Tuesday, April 26, 2016

COVER CANDY: 2016-2017 Releases

Release Date: September 20, 2016

About the Book

Exciting fiction premiere from beloved "New York Times" bestselling author Beth Moore.

Only God knew why Jillian Slater agreed to return to New Orleans on the news that her father had finally drunk himself to death. It's not like they were close. She hadn't seen him--or her grandmother, the ice queen--in almost 20 years. But when Adella Atwater, the manager of her grandmother's apartment house, called and said Jillian's expenses would be paid if she'd fly in for the burial, a free trip to New Orleans was too intriguing to resist.What Adella didn't tell her was that the apartment house wasn't a house at all and, whatever it was, bore the dead weight of a long and painful history. As soon as Jillian meets the odd assortment of renters and realizes that her grandmother had no idea she was coming, she hatches a plan to escape. But the investigation into her father's death quickly unfolds and Jillian is drawn into the lives of the colorful collection of saints and sinners who pass through Saint Silvanus. She soon discovers there is more at stake than she ever imagined. Who is behind the baffling messages and the strange relics left on the steps? Is it possible that her family is actually cursed? Or is it just this crazy old house that holds them all under its spell?Jillian walks into a web of spiritual and personal danger borne out of her family's broken history, and despite Adella's wiliest efforts, only God himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going on at Saint Silvanus.

Release Date: October 18, 2016

About the Book

How far would a candidate go to become President of the United States?

In covering the presidential election campaign, star newsmaker Erica Sparks notices that favored candidate Senator Mike Ortiz seems dependent on his wife to an unnatural degree. Celeste Ortiz is a brilliant and glamorous billionaire who—along with her best friend and confidant Lily Lau—has engineered her husband’s meteoric rise. The White House is within their reach. But the more Erica investigates the Ortizes’ strange relationship, the more intrigued she becomes.

Erica begins an investigation. But everyone material to her probe ends up dead. With each death, her foreboding grows. Is she next? And can she find out in time if the country’s beloved candidate is what he seems . . . or a threat to national security?

About the Book

Ahsoka Tano, fan favorite character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be the star of her own young adult novel from Disney Lucasfilm Press this October 11, 2016!

About the Book

In a Culture of Distortions, Discover God-Defined Womanhood and Beauty 
In a culture where airbrushed models and career-driven women define beauty and success, it's no wonder we have a distorted view of femininity. Our impossible standards place an incredible burden of stress on the backs of women and girls of all ages, resulting in anxiety, eating disorders, and depression. One question we often forget to ask is this: "What is God's design for womanhood?"

In "Girl Defined," sisters and popular bloggers Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird offer women a countercultural view of beauty, femininity, and self-worth. Based firmly in God's design for their lives, this book helps women rethink what true success and beauty look like. It invites them on a liberating journey toward a radically better vision for femininity that ends with the discovery of the kind of hope, purpose, and fulfillment they've been yearning for. 
"Girl Defined" helps readers 
- discover God's design for femininity and his definition of a successful woman 
- uncover the secrets of lasting worth, purpose, and fulfillment
- be equipped and empowered to live out a radically better vision for womanhood 
- gain personal insight through the chapter-by-chapter study guide

About the Book

OUT OF CIRCULATION by Heather Day Gilbert:

When Russian mobsters threaten small-town librarian Katie McClure, she is forced to accept an offer of protection from Manhattan bodyguard Ace Calhoun. As they race the clock to find a long-hidden bank stash, Katie discovers too late that Ace might be the wrong man to trust with her life...and her heart.

About the Book

Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.

When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.

Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.

To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.

But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?

by Kristy Cambron

About the Book

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric– even for a female vaudevillian.

As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions. Her job is to bring the art of illusion to life under the spotlight of a stage, and she’s infamous for her ability to harness that talent. But it’s the deeply private life she leads behind the scenes that few see– or the apprenticeship to the world’s greatest illusionist, Harry Houdini– that few would ever guess she’s known.

In the months following the famed escape-artist’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton– a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead–and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with Boston bureau agent Elliot Matthews to find the truth behind the deepest secrets of one famous illusionist, Wren must race against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. She must face a life-altering decision head-on: will she place her faith in the reality of what the eye can see or will she pursue a calling to find faith in the only one who can claim true victory over the grave? Layered with mystery, illusion and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss, and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street
by Stephanie Morrill

About the Book

In this jazz-age mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, 18-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the disappearance of her best friend. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no great surprise to anyone that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s apparent abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

When Piper discovers that the answers might originate in the midst of the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the front doors of her affluent neighborhood—Piper must decide how deeply she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s potentially willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow
by Mary Weber

About the Book

In the futuristic SF duology, Native American Sofi Snow's mission to rescue her brother from the ice planet now orbiting Earth turns into a deadly game of hunter and prey.

By Your Side
by Kasie West

About the Book

About a girl who is accidentally locked in a library with the boy no one knows but everyone talks about, and must find a way to escape. Publication is slated for winter 2017.

Friday, April 22, 2016

REVIEW: Simple Pleasures by Marianne Jantzi

About the Book

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family s life and Amish community. The mother of four young children, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the family store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.
Hear straight from Amish people themselves as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book includes A Day in the Life of the Author and the author s answers to FAQs about the Amish.

My Review

Simple Pleasures was a very interesting look into the world and life of young Amish mother, Marianne Jantzi. This would be a great book for those like myself who are tired of Amish fiction and want something from the perspective of a woman who actually lives the lifestyle. The readers get a peek into Marianne's life and raising her children. The only thing I would say about Simple Pleasures is the Amish have a very distinct Dutch backgrounds and heritage and I wish there had been more of that and the dutchy language. Simple Pleasures is a great non-fiction piece about the Amish lifestyle and Amish motherhood.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

REVIEW: Forgiving My Daughter's Killer

About the Book

Forgiveness has less to do with the person who harmed you than you think.

On March 28, 2010, Kate and Andy Grosmaire received two pieces of news that would change their lives forever.

The first was their worst nightmare: “Ann has been shot.”

The second was the dumbfounding addendum: “Conor was the one who shot her.”

Their nineteen-year-old daughter had been killed by her boyfriend, a young man who had lived with the family and had come to feel like part of it.

In a beautiful, tragic testament to the liberating power of forgiveness, Kate Grosmaire finally tells the whole story of her daughter’s death at the hand of her boyfriend—and the stunning, deliberate forgiveness and help that Kate and her husband offered to the young man who shattered their world. That forgiveness meant not only telling him face-to-face that they forgave him but even working to reduce the time he would spend behind bars.

Part memoir, part spiritual testimony, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer is the story of a family whose faith was put to the ultimate test and so found the capacity to do far more than they could have thought or imagined.

My Review

Forgiving My Daughter's Killer is the sad, tragic yet inspiring and redemptive true story of Kate and Andy Grosmaire worst nightmare. The death of their nineteen year old Ann Grosmaire. In late March 2010, Kate and her husband Andy got a phone call that would change their lives forever. Ann has been shot and even more shocking was the person who shot her. It was Conor, Ann's boyfriend. Conor, the guy who lived in their home for a time, the guy who became a big part of their family. He had shot her. He killed her. But even in the tragedy of this entire event there is inspiration and redemption. Kate and Andy forgave Conor. They forgave the very person who took the life of their daughter. In a world and society that would say, "Crucify him", Andy and Kate knew this wouldn't bring their daughter back and they knew forgiveness is what Ann and God would want. They forgave Conor and even more they still love him. This is strength and faith that is an example to us all, Christian and Secular alike.

Forgiving My Daughter's Killer is a must read.

Monday, April 11, 2016

REVIEW: Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

About the Book

The Prodigal Is Coming Home 

It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding...and why. 
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor.  And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

My Review

Back in the Saddle is a modern take on the biblical story of the prodigal son. It tells the story of Colt Stafford who traded in the simple and hardworking cowboy lifestyle for the bright lights, run-of-the-mill office job on Wall Street, and money that the city had to offer. But after bad investments leave him struggling financially Colt decides to head home to Gray's Glen and Double S Ranch, which is owned by Colt's father Sam Stafford. And when he returns home Colt finds himself at the end of the barrel of a rifle. At the other end is Angelina Morales, a young woman Colt's father Sam hired as his house manager. His brother Nick also isn't exactly glad to see Colt back. With rising tension between the ranch and other residents of Gray's Glen the men of Double S Ranch will learn what it is to truly be a neighbor and Colt having an unexpected ally...and maybe more in Angelina.

Back in the Saddle is a book right up my alley. Cowboys, romance, and ranches. Although I will say I am more inclined to Historical Romantic Westerns than Contemporary, but this book was just delightful. I love the modern day twist of the Prodigal Son biblical tale and the fact that there are cowboys makes it all the better. If you've known me for even a short time you know how much I adore cowboy romance stories, but there is even more than just romance between Colt and Angelina. There's also learning how to be neighbor and repairing damaged relationships. This story is perfect for those who love cowboys, romance, and retellings of biblical tales.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

COVER REVEAL: Within the Veil by Brandy Vallance

About the Book

They never should have met. But they might be made for each other.

Feya Broon, a Scottish half-gypsy, knows what it is to go hungry. Trapped in the Edinburgh tenements with a father lost to his past and only the faded memory of her mother's faith, Feya is desperate to provide for her siblings. When an ill-conceived plan leads to thievery, she finds herself in the last place she'd ever want to be--captured by an English palace guard. But there's something about this man that tears at every preconceived notion she's ever had. 

Alasdair Cairncross never dreamed he'd be forced to transport a gypsy woman halfway across the wilds of Scotland. The timing is disastrous, considering his fiancée's imminent arrival and his father's political goals. Not only that, but the fiery young woman threatens to lay bare secrets Alasdair would rather keep hidden. And the farther they travel together, the more conflicted he finds himself with duty--both to the crown and to the plans his family has for him.

As their walls begin to crumble, Feya and Alasdair must fight to survive a decades-old feud, a Highland kidnapping, and the awakening of their own hearts.

About the Author

Brandy Vallance fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, loving the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Unaccountable amounts of black tea have fueled this ambition. Brandy hopes to avoid a similar fate as the writer, Honoré de Balzac, who met his death via caffeine poisoning. At this point, the balance may not be tipped in her favor. Brandy's love of tea can only be paralleled by her love of Masterpiece Theater Classics, deep conversations, and a good book.

Brandy is the 2013 Operation First Novel winner and the 2012 winner of the ACFW Genesis Contest for historical romance. www.brandyvallance.com

You can Pre-Order here: Amazon

Saturday, April 2, 2016

REVIEW: Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh

About the Book

A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions―for which he has little regret.

As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close―and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse―his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.

Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend―and his own mistakes―stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?

My Review

Change of Heart is not normally the type of book I gravitate towards. Change of Heart is the story of a couple going through an extremely difficult time in their marriage. I usually read books about the beginnings of love and the falling love, so this was something new for me. While it's not a book I would normally read the writing was so beautiful and that was what kept me reading more than anything. This book is worth reading just for the writing itself. Change of Heart deals with betrayel, broken marriages, and redemption. It's nice to see some Christian Fiction authors write stories dealing with real issues that some couples go through. I hope to see more of this in the future.

Note::: I received this book for free in exchange for my review.

Waiting On...

Waiting On is a new series I'm starting where I spotlight an upcoming book release. And it will be releases that are no longer than 3 months away. So these books will be releasing very soon, so make sure you pre-order them now!

Traces of Guilt (An Evie Blackwell Cold Case, #1)
by Dee Henderson

May 03, 2016

Bethany House Publishers


My Thoughts

I love the cover. It gives off a creepy and mysterious vibe which is perfect for the type of story it is. It's a brand new series from bestselling author Dee Henderson focusing on cold cases. So it feels like this new series will interest fans of the CBS show, 'Cold Case' which ran from 2003 to 2010. I was a huge fan of the show so Traces of Guilt is up on my list of must-reads in 2016!

About the Book

A Riveting Cold-Case Mystery from Dee Henderson 

Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police Detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job. 
Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have. . . . 
When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie's determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

About the Author

Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.