Help Kids in Need Get Books!

Thursday, November 29, 2012




Here’s how you can help:

1. Download Storia®, Scholastic’s teacher-recommended children’s ereading app, and help pass on the reading to kids in need. Upon downloading Storia, families will receive five free children’s ebooks to start a home digital library. For every additional ebook purchased on Storia now through Dec. 31, 2012, Scholastic will donate a children’s book to a child in need through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program (with a minimum of 50,000 books committed).

2. Visit a participating The UPS Store location across the U.S. now through Dec. 31, 2012 to purchase a donation card to benefit the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, a year-round initiative of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Every dollar donated helps provide new books from Scholastic for less fortunate children in local communities throughout the U.S. Customers can also donate online at The UPS Store Facebook page. As part of the longstanding collaboration with Scholastic Literacy Partners, The UPS Store location that raises the most money during the holidays will receive 500 books to share with families in their local community.

Many thanks to Nadia Almahdi @ Scholastic.com for providing the details and the above graphic for this terrific sounding program! For more information GO HERE.

Happy Reading!



A Story Set in the Fast Lane: At Every Turn by Anne Mateer

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

At Every Turn
by Anne Mateer
Copyright 2012
Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764209048
About the book:
Caught up in a whirlwind of religious enthusiasm, Alyce impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. Now she just has to find a way to get the money. Her passion for automobiles leads her to train secretly for a race with the help of Webster, her father’s mechanic. If she wins, the prize money will enable her to fulfill her pledge—and more! But when her plan spirals out of control, will she have to choose between keeping her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

My thoughts:
It's not everyday that you read a book set in the early 20th century in which the heroine is a racecar driver -- at least I know I don't read them! At Every Turn immediately caught my attention because even today it's a bit of a rare thing for ladies to race so to read about a "proper young miss" in 1916 doing it even though she's completely fictional sounded fun. I am so glad I wasn't wrong in picking this book to read and review as it has proven to be both entertaining and interesting.

Alyce Benson is a thoroughly modern girl with an old-fashioned faith who, caught up in the moment, pledged a huge amount of money that she didn't have in hopes of supporting missionaries to the Gold Coast of Africa. Since she can't count on her father to give her money she decides to enlist the help of her father's mechanic and join in the strictly male sport of auto racing to try and raise the $3000. Nobody knows that she is racing and if anyone found out if would be devastating for the cause and her family. She has to decide who is worthy of her trust and whether or not she is following God's plan for her life.

Alyce is a whirlwind. She doesn't always think about consequences before she acts and it gets her in trouble in more than once instance. She was constantly going back and forth between whether or not to trust Webster and her father's bookkeeper which annoyed me. I suppose it fit with her dizzying personality but I wanted to shake some sense into her more than once!  Even though there wasn't a lot of romance past a few "meeting of the eyes, melt your heart" scenes this story worked for me! This story focused mostly on Alyce finding God's path for her life and this story definitely doesn't shy away from faith so if you like your books heavy on the message and lighter on romance you will probably enjoy At Every Turn.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to read this story the e-book version is FREE today (November 28, 2012) only for Kindle and Nook. As always, make sure you check the price before you buy to make sure it's still free!

To learn more about the author visit HER WEBSITE.

~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading!



ARC Giveaway: The Husband List (Jan. 2013) by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of the upcoming historical romance The Husband List by NYT Bestselling duo Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly from Goodreads. Luckily for you I was sent two ARCs and even though I enjoyed this book I don't need two copies so one of you lucky people gets my extra copy! To enter to win just fill out the form. Be sure to READ THE RULES at the top of the form to make sure you are eligible to enter.

Read my short review on Goodreads!

Keep in mind that this is a general market romance so there is some mild language and mild sexual content.


Available January 8, 2013

Based on the family from the bestselling Love In A Nutshell, the story of an heiress longing to marry for love or not at all.

From The New York Times bestselling writing duo Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly, comes the story of a young woman’s search for true love. Caroline Maxwell would like nothing more than to join her brother, Eddie, and his friend, Jack Culhane, on their adventures. While Jack and Eddie are off seeing the world, buying up businesses and building wildly successful careers, Caroline's stuck at home frightening off the men her mother hopes will ask for her hand in marriage. When her mother sets her sights on the questionable Lord Bremerton as a possible suitor, Caroline struggles with her instincts and the true nature of her heart. She longs for adventure, passion, love, and most of all . . . Jack Culhane, an unconventional Irish-American bachelor with new money and no title. A completely unacceptable suitor in the eyes of Caroline's mother. But Caroline's dark hair, brilliant eyes and quick wit have Jack understanding just why it is people fall in love and get married.

Set in New York City in 1894, The Husband List is an American gilded age romantic mystery. It evokes memories of the lavish lifestyles and social expectations of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers—a time when new money from the Americas married Old World social prestige and privilege. Dresses by Worth, transcontinental ocean voyages, lavish parties, a little intrigue, and a lot of romance await in, The Husband List.

Visit Janet's website: http://www.evanovich.com/

Visit Dorien's website: http://dorienkelly.com/




Happy Reading!!


Clash of the Titles: Restored Heart, a novel--Christmas Shopping Made Easy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


To all our fans of historical fiction, Clash of the Titles introduces Jennifer A. David’s latest novel, Restored Hearts. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer. 


About the book:

Peter McCord Can't Believe His Ears. Young, handsome, and heir to one of Pittsburgh’s wealthiest fortunes, Peter McCord couldn’t imagine a life without privilege and a long line of eligible ladies vying for his attention. Until his grandfather’s will is read and his life changes unexpectedly. Now disinherited, Peter leaves his controlling family, certain he can make something of himself, by himself…and hoping he can find the anonymity and fresh start he desires.


Anne Kirby’s heart is broken. . .by a terrible secret. While her job as a university librarian takes her away from her pain, she’s determined to keep the truth guarded, even if that means remaining a spinster. When love brings Anne and Peter face-to-face, revelations regarding both their pasts emerge. But do they have faith that God will restore their hearts?

Jennifer's other books:



About Jennifer A. Davids:

Restored Heart is Jennifer A. Davids’ third title for the Heartsong line. Her first two titles, Yankee Heart and Wounded Heart are available through Christianbook.com. In addition to being a writer, Jennifer is a wife, mother and one of those crazy Ohio State University alums. A self-described history nerd, she is currently working on a longer book set in World War II. You can connect with her on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jenniferadavids or on her blog at www.jenniferadavids.wordpress.com

Happy Reading!


Another Romance to Celebrate the Season: Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Roses
by Amanda Cabot
Copyright 2012
Revell Books
ISBN: 9780800720049
About the book:
Celia Anderson doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a traveling carpenter finds lodging at her boardinghouse, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle, though, to find roses during a harsh Wyoming winter.

But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .


My Thoughts:
I am a reluctant reader of novellas just because I feel that the characters never have enough time to develop and as such I don't really feel a connection to the story. By the time I start to care what might happen the story is over. Christmas Roses is a novella but I decided to give it a try since I have so enjoyed the holiday books I've read so far this season. Amanda Cabot is a talented writer whose past books I've liked however this story didn't quite keep my attention.

Let's start with the good, I loved the small-town 1880s setting. There's nothing quite like a story set in a close knit community for an escape when you're bombarded with hate and violence in the news everyday. It's nice to think of the good ol' days. I also liked Celia Anderson, our heroine, even though it seemed like she had a bit of an obsession with roses. I kept picturing the 1950s parlor in grandma's house and it gave me a chuckle although I'm certain that wasn't the author's intention. What I didn't care for was the lack of chemistry between Celia and Mark. There weren't really any tender moments between the two and in romance that is an absolute must! There was zero spark and the story just moved way too quickly. It was a sweet story with themes befitting Christmas such as forgiveness and God's plan for people's lives but the love story just didn't  grab me.

If you're looking for a short story to give as a gift or just something to read between wrapping gifts you might enjoy the book. If you're looking for romance I'd recommend Ms. Cabot's Texas Dreams series. All in all this was a decent story but I probably won't be reading it again but I do plan on reading more full length novels by this author and encourage you to check them out if you can.

To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE.

~ My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars ~

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading!


Clash of the Titles: A Sense of Mission--Fiction that Honors America's Heroes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Clash of the Titles is proud to endorse a novel from an author so accomplished, her work has made the cut on several of on our contests--the most recent being our September New Releases Clash.

Her latest work:


About A Sense of Mission:
Kaitlin is driven to succeed in the mission denied her mother. Can she redeem that mission if she discovers another calling? Kaitlin Sadler is nine when her diplomat parents are killed in a U.S. embassy bombing. She must leave the overseas world she knows to live with her guardian, Matilda, on Simon Island in Puget Sound. Determined to redeem the tragedy of her parents' deaths, Kaitlin makes a binding decision to become a diplomat in the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service and pursues it relentlessly as she grows up. But is that really what her heart wants? And why does a niggling memory vanish every time she fights to remember it?

Ethan Coverwood, Matilda's nephew and a friend of Kaitlin, is on a diplomatic career path of his own. When the two are assigned to posts in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, something more than friendship begins to brew. But will it be strong enough to unite two people who could be reassigned to different continents in the blink of an eye? Enough for Ethan as he struggles to carry out America's policies in a chaotic world? For Kaitlin as she agonizes over the desperate people she meets in her duties? A courageous love. A reawakened passion. A vibrant step of faith. By the acclaimed author of Singing in Babylon, Quiet Deception, Searching for Home, and Distant Thunder.

About author Ann Gaylia O'Barr:
The background for many of Ann’s novels is based on her experiences as a Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Department of State 1990 to 2004. Her posts included U.S. embassies and consulates in Saudi Arabia (twice), Algeria, Canada, Tunisia, and Washington, D.C.
She’s been writing full time since 2004. OakTara has published Singing in Babylon, Quiet Deception, Searching for Home, Distant Thunder, and this novel, A Sense of Mission.
She writes novels about Christians who learn the value of their faith when new cultures and beliefs challenge them. She calls it “global fiction.”

Q&A with Ann:

Q. Where did you get the idea for this story?
A. I think A Sense of Mission is my answer to the many tragic events in the world today in which innocent people are harmed. Kaitlin became the fictional story of one lone person, far from perfect, who overcame and even redeemed a horrible tragedy in her life. Love redeemed a potential life of fear. As a letter from Jesus’ beloved apostle, John, states: “Perfect love casts out fear.”


Q. You say you write “global fiction.” What is that?
A. Such fiction suggests writing from a global viewpoint. Characters in my stories are American Christians who struggle with personal faith issues, fall in love, and deal with family problems as in other fiction. In the midst of these conflicts, however, they understand Christianity as Jesus-centered for the whole world. Often they have global jobs: journalists, teachers in international schools, or jobs abroad for the U.S. government, as I had. They learn the value of their faith in countries where Christianity isn’t the majority faith.


To learn more about Ann and her stories, visit her at her website: www.AnnGayliaOBarr.com


Happy Reading!



Clash of the Titles Winner: The Road to Mercy by Kathy Harris

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The winner of the September New Releases Clash is...

The Road To Mercy by Kathy Harris


Congratulations, Kathy!!

And thank you to all our participating authors:

  • Catherine West, author of Hidden in the Heart
  • Donn Taylor, author of Deadly Additive
  • Jennifer A. Davids, author of Restored Heart
  • Stephanie Grace Whitson, author of The Shadow on the Quilt


It was a tight race and everyone did great. Many, many of our readers commented they would like to read all of them!

About The Road To Mercy:

Tragedy, love, & secrets meet on a journey of faith.

Josh Harrison, a contemporary Christian singer, and his wife Bethany face a difficult decision that also tests their faith. A rupture in Beth's carotid artery leaves her on the brink of death even as she's pregnant with their first child. While Dr. Ben Abrams urges her to terminate the pregnancy to save her own life, she and Josh step out on faith and decide to carry the baby to full term.

During the next few months, Josh struggles with his faith, Beth hides a secret that may destroy their marriage. She also discovers a decades-old connection to Dr. Abrams that could change his life forever.

ENDORSEMENTS
… The Road to Mercy is a blessing wrapped up in a novel—a reminder of the kindness of God.

~ Rebecca St. James, Singer, author, actress

Exquisite!
~ Ane Mulligan, Novel Rocket

Kathy Harris weaves a tale that crosses generations while drawing readers into a dramatic story that has both heart and soul.

~ Ace Collins, author of The Yellow Packard and The Christmas Star

A terrific read beautifully trumpeting the exquisite worth of every human life.
~ Rusty Whitener, author of A Season Of Miracles, Christy Award Finalist

…captivating from the very beginning.
~ Joe Bonsall, author and entertainer


ON SALE LINKS

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Mercy-Kathy-Harris/dp/1426741936/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330640867&sr=1-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-road-to-mercy-kathy-harris/1108857098

http://www.christianbook.com/the-road-to-mercy/kathy-harris/9781426741937/pd/741931?item_code=WW&netp_id=978817&event=ESRCG&view=details



What readers had to say:

*I saw several others which may also make it to my shelf as well! Thanks for the inspirational choices.
*The Road to Mercy looks fabulous! I can't wait to read it.
*I am so thankful to these authors for following the path that the Lord has chosen for them.
*Just finished The Road to Mercy and was so deeply touched by it.
*I LOVED The Road to Mercy by Kathy Harris, but this was a difficult vote for me - I also love Donn Taylor's writing and now I have to go get his book!
*My daughter's name is Mercy so I am drawn to that title. The hook is very captivating and I usually don't read contemporary. Great hooks from all of the writers. As a writer myself I know it is not an easy task.
*These all look sooo good!
*I love the variety of tiltles offered!


Kathy Harris is an author by way of a divine detour into the Nashville entertainment business. She graduated with a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University and has spent the past two decades employed as a marketing director in the Nashville music industry.

An active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the publicity officer for Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, Kathy lives near Nashville with her husband and their two Shiloh Shepherd dogs. Her fiction debut, The Road to Mercy, was released by Abingdon Press on September 1, 2012.

Kathy regularly interviews literary and music guests on her blog at www.DivineDetour.com. Her author site is www.kathyharrisbooks.com. You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KathyHarrisAuthor or Twitter @DivineDetour.

Happy Reading!






Celebrate the Season with A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Merry Little Christmas
by Anita Higman
Copyright 2012
Summerside Press
ISBN: 9781609366889
It isn't Christmas yet but it is the time of the year when the Christmas books start popping up in stores and online. A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman was the first holiday story I've read this year from a big name publisher and I have to say it shined like the star on top of the tree. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist a little Christmas cliche. It had everything I love the happily ever after, the sigh-worthy moments, and a little bit of fun -- those things that usually pop up in romances and Christmas stories. What made this one unique and interesting was the fact that the author didn't make this a sugary sweet "fluff" piece but something of a "heavy hitter" that dealt with racism, segregation and also emotional abuse in families. It definitely wasn't something I was expecting from a Christmas story! It's not that often you find romances set in the 1960s and this one was pretty authentic to the time. A Merry Little Christmas was one of the best Christmas stories (and romances for that matter!) that I've read in a long while. If you're looking for a great Christmas story, this is it!

~ My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~

To read what others are saying about the book go HERE.
To order a copy go HERE.


The Back of the Book:
Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds.

Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who's preparing to spend the holidays alone...again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny's farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she's more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart-that sometimes love comes when you're least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?


Meet Anita:
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

***Author Anita Higman invites readers to kick off the season with a spirited holiday tale. Anita is spreading the Christmas cheer by giving away FIFTEEN COPIES of the book. To enter to win A Merry Little Christmas, just head over to THE CONTEST PAGE at Anita's website and fill out the short form. Be sure to put BLOG CONTEST in the Subject Line. That's it. Winners will be announced on the Litfuse blog (and notified by email) on 11/9.***

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading!


Review of The Way of Grace (Miller's Creek, Book 3) by Cathy Bryant + Guest Post!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Way of Grace
Miller's Creek, Book 3
by Cathy Bryant
Copyright 2012
ISBN: 9780984431144
My Review:
The Way of Grace is book three in the Miller's Creek series and while it has a different feel than the first two books it is still a good story in it's own right. Fans of Christian suspense will really enjoy the mystery and the plot that keeps one guessing as to what will happen next. This book ranks up there with many Christian suspense novels that I've read from Revell and other big name publishers which is always nice when reading a self-published novel.

Grace's story really surprised me because the ending was completely unexpected. It was the best part of the story. I don't want to give too much away but the perfect happily ever after doesn't come for Grace BUT a realistic happily ever after does. She struggled with her faith and a moral dilemma at work and in the end she ended up making a huge sacrifice for someone who never treated her well. This is a book with a character who faces a lot of issues that Christian's deal with daily. The Way of Grace isn't as romantic as the previous two books but it's a pretty thought-provoking read.

If you've read the other books in the series and enjoyed them I highly recommend that you continue with this book. Even if you haven't read the other books in the series you can read this without confusion or major spoilers.

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

If you think this book sounds great, read the special guest post below written by Cathy. I encourage you to check out her books and visit her website by following the links at the end of this post!

***************************

SOMEONE I’M NOT
By Cathy Bryant, © 2012

Creating characters is one of the most important things fiction writers do. A novelist can have the most superb plot ever written, but if the cast consists of unbelievable cardboard cutouts, the story will fall short. Writers are taught to make lengthy character analyses, subject these figments of our imagination to personality tests, and even interview them over a cup of coffee! (Yeah, we’re all certifiable…) So we struggle with these make-believe people—wrestle them into position and demand they open their souls for our microscopic perusal.

In the process of trying to dissect (not literally, but almost…) my latest heroine, Gracie Soldano—a young woman very eager to impress—I learned an important lesson. Once I create a character, they have to stay true to who I made them to be. In the bigger scheme of things, the same could be said for each of us.

We hear about people—especially famous people—reinventing themselves, usually with a new hairdo, a different wardrobe, and possibly even plastic surgery. Hopefully we all realize that external change will never be permanent. Life happens. The years—and gravitational pull—take their toll on our earthly tents. Wrinkles and gray hair appear whether we’re ready or not. And even if we cover them up, they’ll eventually be back.

So why do people try to make themselves over into someone they’re not? For social reasons? To feel better about themselves? To somehow prove their worth? I don’t have the answers. I just know that as a recovering perfectionist and half-a-centenarian, I hope to have that part of my spiritual growing process behind me.

For years, like a scaly chameleon, I attempted to change who I was based on the other people around me. Like my character Gracie, it was done partially in an effort to impress, and partially to prove I was worthy of their friendship. And the results were disastrous. Like characters we don’t quite buy, people were skeptical, and rightfully so.

Here’s the plain-Jane, honest-to-goodness truth: we can’t be anyone besides us; can’t make ourselves any better or more acceptable. And quite frankly, any attempt to do so must surely be an affront to the One who created us and has the perfect plan for our life. Only He can bring about lasting change of any worth, and I’m grateful I’ve finally learned there’s no need or reason for me to be someone I’m not.

Now if I can just teach that to my characters… ;)


Recovering perfectionist Cathy Bryant is the author of the Miller’s Creek Novels—Texas Roads, A Path Less Traveled, and The Way of Grace. Her desire is to write heart-stirring stories about God’s life- changing grace. Though Texas-born, she currently resides in the beautiful Ozark mountains of northwest Arkansas with her husband of thirty years and near the world’s cutest grandson. You can learn more about her and her books at http://www.CatBryant.com and http://WordVessel.blogspot.com.


About the book:
The Way of Grace by Cathy Bryant
(Book 3 in the Miller’s Creek novels)

In pursuit of justice, in need of grace . . .

A justice-seeking perfectionist pursues her dream of a perfect life in her hometown of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Sidetracked by the desire to be a prosecuting attorney, Grace Soldano launches into uncharted waters, making herself over to please her boss and mentor. Then a disheveled free spirit turns her perfectly ordered world upside down, challenging the concept of personal goodness. A fall from perfection leaves Grace teetering between vengeance and grace, caught in a deadly crossfire that leaves her dreams in a heap of ashes. Can she learn to joyfully accept the life God has given her–far from perfect–but one completely immersed in His grace?

Happy Reading!


E-Book Freebie Alert!

I don't post often about free e-books because there are so many of them out there and they change all of the time. Today I'm posting because one of my favorite Christian romances is free and I want all of you to have the chance to get it will you can. It's free today only (November 2, 2012). As always, double check before you order to make sure the book is still available for free so you don't get an unexpected charge on your account.

Enjoy!

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz 





Happy Reading!