Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Past Darkness

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Past Darkness
Crossway (April 30, 2013)
by
Laurel Woiwode


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Laurel Woiwode graduated with honors from Jamestown College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in both English and History. She works with ESL students, writes movie reviews at reelquickie.areavoices.com, works on writing and editing projects, and is always ready for outdoor adventures. Laurel grew up in rural North Dakota, has had an avid interest in animals, nature, and literature since childhood, and she is the author of Past Darkness.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Gabrielle Larson is an average, 15 year old girl living in Chicago when tragedy strikes. In the aftermath, she is forced to relocate to rural North Dakota and henceforth spends the next chapter of her life learning to cope with trials involving everything from family to faith. Laurel Woiwode, daughter of critically acclaimed novelist Larry Woiwode, offers here a moving story that will be appreciated by female and male readers alike. Past Darkness is not preachy or heavy-handed, but rather a touching story about the importance of family, the power of music, and the ever-present mercy of God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Past Darkness, go HERE,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

When the Morning Glory Blooms

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When The Morning Glory Blooms
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Cynthia Ruchti


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”

For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Healing Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Healing Heart
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Angela Breidenbach


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Angela Breidenbach is a speaker/coach in mental and physical health, author of A Healing Heart April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life, Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance, and Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital.

ABOUT THE BOOK



Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. While Mara recuperates, she revisits the choices she's made that led to this physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Healing Heart, go HERE

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Moments That Mold Us

All it takes is the sound of an ambulance off in the distance and I am thrown back to that morning in November.   I am standing in my room getting ready for school.   I hear the sound of an ambulance and somehow I just know something is really, really wrong.   I remember a cold chill run down my body.   It really scared me.   I didn't say anything to my family.   Finishing getting ready and the bus ride to school is just a haze, but I do remember praying a lot.   

I had barely entered the foyer of our junior high when I caught pieces of whispered conversations that were making their way around the clusters of students.   An accident.... It was bad...  Someone was hurt....    I searched out my friends.   When they turned around I could see tears in their eyes.   

"It is Lisa."
Lisa in her last school
picture 7th grade

Lisa... we had gone to school since kindergarten.  Tiny.  Petite.  Always smiling.  Quiet.  Shy. Soft Spoken.  Kind.  We all knew that her home life was full of struggle and abuse.  We saw it in her eyes, but she rarely talked about it. 

"What happened?"

Stunned I listened as they told me she had been hit by a drunk driver while waiting on the bus.   She was killed instantly.   A few minutes later the bell rang and our principal told us all to go to class.   All of us stared at each other like we weren't sure how to walk.   Of course now I know that we were in shock.   Somehow we made it to our first period class where a brief announcement was made about Lisa's death and then we were expected to go on with our school day as usual.    (Thank goodness schools handle grief in a much better way now.)


While I had been to the funerals of great uncles and distant relatives, going to Lisa's funeral was the first one that truly was so personal.    The sight of her in her beautiful crimson Christmas dress in her casket is forever etched in my mind.  


Fast forward 33 years...

Tuesday evening I receive a message from one of my friends letting me know one of our classmates had died.    The events surrounding his death were quite tragic.   While talking I can tell that he was very bothered.   In the course of our conversation he tells me that he was there the morning Lisa was killed.   He said he was on the school bus when the drunk driver went flying by them.   He said that when they came around the corner the car was on top of her.    Her parents were hysterical.  Her two sisters were standing motionless and in complete shock.    In his words the bus driver jumped up and began simultaneously praying and speaking tongues.     He and another boy (our classmate who had just died) jumped off the bus and tried to pull the car off of Lisa.    The wheels were still spinning.   No matter how hard he tried he couldn't get the car to budget.   What is imbedded in his mind is the site of Lisa's legs sticking out from under the car.   One black buckled shoe on and one off as if a grotesque reenactment from the Wizard of Oz.    He too remembers being ushered back on the bus where he was sent to school, given a pass for being late and then sent on to class and expected to go on with his day as usual.  


We shared a grief over 33 years old as we remembered that day when Lisa was tragically taken by a drunk driver.   We also grieved over the fact that our friend would so ironically choose a path for his life that led his life to be taken by alcohol as well.


Wise King Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season… A time to weep...a time to mourn” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).   

This week has definitely been full of those times.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Josiah's Treasure

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Josiah's Treasure
Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)
by
Nancy Herriman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She has been writing for longer than she would like to admit. Her work has been a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests and she won the 2006 RWA Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense. In 2009, she was an ACFW Genesis finalist. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When she is not writing, or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is either watching history shows on cable TV or singing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.



ABOUT THE BOOK



In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah's son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah's life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man's heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Josiah's Treasure, go HERE.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Checking In...

Listening:  Right now it is very quiet.   Both boys are having their online time with their friends and my sweet husband is unpacking his suitcase from his most recent business trip.  
Loving: The fact that my husband is home.  We are so blessed that he has this wonderful job, but we definitely miss him when he travels.   This week his flights were really long because of delays and he encountered a lot of turbulence.   He gave new meaning to "fall into bed" last night.  
 
Thinking:  I am so excited about getting to spend time with my twin nieces.   My sister has to travel for work so I get to keep them some while their Dad is working.  They are 4 and this is such a fun age.  Of course, I think every age is a fun age!
Wanting: To have all the curriculum decisions for next year made.  I know most organized homeschool moms have already planned next year and ordered their curriculum.   I am not that organized.
Needing:  To make the final decisions on paint colors and flooring for our house.   I have decided that these little paint strips are not doing it for me.  I think I need to just narrow it down to my favorite three and go buy sample cans and paint sections of the wall to look at for a while.  
Advice:   I have been teaching my 9th grade Sunday School girls about keeping "God first".   Last night our youth pastor asked our students, "If you get to the end of your life and get everything you are striving for, is that a big enough treasure to satisfy you?"   It reminded me of the Scripture "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also."  Luke 12:34

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Guardian

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Guardian
Bethany House Publishers (March 26, 2013)
by
Beverly Lewis


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."

ABOUT THE BOOK

When schoolteacher Jodi Winfield goes for a morning run, the last thing she expects is to find a disheveled little girl all alone on the side of the Pennsylvania road, clad only in her undergarments, her chubby cheeks streaked with tears. Jodi takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But Jodi is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can't speak a word of English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere.

As the days pass, Jodi becomes increasingly attached to the mysterious girl, yet she is no closer to learning her identity. Then an unexpected opportunity brings Jodi to Hickory Hollow--and into the cloistered world of the Lancaster Old Order Amish. Might the answers lie there?

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