Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin


Read any great WWII fiction lately? Seems to be a theme around here. *grin* First Love Finds you in Victory Heights, Washington, and now Sarah Sundin's A Memory Between Us. They're running a contest. Read on to learn more.

Let's begin with the book's summary:

Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge—until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways? A Memory Between Us is the second 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.

And now, my review:

Sarah Sundin has done it again. Last time around I was so impressed with her debut novel: A Distant Melody. A Memory Between Us is her sophomore offering, and it’s even better than the first book, in my opinion.

This book has so many textures, so many layers. Sarah skillfully (as always) teaches us non-pilots what it’s like to fly a B-17 bomber in WWII. She throws in some humor, deals with some tough subjects, and generally entertains the reader with a great story. Readers will feel these characters actually lived.

Her writing skill also impressed me so much. She is adept with every aspect. I loved her theme of trusting God with the hard stuff—with life, really. Her heroine must overcome some serious issues from her past. Readers will relate with her regrets and will care about her heartache.

And oh, the romance. You rarely read such a well-penned romance. Both her hero and heroine had some growing to do and we watch both of them face their issues or flesh, and change.

Sundin also blends humor into the story at just the right times. I thoroughly enjoyed this story for so many reasons. Highly recommended.

~~~~
“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
~~~~

And now contest information:

Sarah Sundin presents The Movies and Memories Giveaway in honor of book 2 in the Wings of Glory series. A Memory Between Us is available for purchase wherever fine books are sold. From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.

AMBU_button


To celebrate Sarah is giving one lucky winner A Movie and Memory Prize Package! One grand prize winner will receive:

* Make-your-own-photo book from Mypublisher.com (Capture your own Memories)

* Netflix Subscription (New or Nostalgic Movies delivered right to your house)

* Starbucks gift card (To keep your engine revvin’)

*Gourmet chocolate (A favorite in the 1940’s and now)

* British specialty teas in carved wooden box (Timeless tradition)

* Miniature model of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber & C-47 cargo plane (Everyone needs a few toy planes)

*Big Band music CD (Break out your dancing shoes)

* WWII authentic poster playing cards (Cards – a perfect game for two)

* Keep Calm and Carry On (Uplifting sayings WWII, a boost for troubled times)

To enter simple click on the icons below (contest runs 9/27 - 10/17!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog Tour: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman


From Julie Lessman’s first book (A Passion Most Pure), I’ve really enjoyed her novels! Plus, she’s a great person. So, it’s my pleasure to review her latest release: A Hope Undaunted. Read on to learn more about her contest and other great ways to connect with Julie.

First, here’s the summary of A Hope Undaunted:

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jake fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and head-over-heels in love with her. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jake? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever? A Hope Undaunted is the engrossing first book in the WINDS OF CHANGE series from popular author Julie Lessman. Readers will thrill at the highly charged romance in this passionate story.

And now, my review:

This book picks up where the Daughters of Boston Series left off, following the happenings of Katie, the O’Connor’s youngest daughter. But one of the best parts of Julie’s books is her inclusion of her cast of characters from her earlier books. She layers in relationships, including romance, sisters, parents, even following the storyline of Katie’s siblings’ continuing lives. This is fun. I’d recommend reading her earlier books to get the most out of this aspect.

One of the elements I liked, too, was that her characters (as heroic as they can sometimes be) were “real,” flawed, imperfect, but in complex ways. She weaves their motivations and stories together in an expert way, which is very satisfying for the reader.

Her spiritual elements of trusting God and waiting on Him were well written in the context of the hero and heroine’s relationship. Which brings me to the romance. Julie is an adept romance writer. I liked her ability to show the budding relationship of the hero and heroine, as well as convincingly present the marital relationships between her other “cast members.” She understands hearts and motivations. Readers pick up one of her hefty tomes *grin* and know they’re in good hands. (Julie once told me she cannot write a short book.) Lovers of historical romance will devour this next offering of Julie’s.

I have a secret hope, speaking of undaunted hope. I wish for Julie’s next book to center on Sean and Emma. Shhh . . . let’s wait and see how that turns out. *smile*

Give yourself some time to read this one (it’s 505 pages!). Sit back with some tea and relax. You’re in for a great read.

Highly recommended.

~~~~~~

And now, here's the promised contest info:

Visit the Roaring 20’s with Julie Lessman in the Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway! Julie’s latest series has just ‘shimmied’ it’s way onto the scene with book 1 in The Winds of Change series, A Hope Undaunted! The fun begins September 20th! A Hope Undaunted

Find out more about the book, Julie here.

Enter The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway!



One Grand Prize winner will receive a KINDLE preloaded with Julie Lessman's latest title. The Prize Pack (valued at over $150.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, with Wi-Fi
* A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form and be sure to tell your friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 7th.

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Not only is Julie hosting the fabulous KINDLE giveaway, but also a FACEBOOK PARTY and a BOOK BOMB!!!

Are you ready for PRIZES GALORE??? Then come to the Facebook Party!

How does a gift certificate and a signed book given away EVERY 10 minutes during an hour-long Facebook party sound? (Yeah, we think it sounds pretty great too!) On October 7th at 5pm PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST,party_bomb_facebook_button.3 & 8:00 EST) Julie is inviting you to attend the A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party! She'll announce the winner of the KINDLE and in addition to the prizes every 10 minutes, she'll also be giving away great prize baskets filled with even more Romance and Technology (Netflix, Starbucks, Amazon.com, Champagne body Lotion, Pearls, & more!)!

BUT WAIT … there’s more (and no, this is not an infomercial … it’s WAY better!). If you participate in the Book Bomb on October 7th you’ll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com. All you need to do to participate is buy a copy of A Hope Undaunted on October 7th and send your receipt (just transaction number from store, store name & date) to amy@litfusegroup.com! Each book purchased equals one entry, buy 10 books get 10 entries!


All this fun begins with Revell’s blog tour SEPTEMBER 19-25, when 122 blogger/reviewers will post reviews about A Hope Undaunted, followed by the Book Bomb and Facebook Party!

So mark your calendars with these important dates:

September 19-25: A Hope Undaunted will be making an appearance on blogs across the country (and beyond!) in Revell's blog tour!

September 20th: The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway launches (contest runs 9/20 - 10/6)

October 7th: Book Bomb Day (where everyone is encouraged to buy the book online at the same time!) and Facebook Party - meet and chat with Julie, win some great prizes & find out who won the KINDLE!

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Daddy's Delight by Dr. Karia Bunting


I don’t often review non-fiction books, but every now and then one will cross my desk which I can’t resist. Anytime a book supports the concept that God delights in us, my interest is piqued. So, I gladly signed up for this blog tour.

Let’s begin with the summary:

In Daddy's Delight, Karia Bunting reminds women that they are God's workmanship, His masterpiece, His "poema." That God has intricately woven together every fiber of their being and created each one special and unique. That God, having completed His work of art, gave her to mankind as a gift.

Evident in this great care God took in fashioning woman is the importance and value of each one. So why do so many women struggle with God's design, wishing they could change just this or that one thing about themselves?

Bunting challenges each reader to accept and embrace the fact that, in whatever season of life, she is God's masterpiece--not her own work of art. When God sees her, He sees His beautiful creation. A creation that yes, has some wrinkles needing to be smoothed out and yet, is one in whom is His delight to love to perfection.

And now, my review:

Following an opening chapter chock full of affirmation, Dr. Karia Bunting takes readers through advice, beginning with fruits of the Spirit. Very useful information, especially for a new believer. She also covered various stages of a woman’s life: singleness (including widowhood), marriage, motherhood, career, ministry, etc. These were discussed rather thoroughly, as if the author were mentoring the reader.

Dr. Bunting doesn’t hold back. She gets real, but she’s dignified about it. She breaks down the issues that real women face in a way that is honorable, honest, and insightful. Though at first I felt this book might apply as a whole more to new believers, as I read on, I saw that women at whatever stage would benefit from reading this book. She’ll give it to you straight and bookend the message with affirmation. And the message of God delighting in His kids is one we all need to hear about more often, believe more fully, and exist in. Dr. Bunting will give you the tools to do just that.

~~~~~

For other blog tour stops, click here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blog Tour: Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad


Books are just more fun when they’re written about lake settings or beaches. *grin* And what’s not to love about that cover? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: covers matter.

Welcome to the latest stop for the blog tour of Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad.

Here’s the book’s summary:

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews. But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means abandoning the family she loves? Author Lorna Seilstad's fresh and entertaining voice will whisk readers away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday. Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves is the first book in the LAKE MANAWA SUMMERS series.

And now, my review:

Marguerite Westing struggles with two sizable character flaws: lack of assertion and willingness to compromise when it comes to telling the truth.

Both of these weaknesses get her into trouble over and over again. She holds the key to her own freedom but fails to assert herself, then feels like a victim as life happens to her, and she waited for someone else to rescue her. Loved this message—we often hold the key to our breakthrough, we just have to assert ourselves.

And, as many a clever novelist will do, Lorna ties this together with her other theme—honesty. I’ll let you read the book to find out how.

Lake Manawa, Iowa, in 1895 was a happening place, apparently. I felt like I was strolling around the lake, hearing the splash of revelers who were trying to escape the heat while camping.

Can you imagine taking multiple tents, servants and real furniture with you and camping next to other wealthy families for an entire summer? In the Iowa heat?? *grin*

Then, there’s the sailing fun. Lorna gives us creative, quirky characters and a slew of troubles to navigate in this enjoyable romance.

Reading Making Waves feels like a double escape—both because of the history and the lake setting. Enjoy!

***
Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna Thompson

Please welcome my friend, Janice Hanna Thompson, as she shares about her newest release from Summerside Press's new line: "When I Fall in Love." Read on to learn more about a giveaway Janice is hosting.

Note from Janice Hanna Thompson, author of LOVE ME TENDER:

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by to share in the excitement of LOVE ME TENDER, my latest inspirational romance. When I heard about the new “When I Fall in Love” line at Summerside, I flipped! Why? Because I love the ‘50s, and I love music! (The line is based on song titles from the 1930s to the 1970s.) I happen to be a playwright with a really fun musical comedy titled JOHNNY BE GOOD, a story that’s near and dear to my heart. I decided to put a twist on that stage play and turn it into a rockin’ romantic novel! With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this “Hollywood Heartthrob” interview with four of the main characters from the novel.

Hollywood Heartthrob, “Man About Town” Column

Welcome, readers! This is Sunset Sam, columnist for Hollywood Heartthrob magazine, here to interview several characters from LOVE ME TENDER, a new book by author Janice Hanna Thompson. I read the book in preparation for this interview and had a hip-hip hoppin’, be-be-boppin’ time reading about the characters down at Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe in Laguna Beach. I’ve been to Sweet Sal’s many times, of course. Everyone in Hollywood knows it’s all the rage. Where else can you get a big, thick cheeseburger, hot, salty fries and the thickest chocolate malts in the country? Now that I’ve enticed you with the food, let’s have a little chat with some of the key players in our story. We’ll start with Debbie Carmichael, daughter of the owners of Sweet Sal’s.

Debbie, could you tell us a little about what your day-to-day life is like?

Most of the girls my age are in college, but I decided to stay in Laguna Beach and help my parents out at our family run soda shop. I have the best life ever! I live across the street from the Pacific Ocean, and love spending time at the cliffs, watching the waves lap the shore. When I’m at the soda shop, the jukebox is always playing. I’m gaga over Elvis’s new song, “Love Me Tender.” It’s all the rage with teen girls right now. Of course, I’m also head over heels for Bobby Conrad, but don’t tell my friends, okay? They think I’m more mature than most of the other teen girls who hang out Sweet Sal’s. Of course, I’m a little distracted by that new guy, Johnny Hartman. He’s so sweet and handsome, and I hear he’s a great singer, too!

Johnny, I read in another article that you came all the way from Topeka, Kansas to Hollywood to make it big. How does Hollywood compare to Topeka?

There’s really no way to compare Topeka to Los Angeles. People out here (in California) are more up on current styles, the hottest tunes and the hippest actors and actresses. Back home, folks are so grounded. That isn’t always the case here in L.A. I hope I don’t sound too stuck up when I say that back in Topeka, I was a big fish in a small pond. And because my dad’s a pastor, I had plenty of opportunities to sing in church. But out here in L.A. no one even knows who I am. My agent, Jim Jangles, is working hard to get me a gig on television. I’m auditioning for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts soon. Say a little prayer for me!

Bobby, I understand you were slotted to sing at the fundraiser at Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe, but had to cancel. Could you explain your sudden departure?

Yes, I was scheduled to sing at the fundraiser, but just got word that I’ll be filming my new movie that same weekend. I was really disappointed to have to tell the Carmichaels the news, but hopefully they understand. I think it’s going to be okay, because my agent, Jim Jangles, is sending his latest prodigy—a kid from Topeka named Johnny Hartman—in my place. I hear he’s quite a singer.

Sal, could you tell our readers about some of the Hollywood stars you’ve met over the years?

First of all, thanks for including me in this interview! It’s been decades since I was a teen, but I still secretly read Hollywood Heartthrob magazine. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband, Frankie, or my daughter, Debbie!) I’m blessed to be the co-owner of Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe in Laguna Beach, and I’ve met a lot of stars who’ve come through on their way to places like Dana Point and San Diego. Here’s a list of some of my favorites: Doris Day, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Ozzie and Harriet. There are dozens more, of course. I want to personally invite all of your readers to stop by Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe so that they can see the photos on our walls! And while you’re here, why not enjoy a creamy chocolate malt?

Debbie, a little birdie told me that you and the other girls in Laguna Beach are gaga over Elvis, Pat Boone and Bobby Conrad. Now that you’ve gotten to know (and love) Johnny Hartman, what would you say sets him apart from the other great singers you’ve known?

Oh, no doubt about it . . . Johnny isn’t just a great singer, he’s got a heart of gold. I especially love his strong faith. Unlike so many of the other singers in town, he doesn’t put himself first. With Johnny, it’s God first . . . all the way! And when he sings . . . man! That voice! It’s a smooth as velvet. (And it doesn’t hurt that he’s so dreamy! Talk about handsome!)

Johnny, you’ve been asked to fill in for Bobby Conrad at the Laguna Beach fundraiser. Can you tell us how you’re feeling as you look forward to the big day?

I don’t mind admitting I’m a little nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Thousands of girls from Orange County and beyond are looking forward to seeing Bobby Conrad in person. Now I’ve been asked to fill in for him. I’ll be lucky if they don’t boo me off the stage or toss rotten tomatoes at me! Hopefully my new love song—the one I wrote for the gorgeous Debbie Carmichael—will win them over. I hope so, anyway!

Bobby, many Christians have a hard time hanging onto their faith once they achieve stardom. You seem so grounded. What’s your secret?

I always try to honor God in everything I do—whether it’s movies or songs for the radio. There’s a verse that I love, and it’s one I try to live by: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The way I look at it, if I make a choice to put God first, He’s going to bless me above and beyond anything I could ever ask for, anyway. Even if He didn’t bless me, though, I would still serve Him. It’s really the only way to live a fulfilling life. (And trust me when I say that people out here in L.A. are looking for ways to live a fulfilling life!)

Sal, we were sorry to hear about your husband’s health problems. How is he doing now?

Praise the Lord, Frankie seems to be doing a little better. His heart attack several months ago really shook us up. And we got behind on the mortgage, which has made me a little nervous. Still, I choose to trust God. And now that everyone in town is banding together to put on the fundraiser to save the soda shop, I’m feeling more hopeful than ever!

Debbie, is there anything you’d like Hollywood Heartthrob readers to know as we end this interview?

Yes, I would like people to know that it is possible to live in Hollywood—to be a big star, even—and still be a person of faith. I’ve witnessed it in Bobby Conrad’s life, and in Johnny’s, too. I’d also like to share that putting your trust in God is really the only way to go. Some problems are just too big for us to handle on our own. When my dad got really sick, I made up my mind to try to “fix” the situation. What I’ve learned is this—only God can truly “fix” anything. And trust me when I say that His “fix” is far greater than anything we could ever dream up!

Thanks so much, folks! It’s been a great interview.

Well, there you have it, Hollywood Heartthrob fans. This is Sunset Sam, signing off for this week. See you next time!

GIVEAWAY INFO: Janice Hanna Thompson is hosting a giveaway on her facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/jhannathompson). To enter, leave a comment on her page with the name of your favorite ‘50s star (movies or music) and explain why you liked him/her. The drawing to win the Be-Boppin’ ‘50s Basket (filled with great ‘50s memorabilia) will take place on the weekend of October 29th – 31st. Why? Because that’s the same weekend Janice is directing a local (Houston) production of JOHNNY BE GOOD the musical comedy that served as inspiration for LOVE ME TENDER.

To visit Janice’s webpage, go here: www.janicehannathompson.

~~~~~~
Thanks for visiting, Janice! I'm looking forward to reading Love Me Tender.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Always the Baker Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Today I've got a special treat for you, dear readers--an interview with my friend and fellow author, Sandra D. Bricker, about her newest release: Always the Baker, Never the Bride.

Let's start with the book's summary:

They say you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. But who would want a cake they couldn’t eat? Just ask Emma Rae Travis about that. A baker of confections who is diabetic and can’t enjoy them? When Emma meets Jackson Drake, the escapee from Corporate America who is starting a wedding destination hotel to fulfill a dream that belonged to someone else, this twosome and their crazy family ties bring new meaning to the term Family Circus. The Atlanta social scene will never be the same!

Hi Sandie. Welcome! Tell us about Always the Baker Never the Bride.

This book has been an absolute joy! Even before it hit bookstores the first of September, the reviews have been phenomenal. Something about these characters really appeals to readers on a broad level. It’s receiving four- and five-starred reviews, we’ve taken a couple of queries about the possibility of translating the book to film, and I’ll be doing interviews for the likes of Walmart and Southern Living magazines. It’s been so exciting to see Emma and Baker develop a life of their own.

Tell us why you decided to pursue a career as a writer.

Well, I’m not sure there was ever a time when I didn’t know I wanted to write. However, I was a big fan of film, and the writing I wanted to do was for the movies. I moved to Los Angeles in my twenties, and went to film school to learn my craft. Just about the time I started to make a little headway, my
mom became ill in Florida and I had to give up my life in California so that I could move there and take care of her. At the time, I thought my life was pretty much over. But what I found was that God had a plan for my life that I hadn’t quite found yet. When I walked into a local chapter meeting of RWA writers in Tampa, I knew I’d found it. Some of my best friends and supporters to this day came out of that little meeting room in the back of a Picadilly restaurant more than ten years ago.

What did you love about writing Always the Baker Never the Bride?

When I finished writing Baker, it was excruciating to leave the characters behind. Emma Rae is a diabetic baker who can never eat her own creations. From her family to the hero and his family, it was an
absolute hoot to write!

What is your most difficult obstacle as a writer?

My greatest obstacle these days is trying to hold down a 40+ hour a week “day job” to pay the bills while building a writing career. It’s quite a challenge to compartmentalize all the areas of my life and keep all the plates spinning at the same time.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Quirky is my middle name, I am sorry to tell you. I’m the kind of person who can find humor in anything, even the most UNhumorous things. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends who are just like me, so we can giggle together at a funeral or laugh through tears at our misfortunes. It’s not so bad being an oddball when there’s someone else just as strange as you are to share it with … or at least someone who understands!

Are there themes you like to include in your books?

I’m a big fan of destiny. I think it comes from the belief that was developed in me very early on that there are no real accidents in life. God whispers a direction in our ear, and then opens up the path for us with road signs all along the way. I LOVE to write about those unexpected, often unrecognizable signs that point the way.

What else are you working on right now?


I’m collaborating with Kristin Billerbeck, Debby Mayne, Diann Hunt and Trish Perry on a devotional for Summerside Press. It will be titled Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days, and like last year’s Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry, a portion of the
proceeds will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

When the devo is all pulled together, I’ll jump right to The Big 4-OH!, the second in my Abingdon series about the life and loves of three sisters, ten years apart in age.

Thanks for visiting Sandie! I can't wait to read this one!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sandra D. Bricker has been publishing in both the Christian and general market for years with novels for women and teens, magazine articles and short stories. With 11 novels in print and 4 more slated for publication through 2012, Sandie has carved out a niche for herself as an author of laugh-out-loud comedy for the inspirational market. Sandie was an entertainment publicist in Hollywood for 15+ years. Her first comedy for the inspirational market, Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, garnered three readers’ choice awards in 2009, and Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida has followed up with two more in 2010. Check out her blog here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman & Ellen Vaughn


Almost twenty years ago, when my now husband and I were planning our wedding, choosing music and dreaming about the future, we heard a song by Steven Curtis Chapman about commitment: “I Will Be Here” This seemed like such a meaningful and appropriate song for our wedding, so we asked a friend to sing it for us. What a special memory.

And through the years, we've listened to other SCC songs, enjoying his albums. So, when the news of Maria’s tragic death came through Spirit 105.3 in Seattle in May, 2008, I began praying immediately for this precious family while my heart broke in two.

And now, over two years later, what a privilege it has been to read Mary Beth’s account of not only her family’s grief in the wake of Maria’s home-going, but also her transparency as a Christian on her own journey with God. Her courage astounds me, and I applaud her willingness to usher us into the secret places of pain and doubts and perseverance.

God is glorified in this true story of loss and suffering. As a mom myself, I cried as I read the account. I could relate with Mary Beth’s honesty and poignancy. She doesn’t uphold an image. She’s down-to-earth about her life and pain.

The book reads fast, by design. Chapters are short, and you won’t feel bogged down in details.

Only recently have I taken an interest in this genre of autobiographic books and Mary Beth’s and Ellen Vaughn’s work ranks up there with the best. Very well done. While reading, I laughed and of course, cried. (Don’t miss Mary Beth’s rafting trip account. A great emotional release before the later chapters.)

For the hope in the pages, for the way God is honored in good times and bad, I highly recommend this book.

~~~

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blog Tour: Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington by Ocieanna Fleiss and Tricia Goyer


My dear friend and critique partner, Ocieanna Fleiss, has teamed up with Tricia Goyer again with the Summerside Press offering Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington. I recently had the privilege to read the entire novel. What a great book! (Read on to learn about the contest Tricia is holding as part of the blog tour.)

Here's my review:

Rosalie’s trying to prove herself and atone for her past (as if she could). Because she didn’t love Vic, the fallen soldier and her former fiancĂ©, she feels she must work extra hard in the war effort. She’s a record-setting riveter with a plane load of guilt. And she’s certainly not going to entertain another relationship any time soon.

Enter reporter Kenny Davenport, who’s on assignment to write a series of articles on Rosalie, calling her “Seattle’s own Rosie the Riveter.” From the very beginning, these two are destined to be singled out, together, and whether it’s working side by side on an old Victorian home for his aunt or research for those articles, they have plenty of fun. Too bad Rosie’s adamant about not trusting reporters like her father, who let her down when she was a child.

She’ll have to overcome her self-reliance, projections and release her past to the Savior in order to consider a relationship with Kenny.

I appreciated how the authors didn’t follow pre-set formulas. They threw in some twists, like not leaving conversion scenes to the end. I loved the history. Seattle is a great setting, and I feel the authors really highlighted the city, taking us into its historical neighborhoods and businesses.

The cast of characters were well drawn and served the hero and heroine well, especially Birdie, and Kenny’s father.

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington is a rich novel full of romance, regrets, patriotism, and redemption. Readers will enjoy the setting and history as they’re immersed in a time of giving one’s all for our country, whether at home or abroad. I recommend this book and look forward to future collaborations by these authors.

~~~~~
About Tricia Goyer: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four 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. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more on Tricia visit www.triciagoyer.com

About Ocieanna Fleiss: Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer’s historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. For more about Ocieanna visit her blog.

Tricia's holding a contest, as well. Check out the details here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Christian Fiction Releases: September, 2010



Here's the list of new Christian fiction releases as compiled by American Christian Fiction Writers.

1. Across the Cotton Fields; Mississippi Brides, book 1 by Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver-- Romance from Barbour. Alexandra Lewis must find a husband before a family scandal follows her to Mississippi, but where does God fit into her plans?

2. A Door County Christmas; The Heart's Harbor by Cynthia Ruchti, Ride With Me Into Christmas by Rachael Phillips, My Heart Still Beats by Eileen Key, and Christmas Crazy by Becky Melby, A collection of four Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. A Door County innkeeper guarantees four single women that her Christmas cactus gifts˜and love˜will bloom by Christmas. As December nears, will barren plants and romances blossom into holiday joy? (Watch NBN for my review.)

3. A Hope Undaunted; Winds of Change series, book 1 by Julie Lessman -- A Romance from Revell. While on a summer law internship, a sassy and modern woman of the Roaring 20s butts heads with her lawyer boss, a stubborn pest from her past. (Watch NBN for my review coming up this month!)

4. A Memory Between Us; Wings of Glory, Book 2 by Sarah Sundin -- An historical from Revell. During World War II, B-17 pilot Maj. Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge - until he meets Lt. Ruth Doherty, a striking nurse with a shameful secret. (Watch NBN for my review.)

5. A Prairie Christmas Collection by Deborah Raney, Tracie Peterson, Tracey V. Bateman, and six others -- A collection of nine Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. An instant holiday treasure, this fiction collection is penned by nine multi-published authors. Each novella promises a sweet Christian romance on the historical American Great Plains.

6. A Riverwalk Christmas by Elizabeth Goddard, Martha Rogers, Lynette Sowell and Kathleen Y'Barbo-- A collection of Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. Four young women find love in the most unexpected places at Christmas.

7. A Very Private Grave; #1 The Monastery Murders by Donna Fletcher Crow -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Kregel. Felicity thinks she knows everything, until a brutal murder teaches her she doesn't know anything.

8. A Woodland Christmas by Janelle Mowery, Tamela Hancock Murray, Darlene Franklin and Ramona Cecil-- A collection of Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. Experience a nostalgic Christmas in the Piney Woods of East Texas where a traveling wood-carver dispenses wisdom that brings four couples to realize the gift of love.

9. Alpha Redemption by P.A. Baines -- A Science Fiction/Fantasy/Futuristic from Splashdown Books. In man's pursuit of knowledge, artificial intelligence was created. In the pursuit of love, artificial intelligence found God.

10. Baby Makes A Match; Love Inspired/Chatam House Series by Arlene James -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. A rodeo cowboy rescues a stranded pregnant girl and with the help of three matchmaking aunties….well what else do you need?

11. Christmas Mail Order Brides by Vickie McDonough, Susan Page Davis, Therese Stenzel and Carrie Turansky-- A collection of Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order-and just in time for Christmas.

12. Finding Becky; Book 3 Winds Across the Prairie by Martha Rogers -- An Historical from Realms/Strang. Rebecca comes home with a new attitude, but Rob wants to find the Becky he's loved since their youth.

13. Formula for Danger by Camy Tang -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Love Inspired Suspense. Dermatologist researcher Rachel Grant is pursued by an enemy trying to take her latest research and her life.

14. Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer -- A Romance from Bethany House. When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart isn't the only thing in danger.

15. High-Stakes Inheritance by Susan Sleeman -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. Claiming an inheritance turns deadly when Mia Blackburn returns to her hometown.

16. In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- An Historical from Bethany House. Claiming an inheritance turns deadly when Mia Blackburn returns to her hometown.Three best friends, three cherished dreams, three searching hearts...

17. Judgement Day by Wanda Dyson -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Random House/Waterbrook. One reporter's love of sensationalism leads to a horrifying story and someone willing to kill her to keep her quiet.

18. Lily and the Lawman; Idaho Brides, Book Two by Erica Vetsch -- An Historical from Barbour. A wary woman has no choice but to join forces with a local lawman to rescue her kidnapped niece.

19. Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe by Anita Higman and Irene Brand-- A Romance from Summerside Press. Two heartwarming stories of Christmas past and present.

20. Lydia's Charm by Wanda Brunstetter -- A Romance from Barbour. Will the anonymous gifts left for Lydia bring her hope for a new life, and when tragedy befalls her yet again, will the mysterious gift giver be there to support her?

21. Making Waves; CHAIM series, Book Four by Lorna Seilstad -- An Historical from Revell. After Mr. Boring presses for an engagement, a witting debutante meets an intriguing sailing instructor who is everything her hum drum suitor is not.

22. McKenzie; Montana Skies Series by Penny Zeller -- An Historical from Whitaker House. She wanted to change him and mold him into the man she was supposed to marry. Instead, she was the one whose heart was changed.

23. Medical Error; Prescription For Trouble (book two) by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Abingdon. Identity theft isn't normally fatal, but this time it was.

24. More Than Words; Daughters of Amana #2 by Judith Miller -- An Historical from Bethany House. Will Gretchen Kohler's one impulsive decision cause tragic consequences for the entire Amana Community and cost her everything, even the love of her life?

25. Second Chance Brides; Texas Boardinghouse Brides #2 by Vickie McDonough -- An Historical from Barbour. When the man they came to town to marry weds someone else, two mail order brides must find a way to survive in Texas--or find another man to marry.

26. Secret of the Shroud by Pamela Billings Ewen -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from B&H Publishers. A powerful Bishop reaches for revenge when he's suddenly confronted with the secret of the Shroud and a choice that can destroy him.

27. Tender Vow by Sharlene MacLaren -- A Romance from Whitaker House. When John Evans is killed in a skiing accident, his brother, Jake, reaches out to his widowed sister-in-law, but Rachel will have nothing to do with his charity, particularly since they have a "history" she'd rather forget--but God has other plans.

28. The Columns of Cottonwood; The Alabama River Heritage Series by Sandra Robbins -- A Romance from Barbour. When a handsome stranger purchases a woman's plantation for back taxes, she vows to recover her land, but they discover God has a greater solution--a compromise to benefit both.

29. The Doctor's Blessing; #2 in The Brides of Amish Country by Patricia Davids -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. A nurse-midwife to the Amish and the new doctor clash over her home deliveries.

30. The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson -- A Romance from Zondervan. The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale comes to life when Rose, the apprentice to the town healer, falls in love with Lord Hamlin, the betrothed son of a duke.

31. The Newcomer by Laurie Alice Eakes -- An Historical from Barbour. Marigold sacrifices things precious to her, for the sake of her young charges and isn't willing to let their uncle take over when danger follows in his wake.

32. The Perfect Blend; The Tea Shop Series by Trish Perry -- A Romance from Harvest House. A jilted bride encounters chaotic jobs, overbearing society matrons, and charming suitors in her quest for love, independence, and the occasional glimpse of God's will.

33. The Wolf of Tebron by C. S. Lakin -- An Science Fiction/Fantasy/Futuristic from AMG/Living Ink. A young blacksmith goes in search of his missing wife, journeying to the four ends of the world and solving riddles with a faithful wolf at his side.

34. Where Hearts Are Free; Darkness to Light Series, Book #3 by Golden Keyes Parsons -- An Historical from Thomas Nelson. In the freedom and promise of the New World, Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell fall in love, but nothing about their love seems possible, apart from God's intervention.