Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Director's Cut by Janice Thompson ( The Backstage Pass Series)

The first and only book I have read by Janice Thompson before this is Hello Hollywood.
You can read my review of that fun book here. The Director's Cut is the third book in the Backstage Pass series.

This book opens with as much interest as the last one. Tia is working on Star's Collide. Tia's life isn't following the script she would have chosen at this point, but at the same time it isn't totally horrible by a long shot. Complicated, yes, but it is time to figure out how deep trusting God runs. Tia has to figure out that you can't script your life like the scripts you write for a show or a book. Our dear sweet lady with Alzheimer's is still being lovingly cared for by her husband. Lenora's an amazing woman, even though she is ill. I love that she comes dressed in character to the set(s) as different, long loved leading ladies. I liked her, as well as many of the other characters in the last book, and I enjoyed them in this one.

A fun, slightly romantic, very real life type book that still manages to give us a break from our every day lives, even if some of our lives remind us of the events occurring in The Director's Cut.


About the Book:

The one thing she can't direct is her heart.
Tia Morales is used to calling the shots. She's the director of the popular sitcom Stars Collide, and her life on the set is calculated and orderly. Well, most of the time. Life outside the studio is another matter. If only she could get other people to behave as well as her stars do! When she starts to have feelings for handsome cameraman Jason Harris--with whom she's been butting heads for months--it's enough to send a girl over the edge. Will she ever learn to let go and take life--and love--as it comes?
Full of the humor and crazy family dynamics Janice Thompson fans have come to love, this colorful story gives you an inside look at Hollywood and a healthy dose of romance.

If you want more of Bella, DJ, Brock Benson, and other favorite characters from Janice Thompson, you'll love the Backstage Pass series. 

About the Author:
Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at TV land, drawing on her experiences as a screenwriter. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series,Stars Collide, and Hello, Hollywood! She lives in Texas.
Janice Thompson has been blogging on her website with a series of true stories from her career as a director!  If you’d like to read them, go here.  

Janice’s joyful take on her behind-the-scenes experiences can be read about at the following link:

And here is an article from Family Fiction:

Available June  2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Search by Shelley Shepard Gray (Book 2 of The Secrets of Crittenden County)

Hello all! 

The Search is the second book in this series. The first book was Missing. You can see my review of Missing here. As the second book in the series, this book picks up and moves quickly. I didn't feel any of the little bit of lag that was occasionally present in the first book. Of course, events in Missing set the stage for much of what is happening in The Search. 

Perry was Amish, and he wound up going with the "wrong crowd" and I don't just mean English. He got into drugs. There is a though for most people, drugs and the world we live in are not with our their own reach into the Amish communities. After that, well Perry went missing. By the time he was found, he was quite dead. His death threw an entire community into shock, and trauma. 

Frannie had been courting Perry. She had figured out he wasn't the man she should marry, but he still had a big part of her heart. Perry's death had rocked Frannie's world in a way that nothing in her life has. She has always been strong, firm, and slightly sharp tongued. Frannie is considered a bit of an old maid, and with that prospect facing her she took her Aunt's gift to her - a bed and breakfast. It isn't typically the role of a good Amish woman to be running a B&B with all those English about, but a woman has to do something in life when she isn't married and raising kinner.

And there their is Detective Luke. He is really drawn to Fannie, but the sheriff is thinking that Fannie could have been the last person to see Perry alive. People are keeping secrets, but who, and how deep do they go?

This book was just wounder-bar gut! I enjoyed learning more about each of the people living in Crittenden County and I hope I get to review the next book in this series.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Search
Avon Inspire; Original edition (June 19, 2012)
Shelley Shepard Gray

Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page

In the second book in her Secrets of Crittenden County series, New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers another page-turning romance set in Amish country

The serenity of the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky is disrupted when Abby Anderson discovers the body of Perry Borntrager in an abandoned well. Perry had been missing for months. Everyone figured he had left the order during his rumspringa. As friends and family reel from this news, and are faced with the first death by mysterious circumstance to occur in their small town in over 20 years, a homicide detective arrives to help solve the crime

Before Perry disappeared, Frannie Eicher and Perry had been secretly courting. Now that it’s common knowledge that he was murdered, it’s up to Fannie to decide whether or not to tell everyone about the secrets he told her.

After much deliberation, she decides to tell Luke Reynolds, the visiting police officer, what she knows. At first, the two meet only on the context of discussing Perry’s death. Then, Luke begins to feel more and more at home, both with Frannie, and in Marion. The only problem is that he feels a romantic pull toward Frannie. Frannie feels that same attraction toward Luke, but is afraid to give her heart to him. After all, she doesn’t want to leave her faith.

As Luke uncovers more secrets about Perry and the case draws out, his time in Marion runs out. He has to decide whether to go back to his job with the Cincinnati Police Department…or stay in Marion.

If you would like to read the Prologue of The Search, go HERE.

The book link is: 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mary Magdalene by Diana Wallis Taylor

Meet what well could have been the life story of Mary Magdalene.

Author Diana Wallis Taylor takes the Biblical time period and historical facts and works them together to create Mary Magdaline - a novel. This book starts with Mary's upbringing in a loving Jewish home, as a beloved only child. Soon those who plot evil against her family kidnap her as a pre-teen. Since her Father Jared is an excellent builder of quality boats, a ransom is demanded. Mary is rescued, but not with out great trauma and her life is suddenly and almost irrevocably changed.

Now Mary suffers from things that no man can cure. The local priests pray for deliverance for her over and over again, but the nightmares and seizures do not stop.  She is loved by those who can see past her pain and illness, but feared and hated by many. Through it all she is praying that HaShem (God) will heal her, save her, or just take her home and end her suffering and the issues it causes those she loves. Her only thread of hope is the voice she heard that told her "It is not yet time, beloved. Trust me." She is shunned and rejected by most of her community. Her husband is in agony that her condition is not improved, but worsened and at times her voice is not even her own. Mad Mary they call her as she walks in the market place. The woman God has forsaken, even refusing to allow her to bear a child. And her condition became yet worse! 

Her husband is building a boat for James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They bring news of a man named John, who wears strange skins and says the Messiah is coming very soon. If that is real, if it isn't just another rumor could there be One coming that could help Mary and her family. Could this man named Jesus be the Son of God, and could or would he have any answers for Mary and her family? 

Mary is well known in the Bible for being around Jesus quite a bit. I want you to read this book to see how this story, through the eyes of this writer and Mary see lives change and hearts heal. The Savior with power to heal is waiting. Are you ready to read what He does? 


About the Book — Mary Magdalene
One woman desperate for hope. 

One Savior with the power to heal.

A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.
Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? 
How long must she wait for healing?
This vivid portrait of the enigmatic Mary of Magdala comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor introduces you to a Mary who is both utterly original and respectful of the biblical account, opening your eyes to a redemption that knows no bounds.

The book link is:

Diana Wallis Taylor — award-winning Christian author

Diana Wallis Taylor
Recently named "Writer of the Year" by the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild, Diana Wallis Taylor has been writing since the age of 12 when she sold her first poem to a church newspaper. Her third novel, Mary Magdalenecomes out in May and she recently completed her fourth novel of Biblical Fiction for Revell, Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She won first place in the San Diego Book Awards for her short story, "Phipps and the Jay"; First place in Christian Romance for her book Smoke Before the Wind. First place in Christian Fiction for her manuscript, "House of the Forest"; Second place last year for Martha all in the Reader's Favorite Book Review and Award Contest. Her collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind came out in 2006. Her writing contributions appear in various compilation books and magazines. Diana wrote the words and melodies to an Easter cantata called "Glorious" recently completed with her fellow collaborator, Carolyn Prentice, who did the orchestration. 

Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California. Between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages. In addition to her speaking and writing, she serves on the Board of the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild, the Board of her church, sings on the worship team, and enjoys taking part in Professional Women's Fellowship.
The Author's web site is:

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rebel by Linda Windsor (The Brides of Alba)

I love King Arthur, and Merlin. Always have, always will.

That just makes Rebel all the more interesting and fun for me! Rebel is the third book in the Brides of Alba series. I have not read the first two books, but I was quite pleased to read this one. Maps, genealogy, history, character information are all packed into the first several pages. This was a big help in tying things together for me since I hadn't read the other books. I did find myself referring to the maps and Bride's lines a few times during the book.

Battles are in this book, Spiritual connections are in this book, even to the point of tying it into the Bible.
Kella's struggles are quite real as she is a smart woman, who loves deeply. Allyn is man of faith, who just doesn't know it yet. He is fighting the good fight, the struggles and hasn't quite yet come into a super strong steady faith. But all that can change now can't it? God has a plan, and thankfully He doesn't give up on us!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
David C. Cook; New edition (June 1, 2012)
Linda Windsor

Linda Windsor makes her home at a restored and "growing" late 18th century home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Above the Windsor front door hangs a sign saying "Fort Necke, assigned 1684, established 1830," which means the land grant is older than the current building. She purposely left off the ageing brought on by the restoration to her mind and body - not enough space to accommodate the number. Chronologically, she admits to celebrating another birthday, just like the rest of us, each year on July 8th -- which also happens to be the anniversary of the day the Liberty Bell cracked.

Amid the often chaotic "country inn" atmosphere, Windsor has written quite a collection of historical and contemporary romances as both Linda Windsor and Linda Covington. Windsor's historical novels are known for her distinctive voice and flair for incorporating history with romance and adventure, while her contemporary romantic comedies are guaranteed to warm the heart, lift the spirit, and tickle the funny bone. Windsor insists that nothing is more entertaining than life itself, be it past or present.

With a degree in education from her local university, one of the greatest rewards to the innate teacher in Linda was hearing from readers that her Irish Gleannmara series was approved for some middle school English book reports as well as being used in home-schooling. To Windsor, entertaining, or keeping the pages turning, while educating is as much as any historical novelist can ask for.    

With Merlin dead, the succession undecided, and the Celtic church on the defensive from Rome, intrigue sweeps the court of the High King Arthur. But it’s battlefield news that consumes Queen Gwenhyfar’s young scribe, Kella O’Toole: her fiancĂ© is dead and her father gone missing.

Determined to find him at all costs, Kella defies the queen’s orders and sets out for Pictish territory. Her foster brother Alyn, a disillusioned priest who questions his calling, agrees to help her. The journey itself is perilous. But it’s their secrets that land Kella and Alyn in a viper’s nest of treachery that threatens both their lives and the future of Albion.

Can they summon the love and faith they need to find their way not only out of danger, but into happiness? Brilliantly researched, vividly imagined, and movingly written—a memorable climax to the Brides of Alba series.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting for Sunrise by Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie Everson is sponsoring a contest for a Kindle Fire in conjunction with her blog tour week for Waiting for Sunrise!  The details can be found here:!kindle-contest

This is the first book I have read by Eva Marie Everson. At first I wasn't sure I would be able to read this book because the first few chapters were so very intense! Thankfully, what I was really afraid would happen to Patsy didn't. WHEW! Soon I was very immersed in the lives of Patsy and everyone around her. Her new family, her old family, her husband and children. Her past hasn't healed, her future that isn't so certain, and the lives of her half brothers and sisters. While vividly set in the same time frame as part of my family and relatives grew up in, Pasty and her blood-kin family are dealing with issues that are timeless, and much more prevalent in today's world. 

Waiting for Sunrise is the journey of several lives, lives that keep changing in a slow but sure plan that God has in store even when those coping with their lives don't understand. This is a very emotionally, dynamically charged book that will keep you reading. 


About the Book:

Sometimes finding your future means making peace with your past
Patsy Milstrap wishes she could leave her past behind. Though she tries to put on a brave front for the sake of her family, the wounds still ache, and the scars on her soul are still deeply felt. At her concerned husband's gentle insistence, they take a vacation from South Carolina on Cedar Key, an idyllic island on Florida's Gulf Coast. A week in paradise will do them good, he says.

When a familiar--and most unexpected--face greets her at a seaside restaurant, Patsy knows she can no longer run from the past. But what will opening old wounds mean? And what will the future hold?

With a large helping of Southern charm, Waiting for Sunrise is a touching story of family, young love, and the need for forgiveness. Eva Marie Everson expertly draws out the bittersweet moments of life, weaving them into a tale that will envelop your soul.

About The Author:
Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker and the award-winning author of Things Left UnspokenThis Fine Life, andChasing Sunsets. She is coauthor of the Potluck Club books and the Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Florida. 

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Best Friend by Melody Carlson

Here we are today!

The Best Friend is the second book in the Life at Kingston High series. Lishia had friends! Well, she thought she did, and now they are all gone. She is so alone, her entire Youth Group has pretty much vanished from her life. So Lishia decides to find some new friends, and become the best friend she can be to someone. That someone winds up being Riley Atkins. Riley is a cheerleader, but she is also rather conniving, and manipulating. Lishia isn't use to this, and isn't sure what it is exactly, so it is quite confusing to her. She is doing her all to be a really good best friend to Riley, but in the process she isn't sure about the direction this is going. She has gone from bland to blonde and on the cheer leading squad, but is this what she really wants? Who all is paying the price for this besides Lishia as she bends over backwards to be there for her "best friend".

A very good book for teens, and some adults too!

The Best Friend

Lishia Vance is totally baffled. One day she has friends. The next day everyone has turned against her. No explanation. Just complete social isolation. Even her best friend Janelle isn't giving her the time of day.

Now she has one goal for her junior year at Kingston High: make a new best friend.

When Lishia makes a connection with Riley Atkins, a popular cheerleader, things start looking up. But is Riley really as good a friend as she seems? Or is Lishia better off without her?

Her web site is here:
Melody Carlson's info is here on her site:
She has written several wonderful books including Double Take, and The Jerk Magnet that I have reviewed here on my blog.

The Book Link is here:

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar

This was my first book by Tessa Afshar, Harvest of Rubies. I found her talent with Historical/Biblical Fiction to be quite fascinating! This style of book i uses Biblical characters that we know, and expounds on their lives using as much Historical information as possible, while adding in probably family members and situations that are not in our Bibles. However, these family members, towns and situations are extremly plausible! 

Harvest of Rubies is about a woman named Sarah. She is the cousin to Nehemiah. Yeah, never easy being in a family with a Prophet! Sarah hasn't come into her own, she is rather backwards in some ways. She learns to read, though it is forbidden, and we are all glad when her Father is pleased instead of possibly disowning her. Turns out she is reasonably gifted in these areas, like hidden talents. Expanding her studies to Persian, Sarah is now able to pretty much be a Scribe. (WOW for a woman!) This lands Sarah in a job in the Palace! Extremely different for a woman in this certain situation. 

God has plans for Sarah, even when she isn't seeing them. She is about to have doors open in front of her, and things she will be able to do! And she has a husband/pending husband too.... and the ability to figure out mysteries, and so much more! 

All in all a very interesting book! 


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Harvest of Rubies
River North; New Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
Tessa Afshar


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.

Remarkable Talent Threatens to Cloud a Life

The prophet Nehemiah’s cousin can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on tablets of clay, and solve mysteries. Her accomplishments catapult her into the center of the Persian court – working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and becoming the queen’s favorite scribe.

Not bad for a woman living in a man’s world: so why does Sarah feel like a failure?

A devastating past has left Sarah with two conclusions: that God does not love her, and that her achievements are the measure of her worth – a measure she can never quite live up to.

Darius Pasargadae is accustomed to having his way. A wealthy and admired aristocrat, the last thing he expects is a wife who scorns him.

Can two such different people help one another overcome the idols that bind them?

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

The book link is: