Friday, October 25, 2013

The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Christmas Quilt

(Abingdon Press - October 15, 2013)


Vannetta Chapman


A Word From The Author:

I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.


Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

My thoughts:

There are two types of books I really enjoy reading...Amish fiction and Christmas books, and to get both within the pages of the same book is always a delight.

I really enjoyed how the author tied in the Fruit of the Spirit with the making of the quilt. It's not always easy to have the fruit of the Spirit when going through adversity, and I like how the stories that were told in the book seemed to put Leah's mind at ease as things were tenuous during the last part of her pregnancy. What a fitting example of letting those fruit be developed in each of us as hard times come.

Christmas is just around the corner and this book would be a perfect gift for any book lover who enjoys either Amish or Christmas fiction.

My sincere thanks to CFBA and Abingdon Press for generously providing a copy for review.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Plain Disappearance

(B&H Books - September 1, 2013)


Amanda Flower


Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.


USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it “the first Amish rom-com . . . bring on the next one!” As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she’s back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery, A Plain Disappearance.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

My thoughts:

Even though this is the third book in the Appleseed Creek series, this is the first book of the series I've read. I missed a bit of the backstory but I plan on remedying that soon enough when I pull the first two off my shelf and read them. Even though I did miss that bit of backstory it didn't have any effect on how much I enjoyed this book.

Lots of great characters and a twist-and-turn plot kept me quickly turning pages in my own pursuit to find Katie's killer. All the pieces finally came together for me and I pegged the culprit mere pages from the climax, but there were moments when I thought I'd figured out whodunit only to have my hopes dashed at my incorrect suppositions.

So, reader friends, if you love Amish or mysteries, or even Amish mysteries, check out this book. I was not disappointed!

My thanks to CFBA and B&H Books for generously providing a copy for review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Plain Disappearance, go HERE.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Class Reunion Series by Debby Mayne

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1)
Bless Her Heart (bk 2)
Tickled Pink (bk 3)

(Abingdon Press - June 1, 2013)


Debby Mayne


Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.

As Priscilla Slater’s 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity… and to flaunt her latest achievement—taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn’t enough, Priscilla’s hometown visit is further complicated by her parents’ separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there’s only one thing Priscilla’s parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she’s not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla’s best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn’t always result in popularity—or love?

Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1), go HERE.

My thoughts on Pretty is as Pretty Does:

You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll want to knock some sense into some of the characters in this book! Debby Mayne gives us a good look at how teenage drama and angst don't go away at graduation. So many of the characters in Pretty is as Pretty Does continue to hold onto the past with their attitudes and preconceived notions.

I really felt like this quote (from page 130) was quite insightful and really expressed a great "aha" moment for the main character, Priscilla: "...I think about how important image is and how people cling to what they want people to believe. I know I'm guilty of trying to be what people expect, but it's hard to face old friends I haven't seen in years without wondering how I measure up." I think in some way all of us struggle with those thoughts, and just not at reunion time.

At the beginning it took me a bit to get into the differing viewpoints in the chapters but once I did I really appreciated the perspectives of each one and it gave a more balanced approach to the goings-on in the story line. I'm really looking forward to reading the subsequent books in this series to get to know more about each of these characters - and to see where the relationship between Priscilla and Tim goes.

If you enjoy contemporary womens fiction with a touch of romance, be sure to pick up this series. I was not disappointed and enjoyed book one so much I read it in one day!

My thanks to CFBA and Abingdon Fiction for generously providing a copy for review.


Now that all three books have released, let’s party! (Yes, really!) Join our online class reunion the week of October 7, 2013 on Debby Mayne’s Facebook Page: Stop by to answer questions about the books, respond to fun polls, join in fun activities to help you reminisce your high school days, and win great prizes. Tell your friends and meet us there!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Nurse's Secret Suitor by Cheryl Wyatt

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Nurse's Secret Suitor

(Love Inspired - October 1, 2013)


Cheryl Wyatt


Not even Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would dream that this sweet, shy intercessor plots mayhem during announcements at church. She is a Registered Nurse turned stay-at-home-mom, wife and writer who loves Jesus with all of her heart.

Joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. She is convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentines Day destined her to write Inspirational Military Romance.

Cheryl loves to laugh and to make others laugh, so she often plans comedic moments for her defenseless characters in spite of their grumbling. She says it’s payback for when they refuse to obey the plots she’s set out before them.

Prior to publication, six of Cheryl’s manuscripts placed in ten RWA Contests. Two of Cheryl’s stories also placed First in ACFW’s Noble Theme Contest 2005 (Contemporary Romance Category), as well as ACFW‘s Genesis Contest 2006 (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Category).

She currently writes for Love Inspired. Her Wings of Refuge Series, about a team of USAF Pararescue Jumpers and the ladies who capture their hearts, can be purchased anywhere books are sold.


A Strong-Willed Heart

Trauma nurse Kate Dalton can handle any challenge—except love. The combat veteran dreams of settling down, but heartbreak is one risk she won't take. Then a chance encounter opens her heart to a masked stranger…who might not be a stranger after all! Caleb Landis, the army medic behind the disguise, has always admired Kate, even though she only saw him as her best friend's brother. What will it take for Kate to discard her fears and discover the man she's always hoped to unmask?

Eagle Point Emergency: Saving lives — and losing their hearts — in a small Illinois town

My thoughts:

In this third Eagle Point Emergency book, we get better acquainted with Kate Dalton, a former drill sergeant who seeks perfection in all she does. She's left military life and due to circumstances with her parents, has no desire to have a close relationship with anyone who chooses to don a uniform for Uncle Sam. We also get reintroduced to Caleb Landis, whose goal is to make it into Ranger school as a means to prove to himself that he is nothing like the father who abandoned him.

I really liked the beginning of the story where Caleb arrives dressed as a black bandit and comforts and encourages Kate. I did find it a wee bit far-fetched, though, as the story went along that Kate was unable to figure out the bandits identity. The scene of the bandit's final appearance is one of my favorites in the book, so it's worth reading the story just to get to that.

While we see many of the previous characters in this series, this book is pretty much Caleb and Kate...with Caleb's niece-to-be Tia making some memorable appearances. The girl does her best to tickle the funny bone throughout the story.

I've read all of the books in the series thus far and I've really enjoyed getting to know the characters in each one. I feel like the residents of Eagle Point have become my friends. If you're looking for a sweet, romantic read then look no further than Eagle Point. You'll find great characters with great stories ... and you'll fall in love with both!

My thanks to CFBA and Author Cheryl Wyatt for generously providing a copy for review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Nurse's Secret Suitor, go HERE.