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Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop!

27 May

Thanks to Mary at Bookhounds for hosting the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop! To find out about all the bookish goodness bloggers are giving away, click HERE. The hop runs from May 28-June 8.

splash into summer


Summertime usually means more time for reading. If you are like me, you enjoy a book by the pool, in the car or plane on the way to a vacation, or really anywhere you can escape into another world. So, to start you out right, I am giving away a Surprise Box of Books with a mix of historical and contemporary. To enter my giveaway, just leave a comment telling me your favorite summer spot to read. Good luck!

Author, Author! (+ Giveaway) — Richard Mabry

12 May

Mabry.closeI am very pleased to have Dr. Richard Mabry visiting my blog today. What a great writer of medical drama with strong faith messages. Plus, Richard is graciously giving away a copy of his new book, Medical Judgment, to one of my readers. Yay!! Thanks so much, Richard! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment. (Giveaway runs through May 25)

By The Book — In your career as a physician you wrote/edited numerous textbooks and professional papers. When did you realize you were also an author of fiction?

Richard Mabry — I never considered becoming an author outside of medicine until the death of my first wife, Cynthia. Almost a year after her passing, I began to consider turning the journaling I’d done into a book, but had no idea how. Finally, at a writer’s conference, I got an inkling of 1) how to write a book, and 2) how hard it is to get one published. But I did and it was. The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse has been out for a decade and ministered to many thousands who have suffered a similar loss.

BTB — Who influenced you to try your hand at fiction?

Richard — At that same writing conference, Alton Gansky and James Scott Bell suggested that I try my hand at fiction. Well, you don’t challenge a man to do anything — whether bowling, golf, or writing — without his taking action. I took up that challenge, and after four years spent writing four novels that garnered forty rejections, I got my first fiction contract.

UnknownBTB — Why inspirational fiction?

Richard — I suppose it has something to do with wanting to write a book that I wouldn’t be ashamed to have my name on the cover. Besides, I’ve been a Christian since my early teens, and it just seemed natural to write in that genre.

BTB — Your experience in medicine must be an advantage in your medical suspense novels. What additional research do you do?

Richard — The main thing my years as a physician do is give me the ability to “speak the language.” I know how things go in a medical setting. I can read the journals, textbooks, and online posts and understand them. But every medical scenario in every novel I write requires my going to appropriate sources to see what the symptoms, treatment, and natural course of each disease or injury would be. By the way, one of the things I teach in courses aimed at writers is to be wary of research on the Internet that comes from people with something (an idea, a procedure, a product) to sell. I stick with well-known, reputable sites like WebMD, the NIH, and the American Academy of Family Practice.

BTB — You have an impressive list of awarding winning novels. What does your writing/researching day look like? And how long does it take you to craft a book?

Richard — Unlike some of my author colleagues, I have to admit that I don’t write every day. Yet I seem to always meet my deadlines. I use Jim Bell’s LOCK system when I’m starting to consider a book: lead, opposition, conflict, and knockout ending. I first decide on the thrust of the story, reducing it to one line (the high concept). Then I populate the story with the main characters. I decide on the ending and formulate the twists to maintain the reader’s interest throughout the book. Ideally, I’d like to take a year to write each book, but — for some reason — my contracts keep calling for one every six months, so that’s how long I take.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel, Medical Judgment?

Medical JudgmentRichard — I wanted to feature a single parent (since two members of my extended family fit that description). After that, my curiosity about what problems a widowed physician might encounter was the impetus for this novel, which begins when Dr. Sarah Gordon is awakened by the smell of smoke. Her first thought is to yell for her husband and grab her daughter. Then she rouses enough to realize both have been dead for months. She’s alone. And the house is on fire.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Richard — My next novel is Cardiac Event, and although I can’t yet share the name of the publisher (sorry), I can assure my readers that it and my next two books after that will have a home. We look for Cardiac Event to be published this fall. In it, Dr. Kirk Martin, a cardiologist, crosses swords with an older internist, Dr. Cliff Hamilton, who tends to exceed his privileges because he’s had a bit of cardiology training. Then, when Dr. Hamilton himself has a heart attack, he asks Dr. Martin to care for him. The cardiologist pulls the older doctor through, but Hamilton dies while still in the hospital — and Martin is a suspect.

BTB — If you would like, please share a little about your personal life.

Richard — I had a full career as a physician (specialist in nasal and sinus disorders and related allergy), but retired from that more than a decade ago. As most retired individuals will tell you, I’m busier now than I ever was when working. God has blessed me once more with the love of a wonderful woman, so now I have two families — which means twice as many Girl Scout cookie sales, school field days, soccer practices, and everything else that seems to fill my days to overflowing. In addition to writing (which includes marketing, and don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t), I enjoy an occasional golf game, watching the local baseball team on TV, and spending some time reading my favorite books — mysteries and crime novels, of course.

Thanks so much, Richard, for sharing with my readers!


Dont’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for Medical Judgment.



Book Review + Giveaway: The ESV Family Devotional Bible

8 May

UnknownThe ESV Family Devotional Bible is designed to help families read and apply God’s Word together. This full-color edition features the complete ESV text interspersed with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered devotions related to key Bible stories — guiding families through the entirety of God’s Word over the course of a year. Each devotion also includes discussion questions and suggestions for additional reading, helping families develop a habit of reading the Bible together and applying its truth to all of life.




My Impressions:

Are you looking to add some meaningful devotional time to your family’s schedule? Then I highly recommend you consider the ESV Family Devotional Bible. With an easy to understand version and built-in devotionals, this Bible is just the thing to foster Bible reading, discussion and scripture memorization for you and your kids. I was impressed with the detailed illustrations that accompany each devotional, along with the reiteration of the scripture and a concluding paragraph that points directly to God’s plan and purposes through His Son, Jesus. The discussion questions are simply stated, but can lead to deeper conversations. I think using this Bible would be a great way to bring your family closer to each other and to God!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: families.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to FlyBy Productions for a free review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



FlyBy Productions is giving away a copy of the ESV Family Devotional Bible to one of my readers. Please leave a comment to enter. Please note: US only. The giveaway will run through May 18th. 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Book Review + Giveaway! Wonders of Creation

4 May

71CTxU9lzbL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Wonders of Creation explores the wonders of our created world though detailed black-and-white illustrations—each one ready to be filled with the hues of your imagination. From amazing Eden-esque gardens to the creatures God made that still ramble through our world, this ninety-six-page book offers hours of coloring inspiration and relaxation for any age.



Cindy Wilde is a freelance illusrator and surface pattern designer. She lives with her husband and two children in the beautiful city of Bristol, England.

Pimlada Phuapradit studied Textile Designs at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, before returning to Bangkok where she worked as a knitwear and freelance surface designer. Her love for drawing led her to pursue further training in narrative arts. Pimlada studied illustration in New York and received an MFA (Illustration as Visual Essay) from the School of Visual Arts in 2011. She currently works as a surface pattern designer and illustrator in Bangkok.

My Impressions:

I have seen a lot of adult coloring books around — they are everywhere and encompass a multitude of subjects. Wonders of Creation is unique in two respects. First it focuses entirely on the natural world — insects, birds, mammals, and sea creatures and their habitats. Secondly, while all the illustrations are very detailed, some are more so than others, allowing for elementary school-aged children and up to enjoy the relaxing activity of coloring. I think this book would be the perfect thing for mother-daughter time. Whether you are looking for a family activity or a special Mother’s Day or birthday gift, Wonders of Creation is a good choice.


Audience: school aged children to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zondervan for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Zondervan is very generously offering a copy of Wonders of Creation to one of my readers. Just leave me a copy stating who you would share this book with. Please note: US only. Giveaway runs through May 18th.

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop

1 May

Thanks to Mary At BookHounds for hosting the Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop. Find out all  the great children’s books that bloggers are giving away HERE. The hop runs May 1st — 8th.


I am giving away 2 board books to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment telling who you will be sharing these books with. Thanks!

51gubttfbl-_sy486_bo1204203200_As a follow up to their bestselling Thank You, Lord, for Everything, P.J. Lyons and Tim Warnes have created a sweet and relaxing padded cover board book that tells the story of God’s constant presence around you. Meant to be read at night, when a child is warm and snug in their bed, the rhyming text and adorable illustrations in God Is Watching Over You gently remind us that God is constantly watching over us, protecting us, and caring for us.

61rbumruc4l-_sy498_bo1204203200_As the sun slowly sinks in the nighttime sky, baby farm animals of all shapes and sizes snuggle up with their mamas for a good night’s sleep. Little ones will love the cozy animals and the sweet conclusion-a mother rocking her child to sleep. Patti Eubank’s expressive rhyming text is paired with her finely detailed illustrations to create a board book that is perfect for bedtime reading. It doesn’t get any sweeter than this! Bedtime Snuggles — ages 2-5.

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Children’s Corner + Giveaway! — Baby Wren And The Great Gift

13 Apr

51QlDy0KiDL._SY436_BO1,204,203,200_The Baby Wren and the Great Gift, written by bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jen Corace, is a celebration of all the wonderful gifts God has given us. The tiny wren marvels at the incredible creatures around her, all the while wishing she had a special gift to share. As she takes in the beauty of the world around her, she discovers a unique talent that’s been inside her all along.



B1o09DwBp8S._UX250_Sally Lloyd-Jones is a Brit who came to the US in 1989 “just for a year.” She’s still here.

Born in Kampala, Uganda, raised in East, and West Africa and at a boarding school in the New Forest, the first book she ever remembers reading all the way through was The Complete Nonsense by Edward Lear. Things have not been the same since.

She lives in Manhattan and enjoys dividing her time between the front half of her apartment and the back.

me.about_Jen Corace (illustrator) 

nuts and bolts:

from southern new jersey, graduated from risd with a bfa in illustration in 1996, lives and works in providence, ri, hates sopping wet paper. it makes her gag.

odds and sods:

first dream job was to be a bumper car operator (it could still happen), loves breakfast, loves breakfast for dinner more, loves biking, loves walking more, loves a lot of music but could easily listen to belle and sebastian or the wedding present all day long. non stop.

My Impressions:

Beautiful illustrations accompany the sweet and simple message of one tiny bird with a big, big gift. Baby Wren And The Great Gift explores the wonders of creation and the uniqueness of what God has created. A very small bird wonders what her gift could be as she contemplates all the wonderful things other animals can do. The prose is easy and unhurried with a repeating refrain to divide each scene. Bold illustrations pair well with the narrative. Perfect for family reading, or a larger group story time, this storybook will capture your child’s imagination and open up new ideas of what makes him/her special.


Audience: children ages 4-8

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Zonderkidz is very graciously offering a copy of Baby Wren And The Great Gift to one of my readers. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment stating with whom you’ll share this book. The giveaway will run through April 27. (Please note: US only.)

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop!

19 Mar

It’s Spring, let the cleaning begin! Thanks to Mary at Bookhounds, there are lots of bloggers cleaning off their shelves and giving away great books in the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop! For a list of participants, click HERE.


My shelves are overflowing so I have TWO surprise packages of genre fiction to give away!! (2 boxes = 2 winners!) Just leave me a comment to enter. The giveaway runs from March 20 through March 27.



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