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Friday, May 30, 2014

Until I Found You

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Until I Found You
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Victoria Bylin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A word from the Author:

This may sound crazy, but I was driven to write romance by giant bugs and killer rabbits. I just couldn't take it anymore. My husband and two sons would be camped in front of the television watching a movie about spiders the size of bowling balls, and I'd be wondering when the handsome scientist would get around to kissing the spunky woman with the bug spray. When it didn't happen, I decided to write my own happy endings--without the giant bugs...

Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband currently live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons.

Victoria can be reached through the Contact link on her Website.


Finding each other was only the beginning . . .

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Until I Found You, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
Victoria Bylin is a new author for me, but she sure made a good first impression with Until I Found You! Bylin has written a story with "honest" and believable characters.  Her portrayal of both Kate and Nick's struggle in their faith makes them both highly relatable characters...I loved them both.  Bylin let you hear from both Kate and Nick's voice as well as Kate's Aunt Leona.  Leona's journal entries, which told the back story and filled in why she was so urgent for Kate to come to know God in a saving relationship were some of my favorite portions of the story.  This is a story hard to walk away from after turning the last page.  I hope this isn't the last time we will get to encounter Kate and Nick!

Happy Reading,

Monday, May 26, 2014

Daisies Are Forever

About the author: 

New York Times best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are ForeverSnow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of A Log Cabin Christmas. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Connect with Liz: websiteFacebookTwitter.

About the book:
Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.
Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch's identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her "marriage."
Their journey to Gisela's mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

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

My Thoughts:
Tolsma has the gift of capturing the WWII era with vivid detail.  Like her previous novel, Snow on the Tulips, Daisies Are Forever hosts a cast of characters who are well developed and believable.  Tolsma keeps the action going and the reader turning pages.  Survival and sacrifice are themes woven throughout the story of Gisela and Mitch.  Tolsma leaves her readers with a sense of hope.  This one will not be soon forgotten.

*I received a copy of the book in exchange for and honest review from the publisher as part of the book tour hosted by Litfuse Publicity.

Daisies are Forever Liz Tolsma

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fatal Exchange

Lisa Harris is a Christy Award finalist and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. The author of more than twenty books, including Dangerous Passage, Harris has spent over ten years living with her family as missionaries in Africa. Learn more at

Lisa says, "So why Christian fiction/  Jesus shared primarily through parables and was one of the greateds story tellers of all times.  Yet His words had far greater meaning than a simple story.  This is my desire for my own stories.  To not only entertain through genres like romance, suspense, and international intrigue, ut to challenge, encourate and ultimately share the love of Christ through the written word.  To bring hope to a desperate world."

Book Two in the Southern Crimes series.

Emily Hunt might come from a family of cops, but she never goes looking for an adrenaline rush.  She lives the quiet...well relatively of a teacher and thrives on making a difference in the lives of her students.  But she'll have to draw on a well of strength and savvy she didn't know she had as student Rafael Cerda takes her class hostage for ransom money to save his brother's life.

Undercover cop Mason Taylor has been working with Rafael to find his brother and bring the cartel thugs who hold him to justice.  Can he talk Rafael down from his impulsive actions?  And is there something more sinister at work here than he realizes?

My Thoughts:
Lisa Harris is a master storyteller, who knows how to include just about everything I look for in a really good book...believable characters who don't "have it all together", suspense, mystery, tension, faith and tender romance.  Harris wrote in such a way that you feel as if you already know the characters.  She does an exceptional job of weaving the back stories of the characters into the present without repeating too much from the previous book.
While you could read this as a stand alone, I recommend reading the previous book Dangerous Passage first.  Harris takes her readers on a fast paced journey in Fatal Exchange with twists and turns that keep you turning pages.  And just when you think you may have things figured out, you turn the page and find out you really don't.  I really liked that I couldn't figure this one out.  The ending will leave you waiting with bated breathe for the next book due out January 2015.  Harris includes a really good tease on the last pages!

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Happy Reading,

Gathering Shadows

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Gathering Shadows
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Nancy Mehl


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

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 and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.

Nancy can be reached through the Contact link on her Website.


Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life. If you'd like to read the first chapter of Gathering Shadows, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
Nancy's books are a joy to read.  Gathering Shadows did not disappoint!  Nancy writes with the perfect blend of suspense/mystery, faith and tender romance.  Wynter and Rueben were characters that were easy to identify with from the very start of the story.  Mehl's character development and description of the Mennonite culture draws her reader in a holds interest to the very last page.  This book is the first installment in her new series Finding Sanctuary.  The series will not be one to miss!

Happy Reading,

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Take This Cup

Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) have written over 45 works of historical fiction. That these best sellers have sold more than 10 million copies and won 8 ECPA Gold Medallion Awards affirms what millions of readers have already discovered—the Thoenes are not only master stylists but also experts at capturing readers' minds and hearts.
Bodie began her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper. Eventually her byline appeared in prestigious periodicals such as U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also worked for John Wayne's Batjac Productions (she's best known as author of The Fall Guy) and ABC Circle Films as a writer and researcher. John Wayne described her as "a writer with talent that captures the people and the times!" She has degrees in journalism and communications.
Brock has often been described by Bodie as "an essential half of this writing team." With degrees in both history and education, Brock has, in his role as researcher and story-line consultant, added the vital dimension of historical accuracy. Due to such careful research, The Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles series are recognized by the American Library Association, as well as Zionist libraries around the world, as classic historical novels and are used to teach history in college classrooms.
Bodie and Brock have four grown children—Rachel, Jake, Luke, and Ellie—and five grandchildren. Their sons, Jake and Luke, are carrying on the Thoene family talent as the next generation of writers, and Luke produces the Thoene's audiobooks.
Bodie and Brock divide their time between London and Nevada.
For more information about Bodie and Brock and their books, visit, and on Facebook.

Woven into the fabric of prophecy, a young boy named Nehemiah must choose to embrace his destiny as cupbearer to the King of Kings.
When Nehemiah, the child of Jewish exiles, begins hearing whispers and experiencing portentous visions, it quickly becomes clear to his father and his rabbi that the young cupbearer is meant for a higher purpose...but what?  Certain that the messiah is alive at that very moment, the family waits for the boy's destiny to be revealed.
From the ancient site of the Garden of Eden, nehemiah undertakes a perilous journey.  The caravan route is full of danger, hardship, and mystery - all of it linked to what Nehemiah has in his keeping.
In due time, his path becomes clear.  It leads to Jerusalem, to a wealthy pharisee named Joseph of Arimathea...and to Jesus of Nazareth.

My Thoughts:
Take This Cup is the second installment in the Thoene's Jerusalem Chronicles.  The first book was When Jesus Wept.  The Thoene's write solid Christian Historical fiction with unprecedented depth. The research is evident in the way they capture the culture through vivid descriptions and rich characterization.  In the story, the Thoene's take the reader to another world.  The book is historical Christian "fiction" and artistic liberties are taken; however, the Thoene's stay true to the Scriptural storyline and the overall redemptive story of the Bible is not compromised.
When a story stays with me long after I've turned the last page and I go to my book shelf periodically and pick that book up and think about its contents then I know I've read an excellent book.  Take This Cup is and excellent book!

I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fly a Little Higher

Laura Sobiech was born and raised in Minnesota. She has been married to her husband, Rob, for twenty-four years, and they are the proud parents of four awesome children: one married, one in college, one in heaven, and one in high school. Laura has spent the past couple of years crossing things off her I-Never-Want-To-Do List, now having done most everything that was on it, including: globe trekking, public speaking, fund-raising, Skype-ing on live television, and supporting a child with cancer. In her free time she volunteers as an EMT/firefighter at her local fire department and can knit a wicked awesome pair of socks.
About the Book
“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”
This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.
At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing good-bye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed not one life but millions, making him an international sensation.
But Zach’s story is not just about music. It’s a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It’s about how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the music industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and school children across the globe.
Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.

My Thoughts:
This book isn't so much a story about a boy who died of cancer as it is a book about how a young man he lived with grace and touched the hearts of more than most ever will with many more years to do so.  
Fly A Little Higher is written by Zach's mom, Laura Sobiech.  She is very transparent in sharing her family's experience.  As a mother of three blessings of my own, the thing I found most touching about the book was reading about a mom's most tender memories of her son. Ms Sobiech, rather than become bitter with her circumstances, has chosen to share with us the amazing journey that she and her family traveled through Zach's battle with osteosarcoma.
And maybe a battle it was, but this family won the war; not in the physical realm but certainly in the spiritual.  
Read this book and be changed!  And most importantly, you will be reminded that the wars of our lives are won only by leaning on and trusting in a God of amazing grace...the Sobiech family and Zach in particular are shining examples of what God is able to do through a life surrendered to Him. 

The Song "Clouds"

My Last Days:  Meet Zach

This post is part of the Fly a Little Higher Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of bloggers raising awareness and giving hope to those with cancer. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Critical Condition

About the Author: A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader's Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Connect with Richard at:

About the book: Dr. Frasier couldn't save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she's fighting for her own life.
It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier's colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.
Her "almost-fiancĂ©" Dr. Mark Gilbert's support only adds to Shannon's feelings of guilt, since she can't bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he's just been diagnosed with leukemia. Shannon thought it couldn't get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, "What did he say before he died?"
With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.

My Thoughts:
Mabry has become one of my favorite medical thriller authors!  I love his characters...they are genuine and believable.  He writes not from sensation, but about "real" people who find themselves in somewhat unbelievable situations.  He never fails to infuse a crisis of faith into the story.  While in this particular story there were ideas/thoughts repeated too often (from the main character, Shannon Fraisier), the suspense both in Shannon's love relationship and in the murders kept me turning the pages.  The best part of the experience reading this book is that I couldn't figure it out...until the last page was turned!

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

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from LitFuse Publicity for the purpose of this review.

Kindle HDX Giveaway!
Richard Mabry Critical Condition

Happy Reading,