Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CFBA: Spring Hope by Martha Rogers

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spring Hope
( Realms (May 15, 2012)
Martha Rogers


Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella was released in 2007.

Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry.

Martha is am alumni of CLASS and is available to speak at Women's Retreats, conferences, and luncheons on topics of interest to women of all ages.

As an author, she is available to speak at writing conferences and workshops on a variety of topics of interest to writers.


Can runaway Libby Cantrell finally get a new start?

Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. After working in a brothel to support her abusive father, she sees no hope for her future until one cold winter night when she finds the courage to escape.

When she collapses in Portersfield, Texas, exhausted, ill, and hungry, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her and takes her to the doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of her. As a deputy, Cory needs to know the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman.

As Cory’s feelings for her grow and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Spring Hope, go HERE.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CFBA: The Anniversary Waltz by Darrel Nelson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Anniversary Waltz
Realms (May 15, 2012)
Darrel Nelson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Word from the author:

I am a schoolteacher by profession and have taught school for (thir—ahem!) years. I grew up in Raymond, Alberta, and attended the University of Lethbridge after graduating from high school and serving a two-year mission to Japan. During university, I met and married Marsha Smith, and we are the parents of four children, which has grown to include their spouses and our ten grandchildren.

I have always loved to write. I started writing stories before I was old enough to realize I was writing stories. It seemed a natural thing to pick up a pencil and paper and create a world simply by using words—worlds of adventure in steaming jungles (Tarzan was an early influence on me) or realms of adventure in outer space (Buck Rogers). But as I have grown older, I have discovered that the real inspiration for me is exploring the theme of love and how it can make such a difference in the world.

I’ve had an article published in Lethbridge Magazine and have written several dramatic plays, two of which won provincial recognition and were showcased at a drama festival. I won the CJOC radio songwriting contest two years running, and have had one of my songs receive international airplay. I have written four novels intended for the juvenile market. They are unpublished as yet, but I read them annually to my fourth grade students and my students tell me they love them, the darlings.


At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story—a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.

It’s the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.

If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Anniversary Waltz, go HERE.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CFBA: Annie's Truth by Beth Shriver

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Annie's Truth
Realms (May 15, 2012)
Beth Shriver


Childhood memories of her grandfather's ranch came alive as Beth wrote her first Amish story. Her parents grew up in the country, so she understands pastoral life and respects those who make a living off the land. She frequents a nearby Amish community just south of Fort-Worth for an occasional church service or brunch with the bishop and his wife. And on the way home she stops at the community store to get some plum jam!

In 2003 Beth began writing her first book. A couple of years later it was published and she has been writing ever since. Beth received a degree in social work from the University of Nebraska and was a case worker before starting a family. Beth followed her passion and has written in a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction.


After learning the truth about who she really is, can this prodigal daughter be accepted back into the safety and security of home?

Annie Beiler seems to have it all—a loving family in a tight-knit Amish community and the affections of an attractive and respected young man. But when she learns that she was adopted after being found as an abandoned newborn, she sets out on a journey to find out who she is.

Her father is strongly against her decision to leave, as it could mean Meidung, or excommunication from the community and even her family. But Annie knows she must find “the path that has her heart.”

As Annie’s search brings her into the fast-paced world of modern life, she is confronted with all of the temptations she was warned of. Can she make her way back to the order and security of her family? Or will she remain an outsider—torn between her two worlds?

If you would like to read an excerpt from the first chapter of Annie's Truth, go HERE.

COTT: Five New Releases You've Got to See

*guest post by April W Gardner

This week, Clash of the Titles is featuring five novels new to bookstore shelves. You don't want to miss a single one! They're already getting great reviews. Check them out on Amazon by clicking the cover images. You can also use the survey below to let us know which you're most likely to read first. Which one is going to the top of your TBR pile?

COWGIRL TRAIL by Susan Page Davis
Alex Bright is torn between supporting the cowboys who want to strike or the rancher who gave him his start. The boss’s beautiful daughter complicates matters when she organizes an all-woman outfit to replace the striking men.

THE RESTORER'S SON by Sharon Hinck
Cast out by those he trusts and preferring to cross swords with the One rather than yield to His will, Kieran flees to enemy Hazor, only to find that the One knows no borders. Pursued by his calling, Kieran finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. 

THE CHASE by DiAnn Mills
To FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, it's a cold case, but to writer Kariss Walker it's a story that she has to write despite the danger. 
When Holly Fisher's mother reveals a long-kept secret, that Holly's mother abandoned her Amish community where relatives still live, will Holly's yearning for family be strong enough to overtake her conflicted feelings of betrayal? Set in the heart of contemporary Amish country, Leaving Lancaster explores the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and love where least expected.

THE IRISH HEALER by Nancy Herriman
Accused of murdering a child under her care, Irish healer Rachel Dunne flees the ensuing scandal while vowing to never sit at another sickbed. When a cholera epidemic sweeps through London, she feels compelled to nurse the dying daughter of the enigmatic physician she has come to love. 

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CFBA: Chameleon by Jillian Kent

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Realms (May 15, 2012)
Jillian Kent


Jillian Kent is a busy writer and the alter ego of Jill Nutter, a full-time counselor.

Jill spent the first semester of her senior year of college at Oxford studying British Literature, where she fell in love with England. During this season, she came to appreciate the written word, the rich imagery of romantic poetry like The Highwayman, and historical novels of many types, including Jane Austen and all things Regency.

Jill received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Bethany College in West Virginia, and her Masters Degree in Social Work from WVU, and she brings her fascination with different cultures and societies into her writing.

Jill has always been a romantic at heart, so readers will find a good dose of romance woven through each of her novels. Jill, her husband Randy, and children Katie and Meghan are animal lovers. They currently own two dogs, Boo-Boo and Bandit and a menagerie of cats, Lucky, Yuma, Snow, and Holden. Critters of all assortments make their appearance in her stories.


How much can you really know about someone?
Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior. After battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her homebound for years, she journeys to London determined to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Jaded by his wartime profession as a spy, Lord Witt understands, more than most, that everyone is not always who they pretend to be. He meets Victoria after the Regent requests an investigation into the activities of her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore.

Witt and Victoria become increasingly entangled in a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Victoria is forced to question how well she knows those close to her while challenging Witt’s cynical nature and doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

High Desert Haven wins on Clash of the Titles


**Guest post by Michelle Massaro

In the recent Leading Ladies Clash, Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux and High Desert Haven by Lynnette Bonner  went into the ring on Clash of the Titles.

After the public vote, the winning title was....

 HIGH DESERT HAVEN by Lynnette Bonner!!  

 We're happy to announce that High Desert Haven has been added to the list of COTT Champ titles! And we also want to extend our congratulations to the author. I'm sure we're all eager to add this book to our summer to-be-read pile! 

 In response to her win, author Lynnette Bonner said:

It was an honor just to have been chosen as a clasher, in the first place, and then to have won… wow, I’m totally blessed by that. I’m still fairly new at this, and putting my stories out to the public is, to say the least, a daunting experience. So every little bit of encouragement and affirmation gets tucked away for days ahead when I will need to draw strength from them. I so appreciate COTT for giving me this opportunity to interact and connect with their readers.

Some of the comments left by readers were:
  • Great job!!
  • Both excerpts make me want to read the rest of the story. It was hard to choose!
  • I think they both did a good job of presenting their books.
  • Both leading ladies were believable and presented with skill.
  • Looks like a whole lotta fun!
  • I found it very hard to select only ONE excerpt. They were both great! Keep up the great work!
  • Both excerpts have great leads! Would like to read both books!

Curious to read the winning excerpt? You can both contenders' entries here.
An interview with the winning author can be found here.  

Want to congratulate the author? Leave a message in the comments. Have a question about future Clashes on COTT? Email them at

Thank you! 

**Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for Clash of the Titles, a mother of four, and a wife of nearly 17 years. She bakes, crochets, cross-stitches, sings, writes, and cries during movies. She champions for Biblical authority, leads a Jr. High girls' Bible study, and plays a mean game of backgammon. She spends way too much time on the computer, but makes it up to her family (she hopes) with prayer coverings and chocolate chip cookies. The best place to connect with her is on Facebook, naturally.

Monday, May 14, 2012

CFBA: My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
My Stubborn Heart
• Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (May 1, 2012)

Becky Wade


Becky Wade is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas.


A Sensational CBA Debut in Contemporary Romance!

This summer author Becky Wade makes her CBA debut with a fun -- and funny -- contemporary romance. Amidst the light-hearted banter and laugh-out-loud moments is a compelling spiritual journey of one woman's choice to listen to God and wait on him.  Filled with humor and authentic romance, My Stubborn Heart is shaping up to be the hit of the summer.

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When Kate's grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Yet, she discovers a different kind of project upon meeting the man hired to renovate the house. ;Matt Jarreau is attractive and clearly wounded -- hiding from people, from God, and from his past.  Kate can't help but set her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.

If you would like to read the first chapter of My Stubborn Heart, go HERE.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Legacy Road by Graham Garrison

Legacy RoadLegacy Road by Graham Garrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's only Graham Garrison's second book but you'd better prepare to hold your seat until you are finished with this one! I had the hardest time putting this one down! I first became aware of Mr. Garrison in December of 2010 when I read Hero's Tribute. I read it in six hours and this one was pretty much the same.

My favorite line in this book is on the first page!! “"A fork" Really?" were her first words, in a slightly raspy, completely Southern voice. "What kind of self-respecting man eats his ribs with a fork?"” ~Emmy

Legacy Road is a continuation of Wes's story. He's still dealing with all the emotions of delivering Michael's eulogy and now trying to settle down with the love of his life. There's a slight problem though...Emmy's going away for awhile. She's also got a huge secret that she hasn't shared with Wes yet.

Michael is consumed with his graduate studies and is being somewhat forced to spend more time with his dad because of it. Then, he learns of his mother's illness and it just seems that nothing will ever be the same again. Learning where his love is going for a year does not help matters either. It's not until he gathers up letters from a relative and starts to see historical connections that his life changes even more drastically. What lesson(s) is/are his professor trying to get him to see? Where will his relationship with Emmy be in a few days/months/years? How will he deal with the news his parents drop on him?

When Mr. Garrison asked me to review this book, I was ecstatic! I thoroughly enjoyed Hero's Tribute and this book wasn't a disappointment either. My ONLY request is that Mr. Garrison pick this story up where it ended and continue it!! His writing is clear and concise and you feel a part of the story. His characters are believable and have normal, everyday issues. I also enjoy learning more history of Georgia by reading his books. I have lived here for eleven years and still do not know a whole lot about Georgia and the historical events that took place. I hope to visit Allatoona sometime and see settings mentioned in this book.

If you enjoy a great story without a lot of fluff, this book is for you! It would be a great book for a teenager to read, but I do recommend reading Hero's Tribute first in order to get the full picture.

Many thanks to Mr. Garrison for providing a copy of this fantastic novel for me to read on my Kindle Fire!

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 10, 2012

CFBA: Submerged by Dani Pettrey

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
• Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
Dani Pettrey


Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Just in case you’re curious…The real Dani does love traveling. She’s been to some amazing places (Greece, Hawaii, the Keys) and there are many more she hopes to visit in the future.

And while she’s not quite up to sky-diving, cave diving or heli-skiing (too high, too enclosed, too cold!) she and her family love hiking, canoeing, wave jumping and a ton of other outdoor adventures a little further down on the risk scale.


A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town . . . until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a small town. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer
has settled in his town and doesn't appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge.

She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he's not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CFBA: The Soul Saver by Dineen Miller

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Soul Saver
• Barbour Books (May 1, 2012)
Dineen Miller


Dineen Miller readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. It’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories are of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family.

Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader, and a small group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth.

In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Dineen has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine. She’s also a C.L.A.S.S. Communicator and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Family Life and Focus on the Family Radio.

Married for 24 years to a guy who keeps her young, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two adult daughters, who surprise her daily with their own creativity.

She is the co-author of Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and the author of The Soul Saver.


When Trusting God Is the Only Way Out

On an average day, God started her missions in her sculpting studio, revealing the face of the person she would meet at the grocery store, bank, or playground. The goal was always the same. Reach the lost, bring someone back to God, restore hope. But then came the tough missions—the ones that sent Lexie Baltimore into real battle. And she had a few battle scars to show for it.

Tormented that she can’t reach the one person she loves the most—staunch atheist and husband Hugh—Lexie finds her own hope waning when the battle comes to her doorstep in the shape of a pastor who represents everything she wants and everything her husband is not—a godly man.

Then false accusations and rumors spin her husband and family into a precarious position, and the only way out is to trust God. But how can she convince her husband when she’s struggling to trust God herself?

This time Lexie is the mission.


“Never before have I felt as if I were seeing someone’s life play out across a page until I read Soul Saver. Dineen Miller's prose had me sighing at the beauty of her word pictures. This is not a book to be missed – Life changing!”
— Robin Caroll, author of the Evil series and Injustice For All

“When you combine stellar writing, intriguing characters, and a fascinating plot the result is a story like Soul Saver. It’s the kind of novel I wish I had written.”
— James L. Rubart, bestselling author of ROOMS, Book of Days, and The Chair

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Soul Saver, go HERE.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop

After the FogAfter the Fog by Kathleen Shoop
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Every May 6 is National Nurse's Day (Teacher's Day too!) with the following week celebrating these two great professions (of which I'm a part of both!). Kathleen Shoop has written her sophomore novel about Rose Pavlesic, a community health nurse working in Donora, Pennsylvania in the 1940's. The steel mills are what keeps Donora running and, due to the economy, Rose wonders what will keep her running monetarily. There is so much more work to do than there are medical professionals who can care for the citizens of Donora. When a new mill Superintendent moves to town, many changes begin to take place. Could he and his wife possibly fund the clinic that Rose has dreamed of all these years?

I must admit, I had a bit of difficulty getting into this story but once I did, it became hard to put it down. I found this to be a very enjoyable book but I want to explain why I gave it the rating that I did. First of all, historical fiction is my favorite genre of books to read. Ms. Shoop kept true to the historical accuracy of the 1940's. I did take some offense at the strong language and suggestive scenes (a couple of them became borderline erotic). I guess that took me a bit by surprise and has caused a slightly lower rating from me than I would have otherwise given.

Rose's character is very dynamic. She is a true Type A personality nurse. She puts her clients first and foremost, but at the expense of her family. How many of us in the field have done this to ourselves and our families? Nursing professionals truly do have a calling to do what they love but often times we fail to care for ourselves, thus finding it necessary to become a patient. I love how Ms. Shoop "got this" and was able to incorporate it into Rose's character.

I do recommend this book with warnings and reservations as previously mentioned. The story is incredible if you are able to look beyond the language (which I can) and the intense scenes (this was a bit much for me). I would like to encourage you to read the guest post by Ms. Shoop about her book and the Donora Fog. You may find that post here.

If you've read this book, what did you think?

Many thanks to Kim Cecere and Kathleen Shoop for providing this book for review.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CFBA: Traveler's Rest by Ann Tatlock

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Traveler’s Rest

Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
Ann Tatlock


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.


A YOUNG WOMAN determined to honor her commitment...

AN INJURED SOLDIER convinced life is no longer worth living...

A RETIRED DOCTOR certain it's too late to be forgiven...

Jane Morrow has a dilemma. She's engaged to Seth Ballantine, a member of the National Guard's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and he's returned from Iraq severely wounded. Jane hasn't seen him for nearly a year, and with trepidation, she heads to the VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is being treated.

Seth isn't happy to see her. He'd asked her not to come. He wants to end the relationship. But Jane loves him, and despite his injury, she's determined to convince him that they can have a life together. Her faith has never been strong, yet she hopes God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do.

Beautifully written, Travelers Rest takes readers on a journey through pain and tragedy to a place of hope and redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Traveler’s Rest, go HERE.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Post by Kathleen Shoop

For My Own Little Corner of The World

By Kathleen Shoop, author of After the Fog

Thank you so much for having me to your blog, Julie!

The true story of Donora’s 1948 “killing smog,” and the facts related to it are compelling, but I knew After the Fog needed more than that to keep fiction readers absorbed. The novel needed Rose Pavlesic’s family—characters who were struggling—siblings, children and parents who were already falling apart when the suffocating smog settled in, pushing them to the brink.

Aside from family issues Rose’s initial problem arose from her need to raise money to fund her community nurse position and the clinic that saw hundreds of patients per week. It was common for these services to be funded by wealthy patrons, community chests, and other soft money sources.

One of my favorite parts about writing After the Fog was exploring the elements of community nursing that I never knew existed. In pouring over vintage nursing manuals, reports, and newspaper articles it became very clear that adding this layer—community nurse to Rose’s character was exactly right. Community or Public Health nurses were the health champions of the average American in the first half of the 20th century. They were charged with a multitude of tasks—everything from teaching women to store food appropriately to changing patients’ beds, bathing newborns, delivering post-partum care, and providing follow-up care for those with infectious diseases. Some even crafted wheelchairs from a regular chair and roller-skates.

Public health nurses kept meticulous notes regarding the formal care they delivered and the sociological observations that helped shape their on-the-job actions. The hand/typewritten reports revealed incredible humor, pride, and dedication to what is both the art and science of nursing. The efficiency and directness with which they did their jobs led them to be revered by most, but feared by some who wondered what it would mean to let a nurse have a say in their lives. All in all, community nurses were a central part of our country’s progress. I hope I was successful in honoring this group of women as Rose tends to her family and friends while Donora experiences one of the worst environmental disasters America has ever seen.

Kathleen Shoop

Author of After the Fog and The Last Letter

After the Fog is the second historical fiction novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. It will be released in May 2012. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, sold more than 50,000 copies and garnered multiple awards in 2011, including the Independent Publisher Awards Gold Medal. A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen, Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate how you have honored community nurses through this book. I am about halfway through the book and I have really enjoyed it so far. 

I do want to point out to my readers that this book does have "tender" scenes and strong language. I hope to have a full review for you soon! 
Many thanks to Kathleen for providing a review copy of this book to read!