Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Charlotte Rose Hill has been serving up country delicacies, uniquely blended teas, and matchmaking advice for her quirky but beloved customers for more than 10 years. But for her, marriage seems like an elusive butterfly, always out of reach. At 18, Charlotte fell in love with a young man, Sam Wilder, but his family convinced her to walk away from their relationship. She did, and then became engaged to another man, who later died before they were m

Now, more than a decade later, Charlotte finds that she still has feelings for her first love. Initially thrilled to learn that Sam has come home to Middlebury, Texas, Charlotte is devastated to learn that he's brought someone with him: his fiancée. But all is not lost when the townsfolk decide to get involved. Will Charlotte and Sam find their way back to each other?

My thoughts...

This is a wonderful story, I enjoyed every page! Higman creates a cast of characters you can't help but love. Humor, struggles, conflict, and romance set in a small town I would like to live in. Definitely takes you back to where you knew everyone and felt safe in your homes. Well written with an enjoyable storyline.

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

Monday, November 25, 2013


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Aloha Rose
Abingdon Press (November 19, 2013)
Lisa Carter


A word from the author:

I am a wife and mother. My husband and I have two daughters and make our home in the beautiful state of North Carolina.

I am a teacher. With a Master’s degree in history, I have taught at the university, high school and middle school levels. After years of church involvement as a soloist, choir member and worship leader, I also teach music.

I am a writer. Delighted by the rhythm and musicality of words, I have been writing since childhood. In 2001, I won the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Story Writing Contest that re-ignited a lifelong love of writing.

I am on a journey of faith. My ultimate desire through my life and my writing is to proclaim the truth of God’s Word, His redeeming love as seen in the life of Jesus Christ and to help others know for themselves this great, awesome God of all comfort and wisdom. He is enough for every need.


When Laney Carrigan sets out to find her birth family, her only clue is the Hawaiian quilt—a red rose snowflake appliquéd on a white background—in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island and battling fears of rejection, Laney begins a painstaking journey toward her true heritage. Kai Barnes, however, is determined to protect the people he’s come to regard as family. He thinks Laney is nothing more than a gold digger and blocks every move she makes toward her Hawaiian family. As their conflict escalates, it puts at risk the one thing that Kai and Laney both want most—a family.

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

My thoughts...

Filled with family drama, a sweet love story, and good characters. The kind of book that's a perfect light refreshing read though one of the characters does deal with PTSD and tends to withdraw a love interest does develop. The author has dealt with this trauma realistically and she has described the scenery so well I could picture it. I enjoyed the book very much!

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

Thursday, November 21, 2013


An Amish Love Story About Hope and Finding Home

Everything in God’s nature, Johnny observed, did what it was created to do. Everything, that is, except the human race. Johnny was born into an Amish family, into a long line of farmers and good businessmen. He is expected to follow the traditions of family and church as he grows to adulthood. But even as a boy, he questions whether he can be satisfied with this lifestyle. He wants “more” — more education, more travel, more opportunity.

His restlessness leads him down a dangerous road where too much partying and drinking result in heartbreaking consequences. He’s adrift, and no one seems to be able to help him find his direction.

Then he meets spunky Annie, who seems pure and lovely and devoted to her God. Her past, though, holds sin and heartbreak. She was a worm, she explains, but God has transformed her into a butterfly. Johnny falls hopelessly in love; and eventually he, too, finds the power of God to transform lives.

Settling down on the family farm, he forgets about the questions and the restlessness, thinking that he is happy and at home, at last.

But in a few short hours, tragedy changes his life forever, and he is again wondering… and wandering on a very long journey.

Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.

My thoughts...

I couldn't stay interested in this book and actually thought it somewhat strange switching back and forth between people and butterflies. Parts were sad and the salvation story is good. Other than that, I was disappointed. I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Paul Stutzman was born in Holmes County, Ohio in an Amish family. His family left the Amish lifestyle soon after Paul was born. They joined a strict Conservative Mennonite Church where Paul was raised to fear God and obey all the rules the church demanded. Paul continued to live among and mingle with his Amish friends and relatives his entire life. Paul married a Mennonite girl and remained in the Amish community working and raising a family. After Paul lost his wife to cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart- the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the 2,176 mile Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life-and can change yours too. After completing his trek Stutzman wrote Hiking Through—a book about this life changing journey.

In the summer of 2010 Stutzman again heeded the call for adventure and pedaled his bicycle 5,000 miles across America. He began his ride at the Northwest corner of Washington State and pedaled to Key West, Florida. On his journey across America he encounters people in all circumstances, from homelessness to rich abundance. The people he meets touch his life profoundly. Stutzman writes about these encounters in his book Biking Across America.

Recently Stutzman released his first novel entitled The Wanderers. The Wanderers is a story about Johnny, a young Amish boy growing up in a culture he is not sure he wants to embrace. A young Amish girl named Annie wins his heart and life is great for a time. Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.

Stutzman resides in Berlin, Ohio and can be contacted through his website at or

DEAR MR. KNIGHTLEY by Katherine Reay

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others---namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story---by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.

But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself "Mr. Knightley") offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam's program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it's pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is --- once again --- made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

My thoughts...

What a lovely story. It touched my heart as Sam opens up and begins to trust Mr. Knightley with things about herself. You see, he is paying her tuition at a journalism school but with one catch... she must write and keep him informed of her progress. She doesn't know who he is and that's part of the fun of this book.

I built a strong connection with Sam as she struggled with painful memories and was happy to watch her growth and to fall in love. This is a sweet romance definitely worth reading!

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

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Critical Reaction
Bethany House Publishers (November 19, 2013)
Todd M. Johnson


Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. Todd's career experience blends with his passion for writing in his novels published through Bethany House.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law, and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Mr. Johnson's first novel, debuted in 2012. Todd's second novel, Critical Reaction, will be released in November 2013.

Todd lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife Cathy and children Ian and Libby.


After decades of turning out plutonium for the arms race, the Hanford Nuclear Facility has long been shuttered, though its deadly legacy cannot be fully contained. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings for radiation leaks are told the risks are under control. They believe it, until the worst happens: a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Two workers, lifer Poppy Martin and new hire Kieran Mullaney, believe themselves lucky to survive the blast. But as the debris is cleared, they discover their safety is not assured. Dead ends and closed doors halt their efforts to discover what really happened--and what radiation may have poisoned them. When stalling and threats force them into the hands of experienced trial lawyer Ryan Hart, they learn that theirs is no ordinary lawsuit. There is something still hidden in the desert of eastern Washington, and someone is willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure it never sees the light of day.

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

My thoughts...

This is a well paced intriguing novel. The thought of a nuclear explosion is frightening and the author brings it to life. There's criminal action, great courtroom scenes, and enough tension to make you read just one more chapter before going to bed. I found a couple of the characters hard to like or even sympathize with, especially "poor me" Emily. She needs to get over it and move on with her life.

Overall a very good book. I give it 4.5 stars!

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


When her fiancé’s dangerous secrets turn her work upside down, a beautiful doctor must choose between her own safety and the man she loves—and thought she knew.

Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was broken by the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice is taking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost too good to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor of his car with glass falling around her.

When he confesses that Adam isn’t his real name and that he fled the witness protection program, Carrie is left with an impossible choice: should she abandon the fiancé she isn’t sure she really knows, or accept his claim of innocence and help him fight back against this faceless menace?

While Carrie struggles to decide whether to follow her heart or her head, the threats against them continue to escalate. Her life—as well as Adam’s—depends on making the right choice . . . and the clock is ticking.

My thoughts...

To me this was not one of Mabry's best novels, it wasn't one of those that I couldn't wait to get back to but I do like to know how a story ends. I liked the plot and the twists but don't feel there was enough of a punch to it. I couldn't get to know the characters, they felt distant. It's not a bad story, there's enough drama to keep you reading but no thrill to it.

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

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay | Favorite Austen Moments KINDLE HDX Giveaway, Pinterest Contest and Facebook Party!

Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 

But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Dear Mr. Knightley" Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine's next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!

ENTER Anita Higman’s Double Kindle Fire Giveaway & RSVP for “Tea for Two” 12/12 Facebook Party!

Anita Higman is celebrating the release of her latest book, A Marriage in Middlebury, with a double Kindle Fire giveaway (one for you & one to give away!) and a "Tea for Two" Facebook Author Chat Party on December 12th.


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire for you AND a friend
  • A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman (one to keep and one to give away!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 12th. Winner will be announced at the "Tea for Two" Facebook Author Chat Party on December 12th. Invite your friends and connect with Anita for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Anita's next book!

So grab your copy of A Marriage in Middlebury and join Anita on the evening of December 12th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 12/12!

Stones for Bread KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway from Christa Parrish! Pin It & Win It!

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.

Monday, November 18, 2013


She stared up at the Shaker buildings. They took in those in need. That was why she was riding into their village. But she couldn't stay here. Not forever. They divided families. She'd heard her grandmother speak harshly of the way Shakers didn't believe in marriage and had special houses where children were kept from their parents.

Heather put a hand over the swell of her baby inside her. Surely they wouldn't take a newborn from his mother's bosom. Heather's mother couldn't have imagined that happening or she'd have never told her to come . . .

It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?

As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.

My thoughts...

I loved loved loved this book! Wonderfully talented Gabhart has written a real Christmas story. I found the Shakers interesting and the setting is beautifully described. An abusive husband, a birth, a hard life in war time and the power of forgiveness make this an excellent novel.

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

“Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Welcome to the Gratitude Giveaway Hop!

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 to US only and runs November 15 through November 30 at midnight.

Enter to win this great book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BELOVED by Robin Lee Hatcher

Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word from him in years, Diana's infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when Tyson returns, claiming to be a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.

He agrees with one condition---she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

My thoughts...

Loved the storyline, the characters, and the setting in this book. Can you imagine your believed to be dead husband showing up during your engagement dinner? I really liked the part of the story about Tyson being a changed man and proving it to her. It would be so easy to fall in love with a man like him. However, he is running for Senate and is in need of a wife by his side...hmmm... makes you wonder if he has really changed?

This is a cute story with such likeable characters. Hatcher is talented and brings a wonderful story of love and forgiveness. I highly recommened this to anyone loving historical fiction and romance.

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

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of 70 books. Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin and her husband currently reside in Idaho.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


A doctor in small-town Ohio must weigh the need to catch a killer against his fears for his family's safety in this extraordinary debut suspense novel.

Just west of the Ohio River lies the peaceful town of Wintersville. It's a place where neighbors feel like family, the chief of police knows the residents by name, and the sound of children's laughter echoes along the streets.

But when a teenager is discovered brutally murdered in the woods, Dr. Ben Stevenson—the town's medical examiner—becomes entangled in an investigation that will force him to uncover the dark secrets of his seemingly quiet community and ultimately to confront a truth that will haunt him forever.

With its nerve-fraying plot twists and eerie portrait of suburban life, The Absence of Mercy is psychological suspense at its best—a remarkable debut that challenges as much as it thrill.

My thoughts...

Sometimes I get so absorbed in a book I'm not aware of what's going on around me, this is one of those books. A well written novel about a psycho serial killer on the loose, very suspenseful, it will keep you up reading it. Ben is a pathologist involved in the investigation, he thought he knew the town he chose to raise his children and the people living there. He didn't. We find out early on who the killer is but that doesn't detract from the story at all. If you like medical mysteries you'll probably like this one.

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaways!

Holy Night: A Rock Harbor Christmas Novella: On the eve of her Christmas wedding in Hawaii, Leia's younger sister goes missing. The wedding is called off and the search begins.

As Leia prepares for her upcoming Christmas Eve wedding to Bane, she discovers her younger sister Eva is missing. Leia learns she must call off the wedding or she'll never see Eva again.

When Leia hands back Bane's ring, he presses her for the reason. Her coldness makes him believe all she's telling him-until he overhears her tell her parents what is really going on. He vows to help her find her sister, but assures her the wedding will stay off since she didn't trust him enough to tell him the truth in the first place. As the two of them search for Eva, Leia is frantic to find her sister, but her heart breaks at how much she's hurt and hurting Bane. And she doesn't know how to fix it. All the family is converging for a wedding she is beginning to believe really won't take place. Even if they find Eva alive and well, can they ever find their way back to that holy night where they can pledge their love to one another?

My thoughts...

I thought this was a good romance and enjoyed the suspense as I was expecting a heartwarming Christmas story. The characters are good people that anyone would like to have as friends.

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

Silent Night: An Aloha Reef Christmas Novella: As Christmas day nears, Bree and her faithful search-and-rescue dog Samson follow the trail of a troubling mystery into the snowy forests of Rock Harbor.

Bree Matthews is preparing for Christmas guests, but her heart is reeling from the recent and tender loss of her unborn child. Her sister-in-law, Lauri, suddenly turns up on the doorstep of the lighthouse home Bree shares with her husband, Kade, in Rock Harbor. Secretive and withdrawn, Lauri seems curiously intent on discovering what happened to a parachuter who disappeared in the North Woods along Lake Superior's icy shore.

As Bree and Samson, her search-and-rescue dog, plunge into the search, Bree wonders if Lauri may know more than she's admitted about the parachuter. And then the clues lead them to the trail of a young woman whose family fears the worst about her disappearance.

Will the search on this snowy, silent night lead Bree and Samson to more than clues about the missing girl? And will Bree's prayer for a baby ever be answered.

My thoughts...

Love that we are with search and rescue worker, Bree again. There's been a murder and she's finding her sister, Lauri, is involved somehow and Lauri isn't talking. Though this is a short read it's packed full of action, suspense, and romance. Love the characters, Rock Harbor, the Christmas season, everything about this novella!

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

A Christmas Gift for Rose: Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War II---only to discover she's an Englischer herself. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind-Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.

My thoughts...

I'm such a sucker for Christmas stories and this is one of my favorites. Goyer did a great job with the characters and storyline I wanted to keep reading nonstop but unfortunately couldn't do that. This is an emotional tale set in the depression era. Rose discovers she was born an englischer but left with her Amish family. She also discovers she has four brothers. Now she's torn between living an Amish or English life.

I loved the romance between Rose and Jonathan and with all the surprises in the book this made for a great read!

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

Anna's grandfather seems determined to ruin her Rumspringa . . . and any hopes she has of finding a husband.

Anna Byler should be enjoying her Rumspringa as allowed by her faith. But because of the strict rules enforced by her grandfather---the bishop---the available suitors in town are afraid to court her. Even Anna's grandmother is keeping a big secret from Anna's grandfather in an effort to keep the peace. Under her grandfather's oppressive watch, Anna begins to feel her faith slipping and wonders if God has forsaken her.

Jacob Hostetler and his family have relocated to Lancaster County following a family tragedy in Ohio. As his family struggles to rebuild their lives, Jacob is forced to act as head of the household when his father is unable to cope with recent events. It's been a long time since Jacob has felt any joy. Until he meets Anna Byler. But will Anna's grandfather succeed at keeping them apart? And can Jacob put the past behind him and open his heart?

My thoughts...

I loved this book, the story of Anna and Jacob and the struggles they had is heartwarming. The characters and situations are believable... a story of love, hope, and forgiveness. A wonderful feel good book perfect for Christmas time. I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction are hosting the 12 Days of Christmas! They've teamed up with three of their authors for a Merry Facebook Party on November 12th {5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern}. Colleen, Tricia, and Beth will host an evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, and of course plenty of presents!

But wait! There's more! Each day between now and November 12th a different book (10 copies of each book) will be given away on the Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Facebook Page. Ring in the holiday season and warm your heart with some great reads from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan!


  Click here to ENTER each day's giveaway here. RSVP for the Christmas Party here!

Good luck and hope to see you on the evening of the 12th!


Sometimes, going home is the worst thing you can do.

World War I has ended, but returning to Hot Springs, Arkansas, means Lt. Gilbert Ballard has to face his fiancée, Annemarie, who has no idea how badly he’s been wounded. Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary has helped Gilbert confront his postwar anxiety, but both men continue to struggle with the war’s aftermath on their lives.

Determined he won’t become a burden, Gilbert decides to break his engagement to Annemarie. Samuel does his best to convince Gilbert he’s a fool for giving Annemarie up, but he can’t deny—at least to himself—his own growing attraction to his best friend’s girl.

Caught in the middle and confused, Annemarie searches for the courage that can save them all—the courage for Samuel to reaffirm his faith, for Gilbert to leave the war behind, and for her own journey to become the woman God intended her to be.

My thoughts...

Wow, I really enjoyed this book. Annemarie is being pursued by two men, both suffering from shell shock in WW1. She is torn between them for different reasons. You won't be able to guess who she ends up with and for what reasons!

This is a fantastic historical romance with a touch of sadness at what our soldiers must endure. Very well written with an endearing storyline.

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


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Worthy Publishing (October 8, 2013)
Dave and Neta Jackson


As a husband/wife writing team, we are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together we are the authors or coauthors of over 120 books. (You can see our Publication Record by clicking HERE.) In addition to writing several books about Christian community, we have been privileged to coauthor numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

But over the years the we have especially enjoyed writing for children and young people! This includes our award-winning TRAILBLAZER series, historical fiction about great Christian heroes and heroines for young people ages 8-12, and the four-volume HERO TALES: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Great Christians, and the companion book, Heroes in Black History.

Somewhere along the way, our own children grew up! Son Julian is Director of Experience Design for the Alder Planetarium in Chicago where he “provides the experience of exploring space” for visitors. He has two sons, Liam Isaac and Elijah David. Daughter Rachel graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and after working in the field of rape-crisis prevention went on to earn a Masters Degree in counseling from the University of Illinois. She is now a counselor at “Uni High School” in Champaign, Illinois. She is the loving mother of Havah Noelle (our first grandchild!) and Noah Zion, our youngest grandchild. The Jackson family also includes a Cambodian foster daughter, Samen Sang, who has four children.

We live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years we were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. We are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.


Forced to give up his hard-earned retirement, Harry Bentley goes back to work as a detective. Receiving a bizarre undercover assignment that sends him across the country by train. Things suddenly go awry when it appears one of his new neighbors may be part of a smuggling ring and suspicion rises about his own son’s involvement in a major drug cartel. The second in the Windy City Neighbors series, Derailed is a contemporary, and often humorous, tale in an urban setting, featuring ordinary people wrestling with the spiritual and practical issues of real life. Intersecting with Grounded (book one), the Jacksons employ their innovative storytelling technique of “parallel novels.” Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters’ lives become intertwined and affect one another. Derailed transports you to Beecham Street—a typical, isolated American neighborhood . . . until hope moves in.

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

My thoughts...

I'm a little disappointed in this book, a lot of it was a repeat from the last book. I didn't feel there's as much depth in this series as in previous ones and I miss that. Other than that I truly enjoy the Jackson's writing style, the storyline is good and the characters are likeable people. I gave it 3.5 stars.

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


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paige Rewritten
NavPress (October 8, 2013)
Erynn Mangum


A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!


Paige Alder is in a really good place. She’s dating nice guy Tyler. Her boss has offered her a raise. Her walk with God is strong. Life is great—and that’s when things start to change.

First, the youth pastor at church keeps asking Paige to work with him full-time. Then her sister shows up newly engaged and wanting to reconnect, even though they haven’t spoken in years. And now former boyfriend Luke has come back into her life. How is Paige supposed to know what the right decisions are?

This warm and humorous second book in the Paige Alder series will help young girls work through important issues, such as forgiving others and obeying God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Paige Rewritten, go HERE

My thoughts...

A pretty good book though Paige is a bit whiny. Two men are wanting her full attention and she struggles with making a decision. Interesting characters, well written, I did think the ending was too sudden which left me feeling it was unfinished.

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


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Traces of Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2013)
Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson. 
Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the house.


From Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley, authors of The Silent Gift and creators of the hit television film Love Comes Softly, comes an exciting historical romance set in post-Civil War, and filled with suspense and faith-building values.

At the war’s end, a young woman suffers an accident that leaves her unconscious and alone. Waking with amnesia, she takes the name Mercy and wants more than anything to find out the truth of her past. But then a handsome stranger arrives, who may hold the key to everything she has forgotten. What he knows could devastate her future, and even end her life.

Written by two proven storytellers, Traces of Mercy is perfect for anyone who loves historical fiction, prairie-based tales, or just a good romance.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Traces of Mercy, go HERE.

My thoughts...

Mercy awakens in a hospital with no recollection of who she is. Left at a convent she works with the nuns with the hope of her memory returning. Someone does know who she... an enemy she doesn't recognize.

This is such a good book, lots of twists and turns, every page as exciting as the previous. Highly recommended for anyone that loves historical novels or one that leaves its mark on your heart.

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

PERIL by Jordyn Redwood

Dr. Thomas Reeves is at the pinnacle of his career. The Department of Defense has awarded him a lucrative contract for his new research into superior autobiographical memory, which promises the ability to create combat troops able to quickly learn complex battle plans and enact them perfectly under the most demanding battlefield scenarios.

An elite unit has received neural grafts from fetal cadavers of genetically altered brain cells with enhanced NMDA receptors. The results are remarkable . . . until the recipients begin suffering hallucinations, nightmares, paralysis, . . . and death. Dr. Reeves searches for answers, but DOD insiders want him to stop the search.

The situation becomes public when pediatric ICU nurse Morgan Adams, Dr. Reeves's daughter, is taken hostage by three research subjects in an attempt to force Dr. Reeves into disclosing why they are sick. If answers aren't revealed within twenty-four hours, patients in the pediatric ICU will be killed.

This spine-tingling conclusion to the Bloodline Trilogy raises spiritual and ethical dilemmas torn directly out of today's headlines. When does life begin? How far does commitment to family go? And can the sins of the father ever be forgiven?

My thoughts...

Having read the author's previous book I had to have this one. I love it when a book keeps throwing twists at you and leaves you unable to figure out what will happen next. I loved the fast pace, the characters, and the medical setting. The plot is amazing, I could feel the grief Morgan carried over the loss of their baby. Loved reading about her husband's work which is so interesting.

This is a clean, action packed, suspenseful, novel that I would recommend to anyone liking Christian fiction or just a great story.

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TO KNOW YOU by Shannon Etheridge and Kathryn Mackel

Julia and Matt Whittaker's son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds---and his liver---crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a "living liver" transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon's time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman---someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with---to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she's never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?

And what if she discovers in her own daughters' lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she's probably embarking on a fool's errand---searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?

In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

My thoughts...

A beautifully written book about the life experiences of a woman whose spirit was broken and her journey to being made whole again. Tough issues, choices made long ago and their consequences can make healing difficult. It's an emotional and powerful read with an amazing ending.

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

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Win an Amazon Reader Pack from Liz Tolsma!

Liz Tolsma is celebrating the release of her novel, Snow on the Tulipsby giving away an Amazon Reading Pack to one lucky winner. Find out what readers are saying about the book here.


  One winner will receive:
  • A $50 Amazon gift card
  • Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 18th at Liz's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Liz's blog on the 18th to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox! Just enter your email address on the left sidebar of her blog.)

The war is drawing to a close, but the Nazis still occupy part of the Netherlands. After the losses she's endured, war widow Cornelia is only a shadow of the woman she once was. She fights now to protect her younger brother, Johan, who lives in hiding.

When Johan brings Gerrit Laninga, a wounded Dutch Resistance member, to Cornelia's doorstep, their lives are forever altered. Although scared of the consequences of harboring a wanted man, Cornelia's faith won't let her turn him out.

As she nurses Gerrit back to health, she is drawn to his fierce passion and ideals, and notices a shift within herself. Gerrit's intensity challenges her, making her want to live fully, despite the fear that constrains her. When the opportunity to join him in the Resistance presents itself, Cornelia must summon every ounce of courage imaginable.

She is as terrified of loving Gerrit as she is of losing him. But as the winter landscape thaws, so too does her heart. Will she get a second chance at true love? She fears their story will end before it even begins.

My thoughts...

What a beautiful story! Set in WWII with amazing characters and a fantastic plotline. Gerrit Laninga is about to be executed, he is ready to die. The gun goes off but the shot doesn't kill him, it leaves him seriously wounded. Cornelia de Vries lost her husband on their wedding night during the German invasion of the Netherlands. She's hiding her younger brother in her home and despite the danger they decide to nurse Gerrit back to health.

Romantic feelings between Cornelia and Gerrit cause each to face their fears. With the war raging on life was a challenge and some days brought events that were difficult to handle. The fact that this was based on a true story made it even better!

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

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. Add a dog and a cat to that mix and there's always something going on at their house.

She's spent time teaching second grade, writing advertising for a real estate company, and working as a church secretary, but she always dreamed of becoming an author.