Monday, March 26, 2012

The Chase by DiAnn Mills

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Chase

(Zondervan - March 27, 2012)


DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at


To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

Watch the book video!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Chase, go HERE.

Missing by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Avon Inspire; Original edition - March 20, 2012)


Shelley Shepard Gray


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page.


In the first book in her new Secrets of Crittenden County series, Shelley Shepard Gray delivers another page-turning romance set in Amish country.

Perry Borntrager had been missing from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, for months when his body was discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. Everyone had assumed Perry left Crittenden on his own, seduced by the wider world he discovered during his rumspringa, but now the truth has thrown this once-peaceful town into chaos. The first death from mysterious circumstances in Crittenden in more than two decades has invited the scrutiny of the outside world: a police detective arrives to help their local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englisher Walker Anderson.

Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare to open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Missing, go HERE.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot by Stephen Bly

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot

(Center Point Pub; Lrg edition - March 2012)


Stephen Bly


Stephen Bly (August 17, 1944 – June 9, 2011) authored 106 books and hundreds of articles and short stories. His book, The Long Trail Home (Broadman & Holman), won the prestigious 2002 Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction in the category western novel. Three other books, Picture Rock (Crossway Books), The Outlaw’s Twin Sister (Crossway Books), and Last of the Texas Camp (Broadman & Holman), were Christy Award finalists. He spoke at colleges, churches, camps and conferences across the U.S. and Canada. He was the pastor of Winchester Community Church, and served as mayor of Winchester, Idaho (2000-2007). He spoke on numerous television and radio programs, including Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. He was an Active Member of the Western Writers of America. Steve graduated summa cum laude in Philosophy from Fresno State University and received a M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. The Blys have three sons: Russell (married to Lois) and father of Zachary and Miranda (married to Chris Ross and mother of Alayah); Michael (married to Michelle); and Aaron (married to Rina Joye) and father of Keaton and Deckard. A third generation westerner, Steve spent his early years working on California farms owned by his father and an uncle.

Janet Chester Bly received a B.S. degree in Literature & Languages and Fine & Performing Arts from Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho. She speaks at women’s luncheons and retreats and does writers’ workshops. She is a member of Winchester Community Church where she serves as music director. She has authored eleven nonfiction and fiction books and co-authored twenty others, as well as contributed to five books. Janet’s hobbies include decorating her home in “country clutter,” reading almost all genres of fiction and mall walking. She lives in Winchester, Idaho–elevation 4,000 feet, population 300– situated on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.


In 1905, at 58 years old, legendary lawman Stuart Brannon - now a rancher and widower - had no intention of leaving his beloved Arizona Territory to attend the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, nor to participate in the celebrity golf tournament for the Willamette Orphan Farm. Even an emotional appeal for his longtime friend didn’t persuade him. His life no longer consisted of bloodthirsty men to track down . . . people trying to kill him . . . lawless gangs preying on the innocent.

Then the telegram came: Stuart, I need you in Portland. Tim Wiseman is missing. I think there’s a cover-up going on. Tell folks you’re going to the Exposition. Nose around. Find out how a U.S. Marshal can disappear and no one knows why. I’ll contact you there. T.R.

How could he refuse a request from the President of the United States?


Review coming soon...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stuart Brannon's Final Shot, go HERE.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Dog That Talked To God

(Abingdon Press - March 2012)

Jim Kraus


Jim Kraus grew up in Western Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He attended the Paris-American Academy in 1971 and has spent the last twenty years as a vice-president of a major Christian publishing house. He has written more than 20 books and novels (many with his wife, Terri). His book, The Silence, was named as one of the top five releases in 2004 by the Christian Book Review website. He is also an award-winning photographer. He and his wife and 14-year-old son live outside of Chicago with a sweet miniature schnauzer and an ill-tempered Siberian cat.


A wonderfully quirky, heart-breaking, heart-warming and thought-provoking story of a woman's dog who not only talks to her, he talks to God.

Recently widowed Mary Fassler buys a miniature schnauzer, Rufus, and her world is turned sideways in the midst of her grief. It seems that Rufus speaks. And not just to her. He also talks to God.

Mary has no choice except to believe Rufus, the miniature schnauzer, who claims to speak to the Divine.

The question is: Will Mary follow the dog's advice, and leave everything she knows and loves? Is this at the urging of God? Or is it something else?

Will Mary risk it all or ignore the urgings of her own heart?

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt from The Dog That Talked To God, go HERE.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Reading Thing 2012

It's that time of year again...the arrival of spring. Does everyone know what that means? SPRING READING THING!

Katrina at Callapidder Days has got things all ready to go. If this is your first time (or you need a bit of a refresher) just head here for all the pertinent info. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's lists...and hopefully not adding too many books to my already buckling bookshelf.

I've gotten my list categorized in hopes of making progress in a number of areas this time around. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to read at least ten books a month. I'm a bit behind, but I'm hoping to catch up during SRT.

Review Books:

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot - Stephen Bly and family
Missing - Shelley Shepard Gray
The Chase - DiAnn Mills
Cooking the Books - Bonnie Calhoun
Always the Designer, Never the Bride - Sandra Bricker
The Fiddler - Beverly Lewis
Her Restless Heart - Barbara Cameron

Series Books: I'd like to read a series (or more) of books that have been waiting on my shelf...some waiting longer than others.

Mercy Hospital Series - Candace Calvert
Critical Care
Disaster Status
Code Triage

Harmony Series - Nancy Mehl
Simple Secrets
Simple Deceit
Simple Choices

Library Books:

The Half-Stitched Amish Knitting Club - Wanda Brunstetter
Relentless Pursuit - Kathy Herman
Theodore Boone: The Accused - John Grisham
The Discovery - Dan Walsh

Kindle Books:

Diagnosis Death - Richard Mabry
Medical Error - Richard Mabry

Young Adult Books:

The Wishing Pearl - Nicole O'Dell
Roadside Assistance - Amy Clipston
Wreath - Judy Christie

Random Books Off My Shelf:

Accused - Janice Cantore
Protection for Hire - Camy Tang
Red, White, and Blue - Laura Hayden
Ten Plagues - Mary Nealy
The Wedding Dress - Rachel Hauck
Southern Fried Sushi - Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Like Sweet Potato Pie - Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride - Sandra Bricker
The Key on the Quilt - Stephanie Grace Whitson

*BOLD titles means the book is read*


The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer

About The Last Plea Bargain:

Plea bargains may grease the rails of justice, but for Jamie Brock, prosecuting criminals is not about cutting deals. In her three years as assistant DA, she’s never plea-bargained a case and vows she never will. But when a powerful defense attorney is indicted for murder and devises a way to bring the entire justice system to a screeching halt, Jamie finds herself at a crossroads. One by one, prisoners begin rejecting deals. Prosecutors are overwhelmed, and felons start walking free on technicalities. To break the logjam and convict her nemesis, Jamie must violate every principle that has guided her young career. But she has little choice. To convict the devil, sometimes you have to cut a deal with one of his demons.

My thoughts:

A murdered mother is the springboard to Jamie Brock's goal of becoming a prosecuter, and her experience compels her to be merciless in her pursuit of justice. The price must be paid for wrong-doing. But when that pursuit is clouded by the man convicted of killing her mother's still claiming his innocence, the killer's attorney being charged with the murder of his own wife, and a logjam in the courts caused by the defiance of the incarcerated to accept plea bargains, Jamie starts to waver in her belief in the justice system. Will she hold on to her long held convictions or will she be persuaded that sometimes justice and mercy must walk hand in hand to bring about vindication?

Randy Singer has once again penned a novel that dives deep into the legal system in ways many of us only read about in the papers. This story seamlessly ties an array of criminals, evidence, and unexpected allies into a story that will leave you spellbound at its startling and jaw-dropping conclusion. Definitely a must-read for any fan of legal thrillers.

About Randy Singer:

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel "Directed Verdict." In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing"--part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school's Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at

Please note: My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers & Debbie Lykins/Side Door Communications for providing an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Find out more on the web:
Tyndale House Publishers
Side Door Communications

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coming Soon: Spring Reading Thing 2012

It's that time of year again...the arrival of Spring is just a couple of weeks away. Does everyone know what that means? SPRING READING THING! Katrina at Callapidder Days is getting things prepped and ready to go on March 20th. You can get the scoop here. So get your lists together...and lets get ready to read!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Growing Up Ziglar by Julie Ziglar Norman

About Growing Up Ziglar:

Julie Ziglar Norman often says her dad is the king of 'doing life right' and she is the poster child for 'doing life wrong.'
For over a quarter of a century she lived every day with regret, shame, guilt, and depression. But she was the daughter of the motivator's motivator, Zig Ziglar, and knew that she needed to be positive. So she gathered up all her negative self-talk and squashed it deep down inside where it couldn't ruin the bright and practiced smile she presented to the world.

'People might assume Zig Ziglar's daughter would automatically grow up to have a positive attitude,' Julie says. 'For a large portion of my life, I was just positive I was miserable!'

Her powerful and heartwarming story will move readers to laughter and tears. Mostly it will renew their faith in God's power to redeem all the wrong choices and bring them full circle to hope and healing. Julie urges readers not to settle for okay when God has true joy waiting for them. She shares tools to equip them to make the changes needed to find true freedom in every area of life.


This book came out of the blue to my mailbox, and while it may not have been a book I would have plucked off the shelf at my local bookstore, I have to admit I really enjoyed it.

Most people in America know the name Zig Ziglar...the motivator's motivator...and would assume that everything about him and his family would be near perfect. Enter Julie, his youngest daughter, who through the course of her life made choices, many of them unbeknownst to her parents, that would shatter that 'perfect' image. She relates many of those choices and their consequences in the pages in this book.

Julie is candid about the choices she's made and the lessons she's learned...and many of those lessons are ones that you and I can learn from as well. God wants us free, not just for ourselves, but for others that may have walked in our shoes. He wants us to make choices based on wisdom and not on fear. He wants us to be who He created us to be...people who understand His expectations and want His will above our own. He doesn't want us to be the right person in the eyes of others...He wants you and me to be the RIGHT person in His eyes, because His opinion of us is the only one that counts.

I was greatly encouraged by this book, and even though I've made different choices than Julie, they were detrimental in my keeping strong fellowship with the Lord. She reminds us that Jesus loves us right where we are, and He was willing to give His all for us to find Him. A "Challenge List" is included at the end of the book to help us do our part to get to know His word, pray, be in a local church to be fed and encouraged...all practical things that can benefit a newborn to a mature Christian.

If you've struggled with receiving the free gift of God and His forgiveness for the choices you've made, Julie's story is proof that it's never too late to choose wisely and BE the RIGHT person!

My thanks to Guideposts/Summerside Press for providing a copy of GROWING UP ZIGLAR in exchange for an honest review.
Find out more on the web:
Julie Ziglar Norman
Guidepost Books