Saturday, August 29, 2015

Book Review: Cold as Ice

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Cold as Ice
Sydney Lane Press
by
M.K. Gilroy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mark won’t claim he has done it all in the world of publishing, but he has packed boxes, edited manuscripts, made sales calls, created marketing plans, directed design and illustration, started companies, consulted, agented the works of others, and written advertising and catalog copy. He’s authored, compiled, and ghost written books that have landed on an array of bestsellers lists and sold millions of copies. His first ghost writing project, The Wal-Mart Way, was done for Don Soderquist, Sam Walton’s longtime right-hand man.

In early 2012 he put on a new hat as a fiction author. His debut novel, Cuts Like a Knife, was released in April 2012 and was met with rave reviews from USA Today, Fresh Fiction, Publishers Weekly, and other leading national reviewers. His second novel, Every Breath You Take, second in the Kristen Conner Mystery Series, released in Fall 2012 to similar acclaim. Kristen Conner returns in Cold As Ice, which releases in Fall 2014.

Gilroy has extensive writing credits. He scripted and served as creative consultant for a two-hour training video that was honored with the Award of Excellence by the International Television Association. He has compiled and written close to fifty books and penned hundreds articles and curriculum pieces for a variety of periodicals and publishers.

Gilroy and his wife Amy reside in Brentwood, Tennessee. Their six children are Lindsey, Merrick, Ashley, Caroline, Bo, and Zachary—the youngest has now headed off for college, so he and Amy are officially empty nesters.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Detective Kristen Conner is back on a new murder case. She’s still fighting with her sister—and no surprise, someone new wants to kill her! He was a pillar in his Chicago neighborhood: popular school teacher, devoted father and husband, political activist on behalf of underprivileged children—and a master gardener who liked to plant flowers in his neighbor’s yards. What wasn’t to love about him? Who would want him dead?

When Detective Kristen Conner lands the case she knows from day one who the key suspect is. That’s simple. The person most likely to kill you is someone close that you know and love. But the wife? She was always at her husband’s side and just as passionate about his causes as he was. No way could this loving wife and mother of three be a killer. Right? Mix in her on-again, off-again relationship with FBI Agent Austin Reynolds, a quick trip to New York City where Kristen helps her media-star sister for a new apartment—only to discover the body of a man who appears to have been executed by a professional killer on a run through Central Park—and Kristen Conner is once again swept into a world of danger, intrigue, and a confusing love life.

What she doesn’t know just might kill her.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cold as Ice, go HERE.

Book Review: Once Upon a Summertime

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Once Upon a Summertime
Revell (June 2, 2015)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

My husband Chris and I live in a cabin-style home next to the National Forest in the beautiful Cascade Mountain area of the Pacific Northwest. Our two grown sons and granddaughter live nearby and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two 're-homed' pets to make life more interesting-our yellow Labrador retriever Audrey and a Maine coon cat named Harry.

My writing studio is in a separate building next to our courtyard (a garden area that's off limits to the voracious deer). The window behind my desk looks out into the Ponderosa pine forest, where I see deer, squirrels, rabbits, and an occasional raccoon. The other windows in my office overlook the courtyard which is frequented by numerous hummingbirds in the summertime-one August evening we counted nearly fifty of the little hummers.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises--not the least of which is Sean O'Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining, this romp through the storied streets of New York City will enchant readers. Melody Carlson has created characters so charming that readers will long to meet them in the lobby of the stunning Rothsberg Hotel.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Summertime, go HERE.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book.  Anna seemed like such a real character. I only wished the story had not ended so fast.   I would have loved to read the next chapter of Anna's life. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review- Hope Harbor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hope Harbor
Revell (July 7, 2015)
by
Irene Hannon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay…maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 45 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and a member of Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, two Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.

Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal.

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

My Thoughts:  This was a nice read.  I really felt like I got to know the people of Hope Harbor.  It was easy to relate to the main characters. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: Devotion

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Devotion
Harbourlight Books (September 19, 2012)
by
Marianne Evans


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the author:
My career began at Kensington Publishing, then Wild Rose Press released what will likely be my last secular novel, With This Kiss. This book is very dear to my heart, because, in a way, it memorializes the life of my grandmother, Rachel Alfano. She was a feisty, loving Italian. Back in the day, folks came to her deli in East Rutherford "from the City" (New York, of course!) to get her pepperoni, or purchase her hand-made sausage and pastas. Life and times at 82 Mozart Street are engraved upon my heart, and precious to me. What better place to set a romance?

Now, I'm called to write 'Faith-affirming fiction' (TM). Christian inspirational romance, and Christian themed fiction, is something that both as a reader, and writer, I feel called upon by God to enjoy and create.

This segment of my journey began when I was lucky enough to win a writing contest sponsored by White Rose Publishing that led to the publication of my Christian inspy debut, Hearts Crossing. This humble, heart-felt novella went on to become a series...and an Amazon best seller! A Face in the Clouds, a short story spin-off of Woodland, is also part of my 'best seller' portfolio. What a blessing!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now. Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks.

For Better or Worse

But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?

'Til Death Do Us Part

When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

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

My Thoughts:   This was a good book.  It has a very real feel to it. A good read for sure. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review- A stitch in Crime

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

Book Review- Blind Trust

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: Soul Painter

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

My Thoughts:  Good story.  I really enjoyed this book it is different from anything I have ever read, but I ended up really enjoying it. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review- Masterpiece Marriage

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.


ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book.  It was  written in a style that made the characters feel very real to me.  A good read I defiantly recommend you check it out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review- Miracle in a Dry Season

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.

My Thoughts:
This was a nice read.  I have not read many books set in the 1950's I really enjoyed reading a story from that time period. 

Book Review- A Grand Design

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.

My Thoughts:  
I enjoyed this book.  It was an easy read that was easy to get lost in.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Product Review: Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil


Product Description:
One of the most versatile essential oils. Naturally fight Acne, Toenail Fungus, Lice, Yeast Infections, Skin Tags, Cold Sores, Dandruff, Ringworm, Fleas, Warts, Psoriasis, and More.


Use to make your own Shampoo, Lotion, Soap, Face Cleaner, Body Wash, and Toothpaste.



Stop polluting your home and make all natural Household Cleaners, Detergents, Shower Sprays, Bathroom Disinfectants, and Kitchen Sprays.



Every large 4 ounce bottle comes with a FREE 100 PAGE GUIDE. We provide you with all the ways to use tea tree oil to improve your life, and replace harmful cleaners around the house.

Many essential oils are diluted to cut costs. We insist on the absolute best quality. We Have the Tests to Prove Our Tea Tree Oil's Purity and Potency.

My Thoughts:
      I started tusing tea tree oil about a year ago.  I found out it helped keep the lice away and several people we were close with were dealing with lice.  We just put a few drops into the shampoo to detract the lice.  When I knew we were going to really be in close quarters with people inffected I also took a cotton swab and added oil to our hair lines.
    When our apothecary tea tree oil arrived I was impressed by it's size it much larger then the bottle I had bought from the drug store last year.  It also seemed to have a stronger scent, which I took as a good sign of its quality.  I liked the way the hole at the top is a little bigger then most I was able to dip my cotton swab in to get some oil.  (Make sure if you do this to only use clean swaps no double dipping!)  I found a new use for my tea tree oil last week: poison ivy!  While weeding a flower bed I apparently rolled in the poison ivy and got a large rash down the side of my face.  Oh the itching!!  Several times I applied some tea tree oil this gave it immediate relief from the itching and I feel like it helped it heal faster.  This is a great product if you don't have #teatreeoil in your medicine cabinet I strongly recommend you consider buying this product.

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 7, 2014

Book Review-- A Heart to Heal

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart to Heal
Love Inspired (July 15, 2014)
by
Allie Pleiter


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction. An avid knitter, harp player and non-reformed chocoholic, she spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in speech from Northwestern University and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The "dare from a friend" to begin writing eight years ago has blossomed into a career that includes numerous public speaking engagements, two books on parenting; Becoming a Chief Home Officer and Facing Every Mom's Fears and now novels for Steeple Hill Books. She is the mother of two children and, most recently, a Havanese dog named Bella.


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Courage To Hope.

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he's felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max's bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon's self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather's heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Heart to Heal, go HERE.

My Thoughts: I loved this book!!  It is one in a series, and even though it read fine as a stand alone book I am can not wait to get my hands on the other gooks to read the other stories of the people of Gordan Falls.  The way the characters found healing in helping each other really made for a sweet sweet story! 

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