Litfuse Publishing Group presents…The Quarryman’s Bride by Tracie Peterson

The Quarryman’s Bride

The latest book in the Land of Shining Waters series.

Peterson Hits the Bestseller Lists Again and Again!

Emmalyne Knox and Tavin MacLachlan were destined to be together…until the tragic deaths of Emmalyne’s youngest sisters. Family tradition mandates that the youngest daughter should remain single to care for her parents in their old age, and now that daughter is Emmalyne. Her father unyielding, Emmalyne surrenders to her duty, heartbroken. Tavin leaves town, equally devastated.

Years later, Emmalyne’s family moves, and she and Tavin meet again. Their feelings for each other are as strong as ever, but their painful past and Emmalyne’s father still stand between them. Soon both families are in the midst of the growing conflict rising between the workers at the granite quarry that Tavin’s father owns and operates. When a series of near-fatal accidents occur, Tavin must figure out who is behind the attacks before someone gets killed.

Bound by obligation, yet yearning for a future together, can Emmalyne and Tavin dare to dream that God could heal a decade-long wound and change the hearts of those who would stand in the way of true love?

Purchase a copy here.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

The Quarryman’s Bride is Tavin MacLachlan and Emmalyne Knox’s story, and it was really sad for me at times. Emmalyne had to give up her dreams because of her parents, while the only way Tavin could handle the rejection was to run from everyone, including the Lord. Then because of circumstances beyond their control, their lives were reunited. Is this a second chance for Tavin and Emmalyne?

I love Tracie Peterson’s writing, she just has a way of capturing my attention and keeping it until a good while after I finish a story she has written. I especially appreciated that the characters in this story struggle with life issues just as we all do, and we can learn from reading and paying attention to the Bible principles and promises Ms. Peterson weaves throughout this story. This is an wonderful and heartwarming story that you will love and enjoy. I encourage you to pick up a copy and read it! You will not be disappointed!

I received this book from Litfuse 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TRACIE PETERSON

TPeterson

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie’s Web site at http://www.traciepeterson.com.

 

Welcome to the campaign page for Tracie Peterson‘s newest book in the Land of the Shining Water series, The Quarryman’s Bride.
Tracie is celebrating with a “True Love” $200 Anthropologie giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party.
QuarrymanBride
One winner will receive:

  • A $200 Anthropologie gift card
  • The Quarryman’s Bride and The Icecutter’s Daughter by Tracie Peterson

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 8th. Winner will be announced at the The Quarryman’s Bride” Facebook Author Chat Party on July 9th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also share an exclusive look at the next book in the Land of Shining Water series and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Quarryman’s Bride and join Tracie on the evening of July 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Advertisements

FIRST Wild Card Tours presents….Melody Carlson and Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel

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:
Melody Carlson
and the book:
Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel
B&H Books (June 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Laurel Teague for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melody Carlson has written around 200 books for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her books range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including the Rita and Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

With high hopes, Daphne Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it’s not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Daphne, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Daphne only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt’s very specific posthumous terms — personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dee’s cats.

And if Daphne thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dee’s life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God’s perfect timing.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: B&H Books (June 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1433679302

ISBN-13: 978-1433679308

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

When Daphne Ballinger graduated top of her class with her degree in journalism, in the memorable year of 2000, she had promptly moved to the city to launch her illustrious career writing for The New York Times. And why not dream big? Because really, how many grads landed such an impressive job straight out of college?Her plan had been to work hard and quickly scale the ladder to success. By thirty she would have a corner office with a window overlooking the river as well as an apartment on the west side. By her midthirties, she would have published her first book. But similar to the plans of mice and men, Daphne’s best-laid schemes had gone awry.

She stuffed a worn pair of brown Prada pumps into her Hermès bag (splurges she’d indulged in back when she still believed you should dress for the job/life you wanted). Then she sat down to put on her comfy-yet-unfashionable white sneakers. After tying the first shoe, she sat up straight and looked around the messy apartment.

Daphne knew it was cliché but, on gloomy days like today, it truly did feel like the walls were closing in on her. Most of the time, she could overlook the crowded space. She could walk right past piles of papers and miscellaneous pieces of clothing and empty take-out boxes . . . and not even notice. But this morning, the apartment actually seemed to stink. When was the last time they’d really cleaned this place?

She shared this three-bedroom apartment with Greta and Shelby. And in previous years Greta, the lease owner, had always proclaimed April as spring-cleaning month. But it was already mid-May and no one had lifted a finger. And Greta, obsessed with a new job promotion, hadn’t complained once. Daphne’s gaze skimmed over gritty windows, dingy curtains, dust-covered surfaces, piles of clutter, sun-faded carpet. . . . How had she stayed here so long?

“I can’t promise to be here more than a year,” Daphne had informed Greta Phillips when she first moved to the city right after graduation.

A coworker at The Times had tipped off Daphne about a friend looking for a third roommate for an apartment in Brooklyn. And although the location was lackluster, it was near the subway and the rent was affordable. Besides, it would just be a temporary stop—the bottom rung on her ladder to success—or so she had naively believed.

“And after a year?” Greta had asked Daphne with a single arched brow.

Daphne simply smiled . . . perhaps a bit smugly upon reflection. “Oh, I plan to move into my own place by then.”

“Your own place?” Greta seemed humored by this declaration. “Really?”

“Oh yes. This is just the first step for me.”

“Well, I still need you to sign a one-year lease. After that, we’ll see.”

Daphne had hesitantly signed that “confining” lease, wondering how Greta would react if she was forced to break the contract before the year was up. Although numerous other roommates had come and gone during the next thirteen years, climbing their own ladders to success, Daphne had stayed . . . and stayed . . . and stayed. Remembering the arrogant assumptions of her youth was embarrassing.

“Hey, Daphne,” Shelby called out cheerfully. Shelby was the most recent roommate, less than six months ago she’d moved here straight from her family’s Connecticut home. “I’m heading out early this morning. So you’ll have to put Oliver in the bathroom. Okay?”

Daphne looked over to see Shelby looking sparkly and stylish as she opened a golden shoe box. After tossing the lid, tissue paper, and red shoe bags aside, Shelby extracted a dark-colored shoe with a sole that flashed like a stoplight. Shelby slipped on the first high-heeled pump, pointing her toe to admire the sleek black patent leather. “Classy, huh?”

“Another pair of Louboutins?” Daphne frowned, knowing she probably sounded like somebody’s mother. But really, Shelby couldn’t afford such extravagances.

“Yes. Can you believe it?” Shelby giggled. “I think I’m going to need a twelve-step program before long.”

“Or a raise.”

Shelby waved a hand, hopping on one foot as she tugged on the other shoe. “I’d rather settle for a nice, big diamond.” Shelby was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, and sometimes Daphne worried that the pretty young woman had seen How to Marry a Millionaire one time too many.

“So how is that working for you?” Daphne knew Shelby had been flirting with her boss’s son for the past several weeks. She also knew the boss’s son had recently divorced his second wife.

Shelby stood up straight, pushing her short, sassy blond hair back into place with a confident-looking grin. “As it turns out, John Junior is taking me to Club 21.”

“21?” Daphne was impressed. The whole time she’d been in New York, she’d only been there once. And here Shelby was going after just a few months. This girl worked fast.

“Yes. I told John Junior that I’d been dying to go there ever since I moved to the city. And we’re going there tonight. Can you believe it?”

“Can you believe it” was Shelby’s favorite expression and sometimes, after hearing it a few dozen times in the course of an evening, Daphne sometimes wanted to gag the girl. “That’s wonderful, Shelby.” She stood and smiled. “I hope you and John Junior have a lovely time.” Did Shelby really call him John Junior—to his face?

“Oh, we will.” Shelby reached for her hot pink umbrella, holding it in front of her like a scepter. “The weatherman predicted showers this morning. So don’t forget your umbrella.”

“I hope the rain doesn’t ruin your pretty new shoes.”

“No worries.” Shelby shrugged. “John Junior is picking me up in his car this morning.”

“He’s driving you into Manhattan at this time of day?”

“No, silly, that would be insane. He’s giving me a ride out to his parents’ home in the Hamptons. John Senior is working at home today, so I’ll be working there too.”

“Oh . . .” Daphne nodded. That explained the new shoes, stylish suit, perfect hair. Shelby was out to impress Mrs. John Senior. “Well, have a good day.”

“Oh, I’m sure I will.” Shelby opened the door to peek out. “There he is now—right on time. You should see his car, Daphne.” She stepped outside, then looked back in. “Don’t forget to put Oliver in the bathroom.”

Daphne went over to the front window, watching as Shelby skipped down the cement stairs in her new shoes, swinging her bright umbrella in time with each step. Sometimes it was as if Shelby were starring in her own movie. She paused midway down the steps, waving to the man who was just getting out of the silver Jaguar in front of their building. From her vantage point, Daphne could see the balding patch on the top of the man’s dark hair, and for some pathetic reason this comforted her.

Still, as she stepped away from her voyeurism, she didn’t wish ill for young Shelby. If John Junior was truly a nice guy, she hoped he would produce a diamond . . . in due time. Daphne hadn’t known Shelby long, but she knew the old-fashioned girl dreamed of a big white wedding and a houseful of kids. It was sweet, really.

“Oliver,” Daphne called out as she grabbed a yogurt carton from the fridge. “Here, kitty-kitty.” She reached into Greta’s bag of kitty treats, singing out enticingly. “Here’s a treat for you, Oliver. Here, kitty-kitty.”

She was not fond of Greta’s fat gray cat and, unfortunately, Oliver seemed to sense this. Still, she kept her voice sugary as she walked around calling for him, “Come on, Oliver, come get your yummy-yummy kitty treat.”

She eventually found him hunkered down in Greta’s bedroom with a guilty expression, but if he was doing something he shouldn’t, Daphne did not want to know. She had learned the hard way to keep her own bedroom door closed. For some twisted reason Oliver sometimes preferred a nice soft bed to his smelly litter box in the bathroom.

“There you are, you darling little scoundrel,” she said in a saccharine tone. As he looked up, she curled her arm around his hefty midsection. “Got you.” Then she quickly packed him off to the bathroom, tossing in the treat with him behind it. “Have a good day, you spoiled fat cat.” Daphne closed the door firmly. It wasn’t that she disliked cats in general. She just didn’t care much for Oliver.

By the time Daphne locked up the apartment and was on her way to the subway, it was already starting to rain. And despite Shelby’s reminder, Daphne had set off without her umbrella and there wasn’t time to run back and get it now. Consequently, as the clouds opened up and let loose, she got thoroughly drenched in the short distance to the subway. Waiting with the other dampened commuters, she tried to shake off some of the moisture before the train arrived, then she hurried in with the crowd, finding a spot in the back of the car where the air was smelly and muggy and close.

Firmly planting her feet, Daphne held tightly to a pole and, shutting her eyes, attempted to imagine herself in a happier, cleaner, dryer place. Like the Grand Canyon where her dad had taken her as child one summer. She breathed deeply as she recalled the beautiful painted mountains changing hues of golds, reds, and russets at sunset.

This was a trick she’d taught herself years ago, her way to combat the claustrophobia that she sometimes suffered in the city. One would think she’d be over her dislike of tight spaces by now, but on days like today the anxiety seemed to lurk just below the surface. She remembered when she had been in love with New York. Some called it the Big Apple Honeymoon Phase, but it had lasted several years for her. However, like so many other things in her life, it had gotten a little tarnished and dull over the years. And as she emerged from the subway, back into the drizzling rain and noisy traffic, she didn’t much like the city.

By the time Daphne reached her cubicle at The Times and peeled off her soggy jacket and slushy sneakers and stashed them in a sodden pile in the corner, her long auburn hair, which she’d spent thirty minutes straightening this morning, now resembled Bozo the Clown. Not that anyone would particularly notice or care since most of her day was spent on her own.

Daphne was a wedding writer—one of several—and she had been doing the same thing for more than ten years. She could write one of these pieces in her sleep. In fact, sometimes she did. Oh, not for the paper, but she would lie in bed writing another piece. They ran about 250 words, five or six paragraphs, all meant to impress the bride and the groom and their family and friends.

She turned on her computer and perused her e-mail, sifting through junk and flagging some, and then on to read today’s assignments. This time of year was usually fairly busy, but to her surprise there was only one happy couple waiting for the spotlight, and she managed to spend two whole hours on making them seem larger than life. Hopefully they would appreciate her efforts.

Then with still an hour until lunch, she imagined what she’d write for Shelby’s wedding announcement, and because she was bored and didn’t like to appear idle or get caught playing Spider Solitaire, she decided to hack a phony baloney announcement for her romantic roommate.

Miss Shelby M. Monroe and John Junior Millionaire were married on Friday night in May at Club 21 in downtown Manhattan. Family friend and celebrity entrepreneur Donald Trump, who became an ordained minister for this monumental occasion, officiated the extravagant

event where no expenses were spared.

The beautiful bride, twenty-three, and the prematurely balding bridegroom, of undetermined age, met at the bride’s place of employment, which is also the bridegroom’s father’s multimillion-dollar investment corporation.

Miss Monroe, who will not be keeping her name since it’s not really her name, will give up her career, which wasn’t really a career, in order to raise a houseful of boisterous children. She is the daughter of a once-prestigious family who resided in Westport, Connecticut, until her father’s investment corporation was dissolved in a scandal involving insider trading. Now, despite some diminished wealth, the bride’s parents are enjoying an early retirement abroad.

Mr. Millionaire, who goes by John Junior, holds some mysterious position in his father’s corporation, where not much actual work is required of him. John Junior graduated from some Ivy League school,

where his family probably had some really good connections.

Following an over-the-top honeymoon, which probably involved

a beach in an exotic locale, the happy newlyweds will reside

in a penthouse apartment on the upper west side.

The bridegroom’s first two marriages ended in divorce.

Hopefully the third time will be the charm.

Feeling a bit juvenile, not to mention catty, Daphne hit the select all and delete buttons. Best not to leave something like that lying around for too long. She was about to shut down and go to lunch when her cell phone rang. She got up and grabbed her bag. After digging for her elusive phone and expecting it to be Beverly since they were meeting for lunch today, she was surprised to discover it was actually her father. He rarely called her in the middle of the day. Not unless something was wrong.

“Dad?” she said with concern. “What’s up?”

“Hello, Daphne. I’m afraid it’s bad news.”

“What?” Her throat tightened. He’d had some health issues last winter. Hopefully it wasn’t worse. She’d lost her mother as a small child. Dad was all she had left of her immediate family.

“It’s Aunt Dee . . . she passed away this morning. Her lawyer just called to inform me, and I thought you’d want to know.”

“Aunt Dee.” Daphne sank back down in her chair. “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, Dad. I know how much you loved her. I loved her too. And I’d been hoping to get out there to visit you and her this summer. I can’t believe she’s gone.”

Tears filled her eyes as she suddenly recalled the summers she’d spent at Aunt Dee’s house as a child when Dad was busy with work. Aunt Dee had tried to make up for Daphne losing her mother. Daphne and Aunt Dee had always enjoyed a special connection and a shared name.

“If it’s any consolation, she died peacefully. In her sleep.”

“How old was she?” For some reason, Daphne couldn’t recall her aunt’s age. She knew she was older than Dad, but in a way Aunt Dee had seemed timeless. Maybe it was her youthful spirit.

“She would’ve been ninety-one in July.”

“Ninety-one? Wow, I had no idea she was that old.”

“Yes. She never really told anyone her real age. But she enjoyed a good, full life.” He sighed. “Even though she never married or had children, she seemed to have a good time in whatever she did. She traveled. Had lots of friends. Dee lived life on her own terms. And she always seemed happy.”

“She did—didn’t she?” Daphne let out a choked sob as she reached for a Kleenex, wiping the tears now streaming down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry, honey. I hate to be the bearer of sad news. But I knew you’d want to know.”

“Yes. I appreciate that. I don’t know why I’m taking this so hard.” She blew her nose.

“Will you be able to make it out here for her memorial service?”

“Yes, of course, Dad.” She reached for another tissue.

“Oh, good. I’m in charge of everything. And I could really use your help with the arrangements. I mean, if you can come out here soon enough . . . I’ll understand if you can’t drop everything.” His voice sounded tired and weak, but maybe it was just sadness.

“How are you feeling? I mean, with your heart and cholesterol and everything. Are you okay?”

“Oh, sure, honey. I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.” He sighed. “When do you think you can get away?”

“I’ll find out as soon as we hang up. And I’ll get right back to you,” she promised.

“Thanks, Daph. I can’t wait to see you.”

They said good-bye, then she grabbed her purse and hurried up to her boss’s office, feeling she’d get better results if she asked in person. Hopefully Amelia wouldn’t have left for lunch yet. However, when she got up there, Daphne could tell by the darkened office that Amelia was already gone.

“Amelia left early for a lunch meeting,” her assistant told Daphne. “Want me to leave her a message for you?”

“No. I’ll come after lunch. When do you expect her back?”

Fiona shrugged. “Well, you know how those working lunches can drag on forever. I wouldn’t expect her until three or maybe even four.”

“Thanks. I’ll stop by later.” Daphne headed out to meet Beverly, calling her as she walked toward their favorite dining spot. She left a message saying she was running late. Then she called Dad and explained that her boss was out. “As soon as I know, I’ll call,” she assured him.

Fortunately, the rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared and the city, now scrubbed fresh and clean, should be shimmering in the sunshine. And yet, as Daphne hurried down the street, everything around her still felt dull and gray and dismal.

CFBA Presents Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Paige Torn 

Think (May 1, 2013) 

by 

Erynn MangumABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Everyone knows they can count on Paige Alder. But between volunteering at church, putting in overtime at work, and helping her best friend plan an anniversary party, she’s lucky to grab a cheese stick for dinner. Paige can’t even remember the last time she had a few minutes to relax or dig into God’s Word. Then she meets laid-back Tyler, an attractive, Jesus-loving guy. Will he be able to help Paige get her priorities on track?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Paige Torn, go HERE.

Rainbows for Rainy Days by Catherine Campbell from Kregel

Rainbows for Rainy Days

  by Catherine Campbell

9780857212894

ABOUT THIS BOOK


40 short devotions on the different aspects of God’s love in hard times

Catherine Campbell’s experience as a nurse and as the mother of two girls who both inherited a rare genetic condition that required constant care until their deaths at ages 10 and 13 has given her a unique insight into suffering. As an inspirational speaker, she frequently encounters people with tragic stories. And yet she believes that God is Lord and that in both good times and bad, He is always good.

Isaiah 40:31 says, that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.” Campbell comments:

How often have you wakened in the morning knowing that the problem, or the pain, or the unpaid bill has not disappeared? We worry and fret ourselves into exhaustion. Yet God has promised us endurance.

The great eagle cannot reach the heights merely by its own strength. As it spreads its impressive wings the bird allows the wind to carry it to places no other bird can go. This kind of flying appears effortless because the eagle trusts in a power bigger than itself . . . the wind!

In this unique devotional, Catherine examines different aspects of God’s love for those times when life gets hard. Perfect for anyone needing encouragement in difficult times, Rainbows for Rainy Days gently shows readers how to turn pain over to Him.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Rainbows for Rainy Days is an awesome little devotional written for you when you find yourself going through those difficult times that get us down. Each of the forty devotions in this book deal with all kinds of situations, with one that is sure do help you at one time or another. I found the devotions simple and easy to read, yet powerfully encouraging and helpful. Each one is short, with beautiful peaceful and calming pictures throughout the book.

We all have rainy days in our lives, some more difficult than others, therefore every one of us can benefit from Catherine Campbell’s book Rainbows for Rainy Day. For me, each devotion had a special message for me because of the difficult situations our family has been facing. I found encouragement in verses like Proverbs 3:5 & 6 that says to “Trust in the Lord with all our hearts;” Exodus 33:14 that says, “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest;” and Luke 1:37 which says “For nothing is impossible with God.” And this is just a taste of what this book is about.

I love everything about this book! The book is full of truths and promises from God’s Word that I can always go to for encouragement. And the beauty of the book is breathtaking. The cover is strikingly beautiful, the colors are calming and peaceful, and the pictures inside will have you sitting and taking them in for a long time. I really want to encourage you to purchase a copy of this wonderful devotional for yourself. You will not be disappointed, I assure you. And it makes a beautiful book for your coffee table, which is just where mine is!

I received this book from the publisher Kregel 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.
About the Author

Catherine Campbell’s experience as a nurse and as the mother of two girls who both inherited a rare genetic condition that required constant care until their deaths at ages 10 and 13 has given her a unique insight into suffering. As an inspirational speaker, she frequently encounters people with tragic stories. And yet she believes that God is Lord and that in both good times and bad, He is always good.

CRBA presents……Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie S. Calhoun

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Pieces of the Heart

Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)

by

Bonnie S. CalhounABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year,” President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference(GPCWC).

For the last six years she has taught workshops in Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and creating Social Media promotions at both CCWC, and GPCWC, and in 2011 at the Montrose, Pa Christian Writers Conference. She also taught a Facebook workshop at the 2012 ACFW conference.

Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin in upstate area of New York with a dog and cat who think she’s wait-staff.

Her sites are:

https://www.facebook.com/bonniescalhounsnarkandsuspense

https://www.facebook.com/bscalhoun

ABOUT THE BOOK

Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.

But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?

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

 

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Author Bonnie S. Calhoun continues the Quilts of Love Series from Abingdon Press with her new book, Pieces of the Heart. This story follows the romance of Cordelia Grace and Bernard Howard During the WWII era. I really enjoyed reading about and African American and his life during his time at war. I was saddened by the treatment these young men received by their own fellow white Americans.

Life wasn’t the way Cordelia expected it to be after Bernard returned home, because the war had completely changed him. Even though they married after his return, he struggled daily, and nightly with nightmares of the memories that wouldn’t let go. I loved the grandmother, she was such a sweet lady and full of awesome wisdom. She reminded me so much of my own grandmother, I thought of her many times while reading this book. I love the idea of the quilt, and the way grandma used the different fabric to tell the story of the quilt, all the while praying for each person connected to that piece of fabric.

This is a sweet heartwarming story that you are sure to love. The characters are unique and well created and as they develop more and more throughout the story, you grow to love them more. This is a book everyone will enjoy, so why not pick up a copy for your own enjoyment! And while you are at it, check out the other books in the Quilts of Love Series.

I received this book from CFBA 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.

Claudia By Diana Wallis Taylor

 Claudia

By Diana Wallis Taylor

9780800721381[1]

978-0-8007-2138-1

$14.99

Paperback

336 pages

Pub Date: June 2013

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Combining impeccable research and a flair for drama and romance, Diana Wallis Taylor invites readers to experience marbled palaces, dusty marketplaces and idyllic Italian villas.   In Claudia, a woman who warrants only a passing mention in one of the Gospel accounts, Taylor brings to life in a tale worthy of a legend.

Claudia’s life did not start easily. The illegitimate daughter of Julia, reviled and exiled daughter of Caesar Augustus, Claudia spends her childhood in a guarded villa with her mother and grandmother. When Tiberius, who hates Julia, takes the throne, Claudia is wrenched away from her mother to be brought up in the palace in Rome. The young woman is adrift-until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When Pilate is appointed Prefect of the troublesome territory of Judea, Claudia does what she has always done: she makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find peace and rest in the teaching of the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I’ve really never given Claudia much thought, though I knew a little about her role when Jesus was put to death by her husband. I really grew to love her in this book. You can see that Claudia is the backbone of her husband by the way her depended on her and drew his strength from her. But though she was so committed to him, she was still her on person, and not afraid to make decisions on her own. I found it really heartwarming the way she treated their son, and the way she worked it out that she could go see the teacher teach, which was Jesus.

I have read several books by Diana Taylor, and I really like her Biblical fiction. In her writing, she mostly stays true to the events as the Bible records them. And when she doesn’t, she makes sure she explains where she goes on her own. Don’t misunderstand me, Ms. Taylor stays with the Bible principles and promises, by makes changes in the timeline, how the people live, etc. Since there is not a lot about Claudia in the Bible, she was able to use her imagination to create a life for her, and I really enjoyed Claudia’s story very much! If you enjoy Bible fiction, you will really love this book, so I recommend you pick up a copy for your enjoyment. You will surely be entertained!

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

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.

7787[1]Diana Wallis Taylor

is the author of the novels Journey to the Well, Martha, and Mary Magdalene and lives in California. Find out more at

www.dianawallistaylor.com

Praise for Claudia and Diana Wallis Taylor

“Diana Wallis Taylor has written another stunning and powerful novel of controversy, romance, and rebellion, this time focusing on the life of Claudia… Meticulous research, drama, and passion hold readers to the page in this exquisite tale of inspiration and intrigue. Buy a copy for yourself and for a friend.” – Karen O’Connor, author of When God Answers Your Prayers

“Expertly researched, Diana Wallis Taylor’s Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate takes the reader into the very heart and soul of an obscure New Testament woman whose few but compelling words have captivated readers for centuries. Inspiring and imaginative.”- Susan Meissner, author of The Girl in the Glass

Litfuse Presents……Pennsylvania Patchwork by Kate LLoyd

           Book Info
About Pennsylvania Patchwork:
Seattle native Holly Fisher is smitten by Lancaster County, its simplicity and her long lost relatives. In the sequel to bestselling Leaving Lancaster, Holly embraces the Amish culture, learning to slow down to see what — and who — really matters.
Meeting the family that her mother had kept hidden from her, Holly comes face to face with her real life and blood legacy. She also falls for the charming Zach, a handsome Mennonite veterinarian who is everything she’s ever wanted in a husband: confident, kind, successful, and authentic. And Zach proposes marriage. Is this too soon? Is this the right choice? Mother and Amish grandmother think she’s rushing into too much of a lifestyle change. Holly is in love with Zach and that precludes everything. Until she meets an attractive Amish man. And an old suitor shows up.
Pennyslvania Patchwork is the moving, richly told story of one woman’s heart, her faith and trust, and the choices she makes. Never easy, but one choice can change your destiny.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/lG7GU

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Holly’s family story from the first book, Leaving Lancaster. Holly enjoys her life as Amish, making this a fast pace story because of how she settles in. I enjoyed the switch from the English to Amish lifestyle, and the characters were believable and grew on me as the story moved on. I always enjoy reading about the simple Amish lifestyle, and the author does a wonderful job of weaving the two together to make it enjoyable and heartwarming.

 

Kate Lloyd is a gifted storyteller, and I highly recommend this book, as well as this series for you to read. If you enjoy Amish stories, you will definitely enjoy Pennsylvania Patchwork.

 

I received this book from Litfuse 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.

Meet Kate:
Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novels. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest. Kate studied painting and sculpture in college. She’s worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.
Learn more about Kate at http://www.katelloyd.net

Slow Moon Rising…..by Eva Marie Everson….From Revell

Slow Moon Rising

A Cedar Key Novel

9780800734381[1]

ABOUT THIS BOOK

One family, one secret–and one chance to make it right The beautiful Claybourne home on Cedar Key has long been a place of rest, healing, and release. Each member of the family has turned there in times of confusion, loss, and hurt, only to feel their spirits renewed and their hearts restored.
But Cedar Key might also be the birthplace of a lie that is poisoning the family from within.
Join the five Claybourne women–Anise, Kimberly, Jayme-Leigh, Heather, and Ami–as they search the past and confront the truth. Their unique paths will lead them through heartbreak, misunderstandings, and pain. But their journeys will also bring reconciliation with each other and the precious renewal of love in their own lives.
In her lyrical, evocative fashion, Eva Marie Everson weaves a tapestry of complicated relationships that, when complete, reveals the most beautiful work of art there is–family.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I am so sad that Slow Moon Rising is the end of the Clayborne family and the Cedar Key community. This has been a most heartwarming series. I love the way Ms. Everson takes every day family situations and weaves them together for our enjoyment. The Clayborne family is a pretty much disfunctional family, with each member having his or her own secrets and problems they struggle with. In this last book in the series, those secrets come to surface. Each of the four Clayborne siblings are so different, and deal with situations in their own way. But in the end, it is their relationship with the Lord that matters most, that helps them heal and deal with their past. Anise has her work cut out for her to join the family, especially when she married their dad before she even met her step-daughters. She handled their reactions well. I really like Anise, she was a simple lady but full of wisdom, and loved Ross Clayborne with all her heart, and it clearly shows in her actions.

This is a wonderful and heartwarming series that I highly recommend. Reading this series really made me think about some issues in my own life, and I appreciate Ms. Everson’s knowledge of the Bible and how she encourages giving God our problems and letting him help us through them!

As you can see, I love this series, and just can’t say enough about it. Though I don’t want to give anything away. There are many things going on, the series covers many years, and the author pulls it altogether in the last book like a pro! This is a must read, so pick up your copy soon!

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.

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.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, and Chasing Sunsets. She is coauthor of the Potluck Club books and the Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Florida.

Tyndale House Presents Randy Singer in Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales

978-1-4143-8675-1

ABOUT THE BOOK

A new legal thriller from a master of his craft
Landon Reed is an
ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a point-shaving scheme. In prison, he
finds forgiveness and faith. After prison, he earns a law degree and longs for
an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth.

Be careful what you ask
for.

Harry McNaughten is one of the founding partners of McNaughten and
Clay—and the only attorney willing to take a chance employing an ex-con turned
lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, the crusty
old lawyer wins Landon’s respect with his brilliant legal mind and knack for
winning. But as the two lawyers prepare for a high-profile murder case, Harry is
gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging. Weeks later, the firm’s
leased jet explodes over Chesapeake Bay, and two more McNaughten and Clay
lawyers are eulogized. Somebody has a vendetta against the firm, and Landon, his
family, and his sole remaining partner are the final targets.

As Landon
struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder: Is the plot
related to a shady case from McNaughten and Clay’s past, or to the murder trial
he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?

About the Author . . .

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author
Singer_Randy_02and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers and was
recently a finalist with John Grisham and Michael Connelly for the inaugural Harper
Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and
the ABA Journal. Randy runs his own law practice and has been named to Virginia
Business magazine’s select list of “Legal Elite” litigation attorneys. In addition to his
law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in
Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his “Jekyll and Hyde thing”—part lawyer, part
pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School
and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his
wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his website
at www.randysinger.net.

Interview with the author about this book!

1. What was your inspiration for this book, Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales?

Two things worked together to inspire this book. First, the scandals that rocked college football in the last
few years. Have you ever noticed that when a player gets in trouble and is kicked off a team or sent to
prison, we never hear from him again? What happens to him? Are there some inspirational stories of
redemption out there? Do these young men ever discover a meaningful life beyond football?
Second was a friend of mine with a real-life story of redemption. He had committed a felony as a college
student but had become a believer while serving his time. Everyone who knew the man verified that his
life had dramatically changed while in prison. He was not just a model prisoner, but he became a spiritual
leader and a catalyst for change in others as well.
When he was released from jail, he went to law school, where he was respected by all his peers and
professors. After graduation, he applied for a license to practice law. His dramatic turnaround raised
societal questions about the restoration of rights for those who have served their time and demonstrated
that they’ve changed.
That’s when the what-ifs started happening. What if a college quarterback got caught up in a pointshaving scandal in a major football

conference like the SEC? What if he went to jail and turned his life
around? What if that man became a lawyer determined to prove his integrity and loyalty to the firm that
hired him? And what if somebody had a vendetta against that firm and started killing its lawyers one by
one? That’s where this book started—on a football field, in a courtroom, in a small and dysfunctional law
firm in Virginia Beach (not mine—the one in the book!), a firm that believed in giving a changed man a
second chance, a firm fighting for its very life.

2. Tell me about your main character, Landon Reed. Was his character based upon anyone in particular?

As I explained in response to the previous question, the inspiration for Landon Reed came from a real-life
friend. That man showed me how much someone can truly change while incarcerated and how hard it can
be to rebuild a life with a felony conviction. But he also demonstrated that, by God’s grace, it can be done.
He became the inspiration for my protagonist, Landon Reed, and for that I am deeply in his debt.

3. What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?

I once heard a well-known Hollywood scriptwriter say that the two themes shown to most resonate with
moviegoers were stories of redemption and forgiveness. It made me realize that God has planted an
attraction for the themes of the gospel deep in our hearts.
Landon Reed’s life is a quest for redemption and forgiveness. Most of his former teammates have spurned
him, but one of his offensive linemen stuck with him throughout his entire ordeal. That man plays a major
role in this story. As a former quarterback, it was fun describing the “band of brothers” relationship
between a quarterback and the members of his offensive line.
There’s also the question of how much society forgives someone who has been convicted of a serious
crime. What roles are off-limits afterward? Should somebody who has committed a felony be allowed to
practice law?
It’s fascinating to see how some athletes “earn” redemption after significant scandals, provided they can
perform better than before. But what about those former athletes who never make it back into the
game? How does a man like Landon obtain forgiveness and redemption for what he has done?
For Landon, earning redemption means proving his loyalty. When Landon went to prison, his girlfriend
was pregnant with their first child. She waited for him while he served his time. She became Mrs. Landon
Reed as soon as he was released. But this young couple faces unbelievable challenges to their marriage
when Landon is willing to risk the safety of his family to prove his loyalty to the only firm that would take
a chance on him.
Lawyers at the firm start dying, and a sensible man would run as far and fast as possible. But Landon is
tired of running. And sometimes a quest for redemption makes a man anything but sensible. Driven to be
a hero, Landon has to decide whether he is willing to sacrifice his own family in his quest for redemption.

4. How do you expect Landon’s story to resonate with your readers?

All of us have mistakes in our past that haunt us. One of my favorite verses is Joel 2:25a: “I will restore to
you the years that the swarming locust has eaten . . .”
This is ultimately the story of how God can use our greatest mistakes and turn them into something
redemptive. The first step, of course, is taking responsibility for our actions, facing into them, and owning
them. I think we will all see a little bit of ourselves in Landon Reed.

5. As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?

There is an axiom that writers should write what they know best. I’ve added a corollary: Writers should
write what they know best and what they love most. That’s what I did with Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales.
The story takes place in the legal community in Virginia Beach. In fact, the law office that Landon joins is in
the same building where my firm is actually located. How’s that for writing about things you know?
Moreover, I had some great mentors in the practice of law (I dedicated this book to them), so I gave
Landon a colorful and affable mentor as well—a crafty old lawyer named Harry McNaughten.
But ultimately this is a book about what matters most: family relationships, loyalty to our spouses, and
being changed by our faith. I loved crafting this story not just because it hit close to home but because it’s
the story of an underdog battling the giants in his life—both those of his own making and those on the
other side of his cases. And I love underdogs!
When lawyers start dying in Landon’s firm, he finds himself in way over his head with only his faith, his
family, and his best friend to help him. For me, crafting that type of David and Goliath story never grows
old.

6. What is your hope for this story? How would you like it to impact readers?

My hope is that I’ve raised important issues about redemption, forgiveness, and the power of the gospel
to change lives. My goal is to entertain readers with a fun and compelling story while they wrestle with
those issues. But there is also a more subtle thread throughout the story—an allegory for what Christ did
on our behalf. I hope to surprise readers when that allegory is fully revealed at the end of the book.

7. How has this novel helped you to grow as a storyteller?

Something happened when drafting this story that has never happened to me before. Before I ever start
writing a book, I put together a very detailed outline of the characters and plot (usually about twenty
pages long). The plot changes and evolves as the story is written, but I always know generally where the
story is headed. This time, I got about halfway through the book and just ran into a brick wall with the
plot. No matter how hard I tried to work the angles, I couldn’t seem to pull it all together in a coherent,
believable, and compelling way.
I called my editor at Tyndale, Karen Watson, and told her that this story just wouldn’t work. But Karen
wouldn’t let me quit. Eventually, everything came together in what I hope will be one of my best plots
ever. This book is a story about persistence in the face of adversity and, providentially, writing the book
taught me the same thing.
What have I learned as a storyteller? Sometimes our best stories are the ones we almost give up on.
Nothing valuable in life comes without a struggle.

8. Your novels are typically multilayered and keep readers guessing until the end. Would you say that Dead
Lawyers Tells No Tales is similarly full of surprises?

I hope it is. I love to throw in enough twists and turns to keep readers off balance. When I read other
authors, I love to be surprised so long as the author plays fair.
It’s easy to surprise somebody by bringing in some random twist from left field that has nothing to do
with the story. But that’s not playing fair. My perfect ending is one where the reader says, “Wow! I didn’t
see that coming, but I should have.” That’s the kind of ending I try to write.

9. Can you share anything about the next project you are working on?

Next Easter, I will be releasing a book that I am more excited about than any other book I have ever
written. It feels like the book I was born to write. It brings together my roles as pastor, lawyer, and
storyteller.
The working title of the book is The Advocate. It’s the story of Theophilus, the man to whom Luke
addressed his Gospel and the book of Acts. My premise is that Theophilus was Paul’s court-appointed
advocate to represent him in front of Nero, probably the most despised ruler in the history of Rome (and
that’s saying a lot). Theophilus was chosen because he had served in Judaea as Pilate’s assessore, or law
clerk, during the trial of Jesus.
My hope in writing the book is that it might bring to life the stories surrounding the two greatest trials in
the history of the world. One of those, the trial of Christ, has been studied, dissected, and analyzed more
than any other trial for the past two thousand years. The other, the trial of Paul in front of Nero, has been
a short time as a missionary in Spain. Both of these great trials changed the lives of everyone associated
with them and the trajectory of history.
It’s a real stretch for me to write historical fiction, especially a book that is so intertwined with the story of
the gospel. But I am embracing the opportunity. I’ve had a chance to visit Rome and talk to some amazing
historians. I know for a fact that this is the most challenging and rewarding book I’ve written. My prayer is
that it might also be the most impactful.

10. In addition to being an author, you are also a pastor and a lawyer. How do you reconcile those two things,
and what skills do they have in common?

Most people think that someone who is both a pastor and a lawyer is an extremely rare bird. In fact, I had
one reader e-mail me and say that she loved my books but that her son said it was impossible for
somebody to be both a pastor and a lawyer!
That mind-set assumes an artificial barrier between “ministry work” and “secular employment.” In truth,
everything we do is ministry, and we should do it with all our heart, “as to the Lord, and not unto men”
(Colossians 3:23). My law practice is a ministry just as much as my leadership at the church.
In both professions, I am meeting people at a point of need and often ministering to them in the biggest
crises of their lives. To be effective, I need to have a servant’s heart for both my clients and my church
members. And advocacy is an important skill in both trying a case and preaching the gospel.
A lot of people forget that Christ’s main method of making a point was through parables. Both pastors
and lawyers are storytellers in the best sense of that word—not that we make stuff up but that we help
our listeners enter into the story and become a part of it.
Come to think of it, I’m surprised there are not more people doing this!

Author Video and Book Trailer

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Landon Reed is now out of prison, married to his sweetheart and mother of their daughter, and is determined to make something out of
his life. After going to law school, Harry McNaughten, one of the founding partners of McNaughten and
Clay was the only lawyer that would give him a chance. But Landon never dreamed of what his life would be like after agreeing to
help Harry.

Wow! Randy Singer blows my mind with each book I read by him! With so much stuff going on in this story, I kept wondering how he would
ever pull is all together in the end, but he does, in that unique and wonderful way he has of writing! Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales was Randy Singer
at his best! I totally loved, loved this story, when I started reading it, I only put it down a few times, just when I absolutely had to! Randy Singer created characters
that were unique and awesome, and were perfect for their parts in the story. The plot was fast pace and will pull you into the story and hold you there until long
after you finish reading.

If you enjoy suspense, thrillers, with romance, spiritual values, mystery and everything else going on here, you will love, love this book! I encourage you to pick up a copy
now! This is a must read for all of you suspense people out there. I can’t wait for the next book from Mr. Singer!

I received this book from Tyndale 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.

CFBA Presents….Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel by Melody Carson

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel 

B&H Publishing Group (April 30, 2013) 

by 

Melody CarlsonABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

ABOUT THE BOOK

With high hopes, Dorothy Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it’s not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Dorothy only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt’s very specific posthumous terms — personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dot’s cats.

And if Dorothy thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dot’s life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God’s perfect timing.

If you would liketo read the first chapter of Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel, go HERE.

Red Dawn Rising

(Red Returning Trilogy #2)

By author: Sue Duffy  Binding: Paperback   ISBN: 978-0-8254-4266-7  Price: $14.99  Availability: In stock

Twenty-seven-year-old Cass Rodino is a hardworking, dedicated set designer on Broadway. But, like the actors who take the stage every night, she is masking a different reality.

Evgeny Kozlov has secrets of his own. As Cass and Evgeny separately set out to save Liesl from an impending doom, both are hurled into a fierce CIA/FBI dragnet, not knowing that their formidable opponent—a most unlikely predator—is already closing in on them.

Book 2 of the Red Returning Trilogy, Red Dawn Rising mixes suspense, action, and romance in a tale of personal tragedy and triumph that will keep readers pivoting between the evil desires of world powers and the redeeming powers of personal faith, life, and love.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Red Dawn Rising continues the story of Ms. Duffy’s first book in this series, The Sound of Red Returning. I thoroughly enjoyed this suspense/spy story, and was hooked after a few chapters. There’s so much going on in this story it is impossible to touch on it all, so I will just say, this book is an awesome fast pace, action packed thriller that you will not want to miss out on. Sue Duffy is a wonderful and unique story teller and I look forward to the next book in this series.

If you are a fast pace thriller person, this book is a must for you, so ran out an grab your copy today! You will not be disappointed!

I received this book from the publisher Kregel
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.

 

CFBA Presents…..Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Fear Has a Name 

David C. Cook (June 1, 2013) 

by 

Creston MapesABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.
ABOUT THE BOOK

From popular suspense author Creston Mapes comes another faith-building thriller, a tale that follows journalist Jack Crittendon as he fights to protect his family from a stalker’s terrifying schemes, investigates a pastor’s mysterious disappearance, and struggles to keep his faith amidst unthinkable fear.

With his family’s safety on the line, Crittendon realizes there are secrets behind “Christian” walls–secrets with painful, deadly implications. He must find the faith to trust a God who allows inconceivable trials, and the courage to guard his family, with danger exploding at every turn.

Through it all–the sharp, character-driven writing for which Mapes is known–takes fans and new readers on an edge-of-your-seat journey that explores the harsh, far-reaching consequences of bullying and the Christian response to fear.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fear Has a Name, go HERE.

A Simple Song by Melody Carlson from Revell

Simple Song

By Melody Carlson

9780800722258[1]

In her newest young adult novel, bestselling author Melody Carlson takes Katrina Yoder somewhere few Amish teens have been: reality TV.

Katrina Yoder loves to sing, but her Amish parents view singing as vainglory and a sin. Katrina’s best friend, Bekka, is convinced Katrina should try out for American Star, a televised singing competition that Bekka has been secretly watching. Katrina resists the temptation until her father’s health worsens. He desperately needs a surgery the family cannot afford. Katrina decides she must go against her parents’ wishes to win the money needed to help her father. But how will she handle herself as an Amish teenager out in the world?

Teen girls will be swept into the excitement as Katrina ventures out of her quiet Amish world to become a reality television star. Will she be successful? And will she be accepted back into her community when it’s over?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

An Amish young lady on Americal Idol? Well, in this book its called American Star and Melody Carlson writes a sweet heartwarming story that will touch your heart in many ways. Katrina loves singing, and she has been secretly watching American Star and wanting a chance to be on the program, but is she good enough? Katrina’s friend is positive she is, and encourages her to try out. But what will Katrina’s parents say? And what will this Amish community think? When Katrina’s dad falls ill and in need of surgery, Katrina has a new reason to join American Star, to provide money for her dad’s much needed surgery.

Being an American Idol fan, I really enjoyed A Simple Song, and Katrina’s journey through this talent contest. Since the Amish do not like their children singing English songs, it was interesting to see how the author pulled this off. Katrina was a sweet teenager who spent her rrumspringa doing what she could to help her dad and her family financially. With characters that were believable and encouraging, and a plot that was interesting, enjoyable, sweet, and heartwarming,  you will enjoy this new book from one of my favorite authors, Melody Carlson! I think this would be a wonderful book for your teen or tween daughter to read! Why not pick up a copy today! You will not be disappointed!

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

www.melodycarlson.com.

Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard …..From Revell

Deadly Devotion

A Novel

9780800722227[1]

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Kate knows the truth is out there–but if she’s right, that means a killer is out there too. Research scientists Kate Adams and Daisy Leacock were on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy was suddenly found dead. Kate knows that her mentor’s death wasn’t suicide or a careless accident–and she’s determined to do whatever it takes to unearth the truth about what happened to the woman who changed her life.
Former FBI agent Tom Parker is finding it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gave him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom’s just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation into her friend’s death, he knows his job is at stake. But despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate may have something to hide.
As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Wow, this is my first book by Sandra Orchard and I am totally hooked. I loved this story. Ms. Orchard has a way of capturing your attention and keeping it until the very last page! I didn’t put Deadly Devotion down until I just had too! Kate looses her friend and mentor to what police say is suicide, but Kate just doesn’t buy it. Being new at the Port Aster Police Dept, Tom Parker is really not happy with Kate approaching him to reopen Daisy’s care because he knows he can loose his job. So, Kate takes matters into her own hands, and investigates herself. Will Kate find out what really happened to Daisy? The answer is in Sandra Orchards new book, Deadly Devotion.

This is a wonderful fast pace thriller that you do not want to miss! With the so very many twists and turns in this story, when you think you have it all figured out, something else happens that has you wondering again! I love books like this! Deadly Devotion is an amazing read, and if you are a mystery/suspense buff, this book is a much for you! I encourage you to pick up your copy now, you will certainly not be disappointed in this one, I can assure you!

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.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Sandra Orchard

Sandra Orchard

Sandra Orchard is an active member in American Christian Fiction Writers, The Word Guild, Romance Writers of America, and a local writing group. She recently participated in the Writers’ Police Academy for hands-on training and simulations at a police training facility. She is the author of Shades of Truth, Critical Condition, and Deep Cover, which won the Canadian Christian Writing Award for romance in June 2012 and was recognized as one of the top five novels of the year by Family Fiction magazine. Sandra has also received a Daphne DuMaurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in both the inspirational category and for best score overall. She lives in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. To find out more, please visit http://www.sandraorchard.com.

Litfuse Presents Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter…Plus Unique Giveaways from Denise Every Day

Barefoot Summer

by Denise

 

Barefoot Summer

Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.

In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.

To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.

Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.

Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.

But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?

Purchase a copy here.

Learn more at Denise’s website.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Madison McKinley is trying to find peach with her past by fulling her brother’s dream. Madison lost her brother ten years ago, and she is determined to be the town’s youngest winner of the annual regatta. Which will be quite difficult since she is not only scared to death of water, she is just about as scared of the only person who can teach her to sail, in order to win the regatta.

I really enjoyed this wonderful story by Denise Hunter. I love the unique characters and they all played their part so well as the story comes together. I appreciate the way Ms. Hunter takes difficult situations weaves them into the lives of her characters, and helps them to face their problems head on with the help of the Lord. You will grow to love this wonderful cast of characters as you journey with them in this unique little town of Chapel Springs. Why not pick up a copy today for a few hours of an enjoyable, entertaining read.

I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson, and Litfuse 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.

And Now For The GIVEAWAY!!

Denise Hunter is celebrating her new Chapel Springs Romance series with a Summer Fun Giveaway. The first book, Barefoot Summer, is already a favorite with readers. “Hold-your-breath romance, heartache, and laugh-out-loud moments. It’s more than a good read. It’s a delight.” — Lisa

BarefootSummer 

Summer: it’s all about sunny skies, star-gazing, swimming, spending time with loved ones, and living as if a small part of the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.

Get ready for some serious summer fun with Denise’s 12-Day Summer Sun giveaway. From June 10-21, keep your computer near as you head to the lake or your friend’s barbecue because Denise will be giving away a summer essential each day!

CFBA Presents….An Open Heart by Dr. Harry Kraus….from Abingdon Press

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

An Open Heart 

David C. Cook (June 1, 2013) 

by 

Harry KrausABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife’s urging: “Now doesn’t seem the right time for this dream.”

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I’d written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn’t until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the “rules” without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I’d have made faster progress if I’d have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you’ll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him …

They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.

It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maeltsrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.

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

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Jace Rawlings wanted to help those in his home country that needed open heart surgery, but he didn’t realize the messages from beyond that he would face from his patients. Someone was trying to tell him something, but what?

This is my second book by Harry Kraus, and and I really enjoy his writing. Kraus is one of those authors who grab your heart and attection in the very first pages, and just won’t let go until long after the last page. Jace fraced a lot of bitterness because of his past life, and wanted to honor his sisters wishes. But what Jace found was a whirlwind of danger and fear, and uncertain circumstances from every angle. Harry Kraus creates characters that will worm their way into your hears in a unique way, and find a place there for a long time. I loved the suspense, mystery, thrills, as well as the way Kraus shows how God is always working in our lives, even when we don’t realize it. This book is just plain awesome! I love, loved it and am waiting for the next book from author Dr. Harry Kraus.

I received this book from CFBA 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.

FIRST WildCard Presents…..Mail Order Man by Heather Gray

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:
Heather Gray
and the book:
Mail Order Man
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 13, 2013)
***Special thanks to Heather Gray for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing.  Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell.  Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Some people get a mail order bride.  She got a mail order man.

A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office.  Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn’t know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community.  Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike.  Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel.  Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two become friends.  Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn’t stop her heart from leaping wildly into love.  Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny.  When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows.  Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind.  One question remains, though.  Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 13, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1484965973

ISBN-13: 978-1484965979

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Larkspur, Idaho TerritoryApril 1878

Sarah had noticed a number of new faces in town over the past few days, and it was beginning to make her more than a bit uncomfortable. The new faces were all men. Sure, men outnumber women in every frontier town, but Sarah had seen more than a dozen new men and had heard rumors that Mrs. Ginty’s boarding house was full-up, which had never happened before. Larkspur was a small frontier town in a territory sparsely populated, and Sarah had never before heard of Mrs. Ginty having to turn away customers.

New people in town can sometimes mean good news. Businesses certainly like having more customers. It can mean trouble, too, though, when the newcomers start to outnumber the homegrown townsfolk. Sarah had heard tell of towns where ruffians had swarmed in, taking over the town and practically holding the locals prisoner by sheer force of number. A small shudder overtook her at the thought of such brutality.

Sarah’s papa had well trained her how to take care of and provide for herself, but ever since he passed away, she had no one to protect her should the need ever arise. Sighing, she forced her loneliness back down, beating it into submission by sheer force of will.

Keeping her eyes directed down, Sarah walked from the small house she had once shared with Papa. She was heading to the stage office for a long day of work and, with all these new people in town, did not want to make eye contact with the wrong individual. The workday hadn’t even yet begun, but Sarah couldn’t wait for the day to be finished. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it, Sarah quoted in her mind as she reminded herself to be grateful. She was looking forward to sharing a meal with her dearest friend tonight. Dinner with the Smiths held much more appeal than another long day at the stage office. Visiting with Minnie and her folks was always delightful. Sarah also hoped Minnie’s father, who was mayor of Larkspur, might be able to shed some light on the flood of strange men showing up in town.

Sarah heard a commotion to her left. Before she could even raise her eyes to see what was going on, someone came barreling out from the mercantile and plowed right into her. Sarah’s feet flew out from under her, and she landed out in the street, far from the boardwalk on which she had a moment ago been walking. Before she could take stock of the situation to determine if she’d landed in mud or manure, at least a dozen hands were reaching out to help her up. Frightened by all of the men crowding in around her and not sure of their intentions, Sarah scrambled to her feet and backed up from the growing crowd. She did not recognize a single face from the group that continued to step closer to her.

As she scurried backward, Sarah ran right smack into a wall. She didn’t remember a wall being there in the middle of the street, but sure enough, she was trapped between the wall behind her and the wall of men walking toward her.

“Pardon me, gentlemen, but I think you have frightened the lady here.” Sarah stiffened as she heard the wall behind her speak. Her head whipped back and up. With the sun shining right into her eyes, she couldn’t see the face of her rescuer, but his voice was confidently calm, loud enough to carry to all of the men who had been reaching toward her without actually sounding as though he’d raised his voice. “Miss, are you okay?” It took Sarah a moment to realize the talking wall was speaking to her.

“Y-y-yes, thank you.” Sarah struggled to get the words out past a suddenly dry and scratchy throat.

“That was quite a fall you took. Are you sure you are alright?”

Glancing down at her dress, Sarah saw that, thankfully, she had landed on a dry patch of dirt and, though dusty, was not covered with mud or worse. She knew she would be sore later, but she was still in too much shock right now to feel the effects of her fall into the street. Thank goodness a horse or carriage had not been riding by at the time – she could have been badly hurt!

“Yes, sir, thank you. I am fine and must be on my way now.”

Sarah considered the path up Main Street toward her destination and saw what now appeared to be more than twenty men standing around ogling her. Completely beside herself with discomfort at the situation, she tried to take a step back only to be reminded of the talking wall behind her.

Without removing her eyes from the crowd of men, she spoke to the one behind her. “Pardon me, sir, but could I be so bold as to request your assistance in a small matter?”

There was a smile behind the man’s voice, Sarah was certain of it, as he softly answered, “I will accommodate you if I can, Miss. With what do you need assistance?”

Sarah felt the hint of a shiver she knew could not be attributed to the weather. It was either fear because of the men in front of her… or something else because of the man behind her. Not wanting to dissect her feelings quite yet, she uttered, “I need to pass these men to get to the stage office. I find that…” Sarah tried to think of a delicate way to say she wasn’t sure if she’d make it there safely if she went alone.

Before Sarah could even take a full breath, though, or find the correct words, she felt herself lifted by the waist and placed back up onto the boardwalk. The talking wall immediately joined her and offered his arm to her. Sarah tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow, still not knowing the man’s name.

In the shade now, after having been blinded by the sun, Sarah took another glance up at her talking wall but still could not make out any features on the man’s face. She knew he was quite tall, and he appeared to have facial hair, but Sarah could not even identify the color of his hair, let alone any distinguishing features.

“I wonder what all of these men are doing in town. It’s a trifle disconcerting,” she said to the man walking beside her.

“Ah,” he replied. “I believe they are after the same thing most people are after.”

Not sure how to take that answer, Sarah asked, “What, then, is it most people are after?”

“Love.”

Sarah was surprised at the laugh that bubbled up inside of her, for she was the serious one, not prone to outbursts of laughter, or so she had always believed. Not sure what to think of her own laughter, she instead puzzled over the companion’s answer. She would not have associated a fanciful notion such as love with the talking wall that had rescued her.

She heard the smile in his voice again as he went on, “Either that, or someone to raise their children and do their laundry.”

“A wife then?” Sarah questioned. “Why would anyone come to Larkspur looking for a wife? We have no more women than any other town in the territory.” Certain the man beside her was having a joke at her expense, she waited for the punch line, but none was forthcoming. They arrived at the stage office where, without delay, Sarah unlocked the office door, stepped inside, and began opening the curtains.

“Thank you for escorting me. Could I offer you some coffee, Mr….” Hoping the talking wall would provide her with the information she sought, Sarah let her sentence hang. What she got for her effort was a deep-throated chuckle that seemed both sincere and humor-filled, and again she felt the joke was somehow at her expense.

Disgruntled, she put her satchel away and then stood there next to the percolator specifically not making any coffee. She gave him the best Do-As-I-Say look she could muster under the circumstances and made not a single move toward the coffee tin as she awaited his response. Sarah was shocking herself with her own audacity. Something about this man was making her act different, bolder. Sarah quickly decided she liked this new side of herself and that she also liked the man who drew it out of her.

“My apologies, Miss. You reminded me so much there of one of my cousins I couldn’t help but laugh. I sincerely meant no harm.”

Sarah relaxed her shoulders, somewhat mollified by his words.

“The pleasure of escorting you was all mine, I assure you. No thanks are necessary.”

As she continued to look at him pointedly, he held out one hand and began ticking off fingers as he spoke to himself in a voice intended to carry. “Let’s see. She thanked me for the escort, and I responded. When she didn’t like my laughing, I apologized. She offered me coffee… aha!” Looking up at her with a distinctive twinkle in his golden brown eyes, he said, “Why yes, Miss, I would enjoy a cup of coffee if it’s not too much trouble.” Winking at her, he added, “Samuel Livingston at your service.”

Sarah tried to be unaffected, but the way he swept his hat off and bowed as he introduced himself had her heart fluttering faster than a bumblebee in a field of clover. As for his wink, Sarah wasn’t sure which was more scandalous – the fact he winked or the way her heart raced at the sight of it.

****

The moment Sarah got the small stove lit, Cesar Martinez came into the office. “Good morning, Miss Jenkins.” He tipped his hat to her and asked, “What do you need me to do first this morning?”

Sarah instructed Cesar to sweep out the office and the front walk. She was going to send him on an errand, but she didn’t want him to go quite yet. Being alone with the talking wall no longer seemed the wisest choice. As Cesar collected the broom to start sweeping, Mr. Livingston hung his hat on the hook near the front door and leaned against the counter behind which Sarah normally worked. His relaxed posture made him seem less formidable. Without his hat on, Sarah could get a good look at his face for the first time. Casually stepping behind the counter, she hoped to get a better view of her talking wall without being obvious.

“Are you alright, Miss?” asked Mr. Livingston. Sarah nodded and glanced over to where the coffee was not quite ready. He was, by her own design, directly in her line of sight. All hope for an unobtrusive glance at her rescuer quickly fled as she absorbed the sight of him with all her senses. She was stunned to realize how beautiful he was. Never before had she seen a man whose mere presence took her breath away. Her heart no longer fluttered like a bumblebee. It thumped like a herd of wild mustangs.

Closing her eyes, Sarah allowed his image play across her mind’s eye. He was tall, but she’d already known that. He had intense eyes, chocolate brown at the outer edge and pure glittering gold around the pupil. His hair was cut short but remained just unruly enough to hint at being curly, and it, too, was filled with various hues of gold. He was tan but not the weather-worn dark tan of a rancher or farmer. He had a strong jaw, a straight nose, and lips that curled up in laughter even when he wasn’t laughing. He was dressed like a businessman, only flashier. The suit he wore was a fairly traditional grey, but his vest was bright red. He had a flair about him that Sarah could not quantify. One thing was certain, though. Sarah was sure she would drown in those eyes, forever losing herself, if she stared too long.

“Are you alright, Miss?” Mortified at her own imaginings and wandering mind – something she was definitely not prone to – Sarah tried to control her staring eyes and nodded, then quickly blushed. Feeling the heat of embarrassment climb up her neck and into her cheeks, she quickly turned her back on the man and went back over to where the coffee was percolating. Grabbing two mugs, she filled them both, handing one to Mr. Livingston and taking the other back over to her work counter. As she set her mug down she realized the brew appeared no stronger than what you might give a baby to drink. Groaning inwardly, Sarah hoped the man liked weak coffee. Who was she kidding? It wasn’t weak coffee. It was colored water!

As Sarah was about to apologize for the coffee, Cesar came through the door to tell her the morning stage was approaching. She peeked at the clock and said to no one in particular, “It’s an hour early. I hope nothing’s wrong.”

Cesar put the broom up and went out to greet the stage.

Sarah resumed her post behind the counter. Most all of the stage drivers knew her from when her father ran the stage office, but sometimes there were new drivers or unruly passengers, and so when her father passed away, Sarah had stopped going out to greet the incoming stage. Each driver was directed into the office to meet her there. She provided them with coffee, a kind word, and often a bite to eat, but she did not go out onto the platform if she could help it.

“How old is the lad who helps you?” asked Mr. Livingston.

“Cesar? He is 14, I think.”

“Awfully young to be working here. Shouldn’t he be in school?”

Sarah nodded. “Cesar and his brothers do not attend the local school. We used to have a teacher in town that had a problem with the family, so their mother started teaching them at home. A new teacher came along a few years back, but the family had settled into their routine and decided to keep it. All three of them are well ahead of their school-bound peers in their learning. Their mother does an excellent job with them.”

“Doesn’t working here keep him away from his studies, though?”

“May I ask why you have such an interest in my hired help?” Sarah did not want to sound surly, but she was not used to people questioning business decisions, such as her choice in employees.

“I am visiting town on a business matter and staying with my cousin and her husband. He is the school teacher in town. A person who spends any time at all with John will naturally learn to be attentive to educational matters and sensitive to the needs of rural families. For example, parents sometimes pull their kids out of school because they need the money their labor can bring.” Following an almost imperceptible pause, Mr. Livingston continued, “Larkspur is lucky to have such a caring teacher.”

Sarah gave Mr. Livingston a genuine smile, for she knew the school teacher and his wife well. They attended the same church as she and would, on occasion, invite Sarah over for dinner. They were wonderful people. Sarah remembered they had been praying for safe travel for a relative but could not at the moment recall anything more on the subject.

Nodding at Mr. Livingston, she said, “You can ask Ida and John about Cesar. I am certain you will be pleased with what you hear. John has helped Cesar’s mother obtain books and other materials whenever needed for her boys’ education. He checks in on them periodically, too, at the parents’ request to make certain the boys are not falling behind in any of their studies. Cesar and his two brothers all work here at the Stage Office. As the youngest, Cesar only started a month or so ago and works one day here by himself and sometimes comes in on Saturday to help as well.”

She couldn’t be certain, but Sarah thought she saw appreciation in Mr. Livingston’s eyes. His smile seemed genuine and quite dangerous in its charm. “Who helps you the rest of the week?”

There didn’t seem to be anything amiss with Mr. Livingston’s questions. After all, he knew Ida and John. However, habits of self-protection are hard to break, and her father had taught her from the time she was little that sometimes, when people ask questions that seem innocent, they are actually trying to get information that could cause harm. Sarah’s gut told her it was okay to trust Mr. Livingston, but she could hear her father’s voice telling her to do her due diligence. She would check with Ida and John about her talking wall before she revealed any additional information to him about the stage office, herself, or the wonderful family she employed at the office.

As she made her decision, the front door banged open and Cesar came in carrying a sack of mail and dragging another behind him. “My goodness!” said Sarah as she rushed to help him.

“There’s more,” Cesar said. “Lots more.”

“What on earth! We don’t get this much mail in a month of Sundays, let alone on one single stage.” Trying not to appear as discombobulated as she felt by this influx of mail, Sarah asked Cesar, “Where are the passengers? Does anyone have anything to store or need assistance finding accommodations?”

Cesar’s eyes searched wildly around the room as though seeking an answer in the wood and plaster. He almost seemed afraid to say anything more. Then, looking over his shoulders as if searching for someone lurking behind him, he whispered to her, “There are no passengers. This isn’t even the real stage. The stage will be here on time with passengers and mail. This is all the extra mail they couldn’t fit onto the coach. There’s about six more bags out there, and the driver is fit to be tied. No one planned on an extra trip out here this week, but the mail has been getting backed up at the last stop. Their office is small, and they couldn’t keep our mail there any longer waiting for room on the stages – so they sent it over straightaway to get it out of their office.”

Sarah glanced out the window at the office platform, saw the bags of mail being pulled from the stage and piled up there. “Oh my,”  she whispered. “I’ve never seen the likes.”

New Spirit-Filled Life Bible NKJV

New Spirit-Filled Life Bible NKJV

_140_245_Book.881.cover[1]

 

Bible Description

Find the Holy Spirit throughout the Bible. Dr. Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way, has led a team of anointed leaders to produce the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible. Even after more than twenty years, the Spirit-Filled Life Bible offers a fresh look at the Scriptures and the work of the Holy Spirit. This Bible addresses important issues of Spirit-filled living in the context of solid biblical scholarship.

Features include:

  • Kingdom Dynamic—41 themes throughout the Scripture that give us values as we advance the gospel throughout the world
  • Word Wealth—More than 550 key terms defined and brought to life pulling the language from the original Greek and Hebrew to everyday English
  • Truth-In-Action—Practical charts pulling out practical application from every book of the Bible
  • Detailed book introductions to each of the 66 books of the Bible
  • Verse-by-verse study notes

Spirit-Filled Life Bibles sold to date: More than 2 million

The New King James Version®—More than 60 million copies sold in 30 years.

 

My Thoughts On This Book

Rev. Jack Hayford edited this wonderful NKJV of the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible,  one I enjoy very much. It has so much information that can be used for study tools, and everything is organized very nicely throughout the Bible. This Bible has Forty-one themes called Kingdom Dynamics, a Word Wealth section, Truth in Action section, and more, to what is in this Bible. Also you will find Kingdon Dynamics and Word Wealth lighted throughout the Bible, and charts with Truth in Action throughout. And I really enjoy the detailed information about each book of the Bible and an outline of the books. With all of the Truth in Action charts, highlighted areas, along with other charts, maps and useful study tools, you will truly love this Bible.

I highly recommend that you try a copy of this New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, NKJV for yourself.

 

I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson through their blogging program, BookSneeze, 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.

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon….from Revell

That Certain Summer 

by Irene Hannon

From Revell Publishers

9780800722494

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Karen and Val are family–yet they’re anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had other reasons for moving away–as well as a secret to keep–and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with past mistakes as they care for their ailing mother. When two handsome men enter the picture, the summer takes on a surprising new dimension. As their lives intersect, can each of them learn how to forgive, let go, and move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, award-winning author Irene Hannon pens an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex relationships, the search for forgiveness, and the life-changing process of finding love.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Irene Hannon knows how to write a book that captures your attention after the first word, and sticks with you well after you have finished the very last word. I love her romance suspense books, and it was interested to read a Irene Hannon romance without so much of the suspense. That Certain Summer certainly did not disappoint! The characters were very realistic and I could relate to them and their difficulties and struggles. Getting to know Karen and Val as they reunited themselves was a heartwarming experience, and I loved the romance the two found themselves involved in. The girls certainly didn’t know what was in for them when they spent this special summer together.

This is such a fun, heartwarming and interesting story to read during your summer vacation! You will enjoy this new book from one of my favorite authors, Irene Hannon. And don’t forget to look for more from Ms. Hannon in the near future!

I received this book from 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.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Irene Hannon
Photo Credit: © DeWeesePhotography.com

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 Maurier Award, and two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine.Booklist also included one of her novels in its “Top 10 Inspirational Fiction” list for 2011. She lives in Missouri.

For more information about her and her books, Irene invites you to visit her website at http://www.irenehannon.com.

 

Gone South by Meg Mosel

Gone South

by Meg Moseley

 

ABOUT THIS BOOK

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream—the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home by her influential father, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

………………………………………

CLICK HERE to read chapter 1

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I really enjoyed this southern story by author Meg Moseley. Tish McCombs’ life takes an unexpected turn when she loses her father, husband and her mother remarries and moves away. Tish could move closer to her mother, but that’s not exactly what she wants, though she is really not sure what it is she wants with her life. When she decides to go a round about way home from visiting her mom in Florida, Tish ends up in Noble, Alabama to the home of her great-great-great-grandparents because it is for sale. Never did she think she would purchase this old family home, but that is just what she did. But after moving there, neighbors wasn’t as friendly as Tish expected them to be, leaving Tish puzzled at what was going on.

 

I have to say I enjoyed Meg Moseley’s second book just as much as her first one! When Sparrows Fall was my very first book I read and reviewed, so it will always be special for me. And I have been waiting for Meg’s second book ever since, and Gone South was well worth the wait. I love the way Meg weaves together the difficult situations Tish had to face, with her faith in God to help her through those rough times. Tish and the rest of the characters were so well developed I grew to love each of them, and sometimes I felt as though I was living the story with them. And the way Tish treated Melanie Hamilton is a good example of how God gives us second, and third, and more chances in our Christian life.

 

This was such a heartwarming and entertaining story that I strongly recommend Gone South to you for a good, clean, and we can’t forget Southern read. You will be very happy you chose this one!

 

I received this book from the publisher Waterbrook through their Blogging For Books review program 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.

 

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

1d4caa57b40b0ad8986cbf.L._V175363144_

Although I’ve lived more than half my life in other states, I’m still a Californian at heart. I love vintage bungalows, twisted oaks on rolling hills, and the rocky beaches of the Central Coast. A few blocks away from my childhood home stood a Lutheran church where I came to faith, first through Sunday School teachers whose kindness drew me to the kindness of God, and then through confirmation classes. The Bible verses that had been drilled into my head came to life in my heart.

After moving away from home as a teenager, I worked at a variety of jobs, from candle-maker in a tourist town to administrative assistant at a Christian college. I married a wonderful man from Michigan, and we lived north of Detroit for seventeen years. That’s where we started homeschooling our three children, an endeavor that we finished in Georgia when our youngest
graduated from high school in 2009.

My husband and I live near Atlanta, close to the foothills of the Southern Appalachians. His motorcycle often carries us to the mountains of Georgia, Tennessee, or the Carolinas. Sitting on the back of the bike, I can pray, enjoy the beautiful views, and plot new stories. Fiction makes my world go ’round, whether I’m writing it or reading it.

Previous Older Entries

Goodreads Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Ibjoy1953 has

completed a goal of reading 100 books in 2011!

hide

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,397 other followers

Read Books!

Read the Printed Word!

DoorKeeper

reneeannsmith.com