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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 100+ Reading Challenge

Check out my previous challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge
2010 100+ Reading Challenge


Alrighty ... here's my personal challenge .. or more of a record of how many books I will read in 2012. Anyway ... here we go:

    January 2012
  1. "Ditched: A Love Story" by Robin Mellom
  2. "Catching Jordan" by Miranda Kenneally
  3. "On the Rim of Love" by Marie Astor
  4. "Matthew" [The Circle Eight Series, Book 1] by Emma Lang (aka Beth Williamson)
  5. "Deliver Me from Darkness" [The Paladin Warrior Series, Book 1] by Tes Hilaire
  6. "Bound In Darkness" by Cynthia Eden
  7. "Temptation Ridge" [Virgin River Series, Book 6] by Robyn Carr
  8. "Northern Exposure" [Compass Brothers Series, Book 1] by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
  9. "Getting Over Garrett Delaney" by Abby McDonald
  10. "Bound In Sin" by Cynthia Eden
  11. "Claimed" by K. R. Smith
  12. "Donovan's Angel" [The Donovans of the Delta Series, Book 1] by Peggy Webb (aka Anna Michaels)
  13. "Stud" [The Cat Star Chronicles, Book 8] by Cheryl Brooks
  14. "Getting Familiar With Your Demon" [That Old Black Magic Series, Book 4] by Jodi Redford
  15. February 2012
  16. "Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel" by Samantha Grace
  17. "Bound by the Vampire" [Blood and Absinthe Series, Book 2] by Chloe Hart
  18. "An Alpha's Path" [Redwood Pack Series, Book 1] by Carrie Ann Ryan
  19. "There You’ll Find Me" by Jenny B. Jones
  20. "Pack and Coven" by Jody Wallace (aka Ellie Marvel)
  21. "A Waltz at Midnight" by Crista McHugh
  22. "The Billionaire’s Baby Plan" [The Baby Chase Series, Book 5] by Allison Leigh
  23. "Wild Highland Magic" [MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, Book 3] by Kendra Leigh Castle
  24. "Love Beyond Loyalty" [The Outsiders Series, Book 3] by Rebecca Royce
  25. "Putting Boys On The Ledge" [The Girlfriend’s Guide to Boys Series, Book 1] by Stephanie Rowe (aka Stephie Davis)
  26. "The Secret She Can't Hide" by India Grey
  27. "A Familiar Face" by Marie Harte
  28. "Time Out" by Jill Shalvis
  29. "In The Flesh" by J. R. Barrett
  30. "Where The Wind Blows" by Caroline Fyffe
  31. "Return of the Rose" by Theresa Ragan
  32. March 2012
  33. "A Taste for a Mate" [Redwood Pack Series, Book 2] by Carrie Ann Ryan
  34. "Margot's Lawman" [Sisters of McDougal Ranch Series, Book 3] by Debra Kayn
  35. "The Half-Breed Vampire" [Sons of Midnight Mini-Series, Book 3] by Theresa Meyers
  36. "Kamikaze" [Last Call Series, Book 1] by Moira Rogers (aka Bree & Donna)
  37. "Tequila Sunrise" [Last Call Series, Book 3] by Moira Rogers (aka Bree & Donna)
  38. "Beauty for Ashes" [A Hickory Ridge Romance, Book 2] by Dorothy Love
  39. "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" by Roxanne St. Claire, Jill Shalvis, & Maureen Child
  40. "The Wary Widow" [Wetherby Brides Series, Book 3] by Jerrica Knight-Catania
  41. "Sixty Acres and a Bride" by Regina Jennings
  42. "The Reluctant Marquess" by Maggi Andersen
  43. "Katie's Hellion" [Rhyn Trilogy, Book 1] by Lizzy Ford
  44. "Shooting Stars" by Allison Rushby
  45. "Omegas In Love" [The Vanguards Series, Book 4] by Annie Nicholas
  46. "Tempted by Her Innocent Kiss" [Pregnancy & Passion Series, Book 3] by Maya Banks
  47. "The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club" by J. C. Isabella
  48. "Million-Dollar Love-Child" by Sarah Morgan
  49. "An Accidental Birthright" by Maisey Yates
  50. "Moving Neutral" by Katy Atlas
  51. "Fever" [Phoenix Rising Series, Book 1] by Joan Swan
  52. April 2012
  53. "The Werewolf's Wife" [A Part of the Beautiful Creatures World] by Michele Hauf
  54. "Feral Sins" [The Phoenix Pack Series, Book 1] by Suzanne Wright
  55. "ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE WITH...A GOD?" [Accidentally Yours Series, Book 1] by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
  56. "Redwood Bend" [Virgin River Series, Book 18] by Robyn Carr
  57. "No Remorse" [Heart of a Wolf Series, Book 1] by MaryLynn Bast
  58. "Trinity Bound" [Redwood Pack Series, Book 3] by Carrie Ann Ryan
  59. "Cat Scratch Fever" by Jodi Redford
  60. "His Secret Temptation" by Cat Schield
  61. "Rules of the Game" by Sandy James
  62. "A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing" [Werewolf Series, Book 9] by Terry Spear
  63. "Love Beyond Sight" [The Outsiders Series, Book 4] by Rebecca Royce
  64. "White Witch" [The Coven Series, Book 1] by Trish Milburn (aka Tricia Mills)
  65. "A Cold Creek Reunion" [The Cowboys Of Cold Creek Series, Book 10] by RaeAnne Thayne
  66. "Barefoot Season" [Blackberry Island Series, Book 1] by Susan Mallery
  67. "Improper Relations" by Juliana Ross
  68. "Darkest Wolf" [The Westervelt Wolves Series, Book 7] by Rebecca Royce
  69. "The Nanny Bombshell" by Michelle Celmer
  70. "Made for Marriage" by Helen Lacey
  71. May 2012
  72. "Breaking Bad" [Midnight Justice Series, Book 3] by Jodi Redford
  73. "Always A Bridesmaid" by Cindi Myers
  74. "Tegan's Blood" [The Ultimate Power Series, Book 1] by L. H. Cosway
  75. "Wicked Werewolf Night" [The Werewolf Society Series, Book 1] by Lisa Renee Jones
  76. "Untouched" [Amoveo Legend Series, Book 2] by Sara Humphreys
  77. "My Stubborn Heart" by Becky Wade
  78. "Wicked Werewolf Secret" [The Werewolf Society Series, Book 2] by Lisa Renee Jones
  79. "Georgia On My Mind" by Marie Force
  80. "Love Me" [Take Me Series, Book 2] by Bella Andre
  81. "Tempting the Best Man" by J. Lynn (aka Jennifer L. Armentrout)
  82. "One Bite To Passion" by MaryLynn Bast
  83. "Seized" [Pipe Woman Chronicles, Book 1] by Lynne Cantwell
  84. "The Fake Boyfriend Experiment" by Stephanie Rowe (aka Stephie Davis)
  85. "Valor" [Greystone Series, Book 1] by Taylor Longford
  86. "Consent to Love" [Wild Pleasures Series, Book 2] by Abby Wood
  87. "Enraptured" [Eternal Guardians Series, Book 4] by Elisabeth Naughton
  88. "Summer Days" [Fool’s Gold Series, Book 7] by Susan Mallery
  89. "Her Best Friend's Brother" by T. J. Dell
  90. "I Only Have Eyes For You" [The Sullivans Series, Book 4] by Bella Andre
  91. "Clockwise" [Clockwise Series, Book 1] by Elle Strauss
  92. "Captured By Her Horny Beast" by Kate Hampton
  93. June 2012
  94. "The Prince's Nanny" by Carol Grace
  95. "Fury" [Otherkin Series, Book 1] by Anya Bast
  96. "Ten Things I Love About You" [The Bevelstoke Series, Book 3] by Julia Quinn
  97. "Nadia Knows Best" by Jill Mansell
  98. "Anything You Want" [Anything & Everything Series, Book 1] by Erin Nicholas
  99. "One Wet Summer" by Ann Montclair
  100. "Dragon Rider's Gift" [Portals of Destiny Tales, Book 1] by K. H. LeMoyne
  101. "My Life as the Ugly Stepsister" by Juli Alexander
  102. "A Callahan Wedding" [Callahan Cowboys Series, Book 6] by Tina Leonard
  103. "The Patriot Girl" [The No Bulls Series, Book 1] by Toni Lynn Cloutier (aka Renee Ashley Williams)
  104. "Her Surprise Sister" [Texas Twins Series, Book 1] by Marta Perry
  105. "Bane" [The Coven Series, Book 2] by Trish Milburn (aka Tricia Mills)
  106. "Embrace the Dark" [The Blood Rose Series, Book 1] by Caris Roane (aka Valerie King)
  107. "Sharing Hailey" by Samantha Ann King
  108. "Try Me" [Take a Chance Series, Book 1] by Diane Alberts
  109. "Love Walked In" by Marisa de los Santos
  110. July 2012
  111. "The Accidental Movie Star" by Emily Evans
  112. "Saving You Saving Me" [You & Me Trilogy, Book 1] by Kailin Gow
  113. "Where There's Smoke" [Good Girl Series, Book 1] by Karen Kelley
  114. "The Other Soldier" by Kathy Altman
  115. "More than a Man" by Emily Ryan-Davis & Elise Logan
  116. "Face The Music" by Andrea K. Robbins
  117. "Taking Up Light" [The Light Ones Series, Book 1] by Holly Lauren
  118. "When We Touch" [Whiskey Creek Series, Novella 1] by Brenda Novak
  119. "Somebody to Love" by Kristan Higgins
  120. "Waiting For Daybreak" by Amanda McNeil
  121. "Blind Heat" [Pantherian Passions Series, Book 2] by Nara Malone
  122. "My A-List Boyfriend" by Kyle LaForge
  123. "Almost a Scandal" [The Reckless Brides Series, Book 1] by Elizabeth Essex
  124. "A Howl in the Night" by Courtney Rene
  125. "Cracked" by Tara Logan
  126. "The Wild One" [The de Montforte Brothers Series, Book 1] by Danelle Harmon
  127. August 2012
  128. "His Forbidden Submissive" by Brandi Evans
  129. "Black Gold" [Takhini Wolves Series, Book 1] by Vivian Arend
  130. "Tall, Dark, and Divine" [Bagging a Greek God Series, Book 1] by Jenna Bennett (aka Jennie Bentley)
  131. "The Bastard" by Brenda Novak (Note: "Honor Bound" is another name for "The Bastard.")
  132. "Summer Nights" [Fool’s Gold Series, Book 8] by Susan Mallery
  133. "Somebody to Love" by Sheryl Browne
  134. "Take It Like a Vamp" by Candace Havens
  135. "Shattered Magic" [Chronicles of Arandal Series, Book 2] by Rebecca York (aka Ruth Glick)
  136. "Forever Werewolf" [A Part of the Beautiful Creatures World] by Michele Hauf
  137. "Moon Kissed" [Wicked Games Series, Book 2] by Michele Hauf
  138. "Wrong Bed, Right Guy" by Katee Robert
  139. "The Booby Trap" by Anne Browning Walker
  140. "Double Time" [Sinners on Tour Series, Book 5] by Olivia Cunning
  141. "Dante's Girl" [The Paradise Diaries Series, Book 1] by Courtney Cole
  142. "A Wallflower Christmas" [Wallflower Series, Book 5] by Lisa Kleypas
  143. "Return to Willow Lake" [The Lakeshore Chronicles, Book 9] by Susan Wiggs
  144. September 2012
  145. "More Than a Fling" by Crista McHugh
  146. "Silver Mine" [Takhini Wolves Series, Book 2] by Vivian Arend
  147. "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  148. "All Summer Long" [Fool’s Gold Series, Book 9] by Susan Mallery
  149. "Colors Of Love" [Speed Series, Book 2] by Jess Dee
  150. "Bewitching the Werewolf" by Caroline Hanson
  151. "Too Darn Hot" by Pamela Burford
  152. "The Boys Back Home" by Sierra Dafoe (aka Natasha Moore)
  153. "Samson's Lovely Mortal" [Scanguards Vampires Series, Book 1] by Tina Folsom
  154. "Loramendi's Story" [Lords of Shifters Series, Book 1] by Angela Carlie
  155. "Once Upon a Ballroom" by Caroline Linden, Katharine Ashe, Maya Rodale, & Miranda Neville
  156. "A Touch of Greek" [Out of Olympus Series, Book 1] by Tina Folsom
  157. "Wife for Hire" by Christine Bell (aka Chloe Cole)
  158. "Love ‘em or Leave ‘em" by Angie Stanton
  159. "Bunny And The Bear" [Furry United Coalition (F.U.C.) Series, Book 1] by Eve Langlais
  160. "How to Marry a Warlock in 10 Days" [10 Days Series, Book 2] by Saranna DeWylde (aka Sara Lunsford)
  161. "No Flowers Required" [Love Required Series, Book 2] by Cari Quinn
  162. "Tasting Fire" by Shelly Holt
  163. "Runaway Heart" by Claudy Conn
  164. "Dragon's Kiss" [Shadow of the Dragon Series, Book 1] by Tielle St. Clare
  165. "Heart of the Dragon's Realm" by Karalynn Lee
  166. October 2012
  167. "Flirting To Win" by Natalie Anderson
  168. "Tangled Web" [The Deizian Empire Series, Book 1] by Crista McHugh
  169. "Undenied" [Amoveo Legend Series, Book 2.5 / Novella 1] by Sara Humphreys
  170. "The Trouble With Cowboys" [Big Sky Series, Book 3] by Denise Hunter
  171. "Calling the Shots" [Long Shots Series, Book 4] by Christine d'Abo
  172. "Deceiving the Witch Next Door" by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez (aka Melissa Bourbon & Misa Ramirez)
  173. "Baby Under the Christmas Tree" by Teresa Carpenter
  174. "I've Got Your Number" by Sophie Kinsella (aka Madeleine Wickham)
  175. "The Memory Jar" [Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series, Book 1] by Tricia Goyer
  176. "The Teacher's Billionaire" [Sherbrookes of Newport Series, Book 1] by Christina Tetreault
  177. "The Last Witch" [Incenaga Trilogy, Book 1] by Debbie Dee
  178. "The Last Princess of the Dream Dragons" by Janet MacDonald
  179. "Three River Ranch" [Three River Ranch Series, Book 1] by Roxanne Snopek (aka Roxanne Willems-Snopek)
  180. "Hollywood Ever After" [The Red-Carpet Series, Book 1] by Sasha Summers
  181. "Forbidden" [The World of Nightwalkers Series, Book 1] by Jacquelyn Frank
  182. "The Single Dad's Virgin Wife" [Wives for Hire Series, Book 2] by Susan Crosby
  183. November 2012
  184. "A Merry Little Christmas" by Anita Higman
  185. "Romance in the Rain" [A Seattle Anthology] by Charlotte Russell, Marianne Stillings, Dawn Kravagna, Clare Tisdale, Sherri Shaw, & Kristine Cayne
  186. "Losing It" by Cora Carmack
  187. "The Ugly Duchess" [Eloisa's Fairy Tales Series, Book 4] by Eloisa James
  188. "The Trouble With Cupcakes" [The Trouble Series, Book 4] by Kristi Ahlers
  189. "Relentless Seduction" by Jillian Burns (aka Juliet Burns)
  190. "Dark Wolf Rising" [Bloodrunners Series, Book 4] by Rhyannon Byrd
  191. "Incubus Hunter" [Erotic Elf Series, Book 1] by Kenya Wright
  192. "Angel All Year" by Sally Clements
  193. "A Royal Pain" by Megan Mulry
  194. "Fortune's Hero" [Soldiers of Fortune Series, Book 1] by Jenna Bennett (aka Jennie Bentley)
  195. "Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight" [The Windham Series, Book 6] & [The Duke's Daughters Sub-Series, Book 3] by Grace Burrowes
  196. December 2012
  197. "Captured Heart" [The Highland Hearts Series, Book 1] by Heather McCollum
  198. "Impossible" [With Me Series, Book 1] by Komal Lewis
  199. "Lust After Death" [Love Bots Series, Book 1] by Daisy Harris
  200. "Captivated By You" [Superstars in Love Series, Book 1] by Diane Alberts (aka Jen McLaughlin)
  201. "Bonded By Need" [Shifting Bonds Series, Book 1] by Nina Pierce
  202. "Before the Moon Rises" [Ritter Werewolves Series, Book 1] by Catherine Bybee
  203. "Fresh Temptation" [Barboza Brothers Series, Book 1] by Reeni Austin
  204. "Just a Cowboy and His Baby" [Spikes & Spurs Series, Book 6] by Carolyn Brown
  205. "Kissing Phoenix" [Sex with Strings Series, Book 1] by Shona Husk
  206. "Masks" by Evangeline Anderson (aka Emmaline Andrews)
  207. "Escape" [The Vampire King Series, Book 1] by Kenya Wright
  208. "Hard Mated" [Shifters Unbound Series, Book 3.5] by Jennifer Ashley (aka Ashley Gardner & Allyson James)
  209. "The Billionaire's Christmas Baby" by Victoria James
  210. "Feather Down" [Raptors Revealed Series, Book 1] by Lorie O'Clare
  211. "The Gypsy and the Widow" [Gypsy Lovers Series, Book 3] by Juliet Chastain
  212. "Dawn’s Desire" [Dark Kings Series, Book 0.3] by Donna Grant
  213. "All For You" [The Nephilim Series, Book 1] by Dana Marie Bell

* If you would like to know what I think about the books I didn't share my ratings or reviews with you about, than leave a comment about which one you want info on and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Feasted On: First Date by Krista McGee

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 320; Kindle Edition - File Size: 423 KB | Expected Release Date: January 10, 2012 | Publisher: Thomas Nelson | Obtained: NetGalley

"First Date" by Krista McGee

My Book Summary : Even though Addy is very dedicated to her school, her friends, and her Uncle Mike that doesn't mean that she wants to go onto national television and make a fool of herself by vying for the attention of the President's son, Jonathon Jackson, so she can be his prom date. At least that's how she feels, yet her best friend, her Uncle, and the Principal of her high school convince her to go even though her plan is to get voted off as quickly as possible from the show.

Too bad things don't end up going according to her original plan. However, Jonathon is very cute and nicer then she first thought, so with her new friend (a fellow contestant), and renewed determination Addy is willing to see where this adventure will take her. Now if she can only be sure what God's will for her is, so she'll know how to make it through this adventure without turning her back on him.

My Book Review : 4.5 out of 5 stars! It is a fun, smart, entertaining, and humbling novel about a teenage girl learning about whom she wants to be and how she can stay true to herself and God. This has to be the best Christian based novel that I've read in a very long time!! Since even though this novel talks about Addy's beliefs and her struggles, it also doesn't get all "preachy" about those beliefs either.

I liked the title of this novel with its play on words. Since this story is also about Addy's first date, as well as about the "first son" (aka the President's son).

About the Characters:
• Addy: Sweet. Shy. Quiet. Happy with who she is.

• Jonathon: Attractive. Friendly. Creative.

• Hank: Someone who has big plans for his life and will go to any means to get them.

• Kara: Talkative. Friendly. Protective.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading Christian YA novels. Or to those who just like reading YA novels themselves, since even though there is the Christian aspect in this novel it is also just a great story in and of itself!

PS -- the "reality show" aspect in this book kinda reminds me of "Only Mine" [Fools Gold Series, Book 4] by Susan Mallery, mostly because of the way the "reality show" wasn't really based in reality the same way the "reality show" in Susan's novel wasn't.

Book Teaser(s) :
“No, it’s just . . . I’m not used to attention. I don’t really want it. But my principal wanted me to come. I told him to pick someone else. I knew I would make a fool of myself here.”
He touched her arm and she felt an electric shock. “I think he made a great choice. You’re real. I like that. And you’re not making a fool out of yourself.”
Addy’s face felt like it was on fire. “Let’s see if you still think that after tonight.” ~ within Chapter 12
Images of Addy asking which fork to use, waving the waiter over, almost spilling her drink, being told to sip the soup from the other side of the spoon played on the screen with pipe organ music pumping in the background and cymbals crashing for effect every time she made a mistake.
The whole thing made Addy look like a complete buffoon. ~ within Chapter 24
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Krista, then please check out her website.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

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

  • "The Fine Art of Truth or Dare" by Melissa Jensen
    Expected Publication Released Date: February 16, 2012

    Amazon.com's Book Description:
      Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

      Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

    Feasted On: Dark Bonds Series, Book 2

    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 540 KB; Audiobook - Unabridged | Expected Release Date: December 26, 2011 | Publisher: Carina Press | Obtained: NetGalley

    "Kiss of Twilight" [Dark Bonds Series, Book 2] by Loribelle Hunt

    My Book Summary : Dupree has been with the Order for years/centuries now. The Order is a place where hybrids (half-demons) work to fight full demons and try to keep the peace throughout the land. However, with the new animosity that has started, ever since Dupree's old leader, Ben, went rogue and now councilor's are starting to turn up dead, things for the Order have gone from the everyday norm to complete chaos.

    To top that off ... Kara, who Dupree has known since she was a little girl and who is also his potential bond mate, has come to the age when she can decide to become a hybrid or not. Even after long counseling sections (something that's always required before it happens), and even against Dupree's wishes, Kara decides to become a hybrid. However, with her new powers coming in place, attacks against the compound they are located in and the Order itself, will anything start becoming right for them once and for all? Or is there someone on the inside who has plans to make things a whole lot harder for them?

    My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars!! This novel takes off where "Kiss of Darkness" (Book 1) ends, while still being a novel that has the potential to be read as a standalone novel. I was really happy and appreciative about that since I hadn't read Book 1 in this series yet. Anyway ....

    This novel has three plots going on...

    First - is the plot that connects everything. It's about Ben being a rogue, what he's doing and how they can kill him and what is going on within the Order and its people.

    Second - (and most important, I think) is about Kara and Dupree. Their love for each other. Their personal wants. The push/pull effect Dupree puts in their relationship because he wants to do the right thing for Kara, yet he's not sure if he is the right guy for her.

    Third - (I think these two are going to be the lead characters in Book 3 in this series) is about Gia and Luke. Gia was kidnapped by Ben, and about how everyone can find her or if she escapes on her own. Luke and Gia had a relationship going before she was kidnapped but after Gia was gone, Luke finds out that their relationship was more serious than either of them originally planned.

    All together, it is a very interesting novel that has great potential as an addicting series!! I recommend this story for those who are interested in novels like J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, because even though their plots are very different they have the same feel of writing behind them. =0)

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Teaser #1
    “She was out alone?”
    “Near as we can tell.” Dupree sighed. It didn’t make more sense now than it did then.
    “Was that unusual?”
    Dupree snorted. “You let your woman run around alone? Neither did Ben.”
    “I don’t get away with telling my wife what to do anymore than you do.”
    “I’m not married,” Dupree pointed out. Beside him Kara got very quiet.
    Gray grinned. “Yet?”
    “Like I told Winter. My business. Not yours.” He wasn’t discussing his personal life with Gray. He didn’t trust the Grand Master and he wasn’t about to say or do anything to put Kara in more danger. Or make her angrier with him than she already was. ~ within Chapter 17
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Loribelle, then please check out her website.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Teaser Tuesdays: Kiss of Twilight


  • Today's Teaser Tuesdays by MizB - click here


  • "Kiss of Twilight" [Dark Bonds Series, Book 2] by Loribelle Hunt

    Book Teaser:
    “You should be running like hell from me,” he muttered.
    When she was finally making progress? No way. “And leave the other half of my soul?”
    He stared at her like she’d lost her mind, a combination of astonishment and disbelief. Like he just couldn’t believe she’d laid it all out on the line. Well, why shouldn’t she? He knew she wanted him. She knew he wanted her. ~ within Chapter 1

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Guest Post :: 3rd Annual Pearl Girls™ 12 Pearls of Christmas by Rachel Hauck

    Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

    Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

    AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

    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 gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
    ***

    "Jesus -- The Reason For the Season" by Rachel Hauck

    Through the narrow scope of 2000 years, Mary, the mother of Jesus, appears to be one lucky woman. Chosen by God to give birth to His son, the Savior of the world? All right, Mary, way to go.

    “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you,” Gabriel said.

    How many of us would like a declaration like that? Highly favored. The Lord is with you. But Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

    The angel told her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Mary’s seems confident and resolved when she responds, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

    She’d just been told the Holy Spirit will come upon her, that God’s power will overshadow her, that she’d become with child even though she wasn’t married, and she said, “I’m the Lord’s servant. Let your words be true.”

    I find this amazing! A young woman. Ancient Bethlehem. Unwed mother. They stoned women for such things in her day. But Mary believed in God. And submitted to His will. He gave her the Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit given to us. If He gave her confidence, He will give us confidence. Even though, like Mary, our situation seems impossible.

    Listen to Mary’s song later on in the first chapter of Luke.

    “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me Holy is his name…”

    Conceiving a child out of wedlock, by Divine intervention. Not a girl’s every day existence. Yet she had a Yes in her heart to God. She rejoiced. She boldly said, “Generations will remember me!”

    How we struggle to trust God with our children. Our finances. Our emotional well-being. We worry. We fret. And wonder why we have no peace.

    Christmas is the season where words like joy, peace and love are bantered around like Christmas candy. Let’s not take them as just words, but as truth. Let’s be like Mary and embrace God’s favor on our lives. Boldly declare "He’s done great things for me!”

    Out of the grit of our own souls, we can reach His heart, and feel Him reaching for ours. No matter the pain of our past, present or future, God is there for us. He is able. Best of all, He is willing. “My soul glorifies the Lord this Christmas!”
    ***

    Rachel Hauck is an award winning, best selling author who believes God has done great things for her. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and ornery pets. Her next release is "Love Lifted Me" with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, January 2012. Then in April, look for "The Wedding Dress." www.rachelhauck.com.

    12 Pearls of Christmas - Guest Posts : Margaret McSweeney | Suzanne Woods Fisher | Sibella Giorello | Sandy Ralya | Elizabeth Musser | Deborah Raney | Shellie Tomlinson | Tricia Goyer | Susan May Warren | Tracey Eyster | Debora M. Coty | Robin Dance | Rachel Hauck

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Disappointmentville: Mystique Antiques Series, Novella 1

    Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 167 KB | Release Date: November 23, 2011 | Publisher: Tholden Press | Obtained: Amazon.com

    "A Love Soul Deep" [Mystique Antiques Series, Novella 1] by Amber Scott

    My Book Summary : Sara has been trying to move on from Crew, her boyfriend who has passed away quite a few years ago, for some time. However, since he invades her dreams every so often, which just makes her miss him even more, it's really hard for her to do so. Therefore, when she comes across a locket that has a picture of him inside of it, and then her dreams of him start to feel even more real, Sara starts to think that her love just might be able to bring him back ....

    My Book Review : 2.5 out of 5 stars, this novella is clever, sweet, and very intense. I really liked the fantasy aspect of it, especially how just by wishing and her love Crew came back for short periods of time.

    The only reason I didn't give this a better rating was because I wasn't happy with the way it ended and the plot itself got slow or annoying at times making me want to stop reading. However, like I said, I am glad I finished reading it since it was an interesting read.

    I recommend this to anyone who likes a good fantasy read.

    My Previous Review(s) for these Author : Fierce Dawn | Soul Search

    Book Teaser(s) :
    I got pegged as a tomboy, or worse, as just one of the guys.
    Crew saw me as sultry. Deep. Enigmatic.
    Stop! I had to stop allowing him to creep into my thoughts like some addict plotting how to get a fix. Crew was gone.
    I was still alive and kicking. ~ within Chapter 4
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Amber, then please check out her website.

    Made the Grade: The Sabbatini Brothers Series, Book 2

    Format: Paperback | Pages: 185 | Release Date: June 2011 | Publisher: Harlequin | Obtained: Friends of the Pasquotank-Camden Library - Fall Book Sale

    "One Last Night" [The Sabbatini Brothers Series, Book 2] by Melanie Milburne

    My Book Summary : When Maya and Giorgio got married they did so not for love, at least Giorgio didn't love Maya at that time, but because of his responsibility to his family and to produce an heir. Now five years later and after a couple of miscarriages, Maya is trying to divorce Giorgio as it seems that after all these years and no children between them they have grown further apart instead of closer together. Nevertheless, Giorgio is making it harder than ever to get a divorce, then after six months apart they indulge in one hot night together that produces a big surprise. However, the only way Maya will agree to getting back together is by having Giorgio's heart, yet will Giorgio be willing to give his heart away to anyone??

    My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars! This book deals with what it takes to hold a family together while dealing with plenty of tragedies going on around them. It's a very sweet book. I enjoyed Maya's newfound independence, in addition to how Giorgio and Maya build back their relationship.

    On a personal note, I liked this book more because I could relate to the uncertainty of being pregnant and not sure if it would last, but still hanging on to the hope of it. The way Maya's struggle was written made this book more humbling and relatable to me.

    I recommend it to anyone who likes to read quick, sweet, and spicy romance books!

    Book Teaser(s) :
    It was just a spare bedroom, a rather beautifully appointed one with Parisian-style furniture.
    'It's very...nice,' she said as the silence swirled around her. She turned and faced him, pasting a smile on her face that made her muscles ache. 'You've done a good job. No one would ever think it was once a...' she forced the word out '...a nursery.'
    Giorgio reached for her and she stumbled forwards into his arms, burying her face against his chest. ~ within Chapter 8
    For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Melanie, then please check out her website.

    Guest Post :: 3rd Annual Pearl Girls™ 12 Pearls of Christmas by Robin Dance

    Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

    Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

    AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

    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 gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
    ***

    "The Panhandler's Breath" by Robin Dance

    He slipped in sideways between the closing elevator doors, as if he were late to a meeting; he pressed the "5" without looking. Instead of suit and tie, though, baggy pants and faded navy hung on his tall, slim frame...and his stealth entry stiffened the hairs on the back of my neck.

    I had noticed him a few seconds earlier, just after we had parted a sea of clamorous teens. He was smiling, grandfatherly, standing maybe 30 feet away where the electric shuttle picks up.

    I had no idea he had been watching us, studying us, predator patiently awaiting his next prey.

    The four of us were sealed in a four- by six-foot metal tomb. Tomb--that thought really scampered across my mind. I wondered if he had a knife in his pocket. I wanted to protect my son. Fight or flight pumped adrenaline but there was nowhere to run.

    Extreme and ridiculous, these thoughts - and more - flashed through my mind. The Stranger began speaking.

    "Yessir, I see you're a family man with your wife and your son here..." and he nodded in my and my son’s direction.

    "...you see I'm homeless and all I've got..." and on queue, he reached into his left pocket and pulled out two old pennies blackened with age. Two cents to his name?! It was all too contrived, too practiced, and I didn't believe a word he was saying.

    It was then I smelled it ~ the small space lent itself to that ~ and I doubted my doubt.

    His breath.

    It wasn't the scent of alcohol. His eyes weren't red, his voice didn't waver; his wizened face matched his graying hair.

    His breath was morning's, zoo breath, the pet name I'd given to the scent inhaled when kissing my children awake when they were little.

    He needed to brush his teeth. I wondered how long it had been since he brushed his teeth.

    The elevator door opened and I handed him my leftover pizza as my son and I brushed past him. My husband handed him a bill and the Stranger thanked and God blessed him.

    The elevator door closed behind us. Conflicted, I was relieved.

    We got in the car and blurted first reaction--

    "I didn't believe a word he said."

    "That made me nervous."

    "I wonder if he'll really eat the pizza."

    In the quiet, we were left to our own thoughts, contemplating the right thing to do. At the end of the day, this is what I decided: It doesn't matter whether or not his story is true; for an old man to resort to begging, he has to be desperate. The money my husband gave him will never be missed. It was a reminder we've been entrusted with much and given much. Materially, yes, but more so spiritually. Loved, chosen, forgiven, redeemed, graced, lavished--every spiritual blessing. E v e r y.

    There's a part of me that wishes I would have been brave enough to ask the man his story, made sure he knew he was loved...and bought him a tooth brush.

    Later, it occurred to me he could have been an angel. Doesn’t that mean generosity, kindness and hospitality is always the right response? Then it's not about you or the stranger or the circumstance, it's about a simple, God-glorifying response.

    Had we entertained an angel unaware? We'll never know.

    But it wouldn't be the first time the Breath of Heaven smelled like a zoo.
    ***

    In a decades-old, scandalous affair with her husband, Robin also confesses mad crushes on her three teens. As Southern as sugar-shocked tea, she’s a recovering people pleaser who advocates talking to strangers. A memoirist, Compassion International Blogger, and Maker-upper of words, Robin writes for her own site, PENSIEVE, and also for (in)courage by DaySpring (a subsidiary of Hallmark) and Simple Mom. She loves to get to know readers through their blog comments and on Twitter and Pinterest. www.pensieve.me

    12 Pearls of Christmas - Guest Posts : Margaret McSweeney | Suzanne Woods Fisher | Sibella Giorello | Sandy Ralya | Elizabeth Musser | Deborah Raney | Shellie Tomlinson | Tricia Goyer | Susan May Warren | Tracey Eyster | Debora M. Coty | Robin Dance | Rachel Hauck

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Blog Tour Review -- Feasted On: On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

    This review of "On a Dark Wing" by Jordan Dane was through Trisha Wolfe's YA Bound Blog Tour and sponsored by HarlequinTeen. This Blog Tour kicked off on December 19th and it'll end on January 2nd, followed by a live chat with Jordan Dane on January 5th at 7:00 PM EDT!!

    GRAND PRIZE : Jordan Dane is giving away a Kindle Fire to one lucky person!!! Contest rules are posted using the Rafflecopter entry form located here. Please click along the form to enter.

    PRIZES : Ten blog stops along the tour will be hosting giveaways for signed copies of ON A DARK WING with a secret gift from Abbey Chandler.

    WINNERS will be announced at the live chat with Jordan Dane on January 5th, so make sure you're there!



    - This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 312; Kindle Edition - File Size: 465 KB | Expected Release Date: December 20, 2011 | Publisher: HarlequinTEEN | Obtained: NetGalley

    "On a Dark Wing" by Jordan Dane

    My Book Summary : Abbey was in a major car accident when she was young, it changed her life, and even though she was the "lucky" one, since she cheated death, her mother died. Nevertheless, she can still remember the iridescent blue-eyed shadow of a boy that saved her life, even though no one believed her when she told them after the accident.

    Five years later in some ways, it feels like it's her best friend, Tanner, and her against the world (or more correctly their school). They are each other’s consistent companions and always seem to know what each other needs. As summer hits, Abbey goes on her annual trip to her family's cabin with her dad (even though she'd rather stay home and keep an ear out on her secret crush--Nate--mountain climb on Tanner's radio).

    Soon, though, Abbey finds Nate is on "her mountain" instead, which couldn't be right since he should be climbing, right? In a strange turn of events, Abbey will find just what it meant to be the "lucky" one from her previous accident all those years ago and what really happened that day. However, what she learns and what she decides to do with that knowledge could put someone else's life to hang in the balance. What will she choose to do??

    My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars, this novel is thought provoking and has a unique take on dealing with near death experiences. When I first started this novel, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it, as it starts out very dark, gloomy, and it wasn't what I expected at all. Nevertheless, the further I went into the novel the more I got into it. From the intense mystery surrounding the novel, to the friendship between Tanner and Abbey this novel was one that I quickly got very addicted to and was curious to see how it would end!!

    In addition, it was cool getting to read about Nate's mountain climb! Then to read from all of those POVs really gives you the full experience of this novel, and makes you really endeared to everyone you read about. You just want to root for them all!

    I recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy mysterious YA novels!

    Book Teaser(s) :
    Teaser #1
    He grabbed his flashlight and turned toward Josh. While he'd been passed out, Nate was deathly afraid that he'd lost him. He shined the light onto his friend's slack face. When he saw him still breathing, he heaved a sigh of relief.
    "Josh, you've gotta wake up. If you can see me, maybe I'm not dead." ~ within Chapter 8
    For more information on this book and/or any other books by Jordan, then please check out her website.



    Click HERE to sign up for Jordan's giveaway and to check out the other blog tour stops!!

    Thank you to Jordan and Trisha for having me to apart of the tour!! =0)




    Find Jordan Dane :

    Guest Post :: 3rd Annual Pearl Girls™ 12 Pearls of Christmas by Debora M. Coty

    Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

    Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

    AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

    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 gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
    ***

    "Inside Out Christmas" by Debora M. Coty

    My veterinarian friend, Dr. Katie, tells the story about the December when a woman brought a very sick black lab into her clinic. The dog was only ten months old, so she was really just a big puppy, but she’d been vomiting incessantly and her worried owner didn’t know what was wrong.

    “Why don’t you go on home?” Dr. Katie told the owner. “I’ll need to run tests for about four hours. We’ll give you a call when we’re finished.”

    Dr. Katie’s assistant took x-rays and hung them on the light panel for Dr. Katie to examine. Hmm. Something looked a little peculiar. Dr. Katie called her assistant over.

    “Is it just me, or does that look like a … a camel to you?” she asked incredulously.

    “Matter of fact, it does,” replied the astute assistant. “And look, there’s an angel here, a shepherd there, and down there in the colon, it’s Baby Jesus!”

    At that moment the phone rang. It was the dog’s distraught owner. “I can’t believe this! I just got home and glanced at the coffee table where I put my manger scene yesterday. There’s nothing there but an empty stable!”

    As I thought about this quite literal technique for internalizing the true meaning of Christmas, it occurred to me that sometimes I have the opposite problem. With all the bustling busyness, my inner joy in celebration of my savior’s birth never really makes it to the outside.

    Oh, I have plenty of glittery, festive evidences of the holiday in decorations, baking galore, and gifts under my tree. But those things are for show. They’re merely the pretty wrappings, not the gift itself.

    Can people really see the core-deep joy that radiates within me when I think of the true gift that Papa God sent the world in his son, Jesus? Is my immeasurable gratitude for eternal life evident as I dash through this hectic season?

    I’m afraid all too often, the answer is no.

    I’m just too preoccupied to allow my outside to reflect my inside so that nonbelievers recognize that I rejoice because of the hope that is within me. My joy is obscured by the mounds of clutter. Gratefulness is sucked out of my soul by the vacuum called urgency.

    “But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy” (Psalm 68:3, NLT).

    This verse has become my prayer this Christmas season – that I would make the time to give priority to rejoicing, being glad in God’s presence, and letting my inner joy show for those who may be silently desperate to know the giver of true joy.

    Yep, there’s a better way to internalize the gift of Christmas than the black lab technique. We can lodge the Little Lord Jesus in our hearts rather than our colons.
    ***

    Debora M. Coty is a humorist, inspirational speaker, and award-winning author of twelve books, including "Too Blessed to be Stressed," and coming in March, "More Beauty, Less Beast: Transforming Your Inner Ogre." Debora would love to swap Christmas hugs with you at www.DeboraCoty.com.

    12 Pearls of Christmas - Guest Posts : Margaret McSweeney | Suzanne Woods Fisher | Sibella Giorello | Sandy Ralya | Elizabeth Musser | Deborah Raney | Shellie Tomlinson | Tricia Goyer | Susan May Warren | Tracey Eyster | Debora M. Coty | Robin Dance | Rachel Hauck

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Guest Post :: 3rd Annual Pearl Girls™ 12 Pearls of Christmas by Tracey Eyster

    Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

    Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

    AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

    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 gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
    ***

    "Simple or Sparkle?" by Tracey Eyster

    It’s a simple ornament made of thin cheap metal and it looks quite out of place on our CHRISTmas tree. But each year I lovingly and safely nestle it amongst its expensive and sparkly peers, without a care as to how unglamorous it appears.

    Many of our CHRISTmas ornaments have a story and an uncanny way of welling up emotion in me, but this certain one causes an intense stir.

    You see the ornament is engraved with the name of my grandmother, Sara, and was given to me by my mother, who ordered it from Hospice, after Grandmama’s death. Yes, the months leading up to her death carry memories of a frail and failing grandmama, but that ornament carries my thoughts to sweet CHRISTmas memories of the past.

    CHRISTmas Eve dinners in her home, laughing, singing, gathering and celebrating a year filled with blessings as we remembered the birth of our Savior. CHRISTmas mornings, she was always there participating with glee, in our raucous CHRISTmas happiness. Her gifts were always bank envelopes gently tucked into the pine needles of our CHRISTmas tree, fresh cut from the property she grew up on.

    All memories of my Grandmama make my heart swell. You see she was my Jesus with skin on. She lived her life full of joy, serving others and approached life selflessly with an attitude of, “What can I do for you?”

    Just months before she left us, even as the Alzheimer’s was robbing her mind she shared her love of Jesus with a sweet little old lady friend, who came to know the Lord – a divine appointment. The very next day that little old lady silently slipped away to meet in person the One Sara introduced her to just the day before.

    At the time I wept, realizing that regardless of our own frailties and failings, God can still use those of us who are willing to do His work and are well practiced at hearing His voice...no matter our lack of sparkle in comparison to others.

    A simple life lived for Him, a simple ornament in memory of Sara...a simple truth for you to ponder.
    ***

    Tracey Eyster wife, mom, relationship gatherer and Creator/Editor of FamilyLife’s MomLife Today is a media savvy mom making a difference where moms are, on-line. Through speaking, writing and video interviews Tracey is passionate about encouraging, equipping and advising moms on every facet of momlife. Her first book, "Be The Mom" will be released August 2012. You can connect with Tracey at www.momlifetoday.com, her personal site www.traceyster.com or www.twitter/momblog.com.

    12 Pearls of Christmas - Guest Posts : Margaret McSweeney | Suzanne Woods Fisher | Sibella Giorello | Sandy Ralya | Elizabeth Musser | Deborah Raney | Shellie Tomlinson | Tricia Goyer | Susan May Warren | Tracey Eyster | Debora M. Coty | Robin Dance | Rachel Hauck

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    "Waiting On" Wednesday: How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back

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

  • "How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back" by Sophie Barnes
    Expected Publication Released Date: January 31, 2012

    Author's Book Description:
      Emily Rutherford is having a very bad day. Of course, having the man you’ve loved forever, announce his engagement to your (now very former) best friend will do that.

      Emily is sure nothing good could possibly come out of this horrid situation. But she lets her sisters and Adrian’s cousin, Francis Riley, the delectable but brooding Earl of Dunhurst, convince her a season in London will be just the thing.

      Now Emily has a choice: sulk in a corner while her sisters enjoy the glitter of the ton. Or become the belle of the ball, dazzling everyone on an earl’s arm. But as Francis helps Emily get back on her feet, she quickly realizes that a childhood crush is nothing compared to the power of true love.

    Guest Post :: 3rd Annual Pearl Girls™ 12 Pearls of Christmas by Susan May Warren

    Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

    Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

    AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

    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 gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
    ***

    "Enjoy the Ride!" by Susan May Warren

    We sit poised on the top of a cliff, a near drop off before us that falls to a rushing river. In the middle, a bridge of snow and ice hints at our destination. My husband guns the snowmobile engine. “Ready?”

    Ready? For a face plant into a tree, maybe reconstructive surgery? To feel my stomach ripped from my body as we plummet down the mountain? Let’s do it!

    We live on five acres of woods in northern Minnesota that butts up to a national forest. Hence, our backyard is about a hundred thousand acres. Aside from harboring deer, lynx, fox, cougar and bear, it also makes excellent snowmobile terrain. And not long ago, Mrs. Claus gave her Santa a snowmobile for two.

    I love snowmobiling. Flying over the snow, catching air over drifts. I love to drive, to be at the helm of the beast as I weave around trees and over hill and dale, my husband sitting behind me. I also love riding behind my husband as he drives, feeling those powerful arms as he’s muscling the snowmobile into the wilds. We follow unknown trails, driven by a Magellan spirit, hoping that we have enough gas to get us back to civilization. I love hanging on, simply trusting him, knowing that wherever he’s taking me, he’s going first.

    But there are times, when I see where he’s taking me, and I just have to bury my head in his back. Like straight down a cliff.

    However, my heart cheers, despite the terror as we gun it down the hill, over the river, up the opposite side. And, if we hadn’t let ourselves go, we would have never discovered the beauty of a winter river, a hidden jewel buried deep in the forest. Nor the exhilaration of facing the challenge together.

    Further on, we find an enchanted forest of towering white pine. Catch a view of Lake Superior, and discover an old cabin in the woods.

    It occurs to me that snowmobiling is much like my spiritual life. Occasionally, I drive, and it’s me setting our course, weaving through the trees, getting us hopelessly lost. But when God takes the “wheel” and I hang on, trusting Him for the speed and destination, I see the scenery. I trust him to keep me safe. I trust him to bring me home, where there is an eternal supply of hot chocolate.

    As Christmas season becomes more hectic, what if I let God drive? Maybe everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and maybe I don’t have to control every tradition, every holiday nuance. What if I just held on for the ride?

    I’ll bet I’ll still get there, and I might even enjoy the scenery along the way.

    How have you let go, and “enjoyed” the scenery of this hectic, exhilarating Christmas season?

    Merry Christmas!
    ***

    Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of thirty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: "From the Inside...Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!." She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

    12 Pearls of Christmas - Guest Posts : Margaret McSweeney | Suzanne Woods Fisher | Sibella Giorello | Sandy Ralya | Elizabeth Musser | Deborah Raney | Shellie Tomlinson | Tricia Goyer | Susan May Warren | Tracey Eyster | Debora M. Coty | Robin Dance | Rachel Hauck
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