Friday, February 13, 2015

Devotion by Marianne Evans

Valentines Day is tomorrow. So it only makes sense to review a book about... marital infidelity???

No, it's not a self-help manual, but a novel about a couple, Kellen and Juliet, whose marriage hits a speed bump when Kellen is blind-sided by an attraction to a beautiful and extremely talented client. 

At the same time, wife Juliet has given up on the hope of  becoming pregnant, and her self-image and her faith in God have taken a hit. 

When Juliet hears some gossip about her husband and the truth comes to the light, she fears she will not be able to trust Kellen-- maybe forever.

Devotion is well written, somewhat reminiscent of Karen Kingsbury's style. Author Marianne Evans obviously has a heart for Christian marriages, and highlights how increased vulnerability can catch even   truly committed couples unawares.
She also explores the place for pastoral counsel and belonging to a church that nurtures and encourages.
Good things. 

For more information about Devotion, please read on!
This week, the
is introducing
Harbourlight Books (September 19, 2012)
by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


A Word from the author:
My career began at Kensington Publishing, then Wild Rose Press released what will likely be my last secular novel, With This Kiss. This book is very dear to my heart, because, in a way, it memorializes the life of my grandmother, Rachel Alfano. She was a feisty, loving Italian. Back in the day, folks came to her deli in East Rutherford "from the City" (New York, of course!) to get her pepperoni, or purchase her hand-made sausage and pastas. Life and times at 82 Mozart Street are engraved upon my heart, and precious to me. What better place to set a romance?

Now, I'm called to write 'Faith-affirming fiction' (TM). Christian inspirational romance, and Christian themed fiction, is something that both as a reader, and writer, I feel called upon by God to enjoy and create.


This segment of my journey began when I was lucky enough to win a writing contest sponsored by White Rose Publishing that led to the publication of my Christian inspy debut, Hearts Crossing. This humble, heart-felt novella went on to become a series...and an Amazon best seller! A Face in the Clouds, a short story spin-off of Woodland, is also part of my 'best seller' portfolio. What a blessing!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now. Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks.

For Better or Worse

But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation?  How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?

'Til Death Do Us Part

When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

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



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Ellliott

If cozy mysteries are your druthers then you will have your fill of glorious cozy in A Stitch in Crime.

Antique store owner Thea James bites off a bit more she can chew when she innocently agrees to chair the first ever Quilt Show extravaganza in the tiny town of Larkindale.

A comedy of errors ensues when the kick off party at the Wentworth Mansion, home of the elderly but spry Mary-Alice becomes a crime scene. Along with an intentional bonk on the head, Mary-Alice's diamond brooch is stolen--and that's just the beginning...

Thea takes "the show must go on" to extremes valiantly forging ahead in spite of threats and foibles in her determination to help out the economically challenged little town--and save what's left of her wounded pride.

I loved the wacky, eccentricity of the characters and story-line and am pleased as punch to recommend this "Quilts of Love" offering to all my cozy loving friends!

Please read on for more information about author Cathy Elliott and A Stitch in Time!!



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Stitch in Crime

Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)

by

Cathy Elliot


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.

ABOUT THE BOOK



Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.


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


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blind Trust: Port Aster Secrets Book 2 by Sandra Orchard

Award winning author Sandra Orchard delivers an ambitious novel with the second installment of the Port Aster series. Encompassing crimes that range from murder to counterfeiting to the theft of a mysterious plant that may possess healing powers that some want to prevent from going public, Blind Trust continues to develop the many layers of intrigue like a Polaroid picture slowly coming into focus.

Botanist Kate Adams is caught up in the web with Detective Tom Parker as her ally and romantic on again off again love interest. He's a good guy and I hope it works out for them, but danger takes on so many forms it's not going to be easy and we'll have to wait to find out...cliff hanger warning!

Without a doubt, Sandra Orchard is a gifted writer--I liked this book, but would recommend reading Book One first.

Please read on for more about Blind Trust and the Port Aster Secrets.
This week, the
is introducing
Revell (June 17, 2014)
by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 




Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time . . . when not doting on her young grandchildren.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Blind Trust, go HERE


  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Soul Painter by Cara Luecht

I was intrigued when I received Soul Painter by Cara Luecht. Set in Chicago, circa 1891, the opening scene has a gothic, almost ghostly feel. A woman in a cape watches as the fog encloses the area down by the docks near a cathedral where a statue of the Virgin Mary stands cracked and alone-- like the other wanderers in the night.

Well, in spite of the ominous beginning, and like the darkness and fog, all it takes is some light and some faith to release the grace that is waiting for those who will dare to step out and see what the darkness is trying to hide. 

Miriam has spent her young life painting portraits of people as she imagines them to be in truth. When she steps out of the shadows of her self-induced cloistered existence to help a woman in need-- a victim of the night's evil side-- a chain reaction occurs. A kindly deacon, her own attorney, and a host of others become involved in each other's lives. Relationships form like constellations and the light starts to shine. The question is, can the evil that has flourished be uprooted or will it be allowed to continue it's path of destruction?

I really liked this book. It was fresh, original, and cleanly written. Cara Luecht is a name that I wasn't familiar with, but I am so glad to have the opportunity to discover this new talented writer, and I am looking forward to more.

Please read on for more about Soul Painter and Cara Luecht!



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Soul Painter

WhiteFire Publishing (March 15, 2014)

by

Cara Luecht


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A Word from the Author:
I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.


By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.


I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.


If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.


ABOUT THE BOOK



Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?


Chicago – 1890


Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam's gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn't match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city...and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have...and find her own along with it.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul Painter, go HERE.


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