Sunday, 31 January 2010

Getting to know Robin Caroll & Giveaway

Robin Caroll juggles many things in her busy life as wife, mum to three girls and ACFW Conference Director. How she finds the time to write is beyond me! Romantic suspense is her speciality and her latest release, Deliver Us From Evil, is a winner.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Robin and be sure to post a comment to encourage Robin and have a chance to win a copy of her book :)

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

You know, I’ve never really liked my name, but have never thought of alternates. I guess I’d choose one of the names I gave my daughters—Emily or Remington or Isabella.

Your first pet’s name?

Raisin. A beautiful, long-haired black cat

Your best friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?

I switched schools, so I get to name two. LOL Terri Neel and Dana Rucker

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

My family will love to see that I answer this honestly. My grandmother gave each of her grandchildren a Raggedy Ann or Andy doll their first Christmas. Well, I became VERY attached to my “Rags.” She went EVERYWHERE with me. I slept with her until high school. I “loved” her almost to pieces—my mother had to remake a face, she’s bald, one leg is longer than the other, her arms are made of mismatched material….but I loved her. And, yes, I DO still have her! My husband calls her the exorcist doll. LOL

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

Alive? Stephen King

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

Just ONE? An inanimate object? I guess I’d have to have Dr. Pepper, or I just wouldn’t survive.

Rel:~Well, you better bring your own supply when you visit Australia as you won't find it here. They tried to introduce it years ago without success!

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

I’m not a big fan of ice cream—shocker, I know. If I have to eat any, chocolate chip

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. Surprising, huh? LOL

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?


Your favourite lollies (candy)?

I’m not a big candy eater, but I love those Dove dark chocolates with almonds

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My mother. She’s honest, loving, supportive, strong, and an inspiration to me.

What's your favourite book?

Fiction? The Stand

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Bedtime? lol I REALLY like my sleep.

Where's the most interesting place you have been?


What's your favourite movie?

Gone With the Wind…I’m a sucker for Clark Gable

Scrapbooking, reading or knitting?


On your wesbite you comment that you are not a fan of historical fiction! Why not?!

My mother is a genealogist. From the time I can remember as as child, there was always much discussion in history, family lines, what living in the past has taught us, etc. Our vacations revolved many times around graveyards and research trips. While I'll always cherish those memories of being with my parents during those times, I became a little jaded against historical anythin
g. LOL

What's your most fervent prayer?

For my children to follow Christ as they grow and mature

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Er…don’t think that’s safe to answer.

Lost, The Mentalist, 24 or Castle?


What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

I have a box of handmade gifts from my children over the years. Wouldn’t trade those for anything.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Because I’ve learned I’m NOTHING without Him.

Could you ask each of your children to share one thing they love about you?

From the oldest, Emily: “How mom always follows her passions and doesn’t get discouraged.”

From Remington: “Mom is creative and when things get frantic, she stays calm.”

From Isabella: “That Mommy’s sweet.”

Rel: Please thank your girls for sharing with us - they sound like sweethearts!

Deliver Us From Evil

Brannon is a great character ~ compassionate and courageous. How much of you is there in Brannon?

She’s definitely got me beat on the courageous trait. I think a lot of her spunk comes from me, though. And the way she tends to just blurt out her thoughts. I do that a lot. Sometimes gets me into trouble. lol

Please describe each of your characters with one word.




I love the banter between Brannon and her partner, Lincoln and they way they encourage each other with scripture. Do you have that kind of relationship with someone?

I based Brannon and Lincoln’s relationship a lot on my own relationship with my brother. Even though we don’t quiz each other on Scripture, we have that open, easy relationship.

Your book opens the readers eyes about the tragedy of trafficking people, especially children. How did you become passionate about it?

I watched a documentary special on child trafficking and literally got sick. I wanted to turn it off, not think about it, but I couldn’t.

What do you recommend to those who would like to contribute to the fight against this modern day slavery?

There are so many wonderful organizations out there who are fighting the good fight against human trafficking. In the back of Deliver Us From Evil, I list them and their websites for readers who want more information.

What was your favourite scene to write?

Wow, that’s hard. The scenes in Mai’s pov really wiped me out. They weren’t my favorites, but I think they’re the most powerful.

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

That despite the horrors on an international level, and in our personal lives, God is there with us. He loves us.

Lincoln’s story releases in August, with Fear No Evil (can’t wait!). Will there be another book in the series?


What is in your writing pipeline? A sneak peek, please?

Right now, I’m finishing the 3rd book in the series, tentatively titled IN THE SHADOW OF EVIL, releasing February 2011.

Rel: Woo hoo!!

Robin ~ it has been an absolute pleasure having you at Relz Reviewz :) Keep squeezing that writing in because I can't wait for more of your stories!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Deliver Us From Evil

Visit Robin's website and blog
View the book trailer
Buy Robin's books at Amazon or Koorong


Thanks to the generosity of Robin's publisher, B&H Publishing, Ii have two copies to give away to my Australian readers and two to my North American readers.

To enter:~

Post a comment on or before Sunday 7th February, leaving contact details and a AUS or USA at the end of your comment to let me know your location.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish


Deputy Benjamin Patil is the one to find the infant girl--hours old, abandoned in a field. When the mother can't be located, Ben and his wife, Abbi, seem like the perfect couple to serve as foster parents. But the baby's arrival opens old wounds for Abbi and shines a harsh light on how much Ben has changed since a devastating tour in Iraq. Their marriage teeters on the brink and now they must choose to either reclaim what they once had or lose each other forever.

My take:~

Christa Parrish's writing is a breath of fresh air in Christian publishing. Watch Over Me is just as impressive as her debut story, Home Another Way, written with heart to touch your soul.

Perceptive and authentic, Christa peels back the layers of the disintegrating marriage of Benjamin and Abbi Patel, revealing two hurting souls
fearful healing their relationship is beyond them. Highlighting the isolation of battle trauma that has altered Ben's personality and the corrosive affect infertility has on Abbi's self worth, this is a painful yet ultimately uplifting read yet not in the way you expect. Other complex relationships are explored in the home of Matthew Savoie as the young teen struggles to overcome his disability and find acceptance from his dismissive Aunt and troubled cousins. Christa's literary gifts are many but her unerring ability to write authentically about the human heart and genuine spiritual struggle sets her apart from most of her contemporaries. Watch Over Me is a journey that will linger in your heart and mind long after the final chapter ends.

With thanks to Bethany House for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Home Another Way

Character spotlight on Sarah Graham from Home Another Way

with Christa

Visit Christa's website and blog

Buy Christa's book at Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 29 January 2010

Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater


Jenna Callahan Colby thought she was content. A partner on her father's successful ranch, she is surrounded by family and friends. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she ever noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago.

And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.

Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.

My take:~

I've long enjoyed Sharon Gillenwater's novels so Jenna's Cowboy was in my sights from the start. Sharon's trademark tender romance is in evidence but it was the insight she gives into the lives of returning soldiers that sets this book apart. With sensitivity and first hand knowledge, Sharon depicts the ongoing trauma suffered by many of those in the Armed Services who struggle to transition back into the sights, sounds and culture of their home towns. Nate's efforts to hide his symptoms and Jenna's confusion and concern, ring with authenticity and make for compelling reading. My only quibble is the somewhat awkward introduction of one of the leading characters in the next book. That being said, I will be standing in the queue to read Emily's Chance, the next book in the Callahans of Texas series!

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Sharon's website

Buy Sharon's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Character Spotlight ~ ML Tyndall's Rafe Dubois & Grace Westcott

Today the spotlight shines on.................Captain Rafe Dubois & Grace Westcott

MaryLu Tyndall has carved out a niche all of her own with her stories of pirates, ships, romance and adventure! Her latest installment in her Charles Towne Belle series has all those ingredients and more ~ enjoy this bird's eye view of the nefarious Rafe and pious Grace :)

Over to you, MaryLu:~

Grace Westcott

Brief Description:

At twenty years of age, Grace Westcott is the youngest of four sisters. With raven-colored hair and eyes a deep shade of emerald green, she’s been told she has beautiful exotic looks. But Grace closes her ears to such praises. Vanity only swells one’s pride, and pride goes before a fall. And she cannot allow such idle flattery to deter her from her mission to ensure her sister’s eternal salvation and attend to the poor in Charles Towne. Though not as petite as her sister, Hope, nor as tall as her sister, Faith, Grace tries to hide her medium, yet curvy, build beneath high-necked, loose fitting, plain gowns. There is no need to draw the eyes of any of the men in Charles Towne. Not that she has received any unwanted attention—or any attention at all, for that matter. Besides, she is too busy aiding the poor and preaching to her sisters of the evils of sin, to have time for courting. If only they would listen to her, Grace is sure her sisters would save themselves a lot of pain and heartache. Yet despite Grace’s self-righteous attitude, she is a kind, generous lady who loves God and who would gladly give up her last meal to help someone in need.


Self-sacrificing, Generous, Clever, Strong Faith, Confidence


Judgmental, Idealistic, Lacks compassion for sinners, Nosy, Stubborn


Grace wears a cross around her neck which is usually tucked within her bodice. When she’s nervous or upset, she pulls the cross out and rubs it. Also she throws a hand to her throat to cover up her exposed skin when she’s nervous. She says “Mercy me” all the time and is very outspoken about other people’s faults.


I love Grace’s character. I’ve seen her in so many people around me. She’s got a great heart, loves God, loves to help others, but she has one major flaw. She is too quick to judge everyone around her for any sin she sees in their lives. Since she has never had it rough in her life, since she’s always had a home and food and love, she cannot understand why people commit sin: why they steal or cheat or lie or are immoral. She only sees the sin, the top of the iceberg and refuses to look beneath. As a consequence, she comes across as being very prudish and self-righteous when in reality she only wants people get to Heaven. More often than not, I find I can easily slip into this kind of attitude, judging the actions of others without truly knowing their heart. But wait until Grace runs into Rafe Dubois, the vile mercenary who kidnaps her from her home.

Captain Rafe Dubois

Brief Description:

Tall, well-built with jet black hair and dark, smoky eyes, Rafe Dubois has no trouble attracting les femmes. That is, until he comes across Mademoiselle Grace Westcott. The son of Henri Dubois, a rich planter on the French island of Saint Dominique, Rafe, at age 26, has already amassed a fortune of his own by hiring himself and his ragtag crew out as mercenaries to the highest bidder—performing whatever dirty deed is required of them, without question. But Rafe has an oddity that baffles both his men and Mademoiselle Grace. Instead of spending his wealth on himself, he gives most of it away to the poor and sick in Port-aux-Paix, his home town. In fact, it is his ultimate goal to build a hospital in the poverty-stricken port for those who cannot afford quality care. In truth, Rafe wants nothing more than to infuriate his father, a man who mistreated Rafe from birth and who committed the ultimate act of betrayal. I picture Rafe looking a lot like Orlando Bloom in the pirate movies.


Protective, Smart, Leader, Good heart, Intuitive, Risk taker


Bitter, Arrogant, Rebellious, Loves Praise, Pessimist, Bad Temper


Rafe is the ultimate Bad Boy. And I love writing the bad boy! He’s rude, extremely macho, and arrogant. Yet he is a true leader, a commander who inspires others to follow him. He walks on the wild side and has a dangerous look about him. But inside, he’s a wounded warrior with a heart of gold. I think this is my favorite type of hero to write because bad boys are so deep, so passionate, and there’s a lot of stuff going on beneath the surface. Rafe has lived a lifetime of abuse and neglect. Those he trusted and loved the most stabbed him in the back. Consequently, he hates God and hates women. He has no self value so he searches for it in the praises of others. Pretending to be altruistic, he is only satisfying his need for value and for revenge against his father—a father who has an outward appearance of piety that disgusts Rafe. Can you imagine the fireworks that are set off when Rafe meets Grace Westcott?

Background for the story:

Grace Westcott is everything a proper, godly woman should be. She attends church weekly, reads her Bible daily, and spends all her free time tending to the poor and sick around Charles Towne. But when she is kidnapped by Captain Rafe Dubois, the notorious French mercenary, and discovers he intends to sell her to a Spanish Don, she cannot understand how God could have allowed such tragedy to come her way. Nevertheless she is undaunted in her efforts to witness to all the unsavory men aboard the ship, including the rogue Captain himself, thinking perhaps that it must be God’s plan for this tragedy.

Captain Rafe Dubois happily accepts the job to steal a young daughter of a British Admiral. Not only will the money offered by the Don be enough to build a hospital at Port-aux-Paix, but Rafe holds the British Navy responsible for the murder of his mother. It should be an easy task to deliver the young lady to Columbia. Or will it? Despite her beauty, Grace Westcott does nothing but continually berate Rafe for his sins, telling him he is going to hell if he doesn’t repent. As if he did not get enough of this hypocritical drivel from his father while growing up. But Mademoiselle Westcott is no hypocrite. She actually believes in what she expounds. Not only that, but her honesty, kind heart, and generous spirit begin to weaken the hard crust Rafe has built around his heart. Could he be falling in love with this British prig?

MaryLu ~ you always give us a terrific spotlight! Thanks for the effort you put in, it is really appreciated :)

On Monday, the spotlight shines on Miralee Ferrell's Margaret Garvey from Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress

Character spotlights for The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress

Visit MaryLu's website and blog

Buy MaryLu's books at Amazon or Koorong

Book Trailer for Tosca Lee's Havah: The Story of Eve

Tosca Lee's Havah is an exceptional book and one I'm thrilled to see being re released by B&H Fiction - it simply is a must read story. Read my thoughts on this amazing novel, here and enjoy Tosca's in depth Character Spotlight.

Check out the trailer and add Havah to your wishlist!
It releases in August, 2010 from B&H Fiction.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

CFBA Blog Tour of Kelly's Chance by Wanda E Brunstetter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Kelly’s Chance
Barbour Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2010)


Wanda E. Brunstetter


A Note From Wanda:

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.

It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (

My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million books in print. Many of the novels I've written are Amish-themed.


Life for Kelly McGregor is a daily drudge of driving her overbearing father’s mules along Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Canal. She dreams of one day owning an art gallery where her own drawings and paintings are on display. But these dreams don’t include marriage. . .not after seeing what her father has done to her mother. How then can Mike Cooper, a general store owner, make her realize he is different than her father and wants to support her artistic talent? Will Kelly learn that dreams can walk hand in hand with a love created by God?

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Kelly’s Chance , go HERE.
Look for a review of this book soon @ Relz Reviewz!

New from Denise Hunter and Thomas Nelson

I have adored everyone of Denise Hunter's Nantucket Love Stories and have high hopes for Driftwood Lane which releases in June, 2010 from Thomas Nelson.

Meridith can handle anything: guardianship of three distant siblings, a dilapidated Bed-and-Breakfast, even an ever-present handyman who's dismantling more than her fireplace--or can she?

When the death of Meridith's estranged father leaves her with custody of three siblings she's never met, she reluctantly goes to Nantucket to care for them--but only until their uncle returns from his trip. Little does she know, the uncle is already there under the guise of her friendly handyman, with plans of his own.

Will the love that grows between them be strong enough to overcome the secrets that brought them both to Driftwood Lane?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Book Trailer for DiAnn Mill's Sworn to Protect

DiAnn Mill's Breach of Trust was one of my favourite books of 2009 so you can imagine how I am anticipating the second story, Sworn to Protect.

Check out the trailer below and preorder this April release from Tyndale House.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Hillary Manton Lodge's Jayne

Today the spotlight shines on...............................Jayne Tate

Hillary Manton Lodge's debut novel, Plain Jayne, is a keeper and that's coming from someone who often gives her Amish books to her friend to read and review! You will see my review soon at but in the meantime enjoy this look at journalist Jayne Tate!

Over to you, Hillary:~

Brief physical description

Jayne's about 5'7”, fair skinned, with dark brown, no-nonsense hair. She's pretty in a sharp-edged way.

Photo: James Devaney ~ Wire Image

Actor/famous person

Rachel McAdams, I think is the closest, a la State of Play. I like the photo because it looks like a face Jayne would make.

Daniel Day-Lewis for Levi Burkholder

Strengths and weaknesses

Jayne's one of the most talented reporters at the paper and knows it. She's bright and clever, but has allowed bitterness about her past to color her present.

Quirk (if any)

While staying with the Amish, Jayne develops a liking for cutting quilt squares. She doesn't know how to quilt, but enjoys making the squares.

Your inspiration for the character

I thought of the newspaper track journalists I knew in college as I wrote. I wanted her to be the kind of person who would learn a lot from being with the Amish, but also be able to think critically about the lifestyle.

Background to the story

One of my editors and I kind of developed the concept for Plain Jayne together. I gave her one pitch; it didn't go over as well as I wanted it to. I sat on it for a bit, then wrote another pitch with the same characters but different traits and stronger motivations. I like stories where a character is on one path, but finds the strength to make a lifestyle change; that's exactly what Jayne does.

The story also takes place at a time when the newspaper itself is a changing - some would say dying - form of media. I enjoyed weaving some of that shift into the plot. It's not a large part, but it does factor into some of the decisions.

Hillary ~ it is great to have you here at Relz Reviewz :) I'm sure you will be back to talk about your stories many times in the future!

On Monday, I will be spotlighting MaryLu Tyndall's Grace Westcott & Rafe Dubois from her latest tale on the High Seas, The Raven Saint.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Hillary's website and blog

Buy Hillary's book at Amazon or Koorong

The winners of Powers are................

Aussie winners ~ Chloe-Anne & Nolene

US/Canadian winners ~ Gill & Buukluvr81

Congratulations ~ email me your addy within 7 days to claim your book.

Book Trailer for Julie Carobini's A Shore Thing

Julie Carobini's books are fabulous! Check out the trailer for her upcoming Otter Bay novel, A Shore Thing, releasing from B&H Fiction in July, 2010.

Be sure to watch to the end to see an endorsement from moi :) What a privilege!

CFBA Blog Tour of A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

A Lady Like Sarah
Thomas Nelson; Original edition (December 22, 2009)
Margaret Brownley


Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.


Sarah Prescott has never known a respectable life; just a hardscrabble childhood and brothers who taught her to shoot straight.

Justin Wells left Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying US Marshall at her side, their journey takes a dramatic turn.

His high society expectations and Sarah's outlaw habits clash from the start. With a price on her head and a sweet orphan in tow, Justin and Sarah make the difficult journey toward Rocky Creek. There justice will be meted out hopefully with a portion of grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
A Lady Like Sarah, go HERE

Watch the Book Trailer:

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Coming in 2010 from Tyndale House

Tyndale House have some great books coming your way this year from debut author Gina Holmes to seasoned writers, Randy Singer and Sally John.

Anything take your fancy? I'd love to hear your thoughts.....

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But being told you’re dying has a way of changing things. Years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter, Isabella, must return to her sleepy North C
arolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank–toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter.

As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of
her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love and its ability to change everything—to heal old hurts, bring new beginnings . . . even overcome the impossible.

A stunning debut about love and loss from a talented new voice.

Releasing May, 2010

The Last Operative by Jerry B Jenkins

Jordan Kettering wants to go quietly into the sunse
t. His career as an NSA intelligence officer has taken a significant toll. His two adult children are little more than distant acquaintances. His wife has been patient and supportive, but he knows she has deserved better. That was part of the reason they were going to London. He wanted her to see Europe like a tourist. But that was before he was given intelligence information during the recent mission to Germany. The threat is grave—bigger than 9/11. And the risk is compounded by the fact that someone inside the NSA is involved. The most hidden place in Kettering’s past will have to be unmasked in order to meet the challenges of this mission.

Releasing July, 2010

Fatal Convictions by Randy Singer

Alexander Madison is part lawyer, part pastor, and part con artist. When a Muslim imam is accused of instig
ating honor killings, Alex must decide whether to take the case that every other lawyer in town is running away from. He doesn’t realize until it’s too late that defending the imam may cost him the one thing in life he cares about most.

Fatal Convictions is the story of a lawyer willing to risk it all and the women who must choose between faith and love.

Releasing July, 2010

Ransomed Dreams by Sally John

Sheridan Montgomery leads a charmed life as the wife of Eliot, U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. But an attack on their lives cripples Eliot, and they retre
at to a remote Mexican village. As Sheridan quietly cares for her husband, she sees her dreams slipping away. Luke Traynor shatters their reverie when he arrives to tell Sheridan of her father’s heart attack and the evidence implicating him in a conspiracy. Sheridan returns to Chicago to untangle the web of her father’s past and is forced to confront her feelings for Luke, a trail of deceit, and the truth about her marriage.

Releasing July, 2010

The Witness by Josh McDowell

From Monte Carlo to Morocco to Egypt and into Petra, Marwan Accad is pursued by authorities for murders he did not commit. Tracked by advanced intelligence-surveillance technology, his every location is eventually found out, thrusting those he loves into danger. Nurtured by a bitter past that equipped him with what he needed for his company to thrive, Marwan Accad never looks back. Yet the way forward promises only uncertainty, and living each day is a lie in which corruption and greed play in the lives of man. For whose lie is he going through all of this? Even as Marwan races against time to find his pursuers and
their motives, he must grapple with what is beyond his life, with what is eternal.

Releasing July, 2010

Still House Pond by Jan Watson

Lilly Gray Corbett loves living on Troublesome Creek, but she would mu
ch rather play with her best friend than watch her little brother and the twins. Her mama, Copper, is often gone helping to birth babies, and Lilly has to stay home. When Aunt Alice sends a note inviting her to visit in the city, Lilly is excited to go, and Copper reluctantly agrees to let her. Later, when they hear the news that the train crashed, Copper and her husband, John, rush to find out if their daughter is injured . . . or even alive.

Releasing August, 2010

Becca by the Book by Laura Jensen Walker

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Adventurous and fun-loving Becca Daniels loves the rush of new experiences and is constantly pushing the envelope – trying everything from extreme sports, to while hair colours, to skydiving. So when a broken leg grounds her temporarily, Becca doesn’t take the interruption well.

Grumpy, restless, and a loose ends, Becca bristles one day when some of her Getaway Girls Book Club friends tease her about being commitment-phobic. To prove them wrong, Becca impulsively promises to accept a date with the next guy who asks her out; and to date him for three months or twenty-five dates – whichever comes first.

Unfortunately, the first invitation comes from Ben – too “churchy” and definitely not Becca’s type. Determined to win the bet, however, the two embark on a hilarious series of dates that plunge the outspoken, purple-haired Becca into a sea of church potlucks and prayer meetings.

Ultimately, the dating experiment opens Becca’s eyes to a new perspective on her life’s purpose and a new understanding of who’s directing her path – an epiphany that could lead to her biggest adventure yet.

What I thought:

Laura Jensen Walker has again delivered in fine style, with her third Getaway Girls instalment, ‘Becca By The Book’. Within the first few pages I was reminded how much I enjoy Laura’s work and happily engrossed myself in Becca’s world.

‘Becca By The Book’ has the perfect mix of humour and emotion. I laughed out loud at Becca’s antics and the situations she finds herself in. I cried as she faces heartache and loss. Despite being the fact that Becca is the embodiment of everything I am not, she is a character that I was drawn to. I was quickly invested in her story, wanting to know how her dating bet ended and whether or not the ‘hound of heaven’ catches her. I was captivated by Becca’s heart for those less fortunate and I loved viewing life through her adventurous, un-churched eyes. Seeing church culture through the eyes of one who has not had much experience in that environment was enlightening and Natalie Jensen Walker deftly weaves these truths with lightheartedness. I found myself considering the giant-sized hurdles to be overcome by those who come to Christ with no prior knowledge of church culture.

Laura Jensen Walker ends this instalment with the promise of adventure in Becca’s future and yet with some threads left untied, leaving me with something to look forward to with anticipation. I am entirely certain that Laura’s next book in this series will be one worth waiting for, however impatiently that may be!

With thanks to Zondervan for Tracy's review copy

Guest reviewer: My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Daring Chloe & Turning the Paige

Interview with Laura

Visit Laura's website

Buy Laura's books at Amazon or Koorong

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Book Trailer for Francine River's Her Mother's Hope

Enjoy this book trailer for Francine River's long anticipated novel, Her Mother's Hope, releasing in March from Tyndale House.

Are you looking forward to reading it?

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher


One moment Carrie Weaver was looking forward to running away with Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Solomon Riehl--plans that included leaving the Amish community where they grew up. The next moment she was staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now, Carrie is faced with a choice. But will this opportunity be all she hoped? Or will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever?

My take:~

As most of you will know I usually leave Amish fiction for my friend Tracy to review and my sister to read! Recently, I have chosen to stretch my boundaries and have read two Amish fiction and enjoyed the experience.

Suzanne Woods Fisher has developed an interesting range of characters in The Choice, each of them facing different challenges, and as the title suggests, choices which will impact their lives forever. Carrie, Abel, Yonnie and Sol provide depth and interest to the story with their unique personalities and the efforts they made to balance their desires and family and spiritual needs. Carrie's voice is not the usual Amish fare and I had to remind myself she was Plain. While the tragedies seemed a little overdone in the first half of the book, by the second half of the story I eagerly anticipated the outcome of each of the characters' destinies. A solid start to a new series in this popular genre.

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Suzanne's website and blog

Buy Suzanne's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Stacy Hawkins Adams' Indigo & Rueben Burns

Today the spotlight shines.............................on Indigo Burns and Rueben Burns

Stacy Hawkins Adams is a busy lady ~ wife, mum, author, speaker and freelance writer! I was delighted that she could find the time to share about her latest characters, siblings Indigo and Rueben Burns, from her Jubilant Soul series and its final book, Dreams That Won't Let Go.

Over to you, Stacy:~

Brief physical description

Indigo Burns is pretty, about five feet six inches tall and thin. Her complexion is the color of honey and she has ebony eyes.

Her brother, Reuben Burns is tall, a shade browner than Indigo, muscular and has a great smile. He wears his hair close cropped and has a clean shaven face.

Actor/famous person

Actress Kerry Washington might resemble Indigo.

Actor Hill Harper might resemble Reuben.

Strengths and weaknesses

Indigo's strengths are compassion and talent. She gives until it hurts to her family and friends, and uses her skill as a photographer both to elevate her career and help her community.

Her weakness is a central theme in the book. She is upset by her brother's return home to the fictional Jubilant, Texas. On the surface, she simply seems jealous, but her weakness is her inability to articulate that her frustration is about more than just sibling rivalry.

Reuben's weakness is his inability to communicate his truths to others. His wife, Peyton, knows him well and understand what makes him react the way he does in particular situations. But Reuben's family welcomes him home without really knowing why he stayed away for ten years, or what has brought him back. Reuben eventually realizes that those facts will be important to helping his family heal.

Quirk (if any)

Indigo doesn't really have a quirk; she simply comes across as spoiled in the first half of the book. As readers come to know her better, they'll understand her better.

Reuben's quirk would be the nightmares and panic attacks he is experiencing and keeping secret from everyone except his wife.

Your inspiration for the character

My inspiration for Indigo was the “good brother” in the Prodigal Son story, who always did what was right, stayed home to help his father, and found himself feeling cast aside when his “long lost” brother returned. I'm certain many families grapple with some modern-day form of this issue, and I wanted to explore it through this female character.

My inspiration for Reuben was the proverbial “stoic man” who seems to have it all together and thinks he can handle his issues in his own way - without help from God or anyone else. I wanted to encourage readers who know people like Reuben to look beyond the surface and keep speaking truth and love into their lives; and I wanted to encourage the “Reubens” of the world to open up and give God a try.

Background to the story

Indigo Burns is excited. Her wedding preparations to the man of her dreams are underway, her photography career is a success, and her family seems to be doing better than ever--all except her brother Reuben who nobody has seen in years. But that's about to change.

When Reuben decides to move back home to Jubilant, Texas, he hopes to find healing with his sisters. But Indigo isn't so sure their relationship can be mended. And when younger sister Yasmin makes a life-altering choice, it seems like it would take a miracle to put the Burns family back together.

Can family ties bind up deep-seated wounds? Will these three young people ever be able to live out their dreams?

Thanks Stacy :) It has been great to learn a bit more about Rueben who has been quite the intriguing character!

On Monday, the spotlight shines on Jayne Tate from Hillary Manton Lodge's excellent debut novel, Plain Jayne.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Worth A Thousand Words

Visit Stacy's website and blog

Buy Stacy's books at Amazon and Koorong

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