Friday, August 31, 2012

A Duke's Promise

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Duke's Promise
B&H Books (September 1, 2012)
Jamie Carie


As Jamie’s relationship with God grew, she discovered her heart was filled with songs and poetry. During high school she wrote lyrics for her brother’s band. (And she sang them too!) After college, Jamie married, had two sons and decided to stay home with them. While she homeschooled she wrote skits, poems, plays and short stories for school and church.

When her eldest son turned five she dove into the world of novels. She’d read romance novels for years, but couldn’t relate to the flawless, saintly heroines in Christian romance novels. So she decided to write her own.

Snow Angel was born on a frosty night in an old farmhouse in Fishers, Indiana, where the cold floor gave plenty of motivation for the snow scene. Jamie loves to write late at night when the house is quiet and the darkness seems alive. Elizabeth and Noah had been playacting in her head for a long time, so the story went fast.

Ten years later Snow Angel was published and won the ForeWord magazine Romance Book of the Year winner, was a National “Best Books 2007” Awards winner, and a 2008 RITA Awards® Best First Book finalist. It was the beginning of her dream career.

Jamie and her husband Tony have been married for twenty-one years and live in Indianapolis with their three sons and a giant of a dog named Leo.

If she could only say one thing to her readers it would be, “Live the dreams God has destined you for!”


From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her husband has promised a wedding trip to take them to the place where her imperiled parents were last seen -- Italy and the marble caves of Carrara -- but a powerful Italian duke plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured by Gabriel’s affliction to the breaking point, they must learn to work and fight together. The mysterious key is within their grasp, but they have yet to recognize it. This journey will require steadfast faith in God and each other -- a risk that will win them everything they want or lose them everything they have.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Duke's Promise, go HERE.


I am so disappointed that this book hasn't arrived yet. I have enjoyed Jamie Duke's previous books and am looking forward to reading this one!


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Thursday, August 30, 2012

House of Mercy

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:

Thomas Nelson (August 7, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, Traci DePree, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Bryan Litfin, Frank Peretti, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.

She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding stories before their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on "the other side of the desk."

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors. She lives with her family in Colorado.

Visit the author's website.


Beth has a gift of healing-which is why she wants to become a vet and help her family run their fifth-generation cattle ranch. Her father's dream of helping men in trouble and giving them a second chance is her dream too. But it only takes one foolish decision for Beth to destroy it all.

Beth scrambles to redeem her mistake, pleading with God for help, even as a mystery complicates her life. But the repercussions grow more unbearable-a lawsuit, a death, a divided family, and the looming loss of everything she cares about. Beth's only hope is to find the grandfather she never knew and beg for his help. Confused, grieving, but determined to make amends, she embarks on a horseback journey across the mountains, guided by a wild, unpredictable wolf who may or may not be real.

Set in the stunningly rugged terrain of Southern Colorado, House of Mercy follows Beth through the valley of the shadow of death into the unfathomable miracles of God's goodness and mercy.

Genre: Christian Fiction | Suspense


I'm generally a little leery of books with a bit of a supernatural element, but Erin Healy keeps me glued to the page. I was drawn to Beth's dilemma and the devastating consequences that result from an immature decision that goes horribly wrong, the heart-wrenching tension within her family, and more that this young lady deals with. Healy has penned a novel with a strong heroine who must discover that her strength is not enough for the trials facing her and that sometimes mercy looks nothing like she expected.

Product Details:
List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Language: English
ISBN-10: 140168551X
ISBN-13: 9781401685515


Chapter 1
It wasn’t every day that an old saddle could improve a
horse’s life.
That was what Beth Borzoi was thinking as she stood in the
dusty tack room that smelled like her favorite pair of leather boots. In the
back corner where the splintering-wood walls met, she tugged the faded leather
saddle off the bottommost rung of the heavy-duty rack, where it had sat, unused
and forgotten, for years.
Her little brother, Danny, would have said she was stealing
the saddle. He might have called her a kleptomaniac. That was too strong a
word, but Danny was fifteen and liked to throw bold words around, cocky-like,
show-off rodeo ropes aimed at snagging people. She loved that about him. It was
a cute phase. Even so, she had formed a mental argument against the characterization
of her- self as a thief, in case she needed to use it, because Danny was too
young to understand the true meaning of even stronger words like sacrifice or
situational ethics.
After all, she was working in secret, in the hidden folds of
a summer night, so that both she and the saddle could leave the Blazing B
unnoticed. In the wrong light, it might look like a theft.
The truth was, it was not her saddle to give away. It was
Jacob’s saddle, though in the fifteen years Jacob had lived at the ranch, she had
never seen him use it. The bigger truth was that this saddle abandoned to
tarnish and sawdust could be put to better use. The fenders were plated with
silver, pure metal that could be melted down and converted into money to save a
horse from suffering. Decorative silver bordered the round skirt and framed the
rear housing. The precious metal had been hammered to conform to the gentle
rise of the cantle in the back and the swell in the front. The lovely round
conchos were studded with turquoise. Hand-tooled impressions of wild mountain f
lowers covered the leather everywhere that silver didn’t.
In its day, it must have been a fine show saddle. And if
Jacob valued that at all, he wouldn’t have stored it like this.
Under the naked-bulb beams of the tack room, Beth’s body
cast a shadow over the pretty piece as she hefted it. She blew the dirt and
dander off the horn, swiped off the cracked seat with the flat of her hand,
then turned away her head and sneezed. Colorado’s dry climate had not been kind
to the leather.
She wasn’t stealing. She was saving an animal’s life.
The latch on the barn door released Beth to the midnight air
with a click like a stolen kiss. The saddle weighed about thirty-five pounds,
which was easy to manage when snatching it off a rack and tossing it onto a
horse’s back. But it would feel much heavier by the time she reached her
destination. She’d parked her truck a ways off where the rumbling old clunker
wouldn’t raise questions or family members sleeping in the nearby ranch house.
She’d left her dog at the foot of Danny’s bed with clear orders to stay. She
hoped the animal would mind.
Energized, she crossed the horses’ yard. A few of them
nickered greetings at her, including Hastings, who nuzzled her empty pockets
for treats. The horses never slept in the barn’s stalls unless they were sick.
Even in winter they stayed in the pasture, preferring the outdoor lean-to
The Blazing B, a 6,500-acre working cattle ranch, lay to the
northwest of Colorado’s San Luis Valley. The region was called a valley because
this portion of the state was a Rocky Mountain ham- mock that swung between the
San Juans to the west and the Sangre de Cristos to the east. But at more than
seven thousand feet, it was no low-lying flatland. It was, in fact, the highest
alpine valley in the world. And it was the only place in the world that Beth
ever wanted to live. Having graduated from the local community college with
honors and saved enough additional money for her continuing education, she
planned to leave in the fall to begin her first year of veterinary school. She
would be gone as long as it took to earn her license, but her long-term plan
was to return as a more valuable person. Her skills would save the family
thousands of dollars every year, freeing up funds for their most important
task—providing a home and a hard day’s work to discarded men who needed the
peace the Blazing B had to offer.
On this late May night, a light breeze stirred the alfalfa
growing in the pasturelands while the cattle grazed miles away. The herds
always spent their summers on public lands in the mountains while their winter
feed grew in the valley. They were watched over by a pool rider, a hired man
who was a bit like a cow’s version of a shepherd. He stayed with them through
the summer and would bring them home in the fall.
With the winter calving and spring branding a distant
memory, the streams and irrigation wells amply supplied by good mountain
runoff, and the healthy alfalfa fields thickening with a June cutting in mind,
the mood at the Blazing B was peaceful.
When Beth was a quarter mile beyond the barn, a bobbing
light drew her attention to the west side of the pasture, where ancient cottonwood
trees formed a barrier against seasonal winds and snows. She paused, her eyes
searching the darkness beyond this path that she could walk blindfolded. The
light rippled over cottonwood trunks, casting shadows that were
indistinguishable from the real thing.
A man was muttering in a low voice, jabbing his light around
as if it were a stick. She couldn’t make out his words. Then the yellow beam
stilled low to the ground, and she heard a metallic thrust, the scraping ring
of a shovel’s blade being jammed into the dirt.
Beth worried. It had to be Wally, but what was he doing out
at this hour, and at this place? The bunkhouse was two miles away, and the men
had curfews, not to mention strict rules about their access to horses and
She left the path and approached the trees without a
misstep. The moonlight was enough to guide her over the uneven terrain.
The cutting of the shovel ceased. “Who wants to know?” “It’s
“Beth who?”
“Beth Borzoi. Abel’s daughter. I’m the one who rides
Hastings.” “Well, sure! Right, right. Beth. I’m sorry you have to keep telling
me. You’re awfully nice about it.”
The light that Wally had set on the ground rose and pointed
itself at her, as if to confirm her claims, then dropped to the saddle resting
against her thighs. Wally had been at the ranch for three years, since a stroke
left his body unaffected but struck his brain with a short-term memory
disorder. It was called anterograde amnesia, a forgetfulness of experiences but
not skills. He could work hard but couldn’t hold a job because he was always
forgetting where and when he was supposed to show up. Here at the ranch he
didn’t have to worry about those details. He had psychologists and strategies
to guide him through his days, a community of brothers who reminded him of
everything he really needed to know. Well, most things. He had been on more
than one occasion the butt of hurtful pranks orchestrated by the men who shared
the bunkhouse with him. It was both a curse and a blessing that he was able to
forget such incidents so easily.
Beth was the only Beth at the Blazing B, and the only female
resident besides her mother, but these facts regularly eluded Wally. He never
forgot her father, though, and he knew the names of all the horses, so this was
how Beth had learned to keep putting herself back into the context of his life.
“You’re working hard,” she said. “You know it’s after
eleven.” “Looking for my lockbox. I saw him take it. I followed him here just
an hour ago, but now it’s gone.”
Sometimes it was money that had gone missing. Sometimes it
was a glove or a photograph, or a piece of cake from her mother’s dinner table
that was already in his belly. All the schedules and organizational systems in
the world were not enough to help Wally with this bizarre side effect of his
disorder: whenever a piece of his mind went missing, he would search for it by
digging. Dr. Roy Davis, Wally’s psychiatrist, had curtailed much of Wally’s
compulsive need to overturn the earth by having him perform many of the Blazing
B’s endless irrigation tasks. Even so, the ten square miles of ranch were
riddled with the chinks of Wally’s efforts to find what he had lost.
“That must be really frustrating,” she said. “I hate it when
I lose my stuff.”
“I didn’t lose it. A gray wolf ran off with it. I had it
safe in a secret spot, and he dug it up and carried off the box in his teeth.
Hauled it all the way up here and reburied it. Now tell me, what’s a wolf gonna
do with my legal tender? Buy himself a turkey leg down at the supermarket?”
Wally must have kept a little cash in his box. She could
under- stand his frustration. But this claim stirred up disquiet at the back of
her mind. Dr. Roy would need to know if Wally was seeing things. First off,
gray wolves were hardly ever spotted in Colorado. They’d been run out of the
state before World War II by poachers and hos- tile ranchers, and their return
in recent years was little more than a rumor. Wally might have seen a coyote.
But for another thing, no wild animal dug up a man’s buried treasure and
relocated it. Except maybe a raccoon.
A raccoon trying to run off with a heavy lockbox might actually
be entertaining.
“Tell you what, Wally. If he’s buried it here we’ll have a
better chance of finding it in the morning. When the sun comes up, I’ll help
you. But they’ll be missing you at the bunkhouse about now. Let me take you
back so no one gets upset when they see you’re gone.” Jacob or Dr. Roy would do
bunk checks at midnight.
“Upset? No one can be as upset as I am right now.” He thrust
the shovel into the soft dirt at his feet. “I saw the dog do it. I tracked him
all the way here, like he thought I wouldn’t see him under this full moon. Fool
dog—but who’d believe me? It’s like a freaky fairy tale, isn’t it? Well, I’d
have put that box in a local vault if I didn’t have to keep so many stinkin’
Web addresses and passwords and account numbers and security questions at my
fingertips.” He withdrew a small notebook from his hip pocket and waved the
pages around. It was one of the things he used to keep track of details. “Maybe
I’ll have to rethink that.”
Beth’s hands had become sweaty and a little cramped under
the saddle’s weight. She used her right knee to balance the saddle and fix her
grip. The soft leather suddenly felt like heavy gold bricks out of someone
else’s bank vault.
“Well, let’s go,” she said. “I’ve got my truck right on down
the lane.”
“What do you have there?” Wally returned the notebook to his
pocket, hefted the shovel, and picked his way out of the under- brush, finding
his way by flashlight.
“An old saddle. It’s been in the tack room for years.” She
expected Wally to forget the saddle just as quickly as he would for- get this
night’s adventure and her promise to help him dig in the morning.
He lifted one of the fenders and stroked the silver with his
thumb. “Pretty thing. Probably worth something. Not as much as that box is
worth to me, though.”
“We’ll find it,” Beth said.
“You bet we will.” Wally fell into step beside her. “Thanks
for the ride back, Beth. You’re a good girl. You got your daddy in you.”
With Jacob’s old saddle resting on a blanket in the bed of
her rusty white pickup, Beth followed an access road from the horse pasture by
her own home down into the heart of the Blazing B.
The property’s second ranch house was located more strategically
to the cattle operation, and so it was known to all as the Hub. The Hub was a
practical bachelor pad. Outside, the branding pens and calving sheds and
squeeze chutes and cattle trucks filled up a dusty clearing around the house.
Inside, the carpets and old leather furniture, even when clean, smelled like
men who believed that a hard day’s work followed by a dead sleep—in any
location—was far more gratifying than a hot shower. The house was steeped in
the scent stains of sweat and hay, horses and manure, tanned leather and
barbecue smoke. The men who slept here lived like the bachelors they were. If
their daily labors weren’t enough to impress a woman, the cowboys couldn’t be
bothered with her.
Dr. Roy Davis, known affectionately by all as Dr. Roy, was a
lifelong friend of Beth’s father. Years ago, after the death of Roy’s wife,
Abel and Roy merged their professional passions of ranching and psychiatry and
expanded the Blazing B’s purpose. It became an outreach to functional but
wounded men like Wally who needed a home and a job. Dr. Roy brought his teenage
son, Jacob, along. Now thirty-one, Jacob had never found reason to leave,
except for the years he’d spent away at college earning multiple degrees in agriculture
and animal management. Jacob had been the Blazing B’s general operations
manager for more than five years.
Jacob and his father shared the Hub with Pastor Eric, who
was a divorced minister, and Emory, a therapist who was once a gang leader.
These men were the Borzois’ four full-time employees.
The other men who lived at the Blazing B were called “associates.”
They occupied the bunkhouse, some for a few weeks and some for years. At
present there were six, including Wally.
When Beth stopped her truck in front of the Hub’s porch,
Wally slipped off the seat of her cab, closed the rusty door, and went directly
around back to the bunkhouse. She pulled away and had reached the end of the
drive when a rut jarred the truck and rattled the shovel he’d left in the truck
In spite of her hurry to take Jacob’s saddle to the people
who needed it, she put the truck in park, jumped out, and jogged the tool up to
the house. The porch light lit the squeaky wood steps, and she took them two at
a time. Jacob would see the tool in the morning when he came out to start up
his own truck and head out to what- ever project was on the schedule. She’d
phone him to make sure.
She was tipping the handle into the corner where the porch
rail met the siding when the Hub’s front door opened and Jacob leaned out.
“Past your bedtime, isn’t it?”  he said,
but he was smiling at
her. Over the years they had settled into a comfortable
big-brother- little-sister relationship, though Beth had never fully outgrown
her adolescent crush on him.
“Found Wally digging up by the barn,” she said.
Surprise pulled his dark brows together. “Now? Where is he?”
“Back in bed, I guess. He said he followed a wolf up to our place. You might
want Dr. Roy to look into that. Your dad should know if Wally’s . . . seeing
Jacob nodded as he stepped out the door and leaned against
the house. He crossed his arms. “Coyote maybe?”
“Try suggesting that to him. And when was the last time we
had a coyote down here? It’s been ages—not since Danny gave up his chicken
“I’ll mention that to Dad. It’s probably nothing. What had
you out at the barn at this hour? Horses okay?”
“Fine.” Beth’s eyes swiveled down to her truck, to Jacob’s
saddle, both well beyond reach of the porch light. She tried to recall all her
justifications for taking the saddle, but in that moment all she could think
was that she should get his permission to do it. She’d known this man more than
half her life. He was kind. He was wise. He’d say yes. He’d want her to take
But she said, “I’m headed out to the Kandinskys’ place.
They’ve got a horse who injured his eye, and it’s pretty bad. They let it go
too long, you know, hoping it would correct itself, maybe wouldn’t need a big
vet bill.”
“The Kandinskys have their own vet on the premises. Who
called you out?”
“It’s not one of their horses, actually. It’s Phil’s.
Remember him?” “Your friend from high school?”
“He’s been working there a year or so. They let him keep the
horse on the property. One of the perks.”
“But he can’t use their vet?”
Beth looked at her feet. “Phil’s family can’t afford their
vet. You know how that goes. We couldn’t afford him. His family doesn’t even
have pets, you know. They run a grocery store. The horse is his little sister’s
project. A 4H thing.”
“Well, tell Phil I said he called the right gal for the
“I don’t know, Jacob. It sounds really bad. These eye
things— the horse might need surgery.”
She found it unusually difficult to look at him, though she
was sure he was studying her with a suspicious stare by now. But she couldn’t
look at the truck either. Her eyes couldn’t find an object to rest on.
“All you can do is all you can do, Beth. That’ll be as true
after you’re licensed as it is now.”
“But I want to do miracles,” she said.
He chuckled at that, though she hadn’t been joking. “Don’t
we all.” He uncrossed his arms and put his hand on the doorknob, preparing to
go back inside. “I heard some big-shot Thoroughbred breeder is boarding some of
his studs there,” Jacob said. “Some friend of theirs passing through.”
“I heard that too.”
“Maybe that’ll be Phil’s miracle this time—an unexpected
guest, someone with the right know-how or the right resources who will come to
his horse’s rescue.”
“Angels unaware,” Beth said. “Something like that. Night,
Beth didn’t want him to go just yet. “Night.”
She lingered at the door while it closed, hoping he might
intuit what she didn’t have the courage to say.
When he didn’t, she committed to her original plan. She
descended the steps in a quiet rush, wanting to whisk the saddle away before he
could object to what he didn’t know. She wanted to be the one who did the good
works, who made the incredible rescue. She couldn’t help herself. It was her
father’s blood running through her heart.
On the driveway, her smooth-soled boots skimmed the dirt,
whispering back to her truck.
“It’s not your right to do it,” Jacob said. Beth gasped and
whirled at the sound of his voice, unexpected and loud and straight into her
ear, as if he’d been standing on her shoulder. “It’s not your gift to give.”
But the ranch house door was shut tight under the cone of
the porch light, and the bright window revealed nothing inside but heavy
furniture and cluttered tabletops. At the back of the house, a different door
closed heavily. Jacob was headed out to the bunk- house to check on Wally
Beth let her captured breath leave her lungs. She looked
around for an explanation, because she didn’t want to accept that the words
might have been uttered by a guilty conscience.
At the base of the porch steps, crouching in such darkness
that its black center sank into its surroundings, was the form of an unusually
large dog. Erect ears, broad head, slender body. A wolf. She had passed that
spot so closely seconds ago that she could have reached out and stroked its
She took one step backward. Of course, her mind was dreaming
this up because Wally had suggested a wolf to her. If he hadn’t, she might have
said the silhouette had the outline of a snowman. An inverted snowman guarding
the house from her lies. In May.
Beth stared at it for several seconds, oddly unable to
recall the landscape where she’d spent her entire life. She was distressed not
to be able to say from this distance and angle whether that was a shrub planted
there, or a fence post, or an old piece of equipment that hadn’t made it back
into the supply shed. When the shape of its edges seemed to shift and shudder without
actually moving at all, she decided that her eyes were being tricked by the
Convincing herself of this was almost as easy as justifying
her saddle theft.
She turned away from the house and hurried onward, looking back
only once.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Laboring over the Wednesday Hodgepodge

August is winding down and we're heading into Labor Day weekend. Joyce has some timely questions, as always, for us on the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Read and comment on my answers and then head on over to her blog to join the fun!

1. Americans will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. Do you know what we're actually celebrating? (without consulting your friends Google or wikipedia, ahem) What's a project you're currently 'laboring' over?>

My recollection: I believe we're celebrating laborers - the men and women who go to work every day and make an honest living and keep our communities and country productive.

Official meaning: Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor: The History of Labor Day

2. Labor Day also signals the unofficial end of summer for most of us...what summer food will you miss the most? If you're in the southern hemisphere feel free to substitute winter for summer.

FRUIT! Peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, plums. . . it's been a great summer for fresh fruit!

3. A well-known proverb states, 'It's easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission.' Your thoughts?

While I know it's often said in jest and about things that are inconsequential, this one always irks me a bit. It implies that it's okay to do something wrong as long as you make up for it later. Sure, it's easier. That doesn't mean it's right. It's a synonym for cheap grace.

Backing away from the soap box. . . .

4. Food critic, film critic, book critic, art critic....which hat would you most like to wear?

Well, this one's a no-brainer! Book critic, it is!

5. When you were a kid, who (besides your parents) was your favorite adult?

From the time I was about seven, there was a sweet young married couple in their late twenties at our church whom I adored. They were precious to me. They gave me Christmas and birthday gifts, took me swimming at their apartment a time or two, let me sit with them in church. The guy, especially, always liked to tease me. Their one child, a girl, was born when I was in seventh grade. It broke my heart when the wife died of cancer when I was in my twenties and engaged to be married; in fact, I attended her funeral and then went straight to one of my wedding showers. I've lost touch with him since he remarried and moved in the last 15 years or so.

6. The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, passed away last week. He was regarded as a hero by many generations of people all around the world. Do we still have modern day heroes? What makes someone a hero?

Sadly, celebrities are often confused for heroes today, but real heroes do exist! Heroes are those who give of themselves for a cause or purpose that is greater than the personal benefit they receive. For some, it might result in the ultimate sacrifice. Certainly there were plenty of heroes on 9/11, from Todd Beamer and others on Flight 93 to the many firefighters and others who labored at the Towers and the Pentagon. Many in our military are heroes.

Others simply live their daily lives as quiet heroes -- those who faithfully work every day in thankless jobs with little or no pay or recognition. Teachers. Caregivers. Parents, especially those of special needs children. Those who keep us safe, whether they be police officers or prison workers or those who are on the alert for terrorist threats. The list is endless.

7. I never get tired of __________________.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

School is now in session! My girl started Monday, and my boy starts his second year of college today.


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Living in Harmony

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


Mary Ellis is the author of many books, including A Widow's Hope, Sarah's Christmas Miracle, and A Marriage for Meghan. She and her husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.

She was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards for A Widow's Hope in 2010, and the winner of the Award of Merit in the Holt Medallion Awards for A Widow's Hope in 2010.


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

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

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

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

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

Watch the book trailer for Living in Harmony:

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


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Monday, August 27, 2012

My Interview with Lysa TerKeurst

One of the many highlights for me at ICRS in July was the chance to sit down with Lysa TerKeurst and talk about her new book, Unglued. I have had several opportunities to be with Lysa in the past and she is the real deal! I absolutely love her heart for God and her authenticity and willingness to share the realness of life with women. At the time we talked, Unglued was just a couple of weeks from its release date, August 7. It immediately landed at #8 on the NYT Bestselling List and is currently #5 (Paperback Advice & Misc.). Below is a bit about the book and then my interview with Lysa.

Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

Lysa TerKeurst
ISBN: 978-0310332794
August 2012/192 pages/$14.99

In Lysa's New York Times bestseller, Made to Crave, Lysa addresses what goes in her mouth. Now, in this highly anticipated next book, Unglued, Lysa addresses her battle with the words that come out of her mouth.

Filled with personal examples and Biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to:

  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships.
  • Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended.
  • Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication.
  • Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode or react somewhere in between.
  • Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.

"This is one brave and bold book that's as vulnerable as it is practical. No one knows His Word, His women and His way quite like Lysa TerKeurst. And once I started reading? I couldn't stop."
— Ann Voskamp

Lysa TerKeurst has once again written a book that will resonate with women across generations, economic statuses, and cultures. From the very beginning her trademark authenticity and relatability drew me in as she gave examples of times she has become "unglued" in relationships, whether with family or friends. Lysa identifies four reaction types --
  • Exploders that Blame Others
  • Exploders that Shame Themselves
  • Stuffers that Build Barriers
  • Stuffers that Collect Retaliation Rocks
-- and provides practical and Biblically-based ways that each of these individuals can change their responses to challenging interpersonal situations. I particularly love the fresh insight to the applicable Scripture verses that she shares as well as the encouragement that "imperfect progress" is the goal of improvement, as women often tend to think they need to change from failures to perfection overnight! Along with the affordable DVD Bible Study and workbook available, I highly recommend this for women to use individually as well as in groups.


I'm really picky about the non-fiction I read and yours are one of the few I love! I so appreciate how authentic you are. I know so many women are drawn to your books and your blog because of that; you are "one of us" and we can relate to you.

I don't have enough energy to put on airs that I'm anything but messy, so it's just a lot better! If I try to put on some kind of a front about how perfect I am, people can just spend a few minutes with me and start to see the imperfections quickly so it's just better if I lower their expectations right from the beginning! But I also think that if we're going to be effective in reaching people for Jesus, then we have to show how Jesus meets us at our point of need, which means we then have to expose our point of need. For me, that's really what it's all about. I think Jesus can shine more brightly when I reveal that He works in me, through me, and I need Him desperately, because let's face it: most women aren't walking around, thinking that they have it all together. They may want to portray that. But inside, we all have these nagging insecurities; we're very well aware of our own inadequacies, so why not just talk about it and show how Jesus can meet it right there? If you can give that hope to a woman, that's such a gift--that you don't have to get cleaned up and "gussied up" before you come to Jesus. Ask for Jesus' help right in the midst of the mess and you'll find Him there.

If you look at how Jesus interacted with people when He was here in the flesh, He went to the messy places. Why would I not want to invite Jesus to go to the messy places in my life? Because that's where He shows up and shines very brightly.

Can you talk a little bit about labels? I love how you used the example of the closet: you can have a messy closet but that doesn't mean that you're a mess.

I really struggle with this in my life. If my kids get the Best Student award, I walk around thinking, "Yes! I am a good mom!" and I put that label across my heart. But the reality is, if I build my identity on the fragile choices of my children, I will choke myself to death with that. The reality is that even God, the perfect parent, has kids that mess up. So why should it surprise me that I have kids that mess up? I can't determine my worth as a mother based on what my kids do or don't do.

It's the same thing as a friend. The reality is that some friendships last a lifetime and sometimes they don't. If you get into a messy situation with a friend, it's really easy to believe certain lies, like "I'm not a good friend. I'm a whacked-out woman." It's really easy to put those labels on yourself, just like the day in my closet. I had a messy closet. That's a situation in my life but it's not an identity marker. I've really started to listen to the way I talk to myself and labels I put on myself because they can become a self-fulfilled prophecy. If I walk around feeling like a mess, then chances are, I'm going to be a mess. I have to be really careful because that's not who Jesus set me up to be. Jesus set me up to be redeemed and forgiven and to walk in grace, fully realizing what a mess I am but receiving God's forgiveness moment by moment as I ask for it, as I repent for the things that are flaws and faults of mine, and then I can walk around feeling much more whole and able and less Unglued.

If I walk around and tell myself, "I'm just a woman who's unglued and I'll always be unglued, " that just short-circuits the hope Jesus offers to all of us. Not that I should walk around thinking "I'm fantastic! I'm 'all that and a bag of chips.'" That's going to lead you into a wrong direction too. Have a very balanced, grace-filled thought of who you are and how you are and mostly, all because of Jesus.

The book talks about the four types of people and the exploders vs the stuffers. On the stuffers, how do you balance addressing issues without being one who always has to address every little thing and can't just let things go?

There are several verses that address this. We've quoted these verses a lot but maybe never thought about them in this context. Think about Psalm 119:14 May the words of my mouth AND the meditations of my heart. . . See, that verse includes the exploder -- may the words that come out of my mouth -- and the stuffer -- the thoughts that are pushed down into my heart. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

There are two things we do with our emotions. They never sit still; they're always moving. We process them, and we express them. I want both of those--the words of my mouth (the expression) and the meditation of my heart (the processing)--to be honoring in the Lord's sight. It's really coming together and developing what I call soul integrity. Soul integrity is where you take the honesty of the exploder--that's the good thing that the exploder is bringing to the table--and the peacemaking of the stuffer--that's the good thing that the stuffer is bringing to the table--and you bring those two things together and make your honesty peacemaking and you make your peacemaking honest. When you bring those two things together, the Holy Spirit in that moment is going to be able to speak to you and say either, "Yes, that needs to be addressed," or "For heaven's sake, if that's the worst thing that happens today, it's still a great day. Let it go." You can process it in a healthy way.

Another great verse: A gentle answer turns away much wrath. Most people would just say that applies to the exploder, and it does because the exploder needs to be more gentle. But it also applies to the stuffer because the stuffer needs to give an answer; they need to bring a conversation to the table. That verse doesn't say "gentleness" or "gentle silence" turns away much wrath. No! It says a gentle answer turns away much wrath. So as a stuffer, if you're saying, "I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine," that's not true! You're not fine.

Proverbs 10 says, He who has hatred stored up in his heart but speaks with his mouth has lying lips. That's addressing the stuffer. If we have hatred in our heart but we're always trying to say nice things and we're not feeling it--it's not authentic--then we have lying lips. So the Bible is so clear about addressing both of those.

Think about the verse I gave earlier, A gentle answer turns away much wrath. The exploder needs to read it like this: A GENTLE answer turns away much wrath. The stuffer needs to read it like this: A gentle ANSWER turns away much wrath. It's fascinating when you study the Bible from the perspective of "I'm struggling with this and I need some answers." The verses just start to come alive in a brand-new way.

I'm really excited for people to read Unglued because I really feel that, if I can help people make imperfect progress--and that's the whole goal of the book; I'm not going to make your emotions line up in a single line and march in order and you're never going to mess up again! But if I can help you improve your ability to resolve conflict 10% better, which means I'll improve your relationships 10%--maybe for you it will be 20% or 30%. But if someone came up to you today and said, "Hey Linda, I can help your marriage, I can help your friendships, be 10% better," I think you'd take it. For some people, it's going to be a whole lot more. If I can help people in the moment of decision, in the midst of that conflict, know how to process and express in a way that's healthy and in a way that honors God, then I think we've done a good thing.

What is the best way that you recommend people "do" this book. I know it's really easy to read a book, think "that was good," and then put it on a shelf. Is there a Bible Study with it?

Yes, and it all releases at the same time. The book, the 6-week DVD curriculum, and the workbook all release in August. The workbook is fantastic! I partnered with a gal named Christine Anderson, and I think it will be my favorite Bible Study workbook ever. It's so creative and so fun!

There are three options for people if they want to do this as a Bible Study. Of course, you want to get the book, the workbook, and the DVD set. You can get it all in a bundle for under $50, which is amazing! Individually, the DVD set is $26.99, the workbook is $10.99, and the book is $14.99.

  • You can get the whole kit for less than $50 and go through it personally. That's less than you'd pay for one counseling session, and I promise you'll get way more out of this program than you would from just one counseling session! I'm a big proponent of counseling but I'm just saying, it's worth it! Fifty dollars is nothing when you're dealing with issues that really affect your life. So you can do it individually that way.
  • Or you can do it as a group, like a Sunday School class, that only lasts an hour. The workbook is set up so that if you only have an hour to meet as a group, it will direct you how to do it. Each DVD session is only 15-17 minutes, leaving plenty of time for discussion and questions, and the workbook is structured so that if you only have an hour, it will lead you through how to get through the whole curriculum using one hour for six weeks.
  • If you have two hours, like a group that meets in a home or during the week that's more flexible with the time, the workbook has enough activities to keep the discussions going for two hours

So it's really fantastic. Individual study, Sunday School curriculum, or small group: no matter how much time you have, you can get through it.

So what do you have next on the horizon? I know you aren't sitting still!

Well, I'm going to get through the release of Unglued. I'm very excited about this message. Next year I'm on tour with Women of Faith and I'll be giving this message with them. My next book I want to write, I'm pretty sure, is going to be a book on marriage. I haven't written on marriage in a long time but I'm celebrating my 20th anniversary this December and I've just learned some stuff in being in a very imperfect marriage for twenty years. I think I can speak to that woman who's well aware she's in an imperfect marriage and who wants to reintroduce fun and connectivity and a deeper sense of intimacy in her marriage. So I'm going to the topic in a very gut-honest way and I think it will really help people who are either newly married and want to get off on the right foot and those who have been married 15-20 years and feel like they've slipped into business partner mode with their spouse, reintroducing something really cool and exciting into their marriage.

I look forward to that. I know it will be real and authentic! Thank you so much for spending this time sharing with me!

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.


Read a sample chapter.

Lysa's live webcast last Thursday night on KLOVE drew so many folks that it crashed KLOVE'S servers! (Woohoo, Lysa!) You can view the webcast here.

Unglued website:

Lysa's website:

To purchase:

Book ($14.99)

Guide ($10.99)

DVD ($26.99)

Bundle (DVD, Participant's Guide, Book - $44.99)

Also available at Amazon:

DVD with Participant's Guide


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a PDF galley copy of Unglued from the publisher prior to my interview with Lysa TerKeurst. 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, August 24, 2012

The Choice

The Choice
Robert Whitlow
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401685614
Augst 2012/432 pages/$15.99

One young woman. Two very different roads. The choice will change everything.

Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ageless woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could . . . and has lived with the consequences.

More than thirty years later, a pregnant teen has come into her life, and Sandy’s long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her choice decision bring life . . . or death?


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

For more about Robert and his other books, visit


The Choice is essentially two stories in one: the story of Sandy's journey as an unwed pregnant teenager, and the contemporary tale of her current life as a teacher and the pregnant teen she reaches out to help. Robert Whitlow has crafted a story with characters that jump off the page--including some that I wished would go jump in the (proverbial) lake! The emotions, relational struggles, and family conflicts are palpable and realistically portray the heartache that accompanies an unwed teen pregnancy. Whitlow expertly weaves together the stories separated by decades and demonstrates how decisions have ripple effects for years to come. While many aspects of the novel could lead to a no-win, heartbreaking ending, the message of faith, forgiveness, and God's sovereignty is clearly evident. This would be a good book for a teen discussion group.

Win a Nook Color from Robert Whitlow in The Choice Giveaway. RSVP for 8/28 Facebook Party.

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

See what folks are saying about The Choice!

One "choice" winner will receive:
  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • A four book Robert Whitlow library (winner's choice)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. Winner will be announced at the

"The Choice" Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/28
. Meet Robert, get a sneak peek of his next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

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

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

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

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity. 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, August 23, 2012

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl
Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith

compiled by Margaret McSweeney
(Inspiring Voices/Guideposts)
ISBN: 978-1462401581
May 2012/166 pages/$12.99

Like oysters, women often encounter unexpected grit during their everyday lives. In response, God’s love and grace covers this grit and transforms the pain into a precious pearl that leaves a layered, luminous lining within a shell: Mother of Pearl. This brilliant luster is strong, lasting, and purposeful—just like the love, lessons, and legacies left by the special women in our lives.

Mother of Pearl celebrates the collective iridescence of motherhood. Margaret McSweeney presents a collection of heartfelt vignettes from authors who communicate the importance of the unique relationships between mothers and their children, between granddaughters and grandmothers and between children and the mother-figures in their lives.

These stories tell of the power of faith, prayer, and values, exploring coming of age, the joy of becoming a mother, the importance of motherhood, the ways to heal from a bad relationship with a mother and weathering the death of a special loved one. Poignant and thought-provoking, the stories serve to inspire, encourage, instill hope, and strengthen faith.

The proceeds from the sale of Mother of Pearl will be donated to organizations helping struggling women and children. The charities include Wings (Women in Need Growing Stronger) to help fund the Safe House in the Chicago suburbs and to Hands of Hope to help build wells for schoolchildren in Zambia.


Margaret McSweeney is a well-published author often writing online articles for Make It Better (the former North Shore Magazine) and freelance articles for the Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. In addition, she has authored and compiled several books including A Mother’s Heart Knows; Go Back and Be Happy; Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, Mother of Pearl and Aftermath.

With a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in international business, Margaret became a vice-president in the corporate finance division of a New York City bank and worked there 1986–93.

As founder of Pearl Girls, Margaret collaborates with other writers on projects to help fund a safe house for WINGS, an organization that helps women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, and to build wells for schoolchildren in Uganda through Hands of Hope. For the past 10 years she has served on the board of directors and leadership advisory board for WINGS. Margaret lives with her husband and 2 daughters in the Chicago suburbs.


This is a heartwarming book full of anecdotes, stories and tributes to mothers, grandmothers, and daughters and the relationships between them. Each brief chapter is written by a different author. I loved reading the passages from such authors as Suzanne Woods Fisher, Tricia Goyer, Lis Wiehl, Cheryl Wyatt, Julie Lessman, Robin Jones Gunn, Erin Healy, Cara Putman, Babbie Mason, and many more. They made me smile, brought a tear, and most of all, encouraged and inspired me. You can read through this book from start to finish or by "hop-skip-&-jump." And with proceeds from the sale of the book going to organizations which help women and children, you'll want to pick up several as gifts for upcoming special occasions!

Margaret McSweeney's Mother of Pearl Facebook Party! {9/4} RSVP today.

To celebrate the release of Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith I'm hosting an evening of chat, laughter, and encouragement on Facebook!

I've invited the Pearl Girl contributors to join us on the evening of September 4th. I'd be so honored if you'd come too!

We'll be giving away a ton of fun stuff {books, gift certificates and a Beautiful Pearl Necklace set}.

Mother of Pearl celebrates the collective iridescence of motherhood. We'll gather to connect, be encouraged and make some new friends!

So RSVP today and then come back on September 4th (at 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, and 8pm Eastern) and join us for the "Pearl" party. Let's share our stories and encourage one another.

We'll also have an update from the charities involved with Pearl Girls, Wings and Hands of Hope.

(See what others are saying about Mother of Pearl.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Guidepost and Litfuse Publicity. 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, August 22, 2012

A Tropical Wednesday Hodgepodge

The Wednesday Hodgepodge has a punch to it this week. . . Hawaiian, that is! (Sorry, couldn't resist!) Read my answers to Joyce's questions and then head over her blog and join the fun!

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US state. Have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?

I've never been to Hawaii. It would be fun to go, but it's actually not at the top of my list. As for the preferred flower, it's a toss-up. Probably a hibiscus. I like the fuschia/purplish colors.

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?

I love fresh pineapple just by itself and on pizza!

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.

Well, with regards to shoes, yes, but I guess that would be sole mates! :-)

That's such a New Age-y term, but I do think that we do connect on a deeper level with some people more than others. And the Holy Spirit in us recognizes and responds to the Holy Spirit in others and that forges a bond that is absent in relationships with non-believers.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.

It was tiny, but I never realized how tiny until I was an adult. My parents raised four kids in a house that was about 1100 s.f. It was our normal, so we didn't think anything about it. And back in the 60's people didn't have all the "stuff" we have today.

5. Are you comfortable with silence?

I was tempted just to leave a blank space for this one! Yes, silence is perfectly fine me. Sometimes I prefer it!

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)

Grab a shoe or yell for my man!

7. My idea of fun does NOT include ______________.

. . .anything requiring athletic ability.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today is my girl's 17th birthday! She starts her senior year in high school on Monday. I miss my precious baby, but a sweet young lady with a heart for God and others has taken her place!


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Face of Heaven

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Face of Heaven
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)
Murray Pura


Murray Pura was born and raised in Manitoba, just north of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He has published several novels and short story collections in Canada, and has been short-listed for a number of awards. His first books to be published in the United States are the inspirational works Rooted and Streams (both by Zondervan in 2010). His first novel to debut in the USA is A Bride’s Flight from Virginia City, Montana (Barbour), which was released January 2012. The second, The Wings of Morning, will be published by Harvest House on February 1. Both of these novels center around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family's barn. When the men are captured and returned to their plantation, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King, find themselves at odds with their pacifist Amish colony

Nathaniel enlists in what will become the famous Iron Brigade of the Union Army. Lyndel enters the fray as a Brigade nurse on the battlefield, sticking close to Nathaniel as they both witness the horrors of war--including the battles at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Antietam. Despite the pair's heroic sacrifices, the Amish only see that Lyndel and Nathaniel have become part of the war effort, and both are banished.

And a severe battle wound at Gettysburg threatens Nathaniel's life. Lyndel must call upon her faith in God to endure the savage conflict and to face its painful aftermath, not knowing if Nathaniel is alive or dead. Will the momentous battle change her life forever, just as it will change the course of the war and the history of her country?

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


Many novels have been written about the Civil War. This is the first one I've read that intersects it with a peace-loving Amish community - a community which is turned upside down when the slavery question literally lands in the back yard of their members. This is a captivating novel that portrays the spiritual struggles of the war that tore the nation asunder. . . and the only hope for peace.


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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Haven

The Haven
Suzanne Woods Fisher
ISBN: 978-0800719883
August 2012/314 pages/$14.99

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

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

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

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

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

Read an excerpt!

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

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

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

Curling up with a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of my favorite things to do! Since I had the delight of meeting Suzanne in person last year, it makes her books even more enjoyable (although meeting an author doesn't ensure an automatic positive review). I absolutely loved the first book in this series, The Keeper (my review is here) and was eager to return to Stoney Ridge and catch up with Sadie Lapp and her family. This one swept my heart away from the very beginning. Like Sadie, I found myself a bit torn at times between Gideon and Will. Sadie's situation was quite unexpected, and when her reputation began to suffer, I wondered at times why she didn't speak up and defend herself. I was amazed at the depth of layers that began to be revealed as the story progressed. This novel has a powerful message about love and family woven into its pages. One of my favorite characters is Sadie's younger sister, Mary Kate, who once again is vexed by her schoolmate Jimmy Fisher. Those two get each other into more trouble! I'm already looking forward to the next book, The Lesson, which will be released in January and features Mary Kate! Don't miss The Haven and this series!

See what folks are saying about The Haven!

Celebrate the newest book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series with Suzanne by entering her 4 eReader Giveaway and Facebook Party and RSVPing for the Live Video Chat on 8/30! 

Four grand prize winners will receive:
  • A Brand new Kindle Fire or Nook Color 
  • $25 or Barnes& Gift certificate 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 29th. Winner will be announced at Suzanne's Live Author Chat Party on 8/30. Suzanne will be hosting an author chat (party will start on Facebook AND then be Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and several Burt's Bees® Nourishing Radiance Kits!!

So grab your copy of The Haven and join Suzanne on the evening of the August 30th for a fun chat (both on Facebook and via Live Video), trivia contest and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell and Litfuse Publicity 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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