CFBA Presents Ashton Park…by Murray Pura

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Ashton Park 

Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013) 



Murray Pura was born and raised in Manitoba, just north of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He has published several novels and short story collections in Canada, and has been short-listed for a number of awards. His first books to be published in the United States are the inspirational works Rooted and Streams (both by Zondervan in 2010). His first novel to debut in the USA is A Bride’s Flight from Virginia City, Montana (Barbour), which was released January 2012. The second, The Wings of Morning, will be published by Harvest House on February 1. Both of these novels center around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park.
Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park.
The year is 1916. The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William’s and Lady Elizabeth’s three sons are all in uniform–and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.

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

Litfuse Presents Safe In His Arms…by Colleen Coble

Litfuse Presents

Safe In His Arms…

by Colleen Coble


About the Book
Sometimes it takes a stranger to see you as you really are.

Under Texas Stars, Book 2

Born and raised on sprawling Texas land, Margaret O’Brien prides herself on her competence as a rancher. But her father believes she’s made for more than just dawn-to-dusk work. He wants her to have the love of a good man, to raise children, to build a life. But Margaret gave up such dreams years ago. She’s convinced no man would have her, that the ranch is her life now.

So when Margaret’s father hires Daniel Cutler as a new foreman, she’s frustrated and suspicious. Then an overheard conversation links him with a gang of bank robbers, and she’s downright worried. Daniel swears he’s not involved, but Margaret’s not convinced. She knows the man still has secrets. But would a criminal be so kind and talk so convincingly of his faith? As a series of tragic “accidents” threatens all she holds dear, Margaret must decide what to trust: her own ears, her best judgment . . . or what her heart keeps telling her.

Purchase a copy here.

Learn more about Book 1, Blue Moon Promise here.

For me, every book by Colleen Coble gets better and better! I enjoyed the first book in this series, “Blue Moon Promise,” and “Safe In His Arms” is just as awesome if not better!

About the Author

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana


Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt by Revell Publishers

Cheaper, Better, Faster

by Mary Hunt

Revell Publishers



What if there was one book that could help you do nearly everything in life cheaper, better, or faster?

Make gourmet coffee without the gourmet price. Remove hairspray baked onto a curling iron. Clean just about any stain off of just about any surface. Keep your cat out of your houseplants. Get the best deal on your next car. And thousands of other helpful tips and tricks.

Cheaper, Better, Faster is all the best advice you’ve ever heard (and plenty you’ve never heard) collected into one handy volume.

Every tip is short, to the point, and helps you make the most of your money and your time, making everyday life less hectic and more enjoyable. Collected over the years by financial expert and Debt-Proof Living founder Mary Hunt, these little nuggets of advice are sure to make your life easier, one tip at a time.


My Thoughts

I really enjoy reading Mary Hunt’s tips and tricks. She just has a way of saying it so you understand it, and remember it better. “Cheaper, Better, Faster” has over 2,000 tips and tricks to save you time and money everyday. I haven’t read a lot of Mary’s books before, only a few in the last several months, so her tips are new to me. I really enjoy having everything in one book. I keep my book in my kitchen with my recipe book collection, it just seems it fits there for me better. When I need an idea for something, I go pull out Mary’s book and usually find exactly what I am looking for.

If you need help with money and organizing your time, I strongly encourage you to pickup a copy of this book. You will not be dissapointed in this one. It is chunked full of stuff for you to read!

I received this book from Revell Publishers. I was not required or expected
to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.


About the Author

Mary Hunt
Photo Credit: © Tim Agler 2011

Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt is the award-winning and bestselling author of several books, including 7 Money Rules for Life, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies and her daily newspaper column is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate, and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskate readers. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as Good Morning America, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Focus on the Family. She and her husband live in California.

CFBA Presents Grace Given by Beth Shriver

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Grace Given 

Realms (January 8, 2013) 



Childhood memories of her grandfather’s ranch came alive as Beth wrote her first Amish story. Her parents grew up in the country, so she appreciates pastoral life and respects those who make a living off the land. She visits a nearby Amish community just south of Fort-Worth for an occasional church service or brunch with the bishop and his wife. And on the way home she stops at the community store to get some plum jam!

Beth received a degree in social work and psychology from the University of Nebraska. She worked as a caseworker for Boulder County Department of Social Services before starting a family. Beth and her husband, two children, along with two cats and a beagle live in Texas after moving from their first home in Colorado. She freelances for the local papers in her area and writes columns, devotionals for magazines, and novels in a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction. Beth is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Literary Agency.


“Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light.” —Amish Proverb

Elsie Kline can’t forgive her sister for leaving the community. Gideon Lapp helps Elsie through her bitterness by studying the Martyr’s Mirror book that is centuries old, describing their ancestors’ sacrifice for their faith. But he feels there is something more. When the community moved to Texas, they were not welcomed by some of the locals. They have told Katie and Elsie that harm will come to their community if don’t go back up north where they came from. Gideon stays by Elsie’s side as she learns to give grace and to humble herself to accept grace as well.
“Beth has a heart for helping others, whether through her nonfiction and fiction writing or in other capacities. It has been my pleasure to read and respond to her work during the past few years of knowing her.” —Leanna Ellis, Author of Facelift and Forsaken and winner of the National Readers Choice Award.

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


My Thoughts

Though this is only my second book by Beth Shriver, she is on my list of favorite authors. I love the way she writes Amish fiction! And I thoroughly enjoyed I Elsie and Gideon’s story, the touching fact that Elsie finally trusts Gideon enough to confide in him, all seemed so real. I found myself thinking they were friends! Oh how I wish!

A story of love and forgiveness, I highly recommend this book to the Amish lovers out there. This is a must for you! And if you just want good, clean entertainment, and a story of God’s love, then you will enjoy “Grace Given.”

I received a copy of this book from CFBA. I was not required or expected
to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.



Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling

After fleeing North Dakota and the now defunct Wild West Show, Cassie Lockwood and her companions have finally found the hidden valley in South Dakota where her father had dreamed of putting down roots. But to her dismay, she discovers a ranch already built on her land.

Cassie’s arrival surprises Mavis Engstrom and forces her to reveal secrets she’s kept hidden for years. Her son Ransom is suspicious of Cassie and questions the validity of her claim to the valley. But younger son Lucas decides from the start that he is in love with her and wants to marry her.

Will Cassie be able to build a home on the Bar E Ranch and fulfill her father’s dream of raising horses, or will she be forced to return to the itinerant life of her past?
I really enjoyed this historical fiction, and the vivid descriptions about ranching at the Bar E Ranch in South Dakota and getting to know the horses there! The story started off a little slow for me, but picked up after a few chapters and I will hooked! I could hardly put the book down. Cassie trying to fulfill her fathers dreams was heartwarming in itself, and special as well. If you enjoy a good historical fiction, and stories about ranching and horses, you will love this one. I highly recommend it to you!
I received this book from Bethany House to read and review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.
Lauraine Snelling
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling, an award-winning author of fifty-plus books with sales of over 2 million copies, also writes for a wide range of magazines and teaches at writers’ conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska 

by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss


About this book!

Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams—a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But Ginny needs advice from the one person who will look out for her best interests—her former fiancé, Brett Miller. She travels to the remote town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, where the town’s colorful characters and stunning scenery provide respite from LA’s pressures.

In Glacier Bay, Ginny discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between Clay, an early missionary to Alaska Territory, and Ellie, the woman who traveled there to be his children’s governess. When Ginny is reunited with Brett in Glacier Bay, will she discover—as Ellie did—that healing and love are sometimes found in the most unexpected places?

Pre-order a copy here.

My Thoughts on this Book

It had been two years since Ginny had walked away from Brett’s love and a life with him, but she didn’t realize what she really did until her trip to Alaska to ask Brett’s advice on a recording contract. He was to one she really trusted enough to talk to about it. But why was she really there? Was Brett’s grandmother Ethel right that maybe God sent her there?


Wow I love, love this wonderfully written story by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss! Ginny’s trip back to Glacier Bay and her journey through the letters Grandma Ethel wanted her to read turned out to be one of the most beautiful and tender stories I have ever read. And I loved Grandma Ethel. She surely lived a loved and blessed life, even though it was simple and she didn’t have a lot of material things. She really knew what was really important in life. And she wanted to make sure Ginny found that out too. But it wasn’t always easy. And I appreciate how the authors show how important it is to make sure we are doing what God wants us to do in our everyday lives.


I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, clean Christian story. You will truly be happy with this one. A copy of this book was provided by Litfuse. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.


About the Authors

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of one, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by Tricia is also on the blogging team at, and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, recently launched, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at

Image of Ocieanna Fleiss

Ocieanna Fleiss’s passion for writing grew out of two seeds. The first was when her third grade teacher instructed her to read a story she wrote in front of class. As the characters lost their pants, revealing all sorts of goofy underwear, the kids howled with laughter. (What greater comedic height is there for a third grader?) Ocieanna craved more.

The second seed was planted when, as an adult, Ocieanna read The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. This book actually challenged her to grow as a person and Christian. Other books have made similar impact, and Ocieanna decided to try her hand at harnessing the power of story to share the healing and life-giving power of the gospel–faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone.

Ocieanna hopes her first book, Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, combines her passion for fun with her compassionate heart.

Look for Ocieanna’s second book, Love Finds You in… Read more

Ocieanna Fleiss’s passion for writing grew out of two seeds. The first was when her third grade teacher instructed her to read a story she wrote in front of class. As the characters lost their pants, revealing all sorts of goofy underwear, the kids howled with laughter. (What greater comedic height is there for a third grader?) Ocieanna craved more.

The second seed was planted when, as an adult, Ocieanna read The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. This book actually challenged her to grow as a person and Christian. Other books have made similar impact, and Ocieanna decided to try her hand at harnessing the power of story to share the healing and life-giving power of the gospel–faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone.

Ocieanna hopes her first book, Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, combines her passion for fun with her compassionate heart.

Look for Ocieanna’s second book, Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington.

Learn more about Ocieanna at

CFBA Presents Mystery of the Heart by Jullian Kent

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Mystery of the Heart 

Realms (January 8, 2013) 



Jillian Kent is a busy writer and the alter ego of Jill Nutter, a full-time counselor.

Jill spent the first semester of her senior year of college at Oxford studying British Literature, where she fell in love with England. During this season, she came to appreciate the written word, the rich imagery of romantic poetry like The Highwayman, and historical novels of many types, including Jane Austen and all things Regency.

Jill received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Bethany College in West Virginia, and her Masters Degree in Social Work from WVU, and she brings her fascination with different cultures and societies into her writing.

Jill has always been a romantic at heart, so readers will find a good dose of romance woven through each of her novels. Jill, her husband Randy, and children Katie and Meghan are animal lovers. They currently own two dogs, Boo-Boo and Bandit and a menagerie of cats, Lucky, Yuma, Snow, and Holden. Critters of all assortments make their appearance in her stories.


Lord Eden is intrigued when he discovers Lady Mercy Grayson’s secret, but how can he hope to gain her heart when he is forced to betray her?

Lady Mercy Grayson longs be a physician like her big brother, Devlin, Lord Ravensmoore. However, society would never tolerate a female physician, let alone one who is a noblewoman. So Mercy takes matters into her own hands, disguising herself as a man to get through medical school. But then a male colleague discovers her secret, which is only the beginning of Mercy’s problems that could destroy her dreams forever.

The Prince Regent is awaiting the return of Vincent St. Lyons, Lord Eden, whom he sent on a secret voyage to locate and bring back a relic that some believe possesses the power to heal. St. Lyons discovers Mercy washed up on England’s shore upon his return and agrees to give her safe passage to London aboard a ship of men practicing African Vodun. Both must face treacherous circumstances, difficult decisions, and a growing attraction to one another that could forever change the course of their lives.

As the final installment in the series, the theme of this book is God’s plans for our lives. “Whatever the hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might” (Eccles. 9:10).

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

My Thoughts on this book

This is a really interesting book, with Lady Mercy Grayson disguising herself as a man to get through medical school. But her mail collegues found her out, and then the fun begins! Well not really, but the story did get capture my interest enough to keep me reading! Mystery of the Heart is full of mystery, suspense. action and romance, and very well written. The characters are wonderful and believable and develop really well as the story unfolds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in The Ravensmoore Chronicles, and I encourage you to grab a copy for your own enjoyment. I think you will be happy with your purchase.

This book was provided by CFBA for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mind only.

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport


About this book

The whole world is coming to Chicago. Charlotte’s whole world is coming down around her.

While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow’s attentions are entirely on one small boy-her boy-whom she has kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year.

When the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him to the opulent Banning home, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child’s fate. Can she face the truth of her past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life’s struggles determine her path?

This compelling story of courage, strength, and tender romance captures the tension between the glittering wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.


My Thoughts on this book


I read Olivia Newport’s book “The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” and loved it, especially the relationship between Lucy and their maid, Charlotte Farrow. So, I was really excited to read Charlotte’s story! And I was definitely not disappointed. I grew to love Charlotte even more in this book. The characters were realistic and believable, and I enjoyed reading more about the house of servants taking care of the Banning household, and everything involved.


I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Charlotte and her baby. This story truly shows what a parent will do for the safety of their child. Olivia Newport is a gifted storyteller and it clearly shows in both “The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” and ‘The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow.’ I highly recommend both of these book for your reading enjoyment, You will be delighted! And I can’t wait for book three in this series.


I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55


Olivia Newport

Olivia Newport

Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Waiting for Spring By..Amanda Cabot

Waiting for Spring

By..Amanda Cabot


About this book, plus Endorsements

A new identity may protect her family-but can it protect her heart?

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But she can find no rest from the ghosts of the past and flees to Cheyenne to put the pieces of her life back together.

Wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry must make a sensible match if he is to be elected senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming. He needs someone with connections. Someone without a past. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?


“From the first page I found myself rooting for the young widow, Charlotte, who’s trying to forge a life for herself in Cheyenne while also caring for a disabled son. My heart beat with worry as trouble from the past found her. And it pattered with hope as sweet Charlotte caught the eye of handsome Barrett. Amanda Cabot offers a delightful read, and as I turned the pages I was swept away with a story of love, courage, and sacrifice. Recommended!”–Tricia Goyer, bestselling author of 32 books, including Beyond Hope’s Valley “One thing I know to expect when I open an Amanda Cabot novel is heart. She creates characters that tug at my heartstrings, storylines that make my heart smile, and a spiritual lesson that does my heart good. Her stories are like the first sweet scents of spring–pure pleasure.”–Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of My Heart Remembers



I love this book inside and out! The cover is beautiful, with the lady in the gorgeous blue dress, just as a special dress Charlotte made in the story. And I thoroughly enjoyed Charlotte’s story. The mystery and suspense of the baron will keep you reading, whether you really have time to read or not, you just can’t put this book down. And speaking of the baron, he will make your skin crawl; yet you have to keep reading to find out all about him. And the sweet and adorable romance Amanda Cabot added will warm your heart for long after you finish reading this book!

When you need a wonderful pleasant story to read, this is one that you need to add to your reading list. You will not be disappointed in this one, that is for sure. So run out and pick up your copy today!

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from Revell Publishers. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.


About The Author

  1. Amanda Cabot

    Amanda Cabot

    Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow’s Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the…

    Continue readingabout Amanda Cabot

CFBA Presents Path of Freedom by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Path of Freedom 

Abingdon Press (January 2013) 


Jennifer Hudson TaylorABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award winning author of historical Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her debut novel, Highland Blessings, won the 2011 Holt Medallion award for Best First Book. Jennifer’s work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and The Military Trader. She serves as the in-house Publicist at Hartline Literary Agency and co-owns Upon the Rock Publicist. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Communications. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with family, long walks, traveling, touring historical sites, hanging out at bookstores with coffee shops, genealogy, and reading.


2nd in the Quilts of Love series

When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother’s quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery.

As they embark on their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.

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

Watch the book trailer:


My Thoughts on this book

We have another wonderful book from Abingdon’s Quilts of Love Series! So far I am lovin’ this series of book by different authors we all love. Jennifer Hudson Taylor writes the first Historical book of this series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In this story, a quilt guides Bruce and Flora on a journey that will take them to two runaway slaves, and their lives are saved. I enjoyed reading about the Quakers and their lifestyle too!

I enjoy the quilts in each of these books, and look forward to the others coming out that will center around a special quilt. A copy of this book was provided by Abingdon Press through CFBA. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.



Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

Choices of the Heart

by Laurie Alice Eakes



About this book!

She thought she had left her old life behind . . .

Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. When a terrible scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther flees, taking a position as a teacher in the wild western mountains of Virginia. But instead of the refuge she was seeking, Esther finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud-and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. All she wants is to run away again.

Yet could it be that her past holds the key to reconciliation-and love?

In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, you’ll discover the true meaning of choices of the heart.


My Thoughts on this Book!

Esther finds herself running when she is in a difficult situation, but finds out that other situations can come up where she ran too, making life even more difficult. And the worst thing is, Esther is running from what God wants for her. But Esther finds out that she can trust and depend on the people around her, those people in the backwoods mountain that she would otherwise have nothing to do with.

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction by Laurie Eakes, and especially the backwoods people in the mountains of Virginia. Growing up in Virginia, and the little community where I grew up, we were some of those backwoods people back in those days, so I feel in love with them! The characters were so realistic, and the plot was exciting and interesting enough to keep my nose in this book until the end!

I highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy historical fiction. You will be glad you picked up this one.

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from Revell Publishers. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.


About the Author

Laurie Alice Eakes

Laurie Alice Eakes

Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart’s Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie…

Continue readingabout Laurie Alice Eakes

CFBA Presents….Hurt by Travis Trasher

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2013)


Travis Thrasher



After college, he targeted working in the publishing industry and was fortunate to find a job early after graduation. He worked as Author Relations Manager for Tyndale House Publishers, the publisher of his first two novels.

The thirteen years he spent working in author relations taught him the business of publishing as well as the psyche of writers.

Early on, he made a deliberate choice of not wanting to be boxed in by a brand or a genre. Instead, Travis has chosen time and time again to write the stories that mean something to him at that moment. He views his first ten years of being published as training and practice. Those novels in many ways were written for himself.

The four years of writing full time have taught him the discipline and determination necessary to make it as a novelist. They’ve also served to close the chapter on what is hopefully just one era in his writing journey.

The stories continue to fill his head like they did when he was in third grade. The only difference is that Travis now knows what to do with those stories. His goal continues to be to tell stories that move him as well as his readers. He wants to continue to experiment and take risks, but more than anything he wants to provide readers a satisfying experience.

The dream remains the same. To try and write something magnificent. To make up wild worlds full of wonderfully rich characters. To make sense of the world through the stories he tells. And to try and inspire hope with the words he writes.


His Rebellion Will Soon Turn to Hope

When Chris Buckley first encountered the mysteries of creepy Solitary, North Carolina, he had little idea how far he would fall into the town’s shadows. After losing the love of his life, Chris tried to do things his way. He hunted answers. Then he gave up trying to find them.

But now Chris comes back to Solitary knowing there’s a purpose for his being there. As he watches his place in a twisted and evil bloodline become clear, Chris waits for the last battle—and wonders who will be left when he finally makes his stand.

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


This is the first book I have read in this series, but I have the first three to read, because this one was just totally awesome! It is different from the books I usually read, but it was definitely a good different.  I enjoyed the superb writing style of the author and there is enough happenings that it kept by attention, so much that I didn’t want to put the book down.

Chris is a wonderful character and I look forward to reading the first three books to get to know his character better. This would be a wonderful book for your young teen to read, because they would like the horror, and it is good clean reading!

This book was provided by CFBA. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions here are my own.

Secretly Smitten……by Colleen Coble Kristin Billerbeck Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter

Secretly Smitten

by Colleen Coble Kristin Billerbeck Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter


About the Book

Summer, fall, winter, spring—Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!There’s a secret in Grandma Rose’s attic—a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?The mystery intrigues Rose’s three granddaughters—Tess, Clare, and Zoe—and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?

Join popular romance novelists—and real-life BFFs—Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.




Secretly Smitten is a sequel to the book Smitten, takes place in the town of Vermont and we get four super awesome romances written by four wonderful authors! I love all four of these novellas and thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the difficulties, the working through their problems and the sweet romances throughout this book. Each story can easily be read in one setting, but you will find it difficult to put the book down when you start reading!

If you enjoy Christian romance stories, then this book is a must for you! It will be well worth your investment. Pick up your copy today!

I was provided a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group. I want to thank Amy for making sure I rec’d this book, even though the publisher didn’t send it in time for the tour. The opinions in this review are mine only.



RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including “Tidewater Inn”, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. * Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include “A Billion Reasons Why” and “What a Girl Wants.” * Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including “A Cowboy’s Touch” and “Sweetwater Gap.” She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. * Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate.

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Tutor’s Daughter 

by Julie Klassen
About the Book
Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor’s Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast–a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions–where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?The baronet’s older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems–and secrets–of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father’s academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her…

When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

Purchase a copy here.


Emma Smallwood and her dad have been invited to the Weston family’s Cornwall estate to tutor their two young boys. They tutored the two oldest two years before, but the new Lady Weston didn’t want to send her boys anywhere, so her husband decided to hire the Smallwood’s in house. The Smallwood’s were surprised on arrival that they were not expected, that Mr. Weston failed to let anyone know about them coming. And with the unwelcome they rec’d along with the secrets that seemed to pop up around every corner, well this was turning out to be an eventful stay.

I really enjoyed reading The Tutor’s Daughter. The characters were well created and they all seemed so real life all throughout the story. The plot keeps readers reading because there is so much going on. Starting the action with a big misunderstanding between Mr. Weston and Lady Weston, causing friction between everyone. Then all of the mystery and secrets that seem to be going on, and were there really ghost? Where else would all the night noises be coming from? And I loved the interaction between Phillip and Henry and Emma. Is it Phillip that is attracted to Emma, or would it be Henry? Or could it be the person sneaking into Emma’s room at night? Questions, questions! And they can all be answered in Julie Klassen’s new book, “The Tutor’s Daughter.” I highly recommend this book to you historical readers out there. And really, if you just want a good read, make this one your choice!

I was provided a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group. I want to thank Amy for making sure I rec’d this book, even though the publisher didn’t send it in time for the tour. The opinions in this review are mine.


Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

A Daughter’s Redemption …………Georgiana Daniels

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Georgiana Daniels
and the book:
A Daughter’s Redemption
Love Inspired (December 18, 2012)
***Special thanks to Georgiana Daniels for sending me a review copy.***

Georgiana Daniels resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her super-generous husband and three talented daughters. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and wrestling with the keyboard by night. She enjoys sharing God’s love through fiction, and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever after.
Visit the author’s website.


Inheriting her estranged father’s property isn’t the reason Robyn Warner wanted to come back to Pine Hollow. She thought she’d make amends with her father—but his sudden death made that impossible. And when she learns the identity of the handyman fixing the run-down cabins, Robyn is ready to flee Pine Hollow again. Caleb Sloane, the cop responsible for her father’s accident, just wants to uphold his promise and then return to the force. But he can’t seem to walk away. After all, he understands about guilt and regret. And he’ll do everything he can to help Robyn find healing, happiness and—just maybe—a lifetime of love.

Product Details:

List Price: $5.75

Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Love Inspired (December 18, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0373877927

ISBN-13: 978-0373877928


If the rest of the property was in the same sad condition as the front porch with its missing rails and bowed floorboards, Robyn Warner would be in Pine Hollow, Arizona, far longer than she’d anticipated. She wheeled her suitcase over the flagstone walkway and paused at the foot of her father’s home to absorb the onslaught of memories.

It wasn’t too late to turn around and hand the keys back to the lawyer managing her father’s estate, though the sad huddle of cabins hardly qualified as such. What had once been a cozy mountain resort now looked pitiable and highly susceptible to a stiff wind. Her father certainly hadn’t done her any favors by willing the property to her, but after more than a dozen years of silence, she was glad to be remembered at all.

Gravel crunched near cabin two—Robyn’s favorite during her summer vacation stays as a child. A man in work pants and a paint-splattered T-shirt meandered out from between the ramshackle buildings. “Can I help you? It’s easy to get lost out here.”

“It certainly looks different than I remember, but this is the right place.” She shaded her eyes to get a better look at the man who was tall and muscular without being imposing. He was the most clean-cut maintenance man she’d ever seen—and a nice contrast to the surfers with sand in their hair she was used to back at the surf shop she managed in California. She propped up the suitcase. “I’m Robyn Warner. And you are?”

“Caleb.” He gestured toward the road. “Pine Hollow Resort is on the other side of the wash, about five miles down. Are you sure that’s not where you were headed?”

“I’m here to check out.. ” She caught herself before referring to Lakeside Cabins as hers. “I’m staying here. Dan Dawson was my dad.” She fished the keys from her pocket and held them up. “I’ll just let myself in.”

The handyman scrutinized her as though assessing her legitimacy, much the same way her half siblings, Brad and Abby, had during the funeral last week. Gauging her motives and questioning her right to be there. Her right to grieve.

He swiped his brow with his arm and slid on a pair of sunglasses. “No one told me you were coming or I’d have cleared out.”

“If it makes you feel better, the lawyer didn’t tell me about you, either.” She offered a tentative smile. “Or maybe he did, and I was still in shock.” She recalled her conversation with Phil Harding, who’d upended her world when he contacted her after the funeral and said Lakeside Cabins was hers, though all her father’s personal items would go to Brad and Abby. “Do you work here?”

Caleb shuffled the paintbrush from one hand to the other. “I’ve been fixing Lakeside up, but I can leave if you’d rather have the place to yourself.” His tone held a hard edge.

“Not at all. I’ll be glad to have your help. It looks like we have a lot of work to do.” Though she didn’t have a clue how to pay him. She made a mental note to ask the lawyer if there were provisions of some kind. After taking an unpaid leave from the surf shop, she was living on savings—meager ones, at that. “The sooner Lakeside is all fixed up, the sooner I can sell it.”

“It could take a while.” Caleb’s neck bobbed with a hard swallow, as though he wanted to say more. His sunglasses kept her from further reading his expression, though it was becoming clear she made him uncomfortable.

“With the two of us working together, it’ll speed things along.” She smiled, hoping to defrost his stoic demeanor. Having an easy rapport with the handyman would make the work and the memories of Lakeside less painful. “Either way, I’ll be here as long as it takes. But please, keep doing whatever you were doing.” She gestured toward cabin two. “Every little bit helps.”

Caleb offered a curt nod before he crossed back over the clearing and disappeared behind the small building.

Wind moaned through the trees, sending birds skittering from the branches. Robyn rubbed a chill from her arms. Something about being in the quiet space where her father lived so many years without her, so many years without birthdays and Christmases and simple phone calls, left her unsettled. She wished she’d disregarded her mother’s repeated warnings to leave her dad and his family alone, that she was no longer welcome to visit. She should have at least tried to make peace. Now she’d never have the chance.

Robyn drew a fortifying breath before inserting the key into the lock. She worked the key and turned the knob several times, but it refused to budge. Before she could shimmy it out and try again, the phone in her pocket rang. Her thumb hovered over the button until she finally worked up the courage to answer. “Abby, how are you?”

“As good as can be expected. Listen, Brad and I haven’t finished moving everything out yet, so he wants to make sure you don’t take the armoire in the bedroom.” Abby’s voice had matured and no longer resembled the giggly pre-teen Robyn remembered.

She plugged her ear to drown out the wind. “I haven’t even been inside yet. Trust me, I wouldn’t have a way to move the furniture out even if I wanted to.” She glanced at the rental car she’d put on her painfully thin credit card.

“Sorry, I know it’s awkward.” A long pause stretched over the line. “Brad just wants me to remind you that the furniture and personal belongings are ours. We’ll be back to get them.”

“I haven’t forgotten.” She swallowed her sadness. She and Abby had once been close until the argument that drove Robyn away from Pine Hollow—an argument with their father about how she felt less important than his other children. Lately she’d begun to crave the closeness of a real family, and now that circumstances had brought her back, she’d do whatever it took to restore her relationship with Brad and Abby. To find some sort of normalcy.

“Good. We wouldn’t want any misunderstandings.”

“Abby, I would never take what doesn’t belong to me.” She fingered the cross on her necklace and prayed for wisdom. “Maybe when you come out for the furniture we can have dinner. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Silence pulsed between them until Abby cleared her throat. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea. We’re still shaken up.”

So was she. The tragedy of losing a parent—even an estranged one—was overwhelming.

“I mean, why would Dad leave Lakeside Cabins to you? No offense, but you haven’t exactly been around.”

The words stung with truth, and her face heated from the rejection. “I understand. Give me a call when you’re ready to come by.”

The line went dead. “Is everything okay?”

She whipped around, disconcerted. “Caleb, you startled me.” She scanned his face to figure out how much he’d overheard. His expression remained neutral behind the sunglasses, which left her even more flustered.

“I heard voices and thought maybe you were talking to someone.”

“I was. It was a private conversation.” She jammed the phone into her pocket.

“I was only trying to help.” Caleb held up his hands in surrender, then turned and stalked off.

“Wait.” She scrambled down the stairs, her sandals slapping the wood. Exactly why she chased after the maintenance man or even cared what he thought, she’d have to reason out later. “I didn’t mean to snap at you.”

Caleb angled toward her, his mouth quirked. The masculine scent of turpentine and hard work drifted off him, and for some reason, it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. “Apology accepted.” His somber tone seemed to say otherwise.

Robyn ran her hand through her hair, snarled from the wind. “Really—I’m sorry. I’m not exactly great company right now after what happened to my dad. I’m normally easy to get along with—you’ll see when we fix this place up, and before you know it I’ll be long gone.”

Judging from Caleb’s formidable posture and the twitch of his jaw, her departure wouldn’t be soon enough.

Caleb stormed into the office of Harding and Company and bypassed the receptionist. Without knocking, he entered the office of Phil Harding, attorney-at-law. “Why didn’t you tell me she was coming?”

Phil tapped the keys on his computer without missing a stroke. “Almost finished. Then we can talk.”

“You should’ve at least given me a heads-up.” He pulled the door closed with a thud. “Didn’t you think I might need that bit of information?”

All the way from the outskirts of Pine Hollow, he had rehearsed the diatribe he wanted to unleash on his so-called friend. But none of his imagined scenarios included Phil calmly pecking away at the keyboard.

Phil closed the program and spun around in his leather chair. “I presume you’re talking about Robyn.”

“Who else?” He dropped onto the cushioned seat, and if he dirtied the upholstery with his paint-stained pants, so be it.

“What’d she do?”

“She showed up.” Simply arriving at the cabins was enough to infuse him with a jolt of reality. What originally seemed like a brilliant way to fulfill his promise quickly turned into the single worst idea he’d ever had the moment Robyn, with her sun-bleached hair and sorrow-filled eyes, told him she was Dan’s daughter.

“Look, Caleb, I realize it’s a little awkward.”

“You think?” He blew out a frustrated breath. “I tried to play it cool in front of her, but you have no idea what that was like.”

Phil removed his wire-rimmed glasses and wiped them with a handkerchief. In a placating tone, he resumed. “I can’t control every variable. Did it occur to you I might have other projects I’m working on?”

He pushed out of the chair. “A phone call, Phil. That’s all I needed.”

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

An Amish Kitchen….By Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Long

An Amish Kitchen

By Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Long

Published by Thomas Nelson


Book Description

The Amish Kitchen is the Heart of the Home – and the Ideal Setting for Stories of Love and Hope.

Fall in Paradise, Pennsylvania, always brings a brisk change in the weather. This season also ushers in unexpected visitors, new love, and renewed hope for three women.

Fern has a green thumb for growing healing herbs, but longs for love to bloom in her life. Then the next-door neighbor’s oldest son, Abram, comes running into Fern’s kitchen seeking help for his little sister. The crisis soon leads to a promise of romance—until mistrust threatens to end the growing attraction.

Nearby, Hannah runs her parents’ bed and breakfast, Paradise Inn—but her life feels nothing like Paradise. She longs for a man of integrity to enter her life, but never expected him to knock on the front door looking for a room. Will she be able trust Stephen with her future once she discovers his mysterious past?

When a storm blows a tree onto Eve’s farmhouse, she has little choice but to temporarily move her family into her parents’ home. Outside of cooking together in the kitchen, Eve and her mother can’t agree on anything. But this may be just the recipe for hope in healing old wounds.

Three Amish stories—each celebrating love, family, and faith—all taking place in a tight-knit community where the kitchen truly is the heart of the home.

Also Includes Reading Group Guide and 45 Old Order Amish Recipes.


An Amish Kitchen is a neat collection of three novellas, and the Amish Kitchen of the characters has a huge part of each story. The stories are so realistic because the kitchen is a major part of the Amish lifestyle in reality. And I loved getting the recipes as a bonus in this book, especially the herbal remedies! 

I love Amish fiction and really enjoyed Faith and Abram’s story in Kelly Long’s “A Taste of Faith; reading about Hannah King’s Bed and Breakfast and newcomer Stephen Esh in Amy Clipston’s “A Spoonful of Hope,” and  Beth Wiseman’s “ A Recipe for Hope,” and Eva Bender and her family’s disaster when a tree falls on her haus. In all three of these stories, the characters deal with difficult situations, and they need to trust God and depend on Him. Their faith carries them through, but it is not always easy. It is difficult to pick a best one, because they all interacted so well together and I enjoyed them all.

If you love Amish fiction, this one is for you. You will love these short stories. This is a great book for those who really don’t have time to read a full size novel.

Booksneeze provided a copy of this book for me to read and review through their blogging program. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Vanished by Irene Hannon

Vanished by Irene Hannon



About the Book

“Hannon’s intricately developed characters struggle with complex moral issues, bringing into question whether the ends ever do justify the means. An engaging, satisfying tale that will no doubt leave readers anxiously anticipating the next installment.”-Publishers Weekly

“Double-RITA winner Hannon begins a new romantic-suspense series, and this novel’s fast-paced plot and compelling characters (including a surprisingly complex villain) make it an excellent suggestion for inspirational-fiction fans as well as readers who enjoy Mary Higgins Clark’s subtly chilling brand of suspense.”–Booklist

A tenacious reporter. A skeptical PI. And a secret that will shatter lives.

Reporter Moira Harrison is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a lone figure suddenly appears in the beam of her headlights, Moira slams on her brakes-but it’s too late. She feels the solid thump against the side of her car before crashing into a tree on the far side of the road.

A man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then the world fades to black. When she comes to, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person. But she can’t forget the look of terror she saw on that face in the instant before her headlights swung away. And she can’t get anyone to believe her story-except maybe a handsome ex–homicide detective turned private eye, who reluctantly agrees to take on the case.

As clues begin to surface, it becomes obvious that someone doesn’t want this mystery solved-and will stop at nothing to protect a shocking secret.



Can you imagine seeing a horrified face in the road just before you hit the person, then after being out for a while, told that it was a deer you hit, and there is no trace of anything? That is what happened to Moira. But being the reporter she is, she pays too much attention to detail to let it go as what she is being told. Can she convince anyone she is correct in what she saw?

I love Irene Hannon’s books, and this one was just as good, if not better than the others I’ve read! Irene has a way of capturing your attention in the very beginning. That’s the way I was with Vanished! After that car accident, I couldn’t but the book down until I found out the answer. And there are so many twists and turns to finally get to the real answer your head will be spinning when you finished reading this book!

If you love a good suspenseful fast pace thriller, this book is a must for you! You will not be disappointed in Irene Hannon’s new thriller, “Vanished.” Run out and grab your copy today!

“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from Revell Publishers. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.



About The Author

  1. Irene Hannon

    Irene Hannon

    Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du…

    Continue readingabout Irene Hannon

Questions of Life…by Nicky Gumbel

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Nicky Gumbel
and the book:
Questions of Life
 Alpha Books; 0002-Revised edition (June 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

Nicky Gumbel is the pioneer of the Alpha Course. He studied law at Cambridge and theology at Oxford, practiced as a lawyer, and is now senior pastor of Holy Trinity Brompton  church in Landon, one of England’s fastest growing churches.

He is the author of many international bestselling books about the Christian faith including The Jesus Lifestyle, Searching Issues, A Life Worth Living, The Heart of Revival, 30  Days: A Practical Introduction to Reading the Bible, Why Jesus?, Why Easter? and Why Christmas?.
Visit the author’s website.


A clear, thorough and well-reasoned presentation of the Christian faith in 15 chapters. Packed with humor, anecdotes, wisdom and profound teaching, this international bestseller introduces the person of Jesus Christ and invites the reader to discover the Man who has fascinated us for 2,000 years! The content of this book comes directly from the Alpha course which has seen more than 18 million people attend globally. Questions of life features basic Christian teachings which transcend all denominational differences and penetrate the deepest areas of all hearts.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 213 pages

Publisher: Alpha Books; 0002-Revised edition (June 1, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1934564664

ISBN-13: 978-1934564660


Is there More to Life than this?For many years I had three objections to the Christian faith. First, I thought it was boring. I went to chapel at school and found it very dull. I had sympathy with the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, who once entered in his diary, as if recording an extraordinary phenomenon, “I have been to church today, and am not depressed.” My impression of the Christian faith was that it was dreary and uninspiring.

Secondly, it seemed to me to be untrue. I had intellectual objections to the Christian faith and described myself as an atheist. In fact, I rather pretentiously called myself a logical determinist. When I was fourteen I wrote an essay for religious studies in which I tried to destroy the whole of Christianity and disprove the existence of God. Rather surprisingly, it was nominated for a prize! I had knock-down arguments against the Christian faith and rather enjoyed arguing with Christians, on each occasion thinking I had won some great victory.

Thirdly, I thought that Christianity was irrelevant to my life. I could not see how something that happened 2,000 years ago and 2,000 miles away in the Middle East could have any relevance to my life today. At school we often used to sing that much-loved hymn “Jerusalem,”  which asks, “And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountains green?” We all knew that the answer was, “No, they did not.” Jesus never came anywhere near England!

With hindsight, I realize that it was partly my fault as I never really listened and so did not know very much about the Christian faith. There are many people today who don’t know much about Jesus Christ, or what He did, or anything else about Christianity.

One hospital chaplain listed some of the replies he was given to the question, “Would you like Holy Communion?” These are some of the answers:

“No thanks, I’m Church of England.”

“No thanks, I asked for Cornflakes.”

“No thanks, I’ve never been circumcised.”

Not only was I ignorant about the Christian faith but, looking back, my experience was that something was missing. In  his  book  The  Audacity  of  Hope,  President  Barack  Obama, commenting on  his  own conversion to  Christianity, writes of  the hunger in every human heart:

Each day, it seems, thousands  of Americans  are going about  their daily rounds—dropping off the kids at school, driving to the office, flying to a business meeting, shopping at the mall, trying to stay on their diets—and coming to the realization that something is missing. They are deciding that their work, their possessions, their diversions, their sheer busyness are not enough. They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives, something that will relieve a chronic loneliness or lift them above the exhausting, relentless toll of daily life. They need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them—that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway toward nothingness.

Men and women were created to live in a relationship with God. Without that relationship there will always be a hunger; an emptiness, a feeling that something is missing. Bernard Levin, perhaps the greatest columnist of his generation, once wrote an article called “Life’s Great Riddle, and No Time to Find its Meaning.” In it he said that in spite of his great success he feared he might have “wasted reality in the chase of a dream.”

To put it bluntly, have I time to discover why I was born before I die? . . . I have not managed to answer the question yet, and however many years I have before me they are certainly not as many as there are behind. There is an obvious danger in leaving it too late . . . why do I have to know why I was born? Because, of course, I am unable to believe that it was an accident; and if it wasn’t one, it must have a meaning.

He was not religious, writing on one occasion, “For the fourteen thousandth time, I am not a

Christian.” Yet he seemed only too aware of the inadequate answers to the meaning of life. He wrote some years earlier:

Countries like ours are full of people who have all the material comforts they desire, together  with such non-material blessings as a happy family, and yet lead lives of quiet, and at times noisy, desperation, understanding nothing but the fact that there is a hole inside them and that however much food and drink they pour into it, however many motor cars and television sets they stuff it with, however many well balanced children and loyal friends they parade around the edges of it . . . it aches.

Jesus Christ said, “I am the way and the truth and the life”  (John14:6). The implications of His claim were as startling in the first century as they are in the twenty-first. So what are we to make of it?

Direction for a lost world

First, Jesus said, “I am the way.” When their children were younger, some friends of mine had a Swedish nanny. She was struggling to learn the English language, and still hadn’t quite mastered all the English idioms. On one occasion, an argument broke out between the children in their bedroom. The nanny rushed upstairs to sort it out, and what she meant to say was, “What on earth are you doing?”  What she actually said was, “What are you doing on earth?”  This is a very good question, “What are we doing on earth?”

Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, wrote a book called A Confession in 1879, in which he tells the story of his search for meaning and purpose in life. He had rejected Christianity as a child. When he left university he sought to get as much pleasure out of life as he could. He threw himself into the social worlds of Moscow and St. Petersburg drinking heavily, sleeping around, gambling, and leading a wild life. But he found it did not satisfy him.

Then he became ambitious for money. He had inherited an estate and made a large amount of money on his books. Yet that did not satisfy him either. He sought success, fame, and importance. These he also achieved. He wrote what the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes as “one of the two or three greatest novels in world literature.” But he was left asking the question, “Well fine . . . so what?” to which he had no answer.

Then he became ambitious for his family—to give them the best possible life. He married in 1862 and had a kind, loving wife and thirteen children (which, he said, distracted him from any search for the overall meaning of life!). He had achieved all his ambitions and was surrounded by what appeared to be complete happiness. And yet one question brought him to the verge of suicide: “Is there any meaning in my life which will not be annihilated by the inevitability of death which awaits me?”

He searched for the answer in every field of science and philosophy. The only answer he could find to the question “Why do I live?”  was that “in the infinity of space and the infinity of time infinitely small particles mutate with infinite complexity.” Not finding that answer hugely satisfying, he looked round at his contemporaries and found that many of them were simply avoiding the issue. Eventually he found among Russia’s peasants the answer he had been looking for: their faith in Jesus Christ. He wrote after his conversion that he was “led inescapably by experience to the conviction that only . . . faith give[s] life a meaning.”

Over one hundred years later, nothing has changed. Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock group Queen, who died at the end of 1991, wrote in one of his last songs on The Miracle album, “Does anybody know what we are living for?” In spite of the fact that he had amassed a huge fortune and had attracted thousands of fans, he admitted in an interview shortly before his death that he was desperately lonely. He said, “You can have everything in the world and still be the loneliest man, and that is the most bitter type of loneliness. Success has brought me world idolization and millions of pounds, but it’s prevented me from having the one thing we all need—a loving, ongoing relationship.”

Freddie Mercury was right to speak of an “ongoing relationship”  as the one thing we all need. Ultimately there is only one relationship that is completely loving and totally ongoing: a relationship with God. Jesus said, “I am the way.” He is the only One who can bring us into that relationship with God that goes on into eternity.

When I was a child our family had an old black and white television set. We could never get a very good picture: on one occasion, during the World Cup final in 1966, just as England was about to score a goal, the screen went fuzzy, disintegrating into lines. We were quite happy with it since we did not know anything different. We tried to improve the picture by walking on certain floorboards and standing in certain places near it. Then we discovered that what the television needed was an outside antenna! Suddenly we could get clear and distinct pictures. Our enjoyment was transformed. Life without a relationship with Jesus Christ is like the television without the antenna. Some people seem quite happy, because they don’t realize that there is something better. Once we have experienced a relationship with God, the purpose and meaning of life become clearer. We see things that we have never seen and we understand why we were made.

Reality in a confused world

Secondly, Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Sometimes people say, “It does not matter what you believe so long as you are sincere.”  But it is possible to be sincerely wrong. Adolf Hitler was sincerely wrong. His beliefs destroyed the lives of millions of people. The Yorkshire Ripper believed that he was doing God’s will when he killed prostitutes. He too was sincerely wrong. His beliefs affected his behavior. These are extreme examples, but they make the point that it matters a great deal what we believe, because what we believe will dictate how we live.

Other people’s response to a Christian may be, “It’s great for you, but it is not for me.” This is not a logical position. If Christianity is true, it is of vital importance to every one of us. If it is not true, it is not “great for us”—it is very sad, and it means that Christians are deluded. As the writer and scholar C. S. Lewis put it, “Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

Is it true? Is there any evidence to support Jesus’ claim to be “the truth”? These are some of the questions we will be looking at later in the book. The linchpin of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and for that there is ample evidence, which we will look at in the following chapter.

I don’t think I ever realized how much the course of history has been shaped by people who believed that Jesus really is “the truth.”  Lord Denning, widely thought of as one of the greatest legal minds in  the  twentieth  century,  was  for  nearly  forty  years  President  of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship. He had applied his legendary powers of analysis to the historical evidence for Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection and concluded that Christianity was true.

I had not appreciated either that some of the most sophisticated philosophers the West has ever produced—Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Pascal, Leibniz, Kant—were all committed Christians. In fact, two of the most influential philosophers living today, Charles Taylor and Alasdair MacIntyre, have both built a great deal of their work on a deep commitment to Jesus Christ.

Nor had I realized how many of the pioneers of modern science were Christian believers: Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Mendel, Pasteur, and Maxwell. This is still true of leading scientists today. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project and one of the most respected geneticists in the world, tells of a mountain walk during which he was so overwhelmed by the beauty of creation that, in his words, “I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ.”

These words highlight the fact that when Jesus said, “I am the truth,”  He meant more than just intellectual truth. He means a personal knowledge of someone who fully embodies that truth. The Hebrew understanding of truth is one of experienced reality. It’s the difference between knowing something in your head and knowing it in your heart.

Suppose that before I met my wife Pippa I had read a book about her. Then, after I had finished reading the book I thought, “She sounds like an amazing woman. This is the person I want to marry.” There would be a big difference in my state of mind then—intellectually convinced that she was a wonderful person—and my state of mind now after the experience of many years of marriage from which I can say, “I know she is a wonderful person.” When a Christian says, in relation to his faith, “I know Jesus is the truth,” he does not mean only that he knows intellectually that He is the truth, but that he has experienced Jesus as the truth.

Life in a dark world

Thirdly, Jesus said, “I am the life.” The Christian view has always been that people are made in the image of God. As a result there is something noble about every human being. This conviction has been the driving force behind many of the great social reformers, from William Wilberforce to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Desmond Tutu. But there is also another side to the coin.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, converted to Christianity when in exile from the Soviet Union, said, “The line separating good and evil passes, not through states, nor through classes, nor between political parties . . . but right through every human heart and through all human hearts.”

I used to think I was a “nice” person—because I didn’t rob banks or commit other serious crimes. Only when I began to see my life alongside the life of Jesus Christ did I realize how much was wrong.

We all need forgiveness and it can only be found in Christ. Marghanita Laski, a humanist, made an amazing confession during a TV debate with a Christian. She said, “What I envy about you Christians is your forgiveness.”  Then she added rather wistfully, “I have no one to forgive me.”

What Jesus did when He was crucified for us was to pay the penalty for all the things that we have done wrong. We will look at this subject in more detail in chapter 3. We will see that He died to remove our guilt and to set us free from addictions, fear, and death.

Jesus not only died for us, He was also raised from the dead for us. In this act He defeated death. Jesus came to bring us “eternal life.”  Eternal life is a quality of life which comes from living in a relationship with God (John 17:3). Jesus never promised anyone an easy life, but He promised fullness of life (John 10:10).

Alice Cooper, the veteran rock musician, once gave an interview to The Sunday Times headlined: “Alice Cooper has a dark secret—the 53-year-old rocker is a Christian.” In this interview, he describes his conversion to Christianity. “It hasn’t been easy combining religion and rock. It’s the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done. Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s real rebellion.”

The theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich described the human condition as one that always involves three fears: fear of guilt, fear of meaninglessness, and fear of death. Jesus Christ meets each of these fears head on, because He is “the way and the truth and the life.”


CFBA Presents Doctor To The Rescue….By: Cheryl Wyatt

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Doctor To The Rescue

Love Inspired (December 18, 2012)



Born Valentine’s Day on a Navy base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Cheryl loves interacting with her readers and can be found almost daily on Facebook.

Word from the Author:

I do regular giveaways including a Kindle for every 250 people who join (aka “Like) my Facebook author page: and I’d LOVE for word to spread about that. We have a lot of fun there as I ask for frequent reader input on current books, with helpers being mentioned in the acknowledgements and fun stuff like that.


Combat doctor Ian Shupe returns home from overseas with his most important mission: to raise his little girl. But Ian’s a single dad, and working at Eagle Point’s trauma center means having to find child care. When bighearted, struggling lodge owner Bri Landis offers babysitting in exchange for construction work, Ian accepts. He vows to keep his emotional distance from Bri, yet can’t deny that his daughter is blossoming under her tender care. But is he ready to believe that his heart’s deepest prayer may finally be answered?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Doctor To The Rescue, go HERE.


Will post review in a day or so

Under the Summer Sky by Lori Copeland

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Lori Copeland
and the book:
Under the Summer Sky
(The Dakota Diaries Book 2)
Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***

Lori Copeland is the author of more than 90 titles, both historical and contemporary fiction. With more than 3 million copies of her books in print, she has developed a loyal following among her rapidly growing fans in the inspirational market. She has been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books’ Best Seller award. In 2000, Lori was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Lance, and their three children and five grandchildren.

Visit the author’s website.


After a man named Jones rescues Trinity Franklin from a river, they find their destination is the same: a small town in North Dakota. A seemingly coincidental beginning comes to a delightful and charming ending when orchestrated by the One who can put the pieces of any lost and broken life together.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736930205

ISBN-13: 978-0736930208


Near Piedmont, South Dakota, 1893“Don’t put me in that barrel!”

“Do you want to die, woman?”

“No! That’s why you can’t put me in the barrel—I can’t swim!” She had gone to the river for a simple bucket of water when this beast had swept in and captured her. She loved the good Lord, but she wasn’t ready to meet Him face-to-face. The sound of rushing water overwhelmed her senses as iron hands gripped her waist. War whoops filled the air as three riders poured over the hillside. She pounded the solid wall of flesh that enveloped her. “Let me go!”

“I’m trying to save your life, lady.”

The stranger heaved her over to the barrel and unceremoniously dumped her inside, stuffing her head between her knees before he slammed the lid down on top.

“I can’t swim!” Her muffled voice echoed in her ears. Was he deaf    ? Mad? What kind of man would put a woman in a barrel and send her over the rapids when she couldn’t swim? She banged on the wooden sides. “Let me out!”

All bedlam broke out, and even through the barrel Trinity could hear grunts, shouts, and the sound of bare fists meeting flesh. Her heart hammered in her chest. She willed herself to be still, but she could feel the barrel shifting underneath her, teetering at the water’s edge. “Don’t let me fall in, don’t let me fall in,” she whispered. A flour mill sat downstream, but if she reached it she would be too late. A few minutes in the turgid waters and she would drown.

Grunts. More fists.

Please, God. Please, God.

She swallowed back the urge to shout. Calling out would mean certain death. Her brother, Rob, had written tales of rebels, both Indian and white, banding together to plunder and commit unspeakable acts, but never in her wildest dreams would she have thought to encounter one of the lowlifes. A gunshot—then another. Trinity’s heart crowded her throat as the fighting grew fiercer. The barrel shifted again.

Don’t let me fall in. Don’t let me fall in.

A deep rumble. A shove. Trinity’s heart sputtered. She was close—too close. She could almost smell the cold, rushing water. She heard the shuffle of men’s boots—though now it sounded as though there were fewer of them. Maybe two? Against overwhelming odds, the stranger appeared to be winning.

Rapids rushed in the distance. Relax. That beast of a man is strong. He still faced formidable odds, but it sounded as if he were besting the enemy. Trinity felt the tension draining away from her. The ruckus would be over soon and he would release her from her wooden prison.

And then she would demand to know who he was and how he’d had the audacity to risk her life!

Locked in a duel, the men’s groans filled the air as they strained against one another. The sheer force in their tones made her cringe. Then—the unthinkable. A boot caught the edge of the barrel and sent it toppling into the churning water.

Trinity screamed as the current caught the barrel and bounced it downstream. Terror-stricken, she watched the water seeping through the cracks in the wood. The rapids were only two hundred yards downstream—she had to be getting close.

She was going to die. Rob had perished far too young, and now she was going to join him. And it was all her fault. She should never have left her nice, safe café job in Sioux City and come to this rugged land. She had refused to accompany Rob a year earlier when he’d pleaded with her to join him and help him settle Wilson’s Falls, the plot of land their family had owned for generations. She should have held to her belief that no good would come of her visiting this remote country for even a short time. No amount of money on earth could keep her safe now—not even the handsome sum the railroad was likely to offer for the family’s parcel of land.

The trip was supposed to be brief. Never once had she thought her journey would end at the Pearly Gates.


Jones whirled when he heard the barrel hit the water. The man locked in his grip took advantage of the distraction and landed a blow that took Jones to his knees. He swung wildly, landing a punch that momentarily staggered his opponent.

His eyes swung back to the barrel. Only a few moments before it went over the rapids. The other thug came at him and he managed a hard right and then his signature left, the knock-out blow. His opponent slumped to the ground and Jones took off running down the bank. His boots thrashed through a heavy thicket as his eyes followed the bobbing container. When he reached a wide spot, he dove in and surfaced just within reach of the barrel.

“Hold on! I’m here!” he yelled.

The girl’s reedy voice came back. “I can’t swim! Get me out of here!”

“I’m trying!” He lunged, his hand brushing the barrel in vain. Charging again, he only managed to hurry the barrel along. It flew over the rapids and he heard her screams until the roar of rushing water snatched them away.

Shoot. She was going to be mad as a wet hen.

“Are you still there? I can’t hear you!”

He couldn’t imagine why not. She was yelling loud enough for them to hear her all the way to Canada.

“I’m here! Just hang on!”

“I can’t swim!”

Like he hadn’t heard her the first eight times. Closing his eyes, he dove under the swift current.


The thin wood split as the water and rocks smashed the barrel into kindling. Trinity gasped for air, her breath lodged in her throat. The wind and water whipped wildly about her. Where was he?

Anger churned with panic as she bumped along. Objects blurred as she choked, struggling to right herself. She went down, down, down, thumping and bumping over rocks. This was it. This was the end. She’d never done anything worthwhile in her nineteen years. Nothing but wait tables and serve others—but that was good. To her knowledge she’d never caused anyone an ounce of trouble, so she could meet her Maker in good faith.

Now she would draw her last breath—gurgle it, more like—but…she broke the waterline, choking. A strong hand latched onto her hair as she went under again.

Pain blinded her—pain the likes of which she’d never experienced. Her very roots were being ripped out. She struggled to break the fierce hold, and did, momentarily, but then something snared her and yanked her back to the surface.

“Stop fighting me!” a male voice demanded.

She saw him then—the man who’d stuffed her in the barrel. At the moment it didn’t matter what he’d stuffed her in; he was an anchor in the storm. Her efforts ceased. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held on tight.

He was a strong swimmer, but she was dead weight. Dragging her through the water, he reached a ledge and paused to catch his breath. Paralyzed with fear, her heart threatened to pound out of her chest, and for the first time in her life she couldn’t find the words she wanted. His arms around her were powerful, and the feel of his prickly dark beard against her cheek brought a blush to her face. She’d never been this close to a man before—except Rob, of course. When she poured coffee at the café she bent close, but never this close. She could smell him, hear his ragged breath in her ear.

“Sorry I scared you,” he said, swiping his face to clear the water out of his eyes. “I didn’t mean for the barrel to go over.”

She nodded, still not able to find her voice. She was in the middle of a rushing rapid, standing in the arms of a stranger, finding her brush with death very difficult to comprehend.

“Hold on.” He hitched her up and swam the remaining distance to shore. Throwing her on the bank like a landed carp, he crawled out and collapsed beside her. For a moment they lay in the warm sun, gasping for breath. In a novel the moment might have been romantic, Trinity thought. Instead it was wet and cold and ghastly.

“Who are you?” she asked, finally finding her breath. Since she could speak she should probably thank him—it was only polite—though at the moment she wanted to throttle him for putting her life in danger in the first place.

“Doesn’t matter. I’m just passing through.”

“What’s your name?” She had the right to know who’d almost killed her, didn’t she?


“Jones what?”

“Just Jones.” Rolling to his back, he stuck out his hand. “Are you all right?”

Trinity stared at the proffered hand, stultified. “Why did you stick me in that barrel?”

“I saved your life.”

“You could easily have taken it. I don’t…”

“Swim. So you’ve said.” Struggling to his feet, he removed his left boot and dumped out a stream of water. “Sorry I upset you, but those men would have distressed you more.”

Her gaze fixed on the tall stranger. She knew she should feel nothing but gratitude, but he’d scared the wadding out of her. “Well, before you stick a lady in a barrel and send her downstream, you might want to make certain you can save her.”

Jones dumped the water out of his right boot. “Don’t figure there’s any reason for me to apologize for saving your neck.” He glanced up. “What are you doing out here alone, anyway?”

“I was doing my wash.” She pushed to her feet and brushed the wet hair out of her eyes.

“You live around here?”

“Not live. I’m staying here for a while. I’m in the process of selling my land, and once I do I’m going back to Sioux Falls.”

“Nice town.”

“You’ve been there?”

He nodded, shoving his foot, wet sock and all, back into his boot. “Couple of times. Do you want me to walk you back to your place?”

“No, thank you.” She’d had quite enough of him for one day.

Nodding, he set his Stetson on his head and adjusted the band. “You might want to keep a close eye out for the others. The men scattered, but they’ll meet up again.”

Trinity swallowed, trying to retain her composure. She’d get home, and then she wouldn’t rest until she’d sold the land and left this godforsaken place behind her forever. “Thank you. I’ll be careful.”

“You think you can handle these wilds?”

She lifted her chin. “Of course I can handle myself.” Granted, he had caught her in a bad circumstance, but chances were that the men were only passing through and she’d have no more trouble with them.

“Do you have a gun?”

“My brother left one.”

“Do you know how to use it?”

The chin rose higher. “I do—if necessary.”

He paused, a slow grin starting at the corners of his mouth. Dark curly hair, penetrating brown eyes, and skin browned by the long hours in the sun. He was handsome, no denying it, but Trinity had more important things on her mind. “I see you’ve got things well in hand.”

She nodded coolly. He had every right to suspect that she was one of those helpless simpering females, but she was far from vulnerable. She’d been on her own since Rob had left to work this land, and she’d learned to care for herself nicely.

He started off and then turned back. “By the way…”

She pushed another lock of soggy hair out of her eyes. “Yes?”

His gaze drifted down. “You lost your skirt in the water.”

Gasping, she looked down. She was wearing nothing but her bloomers! And he hadn’t said a word until now.

When she looked up, he was gone. Drawing herself up straight, she sniffed. And a good riddance it was.

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