Sunday, 31 October 2010

Coming in 2011 from Revell ~ Contemporary

Here's a look at Revell's contemporary novels releasing May ~ June 2011.

Snitch looks fabulous and with an author's dream name, Booker can't go wrong! Lynette is getting better and better so I'm keen to read her latest Women of Justice novel, too, although I'm not a huge fan of the cover!

Are you feeling the book love?!

Snitch by Booker T Mattison

Andre Bolden isn't one to complain. Sure, he split up with his girl Sandra, he doesn't get to see his son Little Dre much, and he's worried about paying child support. But he's got a steady job driving a bus--and in Jersey City, that's something. Then Andre's world comes crashing down when he witnesses a murder on his
bus route and later loses his job. When Andre realizes that the murderer is a feared gang leader, he needs to watch his back. He's trying to get it all back together, but it seems like even God is out to get him.

Enter the gritty world of Booker T. Mattison's Snitch, where the streets are alive and you need to tread lightly. This raw tale of revenge, romance, and redemption will leave readers breathless.

May 2011

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason

Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. The new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case. As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he's hunting one of them too.

With nail-biting suspense, clever plot twists, and a hint of sweet romance, A Killer Among Us is the latest thriller from Lynette Eason. It will keep readers up late as they race to discover the killer--and whether Kit and Noah will live to tell about it.

May 2011

Megan's Hero by Sharon Gillenwater

Six months pregnant, unmarried, broke, and alone, Megan Reed doesn't think things can get much worse--and then they do. Stuck on the road without shelter when a tornado appears, Megan barely escapes with her life. And when Will Callahan comes upon her in the road, her life will never be the same. While staying at the Callahan family ranch, she finds herself daring to love again, even while she suspects that Will's affection for her can't be anything but pity. But when she realizes that the townspeople think she's just a gold digger, she can't bear to stay. Can Will convince her that her past doesn't mean a thing when it comes to love?

Filled with the easy charm and warmth of Texas, Megan's Hero will have readers believing in the power of love and forgiveness.

June 2011

Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson

Kimberly Tucker's life hasn't turned out the way she thought it would. A divorced mother of two, Kim resents her ex-husband for moving on with his life and living it up while she struggles to understand what went wrong. When her sons end up spending five weeks of summer vacation with their father, Kim's own father suggests a respite in the family vacation home on tiny Cedar Key Island. As Kim revisits her childhood memories and loves, she soon discovers that treasures in life are often buried, and mistakes--both past and present--become redeemable in God's hand.

Readers will be swept away to an island retreat where they walk alongside Kim as she discovers that God's answers may not come easily, but they do come.

June 2011

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Emily's Chance by Sharon Gillenwater


Emily Rose may be in the tiny West Texas town of Callahan Crossing for the moment, but it's just a rung on her ladder to success. Her work at the Callahan Crossing historical society will look good on her ever-growing resume as she attempts to break into the prestigious world of a big city museum curator. Little does she know cowboy and contractor Chance Callahan has decided that he can convince her to stay--both with the town and with him. As he helps Emily restore the town's history after a devastating fire, he also helps her uncover her own hidden worth and the value of love.

My take:~

Sharon Gillenwater adds another sweet romance to her Callahans of Texas series, this time it's Chance Callahan making every effort to encourage city girl and museum curator, Emily Rose Denny to fall for him and the town that bears his name. Emily is tempted by small town living and Chance's kindness and appealing smile but her career is what drives her choices. The authenticity of Sharon's characters shines as they speak and act in a way that reflects real life rather than a fairytale world. This is not an action packed story, despite the town recovering from a recent firestorm, moving at a steady pace and without a lot of fanfare. It is testament to Sharon's skill as a writer that I remained invested in Chance and Emily's relationship and the fate of Callahan Crossing. If you delight in a tender, character driven romance set in a close knit community, you can't go wrong with Emily's Chance. Nicely done!

Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Jenna's Cowboy

Visit Sharon's website

Buy Sharon's books at Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 29 October 2010

Coming in 2011 from Bethany House ~ Suspense & Speculative Fiction

I read and enjoy all genres, though you would be pushing me with Sci-Fi, but my first reading love is suspense. Bethany releases them sparingly but their writers are top-notch!

I'm really looking forward to all these books and the covers are excellent, especially Robin's and Mark's. And Shawn's is fairly easy on the eyes, too ;-)

Your thoughts?

Vigilante by Robin Parrish

Nolan Gray is an elite soldier, skilled in all forms of combat. After years fighting on foreign battlefields, witnessing unspeakable evils and atrocities firsthand, a world-weary Nolan returns home to find it just as corrupt as the war zones. Everywhere he looks, there's pain and cruelty. Society is being destroyed by wicked men who don't care who they make suffer or destroy.

Nolan decides to do what no one else can, what no one has ever attempted. He will defend the helpless. He will tear down the wicked. He will wage a one-man war on the heart of man, and he won't stop until the world is the way it should be.

The wicked have had their day. Morality's time has come. In a culture starving for a hero, can one extraordinary man make things right?

July 2011

Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the mountains, her face completely veiled, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.

Until she meets a young man with a secret royal heritage. Lionheart seeks to bring Rose Red to his palace to watch out for her. When the Dragon King arrives, claiming Rose Red as his own, she chooses to flee to the royal palace while Lionheart is exiled on a quest to find a way to defeat the monster.

Infuriated by Rose Red's rebellion, the Dragon King imprisons the royal family, wooing her into this thrall while pulling the household into a dangerous twilight world. Rose Red must be willing to sacrifice everything she loves most and Lionheart must return in time to free his kingdom. Their choices will affect not only the course of their own lives but also the fate of nations.

July 2011

Pattern of Wounds by J Mark Bertrand

For Detective Roland March, his latest case has become personal. March doesn't know the young female who was stabbed to death, but he thinks he recognizes the crime scene. Nearly ten years ago, March gained national fame as the subject of a true-crime book. But now this crime scene bears eerie similarities to that one. And whispers begin to emerge that March may have put the wrong man behind bars.

Worse, Houston may now have a serial killer on the loose. As more cases emerge that seem connected, and threats against March and those closest to him build, he must solve the case--rescuing not only the city but his own reputation as a homicide cop.

July 2011

Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn

Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq--kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight--a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation.

Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy--from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?

July 2011

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady

When hotshot smoke jumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he's achieved what he's always wanted. But a lightning-sparked fire in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas has his team in a plane before they can even train together.

Pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to drop the crew into the heart of the forest infernos. A single mother of a mysteriously ill six-year-old, she can't imagine her life getting any more complicated.

It doesn't take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing. Silas is able to parachute to safety but soon discovers his crew can't be trusted. They're hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle from the flames--and from a more dangerous threat: his own team.

July 2011

Coming in 2011 from Bethany House ~ Historical

I keep saying it, I know, but I love sharing new books with you even if it means waiting a long time to get them in your hands!

Bethany House have long been known for their high quality historical fiction and it looks like they have a good mix here of adventure, comedy, romance and friendship. The stand out for me is Karen Witemeyer's third novel. The cover certainly reflects her style, whimsical, stylish and fun!

I enjoyed Yvonne Harris' debut novel so hoping A River to Cross holds more of the same reading delights and Mary's first book with Bethany is sure to have her fans thrilled :) New authors are always fun to anticipate so I'm looking forward to Elizabeth Camden's debut with Bethany, too.

Please share - which ones are getting your book loving hearts racing?

Click on the links to preorder or to visit the author's website and sit tight as I'll post more new releases shortly.

An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser

Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's making her summer wardrobe. It's an unlikely fri
endship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character.

All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice.
Will any of them find true happiness?

May, 2011

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets....

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

May 2011

Hidden Affections by Delia Parr

Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Tyler wears the burden of legally being a divorcee, a difficult position for an upstanding young woman to find herself in. While attempting to start a new life for herself, an unexpected turn of events once again has Annabelle married--this time to Harrison Graymoor, the most eligible, yet elusive, bachelor in Philadelphia. Harrison assures her that he will secure an annulment immediately, unaware that the constable has sent word of the marriage to the press in Philadelphia. And here things continue to go awry. Harrison's past, a philanthropic cousin with his eye on Annabelle, and the appearance of Annabelle's ex-husband threaten the tentative relationship growing between Harrison and his "wife."

For two individuals set against marriage, there are certa
inly a lot of second thoughts regarding the one forced upon them.

May 2011

The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser

The Singleton family's fortunes seem unaffected by the Great Depression, and Perri--along with the other girls at Atlanta's elite Washington Seminary
--lives a carefree life of tea dances with college boys, matinees at the cinema, and debut parties. But when tragedies strike, Perri is confronted with a world far different from the one she has always known.

At the insistence of her parents, Mary "Dobbs' Dillard, the daughter of an itinerant preacher, is sent from inner-city Chicago to live with her aunt and attend Washington Seminary, bringing confrontation and radical ideas. Her arrival intersects at the point of Perri's ultimate crisis, and the tragedy forges an unlikely friendship.

The Sweetest Thing tells the story of two remarkable young women--opposites in every way--fighting for the same
goal: surviving tumultuous change.

June 2011

The Lady of Bol
ton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

In 1870, female journalists are few and far between, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative
articles championing London's poor and mistreated. When the backlash from her articles forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the poor factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant, and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds. Clara's long-held beliefs about God's grace and justice cause Daniel to question his own motives, but when Clara's very life is threatened by an adversary of Daniel's, they must face a reckoning neither of them could have ever foreseen.

June 2011

Hope Rekindled by Tracie Peterson

At long last, Deborah Vandermark is preparing for her own wedding... but the groom suddenly goes absent. Tragedy has befallen Christopher's family in Kansas City, upsetting the doctor's future with Deborah. With five siblings now under his care, can he return to Texas and impose a ready-made family on Deborah?

Deborah herself finds her resolve faltering as her fears about marriage and career start to overwhelm her. How can she marry and be a mother to Christopher's siblings, and still be able to pursue her work and training as a physician?

When an old adversary reveals a contract that may spell ruin for Vandermark Logging, Deborah's life seems to be spiraling out of control. How can God possibly work this for good? And ca
n Christopher and Deborah find a way to claim the future they long to share when so much stands in their way?

June 2011

A River t
o Cross by Yvonne Harris

Texas Ranger Jake Nelson patrols the U.S.-Mexico border, protecting the settlers from cattle rustlers, outlaws, and bandits. Sparks fly when Manuel Diego stirs up a revolt against the government, which leads to the murder of a newspaperman, who is the son of a U.S. senator, and the kidnapping of his sister, Elizabeth Madison, a journalist in the ma
king. With Elizabeth's photograph in hand--a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes--Jake rides over the border to find her.

After the Rangers
defeat the marauders and rescue Elizabeth, Jake is surprised to learn she's not the spoiled daughter of a senator that he was expecting. In fact, he finds himself taken by her. And she by him. But the Mexicans won't give up that easily, as Elizabeth becomes the target of an all-out hunt. Leaving Elizabeth back at Fort Williams, Jake and his men set off again, this time to go after Diego himself--to apprehend him and his renegades and bring them all to justice. Meanwhile, Jake knows what's begun between him and Elizabeth is undeniable.

Amid all the turmoil, Jake finally admits how much he loves her. She tells him the same. Until now, they've lived in different worlds, yet it is those differences that drew them together.

August 2011

Out of Control by Mary Connealy

Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around
her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father's homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe--until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years ke
eping his family's cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch--and Rafe's controlling ways--as soon as they were able. He's haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn't expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels--or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he's ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his cha
nce at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

August 2011

A Most Unsuita
ble Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson

An unlikely attra
ction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana... She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana.

Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way . . . except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

August 2011

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Coming in 2011 from Carla Stewart and Faithwords

I love everything about this book ~ cover, synopsis and the wonderful author!


Broken Wings by Carla Stewart

Onstage, the singing duo of Gabe and Mitzi Steiner captured America's heart for more than two decades. Offstage, their own hearts have throbbed as one for sixty years. Only now, Gabe has retreated into the tangles of Alzheimer's, leaving Mitzi to ponder her future alone.

On the other side of Tulsa, everyone believes Brooke Woodson has found the perfect man--a handsome lawyer with sights on becoming Tulsa's next District Attorney. If only Brooke felt more sure. If only her fiancé could control his anger. If only love didn't come with so many scars.

When an accident lands Brooke in the hospital where Mitzi volunteers, the two women quickly develop an unlikely friendship birthed by providence and bathed in grace. And with Mitzi's help, kindness, and insight, Brooke learns how to pick up the broken pieces of her life.

June, 2011

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

RBC Book Club interview with Cathy Liggett & Jennifer Davis ~ Part 1

My book clu
b selected the novel Beaded Hope for our October selection and we had the pleasure of asking questions of both the author, Cathy Liggett and Jennifer Davis, the founder of the Beaded Hope organisation that inspired the novel. Beaded Hope, by using education and employment, hopes to empower families in South Africa who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Cathy and Jennifer were so generous with their answers, I'll be sharing our Q&A over a number of posts.

Enjoy part
one with Cathy!

Beaded Hope, the novel, shares the journey of four diverse American women who come face to face with poverty, hardship, faith and hope they have never before imagined, when they set foot in the land of South Africa.

**Please note spoilers are present in the following Q&A**

RBC BOOK CLUB: The four characters Heidi, Katie, Cassandra and Gabby … how did you come up with them and their associated stories ?

CATHY: I guess I had in mind that I hoped to reach a broad spectrum of women. So even though the characters weren’t SO far apart in age (well, except for Katie, of course), they were all at different places in their lives and different stages spiritually as well.

Within those different stages, I suppose I hoped to light issues that readers might be able to relate to either from their own personal experiences or from those of a girlfriend or family member.

Recently, I spoke with a book club in South Carolina and one of the ladies said she could definitely relate to Gabby because she also couldn’t have children and she, too, ended up adopting after going on a mission trip. When you’re writing you’re hoping you get the emotions right and don’t want to belittle or over dramatize anything. I certainly hope I did in that case.

But come to think about it as readers, we’re doing the same thing, too, don’t you think? In a way, we sort of fill in the characters we read about by either drawing on firsthand experience or what we imagine someone would feel. Even someone who is a mother can’t totally know what it’s like not to be able to conceive a child…but your heart can imagine it and be sympathetic in turn.

Besides – we’re women! We feel lots of things whether they’re happening to us or not. :)

The character of Mama Penny seemed completely larger than life, very charismatic and with the capacity to embrace everyone and their hurts. Have you met the real “Mama Penny” and if you have how did that impact you?

I admit, I totally based the Mama Penny character on the real live (and wonderful) Mama Peggy who really is known as the Matriarch of Mamelodi. And, yes, she is larger than life. (If you’d like to see more about her you can visit the Beaded Hope website, and click on “about us.”)

As I mentioned in the back of the book, besides nurturing her own family and now grandchildren, she is an outstanding part of the Mamelodi community. She is a faith-filled woman who makes things happen. She gets things done. She has her helping hands in everything—hands that never seem to stop moving.

As I wrote too, Mama Peggy and some of the other women we met working at Bophelong Hospice are well-educated women. They could live elsewhere. They could have very well-paying positions doing other things. But their hearts are with the people in the village. They sacrifice prestige and income to be able to help where they feel they are most needed. Going out to the villagers weekly, they counsel about AIDS, comfort the grieving, and bring hope, medicine, and food to the sick. They are incredible, admirable women.

As I read, I wondered if you ever thought of allowing Gabby to adopt Katie's baby? I did like that she was able to adopt Tumi and Nomvula.

Oh, funny you should ask. For about 2/3 of the book, I thought Gabby was going to adopt Katie’s baby too. J In fact, that’s what I had set in my mind when I first started conceiving the characters. But then, I suppose when I actually got to that point in writing the book, it seemed too pat. Too expected. But even more than that, I also realized the characters wouldn’t grow nearly as much – or gain as much through the strains of their growing – if it all turned out that way.

A resolve to keep the baby drew Heidi and Katie closer, and though they may still have had some anxiety about how they were going to manage raising the child, and overcoming judgment from others, etc., they found strength in one another and hope and life (after Jeff’s passing) in the unborn infant.

And for Gabby ~ she was so afraid she couldn’t love an adopted child and here she was adopting 2 kids from a different culture, one with HIV and possibly without the aid of her husband since they were at odds. But the maternal tug rose in her so fiercely, she couldn’t deny the feeling and had to respond. She also realized that’s what God had in mind for her all along, so her relationship with Him was mended too.

Plus, I just LOVE writing happy endings!! This seemed like the happiest and most hopeful ending of all for everyone involved, women and children alike.

What was your writing process for this story?

I wish I had more of a process! I always think there should be some magic way of doing this. But I don’t think I’ve found one yet that works for me.

And for this story it was even more jumbled. That’s mostly because I’d written sweet romances before this and so I, of course, thought this story would be a romance too! I started that idea in 2005 when I first met Jennifer. And then later when my critique partners thought that didn’t work, the story went from a romance to women’s fiction. This all happened over the span of years since I was working on different proposals – so talk about NO PROCESS!

Once it was decidedly a women’s fiction book in my mind though, I settled on the main characters and their plights ~ where they were in their walk in life and in their spiritual walk too.

But, honestly, I think that’s as much as a process as I had. Of course I had to write a synopsis too for the proposal, but those are more general so not always terribly specific.

Basically, what it comes down to is that I’m not a very good plotter. I tend to come up with characters first. And this was very new to me, keeping so many characters straight and intertwining them. I wish I had a better answer to give. I made charts and lists and kept notes and tried to see where it all “might be going” on a big bulletin board. That helped. But often, for me, I can only see where a story’s going when I’m in the process of writing.

Did Jennifer read the manuscript to help authenticate the story?

I had given Jennifer the initial proposal that I’d written but that only included a prologue set in South Africa (the other chapters were set in America). I had written that prologue based on stories and photos she’d shared with me from her mission trip and from her inspiring experiences in starting the Beaded Hope organization.

When she called years later with an invitation to actually go to South Africa she urged, ‘if you can write that prologue from what I told you, just think what you could write after seeing things firsthand’. Or rather she didn’t urge – she bribed. J

Once I got the characters to the point where they were in SA, I definitely relied on Jennifer’s experiences and knowledge for facts and nuances of the culture, wanting to make certain I was relaying it correctly. Or – if Jennifer didn’t have the answer about something I was writing about, she’d contact Mama Peggy or the real live Mighty and get the answer from them.

Also you’ll note – the finished Beaded Hope book has no prologue. That idea got canned, and I think it was a really good change.

What do you think are some of the greatest differences between women in Western nations and the African women depicted in your story?

It’s hard for me to make a generalization about most women in Western nations because I’m only one of them ~ and I don’t have any statistics. So using me as an example, I have so many more resources at my disposal. My life is like heaven on earth compared to those ladies. But funny thing is when I went to SA, I thought I’d be ministering to the women there. That, however, didn’t happen much. Instead more than anything, they ministered to me. Their faith is so demonstrative and off the charts despite all they go through. It impressed me completely and obviously in the character Jaleela, I tried to embody all the great qualities I discovered in the ladies of SA – courage, strength, warmth and unwavering faith.

What are the similarities?

Despite the cultural differences and the deplorable conditions these ladies fight to survive each day of their lives, at heart we are all women who have the same hopes and dreams – we want a community and a world that’s a safe, hopeful place where our children and grandchildren can make their own dreams come true.

How has writing ‘Beaded Hope’ impacted on you, personally?

I’ve grown so much from the time this Beaded Hope journey began 5 years ago. Actually, when I think about it, I’ve grown in much of the same ways some of my characters have in the researching, writing, and publishing of Beaded Hope.

Just like my characters Gabby, Cassandra and Heidi, I’ve learned…

~ (as I just mentioned) that women half-way around the world, living in the most deplorable conditions, still have the same desires at heart that I do – happy, well-fed children who know God and are hopeful with dreams for their futures.

~ that often when you think you’ve been sent some place to minister to others, don’t be surprised when you are the one who is ministered to.

~ that God’s timing really is worth waiting for!

~ and that no matter how little our knowledge, no matter how imperfect our hearts, God continues to pursue us to join Him in His work, just because He loves us so.

Look for Part 2 of Cathy's interview soon with a great giveaway :)

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Beaded Hope

Visit Cathy's website and blog

Visit the fabulous Beaded Hope website and online store

Buy Cathy's book at Amazon or Koorong

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Character Spotlight ~ DiAnn Mill's Bella Jordan & Carr Sullivan

Bella & Carr

DiAnn Mills returns with her final Call of Duty novel, Pursuit of Justice, mixing suspense, romance and faith. Enjoy this insight into DiAnn's latest characters:~

Brief physical description

FBI Special Agent Bella Jordan ~ Shoulder length, dark auburn hair and green eyes. Slender built. In shape. Definitely attractive!

Carr ~ Blonde hair, blue eyes, thick lashes - rugged and handsome

Actor/famous person

Bella ~ The pic above is what I worked from, but the book cover is Bella, who had darker eyes.

Carr Sullivan ~ Brad Pitt

Strengths and weaknesses

Bella ~ Detailed, a guardian type, capable, afraid of her past and the man who stalks her. Tends to internalize things.

Carr ~ Strong in his faith, tends to be a loner, stubborn, protective of those he loves

Quirk (if any)

Bella ~ loves her Aunt Debbie, the woman who raised her when she was 15 years old. Like her aunt, Bella has a twist of humor.

Carr ~ I’d say his desire to be a loner, to be left alone on his West Texas ranch.

Your inspiration for the character

Bella: I wanted a strong woman who could get the job done for the FBI, resolute in her convictions, had a deep capacity for love, but was haunted by her past.

Carr: I wanted to show a man who thought if he lived in a remote area, then he would be immune from sin. His past lifestyle of partying and a tragedy led him to West Texas. But he learns sin is with him and cannot be avoided.

Background to the story

Bella once lived in West Texas where her father was obsessed in finding the Spider Rock Treasure. When Bella was fifteen years old, he sold her to his treasure-hunting partner to fund the treasure hunt. Bella escaped, leaving behind stepbrothers and a stepsister, and contacted her deceased mother’s sister who raised her. Bella became interested in law enforcement and joined the ranks of the FBI. She never thought her role would lead her back to her roots. Now as she searches for the serial murderer, she suspects her father may be the killer. And what has happened to her siblings?

Carr Sullivan made his money in Dallas real estate where he partied high and spared no expense. When his girlfriend died of an overdose, he turned his life over to God and fled the big city life for a ranch in West Texas. He prefers living alone where his past sins will not catch up with him. Now three bodies have been found on his ranch, and he’s the prime suspect.

Thanks for sharing about Carr & Bella, DiAnn ~ looking forward to more stories from you :)

On Thursday, the spotlight shines on Mindy Starns Clark's Sienna Collins from Secrets of Harmony Grove

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Sworn to Protect and Breach of Trust

Interview with DiAnn

Visit DiAnn's website

Buy DiAnn's books at Amazon and Koorong

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sarah's Christmas Miracle by Mary Ellis

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Sarah Beachy has plenty to be joyous about as autumn leaves start to fall. She loves her job at the English bed-and-breakfast where she cooks and refreshes rooms between guests. She has a serious beau, and everyone expects an engagement soon. Why, then, would she jeopardize everything by suddenly deciding to take a trip to Cleveland to track down a brother who left the Order years ago?

Her family’s faith in God is put to the test as the holiest night of the year approaches and Sarah remains far away. Sarah’s mother, Elizabeth, has been missing her son for such a long time…will she lose her daughter to the English world as well? Or will the Beachy family receive an unexpected Christmas miracle?

What I thought:

Mary Ellis adds to her impressive collection of Amish fiction stories with a short Christmas novella. ‘Sarah’s Christmas Miracle’ heralds the fast approaching holiday season with Mary’s special brand of gentleness, inspiration and faith.

‘Sarah’s Christmas Miracle’ is more than just a Christmas themed novella designed to fit a busy pre-Christmas schedule. I love that Mary goes beyond the predictable formula for Amish fiction and brings something fresh and unexpected. A young Amish woman journeying to a large city to seek out her estranged brother is certainly not your average Amish storyline! Sarah is portrayed as a sensible young woman who appears satisfied and content with her lift. I admired her courage in seeking out her brother before she decides to join the church and wed her beau. With wisps of youthfulness adding authenticity to the story, Sarah’s actions show a great deal of wisdom in preparing herself for lifelong commitments. Her spunk and can-do attitude appealed to me and kept me invested in the story.

Although somewhat sugar-sweet, Mary brings ‘Sarah’s Christmas Miracle’ to a satisfying conclusion that will remind you to look for miracles in your own life. More than that, this story will remind you that reconciliation is within reach when we extend unconditional love and forgiveness.

With thanks to Wynn~Wynn Media for Tracy's review copy

Guest reviewer:~ My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of A Widow's Hope and Never Far From Home

Character spotlight on Sarah, Adam & Caleb

Visit Mary's blog


Buy Mary's book at Amazon or Koorong

The winner of A Suitor for Jenny is....

Michelle C ~ congratulations!

Your book will be on its way to you shortly :)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason


Twelve years ago, forensic anthropologist Jamie Cash survived a brutal kidnapping, torture, and rape. After years of therapy, she has made a life for herself--though one that is haunted by memories of her terrifying past. She finally lets herself get close to a man, FBI agent Dakota Richards, when signs start appearing that point to one frightening fact--her attacker is back and ready to finish the job he started all those year ago.

Can she escape his grasp a second time? And will she ever be able to let down her guard enough to find true love?

My take:~

Lynette Eason puts danger and suspense into overdrive in her second Women of Justice novel, Don't Look Back, exceeding my expectations from the solid Too Close to Home. Jamie Cash returns to face her demons in the form of a murderous man intent on destroying the only women who has escaped his disturbed plans. Jamie and Dakota are great characters, both fighting the fear and pain of their past and wondering if a future is possible given the emotional and physical scars they bear. Lynette balances the building of their tentative relationship, the suspense of a killer on the hunt and his unknown identity with a skill that bodes well for her future books and the romantic suspense genre. While my early suspicions of the killer were eventually confirmed, it was by no means a certainty with many twists to the tale along the way. Don't Look Back is an impressive novel and stands alongside the likes of Irene Hannon's In Harm's Way and Robin Carrol's Fear No Evil. I have very high hopes for Lynette's A Killer Among Us, releasing in May, 2011.

Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Too Close to Home

Visit Lynette's website and blog

Buy Lynette's books at Amazon or Koorong

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Faithful by Kim Cash Tate


Cydney Sanders thought she knew God’s plan for her life. She’d marry, have kids, and then snap her body back into shape by doing Tae Bo. But she’s celebrating her fortieth birthday as the maid of honor at her little sister’s wedding...and still single. Now her life is suddenly complicated by the best man. He’s the opposite of what she wants in a husband...and yet, he keeps defying her expectations. Starting with a lavendar rose--symbolizing enchantment--each rose he sends her reflects his growing love for her.

Cydney’s best friend Dana appears to have the perfect marriage--until she discovers her husband’s affair and her world goes into a tailspin. Then there is Phyllis--who is out of hope and out of prayers after asking God for six long years to help her husband find faith. When she runs into an old friend who is the Christian man she longs for, she’s faced with an overwhelming choice.

Life-long friends with life-altering struggles. Will they trust God’s faithfulness...and find strength to be faithful to Him?

My take:~

Kim Cash Tate's Faithful is refreshingly honest, insightful and thought provoking as three friends journey through singleness, infidelity and temptation. Cydney, Dana and Phyllis reflect the many realities women face today in their relationships, marriages and spiritual journeys making this a book readers will not only enjoy but connect with on many levels. As the friends wrestle through their pain and strive to follow God's leading in their lives, Kim reveals the dangers and consequences of poor choices and the unmatched healing power of God's love and forgiveness. Accessible prose and authentic characters displaying generosity and integrity to selfishness and vanity, all add up to a fabulous read. Looking forward to more of the same when Cherished releases in 2011.

With thanks to the publisher for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Kim's website and blog

Buy Kim's books at Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 22 October 2010

Code Triage by Candace Calvert


Dr. Leigh Stathos likes her ER shifts fast, furious, and adrenaline-infused-"Treat 'em and street 'em"-with no emotional complications. Life's taught her a soul-rending lesson: nothing lasts forever, including marriage. And the clock is ticking toward the end of hers. Then an unwelcome confrontation with "the other woman" begins a whole new set of lessons.

San Francisco police officer Nick Stathos never gives up, whether protecting his patrol neighborhood, holding fast to faith-or trying to save his marriage. Seven days is all he has to reach Leigh's heart. But when a desperate act of violence slams Golden Gate Mercy Hospital into lockdown, it starts a chain of events that will change lives forever.

My take:~

Candace Calvert's medical dramas need to carry a health warning ~ heart palpitations and emotional repercussions imminent! Code Triage is no exception oozing emotional heartache, relationship angst and the non stop drama to rival an ER on high alert. Leigh and Nick, introduced in Disaster Status, take centre stage in Code Triage as Leigh attempts to move on from her marriage at the same time Nick determines to repair the potentially irreparable damage his behaviour has caused. Delving deep into her characters' frailties and pain, Candace peels back the layers of a disintegrating marriage to reveal the choices and attitudes that played such a part in Nick and Leigh stepping away from their marriage vows. Once again, Candace writes authentically and with heart, not shying away from the deep implications of infidelity or providing a pat and hasty resolution. Code Triage is satisfying in every way and is a wonderful conclusion to her Mercy Hospital trilogy. Next novel stat!

With thanks to Tyndale for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Critical Care and Disaster Status

Character spotlight on Scott & Erin from Disaster Status

Character spotlight on Logan & Claire from Critical Care

Visit Candace's website and blog

Buy Candace's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Double Shot by Erynn Mangum


Now that Maya Davis is engaged to her longtime friend and sweetheart, Jack, there should be no more worrying about the future, no more questioning God. Everything should be perfect, right? Actually, it’s just the opposite: Things are complicated. Where are they going to live? What kind of wedding do they want?

And when Jack is offered a once-in-a-lifetime job in Seattle, things begin to unravel even more. Can Maya trust that God is in control even when things seem to be a disastrous mess?

My take:~

Refreshing prose, liveable faith and adorable characters are hallmarks of Erynn Mangum's novels and all qualities are firmly in place in her final Maya Davis novel. More addictive than the caffeine Maya serves at Cool Beans, Double Shot sees Maya and Jack negotiating over questionable wedding venues, hydrangeas over roses and zookeepers over barristas. Erynn provides a joyful, pure and genuine glimpse into relationships, family and faith, unsurpassed in this genre. Erynn's books will be my first recommendation from my bookshelves to my daughters as they begin to investigate relationships! Looking forward to more of Erynn's stories to come.

With thanks to NavPress for my endorsement copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Cool Beans, Latte Daze, Missmatch, Rematch and Matchpoint

Visit Erynn's website and blog

Buy Erynn's books at Amazon and Koorong

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