Sunday, December 7, 2014

Promise to Cherish by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Elizabeth Byler Younts is a fairly new name in Christian fiction, and a name that will be around for a years to come judging from her newest book, Promise to Cherish.

Starting with a compelling cover picturing an Amish young man and a nurse in the uniform of the 1940's, and capturing my attention with the opening "Letter to the Reader" explaining the author's history and inspiration for the story, I seriously could not put this book down.

This war-time saga covers a capsule of time when conscientious objectors such as the Amish would be put to work stateside doing everything from digging ditches to, such as our Amish rogue, Eli, working as an orderly of sorts in the Hudson River State Hospital. The conditions there are appalling, but nurse Christine Freeman exemplifies a professionalism and kindness that challenges him to grow in his understanding of the world of the mentally ill and make a difference in the lives of the patients who live there. She is also quite lovely and he finds himself becoming more and more drawn to her.

Christine suffers a trauma in which she is forced to make the hardest choice of her life, one that will result in rejection and loss no matter what she decides to do.

I loved this book and am thrilled to say that it is part of a series called The Promise of Sunrise. I have not read the first but will try my best to find it and put it on my "top shelf". Promise to Cherish stands alone beautifully and you will want to share this only with people who you can trust to give it back...you have my personal guarantee on this one!

Please read the publisher's information for more about Elizabeth Byler Younts and Promise to Cherish!




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Promises to Cherish

Howard Books (October 7, 2014)

by

Elizabeth Yount


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:







Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.




ABOUT THE BOOK



As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.


It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.


Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.


Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?



If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Cherish , go HERE.







Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dreaming on Daisies by Miralee Ferrell

Dreaming on Daisies is the third book in Miralee Ferrell's Love Blossoms in Oregon series.

Leah Carlson is keeping the home (or I should say ranch) fires burning while her ne'er do well father is drowning his sorrows-- one bottle of booze at a time. Things are about at their breaking point when Leah takes matters into her own hands and asks the bank for a loan.

Young professional Steven Harding has the pleasure of making Leah's acquaintance at the bank, but must deny her request. Not the best way to start a relationship...

In true Miralee Ferrell style, every character must come to grips with challenges from personal to spiritual growth, to major hurts from the past that will require tough decisions and some good hard looks at lives lived and mistakes made in order for resolution and (hopefully) redemption to take place.

I liked how Miralee focused on the male characters' past hurts that have led them to respond in believable ways such as drinking, anger, or just plain shutting off potential relationships.

I admire the heroines of the past who through sheer grit and determination kept their heads when life and love hung in the balance!
For more information about Dreaming on Daisies please read on!




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dreaming on Daisies

David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)

by

Miralee Ferrell






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on 11 acres in Washington State. She loves to minister to women (as a certified Lay Counselor with the AACC) or through her writing, riding her horse, working in  her flower beds and playing with her dogs—her 7 lb, long-haired Chihuahua, Lacey, spends a lot of time on her lap while Miralee is writing. Miralee speak at various women’s functions and has taught at writers’ conferences. She’s been writing since 2005, and her first book released in 2007. Since then, she’s had 10 more books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical romance, and she’s had the honor of being a best-selling and award-winning author.




ABOUT THE BOOK



When her father's debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson's family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah's family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she's fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.


This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman's past.


If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dreaming on Daisies, go HERE.






Friday, November 7, 2014

Saved by the Fireman by Allie Pleiter

When Charlotte Taylor's grandmother dies, leaving her with a "sizable" sum of money and the instructions to "do something really worth doing" she decides to do just that--in spite of the fact that the timing couldn't be worse. Not only has she lost her dearest grandmother, but her corporate job as well.

Perhaps buying a cute fixer-upper in a lovely small town hours from her Chicago apartment is not the wisest thing to do, but Charlotte is not one to curl up in the fetal position on the floor when adversity strikes. Oh no, she marches straight ahead, choosing the perfect light fixtures and custom accoutrements that will best suit her dream cottage. Contractor and volunteer fireman Jesse Sykes is hired to do the renovations and keep her within her budget, but he finds himself falling for Charlotte and her enthusiasm (which I must say is contagious).

Allie Pleiter writes with warmth and charm. I could relate to Charlotte's impulsive choices and passion for life, love, and God.

For anyone out there who needs a delightful romantic escape with lots of heart, this one's for you.

More information about Saved by the Fireman and Allie Pleiter follows!



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Saved by the Fireman

Love Inspired (October 21, 2014)

by

Allie Pleiter


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Building their future

Charlotte Taylor isn't good at playing it safe. Reeling from the sudden loss of her job and her beloved grandmother, Charlotte knows buying a dilapidated cottage in Gordon Falls isn't exactly practical. Especially since she just hired the one man who may love the property more than she does to help renovate it. Volunteer firefighter and part-time contractor Jesse Sykes can't stay mad at Charlotte for very long. Though she snatched up the home he'd planned on purchasing, Charlotte's dreams are big enough for both of them…if only she'd let him in. Charlotte promised she'd never fall for a first responder, but is it already too late?


Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town


If you would like to read the first chapter of Saved by the Fireman, go HERE

 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey





This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Quilted by Christmas

Abingdon Press (October 21, 2014)

by

Jodie Bailey


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A note from the Author: Well, I’m a regular ol’ person. Who just happens to write. A lot. Probably more than I should. I firmly believe that God created me to be a writer. From the time I learned how to string letters together into words I’ve been making up stories. Believe me… I have a very rich imagination. I used to think I was weird; now I know God just put me together that way. I can’t even watch commercials without expanding them into stories in my head. I am humbled and honored all at the same time that God looked down from heaven on me and said, “Jodie, do what you love.” Wow… how awesome is that?


I have always loved to write. I have stories that I wrote when I was in first grade. I used to sit at my grandmother’s yellow electric typewriter for hours, banging out my own little stories. When I was eleven, she bought me a typewriter of my own (It was 1984, okay?) and I would write and write on it. I wrote stories out by hand, and they ran to hundreds of pages. I got my first computer when I was eighteen, and the first thing I did was write a story on it. I wrote for school. I wrote for fun. I wrote for my friends. I’d get them on the phone and make up stories for them. (I earned the nickname “Dreamweaver” for that one. Nobody calls me that anymore, but it still stands as the coolest nickname I ever had.)


ABOUT THE BOOK



Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Quilted by Christmas, go
HERE.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Finding Mercy by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

Imagine that there was a war-- and you slept through the whole thing. When you awoke you remembered nothing, not what side you were on, or any thing about your previous life... nothing.

Heroine "Mercy" has amnesia, and though I imagine she wished she had slept through the Civil War, she comes to realize that she was far from passive in her choices.  

Finding Mercy opens with Mercy hiding in a chimney on a dark and stormy night. Bounty hunters are on her trail and they want to exact their revenge.

The war is over but the tension on both sides of the line hangs thick in the air.  Who's right and who's wrong is no longer important; emotion is ruling in both the North and South and each side wants to exact their pound of flesh for losses suffered.
Mercy has become a lightening rod for trouble of every kind but she has no idea why.

I have been awaiting the sequel to Traces of Mercy by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley, and I am happy to say that it surpassed every expectation. If possible, read Traces of Mercy first--it's truly wonderful. 
Please read on for more information from David C. Cook publishing and the authors! 
This week, the
is introducing
David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)
by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson. 

****
Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the house. 



ABOUT THE BOOK

When Mercy abandons Captain Elijah Hale to search for her true identity, he goes after her. With the threat that bounty hunters might be hot on her trail, Mercy does all she can to stay ahead of the danger, frustrating both the bad men who are after her—and Captain Hale who wants to find her and escort her safely home. But when she stumbles upon clues that help her learn who she is and where she's from, the danger escalates and she has to learn to keep her friends close and her enemies even closer—if she can determine which is which!


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







Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thunder, Book I of the Stone Braide Chronicles by Bonnie S. Calhoun

With the recent popularity of dystopian fiction, novels such as Divergent, The Hunger Games, and I'm sure many others of which I am not familiar, it only makes sense for the Christian market to welcome the genre into its fold. But what exactly is this phenomenon all about? I am by no means an expert, but from what I've gathered, dystopian is the opposite of utopian... the devolving of civilization as we know it and the consequent rebuilding by those who are in essence, left behind.

Thunder introduces a world in turmoil after an event called the Sorrows takes place on Earth. People groups form and colonize according to their preferences, gifts, and abilities. A weird symbiotic relationship develops amongst the groups but there is a strong sense that only the gifted will survive.

Selah, the heroine, learns that she is a half-breed Lander on her 18th birthday, which makes her one of the hunted and she must flee for her life. Bodhi, a Lander who washed up on the shore becomes her reluctant protecter. Along the way, Selah is joined by 12 year old Amaryllis, a precocious waif who has been sleeping in the ruins of an "ancient" library.

There is talk of a "Presence" but little is known or divulged about what it is in the early stages of Thunder. The Landers are gifted with a telepathic communication amongst themselves and are immortal unless physically harmed beyond what their bodies can sustain.

I can think of few things more daunting than the prospect of tackling the creation of a dystopian novel series. Seriously.

So I am in utter amazement at the imagination required to create this series. Bonnie Calhoun has managed to write an original and believable world populated with likable characters (and some that really gave me the creeps) facing some pretty wild obstacles. Not gonna lie...the rabbits in particular freak me out...

If you love a rousing post apocalyptic tale, Thunder is just the ticket.

Congratulations to Bonnie Calhoun and thanks to Revell a division of Baker Publishing for getting this fascinating series to print.

Please read on for more about Thunder!




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles)

Revell (October 7, 2014)


by

Bonnie S. Calhoun


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year.”


She loves to write, but it doesn't make her happy unless there are the three B's...body count, blood, and blowing things up. She also has mad skills at coding HTML, and website design. And she lives in a log cabin in the woods with fifteen acres and a pond full of bass, though she'd rather buy fish at the grocery store. Bonnie shares her domain with a husband, a dog, and two cats, all of whom think she’s waitstaff!


Her sites are:
http://bonniescalhoun.com
https://www.facebook.com/bscalhoun
https://www.facebook.com/bonniescalhoun
https://www.goodreads.com/BonnieSCalhoun
http://www.pinterest.com/bonniecalhoun/
https://www.youtube.com/user/BonnieCalhoun



ABOUT THE BOOK



In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez is crouched in long grass on a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city. It is the day before her eighteenth Born Remembrance, and she is hunting, though many people refuse to eat animal flesh, tainted by radiation during the Time of Sorrows. What Selah's really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the big water who survive the delirium-inducing passage in small boats that occasionally crash against the shoreline. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price from the Company and are especially prized if they keep the markings they arrive with.


Everything falls to pieces when the Lander Selah catches is stolen by her brothers--and Selah wakes up the next morning to find the Lander's distinctive mark has suddenly appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her--Bohdi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell.




With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of scientific advances, political intrigue, and wilderness survival, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a world more like our own than we may want to admit.


You can read Tremors, the prequel to the series for FREE on Amazon HERE.


If you'd like to read the first chapter of Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles), go HERE



Monday, October 13, 2014

A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall

A Love Undone is sub-titled: An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace, and author Cindy Woodsmall delivers a deluge of both.

Jolene Keim is nineteen when her "happily ever after" is destroyed by a tragic accident which leaves her as guardian to her five siblings--one with special needs. Not only must she turn her back on love and a life of her own, but she will need every ounce of strength and will power to keep her family together.

Ten years pass and only Ray, 18, and Hope, 15, are left at home. Jolene has gained the attention of Pastor Glen, a young widower with a brood of his own, but her heart is drawn to Andy Fisher, a horse trainer with an adorable son. But circumstances never seem to be in Jolene's favor, and it becomes obvious that they can never be together.

Cindy Woodsmall writes characters that are real, honest, and broken-- but she has a way of challenging the reader to keep on hoping that possibly, just around the river bend, there will be peace for the weary soul. And just maybe the truly deserving ones who persevere  will find love.

Sometimes a book gets into your hands at the exact right moment and becomes a friend and companion through a tough time. While I was reading A Love Undone, I received news that a couple that I had known through our church had been killed in a car accident leaving two children without parents. I believe with all my heart that God has a plan, and somehow through it all He will be glorified. He will not leave them as orphans. I write this with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

So, share a book with someone you love- A Love Undone is a great one. Share a hug. Affirm life.

For more information from the publisher please read on.



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Love Undone

WaterBrook Press (September 9, 2014)

by

Cindy Woodsmall


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written fifteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.


She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.


Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

(Since that last line sounds sad and bare, I thought I’d add an “epilogue” of sorts. Our two oldest sons are married and live only a couple of miles from my empty nest, and below are my three adorable grandchildren! ♥)


ABOUT THE BOOK



A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.
A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?


At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.


Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.


As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?


If you would like to read the first chapter of A Love Undone, go HERE.