Monday, May 4, 2009

Today’s book review features three books in honor of Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, but you don’t have to be a mom to enjoy them. I have one copy of each of these books to give away to my readers. To enter the random drawing for one or all of these books, just e-mail me at Indicate which book you would like (you can enter the drawing for one, two or all three books). Winners will be announced on Friday, May 8th.

Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira

My oldest sister, Linda, used to go “ballistic” whenever anyone introduced her as “Heather’s mother” or “Kent’s wife”. She would use humor, but inform you, “I have a name. I’m more than someone’s wife or mother. I’m Linda!” So, to annoy her, I would deliberately introduce her as “someone’s something”! Since my sister regularly reads my blog, I’m taking a chance by admitting this, although I’d like to think I’ve grown beyond such silly games and she hopefully would agree.

In Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira addresses the loss of identity mother’s experience. She also focuses on the role of the church (including other women and mothers) in not only taking women’s identities, but making them feel guilty for being frustrated or irritated by their lack of identity except as “mother.” This is an excellent book for moms of all labels, “Stay at Home Mom” “Working Mom” “Soccer Mom”, etc.

This book is available from your favorite bookseller and Random House at this link:

Below is the summary from the publisher.


Formula for identity loss:

1. Take one multifaceted, intriguing human being.
2. Bless her with a child.
3. Mix with today’s cultural assumptions.
4. Add the demands of motherhood.
5. Presto! All identity except Mom disappears.

For every woman wondering what happened to the unique combination of gifts and abilities she was known for before kids came along, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has good news: in Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., Rivedeneira helps moms reclaim their full identity as creative beings, gifted professionals and volunteers, loving friends, children of God—and mothers.

This inspiring and practical guide shows women how to break free from false guilt, learn a new language to express who they really are, and follow God’s lead in sharing their true self with others. After all, motherhood doesn’t have to mean losing one’s identity. Instead, being a mom makes it possible for a woman to discover a more complete identity as the person God made her to be.

Author Bio:

The former managing editor of Marriage Partnership and Christian Parenting Today, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has been a trusted voice writing and speaking to women for more than a decade. Today she is the managing editor of, an online community for Christian women in leadership. Rivadeneira works from home in the Chicago suburbs, where she lives with her husband and their three children.

Dear Mom
by Melody Carlson

If you are the parent of a teenage girl – or will be at some point – or if you know someone who is frustrated with their teenage daughter, Dear Mom by Melody Carlson is for you. Melody writes from the perspective of a teenage girl and this “teen” will speak directly to you, telling you what she thinks and feels and how she wishes you would act. Carlson has an uncanny ability to give voice to that frustrating teen girl and will walk parents through the minefield of hormones and impossible to win scenarios like when to treat her like a child and when to treat her like an adult and how to know the difference, how to deal with their body issues, get them to talk to you, and get them to listen. This book is an excellent resource to any parent of a teenage girl.

This book is available from Random House here:

Below is the summary from the publisher:


Every mom knows how communicating with a teenage girl can be difficult, even impossible at times. One-word answers. Defensive conversations. Daily arguments. How typical for teens to put up such barriers. All the while, moms truly long to know what their daughters really think.

Best-selling author Melody Carlson, whose books for women, teens, and children have sold more than three million copies, bridges this chasm with trusted insight. She speaks frankly in the voice of the teen daughters she’s written for and she tells it like it is: struggles with identity, guys, friendship, and even parents—it’s all here. The straight-talk to moms covers such things as “I need you, but you can’t make me admit it,” “I’m not as confident as I appear,” and “I have friends. I need a mother.”

Instead of focusing on outward behaviors, Dear Mom looks at a young woman’s heart and reveals to moms:

· how to talk to teens so they hear,
· how to connect despite the differences of perspective or years and experiences,
· and how strengthen the bond every mom and daughter ultimately wants.

The lively chapters in Dear Mom can be dipped into topically or used as a read-through tool by moms and daughters alike to understand what motivates or deflates, troubles or inspires—and just in time for Mother’s Day and all the Mother’s Days ahead.

Author Bio:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. She’s a full-time writer and an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

Enduring Justice
by Amy Wallace

Enduring Justice is book three of the Defenders of Hope Series by Amy Wallace. However, you don’t have to read books one and two to easily understand and keep up with the action in Enduring Justice. This is a book about a grown woman’s battle to come to grips with the fact she was molested as a child by a family friend, a secret she has kept her entire life, until now. Aside from her personal struggles is the fact that her brother and boyfriend are involved in law enforcement and regularly have occasion to try to bring child abusers and predators to justice. When the protagonist “fesses up” to her loved ones, she also hopes to find justice in the legal system to prevent this predator from hurting others. The second, related story line involves the ugly world of white supremacists and their terrorist activities which strike too close to home.

This is a good, clean cut, Christian themed justice thriller.

You can purchase this book from Random House here:

Below is the summary from the publisher.


In Enduring Justice, Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her thoughts,Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. And when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.

A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. When the attack turns personal, is healing still possible?

This thought-provoking novel deals with healing from sexual abuse, the balance of justice and mercy, and maintaining mixed-race friendships in the midst of racial tension. Readers who enjoy investigative thrillers by Dee Henderson, Colleen Coble, and Catherine Coulter, and who watch crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and Without a Trace will love this book—and the entire series.

Author Bio:
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, a homeschool mom, and self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

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