Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Open Letter To Serenity | For the love of God, Stop Kicking Me!!

My dear little Serenity,

Please stop kicking Mama! I love feeling you move and wiggle, but seriously - what's with the super charged ninja kicks, kid?? Are you unhappy about the gurgling from my tummy? Sorry about that; hamburgers are yummy, but the grease, not so much fun.

Seriously, though, Mama needs to sleep. And you know, not feel like she's got a bucking bronco inside her belly. Think you can calm down a little? Just for a minute or 400? Pretty please, with a cherry on top?

We're going to have to invest in a trampoline at some point, aren't we.

Love you, kid *hearts*


Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Maid Of Fairbourne Hall | Julie Klassen | Book Review, Author Interview, Contest & Giveaway!

You are a young woman in a time when being a woman means you are utterly dependent on the men in your family. Your widowed mother marries a man intent on taking possession of your inheritance by any means necessary, and you have just learned that those "means" include getting his nephew to rob you of your innocence in the dead of night. No one will believe you if you tell them, and you are penniless. What do you do?

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch - both former suitors!

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity a secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?
~ from the publisher

Join me after the cut for my review of this fantastic new book by Julie Klassen, an exclusive interview with the author, a chance to win some great prizes from her during her huge multi-blogger book tour - including a Kindle Fire - and a chance to win a copy of this great book right here on Little Bit Of Wonderful!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blue Moon Promise | Colleen Coble | Book Review & Author Giveaway

A love like Lucy and Nate's only comes along once in a blue moon...

Lucy Marsh's worldly resources are running out, but she's fiercely determined to care for her younger brother and sister. When she discovers that their father's recent death was no accident, Lucy is eager to leave town. She accepts a proxy marriage she believes will provide safe refuge. But trouble follows her to Texas where her new husband is surprised to suddenly have a wife and children to care for.

Nate Stanton always hoped he'd marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh - a city girl - on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he'd give anything to protect Lucy and the children he's grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.
~ from the publisher 


I loved this book!! Colleen Coble has been writing for a while, but this was my introduction to her work, and I'm so glad I took the plunge! Written in an easy flowing style that engages the imagination and pulls you into the story, Blue Moon Promise is well worth reading.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sweeter Than Birdsong | Rosslyn Elliott | Book Tour & Author Interview & 2 Giveaways!

Sweeter Than Birdsong is the second book in The Saddler's Legacy series, which follows the lives of the Hanby family, real life heroes from Westerville, Ohio. You can read my review of the first book in the series, Fairer Than Morning, here. In this second installment of the series, we meet Ben Hanby (son of Will Hanby and Ann Miller from the first book) and Kate Winters, daughter of a drunken father and a cold and distant mother. Drawn together by their mutual love of music, and later by their support of the abolition of slavery, Ben and Kate must navigate social etiquette and family ties as they explore the possibilities of something more than friendship.

Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.

In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.
~ from the publisher

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring For Susannah | Catherine Richmond | Book Review, Author Interview & Giveaway

A novel about love, loss, and redemption, Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond is one of the best historical romances that I have read in a long time. Catherine Richmond weaves a compelling tale that you won't want be able to put down.

Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.

When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory.

Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her - and his faith in God's perfect plan - slowly begin to ship away at the wall she hides behind.

When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.

She looks to the future with a renewed hear. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.
~ from the book jacket

Monday, February 6, 2012

Behind The Veils of Yemen | Audra Grace Shelby | Book Review

Audra Grace Shelby
238 pages

{ About This Book }

Women began to arrive in the entry hall, peeling away their black outer coverings. I watched in amazement as shimmering bodies emerged from the black shrouds. One woman sparkled in a purple silk caftan, her arms gleaming with gold jewelry. I smiled to myself. If people only knew what was under those veils. I looked at their faces, artfully painted with makeup, not at all how they appeared in public: dark eyes in narrow slits. They were like the beauties of Arab folklore. I was awed by the transformation.
With only prayer and a faith that always seemed too small, Audra Grace Shelby departed with her husband and children on a one-way flight to Yemen...deep into the heart of conservative Islam.

With honesty and passion, she shares her harrowing journey as a Christian woman thrust into a culture dangerously different from her own. From the friendships she forged, to her gnawing doubt and fear, to her offers of hope when her new friends' religion failed them, she gives us glimpses of a world most have never seen: behind the veils of real Muslim women - and how the grace of God touches lives in the midst of an Islamic stronghold.

~ from the book cover

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Out Of Mormonism | Judy Robertson | Book Review

A Woman's True Story
Judy Robertson
Bethany House
217 pages

{ About This Book }

"You'll be back."
The bishop walked slowly to the door and held it open, dismissing them like children.
As the door clicked shut behind them, jim took a deep breath and looked at Judy. They were leaving everything behind. And they never looked back...

When Judy and Jim Robertson felt a spiritual void in their lives, they found "the finest people in the world" to embrace them and a beautifully packaged religion to entive them. Once drawn into Mormonism, they quickly climbed to leadership positions and became worthy temple Mormons, only to become disillusioned with the teaching and demands of the Latter-day Saint religion.
From her unique insider's viewpoint, Judy shares her life as a Mormon woman, her rediscovery of the Jesus of the bible, and how she and Jim found freedom as they left the LDS church in the face of persecution and confrontation.
The Robertsons are not alone in leaving Mormonism. In this edition of the book, you'll find breaf stories of others who have chosen to follow the Jesus of the Bible.

~ from the book cover

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Check Out My Guest Post | "The Creative Maternal" | Literary Legs

My dear friend Laura, author of the fascinating literature and writing blog Literary Legs, has invited me to write an article for her wonderful blog! It actually went up yesterday, but better late than never, letting you know, right? I hope (oops)... Anyway, I hope you will take a moment to head over to Legs and check it out! The comments section is very lonely *wink*

How Impending Motherhood Has Affected Me Artistically
by Alena Belleque