Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Gabby's Stick to It Day by Sheila Walsh

Title: Gabby's Stick-to-It Day: A Story about Never Giving Up
Author: Sheila Walsh
Publisher: Tommy Nelson (March 2012)

Source: Received from publisher via LitFuse Publicity Group

Buy book: here
About the Book:
Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.

Gabby, God’s Little Angel, flies to the rescue as Sophie attempts to help others but has a little trouble sticking with things. Sophie tries to be helpful by washing the family dog for her mom, but she gives up when she’s the one who ends up all wet. She then tries to be kind by reading to her little brother, but he has plans of his own, which include a splash of cereal right in Sophie’s face! When Sophie is ready to quit once again, it’s up to Gabby to encourage her to keep trying and to teach her what the Bible says about perseverance: “We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NCV)

I love the idea of little angels watching over God's children, both young and old. Sheila Walsh's 2nd book in the series, Gabby, God's Little Angel, is a sweet story around the verse Galatians: 6:9, which says:

Let's not tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.

What an amazing verse to meditate on and instill within the values for our children. (I need to put this verse up in my classroom!) I enjoyed the adorable illustrations by Natasha Kuricheva. The girls are so cute and whimsical that even I, as an adult, enjoyed looked at all the little details of each page. My 1 1/2 year old daughter loved the glittery, bumpiness of the cover and running her fingers over it again and again. I enjoyed that the there was different sized and colored font to make pieces of dialogue and text stand out.

Gabby is such a sweet character who wants to help Sophie follow-through on the tasks she starts. I wish all my students had the ability to persevere through a task, especially a challenging one, or even simple mundane ones in order to put forth their best effort. When Gabby whispers the verse into Sophie's ear, it warmed my heart because I know the Holy Spirit does that for me all the time even when I don't deserve encouragement.

I look forward to sharing this book with my daughter as she gets older. The message that God is always watching over us and that he has sent angels to especially watch over His children provides more peace to my soul as a mama and hopefully allows children to also find peace in the protection and safety of God's love. I can't wait to tell my little that God loves her SO much that he is always taking care of her even when Mom and Dad aren't around. It is such a comforting message to not give up even when things are tough or uncomfortable and I love the way Walsh presents this message in Gabby's Stick-to-It Day.

4 stars

About the Author:
Sheila Walsh is a Bible teacher, speaker, singer, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. Sheila Walsh is the creator of the award-winning Gigi, God's Little Princess® brand, which has sold over 1.5 million units and won two National Retailer's Choice Awards. As a featured speaker with Women of Faith®, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women by artistically combining honesty, vulnerability and humor with God's Word. She resides in Dallas with her husband Barry and son Christian.

Visit for more information about Sheila, her other books or Women of Faith.

Giveaway information for Kindle fire:

Gabby's back ... and she's brought a Kindle Fire Giveaway with her!

Meet Gabby for yourself here. || Read what people are saying here.

Enter today - Sheila and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have put together a prize package worth over $200!

One lucky winner will receive:
  • A brand new KINDLE Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Gabby, God’s Little Angel 
  • Gabby's Stick-to-It-Day
But wait! There’s more …

The winner will be announced on the Gabby Landing page on 4/2/12. In the meantime, enter to win the Kindle Fire then head over to the Tommy Nelson site and download the Gabby coloring sheets, watch Sheila's Gabby video, sign up for news about upcoming Gabby and Thomas Nelson products, and much more.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Please check out the other stops on the blog tour! Special thanks to Litfuse for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop :: Mystery Box of books!

Thanks to I am a Reader Not a Writer for hosting this Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop!

I could use some Spring Cleaning in all different areas of my life - books included. I have lots of ARCs and finished copies that could use a new home where they won't just sit and collect dust waiting for the day they will be read. So I am giving away a MYSTERY BOX of books! This box will include 3 books of ARCs published within the past two years or other finished books. I haven't officially done my Spring Cleaning yet, so the choice of books will be a surprise!

I read mostly:
  • contemporary fiction
  • women's fiction/chick lit
  • historical fiction (especially about the Tudors period)
  • Christian fiction
  • middle grade fiction
So if any of those genres fit your fancy, please sign up below! 

Over 150 participating blogs are offering a book related giveaway and we are all linked up together so you can easily hop from one giveaway to another. The hop runs from Tuesday March 20th through March 25th.

Giveaway Details:
To enter giveaway please follow this blog then fill out the RaffleCopter.
Comments are for feedback and questions only.
This giveaway is only for those with addresses in the United States.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas

Title: Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)
Author: Amy Thomas
Publisher: Sourcebooks (February 2012)

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads:
Part love letter to New York, part love letter to Paris, and total devotion to all things sweet. Paris, My Sweet is a personal and moveable feast that’s a treasure map for anyone who loves fresh cupcakes and fine chocolate, New York and Paris, and life in general. It’s about how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a sliver of cheesecake and about how the life you’re meant to live doesn’t always taste like the one you envisioned. Organized into a baker’s dozen of delicacies (and the adventures they inspired) that will tempt readers’ appetites, Paris, My Sweet is something to savor.
WARNING! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE HUNGRY! Or even remotely craving any kind of sweet... because you will be hungry, so hungry that you will contemplate, "Just how expensive can it be to travel to Paris just to eat?" (The answer to that is: WAY OUT OF MY BUDGET!) Oh, and you probably don't want to read it right before bed either, because you will inevitably crawl out of bed to go digging through your pantry for something sweet and it will (also inevitably) not be satisfying enough because alas, you do not have have delicious little French delicacies waiting for you in your pantry. I'm sorry Oreos, you just don't hold a candle to macaroons. And if you are a pregnant woman (like I was a couple years ago) and OBSESSED with pastries, you might as well stop reading this review right now. Seriously.

I really enjoyed this book. What's not to love about Paris? Or at least the idea of Paris? This book is everything I hoped Julie & Julia would be (but wasn't) and more. I loved all the descriptions of the wonderful sweets and it definitely created a lot of cravings in my life during the month or so I read this book. Not good for my waistline. The great thing about this book is that it is so much more than just about the food. You care about Thomas during her two years in a new country and at a new job. It is a light, sometimes airy, but overall sweet story.

You can read Thomas' blogs here:
*Another warning: if you were having cravings from just the words, you might have a whole new level of cravings once you see the pictures!*

4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blog Tour & Review: Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Title: Lone Wolf
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Books (February 2012)

Source: Received from publisher via Crazy Book Tours
Summary from Goodreads:
A life hanging in the balance…a family torn apart. The #1 internationally bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family, love, and letting go.

Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Lone Wolf explores the notion of family, and the love, protection and strength it’s meant to offer. But what if the hope that should sustain it, is the very thing that pulls it apart? Another tour de force from Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf examines the wild and lonely terrain upon which love battles reason.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that Lone Wolf was my very first Jodi Picoult read. *bows head in shame* I actually have other Picoult books somewhere buried underneath the many other to-read books in the madness that I call my bookshelf. I just haven't gotten around to it. Or maybe I have been afraid of "going there" with her books. I've heard such wonderful things from friends about her books and they are literally EVERYWHERE! Costco devoted a whole section of a table to all of her books. When this blog tour came up, I decided it was time to finally dip my toes into the Picoult pool and I was not disappointed with Lone Wolf. I can definitely see what all the fuss is about and now I am eager to build my membership in the Picoult fan club!

Like I said earlier, I have shied away from previous Picoult books because I didn't want to feel uncomfortable in the moral gray area of the provocative themes she chooses for her books. The underlying question of Lone Wolf is about who has the right to decide whether or not to pull the plug on a loved one who is living in a vegetative state? It's really something that you don't talk about, but after finishing this book, I think it might be time for my husband and I to revisit our will. I really enjoyed reading the story from many different points of view because you got to hear EXACTLY what each character was thinking instead of guessing about them through the eyes and ears of other characters. It helped you to see that things really weren't black and white, especially when it comes to a moral choice like this one.

The siblings, Edward and Cara, stand on opposite ends in their decisions regarding their father's life and as you can tell from the summary, there are secrets that they both hold which are destroying what little family they have left.

Even though I am unfamiliar with Picoult's writing, I have heard about her famous one-liner starters. I can see why she's known for them because I was hooked from the first page. You can tell that Picoult did extensive research and I was especially intrigued by all the stuff about wolves. I thought I had a pretty sufficient amount of knowledge about wolves from reading the Twilight series because of all that Meyer writes about regarding Jacob's character as a werewolf. Lone Wolf goes so much deeper into the ways of a wolf and I loved all the parallels between wolf vs. human behavior.

I loved the journey that Picoult took me on in Lone Wolf and that I was given the opportunity to really make my own decision about how I feel about this issue. It definitely felt like a journey because of all the plot twists and turns, many of which I was not anticipating. She is a compelling storyteller and I'm glad that I finally delved into one of her books. I really had nothing to be afraid of because even though the topic was very thought-provoking, she handled it very delicately and respectfully. Picoult is a compelling storyteller and I highly recommend Lone Wolf!

I think it's time to go dust off the other Picoult books and get started on the other 18 books.

5 out of 5 stars
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