Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: Stained Glass Hearts

Stained Glass Hearts: Seeing Life from a Broken Perspective
Stained Glass Hearts: Seeing Life from a Broken Perspective
By Patsy Clairmont
Thomas Nelson, 2011
English, 208 pgs


Much like stained glass, life's broken pieces become the prism through which God's grace shines most brightly and beautifully.

"Life is no doubt full of difficulties, but it is also filled with promise and possibility," says best-selling author and Women of Faith speaker Patsy Clairmont. In Stained Glass Hearts Clairmont guides readers to view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of God's grace. Using art as a theme, and likening people to stained glass windows, she shares that it's when we're surrounded by darkness that His healing light shines most brightly within us. Encouraging women to step back and see life from this new perspective, Patsy offers help and hope for the dark places of life.

Along with character studies of women in Scripture, and modern-day, relatable stories, each chapter includes:
  • Chalice-memorable quotes
  • Mosaic-recommended music
  • Spires-scriptures and readings
  • Litany-sample prayers
I have been a fan of Mrs. Clairmont for years now. Someone gave me one of her books in high school (with one by Barbara Johnson...remember her???) and I thought then that she was one of the funniest and most genuine authors I'd ever read. I still feel that way about her books.

I jumped at the chance to review this book because I was supposed to be going to Women of Faith and I was going to get to be in the same room with Patsy. That was an overwhelming thought. Here was this author I've loved for years, and I was going to get to hear her speak! Well, things changed and I didn't get to go. But I read the book.

Patsy has a way to take situations and make them either 1. humorous 2. relevant or 3. spiritual. You can almost imagine yourself in the stories. I laughed and cried reading this book and you will too. It's completely worth your time. It would also be a great book to give to someone who has been in a place of feeling shattered by life and maybe needs a new perspective on God and how he uses and loves us.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Night Circus

The Night Circus
The Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern
Doubleday, 2011
English, 400 pgs

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

This book's release date is September 13, 2011. 

Captivating. Mesmerizing. Dream-like. 

There isn't much I can tell you about the plot that the description doesn't tell you. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did I couldn't put it down. It's a beautifully written and imagined world where anything can happen, and does. 

Celia and Marco are competitors in a macabre duel. They manipulate and control their game in a way that is totally amazing. The rest of the cast, from Bailey to Mdm. Padva are so integral in every way to the story. 

I think it's kinda cool that Summit Entertainment (who did the Twilight movies) has already optioned this for development. However, I cannot even begin to imagine how they're going to make this movie! The chapters move through time and location and it can get a little hard to understand where and when you are if you aren't paying attention. 

All in all, it's a good book. It's not the best I've ever read, but it's good. I would recommend it for you!

I received an advance reading copy in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Escape (CLOSED)

By Barbara Delinsky
Doubleday, 2011
English, 320 pgs

In her luminous new novel, Barbara Delinsky explores every woman’s desire to abandon the endless obligations of work and marriage—and the idea that the most passionate romance can be found with the person you know best.
Emily Aulenbach is thirty, a lawyer married to a lawyer, working in Manhattan. An idealist, she had once dreamed of representing victims of corporate abuse, but she spends her days in a cubicle talking on the phone with vic­tims of tainted bottled water—and she is on the bottler’s side.

And it isn’t only work. It’s her sister, her friends, even her husband, James, with whom she doesn’t connect the way she used to. She doesn’t connect to much in her life, period, with the exception of three things—her computer, her BlackBerry, and her watch.

Acting on impulse, Emily leaves work early one day, goes home, packs her bag, and takes off. Groping toward the future, uncharacteristically following her gut rather than her mind, she heads north toward a New Hampshire town tucked between mountains. She knows this town. During her college years, she spent a watershed summer here. Painful as it is to return, she knows that if she is to right her life, she has to start here.

Seriously, who doesn't look around at least once in their life and think "I could walk away from all this". When I was selling newspaper ads and was seriously disgusted with everything, I had that thought. I was lucky enough to get away from the job for the title of "mommy". 

This book makes me wonder...could I take a break from it all? Could I turn off the iPhone, not check into Facebook, not even look at a TV screen? I'd like to think that I could. I don't have the same existential conflicts that the character in the book has, but sure, I'd like to get away and not have to deal with anything for a few weeks. But to be honest, I'd miss what we have here.

Emily does what so many people only dream about and she figures out where she felt life starting going wrong and what she needs to do to fix it. She realizes what is important to her and what she wants for her life, going forward. 

The good people at Doubleday are allowing me to give one reader a copy of the book.

To enter simply leave a comment telling me you want the book. Please leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you're the winner. The winner will be chosen September 9 at 10 PM CST. Only people in the US and Canada are eligible. Book will be mailed to the winner from Doubleday so a physical address will be necessary (no PO Box).

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you to Liz for including me in promoting this book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: Stumbling Into Grace

Stumbling Into Grace: Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman
Stumbling into Grace
By Lisa Harper
Thomas Nelson, 2011
English, 224 pgs.


Humorous yet poignant stories from Lisa's life help readers relate to spiritual truths found in the life and ministry of Christ.
Stumbling Into Grace is the diary-devotional of one woman's honest, ongoing, bumbling journey of faith and how she finds encouragement through a deeper understanding of Christ's time on earth. Within each chapter she alternates her often humorous memoir with stirring portraits of Jesus and his own encounters as recorded in the New Testament.
Both intimately relevant and refreshingly inspirational, this book will help readers to jettison the theological misconceptions, guilt, shame, and hypocrisy they struggle with, exchanging them for a vibrant, passionate relationship with Christ that results in a more abundant, joyful life.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It's full of humor and honesty. The stories are absolutely something that a mother will read and just shake her head...yep...saw some of those coming! For those who struggle to believe that they matter deeply to God, this is a great book. There is no doubt left after reading this.

I love that each chapter has a group study/personal time journaling segment. I recommend having a notebook handy though because there isn't a ton of space on these pages to write your responses in the book.

I truly believe that Lisa Harper was touched by God to write this book. I can't even imagine someone thinking up some of the connections she makes (panty hose and being "unbound" in the Spirit!) on their own.

This book is destined for my step-mother-in-law as we're going to Women of Faith together this weekend and I'm sure she's going to love this book as much as I have!

I received a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kroger Trip! Woot!

I finally was able to remember to take a picture when I have a great trip!

Transaction #1 (thank you hubby!):
Paid $1.38
Saved $10.36 (89%)

All of it was free with the exception of one deodorant. was regular priced at $ you do the math there!

Transaction #2
Paid: 23.89
Saved: $81.86 (77%)

All that Ivory soap, toothpaste, floss, the rice and two of the packs of pens were 100% FREE! Actually, I was paid 13 cents to buy the rice and 5 cents on each of the floss! That Emergen-C was about 60% off in the clearance because of a crushed edge! Just in time for cold/flu season! Almost bought all three, but that added to the total would have made me croak!

The Dial soaps were 19 cents each after coupon. The jelly was 93 cents each after coupon (hope it lasts more than two months!) and the wipe packs were 99 cents each after coupon. OH, the yogurts were 88 cents after coupon and the cinnamon rolls were 25 cents after coupon! The deodorants ended up being 89 cents after coupon (and the hubby is set for a while!) The protein bars ended up being 66 cents each (and good for a quick lunch!).

The only thing not really cheap was the butter, which I needed anyway, the sandwich crackers, which my sons eat like they're candy, and the Fiber One bars, which I eat like candy!

All in all, what a great trip!

Now lest you think I'm a hoarder, all the free toothpaste, floss and soap are going to be on the way to Mission Centers of Houston. Our GA group at church picked them to "adopt" for a month and these are at the top of the list of things they need. I'll be pulling out of my stockpile for other items too!

The blue pens are going into the school supply collection box at school (the red stay home...for grading homeschool!).

So, you been Krogerin' lately????

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: Joy Comes in the Morning

Joy Comes In The Morning: 31 Stories And Devotions To Begin Your Day
Joy Comes in the Morning
By Joseph Akins
CreateSpace, 2010
English, 156 pgs

Joy Comes In The Morning is a collection of anecdotes and observations with spiritual life applications. It's humor and down to earth approach make it an easy read and perfect for devotions. "Kinda like Mark Twain meets Max Lucado" has been one way these modern day parables have been described----a creative and unique blend of homespun wisdom and Divine truth. Joy Comes In The Morning takes a journey through the silly and serious sides of life. It is a journey on which laughter is solicited and exploration of the Holy Bible is encouraged, and on this journey the parenthetical reigns.

I love a good devotional book. My day just gets started right when I take some time and read before the day gets started. The stories and devotions in this book are great. There is a lot of humor and truth packed into each one. Some even pointed out parts of Bible stories I'd never considered...and that's saying a lot!

The "southern-ness" of the book lends a warmth and makes the stories just come alive. I have personal memories that were similar to things the author describes...picking blackberries (well, we called them dewberries), not being a fan of sand (not good for a mother of boys) and the need to take a break.

I greatly enjoyed reading the book and have already passed it on to a friend who saw it and wanted to read it as well. Take some time to read and study the stories in the book. Your day will get started right and you'll learn a few things too!

I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

We have Winners!

The winner of the Pocket Purifier, as chosen with, is comment #6:

Chrystal said...
I would want the nightlight and the light bulbs! I could go nuts with this kind of thing. lol. chrystal_gayle(at)XXXXXX
amanda said...
facebook fan-amanda l h shmilgah at
amanda said...
I've never tried cicis pizza so this would be great! shmilgah at
Jenndiggy said...
I love the Buffalo Chicken pizza jenndiggy at gmail dot com
Tylerpants said...
I'm a GFC follower. tylerpants(at)

The winners have been emailed...check your boxes!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekend Coupon Preview

The list of coupons for the weekend is ready HERE. Looks like a huge weekend! Can't wait!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Review: Spritual Warfare for Women

Spiritual Warfare for Women: Winning the Battle for Your Home, Family, and Friends
Spiritual Warfare for Women
By Leighann McCoy
Bethany House, 2011
English, 239 pgs

Evil is real, and Christian women know it. While most books on the topic of spiritual warfare take a charismatic approach, Spiritual Warfare for Women aims directly at the center of the evangelical market, giving instruction and assurance to all women who want to protect themselves and the ones they love. McCoy provides spiritual wisdom and practical tips on identifying the enemy's strategies, overcoming fear, and exercising the power that comes from God. The book is structured around the battle between God's love and Satan's lies. Once a woman can embrace the first and reject the second, she is well on her way to victory.

This is a really relevant book. Caution though, when you start reading about spiritual battles, be ready for some to come your way. The book is divided into four sections. It is very well researched and written. The only negative is that there isn't any study guide or section. There are a few questions at the end of the chapters, but they aren't too deep and they aren't exactly something for a study group or Bible study.

I received a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.