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Book Review of "Head in the Clouds" by Karen Witemeyer

Head in the Clouds, Karen Witemeyer, 978-0-7642-0756-3

“A fast-paced adventure with romance thrown in for good measure” is the description that comes to my mind as I finish reading “Head in the Clouds” by Karen Witemeyer. Set in Texas, in 1883, this action-packed story will keep you entertained from beginning to the end.

Allow me to introduce the main characters:

Adelaide Proctor: In spite of being a hopeless romantic whose head is always in the clouds, “Addie” becomes a tigress when the people she loves are in danger.

Gideon Westcott: A privileged Englishman who moves to Texas to prove himself and his business acumen in America’s wool industry. With very little warning, he finds himself the permanent, legal guardian of a five-year old child who hasn’t spoken a word since she lost her mother.

Isabella: The five year old mute who regains her voice because of the love and care of Adelaide and “Papa Gidyon.”

Lord Petchey: The villian is Isabella’s uncle who has no scruples and will do anything,to get to Isabella and her inheritance.

Take these four characters and mix thoroughly with non-stop action and a lot of love and caring (except for Lord Petchey) and this is a book that you will enjoy reading many times over!

I don’t always comment on book covers but this cover, pictured above, is a perfect representation of Adelaide with her “head in the clouds.”

To win a copy of this book, please leave a comment and tell me what genre you enjoy reading the most. Be sure and leave me your email address so I can contact the winner. Drawing will be held on Friday, October 8.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for the sole purpose of this review. This review is the opinion of the writer who did not receive any monetary compensation for the review.

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Finally Finished – I Think!

I have finally finished unpacking the books and other items I bought or won at last week’s ACFW Conference. It took a while because I bought several books, several books were free and I bid on the My Book Therapy Ponderers Gift Basket at the Silent Auction. The Silent Acution is held each year at the conference to raise funds for the Scholarship Fund. The fund is used to send deserving writers to the Conference. The basket was filled with over $450.00 worth of items: two books written by Susan May Warren (one book is co-authored by Rachel Hauck) on how to write fiction, a small handmade tote bag with two coffee mugs – one being handmade; a stunning Martin Pen; two journals; a 2011 planner; all kinds of office supplies – cute note pads, paper clips, etc., “Double Take” by Janness Walker and a fun book for little boys titled “Little Big Chief and the Bear Hunt” by Delores Topliff.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but you can tell by the list the basket, which I also liked and fits in great with my basket collection, was packed.

I came home with a total of 16 books. 🙂 Now if I can just find the time to read them!!

In putting away all the books, I discovered that somehow I had ended up with two copies of a couple of books. Although I did not purchase this book at the ACFW Conference, it is an excellent devotion/Bible study for Christian Writers. This second edition book is “Write His Answer, A Bible Study for Christian Writers” by Marlene Bagnull.

I am giving away one copy, so please leave an answer and tell me why you need/want this book. The drawing will be held on Friday, October 1.

And finally, a few last pictures from the conference and trip home:


Singing in the choir – one of the highlights of the weekend!



Cuttin’ Up!
Stopped at the National Corvette Museum in on the way home.

One of the many Corvettes there



Extremely large Corvette sign – can be seen from the Interstate



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ACFW 2010 Conference

The ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) 2010 Conference is over. I’m back home after a 12-hour trip on Monday, but still processing everything I saw and learned.

I traveled to Indianapolis and back with three friends from the Atlanta area: Dianna Shuford, Christy LaShea Smith and Randy Moss – no not the Randy Moss – but a great guy in his own right.

(Left: All dressed up for the Awards Banquet)

We left on Thursday and made the trip in approximately 9.5 hours. We went on Thursday so that Randy could attend the Early Bird Session with James Scott Bell on Friday morning, a session I now regret not attending. My day on Friday officially started at 1:00 PM with a hour spent in the prayer room, praying with and for those who came in and requested prayer. First time orientation was next and then the conference officially opened with the first keynote address by Tim Downs.

Saturday was full of workshops, head shots, editor appointment, choir rehearsals and a second keynote address by Tim Downs., Tim is a great speaker, interspersing humor throughout his talks.
Sunday started with a 7AM choir rehearsal. and included a worship service with the choir. It’s amazing what singers can do with only three rehearsals together. It’s even more amazing to see what God can do through meaningful words and beautiful music. More workshops, more time in the prayer room (a highlight of the conference for me), an appointment with an agent. No promises, but a great way for me to gecome accustomed to what is expected when pitching to an agent and/or editor.

Sunday night was the highlight of the weekend as we dressed in our formal, semi-formal or Sunday dresses and headed for the ballroom. Never (except maybe the Oscars) has so much glitz and glitter been in one room! It was exciting to hear the finalists and winners announced for the Genesis Contest (for unpublished writers) and for the Carol Awards (published writers). I was thrilled when several books I had the privilege of judging won their division in the Carol Awards!

Monday was a long day as we said good-bye to friends and left Indy around 9AM. After a 12-hour trip, it was great to be home!

Sandy, me, Dianna, & April
Back row: Debby Guisti, Dianna Shuford, Christy LaShea Smith
Front row: Sandy Elzie, Yours truly
                                        
Hopefully, more pictures coming soon!
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New Contest – Fantastic Prize!!

What could possibly be more fun than reading a great book this summer (well, maybe not more fun, but a totally different kind of fun)?

Celebrating 2011 with national bestselling author, Lisa Wingate, in beautiful, historic, antique-filled Jefferson, Texas for the fun-filled reader event of the year, the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend 2011 book extravaganza! If you’ve never been to the Pulpwood Queens annual tiara-wearing, book sharing event, or even if you have, you’d be in for a treat! Head Pulpwood Queen Kathy Patrick hosts a weekend filled with books, authors, beautiful bed and breakfast hotels, antiques, a costume ball, and more fun with books than you can imagine. Kathy has over 50 authors on the slate, including Lisa Wingate. This year, the Keynote speakers are Fannie Flagg, Rick Bragg, and Pat Conroy!

The best thing about this girlfriend getaway is that the winner and companion can do as much or as little as they like. Girlfriend Weekend offers two days of amazing events, and the town of Jefferson features everything from museums and antique shopping, to quilts, history tours, and carriage rides!

The prize package does not include travel. The winner be responsible for travel for herself/himself and guest (that’s right, this package is for TWO). If you’re the lucky winner, you’ll get:

***TWO fully-paid admission armbands for Girlfriend Weekend 2011 (one for you and one for your best girlfriend, or your favorite Timber Guy). This includes admission to Saturday night’s big-hair extravaganza, the “Great Big Ball of Hair” where you can come as you are, or arrive dressed as your favorite book character and compete in the costume contest. Who knows? You might become “Miss Hairball Queen 2011!”

***TWO nights in a room fit for a queen, amid the opulence and grace of the 1920s at the beautiful Delta Street Inn bed and breakfast in historic Jefferson, Texas. (double occupancy)

***Your very own “Insta-Queen Kit” featuring a gorgeous tiara and a smaller porta-tiara for more casual occasions (or one to keep and one to share with your best girlfriend), free autographed Lisa Wingate books, your scepter, a copy of Kathy Patrick’s Tiara Wearing Book Sharing Guide to Life, your very own Pulpwood Queens T-shirt, and everything else you need to crown yourself and read like a Pulpwood Queen!

More details and entry form are available at http://www.lisawingate.com/. This is a great opportunity for readers or writers, so don’t forget to spread the word to your book clubs, co-workers, family members, and girlfriends — after all, if one of your friends wins, you can come along as the guest!

Please contact me if you need more information.

Thank You!

Lisa Wingate
lisa@lisawingate.com
http://www.lisawingate.com/

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Set in 1386

I opened the cover of the book I needed to read and write a review, looking for the usual acknowledgements and author’s note. There were none. I found them at the end of the book; I like that location even better than at the beginning of the book. With no acknowledgements to read, I turned to the first page of the first chapter.

“Spring, 1386.” I turned to my husband and said, “Uh-oh. I’m in trouble.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t like books where the setting is so far back in history.”

I turned my attention back to the book. Two hours later, I’d read approximately one-third of the book and the only reason I put it down was to sleep. This book went with me everywhere for the next two days (if I had not had to work, I would have finished in one day). I have just finished “The Healer’s Apprentice” by Melanie Dickerson. Spell-binding. Page-turning. Can’t-put-it-down. I am now hooked on early historical romance fiction.

Here’s the synopsis from the back cover:
Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle,a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her – a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose fell ill.


When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must attend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But fallnig in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she mus take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Zondervan graciously supplied this book for my review. You can purchase “The Healer’s Apprentice” by Melanie Dickerson at all major bookstores and online sites.

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"Out Live Your Life" Max Lucado’s Latest Book

“We are common folk. We sit in the bleachers, eat at diners, change diapers, and wear our favorite team’s ball cap. Fans don’t wave as we pass. Servants don’t scurry when we come home. Chauffeurs don’t drive our cars; butlers don’t open our doors or draw our baths. Doormen don’t greet us, and security doesn’t protect us. We are regular folk.

And we wonder: Does God use people like us?”

In Max Lucado’s latest book, “Out Live Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference,” he proves that God does use people just like us to do His work on the earth. Giving spiritual lessons and examples from history and today, the reader will understand that God will use him or her. With chapter names such as “Calling Mr. Pot Roast,” “Let God Unshell You,” “Do Good. Quietly,” and more, Max uses commonplace occurrences to explain spiritual principles.

I’ve never read one of Max’s books without being moved – to change something in my life – or to help change others’ lives. This book has done both. I am more aware of the bad attitudes I have, and with God’s help, I will change them. But I’ve also been made more aware of the plight of the less fortunate—in my city, in my state, in my nation and in the world. I am more prepared to “See the Need; Touch the Hurt,” and to “Stand up for the Have Nots.” And even more importantly, I’m prepared to “Pray First; Pray Most.”

I can unequivocally recommend this book. It will change your life and through you, change the lives of others. It is a book you should make a priority to read.

This book debuts today at all major booksellers and online bookselling sites.