Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Absence So Great and Giveaway!

Leave a comment to possibly win a copy of this book - void where prohibited by law

Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-57856-981-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Did photography replace an absence in her life – or – expose the truth of her heart’s emptiness? (from the back cover)

Jessie Ann Gaebele is only eighteen, and is working as a photographer in Milwaukee to assist the owners who have fallen ill from mercury poisoning—but she’d agree to anything to leave behind her married romantic interest and to start fresh.

Jessie is successful as a photographer and soon is gaining footing in other Midwestern towns, but even a job she loves can’t seem to keep painful memories away. And then her forbidden love darkens the portrait of her life…

AN ABSENCE SO GREAT is the sequel to Ms. Kirkpatrick’s novel A Flickering Light. This story is based on the true story of her grandparents. Ms. Kirkpatrick is a very talented author, allowing us to see even the tiniest flicker of light in her stories, bringing the setting alive as well as the characters.

I enjoyed reading through the story of AN ABSENCE SO GREAT and getting to know Jessie Ann Gaebele a tiny bit more. I especially enjoyed reading the Author’s Notes and Acknowledgements as well as the Interview with the Author sections of the book included at the end. A readers guide is included as well. $14.99. 383 pages.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Author Bio:

Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen historical novels, including A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Promise of Morning

Author: Ann Shorey
Publisher: Revell
March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3333-9
Genre: Inspirational/historical/women’s fiction

Ellie Craig is mourning the loss of three of her children, and being over protective of her ten-month old baby to the point of neglecting her older children. Her pastor husband, Matthew, is trying to make her understand that their other children are suffering, but Ellie is refusing to see beyond her loss.

Matthew is facing controversy in the church when he decides to preach against a traveling theatre group that plans to come to their town. Suddenly he finds the town divided, with most believing that Shakespearean plays are culture, and disagreeing with Matthew. Not only that, but a newcomer to town proves to be the son of the town’s founder and he wants to take Matthew’s church.

With Ellie suffering from abandonment issues resulting from her childhood, if Matthew returns to being a itinerant preaching then Ellie will lose him as well. Will he even attempt to keep his church? When Ellie receives a letter suggesting that she might not be as alone as she thought, Ellie is determined to discover the truth.

THE PROMISE OF MORNING is the second book in the At Home in Beldon Grove series. The book has a rather sad beginning with Ellie at the cemetery mourning her children. I do understand that infant deaths were common back in historical times, so it is realistic, just depressing. But once I got past the beginning the story did start to grab my interest.

THE PROMISE OF MORNING is a book that takes you through heartache to find hope, trust, and forgiveness. If you like historical fiction, then THE PROMISE OF MORNING is a book to consider. $14.99. 322 pages.


New historical romance set on the Illinois frontier in 1840s:

When loss breaks her heart, can she find the courage to go on?

The Promise of Morning from Ann Shorey takes readers to Beldon Grove on the Illinois frontier in the 1840s. Life isn’t easy here. For Ellie Craig, the graves of her three infant children make it unbearably lonely, despite the love of her husband Matthew. When she uncovers a family secret that suggests she may not be as alone as she thought, Ellie is determined to find the truth.

Meanwhile, Matthew Craig faces controversy in the church he pastors when a man arrives in town claiming to be both a minister and the son of the town's founder. Will Matthew find the courage to reclaim his church? Or will he return to itinerant preaching, leaving Ellie even more alone than before?

Book 2 in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, The Promise of Morning will touch your soul with themes of overcoming tragedy, finding strength to meet daunting challenges, and trusting your heart to love again.

The Promise of Morning by Ann Shorey
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3333-9
$14.99, March 2010

"It's human nature to make promises we hope to keep. But sometimes life intervenes: community rhythms bump us into places we hadn't planned; families disagree and fracture; our bodies break. The Promise of Morning is a story with all those interruptions gracefully portrayed by author Ann Shorey. Through vivid characters we care about (or love to detest) and a story that keeps us turning pages, we are assured that God keeps promises in the morning, noon, and night, and loves us even when we don't. A fine read."--Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author

Ann Shorey is the author of The Edge of Light and has published selections in the Cup of Comfort series and in Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul.

For more information, visit

Monday, March 29, 2010

Leah's Choice

Author: Marta Perry
Publisher: Berkley
November 2009
ISBN: 978-0-425-23050-3
Genre: Inspirational/Amish

Teacher Leah knows she’ll never marry. Years ago, she loved Johnny Kile, but he left the Amish, joining the English instead. He asked Leah to go with him, but Leah was scared. Leah is happy with her life as a teacher, and reaching out to the children in her class.

Widower Daniel Glick is new to the community, hoping to flee his memories in his old Amish community and start over with his three young children. But life is still not perfect in his new home. His oldest son is rebellious, and his young daughter is trying to do things above her age level, and do them perfectly. Teacher Leah is concerned about them, and tries to reach out, but at first, Daniel is resistant. He will handle his children on his own, without help.

When Johnny Kile returns, Leah is torn. Johnny wants her help in reaching out to the Amish community, but not in hopes that he can return, but instead so he can help the children with genetic disorders. But he is under the ban, so he needs an insider to help. Leah agrees, but is she doing it for Johnny, or the children? And what about Daniel?

LEAH’S CHOICE is the first book in Ms. Perry’s new Amish series Pleasant Valley. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Leah, and Daniel, and Johnny, as well as other members of the family, and learning a bit more about the Amish in the process.

Ms. Perry is a talented writer, and the story is told in a stellar manner, sweet and simple, a romance that will warm your heart even as you want to throttle some of the characters in the book, and reach out and hug others.

If you like reading “Bonnet fiction” then you will definitely want to read LEAH’S CHOICE. A glossary of Amish terms is included at the end of the book. $13.99. 320 pages.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas

Author: Janice Hanna
Publisher: Summerside Press
June 2009
ISBN: 978-1-935416-16-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical romance

Belinda Bauer has decided that her calling in life is to be a marriage broker. Mail order brides are still popular, and she’s determined to match up the over-abundance of unmarried men in her town with their one and only. However, her matchmaking attempts prior to this have left her the laughing stock of the town. How can she convince the men to purchase her services?

Her first attempt, Georg Kaufman, meets with refusal. Georg is happy single, but Belinda attempts to match him up anyway. And Georg is completely infatuated with the beautiful bride that comes to marry him. There is only one problem…the bride falls in love with Belinda’s brother and marries him instead!

Still, the men of the town suddenly want beautiful brides too. And while Georg isn’t convinced that Belinda’s methods are right, he agrees to let her try again. What will it take for the two of them to realize that God’s plans are best?

I have read almost all of the Love Finds You books so far, and I haven’t been disappointed by any of them yet. LOVE FINDS YOU IN POETRY, TEXAS is another winner. A story set in the historical town of Poetry which is now not much more than a curve in the road.

Belinda is a rather outspoken, energetic heroine that I think most men would have trouble keeping up with. She seemed rather outspoken at times. Georg is a totally sweet hero, kind and caring. Belinda and Georg have grown up together and consider each other more like members of the same extended family.

LOVE FINDS YOU IN POETRY, TEXAS is a really cute, funny story about matchmaking. I totally loved this book and can’t wait to read more books by Janice Hanna in the Love Finds You series. $12.99. 310 pages.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Missing

Author: Beverly Lewis
Publisher: Bethany House
Septempber 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0572-9
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/Amish

Grace Byler is still struggling to understand why her mother, Lettie, up and disappeared with no warning a month ago. But with life so busy with lambing, gardening, and other chores, she has no hopes of getting away to go looking for her mother. Now their Bishop is talking about putting a shunning on Lettie if she doesn’t return home to her family soon.

Plus, after Grace’s breakup with her fiancĂ©, Henry, another young Amishman, Yonnie, seems to be moving in on her quickly. The trouble is, Grace’s best friend, Becky, imagines herself in love with Yonnie, and he coming around Grace is causing strife in their friendship. Grace is torn. One of her brothers seem to be pushing Yonnie toward her, while the other is angered about her breakup with Henry.

Englisher, Heather is struggling with decisions about her cancer diagnosis. Should she go to a naturalist, or take chemo? Her father is pushing her towards chemo, but since Heather’s mother died of cancer, Heather is determined to do what her mother didn’t.

THE MISSING is book two in Ms. Lewis’ wildly popular Amish series, Seasons of Grace, and I strongly suggest reading book one, The Secret, first, as you will have no idea what happened before hand if you don’t.

Grace, and all the characters, is very real, people you could meet on the street. Plus the setting is so well described, I could almost hear the clomp of the horses on the streets and see the Amish buggies. I am completely unashamed to say that I am Ms. Lewis’ number one fan, I have loved every single one of the books, and THE MISSING is no different. If you like books that wrap up neatly you might want to wait until the final book is out in this series before reading it, but if you don’t mind waiting months between books to read about the ongoing drama, then don’t miss THE MISSING. This is a truly wonderful book. $13.99. 330 pages.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Her Patchwork Family / The Captain's Lady

Two Love Inspired Historicals for consideration

Author: Lyn Cote
Publisher: Love Inspired Historical
December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-82825-8
Genre: Inspirational/historical romance

Felicity Gabriel is a Quaker, recently relocated from Pennsylvania to Illinois. She has inherited a mansion, and decides to turn it into a home for orphans who lost their parents during the war between the states. But Felicity’s intentions are challenged by her neighbors who don’t want their upscale neighborhood to include an orphanage, and Felicity’s first charges test her resolve.

Tyrone Hawkins is the judge who hears Felicity’s case, but he has troubles of her own. His own daughter suffers from night terrors, and not knowing what else to do for her, Ty turns her over to Felicity for care even though it breaks his heart.

Ty can’t help but be impressed by Felicity, especially when she shows courage before the difficult townfolk, and caring for difficult children—including a purse-snatcher. Watching Felicity helps restore Ty’s lost faith. But will it help him and his daughter become a family.

HER PATCHWORK FAMILY is book two of Ms. Cote’s The Gabriel Sisters series, but it easily stands alone. I didn’t have the privilege of reading the first book in this series, but I had absolutely no trouble understanding what happened.

Felicity is a truly delightful character, full of love for children, yet strong and courageous in front of adversity. Ty is a hurting hero, torn by war and for the love of his child and not quite knowing how to handle the situations he finds himself in. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this story—and am looking forward to reading the third book in the series coming in December of 2010. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. Available at, or your favorite family bookstore. $5.50. 276 pages.


Author: Louise M. Gouge
Publisher: Love Inspired Historical
March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-82832-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical romance

Captain James Templeton is the captain of a ship to carry goods from the American colonies to Great Britain. But with the unrest between the colonists and the King, people are careful who they trust. James Templeton is a colonist sympathizer, but he struggles to keep his allegiance to Britain open. Now, he is under orders to spy on Lord Bennington and find the war plans.

The risks are high. The futures of his East Florida colony as well as the other colonies could be destroyed if he is discovered. Jamie could be killed as a spy and a traitor. And, the greatest risk of all, Lord Bennington’s daughter, Lady Marianne Moberly…the woman who holds Jamie’s heart.

Desperate to carry out his orders, Jamie attempts to keep his distance from Lady Marianne. But Marianne is nothing less than persistent. How can Jamie possibly balance matters of the heart and matters of war without one of them suffering loss?

THE CAPTAIN’S LADY is the sequel to Ms. Gouge’s first Love Inspired historical, Love Thine Enemy, but it easily stands alone. I fell in love with James Templeton in the first book and was so excited to learn that he would be the hero in this second book. Jamie is loving and kind, the perfect hero, though he does have some faults.

The characterization of the people in the book is flawless, and the conversation is true to the time setting. Ms. Gouge did her research as shown by the different classes, style of dress, and demeanor of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading THE CAPTAIN’S LADY and highly recommend it. Available at or at your local bookstore. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 279 pages.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Unexpected Adventure

Title: THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People About Jesus
Authors: Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg
Publisher: Zondervan
May 2009
ISBN: 978-0-310-28392-0
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction/evangelism

Have you ever wondered how to talk to others about Jesus? Do you wonder how to effortlessly guide the conversation to talk about Christ? Or maybe how to take advantage of broad openings to tell others about your Lord? If so, then THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE is the book for you.

The book opens up in the introduction, with Mr. Strobel sharing with us how, as a new Christian, God opened the door to speak to his boss about Christ. Mr. Strobel was scared, and nervous, and considered blowing it off, but with the spirit of God guiding him, he took advantage of the opening and shared, thus changing his own life, and potentially, that of his boss.

THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE is written for today’s multigenerational, multicultural world. It will help readers take easy steps into a natural evangelistic lifestyle that will energize their own faith while making a difference in the lives of people they encounter.

The book is divided up into a devotional format, with 42 short chapters that readers will easily be able to read in one day, then implicating useful applications which are backed by scripture.

If you are looking for a book to help you share the good news with others, or are paralyzed with fear at the thought of it, then THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE is a book you should consider. This book has the potential to change your life. .

Strobel and Mittelberg are inviting churches to visit, and you can download a free videos, and other resources, and receive a free sermon DVD. $14.99 304 pages.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Songbird Under a German Moon

Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Summerside Press
January 2010
ISBN: 978-1-935416-68-5
Genre: Inspirational/historical/romantic suspense

World War II is over, but the soldiers are still in post-Hitler Germany. The United States are sending entertainers over to give the remaining soldiers some enjoyment. Betty Lake is one of the singers. Betty is young, and idealistic, but her world is rocks a bit when she flies over on a transport plane that is clearly on its last legs. She is attracted by Frank Witt, an American photographer on the same flight, but has no real interest in romance.

Frank Witt is a combat photographer, but his boss has assigned him to photograph some of the performers at the German opera house, since there have been some threats and warnings received at the American office that something was going to happen. They want Frank on the scene to see if he can notice any suspicious activity.

When Betty’s roommate Kat goes missing, the community is in an uproar. The area was considered safe. When Kat’s body is discovered, most assume it is suicide. But Betty believes that Kat wouldn’t have killed herself. Frank becomes concerned for Betty’s safety. Is she a target too? Who is behind this—and why is the American Army superior officer suspecting Frank?

I have read all of Tricia Goyer’s books so far and have loved every single one of them, especially her war stories. I wasn’t sure how SONGBIRD UNDER A GERMAN MOON would compare since it is set during a postwar time period, but there was still quite a bit of intrigue, suspense, and historical facts woven into the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Tricia Goyer’s SONGBIRD UNDER A GERMAN MOON and am looking forward to many more books by this author. Betty is a realistic character that could be any of the spunky now-elderly women I know. Frank has his faults, but for the most part he is steadfast, strong, and dependable (a nice break from the overly perfect male characters in most books) Tricia Goyer’s SONGBIRD UNDER A GERMAN MOON is a wonderful lead book for Summerside Press’ new historical romantic suspense line—and this book is going on my keeper shelf. $12.99. 334 pages.

Songbird Under a German Moon

The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler's Germany. The first nights performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they're housed in and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp Photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty's dear friend, Kat, turns up missing. Betty soon realizes Franks photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences and the two lovebirds' hearts may find the each other.
But will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.

Meet Tricia!

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. 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 Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana.

The blog tour:


Leave a comment on Tricia’s blog or send an email through her website CONNECT page and answer this question: What era in history do you wish you'd lived in and why?

Earn extra entries by signing up for Tricia's newsletter here, becoming a Fan on Facebook or Tweeting about the contest on Twitter (use hashtag #songbird)!

You’ll be entered to win one of three signed copies of Songbird Under a German Moon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway!

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

With each fan number milestone a new prize will be given away.

Grand Prize

Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fifth milestone
Retail Value: $829.00

2nd Prize - Already awarded

32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fourth milestone
Retail Value: $300.00

3rd Prize – Will be awarded when fan count hits: 3500

Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the third milestone
Retail Value: $489.00

4th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the New Living Translation Fan Page hits the second milestone
Retail Value: $499.00

5th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the first milestone
Retail Value: $599.00

Prize Eligibility – Recently updated to include more countries

Sweepstakes participants and winner(s) can be U.S. residents of the 50 United States, or residents of any country that is NOT embargoed by the United States, but cannot be residents of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India. In addition, participants and winner(s) must be at least 18 years old, as determined by the Company.

Sweepstakes Starts

March 17, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Sweepstakes Ends

April 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Wait, there’s more!

Visit for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii!

Here are the details:

Choose one of six passages of Scripture from the New Living Translation and consider:
How do these verses encourage you to know God better?
What is God teaching you in this passage?
How does this passage apply to your life?

Submit your answer and you’ll be entered to win.

Just for signing up: Everybody Wins! Win a Free .mp3 download from the NLT’s new Red Letters Project. It’s the dynamic, new presentation of the sung and narrated words of the Gospel of Matthew. You win the download just for entering! Or choose to download the NLT Philippians Bible Study, complete with the Book of Philippians in the NLT.

Every day, one person will win the best-selling Life Application Study Bible!

The grand prize: One person will win a fantastic trip for two to the crystal clear waters of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in beautiful Hawaii.

Scattered Petals

Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell
March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3325-4
Genre: Inspirational/historical romance

Priscilla Morton and her parents leave Boston to attend Clay’s wedding in the Texas Hill Country. Clay is remarrying after Priscilla’s sister's death and Priscilla really wants to be there. But when Priscilla and her family are only a day away from Clay, the stage coach is robbed, Priscilla’s parents and the driver are killed, and Priscilla is attacked. A Texas Ranger rescues her before she is killed.

Injured, heartbroken, and scared, Priscilla is delivered to Clay where he and his bride-to-be minister to her needs. Clay’s foreman, Zachary Webster offers to marry Priscilla to protect her. But he agrees that the wedding will be in name only.

The Ranger is hanging around because he believes that when the robber’s brothers get wind of his death, they will be out to see revenge of Priscilla—plus a criminal the Ranger is seeking is believed to be headed toward that small town as well. Zach and Priscilla begin to build a life together—but then the past intrudes…

SCATTERED PETALS is the second book in Ms. Cabot’s Texas Dreams Series. I loved the first book in the series, Paper Roses, and was thrilled when Ms. Cabot asked me to review this book. This book was pretty rough reading for the first one-fourth of the book, but then the story got good, and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Priscilla was very expertly portrayed, and I couldn’t help but admire her courage and strength in difficult situations. Zach is a wonderful hero, kind, good-hearted, and loving, but he had a past he struggled to put behind him. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eagerly looking forward to reading the third book in the series, coming in March 2011. $14.99. 380 pages.

Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beyond Corista

Author: Robert Elmer
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-71423-1
Genre: Inspirational/teens/sci fi

A course they can’t choose, a warning no one will believe…

Those who live in lush comfort on the bright side of the small planet of Corista have plundered the water resources of Shadowside for centuries, ignoring the existence of Shadowside’s inhabitants, who are nothing more than animals. Or so the Brightsiders have been taught. It will take a special young woman to expose the truth—and to help avert the war that is sure to follow.

Oriannon and her friends Margus and Wist hurtle through space on a dangerous mission, guided by the pilot stone. Their enemy, Sola, is on board as well, and Oriannon soon begins to regret rescuing the blind woman from battle. As the odd crew flies from way station to way station, Oriannon delivers the warning she received from her Mentor, Jesmet—the Troikans are coming to destroy Corista. At each location, Oriannon is met with disbelief, and soon even she begins to wonder if the threat is real. Are her visits from Jesmet only a hallucination? Oriannon must find the faith to race toward a destination only she can see.

BEYOND CORISTA is book 3 in Robert Elmer’s The Shadowside Triology, but it easily stands alone. I am not a fan of science fiction, so I am not the ideal person to promote this book, and I find some of the terminology confusing. I also find the entire plot line unrealistic—but then, that is the entire point of science fiction, right?

However, I will say that Mr. Elmer’s writing is stellar, and he obviously has a very active imagination. If you or your young adult loves science fiction, then BEYOND CORISTA is definitely a book you’ll want to consider. An excerpt from book 1, Trion Rising, is included at the end of the book. $9.99. 317 pages.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska

Author: Loree Lough
Publisher: Summerside Press
August 2009
ISBN: 978-1-935416-19-7
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Samantha Sinclair was excited when she was offered a job as a chef in a hotel in North Pole, Alaska. Sam sells everything she owns, and in a rickety old RV heads across the country and north to Alaska to start her new life. But when Sam arrives, she discovers that the owner of the hotel has given her job to his nephew. Sam is not about to admit defeat and return home to Boston, so she starts looking for a new job. Anything to stay in North Pole.

Bryce Stone is a former Marine. He is blind in one eye, and he hates Christmas, he hates the North Pole, and he feels like a scrooge. But his parents have died and left him their gift store, and his aunt has been running it. Now Olive is hoping to retire. She offered to help Bryce hire some part-time help, so he can spend some time in the furniture shop that he hopes to open.

Olive is instantly taken by the bubbly Sam, and offers her not a part-time job, but a full-time job in the gift stop. And Bryce is upset that someone who goes by Sam is not a man, but a woman. The last thing he wants around is a woman. So he is determined to fire Sam for the first mistake she makes and send her packing. What will it take for Sam to thaw this hardened Marine’s heart?

I have read almost all the books so far in the Love Finds You collection and was excited when I got LOVE FINDS YOU IN NORTH POLE, ALASKA, to read. Sam is a bubbly, funny girl character that one can’t help but love. Bryce has been hurt a lot by women after his accident, but he is a dear that the reader feels for.

North Pole, Alaska, seems like an adorable place to visit, and I loved reading the town history included in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed LOVE FINDS YOU IN NORTH POLE, ALASKA. Don’t miss this story, especially around Christmas time. It will put you in the holiday spirit. $12.99. 297 pages.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Authors: Gary & Mona Shriver
Publisher: David C. Cook
November 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6533-8
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction

Your mate has been unfaithful. Or maybe it was your friend’s mate. Statistics show that one in every four marriages has been impacted by infidelity. Even if you haven’t personally experienced it, odds are great that you know someone who has.

Mr. and Mrs. Shriver maintain that adultery doesn’t necessarily mean an automatic death sentence for your marriage. They say that you can learn to trust again, that you can restore intimacy, and that you can build a relationship that you both will cherish.

Mr. Shriver had more than one affair approximately fifteen years ago, and when Mrs. Shriver discovered it, it, well, hurt. Talking through their emotional responses in this book in a raw and transparent manner, the Shrivers hope to help to hope hurting people recover.

This book was originally published in 2005, and this new version has information to help those who have experienced the betrayal of emotional affairs, and includes other real life stories.

UNFAITHFUL was to me quite hard to read, as I am very close to someone who caught their husband in what I would call an emotional affair—he was having cyber-sex. She was very tempted to leave her husband, but only decided to stay with him for the sake of the children. I’m not sure whether that was a good decision or a bad, but maybe the thoughts included in UNFAITHFUL will help this woman that I know in some fashion.

UNFAITHFUL is an ideal resource for small group studies, or support groups. This new edition also includes a recovery time-line from a couple’s perspective. $14.99. 285 pages.

Co-founders of Hope and Healing Ministries, a Christian peer support ministry for couples in adultery recovery, the Shrivers have seen countless broken marriages restored and transformed into intimate relationships built on love, respect, and trust. Unfaithful is a lifeline for couples with no hope in sight. It is also a useful resource for ministers, counselors, as well as friends and family of couples struggling to recover after a spouse has strayed.

“We can now say with absolute sincerity that we have fully healed from the adultery,” the Shrivers share. “Our marriage is strong and mutually satisfying. We have love and trust. And we can only encourage you with the fact that it is worth the journey.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Distant Medody

Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell
March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3421-3
Genre: Inspirational/historical/romance

Allie Miller considers herself plain, and her beautiful mother enforces that point. Now Allie’s parents have picked out the man they want Allie to marry—a man that Allie’s dad wants to inherit his business. But Allie doesn’t love him. She’s willing to marry him though, to gain her parents approval.

At least until she goes up to northern California to go to a friend’s wedding. There she meets the dashing pilot, Walter Novak. Walter considers himself hopeless with women, but he and Allie hit it off immediately, and developed an instant rampart. But Walter is about to be shipped overseas to fight the Nazis.

Walt and Allie begin a correspondence that will change their lives. But as Walt—a chronic liar—begins to discover how to tell the truth; Allie learns to tell a lie. Will these two sinners find the courage to tell the truth—and maybe find love in the meantime? Or will their lies keep them apart?

A DISTANT MELODY is the first book in debut author, Sarah Sundin’s new series Wings of Glory. I enjoyed getting to know Walter and Allie, and their friends. World War II is my favorite historical time to read about, so it was a bonus that the story was set during that time period.

Ms. Sundin is a master story teller, gifted with dialog and with setting. Some of the characters I felt were a bit flat (like Baxter, but that might have been intentional), but otherwise there was excellent characterization too. I am looking forward to reading book two in this series. This book is definitely worth reading. A stellar job. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $14.99. 420 pages.

A war and an ocean separates them…
Will their love for music and each other be enough to reunite them?
A Distant Melody is the debut novel in the new World War II-era series from Sarah Sundin, Wings of Glory.

In A Distant Melody, readers meet two young Americans, about to be separated by an ocean during World War II: Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

A Distant Melody is the first book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World
War II.

Sarah Sundin is an on-call hospital pharmacist and holds a BS in chemistry from UCLA and a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

"Sarah Sundin is an extraordinarily gifted storyteller who puts the reader in the cockpit of B-17 bombers as easily as she crafts an achingly emotional World War II romance. This is not only the best World War II love story I've ever read, but it may be the best book I've ever read."
— Cheryl Bolen, Holt Medallion Winner, Best Historical

"I loved A Distant Melody! Sarah Sundin is a master at lyrical writing, and she has that rare talent of being able to combine humor with heart-pounding action. I couldn't stop turning the pages, and I don't think I'll ever forget Sarah's compelling characters or their poignant story about honesty, redemption, and grace."
— Melanie Dobson, author of Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana and Refuge on Crescent Hill

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Squeezing Good Out of Bad

Author: James N. Watkins
Publisher: XarisCom
November 2009
ISBN: 978-0-578-01006-9
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction/self-help

Sometimes bad things happen! And Jim Watkins has written a great guide on how to get the most out of it when your life is filled with lemons.

Jim’s guide is provided in reverse, starting with chapter 10. They are as follows:

When Life gives you lemons…

10: Don’t confuse them with hand grenades (identify the problem)
9: Check the delivery slip (determine if its your problem)
8: Sell them on eBay (Profit from the problem)
7: Paint smiley faces on them (laugh at the problem)
6: Join a citrus support group (share your problem)
5: Use as an all-natural, organic astringent (grow from the problem)
4: Don’t shoot the delivery driver (forgive the problem-maker)
3: Graft to a lime tree for a refreshing, low-calorie soft drink (take the problem to a higher level)
2: Grow your own orchard (live a fruitful life despite—or because of—the problem)
1: Give off a refreshing fragrance (live a lemon-fresh life)

Mr. Watkins is a very funny writer, and full of wisdom. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book, and came away from it feeling encouraged. When your life is full of lemons, definitely pick up a copy of SQUEEZING GOOD OUT OF BAD. 111 pages.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Start Here

Authors: Alex and Brett Harris
Publisher: Multnomah
January 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60142-270-5
Genre: Inspirational/youth/Christian living

You want to do hard things.
But you don’t know where to start…

Authors Alex and Brett Harris suggest that you start by listening to and obeying God’s voice. Right where you are. And you will learn to open the door to your own rebelution.

You have simple ideas and unbelievable dreams. You are an ordinary teenager and He is a God who still uses young people.

And that is what Alex and Brett Harris is all about. Hard things. In fact, they have a previous book out by that name. Do Hard Things. But they have gotten so many emails and questions at conferences about how to start, that they decided to write START HERE.

This book is about taking the next step. And it includes topics like:

 How to stand up for what you believe
 Strategies for overcoming stage fright, fund-raising fright and phone-calling fright
 How to understand God’s will and glorify Him through your efforts
 God-honoring ways to think, feel, and act after you’ve completed a big project

With a cover that is rather simplistic but eye-catching, START HERE has both of my teen boys clamoring for a chance to read it. Both of them asked for an oral review of what the books about before I had even finished reading the first chapter.

These boys are all about sharing their passion for doing hard things for God and they are leading a whole army of rebelutionaries. If your teen wants to make a difference for God, then definitely pick up a copy of START HERE for them. The authors suggest reading Do Hard Things as well. I haven’t read that book, but I will say that START HERE carries some good advice as well as compelling true stories.

If you are ready to take the next step and blast past mediocrity for the glory of God, then START HERE. $12.99. 142 pages.


At the age of eighteen, Alex and Brett Harris wrote Do Hard Things—and launched a movement that would change a generation. Young people around the world were ready to be inspired, ready to move beyond complacency, ready to rebel against society’s low expectations.

Now the highly anticipated companion book, Start Here, answers the questions Alex and Brett have received from thousands of teens on their worldwide conference tour and popular online community: How do I get started? What hard things does God want me to do? How do I keep from getting discouraged or burned out? What is the best way to inspire others?

Filled with stories and insights from Alex, Brett, and other real-life rebelutionaries, Start Here is a powerful and practical guide for young people who are ready to take the next step and blast past apathy. Let the rebelution continue.

Author Bio:

Alex and Brett Harris are the coauthors of the best-selling book Do Hard Things, which they wrote at age eighteen. Today the twins speak regularly to audiences of thousands on The Rebelution Tour, maintain a hugely popular online presence through their blog,, and have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and in the New York Times. Raised in Portland , Oregon , the brothers currently attend Patrick Henry College in Virginia .

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Look to the East

Author: Maureen Lang
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
September 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4143-2435-7
Genre: Inspirational/historical/romance

Juliette Toussaint is a outcast in her remote French village of Briecourt since she was adopted from a faraway island. And the feud between the families of the Toussaints and the Colvilles rages—with both sides united in their distain of Juliette. Juliette longs for something to change—and she dreams of the tall, blond, handsome Charles that she met.

But then the Germans invade France, and all the young men go off to war. Juliette, the other women, and some older or unwell men are all that are left in the village. When the Germans invade her tiny village, the town most rally to survive.

Charles Lassone is a wealthy Belgium entrepreneur. He dreamed of joining the war and defending his country against Germany, but then he meets up with the French…and his car is stolen. Suddenly, Charles finds himself living the life of a beggar, hiding from the Germans, and struggling to survive. When he lands in Briecourt and hides in the cellar of the church—but if he is discovered by the Germans it will bring danger to the village and could cost Charles his life.

I have read all of Ms. Lang’s books so far and have loved every one of them, especially her war based stories. LOOK TO THE EAST is a book that may start a bit slow, but it is engaging and by the time I got to page 50 in the book I was completely drawn in.

I enjoyed getting to know Juliette and Charles and some of the other colorful characters in this book and I had to keep reading to see what would happen. Of German ancestry, I am horrified by the things my German ancestors have done, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. I especially enjoyed the Author’s note that gave the history of the events included in this book. $12.99. 358 pages.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Screen Play

Author: Chris Coppernoll
Publisher: David C. Cook
January 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6482-9
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

Sometimes the person farthest away from you is the one who’s closest to your heart. (from the back cover)

Harper Gray is thirty years old, and she has just hit rock bottom. Her best friend moved away, her boyfriend left her, and she’s lost her job. Now, after a year of floundering, Harper has gotten a call to be an understudy in a stage production. Harper is an aspiring actress, dreaming of the big time, but the producer is upfront. He doesn’t guarantee any stage time, but the law requires an understudy be present.

With nothing left to her name except two black bags full of stuff, Harper hops a plane from Chicago to New York to be an understudy for the biggest diva, and she hopes that maybe this means that everything is getting ready to change for the better.

Harper hopes to find more than a career in New York City, but she’s also hoping to find love. Thinking that an on-line match-making site might help—but the only possibility is a man who lives on the opposite side of the country. How can Harper possibly make a relationship with this man work when he isn’t even a member of her universe?

SCREEN PLAY is the first book I’ve read by author Chris Coppernoll, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. Mr. Coppernoll is a very talented author, able to write in a very tight, concise manner, and still get all the emotions, settings, speech, and situation described in a vivid style.

I enjoyed getting to know Harper through the pages of this book – and even though her universe is light years away from my universe, I was still able to care for her. I couldn’t wait to see how this story would pan out. Don’t miss SCREEN PLAY, I especially enjoyed the “Afterwords” section of the book which includes an interview with the author, as well as an essay written by him. $14.99. 342 pages.


Screen Play (David C. Cook 2010), the third novel from author Chris Coppernoll is an inspiring story of friendship and faith set amidst the complexities of Hollywood and cleverly combined with an uplifting love story reminiscent of Sleepless in Seattle.

At thirty, Harper fears her chances for a thriving acting career and finding true love are both fading fast. After a devastating year of unemployment and isolation in Chicago, Harper is offered an unexpected role in a Broadway play—as understudy to New York’s biggest diva––and everything in Harper's world changes.

Harper also hopes to find love in NYC, but when it doesn't happen, she reluctantly signs up to an online matchmaking site. Frustration mounts when the only match Harper is even remotely interested in lives in a remote territory on the opposite coast, thousands of miles away. A faith conversation during her year in Chicago shapes how Harper sees everything. She wants to see God at work in her life, but His ways are mysterious, and she's faced with challenges in the secular world of Broadway. Harper feels like an actress who doesn’t act and a woman in love with someone she's never even seen, but God's about to change all that.

Linked through the contemporary, text message world of internet dating, Harper learns it's possible to care for someone outside her own universe, even when that someone can't be touched, and ultimately how to love. She reaches out through the impersonal world of cyberspace and becomes more aware than ever of God reaching out to her. Sometimes the person farthest away from you, she discovers, is the one who's closest to your heart.

“Screen Play is a story about believing that God can do great things, even when we’re at our weakest,” say Coppernoll. “I hope readers will be swept up in Harper’s story instantly and that their excitement won’t let up until the very last page.”

Romantic Times Online Magazine has given Screen Play 4 ½ stars and selected the novel as a “Top Pick”.

Author Bio

Chris Coppernoll is the author of six books including Screen Play, A Beautiful Fall and Providence. A national speaker to singles, Chris is also the founder of Soul2Soul, a syndicated radio program airing on 800 outlets in 20 countries. Chris holds a Masters degree from Rockbridge Seminary and is deeply in love with his wife, novelist Christa Parrish.

Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll
David C Cook/January 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6482-9/342 pages/softcover/$14.99

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Seaside Letters

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59554-260-1
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Sabrina Kincade serves coffee to Tucker McCabe every day at the restaurant she works at. But she’s holding a secret close to her heart.

At the restaurant, Sabrina is known as the ice princess. She doesn’t let anyone close to her. But at home, in the dark of night, she has an email relationship with a man that she’s developing feelings for. This man could never love her, not if he knew who she really was. But she dreamed that it could be so…

When Tucker learns about Sabrina’s second job as a researcher for a local writer, he hires her to read through the emails he’s exchanged with a woman known only as “Sweetpea”. A woman that he has developed feelings for. But Sweetpea has left little clues to her real identity. Fortunately, Tucker already knows who she is. And he’s hoping that Sabrina will come forward with the truth.

Sabrina is determined to keep her secret at all costs. Because if Tucker discovers who she is, then he’ll discover her closest secret. And it could destroy everything.

I have read all of Ms. Hunter’s novels so far, and while not my favorite of her books, SEASIDE LETTERS is still compelling. I did kind of get bored with the middle, but kept reading to see what would happen. I also felt there was a bit of a loose string that wasn’t neatly trimmed.

Sabrina is a realistic, hurting heroine, and Tucker is the stuff of dreams. A beautiful love story, with some toe-curling moments. I’m looking forward to Ms. Hunter’s next book, Driftwood Lane, releasing in the summer of 2010. Discussion questions are included at the end. $14.99. 320 pages.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Be Authentic

Author: Warren W. Wiersbe
Publisher: David C. Cook
January 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6630-4
Genre: Inspirational/commentary

BE AUTHENTIC is a reprint of Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary series, and this one is based on Genesis 25 – 50. Dr. Wiersbe says that the Bible, Genesis especially is full of authentic people, such as Issac, Joseph, Jacob, et al.

This commentary takes us deep into the scriptures, helping us to understand more about what was going on in the stories, and how they pertain to life today. Plenty of scripture references are included so you can do further story.

In addition there is a section entitled Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion which includes approximately about ten questions covering what you have read and studied, and your personal thoughts. There are some blank areas for you to answer, but not a lot of room, so if you have a lot to say or don’t write small you might want to use your own notebook.

I have long been a fan of Dr. Wiersbe’s commentaries, and remember seeing his books on my parent’s bookshelves. Dr. Wiersbe, while a highly educated man, writes a level that the average lay person can understand. I recommend this series for pastors, Bible teachers, and lay people who want to deepen their understandings of the scriptures. $12.99. 216 pages.

A New Look at the legendary insights of Dr. Warren Wiersbe

David C Cook releases revised editions of Dr. Wiersbe’s trusted Bible commentaries—the “BE” Series

As pastors seek to make the Word of God more understandable in an age that is unfamiliar with the Bible and as growing disciples seek to discover the truth of Scripture in a skeptical culture, there is a great need for guidance in both the preaching and study of God’s Word. Whether you’re a pastor, a seminary student or a truth-seeking disciple, an understanding of the Bible can be made clear to you with the help of one of the most influential, in-depth and practical Bible scholars in modern history.

A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago and the author of more than 150 books. For over thirty years, millions have come to rely on the timeless wisdom of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s “Be” Commentary series. Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary and insights on Scripture have helped readers understand and apply God’s Word with the goal of life transformation. Dubbed by many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today.

Easily accessible for both pastors and lay people alike, Wiersbe’s profound study guides can be used in personal Bible study or with a group. David C Cook’s third installment of eight revised “BE” series volumes each feature updated content for today’s readers, a new introduction by Ken Baugh and new study questions for each chapter. The 2009 expanded Bible commentaries will include the following studies:

· Be Diligent (A Study of Matthew) encourages us to follow Christ’s example and actively serve others and God. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6631-1/176 pages/softcover/$12.99/January 2010)

· Be Wise (A Study of 1 Corinthians) explores 1 Corinthians, Paul’s practical guide to seeking Godly wisdom. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6636-6/192 pages/softcover/$12.99/March 2010)

· Be Authentic (A Study of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph) shares how we can pursue authentic relationships with others and God. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6630-4/192 pages/softcover/$12.99/January 2010)

· Be Basic (A Study of Genesis) gives fundamental truths from the book of Genesis on relationships, faith, sin and spiritual fulfillment. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6635-9/176 pages/softcover/$12.99/January 2010)

· Be Obedient (A Study of Abraham) explores the remarkable life of Abraham and shows how we too can be obedient through faith. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6632-8/160 pages/softcover/$12.99/January 2010)

· Be Strong (A Study of Joshua) shares the need for strong believers of purpose, while encouraging us to lead victorious lives. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6637-3/176 pages/softcover/$12.99/March 2010)

· Be Decisive (A Study of Jeremiah) powerful insights for making the decisive, powerful choice to live by God’s absolute truth and values. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6634-2/204 pages/softcover/$12.99/March 2010)

· Be Encouraged (A Study of 2 Corinthians) is a lively commentary that will help you be encouraged no matter what challenges come your way. (ISBN: 978-1-4347-6633-5/176 pages/softcover/$12.99/March 2010)

Acclaimed worldwide as a pastoral resource for international leaders, the “BE” series will soon include companion study guides—the Wiersbe Bible Study Series—with each study guide correlating with the appropriate “BE” book. David C Cook plans to release additional editions of the series over the next few years.

The “BE” Series by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe
David C Cook/January and March 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finding the Way Home / Jenna's Cowboy Hero / The Taking of Carly Bradford

Three contemporary romances for consideration (one is a romantic suspense)

Author: Linda Goodnight
Publisher Love Inspired
January 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-81449-7
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Cheyenne Rhodes is running—far away from Colorado, and the hurt that destroyed her there. Just outside the town of Redemption, Oklahoma, she found two little puppies dumped on the roadside. So Cheyenne picked it up, and took the puppies into town, and to the local vet, hoping he would be able to find homes for the puppies.

Trace Bowman has a heart for strays, and he is quick to agree to try and find homes for the pups—but he also offers Cheyenne a job, one she refuses. But when Cheyenne decides to stay in Redemption for a while, there aren’t any jobs to be found—except for the one at the vet clinic. Trace hires Cheyenne right away, as an assistant, and told her to just do what needed doing, ask for help if she needs it.

Cheyenne reminds Trace strongly of his deceased wife, and she has a special way with his daughter, Zoey. But how can he convince Cheyenne to stay?

Linda Goodnight is a very talented author. I had the opportunity to read her The Brother’s Bond series, but they were all the books of hers that I’ve read until now. FINDING THE WAY HOME is book one in Ms. Goodnight’s Redemption River series.

Cheyenne is a hurting character, a former police officer, and skittish from her past. Very realistically developed. Trace is the typical hero, kind and considerate and quick to reach out to others in need. I enjoyed getting to know Cheyenne and Trace and the other quirky characters in FINDING THE WAY HOME, such as Popeye, and GI. If you are looking for a good book then FINDING THE WAY HOME is a book to consider. A flavored popcorn recipe and discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $6.25. 274 pages.


Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired
December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-81447-3
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Adam Mackenzie is a former pro-football player who suddenly finds himself the owner of some camp in the middle-of-nowhere, Oklahoma. His cousin was managing the camp, and had borrowed the money from Adam to refurbish it, but after blowing the money in Vegas and an ex-girlfriend, the money was gone, the girl was gone, the cousin was gone, and the camp was still undeveloped.

When Adam arrives in town two little twin boys and their dog ran into the road, and in an effort to avoid hitting them, Adam rams his car into a tree. Now his car is history, and the twins’ mother doesn’t seem the friendliest sort, but she has to be the answer to his prayers.

Jenna Cameron is a war vet home from Iraq, and her five year plan is raising her boys, recovering from war injuries, running her ranch, and not falling in love. How can Adam make her forget all her plans and open her heart to love?

JENNA’S COWBOY HERO is a book that was well advertised. I had gotten a couple free sample chapters of this book in the mail, and several cards advertising it. But I had another book in my pile with a very similar name so I wasn’t real interested in two of them. But as fate would have it…

Adam is disenchanted with his life. He’s had a lot of bad breaks, and inheriting a rundown camp (with the news that all his money is gone) and then wrecking his car, was just the icing on the cake. And of course, things could only go up from there. Jenna is struggling. She also had a lot of bad breaks and she didn’t trust men. It was interesting to watch these two fall in love. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $6.25. 277 pages.


Author: Ramona Richards
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
May 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-44340-6
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Seven year old Carly Bradford went missing three months ago. And there are absolutely no clues. Nothing has been found. Then, suddenly, three months later, Carly’s shoes shoe up, in an area the police had combed. The lady who found the shoes claimed that someone chased her through the woods demanding that she drop the shoes. She didn’t.

Dee Kelley lost her husband and child years ago and she’s determined that another mother won’t go through the same anguish. So when she finds the shoes, her only thought is to get the shoes to her police detective friend. She doesn’t expect to be chased through the woods and then hit by a car. But at least she held onto the shoes.

Police Chief Tyler Madison is frustrated that Carly’s trail went cold, but still, he is skeptical when Dee finds Carly’s shoes. How can they just show up? Some other child must have simply lost a similar pair. So, he doesn’t move on the pair that Dee found. At least not until someone else finds Carly’s dress…

THE TAKING OF CARLY BRADFORD is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Richards and this is one of the more interesting Love Inspired Suspense I’ve had the pleasure of reading in recent months. The characters are engaging, the setting expertly described, and the plot believable.

Tyler is the typical hero. Kind, consider, slow to anger, etc. Dee is hurting, and a bit unpredictable, which causes the police to be hesitant to believe her. And the point of view of a third character is heartbreaking. I enjoyed reading THE TAKING OF CARLY BRADFORD and recommend this book highly. Discussion questions are available at the end of the book. Available from $5.50. 210 pages.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Found Art

Title: FOUND ART: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places
Author: Leeana Tankersley
Publisher: Zondervan
January 2010
ISBN: 978-0-310-29133-6
Genre: Inspirational/memoir

We all go to foreign places—whether we leave our own backyard and traveling to another nation, or whether we’re entering a period of life unfamiliar to us. And the uncommon is sometimes a difficult thing to encounter. We feel like we stand out like a sore thumb, that everyone is staring at us—or that, even worse, no one notices us.

FOUND ART is a memoir of Ms. Tankersley’s experience in the Middle East when she lived there with her Navy SEAL husband. And as such an experience would warrant, Ms. Tankersley found that her life has been forever impacted.

FOUND ART is a different sort of book than what I thought it was. Maybe I didn’t read the description good enough, but I got the impression that the book was a collection of photographs that were taken in the Middle East. And I was kind of interested in seeing them. I didn’t realize this was a memoir until I actually picked it up to read it—and thought this is reading like her personal story—where are the pictures?

Well, there aren’t any.

But, the story is very well told, even engaging, and I understand what Ms. Tankersley is trying to convey with this book. Unknown, unexplored places and circumstances change us. Sometimes for the good. Sometimes not. Sometimes its all in how you react to it. But God can use anything—a year in the Middle East, a cancer diagnosis, infertility, or unemployment—to change us. And if we rest in Him, confident that He knows what He is doing, then we will find beauty in foreign places.

If you like memoirs, then do pick up FOUND ART. And Ms. Tankersley, if you are following your blog tour, congratulations on the birth of your twins (which I assume where born by now, since you announced their pending arrival in the last chapter.)
Discussion prompts are included at the end of the book. $16.99. 220 pages.

Found Art on Amazon:

Leeana Tankersley’s Website:

Leeana Tankersley’s Facebook Profile:

List of all participating bloggers:

Meet the author of Found Art, Leeana Tankersley.

Leeana Tankersley
A native of San Diego, Leeana Tankersley received her B.S. in English from Liberty University and her M.A. in English from West Virginia University. After marrying her husband, Steve, Leeana lived in the Middle East during the Iraq war and returned to San Diego to work at Flood Church. She and Steve now live in Coronado, California with their twins Luke and Lane.

Learn more about Leeana at

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Title: US
Author: Daniel L. Tocchini
Publisher: David C. Cook
January 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6473-7
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction/marriage & relationships

Okay – so you want to get married – but while you can plan your wedding, how can you plan your marriage?

You can’t. And truth is, there are just as many Christian divorces, if not more. Mr. Tocchini is a marriage coach, and he maintains that you can help you transform your marriage from just the ho-hum to the extraordinary, just by following some simple steps.

In US he offers a wealth of information, to teach us how to:

 Talk honestly
 Listen generously
 Confront tricky issues
 Tune into the other’s needs
 Break free of self-centered “consumer thinking”

Mr. Tocchini compares marriage to cooking, where two couples are kind of marinated together, so that they become one personality, instead of the “microwave-marriages” that so many people have.

I have been married close to 25 years to my husband, and while it has not been easy all the time, we have learned the trick—and the three magic words, which are not “I love you,” but rather, “Maybe you’re right,” which indicates that you are listening to what your spouse says, and giving it serious consideration.

If you are married, or thinking about getting married, then US is the book that you’ll want to read. This is an invaluable guide for couples, whether their marriage is in “deep trouble” or “just coasting along.” $14.99. 196 pages.


Don’t just improve your marriage. Transform it!
Marriage Coach Daniel Tocchini shows how to break barriers and remove ruts in marriage

Us, a new book by Daniel Tocchini, isn’t about improving marriages. It’s about transforming them. Drawing on personal experience and stories from couples he has coached, Tocchini offers practical guidance to move couples beyond communication tricks and gimmicks to help them truly understand "Us" for the first time—talking honestly, listening generously, tackling tricky issues, breaking out of ruts, and abandoning self-centered “consumer thinking.” The good news, according to Tocchini, is that personalities don’t need to change in order for marriage to work. What needs to change is how we view ourselves, our spouses, and our marriages.

Innovative, insightful and thoroughly biblical, Tocchini’s approach has helped thousands in his popular seminars. Whether a marriage is in deep trouble or just coasting along, it's time for Christian couples to read the User's Guide that God intended.

In this intensely practical, innovative guide, marriage coach Daniel Tocchini invites you to open your marriage to transformation by learning to:

· Expect less—and infinitely more—of your life partner and yourself
· Actually talk to each other instead of making assumptions (and accusations)
· Break free of those recurring, unresolved arguments
· Manage the impact of difficult (but necessary) conversations on your relationship
· Defuse conflict without sweeping it under a rug
· Open the broken places in your marriage (the ones you hesitate even to talk about) to God’s kind of reconciliation

Tocchini explains, “This is a transformational approach to breaking through the barriers and getting out of the ruts in our marriage by paying attention to our conversation—what we are thinking, our motivation for thinking it, and the impact it has on our spouse.”

Author Bio

Daniel L. Tocchini has worked with more than 5,000 couples through personal marriage coaching and the unique and life-changing marriage seminars offered through his organization, the Association for Christian Character Development. An ordained minister, chaplain, author, and highly successful speaker/coach, he lives with his family in California.

Us by Daniel L. Tocchini
David C Cook/January 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6473-7/196 pages/softcover/$14.99

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sons of Thunder

Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Summerside Press
February 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-935416-67-8
Genre: Inspirational/historical romantic suspense

Markos Stavros loves Sofia Frangos but he knows that his mother would never consider her worthy of him. Now, on the eve of Markos’ brother’s wedding, Markos comes home with fish for the wedding feast on the morrow—fish that Sofia cleans and prepares. But the wedding never happens, for instead it turns into a murderous scene with at least three dead, and Markos and his younger brother Dino fleeing for America. The only bright spot is that Sofia and her grandfather are with them.

Sofia’s grandfather dies enroute to America, leaving Sofia in the care of the Stavros brothers. Markos has an offer to send Dino and Sofia to Minneapolis to live with a Doctor and his wife, but Markos insists that they are family, they will stay together. Instead, they find themselves a ward of their Uncle Jimmy who is involved in the gang wars in Chicago. And now Markos is fighting to just stay alive. He’s warned that no one ever escapes Jimmy, but Markos is determined to try.

Sofia is torn between the two brothers. Markos is hot-headed and passionate, and Dino is quiet and intelligent. But with World War II calling both brothers to war she hesitates to decide—less she is left behind.

SONS OF THUNDER is one of the launch books of Summerside Press’ new fiction category, historical romantic suspense. I have read all of Ms. Warren’s books so far and considered myself a huge fan, but this book fell far short of the hopes I had in it.

Markos is hot-headed and angry. A man I’d be terrified of. And his Uncle Jimmy is simply awful. I hated how he was manipulating Markos, Dino, and Sofia into what he wanted. Sofia wants to help Markos make decisions for their futures, but he wants to do it alone, even if he fails. Dino hates what has happened to drive them away from Greece, and he has dreams—dreams that will be destroyed if he stays in Chicago. The story, while compelling and well-written is a very hard story to read. $12.99. 367 pages.

Sophie Frangos is torn between the love of two men and the promise that binds them all together. Markos Stavros loves Sophie from afar while battling his thirst for vengeance and his hunger for honor. Dino, his quiet and intelligent brother, simply wants to forget the horror that drove them from their Greek island home to start a new life in America. One of these sons of thunder offers a future she longs for, the other the past she lost. From the sultry Chicago jazz clubs of the roaring twenties to the World War II battlefields of Europe to a final showdown in a Greek island village, they'll discover betrayal, sacrifice and finally redemption. Most of all, when Sophie is forced to make her choice, she'll learn that God honors the promises made by the Sons of Thunder. 

Sons of Thunder launches the new Romantic Suspense line for Summerside Press - it will be available to purchase in Wal-mart mid-January. Also - its uniquely written - its an epic suspense story written as three novellas - 3 points of view, 3 settings.

Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota. Learn more about Susan here:

Link for the book:

Link to the blog tour on your blog:

Be sure to check out Susan's fun contest for the book's release: Each one of us has a wealth of stories from the past – while they might not all be as sweeping and dramatic as that of Sons of Thunder’s Sofia and the Stravos brothers (swoon), your family history is a treasure nonetheless.

Well – let’s hear them! Were your great-grandparents ‘fresh off the boat’? Was your great uncle a war hero? Did your grandmother make unbelievable sacrifices to help or protect the family? Did your father harbor a family secret until his death? Are you related to someone famous? Do you have a family treasure? Whatever it is that is unique in your family history – share your story HERE! (click on the SHARE button) One grand prize winner will receive:

• Memory Prize package containing a gift certificate to create your own hard cover photo book
• 6 month membership to Netflix (to satisfy that flick fix!)
• Signed copy of Sons of Thunder!

5 runners up will also win signed copies of Sons of Thunder!

You can also be entered to win a copy of Sons of Thunder by helping us Spread the Word during the blog tour!

TWEET THIS:(must use hashtag #SonsofThunder to be entered - no limit on entries! Tweet away!)
Please RT! @susanmaywarren launches new Romantic Suspense #SonsofThunder. Share your story 2 win a fab prize pack!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Plain Promise

Author: Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
September 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59554-720-0
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary/Amish

Sadie Fisher is tired of being a widow. She’s been courted by mail by an Amishman in Texas, and she’s hoping that he might be the one to fill her lonely days. But now it seems as if their friendship is tapering off. She’s renting her guest house to a single man, Kade Saunders, who came to Pennsylvania to get away from his high-power, high-tension job in California.

Sadie got special permission from her bishop to allow a single man to stay in her guest house, but she vows to keep her distance from him. But this Kade came with odd shopping orders, asking for things she can’t find in the markets around there. So she substitutes what she can’t find with Amish foods that are readily available. She discovers that Kade really loves her tapioca pudding.

When Kade’s estranged wife shows up with their five-year-old special needs son, Kade is stunned. He barely knows his son, and now suddenly he’s being stuck with his care? But Sadie and Tyler seem to find a connection, and soon Kade finds himself seeking out the Amish woman more and more often. But Sadie would be shunned if she leaves her church—and it’s very rare for an Englisher to join the Amish. Is there possibly a common ground?

PLAIN PROMISE is book three in Ms. Wiseman’s Daughters of the Promise series, but it easily stands alone. It was nice revisiting some of the characters (especially Noah & Carley) from previous books, and to get to know Sadie more.

I enjoyed reading PLAIN PROMISE and am looking forward to more books in this series. Set in winter, I could see the snow fall and feel the chill as the characters tried to navigate in the deep snow in Amish country. Discussion questions and authentic Amish recipes are included at the end of the book. Don’t miss PLAIN PROMISE or any of the other books in this series. The fourth book in the series, Plain Paradise, is coming in April 2010. $14.99. 336 pages.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Title: A BEAUTIFUL DAY: Treasure Every Moment: 40 Devotions
Author: Gwen Ford Faulkenberry
Publisher: Summerside Press
December 2009
ISBN: 978-1-935416-59-3
Genre: Inspirational/nonfiction/devotional

This beautiful little devotional that is perfect for gift-giving or for carrying in your purse or backpack. The book isn’t just for beautiful days when the sun is shining and a warm breeze is blowing, and all is right with the world, but instead, it is for the days when its cold and rainy and nothing is going right at all.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY will help us change our attitude and help us to find meaning and beauty, regarding of the circumstances, and to help you find God’s peace, faithful love, and presence.

Each devotional starts out with a verse, then a story, and ends with a prayer. This is a book that is not a really deep Bible study, but it is good for when you have a few minutes here, or there, and you want to spend some God-time, focusing your thoughts on Him.

There are forty devotions included in this little book, and everyone of them are upbeat, entertaining, and uplifting. Hardcover, this book is ideal for gift-giving or for keeping in small places (the car, the bathroom, the bedside table, or wherever you read devotions) so it is handy. $12.99 hardcover. 143 pages.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Seeing Things

Author: Patti Hill
Publisher: Broadman & Holman Fiction
September 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8054-4751-4
Genre: Inspirational/ women’s fiction

Birdie Wainwrite has macular degeneration, but that isn’t about to stop her! Birdie loves dancing, hiking with her large dog, and is famous in her small Colorado town for baking pies. But when Birdie accidentally falls and breaks her ankle, suddenly she finds herself being forced to live with her son, his wife, and her sixteen year old grandson. Not the ideal circumstances for this fun-loving grandma, especially when her daughter in law is a doctor, and the relationship has been less than pleasant from day one.

Andy and Suzanne are both very busy, and neither have much time for Birdie, leaving her care to their house-keeper, and their sixteen year old son. Fletcher is a dear boy, but he and his father do not see eye to eye, and the boy is constantly being belittled and threatened with boarding school.

When Fletcher has to read Huckleberry Fin for his English class, Birdie is delighted. She loves that story. So, she and Fletcher spend time together reading. But then, Huck Fin starts appearing in Birdie’s room! At first he just comes. And then he finds a voice and talks to her. And listens to her. And Birdie is wondering if she’s going crazy.

I have read and loved all of Patti Hill’s books so far, and was looking forward to reading SEEING THINGS. I was not disappointed. Birdie is a seventy-something year old woman, but she is very active, reminding me of my mother. And being legally blind doesn’t slow her down at all. Birdie is not happy living with her son and his wife, but she loves getting to know her grandson better, and even makes friends with her son’s neighbors.

Birdie is very realistic, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Coupled with Ms. Hill’s descriptive writing style and I could hear the dog’s nails clicking on the wood floors (of course that might have been our dog I heard!) and seen the surroundings—at least the portion that Birdie could see. Laugh out loud funny at times, this is a book you will not soon forget. The ending does seem a bit rushed. $14.99. 320 pages.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Plain Pursuit

Author: Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59554-719-4
Genre: Inspirational/Contemporary/Amish

Carley Marek is on enforced leave from her journalistic job, so she decides to take her unwanted four week vacation and head to Pennsylvania to visit her friend, Lillian, in Amish Country. She hopes to do some freelance writing about the Amish while she is in the area.

But soon after Carley’s arrival, Lillian’s step-son, David, falls ill. Carley rushes the family to the E.R, and there, the E.R. doctor seems to be someone that Lillian’s husband, Samuel knows—and dislikes. He refuses to have the doctor run tests on David and instead takes David back home.

But the doctor—Samuel’s shunned brother, Noah, runs the tests anyway, and diagnoses David with a fatal disease. Noah talks to Carley, hoping she can influence her friends to get David into a professional, to hopefully save David’s life. What will it take for a shunned man to get through to a stubborn Amish family?

PLAIN PURSUIT is the second book in Ms. Wiseman’s Daughters of the Promise series. I had the privilege of reading book one, Plain Perfect, and recommend that readers of PLAIN PURSUIT read book one first so they know Lillian’s and Samuel’s history. But, if they can’t then they should be able to understand what exactly is happening in PLAIN PURSUIT.

I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Lillian, Samuel, and David, and getting to know Carley and Noah. There are a few unexpected twists in this story that keep the pages turning. Discussion questions and some authentic Amish recipes are included at the end of the book. $14.99. 336 pages.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Jewel of His Heart

Author: Maggie Brendan
Publisher: Revell Books
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3350-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Juliana Brady is tired of being a laundress to the miners, but she sees no change in her situation. Her father has abandoned her and her mother to search for jewels, and her mother is not well. But when Juliana goes to town to have lunch with a friend, the last thing she expects is to be summoned to the local doctor because her mother has suffered from a heart attack.

Josh McBride wants a bride, but even more, he wants to prove to his father that he is able to make a living on his own, and not living off his father’s laurels. Josh’s luck seems to have changed when he finds some beautiful blue stones on his property. When Josh finds out that they are sapphires and quite possibly worth a lot of money, he is torn. Give up his sheep farm and mine? Or what?

When Josh goes to town to file a claim on the area he found the sapphires, he meets the lovely Juliana. Juliana has just landed a job working at a local newspaper, and she is excited that her luck seems to be changing. They are each attracted to the other, but how can they make a choice between riches and promises, and the temptation of love?

THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART is the second book in Ms. Brendan’s Heart of the West series, but it easily stands alone. I couldn’t help but care for Juliana (even as I chafed over the death of her mother, what is it with historical fiction starting with a death?). And Josh is an absolutely amazing hero, kind and generous, but he is suffering from a “not-good-enough” complex.

I enjoyed reading THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART and getting to know Juliana and Josh and their friends. There was also a kind of unexpected twist toward the end of the book. If you enjoy historicals then you won’t want to miss THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART. There is also an interesting author’s note at the end of the book. $13.99. 330 pages.

Troubled Graves (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by Christy Barritt

  Troubled Gra \  (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by  Christy Barritt (Autho r) Some things are best left buried . . . Gunner Mathias is try...