Friday, August 29, 2014

Lindsey Paley's new book, The Wish List Addiction

Now, how can you not stop and ask about this intriguing title?

Lisa: Lindsey, tell us about the book.

Lindsey: Lots of us make lists - some of us, like Rebecca, draw up lots of different lists. There's the daily 'To Do' list, the carefully researched 'Wish List' and the 'Bucket List'. They are a safety net for our overloaded memories. In 'The Wish List Addiction' I wanted to explore what would happen if those lists were taken away and Rebecca was forced to live life 'as it comes'. 

When we meet Rebecca, it's when her life is at an all time low. Everything has gone wrong and she is clutching the edge of sanity by her fingernails. Her obsession with list-making has not led to a happier life at all, in fact they were a catalyst for most of her difficulties. So, at the beginning of the story, her friends challenge her to 'ditch the lists' and instead pursue her life in a more random, 'dip in/dip out' choice of activities, without the safety net of her lists. 

So, no lists - the story is about how those golden coins of happiness can be found in the randomness of life, away from the rigid, tightly controlled organisation of her former existence. 

Lisa: What do you hope readers will tell other readers?

I hope readers will identify with Rebecca's struggles and cheer for her success from the sidelines. I also hope that the novel encourages readers to consider their own 'wish lists' and maybe take a peek at 'The Little Green Book of Wishes' themselves.

We are consistently advised that happiness lies not in the amassing of monetary gain but in the connections we make and sustain with others. 'The Little Green Book' does not advocate that you draw up a finite list of things to do before you reach a certain age or event and then you can die happy in the knowledge that your dreams have been achieved. Far from it - it's too stressful by half! The risk is that in the strenuous pursuit of one goal and the satisfaction of striking it from your list to move headlong on to the next, the Wish List Addict becomes oblivious to the fact that real life rushes by alongside - exactly what happened to Rebecca.

The back cover:

Rebecca Mathews is a Listoholic—you name it, she has a 'To Do' list for it. Coupled with her daily 'Must Achieve' List, she possesses a mid-term, creatively drawn 'Wish List' and an exhaustively-researched 'Bucket List'. But so far, they have delivered nothing but spectacular failure. 

With her much-loved career exploded in her face, her marriage terminated in an acrimonious divorce and her frail father's pleas to return to her native Northumberland ignored, Rebecca concludes that if it wasn't for her beloved four-year-old son, Max, she would be adding a trip to a Swiss clinic to her list.

A sparkle of light appears in Rebecca's life wrapped in the guise of 'The Little Green Book of Wishes', which challenges the reader to 'ditch the list' and instead to use its gems of wisdom as a 'dip in/dip out' lucky bag of challenges from all areas of life.

Persuaded by her colleagues to relinquish her obsessive reliance on her multiple lists, cast adrift from their reassuring structure, she agrees to complete random tasks selected for her from the 'little emerald book of miracles'.

Will it deliver the desired result and cure Rebecca of her Wish List Addiction? 

Buy The Wish List Addiction

Visit Lindsey on Facebook - where she'd love to hear what's on readers' own wish/bucket lists

Monday, August 25, 2014

Susan Rush's Just Over the Horizon - great story!

Just Over the Horizon
Susan Rush
c. July, 2014

Astrea Press
Inspirational fiction
e-book, 250 pp

Buy on Amazon
also on Kobo

From the Publisher: While grieving the death of her eccentric nana, Sarah discovers an unexpected gift. She soon grows dependent on the heirloom, a little box, for comfort and guidance. Feeling restless and needing a change, Sarah accepts a job as a traveling hospice nurse and ends up in the quaint, historical town of Camden, South Carolina. Although she loves caring for her patients, loneliness creeps in and threatens to take root. Eventually she opens herself to new friendships, and two remarkable yet vastly differing men compete for her attention. Nate is a true Southerner with a sarcastic wit and genuine warmth, while Dr. Joseph Thornton is a caring oncologist who is known as the best catch in the state.

Facing heart-wrenching trials, the faith of her childhood is all but shattered. In spite of this, Sarah seeks comfort from her box and is determined to cling to Nana’s godly legacy. But when a mysterious stranger appears with devastating news, can her cherished box continue to provide answers or will Sarah realize her life has been based on nothing but lies?

My Review:
Just Over the Horizon is a sweet romance with a couple of great twists. The author follows the genre faithfully with the romantic couple meeting early in the story under quirky circumstances, there’s a rival, and there are conflicts which keep them apart. The great twists happen with advice from Sarah’s past, and biggest conflict is in Nate’s past. I also love that the story was allowed to progress past the natural happily ever ending to the wedding and beyond a year. It felt natural and although there wasn’t a problem that forced the couple to reexamine their relationship and themselves, there was a serious issue that Sarah shouldn’t have faced alone. This issue certainly could have been handled before the wedding to create that evaluating issue and may have made the structure of the story more typical genre romance, but that’s a problem in itself—typical genre romance. Sometimes it's nice to break out.
Sarah is a hospice nurse, a career I admire from a great distance. The author writes based on her own chosen career, and the details makes the character realistic. If you have trouble with end of life issues, this story may be difficult for you. It certainly isn’t easy for Sarah, and her grandmother, the woman who raised her, helps Sarah with sage advice left in an old recipe box before. At times it started to feel as though Sarah was relying on this advice to guide her, though it never fell into the realm of spiritism. Even Nate came to appreciate the wisdom of Sarah’s grandmother, and they were both blessed and comforted. The advice was sprinkled with life lessons that Grandmother shared while raising Sarah.
If I’d read this book at any other time in my life, I would have thought, oh, it’s just a sweet story. Like it, move on. But I recently became a grandmother and my greatest desire is to leave a lasting impression on my grandchildren that is positive and loving, joyful, and godly wise. The life lessons and teachable moments are ones that I hope to build upon, so I’ll definitely be reading this book again and looking for more stories from this author.  







Monday, August 4, 2014

Get on Board and Stay on Board by Pearl Nsiah-Kumi

My friend Pearl Nsiah-Kumi, who is a multi-published Christian Author, has put together an inspiring book for us, Get On Board and Stay On Board. 

It is a collection of poems, short articles and short Bible studies based on scripture, to encourage non-Christians to place their faith in Jesus, and also to support Christians to have a closer relationship with God and be ready for eternal life in Heaven!

Click Here to Get Your Copy:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Christian Writers Conference

Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing Conference
August 8-9 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

We have wonderful speakers again this year:
 Becky Melby
 Ben Wolf  
Kathryn Springer

Friday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  

On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" 

Please check us out at

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey


Hope Deferred By Elizabeth Maddrey

About the Book:

Christian fiction for women.
It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst of overwhelming options, none of which promise immediate results.
Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

Follow Elizabeth Maddrey

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Elizabeth Maddrey! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: As Is by Wendy Oleston

As Is
By Wendy Oleston

A Wisconsin Author!

.99 Kindle
12.99 print

ISBN-13: 978-1499781335
Buy on Amazon

From the publisher:
Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt again. Graydon Davidson walks into her life and begins to show her the truth. While the truth is hard to accept, it is also the key to her freedom. Is this gorgeous and compassionate stranger the answer to all her dreams? Or will specters from her past which emerge to haunt her take over? Mara is faced with a choice that will change her life forever.

My review:
Persistent love

For Christians, if you’ve ever tried to picture being the bride of Christ, Oleston puts a whole new spin on the subject in her new book.

We all have issues to deal with. Mara has a boatload of them, from being in denial of alcoholism to not knowing how to love or to receive love. A single mom in danger of losing her child, she agrees reluctantly to counseling. The reader is invited along as this woman walks through her despair to finally reach the lowest point and so be able to climb back out of the abyss, holding the hand of the only one we can truly count on.
On the way to her first counseling session, Mara meets a mysterious young man, Graydon, and they are instantly infatuated. Months pass during which they develop a platonic relationship and slowly learn each other’s story. Mara is constantly torn by her struggle to become a mom worthy of her son, a woman worthy of true love, and a person who can love wholly. It’s Graydon every bit as much as her counselor who forces Mara to face the ugly things in her life. Countless times Mara attempts to shove away those who want to help her. Graydon never lets her know he’s had enough. He always comes back, is always there when she needs someone, always knows what to say, acts as her conscious, and leads her gently through the valley of the shadow of death.

The reader is encouraged to conjecture about Graydon’s identity until Mara is able to come clean and accept the forgiveness she’s been offered all along. This story is definitely thought-provoking on many levels, and one that will show you the unyielding love of God. I have to offer this caveat, however, in that unfortunately vulgar language permeates the entire story. While I understand that cursing has become almost normal in society and I realize certain characters will swear as part of their makeup, I also don’t believe that it is natural for believers to continue to do so thoughtlessly once they develop a personal relationship with the Lord. It seems like a light thing to address in light of the enormous issues Mara overcame, but it was jarring and disappointing for all the care the author used in this intriguing story of second chances. Told in third person from Mara’s point of view, this is a story you’ll be thinking about for a long while.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adams Animals with Kimberley Payne

Adam’s Animals – Fun Facts About God’s Creation 
by Kimberley Payne

Adam’s Animals – Fun Facts About God’s Creation just released this spring!

Is your church running a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program this summer based on the Weird Animals curriculum?

Consider using  Adam’s Animals along with the accompanying craft book, Super Simple Animal Crafts in your Sunday School program leading up VBS. It’s a great resource for your church to generate interest in your summer programs.

Adam’s Animals is an entertaining and educational book that offers children loads of fun while they learn about the Bible.
Inside you’ll find:
• Bible stories about the animal
• Fascinating facts about each animal
• Whimsical illustrations for creative colouring fun
• Word search puzzles to learn new words and improve spelling

Watch a video of author Kimberley Payne reading from Adam’s Animals

View sample pages from Adam’s Animals

What others are saying about Adam's Animals
"Kimberley looks at the creatures found in the Bible and gives children some incredible scientific facts about them. She then follows those facts up with Scripture references from the Bible on what God has to say about the many animals she has listed in this book. If your child is one who likes "Did you know...?" books, they'll love this one. Included in the book are word search activities and pictures to colour. " – Laura Davis

"Author Kimberly Payne has done a thorough job of researching the animal kingdom and combining it with scripture and biblical stories. This book has many fascinating facts about animals and is laid our in a very organized manner with pictures to color and word puzzles." – Carol Stratton

"From ants to worms, children will not only find the facts interesting, some will even make them giggle. At the same time, they are learning how creative God is that he would make so many animals with distinct characteristics."– Carol Round

"I plan to use this book in our home school program as it integrates faith, science, language and art.
My kids love it - there is much information in it, our 12 year old couldn't get through it in one sitting." – Michelle Evans

"This is a delightful book filled with (as promised) fun facts about God's creatures. I appreciated the focus on scripture and how Kimberley aligns God's word with God's creatures. The word challenges are a wonderful way to hone other skills such as spelling and reading, too, so this is a great activity to go along with the information. "– Glynis Belec

This children's activity book cleverly ties in scripture, so not only does it teach the inquisitive child about God's creations, but also about God's word."—Melanie Fischer

Buy the Book
On Amazon 

About the Author

Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author who combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith. You can visit her website at