Friday, June 27, 2008

CFBA: Calico Canyon


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Calico Canyon

Barbour Publishing, Inc (July 1, 2008)

by

Mary Connealy



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation.

Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.






ABOUT THE BOOK

Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.

As if being a wanted woman isn't bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormenters who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn't get any worse. Or could they?

Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife's death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.

When God throws Grace and Danielt together─two people who couldn't detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.

Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

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Monday, June 23, 2008

CFBA: Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione

(Multnomah Books - June 17, 2008)

by

Chuck Black


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007.

Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife Andrea have six children and live in North Dakota.

It is Chuck’s desire to serve the Lord through his work and to inspire people of all ages to study the scriptures in order to discover the hope and love of a truly majestic King and His Son.





ABOUT THE BOOK

A dangerous new order threatens the mission of the Knights of Arrethtrae. Only loyalty to the King can bring victory!

As the Knights of the Prince await His triumphant return, they are steadfast in their mission to take His story into the kingdom and recruit as many as are willing. But when a new and dangerous threat is revealed, their mission is jeopardized.

Sir Kendrick and his young charge, the impetuous Sir Duncan, are sent on a mission to discover the identity and origin of a secretive new order known as the Vincero Knights. They travel to the city of Bel Lione where Lord Ra has been enticing young people in the kingdom to join his festivals, after which many choose not to return home. Their families keep quiet for fear of repercussion.

When Sir Duncan disappears while trying to discover the truth of Lord Ra’s castle, Sir Kendrick attempts to find and enlist the help of a mysterious warrior. Time is short for he must save Duncan and call upon the knights of Chessington to join in the battle against the evil Lord Ra.

Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are...the Knights of Arrethtrae!

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

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Deep in the Heart of Trouble


Gist, DeeAnne. 2008. Deep in the Heart of Trouble.

Set in Texas in the 1890s, Deep in the Heart of Trouble is the sequel to Courting Trouble (2007). In the first novel, we meet Essie Spreckelmeyer. We learn that she is known round town for three things: wearing crazy, elaborate hats, riding her bicycle and unseemly showing her ankles, and being an old maid or spinster. At the end of the first novel after having been bitterly disappointed by love, Essie comes to accept with grace and dignity her singleness. The second novel begins several years later--three or four years later, if memory serves. Essie is still as much trouble as she ever was. Playful and spunky and sassy and vibrant. Very take-charge.

I really can't describe how wonderfully delightful and enjoyable this novel is. It's just a joy to read. Essie is just a fun heroine. Our hero, Tony Bryant Morgan, is enjoyable as well. He's the disinherited son of a successful oil man. His older brother, his half-brother, inherited it all. His mother and younger sister, were well provided for as long as they abided by the rules set in place by the stepson/half brother. So Tony decides to make his way from Beaumont to Corsicana. Decides to start in on the oil business from the ground up. To get his hands dirty if you will. If Sullivan Oil will have him that is. Tony definitely NEVER thought he'd be working for a woman. Yet Essie is in charge of the fields. He'll have to find some way to deal with her, to get along with her, or else his career may be over before it gets a chance to start. If only she wasn't so attractive...even if she is wearing bloomers while she rides...

I loved this book. Loved the little details. Loved all the characters. Especially especially Mrs. Lockhart, a widow woman who takes a liking to Tony and wants to *help* him win the girl.

Light mystery and definite romance.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Christian Reviews

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CFBA: Deep in the Heart of Trouble


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Deep In The Heart Of Trouble

(Bethany House June 1, 2008)

by

Deeanna Gist



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deanne Gist has been a busy lady. She had a career in elementary education. She raised four children. In fifteen years she has: run a home accessory/antique business, member of the press, penned freelance journalism for a few well-known publications, People, Parents, Family Fun and more. She was the CFO for her husband's engineering company, she did all this in her home.

She also founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products which would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she submitted A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers and they picked it up for their new "edgy inspirational" line of historical fiction. After its release in July 2005, Bride hit eight best seller lists and has sold over 100,000 copies and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2006. The Measure of a Lady was her 2006 summer release. It hit five best seller lists and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2007. Gist is contracted to have a new book come out every summer. Courting Trouble was her 2007 summer release and it hit three best seller lists.

Deeanne lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-four years. They have two kids in high school, two in college.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love

Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she’s known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man’s eye.

And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer’s oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune--not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn’t know if she’s driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope.

That’s how life is ...Deep In The Heart Of Trouble

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

“Christy Award winner Gist’s historical romances have increasingly gained popularity, combining witty dialog, well-balanced plots, and fully developed characters who seem almost real. Recommended for CF and romance collections.”
-- Library Journal

"Gist does it again! Her signature prose is consistent and she delivers a thoroughly delightful and entertaining story that’s worthy of our time and attention. Not only won’t you want to put this book down, you’ll want to enjoy this story again and again."
-- JUNE TOP PICK, 4-1/2 STARS, Romantic Times, Jennifer Reyes

"Gist has once again written a delightfully humorous historical romance. After reading the first book in this series of two, I was anxious to get my hands on this one. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed ... It is a spectacular, feel-good story which I highly recommend. You will definitely be glad you read it."
-– FIVE STAR RATING, The Romance Studio, Brenda Talley
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Washington's Lady



Moser, Nancy. 2008. Washington's Lady.

This is my third Nancy Moser novel. I've read her novel on Mozart's sister and her novel on Jane Austen. What can I say? It's a hard task to capture almost an entire life within the pages of a novel. Spanning over forty years, the novel follows the life of Martha Dandridge Custis from the age of twenty-five to her death. The novel opens in fact with her attending the funeral of her first husband, Daniel Custis. She had two surviving children--Jacky and Patsy--from that marriage. In the next few chapters, we see her courtship with the young George Washington. What follows next is their marriage naturally. George didn't always have an easy time being a stepfather. His stepson, Jack, didn't want to obey anybody--mother, stepfather, or tutors or teachers. So on the one hand, the novel is about the family life, the personal life of these famous Americans. On the other hand, it is the story of America's fight for independence from British rule. Quite an undertaking, isn't it?

A novel can span a wide array of time. It can span a day, a week, a month, a year. But for a novel to span over forty years in the life of a family, in the life of a country, requires a bit of determination or perseverance on the part of the reader. Not to be mean. Maybe this reflects more on me than on Moser, but I found parts of it to be sluggish. Sure I was interested in some of the happenings. But it was really more of this is this and that is that and then this happens and then that, etc. It was just boring. That sounds so harsh.

The novel is painstakingly well-researched. It's very thorough. There are quite  a bit of notes in the background that would help the reader distinguish fact from fiction. So there are plenty of positive things to say about the novel. The more of a history lover you are, the more forgiving you may be of its rather slow pace.

I liked it, but I didn't love it.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Worship Matters


Kauflin, Bob. 2008. Worship Matters: Leading Others To Encounter the Greatness of God.

Worship Matters is primarily for worship leaders, musicians, and pastors. However, it does have secondary value to those readers interested in this theological aspect of our lives as Christian believers. My dad and my sister--at various points in their lives--have been part of worship teams. I've witnessed--second hand if you will--the stress and pleasure (the love-hate relationship) that comes from planning and leading worship for a congregation. Picking the songs. Learning new songs. Dealing with burn-out. Feeling under-appreciated. Feeling like there's never enough time. Feeling alone as well. Like the audience, the congregation, just doesn't care what is happening. (And dealing with difficult people). It's a heavy responsibility. The idea that the songs you pick, that you play have an impact on the message of your church. That the Holy Spirit can and does use your work to minister to people. This book isn't about musical styles so much as it is about exploring what worship is. It's worship defined, explained, showcased. It's broad in scope and it does offer food for thought along with some practical tips. The practical tips weren't why I was reading it, but it may very well be a reason why you'd want to pick it up.

It's well written. It's relevant. It's timely even. It's rich-in-detail. The chapters are just the right length as well. There's enough substance to make this informative and useful. But it's not weighed down either. It's not so dense that the average person couldn't benefit from reading and studying it. It's reader-friendly.

http://www.worshipmatters.com/

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Summer Snow


Baart, Nicole. 2008. Summer Snow.

"It's not that I ever had delusions of grandeur, or even that I think I am better than anyone else, but there is something about donning a tag that says, 'Please be patient; I'm a trainee' and asking, 'Would you like paper or plastic?' that is uniquely, even brutally, humbling."

Summer Snow is the sequel to Nicole Baart's first novel, After the Leaves Fall. Our heroine, Julia DeSmit is a college dropout who is single, pregnant, living with her grandmother, and preparing for a 'humiliating' job back in her home town. Life is not turning out the way she imagined it would all those years ago. It's full of unexpected surprises, detours, and delays. Still Julia can't help but feel a little excited at the thought of bringing a little one into the world. She dreams of having a little girl all her own. She's daydreaming all these wonderful, marvelous things. But then a few surprises come her way. Her mother, the mother who abandoned her all those years ago, is back. And she's not alone. Julia has a brother, a half-brother. A small and mostly charming brother who doesn't know of his mother's former family and is just happy to make a new friend. To say that Julia is shocked would be an understatement. To say that the shock gives way to anger and confusion would be just the tip of it. Drama. Drama. Drama. Oh, and she's having a boy. She's a little sad but guilty over feeling sad at the same time. A bit confused as to why she feels like she's in mourning for a baby girl that never existed except in her dreams.

Summer Snow is all about grace, forgiveness, and taking chances. It's about living life day by day. It's about learning to be okay no matter what surprises come your way. It's still very much a coming-of-age story. Life has disappointments. Life has regrets. But it's in learning how to move on, move forward, that experience turns to wisdom.

I enjoyed this one.

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CFBA: House of Dark Shadows/Watcher in the Woods



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing a double pair


House of Dark Shadows
and
Watcher In The Woods
(Books 1 and 2 in the Dreamhouse Kings Series)

Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)

by

Robert Liparulo



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.

Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!

And his third book Deadfall. debuted to rave reviews!

ABOUT THE BOOKS

House of Dark Shadows
(Dreamhouse Kings Book 1)

Dream house...or bad dream?
When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

Watcher In The Woods
(Dreamhouse Kings Book 2)

It's not just the house that's keeping secrets.
Pretending everything's all right is harder than it sounds. But the Kings know that even if they told the truth about the bizarre things happening in their house, no one would believe them. They're hyper-focused on rescuing their lost family member before anyone finds out what's going on.

But when a stranger shows up to take their house, their options start dwindling fast. Why would he be so interested in a run-down old place? And what secret is he hiding--just as he hides the scars that crisscross his body?

The mystery gets stranger with each passing day. Will the Kings be able to find a way to harness the house's secrets and discover who is watching their every move before another gets snatched into an unknown world?

The Dreamhouse Kings Series has three contests that you will not want to miss...Dream the Scene, a weekly "Thanks For Reading Trivia contest, and the Dreamhouse Kings Street Team contest. There are also free bookplates that you can request, and a chapter of each book that you can download!

You can get all those goodies HERE.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

CFBA: I Heart Bloomberg


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

I Heart Bloomberg

David C. Cook (April 1, 2008)

by

Melody Carlson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melody Carlson is the best-selling author of more than 100 books for adults, children, and teens, including three of her latest, These Boots Weren't Made For Walking, A Mile In My Flip-Flops, and Mixed Bags. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, make their home near the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. Melody is a full-time writer as well as an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

Favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." It’s the “whosoever” part that gets me. That’s who I write for – “whosoever” and to me that means everyone and anyone.

Carlson, author of more than 100 books, begins her 86 Bloomberg Place series with I Heart Bloomberg that functions mostly to set up future storylines. Three women rent rooms at 86Bloomberg Place:


ABOUT THE BOOK

Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house-free and clear-except for the rules. No male roommates. But that's ok, with the right ad she'll pull in some girls, their rent and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work any time soon.

For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can't take another day in her aunt's tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades.

Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths. And they struggle to become the women they want to be, they'll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship.

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

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

CFBA: From A Distance



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


From A Distance

(Bethany House June 1, 2008)

by

Tamera Alexander



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots and poignant prose resonate with readers. Tamera is a finalist for the 2008 Christy Award Remembered, and has been awarded the coveted RITA® from Romance Writers of America Revealed, along with Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction of 2006 Rekindled. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in the quaint town of historic Franklin, Tennessee, where they enjoy life with their two college-age children and a precious—and precocious—silky terrier named Jack.

A Note from Tamera:

Stories are journeys, and each story I write is a journey for me.

Rekindled began with a dream—the image of a man returning home on horseback. He came upon a freshly dug grave and when he knelt to read the name carved into the roughhewn wooden cross, he discovered the name was…his own. The inspiration for Revealed grew from two characters in Rekindled whose stories needed to be told. But even more, whose stories I needed to tell. Writing Revealed was a very personal journey for me, and a healing one. For Remembered, I met that story’s heroine (figuratively, of course) while strolling the ancient cobblestoned pathways of a three hundred-year-old cemetery in northern Paris, France. And From A Distance came from a question I was struggling with in my own life at the time, “What happens when the dream you asked God for isn’t what you thought it would be?”

For me, the greatest thrill of these writing journeys is when Christ reveals Himself in some new way, and I take a step closer to Him. And my deepest desire is that readers of my books will do that as well—take steps closer to Him as they read. After all, it’s all about Him.

In the Potter’s Hand,

Tamera


ABOUT THE BOOK

What happens when dreams aren’t what you imagined,

And secrets you’ve spent a lifetime guarding are finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country’s premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he’ll do anything to protect his land and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He’s a man of his word, but repaying that debt will bring secrets from his past to light.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth’s lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met . . . from a distance.

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

“…a rich historical romance by possibly the best new writer in this subgenre.”
--Library Journal

“…a most amazing story. The characters are more than words on the page; they become real people.”
--Romantic Times

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

CFBA: Washington's Lady



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Washington's Lady

(Bethany House June 1, 2008)

by

Nancy Moser



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest.

ABOUT THE BOOK


It has been said that without George Washington there would be no United States. But without Martha, there would be no George Washington. He called her "my other self."

Who was this woman who captured the heart of our country's founder? She dreams of a quiet life with her beloved George, but war looms...

Though still a young woman, Martha Dandridge Custis was a wealthy, attractive widow and the mother of two small children with no desire to remarry. But when a striking war hero steps into her life, she realizes that she is ready to love again. She is courted by, then marries the French and Indian War hero.

Yet she wonders whether this man, accustomed to courageous military exploits, can settle down to a simple life of farming and being a father to her children. Even as she longs for domestic bliss, Martha soon realizes she will have to risk everything dear to her and find the courage to get behind a dream much larger than her own.

Her new life as Martha Washington took her through blissful times at Mount Vernon, family tragedies, six years of her husband's absence during the Revolutionary War, and her position as a reluctant First Lady.

Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart and Jane Austen, in Washington's Lady, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the First First Lady of the United States.

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

QUICK NOTE: I am planning on reading this one and writing my own review. But I can't guarantee that my personal review will be up during the official tour of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. But when time permits--hopefully this week--come back for my thoughts on Moser's novel.

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