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Friday, November 20, 2015

An Endless Christmas and A GIVEAWAY!

About the author:
Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women's and writers' events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers' Choice Award. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Connect with Cynthia: websiteTwitter,Facebook.
About the book: 
An Endless Christmas
 (Worthy Inspired, October 2015)

Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster.

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says, "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.

Purchase a copy:

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

My Thoughts:
If you have been reading my reviews for very long, you know that I'm a huge fan of Cynthia's writing.  An Endless Christmas, Cynthia's new Christmas novella, only had one was too short!  In typical Cynthia Ruchti fashion, she packed such a poignant message in these few pages.  
I immediately fell in love with the characters in An Endless Christmas.  And my favorites were Dodie and Wilson Binder.  What a lesson in "live like you are dying"! Cynthia used the Binder family and Katie to portray such beautiful pictures of family (who may not always be "blood" relatives), forgiveness, redemption and restoration. God's grace is woven so fluently throughout this story.  Emotionally gripping from the first page to the last, you will want An Endless Christmas to be part of your holiday experience this year!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a review.  

Cynthia Ruchti Endless Christmas

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Monday, November 16, 2015

Secrets She Kept

Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Saving Amelie, Band of Sisters, Promise Me This, William Henry Is A Fine Name and I Have Seen him in the Watchfires.

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries.  When not traipsing the hills and dales of hisoric sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home in northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and granddaughter.

You can connect with Cathy through her website found at

Secrets a mother could never share...consequences a daughter could not redeem.

All her life, Hannah Sterling yearned for a closer relationship with her estranged mother.  But when death closes that door, Hannah determines to unlock the secrets of Lieselotte's past and is shocked to discover she has a grandfather still living in Germany.

Thirty years earlier, as Hitler begins his march through Europe, Lieselotte's father ascends the Nazi ranks.  A proper marriage for his only daughter could advance his career, but Lieselotte is in love, and her beloved, who secretly works against the Reich, is far from an ideal match.  Yet Lieselotte never imagined how far her father would go to ensure her cooperation, or how their actions would echo through generations.

Both Hannah and Lieselotte's stories unfold as Hannah travels to Berlin to meet her grandfather, who is hiding wartime secrets of his own.  Longing for connection yet shaken by all she uncovers, Hannah must decide if she can atone for her family's tragic past...and how their legacy will shape her future.

My Thoughts:
Cathy has an exceptional gift of having the past and present collide in her novels.  Secrets She Kept is no exception.  Cathy's research of the Holocaust is exhaustive and her themes of forgiveness, redemption and hope shine brilliantly in Hannah's and Lieselotte's stories.  Even though the story switches back and forth between the past (Lieselotte) and the present (Hannah), Cathy's writing brings the two together with a smooth thread of history and application to bring about change.  I loved that Cathy included a cameo appearance by Corrie Ten Boom.
"In darkness God's truth shines most clear."  Corrie Ten Boom
This novel is emotionally gripping and one that has remained with me even though I read it months ago.  Cathy wastes no time providing the conflict and tension that is played out in Hannah's story. What Hannah learns is a lesson for us all.
"Writing Secrets She Kept challenged me to examine what it means to truly forgive.  I've learned that withholding forgiveness is tantamount to carrying a load of boulders on our back, or shackling our feet with balls and chains.  Every day is exhausting, every breath a chore.  Release - forgiving or being forgiven - can't be exacted or even bought.  It's divine.  That's what I learned from Corrie Ten Boom as she forgave the guard from Ravensbruck.  She didn't do it -couldn't do it -alone.  She surrendered her own sin and inabilities to Christ and asked that He do it through her."  Cathy Gohlke in her Facebook post from  September 29th
Secrets She Kept now has a prominent place on this reader's keeper shelf.  Any time invested in reading this offering by Cathy Gohlke will be time well spent and quite possibly a personally transforming experience.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of giving my honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Lisa Harris is a Christy Award winner and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times.  The author of nearly thirty books, including Dangerous Passage, Fatal Exchange, and Hidden Agenda, Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa.  They currently live in Mozambique.

You can learn more about Lisa and connect with her through her website found at

No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force.  The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work.  When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past.  The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter...but the hunted.

With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

My Thoughts:
I have a new best friend and her name is Nikki Boyd!  Harris has knocked it out of the ballpark with Vendetta, the first book in her new series, The Nikki Boyd Files.  Harris is a master suspense writer. She wastes no time engaging her readers with an action packed and suspenseful story that grabs you on the first page and does not let go until the very last page is turned.
I love that all the loose ends aren't tidied up at the end of Vendetta. Harris has set the tone for an exciting series with this first installment.  Just when I thought I had things figured out, Harris threw a curve ball.  You will walk away from this one with questions waiting to be answered.  Harris's books have a place on my keeper shelf.  They should be on yours as well!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

A Reason To Stay

Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal and the author of A Woman of Fortune and Where Rivers Part, the first two books in the Texas Gold series.  Kellie writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure and she tells emotionally poignant stories about messy lives and eternal hope.

You can connect with Kellie and join her Reader's Club through her website found at

Sometimes the thing that keeps us from making the wrong choice is the one thing we can't control...

As an investigative reporter and the host of her own TV talk show, Faith Martin works to expose the truth for her viewers.  But in her personal life, she's anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she'd like to forget. By contrast, her husband Geary's life is an open book.  An easygoing pro bass fisherman, Geary is the ultimate family man - and his overbearing relatives don't know the meaning of boundaries.

Faith and Geary haven't been married long when their differences start to derail their tender relationship.  Surely love shouldn't be this hard.  While Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes.  With her life in the balance, she finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.

Kellie Coates Gilbert takes you on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves together unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage - and the ultimate healing power of love.

My Thoughts:
When I read Gilbert's Mother of Pearl a while back, I knew then that I would read everything she would write.  Gilbert has a special gift in her writing of conveying the tension and emotion that comes in life.  A Reason to Stay was a roller coaster ride!  I struggled with these characters.  I experienced anger, sadness, sympathy and laughed my head off; sometimes all in just a few paragraphs.  Gilbert's scenarios are believable and her characters are genuine.  Her stories read like situations ripped from the headlines of the evening news.  They are current and her characterization and plot development keeps you turning pages.  Gilbert expertly weaves a strand of hope throughout her stories.  She has done this so well in Faith and Geary's story.  By the end of the book, I was weeping from the sheer beauty of their journey.  Don't miss this book from Gilbert!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Respectable Actress

About the author:
A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. When she isn't busy writing or researching her next book, Love enjoys hiking, traveling, and hanging out with her husband Ron and their rambunctious golden retriever. The Loves make their home in the Texas hill country.

Find Dorothy online: 

About the book: 

A Respectable Actress (Thomas Nelson, October 2015)

When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father's death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah's Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night's performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best---and handsomest---lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can't go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip's dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:
Love's stories are a delight to read!  Her portrayal of the time period in A Respectable Actress is on point.  The characters, especially India and Philip, are complex and well-developed.  Love blends the perfect balance of suspense and historical romance.  Love kept my attention with a steady pace of twists and turns that kept me engaged with the story.  The description in A Respectable Actress is superb. Love uses her words wisely and conveys a lot into a few words.  I appreciated that Love highlighted the arts in this book and gave an excellent view of the theater in post-Civil War South.  If you like historical novels and mysteries, you will love this latest offering from Dorothy Love!

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

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Valley of Decision

Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. She is a professional acting coach, theater director, and playwright. Lynne is an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer who loves spending time with her family and medical therapy dog.

Find out more about Lynne at

Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.
Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.
All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.
With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.
Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.

My Thoughts:
Romantic time travel?  Time travel novels have never been my favorite, but when I had the chance to review Gentry's second book in The Carthage Chronicles, Return to Exile, I took the leap.  I even ordered the first book in the series, Healer of Carthage, so that I could catch up before reading and reviewing Return to Exile.  I'm so glad I read "out of my comfort zone"!  
I'm really sad to see the series end with Valley of Decision.  Lisbeth's journey has been amazing to read.  Gentry writes with era description and dialogue that carries the reader away to another time and place.  Her impeccable research shines through and the action packed journey left me breathless and sitting on the edge of my seat.  As an avid reader, I like what I like.  Gentry made me fall in love with a subject matter I never cared for previous to this series.  Her books  have earned a place on my keeper shelf!

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

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Message 100: The Story of God in Sequence

Eugene Peterson was born in E. Stanwood, Washington and grew up in Montana.  He is married to Janice Stubbs and they have three adult children.

Peterson studied at Johns Hopkins University and taught biblical languages and English Bible at the New York Theological Seminary.  Currently, Peterson is a full time writer, poet and professor Emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Eugene began work on The Message New Testament with only the Greek text before him.  The fresh insight and authenticity in The Message comes only from Peterson's intimate knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages and his own pastoral sensitivity.

In addition to The Message, Peterson is the author of:

  • Christian Basic Bible Studies Series
  • Answering God
  • Reversed Thunder
  • Sayings of Jesus
  • Subversive Spirituality
  • Where Your Treasure Is

The Message 100:  The Story Of God In Sequence

From Bono's Foreword to The Message 100:
"When the good book connects with our good lives, when the word sings in our hearts, there is a holy spirit busy in the translating. The most luminous of all translations of the word was the one into a single unizue life, that of Jesus of Nazareth. The poetic heart of The Message is that there is no dogma apart from the flesh becoming word...Peterson too has the heart of a musician, his intellectual rigor and humility saving him from the vicissitudes that have the rest of us banging tambourines as he lays out a feast on the altar.  While a lot of the time we're all still babbling in Babel, in The Message Peterson is often speaking in tongues - a language that decodes and deciphers us, the reader; a language to approach the very subject of God."

From Peterson's Preface To The Reader:
"If there is anything distinctive about The Message, perhaps is is because the text is shaped by the hand of a working pastor.  For most of my adult life I have been given a primary responsibility for getting the message of the Bible into the lives of the men and women with whom I worked.  I did it from pulpit and lectern, in home Bible studies and at mountain retreats, through conversations in hospitals and nursing homes, over coffee in kitchens and while strolling on an ocean beach.  The Message grew from the soil of forty years of pastoral work."

The Message 100 is organized into 100 readings designed to draw readers into "the unfolding story of God revealing Himself to the people He dearly loves".  This offering from Tyndale is organized chronologically so as to give readers God's grand redemption story to be experienced like a novel and not a textbook.  Peterson encourages readers to "read in an attentive, immersive way"... "A way that will allow you to be moved by the things that move God."

Each reading begins with some brief comments by Peterson to orient the reader to what they are about to read.  The portions are numbered in a bold 3 digit style (001, 002, 003, etc.) making it easy to keep up with where you stop and start as you read.  The text is not broken up into chapter and verse but more in a "passage" style with chapter and verse references to the side.

I love the organization and feel of The Message 100.  God's story, His "love letter" if you will is given to us to draw us to Him and His ways.  Peterson and Tyndale have given us a valuable and easy way to read His story with the hopes and prayers that His story will become our story.

*I received a complimentary copy of this resource for the purpose of providing this review.