Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Wild Goose Chase Christmas by Jennifer Allee(Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas
Abingdon Press (November 2012)
by
Jennifer AlLee


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from Jennifer:

As I look back on my life, it's interesting to see where God's taken me, and where I took myself that God pulled me out of. I finally got back to writing, the dream of my heart. Since 1996, I've published numerous short stories, devotions and plays. I've also been active in church drama ministries, another passion of mine. My first novel, The Love of His Brother (November 2007, Five Star Publishers), was followed by The Pastor's Wife (February 2010, Abingdon Press) and The Mother Road (April 2012). A Wild Goose Chase Christmas is book two in the new Quilts of Love series.

Besides being a writer, I am a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, my family has learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets here without severely impacting our waistlines. God is good!



ABOUT THE BOOK

Upon her grandmother's death, Izzy Fontaine finds herself in possession of a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt that supposedly leads to a great treasure.

Of course, once the rest of the family finds out about the "treasure map," they're determined to have a go at the treasure themselves. And, if that weren't enough, Max Logan, a local museum curator, contacts Izzy and says that Grandma Isabella promised him the quilt.

What is it about this quilt that makes everyone want it? Is Izzy on a wild goose chase of her own, or a journey that will lead her to the treasure her grandmother intended?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Wild Goose Chase Christmas, go HERE.

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading this Christmas book. The characters and plot were interesting and held my attention. It was the perfect book to start the Christmas season. It can be read anytime of year but Christmas is the major holiday in it. I liked the chemistry that developed between Izzy and Max. Her grandma had some ideas before she died that she wanted to see happen that her family did not know about. This was an exciting book that moved fast. I couldn't wait to turn the pages and found out what happened next. Recommended. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shattered Silence
Abingdon Press (September 2012)
by
Margaret Daley


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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 is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of 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.



ABOUT THE BOOK

A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders.

While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn't what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana's faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shattered Silence, go HERE.


My Review:
I enjoyed reading this Christian mystery/suspense book. It is my favorite genre. I read it in one night. The main plot revolves around Cody and Liliana who are in law enforcement. They are trying to solve the case of who is killing people in the little Texas town. This is the second book in a series but stands alone fine. The subplot involves their families. Cody just moved there with his teenage son whose Mom just died. His parents had been divorced for ten years so this is Cody's first time at full time parenting. Liliana has a close family with a history. Her father was abusive until he died. She suspects her sister of being abused too. So that is woven in with the violence without being too much. The plot and characters are interesting and well developed. Recommended. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2012 Wrap Up Post


This was my first time to participate in this reading weekend and I loved it. I finished two books and read two more. That is more than I have read in one week in a long time. It helped I was off all last week. lol I finished reading The Exceptions by David Cristofano which was good and The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell which was also good. I read Saving Hope and Shattered Silence both by Margaret Daley. It is a good new series, my review is coming tomorrow. If possible I do want to participate in this again next year. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2012 Intro Post


Thankfully Reading Weekend is being hosted by Jenn at Jennsbookshelves and Jennifer at Literate Housewife. This is my first time to particpate! I am really excited because I might actually get to finish a book which is the Exceptions by David Cristofano. I need to get two review books read also but I always a busy weekend so that might be a too much. :)

From Jennifer:

Thankfully Reading is a relaxed affair. We aren’t asking people to sign up to read the entire weekend. It’s a holiday, so the goal is to be read while you can and be thankful for extra time you can spend reading because it is a long weekend. There will be mini-challenges hosted throughout the weekend for those who would like to participate. However, if you’d like nothing more than to read and cheer on others doing the same over Thanksgiving, that is wonderful, too.

Everyone is welcome to join us, blogger or otherwise. Please head over to Jenn’s blog for details on signing up. If you aren’t already, be sure to follow Jenn on Twitter (@jennbookshelves) for up to the minute details. Speaking of Twitter, we’ll be using the #thankfullyreading hashtag throughout the weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Change of Fortune
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
by
Jen Turano


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jen grew up in the small town of St. Clairsville, Ohio, where she spent an idyllic childhood riding her purple spider bike, ice-skating on a little pond and reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon books in her tree house. High School was, surprisingly enough, fabulous as Jen spent time with her girlfriends. She headed off to college with no idea of what she wanted to be when she grew up, but settled on pursuing a career in fashion because she thought it sounded glamorous. Her parents thought she’d lost her mind, but they resigned themselves to her choice and after earning a BA degree in Clothing and Textiles, Jen set off to take the fashion world by storm, only to discover retail was certainly not the glamorous career she’d imagined it would be. She moved to Buffalo, New York to take a job in the buying office of a large department store, learning all there was to know about cookware, which again, was hardly glamorous, especially to a girl who did not have a knack for cooking. She met her future husband, Al, a few months after taking this job and eight months later, they were married. After moving into management at another department store and working that for a few years, the company went out of business and Jen decided she’d had enough. One year later her son was born and Jen hung up her heels for good and concentrated on being a mom.

She began dabbling in writing when her son, then in elementary school, said he liked her made up stories as much as those in his books. It was then that she fired up the computer and never looked back.

Jen loves to write humorous stories with quirky characters and a dash of intrigue and finds historical romances especially appealing, seeing as how she’s been reading them since she was a teenager. Her mother gave her a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss, The Flame and the Flower, and Jen was hooked on the genre. When not reading romance, she loves to read mysteries, young adult and her favorite series of all time, Harry Potter.

Besides writing, Jen enjoys spending time with her family and friends.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiance, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.

Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence.

When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Change of Fortune, go HERE.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Placebo by Steven James (Review)


  • Paperback: 416 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (November 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800734251



  • One man must uncover the truth--even when others will stop at nothing to keep it buried.
    While investigating a controversial neurological research program, exposé filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms. He seeks answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program--and answers to his own family tragedy.

    Rooted in groundbreaking science, Placebo explores the far reaches of science, consciousness, and faith. This taut, intelligent, and emotionally gripping new thriller from master storyteller Steven James will keep you flipping pages late into the night.


    My Review:
    Overall I enjoyed reading first book in the new Jevin Banks series. The characters were interesting and came alive. The plot was a little choppy in spots. The story line was still thought provoking. The main interests seem to be mind to mind communication like twin connection. Jevin is an magician/illusionist. He had a really good career until his wife killed herself and their twin sons. After that he switched from stage shows to a TV show exposing fakes like psychics. Along with his assistant Charlene they go to a medical facility to investigate. They end up uncovering more than they could possibly have imagined. Reading the book was a wild ride. I read it in two days. :)



    About the author:

    Critically acclaimed author Steven James has penned 30+ books spanning the genres of psychological thrillers, dramas,YA fantasy, and more. Steven has received wide critical acclaim for his work, including four Storytelling World Honor awards, two Publishers Weekly starred reviews, and 2009, 2011 & 2012 Christy Awards for best suspense. His thriller, The Queen, won the 2012 Christy Award for Best Suspense Novel, the 2012 ECPA for Best Christian Novel, and it was a finalist for an International Thriller Award. His first novel in the Patrick Bowers series, The Pawn, was optioned by ABC Studios in 2010.

    Steven earned a Master's Degree in Storytelling from ETSU in 1997 and is an active member of International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and International Association of Crime Writers.

    Steven serves as a contributing editor to Writer's Digest. He appears regularly as a keynote speaker at events throughout North America.


    Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    The Christmas Star by Ace Collins (Review)


  • Paperback: 224 pages

  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (October 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1426714689

  • About the Book:

    Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each Christmas the final decoration Madge Reed hangs on the family’s tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering.

    Yet a letter delivered by one of Robert’s fellow soldiers and a mystery posed in that letter put a father’s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known.


    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this Christmas themed coming of age book set in the mid 1940s. Although it is short it packs a punch. I liked how the author developed the character of Jimmy and the others too. The plot was interesting and unique. The ending has several twists that I liked and fit the book. I really did not see all of them coming. It is a heartwarming at times heart wrenching book. Jimmy has a very rough time dealing with the death of his father and chooses to deal with it by acting up. His mother works hard long hours to support them. His father was a good man before the war too and everyone has good things to say about him which makes it harder on Jimmy for some reason and hanging the medal on the tree seems to rub it in too him. Although it is a Christmas Christmas fiction book it is not preachy but lived out through the characters which I loved. I recommend this book to men and women. :)



    About the Author:

    Bestselling author Ace Collins has written more than fifty books including novels Farraday Road, Swope’s Ridge and Words of the Father, as well as the nonfiction Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, grAttitudes, and Lassie A Dog’s Life. His books have become movies and network television specials. He has appeared on Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News and The Today Show and has been featured in the Distinguished Lecture Series at the National Archives in Washington D.C. Ace Collins has sold more than 1.5 million books during his career.
    His latest book is the Christian holiday fiction, The Christmas Star.
    You can visit Ace on the web at www.acecollins.com.

    Review copy provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Courting Cate by Leslie Gould

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Courting Cate
    Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
    by
    Leslie Gould


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Even though I knew I wanted to write fiction by the time I was in the sixth grade, as I grew older I pursued other things instead, such as majoring in history and communications, and then working as a museum curator, then a public relations specialist, and finally as a magazine editor. Once I finally started writing fiction, it was another ten years until I sold my first novel. By that time I’d been married for nearly 20 years and had four children of my own to read to.

    In the decade since my first contract I’ve written fifteen books, from Beyond the Blue, a story about international adoption set in Vietnam, to Courting Cate, a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No matter what I write, I aim to reveal truths about God’s love, beauty, and redemptive work in our lives. My goal is to connect more deeply to God, family, and friends through my writing. My hope is that my stories encourage readers to deepen their own connections too.



    ABOUT THE BOOK

    When Amish farmer Pete Treger moves to Paradise Township, Pennsylvania, seeking a better life, he meets sisters Cate and Betsy Miller. Both are beautiful, but older sister Cate is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Betsy, on the other hand, is sweet and flirty--and seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

    However, the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard and fast rule: elder sister must marry first, before the younger can even start courting. Unfortunately for poor Betsy, and for the men who want to court her, her older sister, Cate, doesn't have any suitors--until Pete comes to town, that is.

    Though he finds both sisters attractive, something about Cate's feisty demeanor appeals to him. Soon the other bachelors in the district convince Pete to court Cate. She hardly seems receptive to his overtures, though. Instead, she's immediately suspicious of his interest.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Courting Cate, go HERE.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    The Breath of Dawn
    Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
    by
    Kristen Heitzmann


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    From the time my dad taught me to read at sit-on-the-floor school when I was four—launching me past kindergarten into 1st grade—I have loved learning and expressing what I know through art, music, and especially writing. Education came easily, and I grew accustomed to having my work read and displayed. But breaking out of the family mold, I left college to marry my husband Jim (celebrating our 29th this year.) Since then, life and all kinds of research have provided the grist for my stories. We have three awesome adult kids, and one incredible teenager. (You might think I’m biased, but ask anyone who knows them.)

    While home schooling my four kids, I wrote my first novel. I pitched it for publication, and it became the first of a five book historical series. Since then, I have written three more historical novels and nine contemporaries. The Still of Night was nominated for the Colorado Book Award. The Tender Vine was a Christy Award finalist and Secrets won a Christy in 2005.

    People often ask why I started writing, and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they’d like to write a book, but I say if you’re not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself. Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.



    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Kristen Heitzmann Delivers Powerful New Romantic Suspense

    Morgan Spencer has had just about all he can take of life. Following the tragic death of his wife, Jill, he retreats to his brother's Rocky Mountain ranch to heal and focus on the care of his infant daughter, Olivia. Two years later, Morgan begins to make plans to return to his home in Santa Barbara to pick up the pieces of his life and career.

    Quinn Riley has been avoiding her past for four years. Standing up for the truth has forced her into a life of fear and isolation. After a "chance" first meeting and a Thanksgiving snowstorm, Quinn is drawn into the Spencer family's warm and loving world, and she begins to believe she might find freedom in their friendship.

    The man Quinn helped put behind bars has recently been released, however, and she fears her past will endanger the entire Spencer family. As the danger heightens, she determines to leave town for the sake of the people who have come to mean so much to her.

    Fixing problems is what Morgan Spencer does best, and he is not willing to let Quinn run away, possibly into the clutches of a man bent on revenge. But Morgan's solution sends him and Quinn on an unexpected path, with repercussions neither could have anticipated.

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

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter (Review)




    About the book:

    Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.
    Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.


    Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Brave heart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.

    Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.
    The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

    When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.

    My Review:
    Although this is the third in the Big Sky series it stands alone fine. Overall I enjoyed reading it. It was a good contemporary Christian romance book. Annie knows she does not want a cowboy because of all the heartache she has seen in her Mom's life from them. Then comes Dylan. She tries to ignore the attraction between them. Two of the main themes in the book is forgiveness and not judging others. She also has her sister and nephew living with her. Annie has to learn not to control everyone and everything around her in order to be happy. The book is well written and the characters and plot are interesting. Recommended.




    About the author:

    Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
    Find out more about Denise at http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/.


    Thank you Litfuse Publicity for my review copy.

    A Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes (Review)




  • Paperback: 344 pages

  • Publisher: Revell; Original edition (October 1, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800734671

  • Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?
    Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra's heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes so much of her thoughts.

    When a terrible accident compels her to end her betrothal, Cassandra heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. With time on her hands and good friends to help her, she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when Lord Whittaker slips back into her life, will she have to choose between him and her dream?

    My Review:
    I enjoyed reading this Christian historical fiction book. It is the second in the Daughters of Bainbridge series. They are set in the Regency period of England which I love. The author does a good job with details/descriptions without it being overwhelming. The main characters the focus is on in this story is Cassandra the middle daughter and her beau Geoffrey Giles. Cassandra is obessesed with hot air balloning and he definately does not approve. There is a lot of back and forth between the two of them throughout the book. The subplot involves who is trying to kill Geoffrey. So the book has mystery, romance, and a little suspense. I can't wait to read the last book in the series. Recommended.




    Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of the Midwives series, A Necessary Deception, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

    “Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

    Thank you Donna at Revell for my review copy.