Monday, March 31, 2014

Sincerely Yours

Sincerely Yours
A Novella Collection
Jane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot,
Laurie Alice Eakes, Ann Shorey
ISBN: 978-0800722043
April 2014/384 pages/$14.99

Four unexpected letters. Four intrepid women. Four lives changed forever.

Spanning a century and a continent, these romantic novellas will lead you on a journey through the landscape of love. Four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote hospital, you'll be swept into the lives of women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.

Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
Camilla Renfrew is a highborn English lady fleeing false accusations when she runs smack into love on a steamboat bound for the new Erie Canal. But can this unexpected attraction survive the treacherous journey?

Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey
Marigold Montgomery Bentley writes marriage advice for Kipler's Home Weekly even though she is single. Everyone assumes from the initials that "M. M." is a man. When the editor asks to meet Mr. Bentley, can Merrie come up with a ruse to keep her writing job?

One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
Lorraine Caldwell will lose her family fortune to a reckless cousin if she doesn't marry quickly. When she learns her long-lost brother is alive, she hopes she's found the answer to her problems. What she finds instead is a mysterious carousel carver who turns her life upside down.

A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick
Grace Hathaway must rescue a dear friend from a remote and notorious clinic that promises healing but delivers only heartache. In a place laced with deceit, where lives hang in the balance, whom can she trust to help her?


Photo Credit:
© Carole Marie Photography
Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader's Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Many of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections. You can also read her work in more than fifty publications, including Decision, Private Pilot, and Daily Guideposts. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, Christmas Roses, Summer of Promise, and Waiting for Spring. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers Best. She lives in Wyoming. Find out more at

Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats. Learn more about her at

Ann Shorey is the author of the At Home in Beldon Grove series, Where Wildflowers Bloom, and When the Heart Heals. 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. Learn more at


I generally don't pick up individual novellas because they are just too short for me since I am such a quick reader. However, I do enjoy collections like this of novellas by different authors with a common theme or even connected characters. This collection contains four novellas that are actually very different and stand alone; they are tied together by the common threads of being historical romances and the fact that a letter received by the heroine plays a significant part in the story. Although I have read very little that Jane Kirkpatrick has written, I have enjoyed several books by Amanda Cabot, Ann Shorey, and Laurie Alice Eakes, so I knew to expect intriguing stories from their pens. As expected, the tales are charming with likeable characters whose dilemmas drew me in on the opening pages. While the brevity of each novella required that the pace move quickly, none of them felt rushed, and the resolutions were satisfying. This is a great book to tuck in your bag or car for those waiting times when you need a quick, light read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Amanda Cabot and Revell Books 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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Friday, March 28, 2014

Look What I've Got!

I am so excited to hold in my hands the very latest from Tamera Alexander, A Beauty So Rare! I have been eagerly anticipating this book since I closed the pages on her first Belmont Mansion novel, A Lasting Impression. Unfortunately, Tammy doesn't write as quickly as I read. (What's up with that?! LOL) And of course, there was that other phenomenal novel which she released last year between the two, To Whisper Her Name, the first in the Belle Meade Plantation series. These two series will intertwine, not only in their release dates, but in some common characters, as the real-life owners of the two plantations knew each other. However, each book will stand alone and can be read apart from their respective series. (Although why anyone would ever miss one of Tammy's novels is, quite frankly, beyond my comprehensions!)

But I digress. With my girl's spring break winding down and after sending her off to visit a friend, I began reading A Beauty So Rare last night, and oh! I wish I didn't have to work the next three days! I wanted to stay up all night and read!

Just to whet your appetite, here's a sneak peek for you, an excerpt from this engrossing novel which features Eleanor Braddock, niece of Belmont Mansion owner Adelicia Acklen, and Archduke Marcus Gottfried.

Click the title to read an excerpt of A Beauty So Rare!

And if you missed it when I shared it a week or two ago, here is the trailer for the story!

Be watching for my review, coming soon, which will include a giveaway!


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies

Dancing with Fireflies
A Chapel Springs Romance (Book 2)
Denise Hunter
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401687021
March 2014/352 pages/$15.99

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.


Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn’t writing, she’s busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Find out more about Denise at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.


After reading the first Chapel Springs Romance, Barefoot Summer (reviewed here), I was eager to revisit the McKinley family and this charming community in the second book of this delightful series. Each book can be easily read as a stand-alone although I urge you not to miss a single one of these novels. Denise Hunter has once again created endearing characters and a captivating story that both delights and inspires. Jade's struggles are believable and realistically portrayed, as is her relationship with Daniel. One of the best contemporary romance novels I've read this year, Dancing with Fireflies is a must for your spring reading list. Don't miss it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. 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.”

Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 

Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.


One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via 
and increase your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on the 10th!


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What Follows After

What Follows After
Dan Walsh
ISBN: 978-0800721206
March 2014/320 pages/$14.99

In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.


Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion, as well as The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley. He has won three Carol awards, and three of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year (2011-2013). Dan lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit for more.

Dan Walsh is a master storyteller, and when I open one of his books, I know that What Follows After will resonate with my heart and soul. This novel certainly met my expectations and more. Walsh peels back the facade from the seemingly idyllic days of the early 1960's, when Camelot described a presidency, everyone went to church, and social expectations were clear--while the reality was that a missile crisis sparked fears of world nuclear annihilation, religion didn't equate with living like Christ would, and racial inequalities and tensions simmered to a boil. Simultaneously terrible and tender, this story will grab your heart and won't let go as you peek into the lives of this broken family and see the impact of their parents' choices on Colt and Timmy. Walsh paces the story perfectly, befitting both the time and the plot, though several agonizing moments made me turn the pages faster, eagerly seeking the hoped-for resolution. Although no longer pastoring a church, Dan Walsh continues to minister through his stories, and I expect this one to be instrumental in saving families from destruction. Keep a tissue nearby but don't miss this thoroughly satisfying tale of love, family, and forgiveness. Highly recommended!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Revell Books 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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Monday, March 24, 2014

Summer of Joy

Summer of Joy
(The Heart of Hollyhill)
Ann Gabhart
ISBN: 978-0800731700
March 2014/352 pages/$14.99

As summer draws to a close, Jocie's world seems serene--but is it just the calm before a storm?

Unbeknownst to Jocie Brooke and her family, two people are making their way to the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. One everyone thought was gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of. Still, one thing is sure--they promise trouble. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy strong relationships that everyone has simply taken for granted.

The summer of 1964 may be winding down, but the controversy in this little community where nothing ever seems to change is just heating up.

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you to Hollyhill for a story both exciting and enduring that will stick with you long after you turn the last page.

Read an excerpt.


Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at

Ann Gabhart writes stories that exude emotion, and her Heart of Hollyhill series is no exception. I was captivated by the first book in this series, The Scent of Lilacs (reviewed here), but somehow missed the second novel, Orchard of Hope. However, I had no difficulty settling right back into this Kentucky community in this third book. Once again, Jocie crept her way into my heart immediately. Gabhart ably portrays the nuances and tensions of the early sixties and the upheaval that the Brooke family-as well as the small town, itself-experiences. (My one frustration with the book was the inconsistent timing of the story's description, which places it in the waning summer of 1964, when the book actually begins with the town decked out for the for the 1964 Christmas parade.) A tender and poignant read, Summer of Joy will touch your heart.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Revell Books 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, March 20, 2014

Hollywood, Texas

Hollywood, Texas
The Brides of Texas Novellas
Kathleen Y'Barbo
ASIN: B00IK8528E
February 2014/71 pages/$1.99

Movie industry insiders may call actress Amy Foreman the next Grace Kelley, but Texas veterinarian Adam Chambers calls her the woman who broke his heart. Now she’s grooming dogs in his clinic while the trouble she left back in California untangles in her absence.

Where does a woman with the most famous face in America go to hide? Home, of course. From Hollywood, Texas to Hollywood, California and back again…can a small town veterinarian and a famous hometown movie star rekindle their lost love?


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 (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license. Visit her website to learn more about her and her books.


When the opening paragraphs revealed a well-known actress on the porch of her first love in the tiny Texas hometown that shares only a name with her California life, I knew I was in for a lively and captivating read and Kathleen Y'Barbo did not disappoint. Since this is a novella, the story moves quickly but Y'Barbo manages to pack a lot in this tiny tome. Endearing characters, a whisper of danger, and a charming romance make this an enjoyable addition to your springtime reading list.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from Kathleen Y'Barbo. 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, March 19, 2014

Springing into the Hodgepodge

1. Thursday marks the first day of celebrate would you rather plant a garden or go for a walk in the woods? Would either of those activities be possible on Thursday where you live?

Go for a walk. And yes, here in Texas either of those activities would be possible weather-wise. However, I'll be at work, so I'll barely see the sun.

2. When did someone last spring something on you? (or when did you last spring something on someone?)

Happens all the time at work!

3. We often think of spring as a time for new beginnings. What's something you'd like to start doing this spring?

Sleeping more. LOL

4. Where do you like to sit in a movie theatre? When did you last sit there, and what were you watching?

Just a bit closer than half-way. My girl and I were closer than that but the last movie I saw was Saving Mr. Banks. Loved it.

5. When you meet someone for the very first time, what do you want them to think about you?

Assuming this is a social context, I generally hope they would think I'm someone they would like to get to know better.

6. March is frozen food month (yes, really!). Besides ice cream (gotta make you think a little) what's your most often purchased frozen food item?

Frozen broccoli. Or if my boy is home, frozen waffles.

7. What's something you avoid?


8. Insert your own random thought here.

My girl comes home for spring break Friday! And my schedule has worked out that I'll have several days off with her. Can't wait!


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Sky Without Stars - Win a Kindle Fire HDX!

A Sky Without Stars
(Quilts of Love)
Linda S. Clare
(Abingdon Press)
ISBN: 978-1426752797
February 2014/272 pages/$13.99

In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father’s killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Vandergriff, a half-Lakota who’s also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.


Linda S. Clare is an award-winning coauthor of three books, including Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them (with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp), Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, and Making Peace with a Dangerous God (with Kristen Johnson Ingram). She is also the author of The Fence My Father Built. She has taught college-level creative writing classes for seven years, and edits and mentors writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter and church retreat leader. She and her husband of thirty-one years have four grown children, including a set of twins. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their five wayward cats: Oliver, Xena the Warrior Kitty, Paladine, Melchior, and Mamma Mia!

Find out more about Linda S. at


Like many Quilts of Love novelists before her, Linda S. Clare has woven a story around the making of a very special quilt. As a quilt is pieced together from very differing swatches, Linda S. Clare has woven a story that bridges two very different cultures, the Lakota and the white man's. The disparity, distrust, and disdain between the two groups are well-portrayed, as are the struggles of those who, like Frankie Chasing Bear and Nick Vandergriff find themselves straddling both environments. While not unexpected, it was still heart-wrenching to read of the difficulties and animosity they faced at times. I was captivated by this story. The ending did seem somewhat rushed and fall a bit flat for me, considering the depth of earlier parts of the book. Overall, however, this is an enjoyable novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. 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.”

Don't miss this month's Quilts of Love book, A Star Without Stars, by Linda S. Clare. Linda is celebrating the release with a Kindle HDX giveaway and joining her fellow Quilts of Love authors, Barbara Cameron and Joyce Magnin, for a Facebook "Spring Fling" party on April 1st.


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 1st. Winner will be announced at the "Spring Fling" Facebook Party on April 1st. RSVP today and connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Barbara Cameron, Linda S. Clare, and Joyce Magnin, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, prizes, and an exclusive look at the next Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of Scraps of EvidenceA Sky Without Stars, and Maybelle in Stitches and join Barbara, Linda, and Joyce on the evening of April 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page.
Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via
Hope to see you on April 1st!


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Monday, March 17, 2014

A Heart's Rebellion

A Heart's Rebellion
Ruth Axtell
ISBN: 978-0800720902
March 2014/352 pages/$14.99

In a world governed by unspoken rules, one young woman is about to break them all . . .

Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she's ready to take fashionable society by storm--and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it.

Can Jessamine trust her heart to lead her to a love that proves true through thick and thin? Or will her rash actions close the door on the life she really desires?

Lose yourself in Ruth Axtell's sumptuous story of discovering one's true self and finding true love.


Ruth Axtell is the author of many novels, including Moonlight Masquerade and Wild Rose, one of Booklist's Top Ten in Christian Fiction. Currently a resident of Downeast Maine, Axtell has lived in the Canary Islands, Miami, and the Netherlands. Learn more at

Lose yourself in a wonderful Regency romance with the latest from Ruth Axtell! This reads so well as a stand-alone that it took me awhile to realize that it's actually a follow-up to her previous release, Moonlight Masquerade (which I reviewed here). Axtell has once again created a wonderful cast of characters and I was swept up into the world of balls and calling cards and the proper etiquette of the 1815 London season. This is a thoroughly satisfying read that kept me eagerly turning pages. Don't miss it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Revell Books 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, March 13, 2014

How Sweet the Sound

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
How Sweet the Sound
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
Amy K. Sorrells


An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of How Sweet the Sound, go HERE.


Amy K. Sorrells has penned a Southern novel that has its roots in the Biblical story of Tamar and demonstrates the heartbreaking consequences of generational sin, while at the same time reminding the reader that God redeems and restores. Ripe with emotion, this is a solid debut offering by a promising new author. Recommended.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wearing o' the Green Hodgepodge

1. Do you have an interest in learning about your family's heritage? Why or why not? If you know a little bit about your roots, share an interesting piece of trivia or a fun fact about someone who goes way back on your family tree.

I'm not big on geneaology. I do know that I am distantly related to Mrs. Baird of Mrs. Baird's Bread, which you probably haven't heard of if you don't live in Texas! LOL I also found out fom a cousin a couple of weeks ago that I qualify to be a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas; My ancestors can be traced back to the days when Texas was an independent nation before it became a state in 1845.

2. Branch Rickey, the baseball exec credited with signing Jackie Robinson, is quoted as saying-

"Luck is the residue of design."

Agree or disagree? Why?

I'm not a big proponent of luck. I'd much rather trust Christ to guide my way!

3. In the town where you currently reside, what's your favorite green space?

I don't really have one. I'm not an outdoorsy type. It gives me a migraine.

4. Who is your favorite comedian?

Mark Lowry.

5. March is National Nutrition Month, and almost everyone needs to improve their diet in some way. What about you? How can you improve your nutrition on a daily basis? Will you try?

I have been trying. I need to eat more salads and other green leafy vegetables.

6. Which of these green expressions have you 'experienced' in recent weeks -green with envy, green thumb, green around the gills, or give the green light? Explain.

Well, I NEVER have a green thumb, I've (fortunately) not been green around the gills, and I try really hard not to be green with envy. So that leaves give the green light. Not sure how that applies but I haven't hit any major stumbling blocks.

7. Where is one place you don't mind waiting?

Anywhere I have a book with me!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It's Spring Break in Texas! I'm loving having my boy home from college this week. Unfortunately, my girl's break isn't for a couple of weeks. This is the first time they've had different breaks, and it's just a bit strange for this mom!


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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Life Support

Life Support
(Grace Medical)
Candace Calvert
(Tyndale House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-1414361130
March 2014/400 pages/$14.99

Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. It’s why she’s back in Houston. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family—and left Lauren with memories her heart can’t forget.

PA and single parent Elijah Landry is no stranger to stormy relationships, including one with his father, who is threatening him with a restraining order. It won’t stop Eli from protecting his disabled brother—or from making peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more.

But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Survival instincts take priority and everything changes. Can hope weather the storm?

Read an excerpt.


Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter and faith are the best medicines. Her Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series offer readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine—along with a soul-soothing prescription for hope. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, she makes her home in northern California. Connect with Candace on her website, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as her blog, Authors' Galley: Manuscripts and Wooden Spoons.


Candace Calvert is one of my must-read authors, and her Grace Medical series has endeared her to me even more. (Click the titles to read my reviews of the first two books, Trauma Plan and Rescue Team.) It's no secret that as a native Texan I love a book set in the Lone Star State, and Life Support takes place in Houston, where I was born and raised, so I felt an extra connection as the characters frequented areas of town familiar to me. Calvert weaves in delightful tidbits about the city without making it sound like a travelogue, not only making me want to return to this bustling metropolis, but prompting me to feel as if I might run into Lauren, Eli, and the rest of their families and coworkers. The controlled chaos of a busy ER pulses on the pages, and I could practically hear the beeping machines and wails of approaching sirens. An approaching hurricane's threat and its impact on the city and its medical facilities are well-portrayed and become a significant component of the story, a familiar scenario to anyone who has lived along the Gulf Coast. A bigger storm brewing, however, threatens the inner peace of Lauren and Eli as they deal with difficult personal family crises while juggling their jobs in the ER of Grace Medical. As Calvert expertly grafts difficult and relevant issues, with which many readers will identify, into these likable and credible characters' lives, she also administers a large dose of hope, proving why she is known as the author of "medical hope opera." If your spirits (or your reading list!) are sagging, Life Support will revive them! Take two--and give one to a friend!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Candace Calvert. 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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Monday, March 10, 2014

Counting the Days - Coming Soon!

Only two weeks until this eagerly anticipated novel releases! Tamera Alexander is a consummate author whose books hold a place of honor on my bookshelves. The first Belmont Mansion novel, A Lasting Impression, was absolutely breathtaking. And the ebook is available for a limited time for only $6.99!. (Read my review of that book here.)

A Beauty So Rare
A Belmont Mansion Novel
Tamera Alexander
(Bethany House)
ISBN: 978-0764206238
March 25, 2014/480 pages/$14.99

Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war--and still had one to fight.

Plain, practical Eleanor Braddock knows she will never marry, but with a dying soldier's last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America--and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path--building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.

Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows' and children's home run contrary to Eleanor's wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground--and a love neither of them expects. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.


Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, and the Carol Award. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children.

Tamera invites you visit her website, her blog, on Twitter, or Facebook.

Pre-order now on Amazon or your favorite online retailer.

Review coming soon!


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lip Reading

One of my favorite authors just released his latest book and I can'tt wait to read it! My review will be coming in early April, but I couldn't wait that long to tell you about it!

Lip Reading
Harry Kraus
(David C Cook)
ISBN: 978-0781405348
March 2014/432 pages/$14.99

She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She's really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she's tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it's not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.


As a board-certified surgeon, Harry Kraus has divided his professional life between Virginia and East Africa. His novel, "Could I Have This Dance?" was the number one CBA bestseller in the contemporary category. His novels are laced with his signature of medical realism. He has been both an ACFW Book of the Year and Christie Award for Inspirational Fiction finalist.

Harry loves miniature Schnauzers and motorcycles and is passionate about spreading the good news of GRACE. In addition to his love of writing fiction, he has written three non-fiction books: "Breathing Grace," "The Cure," and "Domesticated Jesus."

Visit his website: for information about books and to read his blog: Field Notes.
Visit his blog:


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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March of the Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday! I'm happy once again to be joining Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for her Wednesday Hodgepodge. Join the fun!

1. The expression 'mad as a March hare' originated with a fictional character who is distracted and frantic. When were you last 'mad as a March hare' and what was it that made you that way?

So we're considering mad in this context to mean distracted and frantic? Hmm. I generally stay pretty focused, but I do get a little hyper when things get super busy at work and I'm being pulled too many directions.

2. Mardi Gras this year falls on Tuesday, March 4th. Have you ever been to Mardi Gras, and if so what did you think? If not, do you have any interest in going? Purple, green, and gold are the colors of Mardi Gras. Which one is most prevalent in your wardrobe? How about in your home?

Mardi Gras holds no allure for me at all, primarily because the worldly concept of partying hard because you know you are going to "repent" the next day and give up something for Lent is repulsive and nothing more than cheap grace. (Not that I have a strong opinion or anything, LOL!)

As for the colors, I wear a lot of purple. And I guess gold is the most prevalent in my home, not because it is that prevalent but because the other two are not colors used by me in decorating and we have plenty of lamps and doorknobs, etc. that are gold-colored.

3. Are you old-fashioned?

Definitely. Although I prefer to think of it as appreciative of "classic" things and values.

4. Do you carefully plan your vacations, or do you prefer the days to be more spontaneous?

We do a mixture. We plan a lot of stuff, but we always leave some days empty just to do what we feel like or to just hang out in the hotel or condo and rest or read.

5. March is National Sauce Month...what's your favorite sauce, and what do you most often top with this sauce?

Well, since I live in Texas, that would be picante sauce! Put it on my fajitas and chips. I also love barbecue sauce. Oh, and chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream.

6. What's something that easily brings a tear to your eye?

Love. Especially those videos of the military guys coming home and surprising their loved ones.

7. If you could own any sports team, which one would it be and why?

I'd want to own the one that I could sell the quickest for the most amount of money and retire!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday was National Grammar Day! Did you leave any participles hanging or misplace any modifiers?!


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