Monday, November 29, 2010

Emily of Deep Valley by Mitali Perkins

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Emily of Deep Valley
Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
by
Mitali Perkins






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A word from Mitali: Who In The World Is Mitali Perkins?



That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.



I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.



By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.



My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.



After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong female characters trying to bridge different cultures.



Mitali Perkins is the author of several books for young people, including SECRET KEEPER (Random House), MONSOON SUMMER (Random House), RICKSHAW GIRL (Charlesbridge), and the FIRST DAUGHTER books (Dutton).



ABOUT THE BOOK



Often cited as Maud Hart Lovelace’s (of Betsy-Tacy fame) best novel, Emily of Deep Valley is now back in print, with a new foreword by acclaimed young adult author Mitali Perkins and new archival material about the characters’ real lives.



Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can’t leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a “lost winter,” but soon decides to stop feeling sorry for herself. And with a new program of study, a growing interest in the Syrian community, and a handsome new teacher at the high school to fill her days, Emily gains more than she ever dreamed...



In addition to her beloved Betsy-Tacy books, Maud Hart Lovelace wrote three more stories set in the fictional town of Deep Valley: Winona’s Pony Cart, Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be delighted to find the Deep Valley books available again for the first time in many years.



If you would like to browse inside Emily of Deep Valley, go HERE.

My thoughts:
I have not enjoyed a book this year as much as I have enjoyed this one. This was by far the icing on the cake for me :)
Warmth and humanity all over it. I loved the Forward written by Mitali Perkins. What insight into her world!
I was so inspired by Emily (the main character) and encouraged.
We try to hard in our lives to 'Do the right things' and 'Not succumb to the world'
and this book really affirmed things for me. I was encouraged, revived, awakened.
Loved it.
A real keeper.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Divine Appointments by Charlene Baumauch

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Divine Appointments
WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (September 21, 2010)
by
Charlene Baumbich




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the previous three books in the Partonville series. A popular speaker, journalist, and author, for several years she has lectured to women’s groups and retreats. Baumbich is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Today’s Christian Woman, and numerous other publications. She is the author of six nonfiction books of humor and inspiration.



Charlene says: For over two decades of writing and speaking, my passionate pursuit to entertain and rejuvenate using humor (I love to laugh-especially at myself), uncommon wisdom, and passionate insights has been affirmed through countless calls, letters, and evaluation sheets. A reader recently e-mailed, "There is so much depression and sadness in this world. I applaud you for reminding all of us to treasure the moments in our lives, and for encouraging us to find joy in the little things. What you do helps so many to rise above the heaviness of life and live, and laugh, and face another day, so thanks!!!!" That is exactly why I keep doing what I do.



I am a firm believer in the power of story (short or book-length, funny or insightful, real or fiction, on stage or page) to accomplish my purpose, which is to remind you: Don't Miss Your Life! Whether you're tuning into me live or in print, fasten your seatbelt. I promise you a wild, fun, provocative, heart-warming ride.



ABOUT THE BOOK





Josie Brooks, at the age of 47, thought she was leading an enviable single life. A successful consultant, she calls her own shots, goes where the money is, and never needs to compromise. But her precisely managed world begins to falter during a Chicago contract when an economic downturn, a bleeding heart boss, and the loyalty and kindness between endangered employees ding her coat of armor.



Throw in hot flashes, a dose of loneliness, a peculiar longing for intimacy, an

unquenchable thirst—not to mention a mysterious snow globe with a serene landscape, complete with a flowing river and lush greenery that seems to be beckoning her in—and Josie’s buttoned-up life is on the verge of coming completely undone.



Maybe her solitary existence isn’t as fulfilling as she has convinced herself to believe. It will take a few new friends, a mystical encounter, and an unexpected journey to set Josie on her own path to “right-sizing” and making the life changes that really matter. Filled with laugh-out loud moments and a gentle dash of inspiration, Divine Appointments is another heartwarming charmer from a master storyteller.



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

My Thoughts:
There is nothing more refreshing than a hearty laugh and this gal surely knows how to bring it. She warms your heart with this book and yet fills your cup with laughter. This is what touched me more than any other thing. The laughter renews my spirit and makes me walk a lot lighter. I love someone with a good sense of humour and she truly has it. A good read here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Lightkeepers Bride by Colleen Coble



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lightkeeper's Bride
Thomas Nelson (October 19, 2010)
by
Colleen Coble




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Author Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.



A word from Colleen: God has been faithful, though the path has not been easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. God wouldn’t let me give up, and I like to think the struggle made me stronger. God has given me so much in my life, most importantly my great family, a loving church family at New Life Baptist Church, and my wonderful publishing family at Nelson Books.



ABOUT THE BOOK



A thrilling romantic mystery set in the lush Victorian age.



Central Operator Katie Russell's inquisitive ways have just uncovered her parents' plan for her marriage to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster. Her heart is unmoved, but she knows the match will bring her family status and respectability.



Then Katie overhears a phone conversation that makes her uneasy and asks authorities to investigate. But the caller is nowhere to be found. Mysterious connections arise between the caller and a ship lost at sea.



Against propriety, Katie questions the new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Then a smallpox epidemic forces their quarantine in his lighthouse. Though of low social status, Will's bravery and kindness remove Katie's suspicion and win her love. Katie and Will together work to solve the mystery of the missing girl and the lost ship as God gives the couple the desire of their hearts.



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

My Thoughts:
Romance, mystery...what more could a girl ask for?
This one really gets your mind and heart racing. I love it. A quick read at a
fast pace. The characters are beautifully crafted and drawn out, so much so that I still think of them now and again:)
Good story!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Silent Order
Summerside Press (November 1, 2010)
by
Melanie Dobson




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.



Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.



Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.



Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Rural America - 1928. After the murder of his partner, Detective Rollin Wells hides away in an Amish home near Sugarcreek, Ohio, to find out who in the police force is

collaborating with Cleveland’s notorious mob. While Rollin searches for answers to his partner’s death, he befriends an elusive young Amish woman named Katie and her young son. As Rollin learns about Katie’s past, he’s shocked at the secret Katie is hiding - a secret that has haunted Rollin for eight years.



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

My Thoughts:
I love Melanie Dobson :)
This is yet another terrific work of art by her.
The pages flew by as I was lost in the story. Wonderful!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Long Time Coming by Vanessa Miller

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Long Time Coming
Abingdon Press (November 1, 2010)
by
Vanessa Miller






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Vanessa Miller of Dayton, Ohio, is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her stage productions include: Get You Some Business, Don’t Turn Your Back on God, and Can’t You Hear Them Crying. Vanessa is currently in the process of turning the novels in the Rain Series into stage productions.



Vanessa has been writing since she was a young child. When she wasn’t writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels, reading great books consumed her free time. However, it wasn’t until she committed her life to the Lord in 1994 that she realized all gifts and anointing come from God. She then set out to write redemption stories that glorify God.



To date, Vanessa has completed the Rain and Storm Series. She is currently working on the Forsaken series, Second Chance at Love series and a single title, Long Time Coming. Vanessa believes that each book will touch readers across the country in a special way. It is, after all, her God-given destiny to write and produce plays and novels that bring deliverance to God’s people. These books have received rave reviews, winning Best Christian Fiction Awards and topping numerous Bestseller’s lists.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Two women from different worlds find hope together.



Faithful Christian Deidre Clark-Morris is a professional career-minded woman with a loving husband, but no children. Kenisha Smalls has lived in poverty all her life. She has three children by three different men and has just been diagnosed with inoperable cervical cancer.



While the meeting between these two women appears accidental, it becomes their catalyst of hope. Neither woman expects the blessing that God has in store for her. While Deidre will guide Kenisha on the path to eternal life with Jesus Christ, Kenisha will teach Deidre how to stand strong against the hard-knocks of life.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Long Time Coming, go HERE





Watch the book video:





My Thoughts:
I can not help but think of the song "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin while reviewing this book.
Touching. Emotional. Heartfelt.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Amy Inspired
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
by
Bethany Pierce




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



After completing a master's in Creative Writing and working as a visiting instructor at Miami University in Ohio, Bethany Pierce now lives with her husband in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a member of the McGuffey Art Center and continues to write. Her first book, Feeling for Bones, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2007.



ABOUT THE BOOK



With rejections piling up, she could use just a little inspiration...



Amy Gallagher is an aspiring writer who, after countless rejections, has settled for a career as an English professor in small-town Ohio just to pay the bills. All her dreams suddenly start to unravel as rejections pile up--both from publishers and her boyfriend.



But just as Amy fears her life is stuck in a holding pattern, she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. She struggles to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as staying true to her faith becomes unexpectedly complicated.



When secrets, tragedy, and poor decisions cause rifts in Amy's relationships, she must come to terms with who she's become, her unrealized aspirations for her life, and the state of her faith. Can she dare to hope that she will find love and fulfillment despite it all?



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

My Thoughts:
I read this and SO understood "Amy". From the first sentence in the prologue I KNEW it would be a book I could not put down. My hopes were lifted up as a child "Be anything you want!" I was told...and then reality sinks in. A nice change from the old fashioned genre that I have been reading of late. This one really spoke to my heart.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hatteras Girl by Alice Wisler

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hatteras Girl
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
by
Alice Wisler




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Alice J. Wisler is an author, public speaker, advocate, and fundraiser. She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and has traveled the country in jobs that minister to people. Alice was raised in Japan and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina.



Facts about Alice

* Born in Osaka, Japan and lived in Japan for 18 years

* Went to Kyoto International School and Canadian Academy

* Majored in Social Work and graduated in 1983 from Eastern Mennonite University

* Worked at a group home for disadvantaged kids outside of Philadelphia

* Taught English and Culture Orientation at a refugee camp in the Philippines

* Taught English as a Second Language in Japan

* Speaks and teaches on Writing the Heartache

* Has three kids on earth, and one in Heaven

* Recently got married to Carl on 2/7/09



ABOUT THE BOOK



There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.



There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag.



When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?



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

My Thoughts:
My first impression was "If I can hang on through this awkward painful first date, then the rest of the book is going to be amazing." And sure enough, it was! Alice Wisler delivered. She painted the worst date scene in the opening of her book and I figured that if she could illustrate that so well with her words, the rest would all fall into place. Beautifully written! What stuck out was how we gauge our successes by monetary gain and Alice Wisler brought to the surface "I wonder how God marks our success?".
So very interesting. That really stuck in my brain throughout the book.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Grace by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Grace
Avon Inspire; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
by
Shelley Shepard Gray






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:







Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.







ABOUT THE BOOK

It's Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed & Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holiday.



Anna and Henry will be celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, and for Katie and Jonathan Lundy, it's their first Christmas with baby Stefan. Winnie and Samuel Miller plan to stop by as well for a wonderful two weeks of family and rest.



But when two unexpected visitors show up, hoping to stay for Christmas, the family must test their commitment to hospitality. Levi is a widower who lost his wife four years ago and can't bear the thought of another Christmas alone. And Melody is a young pregnant woman who won't open up about how she ended up on her own at Christmas at almost nine months pregnant.



Anna, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets, doesn't trust her, and strives to find out the truth about these two strangers who have disrupted their holiday. But as the Christmas spirit descends on them all, as well as snow that traps them in the inn, a healing and hopefulness takes over, allowing new relationships to be built, and the boundaries of family to be extended.



If you'd like to read the first chapter of Grace, go HERE.



My Thoughts:
As always Shelley Shepard Gray swept my away in the first few pages.
Tear flowed throughout the story. (As I am pretty sure is the case with all her books) She has a true GIFT with words.
I love this new book Grace. It stirred my heart and soul to thinking "His Grace is Enough." That phrase kept repeating itself to me over and over while I read.
No matter what circumstance, His Grace is enough.
Perfectly written.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Head in the Clouds
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
by
Karen Witemeyer






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



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



After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid-to-late 1800s.



Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House. When she visited her publisher back in January of 2010, she was interviewed by the staff. If you'd like a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how she develops her story ideas and a description of her bumpy journey to publication, go to her website to listen to a podcast of that interview.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.



When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.



When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?



If you would like to read the first chapter of Head in the Clouds, go HERE.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Outlive Your Life You Were Made to Make a Difference By Max Lucado Published by Thomas Nelson

Reviewer's Guide

Facebook.com/upwordsministry Twitter.com/maxlucado Twitter.com/lucadoteam Community.maxlucado.com
Book Description

These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God's love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let's live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did. (Please note: International Bloggers will receive International Edition.)


My Thoughts:
At first I thought this would be one of those dreadfully painful books that brings everyone down. One that is full of despair and hopelessness. I am not really sure why I had that impression, but I did. I guess I figured if it was a non-fiction
book telling me how to live my life in a better way then it would not be an easy process. Any kind of change or growth is painful-right?
Well, in this case-wrong.
This book is so uplifting and inspiring. I was immediately burning with the urge to help someone, do something, anything but stay still.
Even the smallest things are SO significant. That spoke volumes to me. Often times we think that we have to do things on such a grand scale, but sometimes it's the tiniest gesture that makes the greatest impact.




*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Preacher's Bride
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
by
Jody Hedlund






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Jody has written novels for the last 16 years (with a hiatus when her children were young. In May of 2009 she double-finaled in the Genesis contest, a national fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW.Shortly after the final, Jody acquired an agent, Rachelle Gardner of Word Serve Literary. Her agent spent the summer of 2009 working on selling her books. In September of that year, Jody signed a three-book deal with Bethany House Publishers. Jody’s debut novel, The Preacher’s Bride, releases in Oct. 2010. Her next book will release in 2011 and a third in 2012.







ABOUT THE BOOK



In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher--whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child--and man--she's come to love.



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