Friday, January 29, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Becca By The Book

Zondervan (January 1, 2010)


Laura Jensen Walker


Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products) Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.

Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.

Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.

Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.

To learn more about Laura’s latest novels, please check out her Books page.

A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.

She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog.


Sales clerk, barista, telemarketer, sign waver...

At twenty-five, free-spirited Becca Daniels is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. What Becca doesn’t want to be is bored. She craves the rush of a new experience, whether it’s an extreme sport, a shocking hair color, or a new guy. That’s why she quit her bookstore job, used her last bit of credit to go skydiving, and broke her leg.

And that’s why, grounded and grumpy, Becca bristles when teased by friends for being commitment-phobic. In response, Becca issues an outrageous wager—that she can sustain a three-month or twenty-five date relationship with the next guy who asks her out. When the guy turns out to be “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—she gamely embarks on a hilarious series of dates that plunge her purple-haired, free-speaking, commitment-phobic self into the alien world of church potlucks and prayer meetings.

This irrepressible Getaway Girl will have you cheering her on as she “suffers” through her dates, gains perspective on her life’s purpose, and ultimately begins her greatest adventure of all.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Becca By The Book, go HERE

Cheryl's comments:

Wow, this one created some heated comments on some of the blogs. I loved the cover and little illustrations and was hoping that the story would be something that Elsa and I could get excited about. Kind of a grown-up "Penderwicks" book, with a girl who was a risktaker, but also a kindred spirit. The opening scene has Becca jumping out of "a perfectly good plane" something Elsa has been wanting to do for a while... Her father and I draw the line at her flying them.

The problem is, instead of bonding with Becca, and doing imaginary high-fives with her, Elsa found herself feeling defensive about who she is as a young Christian woman, at a Christian school, who really is trying to do the (forgive the Christianese) "work of the Lord".

As she was reading this book, I kept asking "how is it?" fully anticipating a great reaction, instead, I saw her happy self fade a bit in confusion about what the book was trying to accomplish. She felt that the main character didn't like her! Is it possible to be dissed by a fictional character?

So this one wasn't what we were longing for, but I believe that Becca by the Book was not meant to offend or hurt readers in any way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kelly's Chance by Wanda Brunstetter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Kelly’s Chance
Barbour Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2010)


Wanda E. Brunstetter


A Note From Wanda:

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.

It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (

My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million books in print. Many of the novels I've written are Amish-themed.


Life for Kelly McGregor is a daily drudge of driving her overbearing father’s mules along Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Canal. She dreams of one day owning an art gallery where her own drawings and paintings are on display. But these dreams don’t include marriage. . .not after seeing what her father has done to her mother. How then can Mike Cooper, a general store owner, make her realize he is different than her father and wants to support her artistic talent? Will Kelly learn that dreams can walk hand in hand with a love created by God?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Kelly’s Chance , go HERE.

Elsa took this one back to Liberty University. I'm sure she's enjoying it! Wanda Brunstetter is a wonderful writer. Always thoughtful, funny and gentle in spite of the hard topics. How does she do it? I have no idea. But Elsa and I are just glad she does. Lovely book. Great cover too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Truth Be Told

"There is a level of truth that is more than the facts. You must look beyond that and see Me." -Graham Cook

I was driving back from yoga class, listening to my Graham Cook CD. It was gray and gloomy and I was a bit down about some stuff. So I paused the CD to repeat the above phrase out loud- I do that sometimes to emphasize something that I want to become a part of me. The sun came out through the clouds as I was picturing looking beyond the "facts". Things may look dark and feel cold and lonely, but just look beyond the visible and the sun is still shining. I Am is still there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talking About "The Judas Ride"

Hey. Peggy Sue Yarber was kind enough to send me a copy of her indie (my term) book, The Judas Ride. I have to say that I admire anyone who can manage to get a book out there, no matter who publishes it. This one is self-published.
I could not get into the story,the plot was hard if not impossible to find. Maybe this would be better off as a graphic novel? Another problem is that this is supposed to be Christian fiction. But if you are looking for a book that makes sense in that regard this one isn't it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reading Update

I just finished What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy. A while back I posted the official publishers info, but I wanted to write some personal comments. In light of all that's happened in Haiti, this book feels even more relevant, because, What the Bayou Saw has an important thread involving the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Patti Lacy painted a picture of that disaster that helped me to see Katrina from a more personal perspective. Patti has a gift for getting to the nitty gritty heart of the matter and somehow, through it all, infuse light and truth in the fact that "it's never too late to become what you might have been" (to quote someone).
This book had some intense themes-racial prejudice, rape, betrayal and guilt. The characters felt real and somehow hope did spring forth, but not gratuitously or easily. The characters paid a price, but in the end, it was worth it.
Thanks Patti, you have the ability to help readers see through the dark glass a little bit clearer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy New Year

Sometimes I feel like I've been dropped onto Earth from a very strange planet that operates on a completely different timescale. I am an alien who can't quite get the hang of things. Like malls and parking lots. Or holidays and deadlines... and birthdays- what's up with those? I am a very random person. I send handmade gifts to people in between occasions... Why do I do that? Why can't I get it together to be on time? I don't know.
I'd like to say something upbeat now... Happy New Year, from me.
I love you all! I really do. I just have trouble showing it on time....

Friday, January 8, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida

Summerside Press (November 1, 2009)


Sandra D. Bricker


For more than a decade, Author Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While writing in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant
and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

One of Sandie's passions revolves around the rights of animals. She's been involved in fundraising for Lost Angels Animal Rescue for several years now; in fact, a portion of the proceeds of Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida will go to help the non-profit group with their expenses. And Lost Angels paid her back in a big way: They brought a free-spirited Collie named Sophie into her life after the loss of her 15-year companion Caleb.

It was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer.

In Sandie's words: "I guess most people would see my career as a publicist as a sort of dream job. But giving it up turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me!" she declares. "Not only was I given the gift of getting to know my mother as an adult woman before she passed away, but I was also afforded the blessing of being able to focus completely on my dream of a writing career. I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost, so it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch their new Love Finds You line."


Lawyer Cassie Constantine has no plans to stay in Florida. She's here just long enough to sell her late husbands vacation house, a tacky bungalow she's always despised then she'll hightail it back to her gracious Boston brownstone.

But the place needs more work than Cassie bargained for. What's more, her widow status is like a target on her back and the elderly matchmakers around town manage to sidetrack her mission at every turn.

Holiday is a landmine of golf tournaments, ballroom dancing competitions, shuffleboard and day trips. But the biggest obstacle of all? Richard Dillon, the stuffed shirt she's paired with on the dance floor.

Cassie had always considered herself uptight but Richard won't take a walk on the beach without his socks and shoes! There's one little problem he makes her heart beat faster than the rhythm of the quickstep. Can Cassie and Richard let loose long enough to have a little fun?

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida, go HERE.

Watch the trailer:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Silent Governess

Bethany House; Original edition (January 1, 2010)


Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.

But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of The Silent Governess, go HERE. You can also sign up as a Follower when you get to that page, and get announcements of the first chapters for all the great books we tour!

Elsa's Comments!!

Hi everyone! I'm back from my first semester at Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia where I am studying aviation. My dream is to land planes in the bush in Africa and have completed my first solo flight! The Lord is good!
With the stress of flying and studying hitting me full force while I'm at school it has been a joy to come home to Missouri for Christmas and raid my Mom's book collection! Big thanks to the CFBA for the great books. I devoured the Silent Governess and highly recommend it to readers who love a good historical intrigue. The writing was superb and I loved the heroine- the lovely and mysterious Miss Keene!
My Mom and I are also hopeless Anglophiles, so it doesn't get any better for us than The Silent Governess. Read it, you'll love it!