Friday, November 27, 2015

Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Nothing is more beautiful than family
For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking--some were downright ugly--but they were tradition.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan's only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

My Thoughts:
Name one thing I do that’s  important or essential. One thing I do that makes a difference.”  (p. 45)

Judith really took an extreme view of her role of wife and mother when her children can’t make it home for Christmas.  Depression is a real response to the holiday season for many.  Whether it is the natural progression of children leaving home, the death of a spouse, divorce…there are many things that change the trajectory of family traditions, and the first encounter with that change sometimes hits harder than planned.

I could identify with many of Judith’s emotions, because the first couple of holidays after my divorce – especially when I was alone – were emotionally difficult.  Dan Walsh deals with these emotions realistically in his latest novella, Keeping Christmas.  His solution revealed a selflessness that many wish could be found in their spouse during the holidays! J 

This was a touching story, and a stark reminder that if our review remains focused on our unmet expectations instead of others, we will always be disappointed and depressed by the holiday season.  I know I’ve discovered the only way through many, if not all, of these emotions is to focus on serving others.  That’s what the holidays are supposed to look like anyway.  Merry Christmas!

About the Author:
Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promisewith Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished GiftThe Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year for 2011 and 2012. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit for more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Aleppo Code by Terry Brennan - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Will the code reveal history's most powerful weapon for destruction--or humanity’s only hope? 

The living members of Tom Bohannon's band of adventurers gather again in Jerusalem--physically battered, emotionally exhausted, spiritually challenged, and in various stages of shock--to examine a copy of the tenth-century Aleppo Code, the oldest complete text of Jewish scripture. What the clues inside reveal could lead to the reuniting of the Ark of the Covenant with its true source of power, a weapon that could lead to victory for this ragged bunch trying to save the world. 

Hunted by the relentless assassins of the Prophet's Guard and caught in the web of an international conspiracy plotting the conquest of Europe, Bohannon's team searches the ruins of Ancient Babylon. Their search lands them amid the chaos that engulfs western Iraq, but they must press on to accomplish one of the most pivotal pieces of end-times prophecy. This intrepid group will uncover secrets that require them to risk everything for their faith, their country, and the peace of all mankind. 

Unfolding against the backdrop of an Israeli/U.S. strike against Iran and the planned economic overthrow of the European Union by the sinister, secret head of the international Muslim Brotherhood, The Aleppo Code is a heart-pounding race. Brennan takes an epic story on a grand scale and tells it primarily through the eyes of one man who is desperately trying to save the world as he follows God's purpose for his life.  

My Thoughts:
 That’s not a very wise prescription for you future health.”  (p. 365)

Truer words have never been spoken!  Between those called to protect the secrets of the ancient scrolls, the Temple Mount, and everything the prophet Jeremiah revealed in scripture, there are a host of people on both sides of every issue presented in this book.  The United States and Israel join in ways I hope never become reality, the Muslims and Jewish people are continuing to war, The Prophet’s Guard and Bohannon’s eclectic gang of self-appointed (God-called) protectors of the Cipher are trying to kill one another…..I’m telling you that every single page of this novel is jam-packed with information, action, intense personal sacrifice…this is a book for everyone!!

Terry Brennan has woven fact and fiction in such a way that it becomes hard to know where one begins and one ends.  The secrets of the ancient texts go back centuries, and he is good enough to outline fact and fiction at the end of the book.  But, in the meanwhile, strap in for a wild and exhilarating ride!! And don’t think things settle down too much…because those last pages will leave you sputtering in disbelief!!  This is GOOD!!!

Don’t miss The Aleppo Code!!

About the Author:
Terry Brennan is the award-winning author of The Sacred Cipher and The Brotherhood Conspiracy, the first two books in The Jerusalem Prophecies. He is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and has received the Freedoms Foundation award for editorial writing. Brennan is currently chief administrative officer for Care for the Homeless in New York City. More on Brennan can be found at

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson - REVIEWED

About the book: 
The Golden Braid
 (Thomas Nelson, November 2015)

The one who needs rescuing isn't always the one in the tower...

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel's hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again---this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight---Sir Gerek---Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

Purchase you copy HERE!

My Thoughts:

So you see, a man can lover you, but only imperfectly.  It is God alone who can be God.” (p. 285)

What an amazing truth found within the pages of a fairy-tale retelling of Rapunzel!   This is my first encounter with Melanie Dickerson’s Medieval Fairy tales!  I am hooked!  I would have never imagined a tale with such compelling characters and such sound and solid faith as their anchor!  From Rapunzel to Gerek the knight, and from Gothel to Lady Rose, every character in this book is believably flawed and perfectly sound!  You will find yourself relating to the fear of one and the bravery of another.  You will be afraid during an attack of villains and you will cheer at Rapunzel’s tireless pursuit of knowledge and personal growth – in spite of all of her challenges!

This book was a delightful escape with a depth that amazed me.  I was pleasantly surprised when Gerek chose to use God’s Word to teach Rapunzel to read.  (not unusual, but so delightful!)  And to see each of them falter in their ability to believe that love was everything they dreamed it could be and more!  I’m telling you now, that THIS is a fairy-tale that is not a fairy-tale!

I am so excited to recommend this book to everyone!! And I have to go back and find the other books in this series!! I’m enchanted!!

About the Author:

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

Connect with Melanie: websiteTwitter,Facebook, YouTube

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart - REVIEWED

About the Book:

What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?

Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.

So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.

Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.

My Thoughts:
Gotta have faith.  Gotta trust.  Gotta hold onto the evidence of thing not yet seen.  I might have figured out the important thins later in life that I wanted to, but I’ve got ‘em in my back pocket now.”  (p.315)

It is truly an amazing thing to fully surrender to the living God.”  (p. 377)

James Rubart leads readers to these truths as only he can lead as a writer.  He uses the concept of Lucid Dreaming as a vehicle to deliver a life changing tale!  Truly, this story may center around Brock Matthews and his falling apart life, but by the time you reach the end of the story, you will understand a far deeper and greater truth about a life that pleases God.  About the freedom that comes when we surrender our lives to our Creator and break free from the thought that life is just the sum total of our good and bad choices.  Freedom comes with surrender, and that is what Brock Matthews learns as he journeys back and forth between present reality and the lucidity of dreams that focus on past choices.

I don’t think there is a person alive that wouldn’t change some of their life choices if given an opportunity to view the outcome through the lens of long term consequences.  But the truth is, even if we make bad choices and face unpleasant circumstance as a result of those choices, God can still redeem our lives in significant ways that brings us good and Him glory. 

This IS a story of redemption in its truest sense!  The vehicle of the delivery of this truth may seem a bit fanstastical, but in its context, it echoes a reality that we each face at some point in our lives.  My most honest response?  AMEN!! And AMEN!! And AMEN!!  I’ve lived this redemption out in my own life very recently, and, once again, God’s timing with this story is so much more than amazing!!  ENJOY!!

About the Author:
James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel Rooms as well as Book of DaysThe Chair, Soul's Gate, Memory'Door, and Spirit Bridge. He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest. Website: Twitter: @jameslrubart Facebook: JamesLRubart

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Saints and Strangers - a National Geographic event remembering the First Thanksgiving - REVIEWED

Make plans to watch this!

I was blessed to receive a review copy of this two-night National Geographic event that chronicles the Plymouth settlement through the first Thanksgiving.  WHAT A JOURNEY!!!  You will be given a realistic look into the lives of the Saints and Strangers that traveled across the ocean and founded Plymouth colony.  It is filled with well-developed characters and a fabulous and realistic Native American cast!

The people who came to America's shores by way of the Mayflower should be remembered for their sacrifice and their bravery!  This two-night television drama captures their experiences in a way that will  cement this in your heart and mind.  You won't soon forget this initial contact that the English have with the Native Americans!

I know I have gained a greater respect for these pilgrims as well as the Native Americans whom they encountered.  I've also been given a renewed thirst for knowledge of the events leading up to the first Thanksgiving.  To say there was much to be thankful for is a severe understatement!!  This is a television event I hope will become an annual commemoration of our founding fathers!

This is a most excellent film!! I HIGHLY recommend that you mark November 22 and 23rd on your calendar and make time to experience this two night event!! You will be VERY GLAD you did!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hand-Me-Down Princess by Carol Moncado - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

About The Book:
Prince Malachi Van Renssalaer of Mevendia is getting married. The problem? He’s never even met his bride. His father arranged everything, right down to the marriage contract. Malachi swears to himself that he will be nothing like his father in the ways that count - including his fidelity to his wife. 

Jessabelle Keller would happily spend her entire life in obscurity, but her father once saved the life of a future king. Before he dies, her father is committed to seeing that king make good on his promise to have one of his sons marry her so she would be taken care of for life. 

No sooner than Prince Malachi and Jessabelle return from their honeymoon, they find themselves dealing with both private trauma and the very public drama of groundless accusations from the press. Just as they begin to weave their fragile trust back together, a ghost from the king’s past arrives and threatens everything they’ve ever held dear. 

Secrets have a funny way of coming out and this one could rip the faith of the country in their leaders to shreds. Malachi is determined to protect Jessabelle no matter what it takes, but will it ever be enough for her to not feel like a Hand-Me-Down Princess?

My Thoughts:
You have value because you are a child of the King.  Your worth has to come from Him, not in your title or statue here on earth.”  (p.  234)

Prince Malachi is a treasure beyond measure!  The tender way he treats his arranged bride from the moment they arrive in their honeymoon accommodations to the last page of this novel is touching and amazing!  Both he and his bride, Jessabelle, find themselves in an arranged marriage, and neither of them are quite sure what that should look like on the inside.  Their character comes to light beautifully as they navigate their royal obligations, and their relationship begins to blossom.

However, there are some serious skeletons that fall out of the royal closet just about the time you think this thrown together couple has a chance of making a real go of their marriage.  What I found fascinating was that their reaction to the devastating news they receive places them exactly where they need to be to receive the truth of their relationship with Christ and with each other!  I loved the ending especially for that reason alone!

This is a modern day royal romance with some very transparent and day to day faith messages woven within the story line.  No family is perfect.  No faith – no matter how small – is too small for God to work miracles in the hearts of His children!  All of us find our identity in Christ alone.  From that identity, we can weather life’s unexpected storms with royal grace!  LOVE THIS BOOK!  It took me totally by surprise!!

About the Author:
When she's not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to just about anything, except maybe watching Castle. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not watching her kids - and the dog - race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she's teaching American Government at a local community college. She's a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW, category coordinator for First Impressions, blogger at InspyRomance, and represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ishtar's Odyssey - by Arnold Ytreeide - REVIEWED

About the Book:
A new Advent family devotional from the author of Jotham's Journey! Fourth in a set of Advent adventure books for families, Ishtar's Odyssey follows the ten-year-old son of a Persian wise man as their caravan follows a star across the desert. Ishtar would just as soon stay in the comfort of the palace, but slowly he learns that there's much to see, do, and learn in this world that can't be experienced in school. He eventually meets Jotham, Bartholomew, and Tabitha as he follows his father and uncles in their search for a newborn king. 

Arnold Ytreeide's family advent devotionals have become a much-loved Christmas tradition, enjoyed by multiple generations. With over 100,000 in print they include Jotham's JourneyBartholomew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels

My Thoughts:
Advent was not celebrated in the church of my childhood, and not in many of the churches I’ve attended since becoming an adult.  So, for me, an advent devotional was a wealth of knowledge about many things.  Since the story that this advent devotional is based upon – the journey of the magi to see Jesus as they followed His star – was familiar to me, I was equally fascinated with the Persian culture presented in the story.   The food was particularly fascinating!

However, there was much more that food presented.  For instance, Ishtar, only ten-years-old during the journey, learns first-hand about poverty that he never knew existed.  He also learns that there is a right and accepted way to help those less fortunate.  Ishtar also learns what is it like to flee for your life from someone purposefully trying to destroy you just because of your position and identity – much like the King of Kings was the target of King Herod’s wrath!

I simply adored the devotional ending to each day’s reading!  It is targeted to a young audience, but the truths presented are very applicable for adults as well!  This is a treasure trove of history, tradition all based around the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus.  I was completely captivated and wished I still had small children in my life to share this with!  Wait!  I do!  My great niece!  I can’t wait to share this with her!  I highly recommend this to everyone!

About the Author:
Arnold Ytreeide is a fine storyteller who cares deeply about spiritual growth in families. Ytreeide is the founder of Storyteller Productions and lives with his wife and two children in Nampa, Idaho.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson - REVEIWED

About the Book:
Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!

My Thoughts:
I guess I just needed to actually do it to know.” (p. 47)

What Miranda learned from her neighbor Joy on their trek from Chicago to Flagstaff.  A Christmas contest on Joy’s blog takes them from family to family – a variety of situations – where life has dealt a heavy hand.  Joy has a unique plan for every individual, and she brings such joy and comfort to each family that, as you read, you begin to understand the joy of giving and sharing your life with those you love.

Melody Carlson brings another touching holiday novella to vivid life, and gives her audience characters that are endearing and real.  This does have a rather “magical” feel to it as far as the ending goes, but hey! It’s Christmas, right!  There are some things that should be a bit magical!  This is a brief, uplifting and unique story that will prepare your heart for the Season of Giving!  Merry Christmas!  And don’t forget to pick up a copy or two for the readers on your Christmas list!  They will love The Christmas Joy Ride!  I know I did!!

About the Author:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another GirlAnything but NormalDouble Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of aRomantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series andFinding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Where you come from isn't who you are 

Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff's family, they've got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They're who the town turns to when there's a crisis or a need--and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on. 

Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother's unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn't sure she likes. 

Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he's really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won't be the only thing darkening Pearl's world. 

While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl's voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavy-handed. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart. 

My Thoughts:
Every storm has a beginning and every storm’s got and end.  They never last forever.”  (p. 121)

The words from Meemaw’s lips could not have been more prophetic.  Pearl Spence would live through far more than the Dust Bowl within the pages of Susie Finkbeiner’s novel, A Cup of Dust.  Every page of this novel bears the grit of the dust that fills the air in Red River, Oklahoma.  The author’s writing poignantly weaves every detail of Pearl’s family into a beautiful and painful picture of trial that is faced with the strength of love. 

The love that holds the Spence family together is palpable and real.  Their reality is made boldly visible by the trials that they have already overcome before they even bear a hint of the Dust Bowl.  Be that as it may, the trials the lay ahead within the Dust Bowl are particularly brutal.  The reader gets a front row seat when sacrificial love faces off with a twisted, evil version of perceived justice.  It is a battle that rages through the Spence family as violently as any earthly storm.

In the end, the sense of strength and perseverance that is left in your heart and mind is unforgettable.  You will long remember the Spence family – especially Pearl – and the love which endures when everything around them falls apart.  This is truly a special book, and one you won’t want to miss!!

About the Author:
Susie Finkbeiner is a stay-at-home mom, speaker, and author from West Michigan. Her previous books include Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother's Chamomile (2014). She has served as fiction editor and regular contributor to the Burnside Writers Guild and Unbound magazine. Finkbeiner is an avid blogger (see, is on the planning committee of the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, and has presented or led groups of other writers at several conferences.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Father's Second Chance by Mindy Oberhaus - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Father's Second Chance
Love Inspired (July 21, 2015)
Mindy Oberhaus


A Word from the Author: To steal a line from Donny and Marie, I’m a little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll. I’m trapped in the city, but prefer the country or the mountains.

I love Jesus, my family, and just about anything sweet.

I believe Jesus died for my sins, rose three days later, and will one day return. He has carried me through some of my darkest hours. Without faith in Him, I would be nowhere.

I have a penchant for chocolate, clothes, and shoes. When I’m not penning romance novels, I enjoy cooking, decorating and shopping.


Businesswoman Celeste Thompson has one goal: to make her restaurant and hotel a success. She doesn't need any distractions, even from handsome contractor Gage Purcell and his two adorable little girls. Besides, single dad Gage is just biding his time before a big job at the mines comes through. But as Celeste's project springs to life, their arguments transform into attraction. Gage isn't looking for romance, especially not with another career-driven woman like his ex-wife. But openhearted Celeste is more than just another work-consumed client. She might just be his happily-ever-after.

My Thoughts:
However, sometimes fear holds us back from going after what is right.” (p. 172)

That statement states a truth that is etched out in the characters’ lives in Mindy Obenhous’, A Father’s Second Chance.  Abandonment, loneliness, fear of failure, Celeste Thompson and Gage Purcell begin their friendship at arms’ length – convinced that their only interaction will be the business transaction of refurbishing Celeste’s family homeplace.  The family dynamics that are in play in both their lives pose mountainous obstacles to any attraction that might be forming between them.

I’m not so sure that this Love Inspired novel isn’t more about overcoming the generational shortcomings of our lives than about the budding romance between Celeste and Gage.  The author has developed her characters well in a brief amount of time, and she even inserts an element of danger and uncertainty that make the resolution both realistic and honest. 

This is a book that is meant to entertain and satisfy your heartfelt desire to sigh with satisfaction when love wins.  But the characters in the story take all of that to a much more satisfying place of deep faith and trust in God.  I really enjoyed this story, and I am happy to recommend it to others!

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Father's Second Chance, go HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Saints and Strangers - a National Geographic event remembering the First Thanksgiving - REVIEWED

I was blessed to receive a review copy of this two-night National Geographic event that chronicles the Plymouth settlement through the first Thanksgiving.  WHAT A JOURNEY!!!  You will be given a realistic look into the lives of the Saints and Strangers that traveled across the ocean and founded Plymouth colony.  It is filled with well-developed characters and a fabulous and realistic Native American cast!

The people who came to America's shores by way of the Mayflower should be remembered for their sacrifice and their bravery!  This two-night television drama captures their experiences in a way that will  cement this in your heart and mind.  You won't soon forget this initial contact that the English have with the Native Americans!

I know I have gained a greater respect for these pilgrims as well as the Native Americans whom they encountered.  I've also been given a renewed thirst for knowledge of the events leading up to the first Thanksgiving.  To say there was much to be thankful for is a severe understatement!!  This is a television event I hope will become an annual commemoration of our founding fathers!

This is a most excellent film!! I HIGHLY recommend that you mark November 22 and 23rd on your calendar and make time to experience this two night event!! You will be VERY GLAD you did!!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Reason To Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Sometimes the thing that keeps us from making the wrong choice is the one thing we can't control
As an investigative reporter and the host of her own TV talk show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she's anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she'd like to forget. By contrast, her husband Geary's life is an open book. An easygoing pro bass fisherman, Geary is the ultimate family man--and his overbearing relatives don't know the meaning of boundaries.

Faith and Geary haven't been married long when their differences start to derail their tender relationship. Surely love shouldn't be this hard. While Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes. With her life in the balance, she finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.

Kellie Coates Gilbert takes you on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves together unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage--and the ultimate healing power of love.

My Thoughts:
If she could turn the clock back, she’d change some things.”  (p. 167)

I suppose everyone that reads Kellie Coates Gilbert’s book,  A Reason To Stay,  has faced a moment when you realized your part in the mess you find yourself in.  Faith Marin couldn’t control the actions of the man who shot her and the fact that she would undergo surgery and therapy to regain basic motor function, but her actions resulted in a marriage that was floundering on the brink of failure.  Now, her physical struggle only serves to emphasize her marital issues. 

Gilbert skillfully intertwines the two struggles being faced by Faith and her husband Geary.  Both characters have to face some stark truths about their own choices up to the point where Faith is shot.  The choices that lie before them now, as they face their future, will determine everything.  The reader gets to walk alongside this couple as they navigate their lives from this very different, difficult and unexpected vantage point.   Everyone that comes to the pages of this story will have the opportunity to realize something about their own life choices. 

What really matters?  Find out in this installment of the Texas Gold collection – A Reason To Stay. You will be glad you experience the journey with Faith and Geary.
About the Author:
Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal, and the author of A Woman of Fortune and Where Rivers Part. Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband. Learn more at

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thornbearer by Pepper Basham

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Vinspire Publishing, LLC (May 7, 2015)
Pepper Basham

** I haven't received a review copy of this book. **


Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at a group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, and has already garnered its first award with Readers’ Favorites International Awards. Pepper’s second and third books in the series arrive in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in April.


From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all. When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father's intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed - who could ever love a soiled woman? In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn't traveling alone. Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend's mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh's sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend's former fiancé and his own childhood companion. As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship. When the truth of Ashleigh's past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough - or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Vendetta by Lisa Harris - REVIEWED

About the Book:
No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.

With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

My Thoughts:
“So you found a way to change your identity.”  (p. 254)

Chilling words, uttered by Nikki Boyd, as she confronts someone that memory had all but erased from her life.  In the course of her work for the FBI, Nikki encounters more than her fair share of evil people. However, she gets blindsided by this person as she chases down leads to save a young teen that has been abducted from a nearby state park.  The race to find the young girl becomes ever more urgent with each passing hour.

Readers are introduced to Nikki as she is climbing with the widowed husband of her best friend – as they remember her on the one year anniversary of her death.  Both Nikki and Tyler are recovering from their loss when they get pulled into a case that literally won’t let them go!  Barely any sleep, and an ever-more frantic rush to follow every lead they uncover, allows the reader to get to know both the strengths and weaknesses of both of these people.  You watch as they learn to depend on each other for their very survival.

Lisa Harris’ name on the cover guarantees the reader will enjoy a very tense and exciting ride from first to last pages!  If you like police drama with a healthy dose of suspense, pick up a copy of Vendetta today!  I am thrilled to know this is the first in a brand new series of The Nikki Boyd Files!!  I am one happy reader!!

About the Author:
Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 fromRomantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three children have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice" (Proverbs 31:8).

When she's not working, she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa, visit her website at or her blog at For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit

Monday, November 2, 2015

Every Little Thing by Deidra Riggs - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Everyone has had that moment--we see a need and we think, Someone really should do something about that, never imagining that we might be the answer. We don't have the time, the expertise, the money. We've got careers to manage, bills to pay, meals to prepare, and families to attend to. Besides, who are we to think we can change the world?

In this encouraging and empowering book, Deidra Riggs calls you to accept God's invitation to join him in making a difference right where you are, right now. She shows you that you were created with a purpose and with the capacities to fulfill that purpose. And she reminds you that while it's not up to you to fix the world, it is up to you to join God--and his people--in his redemptive work.

My Thoughts:
One step is all that’s needed, and you can trust God to take it with you.”  (p.73)

Every Little Thing is a book that encourages and challenges you with every single chapter.  However, there is a chapter for everyone in which God whispers, “Listen closely.”  And then you stop.  You seek God in prayer, and you re-read, and pray some more.  God speaks through the words of this book, and as you follow examples set by the Biblical characters that grace the pages of this book, you understand, in a new way, what God is speaking into your own circumstances.

For me, this book was an ordained God appointment, because it intersected my life in tandem with a few other events – all of them pointing me in the same direction – to let go of fear and trust God completely with every moment of my life.  Becoming a single mom of two –almost-grown young adults – after thinking I’d grow old with the husband of my youth derailed me for a while.  And, just recently, a series of events that God ordained in my life, literally set me free from the fear, unforgivness  and doubt that had filled my heart.

Diedre’s move to Nebraska is a story she shares that challenged me to allow God to lead me in my next steps.  I think everyone who reads this book will be able to identify their “Nebraska”.  I did!!  In short, this book uses both personal and Biblical examples to lead readers into a more intimate relationship with Christ.  I will be recommended this book to all of my friends!!  I am thankful that I was able to read this fantastic book!

About the Author:
Deidra Riggs is an influential blogger at her own blog, JumpingTandem, as well as DaySpring's (in)courage and, for which she is managing editor. She has been a speaker for TEDx and has organized her own women's retreat, hosting speakers like Lisa-Jo Baker, Holley Gerth, and many more. She and her husband have two adult children and live in Lincoln, Nebraska. Learn more at