Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Abigail's New Hope by Mary Ellis

Ah Dear Readers,

This is an enjoyable book, and a  bit different from your normal Amish book. Not the kind of different that is a mystery, but different because it is open. It is free, it is very pleasant like a good "Hallmark" film. Abigail is an Amish mid-wife. Her joy and job is delivering babies. Her Amish community is more in touch with the modern world, while yet staying true to their strong Amish roots. In fact, life in this book is just almost good enough to want to be Amish. (But I wouldn't be happy with out Internet to read books and communicate with!) 

Abigail winds up saving the life of a baby, but the mother dies. Before she knows what has hit her, she winds up in an English jail! An Amish wife and mother, a mid-wife, in JAIL! Accused of several crimes, Abigail is in deep prayer, scripture, and soul searching. Meanwhile her sister is living with her husband to take care of her kinner (children) and while Catherine is there she finds Abigail's husband, Daniel's cousin Isaiah. Isaiah is not dumb or simple minded like people have thought, he just needs some teaching and soon Catherine finds herself falling in love with this unique man. 

While Abigail is in jail, God is still moving. God is using this to grow Abigail, and for forgiveness and growth to occur, for lives to be changed in positive ways, and God to be shown powerful. 

I really enjoyed Mary Ellis's close ties with the Amish community. They show so beautifully in this book. I feel that I have been there, and blessed for it! I love the details, and I loved the depth and passion in this book! 
Abigail's New Hope was touching, and it also dealt with how we cope with grief. 


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Abigail's New Hope
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
Mary Ellis

A word from the author: I grew up close to the eastern Ohio Amish community of Geauga County, where my parents often took me to farmers’ markets and woodworking fairs. My husband and I now live within the largest population of Amish in the country–a four-county area in central Ohio. We love to take weekend getaways to purchase farm produce and other goodies, stay with Amish families in bed and breakfasts, attend country auctions and enjoy the simpler way of life.

This is my first series of novels set in the Amish community.

I would love to hear from readers of Christian novels. Please leave me a post at my blogsite.

As an Amish midwife, Abigail Graber loves bringing babies into the world. But when a difficult delivery takes a devastating turn, Abigail is faced with some hard choices. Despite her best efforts, the young mother dies—but the baby is saved.

When a heartless judge confines Abigail to the county jail for her mistakes, her sister Catherine comes to care for her children while Daniel works his fields. Catherine meets Daniel’s reclusive cousin, Isaiah, who’s deaf and thought to be simple minded by his community. She endeavors to teach him to communicate and discovers he possesses unexpected gifts and talents.

While Abigail searches for forgiveness, Catherine changes lives and, in return, finds love, something long elusive in her life. And Isaiah discovers God, who cares nothing about our handicaps or limitations in His sustaining love.

An inspirational tale of overcoming grief, maintaining faith, and finding hope in an ever-changing world.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Abigail's New Hope, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Strange Man by Greg Mitchell (The Coming Evil Trilogy)

Hi Readers, 

If you scare easily, this isn't the book for you. 

If you are afraid to look or glimpse evil in the face, this is a book that will unnerve you. 

This is a cutting edge, true, gritty book that starts out with the "campfire" or scary stores that kids are often told. Right up at the front of the book, the first attack begins. There is a very Spiritual, yet X-Files feel to the first attack, it is quickly understood that some very demonic forces have ben unleashed on a little town that is in a rut. An almost dead town, with a people with numb and hardened hearts. A town where Jeff is the Pastor of a church, and his brother Dras (Draz for those who need to pronounce it) lives in almost total disfunction. At 22 Dras hasn't grown up, he is too busy coping with his failures and disappointments to himself, and others.  

When a very strangely perfectly handsome man shows up at The Rave Scene Club, Dras figures out that this "perfect" man is after his best friend and probable love of his life, Rosalyn. Dras quickly figures out that this "man" is no man at all... and that Rosalyn and himself, and many others are in life and soul threatening danger! 

Greg Mitchell has shown quite well how we need to be wise to the devices of the emery. How lulled by life people often are, and how we need to be awake, aware and ready to disarm the traps and plans that are laid to harm us. Salvation is readily available for us, sealed with the blood of Christ, and the way to Jesus is shown in this book.  

I am glad I have read it, and I really enjoyed it. The ending is open, but that is good. This is, after all, a trilogy and I want to read all of it. 

About the Book: (BOOK IMAGE near bottom of post! It keeps doing something odd to my  spacing! Sorry about that!) 

Dras Weldon lives in a world of horror movies and comic books. Twenty-two and unemployed, he is content to hide in the shadow of adolescence with a faith that he professes but rarely puts into action.

But when a demonic stranger arrives and begins threatening his friends, Dras is drawn into a battle that forces him to choose which side he is on. In a race against the clock, he must not only fight these evil forces but also somehow convince his best friend, Rosalyn, to join him—before she is lost forever.

Engaging and darkly humorous, The Strange Man is the first act of a trilogy that depicts a world where monsters are real and simple men and women must overcome their doubts and fears in order to stand against the unspeakable creatures of the night.
Click here to read the first chapter.

About the Author:
Greg Mitchell is the co-author of Time Changer, which was made into a theatrically released motion picture in 2002. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Paragould, Arkansas. He plans to have book two of this trilogy, Enemies of the Cross, released in February of 2012. 

Book link  - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1616381949
Author’s web site - http://thecomingevil.blogspot.com/

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
Participants’ links:
Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Kathy Brasby
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
Amber French
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Inae Kyo
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Gavin Patchett
Andrea Schultz
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blood Of The Prodigal by P.L. Gaus

Oh Readers,

This author, P.L. Gaus has a grip on the Amish community unlike almost any I have read. This book was amazing! If you don't care for most Amish stories, please try this one. If you have never read a book about the Amish, or with Amish characters, read this one. I do not think you will be disappointed unless you just can't stand to read a book with any mysteries in it.

I throughly enjoyed this well written, well paced mystery. It is quite refreshing to see how accurately, gently, yet very precisely the Amish were treated and portrayed in this book. His understanding, and depth of respect for these people shows in each page of Blood Of The Prodigal.

The story itself is infused with facts and truths about the Amish culture, life style, and how they serve and follow God. Beautiful rural settings are described with detail, even down to where roads brach off and take a twist or turn. Sunrises, sunsets, and how cold your breath can be when milking in the morning are very accurate and well written that I wasn't sure I didn't have to get up and milk in the morning again!

In the mists of this peaceful culture resides Bishop Miller. In an unprecedented step he asks two trusted outsiders, English, to help him with a situation that reaches far beyond the borders of his Order. His oldest son, Jonah Miller was drawn out into the world. Out into sin, into those things which so many fall prey to already, drink, women and wild living. So rebellious was his spirit that his own Father, the Bishop Miller had to put the Mite on him, to ban him until he could or would return home a repentant and obedient son. But the first return of Jonah was not to reunite with his family, but to come and kidnap his 10 year old son, Jeremiah.

Blood of the Prodigal is the story of a Professor, a Pastor, and a Sheriff all working to find one child who is missing, and to bring the prodigal son home. It is not, however, just an Amish story. It is a story of the deep destruction that sin causes, the pain of the rift when we are separated from The Father, and a story of love and redemption.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blood of the Prodigal
Plume; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
P.L. Gaus

Paul took an interest in writing fiction in 1993, and with the advice and encouragement of author Tony Hillerman, he began writing mystery novels set among the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. The first of Gaus's mysteries, Blood of the Prodigal, An Ohio Amish Mystery, was published by Ohio University Press in June of 1999, and a total of six novels have appeared in this series: Broken English, 2000, Clouds Without Rain, 2001, Cast a Blue Shadow, 2003, A Prayer for the Night, 2006, and Separate from the World, 2008.  A seventh novel in the series is in preparation.

All of Paul's stories have now been republished by Plume (a division of Penguin Group USA) as The Amish-Country Mysteries, and these editions have been embraced by Christian retailers such as CBD.com, Family Christian Stores, and LifeWay.  Future mysteries in the series will still first be published in hard cover editions, as The Amish-Country Mysteries by Ohio University Press, with Plume bringing out the soft cover editions some time later.

Paul and his wife Madonna still travel frequently in Holmes County.  He lectures widely about Amish culture at libraries, bookstores, literary societies, and the like, and his books have been featured at Book Expo America and similar professional shows around the country. Paul's novels have been reviewed in prominent journals and newspapers, for instance, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Ohioana Quarterly, and the New York Times Book Review.

For Jonah Miller, shunned by his Old Order sect and cast into the wider world, the summer begins with his decision to kidnap his ten-year-old son from the home of the bishop who had exiled Miller a decade earlier.  In his desperation to retrieve the boy, the bishop appeals for help to the only "English" men the sect would ever approve.

Professor Michael Branden and Pastor Caleb Troyer had been looking forward to the kind of sleepy rural summer they had enjoyed as boyhood friends growing up in the small college town of Millersburg.  Instead, they plunge into the normally closed Amish culture to find the boy.  When the kidnapping leads to murder, they can no longer keep the case from the law.  Working sometimes at cross purposes with his friend Sheriff Bruce Robertson, Professor Branden digs through the past to uncover truths that many would prefer to leave undisturbed.  Little does he suspect that even the anguished bishop, torn by an insoluble moral dilemma, tragically does not tell everything he knows about the case.  Suddenly the vast tangle of Amish and Mennonite settlements that sprawl among several thousand small farms and homesteads seems less bucolic than unknowable and impenetrable.

As they inquire delicately among the peaceful ones, Branden and Troyer learn that the troubles of Jonah Miller began far earlier than the kidnapping, with his Rumschpringe - the customary wild year before taking Amish vows.  But his grand Rumschpringe had exploded into a decade of drugs, whiskey, and women, in the company of people no Amish person should meet.

In the tradition of Tony Hillerman, P. L. Gaus depicts a culture that successfully stands outside the mainstream yet interacts with it in complex and fascinating ways, a culture that is every bit as susceptible to the undertow of the human spirit as any we might know.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Blood of the Prodigal, go HERE

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452296463 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tea For Two by Trish Perry

Hi Readers,

Here is an easy reading, enjoyable book! This is the second book in a series, but it holds up very well on its own. One of the main attractions, and settings in this book is Milly's. She owns a tea shop, which has lots of teas of course, but also many baked goods or sandwiches to go with tea.

Tina is a councilor who meets with a group of ladies every week to help them, and they hold that meeting at Milly's. One day while having their meeting, Tina gets rather distracted by the handsome man delivering the berries and vegetables. She puts it out of her mind, but Milly didn't miss her noticing Zack.

Soon Zack is in trouble with his teenagers. Dylan and Sherry are getting into all kinds of trouble that could soon be super serious if he can't get through to them. Zack is a single parent, and so Milly gently sets it up for Tina to help council Zack and his children with out it being official counseling work in the office. Before very long the children decide that Tina is a perfect new girlfriend for their Dad, and even when Tina tells the children she is a counselor, they don't care! They want her to help their Dad, and so Tina is soon wondering if this man she is so drawn to is the next man God wants in her life! After all, dating is hard, complicated, and most of the time it is easier to run from it.

A very nice light romance, with good humor, and some adventure. I enjoyed it.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tea For Two
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
Trish Perry

A word from our Author: I started writing short stories—pretty bad ones. And I started taking creative writing courses to round out my degree. So I was in classes full of people just like me—lousy writers. But we were learning!

Then the Lord led me to a local writers' group, Capital Christian Writers, and the contacts and friends I made through CCW enriched my personal life and my writing life more than I can measure. Through CCW and through reading just about every book and magazine ever published by Writer's Digest, I started catching on. Now I'm writing full time and man oh man do I love it.

Before the writing began, I worked for attorneys in Washington, D. C. I worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission. And I was a stockbroker. A horrible stockbroker. How do people do that? Take responsibility for other people's financial futures? Yikes. I'm perfectly happy to take responsibility for the amount of time any one person wants to spend reading my books. If you enjoy the experience, then know that we both enjoyed it together. I love that about books.

In the midst of all that fretting over other people's money and writing about other people's lives, I racked up a few personal experiences myself. Some good, some bad, but all part of God's plan. Now I'm an empty nester living in Northern Virginia. My brilliantly funny son is in college. I have a savvy, gorgeous grown daughter, a charming son-in-law, and an amazing grandson.


Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law.

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.

And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

Although heroine Tina Milano and her women's group are mentioned in The Perfect Blend (the first book in this series), Tea for Two is where we meet her and hero Zack Cooper. I knew I would write this book while I wrote the first, so it was fun to plant a passing mention of Zack and Tina while I wrote Steph's story in The Perfect Blend. By the time I was able to write Tina and Zack's story, I was eager to unfold their lives, conflicts, and love. I hope readers will be eager to experience what happens to them!

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

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0736930167

Watch the Book Video:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tales Of The Dim Knight by Adam & Andrea Graham


Here it is, one of the most unique books I have read in a while! I think we all grow up knowing at least a few Superheroes, and some know more than others. I didn't watch too very many cartoons growing up, but I did watch many of the old Superheroes, such as all the Superman movies. The wonderful old black and white Superman series, and several other things that are very "antiquated" for my age bracket I am told. None the less, we love them for their honesty, fighting for justice, and just plain being a good clean hero. 

You are not likely to find a hero quite so into cleaning as David Johnson. He is a janitor, in the FBI building. He spends his night cleaning, and his days trying to understand Lois Lane, err, his wife Naomi. When he isn't doing that he is reading comic books, or playing with action figures with the youngest of his two sons. His oldest has about had it with him and his non-grown up, not very ambitious ways. 

But as things always do, everything changes for David when he winds up with an Alien attached to him! Yes, you read that right. A symbiotic alien life-form, Zolgon, has been sentenced by Creator to cope with human hosts until he learns the lesson that he hasn't learned yet. And for this Zolgon winds up integrating with the lowly, uneducated man with aspirations of herodom.  Because of  Zolgon David's powers have extremely few limitations. In fact, David himself has more limitations than his superpowers.  

Being a Superhero comes with drawbacks, and not matter how heroic, flaws. Those flaws become more and more obvious as David transforms himself into Powerhouse, and then The Emerald Avenger, and tries his best to fight crime, and do good, yet fails in so many different ways because he lacks the power of Christ. 

Reverend Jones was one of my favorite charters, and Crusader was also pivotal, as well as near the end of this book. I really have to commend Adam and Andrea on how they did the final scene for young "Jimmy Olsen" in this book. That was extremely SUPER! (Pun intended!)

Tales Of The Dim Knight has so much to it! It has slap-stick comedy, and yet it is deadly serious in areas concerning Heaven and Hell. Tales Of The Dim Knight shows the flaws that make us human, and the power that only comes from the One who can fix it all. At first I was a little thrown off with some of the chapters, because so many are good enough they could have stood on their own. I was quickly over that, excited that reading this book was like getting to sit and just watch several DVD's of a really good TV Series. When it ending I hoped that Adam and Andrea Graham will find a way to grace us with a "sequel", that we have not seen the last of this average David, Superhero Supreme. 

Carol :) 
About the Book:
Mild-mannered janitor and superhero fanboy Dave Johnson gets all his wishes at once when a symbiotic alien gives him supernatural powers, but what's he to do with them? Follow his zany adventures as he fights crime and corruption while trying to keep his family together and avoid being sued for copyright infringement.

The first chapter can be read here:  http://dimknight.com/samplechapter.html

About the Authors:
Adam Graham is a multi-talented author known for his wit and poignancy. His political column appears on Pajamasmedia.com and Renew America. He also has short stories published in the anthology Light at the Edge of Darkness, and in the Laser & Sword e-zine. He hosts the Truth and Hope Report podcast, as well as the Old Time Dragnet Radio Show,Great Detectives of Old Time Radio  and the Old Time Superman Radio Show
Mr. Graham holds a general studies Associate of Arts degree from Flathead Valley Community College with a concentration in Journalism. He tweets at @idahoguy, @dimknight and @radiodetectives.

Andrea Graham co-authored Adam’s first novel, Tales of the Dim Knight. Her short story “Frozen Generation” also appeared in Light at the Edge of Darkness. She studied creative writing and religion at Ashland University. Visit her online at POVbootcamp.com and Ask Andrea, or follow her tweets @povbootcamp.
Adam and Andrea live with their cat, Joybell, in Boise, Idaho. They are members of several writers groups, including Lost Genre Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers. Adam is president of their local ACFW chapter, Idahope.

GET A COPY!!!!  www.amazon.com/gp/product/0986451754
VISIT the official site: http://www.dimknight.com
Would Tales of the Dim Knight Be A Good Book for My Kids?
http://www.povbootcamp.com - Helping you whip flabby novel manuscripts into shape.
http://laserandsword.com       -   Laser & Sword Magazine
http://askandrea.adamsweb.us -  Devotionals, book reviews, and Christian advice blog

Tour Participants Include:
3/17/11 James Somers http://www.jamessomers.blogspot.com
3/27/11 David James http://newauthors.wordpress.com/
4/1/11 April Erwin http://www.projectinga.blogspot.com/
4/3/11 Phyllis Wheeler www.Christian-Fantasy-Book-Reviews.com
4/4/11 Noah Arsenault http://noahsreads.blogspot.com/
4/4/11 Sarah Sawyer www.sarahsawyer.com/blog
4/5/11 Tammy Shelnut  http://www.bluerosesheart.blogspot.com
4/6/11 Timothy Hicks http://fantasythyme.blogspot.com/
4/7/11 Joan Nienhuis http://www.bookwomanjoan.blogspot.com
4/8/11 Carol E. Keen http://carolkeen.blogspot.com
4/11/11 Morgan L. Busse http://morganlbusse.wordpress.com
4/14/11 Emily LaVigne http://southernfiberreads.wordpress.com/
4/15/11 Chawna Schroeder http://chawnaschroeder.com
4/22/11 Frank Creed http://afrankreview.blogspot.com
4/28/11 Beckie Burnham http://rbclibrary.wordpress.com
5/3/11 Amy Cruson  http://the160acrewoods.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Alarmists by Don Hoesel


Another Don Hoesel book! This one is The Alarmists. I know "the end of the world" will come one day, because my Bible says so. It is not, normally, an easy topic for me to deal with though. I am not sure why, because I look forward to being with Jesus and living in a perfect world. Many people think the world will end in 2012. How interesting that God has us here in this time frame!

In The Alarmists we meet Brent MichaelsIt is his day off, and he is doing something he loves to do, fishing!
His peace and his fishing are interrupted by a "reality check" that it is the 12 month, and the 3rd day of that month, and the whole world is going to come apart! Well, at least enough people figure that it is that he is being "requested" to get to the Pentagon post haste. They want his impute, and so Brent Michaels, Professor of Sociology, embarks on the adventure of his lifetime. This one man is gifted with finding order in chaos, particularly where people are concerned. 

Along the way you are in for an action packed ride! Some powers that be actually WANT to bring about the end of the world, for their own benefit of course. Along the way the team that Brent is working with is dealing with their own conflicts and issues. Just because the world might be ending, life doesn't stop. Colonel James Richards and his team are working with Brent to find out who would really want to end the world, and what do they have to gain from it? Where does God and Science really fit in this mess? And will they have a mess worse than Y2K ever was?

A wonderful read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and reading happily! 
Another well done book by Don Hoesel! 

Carol :) 

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Alarmists
Bethany House (April 1, 2011)
Don Hoesel

Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief Journal. He was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but calls Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. The Alarmists is his third novel.

The 2012 phenomenon that's going viral around the globe has led sociology professor Jameson Richards to study the impact on society when, like the Y2K scare, 12/21/12 comes and goes with hardly a wrinkle.

This is the date that, according to the Mayan calendar, the doomsayers predict the world will end. Richards teams up with General Michaels, a scientist stationed at the Pentagon whose job it is to monitor the world's fanatics, keeping an eye out for potential terrorists. Together they uncover something sinister going on beneath the surface, linked to billionaire and media mogul Jeremy Maxwell, who also happens to be a huge manufacturer of weapons systems.

The 2012 date has captured Maxwell's attention too, and he's looking to cash in on the public's fear and paranoia. And what he instigates--along with his corrupt partners--nearly starts another war in the Middle East, while also bringing the world to its knees economically. It's up to the professor/general team to blow the whistle on Maxwell, hopefully in time to avert a major catastrophe.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Alarmists, go HERE

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764205625