CFBA presents Gabriel’s Bride by Amy Lillard

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This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Gabriel’s Bride

B&H Books (February 1, 2014)

by

Amy LillardABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twilight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rachel Yoder has two choices: marry Gabriel Fisher or move to Ohio. As an orphan, Rachel doesn’t have much to offer; any match she can make will be a good one. She just didn’t plan on Gabriel with his big hands and permanent frown.
As a widower Gabriel needs help caring for the farm and his six children. But he never thought he’d marry a slip of a girl who barely reaches his chin.
Yet as time passes, Gabriel finds himself thinking about a real marriage. They have spoken vows to God and each other, but can he risk his heart with Rachel?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gabriel’s Bride, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Wow I think this is my favorite book in the Clover Ridge Series, of course that’s what I said about each of the others when I read them! Amy Lillard was on my ‘Favorite Author’s’ list  when I read the first book in this series, Katie’s Choice.

After her aunt’s death, Rachel needed a place to stay, and Gabriel needed a housekeeper, so taking Gabriel up on his offer to move in with his family should solve both of their problems, right? Well it did until the elders of the Amish church starts hearing the gossip from the Amish grapevine, and Gabriel never thought he would marry a tiny someone like Rachel.

I was so into this story! Both Rachel and Gabriel were living a life of hurts from the past. Rachel losing her family in an accident, and Gabriel dealing with losing his wife while trying to work the farm and raising their six kids. I felt so sorry for Rachel because I  would be just like her if I had to cook, clean, and do laundry for six guys! As well as trying to keep up with everything else Amish women were required to do. There were so many things happening, with some of the boys trying to run Rachel away, and Rachel and Gideon and their attraction for each other, which couldn’t happen! It seemed everything was against them.  But that is all I am going to tell you, because you need to find out the outcome of this dysfunctional family for yourself. And you will experience a wonderful, exciting, and entertaining time of enjoyable reading! I love, love Amy Lillard, and will keep all three books in this series so I can read it again! I encourage you to run out and grab a copy of this book, or run to the computer and order online! You will sure not be disappointed!

I received this book from CFBA and B&H Books 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.

Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putman

Shadowed by Grace

by Cara Putman

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

She found peace in a time of war.

Desperate to save her dying mother, an American woman accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy where she takes photographs dangerously close to the front lines during World War II. But Rachel’s real motive in this journey is to find the father she never knew, an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive at such a desperate time.

In her quest, Rachel becomes involved with what will become the Monuments Men effort to save great monuments and works of art from the Third Reich. Soon enough she will find more than she ever imagined—in war, in love, and in God.

Purchase a copy here.

Learn more at Cara’s website.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Rachel is on a mission to find the father that she never knew, hoping he can help with the treatment her mom needs in order to get better, despite the fact that her mom wants her to leave the man alone. She is a photographer, and was sent to Italy during WWII where she hope to find the man her mom met left behind so many years ago. With a job of finding pictures that will wow her publisher enough to print, and the job of finding her dad, Rachel is determined not to give up.

This story started of kind of slow for me because there is so much detail, but as I kept reading, the details started to get more and more interesting to follow. Cara Putman sure did a fantastic job in researching the details of the time frame of the setting. I had never heard of the elite group of soldiers called the Monuments Men, so meeting Scott Lindstrom and his knowledge of historical art was a special treat for me.  I took some art classes in college and knew some about fresco paintings, so it was very interesting as Ms. Putman talked about a lot of the fresco paintings that were damaged in the war.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Shadowed by Grace and follow Scott and Rachel as they do the jobs they were sent into the war zone to do, as well as working to find Rachel’s father. There are many twists and turns, and war scenes that made their journey dangerous at times, and you will find yourself not wanting to put this book down! I think you will find this wonderful story by Cara Putman as interesting as I did!

I received this book from the publisher B&H Publishing Group 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.

About the Author

Cara Putman

Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women’s ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY

Cara Putman is celebrating her latest historical suspense novel, Shadowed by Grace with a fun “Past & Present” giveaway! 

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One winner will receive:

  • A Polaroid Instant Camera
  • A beautiful antique AFGRA camera (learn more here)
  • Movie passes to see The Monuments Men movie (with George Clooney and Matt Damon)
  • Shadowed By Grace by Cara Putman

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. Winner will be announced February 10th on Cara’s blog.

 

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Cara’s blog on the 10th to see if you won.

CFBA presents For The Love of Pete….by Debby Mayne

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

For the Love of Pete

B&H Books (January 15, 2014)

by

Debby MayneABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

Widow Bethany Hanahan is trying in vain to fill an empty heart and an empty nest. The result is a home filled to the brim, but something is still missing. That’s when her new gardening club friends come to the rescue, encouraging her to let go of the past as well as the present clutter –emotional, spiritual, and physical. It’s not long before Bethany is finding friends, not bargains, to fill her days. But has her life become too full for someone like Pete Sprockett, a childhood friend, for whom her romantic feelings are beginning to bloom? Join the quirky, loving community of Bloomfield as they do what they do best – poke their well-meaning noses in and intervene in times of need –in author Debby Mayne’s second novel in what has become a five book series about a community where life is simple and love is real.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of For the Love of Pete, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

This was a really nice, refreshing book to read. This is the first Bloomfield novel I have read, and I will sure check out the others in this series! After her husband passed away and her daughter left for college, Bethany moved back to her home town. She moved into the house her inlaws left she and her husband. The problem was, her mother in laws things were still there, along with everything Bethany and her family had accumulated over the years, plus all of the bargains Bethany finds shopping. What a mess her house was!

I can kinda relate to Bethany, though mine house isn’t quite that bad! I like to save things, even if I haven’t used them in years because there might come a day I need it! After reading this book, I realize even more what that things are just that, they are things and you can get rid of them!! Only with Bethany, she had her mom and the garden club is pushing Bethany to rid her home of the extra stuff. And then there is Pete. I love the title of this book. I thought it was a funny title, until I read the book, and it fits perfectly! I really like Pete, he was the guy everyone is looking for. But he is a confirmed bachelor and looks like he is gonna stay that way! I highly recommend For the Love of Pete. You will sure enjoy it. And especially if you are middle age, because the characters are all in that age range. This story is calming, peaceful, enjoyable, and just plain good!

I received this book from the publisher B&H Books and 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.

CFBA Presents…..Songs of the Shenandoah by Michael Reynolds

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Songs of the Shenandoah 

B&H Books (January 1, 2014) 

by 

Michael ReynoldsABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.

Michael is the writer and producer of an Emmy and Telly award-winning series of documentaries titled, Crystal Darkness. These thirty minute anti-meth films have been heavily promoted and broadcast in cities and states throughout the United States and Mexico. They have been viewed collectedly by more than 10 million people and the message has reached more than 30 million to date.

He also has wide experience as a speaker and on-air personality and has been interviewed on a variety of newspapers, radio stations and televisions networks throughout the nation.

Michael earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego and lives in Reno with his wife and three children. He is active in marketplace, marriage, small group and men’s ministries as a leader and speaker.

ABOUT THE BOOK

At the onset of the Civil War, Seamus heeds his wife’s wishes to return to her beloved family farm in the South, where he takes a post as chaplain for General Stonewall Jackson’s brigade. As Seamus ministers to the troops, his sister Clare ministers in a different way—by being a powerful voice in the Northern cause toward freeing the slaves. All this while their youngest brother Davin, who became wealthy during the Gold Rush, struggles to find love and identity in a fallen world. It’s a clash of loyalties and beliefs that threaten the entire family, each of them trying to hear God’s encouragement in the midst of the tragedy of war. The dramatic conclusion to the acclaimed Heirs of Ireland Series.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Songs of the Shenandoah, go HERE.

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….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.

CFBA Presents Last Chance for Justiceby Kathi Macias

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Last Chance for Justice 

B&H Books (May 1, 2013) 

by 

Kathi MaciasABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net. Her novel set in China, Red Ink, was named Golden Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year and was also a Carol Award Finalist; her October 2012 release, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named 2012 Book of the Year by BookandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

Kathi is passionate about The Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors. To learn more about the persecuted church, please visit VOM’s website and Open Doors Website.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Welcome to Bloomfield, where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared.

Lynn Myers is still reeling from losing her husband of thirty-five years when word comes that her only sibling, an older brother, has also died. With no one else to settle the estate, she must return to her small hometown of Bloomfield, however briefly, to settle his affairs.

Lynn’s daughter, Rachel, has just graduated from Bible college and with no other commitments comes along to sort through her uncle’s huge old home, right next to the local cemetery.

It isn’t long before Rachel has two men — a handsome CPA and the youth pastor — seriously vying for her attention. At the same time, Lynn’s attention is drawn to a set of journals her brother has left behind detailing a long-standing Bloomfield mystery.

As they pursue solving this mystery, Rachel must make some personal decisions about her future, while Lynn is forced to face unexpected issues from her own past.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Last Chance for Justice, go HERE.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I really enjoyed this heartwarming story by Kathi Macias. Lynn Meyers and her daughter were both special characters, and I loved reading about their experience at the old house Lynn’s brother left to her. The town of Bloomfield was a nice little community, one that Lynn grew up in, and that Rachel wanted to learn more about.

The twists and turns of the mystery left by Lynn’s brother for her to solve is enough to keep you reading this story. But you will also enjoy the surroundings of the old house and cemetery and the old man Jason. Kathi Macias is a gifted storyteller, and I love reading anything she writes! I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Last Chance for Justice for your enjoyment!

I received this book 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.

 

 

CFBA Presents Katie’s Choice by Amy Lillard

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Katie’s Choice 

B&H Books (May 1, 2013) 

by 

Amy LillardABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Katie Rose Fisher loved Samuel Beachy with an intensity that shook their Amish district. No one doubted they would one day marry, until Samuel turned his back on the church and joined the world of the English.

Alone now in Clover Ridge, Katie Rose dedicates her life to God and the school children she teaches each day. Although she secretly longs for more, Katie knows God’s hand is at work, and she is happy.

News correspondent Zane Carson never even knew Oklahoma had an Amish community until he got the chance to live among them and learn about their day-to-day activities. Their simple way of life is intriguing, but not half as much as the young teacher.

Katie Rose is flattered over the attention she receives from Zane, but she has resolved to never marry. Even if she were to entertain the idea, it surely couldn’t be with an outsider like Zane.

Never one prone to the restraints of organized religion, Zane finds a comfort in the rituals and blessings in the day to day righteous living of this small Amish community. He finds himself, God, and love with Katie Rose.

But as Zane draws closer to Katie Rose, Samuel comes back to repent his ways and return to his place at her side. Can Zane convince Katie Rose that he is committed to adapting to her way of life, or will Samuel win her affections back for himself once again?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Katie’s Choice, go HERE.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Will post review in a few days

CFBA Presents Wounds by Alton Gansky

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Wounds 

B&H Books (May 1, 2013) 

by 

Alton GanskyABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alton L. Gansky is the author of 24 novels and 8 nonfiction works, as well as principle writer of 9 novels and 2 nonfiction books. He has been a Christie Award finalist (A Ship Possessed) and an Angel Award winner (Terminal Justice) and recently was award the ACFW award for best suspense/thriller for his work on Fallen Angel. He holds a BA and MA in biblical studies and Lit.D. He lives in central California with his wife.

In addition to his own writing, Alton Gansky has consulted and provided editing/ writing services to several CBA publishers and written copy, video scripts, and other works for the general business market. Through Gansky.Communications he has consulted with publishers and agents, as well as provided editing services. He is “the go to guy” for co-writing having been selected by Penguin, Waterbrook, Broadman Holman, and other publishers to work with their top tier authors.

Gansky is in frequent demand at writer’s conferences having taught and keynoted in California, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, Delaware, Washington, and Canada. He has also been guest lecturer on suspense writing at Taylor University in Indiana.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A man’s lifeless body is found in the fresh soil of San Diego’s botanical garden. Cause of death is asphyxiation, an easy call for the medical examiner. More mysterious, however, are the tiny drops of blood on the victim’s skin, resulting from hundreds of punctures.

A rabbi leaving his house for work expects a regular day at the synagogue. That quickly changes when he discovers a dead man on his front lawn, clearly beaten to death.

Motorcycle riders racing along the empty streets of an abandoned military base stumble across another man’s corpse, its skin revealing long, red-purple marks of a thrashing given with wood dowels.

The numbers mount. Each week another victim and another mysterious clue in a game of mass murder the police don’t want to lose. The solution rests with Dr. Ellis Poe, a religious professor who only wishes to be left alone with his books and classes.

But evil must be faced, and the choice is no longer his own.

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

CFBA Presents…..Strands of Deception by Robin Caroll

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Strands of Deception 

B&H Books (March 1, 2013) 

by 

Robin Caroll

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

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

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Gina Ford, the daughter of a prominent Tennessee politician, goes missing from the University of Memphis a week after another girl was murdered on the same campus, police call in the FBI. Nick Hagar, married to his job as Special Agent in Charge, is assigned to the case, and when Gina’s body is found, her father demands justice.

Maddie Baxter is the forensic expert running DNA tests from the crime scene. When they come back without a match, Nick asks her to do a familial DNA run that yields a shocking result: the prime suspect is Adam Alexander, the very same guy who broke Maddie’s heart when she was in college.

But do scientific advancements tell the whole story? Strand of Deception offers romance, suspense, and a lively debate about the impact of DNA testing, for better or worse, on the United States justice system.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Strands of Deception, go HERE.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I just rec’d this book so my review will come later.

CFBA Presents Flight of the Earls by Michael Reynolds

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Flight of the Earls 

B&H Books (January 1, 2013) 

by 

Michael ReynoldsABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.
ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s 1846 in Ireland. When her family’s small farm is struck by famine, Clare Hanley and her younger brother, Seamus, set out across the ocean to the Promised Land of America.

Five years prior, Clare’s older sister Margaret and her Uncle Tomas emigrated in similar fashion and were not to be heard from again. But Clare must face her fears as she lands in the coming-of-age city of New York. There she discovers love, adventure, tragedy, and a terrible secret which threatens to destroy her family and all she believes.

Flight of the Earls is the first book in a historical novel trilogy based on Irish immigration in the 1840s.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Flight of the Earls, go HERE

FIRST Wildcard Tours presents “Two Write a Wrong” by Robin Caroll

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:
Robin Caroll
and the book:
To Write a Wrong
B&H Books (September 15, 2012)
***Special thanks to Shannon Kozee of B&H Fiction for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Caroll has authored twelve previous books including the Holt Medallion Award of Merit winner, Deliver Us From Evil.
She gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference
Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. A proud southerner,
Robin lives with her husband, three daughters, and two precious
grandsons in Arkansas.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In Angola State Penitentiary, a man is serving time for a crime he
didn’t commit. Riley Baxter is an eager reporter desperate for a story
to make a name for herself. When she stumbles upon the daughter of the
incarcerated man, Riley sees a little too much of herself in the teen,
and vows to help prove her father’s innocence.

At the same time,
Hayden Simpson has his hands full with keeping his little sister in
line, worrying about his job as Police Commissioner, and dealing with
his past emotional baggage. The last thing he needs is someone blowing
the lid off his emotional bucket. But when Riley Baxter storms into his
life, struggling to understand why God would let bad things happen to
good people, Hayden has no choice but to follow his heart.

Now, Riley and Hayden must work together to uncover the truth of the past . . . before someone shuts Riley up for good.
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
Wow this book grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let you go until the very last word! I love books that capture my attention like this, and I thoroughly enjoyed Robin Caroll’s “To Write a Wrong.” The characters are well created and developed throughout the story. I really like the beginning of the book, as we get to know some of the characters, that there is such a warm family feeling. A family that has their problems, but you can see the love that flows between them. And there are so many twists and turns that happen in this story you just need to hang on and don’t let go until you finish reading. And then it will still grip you for a long time. I love, love this book and appreciate the opportunity to read and review it.

I don’t want to ruin this book for anyone, I really hate knowing what’s gonna happen in a book when I start reading it, so I won’t say more. Except that, if you like suspense, mystery, thrillers, legal issues, and not to forget romance, well this is a must read for you! You cannot go wrong, and will be very glad that you decided to pick up a copy of this book for your own enjoyment.

I was provided a copy of this book by FIRST WildCard Tours, B&B Media and the publisher B&H Books to read and write a review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: B&H Books

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1433672138

ISBN-13: 9781433672132

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

To Write a Wrong: A Justice Seekers Novel
 

CFBA Presents Chasing the Wind by Pamela Ewen

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingChasing The WindB&H Books (August 1, 2012)

byPamela EwenABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Until recently retiring to write full time, Pamela Binnings Ewen was a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P., specializing in corporate finance. She now lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, James Lott.

She has served on the Board of Directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas, as well as the Advisory Board for The New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans; Pamela is a co-founder of the Northshore Literary Society in the Greater New Orleans area. She is also a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him.

She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing.

Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.

Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

At 8:47 A.M. on Wednesday, October 12, 1977, new-to-town businessman Bingham Murdock flew his small plane into New Orleans, banking it in such a way that a ray of sunshine shot through the city at light speed.

Amalise Catoir saw the flash from her sixteenth floor law office window. Finally feeling alive after the death of her abusive husband, she imagined seeing the plane was a fate for her eyes only; a special connection between the unknown giver and she, the recipient of light.

But someone else saw it, a six-year-old Cambodian refugee in foster care for whom a sudden burst of brightness reminds him of artillery fire.

Destined to cross paths with the man and the child, Amalise doesn’t yet know the deeper spiritual lesson she will learn: that we are responsible not only for the things we do, but also for the things that we don’t.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I am still reading this book, so hand in there….I will have my review asap. I love, love, love it so far!

 

If you would like to read an excerpt of Chasing The Wind, go HERE.

The River Rose By: Gilbert Morris….Plus Giveaway!

The River Rose

By: Gilbert Morris

BOOK BLURB

Life hasn’t been easy for Jeanne Bettencourt, a widow approaching thirty and
struggling to provide for her eight-year-old daughter. But hope arrives in the
form of the Helena Rose, a steamboat she unexpectedly inherits from a
distant, departed relative. Jeanne’s father had captained a similar vessel and
taught her how to pilot a steamer along the banks of Memphis. She’s looking
forward to a renewed livelihood on the mighty Mississippi.

However, as plans are made, news comes of another heir to the Helena Rose – a tough
man named Clint Hardin – and a clause in the will that says claimants of the
estate must live aboard the boat. Jeanne, a Christian woman, makes it clear she
won’t stay with a man who is not her husband. But both are desperate for work,
so they agree to keep their distance as Clint occupies the lower deck and Jeanne
takes the captain’s quarters.

As they restore the Helena Rose, the
slowly softening Clint becomes attracted to Jeanne – who is now being courted by
a wealthy plantation owner. With her family and future at stake, the desires of
Jeanne’s heart are duly complex. Only her simple faith can navigate her through
what’s about to happen.

The River Rose is Book 2 in a three-book series. However, The River Roseis a stand-alone novel – there is zero overlap in characters or plot lines between the books. They are a series in the sense that all three books take place on Mississippi River paddle wheelers during the 1850s.
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Jeanne Bettencourt is hardly able to make ends meet for she and her six year-old daughter working as a maid at an upstanding Memphis hotel. She is saving back a small a mount of money to purchase a house for themselves, but it will take a while. Jeanne grew up on the river, her parents owning a boat making runs on the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers.

Clint is an engineer who has made his way as a boxer, what time he’s not out womanizing, that is. He never knew his dad, and his mom wasn’t exactly the model mom, so he didn’t grow up in a happy household.

Two very different people, never dreaming of being brought together, especially through distant relatives, making Clint and Jeanne joint owners of their own riverboat. But how were they suppose to run a riverboat? Or how could they both live on the boat? And who would be captain? Well, as you read “The River Rose,” you will find the answer to these questions and more.

This is just a wonderful interesting read during the 1800’s riverboat era. Gilbert Morris creates a cast of characters that I grew to love and appreciate as I read this book. They work together to make the story enjoyable and interesting, and peak the interest of the readers. I loved Clint’s growing relationship with Marvel. And it wasn’t to just win Jeanne over; he had a genuine love for her. And on the other hand, George Masters acted like she was more in the way, not wanting Marvel with he and Jeanne on their dates. And did Masters just disappear into the clear blue yonder? Or maybe will return in the third book? That will be interesting to find out!

I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a good book to read! And if you like historical fiction, this is a must for you! You will not be disappointed, and you will not want to put the book down until you read the last page! Grab a copy to read and enjoy for yourself.

I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Here are the links to Gilbert’s online outposts: Please visit Gilbert often and let him know you were there! Since he is new to the internet, lets give him a warm, loving, Christian welcome!

Website and Blog: http://www.gilbertmorris.com/

Blog Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GilbertMorris  (there’s also a link on his blog)

E-Newsletter (to receive subscriber-only giveaways & previews of his upcoming novels): http://gilbertmorris.com/news.htm

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gilbertmorrisbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/gilbert_morris

Pinterest: https://twitter.com/#!/gilbert_morris

FOR THE GIVEAWAY AND >>>>GIVEAWAY ENDS >>>>>>>AUGUST 22,2012

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Gilbert Morris’ “The River Rose”

For an extra entry go HERE and rate my review. Tell me in your comment that you rated the review.

You MUST leave your email. If you win and there is no email address, I will choose another winner.

Thank you much.

Joy

LitFuse Tours Featuring Forever Hilltop by Judy Baer

Welcome to LitFuse Tours Featuring

Forever Hilltop

by Judy Baer

Forever Hilltop by Judy Baer

 About the book:

The charming and often hilarious Forever Hilltop series follows the experiences of former city dweller Alex Armstrong as he settles into his new role as pastor of a Scandinavian community in rural North Dakota. Alex is sometimes baffled by his parishioners and their colorful ways, but he comes to appreciate their simple wisdom. One thing’s for sure — life in Hilltop Township is never dull! This new two-in-one format features An Unlikely Blessing along with its sequel, Surprising Grace.

In An Unlikely Blessing, Alex Armstrong is a former city dweller who has just accepted his first parish assignment to a small community in the wilds of North Dakota. In Hilltop Township, Pastor Alex becomes familiar with the residents and their odd traditions, from julebukking to King Oscar’s fish balls. And then there’s the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community! Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he has to teach them.

In Surprising Grace, Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he’s even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie. But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined. In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once loved — and the home he’s come to love.

 

About Judy: Judy Baer was born and grew up on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota, experiencing many of the same things as her Hilltop characters. An only child, she spent most of her days with imaginary people-either those she read about or those she made up in her head. Baer graduated from Concordia College with majors in English and education and a minor in religion. While at the time, she was simply studying what interested her, Baer later realized that she was educating herself for her future career as a Christian writer. She certainly put her education to use as she is the author of more than 75 books. A certified professional life coach now certified in three coaching disciplines, Baer coaches primarily professional and aspiring writers. She is also a faculty advisor in the Department of Human Development at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, MN. Baer has two daughters and three step children. She and her husband live in Minnesota. She invites you to visit her at her web site www.judykbaer.com for more information on her and her books.

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/azv7s

Link to other blog’s on tour

http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/13467681/foreverhilltop

 

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK!

In Judy Baer’s “Forever Hilltop,” Alex Armstrong is trying to settle into his new role as pastor of a Scandinavian community, Hilltop Township, in rural North Dakota. Hilltop is a small community where everyone knows everyone else. A strange and different kind of people for Pastor Armstrong. People who need Alex and his counseling more than he ever thought.

 

When I saw that this was a Guideposts book, I knew I was in for a real treat! I haven’t read anything from Guidepost but awesome books! I was blessed to grow up in a small community like Hilltop Township, where we all knew each other, no matter our role in life, and no matter the color of our skin. We were all friends, sometimes all like one happy family. When someone needed something, someone else was there to help out. And that’s how it was in Hilltop. Judy Baer has created a unique cast of characters that will grip your heart and won’t let go, even after you finish reading the book. This story truly takes you away into another world, pulling you into the pages, giving you a feeling that you are right there in the story. And when you take a break from reading, you feel as though you will miss something.

 

This is a two-in-one deal, with both series books together, which I love. That way you don’t have to wait to find out what’s gonna happen. It’s all there in one big book, but not to big that it’s difficult to handle.

 

I encourage you to run out and grab a copy of this wonderful book, sit down and take a journey to the lovely little Scandinavian community of Hilltop Township, North Dakota. You will be very pleased you met this little community and its lovely people.

 

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

 

LitFuse Tours..Beyond Hope’s Valley by Tricia Goyer plus Huge giveaway

Welcome to LitFuse Tours

Beyond Hope’s Valley

by: Tricia Goyer

Book Blurb:

Beyond Hope’s Valley – Book Three in the Big Sky series After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook — a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.
As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK~

Tricia Goyer has been a favorite author for me since I read her first book months ago. I love Amish fictions too, so take makes this book and this series even better! You can read the book blurb to see what the book is about! And as far as the writing and characters, they are so unique and very real life. I really appreciate how Tricia writes the Bible and how to live by its principles throughout her books, and they are certainally not preachy. It’s just every day life. I have enjoyed Marianna throughout the entire series, seeing the changes in her life, the way she can freely have a relationship with Jesus like it is suppose to be.

I can’t say enough about “Beyond Hope’s Valley” or the other two books in the series. I would encourage you to run and grab a copy of this awesome book, and if you haven’t read the first two in the series, you are missing a real treat.

And don’t forget to sign up for the Amish Prize giveaway…..sign up below.

About Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
More info: Living Inspired and www.triciagoyer.com. Link to buy the book:  http://ow.ly/azust

NOW ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY

Celebrate with Tricia and enter to win a custom-made Amish Wall hanging in the colors of your choice … and much more!

One fortunate winner will receive: 

  •  Custom Amish Wall Hanging {You choose the colors!} 
  • An Amish Doll {Sweet.} 
  • Amish-made basket {It’s picnic season!} 
  • Doilies, potholder and an Amish cookbook {All items form Bird-in-Hand, PA!} 
  • Three book Big Sky Amish series {Be swept away by this captivating series.} 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 20th. Winner will be announced at “All Things Amish” Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/21. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and more!

So grab your copy of Beyond Hope’s Valley and join Tricia on the evening of the May 21st for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Amish?) and lots of giveaways. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via TwitterDon’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!