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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Last Chance Hero

Last Chance Hero
Cathleen Armstrong


I was thrilled to find another book in this series about a quaint New Mexico town seemingly in the middle of nowhere! The last book, At Home in Last Chance, left me hanging, and this one resolved those questions.

In Last Chance Hero, Armstrong introduces two new characters and weaves their lives intricately with those of the previous books. While the book could stand alone, it's fun to know the back story of the 'regulars'. This book addresses the struggle to be who you are, not who you were, and the process of finding your place in a place that seems to have little room for new people or change.

Each book in the Last Chance series addresses real life issues and struggles. As in life, these things don't always get wrapped up neatly by the end of the book, and I find that I like that. I hope there are more books to come -- I'd love to learn more about some of the folks in the town that appear in each story but are minor characters.

Visit the authors' website for information about all her books and a free e-cookbook with great chili recipes!

The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. She is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction, and One More Last Chance.
Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. She is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction, and One More Last Chance

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Taming the To Do List

Taming the To-Do List
Glynnis Whitwer

I had the opportunity to meet Glynnis many years ago at a Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference, and I was very impressed. I can't remember many of the people who led workshops, but she and the workshop she led continue to be memorable to me. She was an amazingly down to earth, caring person who honestly wanted each person in the room to be successful!

Her new book, Taming the To-Do List, is written in that same vein. She shares her struggles with perfectionism and procrastination, and she gives really tangible, down-to-earth processes for getting the important things done. One of the things I really liked about the book is the linkage to the readers' personal issues. Each chapter ends with a Practical Application section where the reader applies the lessons learned in the chapter to a regular task that never seems to get done and a personal goal he/she wants to achieve. The questions required both introspection and planning for overcoming obstacles.

When we are overwhelmed by too many things to do and not enough time, we often feel like failures. Whitwer addresses this with a statement I've placed on my bathroom mirror:
"Only Satan draws a line from our work to our worth. Only our enemy wants us to find our identity in what we do, because he knows when the work is gone so is our sense of value. God, however, has another identity for us, ones that's unchanging and independent of our actions. It's as his chosen and beloved child."

I've read many time management books that offer intricate processes for getting things done that often become just another item on my to-do list. This book addresses the issues behind my long and often uncompleted list and offers solutions that ensure I have the right list and the right motives without an artificial structure for managing my life. By helping me determine the right list and understand the reasons why I struggle so much with my lists, Glynnis Whitwer has helped me get a handle on my life! Thank you!

Ever just wish the world would stop for a day so you could catch up?
No matter how much we accomplish in a day, we nearly always feel a little guilt over what we didn't do. But do we really have more to do than the women who came before us? Maybe not.

In Taming the To-Do List, Glynnis Whitwer exposes a seismic shift in society: from one in which most of us were proactive to one in which we carry the burden of having to respond--to every email, text, tweet, and message we receive. This creates a cycle where everyone else sets the priorities for our days rather than us directing our own lives. The result? We procrastinate, putting off the important stuff for later while we tend to the "urgent" stuff right now.

It's time to take back your schedule! Ready to tame that to-do list? This book shows you how.

Glynnis Whitwer  I’ve been on staff with P31 since 1999 and am currently the executive director of communications.  I oversee the Encouragement for Today Devotions, co-direct COMPEL Writer’s Training, and am in charge of all the content at She Speaks – our annual conference for writers and speakers.
Here’s a few more random thoughts.
Glynnis Whitwer is passionate about knowing God’s Word, serving in His church and loving His people. She has a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Arizona State University. She has been on staff with Proverbs 31 since 1999 and is currently the executive director of communications.  She oversees the Encouragement for Today Devotions, co-directs COMPEL Writer’s Training, and is in charge of all the content at She Speaks – the annual conference for writers and speakers.
Before joining the staff of Proverbs 31 Ministries, she worked in public relations and marketing for developers of retirement and assisted living communities.  She has authored or co-authored nine books that deal with relationships - with God, with family, and with ones self. 

You can learn more about Glynnis at her website HERE