Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Swept Away by Laura V Hilton and Cindy Loven


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Swept Away

(Abingdon Press - November 18, 2014)

by

Laura V. Hilton
and
Cindy Loven


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award winning author Laura V. Hilton has penned many novels, including the Amish of Seymour series, the Amish of Webster County series, and the forthcoming Amish of Jamesport series. A member of ACFW, Laura is also a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. A pastor’s wife, stay-at-home mom, and home school teacher, Laura and her family make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

A lifelong reader, Cindy Loven is an active church wife of a minister and mother to one son who is a home school graduate. Cindy and her family reside in Conway, Arkansas.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Saved by the Fireman by Allie Pleiter


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Saved by the Fireman

(Love Inspired - October 21, 2014)

by

Allie Pleiter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Building their future

Charlotte Taylor isn't good at playing it safe. Reeling from the sudden loss of her job and her beloved grandmother, Charlotte knows buying a dilapidated cottage in Gordon Falls isn't exactly practical. Especially since she just hired the one man who may love the property more than she does to help renovate it. Volunteer firefighter and part-time contractor Jesse Sykes can't stay mad at Charlotte for very long. Though she snatched up the home he'd planned on purchasing, Charlotte's dreams are big enough for both of them…if only she'd let him in. Charlotte promised she'd never fall for a first responder, but is it already too late?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town

If you would like to read the first chapter of Saved by the Fireman, go HERE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Quilted by Christmas

(Abingdon Press - October 21, 2014)

by

Jodie Bailey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A note from the Author: Well, I’m a regular ol’ person. Who just happens to write. A lot. Probably more than I should. I firmly believe that God created me to be a writer. From the time I learned how to string letters together into words I’ve been making up stories. Believe me… I have a very rich imagination. I used to think I was weird; now I know God just put me together that way. I can’t even watch commercials without expanding them into stories in my head. I am humbled and honored all at the same time that God looked down from heaven on me and said, “Jodie, do what you love.” Wow… how awesome is that?

I have always loved to write. I have stories that I wrote when I was in first grade. I used to sit at my grandmother’s yellow electric typewriter for hours, banging out my own little stories. When I was eleven, she bought me a typewriter of my own (It was 1984, okay?) and I would write and write on it. I wrote stories out by hand, and they ran to hundreds of pages. I got my first computer when I was eighteen, and the first thing I did was write a story on it. I wrote for school. I wrote for fun. I wrote for my friends. I’d get them on the phone and make up stories for them. (I earned the nickname “Dreamweaver” for that one. Nobody calls me that anymore, but it still stands as the coolest nickname I ever had.)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Quilted by Christmas, go HERE.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Love Undone

(WaterBrook Press - September 9, 2014)

by

Cindy Woodsmall

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written fifteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

(Since that last line sounds sad and bare, I thought I’d add an “epilogue” of sorts. Our two oldest sons are married and live only a couple of miles from my empty nest, and I have three adorable grandchildren! ♥)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.

A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.

How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?


At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene..

As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Love Undone, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Hidden in the Stars

(Abingdon Press - September 16, 2014)

by

Robin Caroll


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden in the Stars, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead by Diane Noble


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead

(David C. Cook - September 1, 2014)

by

Diane Noble



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning novelist Diane Noble writes stories that tap into the secrets of the heart.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She recently finished writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one, The Sister Wife, and book 2, The Betrayal, which are published by Harper Collins/Avon Inspire, are now in bookstores.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

She’s Passionate about Solving the Case ... with the Town’s Life-Long Bachelor

El Littlefield runs The Butler Did It catering. It’s the perfect cover for her to solve “who-done-its” (nothing too dangerous, please!) in this small university town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While catering her most important event yet—a fancy retirement dinner for Dr. Max Haverhill, life-long bachelor and history dean—countless guests fall ill, a 200 year-old relic is stolen, and her best friend vanishes. All in the first hour.

As El and Max race to solve the mystery, they discover there’s more to their relationship than simply solving the case. Welcome to Eden’s Bridge—the perfect small town setting for big intrigue, romance, and humor.

My thoughts:

I'm not quite done with the book, but I am enjoying it. It's been a while since I've read something by Diane Noble and the title alone intrigued me. I know that the caliber of Diane's mysteries is top-notch and have had this book on my wish list and was excited to see it on the CFBA tour schedule.

She doesn't disappoint. The characters are great - from the endearing Professor Haverhill, to the loyal and sensible El Littlefield, and I certainly can't leave out the quirky and inquisitive Hyacinth Gilvertin! Her antics, while seemingly far-fetched at times but befitting her personality, were enough to keep me turning pages.

If you're a fan of Christian mysteries with a very light touch of romance like I am, then pick up this book. I was excited to read that this is the first of a three part series ... so I'm anticipating a return trip to Eden's Bridge.

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and David C Cook Publishing for generously providing a copy for review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead, go HERE.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Driftwood Tides

(Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. - September 1, 2014)

by

Gina Holmes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.

ABOUT THE BOOK

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.

When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

My thoughts:

Another winner from Gina Holmes! This is the second of her books that I've read and I think I enjoyed this one as much if not more that the first one I read. (Wings of Glass)

I really enjoyed this book - the combining of complex characters and trying circumstances to deliver a heartfelt story of reaching out, forgiveness, and new beginnings. This book was engaging and pages just flew by as I read. While the whole of the book was really good, it is totally worth reading just for the ending! Absolutely loved it!

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and Tyndale House for generously providing a copy for my honest review.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Miracle in a Dry Season

(Bethany House Publishers - August 5, 2014)

by

Sarah Loudin Thomas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud That Brings Hope

It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

My thoughts:

I haven't finished this one yet, but the story has hooked me - and I hope to finish it in the next day or so. I'm looking forward to seeing if love and forgiveness will prevail with the characters of this story. Reading this book really makes a reader examine his own heart in the judging and not demonstrating the loving nature of God to others - especially before you even know a person.

The only thing I'm scratching my head a bit about with the book is that I feel like the time frame mirrors that of the 1930s or 1940s instead of the mid-1950s. Maybe it's the rural setting of the book that makes it seem that way. When I think of the 1950s, I think more of an idyllic "Leave it to Beaver" era. Even though it feels like it is set in a different time, it has no effect on how much I'm enjoying the story.

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and Bethany House Publishers for generously providing a copy for review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Grand Design by Amber Stockton


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Grand Design

(Abingdon Press - August 19, 2014)

by

Amber Stockton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Words from the author:

Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my mid-30's, married to the love of my life since July 2007, have a daughter and a son, and live in Colorado. Here, I am content to do what I love—write, speak, and offer virtual assistance.

Thanks to the gentle nudging of a fellow author -- Tracie Peterson -- in 2002, I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers and wouldn't be published today without them. For those of you who are also fiction writers looking for a wonderful support group, check them out! My very first book, Promises, Promises, sold in December 2006 and released in February 2008. I've been going steady ever since.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Grand Design, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Heart to Heal

(Love Inspired - July 15, 2014)

by

Allie Pleiter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Courage To Hope.

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he's felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max's bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon's self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather's heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.


If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Heart to Heal, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

In The Field of Grace

(River North; New Edition - July 1, 2014)

by

Tessa Afshar

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor. Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel's destiny and the future of the whole world.

My thoughts:

I have had people recommend Tessa Afshar's books to me in the past, but I had not tried them since I'm not really a fan of Biblical Fiction. However, since the story of Ruth and Boaz is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, I thought I would give this one a try. After reading In the Field of Grace, the author may well have won me over to the genre.

With excellent character development and emotional depth that isn't always mastered in fiction writing, I found the story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, deeply compelling and was overcome a time or two while turning the pages. For me, the scene on the threshing floor was such a beautifully written scene, it brought tears to my eyes. To see how God brought Ruth and Boaz together in such a potentially scandalous way, and knowing that their togetherness would affect the lineage of our dear Savior, was deeply moving.

I was highly impressed by this book and can see myself reading the backlist of this author in the not too distant future. I would recommend In the Field of Grace to anyone who loves clean romance, Biblical Fiction, or any book where God's love and grace triumphs over loneliness and despair.

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and River North for generously providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Field of Grace, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shenandoah Dreams by Lisa Belcastro


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Shenandoah Dreams

(OakTara Publishers - July 1, 2014)

by

Lisa Belcastro


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.

She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.

In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

What if she met the man of her dreams...in another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They resailing the waters around the island of Martha's Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770.

What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn't in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way home...to the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.

If you liked to read the first chapter of Shenandoah Dreams, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hope Deferred by Elizabeth Maddrey

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Hope Deferred

(HopeSprings Books - July 1, 2014)

by

Elizabeth Maddrey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who loves a good happily ever after.

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of computers, math, and organization steered her into computer science at Wheaton College, she always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. This continued through a Master’s program in Software Engineering, several years in the computer industry, teaching programming at the college level, and a Ph.D. in Computer Technology in Education. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity.

She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Christian fiction for women.

Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse?

June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage.
Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rival Hearts

(Abingdon Press - June 17, 2014)

by

Tara Randel


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. After finding Romantic Times magazine in a bookstore many years ago, she found information about writing organizations. Soon after, she joined Romance Writers of America. She located the local RWA chapter and immediately attended her first meeting. There was no stopping her after that!

Through Tampa Area Romance Authors, Tara learned all about the business of publishing, starting with the craft of writing to behind the scenes of publishing. She served as contest coordinator for four years and served as President for one year, enjoying the organization and the lasting friendships made there.

When not writing, Tara owns a business with her husband and stays busy with her two daughters. She lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery. Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.


Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

My thoughts:

I've read 18 of the 19 books in the Quilts of Love series and I have to say Rival Hearts is now included in my favorites in the series.

I really liked both the main characters - Molly and Ben - as they were both endearing and down to earth. I couldn't help rooting for both of them to win the editor position as I read the book. I loved Molly's heart for helping people and the great group of ladies she had to support her. And Ben, well, to tell you the truth, his fondness for my favorite baseball great, Cal Ripken, Jr., is one of the things that had me leaning in his favor.

This is a great offering by Tara Randel for the QoL series. If you're a lover of Christian romance with some great give and take between the leading lady and leading man, don't pass this one by.

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

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Stitch and A Prayer

(Abingdon Press - May 20, 2014)

by

Eva Gibson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

(No image available) Eva Gibson is the author of twenty books, including A Stitch and a Prayer, the latest release in the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Fiction. She currently teaches Writing Your Life Story classes for Portland Community College and is an active member of Oregon Christian Writers. She has lived most of her life on the family farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, which is the setting for her novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

After her fiancĂ© returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life.

But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?

My thoughts:

An enjoyable book, but definitely not my favorite Quilts of Love offering. I really didn't feel like I connected to Florence and part of that may be that I felt like I was dropped into the middle of the story - without enough backstory to fill in the gaps. I did enjoy some of the secondary characters and I seemed to connect more with them -Tilly, Aunt Amelia and even the dog, Vaughn to some degree. I also felt the ending was a bit abrupt.

Lovers of Christian Historicals set in the Pacific NW would probably enjoy this story and I just may not have been the right reader to really put all the pieces together and connect with the main character in this story.

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

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch and A Prayer, go HERE.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Gathering Shadows

(Bethany House Publishers - May 6, 2014)

by

Nancy Mehl

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help."

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

My thoughts:

I was especially impressed by Nancy Mehl's previous "Road to Kingdom" series and I knew I couldn't turn down the chance to review this book.

I really enjoyed this book. It was GOOD! It included many of my favorite elements in a story - a multi-faceted mystery with moments of nail-biting suspense, a hint of romance, and a faith message that is seamlessly woven into the plot. It has enough of the Mennonite ways interspersed throughout to appeal to the bonnet-fiction lovers, but not so much that it would keep those who aren't fans of that genre away. Another plus - seeing Kim Vogel Sawyer's "feline foursome" (Sam, Clyde, Maizie, and Frances) pitter-patter their way through the pages of this book - with plenty of snuggles thrown in!

I think Nancy Mehl has another winner on her hands...Gathering Shadows is strong start to this series and I can't wait to see what comes next!

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and Bethany House Publishers for generously providing a copy for review.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Gathering Shadows, go HERE.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rise and Shine by Sandra D Bricker


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rise and Shine

(River North; New Edition edition - May 1, 2014)

by

Sandra D. Bricker


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting 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.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Shannon Malone thought she'd found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she's thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon's tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone's life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!

As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes-both in the world and in her-she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear capris pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show? And where is her beloved dog, Freeway? Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart's dog, not hers. Shannon's three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority.

And Edmund's sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune. When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel's kiss awaken her once and for all?

My thoughts:

Although this wasn't my favorite book by this author (Emma Rae is a tough cookie to dethrone!) I did enjoy it. A nice mix of Sandie's signature "Live Out Loud" Fiction - romance, comedy, faith, and "real" characters with real struggles that readers can relate to. It would make a good addition to the reading list of any lovers of Christian Rom-Com.

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and River North Fiction for generously providing a copy for review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rise and Shine, go HERE.