Christmas in Sugarcreek

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


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


ABOUT THE BOOK




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.

Maggie's Journey

This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
Maggie's Journey
 
Realms (October 4, 2011)
 
by
 
Lena Nelson Dooley
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers http://www.acfw.com/ and president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s also a member of Christian Authors Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.


Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with fifteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

Her last release is Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside Press recently won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing western fiction. Lena is currently under two 3-book contracts with Charisma House/Realms.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally.

Lena has an active web presence on Shoutlife, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. You can check out her books and find out more about her on her blog.  

ABOUT THE BOOK





Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she's adopted. The spoiled daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed by her real parents and by the ones who raised her. But mystery surrounds her new discovery, and when Maggie uncovers another family secret, she loses all sense of identity. Leaving her home in Seattle, Washington, Maggie strikes out to find her destiny. Will Charles Stanton, who's been in love with her for years, be able to help her discover who she really is?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maggie's Journey, go HERE.

The Mighty Macs - Review



ABOUT THE MOVIE:
It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.
In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.
Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.
From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!
While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.
Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!
My Thoughts:

I was so thrilled when I was contacted to review this movie. I am so extremely picky about what I allow my family to watch and am always on the look-out for good, clean movies. It's a real plus when there are moral lessons to be had too. I was asked by Propeller to preview this movie online and give my honest opinion. This movie is wonderful. So encouraging, teaching kids they can "do all things". Serious, humorous, action, basketball, and God...what more could you ask for. Everyone should go see this movie, take your family, take a friend!! The best way to get more movies like this, is to support it. Definite 5 stars out of 5 stars!!



A Wedding Invitation

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Wedding Invitation
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
by
Alice Wisler




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties. Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers. In her room, she created stories. The desire to be a published famous author has never left her. Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).



Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field. She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines. She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.



She has four children--Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications in her son's memory. This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.



ABOUT THE BOOK



After returning home from teaching English at a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother's clothing boutique in Falls Church, Virginia. When she receives an invitation to a wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she looks forward to reconnecting with her college friend. Instead her life collides with Carson, a fellow teacher and the man who broke her heart, and a young Amerasian refugee named Lien who needs Samantha and Carson's help to find her mother before Lien's own wedding. When the search for Lien's mother reveals surprising secrets from the past, Samantha must reevaluate her own memories and decide whether to continue to play it safe or take a risk that could change her life.



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Wedding Invitation, go HERE.



Watch the book trailer:






Happy Reading!!
Angel

House of Secrets

This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
House of Secrets
 
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
 
by
 
Tracie Peterson
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents.  She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella.  Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max.  She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.    

ABOUT THE BOOK  


When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters, Geena and Piper, quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.


Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. They vowed, as children, to be silent--but one sister believes the truth must now be revealed. Yet can they trust their memories?

Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes the strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to heal the past and ultimately to embrace love?

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

This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
The Mercy
 
Bethany House (September 6, 2011)
 
by
 
Beverly Lewis
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."


Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."

ABOUT THE BOOK  


Rose Kauffman pines for prodigal Nick Franco, the Bishop's foster son who left the Amish under a cloud of suspicion after his foster brother's death. His rebellion led to the "silencing" of their beloved Bishop. But is Nick really the rebel he appears to be? Rose's lingering feelings for her wayward friend refuse to fade, but she is frustrated that Nick won't return and make things right with the People. Nick avowed his love for Rose--but will he ever be willing to sacrifice modern life for her?


Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, is living in her parents' Dawdi Haus. Her estranged "English" husband, injured and helpless after a car accident, has reluctantly come to live with her and their young daughter during his recovery. Can their marriage recover, as well? Is there any possible middle ground between a woman reclaiming her old-fashioned Amish lifestyle and thoroughly modern man?

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

Watch the book trailer:



My Review:

Beverly Lewis did it again.  I am a huge fan of Amish fiction and especially Beverly Lewis.  What a JOY it is to get to review her books.

In The Mercy, Beverly completes the story of Rose and her family.  As with any family, there are sad times and happy times, ups and downs, relationships that are working and relationships that need work.  She does a wonderful job of bringing their stories to life.  I sometimes want to join them on their farm, sit at their table and enjoy the wonderful food, walk the paths to neighbors houses, attend a singing, and last but not least cook with the ladies or attend a canning or quilting bee.  Oh the JOY!!  Someday I will visit the land I have read so much about in Beverly Lewis' books!!

I highly recommend this book and if you haven't read the first two in the Rose Trilogy, they are a must.  If you love Amish fiction, this is the one, if you have never read Amish fiction, you can't go wrong with any Beverly Lewis book.

Thank you CFBA for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Happy Reading!!
Angel

Naomi's Gift

This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
Naomi's Gift
 
Zondervan (September 12, 2011)
 
by
 
Amy Clipston
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


From Amy:

A native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend.

In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.

After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.

One day while surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group, I accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and I met writers in all stages of their careers. The group helped me realize that I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels. Through Chesapeake Romance Writers, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and I also learned how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.

My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman's story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams ... and secrets. You'll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the 'English' way of life---and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families. Naomi's Gift re-introduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love and has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches---a time of family, faith, and hope for many others---Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family's quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down. Naomi's story of romantic trial and error and youthful insecurities has universal appeal. Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results. Naomi's Gift includes all the details of Amish life that Clipston's fans enjoy, while delivering the compelling stories and strong characters that continue to draw legions of new readers.


If you'd like to read the first chapter of Naomi's Gift, go HERE.

Happy Reading!!

The Shunning DVD - review


About the Author:
Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books.  Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide.  A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Lewis to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with "The Shunning," which has sold more than one million copies.  In 2007, Lewis' "The Brethren" was honored with a Christy Award. 
Lewis has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC.  Lewis lives with her husband, David, in Colorado. 


About the Movie:
Before she succumbs to cancer, the dying wish of Laura Mayfield-Bennett is to be reunited with the daughter she never knew. Unfortunately, that daughter, Katie Lapp, is a member of the Amish order. Katie is about to be married, but uneasy about the path ahead.  Now she discovers the secret her parents have kept from her: she's adopted. 
The film is based on the celebrated first novel of the best-selling "The Heritage of Lancaster County" book series from author Beverly Lewis. Stars Danielle Panabaker & Sherry Stringfield.


For more information, visit these sites:
My Review:
First of all I have to say I love Beverly Lewis.  I have read all her books and was so excited when I heard about this movie based on her book “The Shunning”.  I loved the book so anxiously anticipated the movie.  
The movie was good, but I would probably have liked it better had I not read the book first.  I thought the story line was a little off from the book which was a little disappointing to me.  As for the movie alone, I enjoyed it.  We watched it as a family which is always a wonderful thing.  Unfortunately there aren’t many good clean movies out there so we have a hard time finding movies to watch.  This one fit all our parameters.
Katie, an amish girl, engaged to be married to the town Bishop and in love with her childhood sweetheart who she thinks drowned years back.  He tugged at her interests in the outside world, music, guitars, the Englisher way of life.  The Bishop, however, is a widow with children who need a mama.  In the midst of all this, an English woman comes looking for Katie’s mama, who becomes afraid of past secrets being revealed.
This movie is full of twists and turns, suspense, love, and trouble.  The only thing this movie is missing is a sequel which I will be looking for.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services 
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 





Theo - Teaching Children God's Word DVD - review

I will first say, I was expecting this to be full length like most other kids DVD’s, 20-30 minutes at least.  I was a little disappointed when after 5 minutes for one and 9 for the other, they were over.  The content was great, just short.  I will say for my younger kids it is perfect.  They loved them and will watch them over and over.
As mentioned above, there are two episodes, Saving Faith which was about having faith in the right things and Good News which was about salvation.  Theo is a grandfather type guy and he talks straight to the kids in terms my kids can understand.  I love Theo, you might remember him from McGee and Me and Adventures in Odyssey.  There are also two mice who are quite funny, but I would have liked to see them more.  Although, in such short stories I think they added a great touch.  
I think overall most parents would be somewhat disappointed at the length if purchasing just for pleasure but if used in homeschool, as a teaching tool, they would be fabulous.  Also, with us being Children’s Ministry Consultants, I can see these short Theo episodes being a great “go to” tool to reinforce something already being taught.  They do have a Children’s Church curriculum available from LifeWay Christian stores and I will be recommending it to our children church contacts for use in their preschool classes.


If you would like more information about the Theo DVD, you can visit:
Theo’s website theopresents.com
Theo’s facebook page  here
Theo can be purchased from Amazon here
Church Curriculum from LifeWay  here
Also, there is nothing better than watching your kids play and learn about God’s word at the same time, there is even a free iPhone/iPad app  http://www.theopresents.com/



And last but definitely not least, Whitestone Media and Child Evangelism Fellowship is offering The Buy 1 - Give 1 Campaign!!  For every Theo DVD purchased, they will send a child in need their very own copy of Theo.
You just log onto TheoPresents.com after making your own purchase, and select the region of the world you would like another copy of Theo to be sent.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Happy Reading!!

Wings of a Dream

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wings of A Dream
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Anne Mateer




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



While I have been writing for what feels like my whole life, I began seriously studying the craft in 2000. Since then I have completed five novels, had several pieces published in local periodicals, attended six writing conferences and managed to final in ACFW's Genesis contest in 2006, 2008, and 2009. My first historical novel, Wings of a Dream, will be released in September 2011, with another historical novel to follow in 2012. But writing is only a piece of my life.



I am mostly just a woman trying to live her life in a manner pleasing to the Lord. That involves being a wife to Jeff and a mother to my three teenagers--neither role coming easily but both roles stretching me, requiring me to press in closer to Jesus. And because of this, Jesus has taken an insecure, fearful, sometimes angry girl and is turning her into a more trusting, peaceful, grace-filled woman. At least some of the time. There is still such a long way to go!



ABOUT THE BOOK



Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promised adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the Great War to end and Arthur to return to her so they can pursue all their plans, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, seeing this chance to be closer to Arthur's training camp as God's approval of her plans.



But the Spanish flue epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's death, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebekah is torn between the desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Wings of A Dream, go HERE.

Happy Reading!!

Angel

The Survivor - review



This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
The Survivor
 
Avon Inspire; Original edition (August 30, 2011)

 
by
 
Shelley Shepard Gray
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven.  Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado.  She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children.  When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.    

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page



ABOUT THE BOOK


One of today’s most beloved authors of inspirational Christian fiction, Shelley Shepard Gray completes her acclaimed Families of Honor series with The Survivor—a poignant and beautiful story of love and faith in a small Amish community. Delving once more into the lives of these devout and fascinating folk, as she did in her popular Sisters of the Heart and Seasons of Sugarcreek novels, Gray tells the story of a young Amish woman who has survived the ravages of cancer, but now longs for the love of the one man who can heal her lonely heart. Like Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, and Cindy Woodsmall, Shelley Shepard Gray introduces readers to characters they will never forget as she masterfully depicts a world of simple living, abiding faith, and honest emotions.


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

My Review:
From the beginning to the end, this book had me.  I always love a good amish story but get a little stuck on the same authors.  I've only read a couple of Shelley Shephard Gray's books and she is definitely moving up the ladder of favorite Amish authors.

I love how she made clear the struggles of being Amish, the struggles of wanting what the Englishers have.  We all know even the Amish are only human with the same struggles anyone else has, lies, deceit, babies out of wedlock, losing spouses, desease...  Shelley covers it all.  The question is do the Amish handle those issues like I do?  Do they turn to God of guidance?  Do they give in to the temptations?  You'll have to read this one to find out.

Happy Reading!!


Sweet Sanctuary Review



Book Description

This is a story about a mother and her son, a theme very close to my heart. I think it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to us to help us see our lives and find healing through the honesty and faith of our children. God has used my son, Christian many times to help me see things about my heart and my past that I didn’t want to look at for who can resist the simple but profound honesty of a child.
As Cindy Martinusen-Coloma and I sat down with Amy McConnell from Thomas Nelson Fiction to plan out the themes and story line for this book, we discovered that although our lives look different on the surface, at a heart and faith level we are deeply connected as women and as mothers. The fruit of our ongoing friendship is this book, Sweet Sanctuary. I love this book. I love the way it presents the grace and mercy of God which redeems every broken moment of our story…perhaps not in the way we would have imagined but in the way only God could do.
In tiny Cottage Cove, on the coast of Maine, Wren Evans is raising her gifted
son, Charlie. A single mom, she’s fought hard to give Charlie a stable, secure home life.
When a prestigious music academy in Boston expresses interest in Charlie’s talent,
Wren is willing to move them again to make his dreams come true.
But Wren doesn’t know that Charlie has been praying for her. And the answer to
her son’s prayers will change both of their lives. As Wren plans their move to Boston,
life in Maine begins to fall apart. Her job is threatened with budget cuts, and Wren’s
grandmother, Ruth, arrives unannounced, with an outlandish request.
Ruth wants the family gathered together one last time, at the summer home
where, years before, an accident shattered Wren’s peaceful childhood. In the tumult,
Wren finds a friend in a handsome, kind-hearted local, Paul Callahan.
When the family gathers in Cottage Cove, old wounds will be healed, new love
will blossom, and the innocent prayers of a child will be answered in a most
unexpected way.



My Review:  
Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen-Coloma did a fabulous job writing this book.  From beginning to end I was captured and felt a part of this story.  From the moment I met Wren and her son Charlie, I felt like I knew them or at least wanted to.  I loved the setting, Cottage Cove, and I loved that Grandma Ruth came knocking with her own party planned.  


With my own life story and the strained relationships in my family, it was definitely an encouragement.  Knowing that with prayer and diligence there is always hope for not only restoration but true loving relationships.  I absolutely loved following Wren and Charlie and would LOVE a sequel.  


Thank you to the Book Sneeze program for the complimentary e-book!!  I truly enjoyed it.


Happy Reading



A Most Unsuitable Match



This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
A Most Unsuitable Match
 
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
 
by
 
Stephanie Grace Whitson
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.


Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends. Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.

ABOUT THE BOOK


An unlikely attraction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana...


She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana. Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way... except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Most Unsuitable Match, go HERE.


Happy Reading!!

Hidden Affections

This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
Hidden Affections
 
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
 
by
 
Delia Parr
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Tyler wears the burden of legally being a divorcee, a difficult position for an upstanding young woman to find herself in.


While attempting to start a new life for herself, an unexpected turn of events once again has Annabelle married--this time to Harrison Graymoor, the most eligible, yet elusive, bachelor in Philadelphia. Harrison assures her that he will secure an annulment immediately, unaware that the constable has sent word of the marriage to the press in Philadelphia. And here things continue to go awry.

Harrison's past, a philanthropic cousin with his eye on Annabelle, and the appearance of Annabelle's ex-husband threaten the tentative relationship growing between Harrison and his "wife." For two individuals set against marriage, there are certainly a lot of second thoughts regarding the one forced upon them.

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

The Judgement

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Judgment
Bethany House (April 5, 2011)
by
Beverly Lewis




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).



Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."



Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."



A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."





ABOUT THE BOOK



Rose Kauffman is engaged to Silas Good, a well-liked Amish fellow, so why does she still pine for Nick Franco, the former foster son of the bishop? Especially now that Nick has left the Amish community under a cloud of suspicion after the death of the bishop's biological son? Will Rose marry Silas, even while struggling with romantic feelings for Nick? Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, has returned to live at her parents' farm with her young daughter. Hen and her modern husband, Brandon, are separated by mutual agreement, although he is threatening to sue for custody of their daughter if Hen does not return soon. Will the judge rule in Brandon's favor? Is there any way Hen can reestablish her place among the People without sacrificing her marriage?



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





Watch the book trailer:





My Review:

I am always so thrilled when asked to review a Beverly Lewis book!! She is one of my all time favorites!! I haven't finished this one completely, but so far she is true to form!! Beverly never ceases to amaze me. She has such a great grasp on Amish fiction!! I would recommend this or any of her books!!

Thank you CFBA for this book in exchange for my honest opinion!!

Abigail,s New Hope

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Abigail's New Hope
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
by
Mary Ellis




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A word from the author:I grew up close to the eastern Ohio Amish community of Geauga County, where my parents often took me to farmers’ markets and woodworking fairs. My husband and I now live within the largest population of Amish in the country–a four-county area in central Ohio. We love to take weekend getaways to purchase farm produce and other goodies, stay with Amish families in bed and breakfasts, attend country auctions and enjoy the simpler way of life.



This is my first series of novels set in the Amish community.



I would love to hear from readers of Christian novels. Please leave me a post at my blogsite.



ABOUT THE BOOK



As an Amish midwife, Abigail Graber loves bringing babies into the world. But when a difficult delivery takes a devastating turn, Abigail is faced with some hard choices. Despite her best efforts, the young mother dies—but the baby is saved.

When a heartless judge confines Abigail to the county jail for her mistakes, her sister Catherine comes to care for her children while Daniel works his fields. Catherine meets Daniel’s reclusive cousin, Isaiah, who’s deaf and thought to be simple minded by his community. She endeavors to teach him to communicate and discovers he possesses unexpected gifts and talents.



While Abigail searches for forgiveness, Catherine changes lives and, in return, finds love, something long elusive in her life. And Isaiah discovers God, who cares nothing about our handicaps or limitations in His sustaining love.



An inspirational tale of overcoming grief, maintaining faith, and finding hope in an ever-changing world.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Abigail's New Hope, go HERE.



Watch the book trailer:

He Said She Said - review




This week, the
 
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
 
He Said, She Said
 
Lighthouse Publishing (February 14, 2011)

 
by
 
Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles
 


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are the cofounders of Christian Devotions Ministries. Their He Said, She Said devotions are syndicated in a number of newspapers across the eastern seaboard and they host the weekly He Said, She Said Radio, Friday nights at 6:00 p.m. est. on Blog Talk Radio. Eddie and Cindy are popular speakers and teachers at Writers Conferences across the country.


Eddie is the author of five non-fiction books and his newest fiction release, The Curse of Captain LaFoote, a middle grade book. While Cindy is the author of one non-fiction and two compilations.

Together they teach writing with WritersCoach.us. Eddie and Cindy have been writing the He Said, She Said devotions since 2008, taking one scripture weekly and looking at it from two perspectives--His and Hers, with the idea that learning more about scripture from two perspectives helps one to delve deeper in God's word and know Him better.

ABOUT THE BOOK  


He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion, or How Newlyweds, Couples and Singles Can Draw Closer to God and Their Mate Through Daily Devotions


Do you sense something vital missing from you relationship with your spouse, children and God? Are you easily distracted by the busyness of life and left feeling drained, bored, and discouraged? Do you sense you were meant to enjoy the richness of life, but spend your days feasting on crumbs? This heart-warming collection of stories (54 in all) will inspire you to reach for the true source of joy: a life lived for and through God.

These deeply personal (and sometimes humorous) devotions offer biblical insights and spiritual truths from the unique perspective of one man and one woman. Learn to cultivate a life of passion. Perfect for your quiet time, these moments of meditative reflection illustrate the importance of allowing God to work within you and speak through you. No matter if you are newlyweds or newly retired, this book of devotions will help you put the spark back into your love life and explore the precious relationships God desires for you. He Said, She Said touches the heart, tickles the funny bone and brings you to your knees in worship.

If you would like to read an excerpt from He Said, She Said, go HERE.

Watch the book video:


Cindy and Eddie are not only good friends of mine, but a regular source of my spiritual renewal. It's a great idea, the he-said/she-said concept and I always enjoy their devotionals. Both are not only grounded spiritually, and super nice people but they both keep me laughing. It's that humor and heart that makes the spiritual more relatable in the most practical sense.

~Gina Holmes, author of Crossing Oceans~



I've know Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles for a few years. Each has a way of tickling my funny bone, so I wondered what a devotional book by them would be. I can heartily recommend it. The humor is there, but it's coupled with deep truths that go straight to the heart of the problem. You'll find a path that winds closer to God through He Said, She Said.

~Ane Mulligan, Editor of Novel Journey~


My Review:

I was so excited to get this devotional.  I have pre-read the majority of it and absolutely love it, not only for my marriage and my family, but as something I can pass on to someone else to glean wisdom from.  I love the humor and I love that you get male and female perspective.  Can't wait to dig into it again with my hubby!!

Thank you CFBA for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!!

Happy Reading!!

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I am a fully devoted follower of Christ!! I love my husband and kids more than I ever thought you could love. I have a wonderful granddaughter who is the most precious little girl in the world. I am a long time homeschool mom and love every minute of it. I thank God every day for blessing me with my family and allowing me to be able to stay home and devote my life to them!!!
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