Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CFBA: A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch in Crime
Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)
Cathy Elliot


Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.


Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch in Crime, go HERE.

This book reminds me very much of playing the classic game, "Clue". Who did it? Who hit Mary-Alice over the head? Who stole the brooch? Who took the quilt? No one is free from suspicion in this dramatic quilting crime novel! How will Thea ever get the quilt festival to be a well attended event in their town when there is so much controversy?  So many strange occurrences going on in this small town of Larkindale and the reader will enjoy trying to put the pieces of this quilt mystery together. 

My favorite character had to be Thea! She is so intuitive and definitely takes after her Uncle in the sleuthing business. She also makes one of my favorite sandwiches, peanut butter and pickles! :) 

Many thanks to Abingdon Press, CFBA, and Cathy Elliott for a complimentary copy for review in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

CFBA: Blind Trust by Sanda Orchard

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blind Trust
Revell (June 17, 2014)
Sandra Orchard


Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time . . . when not doting on her young grandchildren.


Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?

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

I literally sat and devoured this book in one setting!! I did not read the first book in this series but I will go back and do that! I don't feel that I was missing anything by not reading the first book but this one was so good I NEED to read it! 

I was wrapped up in this story from the very beginning, and like I mentioned, I could not put it down! I loved all the characters but my favorite has to be Verna. She is such a sweetheart! I really can't say enough about this book but I also feel like I'll spoil everything if I say more! Trust me, read this one!!

Many thanks to Revell, Christian Fiction Book Alliance,  and Ms. Orchard for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review: Soul Painter by Cara Luecht

Soul PainterSoul Painter by Cara Luecht
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm probably going to be digesting this book for awhile!!! It's one of those that will stick with you for awhile.

We first meet Miriam, a very intriguing character, who hides behind the inner walls of her warehouse. She only comes out at night, in the fog. Everyone points and stares when they see her. She is also an accomplished painter and spends her time (when not wandering in the fog) painting faces. Her paintings are as mysterious as she is. She also never seems to finish a painting.

John is set to take his holy vows in the next few weeks. There is something about "Mary" (his name for Miriam until he learns otherwise) that draws him to look for her. What is it that she is lacking in her life that he may be able to help fulfill? She never comes to church but seems to be always looking for something.

Ione is a bright, young girl who is working hard to provide for her family. She would do anything for them! She makes some choices that lead her to being in need of Miriam and John's help. Will she ever be able to forgive herself and make things right again?

Michael, Miriam's solicitor, also finds that he has a need for John, Ione, and Miriam as well. They will all work together to solve a series of crimes in the town that are occurring that the police want to overlook. What will the paintings reveal in the end?

I do want to caution parents that this book would be more suitable for very mature readers. There are some very dark scenes/story lines that some might find offensive. The writer has created a very realistic story that could take place in any location, not just Chicago in 1891!

Many thanks to the publisher, White Fire Publishing, the author, Cara Luecht, and the Christian Fiction Book Alliance for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: On the Pier by Danna J. Walters

On The PierOn The Pier by Danna J. Walters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On the Pier by Danna J. Walters is a book for all parents with youngsters!! In this book, a young man is visiting his grandmother. He seems to have some issues in terms of behaviors that his grandmother finds inappropriate. She sends him out of the house to explore nature and he learns some very important values.

My daughter read this book to me recently. Several of the issues that were addressed in the book are some values that she is having to work on. I think for her, reading this book opened her eyes to some things she may not have realized. At eight years old, I feel she now has a little better understanding of how important it is to listen, show respect, and be a good all-around person.

This book was fairly easy for her to read also. She is a struggling reader so some of the words were challenging for her but not overwhelming. I appreciate books like Ms. Walters has written!

View all my reviews

CFBA: Soul Painter by Cara Luecht

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul Painter
WhiteFire Publishing (March 15, 2014)
Cara Luecht


A Word from the Author:
I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.

By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.

I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.


Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?

Chicago – 1890

Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam's gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn't match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city...and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have...and find her own along with it.

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

I hope to have my personal review up by the weekend!! Be sure to check back! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

CFBA: Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Masterpiece Marriage
Abingdon Press (December 16, 2014)
Gina Welborn

After Gina Welborn earned a Communications degee from an Oklahoma university, she thought the perfect career choice was working at a news radio station writing commercial copy, public service announcements, and news reports. A PSA writer, sadly, can only be so creative when describing ketchup and Geronimo’s grave. (No, she never combined those two elements in the same script, but now that she thinks about it, she wishes ... ) Thus Gina "retired" to focus on goal, motivation, and conflict within her family before discovering her niche in writing romances. A member of RWA and ACFW, Gina has four published novellas, including one in the ECPA-bestselling Mistletoe Memories, and three short historical romances: The Heiress's Courtship, The Marshal's Pursuit, and Masterpiece Marriage. A moderately obsessive fan of Community, Once Upon a Time, and Chopped, Gina lives in Oklahoma with her pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, a box-lab, two rabbits, four guinea pigs, and a fancy Russian dwarf hamster named Tom Bob Deucalion. Gina is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.


After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane’s Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs. Eager to acquire his aunt’s quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him. Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn’t mean sacrificing her ambition?

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

I enjoyed this book. It was a light-hearted read about Mary Varrs and Zenus Dane and their vow to not become attracted to another. I loved how the author named the male protagonist, Zenus, as it's very unique and fit his character well. I do, wonder, however, if anyone else is still curious about the authenticity of that letter that Mary received? Something in the back of my mind tells me it wasn't from the person she was told it was from. Then again, I like to imagine bits of mystery into stories as well. I love these stories in this Quilts of Love series!! 

Many thanks to Abingdon Press, Bonnie Calhoun, and Gina Welborn for providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.