Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CFBA: Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Miracle in a Dry Season
Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
by
Sarah Loudin Thomas


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope


It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A New Adventure for Me!!!

I just joined Lilla Rose and want to share some spectacular specials with you! Don't know what Lilla Rose is? Come check out the party!!

Who will win the hostess rewards??? It could be you! Also other chances to win just for attending! Be sure to shop on this link to be entered in the mystery hostess drawing: http://www.lillarose.biz/parties/6159. If you do not use this link I can not move your order once placed and you will not be entered in the drawing for the Mystery hostess.

Don't miss out on this great sale!!! Remember to shop on my party site!!


Questions? Join in the party or drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer anything I can! If I don't know the answer, I'll find out for you!!


CFBA: A Grand Design by Amber Stockton

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Grand Design
Abingdon Press (August 19, 2014)
by
Amber Stockton


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Words from the author:

Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my mid-30's, married to the love of my life since July 2007, have a daughter and a son, and live in Colorado. Here, I am content to do what I love—write, speak, and offer virtual assistance.

Thanks to the gentle nudging of a fellow author -- Tracie Peterson -- in 2002, I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers and wouldn't be published today without them. For those of you who are also fiction writers looking for a wonderful support group, check them out! My very first book, Promises, Promises, sold in December 2006 and released in February 2008. I've been going steady ever since.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists. As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Grand Design, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

Sky Zone: A Novel (The Crittendon Files #3)Sky Zone: A Novel by Creston Mapes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fair warning...if you plan on reading this book, clear your schedule!! From the first page to the last, Creston Mapes keeps you on the edge of your seat in his newest release, Sky Zone: A Novel!!

Jack and Pamela Crittendon are back again and have hit some major breaking points in their lives. Jack is no longer working for the paper since he exposed the plant in town causing a lot of problems (read Poison Town if you haven't yet!!). Instead he is working part-time for EventPros as an usher. Pamela has had to find work to supplement what Jack wasn't bringing in while being very pregnant with their third child.

The big event coming up is a speech by upcoming Presidential candidate Martin Sterling. Senator Sterling is a controversial candidate as his platform is dealing with terrorism. He will go to any length to get rid of it entirely. While he has a hearty group of supporters, as with any candidate, he also has his enemies. He pairs up with singer Everett Lester for this event. A few hours before the event, a threat is issued that there will be a possible terrorist attack. Jack is working alongside his "Doomsday Prepper" friend Brian Shakespeare.

When Jack gets a surprise text message from Pamela, the night becomes more intense and things begin to get out of hand. Can they save those attending the event? Will they survive the Sky Zone?


As I read this book, I found myself reflecting back to a time when I was asked to accompany an usher during a concert. It was the year of American Idol with Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington and they came to tour in Atlanta. About 5 songs into the concert, an usher got my husband and I's attention and asked us to come with him. Not really sure what to do, we followed the guy. At first, it seemed like we may be getting an upgrade and going backstage to meet the stars. I was so excited!! Before we knew it though, we were in an elevator with men in black suits and dark sunglasses (Men in Black moment!)The elevator opened to the parking lot and it was then that I realized why we were escorted out. My van was parked in the parking lot and had caught fire!! We didn't see the rest of the concert but we were given complimentary tickets to return for their encore show. It was a very scary night of my life. It's not quite the same the as what the participants went through in this book but I do have a concern of something like that happening to me again at a concert. These event goers had no idea what would happen to them and it was a night they will never forget, much like mine was. Have you ever been evacuated from a large venue? If not evacuated, were you told you couldn't leave? What are your thoughts on that?

Many thanks to David C. Cook publishing and Creston Mapes for providing a review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts on this book!

View all my reviews

Review: A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter

A Heart to HealA Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book by Allie Pleiter that I have read. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!!

In A Heart to Heal, we meet guidance counselor Heather, who is working hard to make high school easier for Simon. She hopes to accomplish something by gaining the assistance and mentorship of Max Jones, who is with Adventure Access. Max, however, has a pretty wild streak even considering his mobility limitations. Can he be trusted? Will Simon's parents be ok with someone like Max teaching him the ropes of getting around in his chair and dealing with bullies like Jason Kikowitz?

First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Ms. Pleiter was not afraid to write about people with mobility issues!!!! That is not a common thread in reading these days!! I applaud her for taking the chance to write Max and Simon's stories. Her descriptions of having issues reaching certain places (like tables in restaurants) is a real issue and she wrote it well! She also conveyed the raw emotions and feelings that a caregiver faces when dealing with someone with mobility issues. For the past 33 years, I've watched my mom face these challenges with her wheelchair (she has Muscular Dystrophy). In a particular restaurant scene with Heather and Simon, I could empathize with Heather...the stares, the fear of what others think, etc. It made my heart really feel for her.

The second thing that I loved most about this book was the redemption found within, for all the characters. Even though this is a work of fiction, this is a book about healing. I do think that many could find hope and healing through this book.

Many thanks to Ms. Pleiter for bringing another great story to life as well as providing an autographed review copy of this book in exchange for my personal thoughts.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Alone at Midnight-A Collection of Horror Stories by Scott Zavoda






This is my first exposure to Scott Zavoda and his writing. This is a collection of short stories that are rather intriguing. I personally don't scare easily so I didn't see these as "horror" stories but some definitely would. There is actually quite a bit of humor infused into his writing which helped give it some levity. 

In the first story, "Oh Christmas Tree", we meet Randy who is struggling with some major addictions in his life. He has also been accused of stealing a Christmas tree. This one shows how addiction can cause some other issues in a person's life. 

In "Bobby"....this one got to me. I wanted to reach through my Kindle and show those boys "what for". Having a disabled mother, this one really disturbed me. Bullies are horrible!!

To those readers who enjoy the beach, you may want to skip over "Beneath the Sand"! This one was probably my second favorite because it was a little more mystical to me than the others. Sand seems to pile up in the house at odd times of this Vietnam Vet. Will the beach ever carry the same meaning again? 

"Castle Point" was a story that I just didn't get. Not sure what it was about it. 

"Fright Flight"  was my favorite story. This one is more along the lines of what I enjoy reading. I don't think I could ever fly a plane, let alone ride in one, with a corpse in it....at night....through a thunderstorm. My favorite character in this one? The corpse! ;) 

"Flowers for Mom" and "The Calling" were the remaining two stories. I struggled a little with these as well. Keep in mind I'm not generally a scared person when reading books or watching movies though. 

Some things my readers may want to know is that there is some strong language throughout this book. It's not "excessive, every page" kinda strong language but it's still there. Just a side note for those of you wondering! 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I appreciate receiving a complimentary copy from the author and Tomoson in exchange for my personal review and thoughts. 

If you enjoy horror stories, I'm sure you'll find at least one story in here that will resonate with you!

Alone at Midnight Collection of Horror stories  #HorrorStories

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

CFBA: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sky Zone
David C. Cook (June 1, 2014)
by
Creston Mapes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
A terrorist threat.
A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions. 


Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier. With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sky Zone, go HERE.