Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan

About The Miracle of Mercy Land:

Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensible to old Doc Phillips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn—it’s the biggest news story of her life, and she can’t print a word of it.

Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City—decisions they’ve made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages—Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book’s strange purpose. But when a mysterious stranger shows up, Mercy begins to understand she may have to choose between love and loneliness...or good and evil...for the rest of her life.

About River Jordan:

She began her writing career as a playwright with the Loblolly Theatre group. She teaches and speaks nationwide on ‘The Power of Story’, is a monthly contributor to the southern authors’ collective A Good Blog is Hard To Find, and produces and hosts the weekly radio program CLEARSTORY with River Jordan, in Nashville, where she and her husband live. She is the author of Saints in Limbo and this is her fourth novel.

My thoughts:

The lives of Mercy Land, Doc Phillips, and John Quincy are separate, yet entwined. A book full of wonder arrives mesmerizing all three, offering choices that could amend or sustain the reality in which they all live. While exploring the complex and sometimes heart-wrenching decisions facing each of them, you'll find yourself rooting for Mercy, Doc, and John to make the wisest of choices.

River Jordan weaves in lyrical style this spellbinding tale of amended reality and second chances that will simmer inside you long after you turn the final page. This is definitely a book whose message is not to be taken lightly.

My thanks to Kelly Blewett of KBK Public Relations and Waterbrook Press for generously providing this review copy.

Find out more on the web:
Author River Jordan
Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers
KBK Public Relations

Monday, October 18, 2010

While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

While We're Far Apart

(Bethany House - October 1, 2010)


Lynn Austin


It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.


In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother.

Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.

And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse.

Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.

If you would like to read the first chapter of While We're Far Apart, go HERE.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Snow Day by Billy Coffey

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Snow Day

(FaithWords - October 11, 2010)


Billy Coffey


When you’re raised in small-town Virginia by a redneck father and a Mennonite mother, certain things become ingrained. And when you marry a small-town girl and have two small-town kids, all you want to do is pass those ingrained things along.

Like believing the best life is one lived in the country enjoying the pleasures it provides—summer nights beneath the stars, rocking chairs on the front porch, deer grazing in the fields. And believing that no matter how iffy life can get sometimes, there are some things that are eternal and unchanging.

But above all else, believing that in everything there is story waiting to be told.

That’s where I come in.

Billy Coffey was raised on stories. The first ones came on the front porches of relatives, tales laced with local charm and deep meaning. Then came the stories from people like Max Lucado and Robert Fulghum, who write with a charm and deep meaning of their own.

Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. If you drive by his house, you’ll probably spot him on the front porch. If you do, give him a wave. He’ll wave back.


In this debut novel, Peter is a simple man who lives by a simple truth--a person gains strength by leaning on his constants. To him, those constants are the factory where he works, the family he loves, and the God who sustains him. But when news of job cuts comes against the backdrop of an unexpected snowstorm, his life becomes filled with far more doubts than certainties.

With humor and a gift for storytelling, Billy Coffey brings you along as he spends his snow day encountering family, friends, and strangers of his small Virginia town. All have had their own battles with life's storms. Some have found redemption. Others are still seeking it. But each one offers a piece to the puzzle of why we must sometimes suffer loss, and each one will help Peter find a greater truth--our lives are made beautiful not by our big moments, but our little ones. (2010)

To read an excerpt from Snow Day, go HERE.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe by Irene Brand and Anita Higman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe

(Summerside Press - September 1, 2010)


Irene Brand & Anita Higman


Irene Brand has written Sunday School curriculum, edited a two-year series of mission curriculum, and her works have appeared in five program-material anthologies. Her publishers include Zondervan, Standard Publishing, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Fleming-Revell, Barbour Publishing, Kregel Publications, Steeple Hill (inspirational imprint of Silhouette), and Summerside Press. She has had 4 non-fiction books published, and 43 fiction works. Her first inspirational romance was published in 1984.

Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-six books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble Author of the Month for Houston. Anita has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Her favorite things include exotic teas, movies, and all things Jane Austen.


Two Christmas stories - one historical, one contemporary - under one cover!

Love Finds You under the Mistletoe: An Appalachian Christmas

A promise to her dying sister compels Julia Mayfield to take her young nephew to Mistletoe, Kentucky, a tiny town tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains. Sparks fly when she meets David Armstrong, a World War II veteran like herself. Even as shadows from the past weave a dangerous web around Julia and David, will their love flourish like the mistletoe that blankets the nearby hills?

Love Finds You under the Mistletoe: Once Upon a Christmas Eve

Hollie Goodnight's store has just been voted best Christmas shop in America. All the new publicity draws flamboyant novelist Van Keaton to the cozy town of Noel, Missouri, demanding to write Hollie's story - a dramatic tale of misfortune and triumph. She is swept up in his world of beautiful words and fanciful interludes. . .until Owen Quigly, her lifelong best friend, launches a plan to win her back.

If you would like to read an excerpt of Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Within My Heart

(Bethany House; Original edition - September 1, 2010)


Tamera Alexander


Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers. Her second historical series, Timber Ridge Reflections (From a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart), penned in her style with deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards.

These awards include the 2009 and 2008 Christy Award, the 2007 RITA for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2009 and 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others.

After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville with Tamera's father, Doug. They enjoy life there with Joe and Tamera's two adult children, and Jack, a precious—and precocious—silky terrier.


Determined to fulfill her late husband’s dream, Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her ranch afloat with the help of her two young sons. But some days it feels as though her every effort is sabotaged. When faced with a loss she cannot afford, she’s forced to trust Rand Brookston, the one man in Timber Ridge she wishes to avoid. And with good reason. He’s a physician, just like her father, which tells her everything she needs to know about him. Or so she thinks . . .

Dr. Rand Brookston ventured west with the dream of bringing modern medicine to the wilds of the Colorado Rockies, but the townspeople have been slow to trust him. Just as slow in coming is Rand’s dream to build the town a proper clinic. When a patient’s life is threatened, Rand makes a choice—one that sends ripples through the town of Timber Ridge. And through Rachel Boyd’s stubborn heart.

From the beloved, bestselling author of From a Distance and Beyond This Moment comes an unforgettable story about faith in the face of fear, about tarnished hopes and second chances, and ultimately about the resilient courage and tenacity of hearts broken––and mended––by love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Within My Heart, go HERE.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Dead Rise First by Alton Ragan & Robert McLaughlin

About The Dead Rise First:

Residents of Jordan, Oklahoma are dismayed to discover that a massive power outage knocked out all the electricity to the city. In fact, nothing with a computer chip is working. Cars, cell phones, video games are all suddenly useless. Local authorities suspect a terrorist attack; an EMP detonated to disable the nearby air force base. The frightened residents are cut off from the rest of the country and fear the attack may be widespread. Adding to the fear are several reports of "ghost" citings. Actually, not ghosts. These people are claiming their dead relatives are showing up in their houses alive.

About the authors:

Alton Ragan is a business owner and presently serves on the board of Shawnee Rescue Mission. He has served on the board of two churches and co-hosted a small television program called "Truth Talks". He has been an avid student of God's Word for more than thirty years. He is the father of two children and three grandchildren. Alton Ragan resides with his wife of 34 years in Central Oklahoma, where he continues to write.

Robert McLaughlin graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in psychology. He is a student of the Bible, Sunday School teacher, and avid reader of fiction.

My thoughts:

How many times have you read the same verse in the Bible over and over and really not grasped the meaning or intent of the text? I know I have read I Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV) many times and never really thought about the phrase "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I think I've always felt that it was almost a simultaneous event. BAM!...the dead rise...BAM!...we who are alive and remain are caught up together with them. Exploring the dead being raised first in the pages of this novel has really gotten me to thinking about what I think about end time events and I know in the days ahead I'll be looking at this much more closely.

I believe this book will stir you out of your complacency in regard to your walk with Christ in two conviction and encouragement. You will find yourself becoming quite introspective and repentant as you read this book...especially as you see Pastor Jack struggling with how he feels he's let his congregation down by not preaching with the fire and fervor that his preacher father did before him in regards to end time events and the need for the surety of salvation. The encouragement comes as we are reminded that there IS a blessed hope, Jesus IS coming soon, and it's not too late for us to heed God's call to reach others around us with the Good News of the Gospel.

This book is quite thought-provoking and soul-stirring, and I think it would be a good book for anyone who enjoys the study of end time events or for someone who may be backslidden or just needs a boost of zeal in their walk with the Lord. I know I'll be passing it along to friends and family in the days ahead.

FOREWARNING: The book does contain a few mild profanities. I felt the use was a bit unnecessary but it doesn't detract from the story.

My thanks to LeAnn Hamby of Hamby Media for generously providing a copy for review.