Friday, June 29, 2012

CFBA: Doctor's Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Doctor's Devotion
Love Inspired (June 19, 2012)
Cheryl Wyatt

I would love to have Mitch Wellington as my doctor. :) How he puts up with Lauren is a little of a mystery. I did enjoy the story a great deal, and the author presents the characters dreams and weaknesses in a very real way. Lauren, especially at first, seems very childish in her jealousy and it was a wee bit grating. But she does grow and you love Mitch for seeing past her behavior and recognizing the woman she could be. He offers her a second chance and nearly drags her screaming into accepting it, but when she gets there, it's a beautiful thing. It made me remember that although we don't like to see ourselves as petty and childish, often we behave less admirably than we like. Mitch saw past that, just as Jesus sees past our childishness to encourage us to find our peace in Him.


A Doctor’s Vow.

When he fled Eagle Point years ago, former air force trauma surgeon Mitch Wellington left only broken dreams behind. Now he’s back with a new dream—opening a trauma center in the rural area and saving lives. He hopes to hire the quick-thinking nurse who impressed him during an emergency. But Lauren Bates lost her faith and doesn’t believe she deserves to help anyone. Mitch knows firsthand what loss feels like. And it’ll take all his devotion to show Lauren that sometimes the best medicine is a combination of faith, community—and love.

Eagle Point Emergency: Saving lives—and losing their hearts—in a small Illinois town.

If you would like to read an excerpt of the first chapter of Doctor's Devotion, go HERE. ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born Valentine’s Day on a Navy base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Cheryl loves interacting with her readers and can be found almost daily on Facebook.

Word from the Author:
I do regular giveaways including a Kindle for every 250 people who join (aka "Like) my Facebook author page: and I'd LOVE for word to spread about that. We have a lot of fun there as I ask for frequent reader input on current books, with helpers being mentioned in the acknowledgements and fun stuff like that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

B4B: To Heaven and Back: A True Story by Mary C. Neal, M.D.



I found Mary's story moving in a lot of ways. Although, her life after death experience was brief, it was very interesting to see the experiences in life that led up to that moment and how it changed her life after. Her testimonies range from small to big. Although I might not agree with her on some points, I do believe that Jesus Christ can use anyone and enables those who are called, using our weak and human selves to let His light shine through if only we truly believe and make that covenant with Him. As our faith grows, so does our knowledge and that leads us not only to a closer relationship to Jesus, but to others around us as well. It's His love that draws them.

For my own personal experience, when we were told my father had cancer and there was no treatment to be done, I heard that voice of assurance loud and clear saying, "everything will be all right." And I knew it would be whether Dad recovered or not. He didn't, dying one month to the day after his diagnosis. But because of our faith and Jesus' goodness and comfort, we were able to rejoice and celebrate his going home, rather than bury ourselves in grief. I've found that the many testimonies we had as a family through Dad's illness have been a comfort to others, just as testimonies that were shared with us comforted our family.

Mary answered the call to share that there is nothing to fear from Jesus or death. That is an important message today when so many have lost that foundation in Christ and have no hope. I think it's a worthwhile book to read and recommend you read it with a prayer in your heart that Jesus will make known to you what is truth and give you that testimony.


A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven — where she experienced God’s peace, joy, and angels — and back to life again.

In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.

To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.

Mary’s life has been forever changed by her new found understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven. To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.

Check out the following links: Doctor Mary Neal on FOX News , or LIKE Mary Neal's Facebook

Mary C. Neal, M.D. is an orthopaedic surgeon. She studied at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, completed her orthopaedic residency at the University of Southern California and is fellowship trained as a spinal surgeon. She is the former Director of Spine Surgery at the University of Southern California and is a founding partner of Orthopedic Associates of Jackson Hole. Her after-life experience has been featured on national media including WGN, Dr. Oz, and Fox and Friends. She has served as a church elder, on several non-profit organization boards, and created the Willie Neal Environmental Awareness Fund. Dr. Neal lives with her family in Jackson Hole, WY.

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

Friday, June 22, 2012

CFBA: Rebel by Linda Windsor

Song Stuck on the Brain: Lady Keith's Lament by Connie Dover

Because I'm in the mood to pull out all my Celtic music.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
David C. Cook; New edition (June 1, 2012)
Linda Windsor


WOW. Just WOW. That is the only word I can think of that sums up my whole review. Of course, one word isn't enough, so let me try again. :)

I was drawn to Rebel when I saw the title listed, but when I saw it was 3rd in a series, I had to read it's predecessors, Healer and Thief first. How did I miss these when they were released? I'm just glad I've found them now.

If you've followed my blog long enough, then you know I'm a huge Celtic history fan. Our family roots trace back to the Alexander 6th Laird of Drum, Irvine Clan born 1476 Aberdeenshire Scotland. I don't share that so much as a way to brag (okay, not TOO  much...) but to show how serious I am about my Celtic history. SO when I say Linda Windsor did an amazing job with her research, maybe you'll believe me.

It's not just the historically accurate dress or language. Or the politics between kings and the different tribes fighting over control of Scotland. That's all there in bigger than life, so real you can taste it, full technicolor glory. Most impressive is it's spiritual strength and message. She's not afraid to take on the darker issues like spiritual warfare, forgiveness on par with 70 times 7, and showing our human nature as the sinful creation we are. Then, she shines the hope and joy that comes from salvation in Jesus Christ like a bright beacon across it all. Winning pagans and weakened Christians alike back from their mistakes into the love Jesus offers. And it's not pat or neat or condescending.

These characters come to life as they fight to keep the truth of the Christian faith alive. The explanation of the original Celtic church and how it was founded is eye opening, especially for those who would be tempted into the new age craze that leads to worship of creation itself, rather than the Creator who made it all.

Fantastic series, I can't even begin to say who much I loved it. Romance, action, heart, loyalty, fierce battles and miracles that draw hearts to God. Amazing.

I'm going to go download her other Celtic series now.

With Merlin dead, the succession undecided, and the Celtic church on the defensive from Rome, intrigue sweeps the court of the High King Arthur. But it’s battlefield news that consumes Queen Gwenhyfar’s young scribe, Kella O’Toole: her fiancé is dead and her father gone missing.

Determined to find him at all costs, Kella defies the queen’s orders and sets out for Pictish territory. Her foster brother Alyn, a disillusioned priest who questions his calling, agrees to help her. The journey itself is perilous. But it’s their secrets that land Kella and Alyn in a viper’s nest of treachery that threatens both their lives and the future of Albion.

Can they summon the love and faith they need to find their way not only out of danger, but into happiness? Brilliantly researched, vividly imagined, and movingly written—a memorable climax to the Brides of Alba series.

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


Linda Windsor makes her home at a restored and "growing" late 18th century home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Above the Windsor front door hangs a sign saying "Fort Necke, assigned 1684, established 1830," which means the land grant is older than the current building. She purposely left off the ageing brought on by the restoration to her mind and body - not enough space to accommodate the number. Chronologically, she admits to celebrating another birthday, just like the rest of us, each year on July 8th -- which also happens to be the anniversary of the day the Liberty Bell cracked.

Amid the often chaotic "country inn" atmosphere, Windsor has written quite a collection of historical and contemporary romances as both Linda Windsor and Linda Covington. Windsor's historical novels are known for her distinctive voice and flair for incorporating history with romance and adventure, while her contemporary romantic comedies are guaranteed to warm the heart, lift the spirit, and tickle the funny bone. Windsor insists that nothing is more entertaining than life itself, be it past or present.

With a degree in education from her local university, one of the greatest rewards to the innate teacher in Linda was hearing from readers that her Irish Gleannmara series was approved for some middle school English book reports as well as being used in home-schooling. To Windsor, entertaining, or keeping the pages turning, while educating is as much as any historical novelist can ask for.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CFBA: Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Song Stuck on the Brain: Goin' Courtin' from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Short-Straw Bride
Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)
Karen Witemeyer


I have yet to read a Karen Witemeyer book that didn't crack me up right out loud. Maybe because I identify a little too well with her sweet but independent and sometimes downright headstrong females. They always follow their hearts with the best of intentions. Sometimes that leads them into trouble, but lucky for them it also leads to a big, strong, handsome man that may wan't to strangle them but rescues them instead.

*sigh* Why can't real life be more like fiction?

Short Straw Bride reminded me a lot of my favorite musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The tone and settings were a little reminiscent. The Archers and the Pontaby brothers could have given each other a few tips. :) But the book stands on it's own feet, just like Millie's stew. It was entertaining, romantic and very funny. It also had just the right tone to share a very important message about letting God take control and finding service in loving your neighbor.

Great book, highly recommended.


No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

if you would like to read the first chapter of Short-Straw Bride, go HERE.


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.

Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House.

CFBA: Love in Disguise by Carol Cox

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Love in Disguise
Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)
Carol Cox


Ellie Moore is quite the master of diguise. It's a shame she was never given a chance to shine on the boards. But life has a funny way of giving us both what we need and desire. Instead of applause and curtain calls, Ellie gets adventure, travel, two roles of a lifetime and a hunk - all because she was desperate for a job.

Hmm... my unemployment stint didn't work out that well, but it's just as well. I'd rather not be shot at, thank you very much!

It is a blast to live the adventure through Ellie and Steven's eyes. It was funny, sweet and exciting.

Plus, what a gorgeous cover!


When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.

Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love in Disguise, go HERE.

Native Arizonan Carol Cox has an abiding love for history, mystery, and romance. The author of more than 25 books, she believes in the power of story to convey spiritual truths. Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where deer and antelope really do play--within view of the family's front porch.

A word from Carol:

As a native of Arizona, I have a longtime interest in the Southwest and its history. My family shares my love of the Old West, as evidenced by this photo taken back in the halcyon days before my son turned to a life of crime and started robbing trains for a living...

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

CFBA: Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Try by Macy Gray

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Harvest of Rubies
River North; New Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
Tessa Afshar


I was blown away the first time I read a Tessa Afshar book. That book, Pearl in the Sand, raised the bar on Bible based fiction. It was gripping and I fell head over heals for her writing. As you can imagine, I was jumping up and down when I saw Harvest of Rubies offered for review.

I fell head over heals in love again. This time around, the Bible connection is limited as to Biblical historical figures, Nehemiah is present but it doesn't center around his life, instead it centers around his young cousin. As the title suggests, Tessa has used Proverbs 31 as her inspiration. It's masterfully done. Sarah doesn't see herself as worth more than Rubies, but as her story unfolds and she learns to trust the Lord to find her self worth and love, her  life changes. Her eyes are opened to see what others already can. The love story between Sarah and Darius appears disastrous at first, but the honesty and insight that goes into creating their journey was beautiful.

I never would have expected that Proverbs 31 could have taken on such an intimate and personal meaning to me, but it has. It's like the author pulled back the curtain and allowed us to see the real story behind the proverb. Beautiful. It's also the first in a series and I'm anxious to see where the author takes us from here. It's bound to be a fabulous journey.


Remarkable Talent Threatens to Cloud a Life

The prophet Nehemiah’s cousin can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on tablets of clay, and solve mysteries. Her accomplishments catapult her into the center of the Persian court – working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and becoming the queen’s favorite scribe.

Not bad for a woman living in a man’s world: so why does Sarah feel like a failure?

A devastating past has left Sarah with two conclusions: that God does not love her, and that her achievements are the measure of her worth – a measure she can never quite live up to.

Darius Pasargadae is accustomed to having his way. A wealthy and admired aristocrat, the last thing he expects is a wife who scorns him.

Can two such different people help one another overcome the idols that bind them?

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


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her 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 thirteen years in full-time Christian work.