Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Jaded by Varina Denman




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Jaded

David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)


by

Varina Denman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.


Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.


Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.


ABOUT THE BOOK



As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.


Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man ... and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart ... and a thirst for hope.


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


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Tomb




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Tomb

Howard Books (March 17, 2015)

by

Stephanie Landsem


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A word from the author:
I write historical fiction because I love adventure in far-off times and places. I’ve traveled since I was a teenager—backpacking through Germany and Eastern Europe, studying German in Salzburg, eating gelato in Italy, and riding camels in Morocco were some of the highlights. Travel kindles my imagination, fuels my love of history, and introduces me to one-of-a-kind characters. It’s the best kind of research.


When I can’t travel, I read. I love fiction, of course, but I’m often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits. How people lived together, worked, and what they ate (I love food!) is usually what catches my imagination. No matter where or when we live, people are more alike than they are different. I love to find the similarities between our lives and those of the men and women of the ancient world.


I make my home in Minnesota with my husband of 22 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When I’m not writing Biblical fiction, I’m feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about my next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.


ABOUT THE BOOK



In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.


Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.


Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.


Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.


When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?


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


Friday, 20 March 2015

Halo Found Hope ~ Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope?
A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life… and her family waited.
Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn’t feel half of her face, couldn’t hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn’t even tell anyone that she felt hopeless… or could she?
Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo’s story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo’s story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn’t need to be re cognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.
MY THOUGHTS:
Inspiring. Intense. Extraordinary. Uplifting. These are just some of the words I would use when describing this amazing true story! Why you ask? Well, because Helo is a Mom of 3, happily married, and living life as many of us do, until one day she finds out she has a brain tumor - a very RARE brain tumor at that. How she and her family dealt with that diagnosis and all that lie ahead of them will explain it all! 
Halo Found Hope takes you from the diagnosis all the way through to Helo's very intense rehabilitation. Imagine going into the hospital thinking you would be there for a week or less but end up being there for 8 weeks, and then, having to go through months and months of therapy. But Helo wasn't the only one effected - Her husband and children were as well. She asked the Lord to make something beautiful out of this, and truly HE did. 
Helo shares from her heart and encourages any and all who hear her story! If you know anyone who needs to be encouraged, or lacks inspiration, and who has lost Hope.... Share this book with them!! They will thank you and my guess is that person will pass it along to someone else who needs hope or inspiration and so on it goes! I am so thankful I was able to read this amazing story! 
Thank you Litfuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!
Hands Down Heart of a Bookworm gives it 5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dauntless

Bethany House Publishers (March 3, 2015)


by

Dina L. Sleiman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A word from the author:


Since selling my first book, I have also become an acquisitions editor for the company. I am a member of the Inkwell Inspirations blog, HEWN Marketing, ACFW, and a contributor to Christian Review of Books. I hold publishing credits in poetry and songwriting, and I was the writer and featured teacher in a nationally distributed instructional dance video for children. I have written several songs about the plight of the Islamic people, which have been produced in association with the Christian Broadcast Network. In addition, I have taught college and high school classes in writing and literature, as well as homeschool classes in the fine arts, and now enjoy teaching at writers conferences throughout the nation.


ABOUT THE BOOK



Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent


Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.


Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.


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


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe ~ Review

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.
When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.
MY THOUGHTS:
I was so curious when I saw that Max Lucado had come out with a fiction book! I have only known him to write some seriously good books, some of which I read on a daily basis, but they are definitely Non-Fiction! 
Anyways, when I saw the book cover, and that it was written by Mr. Lucado, I knew instantly I wanted to read it! I'm very glad I did!! I'll admit, the beginning made it a tad bit difficult to keep reading... BUT, I'm so glad I didn't give up because it got soo much better!!
While Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is fiction, Mr. Lucado did an excellent job of sharing how a very real situation (spiritual warfare) is happening all around us and our prayers are ever so important!! It is such a cute story and one that would benefit all who read it!! 
Thank You Litfuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Crossroads by Cathy Bryant ~ Review

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A bitter single mom denies God's existence until... What will it take to bring her back around?
After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?

An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?

MY THOUGHTS:

I just have to say there are times when I am so very thankful to be able to read some really awesome books and then share my opinion. Reading books by Author Cathy Bryant, leaves me feeling thankful each and every time!

I have LOVED her Miller's Creek books and wonder how she can top one book to the next but she does and she nails it every single time! 

Crossroads is the 6th book in the Miller's Creek series. Most "series" require that you read them in order but this series, in my opinion, is one that you can read them in order if you like or read them as stand alone books.  Just do yourself a favor, read them no matter how that may be, in order or not!!!

The story in Crossroads is so relatable! We all know that person who has been really hurt by those who profess to know Jesus, however, their behavior is clearly not one who looks, acts, or speaks like they do. Mara has a very tainted view of who Christ is and how HE truly loves her and because of her feelings, all her relationships are not what they could or should be. One day, all of that begins to change, once Carter walks into her life. 

Carter is a single dad who has just gone through a nasty divorce and is doing his best at raising his teenage daughter, Chloe. He doesn't quite know how to relate to her, but it seems as though Mara knows exactly what to say and do. Mara's daughter Ashton falls in love with both Carter and Chloe. When her leukemia takes a turn for the worse, all of them get closer & closer to one another. But will Mara be able to find God in all of this? Will she be able to give her life to HIM? These are just a couple of things Carter has been praying for, for Mara & Ashton, and everyone is praying for Ashton's health!

Crossroads is an EXCELLENT book! I promise you will LOVE IT ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I know I sure did!!

Thank you Cathy Bryant for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my host review!!!


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock ~ Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Holly Cramer’s past choices have finally caught up to her, but she never expected them to endanger her baby.
Though Holly’s stumbled through most of her adult life as a party girl, she longs to live a more stable life for her daughter. Then police show up to question her about the whereabouts of Creed Kershaw, Lily’s father. She has kept his identity a secret from friends and family—she never even told him about the pregnancy. Now he’s a person of interest in a drug-related murder case.
Determined to keep him out of their lives and turn him over to police, Holly uses her private investigating skills to search for him. But her bravado backfires when he turns the tables and takes her and the baby hostage. As desperate hours tick by, Holly realizes his connection to Leonard Miller—the man who has gunned down several members of her family. Creed claims he’s innocent and that Miller is after him too. His gentleness with Lily moves her, but she can’t trust a man who has held her at gunpoint . . . even if he reminds her so much of herself.
Dangers old and new threaten Holly and her baby, and lives are demanded as sacrifices for love. Through a complex web of mistakes and regret, redemption is the one hope Holly has left to hold on to.
MY THOUGHTS:
When reading a book "series", isn't waiting for that FINAL book just excruciating!! For me, waiting for Twisted Innocence was just that!!  I was BEYOND excited to have this book in my hot little hands. Immediately I cleared my schedule, you know... finished cooking, ate my dinner, cleaned up the kitchen,  got everything ready for the next day, and THEN I began reading!!! 
I knew right away that this book was going to be even better than the previous two (Truth Stained Lies, and Distortion)! You have to wonder how Terri Blackstock does that, because EVERY book she writes is phenomenal!!! But that would explain why she has sold over 6 MILLION books worldwide, right!! Anyways....

TWISTED INNOCENCE ROCKS!! Holly, bless her heart, has come such a long way since becoming a Momma! She's left her party days behind her, which includes her baby's daddy, Creed. When she finds out Creed may be wanted for murder she is soooo glad she never told him she was pregnant!  But you know how those "best laid plans" go right??!!?? She never dreamed that she would see him again, let alone see a side of him that is so kind and loving, especially when he is with their daughter! Is there a future with Creed in it or will Holly have to one day tell Lily that her father is in jail for drugs & murder?? 

Creed knows about those "best laid plans". He had high hopes for his future, as did his parents. But then he started using and selling drugs and got messed up with a big time drug dealer, Leonard Miller. One day Creed receives a voice mail notifying him that he "might" be a Father. Not long after that, he finds out he "might" be wanted for murder!! How in the world can he change his course and those plans to get on the right path for him? Is it true, could he really be a father? And a murderer??

Leonard Miller had some of those "best laid plans" himself. He planned the perfect "set up" for a murder to fall on Creed's shoulders.  He was also determined to see his plans play out with the Cramer family. But as we all know, things don't always work out like we hope! Will he be able to take out Creed before he talks to the police?

Twisted Innocence is a MUST READ! Truly, you can't turn the pages fast enough and you can't put it down either!! Heart of a Bookworm gives Twisted Innocence an obvious 5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s
Thank you LitFuse Publicity for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest opinion!!