Thursday, September 30, 2010

CFBA: The Mayan Apocalypse by Mark Hitchcock & Alton Gansky

Song Stuck on the Brain: Soft Kitty from Big Bang Theory

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Mayan Apocalypse
Harvest House Publishers(September 1, 2010)


Mark Hitchcock
Alton Gansky


I've always been fascinated by the 'doomsday' what if kind of story line. We all know the scriptures give signs that will foreshadow the event, but no one can say Exactly how it will happen. I think that's what gives this book so much impact and intrigue. It's a hot topic and one a lot of people are considering. I really respect how the authors handled the subject. They put an immense amount of research into the Mayan culture and the doomsdayers theories, and handled it evenly, presenting both sides clearly. I was pleased with how they chose to end it as well. Can we truly say that Dec 21, 2012 will have no impact? I think the answer is no - we wait and see. A lot can happen and change in the next 14 months. On the other hand, even if it bears no importance at all, shouldn't we already be living our lives as if that day of judgement and tribulation could come at any moment?

They presented a very informative, compelling and exciting novel. One that makes you think while holding your breath at the same time. A definite recommend for reading.


On the heels of Mark Hitchcock’s prophecy bestseller 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World comes a suspenseful novel (coauthored with bestselling novelist Alton Gansky) about the supposed expiration date of planet earth—December 21, 2012.

Andrew Morgan is a wealthy oil executive in search of the meaning of life. In his quest for answers he encounters the ancient Mayan predictions that the world will end in 2012. That the claims seem supported by math and astronomy drives him to check on them. Then he meets Lisa Campbell, an attractive Christian journalist also researching the Mayan calendar. When he learns that she is a Christian, he quickly dismisses what she has to say.

As the time draws closer to December 21, 2012, a meteorite impact in Arizona, a volcanic eruption, and the threat of an asteroid on a collision-course with earth escalate fears. Are these indicators of a global apocalypse? Will anyone survive? Does Lisa’s Christian faith have the answers after all? Or has fate destined everyone to a holocaust from which there is no escape?

Watch the book trailer:

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


Mark Hitchcock is the author of more than 17 books related to end-time Bible prophecy, including the bestselling 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World. He earned a ThM and PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. He has worked as an adjunct professor at DTS and has served as a contributing editor for the Left Behind Prophecy Club for five years.

Alton Gansky is the author of 30 books—24 of them novels, including the Angel Award winner Terminal Justice and Christie Award finalist A Ship Possessed. A frequent speaker at writing conferences, he holds BA and MA degrees in biblical studies. Alton and his wife reside in Southern California.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CFBA: Judgement Day by Wanda Dyson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Hawaii Five-O Theme - love the new series

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Judgment Day
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)


Wanda Dyson


Wanda Dyson has a way with words, especially when it comes to portraying action and suspense. They're like paper bullets that punch through the story leaving you rattled and waiting for the next big scene. She's taken Batman's POW, WHAM, SMASH... and made it better. I've always enjoyed Wanda's novels, but I found this one held a different spin for me.

Starting the story, I was sure the heroine/lead character would be Suzanne. Only Suzanne was irritating. How was that going to work? Enter Marcus and Alex. PI's that seemed to hover slightly in the background until -wham! Suddenly it all falls into place. NO one likes Suzanne. But that's okay, because we get a chance to see her grow and change. Marcus and Alex share the spotlight, but how many times do we as the reader get to grow with character and learn to grow from distaste to like? That was a switch up for me. I think that takes talented writing. The plot was just as twisty and pulled me right along for a fast ride. Great book. If you haven't read any of her other novels, be sure to check them out. I especially enjoyed Abduction.

On a more personal note, I met Wanda at a Colorado Christian Writers Conference several years ago and found her to be just as great in person. Very helpful and devoted to helping new writer's. That is such a blessing.


Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find her deceased boyfriend, Dr. Guy Mandeville’s nurse, Cecelia Forbes unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Cecelia is dead, Suzanne has her blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancé–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.
You can also visit the publisher HERE.


Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.

Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.

Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza.

With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CSFF: Venom and Song by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper

Song Stuck on the Brain: Sigh No More from the Much Ado About Nothing Soundtrack

This month the CSFF is touring:



A fantastic adventure and great follow up to book 1, Curse of the Spider King. If you haven't read it yet, go get it! These authors know how to weave a tale that keeps you up at night turning pages frantically.


The Seven succeeding Elven Lords of Allyra were dead, lost in the Siege of Berinfell as babes. At least that’s what everyone thought until tremors from a distant world known as Earth, revealed strange signs that Elven blood lived among its peoples. With a glimmer of hope in their hearts, sentinels are sent to see if the signs are true. But theirs is not a lone errand. The ruling warlord of Allyra, the Spider King, has sent his own scouts to hunt down the Seven and finish the job they failed to complete many ages ago.

Now 13-year-olds on the brink of the Age of Reckoning when their Elven gifts will be manifest, discover the unthinkable truth that their adoptive families are not their only kin. Now in the strange realm of Allyra, the Seven young lords confront a traitor in their midst, a creature-infested forest, teenage fears and doubts, inexplicable mysteries . . . and the Spider King himself.
In a rigorous training program that makes boot camp look like Disneyland, the Seven must quickly learn to harness their own powers, work as one, and elude the Spider King's spies. But as the ancient Berinfell Prophecies are revealed, the Seven soon discover their training might not be enough. To stop the Spider King they must also unravel the secrets of the Rainsong, travel to a creepy, trap-infested fortress to find the legendary keystone, and lead the Berinfell Elves in an attack on the Spider King's own turf. An epic adventure with powerful messages about true strength, forgiveness, and working together as one body that will grab the attention of intermediate readers.

Visit The Berinfell Prophecies page


Wayne Thomas Batson is the author of five best-selling novels: Isle of Swords, Isle of Fire, and The Door Within Trilogy. A middle school reading teacher in Maryland for eighteen years, Wayne tailors his stories to meet the needs of young people, whom he cares so deeply about. Wayne writes adventures set in imaginative locals because he believes that on a deep level we all dream of doing something that matters and long for another world. When last seen, Wayne was tromping around the Realm with his beautiful wife and four adventurous children.

Christopher Hopper, whose books include Rise of The Dibor, The Lion Vrie, and Athera’s Dawn has often been called a modern renaissance man. Christopher is a recording artist with nine CDs, a painter, youth pastor, president of a Christian discipleship school, entrepreneur, and a motivational speaker for schools across the US and Europe. Christopher has dedicated his life to positively affecting the culture of his generation and longs to see young people inspired to live meaningful and productive lives. He resides with his wife, 3 children, and horses, in the mysterious 1,000 Islands of northern New York.

Visit the other tour members blogs for their reviews:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Amy Browning
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Melissa Carswell
Jeff Chapman
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
James Somers
Kathleen Smith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Juice Anyone?

I watched my great nephew Brock on Friday. He's almost 8 months old. He was drinking cold apple juice and making these funny faces. I thought I'd share. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

CFBA: Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr

Song Stuck on the Brain: A Girl Worth Fighting For from Mulan

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Love's First Bloom

Bethany House; Original edition (September 1, 2010)


Delia Parr


This was such a great read. Ruth's situation as the reviled minister's daughter in hiding, was a fantastic premise. Delia did a great job of really backing Ruth into a corner so to speak, showing just how much our lives can fall apart, and yet we still find love and hope. I love to find characters I can identify with, and Ruth's loss hit home. So did her care of little Lilly. I've been there. It's a great love story, with mystery and spunk to keep it lively.


Ruth Livingstone's life changes drastically the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her to a small village in New Jersey under an assumed name. There Ruth pretends to be a widow and quietly secludes herself until her father is acquitted of a crime.

But with the emergence of the penny press, the imagination of the reading public is stirred, and her father's trial stands center stage. Asher Tripp is the brash newspaperman who determines that this case is the event he can use to redeem himself as a journalist.

Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River--a place where she can find a measure of peace in the midst of the sorrow that continues to build. It is also here that Asher Tripp finds a temporary residence, all in an attempt to discover if the lovely creature known as Widow Malloy is truly Ruth Livingstone, the woman every newspaper has been looking for.

Love begins to slowly bloom...but is the affection they share strong enough to withstand the secrets that separate them?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love's First Bloom, go HERE.


Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CFBA: In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Song Stuck on the Brain: Return to Sender by Elvis Presley

Woke up singing it, have no idea why...

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

In Every Heartbeat
Bethany House (September 1, 2010)


Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim's latest novel is an emotional tour of the heart. A look inside at what we desire and expect of God - and whether He fits in the box we choose to push Him in to. Pete, Libby and Bennett each have unique abandonment issues, even though they were all brought up in an orphanage. A shared past should bond them closer together, but as they step out into the bigger world, they find that they are all facing issues bigger than they expect. Issues that could push them apart rather than bring them closer together.

I enjoyed the gentle story telling that pierces the heart. It gave me an opportunity to view my relationship with God through different eyes, like an outsider would see me and learn from my example. Potent stuff.


As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a cherished dream.

Libby Conley hopes to become a famous journalist. Pete Leidig believes God has called him to study to become a minister. And Bennett Martin plans to pledge a fraternity, find a place to belong, and have as much fun as possible.

But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends' differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well. And when Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete's family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?

If you would like to read the first chapter of In Every Heartbeat, go HERE.


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Black Madonna by Davis Bunn

I have another great book to tour today. A complete opposite in genres, but just as exciting.


My Take:

I'm a big fan of Davis Bunn. He never fails to deliver all he promises and so much more. In this case it's a giant dose of intrigue, suspense and action. Toss in the bonus of religious antiquity and history and how can you not be hooked? Storm Syrrell is a fantastic character that I connected with right away. I hesitate to say more, just because I don't want to give away anything good. But there is a reason why Davis Bunn's novel's sell so well, and why he's known as the "Gentleman Adventurer". He's worth spending your precious time and money on. Enjoy the read.

About The Book:

"Gentleman Adventurer" Davis Bunn delivers an international thriller of elusive treasure, desperate measures, and a race against death's clock with The Black Madonna. Capitalizing on the successful introduction of Storm Syrrell in Gold of Kings, Bunn brings Syrrell back for this epic tale.

Antiquarian Storm Syrrell is in desperate need of cash. When a nameless, faceless client calls her with a request to track down a non-existent antique rumored to bear miraculous healing in its being, Storm should say no. But the man's pockets are deep.

What desperation leads a man to pay millions for a glimpse of hope?

Antiques expert Storm Syrrell heads to Europe to investigate the clandestine trade in religious artifacts. She dismisses superstitious tales of miraculous healings and divine omens. Yet when an obsessive Russian oligarch calls—just as her friend Harry Bennett vanishes—all assumptions must be cast aside. Storm seeks answers in a medieval monastery. There, the scarred visage of an icon provokes ever more startling questions. Is she prepared to confront both earthly and spiritual powers? Storm remains haunted by lessons in love and betrayal that lie just outside her grasp. But hesitation now holds mortal consequences.

About the Author:

Known by his fans as the, "Gentleman Adventurer" Davis Bunn is a multi-award winning best-selling author who consistently delivers engaging stories and thrilling adventures. He has served as the Novelist in Residence at Oxford University for the past ten years and was recently invited into BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts).

Davis Bunn is a lover of adventure in many forms, including his decades-long involvement in surfing (yes, he's been bitten by a shark). Fluent in three languages, Bunn's travels include Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He and his wife, Isabella, divide their time between homes in England and Florida's West Coast.

Learn more about the unique life and mind of Davis Bunn
I received a copy of this book for free to review from Glass Roads PR. I wasn't paid for my praise. Are you kidding? Why would I pass up a chance to read a book from one of my favorite authors? and for free to boot. I'm more than happy to share my honest praise in return for a free book. :)

CFBA: Autumn's Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray

Song Stuck on the Brain: When a Man Loves a Woman by Michael Grimm, America's Got Talent's newest winner. Way to go Michael!
This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Autumn's Promise
Avon Inspire (August 3, 2010)


Shelley Shepard Gray


Another great romance from Shelley. The conflict and heart woven into the story is moving. I loved the connection I felt to both Robert and Lilly. Like I could step in to their shoes and walk a mile to see what it was like. Very enjoyable.


Some promises are meant to be broken...

Until Robert Miller met Lilly Allen, his world had been dark. A widower after only two years of marriage, he'd been living in a haze, feeling that, at twenty-four, his life was already over.

But thanks to his friendship with Lilly, he now has new reasons to wake up each day. He knows his connection to her doesn't make sense. She's only nineteen, with a past the whole town talks about. Even more, she's not Amish, like Robert. A marriage between the two of them could never happen.

Lilly's heart is drawn to Robert, not to his faith. No matter how much she admires his quiet strength and dependability, she doesn't think she could ever give up her independence and reliance on the modern world. Is their love doomed before it even begins?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Autumn's Promise, go HERE.


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold twenty-six novels to numerous publishers. She has written a seven book contemporary series for Avalon books. She also published The Love Letter, a western for Avalon. Five Star Expressions published Suddenly, You in February of 2007. This novel is a historical western set in the mountains of Colorado.

Shelley has written nine novels for Harlequin American Romance. Cinderella Christmas, her first novel with them, reached number six on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. Her second book with them, Simple Gifts won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice award for best Harlequin American Romance of 2006. The Mommy Bride, was chosen by Romantic Times Magazine as one of their TOP PICKS for May, 2008.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for Harper Collins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. HIDDEN and WANTED the first two novels of her ‘Sisters of the Heart’ series, were chosen to be Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/ Literary Guild Book Club. FORGIVEN, book 3, has received glowing reviews. Avon Inspire is releasing four novels by Shelley this year.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two teenagers, and is an active member of her church.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CFBA: More Than Words by Judith Miller

Song Stuck on the Brain: You are Loved by Josh Groban

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

More than Words
Bethany House; Original edition (September 1, 2010)


Judith Miller


I enjoyed Gretchen's story in a great deal because it introduced me up close to new cultures. The Amana communities aren't commonly written about and I enjoyed seeing the differences in their culture compared to the many Mennonite and Amish books that are popular right now. The gypsies were also an interesting twist.

Gretchen is faced with three very unique men as possible love interests and although I was fairly certain I knew who she would choose, there was always a vague hint that she just might surprise you in the end. What made all of this both fun and poignant at the same time was Gretchen's Oma. Watching her care for a grandmother slipping into dementia was both humerus and sad, giving the reader the opportunity to see that although the grandma's antics were funny, there was real fear and anxiety experienced by the family. Judith Miller approached it with finesse.

More than Words is a heart-warming feel good tale with a touch of romance and excitement, and a large lesson in looking into your heart for truth.


Journey to the charming villages of the Amana Colonies, 1885

Gretchen Kohler is an Amana storekeeper's daughter with a secret passion for writing. But artistic pursuits are frowned upon in her conservative Amana village, so she confines her poems and stories to her journals, letting only close friends read them.

When a young reporter comes into her store, she believes she's found a kindred spirit. She shares a few of her stories with him--only to have her trust betrayed in the worst of ways, resulting in trouble for her entire community.

The scandal is made even worse by the fact that gypsies have camped nearby and seem to be preying upon the Amanans' compassionate, pacifist nature. Will Gretchen lose her job, her reputation, and the love of her childhood beau all because of one bad decision?

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels, two of which have placed in the CBA top ten lists. In addition to her writing, Judy is a certified legal assistant. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.

If you would like to read the first chapter of More than Words, go HERE.


Most readers want to know how authors 'got started' writing. My first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when I was commuting sixty miles to work each day. I wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. When the book was completed, I tucked it away. I had absolutely no idea how publication of a book occurred and had given no thought to the concept. However, through a co-worker, I was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from me. Having never met Tracie, I was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history....

With a graciousness that continues to amaze me, Tracie agreed to read my story, directed me to a publisher, and gave me information on a Christian writers conference. Since that first encounter many years ago, I have been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, Tracie and I had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, we have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy. In addition, I have continued to write several solo series. Please check those out on the "My Books" page on my website.

God's design on the lives of His people never ceases to amaze me! Because I am eternally grateful for my own forgiveness and salvation, I strive to share God's desire to pull us from the mire of sin and set us free to live exciting lives for Him. Through His abundant grace and love, God gifts and equips each of us to share the story of salvation and eternal life. Won't you share His story using the special gifts He has given you?

Friday, September 10, 2010

CFBA: The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

Song Stuck on the Brain: Catch Me by Deme Lovato

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Bridge of Peace
WaterBrook Press; Original edition (August 31, 2010)


Cindy Woodsmall


I didn't recieve a copy to review, but I hope you will check it out for yourself.


Love alone isn’t enough to overcome some obstacles.

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.

Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?

Win a "Trip To Amish Country"...contest opens August 31st -December 31st...go HERE to enter!
If you would like to read the first chapter of , go HERE.


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

She was also a homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter.

Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list of the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four.

Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today’s best-sellers list.

Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she’s also written a nonfiction work with an Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. The book is titled Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It will release March 11, 2011.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

CFBA: The Thorn by Beverly Lewis

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Thorn
Bethany House (September 7, 2010)


Beverly Lewis


I didn't request a copy of this book for review, but I submit it in hopes you may find it an interesting read.


Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters on the fringes of the church, and the unforeseen discoveries that change their lives.

Rose Kauffman, a spirited young woman, has a close friendship with the bishop's foster son. Nick dresses Plain and works hard but stirs up plenty of trouble too. Rose's sister cautions her against becoming too involved, but Rose is being courted by a good, Amish fellow, so dismisses the warnings.

Meanwhile, Rose keeps house for an English widower but is startled when he forbids her to ever go upstairs. What is the man hiding? Rose's older sister, Hen, knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man. Unable to abandon her Amish ways, Hen is soon separated from her very modern husband.

Mattie, their young daughter, must visit her father regularly, but Hen demands she wear Amish attire--and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, despite her husband's wishes. Will Hen be able to reestablish her place among the People she abandoned? And will she be able to convince Rose to steer clear of rogue neighbor Nick?

Watch the book trailer:

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


Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."

Monday, September 06, 2010

CFBA: Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna

Song Stuck on the Brain: Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley.

You can't read this book and NOT have it run in your head for days. :) Good thing it's a song I enjoy.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Love Me Tender
Summerside Press (September 1, 2010)


Janice Hanna


What a fun step back in time. It's almost astounding how innocent Hollywood seemed in the 50's compared to now. Wouldn't it be nice to have more Bobby Conrad and Johnny Hartman's around now - famous or not.

Debbie's determination to save her father and Sweet Sal's, and find true love with a movie star is both quaintly naive and admirable at the same time. Something that probably wouldn't have even been believable in any other setting or time period, but in Love Me Tender, it works and it works really well. The romance is sweet. The characters' faith and trust in Jesus to lead them to the right one to love is a great example of what we should still expect today. There's nothing wrong with naivety, innocence, and sweet romance. I wish we found more of it in the 21st century.

Janice made me long for a time period I wasn't even alive to experience and she did it by pulling in great classic songs and movies (Like Elvis and Roman Holiday, an all time favorite), fashion, and history. (Imagine! Someday gas could cost 50 cents a gallon! Oh, if Debbie's father could see us today!)

Love Me Tender is a fun, lighthearted romp through a decade precariously balanced on that edge of no return. It has a strong message of faith and purpose soundly wrapped in classic rock and chocolate malts. Enjoy!


As "Love Me Tender" plays in the background, Debbie Carmichael determines to salvage her family's restaurant, Sweet Sal's Soda Shoppe, when her father's health fails. Teen heartthrob Bobby Conrad agrees to perform at a fundraiser concert. But just two weeks before the highly publicized event, Bobby backs out of the benefit. Enter Johnny Hartman, a young, unknown singer to take Conrad's place. Debbie soon realizes the twists and turns leading up to the concert are divinely orchestrated. And it isn't dreamy Bobby Conrad who has stolen her heart - but the tender love of Johnny Hartman.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Me Tender, go HERE.


Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna, She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over fifty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, childrens books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice currently serves as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Her online course, "Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer" has been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.


Friday, September 03, 2010

New Release: The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson releases today! If you follow my blog, you'll remember that I posted in April about this fabulous book's coming release. Now the waiting is over and I'm so excited for Melanie.

"When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love’s kiss.

In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter's daughter becomes the town's healer's apprentice. Rose's job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But she gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories than sewing up wounds. She is determined to overcome her weakness and prove herself a competent healer, or she faces marrying a disgusting old merchant her mother has picked out for her.

Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden. He is already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding.

With two noble-born brothers vying for her affections, Rose learns that the people of Hagenheim are not always who they seem. "

If you're interested in knowing more about The Healer's Apprentice and it's author Melanie Dickerson, visit these fantastic blogs to read Melanie's interviews.

A Sequence of Continuous Delights

Heidi Main, Writer

A Christian Writer's World - You can enter to win a contest as well on this blog.

Novel Teen

Read the first chapter on Zondervan's site.

Be sure to visit Melanie Dickerson's own site as well where she's hosting her own contest. If you see The Healer's Apprentice on a book store shelf, take a picture and post it on facebook. Send the link to Melanie and she will put you in a drawing for a t-shirt with the cover of The Healer's Apprentice on the front.

CFBA: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Song Stuck on the Brain: Lover, Lover by Jerrod Neimann

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Pearl In The Sand
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2010)


Tessa Afshar


I would never have understood how much there was to Rahab's story before reading Pearl in the Sand. I'd read the Bible stories, but somehow the significance of Rahab never went beyond the woman who saved the spies. Wow, is there so much more to the story. To see just how closely Tessa stayed to the Biblical accounts, I went back and re-read the accounts in Joshua, Ruth and Matthew. She did an amazing job. Yes, Rahab's story is short, but by bringing in all of the Hebrew traditions and the meaning behind those traditions and laws, the real story became so much clearer. Rahab, like Ruth and Esther, had an important role that can so easily be lost in the massive amounts of historical and spiritual teachings that are contained in the Bible.

What I enjoyed the most about this book though, was how Rahab and Salmone came to life for me. The historical accuracy was important, but seeing into their hearts and understanding the struggle they each faced over her past as a whore was both heart rending and powerful. More than that, seeing Rahab finally realize her worth in God's eyes brought me to tears. It's a question we all face, no matter our past.

Pearl in the Sand is gripping emotionally, allowing you to see the clash between sin and salvation, and love and war. It carries you through the first blush of love and attraction through the rocky road that follows and into the happiness that comes when a couple can finally let go of themselves and give their whole heart to God and each other. An amazing read.


Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true

source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pearl In The Sand, go HERE

Watch the book video:


Tessa Afshar was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the

Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women’s and Prayer ministries at a church in Connecticut.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

New Author KC Sprayberry - Rediscovered Trust

Congratulations must go out to yet another writing pal who has hit the presses for the first time. KC Sprayberry's first novella, Rediscovered Trust, is being published by Vanilla Heart as part of their 2010 anthology Passionate Hearts.

"It's a romance, one of soul mates pulled apart by circumstance and coming back together. Interwoven through this story is a tale of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct in addition to law enforcement corruption." - KC Sprayberry

Wow, way to go, Kathi! The really exciting part is, we don't have to wait months to get our hands on a copy. Apparently Vanilla Heart is a very speedy publisher. The e-book is releasing on Labor Day and the print version will be available just a month after that. Whoo- Hoo! I know this has sent Kathi into a little bit of a tail spin - so much to do in so little time. However, if you know Kathi, you know not to worry too much. She's quite capable of juggling it all and looking cool as a cucumber in the process. In fact, hop on over to her blog OUT OF CONTROL CHARACTERS to hear her tell her own story and find out how you can get an autographed bookmark.

To get your hands on a copy of Passionate Hearts and read Rediscovered Trust, visit the Vanilla Heart site and order your copy.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

CFBA: The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

Song Stuck on the Brain: Rain on Me by Erwin

Not to toot my own horn, it just happens that my own song is what I'm singing in my brain. You can hear a clip on the song player in the side bar. It's the last track on the player.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Vigilante's Bride
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)


Yvonne Harris


Yvonne has a great first novel here. The interaction between Emily and Luke is fun, fast paced and full of energy. I love that Luke "thinks" he's finally got Emily in hand and all figured out. He has so much to learn.

The interaction with the Crow Natives was interesting too. I appreciated her realistic look at their culture and their situation at that time in history. That they weren't all savage, white-man haters that were out for blood.

The story was well written and full of little surprises that had me cheering Luke and Emily through the whole story.


Montana Territory, 1884...Is Her Kidnapper the Only Man Who Can Keep Her Safe?

Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and abducting a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expected to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from his pa, but instead ended up rescuing a feisty copper-haired woman who was on her way to marry Sullivan's dangerous enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn't take kindly to her so-called rescue. Still, she's hoping Providence will turn her situation for good, especially when it seems Luke Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Luke has crossed a vicious man, a powerful rancher not used to losing, and Emily is the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Vigilante's Bride, go HERE


Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a winner and three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which is her debut novel.