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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In The Field Of Grace

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Field of Grace
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2014)
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. 


Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel's destiny and the future of the whole world.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Field of Grace, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
I have read the Biblical account of Ruth and Boaz many times and have even read a few books "re-telling" the story.  Afshar's novelization of Ruth's story is biblical fiction at its finest!  Rich in historical detail and description, Afshar places her readers right in the middle of the harvest gleaning beside Ruth.  The ripe emotion of the characters grab you and draws you into an amazing story of sacrifice and redemption.
Tessa follows the biblical narrative and eloquently weaves into the dialogue scriptural lessons and examples from other Bible characters.  Some of my favorite snippets are the following:
"Naomi enfolded Ruth in a warm embrace, before drawing back and patting her cheek.  'If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow,' she said, 'we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives.  Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in life.'"
"Boaz gulped air as if he had been drowning.  He forced himself to turn in the opposite direction.  It occurred to him that he never meant to come to this field today. He meant to be on the other side of Bethlehem.  But for the obstinate capriciousness of a brute animal, which delayed his leaving long enough for Miriam to catch him on her unannounced visit, and delay him further in her turn, he would not be here.  He would not have met her or helped her.  The very things that had seemed like unwelcome interruptions earlier rose up before him like the most important parts of his day now." 
"We travel through many wildernesses in life, be they real like Jacob's Bethel, or wildernesses of the soul.  Broken dreams, loss, grief.  Sometimes there is nothing to comfort us but the hard stones of a lonely path.  In those places, God seems so far away and distant.  The way He does to Naomi right now.  Yet, there is a ladder that touches down into the soil of our loneliest wilderness.  The angels of the Lord ascend and descend upon it, and He is Himself watchful to give us aid."
And those are just a few of the many places in the book that I stopped and gave praise to the Lord for His indescribable mercy and grace.  When a book causes you to do that, you know it is a treasure to savor. Afshar's writing is a gift...anyone who reads her words will be blessed!

Happy Reading,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with both our Hearts and our Minds

Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women's Bible studies.  She has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts.  Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in the Dallas, TX area.

You can connect with Jen via her blog found at as well as The Village Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Jen also writes often at The Gospel Coalition.

We all know it's important to study God's Word.  But sometimes it's hard to know where to start.  What's more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture.  How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?

Offering a clear and concise plan to help women go deeper in their study of Scripture, this book will equip you to engage God's Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.

My Thoughts:
I was blessed to receive a complimentary pre-release copy of Women of the Word for the purpose of review from Janni Firestone, publicist at Crossway.  Blessed?  Blessed because after reviewing this book, I believe it could possibly radically transform the way women read and study their Bible.  The results of such transformation would reach into homes and women's ministries across the country paving the way for a clearer understanding of Who God is...knowing Him and making Him known.
Wilkin's passion is to increase Bible literacy among women.  The best part about her book is that it presents more than just one more "formula" for getting in a little bit of Bible reading each day.  Nor is it another guilt laden "sermon" about how we need to be reading our Bible more and how bad we are if we aren't doing so.
With the patience of a faithful friend coupled with the concern that women learn to give God's Word more than a passing glance out of a felt obligation, Wilkin points readers to the main objective of reading the know God.
"It has been said that we become what we behold.  I believe there is nothing more transformative to our lives than beholding God in His Word.  After all, how can we conform to the image of a God we have not beheld?"  
"We must read and study the Bible with our ears trained on hearing God's declaration of himself."
"Seeing who He is shows me who I am in a true light.  A vision of God high and lifted up reveals to me my sin and increases my love for him.  Grief and love lead to genuine repentance, and I begin to be conformed to the image of the One I behold."
Wilkin spends the bulk of the book fleshing out the five P's of Bible study:

  • Study with Purpose
  • Study with Perspective
  • Study with Patience
  • Study with Process
  • Study with Prayer
Women of the Word is only around 155 pages long, but don't let it's length mask it's depth.  I would highly recommend this book for your next Women's Ministry study.  The book releases July 31, 2014.  Go Here or Here and pre-order yours today!

You can read an excerpt HERE.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 2014)
DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at


After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Firewall, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
DiAnn Mills is a genius story teller!  I have been a huge fan of hers for quite some time and she does not disappoint in Firewall!  With more twists and turns than the most frightful roller coaster and an ending that you do not see coming, Mills hit this one out of the ballpark!  I appreciate how she weaves a strong faith message into her story lines without being preachy.  Mills accomplishes this through characters who are genuine.  Mills kept me turning pages to a story I couldn't help but become totally involved in from the very beginning!  Mills believes her readers should "Expect An Adventure" and she never fails to deliver!  Her books will remain on my "keeper shelf".

Happy Reading,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Turning - Review and Giveaway

Davis Bunn is a native of North Carolina, has lived in Europe for thirty-five years.  Davis's academic background includes degrees in psychology and economics from Wake Forest University and a master's degree in finance from the City University of London.  Fluent in three languages, he has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Davis enjoys particularly strong following in the inspiriational market, often ranking on the Christian Booksellers' Association bestseller lists.  He has collaborated with Janette Oke, one of the leading names in Christian publishing, on a series of novels.  Davis is a New York Times bestselling author and has garnered a number of industry honors, including three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction.
Davis teaches in the Creative Writing Programme at the University of Oxford, where he holds an appointment as a Core Lecturer in the subject of fiction.  He splits his time between Oxford and Florida with his wife Isabella.
You can connect with Davis through:

Take the turning and walk the unlikely road.

A voice.

And five dissimilar people knew they were summoned to obey.

Against all earthly logic, it carried a divine command - and their unforeseen meeting would result in a challenge to the cultural direction of the nation and wage war against the most powerful and influential industry in North America.

A message.

One that asks for a single personal response - a response that can unveil a new realm of moral responsibility and hope.  The media frenzy places a spotlight on knowing - and doing - the will of God.  How will the group be able to stand against the swelling powers of darkness and greed vying to crush their message of hope?

Can they really hear the voice of God?

Hear Davis share about the concept behind his new book The Turning as well as additional resources available to you, the reader, to go a step further in learning the discipline of listening to God.

Visit HERE for access to the 40 day devotional as well as audio teaching sessions from Davis connected to the message of the book.

My Thoughts:
In his new book The Turning, Davis Bunn has presented to readers in story form one of the most valuable lessons that can be learned:  the discipline of listening to God.  Through the stories of John, Alisha, Jenny, Ruth, and Yussuf, Bunn goes a step further and shows in living color what it looks like to listen to God's voice and obey - to do things only possible by relying on Him.
In few words, Bunn's characters come to life and he draws you into their stories from the very beginning. There are no wasted pages in The Turning.  With each paragraph, the intensity builds and as a reader, I found myself invested in the life of those involved quickly.  This was a hard book to put down and is one that I will re-read most likely more than once.
*Thank you River North (fiction division of Moody Publishers) for sending a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.

Thanks to the generosity of River North, I have a copy of The Turning to give away to one of my readers!
Just answer this question in the comments section:
What do you think is involved in effectively hearing the voice of God?
Be sure and leave an email address where I can notify you if you win!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Mother's Secret

About the author: 

Amy Clipston holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, and two sons and four spoiled rotten cats.

Amy can be found at: website,TwitterFacebook.

About the book: 

Book two in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever?
Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother's farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin's father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her.
His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn't convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter.
When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn's brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance.

After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family-and the unconditional love-she's longed for?

My Thoughts:
This is my first novel by Amy Clipston to read.  The only thing I regret about reading this book is that I have not discovered Clipston before now!  She has written a book with believable characters who find themselves in heartbreaking circumstances.
I appreciated how Clipston isn't preachy, but clearly points to the transforming power of God in lives otherwise hopeless.  God delights in showing mercy and Clipston highlights this side of God's character so eloquently in her book.  I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
*I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review and as part of the blog tour hosted by Litfuse Publicity.
*To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

Happy Reading,

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hope Deffered

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hope Deferred
HopeSprings Books (July 1, 2014)
Elizabeth Maddrey


Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who loves a good happily ever after.

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of computers, math, and organization steered her into computer science at Wheaton College, she always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. This continued through a Master’s program in Software Engineering, several years in the computer industry, teaching programming at the college level, and a Ph.D. in Computer Technology in Education. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity.

She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

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


Christian fiction for women.
Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse?
June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage. Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hope Deferred, go HERE.

*Personal review to follow in a later post.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Place In His Heart

Rebecca DeMarino was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of a Navy pilot. Her mother made a home for the family of six all over the map, including Virginia, Nevada, California, Washington, and Guam, before her parents put down anchor on a ranch in Oregon.
As the wife of a young Air Force officer, married life brought more travel. She relied on her mother’s example of how to make a home anywhere. Her three beautiful daughters were born in Florida, Alaska and Nebraska.
Retired after sixteen years with a major airline, she manages to fulfill her love of wanderlust with frequent family or research trips. 
Her debut novel A Place In His Heart is drawn from family lore regarding her great grandfather from generations ago.
You can connect with Rebecca via her website at
Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother. 
With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her Papa and her dear sister? 
And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s broken heart?   
My Thoughts:
A Place In His Heart is Rebecca DeMarino's debut novel and the first book of The Southold Chronicles. Drawing from her rich personal heritage, DeMarino has written a book that tells a story of tender love and loss.  The vivid description draws readers into the lives of the characters from the very beginning.  The way DeMarino weaves a spiritual message into the fabric of the story is fluent and fresh.
DeMarino has earned herself a place of significance in the historical romance genre.  She has hooked us with this book and gained fans for the remainder of the series.  I am honored to have discovered a new "favorite" author!
I was sent a complimentary copy of the book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Happy Reading,