Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Still My Soul

Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.

Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?

Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

My thoughts...

Set in the Appalachian mountains with likeable characters who have real life problems. A story filled with faith and forgiveness. Shy Lonnie is attracted to Gideon who is the type guy your mother warns you about. He steals a kiss from Lonnie and her abusive father forces them into marriage. Interesting seeing how this all works out.

Though it is a bit predictable I still enjoyed it and wanted to keep reading till it was finished. 4 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

This hop is hosted by:
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried in Books

Each participating blog has their own entry rules and geographic limits, so be sure to read the rules for each one. This giveaway is open internationaly. This hop starts September 1st and runs through September 7th at midnight.

I'm giving away a $10 Amazon egift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Patchwork Christmas

In late Victorian-era America, women married for convenience as often as they married for love. But in A Patchwork Christmas, three young women are surprised by true romance.

Jilted by her fiancé, a resident of the Amana Colonies packs away her wedding quilts and her plans for marriage. A widow traveling to marry a prosperous man she barely knows is stranded in a winter storm. A wealthy ingénue inadvertently causes grave injury to a poor man she once knew well. Through faith, can they each patch together an unexpected life of love from second chances?

My thoughts...

Seems Like Love is the first of the three novellas in A Patchwork Christmas. Karla works in a small hotel and happens to be a talented quilter. One afternoon while working on a quilt that she must finish as quickly as possible a guest arrives and catches her off guard. It's her childhood friend, Frank. She is very aware of how attractive he is but her heart was broken when her fiance dumped her and married someone else. She feels plain and unwanted by any man. This is the story of how he comes to court her, it isn't easy as Karla keeps turning down his invitations. An enjoyable read.

Next is A Patchwork Love written by Stephanie Whitson. Jane and her daughter, Molly, are on their way to Denver to visit Mr. Higgins who had promised to show Molly the Christmas lights. Jane is in love with him and would like nothing better than for him to propose. The train gets stuck in a snowdrift and they are rescued and taken to a nearby home. Due to an injury Jane has difficulty walking. Molly has come down with a cold and they're unable to continue the journey. The owner of the home has a son who has permanent scars on his face to a war injury. A nice Christmas romance.

Last is The Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser. I've always loved her books and enjoyed this read. Ada is hoping Samuel will propose. Seems like every time they try to get together something happens to keep them apart. Samuel does a lot of charity work and Ada wants to work by his side. There are issues with Samuel's father, orphans, and an accident. I will leave the rest for you to find out. A heartwarming tale of romance.

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Haven ~ a Litfuse Tour

When Sadie Lapp steps off the bus in Stoney Ridge after being in Ohio for the winter, she is faced with a decision–one that goes against her very essence. Yet it’s the only way she can think of to protect a loved one.

Schoolteacher Gideon Smucker has been crazy about Sadie since boyhood. But his response to her surprising decision undermines his own reputation–and his relationship with Sadie.

College student Will Stoltz is spending the spring at the Lapp farm as a guard for a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons–courtesy of the Lancaster County Game Warden. Will needs to get his life back on track, but his growing friendship with Sadie threatens his plans.

The lives of these three individuals intertwine, and then unravel as unexpected twists create ripples through the town of Stoney Ridge . . . and through Sadie’s heart.

Once again, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher intrigues and delights with a story that explores the bonds of friendship, family, and true love. Readers will enjoy every surprise in Sadie’s story as they search for the truth hidden within these pages.

My thoughts...

The book opens with a mystery and a little humor from Uncle Hank. Sadie Lapp has returned home from helping her sister and brother in law settle into their home and she has brought a surprise. The first thing she sees is Amish buggies and cars parked all over her father's property, an unusual thing in the Amish community.

Two men have eyes for Sadie, one is Amish and one is not. Sadie is attracted to Will, the Englisher, but knows nothing can become of it. I'm not so sure we've seen the last of him though, his father has kept a secret from his family that could bring Will back to the amish community.

I was immediately drawn to this family through the wonderful characters Fisher has created. I enjoyed the closeness between the family members and friends. Amos and the housekeeper was a nice surprise.

I loved the ending and can hardly wait for the next book in the series to see what happen! The Haven gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher’s interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate many of their principles–simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily– into your life.

When Suzanne isn’t writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

To Suzanne’s way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth. Suzanne can be found on-line at:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Living in Harmony

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Living in Harmony
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)
Mary Ellis


Mary Ellis is the author of many books, including A Widow's Hope, Sarah's Christmas Miracle, and A Marriage for Meghan. She and her husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life. She was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards for A Widow's Hope in 2010, and the 3inner of the Award of Merit in the Holt Medallion Awards for A Widow's Hope in 2010.

Living in Harmony is the first book in bestselling author Mary Ellis's New Beginnings series. It's about fresh starts and love...and how faith in God and His perfect plan for our lives provides us with the peace and joy we desire.

Amy King--young, engaged, and Amish--faces difficult challenges in her life when she suddenly loses both of her parents in a house fire. Her fiancé, John Detweiler, persuades her and her sister Nora to leave Lancaster County and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where he has relatives who can help the women in their time of need.

John's brother Thomas and sister-in-law Sally readily open their home to the three newcomers. Wise beyond his years, Thomas, a minister in the district, refuses to marry Amy and John upon their arrival, suggesting instead a period of adjustment and counseling.

During this time Amy discovers an aunt who was shunned. She wishes to reconnect with her, but this puts a strain on her relationship with John.

Can John and Amy find a way to live in happily in Harmony before making a lifetime commitment to one another?

Watch the book trailer for Living in Harmony:

If you would like to read the first chapter of Living in Harmony, go HERE.

My thoughts...

This is the first book in The New Beginnings series. After the death of their parents sisters Amy and Nora leave Lancaster, PA. and move to Maine with Amy's fiance, John. They stay in the home of John's brother and sister in law, Thomas and Sally, while looking for a farm to buy and plan to marry as soon as possible. This is the thing I thought didn't really make sense, why would they choose to wait and marry in a community where they know no one other than John's brother instead of marrying in Lancaster where all their friends and family are?

Upon arriving in Harmony troubles start between Amy and John, mostly because of Nora and John's youngest brother, Elam. Both are free spirited. Also because of Amy's search for an aunt who has been shunned. I enjoyed the way this storyline went. Several times John must correct Amy and Nora for breaking the rules of the Ordnung of which they're unfamiliar. The characters are endearing and the events are fun, I look forward to seeing what happens between Nora and Elam in the next book.

Living in Harmony gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Season for Tending

Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.

Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.

Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions.

Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?

My thoughts...

Cindy Woodsmall writes really good Amish fiction. I liked the strength of Rhoda and the other characters with the exception of Catherine, she is whiny and weak. Rhoda's relationships with Samuel and Jacob keep you wondering which one she'll end up with. It's a nice look into the Amish lifestyle. Samuel's young sister, Leah, is in her rumschpringe and after a party ends up in Rhoda's garden. Something happens that causes strife between their families.

Good writing, interesting characters, and a great storyline...what more could one want? 5 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spring Hope by Martha Rogers

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?

My thoughts...

People can learn a lot from the townspeople of Porterfield, I admired their faith in God and their love of people. The main characters, Libby and Cory,
quickly work their way into your heart though Cory can be quite stubborn and has a problem with judging others.

Libby is running from her past, scared to death others will find out what she has been forced to do at the hand of her father. Cory is sure he knows what kind of woman she is... no better than a saloon girl. As they get to know each other both of them grow in their faith and learn lessons they will never forget.

Great book, loved the characters, the storyline was wonderful. 5 out of 5 stars from me!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where Azaleas Bloom

Single mom Lynn Morrow is determined to put food on the table for her son and daughter. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband has failed to meet his obligations time and again—but it turns out that Ed is struggling with his own demons.

Enter contractor Mitch Franklin, an unlikely knight in shining armor. A widower with two grieving sons, Mitch once admired Lynn from afar. Now he sees in her not only the sweet girl who got away, but a woman desperately in need of support. While rushing to the rescue of Lynn and her children comes naturally to Mitch, he’s also wise enough to encourage Lynn to find her own way…hopefully straight into his arms.

My thoughts...

My heart went out to Lynn as she struggles financially while going through a divorce and must deal with her soon to be ex who is behind on child support and is off on expensive trips often. This woman and her children are actually at the point of going hungry, thankfully they have friends and neighbors that help and would do more if they knew her dire financial situation.

Mitch is a sweetheart, such a kind man with a caring heart. He's a romantic and his old fashioned courtship was touching. Senior Magnolias Liz, Flo, and Frances' stories are wrapped up nicely. We're brought up to date on Karen and Elliott also. An enjoyable read with heartwarming moments.

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Killing in the Hills

In this powerful, intricate debut from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.

What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker's Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?
One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, WV. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job.

After all, what better way to repair their fragile, damaged relationship? But could Carla also end up doing more harm than good—in fact, putting her own life in danger?

My thoughts...

The murder of three elderly gentlemen in a burger joint quickly grabs your interest. The door opens, in walks a gunman, he takes aim at the men and within seconds all are dead. With several customers at the time no one is able to give a description of the killer to the police. However, one teen not only saw him but knows who he is, she met him at a party once where illicit drugs were being used and doesn't want her mother to know. She doesn't know his name or where he lives though and sets out on a journey to learn this information only to get herself in a lot of trouble. She hoped to be able to give this info to her mother, the D.A. and by doing so not be in so much trouble.

Sound good? I was disappointed with the storyline, it could've been so much more intriguing. I expected exciting parts throughout that would have me glued to the was actually a little boring. A teen witnessing a murder and is worried about being grounded for life for attending this party instead of being horrified at what she had just witnessed.

There area several plots in the book and none are believable. It's not hard to figure out who the mastermind was behind the murders. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Song of the Brokenhearted

Ava has a loving family, a beautiful house, and a solid faith.

Suddenly, her ideal life will be completely broken . . . in the best of ways.

Ava's life is full of great things. Her daughter is getting married to just the right guy, her husband's company has kept them financially thriving for years, her son is a freshman in high school, playing football and doing well, and the ministry she started is keeping her busy as she reaches out to those with "broken hearts."

Then it all falls apart. Ava's safe world becomes unanchored, and she is forced to face the childhood she's run away from her entire life. Just as she's trying to sift through the pieces, the doorbell rings and Ava is confronted with the surprise of her life.

Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home-something Ava hasn't done in twenty years. As she travels across the state of Texas, strangers offer her kindness and remind her of the meaning of hope and forgiveness.

It is in this journey back that Ava discovers God in a new way. She sees she's been hiding her brokenness behind good deeds and a safe life. Learning what it means to lose it all is just the start of Ava's journey - as is the new song God is writing on her heart.

My thoughts...

Ava has a great family, a caring ministry to those who are hurting. Then her life starts to fall apart. She is guilty of giving things other than God first place in her life. The story is about getting off track and God bringing her back.

A wonderful tale of a woman's journey through those things life can throw at us. We follow her through the depths of despair, experience heartache, and temptaion. The authors have tackled some tough issues and did a beautiful job!

Well written, good characters, you won't want to stop until you finish it. 5 out of 5 stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A Cascades Christmas

Christmas Romance Reigns in the Majestic Northwest.

Historic Washington Territory forms a rich backdrop for romance when four woodsmen seek jobs and adventure but find their hearts falling in love instead.

After a fire takes his parents, Jeremiah Tucker is afraid to love. More than anything he wants a home of his own, but falling for a tomboy like Anna takes him by surprise.

Frederick Corrigan is a reckless man who blames himself for a terrible logging accident. He longs for security and love, but will he find it in the dangers of the woods—and in the heart of Emma Pearson?

E. V. Renier has his heart set on marrying Larkin Whitworth. But Larkin fears E.V.’s love might not be as strong as the shameful truth she’s hiding.
Willum Tate was burned once by the woman he loved, and he’s not sure he’s ready to risk his heart again.

Natalie Bollen has been anxiously awaiting her eighteenth birthday so she can start courting. But there’s only one man she hopes comes calling.
Will time and tenderness win over hesitant hearts—just in time for Christmas?

My thoughts...

If you like Christmas romances you'll like this one. Set in the logging town of Tumwater, WA four men find work and fall in love.

Young Jeremiah wants a family but he's afraid to fall in love because of losing everyone he loves. When he meets Anna he is drawn to her vibrant personality, she isn't like anyone he's ever met. He decides to court her sister, who he has no feelings for at all. This way his heart will be protected from hurt. What this does is set off a string of courtships where there is no love. This one was my favorite.

Frederick is a man that knows no danger but his heart aches for love. He holds a lot of blame in his heart because of a logging accident. Emma is just the person that can change him and that she does. A sweet story.

Larkin is hiding a secret and as much as she loves E.V. she fears he may walk away if he learns her secret. This one was not a favorite, it's ok but I felt the dialogue was lacking. It drug on and on and was a bit boring.

In the last story Natalie can't wait to start courting. She's looking forward to her eighteenth birthday and her sights are set on Willum. He, however, doesn't appear to be as anxious as she is. Her hopes are for his heart. Willum is holding on to something that will keep them apart.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Postmark Christmas

Christmas Is Postmarked for Love. . .
People from around the country send their mail to Christmas, Florida, to receive a special Christmas postmark, but will four couples find their holidays stamped for romance?

Nomadic event planner Stella McCall arrives with her eye on the post office for her next job lead not romance. Then she meets contractor Brick Myers. . .but will love take root before Stella leaves Christmas for good?

War widow Randi Pearson enjoys sending Christmas postcards to men and women serving in the armed forces—until retired major Troy Brennan shows up as a post office volunteer. Can Troy convince Randi to let go of the past and move into the future?

Ever since the accident that claimed her parents and left her sister in a wheelchair, Gabi Archer has retreated into herself. Photographer David Levine sees a strong and passionate woman within her, but can he draw Gabi out of her shell?

Retired police officer Rick Stanton dons a Grinch costume for the holidays and “patrols” Christmas, Florida, to promote the festivities. Everyone falls under his charm except the person he most wants to impress—Postmaster Edie Hathaway. Will Edie learn to trust him before he gives up on love?

My thoughts...

A wonderful book of Christmas romances, I enjoyed this one very much! In the first story event planner, Stella, drives into Christmas, FL in an RV and while trying to turn around backs into sand and gets stuck. Handsome Brick just happens to be there to pull her out. He happens to be the person Stella is there to see. He invites her to hook up the RV at his house which she does and the rest is a delightful tale of romance.

Next comes Randi who has been mailing Christmas cards to soldiers for years and it just happens one of those soldiers fell in love with her via their cards and letters and has come to Christmas to find and marry her! This was a great story with great characters, not just a light romance but deals with Randi's teenage sons trouble.

The next is about Gabi and David, I have to say this was my least favorite, it didn't draw me into it and I had a hard time finishing it.

The last one was sweet, postmistress Edie is very protective of her heart, she won't let any man get close to her. Rick has loved her for a long time and is determined to get close to her. The way he pursues her is charming. I loved the way this one ended.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars, if you like light romance this one is for you.

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop!

This hop is hosted by:
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Elliott Review

There are over 150 blogs participating and each has their own entry rules and geographic limits, so be sure to read the rules for each one. This giveaway is open Int. This hop starts August 1st and runs through August 7th at midnight.

Enter to win an Amazon egift card...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs for more chances to win!

Angel of the Cove

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Sandra Robbins and her husband live in the small college town in Tennessee where she grew up. They count their four children and five grandchildren as the greatest blessings in their lives. Her published books include stories in historical romance and romantic suspense. When not writing or spending time with her family, Sandra enjoys reading, collecting flow blue china, and playing the piano.

Visit the author's website.

Anna Prentiss wants to be a nurse, but first she has to spend a summer in Cades Cove apprenticing to the local midwife. Anna is determined to prove herself…but she never expected to fall in love with the Cove. Has God’s plan for Anna changed? Or is she just starting to hear Him clearly?
Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736948848

ISBN-13: 978-0736948845


Mountain air was supposed to be cool. At least that’s what she’d always heard.

Anna Prentiss couldn’t be sure because she’d never been this far into the mountains before. But if truth be told, they still had a fair piece to go before they reached the hills that rolled off into the distance.

The narrow dirt road that led them closer to those hills twisted and bumped its way along. The June heat had dried out the winter mud in this part of Tennessee and produced a dust that threatened to choke her, roiling up and around the buggy. Anna covered her mouth with the lace handkerchief her mother had tucked in her dress pocket and sneezed. The smudge left on the cloth made her wonder what her face must look like.

She glanced at Uncle Charles, her father’s brother, who sat beside her on the leather seat of the buggy. Perspiration had cut meandering, dusty trails down his cheeks, but he didn’t appear to notice. His attention was focused on trying to avoid the holes that dotted the road.

She wiped at her face once more before stuffing the handkerchief back in her pocket. It really didn’t matter what she looked like. There was no one to see her. The only living creatures she’d seen all day were some white-tailed deer that had run across the road in front of them and a fox that had peered at her from his dusky hiding place beside the road. In front of them trees lined the long roadway that twisted and turned like a lazy snake slithering deeper into the mountain wilderness. She’d come a long way from the farm in Strawberry Plains.

A twinge of homesickness washed over her. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth. The uneasy feeling lingered a moment, but with a determination she’d only recently acquired, she banished thoughts of those she’d left behind to the spot in her heart where her grief lay buried.

Just then the buggy hit a hole, and Anna grabbed the seat to keep from bouncing onto the floorboard. Uncle Charles flicked the reins across the horse’s back and glanced at her, his spectacles resting on the bridge of his nose. Wispy gray hair stuck out from underneath a black hat.

“Hold on. These roads can be a little rough. We had a hard winter up here.”

Anna nodded, straightening herself on the buggy seat and studying her uncle’s profile. How many times had he ridden this way to take care of the mountain people he loved? He looked every bit the country doctor. His smooth hands, so unlike her father’s work-roughened ones, gripped the reins tighter as he grinned at her.

The corner of his mouth curled downward when he smiled, just as her father’s had always done. That was the only similarity she’d ever seen in them, though. Uncle Charles used to say he got the brains and Poppa got the brawn. When she was a little girl, she wondered what he meant. But she knew no matter what it implied, the two brothers shared a bond like few she’d ever seen. And they were the only ones who’d ever encouraged her to follow her dream of becoming a nurse.

Anna took a deep breath and inhaled the heavy, sweet smell that drifted from the forests on either side of the road. She turned to Uncle Charles. “I’ve been noticing those white flowers that look like shrubs growing along the road. What are they?”

“Those are our mountain rhododendron,” said Uncle Charles. “There are also pink and purple ones. Sometimes in the summer you can stand on a ridge and look across the mountains at the rhododendrons blooming, and it looks like somebody took a paintbrush and colored the world. It’s a mighty beautiful sight.”

Anna swiveled in her seat again and looked at Uncle Charles. “Thank you for working out this trip for me.”

A grin tugged at his mouth. “How many times would you say you’ve thanked me today?”

“Not enough yet.”

A sudden breeze ruffled the straw hat her mother had given her, and Anna grabbed the wide brim. After a moment she released it and pulled the handkerchief from her pocket again. Grasping it with both hands, she twisted the cloth until it stretched taut between her fingers. “I hope I don’t disappoint Mrs. Lawson.”

He didn’t take his eyes off the road but shrugged. “I wouldn’t worry about that. She’s been delivering babies in Cades Cove for a long time, and she’s glad to have an extra pair of hands. It’ll be good experience before you leave for nursing school in the fall.”

The old anger rose in Anna’s throat. “Only if Robert agrees.” She spit out the barbed words as if they pierced the inside of her mouth. “Why does he have to be so selfish?” She clenched her fists tight together. Ever since their father’s death Robert had assumed the role as head of the family, and he took his responsibilities seriously. Too seriously, if you asked Anna. He never missed an opportunity to tell her how their father wasn’t around anymore to cater to her every whim. The first time he’d said that she felt as if he’d shattered her heart. The pieces had never mended as far as her relationship with him was concerned. But if things went as planned, she would soon be free of his authority.

“I don’t want you to be angry with your brother, Anna. You may not understand his reasons, but he’s trying his best to be the head of your family. He’s still young and has a lot to learn, but he loves you and wants what’s best for you.”

Anna crossed her arms and scowled. “All he wants is for me to stay on the farm and marry somebody he thinks will make a good husband.” Anna shook her head. “Well, that’s not what I want. Poppa promised me I’d be able to go. Robert has no right to keep that money hostage.”

“I know. Your father would have been so proud to know you’ve been accepted.” Uncle Charles’s shoulders drooped with the sigh that drifted from his mouth. “Try to see it from his perspective. You’ve led a sheltered life on the farm, and Robert feels like you aren’t ready for what you’ll see and have to deal with in a big hospital in New York. You think you’ll be able to assist injured and dying people, but it’s different when you’re right there with somebody’s life in your hands. If you find you can’t do it, then Robert is out the money for your tuition, not to mention travel and living expenses.” He cocked a bushy eyebrow at Anna. “And he doesn’t need to be wasting money that can be put to good use on the farm.”

“I know. He’s told me often enough.” Anna smoothed out her skirt and straightened in her seat. “I’m just thankful you came up with a plan that Robert agreed to. Spending the summer with Mrs. Lawson ought to prove I have the grit to handle New York.”

“Remember you’ll need a good report from Granny Lawson.”

Anna smiled. “You don’t have to worry about that. I’m going to listen to her and do everything she tells me, no matter how distasteful I think the task is.” She clenched her fists in her lap. “When I board that train for New York in the fall, it will all be worth it.”

Uncle Charles shook his head and chuckled. “I’ll leave New York and all its hustle and bustle to you. I prefer to spend my time right here in these mountains.”

Anna let her gaze rove over the trees on either side of the road. “Still, maybe you’ll come visit me someday. I can show off the maternity ward!”

He flicked the reins across the horse’s back. “I’ve read a lot about that ward. First one in the country. You’ll be fortunate to work there. But don’t forget you may see a lot of babies born this summer while you’re at Granny’s cabin. And there’s not a better place in the world to learn about nursing. She can teach you things you would never learn at Bellevue. Listen to her and do what she says and you’ll be fine.”

Anna nodded. “I will.” Her hat slipped to the side, and she reached up and straightened it. “I really can’t thank you enough, Uncle Charles. Everything’s coming together just the way I planned it, and nothing—not even Robert—is going to stand in my way.”

Uncle Charles sucked in his breath and directed a frown at her. “Nothing? We can only follow the plan God has for us, Anna.”

She settled back on the seat and cast her eyes over the hazy hills in front of them. “But that is God’s plan for me.”

“And how do you know?”

“Because it’s what I’ve dreamed about all my life. God’s never tried to change my mind.”

“Maybe you’ve never listened to Him.” Uncle Charles stared at her a moment. “Like I said, pay attention to what Granny says. She’ll teach you how God uses those He’s chosen to take care of the sick. It isn’t all done with medicine, Anna. A lot of my medical successes—and Granny’s as well—have come about after a lot of prayer.”

The buggy hit another bump, and Anna bounced straight up. As far as she could see, the rippling Smoky Mountains stretched out toward the horizon. A plume of wispy fog hung over the valleys. A strange world awaited her out there.

Mrs. Johnson, the owner of the inn where they’d stayed in Pigeon Forge last night, had taken great pleasure in warning her of what she might face in Cades Cove this summer. Anna clasped her hands in her lap and glanced at Uncle Charles. “Mrs. Johnson said the folks who live in Cades Cove don’t take to strangers.”

Uncle Charles nodded. “That doesn’t surprise me. What else did she say?”

Anna took a deep breath and brushed at the new layer of dust on her skirt. “Oh, not much. Just that everybody knows it’s a closed society in the Cove, but it doesn’t matter because no sensible person would want to live there anyway. She called the people there a strange lot.”

Uncle Charles cocked an eyebrow and chuckled. “Is that right? I hope you didn’t believe her. I know every family in the Cove, and some of them are my good friends.” He hesitated a moment. “Of course you’re going to find some who cause problems—just like you would anywhere else.”

“Like the moonshiners?”

He turned to stare at her with wide eyes. “What did Mrs. Johnson tell you about moonshiners?”

“She said all the men were moonshiners. Are they?”

Uncle Charles threw back his head and laughed as if he’d just heard the funniest joke of his life. After a few seconds he shook his head. “Nothing could be further from the truth. There may be a few who give the Cove people a bad reputation, but most of the men work too hard to waste their time on such nonsense.” He reached over and patted her hand. “I wouldn’t leave you in a place where you weren’t safe. Mrs. Johnson may run a good inn, but she’s the worst gossip in these mountains.”

Anna heaved a sigh of relief. “I guess I’m just a little nervous. I want everybody to like me.”

“They will. Just be yourself and they’ll all love you.”

Uncle Charles meant well, but doubt still lingered in her mind. Would the people of the Cove accept a stranger into their small community? And if they didn’t, what good could she possibly do in this place?

She had to succeed. Her future depended on it. She squared her shoulders. There was no turning back.

As the day wore on, they found themselves deeper in the hills. As they did, a slow awakening began to dawn in the deepest corner of her soul. She’d never seen anything as beautiful as the lush growth that covered the vast mountain range. The air now grew cooler, just as she’d expected it to be, and the sweet smell of mountain laurel mingled with the rhododendrons. As her uncle’s horse, Toby, plodded along the rocky trail that grew steeper with each step, she saw the world through new eyes and stared in awe at the wonders of nature unfolding before her.

For the last hour she’d sat silent and watched the shallow river that flowed beside the road. The water bubbled over rocks like huge stepping-stones scattered across its bed, and the rippling sound had a lulling effect. She wished they could stop so she could pull off her shoes and wade in the cold mountain stream, but there was no time for such fun today. She turned her attention back to the steep hillside on the other side of the road.

“It’s beautiful here.”

Uncle Charles glanced at her. “We’re just about to Wear’s Valley. When we get there, we’ll be close to Cades Cove.”

Anna wondered if Uncle Charles was tired of her questions about the Cove. She hoped not. She settled in her seat and said, “Tell me more about Cades Cove, Uncle Charles.”

He pushed his hat back on his head and stared straight ahead. “Well, if you’ve noticed, we’ve been following that stream as the road’s climbed. Pretty soon now we’re gonna reach a place where we turn away from it and head into a flat valley right in the middle of the mountains. That’s Cades Cove. It’s almost like God just took His giant hand and tucked a little piece of heaven right down in the Smokies. The land’s fertile—not so many rocks you can’t farm—and completely surrounded by mountains. You’re gonna love it when you see it, Anna.”

“How many people live there?”

He pursed his lips and squinted into the distance. “I’d say there are about two hundred fifty scattered throughout the Cove nowadays. Some left for town life—better work there, you know—but they’ll never find a place that’s as beautiful as these mountains.”

“How far is it from Mrs. Lawson’s house to where you live?”

He thought for a moment. “It’s not that far as the crow flies, but it takes me almost three hours going around these roads.”

A lump formed in her throat. Now that they were closer, she didn’t want him to leave. She scooted a little closer to him on the bench of the buggy. “Will you stay at Mrs. Lawson’s tonight?”

He shook his head. “No, I’ll have enough daylight left to get home. But don’t worry, I’ll come to the Cove from time to time to check on you. Granny does a good job of taking care of the folks there, but she knows when it’s serious enough to send for me.”

Anna clasped her hands in her lap to keep him from seeing them tremble. The time had come to begin the test. She couldn’t fail. She squared her shoulders and lifted her chin. She dredged up all the determination she could muster. No, she wouldn’t fail.

“How long before we get there, Uncle Charles?”

“Not much longer. The entrance is up ahead.”

My thoughts...

This is such a sweet story, I loved the main characters and the people of the cove. The romance that blooms between Anna and Simon, the local preacher, quickly blossomed. Every event was fun to read about. The mountain people are hard working and most are poor. It doesn't take long for them to warm up to Anna who is there to assist and learn from Granny, the midwife.
You can tell Anna is young though the book doesn't give an age. It's a
quick read, light hearted, and fun.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Inn At Rose Harbor

Jo Marie Rose first arrives in Cedar Cove seeking a sense of peace and a fresh start. Coping with the death of her husband, she purchases a local bed-and-breakfast—the newly christened Rose Harbor Inn—ready to begin her life anew. Yet the inn holds more surprises than Jo Marie can imagine.

Her first guest is Joshua Weaver, who has come home to care for his ailing stepfather. The two have never seen eye to eye, and Joshua has little hope that they can reconcile their differences. But a long-lost acquaintance from Joshua’s high school days proves to him that forgiveness is never out of reach and love can bloom even where it’s least expected.

The other guest is Abby Kincaid, who has returned to Cedar Cove to attend her brother’s wedding. Back for the first time in twenty years, she almost wishes she hadn’t come, the picturesque town harboring painful memories from her past. And while Abby reconnects with family and old friends, she realizes she can only move on if she truly allows herself to let go.

A touching novel of life’s grand possibilities and the heart’s ability to heal, The Inn at Rose Harbor is a welcome introduction to an unforgettable set of friends.

My thoughts...

I like that this book only has three main characters... Jo Marie Rose, recently widowed, is the new owner of the B&B and her first two guests are interesting people but she can tell each has deep rooted troubles. Neither one wants to be there, they have come for different reasons and both are terribly painful.

Also I like the fact that this wasn't a long drawn out story, things happened quickly and moved along at a good pace. I really liked the characters and that there will be new ones in the next book. Macomber has been a favorite author of mine for a while, her books are like fresh air and sweet. This one gets 5 out of 5 stars.

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Sweethaven Homecoming ~ a CFBA Tour

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Sweethaven Homecoming
Guideposts (August 2012)
Courtney Walsh


Courtney Walsh is a published author, scrapbooking expert, theatre director and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, was released in February, 2012 by Guideposts Books, and will be followed by two additional novels in the series. She has also written two papercrafting books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper and is currently working on her third, The Scrapcrafter’s Idea Book (F&W Publications, February, 2013.)

Courtney has been a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine and Children’s Ministry Magazine and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum, newsletters and other publications. She has also written several full-length musicals, including her most recent, The Great American Tall Tales and Hercules for Christian Youth Theatre, Chicago. Courtney is a member of ACFW and is the current PR Manager for Webster’s Pages, a scrapbooking manufacturer. She lives in Colorado with her ultra creative husband and three children.


Suzanne's daughter, Campbell, journeys there in search of answers to her questions about her mother's history.

Suzanne's three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-were torn apart by long-buried secrets and heartbreak. Though they haven't spoken in years, each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together in Sweethaven.Suzanne's letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers.
As the scrapbook reveals secrets one by one, old wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored-just as Suzanne intended.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sweethaven Homecoming, go HERE.

My thoughts...

The stories of four women and the issues they'e dealing with in their lives, I liked every one of the characters and the friendship they shared. Meghan and Jane had an especially sweet renewal of their friendship. A wonderful story of forgiveness. Meghan was watching Jane's son and he accidentally died, she blamed herself and Jane wasn't able to forgive at first.

There is so much depth to the book. The author's writing style is smooth, she really makes you feel as though you are part of the story! I loved this book.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through CFBA in exchange for an honest review.

The Sweetness of Forgetting

At thirty-six , Hope McKenna-Smith is no stranger to bad news. She lost her mother to cancer, her husband left her for a twenty-two year old, and her bank account is nearly depleted. Her own dreams of becoming a lawyer long gone, she’s running a failing family bakery on Cape Cod and raising a troubled preteen.

Now, Hope’s beloved French-born grandmother Mamie, who wowed the Cape with her fabulous pastries for more than fifty years, is drifting away into a haze of Alzheimer’s. But in a rare moment of clarity, Mamie realizes that unless she tells Hope about the past, the secrets she has held on to for so many years will soon be lost forever. Tantalizingly, she reveals mysterious snippets of a tragic history in Paris. And then, arming her with a scrawled list of names, she sends Hope to France to uncover a seventy-year-old mystery.

Hope’s emotional journey takes her through the bakeries of Paris and three religious traditions, all guided by Mamie’s fairy tales and the sweet tastes of home. As Hope pieces together her family’s history, she finds horrific Holocaust stories mixed with powerful testimonies of her family’s will to survive in a world gone mad. And to reunite two lovers torn apart by terror, all she’ll need is a dash of courage, and the belief that God exists everywhere, even in cake. . . .

My thoughts...

This is the story of a woman that escaped the holocaust and fled to America leaving her family and the love of her life, Jacob, behind. Her parents refused to believe the warning that the Jews were going to be rounded up that very night. After she left her home she asked Jacob to go back and try once again to convince her parents to flee. He never returned. Years later as her mind gives in to Alzheimers she asks her granddaughter, Hope, to find out what happened to her family.

While I enjoyed the overall search for Mamie's family I had a very hard time with the main character, Hope, who is the most negative person! Her constant negativity along with her daughter's attitude ruined the story for me. Her daughter, Annie, is a preteen whose favorite word is "whatever" which is so overused it was unreal. I did like the ending though it was bittersweet. I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book free from Gallery Pocket Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Hermitage House Miracle by Malcolm Ater

As Jamie lay alone in bed, not knowing that his mother had just been killed while driving drunk, he's filled with disturbing thoughts. The last words his mother had said to him before going out were, "I've given you the last six years of my life, and for what? To always be running from one town to another? Never having a life of my own just so you could live?" And then in a drunken slur she had added, "If I had a lick of sense I'd have let old Ernie do what he wanted."

Why had his mother said she had given him the last six years of her life when he was twelve years old? Why did she always seem to resent him? Who was Ernie? And why couldn't he remember anything about his life before his first day of school in the first grade? The only thought that comforted him was the newspaper story dated only a few days earlier on May 24, 1992. The article reported that a new wave of computer games would soon replace the old pinball machines and "boggle the mind" with realistic video techniques that could only be dreamed about a few years earlier. The article had aroused a curious excitement in him, and he didn't know why.

After being sent to live at the Hermitage House for Children, Jamie begins to have a series of strange and troubling dreams. Each dream is about a little blond-haired boy who has a little sister and a mother and a father. But the woman is not his mother who was killed in the car accident and he had never known his father. Yet his dreams are always about the same family, especially the little boy and his dog. And the father programs computers and makes games, even promising to build the boy a video game that's so life-like the boy will think he's actually inside it.

As Jamie wonders about the meaning of his dreams, he visits a local arcade where he sees a brand new video game that is almost magical in its appearance. Jamie is the only person who plays the machine, and in the video game he sees the same little boy and his dog.

Sometimes, dreams turn into reality...

My thoughts...

It's late May 1992 and twelve-year-old Jamie Wilson's life is a mess. All his life he and his mother have moved a lot, living in slum apartments. His mother takes low paying jobs and they never have enough, she drinks a lot and he is without the mother's love that a child should have. His mother is killed one day on her way to work and Jamie ends up in an orphanage run by nuns.

Jamie meets Antonio and they become best friends. Antonio eventually gets adopted and once again Jamie is alone. He is disturbed by recurrent dreams, I won't give away any more but I will say this is a great book, Jamie has had a difficult and sad life. Ater is a good storyteller, his writing draws you into the book immediately. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Over the Edge ~ a CFBA Tour

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over The Edge
Bethany House (August 1, 2012)
Mary Connealy


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.


Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

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

My thoughts...

I haven't read any of Connealy's books before so I wasn't sure what to expect. She's a good story teller and does a good job in letting us get to know the characters. I'm not usually a cowboy fan but overall it is a charming story. There's humor and a good love story.

Seth's wife is bossy and you feel sorry for him. Things happen and she becomes less bossy, they actually make a nice couple once she settles down. Seth has a lot of hurdles to overcome, the way he dealt with them is admirable.

This is a well paced, fun novel. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through CFBA in exchange for an honest review.

Mindful of Him

Mindful of Him is a tale of heartbreak and triumph set in the 1950s. Separated from his young wife, and with both of his parents recently deceased, Rob McLain sets off on an adventure for which he has longed since childhood. Travel with Rob as his journey not only takes him to beautiful places, but also crosses his path with influential men who help him through his loneliness. Five months into the trip, Rob has a moonlight encounter that changes his life forever and overwhelmingly convinces this young skeptic that God is indeed mindful of him!

Through it all, he receives answers to life's deepest questions. What does he learn? What happens to his wife? Do they get back together? Does he make it back safely?

Find the answers to these questions and others dealing with faith, creation, nature, and more in Mindful of Him, which will keep you reading long after you had planned to turn out the lights. Mindful of Him was inspired by the writings of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, the giant of 20th Century Christian philosophers.

My thoughts...

Take a spiritual journey with Rob McLain as he struggles to understand God and to discover himself. As a young man he lost his parents and his unborn baby. The latter causes much strife and he and wife separate. He decides to get away from it all, sells his farm, and begins his journey into the wilderness. The people he meets along the river are amazing, what each shares with him helps him continue the journey.

Hughes is a good storyteller, there is a great cast of characters, an emotional journey, and a wonderful conclusion. It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

I received a free copy of this book through Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

Follow along with the tour here.

Meet the author...

On a cold February day in 1928, Hollis Hughes was born in a ramshackle house with no insulation, plumbing, or electricity. Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, Hollis spent his youth chopping wood, tending the family farm, milking cows, and tending to livestock. Following college graduation, Hollis worked as a high school teacher and counselor for 38 years, and operated a successful rhododendron nursery.

When Hollis’ wife developed Alzheimer’s disease in 1988, he spent the next twelve years taking care of her. Today, Hollis is retired from education. He is a fly fisherman, hiker, and gardener. He is a member of the American Camellia Society, and a lifetime member of the Birmingham Botanical Society. Hollis and his wife, Lera, make their home in Alabama.

Learn more about Hollis by visiting

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Choice by Robert Whitlow

One Young Woman. Two Very Different Roads.

The Choice will Change Everything.

Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ancient woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could. But now, thirty-four years later, another pregnant, unwed teen has come into her life, and Sandy’s long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her spur-of-the-moment decision bring life . . . or death?

My thoughts...

Whitlow has done it again, this man continues to write some of the best novels I've read. The storyline is intriguing, the characters are fantastic. I especially liked that the main character, Sandy, was such a mature 18 yr old. This is a wonderful story of a mother's love and sacrifices for her children. A story about teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption. Beautifully written. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher & Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

See what other reviewers are saying here.

Enter to Win a Nook Color from Robert Whitlow and RSVP for 8/28 Facebook Party!

Celebrate with Robert by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

See what folks are saying about The Choice!

One "choice" winner will receive:

  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • A four book Robert Whitlow library (winner's choice)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. Winner will be announced at the "The Choice" Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/28. Meet Robert, get a sneak peek of his next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

So grab your copy of The Choice and join Robert on the evening of the August 27th for a chance to connect with Robert and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Meet Robert...

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina.

For more about Robert and his other books, visit

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright

After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancé wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancé will make things better—or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

My thoughts...

An entertainig read, Giorello gives us quirky and sometimes sinister characters and a good description of their surroundings making you feel like you're in the midst of it all . There's mystery, suspense, lots of twists and turns that will keep you reading!

Raleigh Harmon is a character with courage, humor, and a knack for getting herself in trouble. Unpredictable, flawed, but trying to live out her faith makes Raleigh so likeable. She struggles with her undercover role having to lie not only to the people she's investigating but her family as well.

A wonderful, surprising, conclusion makes you feel good when you've turned the last page. It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Win a Kindle Fire from @SibellaGiorello in "The Stars Shine Bright" Giveaway!

Novelist Sibella Giorello is celebrating the release of the latest book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire! 

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • The entire 5-book Raleigh Harmon series.
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/25/12. The winner will be announced on 8/27/12 on Sibella's blog!

Just click one of the icons below to enter. Tell your friends about Sibella's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Sibella Giorello grew up in the mountains of Alaska admiring the beauty and nature that surrounded her. She majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts hoping to learn more about the landscape she loved back home. From there Sibella followed a winding path, much like the motorcycle ride she took across the country, which led to her true love, journalism.

She found herself in Seattle writing for rock-n-roll magazine and earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington before heading south to the land of great stories.

In Virginia, Sibella became a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was there she also met her husband and would hear Jesus whispering her name at a tent revival.

Sibella started writing about Raleigh Harmon as a way to keep her love of story-telling alive while staying at home with her young sons. As a journalist and author, her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. The Stones Cry Out, the first Raleigh Harmon novel, won a Christy award for debut novel in 2008. Sibella now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.

Visit Sibella Giorello online at, Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chasing the Wind ~ a CFBA Tour

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing The Wind
B&H Books (August 1, 2012)

Pamela Ewen


Until recently retiring to write full time, Pamela Binnings Ewen was a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P., specializing in corporate finance. She now lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, James Lott.

She has served on the Board of Directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas, as well as the Advisory Board for The New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans; Pamela is a co-founder of the Northshore Literary Society in the Greater New Orleans area. She is also a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him.

She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing.

Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.

Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.


At 8:47 A.M. on Wednesday, October 12, 1977, new-to-town businessman Bingham Murdock flew his small plane into New Orleans, banking it in such a way that a ray of sunshine shot through the city at light speed.

Amalise Catoir saw the flash from her sixteenth floor law office window. Finally feeling alive after the death of her abusive husband, she imagined seeing the plane was a fate for her eyes only; a special connection between the unknown giver and she, the recipient of light.

But someone else saw it, a six-year-old Cambodian refugee in foster care for whom a sudden burst of brightness reminds him of artillery fire.

Destined to cross paths with the man and the child, Amalise doesn’t yet know the deeper spiritual lesson she will learn: that we are responsible not only for the things we do, but also for the things that we don’t.

My thoughts...

Amalise Cotier has recovered from an accident and on her first day back at work in the law firm she is assigned to a huge case with financier Bingham Murdoch. One of two women in the firm she is determined to go above and beyond in her duties as a partnership is coming up. However, she gets involved in an area that may end her career as an attorney. This is the story of how God works, chance meetings that we may not think anything of could be part of His big plan.

Amalise's best friend since childhood, Jude, has fallen in love with her. She has fallen in love with him but he's dating her good friend and associate. The way this evolves is wonderful.

I loved finding out Murdoch's true identity, Ewen is a great story teller, I read this book in one day and enjoyed it very much.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through CFBA in exchange for an honest review.

If you would like to read an excerpt of Chasing The Wind, go HERE.