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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Double Cross

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Double Cross
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2015)
by
Diann Mills


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at her website.

ABOUT THE BOOK

FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington—and what she sacrificed to put him away—he is now her best lead. Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family—even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon. As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.

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



My Thoughts:
Double Cross is the second book in Mills' FBI:  Houston series;  Firewall was the first.  Mills' books are such a delight to read.  She fluently weaves a romantic thread among a tale of suspense and mystery.  I enjoy the journey of faith her characters take and the spiritual transformation that takes place in their lives.  Double Crossgrabbed me in the prologue and didn't let go until the last page. Mills' kept me turning pages with believable characters, non-stop action, twists and turns and superbly crafted suspense with an ending I did not see coming!  DiAnn Mills' books have a place on my keeper shelf.  So grab a good cup of coffee and a frozen snickers and dive in to Double Cross.  Why a frozen snickers you ask?  You'll just have to read the book and then you'll understand.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

The Legacy: The Restoration Series

One young man is about to discover the true cost of independence.

For years, Doug Anderson has been drifting slowly but steadily away from both his family and his faith.  His parents have been trying to reach him before he falls too far.  His friend Christina hopes what she is seeing online isn't true.  But sometimes you have to hit bottom before you're ready to grow up.

Just as things begin to settle down a bit, Doug's life takes a turn that requires every bit of faith and patience for both his family and Christina - whose growing feelings for Doug, a man who writes her off as not worth his time, keep her off balance.

Will Doug's crisis finally clear his vision and help him focus on what he has right in from of him?




Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of many books, including The Dance, The Promise, and The Desire with Gary Smalley.  He has won three Carol Awards, and three of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews inspirational book of the year.  He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.










Gary Smalley is one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships and has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, and TODAY, as well as numerous national radio programs.  He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of many books, including the Baxter Family Redemption series with Karen Kingsbury.  Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 50 years and live in Missouri.

My Thoughts:
The Legacy is the fourth and final book in the Restoration Series.  The books in the series, including The Legacy could be read as stand alone novels, but I recommend reading the series as a whole in order to gain the full experience with this family.
Gary and Dan have done an excellent job of probing into the depths of family dynamics. In this final book, the authors give a modern day picture of the biblical Prodigal Son parable.  I have enjoyed getting to know the Anderson family and the siblings in particular.  The authors' gift of storytelling is given to readers through well thought out characters and expertly woven plots with believable scenerios and genuine emotion.  These stories have made me feel and have stuck with me long after the last pages have been turned.

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

Happy Reading Ya'll
Jennifer

Monday, April 20, 2015

Against The Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel In An Age Of Relativism

John C. Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College. He lectures on Faith and Science for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He is author of a number of books on the relations of science, religion and ethics. He and his wife, Sally, live near Oxford.

Stay up to date with John at http://www.johnlennox.org/



Against the Flow (Monarch, March 2015)
A wide-ranging discussion of the place of Christianity in the public square
Daniel’s story is one of extraordinary faith in God lived out at the pinnacle of executive power. It tells of four young men, born in the tiny state of Judah around 500 b.c., and captured by Nebuchadnezzar, emperor of Babylon. Daniel describes how they eventually rose to senior positions of administration.
Daniel and his friends did not simply maintain their private devotion to God; they maintained a high-profile witness in a pluralistic society antagonistic to their faith. Their story carries a powerful message for us today. Society tolerates the practice of Christianity in private and in church services, but increasingly it deprecates public witness. If Daniel and his compatriots were with us today they would be in the vanguard of public debate.
This is a lucid and erudite examination of the life of Daniel from a leading expert on faith and science. In his first biblical work, Dr. Lennox provides a unique perspective on both Western society and biblical exegesis that will make Against the Flow an instant classic encouraging Christians to speak out in our modern Babylon.
My Thoughts:
I'm not sure I have read a more compelling or relevant non-fiction title in quite some time.  Constructed much like a text book for the classroom, Lennox's writing is concise and easy to follow.  He expertly draws parallel's between Daniel's life and circumstances and our modern day lives and circumstances.  He delves into a thorough fleshing out of scripture, history, culture (both past and present) and application for the present.  With all the upheaval across our world, Against the Flow is a timely word for Christians who desire to walk by absolute truth while showing the love of Christ.  This powerful resource should be on your bookshelf!
I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.
Blessings,
Jennifer

God, Me, And Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments

Rose Chandler Johnson’s devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from a tiny Georgia town, and has lived near Augusta, Georgia, for the last twenty-eight years. For the last twenty years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. She’s also worked as a counselor, librarian, and ESOL teacher. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.
Find out more about Rose Chandler athttp://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com.
You can also connect with her via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, July 2013)
In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Teais a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes we just miss it!  We miss seeing God at work, because we are waiting for the fireworks and forget to listen for that still, small voice.  Johnson reminds us to look for the goodness and glory of God in all things.
Johnson's devotional offers 52 reminders to consciously look for God in the midst of our days.  He is there!  Each devotional thought offers a thought by Johnson as well as suggested scripture readings, journaling considerations (with lines provided to jot down your own thoughts), a prayer focus and "Today's Sweet Tea Moment".
As a good ole Southern girl from Mississippi, I sure do love my sweet tea!  I have enjoyed this little book that shares big gospel centered reminders of the beauty of God in the midst of our mundane and how He makes all things sweet.
I was provided a complimentary copy for the purpose of this review.
Happy Reading Ya'll
Jennifer

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Undone: A Story of Making Peace win an Unexpected Life


A storyteller at heart, Michele Cushatt speaks nationwide with Women of Faith and Compassion International and is cohost of the popular podcast This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt.  She has written for Today's Christian Woman and MOPS International and blogs at michelecushatt.com.  Michele and her husband, Troy, live in Denver, Colorado, with their six children.

Connect with Michele:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest




Sometimes life's greatest beauty shows up in life's greatest chaos.  Michele Cushatt wanted a well-ordered life...peaceful, predictable, and happy...a life she could control.

She never expected devastating divorce and single motherhood.
Or a second marriage marred by the challenges of a blended family.
Undaunted, Michele worked hard to put her upside-down life back in order.  Until, at the age of thirty-nine, she received a cancer diagnosis.  And eight months later, she opened her near empty-nest home to three little ones in crisis.  The resulting chaos proved far more than she could contain.

Undone is Michele's story of discovery, of learning that all her attempts to control her life were robbing her of its vibrancy, and that faith in the midst of the unknown is the only real kind of faith at all.  It is her call for each of us to relinquish perfection and embrace what is.  To lean in. Because right here, right now, in your unfinished story with its missteps and misfortunes, there is peace.  And there is Presence.  Because sometimes life's stories are written right in the middle of the mess.



My Thoughts:
In Undone, Michele Cushatt shares candidly about the mess and chaos that has characterized so many parts of her life.  The mess, which Michele holds nothing back in sharing has been great, but her God has been greater.  She also holds nothing back in pointing to God and His grace as the sustaining thread that has held her life and heart together.  Cushatt helps readers to evaluate their own life in order to find the diamonds of God's grace and mercy among the heartbreaks we suffer in a fallen and sinful world.  She helps us have the eyes to see what is sometimes buried in the dark.  And that is a gift we are blessed to have been given.  Read this book and be encouraged to see God's hand and trust His heart.

*I was provided a book by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jaded

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jaded
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
by
Varina Denman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.

ABOUT THE BOOK

As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man ... and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart ... and a thirst for hope.

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

My Thoughts:
I have not encountered a work of fiction that has affected me quite like Jaded.  Being a minister's wife for some 23 years now, I have seen many things in church life and not all of them have been good or kind.  Varina Denman has written a book that will hold you hostage for the length of time it takes you to read it.
Denman accomplishes several things with Jaded.  She captures small town life perfectly.  The characters are richly developed and are easy to identify with deep emotion.  I see so much of myself in Ruthie.  I loved her journey and want to see how she grows moving forward.  Denman delves into the richness of what biblical love - agape, God's love - is supposed to look like and accomplish in the lives of His people.  Themes of judgment, deceit, shame, faith, trust and restoration are woven through a story of a small town, its people and the church.
Denman takes the reader into deep wells of thought with few words in lines such as these:
"But his memory is so much better than her reality."
"God is pretty important in my life, and you know...I was hoping He was improtant to you, too."  "I do believe in God..."  He peered down at me and laughed.  "I sense a but coming."  "But the church is messing with Him.  I'm surprised He puts up with it, really."
I hope you will read Jaded.  And be on the lookout for the sequel coming later this year...Justified.  I know I will.  Varina Denman's books will have a place on my keeper shelf.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mist of Midnight

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Mist of Midnight
Howard Books (March 10, 2015)
by
Sandra Byrd


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. The Tudor series’ end cap, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published in April, 2013.

A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, debuts in March, 2015.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens, and is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

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

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer