Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello, Hollywood! by Janice Thompson

FUN!

This book is a great deal of fun. I really enjoyed the back-stages of a small group writing a sitcom. 
I found the plot steps fascinating! I didn't have those in college, or in any of my training, so they were quite interesting to me, and they were worked into the book with great skill. Most people might not notice, but because of my background I could tell right off that the author, Janice Thompson had done some TV screen writing prior to Hello, Hollywood! because of way she wrote this book. It makes it just lovely, and none of it was lost on me. 

Hello, Hollywood! is a fun easy read, and I really loved the Zeus, the Greek Domestic dog. They are quite a fascinating breed, and as an animal and dog person myself, I had to look up a bit more about them. All the characters were strong. Family, friends, God and solving problems were integral parts in this book. Overall I just liked it, it was fun, well written, fast paced, and sweet. I liked the ending screen play as well. 

Carol 


The Book:


When it comes to love, one thing's for sure--it doesn't follow a script!
Athena Pappas is the head writer on Stars Collide, one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. But when Vegas comedian Stephen Cosse is brought in to beef up the show's suddenly sagging ratings, she starts to worry about her job. Sparks fly as the competition--and attraction--between the two writers heats up. Athena has never had a problem writing the romances of her characters. So why is her own love life so hard to script?

With humor and a Hollywood-insider viewpoint, Hello, Hollywood! delivers lots of laughs as Athena and Stephen discover that not being in control of the plot of their lives might just be the best thing that ever happened to them.

"Romance, drama, fun--Hello, Hollywood! has it all."--Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and A Charmed Life series

"Thoroughly delightful! A blend of contemporary life and romance with nostalgic snapshots of Hollywood's golden age. Thompson writes with warmth and humor, creating a world we can all escape to for a little while."--Rachel Hauck, bestselling and award-winning author of Dining with Joy

About the Author:

Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and former screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson affords an inside look at TV land, drawing on her experiences as a screenwriter. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and Stars Collide. She lives in Texas.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Dangerous Mercy by Kathy Herman

Hi Y'all,

Dangerous Mercy got to me pretty late! Almost too late to read it all, but I managed! I pretty much didn't put it down for two days. First of all let me say that if Kathy Herman hasn't lived in Louisiana, then she knows people who have. I loved her use of the culture, and language. I have been in Louisiana many, many times, and I have friends there. So when I tell you Kathy Herman did good on this, she did! I knew almost all of the cajan words prior to reading this book, and they added to the book greatly.

Dangerous Mercy is a very engaging story of a small community in Louisiana, called Les Barbes. Adele Woodmore is an 86 year old widow, who use to own a very large "Manor". Since her husband had passed many years ago, she moved out of the estate and a couple she is very close to run it as Bed and Breakfast.
Live is good, baby Grace is a frequent visitor, as well as Zoe and occasionally her husband. Adele is pondering over what God has for her now.

Meanwhile, Father Sam is running Haven House, a way to restore men who have been homeless or on hard times to get their lives back. Noah, who works as the gardner and landscaper for Langley Manor. Noah is actually a descendant, alive because of the Underground Railroad, part of the rich history of Langley Manor.
Murry also lives and works at Haven House. Soon Murry and Noah are working odds and ends jobs for Adele. Her live in house keeper isn't happy about the men, she doesn't trust them, but Adele does and she is not who she is to be told what to do now at this late date.

Then things really start to ratchet up because there is a killer in their community! That is just unheard of, and so out of place in this peaceful cajan community. But with more and more victims dying, and no clue who is next, suspicions and accusations are popping up all over. Even when we start to suspect who the killer is, Adele is still working in and with "dangerous mercy".

A very engaging book that will keep most people guessing long into the story, and once you do figure out who the killer is, the twists are not over. I especially liked the ending. A recommended read foh shore!

Carol



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dangerous Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
by
Kathy Herman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.


ABOUT THE BOOK
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

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

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0781403413 

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Christmas time in September folks! 

A Lancaster County Christmas is an interesting book that is about the right length for a 2 hour read if you read fast. First I will tell you about the story. Jamie is a photographer. One of the reasons I chose this book! 
She is married to C.J. and they aren't happy. Mattie and her husband Sol are Amish. Mattie and Jamie meet in the same doctor's office. Mattie is dealing with the fact that she has miscarried another baby, and she wants nothing more than to be a good Amish wife with a big family. Alas, she only has one son and God doesn't seem to be letting her have more. This is causing her great, and deep pain. 

Meanwhile Jamie is wrestling with keeping her Father's love, as major job changes so she can be super successful and not just working the Sears Portrait Studio for the rest of her life, and being rather convinced that her husband is having an affair. As God would have it these two couples (and some extra kinfolk) wind up together for Christmas on the Amish farm belonging to Sol and Mattie. Lots of revelations and insite start occurring for both couples. 

Now for my thoughts. This was the first book by Suzanne Woods Fisher that I have read. I felt like the Amish  people in the book were more real and portrayed better than the English ones on some levels. I liked all the interaction with the main characters. I was not the least bit happy about that item that was lost, and not found. I would have had to written that detail differently, because that one really really bothers me. Maybe it is because I am also a photographer. Another thing that bothered me is how Jamie and C.J. had all these "problems" and they were all so very very minor. I guess I have dealt with too many problems in my life, and my friends lives, that were not minor at all. That were not fixed at the end of the book, or the end of the "episode". However, the problems that Mattie and Sol were facing were major ones that they had to overcome.  I also feel like lots of things were left open ended or loose. I am not sure if these are things that only notice or not. Over all great strides were made throughout the book, and spiritual growth as well, and the settings were quite good. 

One thing I LOVED was all the attention to the animals, and especially Tucker! I have a friend who has a Search and Rescue dog. I have also trained 4 Service Dogs. So Tucker, the baby lambs, the baby owl, none of the wildlife or domestic animals were lost on me. I throughly enjoyed them. And where is that bob cat now anyway??? 

Carol 

The Book:

Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do--in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they've drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.
Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way.  But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn't likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home--and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

About The Author:


Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction and the host of a weekly radio program called Amish Wisdom. She has twenty books under contract with Revell--seven published, thirteen to come...she's contracted all the way into 2016. The Waiting is a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. The Choice is finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011).
Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. She has many, many Plain relatives living in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and travels back to Pennsylvania, as well as to Ohio, a couple of times each year for research.
Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world.  In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life.
When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.
Keep up on Suzanne's latest news on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog!

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Monster of the Hollow by Andrew Peterson (The Wingfeather Saga)

Alright! Time for another great fiction review! 


The first book in this series captured my attention. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness  was simply good, and memorable. My cousin's just loved the first book! And then, I messed up. I didn't get the second one because I was waiting for a review. (OPPS!!!) So now, here we are, at book THREE! I quickly ordered a copy of North! Or Be Eaten!, but alas, I haven't gotten to read it all yet. 


You know what that means! I can't BEAR to read all of The Monster of the Hollows with out reading North! Or Be Eaten!-!!!  But I also couldn't not read enough to give you a review. You will just have to bear with me as I am able to read the second book, and then update this review, if needed. ;) 


The Wingfeather children, and there are three of them, are in line for a throne. A throne that in book one they did not understand in book one. Now they are in the land of their ancestors, Green Hollows. Here they are going to be safe for a while, and get a chance to rest up and catch their breath. Running from Gnag the Nameless is exhausting. Being  free and safe from Fangs is an excellent thing you see.  However,  soon they find they have a monster in their safe hollow. 


Did it follow them? Was it hiding when they got there? Or did they somehow bring this monster with them? When one of their own looks like a monster, does that mean he is and they should hate and destroy him, or should they be asking Maker what He thinks about the issue? And you know, those gifts and callings are with out repentance. That means you are stuck with what you are put here to do, like it or not. (Oh dear!) 


As I said, I haven't read the end because I can't bear to with out reading book 2 first. I think it is a good idea to read this series in order, so that you don't miss out on any of the incredible things happening. I also have to say that in books 2 and 3 there are really lovely drawings. It adds so much to the books when authors are able to do that, and the art work is not lost on me. 


Carol 
About the Book:



Janner Wingfeather's father was the High King of Anniera. But his father is gone. The kingdom has fallen. The royal family is on the run, and the Fang armies of Gnag the Nameless are close behind.
Janner and his family hope to find refuge in the last safe place in the world: the Green Hollows--a land of warriors feared even by Fangs of Dang. But there's a big problem. Janner's little brother-heir to the throne of Anniera-has grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows he looks like a monster.
But Janner knows better. His brother isn't as scary as he looks. He's perfectly harmless.
Or is he?


Join the Wingfeathers on an adventure filled with mystery, betrayal, and sneakery in a land of tasty fruits. There's a monster on the loose and the truth lurks in the shadows.


About the Author:






Author/Singer/Songwriter Andrew Peterson, a 2005 Audie Award finalist for his readings of Ray Blackston’s Flabbergasted trilogy, wrote and produced the popular Christmas play and musical Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tale of the Coming of the Christ, and the album by the same name, which received the 2004 Best Album of the Year, World Christian Music’s Editors Choice Award. Andrew’s received critical acclaim for his seven albums and is at work on an eighth. He lives with his wife Jamie and their three young children near Nashville, Tennessee, where he reads storybooks aloud to his family each evening.


Artist Justin Gerard has illustrated several children’s books, including The Lightlings storybooks for young readers by R.C. Sproul. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and works as the chief creative officer for Portland Studios.

Andrew’s Web site and blog (a team blog he moderates):http://andrew-peterson.com/ and http://www.rabbitroom.com/





In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. :)

Book link - https://store.rabbitroom.com/books/the-monster-in-the-hollows
Series Web site - http://www.WingfeatherSaga.com/

Participants’ links:
Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Eve Nielsen
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon (Book 2 Guardians of Justice)

Hi Everyone,

Another readable treat has arrived for us! The last book I got to read by Irene Hannon in this series was the first book in this series, Fatal Judgement. I was happy to read again in the same lovely writing style as before. As soon as I started reading I thought, "I missed this!"

Alison Taylor is a social worker. Not something you would except to be more than a blip in the big scheme of things. She has been in an accident, leaving her with a few physical issues, and some deeper emotional ones as well. Her brothers Cole, and Jake are very protected of her, with good cause.

Her brother Cole asks her to go to a wedding with a man who needs her help, Mitch. Mitch doesn't need her help as much as he needs to meet the right woman for his life, but as a former Navy Seal, Alison is going to be well protected. Soon Mitch and Alison are good friends, with a chance of something much more. As Mitch struggles to make sure his Father is getting well from heart issues, his heart is falling for Alison, and Alison could fall for Mitch. Black roses, funeral banners, and bingo cards with sculls on her doorstep cause Alison's previous mundane life to take a drastic turn. Her family and Mitch are working around the clock to protect her, but Alison has a life to live and sometimes it overrides what should be better judgement.

Alison can't figure out who would be angry with her, but as a social worker the list could be endless. She is so wrapped up in a case where she knows the woman is being framed that she isn't as focused on her own well-being as she could be. Even with the losses she has dealt with in the last few days, she goes to work anyway. And that is when things really pick up! I am not about to give it all away, you know that by now.

I was moved by Irene's portrayal of people getting off drugs, and getting re-addicted to them, as well as those who had managed to turn their lives around with God's help. Mitch, Cole and Jake, as well as Bert are all good strong characters in this book, but it is Alison herself that stood out to me, in subtle and yet strong ways.

Carol



The Book:

As a social worker, Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children and seeing that justice is served on their behalf. But when she starts getting harassing phone calls and bizarre "gifts," it seems she may be the one in need of protection. When her tormentor's attentions take a violent turn, her brother Cole comes to her aid, along with his new partner, Detective Mitch Morgan. As her relentless stalker turns up the heat, Mitch takes a personal interest in the case. Protecting Alison has become more than just a job--because his own happiness now depends on keeping her safe.

Chock full of nail-biting suspense and heart-melting romance, Deadly Pursuit is Irene Hannon's storytelling at its very best. Fans old and new will not want to miss the next story in this series starring siblings fighting for justice.



About the Author:
Irene Hannon is the author of more than 25 novels, including the CBA bestsellers Against All OddsAn Eye for an Eye, and In Harm's Way. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier award, and the Reviewer's Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOK reviews magazine. She lives in Missouri.



Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HEY- Christmas in SEPTEMBER! A give-a-way! :)

It's Christmas in September - iPad Giveaway and Facebook Party!
Enter 9/7-9/26!

To celebrate the release of her first Christmas book, Suzanne Woods Fisher has teamed up with her publisher, Revell, to bring you the "Christmas in September" iPad Giveaway! The winner will be announced on 9/27 at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party! Details below. Tell your friends and join in the fun (9/7-9/27).

Oh and be sure to follow the blog tour here - many of the bloggers have copies of the book to giveaway! 




Suzanne and Revell will be presenting one merry winner with a Christmas Prize Pack (valued at over $600):
  • A Brand New iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of A Lancaster County Christmas
To enter, click one of the icons below. But, hurry the giveaway ends on 9/26.

But, wait! There's more! The winner will be announced at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party on 9/27 at Suzanne's author page. During the party she'll be revealing something *BIG* - you won't want to miss it. She'll also be hosting a book chat, trivia contest and giving away a few early Christmas presents! Hope to see you there.


Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Queen by Steven James

Hi Everybody,


Thrilling! Steven James newest book in the Patrick Bower Series is good indeed. So far I have read The Knight, and The Bishop, and now The Queen. (Yes, I need to go to the beginning and get The Pawn and The Rook.) They each stand alone with ease, but they fit together beautifully as well. 


In The Queen Patrick Bowers gets a call to come to the are where his estranged brother lives. A husband is missing or dead, and his wife and child have been murdered. Pat is called in to help analyze and figure out why they are dead, and is the husband dead too, or missing? Little does he know that this case is going to go deep and deeper into multiple areas in the case, as well as in his life. Those not-so-dead-and-buried issues start coming to life to be dealt with one after the other, all while he is trying to break the case, find the killers and avoid disasters on multiple fronts. 


Among those many fronts is Tessa, his "daughter" who is dealing with the aftermath of the man she had to kill, or who at least died because of her. She is dealing daily with guilt, and with trying to figure out what do people really mean when they say to "forgive yourself"? His brother is one of those fronts, and his brother's wife Amber, and the woman he wants to marry but hasn't quite proposed to is another front for him to deal with. The more he digs, the more secrets of the case, as well as of his life and the lives of those around him come rising from the grave to haunt, or is it to heal? 


Now all I need is some "spare" time to read the first two books! I will be waiting for the next one to come out as well. I really enjoy Steven James's detailed and gripping writing style. 


Carol 


Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.






“A masterpiece of a thriller.”—Special Agent R. Wayne Smith, FBI (retired)

While investigating a mysterious double homicide in an isolated northern Wisconsin town, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers uncovers a high-tech conspiracy that ties together long-buried Cold War secrets with present-day tensions in the Middle East. Amid the hazardous winter weather and harsh landscape, Bowers must piece together the puzzle before it’s too late.
In his most explosive thriller yet, bestselling author Steven James delivers a pulse-pounding, multi-layered storytelling tour-de-force that will keep you guessing.
The Queen is a breathless thriller from the author Publishers Weekly calls a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.”
WARNING: This book contains violence and graphic descriptions of disturbing crime scenes.  It is not for the faint-of-heart who may be offended by such written images.  For more on this topic, please read Steven James’ blog article entitled “Why I Write about Evil” .

Endorsements
"A masterpiece of a thriller."--Special Agent R. Wayne Smith, FBI (retired)
"Steven James continues to raise the bar in suspense writing. The Queen takes readers to a new level of suspense and is the best book in the Patrick Bowers series hands down!"--Suspense Magazine


ABOUT Steven James:


Steven James has penned 30+ books spanning the genres of psychological thrillers, prayer collections, dramas, monologues, a nine book series on creative storytelling, YA fantasy, and inspirational nonfiction.
He has received wide critical acclaim for his work including four Storytelling World Honor awards, two Publishers Weekly starred reviews, and 2009 and 2011 Christy Awards for best suspense. His latest thriller, The Bishop, was named both Suspense Magazine's and The Christian Manifesto's 2010 Book of the Year. 
Steven earned a Master’s Degree in Storytelling from ETSU in 1997 and is an active member of International Thriller Writers, the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and International Association of Crime Writers.  He is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest, and has taught writing and storytelling principles on three continents.
He lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife and three daughters. When he's not writing or speaking, he's rock climbing, playing disc golf, or (shh....) slipping away to a matinee.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Whisper Of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Hey All,

First we get a beautiful book title- Whisper of Peace, but it doesn't stop there. Beautiful Lizzy Dawson lives outside her former village, outcast for reasons she that died with her Mother. She has been there alone for several years since her Mother's passing. One day Clay and his sister Vivian come to her land. They have come to be missionaries to her Mother's village, the village that she doesn't belong to. The Athabascan people welcome Clay and Vivian but they are not at all pleased when they find out that they have had any contact with Lizzy!

A Whisper Of Peace gives us a wonderful story set in Alaska. This book is indeed peaceful, and yet rugged. Filled with a wonderful respect and love for the native people, lovely imagery, as well as real life contact with God. I really enjoyed this book a great deal.

Carol


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Whisper of Peace
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and numerous grandchildren.




ABOUT THE BOOK
Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother's dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.

Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people. Clay is totally focused on this goal...until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he's ever seen.

But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?

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

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764207857