Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FALSE PRETENSES

LOVED this book! Action and suspense to the max, plus I enjoyed being immersed in the Louisiana setting. I'm no expert on Cajuns, but it felt real to me. False Pretenses is the first in a series, and I'm anxious for the rest of them. I got the impression that the characters had been in a previous story together, but it wasn't a distraction. Suspense fans, you've got to read this one.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

False Pretenses

David C. Cook (March 1, 2011)

by

Kathy Herman
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources. She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market. Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call. Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure. ABOUT THE BOOK
Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown. She owns a thriving Cajun eatery in South Louisiana and is married to the love of her life. But it’s about to become hell. One day, out of the blue, she receives a series of anonymous notes that sends her life into a tail spin. Five simple words, “I know what you did.” Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Unbeknownst to anyone, even Zoe’s husband, Pierce, she has a past—a past she had covered so well she never thought she would have to confront. How could anyone know what she did? Can she find the courage to face her past? If you would like to read the first chapter of False Pretenses, go HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2011

VICIOUS CYCLE

I LOVE Terri Blackstock books, and Vicious Cycle is no exception. Filled with family drama, suspense, and even a touch of romance, this book fits the bill when you want to curl up and read (with the lights on, of course.) Though it tags off the last book, Intervention, it's makes perfect sense even as a stand alone.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Vicious Cycle
Zondervan (February 22, 2011)
by
Terri Blackstock




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.



Besides entertaining her readers, Terri tackles issues that she hopes will change lives. Her recent book, Predator, was inspired by her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and her concern that people posted too much personal information about themselves. The book deals with an online predator who uses social networks as his playground. She hopes the book will change readers’ online habits. Her New York Times best-seller, Intervention, was inspired by her own personal struggles with a daughter on drugs. In the book, a mother hires an interventionist for her drug-addicted daughter. But on the way to treatment, the interventionist is murdered, and the daughter disappears. Barbara, the mother, sets out to search for her daughter. Terri modeled Barbara after herself, and poured many of her own emotions and experiences into that character. As a result, many families experiencing drug addiction have written to thank her for telling their story and giving them hope. Vicious Cycle, Book Two of the Intervention Series, releases February 22, 2011. She’s currently working on Book Three.



Other recent books include a stand-alone novel called Double Minds, as well as Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn’s Light (from her acclaimed Restoration Series). She is also known for her popular Newpointe 911 Series and Cape Refuge Series. Terri makes her home in Mississippi, where she and her husband Ken are enjoying their empty nest after raising three children.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.







ABOUT THE BOOK



When fifteen-year-old Lance Covington finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car, he knows she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's been trying to help. But when police arrest him for kidnapping, Lance is thrust into a criminal world of baby trafficking and drug abuse.



His mother, Barbara, looks for help from Kent Harlan---the man whom she secretly, reluctantly loves and who once helped rescue her daughter from a mess of her own. Kent flies to her aid and begins the impossible work of getting Lance out of trouble, protecting a baby who has no home, and finding help for a teenage mother hiding behind her lies.



In this latest novel of suspense and family loyalty, bestselling author Terri Blackstock offers a harrowing look at drug addiction, human trafficking, and the devastating choices that can change lives forever.



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



Watch the Book Video:




Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CODE OF JUSTICE


This is my second Liz Johnson book, and I have to say I really enjoy her style! Code of Justice started with excitement on the first page and didn't let me go. Heather Sloan is a strong heroine, determined to find her sister's killer, regardless of the personal cost. Jeremy Latham takes on the case--and the beautiful woman who wants to work alongside him to solve it. A great balance of action and romance, Code of Justice has you cheering for the characters to find the killer AND fall in love.

CLICK HERE to get your copy!


Back Cover:

"Follow the drugs"
Her sister's last words shake FBI agent Heather Sloan to the core. They also convince her that the helicopter crash only Heather survived wasn't an accident. Sheriff's deputy Jeremy Latham is assigned the case--he's the one who can help Heather find the person responsible...once she convinces him they should work together. As they dig for the truth, they learn to trust and care for each other. Will they lose it all when the killer targets Heather? She's willing to risk her life to find her sister's killer--but her code of justice could cost her the chance to win Jeremy's love.


About the author:


Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-becoming an author. Along the way to having her novels published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines.

Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. Keep up with Liz's adventures in writing at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Shadow of Evil
B&H Books (March 1, 2011)
by
Robin Caroll




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty years, her three beautiful daughters, one precious grandson, and their four character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?



Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference Director for ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as RT Reviewer's Choice, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year. An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals!



ABOUT THE BOOK



Informed by the real-life fallout of the U.S. economy plus devastation caused by multiple hurricanes along the southern coast, In the Shadow of Evil casts the modern day story of a building rebound scam exposed. It begins when the body of a property inspector is found among the ashes of a burnt out Homes of Hope house. Wrapped up in this mounting case of unethical practices, supply shortages, and murder, top Louisiana homicide detective Maddox Bishop is losing his heart to a charitable contractor, Layla Taylor, whose own sister is under suspicion. He’s also about to discover a deep secret about his tragic past.



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



Watch the trailer:






Friday, March 11, 2011

A Heart Most Worthy

Another great read by Siri Mitchell! I learn something new every time I get one of her books. This one is set against the backdrop of the great Italian Immigration during the Spanish Influenza. A captivating story with interesting characters. Now here's where I have to get super honest and say that I'm not a fan of omniscient POV. It's very well written, but for me it took some adjustment. (Totally not the fault of the author.) You historical fans will really enjoy this.



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart Most Worthy
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
by
Siri Mitchell




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.



But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.



Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.



Her ninth novel, A Heart Most Worthy, follows prior Bethany House releases: A Constant Heart (October 2008), Love's Pursuit (June 2009), and She Walks in Beauty (Apr 2010). She Walks in Beauty won the inaugural INSPY Award for Historical Fiction in Dec 2010. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. Love's Pursuit was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.



Publishers Weekly proclaimed, "Mitchell delivers the historical goods."
A Heart Most Worthy

Another great read by Siri Mitchell! I learn something new every time I get one of her books. This one is set against the backdrop of the great Italian Immigration during the Spanish Influenza. A captivating story with interesting characters. Now here's where I have to get super honest and say that I'm not a fan of omniscient POV. It's very well written, but for me it took some adjustment. (Totally not the fault of the author--it's a well-written book.)










ABOUT THE BOOK



The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times.



Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client.



Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Heart Most Worthy, go HERE.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

WE ATE OUR HOUSE!

After a few quick calculations last night, I came to the conclusion that we ate our house.

For about 3 years we frequented several restaurants every single weekend. In fact, we had servers who knew our orders by heart--our very large orders. During those years we didn't even give a passing thought to how much we spent on food (or how many multiple thousands of empty calories we were consuming, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

Ready for the grand 3-year total?

$12,000.

((insert Psycho music, because that's what we were))

How is that eating our house? I'm glad you asked.

You see, we've had our place for sale for over a year now. If we had another $12,000 banked we could lower our price that much more and get out of here.

It sickens my heart, knowing how much we spent on that which was fleeting. I'm SO thankful we woke up (several years ago, in fact) and stopped spending willy nilly on eating out. If only we'd stopped sooner! It makes me think, what might we be doing right now that we'll look back on someday and regret?

Today--praying for wisdom, and for God to redeem the time.

Have you ever looked back and majorly regretted a decision/decisions? Are you walking in wisdom today?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

YOU DON'T LIKE ME!

This is the mantra whined through a geyser of tears when my 5 year old doesn't get her way. Through her sobbing, I can tell she really believes it. The question is, where would she come up with that? I lavish love and and attention upon her, but in those moments where I am not giving her exactly what she wants, she goes into self-pity mode.

Kinda sounds like someone else I know.

Me.

Yeah, I'll admit it. The thought has crossed my mind once or twice (or a hundred times, depending on the situation) when God doesn't answer my prayers the way I want. I remember that "God so loved the world," which includes me but only in the most generic sense--or so I think. I tend to forget all the gazillion other things He's done for me, things I haven't even asked for.

How crazy and immature is that? (Seriously, a rhetorical question--not the one I want you to answer. LOL!)

While we must work on our little one, to train her not to implode when she doesn't get her way, I've realized I have to be trained to. Thus, this season. The never-ending-I'm-sick-of-manna-crackers season.

Have you learned a powerful lesson about yourself through your kids, or through watching how others behave?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

DON'T PANIC!

It's my tendency to panic when I fear a situation isn't going to go down the way I planned. Don't ask me how I remember this sketch from the 80's--I only saw it once--but this epitomizes panicking for no reason.




Over the last few days I've come to realize I have a huge fear of failure. Out of desperation, I signed up for a program called The Lord's Table to help with my weight (more on that another day.) Due to some emerging health problems, I had to take action, but I fear that this will be another try and fail situation, and it terrifies me (imagine my hair flapping like the people in the skit!)

Prior to beginning this program, the kidlets and I started memorizing Psalm 34 (my 6 year old calls it Palsums, LOL! The kids are up to verse 7 now.) and it fits perfectly with where I'm at. I didn't choose Psalm 34 on purpose, either. It was next in line in the Bible program I'm using for the kids. Definitely a God thing.

If you have a situation you're trying not to fret over, chew on this scripture:

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and saved me from all my fears. (PS 34:4)

Then it goes on to say in verse 6:

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles.

Talk about being poor in spirit--right now that's me! Evidently that's a blessed place to be, even though it doesn't feel like it.

Have you ever battled fear? What's in your arsenal?
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