The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blog Tour: Nothing But Trouble and Double Trouble

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of these books. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

After reviewing Get Cosy, Josy and The Great Christmas Bowl, I quickly added Susan May Warren to my "favorite authors" list. Her books are witty and humorous, yet realistic in both character and plot. I was very excited to be given the opportunity to review the two "PJ Sugar" novels she has published so far.

Both Nothing But Trouble and Double Trouble met my expectations which I had formed based on the books I had previously reviewed. The books are written in Mrs. Warren's signature style, which includes plenty of witty dialogue and engaging narrative. What I didn't expect, although I probably should have, was that I would so deeply relate to P.J. Sugar, the heroine of this series.

In Nothing but Trouble, P.J. Sugar returns home from a 10-year exile which was brought about by her poor judgment and others' outright lies. Although she had become a Christian during her exile, P.J. lives with regret and pain from past decisions, carrying the baggage with her, never seeming to be able to escape her past or her proclivity for trouble. Throughout the highly entertaining story, PJ discovers important truths about becoming a new creature in Christ and letting go of past baggage.

In Double Trouble, PJ is pursuing what she believes to be her life's purpose - becoming a Private Investigator. Through hilarious mishaps, PJ solves the case and finally figures out who (and with whom) she wants to be. I found encouragement in PJ's newfound knowledge that you are not bound to your past nor does it define you.

If you are looking for a hilariously entertaining yet thought-provoking story, you will love both of the PJ Sugar books. Honestly, you'll love any book written by Susan May Warren.

Want to know what others think? Visit the blog tour post for links to others' review.

About Double Trouble:
With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI's assistant until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ's seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case-house-sitting for a witness in protective custody-Jeremy assures her there's no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they're after PJ, too.

About Susan:
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. Her larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike.

A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Tour: Becoming Lucy

Thanks to Glass Road Public Relations for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Strang Book Group and debut novelist Martha Rogers have teamed up to create the publishers' first ever historical Christian romance, Becoming Lucy. Since I enjoy historical fiction, I was pleased to be invited to join this tour.

Set in the 1800s, Becoming Lucy is the first in the Winds Across the Prairie series by Martha Rogers. Lucinda, the upper-class heroine of the story, suddenly finds herself an orphan who must leave her native Boston to go live with her aunt and uncle in the Oklahoma Territory. Faced with a multitude of changes, Lucinda graciously adapts to her new circumstances and learns to enjoy her new life. Part of that new life is Jake Starnes, an unbeliever to whom Lucinda is nonetheless strongly attracted. With their differences in faith and Jake's past, the possibility of their interest in each other deepening into love seems remote.

I found Becoming Lucy to be an enjoyable and easy-to-read book, although parts of the plot were predictable and the characters didn't feel entirely realistic to me. The writing quality was typical for Christian fiction, which is certainly not the highest quality. Still, I did want to find out how the story ended for Lucinda and was rooting for Jake to find the truth that would set him free.

All in all, I think Becoming Lucy was a good beginning for both Strang Book Group and Martha Rogers. I believe that Mrs. Rogers' writing will improve as she continues to hone her craft, and I will be looking forward to reading Morning for Dove, the next book in this series (scheduled for release in May 2010).

About the Book: Lucinda Bishop (Lucy) has lain both of her parents to rest and now must move West to family members in Oklahoma. But 1896 Oklahoma ranch life is far removed from the culture and society of Boston. Her aunt and uncle do their best to acclimate Lucy to her new life, though Lucy struggles with newfound feelings for ranch hand Jake Starnes and longings for her former reality. Between Jake's past and Lucy's future, will she ever be able to live this new life?

Buy the Book:
Barnes &

About the Author:
Debut Novelist, Long-time Believer
Martha Rogers placed her faith in Jesus Christ 65 years ago. He has seen her through many major challenges that life has brought. She holds a Master's degree in education and enjoyed a 36-year teaching career. She lives with her husband in Houston, Texas.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Fun

Although much of the East Coast has seen record snowfall and no longer finds snow appealing, we haven't seen much snow here. Consequently, the novelty and romance are still intact for us.

Mr. Incredible and I purposely sought out the snow recently. We went skiing for the first time in several years. I hadn't been skiing since Pookie Bear was two months old - seven years ago. Mr. Incredible had gone skiing a couple of years after that, but I was always pregnant, sadly.

Anyway, this year we ditched the kids at my mom's house (thanks bunches, Mom!) and took off for our own private retreat. Boy, was it fun! Unfortunately, the kids had changed our camera's setting to black and white, and we didn't realize it until we had already taken most of the pictures we wanted to take. Here are some favorites. Mr. Incredible took most of these.

After we got back from our trip, we had 5" of snow fall at our home, a most uncommon occurrence. The children were excited, and Daisy, our new dog (tell ya about that later) absolutely loved the snow.

Poor Buddy Bear didn't even last 5 minutes in the snow. Daisy loves the children and is pretty well-behaved, not jumping on them. But she's so big and heavy that she doesn't have to jump on Buddy Bear to topple him. He had just made it past the stoop and was curiously looking around when Daisy came up to lick his face. She knocked him over - face first in the snow. He screamed and cried until I took him in and got his snowy coat off. He didn't venture out the rest of the day.

Pookie and I made the snowman together. The other girls had decided they had had enough of the cold. Pookie wanted a girl snowman - note the spiked hair.

We enjoyed the unusual snow event, even if Daddy did have to work all day because of it. The night when it was supposed to snow, we set out buckets and pans to catch clean snow to make snow cream. We saved some snow and made snow cream for Daddy last night. So he didn't miss all the fun.

What winter fun have you had?


Friday, February 12, 2010

Double Trouble Contest - Win a Prize Pack Worth $150

DoubleTrouble Susan May Warren, one of my favorite authors, is celebrating the publishing of her latest book, Double Trouble, by giving away an awesome prize pack worth $150.

Enter the Double Trouble Prize Package Giveaway by clicking on the ‘Double the Sass” button at the top of this post. Susan’s giving away an iPod prize package that is anything but troubling. Check it out!

Prize Details

Double Trouble, the brand new PJ Sugar novel by Susan May Warren, is in stores now. To celebrate the release, we’re running a HUMDINGER of a contest.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a $150 SUPER SLEUTH prize package that includes:

  • A brand new iPod Shuffle (perfect for those all-night stakeouts)
  • A $10 iTunes gift card (we recommend the ALIAS soundtrack)
  • A $10 Amazon gift card (why yes, they do sell spy pens)
  • A $10 Starbucks gift card (for fuel, obviously)
  • A pair of designer sunglasses (be stealthy AND super chic)
  • A gorgeous scarf from World Market (can also be used as a blindfold, and/or for tying up bad guys)
  • AND signed copies of both Nothing But Trouble & Double Trouble. (romance! danger! intrigue! sooo much better than Surveillance for Dummies!)
Click that button to enter now! This contest only runs from February 1st - 20th, and there's not much time left. The super sleuth winner will be announced on March 1st.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peeled Ears Answered

So I teased you guys a little bit with my Peeled Ears post.

Amber was correct. Pookie was trying to say pierced ears.

I had never had my ears pierced, and Mr. Incredible knew that I would like to be able to wear earrings but was afraid of the actual piercing. (I don't like needles, shots, etc. Pregnancy definitely tests the limits of my endurance!) So he gave me a shove by buying me two pairs of pierced earrings for Christmas. He was laughing at me when I opened them because he knew I'd love/hate the gift.

So I got my ears "peeled." (Man, the thought of that in actuality gives me the shudders. Can you imagine?! Ear piercing is barbaric enough!) Pookie shares my phobia of needles and wouldn't even look at me for several hours after I had the piercing done. Then she must have decided it was okay because she started asking if she could get her ears "peeled" and buy the princess crown earrings she had seen. Now she won't stop bugging us, even though we said we don't think she's old enough yet and will have to wait.

So there you have it - peeled ears. Gotta love the kids. :)

image courtesy of stock.xchange


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Blog Tour: The Choice

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

The Choice
by Suzanne Woods Fischer is Christian fiction about an Amish girl. It appears that I am not the only one who enjoys tales of Amish life, for several authors write along those lines.

I found The Choice to be an enjoyable story. In her book, Mrs. Fischer offers us romance, human characters, and forks in the road that take us by surprise.

Although The Choice is Christian fiction, it is not at all preachy of stuffy. Instead, Christianity is simply part of the everyday lives of the characters. I was particularly pleased with how clearly Mrs. Fischer presented the message that contrary to Amish belief, we can have a loving, personal relationship with God, knowing for certain that our sins have been forgiven and that we have a home in Heaven with our Lord.

I was touched by the theme of forgiveness and redemption found throughout the book. Just as Mattie never gives up on Sol and sees his potential for good despite actions that would proclaim otherwise, so God looks at me with love and sees the goodness imputed by His Son.

Interested in what other people think? Visit the blog tour post for excerpts from and links to other bloggers' reviews.


Enter to win a signed copy of the book! Tweet this:

Psst... pass it on! Join @suzannewfisher for a Book Bomb & Author Talk! Details here #thechoice

Please make sure to use the hashtag #thechoice to be entered. There is no limit on the times you tweet it.


One moment, Carrie Weaver is planning to elope with Lancaster Barnstormer Solomon Riehl, leaving their Amish community behind. The next, she is staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now Carrie faces a choice. An opportunity. But will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever?

"Fisher kicks off a refreshing new series, Lancaster County Secrets, with characters that are strong, both in body and spirit. They also have weaknesses that develop into strengths with the choices they make."
4 stars, Romantic Times


Suzanne is a wife and mom, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and an author of Christian books, both non-fiction and fiction.

Her relatives on my mother's side are Old Order German Baptist Brethren, also known as Dunkards. That's where her interest in Anabaptist traditions began. Suzanne's grandfather was born into a family of 13 children, started his career as a teacher in a one-room school house in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and ended it as one of the very first publishers of Christianity Today. "We called him "Deardad" even though he was a very stern fellow. Still, Deardad's life inspired me to write."

After college, Suzanne was a freelance writer for magazines and became a contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today. Her work has been featured in Today's Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, Worldwide Challenge, among others. She took the plunge into books a few years ago and now she's hooked. To learn more about Suzanne, visit her website at