Wednesday, 30 June 2010

New from Barbour ~ The Hometown Mystery Series

Barbour Books are bringing back cozy mysteries in their Hometown Mystery series. Written by well known and new authors alike, this series is sure to be a hit with fans. Look for more authors and stories to come in in 2011.

In the meantime, check these 2010 releases out and add them to your wishlists:~

Nursing a Grudge by Chris Well

What's a grouchy old man to do when two attractive women drag him from his assisted-living apartment to join a clandestine chili party? He almost has fun--until someone ends up dead. Now Earl Walker seems to be the only person suspicious of the way the partygoer met his demise.

Can he solve the puzzle--and figure out his relationship with his new lady friend--before the home is closed down by state inspectors and all the suspects move away?

Available now

Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl

Watch the
tangled mess a Kansas hairdresser gets herself into when she reports to the funeral home that the body she is to work on is not the same as in her reference photo.

Is she being punished when the director accuses her of stealing a diamond ring? Will Hilde Higgins’s former
boyfriend help her unravel the issue or only bring more trouble to her life?

August, 2010

Advent of a Myst
ery by Marilyn Leach

For lovers of classic Agatha
Christie mysteries and Jan Karon village characters, this English set mystery is sure to please. Berdie Elliott, the wife of the new parish priest, thought she left her old life as an investigative reporter behind her, but she soon discovers a village full of secrets when a man dies at a Christmas celebration.

Could a clue to his demise be hidden in an advent wreath? Can Berdie curb her natural instincts to get involved in both a mystery and a romance, or will she let the local law handle things?

September, 2010

Nipped in the Bud by Susan Sleeman

Prepare to attend the Pickle Fest in Serendipity, Oregon, along with Paige Turner and Adam Hayes. But first you must help them unravel the mystery of how the city manager wound up dead in a mound of mulch in the city park that Paige was hired to landscape.

Can Adam’s knowledge of the law keep her out of jail and win her love?

October, 2010

May Cooler Heads Prevail by T L Dunnegan

The last time Dixie’s Aunt Connie saw her fiancĂ© was the night before their wedding.

Now, forty years later, he’s wrapped in pink cellophane and lying in Connie’s flower cooler…

Psychologist Dixie Tanner has been recruited by her uncle to help prove her aunt’s innocence in the murder of Aaron Scott. But when Dixie arrives home in Kenna Springs, she finds her loyal-but-whacky relatives have taken matters into their own hands and are determined to find the killer before anyone misses the victim. There are just two little problems. . .that pesky body in pink, and the real murderer—who soon decides that Dixie and her aunts and uncle know too much for his own good.

November, 2010

CFBA Blog Tour of Simple Secrets by Nancy Mehl

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Simple Secrets
Barbour Books (June 1, 2010)


Nancy Mehl


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and her son, Danny. She’s authored nine books and is currently at work on her newest series for Barbour Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”


Nancy Mehl is a mystery writer who loves to set her novels in her home state of Kansas. Her three-in-one book, COZY IN KANSAS, contains the first three Ivy Towers’s mysteries: IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, BYE BYE BERTIE, and FOR WHOM THE WEDDING BELL TOLLS which was nominated for the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award in mystery.

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.


Graphic designer Gracie Temple wants it all: the big city lifestyle and a successful job in advertising. And it looks like her life is on the right track when she takes a job at a struggling, midsize firm in Wichita.

But Gracie Temple's uncle left her a house in a rural Mennonite community. She soon learns he secluded himself for years to protect a secret about her own father. Now it's up to Gracie to decide if she'll keep the secret or if she can afford to expose it.

Sam Goodrich loves his fruit farm in Harmony, Kansas. But when he meets city-girl Gracie, he begins to wonder if he could leave it behind for a woman who makes him feel things he's never felt before.

When someone tries to keep Gracie from discovering the truth behind the town's collection of secrets, will Sam and Gracie cling to their faith to help them decide what's most important...before it's too late?

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

Read my review, here

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Simple Secrets by Nancy Mehl


Can graphic designer Gracie Temple have it all: the big city life and a job at a successful advertising firm? Just when she feels life coming together she receives an unknown uncle’s inheritance in a quiet Kansas Mennonite community. The house comes with a dark legacy and a cast of interesting neighbors, including farmer Sam Goodrich.

Can Gracie shake off the dust of this town or will its secret charms pull her in to stay?

My take:~

As most of you would know, Amish fiction is not my favourite genre, and although Nancy Mehl's new mystery series is set in a Mennonite community rather than Amish, I still opened the novel with minimal expectations. I'm pleased to say I was in for a nice surprise! Simple Secrets is a cozy mystery with an inevitable outcome but provides a sweet and enjoyable read as Gracie experiences a new community far removed from her own, the appealing and mysterious Sam Goodrich and unearths an uncomfortable secret that affects the town and her own family. I will be returning to Harmony in the continuing stories, Simple Deceit and Simple Choices.

With thanks to CFBA & Barbour for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Nancy's website and blog

Buy Nancy's books at Amazon or Koorong

B&H Thriller Tour Pop Quiz ~ Brandilyn Collins

We're back touring with the B&H Fiction Thriller Tour (details here) and this time it's the newest B&H fiction author.....

Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn's newest fiction venture is close to her heart, a story about Lyme disease and its insidious grip on victims who often find themselves in a battle against the medical profession. Brandilyn's trademark suspense will remain alongside her own experiences as a former Lyme disease sufferer.
Look for Over The Edge in May, 2011 from B&H Fiction.

Pop Q

What did you do for your 13th birthday?

Consoled my mother, who'd just found herself facing a teenager in the house for the fourth time.

Name 3 things you can?t live without.

My relationship with Christ. My
incredible husband. My kids.

What 3 adjectives would your friends/family use to describe your personality?

Creative. Caring. Warped mind. (I do write suspense, after all.)

Where did your penchant for anxiety inducing thrillers begin?

Back in high
school, being in plays and loving the HEAVY DRAMA.

If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, who would it be and why?

I'd bring all my characters too life (except the bad

Wait. They ARE alive. They're talking in my head right now ...

If Micah Taylor, Clay (Tosca ? did Clay have a last name?), Lincoln Vailes and Dr. Brock McNeil got together, what would they talk about?

Brock McNeil is far too erudite to talk to such hoi polloi.

What do you think is going to be the best thing about touring with your fellow thriller authors?

Meeting readers and booksellers, plus hanging out
with three really cool people!

No cover as yet but here is the synopsis of Over The Edge together with a look at the fantastic promotion poster Brandilyn will be signing on the Thriller Tour.

When a crazed and embittered man infects Jannie McNeil with Lyme, she must meet his demand. Jannie’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, has spent his life “proving” chronic Lyme doesn’t exist. The research findings his committee is about to publish
will result in further denial of diagnosis and treatment for thousands. Jannie’s impossible task: convince her husband to reverse his opinion on the disease.

But that would cost his lifelong reputation.

And he doesn’t believe she has Lyme at all.

Contact Brandilyn


Thriller Tour Thrilling Giveaway

Pay attention to these Thriller Tour posts. As promised, one reader will win a set of one of each of the thriller authors' books but this time the pop quiz will be for readers to answer! More information to come............

The winner of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is..........

Karen K from PA ~ congratulations :)

An email is on it's way to you.

Thanks to all who entered and look for more giveaways to come.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Julie Carobini's Gage Mitchell & Callie Dufflay from A Shore Thing

Gage & Callie

Julie always delights with her beach loving novels! Full of fun and romance you can be assured of a perfect beachside escape. Once you get to know Gage and Callie, you'll be even more keen to get your hands on a copy of A Shore Thing.

Over to you, Julie:~

Brief physical description


Chestnut, wavy locks, tan skin, eyes the color of seagrass in the spring. Toned from running, but not overly muscular, height about 5'10”.

Blonde-ish hair with a loose spiral to it. Light skin tone, brown eyes, athletic build. Personality tends toward fiery.


Based on my dog, Charlie. I've attached a photo.
Rel: He's almost as cute as Gage - LOL!

Actor/famous person

Gage: Similar to Simon Baker :) Rel: It's that Aussie charm!

Callie: Similar to the way Carrie Underwood once looked.

Strengths and weaknesses


ths: Easy going temperament--usually. Protective of jilted sister and her young son.

Weaknesses: At times cynical, and can be slow to act on a hunch.


Strengths: Driven, protective, charitable.

Weakness: Acts first, thinks later.

Quirk (if any):


Loves to eat turkey burgers, slathered in mustard, with a roasted green chile
on top.


Tacks inspirational sayings & Scripture all over the walls of her cottage; walks everywhere possible.

Your inspiration for the character

I'm fascinated by my brother, Dan's (Navarro) career as a certified green architect, and I started to think about how his work honors God. I became equally fascinated thinking about how a person in his position could be in direct conflict with someone of the same mind, but who approaches their beliefs in a different way. Enter Callie, an eco-conscious gal who loves God, children, and the open land of Otter Bay. I kept wondering h
ow these two could find 'common ground' and that was the seed for the characters and this story.

Background to the story

In A Shore Thing, Callie Duflay is always involved in a cause…whether it's working with children at a local summer camp, or protecting the environment, or adopting a stray dog she names Moondoggy. But when she learns a developer wants to destroy the last piece of untouched property in her small town of Otter Bay, Callie leads the charge to stop the progress--progress some in her family and community want to see happen.

When she confronts the architect of the plan, Gage Mitchell, about the property, sparks fly and feelings develop between them. Can these two ever set aside their differences and somehow find common ground?

Thanks Julie for sharing ~ I've been waiting for such a long time for someone to pick Simon Baker - appreciate it ;-)

On Thursday, the spotlight shines on Cara Putman's Audra Schaeffer & Robert Garfield from her historical romantic suspense, Stars in the Night

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Sweet Waters

Character spotlight on Tara & Josh
from Sweet Waters

Visit Julie's
website, blog and beach shop

Buy Julie's books at
Amazon or Koorong

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Christy Award Winners, 2010


ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The 2010 Christy Awards presentation was held Saturday evening, June 26, 2010, at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand in advance of the International Christian Retail Show.

dessert reception featured a keynote address entitled “Be That Well” by best-selling au
thor and entrepreneur Lisa Samson and was emceed by editor Lonnie Hull DuPont, Baker Publishing Group. To involve Christian fiction fans not able to attend the event in person, a liveblog of the event was provided online, and an archive of the event can be accessed online at

The Christy Awards honor the best in Christian fiction in nine categories. The Christy Awards Advisory Board is pleased to announce the following winners of the 2010 Christy Awards.


Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills • Tyndale House Publishers

Paige Rogers survived every CIA operative’s worst nightmare—a covert mission gone terribly wrong…a betrayal by the one man she thought she could trust. Forced to disappear to protect the lives of her loved ones, Paige has spent years building a quiet life as a small-town librarian. But the day a stranger comes to town and starts asking questions, Paige knows her careful existence has been shattered. He is coming after her again, and this time, he intends to silence her for good.

Award-winning author DiAnn Mills launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first
book. Since then, she has written more than fifteen novels and many novellas, and more than one and a half million copies of her books are in print. DiAnn lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband.


Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson • Thomas Nelson

Gabrielle Fairbanks knew her husband was upset with her, but she never expected him to change the locks on their Chicago penthouse, cancel her credit cards, and disappear with their two boys. Now she's literally on the streets with her elderly mother, her mom's dog…and $220 to her name. As her fragile plans fall apart, Gabby hits on a possibility so wild and wonderful it has to be one of those “God things,” something she's only seen happen to other Christians until now.

Neta Jackson's award-winning YADA YADA books have sold over 400,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning writing team, best known for the TRAILBLAZER BOOKS—a 40-volume series of historical fiction with 1.5 million in sales—and HERO TALES: A FAMILY TREASURY OF TRUE STORIES FROM THE LIVES OF CHRISTIAN HEROES (vols. 1-4). The Jacksons live in the Chicago metropolitan area, where the YADA YADA stories are set.


The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson • Thomas Nelson

When Mary-Mar
garet Fischer met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper's son, she was studying at convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude—rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude.

As Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her final vows, Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus' sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?

Lisa Samson is the award-winning author of twenty-six books including Quaker Summer, Christianity Today's Novel of 2008, and Justice in the Burbs, which she co-wrote with h
er husband, Will. When not at home in Kentucky with her three children, one cat, and six chickens, she operates cuppa: a tea cafĂ© and speaks around the country about writing and social justice, encouraging the people of God to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”


Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent • Tyndale House Publishers

Jessilyn Lassiter never knew hatred could lurk in the human heart until her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire during the summer of 1932. Jessilyn’s father vows to care for Gemma as one of his own, despite the fact that she is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence springs up as a ragtag band of Ku Klux Klan members unite and decide to take matters into their own hands.

Jennifer Erin Valent lives in Central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for
more than fifteen years. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes.


Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group

When Harriet Sherwood finds herself in jail, she spends the night contemplating the series of events that resulted in her imprisonment. Coming from a long line of women active in social justice, she weighs her values against her ancestors’, searching for where she belongs in that strong and thrilling heritage.

Lynn Austin has won five
Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois.


The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen • Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group

Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret; she never intended to overhear Lord Bradley’s!
Now he has given her a job and confined her to his estate, for if his secret were to be
revealed, he would lose his reputation, his inheritance, and his very home.

Julie Klassen is a fiction editor who h
as worked on both the editorial and marketing sides of book publishing. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and two sons.


Lost Mission by Athol Dickson • Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster

Athol Dickson’s latest novel, Lost Mission, weaves a gripping story of suspense that spans centuries and cultures to explore the abiding possibility of miracles. As the ruins of a Spanish Mission are disturbed twelve generations after it collapsed atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime, one community’s understanding of morality, sin, and faith is challenged by that haunting secret.

Athol Dickson is an award-winning author of several novels, including the Christy Award-winning novel River Rising, which was named one of the “Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006.”


By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson • Marcher Lord Press

Young Ac
han Cham dreams of serving in the Kingsguard Knights, but he is a stray— worse than a slave—and such aspirations are out of his reach. Worse, Achan is beginning to hear strange voices in his head.

Jill Williamson writes stories that combine danger, suspense, and adventure for people of all ages. She started Novel Teen Book Reviews ( to help teens find great books to read. Williamson lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. By Darkness Hid is her first novel.


North! Or
Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson • WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

In Book T
wo of the WINGFEATHER SAGA, escape with Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby as they flee north, to the Ice Prairies, where they will be safe from the cruel Fangs of Dang. But first they have to survive the dangers along the way—and the dangers within themselves. Andrew Peterson delivers more breathtaking adventure in this tale for all ages.

Andrew Peterson is the author of Christy finalist On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the WINGFEATHER SAGA, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter an
d recording artist of ten albums. He and his wife live with their two sons and one daughter near Nashville, Tennessee.

The Christy Awards are proud to honor both Catherine Marshall and her novel through the annual presentation of the Christy Awards, which recognize novels of excellence. The Christy Awards were established in 1999 to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview; to bring a new awareness of the breadth and depth of fiction choices available, helping to broaden the readership; and, to provide an opportunity to recognize novelists whose work may not have reached bestseller status.

The Christy Awards are online at:


Contact: Jeane Wynn

Wynn-Wynn Media, LLC
P: 918-283-1834
F: 918-512-4409

Rel here: Feel free to share your thoughts on the winners, or any of the nominees, books. Some of those categories were a tough call.

B&H Thriller Tour Pop Quiz ~ Jim Rubart

In celebration of the B&H Fiction Thriller Tour (details & dates here), each of the participating authors are sharing here at Relz Reviewz.

Over the next week you will learn more about Jim, Tosca, Brandilyn & Robin.
We hope you enjoy these posts.

Jim Rubart

Travelling with three women and being the gentleman that he is, I'm sure Jim Rubart is opening a lot of doors and allowing Robin, Tosca and Brandilyn through before he follows along behind! Am I right, ladies?

That being the case, I'm letting Jim get the first word in here, considering it might be the only time he does all tour!

Pop Quiz

What did you do for your 13th birthday?

I'll let you know next year.

Name 3 things you can't live without

Get the mush meter out; my wife and
two sons.

What 3 adjectives would your friends/family use to describe your personality?

Fun. Passionate. Kind.

Where did your penchant for anxiety inducing thrillers begin?

comics at age eight.

If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, who would
it be and why?

Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia) of course. Wait, he is alive.

If Micah Taylor, Clay, Lincoln Vailes and Dr Brock McNeil from each of your books got together, what would they talk about?

After a long discussion about 19th century French poetry they'd dive into a rousing debate about pre-destination and the rampant proliferation across the planet of White Chocolate Mocha

What do you think is going to be the best thing about touring with your
fellow thriller authors?

Having long talks about our disappointments, hopes, fears, and joys. Laughing together, encouraging each other and discussing the insane world of publishing.

Here's a look at Jim's second novel, releasing in January, 2011
from B&H Fiction.

Rooms is so fabulous my expectations of Book of Days are
sky high ~ no pressure, Jim :)

“… in Your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being.” —Psalm 139:16

Young Cameron Vaux’s mind is slipping. Memories of his wife, killed two years earlier in a car accident, are vanishing just as his dad predicted they would. Memories he knows he has to remember. His father tells Cameron that to save his mind he must find “the book with all days in it” —the past and future record of every soul on earth.

When an obscure clue leads Cameron to a small central Oregon town, he meets enigmatic Taylor Stone, a possible guide to finding the book who seems to carry secrets far deeper than anyone imagines. Local hotshot TV personality Ann Bannister thinks the legend of the book is a farce, but she has her reasons to join Cameron’s search anyway. Finally, there is fanatical New Age guru Jason Judah, who will stop at nothing to find the book of days before Cameron does.

Contact Jim:





For all things Rubart @ Relz Reviewz, click here

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Christy Awards Live Blog

If you can't attend the Christy Awards tonight and you want to know which of the fabulous authors get the nod in real time, follow the Christy Awards Live Blog. You can register now and receive a reminder email.

The awards commence
at 7.30pm CDT on Saturday June 26, 2010 which converts to 10.30am on Sunday 27th June, on the east coast of Australia - smack bang in the middle of church - LOL! Taking a laptop into the service is probably not the way to go ;-)

I'm looking forward to hearing the results and having a surprise announcement to make myself!

Coming in early 2011 from Revell

More great books to add to your 2011 wish lists, this time from Revell!

I just love the cover of Ann's book, maybe because I have three daughters and because of my love of romantic suspense and Biblical retellings, I can't wait for Fatal Judgement and Bathsheba. Mind you, none of the judges I've ever stood before looked like Liz Michaels - LOL!

How about you? What takes your fancy?

Fatal Judgement by Irene Hannon

Deputy Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action as a member of the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, including a recent stint in Iraq. But he’d much rather go back to that hotbed of trouble than deal with his next assignment: providing protection for federal judge Liz Michaels. His antipathy toward her is just as strong as it was five years ago, when her husband—his best friend—died in a possible suicide.

But as Jake works to keep Liz safe, he discovers she’s not a cold-hearted workaholic wedded to nothing but her job, as he expected. Forced to reevaluate his opinion, he also finds himself grappling with a growing attraction. And when it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes go up. Because now both her life—and his heart—are in danger.

Full of the suspense and romance Irene Hannon's fans have come to love, Fatal Judgment is a thrilling story that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night.

January, 2011

Bake Until Golden by Eva Marie Everson & Linda Evans Shepherd

The ladies of the Potluck Catering Club may have thought that winn
ing The Great Party Showdown reality show in New York City would be the biggest adventure of their lives. But they weren't counting on the strange goings-on they would confront when they returned to Summit View, Colorado. When a shocking event rocks their small town the ladies are stunned--especially when one of them is accused. And a 100-year-old legend about buried gold unearths some unsavory characters. Will old friends stick together through their trials? Or will they be torn apart by tragedy?

Full of mystery, friendship, and faith, Bake Until Golden is the final book in this popular series.

January, 2011

Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes

By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many sec
rets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife's death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office. By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, de
ath threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?

With stirring writing that puts readers directly into the story, Lady in the Mist expertly explores themes of identity, misperception, and love's discovery.

February, 2011

Angel Sister by Ann H Gabhart

It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together. Her father slowly slips into alcoholism and his business suffers during the Great Depression. As her mother tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?

In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times. Multidimensional characters face real and trenchant problems while maintaining their family bonds, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer. Readers will be drawn into the story and find themselves lingering there long after they've finished the book.

February, 2011

Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews

Readers often thi
nk of Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job's life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family?

Through painstaking research and a writer's creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau's tribe and Jacob's daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashes breathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.

March, 2011

Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith

Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king's wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps--and make it frighteningly easy to suc cumb to King David's charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God--and David--forever?

With a historian's sharp eye for detail and a novelist's creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David's most famous--and infamous--wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.

March, 2011

Tomorrow's Garden by Amanda Cabot

Harriet Kirk is certain that becoming Ladreville's schoolteacher is just what she needs--a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. W
hat she didn't count on was the presence of handsome former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood--or the way he slowly but surely claims her fragile heart. But can Harriet and Lawrence ever truly put the past behind them in order to find happiness?

Readers will love this story of overcoming powerful odds and grabbing hold of happiness. Book 3 in the Texas Dreams series.

April, 2011

The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh

What began as a fairytale honeymoon in 1857 for John and Laura
Foster aboard the steamship SS Vandervere becomes a nightmare when a hurricane causes their ship to sink into the murky depths of the Atlantic. Laura finds herself with the other women and children aboard a sailing ship while John and a hundred other men drift on the open sea on anything they could grab as the Vandervere went down. Suspecting her John is gone but still daring to hope for a miracle, Laura must face the possibility of life alone--and meeting her new in-laws without their son if she ever reaches New York.

Readers will be holding their breath as they sail through this emotional and honest story of hope, faith, and love in the face of uncertainty. Talented author Dan Walsh skillfully tells an epic story through an intimate focus on two lost lovers. Inspired by real events, this moving novel will capture the hearts of all who dive into its pages.

April, 2011

The Dawn of A Dream by Ann Shorey

Luellen O'Connell is stunned and confused when her husband of just one month tells her he is leaving--and that he has another wife. Deeply wounded by this betrayal, Luellen decides to follow the dream she had set aside of obtaining a teaching degree. But her wayward husband left something behind when he abandoned her. Can Luellen overcome the odds and achieve her dream? Can she hide her secret, or will it destroy her dreams forever?

A moving story of tenacity and perseverance in the face of opposition, The Dawn of a Dream will inspire readers to discover and follow their own dreams.

April, 2011

Friday, 25 June 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Cathy Bryant's Dani Davis & Steve Miller

Dani & Steve

2009 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist Cathy Bryant has written a fine story and is working hard getting it in the hands of readers. I'm glad to help! Texas Roads is a great contemporary romance well worth the read.

Enjoy this insight into her rich girl and wary cowboy:~


Brief physical description

Dani is in her early thirties and petite, with blond curls, big blue eyes, and a dazzling smile that lights up Texas.

Actor/famous person

Reese Witherspoon, with her Southern drawl, would play the part of Dani perfectly.

Strengths and weaknesses

Even though Dani is wealthy, she's determined to keep that fact to herself rather than use the wealth to buy the friendship of others. She's also altruistic and generous, which causes a dilemma. How can she put her wealth to good use without drawing the attention of others? Throughout the course of the novel, she gains the ability to finish what she started and forgive in spite of how others have treated her.

Dani's primary weakness is a tendency to over-commit. She also makes snap judgments of people based on pre-conceived notions, and shies away from men because of a bad marriage. When she's tired (which happens frequently because over-committing), she gets a tad bit snarky.

Quirk (if any)

She spends extravagantly for the benefit of others, but shops at consignment and thrift shops for herself.

* * *


Brief physical description

Steve is a Texas cowboy in his late thirties, tall and lanky, with dark hair and cinnamon-colored eyes.

Actor/famous person

I can really see Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap and Star Trek: Enterprise as Steve.

Strengths and weaknesses

Steve Miller's greatest strength is his desire to help the people in Miller's Creek by bringing commerce to his back roads hometown. He also cares for Mama Beth, the town's mother figure, and his family, always putting the needs of others before his own. One of the things that draws me to him is his heart for God.

Steve is very proud and easily angered when he feels threatened or when he thinks someone is trying to take advantage of those he loves. He doesn't take kindly to strangers because of his suspicious nature--especially city women like Dani.

Quirk (if any)

He listens to classical music, definitely not the average musical fare for cowboys.

Your inspiration for the characters

Texas Roads is the tried-but-true classic story form of country boy meets city girl. I wanted to explore the dynamics between two characters who both want the same things, but have two totally different ways of trying to achieve their goals (and the misunderstandings that happen in the process). Also, I tried to throw into the mix the pre-conceived notions city dwellers sometimes have of country people and vice versa.

Background to the story

Dani Davis longs for a place to call home. With quaint country charm, quirky residents, and loads of business potential, Miller's Creek, Texas seems like the perfect place to start over. She secretly finances renovations to the downtown area, but then malicious rumors and a devastating discovery propel her down a road she never expected to travel.

It's been a pleasure having you here, Cathy ~ thanks so much for sharing with us.

On Monday, the spotlight shines on Julie Carobini's Callie Duflay & Gage Mitchell from her latest Otter Bay novel, A Shore Thing. I have a soft spot for the actor she has chosen for Gage ~ you'll see why!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Texas Roads

Visit Cathy's website and blog

Buy Cathy's book here

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