Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Giveaway and Review: Stray Affections

This book was for a recent tour from Waterbrook Multnomah.

The last thing that Cassandra Higgins expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home– even if means wrestling another shopper for it!
The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw, Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange–flurrious, as Cassie deems it–moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.
With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites you to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.


This was such a sweet story! The characters brought out such emotions and so did the storyline. Cassie is a wonderful wife and mother who is trying to make up for the heartbreaks of her childhood. Betty is her mother and was forced to make difficult choices while she was raising her family alone. They've had a very strained relationship and the first impression is that the reasons for the problems are obvious. But there is so much more to this story! The layers are gradual peeled back until you get to know the real Cassie and Betty.

The cast of characters are so entertaining. Cassie's four little boys provide comic relief and remind me of earlier days with my three little boys. We sure had a lot in common! They may live in a house of chaos but it is filled with love. Cassie's friends and extended family are all supportive and equally as entertaining. I don't want to give away too much of the story but I really enjoyed it. If you like small town charm, family life and animals (especially dogs) than this might be a book for you.

Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Release date: 2009
Pages: 320
Price/format: $13.99/paperback

One copy to give away.

- This one is simple! Leave a comment about a pet you had or knew that was special to you.
- Don't forget your email address!
- Contest ends October 2nd at 11:59 p.m. EST
- U.S. only (Sorry, I'm paying for this one myself!)
- One winner will be drawn by


Bonus Entries:
+5 Promote this contest and leave a link.

Good luck!


  1. I thought this was a sweet story. No need to enter me.

  2. This is on my wish list so I'd love to be entered.
    stacybooks at yahoo

  3. I currently have no pets (children with allergies). My Mom had a 3-legged rescue cat. She lives with my niece now. She's great!


  4. Several pets have crossed my path, but now, with my own family, we have a beagle who pretty much elcipses them all. She's such a sweetheart and brings us all a lot of joy!
    Looks like a great read! Please count me in! Thanks.

  5. My two furry babies (cats) are certainly my most special.

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  6. No need to enter me, Debbie. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  7. We adopted a baby puppy when I was in high school. He ended up living with my parents for 15 years! aitmama {at} gmail{dot} com

  8. Tiger was our first pet as adults. He was a tiny little orange kitten that was living in a cotton field next to my Grandmother's house. We brought him home with us, even though it was a 4 hour drive. We have never regretted it. We have had Tiger for 10 years now. Tiger is an awesome cat and he has helped us foster over 30 kittens for a local pet rescue (Coastal Pet Rescue).


  9. I had the same cat through all of my school years. She definitely was a special cat who mellowed through the years. She is irreplaceable! I haven't found one who can take her place.

    bsyb100 at gmail dot com

  10. this sounds so good!

    my fav. pet is my dog, Yogi Houdini. guess why we call him Houdini?? yeah--he's an escape artist!

    +5 posted this contest on my right sidebar at

    haleymathiot at yahoo dot com

  11. Kayley Rae was my sweet, sweet puppy, the first dog that was ever "mine". I got while in college. She died chasing squirrels when she was 9 years old. Broke my heart in a million pieces.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  12. I promoted this contest by Tweeting.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    Entry #1

  13. I promoted this contest by Tweeting.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    Entry #2

  14. I promoted this contest by Tweeting.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    Entry #3

  15. I promoted this contest by Tweeting.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    Entry #4

  16. I promoted this contest by Tweeting.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    Entry #5

  17. Our family's special pets are all dogs - Midnight, Sunshine & Maggie. Sunshine was especially loved because she helped my mother survive breast cancer over 25 years ago!

    Thanks for the giveaway ~

  18. This does sound a neat story. Got dogs - got me hooked.
    And I'm missing my Maggie who used to chase squirrels in the yard.

  19. Please enter me.

    The pet that stays in my memory was our dear cat Sebastian. We got him before we got married and he stayed at my parents with me until we got married. We then had him for twelve years through the births of both of our boys. He was very special to us and a very loving cat. He liked to eat cheese and biscuits and gravy.


  20. Oh, I am glad I saw your reminder as I thought I had entered. I really would love to win this one. I had a basset hound named Arthur. He was really my son's 10th birthday gift and when he went off to son, not Arthur, Arthur was truly mine. He got sick of a twisted stomach in a matter of minutes when he was 11 years old and even with emergency surgery, he didn't make it. We were able to bring him home so he did die with me holding him but he seemed to go very peacefully. The doctor said he had a weak heart and that had added to it. It was one of the hardest things to have to call my son away at college and tell him about Arthur. To this day, we miss him so much. BUT life goes on and I have my grand puppy who is my mascot on my blog. I think of getting another dog but with recent news of our first grandchild on the way, I want to be free to travel a lot now. So that's my story.
    kdhaney(AT) gmail (DOT) com

  21. Howdy! Somehow I missed this review, which is WONDERFUL! I'm so glad Cassie's story touched your heart.

    I had a good time reading about everyone's pets. Animals are such a blessing. Super idea for a contest.

    I'm currently running a contest too about Kornflake, my dog. More chances to win copies of Stray Affections @ Entry closes midnight 10/9.


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