Sunday, September 19, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Autumn's Promise
Avon Inspire (August 3, 2010)


Shelley Shepard Gray


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold twenty-six novels to numerous publishers. She has written a seven book contemporary series for Avalon books. She also published The Love Letter, a western for Avalon. Five Star Expressions published Suddenly, You in February of 2007. This novel is a historical western set in the mountains of Colorado.

Shelley has written nine novels for Harlequin American Romance. Cinderella Christmas, her first novel with them, reached number six on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. Her second book with them, Simple Gifts won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice award for best Harlequin American Romance of 2006. The Mommy Bride, was chosen by Romantic Times Magazine as one of their TOP PICKS for May, 2008.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for Harper Collins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. HIDDEN and WANTED the first two novels of her ‘Sisters of the Heart’ series, were chosen to be Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/ Literary Guild Book Club. FORGIVEN, book 3, has received glowing reviews. Avon Inspire is releasing four novels by Shelley this year.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two teenagers, and is an active member of her church.


Some promises are meant to be broken...

Until Robert Miller met Lilly Allen, his world had been dark. A widower after only two years of marriage, he'd been living in a haze, feeling that, at twenty-four, his life was already over.

But thanks to his friendship with Lilly, he now has new reasons to wake up each day. He knows his connection to her doesn't make sense. She's only nineteen, with a past the whole town talks about. Even more, she's not Amish, like Robert. A marriage between the two of them could never happen.

Lilly's heart is drawn to Robert, not to his faith. No matter how much she admires his quiet strength and dependability, she doesn't think she could ever give up her independence and reliance on the modern world. Is their love doomed before it even begins?

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

Cheryl's Comments:

Shelley Shepard Gray has won my respect as a creator of wonderful stories that are fun to read and truly heart-warming.  Shelley has managed to convert me to the Amish Romance genre with her gentle yet relevant plot lines and characters.  Somehow she accomplishes this without sugarcoating conflicts such as teen pregnancy and rebellion against parental authority.

As a mom of teens, I could relate to the worry and sleepless nights that the parents in this series have experienced, as children struggle to figure out if  the way they were brought up is the best way of life for them, or if life might be greener on the other side of the Amish tracks...

For the Amish, the consequences of leaving the faith are pretty dire.  Imagine losing family relationships and everything that speaks of home forever if you break with the "plain" way of life.  Imagine trying to convert to the Amish way after having all of the conveniences of modern life...

Autumn's Promise is a story of life and love that crosses barriers and expands the heart.

Great book series for teens, moms, grandmas... I look forward to reading more by this gifted author.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Bridge of Peace
WaterBrook Press; Original edition (August 31, 2010)
Cindy Woodsmall


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

She was also a homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter.

Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list of the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four.

Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today’s best-sellers list.

Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she’s also written a nonfiction work with an Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. The book is titled Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It will release March 11, 2011.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.


Love alone isn’t enough to overcome some obstacles.

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.

Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?

Win a "Trip To Amish Country"...contest opens August 31st -December 31st...go HERE to enter!

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Into the Sunrise

My Uncle George has cancer.  So I'm going back home to Massachusetts for a visit.  I'm not sure what to expect.
Will this be goodbye or just "so long" as my grandmother used to say? I don't know.

Here's my prayer:

Show me Lord. Help me to trust in You, in your divine and perfect guidance. I need you so much. Help me to be a blessing, an ambassador for Christ, ever gentle, kind, loving, filled with grace and peace. Take my hand Jesus and lead me because I feel so helpless. But You are holy, just, and faithful. You are able to use anyone. So please use me. Strengthen me. In Jesus name.

For anyone out there who needs a touch, this is for you too.
He loves you. He is able.

So long. 
I'll be back next week.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Pearl In The Sand
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2010)

Tessa Afshar


Tessa Afshar was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the
Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women’s and Prayer ministries at a church in Connecticut.


Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil  of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true

source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pearl In The Sand, go HERE

Watch the book video: