Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CFBA: The Tomb

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Tomb
Howard Books (March 17, 2015)
by
Stephanie Landsem


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the author:
I write historical fiction because I love adventure in far-off times and places. I’ve traveled since I was a teenager—backpacking through Germany and Eastern Europe, studying German in Salzburg, eating gelato in Italy, and riding camels in Morocco were some of the highlights. Travel kindles my imagination, fuels my love of history, and introduces me to one-of-a-kind characters. It’s the best kind of research.

When I can’t travel, I read. I love fiction, of course, but I’m often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits. How people lived together, worked, and what they ate (I love food!) is usually what catches my imagination. No matter where or when we live, people are more alike than they are different. I love to find the similarities between our lives and those of the men and women of the ancient world.

I make my home in Minnesota with my husband of 22 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When I’m not writing Biblical fiction, I’m feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about my next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.

Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.

Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.

When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?

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

MY THOUGHTS
I have never really known a lot about Mary, this book was definitely an eye opener.  As I read, I almost felt as though I had traveled back in time and was living beside her.

This story truly drew me in and it was difficult to stop reading for the mundane things in life, such as eating, sleeping, etc!

I cannot imagine living in these times, the fear that Mary must have felt holding her secret, the prospect of marrying someone she does not love and wondering if Jesus was indeed the messiah.

This book has a lot of 'meat' to it, one I am sure I will read again and again.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

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CFBA: Dauntless

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dauntless
Bethany House Publishers (March 3, 2015)
by
Dina L. Sleiman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the author:

Since selling my first book, I have also become an acquisitions editor for the company. I am a member of the Inkwell Inspirations blog, HEWN Marketing, ACFW, and a contributor to Christian Review of Books. I hold publishing credits in poetry and songwriting, and I was the writer and featured teacher in a nationally distributed instructional dance video for children. I have written several songs about the plight of the Islamic people, which have been produced in association with the Christian Broadcast Network. In addition, I have taught college and high school classes in writing and literature, as well as homeschool classes in the fine arts, and now enjoy teaching at writers conferences throughout the nation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent


Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

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

MY THOUGHTS
I don't usually read this type of a book, but I am glad I did.  Lady Merry is tough, brave, loyal to those she cares for, will fight to her death, and yet is ladylike.

The circumstances behind this story are really quite awful, and it's no wonder Lady Merry lives as she does, I was thoroughly entertained throughout the entire story, and loved how it ended!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

CFBA: Spy of Richmond

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spy of Richmond
River North (March 1, 2015)
by
Jocelyn Green


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Trust none. Risk all. Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone. Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.

As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

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

MY THOUGHTS
This story takes you back in history, and you will vividly live the story along with the characters..feel the fear, the pain...even the hate.

Sophie walks a narrow line....she'll make you hold your breath more than once.

Deep in the south Sophie's father is held a prisoner of war, her mom has passed, she's left alone with her servants and doesn't believe in slavery...yet can't free her own.  As a spy she becomes strong, a different woman than the one her father left, she does some extremely dangerous and brave things for the sake of the war, only for the wrong side.

This story held me as captive as the prisoners, at times I was afraid to turn the page, but yet had to....a very good read.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Review: Betting on Hope

Betting on Hope (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

A bet gone wrong. A small town’s meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch.
Betting on Hope 
Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it’s beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie’s bosses know this is the opportunity she’s been looking for to launch her career—and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.

Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he’d like, but he knows it’s the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru’s fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do—for her own good.

In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Debra’s website.

MY THOUGHTS
This book was a fun change from the 'norm'.  Tru, a rough and tough cowboy meets up with soft, unsure Maggie and both of their worlds get turned upside down.  Problem is, neither one of them appreciate it, but they have to agree to it.  That of course leads to quite the chain of events.

Tru, being someone who has been in the papers a lot...tends to have a great distrust for reporters.

Maggie might be clumsy, but she's tough...and it's a good thing.

These two 'characters' will take you on a ride, a real ride on horseback, as well as an emotional one as they not only figure themselves out, but each other as well!

Fun, easy read!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CFBA: Then Sings My Soul

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Then Sings My Soul
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
by
Amy Sorrells


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


ABOUT THE BOOK

When Nel Stewart returns home due to the sudden death of her mother, she realizes her beloved father, Jakob, is struggling with dementia. With the reappearance of a high-school sweetheart, deliveries from Ukraine addressed to her, and the discovery of a mysterious, vintage aquamarine gemstone, Nel senses God is pulling her into the past to restore their faith and their futures. Told partially through Jakob's flashbacks of fleeing genocide-ridden eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel combines elements of mystery, history, faith and romance to reveal how God redeems the broken years ... and our future.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Then Sings My Soul, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS

This book was AMAZING....the best book I've read in some time.

As you read the book goes from Nel's voice to her father's which takes you back to the twentieth century Europe.  I did not find the switching of time periods confusing, it all flowed extremely well.

I felt horror, overwhelming sadness, and glimmers of hope while reading.  Sad for Jakob's haunting past, the past that has kept him trapped his entire life.  Sad for Nel as she struggles with losing her mom and finding her dad to be terribly frail and at the end of his life as well.  Even so, Nel finishes what her mom has started and helps her dad heal.  Nel also finds a way to heal from her past as well.

This book will make you think and you will go through all sorts of feelings, despite the sadness I'd call this book a 'must read' and I will most certainly read previous stories as well as future stories by Amy Sorrellus, I just wonder why it has taken me so long to discover her.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA



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Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Stitch in Crime, review and giveaway link

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott

ASIC Elliott 
Thea’s first quilt show is coming apart at the seams!
Thea James has accepted an assignment as co‑chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel.

Mary‑Alice Wentworth, a much‑loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick‑off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds?

When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary‑Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

Find out more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love Books website.
 

About the Author

Author and speaker Cathy Elliot nourishes her night‑owl habit by creating cozy mysteries and more on her trusty laptop in Anderson, California. Like the protagonist in her new mystery, Cathy is an avid quilter. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antique treasures.

Find out more about Cathy at https://cathyelliottbooks.wordpress.com/.


MY THOUGHTS
Well, I hate to say it again, but I must....another great book in the Quilts of Love series!

This book has a quilt, a mystery, family squabbles, you name it.....enough that when all thrown together, or should I say, when all brilliantly written into a plot turn into a fun, cozy read.

I loved the characters, little old ladies, grown-up children who can't help but argue and fight, stressed out overworked people such as Thea...they all just work so wonderfully well together, or not!

Poor Thea, all she wants is for the Antique quilt show to go with out a hitch, but that certainly is not meant to be, thank goodness for a few helpful friends and relatives or she may just have to do it all herself, even solve a mystery.

This book kept me guessing and turning pages very entertaining.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity
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Enter to win a Kindle HDX! 
 
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott
  • Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog February 9th.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

Enter today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Choosing Him All Over Again, book tour and review



This post is part of the Choosing Him Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with nearly one hundred other inspiring Christian bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! (http://www.juanamikels.com/p/for-bloggers.html)

Book Details

A handsome husband, a dream job, and plenty of money- so why wasn't Juana Mikels happy? In a desperate attempt to find the peace and happiness she craved Mikels left it all behind. In Choosing Him All Over Again: A Story of Romance & Redemption, (Ambassador International; January 2014; $14.99, paperback) Mikels offers an intimate account of her search for Mr. Right, a journey that ended up leading her into the arms of Jesus, and ultimately back home to her husband. 

Mikels not only includes a candid recount of her own marriage struggles in Choosing Him All Over Again, but she interviewed more than 40 people, all of whom had been separated or divorced at one time. "It is my prayer that you will be encouraged and able to love your husband and to choose him again," writes Mikels. "It is my delight to share my history with you because my story is a story of God's grace." 

Choosing Him All Over Again includes strikingly honest accounts of Mikels' personal experience of separation from her husband and their ultimate reconciliation. Mikels offers wives 11 checkpoints for refreshing any marriage including saying 'I love you' daily, not bringing up past failures and praying for your husband every day. The book provides free resources like prayers Mikels prays for her husband, a note to Christian women married to unbelievers or married to Christian men who are not acting as believers should and access to a FREE downloadable companion Bible study guide

Juana Mikels wrote her own story of how God saved her marriage along with practical teaching on faith and marriage written out of her own failure, pointing us all to Jesus Christ who has the power to change lives and marriages. You can get a copy here HERE. (http://ambassador-international.com/books/choosing-story-romance-redemption/) or on Kindle HERE.
 
My Thoughts
This is a true story about love, hope, redemption.  Juana Mikels lays it all out there for us to 'see' what she went through while she was questioning her marriage.  She felt as though she made a mistake, a huge one. 
 
Marriage isn't easy, not for anyone, neither is ending it, although too many people are going through nasty divorces, finding bumpy roads in their marriage as not something they want to deal with.
 
Whether you have a rough marriage, or one that you feel is perfect this is a good read, it's not just a book full of lessons on marriage, it's a story, a real one and it's truly amazing what Juana has gone through in finding and losing love, to finding it again, as well as her journey with God.
 
A truly enjoyable read, one that will leave you thinking.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Ambassador International

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