Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Still Life in Shadows
River North; New Edition edition (August 1, 2012)
Alice Wisler


Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties. Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers. In her room, she created stories. The desire to be a published famous author has never left her. Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).

Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field. She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines. She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She has four children--Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications in her son's memory. This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.


It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.

One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Still Life in Shadows, go HERE.

This book was late in shipping, and I just received it, so I haven't had had time to read it yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury

Coming Home is a novel about tremendous victory and unprecedented loss, a story of faith and a forever kind of love, love that will stay with you long after the last page. This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family. The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven’t had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God’s promise of forever.

My review:

I am a big fan of Karen Kingsbury's books, and especially loved her Redemption series. However, that series had four "spin-offs", if I am correct, and I soon wearied of it. I heard good things about this book though, and requested it to review.

This book seems to be the conclusion (finally!) of the whole series of spin-offs, and it is a terrific conclusion. Yes, it has its sad moments, but overall, it is a great book and worth reading. It goes back and re-caps the events of the original Redemption series, and brings back the whole well-loved Baxter family, and shows how God can bring good out of tragedy, and that a family that is anchored in God will not fall apart when faced with tragedy, but will cling together and to God.

I enjoyed the book, and enjoyed visiting the Baxters this one last time. Anyone who enjoyed the original series, whether or not they read all of the spin-off series, should read this book.

About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist, with over 20 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction™ has produced multiple bestsellers, including Unlocked, Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women’s groups including Women of Faith. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is married to Christian artist Kyle Kupecky.

Coming Home is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphan
My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.

The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. But now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas is determined fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids and leaves the monastery on an important quest.

Thomas quickly finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as he must put his faith in unusual companions—a cryptic knight, a child thief, and the beautiful, silent woman whom may not be all she seems. From the solitary life of an orphan, Thomas now finds himself tangled in the roots of both comradery and suspicion.

Can he trust those who would join his battle…or will his fears force him to go on alone?

My review:

I didn't realize when I requested this book that it was young adult, but I do review juvenile fiction occasionally, so I had no problem with that. This is not necessarily Christian fiction either. It is fantasy, and although God isn't really mentioned in the book, it is a book of good versus evil. And though it is classified as young adult, most adults would enjoy the book.

The book is very well written, with a great cast of characters and a lot of action. There are some things left unexplained that I assume will be explained in other books that follow this one, though the book did come to a great conclusion.

I of course didn't live at the time this book is set in, but Brouwer paints a great and realistic picture of what it might have been like at that time, and deals a little with Knights of the Templar, which has always been a fascinating subject to me. Even though there isn't much Christian about the book, it is an excellent read and I'd recommend it to the audience it is intended for.

About the author:

Sigmund Brouwer is the author of eighteen novels with nearly three million copies in print. His recent novel The Last Disciple was featured in Time magazine and on ABC's Good Morning America. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they and their two daughters divide their time between homes in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and Nashville, Tennessee.

The Orphan King is available from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing.

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomaha for the review copy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Heartbeat Away by Harry Kraus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heartbeat Away
David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.

The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.

Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.

And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.

Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.

If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.

My review:

I have read some of Kraus' earlier books and really loved them, but then I read a couple that I wasn't into that much. It has been several years since I read one of his books, and since this one sounded so good, I decided to grab it for review. This is a really, really good book. It reminds me of his earlier books that had more suspense, along with a medical/hospital setting. One thing I have appreciated about his writing, is when he writes medical scenes and uses medical terms, it is done in a way that is both interesting, and easy to understand.

The book had a great plot and characters, and truly is one of those books I did not want to put down, and was glad I read it when I could keep reading until the end. This is definitely one of the best books by this author, if not the best. The book was shipped late, and I just received it yesterday, and got it read by last evening.

I was disappointed a bit in both the author and the publisher, David C. Cook. "Bastard" was used three times and not in the original meaning of the word, but as an insult. It is just one of those words that seems out of place in a Christian fiction book, and seems out of character for David C. Cook to allow, though it is mild compared to other words allowed by other Christian publishers.

I would recommend this book. If you enjoy suspense set in the medical field, this book would make you a great read.

Thanks to David C. Cook and the CFBA for the review copy.

Hide and Seek by Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky

Amelia Lennon no longer wears a uniform or carries a weapon. An Army trained Foreign Affairs Officer, she’s negotiating a dispute with the Kyrgyzstan government that threatens to leave the U.S. without an airbase in that region. She traded her gun for the power of words, but now she needs both.

While following her government contact – Jildiz Oskonbaeva, the lawyer daughter of Kyrgyzstan’s president – Amelia witnesses an attempt to abduct her. She manages to prevent the kidnapping, but now the two women are on the run in a city that’s erupting into chaos.

Master Sergeant J.J. Bartley is the Special Operations team leader tasked to rescue Amelia and Jildiz. With two new members in his unit – one with a secret that could endanger everyone’s life – J.J. must soldier his unit through crazed mobs intent on overthrowing the government. Back home, his pregnant wife is misinformed that her husband and the team have been killed. But before this is over, Bartley will find out that’s the least of his problems.

My review:

My one complaint about these books in this series, is they come out too far apart. Not only do I have a hard time remembering what happened in the other books, I have a hard time remembering the characters. That said, I really enjoyed this book. It was set in a totally different part of the world than I usually read about, so not only did I enjoy the suspense and military special ops actions, it was interesting learning a little about a new country and its customs.

There were a few new characters added to the roster of main characters, and they only added to the book. The authors have come up with some great characters, and especially in the new team leader, J.J., a former character who got a promotion. It is interesting to see how a soldier in such circumstances as he would be in, could be a Christian and still a soldier.

A lot happened in this book, and the authors brought it all to a satisfying conclusion. I am hoping there is at least one more book in this series and it isn't as long in coming as the rest of them have been.

About the authors:

Chaplain (Captain) Jeff Struecker is a decorated member of the United States Army's most elite fighting corps whose personal experiences in Mogadishu, Somalia, were written about in the New York Times bestseller and major motion picture Black Hawk Down. In thirteen years of active duty, he also fought in Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Iris Gold in Kuwait. As a chaplain Jeff has done multiple tours in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He uses his personal story of survival on the battlefield to tell others how they, too, can be prepared for any circumstances life may bring. Struecker and his wife, Dawn, have five children, and live in Columbus, Georgia.

Alton Gansky is the author of nine novels, including By My Hands, Distant Memory, A Ship Possessed, and Vanished. Alton holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Biblical Studies. His first novel, By My Hands, was published in 1996. He lives with his wife Becky in Phelan, California, where he is senior pastor of High Desert Baptist Church. The have twin daughters and a son. You can find out more about Gansky on his web site at

Hide and Seek is available from Broadman and Holman Publishing.

Thanks to Broadman and Holman for the review copy.

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Bridesmaid
Bethany House Publishers (September 11, 2012)
Beverly Lewis


Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


The Latest in Chart-Topping Amish Fiction from Beverly Lewis

Twenty-seven-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amishwoman is a closet writer with a longing to be published something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare.

Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amishman who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A few of my favorite authors: Dan Walsh

I love Christmas, and really enjoy a good Christmas story. I have several Christmas novels and collections of Christmas stories, and enjoy revisiting many of them each Christmas season.

In 2009, I had the opportunity to review a Christmas book by a new author, Dan Walsh: The Unfinished Gift. It sounded really good, and since I enjoy a good Christmas story so much, I signed up. I loved the book, and it has shot to the top of my favorite Christmas stories. It is that good.

Six months or so later, he came out with a sequel to the book, and since then has written four more books, all worth reading.

He has been compared to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans, and from what I know of these authors, he is similar, only with a Christian message.

His best book so far, in my opinion, was The Discovery. It was quite the page turner, had a terrific plot, and was so good it about blew me away.

My favorite genre' is Christian suspense, and I tend to read a lot of it. Dan doesn't write suspense, though there is drama and excitement in his books, but even though he doesn't write my favorite genre', he has quickly become one of my favorite authors. When he has a new book come out, it is always one of my priorities to read.

His most recent book, The Reunion, which just released this month, Dan has come up with another great story. This book was written to honor Vietnam Vets, and it does do that, and also shows there are second chances and always reason to hope.

He is currently working on a four-book series with marriage and family expert, Gary Smalley. The first book in that series, The Dance, will come out in April of 2013, and I am really looking forward to the series.

Dan has an article on Today's Christian Woman that is worth reading about The Power of a Story.

There is a 10-book giveaway going on for a few more days yet of Dan's books. Contest ends on September 17. Five people will win 2 of his books. Details here.

If you haven't checked out Dan's books, do so. You won't be disappointed.
More information about Dan and his books are on his website.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Helping Others Overcome Addictions by Steve McVey and Mike Quarles

Does Christianity have an answer for addiction? As longtime pastor Mike Quarles’s alcoholism worsened over eight years, churches and Christians referred him to treatment, 12-Step programs, therapy…nothing worked. Steve McVey, also a pastor, repeatedly dished out the same advice Mike received, with similarly poor results…
…Until, in their frustration, God led them back to basic, addiction-breaking truths of His Word. The authors explain these for readers who want to help someone or who struggle themselves, because freedom from addiction is found only when Christians
  • fully believe what God says about their identity
  • move beyond the 12-Step concept of inescapable “addict identity”
  • stop harboring unforgiveness, get radically right with God, and dwell in who they are in Christ, which excludes engaging in addictive behaviors as a lifestyle
Material on codependency is included, as is information on implementing recovery/support groups for those leaving addiction and starting to live in God’s glorious freedom.

My review:

I have read and seen a lot of books and advice on breaking addictions over the years, but these guys approach it from a different angle, and I think they nailed it. So many programs and books, even Christian ones, focus so much on God plus something else, and the authors present a great case that it is God alone that can break addictions.

They also talk a lot about forgiving others - and ourselves, and how unforgiveness can often be a hold up in breaking free from addictions. There are a lot of charts, comparative examples, and Scripture verses to support their points. I found the book both interesting and helpful. It would make a great tool for people dealing with addictions, or as the title says, those who want to help someone with an addiction.

The book contains an extensive appendix to further offer advice on how to set up a recovery group and other advice.

About the authors:

Steve McVey is the president of Grace Walk Ministries, a discipleship-training ministry based in the southeastern U.S. He has authored the bestselling Grace Walk (over 250,000 sold), Walking in the Will of God, and 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday, and has also coauthored Helping Others Overcome Addictions. He and his wife reside in Georgia.

Check out his website.

Together with his wife, Julia, Mike Quarles directs Grace Walk Recovery Ministries. Out of his experience as a longtime pastor and apparently hopeless alcoholic, he now spends his life spreading the message that God has provided an answer to addiction in His Word of Truth, the Bible. Mike is coauthor of Helping Others Overcome Addictions. He also authored Freedom from Addiction and its companion resources together with Neil T. Anderson, founder of Freedom in Christ Ministries. Mike and Julia live in Georgia.

Check out his website.

Helping Others Overcome Addictions is available from Harvest House Publishers.

Thanks to Harvest House for the review copy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Found by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

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

The River by Michael Neale

“You were made for The River . . .”

Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure.

But something holds him back—the memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River when he was just five years old—something no child should ever see.

Chains of fear and resentment imprison Gabriel, keeping him from discovering the treasures of The River. He remains trapped, afraid to take hold of the life awaiting him.

When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest—and bravest—thing he has ever done.

My review:

This book is somewhat of an allegory, for a lack of a better description. The book is a fictional account of a young man who had had a bad experience with the river, and is trying to overcome his fear of it. The book is well written and has some great characters. I really enjoyed the story, and the message in it. The author has a great way with words, and describes scenes and things that happen so well, you feel like you are there.

The idea of the book is that we all need to face our fears, experience life at its best, and to not let fear rob us of joy and real living. The author did a great job of using a fictional story to get his points across. I'd recommend the book to anyone. It is a great reminder for anyone that God is in control, and we need to trust Him and really live.

About the author:

Gifted writer, performer, and masterful storyteller are all phrases used to describe Michael Neale.

With the highly anticipated September 2012 release of his first novel The River, as well as a second book, Your Great Name, which releases in October 2012, Michael is finding more and more ways to share his gift of storytelling as an author.

As a Dove Award-Winning songwriter, his songs have been recorded by artists such as Michael W. Smith (“Rise Above”), Natalie Grant (“Your Great Name,” Worship Song of the Year in 2012), Rebecca St. James (“In A Moment”), Todd Agnew (“I Need No Other”), and Phillips, Craig and Dean (“Saved the Day”), to name a few.
Michael divides his time among leading worship in churches, songwriting, and being a featured leader and teacher at conferences around the country. In between his travels, Michael serves on the team of Worship Leaders at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, where he lives with his wife Leah, and their three children Micah, Maisie, and Wyatt.

Check out his website.

Check out the website for the book.

The River is available from Thomas Nelson Publishers

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze for the review copy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Reunion by Dan Walsh

Everything lost can be found.

Aaron Miller knows a thing or two about loss. He's lost love. Dignity. Second, and even third, chances. Once honored for his heroism, he now lives in near obscurity, working as a handyman in a humble trailer park.

But God is a master at finding and redeeming the lost things of life. Unbeknownst to Aaron, someone is searching for him.

With deep insight into the human heart, consummate storyteller Dan Walsh gently weaves a tale of a life spent in the shadows but meant for the light. Through tense scenes of war and tender moments of romance, The Reunion will make you believe that everyone can get a second chance at life and love.

My review:
I first discovered Dan Walsh with his first book, The Unfinished Gift. I love Christmas stories and never pass up the chance to read one that sounds good, and it sounded good. Good doesn't begin to describe it. It is one of the best Christmas stories I have ever read.

I decided this was an author to keep an eye on, and indeed he is. He hit one out of the ballpark with his last novel, The Discovery, which is was so awesome that I am still telling people about it. The bad thing about a book like that, is it is hard to follow up. The Reunion comes close. I'd put it as a third base hit, compared to the home run The Discovery.

With the Reunion, Dan wanted to honor some guys who never got enough honor: Vietnam Vets, and he does a great job of doing that with a story. This is another tremendous story from this great author. I smiled, I cried, smiled some more, and yes - cried some more.

His pen created some wonderful characters and wrote a truly delightful story filled with hope, love, and second chances. I am a big suspense novel lover, but this book had me turning the pages just as fast as if it were a suspense novel, as I eagerly read on wanting to see how the book would end.

Dan Walsh has been compared to Nicholas Sparks. I read one Sparks novel, and thought it very sad, and most of his look sad. Maybe I am judging the books wrong, but it does appear Dan is similar, only his stories are Christian and filled with hope, not sadness.

The Reunion is also a romance story, but guys don't let that scare you away. It is definitely worth reading, as any of his books are.

About the author:

Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of several books, including The Discovery and The Reunion. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Donna from Revell for the review copy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Proof by Jordyn Redwood

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Kregel Publications (June 1, 2012)
Jordyn Redwood


Jordyn Redwood has served patients and their families for nearly twenty years and currently works as a pediatric ER nurse. As a self-professed medical nerd and trauma junkie, she was drawn to the controlled chaotic environments of critical care and emergency nursing. Her love of teaching developed early and she was among the youngest CPR instructors for the American Red Cross at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has continued to teach advanced resuscitation classes to participants ranging from first responders to MD’s.

Her discovery that she also had a fondness for answering medical questions for authors led to the creation of Redwood’s Medical Edge at This blog is devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction.

Jordyn lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters, and one crazy hound dog. In her spare time she also enjoys reading her favorite authors, quilting, and cross-stitching.


Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?


“Jordyn Redwood makes quite a splash with her debut novel. PROOF is a hard-edged mix of medical thriller and crime chiller that grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let go until the end. This one will keep you up way past your bedtime.”

—Rick Acker, best-selling author of When the Devil Whistles

“From the very first chapter, the first page even, Jordyn Redwood pulls the reader into a story that won’t let go. PROOF is proof enough for me that Jordyn is the real deal: an author who knows how to weave a tight story, write descriptive, authentic prose, and deal with some pretty hefty issues. I’m a fan!”

—Mike Dellosso, author of Frantic and Rearview (a 7 Hours story)

“Debut novelist Jordyn Redwood has used her experience as an ER and ICU nurse to craft a blend of medical thriller and police procedural with twists and turns to keep fans of either genre turning pages.”

—Richard L. Mabry, MD, author of Lethal Remedy and the Prescription for Trouble series

“A rollercoaster of a story. Jordyn Redwood’s PROOF has everything you could want in a thriller—believable characters, a villain who makes your skin crawl, a touch of humor, and a twisting plot—all bound by fascinating medical and scientific details. What a fabulous debut!”

—Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of the Wings of Glory series

“Jordyn Redwood may be new on the scene, but she writes like a seasoned pro. PROOF is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time with well-drawn characters including a villain I despised and a hero and heroine I rooted for. I thought I would just take a peek at the first chapter and finish the story later. I thought wrong. I read late into the night, lost sleep, and put off my own writing to finish this book. I’m eagerly awaiting Jordyn’s second book and will be first in line to purchase it the day it releases.”

—Lynnette Eason, best-selling author of The Women of Justice series

“I love a great medical thriller and I’m glad to add another author to my list. Jordyn Redwood writes like the medical insider she is. A gripping tale laced with realism, sleep-robbing excitement, and something every reader loves: hope.”

—Harry Kraus, MD, best-selling author of The Six-Liter Club

PROOF by Jordyn Redwood is a gripping medical thriller written with vivid detail from an author who knows her subject firsthand. A serial rapist is at large in the town—in the hospital, even? Can Lilly trust anyone? Even her closest friend? And just when you think you can relax, the stakes get even higher.”

—Donna Fletcher Crow, author of The Monastery Murders

“Jordyn Redwood’s debut novel is a page-turner with an ingenious premise and solid Christian values. A satisfying read.”

—Frank J. Edwards, Medical Director, Delphi Emergency Physicians,

author of the medical thriller Final Mercy

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

My review:

This was a new author to me, but she quickly pulled me into the story. The plot was really good, as were the characters. There is a lot of medical terminology in the book, but the author does a great job of putting it in terms the average reader can understand.

I thought the romance element could have been developed a little more. It seeemd an afterthought, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it hard to put down. I am definitely interested in reading more in this series.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

To Write a Wrong by Robin Caroll

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:

B&H Books (September 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Shannon Kozee of B&H Fiction for sending me a review copy.***


Robin Caroll has authored twelve previous books including the Holt Medallion Award of Merit winner, Deliver Us From Evil.
She gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference
Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. A proud southerner,
Robin lives with her husband, three daughters, and two precious
grandsons in Arkansas.

Visit the author's website.


In Angola State Penitentiary, a man is serving time for a crime he
didn’t commit. Riley Baxter is an eager reporter desperate for a story
to make a name for herself. When she stumbles upon the daughter of the
incarcerated man, Riley sees a little too much of herself in the teen,
and vows to help prove her father’s innocence.

At the same time,
Hayden Simpson has his hands full with keeping his little sister in
line, worrying about his job as Police Commissioner, and dealing with
his past emotional baggage. The last thing he needs is someone blowing
the lid off his emotional bucket. But when Riley Baxter storms into his
life, struggling to understand why God would let bad things happen to
good people, Hayden has no choice but to follow his heart.

Now, Riley and Hayden must work together to uncover the truth of the past . . . before someone shuts Riley up for good.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: B&H Books

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1433672138

ISBN-13: 9781433672132


My review:

I love a good suspense/mystery novel, and Robin Caroll always comes through with one when she writes a book.

This book was the second in a series, and was even better than the first. There is a lot of suspense, police action, and bad guys. The author does a great job of showing what happens when someone is let down by our justice system and jailed for a crime they did not commit. She covers the effects on the person and on their family.

Once I started reading this book, I had to keep reading until I finished it, and wow. What a great story.

I was disappointed in one thing, in both the publisher and author. There is a move on to put curse words and vulgar words in Christian fiction in an attempt to push the envelope or be "edgy", usually with no care of offending people like me who read Christian fiction to avoid that kind of language. Up til now, to my knowledge, Broadman and Holman has held a standard of not doing that, but this book had two that I caught. Hopefully, this will not become common practice. The use of "hell" as an expletive, and the vulgar use of a term for urination in place of "ticked off." These may seem minor, but do not belong in a Christian book.

Thanks to Broadman and Holman and FIRST for the review copy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A new chapter

I've been thinking lately about how life is so much like a book. There are periods in life when it is like coming to the end of a chapter in a book and we start a new chapter.

I have a weird habit. If I really like a book, I will occasionally pull it off the shelf and read the ending or certain parts in the book that were especially good. We do that with life also. Reminisce about the good times, and usually avoid parts (or chapters) that were not so good.

I just closed a chapter in my life. I had worked at my last job for 2 1/2 years. I liked what I did most of the time, but the place was really getting to me. I had never worked Sundays until I worked there, and had to work too many, and when I did work a Sunday it messed things up. I had to race out of church so I had time to eat before I went in. There is no nice way to put it, but the owner is a jerk. He goes off on people about the smallest thing, and is like a powder keg. His nephew, age 21 or 22, is an arrogant, spoiled brat (his parents pay for EVERYTHING - gas for his car, his cell phone bill, even his golf). There are certain things he just won't do at work. During my time there, there were many times I knew of, and I am sure times I didn't know of, that he claimed credit for things I had done, and blamed me for things that were done wrong or not done at all. This same arrogant kid was getting at least $4 more an hour than me, and it sounds like it was even more than that. Often, I had to pick up his slack and do things he was supposed to have done.

This past Friday, I finally had it, and quit on the spot. I know it is best to have something lined up before you quit a job, and I have nothing lined up, but I am hoping for the best. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I dreaded going to work, especially if I knew the boss was going to be around. It is no fun working somewhere that you aren't valued, and the boss seems to take pleasure in ripping people apart, whether it be me, fellow co-workers, or vendors.

I have no idea what is in this next chapter, or how long it will be. Life is a bit scary when facing a new chapter, when facing the unknown, but blank pages can also be refreshing and challenging. There is hope that the next chapter will be the best yet. That I find the best job I have ever had, meet new friends, find out what God has in store for me.

There has been this strong urging within me for a couple of months, to put in my two weeks notice. It seemed to be from God, but I struggled over the decision. I wanted a job lined up before I did that. I wanted certainty, not uncertainty. I ignored that urging. I doubt God wants us to quit a job on the spot, but had I listened to that urging, I would have been out of there by now and not quit on the spot.

Am I worried and fearful? Maybe a bit, but not a lot. Truthfully, I feel such a relief. It is like being held hostage and suddenly you have been freed. My former employer has no authority or hold on me now. I am free from him and his demands and mean words.

I wish I could take a pen and write my own book, write the next chapter the way I want it to go, but we can't do that. I would ask for prayer that I find the right job in the right place. I wish I could write my own dream into being. My dream? To own and run a bookstore with a coffee shop/cafe' attached. Maybe some day, if electronic books don't make regular books extinct.

My next job may not be my dream job, but I hope and pray it is right for me, and that I can finally get my own place again and be on my own again. I can't wait to see what this next chapter holds.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Trinity: Military War Dog by Ronie Kendig

A year ago in Afghanistan, Green Beret Heath Daniel’s career was destroyed. Along with his faith. Now he and his military war dog, Trinity, train other dogs and their handlers. Though his passion is to be back in action, the medical discharge has forced Heath—and Trinity—to the sidelines. Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured while secretly tracking the Taliban. Only one dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her. Trinity. Only one man can handle Trinity. Time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.
My review:
Ronie only has 6 books under her belt now, but she has quickly claimed a spot high on my list of favorite authors. (I don't have one favorite, but a handful). She is also a super-nice lady. With the exception of her first book, all of her books are military in nature, as is this newest one.
Before Ronie started talking about this series on facebook, I was clueless about Military War Dogs. To be honest, I didn't even know the military used dogs. Now I do, and thanks to this new book of hers, I know quite a bit more about them.
The book is, to use an over-used word, awesome. It contains a lot of information about the use of dogs in the military, and the story revolves around one such dog and her handler. But it contains a lot more. Adrenaline packed action, military action, secret maneuvers and military groups, and even some romance thrown in. I unfortunately started reading it on a break at work, and had to put it down, but I didn't want to. I finished it last night close to 1am, and was left with that satisfying feeling I get after reading any of Ronie's books.
As with her Discarded Heroes Series, this series, titled A Breed Apart, will appeal to about anyone: men, women, military, retired military - everyone. Ronie paints a great and realistic picture of life on the battlefield, and does a terrific job of introducing military war dogs. I am looking forward to reading more in this series, and learning more about these wonderful animals.
About the author:

An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.
It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990. Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their four children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their three dogs in Dallas, TX.

Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has volunteered extensively, serving in a variety of capacities from coordinator of a national contest to appointment assistant at the national annual conference.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have been gained critical acclaim and national attention, including:
    • 2012 Christy Award Winner – Wolfsbane (Contemporary Romance)
    • 2012 Carol Award Finalist – Wolfsbane (Romantic Suspense)
    • Finalist in Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards (Nightshade)
    • RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards in Romantic Suspense (Nightshade)
    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)
    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.
    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)
    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)
Check out Ronie's website.
    Trinity: Military War Dog is available from Barbour Publishing.

    I purchased a copy of the book, and the review was done on my own.