Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter & a Blessed Ressurection Day!

For me, music plays such a large part of worship. It fills my soul and washes through my veins and makes me feel so alive. The right music carries the Spirit of God with it and such joy or emotion that I often have tears. These are a few of my favorite Easter songs. I wanted to share the worship experience with you. Enjoy.

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. - Psalms 62:7 (Inspired Version)


Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.- Habakkuk 3:18 (Inspired Version)


Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord, JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.- 2 Nephi 9:133 (1908 RLDS Book of Mormon)


Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.- John 14:6 (Inspired Version)
Behold I say unto you, that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal; and this because of your faith in him according to the promise; - Moroni 7:47 (1908 RLDS Book of Mormon)
Happy Easter and a Blessed Ressurection Day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

CFBA: Scorned Justice by Margaret Daley

Song Stuck on the Brain: You Are by Colton Dixon

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Scorned Justice
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
Margaret Daley


Margaret Daley is back with her third installment in the super-charged Men of the Texas Rangers series. In fact, super-charged just barely does this justice. The suspense, action, danger and mystery is bigger than the state of Texas. Cattle rustling doesn't seem all that life threatening, but stir in organized crime and a family looking for revenge and the story becomes much more graphic.

And I do mean graphic. Not in a gratuitous way, but these crimes are real and they're presented as real without the sugar coating often used to soften the edges for readers. It's true to life with just enough of a peek inside to really see the evil that's driving these events. Which, of course, drove me up the wall wondering, "Who did this?!?"

That answer shocked me to my toes. I didn't see it coming. At all. Not even a little bit. Yet once the truth is known, it all makes sense. This is the kind of suspense and story telling that keeps me coming back for more from Margaret Daley. The romance is great, I wouldn't want the story without it, it makes the grittiness all worth while. But the adrenaline rush that runs along side it on every page - that's what makes it super-charged.


Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun is with his parents in west Texas when an unexpected attack injures the brother of Rebecca Morgan, Brody's high school sweetheart. The local sheriff, a good friend, asks for Brody's help. At first, it seems like an open-and-shut case. However, as Brody digs deeper, he realizes the attack may be related to an organized crime trial Rebecca will be overseeing. With Rebecca's help, he compiles evidence which involves cattle rustlers, bribery, and dirty payoffs that shatter the entire community and put Rebecca directly in the line of fire.

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

To see my review for Shattered Silence, book 2 in the series, click HERE.

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold eighty-three books to date.

Margaret was the president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of Christia writers with over 2300 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community as well as serving on her church’s vestry.

On a more personal note, she has been married for over forty years to Mike and has one son and four granddaughters. She treasures her time with her family and friends.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CFBA: The Survivor by DiAnn Mills

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
The Survivor
Zondervan (March 5, 2013)
DiAnn Mills


Kariss and Tigo are back with another cold case and this one is even more nail biting than the first. Kariss should have learned her lesson when she nearly died researching her last book with the FBI, but that drive to that pushes her to find the truth just can't be ignored. Much to Tigo's frustration. Not that he should complain too much when he has so much of the same drive reflected in himself. But, as Tigo would say, he was trained to handle this...

DiAnn Mills has done a fantastic job once again of bringing a real cold case to life and fictionalizing it just as Kariss does in The Survivor. The story is gritty, hold-your-breath suspense. (The fact that one of my best friends is named Amy Garrett made it all the more unsettling.) Just when you think you might know how these cases tie together, you're thrown for another loop. Perfect. Just the way it should be.

For those who read the first book, The Chase, you will remember that Tigo and Kariss's relationship was left on a rocky note. Be prepared to ride a rollercoaster of emotion with them as they find their path together - or will it be apart? That will depend on Tigo and his relationship with God. There is a great scene here, but I don't want to give anything away, so you'll just have to read it for yourself. :)

I don't think I could praise this book strongly enough, in fact I may have enjoyed it even more than The Chase and that one had me sold hands down.

You can read my review of The Chase HERE.


Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into a viper's pit of danger. Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss's new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold-case?

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


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

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

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

Monday, March 18, 2013

CFBA: Catherine's Pursuit by Lena Nelson Dooley

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Catherine's Pursuit
Realms (February 5, 2013)
Lena Nelson Dooley


Once again I'm bringing you the 3rd book in a series, but trust me on this one, it's worth it. Ms. Dooley's work is always good and this was no exception.

I've always been intrigued by stories about multiples, I always wanted to be a twin or triplet. So the McKenna's Daughters series following triplets born on the trail west caught my attention right away. The girls are all grown up and each are discovering their origins and who they are as a person.

Catherine is the oldest of the triplets but the last in the series. She grew up with her biological father who never remarried. She's always been lonely and a little spoiled. When she discovers on her 18th birthday that she has 2 sisters out in the world and her father has promised to never try to find them, she takes her ladies maid and runs away to find them on her own.

Her father sends Collin, a young Captain from one of his ships to be her protector. Collin is having his own issues with faith and feelings of worth. His ship sank and he feels responsible, despite everyone else's claims otherwise. He and Catherine are like oil and water in the beginning, they just don't mix. God has things to teach them through all of this adventure. Lessons on love and acceptance and forgiveness and grace.

It was a great story, well told with humor and fantastic little details that bring history to life. Although Catherine's story stood up well as an independent novel, you'll thank yourself for reading the other sisters stories first.


When Angus McKenna was forced to give two of his daughters to families in the wagon train, he promised he'd never try to contact them. Catherine made no such pledge. But when she sets out to find her sisters, she doesn't go alone. Angus sends Collin with her. Will they discover the two women---and love?

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

Be sure to check out the first two books in the series:

Maggie's Journey (McKenna's Daughters 1)

A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her. Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn't fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.

When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?

Mary's Blessing (McKenna's Daughters 2)

When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary Lenora Caine knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.

As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.

Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?


Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s also a member of Christian Authors Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with fifteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CFBA: Memory of a Murder by Ramona Richards

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Memory of Murder
Love-Inspired Suspense
Ramona Richards


If I had memories like this, I'm not sure I'd ever sleep at night again! Lindsey Presley is the youngest of three sisters, all who grew up in a home with a very abusive father. The 2 older sisters stories were told in the first 2 books in the series, but thankfully I wasn't lost while reading Lindsey's story, despite missing out on the others.

Lindsey is one tough cookie (although anything she bakes is delicious). The first page starts off with a bang as she's abducted in front of friend and Deputy Jeff Gage outside her restaurant. It never slows down. The first action sequence that follows all the way through the incident in the car had me practically biting my nails.

With her past memories of abuse haunting her, she's built up some pretty solid walls around her heart. She doesn't realize she's also built up a wall around a memory from her childhood. A memory that is going to get her killed. Her family is supportive, but the one she finds herself really depending on is Jeff. For Lindsey, it seems, opening her heart is going to be just as scary. 

Great read, really intense and I enjoyed the characters' personal interactions. The romantic angle was nicely balanced with the suspense and the faith element. I'd pick up another Ramona Richards book in a heartbeat.


Lindsey Presley certainly can't imagine why anyone would want her dead-though she knows she wouldn't be alive today if not for the local cop who saved her from two murder attempts. Deputy Jeff Gage has worked difficult cases, but with only Lindsey's fractured memories of a broken past to guide him, this is by far his most challenging.

For Lindsey, fleeing the town she has come to call home is unthinkable. Separately, they are vulnerable, but together, Jeff and Lindsey just may stand a chance of catching a ruthless killer.

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

Watch the book video trailer:


A word from Ramona:

The hardest biographical sketch to write is always your own, whether or not you’re a writer by profession. You can’t decide what to throw in, what to leave out, and whether or not you should list strengths and flaws, or just strengths.

I like writing and telling stories so much that I once tried to live out a few. After getting a master’s in English, I went on to be the seneschale of my local Society for Creative Anachronism. I had a rocky start, but I did get better. (Robin Hood, eat your heart out.)

People often ask members of the SCA, “Are you in a play?” so I thought it would be fun to do that, too. For seven years, I produced and performed in shows staged by Nashville’s Circle Players.

Although I’m single now, I married in 1982 and in 1987 had Rachel. She’s a cutie. Severely disabled, she’s the heroine of many an article for Special Ed Today magazine. Rachel's nurse, Phyllis, is the real life heroine of “An Act of Desperation,” which I sold to Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul.

I’m not really a complex person, and my dreams are fairly straightforward: sell books, have enough money to pay the bills and travel a bit, and settle into a cottage. In early 2006, I bought the cottage, which is now more or less swamped by books and DVDs. I write at night (I’m a lifelong night owl), and I occasionally escape by scuba diving, hiking, dancing, and going to movies and bookstores.

I’ve gone to the same church since 1993, and I even sing in the choir. It’s a small but awesome church. I’m no angel, although occasionally I play one in the backyard.

I like staying busy. Life is too short not to follow your dreams.

Monday, March 11, 2013

CFBA: Swept Away by Mary Connealy

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Swept Away
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2013)
Mary Connealy


Yippee Yi YAY! Mary Connealy has a new series out. Swept Away is the first book in the Trouble in Texas series. This time around, we're following Luke Stone. You may briefly remember Luke from Over the Edge (The Kincaid Brides Book #3). Seth Kincaid married Luke's sister Callie. Luke checks in on her at the end to be sure that Seth has done right by his sister. Calling it a spin off series would be stretch in my opinion. Callie and Seth Kincaid are only mentioned in passing. However, it does give us a chance to see what happened to Callie and Luke as children.

Luke has plans for revenge and justice for his father, but he's too good of a man to leave Ruthy alone with no one to protect her. Keeping her with him could put her in just as much danger, but what choice does he have? He calls in his buddies from the war and together they make a plan. None of them suspect that Ruthy could be the key to all of it's success.

One of the things I really appreciate about Mary's characters, is that the women are strong willed and a little smart mouthed, but they aren't rude or emasculating. The men are strong alpha males with soft hearts that admire the fire in their women and don't live to crush it. I don't know how true to the period some of these relationships would be, but I'd like to think they were more real and plentiful than many historical stories would like to portray.

Like any good couple that's born of Mary's creative mind, stubborn meets stubborner and falls head over heels in love. It's fun. Ruthy's not her sassiest of heroine's but she's just as stubborn and hard working as Luke. They were certainly made for one another. To top it all off, it's down right laugh out loud funny. As always. Looking forward to reading the next tale in the Trouble in Texas series.


When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there's going to be trouble in Texas!

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won't let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can't just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she's going to have to go with him.

But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?

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


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.

Friday, March 08, 2013

CFBA: Strand of Deception by Robin Caroll

Song stuck on the brain: Kentucky Rain by Elvis. After reading this one, it's hard NOT to have an Elvis song stuck on the brain. :)

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Strands of Deception
B&H Books (March 1, 2013)
Robin Caroll


I love a good mystery/suspense. Throw in some romance, a hot man with high morals - well you have a winner. That sounds so formulaic though, and Strands of Deception is anything but formulaic. At least, not where it matters. There is more than one murder victim, a possible serial killer and a case from the past that's come back to haunt them. If that wasn't enough, politics and jealousy gets in the middle to muck things up even more. I was a little surprised how cleverly all of it ties together when on the surface it's not an easy fix. Of course that's what makes the book more fun and shows the marks of a great story teller.

I won't go into too much more on mystery portion other than to say the science angle was fantastic and fun. Very enlightening but not hard to follow. I'm impressed with the amount of research that Robin Caroll did and then was able to share it in such clear layman's terms for the reader without talking down to us either. If you enjoy those CSI type shows, this will definitely give you a kick.

The romance angle was prominent, but not overwhelming and the pace was slow and believable to their circumstances. Nick and Maddie make a very romantic couple and based on the descriptions, I'm with Maddie. I think Nick would make me "go stupid" when I was around him too.

Last but not least, it was set in Memphis, TN, one of my favorite places in the US. It has to be the FRIENDLIEST town I've ever been in and you just can't beat the music and food. Reading about B.B. King's on Beal St and other landmarks just made me long to be there again. The Elvis quotes were a fun touch too, many of them I'd never read.

This was just a really well put together story. Fast paced, exciting, romantic, nail biting and I just couldn't put it down. I was up half the night reading. Loved it.
NOTE: This is the 3rd book in a series. The first 2 books featured Maddie's brother and sister. I didn't feel lost, or like I was missing anything, but I always prefer to read a series in order if I know about it in advance. I'm sure the first 2 are just as compelling.


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

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

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

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


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

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

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

CFBA: Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Icecutter’s Daughter
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2013)
Tracie Peterson

It's true, you can't go wrong reading a Tracie Peterson novel. She's always a home run, slam dunk or whatever phrase you choose. She's just that good.

Icecutter's Daughter is the first in a new series set in the Minnesota area near the turn of the century. Although their lives seem so different from ours (we don't have to cut ice from a lake to refrigerator our perishables), in many ways it's not. A modern day tale set in the past, or maybe it's just human nature and a tale as old as time. Merrill and Rurik face some very serious set backs in their lives, but their faith and determination is compelling. Every good romance requires a few heart stopping road blocks to overcome before true love conquers, and this one has it all. It was a great read, I couldn't put it down. I'm looking forward to the next book.


As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?

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


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.
She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

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

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

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

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