After Fashion by Jen Turner Turano

Thursday, March 26, 2015

22504489Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

"Incorporating a bit of mayhem, a modicum of charm, and a dash of skullduggery into Harriet and Oliver's love story, Turano creates an engaging tale with a delightfully unexpected twist at the end." 

Jen Turano

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:

This book is a wild ride from beginning to end, with jumping out of a moving carriage, coaxing a dog out from under tables, defining large words, and secretly being engaged. Harriet and Oliver, and the cast of characters in this book are bright and vivid. I was pulled in from  page one and read as slowly as possible as to savor each word. Jen became a quick favorite of mine and I wait patiently for her next book and move it up on my reading pile. 
This book is a must read for every historical romance fan and anyone who enjoys laughter as they read. I highly recommend it!

Been Jaded by the Church?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When Jeane Wynn asked me to write a post about being hurt by the church I took a big gulp, and thought which time. As a kid I was at church on Wednesday night, and twice on Sunday. My father was in the navy and we moved around so we changed churches quite a bit. However, the time in my life when I first experienced pain by the people of the church was when I was a very young mother, and a gal and I had a huge disagreement about something rather stupid. I apologized, and she treated me like the dirt on her shoe. I can remember continuing to make it right because I felt horrible that I had hurt this person however she wouldn't budge. A very wise pastor's wife told me that I had done what was right, it was now in her corner. That didn't omit the hurt, it did however, give me a place to start. She also told me to begin praying for her which I did. Five years after the incident, and at a time in my life when our family was going through something pretty intense, I received an apology letter in the mail.
I was literally blown away and I knew that God had gotten to her heart. This wasn't the last time I was hurt within the walls of the church, and I know it won't be the last, because the people inside the church are human, and they make mistakes. The only thing that is different between them and those out in the world is their desire to be more Christlike. As someone who has been hurt within those walls, my desire is to love like Christ loved, and to be willing to admit I am wrong to heal the hurt. When we are vulnerable with each other we take a risk of being hurt, I know that God wants us to be vulnerable so that we can use our stories to encourage others.
For me praying for those who have caused pain is my way of dealing with the hurt. Another, since I am a writer is journaling about it, that gives me another avenue. And . . . I just remembered something else that wise pastor's wife told me. She told me to write it out in a letter, everything, and mail it . . . not to them, to someone you trusted and have them destroy it. When I would get really upset about the above situation I would write pages and send it to my mom who would burn it in their fireplace. I can't tell you how much that helped me at that time.

This new book, Jaded by Varina Denman is about being hurt within the walls of a place we are suppose to feel safe, the church.

22309417Ruthie Turner resents the Christians in her small Texas town, but when she falls for the new preacher, she must release her bitterness...and learn to love. On the surface, nothing seems to change in this dull town-yet God always works beneath the surface.

Varina Denman

About this author

Varina Denman is a native Texan who spent her high school years in a small Texas town. Now she lives near Fort Worth with her husband and her five mostly-grown children. Jaded is her debut novel. Look for the sequel, Justified, to be released soon from David C. Cook.


The Tomb by Stephanie Landsem

Monday, March 23, 2015

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Tomb
Howard Books (March 17, 2015)
Stephanie Landsem


A word from the author:
I write historical fiction because I love adventure in far-off times and places. I’ve traveled since I was a teenager—backpacking through Germany and Eastern Europe, studying German in Salzburg, eating gelato in Italy, and riding camels in Morocco were some of the highlights. Travel kindles my imagination, fuels my love of history, and introduces me to one-of-a-kind characters. It’s the best kind of research.

When I can’t travel, I read. I love fiction, of course, but I’m often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits. How people lived together, worked, and what they ate (I love food!) is usually what catches my imagination. No matter where or when we live, people are more alike than they are different. I love to find the similarities between our lives and those of the men and women of the ancient world.

I make my home in Minnesota with my husband of 22 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When I’m not writing Biblical fiction, I’m feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about my next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.


In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.

Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.

Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.

When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?

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

My Thoughts:

Stephanie writes a different perspective on Martha. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was an interesting read, and a quick one. I didn't care for some of the liberties she took with the story. Implying that Martha, Mary and Lazarus are cousins to Jesus, which is not true. Read Matthew 1:1 for Jesus' lineage, and even suggesting that Martha was "impure". Lazarus was my favorite character.

New Book from Rachel Hauck | ‘How to Catch a Prince’ and Royal Giveaway

Friday, March 20, 2015

About the book:

How to Catch a Prince (Zondervan, February 2015)

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey's life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she's shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen's pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it's own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?
Purchase a copy:

Rachel Hauck
About the author:
is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.
Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever? Find out in Rachel Hauck's new book, How to Catch a Prince. True love has a destiny all its own. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

Enter to win a "royal" prize pack! 


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A royal-themed Brighton charm bracelet

  • 2 tickets to see the new Cinderella movie

  • The Royal Wedding series (Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince)

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on Rachel's blog.



My Thoughts:

Two broken people, one trying to hide from the past, the other seeking answers from the past.
Corina and Stephen have been broken by things in their past, and the past secretly ties them together.
Corina and Stephen are characters you can identify with, their pain is something we all go through at one time or another.
Rachel even adds a little celestial intervention and it works perfectly.
There is royal glamor and glitz, we see that with even all of that life is empty without Christ at the center.
I have read all of the books in the Royal series and this is probably my favorite. The book tied up nicely and I know Corina and Stephen will be characters that will last in my thoughts for days to come.
Great job, Rachel!


Dauntless by Dina Sleiman

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (March 3, 2015)
Dina L. Sleiman


A word from the author:

Since selling my first book, I have also become an acquisitions editor for the company. I am a member of the Inkwell Inspirations blog, HEWN Marketing, ACFW, and a contributor to Christian Review of Books. I hold publishing credits in poetry and songwriting, and I was the writer and featured teacher in a nationally distributed instructional dance video for children. I have written several songs about the plight of the Islamic people, which have been produced in association with the Christian Broadcast Network. In addition, I have taught college and high school classes in writing and literature, as well as homeschool classes in the fine arts, and now enjoy teaching at writers conferences throughout the nation.


Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

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

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book, for me it was a modern day Robin Hood. This would be a perfect read for middle readers, 6th grade and up. Recommended!

New from Max Lucado | ‘Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe’ and iPad Giveaway

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

About the book:  

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
Find Max online: website, Facebook, Twitter
 In Max Lucado's new fiction release, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, he asks, If you could ask God anything, what would you ask—and how would he answer? When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

Join Max in celebrating the release of his new fiction book by entering his iPad giveaway and RSVPing to his Coffee with Max webcast!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini

  • A copy of Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on the Litfuse blog. Then tune in later on the 24th for his Coffee with Max webcast. RSVP here!


My thoughts:
I am not new to Max Lucado and his writing. I began reading his books with Eye of the Storm, in 1991. He can tell a story, and his new book shows that non-fiction is not his only talent. 
In his new book Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe' we meet Chelsea and her children, along with her estranged husband, Sawyer. 
Add in some celestial beings who bring encouragement and you have a modern day It's a Wonderful Life.
Highly recommended!


Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spy of Richmond
River North (March 1, 2015)
Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.


Trust none. Risk all. Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone. Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.

As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

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

My thoughts:

Boy, did this book remind me of living in Virginia. A place I never want to live or be ever again. As a navy brat, and navy wife I had never lived in such a racial place as Virginia in my life.
While this book is based during the Civil War, don't think for one second that just because of segregation, and other programs that racism isn't alive and well in 2015. I'll step off my soap box, now.
Sophie is someone who you will want to cheer for, and hope she doesn't get caught. It is a great read, the action is well placed and it definitely keeps you turning pages.

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton

Friday, March 6, 2015

About the book:

Betting on Hope (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

A bet gone wrong. A small town's meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch.

Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it's beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie's bosses know this is the opportunity she's been looking for to launch her career---and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.

Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he'd like, but he knows it's the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru's fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do-for her own good.
In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart's desires.

Purchase a copy:  

Debra Clopton
About the author:
is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.
Find Debra online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 My Thoughts:

"The man smelled like leather and sunshine, and something spicy that drew her like a hummingbird to sugar water. She had to fight the urge to lean in and inhale."
Great line huh?!? When I read that line, I was hooked and believed I would fall in love with the rest of the book. Unfortunately, I didn't. I felt like the storyline was being forced, as well as the relationship between the main characters. You have no idea how much I dislike saying that I didn't like a book. Also, please don't just take my opinion as gospel. If you are interested in the book read the other reviews for this book and decide.

Picture Imperfect by Susan Maas

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Twelve-year-old JJ loves three things: her great-grandma, her cat, and photography. But she’s never going to be a real photographer unless she gets better equipment. When her best friend, Kat, discovers a photo contest with the grand prize of a fancy digital camera—the kind JJ’s parents could never afford—she jumps at the chance to win it.
Things start going wrong when ditzy Aunt Lissa moves in under mysterious circumstances and JJ’s forced to share her room. Why did Lissa lose her job anyway? Kat has all sorts of theories—theories that bring more trouble than the girls can imagine.

Susan Thogerson Maas got her first camera around age ten and has loved photography ever since. Her favorite subjects are nature scenes and wildflowers, but she also enjoys photographing family members, who sometimes find it annoying. Her dream in grade school was to write books for children, which proves that dreams can come true. When not taking pictures or writing, Susan can be found hiking, bird watching, working in her vegetable garden, playing on the computer, and, of course, reading.

My thoughts:
Oh Boy, could I relate to JJ. My dad has a couple of crazy sisters that became my Aunt's and there was never a dull moment. One came to live with us for awhile when she was pregnant with her son Aaron. I'll never forget that time as long as I live. She took me to Peaches records when I was ten or eleven, I had never been in that store, and I remember feeling super cool after she took me there.

This is a great story for young teen/tween girls who are wondering who they are. The message is clear they are who they are meant to be in Christ.

I highly recommend this book!!

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