Saturday, 31 December 2011

Relz Reviewz Top 10 Reads of 2011

The challenge of compiling a Top 10 list is often overwhelming and frustrating as choosing 10 usually means excluding fantastic reads! Still, I enjoy looking back over my year's reading and selecting books that may be literary masterpieces, books that struck a chord within me or simply one out of the box. Here's my list (in no particular order), sneaking in a few extras by way of a series nomination, and some others at the end of my post that I was loath not to include in some way!

I'd love you to post the link to your Top 10 or just let me know your choices in the comments section.

PS.  If any of you actually count you will see I have 11 - I only just noticed as I was about to post ~ LOL!  Well, it's my list so I guess having 11 is okay :)

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B Jones

"Jenny B Jones' writing is the Lindt chocolate of Young Adult novels. Smooth, satisfying and memorable, always leaving you much to savour. There You'll Find Me is a captivating and deeply moving story.."

Digitalis & Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

Digitalis: "With the relentless action of The Bourne Identity, the electrifying chemistry of Speed and the emotional punch of A Few Good Men, Digitalis is a stomach clenching, all consuming thrill ride as the Nightshade Black Ops team is attacked on mission and at home."
Wolfsbane: "Supremely talented, Ronie Kendig's military thrillers are imprinted with an unparalleled combination of grit, courage, emotional intelligence and spiritual depth."

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

"Delving deep into their psyches, Indelible is character driven and darkly mysterious glimpse into the heart of a gifted woman and man driven to succeed beyond all measure."

Pompeii by T L Higley

"Pompeii: City on Fire will grab you by the throat, shake you around a little and eventually let go, leaving you enlivened and deeply satisfied. A consummate storyteller, TL Higley's talent shines in this story of adventure, danger, intrigue and love."

Freedom's Stand by Jeanette Windle

"Unflinchingly honest in her portrayal of political corruption and human rights abuses, the dilemmas and compromises faced by aid agencies and the positive and negative elements of Western intervention, Jeanette sheds light on the plight of the Afghan people in a confronting and challenging manner."

Waterfall, Cascade & Torrent by Lisa T Bergren

Waterfall: "With more sword fights than The Princess Bride, more swoon worthy heroes than Twilight and adventure and intrigue in abundance, Lisa Tawn Bergren has penned a fabulous story in Waterfall."

Cascade: "The strength of Lisa's storytelling is in the intensity she generates in action scenes as Gabi confronts peril and pain, in the burgeoning romance as Marcello stakes his claim and in the conflict that battles in Gabi's soul as she faces a decision that may alter the future of her family forever."

Torrent: "Intrigue, corruption, secret societies and one gorgeous but ambiguous villain intensify the danger and romance, as Lisa weaves twists and turns together with heart pounding adventure into another unique and thrilling tale."

Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer

"Beautifully rendered and historically detailed, Caleb Bender's journey to Mexico in search of religious freedom for his family is an emotive, adventurous and engrossing read."

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

"A heroic yet vulnerable hero, an uptight but compassionate heroine, humour, attraction, conflict and an oversized, cantankerous dog called Ornery ~ what's not to love?"

The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

"Evocative, poignant and joyous, The Colonel's Lady is a story to savour again and again."

The Queen by Steven James

An exceptional wordsmith and intricate plotter, thrillers really don't get much better than this.

Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West

"Gritty. Compelling. Moving. Catherine West's debut novel epitomises these words as she plunges the reader into a much derided war and a time in history many wish to forget."

It was so hard to leave some fabulous reads out so I need to mention Jody Hedlund's The Doctor's Lady, Susan May Warren's Heiress and Baby, It's Cold Outside, Terri Blackstock's Shadow in Serenity and To Die For by Sandra Byrd!

Friday, 30 December 2011

7 Stories 7 Writers 7 Hours

Check out this fabulous new project from 7 amazing writers and Tyndale House! I love the concept and can't wait to read the anthology. Click on the links below to stay in touch:

Like 7 Hours on Facebook 

(The writers have some great giveaways going on if they reach 500 Likes today!)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Coming in 2012 from Howard Books

I'm excited about a number of these 2012 books from Howard Books!  I adore Nicole Baart and Deb Raney's writing and you can't go past a Peretti book for innovation and creativity.

What do you think, my friends?

How long do you hold on to hope?

Danica Greene has always hated flying, so it was almost laughable that the boy of her dreams was a pilot. She married him anyway and together, she and Etsell settled into a life where love really did seem to conquer all.

Danica is firmly rooted on the ground in Blackhawk, the small town in northern Iowa where they grew up, and the wide slashes of sky that stretch endlessly across the prairie seem more than enough for Etsell. But when the opportunity to spend three weeks in Alaska helping a pilot friend presents itself, Etsell accepts and their idyllic world is turned upside down. It’s his dream, he reveals, and Danica knows that she can’t stand in the way. Ell is on his last flight before heading home when his plane mysteriously vanishes shortly after takeoff, leaving Danica in a free fall. Etsell is gone, but what exactly does gone mean? Is she a widow? An abandoned wife? Or will Etsell find his way home to her?

Danica is forced to search for the truth in her marriage and treks to Alaska to grapple with the unanswerable questions about her husband’s mysterious disappearance. But when she learns that Ell wasn’t flying alone and that a woman is missing, too, the bits and pieces of the careful life that she had constructed for them in Iowa take to the wind.

A story of love and loss, and ultimately starting over, Far From Here explores the dynamics of intimacy and the potentially devastating consequences of the little white lies we tell the ones we love.

February, 2012

In a new novel from award-winning author Walt Larimore, a loving rural family struggles to survive tragedy and cope with the invasion of modern ways in the 1920s.

In the Great Smoky Mountains wilderness in 1925, Nathan and Callie Randolph, with their five unique daughters, struggle to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against a menacing business and an evil company manager trying to pilfer their land and clear cut their forest.

As loggers invade the mountains, death touches the family, and hardship and loss confront them again and again; fifteen-year-old Abbie Randolph becomes mother to her sisters and leans on her faith to guide her through the emotional wilderness of changing times. With the march of the industrial age, the roaring twenties, Prohibition, the increasing momentum for national parks, and the onslaught of a modern world, the traditional life and ways of the mountaineers were about to change forever.

Featuring a cast of colorful characters, including independent and earnest mountain families, a murderous lumber company manager, Cherokee Indians, a band of gypsies, desperados, lumbermen, moonshiners, a world-famous writer, and Civil War heroes, Hazel Creek reveals a gripping struggle of good and evil during an eruption of violence.

A beloved family physician, Walt Larimore is the perfect author for this novel of love, loss, and injury that illuminates the enduring power of faith.

March, 2012 

A stunning new thriller from the father of Christian fiction—a grieving husband encounters a teen identical to his dead wife…in face, name, and magical skills. 

Dane and Mandy Collins have been a popular magic act for close to 30 years. In their late fifties, they plan to retire but their plans are devastated by a fiery car wreck. Dane awakens in a hospital and learns that Mandy is dead. As he reflects on their life together and how they first met at a magic show, we see nineteen-year-old Mandy in a flashback:

Mandy and two friends are visiting a county fair in Idaho when they happen upon a theater where a magician will be doing a show in an hour. While waiting to see the show, young Mandy appears to falls asleep, then awakes abruptly. She fell asleep in 1970; it is now 2010. Distraught, she is picked up by security personnel. She winds up in a mental hospital, where no one is sure who she is or where she came from.

Mandy escapes from the hospital. Alone, penniless, and mystified by her circumstances, she takes shelter with a charitable family and begins eking out a dime by performing magic for anyone who will stop, watch, and leave a tip. She winds up doing a weekly magic act at a local coffeehouse.
A friend tells Dane there’s an act he ought to see. Dane has retired but agrees to watch the girl perform. He is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot readily explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this nineteen-year-old who is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met some forty years earlier. 

When Mandy and Dane reunite, they must decide what their future is…and uncover the conspiracy behind their meeting; the strange, supernatural bent to Mandy's magic; and who is following them.

March, 2012

A thrilling suspense novel about a man’s dark past, his daughter’s mysterious visions, and a psychopath who wants to kill them both.After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick moves home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, a Pulitzer Prize winner who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept—one that has devastated their family.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism, and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

May, 2012

Featuring her trademark warm, friendly style, the final novel in bestselling and award-winning Deborah Raney’s Hanover Falls series offers plenty of romance and mystery as three people find hope, forgiveness, and love in unexpected places.

Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave—a secret that changes everything she thought about their marriage. For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?

Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence—for someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters who lost their lives that awful November night. Can he ever shake the feeling that he could have somehow prevented the tragedy? And now it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

May, 2012

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Introducing FamilyFiction Edge

The fabulous FamilyFiction digital magazine I write for is splitting into two magazines to be more reader specific. My Historical and Romance columns will remain with the original FamilyFiction magazine with Amish, Contemporary and Women's fiction, and Children's books and DVDs. The new FamilyFiction Edge magazine will include the Suspense, Speculative, YA/Teen genres along with Movies & DVDs, and Comics.

I'll have articles in both magazines which will be great fun, beginning with a 5 Author Love Inspired Suspense Feature in FamilyFiction Edge's debut edition, releasing in February, 2012.
Here's the official press release which has all the info!

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (January 2, 2012)—Salem Communications Corporation has announced that FamilyFiction, the Christian fiction news source, is launching the all-new spin-off title FamilyFiction Edge. The bimonthly digital magazine FamilyFiction Edge will devote its attention to Christian storytellers in Suspense, Speculative Fiction, YA/Teen, Movies & DVDs, and Comics & Animation.

“From the beginning, the FamilyFiction brand has been devoted to the latest and greatest Christian fiction and family-friendly movies,” notes FamilyFiction’s editor, Chris Well. “By splitting our magazine coverage into two separate titles, each shining the spotlight in different directions of the broader field of Christian fiction, we make it even easier for readers to zero in on what they prefer.”

Starting with the January/February 2012 issue, FamilyFiction Digital Magazine will narrow its focus each issue to Amish fiction, Historical fiction, Romance, Contemporary and Women’s Fiction, and Children's books and DVDs. Top authors include Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, Francine Rivers, Beth Wiseman, and Melody Carlson. FamilyFiction also covers film releases such as Courageous, from the makers of Fireproof, and The Lamp, adapted from the novel by Jim Stovall.

Starting with the February/March 2012 debut issue, FamilyFiction Edge Digital Magazine will focus on the latest releases in Suspense fiction, which includes thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense; Speculative fiction, which includes science fiction, fantasy, supernatural fiction, and end times thrillers; plus YA/Teen fiction, Movies & DVDs, and Comics & Animation. Top creators for these categories include Frank Peretti, Brandilyn Collins, Ted Dekker, Bryan Davis, Steven James, Donita K. Paul, and more. The Edge’s film and DVD coverage will also include the latest from VeggieTales, the upcoming Left Behind movie, as well as the 2012 theatrical release The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The FamilyFiction brand also includes a comprehensive website, and the email newsletter
FamilyFiction Weekly

For more information on the latest in Christian fiction, movies, comics, and DVDs, please visit the FamilyFiction website at

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

May you be reminded this Christmas of the reason we celebrate and be thankful for the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ, who brings us close to God, the creator and giver of life.

With love, hugs and prayers from me to you, my dear friends!

xo xo xo

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Winners of Protection for Hire & more

Well, it has been a little quiet around here while I was busy with my eldest's birthday, finished up work for the summer holidays and prepared for Christmas!  I'll be back into things again next week but then I take my annual blogging break for the first two weeks in January :)  

There's going to be some fun stuff happening at Relz Reviewz in 2012, beginning with a great giveaway to celebrate the release of Ronie Kendig's FIRETHORN, the final story in her brilliant Discarded Heroes series, so stay tuned.

For now, here's some Christmas cheer for the winners of the signed copies of Camy Tang's PROTECTION FOR HIRE:

US winner ~ Chalaina

Aussie winners ~ Kathryn A & Leola

Congratulations!  Books will be coming your way soon :)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Coming in mid 2012 from Tyndale House

More Tyndale mid 2012 releases!!

I love Candy's stories and given that fabulous author Ronie Kendig has given Trauma Plan a glowing endorsement, it is one of my most anticipated reads for 2012 :) Jan and Tracy's books look great too.

Enjoy adding to your wishlists!

Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to her former duties as an ER nurse. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? Determined to prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.

Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen.

As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.

May, 2012

Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can’t understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents’ trust.

As Lilly becomes torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he’s hiding.

June, 2012

Years of Nazi occupation have stolen much from Brigitte Durand. Family. Freedom. Hope for a future, especially for a woman with a past like hers. But that changes the day American fighter pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down over occupied France. Picked up by the Resistance, Tom becomes the linchpin in their plan to infiltrate a Germans-only brothel and get critical intel out through Brigitte, a prostitute rumored to be sympathetic to the Allied cause.

D-day looms and everyone knows that invasion is imminent. But so is treachery, and the life of one American pilot unexpectedly jeopardizes everything. He becomes more important than the mission to a man who cannot bear to lose another agent and to a woman who is more than just a prostitute, who finally realizes that her actions could change the course of history.

June, 2012

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Coming in 2012 from Guideposts & Summerside Press

It's been a bit quiet here the last few days!  I've been caught up with my eldest's 14th birthday, work Christmas functions and no doubt, as Christmas approaches posting will be sporadic.  That said, I couldn't help but share with you some more sneak peeks!

Late last year Guideposts acquired Summerside Press and together they are continuing to release a range of titles to appeal to their readers.

Enjoy checking out these 2012 releases ~ any catch your eye?  Love the cover of Baroness, A Sweethaven Summer and Wedding Belles are cute, the others just the usual fare for me.

Campbell Carter has come to Sweethaven in search of answers about her mother’s history. Just before losing a battle with cancer, Suzanne Carter wrote letters to childhood friends from her hometown of Sweethaven, Michigan. Suzanne’s three friends—Lila, Jane, and Meghan—haven’t spoken in years, yet each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together as girls. Suzanne’s letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers.

With the help of a handsome local man and her mother’s three friends, Campbell hopes to finally uncover her mother’s twenty-five-year old secret. In the process, she discovers a family she never knew and the friendships she’s always wanted.

As the women reconnect over the pages of the old scrapbook, wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored—just as Suzanne intended.

COURTNEY WALSH is a freelance writer and author of two craft books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. A Sweethaven Summer is her debut novel.

February 1, 2012 ~ Guideposts Books

Rosemary Jackson has traveled all the way to the frozen tundra of North Dakota territory to visit her twin sister, Rachel. It’s been three long years since Rachel left Kansas with her new husband for this wild place. But Rosemary arrives to find only a grave, a grieving brother-in-law, and an underfed baby. She has no choice but to stay and see her sister’s family through the long winter.

Finn Tate has just buried his beloved wife, and he cannot seem to take care of himself or his infant daughter. He needs help. But he cannot stand the sight of Rosemary, who reminds him so much of Rachel, standing at his cook stove.

When Rosemary settles into a neighboring homestead, Finn realizes she is far more strong-willed than he ever anticipated. But after a series of mishaps on Rosemary’s property threaten her livelihood, it becomes clear that Finn is not the only one who wants her to go back to Kansas.

When the wildflowers arrive with the spring, will Rosemary be forced to leave everything she’s come to love in Wildrose, North Dakota?

TRACEY BATEMAN is the award-winning author of more than thirty titles and has nearly a million books in print. She lives in Missouri with her husband and four children, where she is active in music ministry at her church. Read more at 

February 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

1841—Ever since her parents died of yellow fever when she was a child, Charotte LeClerc has lived with her grandparents, who rarely speak of their son and his wife. They are on the verge of negotiating a marriage contract with a suitor, a man Charlotte dreads, when they discover that she enjoys the company of Gabriel Girod, a young Creole man.

Charlotte’s future hangs in the balance as her grandparents consider whether to stop keeping secrets and reveal the truth that they’ve known since before her birth—a truth that will make the difference between a life of obligation and a life of choice for Charlotte.

CHRISTA ALLAN is the author of two acclaimed novels. A former high school English teacher, Christa was born in New Orleans and has lived in Louisiana for most of her adult life. She and her husband have five grown children and three grandchildren. Read more at

February 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

Coming of age in the turbulent Roaring Twenties, two daughters of fortune can have anything they possibly want—except freedom. Expected to marry well and take the reins of the family empire, Lilly and Rosie have their entire lives planned out for them. But Lilly longs to flee the confines of New York City for the untamed wilds of Montana. Her cousin Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen. But following their dreams—to avant-garde France, to dazzling Broadway, to the skies of the fearless wing walkers—will demand all their courage.

When forced to decide, will Lilly and Rosie really be able to abandon lives of ease and luxury for the love and adventure that beckons? At what cost will each daughter of empire find her happy ending?

SUSAN MAY WARREN is the best-selling author of more than thirty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have earned her acclaim from readers and reviewers alike. She is a winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the RITA Award, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and a nominee for the Christy Award. She is the founder of My Book Therapy, a community that helps other writers find their voices. Susan and her husband have four children and live in a small Minnesota town on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior. Read more at

March 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

When two very special dogs descend on Acorn Hill, Alice wonders, Could a dog be an answer to prayer? Alice’s prayer is for Paula Middleton, a new resident who lives alone and suffers from seizures. After Paula is injured in a fall, Alice determines the town must do something for the young woman—and a service dog may be just the thing. But will the church board approve the expense? In the meantime, who owns the mysterious black dog that’s been watching over the citizens of Acorn Hill like a guardian angel?

DIANN HUNT began writing after her children left home and published her first novel in 2001. She has since published more than a dozen books. Diann and her husband live in Indiana, where they love to spoil their grandchildren and their dog. Read more at 

 April 1, 2012 ~ Guideposts Books

It’s spring in Acorn Hill, which means the garden is in full bloom and the air is filled with the song of birds returned from their winter adventures. A visit from Louise’s daughter, Cynthia, adds to the joy of the season, but her colleague, a dreamy poet, makes life troublesome for all the Howards with her forgetful ways. Meanwhile, Louise is distracted by a serious legal matter, Jane busies herself with a new hobby, and Alice does her best to offer her help and sweet encouragement wherever needed. The wonders of spring ensure that Grace Chapel Inn is always blooming with new adventures.

PAM HANSON and BARBARA ANDREWS are a daughter-mother writing team; they began working together in the early 1990s and have had twenty books published, including fifteen under the pseudonym Jennifer Drew. Pam is the director of advising for West Virginia University’s School of Journalism. She and her husband have two sons. Prior to their partnership, Barbara had twenty-one novels published under her own name. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of seven. Barbara lives with Pam and her family in West Virginia.

April 1, 2012 ~ Guideposts Books

For centuries, readers have debated the identity of the mysterious Dark Lady in William Shakespeare’s sonnets. Emilia Bassano—lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth and one of the first women poets in England—could be the answer.

In Shakespeare’s Lady, Emilia Bassano is one of the most dazzling ladies at court when she meets the little-known playwright William Shakespeare. Shakespeare sees the world like no one ever has before, and despite everything—his wife in Stratford-Avon, Emilia’s husband and young son, and the will of the fiery and unpredictable queen—they fall in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the Virgin Queen does not take lightly to her ladies straying. These star-crossed lovers must fight for their love—and, eventually, their lives. Meanwhile, William, courting the Queen’s favor for his new theater, pens some of the most memorable stories ever written, and encourages Emilia to write; he helps her compose, and eventually steals, a little bedtime story she calls A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

From the plague-ridden streets of London to the throne room of Greenwich Court to the stage of The Globe Theater, Shakespeare’s Lady is a meticulously researched and gorgeously written story about grace, forgiveness, and the forbidden love between the greatest poet the world has ever known and the woman who inspired him.

ALEXA SCHNEE is the youngest-ever recipient of the Mount Hermon Most Promising Writer Award and a first place winner of the Authors of the Flathead 2010 High School Writing Contest. She lives in Kalispell, Montana.

April 1, 2012 ~ Guideposts Books

Two charming Forever Hilltop books in one volume. This new two-in-one format features the much-beloved first book in the series, An Unlikely Blessing, along with its brand-new sequel, Surprising Grace.

Book One: An Unlikely Blessing. Meet Alex Armstrong, former city dweller who has just accepted his first parish assignment to a small community in the wilds of North Dakota. In Hilltop Township, Pastor Alex becomes familiar with the colorful residents and their odd traditions, from julebukking to King Oscar’s fish balls. And then there’s the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community! Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he has to teach them, providing all with An Unlikely Blessing.

Book Two: Surprising Grace. Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he’s even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie. But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined. In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once loved—and the home he’s come to love.

JUDY BAER, award-winning author of nearly eighty books, is a North Dakota native who writes from her home in Elk River, Minnesota. As well as being a full-time writer, Judy is a writing and life coach, a mother of two daughters, and a stepmother of three. Read more at 

May 1, 2012 ~ Guideposts Books

Kate Weaver returns home to her family’s farm in Apple Lake, Wisconsin, battered and bruised and hiding a secret. She is not yet baptized and has spent the past year at a music conservatory in Milwaukee, living among the English. Music is Kate’s passion, and she is very good, so she faces a difficult choice: she must either give up her family and home to pursue the gifts God has given her, or come home and be baptized and give up on her dreams. And with Nathaniel King, the handsome neighbor boy she grew up with, paying attention to her, the choice of whether to return to school in the fall is even harder.

Kate wins a starring role in an upcoming opera, and as she wrestles with pressure from her family and her newfound feelings for Nathaniel, she is also haunted by what happened to her just before she left school: she fought to protect her friend against an angry ex and landed the man in intensive care. Will the consequences of that battle be the end of everything she’s ever wanted anyway? Will Nathaniel wait around while she decides what God really wants for her?

JENNIFER BECKSTRAND has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. After six children, Jennifer decided to pursue a career in writing. One of her manuscripts, Rachel’s Angel, won first place in two writing contest. Jennifer is a member of the RWA and coordinates the Utah RWA Great Beginnings Contest. She lives in Utah. 

May 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

Annie Jamison is the sister who keeps the peace. So when her mother goes missing, Annie’s the one sent to retrieve her.

There’s one problem. It seems the town Willa Jamison (willingly) ran off to—Sunflower, Kansas—doesn’t exist. Sure, it’s on the map, but when Annie drives there, she finds herself in the middle of a field. Of sunflowers. In nearby Bonner Springs, Kansas, Annie finds her errant mother…and Joe Kelly, a handsome veterinarian who thinks Annie is part of a team of con artists out to swindle his father. It takes some time, but eventually, Joe’s working with Annie instead of against her to bring their wacky parents to their senses. When this unlikely team turns into an unlikely couple, Annie no longer wants to leave her field of sunflowers. She wants happily-ever-after with Joe Kelly. But when evidence of the con resurfaces, will Joe have enough faith in Annie to recognize the truth?

PAMELA TRACY is the author of more than twenty romance novels and novellas. She is a winner of the ACFW Carol Award and a finalist for both the Holt Madallion and RITA Awards. Pamela lives with her husband and young son in Nebraska. Read more at

May 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

In 1912, two years after a tornado left many children homeless, the town of Daisy, Oklahoma, needs help with its orphanage. Enter Rena Jewel, 38 years old and still single, who longs to do something important with her life. A lover of flowers, Rena believes the letter from Daisy to be a sign from the Lord, and she promises to help.

Sheriff Gene Wyatt is a widowed father struggling to control 23 unruly orphans—and to keep his own two boys from burning down the town. So when he receives word that help is on the way, Gene rejoices. Until he meets Rena, that is—a genteel and far too pretty woman whom he assumes is not up to the challenge. And after meeting the children, Rena begins to agree with him! At her wits’ end, she helps the children plant a garden and slowly earns their respect and obedience. The new orphanage director arrives just as the garden begins to bloom, and Rena must decide whether she can leave the town, the children—and the man—she’s come to love.

JANICE HANNA (also published as Janice Thompson) is the author of over seventy books for the Christian market, most of them light-hearted romances. An avid theater buff, Janice directs musicals at a Christian theater near her home in the Houston, Texas area.

May 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

Scene: Beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, 1912. Tomboy Lottie Sanders would do just about anything to help the fella she secretly loves. When Gilbert Parker’s family lodge faces financial ruin, he suggests putting on a melodrama to draw in a crowd. He appeals to Lottie to direct the show. Her plan to bring in actresses from across the country is sabotaged when the local single men turn it into a hunt for brides. Lottie finds the drama shifting from the stage to real life.

Filled with villains, vixens, heroes, and enough actresses to fill a theater, this tale is sure to please lovers of historical romance.

JANICE HANNA (also published as Janice Thompson) is the author of over seventy books for the Christian market, most of them light-hearted romances. An avid theater buff, Janice directs musicals at a Christian theater near her home in the Houston, Texas area. 

May 1, 2012 ~ Summerside Press

Oil by Jeff Nesbit

Global powers race to exploit the chaos that has erupted overnight. Terrorist attacks against three of the world’s largest oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq threaten to cripple the global economy. Clues link to a rogue, nuclear-armed country and a radical Sunni group, but not all are convinced they’re the perpetrators. Who had something to gain? All roads seem to lead to Israel, where Russia and America are locked in a titanic struggle over Israel’s large, undeveloped oil shale reserves.

Nash Lee, an NGO entrepreneur, is thrust into the tumultuous politics of the powerful Saudi kingdom. Dare he trust Saudi’s Prince Abdul with the information he and his team uncover about a deadly plot to spark dissension among the Arab nation-states? Will the Arab Spring revolts spill over into a fight for control of the Saudi kingdom and push the entire planet to the brink of war?

JEFF NESBIT has been a national journalist, the director of public affairs at two federal agencies in Washington, DC, and the communications director of a former vice president at the White House. He’s written more than a dozen successful novels.

June 1, 2012 ~ Guideposts Books

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

"More than any other holiday, Christmas had the power to rip her asunder."

In 1949, Dottie Morgan was done with Christmas - too many painful memories and no one to share them with.  Once the doyen of Frost, Minnesota's Christmas spirit, Dottie just prays the season will be over quickly and quietly.

""Sweetheart, no man is going to marry a gal who can change her own tires.  Men need to feel needed.""

Even Violet Hart's mother devalues her sacrifice and hard work during World War II as a member of the WAACs.  While the citizens of Frost find Violet's abilities unworthy of a young woman, Violet is hoping the man she has been corresponding with cares for more than impractical feminine accomplishments.

"He might be a farmer, but he had years of practice reading the nonverbal communication of a wounded woman."

Gordon Lindholm has watched over his neighbour for more than two decades.  Silently, and without thanks, made sure milk was delivered and wood chopped, but those things didn't erase the pain of grief, anger and loss or the accusation in her eyes.

"The truth will set you free.  The words thrummed in his head. Yes. If only he believed them."

Jake Ramsey turns up in Frost on a mission.  To speak the truth to the woman he has grown to love, yet never met and to face the consequences of choices he has come to regret.

Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside is a beautiful Christmas story that will touch your heart and reignite your love for Christmas traditions and the importance of sharing the spirit of Christmas with others.  Emotive and engaging, each character is replete with personality, foibles and strength, as they grapple with past heartache and for some, the anticipation hope brings.  The town of Frost and the post war era come alive under Susan's deft hand, and the relationships, both old and new, are replete with poignancy and tenderness.  Dottie, Violet, Gordon and Jake will capture your imagination as they seek to come to terms with their lives.  The magic that is Christmas, with its message of hope and second chances, glows in this story and will evoke tears of sadness and joy.  Baby, It's Cold Outside is a must read for anyone who adores Christmas novels and even for those, like me, who don't!  The perfect read to curl up with as the birth of Jesus approaches.

With thanks to Litfuse for my review copy

As seen at

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Jinx Worth
Reviews of Heiress, Nightingale & Sons of Thunder

Visit Susie's website and blog

Buy Susie's books at Amazon or Koorong

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Protection for Hire by Camy Tang


Tessa Lancaster's skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her Uncle Teruo's Japanese Mafia gang. 

Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn't commit. 

Now, three months after her release, Tessa's abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for wealthy socialite Elizabeth St. Amant and her three-year-old son.But there's a problem or two . or three .. 

There's Elizabeth's abusive husband whose relentless pursuit goes deeper than mere vengeance. There's Uncle Teruo, who doesn't understand why Tessa's new faith as a Christian prevents her from returning to the yakuza. And then there's Elizabeth's lawyer, Charles Britton, who Tessa doesn't know is the one who ensured that she did maximum time behind bars. 

Now Tessa and Charles must work together in order to protect their client, while new truths emerge and circumstances spiral to a deadly fever pitch.

My take:~

A feisty and forgiven heroine with questionable family connections, an heiress determined to protect her young son, a caustic sister, disappointed mother and a southern lawyer with a penchant for cannoli, all add up to a fabulously entertaining novel from the pen of the talented Camy Tang.  Camy's characters ooze authenticity and charm, are openly flawed and strive to do what is right adding substance to this fast placed tale of family ties, faith and new beginnings.  Tessa's newfound faith is tested as her uncle tempts her to return to her role as an enforcer for the yakuza while Charles Britton entices her heart.  Camy's characters and storyline are refreshingly unique and simply put, make for a fabulous read.  Great suspense, enticing romance and a deeper message of faith make Protection for Hire a great start to what will be a terrific series ~ I'm looking forward to the next installment in Tessa's life.

With thanks to Zondervan for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Tessa & Charles
Reviews of Sushi for One?, Only Uni, Single Sashimi, Deadly Intent & Formula for Danger
What's Cooking? with Camy
Interview with Camy
Visit Camy's website and blog
Buy Camy's books at Amazon and Koorong
Don't miss your chance to win a copy of Camy's book ~ click here

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