Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Lost Melody by Lori Copeland AND Virginia Smith

Hello Readers,

Happy last day of November! While this is the last CFBA book review of the year, it is isn't the last review I will be posting this year. Now onto Lost Melody. Lost Melody drew me because our leading lady is a pianist  My own Mother taught for many years, and until her issue she also played beautifully! Jill is an incredibly gifted musician. She was on her way the biggest career move of her life when the subway she was in wrecked. Her hand was badly injured, and her career - totaled. Jill is just trying to survive her life, and deal with marrying, or not marrying the man she is engaged to when something else starts. Now Jill is having dreams, or nightmares, but they are so real that she knows she MUST do something about them. Greg, her fiancee is in politics, and now he is very very concerned about Jill's mental state. He must choose does he believe the woman he loves, or does he decided she has been through too much and walk away? 

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith used a real life historical issue, which made this book even stronger. The struggle Jill endures, and the struggle of those around her, and her listening to God's still small voice were very nicely written .


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lost Melody
Zondervan (October 25, 2011)
Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen Christian novels and over fifty articles and short stories. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, and ACFW's Carol Award.

A Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, Ginny's messages are always well-received by a variety of audiences in conferences, retreats and churches across the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the           Caribbean.

The beautiful piano sitting in the corner of Jill King's apartment begs to be played. For over a year, it has sat untouched, ever since a terrible accident shattered Jill's ambition of becoming a concert pianist. The ragged scar on her left hand is a cruel and constant reminder of the death of her dream. But another dream is about to come to life---an unexpected, horrifying dream that will present Jill with a responsibility she never wanted. And choices she never wanted to make. Hundreds of lives depend on Jill's willingness to warn her small, oceanside town in Nova Scotia of a nameless, looming disaster. But doing so could cost Jill her reputation, jeopardize the political career of the man she loves, and ruin their plans for a future together. The fate of an entire community hangs in the balance as Jill wrestles with the cost of heeding one still, small voice.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Lost Melody, go HERE.

Lori can be reached at her link here on her Website.  
Virginia can be reached at her link on her  Website.

The book link is: 

Face To Face A Novel by Catherine Lawton (Fall FIction Fling!)

And it is time for one more Fall Fiction Fling!

About the Book:

Set in the tumultuous world during Jesus' earthly life, here is a timeless story of suffering, longing, and healing. Conflicts arise between a young woman's devotion to God and the demon that holds her captive; between her attempts to free herself and the judgment and condemnation of others; between the rabbi named Jesus and the legalistic religious leaders; between the daily reality of Roman oppression and the Jewish hopes of a Deliverer-Messiah.
A vivid imagining of the account in Luke 13:10-17, where Jesus calls the bent-over woman to himself.
Review Quotes:
"I was fascinated." ~ Eva Marie Everson for"I thoroughly enjoyed Face to Face." ~ Richard Wendley, screen writer/actor
"WOW! What a great book. I absolutely loved it... I know the next time I read about this miracle in the Gospels, I will think of this woman through the eyes of Lawton's novel... Thanks to Cladach Publishing for publishing such outstanding Christian literature!" ~ Shirley Silver

Link to Chapter One:

Purchasing Info:
Trade Paperback
192 pgs
Available through most stores and online retailers.
You can purchase it now at:
Just-released: Amazon Kindle Version
Or buy from the publisher on sale this week for $9.74 at

Author Bio:
Catherine was born in Colorado and grew up as a pastor's daughter in seven towns up and down the state of California. She has loved to write since she was a child, having her first poem published in a national periodical at the age of twelve, and since then her byline has appeared in numerous periodicals and book compilations. She has a BA degree in English from Pasadena College. She served as a church musician for many years, as a private piano teacher, a public school substitute teacher and English reader, and freelance writer and editor. Cathy and her husband, Larry, have participated in and led volunteer short-term mission teams to Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, Sicily & Rome, and Peru.
After living in Santa Rosa, California, for thirty years the Lawtons moved to Colorado, returning to Cathy's roots. Besides the publishing business, Cathy enjoys gardening and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The Lawtons love spending time with their two grown children and their spouses, and their five beautiful grandchildren.

More info about Face to Face at:

The Author and an Interview! 

Author Interview:
Hello, Catherine. Your bio mentions that you became a published writer (in a national periodical) at the ripe old age of 12! Did that experience boost your desire to write more?
Catherine: It certainly was affirming and satisfying to think someone would want to print and read something I wrote (It was a little poem about Jesus being my Friend, and a Sunday school teacher encouraged me to send it in). But the desire to write was there already and it grew into a sense of a calling.
In your biblical novel, "Face to Face," you fictionalize a story about a woman who is miraculously healed by Jesus. She is mentioned in the Bible only once, in Luke 13:10-17. With so little known about her, how did you develop her character and make her so believable?
Catherine: That woman, who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath, gripped my heart and imagination. She was unnamed in the story, so I named her Joakima, which means "One whom God has lifted up spiritually." She was bent over double for 18 years and "could in no way lift herself," which indicates that she had tried. I began to imagine what "cures" she might have used. Each has a parallel today, whether it's conventional wisdom and "old wives' tales," self-righteous religion, new-age spiritualism, or humanistic self-improvement methods. I considered the context of the scriptures and researched the historical period and life in those days. A good story needs conflict, and there's plenty in this account – between the woman and the spirit that crippled her, between Jesus and the leaders of the synagogue, between the people and the burdensome Sabbath laws, and between walking by faith versus walking by sight. I began to imagine Joakima in a colorful setting interacting with other vibrant characters until the story took on a life of its own. I was interested to see how my character would survive and finally thrive in the challenges of that setting.
One gets the sense that there may be experiences in your own life that parallel those of your character, Joakima. Is this perception accurate?
Catherine: The story formed in my mind while I was going through a period of inner healing. I read the book of Luke, and this woman who was so wretched and yet so tenaciously persevering, triggered my imagination as well as my faith. Jesus told the woman she was released and he said that Satan had kept her bound. This part is very personal. I have known people who are bound by various things 51; memories, addictions, sins, wrong thinking, bitterness, and even evil spirits. And I've seen people set free. I wondered what sort of spirit had taken hold of this woman, how Satan could keep a religious person of faith bound, and what might have caused that spirit to enter into her body and life. Luke also tells us that Jesus called her a "daughter of Abraham" which means she had faith. I wondered, how does such a person have such faith?
Now a question to help readers know you better. If you had three free tickets to go to any three places in the world, where would you go, and why?
Catherine: First I'd go to Israel to research my next novel! Next I'd go to Scotland and the Hebrides, where a mighty revival happened the year I was born. Third I'd go to Rome again, where there is a strong sense of the biblical world and the modern world intersecting.
Since music has played such an important role in your life: What music CDs happen to be in your player right now?
Catherine: I just put in a CD of Loreena McKennitt singing Christmas songs, and a Russian pianist playing Rachmaninoff concertos.
If you could spend a week with any historical person of the past ten centuries, who would that be?
Catherine: I might like to spend a week with Joan of Arc, though it might be dangerous. A simple peasant girl believed so strongly that God had spoken to her that she was able to convince leaders of her country and army to let her lead them to victory, out of a dark and troubled period. And talk about conflicts! Her faith and obedience led to her martyrdom. Amazing.
What writing projects are you working on now?
Catherine: Besides writing occasional poetry and other short pieces, I have started two other novels. As I was writing Face to Face, the character of Benjamin grew so strong and appealing, he almost took over the story. I would like to give him a chance to shine. I'd like to take Joakima and Ben to Jerusalem again, perhaps to be present during Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was outpoured, to be part of the early believers who were persecuted and dispersed. I'd like to see Joakima return to her childhood home of Dura-Europas. And like every good story, it would include lots of conflict and a little romance.
Where on the Internet can we find you?
Catherine: At my Cladach author page: ,
Anything else you'd like readers to know about you?
Catherine: Here are some things about me: I've played the piano for years. Currently, I accompany a gospel quartet. My husband and I enjoy beekeeping in our backyard. I own Cladach Publishing, a small royalty press; and I spend lots of time editing and promoting other authors and their books. Writing and publishing is quite an adventure. And hearing from readers is like frosting on the cake!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson (Book 1 of The Seventh World Trilogy)

Oh what Fun! 

While I haven't read all of this book yet, I am really enjoying as much as I have read! 
So far I have found this book to be very creative, and moving, and I love hearing about The King. Christ is front and foremost in this book, from the very start. 

Maggie is an orphan, who's adoptive parents have been murdered, only Maggie is not aware of that fact for a while. She is a sort of frail little gal, who's life would seem very insignificant But that is often how God moves. The ones who can see, do see, and hear. The lives of those who are small wind up playing great roles in His plan. They must come together so that the world will be reminded of the only one who created everything, and it is time to show the truth from the lies. 

I am a wee bit frustrated to not have read more before posting this review, but I will be adding more! I have several things to post in the next few days about Worlds Unseen, so do stick with me as I am able to bring you all sorts of fun things about this series. 

At this time I must say that I am very pleased with this book, and thrilled that Rachel Starr Thomson is a home school graduate, because I am also. It just makes me even more inspired! The only glitch I have had thus far is my copy of this book would NOT load into Kindle on my phone, so while I was to and fro for Thanksgiving I wasn't able to read it like I wanted to. This is a good reason for buying your own copy, because then you will not have that problem. 


Here is the book cover:

About the Author:

Rachel Starr Thomson is a freelance writer and editor, a poet/narrator for a traveling arts company, and a homeschool graduate. She's passionately creative, and her Seventh World Trilogy--a classic fantasy in the tradition of George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis--is making waves with readers and reviewers alike.

Rachel's web pages are here:
The Seventh World Trilogy page:

What others are saying about Worlds Unseen
Worlds Unseen is an excellent read, solidly recommended for fantasy readers.” – Midwest Book Review

Epic, beautiful, well-written fantasy that sings of Christian truth.” – Rael, reader

Checking out her article "Christian Fantasy: An Apologetic" comes recommended at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kathryn’s Fountain by David Claassen (Fall Fiction Fling!)

This week for Fall Fiction Fling we have Kathyrn's Fountain by David Claassen. 

The Book Cover-

The book trailer. I do think these are often fun to watch.

Kathryn is resigned to living out her last days at Victorian Manor, a beautiful old home for senior citizens. Then one day something strangely wonderful happens to Kathryn at the garden fountain, and she begins living an adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Love and sacrifice take on new meaning as she involves a social worker and a police detective in carrying out what she believes to be her calling ~ to rescue a street child named Jasmine. The miracle at the fountain brings adventure that bridges the generations with hope and love.
Kathryn's Fountain celebrates the gifts that the generations can bring to each other. The conclusion is a resounding affirmation that it's never too late to make a difference!
" A poignant story with surprising twists and turns that will keep you reading and touch your heart. You won't view life in quite the same way after reading Kathryn's Fountain." ~ Marlene Bagnull
"A story of miracles and self-sacrifice." ~ Kathi Macias


Author Interview:
Dave writes part-time because his full-time calling is to give spiritual leadership and pastoral care to people of the Mayfair-Plymouth Congregational Church in Toledo, Ohio. Dave and his wife, Diann, make their home across the border in southeastern Michigan. They have two grown children and a growing number of grandchildren. Dave's other published books include Object Lessons for a Year (Baker Books) and Silent Words Loudly Spoken (CSS Publishing). For this blog tour we asked him a few questions:
1. Dave, what made you decide to become a writer as well as a pastor? Why do you write?
Dave: I've wanted to write since I was a teenager. I remember using an old Underwood portable typewriter (old already in the 1960s), to write short devotional/essay pieces, on the picnic table out under a tree on our Iowa farm. I write because I feel I can't keep from writing! I write to change the world more than to entertain.
2. What was your process of creating Kathryn's Fountain?
Dave: The basic storyline was there in my mind one morning when I woke up. At the time I was writing a science fiction novel (which I've just completed) and I interrupted that work to write Kathryn's Fountain.
3. In Kathryn's Fountain you use the symbol of a puzzle piece. What does that represent?
Dave: The puzzle imagery is meant to communicate that each of us is a part of the picture of God's grand scheme. Like a puzzle piece, each of us - at any age or place in life - has a shape and purpose to fit into God's big picture.
4. What is your writing routine? Is there something you typically do while writing a story - like drink coffee or listen to music?
Dave: I try to write Tuesday-Saturday for about 45 minutes each morning from 6:00-6:45am. I usually am sipping coffee at that time of the morning!
5. What would be a good present to give to a writer friend?
Dave: The recent issue of The Writer's Market.
6. Do you know a good joke you could share with us?
Dave: Yes. This farmer was working out in his field when a guy descended in a hot air balloon to get directions, because he was lost. When the balloonist was within shouting distance he leaned over the basket and shouted down to the farmer below. "Hey, mister, where am I?" The farmer looked around, then up, pointed his finger at the guy in the balloon, and said, "You can't fool me. You're up there!"
7. What other writing are you doing these days?
Dave: I'm tweaking my science fiction novel, writing a weekly inspirational newspaper column, a mid-week inspirational e-mail (e-mail me to get put on the list), and I write regularly for my blog.
8. Where on the Internet can we find you?
Dave: At my website/blog:
9. Anything else you want people to know about you?
Dave: I am a serious amateur photographer and sell images on . I also do some ventriloquism for the kids at my church. Oh, yes, I have a backyard chicken coop with a few chickens.

Kathryn's Fountain is available through most book outlets. Regular price: $12.97 Kindle e-book price: $7.99
Cladach's Special Price during "Fall Fiction Fling": $9.74

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas In Sugarcreek by Shelley Shepard Gray

Oh Dear,

My copy has not yet gotten to me! That means you get the regular write up, and when I am able, and have my copy I will add my thoughts/comments in here.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Christmas In Sugarcreek
Avon Inspire (October 25, 2011)
Shelley Shepard Gray

Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Abingdon Press. 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


Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.
As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.
Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek?

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

The book link is: 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Hi Folks,

As we move towards one of my favorite times of year, Christmas, I am here to give you a review of this book. Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh. This was a nice fast book to read, with a few twists. Rick, who works as a big executive winds up running his Mother and Step-Father's book store while Art hovers between life and death. His mother has to be with her husband, so it is up to Rick and a single mom that he is oh-so attracted to, to run the store and keep the business from going under.

As Rick is more and more taken by Andrea and her daughter, he is also coping with this past, and with all the different customers of The Book Nook. Soon he is faced with the choice to heal and seek the truth in this past, or to run and have a hardened heart.

It is a nice story, with a good ending, but it was not my most favorite book in some aspects. I can't quite pin-point why, because the plot was fine. The one big twist was good. Lives were changed and healed, and I felt like I met lots of people in this little town the book was set in. The romance was just fine as well, yet at the same time I feel like I came away with an empty feeling that I don't normally get from books I read.


Can A Successful Executive See More Than A Single Mom Struggling To Provide Christmas For Her Daughter?

Dan Walsh Returns With Another Christmas Story Full of Nostalgia, Wonder, And Hope.

Award-winning author Dan Walsh creates a nostalgic, Christmas story that takes readers back in time in Remembering Christmas (ISBN: 978-0-8007-1979-1, 272 pages, September 2011.) A time not so long ago in 1980 when IBM had not yet launched the personal computer; the Boombox was hot; Reality TV was unheard of; MTV was just launching; Ronald Reagan was president; the Winter Olympics witnessed the USA team defeat the favored Soviet team and win the gold; and Rick Denton was in pursuit of his career goals and climbing the corporate ladder.

During this time, the holiday season only slowed Rick from his frenetic normal pace. For Rick, holiday downtime for everyone else meant extra time to get ahead on goals and returning calls. His goal in life was to work hard, play hard, live life on his terms, and answer to no one.

Then the phone call came from his mother during Thanksgiving weekend informing him about his stepfather’s stroke. His mom needed Rick’s help at the little run-down bookstore they owned. He has never liked Art, his stepfather and resents the man's presence in his life, despite the fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. Reluctantly Rick agrees to help and when he arrives at the store, he soon discovers that a few days of managing the store turn into a few weeks.

While there Rick meets the patrons of the Book Nook – some quirky, some homeless, some chatty, some hip and cool - and one a lovely young woman who trains him on the job. He tends to judge them all-- until a moment of truth and discovery: the true meaning of Christmas. With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story that will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, and The Deepest Waters. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. His web site is here:

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.


"I love a story with some unexpected twists--not to mention a quirky cast of characters who surprise and delight me. I think that's the perfect recipe for a true Christmas classic. Dan has penned such a tale, and I heartily recommend it to readers who want a reminder of why Christmastime is so special."--Melody Carlson, author, Christmas at Harrington's and The Christmas Shoppe

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

Mysterious Ways series by Donna Westover (Fall Fiction Fling)

Hi Again,

Ready for the second installment?

Today we are covering the Mysterious Ways Series by Donna Westover. There are three books in this series, and below is a photo of them. After the photos you will find information about each book, and about Donna Westover. 

White as Snow is the first book in this series.

Young Charlie is alone on the ranch that sits between the empty prairie and the Rocky Mountains. As he cares for his dying grandpa and tries to figure out how to survive the winter, he keeps remembering the old man's words: "Failure is not an option, son."
As the first storm of the season hits, a mysterious mountain man shows up at the isolated ranch and good things start to happen. But can Charlie learn to trust the giant stranger with his one terrible secret? On Christmas day he learns what trust really means.
An entertaining and heartwarming story for the entire family to enjoy during the holiday season and all year.
144 pgs. $9.99
Review Quote:
"A touching story that demonstrates the many ways that love of fellow man can be given and the humanity of the Son of God. This is an exciting adventure story while carrying a message of value." ~ Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews
You can read some of White as Snow....Read Excerpt.

Rock of Refuge is the second book in this series.

Charlie is a young man now with much to learn about himself, the world in which he lives, and the God in whom he has placed his trust. The little ranch at the foot of the Rockies seems to be closing in on him. Seized by restlessness, he sets out to join a cattle drive north across the foothills and prairie to the rip-roaring new town of Denver. On the trail and in the city, Charlie finds the awakenings of love and learns about honor, trust, and the need on the frontier for men who are both tough and tender, who know where to find their strength.
Another entertaining and heartwarming "Mysterious Ways" story for the entire family.
276 pgs. $11.99
Review Quote:
"A deftly-written and excellently researched novel that readers are sure to love, it's highly recommended to western fans everywhere and deserves a place on community library fiction shelves." ~ Midwest Book Review   

In Green Pastures is the third book in this series.
When Charlie gets the amazing and unexpected news that he's now a millionaire, he once again leaves the cozy Colorado ranch at the foot of the Rockies - this time to take the train to Missouri. He encounters Jesse James outlaws, rogue relatives, new romance, and skeletons in the family closet. These adventures test Charlie's budding manhood, skills, and faith in ways that will entertain and inspire readers of all ages.
256 pgs. $11.99
Review Quote:
"A story of secrets, betrayal, friendship and redemption. A continuation of Charlie's story that builds on the first two books. While the plot of this book stands on its own, knowing the story from the first two books gives depth to the story. I really like the size of this series. The books are larger than a mass media book, but smaller and easier to handle than a traditional trade paper size. Very comfortable." ~ Author's Choice Reviews

Read some of it here

Before we read the interview with the Author, here is the book trailer.

Author Interview

1. When did you decide to become a writer?
Donna: I dabbled in creative writing in high school where I wrote several short stories that were published in our high school magazine. I also played the guitar and wrote several songs, mostly ballads and country gospel. Then when I married and started raising my family, I put the guitar and the pen down and dedicated myself to my family. Years later, when the girls were grown and on their own, a little story popped into my head. I heard loud and clear the simple message from the Lord: "Write!"
2. How did you think up the story of Charlie, the main character in your Mysterious Ways series? When you started out, did you plan to write only one book or did you plan a series from the beginning?
Donna: When that story popped into my head, it was a thought about a boy who meets someone very special at Christmas time. That boy was Charlie Smith, the main character in the series. I was only going to write one book; but as I started to write the chapters, I realized it needed to be a series.
3. Your characters are so believable, and the plots flow so naturally, that the writing must come easily to you. Is that true?
Donna: Some of it was easy, and often therapeutic for me; but some of it was a real struggle. I don't write from an outline; I write from my heart. If the words flow well, if they clearly reveal the emotions of the characters, if they touch anyone's heart at all, it is because God was touching me.
4. What year or time period in history would you have liked to live? Why?
Donna: I often say I was born 150 years too late. I love the Old West70;cowboys, horses, ranches, log cabins70;.and did I say horses? As a small child, I only wanted to play with the plastic cowboys and Indians. I had a bouncy horse that I rode so hard it would come inches off the ground (scared my mother to death). I was most comfortable in jeans and a cowboy hat.
5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Donna: Caroling! I especially love caroling in the snow. I love being in a large group of singers, holding candles, bundled to the Nth degree, and harmonizing together ... then topping it off with hot chocolate!
6. Are you still writing?
Donna: Besides recently completing the manuscript for the 4th and final book of the Mysterious Ways series (The Crimson River), I do have a couple other stories running through my head. Both are fictitious with historical/biblical truths.
7. Where on the Internet can we find you?
Donna: You can find me on my website: and

Available through stores, online retailers, and direct from the publisher at:
where the Fall Fiction Fling Special Price
for the set of three books is $22.00
Kindle e-books also available on

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

This was a fast, fun Christmas read.

In a tiny town called Parish Springs, a stranger comes. Her name is Matilda Honeycutt, and she is about to turn this tired little town upside down. She dresses like a hippy, and this town doesn't welcome strangers well. They barley handle their own citizens, much less newcomers. Worse yet, Matilda has purchased the most pivotal building and is opening a store. A Christmas store even. But when Matilda's store opens, to the un-seeing eye, it is anything but a Christmas Shoppe, it is something worse than a second hand store. The mayor is outraged, the other shop owners are up-in-arms. And during all this, lives of people we come to know in this story are being effected and changed. Tommy runs the newspaper, but doesn't know if he wants to anymore. Folks are tired, and bitter, and angry and hurt. But when they go spend time in the dust and odd merchandise in Matilda's shop something happens to them. Things that are life changing.

This was a sweet story, and nicely written. You can read it quickly, in an hour or so, and I enjoyed it.
It is also a hardcover, which I like, and bound in a nice ever-green color.


Can a Christmas Store and a Stranger Bring Change to Small Town?
Much-Anticipated Christmas Novella From Award-Winning Author Melody Carlson

In sleepy little Parrish Springs, everyone seems to know everyone else’s business practically before they do. The empty Barton Building has finally sold-- but not to the right person, according to Councilman Snider. He is successful in stirring up the townspeople and turning them against the new owner, Matilda Honeycutt. This older woman with scraggly gray hair and a different fashion sense doesn’t fit into the Parrish Springs tradition. The town is curious and yet afraid of her at the same time. But nothing convinces Matilda to give up her plans for The Christmas Shoppe (ISBN: 978-0-8007-1926-5, $15.99, 176 pages, September 2011) by best-selling author Melody Carlson.  
The neighboring shop owners respond in horror when The Christmas Shoppe doesn’t look and feel like all the other charming stores on the town's quaint main street. After all Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life, healing, and love.
The Christmas Shoppe, by best-selling author Melody Carlson, offers a touch of Christmas with a mixture of nostalgia, joy, and hope. 

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. For more information about Melody visit her website at
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

Available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a divison of Baker Publishging Group.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Katie’s Choice by Tracey Langford (Fall Fiction Fling)

Hi Everyone, 

Welcome to this 2011 Fall Fiction Fling! This is my first time doing this so let's see what kind of fun and good books we can catch this time! :) These are books I have NOT read. At the end of this tour we get books. Today's interesting book is Katie's Choice by Tracey Langford. So below you will find information about the book, lots of information about the Author, and an Interview with her too! 


A Novel
by Tracey Langford

Katie's Choice is a story about a high school student who becomes pregnant. She meets with a nurse in an abortion clinic and speaks to a counselor at a pregnancy resource center. Encouraged in that direction by her single mother, she decides to get an abortion, believing it is her best choice. As Katie attempts to move on with her life, though, her past continues to haunt her.

She thought she was choosing freedom and a future; but then shame and regret haunt her and keep her inner life a closed book even to the man who falls in love with her. Truth pursues Katie, though, until her defenses finally crumble.

This moving tale of redemption chronicles an emotional journey out of self-loathing and spiritual denial into hope and life-changing love.

First-time novelist Tracey Langford was strongly encouraged to "reduce" her pregnancy. She declined, and now is the proud homeschooling mother of 15-year-old quadruplets. As part of her research, Tracey sat in mock interviews with counselors at pregnancy centers, role-playing the part of a troubled pregnant girl.

"I was blown away. It was one of those books where I found myself at 2 a.m. still reading, having to force myself to go to sleep. Tracey Langford truly did her homework regarding the pain abortion leaves behind. She described my past perfectly, as well as the pasts of 90% of the women who come through our doors. This book gives hope to those of us who have survived this dreadful choice."
~ Sheila Harper, SaveOne, President & Founder

"Katie's background and circumstances, from beginning to end, represent the clients we see every day. The book moved me to tears and I couldn't put it down."
~ Jan Monski, Sav-A-Life East, Inc., Director

Link to Chapter One:

Purchasing Info:
Trade Paperback - 436 pgs - Cost of  $14.97
Available at: and through most stores and online retailers.
Available from the publisher at's-Choice.html where it is on sale this week for the discounted price of $12.00!
Author Bio:
Tracey Langford lives with her husband, Jon, and their four children in Alabama. Their children are quadruplets - two boys and two girls - and homeschooling them is keeping Tracey busy these days. Ideas for future novels are brewing, though. In the future she will no doubt tackle other "dark" subjects with engrossing, hope-filled fiction.

Tracey has been a high school English teacher and a youth worker.

Author Photo small:
More info at:'s-Choice.html

Author Interview:
1. Before writing Katie's Choice, you wrote a song called "Her Name Is Katie". Thankfully, you have a musical husband who created a tune for it and recorded it onto a CD. (Excerpts from the song are on the book video.) Do you still use that song?
Tracey: My husband sings "Her Name is Katie" (from his CD BeyondThat) any chance he gets. People usually respond positively to it, which opens opportunity for dialogue (similar to what is happening with the new movie "October Baby"). Sometimes people feel more comfortable responding to music or literature than they do to sermons or lecture. That's why I feel passionately about art being used to spread God's messages, whether those messages be forgiveness, repentance, creation, eternal life, or any other biblical truth.

2. How did the song evolve into a novel?
Tracey: When my kids were little, I was constantly reading Christian fiction. Unfortunately, I would criticize many of the books I read by saying things like, "I don't think that character would really say that," or "I don't think that's an honest portrayal of this particular subject." One day Jon said, "You're thinking of writing your own book, aren't you?" Well, I can honestly say that the thought had never entered my mind, but he planted a seed that day and it slowly grew. I gradually warmed up to the idea. I naturally thought of writing about a woman having multiples since I had quadruplets, but I lived that experience every day; I wanted to write about something new. Then, one day while eating breakfast, I thought, "Why not turn the song 'Her Name is Katie' into a full-blown novel?" I was so excited I called my husband and told him. I started researching abortion that very day. And two years later I had a completed manuscript.

3. How old are your kids now?
Tracey: My kids (two boys and two girls) are fifteen now and in the ninth grade. They just got their learner's permits, so we have now begun teaching them to drive! Pray for us!! :-) Seriously, they are doing well with it, and I'm remaining mostly calm!

4. What are the biggest blessings/challenges of raising and homeschooling quadruplets?
Tracey: By far the biggest blessing is the time I get to spend with my kids. It's definitely hard and we certainly get on each other's nerves, but it is so worth it. I would not trade the time we've had opening up God's Word each day, reading a paragraph or a chapter, and just discussing it. I have learned so much about the Bible and God. And what a privilege to be able to share these truths with my kids and to see them grow and mature in their own spiritual walk. I would encourage Christian parents to spend time in the Word with their kids whether they homeschool or not. The time issue is huge, I know, and it can be an awkward thing if you're not used to it. But, trust me, it is the biggest blessing; I cannot stress that enough.
I don't want to make it sound like homeschooling doesn't have its challenges, because it does. Time management and planning are obviously essential (and those aren't always my strong points). I've struggled a good bit with high school and feeling inadequate as a teacher. But I'll tell you what -- God has provided everything I need. For instance, I knew math was going to be a huge stumbling block for me. But God, in His mercy, brought me together with another homeschool mom who is a great math teacher. She, however, needed someone to teach English to her kids. How perfect could that be!

5. What ministries are you involved in currently?
Tracey: For the past several years, we have been involved in a nation-wide student outreach ministry. We've traveled in our RV all around the country assisting Rick and Mick Ministries in taking the Gospel to unreached teens. It's also been a great outlet for my husband's CD and my novel. Unfortunately, due to the economy right now, my husband has had to take a job requiring him to travel so we have been unable to go with the ministry team. But, we just got involved with starting up a student ministry at our church. I pray that God will bring some teens that need to hear the Truth. I will be teaching and hoping to plant some seeds. It's exciting and humbling at the same time.

6. What are you currently writing?
Tracey: I started a second novel a couple of years ago. I am excited about the prospect of it. I gravitate toward dark subjects (like abortion) and they take a lot out of you when you wrestle with the "why's" and "how's" of it all. But I think Christian literature should address the realities of life -- and let's face it -- there's a lot of darkness out there. Light needs to be interjected into the darkness.
I am also writing skits. I'm currently working on one called "Waiting for Christmas" to be performed at our church in December. Jon and I are also writing a song for it. I'm hoping the skit and the song give people some new thoughts on Christmas this year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

Very Nice!

I am finishing reading this good book today as it rains, and the leaves fall. A Lasting Impression is a story that gripped me right away. Claire is a painter, something close to my heart as well. She was taught by her Mother, who was quite ill and dying. Her Father has seen fit to use her gift to copy famous paintings and then sell them off as originals. Claire hates this, but with out income or a husband, she is rather trapped. And when we are trapped, or in a mess and ask God to help, He steps in.

Claire quickly finds herself out of New Orleans, in Nashville, Tennessee, and positioned to be liaison for the wealthiest woman in the area! Mrs. Adelicia Acklen was the richest lady in America in the 1860's. She owned Belmont Mansion. I have been to Biltmore Estate/Mansion in North Carolina and seen what it is like,so as Claire struggles to come up with a good party plan for Mrs. Acklen's son, and all the incredible surroundings are described, I have a very dramatic sense of what that would feel like!

But we can't leave out Sutton! Mr. Sutton is trying to deal with the circumstances surrounding his dear Father's death, and what it has done to his Mother as well. He works as the personal lawyer and an advisor to Mrs. Acklen. He is also quite drawn to Claire, but know she has to be hiding more than a few things and he would very much like to know what and why. In addition, he is working on the side on a case to find out more about some forged art work.

A Lasting Impression is beautifully painted with all sorts of historical things interwoven. The story its self is captivating and fascinating. In Tamera Alexander's books you will also find God present, working in the "mysterious" ways that He guides and directs us. I am very happy to have gotten to read this wonderful Southern book this week. It just makes me love the area I grew up in that much more!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Lasting Impression
Bethany House (November 1, 2011)
Tamera Alexander
Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers. Her second historical series, Timber Ridge Reflections (From a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart) continue her signature style of deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose which has earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards.

These awards include the 2009 and 2008 Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the 2010 and 2007 RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2010 and  2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2010 HOLT Medallion, the 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, the 2007 National Reader's Choice Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others.

Tamera's newest novel A Lasting Impression is the first of a brand new three-book Southern historical series, and the first two chapters are available for review. She's at work on her ninth novel which will release in fall 2012.

After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, along with Tamera's father, Doug, and with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.  

To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. When her fraud of a father deals her an unexpected hand, Claire is forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville, only a year after the War Between the States has ended. Claire's path collides with that of Sutton Monroe, and she considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But when they meet again and he refuses to come to her aid, she realizes she's sorely misjudged the man. Trading an unwanted destiny for an unknown future, Claire finds herself in the middle of Nashville's elite society and believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art may finally be within reach.

All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He's determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

Set at Nashville's historical Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America in the 1860s, A Lasting Impression showcases the deep, poignant, unforgettable characters that set Tamera's stories apart and provides an inspiring love story that will capture readers' hearts and leave them eager for more.

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

The book link is: