Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Bloomin' Hodgepodge!

Welcome to Wednesday and another Hodgepodge! How can April be ending already? Joyce has another fun round of questions for us today!

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Are you blooming where you're planted as we begin the month of May?

I think so. And I certainly hope I'm not a bloomin' idiot! :-)

2. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no big deal, and 10 being full scale panic, rank your fear of spiders.

Probably a 1-2, as long as they're tiny. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with a scorpion or a brown recluse. I'd be pushing on toward 10 if that were the case!

3. May is National Salad Month (who knew???)...besides lettuce, what are two must-have ingredients in your favorite salad?

Sliced cucumbers. Boiled eggs.

Only two? That's not even fair! LOL And I'm not even a salad lover! But if I'm gonna have one, I want one with the aforementioned ingredients plus some crispy bacon, cheese, tomatoes, spinach, nuts, and Craisins. Just don't be putting any of those disgusting mushrooms on it, thankyouverymuch!

4. I (Joyce) mentioned on my blog last week that my Daughter1 will be moving to Washington State after she is married. Of the following sites in the Northwest, which would you most like to see in person-Crater Lake (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Vancouver (British Columbia), San Juan Islands (Washington), Mt. Rainer (Washington) Oregon Coast (Oregon), Mt. St. Helens (Washington), or Olympic National Park (Washington)

Ooh, I'd love to go to Vancouver. I've always wanted to go to Canada. I have been to Seattle once.

5. This coming weekend marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby...when did you last race (literally or figuratively) to cross a finish line?

Most days at work when we have admissions, I race to get the paperwork done so I can leave on time!

6. What is something little you love?

Dove Dark Chocolate

7. Would you say you are more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Elaborate.

I am definitely a visual and somewhat of a kinesthetic learner. Learning about a disease in theory was always a bit challenging, but I could have one patient with that diagnosis and it would "click." On the other hand, sometimes just knowing how things are used helps. I had a reputation for asking my high school Pre-Cal teacher daily "what is this used for?" in order to grasp a practical sense for what we were learning. In college, if I could have connected how microbiology related to nursing, I wouldn't have struggled with it as much.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

May 1st always brings this classic to mind! I'm not endorsing what it suggests, by any means, but I do love listening to Julie Andrews!


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paige Turned

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paige Turned
TH1NK (April 1, 2014)
Erynn Mangum


A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!

[Note from Mocha with Linda: Erynn and her husband just welcomed their second precious son, Parker, into the world in mid-March! For updates on her life (and adorable pictures!), check out Erynn's blog!


Despite her valiant efforts, Paige Alder seems stuck in chaos. Her new job as youth intern keeps her hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop all summer long, but at least she’s loving the one-on-one time she gets to spend with the girls. The unfortunate side-effect is that now, four weeks of laundry fills her apartment. Plus, she barely has time to help her sister and best friend with their weddings! And even worse? Something is definitely wrong between her and Tyler. She apologized for what he thought he saw happen with Luke. Can’t they move past it? Or could there be something he’s not telling her—something that could change everything?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Paige Turned, go HERE.


How I wish that Erynn Mangum had been writing books when I was in high school and college! I love her fresh writing style and the bits of humor she includes in her stories. Her characters are totally endearing and completely authentic. I love how she very portrays the faith journeys of the young adults in her books: down-to-earth, grappling with how to live out their faith, struggling with consistency and-at times-issues on which God is convicting them, and utterly believable. I highly recommend this book and series for young adult readers! (And as a word lover, I smile every time I read the titles: Paige Torn, Paige Rewritten (click the title for my review) and now, Paige Turned.


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Monday, April 28, 2014

Critical Condition

Critical Condition
Richard L. Mabry MD
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401687403
April 2014/336 pages/$15.99

Dr. Frasier couldn’t save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she’s fighting for her own life.

It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier’s colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.

Her “almost-fiancé” Dr. Mark Gilbert’s support only adds to Shannon’s feelings of guilt, since she can’t bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he’s just been diagnosed with leukemia.

Shannon thought it couldn’t get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, “What did he say before he died?”

With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.


A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Find out more about Richard at


Combining medical fiction with chilling suspense is what Dr. Richard Mabry does best, and Critical Condition is one of his finest. I absolutely couldn't put it down and read it in one day. I was riveted from the opening chapter and intrigued by the characters. Mabry moves the action and the emotion seamlessly between the hospital setting and Shannon's personal life as both are turned upside down by the events unfolding in her life. Plenty of twists and turns had me suspecting almost everyone in this thriller as the danger escalated, and the pages practically turned themselves. Shannon's spiritual struggles are smoothly and naturally woven into the story and made her a relatable character. With a satisfying conclusion that I didn't quite anticipate, Critical Condition belongs on your TBR list!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers & Litfuse Publicity Group 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.”

Richard Mabry's latest medical suspense, Critical Condition, is receiving high praise. USA TODAY says, "Mabry combines his medical expertise with a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat."

Richard is celebrating the release with a Kindle HDX giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Critical Condition by Richard Mabry

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 11th. Winner will be announced May 13th on Richard's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Richard's blog on May 13th to see if you won.


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Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Pelican Bride

Pelican Bride

Beth White
ISBN: 978-0800721978
April 2014/368 pages/$14.99

She's come to the New World to escape a perilous past. But has it followed her to these far shores?

It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Geneviève Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pélican bound for the distant Louisiana colony. Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old. Geneviève knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.

When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Geneviève realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonists and the native people surrounding them. And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within. Could the secret Geneviève harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry South in this luscious, layered tale.


Photo Credit:
© Wendy Wilson Photography
Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, her passion is writing historical romance with a southern drawl. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Learn more at


I enjoyed Beth White's earlier novels several years ago and am delighted that she has released another one. The Pelican Bride is set in the days when what is now Alabama was just a territory. Vivid imagery and credible characters whisk the reader three centuries back in time, giving a new appreciation for the hardships faced by the early settlers. Conflict abounds both within and without the walls of the fort, and it isn't clear which is more dangerous. Whoever believes that women are the weaker sex has never read of the women who arrived on ships such as the Pelican to marry strangers and populate this new land. Don't miss this tragic and tender tale!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker/Revell Publishers 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.”


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Friday, April 25, 2014

A Very Special Scavenger Hunt!

The month-long promotion of A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander is coming to a close but first, you are invited to join a very special Scavenger Hunt!

Join me for a Pinterest Scavenger Hunt and win 1 of 7 copies of USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander’s newest novel, A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series.

The questions are posted below and the giveaway runs through Sunday night, April 27. The answers to the questions can be found on Tamera's Pinterest page. Not on Pinterest? Doesn’t matter. You can still participate and find the answers by using this link.

Your answers must be submitted to (numbered 1 - 6) by Sunday, April 27, midnight Central to be entered into a drawing to win one of seven copies of A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series.

Questions for the Pinterest Scavenger Hunt

1. On the A Beauty So Rare board, find the pin that shares the seamstress who sewed the dress on the cover of A Beauty So Rare (featuring the heroine, Eleanor Braddock) and *click the pin* to discover what the seamstress’s most challenging part of making the pink dress was.
2. On the A Lasting Impression board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the desert seasons in her life––those times that helped her write about a certain relationship in her novel, A Beauty So Rare. *Click the pin* to learn what specific relationship Tamera mentions in that blog. It’s the relationship between which two people?
3. On the My Novels board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the inspiration behind A Beauty So Rare. *Click it* and watch the video to learn the true history that ties the Belmont Mansion (the setting of A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare) to the real Insane Asylum that existed in Nashville in the 19th century.
4. On the Recipes from my Novels board, what's the recipe from A Beauty So Rare that’s posted about most often on that board (doesn't necessarily have the most re-pins)? It's also a favorite of Eleanor's.
5. On the My Loves board, find the pin that references Easter weekend then *click it* to learn what kind of fish Tamera caught this past weekend.
6. On the My Novels board, find the pin for the book trailer for A Beauty So Rare, then *click it* to watch the video. What is it that Aunt Adelicia is determined to find for Eleanor?
7. BONUS: LIKE Tamera's Facebook Page for an extra chance to win.

In your email, remember to number your answers from 1 to 6, like this:
1. Answer
2. Answer
3. Answer
4. Answer
5. Answer
6. Answer

Hope you have fun with it!

Note: Pinterest is not sponsoring this promotion nor are they formally affiliated with it.

And here is one of my favorite quotes from the book. This isn't a spoiler, so don't assume a specific death prompted this. Eleanor is reflecting on the many widows she knows whose husbands perished in the War Between the States.


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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Amish Groom

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Amish Groom
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2014)
Mindy Starns Clark
Susan Meissner


Mindy Starns Clark Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her novels include A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, The Buck Stops Here, The Trouble with Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon, plus other books!

Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals. A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she's not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website:, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at


New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.

Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him.
When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?

A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.

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


I was intrigued when Susan Meissner told me at a conference last year that she would be collaborating with Mindy Starns Clark on an Amish novel. Although it seemed to start off a bit slowly, I attribute most of that to my being tired when I began reading it. It didn't take long to become immersed in the story and fascinated by the characters in this tale of a young man with one foot in the Englisch world, where he lived the first six years of his life, and one in the Amish world, where his grandparents raised him. This solid and compelling novel contains food for thought applicable to all walks of life as Tyler endeavors to find just where he belongs.


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An Earth-Shattering Hodgepodge

Yay! The Hodgepodge is back after taking a week off for Spring Break last week!

1. April 22nd is Earth Day. Are you inspired by nature? In what way?

I'm inspired to praise God when I see the beauty of His creation. How anyone can doubt His existence or His love boggles my mind. I love Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

2. Down to earth, four corners of the earth, move heaven and earth, not have an earthly chance, or salt of the earth...which earthly idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Can't say that I've encountered any of them, but I'm pretty down-to-earth so I'll go with that one.

3. Share one piece of advice you might give a newly engaged couple.

The best way to get over feeling irritated with the little things is to do something for the other person.

4. When did you last engage someone to perform a job, task, service, home repair, or improvement? On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the best) how would you rate their work and/or your satisfaction with the job or service provided?

We had some flooring put in last fall. They did a great job.

5. When did you last find yourself engaged in small talk? Are you awkward or an expert or somewhere in between?

There's usually a bit of small talk every day at work. I'm fine one-on-one with someone I know, but awful in situations with strangers, such as parties.

6. What was the last historic place you visited?

Last summer we were in Memphis and visited several historic places, including Beale Street.

7. The world would be a better place if we just__________________________.

...put God first in our lives.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Have I mentioned that I love spring?!

Leave me a comment then head on over to Joyce's blog and join the fun!


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Promise in Pieces

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Promise in Pieces
Abingdon Press (April 15, 2014)
Emily T. Wierenga


A Word from the Author:

I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend.

We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.

I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.

We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.

I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.

My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.

I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.

I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.

My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.

I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer.

I hope you’ll connect with me on FB:, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.

Peace to you friends,



After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever
happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Promise in Pieces, go HERE.


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate 100 Books!

A Sensible Arrangement
Lone Star Brides
Tracie Peterson
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764211881
April 2014/336 pages/$19.99

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.

Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.

Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?


Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana series and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.

Find out more about Tracie at


First of all, I have to extend my congratulations to Tracie Peterson on her centennial release! Publishing one hundred books is quite an accomplishment. I've enjoyed many of her previous books and eagerly curled up with this one. I was not disappointed. Peterson has taken the common scenario of the "mail order bride" and infused fresh life into it with the story of Marty Olson and Jake Wythe. While this is a brand-new series, I was delighted to realize that Marty was the five-year-old sister of Hannah in Taming the Sun, the first book in Peterson's 2012 Land of the Lone Star Series. (My review of that book is here.) Marty is all grown up now and so desperate to leave Texas that she travels to Denver to marry a man she's never met. Marty and Jake immediately endeared themselves to me. The rest of the town--not so much! LOL The snobbery and class distinction is well-portrayed, and while I shudder to think it was really that way, I suspect it was all too realistic. I particularly like how Peterson wove faith naturally into the story, using Marty's own struggles. A thoroughly satisfying historical romance, A Sensible Arrangement is, of course, a sensible addition to your reading list!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers & Litfuse Publicity Group 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.”

Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson's 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie's new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.

Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.
One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via
 FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on the 29th!


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't Miss Lip Reading!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lip Reading
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

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

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

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


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.

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


Harry Kraus solidifies his long-held spot on my list of must-read authors with this latest release. Realistic fiction which features believably flawed characters and conflicts, Lip Reading deeply touches the heart while providing a thoroughly satisfying read. The novel provides a fascinating peek into the conflicted nature of some within the pharmaceutical research industry--competitive and even predatory while simultaneously seeking to discover solutions to medical mysteries--and the opening scenes will forever change how I view "success rates." Uniquely and highly gifted as both a physician and author, Kraus has crafted a story so authentic that at one point I grabbed my nursing handbook to look up a pharmaceutical central to the story, convinced the medication was real! Dr. Rebecca Jackson's emotional, physical and professional struggles stirred my heart and kept me turning pages long into the night. Kraus's strongest gift, however, lies in his ability to weave in a subtle yet strong message of grace that gives the reader much to ponder. More than a riveting tale or an entertaining way to spend a few hours, Lip Reading will stay with you long after you turn the final pages. Another highly recommended offering from Harry Kraus MD!

[On a lighter note, the title and cover are exceptional, and the graphic used for the section breaks within chapters is so clever! And I'd love to ask Dr. Kraus about his research of the very specific lipstick varieties he mentions Dr. Rebecca Jackson using throughout the book! (Grin!)]


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


It is always an exciting day when the Christy Award Finalists are announced! I know I say it every year but this year there is an especially wonderful selection of books nominated. And although I thought that work would preclude my attending this year, it looks like I will get to be at ICRS and the Christy Award banquet in Atlanta in June! I am sooo excited! Here is the list of finalists from the Christy Award website. The hyperlinked titles will lead you to my reviews.


The 15th annual Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction will be presented June, 23 2014 in Atlanta.

The Christy Advisory Board is pleased to announce finalists for the 2014 Christy Awards honoring Christian fiction.

Every Waking Moment
by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

The Prayer Box
by Lisa Wingate (Tyndale House Publishers)

Stones for Bread
by Christa Parrish (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

(I don't even know what to do with this category - I loved Every. Single. One. of these books! Apparently, the judges are just as conflicted because the reason there are four nominees is because two of them tied! I wish they could all win!)

Dangerous Passage
by Lisa Harris (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Once Upon a Prince
by Rachel Hauck (Zondervan, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Rosemary Cottage
by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

by Irene Hannon (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
*This category includes four nominees due to a tie in scoring.

Firefly Island
by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel
by Melody Carlson (B&H Publishing Group)

Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)

Burning Sky
by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

A Cast of Stones
by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Dear Mr. Knightly
by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

All for a Story
by Allison Pittman (Tyndale House Publishers)
(I thought I reviewed this book; I remember reading it and loving it and I'm embarrassed that I never published my thoughts. I love Allison's writing!)

Burning Sky
by Lori Benton(WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Sweet Mercy
by Ann Tatlock (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Harvest of Gold
by Tessa Afshar (River North, from Moody Publishing)

Stealing the Preacher
by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Under a Blackberry Moon
by Serena B. Miller (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Dark Justice
by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing Group)
(This is the only category that I am going to tip my hand on. I really hope Brandilyn Collins wins. She is a phenomenal suspense author, and Dark Justice is her most chilling book yet.)

by Ted Dekker (FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group)

by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Cast of Stones
by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

by John W. Otte (Marcher Lord Press)


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