Sunday, 29 April 2012

Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert


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.

My take:~

While Candace Calvert once again gives readers a sigh-worthy hero and an appealing leading lady, she also packs an emotional punch in her first Grace Medical series that may require your own trip to the ER! Championing community clinics and the health professionals that sacrifice lucrative careers to run them, Candace gives readers a fast paced suspense novel with substance and soul. Jack is great character, dedicated and devoted to the homeless people he serves but with a temper that can damage his cause and pulls him from the trap of being the perfect man. Riley’s determination to work her way back into trauma nursing following a devastating injury is incredibly moving and oozes authenticity, no doubt from Candace’s personal experience with her own past severe injury. Trauma Plan will have your heart racing as the story unfolds and is well worth the eighteen month wait. Thankfully Rescue Team (working title) is not so far away!

With thanks to Tyndale for my review copy via NetGalley

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Critical Care, Disaster Status & Code Triage
Character spotlight on Nick & Leigh from Code Triage
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

Friday, 27 April 2012

Getting to know Olivia Newport

It is my delight and privilege to introduce you to Olivia Newport, one of four 
delightful debutantes whose books are officially releasing this May.  

Look for a series of upcoming interviews, character spotlights, giveaways and 

reviews on my blog highlighting Olivia, Dani Pettrey, Katie Ganshert and Beth Vogt 

along with some spectacular news regarding the....

Debutantes' Story Soiree - coming May 15th. 

Four books. Four authors. One EPIC event! Stay tuned for more info!!

Please share a little about yourself
I live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies with my husband and two twentysomething children who are all welcome distractions from the people stomping through my head into my books. Though we have Illinois roots, we love the beauty and temperate climate of Colorado.

What appeals to you most about writing fiction?

I’ve spent more decades than I’m going to specify devouring fiction. This has conditioned me to see story in every experience or setting I encounter. Writing fiction gives me the chance to process all that in a way that hopefully will connect with readers. In some ways I’ve been training for the release of my first novel for years.

How did you celebrate when news of your contract broke?

That’s a good question! I honestly don’t remember. I hope it was something fun!

Name five things you can’t live without (no need to take this too seriously!)

Avocado, sugar snap peas, the redeeming marvel of small children, a Brazilian hammock, and bacon-wrapped dates

Favourite book ~ Favourite movie ~ Favourite TV show

I don’t usually settle on favorites—there are so many great stories out there. Right now I am enamored of PBS’s Downton Abbey, partly because the world it creates overlaps with the world of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Does that count as a TV show and a movie?

Where is the most interesting place you have been?

I once stood on the balcony of a palace in Nepal that dated to the 1600s and stared at the Himalayas. Quite close up, I might add.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. Always. And that’s the truth. I just wasn’t brave enough to try for many, many years, so I pretended I was an editor.

What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

I will chomp into a fresh red pepper like it’s an apple, and don’t try to stop me.

I love audiobooks! That way I can redeem the time I spend doing necessary but uninteresting (to me) tasks.

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

What/whom inspired you to write The Pursuit of Lucy Banning?

My friend Stephen Reginald decided to train as a docent in the Glessner House Museum, which is right in his neighborhood in Chicago. He immediately saw the potential for a story setting and challenged me to write, while he supported the effort with onsite research. I was smitten immediately.

Share a little about your main characters

Lucy Banning is a young woman whose wealthy family expects her to live a life befitting her status. Lucy has other ideas. While it’s true she does some sneaking around, her heart is always in the right place. Will Edwards, an unlikely architect, is grateful for friendship and opportunity—and the possibility of love. Against the backdrop of the 1893 world’s fair, Lucy and Will find each other.

Describe The Pursuit of Lucy Banning in five adjectives

• layered

• faithful

• incarnational

• compelling

• enriching

A favourite paragraph or scene from The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

I think I’d have to post a spoiler alert to answer that question. I’ll just say that I still find myself sighing with satisfaction late in the book when Lucy takes charge during a crisis and other people finally see what she is capable of accomplishing when she is allowed to put her compassion to work.

What kind of readers do you think will enjoy your story?

Fans of historical fiction will find the story richly faithful to the era. Curious readers will discover a neighborhood brimming with Chicago history.

Connect with Olivia
Author Website & Blog:
Preorder Olivia's books: Amazon or Koorong
Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Olivia's website and blog
Buy Olivia's books at Amazon or Koorong 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Character Spotlight ~ Rachel Hauck's Charlotte, Emily, Daniel and Tim

Rachel Hauck's acclaimed novel, The Wedding Dress, is now available from Thomas Nelson.


Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can't she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim? 

Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and  timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been "redeemed." 

Charlotte's search for the gown's history-and its new bride-begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love.

Enjoy meeting Charlotte, Tim, Emily & Daniel!

Photo: Alexx Henry/2009 Crown Media
Brief physical description

Charlotte – Dark. Olive skin, hazel eyes, dark hair.. Famous actress might be Jennifer Esposito from Blue Bloods.

Emily – fair,, brown hair. Has a pompador. Young Greer Garson

Daniel – dark hair.. Can’t remember his eyes. Think Robert Wagner when he was young!

Tim – Taylor Kitsch. Nuff said. ;)

Strengths and weaknesses

Emily is strong enough to stand up for what she believes in and confront social norms and racism. But not quite strong enough to defy her father and marry the man she loves. At first…

Charlotte can dress any bride but herself.

Daniel loves Emily but gives up too easily. Yet, he’s a man of honor.

Tim can’t quite grow up until he realizes he might lose the love of his life.

Your inspiration for the character

Inspiration came from all over the place. The dress had to be a central point of the book so I worked at creating characters that would understand and define the gown.

Background to the story

I’d gone to Nashville for a girl’s weekend and we got to talking about weddings and wedding dresses. Something in the conversation triggered my creative juices and I was off in story land dreaming of a hundred year old wedding gown and all of the possible “what ifs.”

This book just seemed to write itself. It’s a rare for idea hit fast and stick but I knew The Wedding Dress would be a book. I pitched it to my editor a few days later and she was sold on the idea as much as I. I’m glad. I love this story!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Dining with Joy, The Sweet By and By, Love Starts With Elle, Sweet Caroline and Diva NashVegas
Interview with Rachel
Visit Rachel's website
Buy Rachel's books at Amazon or Koorong

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Book trailer for Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure

The excitement is building for Dee Henderson's October release, Full Disclosure from Bethany House

Check out the trailer and preorder the book at Amazon, CBD or Koorong :)

The winners are......

Wildflowers from Winter ~ Laura J

Hiding in Plain Sight ~ Brittanie 

The Chair ~ Merry & Abby (USA) and Laetitia & Cheryl (AUS)

Congratulations :)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Relz Reviewz is moving!

Six years ago, I started my blog, Relz Reviewz, without the first clue as to how Blogger worked, an HTML knowledge of zero, and a belief that only my mum and sister would ever read my posts!  Well, there's no question that my mum and sister have been joined by many other readers from the States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, The Netherlands, India and more but not much else has changed ;-D

As I became more engaged in the book blogger world, made connections with publishers, publicists, authors and reviewers, and became a writer for, I knew it was time for my little blog to have a big makeover.  So I'm thrilled to announce that my blog is finding a new home at and will have a wonderful new Wordpress-based design, fabulously put together by my dear friend and faithful encourager, Kelli Standish. Kelli and I have talked for years about giving my blog a facelift, and I'm delighted that our long talked about dream is finally coming true!

I have also converted my Facebook profile to a page so I'd love you to drop in and LIKE it if you are so inclined :)

I can't wait to reveal the design to you, but given that suspense is one of my favourite genres, I'm going to make you wait a little longer ;-)  BUT, you can get a little taste of right this instant, when you learn about my other exciting news.  

Next month, I'll have the privilege and pleasure of hosting a wonderful event for four amazing debut novelists, in the live event of the season!

The Debutantes’ Story Soiree

Four books. Four authors. One EPIC event!

May 15, 2012 7:30-9:00 PM CST

Beth VogtWish You Were Here- Simon & Schuster
Dani PettreySubmerged – Bethany House
Katie GanshertWildflowers from Winter – Waterbrook Press
Olivia Newport The Pursuit of Lucy Banning – Revell


To learn more, sign up for a reminder e-mail the day of the event, and have a sneak peek at my site, go to

The DEBS and I would love your support, so grab the widget in my sidebar and spread the news, pretty please!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Character Spotlight ~ M.K. Gilroy's Kristen Conner

Publishing executive MK Gilroy has released his first novel, Cuts Like A Knife, available now from Worthy Publishing.


The Killer ...

Chicago has a new resident; a heartless killer on a decade-long crime spree.  When a successful young woman is found dead in her fashionable town home, a red flag goes up in Washington, D.C. The FBI knows an elusive "organized killer" is at work again.  The problem is the Feds have only one tenuous lead to assist local police in the manhunt ... a most unlikely place the killer likes to find his victims.

The Detective ...

Conner, turning thirty, single, light as a feather but tougher than nails—growing up in a cop’s home and taking every hand-to-hand combat course that the Chicago Police Department offers does that—and the coach of her niece’s 7-year-old soccer team, the Snowflakes, becomes a lead detective in her first major homicide case. She’s a good girl—loves her mom, goes to church, only yells when she’s really mad—who just can’t stop fighting with her partner, police department brass, and most of all, her TV news anchor sister, Klarissa, who can turn a single bite of chicken into a 30-minute ordeal of starting, stopping, and starting again. Her mom, sisters, and various suitors all think she’s wonderful—except for her anger and bonding issues.

The Climax ...

From the opening chase scene that leads to a back alley where a Punk with a knife awaits, to the climactic scene where Kristen goes one-on-one with a man who is killing innocent women in her town and now has her in his sights, Cuts Like a Knife, the debut novel from Mark Gilroy, is loaded with action, humor, and wry introspection through the voice of its irrepressible lead character.
Enjoy meeting Kristen Conner!

Brief physical description

Kristen Conner is a 30-year-old brunette who was a great high school and college soccer player and who is still a workout fiend. She loves to run the steps at the football stadium of the high school close to where she lives along with hand-to-hand combat training from Israeli krav maga to Brazilian jujitsu to traditional boxing, so she is in great shape. She’s a very pretty girl who doesn’t know she is pretty. Her sisters think her fashion sense is in need of a serious upgrade. She wears black slacks and a relaxed fit jacket every day; hair is often in a ponytail because that’s easiest; she wears next to no makeup – but sometimes adds a quick dash of red on the lips.

Actor/famous person

One of my first readers immediately said Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. And that’s not a bad image of Kristen Conner. I was thinking more of the Angelina Jolie fighter toughness from Mr. & Mrs. Smith – but with a little more Jennifer Garner girl-next-door facial look.

Strengths and weaknesses

She is smart and relentless – great qualities for a cop. She is loyal to her family and friends to a fault. She never misses Sunday dinner with her family, she coaches her seven-year-old niece’s soccer team, and is a great detective partner. I’ve already mentioned she is great at hand-to-hand combat. But – she can’t shoot a handgun straight and that really makes her mad. She switched from a Glock to a Beretta in Cuts Like a Knife – and she is already trying out the Sig Sauer in the next novel. She struggles with her anger – and as a result she has a way of getting into both humorous and serious fights with everyone from the barista at JavaStar to her mom and sisters to the top brass of the Chicago Police Department. Her deceased father was a legend on the force and she tagged along with him every chance she got – so even when she gets into it with colleagues it’s more like a sibling spat. Kristen is a real person with a great faith – but the doubts and troubles that plague all of us.

Quirk (if any)

Kirsten can’t tell a joke and her sense of timing when she speaks up in a meeting is always off. She is graceful but bumps into things and spills coffee. Speaking of coffee, she can’t get her order at JavaStar right. She loves everyone and they all love her – so why do they fight so much? That’s her quirk. She’s a delightful, charming, graceful – mess!

Your inspiration for the character

I love the mystery-thriller genre so having a detective as a lead character is no surprise. As the father of three daughters, I think the changes I saw with their generation helped me flesh out Kristen. More independent, more sports oriented, very can-do. She can be very lady like but is also tough and can hold her own in a tough and dangerous profession.

Background to the story

There is no single historical case or reference that served as background. I had some definite ideas on Kristen and after researching psychopathic personalities, I also had a very strong villain for her to face throughout the book in mind. Once I started writing, I think these two incredibly strong personalities went at it and basically drove the storyline through some great twists and turns of a very general plot I had in mind. Family and faith are very important to me, so those two dynamics are woven throughout in a very realistic and natural way. One of my goals that I’ve been told comes through is that I set out to NOT write a religious novel. I wanted to write a mystery-thriller with a person of faith, however. So I think this comes through as general market suspense but with a fabulous lead character who has a definite Christian worldview.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Cuts Like A Knife
Visit Mark's website 
Buy Mark's book at Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 20 April 2012

Getting to know Beth Vogt

It is my delight and privilege to introduce you to Beth K Vogt, one of four 
delightful debutantes whose books are officially releasing this May.  

Look for a series of upcoming interviews, character spotlights, giveaways and 

reviews on my blog highlighting Beth, Dani Pettrey, Olivia Newport and Katie Ganshert 

along with some spectacular news regarding the....

Debutantes' Story Soiree - coming May 15th. 

Four books. Four authors. One EPIC event! Stay tuned for more info!!

What appeals to you most about writing fiction? 

I love the ability to weave truth into imaginary characters’ lives. And I love the challenge of becoming not just a good writer but a storyteller.

Why Christian fiction? 

I’ve heard it said that the word “Christian” isn’t an adjective. :) I’ve heard writers toss around terms like “inspirational” and “faith-based.” Whatever. My faith is an integral part of who I am—it influences everything I do: How I relate to my husband, how I raise my children, how I write books. Every writer weaves something they consider true – their values – into the stories they write. I have found truth and peace and purpose in my faith.

Rel: I wish there was a better descriptor, too!

Name five things you can’t live without

1. Laughter
2. Falling asleep in my husband’s arms
3. Watching a good football game with no one telling me to “Tone it down!”
4. God’s lavish grace
5. Dinner reservations

Favourite book ~ The first book I ever read because it opened the door to all the other books I ever read. So, yes, this was probably something along the lines of “See Dick run. See Jane talk.” (My husband came up with that last line.)

Favourite movie ~ The Magic of Ordinary Days, a Hallmark movie I watch over and over again.

Favourite TV show ~ Lie to Me, which I only started watching on NetFlix after it went off the air!

Where is the most interesting place you have been?

“Interesting” is such a vague word, Rel. I lived in Turkey for two years way-back in our “military family” days when I had three children under the age of five. Now that was i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g.

Rel: Yep, Turkey even without kids would be challenging, I imagine!!

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

A writer. Isn’t wonderful? I’m living my dream.

What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

• I have a twin sister, Brenda. We’re fraternal twins. I’m older than her by four minutes. When we were growing up, we couldn’t even convince people we were sisters, much less twins.

• I met my husband in a karate studio when he knocked me down—I mean, when he swept me off my feet. Really.

Rel:  Now, there's a book waiting to happen, right there, Beth!

Wish You Were Here

Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.

Still, kissing the groom's brother in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison's life is nothing but mistakes at this point. And pulling a "Runaway Bride" complete with stealing, er, borrowing her best friend's car doesn't seem to solve her problems.

Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Maybe she just needs to stop orchestrating everything. Allison prefers being the one in control, and giving it up is not going to be easy. But to find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her and find the strength to let Him lead.

What was your favourite scene to write in Wish You Were Here or share your favourite paragraph

Allison is talking to her Aunt Nita as she struggles to figure out what’s the right thing to do:

“Why does doing the right thing cut off my breath? It’s like . . . like someone hands me an outfit and says, ‘Put this on.” And then I shove myself into this dress two sizes too small. Cram my feet into shoes that pinch my toes and scrape my heels. I go and stand in front of the mirror and try to convince myself it looks fine. That I look fine. I tell myself to just buy the outfit. And the whole time, I want my yoga pants, cotton top, and flip flops.”

Which character did you connect to the most?

Allison – I loved watching her change, discovering who God created her to be. I admired her courage.

Which character was the most difficult to write? 

Seth. He actually didn’t start talking to me until the second draft of the manuscript. My agent, Rachelle Gardner, wanted to hear more of his story.

What’s next in your writing pipeline? 

I’m working on a stand-alone story with the working title Catch a Falling Star. It’s also a contemporary romance set in Colorado that wrestles with the question: What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Do you keep forcing Plan A? Do you opt for Plan B? Or do you just settle?

Rel: Sounding good, Beth!
Connect with Beth

Author Website:
Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Beth's website
Buy Beth's books at Amazon or CBD

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Character Spotlight ~ Tricia Goyer's Marianna Sommer

To celebrate the final Big Sky novel, Beyond Hope's Valley, I'm reposting the spotlight on Tricia Goyer's leading Amish lady, Marianna Sommer.


After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs.

Enjoy meeting Marianna!

Brief physical description 
Marianna Sommer is a petite Amish young woman with light brown hair and grey eyes.

Actor/famous person 

Rachel McAdams.

Strengths and weaknesses 

Strengths: She's dedicated to her family and the Amish way of life. She has a loving a caring heart. She's great in the kitchen and she has a fun sense of humor and quick wit—which many “Englischers” don't expect.

Weaknesses: She cares about what others think more than she should. She also battles between how she's been raised and what her heart it telling her to be true about God and others.

Your inspiration for the character

Marianna was inspired by Amish friends of mine. Spending time with them I found them fun, surprising and yet thoughtful, too. Sometimes we think that simple people are boring, but that's not the case with my friends or Marianna either.

Background to the s

Every great novel starts with a bit of fact. This story started with more than that.
A few years ago I was asked if I'd ever consider writing an Amish novel. The truth is, I hadn't. But the first seed of an idea was planted and my mind started to feed and water it. That's how novels usually start.
Later that day, I remembered that my daughter had a friend, Saretta, whose parents were raised Amish. They moved from an Amish community in Indiana to Montana, and that is how we met. I also remember my daughter telling me Ora Jay and Irene lost two daughters in a buggy accident.
Hmmm, I thought. I'd love to hear their story. Maybe someday, if I see them again, I'll ask. The next day, my daughter Leslie and I went out for some mom and daughter time. We went to a bookstore to browse and get coffee. As we looked over the bargain rack guessed who walked in … Saretta. We hadn't seen her for six months at least and there she was. “Saretta,” I told her. “I think I'm supposed to talk to your parents—hear their story.” “Sure, I'm sure they'd love to talk to you!”
Less than a week later Ora Jay and Irene sat in my living room. They told me about being Amish, about losing their daughters, about their move. They also talked about their faith. They shared what the meant to be Amish. They shared how their faith had grown after moving to Montana. They shared many ways God had changed their lives and their hearts. I listened amazed. Their story added more water—the Living Water—and sunshine to the seed of a novel planted in my hearts. After talking to Ora Jay and Irene, I met many other Amish women from the West Kootenai Community. I was honored as they shared their lives with me.
While this story is still a work of fiction, I've tried to be as true to the lifestyle and faith of this Amish community. As you may know, each Amish community is different, depending on the place and rules of the church. While I may not have gotten everything right, I've tried hard that my words reflect truth. I trust they do.
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana
Character spotlight on Julia Cavanaugh
Visit Tricia's website and blog
Buy Tricia's books at Amazon or Koorong

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Love's Sacred Song by Mesu Andrews


Standing in the massive shadow of his famous father, young king Solomon wavers between fear and bravado, wisdom and folly. In the uncertain world of alliances and treachery, Solomon longs for peace and a love that is true and pure--a love that can be his cornerstone.

A shepherdess in the northern city of Shunem, Arielah remembers the first time she laid eyes on Solomon in Jerusalem when she was just seven years old. Since then she has known that it was her destiny to become his bride. When her father, a leader of their tribe, secures a promise from King Solomon to marry Arielah as a treaty bride to help unite the kingdom, it seems her dreams may come true.

My take:~

Mesu Andrews tackles the challenging and intriguing life of King Solomon in her second novel, Love's Sacred Song, with great talent and insight.  Bringing the intrigue of court life, the spitefulness of his harem and his love for his Shulammite bride to life, Mesu paints a fascinating portrait of Solomon and what might have been.  Solomon, Arielah, Jehoshaphat and Benaiah are stand out characters whose strengths and weaknesses reflect the struggles we face today.  This is a beautiful story that engages heart and mind as Solomon's political wisdom wars with his vulnerability to women. I can't wait to see which Biblical story Mesu tackles next!

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras
RBC Book Club interview with Mesu ~ Part 1 & Part 2
with Mesu
Visit Mesu's website
Buy Mesu's books at Amazon or Koorong

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Christy Award Nominations, 2012

So, the 2012 Christy Award nominations have been announced and I'm particularly THRILLED to see Ronie Kendig, Jim Rubart, Lisa Bergren and Ginny Y'ttrup nominated in a star studded list of nominees!  
I've read 15 of the 27 nominations so I have a few more to get through ~ how about you?  Any standouts in the list?  Other authors you are surprised who missed out?


ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The 13th annual Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction will
be presented at a dinner to be held at 7:00 p.m., Mon., July 16, 2012, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in
Orlando. The reservation form for the 2012 Christy Awards will be available online at after Apr. 26. Watch for an announcement regarding keynote speaker
and emcee soon.

The Christy Advisory Board is pleased to announce nominees in nine categories for the 2012
Christy Awards honoring Christian fiction.

The 2012 Christy Award nominees are:


My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)
Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing)


The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (Harvest House Publishers)
Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen (B&H Publishing Group)
The Touch by Randall Wallace (Tyndale House Publishers)


Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes (Tyndale House Publishers)
Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Words by Ginny Yttrup (B&H Publishing Group)


An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon (Zondervan)
Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola (Barbour Publishing)
Words by Ginny Yttrup (B&H Publishing Group)


Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman (Tyndale House Publishers)
Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
To Die For by Sandra Byrd (Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster)


Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing Group)
Pattern of Wounds by Mark Bertrand (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Queen by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


The Chair by Jim Rubart (B&H Publishing Group)
Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee (Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group USA)
Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


How Huge the Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn (Kregel Publications)
Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan)
Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (David C Cook)

The Christy Awards are also online at:

Media Inquiries:                                                                                                                    Reservations:
Jeane Wynn                                                                                                                        Donna Kehoe
Wynn-Wynn Media, LLC                                                                         

Coming in September from Dee Henderson

So here it is!  Dee Henderson's long awaited new novel, Full Disclosure, now being released in September, 2012 from Bethany House.

Let's have your thoughts on the storyline, cover art and more!  I'm so keen to read this book and see if Dee has recaptured her great talent for storytelling after her long hiatus.

Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is...

Monday, 16 April 2012

Arms of Love by Kelly Long


The year is 1777. America is in turmoil.  And Amish life is far different than today.

Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn's Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish. 

Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal. 

Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he's ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he's made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

When Adam withdraws from Lena, she's forced to turn to his brother, Isaac, for support. Must Lena deny her heart's desire to save Adam's soul? And will life in this feral and primitive New World be more than this peace-keeping people can withstand?

My take:~

If you have spent more than a few minutes browsing my blog, you will notice a dearth of reviews of Amish novels.  As a genre, it simply doesn't appeal to me and I genuinely struggle to understand why these novels flood the Christian fiction market. Now, before anyone runs me over with a buggy, this is not a criticism of the many talented authors who write these stories, it just explains my lack of interest.  So, it goes without saying that an author who can write an Amish novel that I am willing to read is special!  Kelly Long is one such author and she did not disappoint me with Arms of Love, the first book in her Amish Beginnings series and another 'out of the box' Amish novel.  A unique time period, authentic characters and an unrequited love make Arms of Love captivating and emotive.  Adam Wyse, Lena Yoder and Ruth Stone leap from the pages with authenticity as they wrestle sorrow, loss and injustice.  Kelly is not afraid to tackle topics they are rarely found in Amish stories, adding depth and emotion to an intriguing tale.  I had expected the military conflict to have featured more prominently given the synopsis but Kelly included plenty of relational conflict and historical detail, making the journey all the more fascinating.  I can highly recommend Arms of Love and any Kelly Long novel as her talent surpasses any hesitation I feel delving into a genre outside my comfort zone!

With thanks to Thomas Nelson for my review copy

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Buy Kelly's books at Amazon or Koorong

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