Saturday, November 29, 2014

In Pursuit of Wisdom by Steve Shoemake

"If there is a God, why do bad things happen to good people?"

It is a timeless question, and one that hangs over all the people of Tenebrae, who have lost faith in a Dark World. Against this backdrop is a quest -- a quest for the famed Staff of Insight, capable of revealing truth to the one who holds it. In a world where deception, strife, hatred, cruelty, and betrayal are the everyday norms, imagine the power of a person who wielded such a staff. Every motivation revealed. Every lie and half-truth exposed. It is an artifact blessed by the One True God -- one of three Artifacts of the Ancients.

This is a story of a young man of extraordinary skill coming of age. Abandoned by his parents as a babe, he recognizes that the key to finding this ancient staff is to first find the answers to his own past. And it is those answers that lead him in pursuit of wisdom -- for himself -- and for all of Tenebrae.

My review:
    I don't read much fantasy, but was asked if I'd review this, so I decided to give it a shot. I didn't realize how long of a book it was, coming in at 652 pages, and had so many other books to review, it had to wait a while since we had other things going on.

  The book was a little slow starting, but once it got going, I was able to get into it and enjoy it. Still, even for a fast reader like me, it took me a long time to read the whole book. One positive of a long book is being able to spend more time on character development, and the author did so. I liked the characters, especially the main character, and the changes he went through.

  The book has themes of redemption, even amid troubled and dark times, and though the book is not suspense, there was a lot of action and surprises along the way. I recommend it to readers of fantasy with a spiritual application.

About the author:

Steve began his writing career more than 25 years ago...outlining the challenges of a Dark World looking for a glimmer of hope. In between marrying the woman he met in an acting class, raising kids, and a consulting career, he decided to bring the story to life, and hopes you enjoy immersing yourself in that world. Who knows -- you may even see some relevance to ours...

Thanks to the author and his wife for the review copy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne and Ken Abraham

Imagine being thirteen, in a strange city, hundreds of miles away from home, and your mom abandons you at a bus station, driving off into the night with her lover.
It's a miracle Jimmy Wayne survived his growing-up years. Hungry, homeless, and bouncing in and out of the foster care system, Jimmy spent more nights wandering and sleeping in the streets than he cares to remember. His father left before he was born. And his mama, when she wasn't in a mental hospital or behind bars for various small offenses, was simply too overwhelmed, trying to survive herself.
Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy's childhood and the unconditional love and acceptance Russell and Bea Costner gave to Jimmy. This elderly couple provided a stable home and the chance for him to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, "She changed every cell in my body." After his high school graduation, Jimmy went on to earn a degree in Criminal Justice because, as he says, "I knew a lot about it." But in his heart Jimmy wanted to write songs and sing.
A music company opened its doors to Jimmy, and he moved to Nashville to pursue his dreams. He had several memorable hits, such as I Love You This Much, Paper Angels, and Do You Believe Me Now, which remained at #1 for three consecutive weeks on the Billboard Chart.
But success was not satisfying. Jimmy remembered where he came from, and he wanted to give back. With his Meet Me Halfway campaign—a 1,700 mile walk from Nashville to Phoenix—Jimmy walked halfway across America, raising awareness for foster children. Along the way he not only found a lot of crazy things, such as coins, keys, a plastic Jesus, and a Lucille Ball ashtray; but he also found himself. And more important, he found a way to forgive the people who had hurt him. Jimmy learned how to walk to beautiful—and so can you.
My review:
    I was a little familiar with Jimmy Wayne, having heard his song "Paper Angels", and also read the book, and was intrigued by his story, so I requested his book to review when I saw it listed.
  The book should come with a warning. I was moved to tears multiple times, found myself infuriated with adults that could treat a young boy so horribly, and found myself wanting to go out and adopt a bunch of kids who have no one to love them and care for them. It is a very moving and emotional story, and though I didn't read it in one sitting, as time didn't allow that, I would have liked to. It is a very gripping read.
   Jimmy has written a very transparent book by telling his story. He pulls no punches, telling his own shortcomings, as well as those who mistreated him along the way. The book chronicles his early years on up through his rising career as a country music artist, and the the things he faced along the way.
  This will sound cynical of me, but I have always been skeptical of celebrities who claim to be Christian, especially when there is nothing in their life that indicates they have a relationship with Jesus. However, you can see the hand of God on Jimmy Wayne's life, and it is obvious in the way he turned out. Most kids going through what he did would have gone bad, or been killed at a young age, but God sent him to the right people who helped turn his life around and helped him to make something of his life.
  I highly recommend the book. It is sad reading what Jimmy went through as a boy, yet is also an encouraging and inspiring story to see where he has come from to where he is now. This may be the best non-fiction book I have read all year, and possibly the best biography/memoir type of book I have ever read.
About the authors:
Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned country music singer/songwriter whose songs and story highlight his mission to bring awareness to kids who age out of the foster system and become homeless. In 2010 Jimmy walked halfway across America raising awareness for these kids. He won the millionaire award for having 100,000,000 radio spins in America of his song Do You Believe Me Now, is the author of the novel Paper Angels, and the national spokesperson for CASA.

Ken Abraham is a fourteen-time New York Times best-selling author known around the world for his collaborations with high-profile public figures. A former professional musician and pastor, he is a popular guest with both secular and religious media. His books include One Soldier's Story with Bob Dole, Payne Stewart with Tracey Stewart,Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons with Dr. Neil Clark Warren, and Let's Roll! with Lisa Beamer.

Walk to Beautiful is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends. 

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

My review:
   Melody Carlson has been publishing a new Christmas book every year for the last several years, and I always look forward to reading her newest Christmas novel, and this year is no different. A couple of years ago, she wrote The Christmas Dog. This year, it is The Christmas Cat.

  This may be her best Christmas novel yet. It isn't a long book, which is good since I didn't want to put it down once I started reading it. It was most entertaining and humorous. A single guy that is allergic to cats, being stuck with finding suitable homes for his aunt's six cats, to fulfill the wishes in her will. Unfortunately, the requirements are pretty rigid, and the young lady he is interested in doesn't fit the bill, so his attempts at romance get off to a rough start.

  The book doesn't have any great moral lesson, though it is commendable how seriously Garrison takes his charge to find a home for six cats, but it is a heartwarming and humorous story that shows what Christmas is all about: giving and caring. I highly recommend it.

About the author:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another GirlAnything but NormalDouble Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of aRomantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

The Christmas Cat is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

One Night In Tehran by Luana Ehrlich

Trained in lies, a covert agent learns the truth 

Veteran CIA officer, Titus Ray--on the run from the Iranian secret police--finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians in Tehran. While urging Titus to become a believer in Jesus Christ, they manage to smuggle him out of Iran to freedom in Turkey.

Will it help him deal with his past?

Returning to the States, he discovers his Iranian mission failed because of political infighting within the Agency. In a hot-tempered outburst, he delivers a scathing indictment against the Deputy Director of Operations, and, as a result, the deputy forces Titus to take a year's medical leave in Oklahoma.

How will it change his future?

Before leaving Langley, Virginia, Titus learns he's been targeted by a Hezbollah assassin hired by the Iranians. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Norman, Oklahoma has ties to the man who's trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a local detective with an intriguing past, can be trusted with his secrets.

My review:
  Most of my book review opportunities come as offers. This one didn't. I recently started getting emails from a place that lists new books of all genre's - some that I wouldn't consider even reading - and it gives the authors' information if you're interested in reviewing a book. This book was the only Christian book in the email, so I emailed the author and she agreed to send me a copy of her debut novel.

  I started to read it last night. That was a mistake, as I didn't have enough time to read the whole book, so I had to put it down until this evening, and I picked it up again and did read it through to the finish.

  This is a self-published book. And it is an excellent debut novel, especially for being a self-published book (not that self-published books are bad). It is a spy novel, with the main character being a CIA covert agent.  I loved the main character, and thought the author did a great job on creating him and spinning a suspenseful, yet believable story around him.

 There is a lot of meetings, spy talk, and the like in the book, but I didn't find those parts hard to read at all, but found the entire book an interesting and exciting read. There is a total absence of vulgar language and sex in the book, which is a big plus for me. The main character, Titus, has recently become a Christian, and the book follows his slow progress as he starts reading his Bible, attending a church, and praying. He is no super saint by the end of the book, but I loved the character and spiritual development of him throughout the book. And might I add, it was written in the first person point of view, which is not a favorite of mine, but it worked well for this book and helps the reader gain more insight into the main character.

  There is no graphic violence either in the book, and the shooting and action scenes are done well.

  I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and was only disappointed at coming to the end of the book and having it end. The book does say it is a "Titus Ray Thriller", so I assume there will be more books to follow with this same hero. I hope so. Ms. Ehrlich has written a great debut novel that begs for a sequel or two, and I will be watching for any to be published.

Read an excerpt here.

About the author:

Luana picked up her first adult spy novel when she was eleven years old.  Today, she continues to have a passion for the thriller/suspense genre of fiction, along with a smattering of interest in historical fiction. In addition to being an avid reader, she is also a news fanatic, following events around the world on a daily basis, particularly the Middle East.

Luana is a minister's wife and has lived in Norman, Oklahoma for the past two decades. Previously, she resided in several states in the South and Midwest. Along with her husband, she also served as a missionary in Costa Rica and Venezuela.
Occasionally, she reports on the experiences of newly converted Christians for Baptist Press, a national news service for Baptists. At one time, she wrote a weekly column for The Indiana Baptist,  entitled "A Story To Tell," which told the stories of ordinary people who became followers of Christ. Luana is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.
Visit Luana's Author Profile on Amazon. Visit Luana on Goodreads or Luana Ehrlich on Google +

Thanks to the author for the review copy. Vist her website here.

One Night In Tehran is available on

Interview with the author (from her website)

Q.  Why did you create this series? What was your purpose or message?
  A.  Besides the desire to entertain, I wanted to show how a conversion experience often happens to the most improbable people in the most unlikely of circumstances.  Titus is a career intelligence officer, dedicated to carrying out deceptive, treacherous, sometimes violent, operations against both individuals and governments.  He was raised in a dysfunctional family with no spiritual upbringing, yet, while hiding out from Iran's secret police, he was confronted with the truth of the gospel. 

  Q.  Explain the personal struggles Titus encounters in One Night in Tehran.

  A.  Titus faces something common to any new convert--how to grow in Christ--yet his career as a covert intelligence officer erects some unique barriers to his learning to live the Christian life.  He's been trained in deception and subterfuge, and it's second nature for him to lie.  Thus, as he seeks to be Christ's disciple, he's forced to examine whether he can continue to live the life of a covert operative and still follow the teachings of Jesus.

Q.  What do you want your readers to take away after reading One Night in Tehran

  A. First of all, I want this book to be a good read, to be enjoyable, but I also hope any reader struggling with what it means to live a life of faith will identify with Titus as he wrestles with some of the same issues all believers face.  I believe any believer will benefit from what Titus discovers about reading the Bible and the importance of prayer.  Readers will be encouraged by Titus' attempts to tell others of his conversion experience, even when those efforts are met with contempt, misunderstanding, and apathy.

Book trailer:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Done by Christmas by Randall Jarmon

Almost everyone had heard of Victor Taggert. He was imprisoned for secretly orchestrating at least 200 bloody, individual murders over many years.

Almost nobody has heard of Marcus West. He labors in obscurity at his wife's tiny firm, working in a windowless office she calls a cave. He would like to retire, but cannot. He would like his strong-willed daughter to find a husband, but dares not tell her so.

Nonetheless, once Taggert makes a spectacular escape from prison, it us up to Marcus West to stop a new wave of bloody murders. Law enforcement cannot help -- even though West is a mild-mannered, scholarly man in his sixties with nothing at all like a commando background.

Taggert eagerly anticipates easy kills. However, Marcus West has already done something Victor Taggert would never, ever expect: West has wrapped both arms tight around his strong Christian faith.

My review:
  I had this book sitting in a stack of to read and review for a few months, and finally had time to read it. The author is new to me, and he had emailed me to ask me to review it. I never know what to expect in a case like that, but the book was well worth reading.

  The book is suspense/mystery, which is my favorite to read, and it was a very enjoyable read. The plot was well done,and the suspense kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read. It is a good sign if I don't want to put a book down, and thus was the case with this one.

 There was a lot of tech talk in the book, and a couple of times I skimmed that, but for the most part it was kept interesting enough to not lose a reader not into tech terminology.

  I really liked the characters. A close family running a business and working for the government. At first, I found the one man, Logan's, talents and fighting abilities a bit over the top, but then some back story was given that could be very plausible in real life.

   It is a good author who can write a book like this and avoid bad language, and this author did that. There were a few implied instances of sex, but it wasn't at all graphic or out of place. There was a Christian message throughout the book, and also the message that God will protect and help His people when they pray.

  I thoroughly enjoyed the book. There are parts that could possibly have used a little tweaking, but nothing so much that made the book not worth reading. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good Christian suspense.

About the author (in his words):

My name’s Randall Jarmon. I’m a West Texan living about where the Heart of Cowboy Country intersects the Bible Belt — right on the edge of the vast Palo Duro Canyon. It’s a good land, with wonderful people and dramatic scenery. I like walking through parts of it with my dog, a golden retriever named Virgil. He’s a native Texan. I got here by living in other places first.
I spent a few years in the Army: jump school, ranger school, jungle school, Vietnam, and eventually Fort Bragg. It’s one way to learn tactics and ordnance. I also fought on a karate team for awhile, which helps me write a good fight scene. These days, however, my description of somebody’s roundhouse kick far surpasses my own roundhouse kick.
I likely spent too many years in school before realizing I really wanted to be a novelist. I became an engineer, an MBA, and then a PhD teaching college. I especially liked the statistics I got to use in the last job, but grading student research papers can be tedious.
Over many years I’ve met, talked with, worked beside, or simply watched all sorts of fascinating people. All that interaction now helps me invent interesting characters. My villains are always worse than I am; my heroes are always better.
I like to think my books will get you through a three-plane travel day. For me, those days go better if I’ve got a good suspense novel with in hand. You might feel about the same. If so, I’ve tried to make sure my novels won’t disappoint you. Ideally, you won’t even notice an hour spent waiting on airport tarmac.
Thanks to the author for the review copy.
Check out his website at

If You Follow Me by Pam Rhodes

In the parish of Dunbridge, hard choices face not only Neil, but also Claire and Wendy. Ben, Claire's former lover and Sam's father, arrives back from Australia keen to pick up where they left off. Neil finds Wendy very supportive - but is she biding her time? Meanwhile, Neil has little chance to ponder his future as the whole weight of running the church and parish descends upon his inexperienced shoulders. His mother, Iris, has just moved to be near him which means she's all too ready give her opinion on every aspect of his life. Meanwhile, Neil's time as a curate in Dunbridge is coming swiftly to an end. Where should he go next, and who will go with him?

My review:
  I have really enjoyed this series, and although I was looking forward to this book coming out, I was also sad to see the series end. The books on the Christian fiction market that have a male protagonist as the main character, are rare, especially when written by a woman, and that is one reason I enjoyed this series so much.

 In this book, Neil, the priest in training, is still on his own, trying to do his job, make everyone happy, and plan a wedding. This was the most interesting of the three books, and a lot happened in it. It  is not a suspense novel, but I couldn't put it down and read far later than I should have last night to finish it, and I loved it.

 These books do have a very liberal theology, so after reading two books already, I was used to overlooking a preacher at the bar drinking ale and a few other things, but this book had a few things that bothered me:

1) The preacher married a non-Christian, something the Bible teaches against.

2) There was a use of the bad word used for women that aren't so nice
3) The book gave approval of homosexuality as a lifestyle.

 This book, and the other two, are well written and entertaining, if one can overlook a few things like I mentioned above.

About the author:

Pam Rhodes cut her teeth in news journalism, firstly as Programme Organiser on Thames Television's network documentary series, THIS WEEK, then as the anchor for Anglia Television live daily evening news programme for seven years.  She's featured on a very wide range of television and radio programmes ever since, but since 1987, has been best known as the familiar face of BBC Television's SONGS OF PRAISE.  In that time she has interviewed people ranging from The Pope to Dolly Parton, earning herself a reputation as a highly professional and empathetic interviewer, especially when people are speaking about sensitive, perhaps traumatic experiences. Also, SONGS OF PRAISE is the perfect programme for a presenter who truly loves hymns, old and new.  If you mention almost any hymn you can think of to Pam, she's likely to come back with the full story of who wrote it and why, as well as giving you renditions of a couple of tunes to which it can be sung - as you'd know if you've ever dipped into any of her weekly radio programmes WITH HEARTS AND HYMNS which have featured on Premier Christian Radio for a decade!

She has presented televised recordings in venues from the Sydney Opera House to London's Royal Albert hall, and is often asked to compere large orchestral or musical events at theatres and churches around the country - including, throughout Summer 2011, the famous BATTLE PROMS concerts which attract thousands to visitors to the gardens of glorious stately homes for an evening of picnic, patriotic music, Napoloeonic re-enactment, orchestral music, Spitfire fly-pasts and the largest collection of cannons and artillery you're likely to see in action anywhere!  Pam is also well known as an entertaining after-dinner speaker, and as a mainstream author with five novels and six factual books under her belt.   She regularly contributes articles and short stories to national newspapers like The Daily Mail, and publications such as CHOICE, MY WEEKLY, PEOPLE'S FRIEND, WOMAN'S WEEKLY and other specialist publications.

She is married to Richard Crow and lives with the family at a two-acre small holding in Bedfordshire.  It is there that they run BIGGLESWADE CAT LODGE which not only takes in cats while their owners are on holiday, but has also become known for boarding RSPCA animals who need loving care whilst new homes are found for them.  So Pam is likely to be cleaning out cat pens most days, or escaping for a potter in the garden when she's not happily tied to the computer by her first love of writing!  She also enjoys dancing so is often out ballroom, line or tap dancing - or at modern jive evenings similar to the one at which she met her husband Richard some years ago! 

More about Pam and her books on her website

If You Follow Me is available from Lion Fiction, distributed by Kregel Publishing

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.


Christmas At Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn't who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It's time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy's cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos's wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can't forget Billy.

When a "lost" rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That's his plan. The only catch is that he's having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can't get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy--and Amos, too--that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

Join bestselling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember. Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, this story will charm readers into the holiday spirit.

My review:
  I never read Amish fiction unless it is a Christmas novel. This being a Christmas novel and Amish, I requested it.

  I did enjoy the book. I liked the main characters, especially Billy Lapp, a young man who had lost his way. There is a lot in the book about roses, different kinds of roses, and rose rustling - which really exists and is not at all what it sounds like. I don't have much interest in flowers, but reading about that in a fictional book setting was very interesting.

  The book also dealt with the issue of forgiveness and it was covered very well.

  It is a pretty fast read, and entertaining. Sometimes I wonder how close to the Amish ways the books depict the Amish, but this was one I felt stayed pretty true. There was one thing that confused me a bit. One of the characters was named Lainey, and unless I missed it, it was never said who she was. She was evidently related to the main female character, but I don't think it ever said. The book was good though, and an enjoyable Christmas read.

About the author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-
fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.

Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can't life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found on-line at:

Christmas At Rose Hill Farm is available from Revell Publishing.

Revell Publishing is part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Saving Christmas, a movie review, and a giveaway

This Christmas, have your family join with Kirk Cameron’s family and dive headfirst into all the joy, dancing, celebration, feasting, imagination, and traditions that glorify the true “reason for the season.” KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is an engaging story that provides a biblical basis for our time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season. So take in the splendor; take in the majesty; take in the story. Take it all in… and let’s put Christ back in Christmas! KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is in theaters for a limited engagement beginning November 14 for two weeks only!

My review:
   I like Kirk Cameron. The media and liberals hate him, so to me that says he must be doing something right. They don't hate the pseudo-Christians that abound in Hollywood, but they hate Kirk. I am interested in anything he does, so I was excited to get the opportunity to review this new film he is coming out with for Christmas. I signed up, and was sent the link by email to view it. Last night, I pulled it up on my computer, and sat back to enjoy it.

  It starts out with Kirk Cameron talking about the war on Christmas, as he sits in front of a Christmas tree and fireplace, then it launches into the film.

  I'll be honest. It wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting a fun-filled movie about Christmas. It was interesting, and I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't what I expected. Not that it was bad.

  The movie starts out with a Christmas party at the sister of the character played by Kirk Cameron. His brother-in-law has become very anti-Christmas because of the commercialization and materialism and feels no one truly keeps Christmas the way it should be kept. Kirk's character hunts him down and gives him a lesson on the symbols of Christmas and how they relate to the real Christmas story.

 I'll admit, at first I thought it was stretching it a bit, but then the ideas grew on me, and I ended up thinking of Christmas in a new way, and the symbols of Christmas. There is also history given on St. Nicholas, and I learned some new things about him that I had never heard.

 The movie bounces back and forth between a couple of characters at the party, and the Christmas lesson. I kind of missed the point on the one conversation, but it did make it entertaining.

  I thought the movie was going to be about the war on Christmas by atheists and liberals, and that was mentioned, but it is mostly about seeing the symbols of Christmas in a new way and truly celebrating Christmas as Christians should - better than anyone else.

 I enjoyed watching Saving Christmas and would recommend it to anyone who wants to revive their Christmas spirit and get a different look at Christmas.

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions for the movie review and giveaway items.

Check out the official Facebook page:
Official website:

Up for grabs to one winner:

1) A signed movie poster for Saving Christmas
2) The soundtrack to the film
3) A car air freshener, Christmas tree-scented.

To enter, comment and tell your favorite part of Christmas.
To get an extra entry, watch the movie trailer or "like" the Facebook page, and comment a second time saying which you did.

I will pick a winner using on November 16.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putnam, and Sarah Sundin

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime
Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas
Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

My review:

  I don't often review romance novels, but I am a sucker for Christmas books and will review any that I get the opportunity to review, so of course I grabbed this one.

  There are three stories in the book, each by a different author, and each centering around a different sibling in the same family. The whole book is set during World War II, with military figures playing a big part in each story.

  All three stories were extremely well written, and the authors did such a great job that it is not obvious that the stories were written by different authors. They read like they could be from the same author. As with most romance novels, they did tend to be a bit predictable: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall for each other, boy and girl get married. However, that did not detract from the story. The combined backdrop of Christmas and wartime made an excellent combination and there was still that unknown part as you wondered if it was going to come out the way you wanted it to.

  I'm not a big World War II buff, but to my mind, it seemed the authors did the historical parts right, and I know at least two of them have written novels set during that time period before. Their research paid off.

  If you're looking for a great Christmas novel to read this Christmas, and don't mind three somewhat predictable novellas, I highly recommend this book. I felt my time reading it was well spent.

About the authors:

TRICIA GOYER is the author of 35 books and has published over 500 articles for national publications. CARA PUTMAN is the author of twelve novels and two novellas including Shadowed by Grace, and she is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction.SARAH SUNDIN is the author of the Wings of the Nightingale series and the Wings of Glory series. 

Where Treetops Glisten is available from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing.

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for the review copy.