Friday, February 25, 2011

CFBA: Operation Bonnet by Kimberly Stuart

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Get Around by The Beach Boys

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Operation Bonnet
David C. Cook; New edition (February 1, 2011)


Kimberly Stuart


Nellie Monroe takes getting used to. She's not a character mess with and she's not one to judge too quickly. At first take, she's a little irritating and odd. Later, you find she's still irritating and odd - only you find you don't mind that anymore because you've discovered the very big heart that hides behind her tough PI wanna be exterior. Her decision to help Amos and his Amish lady love may have started out as a desire to nail her first PI gig, but in the process of her undercover work, Nellie learns a lot about life and herself.

Amos cracked me up, his speech style was a nice touch. It was an interesting way to view our culture through a new set of eyes. He brought a lot of humor to the story, although Nellie's inner dialogue and thought process made me laugh out loud. She's got a very set in stone view of the world around her and the people that populate it, but with the help of her Nona, Tank, Mrs. H., Amos, Grandmother Mary and Matt... her life as she sees it changes for the better.

Fun read with plenty of humor and a nice dose of romance.


Twenty-year-old Nellie Monroe has a restless brilliance that makes her a bit of an odd duck. She wants to be a private investigator, even though her tiny hometown offers no hope of clients. Until she meets Amos Shetler, an Amish dropout carrying a torch for the girl he left behind.

So Nellie straps on her bonnet and goes undercover to get the dish. But though she’s brainy, Nellie is clueless when it comes to real life and real relationships. Soon she’s alienated her best friend, angered her college professor, and botched her case.

Operation Bonnet is a comedy of errors, a surprising take on love, and a story of grace.

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

Watch the book video trailer:


Kimberly says:

I am a writer of comedic fiction, and would like to suggest that you laugh regularly when reading my books. Let’s also try for one to two teary moments. If you are crying more than that, you don’t understand my sense of humor and should move on to another author.

I grew up in a book-loving home. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. My mom loves books. My dad loves to read the first chapters of books and then make us all listen as he recites his favorite passages. I, however, enjoy reading books in their entirety and came into writing as a result of book-love. After earning two fancy degrees in education and Spanish, I promptly let the thinking part of my brain take a breather and instead became pregnant. (I’m sure a lot of other things happened between early literacy and pregnancy but I don’t really remember any of that. If you also have shared your uterus with another human, you understand.)

In an effort to author a book that would entertain my sassy, irreverent, breast-feeding/drooping friends, I wrote my first novel, Balancing Act. People were so nice to me after that, I decided to continue with writing. Also, I can’t craft, knit, or scrapbook, so what else was a nice, Christian girl to do?

In addition to writing books to make my friends laugh and cry, I observe the chaos at the home I share with my unfailingly supportive husband and three offspring. We’re doing our best and so far, no one’s been to prison.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CFBA: Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

Song Stuck on the Brain: Goodnight Sweetheart from Three Men and A Baby

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Save The Date
Thomas Nelson (February 1, 2011)


Jenny B. Jones


I'm in love. I want to know where my ♥ Alex Sinclair ♥ is, because (be still my pounding heart) I would sign up for this plot in a heart beat!

Jenny B. Jones has such a great sense of humor, I caught myself laughing out loud multiple times. The last time, I scared the cat right off my lap I laughed so hard. Her characters are everything you want them to be, even if they're what some might call standard issue for a romantic comedy. I don't care if they're standard issue, Jenny makes them work beautifully. Hot, rich, celebrity meets bumbling but beautiful full figured girl with a heart and together they plan a fake engagement. You have the best girl friend, the batty older relative and a fashion forward, Broadway musical loving guy friend. It's not a new idea.

BUT... Jenny makes it FEEL new. It's a great example of taking a traditional and often used story structure and making it feel new again. She's made it fresh and funny and absolutely addictive. It has one of the best one line prayers I've ever read. When you read Clara's prayer for Alex at the end of the book, you'll know exactly what I mean.

It also has real depth and heart beneath the funny antics and fashion sense. I appreciated the message of accepting yourself as beautifully and wonderfully made by God. The scene where they nail their burdens to the cross actually made me a little teary. I couldn't put it down and I'm passing it off to my sister next. I only hope my writing can achieve this level some day soon. Great read.

Oh, and note to Jenny: Next time your girl is a scifi fan, make sure to include Stargate: Sg-1. Col. Jack O'Neill and his team deserve the props. :)


You’re invited to the engagement of the most unlikely couple of the year.

When the funding for Lucy’s non-profit job is pulled, she is determined to find out why. Enter Alex Sinclair, former professional football star and heir of Sinclair Enterprises—the primary donor to Lucy’s Saving Grace organization. Alex Sinclair has it all . . . except for the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Both Lucy and Alex have something the other wants. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancée in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn’t quite what he seems, Lucy finds her heart – and her future – on the line.

Save the Date is a spunky romance that will have readers laughing out loud as this dubious pair try to save their careers, their dreams . . . and maybe even a date.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Save The Date, go HERE


I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series and So Not Happening. I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie.

When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.

My students are constantly telling me how my teaching changes their lives and turned them away from drugs, gangs, and C-SPAN.

Okay, that’s not exactly true.

Some facts that are true include:

I've always been refined!

A. I got my camera confiscated by big boys with guns at the American Embassy in Europe this past summer. O la la!

B. I once worked in a seed mill office and cleaned out mice on a regular basis. Ew.

C. I’m a former drama teacher.

D. I didn’t pass my drivers test the first time. Or the second…

E. I attract stray animals like a magnet.

F. I used to assemble and test paint ball guns for a local factory...

Since my current job leaves me with very little free time, I believe in spending my spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits such as:

-watching E!

-updating my status on Facebook

-catching Will Ferrell on YouTube and

-writing my name in the dust on my furniture

I’d love to hear about you, so drop me a note. Or check me out on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CSFF: The God Hater by Bill Myers

Song Stuck on the Brain: Sing a Song by Third Day

This month the CSFF is proud to tour:



Here's proof that you can't judge a book by it's cover. Or, at least not it's title. I almost overlooked this book just because of the title. I'm glad I took a second look. You all know that speculative fiction is really my cup of tea, and allegories can be iffy, but I love scifi and this story had enough of a scifi/tech edge to make me take a chance.

Wow, what a compelling and exciting read! Bill did a fantastic job with the allegory, laying the issue out clearly without softening the edges. In fact I'm not sure Nicholas had any soft edges. He was a brilliant character. He's irritating, arrogant, bullheaded and rude. He takes joy in destroying peoples faith, and yet you learn to like him somehow. It's not a chore, you want to know what happens next and you can't turn the pages fast enough.

The supporting cast is small, but works well in the story. I think Annie and her son were an interesting addition as the Christian examples. Annie has faith, but she also sees more in Nicholas than anyone else has, despite his complete lack of respect for her faith. It's her subtle influence that helps to bring Nicholas to his final conclusion, that a sacrifice has to be made.
The God Hater is a hit, mixing science, action, faith and truth into one very satisfying tale with a great ending.


A cranky, atheist philosophy professor loves to shred incoming freshmen of their faith. He is chosen by a group of scientists to create a philosophy for a computer-generated world exactly like ours.

Much to his frustration every model introduced from Darwinism, to Existentialism, to Eastern beliefs fails. The only way to preserve the computer world is to introduce laws from outside their system through a Law Giver. Of course this goes against everything he believes and he hates it. But even this doesn't completely work because the citizens of that world become legalists and completely miss the spirit behind the Law.

The only way to save them is to create a computer character like himself to personally explain it. He does. So now there are two of him—the one in our world and the one in the computer world. (Sound familiar?)

Unfortunately, a rival has introduced a virus into the computer world. Things grow worse until the professor in that computer world sees the only way to save his world is to personally absorb the virus and the penalty for breaking the Law. Of course it's clear to all, including our real world professor, that this act of selfless love has become a complete reenactment of the Gospel. It is the only possible choice to save the computer world and, as he finally understands, our own.


Writer/director Bill Myers’s first major success was as co-creator/writer/co-producer of Focus on the Family’s children’s video series, McGee and Me (40 awards, broadcast in 80 countries, 4.5 million books and videos sold). On its heels he wrote the My Life as... series (over 2.1 million books sold).

Other successes include his teen series, Forbidden Doors (winner of the C.S. Lewis Honor Award), and his best selling adult novels, Blood of Heaven, Fire of Heaven, Eli, Soul Tracker, The Face of God, and The Wager (also a motion picture staring Randy Travis). As a writer/director, his work has won over 60 national and international awards, and as an actor he was the voice of Jesus in the NIV Audio Bible and has made several guest appearances on Adventures in Odyssey.

He holds an honorary doctorate from The Nimes Theological Institute in France where he has taught. He enjoys traveling and lecturing as well as serving as lay college pastor for his church.

He lives with his wife and two daughters in Southern California.

Visit Bill Myers on Facebook.

Be sure to visit the other tour members for more insight and information:

Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Nicole White
Dave Wilson
Kathy Brasby

Thursday, February 17, 2011

B4B: Little Star by Anthony DeStefano

Song Stuck on the Brain: Beautiful by MercyMe

Today I'm reviewing another children's picture book for Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program.


Anthony DeStefano weaves a sweet and warm tale about the night the Christmas star appeared. The tale of Little Star shares how even the smallest and least important of us all can make the biggest impact on the world through love.

A king is about to be born! The stars in the heavens are competing to shine the brightest to celebrate his birth. But when they see the poor family, the donkey, the shabby stable, the stars all think, That can’t possibly be a king. We’ve been fooled.

All except one. The smallest, loneliest star in the sky, Little Star, is the only one to understand what the king was about to bring to the world. Love for the baby king and understanding bring out the brightest light in the heavens from the smallest of all the stars.

This is sure to be a Christmas favorite. The artwork is beautiful, nearly lifelike in detail, yet the stars hold a whimsical feel that keeps the imagination alive.

Although some might dispute that the star burned long enough for the wise men to arrive nearly two years later, the message of the story book is more about love and giving your all for Jesus. It is a story, after all. Perfect for families reading together or for an older child that reads well.

CFBA: Words by Ginny Yttrup

Song Stuck on the Brain: Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

B&H Books (February 1, 2011)


Ginny Yttrup


I wasn't able to review this book this month, but the story looks intriguing. Check out the book trailer at the end, it's moving.


"I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.

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

Watch the book trailer video HERE.


Ginny Yttrup is an author, freelance writer, and writing coach. As she writes, speaks, and coaches, her prayer is that God will use her words to replace the lies so many believe about themselves with the truth of His unconditional love and grace. To see someone grasp, perhaps for the first time, the truth of God's love, is truly an honor. Through a relationship with the Truth, Jesus Christ, the bonds of shame are loosed and freedom abounds!

When Ginny is not working, she loves spending time with her two college-age sons or with friends. She is surrounded by the most amazing people--each a gift in their own way. If she can spend time outdoors with those she love, it's even better. And she thoroughly adores her dog, Bear. He's a book lover too.

She has two grown sons and lives near Sacramento, California. Words is her first novel.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CFBA: Lone Star Intrigue by Debra White Smith

Song Stuck on the Brain: Turn on Your Heartlight by Neil Diamond

My sister bought an adorable, red, dragon shaped humidifier that shoots mist from his eyebrows. She named him Dribble. He has a little green power light on his tummy and every time she sees it, she sings "Turn on Your Heartlight". Now I'm singing it too.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Lone Star Intrigue
Avon Inspire (February 1, 2011)


Debra White Smith

♪ ♪ Loved it! ♪ ♪ Yes, I sang that. I enjoyed this one so much, I couldn't stop myself. Debra knows how to start a book off with a bang. Or in the case of the first story... an arrest. How could I not be hooked? Especially by Jack. He is so amazing, no wonder his neighbor was throwing herself at him. :)
Jack and Charli's relationship was addictive, you know they're meant to be together, but all their history and baggage keeps getting in the way. Murder attempts and embezzelment plots don't help. I loved the mix of suspense and humor, romance and faith. It made the book hard to put down.
Sonny's story was just as good. I love Sonny's character. He's not quite what you expect of a PI at first glance and that works in his favor. He's funny, loyal, determined and smart. That's a great mix. Debra writes great heroes. I'd recommend Lone Star Intrigue in a heart beat.


In the small town of Bullard, Texas, the Mansfield brothers seem to have everything in order . . . except for their love lives. Jack is the lonely police chief still pining after Charli, his college girlfriend. Younger brother Sonny keeps busy on the road as a private investigator, and a secret from his past prevents him from finding someone to settle down with. But all that is about to change...

Read the two stories...

In Texas Heat, Charli is wrongly accused of a terrible crime. Now Jack must arrest the one woman he's ever loved and risk everything to prove her innocence and save her life.

In Texas Pursuit, a single mother is a target of a relentless stalker—and Sonny finds himself both the only man who can protect her and the one who inadvertently leads danger back into her world.

Page-turning novels of romance and suspense, the Lone Star Intrigue series will give you faith in the power of love, and remind you that having faith in a God who redeems our mistakes is the greatest love story of all.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Lone Star Intrigue, go HERE.


Debra White Smith is a seasoned Christian author, speaker, and media personality who has been regularly publishing books for over a decade. In the last twelve years, she has accumulated over 50 books sales to her credit with over 1 million books in print. Her titles include such life-changing books as Romancing Your Husband, Romancing Your Wife, The Divine Romance: Developing Intimacy with God, the The Lonestar Intrigue fiction series, and The Jane Austen fiction series.

As a woman of God, Debra is committed to the highest standards of integrity and to spending hours a week being still before the Father, staying in tune with Him, and listening for His voice of direction in all she does. This commitment to romancing the Lord, coupled with her lifestyle of devouring, analyzing, and dissecting the Word of God has allowed God to bring about a miracle of deliverance and healing in Debra's spirit, mind, and soul. For you see, Debra holds a double Ph.D. from the toughest schools in the world. The first Ph.D. from the "School of Hard Knocks" and the second, from the "School of Very Hard Knocks." Aside from that, she holds an M.A. in English from the University of Texas.

Along with Debra's being voted a fiction-reader favorite several times, her book Romancing Your Husband was a finalist in the 2003 Gold Medallion Awards. And, her Austen Series novel First Impressions was a finalist in the 2005 Retailer's Choice Awards. Debra has been a popular media guest across the nation, including Fox TV, The 700 Club, ABC Radio, USA Radio Network, and Moody Broadcasting. Her favorite hobbies include fishing, bargain-hunting, and swimming with her family. Debra also vows she would walk 50 miles for a scoop of German Chocolate ice cream.

Friday, February 11, 2011

CFBA: Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Song Stuck on the Brain: Your Love Goes on Forever by SonicFlood

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Promises to Keep
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)


Ann Tatlock


Promises to Keep has been a very enjoyable read. I loved the contrasting characters, Tillie, in all her unique glory, ready to close the final chapter in her life. Roz and her family just starting fresh with no idea what the future holds. Roz is a wonderfully written little girl, so very true to age and life. She reminded me of one of my nieces, which of course made her seem even more real.

I'll admit, that at first, I didn't really care for Tillie. I'm not sure you're really supposed to, since we're seeing the story unfold through Roz's eyes. But Tillie had strength and heart and she grew on me, until in the end, I loved her.

The story is well written, with the time period set beautifully and the emotion and tension building beautifully. Worth the read.


Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper.

Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.

Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

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

Watch the book trailer HERE.


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

CFBA: Another Dawn by Kathryn Cushman

Song Stuck on the Brain: So Far Away by Rod Stewart

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Another Dawn
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)


Kathryn Cushman


There are a lot of reasons that I chose to read, 90% of which has to do with entertainment and escape. I love suspense, romance, fantasy, scifi, thrillers, and even drama to some degree - as long as I feel there has been a good portion of escapism involved. I want the story to make me laugh and cry. Make me get mad at an injustice and root for the hero to come out on top.

I think a lot of readers want that. My best friend and my sister refuse to read anything that might include sadness or a semi-sad ending. I always shake my head and tell them that those stories can be beautiful too. I'm not one to toss a story aside because characters are miserable, because there's always something good to be experienced in a book.

(You know there is a but coming here...)

I think Another Dawn falls into that final category for me - kind of. Kathryn Cushman is a very good writer. I felt every emotion, cried with the family and hoped for a happy ending. I think the message about finding new beginings was well woven into the the story and it made a very good point. However, I can't say I really enjoyed the book for entertainment value.

Although the story and writing were good, I found myself getting seriously annoyed with Grace, Jasmine and even Jana. I didn't feel like I was connecting with Grace in a positive way at all. The debate over the vaccinations felt a little heavy handed. I know people on both sides of that argument, so I know from real life it can get heated. I understood the underlying message that Grace's actions were just like her Dad's and that is how she was able to see things in a new light, but that felt a little forced to me.

I did love little Dylan. What a sweet and insightful child. He was the bright spot in the book for me. Overall, when the book was done, I felt relieved that things were resolved, and the book was done. I didn't feel happy, entertained, or even intrigued. I felt relieved. I can't say it was bad, just not for me. I know others will probably have very good reviews for Another Dawn, and I won't argue them. Technically the book had it all, it just didn't hit the mark for me.


Grace Graham is back in Tennessee with her four-year-old son on a short unpaid leave from work, helping her father recover from surgery and spending time with her sister.

Shoal Creek seems more backward than ever after her years in California, and it's hard to find organic food anywhere. When the unthinkable happens and her son is diagnosed with measles, Grace's fears over modern medicine take a dangerous turn.

Worse, the town has fallen into quarantine and its residents focus their anger and blame on Grace. She is alone and scared, until one brave woman chooses to reach out a hand of forgiveness and mercy. But when the outbreak takes a life-threatening turn, will Grace be able to forgive herself?

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


Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. After practicing as a pharmacist, she left her career to marry and begin a family and has since pursued her dream of writing.

Other books by Kathryn, A Promise to Remember was a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book-of-the-Year in the Women’s Fiction category, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

Leaving Yesterday, her third novel, was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.

Now her fifth book, Another Dawn, has arrived in stores.

On the homefront, Kathryn has been married to Lee for over twenty years now, and their two daughters are currently braving the worlds of junior high and high school. They’ve lived in Santa Barbara for the last nineteen years. It’s a beautiful place and Kathryn feels blessed to be there (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves her dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)

Friday, February 04, 2011

CFBA: Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate

Song Stuck on the Brain: Heavy in Your Arms by Florence and the Machine

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Larkspur Cove
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)


Lisa Wingate

Larkspur Cove was a little bit of a surprise for me. I didn't expect the humor. I can't really say why, but it was a delightful surprise. I appreciated the depth of both Mart and Andrea's pasts and the things they were suffering. The story was well told with a lot of thought for individual characters. Each person in the story was unique and played an integral part of the story. I didn't feel like anyone was there just to fill up space.

Lisa Wingate has a great voice in her writing. Moses Lake was beautifully described, and so real I could smell the breeze coming off the water. Unfortunately, I could also picture the copper heads lurking in the underbrush... but that was a small price to pay. At moments, the writing almost felt poetic. Like the description of the lake just before dawn appearing as mercury pooled between the hills. Just a few pages over, she's nailed the accents and tone of two old fishing buddies spinning yarns. The story about the cat and Labrador verifying the pit bulls death had me laughing out loud. (You'll have to read it yourself, I'm not giving away the punch line. But I ended up reading it out to my mom and my sister just because I had to share it with someone.)

I suppose that's why this book was special. It surprised me in lots of little ways and that left me feeling delighted and happy. The lake was the perfect setting, literally reflecting the plot as a whole. Dark and tangled and dangerous in some areas, bright and sunny and full of adventure in others. Maybe Mart is right. There's just something about being around water. You never know what to expect.


Adventure is the last thing on Andrea Henderson's mind when she moves to Moses Lake. After surviving the worst year of her life, she's struggling to build a new life for herself and her son as a social worker. Perhaps in doing a job that makes a difference, she can find some sense of purpose and solace in her shattered faith. For new Moses Lake game warden Mart McClendon, finding a sense of purpose in life isn't an issue. He took the job to get out of southwest Texas and the constant reminders of a tragedy for which he can't forgive himself. But when a little girl is seen with the town recluse, Mart and Andrea are drawn together in the search for her identity. The little girl offers them both a new chance at redemption and hope--and may bring them closer than either ever planned.

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

Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author of sixteen books. Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its eighteenth printing from Penguin Putnam. Tending Roses is a staple on the shelves of national bookstore chains as well as in many independent bookstores.

Recently, Lisa’s Blue Sky Hill Series, set in Dallas, received national attention with back-to-back nominations for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award for A Month of Summer (2009) and The Summer Kitchen (2010). Pithy, emotional, and inspirational, her stories bring to life characters so real that readers often write to ask what is happening to them after the book ends.

Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for both Bethany House, a Christian publisher, and NAL Penguin Putnam, a general market publisher. Her bestselling books have become a hallmark of inspirational fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, Crossings Book Club, American Profiles and have been chosen for numerous awards.

When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via Internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Dragon and Turtle Go on Safari by Donita K. Paul

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Could Not Ask For More by Edwin McCain

Today, as part of the Blogging For Books program with WaterBrook Multnomah, I'm reviewing:


& Evangeline Denmark


I think this is my first review of a children's picture book, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read more by one of my favorite authors. Plus, I collect children's picture books and knew this one would be a good addition. I love a good story and well done illustrations.

The story is fun, with Roger and Padrig's imaginations seeing an owl as a howler monkey and a kitten as a baby leopard, to name a few. I enjoyed the way the two boys encouraged one another to be brave and never made fun of the other for being jumpy at night. It's very cute with a strong underlying message. The illustrations are adorable and are perfect for the story, a very important part of the book as a whole.

I would say it's better suited for older children that read well, or as a story read by an adult to a child. In my mind though, that's a great choice for stocking your bookshelf. Sure, it's very important for kids to practice reading for themselves, but being read to is also very important in their literary growth. Kids that hear words pronounced properly, experience the proper flow and rhythm of a story being read, and see the fun and joy that is brought by sharing a good story with someone else, become better readers. It's also a great way of bonding with a child.

I'm excited to see that Donita K. Paul has expanded her writing genre and look forward to seeing more.

"Go on Safari" with your child - Enter to Win!

WaterBrook Multnomah want to send your child on their very own backyard safari!

Prize includes:
A Child-Size Tent
2 Sleeping Bags
And Much More!


Roger the turtle and Padraig the dragon are together again for their second adventure, The Dragon & the Turtle Go on Safari, by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark, illustrated by Vincent Nguyen. Roger and his new friend, Padraig go on a camping trip and have all kinds of adventures together.

The friends brave the night and hear all sorts of sounds from the jungle as they learn more about what it means to be a real friend.


A former schoolteacher, DONITA K. PAUL is the best-selling author of the Dragon Keeper series, The Vanishing Sculptor, and Dragons of the Valley. She enjoys cooking, beading, stamping, knitting, and her grandsons. Not necessarily in that order.

The daughter of novelist Donita K. Paul, EVANGELINE DENMARK grew up living and breathing good stories. Now she enjoys fiction writing and loves to share Roger and Padraig stories with her own two rambunctious boys.


New Jersey-based professional artist and illustrator, VINCENT NGUYEN has worked on such movies as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Robots. His whimsical style brings Roger and Padraig to life on the page.