Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CFBA Book Review: Lost Melody

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lost Melody
Zondervan (October 25, 2011)
Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith


Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen Christian novels and over fifty articles and short stories. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, and ACFW's Carol Award.

A Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, Ginny's messages are always well-received by a variety of audiences in conferences, retreats and churches across the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.


The beautiful piano sitting in the corner of Jill King's apartment begs to be played. For over a year, it has sat untouched, ever since a terrible accident shattered Jill's ambition of becoming a concert pianist. The ragged scar on her left hand is a cruel and constant reminder of the death of her dream. But another dream is about to come to life---an unexpected, horrifying dream that will present Jill with a responsibility she never wanted. And choices she never wanted to make. Hundreds of lives depend on Jill's willingness to warn her small, oceanside town in Nova Scotia of a nameless, looming disaster. But doing so could cost Jill her reputation, jeopardize the political career of the man she loves, and ruin their plans for a future together. The fate of an entire community hangs in the balance as Jill wrestles with the cost of heeding one still, small voice.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Lost Melody, go HERE.

This was a very good book, it kept me very interested and on edge waiting to see what would happen.  I felt for Jill, unable to play the piano with haunting memories of her accident, then when she began having nightmares about the future you wonder right along with her if she's really crazy!  The question she really onto something and if she is, will people really listen and what will be the outcome.  Regardless of what people think of her, Jill carries on and does as she must which says a lot about her character, I think you'll enjoy this book.

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


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: The Names of God Bible

Open the door to a more intimate relationship with God

One of the best ways to get to know God on a deeper level is to know his names and titles as revealed in Scripture.  Now the bestselling author of Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus  uncovers the richness of God's character and love found in his names right within the Bible text.

The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God-like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay-to help readers connect with the Hebrew roots of their Christian faith and experience a deeper understanding of God's character.  Perfect for personal study, prayer, and reflection, The Names of God Bible includes these special features:

  • More than 10,000 names and titles of God restored to their Hebrew equivalent and printed in brown ink to stand out within the biblical text
  • Names of God reading paths lead readers to the next reference of the name so they can pray and study the names of God throughout scripture
  • Name Pages feature
  1. background information associated with the most important names and titles of God
  2. key Scripture passages in which the name is revealed
  3. devotional readings for each of the featured names
  4. specific Bible promises connected to each of the featured names
  • Calling God by Name sidebars shed light on the relationship between biblical people and the specific names they called God.
My Thoughts
I obviously have not read this entire book cover to cover but I definitely like how the names of God are explained and referenced throughout the book, the beginning of the book has several reference pages,
  • Alphabetical Listing of Bible Books
  • Alphabetical List of Names and Titles of God
  • Pronunciation Guide to Names and Titles
  • Introduction
  • Welcome
  • Names of God Reading Path System
  • Publisher's Note
  • Preface
...and then the end of the book includes,
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Topical Prayer Guide for the Names of God
  • Table of the Names of God
  • Name Index
  • Fast Track Reading Plan
  • Reading Plans
All said and done this is one Bible that is going to be very helpful in learning more about the Names of God, which I never realized were so many, a very good addition to your regular Bible or for those of you looking for a newer easier to read Bible, you may want to check this one out.  It is not, of course, a King James version but an easier to read translation.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group


Monday, November 28, 2011

Fall Fiction Fling: Week #4

-- ))))))FACE TO FACE
A Novel
by Catherine Lawton

Set in the tumultuous world during Jesus' earthly life, here is a timeless story of suffering, longing, and healing. Conflicts arise between a young woman's devotion to God and the demon that holds her captive; between her attempts to free herself and the judgment and condemnation of others; between the rabbi named Jesus and the legalistic religious leaders; between the daily reality of Roman oppression and the Jewish hopes of a Deliverer-Messiah.
A vivid imagining of the account in Luke 13:10-17, where Jesus calls the bent-over woman to himself.
Review Quotes:
"I was fascinated." ~ Eva Marie Everson for

"I thoroughly enjoyed Face to Face." ~ Richard Wendley, screen writer/actor
"WOW! What a great book. I absolutely loved it... I know the next time I read about this miracle in the Gospels, I will think of this woman through the eyes of Lawton's novel... Thanks to Cladach Publishing for publishing such outstanding Christian literature!" ~ Shirley Silver

Link to Chapter One:

Catherine Lawton

Author Interview:

Hello, Catherine. Your bio mentions that you became a published writer (in a national periodical) at the ripe old age of 12! Did that experience boost your desire to write more?

Catherine: It certainly was affirming and satisfying to think someone would want to print and read something I wrote (It was a little poem about Jesus being my Friend, and a Sunday school teacher encouraged me to send it in). But the desire to write was there already and it grew into a sense of a calling.

In your biblical novel, "Face to Face," you fictionalize a story about a woman who is miraculously healed by Jesus. She is mentioned in the Bible only once, in Luke 13:10-17. With so little known about her, how did you develop her character and make her so believable?

Catherine: That woman, who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath, gripped my heart and imagination. She was unnamed in the story, so I named her Joakima, which means "One whom God has lifted up spiritually." She was bent over double for 18 years and "could in no way lift herself," which indicates that she had tried. I began to imagine what "cures" she might have used. Each has a parallel today, whether it's conventional wisdom and "old wives' tales," self-righteous religion, new-age spiritualism, or humanistic self-improvement methods. I considered the context of the scriptures and researched the historical period and life in those days. A good story needs conflict, and there's plenty in this account – between the woman and the spirit that crippled her, between Jesus and the leaders of the synagogue, between the people and the burdensome Sabbath laws, and between walking by faith versus walking by sight. I began to imagine Joakima in a colorful setting interacting with other vibrant characters until the story took on a life of its own. I was interested to see how my character would survive and finally thrive in the challenges of that setting.

One gets the sense that there may be experiences in your own life that parallel those of your character, Joakima. Is this perception accurate?

Catherine: The story formed in my mind while I was going through a period of inner healing. I read the book of Luke, and this woman who was so wretched and yet so tenaciously persevering, triggered my imagination as well as my faith. Jesus told the woman she was released and he said that Satan had kept her bound. This part is very personal. I have known people who are bound by various things 51; memories, addictions, sins, wrong thinking, bitterness, and even evil spirits. And I've seen people set free. I wondered what sort of spirit had taken hold of this woman, how Satan could keep a religious person of faith bound, and what might have caused that spirit to enter into her body and life. Luke also tells us that Jesus called her a "daughter of Abraham" which means she had faith. I wondered, how does such a person have such faith?

Now a question to help readers know you better. If you had three free tickets to go to any three places in the world, where would you go, and why?

Catherine: First I'd go to Israel to research my next novel! Next I'd go to Scotland and the Hebrides, where a mighty revival happened the year I was born. Third I'd go to Rome again, where there is a strong sense of the biblical world and the modern world intersecting.

Since music has played such an important role in your life: What music CDs happen to be in your player right now?

Catherine: I just put in a CD of Loreena McKennitt singing Christmas songs, and a Russian pianist playing Rachmaninoff concertos.

If you could spend a week with any historical person of the past ten centuries, who would that be?

Catherine: I might like to spend a week with Joan of Arc, though it might be dangerous. A simple peasant girl believed so strongly that God had spoken to her that she was able to convince leaders of her country and army to let her lead them to victory, out of a dark and troubled period. And talk about conflicts! Her faith and obedience led to her martyrdom. Amazing.

What writing projects are you working on now?

Catherine: Besides writing occasional poetry and other short pieces, I have started two other novels. As I was writing Face to Face, the character of Benjamin grew so strong and appealing, he almost took over the story. I would like to give him a chance to shine. I'd like to take Joakima and Ben to Jerusalem again, perhaps to be present during Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was outpoured, to be part of the early believers who were persecuted and dispersed. I'd like to see Joakima return to her childhood home of Dura-Europas. And like every good story, it would include lots of conflict and a little romance.

Where on the Internet can we find you?

Catherine: At my Cladach author page: ,at my Amazon author page: ,and Cladach Publishing's Facebook page:

Anything else you'd like readers to know about you?

Catherine: Here are some things about me: I've played the piano for years. Currently, I accompany a gospel quartet. My husband and I enjoy beekeeping in our backyard. I own Cladach Publishing, a small royalty press; and I spend lots of time editing and promoting other authors and their books. Writing and publishing is quite an adventure. And hearing from readers is like frosting on the cake!

Purchasing Info:
Trade Paperback
192 pgs
Available through most stores and online retailers.
You can purchase it now at:
Just-released: Amazon Kindle Version
Or buy from the publisher on sale this week for $9.74 at

*I am posting on behalf of Cladach Publishing and will receive a complimentary copy of each book I post about about for Cladach during the Fall Fiction Fling.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CFBA Book Review: A Marriage Carol

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Marriage Carol
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman


CHRIS FABRY is a graduate of W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and Moody bible Institute's Advanced Studies Program. Chris can be heard daily on Love Worth Finding, featuring the teaching of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers. He received the 2008 "Talk Personality of the Year" Award from the National Religious Broadcasters. He has published more than 60 books since 1995, many of them fiction for younger readers. Chris collaborated with Jerry B. Jenkins and Dr. Tim LaHaye on the children's series Left Behind: The Kids. His two novels for adults, Dogwood and June Bug, are published by Tyndale House Publishers. Chris is married to his wife Andrea and they have five daughters and four sons.

GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the bestselling Five Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 400 stations.


On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm. This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they’re traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer’s office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Paul is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs—and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Marriage Carol, go HERE.

*The delivery of this book has been delayed, so although I have not yet read it for review, I wanted to share it with you.  I will be receiving a complimentary copy of this book from CFBA


Book Review: Remembering You

Television producers Ava Ellington cannot refuse her grandfather's last wish-that she accompany him to Europe on a tour of World War II battle sites.  Ava has little interest in historical battles, but this may be her last chance to break down the barriers that have grown up between them, and she sets off, camera in hand, ready to record and report on their journey.  She and Grandpa Jack are greeted in Paris by Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis.  The Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

History comes alive as the group travels across Europe-from the romantic sights of Paris to the bleak battlefields of Belgium to the Austrian labor camp these men liberated so many years before-and Ava sees a side of her grandfather she's never known before.  As he shares his memories of those bitter days on the battlefield, she begins to understand how his experiences in the war made him the man he is today.

Throughout the journey, Ava and Dennis are drawn together in ways neither of them expected.  Can their memories of the past lead to a bright new future?

I LOVED this book, Tricia Goyer has never disappointed me, and this is one of those stories that will stick with you for a long time.  This story is a look back in time and takes you through a journey of the heart.  The characters in this book are so real that you may feel as though you are reading about your own grandfather, the love story is not just between Ava and Dennis, but also of the love between grandchildren and grandparents as well a love between those who are forever bonded by war.

I highly recommend this book, perfect stocking stuffer for the reader on your gift list.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group.

Link to buy the book HERE
Read more reviews HERE

......and once again Tricia has an awesome contest in the works! 

Enter 11/16 - 11/29. RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/29!

Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her novel, Remembering You, with a KINDLE Touch Giveaway for you ... and for the friend of your choice. Then on 11/29 she'll be wrapping up the release of Remembering You with a Book Chat Party!

During the first half of the party Tricia will be chatting, sharing a sneak peek of her next book, and giving away a ton of great stuff. Then she'll head over to her website for a Live Chat! Readers will be able to chat with Tricia via video or text.

Don't miss your chance to win a Kindle Touch for yourself ... and to "remember" a friend this holiday with a Kindle Touch for them!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Touch and a Kindle Touch for a Friend (winner's choice!) 
  • A copy of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer for each
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 29th. Winner will be announced at Remembering You Facebook Party on 11/29. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away copies of her other WWII books and gift certificates to Starbucks and So grab your copy of Remembering You and join Tricia on the evening of the 29th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 15th!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Fiction Fling: Week #3

Kathryn is resigned to living out her last days at Victorian Manor, a beautiful old home for senior citizens. Then one day something strangely wonderful happens to Kathryn at the garden fountain, and she begins living an adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Love and sacrifice take on new meaning as she involves a social worker and a police detective in carrying out what she believes to be her calling ~ to rescue a street child named Jasmine. The miracle at the fountain brings adventure that bridges the generations with hope and love.
Kathryn's Fountain celebrates the gifts that the generations can bring to each other. The conclusion is a resounding affirmation that it's never too late to make a difference!

" A poignant story with surprising twists and turns that will keep you reading and touch your heart. You won't view life in quite the same way after reading Kathryn's Fountain." ~ Marlene Bagnull

"A story of miracles and self-sacrifice." ~ Kathi Macias

Dave Claassen

Author Interview:
Dave writes part-time because his full-time calling is to give spiritual leadership and pastoral care to people of the Mayfair-Plymouth Congregational Church in Toledo, Ohio. Dave and his wife, Diann, make their home across the border in southeastern Michigan. They have two grown children and a growing number of grandchildren. Dave's other published books include Object Lessons for a Year (Baker Books) and Silent Words Loudly Spoken (CSS Publishing). For this blog tour we asked him a few questions:

1. Dave, what made you decide to become a writer as well as a pastor? Why do you write?
Dave: I've wanted to write since I was a teenager. I remember using an old Underwood portable typewriter (old already in the 1960s), to write short devotional/essay pieces, on the picnic table out under a tree on our Iowa farm. I write because I feel I can't keep from writing! I write to change the world more than to entertain.

2. What was your process of creating Kathryn's Fountain?
Dave: The basic storyline was there in my mind one morning when I woke up. At the time I was writing a science fiction novel (which I've just completed) and I interrupted that work to write Kathryn's Fountain.

3. In Kathryn's Fountain you use the symbol of a puzzle piece. What does that represent?
Dave: The puzzle imagery is meant to communicate that each of us is a part of the picture of God's grand scheme. Like a puzzle piece, each of us - at any age or place in life - has a shape and purpose to fit into God's big picture.

4. What is your writing routine? Is there something you typically do while writing a story - like drink coffee or listen to music?
Dave: I try to write Tuesday-Saturday for about 45 minutes each morning from 6:00-6:45am. I usually am sipping coffee at that time of the morning!

5. What would be a good present to give to a writer friend?
Dave: The recent issue of The Writer's Market.

6. Do you know a good joke you could share with us?
Dave: Yes. This farmer was working out in his field when a guy descended in a hot air balloon to get directions, because he was lost. When the balloonist was within shouting distance he leaned over the basket and shouted down to the farmer below. "Hey, mister, where am I?" The farmer looked around, then up, pointed his finger at the guy in the balloon, and said, "You can't fool me. You're up there!"

7. What other writing are you doing these days?
Dave: I'm tweaking my science fiction novel, writing a weekly inspirational newspaper column, a mid-week inspirational e-mail (e-mail me to get put on the list), and I write regularly for my blog.

8. Where on the Internet can we find you?
Dave: At my website/blog:

9. Anything else you want people to know about you?
Dave: I am a serious amateur photographer and sell images on . I also do some ventriloquism for the kids at my church. Oh, yes, I have a backyard chicken coop with a few chickens.

If you would like to read the first chapter, visit HERE

Kathryn's Fountain is available through most book outlets. Regular price: $12.97 Kindle e-book price: $7.99
Cladach's Special Price during "Fall Fiction Fling": $9.74
Buy now at:'s-Fountain.html

*I am posting this teaser on behalf of Cladach Publishing and will receive a copy of each book I blog about for the Fall Fiction Fling


Monday, November 21, 2011

CFBA Book Review: Promise Brides

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promise Brides
Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)
S. Dionne Moore


S. Dionne Moore resides in South Central PA with her family. She is a weekly contributor to The Borrowed Book where she posts tips on the writing life, recipes, and teaches on various writing-related subjects. In addition to writing cozy mysteries, she pens historical romances that bring strong focus to locales within her region of Pennsylvania as a way of indulging her passion for history. In Fall of 2011 her first of three romances set in Wyoming, A Sheepherder's Song, will release.


Love is the same, no matter when, no matter where—it never comes without sacrifice. Theodore risks capture for Ellie, but will their hope for a future together be defeated? Can Marylu trust Chester, or is she asking for another broken heart? Will Alaina and Jack find common ground, or will flood waters destroy any possible future? Enjoy three romances from the historic state of Pennsylvania.

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

*CFBA bloggers have not yet received our books for review, but I wanted to post a teaser about this book for you.  Hopefully it will arrive soon so I can give you my thoughts!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

CFBA Book Review: Christmas in Sugarcreek

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Christmas In Sugarcreek
Avon Inspire (October 25, 2011)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Abingdon Press. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.

As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.

Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek?

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

I loved this book, and actually read it on the eve of our first major snowfall of the season, so I was really in the spirit for a good old fashioned Christmas!

What I liked about this book was how real it was, you don't usually read of loud, Amish families who love nothing more than to have a big bunch of people filling their home, the Amish reflected in books are so often very serious, so in that aspect this book was extremely refreshing.  I loved how Judith's parents were all about helping their children find love, her father was even a bit devious, like I said, this book is REAL!

I think you'll enjoy this Christmas read, it's a fun quick read sure to put you in the spirit to fill your home with love and joy this season!

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


Book Review: 40 Days to Better Living Depression

About the Book
You want to feel better and this book provides clear, manageable steps to get you there, through life changing attitudes and actions.

If you're ready to really live better, select one or more elements of the 7-step Model for Healthy Living

Faith Emotional
Medical Family and Friends
Movement Nutrition

and follow this 40-day plan to improve your life-just a bit-day by day.

With plenty of practical advice, biblical encouragement, and stories of real people who've taken the same journey, 40 Days to Better Living-Depression may be the most important book you read this year!

My Thoughts
Winter is on our heels, and depending on where you live, the days can be dark and dreary.  Living without the sun for days on end can get tiresome and many people suffer from the effects of it.  There are many different kinds of depression, and just thinking about the long and dreary days ahead makes me feel depressed.

This book had excerpts of real life stories from 6 different people and is broken into easy to read sections.  It's broken down by weeks/days and each day starts with a morning reflection, has a section where you can write notes and has an evening wrap up.  Even if you don't follow through with each of the steps throughout the day you will feel lightened a bit!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from the B and B Media group.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Review: Remembering Christmas

About the Book:

Can One Christmas Change a Life Forever?

With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story that will have you remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

Rick Denton lives his life on his terms.  He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one.  So when his mother calls begging him to come home after his stepfather has an aneurysm, Rick is more than a little reluctant.  What was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of chasing out old ladies and dealing with the homeless guy who keeps hanging around the store.  The one bright spot is the lovely and intriguing young woman who works at his side each day.
As Christmas nears, Rick's old life beckons, the hurts from his past loom large, and the decisions he makes will determine more than just where he spends Christmas Eve.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book, Rick was someone who clearly needed an attitude adjustment and I seriously wanted to give him a what-for, but he ended up getting that on his own!  Rick's mom is the sweetest lady and despite what's going on in her life she remains steady and strong.  The girl at the book shop, let's just say she's a girl who thinks things through before she reacts!

I think you'll enjoy this cozy Christmas read, it's not over the top Christmas-y just enough to get the spirit of the season across.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

CFBA Book Review: Long Trail Home

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Long Trail Home
Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
Vickie McDonough


Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of twenty-four books and novellas. Her books have won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, Texas Gold, the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a multi-year finalist in ACFW’s BOTY/Carol Awards. She was voted Third Favorite Author in the Heartsong Presents Annual Readers Contest in 2009. Vickie is the author of the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series from Barbour Publishing. She has also authored two books in the Texas Trails: A Morgan Family series, in which she partners with Susan Page Davis and Darlene Franklin to write a six-book series that spans fifty years of the Morgan family. Also, next year brings the release of a new series from Guidepost/Summerside: Pioneer Promises, set in 1870s Kansas.


The Long Trail Home is third in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancee again. But he soon learns that his parents are dead and the woman he loved is married. He takes a job at the Wilcox School for the blind just to get by. He keeps his heart closed off but a pretty blind woman, Annie, threatens to steal it. When a greedy man tries to close the school, Riley and Annie band together to fight him and fall in love.But when Riley learns the truth about Annie, he packs and prepares to leave the school that has become his home and the woman who has thawed his heart. Will he change his mind and find the love he craves' Or will stubbornness deprive him from the woman he needs' Through painful circumstances, Riley and Annie learn that the loving and sovereign hand of God cannot be thwarted.

If you would like to read the Prologue of Long Trail Home, go HERE.

Like the rest of the CFBA bloggers I have not yet received a copy of this book for review, but at least you can see what this book is about and check the CFBA Blog for updates.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CFBA Book Review: Shadowed in Silk

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shadowed In Silk
WhiteFire Publishing (September 1, 2011)
Christine Lindsay


Christine Lindsay writes historical Christian inspirational novels with strong love stories. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects such as the themes in her debut novel SHADOWED IN SILK which is set in India during a turbulent era. Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj was seeded from stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India. SHADOWED IN SILK was the Gold winner of the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical.

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. It’s a special time in her life as she and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but also the noise and fun when the kids and grandkids come home. Like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.


She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women...but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Shadowed In Silk, go HERE.

Watch the book video trailer:

I had a hard time with this book, it was a very slow read for me and I just didn't connect with the characters.  I did feel bad for Abby but to me, she seemed to lack the gumption she needed, although, quite honestly I think it was because of her upbringing.  Abby's husband, well, I just wanted to bop him in the nose and I had a difficult time with the setting, no fault of the author, I'm just not familiar with India which made the entire book too foreign for me to really get into.

If you like foreign story lines you'll love this book!

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


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Carmex Giveaway!!!

It's time for a little Carmex Fun. It's getting cold out, everything is drying up, how's your skin? Dry? Does it crack and get sore in the winter? I have the cure for you!

Carmex sent me:
1 5.5 oz Healing Lotion
1 4 oz Healing Cream
1 1 oz Healing Lotion
1 .75 oz Healing Cream

I LOVE the lotion, it is very lightly scented, doesn't feel greasy at all and it does the job. I really can't say if I like the cream or lotion better because I truly love them both. What Carmex Lip Balm does for your lips is what the Lotion and Cream do for you skin! My legs get extremely dry as do my elbows, and with the Carmex Lotion and Cream I have kept them from itching and flaking.

The Healing Lotion has Aloe and Vitamin E and you should use daily to soothe and protect dry skin.  The Healing Cream has 9 healing ingredients and is used to help repair your driest, roughest skin.  With these two lotions your skin will be silky smooth and soft all winter long!

I also love that Carmex makes a smaller travel size of these lotions, throw them in your purse or even your carry on luggage for your winter travels!

Would you like to WIN a set like I received from the Carmex Blog Squad? Thought so, here's what you need to do:


Mandatory: (leave email address with your comment)
Leave a comment telling me why you need Carmex lotion or cream


+1 if you follow my blog or are a new follower
+1 if you subscribe to emails, (sidebar)
+1 if you follow on twitter @lluuluu
+1 for daily tweet please leave a tweet link
+3 if you write a Carmex poem for me! 

This giveaway will run until midnight 11/30, I will choose a winner via and notify the winner via email.  The winner will have 48 hrs to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

*I received complimentary samples of Carmex products to review from the Carmex Blog Squad.


Fall Fiction Fling: Week #2

Author Interview
1. When did you decide to become a writer?
Donna: I dabbled in creative writing in high school where I wrote several short stories that were published in our high school magazine. I also played the guitar and wrote several songs, mostly ballads and country gospel. Then when I married and started raising my family, I put the guitar and the pen down and dedicated myself to my family. Years later, when the girls were grown and on their own, a little story popped into my head. I heard loud and clear the simple message from the Lord: "Write!"
2. How did you think up the story of Charlie, the main character in your Mysterious Ways series? When you started out, did you plan to write only one book or did you plan a series from the beginning?
Donna: When that story popped into my head, it was a thought about a boy who meets someone very special at Christmas time. That boy was Charlie Smith, the main character in the series. I was only going to write one book; but as I started to write the chapters, I realized it needed to be a series.
3. Your characters are so believable, and the plots flow so naturally, that the writing must come easily to you. Is that true?
Donna: Some of it was easy, and often therapeutic for me; but some of it was a real struggle. I don't write from an outline; I write from my heart. If the words flow well, if they clearly reveal the emotions of the characters, if they touch anyone's heart at all, it is because God was touching me.
4. What year or time period in history would you have liked to live? Why?
Donna: I often say I was born 150 years too late. I love the Old West…cowboys, horses, ranches, log cabins….and did I say horses? As a small child, I only wanted to play with the plastic cowboys and Indians. I had a bouncy horse that I rode so hard it would come inches off the ground (scared my mother to death). I was most comfortable in jeans and a cowboy hat.
5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Donna: Caroling! I especially love caroling in the snow. I love being in a large group of singers, holding candles, bundled to the Nth degree, and harmonizing together ... then topping it off with hot chocolate!
6. Are you still writing?
Donna: Besides recently completing the manuscript for the 4th and final book of the Mysterious Ways series (The Crimson River), I do have a couple other stories running through my head. Both are fictitious with historical/biblical truths.
7. Where on the Internet can we find you?
Donna: You can find me on my website: and

About the Books
Young Charlie is alone on the ranch that sits between the empty prairie and the Rocky Mountains. As he cares for his dying grandpa and tries to figure out how to survive the winter, he keeps remembering the old man's words: "Failure is not an option, son."
As the first storm of the season hits, a mysterious mountain man shows up at the isolated ranch and good things start to happen. But can Charlie learn to trust the giant stranger with his one terrible secret? On Christmas day he learns what trust really means.
An entertaining and heartwarming story for the entire family to enjoy during the holiday season and all year.
144 pgs. $9.99
Review Quote:
"A touching story that demonstrates the many ways that love of fellow man can be given and the humanity of the Son of God. This is an exciting adventure story while carrying a message of value." ~ Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews


Charlie is a young man now with much to learn about himself, the world in which he lives, and the God in whom he has placed his trust. The little ranch at the foot of the Rockies seems to be closing in on him. Seized by restlessness, he sets out to join a cattle drive north across the foothills and prairie to the rip-roaring new town of Denver. On the trail and in the city, Charlie finds the awakenings of love and learns about honor, trust, and the need on the frontier for men who are both tough and tender, who know where to find their strength.
Another entertaining and heartwarming "Mysterious Ways" story for the entire family.
276 pgs. $11.99
Review Quote:
"A deftly-written and excellently researched novel that readers are sure to love, it's highly recommended to western fans everywhere and deserves a place on community library fiction shelves." ~ Midwest Book Review


When Charlie gets the amazing and unexpected news that he's now a millionaire, he once again leaves the cozy Colorado ranch at the foot of the Rockies - this time to take the train to Missouri. He encounters Jesse James outlaws, rogue relatives, new romance, and skeletons in the family closet. These adventures test Charlie's budding manhood, skills, and faith in ways that will entertain and inspire readers of all ages.
256 pgs. $11.99
Review Quote:
"A story of secrets, betrayal, friendship and redemption. A continuation of Charlie's story that builds on the first two books. While the plot of this book stands on its own, knowing the story from the first two books gives depth to the story. I really like the size of this series. The books are larger than a mass media book, but smaller and easier to handle than a traditional trade paper size. Very comfortable." ~ Author's Choice Reviews

*I am posting this teaser for Cladach Publishing, after the 6 weeks of Fall Fiction Fling I will receive a copy of each book I blogged about.