Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lost Melody

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lost Melody
Zondervan (October 25, 2011)
Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

Jill King has a terrible recurring nightmare, and she knows it will come true.The details are so specific and the outcome is deadly. She also knows that if she warns the people in her small town of the impending danger, she will finally be able to sleep in peace. However, if she does, she will look crazy and she will most likely ruin her fiancee's chances in the upcoming election.

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith have teamed up to create a wonderfully suspenseful book that delves into the difficulties of following God's will even when it sounds crazy. They have done a fabulous job of creating realistic characters in very tough situations -- Lori, who has lost her dream of becoming a world class pianist and is recovering from deep depression and physical injury; Greg, who loves Lori and wants to support her but worries about her ability to think straight and the impact of her premonition on his career; and the outrageous Nana, who takes over in a big way when prayer leads the way.

This book is a real thought provoker that will leave the reader contemplating the difference between God 'nudges' and the ways of the world that seem right at the time. Given the task, which of us will act when chosen?

I'm looking forward to more books from this duo!

Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen Christian novels and over fifty articles and short stories. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, and ACFW's Carol Award.

A Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, Ginny's messages are always well-received by a variety of audiences in conferences, retreats and churches across the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.


The beautiful piano sitting in the corner of Jill King's apartment begs to be played. For over a year, it has sat untouched, ever since a terrible accident shattered Jill's ambition of becoming a concert pianist. The ragged scar on her left hand is a cruel and constant reminder of the death of her dream. But another dream is about to come to life---an unexpected, horrifying dream that will present Jill with a responsibility she never wanted. And choices she never wanted to make. Hundreds of lives depend on Jill's willingness to warn her small, oceanside town in Nova Scotia of a nameless, looming disaster. But doing so could cost Jill her reputation, jeopardize the political career of the man she loves, and ruin their plans for a future together. The fate of an entire community hangs in the balance as Jill wrestles with the cost of heeding one still, small voice.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Lost Melody, go HERE.

Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Tips for Setting a Beautiful Holiday Table

10 Tips for Setting a Beautiful Holiday Table

By Roxanne Hughes Packham,

Co-Author of the Hospitality Book: Inspired Design

In today’s rough economic climate, keep in mind that although I hope to inspire you to set a beautiful Thanksgiving or Christmas table the real beauty comes from the thought and love you show your friends and family. Beautiful tables comprise equal parts from the “Inspired” & the “Design” categories. See examples:


~Place cards

I love to use the ceramic place cards that can be written on with a wipe-off marker. You can quickly write people’s names, a favorite quote or sentiment. Friends love that you thought about them before the dinner and even something as simple as writing their names on the place cards really makes them feel remembered.

~Welcome Sign

It is so welcoming, to have a sign somewhere near the front door to greet your family and friends. From a very personal “Welcome Smith Family” or a seasonal “Merry Christmas” to “We are so glad you are here” on a casual chalkboard or an elegant mirror or glass framed, and write with a wipe-off marker, that welcome sets the tone for the rest of the event. I used an antique French cupboard door and painted it with chalkboard paint on the raised panel part.

~Quote or Scripture

The most inspirational part of the Holiday table is the beautiful quotes and scriptures. It depends on the occasion, but a quote that is either inspiring or focused on gratitude is the favorite. There is nothing like feasting your eyes, and then your thoughts, on what we can be thankful for, especially as an example for our children. Scattering them around the home (powder room, end tables, above door jam’s) is a great way to elevate your family and friends thoughts.


~Fresh Greenery

Sometimes we mistakenly think a tabletop has to have flowers as a centerpiece to be really elegant and festive. Greenery is a wonderful, fresh and festive way to make a beautiful Christmas table. Simply cut a few small twigs of trees/bushes like pine or ivy, or my favorite boxwood branches, bay tree and magnolia leaves and put them in three smaller glass or crystal vases.


No table is complete, in my opinion, with 5 to 7 little glass votives with white candles in them. The light sparkles and makes everything else on the table more beautiful and sets a soft, relaxing, often more romantic tone.

~Seasonal Piece

By seasonal I suggest a “Santa” figurine or such, a gingerbread house, or a standing cross to have in the center of the table. A clear jar of candy canes, M&M’s or such would do just fine, as well. Think: Something available only at this time of year. I usually have plenty of items in the Holiday Decor that I switch out to put on the table for each dinner.

~Napkin Rings

These can be such a pretty way to pull a linen napkin through to set on a place and make a really beautiful table setting. You can use french ribbons, or plain silver rings and they help to really make a bigger impact for an inspiring table.

~Sparkling Glasses

Whether crystal or glass, tall freshly washed glass sparkle so much with the votive candles that it is hard to wrong with this combo. A tall glass and short glass of whatever kind you like is very dramatic and beautiful, set together. Whether colored or clear the sparkle is crucial for the holiday table.

~White Plates

Although I love to use seasonal chargers and salad plates a crisp white plate is the most beautiful element to my favorite tables. They can be dressed up or down, and makes each setting look fresh and not heavy and overdone.

~Seasonal Linens

Of course, linen napkins add the most wonderful touch of elegance to any table, and Christmas plaid or red and green are no exception. My grandfather, who was a “Silversmith to the Stars”, loved a bare table with only plates (or placemats) but wasn’t a fan of covering a beautiful wood table. I have followed suit. Try leaving the wood table bare! The natural elements together is beautiful and simple.

“I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shadowed in Silk

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shadowed In Silk
WhiteFire Publishing (September 1, 2011)
Christine Lindsay

This is a fascinating book about a time in history that I've not often seen. The book is full of intrigue, history, and the strength of the human spirit.

I hope to see more from Christine Lindsay!


Christine Lindsay writes historical Christian inspirational novels with strong love stories. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects such as the themes in her debut novel SHADOWED IN SILK which is set in India during a turbulent era. Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj was seeded from stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India. SHADOWED IN SILK was the Gold winner of the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical.

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. It’s a special time in her life as she and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but also the noise and fun when the kids and grandkids come home. Like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.


She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women...but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Shadowed In Silk, go HERE.

Watch the book video trailer:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Proof of Heaven

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Proof of Heaven
William Morrow Paperbacks (November 1, 2011)
Mary Curran Hackett


Mary Curran Hackett is the mother of two children, Brigid Claire and Colm Francis, and is married to Greg Hackett. She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Nebraska and a BA from the University Honors Program at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Danbury, CT, she has traveled extensively and lived in various places throughout the U.S., but her favorite place in the world is home with her kids, husband, and her stacks of books. Like her character Colm Magee, Mary suffers various heart and brain ailments, but thanks in part to her brother, a physician, as well as her own doctors, she now has a pacemaker and a heart that beats on its own at least most of the time. This is her first novel.


A mother’s faith, a child’s courage, a doctor’s dedication—a moving and thought-provoking tale of hope, love, and family.

He might be young, but Colm already recognizes the truth: that he’s sick and not getting better. His mother, Cathleen, fiercely believes her faith will protect her ailing son, but Colm is not so sure. With a wisdom far beyond his years, Colm has come to terms with his probable fate, but he does have one special wish. He wants to meet his father who abandoned his beloved mother before Colm was born.

But the quest to find the dying boy’s missing parent soon becomes a powerful journey of emotional discovery—a test of belief and an anxious search for proof of heaven.

A magnificent debut novel, Mary Curran Hackett’s Proof of Heaven is a beautiful and unforgettable exploration of the power of love and the monumental questions of life, death, and the afterlife.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Along Wooded Paths

Along Wooded Paths
Tricia Goyer

My Thoughts
This is the second book in the Big Sky series, Tricia's first Amish series. As I mentioned in the review for the first book, she takes a fresh new approach to Amish fiction and I love it! You will definitely want to read book one, Beside Still Waters, before you read this one.

In Along Wooded Paths, Marianna becomes more involved with the Englisch community around her and is surprised by the variety of lives others live. She realizes the joys of serving others outside her community and grows in her faith as a result. But the real crux of this story is the depth of her angst over her future. As it becomes obvious that Marianna will have to choose between her childhood love and the Amish way of life or the Englisch man she is drawn to an her newly expanded faith, Tricia's writing pulls the reader right into Marianna's heart.

There are so many wonderful twists, turns, and paths in this story that it keeps you fascinated all the way through, and I almost found myself praying for the characters as they found themselves in difficult dilemmas! The ending is incredibly intriguing and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the third installment of this book!

You can buy a copy here.

Read what others are saying about the book here.

Come to a Facebook Party and Live Author Chat!

Tricia is celebrating the release of Along Wooded Paths with a Fabulous Facebook party on October 18th. She'll be giving away prizes and a sneak peak at the next book in the Big Sky series.

Then during the second half of the party she'll be hosting a LIVE AUTHOR CHAT on her website and

announcing something BIG! CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party -

Along Wooded Paths Party

then go here to sign up for the Live Author Chat.

About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock , Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

For more about Tricia and her other books

About the book:

All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . . But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.

As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.

Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.

Find out about book 1, Beside Still Waters, here:

Read an excerpt.

View the trailer.

Thank you to the Litfuse Publicity Group and B&H Books for providing a copy of Along Wooded Paths for this review.