Friday, January 29, 2010

Becca by the Book by Laura Jensen Walker

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Becca By The Book

(Zondervan - January 1, 2010)


Laura Jensen Walker


Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products) Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.

Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.

Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.

Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.

To learn more about Laura’s latest novels, please check out her Books page.

A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.

She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog.


Sales clerk, barista, telemarketer, sign waver...

At twenty-five, free-spirited Becca Daniels is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. What Becca doesn’t want to be is bored. She craves the rush of a new experience, whether it’s an extreme sport, a shocking hair color, or a new guy. That’s why she quit her bookstore job, used her last bit of credit to go skydiving, and broke her leg.

And that’s why, grounded and grumpy, Becca bristles when teased by friends for being commitment-phobic. In response, Becca issues an outrageous wager—that she can sustain a three-month or twenty-five date relationship with the next guy who asks her out. When the guy turns out to be “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—she gamely embarks on a hilarious series of dates that plunge her purple-haired, free-speaking, commitment-phobic self into the alien world of church potlucks and prayer meetings.

This irrepressible Getaway Girl will have you cheering her on as she “suffers” through her dates, gains perspective on her life’s purpose, and ultimately begins her greatest adventure of all.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Becca By The Book, go HERE.

My thoughts:

I really liked Becca's character in this series and thought it was amusing to see her sassy and sarcastic self have to endure dating the upstanding Ben. She sure needed a good influence, didn't she? I also enjoyed the "tutelage" that Becca gets in the fine art of speaking Christian-ese from her friends, and be sure to check in the back of the book to see how fluent you are in speaking the language.

I loved being invited back into the lives of the Getaway Girls and getting a chance to catch up with everyone. A few surprising developments in the course of this book makes the reunion with them all the better. I hate having to say good-bye to the gang, but I must say I've loved the opportunity to travel the world in the pages of this series.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kelly's Chance by Wanda E. Brunstetter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Kelly’s Chance
(Barbour Books; Reprint edition - January 1, 2010)


Wanda E. Brunstetter


A Note From Wanda:

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.

It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (

My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing's book club, Heartsong Presents, in December 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million books in print. Many of the novels I've written are Amish-themed.


Life for Kelly McGregor is a daily drudge of driving her overbearing father’s mules along Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Canal. She dreams of one day owning an art gallery where her own drawings and paintings are on display. But these dreams don’t include marriage. . .not after seeing what her father has done to her mother. How then can Mike Cooper, a general store owner, make her realize he is different than her father and wants to support her artistic talent? Will Kelly learn that dreams can walk hand in hand with a love created by God?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Kelly’s Chance , go HERE.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Title Trakk Blog Tour: Thicker Than Blood by C J Darlington Blog Tours Presents:

Thicker than Blood
by C.J. Darlington
Published by Tyndale House

Winner of the
2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest!

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?

My thoughts:

If I could describe CJ Darlington's novel with one word, it would be authentic. Authentic in her portrayal of two sisters; Christy, struggling with alcoholism and abuse, and May, who is dealing with abandonment issues and financial distress. Authentic in giving us a view that reconciliation and redemption doesn't always come in touchy-feely ways. CJ also authentically weaves in her love of books through Christy's pursuits in the antiquarian book business, giving readers a wonderful background of the vocation that CJ herself enjoys.

I know we've only just begun 2010, but I have to say that Thicker than Blood is already going on my list of best books this year. It was obvious as I read through the book why it was the winner of Operation First Novel. CJ exceeded my every expectation with this book, and I sincerely look forward to more novels showcasing her amazing talent.

With careful attention to detail, emotion, and scene-setting, C.J. Darlington scores with her debut effort. Here is a special writer you won’t want to miss.
--Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times best selling author

If you love a good read filled with adventure and ultimately redemption, I encourage you to brew the tea, settle into your favorite chair and pick up the page turner that is C.J. Darlington’s imaginative new novel of a modern day sisterhood that triumphs over separation and the raw challenges of life to find the real endurance of both family ties and God’s amazing grace.
--Rebecca St. James, Grammy award winning Christian singer and bestselling author

With Thicker than Blood, C.J. Darlington proves she's a novelist for the long-haul, a strong new voice in Christian fiction. This book speaks to the heart, from the heart, about the heart. Readers will not soon forget it.
--Sibella Giorello, Christy award-winning author of The Rivers Run Dry & The Clouds Roll Away

Watch the book trailer:

About the Author:
C. J. began writing the story that would become Thicker than Blood (her first novel) when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in the novel before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Blood was the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel.

C. J. co-founded the Christian entertainment Web site with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website for more info.


Review copy generously provided by Tyndale House.

Faith 'n' Fiction Saturday

It's time once again for Faith 'n Fiction Saturday with My Friend Amy. This week we're sharing some of the Christian fiction books we're looking forward to in 2010. You can check out the posts of others who've participated and link back your blog post here.

This is just a (very) small sample from my ever increasing TBR pile/wish list, and they are listed in no particular order...

Once in a Blue Moon by Leanna Ellis: (B&H-March)

Bryn Seymour was nine years old when her mother died under mysterious circumstances on the same day Apollo 11 made its historic lunar landing. Forty years later—divorced, working as an obituary writer, and duly cynical—she meets Howard, a conspiracy theorist who knew her mom and believes a small Texas town may hold clues to what really fueled her demise. Seeking closure, Bryn goes along for this men-in-black ride. But upon meeting Howard’s son Sam, an outspoken Christian, she can’t decide whose beliefs are more pie-in-the-sky.

The gravity of life has pulled Bryn down for decades. But a perfect love could be her first step to soaring. It only happens once in a blue moon.

As Young as We Feel by Melody Carlson: (David C Cook-March)

Is there room in one little hometown for four very different Lindas to reinvent their lives … together?

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was forty-seven years and four very different lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all together in their old hometown—at a crossroads in their lives.

Janie is a high-powered lawyer with a load of grief. Abby is a lonely housewife in a beautiful oceanfront empty nest. Marley is trying to recapture the artistic free spirit she lost in an unhappy marriage. And the beautiful Caroline is scrambling to cope with her mother’s dementia and a Hollywood career that never really happened. Together, they’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts … and friendship doesn’t come with a statute of limitations.

The Gunsmith's Gallantry by Susan Page Davis: (Barbour-June)

Can the shy gunsmith and the widowed storekeeper find love when everything around them is in an uproar?

Hiram Dooley has problems—women problems! His sister’s about to leave him to get married (if Sheriff Ethan Chapman ever proposes); his sister-in-law, Rose, thinks Hiram should marry her, since they’re both widowed; and the woman he truly loves, Libby Adams, is blind to his regard. The schoolmarm has a different problem—a man claiming to be her uncle came to Fergus. . .and then disappeared. Did her father kill him? Can the Ladies’ Shooting Club once again ride to the rescue?

Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady: (Bethany House-July)

Jonathan Trestle is a paramedic who's spent the week a few steps behind the angel of death. When he responds to a call about a man sprawled on a downtown sidewalk, Trestle isn't about to lose another victim. CPR revives the man long enough for him to hand Trestle a crumpled piece of paper and say, "Give this to Martin," before being taken to the hospital.

The note is a series of dashes and haphazard scribbles. Trestle tries to follow up with the patient later, but at the ICU he learns the man awoke, pulled out his IVs, and vanished, leaving only a single key behind. Jonathan tracks the key to a nearby motel where he finds the man again--this time not just dead but murdered. Unwilling to just let it drop, Jonathan is plunged into a mystery that soon threatens not only his dreams for the future but maybe even his life.

Find out more on the web:
Leanna Ellis
B & H Publishing
Melody Carlson
David C Cook Publishing
Susan Page Davis
Barbour Publishing
Shawn Grady
Bethany House Publishing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Waiting on' Wednesday"

For some reason, I've always enjoyed books set in New Orleans. As I read the blurb for Dancing on Glass, I knew this one had to go on my wish list...and not just for the location, but also for the intriguing story and the gorgeous cover. Can't wait to read it!

About Dancing on Glass:

In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small-town Christian home and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama’s rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith. His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret.

In this lawyer’s unraveling world, can grace survive Ama’s fatal choice? What would you do when prayers seem to go unanswered, faith has slipped away, evil stalks, and you feel yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?

Dancing on Glass is published by B&H Publishing and is set to release June 2010.

Find out more on the web:
Pamela Ewen
B&H Publishing

"Waiting On' Wednesdays" is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. So join in - what are you Waiting On?

A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Lady Like Sarah

(Thomas Nelson; Original Ed - December 22, 2009)


Margaret Brownley


Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.


Sarah Prescott has never known a respectable life; just a hardscrabble childhood and brothers who taught her to shoot straight.

Justin Wells left Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying US Marshall at her side, their journey takes a dramatic turn.

His high society expectations and Sarah's outlaw habits clash from the start. With a price on her head and a sweet orphan in tow, Justin and Sarah make the difficult journey toward Rocky Creek. There justice will be meted out hopefully with a portion of grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Lady Like Sarah, go HERE.

Watch the Book Trailer:

Friday, January 15, 2010

We have a winner...

Congrats to readingrobin on winning The One Day Way.

Have a great weekend...and happy reading!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Waiting on' Wednesday"

I've been consistently impressed with the fiction titles being published by Abingdon Press, so I thought I'd spotlight one of their upcoming releases that I'm eagerly awaiting. From the cover to the story synopsis, They Almost Always Come Home has me intrigued. The author, Cynthia Ruchti, is the current president of American Christian Fiction Writers and placed second in the ACFW Genesis Contest in 2008 with this story.

About They Almost Always Come Home:

She’d leave her husband…if she could find him.

When Libby’s husband is late returning from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, she imagines the worst. But imagination’s fears seem two-dimensional compared to the 3-D reality of what she now faces.

The authorities write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Libby refuses to believe that possibility. If anyone were going to opt for escape, it would have been her. If Lacey hadn’t died, their marriage might have survived. But grief’s wedge split the distance between them wide open.

Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness-savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance…if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What they discover in the search upends her presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

They Almost Always Come Home is set to release in May 2010.

Find out more on the web:
Cynthia Ruchti
Abingdon Press Fiction

"Waiting On' Wednesdays" is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. So join in - what are you Waiting On?

The Last Day by James Landis

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Last Day

(Steerforth; 1 edition - September 1, 2009)


James Landis


James Landis lives in New Hampshire.


Warren Harlan Pease, the young narrator of this spellbinding novel, returns to his native New Hampshire from the Iraq War and spends an entire day with Jesus visiting and contemplating hi own life with fresh eyes, and a willing heart. He examines his relationships to those he loves─his girlfriend, his best friend, his father, his dead mother, his daughter ─ and grapples with the pain he has been carrying since the death of his mother when he was still a boy.

While in Iraq, armed with his sniper’s ‘s rifle and his deeply held faith, Specialist Pease traveled across ideological borders and earned an appreciation for his enemy’s culture and for what connect us all as human beings. He also learned how to kill and taught others to do the same. “War doesn’t test your faith in Jesus,” Warren comes to realize. “It tests your faith in yourself.” The Last Day answers some questions and asks many more. It’s a powerful meditation on religion and war, love and loss.

This work of compassion and healing grace will resonate with skeptics and believers, be shared and discussed between friends and among families. It is a book for our time, and forever.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Chapter one of , go HERE

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs

About The One Day Way:

Author Chantel Hobbs breaks the chains of past diet debacles and frees readers from unrealistic goals. She teaches daily fitness tasks that develop into lasting habits. By focusing energy and attention on doing the right things every day, she frees readers to achieve their weight-loss goals one day at a time.

I’ve got great news for you: You are about to feel better and look better beginning today! Today is truly a new opportunity for you to reach your weight loss goals. No, you won’t fit into your “skinny jeans” today, but I’m going to show you how each day will get you closer to that goal.

Yesterday’s mistakes are gone so let them go. You can’t control tomorrow, so stop worrying about it. Today is your opportunity to lose weight, get strong, and look great. It won’t happen overnight, but you can build a new life by changing your actions immediately and I’m here to show you how to make the changes that will create the new lifestyle you dream of: body, mind, and spirit. Best of all, you will start celebrating right away!

Come on, my friend. Let’s get started! By opening this book, I’ll show you how to unlock every tool you need to lose weight and get fit —and stay that way for the rest of your life. Success can be yours, what are you waiting for?


The One-Day Way gives you everything you need to lose weight and get fit in body, mind, and spirit:

-Break free from past dieting defeats
-Learn a realistic, life-changing way to measure success
-Change the way you think so you can change your life
-Translate your dreams into goals, and your goals into lasting achievements
-Get strong with thirty-one simple exercises, no fancy equipment required
-Take advantage of ten ways to eat better while you lose weight

Chantel Hobbs is the author of Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer. She is a motivational speaker, life coach, personal trainer, marathon runner, wife, and mother of four whose story has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, the 700 Club, and the covers of People and First magazines. She appears weekly on two fitness-themed radio programs and promotes her One-Day Way Learning System on television. Check out her website for fitness updates and coaching tips.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book and I think it can be very helpful to anyone who needs a jump start on their way to living a healthy lifestyle. Chantel really reinforces through this whole book that while big success is the ultimate goal, it is only achieved through taking your life one day at a time, with small successes along the way. If I mess up today, I can wake up tomorrow with the opportunity of making good choices and see success that day.

I also like that she included not just food and fitness, but the aspect of faith in regard to meeting these healthy lifestyle goals. It's not always an easy task to change your life, and being able to rely on God, God's Word, and prayer for strength can really give a person that boost to overcome and succeed.

I think this book would be great for someone (including myself) who may get easily discouraged when it seems big success is slow in coming. It helps to give a person the mindset that from a multitude of small successes, big results come, even one day at a time.

Would you like a chance to win this book?

I have the privilege of giving away one copy of The One Day Way, thanks to Waterbrook Press. If you'd like a chance win and you have a US postal code, please leave a comment that INCLUDES YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION (you at yoohoo dot com) by midnight Thursday (January 14th, 2010).

Review copy generously provided by Waterbrook Press.

Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida by Sandra D Bricker

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida

(Summerside Press - November 1, 2009)


Sandra D. Bricker


For more than a decade, Author Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While writing in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

One of Sandie's passions revolves around the rights of animals. She's been involved in fundraising for Lost Angels Animal Rescue for several years now; in fact, a portion of the proceeds of Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida will go to help the non-profit group with their expenses. And Lost Angels paid her back in a big way: They brought a free-spirited Collie named Sophie into her life after the loss of her 15-year companion Caleb.

It was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer.

In Sandie's words: "I guess most people would see my career as a publicist as a sort of dream job. But giving it up turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me!" she declares. "Not only was I given the gift of getting to know my mother as an adult woman before she passed away, but I was also afforded the blessing of being able to focus completely on my dream of a writing career. I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost, so it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch their new Love Finds You line."


Lawyer Cassie Constantine has no plans to stay in Florida. She's here just long enough to sell her late husbands vacation house, a tacky bungalow she's always despised then she'll hightail it back to her gracious Boston brownstone.

But the place needs more work than Cassie bargained for. What's more, her widow status is like a target on her back and the elderly matchmakers around town manage to sidetrack her mission at every turn.

Holiday is a landmine of golf tournaments, ballroom dancing competitions, shuffleboard and day trips. But the biggest obstacle of all? Richard Dillon, the stuffed shirt she's paired with on the dance floor.

Cassie had always considered herself uptight but Richard won't take a walk on the beach without his socks and shoes! There's one little problem he makes her heart beat faster than the rhythm of the quickstep. Can Cassie and Richard let loose long enough to have a little fun?

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida, go HERE.

Watch the trailer:

My thoughts:

I think this has got to be one of the most amusing books I've read in quite some time...and I found myself not just chuckling, but outright laughing numerous times throughout the story (Chapter 11 especially). A number of memorable supporting characters (Millicent and the Hootzes) were a nice complement to Richard and Cassie and added their own mirth to the story. A bit of intrigue, plenty of humor, and warm setting were just what I needed after suffering through my own Christmas holiday break with 14+" of windblown snow and temperatures below 0°. Definitely a great book if you need to rid yourself of the Winter blaah's.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Top Picks at My Buckling Bookshelf

Another year has come and gone and while I didn't read an enormous number of books as I have in years past, I did have a few that really stood out. I've listed them below (in no particular order), along with my thoughts on each book. I appreciate all who have stopped by My Buckling Bookshelf over the past year, and I'm wishing you all a fabulous 2010. Happy reading!

Gone To Green by Judy Christie

I really enjoyed this book. Lois Barker is such a great character - she's tough and can hold her own, but you can still see the vulnerability in her. I really enjoyed Lois' interaction with each of the minor characters in the book - and there are some doozies. The pace of the story was superb - like newspaper staff working tirelessy in its efforts to put the paper to bed.

Another thing about Gone to Green that I thought stood out is the dialogue between Pastor Jean and Lois in Chapter 15. There was such a natural progression in the conversation concerning Lois's decision of whether or not to sell the paper and leave Green, that although Scripture is used, it didn't feel 'preachy'. Pastor Jean's instructions of letting the Peace of God guide a person's decisions in life are words all of us - not just Lois - need to hear.

I've already decided that this book is to be counted among the best books I've read this year, and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the series - Goodness Gracious Green will be released in Fall 2010 and Green Through and Through in Fall 2011.

The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir

If you're like me, I'm sure you've read plenty of books that left you wanting more - but with The Night Watchman, full of great characters, a multitude of plot twists, and suspense that comes at you at a steady pace, I closed the back cover totally satisfied (although it does have me curious to see what happens with Ray Quinn in the next book). This is probably one of the best books I've read all year. If you're a fan of crime drama and suspense, then you need to read this book.

Shame by Greg Garrett

With a plot that could be the real life story of someone you know, maybe even yourself, this book is riveting with its stark portrayal of one mans struggle with with regret and temptation. There are several storylines intertwined in this book, all compelling, and you can't help but empathize with almost every character in this book at some point. As John comes face to face with "what might have been" - will he choose his comfortable, if not complacent life, or will he trade it away to reclaim the life he wished he'd had. Great story, great characters, and with a backdrop of basketball (which I personally love), and even though it pushes the envelope a bit, this book scores big for me.

Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge

Never the Bride takes a serious subject, finding your life's partner, and turns it into an uproarious adventure as Jessie tries to shed her 'Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride' persona. A story that just goes to show you that when God shows up, you never know what will happen. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll want to read this book again and again.

Through the Fire by Shawn Grady

With descriptions so real my fingers were warm from turning the pages, Shawn Grady's debut novel Through the Fire mesmerized me from the very first page. He combines a powerful mix of action and intrigue, real to life scenarios, amazing description, with a small dose of romance, which kept me fully involved to the very last page. This has been one of the best books I've read so far this year, and I can see why Shawn was voted 'Most Promising New Writer' at Mount'd never guess that this is his first novel. I'm looking forward to see what he has in store for his readers next.

The Sheriff’s Surrender by Susan Page Davis

I really, really, REALLY liked this book. I'm counting this as one of my favorite books of 2009. If you like historical fiction with a light touch of mystery, humor, and romance, then this is a book you need to read.

Gert Dooley, spunky gal that she is, also shows us a tender side of herself as she, along with proprietess Libby Adams, and newly arrived minister's wife, Apphia Benton, befriend ladies from all reaches of society. Under Gert's tutelage, the group becomes the Ladies' Shooting Club, who do their best to help rookie sheriff Ethan Chapman maintain law and order and sniff out crime in Fergus, Idaho.

There were parts of this book that made me laugh and parts that made me tear up. And while I did figure out who the villian was about halfway through, instead of skipping to the end to find out if my assumptions were true (or to see what the motive was), The Sheriff's Surrender was so engaging I didn't skip a page.

Another part of this book I enjoyed was the connection that Gert had with her brother Hiram, and how that connection made them able to communicate on a whole different level. I can't wait to get a hold of The Gunsmith's Gallantry (due out June 2010), because I know with the introduction to Hiram in this book, his story will be just as good as Gert's.

Find out more on the web:
Judy Christie
Rene Gutteridge
Cheryl McKay
Mark Mynheir
Shawn Grady
Susan Page Davis

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Silent Governess

(Bethany House - Original edition, January 1, 2010)


Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.

But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of The Silent Governess, go HERE. You can also sign up as a Follower when you get to that page, and get announcements of the first chapters for all the great books we tour!