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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mother of Pearl

"How far would you go for your child?"

A little about Kellie from her website
"I barely remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. My tiny hometown of Carey, Idaho had no library, no bookstore. The bi-weekly bookmobile provided the only avenue to books . . . that, and my Gram, who spent a lot of her Social Security checks on books for her granddaughter with an insatiable appetite for stories.
I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho, a business my family had been in for generations, never dreaming I’d ever see my own name on a novel. I left home to attend Boise State University and spent most of my adult years pursuing a sensible legal career, raising two boys, and learning to be happily married.
But God heard the quiet prayers of a woman who dared to dream big and ask her Lord for the outrageous. In early 2011, I signed my first book contract. Today, I am living my fantasy. I live in Dallas with my husband. I work from home, writing novels. Often by the pool.
Can life get any better?"

Every mother, I believe, is passionate about her "babies"...whether those babies are one, eleven or 21.  The saying that "once a mother, always a mother" is the truth.  Kellie Coates Gilbert, in her debut novel Mother of Pearl, has written a story that touches on the deepest place in a mother's heart; the place where love for her children dwells. 

This novel hosts rich characters to which the reader is immediately drawn.  Gilbert's cast of characters are real and their stories are believable.  The emotions in this story are raw and the reader feels them as they read.  The themes of the book are current and unfortunately all too frequent.  Gilbert treats them with dignity and grace.

The book includes discussion questions that are thought provoking making this selection a perfect one for your next book club.

I am excited to discover Kellie Coates Gilbert.  Her book is published by Abingdon Press.  The publisher's website can be found by visiting HERE.  There you can sign up for a newsletter and receive more information about Gilbert and other authors.

Thank you Glass Road Media and Management for sending me a copy of Mother of Pearl for the purpose of review.

Happy Reading,

Friday, September 28, 2012

Two Destinies

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Two Destinies
David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
Elizabeth Musser

Elizabeth Musser, author of acclaimed novels such as The Swan House, grew up in Georgia, but now lives in Lyon, France, where she and her husband serve as missionaries with International Teams. Look for Two Testaments, her sequel to Two Crosses, in stores now, and Two Destinies, the third book in the trilogy, set for release in Fall 2012.

A word from Elizabeth:
Recent exciting news is that, finally, the whole trilogy is going to be published in 2012. Many readers have written to me throughout the years to encourage me to keep pursuing getting Two Destinies into print. In a fun twist of fate (really the Lord's perfect timing), David C. Cook (who originally published Two Testaments) has offered me a contract for all three novels. The Secrets of the Cross Trilogy will be published in June 2012 (Two Crosses and Two Testaments) and in September, 2012, Two Destinies will be in the bookstores for the first time! 
Elizabeth can be reached through the Contact link on her Website

Now 1994, France faces unrest and rising poverty while neighbor
Algeria is in the midst of a blood civil war. Risléne Namani, a French
woman born to Algerian parents, converts to Christianity and falls in
love with Eric Hoffmann, a Christian, committing the unpardonable
sin in the eyes of her Muslim family. Eric must find a way to rescue
her—from a forced marriage in Algeria, or even death.
A powerful, relevant tale of social struggle, heartache, cultural conflict,
and faith put to the ultimate test.
If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Two Destinies, go HERE.
My Thoughts About The Book:
I really liked everything about this book starting with the cover design.  The story is well written and touches on current and prevalent themes.  The story of Rislene and others in Two Destinies is one that will speak to faith, love, loss and danger.  I felt I was missing something having not read the previous two books in this trilogy:  Two Crosses and Two Testaments.  The numerous characters were a little difficult to keep track of; the author also shifts rather frequently within a single chapter between their stories.  I'd like to go back and read the previous novels sometime.  
I also really appreciate how David C. Cook includes the after words section in publication of their novels.  This section includes a historical note, discussion questions and more about the author of the book.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

He's 7!

This post is a week late, but as I've said here before...sometimes I get so busy living life there isn't time to blog about it!  Or maybe it is all the books I'm reading...ah, hummm.  Anyway...Bentley's birthday was on the 15th and he is now 7 years old!  He started the day off with his basketball game...

He plays on the Sky team and they won their game.  Some of his buddies on the team told him they won because it was his birthday!
JennaBeth has met a new friend...Jolene...and they enjoy playing while Bentley and Jolene's sister play basketball.

Bentley and his team always have a team meeting right after their game.  During this time the coach goes over what the team did well and what they need to work on for next game.  She also hands out their stars for the particular area in which each player did well.  Bentley got the star for best defense.  He really is improving his game!
Later that afternoon, it was party time!  He had about 14 friends over for his party...some from our neighborhood and some from church.  They played a few outside games and some inside.
Then of course it was cake and present time...

He wanted an ice cream cake this year.  We got the cake made at our local Publix grocery and it was yummy!  Bentley chose cookies and cream ice cream with a vanilla and chocolate marble cake.  The icing was whipped cream topped off with oreos and cherries.

His sisters even got in on the birthday action...

And what little seven year old boy's birthday party would be complete without a little wrestling?
Bentley is growing up fast.  I'm trying to hang on to the "little boy" as much as I can while encouraging him and watching him turn into a young man.  For now, I'm really enjoying the silly little boy times...

One Proud Mama

Monday, September 24, 2012

Do I Want My Kids To Be Happy?

My answer to that question is "yes" and "no".

Let me explain.

I hear parents say and see many post in public forums such as Facebook about how they just want their kids to be happy.  I do want my kids to be happy...happy in the Lord.  I want them to know that "the joy of the Lord is their strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).  I want them to know the Lord and have a faith found in that will guide them through those days that are tough and remind them to praise God for His good gifts.  Because every day is not a happy one.

Life is just plain hard sometimes and it isn't always about being happy, but finding our joy in the right place.  Our kids, especially our teens, have a tough time in today's culture.  So many things vie for their attention and affections.  Not all those things are necessarily bad;  just not the best or the most God exalting.  I want to know that my children "are walking in the truth" (3 John 1:4).

That is why I am so excited that Michael Catt, Senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia (also the executive producer of the film Courageous) and Amy Parker have written the book Living for God as Courageous Teens.  

 "Proverbs 25:26 says, 'A righteous person who yields to the wicked is like a muddied spring or a polluted well.'  We claim to be individuals, but we look and sound like clones of the culture.  No one seems to be in the mood to be different.  I'm not talking about being weird;  I am talking about making an impact.  It's time to raise the bar.  The first time I read the resolution scene in Courageous, every fiber of my being wanted to stand up and cheer.  It's a call to be courageous, take action, and return to the principles of godliness.  When we take our commitments seriously, we make significant inroads into the lives of others."
(excerpt from chapter 9, page 129)

Living for God as Courageous Teens does not contain watered down or simplified truth.  Catt and Parker have provided teens with a resource to challenge and encourage them in their faith and decision to take a stand for Christ and live for Him.

The book is organized into four sections:
  1. Courageous Faith:  The Courage to Get Going and The Courage to Face an Uncertain Future
  2. Courageous Leadership:  The Courage to Lead on All Levels and The Courage to Be a Humble Hero
  3. Courageous Priorities:  The Courage to Make Up Your Mind, The Courage to Choose and Refuse, and The Courage to Face Persecution
  4. Courageous Influence:  The Courage to Face Criticism, The Courage to Stir Up the Fire, and The Courage Catalyst
Each section begins with a portion of the script from the movie Courageous.  Then a portion of scripture telling Joshua's story in the Bible.  Each chapter within the sections end with a section titled "Think Courageously", where the reader is given questions to help them apply the truths covered in the chapter.  Teens have an opportunity to think through what they've just read and apply it to their own lives.  Each section ends with a "recap" where teens are given the opportunity to summarize how those in the Bible lived courageously and how they can follow their examples.  Catt and Parker touch on the stories of Joshua, Abraham, Esther, Ruth, Gideon, Elijah, Moses, Stephen, Nehemiah, Paul and Christ.

I plan on giving this book to my daughter and encouraging her to use it as a starting place in her personal quiet times.  This would also be an exceptional resource for youth Sunday School classes or small group studies with parents and teens; after all, we parents need reminders to live courageously as well!

So, to answer my own question:  Do I want my kids to be happy?  I want my kids to know Christ and be courageous in making Him known to the world around them; joy...a deeply abiding joy...that's what I want for my kids!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Central and B&H Publishing as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Blessings and you and your teens,


I'm not sure there is a greater gift that parents or grandparents can give to the young people in their life outside of God's Word.  That is why I am excited to let you know about two really neat resources today.  Both these Bibles were sent to me by the B&B Media Group for the purpose of review.

Many teens today feel uncertain about their world and are wondering about their future during this time of economic upheaval and spiritual confusion. Combine this with normal adolescent struggles, and today’s teens are trying to find solid ground. Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens provides a firm foundation with features that show God is unchanging. Teens will be reassured that they too can be unshaken and have hope for what the future holds.

Address your questions and build a steadfast foundation for your faith with the NIV Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens. Find traction for your beliefs and promises for your future. Discover constant and concrete truths rooted in the unchanging love and promises of God.
Rock Solid Faith features include:
Rock Solid TRUTHS: Examines Christian beliefs and explorations of other religions
Rock Solid PRINCIPLES: Applies the Bible to daily decisions and challenges
Rock Solid PROMISES: Calls out what is (and is not) promised in the Bible
Rock Solid PLANS: Explores God’s plan and will for your life
Unshaken PEOPLE: Provides scriptural examples of overcoming difficulties
Unshaken GOD: Points out God's unyielding attributes
Reading plans, 8 pages of color maps, book introductions, and more!

The Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens is a well organized and well published copy of God's Word in the NIV translation of the Bible.  The graphics and typeset are eye catching and modern.  Each section noted in the synopsis above is (truths, principles, promises, etc.) are sectioned off in fun graphic patterns.  What I really liked about this edition, is that it isn't so much a study Bible in the sense of having a lot of "study notes" and explanations.  Each study section offers a brief explanation of the text addressed, but is more about offering the reader tools and an opportunity to meditate on what they've read and apply the truth of God's word to their life.

The Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens can be ordered from Zondervan by going HERE.

This little Bible is well made and sturdy.  The little handle on the side is perfect for little hands to carry.  There is also a handy little clasp on the side keeping the Bible closed when not in use.  The illustrations are colorful and engaging.  Parents can expand on the stories from the Bible just by using the illustrations, but can also read the story directly from their own Bibles to older children in the home using the Bible references given with each story.

My First Handy Bible can be ordered from by going HERE.

Christmas is just around the corner and both these Bibles would be great presents for the teens or the little ones in your life!

Blessings on your home,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Heartbeat Away

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heartbeat Away
David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
Harry Kraus
A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels. 

Harry can be reached through the Contact link on his Website
When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.
The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.
Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.
And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.
Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.
If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.
*Book hasn't been received from publisher.  Review will be added when I've received the book.
Happy Reading,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Judge

If placed in a court of law, how would you defend your faith?

Oliver Finney in Randy Singer's novel The Judge (previously published as The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney) finds himself in just such a place...
When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker.  But he has an idea that might:  he will stage the ultimate reality show.  With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world's major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, where they must defend their beliefs against spiritual challenges.
Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is chosen to defend Christianity.  As the program takes a strange twist, he quickly realizes he is trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life.  With Internet access monitored, Finney sends coded messages to his law clerk, Nikki Mereno.  Aided by a teen crypto-geek, Nikki soon discovers the key to understanding Finney's clues in an apologetics book Finney wrote and must race against time to decipher the mysteries contained in the ancient words of Christ before her boss dies defending them.
Randy believes it’s important to simultaneously hold a number of different jobs so that if he gets fired by two employers the same day, he can still avoid the unemployment line. He splits his time and divides his personality between Randy Singer, critically acclaimed author, Randy Singer, veteran trial lawyer, and Randy Singer, pastor. When he grows up, he will decide what he really wants to do.
Randy graduated from Houghton College in 1978, married Rhonda Pursifull that same year, and began teaching and coaching at Houghton Academy, a local Christian boarding school. After five years of teaching and coaching, he left the front of the classroom to take a seat in the back, pursing his dream of going to law school. Three years later, he graduated second in his class from William and Mary School of Law. 
Following law school, Randy began an active trial practice at Willcox and Savage, a sixty lawyer firm in Norfolk, Virginia, eventually becoming head of the firm's litigation section. After thirteen years with the firm, and several more years working with a mission board and cable television network, Randy decided that a recession was a good time to start a new business. He formed his own firm—the Singer Legal Group—in 2009, specializing in civil litigation and business/ministry consulting.
Randy has tried numerous high profile cases in state and federal court. He served as lead counsel in Farley v. Guns Unlimited, the first jury trial in Virginia that received gavel-to-gavel television coverage.  
Randy also serves as Attorney In Residence and Director of the Singer Civil Litigation Practicum at Regent Law School where he is also a member of the Board of Visitors. In 2011 and 2012, Randy was named to Virginia Business magazine’s list of “Legal Elite” litigation attorneys.  in 2012, he was named one of Virginia’s select list of “Super Lawyers.”
About ten years ago, Randy began pursuing a passion to write. Tapping into his courtroom and ministry experience, Randy pens legal thrillers designed to entertain his readers while confronting them with biblical truths on controversial issues. His first novel, Directed Verdict, was published by WaterBrook Press in October 2002, and won the prestigious Christy award for the best Christian suspense novel that year. Just last year, Randy was named a finalist, along with John Grisham and Michael Connelly, for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the American Bar Association and the University of Alabama Law School. 
When Trinity Church was launched in Virginia Beach in 2007, the leaders asked Randy to come on board as the Teaching Pastor. In five years, the church has grown to over 600 in attendance, hosts three different Sunday morning services, and is involved in ministry work in various parts of the world. Randy has told the church that he is willing to continue to serve as Teaching Pastor until they find somebody who actually knows what they’re doing. In the meantime, he is a preaching lawyer: proof positive that God can use anybody to do anything.
Randy and Rhonda have two children. Rosalyn, age twenty-seven, graduated from the University of Georgia and South Carolina Law School. She is now clerking for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Joshua, age twenty-five, graduated from Auburn University and is a wrangler in the mountains of Colorado. Rhonda teaches high school English and wonders how she ended up with two lawyers and one cowboy in the family. Randy's interests are basketball, running, canoeing, hiking, reading and cheering for the kids’ college football teams.  (Bio taken from Singer's website found at
Tyndale House Publishers sent me a copy of The Judge for the purpose of review.  I am posting my own thoughts without any expectation by them for a positive review.  However, I can't give anything but a positive review for Singer's The Judge, because this man is a brilliant writer!  I have reviewed two other titles by Singer:  The Last Plea Bargain and False Witness.  Those reviews can be found HERE and HERE.
In The Judge, Singer has written an amazing story of intrigue, mystery and faith.  The premise of the reality show concept makes the story fresh and current.  The twists and turns in this story keep you turning pages and just when you think you have it all figured out...well, you turn the next page and find out you don't!  As I've stated in other reviews of his work, Singer has placed himself beyond other legal thriller writers.  His writing is gritty and real...not some soft soaped little story with a few Christian thoughts thrown in for good measure.  His stories make you think and evaluate where you are in your own faith.
So, how would you defend your faith?
I've often heard that same concept phrased like this:  If placed on trial for your faith, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
I think the answer is found more in one's actions as opposed to one's words.  Or stated another way, does your walk match up with your talk?  Today, people are searching for truth...those things that are abiding in the midst of the messiness of life.  I pray my actions would show that my faith in the One True God of the Bible is real.  How does my "faith" hold up in the midst of my trials?  People want to see that. 
And Randy Singer gives a beautiful picture of that in The Judge.
You can order The Judge on by going HERE.  And believe me, you do want to order this book!
Happy Reading,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Dinah Harris Mystery Series

Julie Cave credits her parents for introducing her to books at a young age, which fostered an enduring passion for reading and writing. As a child, her favorite authors were Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis and it wasn’t long before she began copying them, writing short stories for anyone who would read them.
At fifteen, two things happened which would shape her future: she heard a creation science speaker at her church which cemented her faith in God; and she finished her second novel-length story and realized she had fallen in love with writing novels.
After school, she completed a health science degree, got married, and worked in banking and finance. All the while she wondered how she could combine her love of writing and her strong passion for Christian apologetics and evangelism. One weekend at a church camp, a friend asked, ‘What if the guy in charge of the Smithsonian Institution went missing?’
(*Photo and author information taken from Cave's website found at

 A suspense-filled fiction mystery which answers an ominous question: How far will some go to silence an influential Christian voice?
Stunning revelations of intrigue and conspiracies set against the powerful backdrop of Washington, DC.
Uncover a hostile academic world filled with secrets and unexpected danger.
Meet FBI investigator Dinah Harris as she tries to unravel the mystery before her own personal demons derail her career.


How far will some go to silence an influential Christian voice?
After the deadly investigation into the Smithsonian murders, Dinah Harris is now facing a daily battle to keep her sobriety while struggling to form a new career from the ashes of her former job as an FBI agnet. From the shadows will emerge a cunning and terrifying killer, who carefully and methodically will decide whose life has value to society and whose does not.

Detective Dinah Harris hunts down a serial bomber targeting religious icons and buildings. The bomber is on a mission to rid the city of religion and establish a ‘new world order’. Can someone so intent on ridding the world of God experience redemption? What lies behind his hatred of God? Will his darkened soul search for pieces of light?

In Pieces of Light, Cave’s continues her compelling story lines using believable characters and realistic situations to:
  • Identify the importance of living under the authority of the Bible
  • Deliver a Biblical worldview perspective to current events
  • Illustrate the power of Jesus' sacrifice and desire to redeem every life
  • Provide believers a resource easy to share with skeptics
Thank you New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me this series for the purpose of review.  I love the statement of this publishing group on the homepage of their website:  "Dedicated to ink on paper to impact eternity, reaching hearts across the world to know Him and make Him known as our Savior."

And Ms Cave has done just that with the Dinah Harris Mystery series.  Weaved into an amazing story are discussions about the deep things of life and theology that are often shied away from especially in Christian fiction.  The story is believable and so are the well developed characters.  I have sometimes stayed away from fiction series, because they often aren't very well written.  Often the first installment is great and then any remaining installments are just a re-telling of the initial story idea.  However, I am very glad I did not miss out on this series of books by Cave.  They are brilliantly written and I can't wait to read more from her!  You won't waste your time with this series.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Prayers of a Stranger

"Wise teacher."

"Gentleman Adventurer."

"Consummate writer."

"Renaissance Man."

Reviewers, readers and friends use those phrases to describe Davis Bunn. An internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in sixteen languages, Davis is equal parts writer, scholar, teacher, and sportsman.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, traveling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.
(*The above information was taken from Bunn's website, which can be found by going to

 Prayers of a Stranger, released just yesterday, was sent to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing for the purpose of review.  Up to this point I had heard much about Bunn, but had never read one of his novels...I'm so glad I got an opportunity to be introduced to his work.

She ventured to answer a stranger's prayer, only to receive an answer to her own.
Amanda Vance is ambivalent about her husband's idea for a big family holiday up north. She had once planned a special Christmas in their own home, carefully preparing a nursery and the keepsake ornaments. Now that room stands as empty as her heart.
Then a neighbor's mishap turns into a last-minute invitation-Amanda is offered a place on a tour to the Holy Land. At the urging of her husband, Chris, she reluctantly agrees to go. The unexpected journey leads to an even more astonishing lesson.
An extraordinary turn of events allows Amanda to help answer a young mother's plea for a healing. Filled with a sense of awe, Amanda visits the place of Jesus' birth. There, she discovers anew the miracle of the Christ child-God incarnate as a tiny, vulnerable baby.
Her return to Florida marks a momentous shift in her soul, in her calling and in her marriage. She responded to the prayer of a stranger, but will Amanda's own prayer-to be happily surrounded by a large and loving family-ever be fulfilled?

Davis tells a beautiful story in Prayers of a Stranger.  The book is an easy read with believable and well drawn out characters.  Bunn's descriptive writing transports you directly into the story as if you were there seeing the sights and smelling the smells and feeling the emotions.  I'll certainly be looking to read more from him!

The book can be ordered on by going HERE.

Happy Reading,


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (September 4, 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
Shelley can be reached through the Contact link on her Website 

A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Found, go HERE.
My Thoughts:
Not many authors pull of a series very well, but Gray has not only pulled of this series but has done it well.  While I didn't read the first book in the series, I did read the second and this third installment, Found.  The story was kept fresh and exciting from book two into book three.  The suspense in book three was excellently written and kept me turning the pages.  I had to finish this book!  You will enjoy The secrets of Crittenden County series; a three part series including Missing, The Search and Found.
Happy Reading,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Number 12

Bentley started Upward Basketball this past Saturday.
He loves it already!  He's been shootin' some hoops with some neighborhood boys, but he'll be able to learn court ball and the rules of the game with this program.  I also appreciate the spiritual formation element of the Upward Sports program.  He's already been given his first verse to memorize:
"Everyone should be quick to listen.  But they should be slow to speak.  They should be slow to get angry."  James 1:19b (NIrV)
I hate how grainy my pictures are!  It must be the florescent lighting in the gym or something, or maybe my picture taking skills, ha, ha!  That picture is from his practice on Friday night.  That's another thing I like about this doesn't take up every minute of your life!  Bentley has practices on Friday nights and his games are on Saturday mornings during September and October.
He and some buddies on his team enjoyed warming up Saturday morning before his game.

Pre-game strategy with the coach...
I really appreciated how both teams and their coaches as well as the refs had prayer together before the game...
And now, introducing the Sky Team!!!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Kregel Publications (June 1, 2012)
Jordyn Redwood
Jordyn Redwood has served patients and their families for nearly twenty years and currently works as a pediatric ER nurse. As a self-professed medical nerd and trauma junkie, she was drawn to the controlled chaotic environments of critical care and emergency nursing. Her love of teaching developed early and she was among the youngest CPR instructors for the American Red Cross at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has continued to teach advanced resuscitation classes to participants ranging from first responders to MD’s.

Her discovery that she also had a fondness for answering medical questions for authors led to the creation of Redwood’s Medical Edge at This blog is devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction.

Jordyn lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters, and one crazy hound dog. In her spare time she also enjoys reading her favorite authors, quilting, and cross-stitching.

Jordyn can be reached through the Contact link on her Website.  
Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?
If you would like to read the first chapter of Proof, go HERE.
My Thoughts:
From the cover and back synopsis to all the pages in between, this was one amazing story!  I was so excited to read this debut novel by Redwood and she did not disappoint!  The characters are well thought out and developed within the context of the story.  They are believable.  So many times the synopsis found on the back of the book gives too much away, but you don't see what's coming in Proof!  Redwood has written a brilliant novel and I can't wait for the second novel in this series, Poison, due out February 2013!
Happy Reading,

Monday, September 3, 2012


Nancy is the author of twelve books and received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009.  She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA.  She writes from her home in Wichita, Kansas, where she lives with her husband, Norman and their puggle, Watson.
All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”
She is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing

Bethany House sent me the first book in Mehl's new series, the Road to Kingdom series, for the purpose of review.

Book Synopsis:
Lizzie Engel left Kingdom, Kansas, and her Conservative Mennonite faith five years ago, fleeing abuse and rejection aimed at her when she became pregnant with her daughter, Charity. However, when a strange man begins to hang around outside her apartment building in Kansas City and she receives several odd, threatening messages, she begins to fear for their safety. When an untrue accusation of theft causes her to lose her job, she has no choice but to return to the small Mennonite town. Unfortunately, evil follows her, and she will have to face a storm of lies, deceit and murder as a winter blizzard rages around her and the residents of Kingdom.

My Thoughts About the Book:
Inescapable is the first of Nancy Mehl's books I have read and I have to say that I am now a fan!  I have usually shied away from Amish themed books, because they were all sounding the same.  Mehl has given me hope for something different in this genre of writing.  She weaves an amazing story with twists and turns that keep you turning pages.  The characters in this story are well developed and are believable.  I will certainly be looking for Book Two in this series, Unbreakable, due out in Spring of 2013.  There is a sneak peak of chapter one at the end of Inescapable.  Also included are discussion questions making Inescapable perfect for your next book club meeting!  The book can be purchased on by going HERE.

Happy Reading,