Friday, October 28, 2011

"The Wonder of Your Love" by Beth Wiseman

Two people at very different stages in their lives will be brought together, then figure out if it is  God's doing or simply coincidence. Katie Ann is an Amish widow struggling to raise her child. She struggles with being a single parent and she struggles with her relationship with God. Why is she alone? Why had her husband left her for someone else? Why would her son Jonas never know his father's love? While she tries to hide her sorrow and pain, Martha sees. Martha is an English neighbor who tries to help Katie Ann come to grips with the many, many changes she faces. The bond they form helps both women. Eli has raised his children and lost his wife, now he is ready for some time off and a new beginning. When he goes to Canaan, he is hoping for a vacation, some time for himself. Instead he meets Katie Ann. They quickly develop a friendship, but that is ok because neither thinks a romantic relationship would work. Really? They are at completely different places in life, but will there be more than they expect? Come visit Canaan, Colorado and find out.

This book is interesting and well written. The characters and setting seem very real, and that attests to the care Beth Wiseman always takes in researching her Amish stories. This book will appeal to both individual and group readers. Individuals will enjoy figuring out what will happen next, and groups can delve into issues like trust, fidelity, love, faith, disappointment, and loss. Thank you very much to Litfuse for my review copy and the opportunity to be part of this blog tour.

About the book:
Katie Ann lost the love of her life. Then God offers her a new beginning in Colorado.

Katie Ann Stolzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan, Colorado. At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about her as well. Is it really God's plan for her to be a single parent?

Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is finally an empty-nester. He's enjoying the slower pace of having no one to care for but himself.

When Katie Ann and Eli meet, there is an instant connection. Yet as strong as the attraction is, they both acknowledge that a romance would never work. He is done parenting, while she has just begun.

But as their friendship slowly blossoms into feelings that are as frightening as they are intoxicating, Katie Ann and Eli question if the plans they made for themselves are in line with God's plans.

Can Katie Ann entrust her heart to another man, and rediscover the wonder of God's love?

About Beth:

Beth Wiseman is hailed as a top voice in Amish fiction. She is a Carol-award winner and author of numerous bestsellers including the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. She and her family live in Texas., Twitter @bethwiseman,  

About the party:

Beth is celebrating the release of Book 2 in the Land of Canaan series with a Fabulous Facebook party on November 1st. She'll be giving away one of her OWN paintings, several mini prize packs and a sneak peak at the next book in this heartwarming series.

CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then join us on November 1st for a book chat, Amish themed trivia contest, and more!

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Blog tour schedule:

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Susan May Warren

The upcoming holiday season was difficult for Dottie. Everything reminded her of her deceased son and she wanted to be alone. Violet was looking forward to meeting the man she loved, but met Jake instead. Gordy watched over Dottie, but she didn't know it because they didn't speak. These are just four of the characters you will meet in Susan May Warren's new book, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." The setting is Christmas in St. Olaf Square, and the Frost Ball is happening. But, there is no star on the tree to guide folks through the snow. As Violet goes to request it, circumstances intervene and stop her return. An auto accident, a chance meeting, a blizzard, and more conspire to bring Dottie guests for Christmas whether she wants them or not. This can be a time of hope and healing, or despair and anger. Which will it be? Will the truth about any of the situations be known, and if so, how will it be received? Come along and meet the people of St. Olaf Square and begin to welcome the Christmas season.

I truly enjoyed this heart-warming story. Ms. Warren blends wonderful characters with a realistic setting making her words spring to life. This is a great book for individual readers, but book groups will also enjoy the many topics to be explored. Topics include: love, forgiveness, anger, trust, and blame. It also helps remind us that there are people out there who need our love and compassion, especially during the holiday season. I received my review copy from Litfuse as part of a blog tour.

About the book: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.

It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.

When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.

About Susan:  Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found

About the giveaway and party:

Warm up to Christmas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

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One festive winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"The Case of the Missing Deed" by Ellen Schwartz

What started as a nice, yearly vacation trip, turns into one of concern and mystery. Grandma may lose her house on the island, and she seems so down. Why? She can't find the deed. As the family sets out to help find it, they are reminded that their grandfather liked to hide things and use riddles for others to find them. It seems that the deed may be tied to a recipe for Pesto, but why? Grandpa wasn't around to ask anymore. How many other clues are there in the recipes? Will they find the deed before the mining company takes over the island and claims Grandma's house? Come along and help solve this mystery. See if you can solve it before the cousins in the book do.

This is a really fun mystery for young people. I found myself pulled into the story, rooting for them to find the deed. Each clue lead to another and it was fun to figure them out. This is a great book to introduce children to the mystery genre, and will likely have them looking for more. I also think this would be a fun book for family reading time with everyone working on the solution. I received a review copy to read on my Nook from Net Galley and thank them very much!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"I Used to Know That Geography" by Will Williams and Caroline Taggart

In our ever changing world, it is important to have a general idea of geography. In this new book, Williams & Taggart lay out the basics of geography in an easy to read fashion. The book is broken into sections, making finding information about a specific area of the world a snap. Information dealing with continents, countries, capitals, and landforms abounds within these pages. There are also "Geo Gems" with fun information throughout the book(like "What is the difference between a rain forest and a jungle?" pg.69), and the "human" side of geography is presented with sections like: "The Dust Bowl: A Combination of Human Error and Bad Weather" - pg. 62 - 63. This is a book that will have readers of all ages learning/refreshing facts without stress or pressure.

I continue to enjoy this fun, informative book. It is helpful in my job as well as in my personal life, and I will have a copy in both places. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to brush up on their knowledge or who wants a great reference book for home or office. It will also make a great gift for people of all ages. I received my review copy from FSB Media and Anna Suknov, and thank them very much for the opportunity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Zombie Church" by Tyler Edwards

"Life is found in what a church does with Jesus and how they go about following Him in their community." pg. 19

Zombie Church? Really? Aren't zombies the walking dead? Could it be that you or I are in a church that really has no life to it? Yes, it is possible. We all have seen churches that look well attended, but that is the only presence they have in the community. There is no warmth. There is no light from Heaven shining through the body of believers illuminating those who are around them. Simply attending church and going through the motions doesn't prove life. In his new book, Tyler Edwards not only exposes the Zombie Church but offers solutions to breathe new life into her. Basically, the cure is to do something; something that will glorify the Lord; something that will show the community His life and love.

What an eye-opener! But this book didn't just offer me a new way of looking at what I called dead churches, but also offered solutions on how to get the fire going again. Whether you are in the affected church or know someone there, you can help affect change. Mr. Edwards engages his readers and encourages them to get active, get busy, and come back to life! I recommend this book to all Christians and think it should be in every church library. Today, more than ever, we need to be alive!

I was privileged to receive a review copy from Litfuse and to be part of the book's blog tour.

About Zombie Church:
A creative, entertaining approach to resurrecting the undead church. 

There is something missing in the church today. Stuck in a rut of routines and rituals, the church is caught up in doing what it is “supposed to do” but is lacking the true essence of what it is supposed to provide: life. Real faith--and a real relationship with Jesus--is not about playing by the rules, attending services, and praying before meals. Real faith is more than religion.

Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards adopts a contemporary and entertaining metaphor--zombies--to highlight and challenge the problematic attitude of today’s believers. 

Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus.

While other books have addressed legalism in the church, this is the only book that effectively capitalizes on a popular entertainment genre in order to diagnose and correct the problem. Realizing that even his own church is part of that problem, Edwards has written an accessible and often humorous book that will help believers change the Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ. Order a copy here.

About Tyler Edwards:
Tyler Edwards is the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where he works to help people learn how to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and look like Jesus—so they carry out the mission of Jesus to the world. He graduated from Ozark Christian College with bachelor’s degrees in both Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry. He has written articles for Lookout Magazine, spoken at various campus ministry events in Missouri, and served overseas in Mbale, Uganda.

Tyler loves cheesy horror films. He is particularly fond of movies like Dawn of the DeadThe Signal, and 28 Days Later, where zombies run wild and threaten to infect an entire town. Connect with Tyler on Facebook.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Waiting for Dawn" a prequel by Susan May Warren

"Waiting for Dawn" is the prequel to the Team Hope series by Susan May Warren. In this novella, the reader is introduced to the main characters and shown how their pasts connect. Jim Micah - a Green Beret stationed in Turkey. Lt. John Montgomery - his best friend also stationed in Turkey. Then there is Lacey Galloway, the girl who holds both of their hearts. When one of them goes missing, Lacey travels overseas to find a way to rescue him. One of these men really loves her, the other - well, you'll have to read the series for that.

I totally enjoyed this novella, although I must say I wasn't happy with the ending. But that is the purpose, right? Ms. Warren weaves these three together with action, suspense, love, faith, and more, totally drawing the reader in. I loved how Scripture and prayer were woven throughout the story. I received this review copy through Tyndale House and Net Galley, and thank them very much.

"Reclaiming Lily" by Patti Lacy

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a sibling but not be able to see them? What if you found out that they could be dying? What would you do to save them? On the other hand, what if you were an adoptive parent and someone claimed your child might have a rare disease, how would you react? In the new book, "Reclaiming Lily," those questions are posed and answered.

Kai Chang and Gloria Powell are two women fighting for one girl - Lily. Kai left China to find her sister, not only because of love or a promise, but also because of the rare disease she might have. Gloria has her heart wrapped around her rebellious teenage daughter and the thought that Kai might take her away is excruciatingly painful. As the story unfolds, Kai and Gloria must figure out how to work together to save Lily and to have a relationship with her. This powerful story deals with love, loss, adoption, clashing cultures, and faith.

I loved this book. The story was vivid and at times painful. The clash of cultures was sobering. I highly recommend this book to both individual readers and groups. There is so much to discuss here. I received my free review copy of this book from Litfuse and thank them for the opportunity!

Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book, Reclaiming Lily,  with a KindleTouch Giveaway, blog tour and FB Book Chat Party!

Patti and her publisher, Bethany House, are giving away a Reclaiming Lily prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

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Enter the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway and you could win:
  • A brand new just released KindleTouch with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift cetificate to
But, wait there’s more!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/19! Patti will be announcing the winner of the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway at her Party on Facebook October 20th! She’ll be hosting a book club chat of Reclaiming Lily (it's okay if you haven't read it - you could win a copy!) and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on 10/20/11 at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)! RSVP today!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Prayers of the Bible" by Susan Hunt

Have you ever felt stuck when trying to pray? Have you ever wondered how to pray? In this new book, Susan Hunt helps her readers get closer to God in their prayers. Many times we are just too busy to add Scripture to our prayers, but there is so much we can use; so much richness to add as we approach the throne of God. Many times women don't feel equipped to really "grab the horns of the altar." But, we shouldn't feel that way. God delights in our prayer, and this book can help get you excited about taking prayer to the next level. Come study along with Susan and reclaim the joy of talking to our heavenly Father.

This book was a great delight to read and is one I will give as gifts. It is perfect for either personal or group Bible study. I find that if my prayer life is going well, the rest of the "stuff" takes care of itself. This book offered me more ideas and I can't wait to get into a discussion group around what is inside. I received the free copy I read on my Nook through Net Galley and thank them for the opportunity!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"The Baker's Wife" by Erin Healy

Cornicopia, CA is the setting of this new suspense thriller by Erin Healy. Audrey was a pastor's wife, and together she and her husband, Geoff, ministered together, baking bread to give to those they visited. Then, a scandal took away his church. Diane is a woman newly released from prison who wants to return home. She ends up in the bakery that Audrey and Geoff have started, and finds compassion in Geoff. Will it help her find hope and a way to find meaning to her life? As Audrey drives to the bakery that same morning, she drives slowly through extremely thick fog. When her car hits something and she sees blood, she automatically thinks someone is hurt badly. There is so much blood, but where is the body? They know who owns the scooter, but was she on it? How could the injured party have moved away from the scene? So many questions revolve around the accident. Add to that a stand-off with hostages and you get a wonderfully written story of love, loss, hope, despair, and faith.

What a great book! There is so much packed into these pages and it is hard not to talk about the whole story. Some characters will inspire you with their faith through the tough times, while others will have you saying, "Trust God." This will make a wonderful discussion book for book clubs. There is so much to talk about! I received my free review copy from the Book Sneeze program and thank them for it. I will definitely be looking for more by this author!

"Falling to Pieces" by Vannetta Chapman

Deborah and Callie are from two different worlds. One is an "Englisher" from Texas, the other an Amish woman. Together they work to bring a quilt shop back to life, something that will touch each woman involved differently. Next, add to the business arrangement adding eBay and see what the Bishop says. Each woman will teach something to the other, each will enrich the other's life without knowing it. Callie is quick tempered and restless, while Deborah is calmer and settled.

When the editor of the town paper writes a story he hasn't checked out, sparks fly. But, when he turns up dead and Callie is there, will she see the value of having a cool head? Is she guilty or will they discover the real culprit? How will the others in town, both Amish and English, react to the death? The story that unfolds between the pages of this book is truly remarkable and will keep readers thinking for a long time.

This was a truly enjoyable book. I love reading books about the Amish way of life, and this combined my world with theirs. The characters were real to me and the story well-written. I look forward to reading more by this author. This book will make a great gift for your reader friends, and book clubs will enjoy discussing the women and their differences, as well as the murder mystery.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.