Christmas Book Giveaway

I have a few gently-used Christmas books I read last year that I’d like to give away to anyone who wants them. I’ll list them and link back to my reviews of them. If you’re interested in any, let me know in the comments. If you’re interested in more than one, let me know which you’d like first, second, and so on. If no one else wants the book you named – it’s yours! If multiple people want one book, I’ll use to draw someone’s name. I’ll draw names a week from today, Tuesday, Dec. 12. That should get them to you with plenty of time left in the month for some cozy Christmas reading. I’m afraid due to shipping costs I’ll have to restrict this to contiguous USA addresses only.


2. Where Treetops Glisten, three novellas set during the WWII era, by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin.


3. A Patchwork Christmas Collection by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson, three novellas from the Victorian era.


There you go!

Update: The giveaway is closed. the winners are:

Father Christmas: Kathie
Treetops Glisten: Dianna
Patchwork Christmas: Brenda

Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you in just a moment to get your addresses.


Christmas Book Giveaway

I have accumulated a pile of Christmas books, and some of them I am not likely to read again. So I thought I’d offer them to you. 🙂

I will list what I have with a link back to my review, if I have one for it. If you are interested in any, let me know in the comments on this post (not the posts of the book reviews). If you have one in particular you’d like, mention that title, and if you are the only one who wants it, you will get it. If two or more people want a book, I will use to draw a winner. If you want to list a first, second, and third choice, that’s fine: if you don’t care which one you get, that’s fine, too.

I will draw names the Friday after Thanksgiving and will send them at the cheapest rate, but they should still get there in time for some Christmas reading. I’m sorry, but I will have to restrict these to US addresses due to shipping prices.

So here are your choices:

Wreath of Snow

A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

Christmas at Harrington‘s by Melody Carlson

Treasure of Christmas, a collection of three stories by Melody Carlson (The Christmas Bus, Gift of Christmas Present, and Angels in the Snow).

Snow Day by Billy Coffey. One reservation with this one, but otherwise it is good.

25 days

25 Ways, 26 Days to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever by Ace Collins.

If I have linked everything correctly, clicking on the title should take you to my review (some of them are grouped together in shorter reviews), and clicking on the book image will take you to Amazon if you’d like to learn a little more about the books.

The giveaway and comments are now closed. And the winners are……

A Wreath of Snow: Brenda

 Christmas at Harrington’s: Kaycee

Treasure of Christmas: Abi

Snow Day: rcblibrary

26 Days: Michele

I am sending an email to notify each winner. If I do not hear back from them with their address by the end of the week, I will draw a new winner.

Thanks so much for entering!

My 8th Blogiversary!

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

It’s hard to believe I have been blogging for 8 years!

Our family has experienced a lot of life changes in that time: high school and college graduations, a wedding, a grandson, a mother-in-law moving in from out of state and then into our home, surgeries, a move to a different state, crossing from the forties into the fifties. More grey hair, more wrinkles, hopefully a little more wisdom and experience.

When I first stepped into the blogosphere eight years ago yesterday, the blogging community for the most part felt more like neighbors chatting across the backyard fence than a business, and I’ve endeavored to share my “stray thoughts” about family, home, Christianity, and just about anything else I find interesting or amusing with other online neighbors. I’ve always wished I had come up with a more creative name, but it still aptly describes the content. I’ve been amazed and so grateful that anyone has stopped by at all to read, and that some of you have stayed for years amazes me even more. Occasionally I’ll read blogging advice articles and wonder if I should think more about my “niche” and “platform,” but then I think…nah. If I ever need to have a professional blog for any reason, I’ll probably start a new one: I hope to keep this one as a personal and  hodgepodgy place to fellowship.

I’m so thankful for any way in which God has redeemed and used anything here.

Thank YOU so much for reading and commenting! Thank you for your patience with my foibles, your words of encouragement, your prayers through our various family crises. Without you this wouldn’t be much more than an online journal. You make it both more fun and more of a blessing.

In appreciation, I am going to host a little giveaway of one of a couple of different gifts to two different winners. I traditionally like to give away something that I have enjoyed, so I am going to offer a copy of the book Women of the Word by Jen Wilkins (linked to my review)



…and a copy of the Galkin Evangelistic Team‘s CD Be Still. It is actually a set of two CDs. One has very peaceful and soothing instrumental settings of various hymns and spiritual songs, and the other has Scripture readings with the same music as background. You can hear clips of the songs on the CD  at the Galkin’s site here or on iTunes or Amazon.

Be Still

For many months this has been my go-to CD while puttering in the kitchen, especially on Sunday mornings, and it has greatly ministered to me.

If you’d like to be entered for either of these gifts, just leave a comment below. Let me know if you have a preference for one or the other and whether you’d like the electronic or physical versions (you would need a Kindle app for your computer, phone, or tablet for the electronic version of the book, but the apps are free). I can only send the physical versions to US addresses (and possibly Canada – will have to check on shipping prices there), but the electronic versions can of course be sent anywhere. And this isn’t required, but just for fun in your comment let me know how you first came across “Stray Thoughts” and how long you’ve been reading here. I’ll draw a name using a week from today (August 4).

Thank you, once again, for a very enjoyable eight years.

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Ivory Spring for winning the book and Amy for winning the CDs! And thank all of you for your kind and lovely comments.

Give-away: E-version of The Tenth Plague

The-Tenth-PlagueSeveral days ago I commented on a post on Adam Blumer’s Facebook page to be entered in a drawing for an e-version of his book, The Tenth Plague. I had thought I was entering to win his new book – which, if I’d thought about it for a second, I would have realized that wasn’t possible because it is not even out yet (I can be a little dense sometimes. 🙂 ). I did happen to win Adam’s drawing, and since I’ve already read The Tenth Plague (reviewed here, along with an author interview), I asked him if I could have a copy sent to one of you instead, and he agreed.

The story is a sequel to Adam’s first novel, Fatal Illusions (reviewed here), but can be read independently. It involves Marc and Jillian Thayer, who have just adopted a new baby boy, and a friend has invited them to  a Christian-themed resort for some rest and time together as a new family. But soon odd things begin to happen: someone rigs the water system to dispense what appears to be blood from the faucets. At first this is thought to be a weird prank, but soon other events occur which are based on the ten plagues of Egypt found in the book of Exodus in the Bible. Marc and a retired detective friend try to find out what is going on while Gillian runs into someone from her past who has hurt her deeply. One of the major themes in the book is the need to extend forgiveness.

Adam writes suspense very well, and his characters are realistic, everyday Christian people trying to discern and apply God’s will in their circumstances.

You can read an excerpt here.

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a free Kindle or Nook version of The Tenth Plague, leave one comment on this post. I’ll use to draw a name from among the comments next Wed. morning (June 4).

The drawing is concluded and the winner is Lou Ann! I’ll be contacting her shortly. Thank you all for entering!

Winner of the Little House Cookbook

Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

I’m so sorry — somehow I completely forgot that I was going to draw from among the participants in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge LAST WEEK to give away a copy of The Little House Cookbook!

So I attended to that just now, and the winner is……

sjbraun at Girls in White Dresses.

Congratulations! I’ll get that off to you hopefully in a timelier manner than that in which I drew for it!

Thanks to all of you for participating! You’ve enriched the challenge and made it more fun!

Book Giveaways

Author Adam Blumer writes edge-of-your-seat suspense infused with Biblical principles. His new book, The Tenth Plague, will be released as an e-book on January 29. I’ll have more to say about it then, but meanwhile, if you’d like to have a chance to win a copy of The Tenth Plague or a physical copy of his first book, Fatal Illusions (linked to my review), go here or click on the graphic.

10th Plague Giveaway

Adam discusses the book here, and you can read an excerpt of The Tenth Plague here.

The winner…

of my blog anniversary give-away of Not By Chance: Learning to Trust a Sovereign God by Layton Talbert is Amy at Hope Is the Word!

I want to say a heartfelt thank-you to all who posted very kind comments there. I was not anticipating that. My heart was very touched and blessed. You all really make blogging a joy and I feel so blessed that anyone reads anything here.

E-book winner

The winner of my contest for the e-book of 800 or so tips, That Works For Me is…


Congratulations, and I’ll get the info. for downloading the book to you in just a moment.

If you’d like to buy your own copy, you can do so here, and you can save a dollar off the $8 price of the book by using the coupon code SAVE1.

Thanks for participating!