Thursday, March 27, 2014

Maybelle In Stitches by Joyce Magnin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maybelle In Stitches
Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
by
Joyce Magnin


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tide and Tempest
Bethany House Publishers (March 4, 2014)
by
Elizabeth Ludwig


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by "I'll be Home for Christmas", part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 Stars from the RT Book Reviews. Book three, Tide and Tempest, received top honors with 4 1/2 Stars.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Two years ago, her fiance perished during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder...

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tide and Tempest, go HERE.

Monday, March 17, 2014

It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren (Review)







  • Series: Christiansen Family
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414378424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414378428



Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.

Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.


My Review:

I loved this latest book in the Christiansen family series. It can be read on its own but the whole series is good. Jace is the perfect hunky hero with the right amount of bad boy fallibility. Eden is a great heroine. She is stronger and smarter than she realizes. She thinks it is her life to take care of her siblings especially her brother Owen. Jace and Owen play professional hockey together. The author does a good job with just enough hockey details. The characters and the plot were well developed and unique. It held my attention from the beginning. The sparks fly between Jace and Eden in an appropriate way. Jace and Owen are not perfect. There is some alcohol and fighting in the book. It is not prominent it just adds to the realness of the characters. The conclusion is satisfying and sigh worthy. This was another great Susan May Warren love story. Highly Recommended. :)



About the author:

Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, I learned to love city life, although I'm a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe I'm an adventurer -- having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia Russia as a missionary for eight years. Probably that's why my characters can't sit still, and seem to get into one scrape after another -- they're too much like me! I love God, my family, my country, my church, and feel privileged every day to be able to write stories, that I hope inspire and entertain!

Review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Poison Town by Creston Mapes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Poison Town
David C. Cook (February 1, 2014)
by
Creston Mapes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


ABOUT THE BOOK

There's More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town

People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that's crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss.

The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon's long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal.

The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable--he knows too much.

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

How Sweet the Sound by Amy Sorrells

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
How Sweet the Sound
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
by
Amy K. Sorrells


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.



ABOUT THE BOOK

From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of How Sweet the Sound, go HERE.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Amish Boyfriend by Melody Carlson (Review)



  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 4, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722265

Shannon's summer just got a whole lot more . . . Amish?

Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer--getting her driver's license, a job, and more--and she can't wait to dive in. But her ill mother has plans of her own: to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can help her.

Turns out a "simple" life is actually a lot of hard work. But when a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, Shannon's ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. Will these plans come crashing down around her too? Or can she really make the jump into a whole new way of life?

Teen favorite Melody Carlson brings fans another surprising story of worlds--and families--colliding.



 My Review:

This was another good teen book by this author. In this story Shannon and her mom go back to Amish country where her mom was raised hoping to help her mom get better. Her mom is disabled with vertigo like symptoms and they are barely making it. Shannon has no clue her mom was raised Amish until they get there. Once there her grandparents help her take care of her mother even though they do not approve of their lifestyle. Shannon goes to stay next door with her Aunt and cousins. She starts making a few friends like Ezra. He is cute, Amish, and flirts with her. But it is not that simple. He used to go with her cousin. In the background her mother is still ill and they end up taking her to a new doctor who gives a new diagnosis and treatment plan. The conclusion is satisfying. Recommended to fans of teen Amish books.






Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Life at Kingston High series, the Dating Games series, Double Take, and A Simple Song. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Find out more at www.melodycarlson.com. 

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)








  • Series: Return to Sugarcreek (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (February 4, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062204462





In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?
Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own.

Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.

If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

 My Review:

This is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors. I have read all of her books. I was excited to read that more stories will be set in Sugarcreek. Miriam Zehr is the focus of this book. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. I could identify with the place in life she was at. She is twenty five and most of her friends are married with children while she lives at home and works. Even her parents are giving up hope. She is nice but not beautiful and the only guy she has ever cared about does not see her. One day Junior asked her to help him get another girl. She agrees against her better judgment. I never liked the character of Junior. I could see glimpses of a nice man like when he interacts with his baby sister otherwise I thought he was a jerk. I did not even like him that much at the end. But I thought the story was good and I liked Miriam. I look forward to reading book two in the series. :)




 Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.