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Showing posts from September, 2014

A Healing Heart

Title:  A Healing Heart (Quilts of Love Series) Author:  Angela Breidenbach Pages:  236 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Abingdon Mara Keegan is a 39-year-old widow of three years with three teenage children.  She is singlehandedly running every aspect of the business she and her husband started.  She is burned out, but made a promise to her husband on his death bed that she would continue the company and make it successful as that was their dream together.  She has a love of art and teaching, but that has fallen by the wayside these last years as she has spent hours upon hours working.  She feels she has missed so much of her children’s lives, but doesn’t know what to do about it.  She also has kept her distance from church and God as she thinks he took her husband away from her. Joel Ryan is a divorced businessman who hopes the Mara doesn’t remember him from a few years ago.  He had made an attempt to take over her business via a hostile takeover.  His attempt failed, and now he is here to …

An Unmarked Grave

Title:  An Unmarked Grave (A Bess Crawford Mystery #4) Author:  Charles Todd Pages:  262 Year:  2012 Publisher:  William Morrow This fourth book in the Bess Crawford mystery series has Bess still serving as a nurse in WWI.  It is now the spring of 1918, and the battle between the Germans and the British rages on with the wounded continually pouring in to the aid stations.  Bess also faces the Spanish Influenza epidemic that begins killing almost as many as the nearby guns.  With so many sick or dying, the pressure to help the wounded or sick mounts to astronomical proportions on to the backs of the surviving doctors and nurses.  An orderly approaches Bess and shows her that he has an extra body unaccounted for.  He shows Bess and she recognizes the dead body even though he is out of uniform and has no identification.  She also sees immediately that the man didn’t die of the flu or a war wound; he had been murdered.  This man as he is now is destined for an unmarked grave without any …

Captured by Love

Title:  Captured by Love Author:  Jody Hedlund Pages:  364 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bethany House Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from the author via www.bookfun.org This fictional historical story is set in 1814 on what we now call Mackinac Island during the British and Indian War.  Fur trading was at its height with the demand for animal pelts high in Europe, especially England.  Pierre Durant is a young fur trader who has followed in his father’s footsteps against his father’s wishes.  His father wanted Pierre to go to school in Detroit, but Pierre has longed to be in the wilderness and free.  His father was trying to protect Pierre from the lifestyle that accompanies the fur trade of drinking and carousing.  His father wanted him to learn from his mistakes and lead a Godly life.  Pierre leaves home without saying goodbye to anyone, including his young friend Angelique to be gone for five years never sending word of his whereabouts.  He retu…

All Things New

Title:  All Things New Author:  Lynn Austin Pages:  413 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Bethany House Josephine Weatherly has lost a lot to the Yankees.  Her father and brother were killed during the Civil War.  The Yankees invaded her home, forcing her and her mother and sister to flee to nearby relatives.  She lost her way of life.  Now the war is over.  Her mother, sister and her return home to find all their slaves gone with the exception of two and hardly anything remained in her home.  Her other brother survived the war physically, but is in deep depression when he returns home and unable to run the plantation.  Her mother longs for life to return to the way it was before the war and will do whatever she thinks she needs to do to accomplish this goal.  Josephine is tired of hearing the complaints about how life used to be and longs for everyone to stop fighting and accept the change and move on with their lives.  She has realized that the South’s views on slavery are wrong.  She comes …

Miranda Warning

Title:  Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains Novel #1) Author:  Heather Day Gilbert Pages:  364 Year:  2014 Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from the author via www.bookfun.org Wow!  I cannot wait until the author publishes her next novel, Trial by Twelve, because this novel was absolutely superb!  The way the author wove the tendrils of the novel together kept me glued to the book for hours.  Just when I would think I was coming close to solving this mystery, the author threw out another tidbit and just like that I was reading further to figure out the mystery again.  The story is more than a mystery as it has tense-filled moments, suspense, action, compassion and more! Tess is a young woman who had a rough childhood when she met Miranda who loved on her along with nurturing her like a mother.  When time passes and Miranda is in a fancy assisted care facility, Tess makes sure to vis…

Into the Canyon

Title:  Into the Canyon Author:  Michael Neale Pages:  304 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Canyon-River-Michael-Neale/dp/1401688500/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411285109&sr=1-1&keywords=into+the+canyon+neale As a very young man on an adventure with his father to a river, Gabriel develops a fear of water along with finding himself years later still coming to a place of acceptance that his father gave his life to save the life of two kayakers going over the falls.  Gabriel grew up away from water with his mother in Kansas, but finds himself back at the same river to conquer his fears as a young man. At various points in the story I came across different characters that helped Gabriel come to terms with losing his dad along with conquering his fear of water.  Through outside characters, Gabriel learns that in letting go of his fear, he gains confidence, wisdom and friendships.  What was most intriguing was how Gabriel learns t…
This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingHidden in the Stars Abingdon Press (September 16, 2014) byRobin Caroll

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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?

ABOUT THE BOOK

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak…

Hidden in the Stars

Title:  Hidden in the Stars Author: Robin Caroll Pages:  224 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Abingdon Press Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Stars-Quilts-Robin-Caroll/dp/1426773609/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410597458&sr=1-1&keywords=hidden+in+the+stars When I began reading the book, I felt as if I had been dropped right into the middle of a scene that reached out and grabbed my full attention.  Here is a fictional story about a young woman who dedicates her life towards a solitary goal, being on the Olympic gymnastics team.  However, when she wakes up, she hears a beeping noise and finds she cannot speak or move. Now for the detective to get her statement he brings in a professional lip reader who helps tell her experience of a horrible beating.  Julian Frazier is the one man who is deeply affected by this case he is assigned to solve with his partner.  The further he probes into what occurred, the more the walls around his heart come tumbling down.  Does Sophia, th…

Jupiter Winds is fantastic!

Title:  Jupiter Winds Author:  C. J. Darlington Pages:  300 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jupiter-Winds-C-J-Darlington/dp/0989162133/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409431244&sr=1-1&keywords=jupiter+winds I find out about authors and novels in many ways.  My introduction to C. J. Darlington was through Mountainview Books.  They offer books that are filled with wonderful tales that weave in the essence of a personal faith in God alone.  When I read the synopsis of Jupiter Winds, I was intensely drawn to the book.  As I began reading, I quickly lost track of time and never wanted to stop reading! The tale is about a family named Alexander whose faith grounded them and helped them discern the growing evil happening on planet earth.  The family had gotten separated by events outside their control that will thoroughly entertain the audience as they read about each family member’s adventure. The evil pervading earth is by a group n…

Introducing Author C. J. Darlington

Follow or connect the exciting writing of the author through:
http://www.pinterest.com/cjdarlington/
https://twitter.com/cjdarlington
https://www.facebook.com/cjdarlingtonbooks
http://www.cjdarlington.com/index.htm

1. How did you get inspired to write a novel from a genre so totally different from your first three books?

I have always loved a good speculative tale, and in recent years have especially enjoyed science fiction TV shows and movies. When it came time to write my fourth novel, I knew I wanted to do something fun and different. I've also enjoyed some of the popular YA dystopian books published recently, but I always find myself wishing for more hope in those stories. I knew if I wrote a book with dystopian leanings, I would have to weave in the hope I desperately wanted to read. I kind of threw a bunch of genres together, shook them up, and ended up with Jupiter Winds! It was a fresh step for me, and I hope it translates for readers. Because whether a story is set in the …

A Guest Review of C. J. Darlington's: Jupiter Winds

Title:  Jupiter Winds Author:  C.J. Darlington                                                                               Pages:  300 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Mountainview Books, LLC Two teenage sisters, Grey and Rin Alexander, have been on their own for five years since their parents’ apparent deaths.  The world they live in is controlled by a totalitarian regime that craves power over the part of Earth that is still free, over Mars, and now over Jupiter; however, there are some who have committed to fight to free the Jupiter settlements.  Grey has been targeted by the Mazdaar government to be used as a pawn to draw out her father—thought dead—from his hiding place.  The seventeen-year-old girl discovers her courage and fortitude under the merciless Mazdaar military leader’s sadistic treatment, and she finds the strength to endure as she is tortured and transported to a base on Jupiter in order to be “bait” to trap her father.  C.J. Darlington’s book is reminiscent of the scien…

Before Amen by Max Lucado

Title:  Before Amen (The Power of a Simple Prayer) Author:  Max Lucado Pages:  192 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Before-Amen-Power-Simple-Prayer/dp/0849948487/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409451133&sr=1-1&keywords=before+amen+max+lucado This is a book that reads quickly, which is good when one feels the pressure of much yet to accomplish.  The book Max Lucado writes and shares with us is filled with nuggets of wisdom learned and things he is still learning.  Many may look at the author as one who knows so much; yet, even Max would tell you he is still learning and that we all should be as well. At the end of the book is a study guide for those who want to learn more, perhaps develop their prayer life more or for use in a small group.  However you are led to utilize it remember Max is pointing you to the Savior.  The book is not a step-by-step instructional book on how to pray, but more like understanding the heart of communicat…

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days

Title:  What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days Author:  Kelly Gerth Pages:  256 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Revell Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Your-Heart-Needs-Hard/dp/0800722884/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409293343&sr=1-1&keywords=what+your+heart+needs+for+the+hard+days Sometimes our daily life seems hard, and at times the word “hard” doesn’t even begin to describe our reality does it?  Perhaps, when going through those days, you aren’t sure where to turn in your Bible for a word to help calm your heart, remind you that God is right there or even that tomorrow is a new day. Author Kelly Gerth shares 52 truths that are meant to encourage women either when life hits a rocky moment or the season goes on for days in which case the little book can be used as a devotional.  Each entry begins with a short story, followed by a prayer and a space for readers to write what they hear the Lord saying to them.  The author points to passages of Scripture to abide in and g…

A Table by the WIndow

Title:  A Table by the Window Author:  Hilary Manton Lodge Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  WaterBrook Press Juliette D’Alisa is a food writer for the local newspaper.  Her entire life has been steeped in food, cooking, restaurants and recipes.  Her parents own a restaurant and are of Italian and French cultures.  Her brother now wants Juliette’s help in opening a restaurant.  While going through her French grandmother’s things after her death, Juliette finds an old photograph, which leads her to begin asking questions.  What potential secrets will she uncover? She enters the world of online dating as well and meets Neil, an immunologist living in Tennessee.  The dialogue between the two was engaging and entertaining.  As the story progresses, Juliette thinks she must make a choice between her career and her heart.  Will the past help her in her decision? I’m not sure why this book has been marketed as a Christian book because there was very little reference to God, faith or anyon…

Lone Star heiress

Title:  Lone Star Heiress (Texas Grooms #4) Author:  Winnie Griggs Pages:  277 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Love Inspired In this fourth book in the series, the fourth groom, Mitch Parker, has his story told.  The story is still set in Turnabout, Texas, with Mitch having lived there about two years now.  Mitch has no intention of ever remarrying after the tragic death of his wife and unborn child.  He keeps people at a distance and prefers to spend his free time alone, sketching or reading.  He leads a quiet life and likes it that way.  He has kept God at a distance since the tragedy, and he has allowed guilt over his own actions for instigating the attack on him and his family to guide his relationships. Ivy Feagan is on her way to Turnabout to claim a heretofore unknown inheritance.  She travels alone dressed like a boy.  She injures herself and Mitch happens to be close by to take care of her.  Ivy is a talkative sort and very open about her relationship with God.  As the two spend mor…

Safe Haven

Title:  Safe Haven (The Peacemakers #3) Author:  Anna Schmidt Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Barbour Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Haven-Peacemakers-Anna-Schmidt/dp/1620291428/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409247854&sr=1-4&keywords=safe+haven Safe Haven has been the most enjoyable of all three stories in the Peacemakers Series, which also features All God’s Children as the first installment followed by Simple Faith.  While the others shared more of the Quaker faith during WW II in Germany mainly, this novel shows what FDR initiated before his death.  Fort Ontario held people who crossed the ocean from other nations that were ravaged by the war, with a limit of 1,000 people.  When the people landed, they had to sign an agreement that once the war was ended they would return to their respective places of residences overseas. Suzanne is journalist who had hit rock bottom in her career, but now was being offered a window back into the field of journalism if she…

The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead

Title:  The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead (A Professor and Mrs. Middleton Mystery #1) Author:  Diane Noble Pages:  400 Year:  2014 Publisher:  David C. Cook Oh, this book is fun to read!  Mrs. Elaine Littlefield or El is a mother, grandmother, caterer and sometime PI.  She wears sock monkey pajamas, dances country dances to classical music while baking cookies and drives bad enough to give her passengers white knuckles.  She has just landed the catering event of her career and its success will either make or break her catering company, The Butler Did It.  Her best friend since first grade, Hyacinth, helps her out part-time when she isn’t working her job at the local university’s library.  Hyacinth is the sister she never had and their friendship is very dear to El.  Therefore, when it is discovered that Hyacinth is missing, El just knows she has been kidnapped.  El is also dealing with a catastrophe of giant proportions concerning her once in a lifetime catering job.  This j…

A Table by the Window

Title:  A Table by the Window Author:  Hilary Manton Lodge Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  WaterBrook Press Juliette D’Alisa is a food writer for the local newspaper.  Her entire life has been steeped in food, cooking, restaurants and recipes.  Her parents own a restaurant and are of Italian and French cultures.  Her brother now wants Juliette’s help in opening a restaurant.  While going through her French grandmother’s things after her death, Juliette finds an old photograph, which leads her to begin asking questions.  What potential secrets will she uncover? She enters the world of online dating as well and meets Neil, an immunologist living in Tennessee.  The dialogue between the two was engaging and entertaining.  As the story progresses, Juliette thinks she must make a choice between her career and her heart.  Will the past help her in her decision? I’m not sure why this book has been marketed as a Christian book because there was very little reference to God, faith or anyon…

Tempest Course

Title:  Tempest’s Course (Quilts of Love Series) Author:  Lynette Sowell Pages:  207 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Abingdon Press Kelly Frost is trying to regroup after making the disastrous decision to enter into a relationship with Peyton Greaves at the Boston Fine Arts Museum.  She works as a textile restorer, bringing back to life old textiles using the original design and vintage materials if possible.  Her relationship with Peyton is over, but at a high cost.  It damaged her reputation on a personal as well as professional note.  She knows God has forgiven her, but still feels ashamed of what she has done.  She has arrived at Gray House to repair an old quilt for an unknown benefactor.  She needs the money and hopes once the job is done it will generate more business for her.  She meets the groundskeeper, Tom Pereira, who has been instructed by his boss to keep an eye on Kelly due to certain character issues. Tom Pereira is an ex-soldier who has been discharged from the military due …

Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz

Title:  Love’s Fortune (The Ballantyne Legacy #3) Author:  Laura Frantz Pages:  400 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Revell What a satisfying conclusion to a wonderful trilogy!  All the members of the Ballantyne family and their spouses or relations make an appearance in this final chapter of their lives.  The story is set mostly in Pittsburgh in 1850-1851. Wren Ballantyne is 24 years old and lives in the Kentucky woods with her father, who makes a living creating wooden instruments like violins and dulcimers.  She doesn’t wear shoes all spring or summer, doesn’t care how her clothes or hair look and is content with her life, with the exception of the death of her mother a couple of years ago.  She misses her something fierce and knows her father, Ansel, still grieves for her.  Ansel receives a letter asking him to return to Pittsburgh.  Wren accompanies him for the visit, but soon learns this trip might only be one way. Wren is thrust into society to have a season so she can do her duty to t…

A Bitter Truth

Title:  A Bitter Truth (A Bess Crawford Mystery #3) Author:  Charles Todd Pages:  340 Year:  2011 Publisher:  William Morrow Bess Crawford arrives home on Christmas leave from the Front to find a woman sitting out in the cold on the doorstep to her apartment.  The woman has obviously been struck by someone and lets out that she is running from her husband.  She knows no one in London and has no money.  Bess invites her in to warm up and have some tea.  Bess soon finds herself involved in another mystery.  She agrees to accompany the woman back to her country home, but only for a couple of days.  Well, that turns out to be several days, a murder and a missing man later. Bess receives her orders to return to duty shortly after Christmas with the murder unsolved.  She, however, has another mission of searching for an orphaned girl when she has free time from her nursing schedule.  After a few weeks, she is summoned back to England for the inquest of the murdered victim.  When she arrive…

The Confession by Robert Whitlow

Title:  The Confession Author:  Robert Whitlow Pages:  416 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Confession-Robert-Whitlow/dp/1401688861/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409157592&sr=1-1&keywords=the+confession+by+robert+whitlow Upon opening the book I read this quote, “Confession is a bridge everyone must cross.  This book is dedicated to the guides of grace who help us in the journey.”  How profound!  When I read it, I thought how truthful it is, and it piqued my interest.  The thrust of the story brings home to our hearts the need to both receive and to give forgiveness to others.  The author shows through the story’s characters how difficult it is to confess our sins when we would rather hide them and the challenges we face when extending forgiveness. Holton is a district attorney who carries a secret from his youth.  His life’s work has been to honor his friend who died; yet, it is more than that.  When Holt was 18, he was driving and…

Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Title:  Tried & True (Wild at heart Book #1) Author:  Mary Connealy Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bethany Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tried-True-Wild-at-Heart/dp/0764211781/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409599043&sr=1-1&keywords=tried+and+true+mary+connealy This is an extraordinary tale of three sisters who served in the civil war, cutting their hair short, wearing the uniform with no one the wiser that they weren’t men!  After the war, they go west to homestead new land.  Since they served time in the military they reduced the number of years before the land deed was in their own name until the land agent Aaron Masterson rode onto Kylie’s land one day and eventually discovered the family secret. While the three sisters Bailey, Shannon and Kylie dressed and acted as men, it doesn’t take an undistracted man mere seconds before realizing he was looking at women.  Their Pa, torn with grief over losing his only son and widowed to boot, had to find a way to b…

Evergreen by Susan May Warren

Title:  Evergreen (A Christiansen Winter Novella) Author:  Susan May Warren Pages:  208 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Tyndale Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Evergreen-Christiansen-Winter-Novella-Family/dp/1414394012/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410401599&sr=1-1&keywords=evergreen+by+susan+may+warren Each insightful tale allows readers to glean truths from the lessons the fictional Christiansen family is learning or has learned.  Here the audience gets a chance to read about the parents of the six adult children, John and Ingrid.  From the outside everything looks like their lives are rosy and wonderful; few know what pain lies hidden within the heart.  In fact, as I read the novella, it reminded me again that at times we aren’t even aware of the pain within our own hearts, no matter how many years later an issue might resurface though thought to have been dealt with and done. I love how the author doesn’t allow readers to think that Christian marriages are without pain, …

Thief of Glory

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingThief of Glory WaterBrook Press (August 19, 2014) bySigmund Brouwer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sigmund Brouwer is the best-selling author of nearly thirty novels, with close to 4 million books in print. Based on his inspiration for Thief of Glory, which Sigmund wrote as a way to learn and honor the his parent’s stories, especially of his father’s boyhood in a Japanese concentration camp, Sigmund leads The Chapters of Our Lives memoir seminars across the United States and Canada. Sigmund is married to recording artist Cindy Morgan and has two daughters.



ABOUT THE BOOK

A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.


For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father…