In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

Monday, July 28, 2014

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Field of Grace
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2014)
Tessa Afshar


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.


Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor. Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel's destiny and the future of the whole world.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Field of Grace, go HERE.

My Thoughts:

In Tessa Afshar’s new book, In the Field of Grace, we are given a front row seat to the story of Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite who refused to leave Naomi’s side after the death of her sons, one of which was Ruth’s husband. They leave Moab and travel to Bethlehem, the land of Naomi’s family. Being a Moabite, Ruth is not welcome, and she experiences some dislike at the hands of Dinah, one of Boaz’s workers, yet Ruth’s kindness wins every time.
The title of this book couldn’t be more perfect, as we see God’s grace through every page. It is definitely a comfort read that will inspire your soul.
Highly recommended! Grab a copy and enjoy!

Interview with Sarah Sundin and Giveaway of In Perfect Time

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

I’ve always liked my first name. When I was little, I was the only Sarah in my school. My name was unique, but known enough that people could pronounce it. Sarah didn’t become a popular baby name until I was in high school (yes, that dates me).

What was your first pet’s name?

We had a cat named Felix. Hardly original, but I believe he came with the name attached.

What was your best friend’s name in elementary school?

I was blessed to live in a neighborhood with several girls the same age as my sister and me—Kristin and Anne and Anne-Marie. We’ve found each other again now, thanks to Facebook!

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young?

Lambie. A stuffed lamb. I carried him by his leg, and wore through the fabric. So I patched it. I still have him, but I’m afraid his stuffing has turned to powder, and it’s leaking through the fabric. He needs more patching.

What's your favorite movie?

I don’t know if it really qualifies as a movie, but the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

When I started seventh grade, my biggest fear was taking a shower in the locker room. I was horribly shy, extremely unpopular, small for my age, and flat as a board. The thought of taking off my towel almost made me ill. Then that first day of gym class, we all stood in our towels in front of the showers—and every single girl looked as terrified as I did! The popular girls, the bold girls, the curvy girls—all terrified. And no one moved. I have no idea how long we stood there. Finally, I just got annoyed. For heaven’s sake, someone had to go first. So I flung off my towel and strode in. That was all people could talk about for the rest of the week. “Sarah went in first? Sarah?” I earned a bit of respect that day.

If you were stranded on a desert island what would you take with you, besides your Bible?

Pen and paper. Any one book (other than the Bible) would get boring after a while, but I could keep making up stories!
If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

This question is always hard for me, because I’m not a celebrity watcher, and I’ve already met most of my author heroes (yay!).

If you could live in one era what would you choose?

I really should say World War II, but the wimpy part of me would probably choose the nice safe 1950s, the peaceful era the WWII generation fought to usher in. But of course, I’d love to witness so much in the 1940s also. From a safe distance.

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

Depending on my age, a ballerina, a mommy, and a protozoologist. That’s a scientist who studies protozoa, the one-celled animals in the sea. I was an odd child.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Perhaps it’s cliché, but I adore Jane Austen. The romance, the dialogue, the spot-on characterization, and the wicked humor. And I also like how she doesn’t glorify “bad boys” in her novels. In Austen’s stories, the rogues end up being rogues, and the heroes are the unassuming men, the quiet men, the men with poor social skills—who have integrity.

How did you get interested in writing WWII era books?

When I had the initial story idea for A Distant Melody, I knew it couldn’t work in a contemporary setting but had to be historical. I gravitated to WWII for several reasons. First, it’s always fascinated me. Second, it was recent enough that I knew people who had lived through it. And third, I thought I wouldn’t have to do too much research because I’d talked to my grandparents and read a few books. Yeah. I was stupid. But I’m glad I was, because if I’d known how much research I had to do, I wouldn’t have started.

Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?

My mom. Both my parents are huge readers, and our home had gobs of books, so I grew up with a love of story. Then when I started writing novels, my mom was so enthusiastic and even connected me with a published author she knew. Now she’s my biggest publicist. She chats up my books and passes out dozens of bookmarks. She even arranged my last speaking engagement for me. No, I won’t share her.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

I have a ring that’s been in my family for generations.

What book are you reading now? What are your thoughts on it?

With both a deadline and a book release this week, I’m not reading anything. That makes me sad. The most recent novel I read was Julianna Deering’s Murder at the Mikado, which is a lot of fun—reminiscent of Agatha Christie but with a modern feel.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Must we go there? I’m not even sure which one to choose, because high school itself was kind of my most embarrassing era. What about the time I tripped and fell on my face during a ballet audition for the school musical? Or the time I had an “accident” on the volleyball courts? Or the time I sang out during the grand pause at the end of the Hallelujah Chorus? Or the time I…? Are you getting the picture?

How did your husband propose to you?

Reading all this, are you surprised anyone proposed to me? I still am! Anyway, my sweet husband sent me on a scavenger hunt in his apartment, using clues to send me from location to location—and the last spot held an engagement ring. He likes to say I never said yes. When he asked me, I just nodded and cried and kissed him over and over. I think that’s yes enough, don’t you?

Sarah's Bio:

Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. You can find her at

World War II flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, but C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper seems immune to her charms. Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

Thursday, July 24, 2014

About the book:

After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancee, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes--by hook or by crook--she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

About this author

Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She lives in suburban Denver, Colorado. Learn more at

My thoughts:

I have enjoyed each and every one of The Ladies of Distinction series. I so enjoy Jen's writing style, I'd love reading her to do list. The witty conversations between her characters have me giggling and laughing out loud. Real hard to laugh quietly when you're up really late reading and don't want to wake your husband.
I love the first sentence . . .
"Sometimes, no matter how independent and self-assured a young lady believes herself to be, certain situations demand a good dose of screaming." This is definitely the case with Agatha and Zayne, not to mention Matilda. 
Agatha is an accident waiting to happen, and it seems as though her accidents of late involve Zayne which he is not very fond of, she blew up his mine, and while she didn't do it on purpose, nor was she trying to she got Zayne's leg broken again.
This is a perfect book for any season, with summer not over, grab a copy, a cool glass of ice tea, and head to your favorite reading spot. I guarantee you won't be sorry.

A Victim to Survivor

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My story is featured on Tosca Lee's website. She asked for stories of inspiration, coming from defeat to victory, to help promote her soon to be released book The Legend of Sheba. This is my story . . .

As I was writing Legend of Sheba, it became quickly apparent to me that this would be a story about a woman who must transcend a difficult, even violent past to become queen. That this would be a book about rising up–from overwhelming circumstances, fear, loss, and life’s toughest challenges to a place beyond where we were before. As we count down the weeks to Sheba’s release, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to highlight the stories of those who have gotten up and risen. Prepare to be inspired.

Andie’s Story  

In 2008, I found out that my husband of 23 years had been having an affair. After I kicked him out because he had no desire to change or work on our marriage, my home went into foreclosure. My youngest daughter and I moved from Virginia to Nampa, Idaho to live with my parents. I was an angry mess. I hated him for what he did to me and to our three children.
Our new church in Nampa had Divorce Care Recovery, which my parents encouraged me to attend, but I didn’t believe that I needed it; I was two thousand miles away from him, I was okay. One night I finally gave in and went. It was the best thing I had ever done in my life. There were other people going through what I was, hurting, angry, needing to forgive but without the ability just yet. While in Divorce Care, I realized my ex had emotionally abused me for years. I couldn’t believe how stupid I was to stay and allow my children to experience that as well. Yet, I found myself becoming less and less angry. I began to smile and enjoy life in ways I didn’t think possible. The day I knew I had forgiven him was when my daughter told me he lost his job and I cried in the shower about it. That was the most freeing thing I had ever experienced.
In 2010, I met my husband, Mark. We dated for eight months and got married in June of 2011. We have a relationship that neither of us had in our previous marriages. God has definitely been involved since the beginning! He brought us together and I have not known such joy and peace. However, I know that had I not experienced what I did, I would not be the woman I am today.
-Andie T.

Tosca's web site


Monday, July 21, 2014

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 2014)
DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at


After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

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

Penny Wise by Dave and Anita Jackson

Sunday, July 20, 2014

About the book: Penny Wise introduces us to yet another family in "the neighborhood"---the Jaspers, busy with demanding jobs, busy with church, busy volunteering, parents of three active teenagers, juggling sometimes crazy schedules. All good things. Until all those "good things" feed into a series of crises that affects the whole family. Something's gotta change!

The third in the Windy City Neighbors series, Penny Wise is a contemporary peek at an urban family wrestling with the spiritual and practical challenges of real life. The series employs the innovating storytelling technique of "parallel novels," each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters' lives become intertwined with their neighbors and affect one another. Welcome to Beecham Street---a typical, isolated American neighborhood that is beginning to come out of its shell . . . for better or worse.

Purchase a copy: 

About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Find Neta and Dave online: website
My Thoughts:
This is the third installment of the Windy City series. There were things I liked, and things that I just didn't.  Michelle and Jared are way too busy, they haven't learned how to say the word NO, which happens to a lot of young couples with growing kids and being active in a church. I remember those days, and learning to say NO was hard to learn, yet so freeing when you do. 
I didn't care for the racial attitude in the book. Meaning the way one character would have thoughts about another based on ethnicity or religious difference. I lived in the beach area of  Virginia for six years and I don't have a stomach for racial tension. Being a military brat and wife, I lived and hung out with all different types of races. I knew people not skin color.
All in all I would give this book 3 ***.

Shenandoah Dreams

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shenandoah Dreams
OakTara Publishers (July 1, 2014)
Lisa Belcastro


Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.

She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.

In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.


What if she met the man of her another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They re sailing the waters around the island of Martha s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770. What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.

If you liked to read the first chapter of Shenandoah Dreams, go HERE.

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