What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang is a book of interconnected short stories that give us a glimpse into the lives of several neighbors in a Washington DC condominium building.

Read my full review and enter to win a copy for yourself at 5 Minutes for Books.


Sweeter than Birdsong

Rosslyn Elliott
Thomas Nelson, 2012
400 pages

About the Book

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.

Read an excerpt here.

My Thoughts

I must admit that I have only just started reading this book. Personal and family issues have taken priority over reading of late, and I have had to content myself with glancing at the intriguing cover and reading the tantalizing blurb on the back cover until tonight.

Upon picking up the book this evening, I devoured the first four chapters in a flash and can hardly wait until I have time to read more of the story. As the story begins, the chapters seesaw between Kate and Ben and we quickly see that both have tremendous depth and sensitivity, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing them meet and, hopefully, fall in love.

Read what others on the blog tour are saying.

About Rosslyn

Rosslyn Elliott is the award-winning author of Fairer than Morning, the first in the Saddler’s Legacy series. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue writing fiction. Elliott lives in Albuquerque, where she homeschools her daughter and works in children’s ministry. For more about Rosslyn, visit her website.

About the Giveaway and Party

To celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this “sweet giveaway.” One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner’s choice of color!)
  • Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
  • Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 28th. Winner will be announced at Sweeter than Birdsong Author Chat Facebook Party on 2/28. Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, sharing a sneak peek of the next book in the series, hosting a trivia contest, and more! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, season 1 of Downtown Abbey, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Rosslyn.)

So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

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In this introduction to apologetics for today’s Christian teen or young adult, Bill Giovannetti posits that the “core beliefs of the Christian faith have become today’s four letter words.”

We live in a culture where confidently stating what you believe is often labeled as narrow-minded intolerance rather than as an expression of personal faith. Giovannetti maintains that “we must respect and tolerate those with whom we disagree. But we still get to disagree and say so.”

Read the rest of my review, and enter to win a free copy of the book, at 5 Minutes for Books.


Mornings with Jesus is the perfect devotional for a busy woman. The entries are short, just one page each, but they offer a chance to start the day by focusing on the Word and how it applies in our lives.

The book was compiled by Guideposts and features writings from seven Christian women and authors. Each entry includes a thought for the day based on a Bible verse, along with a short prayer related to the topic. The devotional for January 28th, based on Revelation 12:10, touched on something that I’m sure many of us have dealt with – guilt. Here’s an excerpt:

I know we’re all human, we’re all imperfect. And yet I find myself striving to do absolutely everything right. When I fail, or when I fail someone I care about, it eats away at me. I don’t think about how I can learn from my mistakes; instead, I revisit what I did wrong, over and over again….But if I remember Jesus’ victory and love, the guilt and accusations melt away.

So true, at least for me. How easy it is to get trapped in a loop of shame or regret over something we’ve done, and what a great reminder to accept the forgiveness that we are offered so freely from the Lord.

Mornings with Jesus is available at (the cover is a bit different but the book is the same). I also have one extra copy to give away to a lucky (or should I say, blessed) reader! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 3rd. The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted by email for a mailing address. Giveaway is closed – the winner is Janet Jackson.

Thank you to Litfuse and Guideposts for the review copy of this book plus another to give away! Visit the blog tour page to read what others are saying.


Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in book one in this stand alone series, The Swiss Courier). This time they are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world – the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway (details at the bottom of this post)!

About the Book
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers’ adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on–and the runners are playing for keeps.

Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here.

My Review
Personally, I started reading the book without realizing that it was part of a series, and I don’t feel like I missed a thing. I was instantly drawn into the action and found the characters to be well-drawn and intriguing.

I always enjoy reading Tricia’s books (and not just because we share a first name!), but I think the co-writing effort with Mike Yorkey added another dimension to the story, and it was great. I am definitely planning to go back and read the first book now.

For some other reviews, check out the rest of the blog tour. Also check out Lauren’s review at 5 Minutes for Books, as she has two copies of the book to give away as well!

About the Authors
Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW’s Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books visit

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man’s Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike and his other books visit

About the Giveaway and Party

One passionate protector will receive:

  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. Winner will be announced at Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia’s website) and giving away copies of their books and a book club prize pack (10 copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike).

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Thank you to Litfuse and Revell for a review copy of this book.

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