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Friday, July 26, 2013

Ragged Hope

Meet Cynthia:Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with "Heartbeat of the Home" radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. 
Find Cynthia on the Web at

Where do we find hope when it's clouded by the ashes of other people's choices? 
What do you do when your life is affected by someone else's choices? Where is God when you are doing everything right yet, because of someone else, everything is wrong? This insightful and hope-giving guide will comfort, support, and encourage you through whatever situation you must face. 
Cynthia Ruchti, who has walked this road herself and has spoken to hundreds of people through her radio show, assures readers that God is ever present and offers unwavering love. There is hope, grace, and a future in every situation-even (and especially) those we did not cause but now live. Vetted by professional counselors and caregivers, this is the one guide you need to thrive no matter what you are facing. 

To see what others are saying about the book and author, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
A few months back, I read Cynthia Ruchti's Where The Morning Glory Blooms which is a fiction title and was absolutely blown away by this woman's writing gift!  So when the opportunity arose to review this non-fiction work by her, I jumped at the opportunity.  I was not disappointed.  Ruchti has been given a gift...a gift to use words to convey the very important message of the gospel.
Ragged Hope is an invaluable resource that fleshes out the truth of Romans 5:5 ("And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.")  Through the story of individuals (including herself) and gentle, but hope-filled and bold exhortation, Ruchti encourages her reader to grab hold of Christ where indestructible hope is found.  She helps her reader to look beyond their pain and scars to find their "do-over" words and their "starting-over" words in The Word Himself.  I really appreciated the reflection section at the end of each chapter that included applications and scripture to be particularly helpful.
Cynthia Ruchti's books are now on my "keeper"shelf...they should be on yours as well!

Don't miss out on Cynthia's $200 Visa Cash Card giveaway and chat:
Enter Today - 7/15 - 8/1!

Ragged Hope Cynthia Ruchti Abingdon Press

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for this review.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rosemary Cottage

Meet Colleen: Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
You can visit with Colleen via her website found HERE.

Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there's a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island . . The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lang respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She's even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It's always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben's disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.
Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine's father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can't help being drawn to Hope Beach's new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina.
Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other . . . and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?
To see what is being said about Rosemary Cottage, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
I have an ever expanding "favorites" list when it comes to author's and books.  Colleen Coble and Rosemary Cottage has just landed a place very near the top of that list!  Coble's book has absolutely everything in it that I love:  suspense and mystery, well thought out characters, plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat, faith and romance.  Coble also does an excellent job of placing you in the story and it's surroundings with her vibrant descriptions.  While a few places in the story were a bit too "neat and tidy", Coble has written a story that is fast paced and moving emotionally.  I've made a place on my "keeper" shelf for Rosemary to find room on it for the rest of the Hope Beach novels and anything else Coble pens.

Don't miss this fun giveaway and chat with Colleen Coble:

Rosemary Cottage Colleen Coble
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity as part of a blog tour featuring the author/book.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Meet Krista: When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of "Anomaly", "First Date", "Starring Me", and "Right Where I Belong".
Connect with Krista
About Anomaly: Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.
Decades before Thalli's birth, the world ended in a nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won't threaten their lives again.
But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli's secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.
She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists' Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.
As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer---someone even more powerful than The Ten. What's more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she's been looking for all along.
Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out . . .

You can purchase a copy of Anomaly HERE.

To read what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
*"Dystopia" - an imaginary society in which social or technological trends have culminated in a greatly diminished quality of life or degradation of values.
Anomaly is a young adult novel which tells the story of a dystopian world.  While the book was a little too "sci-fi" for my personal taste, McGee does an amazing job of weaving a story that involves your mind and emotions.  The story is told strictly from the vantage point of a seventeen year old musician who struggles to make sense of what's going on around her.  I loved McGee's character John and how she weaved the gospel into the story through his interactions with Thalli.  While this isn't my favorite genre, McGee has succeeded in making me want to read the next novel coming in July 2014 Luminary.  What will become of Thalli, John, Rhen, and Berk?
Don't miss McGee's iPad mini giveaway:
Enter Today - 7/12 - 7/31!
Anomaly Krista McGee
Happy Reading,

Harvest of Gold

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Harvest of Gold
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
Tessa Afshar

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

The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.
Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?
A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.
If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.
My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoy discovering a new author, especially one as talented at her craft as Tessa Afshar.  Afshar is a master storyteller.  Her story of Darius and Sarah will draw you in immediately and hold you there until the last page.  Their story began in Harvest of Rubies.  While Harvest of Gold is a continuation of their story, this book can be read as a stand alone novel.  Afshar's description of her characters, the time period and the culture as well as the surroundings transport you to the time of King Artaxerxes.  I loved how Afshar incorporated Nehemiah's story.  The book does jump around a bit, but the timeline given at the beginning and the time reiterated at the beginning of each chapter keeps that from being confusing.  Discussion questions are also included making the book easy to use in a reading group setting.  You do not want to miss Afshar's gift in both Harvest of Rubies and Harvest of Gold.
Happy Reading,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Unveiling Grace

Lynn K. Wilder is a wife, mother, grandmother, scholar, and author with a doctorate in education. During more than a decade as a professor and researcher, and 20 years as a public school teacher, she has produced more than 50 scholarly publications, written four books, and mentored hundreds of students. Her experience, passion, and expertise lie in how to advance the academic and social-emotional success of “marginalized” students who struggle in school. Once tenured faculty at Mormon Church owned and operated Brigham Young University (BYU), Dr. Wilder resigned from BYU and then from the LDS Church in 2008 when she experienced a crisis of faith. She currently teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University, speaks, writes, and enjoys time with 7 much-loved, vivacious grandchildren.
For 30 years, Michael and Lynn were temple recommend-holding, active members of the Mormon Church and held numerous leadership positions. Eventually, they had 4 children, all of whom were faithful and active in the LDS Church like their parents. The three oldest children, sons, served missions in Russia, Denmark, and Florida respectfully. Before their missions, the sons had served as stake youth leaders, seminary president, and their third son, Micah, worked in the temple. Their daughter held leadership positions as well. They all bore testimony of Christ often in church and were sincere and contented members of the LDS Church.
The Wilders moved from Indiana to Utah in 1999 when Lynn finished her doctorate and was hired at Brigham Young University. Mike established a business in Utah and the family continued to serve their church in the perfect Mormon life.

Then in 2006, everything changed.

Unveiling Grace:  The Story of How We Found Our Way Out of The Mormon Church tells the amazing journey of Lynn and her family through the Mormon religion and how they found true salvation in Jesus Christ.

Book Synopsis:
For thirty years, Lynn Wilder and her family lived, loved, and promoted the Mormon Church. Then on a Mormon mission trip to Florida, their son Micah had a revelation: God knew him personally. God loved him. And the Mormon Church did not offer the true gospel.
Micah’s conversion to Christ put the family in a tailspin. They wondered: Have we believed the wrong thing for decades? If we leave Mormonism, what does this mean for our safety, jobs, and relationships? Is Christianity that different from Mormonism anyway?
As Lynn tells her own story of abandoning the deception of Mormonism to receive God’s grace, she gives a rare look into Mormon culture, what it means to grow up Mormon, and why the contrasts between Mormonism and Christianity make all the difference in the world.
Whether readers are in the Mormon Church, curious about Mormonism, or simply looking for a gripping story, Unveiling Grace will strengthen their faith in the true God who loves them no matter what.

Lynn and Michael's website, Ex-Mormon Christians United For Christ, can be found at  Statement from the website:
"For Christians, life is about that all encompassing relationship with the Living Jesus. Everything we know of importance, all that we have, and all that we do is for Him--because of His neverending love for us. Our standard for our walk with Him is the Bible. It proclaims Him, prophesies of Him, and teaches us to know Him intimately. It is the flagship against which we test all truth. If something we hear does not line up with the teachings of Christ, his prophets, apostles, and disciples in the Word, would a Christian not question it?"
My Thoughts:
What Ms Wilder has offered us in Unveiling Grace is a rare insider's point of view of Latter-Day Saints.  Ms Wilder writes transparently in sharing her family's amazing journey.  This isn't just another book about Mormonism, but is the very real story of a real family who found themselves enmeshed in a culture of religion that distracted them for a time from true amazing grace offered by the One True God of the Universe.
Rather than giving a doctrinal discourse on the Mormon faith, Ms Wilder very honestly shares her family's experience in that faith while allowing her reader a peak into the misleading doctrines of the Latter-Day Saints.  Also included in the book is a list of Christian Ministries with information on Mormonism, a chart that gives a doctrinal comparison of Mormonism and the Bible, and a very helpful glossary of terms used in the Mormon faith.
Ms Wilder writes not with condemnation for those still in the trenches of Mormonism, but with the sensitivity of one who has fallen in love with "The Dancer" (how she refers to God in the book).  She simply tells how God (The Dancer) wooed her and her family with His providential and sovereign care and seeks to pull back the veil so that others can come one step closer to understanding the One True God and His offer of salvation.
*I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for this review as part of their Booksneeze Blogger Review program.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Daughter of Jerusalem/Giveaway

Joan Wolf ia a New york Times, USA Today, and Washington Post best-selling author of 47 novels including her latest Daughter of Jerusalem.  She taught high-school English and had Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as a student.  She has lived most of her adult life with her husband in Milford, Connecticut, where she raised two children and an assortment of horses, dogs, and cats. 
She says that Gary Will's book What Jesus Meant propelled her to write this book abut Mary Magdalene.
Author's website can be found at

Her name was Mary Magdalene.
In this fictionalized story of one of the Bible's most compelling women, Joan Wolf beautifully recreates the history, romance, and tradition of Mary's world.  Daughter of Jerusalem follows Mary's life from her first love through her loveless marriage, to the moment she heard of a miracle worker in her town - and ultimately to the moment she saw Him risen from the dead.
As this inspiring chronicle reminds us, Mary was the first to witness history's greatest moment.  She was a woman who sought forgiveness for her sins, and a follower of God who yearned for a deeper faith.  She was Jesus' beloved disciple.  Read Mary Magdalene's story and find yourself in this remarkable woman's journey to discover the Kingdom of God.

My Thoughts:
I have come to appreciate well written Biblical fiction that is historically accurate as well as Biblically accurate.  So, needless to say, I was excited to read a novel about Mary Magdalene.  This was a first for me.  Joan Wolf approaches Mary Magdalene from the understanding that she and Mary of Bethany (the sister of Martha and Lazarus) are one in the same.  There is some debate about these two "Marys" in the Bible being the same person; however, Wolf does a fine job of combining the two figures and telling a story of a follower of Christ.
Wolf beautifully captures this time in Biblical history through her vivid description of the area and her characters.  I really appreciated how she related the ministry of Jesus in the latter part of the book.  While there were quite a few artistic liberties taken by the author, the overarching themes of transformation, forgiveness and salvation offered to those who would come to Christ are clearly presented.

I have TWO copies of Daughter of Jerusalem to give to two of my readers courtesy of Leeanna Case and Worthy Publishing.  

Leave me a comment answering this question and you will be entered to win one of the two copies:
1.  Do you like to read biblical fiction?  Why or why not?
2.  Who is your favorite author of biblical fiction?

Be sure and leave me a way to contact you in case you are a winner!  I'll pick two winners this Friday evening!

Happy Reading,

Widow of Gettysburg

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Widow of Gettysburg
River North; New Edition edition (April 12, 2013)
Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.
Jocelyn can be reached through the Contact link on her Website.

When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.
While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.
In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it? Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Widow of Gettysburg, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
Jocelyn Green has an extraordinary gift and I am blessed to have discovered it.  Widow of Gettysburg is the second book in Green's Heroines Behind the Lines series, but can be read as a stand alone novel.  In this well researched and extremely well written book, Green captures the Civil War Era with vivid description and rich characterization.  She transports you to another time and place and you don't come up for air until you've turned the last page.
Green does an outstanding job of telling the very ugly side of this devastating time in our country which was rife with racial division and loss of life while at the same time weaving a story of faith, love and restoration.  A discussion guide is included making this an excellent choice for your next book club.  You will not be disappointed by this one!

Happy Reading,