Monday, January 5, 2009

Wanted by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Avon Inspire (January 6, 2009)


Shelley Shepard Gray


Hidden is Shelley’s first foray into inspirational fiction. Previously, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio where she writes full time. Shelley is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and is part of the Telecare ministry, which calls homebound members on a regular basis. Shelley looks forward to the opportunity to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

This is the second book in the Sisters Of Heart series. The first was Hidden.


Twenty-year-old Katie Brenneman has always quietly fancied Jonathan Lundy. So when the brokenhearted widower asks her to help him take care of his two young girls, Katie knows it will be a trying time-yet she cannot pass up a golden opportunity to get to know this man better.

Just as she's settling into her new life, a message arrives from Katie's past, threatening to expose her darkest secrets. During her Rumspringa, her running-around years, she experimented with activities forbidden in the Amish way of life. Frightened by how far she'd strayed from her values, Katie ran back home, vowing to cut all ties with the outside world. Now her transgressions are coming back to haunt her, just as Jonathan seems willing to welcome her into his heart.

Will the past destroy Katie's chances for love? Or will Katie finally allow herself to accept God's love, forgive her past...and receive everything she's ever wanted?

If you would like to read an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Wanted, go HERE


“I want to be seen as whole…even if everything I am isn’t so good.” (Katie, p 227)

As long as I’ve been blogging book reviews now, I am always blessed when the message in a book I’m reading gives me just the message I stand in need of for a very specific moment. Christian authors truly have a unique opportunity as they share their talent to also share God’s grace and mercy for such a time as this! For me, Wanted brought a very special love note from God.

Wanted is Katie’s story in Shelly Shepard Gray’s Sisters of the Heart series. Katie has come through her rumspringa – her journey of exploration outside the Amish faith – bearing secrets. Although her faith is strong and she longs to begin a family of her own, when she finally has the opportunity to be with the man she cares for, she realizes she can’t go forward honestly until she deals with the secrets of her past. Katie must grow and mature in ways we all must do at different points in our life. It is a process both painful and beautiful.

Actually, all of the main characters in Wanted are facing a particular challenge in an effort to move beyond difficult circumstances. Shelly Gray weaves their lives and their choices together in such a way that God’s grace and mercy are beautifully portrayed in realistic circumstances many of us face along our spiritual journey. To live our lives realizing that Christ loves and forgives us and faithfully accepts us as His precious children…well, that is a powerful truth within which to live!

If memory serves, the first book in this series didn’t make a particularly meaningful impression in my mind. I’m very thankful God allowed me another opportunity to read one of Shelly’s novels! I truly enjoyed Wanted, and I was particularly blessed by God’s timing of its reading. This book contains truth that I needed to be reminded of, and Shelly Gray was faithful to share God’s grace in a beautiful way! I highly recommend Shelly Gray’s Sister of the Heart series, and Wanted in particular. May we all live our lives fully secure in the beauty of God’s love and forgiveness!

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