Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CFBA: Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Rival Hearts
Abingdon Press (June 17, 2014)
Tara Randel


The book blurb had me hooked long before it ever arrived in the mail. I don't care if it does sound like a predictable chick-flick plot. I LIKE chick-flicks. Especially really good ones. Plot concept is as brilliant and fun as the writer that uses it. In this case, Tara Randel did a great job! Molly and Ben's competitive natures get them both into places they wish they'd thought about twice, but they keep going. Their determination to keep love at bay and avoid what they have between them gets them into a few sticky places too. Working for one another is easy compared to falling in love.

Rival Hearts is a great read, weaving fun and romance with heart and faith.


Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.

Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

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


Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. After finding Romantic Times magazine in a bookstore many years ago, she found information about writing organizations. Soon after, she joined Romance Writers of America. She located the local RWA chapter and immediately attended her first meeting. There was no stopping her after that!

Through Tampa Area Romance Authors, Tara learned all about the business of publishing, starting with the craft of writing to behind the scenes of publishing. She served as contest coordinator for four years and served as President for one year, enjoying the organization and the lasting friendships made there.

When not writing, Tara owns a business with her husband and stays busy with her two daughters. She lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2014

CFBA: Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Yankee in Atlanta
River North(June 1, 2014)
Jocelyn Green


As much as I was looking forward to this book, it never arrived. *pout* The publishers must have had something come up to delay the delivery. I'm sorry, I know this is two in a row, but we all know there is no controlling the mail delivery. If the book ever arrives, I will post a review. In the mean while, please enjoy a peek at the book to come.


When soldier Caitlin McKae woke up in Atlanta after being wounded in battle, the Georgian doctor who treated her believed Caitlin's only secret was that she had been fighting for the Confederacy disguised as a man. In order to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta. Trained as a teacher, she accepts a job as a governess to the daughter of Noah Becker, a German immigrant lawyer, who is about to enlist with the Rebel army. Then in the spring of 1864, Sherman's troops edge closer to Atlanta. Caitlin tries to escape north with the girl, but is arrested on charges of being a spy. Will honor dictate that Caitlin follow the rules, or love demand that she break them?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Yankee in Atlanta, go HERE.


Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.

Friday, June 13, 2014

CFBA: The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart by Allie Pleiter

Song Stuck on the Brain: My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart
Love Inspired (June 3, 2014)
Allie Pleiter


Unfortunately, the books were sent out late and I just received my copy in the mail. I'll post a review as soon as possible. Although let me say, I've been looking forward to this one.


When Katrine Brinkerhoff's cabin is attacked, only sheriff Clint Thornton's heroism saves her. She owes Clint her life—and her help catching the men responsible. All she has to do is trust in Clint's plan to protect her family. But she can't let herself care too deeply, not when her past carries secrets that would drive him away.

Infiltrating the murderous gang is a dirty job, yet Clint is determined to see it through. The brigands will face justice—and they will never harm Katrine again. Clint would give his life to keep the beautiful settler safe…but will he be willing to risk his heart?

Bridegroom Brothers: True love awaits three siblings in the Oklahoma Land Rush

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart, go HERE.


Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Undetected by Dee Henderson

Song Stuck on the Brain:  I'm Not Who I Was by Brandon Heath
 Dee Henderson has a new book! YAY! *squeal*

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system (maybe), let's talk. Undetected is the sequel to Unspoken - Commander Mark Bishop is the brother of Bryce Bishop. I always prefer to read books in order, but this could be read independently. Although, why would you want to miss a Dee Henderson novel?

I'm always amazed at how well Dee is able to get into the unique inner parts of a person/character. Even when the character is nothing like me, somehow I still identify with them in some personal way because she's revealed a very spiritual and human side of their nature. That is a gift. Couple that with her talent to tell a story and teach but not preach - well - wow.

In Undetected, Gina Gray is a brilliant woman. I'm talking genius level. That is not me, I may be intelligent, but not genius. But I think I connected with Gina more than any other character so far. I understood her insecurities and fears. I think most people will in some way. What I really connected with though, was her view of creation and nature. Her way of seeing everything with such wonder and curiosity matches my own outlook so much, that I was excited to see it reflected in someone else to the extreme that I sensed it in Gina.

Mark is the perfect guy in the sense that he's a perfect fit for Gina. He's a protector and that's attractive. He's also strong, loyal, and a man of faith. Even more attractive.

As a side note, I noticed in the reviews from others on-line after reading the first book, Unspoken, that many readers were complaining that these new books didn't have the same suspense as her earlier books. Some even made snide comments about false advertising or having lost her touch. Shame on them! She's most certainly not lost her talent. There is a different feel to these new novels. I would say they should be classified more as Christian Romance/General Fiction. Sure there is a suspense background to the story line, but the focus has shifted to the characters and their relationships. To the lives they live and what makes them who they are. The publisher needs to make that more clear in their marketing (author not at fault).  It may be different in tone from her early novels but in no way are they less worthy!

The research is just as detailed and fascinating as well. I will never have a chance to be on a submarine, but after reading Undetected, I feel like I've been there and seen it in technicolor. I enjoy the details, learning new things and delving into characters lives and relationships. Tension and suspense is great, but not mandatory. All writers grow and their writing grows and changes with them.

So be prepared, this may not be the intense suspense you remember from the O'Malley series, but it's still a fantastic read that's hard to put down.

Great job, Dee! Looking forward to your next work.
When asked what he does for a living Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: "I'm in the Navy." But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping her crew trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around the Pacific Rim, the Navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She's a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. A breakup she didn't see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best--ocean science research. She's on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop's perspective and help. Because what she told the Navy she's figured out is only the beginning. If she's right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter....
Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online. Visit her at

Friday, June 06, 2014

CFBA: A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

Song Stuck on the Brain: Everything's Okay by Chris Rice

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
A Place in His Heart
Revell (June 3, 2014)
Rebecca DeMarino


Being a bit of a genealogy buff myself (check out the tabs across the top), I'm always intrigued by other people's family history. Rebecca DeMarino has done a fantastic job of not only tracking her family legacy back to the founding fathers of the USA (literally), but she's also woven that history, along with a few family legends, into a beautiful tapestry that shows a much bigger picture than the history books reveal.

Mary Langton marries for love, but that love requires a great deal of her. This isn't a modern day journey where you can pick up a phone and check in with the family, or hop a plane and visit the old country when you're especially homesick. Mary follows Barnabas to a New WORLD. That's a very good term for it - with a journey that kills many before they arrive, and takes many more before sturdy shelters can be built, it's nothing like home. But it's not just about being physically strong. Mary and the other women were strong in ways it's hard to imagine. In a time when you had no rights of your own and were expected to be seen and worked hard - but not heard, life was even harder.

I have a great deal of respect for both Barnabas and Mary and their families, I don't know that I could have done it. Then again, I'm sure many of them felt the same, yet they clung to their faith and the knowledge God had called them there for a purpose. It puts a whole new outlook for me on the idea "with God, all things are possible."

This novel was gripping and had me hooked til the very last, that's for "certe's"! If you enjoy historical romance, this is not to be missed.


Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino's own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life--and a legacy--in the New World.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Place in His Heart, go HERE.

Rebecca is hosting a Giveaway worth over $300.00 in prizes. There will be 8 winners! Scroll to the bottom of the post HERE to enter!!!!!


Rebecca DeMarino was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of a Navy pilot. Her mother made a home for the family of six all over the map, including Virginia, Nevada, California, Washington, and Guam, before her parents put down anchor on a ranch in Oregon.

As the wife of a young Air Force officer, married life brought more travel. She relied on her mother’s example of how to make a home anywhere. Her three beautiful daughters were born in Florida, Alaska and Nebraska.

Retired after sixteen years with a major airline, she manages to fulfill her love of wanderlust with frequent family or research trips.

Rebecca grew up listening to her mother’s family lore of a great-grandfather from generations ago. Barnabas Horton sailed from England in the 1600’s, to Long Island, N.Y., on a ship called The Swallow. In 1999, after she found Horton Point, L.I., on a map, Rebecca and her mother made the journey to see the lighthouse named after their ancestor.

The legend goes that Barnabas brought a slab of blue slate with him from England, and had the epitaph he wrote himself engraved on it. The blue slate still exists in the Old Cemetery in Southold, L.I., with the Bible verse, “He being dead, still speaketh.” Much information was found about Barnabas, but none of his wife, save a mention in his will.

Her mother passed away in 2005, but Rebecca returned to Southold many times, drawn by her Puritan roots and English heritage. Each time she wondered about her ninth great-grandmother, a young woman who married a widower with two young boys and then followed them for the wilds of Long Island, leaving behind her home and family. What were her dreams? Her motivations? Her fears?

Rebecca’s historical romance novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART, debuts with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing House, in June of 2014.