Monday, November 29, 2010

Emily of Deep Valley by Mitali Perkins

Hi Everyone! 

While this is the last review for the year for our CFBA group, I intend to post a few more reviews of other books as I read through December.  

Maud Hart Lovelace, I heard that name and said what? That name alone is very interesting! So I had to read this book. I am so glad that I have! I had not heard of this series or author before. Emily is more of a typical girl. She is horribly horribly shy! Emily winds up with a boy, Don, who is abusive. He is always putting her down, belittling her, making her feel unworthy and unlovable. She is coping with life after graduation from high school in 1912 and not being at all as she expected.

Emily has to rally herself and figure out how and what to do about her life and how to proceed. Emily of Deep Valley reminds me in a way, of Anne of Green Gables and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't mind reading all the rest of the books in this series, or by this author. 


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Emily of Deep Valley
Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
Mitali Perkins

A word from Mitali: Who In The World Is Mitali Perkins?

That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.

I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.

By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.

My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.

After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong female characters trying to bridge different cultures.

Mitali Perkins is the author of several books for young people, including SECRET KEEPER (Random House), MONSOON SUMMER (Random House), RICKSHAW GIRL (Charlesbridge), and the FIRST DAUGHTER books (Dutton).

Often cited as Maud Hart Lovelace’s (of Betsy-Tacy fame) best novel, Emily of Deep Valley is now back in print, with a new foreword by acclaimed young adult author Mitali Perkins and new archival material about the characters’ real lives.

Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can’t leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a “lost winter,” but soon decides to stop feeling sorry for herself. And with a new program of study, a growing interest in the Syrian community, and a handsome new teacher at the high school to fill her days, Emily gains more than she ever dreamed...

In addition to her beloved Betsy-Tacy books, Maud Hart Lovelace wrote three more stories set in the fictional town of Deep Valley: Winona’s Pony Cart, Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be delighted to find the Deep Valley books available again for the first time in many years.

If you would like to browse inside Emily of Deep Valley, go HERE.

The book link is:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Divine Appointments by Charlene Baumbich

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for the one I have had this year.

I had started to wonder if I had missed a divine appointment, or if this book was one that needed to get to me! Some of you know the last time it was suppose to be here it didn't work out. Then this time, my book showed up late. I am just so glad it got here, but I have not finished reading it.

So far I like the snow globe, and I think this is intriguing so far, and has good humor for sure.

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, I have a book to finish reading!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Divine Appointments
WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (September 21, 2010)
Charlene Baumbich


Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the previous three books in the Partonville series. A popular speaker, journalist, and author, for several years she has lectured to women’s groups and retreats. Baumbich is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Today’s Christian Woman, and numerous other publications. She is the author of six nonfiction books of humor and inspiration.

Charlene says: For over two decades of writing and speaking, my passionate pursuit to entertain and rejuvenate using humor (I love to laugh-especially at myself), uncommon wisdom, and passionate insights has been affirmed through countless calls, letters, and evaluation sheets. A reader recently e-mailed, "There is so much depression and sadness in this world. I applaud you for reminding all of us to treasure the moments in our lives, and for encouraging us to find joy in the little things. What you do helps so many to rise above the heaviness of life and live, and laugh, and face another day, so thanks!!!!" That is exactly why I keep doing what I do.

I am a firm believer in the power of story (short or book-length, funny or insightful, real or fiction, on stage or page) to accomplish my purpose, which is to remind you: Don't Miss Your Life! Whether you're tuning into me live or in print, fasten your seatbelt. I promise you a wild, fun, provocative, heart-warming ride.


Josie Brooks, at the age of 47, thought she was leading an enviable single life. A successful consultant, she calls her own shots, goes where the money is, and never needs to compromise. But her precisely managed world begins to falter during a Chicago contract when an economic downturn, a bleeding heart boss, and the loyalty and kindness between endangered employees ding her coat of armor.

Throw in hot flashes, a dose of loneliness, a peculiar longing for intimacy, an
unquenchable thirst—not to mention a mysterious snow globe with a serene landscape, complete with a flowing river and lush greenery that seems to be beckoning her in—and Josie’s buttoned-up life is on the verge of coming completely undone.

Maybe her solitary existence isn’t as fulfilling as she has convinced herself to believe. It will take a few new friends, a mystical encounter, and an unexpected journey to set Josie on her own path to “right-sizing” and making the life changes that really matter. Filled with laugh-out loud moments and a gentle dash of inspiration, Divine Appointments is another heartwarming charmer from a master storyteller.

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

The book link is: 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lightkeeper's Bride by Colleen Coble

Hello Readers! 

The Lighkeeper's Bride is the second in the "Mercy Falls" series, but this book stands alone very well. 

Katie was working the switchboards one evening when she hears a scary conversation between her friend Eliza and male voice, that seems like she knows it.  Even though Katie tells the authorities, Eliza vanishes and leaves her one year old little girl alone! Katie jumps in and takes care of her best friend's child, but she is determined to find out what has become of her friend. 

However, the light house keeper has offered to take care of the baby, which is a puzzle. He doesn't know about babies, and Katie's fiancĂ© is extremely un-happy about her liaison with Will, the lighthouse keeper, or that she is not giving up on finding out what has happened to Eliza.  As Will and Katie search for answers they are drawn closer to each other, and closer to what has happened to Eliza, a very dangerous thing indeed! 

A good book with pirates, mystery, a bit of romance, some history. The Lightkeepr's Bride is a  very nice read that should please those who read it! 

Carol :) 

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lightkeeper's Bride
Thomas Nelson (October 19, 2010)
Colleen Coble


Author Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.

A word from Colleen: God has been faithful, though the path has not been easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. God wouldn’t let me give up, and I like to think the struggle made me stronger. God has given me so much in my life, most importantly my great family, a loving church family at New Life Baptist Church, and my wonderful publishing family at Nelson Books.


A thrilling romantic mystery set in the lush Victorian age.

Central Operator Katie Russell's inquisitive ways have just uncovered her parents' plan for her marriage to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster. Her heart is unmoved, but she knows the match will bring her family status and respectability.

Then Katie overhears a phone conversation that makes her uneasy and asks authorities to investigate. But the caller is nowhere to be found. Mysterious connections arise between the caller and a ship lost at sea.

Against propriety, Katie questions the new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Then a smallpox epidemic forces their quarantine in his lighthouse. Though of low social status, Will's bravery and kindness remove Katie's suspicion and win her love. Katie and Will together work to solve the mystery of the missing girl and the lost ship as God gives the couple the desire of their hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lightkeeper's Bride, go HERE.

The book link is: 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson

Hello Readers,

This book opens with a bang, and that for real and quite soon in the front of it! Opening with the mob is quite a way to start a book off, much less one named The Silent Order. With in minutes of reading, I was turning pages with out a break. The book write up is a good short summery, but it shows nothing of the gripping characters or the vivid descriptions of people and places. Enter into a drastic contrast, the moffia mob vs. a quite sheltered Amish community. An Amish community where Katie is hiding, and where Detective Rollin Wells has landed. It has saved his life, but he can't live in hiding there forever, can he? And what about Katie? She has answers to Wells's past questions.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Silent Order
Summerside Press (November 1, 2010)
Melanie Dobson


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.

Rural America - 1928. After the murder of his partner, Detective Rollin Wells hides away in an Amish home near Sugarcreek, Ohio, to find out who in the police force is
collaborating with Cleveland’s notorious mob. While Rollin searches for answers to his partner’s death, he befriends an elusive young Amish woman named Katie and her young son. As Rollin learns about Katie’s past, he’s shocked at the secret Katie is hiding - a secret that has haunted Rollin for eight years.

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

The book link is: 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Grace by Shlley Shepard Gray

Hello, it is going to be Christmas time again soon!

Well, we have Thanksgiving first which tends to get overlooked now days, but you still have plenty of time to read this book for Christmas. In Grace you will meet a rather large family with many things going on, who run their own Bed and Breakfast. Normally they don't have any guest during Christmas. However, due to the mail running the way mail does, this year they are going to have a guest for Christmas. Before long they wind up with TWO guests at the Bed and Breakfast for Christmas!

This is throwing all sorts of kinks into everyone's plans. Some are happy, some are upset, and where do you put two strangers for a few weeks in the middle of all your family and their idea of what all is happening for Christmas?

Grace is a very nice story of, well.. grace! God's grace moves in ways we don't expect, in times we don't plan for, and His grace has plans that are beyond our imagination at times. Grace speaks of healing for broken and wounded hearts, which is what God's grace does. Simple, but yet sweet, this Amish based book is a  good book to read for Christmas.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.


It's Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed &  Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holiday.

Anna and Henry will be celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, and for Katie and Jonathan Lundy, it's their first Christmas with baby Stefan. Winnie and Samuel Miller plan to stop by as well for a wonderful two weeks of family and rest.

But when two unexpected visitors show up, hoping to stay for Christmas, the family must test their commitment to hospitality. Levi is a widower who lost his wife four years ago and can't bear the thought of another Christmas alone. And Melody is a young pregnant woman who won't open up about how she ended up on her own at Christmas at almost nine months pregnant.

Anna, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets, doesn't trust her, and strives to find out the truth about these two strangers who have disrupted their holiday. But as the Christmas spirit descends on them all, as well as snow that traps them in the inn, a healing and hopefulness takes over, allowing new relationships to be built, and the boundaries of family to be extended.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Grace, go HERE.

The book link is: 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

Attention Readers!

It is time for another wonderful book by Stephen Lawhead. I am a fan of Mr. Lawhead's work.
I am never disappointed by any of his books, though I do have favorites. I think I am missing a few, and I will have to remedy that!

The Skin Map is another shining example of Mr. Lawhead's great creativity and ability to immerse himself and his readers in a very intriguing story, which has enough plausibility to make it be a very real possibility!

(I have to run an errend, when I return I will tell you much more about this book, unless I vanish on a ley line while I am gone!)

O.k, No ley lines got me while I was gone. I have to say I am really thrilled with this book and I can't wait for the next installments of this series. I love the old England and German towns and settings that Mr. Lawhead so skillfully wove into the very fabric of The Skin Map. The idea alone of a map made of skin that has this kind of power was intriguing as well. I am throughly enjoying the transformation that Willamina is going through, as well as the massive adventure that is training Kit.

I can not wait to read the next four books!

Stephen R. Lawhead

Stephen Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction.
He has written twenty-four novels; his most recent one is The Skin Map; a BRIGHT EMPIRES novel. "Once again, Lawhead has penned an epic tale, putting a new spin on an old legend. Full of rich imagery, this page-turner will appeal to fans of suspense and fantasy." – Library Journal

The Skin Map


Stephen Lawhead has embarked on his most ambitious writing project to date: the five-book BRIGHT EMPIRES series. The first volume, The Skin Map, has a publication date of 1 September 2010.

The series is underpinned by the cutting-edge work of quantum physicists, natural philosophers, and cosmologists who describe a universe not only much greater, but also far stranger than we imagine.

The Skin Map -
Author’s web site -

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

Participants’ links
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Jeff Chapman
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
George Duncan
April Erwin
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Allen McGraw
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Gavin Patchett
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Kathleen Smith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Donna Swanson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Elizabeth Williams