Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Abigail's New Hope by Mary Ellis

Abigail's New Hope is Book One in Mary Ellis'  The Wayne County Series.

Abby is a lay midwife, one who is trained through experience, delivering babies along side a certified nurse midwife or doctor who does home birth deliveries.  This subject is near and dear to my heart because all five of my own children were delivered by certified nurse midwives at home.  I know from personal experience how things can get complicated, like being surprised by twins...  I also know what a political hot potato midwifery can be...

So, when things go wrong and a woman dies in childbirth, Abby ends up in jail for practicing midwifery without a license and for possessing and administering a drug that she gave as a last resort to try to save the mother's life.

But this book is really about some incredibly interesting characters, people to whom I bonded with surprising ease.  Catherine, Abby's sister who comes to help Daniel (Abby's husband) care for their two children.  Isaiah, Daniel's sexy deaf cousin who lives in a lovely renovated shack on the property... who knew??  Nathan, the grieving widower- trust me, you won't want to miss his "group therapy" session.  Just to name a few...

Mary Ellis makes you forget that "Amish" is a genre, and just wraps you up in relationships and surprises, hopes and tears (good ones).  I was impressed.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Abigail's New Hope
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
Mary Ellis


A word from the author:I grew up close to the eastern Ohio Amish community of Geauga County, where my parents often took me to farmers’ markets and woodworking fairs. My husband and I now live within the largest population of Amish in the country–a four-county area in central Ohio. We love to take weekend getaways to purchase farm produce and other goodies, stay with Amish families in bed and breakfasts, attend country auctions and enjoy the simpler way of life.

This is my first series of novels set in the Amish community.

I would love to hear from readers of Christian novels. Please leave me a post at my blogsite.


As an Amish midwife, Abigail Graber loves bringing babies into the world. But when a difficult delivery takes a devastating turn, Abigail is faced with some hard choices. Despite her best efforts, the young mother dies—but the baby is saved.

When a heartless judge confines Abigail to the county jail for her mistakes, her sister Catherine comes to care for her children while Daniel works his fields. Catherine meets Daniel’s reclusive cousin, Isaiah, who’s deaf and thought to be simple minded by his community. She endeavors to teach him to communicate and discovers he possesses unexpected gifts and talents.

While Abigail searches for forgiveness, Catherine changes lives and, in return, finds love, something long elusive in her life. And Isaiah discovers God, who cares nothing about our handicaps or limitations in His sustaining love.

An inspirational tale of overcoming grief, maintaining faith, and finding hope in an ever-changing world.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Abigail's New Hope, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Friday, April 22, 2011

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Eye For Glory
Zondervan (February 28, 2011)
Karl Bacon


A word from the author:

I grew up in the small picturesque town of Woodbury, Connecticut. After graduating from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, I returned to Connecticut and found employment in manufacturing. “Just a job” turned into a professional career, much of which was spent working for a Swiss machine tool company. In 2000 I started my own business to provide services to manufacturing clients across the USA. This change also allowed time to develop my writing craft.

From youth I’ve been a serious student of the Civil War. The draft of An Eye for Glory took ten years from conception to completion. Thousands of hours were spent researching every detail through copious reading, Internet research and personal visits to each battlefield so the novel might be as historically accurate and believable as possible. I live in Naugatuck, Connecticut with my wife of thirty-three years, Jackie.


Michael Palmer is a good man, a family man. But honor and duty push him to leave his comfortable life and answer the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country. This 'citizen soldier' learns quickly that war is more than the battle on the field. Long marches under extreme conditions, illness, and disillusionment challenge at every turn. Faith seems lost in a blur of smoke and blood...and death.

Michael's only desire is to kill as many Confederate soldiers as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets. Until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible. It's in the heat of battle at Gettysburg and the solemn aftermath that Michael begins to understand the grave cost of the war upon his soul. Here the journey really begins as he searches for the man he was and the faith he once held so dearly. With the help of his beloved wife, Jesse Ann, he takes the final steps towards redemption and reconciliation.

Using first-hand accounts of the 14th Connecticut Infantry, Karl Bacon has crafted a detailed, genuine and compelling novel on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Intensely personal and accurate to the times, culture, and tragedy of the Civil War, An Eye for Glory may change you in ways you could have never imagined as well.

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Eye For Glory, go HERE.

Watch book video trailer:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion by Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles

Here's something a bit out of the ordinary for me- a devotional review!  Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are collaborators in this devotional for (primarily) married couples, although I think that the journal style entries could be enjoyed by just about anyone in or out of a relationship.  Eddie Jones shares about his life as a husband (truthful, but humorous) and Cindy Sproles gives her point of view as a wife and mother- not holding back her feelings of joy, desire, and sometimes frustration and disappointment.

It was refreshing to read about real people in real relationships forging ahead to get to the greater good.  To finish the race, in a time in history where the lines that define marriage, family, love and faith can get blurry and confusing.  They choose to stay in the race in order to receive the prize, a marriage and family that stands the test of time.  Giving up, they seem to say, doesn't make the hard times go away... So keep at it, the sun will come out eventually, but most of all, know that you are not alone.
THAT is a good message.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
He Said, She Said
Lighthouse Publishing (February 14, 2011)

Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles


Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are the cofounders of Christian Devotions Ministries. Their He Said, She Said devotions are syndicated in a number of newspapers across the eastern seaboard and they host the weekly He Said, She Said Radio, Friday nights at 6:00 p.m. est. on Blog Talk Radio. Eddie and Cindy are popular speakers and teachers at Writers Conferences across the country.

Eddie is the author of five non-fiction books and his newest fiction release, The Curse of Captain LaFoote, a middle grade book. While Cindy is the author of one non-fiction and two compilations.

Together they teach writing with Eddie and Cindy have been writing the He Said, She Said devotions since 2008, taking one scripture weekly and looking at it from two perspectives--His and Hers, with the idea that learning more about scripture from two perspectives helps one to delve deeper in God's word and know Him better.


He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion, or How Newlyweds, Couples and Singles Can Draw Closer to God and Their Mate Through Daily Devotions

Do you sense something vital missing from you relationship with your spouse, children and God? Are you easily distracted by the busyness of life and left feeling drained, bored, and discouraged? Do you sense you were meant to enjoy the richness of life, but spend your days feasting on crumbs? This heart-warming collection of stories (54 in all) will inspire you to reach for the true source of joy: a life lived for and through God.

These deeply personal (and sometimes humorous) devotions offer biblical insights and spiritual truths from the unique perspective of one man and one woman. Learn to cultivate a life of passion. Perfect for your quiet time, these moments of meditative reflection illustrate the importance of allowing God to work within you and speak through you. No matter if you are newlyweds or newly retired, this book of devotions will help you put the spark back into your love life and explore the precious relationships God desires for you. He Said, She Said touches the heart, tickles the funny bone and brings you to your knees in worship.

If you would like to read an excerpt from He Said, She Said, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

Cindy and Eddie are not only good friends of mine, but a regular source of my spiritual renewal. It's a great idea, the he-said/she-said concept and I always enjoy their devotionals. Both are not only grounded spiritually, and super nice people but they both keep me laughing. It's that humor and heart that makes the spiritual more relatable in the most practical sense.

~Gina Holmes, author of Crossing Oceans~

I've know Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles for a few years. Each has a way of tickling my funny bone, so I wondered what a devotional book by them would be. I can heartily recommend it. The humor is there, but it's coupled with deep truths that go straight to the heart of the problem. You'll find a path that winds closer to God through He Said, She Said.

~Ane Mulligan, Editor of Novel Journey~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tea for Two by Trish Perry

At first glance, I wasn't sure that my attention was going to be engaged by this book.  Tea for Two is a romance novel.  Pretty straight forward.  Counselor girl meets single dad of two difficult teenagers.  I have four teenagers, and I know how difficult it can be.  Sometimes I feel like our family is on a roller coaster, but in different sections; when one is up, someone else is down and someone else is holding their hands up in the air (never me).  So, Tea for Two almost felt like it should have been called Tea for Four because the problem children were very important characters, effectively nudging out a cozy twosome.  Not a big deal.

Millicent's Tea Shop and the town of Middleburg Virginia were prominent "character locations", but I'm not really sure that I felt the town of Middleburg- I didn't truly get that sense of being there that I look for when place is featured in a novel.  Especially if the author is going to write more books based on that particular place.  Although I did find myself craving tea and shortbread.

The characters felt real and I would like to compliment Trish Perry on her observant eye and listening ear.  I believed the somewhat everyday nature of the characters' plight- how to handle teenage rebellion, how to balance work, stress and relationships and I appreciated the heroine being a therapist who really knew her stuff.  Kind of a story AND therapy session together... ingenious!  I'm serious- by the end of the book,  I wanted to make an appointment with Tina Milano too.

I liked the Christian themes of healthy nonjudgmental fellowship, acceptance and that prodigals are always welcome home.  Isn't that how it should be?

If you like Debbie Macumber's books (I do) then I think you will enjoy Trish Perry's Tea for Two.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tea For Two
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
Trish Perry


A word from our Author: I started writing short stories—pretty bad ones. And I started taking creative writing courses to round out my degree. So I was in classes full of people just like me—lousy writers. But we were learning!

Then the Lord led me to a local writers' group, Capital Christian Writers, and the contacts and friends I made through CCW enriched my personal life and my writing life more than I can measure. Through CCW and through reading just about every book and magazine ever published by Writer's Digest, I started catching on. Now I'm writing full time and man oh man do I love it.

Before the writing began, I worked for attorneys in Washington, D. C. I worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission. And I was a stockbroker. A horrible stockbroker. How do people do that? Take responsibility for other people's financial futures? Yikes. I'm perfectly happy to take responsibility for the amount of time any one person wants to spend reading my books. If you enjoy the experience, then know that we both enjoyed it together. I love that about books.

In the midst of all that fretting over other people's money and writing about other people's lives, I racked up a few personal experiences myself. Some good, some bad, but all part of God's plan. Now I'm an empty nester living in Northern Virginia. My brilliantly funny son is in college. I have a savvy, gorgeous grown daughter, a charming son-in-law, and an amazing grandson.  


Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law.

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.

And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

Although heroine Tina Milano and her women's group are mentioned in The Perfect Blend (the first book in this series), Tea for Two is where we meet her and hero Zack Cooper. I knew I would write this book while I wrote the first, so it was fun to plant a passing mention of Zack and Tina while I wrote Steph's story in The Perfect Blend. By the time I was able to write Tina and Zack's story, I was eager to unfold their lives, conflicts, and love. I hope readers will be eager to experience what happens to them!

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

Watch the Book Video:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett

Ginger Garrett pens a compelling novel set in a tiny village in 1538 Germany.  Not being familiar with this time period, I was taken aback by the feelings of desolation swirling about, like the velvety cape of the young woman on the book's cover.  Murders, suspicions, and dark powers trump human kindness and logic.  The Catholic Church spurns the Bible being printed in the language of the people; and the priests do not offer any kind of substantive faith for the villagers, especially the women, to cling to.  And so the women seek out women who know about herbs and potions to help them cope  with sickness and circumstances...

When a double murder is committed, the kindly, but overwhelmed priest calls for an inquisitor.  Aspursions are cast, more people die, wolves circle... Hope is a whisper calling from a forbidden book left at the altar by a mysterious stranger...

Wolves Among Us is cautionary tale.  Beware of wolves dressed in sheeps clothing.  
Really good book, please read on for more information!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wolves Among Us
David C. Cook; New edition (April 1, 2011)
Ginger Garrett


Ginger Garrett is the author of the Chronicles of the Scribes series (In the Shadow of Lions, In the Arms of Immortals, In the Eyes of Eternity), Dark Hour, and Beauty Secrets of the Bible. Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther was recognized as one of the top five novels of 2006 by the ECPA.

Focusing on ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television host, Ginger has been interviewed by Fox News, Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision, The Harvest Show, 104.7 The Fish Atlanta, and many other outlets.

A graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in Theater, she is passionate about creating art from history. Ginger resides in Georgia with her husband and three children.  


This richly imagined tale takes readers to a tiny German town in the time of “the burnings,” when pious and heretic alike became victims of witch-hunting zealots. When a double murder stirs up festering fears, the village priest sends for help. But the charismatic Inquisitor who answers the call brings a deadly mix of spiritual fervor and self-deceptive evil. Under his influence, village fear, guilt, and suspicion of women take a deadly turn. In the midst of this nightmare, a doubting priest and an unloved wife—a secret friend of the recently martyred William Tyndale—somehow manage to hear another Voice…and discover the power of love over fear.

Dinfoil, Germany, 1538. In a little town on the edge of the Black Forest, a double murder stirs up festering fears. A lonely woman despairs of pleasing her husband and wonders why other women shun her. An overworked sheriff struggles to hold the town—and himself—together. A priest begins to doubt the power of the words he shares daily with his flock. And the charismatic Inquisitor who arrives to help—with a filthy witch in a cage as an object lesson—brings his own mix of lofty ideals and treacherous evil. Under his influence, ordinary village fears and resentments take a deadly turn. Terror mounts. Dark deeds come to light. And men and women alike discover not only what they are capable of, but who they are…and what it means to grapple for grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wolves Among Us, go HERE