Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Still Life in Shadows by Alice Wisler

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Still Life in Shadows

River North; New Edition - August 1, 2012


Alice Wisler


Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties. Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers. In her room, she created stories. The desire to be a published famous author has never left her. Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).

Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field. She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines. She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She has four children--Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications in her son's memory. This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.


It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.

One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Still Life in Shadows, go HERE.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall into Reading 2012

It's that time of year again...when we break out sweaters, start raking leaves, and snuggle in the bleachers at a local football game. But alas, let us not forget something we can do in the coziness of our favorite chair with a warm beverage by our side. Raise your hand if you're more than ready to Fall into Reading!

Set some goals, get a list together, and join in with host Katrina at Callapidder Days, myself, and many others who are looking to spend some time this fall season with our noses in a book. It all starts on September 22 and I'd love to see you join in. You can find all the pertinent info about the challenge here.

I've got a few books by new authors (or new to me) on my list, as well as a few Christmas books. I'm still trying to keep pace with my 120 book goal this year and still need to read 42 books, so I'm hoping having a goal will help me reach it.

Books to read on my own:

A Season for Tending - Cindy Woodsmall
Sandwich with a Side of Romance - Krista Phillips
Road to Mercy - Kathy Harris
Mother of Pearl - Kellie Coates-Gilbert
Accidentally Amish - Olivia Newport
Still Life in Shadows - Alice Wisler
Against the Tide - Elizabeth Camden
Beyond the Storm - Carolyn Zane
The Yellow Packard - Ace Collins
Double Blind - Brandilyn Collins
The Heart's Journey - Barbara Cameron
Organized Grime - Christy Barritt
Death of the Couch Potato's Wife - Christy Barritt
The Bridesmaid - Beverly Lewis
Almost Amish - Kathryn Cushman
Violet Miracle - Christina Li
Queen of the Waves - Janice Thompson
Full Disclosure - Dee Henderson
Abducted - Janice Cantore
Trauma Plan - Candace Calvert
Starring Me - Krista McGee
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin
*Escapement - Rene Gutteridge
*Teardrop - Travis Thrasher
*Rearview - Mike Dellosso
*Recollection - Tom Pawlik
*All of our Dreams - James Andrew Wilson
*Whole Pieces - Ronie Kendig
*The Last Night of Alton Webber - Robin Parrish
#Love Finds You at Home for Christmas - Annalisa Daughety & Gwen Ford Faulkenberry
#The Hope of Christmas - Jack Countryman
#A Wreath of Snow - Liz Curtis Higgs
#Prayers of a Stranger - Davis Bunn
#The Christmas Pony - Melody Carlson
#The Little Amish Matchmaker - Linda Byler

(* - 7 Hours Series)
(# - Christmas)

Books to read with my 6th Grader:

Flutter - Erin E Moulton
The Unwanteds - Lisa McMann
Vanished - Sheela Chari
What a Pair! - Wanda Brunstetter
Mister Ray - Adam Perry
Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact - A J Hartley
Wonder - RJ Palacio

Books to read with my 1st Grader:

Miss Fox's Class Shapes Up - Eileen Spinelli
Mary and Her Little Lamb - Will Moses
Princess Kim and Too Much Truth - Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Too Shy for Show and Tell - Beth Bracken
Wiener Wolf - Jeff Crosby

Happy Fall Y'all...and Happy Reading, too!

To see what others are reading during the challenge, go here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Bridesmaid

(Bethany House Publishers - September 11, 2012)


Beverly Lewis


Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


The Latest in Chart-Topping Amish Fiction from Beverly Lewis

Twenty-seven-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amishwoman is a closet writer with a longing to be published something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare.

Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amishman who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Found by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Avon Inspire; Original Ed. - September 4, 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.


A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

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


At the end of the second book in this series, The Search, we are left with the idea that Luke Reynolds has figured out the person who ended Perry's life. I felt certain that I had come to the same conclusion. As this book starts Luke knows that he must find proof to link the evidence to the killer. But as he finds out, there are still plenty of secrets in Crittenden County.

This has been by far, the most intriguing of Shelley Shepard Gray's series' that I've read. I mentioned above that I was sure that Luke and I had the person pegged. Well, the author is even better at keeping secrets than the characters in the book, since my guess didn't match Luke's, but I was still holding out hope that I was right. I wasn't correct with my initial guess, but as the story progressed I determined who it was before the end of the book.

This whole series would be a great choice for any reader who enjoys books about the Amish, especially if they like mysteries with a light touch of romance.

My thanks to CFBA and the publisher for providing a copy for review.