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Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Maze - The Lost Labyrinth

"From the sound of it, a maze was being constructed, and he knew what that meant: someone stood at a moral crossroads, about the make a life-changing decision. The Piper had to act quickly.

Bricks were laid using grief as a mortar. Walls were cemented in place with sorrow. Lights were forsaken in favor of darkness. Crude agonizing designs were etched into the floors, and the history of one man's sin was scrawled in painstaking detail on every inch of the dreadful place."

In the novel, The Maze - The Lost Labyrinth, Jason Brannon takes an interesting spin on the consequences of our moral life-changing decisions and shows us what happens when we are literally on the verge of life and death. In this fantastic and wonderful written novel, we follow Jamie Burroughs, a successful businessman, husband and father who is about to stand at the threshold of a life altering choice. When his wife, Amy, confronts him about a recent bank withdrawl, she questions Jamie's intent. Is he planning on using the money as a cash payment on a hotel room to have an affair and destroy their marriage like their friends did? Jamie understands how following the clues from someone else's choice can make his wife question his choices even though that is not what he intends to do EVER. He reassures her that his vows to her are rock solid and that introduces us to the Piper, who begins to play his tempting tune to entice Jamie along another road. One that manifests during a business lunch in which his ex-girlfriend, Karen is there waitress.

Soon Jamie finds himself drawn to her in a way he cannot explain much like the rats did for the Piped Piper of Hamlin. In this interesting look at what happens in the course of our lives suddenly is transformed when Jamie literally hovers on the brink of death after attempting to follow his quest to know "What if."

Jamie finds himself literally in a maze designed by all the choices and decisions he has made over his life. It was designed by The Architect and will test his ability to view his life in a completely different way. The choice he has made not necessarily with his actions, but also his thoughts and words. He will be challenged by the race against the Minotaur who feeds on the sins present in his life. 

 "Think of this maze as one big example of cause and effect. Everything you do has a consequence here. Getting here was a consequence of intent. This place is a manifestation of your entire life. Your deeds are sewn into the fabric of this maze. Your sins are the mortar that holds these walls in place.

This game is just like everything else in your life. You're blessed more than most people, and you can't see all the good things in front of you. All you see are the problems, the trials, the tribulations, the darkness. All you see is what you don't have."

This is such a fabulous novel that speaks to the heart and soul of the reader. It makes you take a hard line approach at your own life and question things you have done. It really takes you into the deepest, darkest places of your own life and teaches us all what it really means to repent and accept Christ as our Savior. Nothing else will save us in the end. I found myself with pages of notes from this novel that I intend to apply as a measuring stick in my own life. No one is perfect and this novel takes you into the seemingly innocent things we do every single day and the consequences it has on our soul.

I'd rate The Maze, The Lost Labyrinth by Jason Brannon a 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to digging a bit deeper into his literary works to find even more surprises tucked inside. I received this novel as a self purchase and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. For those of you that wonder just how innocent your lives are, I'd encourage you to check this one and and re-evaluate what you find inside.

For more information about The Maze - The Lost Labyrinth, Jason Brannon or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blowing on Dandelions

"Katherine Galloway's soft exhale sent the dandelion fluff dancing on the warm current of air, but it didn't bring the anticipated relief. Gripping the stem, she sat in the grassy field with her eyes closed and waited. Why didn't it come? It had always appeared years ago when she needed it. How long had it been since her mind had drifted away to a place where nothing could hurt her? Fifteen years? Twenty?

She shook her head, and an errant curl tickled her cheek.

More. Many more. But always her memory returned to those times when the dandelion fluff had carried her away to a place where mothers were loving and kind, and little girls didn't need to be afraid of cutting words or sharp voices.

Had she ever known a time like that, other than in her dreams? Katherine had thought she did, but now she knew: it was all an illusion, like the sunbeams glinting off the bits of white that were settling to the ground. Seeds - that's all they were. Seeds that brought unwanted weeds when they matured. Just like her life.

Unwanted. Unwelcome. Unsung."

Katherine Galloway is attempting to hold onto that belief that God's got something great in store for her. After losing her husband of only two years in a mining accident in Baker City, Katherine now runs the boarding house along with her two young girls Lucy and Amanda. She cringes as she looks back at the broken relationship between herself and her mother and begins counting down the days she will leave after this latest visit. It seems like nothing Katherine does will ever been good enough or acceptable enough for her aging mother, Frances Connors only to be compared to her sister June. Frances had been living with June until an early death left her alone and in need of someone else to care for her and that is just what she has in mind when she shows up on Katherine's doorstep. Yup, Frances is now planning on staying with Katherine permanently.

In the Love Blossoms in Oregon Series, Blowing in Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell is the first novel in this charming series. In this novel Katherine Galloway must find a way to locate the gumption she needs to deal with her arrogant and downright blunt mother, Frances. Of course, Frances is the ever doting grandmother to Lucy and Amanda when her health issues are giving her problems, but she truly believes unless she intervenes in all areas of Katherine's life, the poor woman will never make it. With Katherine raised in a time where children are to be seen and not heard, she believes the Bible's promise to honor your parents at all times. It is that fallacy that keeps Katherine in chains when it comes to dealing with her overbearing mother.

She soon finds herself at the possibility of once again falling in love with the local livery owner, Micah Jacobs who she literally runs into on the streets of Baker City. Only Micah's just moved here from Seattle in hopes of finding a way to care for his younger son, Zachary after his wife Emma passed away. He is not looking for love and vows to do all he can to stay away from Katherine Galloway. But when tragedy strikes it seems God's about to show them both that once again, ALL things work together for those that love the Lord even if they are simply too stubborn to see it.

I received Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell as a self purchase and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is the story of reconciliation between Katherine and her mother Frances and the hope that comes when prayer is answered. There is NOTHING God can't fix in His own timing even people as stubborn as Frances. It truly makes me wonder what people would say about me, if they didn't know if I was able to hear them. Would they say that I was kind and my words one to build up or that perhaps I might need some help in that department. I hope it would be the first. This novel is perfect for anyone who struggles with any family member who tries their patience and offers a glimpse of hope in what may be hoped for and possibly obtained with prayer and patience. I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. There is even an except of Wishing on Buttercups, the second book in this series due out later this year.

For more information about Blowing on Dandelions, Miralee Ferrell, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the link below:

You can also find Miralee Ferrell on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

The Last Original Wife

"Wives are so easily gotten over and so easily replaced. We are an expendable breed."

"Do you really believe that?" To his credit, his expression was briefly ever so slightly incredulous.

"Yes, I do. The evidence is all over the place. Men wear us out, either bury us or divorce us, and then they just go get another woman to be their mother."

"Go on..."

"So I looked around at these second wives with their fake boobs and their Jennifer Aniston flat-ironed hair and their Michelle Obama toned upper arms and I felt more like a chaperone than a peer. They were all wearing skintight bandage dresses with spiky platform high heels and they had their spray tans and big chunky jewelry. I was wearing, well, something age appropriate, pearls, pumps,, and a nice dress. I realized over the course of the night that they had plenty of chitchat for each other, but when they talked to me, they deferred as though they were being respectful of their grandmother. That was when I came to the what I thought was a rather startling realization."

"And that was that?"

"That I didn't want to be there. I really didn't want to be there! Worse? I didn't belong there! All of a sudden I didn't care. Wes's friends were married to girls who are young enough to be their daughters. I didn't want to spend every holiday and weekend for the rest of my life with a bunch of Barbies. These men were Wes's oldest friends, and their former wives were mine. These insipid young women would never be my friends. Moreover, I didn't want them to be my friends."

That is about how Leslie Anne Greene Carter sums of how she feels being what she has labeled herself as the 'last original wife' among the people she finds herself sharing her free time with. Now that all of her husbands friends have married new younger wives, she takes a look back at her own life and realizes that she has spent 30 years living with Wesley Carter and they are no longer in love with one another. She suddenly finds herself the last original wife among their set of friends and finds she has literally nothing in common with their new wives or even anything in common with her husband any longer.

What does Wes think of their marriage at this crucial point?

"I don't beat her. I never ran around...well, not too much. She lives in a nice house. She's never had to work for a living. She drives a nice car. I take her to Vegas once a year. Is she crazy?"

"I don't know. Is she?"

"Look, I married her, didn't I" I stayed with her, didn't I? What they hell does she want from me? Why did she walk out on me? Was it her hormones?"

Now the story takes an interesting twist between the chapters in this novel toggling at first to the counseling session that Les and Wes have at the beginning and then a look back at what brought them to that place during the meat of this amazing novel. This is truly one to savor and spend your time enjoying in a wonderful place this summer. The story is unforgettable and I truly hope this one finds its way to the big screen. Women would LOVE it!

I received The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank compliment of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review on this novel. Hands down I LOVED this one and feel it is truly worthy of a full 5 out of 5 stars. This is such a fun novel to savor the experiences of summer and of finding out where happiness lies for a women who has spent the last 30 years of her life, forgoing everything she has ever wanted and needed to care for an overly needy and ungrateful husband and their two grown children. I think every woman will find something wonderful in this story and I can't wait for more from Dorothea Benton Frank in the very near future. I think by far my favorite characters in this one besides Leslie is her brother Harlan. Oh how I wish I had a Harlan of my very own! You'll have to read this one to find out why!

For more information about The Last Original Wife, Dorothea Benton Frank, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today for your summer reading list, please click on the links below:

You can find Dorothea Benton Frank on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

ISBN: 9780062132468; ISBN10: 0062132466; Imprint: William Morrow ; On Sale: 6/11/2013; Format: Hardcover; Trimsize: 6 x 9; Pages: 368; $26.99; Ages: 18 and Up; BISAC1:FIC044000; BISAC2:FIC045000; BISAC3:FIC016000

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pennsylvania Patchwork

Sometimes our greatest times of adversity can also be our best opportunities for growth and reliance on God. Such in the case in the latest novel in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy Series from author Kate Lloyd, Pennsylvania Patchwork. Once again we pick up the story of Holly Fisher who has recently discovered that her mother, Esther has been keeping a secret from her. In fact, it's quite a huge secret. Esther grew up Amish and left to get married but led Holly to believe she has always had an English upbringing. She learned early on the reason for no real relatives or grandparents were that they were all dead. Now she discovers that she has quite an Amish heritage. Her father, Samuel has been missing in the Vietnam war and is now believed dead for the last few years.

Holly and her mother Esther are now living with her Amish grandmother Anna, who is in need of being taken care of now that she is getting older. What Holly soon discovers is that her grandmother and mother are planning to intervene on her recent engagement to Zack Fleming, a Mennonite veterinarian since learning of  a rumor that Zack may in fact be a father to his recent ex-girlfriend Victoria's son Justin. But until all the facts are in, Holly is willing to wait and see just what happens. While she is spending some time debating the merits of just how honest Zack really is, she suddenly finds herself in the middle of being pursued by two additional men. Larry, a man she meet when she was living in Seattle and an Amish man, Armin who has just returned from living among the English.

Will Holly be able to find a way to sort out her real feelings of love in the midst of three men who all want to marry her? Is Holly willing to give up her English way of life and learn to become Amish like her grandmother Anna who is hoping for her to marry a nice Amish young man? Or will Holly learn something from her mother's own past that may cause her to return to Seattle for good? To find out, you'll need to pick up a copy of Pennsylvania Patchwork.

I received Pennsylvania Patchwork by Kate Lloyd compliments of David C. Cook Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Since reading the first novel in the series, Leaving Lancaster, I knew I wanted to see how Holly's story would play out in this novel. I was not disappointed. Along the way, we learn more about Samuel and his disappearance in Vietnam. Esther also has to deal with the potential of deciding if she will become baptized in the Amish church satisfying a possible marriage with Nathaniel as well as dealing with a health issue with her own aging mother. I'd rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to seeing how this all wraps up in the next novel.

For more information about Pennsylvania Patchwork, Kate Lloyd or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Kate Lloyd on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Pennsylvania Patchwork on the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here. 

Kate Lloyd is celebrating the release of book two in her Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, Pennsylvania Patchwork, by giving away an authentic Amish-made quilt!



One "grand" winner receive:

  • An authentic Amish-made Quilt

  • Pennsylvania Patchwork and Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 29th. Winner will be announced on July 1st at Kate's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Help for the Haunted

"You know the truth already. What I will say is this: each of us is born into this life with a light inside of us. Some, like yours, burn brighter than others. You don't see that yet, but I do. What's most important is to never let that light go out, because when you do, it means you've lost yourself to the darkness. It means you've lost your hope. And hope is what makes this world a beautiful place."

And that is exactly the advice that Sylvie Mason has to hold onto. When she was nine years old, she left with her parents on a cold night in the snow to attempt to meet with her oldest sister Rose who had left home in hopes of reconciling the issues between her parents and Rose that cause her to leave. Only little did Sylvie know that that would be the very last time she would ever see her parents alive. Left alone in the car and having fallen asleep she hears the sounds of a gun being fired and finds her parents murdered on the steps of an old church and her sister is no where to be found. Yet all she remembers is that they were not alone. Someone else was there and it's that someone that is haunting the memories of Sylvie late at night.

In the latest novel by John Searles, Help for the Haunted is a suspense thriller that takes you on an unforgettable ride into the darkest places of a persons soul. She knows her parents help troubled people that no one else can and has been the reason for people treating her and her sister Rose different from other kids you'd know in school. Most people in school avoid Sylvie and give her plenty of room whenever she walks into a room. Most are simply afraid of what they don't understand and since the deaths of her parents, most people believe that the people the Mason's helped carried some evil right alongside them. It was that evil that they hoped to find relief from when all other attempts had failed. Now the basement is the only place that has been left virtually undisturbed and both girls were warned by their parents to stay out. But just what is happening in the basement now, sounds that seem to emanate from beneath the house, it seems like something below is not happy that Sylvie's parents are no longer among the living and are deeply upset with the current state of things.

I received Help for the Haunted by John Searles, compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This one literally gave me what I was expecting and then some. Rave reviews comparing John Searles work with that of Stephen King is what drew me to read this one. I was not disappointed. 90% of the way through this novel that author creates such a suspenseful atmosphere you think you have it figured out, you're just waiting for an unveiling. This one really creeped me out and for me, that's the perfect sign of an amazing suspense novel. The ending I truly did not see coming and it's true that there is always more to the story than what you see. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and look forward to many more novels from John Searles in the future.

For more information about Help for the Haunted, John Searles or where you can preorder a copy of this novel that is due out in mid September of 2013, please click on the links below:

You can find John Searles on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

ISBN: 9780060779634; ISBN10: 0060779632; Imprint: William Morrow ; On Sale: 9/17/2013; Format: Hardcover; Trimsize: 6 x 9; Pages: 368; $26.99; Ages: 18 and Up; BISAC1:FIC019000; BISAC2:FIC022000; BISAC3:FIC043000

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Paige Torn

To say that Paige Alder is busy is a complete understatement. Aside from the sleep she must be getting between everything she manages to accomplish it seems that her schedule is booked solid. Carrying around a planner is a necessity since without it, I'm not sure where she would likely wind up. In fact, being a single girl with no romantic prospects on her future horizon gives her the excuse to simply say "Yes!" to everything anyone ever asks her to do.

From managing her job at the adoption agency dealing with potential parents which average an hour on the phone, she also takes care of all the secretarial work. She is often the first in the office and the last to leave. She fills in her "spare" time volunteering at her church working with high school girls in the youth group, helping out at the food bank, planning not only her best friend Layla's parents anniversary party but also Layla's upcoming wedding in nine short months. Layla's excitement soon carves it's way into every available moment she has to spare. The worst thing she can do is answer her phone which continually rings. Not to mention her pastor's wife who is about to give birth at any moment and they need Paige to fill in until things settle down. Are you kidding me? If anything, Paige Alder to give any would-be procrastinator a solid run for their money when they claim they simply have no time for anything.

In the latest novel from author Erynn Mangum, Paige Torn is the perfect title for this over-worked, overly busy, single gal. In fact Paige is so busy she barely has time to get her laundry done and grabs dinner on the go in the way of cheese sticks or simply a rush drive through order at Sonic. For those readers who know what it's like to need just a few more hours in their day, then Paige Alder is definitely some one you can relate to. In fact its a great thing Paige is well known at her local Starbucks because without a caffeine rush, she might just collapse from over exhaustion. I know I felt that way just getting through the novel. I will never again say I don't have time to get things done, after living in Paige's shoes. Yet along the way, Paige begins to realize that proverbial saying, "All work and no play, makes Paige a very dull life indeed." She will need to learn to say No if she ever wants to have a love life and marriage. If not everyone else is due to leave her behind, while she stays too busy to even notice.

I received Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Think Publishing for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is my first Erynn Mangum novel and I'd rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. It is definitely perfect for the young adult who is looking for a character that they can identify with, one being a single girl who is looking for love, but finds that staying busy is better than simply waiting around for love to find her. This book is perfect for those "Martha's" from the Bible that are constantly staying busy and wondering where all the time went. This is the first book in the Paige Alder series and you can find it at your local book retailer in paperback and eBook formats.

For more information about Paige Torn, Erynn Mangum, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Erynn Mangum on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels. 

To read more reviews on Paige Torn from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Tour, please click here.

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Think (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612912982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612912981
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

After Her

"When I was young, I'd say, that's what I did to make life interesting. My sister and I were always looking for a little drama, and if the world didn't provide some, we'd invent it. We could make up stories so read we believed them ourselves.

And then something really did happen, of course. And all we wished for then was that it never did."

Rachel and Patty Toricelli grow up in Marin County much like any other young child in 1970. When faced with the seemingly endless possibilities of adventure that awaits them on the mountain, just outside their backdoor and a summer to fill it with adventure as only limited by their own imaginations. Now faced with being children of divorce watching their mom fall further into an apparent depression and their father busy working as a police detective, they only have each other to keep themselves entertained. From sneaking into backyards to watch TV through their neighbors picture windows when they find themselves without cable any longer, they resort to making up the storyline and dialogue when their favorite TV shows are aired.

It seems a lifetime of Charlie's Angels and The Brady Bunch have inspired the two girls imagination and they often find making up stories is often times better than the truth. As young teens, adults are willing to disclose certain things to them seeing them as simply too young for that sort of thing. When a new neighbor and his reclusive wife move in, Patty and Rachel begin documenting their daily comings and goings to figure out just who they are and why they rarely see his wife. Since their father works so much, they come to expect him to be busy and long for whatever attention he can offer them when he has time, from taking them to dinner at Marin Joe's or for a Giant's baseball game. He is ever the vigilant father watching out for his young daughters.

When a helicopter suddenly hovers over the mountain top playground they have come to call home, they soon learn that the adventure they have been seeking hasn't been very far away. A body of a 21-year-old girl has been found murdered and raped and their father now has strict instructions to stay off the mountain. Yet Patty and Rachel feel that perhaps the police haven't truly searched everywhere for clues and soon set off with a plan to aid in the search. Rachel has a unique ability that lets her at times see into the future and believes that this is just the time to utilize that ability to help her father out.

In the latest novel from Joyce Maynard, After Her is the story of the coming of age between Rachel Toricellin and her younger shy sister Patty for the beginning of the novel.This sets the backdrop for the novel as more young women are showing up murdered on the mountain the girls have grown up on and characterizes the Trailside Killer case the terrorized Marin County in the 1970's. Joyce does a remarkable job at getting you inside the heads of Patty and Rachel early on in their young lives to set the stage for how events like serial murders in someone's backyard might affect them while they are watching this going on, all the while, having their own father as the lead investigator. For those of you that love a great murder mystery based on a true case, then this one will definitely want to be on your must read list. A note of caution that there are some sexual content in relating to the girls coming of age story in which they are exposed to a variety of sexual situations that might be common for this type of novel.

I received After Her by Joyce Maynard compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. I'd rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and found the content of the novel extremely engaging to draw the reader into the lives of the characters of Patty and Rachel. For me, it makes for a great novel if I feel personally connected to them in some way and being able to remember back to all my summers filled with imagination, mine are not that far off from Patty and Rachel's.

For more information about After Her, Joyce Maynard and where you can preorder a copy of this novel due out August of 2013, please click on the links below:

You can find Joyce Maynard on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pieces of the Heart

"You know how some people can pinpoint when their lives changed for the better or worse?"

"Yes, baby. I've heard tell about folks like that. For me, I just personally felt it all began the day I was birthed." Grammy Mae, with her hair pulled back in a perfect chignon, wore tailored housedress; she had looked prim and proper every day Cordelia could remember. Even her black Hill and Dale stack-heel oxfords were polished to a high shine. Grammy loved shoes. She had taught Cordelia the brand name of every pair, though, to her grandmother's chagrin, Cordelia preferred to go barefoot.

Cordelia rubbed her hand over the red material that was close to the center of the quilt. "Well, this is when I was reborn."

Grammy smiled. "I knew the day you brought that bloody shirt in here, something was burnin' in your belly."

"That day I met Bernard." She sighed, remembering the whole jumble of feelings from that day. Her mind had raced to find excuses for the dirt on her play dress. She didn't want to tell about being pushed to the ground. A bicycle fall always seemed a handy excuse. Sometimes she was sure Grammy had guessed the truth. And then there was her Superman, Bernard Howard.

In the latest novel to find its way into the Quilts of Love Series, author Bonnie Calhoun takes her turn with Pieces of the Heart. In the beginning we get a snap shot at the life changing even that Cordelia believes changed her life, one that many young adults like myself could easily relate to. Grammy shares pieces of Cordelia's life as they continue to work on completing her Pinecone Quilt. With each piece there is a story to tell that chronicles an event in Cordelia's life, life moments according to Grammy Mae. Not only would it cover her with warm but the quilt itself would become what Grammy would call a life covering and one that has been passed down from generation to generation. But then again most quilts have their own stories to tell and perhaps that is our draw to them. This novel is that story retold once again by Grammy Mae of Cordelia's life.

Going back through the generations, each young lady is presented with her life covering on her eighteenth birthday. It holds the prayers, dreams, and wished spoken for her and her life as a woman, wife, and mother. Each girl gets their own special quilt. Each quilt holds its own blessings just like Elijah and Elisha, that have been prayed over as each piece of material has been added.

I received Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie Calhoun compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. It never fails not only do this novels capture my heart and soul, but they inspire me to want to create my own memory quilt and none more so than this one. I love how Grammy Mae has been collecting this pieces of Cordelia's life, slowly cutting the pieces out, folding them just so and praying a special blessing over each piece. When it's finally complete, not only do you have a lifetime of memories but a lifetime of blessings covering you as you lay beneath it's warmth.The added bonus is that this takes place during World War 2, once of my favorite genre's to have story take place because of the added tension that comes between couples who have to be separated.  I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Pieces of the Heart, Bonnie Calhoun or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Bonnie Calhoun on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Pieces of the Heart from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Tour, please click here. 

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426752725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426752728
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Question of Honor

For some honor means everything. For a soldier especially. Men have killed to keep the honor of their family or their duty as an officer intact. That's why it comes as a complete surprise and utter shock when Lieutenant Wade has been accused of murder. Not only the murder of his parents, but also the murder of a random family that he seemed to have close ties with. For nurse Bess Crawford, this comes at such a loss for words for a man that she thought she knew to have committed these murders. It seems as if Bess really didn't know this man at all.

Now ten years later she is still haunted by the notion that Lieutenant Wade may not be dead like most presume. She wants to follow all the clues to see where they might lead and hopefully give her some insight into the reasons why a man would murder six people and then completely live a different life in the army.

" We've all asked ourselves the same question."

"And yet no one pursued it."

"We pursued him. And were told he was dead. There was no need for your father to travel to England to go into the matter. He was needed there at the time."

"Yes, I expect you're right." I fell silent, thinking it through. "I was shocked when the Subedar told me who he'd seen. I would probably have left it there, if I hadn't seen the man for myself. Or believed I did. We could have both been wrong, you know. Still, I remember my father's face when he got the news. I remember how everyone felt, even though I didn't know about the other murders. If we did see the Lieutenant in France, then I want to get to the bottom of it for the Colonel Sahib's sake. I think what bothers me most is that we assumed, the entire regiment, that Lieutenant Wade was dead. If he's escaped justice, then my father will feel responsible. He called off the search, you see." I smoothed the fingers of my driving gloves, not looking at Simon. It was the first time I'd really put my feelings into words. Even to myself. "I don't want him blamed. I don't want him to feel he should have done more. Because I don't think he could have done."

"Then you're going the wrong way about it. You're bringing it all back again. For all of us."

"No, I'm trying to lay the Subedar's words to rest. There must be someone out there in France who bears a resemblance to Wade. If it isn't Wade - then he's dead, his bones already dust in the Khyber Pass. Where they ought to be."

And so the search continues for answers as the reader follows Nurse Bess Crawford in another mystery by Charles Todd in his latest novel, A Question for Honor due out in bookstores in August of 2013. I've been a huge fan of the Bess Crawford Mystery's simply due to the fact I love mystery and historical fiction. Charles Todd weaves them together so masterfully to give the reader so much more than they ever expected. Plus the added bonus of having a woman character offer the duality of roles, first as a nurse and then during her free time or on leave, following the clues that may in fact restore an honor due to her father, the Colonel Sahib.

I received A Question of Honor by Charles Todd compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This one does truly deserve a full 5 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion. The best part I love about Charles Todd's Bess Crawford Series is his attention to detail, and his ability to tell such a compelling story you honestly believe it just might have happened. He does all this without going into gory details or using inappropriate language that some authors chose to in writing their novels. This is why I LOVE his novels and this entire series. I plan of coming back for more and more because I love Bess! She's a woman who I could see myself as becoming had I lived in that time period. This is like Downton Abbey meets Sherlock Holmes.

For more information about A Question of Honor, Charles Todd, or where to preorder a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Charles Todd on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

You can also visit Charles Todd's webpage for more on his novels. 

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062237152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062237156
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

"Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences."

This was the one quote that really made me stop reading the novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by author Neil Gaiman and really consider all the profound truth that may lie within the simple quote. It is very true and it takes the imagination of a child to really appreciate all the things that Neil brings to life in this one. An adult would try to reason there way through this, while a child would just accept what is happening and move forward without needing to know why.

In this dark, fairy tale story, monsters are really and the things you think are real, really are. In fact I am reminded of Tim Burton's movies as I read through this one. At first, it doesn't make a lot of sense much like a child explaining something out of the ordinary. You just need to stop over analyzing it and just take it as face value and continue to dig deeper.

In this one the narrator, who's name I don't believe is ever mention is remembering back to a childhood experience that happened to him when he was only seven. Now much older he has returned to the place when the horror began and where the nightmare was something he truly lived and not dreamed. It begins with the death of the boy's only companion, a kitten that was accidentally run over and killed by their border, an Opal Miner who thinks simply replacing the cat will appease the damage he has done. This is the beginning of a not so happy story. Much like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Neil Gaiman takes his much deeper and to a darker place where evil now has an open door into the current world in which to find a foothold in solving what people believe makes them happy. To do so, requires a bit of finesse, but one our character can see through.

It's when he follows his father one morning when their car is reported missing that he discovers the body of the Opal Miner in the car and thus introduces us to the women in the Hempstock household who have the uncanny ability to solve things that no one else can see. He is soon befriended by Lettie, an eleven year old girl who has been eleven for quite some time and has a prophetic vision to what is really happening in town. Lettie and her family live at the end of the lane and care for the boy until his father comes calling for him. Soon he finds out that Lettie and her family have far more powers than he could ever imagine and thus the novel turns into a darker more menacing version of Alice in Wonderland meets Bridge to Terabithia.

I received The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This is not recommended for young teens and falls in the upper young adult category to be age appropriate. I would have to say the writers ability to pull off an exceptional fantasy tale with a dark twist is wonderful and I'd rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. It is a surprisingly thin novel that draws out the story to feel like you've read a whole lot more pages than you did, a mark of an exceptional writer. I look forward to reading more from this author and fully enjoyed his unique writing style. This is the very same author who wrote Coraline, so you can prepare yourself for what you are about to find inside.

For more information about The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman, or where to pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

You can also find Neil Gaiman on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

You can also visit his website by clicking here.
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062255657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062255655
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1 inches 
You can find this novel at your local book retailer in paperback, audio, hardcover and eBook formats

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel

When Daphne Ballinger learns that she has inherited her Aunt Dee's estate, she is completely at odds at why her Aunt would leave everything all to her. She lives in New York and though she was fond of visiting her Aunt, she can't come to terms with why everything is now in her name. Unfortunately it's not quite a cut and dry proposal either. There are a few conditions before Daphne can lay claim to not only her Aunt's fortune but gain possession of the old home and everything in it. The first condition is that Daphne must be willing to live in the home and care for her Aunt's two cats, Lucy and Ethel. For Daphne that is a no-brainer since writing for the New York Times for the last few years she isn't going to ever gain a promotion working with her current boss who seems to have it in for Daphne.

The second condition is that Daphne must be willing to assume taking over her Aunt's advice column for the local paper, Dear Daphne as well as in the New York Times. This is an easy decision since all Daphne's been writing at the New York Times is engagement announcements so she feels this is a simple step up in her writing career.

The third stipulation is that she has to fall in love and get married within a year. Not that one may just in fact be the biggest challenge for Daphne to face since she has no prospects on the horizon either in New York or moving back to her Aunt's hometown of Appleton. If she doesn't follow all the stipulations in the will, the house and all the estate holdings will go back to The Cat House, a pet rescue facility where her Aunt Dee adopted Lucy and Ethel.

Looking for a prospect of a new future on the line, Daphne agrees to the conditions of the will and hopes that in time she may just find someone she can love. But if she can't she'll be both homeless and jobless and have to find a way to start over again quite literally from nothing. Good thing for her that Appleton is a small town and she seems to have no problem finding men who are interested in learning more about Daphne from her Aunt's gardener, to the local organic produce owner, and even her Aunt Dee's attorney seem to be lining up willing to date the latest heiress in their small town. In fact Daphne thinks things are fine until the man she fell in love with ten years ago that broke her heart suddenly shows up at her front door. Oh what's a girl to do?

I received Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel by best selling author Melody Carlson compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B and H Publishers for my honest review. This is definitely one you want to add to your summer's reading list and features a list of characters you find yourself rooting for Daphne to chose as her potential husband. I was rooting for the local gardener with the Australian accent that stops by to help keep her landscaping looking amazing and enjoy a cup of coffee or lemonade if she has it available. I've been a huge fan of Melody Carlson's books and this one has found a permanent home on my library shelf. I'd rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel, Melody Carlson or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Melody Carlson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can read more reviews on Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel on the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour, by clicking here. 

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433679302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433679308
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches 
This book is available in paperback and ebook formats from your favorite book retailer.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Barefoot Summer

"Life is filled with difficulties. This isn't heaven. We have these big mountains, set right in front of us, and we have no choice but to climb.

Her mom looked down, took a long moment, then squeezed Madison's hand. "When you were a little girl, you didn't like going barefoot, you remember? You had such tender feet."

"The grass tickled, and the sticks and rocks hurt."

"Even that time we went to Lake Michigan, you wore your sandals on the beach except when you were on your towel."

"The sand was hot."

"You remember Michael though?" Mom laughed. "Mercy, I couldn't keep that boy in shoes. It was all I could do to make him keep them on at church. I'd come into the nursery and there his socks would be, all balled up in the corner, and him running around barefoot."

Madison smiled at the remembrance. "We were different as day and night."

"But still so close." Mom tucked Madison's hair behind her ear and looked at her knowingly. "Sometimes we have to find the courage to take off our shoes and feel it all. Even the bad stuff."

"Sometimes those negative feelings are so strong, they're overwhelming, and it's easier to just not deal with them. But they always come out one way or another. You've always been afraid of feeling, Madison. But death is part of life. Not my favorite part, not by a long shot. But God does not owe us ninety years on this earth. Life is a gift, however long it lasts. It's God's to give and take away as He sees fit. We go through life thinking we're entitled to our ninety, but we're not entitled to anything. All we can do is trust that He knows what He's doing. That He has a plan for all of us, and that no pain He allows in our life will go unused. I supposed realizing that has given me a measure of peace." (pg 235-236).

In the latest novel from best selling author Denise Hunter, Barefoot Summer, takes the reader in the life of Madison McKinley who lost her twin brother ten years ago when he drowned. Now plagued by unrelenting nightmares, Madison feels that the only way she'll find peace is to fulfill her brother Michael's dream to be the youngest winner at the town's annual regatta. But to do that, she'll have to conquer her fear of water and her fear of Beckett O'Reilly, who's the only one who can teach her to sail.

But Beckett O'Reilly has his own secrets he's been carrying around for years. One that started at a high school dance and has impacted the lives of the McKinley's to this day. If only he can find a way to dig deep inside and tell Madison what she needs to gain perspective in her life, but these days all she is doing is harboring a deep grudge inside against God for taking her brother away from her. If only he could find a way to help her find God and allow Him to heal the broken pieces in her life.

I received Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Too often our fears of failure will hold us back from what potential God has planned in our lives. Too many times, we'd rather run and hide than face things head on. I love how Denise Hunter incorporates that into the first book in her Chapel Springs Romance series. It seems that despite all outward appearances in both Madison and Beckett, there lies deeper secrets that they both will have to come to terms and deal with. But are Beckett and Madison the only ones who are keeping secrets? You'll have to pick this novel up to find out!  A perfect summer read and one that offers a powerful message between the cover. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and even includes a discussion guide that is perfect for book clubs.

For more information about Barefoot Summer, Denise Hunter or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Denise Hunter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Barefoot Summer from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour, please click here.

Denise Hunter is celebrating her new Chapel Springs Romance series with a Summer Fun Giveaway. The first book, Barefoot Summer, is already a favorite with readers. “Hold-your-breath romance, heartache, and laugh-out-loud moments. It’s more than a good read. It’s a delight.” -- Lisa
Summer: it’s all about sunny skies, star-gazing, swimming, spending time with loved ones, and living as if a small part of the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.

Get ready for some serious summer fun with Denise’s 12-Day Summer Sun giveaway. From June 10-21, keep your computer near as you head to the lake or your friend’s barbecue because Denise will be giving away a summer essential each day!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fear Has A Name

I love it when I can find out truly suspenseful novel that completely grabs me from the moment I dive into the book. I made the mistake of reading this one kinda late at night when I was home alone and with every noise in the house, set me literally on edge. That in my own personal opinion is already a winner. In the latest novel by author Creston Mapes, Fear Has A Name is the first in the Crittendon Files series. This is also a first for me reviewing a book by this author but after this one, it won't be my last by a long shot. In fact, I intend to search for the ones he has previously written and begin my journey in suspense even further by adding them to my personal collection.

In Fear Has A Name the author really challenges the Christian reader to see just how far on the righteous scale you would tend to stay despite having your family threatened by an unknown intruder. Despite how Jesus has instructed his followers to forgo taking their own vengeance and instead leaving it up to God. This is a definite conversation starter for most believers. While almost everyone I spoke with said pretty much the same thing, very few could sit back faithfully and be reassured that God would protect their families by leaving things entirely up to Him. With that being said, let me introduce you to the premise of this novel.

Pamela Crittendon is home alone with her young daughters, Faye and Rebecca when a man appears at her front door. For whatever reason, she gets a feeling that she shouldn't open the door. When he keeps on knocking her daughters want to know who's at the door. She instructs them to head back upstairs and that she will deal with it. When she yells for the man at the door to leave, he immediately begins the process of breaking down the door. When that fails, he breaks the glass on either side and attempts to unlock the door. Pamela takes her girls and runs out the back door to the safety of a neighbors home and calls the police.

When the police arrive the man is gone of course. As Pamela calls her husband, Jack, and tells him to come home, he reassures her that this is probably just a one time deal. The only items missing from her home are her Bible, her jewelry and her daughter's locket. All other items in the home of any value are still there. The police feel confident that they will find the person responsible, but that does make Pamela feel any safer. Even more troubling is the job her husband does working as a reporter for the local paper. He's been assigned a possible missing person who is the local pastor at a church who has left a suicide note. But it seems like things are about to get interesting when Pamela finds their wedding picture has been cut to remove Jack from it. To her, this doesn't seem like a random event and she's just about to learn that Fear Has A Name!

I received Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes compliments of David C Cook Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This was such a great conversation starter for my husband over breakfast one morning. It's such a difficult thing to know what anyone would do in this situation and my husband could definitely relate to how Jack handles things. I on the other hand, don't think I could deal with things as calmly as Pamela did during portions of the novel but that is what makes for a truly exciting page turner. This one does not disappoint. The only thing I had to make sure of was finishing it before my husband left on his business trip. For that reason I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. Congratulations Creston Mapes, you definitely had me on the edge of my seat and reading this one with all the lights on.

For more information about Fear Has A Name, Creston Mapes or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Creston Mapes on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Fear Has A Name from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour, please click here. 

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781408164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781408165
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches 
Available at your favorite book retailer in paperback, eBook and Audio Formats. 

Stealing the Preacher

Whatever Joanna Robbins for her birthday, her father, Silas will make happen, even if it means breaking the law, stopping a train and kidnapping the preacher who is supposed to be on board. Silas hasn't forgotten his old outlaw ways after robbing enough stagecoaches and trains in his lifetime, fulfilling Joanna's only birthday wish seems easy enough to grant. However when Joanna learns just how her father has managed to bring her a preacher for her birthday, kidnapping one wasn't in her prayers or requests. Now if she can only manage to convince the preacher not to press kidnapping charges on her father.

When Joanna convinces Crockett Archer to spend a couple of hours with her listening to her reasons for wanting a preacher for her twenty-first birthday, he is more than intrigued. It is also the only way he can find freedom from the Lazy R Ranch that Robbins owns. Joanna takes Crockett to an abandoned church and tells him how difficult it has been for anyone to attend church since the local town is so far away from farming families and this old church has lost not only it's flock of believers but also any preacher wanting to stay long enough to give God a chance. Would Crockett be willing to find a preacher willing enough to give this small community a chance and she hopes in the process find a way to save her father's stubborn heart who just doesn't have time for God any longer? Seems like Crockett is about to get some interesting answers to just that very prayer when the job he was hoping to land in Brenham is given to another preacher and leaving Crockett high and dry in the middle of Texas without a job, thanks in part to Silas Robbins.

Joanna believes since her father is to blame for Crockett's lost job at the church since he was preventing from being able to preach in the local church, that her father owes Crockett a job at the ranch until they can begin to restore the old abandoned church to its former glory. Only Silas Robbins isn't a charitable man and gives all the worst and most difficult jobs to Crockett hoping that he will show just how weak a preacher man really is. But God has other plans for Silas Robbins and He's about to show him just how he can use man's weakness to bring about His own goodness and glory.

I received Stealing the Preacher compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Historical Christian Westerns are one of my long time favorite genre's. Taking you back to a much simpler time, Karen Whitmeyer has done an exceptional job at pulling at your heartstrings in this novel. I love the way she uses the situations in this novel with Silas and Crockett almost like God pursing a lost sheep. All along the way it isn't so much what Crockett says, but the actions he does that reaches out to the hardened heart of Silas and offers him a glimpse of the life his former wife had prayed so long for before she died. I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and finds its home along with my other Karen Whitmeyer novels. Welcome home Stealing the Preacher, welcome home! A must read for all western romance fans!!!

For more information about Stealing the Preacher, Karen Whitmeyer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also follow Karen Whitmeyer on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour on Stealing the Preacher, click here.

Karen Witemeyer is "kindling" the excitement for Stealing the Preacher (Bethany House) with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and connecting with readers at her June 18th Facebook Author Chat Party!


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire

  • Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at 4pm on June 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Stealing the Preacher" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 18th. Connect with Karen for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Karen will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Stealing the Preacher and join Karen on the evening of June 18th 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Insoles Product Review

It seems that the older I've gotten the more I notice when my feet feel achy and tired. I've tried all kinds of different shoes, padded socks and arch supports to relieve the pain that often accompanies my feet at the end of a long day.

When I got the opportunity to review Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Insoles by being a BzzAgent, I have to say I was more than a little skeptical. I mean seriously just how good can they be? I also wondered how just adding something to the inside of my existing shoes would really feel and if they would feel strange or uncomfortable.

When the package arrived I noticed that these insoles were designed specifically for women, not a generic one size fits all. These were geared for sizes 6-10 and the instructions inside the package were easy enough to follow. Simply remove the insoles if possible in your current shoe and cut to fit. I actually cut mine a little smaller than my current shoe and insert them into the shoes I wear most of the time. The rubberized gel sticks perfectly to the inside of your shoe and doesn't move around or bunch up.

At first, they felt a little odd since they increased the padding on the bottom of my shoe just a bit. But honestly after a day or so, I didn't notice a difference in the fit.

What I did notice is just how plushy and comfortable they made me feel in all the walking I was doing. There is ample padding on the heel of the insole which is where I needed the most support. After just a few short days, I did notice a huge difference in the way my feet felt. I wasn't feeling as sore and in fact, loved wearing my shoes more, even despite the hot summer temperatures because of the softness and cushion they offered my feet.

I can honestly say, I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a way to add more cushion to your shoes and relieve your achy feet from all the standing and walking you do. These will work in all kinds of shoes, work boots, or sneakers. I'd recommend putting them in the ones you were the most.

The best part is that if they don't perform as well as you'd expect, Dr. Scholl's offers a full replacement or refund. For me, that's a win/win!

I'd easily rate these a 4.5 out of 5 stars and have purchased an additional pair to put in my other work shoes so I don't have to take them in and out as I need to change shoes.

I received Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Insoles compliments of BzzAgent and Dr. Scholl's for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. For more information about Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Insoles visit your local retailer or their website by clicking here. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sitting Down with author Billy Coffey!

I've always loved great stories. In part, because they stay with you long after you have finished. Some in fact have embedded themselves in my mind that even now they seem like my own personal memories. Then one day something truly wonderful happened. I came across a blog titled simply, "What I Learned Today" from Billy Coffey. He shared these simple, but relevant true stories that resounded deep inside your soul and once there they have never left. I am thrilled for that because I've gotten the opportunity to watch him live a dream.

He began writing these incredible stories on his blog while waiting for his big break. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears but in the end, Billy is living every writers dream, to see your book published. Not only that but well received, liked, talked about and in demand. 

If you're a firm follower of Billy Coffey, then you already know most of this, but if you have found your way here today, well I'd like to believe God brought you here for a purpose.When Mockingbirds Sing is Billy's third novel. His first, Snow Day, is an amazing novel that chronicles what happens when that inevitable snow day occurs to different people all over a wonderful city. There is truly something to be found for everyone who reads it and everyone definitely has their favorite parts of the book. 

Paper Angels was Billy's second novel debut and chronicles the life of Andy Sommerville, who has been visited throughout his life by one he deems, the Old Man, who instructs him to keep a box of mementos that share special memories of people who have impacted his life. This is where we get to know just what the purpose in the collecting means and how he shares it with a woman named Elizabeth, he believes is a counselor in the hospital. What happens along the way touches you long after you finish the novel. 

Now in When Mockingbirds Sing, by far for me, his best novel yet, we are taken back to the town of Mattingly and we meet the Norcross family who has just moved there from a place simply known by the locals as Away. The story revolves around their nine-year-old daughter Leah who feels isolated partly because of her stutter. She finds solace in her conversations with the Rainbow Man who is only visible to Leah. The story builds as Leah finds herself painting pictures based on instructions from the Rainbow Man who appeal specifically to those she paints them for. It soon draws a line in the sand between the people of Mattingly who believe Leah and those that don't. You'll have to pick this one up to see the climatic ending of just what happens when people can't find explanations for what is going on in their small town. 

Now the fun part. I got to take some time and ask Billy some questions not only about the novel When Mockingbirds Sing but also about life in general. So without further delay, here goes!

1.Where did the idea to introduce mockingbirds to the novel stem from? In other words, why mockingbirds and not another species of bird?

My grandmother loved birds. I remember being just a kid and going to work up the garden with her. She’d start calling birds, one after the other—robins, sparrows, cardinals, anything. She’d whistle and sound just like them, and after a while I’d look up at the telephone line that ran the length of their yard and see it covered with birds. But she loved mockingbirds most of all. She passed on when I was just a boy. But for years after, every summer there would be a mockingbird singing every night in the big maple in our backyard. It just stuck with me, I guess.

2. Will there be another novel coming as a sequel to When Mockingbirds Sing? I know you are working on the companion book to Paper Angels involving the town of Mattingly again, but will there be one that continues the story of some of the characters in When Mockingbirds Sing like Allie, Tom or Ellen Norcross or even the Sheriff Jake since we never quite got to hear about his story of Happy Hollow.

The next novel will focus on Sheriff Jake. The one after that will be Allie’s. I think all the characters but Allie found some sort of closure by the end of When Mockingbirds Sing. That was by design. Allie’s my favorite, so I’m not done with her quite yet. Unfortunately, that also means she’s going to be hurting quite a bit.

3. What do you hope people take away from reading When Mockingbirds Sing?

I think there’s a prevalence in today’s society to fit everything we can into a single tiny box, whether it’s politics or social concerns or religion. That’s one of the main points the story ends up making—life is too full of mystery to be neatly fit into either/or. It’s oftentimes more and/both.

4. What made you decide to take a darker spin to your writing style? There is obviously a darker element that we see at play in this novel with a suspense side that is created when the painting Leah creates begin to have a prophetic vision to them.

I spent my first two books trying to get a feel for writing fiction. Mockingbirds is the result of that. Thomas Nelson gave me the freedom to produce the kind of books I really wanted to write. Mockingbirds really is darker than my other two novels. In some ways, the next one is even darker than Mockingbirds. But you know what? I think real life can be pretty dark as well, and I’m a big believer in the notion that we’re all surrounded by the unseen. So I don’t mind using a little darkness. It makes the light brighter.

5. Do you think the Rainbow Man will be returning in any of your future novels?

You never know. My gut reaction is no. But I’ll qualify that by saying the Rainbow Man was an instance of God stepping into the world for a brief moment, and that’s something you’ll always see in my books.

6. What do you think are the earmarks of a great storyteller?

An ear for dialogue, an eye for setting, and a good dose of honesty. And I think the best stories—the ones that stand the test of time—are those who don’t just tell what happens, but also speak to the deepest parts of us and what it means to be human.

7. How do you stay true to your faith in your novels without going overly religious that might turn some readers off?

I always think of the book of Esther in the Old Testament. God’s never mentioned once in those ten chapters, and yet He’s everywhere—just behind the scenes. That’s what I try to keep in mind when I write.

8. You say you wanted to be a baseball player growing up, have you considered the possibility of writing a book about a baseball player?

Oh, I’m sure sooner or later the subject of baseball will come up in a book. Or two. There are already a couple of ideas floating around.

9. What would the local people around your small town have to say about Billy Coffey?

I’m not sure a lot of them know I write books, or if they do, they don’t much care. I’m just Billy to all of them, and I like that just fine.

10. What is the biggest compliment/reward you’ve received since having your books published?

I think every writer wants to hear from readers who say this story was great or that character was riveting, but the best rewards to me are those who say a book or a blog post has really helped them through a rough time in their lives. That’s what I live for.

So there you have it in a nutshell! I want to personally thank Billy Coffey for taking some time out of his day to answer these questions. If you haven't already done so you can find more about Billy Coffey by visiting his website and while your there you can even get 30% off When Mockingbirds Sing by clicking here.

You can also follow Billy Coffey on Facebook so you don't miss out on any of his novels or short stories.

You can find his latest novel at your favorite book retailer or on Amazon by clicking here.

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401688217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401688219
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The one thing I love most about reading books is their uncanny ability to transport us to a place we'd never imagined we would go or experience things we would never want to but still like to be an outsider looking in. Erin Healy is a master at both of these events. In her latest suspense novel, Afloat, we meet Vance Nolan who has developed a revolutionary idea of building homes that can float inside a sheltered cover, providing the experience of an water-view home in a vastly different perspective. Originally Vance created these modular, green-friendly homes to provide alternative housing for the homeless in the small town called Eagle's Talon, so defined from the unique riverfront shape of land that houses what will be 96 modular units, in 12 buoyant buildings.

The one thing lacking in all of this master build planning is the financial component and soon that appears to be solved with the backing of Tony Dean, a wealthy developer who sees these units as something larger than providing them for the homeless. He convinces Vance to build them with a higher end clientele in mind and spears heads the sales with the help of an attractive single mom, Danielle Clement and her son Simeon. Yet when a freak and unexpected storms rocks the small cove, along with a series of unexplained accidents, it seems that there is more going on that just what lies beneath the pristine waters. Darkness soon falls to those that find themselves trapped with no apparent way out.

I received Afloat by Erin Healy compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Book Tours for my honest review. I received no monetary compensations for a favorable review. This is now my third book from Erin and once again she manages to captivate me right from the beginning. I was turning pages and trying to follow along while making my own guesses on what exactly was going on. There is a supernatural twist to this one that really makes you wonder about the people who come into our lives in unexpected ways and the ending is one that has you completely on the edge of your seat. I'd rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and know that I will most certainly add Erin Healy to my Must Watch List.

For more information about Afloat, Erin Healy or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can follow Erin Healy on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Afloat from the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour please click here.

Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway.
One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin's blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin's blog on the 17th!

An Open Heart

"Always trying to save the world, aren't you Jace? Well, look where it's gotten you now."

If-onlys crowded out hope. If only he'd upgraded to first class, maybe he wouldn't have arrived so sleep deprived, and his reactions would have been quicker. If only he'd let someone else pick him up at the airport instead of agreeing to drive a friend's Land Rover. If only that last goat hadn't tried to cross the road. He slipped his hand into his suit pocket and closed it around a small wad of shillings, the local currency in Kenya. If only he'd been willing to pay the bribe, he could have avoided the whole mess.

He should have known that the crowd that gathered around his Land Rover would have sided with the locals. "He was speeding," they had all agreed. Kikuyu mamas with colorful clashing sweaters and headscarves. Barefoot children pushing roasted corn beneath his nose, hoping for a sale. An old man on a donkey cart had rubbed his gray-chin stubble and nodded with apparent wisdom. "Shouldn't race on our roads." Everyone claimed it was Jace's fault. If he had only paid the bribe. If only.

In the latest novel from author Harry Kraus, An Open Heart takes the readers into the heart of Africa, right into the Great Rift Valley that separates Africa in two for his suspense thriller. The book opens with Jace Rawlings, a US heart surgeon who is sitting in a Kenyan jail awaiting the outcome of his crime, one that in most eyes would be ruled an accident but only if you were in the US. Only Jace wasn't in the US and now he could only begin to think of a way out of this mess. Only the prime minister of parliament in Nairobi is taking matters into his own hands to free Jake. He has consulted with Mzee Simeon Okayo, a town elder of Kisii who practices traditional witchcraft to assist with this most urgent matter and one that needs to be managed with discretion.

Only now it seems that Jace Rawlings has powers that even the local villagers have begun to take notice of beginning with the victim who died at the scene of his accident. Now it seems that what was once dead has now returned to life and now Jace it seems is the new magic man! Just when Jace arrived in Africa to escape his troubles in the US it seems like new ones have found their way to Africa and Jace's running is about to end. 

I received An Open Heart by Harry Krauss compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and David C Cook Publishers for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is an interesting look at just what missionaries have to deal with in Africa. Not only the differences in cultures but also in religion. While the character of Jace Rawlings exemplifies the Christian doctor, he has to deal with the local people who still believe in the traditional witchdoctors to deal with virtually everything that happens to them from the crops to the weather. Is there more at work here than meets the eye? You'll have to pick this one up to see what the dead who are brought back to life have to say! I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I've read quite a few of Harry Kraus novels and the experience of being a board-certified surgeon and medical missionary bring a sense of realism to this novel in unremarkable ways.

For more information about An Open Heart, Harry Kraus, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

To read more reviews on An Open Heart from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Tour, please click here.  

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781405351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781405355
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches 
Available in paperback and Ebook formats from your favorite book retailer.