiritual life or how they would change the way I pray. I didn't realize they would lead me to a deeper dependence on the Heavenly Father or how I much I would need His wisdom to raise them aright.

    These are things I didn't know before I was a mother. But I know them now. Oh, how I know them now! And I’d do it all again.



    About the Author :

    Rhonda Schrock lives in Northern Indiana with her husband and 4 sons, ages 22, 18, 13, and 5. By day, she is a telecommuting medical transcriptionist. In the early morning hours, she flees to a local coffee shop where she pens “Grounds for Insanity,” a weekly column that appears in The Goshen News. She is an occasional guest columnist in The Hutch News. She’s also blogged professionally for her son’s school of choice, Bethel College, in addition to humor and parenting blogs, and maintains her personal blog, “The Natives are Getting Restless.” She is a writer and editor for the magazine, "Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living." She survives and thrives on prayer, mochas, and books.



    Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, "Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith" will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls™ Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Guest Post :: He Will Walk With You by Carey Bailey | Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl & Giveaway

    Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl!

    Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John and more)! I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.

    AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs May 6th - May 13th and the winner will on May 14th. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

    If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of "Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace" or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

    And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!



    "He Will Walk With You" by Carey Bailey

    As a little girl, I loved baby dolls. Loved them! I played school, adoption agency, daycare operator and babysitter all day. I felt like I was born to be a mama. Therefore, I was a bit anxious when the ages, 22, 25, 28 and 32 came and went and there were no babies. Have you ever desired something so much and feared never getting it? That was me.

    My day finally came at the age of 34. I soon realized that God knew what He was doing when He had me wait. To my shock, it wasn’t as easy as playing with dolls. I was surprised that it wasn’t the dream world I imagined it would be! I felt like life became a gigantic prayer.

    “God, HELP me!”

    “Please, God. Please, please, please make it all better. I can’t do this!”

    “God, this feels impossible. Where are you?”

    While I adore motherhood, it is harder and there are more adjustments than I expected. (I am hoping there are some nodding of heads and Amen’s being said out there in cyberworld.) Not only did I have a new life to care for, but my identity suddenly felt all scrambled up. It took me until my son was one to finally feel confident in my new role as a mother, confident that I could drop my child off at preschool without crying, confident that I could go out with the girls’ and the world wouldn’t fall apart, and confident that I could go on a date night and have conversations that didn’t revolve just around our son.

    I was feeling settled in my new world and then WHAM! I discovered I was pregnant again. Can I be vulnerable with you? I actually cried when I found out. And they were not tears of joy. I feel awful saying that out loud, and I hope you will give me a moment to explain. It was not that I didn’t want another baby or feel like I couldn’t love a new life, it was just that I got scared. Discovering a little person was on the way sent a panic through me. Would my son still receive the love and attention that he deserved? How was my husband going to feel about my body changing again? Would I ever be able to pursue the vision I felt God had for me in writing and publishing? I was truly wondering if I was going to be able to handle another intense wave of identity crisis like the one I had just been through. I wasn’t sure.

    God and I needed a serious talk. And in that conversation He carefully reminded me of this:

    For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

    He reminded me in our time together that I, too, am His child and He has every intention of loving me, caring for me, and giving me the future that He has planned for me.

    As mothers, we can get so caught up in parenting that we forget that we, too, have a spiritual parent who loves us as His child. He loves you as much as He loves the children He has given you. He will never forsake you. And on those days when motherhood seems too overwhelming and too impossible I step back and take a deep breath. Then I remember that this journey I am on, right now, is the one He has designed and create uniquely for me. I simply need to live in it, learn from it, and allow His love to sweep over and through me.

    He will walk with me! He will walk with you! Grab His hand.



    About the Author :

    Carey Bailey is a recovering perfectionist, wife, proud mama, and the Family Life Director for her church in Arizona. She hosts an online community for moms called Cravings: desiring God in the midst of motherhood where she strives to make God time easier. Not less meaningful, just easier. She is the author of Cravings {The Devotional} which is a set of forty devotional flashcards for the mama on the go. Visit Carey online blog: www.cravingstheblog.blogspot.com, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CravingsOnline and Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/careycbailey/



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