Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Author: Chandra Hoffman
ISBN: 9780061974311
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: TLC Book Tours
Follow the Tour
Rating: Recommended Read

About the Book:

It all begins with a fantasy . . .
caseworker in her “paperwork-signing” suit alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn: this is the blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of Portland’s Chosen Child domestic adoption program, happy as she juggles the demands of her boss and the incessant needs of adoptive and biological parents.
But the dream job that offers Chloe refuge from her turbulent personal life soon becomes a nightmare involving three very different couples: the college sweethearts who, after suffering fertility problems, are now expecting their own baby; the wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and the couple who has nothing—except the baby everyone wants. But when a child goes missing, perceptions of family and future are challenged, posing the questions: What happens when you get what you thought you wanted? How far would you go if it wasn’t what you wanted after all?

My Thoughts:
Wow, if the synopsis doesn't catch you what will?  This book is riveting and somewhat haunting. I can't imagine going through the nightmare that Chloe and the couples involved do.  This book gives awareness to the trials of infertility, the difficulty of giving your child up for adoption and the fears all adoptive parents face plus some. If your looking for a climatic page turner, this one is for you.
Having said that, I wish the evident would have taken place earlier in this book.  The reader is told in the synopsis as well as multiple times in the beginning of the book that a child goes missing, though you're not aware who has done what, how the child goes missing or what happened.  While the story builds, tension becomes tighter and I was left to keep turning the pages in hopes of getting to the climatic part of the story.  When it finally happens I wasn't shocked but kind of relieved.  If the child went missing earlier in the novel and then back story was given or information was revealed I would have enjoyed this one more.  While it is not a huge issue, it did throw me.  I kept waiting for something to happen and wondered when the child would go missing, whose would be missing and why.
The characters are well developed, dramatic and realistic.  I loved that Chloe was optimistically naive.  She is a character who feels her job is perfect because she unites unwanted babies with loving and devoted parents who want nothing else but a child.  Unfortunately, Chloe doesn't realize the dramatic pain and hurt that happens right in front of her. Chloe gains insight as the book progresses and starts to realize that its not easy, emotionally, for a birth mom to give up her child.  I feel like a lot of people would see the job of an adoption case worker in this light if they weren't paying attention to the whole picture.  Each couple in this novel brings something different to the table.  The emotional heartache and excitement for each was compelling.  
Overall, this book was a good read.  Though I wished some elements were introduced earlier in the novel, I was never bored reading this. Ms. Hoffman has her own unique writing style and tells her story in an engaging manner.  The novel has plenty of story and switches between characters, giving a well rounded understanding of the whole scenario. Chosen is a well written, engaging and emotional novel that keeps you reading.  I loved how informative and well portrayed the adoption process is in this book.  I know couples who have adopted and are adopting, this novel fits the trials and joys of adoption well.
About the Author:

Chandra Hoffman has been an orphanage relief worker in Romania, a horse trainer in the Caribbean, a short order cook in a third world hospital, the director of a U.S. adoption program, and an event planner for Philadelphia’s Main Line elite. A graduate of Cornell University and Antioch’s MFA program, she has settled back in her hometown outside of Philadelphia with her husband, three young children, and an ever-changing menagerie. Chosen is her first novel.
Visit Chandra at her website,www.chandrahoffman.com, and follow her onFacebook and Twitter at @chandraKhoffman.

Recommended Read

New Fiction You Won't Want to Miss!

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards: Book Cover
Author: Kim Edwards
ISBN: 9780143120360
Publisher: Penguin
About the Book:

At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home to upstate New York from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family’s rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be idle curiosities, but soon reveal glimpses of a hidden family history. As Lucy explores these traces of her lineage—from an heirloom blanket and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows, both in her hometown and beyond—a new family history emerges, one that will link her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yield dramatic insights that will free her to live her life to its fullest and deepest.    
With revelations as captivating as the deceptions at the heart of her best-selling phenomenon, The Memory  Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards now gives us the story of a woman’s homecoming to the lake of her childhood,  and the discovery of a secret past that will alter her understanding of her heritage, and herself, forever. A powerful family narrative and a story of love lost and found, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting novel in which every vibrant detail emerges as an organic piece of a puzzle.  With her signature gifts for lyricism, suspense, and masterly storytelling, Kim Edwards’s new novel will delight those who loved The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and mesmerize millions of new fans.  

Available for purchase at the following retailers:

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Remembering You

Author: Tricia Goyer
ISBN: 9780824948122
Publisher: Guidepost
Source: Litfuse Publicity Tours
Follow the Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13439289

About the book:
35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.

As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.

Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/contemporaryfiction.html#RememberingYou

My Thoughts:

Taking your 84 year old grandpa to Europe for a reunion and tour of World War 2 battle sites is not exactly a dream trip, but for Ava, a TV producer, the trip couldn't have come at a better time.  Recently jilted by her fiance and currently stressed about her career, Ava sees the trip as an opportunity to film the veterans as they re-visit the past.  The problem??  Grandpa Jack.

Grandpa Jack isn't quite as excited about Ava's plans to film the tour.  When the tour is cancelled, Jack and his best friend Paul decide to head to Europe and visit the sites without an official tour.  Jack and Paul take Ava and Paul's grandson Dennis with them.  While the grandfathers hope to re-unite Ava and Dennis, who have a past, haunting memories emerge.  Ava is left to learn forgiveness, understand pain, and realize that not all expectations can be met by those we place them on.  As a love story, a past, a mystery and a future unfold so does a gripping and compelling story that will keep your nose in this book!

Poignant, dramatic and compelling, Remembering You was an enjoyable and thoughtful read.  I loved the characters, the storyline and the pace of this book.  It's much different than other novels I've read by Goyer.  I found myself highly engrossed in the history, touched by the tribute to those who have served and entranced with the story.  I would highly recommend this read.

About Tricia:
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia's weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

For more about Tricia and her other books visit http://www.triciagoyer.com/
Buythe book: http://www.triciagoyer.com/contemporaryfiction.html#RememberingYou

Highly Recommended
*I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review and participation in this tour.  All thoughts are my own based off my interaction with this book.*

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to you all....

No matter how you spend your day, who you spend it with or what you eat, I wish you a happy and thankful filled Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the day, remember your blessings and not your trials.  Tell someone you love how thankful you are for them and why.  Thank you for following my blog, caring about my reviews and leaving comments!  You all have made blogging so much fun for me.  Whenever I get in a reading slump I remember you and it pulls me out!  I am thankful for eyes that enable me to read wonderful books by wonderful authors.  Without them life wouldn't be the same.  Reading has molded and shaped my personality.  I love and enjoy books.  When I no longer have the ability to read I will appreciate audio books on a whole new level!  Anyhow.... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Enjoy the day!!

Tiffany - A Cozy Reader's Corner Reviews

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dollars to Donuts

Author: Kathleen Kole
ISBN: 978-0986895647
Publisher: Sublime Coyote Media
Source: Chick-lit Plus Blog Tours
About the Book:
Take one newspaper columnist; move her from the anonymity of her home city to a sleepy, small town; add a dollop of nosey, suspicious and just plain odd neighbors; a dash of mystery in the form of a stained garbage can and a rodent and, finally, a large pinch of unsettling attraction to a virtual stranger and you’ll find yourself with a recipe that imitates April Patterson’s life.  Sound strange? It is.

April Patterson had no idea that when she decided to follow the path of family and love, she would find herself an unwitting player in an eyebrow raising cul-de-sac mystery, grasping for her privacy as she plays “Dodge the Neighbor” and being forced to examine her relationship motives … all before she had unpacked her last box!
Taking a deep breath, and a large bite into a comforting donut, April consoles herself with the knowledge that it will all work out. It always does … doesn’t it?

Dollars to Donuts is the first novel I’ve read by Kathleen.  I have to admit the title intrigued me.  Usually it is the cover that grabs my attention first, but not this time.  I don’t know if I was hungry or just amused by the title but the book follows the titles suit.  Dollars to Donuts is a charming and entertaining read.  I laughed but also cringed.  April’s character is completely opposite of my own.  I found myself understanding where her sister Jessica was coming from in regards to her bouncing lifestyle. 
What did crack me up was April’s neighborhood drama!  Cole comes up with some interesting and quirky characters that would make me move from a neighborhood quickly.  It was funny to read, but I certainly felt for April when she had to deal with them all.  The story takes its stride after April’s sister Jessica advises her to take control of her life instead of letting life control her.  April, who is living with her boyfriend, starts to lose all control when her boyfriend’s attractive friend Gerritt moves in after his house catches on fire in a freak accident.    In the midst of chaos April learns a little about love, a little about life and a whole lot about the heart.  The reader quickly finds out that not everything in life can be controlled and if you don’t agree check out her crazy neighbors!
This novel is well written, flows smoothly and keeps you entertained.  It has lots of funny dramatic moments and bits of seriousness without being deeply heavy.  I enjoyed sitting down with this book.  I can think of specific friends who would enjoy reading this novel.  If you want something different, this one is for you.
About the Author:
Born in Edmonton AB, Kathleen began storytelling in grade school. She has many fond memories of passing summer afternoons, out on the swings in her backyard, creating tales that entertained her neighborhood friends. When she finally decided to venture from her backyard, Kathleen pursued a career in storytelling. She graduated from college with a Diploma in Radio and Television Arts and traveled the path of freelance writing for numerous local newspapers. Many years later, too many to talk about without seeming rude and nosey, Kathleen has channeled her imagination to the pages of her novels. She hopes that you enjoy her tales and encourages you to feel free to read her stories on the swing set in your own backyard. Kathleen has traveled from Edmonton, to a new backyard with a lovely mountain view. She spends time there with her beloved husband, adored son and silly dog. They let her tell them stories and always laugh in all of the correct places. She’s lucky, and she knows it.
Recommended Read

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bonjour 40

Author: Karen Chase
Publisher: Self-Published, Karen Chase
Source: BookSparks PR
Rating: Highly Recommended

About the Book:

If Karen A. Chase absolutely had to turn forty, she decided she could do it gracefully in Paris… for nearly forty days. What began as a blog to communicate with friends and family, became a travel journal filled with over a months’ worth of humorous and insightful glimpses into her Paris adventures, each of which could be read in about forty seconds. Journal entries are interspersed with Chase's own inspiring photography. Additional, longer stories richly fill in details allowing readers to reflect upon her experiences with food, travel, photography, Parisians, writing, and love in the City of Lights. Through her Parisian- and self-exploration, comes a book that brings to life the richness of Paris as seen through the eyes of a romantic travel junkie. Chase shows readers the joys of turning 40, and with her magical view of Paris, they'll be ready to board a plane before they've turned the last page.


I've always wanted to go to Paris!  Unfortunately, I hate to fly.  I detest it so much that I avoid flying unless absolutely necessary.  Since I don't have the funds to head to Paris, the flight is nowhere near necessary for me so I live vicariously through others.  I saw all this to say that I loved living vicariously through Karen.  If you want to feel like your in Paris and enjoy Paris through the eyes of a charming and down to earth woman, read this book. 

At 134 pages this memoir is a quick and easy read.  It is very enjoyable to follow Karen on her 40 day trip. I thought the author celebrated her 40th birthday in the most perfect way!  Everyone should celebrate a memorable birthday by doing something they have always wanted to do.  It was inspiring.  The book itself is a travelogue of sorts.  I enjoyed her travel stories.  I found myself entertained with her humor and enlightened with learning. 

For those who love Paris, want to love Paris or simply want to escape or travel, this book is perfect.  It is honest and natural since the author's real life story is spilled across pages that tell a story within her story.  Since she has nothing to loose and everything to give, this book is an insightful look at Paris, it's people, a culture and a woman in the prime of her life.  Hello 40! Are you ready?? Read it, you'll enjoy it.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Jessie Harrell
Publication: November 17th
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing
Length: 368 pages

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.
As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
 Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

A Sneak Peak…
Chapter 3 --

When the door was closed, I spun around, eager to see who Aphrodite had brought with her.
I was two steps into my room when they changed. Expecting a goddess, I couldn’t have been more stunned by the additional visitor.

Or wrong.

Those soft blonde curls and piercing blue eyes didn’t belong to any goddess. Only the most amazing guy - god? - I’d ever laid eyes on.

My heart took off at a sprint and the blood rushed to my cheeks. He shot me a coy smirk that made my stomach slush with uneasy delight. So when a pair of pristine white wings unfurled from his back, my knees almost buckled. And here I’d thought he couldn’t be any more magnificent. No doubt about it, this guy was divine.

Aphrodite threw her arms wide, demanding I place my attention on her. “So, are you surprised?” she asked.

Although she’d never hugged me before, I knew it was what she wanted me to do. To sweep myself into her embrace and prove myself grateful of my new role as her mortal daughter.

“Surprised isn’t the half of it,” I mumbled, stepping into an awkward hug.

Her arms tightened around me as she rocked me side to side. “This is so exciting for you. And for me.” She pushed me back at arms-length and stared at my face, her eyes searching mine. “You’re the one I’ve been waiting for. I can just tell.”

Beside her, the boy’s wings ruffled. “You’ve had your little mother-daughter reunion. Can we go now?”
Still keeping one arm draped over my shoulder, Aphrodite wrapped the boy up with her other arm. We were so close I could almost smell him, just a hint of rugged sunshine. “Don’t be silly, Eros. We all have much to discuss.”

Eros? Like the god-of-love, shoots-everyone-with-magic-arrows, son-of-Aphrodite Eros?

“Do we have to do it here?” His gaze swept my room and obvious distaste curled down the edges of his lips, wiping away that delicious smirk. “It’s so... pedestrian.”

What’s that supposed to mean? My temptation to bite his head off was tempered only by my need to stay on topic.

“Aphrodite --” I started. “I’m not supposed to call you ‘mom’ now or anything, am I?”

That infamous smile of hers pulled her lips tight and a perfect dimple flared on her right cheek. “Not yet, sweetie. Soon,” she shot a knowing look at Eros, “but not yet.”

I felt like I needed to sit down. Was the room spinning?

Rubbing at my temples, I tried again. “Okay. I’m sure I don’t understand most of what’s going on today, but we really need to talk. Because what my parents are planning makes no sense either.” Aphrodite perched on the edge of my vanity and cocked her head like she was waiting for me to continue. “See, here’s the thing. My parents are really happy.”

“They should be,” Eros half-coughed into his fist.

I shot him a glare before continuing on my rambling speech. “But, they think you’ll want me to get married right away. Which is just insane, right? I mean, you said I’d help you promote the worship of beauty, but we never talked about your other ... well, attributes. And so anyway, my parents are sending out requests for suitors, and my sister is going to get married off too, and this is all just ... wrong. Please tell me this is wrong.”

“Completely wrong,” Aphrodite confirmed with a wave of her hand. I didn’t realize how tightly I’d been squeezing my fingers until I let them go and the blood rushed back.

“Well, maybe not the part about your sister, but definitely about marrying you off.” She gave this throaty chuckle that erased all the insta-relief I’d had just a second ago. “Your parents don’t get to pick your husband. I do.”

Eros snorted and dropped onto a tripod stool on the other side of my room. “Yeah, and we all know how well that turned out last time.”


If you leave your e-mail address in your comment, you'll be automatically entered to win an e-copy of Destined. The contest will stay open for 48 hours after the post goes live, and then Jessie will use random.org to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.
And please be sure to visit the other stops on Destined's official blog tour for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury

Author: Maud Hart Lovelace
Illustrated by Lois Lenski
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: TLC Book Tours
Follow the Tour
Rating: Highly Recommended

About Betsy-Tacy:
There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy’s age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, the moment Betsy meets Tacy, one of the most heartfelt friendships in all of children’s literature begins.
The Betsy-Tacy Treasury brings together the first four books in Maud Hart Lovelace’s classic series: Betsy-Tacy; Betsy, Tacy and Tib; Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill; and Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.

Tracing the girls’ lives from early childhood to the brink of adolescence, Lovelace illuminates their innocent, mischievous fun and their eye-opening adventures exploring the world around them—from the stories Betsy spins from their neighborhood bench and the sand stores they run in their backyards, to their first experiences at the library, the thrill of the theater, and the sight of their first automobile.

The Treasury includes forewords by Judy Blume, Ann M. Martin, and Johanna Hurwitz.

Take a journey to the past with this nostalgic read!  Whether you’ve loved Betsy-Tacy all your life or you’re just being introduced, this collection of novels brings an enjoyable and comfortable essence to your reading experience.  The collection includes the first four novels written by Maud Hart Lovelace in 1940.  Reading the Betsy-Tacy Treasury was like reading “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret” or playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid.  It reminded me of the pencils I loved as a little girl, you could buy them at book fairs, they were mechanical in the sense that you changed the tip and smelled like whatever flavor was represented on the writing unit.  Books like the Nancy Drew mystery series, American Girl collection and Beverly Cleary novels are remembered in the nostalgic and timeless way that Betsy-Tacy is remembered.  What I love about literature is its ability to surpass generational differences.  Though the first book in this collection was published in 1940, it is still a wonderful read for children today.  My five year old daughter enjoyed these stories as I read them aloud to her.  The novels are something her great grandmother, grandmother and mother can all enjoy with her.   It’s simply priceless. 

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury is full of fun, humor, applicable life lessons and history.  There were multiple sections that peaked my daughter’s interest since life has changed since Betsy’s days.  In a time period that does not include the technological advances of today; I was able to enjoy the simplicity of the era while enjoying how different our world has become in the last 60 years or so.  I enjoyed the timeless stories of childhood that make up this treasury.  Betsy and her friends have fun and adventure with their imaginations along the road of life.  Whoever you are, whatever your age, these books are great reads.  Simplistic and enjoyable, The Betsy-Tacy collection is sure to be part of your library for generations to come.

About the Author:
Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. Like Betsy, Maud followed her mother around the house at age five asking such questions as “How do you spell ‘going down the street’?” for the stories she had already begun to write. Soon she was writing poems and plays. When Maud was ten, a booklet of her poems was printed; and by age eighteen, she had sold her first short story, for ten dollars, to the Los Angeles Times.
The Hart family left Mankato shortly after Maud’s high school graduation in 1910. They settled in Minneapolis, where Maud attended the University of Minnesota. In 1914, she sailed for Europe, and spent the months leading up to the outbreak of World War I in England. In 1917, she married Delos W. Lovelace, a newspaper reporter who later became a popular writer of short stories, and in 1926 her first novel was published. Five more historical novels followed. Maud wrote two of them in collaboration with her husband.
The Lovelaces’ daughter Merian was born in 1931. Maud would tell her daughter bedtime stories about her childhood in Minnesota and it was these stories that gave the author the idea of writing the Betsy-Tacy books. Maud did not intend to write an entire series when Betsy-Tacy, the first book, was published in 1940. But readers asked for more stories, so Maud took Betsy through high school and beyond college to the “great world” and marriage.
The Betsy-Tacy books were based closely upon Maud’s own life. Almost all of Betsy’s experiences were also Maud’s. “Of course, I could make it all up, but in these Betsy-Tacy stories, I love to work from real incidents,” Maud wrote.
Maud Hart Lovelace died on March 11, 1980. But her legacy lives on in the beloved series she created and in her legion of fans, many of whom are members of the Betsy-Tacy Society, a national organization based in Mankato.
Find out about the Betsy-Tacy convention in 2012 and the Betsy-Tacy Society.

Tour the Betsy Tacy House: http://www.betsy-tacysociety.org/visit

Highly Recommended

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hot Water Preview & Giveaway

Hot Water by Erin Brockovich: Chapter 1
By Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons,
Author of Hot Water

After enjoying this preview of Hot Water by Erin Brockovich, please leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.  1 copy available from the publisher to those with a US or CAN address.  Giveaway ends 11/11/11 at 11pm CST.  Good Luck and enjoy the first chapter!!

Summer in the mountains of West Virginia has a magic of its own, like a fairy tale come true. For me, it was a fairy tale paid for with blood.

It was August. After five months back home in Scotia (population 864) I'd just about gotten used to folks looking away from me and mumbling about how I'd gotten the man I loved killed and almost got my dad and son killed and just about drowned the entire valley in toxic sludge.

"That's AJ Palladino," they'd say, crossing to the other side of the street as I passed, in case I rubbed off on them. "Yeah, that AJ Palladino."

I ignored them. Didn't much care what people said about me as long as they didn't take it out on my nine-year-old, David. And, I have to admit, Scotia did treat David like the hero his dad had once been. They embraced him despite his two disabilities (or abilities, depending on your point of view): having cerebral palsy, which left him mostly wheelchair-bound, and being a genius.

Despite the town's acceptance of him, David still wasn't so sure about Scotia. He was hit hard by the death of his dad. I tried everything, even enrolled him in some online courses. Stuff I didn't understand but he was interested in, like the Phonology of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Einstein, Oppenheimer, Feynman: Physics in the 20th Century. He'd bury himself in them, working like a fever, finishing a semester's worth of material in a few weeks, and then would promptly slide back into boredom and despair.

Given my family's tendency for obsessions -- addictions, really, holding on too hard, too long -- I was more than a bit worried.

My friend Ty Stillwater, a sheriff's deputy K-9 officer, and his partner, Nikki, a beautiful Belgium Malinois, finally broke David free from his mourning.

Ty somehow found a way to make wheelchair accessible every mountain adventure that a boy could love. He and David would leave at first light and show up again for dinner at my gram's kitchen cov­ered in battle scars. Once, Ty took David rafting down the New River, and they came back half-drowned, sunburned, and sporting matching black eyes that they refused to tell us how they got. They would burst into laughter every time they caught sight of each other.

I loved hearing David laugh but couldn't help but worry each time he left. For too many years I'd raised David alone, and it was difficult getting used to sharing him with others who loved him as much as I did. Not to mention the fact that I was and am a total control freak, especially about David. But I suffered in silence­ -- David hates it when I try to rein in his independence.

Hometown Girl

Author: Mariah Stewart
ISBN: 978-0345531216
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Highly Recommended


Life was always just about perfect for Brooke Madison Bowers. She was the prettiest, most popular girl in small-town St. Dennis, Maryland, a prom queen, local pageant star, and the pride and joy of her loving parents. She even married the man of her dreams. But the promise of happily ever after fell to pieces when her husband was killed while serving in Iraq. Brokenhearted and longing for the solace of better days, she returns to the idyllic world of St. Dennis, and the familiar comfort of the family farm. Surrounded by her loving family and friends, she’s determined to build a new life, complete with her own cupcake bakery. She’s equally determined never to fall in love again.

For Jesse Enright, life has been a challenge. A fourth-generation attorney, he’s spent his life fighting to escape the shadow of his irresponsible father. Now he’s moved to St. Dennis to run the family law practice, and he’s ready to find the right girl, get married, and settle down. But his carefully laid plans go out the window when he meets Brooke and finds himself caught between the unbreakable law of attraction and Brooke’s resolve to go her way alone—despite the undeniable feelings Jesse stirs in her. But just like catching lightning in a bottle, is it possible to fall head-over-heels, heart-and-soul in love all over again?
My Thoughts

I immersed myself in this story!   I love stories that show happily ever after is not always like the movies.  Things happen in life, nothing is perfect, bad things happen, sad times come and go, but you can still be happy and have your fairy tale in the midst of life.  In the midst of a wonderful story, though heartbreaking at points, this novel includes cupcakes!!  Who wouldn't want to own a cupcake bakery??  Though I must admit, I would also have to include a variety of other delicious desserts.   I enjoyed this romance.  It hits every aspect of life as a woman.  Mariah Stewart is a wonderful writer.  I enjoyed her style.  The novel flows effortlessly and swept me away, keeping me rooted in the story.  I felt a part of St.Dennis and its residents.  I love that Brooke moved back home to heal and begin her life again.  Family and friendship are a huge part of this novel and I connected with that.  This book is a mellow read, with very little to surprise you, but its great for a cold or rainy day and your favorite warm beverage!  Every one needs a book to cuddle up with and relax to.  That was Hometown Girl for me.
Highly Recommended

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Win a signed copy of "All the Numbers"

“How much do you love me?” Daniel asked his mother.
“I love you all the numbers.”

What begins as a sunny August afternoon on a bucolic lake turns into a tragedy when a Jet Ski swerves fatally close to shore. It’s a day Ellen Banks could never have prepared for, a day no mother should ever have to live through.

The moment her son James is killed, Ellen must face the unimaginable while trying to remain strong for her older son, Daniel, who witnessed the fateful accident and blames himself. Ellen’s shock and grief soon give way to defiance as lawyers and policemen who once vowed to support Ellen’s desire for justice succumb to political pressure and back away. Still, Ellen is determined to see the reckless young man pay for his crime and to heal her family’s deep wounds. But first she must heal herself.

An unforgettable journey of power and emotion, All the Numbers poignantly depicts a woman’s reckoning with her own vulnerability and finding in the wisdom of motherhood the redemptive grace to begin again.

I have 4 signed copies of All The Numbers to give away to the first four lucky readers who complete the following steps!

1. Follow or subscribe to A Cozy Reader's Corner

2. Purchase $25 dollars or more in products from The Pampered Chef to benefit my local food bank.  Purchases must be made through this link ONLY!


Once the purchase is complete, I will be notified.  Christmas is coming up, use this chance to shop for that special someone and get a little something for you too!!

3. Comment below and tell me you purchased.  Leave your email in the space provided so I have a way to contact you for your address.

Have a great day!! Thanks for helping!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thoughts from Amanda Strong

When I decided to embark on this amazing journey of writing my first novel, I think I automatically knew there would be some funny stories or mishaps along the way.  With two small children, finding the time to write a novel was difficult.  I ended up carving out time after everyone, including my husband, was in bed. Writing a novel between 10 pm and 2am most nights, I found myself tired and half asleep.  A few times throughout the process, I'd review where I left off the night before and would end up reading things I didn't even remember writing.  Funny thing was, I think some of those chapters were the best-- maybe being tired and exhausted worked for me.  Following the idea of a mishap, I'd just received the final edit and emailed my contact the go-ahead to finalize the project--turning back from that point would've been a big deal. Right after, I went to a friend's house, and we were all talking about various topics.  One person asked me about the book, and I gave them a short synopsis.  One character lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, but instead of saying that, I said Greenwich Village.  I started panicking, because I knew I made the same mistake in the book.  Even with all the edits and proofreading, a small mistake like that slipped through the cracks.  I quickly went home and emailed my contact and crossed my fingers he hadn't sent the final project to print.  Thankfully, he received both my emails at the same time and there was time to fix the problem. If I hadn't been discussing the story that day, I would've had to endure a costly mistake which would've delayed the book.  These stories, along with many more, reaffirmed my belief that you're always learning and growing from your experiences.

Amanda Strong is the author of With Just One Click

After living in typical suburbia, Amanda realized sometimes the most captivating and intriguing stories are ones that are right under your nose. Mix in the recent phenomenon that is the brave new world of social networking, and Strong delivers a bright new voice in her debut novel, with just one click. Amanda Strong graduated from Ithaca College and resides outside the Boston area with her husband and two children.

You can find her on her blog http://byamandastrong.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Nine Lives of Christmas

Sheila Roberts-ISBN: 978-0312594497-Audio Clip and Book Excerpt: LISTEN or READ HERE

About the Book:

Bestselling author Sheila Roberts brings us a humorous, heartwarming Christmas novel about a matchmaking cat who brings a couple together just in time for the holidays.When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator…and Ambrose the cat is no exception. In danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea.  He’ll do anything—anything!—if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him, and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.

The stranger turns out to be a fire fighter named Zach, the quintessential commitment- phobe who’s in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it’s bound to earn him a healthy ninth life.  Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever anticipated.  Now it’s going to take all his feline wiles—and a healthy dose of Christmas magic—to bring them all together in time for the holidays.


There is more to come with this review, but let's just say I completely enjoyed this book!  I love Christmas novels and this one was both a pleasure to read and listen to!  Yes, I read the hard copy of this book as well as listening to the audio version.  Both kept me highly entertained and hooked on the story.  Though I'm not a fan of cats due to allergies, I enjoyed this book.  It is safe to say cat lovers everywhere will love this novel, but I think there is so much more to it than it's title.  The main characters are pleasant and easy to like.  I imagined them as being someone I could be friends with.  This novel has plenty of charm, smooth writing and entertainment for book lovers everywhere.  Full of romance and pets with personality, it's a book you won't want to miss this Christmas.

About Sheila Roberts:
Writing since 1989, Sheila Roberts has had 26 books published, both fiction and nonfiction, under different names. Her books have been chosen for book clubs, Readers Digest Condensed books, and her popular novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a movie and appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network. Her novel ANGEL LANE was named one of Amazon’s Top Ten Romances for 2009.
However, before she settled into her writing career, she did lots of other things, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band.  Writing and helping others to find ways to better themselves are her greatest passions and her popular newsletter SUPER YOU, is dedicated to helping women improve their lives.
When she’s not making public appearances or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate. Drop in for a visit at her website: http://www.sheilasplace.com or connect with her at Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/pages/Sheila-Roberts/76502579853?ref=ts and Twitter athttp://twitter.com/#!/_Sheila_Roberts.
Her latest book is the women’s fiction novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas (St. Martin’s Press).
Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children.

Highly Recommended

Thursday, November 3, 2011

With Just One Click

Author: Amanda Strong
ISBN: 978-1-257-09241-3
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: CLP Book Tour
Rating: Don't Miss, Must Read

About the Book:

Reluctance was matched with a pit in my stomach; once I joined, anyone could randomly find me...did I really want to be found?" Chloe, a successful movie reviewer and serial dater, finds herself added as a friend by her first love. The one who left her at seventeen standing with a note in her hand as he simply walked away. Will she allow herself to open old wounds? Morgan, a loyal stay-at-home mom and wife, discovers one of her husband's friends is his very single and flirtatious ex-girlfriend from high school. Will obsession and jealousy tear her solid marriage apart when she hunts for the truth? Brynn, a lonely forty year-old living with her two distant teenage children and workaholic husband, fights temptation while revisiting the past with one of her friends. Will her deception destroy her family? Three lives changed forever WITH JUST ONE CLICK. Confirming a friend isn't as simple as it seems... but do these women have more in common than just Facebook?

My Review:

I have just one question...Are you on Facebook?  If your answer is yes, this book is a must read for you!  If your answer is no, I have to ask... Where are you?  Regardless of where you can be found, this book is a great read.  For those on or off Facebook, this book has plenty of entertaining characters and real life situations that bring up a host of topics for discussion. It is an enticing and irresistible read.  I loved Chloe, Morgan and Brynn's stories.  All three women are in different places and stages in their life, yet they have one key social media platform in common, Facebook.

The novel follows these three women on their different journeys with Facebook.  Chloe, who is still looking for love, friends a man who broke her heart by breaking up with her via a note because of his parents.  The spark is still alive, but they live on opposite sides of the country.  Will they have a second chance?  Chloe's journey reminds me of the many choices I've had to friend or de-friend an ex or other person from my past.  It also reminded me of how easy it is to connect with people all over the world through social media platforms, yet it makes me question the connection how real is it?  How deep?

Morgan, a happily married wife, discovers her jealous nature when her husband accepts the friendship of an ex-girlfriend.  The ex-girlfriend constantly writes on his wall in a flirtatious manner.  Morgan's happy marriage has turned into paranoia central.  Fed up with her Facebook stalking, Morgan's husband de-friends her.  This made me laugh.  I can't tell you how many times I have noticed someone who post on a friends wall constantly.  Regardless of ex, friend, lover, parent or anything else, we all notice when attention isn't focused on our self.  If you aren't in touch with your jealous side, Facebook can easily put you in touch with it.

Brynn, a once happily married woman is no longer happy in her marriage.  She is bored with her workaholic husband.  When she finds an old boyfriend on Facebook, Brynn comes dangerously close to having an affair.  her story shows how easy it is to go to far with the open communication and easy access of Facebook.

I loved this novel.  Through each story I could identify with my own experiences with Facebook.  Though somewhat different, the general topics cover a large portion of issues revolving social media platforms along with the good, bad and the ugly of them.  I thought this novel was entertaining and hard to put down.  it is a must read for book clubs due to its high level of topical conversation.  This one will have you talking and sharing Facebook stories with friends, family, co-workers and anyone else you may know!

Don't Miss, Must Read

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Call Away

Author: Brenda Warner
ISBN: 978-0849947193
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Book Sneeze
*I was provided with a copy of this book as part of the BookSneeze program.  The book was given in exchange for my honest review and all thoughts are my own.*
About the Book:
Brenda’s life has taken twists and turns that are stranger than fiction. It always seemed as if she was just one phone call away from the next explosive change. Each time her plans fell apart, she had a choice: would she give up, or would she press forward and learn from the unexpected? One Call Away is the inspiring story of a woman who has prevailed through many of the circumstances that discourage women: tragedy, poverty, betrayal, and humiliation. But unlike most women, her life has been on display in the media.
Brenda’s faith and God’s strength enable her to face challenge after challenge: an accident that leaves her son blind and brain damaged, a crumbling marriage, a tornado that kills her parents, a new relationship with promising football player Kurt Warner, and the pressures his sudden success brings to their growing family.
Through food stamps and funerals, Super Bowls and serving others, Brenda’s strength is unwavering. Her determination to dream new dreams, willingness to learn from her mistakes, and commitment to giving back to her community make her a role model for women of all backgrounds.
Her dreams haven’t materialized as she had imagined, but Brenda has found that God has a much bigger plan for her. Conversational and candid, One Call Away invites readers facing their own difficulties to trust God and discover hope in the future.
My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading this book.  So often we make our lives look great to everyone and don’t reveal any of the trials or hardships that we all go through.  I enjoyed Brenda’s willingness to be vulnerable and share her life, trials and times of confusion and uncertainty with me, the reader.  This made her faith more evident, believable and a wonderful example of hope and trust in God.  I really enjoyed this book, though parts were hard to read because of the crushing content.  I really connected with Brenda.  I’m not sure I have the faith and success she has had under the same circumstances.
Overall this book was honest, forthright, and an example of vulnerability in a person.  By doing this the book becomes a trustworthy source, making Brenda a wonderful role model for women who have gone through trials and need a renewed sense of hope or faith.  It’s also very uplifting for any believer because you don’t feel like you’re going through your trials alone.  I would recommend this book.  I think it is well written and honest.  I never felt like Brenda put herself on a pedestal.  She admits to going through rough times that don’t make it easy to trust God or have hope, but she does and for a reason. 
Highly Recommended

Proof of Heaven

Author: Mary Curran Hackett
ISBN: 978-0-06-207998-5
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: TLC Book Tours
Follow the Tour

About the Book:

A mother’s faith, a child’s courage, a doctor’s dedication—a moving and thought-provoking tale of hope, love, and family
He might be young, but Colm already recognizes the truth: that he’s sick and not getting better. His mother, Cathleen, fiercely believes her faith will protect her ailing son, but Colm is not so sure. With a wisdom far beyond his years, Colm has come to terms with his probable fate, but he does have one special wish. He wants to meet his father who abandoned his beloved mother before Colm was born.
But the quest to find the dying boy’s missing parent soon becomes a powerful journey of emotional discovery—a test of belief and an anxious search for proof of heaven.
A magnificent debut novel, Mary Curran Hackett’s Proof of Heaven is a beautiful and unforgettable exploration of the power of love and the monumental questions of life, death, and the afterlife.

My Thoughts:
In a novel that shows the power of love, faith, hope and family, Mary Curran Hackett unveils the story of Colm, a young boy who has come to terms with his own death, his fate.  Colm is a very sick child who understands he will not get better.  His mother, Cathleen, believes her faith will protect Colm but despite her feelings, Cathleen attempts to make Colm’s last wish come true.  The only problem lies in finding the father who abandoned Cathleen before Colm’s birth.  The journey is difficult, the quest is hard, and the emotions are high but the novel is unforgettable and a powerful example of love.
This novel left me speechless.  It’s a thought provoking story full of amazing and wonderful characters.  The strength Colm had in regards to his own fate was stunning to me.  I don’t know that I could face the same reality and be so understanding.  What shocked me about this book is how Hackett tackles the tough questions we all face at some point in our lives.  Life, death, and the afterlife are topics with a high difference of opinion but yet they all have a common factor that everyone will face.  Hackett’s writing was wonderful.  This novel is full of faith, courage, dedication, hope, love, family and discovery.  It was emotional yet wonderful.
This novel is for every mother, every woman, anyone who has faith, hope, love, courage or dedication in their life.  I was hooked from the beginning and didn’t stop reading until the end.  It is thought provoking and touching.  It makes you appreciate life.

About the Author:

Mary Curran Hackett is an adjunct English professor at the University of Cincinnati. She lives with her husband and children in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Find out more about Mary on her website, like her on Facebook, and connect with her on Twitter.

Highly Recommended