Fab Four Book Picks

Book reviews by the Fab Four and our Fab Friends

Monday, June 26, 2006

DIE BEFORE NIGHTFALL by Shirlee McCoy


DIE BEFORE NIGHTFALL by Shirlee McCoy

From the back cover:

"EVEN OUT HERE IN THE COUNTRY, BAD THINGS HAPPEN."

Raven Stevenson was in Lakeview barely twenty-four hours when she heard those ominous words. She'd come to the small Virginia town to reconcile with her brother and forget the haunting memories of her past. She didn't expect to find friends, community - or a thirty-five-year-old mystery of tragic love.

Nor did she expect to meet Shane Montgomery, whose love for his ailing aunt Abby breaks through Raven's carefully built defenses. When Abby unwittingly shares some of the secrets behind that long-buried mystery, she and Raven are targeted by someone who wants those secrets silenced - and who's willing to kill both of them to do it.

Camy here:

This is good, solid romantic suspense--half romance, half suspense to add the tingle of mystery and mayhem.

Raven comes across as a very real woman, not too sweet or too perfect. Her sad past is poignant, and her spiritual journey is earnest and flows naturally--not cheesy or preachy.

Shane is a nice gamma male, more vocal and less He-Man than Jake from STILL WATERS, which is the first book set in Lakeview.

There is a lot of good romantic tension between Raven and Shane, and terrific dialogue. Their relationship develops at just the right pace, without rushing into familiarity and friendship too soon.

The other characters shine almost as much as the main protagonists. Any reader with a grandparent whose mind is fading will relate to Raven and Shane as they do their best for Abby. Jake and Tiffany from STILL WATERS make small appearances, and Tori, who stars in EVEN IN THE DARKNESS (book 3), welcomes Raven to Lakeview. Tori's grandfather is a crackup and a wily old fox.

The pace slowed a bit in the middle, and I had a few personal objections to the ending (I won't disclose them here), but on a whole this was excellent storytelling. The emotions are vivid, the spiritual struggles are difficult and honest. There isn't anything to object to in the suspense. I wouldn't hesitate to give this book to any romance reader, from age 10 to 100.

Die Before Nightfall excerpt

Saturday, June 24, 2006

We interrupt this Sarcastic Post...


I realize I normally have a sarcastic post here on Saturdays, but my very good friend Claudia Mair Burney has agreed to a no-holds-barred interview. How could I pass that up? And seeing as this is my post, I can do what I want. LOL (return next week for my normal wit and sarcasm! LOL!)

Claudia has a wonderful book that comes out in July that all of you must go out and buy. I enjoyed every second of reading it. Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man.

HDT: Claudia, I have to ask-Bell has some really tough things in her past. How much of Bell’s character in Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man is autobiographical?

CMB: Awwwwww. See! You’re going deep already! The truth is I put a frightening amount of auto in that book. Her flashbacks were very much my own, though the details aren’t the same. They took weeks to write because it was so painful. People keep saying how much the ending surprised them. It’s awful, but how could she not feel what she did with all she’d been through. Still, it was hard to write. I cried all the way through it, and so did my editor. Not for Bell, either.

HDT: What was the hardest part about writing Murder? Why?

CMB: I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I wanted to write the book I wished I could read. I didn’t have a blueprint or a guide for that book, so in some ways I was flying blind. I got my first so-so review today. The reviewer didn’t appreciate the big, juicy romance in the middle of the mystery, but I liked it. Again, it was the book I wished I could read, and I can’t imagine a book of mine without somebody falling in love. The romance made Murder a genre hybrid though. It’s not all mystery, and it’s not all romance, and it’s not all chick lit, either. The heart breaking stuff was hard, too. But I already said that.

HDT: Your characterization in Murder is particularly good. Where did you learn this aspect of writing? What process do you use for discovering your characters?

CMB: Ha! I’m a nutjob. If the people seemed real it’s because they were real to me, in a very unhealthy way! I lived with those people, loved with them, hurt with them. That’s not technique. That’s letting them move into your head (and heart), with all their luggage and stuff. I’m like the method actor who stays in character the whole production time. I’m pretty impossible to live with when I write. Poor Ken! Poor kids!

HDT: Another of the strengths in Murder is the dialogue. Very fresh. Unpredictable. It pops. It just feels right. How did you learn the art of good dialogue?

CMB: Thanks for such kind words, but yikes! I’m terribly untrained. I don’t think it’s something you can learn. Well, maybe you can. I think good dialogue means you listen on a lot of levels. I cheated. Bell, Jazz, Rocky, Carly--they talk like the people around me talk. They sound like my friends and some of my family. And here’s another thing. I let them say what they wanted to say. They surprised me a lot with what came out of their mouths. Out of everything I’ve written, they were most unruly.

HDT: Now, I’ve heard the whole awesome story about your road to publication, but for the readers out there, tell us a little about the journey to publication for you.

CMB: Oh man. I made a mess out of my life. I’d been with the abusive narcissist. I’d married the raging drug addict. I lost my “voice” and got a beat down from bipolar depression with startling regularity. I never thought I’d write for the Lord. Then one day I saw a copy of Today’s Christian Woman in a hospital waiting room. My heart nearly exploded with longing. I stole the magazine. Lord, have mercy! I begged Jesus to let me write for Him and promised I would tell people who were a mess like me that He loved them. I didn’t hear any audible voices, and the magazine didn’t burst into flames, but I did start a blog very shortly after that was definitely no holds barred. Honestly, I showed my behind on that blog, but people responded to the honesty. Some found beauty there. A lot found Jesus. It got the attention of a very fine novelist, who told her very fine publisher about me.

Very fine publisher wrote a surprise email, and asked if I’d be willing to write a novel for their publishing house. Oh yea-ah! I started Murder a few days later. I think I got him a proposal within two weeks, and he called me the next day, bless his heart. I wrote the book, and two days after I turned it in he quit the company! Talk about somebody primal screaming. He went on to become a star literary agent. He took me as a client, and had my book positioned to get offers within three months. He just brokered my second deal with NavPress. All this from a desperate prayer, and a
blog. From blog to first book deal less than one year. From book deal one to book deal two and three all within one year of signing with him. I am under contract for seven books, and Murder hasn’t even hit the shelves. Jesus amazes me with his grace, and I am the chief of sinners. Truly.

HDT: Wow! I can say from experience that I found beauty at your blog. Why are you writing fiction for the Christian market?

CMB: I think it’s because I love Jesus. Remember, I never thought I was worthy to write for the Christian market, but my heart was here because it’s where Jesus is. I’ve read some AWFUL Christian books, just because I knew I’d find Jesus in the pages somewhere. I wanted to write about Him freely. I didn’t know there were all those rules when I started. Ha! And don’t think I don’t wonder if they won’t get a good whiff of me and throw me out. Someone told me my blog was a little stank--seasoned with stank, is what they said. I cracked up. But life is so stank sometimes.

I should say that Jesus is in ABA books, too. My frame of reference was Jesus books = CBA. Now, I’d go wherever Jesus leads. Writing the blog, and Murder broke open my heart and mind. I don’t want to put any limits on God. He can lead me to the world. He could lead me to stop writing altogether and open up a house to get prostitutes off the street. I hope I always write, but there are other adventures in Jesus. Writing is not everything, and I really thought it would be. That it isn’t genuinely surprised me.

HDT: What is the spiritual arc in Murder? How does the spiritual arc within your stories develop?

CMB: The what??? You don’t think I’m smart, do you? I have no idea. Bell loves Jesus but she’s a mess. Jazz is a mess. Most of the people in the book are a mess! Well, not Rocky. Rocky is great! If there’s a spiritual arc at all it’s just about continuing to follow Jesus no matter what kind of jam you get in, because what else would you do? My characters don’t want a life without God. That propels them and their stories. I didn’t think too much about it. Maybe you can tell me what the spiritual arcs are. For real!

HDT: Ha! I never once considered that you weren’t smart. I know you too well for that! You know I’m all about the journey, tell me a little about this journey you are on currently?

CMB: Wow. Great question. I think my journey right now is all about being authentic. One of my favorite scriptures is in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” In The Message it says, “You are blessed when you’re content to be just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourself proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” I just love that, Heather. It took me all my life, and many painful situations, to begin to be myself, and that is a shame before God. So, right now, it’s all about being a God broad with everything. It’s about finding all the beauty and treasure God put inside me, and not being afraid to say, “God put beauty and treasures inside me, and I’m about getting them out!”

HDT: When you are writing, how does what is happening to you spiritually affect your writing?

CMB: I have to be the most transparent person ever. I can’t make myself opaque to save my life. It all goes in there. Auto is in everything I write. What happens to me, spiritually and other wise is going to make its way in the book somehow. On the other hand, writing changes me spiritually. I am more spiritual because I write. This is awful, but it’s true, sometimes writing is the only sacrament to tap me into God’s presence. Sometimes I find Him on the page in ways I don’t find Him in my own devotional life. I think He meets me in stories because He knows I live in them. I am very much in my head, on the regular. But Jesus is merciful. Sometimes I found more healing blogging than I ever did sitting in a church. But go to church y’all. I did the no-church thing, and church is better—that is when it’s healthy. If it’s not healthy and loving, why bother?

HDT: Who is the most influential person on your writing?

CMB: There are so many. The mystics let me know I can do Jesus big—bigger than I can imagine at any time. The artists like Ron Hansen show me I can do it beautifully, though I fall terribly short. Marilynn Griffith and Lisa Samson show me that I can do it with an attitude. Bethany Torode show me I can do it and be sexy, and still love Jesus. You, Heather, show me I can do it and be loved, despite my flaws.

Oh. You almost made me cry thinking of that!

HDT: Oh. You did make me tear up with that! Murder kind-of pushes the edge for most CBA books, how do you feel about that?

CMB: I love that. I love that they trusted me at NavPress. I said things that I thought, “They’ll never let me get away with that.” I think Jesus has a great sense of humor. I think Jesus likes my book.

HDT: I love your book! And I think Jesus does as well! What do you want the take away from Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man to be?

CMB: That you can really jack yourself up, and still find grace and love at the end of your journey. I also hope people are a little kinder to themselves because of it. I hope they make an effort to step away from hurt and let some people and love into their lives.

HDT: What do we have to look forward to in the future from you?

CMB: I just finished Bell’s second book, Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz. The romance between she and Jazz heats up, despite a terrible tragedy. It’s smokin’ y’all. That one comes out in February, I think. After that, one more Bell Brown Book, out in October, Saints, Suspicions, and a Ticking Clock, and then… drumroll please….
The Exorsistah. It’s the story of a reluctant teen exorcist, coming out in NavPress’s student imprint TH1NK. I call her my Jesus freak Buffy in diva boots. She is going to kick butt! Don’t miss her.

HDT: Y’all she isn’t lying when she says Death, Deceit and Some Smooth Jazz is smokin’! I’ve had the privilege of reading some of it. It’s great! And now, because I suck at interviews… Claudia, I'm giving you free reign to say anything you like.

CMB: I’m tempted to say something really naughty, and then laugh like a loon, just because you said I could say whatever I want, but instead I’m going to tell you that this was a great interview, you don’t suck at all, and it’s a pleasure to know you and to have your support. You know I love you, Pumpkin.

HDT: The pleasure is all mine Claudia. I love you too. Claudia, thank you so much for coming to do this, it's been an honor.

CMB: Thanks so much. Watch out world, Heather Diane Tipton’s book is in the world. I’ve read it, and you’re gonna love it.

HDT: Okay, I have to say I’m greatly humbled by that Claudia. I have no idea how to respond to that except to say thank you.

There you go folks. Claudia Mair Burney. The newest name in Christian fiction. Watch her carefully she’s going places! To keep up with her check out her blog. Her blog is one of my favorite blogs to read! The post below this one has the back cover blurb and a bit of a review from me. Please leave some comments here, Claudia and I would love to hear from you.

Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man By Claudia Mair Burney


Back cover blurb: Life as a forensic psychologist isn't quite as cool as prime-time television would have us believe, and most of us just don't have closets full of red-carpet gowns and bling. Instead of painting the town red in a drop-dead gorgeous dress, this boring therapist finds herself at the scene of a crime.

Amanda Bell Brown just may know who the killer is. She needs to spill her guts, but not on the lead detective's alligator shoes. A complicated murder investigation unearths not just a killer but a closet full of skeletons Amanda thought long gone. Murder, mayhem, and a fine man are wrecking havoc on her fortieth birthday, but will she survive to see forty-one?

Heather here…I know I’ve said this before on here but it needs to be repeated, I don’t do reviews. I’m not any good at it. But I loved Claudia’s book. It’s awesome. Her voice is something very fresh to the CBA. Claudia pushes the edge of CBA boundaries and does it masterfully. It’s like one day she sat down and said let’s make a book that no one has ever thought of before and just started throwing things together. Throw in some mystery, a dash of chic lit, heavy on the romance and sexy hero. Bake in a hot oven… and what came out is an incredibly good book. This book isn’t out for a couple weeks… but when it hits the shelves, run don’t walk and buy it!

Friday, June 23, 2006

BLISSFULLY YOURS BY DIANN WALKER


BLISSFULLY YOURS BY DIANN WALKER
ISBN: 0-373-87373-5
PUBLISHER: Steeple Hill-Love Inspired Cafe
June 2006 release

From back cover:

It was an offer I couldn't refuse: take some time off from teaching and help out at the opening of my friend's brother Mitch's fabulous Bliss Village ski resort. After all, thanks to my mother, I'd already dated most of the so-called eligible men in Tumbleweed, Arizona. What was left to hold me here?

Um, cowardice? I haven't taken many risks outside of my familiar environment. Okay, try none. Still, if risk comes in the shape of tall, blonde and handsome Mitch Windsor, how can I say no?




Cheryl here:

Okay, this book made me have to eat some humble pie. Reason being, I'm always spouting about how I can't stand first person books. After about ten pages, they usually get on my nerves. BUT NOT THIS ONE! In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize this was a Steeple Hill Cafe book until about chapter two. I became so engrossed in the character of Gwen, that I guess I just didn't notice the story was in first person. This story made me laugh about every third page, because the humor was unexpected and perfectly executed. I was also laughing because I could relate to the whole ski disaster thing. For years my husband has been trying to get me to go, and I'm like, "Nuh. Uh. Just drop me off at the mall with the checkbook on the way to the ski lift, and I'm good to go. Having been a nurse, I'd taken care of too many people with broken bones. One winter it seemed like every time I asked a patient, "So how'd you break your leg?" "Hit a tree skiing," they'd say. Or, "I understand you had a skiing accident. Did you hit a tree or what?" "No. I hit anther skier." SO that made me chicken out, especially when I took care of a ski instructor with two broken legs. Not sure how that one happened and since my husband was at Breckenridge that very day, I didn't want to know. LOL!

Anyway, back to the book...I really enjoyed the setting in this book, and the writing is just fabulous. It felt like I was reading a letter from a friend or something. A really funny letter, and by the end of the book I felt like Gwen and Mitch were my friends. The dialogue was really hip, and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Gwen's internal monologue. It added SO much to the story, and had me cracking up. Chapters 18 and 19 were really intense and emotionally poignant and I was really proud of Gwen in her courage during all that. If ya wanna know....get the book! Grin.

I love how the author took this character right out of her comfort zone on many occasions. Really enjoyed Gwen's journey, and the writing in this book. Really fun read.

Cheryl

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Winner Announced

FINALLY!

Bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth didn't you? Well, I did, sort of. The internet world anyway. Got some phone issues, but I am using dial up now until the high speed is back up to par. :D

I drew the name of the winner for Carol Cox's Ticket to Tomorrow. And the winner is......

Jamie Driggers!

Yay Jamie!

You can contact me at Pamela@pamela-james.com

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Post

The voices in my head are holding my sarcasm hostage until I finish this book… check back next week when I’ll have a interview with new author Claudia Mair Burney.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

WIN Ticket to Tomorrow


by Carol Cox

Annie Trenton's life will change forever at the 1893 World's Fair.
Annie steps off the train at Chicago's Terminal Station--and straight into political intrigue.
She travels to the great fair in Chicago in hopes of exhibiting her late husband Will's horseless carriage and, in so doing, somehow discovering a way to heal the breach between herself and her estranged in-laws.
After a visit with Annie, the coolly receptive Trentons recognize the potential of their son's invention and are determined to rob Annie's rights to it. When Annie seeks the help and advice of newfound friend Nick Rutherford, his concern and attraction to her begin to grow. In attempting to win her heart, Nick finds himself trying to protect her, as well.
But when Annie and Silas Crockett--Annie's traveling companion and scatterbrained partner of her late husband--disembark in Chicago, a stranger collides with Silas. . .and more than a satchel is unintenionally excahnged. The innocent mix-up draws Annie and Silas into an international conspiracy to gain Cuba's independence. Will their accidental involvement cost them both their lives? Or can Nick keep Annie safe and persuade her to surrender her heart to him?

Pammer here: You must read this. I eagerly await the second book in the series. Carol Cox is amazing. She has created lively and very real characters that I loved immediately. The story quickly involved me and kept me intrigued, and turning pages. The plot is superb, complex, but not so as to loose the reader. The romance, suspense, humor, and Christian threads are woven and balanced.
This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, and have you hoping against hope that Annie gets her hero. :D

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, then post a comment below and I will draw names Friday evening. If you do not want to be included in the drawing, please state that in your comment.

Good reading!

Monday, June 12, 2006

BAD HEIRESS DAY by Allie Pleiter

BAD HEIRESS DAY by Allie Pleiter

From the back cover:

What would you do with $1 million?

That's a question Darcy Nightengale never thought she'd need to answer. But a sudden inheritance of just over $1 million begs a more immediate response. And when Darcy learns of her father's last request that she "give it all away," she discovers just how quickly big money makes big problems.

Her husband believes that charity begins at home. His home. And her children are sure it's only a matter of time before the presents start rolling in. Right? Darcy wants to do the right thing--as soon as she can figure out what it is. Can the path of righteousness be paved with gold? Darcy's surprising answer turns her world on end.

Camy here:

This was a well-written novel, and I think the powerful theme of this story would appeal to a majority of readers quite well. I don't have children and I haven't yet lost a parent, so I personally didn't quite relate as well to the heroine.

The novel starts with the death of the heroine’s father. Readers who have lost a parent will deeply relate to her feelings and actions as the book opens.

I like how the author touches on some of the very human—but not often discussed—aspects of grief, like the anger and bitterness.

The main theme is how hard it is for caregivers—physically, emotionally, spiritually. There’s a great line that sums it up: If you pour everything into it, there’s nothing left over.

The novel will speak deeply to those from all walks of life who serve as caregivers to parents and children, whether at home or in hospice.

The problems that come between Darcy and her husband are real and deep. No fluffy, frivolous conflicts. As a reader, I felt Darcy’s pain and Jack’s worry.

My biggest problem is that this is not a chick-lit, or a mom-lit—not really hip-lit at all. I feel a little cheated. This is a wonderful women’s fiction novel with a terrific premise, but I feel the packaging is wrong. It looks like mom-lit, but I think it’s more of a lighter-hearted women’s fiction novel.

At times, the pace is a bit slow, but since I was expecting this to be a chick-lit, I think the slow pacing is based on my expectations and not the novel’s layout. It might not be as slow-moving as some other women’s fiction novels I’ve read—it seems to be in-between those and a faster-paced chick-lit.

Darcy has a very typical best-friends relationship with Kate, but the novel goes deeper into that to show how Kate supported her through the long illness of Darcy’s father. It touches on the roles of the friends and family around a caregiver both during the illness and after her patient’s death.

Darcy’s slow journey to faith is wonderfully real and not cheesy or hokey at all. It’s done with a skilled, light hand, without any preachiness or Christianese. It was a joy to watch her gradually come to rely more and more on God.

There’s a light, happily-ever-after ending in the tradition of inspirational romance. However, this book is Darcy’s journey rather than a love story.

I’m not quite certain if teens or younger women would relate as well to Darcy’s character, because she’s a little older with children of her own. However, most mothers and older women will definitely root for Darcy in the trials and tribulations of her stage of life.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday

Okay, despite popular opinion, where I live is not great. I get comments all the time…

“You live in a hotel, it has a pool!” Um, no it doesn’t.

“Room service, baby!” Uh, yeah, not here.

“Don’t talk to me about cleaning, you have free maid service!”

When they leave your room DIRTIER and SMELLIER than when they arrived… this would be a BAD sign.

When you have to tell them HOW to clean something, here again this would be a BAD sign. (Once, I even had to tell one how to turn on the vacuum… we won’t mention the big button that had ON in big letters on it… oops just did.)

Now, I may not be the worlds greatest at cleaning but when what they do grosses me out…this would be a BAD sign. (And I even started cleaning houses when I was nine for pay.)

When they don’t know what bleach and/or comet is… yet again a BAD sign.

Now before we all get bent out of shape about me bashing maids… I’m not, I even have some friends that do this for a living… and if they worked here I would have a spotless room.

I’m sure others are saying, “Yeah, but you at least have a maid.” I would prefer not to have one than to have one that doesn’t clean.

And yet again there are others…I know who you are… that actually does have someone come in and clean your house… and they actually do nice work. LOL

Here’s where I usually pose a question trying to drag you kicking and screaming into a convo with our blog…. Well I’m not going to ask a question. Just post a comment already!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dear Baby Girl


by Jane Orcutt

Fifteen-year-old Merrilee wants only the best for the child she cannot keep. As she struggles with giving her baby up for adoption, she records her anguished decision with letters to her baby girl. This tender story of shattered dreams offers the hope of redemption and new beginnings.

Dear Baby Girl,
In all my fifteen years of growing up, I never once thought about what it'd be like for a new mama to leave the hospital with her baby in another pair of arms.

Sometimes life isn't quite what we've expected...sometimes it's better.

Pammer here: This is a book I looked at and thought there was no way I would like it. It's a young adult. But I was in the market for novels with a Christian worldview for my niece to read. I would like to admit I was wrong. I was captured from page one. With only 176 pages, it is a quick read (if you read like me) and I devoured it while I was at work today. A word of warning, have tissues handy. The story is very touching and yet very real, and it also plainly show not only the irony of God, but the fact that although we may think we know just what it is He wants from us...we don't even have a clue. And although we may practice unconditional love and grace that fits into our own definitions....they don't come close to what God shows us, perfect love and grace with a healthy dose of mercy.

Great read. I'd suggest it to anyone working with pregnant teens as well as young adults who love a good story (or even older younger adults, lol).

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday

Top five signs you are as blind as a bat…

1. When the doctor looks at your current glasses and is shocked that you can actually see with those things.

2. When you go in to get your new glasses made and the woman looks at your script and says, “Oh, we’re a blind puppy.”

3. When you start loosing friends because they think you’re ignoring them when they wave at you from across the room... you just didn’t see the wave let alone them.

4. When you finally get new glasses and discover your husband has green eyes not the brown that you’ve always loved.

5. You actually do wave at a friend this time… except it was a fire hydrant.

I only claim the top two... the rest belong to people I know.

So are you as blind as a bat or one of those freaks that can see perfectly?

Friday, June 02, 2006

A MATCH MADE IN BLISS by Diann Walker




A MATCH MADE IN BLISS by Diann Walker
Publisher: Steeple Hill (Love Inspired Line)
ISBN 0-373-87357-3
Released Mar 2006

From back cover:

RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME
Suddenly single and unemployed, corporate attorney Lauren Romey needed a rest, a job and a new squeeze. her friends took charge of the "rest" part. They booked her a trip to a Bliss Village bed-and-breakfast. And they thought they were going to take care of the "new squeeze" part as well, by setting her up with the innkeepers' son.

RUNNING TOWARD LOVE?
But when Lauren wound up at the wrong bed-and-breakfast, seh found herself the fifth contestant in "Win Daddy's Heart," the unlikely brainshilc of widowed owner Garret Cantrell's teenage daughters. Throw in her ex-fiance, four quirky contestants and some very untimely TV coverage--and it's open season for chaos....or love, where she least expected it.



First I must say that I LOVE stories with a bed-and-breakfast setting. I LOVED the plot line of this book. I fell in love with all of these characters...not just the hero (swoon!) and heroine, but Garrett's daughters, and even the dogs, which also made me chuckle. Why do men like big dogs and women like small ones? Well most women...give me a big black Lab anyday...but the fact that this dog was crosseyed was hilarious. And how she dressed it. Just go get the book and see what I mean. Having three daughters of my own, I was laughing out loud at portions of this very believable story. I can so totally see my daughters doing something like this. Good thing my husband hasn't jilted me. LOL! If he ever did, I hope to have friends like Lauren to send me to a B&B. This story went from emotionally compelling to light-hearted funny at the perfect places. Really FUN read. I am fascinated by how Diann's writing enabled me to picture in moving color the scenes of the book. Sometimes in books, I have to really work to picture the setting and the characters and their actions. I could picture every scene I read as if it were a movie.

Then Garret's spiritual struggle revealed on page 80, wow. I know so many people who have felt these sorts of thoughts about God. People who wrestle with why He allows bad things to happen. Garrett was gut-raw honest, and I think this book could really touch people who feel disappointed by God.

The semi scene was INTENSE with a suspense, and then on Pg 224..there is a line that made me howl with laughter. THen I laughed about for days after reading this book, and it has to do with the heroine and a meatball, and that's all I'm going to say about that. (no spoilers. LOL!) Overall great read. BRAVO DIANN!!!

For a chance to win a free, autographed, copy of A Match Made in Bliss, leave a comment this week telling me the wierdest food that you've ever choked on. I will draw a name out of the bunch next Friday.

Cheryl Wyatt