Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga

A Promise in Pieces is a novel to love.

It chronicles the life of Clara Wilson in brilliant style by using first person narrative and flashing back throughout her life as she relays her story to her family on a road trip to the National World War II museum in New Orleans.

Clara was the only child of Christian parents who were protective in the extreme. Little did they know that when they named Clara after the famous Clara Barton, that she would take commitment to service as seriously as her namesake, who founded the Red Cross. Against their wishes, Clara joins the Women's Army Corps as a nurse during World War II.

Clara's story is beautifully written and inspirational. What I loved about this character was her indomitable spirit. Even when things were grim, she kept helping broken people, whether soldiers, or later, mothers whose babies she delivered as a midwife.

The quilt was also an affirmation of life and love.

This is one you truly won't want to miss--and share with your loved ones.

Please continue for more about A Promise in Pieces.



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.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

Lip Reading is a high stakes medical novel that begins with the abduction of Becca Jackson, a brilliant doctor and medical researcher. The kidnapping happens while she is filming a promotional film in Nairobi, Kenya, to boost her pharmaceutical company's public image. She is also focussed on the creation of an artificial blood which would be a game changer in the pharmaceutical world.

Noah Linebrink is Becca's high school boyfriend. He is also working on producing an artificial blood, but for a rival company. Their relationship didn't end well, and it's not all water under the bridge. 

There are scars both emotional and physical that have kept them from moving on in the relationship department, but that's all going to change.

Author Harry Kraus is a surgeon who has lived in Africa and gives us a unique picture of the place, people, and poverty that exists, along with how western medicine can affect the culture in ways that we couldn't imagine.

I found myself wanting more of the African side of the story and less of the western thriller aspect of this novel, which could be tainted by the fact that my daughter is a bush pilot who flies into Nairobi and also works to help the Maasai people. 

I will definitely check out more by Harry Kraus who has written over fifteen books!

Please read on for more information about Lip Reading.
This week, the
is introducing
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
by


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.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dating, Dining, and Desperation (a Dear Daphne Novel)

I think that I could be perfectly happy if Daphne, aka Dear Daphne, stayed single, and remained 34 for the rest of her literary life. That way, I could enjoy the constant possibilities of new friendships, dates with potential Mr. Right's, and community events that take place in the wonderful, fictional town of Appleton. But rumor has it that there are only 2 novels left in the series and that a wedding bells will toll by the end (sigh)...

I digress. Book two finds our heroine with a new, somewhat bodacious friend, in Sabrina, who moves into the neighborhood, a fresh round of suitors, and love in the form of a needy child with a terminally ill grandmother. Opportunities for personal and home makeovers abound and I found myself thinking about some improvements of my own that might help get me through the remainder of this long, cold, winter.

And that is why I love fiction.

Thank you Melody Carlson for another delightful Dear Daphne novel. I look forward to more happy hours spent in Appleton with Daphne and her adventures!

Please read on for more information from the lovely people at B&H Publishing!




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dating, Dining, and Desperation

B&H Books (March 1, 2014)

by

Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK



Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column.

But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.


Friday, February 21, 2014

A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare

After her husband is killed in a bar fight, Frankie Chasing Bear and her son, Harold, move to Phoenix to start over, but it isn't easy for a young, broke, Native American woman to build a life in 1951 America. 

Nick Parker, a half-breed Federal Agent wants to come to Frankie's aid, but fears that her trust issues may prohibit a relationship. He is also in a struggle to stay sober.

One of the remnants of the Lakota culture is the Lakota Star quilt, which Frankie is creating for ten year old Harold to remind him of the generations of ancestors that have gone before. 

Prejudice is also alive and well, and opportunities for education and a shot at the American dream come at a high personal cost. 

A Sky Without Stars challenged me to think about how to effectively reach people of other cultures with the love that Jesus came to earth to give. I cringed on a number of occasions when Frankie's story included encounters with white people who believed that assimilating into contemporary American culture meant obliterating the Native ways altogether, in a manner so condescending and rude that it's no wonder enmity seems to prevail.

Author Linda S. Clare was inspired by her Cherokee/Choctaw heritage and her childhood memories of Arizona, to create character Frankie Chasing Bear's story. I'm so glad she did.

For more information on this "Quilts of Love" winner, read on!
This week, the
is introducing
Abingdon Press (February 18, 2014)
by

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


Linda S. Clare is an
award-winning author and coauthor of several books and has also
published many essays, stories, and poems in publications, including The
Christian Reader, The Denver Post
, and The
Philadelphia Inquirer
. Her most recent book is A
Sky without Stars
, the newest release in Abingdon’s Quilts of
Love line. Born in Arizona, Linda and her husband now make their home
in Eugene, Oregon, where Linda has taught college-level creative
writing classes, and writes, edits, and mentors other writers. She also
is a frequent writing conference presenter, a church retreat leader,
and mom to four grown children and five wayward cats. 



ABOUT THE BOOK

Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man’s ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government’s Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it. 
A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt—nor her new life—comes easily to Frankie. Nick Vandergriff, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. He’s half-Lakota but Christian, and Frankie can see no good coming from that faith after her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian school. Can Nick convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad? And will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient—for her son’s quilt and life itself?




If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sky Without Stars, go HERE.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I think that it is only fitting to indulge in a frothy literary fling of a novella-- and Once Upon a Winter's Heart is just the thing to inspire the romantic through the season of love.

Emma Burcelli returns home be with her grandmother, Noni, after her beloved Poppi passes on. Not a difficult decision, seeing that her "promising career" designing e-cards has pretty much flatlined, along with her love life, leaving her wondering if true love and happily ever afters are a thing of the past.

While her grandparents had it  pretty wonderful-- making the most of the time they had together-- Emma's parents marriage has turned into a tangled mess.

Her sister Anne has dumped her husband, and is now looking at greener pastures. She has her sights set on Lane Forester, a cool guy who has captured Emma's attention, and maybe her heart. But Anne usually gets what she wants...

Fans of Melody Carlson will devour Once Upon a Winter's Heart like a box of chocolates--possibly in one sitting! Ok, one of the smaller, heart shaped ones...

Read on for more about this book and the truly prolific, bestselling author, Melody Carlson!



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Once Upon a Winter's Heart

Center Street (January 7, 2014)


by

Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:







Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK



Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart d├ęcor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.




If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Winter's Heart, go HERE.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gabriel's Bride by Amy Lillard

Rachel Yoder's life has been full of disappointments. She lost her family in a buggy accident--one of the real dangers of being Amish. The aunt that raised her has died leaving her with...nothing. Her one joy is her goats--caring for them and making artisan cheese. And she's really good at it. Now she is faced with losing her little flock, as her Ohio relatives are willing to take her into their home-- in exchange for help with their eleven (gulp) children--sans goats...

Gabriel Fisher needs a housekeeper and offers Rachel a job taking care of the home and five boys, the youngest having downs syndrome. She gets to keep her beloved goats...but the elders must quell the gossip that erupts at a young, unmarried, woman moving in... so they get married. Each promising the other that it is just a marriage of convenience.

I loved the way Amy Lillard developed this story. Rachel tries hard to win the respect of Gabriel whose gruff exterior belies a tender heart, but three of the boys feel that, if they welcome Rachel into the home, they will forget about their mother who died giving birth to Samuel, the little guy with Down's.

Gabriel's Bride is a wonderful read. With a timeless Sound of Music style, this one is a keeper that stands on its own, though you will want more! 
Please read on for more about Amy Lillard and Gabriel's Bride. :)
This week, the
is introducing
B&H Books (February 1, 2014)
by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.


I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?)  Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!


I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.


I  believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.  


I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture.  I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.


I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twilight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)


Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Rachel Yoder has two choices: marry Gabriel Fisher or move to Ohio. As an orphan, Rachel doesn’t have much to offer; any match she can make will be a good one. She just didn’t plan on Gabriel with his big hands and permanent frown.
As a widower Gabriel needs help caring for the farm and his six children. But he never thought he’d marry a slip of a girl who barely reaches his chin.
Yet as time passes, Gabriel finds himself thinking about a real marriage. They have spoken vows to God and each other, but can he risk his heart with Rachel?




If you would like to read the first chapter of Gabriel's Bride, go HERE.





Friday, January 31, 2014

Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron


When Tess Villanova's best friend, Samantha, is murdered on Senior Prom night, Tess sets her mind and heart to finding her killer. Now, at age 28, she is a detective with the St. Augustine Police department and has just joined forces with a new partner--the handsome Logan McMillan. Logan is new to sunny Florida, so, along with solving a horrific murder, the partners investigate many of the local eateries and take in the sights of the historic town-- St. Augustine actually seemed like one of the characters, with its old world charm and tourist attractions.

Tess' Aunt Susan is more like a mother than an aunt to Tess, owns a quilt shop, and shares her love of the craft of quilting with Tess. Quilting helps Tess unwind from the stress of "the job". Her latest has become something of a "quilt therapy" project to honor her friend Samantha.

Scraps of Evidence falls on the edgier side of the Quilts of Love line published by Abingdon Press. Along with the presence of a serial killer are themes of domestic abuse that lend a darker feel to the series.

Barbara Cameron knows how to put the pieces together in a page turner/romance that fans of detective stories will love.

This is a winner!
For more about Scraps of Evidence and Barbara Cameron read on!



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Scraps of Evidence

Abingdon Press (January 21, 2014)

by

Barbara Cameron


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A Word from the author:



CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 35 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.


I sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and am the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.


My two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).


ABOUT THE BOOK



Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild. Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?


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