Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball - Review

About the Author:

Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”
She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.
“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”
Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.

Be sure to see Mrs. Paul's testimony page.

About the Book:
Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?

In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.

This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?

My Review:
What a wonderful story!!  I was so excited to get to read, Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball.  I was wanting a light, feel good, Christmas story to read and boy did I ever find it.  This book was fun and whimsical yet and lots of little life lessons we can all learn from.
In the story, Cora, a new believer with a very dysfunctional family, works for Simon, an seasoned believer who cherishes and takes complete care of his loving family both receive a ticket to the Christmas Ball.  Neither can find out many details of the ball, neither really want to attend.  Through the tickets and Simon’s sister, the two find a common bond and a desire to attend the ball.  Unfortunately, life gets in the way and they have to work through to find where they belong.
It’s a modern day fairy tale with a wonderful God twist.  A fun Christmas story.  I would recommend this book to anyone!!  I will be saving it and reading it again over the years!!
Thank you WaterBrook Multnomah and the Blogging for Books program for the complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!!
Happy Reading!!

First Things First - Dan's review

About the Authors:

Kurt and Brenda Warner met when she was a divorced mother of two, living on food stamps and putting herself through nursing school, and he was a college student. Kurt and Brenda married in 1997 and Kurt adopted Brenda's two children. Since then, they have added 5 more children to their family. After graduating from Northern Iowa in 1994, Kurt was signed by the Green Bay Packers, but was cut during training camp. He returned to Northern Iowa to work as an assistant football coach, working the night shift at a local Hy–Vee grocery store to support Brenda and her two kids, until he was signed by the St. Louis Rams in 1998. Kurt went on to lead the Rams in two Super Bowls, winning two NFL MVP awards (in 1999 and 2000). In 2008, Kurt joined the Arizona Cardinals, and led the franchise to their first playoff appearance in 10 years, and their first Super Bowl appearance. Kurt and Brenda are strong Christians, and the founders of First Things First, a foundation that promotes Christian values, helping the less fortunate, and encouraging others to put faith and family first. They live in Phoenix, Arizona.
About the Book:
Kurt Warner is the two-time NFL MVP–winning quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Brenda Warner is an ex-Marine turned stay-at-home mom who collects coats for low-income kids and rocks babies to sleep at a hospital for chronically-ill infants. Together they’re the parents of seven, going into their 12th year of marriage, and founders of a foundation that helps disadvantaged children and families. Their formula for success? They put First Things First—family, faith, and giving to others—it’s their family motto, and it drives everything they do. First Things First is an honest, insightful, and entertaining look at life inside the Warner household. Kurt and Brenda speak candidly about their marriage, the values they are working to instill in their kids, things they’ve done right, mistakes they’ve made, the importance of giving back, and the legacy they hope to leave behind. Includes a 16-page full-color photo insert.

Dan’s review:
First Things First by Kurt and Brenda Warner is a very real, grounded look at 
the Warner's family and how they approach life together. 
This book, while written by a renowned NFL Quarterback and his wife, is not a 
sports book, but rather a refreshing view of a life of normalcy, even within 
that celebrity reality. Sure some of what they have gotten to do may be on a 
grander scale than the common family, but that is never the focus, nor should it 
be, of this book. 
Their openness and the unapologetic stands they take for their family is 
extremely uncommon, in today's society, and is exciting to read about. I 
particularly like the style of the authors viewpoints of the same life together 
contrasted within each chapter. 
Kurt and Brenda both possess a drive for making a difference in the lives of a
others and attempt to successfully blend the rest of the families' desires with 
their own. 
Many writers write about the high highs or the low lows in their lives, but this 
book shows both with the positive payoff of making the reader appreciate and 
hopefully applaud their efforts and cheer for their continued success in the 
Whether you adopt some of the rules their family lives by or not, the real goal 
after having read this book is that you find a way to leave a legacy of love for 
your spouse, family and others all because that is what Jesus modeled for us to 

Thank you Tyndale Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!!

Happy Reading!!

Emily of Deep Valley - review

Oh my what a book!!  This is definitely one of my favorite reads this year.  It is so full of life.  Love, friendship, family, hard times, good times, history...
In Maud Hart Lovelace’s book, “Emily of Deep Valley” we find Emily, a orphaned girl about to graduate from high school.  She is feeling so torn.  She knows she has to take care of her grandpa, who has taken care of her since her parents and grandmother passed, but she also has a strong desire to go to college with all her friends.  She stays with grandpa though and gets pretty creative continuing her education.  She makes new friends, yet maintains her old friendships.  She finds new love even though she struggles with letting go of her high school crush.  She learns and she teaches.
Emily is such a giving person.  She has a servants heart that illustrates what Jesus wants us all to have.  She definitely puts others first and in the end is such a better person because of it.
I would recommend this book to everyone, it is a classic we will keep around.  We are a family that enjoys reading together and this book will be added to our list of books to read.
I want to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Emily of Deep Valley
Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
Mitali Perkins


A word from Mitali: Who In The World Is Mitali Perkins?

That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.

I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.

By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.

My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.

After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong female characters trying to bridge different cultures.

Mitali Perkins is the author of several books for young people, including SECRET KEEPER (Random House), MONSOON SUMMER (Random House), RICKSHAW GIRL (Charlesbridge), and the FIRST DAUGHTER books (Dutton).


Often cited as Maud Hart Lovelace’s (of Betsy-Tacy fame) best novel, Emily of Deep Valley is now back in print, with a new foreword by acclaimed young adult author Mitali Perkins and new archival material about the characters’ real lives.

Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can’t leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a “lost winter,” but soon decides to stop feeling sorry for herself. And with a new program of study, a growing interest in the Syrian community, and a handsome new teacher at the high school to fill her days, Emily gains more than she ever dreamed...

In addition to her beloved Betsy-Tacy books, Maud Hart Lovelace wrote three more stories set in the fictional town of Deep Valley: Winona’s Pony Cart, Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be delighted to find the Deep Valley books available again for the first time in many years.

If you would like to browse inside Emily of Deep Valley, go HERE.

Happy Reading!!


About Me

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I am a fully devoted follower of Christ!! I love my husband and kids more than I ever thought you could love. I have a wonderful granddaughter who is the most precious little girl in the world. I am a long time homeschool mom and love every minute of it. I thank God every day for blessing me with my family and allowing me to be able to stay home and devote my life to them!!!
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