Monday, June 22, 2015

The Ticket

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Ticket
Firefly Southern Fiction (May 20, 2015)
Debra Jeter


A Vanderbilt University professor, Debra Coleman Jeter has published fiction and nonfiction in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her story, "Recovery," won first prize in a Christian Woman short story competition, and her nonfiction book "Pshaw, It's Me Grandson": Tales of a Young Actor was a finalist in the 2007 USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband. She is currently working on a novel based on the life of her grandmother, Effie Shultz McClain (1900 to 1985).


Tray Dunaway longs to be part of the popular set at school but, she's growing too fast and her clothes no longer fit. The only person who understands Tray's need for acceptance is her grandmother, but when Tray wears Gram's hand-sewn clothes to school, the kids make fun of her tall, boney appearance. Tray's luck improves when Pee Wee Johnson, a down-and-out friend of her father's, buys two lottery tickets and gives one to Mr. Dunaway as a thank-you for driving him to Hazard, Illinois. When her father's ticket turns out to be the winner, Johnson demands his cut of the proceeds, but Tray's dad refuses. What seems like a stroke of good fortune suddenly becomes a disturbing turn of events as Johnson threatens to cause problems for the family and Tray.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Ticket, go HERE.

Book Review

This young adult book is about a girl, Tray, who is going through a very awkward stage in her life.   She is very tall and thin and unlike the other girls.  She does not fit in with what she sees as the popular crowd at school.  Her grandmother makes all of her clothing which seems to make her stick out more.   Her mother is always "sick" with some type of illness.   Her Dad accidentally wins the lottery when someone buys him a ticket.   Tray thinks is going to be helpful to her situation, but in fact it makes things so much worse for everyone involved. 

When I receive a book from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance I expect there to be a thread of that foundation:  Christianity.   I did not find that in this book.   I found desperation and fear and very real life situations, but none of the hope that God can give.  Speaking of real life situations, there is a very graphic scene in the book.   A very real and possible scene, but definitely graphic. 

Thank you to CFBA for providing a complimentary copy of this book for me to read and review.

The Midwife's Tale

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Midwife’s Tale
Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015)
Delia Parr


Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including Hearts Awakening, Love's First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a long-time high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida.


Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she's hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha's world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can't remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it's trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Midwife’s Tale, go HERE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jack Staples and the Ring of Time
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
Mark Batterson and Joel Clark


Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase and the two most recent, The Grave Robber and Jack Staples and the Ring of Time. Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.


Eleven-year-old Jack's ordinary life is upended when mysterious creatures attack his hometown and he is whisked into a fantastical adventure filled with danger at every turn.

Jack learns that most live in a shadow of the world, their vision blinded by invisible scales that have covered human eyes since the beginning of time. But the Awakened experience the world as it truly is, where war rages between good and evil—and Jack is at the heart of it. The Awakened are searching for The Child of Prophesy who will both save the world and destroy it. When Jack joins in their epic battle he must learn to trust his friends and face his fears if he is to make his life count.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, go HERE.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

London Tides

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
London Tides
David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
Carla Laureano


I studied literature and criticism at Pepperdine University and earned a degree in English in 1997. Since then, I’ve worked in a number of different industries as a salesperson, marketing manager, copywriter, and small business consultant. In addition to my work for corporate clients, I wrote for publications produced by the World Health Organization.

I love the history, culture, and mythology of Ireland and Scotland, which form the settings for most of my work. I also enjoy incorporating my background in martial arts and fencing into the action elements of my stories.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). I was selected as a finalist in ACFW’s 2012 Genesis contest in the speculative fiction category. My debut novel, a contemporary romance entitled Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013 and went on to win RWA’s 2014 RITA Award for Inspirational Romance. My three book young adult fantasy series, SONG OF SEARE, is being released from NavPress in 2014 and 2015.

I live with my husband and two sons in Denver, Colorado.


Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace ... only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together ... or tear them apart for good this time?

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

Book Review

London Tides is the second book in the MacDonald Family trilogy.  I did not read the first book, but I did not feel like I was lost of missing out of anything which I really appreciated.  

The story centers around Grace who has been working as a war photojournalist.  However, she has reached her limit and has now come home as she is struggling with PTSD.   Home has its own struggles as she left behind the love of her life, Ian.   They reconnect and start working their way what might be a future. 

When I read a book I often read with the thought of whether I would allow someone else to read it.  The teenage girls I work with like the read the books I have.   There are too many blurred lines when it comes to God, sex and other moral issues in this book.   I would not be willing to share this one with my teenage girls. 

I received a complimentary copy of London Tides from CFBA for reading and review.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rowing Down the River

The weather finally cooperated this weekend and my husband and Little Guy headed to do something they have had on their "to do" list for a while:  kayak.   It is on my list too, but I don't want to leave Big Guy home alone so until we get him to feeling well again I will wait.  

They packed lunches and plenty of water and headed out early for their 9:00 launch time at Leake County Water Park.  They were so excited.  I didn't know if they would take any photos, but I was so glad they managed to take a few.

Have I ever mentioned that the fact that my husband makes spending time with my boys a priority makes me fall in love with him over and over again?? 

Friday, June 5, 2015


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
Varina Denman


An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on the three-book Mended Heart Series. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.


In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.

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

Book Review:

I just received this book in the mail this week so I have not had a chance to read it yet; however I will begin it this weekend.   Justified is the second book in the Mended Hearts series.  The first book, Jaded, was AMAZING!   I was so excited to receive this one and cannot wait to see what happens next. 

Just A Few Questions

When I first started blogging, these little quizzes popped up every couple of months.   I liked doing them at least once a year just to see what kind of answers I got from the boys.  When I saw someone post this quiz on Facebook I decided to ask them these questions just to see what kind of responses I would get.   Some of their answers really surprised me. 

1. What is something your mom always says to you?
Big Guy:   I love you.
Little Guy:  I love you more than more than more than more.

2. What makes mom happy?

Big Guy::   Reading a book
Little Guy:  A lot of stuff like when I make you bread pudding.  

3. What makes mom sad?
Big Guy:   When Dad is out of town
Little Guy:  When we are sad.  

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Big Guy:   That is a weird question. 
Little Guy:  How do you not make me laugh?

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Big Guy:   I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.
Tanner:  How am I supposed to know that?

6. How old is your mom?
Big Guy:  47
Little Guy:  21  

7. How tall is your mom?  (I am 5’2”)
Big Guy:   5’7”
Little Guy:   5’ 5”

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Big Guy:  read a book
Little Guy:  spend time with us

9. What does she do when you are not around?
Big Guy:  I’m not here!  I am not sure.
Little Guy: shop and do stuff we hate

10. If your mom becomes famous, what would it be for?
Big Guy:  writing/author
Little Guy:   You would be a famous inspirational speaker.

11. What is your mom good at?
Big Guy:  Taking care of people
Little Guy: Everything… especially being a Mom.

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Big Guy:   loading the dishwasher in an organized way
Little Guy:  Math

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Big Guy:   take care of us
Little Guy:  You are a MOM!

14. What is your moms favorite food?
Big Guy:   grits
Little Guy:  Do you even have a favorite food?

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Big Guy:  How thoughtful you are
Little Guy:  Proud that you have put all the time you have to help us have a good relationship with God.  That you have given your time and dedication to teach us instead of sending us public school instead of just doing whatever you wanted to all day. 

16. If your mom were a character, who would she be?
Big Guy:   Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec
Little Guy:  Super Woman

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Big Guy:  Talk
Little Guy:   A lot – go places together and spend time together
18. How are you and your mom the same?
Big Guy:   We could both be classified as OCD.
Little Guy:   We are both creative.
19. How are you and your mom different?
Big Guy:  You are an extrovert and I am an introvert.
Little Guy:  I am a teenager and you are an adult.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Big Guy:   You show it in a lot of different ways.
Little Guy:   You tell me every day.  I’ll never forget it.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Big Guy:  That he makes you laugh a lot.
Little Guy:   You like a lot of things about him. He is very caring and kind.

22. Where is your moms favorite place to go?
Big Guy:   beach
Little Guy:   book store

23. How old was your mom when you were born?
Big Guy:  29
Little Guy:   Well, if you are 21 now….