Books that Came My Way in October

My email inbox has been full of review requests but my regular mailbox hasn’t been quite as busy this month. I’ve turned down several requests because I have been subbing nearly every day which cuts down on the free time I have to read and write reviews.  I have also become much pickier about the books I will read and review. If I am choosing to read a book, then be sure that I truly think it is worthy of my time. Of course, some books just find their way to my mailbox without my previous knowledge. I am only going to spend time reading and reviewing books that I enjoy. If I’m not feeling it, I’m going to put it aside. I can’t get to all these great books that come my way, but at least I can tell you about them here and I hope to review them just as soon as I can! 
If you would like to purchase any of these books, clicking on the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon.  If you choose to purchase, I will receive a small commission without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  I appreciate your support of SincerelyStacie.com reviews.
BOOK REVIEWS
SINGING TO A BULLDOG
By: Anson Williams
To Be Published: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Reader’s Digest – Simon and Schuster
We you a fan of “Happy Days”? My husband and I still enjoy watching the reruns on TV and have introduced our kids to the show. I couldn’t pass up the chance to review “Potsie’s” memoir, SINGING TO A BULLDOG.  Watch for my review in a couple weeks. 
Growing up in 1950s California, young Anson William Heimlich showed very little promise. Clumsy, unsure of himself, and made to feel like a failure by his disappointed artist of a dad, Anson started working odd jobs as a teenager to help support his family. His boss at one of these jobs, an aging African-American janitor named Willie, unexpectedly became a mentor—and the lessons he taught young Anson proved to be invaluable throughout his subsequent career as an actor, director, and entrepreneur.

In SINGING TO A BULLDOG, Anson Williams (as he came to be known) relates both these lessons and the never-before-revealed stories of the many seminal TV series he has worked on and the famous (and not-so-famous) folks he’s encountered during his 40 years in Hollywood, including: • being directed by Steven Spielberg in his first dramatic role • getting kidnapped by Gerald Ford’s daughter at the White House • subbing for Sammy Davis, Jr., as a headliner with Bill Cosby • being humbled by Sunny, a young volunteer for the Cerebral Palsy National Organization • mentoring Shailene Woodley on the set of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and many more.

This compelling read has a cross-generational and broad appeal, combining all the fun of a celebrity memoir with the emotional impact of an inspirational bestseller. With Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams brings his gift of storytelling to a new medium in a book that is sure to touch readers’ hearts and lives as profoundly as Willie once touched his.
THE AFTER HOUSE
By: Michael Phillip Cash
Published: October 12, 2014
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
This one showed up in my mail.  It sounds like it might be a bit spooky for me, but I’ll check it out. If you like spooky stories, it is just $.99 for Kindle right now. 
Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?
EVERY VALLEY: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel’s Messiah
Compiled by: Jessica Miller Kelley 
Published: September 26, 2014
Publisher: Westminster John Know Press
I love Handel’s MESSIAH and when I saw this offered to review, I knew I wanted to check it out. Advent is a perfect time to dig deep into His Word and this was something different than I have read before. I’m looking forward to enjoying this devotional.
Handel’s MESSIAH is one of the most beloved musical works of the western world, playing an especially sentimental role in many people’s Christmas traditions. The libretto of the work, taken directly from the King James text of fourteen books of the Bible, has turned many otherwise forgettable phrases into memorable, singable, cherished lines of Scripture. This gift-worthy book will delight and inspire classical music fans and those for whom Messiah is a beloved Christmas tradition with essays exploring the theological, historical, and pastoral implications of the Scriptures that make up Handel’s Messiah. Forty reflections journey in order through the oratorio, taking the reader deeper into less-often studied texts like Malachi 3:3 and bringing new light to oft-recited passages like Luke 2:9-14. Each reflection offers the libretto from Messiah, the same passage in NRSV, and a brief commentary on the text, written by a respected scholar or pastor. Readers can peruse the book at leisure or examine one reflection per day throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: A Novel
By: Alice Hoffman
Published: September 23, 2014 (April 1, 2003 original)
Publisher:  Open Road Media
Several of Alice Hoffman’s books have been re-released as eBooks. I’m looking forward to reading this one. 
A bestselling novel of suburban daydreams and the magic of one woman who makes her own way in the world 

On Hemlock Street, the houses are identical, the lawns tidy, and the families traditional. A perfect slice of suburbia, this Long Island community shows no signs of change as the 1950s draw to a close—until the fateful August morning when Nora Silk arrives.  

Recently divorced, Nora mows the lawn in slingback pumps and climbs her roof in the middle of the night to clean the gutters. She works three jobs, and when her casseroles don’t turn out, she feeds her two boys—eight-year-old Billy and his baby brother, James—Frosted Flakes for supper. She wears black stretch pants instead of Bermuda shorts, owns twenty-three shades of nail polish, and sings along to Elvis like a schoolgirl.  

Though Nora is eager to fit in on Hemlock Street, her effect on the neighbors is anything but normal. The wives distrust her, the husbands desire her, and the children think she’s a witch. But through Nora’s eyes, the neighborhood appears far from perfect. Behind every neatly trimmed hedge and freshly painted shutter is a family struggling to solve its own unique mysteries. Inspired by Nora, the residents of Hemlock Street finally unlock the secrets that will transform their lives forever.  

A tale of extraordinary discoveries, SEVENTH HEAVEN is an ode to a single mother’s heroic journey and a celebration of the courage it takes to change.  
FINDING DADDY WARBUCKS
By: David Hwa
Published: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Wellworth LLC
I’ve already reviewed this cute, quick read. To see my review, click HERE.  It is just $.99 for Kindle.
We never know how God may lead us. The twists and turns of life often leave us confused and deflated. For 10-year-old Haley, the unexpected loss of her father was such a twist. When all is lost, a little light in the darkness can make all the difference. The world is a big place for a little girl. For that matter, it’s a pretty big place for anyone who has lost their way. 

Hayley finds her solution in a modern day prince, but she can’t pull off this miracle by herself. Nick, an attorney struggling to save his job, wouldn’t seem to be much help to a little girl trying to create a miracle. But life has a way of bringing us the people we need most, at just the right time. Still, there is so much that could go wrong, especially when her headstrong mother doesn’t fall for the prince. But there’s something Hayley doesn’t see coming, something she can’t see. Something she doesn’t want to see, something that hides in the dark where she can’t go, something unspeakable. 

Follow Haley’s journey into the light and see how redemption is there for anyone, even the condemned. And see how love can find you-even through the darkness.
 RICH IN HAPPINESS
By: Alex Kim
Published: October 10, 2014
Publisher: Bopyo Press
This one came from the author. Reading books on happiness always remind me to appreciate life and enjoy the moment. 
Do you want to be happy everyday for the rest of your life? 
RICH IN HAPPINESS contains secrets that can make your dream come true. It is simply a matter of knowing seven proven steps. 

Have you ever wondered… 
• If you can be joyful no matter what the circumstances might be? • Why some people are happier than others? • Why you feel like you are barely making it through each day? • How you can be productive and have fun at the same time? • How you can maintain the happiness peak you’ve experienced before? This book is interwoven with inspiring anecdotes, cross-cultural wisdom of the ages, recent discoveries by leading scientists, and enlightening humor.
LITTLE THINGS LONG REMEMBERED
By: Susan Newman
Published: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Iron Gate Press
My children are older and they are rarely home enough for us to spend time with them. So, we find ways to have fun with the little bit of time we have to spend as a family. With teenagers it can be tough, but if you make it a priority, it is worth every minute.  This book sounds like it will be helpful for working parents who are exhausted at the end of the day, but want to savor those evening or weekend hours making memories with their young children. I look forward to reading and sharing my thoughts with you.
LITTLE THINGS LONG REMEMBERED, written for today’s time-strapped families, offers hundreds of ways to create treasured childhood rituals. It is chock full of thoughtful and loving ideas that mean a lot-especially to children. 

Chapters are divided into convenient time frames: Gestures to strengthen family ties that take seconds, activities when you have five minutes, half an hour, or the entire weekend. Plus special circumstance suggestions for when your child is not feeling well or when you travel, for birthdays, major and minor holidays–including a set of Cardinal Rules to insure whatever you do is fun, builds character and celebrates your family.

Small parcels of time well spent shape long-lasting memories that are the backbone of family unity…and the glue that holds families together. Every single day offers fertile ground for creating positive recollections. Dig in to find “little things” that will inspire loving remembrances of growing up…and of you. 

CAPTAIN NO BEARD AND THE AURORA BOREALIS
By: Carole P Roman
Published: September 23, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
This is such a great kid’s book series that focuses on imagination and always teaches a lesson. 
Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arctic. 

Captain No Beard’s steering a course due north, sailing by the light of the North Star. Everyone on the crew wonders what the captain’s up to, especially as he gets embarrassed when they ask. 

When the captain finally admits his plan, the crew discovers he plans to steal the aurora borealis, the beautiful northern lights that brighten the arctic sky. They’re all shocked. They may be pirates, but even they know stealing is bad. Besides, how can anyone steal the lights from the sky? 

A charming, engaging tale about doing what’s right, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is the latest installment in Carole P. Roman’s award-winning pirate series. The first book, Captain No Beard—an Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, received the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 award and the Star of Remarkable Achievement. The series presents real-life problems in an imaginary setting and encourages discussion with both parents and educators.
Books I Purchased
LEAVING TIME
By: Jodi Picoult
Published: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Ballantine Books 
I’m a huge Jodi Picoult fan. I pre-ordered this one as soon as I heard it was coming out. I will be working this one into my reading this week. After reading her novella, LARGER THAN LIFE, I am even more anxious to read LEAVING TIME. You can see my review for LARGER THAN LIFE, HERE. 
Throughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that “not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us” (The Boston Globe). Now, in her highly anticipated new novel, she has delivered her most affecting work yet—a book unlike anything she’s written before.
 
For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
 
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.
 
As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner,LEAVING TIME is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.
JOY BEYOND: 28 DAYS TO FINDING 
By: Brenda McGraw
Published: August 18, 2014
Publisher: Brenda McGraw
I follow this author on Twitter and she was offering a one-day special of $.99 for her eBook, so I grabbed it. It is just $2.99  for your Kindle now. 
We are all searching for joy. However, most can’t find it. 
What is stealing your joy? 

There is joy beyond the circumstances and clutter of life! This Devotional Bible Study will help you find joy beyond hardships. These are stories from Brenda’s life where she shares the hardest times of her life with the reader. She has experienced Breast cancer at the age of 24; lived with the addiction of a spouse, which ended in divorce, and recently endured a Heart Attack. Brenda shares how she found joy by growing in her relationship with Christ. She will help you find the joy you desire by walking with you through the next 28 days! 

BONUS: INCLUDED ARE REAL LIFE TESTIMONIES BY OTHERS WHO HAVE FOUND “JOY BEYOND” HARD TIMES THROUGH CHRIST! 

God turns discouragement into encouragement. He turns sadness into happiness. He takes the ashes of the fires we go through and turns them into beautiful stories of hope.
GO TO SLEEP LITTLE FARM
By: Mary Lyn Ray
Published: September 2, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
I was looking for a book to read at our pajama story time this month and this one looked perfect. Check out my review, HERE. It’s a great bedtime book! 
In the tradition of Margaret Wise Brown, Mary Lyn Ray presents a hushed picture book about the rhythm of the natural world on a small farm as all creatures prepare for sleep. Artist Christopher Silas Neal’s classic illustrations quiet even the most restless little night owls with familiar childlike imagery and the comforts of routine. All is well, it reminds them. Now is the time for dreams.
CUPCAKE COUSINS Book 1
By: Kate Hannigan
Published: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
I purchased this one for our daughter, but I’m saving it for a Christmas treat. Book two in the series comes out in June 2015. 
Best friends and cousins Willow and Delia get an extra-special family vacation one summer when their Aunt Rosie gets married. But she wants them to be flower girls! Fourth-grade flower girls? No, thank you!
 Items I Won
I won this great Red Gold Tomatoes apron from Kris at BIG RIGS AND LITTLE COOKIES. Kris and I were childhood friends and then she moved away. Now we stay connected through blogging and facebook. Kris entices me with fabulous recipes and beautiful scenery from her Wisconsin acreage. Be sure to check her blog out! 
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