Friday, June 28, 2013

Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Pieces of the Heart is the kind of book that, after you read the last page and close the book, you find yourself--opening it up again. Is there more? I have tears in my eyes as I read the end notes. I have lived a life time right along with the characters. I grasp onto a bit more of history that feels deeply personal.

Bonnie Calhoun deftly tells the story of young African American, Cordelia Grace, who falls in love at 13 with her "super-hero" Bernard when he rescues her from neighborhood bullies. For all of his bravado, Bernard suffers at the hand of his abusive father.

Cordelia's life is pretty swell. Her father is the pastor of a fairly large congregation and her mother is a paragon of style. Though their priorities are a bit out of whack, Cordelia has her Grammy's unconditional-- yet uncompromising love, wisdom, and faith as her bedrock--along with prayers that have been lovingly stitched into a Pinecone Quilt. A prayer covering for her life.

But this book is about change. The ravages of World War II, mental and psychological damage, fear of poverty, and abuse of power threaten to overwhelm the love of the Savior, destroy the spirit, and unravel relationships that seem destined before the foundations of the world.

Pieces of the Heart is the perfect title for a book that cuts your heart into tiny pieces and then puts it back together in surprising and beautiful ways. It celebrates the pieces of our lives fashioned into a work of art designed by the Creator God who feels our pain and never gives up on us.

I must warn that reading this book just might inspire you to stitch up a prayer quilt of your own, or perhaps pick up an abandoned project waiting for you to return...

God bless you!

Please read on for more information about Pieces of the Heart!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Pieces of the Heart

Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)


Bonnie S. Calhoun


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), the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year,” President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference(GPCWC).

For the last six years she has taught workshops in Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and creating Social Media promotions at both CCWC, and GPCWC, and in 2011 at the Montrose, Pa Christian Writers Conference. She also taught a Facebook workshop at the 2012 ACFW conference.

Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin in upstate area of New York with a dog and cat who think she’s wait-staff.

Her sites are:


Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.

But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?

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

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson

In Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, wedding column writer Daphne Ballinger inherits an estate in her home town of Appleton from her wildly eccentric Aunt Dee. But being the sole heir has its problems. One being that the rest of the relatives are up in arms and want their rightful piece of the Appleton Pie.

Unbeknownst to the family, there are stipulations of the most perplexing kind if Daphne is to prevent the whole kit and caboodle from going (literally) to Aunt Dee's cats. While the cats are pretty wonderful, Daphne realizes after spending a short time in the old home town that she has fallen in love with the place, but she wonders how far she'll have to go to hold on to her newly found happiness.

Melody Carlson writes with exceptional warmth and humor. I have found myself wanting to go "home" to Appleton on more than one occasion since reading Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel. If you love romantic fiction that makes you feel like you can, in fact, go home again you will love this book. I am so happy to say that more of Daphne's story will be forthcoming.

Feel good, wonderful, cozy, romantic fiction at its best!!

More information from the publisher follows!!

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.


With high hopes, Daphne Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it's not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Daphne, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Daphne only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt's very specific posthumous terms -- personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dee’s cats.

And if Daphne thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dee's life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God's perfect timing.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel, go HERE.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fear has a Name by Creston Mapes

Pam Crittendon is being stalked. Her family spirals into a tailspin that threatens not only their lives but shakes their presuppositions of life and faith to the core. 

Her husband Jack, in his desire to protect his family, feels out of control as he tries to make sense of this hellish situation. Questions rise to the surface pitting compassion against the arm of the law and the human desire to make things safe.

A missing pastor has left a suicide note, but what evil has sent out its tentacles to drag him into eternal oblivion?

Creston Mapes turns fear on its head in his new thriller, Fear has a Name. How does one do that exactly? By creating characters that cross over the lines into places that they have no business being. 

Places where most of us have trod at one time or another.  Places of fear, loneliness, shame, and guilt. The things that we keep carefully hidden, the stuff of nightmares and reality. The things that would make us feel like freaks if anyone really knew. 

Yet it is in those places where we cry out for someone to see us as we are-- and love us anyway.  

Fear has a Name is a thriller that challenged me to see the fault lines in fallen humanity in a more compassionate light while enjoying the nail biting suspense at the same time.

Please read on for more information about Fear has a Name and Creston Mapes!
This week, the
is introducing
David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


From popular suspense author Creston Mapes comes another faith-building thriller, a tale that follows journalist Jack Crittendon as he fights to protect his family from a stalker's terrifying schemes, investigates a pastor's mysterious disappearance, and struggles to keep his faith amidst unthinkable fear.

With his family's safety on the line, Crittendon realizes there are secrets behind "Christian" walls--secrets with painful, deadly implications. He must find the faith to trust a God who allows inconceivable trials, and the courage to guard his family, with danger exploding at every turn.

Through it all--the sharp, character-driven writing for which Mapes is known--takes fans and new readers on an edge-of-your-seat journey that explores the harsh, far-reaching consequences of bullying and the Christian response to fear.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fear Has a Name, go HERE.