Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hallie's Heart


Title: HALLIE’S HEART
Author: Shelly Beach
Publisher: Kregel Publications
January 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2436-6
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

MoNa VanderMolen owns a struggling antique store and most weekends find her out scouting for rare finds. Life isn't easy in the antique business. She discovers that dealers often outbid her at auctions. Now, someone has offered to buy her out. But Mona's a fighter and she will survive—she hopes.

When Mona goes to her beach house to escape from some problems she is shocked to discover her fifteen year old niece, Hallie, already there. Mona and Hallie’s relationship was shattered over a year ago when Hallie’s mother blames Mona for something and refuses to allow Hallie and Mona to see each other. But now Hallie is trying to teach her mom a lesson—but Mona wants to try to break down the barriers and win her nieces love and trust again. Is that possible? Or will the earlier tragedy destroy the family relationship for good?

HALLIE’S HEART is Ms. Beach’s debut novel—though I’m not really sure why I received it in the fall of 2011 to review...four years after it’s release. Looking on Amazon I see Ms. Beach has had other books released since then. But they appear to be nonfiction. I’ve never read any of her books.

Mona and Hallie are both realistically developed. I loved the beach setting on Lake Michigan. Some of the dream sequences were a little hard to follow, and the story did drag in spots. But all in all, it was a nice read. $12.99. 240 pages.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Benny's Angel and giveaway


leave a comment to be entered for a giveaway. drawing on Dec. 9

Title: BENNY’S ANGEL
Author: Laura Allen Nonemaker
Publisher: Tate Publishing
November 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61346-009-2
Genre: Children’s

God’s special animal creations are all happily living in God’s Special Garden. It is perfect there, and beautiful, and they are all perfectly happy… at least until someone steals all the flowers.

All the animals that live there are disturbed, and blaming the wicked Count Slime. But they can’t prove that he took them. The flowers don’t come back, and all the animals are beginning to stress about them. Finally they think to pray and God sends an angel down to solve the mystery of what happened to all the flowers…

BENNY’S ANGEL is a book in God’s Special Garden series by Ms. Nonemaker. It is a tale that is easy to read. My daughter swiped it as soon as I took it out of the package and read it. I asked her what she thought of it and she said “It’s Adam and Eve and the story of the Garden of Eden, but Adam and Eve isn’t in it and Satan is named Count Slime.” So, that is my nine-year-old’s take on the story.

My nineteen-year-old sat down to read it to his six-year-old sister and she was a bit more impressed with it. She loved the colorful pictures, and the story, and I think she worried about the flowers along with the animals.

The book has a good message about continuing to give thanks, even in adverse situations. A really cute book for young children. $7.99. 24 pages.

Author Bio

Laura Allen
Nonemaker
Laura Allen Nonemaker’s desire to write took root as a child in Bermuda. Since then, Laura has written in a variety of genres and her work has appeared in Essence Treasury: Celebrating the Season, Alive! and Kentucky Monthly Magazine.

Laura has been involved in short-term missions, including trips to Russia, Poland, and the University of the Nations in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Three years ago, her interest in the arts motivated her to join the planning team for Artful Missions, which conducts juried art shows and donates to outreaches in the U.S. and India to rescue women and children from human trafficking.

Feel free to contact Laura at lauranonemaker@gmail.com

Connect with Laura at These Social Networking Sites:
facebook: Laura Allen Nonemaker
twitter: @DigInGodsGarden
Linkedin: Laura Nonemaker
Blog: www.diggingingodsgarden.com

Q & A with Laura:
Why did you write Benny’s Angel?
Benny’s Angel was the result of an occurrence in my “secret garden.” While seated on my garden bench praying, I noticed a rabbit hopping through the garden. The Benny’s Angel scenario came to me. I sensed it was significant and in about ten minutes, I developed the basic storyline.

Why do you think reading is important for parents to emphasize with children, both by reading to them and fostering a healthy reading appetite as they develop their own reading skills?
I believe the time to instill a love for reading in children is when they are toddlers and beginning to experience the power of communication in their relationships. Children are ready to absorb whatever they see and hear going on around them, whether it is good or bad. It is important to read them stories that ignite their imagination and plant the seeds of sound moral principles.

What issues do you address in Benny’s Angel, and why do children need these sorts of stories to help them through life?
In the story of Benny’s Angel, the animals in God’s Secret Garden encounter a problem. They are unable to solve it themselves and pray to God for an answer. God answers their prayer by means of an angel. Benny’s Angel teaches the importance of prayer and of trusting God to answer our prayers. These principles filter naturally through the storyline and without the need for sermonizing. Children will face all kinds of problems and challenges as they grow up and stories based on sound biblical principles lay a strong foundation for their future.

Tell us about the next book you have coming out after Benny’s Angel.
The next book in the God’s Secret Garden Adventure Series is about a little frog. Through some misadventures, he learns the importance of obedience.

Grand Prize Giveaway

$85.87 Value
1 Vivitar Camcorder with Camera and 2X Zoom
1 Benny's Angel Picture Book
1 Benny's Angel 3-D Book
1 Benny's Angel Coloring Book
1 Benny's Angel Audio Book
1 Benny's Angel T Shirt
1 Benny Christmas Ornament
1 Marietta Christmas Ornament
1 96-Count Crayola Crayons

Monday, November 28, 2011

Love on the Line


Title: LOVE ON THE LINE
Author: Deeanne Gist
Publisher: Bethany House
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0764204098
Genre: Inspirational/historical/romance

Georgie Gail is a rural switchboard operator, and proud of her independence. She may live in a man’s world, but she does a man’s job…or at least she did, until the telephone company sends out Luke Palmer to look over her shoulder.

Luke Palmer is more than just an employee of the telephone company. He is a Texas Ranger, sent there to apprehend a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with the tempestuous telephone operator is the last thing he wants to do.

But when his stake-out puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is one the line.

LOVE ON THE LINE is the latest high-powered romance by bestselling author, Deeanne Gist. I have read almost all her books and have loved almost all of them, including this one. I absolutely love the tension between the hero and heroine.

Georgie and Luke don’t exactly make good impressions on each other on their first meeting…nor the second or the third. Readers will root for this unlikely hero and heroine. Be prepared for some unexpected surprises. The author’s note at the end of the book is interesting as well. $14.99. 368 pages.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

High Treason and giveaway



leave a comment to win a copy of this book

Title: HIGH TREASON
Author: Samuel Oakes
Publisher: Horizon Books
ISBN 978-0-9787987-5-8
Genre: Futuristic Political Thriller
Reviewed by: Steve Hilton
330 pages
$14.99 US

How should we then live? This is a question (with apologies to Francis Schaeffer) that has been burning in my mind since I started reading HIGH TREASON. Regina Owens is a young, liberal, black, female minister who is not content with leaving well-enough alone. But this book is not about a young, liberal, black, female minister. Enos Yoder is a young Amish man whose world has been completely obliterated by death, mayhem and destruction. Yet this book is not about a young Amish man.

Instead, this book is about how every person who claims the name of Christ is to live in a society where corruption, violence and anarchy are the order of the day. It strikes at the very foundation of one’s faith, and challenges you to ask the really hard questions, such as, “Does God still care?” and “If God does still care, where is He now?” This book will either strengthen your faith, or cause you to question it. And if you are questioning your faith, this book will not leave you alone until you’ve settled the questions, once and for all. I found myself repeating, over and over to myself, as I read this book, “God is holy, because He said He is holy. God is righteous, because He said He is righteous. God is merciful, because He said He is merciful.” I said these things because the just shall live by faith. And the world described in this book will require a lot of faith just to keep on living.

I know this sounds extremely negative. To the contrary. Because I’ve been driven back to my roots, I’ve come to realize, all over again, how deep, and vital, and strong, those roots actually are. And I’m ready to start living, instead of merely existing. If you are ready to be challenged, if you are ready to be transformed, if you are ready to take the next step in your walk with The God Who Is There, then this book is for you. Samuel Oakes has done me a wonderful favor, and I’ll be eternally grateful, and eternally in his debt for having done so.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Falling to Pieces



Title: FALLING TO PIECES
Author: Vannetta Chapman
Publisher: Zondervan
September 2011
ISBN: 978-0310330431
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/mystery

Deborah Yoder is an Amish woman, married, with five children. But she has two friends who are both needy. One has lost her husband, and is relying on the community for support and care, the other has a seriously ill child and needs a lot of money for medical care. Deborah and her friends start stitching quilts which they sell locally at Daisy’s Quilt Shop. But then the unthinkable happens and Daisy dies of a heart attack while tending her garden.

Callie Harper has inherited her aunt’s quilt shop and that inheritance turns her life upside down. Already reeling from losing her husband and the death of her baby, Callie doesn’t want a quilt shop in the middle of Shipshewana, Indiana. She needs to start looking for a new job where she belongs—in Houston, Texas. Callie has no intentions of reopening her aunt’s store, and Deborah has no intentions of taking no for an answer.

But then, due to circumstances out of her control, Callie learns she’ll sell faster if it’s open. Deborah talks her into selling the quilts on eBay. And that move has several in the community upset. But then a murder occurs and Deborah and Callie try to set aside their differences and try to solve the mystery…

FALLING TO PIECES is the first book in Ms. Chapman’s Shipshewana Amish Mystery series. Technically, this is not an Amish fiction since the main character is English, not Amish, but there are Amish in there—such as Deborah (and her friends.) I love the setting. I had the opportunity to briefly visit Shipshewana once, and would love to go again sometime.

Ms. Chapman has a unique idea here, using the popularity of a Amish tourist attraction as a setting for her cozy mysteries. She did keep me guessing with whom the murderer might be, which is a good thing. If you are looking for a mystery to read, then pick up FALLING TO PIECES. Don’t judge this book by it’s cartoonish cover. An excerpt from her second book in this series, A Perfect Square, is included at the end. $12.99. 332 pages.

Friday, November 25, 2011

An Amish Christmas


Title: AN AMISH CHRISTMAS
Author: Cynthia Keller
Publisher: Ballantine Books
October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-345-52378-5
Genre: Amish

Meg Hobart seemed to have everything. A successful husband, a huge, expensive house, three children, and unlimited spending money. But her husband, James, has been becoming increasingly distant and grouchy. When he starts whining about money, Meg doesn’t know what has gotten into him, and James refuses to tell her anything.

When Meg finally learns the truth, she is stunned. James has lost his job, squandered their savings, leaving them homeless and destitute with no where to go, except to her parents’ home, and they hated each other.

But after liquidating their home and belongings, another twist of fate leaves the Hobart family taking refuge with the Amish. And this could change their lives….

AN AMISH CHRISTMAS is a book that caught my attention when I first heard of it. It has an absolutely beautiful cover and the backcover blurb indicated it’d be something I’d enjoy.

I wasn’t expecting this book to be what it was. The teenagers were very selfish and materialistic and rude—I’m so thankful I’m blessed by teens that don’t act that way! And Meg was very unforgiving toward her husband, not rallying by him during his time of need. There were also some language and use of the Lord’s name in vain, but the Amish/English part of the book was good, where the Amish family bent over backwards to help. Lots of good detail. 3 stars. $16.00. 239 pages.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Interview with Suzanne Hartman & Giveaway


AUTHOR BIO
Suzanne Hartmann is a homeschool mom of three and lives in the St. Louis area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition & Linguistics from Western Illinois University. To relax, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and Bible study. She began writing fiction when her children were young, and four of her short stories were published in a Milliken Publishing reading workbook. PERIL: Fast Track Thriller Bk. #1 is her debut novel.
On the editorial side, Suzanne is a contributing editor with Port Yonder Press and operates the Write This Way Critique Service. Through her blog, Write This Way, she has become known as an author who can explain writing rules and techniques in easy-to-understand terms. Her popular Top 10 series of articles formed the basis for her e-book on the craft of writing, Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level



Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I love books full of unexpected twists and turns I don’t expect. I want to write the type of book I would like to read, so that’s the kind of book I write.


Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Marrying my wonderful husband, Steve. God blessed me more than I could have known when he drew Steve and me together more than 23 years ago. I always think our marriage can’t get any better, but it does every year.


How has being published changed your life?
The main difference so far is that it has added a lot more to my to-do list. Besides homeschooling, writing, networking, and blogging, I am now marketing my book as well.


What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading James Patterson’s Alex Cross novel, London Bridges and am starting a pre-published novel by a friend and fellow ACFW St. Louis writer, Phyllis Wheeler.


What is your current work in progress?
I am writing the sequel to PERIL, titled CONSPIRACY, due out in the summer or fall of 2012. This novel picks up where PERIL leaves off. Joanne’s life falls apart around her as she deals with a family tragedy and unfounded accusations against her and her boss George regarding Lady Anne’s assignments. When the attempt to discredit George fails, someone frames him for selling secrets to foreign governments. Joanne determines to do whatever it takes to find the truth even as Stuart helps her pick up the pieces of her personal life.

The third book in the Fast Track Thriller series is REVENGE. The man behind the conspiracy in book two isn’t content to sit in jail. He vows revenge. Joanne must fend off his attempts to expose her deepest secrets while testing a possible cure for the life-threatening illnesses stealing the lives of those with enhanced abilities. When Stuart’s life is threatened during a race, will she trade her secrets in order to save him?


What would be your dream vacation?
I have always wanted to visit Australia. In recent years, an e-pal emigrated from S. Africa to New Zealand, so I have added to that dream visit a jaunt over to visit Jeanette and her family as well.


How do you choose your settings for each book?
I choose a setting that will fit with the plot. For example, in PERIL, one of the main characters received the gift of a suite at the Talladega Superspeedway. I chose that one because it is one of the most well-known and popular NASCAR tracks and hosts exciting races. For their second visit to a NASCAR track, I needed it to happen within a certain timeframe, so I was limited on which tracks I could choose from.


If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
As I mentioned above, I would love to visit my e-pal Jeanette. We’ve known each other for many years, but never had an opportunity to meet in person. Meeting her would be like getting together with an old friend. We would talk and talk (and drink more than a cuppa or two) and bask in the joy of our friendship.


What three things about you would surprise readers?
a) I have had both knees replaced.
b) I’ve never had the chicken pox, measles, or mumps .
c) Short of physically putting a book together, I have worked in every area in every broad aspect regarding books: at a library, at a bookstore, as a publisher representative (Usborne), as an author, and as an editor (with Port Yonder Press).


What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to read, of course. I also enjoy doing Bible studies. My favorite form of relaxation, though, is scrapbooking. Something about the creativity, working with pictures, and physical manipulation of laying everything out has a calming effect on me.


What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it
I am probably my own worst enemy. I allow myself to get distracted way too much and take too many breaks to check e-mail and social media. If I recognize that I need regular brain breaks, I can use them to my benefit by forcing myself to write for a certain amount of time, then rewarding myself by doing something else (often scrapbooking) which offers the break my brain needs. Then I can come back to the story fresh.


What advice would you give to a beginning author?
a) My husband gave me this advice when I struggled to finish the first draft of PERIL and it kept me from spinning my wheels and getting stuck: Just finish the book.
b) Be willing to learn. Read about the craft of writing. Attend writing conferences. Be open to errors other writers point out and to their suggestions.
c) Be persistent. Keep writing, keep revising, keep querying. Eventually your writing will improve enough to catch the eye of an agent and/or editor.


Tell us about the book.
PERIL: Fast Track Thriller #1 is a Christian suspense novel with a NASCAR twist and is about a top secret agent with enhanced strength, who must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments, from the White House to NASCAR tracks, while escorting the first Muslim king to convert to Christianity. When unwanted publicity and the attention of a NASCAR champion threatens to expose her secrets, she becomes a terrorist target with danger surrounding her on all sides.
VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-G_LzhD4zE)


What do you want readers to take away from the book?
First of all, I hope they enjoy the story and consider it to be a good read. Beyond that, there are some important themes in the book. I hope readers take away the fact that we need to follow God’s promptings even when they don’t make sense. There is also an undercurrent about honesty, and how important it is in relationships.


What one question would you like us to ask your readers? (this is the one that they answer to win what you’re giving away IF there is a giveaway, if not, ignore.)
What do you like best about reading suspense novels and thrillers?


Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering.
I am giving away a signed copy of PERIL to one lucky commenter.

I also have a give-away that is open for the duration of my blog tour (until Dec. 16)

KINDLE GIVE-AWAY
To celebrate the release of my debut novel, I am giving away a Kindle to one lucky winner!
The contest will be open from the release date (Nov. 18) through the end of the blog tour (Dec. 16), and I will announce the winner on Sat. Dec. 17.
To enter, click here: WIN A KINDLE (http://fasttrackthrillers.blogspot.com/2007/01/kindle-give-away.html)


Where can people find your book on-line?
OakTara Publishing (http://oaktara.com)
Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Peril-Suzanne-Hartmann/dp/1602903069/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321304203&sr=8-1)
Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/)
Christian Book Distributor (http://christianbook.com)
At my website: Fast Track Thrillers (http://fasttrackthrillers.blogspot.com)

Where can people find you on-line?
My Website – FastTrackThrillers (http://fasttrackthrillers.blogspot.com)
My Blog - Write This Way (http://Suzanne-hartmann2.blogspot.com)
Facebook – Suzanne Hartmann – Author http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Suzanne-Hartmann-Author/45955180933
Twitter - @SuzInIL (http://twitter.com/#!/SuzInIL)


Thank you so much for hosting me here, Laura. I have enjoyed answering your interview questions and look forward to interacting with your readers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken


Title: HEALING YOUR MARRIAGE WHEN TRUST IS BROKEN
Author: Cindy Beall
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
August 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7369-4315-4
Genre: Inspirational/marriage

“We have to talk…” When Cindy Beall’s husband of eighteen years spoke those words, Cindy’s life changed forever. She was stunned when Chris—a pastor—confessed that he had been unfaithful—with multiple women—and that one of them was pregnant with his child. When she asked why, his answer was “I’m addicted to pornography.”

With the support of their church, the Bealls waded through the hurt, the emotions, the questions, with the ultimate result that Chris is still serving as a pastor, and Cindy is a respected marriage counselor.

But not all women have the support system that the Bealls had. Some of us can’t admit—due to pride—that our husband’s have violated our trust in the worst possible way. And with no where to turn for answers, they have to work through it on their own. Do I stay, or do I go? And if I stay—for the sake of the children—will I ever be able to trust him again?

The answer is no. You can’t. But, you can begin to heal your marriage. And if you have no support system, then possibly Cindy Beall’s book HEALING YOUR MARRIAGE WHEN TRUST IS BROKEN is a book for you to pick up.

Cindy and other women (and men) share their stories in raw honesty, and each chapter ends with questions for you to answer, and includes plenty of space to write your answers—if you don’t mind writing in books. If you would rather keep your answers more private, then you might want to consider picking up a journal and writing your answers and thoughts in that in there instead.

This book is an invaluable tool for any woman (or man) who’s spouse has been unfaithful—especially if you have no support system to get through it. And even if you do have a support system, this book will give you a bit extra. $12.99. 203 pages.


I received this book in return for review from Harvest House Publishers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Marriage Carol




Title: A MARRIAGE CAROL
Authors; Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman
Publisher: Moody Publishers
September 2011
ISBN: 978-0802402646
Genre: Inspirational/Fiction/Christmas/Marriage

Marlee and Jacob are headed to the lawyer to sign the divorce papers on a snowy Christmas Eve—their twentieth wedding anniversary. They are tired of fighting, and Marlee is pulling away, Jacob seems to be a the “whatever stage” where he just let her rant and paid her no mind.

When the highway is crawling with traffic, Jacob pulls off to take a shortcut. Marlee is upset about that, but Jacob does what he wants. A semi comes over a hill and broadsides them, knocking their car into a ditch.

When Marlee comes to, Jacob is missing, gone from the vehicle. There’s no sign of the truck. She’s all alone. But what happens next may just change their future…

A MARRIAGE CAROL is a short, easy to read Christmas story about the importance of fighting for a marriage. I could see little things in there that Marlee was doing, things that was pushing Jacob away, and his responses to it.

I am the mother of five children, and my husband and I decided long ago, we’d never say “I quit.” That marriage is worth fighting for. We’ve been married twenty-five years ago this year. I’m not going to say it’s always been easy. But I am saying that we’re still fighting for our marriage. And I encourage everyone to read this book—it will change your life. $14.99 hardcover. 128 pages.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Remembering You and interview with Tricia Goyer


Title: REMEMBERING YOU
Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Guideposts
November 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8249-4812-2
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/general

Ava Ellington has just broken up with her boyfriend, Jay, and her job is quickly going south. Fearing she’ll be fired, Ava promises to come up with a news story that people will want to see, not turn the channel. But she doesn’t know what it is—at least until her mother falls and breaks her leg, and Ava is asked to accompany her elderly grandfather to Europe to visit all the World War II battle sites and concentration camps. She plans to video tape the men talking about their memories and the battle fields.

When Ava and her grandfather get to Paris, plans go awry. First, Ava is shocked that her grandfather’s best friend, Paul, is accompanied by his grandson, Dennis—Ava’s first love. Secondly, their tour guide cancelled and they were going to skip all the battlefields but go straight to the concentration camp. Ava’s and her grandfather decide to break off from the tour and go on their own, but then Ava learns that Dennis and his grandfather are breaking off too. They decide to travel together.

But traveling with two elderly men and an old flame isn’t easy—still, Ava hopes that she’ll be able to reconnect with her grandfather, keep her job—and possibly stir up the embers that once connected her and Dennis.

REMEMBERING YOU is another “World War II” book from Ms. Goyer. Not exactly like the ones I loved (From Dust to Ashes, etc) but instead this one is contemporary with a modern day hero and heroine, and the war heroes of the day telling their stories. As a result, the book is more telling, as the men looked at the fields and talked, but it is still quite interesting. I think I would have liked to have seen pictures.

If you like contemporary romances with a large helping of history, then Tricia Goyer’s REMEMBERING YOU will be perfect. It might also be perfect for the WWII veteran on your Christmas gift list. Fascinating notes from the author are included at the end of the book, as well as discussion questions. $14.99. 311 pages.

I received this book in return for review from Litfus.

About the book:
35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.

As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.

Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/contemporaryfiction.html#RememberingYou

About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia's weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

For more about Tricia and her other books visitwww.triciagoyer.com

Link to buy the book: http://www.triciagoyer.com/contemporaryfiction.html#RememberingYou


Blog tour schedule: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13439289)

Giveaway:

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

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

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

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

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!



***
1. What inspired you to write Remembering You?

In 2000 I was on vacation with friends when I heard an heart-breaking story. For those familiar with World War II history, concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen are well discussed. But there are also many lesser-known concentration camps. One of them is Mauthausen, named after the nearby village.

As early as 1940, prisoners started arriving at the small train station at Mauthausen. A full two years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, this once peaceful community was already experiencing the horrors of war. And by January 1941, the Mauthausen-Gusen camps became the only 'Category I' camps in Third Reich history, meaning "camp of no return." The first American US GIs at the camp were the 41st Recon Squadron, 11th Armored Division, Patton's 3rd Army. The men opened the gates and brought the prisoners what they never expected—freedom—followed by food, clothes and the care of medics.

When the camp’s historian, Martha, told me about these men, I knew I wanted to meet them and to hear their stories.You see, my grandfather was also a WWII veteran, but I'd never taken time to sit down with him and hear his stories. I was afraid the stories would upset him. I didn't want him to have to think about those times any more. It was hard for me to connect my sweet grandfather with someone who fought in war so long ago. What I forgot was that he was young once, and his fight helped secure my freedom.

Meeting the men of the 11th Armored Division, I was given a second chance. I saw their tears and quivering chins as they told me the stories of battles in Bastogne and the Siegfried Line. I saw their drooped shoulders and heavy hearts as they explained what they lived through when they liberated Mauthausen and its subcamps. I'd lost my grandfather, but God gave me 100 more grandpas. What a gift. And because of my relationship with them I knew I wanted to share that in a book. Ava's story in Remembering You came out of that. Her growing relationship with her grandfather is similar to my relationship with the men I interviewed.


2. Give us a brief overview of the plot-line and main characters in Remembering You. Did you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe . Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.
As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe , only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.
Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.
As for a special character, I especially loved Grandpa Jack. In so many ways he reminds me of my grandpa who passed away in 1999.


3. In what ways do you think this book speaks to those with loved ones serving in the military or who have served?

So many times we don't know how to relate to those who served. We care but we're afraid to ask too many questions. We are worried we're going to stir up bad memories. The truth is that those memories are there. I hope it will encourage family members to sit down and ask questions. I hope it helps family members relate to each other. I think it'll speak to their hearts because they can relate.


4. You mention you've interviewed hundreds of World War II Veterans about their experiences in preparation for writing this novel. What were some of your most memorable interviews?

The very first interview I did was with Arthur and Charlie. They wanted to be interviewed together. As they talked they finished each other's sentences. They only saw each other ones a year--at their reunion--but their friendship was still strong because of what they experienced together 60 years prior. I also enjoyed meeting Robert Winter. I was traveling the country doing interviews of men from the 11th Armored Division and one of my husband's co-workers said, "I think that was my Grandpa's division. He lives here in town." Sure enough, it was his division. He lived only 5 miles from me. When I went to his house I said, "I had no idea someone from the 11th Armored lived so close. Robert had read about my interviews in his divisions newsletter. He just nodded, smiled and said, "I knew you'd figure it out sometime." I thought that was great!


5. Did you discover anything about World War II when you were researching the book that surprised you?

I was surprised by how much I misunderstood German citizens. I met a man who grew up as a child outside of Gusen concentration camp. He talked about how his family tried to help the prisoners but a Nazi officer put a gun to his head and said if they didn't stop he'd kill their whole family. They stopped feeding the people but they didn't stop caring or praying. It made me realize that many German citizens were victims too. This is something I didn't understand until I started interviewing many who lived through the horror.



6. At the beginning of the novel, Ava wrestles with her own desire to get a good story for her network versus her Grandpa Jack's more private quest to reconcile some of his memories. Did you feel this tension yourself between wanting to research a good story while respecting the privacy of some of the veterans you interviewed?

Great question! I absolutely feel this way. In my mind I know what type of information I want to hear and sometimes the veterans want to talk about other things. What I've discovered is that I just need to be patient and listen. These veterans aren't there for me to get gritty stuff or fact for my novels, rather I am there for them. God wants me just to listen and care. Sometimes the veterans share things I can use. Sometimes they won't share the really hard stuff because there is too much pain. I listen and I use what I can in my novels, but mostly I just become a friend to them.



7. In your "Author's Note" at the end of the novel, you include a wonderful narrative about a girl named Hana. Would you share it with us? How is this an example of some of the themes that thread through "Remembering You?"

After I wrote From Dust and Ashes I got an email from a woman named Hana who was looking for a US medic who saved her during the war. I only had the contact information for one medic, but I passed his name and phone number on, hoping LeRoy would be able to connect her with the right man. Well, it turned out LeRoy WAS the medic who saved her life! How amazing is that?! This reunion inspired one of the threads in Remembering You. The theme of "remembering" ties into all the character's journey. There are fellow soldiers we remember, and past loves, but there are also those we impact and wonder, "What ever happened to her ..."


8. What message do you hope your readers will take away from "Remembering You?

I hope first they've be entertained and be swept away in its pages. I also hope that readers will be encouraged to listen to those God places in their lives. We don't truly understand until we listen, and we can't love completely until we understand.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Truth & Dare / Triple Dog Dare One Year Devotions for Girls and Boys


Title: TRUTH & DARE: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Girls
Author: Ann-Margaret Hovsepian
Publisher: David C. Cook
October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4347-0208-1
Genre: Nonfiction/Devotionals

Dare to put your faith in action!

TRUTH & DARE is a great new devotional for tweener girls, ages 9 – 12. It will help your favorite tweener to discover the secret to life that sparkles for God. This devotional just for preteen girls will help you with God’s wisdom for everything from friendship and serving others, to getting along with your parents and worshiping God.

Every day, there is a short section of scripture to look up and read, then a devotional to read, some short questions to answer or consider, and a challenge to live it out. There is even some fun quizzes included. At the end of every daily devotional is a small journaling section with lines included for thoughts, prayers, and recording what you learned and how the challenge went.

Weekends have a slightly longer scripture reference to read, with questions to answer about it, and a bigger journaling space for more thoughts.

If you have a daughter, granddaughter, or favorite tweener girl, then TRUTH & DARE is a devotional to consider. Just for girls, it has a great girlie cover, kinda pale pink and sparkly, and it will bring the girl into word and get her used to having devotions. I’m going to give my copy to my nine-year-old for Christmas. I know she’ll enjoy it. This will make a great stocking stuffer for a girl you love. $14.99. 384 pages.

***



Title: TRIPLE DOG DARE
Author: Jeremy V. Jones
Publisher: David C. Cook
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0457-0
Devotional for boys

TRIPLE DOG DARE is a devotional for young boys and tween boys. The glittery-gray cover is filled with robots, sling-shots, dogs, and other boy stuff that make it instantly appealing to a boy. My twenty-one year old son was even attracted to the cover. The inside pages kind of look like a bad copy from a Xerox machine, with blotches and marks, but even that is kind of appealing to a male.

This is a year-long devotional is not dated, so you can pick it up at any time of the year. But the devotions are divided by week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. Each one starts with a verse or a couple verses for your son to look up, then it has the short devotional that has something to do with life and the verse. On the side of that is a Triple Dare where it gives suggestions for your boy to follow. And under that is a section with lines for your son to record his thoughts about what he learned and hopes to apply to his life.

At the end of the week is a section to tie the weeks worth of devotions together, more scripture for him to read and answer questions about, and a page to record his thoughts.

If you are looking for a devotional for your favorite tween or young boy, then TRIPLE DOG DARE would be a great book to stick in their stocking this Christmas. I don’t really think teen boys would like this book much, my twenty-one year old liked it better than my nineteen year old, but that depends on your son I think. My nineteen year old wanted more focus on Bible study and less on stuff. So that is something to consider there as well.

All in all, I think it’s good for younger boys – and I’ll give it 4 stars. $14.99. 432 pages.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Protector


Title: THE PROTECTOR
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-202062-8
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/Amish romance

Ella Hostetler’s mother has passed away, and now Ella is all alone on a farm she can no longer afford to take care of. She reluctantly holds an auction and sells off everything but the bare necessities, and notes that a neighbor, Loyal Weaver, buys the farm and most of the furniture and farm equipment. Ella is hurt that her memories are going for a song, but she’s determined to move on in life.

Ella rents a duplex next door to her long time librarian friend, Dorothy, who also helps her get a job at the library. Ella loves her new job, but she’s not so happy with Dorothy who is acting more and more possessive, and making disparaging comments about Ella’s other friends.

When Loyal starts coming around to show Ella what he’s done with the farm and the house, they develop a quick friendship. Ella’s always had feelings for Loyal, yet she realizes that friendship is all they’ll ever have…after all, Loyal’s never paid attention to her before. Eventually, Ella is faced with a choice…protect her heart—or come out of her shell and risk everything…

THE PROTECTOR is book two of Ms. Gray’s Families of Honor series, but it easily stands alone. I did read the first book in the series The Caregiver and both the hero and heroine make appearances in this book so readers might want to read that book first. Also, there are some continuing stories in this book with some of the secondary characters that are going from book to book.

Readers of Amish fiction will want to read THE PROTECTOR and any of Ms. Gray’s other Amish books. They are full of characters that’ll you’ll love and cheer for. I wanted Ella to find happiness and the family she longed for, and wished she’d see Dorothy for what she was… Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $12.99. 295 pages.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Salon Doll and GIVEAWAY


Follow the steps below to be entered into the giveaway:

My Salon Doll... these dolls are unlike any other dolls on the market. They have real human hair and their hair can be curled with a curling iron, straightened, crimped and blown dry. The dolls are vinyl and can go in the tub. They have pierced ears and can wear real earings.

A young girl and her doll quickly develop a fast and lasting friendship. This new relationship will provide hours of creativity, imaginary play, dress up and YES hair styles.

My Salon Doll delivers a real treat! Uniquely designed, each doll is manufactured with real human hair. Their hair can be curled with a curling iron, straightened, crimped and blown dry. What ever you can imagine you can create.

My Salon Doll’s are vinyl; this design makes it possible to join her best friend everywhere… places like the pool, sprinklers, or tub are no longer off limits. Every moment with My Salon Doll is memorable and enjoyable. Another fun feature from My Salon Doll are her pierced ears, making it easy to add glam with real earings and other accessories.

Currently My Salon Doll has three dolls available Brynn, Malaree, Kendrey with a rapidly expanding product line. Each girl has her on personality, hobbies, and talents. The adventures are just waiting to begin! While exploring the website, visit the Styles and Smiles link. This is a fun place where you are taught different things like styling your My Salon Doll’s hair, special techniques, and safety tips. Styles you can recreate on your own hair!

My Salon Doll is hosting a Christmas giveaway.
Enter to win a your very own, MY SALON DOLL.
The First and Original Doll with Real Hair.

TO PARTICIPATE: For a chance to win you must complete the following three (3) steps below between November 7, 2011 and December 15, 2011 to qualify;

Step 1: Visit www.mysalondoll.com and get to know the three different dolls: Brynn, Malaree, and Kendrey. Then decide if chosen, which doll you’d like to win.

Step 2: Send an email to contest@mysalondoll.com with your first name, last name, email address, doll of your choice, and share where you heard about the contest.

Step 3: “Like” the My Salon Doll Facebook page

CONTEST DATES: The contest will be active from November 1, 2011 through December 15, 2011.

GIVEAWAY RULES: Open to USA and Canadian residents, age 18+ to enter, one entry per household. Winner announced on Facebook on December 16, 2011. No purchase necessary. Thanks for entering and good luck! Winner selected through random.org and notified by email.

Blog, Tweet or Share on Facebook about the giveaway and be entered twice in the contest. Make sure you leave a message on the My Salon Doll facebook page letting us know that you’ve done this.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside


Title: BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Summerside Press
September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60936-215-7
Genre: Inspirational/historical/romance

Dottie Morgan made a mistake. The blessing was that she had a son. But now her son, a high-school football champion, is dead, killed in WWII, and Dottie is in mourning. She wonders if she’ll ever survive the loss.

Violet Hart went to serve in factories, installing wheels on the vehicles that were used in the war. She came home with everyone seemingly blaming her for putting the boys in the line of danger, blaming her for the deaths of the boys that didn’t come home, because she did a man’s job. She fell in love with another soldier, Alex, but now the Christmas card she sent him was marked “return to sender.”

Dottie has few food supplies in her house when a storm blows in. Violet goes out to her farm to try and borrow a star from Dottie and rescues Dottie from certain death. But she’s involved in an accident on the way out of Dottie’s yard. And two more join them as the evening progresses, all stranded by the storm. Will this holiday be more than a parade of memories? Could it bring hope?

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE is set in the aftermaths of WWII, after the boys who were returning had returned. When those who loss someone were still mourning. And when all were trying to find the strength to go on.

Dottie was bitter, hurt and upset for things that happened to her. So much so that she couldn’t see what was right in front of her eyes. Violet wants to open the town of Frost, Minnesota up to living again—restarting the Christmas story hour, hanging the star, and reviving other old traditions—ones that Dottie holds captive in her bitterness. But each of these women have someone in the background—someone they never realized was there. This is a really good Christmas story and includes a recipe at the end of the book. $12.99. 314 pages.


I received this book in return for review from Litfuse.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Race Against Time


Title: RACE AGAINST T IME
Authors: Kimberley and Kayla R. Woodhouse
Publisher: Broadman & Holman
November 2011
ISBN: 978-14336-7117-3
Genre: Inspirational/suspense

Zoya Naltsiine is thirteen years old. While out running the dogs that her mother breeds and sells in the kennels, she witnesses a murder. The killers see her and make an attempt on her life, but she gets away with only a flesh wound.

Anesia is desperate to protect her daughter from these unknown killers, but doesn’t know where to turn or who to trust. When someone breaks into her house while Zoya is still in the hospital and leave a threatening note. She needs full time help at the kennel, but now, foremost in her mind is the attempted murder of her daughter…would any of the men she interviews be the murderer come to finish the job?

Sean Connelly is fleeing his own demons. He’s in awe of Alaska and is offered the job at the kennels after the police detective assures Anesia he’s clean. But then Sean discovers macro-chips bearing secrets implanted in the Naltsiine Kennel’s dogs.

Could the macro-chips be related to the murder? Could strange accidents be more attempts to ‘silence’ Zoya? And what is Zoya disobeys the stiff rules her mother puts in place to attempt to keep her daughter safe?

RACE AGAINST TIME is the sequel to No Safe Haven. I love the Alaskan setting and that the book starts in the middle of the action and the suspense is able to grip you from page one and doesn’t let go. I would recommend reading No Safe Haven before reading this book, as the characters in that book are major secondary characters in this book, and the mystery in book one is referred to several times at the beginning, so readers will want to be up-to-speed with what happened.

I enjoyed getting to know Zoya, Anesia, and Sean. Sean was an especially interesting character. The typical hero, good, kind, considerate, and polite. Anesia and Zoya were both very strong heroines, both determined that things would be done their way—“You do it my way, no highway option.” If you are looking for a good suspense novel to read, then RACE AGAINST TIME is one to consider. It involves murder, suspense, action, and dog sled racing, and is set in Alaska. A wonderful combination. $14.99. 352 pages.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Amish Wedding


Title: AN AMISH WEDDING
Authors: Kelly Long, Kathleen Fuller, Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
December 2011
ISBN: 9782595549211
Genre: Inspirational/Amish/romance

Priscilla’s upcoming wedding is stirring up trouble—and romance—in Paradise. A collection of three Amish novella’s connected to one larger story.

A Perfect Secret by Kelly Long—Rose Bender has always known she’d marry her long time best friend Luke Lantz. But there is a thief in their Amish neighborhood and when Rose catches a glimpse of the English thief he seems so much more intriguing than her intended. Luke is harboring a secret too. One that could cost him his good standing in his Amish community, not to mention rip Rose from his arms forever.

A Perfect Match by Kathleen Fuller—Naomi King has been hurt once, when her beau, David, left and married another. Zeke Lapp is waiting for the right girl. When Zeke goes to visit his cousin Chester for his wedding, he is quickly attracted to the lovely Naomi. But Naomi isn’t interested and tries to match him up with her friend, Margaret. Zeke isn’t interested in Margaret, nor her in him, but how can he make Naomi take notice?

A Perfect Plan by Beth Wiseman—Priscilla King and Chester Lapp’s wedding is quickly approaching and everything is going wrong! Priscilla wonders if maybe God doesn’t want her and Chester to marry. Chester has lost his job, Priscilla’s little sister cut up her wedding dress, her best friend has poison ivy, the cake decorator quit, and the groomsman had to return home and not be in the wedding. What else could go wrong? And how will they work through all these trials?

AN AMISH WEDDING is a novella collection centered around Priscilla’s wedding and the preparations for it—and how two couples found love during the preparations. It is a really cute collection, and gives a lot of information about Amish weddings and even Amish cooking.

Kelly Long is getting a reputation as being an edgier Amish writer, and I have to admit that I do love the passion she has in her stories. They are clean, but there is a lot of sexual tension, and she does that so very well. Kathleen Fuller has well planned out stories that take hurting characters and help them heal in the process. Beth Wiseman’s story neatly wrapped up the wedding. Discussion questions and some wonderful sounding Amish recipes are included at the end of the book. $15.99. 400 pages.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Vision of Lucy


Title: A VISION OF LUCY
Author: Margaret Browning
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
June 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59554-811-5
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Lucy Fairbanks wants a job as a photographer for the newspapers. Her father thinks she ought to give up her dream and get married like any good woman, but Lucy has landed the reluctant promises of the local newspaper that he’ll publish her photos if she gets a picture of an elusive white wild stallion. Lucy gives it a fair shot, but unfortunately, a stagecoach is robbed under the tree she’s hiding in, and in her attempt to get a picture of the robbery, she falls from the tree.

That isn’t all—the horses, scared by the woman falling, take off on a run and Lucy is on the luggage rack. She hangs on for dear life, but the robbers catch up with her, and are on the verge of shooting her when the wild man everyone in town is afraid of comes to her rescue, not once, but thrice, even delivering her safely back to the original scene of the robbery.

The newspaper editor fires Lucy on the spot for failing to provide the picture of the robbery or the stallion, and to save her job she promises to get a picture of the wild man. Who isn’t so wild. But David Wolf has reasons to keep the town unaware of his presence. And thus, a big reason to keep Lucy Fairbanks away.

A VISION OF LUCY is the third book in Ms. Browning’s A Rocky Creek Romance series, but it easily stands alone. I liked this book the best of all three of them, and I remember loving the second book. So, the best only got better.

Lucy is a talkative, feisty character, career-driven in a day when women are expected to stay home and raise a family. David is a kind, considerate hero, despite his recluse-tendencies. I couldn’t help but fall in love with both of them, and loved the sparks between them that were evident from the moment they met. A great read. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $14.99. 330 pages.

I received this book in return for review from the publicist.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering Christmas


Title: REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS
Author: Dan Walsh
Publisher: Revell
September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1979-1
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/Christmas

Rick Denton is an accountant, who lives his life on his own terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. He is planning on going skiing with his friends close to Christmas when his mother calls. Rick’s step-father, Art, had suffered from an apparent stroke and she needed him.

Rick wasn’t real happy, but he’d be a bad son if he didn’t go to his mom at this time. He plans to stay for only the weekend, but his mother, needs him to work in their bookstore. It is Black Friday, the day the store comes out of the red and into the black.

Andrea is part time help, but due to Art’s illness is stepping up to do more at the store. She can tell that Rick is overwhelmed by the store and everything that is happening. Rick’s mother continues to need him, so he stays longer, but as Christmas nears, Rick’s old life beckon, the hurt from his past loom, and his decisions will determine more than where he spends Christmas Eve.

I fell in love with Mr. Walsh’s writings, when I read his debut novel, The Unfinished Gift, and REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS didn’t disappoint. The writing style draws me into the story and I want to find out everything about the colorful characters that fill the pages of this book.

If you are looking for a great Christmas story to read this holiday season, then REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS is one you’ll want to pick up. A note from the author is included at the end of the book. $15.99 hardcover. 263 pages.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hope Underground


Title: HOPE UNDERGROUND
Author: Carlos Parra Diaz
Publisher: Imago Dei Books
September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9869799-5-8
Genre: Inspirational/faith/miracles

HOPE UNDERGROUND is the true story of the thirty-three miners caught in a mine in Chili when it collapsed. Most of the whole world was spellbound, watching the television for news of these men, praying for them, and hoping that they’d be found alive. I say most, because some (like me) don’t have a television, but even I checked online occasionally to see if they’d been found, and after they had been, anxiously waiting for news of the rescue.

Carlos Parra Diaz is a Seventh Day Adventist pastor and one of the original fifteen pastors called up to the camp to minister to the miner’s families. After that, and following the guidance of the Lord, Carlos Parra Diaz miraculously supplied seven centimeter Bibles small enough to go down into the mine.

In the center of the book are pictures taken of Carlos Parra Diaz, the families, mayors, miners and others.

HOPE UNDERGROUND is a truly amazing story, one that those who prayed for the miners and workers will want to read to get one persons perspective of the miracles that were worked in the lives of the miners, families, and workers. $14.99. 191 pages.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Freezing Point / The Christmas Witness

Two romantic suspense books for your reading pleasure


Title: FREEZING POINT
Author: Elizabeth Goddard
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-373-44463-2
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Casey Wilkes has fled to her aunt’s beach house in California to escape from a crazed man in Oregon who wants to kill her for ruining his life. Once in California, Casey, an investigative reporter, goes into the newspaper office to look for a job. She is told she’ll be hired if she gets an interview with the ice sculpture that is entering a competition. Fortunately, this ice sculpture works for her uncle, and Casey uses that method to get past the barriers in place to talk to the sculpture.

Jesse Mitchell isn’t really an ice sculpture. He’s really a homeland security agent, undercover as an ice sculpture to bust a drug running ring that operates out of the warehouse. Unfortunately, Jesse is friends with the drug runners…equally unfortunately, he finds Casey on the loading dock about the time a deal is about to go down, and he has to steer her to safety. But, this has brought Casey to the attention of the bad guys. Not only that, but she’s still in fear of the man who tried to kill her in Oregon.

Jesse knows that Casey could mess up his whole operation and that he needs to stay away from her. Unfortunately, someone has a target set on Casey. Saving her could blow his cover—but how can he leave her unprotected?

FREEZING POINT is the newest romantic suspense by Elizabeth Goddard. I like the unusual aspect of having an undercover agent as an ice sculpture. That really made the story interesting. Jesse is a very sweet understand hero, kind to everyone, and good. Casey is running scared and of course, everything is against her and everyone is after her.

If you are looking for a new and different romantic suspense, then be sure to pick up FREEZING POINT today. It is a good read. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.75. 214 pages.

***


Title: THE CHRISTMAS WITNESS
Author: Susan Sleeman
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
December 2011
ISBN: 978-0-373-44471-7
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Years ago, Megan Cash identified a criminal who held her at gunpoint when he robbed the bank she worked at. Now, he’s out of prison and not only wants to kill Megan, but also her daughter, Ella.

Reid Morgan is a former FBI-agent, and he was on the case when Megan identified the criminal. But they got involved in a relationship and he ended up choosing his career over her. She married another man on the rebound, and he also fell into another relationship. But years later, the sparks are still there.

Reid pulls on all his FBI and law enforcement contacts to protect Megan, but with the killer playing with her and leaving no proof of his involvement, what the PD and FBI are allowed to do are limited. Still, Reid breaks his promise to his daughter about no carrying a weapon, and decides to do what it takes to keep Ella and Megan safe from a crazed man who wants them both dead before Christmas.

THE CHRISTMAS WITNESS is the third book by Ms. Sleeman, a sequel to Behind the Badge, though the story stands alone and is not marketed as part of a series. I enjoyed getting to know Reid, a very realistic, protector hero, and Megan, a woman who is running scared, but can’t go very far due to her daughter’s health issues.

Neither Megan nor Reid had anytime to relax in this book. With almost superhero speed, the villain stays one step ahead of them, always off the scene by the time they arrive. If you are looking for a romantic suspense with plenty of twists and turns and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat, then THE CHRISTMAS WITNESS is one you’ll want to read. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.75. 216 pages.

I received these books from the authors in exchange for review.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Captain Jack's Treasure


Title: CAPTAIN JACK’S TREASURE
Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Publisher: Port Yonder Press
August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-935600-14-5
Genre: Juvenile fiction

Sam Butler lives right beside the ocean on the Treasure Coast of Florida. And all he has heard about since he moved there has been about the fabulous treasures that have been found—and those that are still waiting to be discovered.

Sam and his two friends are convinced they will be the next to find a big treasure. Especially when Sam is given a top of the line metal detector for his birthday. When they meet a crusty old sea captain named Jack, they’re told that Jack knows all there is to know about treasures. So the boys try to get to know Captain Jack.

Captain Jack has purchased an old boat that is hardly seaworthy. And he hires on Sam and his friends to help him fix up the boat. The three boys dream of going out treasure hunting on Captain Jack’s boat…but what is Captain Jack’s secret he seems to be hiding/ And does he really know anything about treasures?

CAPTAIN JACK’S TREASURE is book two in the Sam Cooper Adventure series by Max Elliot Anderson. Mr. Anderson is an adventure writer for boys—especially boys that are reluctant readers. I can vouch that his books make reluctant readers sit up and take notice—and that they will read these books from cover to cover. I had two reluctant readers when they were young, and now both of these boys are in college and they both still enjoy Mr. Anderson’s books. My oldest son tells me, “They’re exciting, Mom.” And my youngest son says, “These are books that once you start them you can’t put them down, you have to keep reading.”

I read this book for purpose of review, and it is a very exciting story. The boys are looking for fun and adventure, and they find it. Not only that, but Captain Jack is full of tales of pirates and treasures and phantoms haunting ships and lighthouses.

CAPTAIN JACK’S TREASURE is a book that will appeal to juvenile boys and older. Girls will like these books too. If you have a reluctant reader, be sure to pick up any of Max Elliot Anderson’s books. You’ll be glad you did. Instructions are included tying sailors’ knots. $9.95. 177 pages.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Serendipity


Title: SERENDIPITY
Author: Cathy Marie Hake
Publisher: Bethany House
August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0321-3
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Maggie Rose is the only woman in Carver’s Holler, and she cares for a bunch of old men. She barters for a living, and makes soaps, lotion and perfumes from roses. Now her uncle is pushing her to marry—only trouble is, there’s no eligible men. Maggie says that God would have to bring a groom by.

That very evening, during the worst snowstorm the areas seen in years, Todd Valmer and his mother are kicked off the train when his mother suffers a stroke. He is given vague directions to the doctor’s house—but the directions lead him to Maggie Rose—the area healer. There are no other doctors in the area.

Todd Valmer is desperate. His mother needs a caregiver when she doesn’t recover as quickly as he hopes. He offers Maggie Rose a position as his wife, caring for his mother and for his house while he works the fields—but this does not a marriage make. Wills clash…is there any hope that love will follow?

I’ve loved some of Ms. Hake’s books, so I was anxious for the opportunity to read SERENDIPITY. I don’t have to review this book, as I bought it with my own money, but I’m going to because I have an empty spot on my blog.

I couldn’t get into this book as quickly as I wanted to. The old men wanted to kick Todd and his sick mother out because they are “Yankees,” but really, they are from Texas. Since the story is set in Arkansas… well. Which one is further north? Plus the ending left much to be desired. This is not my favorite Cathy Marie Hake book. I see a lot of five star reviews for this book. I’m sorry to be one of the lower ones. But don’t let my opinion influence you. You might love it. $14.99. 336 pages.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Promise of Deer Run and Giveaway



leave a comment to be entered in a great giveaway! Be sure to include contact information!

Title: THE PROMISE OF DEER RUN
Author: Elaine Marie Cooper
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4620-3796-4
Genre: historical romance

The American Revolution is over, and Nathaniel Stearns is sent home by his father to check on his wife and children, and to tell them that he’ll be home posthaste. But when Nathaniel arrives home in Deer Run he finds his brother dead and the cabin deserted. He learns his mother and sisters moved to Boston. Nathaniel stays in Deer Run to wait for his father and direct them to the rest of the family. But seven years later, Nathaniel’s father still hasn’t returned home.

Sarah Thomsen is the town troublemaker. Ever since she snuck away to the all-boys school as a young child, she’s had that label. Now a man is expressing interest, but his mother thinks she’s not suitable. Nathaniel is also interested in her, but his attempts to get to know her are mostly thwarted by her other beau.

Just as Sarah and Nathaniel get some headway into a relationship, Sarah hears an awful story about Nathaniel. Her attempt to clear it up goes awry and Nathaniel storms off, leaving Sarah heartbroken. Is there any hope of Sarah and Nathaniel getting together? And what of his father?

THE PROMISE OF DEER RUN is the second book in her three-part Deer Run Saga. The story is interesting, with a good premise, and characters. It does have some point of view errors. But otherwise, the story was good, and held my interest.

I didn’t read the first book in this series, but this book easily stands alone, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book. Although, according to an author quiz I just saw, Nathaniel is mentioned in the first book. If you are looking for a book set after the Revolutionary war, then THE PROMISE OF DEER RUN is one to consider. The author’s note at the end of the book was fascinating. $16.95. 237 pages.

***

An Absolutely Charming Tale!
Once again, Elaine Marie Cooper pens an absolutely charming tale of eighteenth century Americana. War, no matter the era, takes its toll on both soldiers and families. The Promise of Deer Run is a precious next story following Mary and Daniel’s story in The Road to Deer Run, picking up with Mary’s sister, Sarah a few years down the line. Be sure to read the first book too! As a historian and author, I am grateful to Elaine for her dedication to authenticity. —Lisa Lickel, author of A Summer in Oakville

About The Promise of Deer Run:
America’s war for freedom from England has been over for seven years, but the wounds of that conflict still haunt the minds and hearts of the residents of Deer Run. Young American veteran Nathaniel Stearns has withdrawn to a life of isolation as he awaits his father who never returned from the war.

A near-tragedy in the woods brings Nathaniel face-to-face with nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, someone he had long admired but he assumed had eyes for another. This chance encounter opens a crack into the door of his heart as mutual affection quickly blooms.

But slander and lies soon mar the budding romance, rendering both Sarah and Nathaniel wounded and untrusting as their faith in both their God and each other is shattered. Set in 1790, this book continues the story of the Thomsen and Lowe families as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the war that birthed the United States.

The Promise of Deer Run
ISBN: 9781462037964
Softcover: $16.95
ISBN: 9781462037971
Hardcover: $26.95
ISBN: 1462037968
E-book: $9.99
Released: August 16, 2011
www.PromiseOfDeerRun.com

Watch the book trailer at www.PromiseOfDeerRun.com
The Story Behind the Story:
How The Deer Run Saga Was Birthed
By Elaine Marie Cooper

When I was young and first heard that one of my grandfathers had been a Redcoat during the Revolutionary War, I was somewhat embarrassed. Growing up in Massachusetts had made me proud of our country’s heritage. But instead of finding zealous patriots in my bloodline, my DNA was from an enemy soldier named Daniel Prince!

Calmer reasoning prevailed, however, as I thought about the reality of his story. Living conditions in Colonial times were difficult, to say the least. It was a frightening period of our history for both Americans and the British. And in the midst of our nation struggling to be birthed, two people on opposing sides in a bloody war met and fell in love.

This story from my family’s history was transformed in my thinking into an inspiring one of romance, unhindered by the politics of the day. It became, purely and simply, a love story.

And so was birthed the idea to create a fictional account of actual events. Since the story is from my imagination, I opted to change last names, the names of the communities, and many other details of the time. However, many of the historical events are documented facts.

The particular information on Daniel Prince’s military background was discovered thanks to the diligent work of Betty Thomson, independent researcher at The National Archives, Kew, in England.

In book one, The Road to Deer Run and now in the sequel, The Promise of Deer Run, I made every effort to stay true to the colonial times. Descriptions of food, homes, clothing, farming, worship practices, medical care, etc. are the result of extensive research.

It has been a personally inspiring experience to write these novels. While the times have changed since the 18th century, the same struggles of their day are our own. Forgiveness, fear, pain, illness, despair, the pain of having a family member at war, the death of a loved one—these are all the battles we contend with in the 21st century. But we also share faith, laughter, love, the excitement of that first kiss, the wonder of looking at a newborn. These are the same joys that we share with our ancestors who are so much a part of who we are.

Their journeys are interwoven with our own.
About the Author:
Elaine Marie Cooper grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest with her husband, her three dogs and one huge cat. She has two married sons and triplet grandchildren who are now one years old. The Promise of Deer Run is dedicated to the triplets and to veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Elaine has been a magazine freelance writer for many years, and is a regular contributor to a blog on the Midwest called The Barn Door and a blog on Christian living called Reflections In Hindsight. She is the author of The Road to Deer Run and the sequel, The Promise of Deer Run. Prior to becoming an author, Elaine worked as a registered nurse.

The Road to Deer Run won the following honors:
Finalist: 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Honorable Mention: 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival
Best Romantic Moment: ClashoftheTitles.com, February 2011

Author Elaine Marie Cooper

Grand Prize
Valued at $297.38

You have until November 18, 2011 to get their comments posted. One grand prize winner, to be announced November 21, 2011. Here's what the winner receives:

Grand Prize (Retail Value: $297.38) Contains:
Basket
$25 Starbucks gift card
Spode Christmas teapot
Spode Christmas mugs
Yankee candle
Hardbound copy The Road to Deer Run
Hardbound copy The Promise of Deer Run
Bath and Body Paris Amour scent

Monday, November 7, 2011

40 Days to Better Living: Depression


Title: 40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: DEPRESSION
Producer: The Staff of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
November 2011
ISBN: 978-161626-266-2
Genre: Inspirational/health

40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: DEPRESSION is full seven-step guide to better living to help you better manage depression issues. The seven-step model includes:

. faith
. medical
. movement
. work
. emotional
. family and friends
. nutrition

40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: DEPRESSION includes true life stories from people such as Nadia, who says that small changes make a huge difference.

It also includes advice on how to manage stressors, get moving, work with your doctor, enjoy family and friends and connect with God.

Set in a magazine format, 40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: DEPRESSION is designed for a daily read, once in the morning, once at night. It includes suggestions with what to do (write down your medication, call your doctor, write down your goals, etc.) and physical advice (go for a walk today), with plenty of space to write down what your goals, etc are, and whether you went for a walk and for how far. It also includes scripture and a short prayer.

If you are suffering from depression then 40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: DEPRESSION is a book you need to pick up. Available now from www.churchhealthcenter.com or www.amazon.com. $7.99. 176 pages.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Christmas Shoppe


Title: THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPE
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1926-5
Genre: Inspirational/Contemporary/Christmas

Matilda Honeycutt is a strange woman with scraggly hair and jewelry that jangles. She reminds some of hippies in the sixties. And the small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for someone like Matilda.

When Matilda buys a prominent business location, people are curious about what kind of shop she’s opening. But the curiosity quickly turns nasty when they discover her Christmas Shoppe is nothing more of a collection of dusty, dirty thrift store rejects.

But Matilda Honeycutt has something for everyone on her cluttered shelves—just waiting to be discovered.

THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPE wasn’t quite what I expected— I suppose with Melody Carlson, one could say to expect the unexpected. The story is short, easily read in a day, and was a nice escape. There was even a chill in the air today, which made the chilliness in the book that much more real. However, this wasn’t my favorite Melody Carlson Christmas themed book. It just seemed that some of the people in this book were so much nastier, out to find the worse in people, and unwilling to recognize the good. Okay, that might be normal. But it bothered me.

There was also a lot of telling in the book, not so much showing. That kept me as the reader distanced from the characters and what was happening in their life. The woman I related to most, oddly enough was Helen, the receptionist/secretary at the newspaper office. She seemed the most real to me. But—this is a nice Christmas read. There are happy endings. It was just—different. 170 pages. $15.99 hardcover.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Heather Young

Congratulations to Loraine Ertelt for winning a copy of The Lady's Maid by Susan Page Davis.
Also, congratulations to Sharon Srock for winning a copy of Janice Thompson's Hello, Hollywood!




Title: HEATHER YOUNG
Author: Rev. Dr. David C. Marx
Publisher: Publish America
2011
ISBN: 978-1-4540-3595-2
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

James Oliver Young, interim pastor of a Presbyterian Church, is celebrating the safe return of her Navy Nurse daughter from her service overseas where she’d been injured. Now the family is all together, briefly, eating an extended meal, when the phone rings. It is a gang member, calling to tell Pastor Jim that he’d found a young girl who’d been raped in an alley.

Jim and his wife Diane dump everything to rush to the rescue, charming the gang members, calming the girl, Heather, and taking her to the hospital where Diane is a nurse. After Heather is released to Jim and Diane’s care, they go home to introduce her to their two children and guests. The next day, police and social workers show up, go with Heather to her home to collect her belongings after her father admitted that he was planning to selling her as a prostitute, and the parents signed her over for adoption.

Jim and Diane don’t take long to think about it, offering Heather a place in their home and hearts as their daughter. But—after such a horrific upbringing, what kind of life will Heather have? Will she rise above her roots and establish herself?

HEATHER YOUNG is the sequel to James Oliver Young, and readers will want to read them in order to find out how Jim knows all these people and is able to navigate the system the way he does. I was a bit confused with all the people at first, as to who was who, but I eventually sorted it out. There is a lot of grammar and punctuation errors in this book, but the story is very sweet and heartwarming.

If you are looking for a book on how reaching out to people can make a difference in someone’s life, then HEATHER YOUNG is a book to consider. Available now from www.amazon.com or www.PublishAmerica.com.

Friday, November 4, 2011

40 Days to Better Living: Hypertension


Title: 40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: HYPERTENSION
Producer: The Staff of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-81626-265-5
Genre: Inspirational/health

40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: HYPERTENSION is full seven-step guide to better living to help you better manage your hypertension issues. The seven-step model includes:

. faith
. medical
. movement
. work
. emotional
. family and friends
. nutrition

40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: HYPERTENSION includes true life stories from people such as Alejandra, who used to have to park in handicapped spaces, but now is able to walk in from the parking lot.

It also includes advice on How to work with your doctor, assessing your needs, eating and exercising better, connecting with God, and enjoy family and friends.

Set in a magazine format, 40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: HYPERTENSION is designed for a daily read, once in the morning, once at night. It includes suggestions with what to do (write down your medication, call your doctor, write down your goals, etc.) and physical advice (go for a walk today), with plenty of space to write down what your goals, etc are, and whether you went for a walk and for how far.

If you are suffering from hypertension then 40 DAYS TO BETTER LIVING: HYPERTENSION is a book you need to pick up. Available now from www.churchhealthcenter.com or www.amazon.com. $7.99. 176 pages.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love


Title: THE WONDER OF YOUR LOVE
Author: Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59554-886-3
Genre: Inspirational/Amish/contemporary romance

Katie Ann Stoltzfus has lost the love of her life—to another woman. Her husband Ivan left her pregnant to move back to Lancaster County to be with his mistress—and now, he’s dead. Claiming to be in mourning, Katie Ann is resistant to anyone’s attempts to match her up. She’s happy, she has her son, Jonas, and she’ll be just fine…but that’s until she meets handsome widower Eli Detweiler.

Eli has come to Canaan, Colorado for a wedding and a vacation. He’s raised his six children all alone since the death of his wife seventeen years ago, and now he’s finally an empty nester. Eli is attracted to the lovely Katie Ann, but he’s already raised a family. A widow with a newborn child—out of the question. Still, he enjoys spending time with her.

Eli and Katie Ann have plans for a future that move them in different directions so they feel comfortable with a friendship. But when the relationship moves forward they develop feelings for each other. Katie Ann struggles with wondering if she could possibly trust another man—and Eli doesn’t want to leave his children and grandchildren. Will their plans line up with God’s?

THE WONDER OF YOUR LOVE is the second book in Ms. Wiseman’s A Land of Canaan series, but it easily stands alone. The same cast of characters is present in both books though, so you might want to read book one to get acquainted with some of the others, especially outspoken Englisher, Martha, who is Katie Ann’s best friend. There are also some mysteries. Who left a box of money on Katie Ann’s steps when she needed it most? Why does Ivan’s mistress, Lucy, need to talk to Katie Ann?

If you like Amish romances, then you’ll want to read Ms. Wiseman’s THE WONDER OF YOUR LOVE. It is heartwarming. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Eli. And Katie Ann was a very strong, very courageous woman. Discussion questions are included at the end as well as an excerpth from Ms. Wiseman’s next novel. $15.99. 293 pages.