Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Return of Cassandra Todd

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Return of Cassandra Todd
Realms (February 5, 2013)
by
Darrel Nelson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am a schoolteacher by profession and have taught school for (thir—ahem!) years. I grew up in Raymond, Alberta, and attended the University of Lethbridge after graduating from high school and serving a two-year mission to Japan. During university, I met and married Marsha Smith, and we are the parents of four children, which has grown to include their spouses and our ten grandchildren.

I have always loved to write. I started writing stories before I was old enough to realize I was writing stories. It seemed a natural thing to pick up a pencil and paper and create a world simply by using words—worlds of adventure in steaming jungles (Tarzan was an early influence on me) or realms of adventure in outer space (Buck Rogers). But as I have grown older, I have discovered that the real inspiration for me is exploring the theme of love and how it can make such a difference in the world.

I’ve had an article published in Lethbridge Magazine and have written several dramatic plays, two of which won provincial recognition and were showcased at a drama festival. I won the CJOC radio songwriting contest two years running, and have had one of my songs receive international airplay. I have written four novels intended for the juvenile market. They are unpublished as yet, but I read them annually to my fourth grade students and my students tell me they love them, the darlings.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When the girl he hated in high school suddenly reenters his life, little son in tow, and asks for his help, Turner must put the past behind him if they are to survive.

Turner Caldwell works at a local motel as a handyman while attending college full-time. On his way to class one day, he passes the bus depot just as Cassandra Todd and her young son arrive. He is shocked to see her, remembering how cruel she was to him in high school. She was the popular head cheerleader and he the target of her mean-spirited pranks.

Turner could never have imagined that the outdoor training and survival skills he learned at Camp Kopawanee, a summer youth camp where he worked three years as a leader, would one day become so crucial. But when Cassandra and her son check into the motel where he works and she asks for his help in eluding her abusive husband, Turner finds himself entangled in a situation that will require every skill he has in order to survive.


If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Return of Cassandra Todd, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS 

This is a riveting novel. Most people can imagine the dismay they would feel if they suddenly encountered the person associated with the memories and resultant scars of their worst high school experiences. The idea of helping and protecting that very individual would be mind-boggling. But for God. Darrel Nelson has deftly portrayed the many emotions of this scenario in The Return of Cassandra Todd. Personal drama intersects with danger and heart-pounding moments to create a mesmerizing read. Just when I thought the stakes couldn't be any higher, something else happened that made me grip the edges of the book more tightly yet again. God's faithfulness and redemption are a steady theme throughout this story. Don't miss this novel!


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean.

A year and a half ago when we were in Galveston. Happy.

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?

My family's voices. (Those are three but I'll clump them as one.) A baby's laugh. Piano music.

I was so exhausted last night after my 12-hour hospital shift that I completely misread that. I obviously thought it said three sounds I love to hear! LOL Let's try again:

Fingernails on a chalkboard. Squealing tires. Angry voices yelling.

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?

Try it on in the store.

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?

I'm not wild about them but I do occasionally enjoy them out of the shell. I never cook or bake with them.

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone? Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary?

I don't remember.

6. Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?

No, unless it was for school as a kid, but I don't ever recall doing so.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?

Spring Break!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm doing some clinical hours in the hospital for a nursing refresher course - several 12 hour shifts. Ay-yi-yi; I am not 23 any more!




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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flora's Wish

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Flora's Wish
Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
by
Kathleen Y'Barbo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots. Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

ABOUT THE BOOK

May 1887--Flora Brimm is determined the fifth time is the charm. Back home she has a reputation as "Fatal Flora," a woman whose previous four fianc├ęs died in untimely accidents. Flora is desperate to marry, because producing an heir is the only way she can keep her family's estate. She's confident this visit to Eureka Springs with her grandmother will help her land a husband.

Pinkerton detective Lucas McMinn is hot on the trail of Will Tucker, the thief who broke his sister's heart. When he discovers the slippery fellow with Flora, he thinks they are in on the devious plot together. Will Flora be able to convince Lucas of her innocence? Will Lucas catch the elusive Mr. Tucker?

And, more importantly, will Lucas survive if he pursues Flora's heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Flora's Wish, go HERE.

ABOUT THE BOOK

This is a delightful book. Flora is quite a character. I don't blame her for being so worried about whether she'll ever marry, since she's already had four fiances die before making it to the altar, but she does seem to be a bit desperate and foolhardy to make an agreement with the mysterious Will Tucker. That just makes the book more entertaining, though! As for Detective Lucas McMinn, he certainly has his hands full trying to capture Tucker and keep his eye on Flora as well. Plenty of adventure, narrow escapes, and humor combine to make this an enjoyable read.




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Monday, February 25, 2013

Yielded Captive - A Don't Miss + Giveaway!

UPDATE Sunday 3/3/13 WINNER

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
5
Timestamp: 2013-03-03 22:28:31 UTC

Congrats to Megan Parsons! Email me your address, Megan, and the publisher will mail you the book.

* * * * *
In mid-January, a young missionary wife and mom who had seen my blog contacted me about her new novel, asking if I would consider reviewing it. To be honest, I generally avoid such requests as I am usually swamped with reviews for mainstream publishers and publicists. However, the premise of this book intrigued me, and after previewing the first chapter, I was hooked! I am delighted to tell you about it today and offer you a giveaway. Additionally, after I finished reading the book, I emailed the author some questions for a mini-interview, which is also posted below.


Yielded Captive
Dalaina May
(BottomLine Media)
ISBN: 978-0985219239
January 2012/364 pages

Lord, this was not how it was supposed to end.

Allison Carter had dedicated her life to being a missionary in the jungles of Peru. Now she was being dragged into an unknown future by the very people she had come to reach.

They had attacked without warning or provocation. With her infant son in her arms and her husband, Eric, lying face-down with an arrow in his back, death seemed preferable to captivity in a primitive tribe with customs and mindsets alien to her own.

But Allison had to stay alive—if only to protect Isaac—to raise him to fear the one true God...

...that same God who had allowed her to suffer so much?

Stubborn as she was in resisting her abusive captors, Allison’s greatest battle was not with them, but with the God she thought she knew.

Why did He not rescue her? Where was He in her suffering? Could He still be trusted with Isaac’s and her future?

Download a sample chapter here.

Available on Amazon and B&N ($12.08), on CBD (10.49). Also available on Amazon for Kindle and iBooks (5.99).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dalaina May lives with her husband, Dan, and their four rowdy boys in the jungles of Peru, where they serve on a church-planting team among the Caquinte tribe. Dalaina spends most of her time dragging her children out of trees, embarrassing herself in front of her neighbors, and blogging about her family’s life and ministry at DanandDalaina.com. When she has a free moment, she appreciates good sushi and a back rub.


MY THOUGHTS

Occasionally a book comes along that is so compelling and so good that I can't get it out of my head. Such is the case with this novel. From the opening pages I was absolutely caught up in the heartrending story of Allison's captivity by the Shampiri tribe of Peru. More than just a captivating tale, however, this book will cause you to examine faith far beyond the pithy and rote "Thy will be done" prayer so glibly prayed. What does it really mean to sacrifice all for the cause of Christ? How much might God ask of us to further His kingdom? Allison's prayers and struggles during her captivity are authentic and poignant. . .and how God's presence and purpose induce her obedience and perseverance will inspire and convict. I highly, highly recommend this novel.


This book particularly struck a chord with me because of my sister's years serving as a career missionary in South America. I so wanted to sit down and have a mocha with Dalaina May after I finished reading this book. I'm still mulling it over in my mind more than a week after I have finished reading it. I was delighted when Dalaina agreed to answer a few questions to provide a "mini-interview" for my blog today.

A MINI-INTERVIEW WITH DALAINA MAY

You stated that Yielded Captive "was born out of my experiences living in our tribe." Can you elaborate on that a bit? I assume you haven't had anything as drastic happen to you as happened to Allison. How did writing the story impact you as you vicariously lived through Allison's situation?

The Shampiri tribe of Yielded Captive is fictional, however many aspects of their culture and language are based upon the culture and language of the tribe that my family lives and works with---the Caquinte. (If you are curious what is real and what is made up, here is a link to a document with the details.) While I thankfully never had the traumatic experiences of Allison, many of the things that I have observed and heard about while living in the jungle are very similar to her experiences with the Shampiri. In many ways, writing about what was going on around me was the perfect way to process what I was experiencing.

Has writing always been something you aspired to? Do you have plans/desires to write more books?

While I don't think I identified myself as a writer until a few years ago, looking back I can see that I've always had an interest in it. When I was a kid, the computer game "Oregon Trail" came out. My friends would play and race to the end of the game for the win. I, on the other hand, would take weeks to finish a game because I spent more time in the journal and making up a story to go along with the game... "Jed died of dysentery today, and my heart is shattered. What will I do without my boy? We are going to rest at the Snake River for a few days to bury him and grieve."

I know writing will always be a part of me. It's how I think and how I decompress. It's often how I worship and learn. It's is also a lot of fun. Currently, I am working on a humorous, non-fiction book about raising my four rambunctious boys in the jungle. They provide copious amounts of raw material, and I have been having a great time remembering all the crazy stuff they have done. Whether or not it gets published, it will be a treasure to be able to present to them when they are older.

How isolated are you and your family as you serve the people of this primitive tribe in Peru? How many of the Caquinte have become believers? Are they relatively open or are they hostile like the experience Allison had?

Our village is very remote. The only way to get in is to hike through the jungle or to fly in using a small airplane (We use a missionary aviation ministry to fly in.). Our village has between 300-600 people in it at a time, depending on the season as people travel to their distant gardens frequently.

The Caquinte are in many ways similar to the Shampiri, but in one way they are very different. That is they are traditionally farmers and not warriors. The men use bows and arrows for hunting, but they are not taught to use them as weapons. Actually, the tribe was nearly wiped out a few generations ago when they were attacked by another tribe and really had no good way to defend themselves.

There is a tiny church with just a few believers (I would say maybe six true believers at this point.). Seven years ago, there was a newly finished New Testament, but no one to teach it. Our team was invited in by the chief and the church to teach the leaders of the church so that they could in turn teach and minister to their people. Overall, we have been very accepted and loved by the Caquinte. There have been some that are ambivalent about our presence, but over the past few years, we have been accepted as neighbors and friends in the community,

As someone whose sister was a career missionary, I know that missionaries are "regular folks" who deal with some of the same things - including spiritual struggles - that we all do. How do you find refreshment and encouragement and fellowship?

Writing! Haha!

Actually, we work with another family, and they are a huge part of our support system.They are priceless especially on those days when I just want to throw in the towel. I can go to my teammate's house and tell her, "I hate this place. If I see one more flying cockroach, I am going home." She can handle those emotions and understand my frustrations.

I am also endlessly grateful that my husband saw the wisdom in the expense of solar-powered, satellite internet. We did not have it the first year we were in Peru, but now that we do, I wouldn't want to live without it. Being able to Skype with my family, regularly communicate with supporters, and keep up with my friends back home has probably saved my sanity many times over. It is worth every penny!

What message do you want readers to take away from Yielded Captive?

It's worth it to walk with God no matter the pain that might be involved in that journey.



GIVEAWAY!

Dalaina's publisher has graciously offered to give a (paperback) copy of this book to one of my readers. To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CST Saturday, 3/2/13, and I will randomly draw a winner. US mailing addresses only, please. You must include an email address if you do not sign in to Blogger to comment so I can contact you if you win. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after notification or another winner will be chosen.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an e-book copy of this book free from Dalaina May and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Friday, February 22, 2013

A Treasury of Advice



112 Christian Authors and Publishing Professionals Share Their Best Advice for Novelists
C J Darlington
ASIN: B00A70QZ6Q
November 2012/$2.99

Imagine a coffee shop packed with award-winning Christian novelists, top editors, literary agents, and publicists. Each one is taking turns sitting down with you, giving you their best writing advice. Sort of like speed dating for writers.

Within these pages the most recognized names in Christian publishing share their personal answers to the question, “If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?”

In the ever-changing publishing world, you must stay on top of your game to succeed. This book will give you a leg up, with practical tips and advice you can use on your novel writing journey.

Includes advice from Karen Kingsbury, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Jerry B. Jenkins, Josh McDowell, Liz Curtis Higgs, Francine Rivers, James Scott Bell, Terri Blackstock, Randy Alcorn, Melody Carlson, and many more!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C. J. Darlington won the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest with her first novel, Thicker Than Blood, which released from Tyndale House in 2010. Her second novel, Bound by Guilt, released from Tyndale House in 2011.

In 2006 C. J. started the Christian entertainment Web site www.TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction ever since. She is a regular contributor to Family Fiction Digital Magazine and NovelCrossing.com. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a Paint horse named Sky. Visit her Web site at www.cjdarlington.com.

MY THOUGHTS

The idea of sitting down one-on-one with more than 100 of the best-known names in Christian publishing and gleaning from their wisdom would delight anyone taking those first steps toward publication or even just considering becoming an author, but of course, it could never happen. With this book, C J Darlington has made that a reality and placed the results as close as the nearest e-reader, and the result is a treasure of a book. As a reader who has had just a peek into the publishing industry, I was fascinated by the assortment of individuals who participated in this project and the scope of advice they gave. I highly recommend this for authors and readers alike.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from C J Darlington. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Out of Time


Out of Time:
A Trilogy of Short Stories

C J Darlington
ASIN: B00AH3QLWQ
December 2012/131 KB/$0.99

A busy woman blindly rushing through a grocery store.
A hard-working man with a pink slip.
A desperate teen girl who has a terrible secret.

All are running out of time, and the choices they make will change their lives forever.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C. J. Darlington won the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest with her first novel, Thicker Than Blood, which released from Tyndale House in 2010. Her second novel, Bound by Guilt, released from Tyndale House in 2011.

In 2006 C. J. started the Christian entertainment Web site www.TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction ever since. She is a regular contributor to Family Fiction Digital Magazine and NovelCrossing.com. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a Paint horse named Sky. Visit her Web site at www.cjdarlington.com.


MY THOUGHTS

C J Darlington has written three short stories which are quick reads but they are stories with messages that will remind readers of the impact of their choices. The first story, of the woman hurriedly shopping for groceries, will particularly resonate with many. These would be good to use as a springboard to discussion with a small group.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from C J Darlington as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Firefly Island


Firefly Island
(The Shores of Moses Lake)
Lisa Wingate
(Bethany House)
ISBN: 978-0764208232
February 2013/384 pages/$14.99

SOMETIMES LOVE TAKES YOU ON AN ADVENTURE COMPLETELY OFF THE MAP

Mallory Hale's life quickly veers off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle and action of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas--with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow.

A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues, and Mallory is filled with both the wonderment of love and the insecurities of change. But what she can't shake is the unease she feels around her husband's new boss, Jack West. Jack's presence--and his mysterious past--set her on edge, and when hints of a scandal emerge, Mallory finds herself seeking answers . . . and comes to realize that the middle-of-nowhere home she wasn't sure she wanted is the very place she'll risk everything to save.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, and Larkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women's Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas. Visit www.lisawingate.com.




MY THOUGHTS

Lisa Wingate takes her characters and her readers from bustling Capitol Hill to tiny Moses Lake, Texas in this final book of The Shores of Moses Lake series. (I missed the first book but reviewed the second one, Blue Moon Bay, here.) Firefly Island is a touching tale of what love, marriage, and friendship mean when the honeymoon's glow has faded and circumstances don't match your dreams. Wingate's characters are classic without being hokey, and Mallory's attempts and missteps as she endeavors to establish a home and friendships are heart-wrenching. Intermingling with the relational aspects of this novel is the mysterious question of secluded Firefly Island - what really happened there and why is it off-limits to everyone? This story is a wonderful reminder that the unusual and seemingly insignificant folks in our lives are often God's greatest blessings to us.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Lisa Wingate and Bethany House as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Fixing my Eyes on Jesus


Fixing my Eyes on Jesus
(Daily Moments in His Word)
Anne Graham Lotz
(Zondervan)
ISBN: 978-0310327844
January 2013/400 pages/$14.99

The whole Bible points to Jesus. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in (Hebrews 12:2).

In Fixing My Eyes on Jesus from award-winning author Anne Graham Lotz, you will read a Scripture and inspirational devotion for each day of the year that will encourage, uplift, renew, and challenge you on your spiritual walk with Jesus.

A perfect size for carrying with you on the go, in a beautiful package that also makes this a gorgeous gift for a friend or family member, Fixing My Eyes on Jesus is the spiritual nourishment you crave.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, is the president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries, a nonprofit organization that undergirds her efforts to draw people into a life-changing relationship with God through his Word. Anne launched her revival ministry in 2000 and has spoken on seven continents, in more than twenty foreign countries, proclaiming the Word of God in arenas, churches, seminaries, and prisons. She is also the award-winning author of ten books, including her most recent, The Magnificent Obsession.

MY THOUGHTS

This is a nice little devotional book that is good for a daily quick read in the mornings or evenings. Each page begins with a Scripture and is followed by a paragraph or two from the author relating to the message of the verse. While I would not suggest that this should be the sole method of Bible reading/study, this would be a wonderful gift for someone going through a difficult time or someone who has never read any of the Bible on a regular basis.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan via BookSneeze as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hodgepodge with a Cherry on Top


It's time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge once again. You know the drill. Read, comment, do it on your blog, and link up at Joyce's blog. And have fun, of course!

1. When were you last 'on a mountaintop'? You may answer in the literal or figurative sense.

Just last summer when I was in Germany. I was on a mountain - inside it, anyway! - in Germany!

2. Do you establish and maintain a strict budget in your household? What is one piece of financial advice you would offer someone just starting out on their own?

Not super strict. Advice: Be diligent about setting aside money to tithe and save before setting aside money to spend.

3. Cherries-yay or nay? Cherry pie, cherry cola, black forest cake, or a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Cherries Garcia...pick one.

Love cherry pie and cherry cobbler. And cherry limemade from Sonic. Cherry coke is so-so. The rest of it, I'll pass.

4. Should you ever discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?

I don't like to make blanket statements, such as "never" or "ever" or "always." As a rule, though, I think you have to tread carefully. And I don't care for the term "religion" either (no offense to Joyce). I do think discussing beliefs and evangelizing is often more effective one-on-one when there is a relationship. But if the Holy Spirit leads you to have a conversation with a stranger, I suggest that you do it!

5. When you take a road trip do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger? Where were you headed on your last road trip?

If my man's along, I prefer that he drive. I'm not crazy about driving when he's in the car and I don't like driving his Tahoe. But if I'm going somewhere with a friend, I generally prefer to take my car and be the one driving. Our last road trip was to Houston for my brother's graveside service.

6. If we peeked inside your closet, what color would we say is most prevalent?

Probably purple or blue.

7. Who's your favorite senior citizen and why are they special?

My mother-in-law. Because she's a wonderful Christian lady, she loves me, and she raised an awesome son.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My girl has an appointment to take her driving test and get her driver's license today. And of course, we're supposed to have thunderstorms this afternoon for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long! Guess I should remind her how to work the windshield wipers. LOL


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10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus: Reason #10

Welcome to the final day of Nancy Rue's series of guest posts on 10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus! I've loved having Nancy hanging out every day with me here! She is such a delight. If you've missed the previous days, you can catch up here. Now here's Nancy Rue with today's Reason #10:

This is the last of the Valentine’s Week posts, and I want to say “thank you” to Mocha with Linda for hosting me as we finish up our 10 Reasons To Fall In Love With Jesus. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate ALL of you moms who are reading this (and hopefully other relationships outside of mother/daughter too. Do share if this is you, who have you shared these nuggets with?). The eye-rolling and “Mo-om!” notwithstanding, you are still the most important influence in your tween daughter’s life. I hope you’ll share this with her:

For the mini-women:

Like most M-W’s, you’re probably way aware that the Valentine’s Day season is here, and you probably either love the cards, the candy, the frills – or you can’t wait for the thing to be over because it makes you so painfully aware of who DOESN’T like you! One being DOES like you. He loves you, in fact. He’s just waiting for YOU to fall in love with HIM. Why would you? In ten different posts, each one giving you a peek at a feature from the FaithGirlz Bible, we’ve given you a Reason To Fall In Love With JESUS. Here’s the tenth one.

Reason #10: Because Jesus returned after a horrible death to show us that we can have a new life too – with him. The death of Jesus and his rising from the dead to life again is a hard thing to understand because it never happened before and it hasn’t happened since. What’s even harder to get is why? What was that all about? There are a number of reasons, and the one I want to focus on is simply that Jesus wanted to show us that new life is possible. That no matter what we’ve done in the past, what we’ve believed, who else we followed, just by believing in who he is – the way to God – and following him we can leave all of that behind and be new – and we can do it every time we backslide. It’s a new life and a free life. You don’t have to worry about having “stuff.” You don’t have to stress because not everybody likes you. You don’t have to prove yourself. All you have to do is believe you’re taken care of and obey what Jesus shows you along the way of your life. It’s simple, yes, but not easy. That’s why you have the Bible. That’s why you have older people who love you enough to teach you about Jesus. That’s why you pray. And that’s why you pay attention, because Jesus is showing up all over the place. It’s a new life. Let’s celebrate!


Blessings,
Nancy Rue

PS: again, it has been wonderful hanging out here. THANK YOU! I hope you will connect with me in the future. I would love to hear from you and we do quite a bit of chatting over on my blogs. Not only for you, but there are also blogs for teens and tweens. Do share. They love being on the internet so I love to meet with them there. We have a lot of fun.

Website: http://www.nancyrue.com/
Blog for Tween Girls: “’Tween You & Me”
Blog for Teen Girls: “In Real Life”
Blog for the adults: “The Nudge”
Teen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nnrueforteens
Adult Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nnrue
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NNRue
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nnrue/
YouTube: FaithGirlz Channel
E-mail: Nancy@Nancyrue.com

Nancy Rue is hosting a contest and giving away a pile of Faithgirlz Bibles! Click the title to find out more about the NIV Faithgirlz Bible, Revised Edition. The ones she is giving away are leather-bound, so you definitely don't want to miss that! Click the Rafflecopter below to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, there are A LOT of ways to for someone to enter. This is because we have girls not allowed on Facebook so we want to make it an equal opportunity as possible. So be sure to enter! You can also enter here.




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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

For Love of Eli

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
For Love of Eli
Abingdon Press (February 1, 2013)
by
Loree Lough

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

With more than FOUR MILLION copies of her books in circulation, Loree has 98 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults; four novels optioned for movies; more books slated for release between now and 2014), 68 short stories, over 2,500+ articles in print, and over 19,000 letters from fans!

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

She splits her time between a tiny home in the Baltimore suburbs and an even tinier cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of "wolf stuff."

ABOUT THE BOOK

When unspeakable tragedy leaves young Eli an orphan, two families are devastated. But Taylor, Eli’s aunt and legal guardian, vows to help him remember his parents by creating a Memory Quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments of his parents' lives, the story of the young family emerges and Taylor and Eli begin to heal. But Eli’s uncle Reece is slow to let go of the past and still blames Taylor’s brother for his sister’s death. So, although he has long been attracted to Taylor, Reece keeps a safe distance away. Can their shared love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness or will Taylor and Reece be separated by pain?

If you would like to read a first chapter excerpt of For Love of Eli, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS

I love Abingdon's Quilts of Love series of books, and For Love of Eli is another charming story. Loree Lough has created characters that immediately touched my heart as they coped with the tragedies that bound them together. In spite of the backdrop of grief, this is certainly not a gloomy novel but one full of hope and love and faith. As the story progressed, I found myself wishing the quilt - and the story - were real!





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10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus: Reason #9

Welcome back to Nancy Rue's series of guest posts on 10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus! If you've missed the previous days, you can catch up here. Now here's Nancy Rue with today's Reason #9:

I would love to be having coffee with you mothers and grandmothers of Mini-Women, discussing their issues and giving each other support... Mocha with Linda has given us the next best thing by bringing us together here on her blog, and I appreciate that. In fact, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate ALL of you moms who are reading this. The eye-rolling and “Mo-om!” notwithstanding, you are still the most important influence in your tween daughter’s life. I hope you’ll share this with her:

For the mini-women:

Like most M-W’s, you’re probably way aware that the Valentine’s Day season is here, and you probably either love the cards, the candy, the frills – or you can’t wait for the thing to be over because it makes you so painfully aware of who DOESN’T like you! One being DOES like you. He loves you, in fact. He’s just waiting for YOU to fall in love with HIM. Why would you? In ten different posts, each one giving you a peek at a feature from the FaithGirlz Bible, we’re giving you a Reason To Fall In Love With JESUS. Here’s the ninth one.

Reason #9: Because Jesus accepts you as you are. That doesn’t mean he wants you to stay exactly like you are in some areas that need tweaking (maybe that lying habit, or your short-fuse temper), but right now, this moment, he accepts and loves everything about you. Who else does that? And doesn’t that make it easier to hold your head up and be yourself and not care quite so much about what the “popular” kids think? Yeah, that’s good stuff.


Blessings,
Nancy Rue

Interested in reading more from Nancy? Please be sure to connect with her in any of these places:

Website: http://www.nancyrue.com/
Blog for Tween Girls: “’Tween You & Me”
Blog for Teen Girls: “In Real Life”
Blog for the adults: “The Nudge”
Teen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nnrueforteens
Adult Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nnrue
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NNRue
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nnrue/
YouTube: FaithGirlz Channel
E-mail: Nancy@Nancyrue.com

Nancy Rue is hosting a contest and giving away a pile of Faithgirlz Bibles! Click the title to find out more about the NIV Faithgirlz Bible, Revised Edition. The ones she is giving away are leather-bound, so you definitely don't want to miss that! Click the Rafflecopter below to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, there are A LOT of ways to for someone to enter. This is because we have girls not allowed on Facebook so we want to make it an equal opportunity as possible. So be sure to enter! You can also enter here.




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Monday, February 18, 2013

When the Heart Heals - Plus a Giveway!

UPDATE 2/25/13 WINNER

Mea culpa! I neglected to draw a winner this weekend. My apologies.

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
3
Timestamp: 2013-02-25 18:52:20 UTC

Congrats to Merry! Email me your address, and I'll send the book your way.

* * * * *

When the Heart Heals
(Sisters of the Heart)
Ann Shorey
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800720735
February 2013/352 pages/$14.99

In a country healing from war, can a young woman find healing for her heart?

Courageous and unconventional, Rosemary Saxon served as a nurse during the Civil War, a service that has caused most women in town to regard her as unfeminine and even downright vulgar. Although she would like to put that part of her life behind her, she needs to support herself. She takes a nursing position with Dr. Elijah Stewart, but whenever they are together they always seem to do or say the wrong things. When someone threatens Rosemary, will she find the courage to stand, or will she leave town-and Elijah-forever?

With tenderness and grace, Ann Shorey invites you back to the town of Noble Springs, Missouri, for an engrossing story of love’s tentative first steps and fragile future in the face of opposition.

Read an excerpt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ann Shorey is the author of Where Wildflowers Bloom, The Edge of Light, The Promise of Morning, and The Dawn of a Dream. She has also published selections in the Cup of Comfort series and in Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul. Ann and her husband make their home in southwestern Oregon



MY THOUGHTS

As much as the nursing profession is admired today, it's stunning to realize that has not always been the case. Rosemary's story both fascinated me and touched my heart as she endeavors to fallow her calling in spite of opposition that becomes more strident and dangerous as the book progresses. I loved visiting charming Noble Springs, Missouri in the first book in this series, Where Wildflowers Bloom (reviewed here), and I was eager to learn more about Rosemary and some of the other characters introduced in that first novel. While the novels are stand-alones and only connected by common characters, those characters are so charming that readers will be compelled to read the first book as well as this one! And although this is categorized as a historical romance, it's got a bit of mystery, suspense, and humor, as well--all the elements add up to make it a delightful read! I'm already looking forward to the third book in the series.


ACFW's Fiction Finder's weekly Feature Author Interview spotlights Ann Shorey this week. Read that interview here.



In When the Heart Heals, Book 2 in author Ann Shorey’s Sisters at Heart series, Civil War nurse Rosemary Saxon wants to use her skills as a healer in the town of Noble Springs. But the townsfolk, and the town's new doctor, aren't sure what to make of her unconventional ways!

To celebrate the story, Ann and Revell Books are proud to announce the TEA WITH ROSEMARY giveaway, featuring three incredible prizes.

Click for details and to enter!!


GIVEAWAY!

I inadvertently ended up with an extra copy of this book which I will give to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CST Saturday (2/23/13) and I will draw a winner. US mailing addresses only please, and you must include an email address if you do not sign in to leave a comment. Winner will have 48 hours after being notified to claim prize or another winner will be contacted.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Ann Shorey and from Revell as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus: Reason #8

Welcome back to Nancy Rue's series of guest posts on 10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus! If you've missed the previous days, you can catch up here. Now here's Nancy Rue with today's Reason #8:

I’m jazzed to be spending some more time with you here on Mocha with Linda’s blog. She certainly has sacrificed her time and space to allow me to share one of my passions with you.

For the mini-women:

Like most M-W’s, you’re probably way aware that the Valentine’s Day season is here, and you probably either love the cards, the candy, the frills – or you can’t wait for the thing to be over because it makes you so painfully aware of who DOESN’T like you! One being DOES like you. He loves you, in fact. He’s just waiting for YOU to fall in love with HIM. Why would you? In ten different posts, each one giving you a peek at a feature from the FaithGirlz Bible, we’re giving you a Reason To Fall In Love With JESUS. Here’s the eighth one.

Reason #8: : Because Jesus always takes you back when you wander off. When you were a little kid (or maybe even now!) and you strayed from your mom or dad in Wal-Mart or someplace, they always took you back when you found them or they had to find you. I mean, right? They might have been mad at you, grounded you, took away your computer privileges, but they didn’t say, “Sorry, kid, but you aren’t ours anymore.” Can you even imagine that happening? Jesus is exactly like your parents only he leaves out the punishment. If you get sidetracked, forget to pray, whine about going to church, have a season where you and your friends are snarky to people – as soon as you realize you’ve wandered off, you can go straight back to Jesus and he’ll take you in. And continue to teach you. And you’ll wander away less and less. Ya gotta love how that works.



Blessings,
Nancy Rue


Interested in reading more from Nancy?  Please be sure to connect with her in any of these places:

Website: http://www.nancyrue.com/
Blog for Tween Girls: “’Tween You & Me”
Blog for Teen Girls: “In Real Life”
Blog for the adults: “The Nudge”
Teen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nnrueforteens
Adult Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nnrue
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NNRue
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nnrue/
YouTube: FaithGirlz Channel
E-mail: Nancy@Nancyrue.com

Nancy Rue is hosting a contest and giving away a pile of Faithgirlz Bibles! Click the title to find out more about the NIV Faithgirlz Bible, Revised Edition. The ones she is giving away are leather-bound, so you definitely don't want to miss that! Click the Rafflecopter below to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, there are A LOT of ways to for someone to enter. This is because we have girls not allowed on Facebook so we want to make it an equal opportunity as possible. So be sure to enter! You can also enter here.



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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Picture Perfect


Picture Perfect
(Weddings by Design)
Janice Thompson
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800721527
February 2013/336 pages/$13.99

She’s trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?

Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She’ll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley’s list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.

As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it’s not the only thing getting more intense. She can’t get the handsome man out of her thoughts-or even out of her line of sight-and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she’s worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?

With contagious humor and a cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives you crazy bridal-business drama, sweet romance, and a satisfying dose of laughter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series. She lives in Texas. Learn more about Janice at her website.


MY THOUGHTS

Oh, I absolutely loved Janice Thompson's Weddings by Bella series (reviewed here), so I was thrilled to discover she returned to Galveston with another series of books intersecting with some of those characters! Picture Perfect takes place several years after the Bella series, and this first novel zooms in on a different aspect of the wedding business: photography. Hannah McDermott and Drew Kincaid immediately became new favorites of mine as this story focuses on their professional (and increasingly personal!) interactions. Hannah's quiet and predictable life at home with her Irish parents is such a contrast to Bella's effusive Italian clan, and the first time the families meet is an event to remember! I love the Bing and Bob party that Hannah's parents host each year, giving tribute to Bing Crosby and Bob Hope with their friends attending in costumes and bearing food, representing which of the two men their favorite. This story is just as much fun as the previous series, with plenty of action and humor and lots of drama! Thompson expertly blends it all like a photographer organizing a large family photo session, and the result is...well, Picture Perfect!


A PARTY INVITATION FROM JANICE

Hi everyone! This is author Janice Thompson, here with a special invitation to my readers. To celebrate to release of my newest book, Picture Perfect, I’m hosting an online party! I’m calling this my “Bing & Bob” party and it will be held on the night of February 18th at 7:00 p.m. central time. Why Bing and Bob, you ask? These two funny fellas hold a special place in the heart of my characters and they will provide the entertainment at our gathering! This fun, interactive party will take place inside the “Bella’s Back” group on Facebook. Join me for an interactive chat, video teasers, Bing Crosby music and giveaways! Yes, giveaways! Drawings will be held every ten minutes to give away free copies of the book. At the end of the hour, a very special drawing will be held to give away a brand new Kindle Fire. How do you enter? Simple! Just join the “Bella’s Back” group. Once inside the group, you can enjoy a video welcome from yours truly and a sample from Picture Perfect. This will give you a little taste of what’s coming at the party. I can’t wait to share this special evening with my readers to kick off my new Weddings by Design series! Bella’s back, y’all…and things in her world are as wacky and exciting as ever!

Join the fun MONDAY NIGHT 2/18/13, 7:00 PM Central time, at Janice Thompson's Bing and Bob Facebook Party!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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