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Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Search for Purple Cows

I’m a Christian woman with an exciting life’s journey.  Through the challenges of my life, I’ve developed strength, wisdom, and a deep faith that inspires others. I enjoy writing and speaking to audiences of all ages, sharing my story of resilience and overcoming life’s challenges. I love finding inspiring wisdom in every day life.
I hold a Masters in Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. I have studied in Sweden at Vilundaskolan and Uppsala University and speak conversational Swedish.
When I’m not sharing my story, I enjoy pursuing my hobby of photography. It is a pastime that enables me to slow down and appreciate the people and places that are part of my journey. I’m a very proud mother of her two children, wife and step-mother.
Connect with Susan via her website at where you will find more of her journey as well as valuable resources.
A Wife and Mother's amazing journey out of darkness into a life fully restored.
A whimsical comment from a kind stranger, "Be sure to search for purple cows," brings hope in God's infinite love to a woman fleeing a life filled with fear.  In this moving and extraordinary memoir, Susan Call recounts what happens when love deteriorates into a cycle of abuse and betrayal.  She chronicles how she first met her husband, a handsome, charming, generous man.  They fell in love, married and had two children.  Their life seemed idyllic; they had a beautiful home and everything a family could desire.
But inside the walls of that home, Susan was tormented by her husband's alcoholism, anger and infidelity, which cast her into a world fraught with fear and despair.  God found her in the midst of her pain and showed her, through the unlikely source of a Christian radio station, that hope and healing in God was possible even in the most unthinkable circumstances.  It's a journey of astonishing forgiveness, God's amazing provision, and the strength to look directly in the face of darkness and yet know that God has a plan for you.

My Thoughts:
Susan shares her story with grace and transparency.  Her story is one of darkness, but also of the Light that overcomes every darkness.  Her story is one of hope for those who have lived in an abusive relationship.  I appreciated the way the book read like an unedited diary or journal.  Susan shares her story without every single gory detail, but shares her pain in a way that it was almost palpable at times. She shines the light on Christ as her strength and restorer of her life and the Provider for her every need.
Maybe most astounding is the story of forgiveness found within the pages of this book.  Call shares her story in such a way that the reader gets a clear picture of her abuse, but comes away with an even clearer picture of the God of All Mercies and the hope that is available through Christ Jesus.

I received a copy of the book from B&B Media in exchange for this review.


Praying For Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90

Watching someone you love self-destruct hurts.
Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 tugs at the reader’s heart in 90 days of candid devotions aimed at offering strength, hope, and encouragement to families in the throes of living with an addicted family member. Families get left behind in the recovery process, but their support is crucial. Realizing you are not alone in your family’s struggles brings comfort and confidence to face day-by-day challenges. Reflection prompts and spaces for journaling encourage the reader to pen their thoughts on the verses and devotions. Each day’s entry ends with a prayer.
The Cosbys, a middle-class family, lived the nightmare of addiction with their son for 18 years. Their lives were turned inside out and upside down as his dependence on painkillers escalated. The descent into a living hell challenged their faith as the addiction claimed more and more control. Sharron’s middle-of-the-night reading of Jeremiah 30 and 31 changed the course of their lives and restoration became a reality.
The overall message of Praying for Your Addicted Loved One conveys hope to families caught in the addiction cycle. The various stages of the disease: abuse, recovery, and relapse, take their toll. Hopelessness grabs a family’s heart and wrings it out with each slip of clean or sober time. The verses in Jeremiah 30 and 31, the foundation of the book, offer the promise of restoration and redemption.
90 in 90 reflects the 12 Step model of an addict attending 90 meetings in 90 days. While your loved one attends meetings, you will read a daily devotional to lend spiritual support to your addict.
“Today I pray for other lost addicts to find the hope of recovery. I pray the families reading this book will continue to have hope that an addict—any addict—can stop using drugs and find a new way to live. If there is one thing I can say to family members it is, never quit fighting. There is always hope. With hope, I—a once hopeless dope addict—am now a dope-less hope addict.”  ~Josh Cosby

Sharron Cosby is married to Dan, a Certified Addiction Professional, and together they have three adult children and five grandchildren. She works for an international charity by day and writes by night. Her passion is to share God’s message of hope, strength, and encouragement with families living in the shadow of addiction.

My Thoughts:
Thank you Sharron for providing an invaluable resource!  Clearly understanding addiction and the steps to recovery and restoration, Crosby has given the family members of the one with an addiction a clear path to walk alongside their loved one.  She teaches us how to come boldly before the throne of grace in our time of need on behalf of our addicted loved one.  I'm so thankful for her transparency in sharing with us through her writing gift.
Included in the book are pages for journaling through these 90 days of prayer and devotion.  This truly is a 12 step model that leads the reader to press in to the One
True Higher Power...Almighty God from whom all healing and restoration comes.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Christmas Quilt

The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
The Christmas Quilt
Abingdon Press (October 15, 2013)
Vannetta Chapman

A Word From The Author:
I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love. 
I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit. 
I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band. 
My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.
Vannetta can be reached through the Contact link on her Website.
Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined. 
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Quilt, go HERE

My Thoughts:
"Babies have their own schedule, but so does God."
I love that and I love the message in Chapman's book!  Chapman writes an endearing story full of emotion and longing.  Waiting is a theme throughout the book.  Chapman's characters are likeable and almost seem like "real people" rather than fictional characters.  Her descriptions in the book are impeccable.  As a reader, you can picture each scene in your mind with such clarity.  You will be blessed by reading this book.  Now I'm ready for Christmas and some cool weather!

Happy Reading,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Best Friends and Mean Girls

Dannah Gresh has sold well over one million copies of her books - including Six Ways To Keep the "Little" In Your Girl, Six Ways to Keep the "Good" In Your Boy, And The Bride Wore White, and What are You Waiting For?:  The One Thing No One ever Tells You About Sex - making her one of the most successful Christian authors targeting teens and pre-teens.

Dannah has long been at the forefront of the movement to encourage both tweens and teens to pursue purity and is often called upon to defend the conservative position of abtinence in national news media like purity and is often called upon to defend the conservative position of abstinence in national news media like 
CNN, FOX News, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Women's Wear Daily.  She is also a frequent contributor to Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Midday Connection and numerous other broadcast media.  She has been a keynote speaker for Focus on the Family's teen missions trips and cruises; and has headlined with David Platt, Priscilla Shirer, John Piper and others who seek to bring the body of Christ relevant, meaty scriptural truth.

Danah is the creator of Secret Keeper Girl, a line of mom/daughter connecting resources and live events aimed at tween girls and their moms.  The Secret Keeper Girl Crazy Hair Tour, an all-new event, launches in August 2013 and is designed to refuel moms with conviction to train their daughters toe embrace modesty, purity, and true beauty.  The tour plans to stop in 80 cities throughout the course of the year and will introduce girls to positive role models in 1 Girl Nation, a new pop group focused on lyrics that encourage tweens to live for Jesus while they're young.

Although the volume of Dannah's ministry has been focused on helping moms to help their daughters, Dannah also ministers to women in all walks of life, as she equips them to not only be better mothers, but better wives and individuals.

Dannah lives on a farm in State College, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bob, and has three college-aged children, Robby, Lexi, and Autumn.  She and her husband founded Grace Prep, a new model in Christian high school education, which Bob administrates.  She is shamelessly in love with her labradoodle, Stormie.

More information on Dannah Gresh is available at

"Mean girl moments, getting left out, the silent treatment, and a whole list of other friendship challenges are unfortunately just a given if you're a girl," says Dannah Gresh.  "That's why it's so critical for moms to come alongside their daughters and teach them how to navigate these challenges in a biblical way."

In Talking With Your Daughter About Best Friends And Mean Girls, Gresh adds to the popular Secret Keeper Girl 8 Great Dates series by offering eight dates for moms and daughters focused on key relationships and true love.  Each one and a half hour date has a different friendship focus but follows the same general format, including special audio messages, mom-daughter discussion time, and a fun challenge activity, including a sleepover, scrapbooking, shopping, and ding-dong-ditching neighbors.  Dates can be done one-on-one or as part of a small group of moms and daughters.  The first date looks at what true friendship looks like, based on the Bible, with the following dates focused on specific people or groups such as loving your neighbor, your BFF, and your parents.

Alongside the book for moms, Gresh, and Secret Keeper Girl tour leader and you educator Suzy Wiebel, have also written a new book just for daughters.  A Girl's Guide To Best Friends and Mean Girls is part self-help, part Bible Study helping girls think through important issues such as what it looks like to be a friend and how to choose friends.  It also teaches girls the importance of meditating on God's Word on a daily basis.

"Our desire is to help them see that Jesus is the ultimate friend and the perfect example to follow when it comes to understanding how to be a friend," says Gresh.

My Thoughts:
I am so grateful for women like Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel, who understand the most important necessity of mothers guiding their daughters in the gospel through the ins and outs of life here on earth.  Gresh and Weibel have created two amazing additions to an already exceptional group of resources for moms and daughters.  Both Talking With Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls and A Girl's Guide To Best Friends and Mean Girls are full of fun and eye-catching graphics.  More importantly, both books are scripturaly sound and focus both mom's and daughter's thoughts on Christ.  Guidance given in the books focuses not only on how to deal with mean girls, but offers girls helpful ways to think about being a good friend themselves and how to positively handle those they encounter who are less than kind. Gresh and Weibel take moms and girls directly to the throne of grace and focus on Christ as a refuge and help in hurtful times of trouble, but also the One in Whom we find all our identity and worth.  If you are a mother of a girl between the ages of 7 and 12 or a grandmother with a grandaughter in those ages...GET THESE BOOKS!  I can't recommend them hard enough!


Friday, October 18, 2013

A Bride For Keeps

The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
A Bride for Keeps
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2013)
Melissa Jagears

I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.
My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. My husband shares my fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. I have my own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that my husband made for me. And I’m pretty sure my daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in my yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do. 
Melissa can be reached through the Contact link on her Website .
A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers! 
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him. 
Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas. 
Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love? 
If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride for Keeps, go HERE

My Thoughts:
A Bride For Keeps is a delightful read!  Jagears characterization, attention to detail and description bring this sweet and tender story to life.  While a little predictable, the story was an easy read and brought a smile to my face at points along the way.  I'll look forward to hearing more from this author.  

Happy Reading,

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Gospel Transformation Bible

The apostle Paul summed up his whole ministry as existing “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). That single-minded goal is the heartbeat of the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible. Produced out of the conviction that the Bible is a unified message of God’s grace culminating in Jesus, it is a significant new tool to help readers see Christ in all the Bible, and grace for all of life.
The Gospel Transformation Bible features all-new book introductions and gospel-illuminating  notes written by a team of over 50 outstanding pastors and scholars. This specially prepared material outlines passage-by-passage God’s redemptive purposes of grace that echo all through Scripture and culminate in Christ. The notes not only explain but also apply the text in a grace-centered way. Focusing on heart transformation rather than mere behavior modification, their points of application emphasize the Hows and Whys of practical application to daily living—in short, how the gospel transforms us from the inside out.
The Gospel Transformation Bible is available in a wide variety of print and digital formats. Moreover, every print edition comes with free access to the Online Gospel Transformation Bible, hosted at
The Gospel Transformation Bible will equip both new and seasoned believers with a gospel-centered reading of Scripture, enabling God’s people to see that the message of the Bible is a unified one—“to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” 
To view a pdf sample from The Gospel Transformation Bible you can visit HERE.
My Thoughts:
The Gospel Transformation Bible has truly been a blessing.  While other study Bibles have notes that are a verse by verse commentary, the notes in the GTB treat passages as a whole.  You won't need a Ph.D. to read and understand these notes.  I found them to be more devotional in nature, but rich in deep theological truths at the same time.  The GTB provides the big picture of God's redemptive plan in showing grace to lost sinful men and women.  The notes on each passage show how that passage's truths fit into this redemptive plan from Genesis to Revelation.  This important feature peels back the curtain for the reader to see each passage of the Bible in context rather than as an island by itself and is a safeguard against the twisting of a passage to make it say and mean something that it does not.  
The GTB would be a wonderful resource to give to a new believer discovering Scripture for the first time.  I personally plan to use it during my devotional times as I read through the Bible in 2014.  The GTB would also be useful for use in conjunction with the small group material The Gospel Project.  To order or learn more about the GTB, visit the publisher's page HERE.
The only negative thing I have to say about this Bible is that the pages are tissue thin, making it difficult to impossible to highlight or make notes in it without making a mess.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Return To Me

About Lynn: Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.

You can find out more about Lynn at

About the book: After decades of exile, the prophesies are coming true---King Cyrus has declared the Jews may return to Jerusalem. Iddo, a priest, is sure this is a sign of God's renewed favor. For too long they've remained in Babylon, and many, including Iddo's sons, are losing the faith that sets them apart. And so only a few choose to leave everything to return---return to their home and their God.
Nothing about their journey to the Promised Land is easy. As hardships mount, even the faithful, like Iddo's beloved wife, Dinah, question the sacrifice of following God's leading. Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the family they left behind. But one life-changing encounter with the Holy One gives him insight that will change Zechariah---and history---forever. Bringing the Old Testament to vibrant life, Return to Metells the compelling story of two men living by faith in the midst of doubt, the women who love them, and the faithful remnant struggling to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

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

My Thoughts:
I've read one other novel by Lynn Austin and was very impressed with her writing.  Return To Me is a biblical fiction piece by her and is the first installment in her new series The Restoration Chronicles.  I found Austin's writing to be rich in biblical, historical and cultural accuracy.  Her description of surroundings, her characters' thoughts and emotions to be vivid.  As a reader, I felt I was there and a part of the story myself.
While as an avid reader, I can sometimes be skeptical of "biblical" fiction, Austin writes with a genuiness that makes me want to read her stories.  In Return To Me, she makes the Old Testament come alive.  I'm not equating what she has written with the revealed word of God in Scripture, but she has offered her readers a vivid picture:  What if it happened this way?  Austin provides a glossary as well as the Scriptural references from which she developed the book.  You will be blessed by reading Return To Me and I can confidently encourage you to do so!
*Thank you Litfuse Publicity for providing the complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.

Don't Miss This Amazing Giveaway from Ms Austin:
Enter Today | 10/3 - 10/22!
Return To Me Lynn Austin

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dark Justice

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dark Justice
B&H Books (October 1, 2013)
Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice. 
Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002. 
When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences. 
Brandilyn can be reached through the Contact link on her Website.
If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back. 
While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved. 
The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well? 
Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . . 
If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark JusticeHERE

My Thoughts:
Dark Justice was my first Brandilyn Collins novel to read, but it certainly won't be my last!  Collins writes with heart pounding mystery and suspense that propels you forward.  I couldn't read fast enough!  While highlighting the strength and generational bond of Hannah, Carol and Emily, Collins offers a story relevant to our times and throws light onto a very real fear of many in our country - who can you really trust?  Through the faith of an older woman suffering from dementia, Collins reminds us Who we can trust.  While so much of Christian Fiction can come off as "preachy" and full of cliches, I love how Collins' writing wasn't like that.  She incorporates biblical truth into the story and it comes off genuine.  
With rich characterization,  intricate plot development and relevant subject matter, Dark Justice was a joy to read!  You won't figure this one out until you've read the last page.  I've thought about this story many times since I finished it...for me, that's the sign of an excellent novel!

Happy Reading,

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose/Giveaway

USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and "Lead Your Family Like Jesus," (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia 
About the book: Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War 
II---only to discover she's an Englischer herself. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own 
kind---Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:
At only 178 pages, A Christmas Gift for Rose was a quick and easy read.  However, these seemingly few pages hold a powerful and endearing story.  Tricia Goyer packs a lot of truth into her story and emotion and tension that is palpable at times.  She is an amazing wordsmith!  Goyer captures Rose's emotion and transformation and the family life of the Amish in living color.  Goyer is also on point in giving a picture of the family dynamics in this story.  Her description and detail offers depth to Rose's and Jonathan's relationship.  I appreciated being able to get the story from both of their perspectives rather than the one dimensional narrative way.  I almost never provide quotes from a book of fiction that I read, but I thought these from A Christmas Gift for Rose were profound enough to share and they will give you a taste of the deep truths found in this relatively short story:
"Rose couldn't remember everything she'd written, but it was clear that her fears had shouted louder than hope's whispers."  (pg. 107)
"You see, Dat thought your family needed a garden for food...and they did.  But flowers feed our soul in a different way.  They remind us of a God who creates beautiful things and takes notice of the tiniest detail."  (pg. 133)
"It seems to me, Rose, the kind of ancestors you have is not as important as the ones your children have."  (pg. 139)
Don't miss this special time and amazing giveaway from Tricia:
Enter Today - 10/1 - 10/19!
A Christmas Gift for Rose Tricia Goyer Zondervan

Thank you Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of the book for the purpose of this review and blog tour!

Happy Reading,

A Plain Disappearance

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.Amanda is represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency.
Connection opportunities with Amanda:  Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

My Thoughts:
Amanda Flower is a new author to me.  I am so glad to have had the chance to discover her writing.  A Plain Disappearance has a Nancy Drew type feel to it as Chloe finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.  This is the third book in Flower's Appleseed Creek Mystery series.  The first two books are A Plain Death and A Plain Scandal.  I have not read the first two books.  While I read this book as a stand alone, I felt I was missing important background and pertinent elements of Chloe's story.  I would recommend reading the series as a whole.
Amanda's characterization is superb and she weaves a plot that keeps you engaged and turning pages.  There were points that seemed a bit "fanciful", but by the time these came into play, I was so engrossed in the story that they seemed to fit.  To be honest, I was a little skeptical of an "Amish murder mystery", but Amanda's writing was skillful in making me a believer.  I want to read more!  I particularly want to know how things will turn out for Chloe and her family.  Amanda ends A Plain Disappearance in an excellent "cliff hanging" way! You will want to read more to!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Handlebar for the purpose of this review and blog tour.

Christian Book Store

Happy Reading,

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Militant Genome

Braxton attended Duke University, earned a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering and found his way into medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Following a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief Emergency medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL.
With no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction.  The next ten years saw him learning the craft of writing through local writers' groups, seminars, critique groups and more.  His first three completed novels, tucked safely away in their digital prison, are unlikely to ever grace a page of e-ink mostly because the stories are dated.  The Militant Genome marks his first formal publication.
You can connect with Braxton via Twitter, his website and Facebook.

A master gene for race? Geneticists say such a thing doesn’t exist. However, the Colonel, founder of the Missouri White Alliance, has devised a genetic weapon capable of devastating dark-skinned peoples globally. He is only weeks, maybe days away from implementing his viral version of racial cleansing’s “final solution.” There’s only one threat to his plan – a hotheaded member of the MWA has become the target of a nationwide police search for murder and the kidnapping of local celebrity Della Winston … and the unwanted attention risks bringing federal scrutiny to the previously unknown white supremacy group. 
Sarah Wade, MD, has enough stress as a senior Emergency Medicine resident. She never expected that her discovery of a murdered medical student would inadvertently jeopardize her career. Or that the next-day murder of a Nigerian diplomat would lead to the kidnapping of her best friend, Della Winston. The cascade of events pull her – and Seamus O’Connor, the detective assigned to the high-profile medical center murder – into a life-threatening conspiracy of murder, kidnapping, and rising racial tensions.

My Thoughts:
I was fortunate to discover Braxton and his writing through The Book Club Network (  I am a part of The Reader's Only group at TBCN and we truly have a lot of fun chatting, talking about the books we read, posting reviews and meeting the authors.  It was a privilege to meet Mr. DeGarmo and get to know him a little better.  I have read one other book by him, Indebted.  You can find my review by going HEREI was equally if not more impressed by the level of writing talent in The Militant Genome.  I received a signed copy of the book from Braxton through TBCN and agreed to provide a review.
Braxton writes with an honesty and genuiness not found in much of Christian fiction today.  I appreciate books that are blatantly gospel centered in their content; however, many simply won't read books that are what would be considered "preachy".  Braxton's writing isn't preachy and he writes so on purpose.  While writing from a Judeo-Christian worldview, this author isn't afraid to push the envelope a bit.  For example, in The Militant Genome, he uses some mild profanity and showcases the real evil of the white supremacy movement.  His characters don't "have it all together".  Through their stories, he shows real life with all it's struggles and scars, but leaves room for real hope in Christ.
The Militant Genome is a fast paced and intricately plotted thriller with characters that seem as large as life itself and kind of jump right off the page as if they were real people you know. Braxton grabs the reader in the first paragraph and holds him/her "hostage" if you will until the last page.  I simply love his writing for these reasons.  I can't wait to read more from DeGarmo and am glad that he was encouraged to develop his writing talent.

You can order your copy of the book from Deeper Shopping Christian Books and Bibles:

Christian Book Store

Happy Reading,

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Man Called Blessed

Ted Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.
Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.
After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.
In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.
He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel was published.
Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.
You must visit Dekker's's quite amazing!  You can find it HERE.
One man holds the key to locating the Ark of the Covenant—but he’s hidden deep in the desert and no one has seen him since he was a boy.
In this explosive sequel to Blessed Child, Jewish soldier-turned-archaeologist Rebecca Soloman leads a team deep into the Ethiopian desert to find the one man who may know the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Such a discovery would bring hope back to her people. Her search brings excitement and danger—including unexpected love and a discovery far more powerful than even the holy artifact.
Meanwhile, Islamic fundamentalists dispatch Ismael, their most accomplished assassin, to pursue Rebecca and the man she’s searching for. These men fear that the Ark’s discovery will compel Israel to rebuild Solomon’s temple—on the very site of their holy mosque in Jerusalem. But the man they seek is no ordinary man.
His name is Caleb, and he too is on a mission—to find again the love he embraced as a child and to share that love with the world.

My Thoughts:
Dekker and Bright continue Caleb's story from A Blessed Child in A Man Called Blessed.  Dekker has a unique gift in his story telling.  Rich in characterization and intricate plot detail, A Man Called Called Blessed offers suspense and emotion as the reader finds the little boy from the first book all grown-up.  Heart stopping at points along the way, this book offers readers a picture of the hope of the gospel.  It also offers a unique take on the constant struggle in the Middle East.  A Man Called Blessed is a fast paced story that grabs a hold of you from the first page and doesn't let go until the very end.  You don't want to miss either of these Caleb's story and be blessed!

Happy Reading,