Monday, August 24, 2015

Cold as Ice

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Cold as Ice
Sydney Lane Press
by
M.K. Gilroy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mark won’t claim he has done it all in the world of publishing, but he has packed boxes, edited manuscripts, made sales calls, created marketing plans, directed design and illustration, started companies, consulted, agented the works of others, and written advertising and catalog copy. He’s authored, compiled, and ghost written books that have landed on an array of bestsellers lists and sold millions of copies. His first ghost writing project, The Wal-Mart Way, was done for Don Soderquist, Sam Walton’s longtime right-hand man.

In early 2012 he put on a new hat as a fiction author. His debut novel, Cuts Like a Knife, was released in April 2012 and was met with rave reviews from USA Today, Fresh Fiction, Publishers Weekly, and other leading national reviewers. His second novel, Every Breath You Take, second in the Kristen Conner Mystery Series, released in Fall 2012 to similar acclaim. Kristen Conner returns in Cold As Ice, which releases in Fall 2014.

Gilroy has extensive writing credits. He scripted and served as creative consultant for a two-hour training video that was honored with the Award of Excellence by the International Television Association. He has compiled and written close to fifty books and penned hundreds articles and curriculum pieces for a variety of periodicals and publishers.

Gilroy and his wife Amy reside in Brentwood, Tennessee. Their six children are Lindsey, Merrick, Ashley, Caroline, Bo, and Zachary—the youngest has now headed off for college, so he and Amy are officially empty nesters.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Detective Kristen Conner is back on a new murder case. She’s still fighting with her sister—and no surprise, someone new wants to kill her! He was a pillar in his Chicago neighborhood: popular school teacher, devoted father and husband, political activist on behalf of underprivileged children—and a master gardener who liked to plant flowers in his neighbor’s yards. What wasn’t to love about him? Who would want him dead?

When Detective Kristen Conner lands the case she knows from day one who the key suspect is. That’s simple. The person most likely to kill you is someone close that you know and love. But the wife? She was always at her husband’s side and just as passionate about his causes as he was. No way could this loving wife and mother of three be a killer. Right? Mix in her on-again, off-again relationship with FBI Agent Austin Reynolds, a quick trip to New York City where Kristen helps her media-star sister for a new apartment—only to discover the body of a man who appears to have been executed by a professional killer on a run through Central Park—and Kristen Conner is once again swept into a world of danger, intrigue, and a confusing love life.

What she doesn’t know just might kill her.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cold as Ice, go HERE.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade

The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade
by
Virginia Smith

MY THOUGHTS:

When life gets crazy, I just need a fun book to help me create some space in the midst of chaos. This book has allowed me to sneak away from my life for a while so I could visit a quaint small town, Goose Creek. The characters in this town are quite diverse, from the young new veterinarian straight out of school, her creative receptionist who is using quite a bit of finesse to convince her practical husband they should buy a huge Victorian fixer-upper, and the mayor who is doing the best he can in a difficult situation to the annoying co-worker, the persistent father of an incompetent painter, and a dog who hates squirrels and smells to high heaven!


This series reminds me a bit of the Mitford books by Jan Karon -- small town, well-rounded yet quirky characters, an intriguing story line, animals that add humor and humanity, and just a touch of romance! These people could be my neighbors, and I want to get to know them better. I'm definitely looking forward to future books in the Tales From The Goose Creek B&B series!


Virginia has written a ton of books in several genres, and I have enjoyed them all. She has the ability to transport the reader into the environment of the story. I can picture each character and the places they visit, and I wish Goose Creek was a real place -- I'd be up for a road trip!


ABOUT THE BOOK (From the back cover):
Al Richardson is perfectly content in his Goose Creek, Kentucky, home. The village is charming, the neighbors are friendly, and retirement is only three years and sixty-three days away.

But changes are right around the corner for Goose Creek.Al's wife, Millie, is hatching a scheme to renovate an old Victorian eyesore and open a B&B. The new veterinarian is mystified when her only patient is Al and Millie's smelly dog. And folks are starting to take sides over who should give the water tower a new coat of paint...an issue that might just lead to an illegal parade.

Retirement or not, Al is about to get a lot busier than he bargained for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of more than two dozen inspirational novels, an illustrated children's book, and 50 articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense. Visit her at www.VirginiaSmith.org.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Trial Run

Trial Run
by
Thomas Locke


MY THOUGHTS:
I am not much of a science fiction buff, but I do like good psychological and medical mysteries. I may have missed the mark when reading this book - it really wasn't what I expected. It has components of both, but I had a lot of difficulty reading it.

Two different organizations have mastered the ability to travel through time and space using just mental capabilities. This is a pretty amazing concept, and makes for a great, action-packed adventure. Unfortunately there are so many characters with very similar experiences that I had a hard time keeping the players straight. The fact that I read it on my Kindle may have contributed to my confusion -- I realized I no longer have the ability to easily flip back and forth between chapters to refresh my memory.

If you have the time to sit and read this book in just a day or two, that may help, too. Honestly, I was unable to finish it because I just couldn't follow the story line any more, but I was only able to read it in short bursts.

That said, I've enjoyed the books I've read by Thomas Locke (aka Davis Bunn) in the past, so I'm blaming my dislike of this one on the circumstances surrounding my opportunity to read it. I want to give my honest perspective, yet I don't want anyone to avoid the book if you typically like these types of stories.

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the back cover):
Reese Clawson's work is mind-bending--literally. Her company specializes in global data analysis for an elite group of industry executives, and now a lucrative government contract is moving her into the realm of cutting-edge intelligence gathering. She is determined to crack the limits of consciousness--and in doing so, the boundaries of secrets and lies. But her experiment crashes as test subjects slide into a coma-like state. Reese is left scrambling to maintain control, drawing three disparate people into the search for answers--an adrenaline-amped thrill junkie with altered brain chemistry, an Italian scientist working on remote-viewing technology, and a math prodigy whose algorithms subvert
computer encryption.

Will this piecemeal team prevail when a government operative is sent to investigate? As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and even time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don't know can kill you.

With a concept so daring and writing so gripping, readers will swiftly fall under the spell of Thomas Locke's endlessly creative mind. This thrilling psychological journey into the very nature of causation and consciousness will leave them turning the pages and grasping for solid ground.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total world-wide sales of seven million copies.
His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.
Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, the University of Oxford. He holds a lifelong passion for epic fantasy, science fiction and techno-thriller stories.
Thomas’s screenplay adaption of Emissary is under development as a feature film with a British production company.
Contact Thomas at info@tlocke.com

Friday, August 14, 2015

Through Waters Deep

Through Waters Deep
by
Sarah Sundin

MY THOUGHTS:

I've only recently started reading Sarah Sundin's books (not sure why I haven't found her before), and I'm hooked! She has a great way of writing that puts the reader right into the action. There are so many great stories that can be told about the WWII time frame and the "Greatest Generation," and she is a master.

I really enjoyed watching the main character, Mary, grow in confidence and bravery through the book. Her determination in the tough environment of the docks, especially during such a controversial time during the war, inspired me to look at situations in my own life that required a bit more courage. I also appreciated the way Sundin wove faith through the story in a natural way.

Through Waters Deep is one of the few WWII era books that I've read which is set in the United States. This story has it all -- intrigue, suspense, action, history, and romance! It revolves around the early days of the war, pre-Pearl Harbor, with all the intense emotions Americans felt about the need to get involved in the war.

I HIGHLY recommend it!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of the upcoming Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, August 2015), the Wings of the Nightingale series (With Every Letter, 2012, On Distant Shores, August 2013, and In Perfect Time, 2014), and the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Her novella in Where Treetops Glisten is a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards, and her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah's website at http://www.sarahsundin.com

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grin with Grace Bible Study

Grin With Grace
by
Kathy Carlton Willis


MY THOUGHTS:
For some reason grace is a difficult concept for me to comprehend. Why would the God of the Universe care to give us, each of us personally, gifts that we don't deserve? Yet he does, every day in a multitude of ways. This study has opened my eyes to the amazing array of blessings God graciously provides and helped me understand how I can translate God's gifts into my interactions with others. The more I'm able to accept His grace, the more I'm willing to extend grace to others.

Willis has created a study that goes deep into God's word and steps beyond mere words to help the reader understand the context and meaning behind the text. Instead of just asking questions with obvious right or wrong answers, she asks really thought provoking questions to helped me  personalize the Biblical text and really understand how grace impacts my life. In addition, each chapter ends with a challenge to really think through a tough situation and determine how to actually apply grace in life.

For the first time ever, I actually sent a note to the author of a Bible study to let Kathy know how much this study was impacting my life. We had a difficult situation with one of our teens, and the Grin with Grace chapter I was on seemed written for that moment. This study is definitely the right one at the right time for me.

Every aspect of this study has been meaningful to me -- from the amazing quotes at the beginning of each chapter to the stories that make me smile. I'm not quite done with the study, but I have found myself stopping in the middle of a situation to remind myself of the need to accept and give grace. I can't remember a Bible study that had such an immediate impact on my life.

I would highly recommend this study for individuals and for groups. There are DVDs and leadership guides available to help!


ABOUT THE STUDY (from the back of the book):
Have you ever felt the need to bite your tongue or grit your teeth? Grin with Grace explores ways to genuinely smile in the face of adversity and challenging circumstances. Sometimes, we just need to grin with grace! God blesses us with His grace, and it impacts our relationship with Him and with others.
Each chapter features five sections:
• Grin with Grace contains real-life stories and observations. You’ll laugh at the humorous confessions and wacky insights, and relate to Kathy’s transparent honesty. Be inspired to see grace in your everyday life.
• Grow with Grace features a grace word study. Kathy examines Bible verses and personalizes the meaning to your situation. Workbook prompts allows you to write down your thoughts as you read along.
• Go with Grace offers life application. Pick one action step and make it work for you, or pick all of them—but do something to live out your grace-walk.
• Give with Grace advances life application further, equipping you to become an instrument of God’s grace to others. You’ll be inspired to take what you’ve learned and give it away to others. This is when faith becomes ministry—when your focus expands to see the needs of others.
• Your Grin with Grace Challenge describes a grace-challenging scenario to give you an opportunity to exercise your new found grace. It allows for speculation and judgment calls, to prepare you for the what-ifs that happen in life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith -- whimsy and wisdom. Not many funny girls also have Bible degrees! Kathy's a pastor's wife, which gives her plenty of opportunities to grin with grace. She shines the light on issues that hold women back and inspires their own light bulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy's articles have been published in books, magazines, newspapers and online publications. She's affiliated

with several Christian writer and speaker organizations ad serves as a consultant in the industry.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gone Without A Trace


Gone Without a Trace
by
Patricia Bradley


MY THOUGHTS:
This is a great detective story! A serial kidnapper is on the loose, and his activity is escalating. A young woman has been kidnapped and her time may be running out. Alex Reynolds is the PI on the case, and he has extra incentive to solve the case -- if he doesn't find her within three weeks his grandfather will force him to take steps toward a career that will stifle him.

He meets up with Livy Reynolds, a detective who is reeling from a questionable shooting and a subsequent 'freeze up' that could have resulted in her partner's death. Livy also has an ulterior motive in this situation -- her cousin Robyn disappeared two years earlier without a trace, and it is suspected that perhaps she was the victim of similar foul play.

This is a pretty straight-forward detective story with plenty of viable suspects and a lot of suspense toward the end. The characters are well-rounded and realistic, and I found myself cheering for their victories. I'm hoping that Patricia Bradley will write more books in this series -- I'd love to learn more about how their lives turn out!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The past is repeating itself--and time is running out

It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator's missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she's finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she'll have to find a way to work with Alex--before it's too late.

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps you on the edge of your seat with a case--and a relationship--that is anything but certain.

"Patricia Bradley has hit a home run. The suspense is high, the romance is sweet, and the villain is one you want to see caught and brought to justice. Gone without a Trace, a novel of forgiveness and finding one's place in the world, brings home the point that while not everything in life may go the way you want, God is still in control. Can't wait for the next book!"--Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Hidden Identity series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Bradley is the winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award and a 2012 Touched by Love Award and was also a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award. The author of Shadows of the Past and A Promise to Protect, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com. SIGN UP

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Innocent

The Innocent
by
Ann H. Gabhart


MY THOUGHTS:
Ann H. Gabhart has written several books about the Shaker community in Harmony Hill, and I have really enjoyed them! The Shaker religion is fascinating to me -- a community who found joy (theoretically) in work and simplicity yet had an amazing number of confounding rules that must be followed. The Innocent is a story of a woman in love with her husband who went off to fight the Civil War and went missing two years prior. Destitute and attracting unwanted attention, she escapes to the brothers and sisters among the mysterious Shaker community. There she encounters a grim-faced mentor and struggles to fit in. When she stumbles upon proof that things aren't as simple and honest as they seem, she must find a way to make sense of it all.

Gabhart has done a wonderful job of researching the Shakers and the lifestyle they lived. She writes with an ease that makes you feel as if you are right beside the main character, seeing and feeling what she encounters. I really liked this book -- in addition to the great story line it caused me to stop and really clarify what I believe about God and why.


ABOUT THE BOOK: 

She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.

"The Innocent is another well-crafted tale from the pen of Ann H. Gabhart. With characters that will steal your heart, Gabhart introduces a desperate young heroine who seeks safety among the Shakers during the post-Civil War era and a sheriff determined to come to her aid. A rich and rewarding read you won't want to miss!"--Judith Miller, award-winning author of Refined by Love series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.