Saturday, 27 February 2010

Double Trouble by Susan May Warren

Synopsis:~

With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI's assistant until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ's seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case-house-sitting for a witness in protective custody-Jeremy assures her there
's no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they're after PJ, too.

My take:~


Double Trouble heralds the return of Susan May Warren's delightful trainee PI and trouble magnet, PJ Sugar. As PJ determines to impress everyone in Kellogg with her reformed ways and superior investigative skills she is dogged by the natural pull she feels towards her high school flame, Detective Boone Buckam and new feelings of deep connection to Jeremy. Humour and suspense abound in equal measure yet it is the multi layered characterisation of PJ, Jeremy and Boone that gives this story a unique persp
ective. The reader feels just as unsure of the outcome as PJ as she wrestles with her natural affinity for trouble and heartache with her desire to live her faith and see herself as God sees her.

Susan May Warren has secured another home run with Double Trouble and
you can be assured, having read it, you will be hanging out for the conclusion in Licensed for Trouble, releasing in August, 2010.

Enjoy a peek at the just released cover

With thanks to Litfuse for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Nothing But Trouble

Character spotlight on PJ, Boone & Jeremy ~ see how Susie pictures her characters

Visit Susie's website, blog and PJ Sugar's own website, Got Sugar!

Buy Susie's books at Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 26 February 2010

Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith

Synopsis:~

Abigail's hopes and dreams for the future are wrapped up in her handsome, dark-eyed betrothed, Nabal. But when the long-awaited wedding day arrives, her drunken groom behaves shamefully. Nevertheless, Abigail tries to honor and respect her husband despite his abuse of her. Meanwhile, Abigail's family has joined David's wandering tribe as he and his people keep traveling to avoid the dangerous Saul. When Nabal suddenly dies, Abigail is free to move on with her life, and thanks to her brother, her new life includes a new husband--David. The dangers of tribal life on the run are serious, but there are other dangers in young Abigail's mind. How can David lead his people effectively when he goes against God? And how can Abigail share David's love with the other wives he insists on marrying?

My take:~

I can only imagine the deep sense of responsibility an author must feel when writing the story of a Biblical character, let alone one with the stature and aura of David, the shepherd boy and God's anointed. Jill Eileen Smith is clearly up to the task in this moving account of David's third wife, Abigail, a woman despised by her first husband and then subjects herself to a polygamous marriage, battling to garner the attention of the man she truly loves. Every aspect of this story is fascinating, from the relationships between the women in David's household, the animosity and respect that wars in David over Saul and the consequences both Abigail and David face as they wrestle with their selfish desires and devotion to Adonai. Abigail is an excellent read and I highly recommend it.


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


With thanks to Revell for my review copy


Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Jill's website/blog

Buy Jill's books at Amazon or Koorong

Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge ~ on tour

Jayne Tate, talented and successful newspaper reporter, is shocked to learn her editor is not calling her into his office to send her on a highly anticipated assignment but ordering her to have some time off work, to adjust to the recent death of her father. Given her father barely acknowledged her during his lifetime, Jayne feels little compunction to spend time thinking about him after his death.

In the hope of discovering a story even while on enforced leave, Jayne heads into Amish country, unaware her life is about to be thrown into chaos by the peace loving life of Plain folk.


Amish fiction has never really been my cup of tea but the premise of this story piqued my interest. I wondered, without too much hope, if this debut author could sustain my interest in a genre often marked by predictable story lines and stereotypes. I'm delighted to say that Hillary Manton Lodge has defied my expectations and written a unique, witty and beautiful story marked with vivid characters, genuine emotions and sensitive insight into Amish life.

Hillary exposes the Amish life from many perspectives in this novel with Jayne, the outsider, Levi, living with the consequences of following his faith and Sara, struggling to choose her path in life. Each character sheds light and shade on both the romanticised and realistic versions of Amish living in a captivating story of family, romance and spiritual belief
.

The interplay Jayne has with her dysfunctional family, her patient boyfriend, Shane and the intriguing Levi Burkholder, adds emotional complexity and substance to this well written story. Plain Jayne's appeal is not limited to lovers of Amish fiction and I, for one, will be lining up for Hillary's next novel, Amish or otherwise.

As seen at TitleTrakk.com

Relz Reviewz Extras

Character spotlight on Jayne & Levi

Visit Hillary's website and blog

Buy Hillary's book at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Amanda Cabot's Priscilla Morton & Zachary Webster


Priscilla Morton & Zachary Webster


Amanda Cabot's historical romance novels deliver just what her readers are after so be sure to add her books to your wishlist including the just released, Scattered Petals. Enjoy this insight into Zach from Paper Roses and new character, Priscilla.

Over to you, Amanda:~


Priscilla Morton, the heroine

Brief physical description

Although everyone else, including the bandits who hold up her stagecoach, would tell you that Priscilla is beautiful – gorgeous, in fact – with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes, she doesn’t see herself that way. In Priscilla’s mind, she cannot compete with her older sister, and so all she sees are her flaws, including those pesky three freckles that simply will not disappear from her nose.

Actor/famous person

This is always a difficult question for me, because I don’t base my characters on real people, but if I were choosing an actress to play Priscilla in the movie version of Scattered Petals (a woman can dream, can’t she), I’d pick Reese Witherspoon. Thanks to the magic of modern hair coloring and makeup, she would have a slight reddish tint to her hair and those three freckles that so irritate Priscilla.

Strengths and weaknesses

Priscilla’s greatest strength is her compassion for others and her willingness to give of herself to help them. It’s that strength that allows her to put aside her own problems, which might seem insurmountable to others, and devote herself to helping her friends.

Her weakness is her desire for adventure, which leads to impetuous decisions, including making the ill-fated trip to Texas.

Quirk (if any)

Priscilla is not a quirky person.

Your inspiration for the character

One consistent theme in my books is the healing power of love, and oh, does Priscilla need that. When I started Scattered Petals, I asked myself the question, “What is the worst thing that could happen to a woman?” and then I gave Priscilla that fate. In the space of only minutes, she loses everything dear to her. A weaker woman might have given up right then, but Priscilla has an underlying strength that surprises even her.

Zachary Webster, the hero

Brief physical description

Zach is the quintessential cowboy. Tall, with dark hair, eyes as blue as the Texas sky and an endearing cleft in his chin, he’s unforgettable. Unfortunately for Priscilla, he closely resembles the bandit who destroyed her hope of a happy future.

Actor/famous person

Give him a cleft in his chin and blue eyes, and NCIS: Los Angeles’ star Peter Cambor could be Zach.

Strengths and weaknesses

Zach’s greatest strength is his sense of honor and responsibility. That leads him to take on others’ problems as if they were his own. He’s a master at helping others. It’s only his own problems that he cannot surmount.

Quirk (if any)

Zach is not a quirky person.

Your inspiration for the character

I’ve always been drawn to the strong, silent hero, and Zach is certainly that. But at the same time that I’ve been intrigued by men like Zach, I’ve wanted to know what made them that way. What are they holding inside themselves? When I learned Zach’s secrets, I knew he needed a woman like Priscilla if he was ever going to heal. Unfortunately for Zach, Priscilla reminds him of his worst mistakes, and so the healing is not easy.

Background to the story

When I finished writing Paper Roses, I knew that Zach, the ranch foreman who plays a small but crucial role in that book, needed his own story. A strong man, but one with a tortured past, he needed an equally strong woman to bring out his best. Enter Priscilla.

All her life, Priscilla Morton has longed for adventure, and so she leaves Boston and heads for Texas, never dreaming that the adventure she sought will leave her alone and badly injured. Though her life’s in shambles, she’s determined to rebuild it and make a home for herself in the beautiful Hill Country. But that may not be possible, for the bandits destroyed more than her parents’ lives; they destroyed her hope of a future.

His life spared by another man’s sacrifice, Zachary Webster knows what the future holds for him, and it’s not a woman like Priscilla. She deserves a cultured East-coast gentleman, not a cowboy who’s haunted by memories of his mistakes. The best thing he can do is leave her alone.

Drawn together by necessity, Priscilla and Zach begin to forge a life that, like the scattered petals of her childhood, is filled with promise. But then the past intrudes, threatening their very existence.

Rel, Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of your blog. I love your Character Spotlights and am delighted to have Priscilla and Zach featured.

Amanda ~ it's always a pleasure to have you visit Relz Reviewz. Thanks for your insight today :)


Come back Monday to shine a spotlight on Christa Allen's Leah Thornton from her novel, Walking on Broken Glass.


Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Paper Roses

Character spotlight on Sarah & Clay

Interview with Amanda

Visit Amanda's website

Buy Amanda's book at Amazon or Koorong

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

Synopsis:~

Growing up as the lightkeeper’s daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she’s immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion.

As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs.

My take:~

Colleen Coble brings her trademark suspense to another timezone in her debut historical romance, The Lightkeeper's Daughter. With a traditional storyline of a poverty stricken young girl pulled from obscurity into the home of the wealthy and socially conscious Eaton family, Colleen adds plenty of unexpected twists and a vibrant attraction, which will garner her a whole new fan base. Accomplished at weaving spiritual truths naturally into the story, Colleen reminds the reader that God is never far away. While Colleen's contemporary stories will be closest to my heart, she has proved the historical genre is well within her literary grasp!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Character spotlight on Addie & John

Visit Colleen's website and blog

Buy Colleen's books at Amazon or Koorong

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Coming in October/November 2010 from Revell

Hold onto your hats, everyone...Julie Lessman is back with her highly anticipated new series with A Hope Undaunted, sassy cover and all ;-)

Revell have a stunning lineup once again from historical romance to contemporary suspense. I love a number of these covers and am so looking forward to Julie, Lynette and Sarah's books as well as the others.

I'd love to know your thoughts on covers, storylines, which ones appeal to you and more!


A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jake fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and head-over-heels in love with her. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice.

Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jake? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

A Hope Undaunted is the engrossing first book in the Winds of Change series from popular author Julie Lessman. Readers will thrill at the highly charged romance in this passionate story.

September, 2010


A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge--until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?

A Memory Between Us is the second book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

September, 2010



Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews. But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever.

Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means abandoning the family she loves?

Author Lorna Seilstad's fresh and entertaining voice will whisk readers away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday. Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves is the first book in the Lake Manawa Summers series.

September, 2010


The House on Malcolm Street by Leisha Kelly

It is the autumn of 1920 and Leah Breckenridge is desperate to find a way to provide for her young daughter. After losing her husband and infant son in an accident, she is angry at God and fearful about the future. Finding refuge in a boardinghouse run by her late husband's aunt, Leah's heart begins the slow process of mending. Is it the people who surround her--or perhaps this very house--that reach into her heart with healing?

Delightful, realistic characters and skilled writing make The House on Malcolm Street a treasure. Leisha Kelly's fans and new readers alike will find this simple story about the complexities of life an engrossing read.

September, 2010





The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Jorie King has been waiting for Benjamin Zook to return home to Lancaster County so they can marry. When news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie finds comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. That friendship ripens into love, and it seems that they are meant to be together. But when Ben surfaces at a nearby hospital, their worlds are turned upside down once more.

Will Jorie return to her first love? Or will she trust God to lead her into the arms of a different man?

A multifaceted story about complex people living the simple life, The Waiting is the second book in the Lancaster County Secrets series. Readers will find themselves transported into the world of the Amish and deeply invested in these wonderful characters.

October, 2010




Emily's Chance by Sharon Gillenwater

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

The second book in The Callahans of Texas series, Emily's Chance is a heartwarming story of letting love take the lead. Readers will come away wishing they lived in Callahan Crossing.

October, 2010




Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason

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

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

Filled with heart-stopping suspense, gritty realism, and a touch of romance, Don't Look Back is the second book in the Women of Justice series. Readers will be hooked from the beginning, finding that once you are in Lynette Eason's world, you're trapped until you turn the very last page.

October, 2010



Christmas at Harringtons by Melody Carlson

Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent.

When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?

This tender story about fresh starts will charm readers as all of Melody Carlson's Christmas offerings do. Full of redemption and true holiday spirit, Christmas at Harrington's will be readers' newest Christmas tradition.

October, 2010

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Love That Is Blind by Ayrian Stone

Synopsis:~

Relegated to a world of blindness, Cora Abrams refuses to live in hatred of the neo-Nazi gang that stole her sight seven years ago. Instead she longs to thank the gang member who rescued her. Unknown to her, Rye Tyler is now her young uncle's detective partner and their paths intersect as Caleb and Rye search for a missing heiress. Drawn to the incredible purity and peace in Cora, Rye wrestles with his deepening desire for her and the heavy weight of guilt he carries because of his former lifestyle. Intensely passionate about God's moral code, Caleb bars Rye from pursuing a relationship with Cora while struggling against his own attraction to Arianna, a teen hungry for a love that will satisfy. The four friends differing passions interlock, culminating in an intense battle for hope and forgiveness as two worlds collide.

My take:~

Gritty, edgy and confronting, Love That Is Blind ventures where few Christian novels are willing to go. Addressing racism, infidelity, greed, suffering and treachery debut author Aryian Stone paints a heartbreaking picture of Cora, a young girl whose life is almost destroyed by evil men yet lives with peace due to her unfailing faith in Jesus. Bad boy Rye Tyler is captivated by Cora's beauty and inner joy and struggles with his past immorality which lies in stark contrast to this woman he can't easily forget. Keeping a close eye on his partner Rye is Caleb, a Jew determined to live by Yahweh's precepts yet tempted to the core by the provocative Arianna and harbouring dark unforgiveness in his heart. While the writing was at times heavy handed, Aryian's heart for God's message of redemption from the ashes is transparent and moving. While a little too edgy for traditional readers, Love That Is Blind will satisfy those looking for more reality and edge to their faith fiction.

With thanks to Bring It On Communications for my review copy


Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Aryian's website and blog

Buy Aryian's book at Amazon or CBD

Cowgirl at Heart by Christine Lynxwiler

Synopsis:~

Welcome to the Ozarks, the setting of award-winning author Christine Lynxwiler's latest breath-taking romance, where the lives of a timid dog whisperer and an out-for-revenge reporter collide.

Elyse McCord, the biological daughter of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, turns into a mighty warrior when a dog's well-being is at stake. Finding herself in the sights of a pistol-wielding maniac whose been mistreating his dog, she's suddenly swept to safety by Andrew Stone, a widower bent on hunting down his wife's killers. Is there any future for an outlaw's daughter and a Texas ranger's son?

My take:~

Christine Lynxwiler knows her audience well and serves up another tender romance in the McCord family, this time exposing the soft and wounded heart of Elyse McCord. In terrifying circumstances, Elyse finally finds a man she can talk to in Andrew Stone but she doesn't know he has a secret he is unwilling to share. There are some bumps in the road for sister Crystal and her fiance Jeremy from The Reluctant Cowgirl which add to the storyline. With fun family dynamics, attraction and a little suspense, Cowgirl at Heart is a sweet way to spend a relaxing afternoon!

With thanks to Barbour for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of The Reluctant Cowgirl, Promise Me Always and Along Came A Cowboy
Interview with Christine
Visit Chris's website
Buy the book from Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 22 February 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Rachel Hauck & Sara Evans' Jade, Beryl & Max

Today the spotlight shines on..................Jade, Beryl & Max

Rachel Hauck's latest novel, The Sweet By and By is a collaboration with singer/songwriter Sara Evans. An intriguing and charming story of an estranged mother and daughter and the wedding that just might bring them together.

Enjoy and over to you, Rachel:~



Brief physical description

RH: Jade has dark hair with olive eyes. Medium build. I kind of leave the characters to the readers imagination unless a physical trait is key.

Rel: How about Jessica Alba for Jade?

Beryl is a '60s hippie who never really left the era. She has long braided gray hair. Same olive eyes as Jade.


Max is dark, Italian skin with hazel eyes.

Actor/famous person

RH: I had an actor picked out for Max, Jesse somebody, but I searched the internet for pictures of Jade and Beryl. Oh, I had a picture of Janis Joplin for Beryl but she was much prettier!

Strengths and weaknesses

RH: Jade doesn't know she's loveable. Everyone has left her. So she is tentative. She deals with panic and depersonalization. But she also endures, perseveres and makes life work for her.

Beryl lives the '60s even into her 60s. She wants to live free. But she really does love her daughter. She has an odd way of showing it.

Max has a bunch of issues. But he's really in love with Jade. He's self centered and weak in dealing with stress. But he seeks to do good.

Your inspiration for the character

RH: Because Sara Evans and I wrote the book together, she was a big part of the inspiration. She conceived the story idea and I worked to develop the characters with her thought and input. It was fun to have a partner and inspiration.

We talked about Sara's life and people she knew and inspired her. We talked about what kind of story she wanted to tell and I just thought of who would fit the design.

I did a lot of research for Beryl's character. It was interesting to look into the '60s lifestyle and the revolution that started the Summer of Love in San Francisco in '67.

Background to the story

RH: Since this is a celebrity collaboration, I'll give you the background to how the project came about.

Thomas Nelson approached multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans about doing a book project because so much of her music is about story.

Once she agreed to the idea, they brought me in to work with her. It's been really fun and amazing.

We recently brainstormed book three in the Songbird Novel series.

I always look forward to all your books, Rachel and am keen to read what happens to in the sequel!



On Thursday the spotlight shines on Priscilla Morton and Zachary Webster from Amanda Cabot's Scattered Petals so be sure to come back!


Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of The Sweet By and By, Love Starts With Elle, Sweet Caroline and Diva NashVegas

Interview with Rachel

Visit Rachel's website

Visit Sara's website

Buy Sara & Rachel's books at Amazon or Koorong

The winners of Angel's Den are.....


Aussie winners ~ Beth & Jen

US winners ~ Julie J & Colettakay


Congratulations! An email is on its way to you but be sure to email me your snail mail details to claim your book.

CFBA Blog Tour of Cowgirl at Heart by Christine Lynxwiler

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Cowgirl at Heart

Barbour Books (February 1, 2010)
by

Christine Lynxwiler
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling author Christine Lynxwiler lives with her husband and two precious daughters in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Christine has been writing toward publication since 1997. She sold her first story in 2001 to Barbour Publishing. Since then she's written and sold fourteen Christian romance novels and novellas including the four novels that were included in the best-selling book Arkansas, which has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. Her novel, Forever Christmas, ranked number 12 on the Christian Bookseller's Association Bestseller List in January, 2009. A four-time winner of the prestigious American Christian Romance Writers/American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award, Christine recently signed a new six-book contract with Barbour Publishing bringing her total of contracted books to twenty. Besides, Along Came a Cowboy, her latest novels include Promise Me Always and Forever Christmas. She also writes mysteries with two of her sisters, Sandy Gaskin and Jan Reynolds. Their book, Alibis in Arkansas, is currently available nationwide, as well as in many bookstores. The first book in Christine's new McCord Sisters series, The Reluctant Cowgirl released in April, 2009 and was a TOP PICK in Romantic Times Magazine. When Christine isn't at her computer, you'll often find her, with her husband, co-coaching their daughters' softball team, kayaking down beautiful Spring River with her family, or getting together with friends from church.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Elyse McCord always plays it safe─a fact she blames on being the biological daughter of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. Even in the security of her adoptive family the McCords, the timid dog whisperer keeps her guard up with strangers. But when she discovers a dog being horribly mistreated, shy Elyse transforms into a mighty warrior and charges into a perilous situation, not only risking her life but also her heart

Reporter Andrew Stone has been fearless since the day his wife was shot and killed three years ago. He has one mission─use hid Texas Ranger upbringing to find her murderer and clear his own name of any involvement. When he sees a beautiful brunette in the hands of a pistol-welding maniac, he’s forced to abandon his covert surveillance and go to the rescue. The danger surrounding Andrew doesn’t scare him at all, but the awakening of his dormant heart terrifies him.
When painful pasts collide, the explosion is deafening.

Can Andrew and Elyse pick up the pieces and go forward together? Or will they forever live with haunting memories, unable to forgive, unable to love?


If you would like to read the first chapter of Cowgirl at Heart , go HERE.

To read my review, click here

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Coming in late 2010 from Harvest House

Another sneak peek at late 2010 releases from Harvest House.

As you might know I am not a huge fan of Amish fiction but I loved Hillary Manton Lodge's debut novel, Plain Jayne so Simply Sara is a shoe in :)

Trish Perry writes tender and sweet romances so I'm looking forward to The Perfect Blend.

Your thoughts?
Click on the links for more.


Sarah's Christmas Miracle by Mary Ellis

From the bestselling author of A Widow’s Hope and Never Far from Home comes a brand-new Amish novella that will add joy to the Christmas season.

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

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


August, 2010


Simply Sara by Hillary Manton Lodge

Following up on Plain Jayne, a fun new look at Amish life from the outside in, author Hillary Manton Lodge continues with young Sara Burkholder’s perspective on English life and romance in Simply Sara.

Sara, who left her Amish family to live with Jane, discovers that the English world is a bit more challenging than she expected. As she finds a job, buys English clothes, wears makeup, and learns to drive, she begins a journey to becoming the person she might have been had she not been born into an Amish family. But when romance becomes complicated and school proves difficult, Sara escapes to her Amish sister’s home, wondering if she should return to the life she left. Torn, she seeks answers in prayer, but is the God she is seeking the same in both worlds? What’s a quilt-making, fashion-loving, formerly Plain girl to do when a new way of life starts to change her?

September, 2010



The Perfect
Blend by Trish Perry


If you enjoy the novels of Debbie Macomber, you’ll love this perfect blend of recipes and romance set in a small town with a big heart.

Steph Vandergrift is in need of a job. She left everything behind to elope with Middleburg attorney Rick Manfred, never imagining he would stand her up at the altar. Now, hoping just to get by until she can decide what to do next, Steph thinks she’s found the perfect position at the local tea shop.

Kendall James, one of the kindest and most eligible bachelors in the area, meets Steph and proceeds to pursue her. But by the time Steph feels able to consider dating again, her runaway fiancé returns and tries to win her back. Steph is wary, but she and Rick always seemed to blend so well. Are they truly meant to be together, or does God have something else in mind?

September, 2010

Friday, 19 February 2010

Swinging on A Star by Janice Thompson

Synopsis:~

Bella Rossi's life is nearing perfection. She's got the perfect guy, she's running a successful business, and she's about to plan her most ambitious wedding yet, a Renaissance-themed fairy tale come true, complete with period costumes and foods, horse-drawn carriages, and even a castle. There's just one hitch. The best man just happens to be Brock Benson, Hollywood's hottest and most eligible bachelor. Oh, and did we mention he's staying at the Rossi house to avoid the paparazzi?

My take:~

Janice Thompson returns with the slightly madcap Rossi family, a themed wedding and a Hollywood movie star who has his eye on Bella! Filled with hilarity, mishaps and a sensitive spiritual message, Swinging on A Star is a delightful read in every aspect. Romance abounds as Bella and DJ see if their relationship is strong enough to withstand the admiring gaze of Brock Benson, Hollywood's leading man and Laz and Rosa wrestle, not only over Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, but their decades old feelings. Bella's first person voice is spot on and DJ is one of a kind. Janice keeps up the wit and tempo beautifully in this joyful story. Very well done!

Available January 2010 at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Fools Rush In

Character spotlight on Bella & DJ

Visit Janice's website

Buy Janice's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Colleen Coble's Addie Sullivan & John North


Today the spotlight shines on Addie Sullivan and John North


Colleen Coble has long been known for her contemporary suspense novels from her Rock Harbor series to her Aloha Reef series and Lonestar series. The Lightkeeper's Daughter is the first in Colleen's debut historical series, the Mercy Falls novels, and she makes the transition well :) Enjoy this look behind the scenes.

Over to you, Colleen:~



Brief physical description of your main character


Addie Sullivan: Reddish hair, green eyes. Think Ashley Greene

John North: Navy man, brown hair and eyes. Think Colin Farrell

Strengths and weaknesses

Addie's biggest strength is her childlike faith and love of life. She talks of it in a very natural way. She shines out God's love in everything she does. The flip side of that is that because she is full of love, she's a people pleaser. It's easy to be influenced by wanting to fit in and please o ther people. She has to learn pleasing God is the most important thing.

John is her opposite. He doesn't know how to let down his hair and enjoy himself. Addie has her work cut out for her with him!

Quirk (if any)

Her quirk is something I do myself. I hate shoes. :-) Shocked you, didn't I? I'd rather go barefoot than anything. Now that I'm a bit older, I'm more apt to wear them but when I was Addie's age, shoes rarely found themselves to my feet.

Your inspiration for the character

Addie's is Bree Matthews' (Rock Harbor series) ancestor so there's a bit of Bree in her. I think that's what makes her so lovable!

Background to the story


Addie Sullivan thinks she's the daughter of a local lightkeeper until an injured stranger turns up on her doorstep. She discovers the lightkeeper was paid to keep her all these years. And someone will stop at nothing to keep her from taking her rightful place at the Eaton mansion.

Thanks Colleen. I will be posting my review of this book soon and am
looking forward to more in the series.



On Monday, the spotlight shines on Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck's Jade Fitzgerald from their collaborative novel, The Sweet By & By ~ stay tuned!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Lonestar Sanctuary, Lonestar Secrets and Cry in the Night

Character spotlights on Shannon & Jack and Bree & Kade

Visit Colleen's website and blog

Buy Colleen's books at Amazon or Koorong


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

CFBA Blog Tour of The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer AlLee

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Pastor's Wife
Abingdon Press (February 2010)
by


Jennifer AlLee


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer AlLee was born in Hollywood, California and for the first 10 years of her life lived over a mortuary one block from Hollywood and Vine. An avid reader and writer, she completed her first novel in high school. That manuscript is now safely tucked away, never again to see the light of day. Her first inspirational romance, The Love of His Brother, was released in November 2007 by Five Star Publisher.

Besides being a writer, she is a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, her husband and teenage son have learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets there without severely impacting their waistlines. God is good!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn't please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.

Nick Shepherd thought he had put the past behind him, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must admit the mistakes he made, how he hurt his wife, and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

As God works in both of their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more secret to tell Nick before they can move forward. It's what ultimately drove her to leave him three years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they've built.

If you would like to read the first Chapter of The Pastor's Wife , go HERE

The Raven Saint by M L Tyndall

Synopsis:~

When Grace Westcott is kidnapped by a French mercenary, tossed aboard his ship, and told she will be sold to a Spanish Don in Columbia, she cannot imagine what she has done to deserve such a horrid fate. She has spent her entire life serving God and helping the poor, not to mention trying to save the souls of her two wayward sisters. Thinking perhaps God has sent her to preach to the vile captain and his crew, Grace's every attempt to correct their sinful ways is rewarded with only mockery. When Grace's situation grows far worse than she could imagine, she is forced to face her own human weaknesses. But she isn't prepared to face her biggest weakness of all-falling in love with the nefarious captain, Rafe Dubois.

My take:~

MaryLu Tyndall returns with her unique brand of adventure, romance, betrayal and intrigue in her latest jaunt on the high seas with The Raven Saint. Frenchman Rafe Dubois is every woman's worst nightmare while exuding a bad boy attraction that faithful Grace can't quite fathom. MaryLu provides a everything we have come to expect in her entertaining tales ~ vivacious characters, charged emotions, dangerous adventure and lives transformed by faith. Infused with humour and passion in equal measure, The Raven Saint is another sure fire winner from one of my must read writers!

With thanks to Barbour for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress

Character spotlights for The Raven Saint, The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress

Visit MaryLu's website and blog

Buy MaryLu's books at Amazon or Koorong

Book Trailer for John Aubrey Anderson's The Cool Woman

John Aubrey Anderson awed me with his Black & White Chronicles and I'm thrilled that he has a new release hitting stores this year! The Cool Woman releases in July, 2010 from Fidelis Books (a B&H imprint) and this is a book to take notice of, especially but not exclusively, for the men in your life!

Check out the trailer:~


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