Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Maybelle In Stitches

(Abingdon Press - March 18, 2014)


Joyce Magnin


A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.


Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kazinski, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Poison Town by Creston Mapes...and a GIVEAWAY!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Poison Town

(David C. Cook - February 1, 2014)


Creston Mapes


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


There's More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town

People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that's crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss.

The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon's long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal.

The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable--he knows too much.

My thoughts:

How can you not be intrigued by a book titled "Poison Town"? I always love finding books with clever titles that don't just have a singular meaning - and this one was no exception! The synopsis above speaks of one of the meanings of the "poison", but the book is definitely worth the read just to find out what other "poison" lurks about!

Easily one of the best books I've read this year, I enjoyed the action and suspense, diverse and well-written characters, and there's even a light touch of romance - not enough to appall the gents but enough to satisfy most ladies. There are a lot of great scenes within the pages of the book - one of my favorites happens at Farley's Home Store - you'll know it when you read it.

This is book two of The Crittendon Files, but not having read book one, Fear Has a Name, I can say didn't feel lost as the book included enough back story to bring me up to par. I think this book could even be read as a stand alone.

I'd heard of Creston Mapes when his first books came out but hadn't had the pleasure (and I mean that sincerely) of reading them but plan to dig in to his backlist in the near future.

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

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Poison Town, go HERE.

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this book?

I have the privilege of giving away one copy of Poison Town, thanks to David C Cook. If you'd like to win and you're a US resident, please leave a comment that INCLUDES YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION (you at yoohoo dot com) by midnight Tuesday (March 25th, 2014), and I will announce/contact the winner on March 26th, 2014.

Please feel free to share this with your Christian Suspense-loving friends, if you would!

Friday, March 14, 2014

How Sweet the Sound by Amy Sorrells

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

How Sweet the Sound

(David C. Cook - March 1, 2014)


Amy K. Sorrells


An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

My thoughts:

Subjects like those contained in the pages of this book are not the easiest to write with dignity and grace, especially in Christian literature, but I found that the author did a wonderful job balancing the extremes.

Sometimes haunting and sometimes refreshing, the story shares indignities suffered in silence in the Harlan family as well as the family's ability to find joy in the simplest of things. I especially like how the story and song of Jacob's Ladder weaves through the pages, showing how God sends down small miracles in seemingly unexpected ways.

How Sweet the Sound is a compelling debut from Amy Sorrells, with deep emotive characters and a rich and penetrating theme. It will tug at your heart strings as you turn the pages and leave you with a sense of satisfaction of a coming of age story well written.

** A heads up for those who prefer not to have profanity in the books they read - there were a couple of mild profanities in this book (H---, D---). **

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 How Sweet the Sound, go HERE.