Friday, October 26, 2012

Knitted Curiosities

I receive newsletters from Knitting Daily and though today's was kind of fun and decided to share it with you. Have you ever seen any of these items?

 I think the Deerstalking cap is just perfect for this time of year!  I wonder what color it was knitted with in the 1800's?!

Weldon's Practical Knitter Series 9-12 eBook

If you'd like to join Knitting Daily go HERE


CFBA: Accidentally Amish

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Accidentally Amish
Barbour Books (October 1, 2012)
Olivia Newport


A Word From The Author:

I’m imagining you. You walk past as I water my front flowerbeds and we wave. You check the time as we both stand in a long line at the grocery store. You sit in front of me in church. I’m at my table in the coffee shop and you’re at yours.

We may smile politely and move on with our separate lives. Or one of us may speak, a simple invitation to conversation, and the words flow between us.

Here the adventure begins. When we meet someone new, we never know where it might lead.

I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two twenty-something kids. We live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in my back yard grow as tall as I am. (No short jokes, please.)

Not every piece of my life is pretty, though. Some days I want to throw out whole chunks. But I am living each day looking for the grace of God to me, in me, and through me. Having your companionship along the way will help uncover a lot of great stories.

Thanks for stopping by my site, where conversations and adventures begin with a click. I hope we’ll run into each other often.


Escape the helter-skelter of the modern culture and join software creator Annie Friesen, hiding at the home of an Amishman. With her high-tech career in jeopardy, Annie runs from fast-paced Colorado Springs—and straight into the hospitality of San Luis Valley’s Amish community. There she meets cabinetmaker Rufus Beiler, and the more time she spends with him, the more attracted she becomes. When Annie finds she shares a common ancestor with Rufus, she feels both cultures colliding within her. But is her love for Rufus strong enough for her to give up the only life she’s ever known?

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

Accidentally Amish is an Amish read with a whole new twist.  Annie has quite the life, a great business, a great man in her life.....but does she really?  Her life gets turned upside down when she learns a few things and finds that some pretty important things in her life are definitely not as they seem.  Rufus....doesn't the name sound cozy and cuddly?  Well, that's kind of how I felt about Rufus, he's a great guy, with an entire set of problems all his own, but when Rufus and Annie meet, well...things happen!

I truly enjoyed this book with an Amish twist, definitely not your typical Amish read.

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


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CFBA: No Safe Harbor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
No Safe Harbor
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
Elizabeth Ludwig


Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Journey, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Janelle Mowery, earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year honors. This book was followed in 2009 by “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” part of a Christmas anthology collection called Christmas Homecoming, also from Barbour Publishing.

In 2010, her first full-length historical novel Love Finds You in Calico, California earned Four Stars from the Romantic Times. Books two and three of Elizabeth’s mystery series, Died in the Wool (Barbour Publishing) and Inn Plain Sight (Spyglass Lane), respectively, released in 2011.

Coming in 2012 is Elizabeth’s newest historical series from Bethany House Publishers. No Safe Harbor, the first book in the Edge of Freedom Series, will release in October, with two more books following in 2013 and 2014.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, and often attends conferences and seminars, where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoyed a wide readership in its first full year, with more than 17,000 visitors in 2011. Along with her husband and two children, Elizabeth makes her home in the great state of Texas.


The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Harbor, go HERE.

There's nothing like a good historical fiction to take you back in time, and when you throw in a bit of romance, intrigue, and unsavory characters you're certain to have a great read.  I love that this is the beginning of a will be fun to read the next book to see what happens next.

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


Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: The Sons of Jude


A new series of gritty, fast-paced thrillers The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live-and-let-live approach to his life and job.

It soon becomes clear, as another young woman--a potential witness--is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, devastating the cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman. Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.

Watch the video trailer HERE

I always love a good thriller and The Sons of Jude hit the spot!  This is sure to be an excellent series full of action packed adventure that will keep you on your toes and looking over your shoulder.  This book is real, it is gritty, suspenseful and yet fits right into the Christian book genre.

I enjoyed the characters as well as the plot.

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


Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Review: The Memory Jar

 The Memory Jar
Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series
Every year, 30–40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love.

Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she’s also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she’s met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

I loved this Amish story, but then I knew I would since I have loved everything that Tricia Goyer has written! This story brings you back to beautiful Kootenai, Montana, to the mountains, valley's, small shops and a place where the Amish and English have an entirely different sort of relationship than in other communities.

True to real life, love is found in the least expected place in this book, and Sarah my not be destined to be an old maid after all, but will a few twists, turns and not so understanding Amish in a different state keep her from her dreams?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next book of this new series to be published!

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


Celebrate with Tricia by entering her Amish Kindle Gift Pack Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on November 7th. (And be sure to catch the fun video trailer or try your hand at one of the simple, keepsake crafts Tricia has put together on her website.)


One fortunate winners will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Custom-made Memory Jar Kindle Cover
  • Amish-made decorative items {Wall hanging, horse/buggy and Amish houses}
  • The Memory Jar {Be swept away by this captivating series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 6th. Winner will be announced at the ”Memory Jar Author Chat Party on 11/7. Connect with Tricia for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of The Memory Jar and join Tricia on the evening of the November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!


CFBA: Against the Tide

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Against the Tide
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
Elizabeth Camden


A Word from Elizabeth:

I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.

I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.


Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.

Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

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

My Thoughts
Mystery, drama and romance and if you read The Lady of Bolton hill you'll be thrilled to find that Bane now has the chance to 'shine' in his own story! You most certainly do not need to read The Lady of Bolton Hill to enjoy Against the Tide.

There is quite a bit of 'interesting' going on in this story, it kept me turning pages and quite intrigued.

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


Book Review: Twice Promised

Seeing how successful her older sister's "mail order marriage" has been and longing to strike out on her own, Greta Olsen answers an ad for a mail order bride in Central City, Colorado. But when she meets Jess Gifford, owner of a thriving mercantile, she begins to harbor doubts. He didn't place the ad to begin with and his business in a busy mining town leaves him little time or energy for love. To compound her troubles, she was not the only bride to answer the ad! Will either bride strike the match she hopes for?

Filled with amusing and awkward situations that will keep the reader interested and guessing, Twice Promised is another sweet romance from Maggie Brendan.

I didn't read the first book in the Blue Willow series, and it really didn't matter one bit, I may go back and read it now since Twice Promised was so enjoyable.  Greta stikes out on her own as a mail order bride only to find that she's not the only bride who answered the same letter!  You'll get to know Greta, Cora, Jess and Zach quite quickly, and not without some humor.

Greta is full of spirit, but she may not be the only one, this story had me quite frustrated at times since the characters just would not listen to me and be honest, which of course caused quite a few problems!

This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, no deep issues, no great historical happenings, just a good, clean, fun read!

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


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: A Merry Little Christmas

A Merry Little Christmas 

Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds. 
Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who’s preparing to spend the holidays alone…again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny’s farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she’s more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart—that sometimes love comes when you’re least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?

Anita Higman is a CBA bestselling and award-winning author. She has written or co-authored 30 books including fiction and non-fiction for adults and children as well as plays. And she isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Higman has six books coming out in the next two years.

Even though she’s written in many genres, Higman does have her favorite. “I love inspirational romance. There’s just nothing else like it for writing and reading. It naturally makes you want to curl up on an overstuffed couch and read the day away.”

There’s something about writing Christmas stories for Higman. Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe (co-written with Irene Brand) made two bestsellers lists for Christian fiction. Her novella in the compilation, Once Upon a Christmas Eve, was given a four-star review in Romantic Times Book Reviews. Her latest release, A Merry Little Christmas, is sure to be a favorite of shoppers and readers this holiday season.

Higman has won two awards for her contributions to literacy and has raised thousands of dollars with her book, I Can Be Anything, while serving on the board of directors of Literacy Advance of Houston.

In addition to writing books, Higman has written for radio, e-zines and advertising. She also cohosts a monthly blog talk r
adio show at which is a part of Reader’s Entertainment Radio. She has a BA degree combining speech communication, psychology and art from Southern Nazarene University and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as The Writer’s View.

She loves good movies, exotic teas and brunch with her friends. Higman and her husband live in Houston, TX.

Readers can keep up with Anita Higman by visiting, becoming a fan on Facebook or following on Twitter.

It seems far to early to be reading about Christmas, but it's inevitable, Christmas is right around the corner, and this little book will get you in the spirit....wishing for snow may be pushing it a bit too far though!

Franny and Charlie have two very different lives and are looking to change, this is a lovable, sweet and charming story with characters you'll love.  This is a quick read, a beautiful book....perfect for a holiday gift!

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


 Author Anita Higman invites readers to kick off the season with a spirited holiday tale. Anita is spreading the Christmas cheer by giving away FIFTEEN COPIES of the book. To enter to win A Merry Little Christmas, just head over to THE CONTEST PAGE at Anita's website and fill out the short form. Be sure to put BLOG CONTEST in the Subject Line. That's it. Winners will be announced on the Litfuse blog (and notified by email) on 11/9.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CFBA: Saving Gideon

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Saving Gideon
B&H Books (October 1, 2012)
Amy Lillard


A Word from Amy:I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.


Gideon Fisher wants one thing out of life -- to be left alone. This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife and son to the point of losing his faith. He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community. But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, what choice does Gideon have but to let her in?

Dallas socialite Avery Ann Hamilton is intrigued by the Amish farmer who pulls her out of the snow and into his austere lifestyle. Poor little rich girl, Avery has just gone through (yet another) bad breakup. Every man she meets only wants her for her father’s money. All she has ever wanted is to be loved for herself. Avery soon discovers the Oklahoma Amish country is the perfect place to hide out and heal her broken heart.

But she finds a peace in those back roads that she’s never felt before. Now her life has purpose and meaning as she connects with God and those around her. And there’s something more as she begins to care for this man who needs both love and forgiveness.

Gideon never wanted to live again much less fall in love, but Avery finds her way into his heart, showing him the beauty of life and God’s greatness. Yet as the feelings between Avery and Gideon grow, can they overcome their dissimilar lifestyles, or will their sheer differences pull them apart? If you would like to read the first chapter of Saving Gideon, go HERE

A beautiful Amish read that will pull you in as you connect with the characters, who of course have problems just as the rest of us, broken hearts, a need to find oneself, love, hope, a lot of hope and two characters who are quite different from each other.  The worst part about this book was that it ended.  This is the first book I've read by Amy Gillard, and I suspect it won't be the last!

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


Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: You Don't Know Me

A Deep Haven Novel

Sometimes the secrets we keep to protect ourselves can be our undoing.

 To all who know her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses a sporting event, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the quaint harbor town of Deep Haven, Deidre received a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker.

Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on parole and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the courage to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?

A very enjoyable read. This is not the first Deep Haven novel that I have read, but definitely my favorite.  I loved the element of the unknown in the story.  You have to give Annalise credit, she's come a long way in her life and is VERY good at keeping secrets.  She doesn't mess around with little secrets, her secrets are whoppers, secrets that keep her on edge, that keep her looking over her shoulder and away from her past.

This was a fast read for me, it kept me a bit on edge, had a bit of a love story, very enjoyable!

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

 Win a $200 Weekend Getaway from Susan MayWarren!
 RSVP for Facebook Author Chat Party on Oct. 23rd! Welcome to the campaign launch for Susan May Warren’s latest offering in her beloved Deep Haven series, You Don’t Know Me. Susan is celebrating with a $200 Weekend Getaway Giveaway and hosting a fun video Author Chat Party!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one and “Get to Know” your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 22nd. Winner will be announced at the ”You Don’t Know Me” Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/23. Connect with Susan for an evening of book chat, Deep Haven trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be info about Susan’s BookShout read-along and a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of You Don’t Know Me and join Susan on the evening of the October 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!