Thursday, October 12, 2017

FALL READING CHALLENGE: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton #FRC2017 @BookSparks

Doyle FRC 1
Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Genre: Self-help, relationships

    • Publisher: Flatiron Books; Hardcover edition (September 6, 2016)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1250128544
    • ISBN-13: 978-1250128546


    Synopsis: The highly anticipated new memoir by bestselling author Glennon Doyle Melton tells the story of her journey of self-discovery after the implosion of her marriage.

    Just when Glennon Doyle Melton was beginning to feel she had it all figured out—three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list—her husband revealed his infidelity and she was forced to realize that nothing was as it seemed. A recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon found that rock bottom was a familiar place. In the midst of crisis, she knew to hold on to what she discovered in recovery: that her deepest pain has always held within it an invitation to a richer life.

    Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how our ideals of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for a man and a woman to truly know one another - and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they’ve been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love.

    Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

    Review: This book is my introduction to this author, and I am so glad I chose to read it. While some of it was difficult reading (I could feel her pain, disappointment, confusion), other parts were uplifting and wonderful. 

    The author takes us along with her on a deeply personal life journey, and she does it in such a way that we can all connect with her somewhere along the way. I can relate to being sure you know what love is and how it is supposed to look and feel, and then realizing that you've only bought into what society portrays--and working to unlearn it to find a deeper, truer love.

    Rating: Four stars
    About the author
    Glennon Doyle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Love Warrior, which was selected as Oprah's Book Club pick, as well as the New York Times bestselling memoir Carry On, Warrior. Glennon is also the founder of Momastery, an online community reaching millions of people each week, and the creator and president of Together Rising—a non-profit organization that has raised over seven million dollars for families around the world.

    Follow Glennon and Momastery on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and sign up for her email updates here:

    Glennon is a columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine, and was named among OWN Network's SuperSoul100 inaugural group - as one of 100 "awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity," as well as one as of Family Circle's 20 Most Influential Moms of 2017. Glennon and her philanthropic work have been featured on The TODAY Show, The Talk, The OWN Network, Chelsea, Dr. Oz and in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, Glamour, Parents Magazine, Newsweek, and Woman’s Day, among other television and print outlets. She lives in Florida with her family.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Fireworks In Paradise (A TJ Jensen Mystery #8) by Kathi Daley


  • Series: Tj Jensen Mystery (Book 8)

    • Hardcover
    • Publisher: Henery Press (October 10, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1635112583
    • ISBN-13: 978-1635112580

    Synopsis: While on vacation in South Carolina, TJ Jensen receives a call that her father has been left in a coma after a devastating car crash. Back home in Paradise Lake, TJ learns the accident that killed family friend Judge Harper and left her father clinging to life wasn’t an accident at all—someone cut their brake lines. To make matters worse, her friend and police contact, Deputy Roy Fisher, is working with a new partner who has no intention of letting TJ anywhere near the case. Facing an investigation more explosive than the annual fireworks show, TJ enlists the help of her best friends to unravel the mystery, all the while navigating a new romance and the thought her father may never wake up. 

    Review: This is one of my favorite Kathi Daley series. This time around, TJ finally seems to be coming into her own. She has realized how she truly feels about Kyle, and they are slowly growing their relationship into more than friends. There is a great scene where her younger sisters sit her down to talk about that relationship, which is so realistic and believable. Family is of  major importance in this story, not just the murder mystery.

    Speaking of the the mystery, it is once again very well written, with several suspects, and clues that may lead the reader in more than one direction before bringing you to the realization of the killer's identity.

    My only real issue with the book was that this story takes place before the three books I've already read in the Writer's Retreat series, so some of the information in this one was old news. However, with as many series as the author writes, that's a small blip in the scheme of things.

    Rating: Four stars

    About the author
    91 DWAjd WBj L SY200Kathi lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn't writing, Kathi likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese,) and garden (planting and planning not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she's not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing, the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home. 
    Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries. 

    Join me on Facebook at Kathi Daley Books ( for updates on my books, photos of life in Lake Tahoe, recipes, contests, and giveaways. For weekly updates and contests sign up for The Daley Weekly Newsletter (

    BLOG TOUR: The Song Of Solomon Revealed by Owen Sypher

    We're happy to host Owen Sypher's THE SONG OF SOLOMON REVEALED Blog Tour today! Please leave a comment or question below for Owen and don't forget to check out his book at Amazon!

    Author: Owen Sypher
    Publisher: Litfire Publishing, LLC
    Pages: 308
    Genre: Religion/Bible Studies

    The book of Song of Solomon is a spiritual book full of allegories or pictures where God used the natural to show the spiritual. By using the keys of understanding found in the Bible the author has unlock the hidden meaning of the book of Song of Solomon.

    The book of Song of Solomon is about the love that Jesus has for his bride. When looked at from this angle a lot of the verses makes more sense.

    Review: This is a fascinating book with a LOT of food for thought. The author takes us through this book of the Bible verse by verse, explaining it as he sees it. Some of it is very detailed and deep and will require, for me, more than a casual reading, as well as some personal research. 

    One of my favorite quotes, after a cursory reading, is this: "Jesus is only Lord of those who will let him rule in their lives." 

    I may suggest this to my small Bible study group as something to add to our agenda for next year, and I also look forward to reading more from this author.

    **I received a copy of this book from the author and from Pump Up Your Book with no expectation of a positive review.All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

    Rating: Four stars


    Amazon * Barnes & Noble

    Song 4:16: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. KJV
    We know that north is God’s direction as stated in Psalm 75:6–7.
    Ps. 75:6–7 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. KJV
    Since promotion comes from God, and the only direction not mentioned is north. That makes north God’s direction. That would make south man’s direction. This illustrates to me that we need the right spirit in our lives, no matter what comes our way. Whether the wind is blowing from the north or the south makes no difference; we still have the same spirit (our fragrance).  What this tells me is that no matter if I am receiving the blessings of God (north wind blowing upon my life) or cursing or tribulation from others (south wind, or man’s direction), I would have the same spirit blowing out of my garden or I would show the right spirit no matter what is happening in my life, and it would be a sweet smell to the Lord, and it is all because of the things that the Lord has planted in my garden.
    We have the capabilities of doing this because we understanding this verse in Romans 8.
    Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. KJV
    Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. KJV
    I use this scripture to show that I am not going to let outside circumstances dictate how my spirit responds to the Lord. I can be content in the Lord no matter what.

    Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

    In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

    You can visit his website at   

    Thursday, October 5, 2017

    CD REVIEW: The Answer by Jeremy Camp #TheAnswer #Flyby

    81b T29vk SPL SX425
    • Audio CD (October 6, 2017)
    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Label: Sparrow
    • ASIN: B074PB7QQV

    Jeremy describes himself as “a minister who happens to play music as a way to minister.” He has truly experienced artistic growth and musical creativity, thanks to his recent touring with different artists, and it shows in this, his ninth studio album. The Answer features the radio single 'Word of Life,' along with the anthems 'My Defender' and 'The Answer.' This latest project is a bold statement that the answer to everything in life is Jesus. With multiple advanced singles and five music videos leading up to the album's release, Jeremy is taking listeners on an audio and visual journey to finding the answer in their own life Jesus. 

    “I can’t wait for everyone to hear these songs,” shares Camp about the new album and tour. “After all these years, it’s amazing how the well to draw from never runs dry, when we rely on Him. The Lord continues to give deeper and deeper songs that speak to different seasons of life. With this new album, we’re doing some things we’ve never done before.

    Track List
    1. Word Of Life
    2. My Defender
    3. The Answer
    4. Storm
    5. My Father's Arms
    6. Never Stopped Loving
    7. Tell The Whole World
    8. Heaven's Shore (Forevermore)
    9. Carriers
    10. Love So Great
    11. Awake O Sleeper

    Review: This is a great CD, and I had a difficult time choosing favorite songs from it. I finally decided on Awake O Sleeper and Carriers as my top two. with My Father's Arms a very close third. The lyrics and music of every song on the CD are moving and inspirational. 

    I love how most of the songs are filled with pounding drumbeats, amazing guitar work, and powerful vocals. They hold your attention and should be a hit with teens and young adults. It's a perfect addition to a road trip CD collection.

    **I received a copy of this CD from the publisher and Flyby Productions, with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

    Rating: Five stars

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    BOOK BLAST AND GIVEAWAY: Wickedly Ever After by Lotta Smith

    Author: Lotta Smith
    Publisher: Independent
    Pages: 213
    Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

    As the new Mrs. Rowling, life is supposed to be easy for former FBI Special Assistant Amanda Meyer. Marriage to her drop dead gorgeous boss Rick is everything she dreamed of, unfortunately she can’t sleep, and she can’t even blame the ghost of his late stepmom Clara for popping up in the middle of the night with a tricky request.
    Someone staged mechanic Fynn’s death to look like a suicide, and now his unhappy ghost is keeping Clara and her dead friends awake all night. Proving he was murdered will keep the newlyweds hopping, and the real trick will be staying alive in this hilariously wicked book in the Manhattan Mystery Series. 



    At exactly three o’clock in the morning, I was in bed, turning over for the umpteenth time. For some unknown reason, I couldn’t fall asleep. In fact, I didn’t have even a blink of sleep.

    Okay, so I was pretending not to know the reason for my difficulty, but I could come up with possible reasons. For starters, I had a little too much espresso cake after dinner and a few more cups of strong green tea than the recommended amount at lunch. Also, in the past few hours alone, I had at least thirteen people visit me, asking about the whereabouts of their personal belongings and if I thought their spouses were cheating on them. All of them happened to be former residents of this upscale condo on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where I called home. The last straw was Mrs. Williams, who kept demanding I return her hearing aid. I kept telling her that I wasn’t the evil woman who hid her belongings, and I shared my hunch that her family might have forgotten to put her hearing device with her; however, she didn’t seem to fathom what I was trying to say—perhaps because she didn’t have her hearing aid.

    By the way, did I mention that all those people who visited me during these ungodly hours had been dead for years?

    My name is Amanda Rowling, née Meyer, a part-time secretary for my husband and mostly a stay-at-home housewife, and people, including but not limited to my husband Rick, usually call me Mandy.

    Anyway, I was trying my best to grab some sleep before dawn, not that I had to get up early and go to work in the morning, but Rick had been busy since joining USCAB—United States Cover All Bases, a security-based conglomerate owned and run by his dad—and I wanted to do my best to be his super-supportive partner. Cooking power breakfasts for him and myself had become my ritual since I moved in with him at this condo over a year ago, and I was determined to continue this ritual. Anyway, using knives and a hot oven in a sleep-deprived status wasn’t high on my to-do list. I tended to commit faux-pas in the kitchen, like scorching eggs and bacon to a crisp, whenever I was short of sleep.

    Before marrying him, I used to work for the FBI’s New York City headquarters as a special assistant. At first, I was just an assistant with a mission to keep my then-boss Rick Rowling, the sexy, arrogant loose cannon who loved nothing more than trouble, from wreaking havoc and destroying NYC. However, a little after starting my FBI career, I developed a special skill of seeing dead people and communicating with them, and my tasks expanded to interviewing murder victims and dead witnesses.

    When Rick, who was the head of Paranormal Cases Division and the only colleague I had, left the feds to join his family business, I followed his suit and resigned from the feds.

    Even though Sheldon Hernandez, the head of the FBI’s New York City headquarters, offered me a lucrative consulting contract, I declined. At that time, leaving my life with the FBI, communicating with dead people and dodging frequent temper tantrums thrown at me by the deceased, and concentrating on being Mrs. Rowling seemed like a fabulous idea. But after the wedding and returning from our honeymoon, I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision. At that time, I presumed I’d stop encountering the spirits of dead; however, things didn’t go as I’d hoped. I was still having as many ghostly visitors as before.

    And, recalling my past life as an FBI assistant, I was horrified to found myself sort of missing my days dealing with the murderers, crooks, and dead people. Okay, so having nothing to do with criminals should be the norm for most people, and when I left the feds, I couldn’t wait to spend my days without worrying about being assaulted by evil ghosts and bad humans, but…

    Lotta Smith is the author of Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery series. She fell in love with mystery the moment she developed consciousness. She is especially fond of lighthearted murder mystery stories with a little sprinkle of romance.

    She went to medical school hoping to see real corpses and sexy professors. Back then, she was into this kind of mystery series about a smokin' hot forensic medicine professor and a quirky female student going a-sleuthing, cracking unsolvable cases. Lotta truly, madly wanted to team up with a superhot professor and crack a difficult murder or two. (Note; she got to see the corpses, but sexy professors were nonexistent.)

    Lotta loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to drop her a line at





    Lotta Smith is giving away a collection of six books:

    Wickedly Ever After: Halloween Hijinks by Lotta Smith
    Trick or Treason by Kathi Daley
    A Witchmas Carol by Amanda M Lee
    Dark, Witch & Creamy by H Y Hanna
    Curse of the Day by Annabel Chase
    Dead Man Talking by Jana DeLeon

    Thank-you for your participation prize: Everyone receives a free ebook copy of:
    Whoever Finds the Wicked: Rick Rowling's Secret File (Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery Prequel) Whoever Finds the Wicked: Rick Rowling's Secret File

    Terms & Conditions:
    • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
    • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the book collection.
    • This giveaway ends midnight October 13.
    • Winner will be contacted via email on October 16.
    • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
    Good luck everyone!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Tuesday, October 3, 2017

    REVIEW: Trick or Treason (Zoe Donovan Mystery #26) by Kathi Daley

    Book Information
    Genre: Cozy mystery
    Series: Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery

    • Paperback: 258 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 26, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1548558214
    • ISBN-13: 978-1548558215

    Synopsis: As is his tradition, Zak has gone Halloween Crazy, while Zoe is trying to overcome the baby bump blues and harness some enthusiasm for the annual Haunted Hamlet. Things seem to be on track for a Spooktacular good time until Zoe stumbles onto a Halloween mystery even she didn't see coming.

    Review: Another successful novel from Ms. Daley. This is one of my two favorite series from her (be watching next week for my review of the latest release in the other one!).

    In the midst of preparing for Halloween, Zoe discovers another dead body and is determined to discover whodunnit before the holiday. Due to her pregnancy, she is a little more subdued in her sleuthing this time around, which I found to be realistic and a relief--I was concerned that she might continue to be reckless and I'd get frustrated with her!

    This mystery is filled with twist after twist. Every time I thought I had it solved, there were clues to point me in a completely different direction. The reveal was a surprise but in the end, the motive made sense. 

    I'm already looking forward to Zoe's Christmas adventure!!

    Rating: Five stars

    About the author
    91 DWAjd WBj L SY200Kathi lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn't writing, Kathi likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese,) and garden (planting and planning not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she's not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing, the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home. 
    Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries. 

    Join her on Facebook at Kathi Daley Books ( for updates on my books, photos of life in Lake Tahoe, recipes, contests, and giveaways. For weekly updates and contests sign up for The Daley Weekly Newsletter (

    REVIEW AND GUEST POST: Halloween Is Murder (McKinley Mysteries #11) by Carolyn Arnold

    Every Day Is Halloween

    “A nice and fun, old-fashioned mystery. Halloween is Murder was a very well-written and fast read with great characters and a fun mystery with a resolution that I did not see coming.”
    –The Reading Café

    Ask anyone who loves Halloween and they’ll probably tell you their favorite part about it is dressing up. When you put on a costume, you can be whomever—or whatever—you want. It’s liberating! On top of that, it’s likely that there are all kinds of goodies lying around the house.

    When I was a girl, I loved playing Barbie. I loved dressing her up and assigning her whatever life story I wanted. And, man, did I enjoy it! Maybe for a little too long, in fact. I kept playing into my early teens! At the time, I felt like some sort of freak. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted this news to get out to the kids at school. They probably would have called me a baby or something like that. So I kept this part of my life a secret, and I justified my addiction by pinning the blame on my sister, who is six years younger than me—she needed someone to play with!

    Now that I’m older—much, much older—I look back and find this aspect of my past amusing. I realize that it’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, but it shows me that I’ve always loved telling stories and acting them out. No wonder I became an author!

    In the grand scheme of things, Halloween is very similar. The holiday allows people of all ages to participate in this fantasy, if only for one night. But as an author, I get to experience Halloween every day of the year. I become someone else every time I sit at my desk and immerse myself into the worlds of my characters. I get to delve into their minds, to know their thoughts, their feelings, their personalities, their lives. And I get to share my imagination with my readers. Now that’s a real treat!

    Speaking of, I’m going to grab a small bowl of candy corn and gummy peaches and get to writing. Happy Halloween!
    Carolyn Arnold

    Book Overview:
    Beware of all that goes bump in the night…Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.

    But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.

    As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.

    Review: This is the first book I have read in this series, but I am sure it won't be the last! The Halloween theme makes it a very timely read, but it would be a good read for any time of year. It is also easily read as a stand-alone story if you haven't read the earlier books.

    Sean and Sara are a great couple....they complement each other's personalities well, which is always helpful for a sleuthing couple, as one can tend to keep the other out of trouble or danger at any given time. The supporting characters also fit well into the mix, and the goodhearted rivalry between Adam, the young tech genius, and Jimmy, the retired police sergeant, adds humor to the story.

    Along with the murder mystery, which is filled with red herrings and surprises leading up to a stunning reveal, we learn a great deal about Sean and Sara's haunted house project for charity. It is through that secondary storyline we meet the adorable young Mia, who was my favorite minor character.

    I would recommend this book to all cozy mystery lovers, and I definitely plan to read more of this series in the future.

    **I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

    Rating: Four stars

     You can buy Halloween is Murder wherever books are sold, including the following popular retailers:

    To find out more about Halloween is Murder and the other installments in the McKinley Mysteries series, including box sets, visit

    About the McKinley Mysteries:
    Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

    This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to HartCastleColomboMonkRockford FilesPsych, and Magnum PI.

    About the Author
    Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

    Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
    Website | Twitter | Facebook
     And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at