Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pieces On Earth -- With an Interview!

Pieces On Earth
Cathy Bryant

This is such a touching Christmas novella! The primary character, Liv, believes her Navy husband has changed positions and will be home for a good long time -- especially over the upcoming holiday. She is surprised by a pregnancy that she didn't think was possible, and chooses to keep it a secret from her husband and family until Christmas day. Then her husband gets called back to Afghanistan, almost immediately, and she is left to be a single mom to her four year old daughter yet again.

Cathy Bryant does a marvelous job of creating the characters in this story. The reader can really feel Liv's pain and frustration. Things get worse, of course, when two members of the squadron are missing and Liv has to go on bedrest.

I love the way Bryant wove the story of Christ through the novella as Liv told it to her daughter. This is a sweet Christmas story full of raw emotions and the true love of Christ.

I received a copy of the novella in exchange for my honest review. I honestly liked this story and I'm so glad I read it -- it got me into the Christmas spirit and I found it hard to put down!

Get a copy on Amazon - here.

As the wife of a naval aviator in sunny Pensacola, Florida, Liv Tulley eagerly anticipates the first Christmas in several years with her husband, daughter, and extended family. Then her husband is unexpectedly deployed for an undetermined amount of time, smashing her white Christmas dreams to pieces. Can she find God's peace in the midst of life's pieces?

Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant loves to write heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace. A born-and-bred Texas gal, she enjoys thrift-store shopping, spending time with her family, and romping in the great outdoors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find her up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project. Learn more at CatBryant.com.  

Cathy was gracious enough to answer a few questions so we could get to know her a bit better!

1. In the story Liv is a Navy wife. You have really gotten a great perspective on the issues of military families -- have you lived this life? If not, what kind of research did you do?

I've never been in the military or a military wife, so I researched the topic via the internet. But my most productive research came from asking Facebook friends about their life as a military wife. One lady in particular could give a great perspective on Navy wives (and answer some of my specific questions), because her husband was a naval aviator and they'd been stationed in Pensacola! :) (Gotta love Facebook friends...)

2. I loved the idea of telling the story of Jesus through the entire Bible in a way a child could understand. When did you first hear this story in a way that was meaningful to you?

I was an elementary teacher in a former life ;) so I relate to kids really easily. I came across a book that takes children through the story from Creation to Revelation, and it struck me as the perfect way to introduce children to the big story of the Bible. As I worked on the story line of PIECES ON EARTH, I knew the overall message of the Bible would be helpful to a young woman searching for God's peace in life's pieces. Sometimes our issue isn't that we don't know the truth, but that we need the reminder. That was certainly true in Liv's case.

3. Christmas novellas are such a great way for a reader to get into the holiday spirit. What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions? 

I love Christmas Eve candle-lighting services, full of music, the reading of the Christmas story, and lighting candles to remind us all that we are to be light-bearers to a very dark world.

4. Writers, I'm told, put a piece of their soul into each book they write. What character is most like you?

I do agree that each of my books has expressed a part of me, usually in a spiritual way. I'm definitely most like Liv in the story, though I'm middle-aged and have no children home. Though I'm not married to the military, I am married to the ministry, and in some ways, the two are very much alike. But the way I am most like her is in going through a time in my life when I wondered if I could experience God's peace in the midst of so many broken pieces.

5. You have written so many great books -- where do you get your inspiration?

Thank you. Inspiration is everywhere for me, but most of the story lines are centered around things that I've been through spiritually--either a lesson learned or a burden God has laid on my heart.

6. And what do you do on those days when your characters abandon you and you have writer's block?

My character's rarely abandon me, though they ALWAYS try to take over. (And I usually let them have their way, because it takes the story in a direction I didn't see coming.) As for writer's block, it's only happened a couple of times--usually when I'm grieving. But usually that grieving leads to some of the better story lines, which was the case for PIECES ON EARTH.

7. What is one question you wish someone would ask you? And the answer, of course! 

Hmm, I'm really struggling with this one... I guess I'll take the easy way out and say: "What are your interests outside of writing?" And my answer would be that I enjoy rummaging through thrift stores (still waiting to find a Picasso hidden in a dusty corner) and mini-farming. We raise chickens, rabbits, fruits & vegetables! 

Find out more about Cathy at her website - http://www.CatBryant.com

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hand-Me-Down Princess

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hand Me Down Princess
CANDID Publications (August 31, 2015)
Carol Moncado

Could you imagine being contractually betrothed to someone in this day and age? And marryng a prince whom you had never met? The American way isn't the standard way, and in a kingdom far, far way this was the beginning of a fun story!

Carol Moncado has created an impossible situation and makes it seem realistic. She takes the reader inside a fabulous castle from the perspective of a reluctant bride and groom who determine to make the best of a difficult situation. The stuff fairy tales are made of, but then she throws in twists and turns that make it a fascinating read! I enjoyed the concept of the book and the characters.

This is the first in a new series she has created, The Brides of Belles Montagnes.  I would recommend reading her other Princess series, the Montevaro Monarchy, first. While the story doesn't rely on those books, the characters show up and it's a bit confusing if you don't know their history.

The only negative I found was the number of misprints/typos. There were a few misspelled words, but I found several places where the wrong word was placed in a sentence, causing me to stop the flow of the reading to go back and figure out what was really meant. I know I can be a bit of a grammar nazi, so I feel compelled to warn you about this. 

That said, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to escape this world and dream about castles and handsome princes!


When she’s not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to just about anything, except maybe watching Castle, or Girl Meets World with her kids. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not watching her kids – and the dog – race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she’s teaching American Government at a local community college. She’s a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW, category coordinator for First Impressions, blogger at InspyRomance, and represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.


Prince Malachi Van Renssalaer of Mevendia is getting married. The problem? He’s never even met his bride. His father arranged everything, right down to the marriage contract. Malachi swears to himself that he will be nothing like his father in the ways that count - including his fidelity to his wife.

Jessabelle Keller would happily spend her entire life in obscurity, but her father once saved the life of a future king. Before he dies, her father is committed to seeing that king make good on his promise to have one of his sons marry her so she would be taken care of for life.

No sooner than Prince Malachi and Jessabelle return from their honeymoon, they find themselves dealing with both private trauma and the very public drama of groundless accusations from the press. Just as they begin to weave their fragile trust back together, a ghost from the king’s past arrives and threatens everything they’ve ever held dear.

Secrets have a funny way of coming out and this one could rip the faith of the country in their leaders to shreds. Malachi is determined to protect Jessabelle no matter what it takes, but will it ever be enough for her to not feel like a Hand-Me-Down Princess?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hand Me Down Princess, go HERE.

Saturday, November 07, 2015


Lisa Harris

WOW -- Lisa Harris has blown another one out of the park! Vendetta is her best book yet, and I've really enjoyed each of her other books! This one is a suspenseful mystery that is almost impossible to put down. So much is happening in this story! At first it felt like there were too many things happening at once, but the more I read the more I realized that is real life. We each have challenges in our personal life, our family life, and our work life all at the same time, and the tough ones seem to happen concurrently.

Lisa's characters have great depth. She does a masterful job of showing how past events impact current activities emotionally and physically. There are so many wonderful things I'd like to say about the story, but I'm afraid to give anything away, so I'll just say READ IT!

No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Person 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 that this case is getting personal, and that she is not the hunter at all--but actually the one being hunted.

With this explosive first book in the new Nikki Boyd Files, Lisa Harris takes readers on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have them holding their breath until the heart-stopping finish.


Lisa Harris is the award-winning author of more than twenty books, including the Christy Award winner Dangerous Passage and Fatal Exchange. Winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times, Harris has spent over ten years living with her family as missionaries in Mozambique, where she leads a women's group and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. Visit www.lisaharriswrites.com for more.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Buggy Before the Horse

The Buggy Before the Horse
Tricia Goyer

This is a fun mystery set in a beautiful small Amish town. It is part of the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries series by Guideposts. Each book is written by a different author, but I presume a single editor coordinates them so they sound the same.

I was able to read this book as a stand alone, although I can guess some of the things that happened in previous stories. I'd recommend you read them in order if possible.

This is a fun story that is an easy read -- would be perfect for a young teen who is an avid reader. The story is intriguing and there are a lot of twists and turns along the way to discover 'whodunnit'.

As Thanksgiving approaches, Cheryl stumbles across a startling discovery: someone is sleeping in Naomi and Seth Millers' winter buggy and helping himself to food from teir farmhouse cellar. Could it be the same person who is stealing from businesses up and down Sugarcreek's Main Street? Despite Naomi's insistence on extening the hand of hospitality to their unknown guest, when items are stolen from the Swiss Miss gift shop, Cheryl intends to get to the bottom of these mysteries.
While odd notes and other clues begin to surface, the list of suspects grows to include a troubled foster child, an Amish handyman, a homeless shelter volunteer, a young backpacker, and just about every other tourist passing through town. Can Cheryl catch the thief before the millers fall victim to a more serious crime?


Tricia the Author

Tricia Goyer has written more than fifty books, including novels that delight and entertain readers and non-fiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.
Goyer’s fiction and non-fiction books have won awards from the American Christian Fiction Writers and Mt. Hermon Writers’ Conference. She is also a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee.
Tricia has authored several books on family and parenting, as well as co-written with Max Lucado and Robin Jones Gunn. She collaborated with Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges for Lead Your Family Like Jesus, published by Focus on the Family/Tyndale.
Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research. Tricia speaks to groups interested in these eras, with the intention of preserving and honoring the memory of the men and women who served.
She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, as well, writing the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series.

Murder at the Courthouse

Murder at the Courthouse
A. H. Gabhart

This book starts with a bang and moves quickly from there! The cast of characters is fascinating (and well representative of any small town), and the story line is full of twists and turns. There is a bit of something for most everyone - a little romance, a lot of intrigue, and a lot of real life frustrations as the very small police force struggles to find a killer in a town that is known for it's calm (aka boring) life.

As in her other books, Gabhart does a great job of creating some characters with great depth and others who add a little fun to the book to keep it interesting. The story line draws you in, and I found myself creating hypotheses about the murder just like the townspeople! I'm glad to see this is the first in a new series -- I'm anxious to see what happens next.

Welcome to Hidden Springs
732 731
Michael Keane's stressful days as a Columbus police officer are done. He's ready to relax into his new position as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky--and that's just fine with Michael.

Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. As Michael works to solve the case, it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs.

Bringing with her a knack for creating settings you want to visit and an uncanny ability to bring characters to life, A. H. Gabhart pens a whodunit that will keep you guessing.

The best way to get to know more about Ann Gabhart is on her website -- HERE. She has written more than 25 books, and I've enjoyed each one I've read! She has written fascinating books about the Shakers, some books set in the WWII era, and a ton of books for teens. She lives and writes from a farm in Kentucky.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Deadlock -- with Author Interview

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


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.


Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder? That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book. When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.

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

Here is some more information direct from DiAnn!

1. How did you become interested in writing?         
I cant remember when I wasnt in fiction mode. Before I could hold a pencil, I created stories. After I could hold a pencil, I wrote stories. The power of the written word intrigued me then as nowthe sound of words, the look of them on the written page, the ways words are used to entertain, inspire, and encourage others.                                                                                                                                   
2. What can you tell us about the setting of this novel?
Deadlock, a romantic suspense, is set in Houston, Texas. My city. My home. Familiar landscapes add more authenticity.

3. Who are the main characters?
Special Agent Bethany Sanchez steps into the violent crime division of Houstons FBI. Shes a bit of a perfectionist, and her own worst critic. However, she has reservations about her new partner, the same man who put her brother in jail. To make matters worse, he has a reputation of getting the job done, no nonsense, and a womanizer. Are the rumors true?

Special Agent Thatcher Graves is ready to work with his new partner, but shes hard to get to know. Hes uncertain if he can trust her, and he has to know she has his back. Recently he made a decision to become a Christian, but his past party-image stops him from revealing the changes in his life.

4. Which of the characters surprised you the most in this story, and how so?
Bethany refused to give up on her relationship with her family, even though they chose her felon brother over her.

5. How did the writing of this story impact you as a person or as an author?
Definitely the family dynamics. We all have family members who dont share our beliefs or values. This deepened my awareness of unconditional love woven with obedience to Gods principles.

6. Why is this story important to you?
Three reasons:
1.     The complexities of dealing with a depraved mind.
2.     Showing the cultural differences between Bethany and Thatcher and their friendship resulting in love.
3.     Creating an action-packed story about Houstons FBI, their dedication and commitment to keeping people safe.

7. What would you like your readers to take away from this story?
Gods sovereignty in all situations of lifefamily, career, friendships, love, and obeying laws that correspond with Gods principles.
8. Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
God is bigger than our problems - whether that be career, spiritual, or personal. In Deadlock, not only did professional problems attack my hero and heroine, but family dynamics.
9.  When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?           
I enjoy reading, cooking, gardening, and grandkids! Im very much into good health and exercise to keep my body and mind in the best shape possible.

10. Where can readers find you on the Internet?

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Bones Will Speak

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Bones Will Speak
Thomas Nelson (August 11, 2015)
Carrie Stuart Parks


Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.

Animals have always been a large part of her life. Her parents, Ned and Evelyn Stuart, started Skeel Kennel Great Pyrenees in 1960. Carrie inherited the kennel and continues with her beloved dogs as both an AKC judge and former president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America. She lives on the same ranch she grew up on in Northern Idaho.


A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.

Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter. The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor. When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bones Will Speak, go HERE.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Memory Weaver

The Memory Weaver
Jane Kirkpatrick

This is another fabulous book by Jane Kirkpatrick that brings a true story to life! Eliza Spalding was the first white child born who survived west of the Mississippi. She lived in the Oregon territory with her parents, missionaries to the Nez Perce Indians, and she survived a massacre by the Cayuse Indians. She was actually held hostage for 47 days and was required, at the age of 10, to translate between the Indians and the settlers.

This book visits her life as a teen and adult. How would such an experience impact ones' life? Kirkpatrick uses diaries, documentaries, and tons of historical records to suppose Eliza's perspective throughout her life. She even interviewed descendants.

Like her previous book, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver is a chance to step back in time and live beside those who participated in history. This is a fascinating story, and Kirkpatrick's website adds more information to a robust tale (check it out HERE). I was thrilled to see the reference to Letitia Carson, too (from A Light in the Wilderness)!

Definitely a must read for American History buffs.
Check out the book trailer HERE!

Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now the young mother of two children, Eliza faces a different kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants them to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her departed mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. Eliza longs to know how her mother, an early missionary to the Nez Perce Indians, dealt with the challenges of life with a sometimes difficult husband and with her daughter's captivity.

When Eliza is finally given her mother's diary, she is stunned to find that her own memories are not necessarily the whole story of what happened. Can she lay the dark past to rest and move on? Or will her childhood memories always hold her hostage?

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Readers will find themselves swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

Jane is inter-nationally recognized for her lively presentations and well-researched stories that encourage and inspire.  Her works have appeared in more than 50 publications including  Decision, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts.  Jane is the author of over 25 books including historical novels. Many of her titles are based on the lives of real people or incidents set authentically in the American West.  Her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center.  Her works have been finalists for the Christy, Spur, Oregon Book Award, WILLA Literary Award and Reader’s Choice awards.  Several of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections.Learn more about Jane at her website, HERE.