Monday, April 28, 2014

The Pelican Bride by Beth White (Review)



  • Series: Gulf Coast Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 15, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721978


She's come to the New World to escape a perilous past. But has it followed her to these far shores?

It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Geneviève Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pélican bound for the distant Louisiana colony. Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old. Geneviève knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.

When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Geneviève realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonists and the native people surrounding them. And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within. Could the secret Geneviève harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry South in this luscious, layered tale.


My Review:

I thought this was a okay Christian historical fiction book. The plot, setting, and characters were interesting and keep my attention. The cover is beautiful but not fitting to the book. This is not a setting used very often it seems in Christian fiction. It is set in the early 1700s in Louisiana colony. In the book everything is described as primitive.  I wanted to pop Genevieve's sister many times. She is very immature. Tristan and Genevieve have sparks from the first time they meet but they get married in a spur of the moment without having spent much time together. It did not make sense and then he left for a trip. She is a wanted criminal and not a follower of the Catholic church which at that time was a crime too. One of the Pelican brides brought over from France to marry settlers and help civilize the land the story semi follows some of the other girls. The conclusion was satisfying. Recommended to fans of the genre.




Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she is a pastor's wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one--so far. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is writing historical romance with a Southern drawl. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Visit www.bethwhite.net for more information.

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

Paige Turned by Erynn Mangum (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paige Turned
TH1NK (April 1, 2014)
by
Erynn Mangum


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Despite her valiant efforts, Paige Alder seems stuck in chaos. Her new job as youth intern keeps her hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop all summer long, but at least she’s loving the one-on-one time she gets to spend with the girls. The unfortunate side-effect is that now, four weeks of laundry fills her apartment. Plus, she barely has time to help her sister and best friend with their weddings! And even worse? Something is definitely wrong between her and Tyler. She apologized for what he thought he saw happen with Luke. Can’t they move past it? Or could there be something he’s not telling her—something that could change everything?

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


My Review:

I loved this book. I have enjoyed reading the whole Paige Alder series. This is book three and I recommend reading them in order to get the full story. It is filled with this author's trademark humor. The characters and plot are well written and engaging. Paige is a normal twenty something year old and even though I am now 31 I could still relate some to her. I think teens would really enjoy all of Erynn Mangum's books too. This is the conclusion to the Paige Alder series unfortunately. I would love to see another book in it. In this book Paige is still learning about balance and relationships and faith. There are some good spiritual lessons without being preachy. Highly recommended. :)

The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Amish Groom
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2014)
by
Mindy Starns Clark
and
Susan Meissner


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Mindy Starns Clark Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her novels include A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, The Buck Stops Here, The Trouble with Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon, plus other books!

Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals. A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she's not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: www.susanmeissner.com, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at www.facebook.com/susan.meissner.

ABOUT THE BOOK

New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.

Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him. When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?

A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Amish Groom, go HERE.

What Follows After by Dan Walsh (Review)



  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721206


In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.


My Review:

This historical Christian fiction book kept my attention from beginning to end. I wanted to know what happened to Timmy. The author does a good job creating the setting and making you feel like you are really there. In the background was the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. This book is heavy on dealing with relationships. Not just husband wife but family and children too. It felt more like the troubled relationship between the husband and wife was center stage and Timmy in the background. There was also a secondary plot of relationships with family and extended family. Overall a good but tense read.





 Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion, as well as The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley. He has won three Carol awards, and three of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year (2011-2013). Dan lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit www.danwalshbooks.com for more.

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Promise in Pieces
Abingdon Press (April 15, 2014)
by
Emily T. Wierenga


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the Author:

I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend. We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.

I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.

We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.

I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.

My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.

I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.

I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.

My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.

I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer.

I hope you’ll connect with me on FB: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.

Peace to you friends,

e.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Promise in Pieces, go HERE.

Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lip Reading
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
by
Harry Kraus


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.

ABOUT THE BOOK

She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sincerely Yours by Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Ann Shorey (Review)


  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722043

Four unexpected letters. Four intrepid women. Four lives changed forever.
Spanning a century and a continent, these romantic novellas will lead you on a journey through the landscape of love. Four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote hospital, you'll be swept into the lives of women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.

Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
Camilla Renfrew is a highborn English lady fleeing false accusations when she runs smack into love on a steamboat bound for the new Erie Canal. But can this unexpected attraction survive the treacherous journey?

Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey
Marigold Montgomery Bentley writes marriage advice for Kipler's Home Weekly even though she is single. Everyone assumes from the initials that "M. M." is a man. When the editor asks to meet Mr. Bentley, can Merrie come up with a ruse to keep her writing job?

One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
Lorraine Caldwell will lose her family fortune to a reckless cousin if she doesn't marry quickly. When she learns her long-lost brother is alive, she hopes she's found the answer to her problems. What she finds instead is a mysterious carousel carver who turns her life upside down.

A Saving Grace by Jane KirkpatrickGrace Hathaway must rescue a dear friend from a remote and notorious clinic that promises healing but delivers only heartache. In a place laced with deceit, where lives hang in the balance, whom can she trust to help her? 

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading this set of four Christian historical romance novellas. I am not usually a huge fan of novellas because I think they are too short to fully develop a plot. All of these plots were interesting and unique. The characters were developed and I felt engaged with them. I enjoyed all of the stories too much to pick a favorite. Fans of this genre will like this collection. Recommended. :)




Jane Kirkpatrick is the award-winning author of many novels, including A Flickering Light. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and lives in Oregon. Visit www.jkbooks.com for more.

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. She lives in Wyoming. Visit www.amandacabot.com for more.

Laurie Alice Eakes
is the author of The Midwives series and The Daughters of Bainbridge House series. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband. Visit www.lauriealiceeakes.com for more.

Ann Shorey
is the author of the At Home in Beldon Grove series and the Sisters at Heart series. Ann and her husband make their home in southwestern Oregon. Visit www.annshorey.com for more.


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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter (Review)






  • Series: A Chapel Springs Romance (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401687024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401687021



Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

My Review:

This was a good contemporary Christian romance book. It is the second in the McKinley family series. The main focus of this book was on Jade and Daniel but the other McKinley's were present also. This author does a good job adding clean sparks between couples. Jade and Daniel had plenty of sparks but the faith element was too little for my taste. The character of Jade did not have enough emotions especially considering what she went through. Daniel was a great hero. The plot was well written and interesting. The author also did a good job capturing the town. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Recommended.






Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including "Barefoot Summer" and "The Convenient Groom". She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn't writing she's busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.

You can learn more about Denise through her website www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter

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

Dancing with Fireflies Contest

Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 

Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.
fireflies-400-click
One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Summer of Joy by Ann Gabhart (Review)



  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 15, 2008) (March 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0800731700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800731700



  • For Jocie Brooke, the summer of 1964 certainly was eventful, but it's nothing compared to what's coming to Hollyhill, Kentucky, and the Brooke family next. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy the relationships that everyone thought were so strong. Two people--one thought to be gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of--are making their way to the small town. And it promises trouble for everyone.

    This complex and beautifully written story is the perfect conclusion to The Heart of Hollyhill series. With true-to-life family drama, refreshing humor, and characters readers have come to love like dear friends, "Summer of Joy" will delight Gabhart's fans.


    My Review:

    I thought this was a good Christian historical fiction book. It is third in a series but I only felt like I was missing some detailed history behind some sentences a few times so I think it can be enjoyed on its on. I have not read the first two. The characters and plot were interesting and kept my attention from beginning to end. This book has a little mystery, suspense, humor, and romance all in one. Jocie is 14 and plays an important part of this book. Even though more of the action centers around David and Leigh than her. She is woven into the whole book and series. There are great secondary characters too like the other employees at the newspaper David owns and works at. It has a good small town feel to it. The conclusion was mostly satisfying. I would have liked more of an ending for Deedee, David's ex wife, but I understand the way the author left it. Recommended.



    Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as several other historical novels, including Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at www.annhgabhart.com.

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