Monday, March 26, 2012

B4B: Not This Time by Vicki Hinze

Today I'm touring on behalf of WaterBrook/Multnomah:

Not This Time
I wish I had known this was the third book in a series. That's my only complaint. When I opted in I was hooked by the premise of the suspense, but nowhere did it indicate a series. Once I had the book in hand, neither the front cover or spine indicated a series, it wasn't until I was several chapters in and feeling as if I was missing something, did I find it notated on the cover page that it is book 3 in the Crossroads Crisis Series. Had I known it was a sequel, I would have purchased and read books 1 and 2 first. It would have been worth it. And I tell you that so you have the opportunity to enjoy this book in the order it was intended, because it is worth the effort.
Ms. Hines did a fantastic job with the characters and the intrigue. Just when I thought I had it figured out another clue would rock my hypothisis. Which of course makes the intrigue truly suspenseful because you spend a good portion of your reading time hoping that this character or that person isn't going to be evil after all. It's a great read with strong Christian characters that share their faith in their daily living. Fantastic book. Now I'm off to find the first two books, Forget Me Not and Deadly Ties.


Small town scandal. International terrorist attack. Who among them is the traitor?

Sara and Beth have built a multi-million dollar business together, but their once solid friendship is now strained. Beth is leery of Sara’s husband, and when he is kidnapped, authorities consider Beth their prime suspect.

Then, their small town of Seagrove Village is rocked by an act of terrorism, and Beth doesn’t know who to trust. Someone she knows is linked to the attack, but who? Is there a connection to Crossroads Crisis Center? In the midst of the confusion and fear, Beth finds herself attracted to a man from her past. She knows she shouldn’t fall in love with him, but she can’t resist or even explain their bond. As her world unravels around her, she wonders, is it possible to be beyond redemption?

To read an excerpt click HERE, or BUY NOW


Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of multiple novels including Forget Me Not and Deadly Ties. Hinze’s willingness to take risks in writing and genre has earned her a reputation for trail-blazing skill. She holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and a Doctorate in Philosophy, Theocentric Business & Ethics and served as vice president on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. She lives in Florida with her husband.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

CFBA: The Chase by DiAnn Mills

Song Stuck on the Brain: Over the Rainbow by Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole
This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
The Chase
Zondervan (March 27, 2012)
DiAnn Mills


Other than the fact it took me a while to figure out how to pronounce the main characters names, (Not sure if I did, I just settled on what sounded okay to me and stuck with it. I chose CARE-iss and TEE-go.) I love the book. It was fast paced, the suspense and action were steady and had me holding my breath a few times. I appreciate the author's message to protect our children. I know this cold case was set in Texas, but we had a Precious Doe case in our area that drew the whole city's prayers and attention. Sadly, I'm sure many cities do, and it made it all the more identifiable.

This is the first book in a new series, and I knew that from the begining. My impatient nature wanted the romance angle to have more resolve at the end of the book, but I know I'll be glad there is still more to tantalize and draw me in as the series progresses. I found it hard to put down and I look forward to the next book.


To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

Watch the book video!

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

DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CFBA: Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Before The Scarlet Dawn

Abingdon Press (February 2012)


Rita Gerlach


I was drawn to Before the Scarlet Dawn, in part for it's romantic angle, but also for the time period. The American Revoloution doesn't seem to be as common a time period to romantacize, not like the Civil War for example.

The story may begin in England, but soon the couple finds themselves on the bank of the Potomac in Virginia, just south of where so much of the war is being fought. Most of the war action happens behind the scenes and serves mostly as a catalyst or backdrop for Eliza's story. Hayward Morgan abandons his new wife and baby girl shortly after arriving to join the Patriots and fight the Glorious Cause. For five years, Eliza pines for him while caring for their mill with only the help of a couple of servants. She has no one around to protect them other than the bachelor neighbor who is falling in love with Eliza.

I hate spoilers and don't like to ruin a story for anyone, so I won't list any of the big plot twists. But I have to say, the book wasn't what I expected. The story was well written, but I have a hard time saying I enjoyed it. Which makes me feel terrible, because it was a very good book. I find entertainment and enjoyment in love that overcomes all things, in finding hope and happiness at the end of the novel. For me, Eliza's story was a drama that began with the loss of her father and her homeland, followed by every other thing she loved or held dear. Her faith is encouraging as she clings to Jesus through it all, and that was for me the only happy satisfaction to be found. The ending is positive, but not the kind of happy I was hoping for and that in itself was a little bit of a let down.

I freely admit though, had I realized this wasn't truly a romance in the sense I'm accustomed to, I would have read it with different expectations and might have found it less dissatisfying. So I encourage you to check out the book with a more open mind and decide for yourself whether Eliza truly finds her happy ending.


In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter,

Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward

joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Before The Scarlet Dawn, go HERE.

Watch the book video:


Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland.

"Romantic historical fiction that has an inspirational bent, is one way people can escape the cares of life and be transported back to a time of raw courage and ideal love," she says. "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite, and inspire them to live fully and gratefully."

In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Currently she is writing a new historical series for Abingdon Press entitled 'Daughters of the Potomac'. See her 'Novels In Progress' page on her website to learn more.

There are other novels on her list to be published, and a proposal for another book series.

She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs. Her family claims that storytelling is their blood, handed down from centuries of Irish storytellers. Rita believes there just may be something to that theory.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

CFBA: Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Prize of My Heart

Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)


Lisa Norato


Due to my busy schedule, I accidently mixed up the order of books to review and read Before the Scarlet Dawn before Prize of My Heart. BAD ME! I have started Prize of My Heart and I have to say, Ms. Norato has a gift for description. I've never been able to picture a character more clearly and that says a lot to me, since I tend to have a movie projector like imagination when I read. Once lost in the words, I no longer see letters, I'm watching it play out in my mind in technicolor. I was fully hooked by the first chapter and can't wait to finish and give you all a full review. :)


An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son--his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child's whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder's daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own--until the day anothers evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all--love.

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


A life-long New Englander, Lisa Norato lives in a historic village with homes and churches dating as far back as the eighteenth century. She was born into a close-knit Italian family that hungered as much for the things of God as they did for lasagna. After church, the family spent Sunday afternoons gathered in fellowship around a never-ending feast that featured her grandmother's homemade spaghetti and pizza.

From the time she learned to read, her mother impressed her with the joy of getting lost in a good book. She passed novels along to her as early as age thirteen, but it wasn't until many years later that Lisa felt compelled to write one herself.

She first discovered a love of writing when assigned to write and illustrate a children's book at the art college she attended. She balances writing with a career as a legal assistant specializing in corporate law. When not creating stories, she enjoys domestic pursuits like precious time with her dog and family, cooking, baking and eating vegan, reading, her Bible, her favorite television shows and crocheting.

Lisa is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Rhode Island Romance Writers (RIRW) and American Colonial Christian Writers.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

CFBA: Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Chasing The Sun

Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)


Tracie Peterson


Hannah is my kid of woman, I love her courage and passion. She's spunky without being a spitfire. The spitfire is her little sister Marty. Love that child. Every laugh out loud moment in this book involved her and her brother Andy. The humor was a nice balance to the drama involved with a truly snake in grass lawyer set on controlling Hanna at all costs.

Tracie Peterson has again pulled me into a historical setting that was both somewhat familiar and completely new at the same time. There was much about the state of Texas and their position during the Civil War that I didn't know. The well drawn background served as a perfect backdrop to the this story about loss, love and ultimately faith.

A really great book, can't wait to see the sequel. I hope at some point we get little Marty's story, I can only imaging the kind of woman she'll grow to be.


When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family's land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Chasing The Sun, go HERE.


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Keep Your Faith Amid the Storm

Despite the many devestating storms that have hit the midwest, there has still been a lot of beautiful days announcing that spring is coming. While we pray for those that have suffered loss and terror these last few days, remember "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." Romans 8:28 I.V.

This video was shared with me as a celebration of spring and the beauty of creation. Lately we've seen more of the power and severity of nature. But this reminded me of the scripture in Luke. After seeing the video, I hope it reminds you to keep your faith in Jesus strong and focus on your ministry for Him. He will take care of all the rest. Whether you are homeless from a storm or helping those that are, please keep this image in your mind.

The Life of flowers (Жизнь цветов) from VOROBYOFF PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

"And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
For the life is more than meat, and the body than raiment.
Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; nevertheless God feedeth them. Are ye not better than the fowls?
And who of you by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast in the oven; how much more will he provide for you, if ye are not of little faith?"

- Luke 12:24-30 I.V.

Friday, March 02, 2012

CFBA: Ruby Dawn by Raquel Byrnes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Ruby Dawn
White Rose Publishing (January 27, 2012)
Raquel Byrnes

I requested to review this book, but unfortunately, never received a copy for review. I still think it looks like a good read, so I'm posting it anyway for your pleasure. If my mailman ever takes pity on me and brings me this book, (I think he hates me for all the packages I make him deliver...) I'll be sure to post my thoughts. Otherwise, enjoy and let me know if you've read this one what you think of the story.

Raquel married her college sweetheart seventeen years ago and you can still find them spending time together chatting over a cup of coffee like when they were first dating.

Her husband is her biggest fan and most ardent supporter. He encourages her to take time for writing as often as he can. He regularly gives her gift cards to her favorite coffee house so that she can go there to write and relax.

He has been known to whip up his famous chicken quesadillas complete with guacamole and brownies for dessert.

Raquel has written books for more than a decade. She loves to do research and has taken private detective courses, gun classes, and underground tours to get every detail right for her novels. She writes romantic suspense with an edge-of-your-seat pace. Stories filled with faith, love, and adventure.

In 2009 she signed with agent, Terry Burns, at Hartline Literary. Terry worked to get her Shades of Hope series sold and in 2010, White Rose Publishing purchased the three-book series.

A painful past. A love returns A desperate plan.

Former street kid, Ruby now reaches out to runaways through her medical clinic in the worst part of the city, but her escalating battle with a gang leader puts that in jeopardy.

Cavalier, a risk-taker, charming… Ruby’s first love is now on the right side of the law and the center of a dangerous DEA sting involving her clinic. Tom’s disappearance ten years ago broke her heart and rattled her faith. As their romance relights, memories of what it costs to love him flood her with fear.

Ruby’s battle with the gang ignites a firestorm of danger, and a pattern of lies from within her own camp emerges. With Tom’s life in the balance and her world cast in shadows, can Ruby trust God as she once did…or has she strayed too far, for too long to ever return?

Watch the book video:

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