Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring's Renewal by Shelley Shepherd Gray

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spring's Renewal


Avon Inspire (April 2010)

by
Shelley Shepherd Gray




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold twenty-six novels to numerous publishers. She has written a seven book contemporary series for Avalon books. She also published The Love Letter, a western for Avalon. Five Star Expressions published Suddenly, You in February of 2007. This novel is a historical western set in the mountains of Colorado.



Shelley has written nine novels for Harlequin American Romance. Cinderella Christmas, her first novel with them, reached number six on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. Her second book with them, Simple Gifts won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice award for best Harlequin American Romance of 2006. The Mommy Bride, was chosen by Romantic Times Magazine as one of their TOP PICKS for May, 2008.



Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for Harper Collins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. HIDDEN and WANTED the first two novels of her ‘Sisters of the Heart’ series, were chosen to be Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/ Literary Guild Book Club. FORGIVEN, book 3, has received glowing reviews. Avon Inspire will release four novels by Shelley in 2010.



Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two teenagers, and is an active member of her church.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Tim Graber arrives in Sugarcreek to help his aunt and uncle with spring planting. At first, Tim doesn't fit in with his many cousins and their crowded lifestyle. But when he meets Clara Slabaugh, the local school teacher, he understands why the Lord brought him to Sugarcreek.



Clara is shy and quiet. Scarred from a fire when she was small, Clara has resigned herself to living alone and caring for her mother, who tells her that no man will ever see past her scars, and that Clara needs to keep teaching in order to make ends meet.



Her father passed away years ago, and her mother depends on her. But the scars mean nothing to Tim. He appreciates her quiet nature and her wonderful, loving way with children. Yet Tim has a sweetheart back home in Indiana. As these two hearts struggle to determine their path, tragedy strikes, and every other worry seems insignificant in comparison.



Though they now face a life they never imagined, will Tim and Clara have the faith to step out and risk everything for a chance at true love?



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

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Anonymous Bride
Barbour Publishing, Inc. (April 1, 2010)


by
Vickie McDonough








ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Award-winning author Vickie McDonough believes God is the ultimate designer of romance. She loves writing stories where the characters find their true love and grow in their faith.



Vickie has had 18 books published. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently serving as ACFW treasurer. Vickie has also been a book reviewer for nine years.



She is a wife of thirty-five years, mother of four sons, and grandmother to a feisty four-year-old girl. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and traveling.





ABOUT THE BOOK



How many brides does one man need?


It's been years, but Luke Davis is back--older and wiser--and still alone. Returning as Lookout's new town marshal, Luke is determined to face the past and move on. He flippantly tells his cousin he'd get married if the right woman ever came along. But then he discovers that the woman who betrayed him is now a widow, and all his plans fall at his feet.



Rachel has carried her guilty shame for eleven years. Her marriage to James Hamilton was not what Luke or the town thought it to be. Now James is dead, and her long-time love for Luke is reignited with his return to town. So when three mail-order brides appear, she panics.



Could they possible find love a second time?



Rachel begs his forgiveness, but Luke finds he has none to give.



And then the brides arrive. Three of them--ordered for Luke through newspaper ads by his incorrigible cousins. The only place in town for them to stay is Rachel's boardinghouse. And none of the ladies is willing to let Luke go. When choosing a bride becomes a contest, the chaos that ensues is almost funny.



When the mayor forces Luke to pick a bride or lose his job, will Luke listen to his heart that still longs for Rachel or choose one of the mail-order brides?



Will Rachel find the courage to tell Luke that she loves him? Or take an anonymous part in the contest for his hand?



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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Blood Ransom
Zondervan (April 1, 2010)


by
Lisa Harris






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Award-winning author Lisa Harris has been writing both fiction and nonfiction since 2000 and has more than fifteen novels and novellas in print. She currently lives with her family in Mozambique, Africa, where they work as missionaries.



From Lisa:



Have you ever noticed how God often uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things? In writing Blood Ransom, I wanted my heroes and heroines to be ordinary people, faced with extraordinary circumstances. Chad and Natalie’s lives were changed not only through the challenges they faced, but also through their reliance on God. And when they set off on their journey to the capital to save Joseph’s family, they never imagined that God would call them to a task that was beyond the scope of their own power.



But while this story is fictional, the issue of a modern day slave trade is very real. It is estimated that there are currently more than 27 million slaves on the world today from Africa, to Eastern Europe … to the United States of America. The fact is, we don’t have to travel around the world to see people hurting and exploited. They’re real people we pass every day, living in our neighborhoods, and attending our churches and schools. They’re empty and broken, searching for freedom and hope in an often hopeless world.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.



Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade---and a high-ranking political figure involved in it---disaster nips at their heels.



Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?



Romance and adventure drive Blood Ransom, by Lisa Harris, a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.



If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Blood Ransom, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
This is another one of those books where you think it might be good, but it turns
out so great and you are forever changed for reading it. Some books stay with you in your memories and thoughts long after you have put them down and this is one of those.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Sword by Bryan M. Litfin

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Sword
Crossway Books (April 30, 2010)
by


Bryan M. Litfin






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.



After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.



In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.



On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limted to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.



This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.



Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).



ABOUT THE BOOK



This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"



Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.



With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.



Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!



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



My thoughts:
I honestly thought that this book would not appeal to me. BOY was I wrong!
Hooked from the start, I am enamoured with the whole pretence of the book. Great story and writing throughout. Can't wait for more.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sworn To Protect by DiAnn Mills

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Sworn To Protect
Tyndale House (April 2010)


by
DiAnn Mills






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.



DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.



Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.



DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.



She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.





ABOUT THE BOOK







Border Patrol Agent Danika Morales sends illegal immigrants back to Mexico; a job she's paid dearly for. Her husband, Toby, was murdered two years ago trying to help and his murder's never been solved. Now a string of attacks and arrests leads her to believe that someone from McAllen profits from sneaking undocumented immigrants into the country and somehow this illegal activity is tied to her husband, Toby's death.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Sworn To Protect, go HERE.



Watch the book trailer video:






My thoughts:
This one kept my heart thumping and I could not put it down.
It was emotionally charged and kept my mind alert and wanting
more. A great read.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Wildflowers of Terezin
Abingdon Press (April 2010)
by


Robert Elmer






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Robert Elmer is a former pastor, reporter and as copywriter who now writes from he home he shares with his wife Ronda in northern Idaho. He is the author of over fifty books, including eight contemporary novels for the adult Christian audience and several series for younger readers. Combined, his books have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Like his popular "Young Underground" youth series, Wildflowers of Terezin was inspired by stories Robert heard from his Denmark-born parents and family. When he's not sailing or enjoying the outdoors, Robert often travels the country speaking to school and writers groups.







ABOUT THE BOOK



When nurse Hanne Abrahamsen impulsively shields Steffen Petersen from a nosy Gestapo agent, she’s convinced the Lutheran pastor is involved in the Danish Underground. Nothing could be further from the truth.



But truth is hard to come by in the fall of 1943, when Copenhagen is placed under Martial Law and Denmark’s Jews—including Hanne—suddenly face deportation to the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia. Days darken and danger mounts. Steffen’s faith deepens as he takes greater risks to protect Hanne. But are either of them willing to pay the ultimate price for their love?



To read the first chapter of Wildflowers of Terezin, go HERE.








My Thoughts:
"Never judge a book by it's cover." That is what I have always been told, but this cover struck me and caught my eye. When I received it, I had to put aside all other books for a bit because I was so intrigued. What a story. So captivating and rich.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


She Walks in Beauty
Bethany House (April 2010)
by


Siri Mitchell






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.



But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.



Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.







ABOUT THE BOOK



For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor.



Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.



Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries.



When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.



If you would like to read the first chapter of She Walks in Beauty, go HERE.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Sixteen Brides


Bethany House (April 2010)


by


Stephanie Grace Whitson






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four home schooled children Nebraska history.



She was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.



Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends.



Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.



ABOUT THE BOOK



In 1872, sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community."



Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledgling community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them.



These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances--especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.



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

My Thoughts:
This book had me wrapped up in it right from the start.
I enjoyed it all the way through and was so SAD to have it end!
It had all the elements of a good read, but not a cheesy one:)
Love, friendship, hardship adventure and so on.
The characters were endearing and beautifully crafted. I found a little bit of each of them reminded me of some of the ladies in my life.
Great book!!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Recently I came home from the public library with a box full of books for the kids to read. They were so excited when they got home from school and saw all the books, you'd think I had given the, candy or some such thing:) It was great to see such enthusiasm over books! I love it.
Currently (yes at 6:30 AM while she eats breakfast) Emma is engrossed in a chapter book. I just heard her guffaw and it made me smile so wide. I love the fact that both kids 'get' jokes and can understand inferences in text. It amazes me what their little brains are capable of:)

Our lives are pretty fast paced these days (do they ever slow down).
We are selling our house and on the search for a new dwelling. We have family here this week for Easter and to help us put the final touches on the house before we pound in the for sale sign. Very exciting stuff. A little wrangy, but fun nonetheless:)

We are in April!
Three more months left of school.
This year has flown by and I am not exactly sure where it has gone.
The kids seem much older when I look at them and have conversations with them.
Although, some lady asked Oliver if he was in junior kindergarten last week, LOL.
He laughed about the whole thing. Phew! We told her "NO he's in grade one."

Yesterday we received our fixed van back after it had been at the shop for a few days from a bus incident. There is always something going on :)

Easter seems to have a good forecast and looks like it'll be beautiful here. So nice that we'll have family around!