Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Interview with Hannah Alexander and a Giveaway!

Update Monday, 9/1/14 WINNER!

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I'm happy today to introduce you to Hannah Alexander. I was thrilled to meet her in Atlanta at ICRS back in June, as I have enjoyed her books for years, long before I ever heard of blogging or dreamed I'd ever get to review books! Hannah Alexander is actually a pen name of a husband and wife team, as you will learn in the interview below. Their most recent release is Hallowed Halls, which I reviewed here. I have an autographed copy of this book to give away at the end of the interview!

I'm so excited to meet you. I discovered your books in the library and read them long before I started blogging and reviewing books. I enjoyed the Girls Write Out blog when you blogged with Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, and Kristen Billerbeck, but y'all aren't doing that anymore..

No but I'm blogging at Christians Read. I blog every other Tuesday there. Vicki Hinze started that, and it's really growing. There are 16,000 people on it now.

Wow! How have I not known about that? I'll definitely check that out. Hannah Alexander is your pen name and you do all your writing and correspondence as that, correct?

Yes. We even have a mailing address, a post office box, that is in another town because people have come to my front door and knocked on the door!

I've noticed that recently you've been more upfront about saying "Hannah Alexander is the pen name of Cheryl and Mel Hodde."

We did and now I'm not doing it as much, but everyone knows anyway so why even bother? I tried it with this book that just came out, Hallowed Halls, and just said "husband and wife writing team." But part of what people like about us is that we tell our love story. Our pastor introduced us. I'd been through a horrible time. My husband divorced me for another woman – the whole bit. I'm very open about that. Then our pastor introduced us. The first time we met, we started talking on this arranged date, and I asked him how to paralyze somebody! He looked rather shocked and stammered a bit and I said, "Oh, just temporarily." I finally realized I had scared the guy to death, that he didn't know I'm a novelist. Once I explained that and that I wanted to do it just temporarily in a book, we started talking and he got really involved in it. That's when we started collaborating. He gives me all the medical information. He doesn't do the writing. He can't even figure out what I'm doing until I'm done. Then he reads it and helps me with the medical scenes, which I'm not doing as much now because I can't keep up with him and he's working too hard.

I've loved that because it drives me nuts when a book has inaccurate information. It's like watching a TV show and there's an IV hanging but it's not connected to the patient or it's not dripping.

That's why Mel can't watch medical shows on TV. He'll say, "you just killed that patient!" You have to have the realism because there are so many medical people that read. I've had so many people tell me, "Your books are really realistic." They're right! That's because my husband's a doctor. He'll make me get it right.

That's why I love your books and Harry Kraus's. He's still on my bucket list to meet in person, although we've connected by email and on FB.

Harry, yes! And now he's writing more about some of his experiences in Africa and I'm loving that. He was my favorite author long before I was ever published, when Mel and I first got married. We were at a marriage retreat and I met this woman and as we talked I mentioned he was my favorite author and she said "He's my cousin!" I told her I loved his writing because I love medicine. This was way back when during his early years of publishing They were third cousins and she went home and told him. Then we met him and his wife through writer's conferences and just loved them.

Your recent release is a new venture with the Jerry Jenkins Select. Is this potentially how you will do your books in the future? What publishing house have you previously worked with?

We were with Bethany House and then we did a couple of books with Barbour. When Steeple Hill Women's Fiction line began, we helped launch that. Our editor came in when we did and she retired last year. We had worked together ten years and I thought, "That's it. I can't work without Joan." So everything has changed. They've discontinued that line, which was long Women's Fiction, so the first book in the new series –I had ten books published in the Hideaway series, and one book was orphaned and just fell through the cracks. I had one book with Summerside, and it fell through the cracks because they lost their marketer and sold to Guideposts. I'm doing a few of the shorter ones, but there are so many restrictions. I have one set in 1855 and I can't use whisky, which was medicinal. The Jerry Jenkins Select was a great opportunity.

So will you do it like this again or go out on your own?

He [Jenkins] has so many different choices that you can make. I think I will probably do my e-books myself. But Jerry Jenkins is only going to be doing fiction once a year. From what I understand, he's doing fiction in the spring and non-fiction in the fall. And these are people who have been published forever, not new authors. I would like to continue, I think. It's been a rough learning experience for everyone and we're working out all the kinks, but I'm thinking it will be a good option and it looks like it's going to continue. I would like to work with him again. I'm already working on the next book in the series with Hallowed Halls. I'm all excited about it and I'm going to put it out as an e-book long before they get any hard copies out.

That was going to be my next question, what you are working on next!

I've had the title that I've wanted to write forever, A Class Act or A Very Class Act or something along those lines because it's a class of medical students.

This is the follow-up to Hallowed Halls.

Yes, and one of the secondary characters becomes the main character. When the book opens, she's in a fugue state and doesn't know why. Throughout the book we find out what horrible things have happened to her. She's a psychiatrist and gets too involved with her patients. Joy – the main character in the first book – is her best friend, so they work through it and find out what happened. I'm really excited about it and about the third book. It's women's fiction with some medical aspects and there will always be some mystery to it, but it won't be a murder mystery.

Do you plot or are you a pantser or both?

I do both. I used to sit down and think about exactly what I wanted, and write a scene out on a Post-it notes. I have a long dining room table, and I would write my scenes and then put them on the table and move them around and write from that. That would be my outline. Now, I just sit down and start writing. I go from character. I have to have my characters first, so I write a character sheet for each person. Then I write their stories and intermingle them. So it's character-driven but their plots are involved and I can weave them together. I usually have three vocal people that we are in their minds, three points of view.

Do you have the voices in your head that authors talk about?

No, but I have seen some of my characters on the street. Went running after one! (Laughs) And Mel went right along behind me. I said, "Mel, that's Lauren!" Lauren McCaffrey, from one of our old medical books. I said, "It's Lauren, it's really her!" Then I said, "Wait a minute! I can't go up and talk to her. She's going to freak out!"

Do you stay in control of your characters or do they sometimes surprise you?

I'm not surprised because I've been making up stories since before I could write. The creativity is just a part of me, and I just follow it along wherever it goes. Then I come back and I can edit because both sides of my brain work. My biggest problem is not to edit while I'm writing. I let my characters just lead me along. I have cried with them. And I found myself praying for one of them.

Oh, yes, I've read books where I think, "This is ridiculous. These people aren't even real and I feel like I need to pray for them!"

I know. It's really creepy when you think about it!

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Read! But I used to hike all the time. Then I developed fibromyalgia and my mother got sick, and I started taking care of her. She passed away and I kept getting sicker because of the emotional impact. I'm an only child and I have no children of my own, so the realization that I'm the only one left was hard. It's been a very difficult couple of years. I used to hike every week, and now I hike maybe twice a year. When Mel gets home from work we're both so tired from trying to get his new clinic started and so many things we're working on, we just sit down and watch television, shows like NCIS that will make me think about something I want to write. I'm just tired right now.

I've been wondering about your pen name. I read something that said you combined your names, and I can't figure out how you get Hannah Alexander from Cheryl and Mel!

We chose our names, and I chose the first name since I'm the one who does the writing. I chose Hannah because six months after we got married, I went through early menopause at 40. We wanted to have children. He was the man who would have been a wonderful father. So I identified with Hannah in the Bible before Samuel was born. Her hope was in the Lord, so I used Hannah because I identified so strongly with her. Then Mel liked Alexander because it means servant of mankind, and he feels that, as a doctor, he serves mankind. A plus is that it puts us up with Randy Alcorn on the A shelves in the bookstore and people can see us easily.

Thanks for sharing that. That makes your name so special. And thank you for taking the time to talk to me. It's been wonderful to get to know you!

Learn more about Hannah Alexander and her books at her website www.hannahalexander.com and connect with her on Facebook.


I have an autographed copy of Hallowed Halls to give to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Sunday (8/31/14) and I will draw a winner. Continental US residents only, please. You must include an email address. Void where prohibited. Winner will have 48 hours to respond when notified or another winner will be chosen.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

A Grand Design

A Grand Design
(Quilts of Love)
Amber Stockton
(Abingdon Press
ISBN: 978-1426773471
August 2014/208 pages/$13.99

A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?


Amber Stockton is an award‑winning author, a national speaker, and a direct‑sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards. Find out why readers love her by visiting her website AmberStockton.com and connecting with her on Facebook and Twitter.


This is a delightful addition to Abingdon's Quilts of Love series. Amber Stockton has created a charming story with engaging characters and placed them in a setting that makes me want to visit quaint Mackinac Island. And while I loved the story of Alyssa overcoming her past and the budding romance between her and Scott, perhaps my favorite part of the story is the loyal and long-time friendship between Alyssa and Libby, different though they may be. Don't miss A Grand Design!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced 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 Grand Design by Amber Stockton. Who hasn't struggled to let painful memories go and move into God's healing? You’ll be sure to love this heartfelt and encouraging tale set on historic Mackinac Island.

Celebrate August’s release by entering to win a Kindle from Quilts of Love and RSVPing for the "Fall into Fall" Facebook author chat party.

Quilts of Love Kindle HDX Giveaway, Amber Stockton, A Grand Design

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 16th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog. Plus make sure you RSVP to the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase
your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on October 7th!


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Alan Powell of Anthem Lights and The Song

Anyone who is around the younger crowd, especially girls, has probably heard of the group Anthem Lights. I had the privilege of meeting lead singer Alan Powell at ICRS in June and talking to him about their music as well as the latest project that is near and dear to his heart: the movie The Song, releasing in theaters September 26. Alan plays the lead character, Jedi King. Here's the blurb about the movie:

Aspiring singer—‐songwriter Jed King is struggling to catch a break and escape the long shadow of his famous father when he reluctantly agrees to a gig at a local vineyard harvest festival. Jed meets the vineyard owner’s daughter, Rose, and a romance quickly blooms. Soon after their wedding, Jed writes Rose “The Song,” which becomes a breakout hit. Suddenly thrust into a life of stardom and a world of temptation, his life and marriage begin to fall apart.

THE SONG was filmed on location in Nashville and Kentucky – known for American music and family. Both figure heavily in the film. Music is more than a score in THE SONG, it is the backdrop from which the story unfolds. Viewers who love American music, indie singer-songwriters or dream of the allure of the road, will especially love THE SONG.

Produced by a top-notch group of story tellers who believe in love, faith and family, THE SONG is opening nation-wide including resources to strengthen couples and families.


Here is my interview with Alan Powell:

It's great to meet you, and I know my daughter and her friend were particularly excited I had this interview scheduled! I understand you are a "preacher's kid." Did you have all the "PK" issues growing up, either the rebelliousness or the spoiled "do no wrong" issues?

I didn't. My parents are great and made sure I was pretty grounded. I'm just used to people paying attention to what I'm doing, for good or for bad. I'm not saying that's a good thing. People have always asked what I was doing and why I was doing it. That did prepare me for being an artist and now an actor. There's a lot of that. to realize there's a responsibility, that people are watching you, where are you leading them? I grew up with it, so that was pretty valuable. But my parents are great, and they weren't just teaching me the rules but the "why" for the rules. I think that's the difference. Kids who just know, "Don't touch the fire! Don't touch the fire!" They're going to touch the fire. But if you tell them why you don't touch the fire, then they may n ot touch it. That's a very elementary example, but I credit my parents. They're awesome people and they're more vested in God than the ministry, which is also a big delineation which is important.

Did you grow up always wanting to do music?

My sisters and I used to travel and sing Southern gospel, all the way through high school and even into college. I didn't like that kind of music, so I moved away from it and was actually studying to be a New Testament professor in college and fell in love with Greek and New Testament Greek. I was walking down that path and God used some very specific people in my life to tell me "I know you've moved away from it but you've got a thing over here in this music and I'd love to work with you." That opened the door, which eventually took me to L.A. I was there for a couple of years. As far as I can see, I've always had a passion for films, so when I was in L.A. I got an agent and met with some managers, and I would share with them my faith and what that means as far as what I will do and what I won't do. The response was always positive – "oh, that's so great! It's so refreshing to hear something like that." Than the very next day they'd send me on an audition where I would read the lines they would want me to read and ask "Didn't we just talk about this?" I can't tell you how many times I would leave an audition room , not even going into read, and call the newest manger and say, "Maybe I wasn't clear." Eventually, I decided that I can't act because I'm not willing to walk down those roads that someone has to do to act. Eventually, music took me to Nashville. I was in Nashville doing music and I got an email about The Song.

Anthem Lights does covers of other artists' songs, right? Do you sing any original material?

We do both. When we first got started we did the traditional form of marketing, basically playing everywhere all the time. We did 150+ shows a year for two years. I had one child at the time, and we were just gone way too much. We just decided that we were either going to stop or we were going to find a new way to garner an audience. We had done one cover on YouTube at that point, and it was doing really well. People were responding well to it. So we thought, what if we make this a thing? What if, instead of going on the road and leaving our families, we attempt to build an audience online? One of the strongest ways that we have been able to do that is through covers, singing other people's songs. The goal of that is just to garner an audience so we can introduce the original material, which is the message that we believe and that we want to infiltrate to those new fans and to those listening now because of those covers. So that's a large, large part of what we do and what has allowed us to continue doing that.

Is that a hard thing? Do you have to get permission to record?

No, it's a lot of legal stuff, but essentially, the short answer is no, it's not hard. If someone has recorded a song initially, anyone has license to record it. We just have to pay the publisher's fee and we pay the songwriter ten cents every time we sell one of them, and everybody's happy! A lot of legal stuff and we pay Bill to take care of it for us.

You don't do concerts anymore, then?

We do. We just don't do them nearly as often. We probably play three shows a month, which is much more manageable. I'm not kidding when I say we played over 150 shows a year. There are only 365 days in a year and there's travel time between those shows. So you're looking at being gone two-thirds of the year. And this is a schedule that most of the artists you know, that you hear on the radio, are forced to maintain. It's just really difficult.

I don't see how they do it. When they're on stage, it looks like this glamorous life, but it's not.

It is not at all. Not at all. They sleep in beds that are about as soft as this (he raps the table) on a bus moving 80 miles an hour. It's a calling and what they do impacts lives, and I respect that, for sure. But it's very, very difficult, no doubt. I drew from that experience in this movie. It's about a musician who's touring and gone, and all those things. I've been there.

And the temptations that come because they are away from their families so much. Some of them take their families with them.

But you can't do that every time. And Jed in the film asks Rose to come with him on multiple occasions and he's attempting to do everything he can to hold this thing together and it goes awry, if you will. But I drew from those similarities and conversations I've had with my wife and frustrations and ongoing issues we've had and what that does to a relationship. It was very, very exciting for me to be able to use those experiences to help encourage other people to prioritize their marriage in the way that they should.

Tell me about your family.

I am married and my oldest daughter, who I mentioned earlier, is almost four now. That's crazy to think about. And our youngest is fifteen months.

That's really hard, too, for the wife, being home with the baby.

That's the thing, too. That's what I love about the film from a marriage perspective. There are two sides to the story. There is the struggle that Jed certainly has, which is being gone and he's trying to get his wife out there. She won't come and he's out there doing what he feels like he's supposed to do to provide for the family. Then he comes home and there's the flip side of the story, which is "I've been there taking care of the child, taking care of the house, I haven't talked to you enough." Things that those of us who travel a lot – we get it! Those are conversations we've had and still do. I'd be lying if I didn't say that even to this day, when it's a week like this and I'm gone all week, when I'm not drawing from things I've learned from The Song, when I see her again, it would be easy to walk in and pretend like I haven't been gone. There's a settling in time. I still learn from this film in that regard, and I think people will as well.

Will there be other products besides the film?

The film is the flagship item and it will be supplemented with resources hosted by Kyle Idleman. There will be a DVD Bible Study with scenes from the film and teaching by Kyle Idleman from the Song of Solomon and briefly on Ecclesiastes. And it's not just for couples. It's for anyone interested in ever getting married, too. It does teach how to do the romance and the relationship up to marriage itself.

And there is a book coming out?

Yes, a novelization. We've been talking with the author, Chris Fabry, and he's been coming up with some back story. The theatrical release is September 26, and his book will come out between that release and the DVD release.

That sounds great. I can see his style of writing fitting the story.

That's what we've heard from many people. I'm excited to see what he does.

What's next on the horizon for you?

Between now and September I've cleared a lot of my schedule for this. I believe in this project, and I want to give it as much of a chance as we can and that means a lot of my time. Musically, I'm always creating content and doing video. I do have a few shows. It's fun for me to bounce back and forth between the film and my music. I feel very, very blessed, honestly, that I wake up in the morning and have the opportunity to provide for the family that I love so much doing things that I love, which right now is promoting a film that I'm passionate about and doing music that some people are enjoying.

So now for the awkward question. You're a Christian. This is not the secular world. But there are a lot of young girls who get all excited about you and Anthem Lights. I think about how girls used to act when they'd pass out and throw themselves at the Beatles.

That's a very stark contrast! (He laughs and shakes his head.) "You know, like the Beatles!"

Anyway, I know some girls who thought it was so cool that I was going to meet you. They aren't over the top, but girls do get crushes on celebrities. And you are a married man. Yet men have egos and like having women fawn over them and think that they are handsome and sexy, for lack of a better word. And it's got to be hard for your wife, too. How do you handle that as a Christian and not go the wrong direction and handle it appropriately?

Great question. It's interesting. No one had ever asked that before but in the last couple of months, I've gotten it a few times. I'm curious to know if something's changing about the brand that all of a sudden people are interested about it.

No, I just see the teen girls respond and I know how the secular world encourages it. And we're more aware not of the potential since several Christian musicians have been caught up in affairs.

That's true. And the secular world does play into it. Ultimately, it's a matter of perspective. It's really something God has been teaching me in life across the board recently. I mean, it's part of the gig, and I think that's totally okay, if I can be really blunt and honest. Part of the reason that I'm Jed in The Song is the appearance. That's what you need for Jed. And I had nothing to do that. I don't really understand physical appearance compliments. I just say, "Listen, I just showed up. I've got a mom and a dad and I look like a combination of them." I mean, I appreciate it but I had nothing to do with it! So it's understanding who you are.

Does your family keep you grounded and tell you you're not "all that?"

Yeah, they don't care! But from the stage every night, when I'm sharing between particular songs, I say, "We're not here because of us. We didn't come here so you would think these guys are awesome with a cool leather jacket. My wife thinks I'm cool, so I'm good." And I really mean that. Like I said, God has been teaching me some perspective. I appreciate the fans. I appreciate their admiration, for lack of a better term. I'm hoping that that turns into a response to the music or a response to the film. But I'm okay if the reason you came to the show is some sort of adoration in your mind. Whatever got you there. But if that's what you leave with, then I haven't done my job. So how I deal with it is just a matter of perspective. I love my wife and that goes so much deeper than physical. Don't get me wrong, she's HOT! But she's the mother of my children and the lady I'm going to do life with. I've been married for almost nine years now and I feel kinda like an old man at 29.

Oh my! You're only 29! (I shake my head and laugh, feeling very old!)

I am. I don't want to act like oh, that's not an issue for me because that's not true for anyone. The first step is denying that it's an issue. But my response is just perspective. They're gonna do what they're gonna do. I just have to ask daily that God will continue to help me see the world the way He sees the world. So that's what we do.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me, Alan. It's great to meet you. I look forward to seeing the movie The Song!

Thank you. It's been a pleasure!


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interview with Cynthia Ruchti

I always enjoy the opportunity to catch up with author Cynthia Ruchti. She is on the short list of a few women I know who just radiate God's grace whenever I am around her. I smile just thinking of our time chatting at ICRS. She is such a delight that it can be hard to stay on topic and officially interview her. Her books exude the same grace and hope that she does in person, and she shares a bit about her recent and upcoming offerings below. Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy learning more about this lovely lady!

I always love visiting with you. And wow! You are having such a great year! When the Morning Glory Blooms and Ragged Hope are winning all sorts of awards. When the Morning Glory Blooms just won the 2014 Christian Retailing's BEST Award and also the 2014 Selah Award, and
Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices was honored with the 2014 Christian Retailing's BEST Award, AWSA Golden Scrolls Book of the Year Second Place, and a 2014 Selah Award. Both of those books are so good and so impactful. Your books really minister to people.

Thank you! I want them to be great stories. I want them to have a base of a story that's going to be interesting to people, but to have you say that is really a blessing.

Your tagline is so appropriate.

My tagline is Hope that Glows in the Dark. I tell stories of Hope that Glows in the Dark, whether that's writing non-fiction or writing fiction. It's the calling card of everything I do.

That is what I feel when I read your pages and even when I talk to you. You have such a sweet countenance about you and you just radiate that hope and sweet spirit.

Thank you. The Lord had to rub a few rough edges off of me and bring me to a place of really realizing what's important in life and who is important in life. There was a moment in my junior high and senior high years when I had to decide if I was really going to be serious about this Jesus stuff or not, even though I'd known about God forever and as a young child had made a commitment that I was going to follow and obey Jesus with my life. But sometimes in those junior and senior high years you have to this moment of just kind of a recommitment of "do I mean it?" Someone had pointed out to me the verse in Psalm 37:4, if you delight in the Lord, He'll give you the desires of your heart, but they taught it from a whole different angle. Finally, I was beginning to understand it, that it wasn't a card that I could shove into a slot and if I just delight myself in the Lord, then all these desires of my heart were going to come.

He changes the desires!

Right! He changes the desires of our heart but also, what he was saying was, "You focus on delighting in Me; I'll take care of your heart's desires." And when I changed my thinking on that, and I do that with the books, too – "you focus on Me, you focus on ministering, you focus on writing a great story, you focus on reaching people, you focus on listening to them well enough that you can tell their stories in your novels or in your non-fiction, I'll take care of any 'heart's desires' kind of things." So then, when He comes along and blesses in things like having these books be recognized, that is just a fulfillment of that very thing. I had to quit seeking an ambition or even a new book to write and instead focus on just making Him my delight, and then the rest of it is going to follow. And in His way and in His time. So it's been a joy!

I'm thrilled for you! All My Belongings is your most recent release, and it just won the 2014 CAN (Christian Authors Network) Golden Scrolls Fiction Book of the Year. Oh my goodness! I knew it was going to be good because I know your books. But because of the stage of life that I'm in, it so touched my heart! Becca, the main character, is caring for a lady who has dementia so she's dealing with that, and she has some family issues and some things that her father has done and she has tried to get away from that by changing her identity. The way you built that story and the many layers were just incredible. And even though some of it was inferred in the back cover copy, I was so immersed in the story that I didn't see the final situation coming and it was so powerful!

I'm very glad you said that. My prayer was just what you expressed, that readers would be caught up in the story, moving along in the story, and not see that as a possibility at all and when it happens, it's shocking, even if you did read the back cover. Or not even shocking, so much, as a stunning blow. Yet another layer of something that was going to call her to the core of who was she and how was she going to respond, the way she had been cared for in the past or not. That happens so many times. She had such a lack of someone to care for and nurture her in her early days. How did she grow into a woman who was so skilled at caring for and nurturing others, even when it was very difficult no matter what the need was?

The thing that I like about it is that it speaks to what following Christ really means. You know? It's hard! And we want to make Christianity, especially here in the US, all about us, What's in it for us. This whole concept of laying down your life and living with an eternal perspective. . . .And I'm certainly not sitting here saying this like I have it all together and that I willingly do it. But it is definitely something to wrestle with. We never want to do anything that costs us.

How that relates into the book or even my own life, there have been caregiving times with my kids or grandkids with illness that were so hard to get through. Sometimes it can be as a new mom getting up with a newborn and wondering if he will ever sleep through the night! A little bit of reflection when I went through that time in 2012 caring for my husband after an injury when he needed total caregiving. There were days when I behaved myself very well as a caregiver and other days that I did not. In the middle of all that was that call to lay down my life. There's that call! But we are so good at ignoring that call. I love how the friends in All My Belongings lay down their lives for one another, how the men have their core group where they were trying to hold each other accountable and grow. These strong, tough, rugged, funny men were holding each other accountable and when there was a crisis, they were there because they were laying down whatever was on their schedule for what the need was.

So I'm glad you pointed that out because there's a lot of that. Some of it, I didn't even realize until I was done with the book, totally done writing and I traced back and saw that it came up again and again and again.

Sometimes it's not convenient! Most of the time it's not convenient! So I really liked that portrayal that sometimes you do the hard thing because it's the right thing, even when it's not the fun thing or the easy thing or the convenient thing. That really ministered to me and I think it's going to speak to a lot of people.

I pray it will.

What are you doing next?

I have a novel coming out in 2015 called As Waters gone by. It's the story of a woman who is trying to figure out how to sustain their marriage with that much distance between them, and the distance is that he's serving a five-year prison term. Most of the time, when someone heads to prison, that's the end of a marriage of it certainly has a very difficult time sustaining itself without a lot of hard work. But it's not so unlike someone who has a husband serving in Afghanistan. Or someone who has a long-distance trucker for a husband who is gone for long periods of time. How does this work that he's never here but we're still supposed to see each other in this husband/wife role? I'm the one who's making all the decisions but when he comes home he thinks he's supposed to step into a different role? How does that work? Well, it's much more complicated for Emmalyn in As Waters Gone By.

What is he serving time for?

There was an accident and a homeless man was paralyzed. There are some extenuating circumstances that will be revealed in the book and the courts knew Max needed to held culpable for his actions.

So it wasn't a criminal act that he committed.

Right. It was one of those things where any one of us could get caught up in a situation like that. He wasn't an evil man but he still had to pay for what he had done, for his mistake. It wasn't a long prison term but it came at the worst possible time in the life of this couple or for her heart's desires. She's lost the home they had; she had to sell their home because his income was gone. It's almost the end of the five years and he's about to be released and at this point she doesn't even know if he's coming home to her. There has been so much distance that he told her not to write to him and said it was better for her just to get a divorce, but she didn't want to do that. The prison system makes getting a divorce so easy! In some states, you can get a divorce for $1.50 if you are incarcerated. They make it way too easy!

So she runs into such a quirky bunch of people on Madeline Island. They had a hunting cabin that's in really rough shape. She lost their really nice house and now she's living in this hunting cabin that she's trying to fix up into a cottage on Lake Superior. The setting is beautiful. The cottage is just a wreck. As she goes through the process of determining how to live this exiled life and try to create a place where he can land if he chooses to come home when he's released, she encounters some really quirky characters. A couple of Jesus-loving characters and one whose husband is serving in Afghanistan who had re-enlisted for another tour of duty against her wishes, and she's a librarian and massage therapist who is now saddled with his roofing business! So their paths are not unalike. Both of those women have to find out how they are going to survive and how to rebuild a marriage from something like that between you. It is, I believe, a hope-giving story. It's based on some events from people that I dearly care about who are close to me and are going through some of the same things, and they are a living example that a marriage can thrive even when there is prison between you.

And for some people, the imprisonment is a health issue in a marriage. For some, one is a person of strong faith and the other is not, and it seems like there are bars, in some ways, that they just can't cross in order to be able to connect like they would want to on a deep level. So my prayer, my hope is that there will be readers who will see themselves in this even though there will be few, I would pray, who would be in this exact situation, a literal prison.

I can't wait to read it. It sounds incredible. Do you have any non-fiction in the works?

I do. I have a book due on August 1 to Abingdon Press. Abingdon has been so incredibly good to me, and they've been a great, great blessing. At these Christian Retailing Awards, they swept the awards. Their Bibles, their children's books, their non-fiction – a lot of categories. My non-fiction is the second book following Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices and is called Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Soul.

I love your titles!

Thank you! So there's this concept in the middle of that which is, when God does the mending, it's art. When we try to do it, it looks like a kindergartener took a needle and black thread against white. The true concept is that we resist mending. We throw things away. We don't patch much of anything anymore. We toss it.

I was just thinking about that when I recently had a little hole in my sock, remembering how my mother would darn socks when I was a child.

Exactly. That's part of our American culture now. If you have a problem, you get rid of the person. You don't problem-solve or find a way to take something that's shattered or fallen apart and fix it. I worked for a couple of years for one of the world's renowned knitters and her mother, who was the world's renowned knitter. As sometimes happens, there was a hole in a beautiful knit piece. The expert knitter said, "Let me show you how we repair that." She took the same color of wool and she wove in and out in the pattern of what the knitting would have been, and when she was finished, you could not tell there had ever been a hole there. It took careful work. It took skill. She had to learn how to do that and had practiced for a long time. But in the skilled hands of someone who knew what she was doing, she could make it so that you could not tell where the breach had been. The skill of a master.

When we submit to that process, that healing process, sometimes we're submitting to a long process for that healing. But when we get done, it is going to be so artful. We used to think of mending as scullery maid work, and just something to get done. But then there was that other level, the tailor artistry level where it could turn out not just repaired but better than ever, stronger than ever. A good surgeon can do that. When we have a scar, that scar is not a sign of ugliness or a sign of injury so much as it is a protective layer over what's in there – so strong and protective that sometimes, if a surgeon has to go in again, it's tough to get through because it's formed such a protective barrier.

Whether it's marriages or friendships – there are so many friendships that dissolve over something so small. So many family relationships get thrown out of whack by something so small. It could have been mended but they didn't want to mend, they wanted to walk away. That's what's coming in that book, and that will be out in 2015.

So I have a novel and a non-fiction releasing in 2015, another novel in 2016, and one in 2017. Then we'll see what's next. We're talking a little bit about another non-fiction idea that I have. We'll see if that comes in-between there somewhere.

That all sounds wonderful. On a personal level, what have you been up to?

On a personal level, I'm in a really good place of watching my grandkids come into their own and watching their personalities just blossom. Since they only live fifteen or twenty minutes away from me, that's a great joy. Working with ACFW involves a lot of time and work but practically every minute of it is joy, and that keeps me busy. I have to juggle all that just like many people do. They have a day job and their novel writing. My husband is nearing the age where he is going to be retired and home full-time and I'm in that place of figuring out if I'm going to have to write a book on what to you do with a guy who comes home! How are we going to keep him happy? We have two completely different ideas about what a "good day" is! My good day is full of work, and his good day is full of nothing, or his own choices, whether he goes fishing or hunting or whatever he wants to do, or nothing at all. That will be a good, interesting challenge.

Thank you so much for chatting with me. I always love catching up with you!

Thank you!

Click the titles to read my reviews of Cynthia Ruchti's books:

All My Belongings
Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices
When the Morning Glory Blooms>


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Bouquet of Love

A Bouquet of Love
Weddings by Design #4
Janice Thompson
ISBN: 978-0800721558
August 2014/352 pages/$14.99

She didn't expect to fall in love--but roses aren't the only thing blooming on Galveston Island

Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her boisterous Greek family--especially her father--has other ideas. They've all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant located on the Strand--directly across the street from iconic pizza place Parma John's--and they want Cassia's full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston's premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family's faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into this former Rossi's good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .

Read an excerpt.


Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.


I absolutely love Janice Thompson's books, especially her series that are set on Galveston Island right here in Texas. Her Weddings by Bella Series was such fun that I was thrilled that she spun off a second series with Weddings by Design, and it has been just as delightful. This final novel pulls out all the stops and showcases Thompson's talents at creating an engaging story with sympathetic characters whose inner struggles are easy to identify with, while at the same time peppering it with just the right amount of laughter and fun. At times it looks as though mayhem may take over both the story and the island due to the somewhat tumultuous relationships and emotionally-charged interactions that characterize the Pappas and Rossi families. However, Thompson's skillful character development and her steady faith thread provides the necessary balance and gives the story depth. In addition to familiar faces from the previous books in this series and the Weddings by Bella series, some of the folks from the Backstage Pass series make appearances as well, and the result made me want to climb through the pages and join the party! Don't miss this novel and this series, and grab Janice Thompson's other books as well. You'll be heading to Galveston before you can even finish them!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Revell 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.”

My reviews of the previous books in this series:

Picture Perfect (Weddings by Design #1)
The Icing on the Cake (Weddings by Design #2)
The Dream Dress (Weddings by Design #3)


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Friday, August 15, 2014

Christian Fiction Online Magazine Article

Click the cover above to open the August issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine and read my article with interview excerpts from ICRS 2014 in Atlanta! I'll continue to post the full interviews over the coming days. While you are there, check out more of CFOM - it's full of great articles!


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All for a Sister

All for a Sister
Allison Pittman
(Tyndale House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-1414366821
July 2014/368 pages/$14.99

In Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, Celeste DuFrane has it all. Her father’s work with color movie film opens doors that lead to the stardom she’s always aspired to. But after losing her mother, she discovers that half the estate has been left to a woman accused of killing Celeste’s baby sister before Celeste was even born.

Dana Lundgren arrives on the steps of the DuFrane mansion having spent most of her life imprisoned for a crime that never happened. After accusing her of murder so many years ago, why did Marguerite DuFrane leave her a sizeable inheritance?

As Celeste and Dana learn each other’s stories, they come up with more questions than answers. Then a surprising discovery begins to fill in the missing pieces: Marguerite DuFrane’s written confession, penned shortly before her death. Uncovering the treachery and deceit that changed the course of countless lives—most of all, their own—the two women find more than they ever dreamed of.

Read an excerpt.


Award-winning author Allison Pittman has penned more than twelve novels, including her series set in the Roaring Twenties—All for a Song, All For a Story (a 2014 Christy Award finalist), and All for a Sister. Allison resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella.

For more information, visit www.allisonpittman.com, Allison's Facebook page, or connect with her on Twitter.


I'm a big fan of Allison Pittman's writing. Her series set in the Roaring Twenties showcases the rapidly changing technology, hemlines, and morals that accompanied this decade. This story alternates between the setting of 1925 and the events of twenty years earlier while at the same time weaving in a confessional letter from Celeste's mother. As I read, I kept thinking of the old proverb, Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. A "cameo appearance" by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson adds to this fascinating tale.

isclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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, August 11, 2014

In Perfect Time

UPDATE Monday, 8/18/14, 8:20 pm CDT: WINNER!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2014-08-19 01:19:42 UTC

Congrats to R Merr! Email me your address, please, and I will send the book to you. Please reply within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

* * * * *

Giveaways are everywhere! Read my review and enter to win the Kindle HDX below, but don't miss my giveaway of a copy of this book to one of my readers at the end of the post!

In Perfect Time
Wings of the Nightingale Series
Sarah Sundin
ISBN: 978-0800720834
August 2014/416 pages/$14.99

Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love.

Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.

Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?


Sarah Sundin is the author of “With Every Letter” and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A “Memory Between Us” was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information. Follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Sarah Sundin writes great WW II novels and since I am a nurse, I have especially been loving this series that focuses on flight nurses. Only a skilled author can develop a character like Kay Jobson, heartily disliked as a secondary character in the first book and reluctantly tolerated in the second, but who experienced a turnaround and became someone I cheered for and actually liked in this final story. Sundin brings the series to a satisfying conclusion as the War winds down. Exasperating interchanges and misunderstandings which occur between Kay and Lt. Roger Cooper are authentic and believable as they navigate their past individual struggles and reconcile them with their beliefs. Though I hate to see this excellent series end, I'm already eagerly anticipating whatever Sundin is writing next!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Revell 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 Sarah Sundin's hot-off-the-press novel, In Perfect Time. Publishers Weekly gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up: “Sundin excels at well-researched historical detail . . . with such accurate depictions of culture and setting that we are fully immersed in the times as well as in the story. The strength of relationships forged in war and the apprehension of God in times of trouble infuse this well-crafted novel with substance and light.”


Sarah is celebrating the release of her book with a fun giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Wings of the Nightingale Series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. Winner will be announced August 25th at Sarah's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun;
enter today and be sure to visit Sarah's blog on the 25th to see if you won!
(Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement
delivered to your inbox!)


I have an additional copy of this book that I am giving to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 9:00 pm CDT Saturday (8/16/14) and I will choose a winner. Continental US residents only, please. You must include an email address to enter. Void where prohibited.


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

When I Fall in Love

When I Fall in Love
A Christiansen Family Novel
Susan May Warren
(Tyndale House)
ISBN: 978-1414378435
June 2014/400 pages/$14.99

Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.

Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.

Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.


Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award–winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Seven of her books have been Christy Award finalists, and two have won the Christy Award, including the first Christiansen Family Novel, Take a Chance on Me. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors. Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com


Susan May Warren writes such delightful books and I am especially loving her Christiansen Family series. She has cooked up another great novel with When I Fall in Love. Grace and Max are both compelling and likable, and Warren creates many humorous moments--and some not so funny ones as well!--in this charming tale. Both of them wrestle with realistic and identifiable issues to which many readers will relate, yet the setting and pace keeps the novel entertaining and upbeat while at the same time providing subtle life lessons. The cooking competition adds flavor and turns up the heat on both the relationship and the story, serving up food, fun, and a heaping helping of faith. I'm already eagerly anticipating the next installment in this great series!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers 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.”

Click the titles for my reviews of the first two books in this series:

Take a Chance on Me
It Had to be You

Susan May Warren's newest book in the Christiansen Family Collection, When I Fall In Love,  has won over readers' and critics' hearts alike. With critical reviews like, ". . . an exquisite romance. Profoundly touching on the topic of facing fears, this book is a true gem," and more than 60 five-star reviews at Amazon, When I Fall in Love is sure to please.

Susan has teamed up with some amazing food bloggers for a fun food challenge and a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Grab your aprons and wire whisks and buzz on over to the When I Fall in Love website to learn more and enter the Hawaiian Chef Showdown! Susan is challenging you to make a Hawaiian-inspired dish using coconut, mango, or one of the other ingredients mentioned in the book. You’ll get extra points for creating your own recipe—plus she might share it on the When I Fall in Love site! Or if you're not up for an adventure in the kitchen just click one of the icons below for easy entry.

Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 10th. All winners will be announced August 13th at Susan's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Susan's blog on the 13th to see if you won!


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Friday, August 8, 2014

Operation Zulu: Act of Treason

Operation Zulu Redemption:
Act of Treason - Part 4

Ronie Kendig
August 8, 2014/188 pages/$4.99

The Explosive Ending to a Brand-new 5-part Serial Novel!

It’s Zero hour for Zulu. They’ve been targeted, hunted, deceived, and betrayed. Zulu is crumbling in their pursuit of justice. Even rifts within the team are tearing them apart. Téya can’t seem to unravel her bizarre connection with deadly assassin The Turk—and it’s causing her team to question her loyalty. Annie is unable to focus and sort out her strong feelings for Trace and Sam—and she fears she’ll end up losing them both. Nuala vows to support Boone, but a devastating tragedy pushes her limits. And Trace hates sending the team on dangerous missions alone, but there are some secrets he can’t reveal. In the shocking, explosive finale of Operation Zulu: Redemption, Trace has one last plan to draw the enemy out and take them down—for good. But will it work? Who can they really trust? Ultimately, what price will justice demand?

Start the mission with Operation Zulu Redemption: The Beginning and don't miss any of these extended 200 page episodes....

Operation Zulu Redemption: Collateral Damage -- Part 1
Operation Zulu Redemption: Out of Nowhere -- Part 2
Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty -- Part 3
Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason -- Part 4

Ronie Kendig will leave you needing the next!


Whew! What a ride! Ronie Kendig wraps up her powerful serial novel with an intense finale that keeps turning up the heat until the final pages. This is not a casual read as rapid-fire action and quickly changing scenes keep the reader's heart and mind racing to keep up with the team and determine who or what lies around the next corner. Kendig excels at twists and surprises, and she stretches the tension to the very end. Don't miss this e-book, and be watching for the hard copy coming later this year!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this this e-book from Ronie Kendig and Barbour Publishing 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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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Keying in with the Hodgepodge

Ah, Joyce is so clever with her questions this week! I didn't even catch the common theme until I popped back on her blog to check something and noticed the italics on #3, and by then, I'd already answered all of the questions!

1. What would you say is the key to success?

While these are not guarantees of success, you won't find success without God's favor and hard work.

2. Have you ever been to the Florida Keys? Any desire to visit that part of the US of A?

Never been there. It would be nice to go, but it's not a burning desire.

3. When and where did you last see a real live donkey? Monkey? Turkey?

For the donkey, that would be three or four years ago at a live Christmas presentation. As for a monkey or turkey, I have no idea. Probably when my kids were little and we went to the zoo.

4. An old Portuguese proverb says, 'Beware of the door with too many keys.' What do you think this means? Share an example of how this has proven true or false in your own life.

There's usually only one way - the right way - to do something.

5. Besides your home, vehicle, and special jewelry, what is something you keep under lock and key?

Passports, car titles, birth certificates, social security cards.

6. When did you last get keyed up about something?

Assuming Joyce means "keyed up" in a good way, that would be this past Monday since it was my birthday!

7. Who thinks we need an easy one right about now? Key lime pie...yes please or no thank you?

Yes, please!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

One thing I've noticed: it's virtually impossible to write the current year on my birthday. I always automatically default to my complete DOB with the year I was born!!


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spirit Bridge

Spirit Bridge
(A Well Spring Novel)
James L. Rubart
(Thomas Nelson Publishing)
ISBN: 978-1401686093
May 2014/384 pages/$15.99

The Warriors Riding have battled in astounding supernatural realms, set captives free, and awakened thousands of hearts. But now their only chance of survival depends on calling for The Spirit Bridge.

Reece, Dana, Brandon, and Marcus have achieved staggering success in the spiritual realm . . . but each is reeling from vicious attacks. They need rest. A break from the war.

But the warlord Zennon is raging and will give them no quarter. The demon holds what he believes to be the trump card—a hidden strategy set in motion before Warriors Riding even began—that will detonate the team from the inside out. And he's just set it loose.

The street magician Simon—finally free of Zennon's alternate reality prison—is racing to remember his past before his ignorance obliterates his destiny. Then there's Miyo—a brash young warrior with advanced knowledge of spiritual realities and supernatural armor even Reece doesn't know about. These two will be pivotal in the final war.

If only the Warriors knew which side Simon and Miyo are truly on. If only they knew how to fight against Zennon's final assault.

The Spirit Bridge is the epic conclusion to acclaimed author James L. Rubart's Well Spring series, which will propel each of the Warriors Riding on a quest of true identity, ultimate freedom, and a final battle that will leave them changed forever.


James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel Rooms as well as Book of Days, The Chair, Soul's Gate (a 2013 Christy Award winner), Memory's Door, and Spirit Bridge. He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest. Connect with Jim on his website (www.jameslrubart.com), Twitter (@jameslrubart) and Facebook (JamesLRubart)


Wow. I have loved this series, and James Rubart has brought it to a glorious conclusion with another gripping novel that will stir your heart and give you much to ponder. The portrayal of spiritual warfare and how it might play out in a believer's life is chilling and believable, a stark reminder of the unseen enemy whose chief obsession lies in distracting followers of Christ from the tasks and missions with which they are charged. While I am normally not a fan of the speculative or supernatural genre, Rubart's novels keep me glued to the pages with sound Biblical foundation and exceptional writing. Like its two predecessors, Soul's Gate and Memory's Door, this one stayed with me long after I turned the final page. Highly, highly recommended!

I was delighted to purchase a copy of this book; it will be going on my permanent "Jim Rubart" shelf.

Check out my reviews of the first two books in this series:

Soul's Gate
Memory's Door (includes an interview with Jim Rubart)


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