Monday, September 5, 2016

Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall



About the Book:
Starving Hearts (Heritage Beacon Fiction, May 2016)

Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

Learn more and purchase a copy.



 
About the Author:
Janine Mendenhall teaches teens English, of all things! Sometimes she sleeps, but most nights she reads, writes, or watches movies like Pride and Prejudice and claims she’s researching her next book. “Splickety Love” and “Splickety Prime” have published her flash fiction. She and her husband, Tom, live in North Carolina where they and their two golden retrievers help gratify the needs of their five children and two cats.






Margie’s Comments:
Janine Mendenhall is a new author to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from Starving Hearts. But I was pleasantly surprised by a fresh approach to a pre-Regency romance—a time period I’m interested in and have done a certain amount of research into. The story is captivating, and the characters are real and appropriate to carry the story for the most part. If I have any criticism is that no one but the main characters seems to see people as they truly are. Some of the villainy seems a little over the top. For example, while Peter’s brother’s demise adds a twist that Peter doesn’t want to deal with, it also seems inevitable. Overall, however, Starving Hearts is a pleasurable and satisfying read.

Janine Mendenhall’s ‘Starving Hearts’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Will Annette's search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall's book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .




Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.






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One grand prize winner will receive:




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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine's blog.





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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dana Mentink's 'Fetching Sweetness' prize pack giveaway

A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author's valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author's canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.




Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!






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One grand prize winner will receive:




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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana's blog.





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Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink

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About the Book:  
Fetching Sweetness (Harvest House, July 2016)

Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog . . . thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


About the Author: Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.




Margie’s Comments:  I had a hard time putting down this book. And that’s not a comment I make about a book very often. I do like Dana’s books, so I was glad when I received her latest, Fetching Sweetness, from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I hadn’t read one of her romances, though, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a good, solidly written story, with plenty of fun and adventure—like the author’s romantic suspense and mystery books. The characters are well developed, from the very first sentence (“Stephanie regretted driving over the wedding cake.”) to the last. And the theme of discovering God’s perfect plan from Jeremiah 29:11 really caught my attention since I’m at a crossroads right now. I highly recommend this book.

Monday, August 8, 2016

‘A Beauty Refined’ by Tracie Peterson


About the book:
A Beauty Refined (Bethany House, July 2016)

What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father’s intentions—both for her and the gemstones—are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family’s deception begins to unravel.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


About the Author:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.



Margie's Comments: It has been a while since I’ve read a Tracie Peterson book, and oh what a refreshing read it was! A Beauty Refined has all the qualities of good Christian historical fiction I’ve come to expect from Tracie: good characters, great setting, interesting premise, and good clean romance. Watching Phoebe and Ian’s story unfold in and around the sapphire mines of Montana early in the last century was a joy as I relaxed with A Beauty Refined over the weekend. This is definitely a book worth reading.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

My review is coming this weekend!

In the meantime get in on this great giveaway!

Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.




Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.






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One grand prize winner will receive:




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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.





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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Seed by Erik Guzman



About the Book:
The Seed (New Growth Press, May 2016)

Young Madeline and Roark are desperately running from the shadow that destroyed their home and is threatening their lives.

One day, they encounter Tatus, an older man who has sworn to avenge the death of his family at the hands of the shadow, and they form an alliance with him. Tatus promises that he can keep them safe from the shadow if they will help him build a fortress. So they build.

But as fortress-building consumes their lives, Madeline and Roark are increasingly filled with anger and fear, and an unseen evil threatens to ultimately destroy them. When they finally face the shadow, he presents them with an unthinkable offer that will reveal shocking secrets of the forgotten past, the unseen present, and the unimaginable future.

We’ve all had the feeling that something’s not quite right with our lives. It’s bigger than any specific failure or disappointment. It’s bigger than any person. No matter what you achieve or how much you drink or sleep, you can’t shake it. It haunts you-night and day-and propels you to do something. So you build. You build and build the maze that is your exhausting life. Sound vaguely familiar?

The Seed: A True Myth is a journey into the personal labyrinths we create to protect ourselves and those we love from the pain of living in a broken world. Guzman’s “true myth” takes the reader on an unforgettable journey that is, in essence, the grand narrative of God’s redemptive work in the world. This page-turning Christian fantasy tale is packed with mystery and drama, and readers will feel the weight and power of redemption as they journey alongside Guzman’s characters in their epic battle. The Seed deftly communicates the heart of Trinitarian theology through story—without using theological language or Christian terms—and reinforces biblical themes such as God’s character and man’s true identity and calling.





 

About the Author:
Erik Guzman is Vice President of Communications and Executive Producer at Key Life Network. He’s the cohost of the nationally syndicated talk show Steve Brown, Etc. and announcer for "Key Life." His writing has been featured in Key Life's magazine and online at KeyLife.org, Liberate.org, Burnside Writers Collective, and Sojourners (sojo.net). He is also a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a drummer, and a 5th degree black belt in Aikido. Erik, his wife, and three children live near Orlando, Florida.







Margie’s Comments:
The Seed is an interesting book on several levels, though I found it somewhat difficult reading. I’m not sure why. I don’t normally mind reading allegorical or mythical books. In fact I’m in the minority when it comes to other writer/editor friends in that I like speculative/fantasy/allegorical fiction.

But this was hard for me to get into. Maybe because it started out rather dark. But I kind of expected that, knowing the basic subject matter. Maybe because the timeline jumped about rather than in a straight line. But even that I could handle once I understood why the author chose to write it that way.

The characters were okay, though I had trouble getting into them at first as well. Again I think that might have been the timeline-jumping thing. Also the lack of names and then name changes for each of the characters was a little tricky to keep up with.

But in the end, I did like the book. However, I think you’ve really got to enjoy this genre if you’re going to read this book. And it does help to have a good grasp of allegory and allegorical features and the theology behind the story. So not a highly recommended book, but not a “don’t ever read this book,” either.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Medical Judgment by Richard L. Mabry, M.D./eReader Giveaway & Review


Author: Richard Mabry

Just what the doctor ordered: heart-thumping suspense and intrigue, courtesy of Richard Mabry’s new medical drama, Medical Judgment. Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her and set a fire at her home. Trying to recover from the traumatic deaths of her husband and infant daughter is tough enough, but she has no idea what will come next. As the threats on her life continue to escalate, so do the questions: Who is doing this? Why are they after her? And with her only help being unreliable suitors in competition with each other, whom can she really trust?

Join Richard in celebrating the release of Medical Judgment by entering to win an e-reader!






One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Medical Judgment
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6


Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 21st. The winner will be announced June 22nd on the Litfuse blog.





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About the Book:

Medical Judgment (Abingdon Press, May 2016)

Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she’s about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn’t think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her—and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, and they’re both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won’t protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?




About the Author:



Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.


Find out more about Richard at http://www.rmabry.com.





Margie’s Comments:
Once again, “Doc” Mabry has come through with another excellent medical suspense. Medical Judgment is his latest release from Abingdon Press. As I read, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the story with Mabry’s latest characters, who are varied and well developed. Although the stage was set for the ending, it was still a surprise when Sarah’s stalker was revealed. So kudos to “Doc” for another excellent read. Again, I can highly recommend Medical Judgment to anyone who loves to read medical suspense.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson


 About the Book:
The Beautiful Pretender (Thomas Nelson, May 2016)

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?



 

About the Author:
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.






Margie’s Comments:
I love Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale retellings, and her latest book The Beautiful Pretender does not disappoint. Of course who doesn’t respond well to any “Beauty and the Beast” tale? Including Disney’s rendition of the old fairy tale. But I think the most satisfying aspect of Melanie Dickerson’s books is the faith element that she includes. When Avelina is forced by her master, the Earl of Plimmwald, to stand in for his daughter at the Margrave of Thornbeck’s test for a bride she has nowhere else to turn to for help but to her faith in God. So when she finds herself in a situation with worse consequences than her failure to the Earl of Plimmwald, her only recourse is to tell the truth . . . no matter the cost. The main characters in The Beautiful Pretender are endearing, even “the beast.” And the plot is well developed, making for a very satisfying, and surprisingly quick, read.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin


Add Victoria Bylin’s new book, Someone Like You, to the top of your must-read list and discover if life offers a second chance at love. As Julia and Zeke, former college sweethearts, work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of Zeke’s resort soon depends on their success. When they are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

Enter to win a copy of Someone Like You—five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced June 1 on the Litfuse blog!




About the Book:
Someone Like You (Bethany House, May 2016)

Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.

A brand-new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father’s less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort’s general manager and her college sweetheart.

With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can’t ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

Learn more and purchase a copy.


About the Author:
Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.
Find out more about Victoria at http://www.victoriabylin.com.


Margie’s Comments: It has been a long time since I’ve read a contemporary romance that I have enjoyed as thoroughly as I enjoyed reading Someone Like You. The cast of characters were all real with real-life problems and circumstances. One thing that made this book unique—at least in my recent reading—is the fact that this wasn’t just one couple’s love story. Plus through it all ran God’s overarching love for all of us. Kudos to Victoria Bylin for an excellent and thoroughly entertaining read. 

Hurry and enter the contest for your chance to win!